« ZurückWeiter »
ing to each other, This is the lion who was the man's host; this is the man who was the lion's physician.
Pocahontas. 1. PERHAPS those who are not particularly acquainted with the history of Virginia, may be ignorant that Pocahontas was the protectress of the English, and often screened them from the cruelty of her father. She was but twelve years old, when captain Smith, the bravest, the most intelligent, and the most humane of the first colonists, fell into the hands of the savages. He already understood their language, had traded with them several times, and often appeased the quarrels between the Europeans and them. Often had he been obliged also to fight them, and punish their perfidy.
2. At length, however, under the pretext of commerce, he was drawn into an ambush, and the only two companions who accompanied him, fell before his eyes ; but though alone, by his dexterity he extricated himself from the troop which surrounded him, until unfortunately imagining he could save himself by crossing a morass, he stuck fast, so that the savages, against whom he had no means of defending himself, at last took and bound him, and conducted him to Powhatan. The king was so proud of having captain Smith in his power, that he sent him in triumph to all the tributary princes, and ordered that he should be splendidly treated, till he returned to suffer that death which was prepared for him.
3. The fatal moment at last arrived. Captain Smith was laid
upon the hearth of the savage king, and his head placed upon a large stone, to receive the stroke of death ; when Po cahontas, the youngest and darling daughter of Powhatan, threw herself upon his body, clasped him in her arms, and declared, that if the cruel sentence was executed, the first blow should fall on her. All savages (absolute sovereigns and tyrants not excepted) are invariably more affected by the tears of infancy, than the voice of humanity. Powhatan could not resist the tears and prayers of his daughter.
4. Captain Smith obtained his life, on condition of paying for his ransom a certain quantity of muskets, powder, and iron utensils;
but how were they to be obtained ? They would neither permit him to return to Jamestown, nor let the English know where he was, lest they should demand'him sword in hand. Captain Smith, who was as sensible as courageous, said, that if Powhatan would permit one of his subjects to carry to Jamestown a leaf which he took from his pocket-book, he should find
under a tree at the day and hour appointed, all the articles demanded for his ransom. Powhatan consented ; but without having much faith in his promises, believing it to be only an ár. tifice of the captain to prolong his life. But he had written on the leaf a few lines, sufficient to give an account of his situation. The messenger returned. The king sent to the place fixed upon, and was greatly astonished to find every thing which had been demanded.
5. Powhatan could not conceive this mode of transmitting thoughts; and captain Smith was henceforth looked upon as a great magician, to whom they could not show too much respect. He left the savages in this opinion, and hastened to return home. Two or three years after, some fresh differences arising between thein and the English ; Powhatan, who no longer thought them sorcerers, but still feared their power, laid a horrid plan to get rid of thein altogether. His project was to attack them in profound peace, and cut the throats of the whole colony.
6. At the appointed time of this intended conspiracy, Pocahontas took advantage of the obscurity of the night, and, in a terrible storm, which kept the savages in their tents, escaped from her father's house, advised the English to be in their guard, but conjured them to spare her family ; to appear ignorant of the intelligence she had given, and terminate all their differences by a new treaty. It would be tedious to relate all the services which this angel of peace rendered to both nations. I. shall only add, that the English, I know not from what motives, but certainly against all faith and equity, thought proper to carry her off. Long and bitterly did she deplore her fate ; and the only consolation she had, was captaiň Smith, in whom she found a second father.
7. She was treated with great respect, and married to a planter by the name of Rolse, who soon after took her to England. This was in the reign of James the first; and it is said, that the monarch, pedantic and ridiculous in every point, was so infatuated with the prerogatives of royalty, that he expressed his displeasure, that one of his subjects should dare to marry the daughter even of a savage king. It will not perhaps be difficult to decide on this occasion, whether it was the savage king who derived honour from finding himself placed upon a level with the European prince, or the English monarch, who, by his pride and prejudices, reduced himself to a level with the chief
8. Be that as it will, captain Smith, who had returned to London before the arrival of Pocahontas, was extremely bappy
of the savages.
to see her again ; but dared not treat her with the same famo liarity as at Jamestown. As soon as she saw him, she threw herself into his arms, calling him her father; but finding that he neither returned her caresses with equal warmth, nor the endearing title of daughter, she turned aside her head and wept bitterly; and it was a long time before they could obtain a single word from her. Captain Smith inquired several times what could be the cause of her affliction. • What ? (said she,) did I not save thy life, in America ? When I was torn from the arms of my father, and conducted amongst thy friends, didst thou not promise to be a father to me? Didst thou not assure me, that if I went into thy country, thou wouldst be my father, and that I should be thy daughter ? Thou hast deceived me; and behold me now, here a stranger and an orphan.'
9. It was not difficult for the captain to make his peace with this charming creature, whom he tenderly loved. He presented her to several people of the first quality ; but he never dared to take her to court, from which, however, she received several favours. After a residence of several years in England, an example of virtue and piety, and attachment to her husband, she died, as she was on the point of embarking for America. She left an only son, who was married, and left none but daughters; and from these are descended some of the principal characters in Virginia.
Parental Affection. 1. The white bear of Greenland and Spitzbergen, is considerably larger than the brown bear of Europe, or the black bear of North America. This animal lives upon fish and seals, and is not only seen upon land, in the countries bordering on the North Pole, but often on floats of ice, several leagues at sea. The following relation is extracted from the · Journal of a voyage for making discoveries towards the North Pole.'
2. Early in the morning, the man at the mast head gave notice that three bears were making their way very fast over the ice, and that they were directing their course towards the ship. They had probably been invited by the scent of the blubber of a sea-horse, killed a few days before, which the men had set on fire, and which was burning on the ice at the time of their approach. They proved to be a she bear and her two cubs ; but the cubs were nearly as large as the dam. They ran eagerly to the fire, and drew out from the flames, part of the flesh of the sea-horse that remained unconsumed, and eat it voracious. ly. The crew from the ship threw great pieces of the flesh of
sea-horse, which they had still left upon the ice, which the old bear carried away singly, laid every piece before her cubs as she brought it, and dividing it, gave each a share, reserving bat a small portion to herself. As she was carrying away the last piece, they levelled their muskets at the cubs, and shot them both dead ; and in her retreat, they wounded the dam, but not mortally.
3. It would have drawn tears of pity from any but unfeeling minds, to have marked the affectionate concern expressed by this poor beast in the last moments of her expiring young. Though she was sorely wounded, and could but just crawl to the place where they lay, she carried the piece of fesh she had fetched away, as she had done others before, tore it in pieces, and laid it down before them; and, when she saw that they refused to eat, she laid her paws first upon one, and then
the other, and endeavoured to raise them up: all this while it was pitiful to hear her moan.
4. When she found she could not stir them, she went off, and when at some distance, looked back and moaned ; and that not availing to entice them away, she returned, and smelling round them, began to lick their wounds. She went off a second time, as before ; and, having crawled a few paces, looked again behind her, and for some time stood moaning. But still her cubs not rising to follow her, she returned to them again, and, with signs of inexpressible fondness, went round one, and round the other, pawing them, and moaning. Finding at last that they were cold and lifeless, shị raised her head towards the ship, and growled her resentment at the murderers, which they returned with a volley of musket-balls. She fell between her cabs, and died licking their wounds.
5. Can you admire the maternal affection of the bear, and not feel in your heart the warmest emotions of gratitude for the stronger and more permanent tenderness you have so long experienced from your parents ? while, at the same time, you feel your displeasure arising towards those, who treat with wanton barbarity any of the brute creation.
The Venetian and Turk. 1. A VENETIAN ship having taken a number of the Turks prisoners, sold them according to their barbarous custom, to different persons in the city. One of those slaves, named Ibraim, lived near the house of a Venetian merchant, who was rich, and had an only son, who was about twelve years old. As he had occasion frequently to pass Ibraim, he would stop, and
look very earnestly at him. Ibraim observing in the little boy an appearance of benevolence and tenderness, was greatly pleased with him, and sought to have his company more frequently. The little boy took such a fancy to the slave, that he renewed his visits much oftener than he had done, and brought him presents for his relief and comfort. But though Ibraim appeared always to be pleased with the innocent caresses of his young friend, yet he observed Ibraim was very sorrowful sometimes, and even shed tears.
Afflicted by the present appearance of grief and sorrow of heart, the little boy at length requested his father to make Ibraim happy if it was in his
power. 9. The father, pleased with this instance of generosity in his son, determined to see the Turk himself, and inquire into the cause of his sadness. The next day he went to see him, and looking at him for some time, was struck with the mildnces and honesty of his countenance. He at length said to him, ' Art thou Ibraim, of whose courtesy and gentleness my little son has spoken to me? I am the unfortunate Ibraim,' answered the Turk, who have been now three years a captive; during that space of time, this little boy is the only human being that seems to have felt any compassion for my sufferings; I must confess, therefore, he is the only object to which I am attached in this barbarous and inhospitable country; and night and morning I pray that Power, who is equally the God of the Turks and Christians, to grant him every blessing he deserves, and to preserve him from all the miseries I suffer.'
3. Indeed, Ibraim,' said the Venetian, - he is much obliged to you, although, from his present circumstances, he does not appear much exposed to danger. Tell me in what I can assist you ; for my son informs me, that he often finds you in and tears.' And is it strange,' said the Turk, ó that I should pine in silence, and be the prey of continual regret and sorrow, who am bereft of my liberty, the noblest gift of heaven ? And yet how many thousands of our nation,' said the Venetian, does yours retain in chains !'
"I have never been guilty of the inhuman practice of enslaving any of my fellow creatures,' replied the Turk; I have never increased my property by despoiling the Venetian merchants of theirs ; for the cruelty of my countrymen I am not accountable, more than you are for the barbarity of yours.' A swelling tear started from his eye, and bedewed his manly cheek. Recollecting himself immediately, and smiting gently on his breast, he bowed with reverence, and said, . God is good, and man must submit to his decrees.'
4. Affected with this appearance of manly fortitude, the mer