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This was Hiawatha's wooing !
From the wigwam he departed,
“Fare thee well, O Minnehaha !”
Through interminable forests,
he checked and slackened To the steps of Laughing Water. 26. Over wide and rushing rivers
In his arms he bore the maiden n;
With the dry cones of the pine-tree. 27. Pleasant was the journey homeward !
All the birds sang loud and sweetly
Sang the blue-bird, the Owaissa,
Happy are you, Hiawatha,
Having such a noble husband !"
Looked upon them through the branches,
From the sky the moon looked at them,
Rule by patience, Laughing Water !"
Thus it was that Hiawatha
LONGFELLOW. Hiawatha.—The author, in a note, says that the poem from
which this extract is taken is founded on a tradition prevalent among the North American Indians, of a person of miraculous birth, who was sent among them to clear their rivers, forests, and fishing-grounds, and to teach them the arts of peace. He had various names ; among which that of Hiawatha, which literally means the prophet or the teacher, is the most common.
Minnehaha.- Laughing Water—a water-fall on a stream
running into the Mississippi between Fort Snelling and the Falls of St. Anthony: The Arrow-maker's daughter
was named after this fall. Dacotahs.- Better known as the Sioux Indians, inhabiting
Nebraska, Wyoming, &c. Nokomis.-A grandmother. She was mother of Wenorah,
Hiawatha's mother. Muskoday.—Meadow. Wawa.- The wild goose. Chibiabos.—The musician—a friend of Hiawatha. Kwasind.—The strong man. Ojibways.— A tribe of North American Indians, inhabiting Michigan, Wisconsin, &c. They were bitter enemies of the Sioux or Dacotahs.
WILLIAM TELL. [SHERIDAN KNOWLES, a celebrated Irish Drainatist, was born in
1784. His principal plays are “Caius Gracchus,” “Vir-
Sar. [to Tell.] Behold the Governor! Down, slave, upon thy knees, and beg for mercy.
Ges. Does he hear?
Sar. He does, but braves thy power. Down, slave, and ask for life.
Ges. [to Tell.] Why speak'st thou not?
Tell. For wonder! Yes, for wonder—that thou seem'st a man.
Ges. What should I seem ?
Ges. Dar'st thou question me? Beware my vengeance.
Tell. Can it more than kill ?
Ges. Enough; it may do that.
Tell. No, not enough :-it cannot take away the grace of life—the comeliness of look that virtue gives —its port erect, with consciousness of truth—its rich attire of honourable deeds—its fair report that's rife on good men's tongues :—it cannot lay its hands on these, no more than it can pluck his brightness from the sun, or with polluted fingers tarnish it.
Ges. But it may make thee writhe.
Tell. It may, and I may say “Go on!” though it should make me groan again.
Ges. Whence comest thou ?
Tell. From the mountains; there they watch no more the avalanche.
Ges. Why so?
Tell. Because they look for thee. The hurricane comes unawares upon them : from its bed the torrent breaks and finds them in its track
Ges. What then ?
T'ell. They thank kind providence it is not thou !Thou hast perverted nature in them. The earth presents her fruits to them, and is not thanked. There's not a blessing Heaven vouchsafes them, but the thought of thee doth wither to a curse—as something they must lose, and had far better lack.
Ges. 'Tis well. I'd have them as their hills—that never smile, though wanton summer tempt them e'er so much.
Tell. But they do sometimes smile.
Tell. When they do talk of vengeance ! and the true hands are lifted up to Heaven on every hill for justice on thee!
Ges. [To Sarnem.] Lead in his son. Now I will take exquisite vengeance. [To Tell.] I would see thee make a trial of thy skill with that same bow. 'Tis said thy arrows never miss.
Tell. What is the trial,
Ges. Thou look'st upon thy boy as though instinctively thou guessest it.
Tell. Look upon my boy! What mean you ? Look upon my boy as though I guessed it Guessed at the trial thou wouldst have me make !Guessed it-instinctively! Thou dost not mean—no, no—Thou wouldst not have me make a trial of my skill upon my child ? Impossible! I do not guess thy meaning.
Ges. I'd see thee hit an apple on his head, three hundred
off. Tell. Creat Heaven ! Ges. On this condition I will spare his life and thine.
Tell. Ferocious monster ! make a father murder his own child !—'Tis beyond horror! 'tis too much for flesh and blood to bear.
Ges. Dost thou consent?
Tell. My hands are free from blood, and have no gust for it, that they should drink my child's. I'll not murder my boy for Gesler !
Boy. You will not hit me, father. You'll be sure to hit the apple. Will you not save me, father?
Tell. Lead me forth-I'll make the trial.
. Speak not to me ;—let me not hear thy voice thou must be dumb, and so should all things bem Earth should be dumb, and Heaven, unless its thunder muttered at the deed, and sent a bolt to stop it. Give me my bow and quiver. Ges. When all is ready.
Sarnem, measure hence the distance—three hundred paces.
Tell. Will he do it fairly?
Tell. Oh, nothing! a little thing! a very little thing ! I only shoot at my child !
[Sarnem prepares to measure.] Villain, stop! You measure 'gainst the sun.
Ges. And what of that? What matter whether to or from the sun ?