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CHAPTER I.

Yes, life may seem a moment bright, the morning--all sorts of birds, beast

And rosy health may bloom awhile ; and fishes for dinner-all sorts of acciBut soon she spreads her wings for dents in all sorts of vehicles--left us on. flight,

the seventh day out of sorts altogether. When joy and gladness cease to smile. We were two discontented Rasselases in And death must come, when we no more the Happy Valley. Rejoicing as we were

Can revel on 'neath pleasure's ray ; in vacation, it would have been a relief And when it comes, oh, may you soar, to have had a recitation to read up, or a A seraph, to the realms of day. prayer-bell to mark the time. Two idle

sopmores in a rambling lonely old man.

sion were, we discovered, a very insuffi. AMERICAN PASTIME IN cient dramatis personæ for the scene. VACATION.

It was Saturday night. A violent clap of thunder had interrupted some

daring theory of Van Pelt's on the rising On the edge of a June evening, in the of Champagne bubbles ; and there we sat, summer vacation of 1827, I was set down mum and melancholy, two sated Sybaby the coach at the gate of my friend rites, silent an hour by the clock. The Horace Van Pelt's paternal mansion- mahogany was bare between us. A a large, old-fashioned, comfortable Dutch number of glasses and bottles stood in house, clinging to the side of one of their lees about the table ; the thricethe most romantic dells on the North fished juice of an olive-dish and a solitary River. In the absence of his whole cigar in a silver case had been thrust family on the summer excursion to the aside in a warm argument, and, in his Falls and Lakes (taken by almost every father's sacred gout-chair, buried to the " well-to-do” citizen of the United eyes in his loosened cravat, one leg on States,) Horace was emperor of the long- the table and one somewhere in the descended, and as progressively enriched, neighbourhood of my own, sat Van Pelt, domain of one of the earliest Dutch the eidolon of exhausted amusement. settlers—a brief authority, which he ex. “ Phil I” said he, starting suddenly to ercised, more particularly, over an exten- an erect position,“ a thoughtstrikes me!” sive stud and bins, numbers one and two. I dropped the claret cork from which

The west was piled with gold castles I was at the moment trying to efface the breaking up the horizon with their bur- Margoux” brand, and sat in silent exnished pinnacles and turrets ; the fra- pectation. had thought his brains grant dampness of the thunder-shower evaporated as well as the last bottle of that had followed the heat of noon was Champagne. in the air ; and in a low room, whose He rested his elbows on the table and floor opened out so exactly upon the set his chin between his two palms. shaven sward that a blind man would not “I'll resign the keys of this mournful have known when he passed from the old den to the butler, and we'll go to heavily piled carpet to the grass, I found Saratoga for a week. What say ?" Horace,

sitting over his olives and claret, “ It would be a reprieve from death having waited dinner for me till five (long by inanition," I answered; “but, as the beyond the latest American hour), and, rhetorical professor would phrase it,'amin despair of my arrival, having dined plify your meaning,' young gentleman." without me.

The old black cook was • Thus—to-morrow is Sunday. We too happy to vary her vacation, by get- will sleep till Monday morning, to purge ting a second dinner; and when I had our brains of these cloudy vapours, and appeased my appetite, and overtaken my restore the freshness of our complexions. friend in his claret, we sat with the If a fair day, you shall start alone in the moonlight breaking across a vine at our stanhope, and on Monday night sleep feet, and coffee worthy of a filligree cup in classic quarters, at Titus’s in Troy. in the Besestein, and debated, amid a “And you !" I interrupted, rather true embarras des richesses, our plan for astonished at his arrangement for me. the next week's amusement.

Horace laid his hand on his pocket The seven days wore on merrily at first, with a look of embarrassed care. but each succeeding one growing less “I will overtake you with the bay colts merry than the last. By the fifth eve in the drosky—but I must first go to Al

ojourn, we had exhausted variety. bany. The circulating medium" All sorts of headaches and megrims in " I understand.”

of my

We met on Monday morning in the from the loveliest to the most sublime. breakfast room in mutual good spirits. The eagle's nest above you at one moThe sun was two hours high ; the birds ment, a sunny and fertile farm below you in the trees were wild with the beauty at the next-rocks, trees and waterfalls and elasticity of the day; the dew glis- wedded and clustered as, it seems to me, tened on every bough; and the whole they are nowhere else done so picscene, over river and hill, was a heaven turesquely—it is a noble river, the Hudof natural delight. As we finished our son! And every few minutes, while you breakfast, the light pattering of a horse's gaze down upon the broad waters spreading feet up the avenue and the airy whirl of from hill to hill like a round lake, a gailyquick-following wheels announced the painted steamer, with her fringed and stanhope. It was in beautiful order, and white awnings and streaming flag, shoots what would have been termed, on any out as if from a sudden cleft in the rock, pavé in the world, a tasteful turn-out. and draws across it her track of foam. Light cream-coloured body, black wheels Well, I bowled along. Ten o'clock and shafts, drab livery edged with green, brought me to a snug Dutch tavern, dead-black harness, light as that on the where I sponged Tempest's mouth and panthers of Bacchus-it was the last style nostrils, lunched, and was stared at by the of thing you would have looked for at natives ; and continuing my journey, at the “stoup” of a Dutch homestead. And one I loosed rein and dashed into the Tempest 1-I think I see him now: his pretty village of -, Tempest in a small inquisitive ears, arched neck, eager foam, and himself and his extempore eye and fine thin nostril ; his dainty feet master creating a great sensation in a flung out with the grace of a flaunted crowd of people who stood in the shade riband, his true and majestic action, and of the verandah of the hotel, as if that his spirited champ of the bit, nibbling asylum for the weary traveller had been at the tight rein with the exciting pull a shop for the sale of gentlemen in shirt of a hooked trout; how evenly he drew! sleeves. how insensibly the compact stanhope, Tempest was taken round to the just touching his iron-gray tail, bowled “barn," and I ordered rather an elaboalong on the road after him !

rate dinner, designing still to go on some Horace was behind with the drosky and ten miles in the cool of the evening, and black boy; and with a parting nod at the having, of course, some mortal hours gate, I turned northward, and Tempest upon my hands. The cook had probably took the road in beautiful style. I do never heard of more than three dishes in not remember to have been ever so elated. her life, but those three were garnished I was always of the Cyrenaic Philosophy, with all manner of herbs, and sent up that "

happiness is motion,” and the in the best china as a warranty for an bland vitality of the air had refined my unusual bill; and what with coffee, a

The delightful feel of the reins small glass of new rum as an apology for thrilled me to the shoulder. Driving is a chasse-café, and a nap in a straightlike any other appetite, dependent for backed chair, I killed the enemy to the delicacy of its enjoyment on the state my satisfaction till the shadows of the of the system ; and a day's temperate poplars lengthened across the barn abstinence, long sleep, and the glorious yard. perfection of the morning, had put my I was awoke by Tempest prancing nerves “in condition.” I felt the air as round to the door in undiminished spirits, I rushed through. The power of the and as I had begun the day en grand horse was added to my consciousness of seigneur, I did not object to the bill, which enjoyment; and if you can imagine a considerably exceeded the outside of Centaur with a harness and stanhope added my calculation, but, giving the landlord to his living body, I felt the triple enjoy. a twenty-dollar note, received the change ment of animal exercise which would unquestioned, doubled the usual fee to then be his.

the ostler, and let Tempest off with a It is delightful driving on the Hudson. bend forward which served at the same The road is very fair beneath your wheels, time for a gracious bow to the spectators. the river courses away under the bold So remarkable a coxcomb had probably shore with the majesty inseparable from not been seen in the village since the its mighty flood, and the constant change passing of Cornwallis's army. of outline on its banks gives you, as you The day was still hot, and, as I got proceed, a constant variety of pictures, into the open country, I drew rein, and

senses.

paced quietly up hill and down, picking the landlord, who, I found out, was a the road delicately, and, in a humour of justice of the peace as well, I was inthoughtful contentment, trying my skill formed that he had made out my mittimus in keeping the edges of the green sod as as a counterfeiter, and that the spurious it leaned in and out from the walls and note I had passed upon him for my dinditches. With the long whip I now-and- ner was safe in his possession! He then touched the wing of a sulphur but- pointed, at the same time, to a placard terfly hovering over a pool, and now-and- newly stuck against the wall, offering a then I stopped and gathered a violet reward for the apprehension of a notofrom the unsunned edge of the wood. rious practiser of my supposed craft, to

I had proceeded three or four miles in the description of whose person I anthis way, when I was overtaken by three swered, to the satisfaction of all present. stout fellows galloping at speed, who rode Quite too indignant to remonstrate, I past and faced round with a peremptory seated myself in the chair considerately order to me to stop. A formidable pitch- offered me by the waiter, and listening fork in the hand of each horseman left to the whispers of the persons who were me no alternative. I made up my mind still suffered to throng the room, I disimmediately to be robbed quietly of my covered, what might have struck me own personals, but to show fight, if neces. before, that the initials on the panel of sary, for Tempest and the stanhope. the stanhope and the handle of the whip

“Well, gentlemen,” said I, coaxing had been compared with the card pasted my impatient horse, who had been rather on the bottom of my hat, and the want excited by the clatter of hoofs beside him, of correspondence was taken as decided "what is the meaning of this ?”

corroboration. It was remarked also by Before I could get an answer, one of a bystander, that I was quite too much the fellows had dismounted and given of a dash for an honest man, and that he his bridle to another, and coming round had suspected me from first seeing me to the left side, he sprang suddenly into drive into the village ! I was sufficiently the stanhope. I received him as he humbled by this time to make an inward rose with a well-placed thrust of my heel, vow never again to take airs upon myself which sent him back into the road, and if I escaped the county jail. with a chirrup to Tempest, I dashed The justice, meanwhile, had made out through the phalanx and took the road my orders, and a horse and cart had at a top speed. The short lash once been provided and brought to the door waved round the small ears before me, to take me to the next town. I endeathere was no stopping in a hurry, and voured to get speech of his worship as I away sped the gallant gray, and fast was marched out of the inn-parlour, but behind followed my friends in their shirt the crowd pressed close upon my heels, sleeves, all in a lathering gallop. A and the dignitary landlord seemed anxcouple of miles was the work of no time, ious to rid his house of me. Tempest laying his legs to it as if the papers, and no proofs of my character, stanhope had been a cobweb at his heels; and assertion went for nothing. Besides, but at the end of that distance there I was muddy, and my hat was broken in came a sharp descent to a mill-stream, on one side — proofs of villany which and I just remember an unavoidable appeal to the commonest understanding. mile-stone and a jerk over a wall, and I begged for a little straw in the bot. the next minute, it seemed to me, I tom of the cart, and had made myself as in the room where I had dined, with my comfortable as my two rustic constables hands tied and a hundred people about thought fitting for a culprit, when the me. My cool white waistcoat was matted vehicle was quickly ordered from the with mud, and my left temple was, by the door to make way for a carriage coming glass opposite me, both bloody and be at a dashing pace up the road. It was grimed.

Van Pelt in his drosky. The opening of my eyes was a signal Horace was well known on the road, for a closer gathering around me, and and the stanhope had already been recogbetween exhaustion and the close air I nised as his. By this time it was deep was half suffocated. I was soon made in the twilight, and though he was into understand that I was a prisoner, and stantly known by the landlord, he was that the three white-frocked highwaymen, some minutes in identifying the person as I took them to be, were among the of his friend in the damaged gentleman spectators. On a polite application to in the straw.

I had no

was

"Ay! ay! I see you don't know him," In ancient Rome it was no uncommon said the landlord, while Van Pelt sur- thing for the ladies to appear in the veyed me rather coldly : on with him, Circus, and there act the part of the constables ! He would have us believe gladiators. A contest of this character you knew him, sir ! Walk in, Mr. Van is related by the historian, Dion Cassius; Pelt. Ostler, look to Mr. Van Pelt's and Athenæus speaks of a noble Roman horses. Walk in, sir."

who inscribed in his will an express di“Stop!" I cried out in a voice of rection that, when he was buried, some thunder, imagining that Horace really beautiful female slaves, bought expressly had not recognized me; “Van Pelt! for the purpose, should be armed and stop, I say! Horace !"

fight together until they expired. In The driver of the cart seemed more modern times, there is no occasion to impressed by the energy of my cries than refer to the fictions of poetry for similar my friends the constables, and pulled up acts. Without speaking of the Clohis horse. Some one in the crowd cried rindas, Armidas, and Djaïdas of romantic out that I should have a hearing or he fable, a great number of cities rejoice in would " wallup the comitatus ;'' and the the traditions of the exploits of their justice, called back by this expression of respective Amazonian worthies ! · The an opinion from the sovereign people, city of Lille can boast its Jeanne Mail. requested his new guest to look at the lotte; the old town of Beauvais can prisoner for an instant.

never forget its Jeanne Hachette; the city “Do you know the culprit?" he of Orleans, or rather the entire realm of asked in a solemn voice, after obtaining France, distinguishes Joan of Arc among a momentary silence among the crowd. its noblest warriors, and Bretagne may

Van Pelt had, by this time, become well be proud of its countess of Montfort. possessed of the principal circumstances In the middle ages, the fair sex was of the case, and his first glance showed always excluded from the judicial lists, me that he recognized me. To my utter which was some advance upon the astonishment, however, the smile that Roman civilization, and in accordance had involuntarily started to his lips with the spirit of chivalry. Woman, changed to a feigned look of surprise ; says Beaumanoir, the Norman jurist, and after gazing at me for a minute, cannot be permitted to fight. If the while the crowd watched his face for the justice of her cause had to be decided effect of his examination, he turned to by single combat, she was compelled to the justice, and declared he had never produce a champion to answer in her seen me before in his life!

name, and it was only in this way that “ Drive on, constable,'' said the jus- her gage of battle could be received. tice; and, with a shout from the people, At a later period the duel began to be the horse started into a smart trot, and, affected by the petticoat, “They talk preceded by a hundred boys, we went in Paris,” says Guy-Patin, “ of two jolting over the stones of the village court ladies who fought a duel with street, on our way to the county jail. pistols. When it was mentioned to the

Van Pelt overtook me at the end of king, he laughed, and observed, that he the first mile ; but I was long in forgiv- did not see how it could be prevented, as ing him.

the law only referred to gentlemen.” (To be continued.)

Madame de Villedieu speaks of a duel with swords, between Henriette-Sylvie de Molière and another lady, who were

both attired in male dresses. In MaFEMALE DUELLISTS. dame Dunoyer's letters, may be found

the details of a rencontre of the same It is quite unnecessary to revert to kind, between a lady of Beaucaire and the old heroic times and the era of the the daughter of a noble family there, Amazons, to adduce instances of the who fought with swords in a garden, and pugnacious dispositions of women. In would have killed one another, if they the days of old, they have been frequently had not been parted. This was a regular seen standing in the foremost ranks in duel, carried on according to the forms the field of glory, or posting themselves and ceremonies in such cases made and in the imminent, perilous breach, in de- provided, and one lady challenged the fence of their native cities; and examples other. De la Colombière mentions this are not wanting in more recent periods. affair, and goes on thus : “ the same

thing occurred again in Paris, between as she turned upon them, challenged two beautiful courtesans, who fought them severally, forced them to go out with small swords on the Boulevard St. with her, and killed them all three. Antoine ; they each received several Having settled this matter, she returned wounds in the face and neck, where their to the ball with all the composure and mutual envy and jealousy principally unconcern possible. “ She obtained incited them to aim their thrusts. One her pardon from the king,” says her of these creatures raised her handker- biographer; and it was in favour of a chief, and showed me a wound she had woman of disorderly life that Louis the received on the right side of her neck." Great deviated from his just and exemIn his Essays on Paris, St. Foix alludes plary severity against duellists. Madeto a young woman named Durieux, who, moiselle Maupin withdrew to Brussels, in a crowded street, attacked Antinotti, where she became acquainted with the her suitor, and had a regular combat elector of Bavaria. A short time afterwith him.

wards she returned to the opera, and died The most renowned, however, of these in 1707. duellists in petticoats was Mademoiselle During the whole course of the eighMaupin, the actress, whose exploits of teenth century, when the fair occupied this kind are truly marvellous. She was the most influential position both in born in Paris, in 1673, and her paternal courts and in society, and when galname was Daubigny. She was married lantry and devotion to the ladies was when very young, and having procured the first duty of every gentleman, quarher husband an employment under go- rels, rivalries, and disputes among the vernment which required his presence in gentler sex were of constant occurrence, the provinces, she entered into the opera They urged their suitors and male company in 1698. Being passionately friends to challenge those of their rivals, fond of fencing, she formed a connexion and the slightest hesitation on their with Serane, the famous fencing-master, parts was followed by irrevocable and and soon acquired a strength and skill immediate disgrace. Then came the in the use of her weapons, that was farce of tears and faintings at the news unsurpassed even by the Chevalier* or the sight of bloodshed, and the misd'Eon, or by whatever name that ano- chief they had themselves excited by malous personage should be styled. She their jealous or vindictive passions. It was one day insulted by the actor Du- would be ridiculous to cite instances, as meny, one of her intimates, and made you cannot open a volume of the Méan appointment with him on the Place moires of that period, without meeting des Victoires; but, as she could not with the details of a duel in every page. persuade him to draw his sword against Among the affairs in which ladies a woman, she kicked him, and deprived have filled the principal parts, I will only him of his watch and snuff-box as tro- allude to one, quoted by Soulavie, the phies of her prowess. Another of her editor of the Memoirs of the Duke de acquaintance having given her offence, Richelieu. This was the famous duel she forced him to beg her pardon on with pistols, between the Marchioness both knees. On one occasion she went de Nesle and the Countess de Polignac. to a masked ball in male attire, and I pass over the details, which can be thought proper to make impertinent found in the work just mentioned by observations, accompanied by gestures, those to whom it is not sufficient to on a lady there present. Three gentle- know that the contemptible cause of this men who had escorted the lady, did their disgraceful exposure was nothing else best to make her desist, but ineffectually, than a mutual jealousy, the object of

which was that outrageous coxcomb, the Everybody knows the story of Duke de Richelieu. Monsieur or Mad'lle d'Eon, who was In our own time the periodical press some time attached to the French em- has not unfrequently commemorated bassy at the court of St. James, fought some female duels, the reality of most several duels, travelled over the greater of which may with reason be doubted. part of the world, and was afterwards There are two or three, however, which discovered to be a female. See the Ma- are thoroughly authenticated. In 1827, gazines of the first decade of the reign Madame Bourgoing, of St. Rambert, of George the Third for particulars accepted a challenge from another lady thereof.

to meet her with pistols. About the

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