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whose blow upon the earth is the note for death, stands by the side of the great war-chief, the Deep river._Opposite are the pale priest, and the wondering but undaunted boy Emanuel.

An aged Wyandot chief rises, a long-tried friend of the French. • Brother,' he says, 'I have something to say to you. My father over the big water fought, and his red children with him; but tlre Longknives were strong, and my father fell asleep. Then his red children fought alone; they took many scalps; they took prisoners ; they drank the life-blood of my father's enemies. Was this wrong?

My father has a religion, and worships the Great Spirit in a way of his own.

The Long-knives hate his religion; I have heard that they killed the friends of my father, because they prayed with him. Was it a lying bird that told me this?

• Brother! The boy you hold by the hand, hates my father's religion, and would shed his blood. Look! does not my brother put a rattlesnake in his bosom ?

• Brother! Our chief would crush that snake, but he will not tear it from him that shelters it; he will crush both together. He tells us my brother wills it so.

"See! when the sun is on this line, it is noon. Till then, my brother may think if he will yet hold the reptile; or he may show us why he holds it. When it is noon, the club must go round, and my brother will live or die, as the council pleases.'

For some moments the breath of the Jesuit came too fast for his feelings to find words; but his enthusiasm was too pure, too deep, to let the weak body rule long; and, dropping the English boy's hand, and throwing back his robe, he answered them in their own tongue.

• Warriors,' he said, “I had thought you brave; I had heard of . bold deeds done by you; but I must have erred. Perhaps it was the Senecas that did these things; and the Wyandots sit at home, and spill the blood of priests and children! No? - no you say? What means this council ? Is not the Deep-river strong enough to tear this boy from me, if he wishes him? Does he fear a white man, that he does not do it? Let him do it, and he shall see that I can die in the boy's cause!

But my brother says the boy is my enemy. Then why did he come to me for help? No human being is my enemy, that asks my assistance; red or white, man or child. I care not what tongue he speaks, or what dress he wears; if he is helpless, he is my

friend. * My brother says this boy hates his father's religion, my religion. Does my brother care for that religion ? — and if not, why came I to this place? To make him care for it. I love him, though he know nothing of it; I love him, even though, in his ignorance, he hate it. My brother worships the Master of Life, and I worship him, and this child worships him ; more than that I care not to know. You, my brother, and I, have one father in France, and so we are brothers, though we dress differently, live differently, and speak not the same language; and you, and I, and this boy, have one Father in Heaven; and let us differ in other things as we may, we are brothers still. is enough! He is helpless, and is my friend; he is, like me, a child of the Great Spirit, and as such, I will die for him!”

Five, ten, fifteen minutes passed, and not a word more was spoken

It

in that assembly. Then the hands of the priest were bound together, and a belt drawn over his eyes. That was the moment of agony. In the darkness of that moment, his father's cottage rose before him, and he saw the old man kneeling, and heard his prayer for the chosen and best beloved one in the wilderness. Then, indeed, was the heart of the missionary faint. All that he had labored for, and looked forward to, was in that moment to be lost forever. But the hand of Emanuel sought his again, and the touch was relief. He felt that he died for a great principle, and that his death would not be in vain ; that he was about gaining, not losing, what he had labored for, and looked forward to.

The word passed that it was noon. The belt fell from the Jesuit's eyes, and before him, with a keen and polished knife, stood the Deep-river.

'Is my brother yet strong ?' said the chieftain.

'He is stronger than ever, Wyandot,' replied the ready victim; 'he rejoices to die for an enemy, and one that hates his faith. He might talk christianity for years, and your ears be deaf; but, see! he dies for a stranger and foe! This is a sermon that will sink into your hearts, though it were stone. Strike !

The blade descended, but it was to cut the bonds, not to pierce the heart. My brother,' said the Indian, 'is no coward.

He has spoken good words. He has acted like a man. We believe the Great Spirit has whispered wisdom in his ear. Look! my brother is free ; the boy of the Long-knives is free; they may go! The Deep-river will shed no blood this day.'

J. H. P.

DEATH.

A PARAPHRASE OF 'DEATH,' BY THE AUTHOR OF 'LACON.'

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The slimy worm, the mouldering vault,

The ghastly grinning head,
These, these with freezing horror chill

The living — not the dead.
But wretched man, of fabled woes

Or fancied fears the prey,
Thy coming dreads, yet blindly bears

What's heavier, thy delay!
Enough we know to make the best

Life's gistless gift decry,
But not enough on death to gaze

With Cato's Roman eye.
Hence, still life's battered bark we steer,

Of doubts or fears the sport;
Would fain the tempest fly, but dread

More than the storm the port !

THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND THE WEST INDIA ISLANDS.

BY

THE AUTHOR OF THE TIDES OF THE OCEAN AND THE GULFSTREAM.'

It has been recorded as the opinion of that enlightened revolutionary patriot, Charles THOMPSON, Secretary of the old American Congress, that at some former but very remote period of time, all that large part of the earth known as the West India Islands, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, was a continuous and connected portion of North and South America, the whole comprising one vast continent. Singular as this suggestion may now appear, abundant reasons, which to my mind seem unanswerable and conclusive, can be brought forward in support of the position. The numerous earthquakes which have occurred within the last thirty years, the accounts of which are fresh in the recollection of many of my readers, and which have been felt from near St. Genevieve, on the Mississippi, to Caraccas, in South America, (a large portion of which city was destroyed, and several thousand people buried in the ruins,) show incontestably, that for an extent of more than two thousand miles, this immense region reposes on materials that shield it from the destructive explosions of hidden but eternal fires. How long they are to remain in subjection, or whether there will be partial irruptions merely, can only be known when years shall have rolled on, and are numbered with those beyond the flood.

But that wonderful revolutions have heretofore taken place in this grand division of the world, we have numerous proofs. The whole western hemisphere abounds with these proofs. North America itself is full of them. The passages of our great Atlantic rivers through granite mountains, furnish indisputable evidence in point; nor is it less evident that, anterior to these disruptions, the extensive valleys beyond them embosomed lakes of corresponding dimensions. This leads me more particularly to the object I had in view, namely, to make some observations and offer some opinions concerning that portion of America which is spread out to an almost limitless distance west of the Alleghany ridges, and now even familiarly known as the Valley of the Mississippi. A valley indeed! --and such an one as has no parallel on the earth. Its length may be estimated at not less than two thousand five hundred miles, and its mean breadth at from twelve to fifteen hundred. In attempting to grasp dimensions of such magnitude, the mind loses its comprehensive scope, and falls back on itself, overwhelmed and powerless.*

* An eloquent western writer, Dr. T. N. Caulkins, has recently drawn a forcible sketch of the changes which will be effected in the Great West, in the short space of fifty years. No one who bears in mind that the boldest flights of the imagination fisty years ago, could scarcely have been equal to the reality at the present hour, but must regard the prophecy as one based only upon rational premises. Dr. FRANKLIN was pronounced "wild,' when, in the old Congress, he predicted that in sixty years Ohio would have a population of a hundred thousand souls. In half that time, his prediction was exceeded more than ten fold. What,' says Dr. Caulkins, 'will ihis, Union be, fifty years from this day? The cloud by day, the pillar of fire by night, for the world to follow in their march of civilization and refinement! The morning of 1887 will dawn upon this nation doubled in extent, with Michigan and lowa as the centre of civilization, and the unbegotten states of Oregon, Macedon, Columbia, and Pacificus, stretching along the ocean, called the Pacific States, with another tier of sisterhood lying along the Rocky Mountains, by the name of the Middle or Mountain States

The indications that the entire country between the Alleghany and Chippewan or Rocky Mountains, was once covered by an immense ocean, are without number. That the whole partakes of an alluvial character, is believed by all intelligent persons, who are acquainted with it. Of this fact I have not the smallest doubt. Professor DRAKE, of Cincinnati, a gentleman alike distinguished for

genius and liberal acquirements, is known to have expressed such a - belief, repeatedly; and perhaps there is no other person west of the mountains, whose opinion is entitled to more deference. His qualifications fit him in an eminent degree to decide on such a matter; and the enlightened views he has heretofore given to the public, on various subjects of natural history, are sufficient to confirm this assumption.

The position which I assume, then, is this: There was a great ocean hemmed in by prodigious mountains. The southern boundary might have been a corresponding line with the island of Cuba, extending across what is now the Bay of Mexico, and meeting probably at Yucatan. I refer to this point, because it is the most prominent one in Central America; and because, from its position, projecting far into the sea, it seems reasonable to presume that there might have been a connecting link between them, and that here was the southern limit of this most extraordinary inland ocean. This line is, of course, imaginary; but that such a barrier existed, either there or somewhere contiguous to it, can scarcely be disputed.

If, then, we assume the hypothesis that the two continents were connected, in the way suggested, we have boundless scope for the imagination. From the eastern extremity of St. Domingo, to the coast of New Spain, or Isthmus of Darien, cannot, I should think, be less than fourteen hundred miles ; and from the northern shore of the Bay of Mexico, to the southern boundary of the Caribbean Sea, it appears to me the distance is quite as great. According to the position I have assumed, and which was understood to be the opinion of Mr. Secretary Thompson, all this vast area must have been submerged and shattered to pieces, by long-smothered volcanoes, which at length burst forth with tremendously convulsive throes, forming at the same time the numerous islands now familiarly kuown to us If, moreover, we are to imagine -- and the supposition

What now are known as the Western, will then receive the appellation of the Eastern States ; while the Western will be those bordering on the Pacific Ocean. Splendid cities will then exist, where now the Indian, the lord of the dark forest around bim, lies down upon his copper face, dreaming of the happy hunting-grounds of his fathers, with whom must soon dwell the whole human race. On that day a mere handful will be found lingering on the borders of the great deep that must at length engulf them : Where then will be the capital of this Union? Possibly in the Valley of the Mississippi. St. Louis may be the favored spot, or even the unbroken wilderness still farther West. In view of a spectacle so full of national glory, well might our favorite bard ex. claim:

Who shall place
A limit to the giant's unchained strength,
Or curb his swiftness in the forward race:
Far, like the comet's way through infinite space,
Stretehes the long, untravelled path of light,
Into the depths of ages; we may trace,
Distant, the brightening glory of its flight,
Till the receding rays are lost to human sigbt.'

Eps. KNICKERBOCKER.
VOL. XI.

64

seems altogether rational, that this immense territory was full of inhabitants, having probably its numerous towns and cities, and abounding in riches, refinements, and the arts, we feel it to be a theme calculated to excite the strongest emotions of astonishment and wonder. It was probably the most awful event that ever took place in this part of the world, and must have led to greater physical changes than any other, since the memorable and righteous deeree that swept the earth with the deluge. That such was the fact, is a conviction deeply impressed on my mind, and brings forcibly to recollection the vivid conception of the poet Cowper, who shows the fearful effect of omnipotent power:

When God performs,
Upon the trembling etage of his own works,

His dreadful part alone.' What connexion there might have been between these suppositions and the depopulation of Central America, whose long desolate cities and solitary places have struck the eye of travellers with such surprise and admiration, and of which we have very lately had such lively descriptions," must be matter of conjecture. It would seem by no means extravagant to suppose, that the inbabitants of the narrow link now connecting the two continents, were either buried under their ruined walls, or driven away by the distressing calamity that pursued and overwhelmed them. Let us bear in mind the probability that the throes and convulsions may have been long continued, as was the case recently on the Mississippi, carrying dismay and terror to the hearts of all.

Many long centuries, probably several thousand years, must have passed, as is evinced from the present aspect of things, since the occurrence of those extraordinary manifestations of the divine will. The immediate consequence of all these convulsive movements of the elements, so astounding and destructive to former generations, was the draining of that boundless region, that natural garden of the world, the magnificent and fertile valley of the Mississippi. However calamitous may have been such consequences to others, those of the present generation can easily perceive the wisdom of the decree that accomplished so great a change. Countless ages were required to clothe this virgin soil with such prëeminent beauty and unnumbered charms, as now fill the eye of the enraptured beholder. It is not only the most delighful, the richest, and the fairest portion of the earth, but capable of sustaining a population of at least a hundred millions. Even now, at distant intervals,

- Wide the wood recedes,
And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are tilled;
The land is full of harvests and green meads:
Streams numberless, that many a fountain feeds,
Shine disembowered, and give to sun and breeze
Their virgin waters; the full region leads

New colonies forth, that toward the western seas,

Spread like a rapid flame among the autumnal trees! The human powers, with all their interesting exhibitions and higher attributes, will here, in all likelihood, reach the highest possible at

* See articles on ‘American Antiquities,' in the KNICKERBOCKER MAGAZINE.

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