« НазадПродовжити »
desolate; and in the year 1840 I crossed that portion for my course, it is not surprising that I became lost. of the ridge on duty, and have a strange tale to Any one ever lost in the north-western prairie is tell of it.
aware that when once astray, every attempt at corAfter a furlough of some years, I returned in 1810 rection makes matters worse, and what with ibe to the west, and after reporting for duty to the head-uniformity of the whole face of the country, at nightquarters of the department, was ordered to join a fall I was utterly bewildered. I was forced to en. squadron of my regiment then stationed on the Red camp on the bald prairie, sacrificing to my comfort River. The navigation of the western rivers was The solitary tree which I afterward learned was a then most uncertain, and I was ordered to cross the land-mark. It made a very bad fire, being filled with intermediate country by land instead of trusting to sap, but sufficed to broil a rasher of bacon which, the tortuous navigation of the Arkansas, emphatically wish a cup of coffee transformed into what the one of those streams of which John Randolph said, Spaniards call a gloria by a glass of “old corn," " they were dry in summer and choked up with constituted my supper. The sleet bad by this time ice during the winter."
disappeared, and the cattle hobbled and allowed to The old officers of the post told me I might easily wander at will, fared better than I, on the young have my orders changed by applying to the general, prairio grass, which they relished not a little after and advised me to do so, as my route lay through a their dry provender at Fort Gibson. Tuesday came peculiarly wild and desolate country. They told me fair and bright, and far in the distance I saw one of what ihey had heard of the Ozark Mountains, of the the Ozark's peaks rising tall and solitary in just the precipices and torrents, the almost impassable re. direction I had not been marching on the day before. sacas, etc. I was, however, an old coureur des bois, To it I directed my course. and all this but stimulated me to attempt the passage. The country soon became broken, and on each Fort Gibson lay at the head of navigation at that side of me rose rough bills. I knew at once I would time, though steamboats have since passed far above be forced to cross the ridge, and set manfully 10 the the Cape Farewell of 1810. Similarly situated was task. As I progressed the scenery became every Fort Towson, on the Red River; between the two mile more grand, and I began to be thankful for the lay the country of the Cherokees, Chactas, and Chi accident which had led me into the bewildering maze. chasas, and many formidable rivers, such as the I have stood on tall mountains, having threaded Canadienne, the Verdigris, and the whole of the the Alleghany, and looked on the boldest peaks of southern tributaries of the Arkansas. To cross this wilder lands. Above rose a tall peak with half precountry with all its difficulties on the first Wednesday cipitous sides, its base skirted with a dense growth in April, 1810, I left Fort Gibson, with no equipage, of the Osage orange. This strange and peculiar or what Cæsar calls impedimenta, other than one tree merits a more minute description. It belongs, pack mule, loaded with provisions, and a servant, I believe, to the same genus with the box-tree of our like myself, mounted, who rejoiced in the name of forest, for from its limbs and leaves, when broken, Barny. I often wonder what has become of him, exudes a milky gelatinous humor, not unlike that of and whether, like Latour d'Auvergne, first grena. the fig and India-rubber plant. Its leaves are smooth dier of France, he may not have “died on the field and glazed and so precisely like those of the Florida of glory," during the Mexican war.
orange that the two cannot easily be distinguished. As my orders contained no recommendation 10 It bears a large fruit in character similar to the balls make the journey with peculiar rapidity, and as I of the sycamore, but which becomes during the was aware that nothing a waited me at Fort Towson process of decay a noisome pulp, and is said to be a but the monotonous existence of a subaltern, I deadly poison. The size of the fruit is about that of loitered along the road systematically, as a veteran the cocoa-nut, divested of its husk, and the heighth of colonel en route to reinforce a militia general, and the tree about thirty-five feet, with thick, gnarled on Sunday lay by on the banks of a picturesque limbs, covered with long, straight spines, like those of stream, whiling away time with my rod and angle, the honey accacia. By the Canadian colonists of which Isack Walton recommends as “fosterers of Arkansas and the French of Louisiana it was called meditation, and gratitude to God for having made so the bois d'arc, from the fact that of this the Natchez many fine fish for man's especial benefit,” and which and Opelousas made their bows. This beautiful I was too old a soldier to be without in the North growth is now rapidly disappearing, it having been American wilderness. Monday broke upon me cold discovered that it furnishes a dye of a brilliant yellow, and chill, and wearied even by my voluntary halt, I long a desideratum in the arts. During the last few set out 10 continue my journey. There had been years many cargoes have been sent 10 France, and during the night a mist and sleet, so that the prairie, the cutting it has, like the procuring of log-wood, which on the day before had looked like a garden become a distinct and important branch of industry. covered with periwinkles, the beautiful wild indigo, Many stories are told of this tree which would make and the sensitive-plant, was now become a glacier. us believe it exerts an influence scarcely less baleful I rode on, therefore, wrapped in the cape of my than that of the fabulous Upas tree of Borneo, popular dragoon cloak, and scarcely noticing what passed superstition attributing to it the deadly disease of around me. Few persons except half-breeds had man and brute known as the " milk sickness." ever crossed the prairie in this direction before, The base of the peak before me was skirted with and having to depend merely on general direction thickets of this beautiful tree, intermingled with the
dog-wood, then in the glory of its flower, and three ridge was more difficult than the eastern, I reached or four varieties of the accacia and Canadian redbud. the prairie through which the Red River runs. On Here and there on the very hill-side were expanses the summit of several of the peaks I had found large grown up with the iall green-cane and ihe beautiful springs and pools of water, and in the valleys the Mexican oats. Through such a growth I commenced streams expanded into beautiful lakes. In some of my ascent, and soon passed by the sinuosities of an These valleys were grand groves of the wild-plum, Indian trail into an expanse of cupriferous volcanic and a variety of other growths, among which was rock, almost without any other growth than the red- the iron-wood and box-elder. The collon-wood, so rooi, or Indian tea. Passing through this, I came common northward, has disappeared. At last I into a belt of tall pines, reaching far above the crest arrived at Fort Towson. I had missed the direction, of the peak. No engineer could have constructed a and to reach a point about one hundred miles from glacis with a more regular inclination than this por- Gibson, had traveled three. Twenty miles after tion of the mountain displayed. At last I stood upon leaving the latter post, I had seen the smoke of not the crest, and a prospect opened before me I have one bearth till I reached the yellow water, about ten never seen surpassed or equaled. I was on the miles from Fort Towson, yet during all this time I very backbone of the ridge, and before me lay a suc. had been in a small labyrinth of mountains, surcession of peaks, gradually descending into the bosom rounded on all sides by the dense population of the of a vale perhaps ten miles wide, while beyond Cherokee and Chickasa nation, the Opeloulas of this happy valley rose another ridge, parallel, de Louisiana and Western Texas. scending gradually as the one on which I stood had I afterward was informed that the Indian path I become elevated. A clear, cold stream ran at the had more than once passed was a portion of the foot of the peak on which I was, and amid the great Delaware trail which crosses the whole Amestillness of a calm spring day I distinctly heard the rican continent, from Erie, in Pennsylvania, to murmur of its ripples. Down the bleak hill-sides of California, and which marks the migration of those the other ridge I could trace more than one silver American Gitanos from the homes where the white line which marked the descent of tributary rills. I man found them to the chief seat of the tribe on the could have remained long on that bald mountain- Missouri River, to the outposts on the Red River peak, but was warned by the descent of the sun to and on the Pacific. Along it they still go, and not proceed downward. Taking ihe horses by the bridle, unfrequently two of their well-armed and gallant for I committed the care of the pack-mule to poor braves will fight their way through hordes of hostile Barny, I began carefully to follow the pathway, and and degenerate Indians of the prairie. It will be was ultimately enabled to reach the base in spite of found always to cross the streams at the most fordsundry falls of the heavy pack, which, in spite of dis- able point, and he who strays from it to avoid travel, cipline, wrung hearty curses from poor Barny's will generally find that the longest way round is the over-burdened heart. I encamped at the foot of the nearest way home. After my arrival at Fort Gibson peak, on a branch of the Boggy, or Bogue, itself a I did not regret my mistake, which had made me tributary of the Red.
acquainted with so beautiful a country; and I hope After many days of painful travel, precisely similar my reader is weary neither of the Illinois River or to the one I have described, except that the western the Ozark Mountains.
THE UNFINISHED PICTURE.
BY MRS. JANE C. CAMPBELL.
estly upon it, “how is this?-why is the picture unO God! to clasp those fingers close,
finished. And who was the painter ?” And yet to feel so lonely!
“The tale,” replied my friend, "is a sad one; and To see a light on dearest brows, Which is the daylight only!
if you are tired of looking at pictures and medals, I ELIZABETH B. BARRETT. will relate it to you." I was sitting one morning in the library of a “ Not tired, yet I should like to hear the story to friend, looking over a valuable collection of works which this picture imparts an unusual interest.” of art, made during a five years residence abroad, "You remember Paul Talbot, who left here some and listening to his animated description of scenes years ago to pursue the study of his art abroad." and places now become familiar to every one who “I do, but that young man-sick-almost dyingreads at all, through the medium of “ Jottings," I thought the face a familiar one; but can that be “ Impressions,” and “Travels,” with which the Paul ?” press abounds.
“Alas! yes—he is dead!” and my friend dashed Among the paintings were small copies in oil from away a tear as he spoke. Corregio, Guercino, Guido, and Rafaelle. There “ Dead!" repeated I. “Paul Talbot dead! when was a head of the latter, copied from a portrait did he die ?" painted by himself, and preserved in the Pitti Palace. “Not long before my return. Poor fellow! he With the slightest shade of hectic on the cheek, and endured much, and his career was an exemplification The large unfaihomable eyes looking into the great of what a man of untiring energy can accomplish beyond, it was truly angelic in its loveliness. No under the most adverse circumstances. wonder the man for whom nature had done so much, “ Soon after the birth of Paul, bis father died, and who delighted in portraying the loftiest ideal leaving little, save a mother's love and a stainless beauty, no wonder he was called “divine !!!
reputation to his insant son. “Here," said my friend, lovingly holding forth one " Mr. Talbot was a man of refined taste, and had of those inimitable creations, the beauty of which collected round him objects of which an amateur once seen, haunts us for a lifetime, “here is the far- might be justly proud-and thus from childhood had famed "violin-player,' the friend of Rafaelle. By been fostered Paul's love for the beautiful. the bye, I must tell you an anecdote I heard while "Well educated and accomplished, Mrs. Talbot abroad. There were iwo gentlemen sight-seers look- undertook the tuition of her child, and by giving ing at pictures in the Vatican; one called to the other, lessons in drawing, painting miniatures on ivory, who was at a short distance from bim, 'come, look and small portraits in oil, kept herself and her boy at this, here is the celebrated violin-player.' “Ah! above the pressure of want. Carefully she instilled said his companion, hastening toward him, “Paga- into his tender mind those lofty principles of rectinini! I give you the story as I heard it related for tude, of uncompromising integrity, and that child. truth, and as a somewhat laughable example of like trust in ihe goodness of an overruling Providence, traveled ignorance.”
which sustained him through all the trials of after On one side of the room in which we were con- years. versing, stood a picture apart from all the others, "How holy, how powerful is the influence of a which soon engrossed my entire attention. A young mother! The father may do much, but the mother man was represented reclining on a couch, and can do more toward the formation of the mind, and wrapped in a robe falling in loose folds about his the habits of early childhood. Exercising a power, person. His countenance bore the traces of suffering, silent, yet refreshing as the dews of heaven, her least but his dark eyes were filled with the light of love, word, her lightest look, sinks deep into the hearts of and hope, as they looked up into the face of a young her children, and moulds them to her will. How female bending mournfully at his side. On the head many men have owed all that has made them great of this female the artist had lavished all the love of to the early teachings of a mother's love! The father, genius. With the sunny hair parted on the fair fore- necessarily occupied with business or professional head, and the rich braids simply confined by a silver duties, cannot give the needful attention to the minor arrow-lhe dark eyes from which the tears seemed shades in the character and disposition of his little about to fall-the half-parted lips quivering as if from ones, but the mother can encourage and draw out intense devotion-oh, it was transcendenily lovely! the latent energies of the timid, can check the bold, The rest of the figure was in outline, but as vividly and exert an influence which may be felt not only portrayed as some of those wonderful illustrations through time, but through eternity. by Flaxman, in which a single line reveals a story. " It was beautiful 10 see Paul Talbot standing by
“How is this,” said I, after gazing long and earn his mother's side, with his childish gaze fixed upon
her face, while receiving instruction from her lips, of sixty, when she was barely sixteen, and could and to hear him as he grew in years, wishing he was never forgive her brother for not falling in with her a man, that he might be enabled 10 supply her every scheme of catching the rich heiress, who, she avowed,
waited but the asking to change the name of Miss “You know,' he would exclaim, while his fine Patty Pringle, for the more lofty-sounding title of eyes was flashing with enthusiasm, 'that I will be an Mrs. Percy Talbot. But Percy Talbot preferred the artist; and, oh, mother, if I could, like Washington portionless Isabel Morton, and the monotony of a Allston, be a painter-poet; could I but paint such a counting-room, to the bank-stock, real estate, and bead as that we saw in the Academy, and write soulless face of Miss Pariy Pringle. Hence there such a book as Monaldi, then, mother, I would gain was little intercourse between the brother and sister, fame; orders would crowd upon me—and then- and when the younger Talbot sought the shelter of then we would go to Italy!'
his aunt's roof, she animadverted with great bitter“Go to Italy! of this he thought by day, and ness on the folly of people gratifying a taste for dreamed by night; and to accomplish this was the luxuries beyond their means, and encouraging boy's crowning ambition of the boy's life.
without a shilling to spend their time in reading “He was willing 10 toil, to endure privation and books and daubing canvas. fatigue, could he but visit that land where beavenly “Nor could Mrs. Winter refrain from talking of beauty is depicted on the canvas, where the marble stupidity, when Paul sat quietly at his drawing, wants but the clasp of him of old to warm it into life, while her own sons were making the house ring with and where the soft blue of the sky, and the delicious their boisterous mirth. The boys, catching the spirit atmosphere brooding over the glories of centuries of their mother, ridiculed Paul's sketches, and with gone by, make it the Mecca of the artist's heart.
the petly tyranny of little minds, subjected him to “But amid all these dreams of the future, all these every annoyance, and taunted him with his depenambitious aspirings of the gifted youth, death cast his dent state. The proud, sensitive boy, writhed under dark shadow over that peaceful dwelling, and the such treatment, and determined on leaving the remother, the guardian angel of the fatherless boy, was latives who had neither tastes nor sympathies in borne away to be a dweller in the silent land.
common with bis own. “With what passionate earnestness did he call “When at the age of twelve years, he hung over upon her name. How did he long to lie down by the landscape he was trying to imitate, and from her side. His mother! his mother! she had taught which no boyish sports could lure him; when he saw his lisping accents their first prayer; she had watched the sketch grow beneath his touch, and look more over his little bed, and moistened his parched lips and more like the original, until in the exultation of when he was ill with fever-so ill, that his mother's his young heart, he exclaimed, 'I knew that I could watchful tenderness was all, under God, that saved do it if I did but try,' he unconsciously displayed that him from the grave. As he grew older, she had perseverance of character without which no one can spoken to him, not like the boy he was in years, but hope to attain eminence. And now that same energy like the man to whom she would impart her thoughts, was employed in seeking means to gain a livelihood and with whose mind of almost premature develop without being subjected to the bitterness of insult. ment, she might hold converse, and feel herself “ He succeeded in obtaining a situation in a dryunderstood. And now, in his fifteenth year, when good store, and in compensation for his services, rehe was thinking of all that he could, nay, of all that ceived his board and a scanty salary. True, he had he would do for her, his mother had died! Who but little, but that little was his own; he had earned can wonder that the boy pined, and sat upon her it, and a proud feeling of independence was his, when grave, and longed for her companionship, and wept purchasing the scanty stock of drawing materials as if his heart must break.
with money obtained by his own exertions. And
so passed a few years, during which he diligently CHAPTER II.
devoted himself to the business of his employer
through the day, and to reading and drawing at night. Then all the charm Is broken-all that phantom-world so fair
“ The long cherished hope of visiting lialy had Vanished, and a thousand circlets spread,
never been abandoned, although the many obstacles And each misshapes the other. COLERIDGE.
in the way seemed almost insurmountable. But now “ Abstracted in his habits, quiet and sensitive, from a bright thought occurred to him; 'I will give up my his reveries in dream-land, the orphan woke to find situation; I will hire a room with the money already himself the inmate of a new home.
saved, and devote myself entirely to the pursuit of " Mrs. Winter, the only sister of the late Mr. art. I shall paint a picture-it will be placed in the Talbot, was wholly unlike her brother. With little exhibition--and then – Talbot paused, and his taste for the elegancies of life, except so far as she cheek glowed, and his heart.pulse quickened as he thought their possession would give her importance looked into the future. in the eyes of others, with no sympathy for any am- “The resolution once taken, he was not long in bition save that of acquiring money, she looked with carrying it into effect; and day after day saw him at no very favorable eye on her brother's orphan. his easel, laboring with patient assiduity, and flatlerDazzled by the prospect of a carriage, a town and ing himself that his picture would not pass unnoticed. country-house in perspective, she had married a man “When the day of exhibition arrived, Talbot walked
nervously up and down the gallery where the pic- | mistaken his vocation, he had taken his ill-fated pictures were hanging, every now and then glancing at ture to a place where engravings were kept for sale, his own, with the small ticket appended announcing and left it with the shopkeeper, promising to pay him it for sale, and pausing to observe if it attracted atten- one half the money for which it might be sold. How tion. But it had been placed in a bad light, directly discouraging 10 see it week after week in the winbeneath two brightly-tinted landscapes, and so low dow, until it began to look like a soiled fixture of the down that you were obliged 10 put one knee on the establishment. No one would ever buy it, that was floor before it could be examinrd. Poor Paul ! no certain, and if they would not purchase this his best one gave more than a passing glance to what had work, how could he ever hope to dispose of others cost you weeks of patient labor, and the papers passed of less merit, which were standing round the walls it by with merely announcing its name and number of his little room? Alas, no! but when once in on the catalogue.
Italy—then he would paint pictures such as he " What a rude dashing down of all his hopes was dreamed of in imagination. For the present, with here! What a fading of the air-built castles he had weary frame and throbbing brow, he must labor on. taken such delight in building ? The land of promise * There are few but know had receded from his view, and ihe shores of Italy
How cruelly it tries a broken heart were as a far-off' visiou seen in the dimness of deep- To see a mirth in any thing it loves.' ening twilight. On, what a sinking of the heart And who ibat has ever walked forth on a particularly follows such disappointments! A goal is to be won bright morning, when he was nursing a deep sorrow, -ihe aspirant rushes eagerly to the race-hope lures or was weighed down by the pressure of misfortune, him on-he grows weary, oh, how weary-courage but felt annoyed by the light, and noise, and cheerful-the thrilling sound of fame's trumpet-peal is ringingness around him? Those vast rides of human life on those heights afar-courage—one more struggle what are they to him? He is but a drop in a wave and the prize will be his own! One more struggle- of the mighty ocean-but a pebble thrown upon the and hope fades from his sight--and the last faint sand—a broken link in the great chain of the Uni. echo of fame's music dies upon his ear-and a dull
Thus felt Paul, as on one of the loveliest lethargy seizes on his mind-and the pulses of his days of laughing June, he wended his way to the heart grow still and cold as the waveless, tideless office where he had left a manuscript to be examined surface of a deep, dark lake! Happy he who can by the publisher. shake off the despondency attendant on times like ""How can those people look so smilingly,'thought these, and, like the bird momentarily driven back he, while glancing at the well-dressed groups on the by the storm, can plume bis wings and dare a nobler side walk. “And those children, how noisy they are flight.
—and see that carriage with its liveried attendantspshaw!' Now Paul was not envious, and he was particularly fond of children, but the feeling of lone
liness in the crowd was oppressive, and with anCHAPTER III.
other half audible pshaw! he turned into a quieter Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. It is thine. Go “The smiling face of the great man who employed forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and with ä manly heart. LONGFELLOW.
so many subordinates in his large establishment,
somewhat reassured the desponding youth, and after “ The spirits of youth are elastic, and after great a little preliminary talk about encouraging native pressure will naturally rebound. “Hope on, hope talent, a sum was offered, which, though small in ever,' is a maxim seldom forgotten until age has itself, was just then a god-send to the needy Paul, chilled the blood and palsied the powers of life. who with many thanks bowed himself out of the After a few days spent in brooding over the present, publisher's presence. One ray of light had dawned Paul again looked forward to the future, and deter- on his darkened path, one beam of hope had shed its mined to seek some other avenue by which he might warmih upon his heart, and how differently now gather up a little, just a little, of the treasure which looked the scene through which he had lately passed! others possessed in such abundance. His fondness With buoyant step he went on. He, too, could for literature suggested the idea that his pen might smile,-ihe darling little ones, how delighted he was be employed with more profil than his pencil, and to see them looking so happy—and the poor blind the periodicals of the day appeared to offer a wide man at the corner must not be forgotten! Like the field for exertion. But emolument from such sources child who plays with the kaleidoscope, and every mowas precarious at best. All who held an established ment sees some new beauty, so Paul toyed with the reputation in the world of letters were contributors many-colored hues in the rainbow of Hope, groupto the various popular publications, and Paul Talbot | ing them together in the most beautiful and dazzling wanted the “magic of a name" to win golden opi- forms. nions from the Press. Sometimes he met with those " It was destined to be a red-letter day in his book who were more just, and more generous, and thus of life. As he passed the print-shop he saw that his encouraged he toiled on, hoping even against hope, picture was gone froin the window. It had been that his desires would yet be accomplished.
sold, and a companion-piece ordered by the pur"With many misgivings, and a fear that he had | chaser. Ob that my mother were living ! sighed