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sive and protracted interruption of the necessary industrial pursuits of society, and heavily increased the public burdens.
The destruction dealt upon particular families extended to so many as to constitute in the aggregate a vast, wide-spread calamity.
George Denison Prentice.
BORN in Preston, Conn., 1802. DIED at Louisville, Ky., 1870.
LINES TO A LADY.
[Poems. Edited by John James Piatt. 1876.]
LADY, I've gazed on thee,
And thou art now a vision of the Past,
A spirit-star, whose holy light is cast
That star-it lingers there
As beautiful as 'twere a dewy flower,
Soft-wafted down from Eden's glorious bower,
And floating in mid-air.
It is, that blessed one,
The day-star of my destiny-the first
I e'er could worship as the Persian erst
On all my years may lie
The shadow of the tempest, their dark flow
TO THE DAUGHTER OF AN OLD SWEETHEART.
I LOVE thee, Juliet, for thy mother's sake,
And were I young should love thee for thine own.
Afresh in thee her early charms awake,
And all her witcheries are round thee thrown;
Thou art as lovely, though not yet as famed,
Thine is her magic loveliness-but, oh,
Whoe'er he be, oh, may his lot and thine
Like his great prototype, thy Romeo,
Half frenzied by his passion's raging flame,
May fancy he might cut thy beauteous frame
I paid the tribute of an humble lay
To thy fair mother in her girlhood bright,
To thee, oh, sweet young spirit of delight.
Live to make rhymes, dear Juliet, to thy daughters ?
PLACE confers no dignity upon such a man as the new Missouri
Like a balloon, the higher he rises, the smaller he looks.
You may wish to get a wife without a failing; but what if the lady, after you find her, happens to be in want of a husband of the same character!
The editor of the "
Star says that he has never murdered the truth. He never gets near enough to do it any bodily harm.
About the only person we ever heard of that wasn't spoiled by being lionized, was a Jew named Daniel.
A woman always keeps secret what she does not know.-Exchange. It is a pity that all men do not imitate her discretion.
The most wonderful instance of presence of mind was that of Sha drach, Meshach, and Abednego. In the midst of the fiery furnace, they kept cool.
BORN in New York, N. Y., 1802. DIED at New Rochelle, N. Y., 1839.
THE MAIN TRUCK, OR, A LEAP FOR LIFE.
[Naval Stories. 1834.]
SHOUT and a merry laugh burst upon my ear, and looking
quickly round, to ascertain the cause of the unusual sound on a frigate's deck, I saw little Bob Stay (as we called our commodore's son) standing half-way up the main-hatch ladder, clapping his hands, and looking aloft at some object that seemed to inspire him with a deal of glee. A single glance to the main-yard explained the occasion of his merriment. He had been coming up from the gun-deck, when Jacko, perceiving him on the ladder, dropped suddenly down from the mainstay, and running along the boom-cover, leaped upon Bob's shoulder, seized his cap from his head, and immediately darted the main-topsail up sheet, and thence to the bunt of the main-yard, where he now sat, picking threads from the tassel of his prize, and occasionally scratching his side and chattering, as if with exultation for the success of his mischief. But Bob was a sprightly, active little fellow; and though he could not climb quite as nimbly as a monkey, yet he had no mind to lose his cap without an effort to regain it. Perhaps he was more strongly incited to make chase after Jacko from noticing me to smile at his plight, or by the loud laugh of Jake, who seemed inexpressibly delighted at the occurrence, and endeavored to evince, by tumbling about the boom-cloth, shaking his huge misshapen head, and sundry other grotesque actions, the pleasure for which he had no words.
"Ha, you d-d rascal, Jacko, hab you no more respec' for de young officer den to steal his cab? We bring you to de gangway, you black nigger, and gib you a dozen on de bare back for a tief."
The monkey looked down from his perch as if he understood the threat of the negro, and chattered a sort of defiance in answer.
"Ha, ha! Massa Stay, he say you mus' ketch him 'fore you flog him; and it's no so easy for a midshipman in boots to ketch a monkey barefoot." A red spot mounted to the cheek of little Bob, as he cast one glance of offended pride at Jake, and then sprang across the deck to the Jacob's ladder. In an instant he was half-way up the rigging, running over the ratlines as lightly as if they were an easy flight of stairs, whilst the shrouds scarcely quivered beneath his elastic motion. In a second more his hand was on the futtocks.
"Massa Stay!" cried Jake, who sometimes, from being a favorite,
ventured to take liberties with the younger officers, "Massa Stay, you best crawl through de lubber's hole-it take a sailor to climb the futtock shroud."
But he had scarcely time to utter his pretended caution before Bob was in the top. The monkey, in the meanwhile, had awaited his approach, until he had got nearly up the rigging, when it suddenly put the cap on its own head, and running along the yard to the opposite side of the top, sprang up a rope, and thence to the topmast backstay, up which it ran to the topmast cross-trees, where it again quietly seated itself, and resumed its work of picking the tassel to pieces. For several minutes I stood watching my little messmate follow Jacko from one piece of rigging to another, the monkey, all the while, seeming to exert only as much agility as was necessary to elude the pursuer, and pausing whenever the latter appeared to be growing weary of the chase. At last, by this kind of manoeuvring, the mischievous animal succeeded in enticing Bob as high as the royal mast-head, when springing suddenly on the royal stay, it ran nimbly down to the foretop-gallant-mast-head, thence down the rigging to the foretop, when leaping on the foreyard, it ran out to the yard-arm, and hung the cap on the end of the studding-sail boom, where, taking its seat, it raised a loud and exulting chattering. Bob by this time was completely tired out, and, perhaps, unwilling to return to the deck to be laughed at for his fruitless chase, he sat down in the royal cross-trees; while those who had been attracted by the sport, returned to their usual avocations or amusements. The monkey, no longer the object of pursuit or attention, remained but a little while on the yardarm; but soon taking up the cap, returned in towards the slings, and dropped it down upon deck.
Some little piece of duty occurred at this moment to engage me, as soon as which was performed, I walked aft, and leaning my elbow on the tafferel, was quickly lost in the recollection of scenes very different from the small pantomime I had just been witnessing. Soothed by the low hum of the crew, and by the quiet loveliness of everything around, my thoughts had travelled far away from the realities of my situation, when I was suddenly startled by a cry from black Jake, which brought me on the instant back to consciousness. (6 My God! Massa Scupper," cried he, "Massa Stay is on de main-truck!"
A cold shudder ran through my veins as the word reached my ear. I cast my eyes up-it was too true! The adventurous boy, after resting on the royal cross-trees, had been seized with a wish to go still higher, and, impelled by one of those impulses by which men are sometimes instigated to place themselves in situations of imminent peril, without a possibility of good resulting from the exposure, he had climbed the skysail pole, and, at the moment of my looking up, was actually standing
on the main-truck! a small circular piece of wood on the very summit of the loftiest mast, and at a height so great from the deck that my brain turned dizzy as I looked up at him. The reverse of Virgil's line was true in this instance. It was comparatively easy to ascend-but to descend-my head swam round, and my stomach felt sick at thought of the perils comprised in that one word. There was nothing above him or around him but the empty air-and beneath him, nothing but a point, a mere point-a small, unstable wheel, that seemed no bigger from the deck than the button on the end of a foil, and the taper sky-sail pole itself scarcely larger than the blade. Dreadful temerity! If he should attempt to stoop, what could he take hold of to steady his descent? His feet quite covered up the small and fearful platform that he stood upon, and beneath that, a long, smooth, naked spar, which seemed to bend with his weight, was all that upheld him from destruction. An attempt to get down from "that bad eminence" would be almost certain death; he would inevitably lose his equilibrium, and be precipitated to the deck, a crushed and shapeless mass. Such was the nature of the thoughts that crowded through my mind as I first raised my eye, and saw the terrible truth of Jake's exclamation. What was to be done in the pressing and horrible exigency? To hail him, and inform him of his danger, would be but to insure his ruin. Indeed, I fancied that the rash boy already perceived the imminence of his peril; and I half thought that I could see his limbs begin to quiver, and his cheek turn deadly pale. Every moment I expected to see the dreadful catastrophe. I could not bear to look at him, and yet could not withdraw my gaze. A film came over my eyes, and a faintness over my heart. The atmosphere seemed to grow thick, and to tremble and waver like the heated air around a furnace; the mast appeared to totter, and the ship to pass from under my feet. I myself had the sensations of one about to fall from a great height, and making a strong effort to recover myself, like that of a dreamer who fancies he is shoved from a precipice, I staggered up against the bulwarks.
When my eyes were once turned from the dreadful object to which they had been riveted, my sense and consciousness came back. I looked around me the deck was already crowded with people. The intelligence of poor Bob's temerity had spread through the ship like wild-fireas such news always will—and the officers and crew were all crowding to the deck to behold the appalling-the heart-rending spectacle. Every one, as he looked up, turned pale, and his eye became fastened in silence on the truck-like that of a spectator of an execution on the gallowswith a steadfast, unblinking and intense, yet abhorrent gaze, as if momentarily expecting a fatal termination to the awful suspense. No one made a suggestion-no one spoke. Every feeling, every faculty