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NE-SHE-KAY-BE-NAIS, OR THE "LONE BIRD."

AN OJIBWAY LEGEND.

The following legend, however slight its merits in other respects, can lay claim to genuineness. It is what it purports to be, i lodge story still current among the remlants of the Algonquin stock at the Northrest. As it is here recited, it differs in no ssential respect from the verbal relation f our friend Kah-ge-ga-gah-bovch, better nown as George Copwav, an educated liief of the Ojibway nation.

The Algonquins had unquestionably lore vivacity and animation than any of )e hunter families of the continent. Not ss martial than the Iroquois, their tem?rament seems to have been more active, ieir apprehension quicker, and their man■rs less reserved. Their religion and eir legendary lore partook of their namal peculiarities. They entertained, in well-defined form, the grand idea of a lpreme Unity, a great and beneficent eator and Preserver; and the inferior be,rs of their mythology were also for the ist part beneficent,—the friends and pro■tors of men, constantly warring against, i usually victorious over, the evil beings, » foes of the human race. Their legends, o, are more imaginative, and have a less nbre character than those of most of the ?es. Some are exceedingly airy and mtiful, and others not without a dash of lint humor entirely peculiar to them■es. Examples of all these varieties y be found in Mr. Schoolcraft's interns' collection, bearing the badly-chosen s of "Algic Researches." ..ike the pastoral Sabians of central Asia, A.lgonquins were close observers of na! and its manifestations. In the sun they

tbe symbol of that Great Spirit from •m they believed all life proceeded. It deemed to be his abiding place, from nee he looked kindly down upon his an children. The Milky Way was the til of souls," the bright roadway of

the dead, leading to the blissful spirit-land, the elysium of the western world. The fitful Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) was the "dance of the dead," in which the disembodied spirits of emulous warriors and mighty "medicine men" alone participated.

It is true similar notions with these were entertained by numerous other tribes. The Mandans believed the sun to be the abode of the "Master of Life," (Ohmahauk Namakshi,) and regarded the moon as the residence of "the old woman that never dies," (the goddess of maize and of fruits,) she who wears a white band from the front to the back of her head. She has six children, three sons and three daughters, who abide in different stars. The eldest son is the day, the second is the sun, and the third is the night. The eldest daughter is the morning star, and they call her "the woman who wears a plume;" the second is the high star which revolves around the pole ; and the third daughter is "the woman of the west," the evening star. The stars generally they believed to be the spirits of the dead, and the rainbow a beautiful spirit that accompanies the sun. The thunder is the voice of the "Lord of Life" when he speaks in his anger.

The Minatarees adored the sun, and denominated the moon " the sun of the night." The morning star, Venus, they deemed to be "the child of the moon." The great bear is an ermine, and the Milky Way is the "path of ashes." The thunder is supposed to be the flapping of the wings of the great bird that lived at the beginning, and the lightning is the glance of his eye searching for prey. They call the rainbow the "cup of the waters," or the "cup of the rain.' Once, say they, an Indian caught in the autumn a red bird which mocked him. This gave offence to the man, who bound the feet of the bird together with a line. The bird saw a rabbit and pounced upon it, but the animal crept into the skull of a buffalo and escaped; and as the line from the claws of the bird described a semicircle in the air, so was the rainbow formed.*

"The Housatonic Indians," says Hopkins, "believed the sun to be God, or at least the residence of the Deity. They also believed that the seven stars were so many Indians translated to heaven in a dance, and that the stars in Charles's Wain were so many men hunting a bear; that they begin the chase in the spring and hold it all summer; by the fall they have wounded the bear, and the dripping blood turns red the leaves of the trees; by winter they have killed it, and the fat makes the snow, which, being melted by the heat of summer, makes the sap of trees."

The Cherokees believed that there were many thunders, stationed at different points of the heavens, and each charged with specific duties. "They venerated the morning star, but rather as an object of fear. They say that very long ago, a wicked conjurer committed murder by witchcraft. The people combined to slay him, but divining their purpose, he gathered the shining implements of his craft around him, and sprang upwards to a great height, where his apparatus makes him seem a star. He then became fixed in his position, and his aid is sought by all who endeavor to kill others by necromancy. The Cherokees also regard the seven stars with peculiar reverence. There are no prayers addressed to the cluster, but there is a wild legend of its having sprung from a family of eight boys, who were wont to steal into the town council-house and beat the drum which was kept there for public solemnities. Some of the elders reproving them for it, they took offence, and seizing the drum, sprang upwards, beating it in defiance as they ascended. On the way, however, one came down with so hard a fall that his head stuck deep in the ground. He was immediately transformed into a cedar, which is to stand forever, and which bleeds like a human being

* Travel? in North America, by Maximilian, Prince of Weid, pp. 360,398.

when cut. The others mounted on high. where they now are."*

The semi-civilized nations, as well s> the savage tribes, had similar legends, of greater or less interest, connected with tk planets, the constellations, and the fitments, which it would be impossible v> recite. If these were collected, they would open to the world a new view of tie aboriginal mind.

Every one who has looked upon the face of the full moon has seen there thfaint outline of a human form. Many think it is the image of a man, whom tlwy call the "man of the moon;" and some dull people, peering idly through glasses and long tubes, very learnedly prow. that there is no man there, and that tl outlines which we see are only mounterof scorched and blackened rocks, deep md gloomy caverns, where no life noT verdict is seen, not even a blade of green grs» :c relieve the utter desolation. But the clear eye of the Indian can penetrate further than the glass of the astronomer, and it Ojibway hunter and the Ojibway maide can plainly see in the faint outlines on tin disk of the moon, the graceful form of tb* beautiful Ne-she-kay-be-nais, the "Le* Bird," whom the great Manitou transferred from the lodge of her father to the bearens, where she dwells in the embrace the moon. The story of the Lone Bird > known to the inmates of every Ojib*v wigwam, and thus it was told by Kah-r-ga-gah-bowh, the "Firm Standing," » seated beside our camp-fire on the share of the great lake, we watched the harretmoon slowly rising from the bright water? before us.

Very many snows ago, before the preface invaded the lands of the Indians.'' Ojibways were great and strong', and cmerous as the leaves of the trees. TfceT chased the buffalo on the meadows of <"■ West, they trapped the beaver and h«at« the deer in the forests around the p** lakes, and struck the salmon in the rrw* that flow from the mountains towards tt.

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Ising sun. They were feared and respectid by their enemies, and beloved by their riends: the Great Spirit was pleased with lis children, and they were happy.

It was then by the shores of Ojibwa

techegun, which the pale-faces call Supe

ior, dwelt Wah-bon, the "Dawn of Day,"

od his wife Me-ge-seek, the "She Ea

{te." They, had an only child, a daughter,

nild as the mourning dove, and beautiful

is the day. She was tall and graceful as

he fir-tree, and her step was like that of

he spotted fawn. Her eyes were dark

ind clear as the fountains in the shade of

he forest, and her voice was like the song

»f the stream in the evening. Very beau

iful • was Ne-she-kay-be-nais, the "Lone

3ird," and though the Ojibways were nu

nerous as the leaves of the forest, and

heir daughters many and fair, yet amongst

hem all was none to compare with the

laughter of Wah-bon. From all the vil

ages of the nation came the young war

iors to seek the favor of the Lone Bird,

hat they might bear her from the lodge of

ler father; but she looked coldly upon

hem all, and it was in vain they recited

heir prowess in war, and their success in

he chase. The fame of her beauty spread

o the neighboring nations, and the sons of

jreat chiefs brought presents to the lodge

if Wah-bon, that they might gain the af

ections of his daughter; but the heart of

he Lone Bird was like the ice of the win

?r, and the young chiefs were compelled

3 return lonely and sad to their distant

omes.

Wah-bon saw the coldness of his child, nd expostulated with her; he praised the oung warriors whose bravery and skill e knew and trusted, and he told her that o daughter of the nation had so proud an rray of lovers from which to choose a husand. But the Lone Bird laughed aloud hen her father ceased to speak, and she sked—

"What care I for the young braves? I ive them not. Has not the daughter of le She Eagle her mother to love? Is not le arm of Wah-bon strong, and can he >t cherish and defend his child?" Wah-bon heard the laugh of his daughr and was silent. But next morning he ent forth from the village of his tribe, id as the young warriors gathered round > ask concerning the Lone Bird, he pro

claimed aloud that at a certain time they should all gather together on the smooth shore of the lake, and the fleetest of foot should bear her to his lodge. Great was the joy of the young braves, and much of the intervening time they spent in preparation and in prayers to the Great Spirit that he might give them the swiftness of the prairie deer, and the agility of the mountain cat.

When the sun came up on the morning of the appointed day, there was gathered on the shores of the lake a great assemblage, for the news of the race that was to happen had spread all over the nation, and it was known that the beautiful daughter of Wah-bon was to be the prize of the victor. The young men were all there in their bravest array, painted, and plumed with the feathers of the wild turkey and the eagle, and when they moved the noise of their ornaments was like the fall of the dry leaves in the autumn. The old men were there, for they were to judge the race and award the prize. The women too were there; the mothers to encourage their sons, and the daughters that they might look upon the young braves of their people and receive their admiration. But nowhere was the Lone Bird to be seen; she sat in the cabin of her parents and wept, for she loved none but her father and mother, and desired not to leave them.

The bounds of the race were fixed, and the judges silently took thtir places. The young men stood side by side, leaning breathlessly forward, every muscle quivering with excitement and impatient for the struggle. The signal was given, and they dashed forward like the frightened deer when the hunter breaks from his covert, and with a sound like that of the storm when it treads over the mountains. But soon it was seen that Me-te-quab, the "Bending Bow," and Mazho-tungk, '* Who strikes the Game," both of whom had long loved the Lone Bird, gained widely on their companions. They were fleet as the wind, but neither could surpass the other, and when they came to the end of the race, the old men could not tell which was the victor. Then it was that the two young braves ran again, but again they came in side by side. Again did they struggle, and still again the old men could not tell which was entitled to take the Lone Bird to his lodge. It was then proposed that they should leap: they did so, but neither could surpass the other the breadth of a hair. They were directed to go into the forest and hunt, and the Lone Bird should be the prize of the most successful. They went, and next day the Bending Bow returned bearing the scalps of twenty bears that he had slain, and they all cried aloud, the Bending Bow will bear the Lone Bird to his home! Just then an exulting shout was heard in the forest, and Who-strikesthe-game bounding into their midst, also threw twenty scalps of the bear at the feet of the old men. where her image is seen to this day. Great was the lamentation in the lodge of Wah-bon, because the Lone Bird returned not; but when her father lifted his eyes to the Great Spirit in heaven, he there saw his daughter in the embraces of the moon; then Wah-bon sorrowed no more for the loss of his child.

Then was Wah-bon troubled, for he saw in this the hand of the Great Spirit. And he sought his lodge, and there he found his daughter bowed to the ground, and her eyes were red with weeping. He raised her up kindly, and asked, "Wherefore dost thou weep, my daughter?" And the Lone Bird answered:

"Are you not my father? Is not the lodge of Wah-bon large enough for his daughter?"

Then was the heart of Wah-bon moved; he kissed his child, and he said, " Never shall the Lone Bird leave the lodge of Wah-bon." And he returned to his people on the shore of the lake, and told them it was the will of the Great Spirit that his daughter should not leave him; and the old men responded, "It is the will of the Great Spirit!'' and the young warriors and the women all returned to their homes. Then were the eyes of the Lone Bird filled with gladness.

The summer and the autumn passed, and the snows of winter began to melt, and Wah-bon went forth on the sunny slope of the hill to make sugar. His daughter accompanied and assisted him, and in vessels of bark gathered together the sweet juice of the maples.

One daj- when the smoke was curling slowly up from her father's fire on the slope of the hill, and the warm sun shone mildly down among the trees, that seemed to live beneath its glow, the Lone Bird seated herself on a bare rock, and looked around her. And though all was bright and beautiful, yet she was sad. She thought of her father and mother; they still lived, but their heads had grown gray

and their steps were slow, and she knew that they must soon die. She leaned her head upon her hand, and she felt that she was all alone. At her feet the sun had melted away the snow, and the young flowers of spring looked modestly up in her face; and then she saw, for the first time, that they grew in pairs, two on a stem, and that they seemed to lend beauty one to the other. "It is strange," said the Lone Bird, "I have never noticed this before—it is very strange!" Just then she heard a merry chirping above her head, and looking up she saw that the birds were returning from the south, and again spreading themselves through the forests of the north. She saw also, that they nestled together, two and two, and she exclaimed, "Neither do the birds sing, nor the flowers blossom alone!" At that moment swept over a great flight of water-fowl, and with much noise they alighted on the bosom of the lake. She looked as ihev flung up the spray on their glad wings, and lo, they glided over the water in pairs'.

And then the thoughts of the Lone Bird returned to herself again, and she felt ha loneliness more than ever. And she reflected on her coldness to the young warriors of her nation, and thought of the reproof of her father, and she said despondingly: "Oh, I love not! I k>v? not! I am all alone! Alas! why did it Great Spirit fill the breasts of the bird? with that love which he denies to hm daughter?" and she bowed her head mi wept.

The Lone Bird sat long, wrapped is her meditations, and when she rose to g» home, it was evening. The full moon hmi just lifted its disk of silver, without a aawt to mar its brightness, above the waten the great lake, upon which the tiny

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Many, very many snows have passed, and the Ojibways have become small and weak; the stranger occupies their hunting

grounds, and the graves of their fathers are unhonored; but still the spring comes, the little flowers still blossom on the slope of the hill, the birds nestle together among the budding branches, the wild fowl toss up the waters on their wings, and still the Lone Bird looks down upon the daughters of her nation, who trace her form in the disk of the moon, and tell her strange story by the light of the lodge-fire, in the long nights of autumn. E. G. S.

WILLIAM GODWIN

"Let us now behold A human soul made visible in life."

Bex Jonson's Poetaster.

"Godwin, greater none thin be."

Shelley's Lettee To Maria Gisbobne.

"But thy eternal summer shall not fade."

Shakspeabe's Sonnets.

William Godwin was undoubtedly one jf the most remarkable men of his time. The boldness of his opinions, the force md sincerity with which he enunciated ,hem, the graphic force, unflagging in-crest, and sweet melodious style of his lovels, contrasted strangely with his quiet, ■etired course of life, taciturn habits in so:iety, and his evenness and complacency of •eniper. Godwin was born at Wisbeach, n Cambridgeshire, on the 3d day of March, 1756. His father was a dissentng minister—a pious non-conformist. He vas thus nurtured in a love of religious ind civil liberty, without much reverence or existing authority, and with little love or " gay religions full of pomp and gold." le was educated at the dissenting college it Hoxton, and afterwards undertook the :harge of a congregation in the vicinity of liondon, and also officiated for some time it Stowmarket, in Suffolk. His intimate icquaintance with the Scriptures displayed tself in after life, in the shape of apt quoations, which gave a grand and solemn air

to his stately prose. About the year 1782 he settled in London, and from that time to his death applied himself solely to literature. His first production was entitled "Sketches of History, in Six Sermons." We have not been "able to obtain this work, having searched in vain among the libraries and bookstores, and can give no account of it; but it is said to be painfully dry and uninteresting. Even almost from boyhood he was prone to exclaim with Cowley—

"What shall I do to be for ever known, And make the age to come my own?"

He assisted in the New Annual Register, and had become so zealous a political reformer, and his talents were so well known and appreciated, that he obtained £700 for his next publication, the famous "Enquiry concerning Political Justice and its influences on General Virtue and Happiness," (1793.) This work contained a glowing advocacy for universal philanthropy, and the superiority of mind over

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