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is married to him. They reach London, but the lady's father refuses to see her unless she will abandon her husband, which she of course refuses to do, and they come to America and settle on a farm in Illinois. Ultimately the father dies and leaves them his fortune. This, after Robinson Crusoe, was a bold experiment, and it was a failure.
George Mason, the Young Backwoodsman, followed. It is better than Arthur Clenning, but did not increase Mr. Flint's reputation.
The last of his novels was The Shoshonee Valley, published at Cincinnati, in 1830. The principal scene is among the tributaries of the Columbia river. Baptiste Dettier, a reckless and gay Canadian, encounters a Kentucky preacher west of the Mississippi, and they agree to cross the Rocky Mountains in company, one in quest of peltries and adventures, and the other influenced in a large degree by the hope of making converts. Elder Wood is the most original, natural, and successfully sustained character in Mr. Flint's works. He is a man of strong but undisciplined genius, who blends the enthusiasm of the missionary with that of the trapper. "The psalmist," he thought, "had the spirit of a Kentuckian." He had offended the Canadian, by some allusion to his idolatrous worship, and when the articles of agreement were settled, Baptiste complimented him upon his undoubted skill in the hunt, and said, "In a leet time me learn you to trap too, comme un diable! but sare, please take notice, I hab noting to do wit your dem religion!" The minister was as little pleased with this profane allusion to his profession as the other had been with his own description of the Catholic faith, but he said to himself, "I shall be able to bring him also out of the heathenish darkness;" and thus balancing their disagreements, they set out for the Pacific. They reached the happy Valley of the Shoshonee, to be witnesses of the gradual decay of its patriarchal government and people, from causes connected with the invasion of the whites. The characters, except those which have been mentioned, are not drawn with much skill, and the Indians are hardly distinguishable from the rest. The invention is feeble, and we are conducted to a second catastrophe, apparently for no other reason than that the author was ill satisfied with the first. The tale is nevertheless interesting; it is distin
| guished for a manly simplicity of style, a vivid freshness of description, and a genuine but unobtrusive religious sentiment.
In 1832 Mr. Flint published, in Boston, Lectures upon Natural History, Geology, Chemistry, The Application of Steam, and Interesting Discoveries in the Arts.
In 1833 he edited several numbers of the Knickerbocker Magazine, which had been established in the beginning of that year by Mr. Charles F. Hoffman, who retired from its management on personal grounds. In the beginning of 1834 the proprietorship of the work was changed, and Mr. Flint's connection with it ceased. He had already published a translation, with original essays on the same subject, from the work of Droz, sur l'art d'étre heureuse, and in the early part of 1834 he translated Celibacy Vanquished or the Old Bachelor Reclaimed, a novel which gained a considerable though transient popularity.
Mr. Flint now removed to Cincinnati, and became editor of The Western Monthly Magazine, which he conducted with much industry and ability for three years. Besides the volumes which have been mentioned, he wrote several of less importance, and a great number of tales and essays for various periodicals and other works.
During the last year of his life, enfeebled by disease, he wrote but little for the public. He left his Louisiana home early in May, 1840, to visit the place of his nativity, and in the hope that he would derive a benefit from the bracing air of New England. He was at Natchez, on his way, when that city was nearly destroyed by a tornado, and with his son was buried many hours under the ruins. Soon after his arrival in Reading his malady assumed a more malignant character, and he wrote to his wife at Alexandria, that when she received his letter he would no longer be alive. The melancholy news hastened her death. The prediction of his own decease was premature, but he survived only until the eighteenth of August.
Mr. Flint commenced his literary career when forty-five years of age. To its end he was an invalid, but was compelled to write constantly and rapidly, and to print without
His mind was vigorous and imaginative, and enriched with reading and observation.
He ad a discriminating judgment, warm affections, and a quick perception of the grand and beautiful. His works are marked by good sense and a genuine Christian philoso
phy. His chief merit is in his descriptions. His landscapes have extraordinary freedom and distinctness, and appear to be copies from
A THUNDER STORM IN MEXICO.
FROM FRANCIS BERRIAN.
THE thunder, which had been rolling at a distance in the mountains, approached nearer. The peals were more frequent, and the echoes more loud and awful. The brassy edges of the clouds rolled together, and sweeping forward, like the smouldering pillars of smoke from some mighty conflagration, were seen looming from the heights and beginning to cover the sun. . . .
The thunder storms of the northern regions seldom give an idea of the assemblage of terrific accompaniments belonging to a severe one in the tropics. A thick mist fills all the distance between the clouds and the earth. A dim and yellowish twilight throws a frightful yellow upon the verdure of the trees.
The storm was tremendous. The commencement was in the stillness of death, and the burst of the winds was as instantaneous as the crash of the thunder. The rain did not descend in drops, or in sheets, but the terrible phenomenon of the bursting of the clouds upon the mountains took place. The roar of the new-formed torrents and cascades pouring from the mountains, mingled with that of the rain, the thunder, and the winds. The atmosphere was a continued and lurid glare of lightning, which threw a portentous brilliance through the descending waters and the darkness. Many an aged tree, that had remained unscathed for ages, was stript from its summits to its roots by the descending fires. . . .
The sick man, aroused from his sleep, rested his head upon his hand, and his pains seemed to be suspended, while he contemplated the uproar and apparent conflagration of the elements. A blaze of lightning filled the room, and the thunderbolt fell upon a vast cypress, but a few feet from the house. The shock was so violent that each one was thrown from his seat. As we recovered from the blow, we saw how naturally in such moments each one flies to the object in which he has most confidence. The widowed mother sprang to the arms of her son, and Martha at the same moment clung to me.... We resumed our seats in a kind of tranquil astonishment, as the storm gradually subsided. The thunder rolled sublimely still, but at a greater distance. The blue of the atmosphere began to show itself at the zenith. The clouds rolled away toward the east, and the sun came forth in his brightness just above the smoking summits of the hills. The scene, that was terrific in the fury of the storm, was now an indescribable mixture of beauty and grandeur. Frequent gleams of the most vivid lightning played
on the passing extremities of the clouds. White pillars of mist arose from the earth. The birds welcomed the return of the sun, and the renewed repose of nature, with a thousand mingled songs.
COUNTRY OF THE SEWASSERNA.
FROM THE SHOSHONEE VALLEY.
THE traces of their footsteps and their temporary huts were frequently seen amidst the dark hemlock forests on the Pacific shore. These free rangers of the deserts, as they saw the immense fronts, range behind range, of the ocean surf rolling onward to whiten and burst on the sand at their feet, had their own wild conceptions of the illimitable grandeur, and the mysterious and resistless power of the ever-heaving element. . . .
Their free domain comprised an extent of five hundred leagues. The country of their compact and actual settlement is a vale, than which the earth can show none more beautiful or more secluded, the vale of the Sewasserna. This stream, in which the poets would have placed the crystal caves of the Naiads of the ancient days, comes winding down in a clear, full, strong, and yet equable and gentle tide, from the mountains. Up its pure and ice-formed waters ascend, in their season, countless numbers of the finest salmon; and in its deep and circling eddies play trout, pike, carp, tench, and all the varicties of fish of cold mountain rivers. The Indian, as he glides down the stream, sees the shining rocks at the bottom, covered with tresses of green waving moss, at the depth of twenty feet. This circumstance, along with its transparency, furnishes the etymology of its name, which imports the sea green river. Streaked bass, shiners, gold fishes, and beautiful and undescribed finny tribes, dart from their coverts along the white sand, flit from the shadow of the descending canoe, or turn their green and gold to the light, as they fan as it were with their purple wings, or repose in the sunbeams that find their way through the branches that overhang the banks....
The glossy gray mallard, the beautiful bluewinged teal, the green crested widgeon, the little active dipper, the brilliant white diver, the solitary loon raising his lugubrious and ill-omened note in unsocial seclusion, the stately swan sailing in his pride and milky lustre slowly along the stream, the tall sand-hill crane looking at a distance like a miniature camel, the white pelican with his immense pouch in front, innume rable flocks of various species of geese-in short, an unknown variety of water-fowls with their bril
liant, variegated, and oiled vestments, their singular languages and cries, were seen gliding among the trees, pattering their broad bills amidst the grasses and weeds on the shores....
It would be useless to think of enumerating the strange and gay birds that sing, play, build, chide, and flutter among the branches of the huge sycamores and peccans. Among the more conspicuous is the splendid purple cardinal, with its glossy and changeable lustre of black crest, the goldcoloured oriole, looking down into its long hanging nest, the flamingo darting up the stream like an arrow of flame, the little peacock of trees, the wakona, or bird of paradise, the parti-coloured jay screaming its harsh notes, the red-winged woodpecker "tapping the hollow tree," the ortolan, in countless flocks, in plumage of the most exquisite softness, deep, shining black-the paroquets with their shrill screams and their splendour of green and gold, numberless humming-birds plunging their needle-shaped bills into the bignonia, grouse, turkies, partridges, in a word an infinite variety of those beautiful and happy tenants of the forest and the prairie, that are formed to sing through their transient but happy day.
The mountains on either side of the valley tower into a countless variety of peaks, cones, and inaccessible elevations, from six to ten thousand feet high. More than half of them are covered with the accumulated snows and ices of centuries, which, glittering in mid air, show in the sunbeams in awful contrast with the black and rugged precipices that arrest the clouds. . . . The rocks, cliffs, and boulders, partly of granite and partly of volcanic character, black and rugged in some places, in others porphyritic, needle or spire-shaped, shoot up into pinnacles, domes, and towers, and in other places lie heaped in huge masses as though shook by earthquakes from the summits where they had originally defied the storms. . . . Yet between these savage and terrific peaks, unvisited except by the screaming eagle, are seen the most secluded and sweet valleys in the world. Here and there appear circular clumps of hemlocks, mountain cedars, silver firs, and above all the glorious Norwegian pines.... The breeze that is borne down from the mountains always sighs through these evergreen thickets, playing as it were the deep and incessant voluntary of nature to the Divinity.... In numerous little lakes and ponds, where the trout spring up and dart upon the fly and grasshopper, the verdure of the shores is charmingly repainted in contrast with the threatening and savage sublimity of the mountains, whose summits shoot down as deep in the abyss as they stand high in the air. As you turn your eyes from the landscape so faithfully pencilled on the sleeping waters, to see the substance of these shadows, the eye, dazzled with the radiance of the sunbeams playing on the perpetual snows in the regions of mid air, reposes with solace and delight on the deep blue of the sky that is seen between, undimmed except by the occasional passing of the bald eagle or falcon-hawks, sailing slowly from the summit of one mountain to another.
THE MARRIAGE OF BAPTISTE.
FROM THE SAME.
BAPTISTE, always a standing lover and gallant for all the undistinguished Indian girls of the nation, had been observed in earnest dialogue with T'selle'nee, or the Piony, the pretty daughter of Mon-son-sah, or the Spotted Panther, a proud and fierce Shienne warrior, who doted on this his only child. What injury or insult was offered the belle of round and vermillion rouged cheek, does not appear; but next morning it was the current gossip among the fair of the nation that T'selle'nee had had a "medicine dream." At any rate, she was reported to be in tears, shut up under the customary and severest interdiction of Indian usage.... There was a great trouble in the wigwam. The fierce father forced his daughter to confession. The smooth-tongued and voluble Canadian had vague intimations that this affair was likely to bring no good to him. Truth was, as a general lover, he had the reputation of being particularly slippery and unworthy of confidence. Various girls had made calculation upon him for a husband. But Baptiste had a manifest preference for being a general lover, and a specific aversion to matrimony in particular.
Whoever among this people has had a dream of sufficient import to cause the dreamer to wear black paint and to proclaim an interdict, becomes for the time a subject of universal speculation and remark. The general whisper, especially among the women, was, What has Baptiste done? and What has caused the interdict of T'selle'nee?
Mon-son-sah, meanwhile, was not idle. The deepest indignation of his burning spirit was called forth. The frequent amours and infidelities of Baptiste were circulated, and generally not at all to his advantage. An affair of his, touching a Shoshonee girl, was blazoned with many a minute circumstance of wanton cruelty. "What right," they said, "had the proud and babbling pale face to conduct after this fashion toward the red skin girls? They would learn him to repent such courses." The cunning young T'selle'nee, though interdicted, and of course supposed to be unable to see or converse with any one, was in fact at the bottom of all this.
The result of the long-brooded mischief was at length disclosed. Hatch was the envoy of Monson-sah to Baptiste Dettier, to make known to him the purposes that were settled in respect to his case. Hatch, Dutch though he was, enjoyed a comfortable broad joke.... Baptiste in passing heard him call to him to stop, with a pale face and palpitating heart. He seemed disposed to walk on.
"Will you stop, Mynheer Baptiste?" said the Dutchman, with a visage of mysterious importance: "Perhaps you will find it your interest to hear what I have to say to you."
"Vell, sare," said Baptiste, stopping and squaring himself, "suppose you tell me vat for you stop me from mine promenade. Is it von mighty dem big ting dat you hab to tell me?"
"Oh no, Mynheer Baptiste, it is no great matter. It only conzarns your life."
"Sacre! Monsieur Dutchman," cried Baptiste, shrugging and turning pale, "spose you tink it von mighty dem leet ting to concern my life. Monsieur Dutchman, vat for make you look so dem big? I pray you, sare, speak out vat for you stop me ?"
The Dutchman continued to economize the luxury of his joke as long as possible, and proceeded in his customary dialect, and with the most perfect sang froid, to ask him if he had ever known such an Indian demoiselle as T'selle'nee? "Sare, vat for you axe me dat? Tis mine own affair, sare!"
"Well, Baptiste, they say she has had a dream, and that her face is painted as black as a thunder cloud. It is common report that the matter closely concerns you. At any rate, the Spotted Panther is not to be trifled with, and he takes a deep interest in the business. You know the Spotted Panther?"
"Yes, sare, dat garçon is one dem farouche villain."
"Perhaps you like his daughter better?"
"Sacre! no. She is von dem-what you call him in Hinglees?"
"Never mind. She will make you the better wife for that. I have an errand to you from the Spotted Panther."
"You make me frissonne all over my body," said Baptiste, looking deadly pale.
"I have it in charge from the Spotted Panther to ask you, Baptiste, if you are disposed to marry T'selle'nee as soon as she is out of her black paint and her dream? They say she loves you to distraction."
"Sez bien," replied Baptiste, giving his wonted shrug of self-complacency; "so do twentee oder demoiselles of dese dem sauvages. Dat all for vat you stop me?"
"No. I am commissioned only to propose to you the simple question, Do you choose to marry T'selle'nee, or not? and you are to let me report an immediate answer."
"Parbleu! Monsieur Dutchman. Spose I say
"You will hear the consequences, and then I will say him no, if you wish it."
"Vell, sare, vat are de big consequence if I say no? Tis von dem farouche affair, ca!"
"He proposes you one of two alternatives-to marry his daughter, or be roasted alive at a slow fire. It is no great matter, after all. The beautiful T'selle'nee, or a roasting, that's the alternative."
"Tis von dem-what you call him, alternateeve? O mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!" cried Baptiste, crossing himself, and seeming in an agony—“ You dem Dutchman have no heart on your body, or you no tell me dat dem word, and half grin your teeth all the time, sacre! You call him leet matter to roast von Christian like a pig, sacre!"
Why, certainly, you don't think it so great a thing to be roasted? You know, Baptiste, that
"Still, Baptiste, something must be done. You know the Spotted Panther is not a personage to be trifled with. Have you made up your mind for your answer?"
"Tis von dem sommaire business, ca! O mon Dieu, aidez moi. Oui, oui. I vill marree dis dem crapeau. Spose-how like dem fool you talk!— that it be von leet ting to be roast? Certainment, me no make experimong."
"Very good," answered Hatch, with the same unmoved calmness. "Then we need not discuss the matter of roasting at all. I thought you would prefer the wife. But you will please tell me the very words I am to report to the Spotted Panther." "O mon Dieu! Tis trop dur, a ting tres miserable. Me love all de demoiselles. Dey all love me. Tis ver hard affair, to tie me up to von dem crapeau, like un chien in a string."
"Are these the words you wish me to carry back to the Spotted Panther?"
No, certainment, no. You tell that sauvage gentilhomme, vid my best complimens, that I am trop sensible of de great honneur which his belle fille have don me. Spose his belle fille no say that word to me fuss, den I tell her I offer my love and my devotions and my heart wid von satisfaction infini, and dat I lead her to the altare with great plaisir, sacre!"
Hatch omitted the last word, and reported all the rest with great fidelity. The invincible solemnity of the Dutchman's narrative gave greater zest to the enjoyment of the Indians, who all knew, amidst these forced compliments, what a bitter pill matrimony was to such an indiscriminate gallant.
HEROISM OF THE INDIAN.
FROM THE ART OF BEING HAPPY.
THE timid and effeminate white man shivers and scarcely credits his senses, as he sees the young Indian warrior smoking his pipe, singing his songs, boasting of his victories and uttering his menaces, when enveloped in a slow fire, apparently as unmoved, as reckless, and unconscious of pain as if sitting at his ease in his own cabin. All that has been found necessary by this strange people to procure this heroism, is, that the children from boyhood should be constantly under a discipline, every part and every step of which tends directly to shame and contempt at the least manifestation of cowardice in view of any danger, or of a shrinking consciousness of pain in the endurance of any suffering. The males, so trained, never fail to evidence the fruit of their discipline. Sentenced to death, they almost invariably scorn to fly from their sentence, when escape is in their
power. If in debt, they desire a reprieve, that they may hunt until their debts are paid. They then voluntarily return and surrender themselves to the executioner. Nothing is more common than for a friend to propose to suffer for his friend, a parent for a child, or a child for a parent. When the sufferer receives the blow, there is an unblenching look which manifests the presence of the same spirit that smokes with apparent unconcern amidst the crackling flames.
A proof that this is the fruit of training and not of native insensibility, as others have thought, and as I formerly thought myself, is, that this contempt of pain and death is considered a desirable trait only in the males. To fly like a woman, like her to laugh, and weep, and groan, are expressions of contempt, which they apply to their enemies with ineffable scorn. The females, almost excluded from witnessing the process of Spartan discipline by which the males acquire their mental hardihood, partake not of the fruits of it, and, with some few exceptions, are shrinking and timid like the children of civilization.
I know that there will not be wanting those who will condemn alike the training and the heroism as harsh, savage, unfeeling, stoical, and unworthy to be admitted as an adjunct to civilization. But no one will offer to deny that the primitive Christian put in conflict with a hungry lion, that Rogers at the Smithfield stake, that the young captive warrior, exulting and chanting his songs while enduring the bitterest agonies that man can inflict, in the serene and sublime triumph of mind over matter, and spirit over the body, is the most imposing spectacle we can witness, the clearest proof we can contemplate, that we have that within us which is not all of clay, nor all mortal; or doubt that these persons endure infinitely less physical pain, in consequence of their heroic self-possession, than they would have suffered had they met their torture in paroxysms of terror, shrinking, and selfabandonment.
FROM HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY OF MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.
BELOW the mouth of Ohio, in the season of inundation, to an observing spectator a very striking spectacle is presented. The river sweeps along, in curves or sections of circles, of an extent of from six to twelve miles, measured from point to point. The sheet of water that is visible between the forests on either side, is not far from the medial width of a mile. On a calm spring morning, and under a bright sun, this, to an eye that takes in its gentle descending, shines like a mass of burnished silver. Its edges are distinctly marked by a magnificent outline of cotton-wood trees, generally of great size, and at this time of the year of the brightest verdure. On the convex, or bar side of the bend, there is generally a vigorous growth of willows, or young cotton-wood trees of such astonishing regularity of appearance, that it always seems to the unpractised spectator a work of art. The water stands among these trees from ten to
fifteen feet in height. Those brilliant birds, the black and red bird of this country, seem to delight to flit among these young groves, that are inundated to half their height. Nature is carrying on her most vigorous efforts of vegetation below. If there be wind or storm, the descending flat and keel boats immediately make for these groves, and plunge fearlessly with all the headway they can command among the trees. Should they be of half the size of the human body, struck fifteen feet from the ground they readily bend, before even a frail boat. You descend the whole distance of a thousand miles to New Orleans, landing at night in fifteen feet water among the trees; but, probably, in no instance within twenty miles of the real shore, which is a bluff. The whole spectacle is that of a vast and magnificent forest emerging from a lake, with its waters, indeed in a thousand places, in descending motion. The experienced savage, or solitary voyager, paddles his canoe through the deep forests, from one bluff to the other. He finds bayous, by which one river communicates with the other. He moves perhaps along the Mississippi forest into the mouth of White river. He ascends that river a few miles, and by the Grand Cut off moves down the forest into the Arkansas. From that river he finds many bayous which communicate readily with Washita and Red river; and from that river, by some one of its hundred bayous, he finds his way into the Atchafalaya and the Teche; and by that stream to the Gulf of Mexico, reaching it more than twenty leagues west of the Mississippi. At that time, this is a river from thirty to an hundred miles wide, all overshadowed with forests, except an interior strip of little more than a mile in width, where the eye reposes on the open expanse of waters, visible between the trees....
No person who descends this river for the first time, receives clear and adequate ideas of its grandeur, and the amount of water which it carries. If it be in the spring, when the river below the mouth of Ohio is generally over its banks, although the sheet of water that is making its way to the gulf is perhaps thirty miles wide, yet finding its way through deep forests and swamps that conceal all from the eye, no expanse of water is seen but the width, that is curved out between the outline of woods on either bank; and it seldom exceeds, and oftener falls short of a mile. But when he sees, in descending the falls of St. Anthony, that it swallows up one river after another, with mouths as wide as itself, without affecting its width at all; when he sees it receiving in succession the mighty Missouri, the broad Ohio, St. Francis, White, Arkansas, and Red rivers, all of them of great depth, length, and volume of water; swallowing up all and retaining a volume, apparently unchanged, he begins to estimate rightly the increasing depths of current that must roll on in its deep channel to the sea. Carried out of the Balize, and sailing with a good breeze for hours, he sees nothing on any side but the white and turbid waters of the Mississippi, long after he is out of sight of land