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dealing with events (if we may so speak), and occasionally scenes of overwhelming interest.
Mr. Cooper, the author of The Pioneers, is a young man of high and undoubted talent. There is a freshness and vivid beauty in some of his scenes, which may challenge competition with any writer of the present day. He is much more dramatic than Brown; but he has not the same power over the passions, aud scarcely the same burning and impetuous strength of narration. He deals pleasantly with men, and brings out their peculiarities, their vices, their foibles, and graceful distinctions ; while Brown, on the other hand, is content with the passions alone; but these he traces to their root, or spreads abroad in all their florid grandeur. The fault of both writers is that they make too much for points; and it is more particularly the fault of Mr. Cooper. His spirit lies tame sometimes for half a volume, and then springs up fevered and irritable, and pushes an incident to the very verge of our belief.
Besides these writers, there is also another author of considerable promise; namely, the author of “ Koningsmarke, or the Long Finne.” He does not tell a story particularly well, nor is he so expert in the display of character as Mr. Cooper; but there is quite as much spirit in his style, and incomparably more wit than in any American book that we have yet seen.These last named gentlemen are our contemporaries, and, as Retrospective Reviewers, we shall refrain from doing more than justifying, by one extract, our encomiums on Mr. Cooper. Two young ladies are wandering in a forest, adjoining one of the new inland settlements of America.
“ They proceeded along the margin of the precipice, catching oc. casional glimpses of the placid Otsego, or pausing to listen to the rattling of wheels and the sounds of hammers, that rose from the valley, to mingle the signs of men with the scenes of nature; when Elizabeth suddenly started, and exclaimed
66. Listen ! there are the cries of a child on this mountain! Is there a clearing near us? or can some little one have strayed from its parents ?
"Such things frequently happen,' returned Louisa. Let us follow the sounds; it may be a wanderer, starving on the hill.
“Urged by this consideration, the females pursued the low mournful sounds that proceeded from the forest, with quick and impatient steps. More than once, the ardent Elizabeth was on the point of announcing that she saw the sufferer, when Louisa caught her by the arm, and pointing behind them, cried —
"Look at the dog!
“Brave had been their companion, from the time the voice of his young mistress lured him from his kennel to the present moment. His advanced age had long before deprived him of his activity; and when
his companions stopped to view the scenery, or to add to their bou. quets, the mastiff would lay his huge frame on the ground, and await their movements, with his eyes closed, and a listlessness in his air that ill accorded with the character of a protector. But when, aroused by this cry from Louisa, Miss Temple turned, she saw the dog with his eyes keenly set on some distant object, his head bent near the ground, and his hair actually rising on his body, either through fright or anger. It was most probably the latter; for he was growling in a low key, and occasionally showing his teeth, in a manner that would have terrified his mistress, had she not so well known his good qualities.
“Brave !' she said, be quiet, Brave! what do you see, fellow?
" At the sounds of her voice, the rage of the mastiff, instead of being at all diminished, was very sensibly increased. He sialked in front of the ladies, and seated himself at the feet of his mistress, growling louder than before, and occasionally giving vent to his ire by à short surly barking.
6. What does he see?' said Elizabeth: “there must be some animal in sight.'
“Hearing no answer from her companion, Miss Temple turned her head, and beheld Louisa, standing with her face whitened to the colour of death, and her finger pointing upward, with a sort of Aickering, convulsed motion. The quick eye of Elizabeth glanced in the direction indicated by her friend, where she saw the fierce front and glaring eyes of a female panther, fixed on them in horrid malignity, and threatening instant destruction.
6. Let us fly! exclaimed Elizabeth, grasping the arm of Louisa, whose form yielded like melting snow, and sunk lifeless to the earth.
“ There was not a single feeling in the temperament of Elizabeth Temple that could prompt her to desert a companion in such an extremity; and she fell on her knees, by the side of the inanimate Louisa, tearing from the person of her friend, with an instinctive readiness, such parts of her dress as might obstruct her respiration, and encourage their only safeguard, the dog, at the same time, by the sounds of her voice.
«« Courage, Brave ! she cried, her own tones beginning to tremble ; “ courage, courage, good Brave!
“A quarter-grown cub, that had hitherto been unseen, now appeared, dropping from the branches of a sapling, that grew under the shade of the beech which held its dam. This ignorant, but vicious creature approached near to the dog, imitating the actions and sounds of its parent, but exhibiting a strange mixture of the playfulness of a kitten with the ferocity of its race.-Standing on its hind-legs, it would rend the bark of a tree with its fore-paws, and play all the antics of a cat for a moment; and then, by lashing itself with its tail, growling and scratching the earth, it would attempt the manifestations of anger that rendered its parent so terrific.
“ All this time Brave stood firm and undaunted, his short tail erect, his body drawn backward on its haunches, and his eyes following the
movements of both dam and cub. At every gambol played by the latter, it approached nigher to the dog, the growling of the three becoming more horrid at each moment, until the younger beast, overleap. ing its intended bound, fell directly before the mastiff. There was a moment of fearful cries and struggles, but they ended almost as soon as they commenced by the cub appearing in the air, hurled from the jaws of Brave, with a violence that sent it against a tree so forcibly, as to render it completely senseless.
« Elizabeth witnessed the short struggle, and her blood was warming with the triumph of the dog, when she saw the form of the old panther in the air, springing twenty feet from the branch of the beech to the back of the mastiff. No words of ours can describe the fury of the conflict that followed. It was a confused struggle on the dried leaves, accompanied by loud and terrible cries, barks, and growls. Miss Temple continued on her knees, bending over the form of Louisa, her eyes fixed on the animals with an interest so horrid, and yet so intense, that she almost forgot her own stake in the result. So rapid and vigorous were the bounds of the inhabitant of the forest, that its active frame seemed constantly in the air, while the dog nobly faced his foe, at each successive leap. When the panther lighted on the shoulders of the mastiff, which was its constant aim, old Brave, though torn with her talons and stained with his own blood, that already flowed from a dozen wounds, would shake off his furious foe, like a feather, and rearing on his hind-legs, rush to the fray again with his jaws distended, and a dauntless eye. But age and his pampered life greatly disqualified the noble mastiff for such a struggle. 'In every thing but courage he was only the vestige of what he had once been. A higher bound than ever raised the wary and furious beast far beyond the reach of the dog, who was making a desperate but fruitless dash at her, from which she alighted in a favourable position on the back of her aged foe. For a single moment, only, could the panther remain there, the great strength of the dog returning with a convulsive effort. But Elizabeth saw, as Brave fastened his teeth in the side of his enemy, that the collar of brass around his neck, which had been glittering throughout the fray, was of the colour of blood, and directly that his frame was sinking to the earth, where it soon lay prostrate, and helpless. Several mighty efforts of the wild cat to extricate herself from the jaws of the dog followed, but they were fruitless, until the mastiff turned on his back, his lips collapsed, and his teeth loosened; when the short convulsions and stillness that succeeded announced the death of poor Brave.
“ Elizabeth now lay wholly at the mercy of the beast. There is said to be something in the front of the image of the Maker that daunts the hearts of the inferior beings of his creation; and it would seem that some such power, in the present instance, suspended the threatening blow. The eyes of the monster and the kneeling maiden met, for an instant; when the former stooped to examine her fallen foe, next to scent her luckless cub. From the latter examination it turned, however, with its eyes apparently emitting flashes of fire, its tail lash
ing its sides furiously, and its claws projecting four inches from its broad feet.
“Miss Temple did not, or could not move. Her hands were clasped in the attitude of prayer, but her eyes were still drawn to her terrible enemy; her cheeks were blanched to the whiteness of marble, and her lips were slightly separated with horror. The moment seemed now to have arrived for the fatal termination; and the beautiful figure of Elizabeth was bowing meekly to the stroke, when a rustling of leaves from behind seemed rather to mock the organs, than to meet her ears.
“ Hist! hist!' said, a low voice; stoop lower, gall; your bunnet hides the creater's head.'
“ It was rather the yielding of nature than a compliance with this unexpected order, that caused the head of our heroine to sink on her bosom ; when she heard the report of the rifle, the whizzing of the bullet, and the enraged cries of the beast, who was rolling over on the earth, biting its own flesh, and tearing the twigs and branches within its reach. At the next instant the form of the Leather-stocking rushed by her, and he called aloud
" • Come in, Hector, come in, you old fool! 'tis a hard-lived animal, and may jump ag'in.'
“Natty maintained his position in front of the maidens most fearlessly, notwithstanding the violent bounds and threatening aspect of the wounded panther, which gave several indications of returning strength and ferocity, until his rifle was again loaded; when he stepped up to the enraged animal, and placing the muzzle close to its head, every spark of life was extinguished by the discharge.”
If there be a scene of more interest than this in any of the novels of the present day, we can only say that we do not know it. It should, however, be read, not as an insulated fact, but in its due place in the story : and there will be found worthy also of especial attention, the old Indian who has survived his tribe; Mr. Justice Temple and his daughter Elizabeth ; Mr. Oliver Edwards, and Mr. Richard Jones ; Billy Kirby, and Hiram Dolittle ; and above all, the hunter of the wilderness—" the Leather-stocking,”—who abandons the dwellings of man for the homes of the serpent and the panther; the infallible marksman, and the as infallible friend; who comes upon our more eastern imaginations like an ungracious anomaly, and departs, like a dream, towards the setting sun, leaving the reader his friend for ever.
Art. VII.- The History of the Bucaniers ; being an impartial relation of all the Battles, Sieges, and other most eminent Assaults committed for several years upon the Coasts of the West Indies, by the Pirates of Jamaica and Tortuga: both English and other Nations. More especially the unparalleled atchievements of Sir H. M. Made English from the Dutch Copy: written by J. Esquemeling, one of the Bucaniers : very much corrected from the errors of the Original by the relations of some English gentlemen, that then resided in those parts.
Den Engelseman is een Duyvil voor een mensch. London : Printed for Thomas Malthus, at the Sun, in the Poultrey. 1684.
The States of Genoa and Venice, about the middle of the 14th century, were the only powers in Europe that derived their support from commerce. Many of the inhabitants of both these cities were able mathematicians, and had acquired a high repute as hydrographers and mariners, and were encouraged and patronised all over Europe. The States flourished till a mutual struggle took place for mercantile pre-eminence, in which Venice gained the advantage, by engrossing the whole trade of India, then carried on through the interior of Asia, or by the way of the Red Sea. Frequent commotions and distracted councils induced many of the Genoese to quit their native country, and repair to those parts where active genius met with due encouragement. Portugal was, at this time, laudably engaged in prosecuting discoveries on the coast of Africa, and readily received all those individuals able, by their talents and skill, to assist in the great design. The art of navigation was yet in its infancy, nautical astronomy scarcely known, and naval architecture in a rude and imperfect state. The timbers of the ships were badly put together, and frequently much decayed; the masts, yards, rigging, and sails were heavy, awkward, and unhandy; and whatever wonder may be excited at the New World remaining so long undiscovered, a slight consideration of the frail materials of which their barks were composed, added to the superstitious ignorance of the mariners, will soon dispel it, and astonishment take its place that they ever accomplished a voyage at all. Among others who repaired to the Court of Lisbon was Columbus. This intrepid navigator was neither to be intimidated by danger, nor subdued by difficulties. He boldly launched into the Northern Ocean, at a tempestuous season of the year, and most probably from the