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SPELL AND DEFINE-1. ATROC'ITIES, cruel deeds. 2. EXTINCTION, complete destruction. 3. CENTURY, a hundred years. 4. GLADES openings through a forest. 5. TOMAHAWK, an Indian hatchet. 6. FiDELITY, faithfulness. 7. SACHEMS, Indian chiefs. 8. ABSORBED, swallowed up. 9. APOLOGY, excuse. 10. PERFIDY, the act of violating a promise. 11. RELINQUISHED, given up. 12. HURRICANE, a violent storm
of wind. 13. LAIR, the bed of a wild beast.
CHARACTER AND DECAY OF THE NORTH AMERICAN STORY.
1. THERE is, in the fate of the unfortunate Indians, much to awaken our sympathy, and much to disturb the sobriety of our judgment; much which may be urged to excuse their own atrocities; much in their characters, which betrays us into an involuntary admiration. What can be more melancholy than their history? By a law of their nature, they seem destined to a slow, but sure extinction. Every where, at the approach of the white man, they fade away. We hear the rustling of their footsteps, like that of the withered leaves of autumn, and they are gone forever. They pass mournfully by us, and they return no more.
2. Two centuries ago, the smoke of their wigwams, and the fires of their councils, rose in every valley, from Hudson's Bay to the farthest Florida, from the ocean to the Mississippi and the lakes. The shouts of victory and the war-dance rung through the mountains and the glades. The thick arrows and the deadly tomahawk whistled through the wild forests; and the hunter's trace, and the dark encampment, startled the wild beasts in their lairs.
3. The warriors stood forth in their glory. The young listened to the songs of other days. The mothers played with their infants, and gazed on the scene with warm hopes of the future. The aged sat down; but they wept not. They should soon be at rest in fairer regions, where the Great Spirit dwelt, in a home prepared for the brave beyond the western skies. Braver men never lived; truer men never drew the bow. They had courage, and fortitude, and sagacity, and perseverance, beyond most of the human race. They shrunk from no dangers, and they feared no hardships.
4. If they had the vices of savage life, they had the virtues also. They were true to their country, their friends,
and their homes. If they forgave not injury, neither did they forget kindness. If their vengeance was terrible, their fidelity and generosity were unconquerable also. Their love, like their hate, stopped not on this side of the grave. But where are they? Where are the villages, and warriors, and youth? the sachems and the tribes? the hunters and their families? They have perished,--they are consumed. The wasting pestilence has not alone done the mighty work. No, nor famine, nor war. There has been a mightier power, a moral canker, which hath eaten into their heartcores,—a plague, which the touch of the white man communicated; a poison, which betrayed them into a lingering ruin.
5. The winds of the Atlantic fan not a single region, which they may now call their own. Already the last feeble remnants of the race are preparing for their journey beyond the Mississippi. I see them leave their miserable homes, the aged, the helpless, the women, and the warriors, “few and faint, yet fearless still." The ashes are cold on their native hearths. The smoke no longer curls round their lowly cabins. They move on with a slow, unsteady step. The white man is upon their heels, for terror or dispatch; but they heed him not. They turn to take a last look of their deserted villages. They cast a last glance upon the graves of their fathers. They shed no tears; they utter no cries; they heave no groans.
6. There is something in their hearts, which passeth speech. There is something in their looks, not of vengeance or submission, but of hard necessity, which stifles both; which chokes all utterance; which has no aim nor method. It is courage absorbed in despair. They linger but for a moment. Their look is onward. They have passed the fatal stream. It shall never be repassed by them, no, never. Yet there lies not between us and them an impassable gulf. They know, and feel, that there is for them still one remove further, not distant, nor unseen. It is to the general burialground of their race.
7. Reason as we may, it is impossible not to read, in such a fate, much that we know not how to interpret; much of provocation to cruel deeds and deep resentments; much of apology for wrong and perfidy; much of pity mingling with indignation; much of doubt and misgiving as to the past; much of painful recollections; much of dark foreboding as to the future.
I will go to my tent, and lie down in despair;
N. Y. STATESMAN.
QUESTIONS.-1. What was the condition of the Indians two centuries ago? 2. What is said of their warriors, their young their mothers, &c. ? 3. Of their virtues and their vices? 4. Where are they now? 5. How do they appear? 6. Does the treatment which they have received, furnish any apology for their cruelty? 7. Who is supposed to utter the lament contained in the poetry? 8. What has destroyed the Indians? 9. Who was Geehale? Ans. An Indian chief.
What inflections has the last sentence but one, third verse and why? What pause is denoted by the dash, last sentence, sixth verse? (Les. XI. 3.) How should the clause following the dash be read? (Les. XI. 4.) What poetical pauses at the middle and end of each line in the poetry ?
SPELL AND DEFINE-1. ANIMAL, any thing having life. 2. IMPLEMENTS, tools, or instruments of labor. 3. SPECIES, classes or kinds. 4. POLL, the head. 5. PERFECT, finished. 6. STRUCTURE, any thing built. 7. RECTIFIED, made right.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND INFERIOR
1. THE chief difference between man and the other animals, consists in this, that the former has reason, whereas the latter have only instinct; but in order to understand what we mean by the terms, reason and instinct, it will be necessary to mention three things, in which the difference very distinctly appears.
2. Let us first, to bring the parties as nearly on a level as possible, consider man in a savage state, wholly occupied, like the beasts of the field, in providing for the wants of his animal nature; and here the first distinction that appears
between them, is, the use of implements. When the savage provides himself with a hut, or a wigwam, for shelter, or that he may store up his provisions, he does no more than is done by the rabbit, the beaver, the bee, and birds of every species.
3. But the man can not make any progress in this work without tools; he must provide himself with an ax even before he can cut down a tree for its timber; whereas these animals form their burrows, their cells, or their nests, with no other tools than those, with which nature has provided them. In cultivating the ground, also, man can do nothing without a spade or a plow; nor can he reap what he has sown, till he has shaped an implement, with which to cut down his harvests. But the inferior animals provide for themselves and their young without any of these things.
4. Now for the second distinction. Man, in all his operations, makes mistakes; animals mike none. Did you ever hear of such a thing as a bird sitting on a twig, lamenting over her half-finished nest, and puzzling her little poll to know how to complete it? Or did you ever see the cells of a beehive in clumsy, irregular shapes, or observe any thing like a discussion in the little community, as if there was a difference of opinion among the architects?
5. The lower animals are even better physicians than we are; for when they are ill, they will, many of them, seek out some particular herb which they do not use as food, and which possesses a medicinal quality, exactly suited to the complaint; whereas, the whole college of physicians will dispute for a century about the virtues of a single drug.
6. Man undertakes nothing, in which he is not more or less puzzled; and must try numberless experiments before he can bring his undertakings to any thing like perfection; even the simplest operations of domestic life, are not well performed without some experience; and the term of man's life is half wasted before he has done with his mistakes, and begins to profit by his lessons.
7. The third distinction is, that animals make no improvements; while the knowledge, and skill, and the success of man are perpetually on the increase. Animals, in all their operations, follow the first impulse of nature, or that instinct which God has implanted in them. In all they do undertake, therefore, their works are more perfect and regular than those of man.
8. But man, having been endowed with the faculty of
thinking or reasoning about what he does, is enabled by patience and industry to correct the mistakes, into which he at first falls, and to go on constantly improving. A bird's nest is, indeed, a perfect structure; yet the nest of a swallow of the nineteenth century, is not at all more commodious or elegant than those that were built amid the rafters of Noah's ark. But if we compare the wigwam of the savage with the temples and palaces of ancient Greece and Rome, we then shall see to what man's mistakes, rectified and improved upon, conduct him.
QUESTIONS.-1. Is man an animal? 2. What is the chief difference between him and other animals? 3. How does this appear in the construction of dwellings? 4. What is said of the mistakes of the two? 5. Of them as physicians? 6. How did the ichneumon cure itself from the bite of a snake? (See p. 62) 7. What difference do you perceive in respect to their improvements? 8. Where are Greece and Rome?
What words in the first and third Verses. are often unarticulated? What inflection at bee, second verse? (Rule VI. Les V.) Why a rising inflection at architects, fourth verse? How do you account for the italicized words and phrases in this lesson?
SPELL AND DEFINE-1. BRIBED, hired to do a base act. 2. IMPOSTOR, one who imposes on others; a deceiver. 3. ASSIZES, an English court originally, an assembly of knights, &c. 4. STIMULATED urged on to action. 5. PLAINTIFF, a complainant; one who commences a suit before a tribunal. 6. PRECARIOUS, doubtful and uncertain. 7. EXCEPT, to object to. 8. ADDUCED, brought forward. 9. DEFOSED, declared upon oath. 10. SOPHISTRY, false reasoning. 11. VER'DICT, the decision of a jury.
ANECDOTE OF SIR MATTHEW HALE.
1. A GENTLEMAN who possessed an estate worth about five hundred pounds a year, in the eastern part of England, had two sons. The elder, being of a rambling disposition, went abroad. After several years, his father died; when the younger son, destroying his will, seized upon the estate. He gave out that his elder brother was dead, and bribed false witnesses to attest the truth of it.
2. In the course of time, the elder brother returned; but came home in destitute circumstances. His younger brother repulsed him with scorn, and told him that he was an impostor. He asserted that his real brother was dead long