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whip, that drove them headlong down the path on the other side of the eminence, and then followed his example.
The pedler entered the thicket with a little caution, and avoided as much as possible, rustling or breaking the branches in his way. There was but time only to shelter his person from view, when a dragoon led up the ascent, and on reaching the height, he cried aloud
“I saw one of their horses turning the hill this minute.”
“ Drive on, spur forward, my lads,” shouted Mason ; “ give the Englishman quarter, but cut down the pedler, and make an end of him.” · Henry felt his companion gripe his arm hard, as he listened in a great tremor to this cry, which was followed by the passage of a dozen horsemen, with a vigour and speed that showed too plainly how little security their over-tired steeds could have afforded them.
“ Now,” said the pedler, rising from his cover to reconnoitre, and standing for a moment in suspense, “ all that we gain is clear gain; for, as we go up, they go down. Let us be stirring."
“ But will they not follow us, and surround this mountain ?" said Henry, rising and imitating the laboured but rapid progress of his companion: “remember they have foot as well as horse, and at any rate we shall starve in the hills.”
“ Fear nothing, Captain Wharton," returned the pedler, with confidence; "this is not the mountain that I would be on, but necessity has made me a dexterous pilot among these hills. I will lead you where no man will dare to follow. See, the sun is already setting behind the tops of the western mountains, and it will be two hours to the rising of the moon. Who, think you, will follow us far, on a November night, among these rocks and precipices ?”
“ But listen!" exclaimed Henry; “ the dragoons are shouting to each other--they miss us already."
“Come to the point of this rock, and you may see them,” said Harvey, composedly setting himself down to rest.“ Nay, they can see us — notice, they are pointing up with their fingers. There ! one has fired his pistol, but the distance is too great for even a musket to carry, upwards.”
“ They will pursue us," cried the impatient Henry; " let us be moving."
“ They will not think of such a thing," returned the pedler, picking the chickerberries that grew on the thin soil where he sat, and very deliberately chewing them, leaves and all, to refresh his mouth. “What progress could they make here, in their boots and spurs, with their long swords, or even pistols ? No, no— they may go back and turn out the foot : but the horse pass through these defiles, when they can keep the saddle, with fear and trembling. Come, follow me, Captain Wharton; we have a troublesome march before us, but I will bring you where none will think of venturing this night.”
So saying, they both arose, and were soon hid from view, amongst the rocks and caverns of the mountain.
The Puritans of New England.
The first years of the residence of the Puritans in America, were years of great hardship and affliction. It is an error to suppose, that this short season of distress was not promptly followed by abundance and happiness. The people were full of afflictions, and the objects of love were around them. They struck root in the soil immediately. They enjoyed religion. They were, from the first, industrious, and enterprising, and frugal; and affluence followed of course. When persecution ceased in England, there were already in New England “thousands who would not change their place of abode for any other in the world;" and they were tempted in vain with invitations to the Bahama Isles, to Ireland, to Jamaica, to Trinidad.
The purity of morals completes the picture of colonial felicity. “As Ireland will not brook venomous beasts, so will not that land vile livers.” One might dwell there “ from year to year, and not see a drunkard, or hear an oath, or meet a beggar.” The conse. quence was universal health—one of the chief elements of public happiness.
The average duration of life in New England, compared with Europe, was doubled; and the human race was so vigorous, that, of all who were born into the world, more than two in ten, full four in nineteen, attained the age of seventy. Of those who lived beyond ninety, the proportion, as compared with European tables of longevity, was still more remarkable.
I have dwelt. the longer on the character of the early Puritans of New England, for they are the parents of one-third the whole white population of the United States. In the first ten or twelve years—and there was never afterwards any considerable increase from England - we have seen, that there came over twenty-one thousand two hundred persons, or four thousand families. Their descendants are now not far from four millions. Each family has multiplied on the average to one thousand souls. To New York and Ohio, where they constitute half the population, they have carried the Puritan system of free schools; and their example is spreading it through the civilized world.
Historians have loved to eulogize the manners and virtues, the glory and the benefits, of chivalry. Puritanism accomplished for mankind far more. If it had the sectarian crime of intolerance, chivalry had the vices of dissoluteness. The knights were brave from gallantry of spirit; the Puritans from the fear of God. The knights did homage to monarchs, in whose smile they beheld honour, whose rebuke was the wound of disgrace; the Puritans, disdaining ceremony, would not bow at the name of Jesus, nor bend the knee to the King of Kings.
Chivalry delighted in outward show, favoured pleasure, multiplied amusements, and degraded the human race by an exclusive respect for the privileged classes. Puritanism bridled the passions, commended the
virtues of self-denial, and rescued the name of man from dishonour. The former valued courtesy, the latter justice. The former adorned society by graceful refinements, the latter founded national grandeur on universal education. The institutions of chivalry were subverted by the gradually increasing weight, and knowledge, and opulence of the industrious classes; the Puritans, rallying upon those classes, planted in their hearts the undying principles of democratic liberty.
Charucter of Washington.
The person of Washington was commanding, grace. ful, and fitly proportioned; his stature six feet, his chest broad and full, his limbs long and somewhat slender, but well shaped and muscular. His features were regular and symmetrical, his eyes of a light blue colour, and his whole countenance, in its quiet state, was grave, placid, and benignant. When alone, or not engaged in conversation, he appeared sedate and thoughtful; but when his attention was excited, his eye kindled quickly, and his face beamed with animation and intelligence.
He was not fluent in speech, but what he said was apposite and listened to with the more interest as being known to come from the heart. He seldom attempted sallies of wit or humour, but no man received more