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strong under-current, was hurried away by it, and unable to rise to the surface. What an age it seemed before I shook my head above the water; and, when I did so, I found the stream had already swept me a considerable distance from the canoe, and more into the middle of the current.
Courage !” shouted the captain of the boat's crew.
" Are there any alligators ?" I cried.
“Oh no,” said he, laughing encouragingly; and in a few minutes I reached the bank, and, by a desperate effort, threw myself on a bed of mud, from which I emerged darker in hue than our sable boatmen.
At about nine in the evening we arrived at Cruces, the place where the water-carriage ceases; and, proceeding to the “ head inn," I pleased myself with visions of a good dinner, and a refreshing night's rest, preparatory to the ride of thirty miles onward to Panama on the day following. Alas, that our waking visions should so often prove no less illusory than our dreams of the night!
The head inn was not a dwelling for either feasting or repose : the room into which I was shown to rest for the night was furnished with two grass hammocks, suspended from the rafters, and exactly resembling a large net made from the tough, variegated grasses of South America, the meshes being about the size, and the net-work about the strength and substance, of an ordinary cabbage-net. I stretched myself in one of these, and had just begun to enter the realms of Somnus, when I was startled by the shrill crowing of a cock within a yard of my ear. This was followed by another, and another crow, and anon half-a-dozen throats were screaming defiance at one and the same moment. The noise in so confined a place was absolutely painful, and, jumping out of the hammock, I discovered that there were eight fighting cocks, each tied by the leg, in the four corners, and in the centre of the four sides of the room.
We cannot afford to be very particular on board ship as to noise, and by long habit, we sleep through the scrubbing decks, or the tramp of a hundred men immediately overhead; indeed, I have known a man sleep undisturbed by a salute of cannon fired on the deck above him; but the screaming of eight fighting cocks, with the accompaniment of flapping of wings, and struggling to free themselves, was beyond even a sailor's powers of
somnolency, and I rushed into the open air in despair.
I may remark that the love of cock-fighting among the Creole Spaniards amounts to a passion. At Santa Martha and Carthagena, and other places, I have seen heavy sums change hands at cock-fights; and judging from the living ornaments of my sleeping apartment, the passion for this species of amusement must have been equally strong at Cruces.
As soon as I found my friend the merchant, he very kindly acceded to my desire to proceed to Panama that night. It having become known that we intended to cross, four or five Spanish travellers requested to join us; and, after some delay in procuring mules and a guide, our cavalcade left the head inn, and took the road to Panama.
It was a lovely night; the full moon literally flooded the landscape with her splendor; but after riding about a mile from Cruces, we entered upon the actual road, and there the trees, and banks, and excavated rocks on either side, so perfectly excluded the moon's rays, that it was impossible to see the road, which was in a most ruinous state, never having been repaired since it was first made by the Spaniards some fifty years before. At one moment the mule was stumbling over a heap of stones, which the torrent of the rainy season had piled together; and the next, he plunged into the hole from which they had been dislodged. Of course our progress was very slow, and at seven o'clock in the morning we were still ten miles from Panama, having been eight hours travelling the twenty miles from Cruces.
As the road up to this time had been almost one continued lane, running between banks more or less steep, I considered there could be no danger of missing the party if I dismounted to refresh myself, by bathing my face in a clear brook which rippled across the road. I was rather behind the rest, and my stopping was not observed by any one, for all were jaded and silent with the tedious and laborious journey of the night. Having finished my ablutions, I endeavored to push on to overtake the cavalcade; and, although I could not see any of them, I concluded that it was simply some turn of the road which concealed them from my sight. The beast I rode, however, was either knocked up, or had never been accustomed to any pace faster than a walk. In vain I coaxed
A TRIP ACROSS THE ISTHMUS.
or flogged him; flagellation seemed rather to retard than accelerate his movements; in vain I struck the spurs, with rowels the size of penny-pieces, into his ribs; I might as well have spurred a rhinoceros, for out of a deliberate walk he would not move. After travelling about a mile in this way, I came to a large, open plain nearly surrounded by a wood. I looked in all direciions, but could discover no trace, not even the print of a hoof, from which I might judge which way my companions had gone. But as the sagacity of the mule is by some wise man said to be equal to his obstinacy, I threw the reins upon the neck of mine, and suffered him to “ go his own way;" and he, crossing the plain in a straight line, entered the wood. At first the trees were so thick, and the branches so interwoven, that it was difficult to force a passage; but after a while the wood became more open, and having proceeded so far as to have lost all chance of finding the way out again, the mule suddenly stopped on the brink of a very extensive marsh, muddy and overgrown with rushes. The spot upon which he stood was clear, and the grass excellently good, to judge by the avidity with which my quadruped attacked it. I dismounted, and paused for some time, revolving in my mind what was to be done. I was hemmed in by the wood, except where it was bounded by the marsh, and to return to the forest again would be only to get into a labyrinth from which I might never be able to extricate my. self. Therefore I resolved to cross the marsh if possible, and to climb to the top of a mountain I saw in the distance, and from the summit of which I calculated I must see the city of Panama. In execution of this purpose, I loosed from the mule's neck a rope, which I used as a tether when those animals halt to graze on a journey; and, fastening one end of it to his neck, and the other round my arm, I drove him into the marsh, which no effort of mine could make him enter whilst I remained on his back. The first plunge into the stagnant morass was as deep as my waist, and I had not gone twenty yards when my feet became so fettered by the rushes that I lost my balance and fell at full length. Before I could recover my footing the mule had turned to the place we had left, and, being a large, powerful brute, he dragged me after him like a wellhooked salmon; and in his final bound to regain the bank, the rope broke, and he trotted
out of reach and resumed his breakfast, casting a sly glance at me, as much as to say, “ I hope you are refreshed by your cold bath.”
I now felt in a perfect dilemma; for the valise containing the dispatches was strapped behind the saddle, and all my efforts to catch the mule were ineffectual. Whenever I approached, his heels were ready to launch out; and if in desperation I rushed at him, he bounded off with an inconceivable agility and force, until at length I was fairly exhausted; and spreading my cloak upon the grass I endeavored to collect my thoughts, and to realize if possible the true nature of my position. In the course of my experience I have been often struck with the difference of the state of mind under the prospect of immediate, and apparently inevitable death, and when the prospect of death is not so immediate, and apparently inevitable. I recollect, for example, being once wrecked ; and when, in half an hour after, the vessel struck, she began to fill, and death appeared unavoidable—the boats being either washed away, or destroyed by the falling masts; the water increasing more and more in the hold; and there appearing not a doubt but all hands must perish. On that occasion I found it impracticable to fix my mind for three minutes together—my imagination was so busy catching at straws, that it was impossible to collect my thoughts and meditate soberly; but now, as I lay on the grass, in the wild forest, I could deliberately plan, reject, and replan, with the thoughts perfectly under control. Not but the possibility of death crossed my mind; for the want of rest in the canoe, the tedious journey of the night, and lack of any refreshment since the afternoon of the preceding day, made me doubt whether I should be equal to crossing the marsh, climbing the distant mountain, and then walking some ten or a dozen miles to Panama; if even I could contemplate the idea of leaving the valise containing the dispatches, on the chance of its being recovered afterwards. This, however, I felt I could never have done. We admire the heroism of the soldier who, when he was picked up dead upon the field, was found to have the colors he had borne stuffed into his bosom ; but I believe that the same spirit is very general amongst men accustomed to military life, and subjected to military discipline. L'esprit du corps' is the ruling principle, before which life and all other considerations become secondary.
Hence it was that I felt I could not abandon the dispatches intrusted to me, whatever else I might do.
I suppose I had lain thus for half an hour, when I was suddenly roused from my reverie by an exclamation of surprise, and a man's voice, demanding who I was, and what had brought me there. I started to my feet, and before me sat, on a stout Spanish pony, a muleteer. I soon made him understand my position, when, in an incredibly short time, he secured my mule, shifted my saddle on to his own pony, being, as he politely said, the more pleasant animal of the two for me to ride, and mounting the mule bimself-which, by the way, appeared perfectly to comprehend the difference between his present and his late rider, he led the way through the mazy intricacies of the wood, and brought me out on the Panama road, at the distance of about three leagues from the city.
The honest muleteer explained to me, as we rode along, that the situation in which he had found me was one of great peril ; for, independently of there being no habitation but his own, which was several miles distant, near to the wood, he said I might have remained in the forest forever, and no one would ever have thought of seeking for me there; and indeed this was confirmed, for, as we approached_the city, we met several persons on horseback who had been sent out in search of me; but they declared that they would not have ventured to enter the wood, for fear of the hanging snakes with which it was said to be infested. My deliverer, it appeared, was a breeder of mules ;
one of which animals having strayed the night before, he thought it was just possible it might have entered the wood, and in seeking for his lost mule he fortunately discovered me.
There is nothing particularly imposing or striking in the appearance of Panama, as approached by the Cruces road. The country is flat and uncultivated, and the city resembles most other cities built by the Spaniards in those countries-large, heavy-looking houses, built of stone, without any attempt at architectural ornament; but there is an esplanade, upon which the beautiful brunettes promenade, the head uncovered, and the jetty hair, floating in rich, unconfined luxuriance, save where the wearer prefers the braid; and then it hangs in three or more pendants, which often nearly brush the tiny feet, clothed in their satin shoes.
The city of Panama is a comparative wreck of what it must once have been; but the magnificent bay is alone worth travelling across the isthmus to see. The sea almost always maintains its name of • Pacific, and looks like a gigantic parterre; whilst the numerous islands with which the bay is studded resemble so many flower-beds—ever blooming, ever lovely. I will not take the reader with me to visit some of these gems of the ocean, nor will I detain him to inspect with me the process of making the curious gold chains, for which Panama is celebrated, and many other curious things I saw; but merely add, that, after ten days' residence, I left the city at the peep of day, and on the following noon was on board my ship, having bathed in the two seas within forty-eight hours.
À PASSAGE FROM
B BACCALAUREATE OF PROF. J. H. AGNEW, OF THE UNIV. OF MICH. THE LAY OF THE WOUNDED HEART.
FAME is one of the universal aspirations of youth ; literary or professional fame, of educated youth; and this is truly a higher fame than that whose trumpet is all of silver and her crown of gold. When the ardent youth hears the plaudit-notes of Fame sounding the praises of some favorite, and filling the ears of listening multitudes with his name, the inner depths of his spirit are stirred; he pants after the same notoriety, and courts the smiles of the goddess,
in hopes that she may crown him with a like glory and point him out to an admiring world.
In some, the aspiration reaches no higher than to occupy the same niche in her temple with Sam Patch. Others seek to become famous by perpetrating deeds which should mantle their cheeks with shame, and will doubtless secure them the seat of honor beside their father, the Devil, who, for his rebellion, lost heaven and became the master spirit of hell.
Others, again, hear Fame's artillery thundering in the skies, and the shout of exultation going up from the people, as they read on her floating banners, " Victory, Conquest, Military Renown," and their fancy leads them to some battle-field of bloody strife, on which they win the glory of a scar, and return to exhibit it to a gazing populace.
And yet another class with interest deep watch the march of Fame, as, in purer robes, and with softer, lute-like music, she conducts one of her literary favorites to a white throne in her temple, and records his name where the wise and good of every age shall read and admire. "Ah me!" sighs the student, “ shall I ever attain that pinnacle and have my name recorded on the memory of the living of successive generations ?” "Fame is a sweet self-homage, an offering grateful to the idol, A spiritual nectar for the spiritual thirst, a mental food for
minds." There is a blameless love of fame, founded on a consciousness of worth and a regard for
justice, differing in toto from that feverish longing for notoriety which oft accompanies idleness and vanity. Genuine fame is of slow growth, and ere it shoot up into the skies like a tall, green palm tree, must be dug about with toil, and, may be, matured with tears.
Be, then, studious, thoughtful, upright, conscientious, well-deserving of your race, and your fame will grow with your growth. When real merit walks in the sunlight, fame is its shadow. Envy, indeed, will be very likely to parade in the rear, with sneering aspect, criticising both the substance and the shadow ; but close your ears against her malignity, nor turn about to mark her mockery. The discerning will make a just comparison, and render to both their desert.
“Be without place or power," says Heinselmann, “though others beg their way up; endure the anguish of unfulfilled hopes, though others realize theirs by flattery; forego the warm pressure of the hand for which others cringe and crawl.”
THE LAY OF THE WOUNDED HEART.
BY FRANCIS C. WOODWORTH.
Oh, chide me not for weeping!
She's still the same to me, Though she has long been sleeping
Beneath the willow tree.
Falls sadly on my ear-
A spell so strong, so dear.
The heart's first, warmest flame ? That heart enshrine another,
And still love on the same ? Say not, she early perished,
As flowers in autumn die ; Say not the form I cherished
Dwells where her ashes lie.
That loved one, who before me
Flew to her native sky, Is bending fondly o'er me,
As in bright years gone by. How thin the curtain hiding
The spirit world from me! How oft, like shadows gliding,
That cherished form I see! My God! I thank thee ever,
That friends so fond and Not e'en the grave can sever,
Or shroud from human view.
No! oft when tears are flowing,
As tears are flowing now, And Life's chi winds are blowing
Fiercely upon my brow,
Now comes she near and nearer;
Welcome, my spirit bride! Methinks she should be dearer
Than erst before she died. What though she has been sleeping
Long 'neath the willow tree, Yet chide me not for weeping
She's still the same to me.
BY A. H. M.
Alas! thy days on earth are nearly ended,
Thy voice rings hollow, while upon thy cheek The hectic flush, with marble paleness blended,
Of shroud and coffin, and the red worm speak !
Oft have I listened to thy midnight moaning,
And deemed it strange that one so young in years Should suffer thus, as though for crimes atoning
Crimes dark and fearful, sealed with blood and tears.
But thou art in the morn of thy existence ;
Thy hands are stainless, and thy guiltless soul To evil thoughts hath shown a prompt resistance,
Nor ever yielded to their base control.
Oh, hard it is in life's delightful morning,
To view thy skies a sudden shadow wear! And harshly grates the unwelcome notes of warning,
Which bids thus early for the tomb prepare.
The sweets of life had only just been tasted ;
Thy young heart leaped with joy at every breath; But ah, how soon its energies are wasted,
And thou art called to yield up all to death!
Yet He whose chastening hand is laid upon thee,
Hath for thee some high purpose to fulfill; Distrust not, though 'tis out of sight beyond thee,
And though He wounds, believe He loves thee still.
But thou shalt leave no vain regrets behind thee
No time misspent, no duties left undone;
Calm shall thine end be when thy race is run.
Then thy pure spirit, freed from earth's dominions,
Shall gladly leave this cumbrous load of clay, While angel bands, on bright seraphic pinions,
To brighter realms shall guide thee far away.
There with unclouded brightness shining o'er thee,
Shalt thou thy Saviour's loving kindness prove; Shall join with thousands who have gone before thee,
To swell the anthem of redeeming love.