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Another instance may be added, which certainly testifies to the fact that the red man is in no want of sagacity. It was late one Saturday night, when a chief arrived in his canoe, with furs, which were immediately given to his trader. He was told to call the next morning, and receive his pay; the trader not remembering that it would be the Sabbath. The next morning, he went to the store. The trader happening to stand by, said to him, 'It is Sunday, and you see my door is shut. We worship the Great Spirit to-day, and do not work nor sell goods.' 'O! ho!' said the Indian and went off. In a short time, he came running back. Round the point,' said he, are Indians, with a great many furs; their canoes are almost sinking.' The trader, anxious to obtain them, did not hesitate to follow. When they passed round the point, 'Do you see nothing?' said the chief. Why, no!' was the reply. Well,' he continued with an arch look, 'I thought it was Sunday!' The rebuke was felt.
The population of Mackinac consists of about five or six hundred inhabitants. There are two churches, Presbyterian and Catholic. The latter sect are most numerous, and have also a settlement and a church at Point St. Ignac, on the main land, five miles distant. Fort Mackinac has been occupied, until within a year or two, and stands at present in solitary grandeur, commanding a fine view of the town, islands, and lake around, with a single 'mortal engine' thrusting its 'rude throat' over its high walls. Fort Homes, erected and occupied by the British, during the late war, stood in the rear of the present fort, on a height of ground. Remains of the old fort may yet be seen. Possession of this height, by an enemy, is all that would be necessary to batter down the walls of the present garrison, without much resistFrom this point, the eye can follow the whole circuit of the shore. In this vicinity, may be seen the rock denominated Sugar Loaf,' from the resemblance to the form in which that article is commonly put up. This appearance is perfect only from one side, the other being rough and unshapen. Not a great distance from this, is the celebrated Arch-rock, often described by visitors. The rock forming the natural bridge over the great arch, is crumbling away. In times past, it was considered something of a feat to cross this bridge; but of late, it is dangerous. Capt. MARRYAT however, in his visit to the place, crossed it, but not without imminent peril.
In the same vicinity, is the rocky point called Robinson's Folly,' where a British officer built his bower, and had not left it many moments, before the rock gave way, and fell into the lake below. From this place, the light-house upon Bois Blanc, twelve miles distant, might be seen, before it was blown down during a storm, in the autumn of 1837. In clear summer nights, when the lamps were lighted, a beautiful specimen of the phenomena of looming was here observed. On these beautiful evenings, amid the deep stillness of every thing around, may be heard the jolly song of the boatman, as he 'paddles his light canoe;' and here and there, upon the moon-lit shore, may be seen the dusky form of a red man, as he stands beside the frail lodge which shelters all that is left for him to love, from midnight damps and dews.
If the summer season and summer nights, however, present more of the romantic and beautiful of earth, winter and winter evenings
present nobler objects to the view, in the glowing stars, the milky-way, and the brilliant northern lights; all doubly luminous here; so that, notwithstanding the deprivation a winter's sojourner is obliged to undergo, in the absence of business, pleasure, or rich scenery, he is more than compensated by the unusual beauty of more magnificent scenes, in the brighter regions of the heavens.
F. W. S,
FROM KITTEN HAWTEN, AN UNPUBLISHED POEM, BY J. H. BRIGHT, ESQ,
SPIRIT of Cowardice, I do adore thee!
If that thou art a spirit, I would fall
Prone on my face; thus worshipping before thee,
Hope of the scoundrel, guardian of the weak,
How sweet the consolation thou dost speak,
Of good or bad alike to be the tool;
Thou too art sinews to the nerveless arm,
Lest carping fools should deem they were afraid to fight!
I oft have thought how rich the consolation
To her whom fate had given an only son,
To learn, through some kind friend or near relation,
And then to read in the next daily sheet,
And whether thou sing of her mountains stupendous,
A DAY AT RAVENNA.
BY THE AUTHOR OF LOVE IN A LAZZARET,' IN THE DECEMBER NUMBE K.
On a gloomy evening, I found myself crossing the broad plains. contiguous to the ancient city of Ravenna. These extensive fields serve chiefly for pasturing, and their monotonous aspect is only diversified by a few stunted trees and patches of rice. Nearer the Adriatic, however, the eye is relieved by the appearance of a noble forest of pines, which extends for the space of several miles along the shore. The branches of these trees, as is common in Italy, have been, by repeated trimmings, concentrated at the top; and most of them being lofty, a complete canopy is formed, beneath which one walks in that woodland twilight so peculiar and impressive. The effect is enhanced here, by the vicinity of the sea, whose mournful anthem or soothing music mingles with the wind-hymns of the forest aisles. As we emerged from a magnificent church that stands in the midst of this solitude, the interior columns of which were transported from Constantinople, no living object disturbed the profound repose of the scene, but a group of fine cattle, instinctively obeying the intimations of nature, and slowly returning to their domiciles. I found no difficulty in realizing that this scenery, when arrayed in the dreamy influences of such an hour, should prove congenial to the poetic mood, and wondered not that Byron, during his long residence at Ravenna,
found so much pleasure in coursing through this quiet country, and along the adjacent shore.
The old city, like Venice, to whose triumphant arms, after so many fierce wars, it was at last subjected, rose from the marshes, and, although apparently at a considerable distance from the sea, presents, even at the present day, abundant indications of its marine foundation; and among them, the traveller observes with regret the obliterating traces of a humid air, in the discolored and corroded frescos of the churches. One of the most valuable of these, however, has been singularly well preserved, considering that it has withstood the combined effects of dampness and removal from its original position; a process involving no little risk. This beautiful specimen is at present fixed in the sacristy of the cathedral. It represents the angel visiting Elijah in the desert; and dimmed as are its tints, by time and moisture, no one can gaze upon the sweet face of the angel, radiant with youth, and contrast it with the calm, aged countenance and gray locks of the sleeping prophet, without recognizing that peculiar grace which marks the creations of Guido. Happily, some of the most ancient vestiges of art discoverable at Ravenna, exist in the more durable form of mosaics. Several of the churches, but particularly the baptistry, and the sepulchral chamber of Galla Placida, are completely lined with this curious species of painting, evidently of the most primitive order.
But by far the finest antiquity, is the edifice called the Rotunda, which, like almost every similar relic in Italy, with equal disregard to taste and propriety, is fitted up as a modern church. This building is the mausoleum of Theodoric. It is without the walls, and approached through an avenue of poplars, whose yellow leaves rustled beneath our feet, or whirled in wild eddies over the grass. The cloudy sky and the solitude of the spot were also favorable to the associations of the scene. The form of the structure is circular, and the dome is considered a curiosity, from being constructed from a single piece of marble. It is likewise remarkable, that all attempts to drain the water which has collected beneath the building, have proved fruitless. A flight of steps leads to the interior, which has long since been denuded of its ornaments; and the porphyry sarcophagus which surmounted the structure, and contained the ashes of Theodoric, had been removed and imbedded in the walls of the old building supposed to have been his palace. I could not but remark, as I afterward noted this ancient urn, the singular combination which seems to attend memorials of past greatness. The side presented to view, was covered with the notices of public sales and amusements; a purpose which it had evidently long subserved, while the mansion itself has been converted into a wine magazine.
The fortifications of Ravenna, which were obviously constructed on no ordinary scale, have fallen into decay. Traces of but two of the many towers designated on the old charts, are discoverable; and a city, whose obstinate and prolonged conflicts with the Venitian republic are alone sufficient to vindicate the warlike character of its ancient inhabitants, now furnishes the most meagre evidences of former activity and prowess. The few soldiers now seen in its deserted streets, serve not, alas! to defend the town, or enlarge its pos
sessions, but minister to the ignoble purpose of draining its wretched inhabitants of their scanty resources. About three miles from one of the gates, a column commemorates the fate of Guy De Foix. This brave knight, notwithstanding his extreme youth, had won so high a reputation for invincible courage and address, that he was intrusted with the command of the French troops, then struggling for the possession of Italy. When De Foix attacked Ravenna, it was vigorously defended by Antonio Colonna, who, in anticipation of his design, had entrenched himself with an effective force within the walls. After a warm conflict on the ramparts, the crumbling remnants of which still attest their former extent and massive workmanship, during which not less than fifteen hundred men perished in the space of four hours, the invaders were compelled to withdraw. At the instant the young commander was rallying his troops for a second assault, he was informed of the approach of the general army. They were soon fortified about three miles from the town, and the French warrior found himself in a situation sufficiently critical to damp the ardor of the besttried valor. Before him was his old enemy, of whose prowess he had just received the most signal proof, and near by, a fresh and vigorous army, while his position was utterly destitute of those accommodations requisite to recruit his forces, or afford the necessary provisions either for men or horses.
In this exigency, he formed the resolution to force the army to a general conflict. Unfortunately for the stations, the leader of their Spanish allies differed from the other officers as to the course expedient to be adopted; the one party wishing to remain within the entrenchments, the other advocating a general rally and open attack. The former prevailed. The adverse armies continued to cannonade each for a considerable time, and the balance of success was evidently in favor of the allied army, when the Duke of Ferrara brought his highly efficient artillery to bear from a very advantageous position in flank. So unremitted and annoying was the fire, that the allies were at length obliged to rush from their entrenchments, according to the sanguine wishes of De Foix, and try the fate of an open battle. On that memorable day, the eleventh of April, 1772, occurred the most tremendous action which for a long period had taken place on the war-tried soil of Italy. As one wanders over the mouldering bastions and solitary campagnas of Ravenna, and pictures the spectacle which on that occasion was here beheld, the contrast between the retrospect and the reality is singularly impressive. The shock of the meeting of those two mighty bodies is described by the historian of the period as abounding in the awfully sublime. The action was sustained with a relentless fierceness, that soon laid the flower of both armies in the dust. More than once, the impetuous valor of the Spanish infantry threatened to decide the fortune of the day; but the Italian forces were at length compelled to fly, leaving Cardinal de Medici, other illustrious prisoners, and all their artillery and equipages, in the hands of the enemy, beside nine thousand of their number dead upon the field. The French loss was computed at still greater.
But the most lamentable event of the occasion, was the fate of their gallant leader. Flushed with victory, he pursued the panting squadrons of the fugitives with unremitted ardor, when, as he flew