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two independent versions, made by two different persons, without any communication with each other, such agreement must indicate that the versions had at least truth for their basis. The inscription selected for the purpose, a cylinder recording the achievements of Tiglath-pileser, was exceedingly well suited for a comparison of this description, as it treats of various matters, changing abruptly from one to the other, and abounds in proper names, and statements of specific facts.


Upon the receipt of this communication, the council of the Society resolved that immediate measures should be taken to carry into effect the comparison suggested by Mr Talbot, but on a more extended scale. With this view, it was determined to request Sir Henry Rawlinson, Dr Hincks, and Dr Oppert to favour the Society with translations of the same inscription, to be sent, like Mr Talbot's, under a sealed cover, so that all four might be simultaneously opened, and compared by a committee appointed for the purpose. Application having been made to the above-named gentlemen, and they having heartily responded to the views of the Society, a committee, consisting of the Dean of St Paul's, Dr Whewell, Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Mr Grote, Mr Cureton, and Professor H. H. Wilson-than whom none better adapted could have been chosenwere requested to examine, and compare the four versions of the same inscription made by four different persons, in distant places, without mutual communication; and to determine how far these versions agreed in their general sense, and in the specific meanings assigned to the words.


The four translations having been forwarded to the Society, and carefully examined by the committee, the latter, having strictly compared them, certified that the coincidences between the translations, both as to the general sense and verbal rendering, were very remarkable.' In most parts, they found a strong correspondence in the meaning assigned, and occasionally a curious identity of expression as to particular words. Where the versions differed very materially, each translator had, in many cases, marked the passage as one of doubtful or unascertained signification. In the interpretation of numbers, there was throughout a singular correspondence.'

By all the translators, the inscription was understood to relate to King Tiglath-pileser, to his campaigns, building and consecration of temples, and other royal acts; campaigns against nations bearing names mostly analogous to those known from the sacred writings, and from other ancient authorities; temples to deities with appellations bearing the same resemblance to those found in other quarters. There was a constant recurrence of these words, names, and titles, yet a sufficient variety of words to test, to a certain degree, the extent of the knowledge claimed by the translators of the sound of the words, and of the language to which the words are supposed to belong. As a specimen of the inscription, and a fair average sample of the general concurrence existing among the four translations, the following versions of the same passage, with the names of the translators, may not be altogether devoid of interest to the reader:

Rawlinson. Then I went on to the country of Comukha, which was disobedient and withheld the tribute and offerings due to Ashur my lord; I conquered the whole country of Comukha. I plundered their movables, their wealth, and their valuables. Their cities I burned with fire, I destroyed and ruined.

Talbot.-I then advanced against Kummikhi, a land of the unbelievers who had refused to pay taxes and tribute unto Ashur, my lord. The land of Kummikhi throughout all its extent I ravaged. Their women, *2 Kings, xv, 29; xvi. 7, 10.

&c., I carried off. Their cities I burned with fire, destroyed, and overthrew.

Hincks. At that time I went to a disaffected part of Qummukh, which had withheld the tribute by weight and tale belonging to Assur, my lord. I subdued the land of Qummukh as far as it extended. I brought out their women, their slaves, and their cattle; their towns I burned with fire, threw down, and dug up.

Oppert. In these days I went to the people of Dummukh, the enemy who owed tributes and gifts to the god Asur, my lord. I subdued the people of Dummukh for its punishment (?). I took away their captives, their herds, and their treasures; their cities I burnt in fire; I destroyed, I undermined them.

The mere verbal expression of the purport of the above versions is certainly as close as could reasonably be expected from four different translations of any modern language. In some instances, however, the translators admitted that certain passages were obscure, and, indeed, the values of several common Assyrian words still remain to be established. Thus, where Pileser records his hunting exploits, Rawlinson makes the game wild buffaloes; Hincks, 'wild elephants;' while Talbot, not venturing a translation, retains the original word, 'amsi.' But in the general sense of killing or taking alive wild animals of some kind or other, they are all agreed. In a dead language, and more especially in one like the Assyrian, where symbolic signs are frequently used instead of phonetic letters, it is only natural to suppose that some words and names of persons, animals, or objects would be uncertain. Still, the occasional differences among the four translators, in the mode of interpreting certain words and sentences, may be accepted as a guarantee

if such were required-of the complete fairness of the undertaking, particularly when we find that those differences are uniform; the words or sentences so varying, having the same meaning assigned to them wherever they occur. A fair example of agreement and disagreement will be found in the following several translations of the closing paragraphs of the inscription, in which imprecations are denounced upon any future monarchs who may in any way deface the stone-engraven records of the mighty Tiglath:

Rawlinson. Whoever shall injure my tablets and cylinders, or shall moisten them with water, or scorch them with fire, or expose them to the air, or in the holy place of God shall assign them a position where they cannot be seen or understood, or who shall erase the writing and inscribe his own name, or who shall divide the sculptures (?), and break them off from my tablets, Anu and Vul, the great gods my lords, let them consign his name to perdition; let them curse him with irrevocable curse; let them cause his sovereignty to perish; let them pluck out the stability of the throne of his empire.

Talbot. But he who my stone tablets and my memorial records shall injure, or shall destroy them: with water shall efface them or with fire shall consume them: or shall deface the writings: or shall write his name (instead of mine): or shall cut away the emblems or who shall break in pieces the face of my tablets: May Anu and Yen, the great gods, my lords, utterly confound him; may their curses fall upon him; may they sweep away his kingly power; may his enemies carry off his royal throne.

Hincks. He who shall hide or obliterate my tablets and my floors shall wander on the waters, shall be suspended in the fires, shall be besmeared with earth, shall be assigned by adjudication an unpleasant place in the excellent house on high. He shall survive few years, and shall write his name where some enemy shall speedily deface it, and shall have it (that is, the tablet containing it) broken against my tablets! May Anu and Iv, the great gods, my lords, energetically punish

him! and may they curse him with a destroying curse! May they depress his kingdom! may they remove the throne of his dominion.

Oppert.-He who hides or defaces my tablets, and my angular stones, who throws them into the water, who burns them with fire, who spreads them to the winds, who transports them to the house of death, to a place without life, who steals the cylinders (?), who engraves on them his name, and . . . . who injures my tablets: May Anu and Ao, the great gods, my lords, load his name with infamy; may they curse him with the worst imprecations! May they subdue his sister; may they deport the districts of his kingdom.

Upon the whole, the result of this very curious experiment-than which a fairer test could not, in all probability, be devised-may be considered as estab-improve the hedge. lishing, almost definitely, the correctness of the valuation of the characters of the Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions; and though it be quite possible that further researches may find something to alter or to add, still the greater portion, if not the whole of those remarkable records, may now be read with entire confidence. The almost invariable concurrence of the translators in the general sense, proves that they are agreed to give the same interpretation to the greater portion of the vocabulary. At the same time, the differences shew that a good deal remains to be effected ere the sense of every individual term can be confidently rendered. Where so much, however, has been accomplished in so short a period, and under such extraordinary difficulties, there surely is every reason to hope that the remaining uncertainties will ultimately and speedily be overcome. At all events, the ancient Assyrian language, with its grotesque, arrow-headed character, so inexplicable but a few years past, is, at the present time, nothing more than an unravelled mystery.


THE MISLETOE-BOUGH. EVERY Occupier in London, whether of house, floor, or attic, strains a point at Christmas to adorn his sashes and mantel-pieces with holly; and the hook in the ceiling, suggestive of a chandelier, but generally used to support the fly-trap, bears at this season the misletoe, and renders even the otherwise drear and chilly two-pair back a scene, for the time, of cheerfulness and mirth.

As to the demand and supply, no one troubles himself to consider from whence these masses of green stuff come. If the question is asked, the reply is prompt: Petty larceny and the suburbs of the metropolis.' This appears to be the conviction of all. Now, the larceny must be pretty extensive, as well as the suburbs, to supply our wants in this respect; and if even the churches alone depended on these sources, ill-fated Clapham and Haverstock Hill would have a rare time of it, and Leicester Square would soon surpass them in rural appearance and verdure.

But if we give the subject a moment's consideration, our curiosity will be awakened, and we shall be sent further afield, in quest of more extensive areas from whence to draw our Christmas garnishings than those so commonly suggested. Our supply of holly and misletoe does not come 'promiscuously;' it is a matter of commerce, and, as such, is regulated by the same rules and precise arrangements as the other branches of our commercial economy. Our requirements in this particular are as surely anticipated and carefully calculated as any other of our social wants; and the metropolitan supply of what is generally described by the general term of Christmas,' is as zealously cared for as the providing of our Christmas beef or summer strawberries. No deficiency is ever felt no residue is left. The supply is adjusted to the demand, and the trade is of sufficient importance to engage men of capital and business minds; and thus

at a given time, and at a cheap rate, our sashes and mantel-pieces receive their due.

The south-western counties supply a goodly proportion of our Christmas; a considerable quantity comes even from Wales; large quantities from the neighbourhood of Bromley, Seven Oaks, and Maidstone. The weald of Kent also furnishes its quota; railways are called to lend a hand; and at length the mighty mass arrives at market, fresh, and but few berries the worse.

Market-gardeners, and others connected with London markets, tempted by the certain sale, keep a watchful eye during the year on all shrubberies, ready at a moment's notice to drive a bargain; and at the same time, in all probability, from prudent thinning, to

Small hucksters range the country some time before Christmas, and bargain for holly, as it stands, to be cut and cleared at their convenience. These, in their turn, sell to larger dealers, who consign to their London customers; and thus, through divers channels, and wheels within wheels, we decorate our sashes and our mantel-shelves.

It is holly-morning at Covent Garden. The Tuesday before Christmas is sacred to the work. During the whole of the preceding night, wagons have been pouring in from all quarters, until every avenue to the market is choked up. Bedford Street and James Street are alone set apart for the vehicles of buyers. Every other nook and corner is jammed and crammed with carts and wagons, piled up as high as the second-floor windows with stacks of green-stuff.

In some parts, to save space, wagons are backed to the kerb, and are wedged together the whole length of the street; and with other contradictory arrangements, and no arrangements at all, a stranger, once within the meshes of the evergreen labyrinth, has but one thing to care for-and that is, how to find his way out.

St Paul's clock has chimed four-in a pitch-dark morning-and the ball opens in earnest. The eager salesmen stalk round the green stacks, flashing links fixed to the top of twelve-feet poles, and loudly descanting on the quality of their loads. Compared with theirs, the eloquence of Cheap Jacks and George Robinses sink into insignificance. They are assisted by two small boys, indispensable to every load, who are perched aloft on the stacks, and whose business it is to fish up, with long sticks, tempting bunches, which they hold out on end, with loud yells, and so serve to illustrate the florid statements of the salesman below. Amongst the buyers are found a large sprinkling of the fair sex, and these in nowise the most incapable of driving shrewd and hard bargains. At this time of the year, shops open later than usual. Husbands have taken the late trade and shutting-up business, whilst wives retire early, and take the morning market.

The bunches are bundled and weighed, and both the quantity of berries ascertained and the consequent freshness of the stuff; and it would excite no small surprise in the mind of a novice to see the amount of hard bargaining involved in the sale of that which many people believe may be had for the trouble of asking.

Loads of misletoe come to market worth thirty pounds each. The retail price ranges from one shilling and sixpence to three half-crowns per bunch; holly from ninepence to three shillings per bundle. Prices vary, of course, each season, dependent on the abundance or scarcity of the articles. The present season has been a prolific one, and prices have ruled accordingly.

It is now near seven o'clock, and the exhortations of the salesmen, the yells of the boys, the murmur of the crowd, and the imprecations of the porters as they endeavour to urge their heavy loads through the living

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'By Gor! Massr George,' rejoined the black with emphatic earnestness, 'I swar I see 'im-'twant no daloosyun, I see-'twar eytha Yell' Jake or 'im ghost.' 'Impossible!'

'Den, massr, ef't be unpossible, it am de troof. Sure as da gospel, I see Yell' Jake; he fire at you from ahind tha gum-tree. Den I fire at 'im. Sure, Massr George, you hear boaf de two shot?'

"True; I heard two shots, or fancied I did.' 'Gollys! massr, da wa'nt no fancy 'bout 'em. Whugh! no-da dam raskel he fire, sure. Lookee da, Massr George! What I say? Lookee da!'

We had been advancing towards the pond, and were now close to the magnolia under whose shade I had slept. I observed Jake in a stooping attitude under the tree, and pointing to its trunk. I looked in the direction indicated. Low down, on the smooth bark, I saw the score of a bullet. It had creased the tree, and passed onward. The wound was green and fresh, the sap still flowing. Beyond doubt, I had been fired at by some one, and missed only by an inch. The leaden missile must have passed close to my head where it rested upon the valise-close to my ears, too, for I now remembered that almost simultaneously with the first report, I had heard the wheep' of a bullet.

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'Now, you b'lieve um, Massr George?' interposed the black with an air of confident interrogation. Now you b'lieve dat dis chile see no daloosyun?' 'Certainly, I believe that I have been shot at by


some one

'Yell' Jake, Massr George! Yell' Jake, by Gor!' earnestly asseverated my companion. 'I seed da yaller raskel plain's I see dat log afore me.' 'Yellow skin or red skin, we can't shift our quarters too soon. Give me the rifle: I shall keep watch while you are saddling. Haste, and let us be gone!'

I speedily reloaded the piece; and, placing myself behind the trunk of a tree, turned my eyes in that direction whence the shot must have come. The black brought the horses to the rear of my position, and proceeded with all dispatch to saddle them, and buckle on our impedimenta.

I need not say that I watched with anxiety-with fear. Such a deadly attempt proved that a deadly enemy was near, whoever he might be. The supposition that it was Yellow Jake was too preposterous. I, of course, ridiculed the idea. I had been an eyewitness of his certain and awful doom; and it would have required stronger testimony than even the solemn declaration of my companion, to have given me faith either in a ghost or a resurrection. I had been fired

at-that fact could not be questioned-and by some one, whom my follower-under the uncertain light of the gloomy forest, and blinded by his fears-had taken for Yellow Jake. Of course this was a fancy-a mistake as to the personal identity of our unknown enemy. There could be no other explanation.

Ha! why was I at that moment dreaming of him— of the mulatto? And why such a dream? If I were to believe the statement of the black, it was the very realisation of that unpleasant vision that had just passed before me in my sleep.

A cold shuddering came over me-my blood grew chill within my veins-my flesh crawled, as I thought over this most singular coincidence. There was something awful in it-something so damnably probable, that I began to think there was truth in the solemn allegation of the black; and the more I pondered upon it, the less power felt I to impeach his veracity.

Why should an Indian, thus unprovoked, have singled me out for his deadly aim? True, there was hostility between red and white, but not war. Surely it had not yet come to this? The council of chiefs had not met-the meeting was fixed for the following day; and, until its result should be known, it was not likely that hostilities would be practised on either side. Such would materially influence the determinations of the projected assembly. The Indians were as much interested in keeping the peace as their white adversaries-ay, far more indeed-and they could not help knowing that an ill-timed demonstration of this kind would be to their disadvantage-just the very pretext which the removal' party would have wished for.

Could it, then, have been an Indian who aimed at my life? And if not, who in the world besides had a motive for killing me? I could think of no one whom I had offended-at least no one that I had provoked to such deadly retribution.

The drunken drovers came into my mind. Little would they care for treaties or the result of the council. A horse, a saddle, a gun, a trinket, would weigh more in their eyes than the safety of their whole tribe. Both were evidently true bandits-for there are robbers among red skins as well as white ones.

But no; it could not have been they? They had not seen us as we passed, or, even if they had, they could hardly have been upon the ground so soon? We had ridden briskly, after leaving them; and they were afoot.

Spence and Williams were mounted; and from what Jake had told me as we rode along in regard to the past history of these two 'rowdies,' I could believe them capable of anything-even of that.

But it was scarcely probable either: they had not seen us; and besides they had their hands full.

Ha! I guessed it at last; at all events I had hit upon the most probable conjecture. The villain was some runaway from the settlements, some absconding slave-perhaps ill-treated-who had sworn eternal hostility to the whites; and who was thus wreaking his vengeance on the first who had crossed his path. A mulatto, no doubt; and, may be, bearing some resemblance to Yellow Jake-for there is a general similarity among men of yellow complexion, as among blacks.

This would explain the delusion under which my companion was labouring; at all events, it rendered his mistake more natural; and with this supposition, whether true or false, I was forced to content myself.

Jake had now got everything in readiness; and, without staying to seek any further solution of the mystery, we leaped to our saddles, and galloped away from the ground.

We rode for some time with the 'beard on the shoulder;' and, as our path now lay through thin woods, we could see for a long distance behind us.

No enemy, white or black, red or yellow, made his appearance, either on our front, flank, or rear. We encountered not a living creature till we rode up to the stockade of Fort King; which we entered, just as the sun was sinking behind the dark line of the forest horizon.



The word 'fort' calls up before the mind a massive structure, with angles and embrasures, bastions and battlements, curtains, casemates, and glacis-a place of great strength, for this is its essential signification. Such structures have the Spaniards raised-in Florida as elsewhere-some of which are still standing,† while others, even in their ruins, bear witness to the grandeur and glory that enveloped them at that time, when the leopard flag waved proudly above their walls.

There is a remarkable dissimilarity between the colonial architecture of Spain and that of other European nations. In America, the Spaniards built without regard to pains or expense, as if they believed that their tenure would be eternal. Even in Florida, they could have had no idea their lease was to be so short-no forecast of so early an ejectment.

After all, these great fortresses served them a purpose. But for their protection, the dark Yamassee, and, after him, the conquering Seminole, would have driven them from the flowery peninsula long before the period of their actual rendition.

The United States has its great stone fortresses; but far different from these are the 'forts' of frontier phraseology, which figure in the story of border wars, and which at this hour gird the territory of the United States as with a gigantic chain. In these are no grand battlements of cut rock, no costly casemates, no idle ornaments of engineering. They are rude erections of hewn logs, of temporary intent, put up at little expense, to be abandoned with as little loss-ready to follow the ever-flitting frontier in its rapid recession.

Such structures are admirably adapted to the purpose which they are required to serve. They are types of the utilitarian spirit of a republican government, not permitted to squander national wealth on such costly toys as Thames Tunnels and Britannia Bridges, at the expense of an overtaxed people. To fortify against an Indian enemy, proceed as follows:

Obtain a few hundred trees; cut them to lengths of eighteen feet; split them up the middle; set them in a quadrangle side by side, flat faces inward; batten them together; point them at the tops; loophole eight feet from the ground; place a staging under the loopholes; dig a ditch outside; build a pair of bastions at alternate corners, in which plant your cannon; hang a strong gate-and you have a 'frontier fort.'

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Fancy, then, such a stockade fort. People it with a few hundred soldiers-some in jacket uniforms of faded sky-colour, with white facings, sadly dimmed with dirt (the infantry); some in darker blue, bestriped with red (artillery); a few adorned with the more showy yellow (the dragoons); and still another few in the sombre green of the rifles. Fancy these men lounging about, or standing in groups, in slouched attitudes, and slouchingly attired-a few of tidier aspect, with pipe-clayed belts and bayonets by their sides, on sentry, or forming the daily guard-some half-score of slattern women, their laundress-wives, mingling with a like number of brown-skinned squaws -a sprinkling of squalling brats-here and there an officer hurrying along, distinguished by his dark-blue undress frock*-half-a-dozen gentlemen in civilian garb-visitors or non-military attachés of the forta score less gentle-looking-sutlers, beef-contractors, drovers, butchers, guides, hunters, gamblers, and idlers-some negro servants and friendly Indiansperhaps the pompous commissioner himself-fancy all these before you, with the star-spangled flag waving above your head, and you have the coup d'œil that presented itself as I rode into the gateway of Fort King.


Of late not much used to the saddle, the ride had fatigued me. I heard the reveille, but not yet being ordered on duty, I disregarded the call, and kept my bed till a later hour.

The notes of a bugle bursting through the open window, and the quick rolling of drums, once more awoke me. I recognised the parade music, and sprang from my couch. Jake at this moment entered to assist me in my toilet.

'Golly, Massr George!' he exclaimed, pointing out by the window: 'lookee dar! dar's tha whole Indy-en ob tha Seminole nayshun-ebbery red skin dar be in ole Floridy. Whugh!'

I looked forth. The scene was picturesque and impressive. Inside the stockade, soldiers were hurrying to and fro the different companies forming for parade. They were no longer, as on the evening before, slouched and loosely attired; but, with jackets close buttoned, caps jauntily cocked, belts pipe-clayed to a snowy whiteness, guns, bayonets, and buttons gleaming under the sunlight, they presented a fine military aspect. Officers were moving among them, distinguished by their more splendid uniforms and shining epaulets; and a little apart stood the general himself, surrounded by his staff, conspicuous under large black chapeaus with nodding plumes of cock's feathers, white and scarlet. Alongside the general was the commissioner-himself a general-in full government uniform.

This grand display was intended for effect on the minds of the Indians.

There were several well-dressed civilians within the enclosure, planters from the neighbourhood, among whom I recognised the Ringgolds.

So far the impressive. The picturesque lay beyond the stockade.

On the level plain that stretched to a distance of several hundred yards in front, were groups of tall Indian warriors, attired in all their savage fineryturbaned, painted, and plumed. No two were dressed exactly alike, and yet there was a similarity in the style of all. Some wore hunting-shirts of buckskin, with leggings and moccasins of like material-all profusely fringed, beaded, and tasselled; others were clad in tunics of printed cotton stuff, checked or flowered, with leggings of cloth, blue, green, or scarlet, reaching from hip to ankle, and girt below the knee with bead

An American officer is rarely to be seen in full uniform-still more rarely when on campaigning service, as in Florida.

embroidered gaiters, whose tagged and tasselled ends hung down the outside of the leg. The gorgeous wampum belt encircled their waists, behind which were stuck their long knives, tomahawks, and in some instances pistols glittering with a rich inlay of silverrelics left them by the Spaniards. Some, instead of the Indian wampum, encircled their waists with the Spanish scarf of scarlet silk, its fringed extremities hanging square with the skirt of the tunic, adding gracefulness to the garment. A picturesque head-dress was not wanting to complete the striking costume; and in this the variety was still greater. Some wore the beautiful coronet of plumes-the feathers stained to a variety of brilliant hues; some the 'toque' of checked bandanna;' while others wore shako-like caps of fur-of the black squirrel, the bay lynx, or racoon-the face of the animal often fantastically set to the front. The heads of many were covered with broad fillets of embroidered wampum, out of which stood the wing-plumes of the kingvulture, or the gossamer feathers of the sand-hill crane. A few were still further distinguished by the nodding plumes of the great bird of Afric.

All carried guns-the long rifle of the backwoods hunter, with horns and pouches slung from their shoulders. Neither bow nor arrow was to be seen, except in the hands of the youth-many of whom were upon the ground, mingling with the warriors.

Further off, I could see tents, where the Indians had pitched their camp. They were not together, but scattered along the edge of the wood, here and there in clusters, with banners floating in front-denoting the different clans or sub-tribes to which each belonged.

Women in their long frocks could be seen moving among the tents, and little dark-skinned 'papooses were playing over the grassy sward in front of them. When I first saw them, the warriors were assembling in front of the stockade. Some had already arrived, and stood in little crowds conversing, while others strode over the ground, passing from group to group, as if bearing words of counsel from one to the other.

I could not help observing the upright carriage of these magnificent men. I could not help admiring their full free port, and contrasting it with the gingerly step of the drilled soldier! No eye could have looked upon both without acknowledging this superiority of the savage.

As I glanced along the line of Saxon and Celtic soldiery-starched and stiff as they stood, shoulder to shoulder, and heel to heel-and then looked upon the plumed warriors without, as they proudly strode over the sward of their native soil, I could not help the reflection, that to conquer these men we must needs outnumber them!

I should have been laughed at had I given expression to the thought. It was contrary to all experience contrary to the burden of many a boasting legend of the borders. The Indian had always succumbed; but was it to the superior strength and courage of his white antagonist? No; the inequality lay in numbers oftener in arms. This was the secret of our superiority. What could avail the wet bowstring and ill-aimed shaft against the death-dealing bullet of the rifle ?

There was no inequality now. Those hunterwarriors carried the fire-weapon, and could handle it as skilfully as we.

The Indians now formed into a half-circle in front of the fort. The chiefs, having aligned themselves so as to form the concave side of the curve, sat down upon the grass. Behind them, the sub-chiefs and more noted warriors took their places, and still further back, in rank after rank, stood the common men of the tribes. Even the women and boys drew near, clustering thickly behind, and regarding the movements of the men with quiet but eager interest.

Contrary to their usual habits, they were grave and

silent. It is not their character to be so; for the Seminole is as free of speech and laughter as the clown of the circus ring; even the light-hearted negro scarcely equals him in jovialty.

It was not so now, but the very reverse. Chiefs, warriors, and women-even the boys who had just forsaken their play-all wore an aspect of solemnity.

No wonder. That was no ordinary assemblageno meeting upon a trivial matter-but a council at which was to be decided one of the dearest interests of their lives-a council whose decree might part them for ever from their native land. No wonder they did not exhibit their habitual gaiety.

It is not correct to say that all looked grave. In that semicircle of chiefs were men of opposite views. There were those who wished for the removal-who had private reasons to desire it—men bribed, suborned, or tampered with-traitors to their tribe and nation.

These were neither weak nor few. Some of the most powerful chiefs had been bought over, and had agreed to sell the rights of their people. Their treason was known or suspected, and this it was that was causing the anxiety of the others. Had it been otherwise-had there been no division in their ranks-the patriot party might easily have obtained a triumphant decision; but they feared the defection of the traitors.

The band had struck up a march-the troops were in motion, and filing through the gate.

Hurrying on my uniform, I hastened out; and took my place among the staff of the general.

A few minutes after, we were on the ground, face to face with the assembled chiefs.

The troops formed in line, the general taking his stand in front of the colours, with the commissioner by his side. Behind these were grouped the officers of the staff, with clerks, interpreters, and some civilians of note-the Ringgolds, and others—who, by courtesy, were to take part in the proceedings.

Hands were shaken between the officers and chiefs; the friendly calumet was passed round; and the council at length inaugurated.



First came the speech of the commissioner.

It is too voluminous to be given in detail. Its chief points were, an appeal to the Indians to conform peaceably to the terms of the Oclawaha treaty-to yield up their lands in Florida-to move to the west -to the country assigned them upon the White River of Arkansas-in short, to accept all the terms which the government had commissioned him to require.

He took pains to specify the advantages which would accrue from the removal. He painted the new home as a perfect paradise-prairies covered with game, elk, antelopes, and buffalo-rivers teeming with fishcrystal waters, and unclouded skies. Could he have found credence for his words, the Seminole might have fancied that the happy hunting-grounds of his fancied heaven existed in reality upon the earth.

On the other hand, he pointed out to the Indians the consequences of their non-compliance. White men would be settling thickly along their borders. Bad white men would enter upon their lands; there would be strife, and the spilling of blood; the red man would be tried in the court of the white man, where, according to law, his oath would be of no avail; and therefore he must suffer injustice!

Such were in reality the sentiments of Mr Commissioner Wiley Thompson,* uttered in the council of Fort King, in April 1835. I shall give them in his own words: they are worthy of record, as a specimen of fair dealing between white and red. Thus spoke he:

* Historically true.

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