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thicket, another shot whizzed by my head, and down dropped puss dead at my feet. Casting around for the person from whom it came, I presently descried a gentleman under a large tree, leaning on his fowling-piece, and calling to the dogs to come in. As I approached him, he accosted me in French, telling me that I ran very well; to which I answered, also in French, that he shot very well. Being thus mutually introduced by a slight compliment, we entered into conversation about the dogs, the rabbits, the ground, the weather, and a variety of such indifferent subjects, which lasted, I suppose, for half an hour, when a carriage drove up on a road a few paces distant, into which the Frenchman got with his dogs and dead rabbit, and drove away.
By this time I began to think of my breakfast, and of returning; but on reconnoitering my position, perceived that I had lost all trace of the route. A mussulman knows he is safe till his hour comes; but there may be situations in which it is no sin to feel uneasy. There was no time to pause in such a place, where I did not know but that the next thing I met might be a carnivorous Indian, with his tomahawk, riding post on a mammoth, and therefore, according to the best judgment I could form of my bearings, I took a fresh departure, walking on at a gait not a little accelerated by an increasing appetite, and the dread of being lost or devoured in the Federal City. It never occurred to me to follow the carriage, in which I might have found a conveyance or a pilot: but in the exigency of my affairs, I pursued a course as straight
the nature of the territory would admit, without any prospect, or prominent object, to serve as a beacon. After wandering a miserable time, and thinking over all those lamentable thoughts, which occur to one expecting to perish in an inhospitable land, when I began almost to
despair, I came to a hovel inhabited by black slaves; what is called a negro quarter. It was a wretched log house, thatched with straw, with neither window nor chimney. There was a mule at the door, making a meal off the roof; a cat, three dogs, and a negro child, with no other covering than a ragged shirt, through which a dingy skin showed in many places. I asked the way to my lodgings; but getting no answer beyond barking, purring and grinning, went into the house, where I was more fortunate. There was an old woman, smoking a pipe, not more than an inch long, a young one with a child in her arms, and a man, seated on the ground, round a smoke rather than a fire, eating cake made of Indian meal, and hominy, a preparation of Indian corn. Upon repeating my inquiry, as I entered, the man came to the door, and showed me which
way I should go-the reverse of that I had been travelling for an hour and more.
Finding them plentifully supplied with provender, such as it was, and my appetite rising as my apprehensions subsided, I joined the sombre circle, and partook of a luncheon of the cake, with some hominy. It was now almost noon, and these poor people were taking their dinner. As I plyed them with a great many questions, which they answered as well as they could, in their turn they put some to me, and among others one that led to an important disclosure. “I guess massa belong to the French bassador,” said the young woman, showing all her teeth. “What's that?" answered I. “Him that shoots rabbits;" and from a little more information on this subject, interlarded between mouthfuls of hominy, I was given fully to understand, that the hunter, whom I last met, who went away in a carriage freighted with rabbits, was no other than the plenipo of another mighty monarch, who amuses himself by field sports in the heart
of the American capital. Nothing ought to surprise in this country, or one might be permitted to wonder at meeting two such personages scouring the forests for recreation. But I am surfeited with amazement; and therefore, after receiving very particular instructions from my black hosts how to proceed in order to find the shortest cut home, I gave them a fippenny bit, (a species of American coin,) and set forward once more, determined never again, whatever oddities I might meet, to try so early an excursion in a federal city.
I was to go through a copse that lay on my right, being several miles from my destination, and after clearing the wood, to follow a foot-path I should see. Into the wood I hastened; but had not gone a hundred yards, when I heard two shots in quick succession close to me. Nothing but riflemen and sharp shooting in this country, thought I; and turning an angle of the track, I discovered a scene which I could not comprehend at first, but which was soon brought home to me in a terrible explanation. There were two men standing a few paces apart, facing each other; two more at a little distance loading pistols; and two others farther off, standing together. They all looked grave and anxious—not a word was said
-but a presentiment of what their business was, chilled me with apprehension. In a few seconds, each one of those loading pistols went to those that stood opposed, and handed a pistol to each of them. They then placed them precisely to a certain spot, adjusted their postures so as to exhibit what, as I have since learned, is called the feather edge, and then withdrawing aside, one of the loaders asked, “ Are you ready ?” “ Yes," said the other two, advancing their pistols. “Fire when you please," cried the loader. At the word, one of them discharged his piece, and the other receiving the ball in his body, fell to
the ground, his pistol going off into the air with the convulsive distortion of his fall. Immediately all but the man who had perpetrated the deed ran up to him who was expiring, and I, springing over a fence against which I was leaning almost petrified, flew to join the assistance. He was weltering in the blood that streamed from his side, and had fainted before any body could approach him. The two, who had remained at a distance, without taking any active part, and who now appeared to be surgeons, with as much despatch as they could, uncovered his body, and endeavoured, by certain applications they had prepared, to stanch his blood. In a short time the wounded revived from his swoon, and was supported in the lap of one of the assistants. His antagonist now drawing nigh, shook hands with him with great emotion, hurried off, and disappeared. The wounded man was then laid on a blanket, and carried by the other three, with my help, to a close carriage, that was waiting near the place of action, into which he was put, the ghastliness of death on his countenance, and the whole party slowly drove away.
ELEGY ON THOMAS GODFREY.
BY NATHANIEL EVANS.
O DEATH ! thou victor of the human frame !
Sudden, as darts the lightning through the sky, Around the globe thy various weapons fly. Here war's red engines heap the field with slain, And pallid sickness there extends thy reign ; Here the soft virgin weeps her lover dead, There maiden beauty sinks the graceful head ; Here infants grieve their parents are no more, There reverend sires their children's deaths deplore; Here the sad friend-0! save the sacred name, Yields half his soul to thy relentless claim; O pardon, pardon the descending tear! Friendship commands, and not the Muses, here. O say, thou much loved, dear departed shade, To what celestial region hast thou stray'd ? Where is that vein of thought, that noble fire, Which fed thy soul, and bade the world admire ? That manly strife with fortune to be just, That love of praise ? an honorable thirst !