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"It is a painful task to be obliged to notice circumstances which seem to reflect upon the character of any man. A strict regard to truth, however, compelled me to the insertion of these facts, which I have offered merely as facts, without presuming to connect with them any comment of my own; esteeming it the part of a faithful historian 'to extenuate nothing, nor set down aught in malice.'
"The fatal accident happened at eight o'clock in the morning, about an hour after Captain Cook landed. It did not seem that the king or his sons were witnesses to it; but it is supposed that they withdrew in the midst of the tumult. The principal actors were the other chiefs, many of them the king's relations and attendants; the man who stabbed him with the dagger was called Nooah. I happened to be the only one who recollected his person, from having on a former occasion mentioned his name in the journal I kept. I was induced to take particular notice of him, more from his personal appearance than any other consideration, though he was of high rank, and a near relation of the king: he was stout and tall, with a fierce look and demeanor, and one who united in his figure the two qualities of strength and agility, in a greater degree than ever I remembered to have seen before in any other man. His age might be about thirty, and by the white scurf on his skin, and his sore eyes, he appeared to be a hard drinker of kava. was a constant companion of the king, with whom I first saw him, when he paid a visit to Captain Clerke. The chief who first struck Captain Cook with the club, was called Karimano, craha, but I did not know him by his name. These circumstances I learned of honest Kaireekea, the priest, who added, that they were both held in great esteem on account of that action; neither of them came near us afterwards. When the boats left the shore, the Indians carried away the dead body of Captain Cook and those of the marines, to the rising ground, at the back of the town, where we could plainly see them with our glasses from the ships.
"This most melancholy accident appears to have been altogether unexpected and unforeseen, as well on the part of the natives as ourselves. I never saw sufficient reason to induce me to believe that there was anything of design, or a preconcerted plan on their side, or that they purposely sought to quarrel with us; thieving, which gave rise to the whole, they were equally guilty of in our first and second visits. It was the
cause of every misunderstanding that happened between us: their petty thefts were generally overlooked, but sometimes slightly punished; the boat which they at last ventured to take away was an object of no small magnitude to people in our situation, who could not possibly replace her, and therefore not slightly to be given up. We had no other chance of recovering her, but by getting the person of the king into our possession; on our attempting to do that, the natives became alarmed for his safety, and naturally opposed those whom they deemed his enemies. In the sudden conflict that ensued, we had the unspeakable misfortune of losing our excellent commander, in the manner already related. It is in this light the affair has always appeared to me as entirely accidental, and not in the least owing to any previous offense received, or jealousy of our second visit entertained by the natives.
"Pareah seems to have been the principal instrument in bringing about this fatal disaster. We learned afterwards
that it was he who had employed some people to steal the boat; the king did not seem to be privy to it, or even apprised of what had happened, till Captain Cook landed.
"It was generally remarked that, at first, the Indians showed great resolution in facing our firearms; but it was entirely owing to ignorance of their effect. They thought that their thick mats would defend them from a ball as well as from a stone; but being soon convinced of their error, yet still at a loss to account how such execution was done among them, they had recourse to a stratagem, which, though it answered no other purpose, served to show their ingenuity and quickness of invention. Observing the flashes of the muskets, they naturally concluded that water would counteract their effect, and therefore, very sagaciously, dipped their mats, or armor, in the sea, just as they came on to face our people; but finding this last resource to fail them, they soon dispersed, and left the beach entirely clear. It was an object they never neglected, even at the greatest hazard, to carry off their slain: a custom probably owing to the barbarity with which they treat the dead body of an enemy, and the trophies they make of his bones."
HENRY WHARTON'S ESCAPE.
BY JAMES FENIMORE COOPER.
(From "The Spy.")
[JAMES FENIMORE COOPER: An American novelist; born at Burlington, N.J., September 15, 1789; died September 14, 1851, at Cooperstown, N. Y., whither his father had removed about 1790, it being then a wild frontier region. Cooper attended Yale College for three years, when he was expelled; shipped as a common sailor, and became a lieutenant in the navy. Later in life he visited Europe, and was United States consul at Lyons (1826-1829). Among his most popular novels are: "The Spy" (1821), "The Pilot," "The Last of the Mohicans," "The Prairie," "The Red Rover," "The Bravo," "The Pathfinder," "The Deerslayer," Wing and Wing," "Wyandotte," and "Satanstoe." He also wrote a "Naval History of the United States" (1839), "Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers" (1846).]
[Captain Henry Wharton of the patriot forces in the Revolution has been captured and wrongfully sentenced to death as a spy. Harvey Birch is an American spy whose service is the pretending to be a renegade patriot, turned Tory for hire, in order to gain the confidence of the British.]
THE person who was ushered into the apartment, preceded by Cæsar and followed by the matron, was a man beyond the middle age, or who might rather be said to approach the downhill of life. In stature he was above the size of ordinary men, though his excessive leanness might contribute in deceiving as to his height; his countenance was sharp and unbending, and every muscle seemed set in rigid compression. No joy, or relaxation, appeared ever to have dwelt on features that frowned habitually, as if in detestation of the vices of mankind. The brows were beetling, dark, and forbidding, giving the promise of eyes of no less repelling expression; but the organs were concealed beneath a pair of enormous green goggles, through which they glared around with a fierceness that denounced the coming day of wrath. All was fanaticism, uncharitableness, and denunciation. Long, lank hair, a mixture of gray and black, fell down his neck, and in some degree obscured the sides of his face, and, parting on his forehead, fell in either direction in straight and formal screens. On the top of this ungraceful exhibition was laid, impending forward, so as to overhang in some measure the whole fabric, a large hat of three equal cocks. His coat was of a rusty black, and his breeches
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and stockings were of the same color; his shoes without luster, and half concealed beneath huge plated buckles.
He stalked into the room, and giving a stiff nod with his head, took the chair offered him by the black, in dignified silence. For several minutes no one broke this ominous pause in the conversation,- Henry feeling a repugnance to his guest that he was vainly endeavoring to conquer, and the stranger himself drawing forth occasional sighs and groans, that threatened a dissolution of the unequal connection between his sublimated soul and its ungainly tenement. During this deathlike preparation, Mr. Wharton, with a feeling nearly allied to that of his son, led Sarah from the apartment. His retreat was noticed by the divine, in a kind of scornful disdain, who began to hum the air of a popular psalm tune, giving it the full richness of the twang that distinguishes the Eastern psalmody.
"Cæsar," said Miss Peyton, "hand the gentleman some refreshment; he must need it after his ride."
"My strength is not in the things of life," said the divine, speaking in a hollow, sepulchral voice. "Thrice have I this day held forth in my Master's service, and fainted not; still it is prudent to help this frail tenement of clay, for, surely, 'the laborer is worthy of his hire.""
Opening a pair of enormous jaws, he took a good measure of the proffered brandy, and suffered it to glide downward with that sort of facility with which man is prone to sin.
"I apprehend, then, sir, that fatigue will disable you from performing the duties which kindness had induced you to attempt."
"Woman!" exclaimed the stranger, with energy, "when was I ever known to shrink from a duty? But 'judge not, lest ye be judged,' and fancy not that it is given to mortal eyes to fathom the intentions of the Deity.
"Nay," returned the maiden, meekly, and slightly disgusted with his jargon. "I pretend not to judge of either events, or the intentions of my fellow-creatures, much less of those of Omnipotence."
"Tis well, woman 'tis well," cried the minister, waving his hand with supercilious disdain; "humility becometh thy sex and lost condition; thy weakness driveth thee on headlong, like 'unto the bosom of destruction.""
Surprised at this extraordinary deportment, yielding to that habit which urges us to speak reverently on sacred sub
jects, even when perhaps we had better continue silent, Miss Peyton replied:
"There is a power above, that can and will sustain us all in welldoing, if we seek its support in humility and truth."
The stranger turned a lowering look at the speaker, and then composing himself into an air of self-abasement, he continued, in the same repelling tones:
"It is not every one that crieth out for mercy that will be heard. The ways of Providence are not to be judged by men -'many are called, but few chosen.' It is easier to talk of humility than to feel it. Are you so humble, vile worm, as to wish to glorify God by your own damnation? If not, away with you for a publican and a pharisee!"
Such gross fanaticism was uncommon in America, and Miss Peyton began to imbibe the impression that her guest was deranged; but remembering that he had been sent by a wellknown divine, and one of reputation, she discarded the idea, and, with some forbearance, observed:
"I may deceive myself in believing that mercy is proffered to all, but it is so soothing a doctrine that I would not willingly be undeceived."
'Mercy is only for the elect," cried the stranger, with an unaccountable energy; "and you are in the valley of the shadow of death." Are you not a follower of idle ceremonies, which belong to the vain church that our tyrants would gladly establish here, along with their stamp acts and tea laws? Answer me that, woman; and remember that Heaven hears your answer; are you not of that idolatrous communion?"
"I worship at the altars of my fathers," said Miss Peyton, motioning to Henry for silence; "but bow to no other idol than my own infirmities."
"Yes, yes, I know ye, self-righteous and papal as ye are followers of forms, and listeners to bookish preaching; think you, woman, that holy Paul had notes in his hand to propound the word to the believers?"
"My presence disturbs you," said Miss Peyton, rising: "I will leave you with my nephew, and offer those prayers in private that I did wish to mingle with his."
So saying, she withdrew, followed by the landlady, who was not a little shocked, and somewhat surprised, by the intemperate zeal of her new acquaintance; for, although the good woman believed that Miss Peyton and her whole church were