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"They will pursue us," cried the impatient Henry; "let us be moving."
"They will not think of such a thing," returned the peddler, picking the checkerberries that grew on the thin soil where he sat, and very deliberately chewing them, leaves and all, to refresh his mouth. "What progress could they make here, in their heavy boots and spurs, and long swords? No, no-they may go back and turn out the foot, but the horse pass through these defiles, when they can keep the saddle, with fears and trembling. Come, follow me, Captain Wharton; we have a troublesome march before us, but I will bring you where none will think of venturing this night."
So saying, they both arose, and were soon hid from view among the rocks and caverns of the mountain.
The conjecture of the peddler was true; Mason and his men dashed down the hill in pursuit, as they supposed, of their victims, but on reaching the bottom lands, they found only the deserted horses of the fugitives. Some little time was spent in examining the woods near them, and in endeavoring to take the trail on such ground as might enable the horses to pursue, when one of the party descried the peddler and Henry seated on the rock already mentioned.
"He's off," muttered Mason, eying Harvey with fury; "he's off, and we are disgraced. By heavens, Washington will not trust us with the keeping of a suspected Tory, if we let the rascal trifle in this manner with the corps; and there sits the Englishman, too, looking down upon us with a smile of benevolence! I fancy that I can see it. Well, well, my lad, you are comfortably seated, I will confess, and that is something better than dancing upon nothing; but you are not to the west of the Harlem River yet, and I'll try your wind before you tell Sir Henry what you have seen, or I'm no soldier."
"Shall I fire, and frighten the peddler?" asked one of the men, drawing his pistol from the holster.
"Ay, startle the birds from their perch-let us see how they can use the wing." The man fired the pistol, and Mason continued"Fore George, I believe the scoundrels laugh at But homeward, or we shall have them rolling stones upon our heads, and the Royal Gazettes teeming with an account of a rebel regiment routed by two loyalists. They have told bigger lies than that before now.
The dragoons moved sullenly after their officer, who rode
toward their quarters, musing on the course it behooved him to pursue in the present dilemma. It was twilight when Mason's party reached the dwelling, before the door of which were collected a great number of the officers and men, busily employed in giving and listening to the most exaggerated accounts of the escape of the spy. The mortified dragoons gave their ungrateful tidings with the sullen air of disappointed men; and most of the officers gathered around Mason to consult of the steps that ought to be taken. Miss Peyton and Frances were breathless and unobserved listeners to all that passed between them, from the window of the chamber immediately above their heads.
"Something must be done, and that speedily," observed the commanding officer of the regiment which lay encamped before the house; "this English officer is doubtless an instrument in the great blow aimed at us by the enemy lately; besides, our honor is involved in his escape."
"Let us beat the woods!" cried several, at once; "by morning we shall have them both again.'
"Softly, softly, gentlemen," returned the colonel; "no man can travel these hills after dark, unless used to the passes. Nothing but horse can do service in this business, and I presume Lieutenant Mason hesitates to move without the orders of his major."
“I certainly dare not," replied the subaltern, gravely shaking his head, "unless you will take the responsibility of an order; but Major Dunwoodie will be back again in two hours, and we can carry the tidings through the hills before daylight; so that, by spreading patrols across from one river to the other, and offering a reward to the country people, their escape will yet be impossible, unless they can join the party that is said to be out on the Hudson."
very plausible plan," cried the colonel, "and one that must succeed; but let a messenger be dispatched to Dunwoodie, or he may continue at the ferry until it proves too late; though doubtless the runaways will lie in the mountains to-night.
To this suggestion Mason acquiesced, and a courier was sent to the major with the important intelligence of the escape of Henry, and an intimation of the necessity of his presence to conduct the pursuit. After this arrangement the officers separated.
ON THE LOSS OF THE ROYAL GEORGE.
WRITTEN WHEN THE NEWS ARRIVED.
BY WILLIAM COWPER.
[For biographical sketch, see page 267.]
TOLL for the brave!
The brave that are no more!
Fast by their native shore!
Eight hundred of the brave,
Whose courage well was tried,
Had made the vessel heel,
And laid her on her side.
A land-breeze shook the shrouds,
Toll for the brave!
Brave Kempenfelt is gone;
It was not in the battle;
His sword was in its sheath;
Weigh the vessel up,
Once dreaded by our foes!
And mingle with our cup
The tears that England owes
Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float again
Full charged with England's thunder,
But Kempenfelt is gone,
His victories are o'er;
And he and his eight hundred
THE DEBT OF THE GIULI TRE.
(Translated by Leigh Hunt.)
[GIOVANNI BATTISTA CASTI, Italian poet, was born at Montefiascone, in the States of the Church, in 1721. Though of low extraction, he became canon of the cathedral in his native place; but caring more for pleasure and travel than for church advancement, visited the chief European capitals, and on Metastasio's death, in 1782, was made Poeta Cesario (poet laureate) of Austria, and wrote comic operas with great success. He resigned in 1796 to have a freer hand, lived in Paris, and died in 1803. His best known works are "Novelle Galanti," metrical tales, and "Gli Animali Parlanti," or "The Talking Animals" (1802), a satirical allegory on the political systems tried or suggested by the French Revolution. He wrote also "Poema Tartaro" a satire on the court of Catherine II. of Russia.]
[The "giulio was a small coin, three of which he owed to the creditor whose importunities he thus makes poetic capital of.]
No: NONE are happy in this best of spheres.
Then fine arts bite us, and great characters.
Then we go boiling with our youthful peers,
In love and hate, in riot and rebuke;
By hook misfortune has us, or by crook,
And griefs and gouts come thick'ning with one's years.
In fine, we've debts:
and when we've debts, no ray
Of hope remains to warm us to repose.
Fills up the solemn measure of my woes.
Often and often have I understood
From Galen's readers and Hippocrates's,
That there are certain seasons in diseases
All that I know is this, that Giuli Tre
Never did beetle hum so teasingly
About one's ears, in walking, when it's hot;
As comes my teasing Creditor on me.
Perhaps as bodies tend invariably
Towards other bodies by some force divine,
Attraction, gravity, or centripathy,
(God knows; I'm little versed in your right line,)
So by some natural horrid property
This pretty satellite tends towards me and mine.
I've said forever, and again I say,
And it's a truth as plain as truth can be,
Perhaps you think that you'll torment me so
You'll make me hang myself? You wish to say
You saw me sus. per coll. No, Giuli, no.
The fact is, I'll determine not to pay;