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undue liberties with the authors referred to. Charles Lamb has suffered to the amount of one stanza of poetry, which, however, is marked with quotations, in the Bridal story, and there are two or three lines somewhere, taken from Ford, the quotation marks of which were omitted by the compositor, by mistake. In regard to that first story, moreover, it is founded upon actual facts, both in respect of the regicides, and the trial for witchcraft. Dr. Trumbull, it is true, in his History of Connecticut, denies that any such trials took place in that colony. Some years since, however, while searching the papers of the old Wyllys family, in Hartford, the writer discovered the original records of the trial and conviction of Mercy Disborough and Goodwife Clawson, for that crime, including all the testimony, taken down in writing, and certified by the clerk of the court. In the course of that trial the watery ordeal was actually resorted to; and the main points of the testimony are embodied in the tale, although the writer has shifted one of the scenes from Compo Creek, in the county of Fairfield, to the Menunkatuck River, in Old Guilford.
The Indian tales are chiefly historical, and so far true. The longest of the series,—-The Mysterious Bridal,” is founded upon an actual, an extraordinary, and very melancholy occurrence. It ends in a mystery, which the friends of the young man, many of whom are yet living, could never fathom, and which the writer, for a very good and sufficient reason, has not attempted to explain. A judicious friend, who did the writer the favour to look over the MSS. of this story, objected to
the episode of the hero's visit to Boston, as being “improbable." "A graduate of twenty," he remarked, “would never have received such attentions, surely in those days. Young men knew their places, especially those of the first families. The letters of young Talcott," continued our friend, “ would at most have procured him a few invitations to dinner.” But the critic had forgotten that Talcott was an extraordinary youth, as heroes of romance must necessarily be. Our critical friend further added—“It is evidently put in merely to give opportunity to describe characters." Exactly so. “ But the characters are too minute in small particulars. The descriptions of dress put one in mind of John Grimes.” Very true ;
pray how are people to know what the costume of their forefathers was, unless they are told? And who, for instance, would ever have heard of the excellent Mr. John Grimes,--would our critic have heard of him ?-- but for the traditions touching the adornment of his outward man, as embodied and sung in strains at once musical and plaintive, by the Rhode Island poet ?
“ He had no malice in his heart
Nor ruffles on his shirt."
Now these are mere trifles, it is true; but they help to make up the man, whereby we know him, and are taught to revere his memory.
As to the title of these volumes--the production of occasional hours of relaxation, snatched from the demands of a laborious profession-the author has chosen it exactly for its fitness. “It is a kind of policy in these
dayes,” says the eccentric author already more than once spoken of, “ to prefix a fantastical title to a book which is to be sold; for as larks come down to a daynet, many vain readers will tarry, and stand gazing, like silly passengers, at an antic picture in a painter's shop, that will not look at a judicious piece." But not so with the writer hereof. He desires not to deceive the public, and therefore tells them honestly, at the threshold, that these volumes contain “ TALES AND SKETCHES,-AS THEY ARE,” and nothing more.
The moon, the governess of floods,
“Look yonder !” exclaimed the startled maiden, in a half audible whisper, as she was sitting beside her lover, looking carelessly, and perhaps pensively, from the rude, casements of her father's cottage, upon a sweet little lake in the valley below. The bosom of the lake was partially illumined by the beams of the declining moon, as they played through the foliage of the trees, which but for those silvery rays would have left darkness, as of old, brooding upon the face of the deep.
“Look at what ?" inquired the swain, as with surprise he was roused from his waking dream of bliss.
" Why, do you not see it?" rejoined the damsel. “ Is it not a canoe dancing lightly upon the waters?
or is it the shadows of the tree-tops, as their branches wave in the breeze ?"
“ I see nothing, my dearest Mercy;" replied the other—“ nothing but lights and shadows, and the deeper gloom under the base of the mountain. It must verily be the vividness of your imagination, my sweet rose of Sharon, that—but stay a little ; thou speakest truly ;-there is indeed the shadow of a light canoe, and I saw the flash of the oar just now, as some of those straggling moon-beams glanced upon it.”
The maiden instinctively drew closer to his side. “Can it be that the bloody salvages,” she inquired, with a shudder, “ are again stealing upon this outermost tent of Israel ?"
" It cannot be, Mercy," answered the other, in a tone that imparted to the loved object at his side a portion of the confidence which he felt himself. “ The crafty hath been taken in his own net; the heathen Miantonimoh, with his Narragansetts, has been defeated by the noble Uncas, and the wicked chief hath himself suffered the just vengeance of the Lord, for treacherously shedding the blood of his people. There is therefore no danger of the salvages at present for it is a long distance to the land of the bloody Mohawks; and all the others are at peace.” : Mercy Disborough, for that was the name of the maiden of whom we are speaking, and with whom the reader will become better acquainted in the progress of our story-breathed a little more freely