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mixed. But in substance it is about this: “Winona, a beautiful daughter of a powerful chief, was betrothed to a noble young warrior. It was the pleasure of the old chief, however, to give her to another warrior of greater repute and prowess
ess whom she did not love. And at a council of the tribe on the plateau of the bluff, where the nuptials were to be celebrated, this maiden passed out from the assembled company, ran to the edge of the rock singing the death-song, and cast herself headlong into the purple waters beneath.” · The veracity of the officer is unquestioned, though the exact character of the legend is obscure. Save where these bold rock faces appear, and they are not numerous, the bluffs are covered with a rich prairie turf, and tall waving grass, beautifully embroidered with flowers. In most places they are planted with oak up to the summit, in long serpentine rows and now again if copses, which, in the language of a travelling friend, look like “a gigantic orchard.”
Probably one of the finest views along the river is at the confluence of the Wisconsin. The bluffs here are remarkably precipitous, filling one with a sense of the presence of world-creating power. To the northward, far as the eye can reach, are foliage-crowned islands begirt with the silver lines of the water, gleaming in the moonlight, while the distant hills, which form the back ground, are lost in the blue haze of heaven. As we were sailing along through this rich, resplendent scenery with evidences of God's wisdom, power and goodness all around, enough to make the infidel ashamed of his unbelief, I could not but feel that that was a rare place, and that silent hour of night a rare hour, for holding communion with Him who is above, the enraptured mind becoming its own highest thanksgiving to the Power that made it.
We reached St. Paul at midnight, so that I had not the pleasure of seeing this apostolic city, “crown of the hills” from its water approach. That it is beautifully situated may be seen from any point. And all visitors agree that that portion of the city, occupying St. Anthony's Hill, and Dayton's Bluff, affords a most pleasant retreat from heat and dust, and a most delightful abiding place while July and August last.
During a sojourn here of two months, I traversed the regions round about within a radius of 35 miles, and breathed in their quiet inspirations.
From St. Anthony's Hill looking southward, and 18 miles off, is a vast prairie bright with blooms, on the border of which is “Castle Rock," standing solitarily and alone, like an ancient watch tower commanding a view of all approaches south and south-east. Looking westward, and following up the line of the Minnesota River (“clear water”) is one of the richest valleys in the state, waving with wheat and corn, and overhung with a clear and mellowing sky, that imparts a peculiar richness to the scene. Looking a little north of west, about 33 miles distant, is one of those beautiful inland lakes with which Minnesota abounds. It is called Lake Minnetonka (“deep water”) 60 miles long, of irregular widths, and so thickly inset with islands, that the canoe voyageur must mark his bearings well, if he would not waste his strength in trying to find the way back to the landing. A few miles from this lake is."Lake of the Isles," and to the north-east of this, are those twin lakes, “Calhoun and Harriet,” perfect gems of beauty in themselves, quietly ensconced in a wreathing of aspen, oak and tamarack. The beautiful chain beginning at Lake Minnetonka, which connects it with these other three lakes and forms their proper
outlet into the Mississippi, is the Minnehaha creek (" Laughing water”). This is the little creek famed in song, not over 20 feet wide, that, in its effort to reach the “Father of Waters,” tumbles down over a precipice 60 feet high with childish grace, laughing at the gambol, and then almost loses itself in a dell of "rushes and birch trees,” before quite reaching its destination. There is a bridge spanning the stream a few rods from the falls. I have stood on it, fancying I could see where dwelt the " maker and his lovely daughter, the bride of Hiawatha," while I could really hear and see the “laughing waters,"
“Gleaming, glancing through the branches.” A lady of General Grant's party exclaimed, as she came in full view of
“How beautiful!" “That is it,” was my first thought. It is not grand, it is beautiful.
In dry summer, the water fall becomes thin, almost like a lace vail. We went behind this vail under the shelving rock, and looked out through its misty folds, and down into the hooded ravine, having forms of beauty all around us, and a partial rainbow wreathing the spray at the foot of the falls. Looking northward, 15 miles distant by way of Fort Snelling, and 6 miles above Minnehaha, are the celebrated Falls of St. Anthony." As we approach these, in the language of Longfellow, we
“Hear a rushing and a roaring :
Calling to us from the distance.” But I was disappointed in the character of the falls. They should be called Rapids. The difference in the height of the Mississippi above and below the falls is but 17 feet. Once, doubtless, they were veritable falls dashing
down over the ledge of rocks at one leap; but time and flood have pushed many of the rocks from their places and washed away the cement; that now, it is rather the dashing, leaping of the water from rock to rock until the level below is reached. • What a splendid water power to turn a mill!” exclaimed an enterprising Yorker looking up at the Niagara. Here, in reality, is the finest water power on the continent. And already we can hear the clatter of factories and saw mills mingling their noises with the roaring of the dashing current.
Three miles below St. Anthony, a tiny stream noiselessly passes across the county road, which is another water beauty; one that is seldom noticed by excursionists. It is the “weeping water,” called such from the fact, that where it empties into the Mississippi, it falls over a rock down into a dell 40 feet below, and falling that height, the little stream, but a yard wide and a few inches deep, loses its adhesiveness. It is separated into so many pearly globules which, like tear drops, bedew the foliage of the dell.
We stopped to contemplate this display of beauty, this almost hidden treasure of loveliness. It was the last object of note on our route, but we could not withdraw abruptly. Our hearts were moved while associating with this in our minds the other scenes enjoyed on this day's ride. Never did I feel so deeply before the infinite pains God has taken to write his letterings of love on earth, and air and sky. Never did I realize so forcibly, that, in the very arrangements and orderings of things, He has made the exquisite and surpassing beauty of the world so conspicuous as almost to compel every human being, however stolid, or morbid, or miserly he may be, to say of it all, “How gloriously beautiful hath it been wrought!" All that I saw on that trip, all that I saw before, and afterward, of charming scenery, made the thought still clearer and deeper, that there is in this single element of the world's beauty, a tribute to the goodness of God toward his creatures; that there is in this lavish expenditure and display of divine love which we behold all around us, solid reason for profound gratitude to Him “by whom are all things,” and for an affectionate recognition of our Father's care and regard for our good. We can find here an incentive to lead a noble life. We can find here an impelling inspiration to live more in harmony with the sublimity of the river, the purity of the sky, and the calm sweet beauty of the green
THE FIVE LITTLE RABBITS.
BY AMY WARD.
Once upon a time there were five little rabbits, who lived with their father in a nice house in a wood. It was not a house built of bricks and mortar, with doors and windows to it, such as you, my little readers, live in; but it was dug out underground, and was called a warren or burrow. They were all pretty and good-tempered little rabbits, but all, except one of them, had one very great fault. They "thought they were wiser than their father and mother, and so they were not always obedient as good children ought to be. It was this fault that brought all their misfortunes upon them, as I will presently tell you.
One morning the father and mother of these little rabbits called them together, and said “Children, we are going out to-day, and do not expect to be home till late in the evening. If you are good and obedient, and do exactly as we tell you, no harm can happen to you; but if you are naughty and will not mind, you will surely be sorry for it."
They all promised to be very good and obedient, and their father went on with his directions.
“You must not, on any account,” said he, “ go further away from home than the large oak tree on one side and the little beach sapling on the other. You must run into the house at the slightest noise you hear, without waiting to find out what has caused it, and you must not have any thing to say to strangers, nor let any one scrape acquaintance with you. Į need not tell you not to quarrel with each other, for that is something you never do; but I must warn you, Fatty, not to niake yourself sick by eating too much, and you, Frisky, must try not to forget every word I have said before your mother and I are out of sight.” The little rabbits promised again to do just as they were told, and their father and mother kissed them good-by and left them.
When the little" rabbits found themselves alone, they ran out of doors and began to chase each other around the soft, green grass. They played very happily together for some time, and then Frisky and Spotty challenged their brother Bunny to race with them as far as a fallen tree, a
little distance beyond the beach sapling. "I will run as far as the sapling,” said Bunny; “but I can't go any further, because papa told us not to.” “Nonsense,” answered Frisky, “the sapling is so near that we could reach it in three jumps. That is no race.” “ It is as far as I can go," said Bunny," and I wish, my dear brother and sister, that you would stay with me. But Frisky only laughed at him, and Spotty promised to come back as soon as he had reached the fallen tree. So off they started, while poor Bunny stood and watched them with the tears in his eyes.
In a few moments they reached the tree, Spotty having wop the race. He turned back, but Frisky began to play in some long grass which was there, and Bunny and Spotty soon lost sight of her.
In the mean while, Bunny's favorite sister Pinkeye, had stayed quietly beside Fatty, who was nibbling a piece of apple, which a little boy who had passed with his father the day before, had dropped there. Bunny was very glad to see how good and quiet they were, and when Fatty asked him to come and taste her apple, he thanked her, but said that he did not want any, because it was so soon after breakfast. “And take care yourself, sister Fatty,” said he, “or you may be ill again, as you were last week, and have to take more of those nasty bitter leaves that you
disliked so much.”
“Oh, I will be careful,” said Fatty, as well as she could speak with her mouth full. “I am big enough, I am sure.”
“You certainly are the largest of us all,” said Bunny, good-humoredly, "and I did not mean to interfere with you; but indeed I am afraid that piece of stale apple is not good for you. Come and play with Pinkeye and me for a little while.”
"Don't bother me," replied Fatty. “You know I don't like to be disturbed while I am eating.”
So Bunny let her alone, for Fatty, though not actually cross, was not so good-natured as any of her brothers and sisters because she was generally uncomfortable from having eaten too much.
Just then Spotty came rushing up in a state of the greatest excitement.
“What do you think?” she said; “there is a horrid man on the other side of the great oak, and I know he is in some mischief, he is so quiet. I wonder what he is doing."
Nothing that concerns us,” answered Bunny, "since he is on the other side of the tree. Let him mind his business and we will mind ours. If he comes near us, or makes any noise, we must run home, as father told us. You know what a gun is, Spotty, for you saw a wicked man kill a poor little bird with one yesterday. Has he a gun with him? If he has, we must run in at once.”
“Oh, no!" replied Spotty, "he has no gun; he has a strange-looking thing, like nothing that I ever saw before, which he hid away I wonder what it is. Suppose we go and see as soon as he goes away.”
“Indeed I will not,” said Bunny; for father told us not to go beyond the oak tree on any account.”
"Well, I will,” said Spotty. "I lost my fun to please you once to-day, and I don't mean to do it again.”
Now Bunny was no older than his brothers and sisters, and his parents had not told him to try and keep them in order, so he did not say any more, though he felt very sorry when he saw how obstinate Spotty was.
in the grass.
Spotty always was meddlesome, and fond of prying into other people's affairs, and his parents had often told him that he would get into trouble, if he did not break himself of this bad habit.
Fatty had now finished her apple, and was looking around for something else to eat. She saw some bright, glossy leaves, growing on, a sort of vine, which clung to the trunk of a tree near her.
A pretty little black and white dog, with curly hair, and long ears and tail
, now came running up, and asked the little rabbits to let him play with them for a little while.
“I will not hurt you,” said he. “In the first place, I am not a hunting dog, and in the next I am too little to do you any harm, even if I were. You may believe what I say, for dogs always tell the truth."
“I know that,” said Bunny. “Father and mother have often told me so; and I should love to play with you, but I cannot to-day. Come and see us to-morrow, when our parents are at home, and, if they are willing, I should be delighted to have you for a friend, for I know by your looks that you are good, and I love you already.”
“'Then let him 'stay and play with us now,” said Pinkeye. “Do stay, pretty little dog, and if brother Bunny is afraid of you, I
“I am not afraid of you, little dog," said Bunny,“ but I must not break my word.” And so saying, he ran away into the warren, so that he should not be tempted any more.
He stayed there for some time, when he heard the little dog barking and crying, as if he were in the greatest distress.
“Oh, dear! oh, dear!” cried the little dog, as soon as he saw Bunny. “What shall I do? What shall I do?”
“What is the matter?” asked Bunny.
“I don't know," answered the little dog, whose name was Tiny," but I am afraid I have killed poor Pinkeye. We were playing very happily together, and I gave her, in fun, a tiny little bite on the back of her neck, and she fell right down, and I can't make her move. You don't know how sorry I am. Indeed I did not mean to hurt her. I would not do so for the world.”
And poor Tiny began to cry and howl again.
Bunny did not know what to do, he felt so sorry, and he sat down beside Tiny and cried too. He had no handkerchief, so he took a large plantain leaf and wiped his eyes on that. All at once he remembered that, if Pinkeye was not really dead, this was not the way to help her, so he and Tiny went to look at her. There poor Pinkeye lay, cold and dead.
Bunny and Tiny sat crying over her for a long time, and then Bunny began to wonder what had become of his brother and his other sisters. But he could not go and look for them without disobeying his father, so he asked Tiny to go instead. Tiny was very glad to be able to do any thing to oblige him, so he ran off at once; for a long time he could not find
an of them, though he looked for them in every direction. At last he went to the other side of the oak tree, where you remember Spotty had gone to see what the man was doing. Poor little fellow! he had found out to his cost, for there he was caught in a trap; and in his struggle to get out he had hurt himself so badly that he was breathing his last when Tiny found him. He had only time to send his love to Bunny, and to say how sorry he was that he had not taken his advice, when he fell over on his side and died.