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nance of Hans, while his wife stood speechless with terror. Slowly the spirit raised its wan finger, and pointing it at Kathrine, spoke in a voice which sent the life blood to her heart—" When the turtle shall have nine times crossed the porch, thou wilt be where I am, and the spy revenged."
A year passed by, but with no change for the better in the case of poor Hans. He grew, if possible, more bitter and sad; he spent days in solitary and gloomy musings; he neglected all ordinary occupations, and incurred the fierce displeasure of his father-in-law by his reckless conduct. It was reported that the murdered spy never left him, but was always present in both his sleeping and waking hours. He even became a drunkard, and sought to drown in the bottle the gloom which he could not dispel. Everywhere was he avoided or approached with shuddering. Yet the intensity of his suffering seemed to intensify the affections of Kathrine, until she almost worshiped him.
But Arnold's negotiations with the British were now in full progress, and sloops of war far up the river, from one of which troops landing, easily drove the small body of provincials from the heights around P
and sacked the town. The Van Twiller family took refuge with the other villagers in the woods, but became separated from Hans in the tumult. On returning, they discovered that the enemy, not content with the slaughter of human beings, had waged war even against the brutes, cutting off a turtle's head, and leaving the animal on the piazza of the Van Twiller mansion, where it lay quivering, with that tenacity to life which enables it when so mutilated to survive for weeks.
But night came on, and Hans Anderson was not found in his accustomed seat. The morning of the second day arrived, still he did not appear, and now a terrible suspicion crossed the mind of his wife that she would never see him more. Day after day passed, yet brought no tidings of the wanderer ; but the bloom disappeared from the cheeks of Kathrine, and a dangerous palor usurped its place. It was also noticed that every twelve hours the headless turtle accomplished one journey, the length of the piazza.
The moments dragged slowly and heavily along, and though they cast no light on the whereabouts of poor Hans, each one took away a portion of the very life blood of his young wife. Every one saw that she was dying—hastily dying of grief—and unless her intense mental excitement was relieved, madness or death must speedily ensue. Anxiously did the parents canvass the question would he ever come, earnestly did they watch, but no Hans appeared.
The morning of the ninth day, the sun rose beautifully over the autumnal hills, casting a rudy glow on the river and mountains, and dame Van Twiller threw open the broad hall door to enjoy its light. But her attention was arrested by the headless brute, which, turning its mutilated front towards the river, made one last effort with its dying energies, proceeded a few feet, and expired. Startled, she turned quickly, and called out, “See, Kathrine, see;" no answer was returned, but to the mother's horror, the daughter lay writhing in the death struggle, her limbs stiffening, her eyes set and glared, her features convulsed with internal suffering, and her rigid arm pointing at the window, through which, before the affrighted gaze of the matron, flitted a half seen figure in British uniform, a look of triumph on its leaden countenance; it passed, and Kathrine was dead.
Many years afterwards, a party of hunters discovered, in a dismal and secluded dell, the skeleton of a man, and upon his head the remnants of what had once been a cap, in which was worked the name, Hans Anderson. He had probably been overtaken there by drunkenness, and slain by some wild beast; and thus was the spy revenged.
C. M. D.
Hear the ringing of the bell !
What a clanging, clanging, clanging,
On the frighted ear of morn!
Of the “fortieth" forlorn
With an echo thunderous,
Of the bell, bell, bell, bell,
Bell, bell, bell,
How the pulse of even' thrilleth
To the mellow, throbbing tone!
From the bedral up aboon!
As a goddess-fingered shell,
Of the bell, bell, bell, bell,
Bell, bell, bell,
Humbug, an imposition under fair pretences ; a person who thus imposes."
It may seem hardly necessary to define “Humbug,” since Barnum's autobiography has been published. And indeed that book, in detailing the history of a life of imposition, admits us behind the curtain, and shows us all the elaborate machinery of tricks and lies which has hoaxed the world with Feejee mermaids and woolly horses for thirty years. The machinery is so simple and yet so cunningly contrived that we cannot decide, between the craft of the deceiver and the credulity of the deceived, at which wonder most. We find a new meaning for the word “humbug," when we read how a dead monkey pantalooned with a fish tail, announced and described in a well arranged and plausible train of lies, attracted thousands of visitors, and deceived everybody, as long as its owner chose to exhibit it. Of such successful humbuggery as this the whole book is an exposition. But this is a very different thing from the humbug of College, which is our subject
Different objects and different means of attaining them, belong to the world's humbug and to ours. So that we shall have to start with
the most general definition of the word, and apply that to the article among us.
What are some of our College humbugs ? One of the most specious and hollow is reputation. Reputation, everywhere “the bubble," proverbially worthless and delusive, is in College acquired, maintained, and lost with peculiar ease. The suddenly acquired fame of any of the first men in College may at any time be as suddenly lost," because it has no root.” Springing up in a moment, its mushroom growth is but for a short season; the first breath of suspicion, the first hint of a test, withers and destroys it. Of course there are exceptions; there are among us some whose. early and deserved reputation has been only justified and extended by each new trial of their abilities. But these exceptions confirm, rather than disprove the general rule, that college reputations are ill-founded, undeserved, and fleeting. And this arises naturally from several causes.
Our number, of both rivals and spectators, is not so large but that any slight success or superiority over others may be magnified into a victory over all. Our objects of pursuit are so ill defined and (in the mathematical use of the word) transcendental, that it is difficult to graduate all the various degrees of excellence. Then again secret societies, besides the many conflicting interests and contending cliques of ambition, often cause an undue exaltation or depreciation of their respective champions.
These causes are all external to the individual, whose reputation is concerned, and hence we must add to them the usual catalogue of. tricks and lies, with which human nature, weak and depraved, conjures up golden clouds to envelop and conceal its infirmities.
That contemptible meanness which will win a prize, or found a reputation on another's scholarship or talent, is unworthy of a student, unworthy of a gentleman. This then is the humbug of Reputation.
In close proximity to this, we see another great humbug, a monster in whose torturing grasp we are even at this moment writhing, the demon Politics. Was there ever a greater paradox than this, politics in a literary institution, where all come to engage in literary pursuits, and strive after literary attainments ? Think of politics among the children of a family, or the members of a church! Why then should it be found among the children of a common Alma Mater, the members of a brotherhood of learning ? This monster periodically pokes a huge club into those fountains of our improvement and pleasure, our secret and literary societies, and stirs up the sediment of human passions which had settled to the bottom during the long interval of rest, pol
luting and poisoning their waters, and turning them into the foul channels of ambition and intrigue. Like the man in the eastern fable, who, by raising a board from a little hole in the earth, let out a huge and malignant demon confined there by a magician's spell, the approach of the political season seems to remove the customary restraint from the vilest qualities of the heart, loosing upon us in all their hideous deformity, low ambition, envy, jealousy, intrigue, and a thousand other refinements of wickedness.
Yet with all this mischief there comes no good. There is nothing in the world so empty and unsatisfying as college politics. It is, indeed, "great cry and” remarkably “ little wool.” “It is all vanity and vexation of spirit.” After all the trouble and speechmaking, all the anxiety and running to and fro, all the bad feeling, intrigue and counter-intrigue, of the campaign, what is gained, what is the iminense proportionate profit? The empty, soon-forgotten honor of an office, the mention of a name in the Yale Lit., the pleasure of working hard during the hot days of summer for a numerical victory in the next Freshmen class! Truly, a noble reward, a desirable result, of three years of careful plotting, and three weeks of anxious, toilsome, intriguing drudgery! Add to this the impossibility of always having the best men in office, since politics knows nothing of merit or demerit, and the certainty of injuring the literary societies, by making them the arena of political, not literary contests, and we get some idea of the amount of evil in that greatest of all humbugs, College Politics.
Again, there is a great deal of humbug about our college style of writing. We try to do so much that we fail to do even what little we might do well. We try to humbug ourselves with the idea that we can think as deeply and write as well as men of twice our years, and ten times our experience. As might be expected, we fail, and the failure ruins our style of thought and writing. In thought, we try to be profound and metaphysical—we succeed in being unfathomable and incomprehensible. In expression, we try to be mature and eloquent-we succeed in being artificial and prosy. This artificial style of thought and language ruins our writing, and greatly injures our college Magazine. We are none of us capable of writing long novels, or profound treatises on government, and if we try, we only mystify ourselves, and bore our readers. Let us not think that we are full grown men and old citizens. Let us not forget that we are students, and great guns in College. Let us only remember that we are men, young men, some of us boys, and try to express, naturally and freely, the thoughts and feelings