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The Rattlesnake Hunter.

497

THE RATTLESNAKE

Hunter.

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larger and 'his colours brighter. His body moved with a slow, almost imperceptible motion towards me, and a low hum of music came from him, strange sweet melody, faint as that which melts from the throat of a hummingbird.

Then the tints of his body began to deepen, and changed and glowed, like the changes of a beautiful kaleidoscope-green, purple, and gold, until I lost sight of the serpent entirely and saw only a wild and curiously

circle of strange colours, quivering around me like an atmosphere of rainbows. I seemed in the centre of a great prism, a world of mysterious colours, and tints varied and darkened and lighted up again around me, and the low music went on without ceasing, until my brain reeled ; and fear, for the first time, came over me. The new sensation gained upon me rapidly, and I could feel the cold sweat gushing from my brow. I had no certainty of danger in my mind, no definite ideas of peril, all was vague and clouded, like the unaccountable terrors of a dream, and yet my limbs

shook, and I fancied I could feel the HE following is the story of a man known blood stiffening with cold as it passed along my veins.

amongst the Green Mountains as the Rattle. I would have given worlds to have been able to tear my. snake Hunter:

self from the spot-I even attempted to do so, but the “We had resided in the new country nearly body obeyed not the impulse of the mind; not a muscle a year. Our settlement had increased rapidly, and the stirred, and I stood stilī, as if my feet had grown to the .comforts and delicacies of life were beginning to be felt, after solid rock, with the infernal music of the tempter in my the weary privations and severe trials to which we had ear, and the baleful colourings of his enchantment before been subjected. The red men were few and feeble, and me. did not molest us. The beasts of the forest and mountain “Suddenly a new sound came on my ear. It was a were ferocious, but we suffered little from them. The human voice, but it seemed strange and awful. Again, only immediate danger to which we were exposed resulted again, but I stirred not; and then a white form plunged from the rattlesnakes, which infested our neighbourhood. before me, and grasped my arm. The horrible spell was Three or four of our settlers were bitten by them, and at once broken. The strange colours passed from before died in terrible agonies. The Indians often told us my vision. The rattlesnake was coiling at my very feet, frightful stories of this snake, and its powers of fascination, with glowing eyes and uplifted fangs; and my wife was and although they were generally believed, yet, for myself, clinging in terror upon me. The next instant the serpent I confess I was rather amused than convinced by their threw himself upon us. My wife was the victim! The marvellous legends.

fangs pierced deeply into her hand; and her scream of “ In one of my hunting excursions abroad, on a fine agony, as she staggered backwards from me, told me the morning it was just at this time of the year-I was dreadful truth. accompanied by my wife. 'Twas a beautiful morning. “ Then it was that a feeling of madness came upon me; The sunshine was warm, but the atmosphere was perfectly and when I saw the foul serpent stealing away from his clear; and a fine breeze from the north-west shook the work, reckless of danger, I sprang forward and crushed bright green leaves which clothed to profusion the wreath him under my feet, grinding him upon the ragged rock. ing branches over us. I had left my companion for a The groans of my wife now recalled me to her side and to short time in the pursuit of game; and in climbing a the horrible reality of her situation. There was a dark rugged ledge of rocks, interspersed with shrubs and dwarf- livid spot on her hand, and it deepened into blackness as fish trees, I was startled by a quick, grating rattle. II led her away. We were at a considerable distance from looked forward. On the edge of a loosened rock lay a any dwelling; and after wandering for a short time, the large rattlesnake, coiling himself as if for the deadly pain of the wound became insupportable to my wife, and spring. He was within a few feet of me, and I paused for she swooned away in my arms. Weak and exhausted as an instant to survey him. I know not why, but I stood I was, I yet had strength enough left to carry her to the still, and looked at the deadly serpent with a strange nearest rivulet, and bathe her brow in the cold water. feeling of curiosity. Suddenly he unwound his coil, as if She partially recovered, and sat down upon the bank. relenting from his purpose of hostility, and, raising his while I supported her head upon my bosom. Hour after head, he fixed his bright, fiery eye directly on my own. hour passed away, and none came near us, and there, A chilling and indescribable sensation, totally different alone in the great wilderness, I watched over her, and from anything I had ever before experienced, followed this prayed with her, and she died !” movement of the serpent; but I stood still, and gazed The old man groaned audibly as he uttered these words, steadily and earnestly, for at that moment there was a and, as he closed his long bony hands over his eyes, I visible change in he reptile. His form seemed to grow could see the tears falling thickly through his gaunt

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THE GREAT VICTORIES OF BIBLE

fingers. After a momentary struggle with his feelings, he Swarthy, and tall, and fleet, with his garment girded about lifted his head once more, and there was a fierce light in

him, his eyes as he spoke :

Down through the gorge he comes, while the white stones “But I have had my revenge. From that fatal

crumble beneath him, moment I have felt myself fitted and set apart, by the Swift as the oryx bounding free in the wilds of the desert, terrible ordeal of affliction, to rid the place of its foulest Leaping from crag to crag, while the great cliffs frowning curse. And I have well-nigh succeeded: the fascinating Stare at the flying form, and scatter his pathway with demons are already few and powerless."

shadows. Years have passed since my interview with the Rattle- “Help for a city, hard-pressed by the might of the Amorite snake Hunter; the place of his abode has changed-a foemen! beautiful village rises near the spot of conference, and the Gibeon crieth for help ! Five kings and their hosts have beset grass of the churchyard is green over the grave of the old her! hunter But hix story is fixed upon my mind, and Time, Save us, and haste and come—your servants die if ye tarry!" like enamel, only burns deeper the first impression. It comes up before me like a vividly-remembered dream, Loudly, from tent to tent, like a summons to battle, the whose features are too horrible for reality.

me-sage Burst on the startled tribes; and Joshua heard, and arising, Called for his charger and spear, while the warriors fierce and

excited, Girding on buckler and sword, came hurrying forth, and the Gathered their children together, and listened in trembling

silence.

Not on deaf ears fell the sudden appeal, and or ever the midDays.

night Blackened the mountain caverns and poured white fire on the

summits,

Stern in their terrible mission, streamed up from the camp in the BETH-HORON.

valley

Horsemen clattering by with foam on the bit, and the archers INGED with a halo of fire, the

Guarding the rearward came, with bows slung back, and the broad-browed sun was descend. Flushed with the ardour of war, in the might of their God-given

spearmen ing,

valour.
Angry and tired with his long Stealthy and silent they marched, and around them the hush
day's march, and the western

of the darkness
valleys
Glimmered and passed into shade,

Sank like a spell, save where the scream of the cliff-hawk

awakened,
while the red light, wandering Rang through the glen, and the brindled ears of the lurking

upward,
Brake on the tall, white hills in a

hyena

Bent o'er the rocks above as he stured at the host; while above glow deep-hued

it

them vanished.

Stood in the cloudless heaven the white moon, pale as a spirit.
Deep in his cloven bed in the

broad, green plain to the
eastward,

So through the cool, clear night the feet of the sandalled Winding away in the clear, grey dusk of the deepening twi. marchers light,

Moved up the pass, and on either side great crags overhanging Tranquil' the Jordan flowed, far-flecked with tremulous Rose like the grim.carved idols that frowned in the fanes of shadows,

the heathen, Willow and reed and thorn, and the poplars, shaking together, Senseless, horrid, and dark. Till afar on the looming horizon Swayed in the cool night breeze. And black on the slope of Shot up the streamers of day, and the crimson arrows of sunthe mountain,

rise Clustered at Gilgal, arose the tents of the conquering Hebrew. Shook the palled throne of Night, and the world smiled out

to the morning. Levelled and low in its ash-s, the City of Palms lay behind

them, Shaken and thrown by the stern omnipotent hand of Jehovah; There, round the leaguered city, prepared for the battle's Shattered it lay-black dust, where even the wings of the Fluttered the five dark banners that told where the foemen had Hovered aloof, as if scared by the curse that haunted the As when the kestrel, poised on hovering wing in the heaven,

gathered. ruins.

Sees on the hillside covert the fight of some clamorous Yet but a little while, and again shall the sword from its

sparrows, scabbard

Quivering in blue mid-air he hangs, and then, like a meteor, Leap, and the bow-string sing as the arrow is loosed, and the Drops on the startled pair and smites them ere they are parted,

target Flash as it wards the blow, and the hills be shaken with

So from the glimmering pass the band of the Hebrews

emerging, battle.

Halted one moment, and then swept down in a headlong

torrentSilence is reigning now, for the stir of the long day is ended, Rider and steed, and behind them the far-bent bows of the Save where the bark of the mountain fox, and the lowing of archers cattle

Raining their fatal shower on the wakening camp in the Wakes in some sonorous cleft a dull and mystical echo;

valley. Silence and hushed repose 'neath the wings of the brooding Cheer on cheer went up, as the dust rolled down in a tempest; twilight,

Cheer on cheer went up, as the shafts rattled fast on the hillSilence and voiceless winds, and the gloom of the darkness descending

Cheer on cheer went up, as the foe fled baffled and broken.

So from the empty tents, and the white-walled city we drove Hark! on the hills, a shout ! swift feet on the rock-hewn them, pathway!

Up from the gorge, and along the bare-backed ridge of BethDown through the black ravine thero is coming a stalwart horon; runner;

Vainly they strove to stand with boulder or bush for a covert,

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The Great Victories of Bible Days.

499

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All who lingered went down, and the rest like hares of the So to the word of a man the Omnipotent hearkened ; and hillside

Israel, Left them and broke away. So fast they fled, that the hind. Wondering still at the sight, swept on with the terrible war

cry, Passed out of view ere noon, round the jutting slope of the “God is mighty in battle, the Lord is His name !" and the mountain.

echoes

Caught up the cry, till the hollows were full of mystical voices Only a few had fallen, and now should the heathen, escaping, Speaking the ominous words; and the hearts of the Amorite Draw together and turn ? Not such was the will of Jehovah; melted, Deadly the fight must be, and the gleaming sword of their Stumbling on down the rocks now strewn with the dead and leader

the dying. Flashed new fire in the breast of the fainting Hebrew, and Till, from her haunts on the hill-slope, the fleet gazelle, as she sternly

bounded Each man wiping his sword, pressed on hot-handed, Far up the hill from the reach of the terrible spear, looked undaunted.

backward,

Scared by the din, and the black glossy wings of the wandering Hark! what sound on the hills reverberate rolls in the Followed the battle. And here, to the wayside caverns distance,

retreating, Loud and deep as the sound of the shore when the billows are breaking ?

Found they the heathen kings. Up the long valley of Ajalon, full from the westward Ere that tired sun went down, and the twilight had shrouded

And or ever the long day was ended, advancing,

the valley, Angry and black comes the storm ! The tall trees are bending Stealing down from the hills, the wolf, as he watched the

before it; Into his cleft in the hillside the fox has fled, and the rock.goat Pass out of sight, came back, and, lured by the scent of the

pursuers Gathers her kids to her side, and stands with her face to the

carnage, tempest, Waiting, with horns thrown back, for the rush of the wind. Started and stared at the five grim corses heavily swaying

Under the branching trees. So fell the pride of the heathen ! And above them, Through the thin veil of the scourging shower, her crescent of silver

Weary and stained with the dust and the blood of the terrible Wheels up the white, wan moon, and aloft on the limestone Israel at sunset returned, and there, in the calm of the evening,

ridges Bursts the black mass, and the summits are rolled in smoke, Took they the corses down, and into the gloom of the cavern and the lightning

Cast them, and, barring the mouth, went up, to the sound of Shimmers from peak to peak, red tongued, and the Lord Eastward and homeward all. And the sunbeams faded Almighty

behind them. Pours from His hollowed hand the hail-stones heavy and

HORACE G. GROSER. deadly. Then, in the distint pass, was heard the cry of afflictionCurses and shrieks of despair, and the struggling feet of the wounded.

AN OLD LEGEND. Wondering still at the tumult, pressed on the Hebrew pur. suers;

In

Ephesus were mercilessly persecuted. All who refused Till from the heights they beheld the long rock-path to the

to worship idols were condemned to death. westward Shrouded in beating mist, and, marking its track as it drifted, and Constantine were seven young men of noble birth. They

Maximian, Malchus, Marcian, Dionysius, John, Serapion, Slain by the terrible stones, lay the flower of the Amorite said they would never deny their Lord and Master, Jesus

armies. Slain by the hand of the Lord, struck down as they fled from Christ

. The Emperor gave them a few days to consider their

course, telling them that they would certainly be executed His anger ;

unless they obeyed him. They fled to a cave in Mount Celion, Beaten and braised they fell, and the remnant poured like a

where they fell asleep. torrent

Diocletian hunted for them everywhere, but they could not Down the long valley of green, and after them, eager, trium. be found. He blocked up with great stones the mouth of the

phant, Flect as the wolf when he follows the flying deer in the desert, hidden in its recesses they would die of hunger.

very cavern in which they were, thinking, that if they were Israel pursuing came.

More than two centuries passed away. Then, according to

tradition, an Ephesiau building a stable on the side of Mount But long ere the conflict was ended, Celion took a fancy to the big stones in the cave's mouth. He Low on the red-rimmed hills sank dɔwn the sun in his glory, carried them away, daylight poured in, the sounds of the outside Sank, and with him fell the hopes of the panting, relentless world penetrated the silence, and the Seven Sleepers rubbed pursuers,

their eyes, awoke, and felt hungry. It was to them as though Fearful lest darkness should fall and conceal the steps of the they had slept but one day. flying,

Šalchus went into the city to buy some food. Everything Shielding the fugitive host with her broad, black wings. And was strange to him. Everywhere, on houses and temples, he appealing

saw the sign of the cross. He heard men using Christ's name. Straight to his God, as he rode, with his sword extended to When he went into a baker's shop to buy a luaf, and offered heaven,

in payment a coin more than two hundred years old, the people Joshua came, and they heard him shout as he dashed down stared, and the baker, who happened to be a coin collector, the hill side,

wanted to know where he had discovered so great a treasure“Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon! thou moon shine down And Malchus, bewildered and confused, was taken before the o'er the valley !”

Governor and the Bishop, and to them he told simply how he Soon as the words rang out, by the hand of its Maker and his friends had gone to hide from danger, and how they arrested,

had fallen asleep, and had just awakened. Then he led the Halted the chariot of day, and between the cleft ridge of the great men and the crowd to the place where his six commountains,

panions were impatiently waiting for him to return. Streamed from the tarrying wheels a glory of crimson and There they were, young, beaut ful, and blooming. But they amber

were in a world which they did not know, and which did not Flooding the wide, white hills. And the moon, restrained in know them, so the beautiful story says that God kindly took her rising,

them to Himself before long in the sweet sleep which has no Lit with a paler splendour the fair green Ajalon valley. waking on earth.

KINGS AND QUEENS OF THOUGHT AND Action.

HAVELOCK.

abiding member of society. Property is respected

by him, temperance and restraint are practised even By A. W. GROSER.

in the hour of victory and conquest. JOW strangely our ideas of soldiers and Who and what have worked so great a change ?

soldiering have altered since the early days Education has done much for the soldier, but the of this world's history. The character and example of his leaders has done infinitely more. It

conditions of the soldier of the nineteenth is the leader who, as with a die, stamps his impress century differ as greatly from those of the fighting upon the conduct and bearing of his troops, who man of other ages, as the cut of his coat and the communicates to the soldier feelings of chivalry and

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killing power of his arms. No longer do we think of moderation, or sentiments of violence, passion, and the soldier as a machine, no longer as a social excess. outlaw,

What a fearful responsibility then rests, and has “Wandering over the face of the earth,

rested upon the generals of bygone ages, and the Warming his hands at another's hearth.” commanders of to-day. How few have imitated the no longer as a hired ruffian willing to undergo any glorious example of the “brave Gustavus," or comhardship for the sake of prize-money. The soldier of municated to their troops the gentle force of Washto-day is, in most instances, an intelligent and law- ington. But, thank God, the example of the few is

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His fondness for all things military, and his interest in battles and sieges were very keen, but his parents had designed him for the law. It was the

expressed wish of his beloved mother before her death in 1811, that Henry should study for the Bar, and, accordingly, at the age of eighteen he was entered at the Middle Temple. An

unfortunate disagreement, however,

with his father forced him to relinquish his studies

about

year afterwards, being followed

and to seek for in the present,

immediate and that the soldier is learning

source of income. from his generals to-day,

His yearning for a lessons of patient forbearance

soldier's life now and restraint. My readers will

returned in full Havelock's Birthplace. remind me of the behaviour of

strength, and he our troops in the recent war, will tell me how nobly was successful in obtaining a lieutenancy in the property was respected, and how safe were the little Rifle Brigade. We do not wonder at his choice. fellah children in the midst of stalwart Highlanders His three brothers were soldiers, and the age was and fiery Life Guards. Yes, but the grandest one of tumult and bloodshed, of stirring excitement, monument of moderation in the hour of vengeance, and martial ardour. England, it is true, had broken of patience under conditions the most painful, and the power of Napoleon, and the echoes of Waterloo of Christian meekness in the hour of triumph, is were beginning to be stilled. The storm of war had bequeathed to us by Havelock and his devoted ceased but for a season, to burst out once more with troops.

a crash and violence that shook the power of The story of the Indian Mutiny, of Havelock and England to its centre. his “ saints," of Lucknow and Cawnpore, has been But we are anticipating. Havelock now had a often told, but the greatness of its heroes has never congenial occupation, and he applied himself with been exaggerated. Kings they were of thought and all diligence to the study of languages and war. action, knights as chivalrous as those who served His religion for a while was cold and lifeless, and his King Arthur. Foremost of all was Havelock, the principles changing and restless, but never had he pattern of a Christian paladin: a man who was forgotten that to be a gentleman he must be pure,

every inch a soldier, every inch a Christian, every and to be kingly he must be upright. What he had • inch a king. Who, and what he was, let us briefly lost amidst the frivolous associations of military life remind our readers.

was the feeling of joy and sunshine in God's favour, Five years before this century commenced Henry the enthusiasm of loving and being loved by Him. Havelock was born at Ford Hall, Bishop's Wear- This cloud soon passed away, never to return, and mouth. His father was a shipbuilder of considerable Havelock became a faithful and humble soldier of the fortune, his mother the daughter of a solicitor, and Great King. This humility and faithfulness were a woman of peculiar piety and excellence. Have- the foundation stones of his fame, and in bowing lock's debt to his mother was great indeed, and from most reverently to God's will, he rose to the “fullher he learnt those lessons of purity and reverence ness of the stature of the perfect man.” which, in later life, exercised so glorious an influence In 1823, Havelock sailed for India, and in a few upon his character and career. What England owes months' time was called upon for active service. to Havelock she owes to his mother, a debt she The trumpet-call found him ready. He had spent acknowledges, but cannot pay.

the interyal, not in gambling and dissipation, but as We pass briefly over his early school days, which a man who knew the danger of his position, and who were marked by courage and sturdy love of truth. understood the responsibility thereof. His studies were pursued with diligence, while his disciple of Jesus Christ, as well as an accomplished force and consistency of character were admitted by soldier of the Crown, he was unfailing in his efforts all Glimmerings of that kingly power of leading, or to teach and train his equals and subordinates in of subordinating men's wills to his, as Carlyle puts purity, sobriety, and faithfulness to the claims of it, and which, in later life, he exhibited in so marked their professson. His influence over his men began a way, were beginning to be seen ; and he was early to be the subject of common remark, and the readiinfluencing and moulding his schoolfellows by his ness of “ Havelock’s Saints” to go anywhere, and example and advice.

do anything, was a source of curiosity and admiration

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