Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

remarks, our eldest brother, the administrator, produced this package, of whose existence we were already apprised, read the superscription', and asked what course should be taken in regard to it. Another brother, a few years younger than the eldest, a man of strong, impulsive temperament, unable at the moment to express his feeling by words, while he brushed the tears from his eyes with one hand, by a spasmodice jerk of the other towards the fireplace, indicated his desire to have the paper put into the flames.

4. “It was suggested by another of our number, that it might be well first to make a list of the debtors' names, and of the dates and accounts, that we might be enabled, as the intended discharge was for all, to inform such as might offer payment, that their debts were forgiven. On the following day we again assembled; the list had been prepared, and all the notes, due bills, and accounts, whose amount, including interest, exceeded thirty-two thousand dollars, were committed to the flames.

5. “It was in the month of June, about four months after our father's death, that, as I was sitting in my eldest brother's counting-room, waiting for an opportunity to speak to him, there came in a hard-favored”, little old man, who looked as if time and rough weather had been to the windward of him for seventy years. He asked if my brother was not the executor 8. He replied that he was administrator, as our father died intestate'. "Well,' said the stranger, “I have come up from the Cape to pay a debt I owed the old gentleman.' My brother,” continued my imformant, “requested him to be seated, being at the moment engaged.

6. “The old man sat down, and, putting on his glasses, drew out a very ancient leather wallet.. When he had done this and sat, with quite a parcel of notes, waiting his turn, slowly twirling his thumbs, with his old, gray, meditative eyes upon the floor, he sighed; and I well knew the money, as the phrase runs, came hard, and I secretly wished the old man's name might be found upon the forgiven list. My brother was soon at leisure, and asked him his name, and other common questions. The original debt was four hundred and forty dollars : it had stood a long time, and with the interest amounted to a sum between seven and eight hundred dollars.

7. “My brother went to his table, and, after examining the forgiven list attentively, a sudden smile lighted up his countenance, and told me the truth at a glance — the old man's name was there. My brother quietly took a chair by his side, and a conversation ensued between them, which I shall never forget. "Your note is outlawed 10,' said my brother; "it was dated twelve years ago, payable in two years; there is no witness, and no interest has ever been paid; you are not bound to pay this note: we cannot recover the amount.

8. “Sir,' said the old man, “I wish to pay it. It is the only heavy debt I have in the world. I should like to pay it;' and he laid the bank notes before my brother, and requested him to count them over. 'I cannot take this money,' said my brother.

9. “The old man became alarmed. I have cast simple interest” for twelve years and a little over,' said the old man. 'I will pay you compound interest" if you say so. That debt ought to have been paid long ago; but your father, sir, was very indulgent: he knew I had been unfor, tunate, and told me not to worry about it.

10. “My brother then set the whole matter plainly beforo him, and, taking the bills, returned them to the old man, telling him, that although our father left no formal will, he had recommended to his children to destroy certain notes, due bills, and other evidences of debt, and release those who might be legally bound to pay them. For a moment

the worthy old man seemed to be stupefied. After he had collected himself', and wiped a few tears from his eyes, he stated, that from the time he had heard of our father's death, he had raked and scraped, and pinched and spared, to get the money together for the payment of this debt.

11. “. About ten days ago,' said he, “I had made up the sum within twenty dollars. My wife knew how much the payment of this debt lay upon my spirits, and advised me to sell a cow, and make up the difference, and get the heavy. burden off my spirits. I did so — and now what will my wife say? I must get home to the Cape, and tell her this good news. She'll probably say over the very words she said when she put her hands on my shoulder as we parted

“I have never seen the righteous man forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”' After a hearty shake of the hand, and a blessing upon our father's memory, he went upon his way rejoicing.

12. “After a short silence, seizing his pencil and making a computation, — There,'exclaimed my brother, your part of the amount would be so much: contrive a plan to convey to me your share of the pleasure derived from this operation, and the money is at your service.”

I CĚNT'Y-RY. A period of one hundred | 8 Ex-Ěc 'Y-TọR. One appointed by a years.

1 person, in his last will, to see that 2 COMMERCE. Traffic, or the inter- his will is carried into effect.

change of property on a large scale. 9 IN-TES'TẠTE. Dying without hay8 AD-MÎN'ĮS-TERED. To administer up-| ing made a will.

on an estate is to manage the prop- 10 OÛT'LÂWED, Ceased to have a legal

erty of one who has made no will. value. Notes become outlawed in 4 A-LÒNG'-SHORE. A colloquial term six years from the time when their

applied to places along the coast payment is due. or shore; here, applied to the shore 11 IN'TER-EST. Money paid for the in the south-eastern part of Mas use of money. Simple interest is sachusetts.

interest upon the principal only. 6 SU-PER-SCRİP'TION. What is writ Compound interest is interest upon ten on the top or outside.

both the principal, and the interest 6 SPAŞ-MOD'ịc. Convulsive.

that has become due. 7 HÄRD-FĀ'VORED. Having coarse or 12 COL-LECTED HIM-SELF . Becama harsh features,

calm or composed.

VI. - AN INDIAN STRATAGEM.

ANON. 1. DURING the war of the American revolution, a regiment' of foot soldiers was stationed upon the confines of an extensive savanna: in the southern part of the Union. Its particular office was to guard every avenue of approach to the main army. The sentinels “, whose posts: penetrated into the woods, were supplied from the ranks; but they were perpetually surprised upon their posts by the Indians, and borne off their stations, without communicating any, alarm, or being heard of afterwards.

2. One morning, the sentinels having been stationed as usual over night, the guard went at sunrise to relieve a post which extended a considerable distance into the wood. The sentinel was gone. The surprise was great; but the circumstance had occurred before. They left another inan, and departed, wishing him better luck. “You need not be afraid,” said the man, with warmth ; “I shall not desert."

3. The sentinels were replaced every four hours, and, at the appointed time, the guard again marched to relieve the post. To their inexpressible astonishment, the man was gone. They searched round the spot, but no traces of him could be found. It was now more necessary than ever that the station should not remain unoccupied; they left another man, and returned to the guard-house.

4. The superstitione of the soldiers was awakened, and terror ran through the regiment. The colonel', being apprised of the occurrence, signified his intention to accompany the guard when they relieved the sentinel they had left. At the appointed time, they all inarched together; and again, to their unutterable wonder, they found the post vacant, and the man gone.

5. Under these circumstances, the colonel hesitated

whether he should station a whole company on the spot, or whether he should again submit the post to a single sentinel. The cause of these repeated disappearances of men whose courage and honesty were never suspected, must be discovered; and it seemed not likely that this discovery could be obtained by persisting in the old method.

6. Three brave men were now lost to the regiment, and to assign the post to a fourth seemed nothing less than giving him up to destruction. The poor fellow whose turn it was to take the station, though a man in other respects of incomparable resolution, trembled from head to foot.

7. “I must do my duty,” said he to the officer;“I know that; but I should like to lose my life with more credit.” “I will leave no man,” said the colonel, “ against his will.” A man immediately stepped from the ranks, and desired to take the post. Every month commended his resolution.

8. “I will not be taken alive,” said he, “and you shall hear of me at the least alarm. At all events, I will fire my piece if I hear the least noise. If a crow chatters, or a leaf falls, you shall hear my musket. You may be alarmed when nothing is the matter; but you must take the chance as the condition of the discovery."

9. The colonel applauded his courage, and told him he would do right to fire upon the least noise that he could not satisfactorily explain. His comrades shook hands with him, and left him with a melancholy foreboding. The company marched back, and waited the event in the guard-house.

10. An hour had now elapsed, and every ear was upon the rack for the discharge of the musket, when, upon a sudden, the report was heard. The guard immediately marched, accompanied, as before, by the colonel and some of the most experienced officers of the regiment.

« AnteriorContinuar »