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woman, Cypress. I was in the scrape ; revocare gradum was out of the question. So I went ahead softly, and when I got to the bend, I put my left eye around the bushes, and looked. By all the little fishes, it was a lovely sight! She was sitting upon a hemlock log that had fallen across the brook, with her naked feet and legs hanging in the water. There she sat, paddling, and splashing, and combing her long, beautiful, floating hair, and singing. I was entranced, petrified. She would sing a little ballad, and then she'd stop and wring her hands, and cry. Then she'd laugh, and flirt about her long hair. Then again she would look sorrowful, and sigh as though her heart would break, and sing her song over again. Presently she bent down to the stream, and began to talk earnestly to somebody. I leaned forward to take a look at the stranger, and to whom do you think she was talking? It was a trout, a brook trout, an old fellow that I have no doubt would have weighed full three pounds. He was floating on the top of the water, and dimpling, and springing up about her, as though he, too, felt and acknowledged the heavenly influence of her beauty. She bent her long fingers, and tickled him upon his back, and under his side, and he absolutely jumped through her hands, backwards and forwards, as if in a delirium of frolic.-It was by her hands that I knew she was a mermaid. They were bluey and webbed, though not much more than a black-breasted plover's feet. There was nothing positively icthyal in their formation. After a while she commenced singing, again. This was a new tune, and most exquisitely sweet. I took out my pencil and wrote down the words of the song, on a blank leaf for memoranda, in my fishing book. Shall I repeat them ?! • Do it," we all cried out with earnest
" I'll try,” said Ned, sighing. “I wish I could sing them. They ran somewhat in this way:
“ The words are not much. But 0! how exquisite was that music ; Cypress, it was like the mellow tone of a soft harp!"
“ Jewsharp,-ha-a ?” accorded long John ; that's a nice
kind o' music. I'm told they have 'em large down to York, and use 'em in meeten. How'st?”
“ Yes, 'tis so, John, they do. But let me get through with my story. After the syren had finished her tune, she began playing with her companion again. Thinks I to myself, old speckled skin, I should like to have you in my basket; such a reverend old monarch of the brook is not to be caught every day in the year, What say you for a fresh worm this morning?' So I shortened my rod, and run it behind me, and let the dobber fall upon the water, and float down with the hook to the log where the old fellow and the mermaid was disporting. His love for the lady did not spoil his appetite. He bagged my worm, and then sprung at my float, and cut. I jerked back, and pulled in, and then he broke water and flounced. The mermaid saw that he was in trouble, and dashed at my line, broke it short off, and then took up the trout, and began to disengage the hook from his gills. I had no idea of losing my hook and my trout, besides one of Lentner's best leaders,—that cost me half a dollar,—for any woman, fishy or fleshy, however good a voice she might have. So I broke cover, and came out. The moment she caught a glimpse of me, she screamed and dropped the trout, and ran. . Did you every see a deer flash through a thicket? She was gone in an instant
“Gone, like the lightning, which o'er head
Suddenly shines, and ere we've said
Look! look! how beautiful! 'tis fled.' Compelled by an irresistible impulse, I pursued. Down the brook, and through the brake, we went, leaping, and stooping, and turning, and swimming, and splashing, and I, at least a half a dozen times, stumbling and falling. It was but at intervals, as the brook made its longest bends, that I could catch a glimpse of the fugitive nymph, and the last time I put my eager eye upon her, she had stopped and was looking back, with both her hands crossed upon her bosom, panting and apparently exhausted. But as I again broke upon her sight, she started and fled. With fresh ardor I pressed on, calling to her, and beseeching her to stop. I pleaded, promised, threatened, and called the gods to witness that my intentions were honorable, and that I would go and ask her mother first, if she did not live too far off. In the desperation of my entreaties I talked a little Latin to her, that came into my head, apropos, and which was once used by another gentleman,* in a similar case of Parthian courtship ;-Parthian !-Yes, that is a correct word, for O! what arrows did the beauty of the flying nymph shoot into my soul! Telling her that she might depend upon my honor, and all that, I continued
666 At bene si noris, pigeat fugisse ; morasque
Ipsa tuas damnes, et me retinere labores'that is to say, boys, according to Bishop Heber's translation,
“ If you knew me, dear girl, I'm sure you'd not fly me ;
Hold on half an hour, if you doubt, love, and try me.' But, alas! the assurance and the prayer added fresh pinions to her wings. She flew, and despairingly I followed, tearing my hands and face with the merciless brambles that beset my way, until, at last, a sudden turn brought me plump up against the bridge upon the turnpike, in the open fields, and the mermaid was nowhere to be seen. I got up on the railing of the bridge, and sat there weary, wet, and sad. I had lost my fish, left my
rod a mile off, and been played the fool with by a mongrel woman. Hook, fish, leader, heart, and mermaid, were all lost to me forever. • Give me some drink, Titinius,' or
* Polyphem. to Gal. Ov. Met. 13, 808.
Daniel, which I take to be the correct English translation. I feel melancholy and mad to think of it even now."
“Scythia est quo mittimur, inquam : Roma relinquenda est : utraque justa mora est.”
Ovid's Tristia, 3d El.
“Did Captain Symmes tell you that himself, sir ?" inquired Raynor.
“ He did," replied Ned, " and I have not the slightest doubt of the accuracy of his statement. I think I shall publish the account for the benefit of science. Those discoveries concerning the causes and sources of magnetism, and electricity, and galvanism, are really astonishing."
"It is strange," said I, like a good, solemn, tiger.
“Yes," responded Ned, with graver gravity, “ truth is strange, stranger than fiction.”
“ Can't ye give us some more th' tic'lars, Mr. Locus ?” asked Dan. si Tell us what's the reason 'bout them spots in the sun, and the bony fish all failen last summer. That's what I want to know."
No, Dan; I'd rather give you what I know of my own knowledge. Boys, did I ever tell you about my journey to the Lanjan Empire ?" “I never heard you”. .“ Lan what ?"_“ Go it!".
_- Now for a yarn," and several other interjectional questions and an