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no pretensions to it. Is it on the order and arrangement of my
book?-I never wrote one before, and never read very many; and, of course, know mighty little about that. Will it be on the authorship of the book ?-this I claim, and I'll hang on to it, like a wax plaster. The whole book is my own, and every sentiment and sentence in it. I would not be such a fool, or knave either, as to deny that I have had it hastily run over by a friend or so, and that some little alterations have been made in the spelling and grammar; and I am not so sure that it is not the worse of even that, for I despise this way of spelling contrary to nature. And as for grammar, it's pretty much a thing of nothing at last, after all the fuss that's made about it. In some places, I wouldn't suffer either the spelling, or grammar, or anything else to be touch'd; and therefore it will be found in
my own way.
But if anybody complains that I have had it looked over, I can only say to him, her, or them—as the case may bethat while critics were learning grammar, and learning to spell, I, and “Doctor Jackson, L. L. D.” were fighting in the wars; and if our books, and messages, and proclamations, and cabinet writings, and so forth, and so on, should need a little looking over, and a little correcting of the spelling and grammar to make them fit for use, it's just nobody's business. Big men have more important matters to attend to than crossing their t’s and dotting their i's—, and such like small things.
ON A BEAR
(From the Life of David Crockett.
Written by Himself. 1834.)
It was mighty dark, and was difficult to see my way or any thing else. When I got up the hill, I found I had passed the dogs ; and so I turned and went to them. I found, when I got there, they had treed the bear in a large forked poplar, and it was setting in the fork. I could see the lump, but not plain enough to shoot with any certainty, as there was no moonlight; and so I set in to hunting for some dry brush to make me a light; but I could find none.
At last I thought I could shoot by guess, and kill him ; so I pointed as near the lump as I could, and fired away. But the bear didn't come; he only clomb up higher, and got out on a limb, which helped me to see him better. I now loaded up again and fired, but this time he didn't move at all. I commenced loading for a third fire, but the first thing I knowed the bear was down among my dogs, and they were fighting all around me. I had my big butcher in my belt, and I had a pair of dressed buckskin breeches on. So I took out my knife, and stood, determined, if he should get hold of me, to defend myself in the best way I could. I stood there for some time, and could now and then see a white dog I had, but the rest of them, and the bear, which were dark coloured, I couldn't see at all, it was so miserable dark. They still fought around me, and sometimes within three feet of me; but, at last, the bear got down into one of the cracks that the earthquake had made in the ground, about four feet deep, and I could tell the biting end of him by the hollering of my dogs. So I took my gun and pushed the muzzle of it about, till I thought I had it against the main part of his body, and fired; but it happened to be only the fleshy part of his foreleg. With this, I jumped out of the crack, and he and the dogs had another hard fight around me, as before. At last, however, they forced him back into the crack again, as he was when I had shot.
I made a lounge with my long knife, and fortunately stuck him right through the heart; at which he just sank down, and I crawled out in a hurry. In a little while my dogs all come out too, and seemed satisfied, which was the way they always had of telling me that they had finished him.
We prepared for resting that night, and I can assure the reader I was in need of it. We had laid down by our fire, and about ten o'clock there came a most terrible earthquake, which shook the earth so, that we were rocked about like we had been in a cradle. We were very much alarmed ; for though we were accustomed to feel earthquakes, we were now right in the region which had been torn to pieces by them in 1812, and we thought it might take a notion and swallow us up, like the big fish did Jonah.
In the morning we packed up and moved to the harricane, where we made another camp, and turned out that evening and killed a very large bear, which made eight we had now killed in this hunt.
The next morning we entered the harricane again, and in little or no time my dogs were in full cry. We pursued them, and soon came to a thick cane-brake in which they had stopp'd their bear. We got up close to him, as the cane was so thick that we couldn't see more than a few feet. Here I made my friend hold the cane a little open with his gun till I shot the bear, which was a mighty large one. I killed him dead in his tracks. We got him out and butchered him, and in a little time started another and killed him, which now made ten we had killed and we know'd we couldn't pack any more home, as we had only five horses along ; therefore we returned to the camp and salted all our meat, to be ready for a start homeward next morning.
The morning came and we packed our horses with the meat, and had as much as they could possibly carry, and sure enough cut out for home. It was about thirty miles, and we reached home the second day. I
had killed in all, up to that time, fifty-eight bears, during the fall and winter.
As soon as the time came for them to quit their houses and come out again in the spring, I took a notion to hunt a little more, and in about one month I had killed forty-seven more, which made one hundred and five bears I had killed in less than one year from that time.
Motto.—Be sure you are right—then go ahead.
RICHARD HENRY WILDE.
RICHARD HENRY WILDE was a native of Ireland but was brought to this country when a child of nine. His father died in 1802 and the widowed mother took
her residence in Augusta, Georgia. He studied law and became a successful practitioner. He was Attorney-General of the State, and served also in the Legislature and in Congress. He spent the years 1834-40 in Europe studying chiefly Italian literature; in his researches he discovered some old documents relating to Dante and a portrait of him painted by Giotto on a wall which had become covered over with whitewash. On his return to America he settled in New Orleans and became professor of Law in the University of Louisiana. He died there of yellow fever.
. He began an epic poem, suggested by the life and adventures of his brother, James Wilde, in the Seminole war. But it was never finished : all that remains of it now is the fine lyric, “My Life is Like the Summer Rose.” This song was translated by Anthony Barclay into Greek and announced to be a newly discovered ode of Alcaeus. This claim was soon disproved by the scholars, and to Mr. Wilde