« PreviousContinue »
any limit has been placed to the virtues attributed or the exploits imagined in connection with this renowned chief of the Seminoles. A poet has sung of him,
"His features are clothed with a warrior's pride,
And he moves with a monarch's tread;
He smiles with joy, as the flash of steel
Through the Everglades' grass is seen."
Upon his removal to Charleston, he became dejected and low-spirited, and gradually pined away. All efforts to interest him in a Western home failed to arouse him, and in a few weeks he died of a broken heart, and was buried just outside of the principal gateway of Fort Moultrie, where his resting-place is inclosed and a monument erected.
RICHARD MALCOLM JOHNSTON.
RICHARD MALCOLM JOHNSTON was born in Hancock County, Georgia. He was professor of Literature in the University of Georgia, 1857-1861. He served, as colonel, in the Confederate army, and has since had a school for boys at Sparta, Georgia, and later near Baltimore.
In connection with Prof. William Hand Browne of Johns Hopkins, he has published a "History of English Literature" and a "Life of Alexander H. Stephens." His tales describe life among the Georgia "Crackers" and they have many readers and admirers. His style has the stamp of simple truth and is irresistible. See Sketch in Miss Rutherford's "American Authors."
The following extract is a true story of an old gentleman who was Alexander H. Stephens' first client.
MR. HEZEKIAH ELLINGTON'S RECOVERY.
(From Life of Alexander H. Stephens.*)
The old gentleman was brought very low with malarious fever, and his physician and family had made up their minds, that, notwithstanding his extreme reluctance to depart from this life,—a reluctance heightened no doubt by his want of preparation for a better,- he would be compelled to go. The system of therapeutics in vogue at that time and in that section included immense quantities of calomel, and rigorously excluded cold water. Mr. Ellington lingered and lingered, and went without water so long and to such an extent that it seemed to him he might as well die of the disease as of the intolerable thirst that tormented him.
At last, one night, when his physicians, deeming his case hopeless, had taken their departure, informing his family that he could hardly live till morning, and the latter, worn down by watching, were compelled to take a little rest, he was left to the care of his constant and faithful servant, Shadrach, with strict and solemn charge to notify them if any change took place in his master's condition, and, above all, under no circumstances to give him cold water.
*By permission of authors, and publishers, J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia.
When the rest were all asleep, Mr. Ellington, always astute and adroit in gaining his ends, and whose faculties at present were highly stimulated by his extreme necessity, called out to his attendant in a feeble voice, which he strove to make as natural and unsuggestive as possible,
Shadrach, go to the spring and fetch me a pitcher of water from the bottom."
Shadrach expostulated, pleading the orders of the doctor and his mistress.
"You Shadrach, you had better do what I tell you, sir." Shadrach still held by his orders.
"Shadrach, if you don't bring me the water, when I get well I'll give you the worst whipping you ever had in your life!"
Shadrach either thought that if his master got well he would cherish no rancor towards the faithful servant whose constancy had saved him, or, more likely, that the prospect of recovery was far too remote to justify any serious apprehension for his present disobedience; at all events, he held firm. The sick man, finding this mode of attack ineffectual, paused awhile, and then said, in the most persuasive accents he could employ,
Shadrach, my boy, you are a good nigger, Shadrach. If you'll go now and fetch old master a pitcher of nice cool water, I'll set you free and give you Five Hundred Dollars!" And he dragged the syllables slowly and heavily from his dry jaws, as if to make the sum appear immeasurably vast.
But Shadrach was proof against even this temptation. He only admitted its force by arguing the case, urging that how could he stand it, and what good would his freedom and five hundred dollars do him, if he should do a thing that would kill his old master?
The old gentleman groaned and moaned. At last he bethought him of one final stratagem. He raised his head as well as he could, turned his haggard face full upon Shadrach, and glaring at him from his hollow blood-shot eyes, said,
Shadrach, I am going to die, and it's because I can't get any water. If you don't go and bring me a pitcher of water, after I'm dead I'll come back and HAUNT you! I'll HAUNT you as long as you live!"
"Oh Lordy! Master! You shall hab de water!" cried Shadrach; and he rushed out to the spring and brought it. The old man drank and drank,—the pitcherful and more. The next morning he was decidedly better, and to the astonishment of all, soon got well.
JOHN REUBEN THOMPSON.
JOHN REUBEN THOMPSON was born at Richmond, and educated at the University of Virginia. He studied law, but practised little, and in 1847 became editor of the "Southern Literary Messenger." This position he filled with great success for twelve years and he exerted a fine influence on the literary taste and effort of his times. In this magazine first appeared the writings of Donald G. Mitchell ("Dream Life" and " Reveries of a Bachelor "), the early pieces of John Esten Cooke, Philip Pendleton Cooke, Paul Hamilton Hayne, Henry Timrod, and others.
His delicate health induced him to resign his place in 1859 and to go farther south to Augusta, Georgia, as editor of the "Southern Field and Fireside." In 1863 he travelled in Europe and his descriptive letters are very bright and in
teresting. He later became literary editor of the "Evening Post," N. Y.; in 1872 he went to Colorado in one last but vain effort to restore his health. He died in 1873 and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery at Richmond.
His writings, consisting of poems, letters, sketches, and editorials, are found mainly in the "Southern Literary Messenger" and "The Land We Love."
To the brave all homage render,
With a radiance pure and tender,
"Dead upon the field of glory,"
Lies our bold dragoon.
Well they learned, whose hands have slain him,
Braver, knightlier foe
Never fought with Moor nor Paynim,
Rode at Templestowe ;
With a mien how high and joyous,
'Gainst the hordes that would destroy us
Went he forth we know.
Never more, alas! shall sabre
Gleam around his crest;
Fought his fight; fulfilled his labour;
All unheard sweet Nature's cadence,
Trump of fame and voice of maidens,
Earth that all too soon hath bound him,
Linger lovingly around him,
Light of dying day;
Softly fall the summer showers,
Birds and bees among the flowers
Make the gloom seem gay.