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The Lost Hunter A Tale of Early Times   By:

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A Tale of Early Times.

"And still her grey rocks tower above the sea That murmurs at their feet, a conquered wave; 'Tis a rough land of earth, and stone, and tree, Where breathes no castled lord or cabined slave; Where thoughts, and tongues, and hands, are bold and free, And friends will find a welcome, foes a grave; And where none kneel, save when to heaven they pray, Nor even then, unless in their own way." HALLECK




ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

W.H. TINSON, Stereotyper.



As one might justly be considered a clown, or, at least, not well bred, who, without tapping at the door, or making a bow, or saying "By your leave," or some other token of respect, should burst in upon a company of persons unknown to him, and instead of a welcome would deserve an unceremonious invitation to betake himself elsewhere forthwith; so, I suppose, in presenting myself before you, my honored Public, it is no more than civil to say something by way of introduction. At least, I have observed from my obscure retreat in the quiet village of Addlebrains, that the fashion in this respect, which has prevailed, certainly, since the time of St. Luke, who commences his Gospel with a preface to Theophilus, has come down to the present day, differing therein from other fashions, which, for the most part, are as transitory as the flowers of the field, and commending itself thereby to the thoughtful consideration of the judicious; for it cannot be deemed there is no value in that which has received the sanction of centuries. Influenced by reflections of this description and the like, I sat down one day in the little retreat, which the indulgent partiality of my friends is accustomed to dignify with the title of my "study," to endeavor to write a preface, and introduce myself in a becoming manner to my readers. I was the more anxious to do this properly, because, although a mere countryman, a sort of cowhide shoe, as I may say, and therefore lacking that gloss, which, like the polish on a well brushed boot, distinguishes and illustrates the denizens of our metropolis in an eminent degree, as I know from personal experience, having been twice in New York, and, as I am told, also, the citizens of Boston and Philadelphia, and other provincial towns, with a milder lustre, I would not like to be supposed entirely destitute of refinement. It would be strange if I were, inasmuch as I enjoyed in my youth, the privilege of two terms and a half instruction in the dancing school of that incomparable professor of the Terpsichorean science, the accomplished Monsieur St. Leger Pied. It is in consequence of this early training, perhaps, that I am always pained when there is any deflection or turning aside from, or neglect of, the graceful, the becoming, and the proper.

It will be observed that my last quarter was cut short in the middle; which untoward event arose from no arrogance or supercilious conceit on my part, as though I had perfected myself in the mysteries of pigeon wing and balancez, but from the abrupt departure of the professor himself, who, true to the name indicative of his constitutional levity, found it convenient to disappear betwixt two days, with the advance pay of my whole term in his pocket, and without stopping to make even one of his uncommonly genteel bows. The circumstance was peculiarly disagreeable to me, in consequence of the school being assembled when our loss was discovered, and of my having succeeded in engaging, for the greater part of the evening, the hand of a young lady, whose charms had made a deep (though, as subsequent events proved, not a durable) impression on my susceptible heart... Continue reading book >>

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