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Osceola the Seminole The Red Fawn of the Flower Land   By: (1818-1883)

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Osceola the Seminole The Red Fawn of the Flower Land By Captain Mayne Reid Published by Robert M. De Witt, New York. This edition dated 1868.

Osceola the Seminole, by Captain Mayne Reid.



The Historical Novel has ever maintained a high rank perhaps the highest among works of fiction, for the reason that while it enchants the senses, it improves the mind, conveying, under a most pleasing form, much information which, perhaps, the reader would never have sought for amid the dry records of the purely historic narrative.

This fact being conceded, it needs but little argument to prove that those works are most interesting which treat of the facts and incidents pertaining to our own history, and of a date which is yet fresh in the memory of the reader.

To this class of books pre eminently belongs the volume which is here submitted to the American reader, from the pen of a writer who has proved himself unsurpassed in the field which he has, by his various works, made peculiarly his own.

The brief but heroic struggle of the celebrated Chief, Osceola, forms the groundwork of a narrative which is equal, if not superior, to any of Mr Reid's former productions; and while the reader's patriotism cannot fail to be gratified at the result, his sympathy is, at the same time, awakened for the manly struggles and untimely fate of the gallant spirit, who fought so nobly for the freedom of his red brethren and the preservation of their cherished hunting grounds.



Linda Florida! fair land of flowers!

Thus hailed thee the bold Spanish adventurer, as standing upon the prow of his caravel, he first caught sight of thy shores.

It was upon the Sunday of Palms the festival of the flowers and the devout Castilian beheld in thee a fit emblem of the day. Under the influence of a pious thought, he gave thee its name, and well deservedst thou the proud appellation.

That was three hundred years ago. Three full cycles have rolled past, since the hour of thy baptismal ceremony; but the title becomes thee as ever. Thy floral bloom is as bright at this hour as when Leon landed upon thy shores ay, bright as when the breath of God first called thee into being.

Thy forests are still virgin and inviolate; verdant thy savannas; thy groves as fragrant as ever those perfumed groves of aniseed and orange, of myrtle and magnolia. Still sparkles upon thy plains the cerulean ixia; still gleam in thy waters the golden nymphae; above thy swamps yet tower the colossal cypress, the gigantic cedar, the gum, and the bay tree; still over thy gentle slopes of silvery sand wave long leaved pines, mingling their acetalous foliage with the frondage of the palm. Strange anomaly of vegetation; the tree of the north, and the tree of the south the types of the frigid and torrid in this thy mild mid region, standing side by side, and blending their branches together!

Linda Florida! who can behold thee without peculiar emotion? without conviction that thou art a favoured land? Gazing upon thee, one ceases to wonder at the faith the wild faith of the early adventurers that from thy bosom gushed forth the fountain of youth, the waters of eternal life!

No wonder the sweet fancy found favour and credence; no wonder so delightful an idea had its crowds of devotees. Thousands came from afar, to find rejuvenescence by bathing in thy crystal streams thousands sought it, with far more eagerness than the white metal of Mexico, or the yellow gold of Peru; in the search thousands grew older instead of younger, or perished in pursuit of the vain illusion; but who could wonder?

Even at this hour, one can scarcely think it an illusion; and in that age of romance, it was still easier of belief. A new world had been discovered, why not a new theory of life? Men looked upon a land where the leaves never fell, and the flowers never faded... Continue reading book >>

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