« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
over the precipice into the river below. After losing many of their bravest warriors, the allies gave up the assault and began the slow and tedious work of starving out the besieged Illinoisans. At the time of the attack upon the town a French and Indian half-breed warrior, named Belix, who had greatly distinguished himself in previous battles, was being married to the beautiful daughter of chief Kinebro.
The combined forces made the most formidable Indian army ever collected in the West. Death and annihilation to the Illinois was the savage oath of the ferocious avengers. The smaller towns along the Illinois river were first destroyed, and finally La Vantum, their great capital, which was defended by their bravest warriors, was suddenly assaulted. The skull and cross bones of Pontiac were borne on a red pole by the avengers. Their first attack met with a When the assault was made upon the bloody repulse. A council of war was Rock, Belix stood forenost and most called by the invaders, at which the valiant among the defenders, and with leading war chiefs, with fiery eloquence, his war-club dealt death-blows upon advocated that nothing short of exter- many of the assailants. His bride stood mination of the Illinoisans would meet near by to encourage her gallant lord, the demands of the case or be accept but when she saw him fall with skull able to the great Manito of war. The cloven by a tomahawk, she uttered a Illinois warriors had spent much of the wild scream and sprang over the Rock, night in dancing and premature rejoi- falling from crag to crag until her lifecing over the repulse of the assailants, less body dropped into the river below. and were taken by surprise in the morn- Fifty-one years had elapsed since the ing. After terrific carnage, the allies rock had been abandoned by the were again repulsed with great slaugh- French, and the palisades and earthter. But again and again they returned works afforded but little protection with reinforcements to the conflict. against sharp-shooters who took possesThus for twelve long hours the carnival sion of neighboring cliffs and joined in of death went on in and around La Vantum, the great Indian city of the West. Night came on, and still the battle raged, until a heavy rain storm put an end to hostilities. During the darkness and storm the Illinois Indians crossed the river in their canoes and ascended Starved Rock, the old site of Fort St. Louis, where Tonti had so signally repulsed the Iroquois. Here the remnant of 1200 Illinois Indians, including 300 warriors, rallied and thought themselves
a galling fire upon the Illinois. Kinebro, whose rash and dastardly act had precipitated the war, was killed in this way. But soon a rampart, sufficient to ward off bullets was erected by the besieged along the exposed edges of the precipices.
But the worst enemy now began to assail them. Hunger began to gnaw at their vitals with remorseless tooth. The small supply of provisions, brought along in their flight from La Vantum, were soon exhausted. The Rock of But the allied forces, not content with refuge became an altar of sacrifice, of the destruction of the town and other whole burnt offering, to the Illinois in property of the Illinois, quickly sur- the end. For their relentless foes never rounded the Rock, determined to avenge relaxed in the siege until the last Illithe death of Pontiac by the complete nois but one had perished. A warrior, annihilation of all who in any way ap- the solitary exception, let himself down proved of his assassination. With fero- by a buckskin cord into the river on a cious yells they rushed up the rugged dark and stormy night and escaped, pathway on the only accessible side of but all the rest warriors, squaws and the rocky summit. But brave and des- pappooses perished. Some of the perate Illinois warriors, with war clubs squaws, in the delirium of hunger and and tomahawks, sent them bleeding and thirst, would spring with their infants mangled down the steep declivity. into the river. Warriors would make a Again and again did the fierce avengers sortie only to be slain or driven back by attempt to storm the almost impregna- the merciless avengers. Some feasted ble heights. Many were slain as soon on the dead. The death-song was as they reached the summit, and hurled chanted, and at last, when a final as
sault was made, only a few feeble sur vivors remained to be tomahawked. Thus perished the once powerful and arrogant Illinois, and thus terribly was the assassination of the great Pontiac avenged. Great must have been the magnetism of the man in life and death who marshalled the conspiracy which nearly drove the English East of the Alleghanies, and which combined the savage hosts of the lakes and the prairies to expiate "the deep damnation of his taking off" by a holocaust that is unparalleled even in the history of savage warfare and retaliation. Well may the old site of Fort St. Louis, the scene of the first white settlement in the Mississippi valley, two hundred years ago, be called STARVED ROCK in commemoration of that closing tragedy and catastrophe in the history of the great tribe whose name is perpetuated not only by the river along which they roved, fished and hunted, and fought their numerous foes, but also by the title of one of the greatest and most prosperous States in the American Union. Had the policy of Tonti been pursued, or an earnest and persevering effort to Christianize the Illinois and neighboring tribes been made by the early French settlers, instead of giving themselves up to mercenary traffic and carnal indulgence, how different might have been their own history and that of the rude barbarians who hailed their first advent as a boon from heaven.
shall be enabled to overcome the world and enter triumphant the better country where wars and rumors of wars, sin and sorrow, wrong and outrage, sickness and suffering, never mar the peace and joy of the sanctified and glorified inhabitants.
SOMETHING ABOUT WOMEN.
BY REV. I. E. GRAEFF.
Among all the social questions of the day there is none more vital, and more in a direct line with the progress of the times, than that of the proper status of woman. Her position in relation to the stronger sex has been in a gradual course of change ever since the blessed Gospel began to shed its light in the world. Christian women, from the days of the apostles, were understood to be on a level of perfect equality with men in all the spiritual blessings of the faith. And this worked for their temporal good. It delivered them from the blind and barbarous contempt in which the sex is held in the heathen world. Still, in secular matters, it must be acknowledged the process of improvement was slow in coming up to the ideal which the gospel set up. It required time to break up the force of habit and of deep rooted ideas. But time, and the grace of God, have wrought a wonderful change, and we see to day a state of things which has in it all the possibilities of a rational equality.
The progress made in this matter, just like progress generally, was not without conflict and without one-sided false movements.
Nemesis still stalks through the ages. Time brings its revenges sooner or later, not always in the terrific form in which the death of Pontiac was expiated, but still sure and certain is the final judgment of history and of humanity, wheThere have been ther civilized or barbarian. Witness false notions and exaggerated claims, the fate of avaricious Spaniards in both in its favor and against it. No Mexico, Peru, etc. True it is and ever vital movement of any kind is likely to shall be, "Righteousness exalteth a na- escape from these troubles. Christiantion, but sin is the reproach of any peo-ity, the central power and life of hisple"-yea, not only the reproach, but the ruin of all who persist in violating the laws of God and the rights of humanity. "The heathen shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." But saith the great Redeemer of mankind, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against my Church."
By living union with Him, as faithful members of His Mystical Body, we
tory, could not take hold and grow in the world without running into dangerous extremes. Nothing is more interesting and more instructive within the entire range of human study than the manner in which Christian ideas developed and made themselves felt. Surely, the manner was not always the same, and sometimes it was far out of the way, and yet the living force that was
back of it was always the same blessed rogative. Hence we may reasonably agency of progress. And this divine conclude that we have very nearly power in history, in spite of the follies reached the climax of female emanciand errors of men, did not fail to do its pation, at least in public opinion, algreat work and leave its many bless-though there is still a great deal to do ings. If women have crossed the to bring up individual cases to this high bounds of reason and have endeavored standard of the popular modern Christo force themselves into positions for tian mind. which they were never intended, they have committed no greater wrong, either to themselves or to the other sex, than has been done to them and to the nobler tendencies of humanity from the days of the fall in Paradise to the age in which we live. It is enough that we know that things have changed for the better, and that now society is in possession of the light and experience by which the highest possible degree of happiness can be secured, provided people do not shut their eyes wilfully and suffer themselves to be led by blind passion rather than by the enlightened common sense of this Christian age.
The intellectual and social advance made by the fair sex within the lifetime of the present generation has been rapid and comprehensive. Time was when intellectual culture was regarded as of but small importance in the education of women. Along with this popular notion went theories and customs which so effectually held all the avenues of business and professional life for the occupancy of men that a woman could get into them only by dint of extraordinary force of character and good luck. This matter is now radically changed. Men are no longer in exclusive possession of high intellectual cul ture, and in elementary popular education they do not find themselves simply on a square level with their fair companions, but in some communities at least they are in imminent danger of being left egregiously behind, just because girls stay at school longer and study better than boys do. It is a common thing in these days, and is getting to be more and more common, to see women in places and pursuits formerly not filled by them, and therefore in the enjoyment of an independence of which their mothers and grandmothers had not the faintest idea. From this state of things may come all that the sex can justly claim and successfully hold in the way of legal enactment and social pre
And that no one may run wild on the subject of social progress and imagine that all the injustice of former prejudice. ignorance and selfishness is effectually left behind in our new and more enlightened state of affairs, it may be proper to hint that this new order involves some serious risks. Girls must not imagine that they are in a world in which they will be free from the hardships of former generations, simply because they are cultivated and in a condition of self helpfulness. The ignorance of the sex has caused it much wrong, and the physical dependence of woman has encouraged a dominating spirit in those on whom they depended. Wrongs of this kind may be removed by the force of intelligence and self dependence, only, however, to be encountered again in another form. It will be best to illustrate this matter to make it plain and easily understood by any one, by citing a case of family life.
Somewhere in the anthracite coal fields of our keystone State there is a wedded couple. Both husband and wife first saw the light of day under the immediate shadow of the British Lion, and were both well brought up and highly educated in their native country. Apparently they are living happily together, and have children. Both have the capacity of doing each its full share towards making a comfortable living. The wife is making a fair and square use of her ability, but the husband always got tired of the best positions, and made it a business to lean on the strong character of his generous, active and cultivated wife for the necessaries of life, though he was fully able to do as much for the financial exchequer of the household as his devoted companion. By this time the reader may be inclined to pass judgment, and to set this man down as an unfeeling boor, or as a haughty, tyrannical scapegrace, who has neither feeling nor manners.
no; whatever may be supposed to be wanting in his character, he is said to be a man of gentle manners and of kind impulses, and, as far as his neighbors are able to judge, lives in full harmony with his family. Both he and his wife and children seem to have so much of the milk of good nature in them, that his unmanly habit of dependence is quietly tolerated, and all goes smoothly on, while the wife makes all the living. And this, one may be allowed to suggest, should be taken as an illustration of the risk that goes along with the independence of modern women. Of course, wives of a different constitutional make-up would likely find some way of arousing a sense of manly self-respect in their worser halves, and bring them promptly into the traces; but then that is no reason why women should not be told that, in proportion as they advance in personal self-reliance, they may be met with a corresponding decrease of support from the other side of the house. At any rate, as the fair sex takes possession of the active walks of life and thus decreases the opportunities for practical effort on the part of men, a heavier burden may sometimes fall on those who seem to be the gainers in the case, and this is a matter that may as well be looked squarely in the face.
Goethe, the great German poet, by the transcendent force of his genius, is occupying a high place in the realm of literature. As a poet, he stands on a level with Homer, Dant and Shakespeare, and as a social economist, he has left some deliverances which are original, masterly, and replete with useful suggestions. He has put on record a brief narrative of an incident in family life, which comes in admirably here as a help in setting forth clearly the rights and responsibilities of women, and more particularly of those who are married.
"A young man once became tenant of a large hotel, which was established in a good situation. Amongst the qualities which recommended a host, he possessed a more than ordinary share of good temper. He was peculiarly fortunate in selecting a pursuit in which he found it necessary to devote a considerable portion of the day to his home du
ties. He was neither careful nor negligent, and his own good temper exercised a perceptible influence over the numerous guests who assembled around him.
"He had married a young person who was of a quiet, passive disposition. She paid punctual attention to her business, and was attached to her household pursuits, and loved her husband, though she often found fault with him in secret for his carelessness in money matters. She had a great love for ready cash; she thoroughly comprehended its value, and understood the advantage of securing a provision for herself. Devoid of all activity of disposition, she had every tendency to avarice. But a small share of avarice becomes a woman, however ill extravagance may suit her. Generosity is a manly virtue, but_parsimony is becoming in a woman. This is the rule of nature, and our judgments must be subservient thereto.
"Margaret (for such was the name of this prudent personage) was very much dissatisfied with her husband's carelessness. Upon occasions when large payments were made to him by his customers, it was his habit to leave the money lying for a considerable time upon the table, and then to collect it in a basket, from which he afterwards paid it away. without making it up in packages, and without keeping any account of its application. His wife plainly perceived that, even without actual extravagance, where there was such a total want of system considerable sums must be wasted. She was, above all things, anxious to make her husband change his negligent habits, and she became grieved to observe that the small savings which she collected and so carefully retained were as nothing in comparison with the money that was squandered, and she determined, therefore, to adopt a rather dangerous expedient to make her husband open his eyes. She resolved to defraud him of as much money as possible, and for this purpose had recourse to an extraordinary plan. She had observed that when he had once counted his money, which he allowed to remain so long upon the table, he never reckoned it over a second time before putting it away; she therefore rubbed the bottom
was always accustomed to celebrate by presenting him with something useful, she entered his private apartment with a basket filled with rouleaux of money. The different descriptions of coin were packed together separately, and the contents were carefully endorsed in a hand-writing by no means the best. It would be difficult to describe his aston
of a candle stick with tallow, and then, apparently without design, she placed it near the spot where the ducats lay exposed, a species of coin for which she entertained a warm partiality. She thus gained possession of a few pieces, and subsequently of some other coins, and was soon sufficiently well satisfied with her success. She therefore repeat ed the operation frequently, and enter-ishment at finding before him the pretained no scruple about employing such means to effect so praiseworthy an object, and she tranquillized her conscience on the subject by the reflection that such a mode of abstracting her hus band's money could not be termed rob bery, as her hands were not employed for the purpose. Her secret treasure increased gradually, and soon became very much greater by the addition of the ready money which she herself received from the customers of the hotel, and of which she invariably retained possession.
"She carried on this practice for a whole year, and though she carefully watched her husband, she never had reasons to believe that his suspicions were awakened, until at length he be gan to grow discontented and unhappy. She induced him to tell her the cause of his anxiety, and learned that he was grievously perplexed. After the last payment which he had made of a considerable sum of money, he had laid aside the amount of his rent, and not only this had disappeared, but he was unable to meet the demand of h's landlord from any other channel; and as he bad always been accustomed to keep his accounts in his head, and to write down nothing, he could not possibly understand the cause of the deficiency.
Margaret reminded him of his great carelessness, censured his thoughtless way of receiving and paying away money, and spoke of his general imprudence. Even his generous disposition did not escape her remarks; and, in truth, he had no excuse to offer for a course of conduct the consequences of which he had so much reason to regret. But she could not leave her husband long in this state of grievous trouble, more especially as she felt a pride in being able to render him once more happy. Accordingly, to his great astonishment, on his birthday, which she
cise sums which he had missed, or at his wife's assurance that they belonged to him. She thereupon circumstantially described the time and manner of her abstracting them, confessed the amount which she had taken, and told also how much she had saved by her own careful attention. His despair was now changed into joy, and the result was that he abandoned to his wife all the duty of receiving and paying away money for the future. His business was carried on even more prosperously than before, although from the day of which we have spoken not a farthing ever passed through his hands. His wife discharged the duty of banker with extraordinary credit to herself; no false money was ever taken, and the establishment of her complete authority in the house was the natural and just consequence of her activity and care; and, after the lapse of ten years, she and her husband were in a condition to purchase the hotel for them elves."
Thus writes the great German master, and that evidently with the intention of defending the rights of women and of clearly designating the proper relation of the two sexes in the matter of authority. There can be, to his mind, no absolute rule here, giving the right to command and govern to the one sex while the other is bound simply to obey. Of course, not every wife could take the place that this young hostess did, and adopt the same perilous measures for the accomplishment of even the noblest ends; nor is this necessary, since not all husbands are like Goethe's host, unable to manage their own finances. dark clouds could often be dispelled from the sacred retreat of homes if wedded persons would habitually exercise the good sense which the gifted writer has set before us in his own masterly way.
And as for the young, be they maid