Unknown.

Classic tales by famous authors (Volume 16) online

. (page 1 of 19)
Online LibraryUnknownClassic tales by famous authors (Volume 16) → online text (page 1 of 19)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


■iffliilSiiiiB^^^^^^^^^^^




THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



>^




Portrait of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow











Claeeic tTalee

jfamous Hutbors

CONTAINING COMPLETE SELECTIONS FROM
THE WORLD'S BEST AUTHORS WITH PREFATORY
BIOGRAPHICAL AND SYNOPTICAL NOTES

Edited and Arranged by

Frederick B. De Berard

With a General Introduction by

RossiTER Johnson, LL.D.

Published by

THE BODLEIAN S O C T E T Y
New York


i
1




mM 1906





Copyright 1902

Copyright 1905

BY

The Bodleian Society



CONTENTS



Critical Synopsis of Selections, ... iii

Biographical Dictionary of Authors, . ix



Quest of the Copper, The William Charles Scully g

History of a Slave . . . H. H. Johnston 41

Passing of Penglima Prang Semaun, The

F. A. Swcttenham 145

Captive Among Cannibals . Herman Melville lyi

In the South Seas:

Rangers of the Tia Kau, The Louis Bccke 209

Ninia Louis Becke 214

At a Kava Drinking . . Louis Becke 234

Feast at Pentecost, The . Louis Becke 250

Paupukeewis . Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 257



ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

Henry W. Longfellow .... Frontispiece
A Negro of Morocco 41



n



w««r i:7r:£3itm^mmmmtamm



CRITICAL SYNOPSIS OF
SELECTIONS



Captive Among Cannibals : By Herman Melville.

Two sailors belonging to an American whaling
ship, going ashore on the Marquesas Islands, were
accidentally abandoned by their ship and made cap-
tive by the wholly savage natives — a much-dreaded
and ferocious race of cannibals. Much to their
surprise, Melville and his comrade were kindly
treated, subjected to little restraint and given an
abundance of food ; so that after some months they
recovered from the emaciation and disease due to
their former hardships, and began to rapidly im-
prove in physical condition. Just then Melville,
moved by curiosity to witness secret ceremonies,
covertly entered a forbidden enclosure. What he
saw disturbed his peace, and told him why he was
so abundantly fed.

In the South Seas : By Louis Becke.

This is a series of tales of life in the islands of
the South Seas. One relates the tragedy that befel
a fleet of canoes overladen with natives — men,
women and children — bound upon a visit to a neigh-
boring island; the sudden squall while in the shal-
low seas over a reef, the swamping in the breakers,
and the riot of the swarming sharks. "Ninia" is
the story of a white man who became a renegade
and helped Sralik, the savage chief, to slaughter his
enemies by wholesale ; how Sralik gave Ninia for a
wife to "Hare, the White Man" ; how, after years,
Sralik caused Hare (Harry) to be murdered in his
sleep because of a quarrel ; how Ninia and her
daughters became Christians, remembering that
Harry, the drunken outcast, had called upon Christ
for help ere he died ; and how Ninia, the daughter,



CRITICAL SYNOPSIS OF SELECTIONS

driven out to sea by a tempest, prayed to the White
Christ of her dead father, and after dreadful suf-
fering came again to her home.

"At a Kava Drinking" is the tale of how Tuialo,
the cliief, coveted the gun of his friend, the white
man who had lived long among his people in amity,
and had become as one of them ; how thereafter the
vindictive Tuialo caused the white man to be seized
and ordered that he be put to death ; how the wife
and the friends of the white man offered to die in
his stead if he might live; how one by one they were
slain ; and at the end he, too, was smitten to death
by the club, that Tuialo might be possessed of the
gun with two barrels.

"The Feast at Pentecost" tells how the sullen
crew of the barque "Queen Caroline" were driven
to desert by a brutal captain ; how they sought
refuge among the hospitable natives ; how the ship,
with its officers and remaining crew, were captured
by treachery ; and how the mutineers came to the
"feast" to eat breadfruit and yams, and what they
found there.

Paupukeewis : By Henry W. Longfellow.

This is an episode from "The Song of Hiawatha"
— the epic of the American Indian race. Paupukee-
wis, the handsome and dissolute mischief-maker of
the tribe, while Hiawatha is absent, creates commo-
tion in the lodges. He dances the wild beggar's-
dance to please the maidens, challenges the braves
to a contest of story-telling, taunts them to en-
counter him at games of hazard, and strips them of
their finery. Finally, for sheer mischief, he affronts
the absent chief by entering his untenanted lodge
and hurling its contents about in wild disorder, after
which he slays in wantonness hundreds of Hia-
watha's friends, the seagulls, and, with shouts of
malicious laughter, trips away to the forest with his
spoils. Hot with anger, Hiawatha gives tireless
chase to the scapegrace, who seeks to evade him by
changing to a beaver, a brant, a serpent ; but in
vain. He cannot fly long enough or far enough to
escape the vengeful pursuer ; and at length he is
overtaken in his own proper person and slain for
his misdeeds.



CRITICAL SYNOPSIS OF SELECTIONS

The History of a Slave: By H. H. Johnston.

There are many descriptions of the superficial
aspects of savage and barbarous life ; there are very
few that portray its actualities with such vividness,
such intimate knowledge of the savage mind, of its
workings, passions and motives, of the realities of
primitive existence. "The History of a Slave" is a
picture of life in Africa, not as it appears to Anglo-
Saxon sensibility, but as the negro barbarian sees
it. It is drawn from experience, relates events and
depicts social conditions as they exist, leaving them
to suggest their own emotions. An African bar-
barian tells of existence as he knows it, from his
infancy among wholly savage negroes to his ma-
turity among cruel and semi-civilized Arabs. It is
a moving portrayal of hideous realities.

The Passing of Penglima Prang Chemaun : By F.
a. swettenham.

This narrative of actual experience throws a
strong light upon Malay character and customs.
It tells how a pair of Malay bravos who deemed
their honor affronted obtained official permission to
remove the stain by exterminating the insulter and
his friends ; how with a few followers they "held
up" two villages for several weeks, defended them-
selves against great odds, killed many assailants,
and finally made good their escape.

The Quest of the Copper: By William Charles
Scully.

This is a powerful and dramatic tale of the brutal
tyranny of Tshaka, King of the Zulus ; how he
hated Kondwana, the bravest of his chiefs, and
sought a pretext for his slaying; how he sent him
with a feeble force into the land of the Amaswazi
for copper ; how his warriors were destroyed by the
enemy ; how only he and one other returned, tot-
tering wrecks, worn by hardship, starvation and
wounds ; and how, because he brought no copper,
Tshaka, the king, put him to death. Editor.



BIOGRAPHICAL
DICTIONARY OF AUTHORS



Vol. i6— I



iiAMMf««a«Kn



BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
OF AUTHORS



Becke, Louis: About three-quarters of a century
ago white men began to get a permanent footing
throughout the numerous island groups scattered
through the vast expanse of Polynesia. The mis-
sionaries were first, and they paved the way for
the traders. Ceaseless aggression, disease, intem-
perance and gradual extinction are the fatal gifts
which civilization has conferred upon the hapless
natives. These islands have been the scenes of
boundless oppression, of revolting brutalities, of
sickening and horrible tragedies. Though formal
history has made no note of details, they are told
here and there and in fragments by travelers, and
of late by some who have passed years among the
Pacific islands and know their story. Louis Becke
is one of the latter class — one who, as a lad, ran
away from school in San Francisco — whither he
had been sent from his home in Sydney — to enter
upon a roving life of adventure as a sailor and
trader in the archipelago. For many years he
roamed with varying fortune, visiting all the
groups, living for long periods among the natives,
and accumulating the knowledge of native char-
acter, traditions and customs which he has woven
into the collections of stories published not many
years ago under the titles "By Reef and Palm" and
"The Ebbing of the Tide." Many of these stories
were contributed to various Australian journals.

Johnston. H. H.: A British consul at various stations
in Equatorial Africa and elsewhere, H. H. John-
ston utilized his official opportunities to gratify
his taste for travel and exploration. He acquired

ix



$»M



r



BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF AUTHORS

an intimate insight into native character; traveled
fearlessly, safely and entirely alone among the
fierce and savage tribes; never resorted to arms
for defense, and never was threatened with vio-
lence. With remarkable tact, he combined ac-
curate observation and excellent literary ability.
He has told the story of his various travels in nar-
ratives of exceptional interest and value; in them
he has depicted not only his personal experience,
but character sketches of savage life and incident.
His "History of a Slave" is an extremely vivid
portrayal of the horrors of the African slave trade
and the vicissitudes and miseries of barbarian ex-
istence. It is probably the strongest and most
realistic account of African life of all the many
that have been written.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth: This famous
American poet was born at Portland. Me., Febru-
ary 27, 1807; graduated from Bowdoin College,
1825; traveled in Europe during three years fol-
lowing; was professor of modern languages at
Bowdoin, 1829-35; professor of modern languages
and belles-lettres at Harvard, 1836-54, and was one
of the most fertile, lovable and popular of modern
poets. He died at Cambridge, March 24, 1882. after
a literary career of more than forty years of almost
unbroken success and continuous productivity.
Most of his shorter poems were first published
separately in the leading literary magazines, the
"Atlantic Monthly" being his usual vehicle. They
were collected and published in successive volumes
as follows: "Voices of the Night" (1839)); "Bal-
lads and Poems" (1841); "Poems on Slavery"
(1842); "The Spanish Student" (1843); "Poets of
Europe" (Translations, 1845); "The Belfry of
Bruges, and Other Poems" (1845); "Evangeline:
A Tale of Acadie" (1847); "Seaside and Fireside"
(1849); "The Golden Legend" (1851); "The Song
of Hiawatha" (1855); "The Courtship of Miles
Standish" (1858); "Birds of Passage" (1858-63);
"Talcs of a Wayside Inn" (1863); "Flower de
Luce" (1867); "The Divine Comedy of Dante"
(Translation. 1867-70); "The New England Tra-
gedies" (1868); "The Divine Tragedy" (1871);



BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF AUTHORS



"Three Books of Song" (1872); "Aftermath"
(1873); "The Hanging of the Crane" (1874);
"Morituri Salutamus" (1875); "The Mask of Pan-
dora" (1875); "Keramos and Other Poems" (1878);
"Ultima Thule" (1880); ''Hermes Trismegistus"
(1882); "In the Harbor" (1882).

Longfellow's prose works comprise a volume of
sketches, "Outre-Mer" (1835), and two novels,
"Hyperion" (1839) and "Kavanagh" (1849). He
also edited "Poems of Places," in thirty-one vol-
umes, published 1876-79.

Melville. Herman: (For Biographical Note, see Vol.
n, "Famous Tales of the Sea.")

Scully, William Charles: In 1894 there was pub-
lished in London a small volume entitled "Kafir
Stories," a series of vigorous and, in some in-
stances, remarkably dramatic sketches and tales of
South Africa. Some of these were graphic pic-
tures of battle, passion and cruelty — portraits of
the life of the negro savages; others depicted the
clash of the races and the rule of the whites. This
book was followed in 1898 by another, "Between
Sun and Sand," the scene of which is likewise
South Africa. These two books are the outcome
of personal experience, the author, William Charles
Scully, having been a resident of South Africa.
He held official positions under the Cape Colony
Government — those of Civil Commissioner for
Namaqualand and Special Magistrate for the
Northern Border of Cape Colony. The several
stories in the volumes named first appeared sep-
arately as contributions to various periodicals. Mr.
Scully has also published a volume of "Poems" and
another tale of life among the Kafirs, entitled "The
White Hecatomb."

SwETTENHAM, Francis Athelstane: When England
annexed a large extent of new territory in Farther
India, she found it peopled by restless barbarians,
leavened and disturbed by numerous bands of out-
laws. To establish peace and order was a difficult
task, in the course of which many British officials
lost their lives by disease or casualty. Francis
Swettenham was one of those charged with the



BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF AUTHORS

duty of pacifying the uneasy Malay subjects and
subduing the defiant robber rajas. He has re-
corded his observations in the volume, "Malay
Sketches," published 1895. It portrays Malay life
and character with admirable directness and fidel-
ity, and with insight that is lacking in the ob-
servations of other writers. Editor.



xii



The quest of the copper

William C. Scully.



I

A beast with horns that rend and gore,

My army rushes through the world;
The white plumes flutter in the fore,

Like mists before a tempest whirled;
The roaring sea when storms are strong

Is not so fierce, the lion's wrath
Is tame when swells the battle-song

That frights the clouds above my path!

My beaten shields to thunder thrill,

My spears like lightning flash between,
Till raining blood their brightness kill,

Or dim to lurid red their sheen!
At morn and eve the splendid shine

Of burning clouds I hail with joy —
The sky thus gives its son the sign

To rise up mighty, and destroy!

Zulu Pictures: Tshaka.

CSHAKA, king of the Zulus, sat in state in his royal
kraal one morning in the month of March, 1816.
His throne was a log of white iron-wood standing on
its end, from the upper portion of which the stumps of
three thick branches expanded, tht\s giving it the



FAMOUS TALES OF BARBARIANS AND SAVAGES.

rough semblance of an armchair. The ends of the
stumps were rounded and polished. The throne was
standing upon the skin of a large, black-maned lion,
and the king's feet were resting upon the mane. A
number of indunas, councilors, and officers stood
around the king in respectful attitudes, or moved about
quietly and silently. Tshaka's mother, 'Mnande, sat
on the ground some distance away, her ear strained
to catch every word that fell from her son's lips. A
few yards behind her five young girls crouched on their
knees and elbows, each with an earthen pot of beer or
a skin of curdled milk before her. As each newcomer
arrived within a certain distance of the throne, he flung
his spear and shield to the ground, and then came for-
ward. When he reached within about twenty paces of
Tshaka, he held his right hand high over his head and
called out, "Bayete!" which is the Zulu royal salute.
He then advanced and prostrated himself before the
king's feet.

Tshaka was a man of magnificent build. He sat per-
fectly naked except for a bunch of leopard tails slung
from his waist, and a few charms fastened to a thin cord
around his neck.

Kondwana, commander of the 'Nyatele regiment, an
induna of the Abambo tribe, was called before the king.
He approached, made the customary obeisance, and
then stood up.

"You will take," said Tshaka. "what remains of the
'Nyatele regiment (a regiment that had suffered very
severely in a recent campaign, from fever in the coast
swamps above St. Lucia Bay as well as from slaughter
by the spear), and go to the country beyond the moun-
tains of the Amaswazi, where the green and yellow
stones from which the red metal (copper) is smelted
are dug out of the ground. You will bring back so
much of these stones as will cover, when heaped up,



10



THE QUEST OF THE COPPER.

the skins of three large oxen. You will return before
the summer rains have fallen. Go!"

Kondwana was a distinguished man. He had, years
previously, fought against Tshaka, but since his tribe,
the Abambo, had made submission and had been in-
corporated into the Zulu nation, he had served his new
master with faithfulness and zeal. But one of the awk-
ward conditions of savagery is this, that whenever a
subordinate shows any extraordinary capacity, and con-
sequently attains to a position of influence, his master
is apt to regard him with jealousy and fear, and will
therefore often destroy him ruthlessly on the first
shadow of a pretext. In jealousy and mistrust of cap-
able subordinates, the average savage potentate resem-
bles Louis XIV. of France, of pious memory, who
could never bear to have a really capable man near his
throne in a position of trust. Kondwana happened to
be under the ban of Tshaka's suspicion, which, once
roused, was never allayed. This is the explanation of
his having been sent with his splendid regiment on a
useless expedition through the deadly fever country
just to the south of Delagoa Bay, between the Lebomba
mountains and the sea, and of his now having to go
with the effective remnant of his veterans on a quest
for copper to a hypothetical spot only vaguely rumored
of.

Among the spoil of a recent and very distant north-
ern raid were a few copper bangles, and the prisoners
from whom these were taken said that the metal had
been smelted from green and yellow stones dug out of
a mountain far to the north. In a native forge at one
of the villages sacked, a few stones of the kind de-
scribed had been found, and these were brought to
Tshaka. No other information on the subject was to
be had, yet Kondwana at once prepared to start upon
his quest, knowing that if he failed to carry out the



FAMOUS TALES OF BARBARIANS AND SAVAGES.

king's orders to the very letter, his life would inevit-
ably pay the forfeit.

Kondwana was a tall and very powerful man, jet
black, but with a pleasing expression of countenance
when not moved to wrath. He was as brave as a lion,
and perfectly loyal to the king.

Tshaka possessed the faculty of inspiring loyalty to
a high degree, but he was unaware of this. Being of
a highly suspicious nature, he sacrificed to his ground-
less apprehension numbers of his most loyal and de-
voted adherents.

Kondwana returned to his kraal after being shown
specimens of the mineral which he had to seek. These
were a few small lumps of shining stone — some being
blue in color and some yellow. In others both colors
were present. When freshly broken, the blue specimens
were beautifully iridescent, and showed tints such as
are seen in the peacock's tail. Upon arriving at the
headquarter military kraal next morning, he mustered
his regiment, and found it to be about four hundred and
fifty strong (effective). There were several hundred
more at the kraal, but they were still suffering from
fever. The men were all veterans, and thus wore head-
rings — circular bands about seven inches in diameter,
of a black substance composed principally of gum.
These bands, being about an inch thick, were fixed to
the hair around the crown of the head, and thus afforded
a very effective protection against blows.

The expedition started. A number of the men car-
ried strong iron picks for the purpose of digging out
the ore. They took a small herd of cattle for immedi-
ate use as food, but they depended upon proximate
spoil for future sustenance. After crossing the Pon-
gola river, the party made a detour inland, so as to
avoid a collision with the Amaswazi, with whom Kond-
wana did not want, just then, to fight. This took them



THE QUEST OF THE COPPER.

through some very mountainous country, where they
suffered grievously from cold. Some of the men, in
whose blood germs of fever still remained, began to
sicken, and were mercifully put to death. But as it ad-
vanced through the mountains the little party had some
very enjoyable fighting and looting, the Mantatee tribe-
lets ofifering no more resistance than afforded pleasant
exercise. The loot was ample, and the soldiers simply
feasted on meat. At night they often warmed them-
selves before the burning huts. They obtained from the
vanquished Mantatees many soft, warm skins, for the
mountain tribes, living under a comparatively cold cli-
mate, had become very expert in tanning. These skins
were carried for them by the good-looking young
women of the kraals which were "eaten up," for the
lives of such, when their services were required, were
generally spared.

It was only the veterans of the Zulu army that wore
head-rings, but there was one man with Kondwana's
contingent whose head was ringless. This was Sen-
zanga, the son of Kondwana's elder brother Kwasta.
Senzanga had been spared by a fortunate accident when
his father's kraal and its inhabitants had been destroyed
a few months previously by Tsliaka's orders. Being
fleet of foot, he had escaped to the bush, and he had
ever since had a precarious existence as a fugitive, being
fed by some women at the risk of their lives. Hearing
through them of an expedition under the command of
his uncle, he went on ahead, and at the Pongola ap-
peared and asked for Kondwana's protection, as well
as for leave to accompany the expedition. Kondwana
knew that he ran a serious risk in not killing Senzanga
at once, but after consulting with his officers he de-
cided on venturing to spare the young man's life, mean-
ing to deliver him as a prisoner to Tshaka on the
return of the expedition, and then pray that he might



13



FAMOUS TALES OF BARBARIANS AND SAVAGES.

be pardoned for the fault he had not committed, and
which had been so heavily punished.

After getting well past the Amaswazi country the
expedition left the mountains, and traveled through the
low wooded plains that lie between the Drakensberg
on the northwest and the Lebomba hills on the south-
east. In this region no men dwelt except the wretched
Balala, naked and weaponless fugitives from the Tonga
and other tribes, whose villages had been destroyed in
war, and who had escaped to lead a life in the desert
compared with which death by the spear would have
been merciful.

The existence of the dreaded tsetse fly, whose bite is
fatal to any domestic animal, accounted for the lack of
human inhabitants. The cattle which Kondwana's men
brought with them began to droop, and soon could pro-
ceed no further. After being bitten by the tsetse, ani-
mals gradually waste away, and sometimes live on for
months, becoming more and more emaciated. If, how-
ever, rain happens to fall, they die off very quickly.
The men set to work and killed all the remaining cattle.
They ate what they could of the meat, loaded them-
selves and the captive women with as much of the re-
mainder as could be carried, and then traveled as swiftly
as they could in a northeasterly direction toward the
Limpopo river. Once across the Limpopo, they knew
they could easily reach the Makalaka country, where,
doubtless, loot abounded. They knew all about this from
the Balala, whom they from time to time captured and
questioned. None of these could, however, give any
information as to where the copper ore had come from.

In the meantime game was plentiful, although some-
what difficult to capture. Their most successful mode
of hunting was this: About a hundred men would lie
in ambush in some place where, judging from the
footmarks, wild animals were in the habit of passing.



14



THE QUEST OF THE COPPER.

These men would take cover wherever they could,
breaking off branches of trees for purposes of con-
cealment where growing reeds, shrubs, or grass did not
suffice. They would lie or crouch about five yards from
each other, in three lines about ten yards apart.

The remainder of the contingent would then divide
into two parties, one of which would extend to the right
and the other to the left, in open order; each party
forming a long chain gradually stretching out. The
leaders, after going out a certain distance, would curve
inward toward each other until they met. A large area
would thus be inclosed. As soon as the chains joined,
by the leaders meeting, the grass was set alight, and
immediately afterward smoke arose at numerous points
around the inclosed space, while the men all rushed in-
ward toward the ambush. The terrified game, seeing
themselves almost surrounded by a ring of fire, rushed
madly to what seemed to them the only place at which
they could possibly escape. When the herd reached
the ambush, the men sprang to their feet, and dashed at


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryUnknownClassic tales by famous authors (Volume 16) → online text (page 1 of 19)