Pathfinder; or, the inland sea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about Pathfinder; or, the inland sea.
regarded the more material points, and with a natural discrimination that appeared to set education at defiance.  In short, a disbeliever in the ability of man to distinguish between good and evil without the aid of instruction, would have been staggered by the character of this extraordinary inhabitant of the frontier.  His feelings appeared to possess the freshness and nature of the forest in which he passed so much of his time; and no casuist could have made clearer decisions in matters relating to right and wrong; and yet he was not without his prejudices, which, though few, and colored by the character and usages of the individual, were deep-rooted, and almost formed a part of his nature.  But the most striking feature about the moral organization of Pathfinder was his beautiful and unerring sense of justice.  This noble trait —­ and without it no man can be truly great, with it no man other than respectable —­ probably had its unseen influence on all who associated with him; for the common and unprincipled brawler of the camp had been known to return from an expedition made in his company rebuked by his sentiments, softened by his language, and improved by his example.  As might have been expected, with so elevated a quality his fidelity was like the immovable rock; treachery in him was classed among the things which are impossible; and as he seldom retired before his enemies, so was he never known, under any circumstances that admitted of an alternative, to abandon a friend.  The affinities of such a character were, as a matter of course, those of like for like.  His associates and intimates, though more or less determined by chance, were generally of the highest order as to moral propensities; for he appeared to possess a species of instinctive discrimination, which led him, insensibly to himself, most probably, to cling closest to those whose characters would best reward his friendship.  In short, it was said of the Pathfinder, by one accustomed to study his fellows, that he was a fair example of what a just-minded and pure man might be, while untempted by unruly or ambitious desires, and left to follow the bias of his feelings, amid the solitary grandeur and ennobling influences of a sublime nature; neither led aside by the inducements which influence all to do evil amid the incentives of civilization, nor forgetful of the Almighty Being whose spirit pervades the wilderness as well as the towns.

Such was the man whom Sergeant Dunham had selected as the husband of Mabel.  In making this choice, he had not been as much governed by a clear and judicious view of the merits of the individual, perhaps, as by his own likings; still no one knew the Pathfinder so intimately as himself without always conceding to the honest guide a high place in his esteem on account of these very virtues.  That his daughter could find any serious objections to the match the old soldier did not apprehend; while, on the other hand, he saw many advantages to himself in dim perspective, connected

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Pathfinder; or, the inland sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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