The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Knickerbocker, Vol. 10, No. 3, September 1837

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Title: The Knickerbocker, Vol. 10, No. 3, September 1837

Author: Various

Release date: April 1, 2014 [eBook #45285]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, JoAnn Greenwood,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


Transcriber's Note: The following Table of Contents has been added for the convenience of the reader.



Vol. X. SEPTEMBER, 1837. No. 3.




The predominant taste for the study of ancient literature, and the investigation of antiquity, has been the means of bringing to light a vast quantity of matter, which, if written in modern times, would hardly be regarded of sufficient value to preserve beyond the age in which it was written. Elegance of style and composition is not the distinguishing trait in all the Grecian and Roman authors which have come down to us; nor are the subjects of sufficient importance to merit a preservation of twenty centuries; although it may be safe to say, that these qualities in general constitute the beauty and value of these writings; for we know that the ancients appreciated the works of their great men, as well as we; and to this we must owe their preservation. The philosophy of Plato and Socrates—the histories of Herodotus and Livy—the poetry of Homer and Virgil—the metaphysics of Aristotle—the geometry of Euclid, and the eloquence of Cicero and Demosthenes, are not regarded now with more esteem than they were in the period in which they were produced, although the great mass of the people were far behind us in knowledge. Poetry and eloquence are as attractive to the senses of a savage, as to him who is civilized; and to this circumstance must be attributed the preservation and transmission of many poems, of people who have left no other memento of their existence.

The wisdom of the ancient writers above named, was in advance of the age in which they lived, yet they were appreciated; and although kingdoms have risen and fallen, nations have been scattered and annihilated, and language itself become corrupted or lost, these memorials of learning and genius have been preserved, amid the general devastation, and still appear in all their original beauty and grandeur, more imperishable than the sculptured column or trophied urn; models for nations yet unborn, and drawing forth the admiration of the most accomplished scholars and profound philosophers.

In addition to these, we possess many valuable histories, learned dissertations, poetical effusions, specimens of the early drama, etc., which, although they may rank lower in their style of composition, are valuable from the light they throw upon the manners and customs of the age in which they were penned, and make us better acquainted with the private life, the tastes and occupations, of the ancients.

Thus much may be said of the Greek and Roman people. Their[186] origin, their history, and their literature, are known in all civilized parts of the world; and from the downfall of their respective kingdoms to the present time, we are tolerably well acquainted with the leading events of the history of their descendants, in the modern nations of the south of Europe. Not so with the Teutonic people, who occupy the middle and northern parts of that continent. The glory of their ancestors has never been immortalized; no poet or historian arose to transmit to posterity an account of their origin, or the fame of their deeds, as letters were first known to the Goths in A. D., 360. It is not the intention, in the present essay, to illustrate the literature of the Germanic nations, but to take up that portion embraced in the general term of Scandinavian, which embraces the literature of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland. It is also known by the term Old-Northern or Norse, and as Icelandic literature. It is embodied in the Eddas and Historical Sagas as they are called, in the countries of the north. The former consists of collections of Icelandic poems, written upon parchment, or skins, in the language of that country; and the latter, which include the most important part, are relations of historical events which have occurred in Iceland and other countries of the north, including Great Britain and Ireland. They also extend to the affairs of Greenland, which we know was colonized by the Scandinavians at an early period, and to accounts of voyages made by them to an unknown land, called Vinland—supposed to be America—and to various parts of Europe.

Such are the sources of Scandinavian literature. But before we attempt to examine these treasures, which form the subject of our remarks, it may be well to ask the question, which naturally arises here: Who were this ancient people, who, from the earliest period, have occupied the north of Europe? Whence came they? And to what nation of more remote antiquity is their origin to be traced?

To answer these questions satisfactorily, would be a task as easily accomplished, as that of stating with accuracy the origin of the Egyptians. Several learned writers, of ancient as well as modern times, have investigated the subject, without arriving at conclusions which would agree in the most important points; and strange as it may appear, it is not the less true, that we are better able, after a lapse of ten or fifteen centuries, to determine the origin of the people by whom Europe was populated, about the period of the commencement of the Christian era, than writers were who flourished ten centuries ago. At that period, the most noble of inventions had not been brought to light, to treasure up passing events, and what had been preserved by tradition. Letters were not cultivated in Europe, and the intercourse between nations of kindred origin was not sufficiently close, to have promoted such an inquiry.

The cultivation and advancement of the science of philology, or system of universal grammar, has furnished us with a more unerring guide by which to trace the origin of the nations of antiquity, where sufficient of their languages remain, than history itself; for the latter, being in a great degree traditionary, cannot be relied upon, when treating of the origin of nations. The primitive history of the Scandinavians, Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Hindoos, are so interwoven with their mythology, that it is extremely difficult to separate[187] truth from fiction. In analyzing the various European languages, on the principles adopted by philologists, we are enabled to trace the affinities existing between them; and by a similarity of grammatical structure, correspondence of words and phrases, and analogies in the conjugations of verbs and declensions of nouns, to classify the various languages, and ascertain from what family or stock they are derived. All the living languages of Europe, with the exception of the Biscayan, or Basque, and the Gaëlic, have been traced to Asia, and to languages which were spoken by the most ancient people of which we have any record. It is now conceded, that the Celts were one, if not the principal, of the primitive nations of Europe, distinguished by different names in different countries. The earliest historians of Europe agree, that they were, in a remote period, settled in various parts of that continent—in the mountainous regions of the Alps, and throughout Gaul, whence they migrated to Great Britain and Ireland, and to the central and western regions of Spain. At a later period, they inundated Italy, Thrace, and Asia Minor. 'The Hibernians,' says Malte Brun, 'are an old branch of the same people; and, according to some authors, the Highlanders of Scotland are a colony of the native Irish. The Erse, or Gaëlic, is the only authentic monument of the Celtic language; but it may be readily admitted, that a nation so widely extended must have been incorporated with many states whose dialects are at present extinct.'[1]

Another primitive nation was the ancestors of the Basques, a people now dwindled to a few thousands, and confined to the western base of the Pyrenees. They were closely allied to the Iberians, who occupied eastern and southern Spain, and a part of Gaul. In the remnant of this people is preserved one of the most remarkable languages that philologists have ever yet investigated, exhibiting undoubted marks of originality. 'It is preserved in a corner of Europe, the sole remaining fragment of perhaps a hundred dialects, constructed on the same plan, which probably existed, and were universally spoken, at a remote period, in that quarter of the globe. Like the bones of the mammoth, and the shells of unknown fishes, the races of which have perished, it remains a frightful monument of the immense destruction produced by a succession of ages. There it stands, single and alone, of its kind, surrounded by idioms whose modern construction bears no kind of analogy to it.'[2]

The south of Europe was occupied by the Etruscans, or Etrurians, whose splendid monuments alone remain to perpetuate their existence; also by the Ausonians, and the Osci. In the east of Europe, we know of no other primitive people than the Thracians, which, however, may have included others of less note. They are spoken of by all the early historians, but of their language, no traces are known to exist.

The north of Europe now alone remains. This part of the continent which embraces Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the north of Germany, was originally inhabited by the Goths or Scandinavians; [188]some writers using the former, and others the latter, to distinguish them. Under whatever name they have been known, they have filled so important a place in history, that they deserve more than a passing notice.

'In the beginning of the sixth century,' says Gibbon, 'and after the conquest of Italy, the Goths, in the possession of present greatness, very naturally indulged themselves in the prospect of past and future glory. They wished to preserve the memory of their ancestors, and to transmit to posterity their own achievements. The principal minister of the Court of Ravenna, the learned Cassiodorus, qualified the inclination of the conquerors in a Gothic history, which consisted of twelve books, now reduced to the imperfect abridgment of Jornandes. These writers passed, with the most artful conciseness, over the misfortunes of the nation, celebrated its success, and adorned the triumph with many Asiatic trophies, that more properly belonged to the people of Scythia. On the faith of ancient songs, the uncertain but the only memorials of barbarians, they deduced the first origin of the Goths from the vast island or peninsula of Scandinavia.'[3]

No dependence, of course, can be placed on this history, obtained in such a manner, and by a people unacquainted with letters. Commencing on historic ground, as early as the Christian era, and as late as the Antonines, the Goths were established toward the mouth of the Vistula, and in that fertile province where the commercial cities of Thorn, Elbing, Köningsberg, and Dantzic, were long afterward founded. In the reign of Antonines, the Goths were still seated in Prussia. About the reign of Alexander Severus, the Roman province of Dacia had already experienced their proximity, by frequent and destructive inroads. In this interval, therefore, of about seventy years, Gibbon places the second migration of the Goths from the Baltic to the Euxine.

Another, and perhaps a more plausible theory, for the origin of the Goths, is that of identifying them with the Thracians. This theory is strongly advocated by Vans Kennedy, who adduces many and conclusive arguments in favor of his hypothesis. Then to identify the Scandinavians with the Goths, and their origin is settled. From the time of Herodotus, until the general prevalence of the name of Goths, it is undeniable, that the Thracians remained unconquered, and that they extended themselves from Macedonia to the Dniester, and from the Euxine Sea to the confines of Germany. For, as the Getæ are identified by ancient writers with the Thracians, and as neither proof nor probability supports the assumption that Thracia was ever occupied by either Scythians or Scandinavians, it must necessarily follow, that whatever is predicated of the Getæ, must equally apply to the Thracians; and, consequently, if the Getæ were Goths, the Goths were also Thracians. To determine, therefore, the identity of the Getæ and Goths, it may be remarked, that from Strabo, it appears that the country immediately to the south of the Elbe was inhabited by the Suevi; then succeeded the country of the Getæ, which extended along the southern bank of the Danube, [189] and also to the north of that river, as far as the Dniester. The Mœsi, likewise, dwelt on both banks of the Danube, and were equally with the Getæ considered by the Greeks to be a Thracian people. The Dacians, also, were a Thracian people.'[4]

It will be necessary, in the next place, to identify the other nations which occupied the interior of Europe from the second to the fifth century, with one of the great nations before alluded to, in order to arrive at the point in question. The incursions made by the barbarians, as they were called, from the North into Italy, which eventuated in the overthrow of the Roman empire, have generally been attributed to people who crossed the Baltic into Denmark, thence into Germany, where, uniting with other tribes, they concentrated their power, and established an empire between the Euxine and Adriatic, on both sides of the Danube. The most distinguished of these German nations, as they were called, were the Goths, Vandals, Visigoths, and Gepidæ. 'In ancient times,' says Procopius, 'they were called Sauromatæ and Melanchlæri, and by some the Gætic nation. They thus differ from each other in name, but in nothing else; for they are all fair, yellow-haired, and good-looking; they observe the same institutions, and worship the same God, as they are all of the Arian sect; and they use the same language, which is called Gothic. It therefore appears to me, that they were all originally the same nation.'[5]

The affinities of language which are so apparent in the languages of the north of Europe and Germany, as well as in Great Britain, do not require any evidence to prove their identity of origin; and if their language was the same, the natural conclusion is, that the people were the same. Gibbon states, that the German nations originally emigrated from Scandinavia; but his authority was Jornandes, who abridged the history of the Goths, as written by Cassiodorus, before alluded to, which is considered as indifferent authority.

Acknowledging the Goths and Scandinavians to be the same, one originated in the other, or each, migrating from the parent stock, must have taken a different course to reach their respective countries. The latter must necessarily have passed around the Gulf of Bothnia to reach Sweden and Norway, or must have passed to the south of the Baltic, through the country of the Goths. The former course is altogether improbable, and the latter makes them a branch of the Gothic nation, which is far the most probable. After quoting numerous authors on this subject, Vans Kennedy comes to the conclusion, that from the Hellespont the Thracians gradually extended themselves to the shores of the Baltic, and thence to Scandinavia. This hypothesis is far the most reasonable, inasmuch as it has support from the analogies of languages; from a close resemblance in the complexion, color of hair, eyes, etc., and from the testimony of history itself. The Thracians, as before observed, were one of the primitive nations of Europe. They are repeatedly noticed by [190]Homer, who speaks of them as a numerous and hardy race. Alluding to their country, he says:

'To where the Mysians prove their martial force,
And hardy Thracians tame the savage horse;
And where the far-famed Hippomolgian strays,
Renown'd for justice and for length of days;
Thrice happy race!'

Iliad, b. xiii., v. 1, p. 13.

They are afterward spoken of by Herodotus, and subsequently by Procopius, from the latter of which we have quoted. As a nation, the Thracians have long been extinct. Even of their language there remains no vestige, except what is seen in the Teutonic languages at the North; those of the South, of Pelargic origin, are by some philologists derived from the Thracian, inasmuch as the affinities of the languages of the north and south of Europe are sufficient to deduce them from some earlier language, all traces of which are extinct.

This subject might be carried much farther, by tracing the analogies of language which exist between the German and Sanscrit, or between the English and Sanscrit, and of the affinity between the Persian and the two European languages named. They are all so striking as to place it beyond a doubt that some connexion existed at a very remote period of antiquity, between the people by whom these languages are spoken. On this point, the great philologist Adelung observes, that it has excited the greatest wonder and astonishment. 'The fact is undeniable; and the German found in Persian consists not only of a remarkable number of radical words, but also in particles, and is even observable in the grammatical structure. This circumstance will admit of two explanations, either from a later intermingling of the two languages, after they were completely formed, or from their both being derived from the same mother tongue.'[6]

Having thus traced the Scandinavians to the Thracians, which latter people, from their proximity to Asia, must have preserved parts of their mother tongue, particularly if that was the Persian or Zend, and noticed the remarkable affinity existing, even in our day, in the languages of Teutonic people (of which the Scandinavians are one) and the Persian, the antiquity of the former, and their descent from one of the original nations of Asia, will be sufficiently apparent, to take up the subject which heads this article.

The early history of the North was traditionary, until the introduction of Christianity, with which Roman letters were also introduced. These were easily adapted to express the various sounds of their languages; and being much more convenient and applicable to reduce their songs, tales, and histories into, than the characters heretofore used, they were soon after embodied in them. The letters in use, previous to the introduction of the Roman alphabet, were Runic. This alphabet consisted of sixteen letters, which are said to be Phœnician in their origin, and to have been introduced by Odin. They were used to sculpture important events on rocks and monuments, many of which are still found in various parts of the [191]North, as well as in Great Britain. In another place, a more particular account will be given of these Runes, as they are called, accompanied by translations.

It does not appear that the Runic letters had ever been employed to much extent, on parchment, to record passing events, or to preserve the lays, which memory alone had transmitted from generation to generation. Like all other people of antiquity, the Scandinavians had their bards, synonymous with the rhapsodists of Greece. They were known by the name of Skalds, and were both poets and historians. 'They were the companions and chroniclers of kings, who liberally rewarded their genius, and sometimes entered the lists with them in trials of skill in their own art. A regular succession of this order of men was perpetuated—a list of two hundred and thirty in number, of the most distinguished in the three kingdoms of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, among whom are several crowned heads, and distinguished warriors of the heroic age. Canute the Great retained several Skalds at his court, among whom was one from Iceland, 'who,' says Snorre Sturleson, 'having composed a short poem on Canute, went, for the purpose of reciting it, to the king, who was just rising from table, and thronged with suitors. The impatient poet craved an audience from the king for his lay, assuring him that it was very short. The wrath of Canute was kindled, and he answered the Skald with a stern look: 'Are you not ashamed to do what none but yourself has dared—to write a short poem upon me? Unless, by the hour of dinner to-morrow, you produce a drapa, above thirty strophes long, on the same subject, your life shall pay the penalty.' The inventive genius of the poet did not desert him. He produced the required poem, and was liberally rewarded by the king with fifty marks of silver.[7] The improvisatores of modern times forcibly remind us of the northern Skalds, who, without the genial skies and classic land of Italy to excite their imagination, produced their lays with equal facility, and expressed their ideas, which correspond with the wildness and rigidity of the North, as the Italian bards assimilate their effusions with the mildness of their climate, and the delightful landscapes with which they were surrounded. Southey thus alludes to them:

——'Wild the Runic faith,
And wild the realms where Scandinavian chiefs
And Skalds arose, and hence the Skald's strong verse
Partook the savage wildness.'

The most important part of Old Northern, or Icelandic literature, is that contained in the Sagas. Of these there are vast quantities still in a high state of preservation, not less than two thousand of them being in the collection of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries. They are written upon skins, in dialects of the Scandinavian languages. The greater portion, however, are in the Icelandic text; others are in the Faroe, Orkney, and Norwegian dialects. One of the most noble and praiseworthy undertakings of the present day, is that of the society alluded to, which contemplates the examination, elucidation, and immediate publication, of these valuable [192] manuscripts. They have already advanced to a considerable extent in the accomplishment of their object. The first and most important collection of the Saga manuscripts, was that made by Arne Magnusen, a learned Icelander, who died in 1730. He collected one thousand five hundred and fifty-four of them, and by his will bequeathed a large sum for their publication. This fund led Professor Rafn, in connection with Brynjulfon, Egilson, and Gudmunsson, of Iceland, to found a society for the publication of the old Norse manuscripts, which society is the one referred to, having the King of Denmark for its patron and founder, and embracing among its members most of the learned men of the north of Europe. In addition to the bequest of Arne Magnusen, a large fund has been formed, contributed by the king and other noble and public-spirited individuals of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Great Britain, and Iceland, for the further prosecution and investigation of old northern Archaeology, and Scandinavian antiquities generally. 'The ancient literature of the North,' to quote the language of a letter from the society, 'in point of extent, has not without reason been compared to the literary remains of Greece and Latium, and which is indisputably of decided importance to the antiquarians, historians, lawyers, and philologists of Europe and America.' It is gratifying to observe, that this enterprise has already begun to excite an interest, not only within the limited territory of Denmark, or of Scandinavia, where the resources for so extensive an undertaking are too scanty, but also in several countries beyond the limits of northern Europe, whose scholars share with us in the sentiment, that such literary undertakings ought not to be confined within political boundaries, but, on account of their extensive tendency, have also a claim to active participation from other countries; since without it they cannot meet with the requisite development, nor become of that utility to literature and science for which they are intended, and of which they are susceptible. In order more fully to carry into effect the plans of this society, the cöoperation of several of the most eminent antiquarians and literary men of Great Britain and the United States has been solicited, to which they will, no doubt, readily accede.

The Saga literature, which was cultivated to so great an extent in that distant and isolated spot, while all Europe was in a state of darkness, had a great influence in civilizing and promoting the cultivation of letters throughout the north of Europe. The Icelanders were a maritime people, inheriting their love of commerce and adventure from the hardy Scandinavians who planted their colony. Their continued intercourse with the coast of Norway led them to seek adventures elsewhere. The Faroe Islands, the Orkneys, Great Britain, and Ireland, were visited, and a continued trade kept up between them. The two former were Scandinavian colonies, and spoke a dialect of the ancient language.

With the introduction of Christianity into the North, the later Latins, Gothic characters of the Anglo-Saxons, came into general use; and to this we owe the transcripts, made chiefly in Ireland, of the sagas and poetry of the pagan times of the North, and also of the northern history during the middle ages. These sagas are[193] divided into four classes, the mythic, mythico-historical, historical, and romantic.

The volumes already published, are the following: Foramanna Sögur, eleven volumes; Oldnordiske Sagær, eleven volumes; Scripita Historica Islandorum, six volumes. These contain historical sagas, recording events which transpired on the continent; a history of the Norwegian kings from Olaf Fryggvuson to Magnus, Lagabæta, embracing a long period of years, and terminating in the year 1274; the history of the Danish kings, from Harold Bluetooth to Canute VI., or the period between the middle of the tenth and the commencement of the thirteenth centuries, with critical notes and commentaries on the narrations and sagas of several northern writers.

Iselendinga Sögur, two volumes, contains the historical sagas, recording events which have transpired in Iceland; giving also a particular account of the first colonization of the island, in Icelandic.

Faëreyinga Saga, or the History of the Inhabitants of the Faroe Islands; in Icelandic, the Faroe-dialect, and Danish. Fornaldar Sögur Nordrlanda, three volumes; Nordiske Fortids Sagær, three volumes. The latter six volumes comprise all the mytho-historical sagas, recording events in the North, assignable to the period anterior to the colonization of Iceland, or the era of authentic history; in Icelandic and Danish.

Krakumal sive Epicedium Ragnaris Lodbroci, or Ode on the Heroic Deeds and Death of the Danish King, Ragnar Lodbrok, in England; in Icelandic, Danish, Latin, and French.

These publications will give some idea of the extent, variety, and interest, of the manuscripts in the possession of this society, and of the light which, in all probability, many of them will throw upon the hitherto unsettled points of English, Scottish, and Irish history.



Wilt thou then leave me, ere the hurrying hours
Have yet gone by, when sleepless souls should meet?
Wilt thou then leave me, when in these still bowers,
Time lingers, wrapt in joys so wildly sweet?
Oh, break not thus away, with trembling spirit,
Nor deem a converse so delightful, wrong;
Ah me! the hours of joy we now inherit,
Have never yet been known to linger long.


Haste not away so soon—a while remaining,
Some newer bliss, unknown, shall touch the heart;
Ah me! thy own unto my bosom straining,
If like me thou didst love, we should not part.
Thou still wouldst pause, and with a fond affection,
Re-clasp the hands, unite the lips that burn,
And when in fear thou break'st the sweet connection,
Return and linger, linger and return.

G. B. Singleton.



A recent English writer says: 'The rose is a flower entirely unknown to the new world.'

Fair flower! the opening of whose breast
Of fragrance, on the soft south-west,
Speaks sweet to me, in mem'ries dear—
All that calls up affection's tear;
I love thy heart-leaf'd single cup,
Soft blushing with the hue of morn;
I kiss each essenced dew-drop up,
That trembles on thy thorn:
For thou upon my path hast grown
Since childhood—womanhood, I own.
First on a Pennsylvanian bank,
Where fair my native creek flow'd by,
The breathings of thine heart I drank,
And gazed into thy golden eye.
Where'er I wander, still dost thou
Ever upon my pathway bow;
The field, the cliff—my children's tomb,
To garland with spontaneous bloom.
Where'er a mossy rock hath place,
Thou wavest there in modest grace;
Guarding beneath thy blushing vest,
Midst tufted grass, the partridge-nest.
Where'er o'er mountain path I toil,
Thou spring'st to bless the grav'ly soil;
Where straggling fence-row gives thee room,
Thou fling'st a garland, and perfume;
And oft thy dying odors play,
Mingled in swathe of fragrant hay.
Though thou dost love the woodland shade,
Still for the sun-beam wert thou made.
Stealing from copse to open sky—
Greeting from far the traveller's eye:
Thou wert not 'born to blush unseen,'
Sweet wilding rose; the meadow's queen!
I love thy leaf's indented green;
The tinge of red upon thy stalk;
Thy pointed buds, so neatly furl'd:
O, who hath said this western world
Was to thy smile unknown!
Come, let him take one morning walk,
When May has well nigh flown;
In dell or dingle, chiefly where
A thicket meets the open air;
Or where a gurgling streamlet takes
Its sparkling leap through rocky brakes;
O'er fence-row, to the tassel'd corn,
The smiling rose nods from her thorn:
O! ever, rose! smile thus to me,
Memento of my childhood's glee.
In warmer Greece, thou may'st repay,
With richer glow, the softer day;
At eve, as from the bul-bul's throat,
Love's fabled breathings o'er thee float;
Or England's gardens may enhance,
By florist's art, thy trebled flower;
But here thou'rt free; thy ev'ry glance
Speaks but our nation's dower.
Free as the foot of Pilgrim, set
On Plymouth-rock by salt sea wet;
Free as the soil on which he trod,
Free as the pray'r he breath'd to God;
[195] Free as the untam'd Indian's eye,
That tracks the foe none else can spy;
Free as the arrow from his bow—
Free as the dark Missouri's flow;
Free as the forest's untam'd herds;
Free as the lake's migrating birds.
Wild rose, and sweet! still grace the soil,
Won by our fathers' sacred toil;
Still cheer the labors of the plough—
The harvest rose, still flourish thou!
Gayer may blow in Persian loom,
Richer may breathe in Turk's perfume:
But purer, sweeter, never hung
The rocks, the paths, the fields among;
I love thee, for thou dost for me
Garland the country of the free!



There is hardly a more difficult exercise of fancy, than, while gazing at a figure of melancholy age, to re-create its youth, and, without entirely obliterating the identity of form and features, to restore those graces which time has snatched away. Some old people, especially women, so age-worn and woful are they, seem never to have been young and gay. It is easier to conceive that such gloomy phantoms were sent into the world as withered and decrepit as we beheld them now, with sympathies only for pain and grief, to watch at death-beds, and weep at funerals. Even the sable garments of their widowhood appear essential to their existence; all their attributes combine to render them darksome shadows, creeping strangely amid the sunshine of human life. Yet it is no unprofitable task, to take one of these doleful creatures, and set fancy resolutely at work to brighten the dim eye, and darken the silvery locks, and paint the ashen-cheek with rose-color, and repair the shrunken and crazy form, till a dewy maiden shall be seen in the old matron's elbow-chair. The miracle being wrought, then let the years roll back again, each sadder than the last, and the whole weight of age and sorrow settle down upon the youthful figure. Wrinkles and furrows, the hand-writing of Time, may thus be deciphered, and found to contain deep lessons of thought and feeling. Such profit might be derived, by a skilful observer, from my much-respected friend, the Widow Ingersoll, a nurse of great repute, who has breathed the atmosphere of sick-chambers and dying-breaths, these forty years.

See! she sits cowering over her lonesome hearth, with her gown and upper petticoat drawn upward, gathering thriftily into her person the whole warmth of the fire, which, now at nightfall, begins to dissipate the autumnal chill of her chamber. The blaze quivers capriciously in front, alternately glimmering into the deepest chasms of her wrinkled visage, and then permitting a ghostly dimness to mar the outlines of her venerable figure. And Nurse Ingersoll holds a tea-spoon in her right hand, with which to stir up the contents of a tumbler in her left, whence steams a vapory fragrance, abhorred of[196] temperance societies. Now she sips—now stirs—now sips again. Her sad old heart has need to be revived by the rich infusion of Geneva, which is mixed half-and-half with hot water, in the tumbler. All day long she has been sitting by a death-pillow, and quitted it for her home, only when the spirit of her patient left the clay, and went homeward too. But now are her melancholy meditations cheered, and her torpid blood warmed, and her shoulders lightened of at least twenty ponderous years, by a draught from the true Fountain of Youth, in a case-bottle. It is strange that men should deem that fount a fable, when its liquor fills more bottles than the congress-water! Sip it again, good nurse, and see whether a second draught will not take off another score of years, and perhaps ten more, and show us, in your high-backed chair, the blooming damsel who plighted troths with Edward Fane. Get you gone, Age and Widowhood! Come back, unwedded Youth! But, alas! the charm will not work. In spite of fancy's most potent spell, I can see only an old dame cowering over the fire, a picture of decay and desolation, while the November blast roars at her in the chimney, and fitful showers rush suddenly against the window.

Yet there was a time when Rose Grafton—such was the pretty maiden-name of Nurse Ingersoll—possessed beauty that would have gladdened this dim and dismal chamber, as with sunshine. It won for her the heart of Edward Fane, who has since made so great a figure in the world, and is now a grand old gentleman, with powdered hair, and as gouty as a lord. These early lovers thought to have walked hand in hand through life. They had wept together for Edward's little sister Mary, whom Rose tended in her sickness, partly because she was the sweetest child that ever lived or died, but more for love of him. She was but three years old. Being such an infant, Death could not embody his terrors in her little corpse; nor did Rose fear to touch the dead child's brow, though chill, as she curled the silken hair around it, nor to take her tiny hand, and clasp a flower within its fingers. Afterward, when she looked through the pane of glass in the coffin-lid, and beheld Mary's face, it seemed not so much like death, or life, as like a wax-work, wrought into the perfect image of a child asleep, and dreaming of its mother's smile. Rose thought her too fair a thing to be hidden in the grave, and wondered that an angel did not snatch up little Mary's coffin, and bear the slumbering babe to heaven, and bid her wake immortal. But when the sods were laid on little Mary, the heart of Rose was troubled. She shuddered at the fantasy, that, in grasping the child's cold fingers, her virgin hand had exchanged a first greeting with mortality, and could never lose the earthy taint. How many a greeting since! But as yet, she was a fair young girl, with the dew-drops of fresh feeling in her bosom; and instead of Rose, which seemed too mature a name for her half-opened beauty, her lover called her Rosebud.

The rosebud was destined never to bloom for Edward Fane. His mother was a rich and haughty dame, with all the aristocratic prejudices of colonial times. She scorned Rose Grafton's humble parentage, and caused her son to break his faith, though, had she let him choose, he would have prized his Rosebud above the richest[197] diamond. The lovers parted, and have seldom met again. Both may have visited the same mansions, but not at the same time; for one was bidden to the festal hall, and the other to the sick-chamber; he was the guest of Pleasure and Prosperity, and she of Anguish. Rose, after their separation, was long secluded within the dwelling of Mr. Ingersoll, whom she married with the revengeful hope of breaking her false lover's heart. She went to her bridegroom's arms with bitterer tears, they say, than young girls ought to shed, at the threshold of the bridal chamber. Yet, though her husband's head was getting gray, and his heart had been chilled with an autumnal frost, Rose soon began to love him, and wondered at her own conjugal affection. He was all she had to love; there were no children.

In a year or two, poor Mr. Ingersoll was visited with a wearisome infirmity, which settled in his joints, and made him weaker than a child. He crept forth about his business, and came home at dinnertime and eventide, not with the manly tread that gladdens a wife's heart, but slowly—feebly—jotting down each dull footstep with a melancholy dub of his staff. We must pardon his pretty wife, if she sometimes blushed to own him. Her visitors, when they heard him coming, looked for the appearance of some old, old man; but he dragged his nerveless limbs into the parlor—and there was Mr. Ingersoll! The disease increasing, he never went into the sunshine, save with a staff in his right hand, and his left on his wife's shoulder, bearing heavily downward, like a dead man's hand. Thus, a slender woman, still looking maiden-like, she supported his tall, broad-chested frame along the pathway of their little garden, and plucked the roses for her gray-haired husband, and spoke soothingly, as to an infant. His mind was palsied with his body; its utmost energy was peevishness. In a few months more, she helped him up the staircase, with a pause at every step, and a longer one upon the landing-place, and a heavy glance behind, as he crossed the threshold of his chamber. He knew, poor man, that the precincts of those four walls would thenceforth be his world—his world, his home, his tomb—at once a dwelling and a burial-place, till he were borne to a darker and a narrower one. But Rose was with him in the tomb. He leaned upon her, in his daily passage from the bed to the chair by the fireside, and back again from the weary chair to the joyless bed—his bed and hers—their marriage-bed; till even this short journey ceased, and his head lay all day upon the pillow, and hers all night beside it. How long poor Mr. Ingersoll was kept in misery! Death seemed to draw near the door, and often to lift the latch, and sometimes to thrust his ugly skull into the chamber, nodding to Rose, and pointing at her husband, but still delayed to enter. 'This bed-ridden wretch cannot escape me!' quoth Death. 'I will go forth, and run a race with the swift, and fight a battle with the strong, and come back for Ingersoll at my leisure!' Oh, when the deliverer came so near, in the dull anguish of her worn-out sympathies, did she never long to cry, 'Death, come in!'

But, no! We have no right to ascribe such a wish to our friend Rose. She never failed in a wife's duty to her poor sick husband. She murmured not, though a glimpse of the sunny sky was as strange[198] to her as him, nor answered peevishly, though his complaining accents roused her from her sweetest dream, only to share his wretchedness. He knew her faith, yet nourished a cankered jealousy; and when the slow disease had chilled all his heart, save one lukewarm spot, which Death's frozen fingers were searching for, his last words were: 'What would my Rose have done for her first love, if she has been so true and kind to a sick old man like me!' And then his poor soul crept away, and left the body lifeless, though hardly more so than for years before, and Rose a widow, though in truth it was the wedding night that widowed her. She felt glad, it must be owned, when Mr. Ingersoll was buried, because his corpse had retained such a likeness to the man half alive, that she hearkened for the sad murmur of his voice, bidding her shift his pillow. But all through the next winter, though the grave had held him many a month, she fancied him calling from that cold bed, 'Rose! Rose! come put a blanket on my feet!'

So now the Rosebud was the Widow Ingersoll. Her troubles had come early, and, tedious as they seemed, had passed before all her bloom was fled. She was still fair enough to captivate a bachelor, or, with a widow's cheerful gravity, she might have won a widower, stealing into his heart in the very guise of his dead wife. But the Widow Ingersoll had no such projects. By her watchings and continual cares, her heart had become knit to her first husband with a constancy which changed its very nature, and made her love him for his infirmities, and infirmity for his sake. When the palsied old man was gone, even her early lover could not have supplied his place. She had dwelt in a sick-chamber, and been the companion of a half-dead wretch, till she should scarcely breathe in a free air, and felt ill at ease with the healthy and the happy. She missed the fragrance of the doctor's stuff. She walked the chamber with a noiseless footfall. If visitors came in, she spoke in soft and soothing accents, and was startled and shocked by their loud voices. Often, in the lonesome evening, she looked timorously from the fireside to the bed, with almost a hope of recognising a ghastly face upon the pillow. Then went her thoughts sadly to her husband's grave. If one impatient throb had wronged him in his lifetime—if she had secretly repined, because her buoyant youth was imprisoned with his torpid age—if ever, while slumbering beside him, a treacherous dream had admitted another into her heart—yet the sick man had been preparing a revenge, which the dead now claimed. On his painful pillow, he had cast a spell around her; his groans and misery had proved more captivating charms than gayety and youthful grace; in his semblance, Disease itself had won the Rosebud for a bride; nor could his death dissolve the nuptials. By that indissoluble bond she had gained a home in every sick-chamber, and nowhere else; there were her brethren and sisters; thither her husband summoned her, with that voice which had seemed to issue from the grave of Ingersoll. At length she recognised her destiny.

We have beheld her as the maid, the wife, the widow; now we see her in a separate and insulated character: she was, in all her attributes, Nurse Ingersoll. And Nurse Ingersoll alone, with her own shrivelled lips, could make known her experience in that capacity.[199] What a history might she record of the great sicknesses, in which she has gone hand in hand with the exterminating angel! She remembers when the small-pox hoisted a red-banner on almost every house along the street. She has witnessed when the typhus fever swept off a whole household, young and old, all but a lonely mother, who vainly shrieked to follow her last loved one. Where would be Death's triumph, if none lived to weep! She can speak of strange maladies that have broken out, as if spontaneously, but were found to have been imported from foreign lands, with rich silks and other merchandise, the costliest portion of the cargo. And once, she recollects, the people died of what was considered a new pestilence, till the doctors traced it to the ancient grave of a young girl, who thus caused many deaths a hundred years after her own burial. Strange that such black mischief should lurk in a maiden's grave! She loves to tell how strong men fight with fiëry fevers, utterly refusing to give up their breath; and how consumptive virgins fade out of the world, scarcely reluctant, as if their lovers were wooing them to a far country. Tell us, thou fearful woman! tell us the death-secrets! Fain would I search out the meaning of words, faintly gasped with intermingled sobs, and broken sentences, half-audibly spoken between earth and the judgment-seat!

An awful woman! She is the patron-saint of young physicians, and the bosom friend of old ones. In the mansions where she enters, the inmates provide themselves black garments; the coffin-maker follows her; and the bell tolls as she comes away from the threshold. Death himself has met her at so many a bed-side, that he puts forth his bony hand to greet Nurse Ingersoll. She is an awful woman! And, oh! is it conceivable, that this handmaid of human infirmity and affliction—so darkly stained, so thoroughly imbued with all that is saddest in the doom of mortals—can ever again be bright and gladsome, even though bathed in the sunshine of eternity? By her long communion with wo, has she not forfeited her inheritance of immortal joy? Does any germ of bliss survive within her?

Hark! an eager knocking at Nurse Ingersoll's door. She starts from her drowsy reverie, sets aside the empty tumbler and tea-spoon, and lights a lamp at the dim embers of the fire. Rap, rap, rap! again; and she hurries adown the staircase, wondering which of her friends can be at death's door now, since there is such an earnest messenger at Nurse Ingersoll's. Again the peal resounds, just as her hand is on the lock. 'Be quick, Nurse Ingersoll!' cries a man on the door-step; 'old Colonel Fane is taken with the gout in his stomach, and has sent for you to watch by his death-bed. Make haste, for there is no time to lose!' 'Fane! Edward Fane! And has he sent for me at last? I am ready! I will get on my cloak and begone. So,' adds the sable-gowned, ashen-visaged, funereal old figure, 'Edward Fane remembers his Rosebud!'

Our question is answered. There is a germ of bliss within her. Her long-hoarded constancy—her memory of the bliss that was—remaining amid the gloom of her after life, like a sweet-smelling flower in a coffin, is a symbol that all may be renewed. In some happier clime, the Rosebud may revive again, with all the dew-drops in its bosom.



'I've a long stout bill, like the condor bird, and a cloak of canvass white,
And walking sticks, full two or three, that sport a banner bright;
I carry an anchor on my bows, and cannon in my sides,
And a compass true, that night and day my course unerring guides.
'My way is on the stormy deep, and the tempest as it blows,
But rocks my darling sons to sleep, who laugh at human woes;
I bear a nation's arms abroad, where nations without me
Could never speak in sovereign power—I'm mistress of the sea!
'When night comes on, I light a lamp, when storms, I trim a sail,
My hardy boys are e'er alert, with hearts that never fail;
I rove in might the dark blue deep—I draw a golden chain,
That causes man on man to smile, and rivets main to main.
'Wealth follows where my canvass flies, and power attends my roar,
I dance upon the bounding sea, and smile beside the shore;
If art and nature both be taxed, they all are found a-lee,
Compared, in might and glory, to a noble ship at sea.'
Here ceased the ship to speak, the while she proudly dashed her way,
When thus a meek and lowly man took up the broken lay:
'Ah! thus,' he cried, 'shall all be borne, and thus shall all be blest,
Who put their trust in Alohim, and in Messiah rest.'

Michilimackinack, August, 1837.H. R S.




A writer in Blackwood, in reviewing the poems of Bishop Corbet, of facetious memory, insists that the church has been more distinguished for wit and humor, than any other of the learned professions. This may not hold true in these refined days, and especially with us, where the strength of a man's principles is apt to be measured by the length of his face, and where a large portion of the community seem to think that

'To laugh were want of goodness, and grimace.'

But it was not so in the time of Corbet, of South, of Swift, and of Sterne. Even in the present day, the name of Sydney Smith is identical with a grin, and evangelical old Rowland Hill himself could not keep down the busy devil of fun within him. But these are only exceptions. The taste of the age has declared itself, rightly enough, perhaps, against the mixture of things sacred and jocose; and the clergyman who is so unfortunate as to possess a fund of wit, must seek some other field for its display than the desk, happy if he be allowed to indulge it even in private, without a brotherly hint from that benevolent class of individuals, whose chief business in life is to attend to the foibles of their neighbors. To the student, however, it is a treat, to turn aside from the staid formality and correct dulness of the present age, to the times when it was permitted to a man to[201] follow the bent of his genius, however devious; when illiterate audiences, more filled with the spirit of faith than with that of criticism, were as much edified by their preacher's jokes as by his homilies; and when even the good man, dreaming as little as Shakspeare himself that his tragi-comedy would fall under the ban of posterity, went on, firing off alternately the heavy ordnance of learned denunciation, and the lighter artillery of jest and jibe, at the head of the conscience-stricken sinner.

Our business, however, is not with the English worthies of this school, with whose merits and defects we are sufficiently familiar, but to introduce the reader to another genius of the same stamp, who flourished at Vienna, where he held no less a station than that of preacher at the emperor's court.

Pater Abraham a Sancta Clara, if we regard only his quaintness, his queerness, his bad puns, and his jokes, lugged in, like Sancho's proverbs, in season and out of season, was a lineal descendant of those worthy travelling friars, whom Schiller has immortalized by the Capuchin's Sermon, in the introduction to Wallenstein. But in learning, in fervor, in rough and rude but stirring eloquence, he is far above the herd of hedge-preachers. 'Though it appear a little out of fashion,' there is much that is sterling in him. Few court preachers ever spake so freely and fearlessly, or applied the lash of satire so unsparingly to every rank and condition. Had he lived in a more refined age, when cultivation might have chastened without destroying his fancy, he would have stood high among popular orators.

His name is probably new to most of our readers; for few of our German scholars ever peep into those ponderous folios in which earlier days delighted, or trace up the stream of German literature higher than Wieland or Klopstock. To such, it would be idle to expatiate on the crabbed beauties which adorn the Nibelungen-lied, the Minnesingers, old Hans Sachs, or Abraham a Sancta Clara. We trust, however, that in the latter they will find enough of oddity, at least, to render some slight acquaintance acceptable. His true name was Ulrich Megerle, and he was born in Suabia, (the Ireland of Germany,) in 1642. At the age of twenty, he became a bare-footed monk, of the Augustine order, and in 1669, was invited to Vienna, in the capacity of court preacher, an office he filled till his death, in 1709; preaching and writing the while with untiring zeal and industry. At a future time, we may brush the learned dust off some other volumes of his works: at present, we will take up one of his choicest bits of quaintness, the discourse called 'Mark!' composed of a series of warnings to the people of Vienna, written soon after the plague, which swept off seventy thousand inhabitants in six months. We have been obliged, of course, to take some few liberties in our version. Where one of his bad German puns proved utterly untranslateable, we have endeavored to fill its place with an English one, equally as bad, and as near the original as possible. It will be seen that here and there he varies the steady progress of his prose, and breaks into a rhyming pace, something between a canter and a hobble; showing that the amphibious measure adopted by the 'wondrous boy that wrote Alroy,' is not altogether original. Without farther preface, we shall proceed to our extracts. Thus, then, discourseth[202] our reverend friend, in his exordium, of the signs that, as usual, preceded the pestilence:

'Signs in the heavens were furnished by the baleful and malevolent aspects of the planets. Signs in air are usually changeful weather, and heavy rains. Clouds, too, are so deemed; but in my poor judgment, the plague was caused, not only by unwholesome nebulæ, but by wicked nebulones. Signs of water are, abundance of fishes cast on shore, crabs, frogs, and toads; and it is certain, when sharks are found plying round courts of justice, when honesty sidles off like a crab, and when toadies are found in the high places, that God commonly sends a pestilence. Signs of earth, are, when idle, noxious weeds and herbs infest the ground; and of a surety, when such plants as sanguinary, dandy-lions, mushrooms, and painted-ladies, grow plentifully, it is easy to see what is meant thereby!' * * *

'Death began his career in Leopoldstadt, (the suburbs,) and there destroyed the people for a time, but in moderation. Afterward the pestilence crossed the Danube to the other suburbs; and it seemed at first as though Death ventured not to enter the capital, but would content himself with the suburbs, and the dark corners, and dirty spots thereof; so that men began wickedly to surmise, that he only wanted to pick out the refuse, to rummage beggars' wallets, and still his hunger with coarse crumbs; and that noble palaces, and rich houses, were safe from his scythe. 'Holla!' said Death, 'to let you know that no fortress is too strong for me, if girt with a fosse that could swallow the ocean, I will, spite of you all, conquer the city!' And he actually did in July.

'In the days of the dictator, Cæsar, an ox spoke; in the days of the prophet Balaam, an ass spoke; in the time of the Emperor Maurice, a metal image spoke; in the time of Beda, the stones spoke; but at this time, in Vienna, when a sick man lay here in one corner, a dying man groaned there in the other; a few steps off lay one already dead, and the bodies choked the way of the passers-by; in Vienna, the very stones spake, and warned the people to repentance. 'Up, and awake, ye sinners! The axe is laid to the root of the tree! God's anger is at the threshold; the voice of the Almighty is calling you to eternity; the archangel Michael holds the balance, to weigh your life! Up! up! and repent, for this is the only prop to which to hold fast in the day of destruction! The penitent knockings of your heart, be sure, can alone open the door of heaven; your hearty sighs are the only music that please the ear of God.' Thus spake all the streets and alleys, and the plastermen trod on, warned them to seek a plaster for the wounds of their conscience.

'Taverns are wont to be the abode of joy and license; for it is no secret, that when the blessed Virgin came to Bethlehem with Joseph, she had to take shelter in a broken stall, for there was no room for her in the tavern; and it is a truth, that God seldom finds any room in such houses, because all things evil lodge there. For a lamb to become a hog, an eagle a crow, and a horse an ass, is no great miracle; for do we not see daily, that men drink like hogs at the 'White Lamb;' that the 'Golden Eagle' makes gallows-birds, and the 'Red-Horse' asses? But in these days, the reverse happened; and the waiters were not so busy in counting up the drinks, as[203] the drinkers, who lay dead by the door the next morning. Their floors were sprinkled, not with water, but with tears. Instead of shouting, was sighing, and—wonderful to say!—there was more whining in them than wine.'

After discoursing in this manner concerning the plague and its incidents, by way of prologue, he proceeds to his practical deductions, addressed to all classes: and first, he invokes mankind generally, heading the invocation,


''Tis not for nothing, that the word live, spelled backward, readeth evil. 'Tis like a cloud, that fantastic child of the summer, which is no sooner born, than the rays of the sun menace to make an end of him. Just so our life, vix orimur morimur! Our first breath is a sigh on the way to death, and the very rocking of the cradle warns us how tottering is our existence.' * * * 'Summer comes after spring; Saturday comes after Friday; four comes after three, and death comes after life.

'Life and glass, they shake and they break;
Life and grass, how soon they pass!
Life and a hare, how fleet they are!

'Life is certain only in uncertainty, and is like a leaf on the tree, a foam on the sea, a wave on the strand, a house on the sand.'

'Stop me not, while I sing my song before thy door. To-day red, to-morrow dead; to-day your grace, to-morrow, 'God be gracious;' to-day, a comfort to all, to-morrow, under the pall; to-day, dear, to-morrow, the bier; to-day hurra, to-morrow, psha!

'Omnes morimur! I have seen that we must all die; I have seen that death is a player, and a roguish one, for he bowls the men down and setteth them not up again, and attacketh not the pawn alone, but the king; I have seen, that were I to gather together the limbs of a dead emperor, and mix them up with water, they would not be of size enough to stop the mouth of sneering Michal, when she opened it to laugh at David her lord.

'Joshua, the hero, before he stormed the city of Jericho, made a vow to the Lord that none of his army should plunder aught. God knows, it's hard for soldiers to keep from it; and though they have little to do with schools, they know wondrous well, that in default of the dativus, they must take to the ablativus. Yet, spite of the ordinance, a soldier named Achan crooked his fingers, and helped himself to the booty. And lo! when he was caught, and brought before the aforesaid hero, what answered he: 'Abstuli, abscondi in terrâ, et fossam humo aperui.' Such is the answer of Death, the great robber and plunderer of all things. Tell me, Death, where are Matthias the Emperor, and Matathias, the prophet? Where are Eleazer and Eliezer? Where are Leo and Leontius, Maximus and Maximinus? 'Abstuti et abscondi in terrâ,' says Death!'

The Pater next takes up the religious world, commencing, as usual, 'Mark! Sir Priest!' and dilateth on the importance of the office, as follows:

'What is worthier than pious and spiritual men, who have turned their backs on the world, knowing that world and wild are words[204] that differ little in name, and none in fact. For what is this world, but a garden full of thistles; a sugared poison, a gilded dung-hill; a sack full of holes; a silver hook, a shop full of fool's-caps; a drug-store, full of nauseous purges; a flowery deceit? The apostles likened the kingdom of God to a grain of mustard-seed, not to a sugar-plum; to sour leaven, and not to sweet-meats.'

After reminding us that Peter, in the fulness of his zeal, smote off the high priest's servant's ear, and was reproved therefor, he goes on to give a reason for it, which we do not recollect to have met in any of the commentators: 'If he had been the footman of any nobleman, or lady, merely,' says he, 'the Lord would perhaps have winked at it, had he cut off his whole head; but the servant of a high priest was to be respected.'[8]

We leave the divines for the present, and turn to his next 'mark,' which is addressed to the learned, whereon he expatiates with a fellow-feeling, and makes some displays of learning, which will certainly excite astonishment, if not admiration. His introduction is as follows:


'Tis well known, that Lot's wife was changed by God's decree into a pillar of salt, because, contrary to the divine command, she looked back; but why she was changed into a pillar of salt, and not into a thorn-bush, which is as curious and sharp as she was herself, is because when she entertained the angels who visited her husband, she put no salt to the meats, that she might be free of these frequent visitors. Salt has ever been held the symbol of science and wisdom, as is shown, not only by its being the first syllable in the name of King Solomon, but inasmuch as Christ says to his disciples, 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' As meat without salt, so is man without knowledge. As the poet saith:

'A table without a dish,
A pond without a fish,
A soup without bread,
A tailor without thread,
A horse without a tether,
A cobbler without leather,
A ship without a sail,
A pitcher without ale,
And a man without wit,
Do well together fit.'

'I have, with especial care, examined Holy Writ, and find that therein the word husbandman occurs thirty-six times; the word field, three hundred and fourteen times; the word sow, twenty times; the [205] word grow, five hundred times; the word corn, fifty-seven times; the word reap, fifty-two times; the word barn, twenty-one times; the word thresh, fifteen times; the word hay, forty-eight times; but the word straw, only once,[9] and that with no great commendation, where Rachel sat upon it to hide the golden images from her father Laban. Since, therefore, the word straw occurs but once, I am free to conclude, that it was holden for something most contemptible. And as worthless as straw is, so is a man of straw,[10] without learning.'

And again:

'Jesus, our infant Lord, had to lie in a manger at Bethlehem, he whose abode is the starry heaven; and when his precious body shivered with cold, and was warmed only by his inward love to us, he to whom all the hosts of heaven minister, had no attendants, save an ox and an ass. St. Vincent remarketh, that the ox stood at the babe's head, and the ass at his feet; whereby he wished to show, that asses, and such as have no knowledge, should keep in the background, and those only who have wisdom, stand in the high places.'

What is more lovely than knowledge? He who hath it, cuts the 'gordian knot' better than the Macedonian monarch, and can answer all the puzzling questions about which other men busy their brains in vain. As thus: Why doth a man who hath eaten his fill, till his body is stuffed like a travelling journeyman's knapsack, weigh less than before? The philosopher knoweth the reason. Why doth he who has drank too much wine, commonly fall over forward, while he who hath drank too much beer, generally falleth over backward? The philosopher knoweth the reason.'

And again he discusseth learnedly of lawyers:

'In the Old Testament, there was a wondrous drink for women, which many a one had to swallow, albeit she did not complain of thirst. For whenever a man conjectured that his spouse was faithless, he led her to the priest at the altar, who handed her a liquor mixed with a thousand curses, the which, were she wrongfully accused, harmed her not; but were she really guilty, lo! she was incontinently filled therewith, and swelled up like a sack of Bohemian hops, and pined away; and thus they cunningly learned who was innocent and who guilty. 'Well,' saith one, 'why happeneth not the same now-a-days? 'Tis as necessary as in those times, and men would crowd to buy such a drink, at whatsoever price.' To this I answer, that such miracles are no longer needful; for the lawyers, with their citationes, notationes, protestationes, connotationes, replicationes, contestationes, appellationes, acceptilationes, certiorationes, confirmationes, and the like, make guilt or innocence as clear as day.' But mark we how Death treats all this choice Latinity: 'What kind of tongue,' saith Death, 'is this, wherein the Latinists address me? By my life, I understand not Latin! My father, the Devil, a substantial man, and my mother, Sin, a notable dame as any, to save expense, gave me no learning; therefore I care not a [206]fig for your Latinists. The Almighty has truly taught me somewhat, but I find my studies differ mainly from yours; for in my grammar, mors is generis communis; in my syntax, the verb vivo has no infinitivum.'

He next addresses soldiers, whom he comforts with the thought that they need not despair of eternal life, bad as their calling is; for, saith he:

'St. John, the angel of the apocalypse, tells us, in his description of the heavenly Jerusalem, how he saw in his trance, that this metropolis of God was built four-square, and each side garnished with three doors; whence we can safely conclude, as St. Dionysius hath it, that from all quarters and parts of the world, there is access to heaven.

'St. Athanasius wisely observeth of the people of Israel, that when they entered on a campaign, the ark of the covenant, wherein were stored the laws of Moses and the ten commandments, was carried before the host, that the warriors might have God's law continually before their eyes. Hear this, ye Christian soldiers! The ten commandments were the avant-guard of the army of Israel; with you, God help us! they too commonly are sent to the rear.'

'Who's there?' 'No friend!' 'Who is no friend?' 'I,' says Death. 'Holla there! Guard, turn out!' 'My loving friends,' replieth Death, 'I cannot laugh in my sleeve, for I have none; but I can't help grinning, at finding you think to frighten my scythe with your pikes and halberts. That would be a joke! How many of the Jews have I not destroyed? The sum total, as Holy Writ testifieth, 854,002,067! And now shall I be afraid of you? No, no! Order arms! Albeit your leader, Mars, and I, Mors, are kinsmen in name, I cannot abide neutral, but declare open war on you! Let him who doubts my power, go to Vienna, and ask of the first sentinel he meets!' Inasmuch as Vienna is a rampart of all Germany against the Turk, it is girt with thick walls, and strong towers. The heavenly city, Jerusalem, is described by the chronicle as having twelve great gates; now as Vienna hath six, it may justly be called half a heaven. It hath always been the wont of the soldiery at Vienna to keep their main force in the city, and a guard at St. Peter's church-yard; but this time, Death, against the officers' will, changed their ordering, and almost all the troops were bidden to lie at ease in the church-yard, while Death went the rounds, from post to post, on the walls.'

Let us quote the conclusion of this branch of his address:

'Let the body die, then, be it in fire or in water, on earth or in air—what matters it! Let it die, this dung-hill, this nest of worms, this lump of filth, this dying worm, this clod of earth; let it die, this perishing rottenness, this tricked-out decay, this painted sepulchre, this congregation of diseases, this bundle of rags, this six feet of nothing! Let it die!—let it perish! Let it decay, this living hospital, this sport of chance, this little heap of earth—when, how, where it may—it matters not! But I beseech thee, by thy soul's salvation—I sound it in thine ears, with uplifted hands, let not the SOUL perish! This curious and precious handiwork and image of God—this priceless and unfading jewel of eternity—this pure and[207] peaceful sister of the spirits made blessed—oh let not this perish by sin, for this is the only death that is terrible indeed!'

There are passages like the above, scattered here and there, which will show that our author was something more than a mere pulpit-joker, and that he had within him all the elements of high eloquence. Our conscience, indeed, reproaches us, at times, that we are not doing the old worthy justice, but picking out his knotty points and excrescences, to amuse our contemporaries with their odd twists and turns, and air of hoar antiquity, rather than laying open the sound core and pith that lie beneath them. But our object—and we hope it as an excusable one, in these trying times—is rather to beguile the reader into a smile, than edify him by serious discourse, a plenty whereof is to be found at every corner, without going back for it to Pater Abraham a Sancta Clara.

For the present, we leave our 'man of mark,' reserving his homily to maidens, his advice to parents, touching the use of the rod; his counsels to the rich, etc., for another number.




Illum'd by reddening skies, stands glittering
On tender blade the dew;
And undulates the landscape of the spring
Upon the clear stream's blue.


Fair is the rocky rill, the blossom'd tree,
The grove with gold that gleams;
Fair is the star of eve, which close we see
To yonder purple gleams.


Fair is the meadow's green, the dale's thick bush,
The hill's bright robe of flowers;
The alder-stream, the pond's surrounding rush,
And lilies' snowy showers.


Oh! how the host of beings are made one
By Love's enduring band!
The glow-worm, and the fiëry flood of sun,
Spring from one Father's hand.


Thou beckonest, Almighty, if the tree
Lose but a bud that's blown;
Thou beckonest, if in immensity
One sun is sunk and gone!




We spake of Brummell's opinions of Canada. 'Canada,' said he, 'is a mere incubus on the already bloated back of England. The profits derived from the trade of that colony scarcely defray the enormous expenses of her establishments. Nor is this the worst. The question of her boundary will one day involve us in a most bloody and expensive war, demanded, perhaps, by national pride, but repugnant to our most vital interests; a war, too, with a nation of brothers, with whom we ought to have but one common view; that of peaceably extending our laws, language, and commerce, over the most distant part of the globe. Should there be a war, whether England emerges from that contest vanquished or triumphant, the consequences must be equally fatal. Alienation of the present strong and growing friendship will result, which must tend, more or less, to restrict the extensive commerce between the two countries, to the great injury of Great Britain; for though the United States may easily obtain from other countries the manufactures which she now obtains from us, at, in the first instance, a triflingly-enhanced price, yet the grand staple article of cotton cannot be purchased any where so good, or on such advantageous terms, as in the United States. The necessity imposed by war on that country of procuring manufactured commodities elsewhere, would, no doubt, continue in a great measure, by choice, after peace. The best thing England can do with Canada, is to present her (with her own consent) to the United States, or to manumit her from all colonial trammels, and declare her independent. Thus, by enlisting the pride of the Canadians on the side of a separate government, she may perhaps succeed in preventing a junction between this colony and the United States—if indeed England can be said to have any real interest in the hindrance of such a junction. Fifty thousand men sent over to Canada, in case of war with the United States, at the expense of twenty-five millions, will not suffice to keep Canada from being overrun by her powerful neighbours; all military speculations on the subject, to the contrary notwithstanding.'

Where is the mortal who has expatriated himself, without feeling a yearning after home? Home! magical word! bringing with it vivid recollections of the sweetest scenes of childhood, and those days of youth, when the mind, freed from care, bounds with joy at the slightest favorable event! Every man, in considering his home, looks only to the most pleasing events which occurred during his residence there, and is apt to consider all the disagreeable circumstances of his existence as receiving a still darker tinge from his stay abroad. Mitford was no exception to the general rule. He determined to return to London, at all hazards.

This resolve was confirmed by another motive. He had long loved—ardently loved. The life of dissipation, and even of riot,[209] which he had led, had not been able to efface the holy passion from his soul. There it burned, at once a safeguard to, and a promoter of, other virtues. The fair Marguerite was lovely, rich, and constant in her attachment to him. Neither the sneers of friends, nor the ill reports of enemies, were able to efface his image from her mind. Friendship may be dissolved; fortune may desert us; but woman's love blossoms in eternal spring, and only blooms the more, amid the wintry blasts of adversity.

A late correspondence apprized him that her hand and fortune awaited him. This determined his movements, and he found himself in London. But the necessary preparatives for a marriage, however fortunate, require money—without which the wings of Cupid are clogged; and though Mitford might have relieved himself by an application to his lady-love, whose purse was at her own disposal, yet he could not bear to owe a favor before marriage.

He bethought himself of an expedient. Whenever a man wants money in London, the surest way to obtain it, is by offering to lend it, or by offering some great prospective advantage for the sum required. Many a man parts with what he has, to one whom he thinks will increase his store when he requires it; but no man parts with his money to one whom he thinks has none.

A dashing advertisement graced the pages of the 'Post' and 'Herald' newspapers:

'Extraordinary Facility.—The advertiser, possessing great influence in a certain high quarter, would feel disposed to promote the interest of any gentleman of standing and talent, who has a thousand pounds at his disposal. Address 'A. M.,' Standish's Rooms, Regent-street.

'N. B. No indiscretion need be apprehended.'

We need scarcely say, that our hero answered to the initials of 'A. M.' The applications were numerous. Mitford made a special appointment with one whom he thought likely to answer his purpose. He had chambers for the occasion in Lincoln's Inn.

The applicant had recently arrived from the East Indies, and had some property. The idea of obtaining a respectable post, with a good salary, at once to increase his income and employ his leisure, attracted him. Our hero received him in a dimly-lighted apartment. His back was toward the window. When you are afflicted with a diffidence, over which you have no control, on important occasions, always turn the dorsal vertebræ toward the light.

The business was soon opened. The applicant was anxious to embrace the ideal advantage offered.

'But, my dear Sir,' said Mitford, 'it will be necessary to have some security in hand, before you are inducted. Without at all doubting your punctuality, you are aware that in matters of business, particularity is necessary: beside, I must consult the wishes of my principal.

The stranger paused! He slowly drew forth his pocket-book, took out a post bill for £1000, and handed it to Mitford.

How may not a man, by false sophistry, tame his mind to the commission of a tortuous act! Honesty in man, is like virtue in woman.[210] The possibility of violating it must not for a moment enter the imagination. In either case, deliberation is destruction.

Mitford, who would not for any consideration have omitted the payment of a debt of honor; who would have resisted the slightest imputation on his character unto death; thus reasoned with himself: 'I am on the point of marrying a fortune; why should I hesitate to appropriate this money, for a few days, when I shall have ample means to repay it? To be sure, I must endorse the note; but then the certainty of refunding the amount takes away any moral obliquity that might otherwise attach to the act.'

Thus soliliquized Mitford; and, endorsing the note, he committed forgery.

A splendid party had assembled at Sidmouth-Terrace, to celebrate a bridal festival. Lights beamed far into the park, illuminating all around. Revelry and joy breathed throughout.

Mitford was there. The sanction of the church was about to seal the happiness of our hero for ever, when suddenly three officers interrupted the bridal ceremonies, and seizing Mitford on a warrant for forgery, conducted him to prison.

To describe the distress of the bride—the confusion of the guests—would be impossible. We leave it to the imagination of our readers.

The process of the law was rapid. The day of trial arrived. Mitford pleaded not guilty.

All that the most able counsel could effect, was done for him. The witnesses were brow-beaten; the jury harangued; but he was found guilty.

The judge passed sentence of death.

'La!' said Mrs. Minikin, the haberdasher's wife, 'to-morrow is the day when that there gen'leman is to be hung for forgery. Let's go see him.'

'My dear,' said Mr. Minikin, 'you know I never likes them there sort of things. If it was a reg'lar mill, then I might go; but I never likes to see no one tucked up.'

'Oh, but, my dear,' said the gentle Mrs. Minikin, 'it is not entertaining, I grant, to see them there riff-raffs which is usually hung; but this is a gen'leman. Only consider,' said she, in her most endearing manner, 'how delightful to see one of them there 'igh-flyers hung!' And the pliant Mr. Minikin consented.

Let us now turn to the dungeon which contained this ill-fated man. There, on a scanty supply of straw, a dim light glimmering through the bars of his cell, rendering the interior still more desolate, by revealing its wretchedness, lay Mitford—pale, emaciated, and bearing on his countenance the conviction, that the world and himself were now disjointed. Ever and anon the echoing wheels of some patrician chariot conveyed to his ear the mirth and gayety that[211] reigned without. But what was all this to him? His heart was never more to beat at the sight of beauty; ambition could no longer convey elevation to his mind. A few short hours, and he must be brought forth to satisfy the stern severity of the law, and furnish food to the gaping curiosity of thousands. And was this to be the termination of his career? Was it for this a mother's holy tears had blessed his advent to the world?—that a father's toil had left him reposing amid the luxuries of wealth? All, all was now shortly to terminate in the scaffold's terrors, and worse than the scaffold's terrors, in the scaffold's shame.

While these thoughts passed through his mind, scalding tears coursed down his cheeks, moistening the straw on which he lay; not tears extracted by craven fear, but holy drops of penitence.

From this state of mind he was soon awakened by the reverend clergyman, whose duty it was to prepare him for his approaching awful change. He whispered to him the hope of divine mercy, so unquenchable that the most heinous offences failed to suppress it; that it was true he must suffer a public punishment, at once as an example, and an earthly atonement for his crime; but the benign Saviour of mankind had passed through all the ignominy of a public execution, with a resigned spirit, as an offering for the sins of others; and in virtue of that offering, he must himself hope for forgiveness, and suffer with resignation.

The holy man left Mitford more collected in mind, and resolved to submit to his inevitable fate with piety and courage.

The morning dawned. The fatal bell had struck; the scaffold had been erected; the gaping multitude, anxious for some horrid show to awaken their morbid sensibilities, clogged up in thousands every avenue to the sacrificial altar. Those whom the doom of the law had fixed that morning to be their last, stood upon the scaffold; but Mitford was not there; and the great unwashed, who had that day gone to enjoy the luxury of seeing a gentleman hung, returned disappointed of half the show.

The mystery must be solved. The betrothed of Mitford had forwarded a petition to the king, and another to the queen, requesting a commutation of punishment; but these documents had to pass through so many avenues of the palace, that they never reached the royal eye. Receiving no answer, and almost despairing of success, she flew to the Secretary of State.

Sir Robert Peel then filled the responsible situation of the Home Department. And here let us pause, to do justice to one of the greatest men of modern times; to one who, at no distant day, is destined to fill a large space in the world's eye. His father, sprung from the canaille, by the aid of the spinning-jenny, left his son in possession of one of the most ample fortunes, even in the wealthiest country in the world. The father, of rank tory principles, was farther recommended to royal notice, by the gift of twenty thousand pounds to carry on a war, which, however unpopular with the nation, a profligate ministry had induced that nation to believe its honor interested in prosecuting. The son was thus introduced to royal favor; and it is well[212] known, that George the Third entertained great personal partiality for him. He commenced life as a statesman, having, in the outset of his political career, been inducted into the office of Under Secretary of State. His whole public life has been a life of office. His experience is thus greater than that of any man now living. Unfortunately, having commenced his career as an advocate for tory principles, his party have always pursued his leaning toward more liberal principles as a crime, while the more liberal party have always looked with suspicion on his aid, and viewed him as an enemy in their camp. As a debater, he is unrivalled; and if many surpass him in those burning and flowery sentences by which eloquence is distinguished, none equal him as a ready and always a sensible debater. But in our times, it unfortunately happens, that if a man commences his life by advocating bad principles, consistency forces him to adhere to them. The present world of politics, unlike the divine world to come, admits of no repentance. Once take your course in evil, you must adhere to it, if you wish to preserve your reputation. To change for the better, is certain perdition. Thus because Sir Robert Peel advocated Catholic emancipation, which he had all his previous life opposed, every contumelious epithet that rancor could invent, was hurled at him by his old friends; while the advocates of that measure viewed his accession to their ranks, not merely with distrust, as but a late convert, but with jealousy, as tending to rob them of some portion of the merit of carrying it on the very point of their success. And John Bull refused, from the hands of Sir Robert Peel and his colleagues, a greater measure of reform and retrenchment than even the original advocates held forth. Thus it is, a thief may reform, or become a useful member of society, if he will only amend; but a politician must look to nothing but consistency.

The fair Marguerite found no difficulty in gaining access to Sir Robert. Her beauty, her distress, her tale at once simple and affecting, all conspired to move him. He laid her petition and her woes at the foot of the throne. Majesty was pleased to find extenuating circumstances in Mitford's case, and a reprieve was granted to him.

The bitter draught of grief had been too much for the gentle Marguerite. Her faculties had been too nervously awakened. While her lover required her aid, reason had kept its throne. His safety insured, she became a maniac, and the inmate of a mad-house.

Still farther mercy awaited our hero. After some detention in prison, he was liberated, on condition that he should leave the kingdom, never to return.

Years had now elapsed. Mitford's error and his shame had alike been forgotten; and it was supposed he was dead. It was not until the tempest of a new revolution awoke regenerated France to a sense of the wrongs endeavored to be inflicted on her by a Bourbon, whose family a million of foreign bayonets had seated on the throne, and until Paris taught all the capitals of Europe how easily a large[213] city could resist a well-appointed army, that a ray of light was shed upon his fate.

The barriers of the Rue Richelieu had been erected by the people, and were furiously attacked by squadrons of infantry and cavalry. The Parisians, led by a most intrepid young man, evidently a foreigner, defended it to the very utmost. Three charges had been made, and successfully repulsed. A fourth threatened to carry the barriers. Some of the pickets were overthrown; and already had a few of the light cavalry penetrated within. A few stout hearts strove hand to hand with the military, but numbers had given way. In this emergency, the gallant leader of the people, waving his tri-colored flag, sprang in front of the wavering multitude. His gestures, his example, rëanimated them. Again they pressed forward, and bearing with them the tide of victory, they successfully repulsed the military; but their leader had sealed his conquest with his life. He fell, fighting hand to hand and foot to foot with the leader of the hostile soldiery, and their bodies lay close together, in the sleep of death.

The strife of the three days past, honorable interment was awarded the fallen and patriotic brave. Among the latter was not forgotten the youthful stranger, who had so well defended the barriers of the Rue Richelieu. The papers on his person proved him to be an Englishman. That Englishman was Francis Mitford.




With song and lyre let sleep now fly;
To song and lyre take bounden heed!
The wakeful minstrel, that am I,
Fair sweetheart! ever true at need.
O, open thou the clear sunshine
Of those blue laughing eyes of thine!


Through night and gloom I hither tramp,
At hour when spirits are in view;
Long since, there glimmers not a lamp
The hush'd-up cottage-window through:
Long since has rested, sweet and blest,
What love and fond desire let rest.


On his wife's bosom cradled keeps
His weary head, the husband dear;
While to his favorite hen close creeps,
Upon the roost, good chanticleer;
And sparrow on the eaves is eyed,
Couching with true-love by his side.


Oh! when will these dull times be sped,
Until I too creep close to thee;
Until in sweet repose my head
Upon thy bosom nestled be?
When lead'st thou me unto the side
O, priest! of my sweet little bride?


How would I then so heartily,
So dear, so very dear, thee hold!
How would I, oh! how would then we
Each other in our arms enfold!
Yet patience! time, too, slippeth on—
Be thou but true, my darling one!


And now, dear soul! good-night once more;
God keep thee with his shelt'ring might!
What God keeps, that is well watch'd o'er,
And kept from danger and affright.
Adieu!—now close the sunny shine
Of those blue laughing eyes of thine!



To the Editors of the Knickerbocker:

Michilimackinack, August 2, 1837.

In making some inquiries recently of a party of the Mohegan tribe—the remnant of whom have made their way to this quarter within a few years—I find that they have preserved their traditionary history for the last two centuries, or more, with a degree of accuracy which is not common to the native tribes in this region. It is very well known, from published data, that this ancient tribe occupied Long-Island and the contiguous main land, on the discovery of the country, whence in process of time they withdrew eastwardly into Connecticut, and afterward went west into Massachusetts. They appear, from the first, to have had the means of instruction, which have been continued up to the present time, with perhaps less interruption than among most of the other tribes. This may account in part for the better preservation of their traditions. Many of them being able to read, could refer to some things in printed documents. Others appear to have retained with tenacity that traditionary lore which the aged among the tribes generally employ the leisure of their superannuated days in handing down to the young.

During the long residence of this tribe at Stockbridge, (Mass.,) they were commonly Stockbridges, and after the revolutionary war, when they transferred their residence to Oneida, in western New-York, they naturally retained this name, and finally bore it with them to their present location in Wisconsin territory. I disclaim any intention to sketch their history; and wish no farther to allude to it, than appears to be necessary to bring forward a few facts in the character of their language, and particularly their names for the places of their former residence, on the lower parts of the Hudson. And as this is a matter of which but little is generally known, it has appeared to me of sufficient local interest, to justify the liberty I take in addressing these remarks to you.

The Mohegan is readily recognised as a type of the Algonquin or (as Mr. Gallatin has recently denominated it,) the 'Lenapee-Algonkin' family, and bears a strong resemblance, both in sound and syntax, to the dialects of some of the existing lake tribes. This affinity is very striking in its grammatical structure, and its primitive words. Derivatives, with all our tribes, are subject to interchange their consonants, or drop them entirely, which creates a necessity of being constantly on the alert to detect these exchanges. Moreover, the accent is uniformly moved, or doubled, often creating primary and secondary accents in the same phrase, which, in an unwritten language, is alone sufficient to account for numerous mutations. But what, more than any other principle, affects the sound of Indian words, in their concrete and derivative states, is the large stock of (so to say) floating particles, which come into these words in the shape of prefixes and suffixes. These are, in their offices, almost as numerous as the purposes of person, tense, number, quality, position, etc., may require. But while their respective office remains precisely the same, in almost any given number of dialects in a mother[215] language, it is found that the several tribes pique themselves in giving these auxiliary particles a sound peculiar to themselves, by which something like nationality is kept up. Thus in two dialects indicating the least change in the primitives or derivatives, to be found among all the tribes, namely, the Chippewa and Ottowa, these particles, which, in the animate class for plural, are denoted by UG, and in the local inflections by ONG, and ING, in the one dialect, are respectively changed to UK, ONK, and INK, in the other.

Similar to this process, seems to have been the result of change between the ancient Algonquin and the Mohegan, the latter, like the Ottowa, constantly substituting K for G, and P for B, etc., but in other respects, it exhibits numerous gutturals, and some aspirates, which are but rarely found in the liquid flow of the Algic. It also embraces the (perhaps) Gothic sound of TH, which is wholly unknown (the Shawnee excepted) to the modern lake dialects.

Geographical terms, with the Indians, are found generally to unite some natural quality in the features or productions of the country with an indication of the locality; so that their names are not, as with us, simple nominatives, but (as in all other cases in these peculiar languages) the quality, action, etc., transfers itself to the object, and is expressed in a consolidated phrase. This is one of the most constant and distinguishing traits of these languages. Their nouns and adjectives, therefore, as well as their verbs, are transitives. Even their prepositions take a transitive character, and link themselves, as with 'hooks of steel,' to the objects to which they are applied. Thus their name for the island from which this letter is dated, is Place of the Gigantic Faëries, or, by another interpretation, Place of the Great Turtle. Detroit is, (literally translated,) Round-ward, or Rounds-by Place, denoting the sinuosities of the river in its approach. Sault St. Marie, 'At the Shallow Water with Rocks.' In another class of derivative words, the union of the substantive and adjective is without a local inflection, as in their name for Lake Superior, which is simply called, The Sea Waters; Mississippi, The Great River; Michigan, The Great Lake, etc.

This principle is found most fully to pervade the Mohegan. I requested one of the chiefs of the party above referred to, to pronounce their name for Long-Island. He replied, Paum-nuk-kah-huk, signifying, Place of the Long Land. The name of the coast opposite to this island, at the mouth of the Hudson, or rather, across the Sound, he pronounced Mon-ah'-ton-uk. Dropping the local inflection UK, meaning place, or land, we have the elements of Manhattan, the latter of which preserves the original quite as well as the generality of Indian names transmitted by English enunciation. Philologists will perceive, farther, that the aspirate H would be very naturally prefixed to the second syllable, while the sound of O, being the sound of O in the French word ton, might be expressed, nearly as well, by some of the modified sounds of A.

Judged by similar means of analysis, Sing-Sing is a corruption of Osin-sink, i. e., Place of Stones, or Rocks; Neversink from Nawaisink, a phrase descriptive of highlands equi-distant between two waters, as Raritan Bay and the Atlantic. Minisink is, literally, Place of the Island. Tappan Sea appears to be a derivative from a band[216] of the Mohegans, who dwelt there, called Taponsees, or rather from the name of their village. After getting through the Highlands, names of Mohawk derivation occur. Poughkeepsie, Warwarsing, and Coxsackie, are, however, clearly of Mohegan origin. So far as I recollect, the ancient name of Albany, Ske-nek-ta-da, is the first term of the Iroquois type of languages, in ascending the Hudson, of which any notice is preserved. In proceeding east, west, or south-west from that point, geographical names of this character universally prevail. But it is to be remarked, that but few sonorous names occur, until reaching the districts of country formerly possessed by the Oneidas, Onondagas, and other western branches of this confederacy.

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully,

Your Obedient Servant,

Henry R. Schoolcraft.


Fare thee well!—the word is spoken,
That makes the past a dream to me;
The long delicious spell is broken—
Yet fare thee well, since thou art free!
Yes! thou art free; but oh, how shatter'd
This faithful heart thou couldst not know,
Nor see each crush'd affection scatter'd,
And yet with chilling coldness go!
Perchance unto this bosom's yearning,
Thou'dst answer with some kindred sigh,
Or seek to quell its secret burning,
With one glance from thy pitying eye.
Yet were it so, how would it cherish
That tender look, 'a death in life;'
Oh! better far at once to perish,
Than linger through hope's fever'd strife!
Then fare thee well!—mid others ranging,
Thou carest not to look on me;
Nor heedest the true love, unchanging,
That like a beacon, shines for thee.
Yet when the meteor has departed,
That lur'd thee to the world's caress,
When languid, drooping, broken-hearted,
Thou sinkest back in weariness;
Then come to one, who, though forsaken,
Still loved thee on, through weal and wo;
Nor would one memory awaken,
That o'er thy path a shade could throw.
Yes, come! and like the star of even,
My love shall cheer thine earthly way,
And in the blessed light of heaven,
Shine on, an ever-constant ray!

M. E. L.




'Weak and irresolute is man.' I record a fault of human nature, as well as my own. I resolved and re-resolved, and am the same. Do I not blush while recording this weakness? Alas! I am dead to feeling, as it regards my fellows. I have no communion with the world, now. I pass by, unnoticed and unknown. Still, I have a love for mankind; and I make these confessions, hoping they may prove of use to others. I daily see others in the same predicament as myself, or, if not so far advanced, yet pursuing a course which will inevitably lead them where I now am. Yes! where I am; and what is that state? Solitariness, apathy, disgust, fretfulness, heart-ache; the absence of all the gentle sympathies of life; the death of all domestic affection; the familiarity of the vulgar and low-bred; the sneer of the foolish prosperous man; the contempt of the small thriving gleaner; the neglect of the busy, and the pity of the good. Oh! yes! one comfort yet remains; the prayers of the pious and truly religious.

But to my story. As hope began to fade from the heart of my dear Alice; as she saw I was beyond the influence of her prayers and entreaties; as she began to be acquainted with the real state of my habits; as she began to see, that not even my love for her availed any thing she began to despair. She had involved herself too deeply to retract. Her feelings had acquired the habit of loving me; and indeed, though an idle young man, I do not think it strange that such devotion and tenderness as I sometimes really felt and bestowed upon her, should have awakened some return.

I was well-bred, had a good person, could sing passably well, by myself, write good poetry, and was passionate and hot in my evidences of affection. I was an enthusiast, and women like decided tastes. They feel an assurance, a confidence in your good, quiet, smooth-faced, unexcitable, sensible man, if he be young, especially; but they love life and animation, even though it lead to slight errors. Women know the difficulty of restraining the feelings within the bounds of propriety; they are most open to impressions; the real creatures of feeling, they love feeling in others. They have many struggles with what they wish, and what they ought to do. They estimate in men the ardor of the temptation, as an offset to the fault. Hence they are forgiving.

Women are obliged to keep a constant guard over themselves. They know their own weakness, and self-protection arms them to the task. Many a high-souled woman knows this. When you do find a well-disciplined character in the female form, what a noble one it is! The labor of the undertaking, the education of self-control, has made her great. She is a whole host. Look at her influence in society; see the majesty of her deportment, the easy assurance of her countenance. How common men quail before her! What respect and attention she exacts from the titled profligate, and the[218] talented vicious! She is all that is exalted on earth. There is no beauty to compare with such beauty; no wealth with such charms. She is the nicest workmanship of God; and in her dwells a soul that scatters blessings around her. 'The heart of her husband delighteth in her, and he has no need of spoil.'

Reader, if you are a father, and have seen the son of your hopes, the inheritor of your name, the bearer of your form and features, gradually falling a victim to low vices; if you are a mother, and can trace, in those features now bloated with excess, and in that eye now dimmed with sensuality, the semblance to the babe that drew its earliest food from your pure bosom, and remember that eye upturned to your face as the innocent lay cradled in your arms; if you are a sister, and mourn the ruin of your bed-fellow; or a brother, and seen your playmate in prison, you may form some notion of what the emotions of a fond heart are, when it beholds its stay gone, its prospects blighted, and its love thrown away upon an unworthy object. No! not altogether unworthy, but with just enough of good to keep alive the love, while it mocks all efforts to draw consolation, to answer the chord in her own bosom.

Love wishes its object to be perfect. None can or must compare with its choice. How fondly does woman cheat herself, if she can, into the belief that her choice is fortunate beyond human fortune! I weep—even I, who have not wept for years for my own misfortunes—I weep, as I recall the memory of the tears she shed over my irrevocable ruin. She did know my character, at last, and she predicted, even in spite of her love, all that has happened.

Shall I record that these tears were not a source of pain to me then? They satisfied my vanity. I always reserved reformation to myself, and thought she was mistaken; and these scalding tears, as they coursed down her cheeks, told me that I was beloved. Not even the misery of the object of my affection could prevent a triumph that I had over her—her, the sought-for by many—that I was preferred among a multitude. Is this nature? Was I hard-hearted? Would not any one feel the same? Let the reader examine his own heart, and answer.


At this time, and in this very village, there lived a gentleman, in the truest sense of the term, by the name of Edward Lang. He was a man of high family, of aristocratic notions, and thought literature the chief object worthy of pursuit. At the time I saw him, he bore the ills of poverty, the burden of a broken heart, and disappointed hopes. He possessed a well-stored mind, unwearied benevolence, and a Tremaine-like refinement. He had, in the early part of his life, encumbered a large fortune with debts of extravagance, idleness, and folly; and at a subsequent period, lost the remainder in scheming; for he thought that his prëeminence in literature gave him prëeminence in every thing.

Every body applauded his plans; they were upon a large scale; they redounded to the good of the place, and ruined him.

Bred a lawyer, the unfairness of country practice, the low and[219] degraded crowd it brought him in contact with, caused him to throw up his profession. He took to farming; but he only tried experiments, to the advantage of other people, and his own loss. He got up all sorts of useful societies, which cost him his time, and paid him nothing. He bought all the new works for other people to read; subscribed liberally to reading-rooms and schools. He fatted cattle for the agricultural society, at six times their worth in corn and care. Every body in the village improved their own stock by his; but then all this took money from his pocket.

He did not know the state of his affairs, because he hated settlements. He could not bring himself down to the drudgery of life, but did his farming scientifically, in his study, and left the work to hired hands. He failed, and nobody pitied him. He began to be called a 'poor good-for-nothing fellow,' whose chimeras had brought him down. All his neighbors sued him, and he suffered all who owed him to go undunned. He gave up all for lost; sat himself down in wretchedness, disgusted with the world, and tired of himself.

I was quite intimate with this gentleman. Being much my senior, for he was about fifty, and a bachelor, he took it upon himself to give me a word of advice. He had been in love himself, and that desperately; though unfortunate in his love affairs, as well as all others. The father of the lady objected to him, on the score of his being unfit to make money. He possessed hordes of wealth, himself, and could have made two hearts happy. But no; this would not do. His ideas of excellence consisted in the faculty of making money and keeping it. 'As for literature and refinement, he did not care for them. He was not a literary man,' he said, 'and yet he was rich, and respected; a president of a bank; had been an unsuccessful candidate for congress, which was some honor, and had it in his power to fill any office in the town he would accept. No; he preferred a man of business for a son-in-law.'

He found one; a coarse, rough, unlettered country-merchant, whose ideas were bounded by the length and breadth of his counter; whose whole soul was given to traffic. A sloven, except on Sundays and courting-days, and then only clean on the outside. This fair, delicate, daughter of wealth, possessed of a mind and education much beyond her family's comprehension, was wedded to this 'respectable' man. Her heart was broken by this savage act of parental authority. She died during the first year of her wedlock, and Edward Lang was for two years deranged, and woke from this sleep of reason, to find himself without hope, without motive, without sympathy.

He took to his books; he shut out the world, and dwelt upon the beautiful and good in theory; lived in a love for the generous, the exalted, and happy scenes of his imagination. When forced abroad by his friends, he seemed lost and unhappy; he was disturbed from this resting which an unfortunate mind derives from picturing for others what he knows can never be for him.

By the world at large he was said to nourish false views of things, because he had a higher standard than the world generally live by. By these means he unfitted himself for society, and was voted dull, eccentric, and love-sick. Time, however, softened his regrets, and he came out in the scheming life I have referred to, in which, by acting[220] by principle and science, even in the work of agriculture, he lost his all.

When I was introduced to him, he was living with an old aunt, upon his paternal estate. Though poor, they had about them those marks of refinement, which well-educated people will contrive to weave out of common materials. Whether on the farm, in the garden, at his table, in church, or in the street, no one could see Mr. Lang, and not say with certainty that he was a gentleman. The aunt belonged to the old school of ladies, rather prim and stiff; and yet her benevolent face, her self-possession, and quiet dignity, gave her great influence in society. Her reading and good sense, her piety and patience, were proverbial. Every body called her 'madam,' and treated her with marked respect. I was on the most familiar terms at their house; for I believe they felt that I appreciated them. It was the sympathy of people educated in the same way.

This gentleman was of great service to me. From the examination of his own feelings, he had learned much of the nature of passion; from severe suffering, he had become acquainted with misfortune. I used to confide to him all my sorrows, and I told him my struggles. He saw my remorse, and pitied my irresolution.

Alice, too, had confidence in him. They often rode together; and his age and purity of life, and the nice delicacy of his feelings, induced her to open her heart to him. He felt flattered, as well he might, by the trust this noble girl reposed in him. But, beside, he had read so much of love, thought so much of it, and suffered so much for it, that he engaged in the contemplation of our affairs with the goût of an epicure over a favorite dish. He lived over again hours of past endearment of his own. He felt young and ardent, as he listened to the recital of conversations and difficulties which I, with the greenness of a boy, always told him.

Things had arrived at a pass dangerous for both of us; and as yet her parents knew nothing. One of our conversations happened to be heard by the lady's mamma, and papa was informed of all. He was surprised, but affected to treat the matter quite coldly; told me I was too young, too unsettled, to think of matrimony, and very politely forbade me his house; 'as,' he said, 'the sooner we forgot each other the better.'

I ought to confess, here, that my habits had got to be quite irregular. I attended horse-races, tavern-suppers, balls, and sometimes drinking-parties, when the society was by no means the most select; and to drown the mortification, and get to the level of my companions, I ran into excesses that shattered my nerves, and made me unfit, for days, for any calm reflection.

I have always felt the consequences of this mode of life. Even the best minds will become tainted by contact with vulgarity and coarseness. The purest taste will get degraded, in a measure, by constant intercourse with low persons, such as young men who have nothing to do usually meet about taverns, stage-houses, and strolling theatres. We even acquire habits of speaking and pronunciation, and of cant terms, which are beneath a gentleman.

When low-bred men engage in pleasure, 'plenty of stuff to drink' is deemed the first essential. We are getting rid, to be sure, of the[221] character of 'a nation of drunkards;' but when I was a boy, liquors were set out upon all occasions; at weddings, at funerals, dinners, calls, paying money, or dunning-visits. People in the country, of respectability, used to drink at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and at four in the afternoon. That was genteel. The class who drank before breakfast then, now drink only at eleven; and those who drank only at eleven, drink not at all.

It was the custom, too, to drink before meals for an appetite; for appetite was considered a mark of health, however produced. Among very good sort of people, this was a common notion, that a man could work in proportion to the food he took into his stomach; so workmen were swilled with drams for an appetite.

It is certainly true, that temperance societies cannot hope for any permanent results in their exertions, unless there is a corresponding movement in other societies. Education societies, peace societies, temperance societies, and religious societies, they all have a common object and common cause, to ameliorate the state of man. They point to a common centre. People will not become temperate, and remain irreligious, and quarrelsome, and ignorant. I have often thought it would be well to turn all our efforts to educating mankind; and I believe all other objects would be protected by the course of events. But it is very questionable whether any benefit can result from taking down names to pledges not to drink spirits, in places where schools are not supported, nor the house of God attended.

In this village, every body drank at times, at parties and balls; and to be a little boosy, was by no means disreputable. Judges, members of congress, lawyers, doctors, mingled in these frolics, for popularity's sake; and the people at large thought, of course, they might go, upon the strength of such examples, to any extent.

If I had, by retirement, escaped the contamination of what are called 'glossed vices' in the city, in the country I contracted habits of a grosser nature. I do not mean to be understood as being a drunkard; but I had frequent 'scrapes;' my selection of associates was less nice; my delicacy less; my sense of honor less accurately defined. I lost, in refinement of feeling, immeasurably.

Taking all these things into view, it is no wonder that my intended father-in-law looked upon me with suspicious eyes. He was a man who had seen the ruin of many a likely young farmer and mechanic, from the same beginnings; and he was by no means pleased with my prospects. So I was forbidden to think of his daughter. She was sent out of town, I could not tell where, and I immediately left the village of N—— for a wider sphere of dissipation.

I returned to the city, coarse in my manners, rough in my appearance—thanks to the country tailor!—with large whiskers, and a swaggering bar-room air. I found, upon comparing myself with city appearances, that I was at least ten years behind the age. I blushed, looked ashamed, and avoided former acquaintances, who would greet me with, 'Well, Conworth, where the devil have you been?' or, 'Where the devil did you get those whiskers?' Mind, reader, I had been sentimental for a year, and when I was with gentlemen, was as stiff as country gentlemen usually are. Think, then, how my feelings must have been shocked at such familiarity, when I was[222] looking as grave as an owl, dressed up in my long-tailed coat, large pantaloons, nicely polished thick boots, and long-napped, broad-brimmed hat, with whiskers covering the sides of my face, and my complexion the color of a coal-heaver.

Tailors and time work wonders; and in a short time my country friends would hardly have known me. I soon settled down into courses of dissolute life. I had no restraints. I imagined myself a martyr to love, and was, indeed, unhappy; persuaded myself that I had no hope, and particularly when about half drunk, I sighed like a furnace.

I spent one year, one precious year, of my youth in this manner. I was desperate; lived away from home, and only visited my friends when I was in want of money.

Sometimes, when my stomach was deranged, and my brain flighty, I meditated self-destruction. I was only at ease when rioting in excitement. I kept all sorts of company, and indulged in all sorts of vices. I cannot imagine a more dissolute young man than I was in conduct, who keeps himself this side of penal crime; though it is worthy of remark, that I never recollect having indulged in any vice, unless under artificial stimulus.

I believe my father thought himself a little in the wrong, by suffering such desertion as I met with from all my friends. He pitied me, and in the most affectionate manner persuaded me to return to his house. A word of kindness was to me like manna in the wilderness. I eagerly acceded to his proposal. He paid me every attention, and actually left his business, and travelled with me for two months, and endeavoured to bring my mind back to pleasant reflections; for I was indeed almost a maniac. This was the balm in Gilead to my sick mind. I came to myself, and with my father's permission I went to spend the remainder of my clerkship at the celebrated law-school at L——.

I have always had the strongest inducements to do well. After all my errors, before I left home, the friends of our family vied in showing me kindness. I was in a constant round of the most refined society. To be sure, I had the éclat of having been disappointed in love with the finest girl in the country; and any thing about love is interesting; and to be crazy or drunk for love, is not so bad as to be so for any other cause.

I was grateful for these favors and attentions; and when I left home for the law lectures, I really believe all my friends were firmly persuaded that I was an instance of wonderful reformation. So credulous and forgiving are our friends for the sake of what they know we can and ought to be!


I wish my reader could sympathize with me, upon coming thus far in my history. I am aware that I have written nothing of much importance, so far as incident may be looked for. But, to my view, life is rather a succession of feelings and sentiments, than of actions. It fills me with inexpressible satisfaction, to find that I have mastered[223] my adversaries, idleness and irresolution, in this instance, and have come to this point. It is the longest and most arduous task I have ever performed, for it is a work of continued exertion. I have never flagged from it; and the idea that some good inferences may be drawn from these pages, by the young among my own countrymen, so that my life may not pass away without one useful act, one deed of positive good, has supported me.

Let every idler, if he wishes to enjoy one happy hour, set about doing something, no matter what. Let him undertake to commit a chapter in the Bible to memory, or copy some piece of writing, or to make any intellectual exertion; but let it be definite; not take a walk, or a journey, or any thing that requires movement of the body, but still, continued, uninterrupted study and attention. Idlers are the veriest busy-bodies we know, and always flying about in some shape or other. They are idle with the appearance of industry, and deceive every body but themselves. While the world looks on, and wonders at their diligence, they are passing hours, days, years, of the most insupportable care, the care of finding something to do. I know something of the tedium of this life, and confess, that the hours spent in these records have been the happiest of my life, because I have had an end, an object, constantly in view.

My debts all paid once more, my character again rëinstated, my purse well supplied, my wardrobe in the newest fashion, and abundant as I could pack, behold the rustic of a year's standing, the lover, whose heart was broken, getting into the stage for L——, the place of the celebrated law-school; while Thomas, dressed in the self-same suit in which I had arrived some year before, is packing the trunks on behind. Alas! the association of that event and those pantaloons! Reader, they did put me in mind of the romantic hills and valley of N——, and then of Alice Clair; though to get to these affecting thoughts, I had to pass through the tailor's shop where they were made. There is but a step from the sublime to the ridiculous, and so backward from the ridiculous to the sublime.

But in the height of my satisfaction in being permitted to take a new start in the world, under such favorable auspices, my love-disappointment did not weigh very heavily upon my heart. I had already, as I thought, performed all my promises of being a good student, etc., for I wished to, and I took the will for the deed. I wished it so much, that not a doubt or misgiving disturbed the serenity of my mind. I esteemed it a settled matter, that I was, in the first place, to make myself remarkable as a student; and then, without any trouble, to walk directly to the top of the profession. I was a sanguine——fool!

This confidence inspired my father with golden hopes; and when we parted, he told me he was the happiest man in the city. 'Now, my son,' said he, 'you are old enough (I was twenty) to begin to form a character; all your wild oats are sown; the past is forgotten; you have your destiny in your own hands. Write to me often; tell me all your wishes; and (here the devil jogged his elbow) draw upon me, if you want more money. God bless you, my dear boy!' The tears started in his eyes; mine were wet, too. As I got into the stage, (mark the baseness of my heart!) I dwelt mostly upon the words,[224] 'Draw upon me, if you want more money.' My eyes ceased their weeping. I addressed some gay make-acquaintance remarks to a fellow passenger, and as we rattled over the bridge in the velocipede line of coaches, forgot every thing but the beauty of the morning, and only wondered how long it would be before breakfast.

So contemptible is the spirit of youth, in its blind passion for pleasure. All the higher, nobler feelings sink into insignificance, compared with its own selfish enjoyments. Pleasure, love of pleasure, tramples upon the holy influences of home; it steels the heart to filial affection; it saps the juices of youth; and leaves the young body prematurely cold, and lifeless, and insensible, to the natural action of all those relations and sentiments, that reason is intended to draw its moral food from. The mother 'who watched o'er our childhood' is forgotten; the father disregarded, and the sister's face is crimsoned with shame for us, and we ourselves are lost. And for what? For an hour's amusement; a short-lived enjoyment; an empty sound of revelry, and unmeaning mirth.

What inconsistency! Hardly had I got a step from my father's door; hardly had my fingers lost the affectionate pressure of his hand, when the evil genius stepped in, to scatter the impressions which a moment before seemed so fixed.

Since the time of my mother's death, I never had passed the door of the chamber where she died, without thinking of the evening when I visited her corpse, alone—a pure boy, free from all vice, all contamination—and then drawing the comparison between the present and the past. Such reflections always gave me pain, and summoned up all the resolution I was master of. I am convinced, that, if I had had a mother until my mind had acquired strength and firmness, I should have been a better and a happier man.

A father's love acts upon us later in life, but a mother leads us up to God. She bends and moulds our tender minds to her purposes so gently, that we are hardly aware of the pressure; but the father admires, and praises, and waters the more vigorous branches of our growth.

Our reading, our studies, sermons, nature, observation, tend to give to the mother a poetical interest in our hearts, in after years, when she is dead. She is the nucleus about which gather some of the most beautiful associations of our manhood. When we ourselves have children, we find out what is the nature of parental affection, and we look back with regret that we did not know and estimate it better, so that the homage of our love might have been more devoted, for what is so worthy of being repaid.


I love the Indian. Ere the white man came,
And taught him vice, and infamy, and shame,
His soul was noble. In the sun he saw
His God, and worshipped him with trembling awe.
Though rude his life, his bosom never beat
With polished vices, nor with dark deceit.





To mark, the sufferings of the babe
That cannot speak its wo;
To see the infant tears gush forth,
Yet know not why they flow;
To meet the meek, uplifted eye,
That fain would ask relief,
Yet can but tell of agony—
This is a mother's grief.


Through dreary days and darker nights,
To trace the march of death;
To hear the faint and frequent sigh,
The quick and shortened breath;
To watch the last dread strife draw near,
And pray that struggle brief,
Though all be ended with the close—
This is a mother's grief.


To see, in one short hour, decayed
The hope of future years;
To feel how vain a father's prayers,
How vain a mother's tears:
To think the cold grave now must close
O'er what was once the chief
Of all the treasured joys of earth—
This is a mother's grief.


Yet when the first wild throb is past
Of anguish and despair,
To lift the eye of faith to heaven,
And think 'My child is there!'
This best can dry the gushing tear,
This yields the heart relief,
Until the Christian's pious hope
O'ercomes a mother's grief.



An ingenious friend, who has a saturnine cast of complexion, maintains with great zeal, that dark eyes are indicative of a higher order of intellect than those of other colors. This doctrine meets with great favor from every one whose eyes are black, while those that are blue, hazel, or gray, kindle with indignation at such monstrous absurdity. Our friend borrows a very happy illustration from nature, and says, that as the wildest and most vivid flashes of lightning burst from the blackest clouds, so do the most brilliant emanations of mind glare from the darkest eyes. Whether there be any truth in this doctrine, or not, it must be admitted, that our friend has the authority of the poets on his side. From immemorial time, they have been sonnetizing dark and black eyes, to the almost utter neglect of all others. Your novelists never in painting a heroine, say she has gray eyes; but all their poetical fictions see with those that are large, languishing, lustrous, and dark.

The vividness of an eye's expression is not dependent on its color. The eye is most expressive, whose owner has the most thought and feeling. The eye expresses the language of the mind and heart; and whether light or dark, wherever there is strong emotion, it manifests it. A man is a better reader of the meaning of a woman's eye, than he is of one of his own gender; and a lady discovers more indications in the eyes of the opposite sex, than can the most scrutinizing man.

The eye is the most poetical of features; and ample testimony[226] has been borne, in all time, to its superiority in this particular. There is much poetry in the smile of one we love; but there is more in the gleaming kindness of an eye from which the concentrated rays of feeling, thought, and sentiment, are looking forth. Did you never look into the tranquil depths of an eye, and see the shadows of thoughts winging their flight onward? Did you never read whole chapters about the sympathy of souls in them? If not, your observation has not been acute, nor your love very devout.

The sublime science of astrology, which once commanded the faith of the learned, has been laughed at by the wisdom or scepticism of more modern times. The doctrines and the devotion of those old readers of the stars have been discarded; and to the human eye the only relict of astrology now on earth has been confided. Lovers are the sole inheritors of the romantic doctrines bequeathed by elder astrologers to posterity. They do not cast devout looks toward the bespangled firmament, at night; but to them, the brow of a beloved being is a heaven, and the eye is the star that unfolds to them the shadows of their coming destinies. Their ancestors read the decrees of fate in the glittering watchers of the night-season, and they foresee the mysteries of the future in the expressions which shift and play upon the eye. If the eye of his mistress sparkles at his approach, it is the precursor of after joy. If the murky shadow of a frown rests upon it, it is the foreshadowing of the woe to come. To the lover, the eye of his mistress is ever eloquent, of hope or fear, of triumph or defeat. It is the polar star of his hope, the cynosure of his faith; and the complexion of the future changes, as her eye wanes into shadow, or waxes into the light of day.

A wholesome lip is a thing to be loved. People are too much in the habit of regarding lips as mere appendages to the 'human face divine'—ornaments, like ear-rings, to set off its beauty. This is to detract from their true use and excellence. They serve other purposes, and are indices of character.

A wholesome lip is of the complexion of a morello cherry. It pouts like a rosebud, and might lead a bee astray, as the grapes of Zeuxis did the birds. When kissing was in fashion, gallants of taste showed a flattering preference for lips of this kind. There was a flavor about them—ambrosia, on which young Love fed and grew fat. The disciple of Socrates was feminine in the matter of lips, for bees hovered over them; and the judgment of a bee, in this respect, is scarcely inferior to that of a bachelor under thirty.

In general, people are disposed to think their noses of more importance than their lips, and many saucy noses seem to be of the same way of thinking; since we see them turning up with an expression of high disdain, as if the lips were so inferior as to merit scorn. No 'genteel,' well-behaved nose, is guilty of such dastardly effrontery. Such an one, it is true, may at times flap its nostrils, and crow lustily over its neighbors, as if it were 'cock of the walk;' but there is a soft insinuation about an eloquent lip, that cuts the comb of the braggart, and tames the monarch down to a mere republican.

Our maiden aunt Sally wore a lip, which, like her matrimonial[227] chances, was rather shrivelled. It was a mere streak along the horizon; an indistinct margin along an ocean of mouth; a strip to tell you where her teeth were. My aunt died husbandless. If she had wedded, her bridal kiss would have been interesting. She saluted my cheek once, when, like Fanny, I was 'younger than I am now, and prettier—of course!' I thought the sensation like a gentle bite. Instead of soft, spongy flesh, her lips seemed like scraps of flesh, iron-bound. Sometimes she puckered them up like the orifice of her reticule; and this was an infallible precursor of a coming storm. Xantippe had a thin, bluish, unwaving lip. Beware of such!

My nurse was a grizzly-headed negro woman; and her gift of underlip was stupendous. It poured down, a real cataract of lip. It was without model, although not without shadow. She was deficient in chin, and her lip circled over her lower jaw-bone, in shape and size resembling a half-grown grey-hound's ear. At a distance, you might have mistaken it for an extra allowance of tongue, which her mouth could not contain. It was awful! That is, to think of kissing such a thing! When the old woman bustled about, it shivered like a sheep in shearing-time; and when she jumped, it flapped over her under-jaw like the wing of a squat pigeon.

Among the ladies, there are two orders of lips—the nectarine and the vinegarish. The former swell out like the heave of a deep sigh; the latter are sharp, and make you smack your mouth when you look on them. The first denotes amiability, the second acidity. Everlasting spring lives in the blossoms of a nectarine lip, and eternal winter dwells upon the vinegarish, along which no rill of blood ever strays.

The lips of one's sweet-heart are a volume of poetry. Smiles fling a ray like the flush of morning upon them, and they are glorious in their brightness. They are an oracle, and from them comes the voice of destiny. They are a shrine, and around them the breath of inspiration ever lingers. It would be vain to talk of kissing any thing so sacred, when the mere thought overwhelms one in unspeakable bliss!

T. H. S.


What is life, but a vision! The forms which have spread
Their enchantment around us, and gladdened our day,
Like the vanishing vapors of morning have fled,
Or like eve's sun-gilt clouds, they are passing away.
And when Youth's cherished hopes shall have faded and gone,
And this turbulent dream of existence is o'er—
When life's sparkling current hath ceased to flow on,
And the place which now knows me will know me no more—
Then bright on this page be engraven my name,
And long may it live, when my being is past;
Let others contend for a loftier fame,
No nobler, no dearer, no other, I ask.
Here perchance shouldst thou see it, forgotten, unknown,
Oh! hallow that name with the dew of a tear!
Far sweeter the tribute, than tale-telling stone,
Which Pride, or Ambition, or Folly might rear.

J. H. B.




Earth owns no smiles in absence of the sun;
Dark mourns the night when chambered is her queen;
The sweet flowers wither when Sol's spring is run;
Nor fairies dance but in chaste Luna's sheen.
Nothing but mourns from that it loves apart:
The lone bird sorrows from its sever'd mate;
And pines and withers the fond human heart,
When those it worshipped leave it desolate.
Thus in earth, night, flower, bird, creation's lord,
The sweetest, dearest bond, is sympathy;
Which sever'd, snaps the close-entwining chord
That all things binds in some fond unity.
Life-killing Absence, 'neath thy curse I pine,
Affection's Upas tree—that name be thine!


Age is the winter season of man's life,
The last dim flickering of the taper's ray;
'Tis the last act that closes earthly strife;
The latest character that he may play.
Yet here, i' the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With rev'rend hair, white as the drifted snow,
We madly mock our fate—play the buffoon,
And self-deceiving to the dark grave go.
The withered leaf clings latest to the tree,
Hope vainly builds itself on dark despair;
The shipwreck'd mariner buffets with the sea,
And vainly strives for life, though death be there.
So age, with palsied hand, to life doth cling
Most fondly, as from age life taketh wing.


The waxen wing that strove t' empierce the sky,
The daring hand that fired the Ephesian dome,
The Spirit's strife with God for mastery,
Which made the burning depths of hell its home,
Were fell Ambition's. In that one word lies
All that is greatly good or greatly ill;
'Tis best of friends—'tis worst of enemies—
Honey and poison it doth both distil.
With vice enleagued, it sinks our spirit's down,
Till lust and murder gorge their fierce desire;
But virtue weaves for it a deathless crown,
Which teaches noble natures to aspire.
Honor and fame soar on its wingéd breath,
Hurl'd in its downward flight lie sin and death.


Authors are beings only half of earth—
They own a world apart from other men:
A glorious realm! giv'n by their fancy birth,
Subjects, a sceptre, and a diadem;
A fairy land of thought, in which sweet bliss
Would run to ecstasy in wild delight,
But that stern Nature drags them back to this,
With call imperious, which they may not slight:
And then they traffic with their thoughts to live,
And coin their laboring brains for daily bread:
Getting scant dross for the rich ore they give,
While often with the gift their life is shed:
And thus they die, leaving behind a name,
At once their country's glory and her shame.



——''Tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathéd worldly life
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death!'


In my morning walk in the country, the other day, a common poor-house hearse passed me. It was a long box, painted black, covered with a scant piece of dark cloth of some kind, hardly large enough to allow the tassels to dangle down its sides, in imitation of more gorgeous drapery. The little door at the hind-end of it looked as if it might open into the infernal regions. This dismal box, mounted nakedly on four frail wheels, was drawn along by a pale, lean horse, and the driver sat severe in his shirt-sleeves and tattered hat, like some desperate blackguard driving a night-cart. As he passed the cottages on the road-side, I observed anxious faces following its course; and particularly that of one poor woman, with an infant in her arms, whose poverty-stricken cheek was blanched still whiter, for the moment, as she contemplated the probable picture of her own humble obsequies. I imagined her as thinking of the time when she should leave her unprotected little ones to the chance charities of a heartless world—heartless to her—and herself be carried in this same vehicle to a stoneless grave.

I felt indignant at this unnecessary harrowing up of her feelings, and my own were not pleasantly affected; and then, and since, I have thought much upon the subject of funerals.

What moral purpose is answered in thus thrusting the thought of their dissolution upon the poor and miserable, amid their labors and wants? Is not life hard enough for them to bear, burthened with hunger and no food, with ignorant vice—habitual and early inculcated vice—which, in their view, is almost virtue, and certainly, is second nature? Must they turn horror-struck from the neglect, even to the remains of the poor beings who, like themselves, are not freed by death from the selfish contempt of their fellows? Why must the bell send forth those tones that seem to the sick and weak nerves of the feeble like a summons from the grave? Why this sickening array in musty black, this dressing up a banquet for the worm, with terrific ceremonies? Death is less awful to all, on account of the departure from life, than because of the black badges, the dark and gloomy retinue, that are associated in our minds with the event of it. When we think of dying, it is of being put in a coffin, the white shroud setting off, in loathsome contrast, the yellow palor of the face, and the indescribable expression of the human features without a soul; and then comes the black carriage, and that decaying pall, which has served so many like occasions, and which will itself, though with the sexton it looks as if it had a terrestrial immortality, finally perish, and be cast aside to rot, but with no ostentatious funeral. The motion, too, of this procession is slow; and our torture is felt as lingering and fated. At last, we rest in the dark earth—we are lonely and out of hearing—pinioned for ever! It would seem that human[230] ingenuity had contrived a tissue of horrors to close the troubles of a human life.

Death is serious business, to be sure, and our passage through its shadows is a fearful journey. Yet it is an entrance to immortality. The entrance to magnificent temples, and brilliant theatres, is through dark portals—necessarily dark to be firm; and nothing human can add to the solemnity of death; but we may, by our sympathetic attempts at the terrible-sublime, change what is solemn and salutary into a source of disgust and aversion.

We come into a world of care, and want, and affliction, and our unconscious ears are struck with sounds of rejoicing. We enter upon an immortality of bliss, and around the self-same body there are wailing and lamentation.

I was perplexing myself for a solution of this strange inconsistency in our customs, when chancing to meet a philosophic friend, he relieved my perplexity, by saying: 'Oh, people are afraid of going to hell, and that their friends are gone there, and so they make all this sad array. They usher their relations into eternity—for the soul in our associations ever accompanies the body—as criminals are led to execution. Their awful fate thus finds an awful language.'

If these be the true reasons of the gloomy ceremonies of death, it is devoutly to be hoped that the fears of this result may in some cases be unfounded. We do not wish to controvert the idea of rewards and punishments hereafter, for they belong to the nature of the soul, whether in this world or in the next; but it seems rather extra-judicial, a plain case of supererogation, to bestow upon all the marks of divine justice before hand.

In case of executions in human justice, if they take place in terrorem, to awe the multitude into obedience, it is very well to dress the hangman in the probable habiliments of the devil, and to ride the culprit through the streets as a show, upon a pine coffin. There should be as little romance, as few flowers in his way, as possible. It is gross inconsistency, certainly, to introduce any softening circumstances into public executions, as well as mistaken mercy to the passions of men. In saying this, we suppose it is not pretended that the execution of human beings is authorized upon any other ground than support of the law. To execute privately, or with as little terror as possible, is to enact over again the trick of Nero to ensnare his subjects: for surely, the penalty is part of the law, and the execution of it should be as open as the condemnation, or the people are robbed of these horrid privileges of assisting their virtue.

But to return to our subject. We dislike our funerals, because they seem to be one of the remains of the many attempts to subject the people to the control of the priests. And now, we blush to write it, we fear the influence of the clergy in some churches is mainly dependent upon a certain idea people have, that their future destiny is somewhat in such hands. It is a poor compliment to our religious nature, to suppose we are most fit to give our hearts to God, when under an abject fear of death; that

'When thoughts of the last bitter hour
Come like a blight over our spirits,
And the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make us to shudder, and grow sick at heart,'


we are best prepared to pay that voluntary homage, to feel that free devotion, which can alone be pleasing to our Creator.

Funeral occasions have been hailed as special seasons for operating upon the nervousness of people. Every poor body is dragged about, and exposed to the public gaze, in the church or meetinghouse, upon the same principle that a recruiting sergeant drums his gaily-attired soldiers about a town. Public men, the property of the people, should be buried publicly, for all are supposed to sympathize in the loss; all feel a personal interest in the ceremony. But it is otherwise with private individuals. Then it is death we see, and not a departed friend. But a still stronger objection lies against this display of corpses, and these very public burials, and it is, that the poor are encouraged to indulge in mourning apparel, which they often can ill afford. The salutary terror upon the wicked is more than counteracted by the want and criminal shifts induced by this unnecessary extravagance.

Talk with any man who is not a slave to custom, upon the subject of burning the dead, and he will, with few exceptions, express a liking of it for his own body. If we retain the portraits of our friends as sacred treasures, nay, if a lock of hair, even, be held as a precious memento, why not retain their very ashes embalmed in fire? Who that has beheld the play of Virginius—we are glad to connect a fine feeling with the stage—and seen the urn of Virginia, has not felt a thrill of pleasure that so much is left to the fond father to hug to his bosom? (How Cooper played Virginius!) Who has not felt a wish, then, to have the ashes of some departed friend, to embrace in like manner in his arms? Suppose a father, a brother, a husband, a lover, to return, after long absence; death has cut down his darling child, his saint-like sister, his wife; perhaps, what is hardest to bear, because never thought of as possible, his only love; perhaps pestilence has swept away all of these. He is pointed to their graves, or to the common tomb of his kindred. A slight mound of earth is all that is left him to associate with the loved object; or what is worse, he goes to the tomb, and there is no charm in his sorrow to heal itself, for it has lost all individuality: he looks upon an array of coffins, and they all look alike; he cannot separate his own sacred sorrow from the intrusive presence of that of others. But place in his hands the ashes of those he loved; let him be alone with the embalmed dead. He will kiss the cold urn; imagination will place the cold corse in his arms, and he will take his last embrace, and serenity will begin to dawn upon his mind. As he replaces the urn in its sacred deposit, he will feel, 'She is not dead, but sleepeth!'

The headless trunk of the great Pompey was not left to decay upon the sea-shore. How it rejoices us to learn, after following his fortunes to his unhappy death, when he is cast upon the sand, neglected and uncoffined, that his faithful slave gathered a small pile of wood, and burned his body, carefully collecting the ashes. As soon as the task is done, Pompey is great again; and we close his history with satisfaction, for he is buried with affection. Far better is such a fate, than the freezing ceremony of a modern funeral.

J. N. B.




And where are now thy sunny hours,
Fond man, which shone but yesterday?
Perchance thy path was rich with flowers,
That glittered in thy joyous way;
Perchance the Day's pure eye of light
Was one interminable smile,
And visions eloquent and bright
Stirred thy wrapt soul with bliss the while.


And where are they? The sweeping tide
Of onward and resistless time
Is strewn with wrecks of baffled pride—
Conceptions high, and hopes sublime!
Dreams, that have shed upon the earth
The gladdening hues of paradise;
Their charm is flown, hush'd is their mirth,
And all their kindling exstasies.


It may be that the heart was sad,
And wrapt in sorrow, yesterday;
Perchance the scenes that once could glad
Thy spirit, passed like spring away;
That on the waste of years was seen
Nought that might cheer the gloomy breast—
No sunny spot of vernal green,
On which the thoughtful eye could rest.


What recks it now, that then a cloud
Was dimly brooding o'er thy head;
That to the tempest thou hast bowed,
When joy's ephemeral beams had fled?
That day hath gone—its care is o'er—
Its shadows all have passed away;
Time's wave hath murmur'd by that shore,
And round thee now is but to-day.


Then what is yesterday?—a breath,
A whisper of the summer breeze;
A thing of silent birth and death,
Colored by man's fond sympathies.
It had its buds—they all are gone;
Its fears—but they are now no more:
Its hopes—but they were quickly flown—
Its pure delights—and they are o'er!


Look ye not back, save but to glean
From the deep memories of the past—
From the illusions of each scene,
The thought that time is flying fast:
That vanity on things of earth
Is by a pointed diamond writ;
Its hours of wild and transient mirth
Are midnight skies by meteors lit.



Oh, what is yesterday?—a ray
Which burst on being's troubled wave;
Which passed like a swift thought away
Unto eternity's wide grave!
A star whose light hath left the sky—
But for a little moment given;
Scarce gleaming on the gladdened eye,
Ere it hath left the vault of heaven!


To-day!—how in its little span
The interests of an endless state,
Beyond the feverish life of man,
Are crowded with their awful weight!
Prayers may ascend—the soul may pour
Its trembling supplications here,
That when time's fitful hour is o'er,
Its hopes of heaven may blossom there.




The 'Literary Gazette' created a great sensation. Frank was congratulated by his friends on the excellence of his hebdomadal. His editorial brethren bestowed liberal commendation; and he was bespattered with praise, where he expected to be flattered by criticism. To be sure, there were some croakers, who thought it a little too light, and some blithe hearts thought it a little too heavy; but generally, great satisfaction was expressed with its contents. Subscribers flocked in, and every thing went on swimmingly.

But however lightly Frank's bark danced at first, he soon found that there were clouds, storms, and rough waters, to be encountered, as well as sunshine and soft winds. An author whom he reviewed with deserved severity, was sure to regard what was said as an emanation of jealousy. Rejected fi'penny rhymists reported him unfriendly to the 'infantile efforts of genius.' Bilious moralists condemned him for what their evil-seeking imaginations tortured into profligacy. In this way, his judgment and goodness of heart were underrated; and although he won more smiles than frowns, yet he sighed when he thought of the goodness of his motives, and the abominable constructions which were frequently put upon them.

In addition to these grievances, the drudgery of preparing matter for his paper soon became sickening. At times, heavy demands were made on his exhausted brain; and then the ungentle efforts to lash his mind into a fury; to spread the wings of an imagination borne down by lassitude; to wake up reluctant thought; were most unpleasant. And yet he knew it must be done, and that his readers would judge him by his weakness rather than his strength. This knowledge, with his desire to please, placed him often in a dilemma which nothing but kindred experience can appreciate. When he[234] was in the mood, composition was an agreeable occupation; but when draft after draft had been made upon his labors, a sense of fatigue would come over him, and he knew that the stream of thought yet in motion under such cloudy auspices, would reflect but little brilliancy on the vision of his readers. The misery of editorship is, that one dull article will receive more reprobation than a score of successful ones can remove. Men are prone to judge of things by the worst lights. The virtue which one practices, will seldom be considered expiatory of his vices; the day is judged of by the minute of cloud, rather than the hour of sunshine; and a line of dulness will condemn a page of vivacity. We look at the specks on the sun, the mole on the cheek of beauty, and the blemish on the statue otherwise perfect in its symmetry.

Often, while revelling in visions of happiness, Frank would be recalled to his earthly duties, by the entrance of the boy from the printing-office, y'clept, par excellence, the devil. Every editor is aware of the felicity which these intrusions into his sanctum afford. Fixed in his arm-chair, with a horizontal line of leg before him, while his fancy is with his sweet-heart, or his wife and little ones, as the case may be, he feels quite comfortable. At the next instant, all his glistening thoughts and fairy fancies are 'knocked into pi,' by the entrance of the imp of the printing-office, with a face streaked with ink, round-aboutless and vestless, and having on a pair of inexpressibles hitched up on one side by a twine string, who shrieks out, in a merciless tone, 'I'm come for copy, Sir!' Cowper said that the bray of an ass was the only unmusical sound in nature; but the poet had never experienced the discord occasioned to an editor's mind, by an inopportune demand for 'copy,' or he would have make one more exception.

Often did Frank hold with the dirty-faced urchin such a dialogue as the following:

Devil. 'They want more copy, Sir.'

Frank. 'What's become of that I sent before?'

Devil. 'It's used up, Sir.'

Frank. 'Isn't it enough?'

Devil. 'Not by a jug-full, Sir.'

Frank. 'How much more is wanting?'

Devil. 'Three columns, Sir.'

Frank. 'When will it be wanted?'

Devil. 'Why, I've been here twice before this morning, and I couldn't get in. The foreman's mad as h—ll, and says how as that the paper can't be got out in time.'

Frank. 'Well, be off. I'll have some copy ready in an hour.'

Devil goes off, with a sunken aspect, muttering, as he goes, 'I gets more kicks than coppers. The foreman kicks me for not getting copy, and the editor kicks me for coming for it. Deuce take 'em both! As to the paper, she may be late, for me; and as to the press, I wish she was blow'd to the mischief!'

The 'devil' talks upon the common principle, when he speaks of the paper and the printing-press as belonging to the feminine gender. Your statesman, speaking of the country's prosperity, says, 'Her commerce, her manufactures, and her arts, are flourishing, and[235] will soon advance her high in the respect of nations.' The backwoods-men say of Cincinnati, 'She is the western queen.' A Kentuckian will pet his rifle, and say, 'She's leetle the slickest bore in these parts, and her voice is sweet as Nannie's, and that's saying a heap for her.' Some go so far as to sex learned bodies, and to say of congress, 'The constitution does not confer such powers on her, and beyond those delegated she cannot rightfully act;' thus flinging a petticoat over this venerable body of gray-haired bachelors, husbands, and orators.

The fact is, it is quite difficult to understand the reason why the neuter gender is not applied to all things neither male nor female. Every vessel that skims the billow, in common nomenclature, belongs to the feminine gender. There is not a steam-boat that ploughs the river, however hoarsely it may bark, or however it may fling volumes of smoke above, like streamers, that belongs to the masculine gender. Every ricketty yawl or skiff that is battered to pieces by the tides, belongs to the lovely and ever-to-be-beloved sex. If a pleasure-boat, with its white sail kissing the wave which its prow proudly spurns, wins a compliment, it is sure to be uttered after this wise: 'See how finely she sails!—and

'She walks the water like a thing of life.'

Is not the male sex somewhat scandalously neglected in this matter? Why should not a noble ship, daring and adventurous—a merchant-man, perhaps an India-man—belong to the masculine gender? If it be female, why not be grammatically consistent, and talk of merchant-woman, and India-woman? If it be necessary that inanimate structures be sexed, why not do it with some reference to their qualities? Let a ship be called she, by all means; for a lady is beautiful, and a ship bearing steadily away over the waters, is beautiful to look upon, too; and a lady, though not freighted down with bales and packages by the ton, yet is she burthened with those articles in the dry-goods line which are worn by the ton. Streamers wave from the flag-staff of the one, and ribbons flutter gaily from the main-top of the other. Therefore, let a ship and a woman be of the same sex. But let there be some limits to the license. We take it, there is nothing that floats, which looks less like our own dear sweet-heart, than an old worm-eaten canoe, scooped out of a dead trunk; and yet, when a paddle is applied to the ugly thing, you look at it and say, 'She moves!'

We admit and feel the romance and propriety of sexing 'the poetry of heaven.' Blessings be yet again on benighted Egypt, for she taught us to speak of Osiris and Isis, instead of the sun and moon! Blessed for ever be the spirit of him who first conceived the idea of sexing the starry hosts, from the Cynosure to Sirius! How much more poetical is night in consequence—especially such as Moore speaks of in the Epicurean:

——'Sweet nights,
When Isis, the pure star of lovers, lights
Her bridal crescent o'er the holy stream!'

All who have been in love, feel that the soft influence which comes down from the face of Isis is feminine in its witchery. She is[236] friendly to love affairs, although Miss Diana, when in Greece, would have nothing to do with the masculine deities; and although she banished Calisto, and transformed Acteon, yet did these same Greeks scandalize the virgin, by reporting that she forgot her fastidiousness when she was smitten by the charms of an Endymion on the Carian Mount. To return. We are glad that the poets of the olden time sexed the stars pretty much as their fancies thought proper, and that we Christians still perpetuate these beautiful fictions of their mythologies; for there is a charm in the classical association which now comes upon the mind, when viewing the heavens, that we should regret to part with, however heathenish and anti-utilitarian it may be.

The owners of bright eyes have astronomy enough to recognise Venus, the beautiful star of evening; and yet they perversely and anti-mythologically call her it, when they should know that she is all that is now left of that beautiful being of the cestus, who, like a wreath of foam, was born of a billow near Cythera. Let us be consistent, and call Venus she, even as we call the moon she, and her lord and master, 'the eye of the universe,' he. It is proper to speak of Saturn, and his rings, of Mars, and his belligerent front; and we should, to be consistent, she Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, every one of them. Let us also call this great heap of dirt and water which we tread on, and sail over, and speak of, as our mother earth, feminine. Our wretchedly-abused planet is spoken of as belonging to no sex in particular, now-a-days, although she was once called Terra and Titæa; and then she was a beauty, and a charming one, too, as we should judge from some of her heart-stealing, bright-eyed daughters.

Poetry demands that we still continue to sex the stars. Let us regard Jupiter as a great big lubberly fellow, making love to the shy and bashful Vesta, and waking up jealousy in the bosom of his elder sweet-heart, Juno. Let us have Mars getting up assignations with the all-loving Venus, as of old; and Saturn and Pallas felicitating each other in the manner becoming two heads, the one so full of justice, and the other of wisdom, as are theirs. How delectable it would be, to fancy Madame Earth flirting with the long-yeared Herschel, to the utter astonishment of her neighbor Mercury, who would either have to live an old bachelor, or look up a mistress in some of the systems which revolve in the far-off regions of space!

Our imagination has run riot long enough through the heavens; and we therefore return back to our starting-place, the earth. We were speaking of the incongruity of the sexual designations now in vogue. Why is it, that once introduced, the system of sexing things was not carried out farther? Why not give sex to a tree, a carriage, a wind-mill, and our pantaloons, as well as to a yacht, a watch, and every scrabbling village in the land? We love to think upon the Mississippi as the 'Father of Waters,' and the Ohio as 'La belle Riviere;' for to the masculine strength and stature of the one, we offer our admiration, and to the feminine beauty and grace of the other, we have yielded up our heart.

We were speaking, before we got on this mad-cap digression, of the miseries in which the editorial fraternity in general, and Frank Thornton in particular, were sometimes plunged, by ill-timed demands for that bane of the craft called 'copy.' At such times, Frank would[237] disenchant himself of his fond visions, pick up his pen, arrange his paper, and—think, or try to think, of a subject. He would look over the newspapers for topics; whip up his brain for a suggestion, or look out at the window, and seeing his friend James Summers, who prided himself on being a man of the world, he would conclude to write an article on men of the world in general, much after the manner of the fragment below.

'Fielding says, that in order to understand men, it is necessary that one should be born with a genius for that purpose.' Your men of the world think so too; hence, they are the favorites of nature, and as such, are superior to ordinary mortals, and have a right, in consequence, to look down on inferiority. We are not going to upset Fielding, Bulwer, et id omne genus; we only say, that we detest the boast and swagger which your men of the world take upon themselves as a natural right, peculiar to those who come into the world with an extra eye to read that volume of mysteries, the human heart, locked up, like the ark of old, from the vision of the vulgar.

'Your man of the world is the most bustling of bodies, and looks like Atlas with the globe incumbent on his shoulders. His lips form an oracle of human wisdom, and it is rank profanity to question aught that emanates from so holy a source. His contempt for inferior understandings is most supreme; and his humor, like a foaming cataract, flows and boils with sublime rage, if impertinence dare question his profundity, or contest his right to monopolize the gleams of knowledge which light up the human mind. He is the greatest and most orthodox of bigots, and takes good care that the stultified head of heresy be scathed by the lightnings of his indignation. He uses old saws with a wink; and if he chooses to bless you with a squint, you are unpardonable, if you do not cheer him with a smile. He is a stickler for antiquity, and hates smooth chins and black heads, for their greenness and folly. He is the repository of all the fragments of wisdom that are left of shipwrecked ages, which have floated down on the stream of time. He gathers together the bits and ends of sayings which go to make up the traditionary lore of a country; and this unbooked knowledge renders him sager than a man of much reading. In fine, your man of the world is a very great man, and is to be respected, whether he discourses of the evangelists at a horse-race, or flourishes political eloquence, and that Helicon which inspires it, a beer-mug, in the unquiet recesses of some venerable ale-house.

'This may be called an 'outline in pencil' of a man of the world, when the shadows of fifty years or so are upon him; when he has exhausted the fountains of his wild blood, and turned out sage and philosopher. A man must run a long and labyrinthine gauntlet, under the scourge of the vices, before he can aspire to the character. Of course, it is right that such an one should usurp the throne of wisdom, as his shoulders have been legitimately invested with the purple of sin. The right to rule can only be predicated on a youth of prostitution, a manhood of degradation, and an old age of impenitence.


'Perhaps you may have seen a man of the world, under the shadow of a tavern sign-post, discoursing wisdom to the simple-hearted villagers. He has the infallible marks of a truly great man legible in his face; bloated veins, and an indented excrescence surmounting his nose, and flaming like a fiëry beacon with the condensed heat of unnumbered barrels of all 'proofs.' His libations to Bacchus have given a remarkable clarification to the emanations of his intellect, as is discoverable in the vividness with which his wisdom glares on the understandings of all who hear him. A flippant attorney is, perhaps, at his side; and the worthy twain discuss national policies, while the unsophisticated lookers-on stand mute, admiring the prodigious display of genius. The village magistrate imbibes ideas which astonish his natural stock of well-behaved ones, that never strayed beyond the hill-top in the distance, or flew off on a wild goose-chase after the phantoms of knowledge. The man of the world lays down his positions, and fortifies them with the maxims he learned from his predecessor, who sleeps in the church-yard. The pettifogger capitulates to his invincible adversary, and acknowledges in him one whose dogmas it were irreverent to doubt.

'Your man of the world never goes to church. His own experience furnishes principles for the government of men, vastly superior to all that Christianity ever dreamed of. He has an intuitive perception into the minds of children, and can predict, to a nicety, the amount of power their intellectual machinery will be able, in time to come, to generate. He believes that scarcely an honest man, beside himself, lives; and as to women, they are not a whit better than they ought to be. Lastly, your man of the world is the chief light of the world, and when he dies, the heavens will be hung in gloom, and the edifice of society will fall into dilapidation; as he, while living, was its chief prop and support.'

On the afternoon of the day on which the above article appeared, Mr. James Summers, who sat for the portrait of the 'Man of the World,' ordered his paper to be stopped, as he could not 'conscientiously patronize one devoted to Billingsgate interests, and edited by a person who had evidently received a diploma for his proficiencies, from the college of Saint Giles!'

This is a specimen of one class of miseries to which editors are subject. They rack their weary brains for subjects; and when they dissect them properly, it frequently happens that some subscriber, who fancies himself aggrieved, says, with poor Dennis the critic, 'That means me!'—and forthwith sends in a peremptory order to have 'his paper discontinued.' And thus the editor not only loses some one's friendship, but, what is of more importance, his subscription.

Subscribers! one word to you. Support your editor through his difficulties; and whatever else you neglect, be sure you do not forget to pay for your intellectual provant; that is, if you would pass decently through this world, and reach heaven at last!



'O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,
Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,
Survey our empire, and behold our home!'

I have no ties to bind me
To any spot on earth;
I leave no love behind me,
No warm familiar hearth;
But I roam with the changeful wind
Upon the changeful sea,
Mid isles that shed their fragrance forth
Like the blessed Araby;
And in the deep and cloudless night,
We watch each dewy star,
And our fancies rove through that shadowy light,
Where the gentle spirits are:
Nor while upon the deep
We wander far and free,
Are we mariners without
Our own wild minstrelsy;
And the night-breeze seems to catch the song,
And bear it on its wing:
And the laughing waves seem to echo far
The voice of our carolling:
And then we see the unwelcome shark
Gliding beneath our lee;
Gently he looketh up, but we
Trust not his love of harmony;
Strange playful fish are gambolling
Around our white-winged bark,
All harmless, gladsome things are they,
Except that soft-eyed shark.
When the foam, torn from the billow,
Flies furious and fast,
And the good mast, like a sapling,
Bends to the mighty blast,
With steady heart and ready arm,
Fearless, unmoved, we stand—
(Our bright bow flashing through the sea,)
My own, my gallant band!
O! who would be a man
Fettered, instead of free!
A sluggard at his hearth,
With a bantling on his knee!
While there are seas to pass,
While there are winds to blow,
O! who would be content
With tales of long ago!
While there is knowledge waiting,
As fruit upon a tree,
Which we for others gather,
Over the mystic sea!
I like not traveller's stories,
Told at the blazing hearth,
Of wild and wondrous wandering
On ocean and on earth;
When the wine foams in the goblet
With its glorious ruby light,
Imagination sparkles
Proportionately bright.
[240] I loathe to see the simple eye
In wonder opened wide,
At hair-breadth 'scapes from shot and steel,
From rock and tempest tide.
As each adventure wilder grows
Of the traveller's bold career,
The listeners gather closer round,
And cross themselves for fear;
And many an anxious glance is cast
Around the shadowy room,
As if some horrid spectacle
Lay lurking in the gloom.
But I love, in my own good bark,
And with my gallant crew,
To wander free where fancy leads
Over the waters blue:
To speak with new-found people,
Of the world a fresh-turned page;
O! grateful bounds my spirit,
That I live in a gallant age!
O! if the tame ones of the earth
Could taste the deep delight,
Of feeling free upon the main,
Whose sway is the bold man's right,
The sea would swarm with rovers,
Whose zeal would never sleep,
While anxiously they gathered
The treasures of the deep!

Montreal, August, 1837. A. A. Macnicol.




Paris, August, 1836.—After due deliberation respecting the various routes, viz.: first, by Southampton to Havre, and up the Seine; second, by Brighton and Dieppe; third, by steam-boat direct to Calais, or Boulogne; fourth, (the older and most frequented,) by Dover and Calais, or Boulogne; I chose the latter; and in order to be in Paris before Saturday evening, (to-day is Wednesday,) took my outside seat in the night coach to Dover. It was a fine evening, and as we rode out of London through 'the main artery of the right hand of the world,' Charing-Cross, down Whitehall and Parliament-street, over Westminster bridge, and through the villages of Deptford and Greenwich, I had the finest sunset view of the great metropolis, which I had yet seen. A glorious full-moon rose soon after we took leave of the more dazzling luminary, and of course the ride in such an evening was most agreeable. We passed through Gravesend, a bustling and noted town on the Thames, and our course lay for some distance along the margin of the river. At eleven, we stopped for supper at Rochester. The night which looked so promising, was not to be very delightful; a change came over the face of it, in the shape of a cold, thick fog; moreover, that useless and annoying animal,[241] y'clept 'the guard,' kept us awake by a hideous bellowing with a long tin-horn; and altogether, I was abundantly satisfied with my first experiment in riding all night. Day-light came at last, just as we were entering the ancient and honorable town of Canterbury, as weary pilgrims as ever went there in the days of worthy old Chaucer. The cathedral is entirely surrounded by ordinary dwelling-houses, and the massive entrance was at this hour of course closed. We could only get a glimpse of its fine towers. At six A. M., we were set down at the 'Ship Hotel,' at Dover, and only had to pay five shillings more than the regular fare, beside three shillings to the guard, etc., for keeping us awake, and two shillings more for porters, ladders, etc., to the boat, a pigmy affair, y'clept the Britannia, on board of which we descended, after a poor breakfast at the hotel; and in a few minutes we were rapidly receding from the 'white cliffs of England.' The hills along this coast appear to be entirely of chalk, and from a short distance, the shore looks as if partly covered with snow. The castle and heights tower above the town, and the latter give it the appearance of our Brooklyn. The morning was brilliant and cloudless, and the sea scarcely ruffled. So we glided over this far-famed and much-dreaded channel as gently as we should cross from New-York to Jersey City, only taking somewhat longer time to do it. Before we had lost sight of Dover, the coast of 'La Belle France' was very distinct; indeed the two coasts may always be seen from each other, in clear weather. We had three or four baskets of carrier-pigeons on board, which were liberated at intervals, to announce our progress. They are used to communicate important intelligence, and never fail of arriving at their destination in about ten minutes.

The distance from Boulogne to Dover is forty miles. After a voyage of three-and-a-half hours, we made the bustling town of Boulogne, which is prettily situated on the open sea-coast, at the head of a small bay. On an eminence near the town, is a conspicuous monument, commenced by Napoleon to commemorate his (intended) conquest of England,(!) and completed by Louis XVIII., to commemorate Napoleon's downfall!

We sailed up between two long and excellent wood piers, filled with expecting friends, porters, police, soldiers, custom-house officers, etc., and stepping for the first time on the soil of Europe, at least of the continent, I was escorted by a companion through the eager crowd, amid the clamorous calls of the commissioners, 'Hotel du Nord? Hotel D'Angleterre? Hotel D'Orleans? Portmanteau, Monsieur?' and all in a strange tongue. What a jabbering! At a little bureau on the quay our passports were received, and we were permitted to proceed without any personal examination, the commissioner of our hotel (D'Orleans,) taking charge of our luggage, which he 'passed' in an hour, without giving us a word of trouble; but we soon found we were not to escape vexations, for the seats in the diligences, had been engaged for four days to come! This is especially provoking, in such a place as Boulogne. But repining avails not.

This is the second of 'Le Trois Jours,' and the tri-colored flags[242] are displayed from every house in town, giving the streets a gay and lively face. This is a remarkably clean and orderly place, and in this respect forms a strong contrast to its rival, Calais. It is a famous sea-bathing place, and during the summer, English residents and visitors form one third of the whole population. Indeed, the town is very à la Anglaise—more so, they say, than any other in France. But still there is enough to remind a novice that he is really in another country, in the old world. The military on the docks and in every street; the poor women, bare-footed and bare-headed, performing the labor of beasts of burthen, being in fact the public porters, and thankful for the chance of carrying your luggage for a few sous; the incessant jabbering in a strange tongue, (strange, alas! to me,) 'for even the children here,' as one sagely remarked, 'talk very good French;' the streets without side-walks, and the picturesque figures in them; the immense clumsy diligences, arriving and setting off in cautious pace; the street harpists and music-grinders, (of which we have abundant specimens,) etc. The hotels form about one-fourth of all the buildings of the town, and are all crowded. Mine host has a summer pavilion on the banks of the sea, commanding an extensive view of the English coast, etc., and very similar to that at Rockaway, (L. I.,) and to this we are sent in a barouche to dine at the table d'hôte, in a large airy hall, which accommodates one hundred or more. The company, being mostly English, seemed rather awkward in this novel mode of dining; and there was no general conversation at the table. My neighbour stared with astonishment when he found I was not English, and still more so that I was an American, 'the first he had ever seen;' and he looked as tickled as if he had seen an ourang-outang. The shore before the pavilion is covered with little bathing-cars, which are drawn into the water by horses, and there is a handsome assembly-hall near by, for the bathers. After dinner, walked up to the 'barriers,' or ramparts, which surround an elevated part of the city, and serve both for fortification and a public promenade. The view from them is very fine.

Friday.—A rainy day, and the review and ceremonies in the church are given up. Strangers at the hotels have been invited by the mayor to a grand ball at the 'Salle du Spectacle,' or theatre, this evening. A band of music at the pavilion at dinner. Went to the theatre; great crowd, nine-tenths spectators; much like our Masonic Hall balls, except that there is no room to dance. The élite of the town displayed their best, but the majority were English. It was to be très selecte, and has been the town-talk for a week; yet my companion said, with great surprise, that of one of the prettiest of the dancers he had bought his gloves. Made an appointment to meet him at Amiens cathedral, at five A. M.

Saturday.—A most vexatious mistake of my own has lost me my seat again, and I must endure idleness and ennui, in this purgatory, twenty-four hours longer. Horrors! What shall I do? Wandered into a museum, and killed an hour. Bought 'Diary of Desennuyée.'[243] Miserable trash! Changed it for Mrs. Trollope's 'Paris and the Parisians;' precious little better. The longest day I have known this two years.

August 31st.—Found myself actually mounted on the rotonde of a French diligence, and proceeding, at the pace of six or seven miles an hour, toward Paris. Splendid morning; and the roads are thoroughly sprinkled by the late rain. The diligence has been recently much modified, à l'Anglaise, and I perceived but little difference in the mode or rate of travelling. This one has two outside rear seats, or the rotonde; the banquette, over the conducteur's seat in front; and the interior, divided into three apartments. The front is called the coupé, and is the highest price. The conducteur is a respectable personage, who overlooks the whole team, delivers the passports, etc., and the fee to him, and the postilion, is always regular, and paid in advance. (The fees to waiters at hotels in France are always charged in the bills; so there is one annoyance well rid of.)

The road to Paris, by Montreuil, Abbeville, and Beauvais, is flat, stale, and unprofitable. There is little to be seen but wheat-fields and pastures, and here and there a bit of a hut, with the philanthropic announcement, 'Loge au pied et un cheval;' which is equivalent, I presume, to the similar English establishments' sign, 'Entertainment for man and horse.' Montreuil is an antique and strongly-fortified town, entirely surrounded by a high wall, and several out-posts. Here we stopped to dine. Abbeville, the next, is the largest town on the route, and quite continental in its appearance. It was a fête-day, and the whole population were amusing themselves in the streets, some with a dancing monkey, others listening to a buffoon, or improvisatrice. Then we passed through Airaines, Granvilliers, and Marseilles to Beauvais, famous for its siege in 1472 by the Duke of Burgundy, which was raised by the heroic Jean Hanchette, whose memory is still honored by an annual festival. Here we took a good breakfast, for which our night ride had created an excellent appetite. Passing then through the small villages of Puiseux, Blaumont, Sur-Oise and Marseilles, we came to Saint Dennis, the burial-place of the kings of France, and from thence proceeded through a broad, straight, dusty avenue, to the capital, without having any general view; and were set down at the bureaux of the Messageries Royal, where our luggage was slightly examined, and I was then escorted, by a young companion, to the Hotel De Lille et d'Albion, opposite the Palais Royal. Dined at the table d'hôte, with a company of thirty, all English. Got a cab and rode over one of the bridges to find my quandam yankee doctor. Find it necessary to be in earnest now about learning French. My ignorance is rather awkward, but still it is not impossible to make myself understood; and 'necessity is the mother of invention.'

August 2nd.—Hired a guide, or interpreter, to show me the localities, and assist me in my business. In the city in general, I am disappointed. The narrow, filthy streets, with gutters in the centre,[244] and without side-walks, and the antique and irregular buildings, do not realize my notions of gay, elegant Paris. But the extent and magnificence of the public buildings, palaces, gardens, parks, boulevards, etc., are enough to atone for the dirty streets. The general view of the city, from one of the centre bridges, (the atmosphere being wonderfully clear and transparent,) is grand and imposing in the extreme. The luxurious and superb architecture of the Louvre, Tuilleries, Luxembourg, and Palais Royal, and the immense extent, as well as the great beauty and elegance, of the gardens and parks, connected with these places, must astonish even the most sanguine.

August 4th.—Took lodgings with Dr. —— in Rue D'Enfer, opposite the garden of the Luxembourg, for three objects, namely: to have a guide to the city; to learn French from him and the talkative landlady, and for economy's sake, for I pay but seven and a half francs a week for a snug room with attendance, in a good situation, and can have breakfast (such as it is) for fifteen sous.[11]

6th. Having disposed of most of my business, I commenced 'lionizing.' First, I walked over Pont des Arts, through the Louvre and the Tuilleries, to the Garden of the Tuilleries, which, I need not say, is laid out on a scale of great extent and magnificence, and is profusely adorned with fine statues, and groups in bronze and marble. The number and variety of the noble walks in this garden are truly astonishing. And it is not less so, that the finest statuary should be so liberally exposed to the public, without the least guard or protection, and yet none of it is ever injured. Passed through Place de la Concorde, (late Place Louis XVI.;) and the Champs Elysées, where they were removing the lamps, etc., used in the late fête of the three days; and walked up the broad and noble avenue to the Arc de Triomphe, which was completed a few days since, and is one of the most conspicuous, and most admired ornaments of the capital. I will send you a printed description, which will save me a great many words. Suffice it to say, that the most extravagant epithets will not give you too high an idea of it. It is of white marble, adorned with exquisite bas-reliefs, and is so immense in extent and height, that from the Pont Neuf, about three miles distant, it is conspicuous far above the tall trees of the Champs Elysées, and all the surrounding objects.

Returned to the Louvre, and spent the forenoon in its celebrated Musée and Gallery of Paintings. This gallery is one thousand three hundred and thirty feet long, and would reach from Broadway to Wooster-street! The ceiling is oval, and is elegantly gilded and adorned. The perspective of the gallery is much like that of Thames Tunnel, and the farther end appears to be only three or four feet high. As to the paintings, I have marked in the catalogue those which particularly struck me, and no farther description would be [245]worth while. The gallery of ancient sculpture is of course intensely interesting, and contains one of the finest collections in the world. (See Madame Starke.) Walked up to the Boulevards, which, with Rue Rivoli, Rue Castiglione, and perhaps two or three others, are the only streets which do credit to the city. The Boulevards are quite modern; and when the trees are matured, and the building finished, they will be much more beautiful than now. The Boulevard des Italiens is the handsomest. In the Boulevard Conti, is the superb church of St. Madeline, the interior of which is not yet completed. It is like the Bourse, or Exchange, on the model of a Grecian temple, and is built of white marble, surrounded with exquisite Corinthian pillars, and ornamented with bas-reliefs. In the Place Vendome, nearby, is the celebrated column (on the model of Trajan's,) erected by Napoleon to commemorate his victories. What a gigantic mind was Napoleon's! It is displayed as much in the monuments, edifices, and public works, which he planned and executed, as in his ambitious projects for the conquest of Europe. This column is made of cannon taken in his battles, and you must see it, in order to understand the difficulty as well as grandeur of such a project.

Returned to my room before dark; for recent examples have shown, that it is not quite safe to be out alone, late in the evening, in the streets of Paris. Several persons have been attacked and robbed, and one or two killed, in this neighborhood, within a few days.

Sunday.—Went to St. Sulpice, which is ranked as the second church in Paris, next to Notre Dame. It is Roman Catholic of course, for there are but four or five Protestant churches in all Paris! The front of St. Sulpice is very grand and imposing, but the rest is not particularly so. The interior is spacious and lofty, but far less elaborately finished and decorated than the cathedrals of England. There are large niches around the walls, enclosed with a railing, and adorned with fine paintings, an altar etc., which seemed to be private or family chapels. Several companies of children, apparently belonging to schools, were led into the church by priests in black cloth robes. These priests were reading the service in various parts of the church, and in the niches, to groups of ten or twenty; but the principal one was before the grand altar, which was richly adorned, and contrived for effect, which I cannot describe.

7th.—Went to Versailles, where there was to be a grand review, etc. The Doctor, a medical student, a New-Orleans gentleman, and myself, took a hack together, and started off about eleven o'clock. All the world had gone or were going; the vehicles of all sorts, from the superb barouche of the nobility, to the go-cart of the market folks, were innumerable. Rode along the Quai des Tuilleries and the Champs Elysées. Passed Saint Cloud, the favorite residence of Napoleon, and the scene of the bloodless revolution which gave him the government of France. Near the palace, is a column for telegraphs, by which Napoleon communicated with Paris. A certain light was a signal that he would see nobody. Neither lord nor lady must approach.


Arrived at Versailles at one. Review just over! The palace here is immensity personified. It can hardly be comprehended. From the magnificent gardens, the view of it is superb. These gardens will more than realize the most brilliant fairy scene of the Arabian Nights. They extend several miles in each direction; laid out with the most perfect neatness and order; and this is their only fault. There is too much trimming—too much exactness. If they were a little more like the wild beauty of nature, they would please my eye as well. Statuary, of all sorts, is liberally disposed throughout these vast grounds; noble avenues intersect each other at half-angles in the gardens and park; and in these the trees are so placed and trimmed as to form a grand triumphal arch; while the squares between are occupied by fountains, curiously devised, or by a bed of flowers.

'All the world and his wife' were there. Suddenly, there was a pressing toward one of the grand avenues. It was to see the King of Naples, who is now here on a visit to his aunt, the Queen of the French. The king and the French queen were in an open car, accompanied by two good-looking youths, about sixteen and eighteen, (the Dukes of Nemours and Orleans,) and the two princesses, rather pretty, and dressed with taste and marked simplicity. An elderly gentleman, next to the King of Naples, was said to be his minister or guardian, and he looks as if he needed one. He is a mustachioed, dandyish-looking fellow, and stared through his quizzing glass in a style quite amusing. The people took off their hats, as the car passed, but there was not a whisper of applause or enthusiasm.

On our return, just as we stopped at the park of St. Cloud, the French king's carriage came up, kept as close as a prison; and in a few minutes, the queen and he of Naples arrived, and stopped in the park to change horses; so we had a chance to scan them all very closely. The queen might have been handsome once, but she certainly is not now. She bowed repeatedly to some one by the carriage; but not a word was uttered, which appeared very strange.

10th.—My way to Galignani's reading-room, every morning, is through the portico of the hall of the celebrated French Institute, over the Pont des Arts, and through the quadrangles of the Louvre and Palais Royal. What a world in miniature, (and not on a very small scale either,) is this Palais Royal! A palace that would cover two or three of our squares, in the heart of the city, was converted by its proprietor, the late Duke of Orleans, into an immense bazaar; the entrance from every part being from the interior court, which is a long promenade of itself, adorned with rows of trees, fountains, and gardens. The lower floor of the palace is divided into stores, in the arcade fashion, in which are displayed every article, almost, which can be imagined or desired, for use or ornament. The jewellers are the most numerous. There are, I should think, at least three or four hundred of these shops on the first floor, and they each rent for four thousand francs per annum. The second floor is occupied by cafés, reading-rooms and by gambling-establishments, or 'hells,' and the upper stories by characters of all sorts, male and female. In short,[247] there is a specimen of every thing, good and bad, in this Palais Royal; and even the bad is made so alluring and dazzling, that altogether, it is no very difficult matter for an unwary novice there to rid himself of his superfluous cash. The imposing coup d'œil of the palace and gardens you can imagine better from the prints, than from any description.

Near the Bourse, is the Halle au Blé, an immense circular building, the dome of which is nearly as large as that of the Pantheon at Rome.

In my ramble to-day, I dropped into a church which I found to be that of Saint Roch, one of the most beautiful in Paris. Like Saint Sulpice, it has numerous private altars in the enclosures around the walls, which are adorned with fine paintings. Near the main altar, there is a representation of the sepulchre, made with real stones, and roughly placed in the supposed manner of the original, and a group of statuary, as large as life, representing the entombment. It is so well done, that the credulous devotees who were kneeling before it seemed to think it was reality. Near it is a representation of Mount Calvary and the Crucifixion, not painted, but contrived to produce a most singular effect.

In the aisle of Saint Roch, I met an English lady, and her three daughters, whom I had seen at Boulogne. Having travelled with the lady's husband, but not having been formally introduced, I passed without speaking to them. The lady turned and spoke to me, and politely invited me to call at her hotel. I mention this, as proving that the English are not always so tenacious about formal introductions as they have been represented.

Tuesday, 9th.—Walked before breakfast to the Jardin des Plants, where botanical students have the privilege of studying all the immense variety of specimens which are there displayed, in a garden of three-fourths of a mile long. A small hill in the centre is surmounted by a little bronze temple, from which there is a good prospect. On this hill are two or three Cedars of Lebanon, which are esteemed very rare and valuable; it is a beautiful tree, and quite oriental. Beside the plants in this establishment, there is a menagerie, a museum of botany and natural history, etc.

Visited the gallery of the Luxembourg, which is appropriated for paintings and sculpture by living artists. It was a rich treat. See catalogue. The garden of the Luxembourg is a beautiful promenade, but not equal to that of the Tuilleries. Nothing can exceed the gayety and brilliancy of the scene in these gardens at sunset, and early in the evening, when the thousands are enjoying the cool refreshing air, or admiring the fountains and statues. In the Tuilleries, a sculpture in bronze has been lately put up, representing a lion crushing a viper or serpent. It seems to attract much attention, as being emblematical of a strong government putting down all insurrectionary vipers.

Visited Notre-Dame. The interior architecture will not compare[248] with that of York Minster, and other English cathedrals, but it has a lighter and more cheerful appearance. It is abundantly decorated with paintings, some of which are very superior. A company of priests were chanting in the choir, in the most doleful manner imaginable. Ascended by four hundred steps to the top of the towers, from which there is a fine view of Paris and the environs. The clearness of the atmosphere renders the view much better than that from Saint Paul's. The Palais de Justice, where the courts, etc., are held, is near Notre Dame, on the Ile de Cité. The Court of Cassation are now engaged in the trial of persons lately arrested for supposed treasonable plots. Poor Louis Phillipe! thine is a throne of thorns! Thou darest not show thyself in public, lest thy life should be forfeited! Who does not envy thee! And yet, I have never learned that the king has merited these attempts on his life. The government, in spite of some severe laws, has been as liberal as the character of the people would justify.

The Bibliothèque du Roi contains eight hundred thousand volumes, the largest library in the world. I noticed a work on the topography, etc., of France, alone, in two hundred and nine large folio volumes! Connected with the library, is an immense collection of prints, and of antique medals, cameos, gems, etc. I saw the armour of the Duke of Sully, Henry IV., and several of the French generals; manuscript original letters of Racine, Molière, Bossuet, Boileau, Voltaire, Fenelon, Rousseau, etc.; manuscripts written in the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, beautifully illuminated; manuscripts in Turkish, Arabic, Coptic, Egyptian, etc., and paintings from the ruins of Thebes, probably done before Christ.

The papers announced a review of the troops before the Tuilleries, by the king, and the King of Naples, but it was changed to the Champs Elysées, and the King of France was not present. He is said to be very courageous himself, and it is only the urgent entreaties of his family and his ministers which keep him so close. He wished to have the review on the 29th, but they would not permit him. Just as I was leaving the Garden of the Tuilleries, the king arrived in a coach-and-six, preceded by a courier, and escorted by a party of dragoons. He looked out of the carriage and bowed, and I had a good opportunity to see him. The face was quite natural, and very much like the prints.

This afternoon I visited one of the most curious and interesting sights in Paris, the manufactory of the celebrated Gobelin Tapestry, where those copies of the Cartoons of Raphael, exhibited in New-York, were made. The operation appears perfectly simple, and yet I cannot understand it. The picture to be copied is hung on the wall behind the loom; the weaver sits with his back to it, and works on the back of the tapestry. It is done entirely by hand, and of course it is very slow work, six years being spent on one piece. There are about ten or twelve rooms, some of them containing two or three looms. Several of the pieces now on the looms are very beautiful, and they are, therefore, very expensive. None but kings and millionaires can afford them. Annexed to the tapestry rooms, there is a[249] manufactory of carpets, of a most princely description, uniting the thickness and durability of the Turkey carpets, with the softness and elegance of the Wilton. The colors and patterns are really superb. The carpets are always made in one piece. These, also, are such as the most wealthy only can buy.

The Pantheon, once called the Church of Saint Genevieve, is a sort of national monument. It is an elegant building, in the form of a cross, supported within and without by Corinthian pillars. The dome is particularly lofty and beautiful. On the walls, are four gilt tablets, on which are inscribed the names of two hundred and eighty-seven citizens, killed in the revolution of 1830. The crypt is fitted for the purpose of receiving monuments of distinguished persons. Our guide, with a lantern, escorted us to this subterranean region, where we 'meditated among the tombs.' Suddenly he came to a statue, and raising the lantern to the face, discovered to us features expressing a scornful sneer, which made me start. It was a statue of Voltaire. While there, another party came in, preceded by the guide and lantern, and dodging every now and then from behind the pillars of the crypt, it seemed like being in the regions of the dead. In the evening, went to see the celebrated Taglioni, at the Académie Royale de Musique, being her first appearance for some time. The house was as full as it could be packed, and I could hardly get a peep; but I saw such dancing as I never beheld before. It is most appropriately called the 'poetry of motion.' Visited an exhibition of Sevres porcelain; should like to send home a set, but it rather exceeds my purse. The Hotel des Invalides, is the largest building in Paris, if not in the world. It is an asylum for maimed and superannuated soldiers. The chapel connected with it, and especially the dome, is much admired, and is considered the finest thing of the kind in Paris. The old soldiers of Napoleon are here to be seen in their cocked hats and military dress; some with one arm, others minus a leg. They are all well taken care of, and have nothing to do. Near the Invalides, is the Ecole Militaire, and the Champs de Mars, where one hundred and fifty thousand men have been paraded.

On the banks of the river, facing the Place de Concord, is the Palace of the Chamber of Deputies, or Palace Bourbon. The Hall of Sitting is in the form of an amphitheatre, the seats raised above each other. It is very elegant, and even gay, in its decorations. The front benches are inscribed Ministres. The session of the chamber does not commence till winter. We were also shown the other apartments of the palace. Next to this is the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and farther on is the Hotel des Monnaies, or Mint. This afternoon, at five o'clock, stepped into an omnibus, in order to be at Père la Chaise at sunset. It is on an eminence near the barriers of the city. The street which leads to it was filled with women, who were making and selling those yellow wreaths, (of which I send you a specimen,) for the visitors to decorate the tombs of their friends.[250] Great numbers of these were placed on the tombs, some fresh, and others faded and dried. The cemetery is on the same plan as that at Mount Auburn, or rather Mount Auburn is on the plan of this. There are no less than thirty thousand tombs here, displaying every variety of taste and whim in the style and pattern, and filling a space of some hundred acres, the walks through which form quite a labyrinth, insomuch that the guides charge three francs to go through it, which I did not choose to pay. I found the tombs of Abelard and Helöise, Molière and La Fontaine (which are side by side, and very simple, and covered with names of visiting scribblers,) Rousseau, La Bruyère, La Place, (the author of Mécanique Celeste,) Moreau, Volney, (a plain pyramid,) and several other distinguished names. Many of the monuments are very splendid, particularly that of General Foy, and others which I cannot recollect. The inscriptions are as various as the monuments. Some are very simple: 'à mon père;' 'à notre cher ami;' 'à notre petite Julie,' etc. Many of the monuments are little chapels, with altars, candles, chairs, etc., and some even with paintings; having an iron door, of open work, so that you can look in and see the taste and superstition of the founder. It requires a whole day, at least, to take even a passing view of all the monuments. The view from the highest ground in the cemetery is very fine.

12th. I had sent a note to Prince Czartoryski, desiring to know if it was his pleasure that I should call on him. This morning I received a polite and elegantly-written note, in French, saying: 'Le Prince Czartoryski présente ses complimens à Mr. ——, et s'empresse de le prévenir qu'il aura le plaisir de l'attendre chez soi, demain à 11 h. dans la matinée.' Ce 10 Aöut, 1836. 25 Faubourg du Roule.'

I did not receive it till the day after that designated, but still I went. There did not seem to be even a porter or a servant on the premises. An old man escorted me up stairs, and knocking, the door opened where a good looking gentleman was writing. I was at a loss to know whether he was the prince or not, but he seemed to expect me. 'Monsieur ——?' 'Oui, Monsieur.' He escorted me to the next room, and took my card into another. In a few minutes, a noble-looking man, about fifty-five, came out, and taking my hand, was 'very glad to see Mr. ——;' 'walk in;' and so I was seated on a plain gingham-covered sofa, with the Prince Czartoryski. The apartments, furniture, etc., are plain almost to meanness, and the prince's pantaloons themselves looked as if they had been washed five or six times; a fact which I consider highly creditable to him. He has decidedly one of the finest, noblest countenances I ever saw. It is expressive at once of dignity, energy, and benevolence. It indicates a contempt of every thing mean.

I must confess I felt rather awkward in this my first tête-à-tête with a prince. It was so hard to have to say 'your highness' at every sentence, that I finally dropped it entirely, and answered yes, Sir, or no, Sir. He evidently expects this form, but does not insist upon it. He inquired about the condition of his countrymen in the United States; if they had obtained employment; if they conducted themselves[251] well; what gentlemen had interested themselves for them. He had not heard of Mr. Wilder, and told his secretary to take down his name. He asked if any association for the Poles existed in New-York, and if one could not be formed; if the Americans were not rather partial to Russia, and thought she had done right. This I answered very warmly, and said that, on the contrary, our country had watched with astonishment the conduct of the other powers of Europe in not interfering in behalf of Poland. That the wrongs of Poland were a favorite theme for our school-boys and school-girls.

After a conversation of half an hour or more, I took leave, the prince inviting me very cordially to call on him when I returned to Paris. The morning papers state that 'the government (of France) yesterday made an application to Prince Czartoryski for three hundred Poles to go to Spain'—for which 'party,' I did not notice.



A lay of love!—ask the lone sea,
For wealth its waves have closed upon—
A song from stern Thermopylæ—
A battle-shout from Marathon!
Look on my brow—reveals it nought?
It hideth deep rememberings
Eternal as the records wrought
Within the tombs of Egypt's kings.
Take thou the harp! I may not sing:
Awake the Teïan lay divine,
Till fire from every glowing string
Shall mingle with the flashing wine!


The Theban lyre but to the sun
Gave forth at morn its answering tone;
So mine but echoed when the one,
One sun-lit glance was o'er it thrown.
The Memnon sounds no more!—my lyre,
A veil upon thy strings is flung;
I may not wake the chords of fire—
The words which burn upon my tongue.
Fill high the cup! I may not sing;
My hand the crowning buds will twine:
Pour, till the wreath I o'er it fling,
Shall mingle with the rosy wine.


No lay of love!—the lava stream
Hath left its trace on heart and brain;
No more! no more! the maddening theme
Will wake the slumbering fires again.
Fling back the shroud on buried years—
Hail, to the ever blooming hours!
We'll fill Time's glass with ruby tears,
And twine his bald old brow with flowers.
Fill high! fill high! I may not sing—
Strike forth the Teïan lay divine,
Till fire from every glowing string
Shall mingle with the flashing wine!





'And here let me charge you, my son, that you consider nothing which bears the image of God beneath your notice, or unsusceptible of valuable lessons. The beggar imploring alms at your hands, the unhappy victim of vice, or the prey of evil passions, may speak with a voice so loud, that during your whole life, the monitory tones shall not wholly die away in your ear.'

Magnus Gonsalva.

The primary study of all mankind ever has been, and ever will be, the end by which they may attain happiness. All our energy, all our reason, and all our ingenuity, are directed to the prosecution of this one common object; but with what success, we leave those to answer who have grown old in the game of human life. Our existence is commenced and continued in its pursuit. We toil in its chase, from birth until death, with the most assiduous and unceasing application. But do we obtain it, at last? Go ask the worn-out debauchee, or the chartered libertine. Go ask the rich man in his castle, or the poor man in his hut. Ask the faded beauty, or the blooming girl. Ask the monarch, the mendicant, the world, if they have yet enjoyed one hour of real happiness—one hour, unalloyed by the remembrance of the past, or the fears of the future. It is, in truth, a shadow as intangible as our own; an ignis fatuus of our being. But ah! we cannot discover this until too late. When death is about to drop the curtain upon the closing scene of the drama of life, we may become sensible of our error; until that moment, we are in chase of a gilded phantom, that often drags us through paths of guilt and sin, and repaying us nothing in the end.

Real happiness is far from being an attribute of existence. It is, in fact, a moral impossibility that they should cöexist; and Reason never deceives herself so much, as when she deems it is within the pale of our enjoyment. Do we not know, by actual realization, that the jewel for which we have labored for years, loses its value with possession, and becomes scarce worth the purchasing? And though we may cast it aside, recognising in some other object the El Dorado of our hopes, does not that too, when obtained, like the fruit upon the shores of the Dead Sea, resolve to ashes in our grasp?

We may be partially contented, but never perfectly happy; and oh! if man but knew this, how much of sorrow and remorse would it not spare him, when the hand of Age is heavy upon him! How much alleviation would it not bring to the bed of sickness—how much of hope to the departing spirit!

Yet, although it is written in the book of destiny, that the principal aim of our lives shall be for ever perverted, it is not to be supposed that this disappointment will render us miserable. The evils of existence act differently upon mankind; and where you will find one who is made unhappy by the operation of some untoward circumstance, you will find a second whose equanimity would scarcely be disturbed by a much more aggravated misfortune.

Among those so happily constituted as to confront adversity with indifference, may be numbered the hero of this sketch; an individual[253] whose age was probably three-and-twenty, and whose name was universally admitted to be John Thomas Tumbler, Jr., his sire bearing the like Christian appellatives.

Mr. Tumbler, Jr., was an individual whom those in a more elevated sphere would term a 'loafer.' Now why one body of the human family should classify another by so impolite a distinction, may be, to the uninitiated in the ways of the world, a matter of surprise. To us, however, it is perfectly explicable, since it serves to carry out one of the immutable principles of our nature, which is ——. But no matter; we will not animadvert; for as well might the wave that foams at the foot of Gibraltar, essay to destroy the mountain rock, as we to change, by censure or deprecation, that gigantic and inveterate evil.

John Thomas Tumbler, Jr. was not rich; on the contrary, he was very poor, and, indeed, but little versed in the knowledge of the coin of his country. But John Thomas had that opulence of feeling which supplies the place of wealth, and which wealth itself cannot at all times supply; that internal independence, which buoys up the spirit, and defies adversity. In his youth, he had been industrious, and no boy was more persevering and successful in researches for old copper, nails, bits of lead, and such little valuables; but as he verged into manhood, his ideas expanded, and those pursuits were abandoned, as vocations too insignificant for one who bore the image of the universal Creator. In fact, Mr. Tumbler, Jr. considered it undignified to labor at all, and so determined to lead a life of ease and relaxation.

When first our gentleman came to this resolve, he was tolerably well attired. His coat, though thread-bare, and somewhat greasy in the vicinity of the elbows, looked, nevertheless, partially genteel; and though many parts of it were preserved in a state of adhesion by divers pins, it was still without that symptom of poverty, a patch. His breast, at this interesting period of his life, was defended from the inclemencies of the weather, by a double-breasted velvet vest, which had been manufactured some twenty years before for the comfort of some corpulent citizen, and which now hung about Mr. Tumbler with the graceful foldings of a Roman toga. Of his pantaloons and hat, we shall say little, save that they were somewhat venerable; and of his shirt, we can have nothing to say, he having long since repudiated that garment, as an article of dress totally superfluous.

It was customary with Mr. Tumbler, Jr., in those halcyon days, to drop (or rather, as he expressed it, 'happen') in the coffee-houses, at about eleven o'clock, every day, that being the hour when the lunch was set out for customers. At such times, Mr. Tumbler was frequently known to make some very odd mistakes, such, for example, as drinking the liquor of some other individual, who might have been so negligent as to put his glass down for a moment, while he helped himself to a mouthful of the eatables. But these little errors are incident to an absent-minded man, and might have been passed over unnoticed, had not Mr. Tumbler, on a later occasion, been discovered in the act of abstracting a handkerchief from the coat-pocket of a gentleman who was standing at the bar; for which offence he was very unceremoniously ejected from the premises, with an invitation from the keeper to call, in future, 'once in a great while.'


Mr. Tumbler was, happily for his circumstances, not a particular man. He dwelt any where and every where, and might justly be termed a 'promiscuous' lodger. He had, it is true, a particular stall in the market-house, which he sometimes occupied at night; but Mr. Tumbler had serious objections to sleeping there. 'The flies' he said, 'made it inconwenient in the morning, and the benches was werry often left dirty, by the negligence of the butchers:' beside, he was 'roused out, o' market mornings, at early day-light, vich was uncommon uncomfortable!'

He was a constant attendant upon horse-races, and the like gatherings. He usually repaired thither with a small capital of two or three dollars, and a 'sweat-cloth,' 'merely,' as he said, 'to occupy his mind, and turn an honest penny or two.' He was, moreover, an accomplished thimble-player, and would bet 'twenty-five, fifty, or seventy-five cents, that no gentlemen could tell where the ball was!' At a certain cock-fight, Mr. Tumbler was exceedingly vociferous in his encouragement of a certain white bantam, engaged in the combat.

'Go it my darling!' exclaimed he, looking exultingly upon his favorite. 'That's the way to tell it, my bully! Give it to him, my little whitey!'

'Hurra for dat red cock!' said a colored gentleman, looking sideways at Mr. Tumbler, in a species of defiance.

'Hurra for the white cock!' again ejaculated Mr. Tumbler.

'Hurra for de red cock!' responded his sable adversary.

'A dollar on the white cock!' exclaimed our hero.

'Done! I take dat bet!' answered the colored gentleman.

The stakes were accordingly produced, and deposited in the hands of a gentleman of rather inelegant appearance, in a rough bell-crowned hat, who by-the-by was one of Mr. Tumbler's particular friends.

'Hurra for the white cock!' again shouted Mr. Tumbler.

'Hurra for de red cock!' again shouted the colored gentleman.

Presently the red cock gave his white adversary a thrust with his gaff, which put out one of his eyes, and nearly closed the engagement. As soon as Mr. Tumbler perceived this, he thrust the spectators aside, and going close up to the ring, he sung out: 'Hurra for the red cock, as I said before.' 'What you hurra for dat cock for!' exclaimed Sambo; hurra for your own cock, 'f you please!'

'Hurra for the red cock, as I said before!' exclaimed Mr. Tumbler, unheeding the remark of his opponent—'Hurra for the red cock!'

At length the white cock was fairly defeated, and Mr. Tumbler turned to the holder of the stakes, and demanded the money, which was given him, in spite of the remonstrances of the 'gen'leman o' color,' who claimed to have won the bet. The conduct of Mr. Tumbler in this affair appeared certainly not very honorable; but it would be unjust to censure him, without knowing whether or not he was in error as to the cock he bet upon. At all events, the subsequent coldness and self-possession which he maintained, under a strain of abuse showered upon him by the colored gentleman, was commendable in the extreme. He listened to it all as mildly as if it had been a glowing eulogium upon the excellence of his character; and when the enraged Ethiopian had finished, he turned leisurely upon his[255] heel, and walked away. This was perhaps one of the most striking illustrations of Mr. Tumbler's mental superiority. It was indeed a feature of real greatness; for he who conquers his passion, as Mr. Tumbler evidently did, does more than he who commands armies; at least so said, I believe, the sage Socrates; an authority which none of us moderns have presumed to dispute.

There are many inclinations of our youth which are even strengthened with our years; and a slight tendency to a particular object in our boyhood, often becomes with us a passion in after life. Mr. Tumbler had, at a very early age, evinced a particular affection for saccharine substances, which affection had grown with his growth, until it became a leading disposition of his character. And even so late as the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, John Thomas Tumbler, Jr. might be often seen in the interior of a sugar hogshead, assiduously scooping out with his thumb-nail, and appropriating to the gratification of his palate, such small quantities of the article as had been left by the improvident grocer in the crevices of the staves. But, on the other hand, there are predilections far more dangerous, which we sometimes suddenly conceive, and of which we become totally unable to divest ourselves. Among these evils, the greatest is undoubtedly the love of stimulus. Mr. Tumbler at length became fond of his toddy; and from that moment we may date his decline. There were, however, palliations to be admitted for Mr. Tumbler—excuses which many who plunge into the vortex of dissipation sadly lack. His was a monotonous life, void alike of excitement, object, and interest. It was, then, a matter of course, that he should seek artificial means to supply a natural deficiency. In fact, this was almost necessary to existence. But alas! the gratification of this propensity brought on his ruin; and in the small space of six months, so complete a revolution was effected in the appearance of our hero, that he could scarcely be recognised as the same individual who was wont to frequent the market-house but a very short time before.

One day he was leaning against a post, reflecting upon the expedient he should next devise to obtain a 'horn,' when his forlorn appearance attracted the attention of a gentleman, who stopped a moment to observe more completely his wretchedness. John Thomas perceived this, and thought it a moment and an opportunity not to be disregarded. So, crossing the street, he addressed the stranger, informing him, in moving accents, that he was 'a poor miserable cre'tur, 'at hadn't had nothing to eat for upwards of some time, and 'at hadn't seen a bed, for God knows when!' The stranger, in consideration of his distressing situation, gave him a small piece of money; and the mendicant, after satisfying himself of its value, very politely invited his benefactor to go and take a drink with him!

It may not be amiss here, to describe the habiliments of John Thomas, in contrast with the appearance they presented some months before. The article which adorned his head, would not, at first sight, have been taken for a hat. The crown and body were not as closely allied as they had once been. The former now hung back, attached only by a slight ligament to the latter. Interesting pieces of rim were here and there observable; and its original color had long[256] since been changed to a greasy brown. His coat, the donation of some charitable Falstaff, might have been altered to have fitted better, infinitely better. The body hung down some three or four inches below the hips, while the skirt, as he promenaded, almost swept the ground. The sleeves were rolled up at the elbows, much to the prejudice of the appearance of the lining; and the collar behind formed an admirable barricade for the preservation of the latter part of Mr. Tumbler's head. In truth, that gentleman himself was once heard to remark, that 'it was wastly conwenient as a pillow.' Of his vest we have already spoken; and it needs but to add, that time had somewhat impaired it, and that although but one button graced its ample front, it was still a garment not to be deemed entirely valueless. His pantaloons could not have been derived from the same source as the coat, for they fitted him with a tightness which absolutely jeopardized them at every movement, and gave to his person, as he moved along, the appearance of a huge penguin. His boots were likewise very venerable, and but for the sake of appearances, as John Thomas himself very truly observed, he might as well be entirely bare-footed. The sole of one of them, however, though but partially attached to the upper, was perfect of itself; although the big toe protruded from the breach with an obstinacy truly mortifying to the sensibility of the wearer, who would sit upon a fire-plug, and contemplate it with that humiliation which we are all apt to feel on similar occasions. The sole of the other boot had 'long since vanished,' as Count Rhodolpho sings in 'La Somnambula;' and the upper, which was immensely capacious, would sometimes slew so far round, as to disclose to observation the whole of his right foot. This was a matter of more vexation to him than the imperfection of its fellow; for he was often obliged to confine its sides with pieces of twine, in order to keep it in its proper place; an occupation extremely irksome, and but ill adapted to his easy propensities.

Mr. Tumbler was not only a lover of music, but was likewise a professor of the divine art. During the delightful summer evenings, he would sit for hours on some cellar-door, producing strains from a jews-harp, whose melody floated enchantingly upon the air, adding still more to the witchery of the time, and causing a secret wish to arise, that it might be evening all the year round. There is a sympathy in music not to be withstood; and when a particular chord is struck, if it find a unison in human feeling, the sternest heart must melt at its thrill. Upon a particular moonlight night, our hero established himself upon a door-sill, and taking out his instrument, commenced the beautiful and pathetic ballad of 'Lord Lovell and Lady Nancy.' For a while he played on with no more interest than a performer usually exhibits in the execution of a piece. At length, however, he began to revert to the sorrows of the Lady Nancy, and the tears were seen stealing, one by one, down his countenance. Thought begat thought, and sympathy begat sympathy, until Mr. Tumbler, overpowered by his feelings, took the jews-harp from his mouth, and commenced sobbing like a child. For a full half hour he continued to weep, and might have kept on for an hour longer, had not a hard-hearted servant girl emptied a bucket of ancient soap-suds upon him,[257] from the third-story window. This libation at once cooled his sorrows. Shaking the unpleasing liquid from his garments, he crossed over to the market-house, in order to seek that repose which always waits upon innocence and self-approbation.

We come now to one of the darkest passages of our hero's life; an event which we chronicle with a tear; and which nothing but an imperative sense of duty, as faithful biographers, would compel us to narrate. There breathes not the man, no matter where you may seek him, whose career has been, in every instance, one of purity, who can look back upon his past life, without remembering some action that brings a feeling of remorse, and who can declare upon his honor that he has done nothing but what has been perfectly justifiable in the eyes of God and his fellow-men. Why then should it be expected that Mr. Tumbler should prove an exception to all mankind? It is not to be—it ought not to be.

Mr. Tumbler was one day passing along the street, when his attention was arrested by a stone jug, which he observed beside an awning-post. He stopped, looked a moment at the vessel, and then at the pavers who were working in the street, and to whom the jug evidently belonged. Mr. Tumbler then reflected a moment, turned about to satisfy himself that no one observed him, picked up the jug, shook it, reconnoitred again, hesitated an instant, and placing it under his coat, leisurely walked on. Unfortunately, however, for his success, the jug was missed. He was seen, suspected, pursued, caught, and taken by the collar before his honor the mayor. That dispenser of justice was induced to believe that he was an old offender; and accordingly ordered his pockets to be examined. But however Mr. Tumbler might have erred, in regard to the abstraction of the jug, he was nevertheless innocent of other crimes of the kind; and nothing rewarded the search, save an onion, and the fragment of a Bologna sausage. He was, however, in consequence of the affair on hand, imprisoned in the city gaol for the space of thirty days; which confinement, we have been informed, he bore with the resignation of a Christian, and the fortitude of a hero. At length he was released; but he came out an altered man. His spirits had been broken down by the disgrace he had suffered, and he now plunged deeper than ever into dissipation, seeking in its excitement to drive away the memory of the past. Happy, indeed, would it have been, had his sensibilities been less refined; but, like the flower which shrinks from the touch, he avoided all intercourse with his fellow-men, wrapping himself up in the gloom of his own thoughts, neglecting his jews-harp, neglecting himself, and neglected by the world.

Not a great while after our hero's release from incarceration, he might have been observed strolling leisurely along the wharf, with the manner of one who has no definite object of pursuit, and who is willing to amuse himself with whatever the time and place might present. As his eye rolled onward, he espied a cask, upon the head of which was written, in large black letters, the word 'Cogniac.' But he little thought that fatal word was to him what the hand-writing upon the wall had been to the mighty Belshazzar. He little thought that the simple word 'Cogniac' was applied to him, at that moment, in as terrible a warning as was the 'Mene, mene, tekel,[258] upharsin!' which foretold to the Chaldean king the destruction of his life and empire.

He regarded the cask for a moment, and then throwing his right leg over, he mounted it. Seating himself firmly, he looked briefly about him. Satisfied that he was unobserved, he very deliberately drew a large gimlet from his pocket, and commenced boring a hole in one of the staves, gazing over the river the while, as if attracted by some interesting object on the opposite shore. When the perforation was complete, he returned the instrument to his pocket, and took an additional survey of the premises. Seeing that he was not watched by any one, he produced the end of a tin tube—manufactured expressly for such occasions—from beneath his vest, and inserting it in the hole, applied his mouth to the other extremity of the conductor, which protruded from the upper part of the garment, and in this manner commenced extracting the contents of the cask. For the space of an hour, he remained in one position, not even stirring a limb. At length the curiosity of a passer-by was excited by his appearance; and going up to the cask, he was surprised to find a man, as he thought, asleep. The stranger shook him for a moment, as if to awaken him; and when he relaxed his grasp, our hero tumbled to the ground. Astonished that the fall did not rouse him, the stranger stooped down to examine his features. They were fixed and rigid. He took his hand; it was cold as marble. He felt for his pulse; but it had ceased for ever. To make use of a novel phrase, 'the vital spark was extinguished.' Mr. Tumbler had gone to a land of 'pure spirits;' a place which he often said he longed to visit; since the spirits he was in the habit of imbibing here were generally any thing but pure.

Thus died, in the prime of life, John Thomas Tumbler, Jr., a man whom nature had endowed with many excellent qualities, which were, however, all perverted by one vicious and unconquerable propensity. Under more favorable circumstances, he might have proved an ornament to society. Avoided, on all occasions, by the respectable of his species; treated with broad indifference, if not contumely; a subject of jest and ridicule for every body; how can we suppose he could burst these shackles, and soar to distinction? Emulation withered beneath the persecution which attended him through life, and which, we blush to say, did not cease with his death; for the papers, in noticing his demise, merely remarked, with cruel brevity: 'A loafer was found dead upon the wharf this morning.'


How awful is that hour, when conscience stings
The hoary wretch, who on his death-bed hears,
Deep in his soul, the thundering voice that rings,
In one dark, damning moment, crimes of years,
And screaming like a vulture in his ears,
Tells one by one his thoughts and deeds of shame;
How wild the fury of his soul careers!
His swart eye flashes with intensest flame,
And like the torture's rack, the wrestling of his frame!

J. G. Percival.



Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. By J. G. Lockhart. Part Second. pp. 198. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and Blanchard.

In a notice of the first part of these Memoirs, we expressed an intention of renewing our broken intercourse with them, as they should appear, at intervals. The publication of two additional parts gives us ample scope for selection; and indeed this is all that a reviewer, not inclined to iterate, or 'bestow his tediousness' upon the reader, will be disposed to do. The pages before us are crowded with incidents, and with characteristic sketches of the personal and literary every-day life of their subject; and these, in themselves abundantly attractive, are rendered still more so, as we have already elsewhere remarked, by the pleasant style of the biographer, who will win enduring fame by this contribution to a literature which he had before not a little enriched.

Before entering upon our extracts, we cannot avoid remarking, that throughout the minuter history of the illustrious poet and novelist here presented, we are enabled to see the great secret of a literary career, unparalleled since the era of Shakspeare, if he who wrote for all mankind may be said to have had, or to have, an era. He stands forth, in these volumes, a shining example to all authors who would win a permanent hold upon the public regard. He studied humanity, and the works of nature. He did not content himself with portraying the invisible and non-existent, and with conceiving scenes and personages which have no counterparts in nature or in common life. He held rapt intercourse with the mountains, rivers, and vales of Scotland; and he sought the teachings of those natural instructors, the green fields. His ear was ever open to the 'silent voice of Nature, speaking in forms and colors.' The humblest peasant was a picture, and his qualities a study; and the lightest shade of character, in high or low, was not beneath his scrutiny. To this careful perception of nature, in all its forms and phases, he added a course of reading more various and extended, we cannot doubt, than any contemporary on the globe. But, unlike the many who lard their lean books with the fat of other authors, he read only to digest, and to fuse his mind; hence, his resources were never exhausted, even when he was a gray soldier in the literary field, wherein he had borne arms so nobly and so long. How numerous the chaotic fictions, how many the trumpery novels, how large the amount of still-born poetry, now sunk into waste paper and oblivion, which might have been saved to the world, had their producers but followed the example of the author of Waverley! How much worse than useless labor might have been saved to the thousands who, unable to inform have striven to please, and have borne their ponderous loads into the literary mart, and expanded them on the stalls of their hapless publishers! We cannot but hope that, primarily, the publication of these Memoirs will be widely beneficial to novelists and poets, and secondarily, to[260] the reading public; that they will improve the taste of those authors who are content to indulge in superficialities merely; to amuse the imagination, and convey infection to love-sick damsels, without satisfying the judgment, or touching the heart. So mote it be!

We commence our extracts with a brief history of the Lay of the Last Minstrel, a poem 'which has now kept its place for nearly a third of a century:'

"It is curious to trace the small beginnings and gradual development of his design. The lovely Countess of Dalkeith bears a wild rude legend of Border diablerie, and sportively asks him to make it the subject of a ballad. He had been already laboring in the elucidation of the 'quaint Inglis' ascribed to an ancient seer and bard of the same district, and perhaps completed his own sequel, intending the whole to be included in the third volume of the Minstrelsy. He assents to Lady Dalkeith's request, and casts about for some new variety of diction and rhyme, which might be adopted without impropriety in a closing strain for the same collection. Sir John Stoddart's casual recitation, a year or two before, of Coleridge's unpublished Christabel, had fixed the music of that noble fragment in his memory; and it occurs to him, that by throwing the story of Gilpin Horner into somewhat of a similar cadence, he might produce such an echo of the later metrical romance, as would serve to connect his Conclusion of the primitive Sir Tristrem with his imitations of the common popular ballad in the Grey Brother and Eve of St. John. A single scene of feudal festivity in the hall of Branksome, disturbed by some pranks of a nondescript goblin, was probably all that he contemplated; but his accidental confinement in the midst of a volunteer camp gave him leisure to meditate his theme to the sound of the bugle; and suddenly there flashes on him the idea of extending his simple outline, so as to embrace a vivid panorama of that old Border life of war and tumult, and all earnest passions, with which his researches on the 'Minstrelsy' had by degrees fed his imagination, until every the minutest feature had been taken home and realized with unconscious intenseness of sympathy; so that he had won for himself in the past another world, hardly less complete or familiar than the present. Erskine or Cranstoun suggests that he would do well to divide the poem into cantos, and prefix to each of them a motto explanatory of the action, after the fashion of Spenser in the Faëry Queen. He pauses for a moment—and the happiest conception of the frame-work of a picturesque narrative that ever occurred to any poet—one that Homer might have envied—the creation of the ancient harper, starts to life. By such steps did the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel' grow out of the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.'

"A word more of its felicitous machinery. It was at Bowhill that the Countess of Dalkeith requested a ballad on Gilpin Horner. The ruined castle of Newark closely adjoins that seat, and is now indeed included within its pleasance. Newark had been the chosen residence of the first Duchess of Buccleuch, and he accordingly shadows out his own beautiful friend in the person of her lord's ancestress, the last of the original stock of that great house; himself the favored inmate of Bowhill, introduced certainly to the familiarity of its circle in consequence of his devotion to the poetry of a by-past age, in that of an aged minstrel, 'the last of all the race,' seeking shelter at the gate of Newark, in days when many an adherent of the fallen cause of Stewart—his own bearded ancestor, who had fought at Killiekrankie, among the rest—owed their safety to her who

'In pride of power, in beauty's bloom,
Had wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb.'"

The profits, to Scott, from the several editions of this poem were £769. The sales are given as follows:

"The first edition of the Lay was a magnificent quarto, 750 copies; but this was soon exhausted, and there followed an octavo impression of 1500; in 1806, two more, one of 2000 copies, another of 2550; in 1807, a fifth edition of 2000, and a sixth of 3000; in 1803, 3550; in 1809, 3000—a small edition in quarto (the ballads and lyrical pieces being then annexed to it,) and another octavo edition of 3250; in 1811, 3000; in 1812, 3000; in 1816, 3000; in 1823, 1000. A fourteenth impression of 2000 foolscap appeared in 1825; and besides all this, before the end of 1836, 11,000 copies had gone forth in the collected editions of his poetical works. Thus, nearly forty-four thousand copies had been disposed of in this country, and by the legitimate trade alone, before he superintended the edition of 1830, to which his biographical introductions were prefixed. In the history of British Poetry, nothing had ever equalled the demand for the Lay of the Last Minstrel."

Subsequently to a very interesting account of Scott's partnership with Ballantine, and of his entering actively upon numerous literary projects—including his editions[261] of the British poets, Ancient English Chronicles, Dryden, commencement of Waverley, etc.,—we find the following account of his personal habits of industry:

"He rose by five o'clock, lit his own fire, when the season required one, and shaved and dressed with great deliberation—for he was a very martinet as to all but the mere coxcomberies of the toilet, not abhorring effeminate dandyism itself so cordially as the slightest approach to personal slovenliness, or even those 'bed-gown and slipper tricks,' as he called them, in which literary men are so apt to indulge. Arrayed in his shooting-jacket, or whatever dress he meant to use till dinner time, he was seated at his desk by six o'clock, all his papers arranged before him in the most accurate order, and his books of reference marshalled around him on the floor, while at least one favorite dog lay watching his eye, just beyond the line of circumvallation. Thus, by the time the family assembled for breakfast between nine and ten, he had done enough (in his own language) 'to break the neck of the day's work.' After breakfast, a couple of hours more were given to his solitary tasks, and by noon he was, as he used to say, 'his own man.' When the weather was bad, he would labor incessantly all the morning; but the general rule was to be out and on horseback by one o'clock at the latest; while, if any more distant excursion had been proposed over night, he was ready to start on it by ten; his occasional rainy days of unintermitted study forming, as he said, a fund in his favor, out of which he was entitled to draw for accommodation whenever the sun shone with special brightness.

"It was another rule, that every letter he received should be answered that same day. Nothing else could have enabled him to keep abreast with the flood of communications that in the sequel put his good nature to the severest test; but already the demands on him in this way also were numerous; and he included attention to them among the necessary business which must be despatched before he had a right to close his writing-box, or, as he phrased it, 'to say out damned spot, and be a gentleman.' In turning over his enormous mass of correspondence, I have almost invariably found some indication that, when a letter had remained more than a day or two unanswered, it had been so because he found occasion for inquiry or deliberate consideration."

In illustration of the correctness of the remarks which introduce these extracts, we give the following passage from a letter of an early friend of Scott to his biographer. It is unnecessary to say, that it is kindred with numerous others which might be selected:

"One of our earliest expeditions was to visit the wild scenery of the mountainous tract above Moffat, including the cascade of the 'Gray Mare's Tail,' and the dark tarn called 'Loch Skene.' In our ascent to the lake, we got completely bewildered in the thick fog which generally envelopes the rugged features of that lonely region; and, as we were groping through the maze of bogs, the ground gave way, and down went horse and horsemen pell-mell into a slough of peaty mud and black water, out of which, entangled as we were with our plaids and floundering nags, it was no easy matter to get extricated. Indeed, unless we had prudently left our gallant steeds at a farm-house below, and borrowed hill ponies for the occasion, the result might have been worse than laughable. As it was, we rose like the spirits of the bog, covered cap-à-pie with slime, to free themselves from which, our wily ponies took to rolling about on the heather, and we had nothing for it but following their example. At length, as we approached the gloomy loch, a huge eagle heaved himself from the margin and rose right over us, screaming his scorn of the intruders; and altogether it would be impossible to picture any thing more desolately savage than the scene which opened, as if raised by enchantment on purpose to gratify the poet's eye; thick folds of fog rolling incessantly over the face of the inky waters, but rent asunder now in one direction, and then in another—so as to afford us a glimpse of some projecting rock or naked point of land, or island, bearing a few scraggy stumps of pine—and then closing again in universal darkness upon the cheerless waste. Much of the scenery of Old Mortality was drawn from that day's ride.

"It was also in the course of this excursion that we encountered that amusing personage introduced into Guy Mannering as 'Tod Gabbie,' though the appellation by which he was known in the neighborhood was 'Tod Willie.' He was one of these itinerants who gain a subsistence among the moorland farmers by relieving them of foxes, pole-cats, and the like depredators—a half-witted, stuttering, and most original creature."

The subjoined extract will serve to show the great humility with which Scott bore his literary honors, at a time when he was beleaguered by the importunities of fashionable admirers. His bearing, says Mr. Lockhart, when first exposed to such influences, was exactly what it was to the end. The Border Minstrel is writing from London, whither he had proceeded upon business connected with an important[262] prospective situation as Clerk of the Edinburgh Sessions, a lucrative and desirable station:

"It will give you pleasure to learn that, notwithstanding some little rubs, I have been able to carry through the transaction which your lordship sanctioned by your influence and approbation, and that in a way very pleasing to my own feelings. Lord Spencer, upon the nature of the transaction being explained in an audience with which he favored me, was pleased to direct the commission to be issued, as an act of justice, regretting, he said, it had not been from the beginning his own deed. This was doing the thing handsomely, and like an English nobleman. I have been very much fêted and caressed here, almost indeed to suffocation, but have been made amends by meeting some old friends. One of the kindest was Lord Somerville, who volunteered introducing me to Lord Spencer, as much, I am convinced, from respect to your lordship's protection and wishes, as from a desire to serve me personally. He seemed very anxious to do any thing in his power which might evince a wish to be of use to your protegé. Lord Minto was also infinitely kind and active, and his influence with Lord Spencer would, I am convinced, have been stretched to the utmost in my favor, had not Lord Spencer's own view of the subject been perfectly sufficient.

"After all, a little literary reputation is of some use here. I suppose Solomon, when he compared a good name to a pot of ointment, meant that it oiled the hinges of the hall-doors into which the possessors of that inestimable treasure wished to penetrate. What a good name was in Jerusalem, a known name seems to be in London. If you are celebrated for writing verses or for slicing cucumbers, for being two feet taller or two feet less than any other biped, for acting plays when you should be whipped at school, or for attending schools and institutions when you should be preparing for your grave, your notoriety becomes a talisman—'an Open Sesame' before which every thing gives way—till you are voted a bore, and discarded for a new plaything. As this is a consummation of notoriety which I am by no means ambitious of experiencing, I hope I shall be very soon able to shape my course northward, to enjoy my good fortune at my leisure."

Elsewhere, a friend thus describes his bearing, in the presence of his London entertainers:

"'Scott,' his friend says, 'more correctly than any other man I ever knew, appreciated the value of that apparently enthusiastic engouement which the world of London shows to the fashionable wonder of the year. During the sojourn of 1809, the homage paid him would have turned the head of any less gifted man of eminence. It neither altered his opinions, nor produced the affectation of despising it; on the contrary, he received it, cultivated it, and repaid it in his own coin. 'All this is very flattering,' he would say, 'and very civil; and if people are amused with hearing me tell a parcel of old stories, or recite a pack of ballads to lovely young girls and gaping matrons, they are easily pleased, and a man would be very ill-natured who would not give pleasure so cheaply conferred.' If he dined with us, and found any new faces, 'Well, do you want me to play lion to-day?' was his usual question; 'I will roar, if you like it, to your heart's content.' He would, indeed, in such cases, put forth all his inimitable powers of entertainment; and day after day surprised me by their unexpected extent and variety. Then, as the party dwindled, and we were left alone, he laughed at himself, quoted, 'Yet know that I one Snug the joiner am—no lion fierce,' etc.,—and was at once himself again.

"He often lamented the injurious effects for literature and genius resulting from the influence of London celebrity on weaker minds, especially in the excitement of ambition for this subordinate and ephemeral reputation du salon. 'It may be a pleasant gale to sail with,' he said, 'but it never yet led to a port that I should like to anchor in.'"

In relation to the delightful introductory epistles to Marmion, we find the following:

"He frequently wandered far from home, attended only by his dog, and would return late in the evening, having let hours after hours slip away among the soft and melancholy wildernesses where Yarrow creeps from her fountains. The lines,

'Oft in my mind such thoughts awake,
By lone Saint Mary's silent lake,' &c.

paint a scene not less impressive than what Byron found amidst the gigantic pines of the forest of Ravenna; and how completely does he set himself before us in the moment of his gentler and more solemn inspiration, by the closing couplet,

'Your horse's hoof-tread sounds too rude,
So stilly is the solitude.'

But when the theme was of a more stirring order, he enjoyed pursuing it over brake and fell, at the full speed of his Lieutenant. I well remember his saying, as I rode with him[263] across the hills from Ashestiel to Newark one day in his declining years: 'Oh, man, I had many a grand gallop among these braes when I was thinking of Marmion, but a trotting canny pony must serve me now.' His friend, Mr. Skene, however, informs me, that many of the more energetic descriptions, and particularly that of the battle of Flodden, were struck out while he was in quarters again with his cavalry, in the autumn of 1807. 'In the intervals of drilling,' he says, 'Scott used to delight in walking his powerful black steed up and down by himself upon the Portobello sands, within the beating of the surge; and now and then you would see him plunge in his spurs and go off as if at the charge, with the spray dashing about him.' As we rode back to Musselburgh, he often came and placed himself beside me to repeat the verses that he had been composing during these pauses of our exercise."

We should be glad to follow the biographer through his account of the production of 'Marmion,' and to present some of the numerous criticisms which were received from the various personal friends of the author. Our space, however, will not permit. The popularity of the poem may be estimated from the fact, that more than fifty thousand copies of the work were subsequently sold in Great Britain alone.

Scott's personal appearance, at this period, is thus described by Miss Seward:

"'On Friday last,' she says, 'the poetically great Walter Scott came 'like a sun-beam to my dwelling.' This proudest boast of the Caledonian muse is tall, and rather robust than slender, but lame in the same manner as Mr. Hayley, and in a greater measure. Neither the contour of his face, nor yet his features, are elegant; his complexion healthy, and somewhat fair, without bloom. We find the singularity of brown hair and eye-lashes, with flaxen eyebrows, and a countenance open, ingenuous, and benevolent. When seriously conversing, or earnestly attentive, though his eyes are rather of a lightish gray, deep thought is on their lids; he contracts his brow, and the rays of genius gleam aslant from the orbs beneath them. An upper lip too long prevents his mouth from being decidedly handsome; but the sweetest emanations of temper and heart play about it, when he talks cheerfully, or smiles; and in company, he is much oftener gay than contemplative. His conversation—an overflowing fountain of brilliant wit, apposite allusion, and playful archness—while on serious themes it is nervous and eloquent; the accent decidedly Scotch, yet by no means broad. On the whole, no expectation is disappointed which his poetry must excite in all who feel the power and graces of human inspiration."

We pass the details of his extraordinary literary labors and successes, to present two or three extracts, which serve to show us the man. A friend of the biographer's thus compares Scott and Jeffrey, whom he met at a dinner-party in Edinburgh:

"'There were,' he says, 'only a few people besides the two lions—and assuredly I have seldom passed a more agreeable day. A thousand subjects of literature, antiquities, and manners were started; and much was I struck, as you may well suppose, by the extent, correctness, discrimination, and accuracy of Jeffrey's information; equally so with his taste, acuteness, and wit in dissecting every book, author, and story that came in our way. Nothing could surpass the variety of his knowledge, but the easy rapidity of his manner of producing it. He was then in his meridian. Scott delighted to draw him out, delighted also to talk himself, and displayed, I think, even a larger range of anecdote and illustration; remembering every thing, whether true or false, that was characteristic or impressive; every thing that was good, or lovely, or lively. It struck me that there was this great difference: Jeffrey, for the most part, entertained us, when books were under discussion, with the detection of faults, blunders, absurdities, or plagiarisms. Scott took up the matter where he left it, recalled some compensating beauty or excellence for which no credit had been allowed, and by the recitation, perhaps, of one fine stanza, set the poor victim on his legs again."

Here is a picture of his fine feeling of domestic attachment:

"Mr. and Mrs. Morritt reached Edinburgh soon after this letter was written. Scott showed them the lions of the town and its vicinity, exactly as if he had nothing else to attend to but their gratification; and Mr. Morritt recollects with particular pleasure one long day spent in rambling along the Esk by Roslin and Hawthornden,

'Where Johnson sat in Drummond's social shade,'

down to the old haunts of Lasswade."

"'When we approached that village,' says the memorandum with which Mr. Morritt favors me, 'Scott, who had laid hold of my arm, turned along the road in a direction not leading to the place where the carriage was to meet us. After walking some[264] minutes towards Edinburgh, I suggested that we were losing the scenery of the Esk, and, besides, had Dalkeith Palace yet to see. 'Yes,' said he, 'and I have been bringing you where there is little enough to be seen—only that Scotch cottage' (one by the road side, with a small garth); 'but, though not worth looking at, I could not pass it. It was our first country-house when newly married, and many a contrivance we had to make it comfortable. I made a dining-table for it with my own hands. Look at those two miserable willow-trees on either side the gate into the enclosure: they are tied together at the top to be an arch, and a cross made of two sticks over them is not yet decayed. To be sure it is not much of a lion to show a stranger; but I wanted to see it again myself, for I assure you that after I had constructed it, mamma (Mrs. Scott) and I both of us thought it so fine, we turned out to see it by moonlight, and walked backwards from it to the door, in admiration of our own magnificence and its picturesque effect. I did want to see if it was still there: so now we will look after the barouche, and make the best of our way to Dalkeith.' Such were the natural feelings that endeared the Author of Marmion and the Lay to those who 'saw him in his happier hours of social pleasure.'"

A brief paragraph or two, descriptive of Scott's feelings when he first called the now classic grounds of Abbotsford his own, must close our quotations for the present:

"As my lease of this place is out, I have bought, for about 4000 pounds, a property in the neighborhood, extending along the banks of the river Tweed for about half a mile. It is very bleak at present, having little to recommend it but the vicinity of the river; but as the ground is well adapted by nature to grow wood, and is considerably various in form and appearance, I have no doubt that by judicious plantations it may be rendered a very pleasant spot; and it is at present my great amusement to plan the various lines which may be necessary for that purpose. The farm comprehends about a hundred acres, of which I shall keep fifty in pasture and tillage, and plant all the rest, which will be a very valuable little possession in a few years, as wood bears a high price among us. I intend building a small cottage for my summer abode, being obliged by law, as well as induced by inclination, to make this country my residence for some months every year. This is the greatest incident which has lately taken place in our domestic concerns; and I assure you we are not a little proud of being greeted as laird and lady of Abbotsford. We will give a grand gala when we take possession of it, and as we are very clannish in this corner, all the Scots in the country, from the duke to the peasant, shall dance on the green to the bagpipes, and drink whiskey-punch." * * * "The same week he says to Joanna Baillie: 'My dreams about my cottage go on; of about a hundred acres I have manfully resolved to plant from sixty to seventy; as to my scale of dwelling, why, you shall see my plan when I have adjusted it. My present intention is to have only two spare bed-rooms, with dressing-rooms, each of which will, on a pinch, have a couch-bed; but I cannot relinquish my Border principle of accommodating all the cousins and duniwastles, who will rather sleep on chairs, and on the floor, and in the hay-loft, than be absent when folks are gathered together; and truly I used to think Ashestiel was very much like the tent of Paribanou, in the Arabian Nights, that suited alike all numbers of company equally; ten people fill it at any time, and I remember its lodging thirty-two without any complaint."

Speaking of a species of his visitors at this time—'the go-about folks, who generally pay their score one way or other'—he says:

"I never heard of a stranger that utterly baffled all efforts to engage him in conversation, excepting one whom an acquaintance of mine met in a stage-coach. My friend, who piqued himself on his talents for conversation, assailed this tortoise on all hands, but in vain, and at length descended to expostulation. 'I have talked to you, my friend, on all the ordinary subjects—literature, farming, merchandise—gaming, game-laws, horse-races—suits at law—politics, and swindling, and blasphemy, and philosophy; is there any one subject that you will favor me by opening upon?' The wight writhed his countenance into a grin: 'Sir,' said he, 'can you say any thing clever about bend-leather?' There, I own, I should have been as much nonplussed as my acquaintance; but upon any less abstruse subject, I think, in general, something may be made of a stranger, worthy of his clean sheets, and beef-steak, and glass of port."

We shall resume our notice of these admirable Memoirs, as they appear in the successive 'parts' of the American edition. 'Part Four' is in course of publication, and will soon be issued.



'Siste 'Viator!'—But a little while ago, we published in these pages a brief tribute to the memory of a gifted and distinguished female contributor to the poetical department of this Magazine; and it now becomes our painful duty to record the recent demise of another child of song, with whom our readers have not unfrequently held pleasant communion. We gather from a letter before us, from an attentive literary friend, now in Massachusetts, that J. Huntington Bright, Esq. died recently at Manchester, (Miss.,) at the early age of thirty-three. He was the only son of Jonathan Bright, Esq., of Salem, (Mass.) Early in life he came to this city, where he resided until the death of his parents, when he removed to Albany, and subsequently to Norfolk, (Va.,) where he married. Last autumn he sailed for New-Orleans; and, soon after his arrival, was induced to ascend the Mississippi, to take part in an important mercantile interest at Manchester, a new town, hewn but recently from the forest. Here, undue exposure to the night air brought on the fever of the country; and in this cheerless frontier region, away from his kindred and friends, after an illness of a few hours, he yielded up his gentle spirit. There is an irrepressible melancholy in the thought, that one so open to all the tender influences of affection, should breathe his last far from the endearments of home, and lay his bones among strangers. Yet, to adopt a stanza of a charming fragment written by him for the Knickerbocker:

'Yet it matters not much, when the bloom is fled,
And the light is gone from the lustrous eye,
And the sensitive heart is cold and dead,
Where the mouldering ashes are left to lie:
It matters not much, if the soaring mind,
Like the flower's perfume, is exhaled to heaven,
That its earthly shroud should be cast behind,
To decay, wherever a place is given.'

Mr. Bright, under the signature of 'Viator,' has contributed many gems of pure feeling, imbued with the true spirit of poetry, to the fugitive literature of the day. The 'Albany Argus' gave to the world many of his choicest effusions, previous to his appearance before our readers. Of his later efforts, it is unnecessary to speak. They will recommend themselves to every affectionate and sympathetic heart, not less by the graces of composition, than the spirit which pervades them. When the depressing influences which have so seriously affected the book-market shall cease to be operative, we hope to see a volume of poetry collated from the literary remains of Mr. Bright; and we cannot doubt that it will be well received by the public at large, as it will certainly be most acceptable to his numerous friends and admirers.

We are confident that Mr. Bright was capable of even higher and more sustained flights than characterize any of the fine productions which he has given to the public. There was promise of varied endowments, too, of which we had scarcely deemed him possessed. Parts of the 'Vision of Death,' published in these pages, would have done no discredit to our best poets. The reader will recall its wild, German-like air, from the opening stanzas:

'The moon rode high in the Autumn sky,
The stars waned cold and dim,
While hoarsely the mighty Oregon
Pealed his eternal hymn;
And the prairie-grass bent its seedy heads
Far over the river's brim.
'An impulse I might not defy,
Constrained my footsteps there;
When through the gloom a red eye burned
With a fixed and steady glare,
And a huge misshapen form of mist
Loom'd in the midnight air.'

Upon what tender filaments the fabric of existence hangs! Death, an unseen spectre, walked by the far-travelling poet's side; and when he deemed the journey of life but just begun, 'Siste Viator!' rang in his dying ear. Well did Sir Thomas Browne exclaim, 'Our life is indeed but short, a very dream; and while we look about, eternity is at hand!'

Mr. Bright has left an amiable and accomplished wife, with two pledges of an affectionate union. May the blessing of the widow and the fatherless be theirs, in full fruition!—and may consolation in bereavement be found in the reflection, that, to use the beautiful language of the dear departed,

'Though his bowed head be with Death's blossoms decked,
Warm in the smile of God his spirit walks erect.'


'And smooth success be strew'd before thy feet.'—Antony and Cleopatra.

At the close of the late summer season, at the Park Theatre, a young lady from Massachusetts, of about the age of eighteen years, made her 'first appearance on any stage,' as the play-bills phrase it, in the character of 'The Wife of Mantua.'

We learn from authentic sources, that this was by no means the ordinary case of a stage-struck-heroine, gratifying a long-indulged desire to dash upon the boards, with the fond anticipation of achieving immortal renown at a stroke. Nor was it necessity which drove the débutante to the choice of a profession, in which every department is so full of toil, and often of unrequited labor and suffering. Of good family, and having an excellent education, she was early smitten with the love of poetry, especially that of the better and the elder bards; and contracted a habit of reading aloud, which developed, gradually, the talent of expressive and forcible recitation, to a degree which astonished and deeply interested her friends. This talent, strengthened with her increasing knowledge of books and its exercise, led her to think of the histrionic profession as one congenial with her feelings, and enabling her to give such utterance to her appreciations of her favorite poets, as would gratify her own ambition, and that of her friends for her. But of the stage she knew literally nothing, even when this idea found a place in her imagination. She had seen only two or three plays performed, and had gleaned no lessons in the art from any fields but those of her own mind and fancy; and from these, we are happy to predict, she will yet reap an abundant harvest of success and renown.

Having taken some lessons in 'stage business' of one of the most accomplished actresses on the Park boards, and recited some passages, as a specimen of her powers, in the presence of the manager, she was permitted a trial, and chose the night of Mr. Chippendale's Benefit for her début. She had never seen the character she was to appear in performed, and never fully rehearsed the part, until the very day she came out: and even then, it was hastily rehearsed, and with reference less to the language than the positions, attitudes, etc., of the different characters. Thus, and thus only prepared, she came before a crowded house, to make her first attempt.

Her fine figure, expressive face, and tasteful attire, joined with her modest mien, and graceful, dignified carriage, struck the audience very favorably, and she was received with cheering applause. Soon, to these recommendations she added a clear, distinct[267] and well-modulated voice, the first articulations of which, though low and somewhat timidly tremulous, proved the signal for a repetition of the plaudits of the audience. As the play proceeded, she gained more confidence, though still somewhat constrained, as was quite obvious, by the novelty of her situation, and soon began to give abundant evidence of her right to claim still higher praise, in the fine appreciation of the character she was personating, and in the truth to nature which marked her readings.

Miss Hildreth's performance of Marianna was of course purely an original one. She had been no play-goer, had seen no acting of any consequence, and had never witnessed the representation of 'The Wife.' Her faults were only those which the judicious advice of experienced friends, added to careful study, and a close but not servile observation of good models, will be found fully adequate to remove. These are simply, ignorance of stage-business, and of the magic art of by-play, a knowledge of which comes slowly, with the gradual growth of confidence, and that experience of the stage which a long acquaintance with it gives, and which enables the histrion to think not of the audience, but of the character he is personating. In her perfect understanding of the language set down for her, in the appropriateness of her gesticulation, attitudes, and articulation, while actually reading her own part, she evinced the possession of all the primary and fundamental materials of an actress of the first order; and she has only to work them judiciously, to convince the world, ere long, that ours has not been an erroneous estimate of her abilities.

A contemporary critic has objected to Miss Hildreth's performance of 'Marianna,' that she stood with her arms by her side until her cue was given, when, he concedes, she went through the part allotted to her creditably. This objection, it will be seen, refers to her 'by-play.' We have already touched on this point; and in support of the criticism, would instance the interview of 'Marianna' with St. Pierre, when they discourse of their own native Switzerland. There was none of that exquisite aside-play, (so to speak,) representing the enthusiastic interest which the Swiss girl is supposed to feel in the eloquent descant of her countryman upon its beauties; a feature which gives such a fascinating charm to the personation of the character by Ellen Tree. And was this to be expected, under the circumstances? The whole scene was new to the young débutante. Like ourselves, she too was a looker-on, during that beautiful apostrophe, (never better uttered than then, by Charles Mason,) and in short, was interested, as we were, in all the progress of 'the swelling act;' seemingly forgetting that she was to act while he was acting, and listening even as we were listening, until her cue was given; and then, wherein did she fail?

Certainly, not in the modest yet firm narration of her love-prompted journey from her mountain-home to Mantua, nor in the trial scene before the usurping duke, when, to save herself from brutal violation, she awes the assembled court by threatening 'the slightest motion of her little hand,' as it held the poisoned vial to her lips. Nor in the scenes with her confessor, when she so indignantly spurns the imputation of disloyalty to her lord, and creeps, child-like, to crave accustomed kindness from her ghostly friend, whose mind has been poisoned by a villain's arts against her; nor in the interview with St. Pierre, while she is giving utterance to the heart-felt joy which fills her bosom upon meeting with her countryman; nor, lastly, in the camp scene, where she so nobly refuses to go back to the trusting bosom of her lord, until he had proved that trust well-founded. We might give more particular citations of natural and striking points in her performance of all these scenes, but we forbear. Certainly, we repeat, in none of these was there aught that looked like failure, so far as her reading and action were concerned; and in this opinion we are confirmed by the concurrent testimony of many of the most distinguished members of the profession, who witnessed the début.

With great confidence, then, do we predict a brilliant career for this young lady, in the profession she has adopted, if she be only true to herself, and uses aright the talents she possesses. Careful study, observation, experience, and 'careful study,' after all, and with all the rest, will realize the fondest hopes of her friends, and the proudest of her own most ambitious anticipations.

J. F. O.


Park Theatre.—If an exception to the influence of that mighty incubus which has borne so heavily upon all trades, business, corporations, and professions, were demanded, the Park Theatre, in its undisturbed prosperity, would be selected as the most prominent. Whether from their old love of the drama, or from a desire to divert their thoughts from the misery that surrounded them without, they have sought a refuge in the gay illusions of the mimic scene within, the theatre has, through the entire period of this pecuniary pestilence, met with constant support from a suffering public. And it is well that such has been the case. It is far better that the mind, depressed with care, and racked with continued anxiety, should seek, in such rational recreation as the Theatre affords, a healthy relief, than by shutting out, in gloomy despondency, all amusement or relaxation, make its great grief to grow by what it feeds upon. Varied attractions have, during the past season, followed each other in quick succession. Bright and particular stars have shot their glories across the theatrical horizon, to the wonder of many, and the admiration of all. New plays, of every variety of the drama, have been brought forward, some to receive the stamp of approval, and others of condemnation. Débutantes have strutted their hour, some giving promise of growing excellence, and others of quick oblivion. So far, so good. The establishment has been growing rich, and the public have been satisfied with these prominent evidences of its desire to maintain its old renown.

It would be well, if it were in our power, in looking back upon the past season, to find that all things had been done, which justice requires to be done, by an establishment so flourishing as the Park Theatre. But unluckily, there is more left undone, than any excuse which the management can produce can palliate. We can affirm, without fear of contradiction, that there is no theatre in the world, whose immediate support, from the public, can bear comparison with the Park Theatre. No theatre in this country, it is well known, pretends to boast of the immense and constant patronage of the Park. The successive bankruptcies of almost every manager who has attempted to direct the concerns of the principal English theatres, is notorious, and is quite sufficient proof of their want of support from the public; and among the uncounted and uncountable theatres of the gayest and most theatrical nation in the world, those that depend upon their superior attractions for their great names, depend also upon government for their principal support. In Germany, there is the same dependence; and in Italy, the land of song, the very hot-bed of musical genius, opera itself does not find its support in the public alone, but is fostered and encouraged, both by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Such being the enviable situation of the Park Theatre, it is no more than reasonable to expect from it a just acknowledgment of its incomparable obligations, in the perfection of every thing belonging to its management and direction. A very brief examination of its present qualifications, will show whether or not this acknowledgment has been, or is likely to be, promptly awarded. There is in the stock company of this theatre, one good comedian, unequalled in America, we know, and unexcelled in any other country, we believe; one comic actress, without a superior, in the characters of the veteran dowagers, venerable and doting nurses, ancient spinsters, and old women generally; one tolerable farceur, who would be a comedian, if he would be content to be natural, and had a sufficient knowledge of the eccentricities of character to be aware that extravagance is not always their prominent trait. One second comedian for old men, country-clowns, talkative, officious servants, such as Pedro, in 'Cinderella;' one 'actress of all work,' especially good in chambermaids, and never bad in any thing which the paucity of talent among the ladies of this company obliges her to undertake; two good light comedians, one of them always sufficient for second characters in tragedy, and the other particularly effective in the heavy villains of opera and melodrama; one interesting and sensible actress for the ladies of comedy, and never at fault as a hoyden, or the spoilt miss of a boarding-school;[12] one third-rate singer among the [269] men; one 'ditto ditto' among the women; one infatuated youth, whose pretty face is regularly disfigured with the paint that goes to make up the faces of 'scape-grace nephews' or interesting 'lovers' in sentimental farces; one good reader, who plays second parts in tragedy; one bad reader, and worse actor, who rolls though Shakspeare and Sheridan with equal effect; one man who does the dukes, and plays the kings, because he is fat; these, with sundry female chorus-singers, who appear constantly as 'walking ladies,' and do occasionally a bit of heavy business in tragedy, and several individual supernumeraries, who are constantly sent on as 'gentlemen,' and being so addressed by the other characters, endeavor, by all sorts of awkward graces, to stultify the audience into the belief that they are so—these, and these alone, constitute the stock-company of the most liberally-supported metropolitan theatre in the world! Ask where is its single tragedian, either male or female; its duplicate comedian; its additional actor or actress, of any character; its capacity, in short, to enact any one tragedy or comedy in all its parts, and 'echo answers where!' And to manage this inefficient company, seek for the 'stage-manager,' and if we are not mistaken, he will be found among the things 'that were, but are not.' There are the materials in this city alone, sufficient to furnish forth a corps dramatique worthy of the Park Theatre. We have shown that the company needs replenishing, and it should be so replenished that every character in the drama might have a fitting representative. As the company at present exists, its best members do double duty; playing both tragedy and comedy, as dire necessity requires; while its subordinates are constantly forced into characters utterly beyond their ability even to comprehend, and to shape them even into an outward resemblance of which, all the efforts of tailors and stage-dressers must prove totally abortive. It is not proper that Mr. John Mason should play both Macbeth and Jeremy Diddler, unless for his own amusement. It is not reasonable, that the same person who officiates as tragedian, should be compelled, after 'doing the terrible' in a five-act tragedy, to assist in executing the comicalities of a broad farce; nor is it more in keeping with the illusion of theatrical displays, that the identical lady who does the 'heavy business' of tragedy, should throw aside her robes of dignity, and immediately thereafter come tripping on in the after-piece, as a coquettish chambermaid. Yet such incongruities have been repeatedly practised, and must of necessity continue to be so, until the management see fit to supply their establishment with a full complement of forces.

There are many other things which need reform. The 'wardrobe wants replenishing.' The orchestra needs both addition and subtraction, as well as the company on the stage. The police are worse than useless; being notorious for creating more disturbance than they ever quell. When all these matters are brought to their just propriety, the Park Theatre will be worthy of the liberal encouragement which the public have shown themselves disposed to exhibit toward it, and not before.

Since the above was penned, the Park Theatre, after a brief intermission, has reopened, to commence another, and we hope a prosperous season. The interior of the house has been much improved, in the decoration and thorough painting which it has undergone. The new drop-curtain, painted by Mr. Evers, is the most prominent addition to the local ornaments of the house. It represents the well-known picture of the court, as convened for the trial of Queen Catharine, and is well worthy of the high reputation of the artist. The likenesses, according to the original picture, by Harlowe, are generally well preserved. The figure of Mrs. Siddons is perhaps somewhat large and masculine, but the bold, commanding dignity of her look and action is perfectly maintained. The portrait of Charles Kemble is true and familiar, even to those of us who have only seen him when time had somewhat wrinkled his noble front. The face of John Kemble seems to us, in the copy, more full and round, and the features more massive, than in the original. Our own lamented Conway presents a figure on the canvass at the Park, which is hardly justified by Harlowe. His face and person are not as[270] we remember them. They are too muscular and broad in their proportions. Conway, as we knew him, was of a tall figure, but rather delicately than strongly put together. The other personages do not differ materially from the pictured originals, and are certainly far superior, as figures, to any that we have ever before seen from the hand of Mr. Evers. We think, however, that the artist has committed the common fault of crowding his figures too closely. The frame seems too small for so many tall persons, and all of them prominent. If the space within the frame were larger, or the figures smaller, and placed at more reasonable distances, this production would be almost faultless. The draperies are naturally and gracefully drawn; the coloring, perhaps, a little too bright and glaring for the chaste and subdued white and gold in which the interior of the house is dressed. Of the good taste displayed in the coloring and decorations of the pannels of the boxes, and of the whole interior, from pit to gallery, with the splendid dome which crowns the regenerated arena of our 'Old Drury,' too much cannot be said in commendation. A rich propriety characterizes the painting, and ornamental devices, and the whole reflects abundant credit upon the improved taste of Mr. Evers and his assistants.

Mr. Hughes, from the London theatres, has taken the leader's chair in the orchestra; and from the exhibitions which he has already made of his skill, seems destined to fill it worthily. Our space will not allow us to speak of our old favorite, Mrs. Sharpe, who made her first appearance here for some years on the opening evening. She was greeted with a most hearty welcome, and played with all the spirit and vivacity which formerly characterized her efforts in comedy. Mrs. Chippendale also made her courtesy; and her efforts to please, as Isabella, in the 'Wonder,' were well received.


Pathos.—True pathos is not only one of the most striking but the most durable attributes of real eloquence. It will live in the heart for years, recurring ever and anon to the memory, 'mournful and yet pleasant to the soul.' There is nothing so difficult to feign, as pathos. It is the language of the heart; and while the orator can 'pump up a feeling' of grandeur or sublimity, and wreak it upon expression, and the bard, under the influence of an imaginary afflatus, can excite a reader's pity for fanciful misfortune, yet neither can affect a pathos, which an intelligent auditory or reader will not at once detect. Of the many scenes or events which have aroused this emotion in our bosom, since childhood, there is not one which may not be called up from the dark backward of the past, with the vividness of an occurrence of yesterday.

These thoughts have been awakened, by meeting the following exquisite example of pathos in an ancient common-place book. Simple as it is, we venture to say there is not one under whose eye it will fall, who can read it for the first time, or re-peruse it, without emotion:


"I had a mother once, like you,
Who o'er my pillow hung,
Kissed from my cheek the briny dew,
And taught my faltering tongue.
But then, there came a fearful day—
I sought my mother's bed,
Till harsh hands tore me thence away,
And told me she was dead!"

"It was thirteen years since my mother's death, when, after a long absence from my native village, I stood beside the sacred mound, beneath which I had seen her buried. Since that mournful period, great changes had come over me. My childish years had passed away; and with them had passed my youthful character. The world was altered too; and as I stood at my mother's grave, I could hardly realize that I was the same thoughtless, happy creature, whose cheek she so often kissed in her excess of tenderness. But the varied events of thirteen years had not effaced the remembrance of that mother's smile. It seemed as if I had seen her yesterday—as if the blessed sound[271] of her voice was then in my ear. The gay dreams of my infancy and childhood were brought back so distinctly to my mind, that had it not been for one bitter recollection, the tears I shed would have been gentle and refreshing. The circumstance may seem a trifling one; but the thought of it, even now, agonizes my heart—and I relate it, that those children who have parents to love them, may learn to value them as they ought.

"My mother had been ill a long time; and I had become so much accustomed to her pale face, and weak voice, that I was not frightened at them, as children usually are. At first, it is true, I had sobbed violently—for they told me she would die; but when, day after day, I returned from school, and found her the same, I began to believe she would always be spared to me.

"One day, when I had lost my place in the class, and done my work wrong-side-outward, I came home discouraged and fretful. I went into my mother's chamber. She was paler than usual—but she met me with the same affectionate smile that always welcomed my return. Alas! when I look back, through the lapse of thirteen years, I think my heart must have been stone, not to have been melted by it.

"She requested me to go down stairs, and bring her a glass of water. I pettishly asked why she did not call the domestic to do it. With a look of mild reproach, which I shall never forget, if I live to be a hundred years old, she said, 'And will not my daughter bring a glass of water for her poor sick mother?'

"I went and brought her the water; but I did not do it kindly. Instead of smiling, and kissing her, as I was wont to do, I sat the glass down very quick, and left the room.

"After playing a short time, I went to bed, without bidding my mother 'good night;' but when alone in my room, in darkness and silence, I remembered how pale she looked, and how her faint voice trembled, when she said, 'Will not my daughter bring a glass of water for her poor sick mother?' I could not sleep; and I stole into her chamber, to ask forgiveness. She had just sunk into an uneasy slumber; and they told me I must not waken her. I did not tell any one what troubled me; but stole back to my bed, resolved to rise early in the morning, and tell her how sorry I was for my conduct.

"The sun was shining brightly when I awoke, and hurrying on my clothes, I hastened to my mother's room.

"She was dead! She never spoke to me more—never smiled upon me again! And when I touched the hand that used to rest upon my head in blessing, it was so cold it made me start. I bowed down by her side, and sobbed in the bitterness of my heart. I thought then I wished I could die, and be buried with her; and old as I now am, I would give worlds, were they mine to give, could my mother but have lived to tell me she forgave my childish ingratitude. But I cannot call her back; and when I stand by her grave, and whenever I think of her manifold kindness, the memory of that reproachful look she gave me, will 'bite like a serpent, and sting like an adder.'"

Near this beautiful fragment, in the time-honored receptacle of literary 'things lost upon earth' to which we have alluded, we find a kindred specimen, in the affecting 'Lines written by an East-India Officer on his Return from India.' They are as old as the hills, and as lasting; and we still sympathize as deeply and sincerely with the

——'Stranger in a stranger clime,
Where stranger voices mock his ear,'

as when we first read of his desolation of heart, we know not how many years ago. There is a melting tenderness in his musings, amid the sights and sounds now strange to his eye and ear, and among the graves of the friends of his youth, who have long since been 'followed to the house of mourning, and forgotten in the dust,' which is to us irresistibly touching. We feel the holy sadness of his blighted affection, when he wakes from dreams of departed years, and the loved ones who blessed his childhood—dreams which come to him in a sleep finally won to his bed in the late and troubled night-watches—and in alternate joy and bitterness of soul, exclaims:

'I see each shade all silvery white,
I hear each spirit's melting sigh;
I turn to clasp those forms of light,
And the pale morning chills mine eye!'

We shall never forget a scene in which deep pathos was a principal characteristic, which we once beheld, at a country church, in one of the thinly-populated, humble towns of western New-York. A pious clergyman, of the Baptist denomination, whose 'three-score years and ten' had turned his hair to snow, and given to his limbs the tremulousness of age, was to preach his farewell discourse to his little congregation, over whom he had presided for nearly half a century. The place itself, and the time, were accessaries to the 'abiding effect' which was left upon the minds of all who were[272] present. It was the afternoon of a mild October day, and the sere leaves of the trees which shaded the church were falling in slow eddies by the open windows. After recapitulating his long labors among them—his teachings 'publicly, and from house to house'—his attendance upon the marriage festivals of those whom he had afterward consigned to the grave with bitter tears—the christenings and funerals he had celebrated—after these affectionate reminiscences, which touched an answering chord in the bosom of every hearer—he adverted to that day wherein all the actors in the drama of life must enter at the last scene, to complete and make up the sublime catastrophe, and warned them to prepare for its momentous solemnities. 'For myself,' said he, 'I can say—standing upon a narrow point between two eternities, and looking back upon a world imperfect and fading, and upon friends dear indeed, but more fleeting still—that I account myself as nothing, until I was my Saviour's, and enrolled in the register of Christ.' And raising his trembling, attenuated hands to heaven, his dim eyes streaming with tears—for, though he had struggled against emotion, his feelings now overcame him—he repeated these lines, in the most melting cadence:

'Ere since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming Love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die:
Then, in a nobler, sweeter song,
I'll sing thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, faltering tongue
Lies silent in the grave!

The look which followed these touching stanzas—the subdued emotion, the pious hope, which beamed in the countenance of the venerable father—will never fade from the memory of those who heard him. The heart of the speaker was poured forth; he was embodied Pathos.

New-York Mercantile Library Association.—We hear, with sincere pleasure, of the continued success and improvement of this widely-useful institution. A large increase of its already extended list of members; additions of new and valuable books; accessions of magazines, and the higher order of periodicals; and ample preparations for a series of lectures from some of the best minds of the country, are some of the more prominent indications of the 'high and palmy state' to which we have alluded. Let but party disaffections be religiously avoided—let the members but strengthen each other's hands in the advancement of the great interests of the association—and the institution, for whose original foundation we are mainly indebted to the benevolent efforts of William Wood, Esq., of Canandaigua, will become one of which both our city and state may be justly proud.

Laplace.—We have received a small and handsomely-printed pamphlet, containing 'An Historical Eulogy of M. Le Marquis De Laplace, pronounced in the Public Session of the Royal Academy of Sciences, at Paris, June 15, 1829. By M. Le Baron Fourier, Perpetual Secretary.' Translated from the French, by R. W. Haskins, Esq., of Buffalo. We regard this as an excellent and compendious history of one of the most eminent scientific men France has ever produced. It is the tribute of a mind capable of appreciating the labors of one 'who enlarged the domain of thought, and taught man the dignity of his being, by unveiling to his view all the majesty of the heavens,' and whose name the world will not 'willingly let die.' A clear and forcible style assures us that the original has lost little in the hands of the translator.

⁂ The reply of Samuel Kirkham, Esq., to the extract from Mr. Goold Brown's 'Grammar of English Grammars,' will appear in the October number. Having 'redeemed the time,' it may not be amiss to state, 'in this connection,' that the Knickerbocker, will hereafter be issued with punctuality on the first of every month.


[1] Malte Brun's Geography, vol. VI., p. 77.

[2] Mr. Duponceau's Report to the Hist. and Lit. Comm. of the American Phil. Soc., p. 11.

[3] Gibbon's Roman Empire, vol. I., p. 387.

[4] Researches into the Origin and Affinity of the Principal Languages of Europe, and Asia, p. 142.

[5] Procopius in Bell. Van., lib. I., c. 2.

[6] Adelung's, Mithridates, vol. I., p. 277.

[7] Wheaton's Hist. of the Northmen, p. 51, et seq.

[8] Speaking of ears. That was an ingenious and kindred elucidation of a passage of Scripture, which was given by a Methodist clergyman, of whom we have somewhere read. 'In those ancient days,' said the divine, 'small crimes were punished by cropping off the ears; so that it rarely happened, that a large concourse of people could assemble, without a considerable proportion of them, and oftentimes more, being deprived of their auricular members. Hence we view, my brethren, the propriety of that frequent remark of our Saviour, when addressing a mixed multitude, 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!'' It was the same profound biblical critic, who made St Paul's similitude, touching his late conversion, ('as one born out of due time,') quite level to the comprehension of his hearers, by explaining, that the apostle 'was undoubtedly a seven-months' child!'

Eds. Knickerbocker.

[9] 'Pater Abraham,' mark! You had better examine your Bible 'with especial care' once more. Did not Pharaoh make the children of Israel turn out the regular quantity of brick, whether they had straw, or not? Our modern version, however, may not answer to the Pater's original.

Eds. Knickerbocker.

[10] Literally strohkopf, a straw-head, a dunce.

[11] I am particular in the mention of these pecuniary facts, believing that they will be useful to American readers, who may contemplate going abroad.

[12] We regret to state, that the lady here alluded to has taken her farewell of the American public and that the company has thereby suffered a loss it cannot soon repair.