The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Yale Literary Magazine (Vol. I, No. 6, August 1836)

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Title: The Yale Literary Magazine (Vol. I, No. 6, August 1836)

Author: Various

Release date: December 12, 2021 [eBook #66935]

Language: English

Credits: hekula03, sf2001, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)


[Pg i]




“Dum mens grata manet, nomen laudesque Yalenses Cantabunt Soboles, unanimique Patres.”


AUGUST, 1836.



[Pg ii]


Turkey and Greece,209
Thoughts on the Death of an Aged Friend,214
The Omnibus,216
The Coffee Club, No. IV,228
What is Bitter,241
The Reason of Animals not the Reason of Man,242
De Lopez, the Brave,246
Mr. Willis,249
Greek Anthology, No. VI,252
“Our Magazine,”256

[Pg 209]


VOL. I. AUGUST, 1836. NO. 6.


“There is a connection [verbindung] among men, in which no one can work for himself without working for others.”—Fichte.

“The tie of mutual influence passes without a break from hand to hand, throughout the human family. There is no independence, no insulation, in the lot of man.”—Natural History of Enthusiasm.

There is a tendency to regard the commotions of society, which have taken place of late years, as the results of modern diplomacy, or of notions concerning human rights, which have received birth and risen to their present vigor within the last fifty years. Hence, it is argued, there is a liability to reaction. The bright lights may go out, and despotism triumph in the moral and political degeneracy. Yet this view of the matter is very superficial. It is regarding the trunk as the origin of the tree, overlooking the seed and the root. The truth is, the principles now developing have their origin with society. For, all sound political principles have a common foundation—the rights of man. His selfishness, especially his thirst for sway, aided by ignorance, has kept through force and fraud the true principles of human government from being understood and adopted. Still the ancient kingdoms, the world-empires and all, though now in their tombs, left inscriptions on their head-stones of diamond worth to the science of government. They are beacon-lights for the modern statesman. Their wisdom and their folly, both aid him to discover the true rules for human government, which have been buried up and concealed by folly and passion since the days of the Patriarchs, from whom all civil authority had its rise. Added to this light of experience, collected by by-gone nations, are other influences of a physical nature. The application of the magnet to purposes of navigation, was one of those master thoughts, which, from its vast importance, we are almost tempted to regard as an idea of directly divine origin. The influence of this on the whole family of [Pg 210] man, can be best estimated by suffering one’s self to think what the state of the world would of necessity be, were it entirely unknown. Again, the application of steam to machinery, is not only changing the aspect of things in the New World and Europe, but this invention was a positive act for the moral and physical renovation of Asia and Africa—an act of such power as must hasten their new birth by centuries. British steamers are already on their way to explore the Niger. It is the operation and display of this vast physical force, which is to be a great means of starting into action the stagnated mind of this part of our race. These discoveries, it will readily be allowed, can never cease to operate. Entwined with political experience, they stand firm barriers to any relapse in the general well being of the human family; while, year after year, to these and others, which cannot be mentioned in the limits of a single article, are added the discoveries of physical and political science, as they occur, until their increasing light reveals to the common eye, one and another, and another, of the rights of man, which designing men, “tyrants, or tyrants’ slaves,” have striven to conceal. Almost every nation of the earth has had some of its dark places pierced by these accumulating rays. Despotic powers have been forced to yield up some part of the prerogatives of the crown, or to surround them with stronger guards. Constitutional governments have been compelled to adopt measures of reform, and to pursue a course of policy more uniformly liberal.

Amid these commotions, no nations have more attracted the attention of all classes, than Turkey and Greece. The politician has watched with no little anxiety the rapid dismemberment of that power, which has so long stood the great barrier between the East and West. The scholar has felt a new hope that the mother-land of mental light may be herself again. While the Christian is assured that the Almighty is thus shaking the nations for the accomplishment of his own high ends. He is but making straight the path of his servants.

The history of the Turks is remarkable and instructive—in the sudden rise of their empire—in its long continuance—and precipitate fall. The wild region of Mount Taurus and Imaus was their cradle. At once the most barbarous, the rudest, and the most enterprising of all the Saracen tribes, they penetrated to the banks of the Caspian Sea, and serving as mercenaries under the Caliphs, acquired great reputation for military prowess, and soon subjugated the contending Caliphats to their own sway. Palestine, with its capital Jerusalem, fell into their hands. Near the middle of the fourteenth century, they crossed into Europe, and possessed themselves of Adrianople. In a few years subsequent to this event, the city of Constantine, to adorn which he had lavished the treasures of his realm, was doomed to see their triumphant banner floating above her walls. Epirus soon suffered the fate of Constantinople; and [Pg 211] the land of the orator and philosopher, which built a bulwark against Xerxes, received their chains. They marched victorious even to the walls of Vienna; but were finally driven back as far as Greece. European arms could avail no farther. In other directions this remarkable people were uniformly successful; until, in the sixteenth century, the Sultan was lord of thirty kingdoms, containing not less than eight thousand leagues of sea coast, and some of the fairest portions of the world. Not only those regions which have been rendered famous as the homes of the great masters of sculpture, song and philosophy, but the land of the Patriarchs, where were exhibited the thrilling scenes of the accomplishment of the covenant of God with man—Baghdad, the court of the science-loving Caliphs—Egypt—and the countries of Asia Minor, whose luxuriance not even Turkish thraldom and indolence has sufficed to destroy.

But this great empire was in itself radically defective. The government depended on extortion for its revenue—on physical force or a degrading imposture for obedience; neither of which, whatever may have been the case in other days, could be safely trusted, in the light which is breaking over the human family, and over the Turks as a part of it. The present Sultan found himself in the dilemma between reform on the one hand, in accomplishing which his throne, and perhaps his life would be jeopardized, and certain destruction on the other. In choosing the least of these evils, Greece, Egypt, and Palestine, were severed from his empire. Mahomet Ali would have attacked him in his capital, but for the interposition of the Tzar, who was fearful of losing a prize which has ever been the object of Muscovite ambition, the throne of Constantine. But while the black Eagle of Russia spread his wings as a shelter for the Turk, he coolly seized in his talons the keys of the Dardanelles; thus rendering any further interposition on the part of England, who has so often balked the Tzar in his darling project, entirely futile. Since which event, the fall of Turkey has been pronounced as certain by all. What is to be its precise effect on the politics of Europe, is a question which only a Talleyrand or a Metternich could answer with any probability of truth. Yet the foregoing remarks exhibit facts from which consequences of high importance must follow.

They exhibit the empire of the Ottomans as once occupying a proud station among the greater powers—as forming a boundary and preserving a balance between the East and West—as a firm check on Muscovite ambition—and as, from her consequence, possessing great weight in the councils of nations; and it is apparent that she cannot fall without important political consequences.

They exhibit her with a religion, which has ever been a bane to all nobler sentiments or aspirations of the soul, brooding like night over some of the fairest portions of the earth, blasting by the baleful influence of her institutions the legitimate effect, both on mind [Pg 212] and body, of her naturally fair plains, rich vallies, and brilliant skies, which, in other times, produced models for an Apollo Belvidere and a Venus de Medici, and nourished men who were masters of the earth and of mind; and it is evident that she cannot fall without important consequences to the beaux Arts and Literature.

They exhibit her, as the main support and promoter of the debasing, sensual tenets of Mahomet, in countries where the Apostles, and even Christ, toiled and suffered. They exhibit her, as the systematic opposer of the message of the Prince of Peace, to her distracted provinces—the only balm for their wounds—the only physician for their souls; and the effect of her fall on the highest of interests cannot be unimportant.

What then is to be the influence of the prostration of the Ottoman sway in these cradles of early knowledge, upon literature, science, and the beaux arts?

Winklemann, in his history of sculpture, assigns as a principal reason of the superiority of the Greeks in that sublime art over other nations, the circumstance of their inhabiting a land so surpassingly endowed by nature; and with much truth. Their bodies, neither chilled nor contracted by the long winters of the north, nor softened into lassitude and effeminacy by the tropical sun, but continually moving and breathing in the purest air, under the mildest and most brilliant of skies, whose loveliness was constantly exciting in the mind the most agreeable trains of thought, attained, in their fair proportions, to a harmonious keeping with the beauty around.

Close observation must convince every candid mind, that there is some truth in the grand outlines of Phrenology. Forms such as aided in the conception of those master pieces of ancient statuary, were never, and never will be, inhabited by inferior or grovelling spirits. Vitiated they may be by extraneous circumstances. Their noble faculties may be turned to unworthy purposes. Corrupted by long intercourse with the morally debased, they may, like the modern Greek, suffer the imputation of being worse than their examples. But this is the proof of the position. They are bad, but like Lucifer they are greatly so.

How long is this to be the case with Greece? Emphatically no longer. Already by the aid of the missionary and foreign science, she is realizing the fable of the renascent phenix; already are those whose beauty of person long years of servitude have been unable to destroy, renewing the moral beauty of the spirit within; already are they turning those powers which made them remarkable in depravity to their proper channels. And he, whose love for the human family, or reverence for the classic scenes of Greece, has led him to peruse the late accounts from thence: if he has observed the avidity with which they seek instruction, when they once taste of its sweets: if he has noticed their teachable spirit, rapid improvement, exhibitions of ingenuity and taste: his bosom has exulted in the sober certainty [Pg 213] that Greece will be herself again. But why has this fair morn at last dawned over this singularly illustrious land? The answer is plain. Mahometan despotism and ignorance no longer hold sway within her borders. If this be so, what is to be the effect of the removal of Turkish intolerance and misrule, and the establishment of an enlightened and responsible government over the shores of the Levant, in the same parallels of latitude? Are the fields of Anatolia less rich than those of Greece, or her harbors less promising for commerce? or are the Greeks, scattered through those regions, who at least double the number of those in their father-land, less capable of moral improvement? Is the conclusion drawn from unfair premises, that the day of the deliverance of this country is near—that the angel of knowledge will again spread his wings over Anatolia, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt, her ancient home? The conclusion is not, can not be false. The same physical influences operate now as in days of old, though the misrule of man may have marred their effects. The same high cast of mind is there which won immortality for their fathers: and why may not spring up in those regions, under a wiser government, and a purer religion, a people, in arts and science even superior to the ancients? Why may there not arise, under the auspices of virtue and wisdom, new models for a Venus or an Apollo? Why may not the Parian marble there rise into temples of as fair proportions as that of Olympus or of Minerva, reared for nobler purposes, dedicated to a far higher and holier worship?

The influence of the subversion of the greatest rival of the Christian church, is a subject replete with interest. When the mere politician, unswayed by the fond hope which might influence the Christian’s decision, publishes to the world as certain the prostration of Turkey—when the disciple of Jesus may at length point the startled infidel to the tottering fabric of Mahometanism, which he has impiously dared to name as co-enduring and co-equal with the pure Christian faith, and bid him look on, as column after column is torn away from the crumbling structure, as Immanuel is triumphing where Mahomet ruled—when the finger of the Almighty is writing as palpably the sentence of this unparalleled imposture as when it traced on the wall the doom of Babylon—what heart does not glow with deeper gratitude, overflow with more fervent thanksgivings, and pray with strengthened faith?

The time is to be when “nations shall be born in a day:” and from the ardent character of the east, it seems not improbable that it is to be witness of this latter as it was of the former triumphing of the cross.

It is an especial appointment of providence, that nations more advanced in civilization must necessarily labor for the improvement of those which are less so. So the East once labored for the West. Now the nations of the west, with their Institutions of Learning—their Presses—their Forges—their Dock Yards—working together [Pg 214] for the perfection of human knowledge, and for facilitating its diffusion—pour light of constantly increasing brightness over the East. Still greater commotions must soon follow in these early inhabited regions. Their renovation must advance rapidly and steadily. There may and doubtless will be times of apparent retrogradation, but it will be like the flood-tide waves, which roll back from the shore only to mount still higher on their return. It may be said that these things are uncertain, because they are future; but it is not necessarily so. The diffusion of sound political principles, and the rising of the Sun of Righteousness over these nations, seem as clearly heralded by these events, as is the coming of the material sun when morning is breaking in the east, the night-damps leaving the earth, the clouds decking themselves in gold and purple, and all nature waking for the duties of a new day.


I stood beside his death-bed, and a smile,
Like the last glance of the departing sun,
Played on his features; life was ebbing fast,
And death was creeping o’er him stealthily—
And yet he smiled, as the last hour came on.
We gathered round him, and his eye grew dim,
And his voice faltered, and the shortening breath
Came through his parted lips convulsively—
The last faint accents of a murmured prayer:
And then we turned us from his couch, and wept
That the dear ties were severed, which had bound
Our hearts in kindred intercourse:—We grieved
That he whom we had loved so tenderly,
Should pass away with the forgotten dead.
Oh, there is something saddening in the thought
Of death, whene’er it comes. To stand beside
The death-bed of a dear and cherished one;
To mark the tristful pangs, the hopes and fears,
To see the perishing form of loveliness,
And hear the last fond parting word—farewell!
And then to gaze upon the lifeless form,
To part the damp locks from the marble brow,
And wipe the death-dews which have gather’d there;
To lay the sleeper in his narrow house,
And leave him with the cold and listless dead,—
Oh, it is saddening!—and the tide of tears—
The warm, warm tears, that gush from feeling hearts—
Oh, they are holy!—And there is a bliss,

[Pg 215]

When the heart swells with anguish, and when grief
Chokes up the spirit in its agony—
Oh, there is something—and ’tis like the dew
Which evening sheds upon the summer flower,
And weighs it down, until it bows itself,
And pours the bright drops from its secret cell.
Oh, holy is the fountain of those tears,
And pure their gushing.  ’Tis a holy thing
To weep at such an hour.  ’Tis manliness
To yield the heart to feeling, and to loose
The shackles that so cramp its energies,
And bind it down to the unfeeling world.
Yet why thus mourn for those who die, when age
Has made existence but a weariness?
Why grieve that they should cast aside the coil
That binds them to the earth and wretchedness?
We do not weep at Autumn; when the leaves
Lie in the valleys—mortals never weep
When the tree casts its fruitage, or when flowers,
Blooming through the mild months, all fade away
In their appointed season: Then why weep
For those whose years have passed the destined bourne
Of man’s existence.—Rather let us weep
For the young flower that blossometh and dies,
Ere it hath seen the noon-day. Rather mourn
For those, the sweet and beautiful of earth,
Who die in youth’s bright morning.
Tears for the flowers, and the young buds of hope,
That wreathe Death’s altar:—let us weep for them.
But let us dash away the sorrowing tear,
That falls upon the aged sleeper’s grave;
And joy that he has left this sinful world,
And sought a purer and a happier sphere,
Where sorrow never comes, and where no care
Blanches the cheek, and makes the spirit sad;
Where sin hath never entered, to pollute
The perfect sense of happiness; where all
The great and good of earth for ever dwell,
In the soft sun-shine of Eternal youth.

[Pg 216]


[1] An “Omnibus” (this explanation is one of pure politeness on our part, and for the sake of the uninitiated) is a substitute for an Album; in which, any thing, every thing, and nothing, are quartered heterogeneously, and made good friends—supposing all this time that the thing be kept within the pale of proprieties. They are with, or without covers—written in black or red ink—up or down—crossways or otherwise, just as it happens. They were first got up by a certain coterie of ladies, who had sense enough to see that “Albums” are very sentimental and very ridiculous, owing to the extreme nicety with which a man must scribble for them; and that by introducing a little more latitude in this respect, the evil might in a measure be remedied. The result, ’tis thought, has shown their wisdom.


“Come, write in my ‘Omnibus,’” said a sweet girl to me, with an eye that made one’s heart bump, and a lip that made him dream dreams. I looked into that eye, and at that lip—they almost unmanned me, yet I shook my head.

She looked imploringly.

“Can’t,” stammered I at last, though it choked me to say so.

“Pray do,” and she laid her soft white hand on mine. Heavens and Earth! how the touch of that little hand thrilled through me—burnt along my arm—then down into my heart. Yet I remembered my resolution—I made it the day before—I swore by my happiness I’d never touch pen again. Still, there lay that hand—the long tapering fingers—I counted them one way, then t’other—how pretty they looked! I tried to look away—I looked at the four corners of heaven—some how or other, my eyes came right back again. Then I felt a soft pressure, those fingers contracted, they clasped—it was all over with me—the grasp of Hercules were nothing to it.

The first thing I did was to kiss them—the next, find my senses. She blushed, I fidgeted.

“Think out something”—the sound was like a brook in summer.

So I thought, and thought, and thought—

Thought I was by the ocean. Every body has stood by the ocean. Every body loves the ocean. They love it because ’tis beautiful. They love it because ’tis terrible. Who that could ever tell his passions, as he has seen the giant rouse himself—the black sky split by the thunder-bolt, and so brazen and fiery that it seemed crisping, and “about to roll away with a great noise”—the driving wind—the bellowing thunder—the crashing deck—the rattling[Pg 217] cordage—the death shriek of the sea-shipped wretch as the wave went over him—the horror-like eye’s last glance upon you! But I don’t mean such an ocean. It wasn’t such an one that I was standing by. It was a pretty considerable, magnificent, almighty, great sheet of water as far as the eye went, with a sky above that made one’s heart leap to look at it—its depth of blue seeming to stretch away and away, field after field, without a mist or cloud in it to mar its beauty—one unbounded, unshadowed sweep of glory and magnificence. The winds, soft and balmy, went whirling and whimpering along its surface, curling and crinkling it into small white waves, that, racing and capering up the beach, sparkled and turned into bubbles, and were caught up by the sun beams. Here and there the waters break. The huge porpoise went plunging, and sousing, and weltering along his blue path, flapping his huge tail into the air, and grunting his happiness—the bright light refracted from his surface, came to the eye like a rainbow. Here and there the flying fish slipped from his element, and went careering away over the far waters, till with a light dash or slap, his white wings dipped again into the ocean. The distance had one sail, a single one, right on the horizon’s edge—type, methought, of a being shut from the world—a human heart cut loose from sympathy—on the black desert of man’s pilgrimage. Such was the scene. I felt it. I rose, and stood, and shouted, and—


Thought I was down in the ocean—right on the bottom. Whew! what a place it was!—saw all sorts of things, living and dead—all colors, good and bad—all shapes, hateful and fascinating. Here I wandered through endless groves of coral. Aloft went the light shafts tapering away into the blue distance, then branching forth into a glorious canopy, through which came the broken light with a mellowed beauty, not unlike the sun’s beams through a polished fresco-worken slab of alabaster. The waves swung backwards and forwards through this submarine forest, and their rush made the tall shafts quiver like aspen boughs in the tempest wind; and the light coral twigs, here and there detached by the waters, fell thick and fast like star showers in wintry nights. Nor should I forget the sounds of those waters as they tossed up the shells which were scattered there, and witched from them a music, that tripped and tilted through the brain, like Mab and her melodies in moonlight vision. It changed! I was in a desert! Rocks and barren surfaces above, beneath, around me! Wild cliffs—rent fastnesses—deep chasms—yawning and gaping like the cleft jaws of Hell! They had wrecks, and ruins, and dead men, and skeletons, and skulls in them. Here were fragments of those mighty tenements, that once rode in triumph on the wave’s surface. There were those black engines, wont to belch forth[Pg 218] “their devilish glut,” and flame, and thunder. Here were skeletons—some hugging in mortal conflict. They were grappled together, as when death overtook them—their jaws yet apart, as the last curse dwelt on them, the moment the bolt came. There were friends too, parent and child, husband and wife, lover and maiden—laid as they died, locked heart to heart, each on the other’s breast, the two a unity. I sickened, shuddered, gasped—


Thought I was in a forest—a bright, a green, a glorious forest. My heart ached, and I had turned from the heated world and its miseries, and where the lofty branches had intertwined and woven a pleasant twilight dwelling place, I sat me down to meditate. Then I scribbled and scribbled—and thus, I scribbled—

This is indeed a sacred solitude,
And beautiful as sacred. Here no sound
Save such as breathes a soft tranquillity,
Falls on the ear; and all around, the eye
Meets nought but hath a moral. These deep shades—
With here and there an upright trunk of ash
Or beech or nut, whose branches interlaced
O’ercanopy us, and, shutting out the day,
A twilight make—they press upon the heart
With force amazing and unutterable.
These trunks enormous, from the mountain side
Ripp’d roots and all by whirlwinds—those vast pines
Athwart the ravine’s melancholy gloom
Transversely cast—these monarchs of the wood,
Dark, gnarl’d, centennial oaks that throw their arms
So proudly up—those monstrous ribs of rock
That, shiver’d by the thunder-stroke, and hurl’d
From yonder cliff, their bed for centuries,
Here crush’d and wedged—all by their massiveness
And silent strength, impress us with a sense
Of Deity. And here are wanted not
More delicate forms of beauty. Numerous tribes
Of natural flowers do blossom in these shades,
Meet for the scene alone. At ev’ry step,
Some beauteous combination of soft hues,
Less brilliant though than those which deck the fields,
The eye attracts. Mosses of softest green,
Creep round the trunks of the decayed trees;
And mosses, hueless as the mountain snow,
Inlay the turf. Here, softly peeping forth,
The eye detects the little violet
Such as the city boasts—of paler hue,
But fragrant more. The simple forest flower,
And that pale gem the wind flower, falsely named,
Here greet the cautious search—less beautiful

[Pg 219]

Than poets feign, though lovely to the eye.
These with their modest forms so delicate,
And breath of perfume, send th’ unwilling heart
And all its aspirations, to the source
Of Life and Light. Nor woodland sounds are wanting,
Such as the mind to that soft melancholy
The poet feels, lull soothingly. The winds
Are playing with the forest tops in glee,
And music make. Sweet rivulets
Slip here and there from out the crevices
Of rifled rocks, and, welling ’mid the roots
Of prostrate trees or blocks transversely east,
Form jets of driven snow. Soft symphonies
Of birds unseen, on ev’ry side swell out,
As if the spirit of the wood complain’d
Harmonious, and most prodigal of sound;
And these can woo the spirit with such power,
And tune it to a mood so exquisite—
That the enthusiast heart forgets the world,
Its strifes, and follies—and seeks only here
To satisfy its thirst for happiness.


Thought I was on an island—the brightest thing ever dancing in a poet’s vision, a perfect Eden-spot, an Elysium—

Ye of the pure heart, come to me!
List to a tale of Poesy;
List—for, for it, ye may better be—
So scorn not the minstrel’s minstrelsy.
Ye with a brow like the broken wave’s drift,
With an eye whose light is the first star of even,
When it streameth afar through the sky’s red rift,
The only and loveliest thing in heaven;—
Ye with a cheek like the marble fair,
Ye with a lip like the bright summer dew,
Ye with a softness and loveliness there
That Fancy never drew;—
Whose hands and whose hearts have been ever lent,
As spirits of mercy from Heaven sent:—
Ye have the pure heart—come to me!
List to a tale of poesy;
Give me your ear—give me your smile—
List to the lay of ‘The happy Isle.’
That Isle—so beautiful to view!
No poet’s fancy ever drew;
He had not dreamed of such a thing,
With all the beauty he could bring.
[Pg 220]
It lay upon the open sea,
It lay beneath the stars and sun—
A thing, too beautiful to be,
A jewel, cast that sea upon.
The winds came upward to the beach—
The waves came rolling up the sand—
Then backward with a gentle reach,
Now forward to the land,
Sparkling and beautiful—tossing there,
Then vanishing into the air.
The winds came upward to the beach—
The waves came upward in a curl—
Then far along the shore’s slope reach,
There ran a line of pearl.
And shells were there of every hue—
From snowy white, to burning gold—
The jasper, and the Tyrian blue—
The sardonyx and emerald;
And o’er them as the soft winds crept,
A melody from each was swept—
For melody within each slept,
Harmoniously blended;
And never, till the winds gave out,
And ceased the surf its tiny shout,
That melody was ended:
Morn, noon, and eve, was heard to be,
The music of those shells and sea.
The winds went upward from the deep—
The winds went up across the sand—
And never did the sea winds sweep
Over a lovelier land.
The northern seas, the southern shores,
The eastern, and the western isles,
Had rifled all their sweets and stores,
To deck this lovely place with smiles:
And mounts were here, and tipp’d with green,
And kindled by the glowing sun;
And vales were here, and stretch’d between,
Where waters frolic’d in their fun:
And goats were feeding in the light,
And birds were in the green-wood halls;
And, echoing o’er each hilly height,
Was heard the dash of waterfalls:
O! all was beauty, bliss, and sound;
A Sabbath sweetness reigned around;
All was delight—for every thing
Was robed in loveliness and spring—
Color, and fragrance, fruit, and flower,
Were here within this Island bower.
But purer, sweeter, brighter far—
Brighter than Even’s earliest star,
Was she, the spirit of the place,
The mortal with an angel’s face.
A form of youthful innocence,

[Pg 221]

With love, and grace, and beauty rife—
As erst, from ocean’s tossing foam,
Fair Venus sparkled into life.
Around her pale and placid brow,
By long and auburn ringlets hid,
A radiant flame ran circling,
And o’er her face a lustre shed.
Her eye, so full—a spirit nursed,
So blue—it seem’d a part of heaven,
So light—it was the sudden burst
Of meteors mid the stars of even.
A robe of azure pale she wore,
Her matchless symmetry concealing;
Save where her bodice oped before,
Her soft and snowy breast revealing.
And in her hand (her arms were free)
She bore a reed from ocean’s side;
Her feet were bare— * * *
* * * * * * *


Thought I was in love. Heavens! what a creature she was! Her form was like a fairy’s; and her face, about which the flaxen ringlets fell long, and soft, and silky, was at once so arch and sweet, it witched the very soul out of me before I knew it. Her picture is before me.—Her head like Juno’s, when she walked before the Olympic Thunderer, and yet a woman’s; her brow, high, and white, and pure; eyes of heaven’s own coloring, and bright, and ustrous, and large, and full, in whose crystalline depths slept a soul such as—as—you must guess at, reader, I can’t think of a comparison; a cheek, the eloquent beauty of which melted away so gradually into the pure transparency of her temples, that the eye lost it, and was wandering away, up, and around them, before it became aware of its own vagaries; and her mouth—Heavens and Earth! it was altogether and absolutely, the sweetest, prettiest, pouting, come-kiss-me, little mouth, I ever looked at; and her voice—her voice—how clear and musical—there was nothing like her clear, happy laugh—it rung like an instrument—like the silvery bell in the Faery Tale; and when she prettily bade me sit at her feet, and look up into her clear bright eyes—pooh! I might as well have attempted to knock Destiny on the head at once, and steer the boat of life myself, as keep from doing her bidding; and her form, robed as she was in her white cymar, with a single rose in her hair—the neck—the full bust—the rounded arm—the graceful curvature and wavy sweep of her folded dress, as it swelled from her glittering zone and fell to her feet—dear me! dear me—I—but this will do for a description.

Her name was Fan.

[Pg 222]

One beautiful twilight—I shan’t forget it soon—one twilight, as the sun went, and right over his glorious resting place, the clouds of evening, like an enormous sweep of woven chrysolite, hung pinned by a single star to the blue wall of heaven—I sat and gazed at that star, then into her eyes; now into her eyes, and then at that star again; and—I grew silly.

Says I, “Fan!”

Says she, “Frank!”

“You are very pretty,” says Frank.

“You are very impudent,” says Fan.

She shook her head at me, and drew her mouth into the queerest pucker imaginable.

“Fanny,” said I seriously.

She sobered.

Some how or other, I got hold of her hand—’twas a pretty hand! I kissed it.

“Don’t be silly;” and she gave me a cuff that made me see stars.

“Fanny, I”—

She looked softly at me.

“Dearest Fanny, I”—

She pouted.


She blushed.

“I—love you.”

She sprang into my arms.

Bending back her head, and shaking her long locks from her pretty brow, our lips—

Hillo! reader, you are not getting sentimental, are you? Don’t now; for I’ve no sympathy with you—no more sentiment than a horse.

But stop; here’s a bit, and written when things were tremendous. Ecce signum!

O Fanny, sweet Fanny,
I cannot tell why,
But I live in the glance
Of thy witching blue eye—
In the light of the spirit
And loveliness there:
O! I cannot tell why
I so love you, my fair!
It is not—it is not
Its mild beaming—far,
Far excelling each lonely
And dim gleaming star;
It is not the beauty,
The sweetness of face,
The form of perfection,
The movement of grace!

[Pg 223]

It is not, thou lovest me—
For ere I had heard
Thy low sweet confession
As murmur of bird;
Ere thou told’st me, my beauty,
Thy dreams were all mine;
I cannot tell thee why—
But I knew I was thine.
A charm floats around,
And I feel while with thee,
Though a poor silly captive,
No wish to be free;
O! thus to be bound
In a thraldom like this—
Though a thraldom indeed,
’Tis the sweetest of bliss!
I am thine, dearest Fanny,
Yea, thine and forever—
No dark storm of sorrow
Our young hearts shall sever;
We’ll live, dream, and sigh, love,
Till time is no more;
And when death comes, we’ll fly, love,
To a sunnier shore!

I suppose I felt considerably relieved after this Ætnæan effusion. ’Twould have cooled the furnace where they put Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. But hear the sequel! We pouted, quarreled, parted.

After our first pout, I scribbled as follows—

O! girls fantastic creatures are,
Vexing us—teasing us;
Now they’re here, now they’re there,
Perplexing us—pleasing us;
See you here a soft blue ee,
O! beware—O! beware;
For it melteth but to be
For a snare—for a snare.
I have loved a gentle girl;
How I loved—how I loved—
Witness it, my bosom’s whirl
When she moved—when she moved;
Life, soul, feeling, all sincere,
Bound up in her—bound up in her;
She has left me, and I’m here,
A wound up sinner—a wound up sinner.

[Pg 224]

Left me, and without a smile,
Save a cold one—save a cold one;
Not a word there fell the while,
Save some old one—save some old one;
My heart about to burst, and chain’d
As by a spell—as by a spell;
She could falter, unconstrained,
Fare thee well—fare thee well.
O! I loved her; (may I be
For it forgiven—for it forgiven;)
Rather, than a thing of clay,
As a thing of Heaven—a thing of Heaven;
Feelings, none I had but went
Straightway there—straightway there;
When I prayed, her image blent
With my prayer—with my prayer.
When she went, there was I,
Like her shade—like her shade—
When she call’d, I was by,
And there I staid—there I staid;
If her soft eye sadden’d seem’d,
I could smile—I could smile—
Till that soft eye gladden’d seemed,
As erewhile—as erewhile.
I presented her a ring,
Which she took—which she took;
And her words fell murmuring,
Like a brook—like a brook;
Soft her eye’s glance fell upon me,
Even there—even there—
When its gentle meanings won me
Like a prayer—like a prayer.
She has left me, and I’m here,
She has left me, nor a tear
For my fate—for my fate:
O! to be thus coldly parted,
Nor relief—nor relief—
And to be thus broken hearted,
This is grief—this is grief.
Yet, I love her—I confess it,
More than ever—more than ever;
Love’s a stream—you can’t repress it,
Mine’s a river! mine’s a river!
Life, soul, feeling, all are given,
All my store—all my store;
In her, round her—there’s my Heaven,
I want no more—I want no more.

[Pg 225]


Thought I was with my mother. Mother! reader, hast thou a mother? not a mere nominal parent—one who brought thee into the world, and then left thee to struggle in’t—one who gave thee but a moiety of her tenderness? Nay, nay; I do not mean such. But I mean, one whose very life was wrapp’d up in thee, one whose eye moistened with thine, whose voice faltered with thine, whose heart reflected every shadow which passed over thy heart, even as a lake the summer clouds, that idle above its bosom. Such an one I mean—hadst ever such? I had—and how I loved her. Did I not?—the following verses prove it.


(In two Sonnets.)

Dew to the thirsty flower, a rosy beam
Of sunshine, or the melodies to Spring—
Sounds to the sick man’s ear, a running stream,
A humming-bird, a wild bee on the wing;
Joy—to the earth-scorn’d soul, when all remote
Is happiness and e’en Hope’s lamp is dim;
Light—to the dungeon wretch, when the last note
Comes through his grate of the sweet forest hymn;
Her first-born’s breath that the young mother feels,
When her dimm’d eye falls on her little one—
A maiden’s priceless faith that love reveals,
When heart meets heart in holy unison;—
Than these—than all—O! sweeter far to me,
Mother! are thoughts of home, of my sweet home, and thee.
Virtue—with the first dawn of infant mind,
Falling from lips that made it holier seem;
Goodness—when deeds with precept were combined,
To show the world—“religion is no dream;”
Tears—when my heart was all too sad to weep them,
Cares—when affliction press’d me bitterly,
Watching—when none but love like thine could keep them,
Rebukes—yet with a blessing in thine eye;
An eye that watch’d me and would never sleep,
A well-timed word to keep me in the way,
A look, that made me go from thee and weep,
A faith, that made thee watch, and kneel, and pray—
These, these are thine—O! sweet are then to me,
Mother! the thoughts of home, of my sweet home, and thee.

Thus I valued her. But she’s in her grave now, and I often go there to watch and weep, and please myself with the vain fancy, that her spirit is bending over me. I always feel holier after it—as[Pg 226] if I had come from another world—had been beyond the grave—had unravelled the great mysteries of life and death, and could now look upon life unsway’d by that natural Atheism which ever clings to humanity, and mingles in all our aspirations for the future. Watching and prayer ever better us. But by the grave of a loved one, there are still holier influences. We see them through the mirror of feeling. If they had faults, they have them no longer; and their virtues, we canonize them—they are relics—they are talismans which we lay on our hearts, and they are holier for the contact.

Earth’s thoughts come not to the grave’s side. The idle, the giddy and gay, they do not jest here—the song of triumph ceases, the unfinished quip dies on the lip that made it. The famed, the haughty, the ambitious, they bring not their proud thoughts with them—they tread its holy precincts, and their schemes are forgotten. The school boy’s whistle is lower here, and the butterfly he chases so eagerly, scales the white palings and escapes—he will not follow him. The very flowers that bloom here, the osiers that swathe the grave of that little one and twine about the head stones—they teach us by their freshness, and our thoughts stir up the fountains in us, and the heart is hallowed by it.

Come hither, thou parent—a father perhaps. This was thy heart’s pride and passion. Hope and promise were his. You had already marked his path. Here were the flowers—there the thorns. You saw him in fancy, out of his boyhood—the youth—the young man—his cheek glowing for the contest. Death came—and you laid him here.

Come hither, thou parent—a mother perhaps. This was thy first born. You bore him on your heart; you nursed him; you hung over him; you wept and prayed for him as mothers only can do; and you too, have laid him here. The little form you decked so—the locks that swung over a brow of silver—the face with its beauty, and light, and sweetness, and all the innocency of happy childhood—the clear silver shout of his joy—the step that ran to thee—the lip that pouted for the morning and evening kiss—aye! here they are—look at them.

And who art thou, mourner?—thou that lookest not up to the glorious sky, or abroad on the fair face of the creation of God; but, wrapped in the selfishness and solitude of thy grief, standest here like a lone monument of dead men’s histories—who art thou? Thine eye is on that slab there; ’tis a maiden’s. Thou lovedst her perhaps; her heart beat to thee; her lip was free to thy wooing. She was decked for a bridal; the rite had sealed her thine; and death strewed thy bridal couch with rosemary, and rue, and the gloomy cypress.

And what do these here? They come here to weep, for it sanctifies them. They come from the roar, and bustle, and heartlessness [Pg 227] of life, and they would listen awhile to the eloquence of the shrouded dead. O! the dead are eloquent! The voice is low, yet louder than that of many waters! They tell us that our loved ones were not ours! They tell us that they were lent to us, and have now been reclaimed! They tell us, that though saddening, ’tis sweet to think of them, for they tie us and our souls to the purity of Heaven!

Some men shudder as they look into a grave; and well they may, some of the world. But the heart is wrong which feels thus. Does the sight of land give pain to the shipwrecked? is the hope of freedom unwelcome at the dungeon? does the sound of waters please in the desert? does the thought of sleep annoy us when weary? does the hope of oblivion give pain when the heart aches? Why then should the thought of what is greater gain than all these come to our hearts, but to waken their holiest emotions?

O! ’tis because there is a power within,
Whisp’ring of good neglected—ill preferred—
Duties cast off, and faculties misus’d!
It is, because the mortal triumphs, while
The purer passions, crushed or rooted out,
Leave him to be enslaved,—and thus in moments
When meditation, like a vestal waits
Upon his heart, the buoyancy and peace
Which should be his, give place to heaviness,
And indefinable wretchedness of soul.
O! could the heart be school’d—could it be made
True to its nature—to the impress graved
Upon it by the hand of Deity—
Could it be made to balance good and ill,
With purpose to be wise—could it but choose
The pure, and love it for its purity—
How blissful then, were thoughts of death and Heaven!

There—young lady! I’ve thought for your “Omnibus,”—pray, what do you think?



The song of Orpheus and yours are one,
Both caused mankind and beast to run,
Only—in different ways;
To him they went like wild deer freed,
From you they go with equal speed,
To shun your “awful lays.”

[Pg 228]


No. IV.

“Authors who acquire a reputation by pilfering all their beauties from others, may be compared to Harlequin and his snuff, which he collected by borrowing a pinch out of every man’s box he could meet, and then retailed it under the pompous title of ‘tabác de mille fleurs.’”

Fitzosborne’s Letters.

“If the work cannot boast of a regular plan, (in which respect, however, I do not think it altogether indefensible,) it may yet boast that the reflections are naturally suggested always by the preceding passage.”

Cowper’s Letters.

No est tan bravo il leon, como se pinta—the lion is not so fierce as his picture—says the Spanish proverb, and such will doubtless be your exclamation, fair, gentle, indulgent, or judicious reader, (by whichever title you may please to be addressed,) when you discover that the heroes of the Coffee Club, invested by your scrutinizing sagacity with so many fictitious attributes, whether of honor or of dishonor, are in truth but cognate atoms with yourself in making up the mass of our small and secluded community. Nor will your self-satisfaction be at all enhanced, by the remembrance of the astute conjectures, ‘positive certainties,’ ‘perfect convictions,’ and ‘confidential informations,’ which have afforded you matter of exultation for a season, but are, by the revealment of the truth, shown to be unfounded, and if cherished with vanity, ridiculous. Each, however, may soothe his chagrin, with the assurance that no one was wiser than himself, and that the secret, which baffled his endeavors, not even the talismanic power of woman’s curiosity could elicit.

It is the eve of the farewell exercises of the class, and the last meeting of the Coffee Club. Tristo had thrown gloom upon our spirits, by a mournful epitaph upon the pleasures and the duties, now buried in the past—but Pulito has reversed our feelings by a brilliant epithalamium, for our coming bridal day, on which we are to wed the world. So is it in life—we shed one tear over the past, and hasten on to catch the future.

“Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.”

In such a mood, the thoughts of all naturally reverted to the time when first we entered upon that stage in the journey of life, which[Pg 229] we have now completed. As we traced our progress onward, and recalled our errors and our follies, our hopes and disappointments, our attainments and our short-comings, the desire of sympathy, of consolation, and encouragement, led to a full and free expression of our thoughts and feelings. Apple, however, as his cigar wreathed forth its exhalations,

‘Upward and downward, thwarting and convolved,’

and puns and quips unceasing shot through their obscurity, like lightning through a cloud, seemed at first to be in no mood for the pathetic, or the serious. Pulito, too, after a brief and apparently regretful abstraction, broke forth in a strain half querulous, half laughing.

Pulito. “Well, ‘gentlemen commoners,’ however discourteous the remark may appear to you and your society, I must ne’ertheless regret that I am not this evening where I might have been, in a certain far-famed street, and gazing upon a certain lovely face, whose owner’s name ’twould be profanity to mention. I may say with the stricken Cowper,

‘Farewell to the elm-tree, farewell to the shade
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade.’”

Nescio, (smiling.) “‘Lugete oh! Veneres Cupidinesque!’ As an old dramatist has it,

‘Your soul, retired within her inmost chamber,
Like a fair mourner, sits in state with all
The silent pomp of sorrow round about her.’”

Pulito. “Yes, and to borrow from the same play, The Rival Ladies, I think,

‘Oh she is gone! methinks she should have left
A track so bright, I might have followed her
Like setting suns that vanish in a glory.’”

Nescio. “For the sake of quoting beautifully, you quote without application.”

Apple, (in a voice of thunder.) “Who in the name of heaven is it about whom you are making all this ‘tempest in a tea-pot?’ Girls, girls, girls, for ever and eternally! I wonder what you see in them! weak and shallow! It maddens me, Pulito, to see you, a fellow of some small sense, ‘bowing the knee in worship to an idol,’ a minion-queen, a painted doll—

‘A pagod thing of flirting sway,
With front of brass, and feet of clay.’”

[Pg 230]

Pulito. “Why, Apple, from your fierceness, I suspect you have lately met with a rebuff from some fair damsel.”

Apple. “No, indeed I have not; I was afraid I should though, and did not give her a chance. I was acquainted with some of them once, and endeavored to patronize, instruct, and even please them. But they had neither the acuteness to perceive the point of my puns, nor the complaisance to laugh at them, even when I led the way. In fact—the fiends scorch their pictures!—I believe they laughed at instead of with me. ‘Flattery is nectar and ambrosia to them.’ They drink it in and enjoy it like an old woman sucking metheglin through a quill.”

Pulito. “I allow that

——‘if ladies be but young and fair,
They have the gift to know it.’

But this is chargeable upon us, who are accustomed to lie to them about their charms, as a matter of course.”

Apple. “Then, too, if beautiful, they can scarce be good. For, ‘honesty coupled to beauty, is to have honey a sauce to sugar.’”

Pulito. “How! Is what is fair at surface necessarily foul at heart?

‘Why what a world is this, where what is comely,
Envenoms him that bears it.’”

Apple. “And how wide is their information, scientific, literary, political, moral! Their wits ‘are dry as a remainder biscuit after a voyage.’”

Pulito. “Well, Apple, I should think you had exhausted Shakspeare and yourself for terms of reproach: yet it still remains true, that they are the dearest, sweetest things ‘in rerum naturâ,’ and

‘Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth,’

I shall still love them one and all.”

Nescio. “Yes.

‘Dulcé ridentem Lalagen amabo
Dulcé loquentem.’”

Tristo. “I am no ladies’ man. I am too grave for their society. Yet I am willing to acknowledge that, together with their influence, they are half that makes life valuable. They are the purifying and refining ingredient in the seething caldron of society. Their perceptions are more rapid and acute than ours, and if deceitful, it is from necessity, which you know is the mother of invention.”

Pulito. “For my part, the absence of those pretty faces, which I have been wont to see in my ‘walk and conversation,’ will greatly deepen my regret at leaving this delightful place.”

[Pg 231]

Apple. “Pooh! couldn’t you sentimentalize a bit? ‘Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis, Arbor æstivâ recreatur aurâ,’ &c. Turn me adrift in New England, New Guinea, or New Zealand, and let me have good meats, good drinks, good kapniphorous cigars and a dozen comedies, and I don’t care a rush.”

Pulito. “Oh! what an animal! Why, Dumpling, do you suppose you have a soul, or are you a mere lump of flesh, a ‘congregation of skin, bone and spissitude,’ to use one of your own ridiculous phrases?”

Apple. “Yes, Pully, I suspect I have such a thing as a soul somewhere—but I cannot determine its locale—neither do I fash my beard thereanent, since it is the only immaterial thing about me, ha! ha!”

Nescio. “That’s Apple, through and through, to circumvent truth by a quibble.”

Pulito. “But have you no sympathy with this verdant city and its lovely scenes? Why, this very evening,

‘When the sweet wind doth gently kiss the trees.
And they do make no noise,’

is a copy of Paradise.”

Apple. “Yes! the ‘Paradise of fools.’”


“‘On such a night
Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand,
Upon the wild sea-banks, and waved her love
To come again to Carthage.’”


“‘On such a night did young Pulito strive
T’ unseal the fount of feeling in his heart,
And be poetic—but he could not do it.’”

Pulito. “The air is like the breath of birds.”

Apple. “Such birds as caged pullets and mousing owls, probably, ha! ha!”

Pulito. “And then the cemetery, and these streets high-overarched with their verdant walls of inwoven shade.”

Apple. “Poetical, i’faith! My only amusement in the burying-ground, as an unsophisticated gentleman like myself would call it, is to read the queer old epitaphs.”

Nescio. “And mark how not even the ear of Death is secure from the poison of flattery.”

Apple. “Pretty fair! I approve of that remark. As for these streets, strip them of their green guardians, and they would be dry enough to choke the wave-washed throat of Neptune himself. How[Pg 232] can fellows walk over all creation for fine prospects—my best prospect, as a kindred spirit once said, is the prospect of a good dinner.”

Pulito. “Surely, the view from East Rock is delightful.”

Apple. “Undoubtedly, if there be two or three mountain nymphs hanging affectionately on your arm. Oh! triple horror! To toil through two long miles of dusty barrenness, and crawl a la quadrupede up a mountain of shifting sand and triturated stones, to view a few houses included between shoal water and furze hills.”

Nescio. “Methinks only a few weeks since, you escorted thither some twelve or thirteen of these same mountain nymphs.”

Apple. “To be sure I did, and therefore I can speak from experience. But it argues an unkind disposition in you, to fling a man’s errors and misfortunes in his teeth. I did perpetrate that act, and as I hope forgiveness, I am contrite therefor. We set off one morning, when it was so hot that the very clouds smoked, though I could not—for what would Jonathan Oldbuck’s ‘woman-kind’ say? ‘The ladies be upon thee, Sampson,’ thought I. I could not laugh, though there was enough that was ridiculous, for I had corns. So I went sweating along under a load of milk-and-water refreshments, like a man carrying his own gibbet. I climbed up the hill like another Sisyphus, with a train of Sirens behind me. When there what saw we. Why, through a cracked spy-glass, I saw Nescio Quod here, my own chum, coming out the bookstore—wonderful, thrilling, soul-stirring prospect! Then, lo! we had left the pine-apples a quarter of a mile from the foot of the mountain, where we had stopped to browse. Nothing would do—one lady was faint, and must have a little pine-apple juice—another sweet nymph, in an unguarded moment, said that her principal object in coming, was the pleasure of eating the pine-apples—and another rosy-cheeked, and not very sylph-like figure, remarked, that if Mr. Dumpling would be so good as to go after the basket, he should have the pleasure of her arm down the mountain. The devil of a pleasure, thought I; the sweet creature must have ‘gane daft, clean daft,’ or she would never have offered such an inducement—better for me ‘that a millstone were hanged about my neck,’ &c.—but down I must come, and down I came, and when I got down, I stayed down. I ate the pine-apples myself, and laid down under the shade till evening, when I slunk home, leaving the ladies to their other beaux. I had some excuse though, for, while ‘midway between heaven and earth,’ I stumbled over a sweet-brier, and wrenched my ankle so excruciatingly, that Pope’s line occurred to my mind with some solemnity—

‘Die of a rose in aromatic (a rheumatic) pain.’

You take, do you? I managed, however, to reset the luxed but by no means luxurious joint, and grateful for my escape, I have forsworn the ladies, and pray for grace to keep my vow.”

[Pg 233]

The laughter, long and loud, that succeeded the story of Apple’s tribulations, was a sort of clearing-up shower, and left the moral atmosphere in a temper more consonant with the seriousness of the hour. After a short breathing-space, the conversation broke forth anew, and in an entirely different channel. The sad peculiarity of our situation gave to our views, and possibly to our remarks, a tinge of bitterness and satire.

Pulito. “Well, fellows, ‘our course is run, our errand done’ within these walls, and we are to leave them for ever—and why not bid farewell with a light heart and bounding hopes. To be sure, the vexings of the world will be rather uncomfortable. A gentlemanly air, and a languid intimacy with the ‘tricksy pomp’ of literature, will not make a man a President or a millionaire.”

Apple. “The prospect is somewhat discouraging. I should have felt no misgivings at starting in the literary world a century ago, when the noble art of punning was duly appreciated and rewarded, as witness the celebrity of that great man, Dean Swift. Or I could have been content to have ruffled it with the quibbling, conceit-loving cavaliers, who basked in the smiles of Queen Bess. But now the principles of taste are sadly perverted, and this noble art, this sole distinctive mark of genius, has sought and found refuge only beneath the classic shades of College. It is truly sad to me, to think of leaving this last strong hold of wit and sentiment.”

Nescio. “Why, Apple, your grief bewilders your mind. You began with talking about punning, and ended with wit and sentiment. Where is the connection?”

Apple. “At least as close, Mr. Quod, as between your real and expressed opinion, when you speak so despitefully of this innocent and dignified amusement. But now we are on the subject, what is wit?”

Nescio. “To which question I might reply, as Democritus did to him that asked the definition of a man—‘tis that which we all see and know.’ Such is the language of Barrow, the celebrated divine; I read it this very day. I however would admit no definition, that could possibly include a pun.”

Tristo. “You go to an extreme there, Nescio. A mere play upon words, a mere coincidence of sounds, makes but a poor jest, and a ready facility in discovering and thrusting into conversation these ‘imperfect sympathies,’ gives one but slight pretensions to the reputation of a wit. But there are some witticisms, which depend for their force upon a pun, but yet including also a racy humor, deserve the praise of true wit. I will read you an instance from Hazlitt:—“An idle fellow, who had only fourpence left in the world, which had been put by to pay for the baking of some meat for his dinner, went and laid it out to buy a new string for a guitar. An old acquaintance, on hearing this story, repeated these lines out of L’Allegro—

[Pg 234]

‘And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs.’”

Here the point of the jest lies in the pun upon eating, yet who does not acknowledge it as highly humorous. There are not many puns so refined and pure as this, but they sink in infinite and imperceptible gradations. You cannot draw a bold line between ‘the wit of words and wit of things.’ ‘For,’ as is said of Wit and Madness, ‘thin partitions do their bounds divide.’”

Pulito. “Very true, and I detest that squeamishness, which would refuse the praise of wit to any thing approaching to a pun, and sympathize most heartily with poor Apple for his many rebuffs. But nevertheless, Apple, ‘a joke’s prosperity lies in the ear of the hearer,’ Shakspeare says, and one should not complain if his pet witticisms are not received with applause and answered with laughter. If the jest is worthless, he deserves ridicule—if it does contain the essence of wit he has only himself to blame for giving it an utterance, where it could not be appreciated. Think you that Addison would have displayed his delicate humor for the amusement of crabbed and adust bookworms, or Voltaire sported his sarcasms to tickle the ear of clowns? Let their example encourage and instruct you, my dear Apple, and if you cannot equal their fame, you may, at least, attain the celebrity of Joe Miller.”

Tristo. “You will allow, however, Pulito, there is too often manifested a disposition to decry and disparage, when approbation would have been more natural. Censure is too often heard from lips, from which praise would have been more graceful, or silence more becoming. There are too many among us, who seek to rise upon the fall of their rivals—too many ‘frosty-spirited knaves,’ of whom it may be said, in bitterest truth, ‘not to admire is all the art they know.’”

Pulito. “I have, however, been accustomed to regard such characters with more of pity than severity. I have regarded them as defrauded by nature of the just proportions of humanity. I have been vexed by their perversity, but no more inclined to resent it, than to chastise the ceaseless annoyances of a child or an idiot.”

Nescio. “You underrate their intellect, that you may relieve their heart from the imputation of baseness. True, he who is always searching for faults, without paying any attention to beauties, affords strong grounds for the conclusion, that he has no perception of the latter, and in his own experience is conversant only with the former: and he who is ever detecting plagiarisms, and starting resemblances, gives reason for the suspicion, that his acquaintance with the fountains of these stolen waters, is not so purely accidental, or so honorably gotten, as he would have us imagine. But deficiency of taste and weakness of mind are not the sole causes of such conduct. The prompter of the whole is envy,—envy, the meanest passion of the human heart—the only one in which there[Pg 235] is not some shade of honor, some trace of nobility. Ambition may be laudable—hate become a virtue from the loathsomeness of its object—covetousness acquire dignity from the excellence of the thing coveted—but the baseness of envy is enhanced by the purity and splendor against which it is directed.”

Tristo. “Not only is envy so mean a passion in itself, but it exerts a most debasing influence upon the intellect and whole character. Indeed, if we may believe Coleridge, the cherishing of it is incompatible with the existence of genius. His language is solemn; would that all the fosterers, or rather the victims, of this worst vice, to which we are by our situation exposed, might listen to his warning. ‘Genius may co-exist with wildness, idleness, folly, even with crime; but not long, believe me, with the indulgence of an envious disposition. Envy is both the worst and justest divinity, as I once saw it expressed somewhere in a page of Stobæus; it dwarfs and withers its worshippers.’”

Apple. “To recall your attention, Tristo, to the subject from which we passed so suddenly to a more serious one, what think you of those who ‘wit-wanton it’ with things sacred, who at every breath break over the bounds of modesty, and outrage our sympathies with the true and the beautiful, for the sake of a momentary, and not unfrequently a shame-faced laugh?”

Tristo. “Such persons do themselves and others more injury than they think. Their incessant insults to all refinement and delicacy of feeling, if unresented and unguarded against, at length deaden and efface these sentiments. Bulwer says well of such, ‘Their humor debauches the whole moral system—they are like the Sardinian herb—they make you laugh, it is true, but they poison you in the act.’”

Nescio. “It is disgraceful that impurity should be an unequivocal characteristic of college wit. But it will be so, until some one shall demonstrate by his own example that there is no necessary connection, but rather an essential hostility between real humor and obscenity. But so long as it is easier to swim with the current than to buffet its dashings—so long as it is pleasanter to excite a hearty laugh, than encounter a cold sneer—so long as indolence and vacillation continue to be descriptive marks of a student’s character—we need not hope for a change.”

Pulito. “Whoever would attempt to effect one, should remember the aphorism, ‘He ought to be well mounted who is for leaping over the hedges of custom.’”

Tristo. “If this license on the part of some deserves severe reprobation, the chilling churlishness of those, who can feel no sympathy with pleasure, be it ever so innocent—whose minds can admit but the single idea of the useful, and reject as trifling the elegant and refining—who, swallowed up in their admiration of moral beauty, lose sight of or depreciate intellectual symmetry, (forgetting that[Pg 236] moral excellence, though it resemble in its value the priceless diamond, is not like it advantaged by a dull and roughened setting)—such, I say, must not pass without their share of censure, for they are in no slight degree the occasion, I will not say the cause, of the opposite vice in others.”

Pulito. “Such illiberality frustrates the praise-worthy exertions of all who indulge in it. It places them out of the circle of influence—their efforts can no more reach those whom they desire to affect, than (to use a magniloquent simile) the perturbations of the moons of Uranus can sway the Earth’s satellite in its orbit. But beside the unfortunate reaction of such principles, is not this cutting off, ‘at one fell swoop,’ all amusements, this tying down to one staid rule of formal observance, youth of every variety of taste, talent and temperament, and brought up under every complexion of circumstances—this curbing of all tastes and inclinations, not within the lawgiver’s capabilities—is it not based upon error of judgment, and directed by something of inquisitorial arrogance?”

Apple. “I never listen to a specimen of such frosty philosophy, without recalling an anecdote, much to the point. It is found, originally, I believe, in one of Pope’s letters to Swift, though I read it somewhere else. ‘A courtier saw a sage picking out the best dishes at table. ‘How,’ said he, ‘are sages epicures?’ ‘Do you think, Sir,’ said the wise man, reaching over the table to help himself, ‘do you think, Sir, that God Almighty made all the good things of this world for fools?’”

Tristo. “The sage must have belonged to the sect Deipnosophoi, or ‘Supper-wise,’ whom D’Israeli mentions. His principles, however, will apply in their full extent, I think, to the purer pleasures of taste and wit and literature.”

Pulito. “Talk not to them of the ‘purer pleasures of taste, and wit, and literature,’ for these are their utter abomination—snares for the youthful mind—idle perversions of talent. Speak to them of the grand display of moral power in Shakspeare’s dramas, and for an unanswerable answer, they will point to a gross expression—and consistently enough too, for theirs is the morality of words. They cannot perceive that the scope of all his principal plays is purely and symmetrically moral, or even religious—that they seldom violate the modesty of nature, though they may overstep the prudishness of an age when, ‘La pudeur s’est enfuie des cœurs, et s’est refugiée sur les lévres.’—Modesty has fled from the heart, and taken refuge on the lips. They cannot admire the overruling providence, by which his untutored genius, apparently so wild and uncontrollable, has been unerringly directed to conformity with truth and virtue. In their esteem the pious Cowper would have been more worthy, had he devoted his talents to the practical duties of ‘the clerk of the Commons,’ rather than have wasted them in the unproductive pursuits of poetry.”

[Pg 237]

Nescio. “Well, let them enjoy their opinions, provided they do not meddle with others in the gratification of their taste, or profess to judge in matters which they so virulently decry. The nightingale may not quarrel with the discordant braying of the ass, till the ‘long-eared’ either attempt to ‘discourse sweet sounds’ himself, or criticise the melody of others.”

Pulito. “‘Aye, there’s the rub!’ None are more prompt in criticising, none more forward to condemn, than these same individuals.”

Apple. “Nothing ruffles the placidity of my temper so much, and so frequently, as the confidence with which some fellows, whose ignorance is absolute, pass judgment upon works of literature and taste. There are those, who cannot tell for their lives whether Walter Scott wrote Waverly or the Commentaries, or whether the author of Hudibras, the Reminiscences, and the Analogy, be not one and the same, who yet issue their unblushing firman upon any stray volume of poetry or romance, they may have chanced to pick up and gape through. I heard one, who could not count beyond ten, declare solemnly that he had no opinion of James, or Bulwer, and that J. K. Paulding could write better than either. Another, who had never seen a book, save the Family Bible, before he came to College, averred that Sterne, Smollett, Fielding, and Richardson united, never wrote any thing fit to be read by a man of good morals, or sound sense; and thought, moreover, that Campbell’s Thanatopsis was far inferior to Bryant’s Pleasures of Hope! And still another affirmed that the plays of Shakspeare even, were ruinous to the interests of morality, and that all the other dramatists of England ought to be buried under the ruins of the stage they support. Upon sifting the fellow, however, I found he had never read a play, saving the Tempest, Comedy of Errors, and a couple of diluted operas in the London stage!”

Pulito. “And yet these are they, who sit in daily judgment upon what they have neither the sense to comprehend, nor the delicacy to appreciate. These are they, who stigmatize every thing beautiful as a rush, and all that is novel to their narrow knowledge, as extravagant and wild. ’Tis a Bœotian criticising the dialect of Athens; a Scythian carping at the figures of Praxiteles. Shall the home-bred rustic, who thinks the middle of the sky directly above his head, and supposes that a walk of a day would bring his feet to the ‘blue concave,’ attempt to teach the life-long traveller the principles of society, and decide upon the manners and customs and wonders of the world? And yet it would be as reasonable to the full as the conduct of him, who, when his knowledge is confined to particulars, attempts to play the critic—a part, which, in its very nature, implies generalization of the widest kind.”

Tristo. “How can the poor catechumen, who has not yet donned the robes of his novitiate, nor raised his eyes to the vestibule,[Pg 238] much less stood in his sacrificial garments by the High Altar in the Temple of the Muses, presume to decide upon the value and lustre of the treasures its adyta conceal? It is as if the puny whipster, who fumes and gesticulates upon the academic stage, and whose thoughts and language are ‘a combination of disjointed things,’ should attempt to span or analyze the harmonious vastness and sweeping magnificence of an Edmund Burke.”

Pulito. “There is likewise a species of grave wiseacres—sober fools, who are quite as senseless and less amusing than fools of the more fantastic turn. They think that wisdom dwells only upon sealed lips, and that strength of mind and sobriety of purpose, is evidenced by nothing but a rueful face. These fellows (to use the old Greek phrase) ‘lift the eyebrows’ with a dull forthshowing of meditative wisdom, and a countenance

——‘of such a vinegar aspect
That they’ll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.’

Oh rather give me a whole-hearted fool, with his eternal grin, than one of these sombre unimpressible concretions of torpedo-stricken clay.”

Nescio. “There are here, likewise, even as every where, many who can stop at no medium, but carry reasonable freedom to unwarrantable license. Because it is both pleasant and right to spend some time in general, and above all, in female society, some therefore, in their society fling away all their time, and, with their time, fling away character, and knowledge, and happiness, and worth. Because it is not well to be always bending over the learning of the present, and listening to the eloquence of the past, some therefore, double, wheel, march, and countermarch through these dusty streets during the long hours of a summer’s day, and when they catch a glimpse at the shadow of a female form, they experience a momentary heaven. Others, remembering that it is irrational to crucify the senses, and mortify the flesh, smoke, eat, and sleep, continually. Others, hearing that as well profit as delight may be reaped from the inspection of fancy’s fairy finger-work, are on the tiptoe of panting expectation for each miserable novel that falls lifeless from the press. And thus it was, thus it is, thus it will be.”

Pulito. “But idleness—idleness is the student’s bane. It is astounding how we throw away our time, and our best time—our spring-hour of life. Time is the medium of acquisition, and, losing that, we lose all. I am no Utopian in theory, nor visionary in practice: neither am I free from the follies I deplore. But the strides which might be made in our collegiate course, would be mighty and amazing.”

Nescio. “I agree with you. Every ordinary mind, by more judicious application, might accomplish double what it does. I do[Pg 239] not mean that just twice as much would be read, or acquired; but that the mind would be twice as far advanced. It would not only have received twice the strength, and twice the beauty, from the studies it had actually traversed, but would be doubly fitted to grasp, conquer, and improve whatever might afterwards occur. The progress of the mind is in geometrical ratio. Every new and liberal idea, that is gained by a boy of twelve, is a capital which will return with yearly and enormous interest. It is analogous to the gaining of worldly wealth, where you must hew your slow and narrow path from nothing to competence; but from competence to opulence, the road is broad and easy.”

Pulito. “I cannot divine the modality (as the schoolmen might say) of some minds—the manner, in which they operate. For I know of those, who for four years have toiled with desperate firmness, and are what they were. They seem to have pursued a mill-horse track, without the remotest conception that there was aught else of value in the universe beside. Now I complain not of the rigor or of the nature of our course. Stern application is our only hope, and the course of authors we peruse, is perhaps as good as could be devised; but it is the spirit with which they study. They consider what they here gain, not as a mean, but as an end. Every man, who would be ‘aut Cæsar, aut nullus,’ and whose eye goes forward to the ‘immensum infinitumque’ of Tully, must generalizemust view things relativelymust consider every thing, not as a whole, but as a part. If one possess this generalizing spirit, I care not how undivided be his attention to the college course; for I believe that there is in the books of the first three years, beauty and grandeur and weight, sufficient to justify, nay demand, almost entire attention. For instance, to gain a perfect intimacy with Horace—not an intimacy with his words merely, and sentiments—but an intimacy with his beauties—with his soul—would require one month of the severest study; and yet such an intimacy is requisite to justify studying him at all: for if he is not to be appreciated—if that evaporating something, wherein he differs so widely from a dull Latin proser, is not to be seen and felt—you might as well have been reading Cato upon gardening, or Vitruvius upon architecture. But these fellows in studying a foreign tongue, give the general sense in hap-hazard English, without gaining any insight into the philosophy of mind, or the theory of language.”

Apple. “I think, moreover, that we ought to be more conversant with the sciences. Some of the details may, perhaps, be superfluous; but surely no one can claim to be a liberally-educated gentleman, without a general acquaintance with all, and a perfect knowledge of some of those departments. Whatever may have been my former obliquities, or short-comings in these studies, I am determined to retrieve them all. I have begun with attempting to square the circle, upon which great problem I have employed two weeks.”

[Pg 240]

Nescio. “Ha! Ha! do you approach the goal!”

Apple. “I cannot say that I do very rapidly; but I feel increased acuteness of perception. I think I might discover this grand secret, could I hit upon some method of reducing the circle to linear measurement. My nearest approximation is to make a circle of a string, and then quadrate its sides by the introvention of a square surface of board. Of course, I have the perimeter and square contents of the board, and if I could fit the latter accurately to the string, the work is done, and I am Apple the Great. But ‘hic labor, hoc opus est.’”

Pulito. “Ha! Ha! Be not wearied in well doing, Dumpling; you have opened on the right scent, (erige aures, atque dirige gressus.)”

Tristo. “But there is a more serious view to be taken of this matter, and one to which we must all open our eyes sooner or later, and well will it be for us if we take counsel while the storm is yet lowering, rather than look back with despairing, remorseful eye when ruin is in the retrospect. The day will come when he, who has squandered his abilities, and perverted his passions, will ‘begin to be in want,’ when mortified pride and conscious inferiority will ‘bite like a serpent, and sting like an adder’—a day, when the busy idleness, the trifling engagements, and the languid excuses, which now lull all suspicion of an actual waste of time, will be forgotten, and nothing but the results will be visible. Then, one hasty, reverted glance, without any minute calculation, will inform us, that by our thriftless expenditure, when we might have economized to some purpose, we are compelled to be idle and insignificant; when we feel idleness to be a disgrace, and insignificance a torment. And why are not we alive to all this? Why do we not feel it, and show that we feel it, by our actions, when we can thus in theorizing, ‘put on the spectacles of age?’ The melancholy maxim of the ancients explains it—

‘Quem Deus perdere vult, prius dementat.’

Who would have the punning epigram upon the Cardinal De Fleuri, true of him?

‘Floruit sine fructu,
Defloruit sine luctu.’

There is a merry jingling in the sound, but under it is conveyed a mournful meaning. Yet it shall be written of all, who, either trusting to their native genius, or destitute of honorable ambition, flutter away their existence in mimicry of the tiny circlets of the silly fly, instead of pluming their wings and nerving their energies, for a bold, a steady, and a deathless flight. Youth gives its stamp to life, and life to immortality—time is a type of eternity. I have somewhere seen the vastness of the latter illustrated by the image of a huge[Pg 241] chronometer, of which the starry heavens were the dial-plate, its pendulum swinging in cycles of ten thousand years, and ringing to myriads of ages.”

In such and similar discourse, did they consume the lagging hours of night: now changing ‘from grave to gay, from lively to severe,’ and glancing over all the subjects and circumstances in which a student might feel a personal or an associated interest. They talked of silly affection, and of scheming selfishness, and condemned alike that vanity, which could exult in a new pair of gloves, or be elated by that ‘shadow of a thing,’ yclept a reputation; and having in view this one position, that what one is, and not what he seems, forms his character and moulds his destiny,

‘Still they were wise whatever way they went.’

And now, Reader, we have done. If from this rude, incongruous heap, which, in the throwing together, has afforded us both pleasure and profit, you have been able to extricate any thing of either, we are satisfied. If by our unworthy portraiture of cheerful mirth without the taint of vicious excitement, a single heart, sick of the hollowness of dissipation, shall be seduced from its enticements—if one mind, till now swallowed in the vortex of current opinion, and dead to the merits of any save fashionable authors, should be led to the study of chaster models, and the formation of a purer taste—if one soul, whose fountains have been sealed to the thousand springs of written or unwritten poetry, gushing up all around him, has been opened to their influences—or if any individuals of the various classes which we have ventured to describe, shall, by the image of their deformity, be frighted, ‘if not into greater goodness, at least into less badness’—it is enough.



’Tis bitter when beneath the midnight moon
We wander near the graves of those we love;
The lone heart sinks, and sighs for the bless’d boon
Of rest above.
When wearied age, with retrospective view,
Sees in the record of departed years
A tale of blighted hopes—he reads it through
With bitter tears.
’Tis bitter when our days are almost done,
To feel for wasted talents vain regret,
And see, with guilty fear, our life’s last sun
In sorrow set.

[Pg 242]

’Tis bitter when revenge, with hellish art,
Lights in the breast her ever-scorching flame,
Stirs passion’s depths, and forms the tiger-heart,
No power can tame.
And bitter is the heart, nay more, undone,
That finds long-cherished hopes in ruin end,
Crushed by the cruel treachery of one,
It deemed a friend.


The organic kingdom seems to be little else than a system of means, resisting for a short period only the laws which govern inanimate matter, and then yielding to their power. Wherever the contemplative mind turns among the innumerable tribes of animals, which have been revealed by the scrutiny of man, it beholds them all struggling a little while for a sentient existence, and then sinking down, to form a part of that mingled mass, which has given them, and continues to give their successors, sustenance. It is not however animated matter only which thus for a moment attracts, and then passes from our observation. In each individual of all this numberless multitude, we behold the glimmering of intelligence, and in some species it seems to fall but little below the uncultivated reason of man; nay more, in their architecture, in their fabrics, in their modes of subsistence and defence, many are known to rival the utmost stretch of human ingenuity. This intelligence also, and this ingenuity, vanishes from before us. The theory has indeed been formed, that this appearance of reason, wherever found, or however feeble, is but the commencement of an immortal existence; but it is not thus that the mass of mankind view the subject. They are accustomed to look upon the whole animal kingdom as progressing to a period, when, not only the sensations of their bodies will cease, and their organs be left, without exception, to decay, but when all their intelligence and skill also will be swallowed up in annihilation. If then the reason of brutes is the reason of man, how strong, how complete the analogy, and how natural the conclusion, that the mind of man too, with the decease of his body ceases to exist! Living therefore as the most intelligent of these animals do, in the midst of us, and seeming to think and reason every day as really as ourselves, reason itself seems to be constantly persuading us that our end is the same. Indeed, if man differs from the brute only in the degree of intellect which he possesses, it is almost demonstrably certain, that annihilation or immortality alike await us. That animals are immortal, however, it is impossible to believe; for if this may be predicated of one individual, it may be predicated of every species[Pg 243] in which animal life can be proved to exist. From the highest intelligence which exists among them, to the meanest insect that crawls in the dust, or the dullest inhabitant of a shell that clings to a rock, there is not a point where the line of separation can, with any degree of plausibility, be drawn, and we might almost extend the chain to the plant that shrinks from the touch, and the flower that follows the sun. This theory therefore we reject as unnatural and absurd. Hence we are reduced to the necessity of allowing, either that man is not immortal, or that his reason is different, not only in degree, but in its nature, from that of brutes. Although if the latter be true, it does not follow that the former is false, yet one of the most powerful arguments in support of it falls to the ground, and leaves other evidence to produce a conviction of the truth of its opposite. It is then an object of no little importance to discover, if possible, whether there is sufficient difference between the faculties of men and animals, to justify the conclusion that their destinies are so different.

In endeavoring to accomplish this object, we propose to consider brutes, in the first place, as they exist in their natural state, and afterwards, as they are when trained by man. Let us go, then, to the forest where the bird sits upon her nest, and the beast rests in his lair in undisturbed repose—or rather, if you please, where air, earth and water, teem with countless multitudes, all alive with activity, and all closely devoted to the peculiar employments for which Nature has fitted them. Compare now this busy scene, with that where the same elements groan under the burden imposed upon them by man, in his highest state of cultivation. Mark the aerial artist as she proceeds in the construction of her edifice, which in its execution and adaptation to its situation, defies all imitation by man. Without a model, and without instruction or experience, she fabricates a nest, which, in materials and construction, as near as circumstances permit, resembles those of all her predecessors. Where there is no possibility of a communication, precisely the same process is followed, and the same result is produced in every instance. Neither does age, observation or experience, produce the least improvement, but it more frequently happens, that the first product of this instinctive skill excels all that succeed. The same appears to be true of every species of the brute creation as we find them in the wilds of nature. All come into existence endowed with a species of intellect; a practical ingenuity, apparently far superior to any thing which man possesses, previous to observation.

If, therefore, the mental endowments of brutes are to be estimated by the readiness with which they arrive at certain practical results, man sinks below them. Among the whole human race, we find not a single instance of such instinctive knowledge. Man springs into existence of all animals the most helpless, and the most ignorant of the means of his support or his happiness. He is compelled to learn and direct every step of his course by observation and experience.[Pg 244] He is left to deliberate and choose without any previous bias of the mind, and hence arises that vast diversity of manners and customs, scarcely greater between the most civilized and the most barbarous people, than between those who are buried in an equal depth of barbarism. On the other hand, throughout each particular species of the brute creation, all appear to be guided by one mind, and urged on by some irresistible power to the same definite ends. In the state in which we are now considering them, there is no variation in their habitudes, and seems to be no possibility of their choosing a different course from that so universally pursued. It is as natural to them as to live; as involuntary as their breath. This is instinct—a faculty to man denied—a pilot whose absence leaves him to the winds and waves of circumstances, while its presence impels as well as guides the animal creation in all their intricate manœvres.

There are traits, however, in which man and the most intelligent of other animals closely resemble each other. Present, for instance, a pleasing object to the eye of man, and the countenance will involuntarily kindle into a smile. Present to the half-famished wanderer an article of food, and the flowing saliva and the beseeching look, will testify, in spite of him, his eagerness to receive it. Tear from the fond mother her darling offspring, and plunge into its unprotected breast the glittering steel, and an agony unutterable will give her wings to fly to its rescue, and a thousand tongues to call for aid, or drive her to madness with despair.

This is a species of action, exhibited to an actual extent, perhaps, though in different ways, by both animals and men. It evinces a power which it is not in the nature of man wholly to resist, and under the full operation of which we use neither deliberation nor judgment. Such seems to be the power which gives rise to a large part of the actions of the most intelligent animals. It differs little in its nature from that instinct which guides them in their mechanical labors, and, in connection with it, is sufficient to account for all the phenomena which, as sentient beings, in their natural state, they exhibit to us. It is the influence of the passions—the feelings—the heart. In brutes, apart from instinct, (if this be not considered instinct,) it holds universal sway. The objects which excite the passions, and give rise to action, may not, indeed, in all cases be present. They may be called up by circumstances in all the vividness of reality, through the powerful memory with which brutes are endowed, yet the motives of the action are the same as if the real object supplied the place of the imaginary one. The principle is the same, and the result is still produced by the influence of the animal feelings, excited by sensible objects. But in man there is displayed a moving power which exists independently of instinct, of love, or hate, or hope, or fear, and which is capable of exercising a control over all, unless it be the very strongest of human passions. In the exercise of it, the passions are, as it were for the moment annihilated, and the[Pg 245] intellect rises into a sphere where all tangible, sensible objects, vanish, and the mind converses with objects beyond the reach of mere animal perception.

The question may now arise, how are we to account for all that variety of movement and action, which animals acquire under the instruction of man? If instinct and passion are the only influences to which they are subject, we should reasonably suppose that their actions would be as invariable as the motives from which they originate. Had they never been subject to a higher order of beings, this would be found universally true. But that class of animals which we denominate domestic, and indeed almost all upon which the hand of man has laid its controlling influence, exhibit a species of action, which indicates a capability of improvement, and for which it would be impossible to account upon the principles which have been considered. There is another principle which is seen alike in animals and man, and might with propriety be denominated an artificial instinct. It is habit—a state in which we are led to act with reference to definite ends, and yet act involuntarily. By a frequent repetition of some motion of the hand, the foot or the whole person, we come at last to do the same unconsciously, and it is by this means that we perform so readily many of the intricate processes which the arts require. It is this which explains the secret of attachment to places and things. Even the prisoner, after a long-continued confinement to a gloomy cell, finds, at his departure, a magic charm binding him to the dreary habitation. The tender threads of affection have become entwined around the objects so constantly before him, and he is obliged to summon his reason, to break through the silvery web that is formed around his heart. Observation teaches us that animals are subject to the same influence. After a period of confinement and familiarity with man, the door of their enclosure may be opened, and almost without exception, they will leave it, only to return again of their own accord—not because a judgment teaches them that such a condition is preferable, but because a new influence is thrown over them which they cannot shake off. It is obviously upon this principle that they perform all the manœvres, and answer all the purposes, which they are made to do by man.

These three causes—instinct, passion, and habit, are believed to be sufficient to account for all the varieties of action exhibited by animals. We no where discover any of that power of origination, that freedom of thought and action, which renders man capable of endless improvement, and worthy of presiding over the brute creation. Nor any where do we find that power of abstraction, by which, from evidences of design which are displayed among terrestrial and celestial objects, we are able to reason our way up to an Infinite Being whom we have neither seen nor heard. These are the characteristics of man, which render him an accountable being—give him a conscience, and stamp him with the impress of immortality.


[Pg 246]


“The age of chivalry is gone.”—Burke.


In days of yore, when minstrel song
Ne’er swell’d ‘to please a peasant’s ear,’
But ladye fair, and knightly throng,
Were pleas’d his gentle harp to hear;
There liv’d in Spain, a knight of fame—
His deeds as gallant as his name—
De Lopez—stainless arms he wore,
Those arms his peerless fathers bore;
And many a goodly rood of land,
And castle fair were in his hand;
And many a serf ‘with buckled brand,’
Rode to the fight at his command.
A braver knight ne’er strode a steed,
Or couch’d a lance in rest;
A stalwart knight was he at need,
His war-spear was no coward’s reed;
In mercy he was best.
But he was now to bid adieu
To scenes he lov’d full well;
He had vow’d, as loyal lord and true,
To follow his king the crusade through,
To lands o’er which the simoom blew,
Till the Moslem crescent fell.
Now, in the castle hall he stood,
His ladye on his arm—
He waited there, before he rode,
Trusting his lovely bride with God,
To shield her from alarm.
“Now bless thee, dearest,” cried the knight,
“God keep thee safe and true;
My life, my love, ah, cruel right!
That blasts our day of love so bright
And o’er it spreads the sable night,
A night of deadly hue.”
So spake De Lopez, gallant knight,
On parting at the castle gate,
He in his glittering arms bedight,
She mourning o’er her hapless fate.
And then she plac’d a bright red rose
Among his waving plumes;
Ah, hapless bride! she little knows
What fearful fate it dooms.


No more the charger paws the ground,
Nor snuffs the fresh’ning air,
No more the faithful vassals round,
Impatient for the bugle sound,
Await—their lord is there.
He gave his pennon to the gale,
His bugle echo’d far,
O’er distant forest, plain and dale,
The fearful notes of war.
Then spurr’d their furious steeds amain,
And soon they cross the lengthen’d plain.
But, lo! from yonder lofty tower,
The ladye keeps her lonely watch,
And there has spent a long, long hour,
Spying her lord thro’ plain and bower,
Wherever she a sight can catch.
And now, in the blue distance far,
The pennon fades away;
Or, like some ling’ring, morning star,
That shines with doubtful ray,
’Tis now in view, now lost to sight,
As slowly wanes the yielding night.
Their gleaming helms and waving crests,
Their spear-heads tipp’d with silv’ry light,
Their flashing shields and steel-clad breasts,
That sparkle with a sheen so bright,
Grow faint and fainter to the sight.


Why course the drops down Mena’s cheek?
Why leaves she now the lonely height,
The ladye of the heart so meek,
The ladye of such gentle might?
She sees no more her own brave knight,
She hears no more his bugle-wail;
The dark’ning shadows of the night,
Shrouding the forest, plain and dale,
Conceal him from her sight.
[Pg 247]
And now she hastens to her bower,
And now the chief pricks on his way;
Behold, around him march the power,
Of vassal bold in long array;
For they are bound to Palestine,
With shield, and spear, and sword,
Their blessed Saviour’s tomb to win
From ruthless Moslem horde.


Among the suitors of the land,
That sought fair Mena’s lily hand,
There was a dark-brown baron bold,
That dwelt secure in massive hold;
Men seldom cross’d his stone threshhold,
For many a tale, the country round,
Their feet and tongues in terror bound.
’Twas said he practic’d gramarye,
And that in wild, tempestuous nights,
The lurid lightning one might see,
Flashing around his castle heights;
While the deep-mouth’d bellowing thunder,
Shaking the massive keep,
Would seem its rocky walls to sunder,
Then straightway forth would leap
A dazzling, quiv’ring, noiseless flame,
And the black pall of night again
Enshroud the heaven’s starless steep.
This baron hath sworn a fearful oath,
‘By heav’n and all its saints,’
That be the ladye never so loth,
Despite of love’s restraints,
She yet shall deck his bed and board,
And gladly own him her liege lord.
Now, Holy Mother, shield her well,
From all the fiendish plots of hell.
For, well I ween, this baron bold,
His mightiest spells will not withhold.


What gleaming light,
Shoots forth its beams,
Through the deep night?
Say, what this means?
All else is still
On the castle hill,
Save the warder’s cry, and the deep clock’s chime,
That warns the pale ghost of his passing time.
That ray from the baron’s window gleams,
And, as far down on the lake it streams,
Three spirits cross its path.
(God shield us from their wrath!)
By blackest art they’ve laid to sleep
The warder ’neath the deep black lake,
There too they’ve made the ban-dog keep
His lone watch, lest the warder wake;
The smould’ring brands of the watch-fire bright,
They plunge ’neath the wave, as well they might.
For such foul arts of gramarye,
No mortal eye may ever see.
’Tis not for such as me to tell,
What did they in the baron’s cell.
’Tis said that voices loudly groan’d
Around the turret’s height;
And e’en the graves in churchyard moan’d,
With many a restless sprite;
That then in cloud of flame and smoke,
These spirits their departure took.


Why swims pale Mena’s heavy eye?
Why walks she with a falt’ring step?
Why heaves she now the sudden sigh?
Has not her gallant lover kept
His knightly word? or, can it be
That he has fall’n beyond the sea?
She had last night a fearful dream,
‘A spirit woke her,’ (it did seem,)
‘And with a finger gory red,
Pointed her to a bleeding head;
Upon a city’s gate ’twas plac’d,
With dust and clotted gore defac’d;’
She shriek’d not—but her heart’s hot blood
Mounted in gushes to her brain,
This cannot be—oh, gracious God!
Is this her luckless lover slain?
But the foul spirit by his power,
Sustain’d her through her trying hour.
Yet once again
The vision came.
‘She sees a gallant knight,
And a ladye fair flit by;
They move like forms of light,
And stately onward hie;
[Pg 248]
The knight—he was the baron bold!
Herself the ladye fair!
The hour of one the clock now told,
The spirits melt in air.’


Now round the altar high they stand,
In sooth, a gallant, goodly band;
On high the torches flash and wave,
Showing pillar and architrave,
And arch and gothic window fair,
And, hanging high in the cold night air,
Pennon and ’scutcheon that glisten’d there.
But who are these, at dead of night,
That would perform this holy rite?
Who, I pray, but the baron bold,
And the fair Mena, deck’d in gold?
For missals foully forg’d have said,
(Rest him!) her gallant knight is dead!
And then, her father’s stern command,
And many a ghostly spirit band,
Have sent her mad;—she cannot know
The full extent of all her woe.


The priest in robes of stainless white,
Does now beside the altar stand,
And now beneath the dazzling light,
The baron takes the ladye’s hand.
Jesu Maria! what muffled form,
Breaks through the crowd like a mighty storm?
His helm is gone, but a lifeless rose
On his steel-clad bosom finds repose.
’Tis wither’d and faded quite away,
Still lies it there; as, in former day,
It shone a terror to his foes.
The baron breathes convulsively,
He knows the stranger knight
That aims at him so manfully;
Oh, shield the luckless wight!
Now flash their falchions in mid air,
May “God defend the right!”
Oh, who had seen that man would swear
His was no mortal might.
But, ah! he’s down—it cannot be:
His mighty soul for aye has sped!
Draw near—oh, horrid sight to see
De Lopez number’d with the dead!
With idiot eye and childish stare,
Poor Mena bends before him there,
His bloody, wasted hand she takes;
The flower her sad remembrance wakes.
Her brain is fir’d; in vain she tries
To shed a tear!—so soon, alas!
The secret springs of feeling fail,
When wrongs the anguish’d heart assail,
And burning sorrows o’er it pass.


With mournful step and fun’ral wail,
They bear the baron bold;
No more he’ll need his war-proof mail,
No more his massive hold.
De Lopez did not fall in vain,
For, as he fell, with might and main,
While yet in death he fainter grew,
He thrust the bloody baron through.
They lay the baron by a running stream,
Nor moon nor stars e’er shine upon the spot;
But, it is said, a bluish, noiseless gleam
Surrounds him; such, the dreaded wizard’s lot.
A monument of marble pale,
Marks where De Lopez fell;
For him arose no kindred wail,
He lies secure from fiendish spell.
And they have carv’d a gallant knight,
Stretch’d on that tomb so pale,
Still in his stainless arms bedight,
Still clad in marble mail.
’Tis said, when the moon, with palish ray,
Shines on the spot where the brave knight lay,
A saint-like spirit you may see,
With marriage robe, and bended knee,
Kneel o’er his lowly sepulchre.
Awhile she’ll kiss the marble face,
And shed a lonely tear,
Then look to heav’n—to ask the grace
That was denied him here.

[Pg 249]


When so many mouths are full of Mr. Willis, and pamphlets and periodicals are alternately lauding and lashing him—and, moreover, since he has so lately passed through this city, (the city of his Alma Mater,) and with him, his very lovely trans-Atlantic lady—it is certainly proper that this magazine (the deputed organ of Yale’s literary notions) break its dignified silence. Criticism, it is true, of right belongs to older heads—but since such numbers have apparently forgotten this in the community at large, we shield our presumption under their greater impertinence. Impertinence! That the thousand and one notions put forth here and there to the detriment of Willis, are impertinent, lies on the face of them. What right have they to find fault with his coat, or the fit of his breeches? “Ah! but he don’t pay for them!” Prove that, rascal—perhaps your prejudice then will be less apparent. But stop a moment.

Of course—we are not seated to make out an analysis of Willis’ mind—nor to criticise thoroughly his poetry—nor to meddle particularly with his morals—nor to read him furiously a Chesterfieldian lecture—nor to tell him whether he shall or shall not curl his hair—whether he shall or shall not have his carriage, his horses, his dogs, et cetera, et cetera. No! nothing of this, save incidentally—we leave this to others. Besides, ’tis too late for it—they have been treated on, and his new work has not yet come to us. But our purpose is, to scribble a rapid, running, off-hand article—to trouble, somewhat, some of the defamers of Willis—to give our own opinions as may be about this or that—to say just what we have a mind to—to say it how we have a mind to—and (of this, reader, be certain) to enjoy our own opinions.

Whether we are capable of this, of advancing an opinion—of that, reader, you must judge. Thus much we dare say—our prejudices will not trouble our judgment. We have alike objected to the indiscriminate laudatory efforts of the friends of Willis, and the pitiable swellings and puny malice of his enemies—we have made ourselves alike familiar with his prose and with his poetry—(what man of taste has not?)—we have never shut our eyes on his faults, or suffered a jaundiced vision to distort, discolor, or otherwise interfere with his excellencies—we have often censured and praised him—fought for him and against him—in short, been placed exactly in those circumstances, which are favorable to a proper appreciation of his merits—supposing all this time, that we possess a moderately good share of judgment in these matters. Thus much we dare say.

[Pg 250]

The most troublesome things to be met with now-a-days, are your echoing gentlemen.[2] Mr. Willis has done thus and so, says one—Mr. Willis has written thus and so, says another. Now we don’t say Mr. Willis has not done or written thus and so—perhaps he has—nor would we be understood exactly in this free government, as interdicting the expression of opinions, even supposing these young gentlemen harmless, and as entirely innocent of a capability to judge as they really are—but we do say that, in this hot weather, and especially as dog days are coming on, every buzzing, barking, or otherwise troublesome creature, should be heard as little as possible, and that it is altogether too much of a tax upon the easiness of modest men, and too much of a tax on the patience of sensible ones, when with all their exertions and cooling appliances, (such as ventilating, dressing thin, and going under the College pump,) they can scarcely keep themselves comfortable. He’s a puppy, says one. What do you mean by “puppy,” say we. Why, he’s an exquisite—a dandy. Now, hang your ignorance! for your charge proves you a clown. We have seen Mr. Willis (we have no acquaintance with him) sitting and standing—we have seen him in company and out of company—we have seen him hat on and hat off—we have seen him walking and talking—and we declare, that there’s nothing about him but an air of high society, and a well bred gentleman. The charge of being a dandy, might be laid any where with equal propriety—the urbanity of his deportment, considering his publicity, is worthy of high praise.

His publicity, his English reputation—this is another thing his enemies turn against him. Witness the slighting method of the Quarterly—witness the cool handling of the Edinburgh—witness his annihilation in the Metropolitan, say they. Annihilation! murder—what a term is this—here’s a tax—here’s a sweep—here’s a pull on our credulousness. Have these gentlemen forgotten the admitted principle in physics, that you cannot annihilate matter? But—’tis of a piece with the rest of their absurdities.

As for the attacks of those great organs of English sentiment, the Edinburgh and Quarterly, it only needs a glance at the acknowledged reason of those attacks, to show it altogether complimentary to the talents of Willis. His stories publishing successively in the London New Monthly—he was bowed through England with an assiduity and politeness well worthy the English nation, and of which any American might be proud. The first ranks welcomed him to their circles—their first literary men were pleased with his acquaintance, (aye! the very men who afterwards smote at him)—and the first critic of England, or of the world even (North, we mean,) has [Pg 251] estimated his power, and written him—no common genius. This were praise enough, in all conscience. The indiscretions of Willis—and such he has, and we blame him—these it was called forth those harrowing, ripping, raking articles, so eagerly cited against him now; and with these facts before us—shall we take their estimate of his intellect, and North on our side into the bargain? Out on him who does it! But the first men of the age have been placed precisely as Willis has—some of the Reviews one side, some on the other. Byron was thus placed. To the last day of his life he was horridly mauled by some of them, whenever that great lion turned flank and exposed himself to the enemy. He has been called ridiculous, affected, a narrow though great mind, and a plagiarist, by one of their first Reviews; and others of their great men have run the gauntlet, and after the same fashion. There’s nothing new in it—what, then, is the worth of the argument?

Of the article in the Metropolitan, nothing need be said—’twas personal pique, as every one knows. The fact that a single sentence of Willis’ condemnatory of Marryatt called forth that article, is a high proof of the estimation in which he was held, and speaking in no ordinary tone. Policy should have kept Mr. Willis from saying it—this no one doubts, whether it was true or not. If true, however, he deserves less censure; and now we call upon every admirer of Capt. Marryatt, and demand if it is not true, that there are passages in most of his novels we read with disgust—that we would not read in good society, or before a sister—and if he has not come into a dangerous proximity with that point, where he deserves all that Willis says of him? We assert that he has—let Capt. Marryatt’s admirers disprove it. And the Willis and Marryatt correspondence too! little need be said here, than that those letters went to show Marryatt a bullying blackguard, and Willis the gentleman. These things we assert—and yet professing ourselves admirers of Marryatt. He is doubtless one of the geniuses of the age. But we will not let our admiration distort facts, when such distortion is injurious to one of our countrymen.

These echoing gentlemen talk much of Mr. Willis’ ephemeral reputation—of his fame’s dying with him. Lo, and behold these Solomons in literature—witness these wise men of Gotham,—these “Daniels’ come to judgment!” Have these gentlemen to learn, that men never tolerate each other’s weaknesses?—have they to learn that Willis has been indiscreet?—have they to learn that such numbers of young and old, high and low, rich and poor, as have pitched upon him, have done so for this—and that it follows necessarily, his genius is undervalued. Whether they have or not—men of sense admit it all over the world. Men’s follies die with them. We don’t bring hatred to the grave’s side—unless to throw it in there and bury it. The smouldering earth we lay over them hides their defects—we put their virtues in our hearts. So it is [Pg 252] with men whose follies tarnish their genius. Genius is in itself, a living principle—you can’t annihilate it—you can’t lessen it—you can’t depress it. You may undervalue it—you may rail at it—you may affect to despise it. But it never was heard and it never will be, that genius, however manifested, has not sooner or later regained its splendid birth-right. So will it be with Willis—would we admit what his enemies ask, that the community as a body are against him. He has genius—a noble, lofty, and original one—(we wish time permitted to show this by references)—his follies stand betwixt the light and his merits—let him die, his follies die, and the world at once acknowledges this merit. Such is the process—if we admit, as just mentioned, that the community are against him.

We have already transcribed our limits—we therefore, pause. Before doing so, however, let us and the reader understand each other. Let us not be ranked with the mad admirers of Willis—we are none such—he has too many follies for that. But we cannot forget, either, how very very brilliant are many very many of his productions, and with what unmitigated pleasure we have always perused them. And, if our humble voice might be heard so far, we would counsel Mr. Willis that he no longer—if he has done so—discredit the fine genius that God has given him—that he tax well, and long, and arduously, that mind of his—that he by some noble effort so engrave his name on this age, that the rust of after years shall never eat it away.

[2] By echoing gentlemen, we mean such as carry their chins high—walk with canes—retail opinions pilfered from English papers, and call them their own.


Civilization, among all the changes it has effected in the character and habits of its subjects, has wrought none more remarkable than that in the condition of woman. In savage countries, the degraded slave of continual oppression—in barbarian nations, the dormant medium of sensual felicity—among the semi-civilized, the ignorant and secluded object of idol affection—it was reserved for the refinement of a purer age to reinstate her by the side, and in the heart of man. No longer his passive minister to pleasure, she has risen to share with him the rights and the enjoyments of rational existence. From the object of occasional devotion and general contempt, she has become, in the world where her claims are acknowledged, a guide-star of benign and sanctifying influence.——Pish! sentimentalizing, and on a subject trite as an almanac!——But why not? In my last number, as well my own assertions, as the inconsecutive form of my conceptions, might have been proof convincing that the solstitial airs had pervaded mind and body with their [Pg 253] enervating breath. Since then, and while the sun was riding in his more northern tropic, my energies fell before his potent presence with a still lowlier prostration. Yet, as utter oppression will drive even the weakest to resistance, so does trampled Nature rise rebellious against the tyrant, and stand upright even before his summer-throne. The cold airs of the morning send a vigorous life through the limbs, which the toils of yesterday exhausted; and a post-prandial siesta followed by a light repast “of meats and drinks, nature’s refreshment sweet,” prepares the mind for an evening of quiet thought, or rational enjoyment.

This morning is of the loveliest. Each gentle flower turns her fair face to the god of her idolatry, and, like a grateful bride, repays the warmth of his caresses with the perfume of her breath. It would seem as if the wing of relenting Time had dropt a freshening essence on his vassals, as he passed, and atoned, in the face of Nature and the hearts of her children, for the ravages of years. ’Tis not the sacred awe, that falls like a shadow from the stars of midnight, and wakes in the soul an unutterable yearning for a holier home—’tis not the sad solemnity of evening, that fuses into one pervading thought the hopes of the future, and the sorrows of the past, whilst our gaze follows far into his nightly pavilion the golden footsteps of the retreating Day—’tis the freshness, that dwells in the pinion of the eagle, when he springs from his dew-cold aerie in the mountains, and soars, with eye turned direct and unblenching on the morning sun. But to return to the women. It is a lamentable fact—‘horresco referens’—that the old heathen, and the Greeks among them, did not prize very highly these interesting objects. It is true that the exquisite delicacy of female beauty, excited in their breasts a natural thrill of pleasure, and now and then a Sappho or an Aspasia by the united power of wit and loveliness threw a spell of enchantment around the wisest, and bravest, and proudest of their time. But these were exceptions. There is many a smart bit of satire, and many a dull growl of defiance at the sex, scattered through the pages of the Anthology—and these I have hitherto neglected to translate, well knowing that the ladies are not so perfect as to bear sarcasm with patience, and that a portion of their anger might be diverted from the Greeks to me. Whether their being created second entitles them to be considered second-best, it is not my province to decide. At any rate I see not how we could get along without them, and I am perfectly willing to add my experience to that of Mungo Park, and testify that, where they are suffered to have their own way, I have found them uniformly generous and obliging.

A Paraphrase from Palladas the Alexandrian.

Woman, thou busy, meddling, curious thing,
What endless evils from thy presence spring!
For thee, forth-sailing from the hills of Greece,

[Pg 254]

Bold Jason wandered for the Golden Fleece.
Thou, and thy paramour, the beauteous boy,
Brought woe and ruin to the gates of Troy.
Achilles’ anger for a while delay’d
Th’ event occasion’d by the faithless maid;
And then, when Ilion’s consecrated wall
Had shook, and reel’d, and nodded to its fall,
Who but a woman, on the foaming brine
Held wise Ulysses, and transformed to swine
His brave companions, and employ’d each wile
To chain the hero to her magic isle?
And is not woman’s love, or woman’s rage,
Ground of each plot upon the tragic stage?
Quick to perceive, and headlong to resent,
Thy kindled anger never can relent.
So mild in love, so terrible in hate,
The soothing balm, and tri-thonged scourge of Fate;
Thou sure wert born to trouble and perplex,
Involve and puzzle the diviner sex!
Have we a secret? Keep it, as we may,
Full soon it passes from our grasp away.
Has any thing occurred? “Who, which, what now?
“Come, tell me quick, the why, when, where, and how!”
Yet art thou lovely as the gentle light,
That falleth dew-sprent from the orbs of night;
And, wert thou fled, this world of ours would be
Dark as the Fates, and barren as the sea.
When wise, and kind, and generous, and mild,
Thou rul’st us, as a mother rules her child.
But when thy passions take their headlong way,
We scorn thine empire, and defy thy sway.—
Must, then, a pretty, peering, prying wife,
Soothe, vex, enliven, and distract my life?
I’ll cling to thee for better, and for worse,
Our joy, our grief, our blessing, and our curse.

Let those who are not satisfied with this mixture of compliment and sarcasm read the following, and see with what yearning anguish a Greek could mourn over the grave of a loved one, who had passed what was, to the ancients, with emphatic truth “the valley of the shadow of death.” It is by Meleager, one of the most delicate and affectingly simple of all the Greek poets.

To thee, transported by that cruel Power,
Who waves his sceptre over all that live,
Tears wept in darkness at the midnight hour,
Oh! Heliodora! bitterly I give.
Thy home’s low roof with ceaseless tears I wet,
In deep, and wild, and passionate regret.

[Pg 255]

Oh! Heliodora! I have known thee long,
And loved thee deeply, and bewailed thee well;
But what avails the tear, the sigh, the song,
To thee, thus sleeping in thy narrow cell?
Alas! my lovely flower is senseless clay!
My budding rose the Grave has torn away!
To thee, oh earth! then let thy mourning son,
O’er whose glad heaven this cloud hath early past,
Whose day is darkened ere its morn be run,
Lift one appeal—his strongest, and his last—
Take her, oh! take her to thy gentle breast,
And lull her softly to her evening rest!

To the Tettix.

Thou noisy thing, intoxicate with dew,
Thou desert-babbler, with thy rustic lay,
Who sittest idly, where the green leaves through
On thy cranked limbs bright slants the solar ray,
Whilst from thy little frame with hue of fire,
Comes forth the mimic music of the lyre—
Oh! friendly songster, to the Sylphid Maids
‘Discourse sweet music,’ with thy tiny tongue,
And unto Pan, who habits in the shades,
And roves the mountains and the fields among.
Then, freed from love, my noontide sleep I’ll take,
Beneath the shadow which the plane-trees make.

And now, dear reader, thou hast gathered with me a few of the many wild-flowers, which bloom in the Anthology, but are known only to the student, and appreciated only by the scholar. If thou art not interested in them, it is either because thou art not gifted with a love for the simple and the beautiful, or else because that simplicity and beauty have perished in the medium through which thou hast seen them. I am no man-worshipper, and, I hope, no nation-worshipper. Yet I love, admire, and venerate the Greeks; and though I might in liberality allow that there have been minds more mighty than any of the Grecian race, yet it might be shown by the strongest of moral proof—the sentiments of nations, and the evidence of facts—that they were the brightest, simplest, and most classic nation on the earth. I say, it might be shown, and should occasion serve, I will show it. Meanwhile I will content myself with the hope that you may be blessed with an Attic reduplication of wit, a temporal augment in the riches and honors of this world, and a spiritual aspiration after all that is beautiful in knowledge, and all that is generous in deed.


[Pg 256]


Is doing very well—but might do better. It has hitherto had subscribers enough to support it—it has never lacked communications—it has never been so unfortunate as at one and the same time to displease every body—it has been constantly sustained by the countenance of able friends, and the attacks of weak enemies—its general character has been approved by the ‘leading prints’—many articles have been copied from it, not without the most gratifying compliments—even the editors have not lost their meed of praise.

So much for the first part of our remark, that the Magazine is ‘doing well’—now for the less pleasing adjunct, ‘that it might do better.’ We might have more subscribers—and all our subscribers might pay as they engage to—our articles might be more varied and more excellent—and by an increase of patronage, we should be enabled to enlarge the size, and improve the mechanical appearance of the work—and, in a word, make it more worthy of the institution from which it takes its name, and which it is our especial delight to honor.

All subscriptions were considered as made for one year, and will be so charged by the Publishers. Subscribers at a distance are reminded that their money is due.

[Pg 257]


“On the study of human nature in the works of the imagination,” and “Honors to the illustrious Dead,” two essays, are accepted, and shall be inserted soon.

“A curious incident” is under consideration.

J. B.’s communication, resembles in its form and general character the Coffee Club too much to appear with advantage after that series.

A patriotic poem, entitled “July 4, 1836,” was received too late for insertion in the last number, when only it would have been appropriate.

“Fair Wishes,” and “The Spirit of the Winds,” are declined.

“Amor non convinciabitur,” (we are not responsible for the Latin,) “Lines on a youthful Poet, laboring under disappointment,” and “The sailor’s lamentation for his departed loved one,” are rejected.

“Morning at the mast-head,” possesses considerable poetic merit, but all the rules of metre are grossly violated.

[Pg 258]



An apology for establishing a Literary Magazine, in an institution like Yale College, can hardly be deemed requisite by an enlightened public; yet a statement of the objects which are proposed in this Periodical, may not be out of place.

To foster a literary spirit, and to furnish a medium for its exercise; to rescue from utter waste the many thoughts and musings of a student’s leisure hours; and to afford some opportunity to train ourselves for the strife and collision of mind which we must expect in after life;—such, and similar motives have urged us to this undertaking.

So long as we confine ourselves to these simple objects, and do not forget the modesty becoming our years and station, we confidently hope for the approbation and support of all who wish well to this institution.

The work will be printed on fine paper and good type. Three numbers to be issued every term, each containing about 40 pages, 8vo.

Conditions—$2,00 per annum, if paid in advance, or 75 cents at the commencement of each term.

Communications may be addressed through the Post Office, “To the Editors of the Yale Literary Magazine.”

This No. contains 3 sheets. Postage, under 100 miles, 4½ cents; over 100 miles, 7½ cents.

Printed by B. L. Hamlen.

Transcriber’s Notes

A number of typographical errors were corrected silently.

Cover image is in the public domain.