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Title: Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman

Author: William L. Stone

Release date: December 24, 2007 [eBook #24024]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Julia Miller and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
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Transcriber's Note:

This sentence is incomplete, as printed:
Wheelwright, hoping that he was the bearer of agreeable tidings from his estates, threw him all but his last quarter, and Thady took his leave with,







If fortune wrap thee warm,

Then friends about thee swarm,

Like flies about a honey pot;

But if fortune frown,

And cast thee down,

Thou mayest lie and rot.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, by Leavitt, Lord & Co.,
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six,
in the Clerk's office of the southern district of New-York.
West & Trow, Prs.





How to keep a secret—Unique illustration of the way to do it—Historical truth—Anecdote of a Chinese Emperor 9


Wherein the Author discourses of cycles, of which he enumerates a great variety, illustrates the uses of some, and speaks of the genesis of others. As to the intent or application of this chapter, the reader will be kept in the dark for a time 13


Of pedigree—Introduction to a beautiful section of country—Birth of the hero—The secret of obtaining the root of all evil 20


Genius in its juvenility—Indulgent mothers—Women sure to carry their points—Preparation for the university—How he gets in 27


Intellectual development—Learned societies—The progress of genius—Idleness and incompetency no bar to academic advancement—Literary exercises—A bit of knotty and doubtful metre—The hill of science—The crowning honor 33


The learned professions—Why a man should not be a lawyer—Contention respecting the birthplace of Homer—Any body can be a doctor—Bas bleus—Medical studies and lectures—A studious genius in New-York—Gallantry—Sad effects of choosing the wrong profession 46


Easy methods of pulpit preparation—Revival of ancient pulpit eloquence—Style of living—The mercantile profession not incompatible with genius—Parallel between Burke and the last man that would be thought of in Rhode-Island—The art of sinking capital—A profitable clerk—A fire—And a mercantile catastrophe 57


A claim upon the public treasury—Amy Darden—Mr. Whittlesey—Life in Washington—Swells and attaches—Fortune's frolics—Difficulty of getting rich by lotteries—Pockets to let 69


Ancient edifice—Brief lecture upon the arts—of architecture in particular—Summons from a gentleman in distress—Poppy Lownds—Prison discipline—Not improved since the days of the Vicar of Wakefield—Unexpected meeting with a genius—A scene in limbo—The bastile—An aged prisoner—Illiberality of a landlord—Paying debts by the assistance of the Record 80


Unexpected morning scene at the foot of Courtlandt-street—An agreeable surprise—Some things can be done as well as others—Fashionable travelling—Touches of the sublime and beautiful—Ancient history of Lake George—Darkness visible—Ludicrous situation of the hero—A skeleton dance which did not take place—Fire works, and a midnight view of mountain, wood, and water scenery 95


The yellow fever—The Genius appearing by the side of a mysterious lady—Unsatisfied curiosity—Fortune-hunting—Bright prospects ahead—Obscured by a little cloud of dubiousness 111


Mistake of Mr. Pope—Anticipation—Value of editorial assistance in the march of mind—Female education—Model of a modern prospectus—Advantages of travel in the art of imparting female embellishments, mental and physical 124


Village excitement and ambition—A pattern seminary—Beautiful embroidery and blending of languages—Flight of a flock of girls—A touch of the brogue—An explosion—Miss Fortune turns out to be a humbug—A sad development 139


Reflections on poverty—Mistakes of country people concerning the supposed wealth and comfort of every body that lives in town—The narrative resumed—Visit from the hero in a snow-storm—Evidences of misfortune, with a colloquy thereon—Hard way to earn a living—Destitution—Relief therefrom—Miss Edgeworth's tale of Murad, the Unlucky—Seneca—Closing moralities of the chapter 155


Visit to the abode of Famine—Unexampled state of destitution—A spectacle that would have melted the heart of Shylock—Singular affection of a wife who loved her husband too well to keep him from starvation—Charitable character of New-Yorkers—Visit to the Lombards—Painful scenes—Frauds and oppression of those establishments—Avarice—How it chills the current of sympathy—Chapter breaks off unfinished 171


Continuation of the subject—Pawn-brokers' shops good schools of study for the philosopher—Illustration of intemperance—A loving husband—How to provide for one's household—A young man about town—A benevolent gambler—A shark in trouble—Unexpected development—An interesting stranger—Gems—How to embezzle a jewel—The lady's history—Ship of war going to sea—Forebodings—West India climate and scenery—Venus and her glittering train—A hurricane and a shipwreck in which the hero has no concern—Return from the digression—Bedstead timber 183


Dilemma of Garrick and the author hereof—Evils of prosperity—Message from a gentleman in Bridewell—Account of a domestic civil war—Tribulations of matrimony—Gallantry of a husband in defence of his wife—Accident to a nose with a woman behind it—Scene in the police, the actors in which were unhappily born in exile from their native land—Clemency of the magistrate—What sad care some people take of their virtue—How to divide a quarrelsome house—Completion of the circle—THE MORAL 207



The best parallel to the conduct of the silly ostrich, that thrusts her head into a thicket, or the sand, and fancies she is thereby hidden from view, occurred some years since in the village of Catskill. A printer, who was neither an observer of the Sabbath, nor a member of the Temperance Society, went to a grocery one Sunday morning for a bottle of gin. On coming out of the dram-shop, with his decanter of fire-water, he perceived that the services in the church near by, were just closed, and the congregation were returning to their homes. Not having entirely lost his self-respect, and unwilling to be seen in the public street by the whole village, on such a day, and with such a burden, he hastily thrust his hand, holding the bottle, behind, for the purpose of concealing it underneath the skirts of his coat: and in this way, apparently with the greatest possible unconcern, the disciple of Faust walked up the street, just in advance of the congregation. Unfortunately, however, in his haste he had thrust his decanter quite through between the folds of his coat-skirts, so that his hands and the neck of the bottle only were concealed; while, to the irresistible merriment of the people, the object which he wished to hide was ten times more the subject of observation than it could have been before. Very much in the same predicament stands the writer of the following pages. His intention was to publish them anonymously, if at all. But an unauthorized annunciation of his name, in the Booksellers' Advertiser, a few weeks since, has rendered the effort as abortive as the trick of the foolish bird, and the expedient of the printer. The mask, thus torn, has therefore been entirely doffed.

And now a few words as to the sketches themselves.

Whatever else may be said of the writer, it cannot be predicated of him, as by Addison of a certain class of biographers of his day, "that they watched for the death of a great man, like so many undertakers, on purpose to make a penny by him." The subject of this little volume is neither a great man, nor, happily, is he yet numbered among the dead. Should it then be asked, Why write about small men at all, or, in any event, until after they are dead? The answer is at hand: it is the fashion of the times in which we live. The present is the age of small men, whose lives are necessarily written while living, lest, when dead, and all hope of reward is past, nothing should be remembered to be said of them. What, moreover, can be more agreeable, than for a man to read his own biography, especially when drawn by the partial hand of friendship, and retouched in each successive edition, as new circumstances require, new virtues are disclosed, and new deeds demand a record? It may be likened to the reading of one's own epitaph, wherein one can see to it for himself, that Shakspeare did not speak advisedly when he wrote, "It is the evil only that men do that lives after them, while the good is interred with their bones." And besides, biography is history; and history has been defined to be "philosophy teaching by example." By having his own biography in his library, therefore, a man may become his own philosophical teacher, and save the expense of a professor; while, at the same time, he can enjoy the consolation of seeing how mankind around him are improving themselves by the study of his example. Should the subject of the present sketches object, that the writer has deviated from the course of most modern biographers, by the indulgence of his old-fashioned notions of impartiality and truth, he must plead guilty to the charge; but, in mitigation of punishment, he would beg leave to relate a story:

It is written in the annals of the Celestial Empire, that there once, and for ages, existed an historical tribunal, instituted for the purpose of perpetuating the virtues and vices of their monarchs. One day the Emperor Tai-t-song summoned the President of this tribunal before him, and ordered him to exhibit the history of his own reign. The President declined to obey the mandate, upon the ground that they were required to keep an exact record of the virtues and vices of their sovereigns, and would no longer be at liberty to record the truth, if their register was to be subject to the royal inspection. "What!" exclaimed the Father of the Sun and the Uncle of the Moon, "you transmit my history to posterity, and do you assume the liberty of acquainting it with my faults?" "It is inconsistent with my character," rejoined the President, "and with the dignity of my office, ever to disguise the truth. I am bound to record the whole, even to the slightest fault; and such is the exactness and severity of my duty, that I am not suffered to omit a record of our present conversation." Tai-t-song had an elevation of soul to be found in the hearts of few monarchs, even in more civilized countries than the land of Confucius. "Continue," said he to the official historian, "to write the truth without constraint. May my virtues and vices contribute to the public utility, and be instructive to my successors. Your tribunal is free; I will for ever protect it, and permit it to write my history with the utmost impartiality."

It is readily admitted that the cases are not exactly parallel. Still, the relation contains an excellent lesson, not only to princes, but to other people. How happy would it be for the world, if we all lived under the full persuasion of the fact, that the faithful hand of history will not fail to send us down to posterity odious or respected, as by our lives and conduct we shall have deserved! And if my friend Wheelwright shall feel offended that I have kept a record of the most striking incidents of his life, I have only to hope that he will dispel his frowns, dismiss his objections, and, by his own example, illustrate the value of such magnanimity as that displayed by the Emperor of China.







"In circle following circle."


The horse at the cider-mill; the mules in the press-room of the American Tract Society; and the watchman who walks his drowsy round until he falls asleep; are not the only beings that spend their lives in traversing a circle. As the curve is the true line of beauty, and as the circle in Egyptian hieroglyphics is ever used as the symbol of renewed life—the type or sign of the generative principle—so the motion produced by the centripetal and centrifugal forces, seems to be that of nature. We are often told of the never-ending domestic duties of the faithful housewife, doomed—

"To tread the same dull circle round and round;"—

The parson often discourses touching the round of his parochial duties; and who does not sympathize with the diurnal editor at the thought of the harassing duties devolving upon him, "in circles incessant." The man of the world, and the sensualist, dance the giddy round of pleasure. The judge goes his circuit, to bring men to justice in this world, and the self-denying missionary traverses his, to save them from it in the next. It is very true that the periphery of the circles traversed by some persons and objects, is greater than that of others. One man walks the circumference of his duties in a single day; another in a week; while it may require the whole life of the third to perform the journey. Many members of Congress make speeches in circles, whether arguing abstruse points of constitutional law, or the claims of a party candidate; as do lawyers their cases at the bar, proving the foregoing proposition by the following, and inferring the following from the foregoing. Cast a stone into a lake or a mill-pond, and it will produce a succession of motions, circle following circle in order, and extending the radius until they disappear in the distance. The political movements of nations are circular. Under the severe pressure of despotism the people rise in their fury, and snap their chains asunder. A republic follows; degenerating first into a rude and wild democracy; and thence into a cruel and more turbulent anarchy. As a relief from the evils of this, the people, sighing for repose, fly back again into the arms of despotism. But with a people who have once tasted the sweets of liberty, this kind of tranquillity is short. Maddened by wrongs, real or supposed, they are soon prepared again to rush into the death-dance of revolution. The "one eternal principle" of the Chinese, forming "the first link in the great material chain" of their system, is represented by a circle. Time wings his flight in circles, and every year rolls round within itself. Hence the poets sing of "the circling years." The sun turns round upon his own axis; and the moon "changes monthly in her circled orb." The other celestial bodies all wheel their courses in circles around the common centre. The moons of Jupiter revolve around him in circles, and he carries them along with him in his periodical circuit round the sun. Saturn always moves within his rings, and thus adorned himself, walks in circles through the regions of space:—

"And other planets circle other suns."

A ship on the ocean, though apparently bounding over a plain of waters, rides in fact upon the circumference of a circle around the arch of the earth's diameter. The brisk swallow cuts the air in circles; the vampire wheels circularly about your head; the timid hare flees the ravenous pack of the sportsman in a winding course, until in despair it returns to die in its form. The lunar circle betokens a tempest;—modern writers on pneumatics affirm every breeze that blows, from the gentle-breathing zephyr to the rude northeastern blast, to be a whirlwind; and the beautiful hues of the iris, bright with hope and promise, play upon the melting clouds in the segment of a circle. The eagle soars toward the heavens in curves, as though measuring the angles of distant objects by geometrical figures; and the drunkard, when unable longer to control his movements, describes a curvilinear path as he reels homeward from his revels, and waits at his bed-side to catch hold of a post as it "comes round again." Those German principalities which are represented in the Diet, are denominated circles; and if a man is so ignorant as not to know that the moss always grows on the north side of a tree, and consequently gets lost in the woods, he invariably makes the discovery by finding that he has been unconsciously traversing a circle. Indeed, with most of our race the journey of human life would be circular, were it not that it has both a beginning and an end,—and so has a circle, if you could find them. From all which it follows, that by the laws of the universe, all things, animate and inanimate, move in revolutionary harmony; and though complex in their machinery as the wheels of Ezekiel's vision, are yet so perfect and beautiful in their order, as to have suggested to the ancients the poetical idea of "the music of the spheres." And now for the truth of the foregoing propositions in geometrical physics, they shall, in at least one striking instance, be illustrated by a few passages from the life and adventures of a quondam acquaintance of mine, whose name stands at the head of this bit of biography.




"I am no herald, to inquire of men's pedigrees; it sufficeth me if I know their virtues."—Sidney.


There being no herald's college in this free and happy country, where equality was declared by the revolutionary congress to be as self-evident as our right to independence, I have no means of tracing the pedigree of my friend for many generations back. Indeed, as it was long ago remarked by Lord Camden, alterations of sirnames were in former ages so very common, as to have obscured the truth of our pedigrees, so that it is no little labor to deduce many of them. But, although no crest marks the career of his ancestors, or shield emblazons their escutcheon with mementoes of achievements in arts or in arms; and although I claim not in his behalf, as of the heroes in olden times, "a pedigree that reached to heaven," yet no doubt exists of the antiquity of his family. The name was duly inscribed in the Doomsday book of the Norman Conqueror, and had not the limbs of the genealogical tree been broken, it is believed that their ancestry might, nevertheless, have been traced back to a gentleman by the name of Japheth, "who was the son of Noah." Still, as I have already intimated, this inquiry can be of little consequence. In this land of freedom, where every tub stands on its own bottom—where men are the architects of their own fame and fortunes—where he that hath neither coat nor shoes is at liberty to go without them,—it is of little moment whether a man knows who he happens to be, or not, provided always that he behaves well. Nay, if he cannot tell whence he sprung, he escapes the censure of being the son of his father, and may arrive at the highest honors of the republic without either borrowing merit from the dead, or having any too much of his own. Avoiding genealogies, therefore, I will come directly to the point, and assume it as granted, that, inasmuch as Mr. Daniel Wheelwright is known to have had a father and mother, so likewise he must have had grand-parents. And these were, doubtless, sensible and judicious people, more desirous of being industrious and useful, than what the world calls great. Borrowing, therefore, a hint from their own honest name, in selecting an occupation for their son, they chose that of coachmaking—an art, which, in the progress of civilization, he carried from New-Jersey into the beautiful valley of the Mohawk—not many years after the original proprietors of that section of the republic had been finally driven away by those who understood tilling their land better than they. It was in this picturesque and delightful valley, on the banks of the river, and in a town alike celebrated for the taste of its people in architecture, and distinguished as a seat of learning, that my friend and hero, Daniel, first saw the light. I have cast no figure to ascertain which of the divinities presided at his birth, or what particular star first pencilled his pale blue eyes with its silver rays. But no angry planet was culminating in that particular chamber of the heavens at the time, for he grew up the best-natured being in those parts; and if the genius of Dulness was not actually present on the occasion, his court must have been held on that evening at no great distance therefrom. Not to be too particular, however, it is enough for the present to say, that he waxed towards the stature of manhood much as other boys do—save that he was never engaged in a quarrel—from the circumstance, probably, that he had neither sufficient energy, nor decision of character, to commence or to end one. To do him justice, if honesty be a fault, it was surely his; and I can truly say that in all the passing vicissitudes of his life, it has never been taken out of him to this day. His father was industrious and economical, never losing an hour in which he could make any thing, or parting with a dollar so long as he could keep it. In his domestic arrangements he was exceedingly careful that nothing should be lost. If he had eels for breakfast, he would always contrive, by preserving and drying the skins, to save more than the original cost of these somewhat questionable members of the piscatory family. He early instructed his son in the elementary principles of his trade; and it is believed that before he was seventeen he not only knew the number of spokes in a wheel, but had actually adjusted them to the felloes, and driven them up to the hub. He was also taught in some branches of household carpentry work, which proved of no disadvantage to him in the end. Full of good nature, he was always popular with the boys; was never so industrious as when manufacturing to their order little writing desks, fancy boxes, and other trifling articles not beyond the scope of his mechanical ingenuity—for which he exacted such compensation as he could obtain. In sober truth, like his parent, he was fond of money. The world, he was wont to say, owed him a living, and he prided himself not a little on his skill in procuring the wherewithal. And yet he was rarely known to realize one shilling that did not cost him two; or in other words, in all his multifarious transactions of barter and otherwise, he was almost uniformly overreached. There was one way, moreover, in which his little earnings could always be taken from him. He was fond of good living, albeit not his father's fault, since his family board was seldom spread with other than the plainest and least expensive fare. Certain was it, therefore, that the palate had never received any epicurean lessons at home; but it was equally certain that he had acquired a taste for the good things of this world. Hence those of his associates who had a design upon whatever of small change they supposed him from time to time to have accumulated, had only to tempt him with some trifling luxury, and the work was done. A plate of oysters was irresistible!




"God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents."—Shakspeare.


Daniel Wheelwright grew up a tall and stately youth; and to do him justice, his personal appearance was not a little in his favor. I have before intimated that the city in which he dwelt was the seat of a learned institution; and it was his fortune—ill or good, will appear in the sequel—to make the acquaintance of several inmates of the university, who seemed "to take a liking to him," to borrow the quaint juvenile expression in such cases, especially during the ripening and ingathering of the fruit in his father's little orchard. At these seasons their visits were frequent; and as the student's life appeared to be at once more easy and promising than a coachmaker's, and more genteel withal, Daniel manifested a desire to change his occupation. It may be, however—for Daniel is my friend, and were he not, I would do him no injustice—that the fire of ambition had begun to glow in his bosom, and that he was really and truly desirous of describing a wider "circle" than that of a carriage wheel. His mother, too—mothers always most love and indulge the oldest son—discovered a genius in Daniel requiring only means and opportunity, to wing an eagle-flight. It was some considerable time, however, before the father could be persuaded into the measure. By dint of industry and economy, he was getting along snugly in the world; and as he had no more extended education himself, he judged it all-sufficient if a man could read his Bible, and cast the interest on a note of hand by the assistance of Daboll's Arithmetic. My friend's common-school education, therefore, was judged by his father to be all that was necessary for an honest man. But the woman prevailed,—as women generally do. It happened that at the distance of some sixty or seventy miles farther up the vale of the Mohawk, lived a man whom she had previously known in New-Jersey, and whose occupation was that of "teaching young ideas how to shoot"—not grouse and woodcock, but to shoot forth into scions of learning. He had a son whom he desired exceedingly to send to college; but as he was forever compelled to be scraping the bottom of his scanty exchequer to supply the current wants of his family, he was destitute of the means;—and there were fewer education societies, and other facilities for obtaining eleemosynary instruction in those days than in the present age of disinterested benevolence. The inventive genius of the woman was therefore not slow to devise a project by which her friend might be served, while at the same time her own favorite design might be furthered—and that, too, without making, even prospectively, any essential encroachment upon the means of her husband. For the attainment of this object—or rather for the removal of so formidable an obstacle in the future career of her son—she had for a long while been taxing her inventive and diplomatic powers. An arrangement was therefore soon negotiated, by which the pedagogue received our hero under his own roof, and prepared him for the university, while his own son was taken as a boarder into the family of the coachmaker, where he remained during the whole of his collegiate course. The immediate results were auspicious. The son of the pedagogue took the honors of his class, and has since been enabled to rejoice as the president of a transmontane university; and our hero was, in turn, duly prepared for matriculation beneath the academic evergreens of his own neighborhood. It is but fair to acknowledge, moreover, that students have entered that institution, as well as divers others, no better prepared than Daniel Wheelwright. Notwithstanding the natural indolence of his character, he knew that he must know something before he could enter college, and that in case of a failure, he must again cultivate more acquaintance with the felloes of the shop, than with the fellows of the university; and with the stimulus of such a consideration before him, he applied himself to his books with extraordinary diligence. His preceptor was in all respects adequate to his task; and the requisites of the college being quite liberal and republican—not repressing the generous ardor of young ambition by exacting too much in the outset—the aspiring Daniel crossed the threshhold of the university without any considerable difficulty. His prudent and sagacious mother had managed every thing with consummate forecast and tact; and to avoid any difficulty that might have resulted from too many unanswered questions, her son had been represented to the faculty as a very modest and diffident youth, who knew much more than he could tell—like the grave bird, of which it was believed that although it said but little, it thought the more. Indeed, it is believed that he had actually read Cornelius Nepos and three books of the Æneid. He had likewise thumbed over his Greek grammar, and gone through the gospel of John. The kind mother heard of his initiatory success with delight, and the father was rather gratified than otherwise—especially as it cost him nothing.




"O this learning! what a thing it is!"—Shakspeare.

"You do ill to teach the child such words: he teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do fast enough of themselves; and to call horum; fye upon you!"—Idem.


How young Wheelwright had ever accomplished even what has already been indicated, was a matter of astonishment to himself; and before many months had passed away, to every body else, for his subsequent acquirements did not correspond thereunto. In good sooth it is believed that he never really mastered a single lesson afterward. Having succeeded in getting into the college, it was a very rational conclusion that he would some day find his way out of it. He knew that the four years would pass away in less than five; and as he had turned student to avoid hard labor, why should he fatigue himself by digging at the roots of hard language! It was either from sheer indolence, or because he had completely exhausted himself in his preparatory studies, that he made no farther advances in literature, although he kept within its flowery walks. I have already mentioned a snug little orchard, which, in truth, was one of rare productiveness, and of which his father's industry had made him the proprietor. The produce of this orchard, both of apples and cider, added to, and in connection with, his imperturbable good nature, enabled Daniel to maintain the popularity among the students of which I have spoken in a former chapter. The reader will not be surprised, therefore, to learn that he succeeded in obtaining an election as a member of the Philo-Peitho-logicalethian Institute—a society, as its name imports, learned in all that is eloquent, logical and veracious—and of which, I am proud to say, the distinguished subject of this memoir had the honor once of being chosen semi-monthly secretary, after a sharp and close canvass. In the transactions of this society the principal forte of Daniel was debating; albeit the character of his elocution was not the most brilliant, and it was not often until after the ayes and noes were called, that it could be determined from the drift of his argument, which side he had espoused, or in fact whether he himself understood the proposition—unless, indeed, as was sometimes the case, he commenced his speech by saying, "Mr. President, I are in favor of the negative of that are question." In the ordinary tasks of his class he contrived from day to day, by the promptings of others, to work his way along; and previous to the quarterly examinations, it was his practice to obtain the assistance of some of his classmates to go over his exercises with him, which they very cheerfully did, as an evening could always be comfortably spent in this way, over a pitcher of cider and a basket of apples. Having a pretty good memory, Dan could retain a part of his lesson, guess at another part, and catch the wings and legs of the residue from the promptings of friends—although he so greatly outstripped them in growth, that it became difficult to send the necessarily subdued sounds of their corrections up to his anxious ears. It was a kind and indulgent class of which he was a member, and of no ordinary character—it having furnished the president of one university; the chief manager, for years, of half the Christian missionaries in heathendom; and its full share of learned professors, sagacious legislators, and eloquent counsellors in the law. And as the truly great are ever the most active in labors of love, its members were always ready and willing to lend our hero a helping hand in "climbing" the difficult "steep" which Dr. Beattie pronounces so "hard" of access. Still, at the close of every quarter, he was regularly "read off," as the declaration of deficiency is denominated, and threatened with degradation. But he nevertheless kept along; how, his biographer cannot tell;—all that he is able to say upon this point, being the fact, that the close of every academic year found him one year older, somewhat taller, and advanced one grade higher in his classic course. Whether on the ground of proficiency, of size, of family influence, or for the purpose of swelling the catalogue by another name, the reader is left to determine for himself.

The earth having at length nearly completed her fourth annual circle around the orb of day, since Daniel commenced his collegiate course, the anniversary at which he was to take his degree, if he could get it, was rapidly approaching, for which occasion it may well be supposed he was no better prepared than he should be. The faculty, however, were indulgent, and had, moreover, even at that early day, hit upon the happy expedient of awarding to every member of the graduating class an honor of some sort, the delivery of an oration or a poem,—taking especial care, by the way, to note in the proces verbal of the exercises that those students who were too poor to purchase, and too stupid to manufacture, either the one or the other, had been excused from taking the part assigned;—a convenient device, by which many a deceived and doting parent has been adroitly blinded. It was in this way that the faculty determined to dispose of the subject of this memoir; and an Irish professor, who was an incontinent snuff-taker, and sometimes a little mischievous withal, caused him to be announced for a poem. Alike to the amusement and the astonishment of every body, although he had no ear for numbers, and scarcely knew a dactyl from a spondee, Daniel accepted the honor. Nor, after all, was he so much of a fool as many people took him to be; and, whether by the process of counting his fingers, or by some other means, I cannot say, but still I have known him to bring out several stanzas of Hudibrastic metre, sweetly rhyming "trees" with "breeze," "love" with "dove," "zephyr" with "heifer," &c. Indeed I have likewise known him to be guilty of positive waggery; but it must be confessed that in this line his attempts were few and far between, and not always successful. He had seen, however, that the professor, though not exactly poking fun at him, had nevertheless intended a sly touch of irony upon his proverbially prosing character. He therefore determined to "be up to him," as the fancy have it; and having somewhere found the copy of an obsolete satirical epic which an enamored snuff-taker had once addressed to a mistress, who could reciprocate the interjection over her snuff box,—

"Knows he the joys that my nose knows!"

Wheelwright copied it out, and presented it to the faculty as his own composition. Being addicted to the use of the titillating powder himself, it was but a reasonable supposition on his own part, that it would give no offence. It commenced thus:—

Softly waft, ye southern breezes,

Bear my plaints to her I love

Say to her whene'er she sneezes,

Sympathy my muscles move;

My true-love is formed of graces,

Takes cephalic, likes a quid,

And is beauteous as the faces

Carved on an Irish snuff-box lid.

Cetera desunt.

The hit at the rhetoric-professor's snuff-box was only understood by those who had seen the article referred to; and on the whole, the performance was considered a very clever jeu-d'esprit by the faculty, who knew nothing of its paternity, and set it down as his own. Still, as being hardly in keeping with the gravity of the occasion, it was rejected as a part of the public exercises of the commencement. Anticipating this result, however, Daniel had provided himself, by virtue of a basket of Spitzenbergs, with a few stanzas of metre, entitled "An Ode on Ambition," which were more successful. It was written by a young gentleman who has since taken several silver cups for theatrical prize-addresses, full of phœnixes, and the Greek classics from Lempriere. He has also been a large contributor to those beautifully printed, useful, and fashionable hebdomadals, the Milliners' Literary Gazette, Young Ladies' Companion, et id genus omne. The ode ran thus:—

The warrior fights, and dies for fame—

The empty glories of a name;—

But we who linger round this spot,

The warrior's guerdon covet Nott.

Nott for the miser's glittering heap

Within these walls is bartered sleep;

The humble scholar's quiet lot

With dreams of wealth is troubled Nott.

While poring o'er the midnight lamp,

In rooms too cold, and sometimes damp,

O man, who land and cash hast got,

Thy life of ease we envy Nott.

Our troubles here are light and few;—

An empty purse when bills fall due,

A locker, without e'er a shot,—

Hard recitations, or a Knot.

Ty problem, which we can't untie,—

Our only shirt hung out to dry,—

A chum who never pays his scot,—

Such ills as these we value Nott.

O, cherished *****! learning's home,

Where'er the fates may bid us roam,

Though friends and kindred be forgot,

Be sure we shall forget thee Nott.

For years of peaceful, calm content,

To science and hard study lent,

Though others thy good name may blot,

T'were wondrous if we loved thee Nott.

There was a touch of waggery, if not of mischief, in these verses, which happened to escape detection from the faculty, though not very artfully concealed. But the terminations of the stanzas rendered the thing transparent to the audience during the delivery, as was quite manifest from the general movement of their risibles. But Wheelwright was himself as ignorant of the pun as the faculty were, until both were enlightened the following week, when the real author caused it to be published in the Cistula Literaria—an interesting journal, edited by a committee of the junior class—with a capital "N" and a superfluous "t" in the monosyllable referred to, as it appears in the present memoir. The conceit was Nott thought a bad one, and those who were not in the secret gave my hero more credit for his metrical skill, than he has ever received since.

Thus borne along upon the current with his class, Wheelwright was admitted ad gradum in artibus—a certificate of which fact he took care to have elegantly filled out upon the largest and handsomest scroll of parchment that could be procured. It was of course verified by the signature of the Reverend Præses, and decorated with an enormous seal, representing, very appropriately in the present and many other instances the Temple of Science perched upon an inaccessible hill. At the base of the hill, stood the goddess of Wisdom with her favorite bird (the owl) upon her shoulder, and pointing the attention of young aspirants to its beetling summit. The motto was "Perseverantia omnia vincit," a very consoling legend to the numerous alumni proceeding annually from this venerable university.

With the subject of this history, and perhaps with many others also, the puzzle was to construe this splendid testimonial for the edification of his simple-minded parents, when he came home with the burden of his blushing honors. But in this effort we question whether he ever succeeded. Indeed it has always been a grave matter of doubt among philologers, whether the document was even capable of being rendered into English, in conformity with the laws of any language which the human race has ever spoken, since the low Dutch and the Basque dispersed our ambitious ancestors at the building of Babel.




"Here let us breathe, and happily introduce a course of learning, and ingenious studies."—Shakspeare.

"The whole world cannot again prick out five such, take each one in his vein."—Idem.


Having thus completed his classical studies, and come off, as we have seen, with the customary academic honors, the next subject of consideration at the domestic fireside was the choice of a profession. His parents were not only conscientious people, but sincerely religious, and really desirous of doing good. They would, therefore, have preferred making him a clergyman, had he given evidence of piety. But such was not the fact. He was truly amiable in his disposition, of grave and quiet manners, and of sound morality. Still, they could not think of thrusting their son into the sacerdotal office, as is oftentimes the practice with regard to younger sons in foreign parts, merely as a trade to get a living by, while the head only is engaged in the work, and the heart has neither part nor lot in the matter. Some other profession was therefore necessary; and as his good parents were religiously opposed to the quarrelsome profession of the law, the choice was necessarily directed to that of medicine. In the sequel it will be seen, that, let people be ever so conscientious, they are obnoxious to great errors in the education of their children, and equally liable with others to err in the selection of that walk of life, or profession, for which they are least adapted by character or capacity.

But to proceed. Law and divinity being out of the question, it was resolved, in family council, that Daniel should become a disciple of Galen, and acquire the art of compounding simples, and healing the various diseases which flesh is heir to. He was accordingly entered in the office of an eminent medical gentleman, in one of the most beautiful cities which adorn the banks of the majestic Hudson. I will not be so particular as to name the place, lest other towns should be moved to jealousy. Each of the seven cities that contended for the honor of giving birth to Homer, was as well off as though each was actually entitled to it—whereas, had the point been settled, six of them would not have been worth living in; rent-free. There is another reason for not being too particular. Although, unlike Byron, I have no fear of being taken for the hero of my own tale, yet were I to bring matters too near their homes, but too many of the real characters of my narrative might be identified. Suffice it, then, to say of the location—Ilium fuit!

Immediately after his induction into the office of his Æsculapian Mentor, Daniel became Doctor Wheelwright—and through all the subsequent vicissitudes of his life, and all the changes of his pursuits, and they have neither been few nor unimportant, the title has adhered to him until this day.

I have already said that his personal appearance was good, a circumstance which of course was not at all to his disadvantage. His first business in his new station, was the selection of a genteel boarding-house, the purchase of a new and fashionable suit of clothes, and a snuff-box. Ever partial to the society of ladies, he was assiduous in his efforts to cultivate their acquaintance, especially of those among them who were of a literary turn. Chief of the female literati of the town, was a lady of no certain age, but of great pretensions, whose hose were deeply azure. With her he became quite intimate, and she found his services particularly convenient, in sending to the circulating library for books, and in other respects in which it was found he could render himself useful; and he in turn was never more truly happy than when obeying the behests of a blue of such celebrity. These preliminary arrangements occupied about three or four months of the first year, during which he could of course have but little time to attend to his books. He did, however, make a beginning; but mental application was no easier now, than when in college, and he had moreover succeeded in forming acquaintances in a larger and more attractive circle than was to be found within and about the college walls. It required the greater portions of his mornings to keep alive these acquaintances; and every body knows it is no time for hard study after a hearty dinner—of which, particularly if it were good, few were more fond than "Doctor Wheelwright." Thus the first year found him scarcely at the close of the first chapter of Cheselden's Anatomy.

An attendance upon the lectures of some regular medical college was of course essential to a thorough professional education, and his father had now become ambitious of doing the best for a son upon whom he began to look as a young man of high promise. Every where he was now spoken of as "young Doctor Wheelwright;" and there was something gratifying to a parent's ear in that. He was therefore sent to New-York to hear the instructive eloquence of Hosack; the wise and prudent counsels of Post; to press into his goblet the grapes of wisdom clustering around the tongue of Mitchill; and to acquire the principles of surgery from the lips, and the skilful use of the knife from the untrembling hand, of Mott. Tickets were procured for all the regular courses of the college lectures, all of which were attended without intermission, and most of them slept over without compunction. The truth is, that neither medical authors, nor medical orations had any congeniality with his feelings. His love for science could not conquer his aversion to the dissecting-room, and he greatly preferred taking care of the body as he found it, to the labor of ascertaining how it was made;—he liked well to have the springs and wheels of his own frame in easy and accurate motion, but cared not to examine the delicate structure of the complicated machinery. The consequence was, that when not in the lecture-room his time was occupied—not with his books, but in lion-hunting. He visited the theatre when Cooper, and Pritchard, and Mrs. Darley, were in their glory; lounged frequent hours in the museums; and was the first to run after every new attraction placarded at the corners. He was greatly taken with the agility of an Armenian girl, upon the wire and slack-rope, who was in truth a second Fenella in the sprightliness of her nimble exhibitions. Day Francis, the conjuror, was his admiration. He was delighted with Rannie, the old ventriloquist, and the first in America; and Potter, the late sable and celebrated professor of legerdemain, in slight-of-hand, he thought actually excelled Doctor Mott himself.

At the close of the term he returned to the country, and resumed Cheselden. But he yet preferred the society of the ladies—accompanying them in their morning walks, and at their evening parties. And with them all he was a favorite—of a particular description. Full of good nature—easy and accommodating in his disposition, ever ready to oblige, when any of the fair were in distress for a beau, he could always be had, and even felt honored to be called upon such service, when it was not desirable to take such a liberty with gallants of a different cast and temperament. Especially were his services of value at parties, where exigencies of a particular description were likely to occur—as, when some not very popular damsel lived at the farthermost end of the town; or in such other undefinable cases as might result in the danger of some forlorn maidens being left, after the whips and blanc-manges were disposed of, to perform the homeward pilgrimage on foot and alone—as the girl went to get married.

But the beau and the student are different animals; and at the close of the second year, the young doctor had only half completed Cheselden's article on Osteology. It began now to be evident that at this rate he would never become an M.D., easily as this honor is obtained; and it was equally doubtful whether the most complaisant censors of a medical society, would, at the end of three years, admit him to practice. The distinguished medical gentleman with whom he was attempting to play the student, saw that if Harvey had not discovered the theory of the circulation of the blood, Doctor Wheelwright certainly would never have made it, and he hinted to his pupil in as delicate a manner as possible, that even if he had been cut out by nature for a physician, he had been spoiled in the making up. My friend was by this time quite of the same opinion himself; and he thereupon quitted the profession, with no more medical knowledge than the art of mixing suitable portions of salts and senna for children, and the preparation of cough-drops, by compounding the syrup of squills with paregoric and balsam of honey in equal proportions—which mixture, by the way, is the best prescription to be found in the Vade Mecum of any physician in Christendom—from Sir Astley Cooper down to Hahnnemann, of all medical humbugs the chief. Would that Daniel Wheelwright were the only person who has trifled away the misapplied money of industrious and misjudging parents!




"——Now I play a merchant's part,

And venture madly on a desperate mart."—Shakspeare.

"A man whom Fortune hath cruelly scratched."—Idem.


Having thus "thrown physic to the dogs," the next important subject of consideration was the choice of some new occupation or pursuit, not of a professional character. His mother's project of making him a clergyman had been previously rejected, as stated in a former chapter. The decision might have been otherwise had the lot of our hero been cast in England, where the minor clergy of the establishment purchase their sermons already written to their hands, if they are able, or copy them from the moral essays of Doctor Johnson, or the more devotional writings of Hannah More, according to their tastes and feelings, if they are not. But such easy methods of pulpit preparation are not tolerated in this country, unless in respect of the youngest ecclesiastics; and even they are compelled to be exceedingly chary in the use even of the printed skeletons to be found in most Episcopal libraries—not venturing to let their people know of the existence of such "helps," much less that they are in the habit of cutting out their sermons by such patterns. Moreover, as for the preaching of other men's sermons outright, the Americans are such a reading people, that the detection of borrowed "thunder," is almost certain to follow its use. An instance in point was then fresh in the public mind, in which one of the most eloquent and popular pulpit orators in the land, had been arraigned before an ecclesiastical tribunal, on the charge of appropriating ad libitum to his own use and the behoof of his congregation the works of Barrow and Jeremy Taylor, Flavel and Massillon, Toplady and Tillotson. True, the depredator was endowed with powers of eloquence worthy of the great masters whose sermons he had the good taste to prefer to his own—delivering their breathing thoughts and burning words, with a deep-toned solemnity, and a splendor of elocution, which thrilled the bosoms, and alternately charmed the minds, and melted the hearts, of his devotional hearers. But the disguise of manner was not sufficient. There were those of his congregation who had read and remembered the works with which he was making so free; and although they were by no means the losers by the substitution of the kindling periods of the sound old divines for his own, yet the late Rev. Mr. Hooper soon found himself under the discipline of his clerical superiors. Shut out, therefore, from the pulpit, my friend Wheelwright had turned his attention to medicine, as being in his apprehension the next easiest of the learned professions; and now that he had relinquished the healing art, because he possessed neither the industry nor the capacity for acquiring it, some other method of earning a subsistence seemed to be necessary. Should it be the law? His resolution would have deserted him at the thought of mastering even the elementary treatises of Blackstone, and the sight of an ordinary law library would have appalled him. But employment he must have. He had cultivated a taste for style, and ease, and luxury, which it would require no inconsiderable means to indulge. He desired to cut a figure in the world, and to make money that he might do so; and he was anxious withal to select that occupation with which he might personally be the least occupied—in which he might indulge his inactive propensities with the least corporeal exertion—and by which he might realize the greatest profit. After duly weighing matters, therefore, and balancing the various considerations that occurred, with all appropriate gravity, he determined to engage in merchandise—a branch of business for which of all men he possessed the least possible fitness. His worthy parents, moreover, were thereunto consenting. Fond and unhappy people! They had never read the splendid philippic of Burke against the mercantile character, in which the indignant senator denounced the members of that enterprising occupation as having no altar but their counter, no Bible but their leger, and no God but their gold! Nor, (being neither prophets nor descendants of prophets,) could they foresee that another Burke was soon to illuminate this occidental hemisphere, by the blaze of his genius,—embodying in his own person half the wisdom of the whole nation of Rhode Island,—who should revive and indorse the dictum of the florid British rhetorician, and fix upon the name of the American merchant as fact, the fancy sketch first drawn by a brilliant but libellous imagination! Had it been otherwise, I am sure my friend would have been spared the toils and perplexities incident alike to the mercantile calling, whether dealing in foreign commerce by millions, or vending tape and buckram by the yard in Chatham-street or Albany.

But it was written that Daniel was to be a merchant; and an opportunity was soon presented for purchasing the odds and ends of a fashionable fancy and jobbing concern in Albany. His father, moreover, who had by this time accumulated a snug property by his own honest calling—who knew little of the perils of the mercantile business, and still less of the skill and attention necessary for its successful prosecution, consented in an evil hour to become his indorser. The chief clerk of the concern, a young man by the name of John Smith, was continued in the establishment; new goods were bought in New-York in most enterprising quantities; and although both old and new were purchased at no small disadvantage, yet a plausible exterior, and a fair credit, enabled Mr. Wheelwright to drive a brisk, and, as he no doubt honestly thought, a thriving business. It was indeed true that the return of every six months found him somewhat deeper in debt. He was obliged to fill up the blanks in the notes which his kind parent had indorsed in advance, and by the quantity, for larger and yet larger sums, and occasionally to ask the name of some other friend, "just for form's sake," under that of his father. But his faithful clerk assured him that his capital was increasing, as the books would show, and that every thing was going on swimmingly. He took lodgings at the Tontine, like a gentleman of means; was free and liberal in his expenditures; invited his friends often to suppers of game and oysters, which invitations were but too often accepted;—and as he knew nothing of his own business, but continued to repose all confidence in his chief clerk—taking his assurances that all was well,—he supposed it was so, and began to fancy that he was actually becoming rich. It had ever been a common saying in his mouth, that "the world owed him a living," and he now verily believed that he had taken the wave of fortune at its flood, and was floating along triumphantly upon the spring-tide of wealth. Nor was he undeceived until the disclosure was too late for the salvation of his credit. His notes began to come round too fast to be promptly "lifted;" and just at the moment when a portion of his increased capital would have been exceedingly convenient, greatly to his surprise he was unable to find even that with which he had commenced. The consequence was frequent visits from the notary; and his indorsers began occasionally to receive an unceremonious call from those officious legal gentlemen, Messrs. John Doe and Richard Roe.

At this stage of his unpromising mercantile career, the approaching catastrophe was hastened by a very grievous and untoward event. After having despatched a duck and a dozen of oysters at Bement's, he had scarcely composed himself to sleep before he was aroused by an alarm of fire, and astounded by the vociferations of a watchman under the window, who thundered in his ears that it was his own store that was now illuminating the venerable Dutch capital! Not an article escaped the ravages of "the devouring element," to quote the newspaper account of the following morning; and what was more melancholy still, his faithful clerk, who always slept in the store, was for the moment supposed to have perished in the flames! Morning came, however, and lo! Mr. John Smith, junior, was seen to emerge from the portal of a house, the fame whereof was no better than it should have been—it being none other than one of those places of which the wise man would have said, "the dead are there," and "the guests in the depths of hell."

The residue of this section of Mr. Wheelwright's biography is soon told. With the flames of his store, were his fortunes for the time being extinguished; and his father soon afterward found himself to be as destitute of property as when he first entered the valley of the Mohawk, with only an adz, a pod-auger, and an axe upon his shoulder. The trusty clerk soon afterward sickened, even unto death, and in his last moments disclosed various delinquencies which had hastened his employer's ruin;—for all of which he was readily forgiven by the really kind-hearted man whom he had so deeply wronged, and from his penitence it is to be hoped he was also forgiven by Him against whom he had yet more grievously sinned.

The merchants of New-York are proverbially liberal to unfortunate debtors; the tale of Mr. Wheelwright's misfortunes excited their lively sympathies; and they generously released him from all those obligations which neither he nor his indorsers could pay. And thus amid the frowns of adversity ended the mercantile career of the subject of this memoir.




"——Fortune is merry,

And in this mood will give us any thing."—Shakspeare.

"Full oft 'tis seen our mere defects

Prove our commodities."—Idem.

"——A motley company,

Blacklegs, and thieves, and would-be gentlemen."—Idem.

"The lottery of my destiny bars me the right of voluntary choosing."—Idem.


The succeeding stage in the life of my hero and friend, was marked by no very striking or extraordinary event; but the incidents attending it were nevertheless quite characteristic of his varying fortunes. It so happened that in adjusting the results of his mercantile experiment, Mr. Wheelwright became possessed of a questionable claim upon the government, for property said to have been destroyed by the enemy on the northern frontier, during the late war with Great Britain. It came into his hands by way of satisfaction for a debt due from a country merchant; and although the chances were as twenty to one, either that it had already been paid, or that it had no existence in equity, or that even if ever so just, like the claim for Amy Dardin's celebrated blood-horse, the period of two generations would be consumed in petitioning for relief, yet he determined forthwith to proceed to the federal capital, and prosecute his suit before the august majesty of the people in congress assembled. What with boats taken by General Wilkinson for the public service, in his memorable descent of the St. Lawrence,—for the purpose, among other things, of celebrating Christmas in Montreal—a festival, by the way, which an obstinate enemy would not allow him to keep there,—and buildings so effectually destroyed during an irruption of the British across the lines, that their sites have never been discovered to this day,—all duly set forth in the papers with which he was furnished,—Mr. Wheelwright presented a claim, respectable in amount, which was referred to the proper committee of the "collective wisdom." The hawk-eyed Whittlesey was not then its chairman. In process of time, therefore, the committee reported in his favor; and, in the end, to the astonishment of every body, he succeeded in obtaining it! How, or by what artful appliances, he became thus successful,—and that, too, during the first session,—I have never been clearly informed. It was, however, a winter of great activity and excitement at Washington. A distinguished "military chieftain," flushed with the pride of victory, and crowned with Indian laurels, had suddenly appeared in the capital, to defend himself against charges preferred by the legislative authorities of the nation,—authorities, which he openly derided, and threatened to beard in their own council-chambers;—and it is not unlikely that while some of the members were engaged in studying the arts of self-defence, and others holding with both hands upon the ears that had been openly threatened, the bill for the liquidation and payment of Mr. Wheelwright's claims, was passed in the alarm and confusion, without observation. It is not impossible, moreover, that as the claimant had resided at Albany, and as the Albanian tactics had not then been introduced into Washington, he might have tried his hand at some of those ingenious devices, of the successful operation of which he had been the silent witness in the pure and incorruptible capital of the empire state.

Be all these matters, however, as they may, it is certain that he succeeded in his application beyond the most sanguine expectations alike of himself and his friends. Thus far, therefore, all was well; a brighter prospect seemed to dawn upon his fortunes; and all would probably have continued well, had he turned his back upon the capital the day after receiving the auditor's warrant upon the treasury, and hastened home. But the President's levees were about opening for the season; and two or three of those most insufferable of all coxcombs, the attachés of foreign embassies,—whisking their dandy rattans and sporting finely curled mustachoes;—who, to his unsophisticated observation, appeared to be men of far greater importance than their less-pretending diplomatic masters,—and who not unfrequently shared oysters with him during the day at Laturno's, and canvass-backs and champagne at O'Neal's by night,—persuaded him to remain a few weeks longer,—not much to the advantage of his exchequer, as may well be supposed. Still, as he was not a gambler, and was withal a moral man, no great inroad upon his purse would have resulted from a few entertainments thus bestowed upon his sponging acquaintances,—who, as he really supposed, were reversing the order of the obligation, by the light and flashy touches they gave him of high life in Europe,—relating, with great particularity, their adventures in France,—dining with the Dukes of Chartres and Angouleme, and attending the opera with the Duke of Berry and the Countess de Chausel,—visiting Rome with the grand Duke of Tuscany, and flirting with the Countess Guiccioli, in the absence of Lord Byron,—engaged in the chase with the Percies of Northumberland, or at Almack's, with the Marchioness of Conyngham,—all of which apocryphal incidents and adventures my simple-minded friend received as sober verity, and felt himself exceedingly edified thereby.

The result was, that Wheelwright whiled away the whole winter in Washington; and it was a marvel, that what between the mid-day dissipation at Laturno's—that unhallowed den in the base of the capitol, which has proved the grave of so many reputations,—and the suppers at Brown's and O'Neal's, he did not quite use himself up. But he escaped in those respects; and notwithstanding his natural indifference to public and intellectual matters, he actually became not a little interested in the great debates on the Seminole war, and the conduct of the commander who had conducted it according to law "as he understood it."

It was during these interesting proceedings that Mr. Wheelwright most unluckily formed two other acquaintances, in the persons of a clever and plausible lottery-broker at Washington, the author of the celebrated parody of "Hail to the Chief," beginning—

"All hail to Ben Tyler, who sells all the prizes," &c.

and the chief manager of the memorable Washington Monument Lottery. Both were acute, and the manager no less plausible than the vender;—and the easy good nature of Mr. Wheelwright, who was not a little credulous withal, pointed him out as a person whose pockets would not be of difficult access. It is not necessary to descend minutely into particulars in this place. Suffice it to say, that the next ensuing scheme of the lottery promised a capital prize of one hundred thousand dollars, besides one of thirty thousand, another of twenty, with the customary lots of smaller ones; and as my hero had yet a lingering attachment to "circles," he was very soon persuaded to mount upon the wheel of Fortune. Every body has heard of the honest Hibernian, who, in order to ensure the highest prize, determined to purchase the whole lottery; and although Mr. Wheelwright did not exactly form the same resolve, yet he understood enough of the doctrine of chances, to know, that the more tickets he possessed, the greater his number of chances of obtaining the splendid capital he was seeking,—he stopped not to reflect that the odds were two to one against him for any thing, even the smallest prize, and twenty-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine to one against him for the great prize, besides the discount of fifteen per centum on the whole.

Forgetting these trifling drawbacks, therefore, he invested the whole of his revenues in the aforesaid lottery; and from that day until the drawing thereof, he lived upon the brightest hopes. The golden shower of the heathen poets, in which Jove once descended, was but a little sprinkle, in comparison with the river of that precious metal, soon to flow into his coffers. But alas! the goddess, being blind, not only failed to discern his peculiar claims upon her regard, but was cheated herself! A shrewd Virginian dreamed the ticket which drew the hundred thousand dollars, into his own pocket; the manager failed, and thereby turned all the prizes into blanks;—and Mr. Daniel Wheelwright found himself flat on his back, at the bottom of the wheel, when he least anticipated such a downfall. He was therefore, on his return to New-York, again in the condition of Bob Logic, "with pockets to let"—or perchance of the poor Yankee, who complained, not without reason, that with him there were five outs to one in, viz: out of money, and out of clothes; out at the heels, and out at the toes; Out of credit, and in debt!




"And as for the Bastile,—the terror is in the word.—Make the most of it you can, said I to myself, the Bastile is but another word for a tower;—and a tower is but another word for a house you can't get out of."—Sterne.


A stranger in New-York, and even many of its younger citizens, would hardly suppose, from the present appearance of the handsome Ionic temple standing directly east of the City Hall, for what "base uses" that classic edifice was originally built, or for what ignoble purposes it was kept, until within a few years back. Although it may now be justly considered one of the most correct and pleasing specimens of architecture in the union, yet, until the recent transformation of its outward form and proportions, it was one of the most unsightly of buildings. It was not, however, of republican origin—having been erected early in the reign of his late most excellent Majesty, King George the Third, as a place of confinement for such of his refractory subjects as either could not, or would not, pay their debts. And it is no great credit to his Majesty's successors in the government, that it should not have been appropriated to some other use at a much earlier day. Long did the citizens of New-York petition for its removal or destruction, but in vain,—until, "in the course of human events," the public service demanded an additional edifice as a depository for its records. A change from the Bœotian to the Ionic order, and its conversion to a more humane purpose, were then determined upon, not only for the public convenience, but from motives of economy. One of the patriotic members of the city government, distinguished for his enterprise, and his public spirit, undertook the job, and gave to the ancient walls of unhewn stone their existing "form and pressure;"—at an amount, too, not much exceeding, probably, twice the cost of two new buildings of the same dimensions.

Architecture is one of the crowning glories of a city; and nothing more strongly indicates the cultivation of a people, than refinement in this beautiful department of science. "Order is the first law of nature," and the utter disregard hitherto paid to all established orders of architecture in this country, is one reason, probably, that we have become such a disorderly people. The taste of the Greeks in the arts has contributed more to their glory than their deeds in arms. The chisel of Phidias carved for him a name of more true renown, than the sword did for Alexander; and the name of Sir Christopher Wren will live as long in English history as the Duke of Wellington's. Every patriotic Gothamite, therefore, should rejoice at each successive indication of an improvement in architectural taste amongst us. Who knows but the beauty of the new commercial exchange that is to be, will cause gladness to those who wept alike over the ugliness and the destruction of the old! Who knows but that a grinning populace will one day displace the lions grinning from the gutters at the eaves of the new stone church in Duane-street! And who knows but that in process of time, American architects will be found who shall understand the difference between the Composite and the Corinthian, and that a long sperm candle was never intended as a model for a Doric column!

The simple-minded reader who imagines that every narrative, biographical or historical, should read straight on, like Robinson Crusoe, or a speech of Colonel Crockett, may suppose that a digression like this in which I have just indulged, must be wholly irrelevant, in the life of an humble and unpretending individual like Daniel Wheelwright,—but he will soon discover his mistake—with which preliminary flourish, the order of my history is resumed.

It was some four or five years before the change in the don-jon just indicated, that the humble writer hereof was informed by a special messenger, that there was "a gentleman in distress" at the debtor's prison, who desired to see him. Not for the instant recollecting any friend who was just then in need of house-room at the public expense, the writer was entirely at a loss to imagine who could have requested the interview. But aside from the dictates of humanity, in a country where every Shylock has a right to imprison such of his debtors as may have become too poor to pay in any thing but flesh, it is always wise to answer summonses of this description, since there is no telling whose turn may come next. And besides, if your friend in the bilboes has brought himself thither by his own imprudence, there is a chance that you may have the consolation of seeing him come out a wiser man than he went in.

No time was lost, therefore, in repairing to the sombre and substantial mansion already described. It was during the latter days of the venerable "Poppy Lownds," as the worthy old jailer was called, who for so long a succession of years had presided over the internal police of the prison. He was a kind-hearted old gentleman; and amidst all the storms and vicissitudes of party, was never removed from office during his life-time—for the good reason, probably, among others, that the venerable officer had grown so lusty in his place, that it was impossible to remove him out of it, without removing a portion of the prison walls also. Be that, however, as it may, the writer found Poppy Lownds sitting in his big oaken arm-chair, dozing in some pleasing reverie, like a Turk over his sherbet after dinner, or "as calm and quiet as a summer's morning," to quote a favorite metaphor of the day, in regard to the guiding spirit of an often-killed but still living and breathing "monster." As the writer entered his apartment, he took a long pipe from his mouth with the most easy deliberation, while the last whiff from the aromatic Virginia weed curled upward in an azure cloud, and mingled with the vapor which had preceded it.

Having made known the cause of my visit, in answer to the inquiry as to the inmate of his establishment who had despatched the messenger, Poppy Lownds assured me that the "distressed gentleman" was a good-looking stranger, with an indifferent wardrobe, and rather out-at-the-elbows like,—destitute of money, and somewhat in want of a dinner,—but one of the easiest and best-natured prisoners ever committed to his charge, since the evacuation by the British troops, in November, 1783;—an event, by the way, which General Morton will not live long enough to forget, although on every cold and drizzling return of the anniversary, his brigade for three generations past have heartily wished that it had taken place in June, or almost not at all!

The scowling turnkey was thereupon summoned, and the writer was conducted through one dark passage and another, secured by bolts and bars enough to have ensured the safe keeping of Baron Trenck, or a second Ethan Allen. At length, ascending a flight of stairs, he was ushered into an apartment, connected with several others, the communicating doors between which were opened for the day, containing sundry sorry groups of inmates, with long beards, and patches upon both elbows, some of whom were eating the soup just received from that excellent charity, the Humane Society—while others were playing at all fours, with cards looking as old and dirty as though first used by the Moabites. Others, again, were engaged at domino; and others still busied in scoring the walls with their pen-knives, or whittling shingles as they whistled for want of thought. These latter were Yankees of course; but an air of idleness and indifference pervaded the apartments, which almost begets a yawn in the remembrance.

When the good Vicar of Wakefield was sent to prison by the villany of Thornhill, he expected on his entrance to find nothing but lamentations and various sounds of misery; but it was very different. The prisoners seemed all employed in one common design—that of forgetting thought in merriment or clamor. My own disappointment was equally great on the occasion I am relating—although there was less of clamor, probably, than that encountered by the Vicar—owing, most likely, to the lassitude incident to a fervid sun in July. But in all other respects, the prison scene depicted by Goldsmith one hundred years ago, would have answered very well for New-York in 1821—albeit we discerned not among them the shrewd features of a Jenkinson, and heard nothing of the cosmogony either of Sanchoniathon or Manetho.

Among them all, however, there was not a countenance that could be recognized, and the writer began to flatter himself that he had been called by mistake. It was not so. Turning to a strongly grated window in another direction, whom should he see but his quondam friend Doctor Wheelwright—as sound asleep as though in attendance upon a lecture on the circulation of the blood, in the Medical College! On awaking him from his slumber, he appeared neither surprised nor chagrined at the interview. "The iron had not entered into his soul," whatever might have been the case with others—as may be inferred from the following brief dialogue, in which my friend bore his part with all imaginable non-chalance:—

"Ah, doctor, is this you?"

"How are you? Why shouldn't it be?"

"But pray how came you here?"

"Like most other honest people, for that matter—because I couldn't help it. But it's all come of a mistake."

"Why, they have not mistaken you for another man, have they?"

"I can't say exactly that; but I made a mistake in going into the lottery trade."

"Then you didn't draw the high prize, eh?"

"No: but I came plaguey nigh it though—three more of the figures would have given me two of them."

"Indeed! you made the mistake in selecting the tickets, then? All you wanted was the right numbers!"

"Exactly so: but it's no use to cry over spilt milk, you know; and besides, that fellow the manager has failed, so that it's all blanks and no prizes, and I am as well off as others. But if I could dream as well as that Mr. Clark did, with his eyes open, in Richmond, I should like to go into Yates & M'Intyre's next scheme. It's well enough to have honest managers, you know."

"Very true, friend Wheelwright; but even then, it is the last 'way to wealth,' in my opinion, that any sensible man would take—on calculation."

"Yes: but then it's well enough to be in luck's way, arnt it?"

It will readily have been perceived from the language and bearing of Wheelwright, that his spirits were far less depressed than his circumstances. Indeed he was as cheerful and as full of good nature as ever,—indifferent as to the past,—not much troubled at the present,—and yet unconcerned and full of hope for the future.

On making the necessary inquiry into the state of his affairs, it appeared that, not having a superabundance of visible means for his support, his landlord, on hearing that he had missed drawing the high prize, had very unkindly seized upon his clothes for his board, and shut him up so that he could earn nothing to pay the balance. But, so that it is a part of the contract that in default of the payment of a debt, the delinquent promises to go to jail, it is all right. The wisdom of sending him there, is another matter, which there is not time now to discuss, and we proceed. My friend's object in sending for me, was merely to obtain the means of procuring "a little something to eat," since his only food for the week preceding had been given him by one of the prisoners—a venerable man, with snow-white hair, who had been an inmate of the prison upward of thirty years, and who, to the day of his death, refused to leave the prison, although the creditors who had imprisoned him, had long since paid the debt of nature. If deeds of charity, or the voice of mercy, or the requirements of business, have in former days called any of the readers of these pages to the old prison, they will remember this ancient prisoner. The old man had perhaps read the pathetic tale in the school-books, of the aged prisoner released from the Bastile, and he cared not to return to a world by which he was unknown, or had long since been forgotten. If, perchance, any of those whom he had once taken by the hand, were yet on the stage, their chariot-wheels might roll too fast to enable them to recognize the poor old man by whose early patronage they had been enabled to purchase their equipage. He therefore preferred the cold victuals of his prison-house, to the cold charities of the world.

Wheelwright had already taken the preliminary steps to procure relief under the insolvent law. He should soon be discharged from jail "by order of the honorable Richard Riker;"—and as "the world owed him a living," he was quite confident of doing well enough yet.

All that was necessary for his comfort was of course done for him, and at the time appointed, he was discharged from prison in due course of law—free from debt—and the wide world all before him where to choose. His clothes were redeemed from the landlord; and setting his face northward, he departed, in the first steamboat, for the ancient city of Albany, and to revisit the scenes of his youth in the valley of the Mohawk.




"Who can speak broader than he who has no house to put his head in?"—Shakspeare.

"With darkness circled, and an ambient cloud."


Nearly a year elapsed after his release from the old don-jon, before I was enabled again to rejoice in a meeting with my friend Wheelwright; and our interview happened on this wise: Passing by, or rather crossing, the foot of Courtland-street, one bright morning in May, I observed a group of laborers occupied in placing some articles of heavy iron-machinery on board of an Albany sloop—the General Trotter, I believe, commanded by Capt. Keeler—a veteran navigator of the Hudson. And whom should I discover among these men, giving directions with an authoritative air, and actually bending his own back to the work, but the veritable Doctor Daniel Wheelwright! It was indeed no less a personage. From the previous character and habits of my friend, the reader may judge of my surprise at beholding him thus engaged—laboring, too, as though his work was made easy by the good will with which he was performing it. Having exchanged salutations, mingled with expressions of surprise at finding him thus employed, and inquired upon what new enterprise he was bent—

"Why havn't you hearn?" was his response.

"No," was the laconic reply.

"What? not of the launch of the 'Lady-of-the-Lake,' on Lake George?"

"Ah—let me see—yes: I think I have seen a paragraph respecting it, in the Sandy Hill newspaper. But pray what have you to do with that?"

"To do with it? Why every thing. I am the agent of the concern. I have made up the company, and built the boat. The engine has gone up the river, and I am now shipping the last of the machinery.—[Come, bear a hand there, boys—what are you about?] Have you ever been to Lake George? If you want to see a touch of the grand and glorious, I guess you'll find it there. The hills is sublime; and the lake so clear that you can see the stars in it when it's cloudy."

"Indeed! And you then are to be wedded to the Lady-of-the-Lake?"

"And a beautiful thing she is, too. We shall have all the travel of the grand tower through the lake to Montreal, and mean to have the boat ready to take the first travellers from the Springs after the fourth of July."

"And you are really looking up in the world again?"

"To be sure I be. I always told you that the world owed me a living, and I believe I have at last struck upon the right track to find it. [Come, bear a hand there, boys—Why don't you take hold of that shackle-bar, Tom?"]

Saying which he applied his own shoulder to a huge cog-wheel, with the alacrity, if not the power, of another Hercules.

I was alike surprised and gratified with this apparent change in the Doctor's circumstances, as also at the unwonted industry and energy he was now putting forth. It seemed as though by some rare chance, my esteemed and hitherto unfortunate friend had at length become associated in an enterprise for which he might be found very competent, and which might one day prove valuable—at least to him, if not to the stockholders. He was moreover taking hold of the work himself like one who had at last been taught by the "sweet uses of adversity," that a man is not always certain of obtaining a living by his wits, unless the labors of his own hands are superadded. Fashionable travelling during the summer months, was even then extensive; it was increasing from year to year—and was sure to continue increasing, with the augmentation of the national wealth and population. The unsurpassed attractions of that region—the lake—its bright waters—its enchanting islands—its course of winding beauty—and its stupendous mountains—glorious in their height, their wildness, and their desolation,—would soon become more generally known, and must inevitably command the attention of all travellers of taste, whenever it should appear that its surface might be traversed by a steamboat in a few hours, from the ruins of Fort William Henry at one extremity, to those of Ticonderoga at the other. Wishing the Doctor a good morning, therefore, and all possible success in his new undertaking,—in which he was evidently sustained by the strongest hope and the most undoubting confidence,—we parted for that time—not, however, without a promise on the part of my friend, proffered of his own accord,—as had been the case at sundry times before,—that he would shortly remit the amount of several small advances which it had fortunately been from time to time in my power to make, for the purpose of occasionally rescuing him from his oft-returning pecuniary tribulations.

The machinery all arrived safe, and in good condition, at the head of the lake, and the boat was actually completed, under the charge of Dr. Wheelwright. The good people of the little borough of Caldwell rejoiced in the brightening prospects of their village, and actually began to calculate how soon they might be able to repaint their houses, and substitute nine by seven window glass for the old hats and petticoats which, in the progress of their poverty, had been stuffed into the broken casements.

Arrangements were making for the first trip down the lake, and among the fairy islands apparently floating like emeralds upon its bosom; and but a few days more were to elapse before all things were to be in readiness. Meantime, however, before the captain and crew had been shipped, and in order that accident might not happen to the fair Lady-of-the-Lake, or danger come nigh her, Mr. Wheelwright slept on board himself, like a prudent guardian of the property confided to his charge.

The last memorable night on which he thus slept on board, was remarkably clear and beautiful. All was silent and sublime among the lofty mountains in which the peaceful lake lay deeply embosomed. A grateful coolness pervaded the atmosphere, and no sounds disturbed the general repose, after the night-hawk and whip-poor-will had ceased their vesper-melodies, save the distant hootings of the owl on the mountain-side, or the occasional crash of a dried limb of a tree, over which the prowling wolf, or perchance some heavier tenant of the forest, was bounding. The stars hung pendent and sparkling like diamonds from a canopy of "living sapphires," and were reflected back with vivid brilliance from the dark surface of the waters.

A poet could not have gone to bed on such a night, and amid such a scene of gloomy grandeur as this. But the agent of the Lady-of-the-Lake was not distinguished for enthusiasm of that sort, and he turned into his berth—having no oyster-supper to eat—at a very early hour, and betook himself to dreaming—not "of antres vast and desarts idle,"—or of what is sublime and glorious in creation,—but of piston-rods and safety-valves—pence and passengers. But his repose was disturbed in a manner alike unexpected and unwelcome; by a catastrophe, too, which had well-nigh deprived the world of the farther services of Mr. Wheelwright, and his biographer of the pleasing duty of extending these memoirs beyond the present chapter. In plain terms, at about half-past twelve o'clock he was awakened by a choking sensation, and sprang upon his feet, already half suffocated by smoke. The awful truth of the cause was literally flashing around him upon all sides. The Lady-of-the-Lake—the first of the fair upon whom he had ever in fact bestowed his affections—was not only on fire, but the flames had already made such progress in the work of destruction as at once to preclude the hope of extinguishing them. From the cabin windows, the appearance rendered it certain that the whole structure was wrapped in a sheet of flame. In the next instant, the fire burst through the dividing partition of the cabins, obliging our hero to fly in his night-gown, with his inexpressibles under his arm. Thus, coatless and bootless, he leaped on shore, when delay a second longer would have effectually prevented his ever recounting the tale.

What a moment, and what a spectacle for a lover of the "sublime and beautiful!" Could Burke have visited such a scene of mingled magnificence, and grandeur, and terror, what a vivid illustration would he not have added to his inimitable treatise upon that subject! Let the reader picture the scene to himself. There, at the dark hour of midnight, among the ruins of Fort William Henry and Fort George, stood Daniel Wheelwright, alone, like Marius amid the ruins of Carthage,—in puris naturalibus; as the insurgent Shays fled on horseback, and in a snow-storm, from the face of General Lincoln—and looking for all the world like a forked radish, as Shakspeare says of Justice Shallow. But albeit ludicrous in his own plight and position, there was nothing of that character in the scene around him, or in his own contemplations. The fire raged with amazing fury and power,—stimulated to madness as it were, by the pitch, and tar, and dried timbers, and other combustible materials used in the constriction of the boat. The lurid flames ascended to a great height,—the smoke rolled upward in majestic volumes, while the light, red as the flames of Ætna, streamed across the lake, gilding the crumbling battlements of the old fort, flushing the face of the waters, and tinging the mountain sides to their very crests. The night-bird screamed with terror, and the beasts of prey fled in wild affright into the deep and visible darkness beyond.

This is truly a gloomy place for a lone person to stand in of a dark night—particularly if he has a touch of superstition. There have been fierce conflicts on this spot—sieges, and battles, and fearful massacres. Here have the Briton, and the Gaul, and the painted savage, mingled in the dread fight,—steed rushing upon steed, hands clenched in hands with grappling vigor, while the climbing fire, and the clashing steel, and eyes flashing with maddened fury, and the appalling war-whoop of the Indian, have all combined in adding terror to "the rough frowns of war." Here "hath mailed Mars sat on his altar up to his ears in blood," smiling grimly at the music of echoing cannons, the shrill trump, and all the rude din of arms, until, like the waters of Egypt, the lake became red as the crimson flowers that blossom upon its margin.[1] And if at "the witching hour of night," the unquiet ghosts of murdered sinners do stalk forth to re-visit earth by the pale glimpses of the moon, the slaughter of Fort William Henry might have furnished a goodly number of shadowy companions for the hero of a tale which is no fiction. But I am not aware that any of them came forth to add to the troubles of that memorable night, or divert his mind from what must then have been the absorbing subject of his contemplations. Still, if they had had any desire of mustering for a midnight review, or for a goblin-dance, they lost the best opportunity, probably, that will again occur for ages;—since another such illumination of the beautiful esplanade in front of the old fortress where the massacre took place, and where the skeleton platoons would of course have mustered, will never again be presented—at least not until another Doctor Wheelwright shall build and watch over the fortunes of another Lady-of-the-Lake.

In the course of an hour, the beautiful vessel was burned to the water's edge; when the weight of the massive iron machinery, rendered white and malleable by the intenseness of the heat, carried down the hull to the bottom, and the waters closed over it, sissing and boiling for a moment, as when a stream of lava runs burning into the embrace of the ocean. The illumination being thus extinguished, darkness once more brooded over the mountains, the face of the deep, and the fortunes of Mr. Daniel Wheelwright—of whom, for the present, we must take leave, even while thus he stands, as Sir John Moore lies under the walls of Corunna—"alone in his glory"—surveying

"——The circling canopy

Of night's extended shade."

1 The Lobelia Cardinalis, commonly called the Indian Eye-Bright. It is a beautiful blossom, and is frequently met with in this region. The writer has seen large clusters of it blooming upon the margin of the "Bloody Pond," in this neighborhood—so called from the circumstance, of the slain being thrown into this pond, after the defeat of Baron Dieskau, by Sir William Johnson. The ancients would have constructed a beautiful legend from this incident, and sanctified the sanguinary flower.




"When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think that I should live till I were married."—Shakspeare.

"I knew a wench married in an afternoon, as she went to the garden for parsely to stuff a rabbit."—Idem.


The year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two, is yet freshly remembered in New-York, as being the last, (thus far,) in which that metropolis was visited by the afflictive plague of yellow fever. It was also a memorable year in the life of Doctor Wheelwright. Most of the inhabitants were obliged to flee the city—those who could, to the country;—and those who could not, to the temporary lodges hastily constructed for their reception upon the then unoccupied grounds between Broadway and the North River, now covered by Greenwich and the splendid edifices of the fifteenth ward—containing much of the present opulence and taste of the city. The location of the writer hereof was near the hotel and nine-pin alley, kept by Signor Fieschi;—an Italian, celebrated for the excellence of his segars, and for whipping his wife with rods larger than is allowed by the English common law—the size of Lord Chief Justice Holt's little finger being the maximum in such cases.

The Autumn of that year was remarkable for the beauty and clemency of the weather. Knowing that there was little hope for the abatement of the pestilence, and none of its extinction, until after a severe frost, the exiled citizens were never before so anxious for the frosty foretaste of winter. But the heavens continued cloudless, and week after week of ethereal mildness succeeded, until past the middle of October.

It was during this protracted season of sunny weather, that for several days in succession, I observed my old friend Wheelwright passing the window of my temporary office, in company and close conversation with a lady clad in the deepest habiliments of mourning. The doctor was well dressed, and so was the lady; for the suit and trappings of her wo were new as though she was but recent from "the sad burial feast," probably, of her wedded lord. Whether her countenance was as indicative of a sorrowful and bleeding heart, as the deep sables in which she was veiled, I could not tell. But no matter: day after day were they seen strolling leisurely up the then unbuilt portion of Broadway, and among the wooded lanes leading therefrom in the outskirts of the city. Love lane—a retired and charming walk—exactly the place for meditation or making love,—crossing over from the Bloomingdale road to the North River, which has since been "improved" out of existence,—was a favorite place of resort with my old friend and his fair companion—fair, no doubt she was, albeit her beauty was hidden from the vulgar gaze in the manner already indicated.

But who was she? Perhaps a sister, or some other near relative of his, whose husband had been swept off by the pestilence, and into whose throbbing bosom he was kindly endeavoring to pour some of the balmy drops of consolation! But no—such could not be the fact, since no corresponding weed of sorrow appeared upon his own well-brushed beaver. Perhaps a stranger, just rendered an orphan, or bereft of a brother by the ruthless hand of the West India plague—an acquaintance of my friend, whose melancholy he was kindly endeavoring to assuage. But, on the other hand, such offices were quite out of his line, since he was not easily moved—unless from one purpose to another—and of all men he was the most unused "to the melting mood." It was truly a perplexing affair; and the mystery was increased by the pains taken by Wheelwright to avoid such an interview with me as might lead to an eclaircissement. Several times did I strive to throw myself in the way of the lady and her assiduous attendant—venturing even to cross their path, on one occasion, for the purpose of making some discovery. But the attempt was vain, for my old acquaintance had apparently become so near-sighted as not to discern a person, unless he came bolt-upright against him—or unless, perchance, on some occasions, when he was sufficiently far-sighted, to enable him to turn a corner in season to avoid an interview. Once, and once only, I received a nod of recognition; but although I had succeeded in gaining a closer proximity than usual, all that I could ascertain through the deep folds of the lady's crape, was an impression that she was pale, pensive, a little pock-marked, and five and thirty. Had the ladies not all been driven from the city by the pestilence, I should most assuredly have engaged some one or more of them to solve the question, whether the doctor was engaged in offices of sympathy, or an affair of the heart—or whether he was actually engaged in any way. But there was no pretty familiar at hand skilled in these delicate matters; and I was therefore compelled to forego, for a time at least, the gratification of my curiosity.

Obedient to the law of the disease, with the first sound frost, the fever disappeared; the citizens returned to their respective homes; resumed their wonted avocations; and as usual in New-York, the calamity which had interrupted its business, and driven its inhabitants out of town for half the season, was forgotten, with its consequences, in a fortnight. One of my earliest visiters, after business had resumed its accustomed channels, was none other than the subject of this memoir, whose recent avoidance of me had been marked with so much emphasis. He entered my little sanctum with a grin between a smile and a laugh, and was evidently on excellent good terms with all the world, himself not excepted. Without waiting to see what might be his reception, he began:

"Ah, Colonel, how are ye? Escaped the yellow fever, then, eh?"

"Yes: I have been thus fortunate—and am well."

"Is that all you've got to say? I hope you've hearn of my good luck, haint you? You know I've always said the world owed me a living."

"I hope you'll get it: Pray what new scheme are you driving at now, Mr. Wheelwright?"

"Do tell! don't you know that I am now a married man—good as the rest of you?"

"Married, my good doctor! To whom?"

"Why, to a young widow from England, with only one child, and worth thirty-thousand pounds sterling—think of that!"

"Indeed! Well: I wish you joy, doctor. It's a long road that never turns. But I hope there's no doubt"—

"There's no doubt or mistake in the matter. The lady was the widow of an Irish captain, and"—

"The lady in mourning, I presume, to whom you seemed so attentive up town, a few weeks ago? But whence the necessity of keeping so dark upon the subject?"

"I thought it like enough you'd think I was behaving kinder-curious-like. But her husband was lately dead, and she didn't care to see any body just then;—and besides, I was determined nobody should know what was going on betwixt us, till the job was done."

"A rich widow, then, and thirty-thousand pounds—sterling, did you say?"

"Why, to be sure I did."

"And is she young and handsome?"

"She's comfortably good looking—though I don't know that you would say raly handsome. But the thirty-thousand pounds, you know——"

"Very true: But who would have ever dreamed of your turning fortune-hunter?"

"No body had more need on't than I."

"Not handsome, but rich: and so, I suppose you will soon learn to sing the old ballad—

"Her golden charms so sweetly shine,

While rising to my raptured view;

That I would rather call them mine,

Than any girl I ever knew!"

"Why, you don't mean to poke fun at me, I hope?"

"Not at all: But have you got the ready? Did she give you the guineas, or good bills of exchange, with her person?"

"Why, no, not exactly that. The fact is, that her property belonged to her husband, the late Captain Scarlett, of the King's Own, and it's all vested in real estate."

"And you are quite sure?"

"As sure as a gun: just as sure as if I had the money in my hands. She has a long row of housen in Dublin, and owns several housen, besides, in one of the best streets in Liverpool."

Having communicated this agreeable intelligence, Mr. Wheelwright was apparently about taking his departure, and moved to the door; but suddenly turning round, as though some part of his errand had been forgotten, he resumed:—

"So, you see, the small matter I am owing you will soon be paid;—but I shall be obleeged to raise a little money—only a thousand dollars or so—to pay a lawyer to investigate the titles, and I think it like-enough I shall be obleeged to go to England before I get it all settled."

"Oho! Then you are not quite so certain of the fortune, after all. The titles are yet to be examined, eh?"

"But that won't amount to nothing serious though. I know all about it."

"Still, my good doctor, it would have been better had you looked well to those titles before she obtained a title to you."

"But it's of no consequence. You see the case is just here: The captain, d'ye see, had something to do with another woman, who now claims the property for her children; but she wasn't his wife, and it will all come right, as my lawyer tells me, if I can only get him a few hundred dollars to carry it on."

By this time I began to see much more of the poor fellow's case than he did himself. But as it was not particularly convenient for me to accommodate him with another advance, we parted for that time—he to live out his honey-moon in dreams of treasures shortly to be added to the bliss of "wedded love"—and I to indulge in a variety of reflections naturally arising upon the subject, which were doubtless very good, though long since forgotten. The sagacious reader will, perhaps, have no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that my reflections and Doctor Wheelwright's treasures proved, in the end, of about equal value; and that neither would have been taken as good security by any bank or broker to whom application might have been made for a loan of the required funds. Whether such a conclusion, when arrived at, would be correct or not, will be discovered in a succeeding chapter.




"For now sits Expectation in the air."—Shakspeare.

"A man, to be the governor of an island, should know something of grammar. 'Grammar?' replied Sancho, 'who the d——l is he?'"—Don Quixotte.


The mellifluous bard of Twickenham was egregiously mistaken when he pronounced "a little learning" to be "a dangerous thing." Had it not been for the modicum of letters, small as it was, acquired by Mr. Wheelwright, at the school of which I had occasion to speak early in the present history, to say nothing, as seems most meet, of the university, his family would now have been rather short of bread and butter. They had great possessions, of the which they were not yet possessed. But these were a great way off; and, most unfortunately, somebody else had obtained the occupancy, and held the titles. Nor, from the existing state of Mr. Wheelwright's finances, according to the report of his counsel, was there any immediate prospect of his soon becoming master of what was now in the right of his wife unquestionably his own. The consolation, however, was, that in the end, when those in the unjust possession of the property should be ejected, they would be compelled to disgorge the accumulating revenues from the rental, and other sources of income. Meanwhile it was necessary that Mr. Wheelwright should set about doing something "to make the pot boil." Accordingly, after casting round for an occupation which promised to produce the greatest income for the least bodily or mental exertion and the smallest capital, it was determined by himself and lady to establish a classical school for the instruction of young ladies and gentlemen, in one of the most flourishing villages adjacent to the city of New-York.

Mr. Wheelwright was too well acquainted with the way in which most public objects for private advantage are managed now-a-days, not to secure the countenance, and, if possible, the editorial assistance of the conductor of a "happy folio of four pages," which once a week poured forth its treasures of knowledge for the enlightenment of the good people in the village, and the region round about, even to New-Utrecht and Flatlands. He therefore, and that wisely, sought the acquaintance of the gentleman of paste and scissors, with an advertisement ready prepared—of somewhat formidable dimensions—and for the composition of which he was indebted to a retired schoolmaster, who had cheerfully rendered this little service for the occasion. Like most of the conductors of the latter-day luminaries which dispense that sound political wisdom and universal knowledge which render the people of this nation "the most intelligent on earth," the editor was very accessible and gracious. Indeed, he was truly desirous of testifying the satisfaction he felt, on the accession to his village of an institution which promised so many advantages, particularly to the gentler sex of the rising generation; and which would offer another inducement for people to do their eating, and sleeping, and tax-paying on Long Island, and their business in New-York. His next publication, therefore, contained the following article:—

"From the Longa Insula Astra, Dec. 10, 1822.

"We take great pleasure in calling the attention of those of our citizens who are parents to the article which will be found immediately below. It was indeed handed in as an advertisement; but we feel so deeply interested in the object proposed, to say nothing of the classical and poetical beauty of the article itself, that we could not forbear awarding to it a greater conspicuity. Indeed we scarcely know when we have published an article with more heart-felt pleasure. The gentleman and lady, we understand, have been reduced by a succession of misfortunes, from a state of affluence to that of much humbler circumstances. But with that noble spirit of independence which, we are proud to say, is so peculiarly the indweller of American bosoms, they have determined to rise superior to their misfortunes, and win for themselves that patronage which they have heretofore had it in their power to dispense. We have had the pleasure of a personal interview with the gentleman who is to have the charge of the proposed institution. He appears to be well educated, modest, and unassuming—a master of the ancient languages, as his lady is of the modern; and from what we have heard, we doubt not their ample qualifications for the undertaking. Mrs. W. has enjoyed the advantages of foreign travel, which will enable her to form the manners of her pupils after the best models of the salons of Paris, Vienna, and London; and we believe that by her judicious counsel she has been of great service to the most celebrated female seminaries in New-York, as also to the distinguished seminary in Troy—all of which, we trust, will soon be rivalled by that of our own village. It is the design of Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright to extend their institute as rapidly as will be consistent with their means, and in the course of a year or two to obtain a charter for a college, with power to confer degrees upon their female as well as their male pupils. And why not? The intellectual equality of females with males has been fully established by the Edgeworths, and Hannah Mores, and Lady Morgans of Europe, and by females equally illustrious among our own fair countrywomen, only they do not occur to us just at this moment. Why, then, should not female proficients be entitled to degrees of merit, as well as nine-tenths of the blunder-heads who go through college, and come out no wiser than they went in? For our parts we shall stand up for female rights,—for, as the poet says:—

"The world was sad, the garden was a wild,

And man, the hermit, sighed, till woman smiled.

"We therefore hope the college will go on, and when we obtain the South Ferry, we will look about to see what is to be done next. But we have not room to extend our remarks—of which, however, there is no occasion, since the eloquent article below will speak for itself.


"'Tis education shows the way,

Each latent beauty to display;

Each happy genius brings to light,

Conceal'd before in shades of night;—

So diamonds from the gloomy mine,

Taught by the workman's hand to shine,

On Chloe's ivory bosom blaze,

Or grace the crown with brilliant rays.


"Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright beg leave to announce to parents and guardians in this village and its vicinity, that on the 1st of January now ensuing, they will open a literary and classical institution for the instruction of the rising generation—both of young gentlemen and ladies. The rising glories of this western hemisphere have scarcely yet begun to be developed; and as Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright have been deeply impressed with the importance, in a young and rising republic, of having the youth of the land, of both sexes, reared in the paths of virtue and the intellectual flower-garden of knowledge, they have determined to devote their best faculties to the sacred cause of education,—fully believing, from the inexpressible interest they feel upon the subject, that they shall be enabled to exclaim with the immortal poet—

"'Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,

And teach the young idea how to shoot!'

"From long and profound reflection upon the never-sufficiently-enough-to-be-estimated subject of education, Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright have become entirely and unchangeably persuaded that all existing systems of instruction are essentially, and radically, as they may say, if not from the root, erroneous, and consequently defective as it were; and they trust that they shall be enabled to introduce such improvements and innovations in the science of teaching, as essentially to assist the spirit of a generous emulation in its efforts for noble rivalry; to aid the aspirations of a well-regulated ambition; and to encourage, in all possible and practicable ways, the desire of young genius to wing his eagle flight, as it were, on the pinions of intellectual corruscations. Every branch of human learning, either useful or ornamental, or of the least utility, will be taught at the Philomathian Institute, for which Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright feel the utmost confidence in their own capacities and qualifications; since, in addition to being a graduate of one of the first universities of the age in which we live, Mr. W. has studied a learned profession, and Mrs. W. is possessed of the superior advantage of having been reared and educated in several of the leading European capitals. The utmost regard will be had to the morals and manners of such young aspirants as may be entrusted to their charge. To invigorate the constitutions of the pupils, a gymnasium will be provided for the boys of the male sex, and one hour per day will be devoted to callisthenics in the female department, to be occupied by the girls. In this department, the higher branches of instruction, both useful and ornamental, will be prosecuted under the immediate superintendence of Mrs. Wheelwright, who will spare no pains in the inoculation of the soundest lessons of virtue, while yet their young and youthful minds can be bent like the twig, and inclined like the tree, as the poet says. Those who desire it will receive instruction in the elements of moral philosophy, for which purpose they must be provided with Newtown's Principles, and other works of the kind. Mrs. Wheelwright has paid much attention to this sublime and beautiful study, which so enraptured the immortal Milton:—

"'How charming is divine Philosophy!

Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,

But musical as Apollo's lute,

And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,

Where no rude surfeit reigns.'

"It is to such a feast that the young ladies of this village will soon be invited. Great pains will moreover be taken to cultivate the domestic habits and affections, as the poet says:—

"'Man may for wealth and glory roam,

But woman must be bless'd at home;

To this should all her studies tend,

This her great object, and her end.'

"At the same time no efforts will be spared to keep their young budding minds from vicious associations, and to render them as sweet as innocent, as innocent as gay, as gay as happy:—

"'Vice is a monster of such frightful mien,

As to be hated, needs but to be seen;

But seen too oft, familiar with his face,

We first endure, then pity, then embrace.'

"Knowing this to be true from experience, the principal and vice-principal of the Philomathian Institute will do all in their power to keep their pupils in the paths of wisdom, and pleasantness, and peace, as Shakspeare, the sweet swan of Avon, says. In one word, it will be the object and aim of Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright to qualify the young gentlemen to act nobly their part in this republican monarchy, and the young ladies whose education has been so long neglected—whose minds have so long been evolved in Siberian darkness—and as it were wasting their sweetness on the desert air—for the wives and mothers of freedom."

Added to this eloquent and promising proclamation, introduced as we have already seen, by the editor, were the names of sundry presidents of colleges, reverend doctors, editors, especially of the religious papers, various public officers, among whom were the governor of the state, the mayor and recorder, several classical teachers, and other gentlemen, as references—most of whom when applied to, declared that they had never heard of the concern before; others admitted that they had allowed reference to be made to their names, because they knew nothing against it; while a few assented to the high qualifications of the teachers without scruple.

As to the morality of such an unauthorized use of great names, on the one part, and the authorized use of them on the other, merely to avoid the utterance of a monosyllable of two letters, when the effect is a deception upon the public, it is not a subject for present discussion. Both practices are abuses of the times, which have been carried to such an extent that nothing can be more unmeaning than references of this kind—in regard as well to schools, and "institutes," and "seminaries," as to the publication of books by subscription, and the superior merits of patent blacking and razor-straps; as to which, by the way, it has always been a subject of speculation to the writer, why a reverend divine or an eminent physician should be supposed better qualified to give an opinion than a boot-black or a barber. Here, therefore, "let us breathe," as Shakspeare says, "and happily introduce a course of learning and ingenious studies," in the next chapter.




"Smith. The clerk of Chatham: he can write, and read, and cast accompt.

Cade. O monstrous!

Smith. We took him setting of boys' copies.

Cade. Here's a villain!

Smith. H'as a book in his pocket with red letters in't.

Cade. Nay, then, he's a conjuror.

Cade. Dost thou use to write thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest man?

Clerk. Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I can write my name."—Shakspeare.


"Hail, wedded love"—"and all that sort of thing."

Milton and Matthews.


It may well be imagined that the appearance of such a flourishing literary manifesto as that set forth in the preceding chapter, created an uncommon sensation in the village. The ladies admired the distiches of poetry with which the pompous proclamation was so plentifully sprinkled, and the gentlemen, not being conversant with those convenient helps, the "Elegant Extracts," supposed of course that the advertisers must be persons of considerable erudition. Indeed, the thing took wonderfully, and nothing was thought of, or talked of, by ambitious mothers, and those opening rose-buds, their daughters, for the full period of nine days, but the new "Institute," or "Seminary"—the old-fashioned word "school" never being once mentioned. Nor were the lords of creation unmindful of the good fortune in which they were so soon to rejoice. Various situations were proposed and discussed, for the site of a new edifice which would doubtless be required within a twelve-month, and real estate rose exorbitantly in every vicinity thus designated. A charter from the Legislature was of course to be applied for, and several meetings of those who were to form the Board of Trustees, were held to adjust the details. The privileges of a college were to be obtained, with the power of conferring the same degrees upon female students, as upon males—forgetting, in their ardor, that the constitution of female Bachelors and Masters of Arts would be a misnomer in any other country than Ireland. In one word, there was to be no other classical institution, in this country or any other, comparable with it—and to it the nuns of Canada, the Moravians of Bethlehem, and the azure-hosed professors of modern Ilium, would forever thereafter be compelled to send for instructers.

It need not be added, that under all this excitement, and in view of all these measures, on the opening of the institute, there was a rush of pupils, promising golden returns to the accomplished and enterprising teachers. As to its progress, and the moral and intellectual results, the biographer has not been supplied with the materials for a minute history. It is known, however, that the principals provided themselves with the most modern, and consequently the best elementary "helps" to be found in the bookstores. Justice also requires of the biographer to say, that his friend Wheelwright did not enter upon his preceptorial duties without many severe misgivings; and for some weeks previous to the opening of the seminary, he applied himself to the work of preparation with unwonted assiduity. But he was nevertheless sadly deficient, as may well be supposed. Still, in his classes of geography and rhetoric, he managed to get along for several weeks, by the aid of those convenient instruments of instruction, which contain all necessary questions and answers at the bottom of the pages—Kames and Malte-Brun done over again by sciolists, so that the real authors would be astonished to find how greatly they had been simplified. Alexander's Virgil, also, reflecting the Latin of one page back in English from the other, was of great assistance to him. But in arithmetic and grammar he was completely at fault. He had never been able to repeat the whole multiplication table; and he now found it utterly beyond his capacity to work a common problem in the rule of three. In grammar, moreover, he could never quite distinguish between a noun and a verb; and although he almost committed the rules, and could enumerate the several parts of speech, yet he could never apply the principles in parsing.

It was not long, therefore, before the most forward of his pupils began to discover that they knew more than their instructer—and the natural consequences—contempt and insubordination—speedily followed.

Meantime the qualifications and efforts of Mrs. Wheelwright, in the other branch of the institute, were presently discovered to be equally, even if not more, defective and profitless. She was an Irish lady by birth—had resided for a time in Scotland, and likewise in England—previous to her visit across the channel to complete her education in the capital of la grande nation. When she left the emerald isle, "her speech," to use a phrase of Lord Bacon, "was in the full dialect of her nation." She had afterward conversed enough with English and Scotch, to complete the union of the three kingdoms—to all which was added such a smattering of French as was to be acquired by a residence—as a femme de chambre, as it was afterward scandalously reported—in Paris of a year or perhaps more. She had readily picked up a good many French words, in the course of her sojourn; but her Gallic pronunciation was blended with all the other dialects, among which the brogue of her own mother tongue ludicrously enough predominated.

The reader has probably heard the story of the Yankee candidate for the mastership of one of our common schools, who, on being asked by the inspectors whether he knew any thing of mathematics, answered that he didn't know Matthew, although he had seen a good deal of one Tom Mattocks, in Rhode Island; but he'd never hearn of his having any brother. So with Mrs. Wheelwright—Mr. Syntax was equally a stranger to her. But she had seen some coarse pieces of embroidery from the rustic pupils of country boarding schools, and knew that they were needlework, of some sort. She therefore set herself to teaching that elegant branch of the fine arts. The first group attempted, was a family picture—a mother and her six children at the tomb of their deceased husband and father, under what was meant for a willow tree drooping over an obelisk. But such a group! such a widow! and such weeping children! Indeed they looked sorry enough. Surely no eye e'er saw such scare-crows; and no one could look upon them without emotion—but of what kind, the reader, who has doubtless seen many kindred specimens in this department of a modern education, may decide for himself. The next piece was the Prodigal Son, taking leave of his benevolent father, in a red dress-coat and white-top boots! The drawings were copies, and the needlework resembling the darnings in the hose to be seen on the heels of the ladies sitting in the country markets. Thus much for her fancy work; and the French she taught was on a par. Such French had never before been spoken—out of Ireland!

Such were the condition and prospects of this hopeful seminary, when another unexpected change came over the temporal circumstances of poor Wheelwright. The girls under the charge of his accomplished consort having been engaged in a frolic during her absence to prepare the pottage for dinner—and girls at school will always have their frolics—the gentle instructress returned in a rage, flushed with passion, the heat of the kitchen fire, and perhaps a drop of the crathur—swore several big Irish oaths that she would have no more such carryings on by the childers in her house, and by the powers, she would be afther clearing them out—the spalpeens!—that's what she would, honies!

It was her first outbreak of the kind, and the little misses were appalled, and many of them, thinking, perhaps, that she was crazy, or had "a drop in her eye," ran home in affright. Nor did their parents, or at least the most of them, allow their children again to return.

"Rare are solitary woes," says the poet—on the contrary, they are ever apt to be treading each other's heels; and it was so with the hero of this biography in the present instance. The school had been undertaken as a temporary resource, during the pendency of the legal measures necessary to obtain his estates. It had now been suddenly broken up, and that, too, before any thing but delays and expense had been realized. An incident that occurred the day following, moreover, might have occasioned misgivings as to the future to a man of quicker perceptions than Mr. Wheelwright—but fortunately his wife was the earliest riser. It happened that as his spouse was exchanging some rather undignified jokes with the milkman, a jolly son of Erin came along, whose rubicund visage kindled with a thousand smiles as his eyes rested on the lady.

"Och! the top o' the morning to you, Misthress Judy O'Calloran!" says Pat. "Divil burn me, but it's a long while sin my eyes have seen the like o'ye, Misthress Judy," he continued.

"And that's you, Misther Thady O'Flannerty," replied the fair one—"but I'm not Misthress Judy O'Calloran,—and d'ye think it's myself that does'ent know."

"Troth, and if ye're not Misthress Judy, honey, then it's not your dare ould mother's darther that ye be."

"Whisht!" rejoined the lady:—"Don't ye percave that it's not I—it's not Judy—botheration, Thady—how can ye be afther coming where you ain't known?"

"Och, Judy, thin ye see if it's not ye'rsel, it's bekase I'm not Thady O'Flannerty that was, sin the wake last night. But it's mighty unnathural if it's not Judy I suspict. And where's the man that ye had, Pat Rooney that was!"

"Get ye gone, ye baste," replied the amiable Misthress Wheelwright, "you mallet-headed bog-throtter, to hinsult an honest woman all of a suddint so. No gintilman would thrifle with a dacent woman afther this gate, whin he'd niver seen her."

"Och, murther in Irish now, and it's the blissed thruth, Misthress Judy, that I was tellin ye. But thin, such is the way of the world—Saint Pathrick save us! If the crathur hadn't bin afther laving her own husband, and runnin' off with Pat Rooney, may be that her darlint ould mother's life would have bin extinded many years afther her death—shame on the crathur! But thin, it's not the ould lady's wake that would have bin the last that Thady O'Flannerty attinded in Limerick—bad luck to her!"

Long before her unwelcome acquaintance had finished his oration, however, the indignant lady had scampered into the house, slamming the door after her with great violence, and dashing her pitcher of milk to fragments by the same unguarded action. But Thady followed on, as though to make good his acquaintanceship, and was met at the threshhold by Wheelwright himself, who had been aroused by the clamor.

"And plase your honor," says Thady, "can you tell me where is Misther Whalewright's boardin'-school that was, that's called the siminary that is?"

"That was—sure enough,—said Wheelwright, bitterly. I 'spose this is the place you're looking for as-like-as-not."

"Arrah, thin it's the right place that I'm already in—thanks to Misthress Judy for that. And thin, there's a letter for your worship's honor, and that's yer'self!"

Wheelwright took the despatch, and at once perceived from the superscription, that it was a missive from his counsel. He was turning upon his heel, but Thady, unwilling to retire without a fee, arrested his retreat by saying:—

"Faith, thin, but I'm thinking your honor's mimory is none of the longest, and that a thrifle of change would do me no harm for the throuble I've had."


Wheelwright, hoping that he was the bearer of agreeable tidings from his estates, threw him all but his last quarter, and Thady took his leave with,

"Blissings on your honor, and long life to ye; and as your worship is a civil-spoken gintilman, may be ye'll not think it bowld if I jist hint to your honor, that if Misthress Judy there is a servant, she needs looking to—and bad luck to her!"

Not having heard the street dialogue already related, this benevolent caution was lost upon the husband, who, on opening the note, found it as he had anticipated—a summons to call upon his lawyer in the city. High with hope, therefore,—upon the pleasures of which he had been living already too long,—not doubting that success had at length crowned the exertions of his legal advisers,—and supposing, therefore, that the school was just dissolving at the fortunate moment when it was no longer necessary to his support, he hastened across the ferry. But alas! Little indeed did he anticipate the cause of his summons to the city. The development fell upon his disappointed senses like the crash of a thunderbolt. In the progress of his investigations, the learned counsel had discovered that the accomplished lady of my friend, was none other than one of the unmarried wives of the lamented Captain Scarlett, and that the legal representatives were already in the secure possession of his estates!




"My stars shine darkly over me"—Shakspeare.

"A most poor man, made tame by fortune's blows."—Idem.


How little do one half of the world know how the other half live! And how just the remark of Goldsmith, that they who would know the miseries of the poor, must see life and endure it. More especially do these remarks hold good in respect to the inhabitants of crowded cities. In country towns, and small villages, every body knows every body, and, very commonly, almost too much of every body's business. But in large cities, the people are huddled together in close proximity, and are yet as much strangers to each other as though divided by a waste of wilderness or waters. The rich, who fare sumptuously; the middling class, who have enough, and a little to spare; and the squalid wretch who would be overjoyed with a basket of coals, and a joint of meat; may all be found in the same block, and yet neither one of them know any thing of the comforts, the distress, or the affluence of the other. The middling and lower classes of people in the country are prone to form an undue estimate of the advantages, and the comparative ease, of a city life. Because so much is said of the wealth of cities, they imagine that all who dwell in them must be rich, and consequently have no hard labor to perform. But it is a sad mistake. "Great cities," says the philosopher of Monticello, "are great sores;" and if the envious and discontented poor know little of the splendid misery of the fancied rich,—of the number of aching heads and hearts upon beds of down,—much less do the truly rich, living within great cities, and the world at large without them,—know of the wretchedness and the crime, the poverty and the woe, to be found in the great and crowded marts of trade and commerce in every country. Were mankind, in general, better informed upon these particulars, there would be less of envy in the world, and less of poverty. There would likewise be fewer people "well to do" in the country, crowding to the cities, to become beggars, and at last either to find dishonorable graves, or, when honestly dead, to merit the Italian inscription upon a well man who took physic—"I was well—I wished to be better—and here I am."

During the five years immediately succeeding the catastrophe recorded at the close of the last chapter, I neither saw, nor heard a syllable from, the subject of this narrative. The winter of 1827-28, was one of extraordinary severity in New-York. The month of January, in particular, was unusually tempestuous and severe. Those of the common poor, who had been the most improvident and reckless when they should have husbanded their earnings, were brought upon the public bounty considerably earlier than usual, and backs "hanging in ragged misery" were already more plenty than was wont.

It was on a bitterly cold Saturday morning of that month, that my old and unfortunate friend presented himself in my office—but alas how changed! He looked exceedingly dejected and poverty-stricken—as though what little of energy he ever might have possessed, had been utterly extinguished by the withering touch of penury. A single glance of course served to show that matters had gone hard with him—and that if "the world owed him a living," as he was formerly wont to boast, it was turning him off with a very scanty one. A storm, which had been fiercely raging for several days, gave no signs of exhaustion.—The snow, which had been falling for fifty or sixty hours—not in a fleecy shower, but mingled with cutting particles like hail—filled the atmosphere, and with each successive gust of a stiff northwester, was whirled aloft in vast curling sheets and wreaths—or driven through the narrow streets with a force that was blinding and almost irresistible. Nor man nor beast ventured forth, save from dire necessity, and it seemed as though the storm-king with his fiercest aspect, and armed with all his terrors, had made a conquest of the city.—Wheelwright's left arm was in a sling, and his tattered garments afforded but a sorry protection against the rude peltings of the pitiless storm, of which I have given a very inadequate description.

After the ordinary and reciprocal inquiries as to health, &c. had been interchanged, he sat several minutes with averted eyes, and without uttering a syllable. I saw that he was embarrassed, poor fellow!—and turned to the window—viewing the clouds of snow that were high upborne, like a canopy over the city, or playing in fantastic wreaths as the wind whistled around the cornices of the contiguous buildings—that he might collect himself. At length he broke silence nearly as follows:—

"I'm afeard you will think I have come on rather curious business-like—for me."

"How so? What is the case, Mr. Wheelwright?"

"Why, I've had a hard life on't, since I seen you, when my school was broke up; and I've called to see—I was too proud once to come of such an arrant—but I thought 'twas likely you would not see a poor family suffering in such a storm as this."

"Surely not—if it is in my power to render assistance."

"Well, I thought as much—and I've called to see if you have not some second-hand clothes, and a little something to eat, that you can give us—or any thing else that you can spare—for we are in very great distress."

"Indeed—in actual want—of food and clothes, did you say? What has brought——

"O, don't ask—that woman there—I little thought I should ever come to this."

"Why have you not informed me of it before? Pray what is the matter with your hand, doctor?"

"I accidentally run a gouge through it, and hain't been able to do any work since. We had nothing to live upon. My hands were my only resources from day to day;—my working tools, and every article of furniture in the house, to the last blanket, the last shirt, and my wife's last shawl, have been pawned at the broker's, to enable us to keep the breath of life in us. We have now neither a stick of wood to burn, nor a morsel to eat!"

"Can it be possible, my dear sir, that you are reduced to a condition so deplorable? Why have you not been to see me sooner?"

"I was ashamed."

"But you need not have been. You should not have been left to suffer deprivations like these."

"I knew that, very well; but after all that has happened, I wished to bury myself, and never see the face of an old friend again. I hoped to live through, until my hand got well, and then I could have gone to work again."

"Work? What work?"

"You know I had partly larnt a trade once—pity I ever left it!—and as I retained knowledge enough of the use of tools to make common bedsteads, after my school run down, and my visions of property all vanished, I engaged in that business, and have contrived to get a poor living by it ever since, until I cut my hand so dreadfully."

"But your wife—cannot she do something with her needle?"

"What! that woman?"——

He paused, and heaved a deep sigh. It was a bitter exclamation, from the heart.

"No," he continued. "She has no faculty for getting along. She does nothing but harass my life out."

"A misfortune, in—

"True enough, I missed the fortune; and I should not have come to you now, but that we are freezing, and the children were shivering and crying for something to eat, when I left."

"Children! How many have you?"

"The woman, you know, had one when I married her, and we have had two since. One of these is dead. I am not sorry. Poor little fellow! he is much better off."

But it is needless to continue the colloquy. My heart bled for him. His tale of want and woe was told with the honest simplicity of truth. He did not shed any tears, but looked as though he was past weeping—like the personification of disappointment and despair.

From his relation it appeared, that during four years, my unfortunate friend's only income had been derived from the manufacture of the common article of furniture already mentioned. His place of residence and workshop were in the remote eastern part of the city. He had never the means of purchasing the materials for more than one bedstead at a time, and was obliged, from his extreme poverty, to carry the timber on his shoulders from the Albany Basin to his shop—a distance of two miles. This labor he performed at evenings. The article done, he had then to carry it to the furniture auction rooms in Chatham-square, for sale. The profit, over and above the cost of the materials, constituted the whole of his income—sometimes amounting to a dollar upon each, and sometimes to not more than two and six-pence—according to the run of the sales. And thus from day to day, for four long years, had the poor fellow been living, as we have seen, without allowing the friends of his better years to know where he was, or in what business or occupation he was engaged. Having once been the cause of his father's ruin, he was resolved not to call upon the old gentleman again while he could possibly avoid it, or preserve life without it. The motive for his conduct in this trying emergency, was honorable; and in the present hour of his bitter affliction I felt more sympathy for him, than I had ever supposed it possible to entertain for a man who, in times past, had made such indifferent use of his advantages. If there is any thing in this world that can subdue the passions, damp the ardor, or quench the spirit of a man, it is biting, remediless, hopeless poverty. Many are the minds, far more powerful than that of Mr. Wheelwright, which have sunk under its chilling influence. And my wonder was, how the doctor had borne up as well as he seemed to have done, under the complication of calamities which had befallen him.

Having heard his woeful relation through, I did what any one entitled to the name of man, would have done under the like circumstances. He was provided with an overcoat, and furnished with a little basket of provisions; and I promised to call in the afternoon, and examine into his condition for myself; albeit one of the ancient writers hath informed us that "he that spendeth his liuelode to helpe the poore at theyr nede, semeth mad vnto hym who hath reposed the ayd of this presente lyfe in worldlie riches."

The melancholy history just related by my unfortunate friend, threw me, after his departure, into a train of musing upon the vicissitudes of life, and the inequality with which Fortune distributes her favors. I could not help calling to mind Miss Edgeworth's admirable tale of Murad the Unlucky, and his friend the lucky Saladin. Like the former, Wheelwright seemed destined but to fall from one calamity into another, and effort to retrieve his affairs, did but plunge him deeper into the slough of misery. I could not but perceive, however, that as in the case of the persecuted Mussulman, the misfortunes of my poor friend had their origin in his own bad management, and to speak the honest truth, of common sense. The wound in his hand, indeed, might perhaps be accounted an unavoidable casualty; but had it not been for his previous errors, this misfortune would not have proved the cause of such hopeless penury and suffering.

We shall see, ere we close our tale whether a better if not a brighter destiny did not await him in coming years. Meantime, those who would avoid contemplating a scene of suffering like that which is to follow, should remember with Seneca,—"He that never was acquainted with adversity, has seen the world but on one side, and is ignorant of half the scenes of nature."

Too many there are, even in this boasted age of benevolence, who are thus ignorant of the scenes referred to by the ancient moralist—who believe it a virtue to be rich, and that there is no sin but beggary. "When fortune wraps them warm"—while their tables smoke with savory viands, and the choicest wines distil their grateful aroma—they turn a deaf ear to every sound of distress, exclaiming,

"————————I am rich,

And wherefore should the clamorous voice of woe

Intrude upon mine ear?"

But we can forgive them, as their own worst enemies. They know nothing of the luxury of doing good, and when they are called to make up their last account, they will mourn that they have no investments in those funds that never fluctuate—in that bank "where moth and rust doth not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." Let such remember, moreover, that as they brought nothing into world, so they can carry nothing out of it. And let it also be remembered, in the language of another, that were there as many worlds as there are particles of sand in our globe, and were those worlds composed of angel gold; or were there any thing in the wide extent of the Almighty's dominion, which is more precious than gold, and were those worlds composed of that material, all melted into one solid mass, to fill the coffers of a single individual, it would avail him nothing in procuring the salvation of his soul, or in affording him happiness beyond the brief period of his three-score years and ten!




"And euery ioye hym is delaied,

So that within his herte affraied

A thousande tyme with one breath,

Wepende he wissheth after death,

Whan he fortune fynt aduerse."—Gower.

"Ah, little think the gay, licentious proud,

How many pine in want,         *             *

*    *    *    how many drink the cup

Of baleful grief, and eat the bitter bread

Of misery!"


Never in my life, in any place, or under any circumstances, had I before entered a human abode of such perfect and entire destitution as that of poor Wheelwright! It was a wretched apology for a house, at best, containing two stories, of two rooms upon a floor each. The upper apartments were occupied by several poor Irish families. The front room below had been Wheelwright's workshop, and the family lived in the room back of it. Both looked as though they had been swept and garnished by the hand of Famine herself. Not a single article of furniture, of any description, was left! Crouched over two short brands,—the remains of a couple of sticks of wood which a poor neighbor had given them the day before,—were Wheelwright and his wife, shivering with cold. In one corner of the room lay two or three bushels of chopped straw, in which they slept. Not a bed, nor a blanket, nor a chair, nor any article or utensil of furniture whatsoever, had been left; all, all, was in the hands of the remorseless pawn-brokers, as the sufferers showed me by their certificates—pawned, too, for such pitiful sums as at once attested the oppressive and disgraceful system of avarice upon which those establishments are conducted. The storm yet howled fearfully without, and the hard particles of indurated snow were sifting through the interstices of the crazy building. The eye of man has seldom rested upon such a scene of stern and unmitigated poverty. Shylock or Sir Giles Overreach—aye!—any body but a pawn-broker—would have melted into tears at the spectacle. The children, almost naked, had just been taken to the fire-side of a poor Irish neighbor, to keep their benumbed bodies from freezing to the heart. I was appalled for the moment, as I gazed about upon this unexampled picture of destitution. Before me, seated on his haunches upon the hearth, was poor Wheelwright, resting his chin upon his hand,—and "the woman"—unfortunately his wife—by his side. He was moody—broken—crushed!

"Well!" he exclaimed, as I approached the forlorn couple—"you see what I have come to!"

I saw the state of the case—the cause, and the effect—at a glance—"that woman!"—as he had denominated her with such emphasis in the morning. In good sooth, I liked her not. She looked hale and hearty, notwithstanding their destitution—was ragged, and none of the neatest in her person.

I entered into conversation with her, and soon discovered that she had both a sharp, and, if necessary, an artful tongue of her own. I remarked that she appeared to be in good health, and might, I should have supposed, do something with her needle toward the supply of their pressing necessities. But her excuses were many, and were uttered with genuine Irish eloquence and volubility. The principal of these, however, were, that, what with taking care of her poor dear husband's wounded hand, and looking after the childer, she had not time, and could get nothing to do besides.

"Indeed, your honor," said she, "and sure we had everything that was dacent about us, and were quite happy and comfortable, considering, until my poor dear husband—God bless him, your worship!—kilt his hand, and I don't know where is like to be the end of it."

"But," I remarked, "surely, Mrs. Wheelwright, you could have found time to do a little something—if no more than to buy a loaf of bread and a few coals now and then, to mitigate your sufferings."

"Fait, your honor"—for if the woman had ever lost any portion of the peculiar patois of her own country, while living in Paris as a femme de chambre, or with Capt. Scarlett as a mistress, it had all returned with her more recent associations, and she was now a pure Emerald—"fait, your honor," said she, "and how could I be afther laving the poor body in his distress to go out afther work, when I love him above the world and all that's in it? And then, your worship, I'd no clothes that was dacent to go out in, and to go to jontlemen's houses with such tatters as these, Mr. Wheelwright, says I, it would not do by any manner of means, says I. And that's the rights of it from end to end, if your worship will ounly hear to me."

Wheelwright himself was evidently bowed down by the severity of his wants and the depth of his degradation.

If moral energy had ever been one of his characteristics, it was quite clear that its fire had long since been extinguished; and more than all, it was equally evident that he was the object of domestic tyranny. But he uttered no complaint, and indeed scarcely opened his lips, unless in reply to the interrogations put to him.

My first business was to rescue the unhappy sufferers from immediate want. Had the woman alone been concerned, my solicitude would have been hardly discernible. But whatever had been the defects in the character of Wheelwright, or the errors which, for the most part, were the consequence, the wide contrast between his present and past condition was truly affecting. For his indiscretions, never involving moral obliquity, he had most grievously answered. And, besides, was he not "a man and a brother!" There is no more charitable people in the world than those of New-York. Let any case of distress be presented—any call of real suffering—which has actually been ascertained, and is vouched for by a respectable citizen, the hearts of the New-Yorkers will instantly respond to the appeal. Two or three hours of active exertion, therefore, enabled me to obtain the means, and procure all the supplies actually necessary; and in three days' time Wheelwright and his family were comfortably furnished with bedding, clothing, fuel, and provisions for the residue of the season of snows.

The next measure resolved upon, was the redemption of Wheelwright's tools and other articles of furniture, clothing, &c., from the hands of the pawn-brokers, for which purpose he accompanied me. The object was accomplished after no little trouble, in visiting the principal establishments doing business under the beautiful sign of the three golden balls, in Chatham-street, and redeeming one or two articles here, another there, and a third or fourth somewhere else. But although this part of the labor was an irksome job, attended by scenes and objects of a description exceedingly painful, yet I was enabled to read some dark pages in the book of human nature, which will never be forgotten.

I had previously imbibed a strong prejudice against those receptacles of the goods, new and old, of the poor, the miserable, and the vicious. I had been told of the system of universal cheatery upon which they practised, and the enormous exactions made in grinding the faces of the poor. I had heard described their dexterity in the substitution of colored glass and crystals, for gems, while pretending to examine articles of the latter description brought for pledges, and was prepared to encounter all that was sinister and heartless. But the one-half had not been told me, and I soon found that my previous conceptions fell far short of the reality. As I have already remarked, I had occasion to visit several of them, and was detained at each, by the delays in finding the articles of which I was in search, and for which the holders had doubtless flattered themselves no inquiries would ever be made. The press of business at all, was another cause of delay. It really seemed in my eyes the most fraudulent and oppressive business in which man could engage. As I recovered Wheelwright's articles, one by one, it appeared at once that the most outrageous system of extortion had been practised in every instance. The sums advanced had been pitiful in amount, and the rates of interest charged exorbitant beyond belief. O how does avarice harden the heart, and dry up the current of human sympathy! How lamentable this accursed thirst for gold!

"Wide, wasting pest! that rages unconfined,

And crowds with crimes the records of mankind.

For gold, his sword the hireling ruffian draws;

For gold, the hireling judge distorts the laws;

Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth, nor safety buys;

And dangers gather as the treasures rise."

And at every one of these dens, what a crowd of victims were collected! "A motley company indeed—black-legs, and would-be-gentlemen—the cheater and the cheated." The widow parting with her last trinkets, or, perchance, her last disposable article of dress, to procure one more meal for her famishing children! A poor consumptive girl, with the hectic flush upon her wasting cheek, applying for the same purpose; and the griping miser—very likely a woman too!—without a spark of generosity, or an emotion of pity—reading the condition of the sufferers from their countenances, with the coolest imaginable calculation—thus ascertaining from their looks the urgency of their respective cases, that the utmost possible advantage might be taken, and the intended cheat be made the greater. The pick-pocket, moreover, the thief, and the purloining servant, received with equal readiness, and the spoils divided between them, with the fullest understanding that no questions were to be asked! O 'tis monstrous! "The offence is rank, and smells to heaven!"

But my visits to these establishments were fruitful of incidents, the recollection of which is too vivid to be passed lightly over. And as the present chapter is already of sufficient length, it is proposed to appropriate a separate one as a record of some of those reminiscences—one of which may better suffice as a temperance lecture, than a sermon, while another may perhaps interest the reader from its aspect of romance. If the reader chooses, he can pass it over altogether.




"A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,

Uncapable of pity, void and empty

From any dram of mercy."—Shakspeare.

"——there, there, there! a diamond gone, cost me three thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse never fell on our nation till now."—Idem.

"O sailor boy, sailor boy, peace to thy soul!"—Dibdin.


To one who would study human nature, especially in its darker features, there is no better field of observation than among these pawn-brokers' shops.

In a frequented establishment, each day unfolds an ample catalogue of sorrow, misery, and guilt, developed in forms and combinations almost innumerable; and if the history of each customer could be known, the result would be such a catalogue as would scarcely be surpassed even by the records of a police-office or a prison. Even my brief stay while arranging for the redemption of Dr. Wheelwright's personals, afforded materials, as indicated in the last chapter, for much and painful meditation.

I had scarcely made my business known, at the first of "my uncle's" establishments to which I had been directed, when a middle-aged man entered with a bundle, on which he asked a small advance, and which, on being opened, was found to contain a shawl and two or three other articles of female apparel. The man was stout and sturdy, and, as I judged from his appearance, a mechanic; but the mark of the destroyer was on his bloated countenance and in his heavy, stupid eyes. Intemperance had marked him for his own. The pawn-broker was yet examining the offered pledge, when a woman, whose pale face and attenuated form bespoke long and intimate acquaintance with sorrow, came hastily into the shop, and with the single exclamation, "O Robert!" darted, rather than ran, to that part of the counter where the man was standing. Words were not wanted to explain her story. Her miserable husband, not satisfied with wasting his own earnings, and leaving her to starve with her children, had descended to the meanness of plundering even her scanty wardrobe, and the pittance for the obtaining of which this robbery would furnish means, was destined to be squandered at the tippling-house. A blush of shame arose even upon his degraded face, but it quickly passed away; the brutal appetite prevailed, and the better feeling that had apparently stirred within him for the moment, soon gave way before its diseased and insatiate cravings.

"Go home," was his harsh and angry exclamation; "what brings you here, running after me with your everlasting scolding? go home, and mind your own business."

"O Robert, dear Robert," answered the unhappy wife, "don't pawn my shawl. Our children are crying for bread, and I have none to give them. Or let me have the money; it is hard to part with that shawl, for it was my mother's gift; but I will let it go, rather than see my children starve. Give me the money, Robert, and don't leave us to perish."

I watched the face of the pawn-broker to see what effect this appeal would have upon him, but I watched in vain. He was hardened to distress, and had no sympathy to throw away. "Twelve shillings on these things," he said, tossing them back to the drunkard, with a look of perfect indifference.

"Only twelve shillings!" murmured the heart-broken wife, in a tone of despair. "O Robert, don't let them go for twelve shillings. Let me try somewhere else."

"Nonsense," answered the brute. "It's as much as they're worth, I suppose. Here, Mr. Crimp, give us the change."

The money was placed before him, and the bundle consigned to a drawer. The poor woman reached forth her hand toward the silver, but the movement was anticipated by her husband. "There Mary," he said, giving her half a dollar, "there, go home now, and don't make a fuss. I'm going a little way up the street, and perhaps I'll bring you something from market, when I come home."

The hopeless look of the poor woman, as she meekly turned to the door, told plainly enough how little she trusted to this ambiguous promise. They went on their way, she to her famishing children, and he to squander the dollar he had retained, at the next den of intemperance.

While this little scene was in progress, another had been added to the number of spectators. This was a young man, dressed in the height of the fashion, that is to say, in a be-frogged and be-laced frock coat with a standing collar, a pair of cossack pantaloons tapering down to the foot with a notch cut in the front for the instep, and a hat about twice as large at the crown as at the rim, much resembling in shape an inverted sugar-loaf, with the smaller end cut away. He had a reckless, dare-devil, good humored look, and very much the air of what is called "a young man about town;" that is, one who rides out to Cato's every afternoon, eats oyster suppers at Windust's every night after the play, and spends the rest of his time and his money at billiards. I had cast my eye upon him occasionally during the affair of the shawl, and saw that he took a deep interest in its termination. The moment the poor woman was gone, he twitched from his neck a gold chain, at the end of which was a small gold watch, and placing it in the hands of the pawn-broker, with whom he seemed to be on terms of acquaintance, he exclaimed, "Quick now, Crimp; thirty dollars on that; you've had it before, and needn't stop to examine it."

The money was instantly produced and paid over; and the young man of fashion, crumpling the notes up in his hand, ran off at full speed, first looking up and then down the street in a manner that gave me a suspicion as to the cause of his haste. I took the liberty of following him to the door, and was in abundant time to find my conjecture verified by seeing him accost the poor woman who had just left the shop, thrust into her hand either the whole or part of the sum he had just received on the pledge of his watch and chain, and then hurry away to the other side of the street, without stopping either for thanks or for explanation.

The reverie of mingled surprise and admiration into which I was thrown by this unexpected manifestation of benevolence, was interrupted by a loud outcry from Mr. Crimp, the pawn-broker, and by seeing him, with a look of wrath and horror, hurry round his counter and out through the door, upon the sidewalk, where he stood for a moment straining his eyes down the street, as if in search of the kind-hearted youth, who had by this time disappeared up one of the cross streets.

"The villain," he exclaimed; "the swindling scoundrel! Which way did he go, the ungrateful thief? Tell me," he continued, turning to me, "tell me which way he went, and I'll give you any thing you've a mind to ask. Yes, I'll give you—half a dollar, if you'll show me where he is."

I was not a little astonished at all this, but deferring the gratification of my curiosity for the present, pointed out to Mr. Crimp the course taken by his late customer, and mentioned also what I had seen take place between him and the poor woman. The information, or perhaps even the brief space employed in giving it, seemed to produce a change of intention in the mind of the estimable gentleman.

"Ah it's no use," he said; "he's got off clear by this time, and my thirty dollars is a case. But I'll find him yet, some day." And thus soliloquizing, Mr. Crimp returned into his shop.

The explanation for which I was so curious, was now afforded me. The young man had several times before deposited the watch in the hands of Mr. Crimp, as the quid pro quo of certain needful advances, and as often redeemed it, when accident or luck at the billiard table placed the requisite funds at his disposal. Taking advantage of the familiarity that had thus grown up between the broker and the trinket, as a means of dispensing with the usual and requisite examination, a gilt chain had been substituted for the gold one, which had been so often deposited with the watch; and the deception had passed unnoticed until it was too late. The watch itself was probably worth about the sum advanced.

There was another case of a very touching description, which occurred at the place of my next visit. It was that of an interesting female, of about five and thirty, and in the garb of mourning. She entered the place evidently with reluctance and timidity, and could hardly make the object of her visit known, from very emotion. She was of a delicate frame; of easy and rather graceful manners, and but for the ravages of care upon her countenance, might yet have been beautiful. At length she brought forth a ring from a pretty little morocco case, upon the pledge of which she wished to realize such an amount of money as would sustain herself and children through the winter. I saw that it was costing her a pang to part with the gem; but necessity knows no law. The eyes of the extortioner kindled, for the instant, and with evident exultation, at the first glance of the jewel—but they fell in a twinkling as he assumed the cold, hard aspect of his calling, took the ring in his fingers, and holding it up to the window, pretended to examine it—assuming, at the same time, an air of affected disappointment. He thereupon began at once to depreciate the article—declaring that it was nothing but a Brazilian crystal, and that he would hardly take it at any price. I saw by the countenance, and the heaving bosom of the lady—for such I was convinced she was, though in reduced circumstances—that she was bitterly disappointed—having calculated upon realizing a considerable sum from an article which she had supposed of much higher value. But the miser was inexorable, and peremptorily refused to advance more than four or five dollars. Her appearance and manner at this moment were affecting to a degree. "Well," said she: "'tis hard, but patience must endure. I have left my babes a-crying, and I must do it; and when this is gone, I must depend upon Him who feedeth the young ravens when they cry. But," she added, with a heavy sigh, "he said it was worth a great deal more than that." There was a peculiar tenderness and affection in the manner in which she, involuntarily perhaps, made this reference to some one who was not present; and the rising tear trembled and glistened in her eye, like the jewel in the miser's fingers.

I had seen, as the sordid wretch eyed the ring with secret satisfaction by the window, from its brilliance, that it was a gem of value. It glittered and sparkled in the light, with an intensity that nothing equals but the diamond; and I was determined that the fair and unfortunate owner should not be thus imposed upon. Just before the bargain was completed, however, as I was about to interpose myself, another gentleman, who had also been watching the procedure, stepped forward and declared that that beautiful ring should not be thus sacrificed to the rapacious Hebrew. The latter at once endeavored to hasten matters, and declaring the bargain to have been completed, would have succeeded in thrusting the jewel into the drawer, but for the resolution of the gentleman, who seized and saved it. The wretch muttered something about people's interfering in business that was exclusively his own concern, but to no purpose. The poor widow was rescued from his fangs; and although it was a struggle to part with the ring, which indeed contained a choice brilliant, her heart was gladdened by the receipt of seventy-five dollars, from one who was willing to pay its value.

The tale of this poor lady in whose case my sympathies had been thus enlisted, was not without interest. She was an orphan, daughter of a Virginia planter who had been eaten into poverty by his own slaves, so that his children were left portionless, and had been married when young to one of those high-minded, gallant spirits, who bear their country's flag so proudly on the wave—brave, and generous to a fault, and in fact one of those who almost literally "spend half a crown out of six-pence a day." She was adored by her husband, to whom she early presented several cherub-looking sailor-boys, and while he lived to supply her wants, though free-hearted and reckless of expenditure, she had always enough for the present, and "a shot in the locker," to serve while he was tossing upon the main. But alas! she had occasion too soon to deplore the capricious uncertainty of all sublunary enjoyments.

Never was a more beautiful day, nor a more gallant spectacle, than when the ship to which Lieutenant —— was attached, got underway, and departed for her last cruise in the West India seas. Every sail was set, and so clear was the atmosphere, that the light tracery of her rigging was seen against the sky, as she bore down through the Narrows. Maria watched the ship intently until the last dark point of the top-mast disappeared in the distance. How her bright eye sparkled, when she heard the praises of her husband's carriage on deck as he assumed his duties, spoken from the lips of friends who had with her witnessed the departure of the ship!—But before she retired to rest, tears had more than once usurped the features which were a few hours before dimpled by joy. A strange sensation—some unusual and undefinable apprehension of—she knew not what—had taken possession of her bosom, and she closed her long, silken eye-lashes to sleep even while yet she had scarce done weeping.

But the ship assumed her station in the squadron in due season, and every return vessel brought letters from her Frederick, full of affection for herself, and kisses and remembrances for Jack, Tom, and the baby. Often, moreover, did they abound with glowing descriptions of the scenery of those sunny West India climes, through which he had strolled when occasionally on shore. It was summer, and the tropical sun was reigning in his full glory. But his mind was enthusiastic and poetical, and the nights, so transcendantly beautiful in those regions, were his delight. After the sun, which had been blazing with irresistible fierceness in an unclouded sky, through the day, had sunk to rest, there was such a luxury in the enjoyment of a tropical evening! The clearness and brilliancy of the heavens, the serenity and soft tranquillity of the atmosphere, diffusing the most calm and delightful sensations. The moon shines out with a greater radiance in those heavens than in ours, and when she coquettishly turns her back upon this side of our mundane sphere, her place is well supplied by the superior brilliance of the stars. Such, in those clear skies, is their glittering effulgence, that the visiter from other latitudes would scarce suppose them to be the same luminaries that sparkle in their own heavens. Venus—the bright and beautiful divinity of love—appears of far greater magnitude than here,—shining with a much greater intensity of brightness—so strong indeed as to cast a shadow from the trees. These things were all described by Frederick to his Maria, with a richness and a glow of language, such as sailors seldom use. And all that was wanting to complete his happiness, was his Eve to stroll by his side among the groves of citron and lemon—redolent with every fruit that is inviting, and every flower that is beautiful. And how she longed to be with him I need not tell!

While, however, the ship was yet in those seas, cruising in the gulf of Mexico, autumn came on, and with it the season of storms. The lofty peaks of the stupendous mountains, in some of the nearest islands, were frequently in sight, perceptible often at a great distance, from the peculiar transparency of the atmosphere. At length the experienced navigators discerned celestial phenomena, which caused them to watch the heavens with greater solicitude. Piles of massive clouds, fleecy, and of a reddish hue, were observed in the morning, in the south-eastern quarter of the heavens, and the crests of the mountains, cloudless and yet of an azure cast, seemed nearer the ship than they were wont. Soon the pillowy masses of vapor began to move lazily toward the mountains—flashes which were but dimly discerned breaking from them, followed by the hollow and distant roll of thunder—sometimes so distinctly as to sound as if reverberating from peak to peak among the mountains, though yet at a very great distance. The ocean, too, began to heave as though in labor, and its roaring was borne along upon the freshening breeze. These indications spoke but too clearly the approach of one of those dreadful visitations in which the Almighty so frequently displays his power in the West India seas, and proclaims his judgments in such melancholy dispensations. The wind increased, the roaring of the ocean deepened upon the ear, and all hands in every craft upon the gulf were engaged in reefing their sails, and making every thing snug for the onset.

Nothing can be more fierce, sudden, or uncontrollable, than the West India hurricanes. Electrical in their origin, the moment the spark produces a combination of oxygen and hydrogen, the sudden and terrible fall of hail and rain pouring impetuously down, creates a vacuum into which the air rushes from every direction with tremendous velocity. Sometimes the air, by the meeting of opposite currents, assumes the form of a whirlwind: a dark cloud preceding it, unrolling itself suddenly, and mantling the whole heavens in gloom, lightened occasionally by the flashings of lurid fire,—while if upon land, houses, corn-stacks, cane-fields, and even whole forests, are whirled aloft and scattered to fragments in an instant; or, if upon the deep, the whole ocean is wrought into maddened and foaming fury; and woe to the vessel, no matter for its strength or magnitude, that is brought within the vortex of the tempest.

Such was the fact in regard to the hurricane of which I am speaking. Some of the light craft then upon the gulf, escaped and came into the harbor of New-York. They reported that never within the memory of man, had that sea been the scene of so fearful a tempest. It commenced with a tremendous crash from the heavens, and the gulf was almost instantly lashed into a foam of contending currents. At the instant of its commencement, apparently in the very focus of its fury, one of them saw a dark object, resembling a ship of war, rise upon the ridge of a towering wave, and then sink with a heavy roll into the trough of the sea, whence she rose no more. It was a fearful night, that which followed; the seas rushing and doubling onward, curling and foaming and breaking with awful majesty. But the United States ship Hornet was never heard of more. Her gallant officers and daring crew—full of high health and hope but an hour before—were all—all, in that dread moment—without one instant to bid adieu or breathe a prayer—hurried to their doom!

But to return from this digression. Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright's articles were all redeemed, and their house comfortably warmed and supplied for the winter, as I have already intimated. And in addition to such present relief as was rendered imperatively necessary by his wounded hand, the funds contributed for his benefit enabled me to lay in, for his use and behoof, ample materials for sixty bedsteads—a stock in trade rendering him a rich man, compared with what had been his temporal condition for a long while before. His spirits in a good measure revived at even such a change in his circumstances—and his wife poured forth an overwhelming torrent of Irish blessings, with thanks to "his honor," and "his worship," without number.




O matrimony! thou art like

To Jeremiah's figs;—

The good were very good;—the bad—

Too sour to give the pigs.—Old Saw.

"Slender, I broke your head—what matter have you against me?"—Shakspeare.


One of the most amusing, and, indeed, one of the best pictures of Sir Joshua Reynolds, is that of Garrick, between comedy and tragedy. On the one side, with her mask in hand, stood the presiding divinity of comic poetry, coaxing the immortal hero of the sock and buskin with her archest smiles; while on the other stood Melpomene, rapt in solemn thought, and with eyes upraised in gloomy grandeur, pointing the actor to a loftier walk than that of her witching sister Thalia. The situation of poor Garrick is most embarrassing—and appears the more so from the powers of face at his command, as delineated by the artist, whereby he is represented as doubting to which invitation he should yield, while with one half of his face he looks the deepest tragedy, and with the other, the merriest comedy.

Very much in the situation of Garrick, as thus described, does the biographer find himself at the threshhold of this concluding chapter. It is not his fault, however, that comic or rather farcical incidents must follow so closely upon the pathetic. But "the course of true love never did run smooth"—a fact of which, as the reader has already seen, my unfortunate friend Wheelwright had had some knowledge, early in his wedded life—and of which he was convinced over again, soon after the events recorded in the last two chapters.

It was on a clear frosty morning in March, that one of the watchful guardians of the peace and quiet of the city, connected with the police establishment, did me the unexpected honor of a visit. He stated that a poor but very decent sort of a man had fallen into the hands of the watch during the preceding night, and had been committed to Bridewell by the sitting magistrate, on a charge of assault and battery. According to the report of Dogberry, the man was "quite down-in-the-mouth about it, and," (he added,) "he contests that he is entirely hinnocent. He also says he is acquainted with you, and he thinks if you would be good enough to come up to the hall and see him, no doubt that you would bail him out."

"How is that, my friend? A man taken up in a night-row, and now in Bridewell, and says he is an acquaintance of mine—eh?"

"So he says, and he looks as though he might have seen better days. We have to deal with many such—but then he don't act as though he was often in such scrapes, no how."

"His name?"

"Doctor—Wheel—Wheelwright, I think they call him."

"O—ah—yes:" another incident, thinks-I-to-myself, in the chequered life of my unhappy friend.

"And a striking incident, too, according to the account of the Irish woman who lodged the complaint."

"An Irish woman! Mischief in her proper shape again. But, my word for it, if it is my quondam friend Wheelwright, who is in the scrape, he has not struck any body or thing—man, woman, or child."

"'Zactly so: that's just what he says; and as he has no friends, he thinks you might stand by him in a pinch, if you knew as how he has been in the lock-up half the night, and has now been walked off to Bridewell."

This was a far less agreeable call upon my attention and services than I had ever had the honor of receiving from him before; but still, knowing the honesty of the man, and his pacific character, and fully believing in his representations of innocence, I at once determined to inquire into the circumstances of the case, and, if necessary, make another effort in his behalf.

The investigation resulted as I had anticipated. The unfortunate husband now opened his heart, and poured out all his domestic sorrows and tribulations before me. He needed not to tell me that he had not married a fortune, as he had supposed, when I first saw him in the hey-day of his honey-moon; but from the simple tale now unfolded, it seemed that, on the contrary, he had been wedded to Mis-fortune, and all her progeny. The rather turbulent lady of Socrates—(unless Mrs. Xantippe was scandalized by her neighbors)—was a sweet-tempered dame, and "gentle as a sucking dove," in comparison with the vixen who had been harassing his life and soul away for years. The only peaceable hours of his existence were those in which she was too much fatigued with liquor to annoy him. When awake and sober, her temper was little better, and her tormenting tongue seemed to have been hung in the middle, so that it might run at both ends. It is related of Foote, the comedian, that when once suffering from the tongue of a shrew, he replied—"I have heard of Tartars, and Brimstones, madam; and by Jove you are the cream of the one, and the flour of the other." And next to the Grecian lady above mentioned, the Tartar who bearded Foote, seemed, in my view, to be the only parallel of Mistress Wheelwright, of which the books give any account.

How few can bear prosperity! Indeed, although we all covet it so much, the examples of those ruined by sudden reverses of fortune, would probably present a greater number of those who have been raised from poverty to wealth, than of those who have been cast down from a state of affluence to that of penury. An illustration of this proposition was afforded in the family of Mr. Wheelwright. It appeared that after the change recorded in the last chapter, from a condition of the most abject misery, to that of comparative comfort, the Doctor's lady, elated by her prosperity, began to take airs upon herself, and her carriage was such as to excite the jealousy of her neighbors up stairs. The consequences were a speedy and open rupture, so that occasional hostilities were waged between them; and the civil dudgeon ran so high that all attempts of poor Wheelwright to keep the peace were abortive. At last, on the night of my friend's arrest, one of the ladies from above, remarkable for the dimensions of her facial organ, descended to his apartment in a tempest, and insulted his wife. Like a true Amazon as she was, the latter repelled the invader, pursued her in her flight, and like Scipio carried the war into Africa. The tenants above made common cause with Mistress Judy Pettit, and the gentle lady of Mr. Wheelwright was in turn discomfitted, and compelled to descend headlong down stairs, in rather too quick time for her comfort, with a cataract of Irish women tumbling after her. Wheelwright ran to the rescue of his help-meet, and pulling her through the door, endeavored to shut it on the instant, to keep out the foe; in doing which the proboscis of Mistress Pettit, which was truly of the Strasburgh order, was unhappily and literally caught in the door crack, and beyond all question somewhat injured thereby. In the language of the trumpeter's wife in Tristram Shandy, it was truly "a noble nose," and the pinch it endured, though transient, it must be confessed, was rather severe and biting. Its fair possessor therefore ran into the street, smarting from the pain, and vociferating alternately for the "watch," and "Och murther! I'm kilt, I'm kilt," so pertinaciously and so obstreperously withal, as to wake up several of the guardians of the night, who made a rally, and carried the whole party to the watch-house, including an Irishman who happened to be on a visit up stairs, by the name of Timothy Martin.

From all account, the morning examination before the sitting magistrate must have afforded one of the most amusing scenes for the fancy that have recently occurred this side of Bow-street. It was difficult to say which of the ladies was the most clamorous, Mistress Pettit, the complainant, or Mistress Wheelwright, or whether other females of the party did not talk as loud and as fast as either. Mistress Pettit gave an account of their neighborhood concerns for some time previous.

"Fait, your worship," says she, "we was always afther being kind to them, when they had not a faggot to warm them, or a paratoe to ate; and then she'd come to me sometime, and bring the childer, says she, for she'd two of them at that same time—bad luck to her—and this, your honor, is one of them," (for the eldest of Wheelwright's children had been brought up in the medley;) "and says I to Mistress Wheelwright, says I, plase your worship, you may come with your childer and warm ye, and here's a drop of the crathur that Tim Martin brought to me. And then whin she wint off a-begging as no dacent woman would, bekase I pitied the childer, I tould Mrs. Wheelwright, says I, that they might stay with me till ye come back yourself—and may-be ye'll come the sooner, Mrs. Wheelwright, says I. And come she wouldn't by no manes, but was out all night sometimes."

"Och deevil burn ye," interrupted Mistress Wheelwright, "if ye go on at that rate, I'll tell his honor of the pig ye stole,—you and Tim Martin, ye did."

"Och Murther," cried Mistress Pettit, "that a dacent woman like I should be charged with staling along with such a spalpeen as Tim Martin, your honor."

Whereupon up started Tim Martin, exclaiming—

"Botheration, and that's what I get for kindness," says he, "there's grathitude your worship!—And fait, I'll tell his honor of the money ye stole in the strong box that I left," says Tim Martin, says he.

"Yes," interposed Mistress Wheelwright, "when word com'd that she'd gone off with a man that she had, and left her own childer for me to care for, bad luck to her."

"Och!" Mistress Wheelwright, says Mistress Pettit, says she; "and you and Tim Martin's lies will be the death of me, and he's selling whiskey without a license, yer honor, that's Tim Martin, he is!"

But it is impossible to follow these precious parties through the particulars of their examination disclosing the miseries of their neighborhood, and in their own words, when they all talked together. I must therefore content myself by informing the reader, that the magistrate interposed as soon as he could, by stating that he did not sit there to hear about their squabbles with each other and Tim Martin, but to hear what they had to say against the accused.

Poor Wheelwright! During the whole of the scene just described, he sat upon one of the benches, his eyes cast upon the floor, without uttering a word. When called upon, however, to answer to the charge, he could only deny, and try to explain—but Mistress Pettit and her associates were too much for him. And besides, deny having molested her nose, as he might, the aspect of the member itself bore abundant testimony of rough usage and a narrow escape—to say nothing of the crimson drops, that seemed to have oozed therefrom, and fallen upon good Mistress Pettit's neck-handkerchief. The consequence was, that the magistrate could do no less than commit him, although from Wheelwright's subdued demeanor, he had strong doubts as to his intentional delinquencies. Under these circumstances, I found but little difficulty, from my own knowledge of the man, in persuading the magistrate to release him on his own recognizance.

In a few weeks afterward, Wheelwright ascertained that the always equivocal virtue of his wife had become of so little consequence in her own eyes, as to release him from any farther obligation, in honor or in law, to stand any longer as its nominal guardian and protector. He divided the children, giving her the one to which she had a fair title before he courted her fortune,—but which, poor thing!—proved to be all she had,—and took the only one now living, which bore his own name, to himself. He also at length assumed sufficient energy to divide the house between them—giving her the out-side and retaining the in-side for himself. Thus ends the history of Doctor Daniel Wheelwright in New-York.

"It is the end," says the Bard of Avon, "that crowns all;" and bringing these "passages" in the life of my friend to a close, from the position in which I shall leave him, the reader may perhaps agree with the same illustrious poet:—

"More are men's ends mark'd than their lives before."

At all events, we will "let the end try the man." The latest intelligence which I can furnish the reader respecting him, however, is this. Having recently made a flying excursion through the valley of the Mohawk—visited the old baronial castle of Sir William Johnson, and from thence struck across to the south through the Schoharie-kill valley, to explore the wonders of the great cavern of the Helderbergs, an accident to the light vehicle drawn by my coal-black steed, on my return, obliged me to call upon a coachmaker in the first city west of Albany. On arriving at the shop, and inquiring for the principal of the establishment, I was directed to an athletic man engaged with his whole attention, in giving the finishing strokes to a substantial coach-wheel. Judge of my astonishment, as he looked up, on beholding none other than the hero of the present memoir, in his own proper person! His sleeves were rolled up to his shoulders; his complexion was ruddy; and a cheerful smile lighted up his countenance, such as I had not seen playing there for many a year—never, in fact, since he became acquainted with "that woman there." Every thing about him bore the marks of industry and consequent thrift. "Ah, Mr. Doolittle! is that you?" he exclaimed, as he wiped away the large drops of perspiration that stood upon his face. Indeed, he was quite glad to see me; and after interchanging a few remarks of mutual surprise at such an unexpected though agreeable meeting, and after briefly relating what had been his personal history since I had last seen him under the cloud, he observed,—"You see I have gone clean round 'the circle,' and am at the old spot again—my father's shop. I have always told you that 'the world owed me a living.' But the mischief on't was, I always went the wrong way to work to obtain it. I believe, however, that I have got about right at last."

The reader of the preceding narrative, may perhaps suppose that the materials of which it is framed, are such unsubstantial stuff as dreams are made of. I beg leave, however, at the close, to assure him of his error. With the single abatement that names are changed, and places are not precisely designated, every essential incident that I have recorded, actually occurred, much as I have related it, to a person who, if not now living, certainly was once, and most of them under my own observation. As Scott remarks, at the close of the Bride of Lammermoor, "it is an ower true tale."

The moral is briefly told. Let the young man remember that it requires not actual vice to expose him to all that is humiliating and painful in poverty. He may be assured of misery enough, if he merely neglects the advantages which a kind Providence has placed within his power.

Let the parent learn, before he resolves to educate his son, the importance of ascertaining whether his son was ever designed for professional life. The weak vanity of a parent has frequently ruined his son, and brought down his own gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.






SHIP AND SHORE, or Leaves from the Journal of a Cruise to the Levant—by an officer of the Navy.

Another contribution from a source, to which nobody would have thought of turning, but a few years ago; but which is now beginning to yield fruit abundantly and of an excellent flavor, sound, wholesome and trustworthy; not those warm cheeked and golden pippins of the Red Sea, which 'turn to ashes on the lips'—but something you may bite with all your strength, of a grapy, and oftentimes of a peachy flavor. The preface itself is a gem.—New-England Galaxy.

This book is written with sprightliness and ease, and may justly claim to be considered an agreeable as well as an instructive companion. It is inscribed in a brief but modest dedication to Mrs. E. D. Reed—a lady of uncommon refinement, of manners and intellectual accomplishments. The descriptions of Madeira and Lisbon are the best we have read. The pages are uniformly enriched with sentiment, or enlivened by incident. The author, whoever he is, is a man of sentiment, taste and feeling.—Boston Courier.

MEMOIRS OF MRS. WINSLOW, late Missionary to India, by her husband, Rev. Miron Winslow—in a neat 12mo, with a Portrait.

The book contains a good history of that mission, including the plan and labors of the Missionaries, and the success attending them, together with almost every important event connected with the mission. It also presents much minute information on various topics which must be interesting to the friends of missions, relating to the character, customs and religion of the people—their manner of thinking and living: and the scenery of their country and its climate. It also describes the perplexities and encouragements of Missionaries in all the departments of their labor, and throws open to inspection the whole interior of a mission and a mission family, exhibiting to the reader what missionary work and missionary life are, better perhaps than any thing before published—Missionary Herald.

Mrs. Winslow would have been a remarkable character under any circumstances, and in any situation. Had she not possessed a mind of unusual power and decision, she never could have triumphed over the obstacles which were thrown in her way. We hope that in this memoir many a pious young lady, will find incitements to prayerfulness and zeal—and that our readers will enjoy the privilege of reading all the pages of this interesting volume.—Abbott's Magazine.

PASTOR'S DAUGHTER—or the Way of Salvation explained to a Young Inquirer; from reminiscences of the conversations of the late Dr. Payson with his daughter.

ZINZENDORFF, a new original Poem—by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, with other Poems, 12mo. This book is in a neat style, and well calculated for Holiday presents.

HARLAN PAGE'S MEMOIRS, one of the most useful books ever published.

There has been much fear that the attention of the church was becoming too exclusively turned towards the great external forms of sin. These fears are not groundless. Here, however, is one remedy. The circulation of such a work as this, holding up a high standard of ardent personal piety, and piety, too, showing itself in the right way—by quiet, unpretending efforts to spread the kingdom of Christ from soul to soul.—Abbott's Magazine.

COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF PSALMS; on a plan embracing the Hebrew Text, with a New Literal Version. By George Bush, Prof. of Heb. and Orient. Lit. in the New-York City University.

This commentary, although it every where discovers evidence of highly respectable research, is not designed exclusively for the use of mere biblical critics. It is true the author has constant recourse to the Hebrew and to ancient translations and commentaries, &c. in the explanation of difficult passages: but he does it with such clearness of perception and such tact of language that even unlettered readers can hardly fail to be profited by his comments. He has hit with an admirable degree of precision, the happy medium between a commentary purely scholastic and critical, which could be interesting to only a few very learned men, and one exclusively practical, which would be likely to be unsatisfactory to men of exact and scrutinizing minds. It is a pleasing circumstance, although some perhaps may be disposed to make it a ground of carping and disparagement, that the work is an American one. It is written in our own land and by one of our own beloved brethren, and is therefore entitled on the ground of country and patriotism, as well as of religion, to all that kindness and favor of reception, which may be justified by its intrinsic merits. The work is published in a highly creditable style by the house of Leavitt, Lord & Co. New-York.—Christian Mirror.

We have spent so much time, delightfully, in reading this number, that we have little left for description of its contents. We have first an admirable preface of two pages, stating the plan and object of the work. Persons wishing to revive their knowledge of neglected Hebrew, or desirous to learn it anew without a teacher, can find no book better adapted to facilitate the acquisition than this, in addition to a grammar and dictionary.

The good sense of Mr. Bush, is well indicated by his remarks on the word Selah where it first occurs. No mere empiric would have made such an acknowledgment.—Ib.

While the work is adapted to be a real treat more particularly for scholars, it is so conducted that readers merely of the English version can hardly fail to receive from it much profit and delight.—Pittsburgh Friend.

We have not examined critically all the notes, but we have examined them enough to satisfy ourselves of the author's competency to his Work and of his fidelity.—Christian Register.

The mechanical execution of the work is beautiful, particularly the Hebrew text, and fully equal to any thing that has come from the Andover Press, which hitherto has stood unrivalled in this country, for biblical printing. The introduction and notes give evidence of laborious and patient investigation, extensive biblical learning, and heartfelt piety. It promises to be a work of great value and we hope it will meet with ample encouragement.—Cincinnati Journal.

A GRAMMAR OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE, with a brief Chrestomathy for the use of beginners, by George Bush; Prof. Heb. and Orient. Lit. in the N. Y. city University.

We hail sincerely this finely executed volume, with its tasteful display of the University front labelled in gilt on the back. But the outward dress is a matter of minor moment. It is the marrow of the book which gives us pleasure. That it is calculated to be an important accession to the elementary works on Hebrew, no one acquainted with the ripe scholarship of Prof. B. can doubt, much less any one who has examined the book. The main object of the author in preparing it, as we learn from his well written preface, was to facilitate the acquisition of the holy tongue by the simplification of its elements. With the book as a guide, the student will find the entrance upon the language instead of difficult and repulsive, easy and inviting. Taken altogether, we regard the grammar of Prof. B. as eminently adapted to the use of students in our Theological Seminaries; and we see not why it should not successfully compete with the ablest of its predecessors. In addition to its intrinsic rights it has moreover the recommendation of being sold at the low price of $1 25.—N. Y. Evangelist.

It is enough to say for the information of students in this most interesting and valuable department of human (rather divine) knowledge, that in this grammar they will find all the information requisite for ordinary purposes in a form more accessible and inviting than has usually been given it. Minor recommendations are, the inviting character of the print, and the moderate price of $1 25 (the chrestomathy being part of the same volume.) Students in Hebrew, especially if they have made trial of other grammars, will deem this work a valuable accession to our facilities for the acquisition of this original and sacred tongue. It need scarce be added that this commendation is given without any disposition to injure the deserved repute of the almost father of Hebrew literature in this country. He will not surely, regret that a spirit which has done so much to promote, should develop itself in new and felicitous attempts to improve the field that he so arduously and successfully cultivates.—N. Y. Churchman.

Prof. Stuart's grammar is full and copious. Prof. Bush bears testimony to its merit, and observes that his design has been, by a greater simplification of the elements, to produce a work better adapted to the wants of those who are beginning a course of careful study of the language, while the grammar of Prof. Stuart, which leads at once into the deeper complexities of the language, answers in a great degree the purpose of an ample Thesaurus to the advanced student. We believe there is a greater simplification, combined with as much fullness and detail as are requisite to aid the student in attaining an accurate knowledge of the language. We are glad to see that Prof. Bush has returned, or rather adheres to the old system of the distinction of vowels into long and short. It has always appeared to us that the change adopted by Prof. Stuart from Gesenius, substituting for the distinction into long and short vowels, a classification into three analogous orders, brought with it much greater complexity without any adequate compensation in the advantage which might result from it.—Christian Intelligencer.

His grammar is more intelligible and contains less of unnecessary and doubtful matter, than any other equally complete work with which we are acquainted. We have no doubt that its circulation will prove an important means of recommending the study of the Hebrew language.—N. Y. Observer.

Hand with pointing finger

The publishers are happy to state, from information recently received from the author, that the above work has been adopted as the text-book on Hebrew Grammar at the Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J., and that it is under consideration, with a like view, at several other institutions in the country.

FEMALE STUDENT.—LECTURES TO YOUNG LADIES, comprising Outlines and Applications on the different branches of Female Education. For the use of Female Schools, and private Libraries; delivered to the Pupils of the Troy Female Seminary. By Mrs. Almira H. Lincoln Phelps, late Vice Principal of that Institution: Author of Familiar Lectures on Botany, etc.

This lady is advantageously known as the writer of "Familiar Lectures on Botany," and other popular works for the use of students and the young generally. Her present work may be safely commended to the class for whom it is more especially designed, and to the use of schools in particular, as one of various interest, and of very judicious and useful composition.—Evening Gazette.

We recommend the work to teachers and all others who are sensible of the vast amount of influence which woman exerts on society, and how inadequately she has hitherto in general been prepared to make that influence beneficial to our race.—Boston Mercantile Journal.

Her views of the various methods of instructing are practical, for they are the results of experience. To parents, particularly mothers desirous of pursuing the most judicious course in the education of their children, I would recommend this book as useful beyond any other I am acquainted with, in arming them against that parental blindness from which the best of parents are not wholly exempt and which often leads them unawares to injure in various ways the character of their children and lay the foundation of future misfortune for their offspring and sorrow for themselves. To young women who cannot afford the expense of attending such schools as afford the highest advantages, Mrs. P.'s lectures afford substantial aid in the work of self-education. Young Ladies about to go abroad to schools or those already from home, may consult this book as they would a judicious mother, or faithful and experienced friend: it will warn them of the dangers to which they will be exposed, or the faults into which they are liable to fall, so that being "forewarned" they may be forearmed to escape them.—In my opinion the peculiar tendency of this work is to produce in the mind that "humility" which "goes before honor," to impart to the thoughtless, a sense of the awful restraints of morality.—Mrs. Willard, Prin. Troy Female Seminary.

The present work is intended to unfold the natural objects of female education. This is accomplished in a series of lectures written in a perspicuous, pleasing style, and treating of the various studies pursued in a well regulated school for young ladies. It is really and truly what it proposes to be, a guide in the intellectual education of woman, and will, we have no doubt, become a standard work in our schools and families.—Ladies' Magazine.

We think this plan is generally executed in a manner calculated to instruct pupils and to furnish useful hints and maxims for teachers. We can cordially recommend the work, generally, as sound in its principles of education, interesting in its style, and excellent in its spirit—a valuable gift to pupils and teachers.—Annals of Education.

We know not when we met with a book which we have perused with more pleasure, or from which we have derived more profit. The authoress is evidently possessed of a vigorous understanding, with just so much of imagination as to chasten down the matter-of-factness of her style, which is eminently beautiful. She is perfectly acquainted with her subject, and expresses herself in a manner at once clear and forcible, affectionate and convincing. It is well known how much the intellectual character of the child depends on that of the mother, and yet girls are brought up and educated as if they were born only to buzz and flutter on the stage of life, instead of forming the character of a future generation of men.—Montreal Gazette.

Mrs. Phelps's course of lectures furnishes a guide in the education of females, for mothers as well as for the young! all may profit by the just and practical ideas it contains relative to the various branches of education. It should be in the hands of all who are educating others, or attempting to instruct themselves.—Mad'lle Montgolfier of France.

Mothers may find in this book a valuable assistant to aid them in bringing up their daughters to prefer duty to pleasure, and knowledge to amusement; and who would teach them to be learned without pedantry and graceful without affectation. Educate your daughters "to be wise without vanity, happy without witnesses and contented without admirers."—Southern Religious Intelligencer.

Of Mrs. Phelps' Lectures to young ladies, I cannot speak in sufficiently high terms of commendation. Such a work was greatly needed and must prove of inestimable value. I am in the practice of reading portions of it to my school, &c. I shall recommend to all young ladies who are or may be under my care to possess themselves of copies of the book.—Miss E., Principal of the celebrated school for young ladies at Georgetown, D. C.

Rev. Wm. Cogswell, Sec. A.B.C.F.M., writes the publishers, I understand that you are about issuing a second edition of Mrs. Phelps' "Lectures on Female Education." This fact I am happy to learn. I can cordially recommend them as being well adapted not only to interest and instruct the young ladies, of the institution for whom they were originally designed, but also others in similar institutions. The style and execution of the work is highly commendable; and the subjects on which it treats, important to young Ladies, acquiring a finished education, Its originality and value, entitle it to an extensive circulation, which I doubt not it will obtain.

Boston, Oct. 16, 1835.


One excellence of the publication before us, almost peculiar to this writer, when compared to others who have written upon this subject in our country, is, that it handles the matter of discussion with calmness, the writer not suffering himself to indite his letters under the influence of exacerbated feelings, but wisely avoids those harsh and blackening epithets which do more to irritate the passions than to convince and enlighten the judgment. On this account the book may be read with profit by all.—N. Y. Christian Advocate. (Methodist.)

The letters of Brutus deserve an extensive circulation.—Missouri, St. Louis Observer. (Presbyterian.)

"From what I have seen and know, the fears entertained by the writer in the New-York Observer, under the caption of 'Foreign Conspiracy,' &c. are not without foundation, especially in the West."—Letter of a Traveller in the West. (Maryland,) Methodist Protestant.

"Brutus.—The able pieces over this signature, relative to the designs of Catholicity in our highly favored land, originally published in the New-York Observer, it is now ascertained were written, not by an individual who was barely indulging in conjectures, but by one who has witnessed the Papacy in all its deformity. One who has, not long since, travelled extensively in the Romish countries, and has spent much time in the Italian States, where the seat of the Beast is. Rome is familiar to him, and he has watched the movements there with great particularity. We may, therefore, yield a good degree of credence to what Brutus has told us. His numbers are now published in a pamphlet, and the fact which has just come out in regard to his peculiar qualification to write on this great subject, will give them extensive circulation."—Utica Baptist Register.

The numbers of Brutus.—"Our readers are already acquainted with their contents. The object is to awaken the attention of the American public to a design, supposed to be entertained by the despotic governments of Europe, particularly of Austria, in conjunction with his Holiness the Pope, to undermine gradually our free institutions by the promotion of the Catholic Religion in America. The letters are interesting, from the numerous facts which they disclose; and are deserving the careful attention of the citizens of these United States, who should guard with vigilance the sacred trust which has been confided to us by our fathers."—N. Y. Weekly Messenger.

The work embodies a mass of facts, collected from authentic sources, of the deepest interest to every friend of civil liberty and Protestant Christianity. The efforts of despotic European sovereigns, to inoculate our country with the religion of Rome, are fully proved. Could they succeed in these efforts, and annihilate the spirit of liberty on our shores, the march of free principles in our own dominions would cease. They could then sit securely on their thrones, and rule with a rod of iron over their abject vassals.—Ohio, Cincinnati Journal. (Presbyterian.)





From the London edition of "Pinnock's Modern Geography,"
and adapted to the use of Academies and Schools in
the United States, with an Atlas.


Author of the New Universal Gazetteer, New-York Annual Register, etc.

180 Broadway.

Extracted critical remarks from the English Reviews of Pinnock's
Modern Geography and History.

"Mr. Pinnock's Catechisms and other publications have made his name universally known throughout the country, as one of the most meritorious and successful authors in this department of literature, who have ever directed their attention to inform the rising generation. The present volume is, in all respects, worthy of his name; it is well conceived, well arranged, diligently edited, and beautifully got up, at a very moderate cost. By mingling the attractions of history with the dry details of geographical science, the study is rendered pleasing and interesting. Ample intelligence is produced, in the first instance, and then the learner is judiciously exercised by questions on the subjects as they occur."—Literary Gazette.

"This is truly the age of intellectual improvement, and in every form and manner exertions are multiplied to advance it. Daily the unwearied press teems with new publications in aid of truth and knowledge. Compendiums, abridgments, and compressments of scientific lore, rapidly succeed each other in their pretensions to public favor; and it is now a point of competition amongst authors and publishers to give the greatest quantity of valuable information for the least money. It was, however, it seems, reserved for the experienced author of the work before us to excel all his predecessors in this particular; and we cannot restrain our admiration when we observe the immense collection of geographical and historical learning comprised in this little book. It is impossible, in the limits to which this notice can extend, to give a detailed account of the plan of Mr. Pinnock's work: suffice it, that its title is fully answered in the compilation, and that it is, in our judgment, eminently calculated to supersede the use of those elementary geographical works in present use, which, however useful they may be, are utterly poor and meagre when compared to this. The astronomical portion of Mr. Pinnock's book is excellent, and the historical memoranda, which follow the account of each country, are highly interesting, and tend to enliven the study of geography, while they furnish a fund of instruction to the learner.

"On the whole, this multum in parvo, for such it pre-eminently is, is calculated to become a universal instructer in the knowledge of the earth. It will not be confined to the use of schools, for adults will find it a valuable addition to their Biblical store."—Courier.

"This is unquestionably the very cheapest work of the sort that has hitherto issued from the press; and it is but doing a bare act of justice to the public-spirited publishers to say, that they deserve the most unlimited patronage. The literary arrangement of the whole does great credit to the well known talents and indefatigable research of Mr. Pinnock; and instead of the study being, as was the case some twenty years ago, dry and almost appalling, it is rendered familiar and entertaining, from its being mixed up with numerous anecdotes associated with the history of the countries described."—Berkshire Chronicle.

"A truly comprehensive compendium of geographical and historical information, judiciously blended, has been heretofore a great desideratum. Mr. Pinnock's name has for many years been a standard warranty to school books; and this, his last labor, fully sustains his established reputation. It is a very comprehensive condensation of all which is necessary in teaching the important science of geography. The statistical details of countries are pleasantly relieved by a series of admirable historical memoranda, which bear evidence of fidelity and a deep research. We are surprised, in looking through the book, to observe what a vast quantity of instruction is comprised in its 446 pages."—Sunday Times.

"We have just now before us a handsome and compact little volume, 'got up' with great care, taste, and judgment: 'A Grammar of Modern Geography and History.' The quantity of really useful information that it contains is astonishing."—La Belle Assemblee.

"To Mr. Pinnock belongs the merit of inventing those Catechisms of Science and General Knowledge, which even a Lord Chancellor condescended to read and to praise. Nothing more is necessary to be said to recommend his book in every quarter."—London Magazine.

"Grammar of Geography and History.—Every person engaged in the education of children, will be much pleased to turn over the pages of one of the best, because most simplified, and at the same time compendious works on geography that has ever yet appeared. The name of Pinnock stands at the head of modern pioneers in the march of Juvenile Intellect; and the present volume is another exhibition of his meritorious industry. It is announced among our advertisements, and we are sure that our readers will be thankful for thus having specially directed their attention to so useful, elegant, and withal very cheap a publication."—Taunton Courier.

"Pinnock's Modern Geography.—We call the attention of our readers, and more especially the heads of seminaries, to a useful, splendid, and singularly cheap work, just published by Poole & Edwards, entitled 'A Comprehensive Grammar of Modern Geography and History.' Without any exception, it is the best book of the sort hitherto published."—Windsor Herald.

"This little book is of a description much superior to the ordinary class of school books. Its author needs no praise from us, as his long and faithful services to the cause of education have met that general approbation which is their fittest and highest reward. We are happy to say, that the same judicious industry which distinguished his smaller works for the benefit of children, is displayed in full force in the little volume now on our table. It is well arranged, and written in a clear, simple style. But it is also much more than a mere outline of geography, for it also contains an admirable summary of the most important points in history and chronology: and its pages are interspersed with interesting physical facts relating to the various countries under consideration. We approve much the catechetical system of teaching, which is provided for by questions appended to each section. These will enable the self-instructer to ascertain with ease and certainty what real progress he has made in the acquisition of knowledge. A good treatise of this comprehensive nature has long been wanting in our schools. To those whose time will not permit them to turn to more ponderous sources of information, and to those who may wish to refresh their memories by looking over an accurate summary of facts already known, we heartily recommend this Geography as the best elementary work we have seen."—London Weekly Review.

From the New-York Evening Post.

To the publishers, the public are indebted for an elementary work on Geography, which, from a more attentive examination than we are usually able to give to books of that description, we think will prove a very useful volume in the education of young persons. The work we allude to is a very neat and well printed edition of Pinnock's Modern Geography and History, wholly revised and much enlarged by Edwin Williams, of whose accuracy and research, as a statistical writer, the public have already had various satisfactory evidences. The department of knowledge in which the labors of Mr. Williams have been mainly exerted, have necessarily furnished him with a copious store of materials highly useful to be employed in a work like that which has now engaged his pen. The original work of Mr. Pinnock bore a high reputation both in England and this country, and its value is now very greatly increased by the extensive and judicious improvements made by Mr. Williams. To convey some idea of the superior excellence of the present edition over any previous one, it needs only to be stated that the portion relating to America, has been wholly rewritten and enlarged so as to extend through more than a hundred additional pages. The recent changes in the political divisions of South America are also carefully noted, and a succinct and clear history of its various revolutions is given. Numerous other improvements of the original work have been made by Mr. Williams, but what we have stated, will serve to convey some idea of the additional value he has imparted to a production which before enjoyed a high reputation. The publishers deserve credit for the exceedingly neat style in which they have published this useful elementary work.

From the Commercial Advertiser.

Pinnock has done very essential service to the cause of education, by his excellent editions of established school books. To go no farther, this is the best compendium of geography we have yet seen for schools. The European States are never treated with the importance they deserve in our ordinary school books of this description. Here they receive great attention, and the American department, under Mr Williams' careful and accurate superintendence, is not behind them, while the history of each State is woven in its leading facts with its description.

From the New-York American.

This is a well printed, and we dare say, a well digested compound of geography and history, adapted for young persons. The portion relating to America has been rewritten here and much extended, and in that very fact we see evidence to strengthen a conviction we have long entertained, and occasionally expressed, that the elementary works—those of history especially—designed for American schools, should be written at home.

From the New-York Weekly Messenger.

We have rarely met with a work of this size embracing so large a fund of useful, we might say necessary, knowledge of a geographical and historical character. This work is formed on the basis of Pinnock's celebrated Manual of Geography, combining the leading facts of history. It has been revised by Edwin Williams, Esq., a gentleman well known as the author of the New-York Annual Register, and New Universal Gazetteer, &c. That part of the work relating to our own country has been entirely rewritten, and occupies about one hundred closely printed pages. It will command a place, as a class book, in all our respectable seminaries of learning; but a work of this kind ought not and will not be confined to schools. It will be found in the library of the scholar—the cheerful and happy dwelling of the farmer—the workshop of the mechanic—the closet of the student—and the counting-room of the merchant, by all of whom it may be advantageously consulted as a book of reference.

From the Knickerbocker.

Mr. Edwin Williams, whose "Annual Register" and "Universal Gazetteer" are so favorably known to the public, has recently issued—revised and enlarged from the London edition, and adapted to the use of Academies and Schools in the United States—Pinnock's celebrated Modern Geography. The part relating to America has received numerous important additions in the revision, and the whole may be relied on us affording a faithful picture of the present state of the world, as far as known. The work presents a combination of geography and history, which renders it both useful and entertaining. The latter quality is an unusual feature in most of our modern school geographies.

From the New-York Courier and Enquirer.

Williams' Geography.—The habits and studies of Mr. Williams render him peculiarly fitted for an undertaking of this sort, and he has performed the task well. Pinnock's original work is in some respects one of the best to be found, but the labors of Mr. Williams have rendered this edition exceedingly valuable. We have looked this book through with considerable attention, and find a mass of American information there embodied far beyond our expectation. We question, indeed, whether any other book in print contains as much; and we are mistaken if it is not extensively made use of hereafter in our schools and academies. Few men in the country have amassed more statistical material than Mr. Williams, and none have spread it before the public with more accuracy. This book alone is sufficient to entitle him to the thanks of the community.

From the New-Yorker.

Pinnock's Geography.—Mr. Edwin Williams, favorably known as the compiler of several statistical works of acknowledged merit, has just submitted to the public an Americanized edition of Pinnock's "Comprehensive System of Geography and History"—the part relating to the United States having been entirely re-written and extended over one hundred pages. The high reputation of the original author as a geographer, affords a satisfactory guaranty for the character of the work, which is adapted to the use of seminaries without forfeiting its claims on the attention of the more abstract student of geography and history.

From the New-York Observer.

Williams' Geography and History.—Mr. Edwin Williams, the publisher and compiler of the New-York Annual Register, has prepared a new geography for the use of schools, founded on Pinnock's work on modern geography, which has been revised and extended. The plan is to combine a summary of the history of each country with its geography, and to adapt it to the use of schools and academies, by references to the maps, and by questions. The part of the work relating to America has been entirely rewritten, and copious additions have been made to other parts of the volume. We have not found time to examine the work critically, but we have no doubt, from what we know of the qualifications of the author, that it is one of the most valuable works of the kind in the market.

From the Albany Argus.

Modern Geography and History.—Mr. Edwin Williams, the publisher and compiler of the New-York Annual Register, has added another to the valuable publications for which the public are indebted to his industry and enterprise, in a revision and extension of Pinnock's celebrated work on modern geography. The plan of this geography is to combine a summary of the history and present condition of each country with its geography, and to adapt it to the use of schools and academies, by references to the maps, and by questions designed to elicit from the learner the facts stated in the historical and statistical parts of the work. Numerous additions have been made in the revision, particularly in that part relating to America, which, it appears, has been entirely re-written and extended over one hundred pages. It gives also full descriptions of the West India Islands, not particularly noticed in any other geography; extended notices of the modern divisions and revolutions in South America, and in Greece and Belgium, &c. &c. The entire work appears to have been prepared with the usual care and accuracy of the America editor: and his own additions are among the most valuable of the many important and interesting facts with which the book is replete. The character of both the American and the English author must commend the work to the favorable notice of teachers and all interested in facilitating the business of public instruction.

Pinnock's Modern Geography and History, revised by Edwin Williams, is an excellent compendium of the branches on which it treats, and we cheerfully recommend it for adoption by teachers and others. Were this work in general use by the higher classes in academies and schools, the labors of instruction would be greatly diminished and the youth of our country, of both sexes, would exhibit a knowledge of Geography and History which is far from being frequent at present.

John F. Jenkins, Principal of } Mechanics'
        the Male Department; } Society
Arabella Clark, Principal of } School.
        the Female Department; }

February 22, 1836.

Pinnock's Geography.—This is an excellent book, and not inferior in value to any which have been put forth by this most industrious compiler and author.

The work is of that terse, comprehensive character, which distinguishes his former productions. It is full of entertainment and instruction, clear and judicious in style and arrangement, discriminating in the selection of topics, abundant in details, and conducted with that peculiar brevity which leaves not a word redundant or deficient. It is a valuable class book, and merits general adoption in the schools.—Silliman's "American Journal of Science and Arts." Vol. XXVII. No. 2. July, 1835.


From Abbott's Religious Magazine.

We have previously, in a brief notice, recommended to our readers Barnes' Notes on the Gospels. But a more extended acquaintance with that work has very much increased our sense of its value. We never have opened any commentary on the Gospels, which has afforded us so much satisfaction. Without intending, in the least degree, to disparage the many valuable commentaries which now aid the Christian in the study of the Bible, we cannot refrain from expressing our gratitude to the Author, for the interesting and profitable instructions he has given us.—The volumes are characterized by the following merits.

1. The spirit which imbues them is highly devotional. It is a devotion founded on knowledge. It is a zeal guided by discretion.

2. The notes are eminently intellectual. Apparent difficulties are fairly met. They are either explained, or the want of a fully satisfactory explanation admitted. There is none of that slipping by a knot which is too common in many commentaries.

3. The notes are written in language definite, pointed and forcible. There is no interminable flow of lazy words. Every word is active and does its work well. There are no fanciful expositions. There are no tedious display of learning.

There may be passages in which we should differ from the writer in some of the minor shades of meaning. There may be sometimes an unguarded expression which has escaped our notice. We have not scrutinized the volumes with the eye of a critic. But we have used them in our private reading. We have used them in our family. And we have invariably read them with profit and delight.

We have just opened the book to select some passage as an illustration of the spirit of the work. The Parable of the rich man and Lazarus now lies before us. The notes explanatory of the meaning of the parables, are full and to the point. The following are the inferences, which Mr. Barnes deduces.

"From this impressive and instructive parable, we may learn,

"1. That the souls of men do not die with their bodies.

"2. That the souls of men are conscious after death; that they do not sleep, as some have supposed, till the morning of the resurrection.

"3. That the righteous are taken to a place of happiness immediately at death, and the wicked consigned to misery.

"4. That wealth does not secure us from death.

"How vain are riches to secure

Their haughty owners from the grave.

"The rich, the beautiful, the gay, as well as the poor, go down to the grave. All their pomp and apparel; all their honors, their palaces and their gold cannot save them. Death can as easily find his way into the mansions of the rich as into the cottages of the poor, and the rich shall turn to the same corruption, and soon, like the poor, be undistinguished from common dust, and be unknown.

"5. We should not envy the condition of the rich.

"On slippery rocks I see them stand,

And fiery billows roll below.

"6. We should strive for a better inheritance, than can be possessed in this life.

"'Now I esteem their mirth and wine.

Too dear to purchase with my blood,

Lord 'tis enough that thou art mine.

My life, my portion, and my God.'"

"7. The sufferings of the wicked in hell will be indescribably great. Think what is represented by torment, by burning flame, by insupportable thirst, by that state when a single drop of water would afford relief. Remember that all this is but a representation of the pains of the damned, and that this will have no relief, day nor night, but will continue from year to year, and age to age, and without any end, and you have a faint view of the sufferings of those who are in hell.

"8. There is a place of suffering beyond the grave, a hell. If there is not, then this parable has no meaning. It is impossible to make anything of it unless it is designed to teach that.

"9. There will never be any escape from those gloomy regions. There is a gulf fixed—fixed, not moveable. Nor can any of the damned beat a pathway across this gulf, to the world of holiness.

"10. We see the amazing folly of those, who suppose there may be an end to the sufferings of the wicked, and who on that supposition seem willing to go down to hell to suffer a long time, rather than go at once to heaven. If man were to suffer but a thousand years, or even one year, why should he be so foolish as to choose that suffering, rather than go at once to heaven, and be happy at once when he dies?

"11. God gives us warning sufficient to prepare for death. He has sent his word, his servants, his son; he warns us by his Spirit and his providence, by the entreaties of our friends, and by the death of sinners. He offers us heaven, and he threatens hell. If all this will not move sinners, what would do it? There is nothing that would.

"12. God will give us nothing farther to warn us. No dead man will come to life, to tell us what he has seen. If he did, we would not believe him. Religion appeals to man, not by ghosts and frightful apparitions. It appeals to their reason, their conscience, their hopes, and their fears.—It sets life and death soberly before men, and if they will not choose the former they must die. If you will not hear the Son of God, and the truth of the Scriptures, there is nothing which you will or can hear; you will never be persuaded, and never will escape the place of torment."

If we have any influence with our readers, we would recommend them to buy these volumes. There is hardly any Christian in the land, who will not find them an invaluable treasure.

Extract of a Letter from a distinguished Divine of New England.

It (Barnes' Notes) supplies an important and much needed desideratum in the means of Sabbath School and Bible Class instruction.

Without descending to minute criticism, or attempting a display of learning, it embraces a wide range of general reading, and brings out the results of an extended and careful investigation of the most important sources of Biblical knowledge.

The style of the work is as it should be, plain, simple, direct; often vigorous and striking; always serious and earnest.

It abounds in fine analyses of thought and trains of argument, admirably adapted to aid Sabbath School Teachers in their responsible duties: often too, very useful to Ministers when called suddenly to prepare for religious meetings, and always helpful in conducting the exercises of a Bible Class.

Without vouching for the correctness of every explanation and sentiment contained in the Notes, its author appears to have succeeded very happily in expressing the mind of the Holy Spirit as revealed in those parts of the New Testament which he has undertaken to explain.

The theology taught in these volumes, drawn as it is from the pure fountain of truth, is eminently common sense and practical.

It has little to do with theory or speculation.

The author appears not to be unduly wedded to any particular school or system of theology, but to have a mind trained to habits of independent thinking, readily submissive to the teachings of inspiration, but indisposed to call any man master, or to set up anything in opposition to the plain testimony of the Bible.

We would here say, once for all, we consider Barnes' Notes the best commentary for families we have seen.—N. E. Spectator.