The Project Gutenberg eBook of The southern literary messenger, Vol. II., No. 7, June, 1836

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Title: The southern literary messenger, Vol. II., No. 7, June, 1836

Author: Various

Editor: Edgar Allan Poe

Release date: November 19, 2022 [eBook #69387]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: T. W. White, Publisher and Proprietor, 1836

Credits: Ron Swanson






Au gré de nos desirs bien plus qu'au gré des vents.    
Crebillon's Electre.
As we will, and not as the winds will.




    TO G. A. PERDICARIS: by B.


LOSING AND WINNING: by the author of “Cottage in the Glen”





COURT DAY: by a northern man




SECOND LECTURE on Parental Faults




    LETTERS ON PENNSYLVANIA: by Peregrine Prolix
    NOTICES OF THE WAR OF 1812: by John Armstrong
    FLORA AND THALIA: by a Lady

[p. 405]


VOL. II.                    RICHMOND, JUNE, 1836.                    NO. VII.



1 Some months ago a number of the “Richmond Enquirer,” containing an argument in favor of the mandatory right of a State Legislature to instruct a Senator of the United States, was forwarded to the author of this article. That argument was supported by the alleged opinions of Messrs. King, Jay and Hamilton, as expressed in the Convention of New York—and we think this reply well deserves publication. It is from the pen of a ripe scholar and a profound jurist.

The receipt of your letter afforded me much pleasure, not only on account of the interesting subject it treats of, but as a gratifying evidence of your remembrance of me. I fear, however, that you will have reason to repent of your kindness, as I shall presume upon it to task your patience with some observations in defence of my old federal notions upon your doctrine of instructions. I will endeavor to show that the extracts made in the Enquirer from the speeches of Messrs. King, Jay and Hamilton, in the New York Convention, do not sustain (even if we are to take the report of them to be verbally correct) the doctrine or right as it is contended for in Virginia. I understand that doctrine to be, that the instructions of a State Legislature to a Senator of the United States, are an authoritative, constitutional, lawful command, which he is bound implicitly to obey, and which he cannot disobey without a violation of his official duty as a Senator, imposing upon him the obligation to resign his place if he cannot, or will not, conform to the will of his Legislature. I confess that this doctrine appears to me to be absolutely incompatible with the cardinal principles of our Constitution, as a representative government; to break up the foundations which were intended to give it strength and stability, and to impart to it a consistent, uniform and harmonious action; and, virtually, to bring us back to a simple, turbulent democracy, the worst of all governments—or rather, no government at all. I do not mean to enter upon the broad ground of argument of this question, with which you are so well acquainted, but to examine, as briefly as I can, but probably not so much so as your patience would require, the federal authorities which the writer in the Enquirer believes he has brought to the support of his opinions.

I cannot put out of the discussion, although I will not insist upon, the objection to the authority of the reports of the speeches alluded to, especially when it turns upon a question of extreme accuracy in the use of certain precise words and phrases, any departure from which would materially affect the sense of the speaker. We see daily in the reports of congressional debates, the most important mistakes or misrepresentations, unintentionally made, not of expressions merely, but of the very substance and meaning of the speakers; sometimes reporting the very reverse of what they actually said. I have occasion to know the carelessness with which these reports are frequently made, and, indeed, the impossibility of making them with accuracy. What a man writes he must abide by, in its fair and legitimate meaning; but what another writes for him, however honest in the intention, cannot be so strictly imputed to him. There is also an objection to extracts, even truly recited, inasmuch as they are often qualified or modified by other parts of the writing or speech. As I have not, immediately at hand, the debates of the New York Convention, I am unable, just now, to see how far this may have been the case in the speeches from which the quotations are made. I must, therefore, at present, be content to take them as they are given in the Enquirer, and even then it appears to me that they are far from covering the Virginia doctrine of instructions. Let us see. Mr. King is represented to have said, that “the Senators will have a powerful check in those who wish for their seats.” This is most true—and in fact it is to this struggle for place that we owe much of the zeal for doctrines calculated to create vacancies. Mr. King proceeds—“And the State Legislatures, if they find their delegates erring, can and will instruct them. Will this be no check?” The two checks proposed, in the same sentence and put upon the same footing, are the vigilance of those who want the places of the Senators, and the instructions which the State Legislatures can and will give to them. They are said to be, as they truly are, powerful checks, operating with a strong influence on the will and discretion of the Senator, but not as subjecting him, as a matter of duty, either to the reproaches of his rivals or the opinions of the Legislature. To do this, a check must be something more than powerful; it must be irresistible, or, at least, attended by some means of carrying it out to submission—some penalty or remedy for disobedience. I consider the term instruct, as here used, to mean no more than counsel, advise, recommend—because Mr. King does not intimate that any right or power is vested in the Legislature to compel obedience to their instructions, or to punish a refractory Senator as an official delinquent. It is left to his option to obey or not, which is altogether inconsistent with every idea of a right to command. Such a right is at once met and nullified by a right to refuse. They are equal and contrary rights. As we are upon a question of verbal criticism, and it is so treated in the Enquirer, we may look for information to our dictionaries. To instruct, in its primitive or most appropriate meaning, is simply to teach—and instruction is the act of teaching, or information. It is true that Johnson gives, as a more remote meaning, “to inform authoritatively.” Certainly, the Legislature may instruct, may teach, may inform a Senator, and whenever they do so it will be with no small degree of authority from the relation in which they stand to each other; but the great question is, not whether this would be an impertinent or improper interference on the part of the Legislature, but whether the Senator is bound, by his official oath or duty, implicitly to obey such instructions; whether he violates a duty he ought to observe, or usurps a power which does not belong to him, if he declines to submit to these directions, if he cannot receive the lesson thus taught, or adopt the information thus imparted to him. Does [p. 406] the spirit of our Constitution (for clearly in terms it does not) intend to make a Senator of the United States a mere passive instrument or agent in the hands of a State Legislature. Is he required by any legal or moral duty or obligation, to surrender into the hands of any man or body of men, his honest judgment and conscientious convictions of right? To act on their dictation and his own responsibility; responsible to his country for the consequences of his vote, and to his own conscience and his God for the disregard of his oath of office, which bound him to support that Constitution which his instructions may call upon him to violate, as he conscientiously believes. It will be a miserable apology for him to say, that he has done this because he was so ordered by a body of men, who may have thought or cared very little about it, and may hold a different opinion the next year without remorse or responsibility. But if he cannot obey, must he save his conscience by resigning his seat? This is the most unsound and untenable of all the grounds assumed in this discussion. If it is the official duty of the Senator to do and perform the will of his constituents, or rather of those who gave him his office, then he violates or evades that duty by resigning; and he may, in this way, not only abandon his duty, but as effectually defeat the will and intention of his Legislature as by actually voting against it. To return to Mr. King—how does he propose or expect that this check of legislative instructions is to act upon the Senator? What is the nature of the obligation he considers to rest upon the Senator to obey them? He does not pretend that there is any power in the Legislature to enforce their instructions or cause them to be respected. He does not suggest that disobedience is a violation of duty on the part of the Senator, or the assumption of any right that does not practically and constitutionally belong to him; that he falls under any just odium or reproach, if after an honest and respectful consideration of the instructions, he shall believe it to be his duty to disregard them. Mr. King does not, by the most remote implication, intimate, that a State Legislature may, through the medium of instructions, directly or indirectly, put a limitation on the term of service of a Senator, which they will do if it is his duty to resign whenever they shall choose to require of him to do what, as an honest man, a good citizen, and faithful officer, he cannot do. If instructions have the authority contended for, there is no exception; it is a perfect right or it is no right. The Senator cannot withdraw himself from it, however imperious the requisition may be, or however iniquitous the design in making it. The Senator has a discretion to judge of it in all cases or in no case. He may take counsel of his own conscience and judgment in every call upon him—or in none. The check that Mr. King promises from the State Legislatures upon their Senators, is nothing more than the natural influence they will have upon the minds and conduct of the Senators, and this, in my apprehension, is more likely to be too much than too little. What does Mr. K. say will be the consequence of a refusal on the part of a Senator to obey? Not that he is corrupt—or unfaithful—or ought to resign—but simply that they will be “hardy men.” Assuredly they will be so; I wish we had more of these hardy men, for certainly there are occasions on which public men, holding the destinies of their country in their hands, ought to be hardy, and must be so in opposition to the apparent and immediate, but transient, will of the people; and it is such hardy men who have deserved and received the gratitude and thanks of the people they saved by opposing them. The brightest names on the pages of history are those of such hardy men. The same answer meets the commentary on the word “dictating”—used, or said to be used, by Mr. King.

I would here make a remark upon this report of Mr. King's speech, which shows how carelessly the report was made, or how loose Mr. King was in his choice of words. In the beginning of the passage quoted, he refers to the State Legislatures, as the bodies who are to check, by their instructions, the wanderings of the Senators. In the conclusion he is made to say—“When they (the Senators) hear the voice of the people dictating to them their duty,” &c. Now, it can hardly be pretended that the Legislature and the people are identically the same; or that a vote of the Legislature by a majority of one—or by any majority, can always be said to be the voice of the people. It is as probable that they may misrepresent the people, as that the Senators should misrepresent them. It is not uncommon for the people to repudiate the acts of their Legislature. It was understood to be so in Virginia, on the late question on the conduct of her Senators. The solemn and deliberate opinion upon any subject, of the body from which an officer derives his appointment, will always be received with great respect, as coming from a high source and with much authority, but the Senator, acting on the responsibility he owes to the whole country, must take into his view of the case the effect of his instructions upon the whole; he must not shut his eyes from examining the occasion which produced the instructions—the circumstances attending them—the means by which they were obtained—the errors, or passions, or prejudices which may have influenced and deceived those who voted for them; in short, he must carefully and conscientiously examine the whole ground, and finally decide for himself on the double responsibility he owes to his own State and to the United States; to those who appointed him to office and to himself, and his own character. There is no doubt that this examination will be made with a disposition sufficiently inclined to conform himself to the wishes of his constituents.

Mr. Jay expressed himself with more discrimination and caution than Mr. King; and no inference can be drawn from what he says, that there is any right or power in a State Legislature to demand obedience or resignation from a Senator, to their instructions. He considers their instructions to be, what in truth and practice they have always been, nothing more than advice or information coming from a high source and entitled to great respect. He says, “the Senate is to be composed of men appointed by the State Legislatures. They will certainly choose those who are most distinguished for their general knowledge. I presume they will also instruct them.”

In these reported debates, Hamilton is represented to have said—that “it would be a standing instruction of the larger States to increase the representation.” Observe, this is not applied to the Senators only, but to the delegates or representatives of the States in [p. 407] Congress, in both Houses, and has no reference to any right of instruction by the State Legislatures to their Senators; that was not the subject of the debate; nor is it intimated by whom or in what manner these standing instructions are to be given. The meaning of General Hamilton, I think, is obvious, and has no bearing on our question. The phrase, standing instruction, means that it is so clearly the interest of the larger States to increase their representation, that their delegates will always consider themselves to be bound, to be instructed by that interest, by their duty to their States, to vote for such increase. They will so stand instructed, at all times and without any particular direction from their States; they will always take it for granted, that it is their duty to increase the representation. The very phrase distinguishes it from the case of specific instructions made, from time to time, on particular measures as they shall arise for deliberation and decision in the national legislature. But General Hamilton, as quoted, proceeds to say—“The people have it in their power to instruct their representatives, and the State Legislatures which appoint their Senators may enjoin it (that is the increase of the representation) also upon them.” I may here repeat that all this is true; but by no means reaches the point to which this right of instruction is now carried. The people may instruct, and the legislatures may enjoin, and both will always, doubtless, be attended to with a deep respect and a powerful influence; but if with all this respect and under this influence, the representative or the Senator cannot, in his honest and conscientious judgment, submit himself to them, does he violate his official duty, and is he bound to relinquish his office? This is the question, and no affirmative answer to it, or any thing that implies it, can be found in any of the writings or speeches of the gentleman alluded to; nor, as I believe, in any of the writings or speeches of any of the distinguished men at that time. The doctrine is of a later date; it is not coeval with the Constitution, nor with the men who formed it. Much reliance is placed, by the writer in the Enquirer, on the strict meaning of the word enjoin; it is thought to be peculiarly imperative. Conceding, for the argument, that this precise word was really used by the speaker, it is certain that in speaking, and even in writing, this word is not always used in the strict sense attributed to it. Cases of common parlance are familiar and of daily occurrence, in which it is used only to mean a strong, emphatic recommendation or advice—or a forcible expression of a wish, and not an absolute right to command. If, however, we turn to the dictionary, Johnson tells us that to enjoin is “to direct—to order—to prescribe; it is more authoritative than direct, and less imperious than command.” Not one of his illustrations or examples employ it in the strong sense of power now contended for.

“To satisfy the good old man,
  I would bend under any heavy weight
  That he'll enjoin me to.”

Here the submission or obedience is altogether voluntary; with no right or power in the “good old man” to require or compel it. Again,

“Monks and philosophers, and such as do continually enjoin themselves.”

The extracts from the speeches in the New York Convention, even if accurately reported, and strictly construed, do not seem to me to maintain the present Virginia doctrine of instructions. Allow me to repeat it, for it is that, and not something which may approach it, which is our subject of difference and argument. It is—whether a Senator of the United States is under any moral or constitutional obligation—whether he is bound as a faithful and true officer, or as a good citizen of the Republic of the United States, to obey the instructions of the Legislature of his State, when they require him to do an act which in his deliberate judgment and conscientious conviction, is contrary to his duty to his country, to all the States, and to his own State; to the Constitution, under and by which he holds his office and his power, and to the oath he has taken to support that Constitution? This is the question truly stated—can the power or authority of a changing, irresponsible body, which directs one thing this year (as we have repeatedly seen) and another the next, or, if it were not this changeling—force him to violate his oath, or absolve him from the responsibility, if he do so? If a Senator of Virginia or Delaware were to receive instructions to give a vote which he truly believed would be a violation of the rights, and injurious to the interests, of every other state of the confederacy, as secured to them by the Constitution, although it might be of some local advantage to Virginia or Delaware, should that Senator, acting as he does as a Senator, not for his particular State only, but for the States also whose rights he violates, obey such instructions? Can there be a doubt of the reply to this question? Will you say he should obey or resign—that another may come who will obey? I deny that his duty imposes any such alternative upon him. On the contrary, it is particularly his duty not to resign for such a reason or such an object. It would be to abandon the duty he owes to the Constitution and the other States, at the very moment when they need his services in their defence; and not only to abandon them, but to surrender his post and his power to one who, in his estimation, is so far their enemy as to take the post for the very purpose of violating them. It would be to desert “the general welfare” which he has sworn to defend and promote, in order to give his place and power to one who will sacrifice the general welfare to some local and particular interest or object. To desert it in such circumstances, may produce the same evils and consequences, as if he were to remain and obey his instructions. His vote or his absence may turn the question.

As the incidental arguments, not upon the direct question, attributed to Messrs. Jay and Hamilton, are now relied upon to support this doctrine of instructions, I will cheerfully refer to these great men, adding to them the name of Mr. Madison, and endeavor to show, from better evidence than reported debates, what were really their opinions upon this asserted power of the State Legislatures, and in what manner they thought Senators were amenable to their Legislatures for their acts and votes in the National Congress. I shall do this, not on the authority of reported speeches, but by adverting to what they have written and published, as the true spirit and doctrines of the Constitution. To be brief, I will give you the summing up of the argument in the “Federalist,” in favor of the powers of the Senate under the Constitution. I refer to the numbers 62 and 63, written by Mr. Madison; but, [p. 408] as it is understood, giving the opinions and views of the illustrious triumvirate. Their whole argument and exposition of the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Senators, are utterly inconsistent with the control upon them now set up on the part of the State Legislatures. It is not merely that this right of instruction is no where mentioned or alluded to, as one of the means by which the Senators are to be kept to their duty, but such a right cannot be reconciled with the benefits intended by the Constitution to be derived from the permanency of that body—from its independence and its elevation above, or protection from, the caprices and fluctuations of popular feeling, often improperly called popular opinion. Allow me particularly to turn your attention to a few passages from Mr. Madison's examination of the “Constitution of the Senate.” His second reason for having a Senate, or second branch of the Legislative Assembly, is thus stated: “The necessity of a Senate is not less indicated by the propensity of all single and numerous assemblies to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent passions, and to be seduced by factious leaders into intemperate and pernicious resolutions.” If this is true of the House of Representatives of the United States; if their intemperate and pernicious resolutions are to be guarded against and controlled by the more sedate and permanent power of the Senate, how much stronger is the reason when applied to the Legislatures of the States? Having their narrow views of national questions, and their local designs and interests as the first objects of their attention, it seems to me to be a strange absurdity to put the Senate as a guard and control over the House of Representatives, and then to have that Senate under the direction and control of the Legislatures of the States—or it may be, on a vital question, under the direction of the Legislature of the smallest State in the Union. Are there no local impulses and passions to agitate these Legislatures? no factious leaders to seduce them into intemperate and pernicious resolutions—and to induce them to prefer some little, local advantage, to “the general welfare.” To give to the Senate the power, the will, and the courage to oppose and control these sudden and violent passions in the more popular branch of our national legislature, Mr. Madison says, “It ought moreover to possess great firmness, and consequently ought to hold its authority by a tenure of considerable duration.” But what can that firmness avail, how will it be shaken, of what possible use will it be, if the Senator is bound to follow the dictates of a changing body, subject, emphatically to sudden impulses and seductions, at a distance from the scene of his deliberations, and deprived of the sources of information which he possesses, and acting in a different sphere of duty from that he moves in? Firmness in an agent who has no will of his own, no right to act but on the dictation of another, would not only be superfluous, but a positive evil and disqualification. It would produce struggles and perhaps refusal, where his duty was to submit. The more pliable the instrument in such a case, the better would it answer the purposes it was designed for. To be firm, says Mr. Madison, the Senator must hold his authority by a tenure of considerable duration. But how can this be, if he is to hold it from year to year as the Legislature of his State may change its opinion on the same subject, and require him to follow these changes or to resign his place? The tenure of the Constitution, as Mr. Madison understood it, is essentially changed by this doctrine. These changes of opinions and measures are, in the opinion of Mr. Madison, a great and dangerous evil in any government, and show “the necessity of some stable institution”—such as our Senate was intended to be—but such as it cannot be on this doctrine of instructions.

But this great man and enlightened statesman, jealous enough of the rights and liberties of the people, does not stop here in explaining the uses of the Senate. It is not the passions of Legislatures only that are to be guarded against by the conservative power of that body. He thinks that it “may be sometimes necessary as a defence to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions;” he justly applauds the salutary interference in critical moments, of some respectable and temperate body of citizens, “to check the misguided career, and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice, and truth can regain their authority over the public mind.” He considers the Senate as “an anchor against popular fluctuations;” and he certainly never imagined that the capstan and cable were in the hands of the State Legislatures, to remove the anchor at their pleasure. He truly says, that in all free governments, the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought and ultimately will prevail; but he did not believe that this cool and deliberate sense would be found, on the spur of the occasion, in a popular body liable to intemperate and sudden passions and impulses, and the seductions of factious leaders. It was to control and check such movements, and not to be controlled by them, that the Senate was constituted; and to check and suspend them until the deliberate and cool sense of the community can be obtained; which, when fairly ascertained, will be recognized and respected by the Senate as fully and certainly as by the Legislatures of the States. The members of these Legislatures have no means of knowing the public sentiments, which are not equally open to the Senators; nor are their inducements to conform to them more persuasive or strong. Mr. Madison goes so far as to say, that as our governments are entirely representative, there is “a total exclusion of the people in their collective capacity, from any share in them.” If then, the will of the people, declared by themselves, should not move a Senator from his own conviction of his duty, when he believes the act required of him is contrary to that duty, and such is the constitutional right and obligation of his office, shall he be driven to a violation of that duty or a relinquishment of that right, by a second-hand, doubtful, equivocal, and, perhaps, false, expression of that will, by and through an intermediate body, no better informed of the cool and deliberate sense of the community than he is himself—no better disposed than he is to satisfy the public sentiment, and not half so well informed as he is of the tendency and consequences of the measure in question?

To meet the objections to the dangerous power of the Senate, continued for so long a period as six years, and to quiet the alarm that had been raised on that subject, Mr. Madison states what he supposed to be the check or protection provided by the Constitution against their usurpations, and which he thought amply sufficient. What is that check? Is it any right in the appointing [p. 409] Legislatures to direct his conduct and his votes, and to revoke his powers, directly or indirectly, if he refuse his obedience? If for any cause, justifiable and honest or not so, they wish to deprive him of his office, to annul the appointment made by a preceding legislature or by themselves, may they do so by giving him instructions at their pleasure, desiring nothing but to accomplish their own objects, and in a total disregard of his judgment, conscience, and duties, and then say to him, knowing that he would not and could not obey their mandate, resign your place, and put it at our disposal, that we may gratify some new favorite, or promote some design of our own. The next Legislature may choose to drive out the new favorite and reinstate the old one; and thus this Senate, instead of being an anchor to the State, a stable and permanent body to save us from sudden gales and storms, will in practice, be floating on the surface, fixed to nothing, and driven to and fro by every change of the wind. Instruction and resignation are not the means proposed by Mr. Madison to protect us from the corruption or tyranny of the Senate. He suggests no interference, in any way, on the part of the State Legislatures with their Senators, nor any control over them, during their continuance in office; but finds all the safety he thought necessary, and all that the Constitution gives, in the “periodical change of its members.” In addition to this, much reliance, no doubt, was placed, and ought to be so, on the expectation, that the State Legislatures would appoint to this high and responsible office, only men of known and tried character and patriotism, having themselves a deep stake in the liberties of their country, and bound by all the ties of integrity and honor to a faithful discharge of their trust.

If the Constitution—for that is our government, and by that must this question be decided—intended to reserve this great controlling power to the State Legislatures, over the Legislature of the United States, for such it is as now claimed, we should have found some provision to this effect, some evidence of this intention, either expressed, or by a fair and clear implication, in the instrument itself. Nothing of the kind appears. We should have further found some form of proceeding to compel a refractory Senator to obey the lawful, authoritative mandate of his State Legislature. It is an anomaly in any government to give an authority to a man or body of men, without any power to enforce it, to carry it out into practice and action, to make it effectual. To give a right to command, and to furnish no means to compel obedience, no process to punish a disregard to the order, is indeed like Glendower's power to call spirits, but not to make them come. To say that I have a right to order another to do or not to do an act, but that it is left to his discretion to obey me or not, is a contradiction in terms. It is no right, or at least no more than one of those imperfect rights which create no obligation of respect. If I give to my agent a command which, by the terms and tenure of his agency, by the limitations of his authority, he is bound to obey, and he refuses to do so, I may revoke his power, or rather he had no power for the act in question; he is not my agent, and cannot bind me beyond his lawful authority, or in contradiction to my lawful command. On the other hand, that I am bound by his acts is a full and unquestionable proof that he has acted by and within his powers, and that I had no right to give the command which he has disobeyed. There cannot be a lawful command, and a lawful disobedience on the same subject. If by the terms of the power of attorney, which is the contract between the principal and his agent, certain matters are left to the judgment and discretion of the attorney, or are within the scope of his appointment, without any reservation of control on the part of the principal; then no such control exists, and this is most especially the case when the rights and interests of other parties are concerned in the execution of the power and trust.

Will it be said that the obligation of a Senator to obey the instructions of his Legislature, although not found in the Constitution, results from the circumstance that he received his appointment and power from that body? It is impossible to sustain this ground. I recur to the case of a common agent to whom a full and general power is given, irrevocable for six years; and, to make the case more apposite, in the execution of which power the rights and interests of other parties are deeply concerned, so that, in fact, the agent is the attorney of those parties as well as of the one from whom he receives his appointment. Will any one pretend that an agent so constituted and thus becoming the attorney of all, with the right and power to bind all by his acts, is afterwards to be subject to the direction of any one of the parties in any proposed measure bearing on the general interest, merely because his immediate appointment came from that party? When he is appointed, his powers and his duties extend far beyond the source of his authority, and are, consequently, placed beyond that control. His responsibility is to all for whom he is the agent, and he is false to his trust if he surrenders himself to the dictates of any one, or sacrifices the general to a particular interest. The President and Senate appoint the judges, but it does not result from this that judges are to be under the dictation and control of the executive. So of any other officer acting within the sphere of his authority. The President by his general power may remove him, for that or for any other cause, or for no cause, but while he holds the office, he exercises its powers at his own discretion, and is not bound to obey the appointing power. In a despotism the master holds the bridle and the lash over every slave he appoints to execute his will, but in a free representative government it is the law that is to be executed and obeyed, and the officer, in performing his prescribed duties, is independent of every power but that of the law. This is indispensable to the harmonious action of the whole system.

I do not know whether the advocates of this doctrine of instructions extend it to trials or impeachments before the Senate. If they do not, I would ask on what distinct principle do they exempt such cases from this legislative right of dictation? The claim is broad and general, covering all the powers, duties, and acts of a Senator. Who is authorized to make the exceptions? By what known rule are they to be made, or do they depend upon an arbitrary will? Is this will or power lodged in the State Legislatures? Then they make the exception or not, at their pleasure; they may forbear to interfere in one impeachment—and they may send in their dictation in another, according as, in their discretion, it may or may not be a case calling for their interference. Their power over their Senator, to compel him [p. 410] to obey or resign, is in their own hands, and they may issue their mandate to him to condemn or acquit the accused, or they may leave him to his own judgment and conscience as they may deem it to be expedient. Such is the state of the case, if the right of discrimination, of making exceptions from the general power of control, is vested in the Legislatures themselves. Is it then given to the other party, that is, to the Senator? Then the power resolves itself into an empty name; or rather into just what I say it should be, a recommendation entitled to great deference and respect, but with no obligation to obedience. If the Senator has an admitted discretion to obey or not to obey the instructions of his Legislature, according to the nature of the case in which they are given, then the right of the Legislature to give them is not absolute in any case, but it is left to the judgment of the Senator to decide for himself whether the case be one in which he can and ought to follow their instructions or not. There is no special exception of impeachments, and the right to exempt them from this legislative control, if it exist at all, must depend upon the nature of the case, and, of consequence, what is the nature of a case which entitles it to this exemption must be decided by the Legislature or by their Senator. We have seen the effect of either alternative. In truth, this power of control must be co-extensive with the powers and duties of the Senator, or it is nothing.

To give you the strongest case against my argument, I will suppose that the Constitution had said—“The State Legislatures may instruct their Senators,” and had said no more; would this have created an imperious obligation on the Senator implicitly to obey the instructions? Would disobedience forfeit his office directly, or virtually by making it his duty to resign it? I think not. It would have been no more than a constitutional, perhaps a superfluous, recognition of the right of the State Legislatures to interfere so far and in this way, with the measures of the federal government, to give their opinions, their recommendation, their counsel, to their Senators; but the Senators would afterwards be at liberty, nay it would be their duty, to act and vote according to their own judgment and consciences, on the responsibility which they constitutionally owe to their constituents, which is found, as Mr. Madison says, in the periodical change of the members of the Senate. The Constitution knows no other check upon the Senators; no other responsibility to the State Legislature, while the Senator acts within and by the admitted powers of his office.

But I am wearying you to death. Let me conclude this interminable epistle by referring to an authority which no man living holds in higher reverence than you do. About a week or ten days before the death of that great and pure man, a true and fearless patriot, Chief Justice Marshall, I called to see him. This question of instructions was then in high debate in your papers. I said to him that I thought the Virginia doctrine of instructions was inconsistent with all the principles of our government, and subversive of the stability of its foundations. He replied in these words—“It is so; indeed the Virginia doctrines are incompatible not only with the government of the United States, but with any government.” These were the last words I heard from the lips of John Marshall.



Mr. Editor,—In introducing the following pieces to your notice, permit me to say a few words of the gentleman whose lectures on the condition and prospects of his native Greece have occasioned them to be offered to you. Perdicaris is a native of Berea in Macedonia, a place memorable not only for classic but for sacred associations. He left his country while a youth, about the commencement of the Greek revolution; and after travelling for some time in Syria and Egypt, was brought off by an American vessel of war, from Smyrna, where his situation as a Greek was extremely perilous. His education having been completed in this country, he engaged as a teacher of the Greek language, first at the Mount Pleasant Institution, Amherst, Massachusetts, and subsequently at Washington College, Hartford, Connecticut. Being now about to return to his native country, he is perfecting his acquaintance with the United States and their institutions, by travel; while at the same time he aims by lectures delivered in the various cities, to excite an interest in the public mind in the prospects and condition of his own country. It appears to be his most earnest wish, to remove some false ideas with respect to his native land, which have been too generally prevalent, and which even the tone of Byron's poetry—friend of Greece as he was—has tended to confirm. In the accounts of Perdicaris, we discover that his country is still worthy of her ancient fame, that she possesses, and has possessed for years, numerous and eminent scholars, noble institutions of learning, a national poetry of no ordinary merit, an active and intelligent population, and a general diffusion of enlightened public spirit, of which it is as gratifying as it is unexpected, to be informed.

Of the two following pieces, the one is a translation, executed with Mr. Perdicaris's assistance, from Christopoulos, who has been styled the Modern Anacreon. It has in the original, an amusing and touching simplicity, which I have not, I fear, succeeded in preserving. The second piece must speak for itself.

Orb of day, thus rising splendid,
    Through the glowing realms of air!
Be thy course for once suspended,
    For a message to my fair.
Two of thy bright rays be darted;
    Let them, as the maid they greet,
Say, her lover, faithful-hearted,
    Worships humbly at her feet.
He, of late so full of pleasure,
    Tell her, now can scarce draw breath;
Living parted from his treasure,
    He is like one sick to death.
Hour by hour, his pain enhancing,
    Brings the final struggle near;
Death, with stealthy tread advancing,
    Claims the spirit lingering here.
If he die, let her lament him;
    Let her not forget the dead;
Let a message kind be sent him,
    To the shores he now must tread.
If perchance where he is resting
    In the cold and dreamless sleep,
[p. 411] She should pass, her steps arresting,
    One soft tear there let her weep.
These, dear Sun, for me repeating,
    Then pursue thy brilliant way;
But the words of this sad greeting,
    O forget them not, I pray!

We hail thee, Greek, from that far shore,
Young Freedom's chosen land of yore!
There were her first high Pæans poured—
There proved in fight her virgin sword—
There fell her eldest-martyr'd brave,
The heroes of the mount and wave!
We hail thee! Not a breast that burns
    With but a spark of patriot fire,
But to thy country's altar turns,
    And listens to thy country's lyre.
Grecian, forgive the idle thought!
    We deemed old Hellas' spirit fled.
Yes! when thy brethren bravely fought
    On plains where rest the immortal dead,
We scarce cast off the unworthy fear,
    Scarce hoped that Greece might yet be free:
It seemed a boon too bright, too dear
    For our degenerate age to see
    A newly-won Thermopylæ.
And e'en if Grecian valor burst
    Its chains, we little deemed thy clime
That generous intellect had nursed
    That shone so bright in elder time.
But who could catch thy burning words,
    The changes of thy speaking eye,
And deem that time, or tyrant swords
    Could bid the Grecian spirit die?
Thanks for the lesson thou hast given!
    It shows, where Freedom once hath dwelt,
Though every bolt of angry Heaven
    Age after age should there be dealt,
There is a power they cannot kill;
    The proud, free spirit of the race
Lives on through woe and bondage still,
    The eternal Genius of the place.
Yes! Hear the lesson, distant lands,
    Where Goth and Russ with iron rod
Press down and cramp in servile bands
    The living images of God!
Hear, Poland! soon shall dawn the day
    Of liberty and peace for thee!
And thou, where Rhine's blue waters play!
    And thou, once glorious Italy!
And thou, my country, be thou true!
    The great of former days arise,
The same bright path again pursue
    That marked their ancient victories.
Greece is thy rival for renown!
    Arouse thee to the noble strife!
Thou must not lose thy glory's crown,
    Well won by many a hero's life!
No! Onward still, ye noble pair,
    Each mindful of the illustrious past,
The struggle and the triumph share,
    And ever may that triumph last!


1 These pieces, from the pen of Dr. Franklin, have never appeared in any edition of his works, and are from the manuscript book which contains the Lecture and Essays published in former numbers of the Messenger.


That P. S. and A. N. be immediately invited into the Junto.

That all new members be qualified by the four qualifications, and all the old ones take it.

That these queries copied at the beginning of a book, be read distinctly each meeting, a pause between each while one might fill and drink a glass of wine.

That if they cannot all be gone through in one night, we begin the next where we left off, only, such as particularly regard the funds to be read every night.

That it be not hereafter the duty of any member to bring queries, but left to his discretion.

That an old declamation be, without fail, read every night when there is no new one.

That Mr. Brientnal's Poem on the Junto be read over once a month, and hum'd in consort2 by as many as can hum it.

2 Concert was thus spelt in the beginning of the last century. See many examples in the Tatler, etc.

That once a month in spring, summer and fall, the Junto meet in the afternoon in some proper place across the river for bodily exercise.

That in the aforesaid book be kept minutes thus:

Friday, June 30, 1732.
Present A, B, C, D, E, F, etc.
Figure denotes the queries answered.
1. H. P. read this maxim, viz. or this experiment, viz. or etc.
5. Lately arrived one —— of such a profession or such a science, etc.
7. X. Y. grew rich by this means, etc.

That these minutes be read once a year at the anniversary.

That all fines due be immediately paid in, and the penal laws for queries and declamations abolished, only he who is absent above ten times in the year, to pay 10s. towards the anniversary entertainment.

That the secretary, for keeping the minutes, be allowed one shilling per night, to be paid out of the money already in his hands.

That after the queries are begun reading, all discourse foreign to them shall be deemed impertinent.

When any thing from reading an author is mentioned, if it exceed a line, and the Junto require it, the person shall bring the passage or an abstract of it in writing the next night, if he has it not with him.

When the books of the library come, every member shall undertake some author, that he may not be without observations to communicate.

How shall we judge of the goodness of a writing? or what qualities should a writing on any subject have, to be good and perfect in its kind?

Answer 1. To be good it ought to have a tendency to benefit the reader by improving his virtue or his knowledge.

The method should be just, that is, it should proceed regularly from things known to things unknown, distinctly and clearly, without confusion.

[p. 412]

The words used should be the most expressive that the language affords, provided they are the most generally understood.

Nothing should be expressed in two words that can as well be expressed in one; i.e. no synonymes should be used or very rarely, but the whole be as short as possible, consistent with clearness.

The words should be so placed as to be agreeable to the ear in reading.

Summarily,—It should be smooth,
                                          clear, and
For the contrary qualities are displeasing.

But taking the query otherwise:

An ill man may write an ill thing well; that is, having an ill design he may use the properest style and arguments (considering who are to be readers) to attain his ends.
In this sense, that is best wrote which is best adapted for attaining the end of the writer.

Can a man arrive at perfection in this life, as some believe; or is it impossible, as others believe?

Perhaps they differ in the meaning of the word perfection.

I suppose the perfection of any thing to be only the greatest the nature of that thing is capable of.

Thus a horse is more perfect than an oyster, yet the oyster may be a perfect oyster, as well as the horse a perfect horse.

And an egg is not so perfect as a chicken, nor a chicken as a hen; for the hen has more strength than the chicken, and the chicken more life than the egg—yet it may be a perfect egg, chicken, and hen.

If they mean a man cannot in this life be so perfect as an angel, it is true, for an angel by being incorporeal, is allowed some perfections we are at present incapable of, and less liable to some imperfections that we are liable to. If they mean a man is not capable of being so perfect here as he is capable of being in heaven, that may be true likewise.

But that a man is not capable of being so perfect here as he is capable of being here, is not sense; it is as if I should say, a chicken in the state of a chicken is not capable of being so perfect as a chicken is capable of being in that state.

In the above sense there may be a perfect oyster, a perfect horse, a perfect ship, why not a perfect man? that is, as perfect as his present nature and circumstances admit?

Question. Wherein consists the happiness of a rational creature?

Answer. In having a sound mind and a healthy body, a sufficiency of the necessaries and conveniences of life, together with the favor of God and the love of mankind.

Q. What do you mean by a sound mind?

A. A faculty of reasoning justly and truly, in searching after such truths as relate to my happiness. Which faculty is the gift of God, capable of being improved by experience and instruction into wisdom.

Q. What is wisdom?

A. The knowledge of what will be best for us on all occasions and the best ways of attaining it.

Q. Is any man wise at all times and in all things?

A. No: but some are much more frequently wise than others.

Q. What do you mean by the necessaries of life?

A. Having wholesome food and drink wherewith to satisfy hunger and thirst, clothing, and a place of habitation fit to secure against the inclemencies of the weather.

Q. What do you mean by the conveniences of life?

A. Such a plenty              *               *               *               *               *

Query.—Whether it is worth a rational man's while to forego the pleasure arising from the present luxury of the age in eating and drinking and artful cookery, studying to gratify the appetite, for the sake of enjoying a healthy old age, a sound mind and a sound body, which are the advantages reasonably to be expected from a more simple and temperate diet?

Whether those meats and drinks are not the best that contain everything in their natural tastes, nor have any thing added by art so pleasing as to induce us to eat or drink when we are not athirst or hungry, or after thirst and hunger are satisfied; water, for instance, for drink, and bread, or the like, for meat?

Is there any difference between knowledge and prudence?

If there is any, which of the two is most eligible?

Is it justifiable to put private men to death for the sake of the public safety or tranquillity, who have committed no crime? As in case of the plague to stop infection, or as in the case of the Welshmen here executed.

If the sovereign power attempts to deprive a subject of his right, (or, what is the same thing, of what he thinks his right,) is it justifiable in him to resist if he is able?

What general conduct of life is most suitable for men in such circumstances as most of the members of the Junto are? or of the many schemes of living which are in our power to pursue, which will be most probably conducive to our happiness?

Which is the best to make a friend of, a wise and good man that is poor, or a rich man that is neither wise nor good?

Which of the two is the greatest loss to a country, if they both die?

Which of the two is happiest in life?

Does it not, in a general way, require great study and intense application for a poor man to become rich and powerful, if he would do it without the forfeiture of his honesty?

Does it not require as much pains, study and application, to become truly wise and strictly good and virtuous, as to become rich?

Can a man of common capacity pursue both views with success at the same time?

If not, which of the two is it best for him to make his whole application to?

The great secret of succeeding in conversation, is to admire little, to hear much, always to distrust our own reason, and sometimes that of our friends; never to pretend to wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can; to hearken to what is said and to answer to the purpose.

Ut jam nunc dicat jam nunc debentia dici.

[p. 413]


By the author of the “Cottage in the Glen,” “Sensibility,” &c.

Think not, the husband gained, that all is done;
The prize of happiness must still be won;
And, oft, the careless find it to their cost,
The lover in the husband may be lost;
The graces might, alone, his heart allure—
They and the virtues, meeting, must secure.
                                                               Lord Lyttleton.

                              Can I not win his love?
Is not his heart of “penetrable stuff?”
Will not submission, meekness, patience, truth,
Win his esteem?—a sole desire to please,
Conquer indifference?—they must—they will!
Aid me, kind heaven—I'll try!

It was a bright and beautiful autumnal evening. The earth was clad in a garb of the richest and brightest hues; and the clear cerulean of the heavens, gave place, near the setting sun, to a glowing ‘saffron color,’ over which was hung a most magnificent drapery of crimson clouds. Farther towards both the north and south, was suspended here and there a sable curtain, fringed with gold, folded as but one hand could fold them. They seemed fitting drapery to shroud the feet of Him, who “maketh the clouds his chariot, who rideth upon the wings of the wind.”

Such was the evening on which Edward Cunningham conducted his fair bride into the mansion prepared for her reception. But had both earth and heaven been decked with ten-fold splendor, their beauty and magnificence would have been lost on him; for his thoughts, his affections, his whole being were centered in the graceful creature that leaned on his arm, and whom he again and again welcomed to her new abode—her future home. He forgot that he still moved in a world that was groaning under the pressure of unnumbered evils; forgot that earthly joy is oft-times but a dream, a fantasy, that vanishes like the shadow of a summer cloud, that flits across the landscape, or, as the morning vapor before the rising sun; forgot that all on this side heaven, is fleeting, and changeable, and false. In his bride, the object of his fondest love, he felt that he possessed a treasure whose smile would be unclouded sunshine to his soul; whose society would make another Eden bloom for him. It was but six short months since he first saw her who was now his wife; and for nearly that entire period he had been in ‘the delirium of love,’ intent only on securing her as his own. He had attained his object, and life seemed spread before him, a paradise of delight, blooming with roses, unaccompanied by thorns.

Joy and sorrow, in this world, dwell side by side. In a stately mansion, two doors only from the one that had just received the joyful bridegroom and happy bride, dwelt one who had been four weeks a wife. On that same bright evening she was sitting in the solitude of her richly furnished chamber, her elbows resting on a table, her hands supporting her head, while a letter lay spread before her, on which her eyes, blinded by tears, were rivetted. The letter was from her husband. He had been from home nearly three weeks, in which time she had heard from him but once, and then only by a brief verbal message. The letter that lay before her had just arrived; it was the first she had ever received from her husband, and ran thus:—

Mrs. Westbury—Thinking you might possibly expect to see me at home this week, I write to inform you that business will detain me in New York some time longer.
Yours, &c.                                  

For a long time the gentle, the feeling Julia, indulged her tears and her grief without restraint. Again, and again, she read the laconic epistle before her, to ascertain what more might be made of it than at first met the eye. But nothing could be clothed in plainer language, or be more easily understood. It was as brief, and as much to the point as those interesting letters which debtors sometimes receive from their creditors, through the agency of an attorney. “Did ever youthful bride,” thought she, “receive from her husband such a letter as this? He strives to show me the complete indifference and coldness of his heart toward me. O, why did I accept his hand, which was rather his father's offering than his own? Why did I not listen to my reason, rather than to my fond and foolish heart, and resist the kind old man's reasonings and pleadings? Why did I believe him when he told me I should win his son's affections? Did I not know that his heart was given to another? Dear old man, he fondly believed his Frederic's affections could not long be withheld from one whom he himself loved so tenderly—and how eagerly I drank in his assurances! Amid all the sorrow that I felt, while kneeling by his dying bed, how did my heart swell with undefinable pleasure, as he laid his hand, already chilled by death, upon my head, gave me his parting blessing, and said that his son would love me! Mistaken assurance! ah, why did I fondly trust it? Were I now free!—free!—would I then have the knot untied that makes me his for life? Not for a world like this! No, he is mine and I am his; by the laws of God and man, we are one. He must sometimes be at home; and an occasional hour in his society, will be a dearer bliss than aught this world can bestow beside. His father's blessing is still warm at my heart! I still feel his hand on my head! Let me act as he trusted I should act, and all may yet be well! Duties are mine—and thine, heavenly Father, are results. Overlook my infirmities, forgive all that needs forgiveness, sustain my weakness, and guide me by thine unerring wisdom.” She fell on her knees to continue her supplications, and pour out her full soul before her Father in heaven; and when she arose, her heart, if not happy, was calm; her brow, if not cheerful, was serene.

Frederic Westbury was an only child. He never enjoyed the advantages of maternal instruction, impressed on the heart by maternal tenderness—for his mother died before he was three years old, and all recollection of her had faded from his memory. Judge Westbury was one of the most amiable, one of the best of men; but with regard to the management of his son, he was too much like the venerable Israelitish priest. His son, like other sons, often did that which was wrong, ‘and he restrained him not.’ He was neither negligent in teaching, nor in warning; but instruction and discipline did not, as they ever should do, go hand-in-hand; and for want of this discipline, Frederic grew up with passions uncontrolled—with a will unsubdued. He received a finished education, and his mind, which was of a high order, was richly stored with knowledge. His pride of character was great, and he looked down with contempt on all that was dishonorable or vicious. He had a chivalrous generosity, and a frankness of [p. 414] disposition that led him to detest concealment or deceit. He loved or hated with his whole soul. In person he was elegant; his countenance was marked with high intellect and strong feeling; and he had the bearing of a prince. Such was Frederic Westbury at the age of four-and-twenty.

About a year before his marriage, Frederic became acquainted with Maria Eldon, a young lady of great beauty of person, and fascination of manner, who at once enslaved his affections. But against Miss Eldon, Judge Westbury had conceived a prejudice, and for once in his life was obstinate in refusing to indulge his son in the wish of his heart. He foresaw, or thought he did so, the utter ruin of that son's happiness, should he so ally himself. He had selected a wife for his son, a daughter-in-law for himself, more to his own taste. Julia Horton was possessed of all that he thought valuable or fascinating in woman. Possibly Frederic might have thought so too, had he known her, ere his heart was in possession of another; but being pointed out to him as the one to whom he must transfer his affections, he looked on her with aversion as the chief obstacle to the realization of his wishes. Julia was born, and had been educated, in a place remote from Judge Westbury's residence; but from her infancy he had seen her from time to time, as business led him into that part of the country in which her parents resided. In her childhood she entwined herself around the heart of the Judge; and from that period he had looked on her as the future wife of his son. His views and wishes, however, were strictly confined to his own breast, until, to his dismay, he found that his son's affections were entangled. This discovery was no sooner made than he wrote a pressing letter to Julia, who was now an orphan, to come and make him a visit of a few weeks. The reason he gave for inviting her was, that his health was rapidly declining, (which was indeed too true,) and he felt that her society would be a solace to his heart. Julia came; she saw Frederic; heard his enlightened conversation; observed his polished manners; remarked the lofty tone of his feelings; and giving the reins to her fancy, without consulting reason or prudence, she loved him. Too late for her security, but too soon for her peace, she learned that he loved another. Dreading lest she should betray her folly to the object of her unsought affection, she wished immediately to return to her native place. But to this Judge Westbury would not listen. He soon discovered the state of her feelings, and it gave him unmingled satisfaction. It augured well for the success of his dearest earthly hope; and as his strength was rapidly declining, consumption having fastened her deadly fangs upon him, to hasten him to the grave, he gave his whole mind to the accomplishment of his design. At first his son listened to the subject with undisguised impatience; but his feelings softened as he saw his father sinking to the tomb; and, in an unguarded hour, he promised him that he would make Julia his wife. Judge Westbury next exerted himself to obtain a promise from Julia that she would accept the hand of his son; and he rested not until they had mutually plighted their faith at his bed-side. To Frederic this was a moment of unmingled misery. He saw that his father was dying, and felt himself constrained to promise his hand to one woman, while his heart was in possession of another.

Julia's emotions were of the most conflicting character. To be the plighted bride of the man she loved, made her heart throb with joy, and her faith in his father's assurance that she would win his affections, sustained her hope, that his prediction would be verified. Yet when she marked the countenance of her future husband, her heart sank within her. She could not flatter herself into the belief, that its unmingled gloom arose solely from grief at the approaching death of his father. She felt that he was making a sacrifice of his fondest wishes at the shrine of filial duty.

Judge Westbury died; and with almost his parting breath, he pronounced a blessing upon Julia as his daughter—the wife of his son—most solemnly repeating his conviction that she would soon secure the heart of her husband!

Immediately on the decease of her friend and father, Julia returned home, and in three months Frederic followed her to fulfil his promise. He was wretched, and would have given a world, had he possessed it, to be free from his engagement. But that could never be. His word had been given to his father, and must be religiously redeemed. “I will make her my wife,” thought he; “I promised my father that I would. Thank heaven, I never promised him that I would love her!” Repugnant as such an union was to his feelings, he was really impatient to have it completed; for as his idea of his duty and obligation went not beyond the bare act of making her his wife, he felt that, that once done, he should be comparatively a free man.

“I am come,” said he to Julia, “to fulfil my engagement. Will you name a day for the ceremony?”

His countenance was so gloomy, his manners so cold—so utterly destitute of tenderness or kindly feeling, that something like terror seized Julia's heart; and without making any reply, she burst into tears.

“Why these tears, Miss Horton?” said he. “Our mutual promise was given to my father; it is fit we redeem it.”

“No particular time was specified,” said Julia timidly, and with a faltering voice. “Is so much haste necessary?”

“My father wished that no unnecessary delay should be made,” said Frederic, “and I can see no reason why we should not as well be married now, as at any future period. If you consult my wishes, you will name an early day.”

The day was fixed, and at length arrived, presenting the singular anomaly of a man eagerly hastening to the altar, to utter vows from which his heart recoiled, and a woman going to it with trembling and reluctance, though about to be united to him who possessed her undivided affections.

The wedding ceremony over, Mr. Westbury immediately took his bride to his elegantly furnished house; threw it open for a week, to receive bridal visits; and then gladly obeyed a summons to New York, to attend to some affairs of importance. On leaving home, he felt as if released from bondage. A sense of propriety had constrained him to pay some little attention to his bride, and to receive the congratulations of his friends with an air of satisfaction, at least; while those very congratulations congealed his heart, by bringing to mind the ties he had formed with one he could not love, to the impossibility of his forming them with the one whom he idolized. When he had been absent about ten days, [p. 415] he availed himself of an opportunity to send a verbal message to his wife, informing her that he was well, and should probably be at home in the course of two weeks; but when that period was drawing toward a close, his business was not completed, and as home was the last place he wished to visit, he resolved to protract his absence, so long as he had a reasonable excuse. “I must write, and inform her of the change in my plan,” thought he, “decency demands it, yet how can I write? My dear Julia!—my dear wife! No such thing—she is not dear to me!

‘Ce cœur au moins, difficile à domter,
 Ne peut aimer ni par ordre d'un père,
 Ni par raison.’

She is my wife—she is Mrs. Westbury—she is mistress of my house, and must share my fortune—let that suffice her! It must have been for these that she married me. A name! a fortune! an elegant establishment! Mean! ambitious! heartless! Thou, Maria—bright, beautiful, and tender—thou wouldest have married me for myself! Alas, I am undone! O, my father!” Under the influence of feelings like these, he wrote the laconic epistle which cost his bride so many bitter tears.

It was at the close of about two weeks from this, that Julia was sitting one evening in her parlor, dividing the time betwixt her work and a book, when the door-bell rang, and a minute after the parlor door opened, and Mr. Westbury entered. With sparkling eyes and glowing cheeks, she sprang forward, her hand half extended to meet his—but his ceremonious bow, and cold “good evening Mrs. Westbury,” recalled her recollection; and scarcely able to reply to his civility, she sank back on her chair. She thought she was prepared to see him cold and distant—thought she expected it—but she had deceived herself. Notwithstanding all her bitter ruminations on her husband's indifference toward her, there had been a little under current of hope, playing at the bottom of her heart, and telling her he might return more cordial than he went. His cold salutation, and colder eye, sent her to her seat, disappointed, sick at heart, and nearly fainting. In a minute, however, she recovered her self-possession, and made those inquiries concerning his health and journey, that propriety dictated. In spite of himself, she succeeded in some degree in drawing him out. She was gentle, modest, and unobtrusive—and good sense and propriety were conspicuous in all she said. Beside, she looked very pretty. Her figure, though rather below the medium size, was very fine, her hand and foot of unrivalled beauty. She was dressed with great simplicity, but good taste was betrayed in every thing about her person. She wore her dress, too, with a peculiar grace, equally remote from precision and negligence. Her features were regular, and her complexion delicate; but the greatest attraction of her face, was the facility and truth with which it expressed every feeling of the heart. When Mr. Westbury first entered the parlor, an observer might have pronounced her beautiful; but the bright glow of transient joy that then kindled her cheek, had faded away, and left her pale—so pale, that Mr. Westbury inquired, even with some little appearance of interest, “whether her health was as good as usual?” Her voice, which was always soft and melodious, was even softer and sweeter than usual, as she answered “that it was.” Mr. Westbury at length went so far as to make some inquiries relative to her occupations during his absence, whether she had called on the new bride, Mrs. Cunningham, and other questions of similar consequence. For the time he forgot Maria Eldon; was half unconscious that Julia was his wife—and viewing her only as a companion, he passed an hour or two very comfortably.

One day when Mr. Westbury came in to dinner, Julia handed him a card of compliments from Mr. and Mrs. Brooks, who were about giving a splendid party.

“I have returned no answer,” said Julia, “not knowing whether you would wish to accept the invitation or not.”

“For yourself, you can do as you please, Mrs. Westbury—but I shall certainly attend it.”

“I am quite indifferent about the party,” said Julia, “as such scenes afford me little pleasure; but should be pleased to do as you think proper—as you think best.” Her voice trembled a little, as she spoke; for she had not yet become sufficiently accustomed to Mr. Westbury's brusque manner toward herself, to hear it with perfect firmness. “I should think it very suitable that you pay Mr. and Mrs. Brooks this attention,” Mr. Westbury replied.

Nothing more was said on the subject, and Julia returned an answer agreeable to the wishes of her husband.

The evening to visit Mrs. Brooks at length arrived, and Julia repaired to her chamber to dress for the occasion. To render herself pleasing in the eyes of her husband was the sole wish of her heart, but how to do this was the question. She would have given the world to know his taste, his favorite colors, and other trifles of the like nature—but of these she was completely ignorant, and must therefore be guided by her own fancy. “Simplicity,” thought she—“simplicity is the surest way; for it never disgusts—never offends, if it does not captivate.” Accordingly, she arrayed herself in a plain white satin—and over her shoulders was thrown a white blond mantle, with an azure border, while a girdle of the same hue encircled her waist. Her toilet completed, Julia descended to the parlor, her shawl and calash in her hand. Mr. Westbury was waiting for her, and just casting his eyes over her person, he said—“If you are ready, Mrs. Westbury, we will go immediately, as it is now late.” Most of the guests were already assembled when they arrived at the mansion opened for their reception, and it was not quite easy to get access to the lady of the house, to make their compliments. This important duty, however, was at length happily accomplished, and Mr. Westbury's next effort was to obtain a seat for his wife. She would have preferred retaining his arm, at least for a while, as few persons present were known to her, and she felt somewhat embarrassed and confused; but she durst not say so, as, from her husband's manner, she saw that he wished to be free from such attendance. In such matters the heart of a delicate and sensitive woman seldom deceives her. Is it that her instincts are superior to those of men?

Julia had been seated but a short time before Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham approached her, and entered into a lively conversation. This was a great relief to Julia, who could have wept at her solitary and neglected situation, alone, in the midst of a crowd. Mrs. Cunningham [p. 416] was in fine spirits, and her husband appeared the happiest of the happy. Not that he appeared particularly to enjoy society—but his blooming wife was by his side, and his eyes rested on her with looks of the tenderest love—while the sound of her voice seemed constantly to awaken a thrill of pleasure in his heart. After conversing with Julia awhile, Mrs. Cunningham said—

“Do you prefer sitting to walking, Mrs. Westbury? Pray take my arm, and move about with us a little—it looks so dull for a person to sit through a party.”

Julia gladly accepted the offer, and was soon drawn away from herself, in listening to the lively rattle of her companion, who, although only a resident of a few weeks in the city, seemed already acquainted with all the gentlemen, and half the ladies present. An hour had been passed in this manner, and in partaking of the various refreshments that were provided—to which Julia did little honor, though this was of no consequence, as Mrs. Cunningham amply made up all her deficiencies of this kind—when the sound of music in another room attracted their attention. Julia was extremely fond of music, and as their present situation, amid the confusion of tongues, was very unfavorable for its enjoyment, Mr. Cunningham proposed that they should endeavor to make their way to the music room. After considerable detention, they succeeded in accomplishing their object, so far at least as to get fairly within the door. Considering the number of persons present, and how few there are that do not prefer the music of their own tongues to any other melody, the room was remarkably still—a compliment deserved by the young lady who sat to the piano, who played and sang with great skill and feeling. Julia's attention was soon attracted to her husband, who was standing on the opposite side of the room, leaning against the wall, his arms folded across his breast, his eyes resting on the performer with an expression of warm admiration, while a deep shade of melancholy was cast over his features. Julia's heart beat tumultuously. “Is it the music,” thought she, “or the musician that thus rivets his attention? Would I knew who it is that plays and sings so sweetly!” She did not remain long in doubt. The song finished, all voices were warm in its praise.

“How delightfully Miss Eldon plays! and with what feeling she sings!” exclaimed Mrs. Cunningham. “I never listened to a sweeter voice!”

The blood rushed to Julia's head, and back again to her heart, like a torrent; a vertigo seized her; and all the objects before her, were, for a moment, an indistinct, whirling mass. But she did not faint; she did not even betray her feelings, though she took the first opportunity to leave the room, and obtain a seat. For a long time she was unconscious of all that was passing around her; she could not even think—she only felt. Her husband's voice was the first thing that aroused her attention. He was standing near her with another gentleman; but it was evident that neither of them were aware of her proximity.

“Mrs. Brooks looks uncommonly well to-night,” said Mr. Westbury's companion; “her dress is peculiarly becoming.”

“It would be,” said Mr. Westbury, “were it not for those blue ribbands; but I can think no lady looks well who has any of that odious color about her.”

“It is one of the most beautiful and delicate colors in the world,” said the other gentleman. “I wonder at your taste.”

“It does finely in its place,” said Mr. Westbury—“that is—in the heavens above our heads—but never about the person of a lady.”

Julia wished her mantle and her girdle in Africa—“Yet why?” thought she. “I dare say he is ignorant that I have any of the color he so much dislikes, about me! His heart belongs to another, and he cares not—minds not, how she is clad whom he calls wife.”

Mr. Westbury and his friend now moved to another part of the room, and it was as much as Julia could do, to answer with propriety the few remarks that a passing acquaintance now and then made to her. At length the company began to disperse, and presently Julia saw Mr. Westbury leading Miss Eldon from the room. His head was inclined toward her; a bright hectic spot was on his cheek, and he was speaking to her in the softest tone, as they passed near where Julia was sitting. Miss Eldon's eyes were raised to his face, while her countenance wore a mingled expression of pain and pleasure. Julia had just time enough to remark all this, ere they left the room. “O, that I were away!” thought she—“that I were at home!—that I were—in my grave!” She sat perfectly still—perfectly unconscious of all that was going forward, until Mr. Westbury came to her, inquiring “whether she meant to be the last to take leave?” Julia mechanically arose, mechanically made her parting compliments to Mrs. Brooks—and scarcely knew any thing till she arrived at her own door. Just touching her husband's hand, she sprung from the carriage, and flew to her chamber. For a while she walked the floor in an agony of feeling. The constraint under which she had labored, served but to increase the violence of her emotion, now that she was free to indulge it. “O, why did I attend this party?” at length thought she—“O, what have I not suffered!” After a while, however, her reason began to operate. “What have I seen, that I ought not to have expected?” she asked herself. “What have I learned that I knew not before? except,” she added, “a trifling fact concerning my husband's taste.” Julia thought long and deeply; her spirits became calm; she renewed former resolutions; looked to heaven for wisdom to guide, and strength to sustain her—and casting aside the mantle, which would henceforth be useless to her, she instinctively threw a shawl over her shoulders to conceal the unlucky girdle, and, though the hour was late, descended to the parlor. Mr. Westbury was sitting by a table, leaning his head on his hand. It was not easy for Julia to address him on any subject not too exciting to her feelings—and still more difficult perfectly to command her voice, that its tones might be those of ease and cheerfulness; yet she succeeded in doing both. The question she asked, led Mr. Westbury to look up, and he was struck by the death-like paleness on her cheek. Julia could by an effort control her voice; she could in a degree subdue her feelings; but she could not command the expression of her countenance—could not bid the blood visit or recede from her cheeks at her will. She knew not, indeed, that at this time she was pale; her own face was the last thing in her mind. Mr. Westbury had no sooner answered her question, than he added—“You had better retire, Mrs. Westbury. You look as if the fatigues of the evening had been too much for you.”

[p. 417]

Fatigues of the evening!—Agonies rather,” thought Julia; but thanking him for his “kind” advice, she immediately retreated to her chamber.

Until this evening, Mr. Westbury had scarcely seen Miss Eldon since his marriage. He had avoided seeing her, being conscious that she retained her full power over his heart; and his sense of rectitude forbade his indulging a passion for one woman, while the husband of another. Miss Eldon suspected this, and felt piqued at his power over himself. Her heart fluttered with satisfaction when she saw him enter Mrs. Brooks's drawing-room; and she resolved to ascertain whether her influence over his affections were diminished. She was mortified and chagrined, that even here he kept aloof from her, giving her only a passing bow, as he walked to another part of the room. It was with unusual pleasure that she complied with a request to sit to the piano, for she well knew the power of music—of her own music over his heart. Never before had she touched the keys with so much interest. She did her best—that best was pre-eminently good—and she soon found that she had fixed the attention of him whom alone she cared to please. After singing one or two modern songs, she began one that she had learned at Mr. Westbury's request, at the period when he used to visit her almost daily. It was Burns's “Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,” and was with him a great favorite. When Miss Eldon came to the lines—

“Thou mind'st me of departed joys,
  Departed, never to return”—

she raised her eyes to his face, and in an instant he forgot every thing but herself. “Her happiness is sacrificed as well as my own,” thought he; and leaning his head against the wall of the room, he gave himself up, for the time, to love and melancholy. The song concluded, however, he regained some control over his feelings, and still kept at a distance from her; nay—conquered himself, so far as to repair to the drawing-room, to escape from her dangerous vicinity. He saw her not again until she was equipped for her departure. Then she contrived to get near him, and threw so much sweetness and melancholy into her voice, as she said “good night, Mr. Westbury,” that he was instantly disarmed—and drawing her arm within his, conducted her from the room.

“How,” said he, in a low and tremulous tone, “how, Maria, could you sing that song, to harrow up my feelings? Time was, when to be near thee—to listen to thee, was my felicity; but now, duty forbids that I indulge in the dangerous delight.”

Miss Eldon replied not—but raised her eyes to his face, while she repressed a half-drawn sigh. Not another word was uttered until they exchanged “adieus” at her carriage door.

Two or three weeks passed away without the occurrence of any incident calculated to excite peculiar uneasiness in the heart of Julia. True, her husband was still the cold, the ceremonious, and occasionally the abrupt Mr. Westbury; he passed but little even of his leisure time at home; and she had never met his eye when it expressed pleasure, or even approbation. But he did not grow more cold—more ceremonious; the time he passed at his own fireside, rather increased than diminished—and for all this she was thankful. Her efforts to please were unceasing. Her house was kept in perfect order, and every thing was done in time, and well done. Good taste and good judgment were displayed in every arrangement. Her table was always spread with great care, and if her husband partook of any dish with peculiar relish, she was careful to have it repeated, but at such intervals as to gratify rather than cloy the appetite. In her dress she was peculiarly neat and simple, carefully avoiding every article of apparel that was tinctured with the “odious color.” She had naturally a fine mind, which had had the advantage of high cultivation; and without being obtrusive, or aiming at display, she strove to be entertaining and companionable. Above all, she constantly endeavored to maintain a placid, if not a cheerful brow, knowing that nothing is so repulsive as a discontented, frowning face. She felt that nothing was unimportant that might either please or displease her husband; his heart was the prize she was endeavoring to win; and the happiness of her life depended on the sentiments he should ultimately entertain toward her. Every thing she did was done not only properly, but gracefully; and though she never wearied in her efforts, she would oftentimes sigh that they were so unsuccessful. She sometimes feared that her very anxiety to please, blinded her as to the best manner of doing so; and would often repeat with a sigh, after some new, and apparently useless effort—

“Je le servirais mieux, si je l'eusse aimé moins.”

The first thing to disturb the kind of quiet that Julia enjoyed, was the prospect of another party. One morning, while at the breakfast table, a card was brought in from Mr. and Mrs. Parker, who were to be “at home” on Friday evening. After looking at the card, Julia handed it to Mr. Westbury in silence.

“It will be proper that we accept the invitation,” said Mr. Westbury.

The remembrance of the agony she endured at the last party she attended, caused Julia's voice to tremble a little, as she said—

“Just as you think best—but for my own part, I should seldom attend a party for the sake of enjoyment.”

“If Mrs. Westbury thinks it proper to immure herself as if in a convent, she can,” said Mr. Westbury; “for myself, I feel that society has claims upon me that I wish to discharge.”

“I will go if you think there would be any impropriety in my staying away,” said Julia.

“Situated as you are, I think there would,” said Mr. Westbury.

“Situated as I am!” thought Julia; “what does he mean? Does he refer to my station in society? or does he fear that the world will think me an unhappy wife, that wishes to seclude herself from observation?”

In the course of the morning, Julia called on Mrs. Cunningham, and found that lady and her husband discussing the point, whether or not they should attend Mrs. Parker's party.

“Are you going, Mrs. Westbury?” asked Mrs. Cunningham.

“Yes—Mr. Westbury thinks we had better do so,” Julia replied.

“Hear that, Edward!” said Mrs. Cunningham. “You perceive that Mr. Westbury likes that his wife should enjoy the pleasures of society.”

[p. 418]

Mr. Cunningham looked a little hurt, as he said—“my dear Lucy, am I not more than willing to indulge you in every thing that will add to your happiness? I have only been trying to convince you how much more comfortable we should be by our own fireside, than in such a crowd as must be encountered at Mrs. Parker's. For myself, the society of my wife is my highest enjoyment, and of her conversation I never grow weary.”

“Thank you for the compliment, dear,” said Mrs. Cunningham—“and we will settle the question at another time.”

One of the first persons Julia distinguished amid the company, as she entered Mrs. Parker's drawing-room, was Mrs. Cunningham, who gave her a nod, and an exulting smile, as much as to say—“you see I have carried the day!” Julia had endeavored to arm herself for this evening's trial, should Miss Eldon make one of the company; and accordingly she was not surprised, and not much moved, when she saw her husband conversing with that young lady. She was too delicate in feeling, too refined in manner, to watch them, even long enough to catch the expression of Mr. Westbury's face; but resolutely turning her eyes another way, she endeavored to enter into conversation with the persons near her.

Mr. Westbury had not been in Mrs. Parker's drawing-room half an hour, ere Miss Eldon contrived to place herself in such a situation as to render it impossible for him to avoid addressing her; and this point once gained, to escape from her was impracticable. A strong sense of honor alone led him to wish to escape, as to be near her was to him the most exquisite happiness; but the greater the delight, the more imminent the danger; of this he was sensible, and it was not without some resistance that he yielded to her fascination. Could she once secure his attention, Miss Eldon well knew how to get at his heart; and at those moments when she was sure that no ear heard, and no eye observed her but his own, she let an occasional touch of the penserosa mingle so naturally with her half subdued sprightliness, as to awaken, in all their original strength, those feelings, and those regrets, he was striving to subdue. For the time he forgot every thing but that they mutually loved, and were mutually unhappy. They had been standing together a considerable length of time when they were joined by Mr. Cunningham, who abruptly remarked—

“You don't enjoy yourself this evening, Westbury.”

“What makes you think so?” Mr. Westbury inquired.

“You look worn out, just as I feel,” answered Mr. Cunningham. “How strange it is,” he added, “that married men will ever suffer themselves to be drawn into such crowds!”

“Why not married men, as well as bachelors?” asked Miss Eldon.

“Because they relinquish real happiness and comfort, for a fatiguing pleasure—if pleasure it can be called,” answered Cunningham. “One's own hearth and one's own wife, is the place, and the society, for unalloyed enjoyment. Am I not right, Westbury?”

Miss Eldon turned her eyes on Mr. Westbury, as she waited to hear his answer, and an expression, compounded of curiosity, contempt, and satisfaction, met his eye. It was the first time he had ever remarked an unlovely, an unamiable expression on her countenance. He calmly replied to Mr. Cunningham—

“Unquestionably the pleasures of domestic life are the most pure, the most rational, that can be enjoyed.”

“O, it is strange,” said Mr. Cunningham, “that any one can willingly exchange them for crowded rooms, and pestilential vapors, such as we are now inhaling! There is nothing to be gained in such a company as this. Take any dozen, or half dozen of them by themselves, and you might stand some chance to be entertained and instructed; but bring them all together, and each one seems to think it a duty to give himself up to frivolity and nonsense. I doubt whether there have been a hundred sensible words uttered here to-night, except by yonder circle, of which Mrs. Westbury seems to be the centre. There seems to be something like rational conversation there.”

Mr. Westbury turned his eyes, and saw that Julia was surrounded by the elite of the party—who all seemed to be listening with pleased attention to a conversation that was evidently carried on between herself and Mr. Eveleth, a gentleman who was universally acknowledged as one of the first in rank and talent in the city. For a minute Mr. Westbury suffered his eyes to rest on Julia. Her cheek was suffused with the beautiful carmine tint of modesty, and her eyes were beaming with intellectual light—while over her features was spread a slight shade of care, as if the heart were not perfectly at ease. “She certainly looks very well,” was Mr. Westbury's thought; and his feeling was one of gratified pride, that she who was inevitably his wife, did not find her proper level amongst the light, the vain, and the frivolous.

“You have been delightfully attentive to your wife, this evening, my dear,” said Mrs. Cunningham to her husband, as soon as they were seated in their carriage on their way home.

“I am not sensible of having neglected you, Lucy,” said Mr. Cunningham.

“No—I suppose not; nor of having been very attentive to another!”

“I certainly am not. To whom do you allude?”

“I suppose,” said Mrs. Cunningham, “that Mr. Westbury is equally unconscious of having had his attention engrossed by any particular individual.”

“You surely cannot mean that I was particularly attentive to Miss Eldon, Lucy?”

“O, how could I mean so?” said Mrs. Cunningham, with a kind of laugh that expressed any thing rather than pleasure, or good humor. “I really wonder how you came to recollect having seen such a person as Miss Eldon to-night!”

“Your remark concerning Westbury brought her to my mind,” said Mr. Cunningham.

“How strange!” said his wife, “And how extreme that young lady's mortification must have been, that she could not detain two newly married gentlemen near her for more than an hour and a half at one time! Seriously, Mr. Cunningham, the company must have thought that you and Westbury were striving which should do her most homage.”

“And seriously, my dear Lucy,” said Mr. Cunningham, taking the hand of his wife, which she reluctantly permitted him to detain—“seriously, it was merely [p. 419] accidental that I spoke to Miss Eldon this evening. There is not a person on earth to whose society and conversation I am more completely indifferent—so, take no offence, love, where none was meant. There is no one whose conversation can compensate me for the loss of yours; and it is one reason why I so much dislike these crowds, that, for a time, they necessarily separate us from each other.”

The following morning, Mrs. Cunningham called on Mrs. Westbury, who, at the moment of her arrival happened to be in her chamber—but she instantly descended to receive her visitor. When Mrs. Westbury left the parlor a short time previous, her husband was there; but he had disappeared, and she supposed he had gone out. He was, however, in the library, which adjoined the parlor, and the door between the two rooms was not quite closed. After the compliments of the morning, Mrs. Westbury remarked—

“I was somewhat surprised to see you at Mrs. Parker's last evening.”

“Surprised! why so?”

“You recollect the conversation that took place on the subject, the morning I was at your house?”

“O, yes—I remember that Mr. Cunningham was giving a kind of dissertation on the superior pleasures of one's own chimney-corner. Really, I wish he did not love home quite so well—though I don't despair of teaching him, by and by, to love society.”

“Can it be possible that you really regret your husband's attachment to home?” asked Mrs. Westbury.

“Yes, certainly—when it interferes with my going out. A man and his wife may surely enjoy enough of each other's society, and yet see something of the world. At any rate, I shall teach Ned, that I am not to be made a recluse for any man!”

“Have you no fears, my dear Mrs. Cunningham,” said Mrs. Westbury, “that your want of conformity to your husband's taste, will lessen your influence over him?”

“And of what use is this influence,” asked Mrs. Cunningham, “unless it be exerted to obtain the enjoyments I love?”

“O, pray beware,” said Mrs. Westbury, with much feeling,—“beware lest you sacrifice your happiness for a chimera! Beware how you trifle with so invaluable a treasure as the heart of a husband!”

“Pho—pho—how serious you are growing,” said Mrs. Cunningham. “Actually warning and exhorting at twenty years of age! What a preacher you will be, by the time you are forty! But now be honest, and confess that you, yourself, would prefer a ball or a party, to sitting alone here through a stupid evening with Westbury.”

“Then to speak truth,” said Julia, “I should prefer an evening at home to all the parties in the world—balls I never attend, and do not think stupidity necessary, even with no other companion than one's own husband.”

“Then why do you attend parties if you do not like them?”

“Because Mr. Westbury thinks it proper that I should.”

“And so you go to him, like miss to her papa and mamma to ask him what you must do?” said Mrs. Cunningham, laughing. “This is delightful, truly! But for my part, I cannot see why I have not as good a right to expect Edward to conform to my taste and wishes, as he has to expect me to conform to his. And so Westbury makes you go, whether you like to or not?”

“No, indeed,” said Mrs. Westbury. “I never expressed to him my aversion to going, not wishing him to feel as if I were making a great sacrifice, in complying with his wishes.”

“Well, that is pretty, and dutiful, and delicate,” said Mrs. Cunningham, laughing again. “But I don't set up for a pattern wife, and if Edward and I get along as well as people in general, I shall be satisfied. But to turn to something else. How do you like Miss Eldon?”

“I am not at all acquainted with her,” said Julia.

“You have met her several times,” said Mrs. Cunningham.

“Yes, but have never conversed with her. Her appearance is greatly in her favor; I think her very beautiful.”

“She is called so,” said Mrs. Cunningham; “but some how I don't like her looks. To tell the plain truth, I can't endure her, she is so vain, and artful, and self-complacent.”

“I have not the least acquaintance with her,” repeated Julia; “but it were a pity so lovely a face should not be accompanied by an amiable heart. Are you much acquainted with her?”

“Not personally. Indeed I never conversed with her for ten minutes in my life.”

“Then you may be mistaken in thinking her vain and artful,” said Mrs. Westbury.

“O, I've seen enough to satisfy me fully as to that point,” said Mrs. Cunningham. “When a young lady exerts herself to engross the attention of newly married men, and when she looks so self-satisfied at success, I want nothing more. She can have no delicacy of feeling—she must be a coquette of the worst kind.”

It was now Mrs. Westbury's turn to change the subject of conversation, and simply remarking—“that we should be extremely careful how we judge of character hastily”—she asked some question that drove Miss Eldon from Mrs. Cunningham's mind. Soon after the visitor departed, and Julia returned to her chamber.

In the evening when Mr. Westbury came in, he found Julia reading, but she immediately laid down her book, and resumed her work. She thought it quite as impolite to pursue the solitary pleasure of reading while her husband was sitting by, as to have done so with any other companion; and she knew no reason why he was not as much entitled to civility as a stranger, or common acquaintance. It was not long before Mr. Westbury inquired “what book had engaged her attention.” It was Dr. Russel's Palestine.

“It is a delightful work,” said Julia. “I have just read an extract from Chateaubriand, that I think one of the most elegant passages I ever met with.”

“I should like to hear it,” said Mr. Westbury. Julia opened her book, and the passage lost none of its beauty by her reading. She read the following:—

“When you travel in Judea the heart is at first filled with profound melancholy. But when, passing from solitude to solitude, boundless space opens before you, this feeling wears off by degrees, and you experience a [p. 420] secret awe, which, so far from depressing the soul, imparts life, and elevates the genius. Extraordinary appearances everywhere proclaim a land teeming with miracles. The burning sun, the towering eagle, the barren fig-tree, all the poetry, all the pictures of Scripture are here. Every name commemorates a mystery, every grotto announces a prediction, every hill re-echoes the accents of a prophet. God himself has spoken in these regions, dried up rivers, rent the rocks, and opened the grave. The desert still appears mute with terror, and you would imagine that it had never presumed to interrupt the silence, since it heard the awful voice of the Eternal.”

Julia closed the volume, and Mr. Westbury, after bestowing just praise on the extract she had read, took up the work, and proposed to read to her if she would like it. She thanked him, and an hour was very pleasantly spent in this manner. A little time was occupied in remarking on what had been read, when, after a short silence, Mr. Westbury inquired of Julia, “whether she saw much of Mrs. Cunningham.”

“Not a great deal,” was Julia's answer.

“She was here this morning?” said Mr. Westbury. “She was,” replied Julia.

“Do you intend to be intimate with her?” inquired Mr. Westbury.

“I have no intention about it;” said Julia—“but presume I never shall, as I fear our views and tastes will prove very discordant.”

“I am happy to hear you say so,” said Mr. Westbury. “I am not prepossessed in her favor, and greatly doubt whether an intimacy with her would be salutary. Such a person as I conceive her to be, should be nothing more than an acquaintance.”

Nothing more was added on the subject, and Julia wondered, though she did not ask, what had given her husband so unfavorable an impression of Mrs. Cunningham's character. The truth was, he overheard the conversation of the morning, which he would have frankly confessed to his wife, but for a kind of delicacy to her feelings, as he had heard her remarks as well as those of Mrs. Cunningham. He knew that it was not quite honorable to listen to a conversation without the knowledge of the parties; but he could not close the library door without betraying his proximity; he wished not to see Mrs. Cunningham; he therefore remained quiet, and heard their whole colloquy.

A few days after this circumstance occurred, an invitation to another party was received. Mr. Westbury looked at the card first, and handing it to Julia, said:

“I would have you act your pleasure with regard to accepting this invitation.”

“It will be my pleasure,” said Julia, hesitating and coloring a little—“it will be my pleasure to consult yours.”

“I have little choice about it,” said Mr. Westbury, “and if you prefer declining to accepting it, I would have you do so.”

“Shall you attend it?” asked Julia, while a shade of anxiety passed over her features.

“Certainly not unless you do,” Mr. Westbury replied.

“Then,” said Julia, “if it be quite as agreeable to you, I had a thousand times rather spend it at home, alone with”—she checked herself, colored crimson, and left the sentence unfinished.

The morning after the levee, Mrs. Westbury was favored with another call from Mrs. Cunningham.

“Why, on earth were you not at Mrs. B——'s last night?” asked she almost as soon as she entered the house. “You can imagine nothing more splendid and delightful than every thing was.”

“You were there then?” said Julia.

“Yes, certainly—though I went quite late. Edward was sick of a violent head-ache, and I was obliged to see him safely in bed before I could go; but nothing would have tempted me to miss it.”

“How is Mr. Cunningham this morning?” Julia inquired.

“Much better—though rather languid, as is usual after such an attack. But I came in on an errand this morning, and must despatch business, as I am somewhat in haste. Mrs. T—— is to give a splendid party next week—by the way, have you received a card yet?”

“I have not,” said Julia.

“Neither have I—but we both shall. I want to prepare a dress for the occasion, and came in to look at the one you wore to Mrs. Parker's, as I think of having something like it.”

Mrs. Westbury was about to ring the bell, and have the dress brought for her visitor's inspection, but Mrs. Cunningham stopt her by saying,

“No, no—do not send for it. Let me go with you to your wardrobe, I may see something else that I like.”

Mrs. Westbury complied, and they went up stairs together. Mrs. Cunningham was delightfully free in examining the articles exposed to her view, and expressed such warm admiration of many of them, such an ardent desire to possess the like, that it was rather difficult to forbear telling her they were at her service. The blond mantle, with a blue border, struck her fancy particularly, and Mrs. Westbury begged her to accept it, saying “that she should probably never wear it again, as the color was not a favorite with her husband.”

Mrs. Cunningham hastened home, delighted with her acquisition, and immediately hastened to the chamber, to which her husband was still confined by indisposition, to display to him her prize.

“See what a beautiful little affair that dear Mrs. Westbury has given me,” she cried. “How lucky for me that Mr. Westbury don't like blue, else I should not have got it, I suppose, though, she could spare this, and fifty other things, as well as not. Why, Edward, you don't know what a delightful wardrobe she has! Really, you must indulge me a little more in this way, I believe.”

“I am sure no one looks better dressed than yourself, Lucy,” said Mr. Cunningham, in a languid voice.

“O, I try to make the most of every thing I have,” said Mrs. Cunningham; “but really, Edward, Mrs. Westbury has twice as much of all sorts of apparel as I have.”

“And her husband has more than four times as much property as I have,” answered Mr. Cunningham.

“Supposing he has,” said his wife, “that need make no difference in the article of dress. And then her house is so charmingly furnished—every part of it! I was in her chamber, just now, and it looks elegantly. Every thing in it is of the richest and most beautiful kind, I declare I almost envied her so many luxuries.”

[p. 421]

“We surely have every thing necessary to comfort, my dear Lucy,” said Mr. Cunningham. “Our happiness does not depend on the splendor of our furniture, but on our affection for each other. You would be no dearer to my heart, in the paraphernalia of a duchess, diamonds and all, than you are in your simple morning dress; and I hope you do not love me the less, for not being able to furnish my house in the style of Mr. Westbury's.”

“O, no—of course not,” said Mrs. Cunningham, in a tone utterly devoid of all tenderness or feeling; “but then I should not love you the less for having beautiful things, I suppose. And, really, Edward, I think one of the best ways in which a husband can show his love to his wife, is by gratifying her in dress, furniture, company, and so-forth. Talking about love don't amount to much after all!”

“He must ruin himself, then, to show his love,” said Mr. Cunningham, throwing his head back on the easy-chair, with a mingled expression of mental and bodily pain on his features.

Mrs. Cunningham, however did not look up to mark the expression of his countenance, but half-muttered in reply to his remark—

“I never knew a man who was too stingy to dress his wife decently, fail to excuse himself on the ground of necessity. How I do detest to hear a man talk of ruin, if his wife only asks for a new pair of shoes!”

Mr. Cunningham was too deeply wounded to attempt a reply; and Mrs. Cunningham, having vented something of her discontent in this gentle ebullition, flirted out of the chamber, without even casting a glance toward her sick, and now afflicted husband.

In due time Mrs. T——'s invitation was received, and this it was Mr. Westbury's wish that Julia should accept. Without manifesting the least reluctance she consented, and Mr. Westbury went so far as to thank her for her cheerful compliance with his wishes. This was a very slight courtesy, but there was something in Mr. Westbury's voice when he spoke, that went straight to Julia's heart, and she left the room to conceal the strong emotion excited by so very trivial a cause. “She certainly strives to please me, be the motive what it may,” thought Mr. Westbury, when left alone—“and though I cannot love her, honor—nay, gratitude demands that I make her as happy as circumstances will allow.” He took a pen, and hastily writing a few lines, enclosed a bank note of considerable value, and left the little packet on her work-table, that she might see it as soon as she returned. He then left the house. When Julia resumed her seat by her table, the packet was the first thing that attracted her notice. She hastily opened it, and read as follows:—

“As Mrs. Westbury is too delicate and reserved ever to make known a want, she may have many which are unthought of by him who is bound to supply them. Will she receive the enclosed, not as a gift, but as her right? Perhaps a new dress may be wanted for Mrs. T——'s levee; if not, the enclosed can meet some of those calls on benevolence, to which report says Mrs. Westbury's ear is ever open. And if Mrs. Westbury will so far overcome her timid delicacy, as freely to make known her wants whenever they occur, she will greatly oblige her husband.”

Julia pondered long on this note. It was ceremonious and cold—cold enough!—yet not so frozen as the only letter she had ever received from him. Perhaps it was his way of letting her know that he wished her to dress more elegantly and expensively. “I will not remain in doubt; I will know explicitly,” thought she—and taking a pen in her turn, she wrote the following:

“Mr. Westbury is so munificient in supplying every want, that his wife has none to make known. If there is any particular dress that would gratify Mr. Westbury's taste, Mrs. Westbury would esteem it a great favor would he name it, and it would be her delight to furnish herself accordingly. She accepts with gratitude, not as her right, but as a gift, the very liberal sum enclosed in Mr. Westbury's note.”

Julia placed her note on Mr. Westbury's reading-desk in the library, and felt an almost feverish impatience to have an answer, either verbal or written. For more than an entire day, however, she was doomed to remain in suspense, as her husband made no allusion either to his note or her own, though the one she laid on his desk disappeared on his first visit to the library. But her suspense at length terminated. On going to her chamber she observed a little box on her dressing-table. On raising it, she discovered a note that was placed beneath it. The note ran thus:—

“Mr. Westbury highly approves the elegant simplicity of Mrs. Westbury's style of dress, and in consulting her own taste, she will undoubtedly gratify his. He has but once seen her wear an unbecoming article. The contents of the accompanying box were selected, not for their intrinsic value or splendor, but because they correspond so well with Mrs. Westbury's style of dress and of beauty. If she will wear them to Mrs. T——'s, she will gratify the giver.”

Julia opened the box, and a set of beautiful pearls met her view. “How delicate, how kind, and how cold he is!” thought she. “O, how trifling the value of these gems, compared to one particle of his love!—Yet for his sake I will wear them—not as my adorning—may that ever be the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, but as proof of my desire in all things to please him, and meet his approbation.”

Mrs. T——'s rooms were well filled with the elegant and fashionable, on the evening on which her house was opened to receive company. But the heart of Julia was not in such scenes. The more she saw of fashionable life the less she liked it. Emulation, envy, detraction, and dissimulation were obtruding themselves on her notice, amid gaiety and splendor. Her conscientious scruples as to the propriety of thus mixing with the world, increased rather than diminished. “I promised,” thought she, while she was surveying the gay assembly—“I promised, in all things lawful, to obey my husband—but is this lawful for me? It is my duty—it is my pleasure to comply with all his wishes, where superior duties do not forbid; but is it allowable for me to try to please him thus? His heart is the prize at which I aim, but will ‘the end sanctify the means?’ Can I expect a blessing from above on my efforts, while my conscience is not quite clear as to the rectitude of the path I pursue? Can I not have moral courage enough to tell him my scruples? and dare I not hazard the consequences?” Julia's reflections were interrupted by the approach of Mrs. Cunningham.

[p. 422]

“How serious you look, Mrs. Westbury,” said she. “Really, you and Mr. Cunningham would do well together, for you are both more grave in a party than any where else. Mr. Cunningham actually tries my patience by his disrelish for society. I do believe he is now quite well; yet he made indisposition an excuse for not coming with me to-night! But,” said she, lowering her voice almost to a whisper, “I shall show him that I can be obstinate as well as he! He chooses to stay at home—I choose to come out—and if he will not come with me, neither will I stay with him. I should rather live in a cottage in the country, and have done with it, for there I should have nothing to expect but stupidity; but to live in the midst of elegant society, and yet be constrained to immure one's self, is intolerable, and I will not submit to it!”

Mrs. Westbury had not the pain of replying to a speech from which both her heart and her judgment revolted, as Mr. Eveleth at that moment addressed her. He soon engaged her in a conversation which was continued for an hour, and would have been continued still longer, but for a general movement of the company, which separated them. Not long after, Mr. Eveleth found himself near Miss Eldon, who was chatting with two or three gentlemen. Mr. Westbury was standing hard by, but his back was toward them, and Mr. Eveleth did not observe him.

“Are you acquainted with Mrs. Westbury, Miss Eldon?” Mr. Eveleth inquired.

“No, not in the least,” said Miss Eldon, “and do not wish to be. She looks altogether too fade for me.”

Fade!” said Mr. Eveleth—“I should think that the last word that would apply to Mrs. Westbury in any way. She is certainly animated both in countenance and manner, and she talks better than any lady I ever conversed with. Her thoughts have something of masculine strength and range, delightfully modified by feminine grace and delicacy. Her manner is perfectly ladylike and gentle.”

“Every thing she says must sound well,” remarked another gentleman. “She has woman's most potent charm, in perfection—a voice whose tones are all music.”

“Perhaps it is all just as you say,” said Miss Eldon, “but really, I never saw a lady that appeared to me more perfectly insipid, or less attractive. I hope”—but the tone of Miss Eldon's voice contradicted her words—“I hope her husband sees her with your eyes, rather than mine.”

“I do—I will!” thought Mr. Westbury, who had heard all the conversation, with a variety of conflicting emotions. “Fade!” reiterated he, as Miss Eldon uttered the word,—“'Tis false!” He glanced his eyes towards Julia, who stood on the opposite side of the room, talking with a lady. She was dressed in black, a color that finely contrasted with her pearls, which proved to be very becoming. Her cheek was a little flushed, and her whole face beaming with animation. “Fade! 'tis false!” Mr. Westbury's pride was piqued. Julia was Mrs. Westbury—his wife! could he patiently hear her thus unjustly spoken of? Was there any thing noble in that mind that could thus speak of a rival? How grateful to his feelings were the remarks of Mr. Eveleth! How clearly he read the feelings of Miss Eldon in the tone of voice in which she uttered her last remark! He waited to hear no more, but moving towards a table that was spread with refreshments, filled a plate, and carried it to Julia. It was the first attention of the kind he had ever paid her, and her face was eloquent indeed, as she looked up with a smile, and said “thank you.” He stood by her for a few minutes, made some common-place remarks, even took a grape or two from her plate, and then turned away. It was one of the happiest moments of Julia's life! There was something indescribable in his manner, that a delicate and feeling woman could alone have seen or appreciated, of which Julia felt the full force.

When the party broke up, Miss Eldon contrived again to secure Mr. Westbury's arm. She saw that he purposely avoided her, whether from new-born indifference, or principle, she could not determine; but having boasted to quite a number of her confidential friends of his passion for herself, and the reluctance with which he had complied with his father's command to marry Julia, who had made the most indelicate advances—she resolved, if art or manœuvering could accomplish it, to maintain the appearance of power over him. From the first she exulted in her conquest of Mr. Westbury's heart. She admired his person—his fortune she loved; and bitter was her mortification, unbounded her displeasure, when his hand was bestowed on another. To make it appear that he still loved her; to wring the heart of his wife, and detract from her character, were now the main springs of her actions whenever she met them. The sight of Julia's pearls, which she thought should have been her own, awakened, on this evening, peculiarly bitter feelings. The hand—the heart even, of Mr. Westbury were trifles, when compared with such beautiful ornaments, except as they were the medium through which the latter were to be obtained.

A ten-minutes conversation with her ci-devant lover was all her art could accomplish during the evening at Mrs. T——'s, until she secured his arm on going out. In the entry they were detained by the crowd at the door, and looking round, they saw Mrs. Westbury, together with Mr. and Mrs. Eveleth, examining a bust of Gen. Lafayette, which stood on a pedestal, near the foot of the staircase. With a smile on her beautiful features, which very slightly softened a compound expression of scorn and malignity, Miss Eldon said—

“Really, Mrs. Westbury has made a conquest! Mr. Eveleth is devoted in his attentions, and enthusiastic in his encomiums! Do you not begin to be jealous?”

“Not in the least,” Mr. Westbury replied. “The attentions and approbation of such a man as Mr. Eveleth are an honor to any lady; and Mrs. Westbury's rigid sense of virtue and propriety will prevent her ever receiving improper attentions, should any one be disposed to offer them. She has too much delicacy and refinement to court the attentions even of her own husband, much less those of the husband of another!”

Miss Eldon was stung with mortification, and dropping her head, that her face might be concealed by her hood, she said, in a voice tremulous from conflicting passions—

“How little did I ever expect to hear Frederic Westbury speak to me in a severe tone!”

“Severe! Maria—Miss Eldon? Does common justice to Mrs. Westbury sound harshly in your ear?”

“Certainly not—but your tone—your manner are not [p. 423] what they were, and I had hoped that no circumstances, no new engagements, would prevent your retaining a kindly feeling towards one whom—” she hesitated—“One whom I once loved,” said Mr. Westbury, finishing the sentence for her. “Yes, you well know that I once loved you.”

“Once?” interrupted Miss Eldon. “But this is man's fidelity!”

“Miss Eldon, you astonish me,” said Mr. Westbury. “I am married; my wife commands my respect—nay, my admiration; and duty, honor, every thing commands that all former ties, however tender, should be broken. Our happiness, our respectability demands that henceforth we be only common acquaintance.”

“Be it so—farewell!” said Miss Eldon, with irrepressible bitterness of expression, and snatching her hand from beneath his arm, she sprang forward and took that of her brother, who had just issued from the parlor.

“Is that—can that be Maria Eldon?” thought Mr. Westbury—“the amiable! the feeling! the refined Maria! Where has my love, my admiration, my passion for her gone? or rather, by what blindness were they at first excited? Does she wish to retain—nay, does she claim the heart of the husband of another? What perversion of principle is here!”

The crowd at the door was by this time nearly dispersed, and Mr. Westbury, advancing to the trio that still remained near the bust, drew his wife's arm within his, and bidding Mr. and Mrs. Eveleth “good night,” led her to their carriage.

“How have you enjoyed yourself this evening?” Mr. Westbury inquired, as soon as the carriage-door was closed, and the coachman had mounted his box.

“Quite as well as I ever do scenes of similar character,” Julia answered.

“Do you not then relish society?”

“Not very well in such large masses,” said Julia. “To my apprehension, very large parties counteract the purpose for which social feelings were implanted within us.”

“Then you disapprove, as well as disrelish, them?” said Mr. Westbury.

“I fear they are not quite innocent,” said Julia. “So far as my observation has extended, they have little tendency to increase benevolence, or any of the finer feelings of the heart. I have often feared, that vanity and thirst for admiration, were the causes that draw together one half of the crowd; and a vulgar love of luxuries the other.”

“Those causes surely do not influence all those who attend large assemblies,” said Mr. Westbury. “Such persons as Mr. and Mrs. Eveleth, for instance, are entirely above them.”

“Undoubtedly,” said Julia. “Still I believe the rule as general as any other.”

“Does not the elegant and instructive conversation of such a man as Mr. Eveleth reconcile you to the crowd?” Mr. Westbury inquired.

“Certainly not,” said Julia. “How much more highly such conversation would be enjoyed—how much greater benefit derived from it, in a small circle. Artificial delicacy and refinement—artificial feeling—artificial good-nature—artificial friendship, are the usual compound that make up large companies. Had Mr. and Mrs. Eveleth spent this evening with us, in our quiet parlor, how much greater would have been the enjoyment! how much more profitably the time might have been occupied!”

“It might,” said Mr. Westbury. “Mr. Eveleth has great colloquial powers. His conversation is at once brilliant and instructive. I know no gentleman who equals him in this particular.”

“I cannot say quite as much as that,” said Julia, “though he certainly converses uncommonly well.”

“Who can you name that is his equal?” asked Mr. Westbury.

Julia hesitated a little, and blushed a great deal, though her blushes were unseen, as she said—“In conversational powers, I think my present companion is very rarely, if ever excelled. And why,” she added, “such gentlemen should mingle in crowds, where their talents are in a great measure lost, instead of meeting in select circles, where they could find congenial minds—minds, at least, in some degree capable of appreciating them, I cannot conceive. But I suppose my ideas of rational enjoyment, of elegant society are very singular.” She stopped short, fearing she was saying too much, but Mr. Westbury requested her to proceed. After a minute's hesitation she said—

“I think the crowded drawing room should be abandoned to those who are capable of no higher enjoyment than gossip, nonsense, flirtation, and eating oysters, confections and creams; and that people of talent, education, principle, and refinement, should associate freely in small circles, and with little ceremony. In such kind of intercourse, new friendships would be formed and old ones cemented, the mind and heart would be improved, and the demons of envy and detraction excluded. After an evening spent in such a circle, the monitor within would be at peace, and the blessing and protection of Heaven could be sought, without a feeling of shame, and self-condemnation.”

“Then your conscience is really at war with large parties?” said Mr. Westbury.

“I cannot deny that it is,” Julia answered. “Impelled by circumstances, I have striven to think they might sometimes be innocently attended, and perhaps they may; but I confess that the reproaches of my own conscience are more and more severe, every time I repeat the indulgence. Whatever they be to others, I am constrained to believe they are not innocent for me.”

Mr. Westbury made no reply, for at that moment the carriage stopped at their own door, and the subject was not again resumed.

Every party was sure to procure for Mrs. Westbury the favor of a call from Mrs. Cunningham. On the following morning, at as early an hour as etiquette would allow, she made her appearance.

“I could not stay away this morning,” she said, the moment she entered. “I am so vexed, and so hurt, that I must have the sympathy of some friendly heart; and you are a friend to every one, especially when in trouble.”

“What troubles you, Mrs. Cunningham?” Mrs. Westbury inquired.

“You recollect,” said Mrs. Cunningham, “what I said to you last night about Mr. Cunningham's indisposition. Well, as soon as I got home, I ran up stairs, of course, you know, to see how he was, expecting to [p. 424] find him abed and asleep. Judge how I felt, when I found my bed as I left it, and no husband in the chamber. I flew down stairs, and searched every room for him, but in vain. I then rang for Peggy, and asked ‘if she knew where Mr. Cunningham was.’ ‘La, ma'am,’ said she, ‘I'm sure I don't know. He went out just after you did. He called me to give charge about the fires, and said he was going out. I thought he had altered his mind and was going to Mrs. T——'s.’ I dismissed the girl, and went to my chamber, in an agony, as you may suppose. I declare I hardly know what I did or thought for three long hours—for it was so long before Mr. Cunningham came home! I don't know what I said to him when he came, but he was not the kind, affectionate creature, that he ever has been, for he almost harshly told me ‘to cease my upbraidings’—upbraidings! think what a word—‘for if I sought pleasure where I liked, I must not quarrel with him for doing the same!’ My dear Mrs. Westbury, I could not make him tell me where he had been, do all I could—and I have horrible surmises. What shall I do? I am sick at heart, and almost distracted.”

“Will you follow my advice, my dear Mrs. Cunningham?” said Mrs. Westbury, who truly pitied her distress, much as she blamed her.

“O, yes—I will do any thing to feel happier than I now do. Really my heart is broken,” and she burst into a passion of tears.

Mrs. Westbury attempted to soothe her, and then said—

“Forgive me, if I wound, when I would only heal. You have been a little imprudent, and must retrace your steps by conforming to the taste of your husband. He does not like crowds, and you must in part relinquish them for his sake.”

“And is not that hard?” said Mrs. Cunningham. “Why should he not conform to my taste, as well as I to his? Why must men always have their own way?”

“That point it is not worth while to discuss,” said Mrs. Westbury. “Your happiness, my friend, is at stake. Can you hesitate an instant which to relinquish, those pleasures, which, after all, are so unsatisfying, or the approbation, the happiness, perhaps the heart, even, of your husband?”

“But why,” persisted Mrs. Cunningham, “need he be so obstinate? You see he could go out and stay till two in the morning! It seems as if he did it on purpose to torment me,” and she again burst into tears.

“I have not the least doubt,” said Mrs. Westbury, “that would you yield to Mr. Cunningham's wishes—would you let him see that you care more about pleasing him than yourself, he would cheerfully, and frequently perhaps, accommodate himself to your taste. Few men will bear being driven, and they would be objects of our contempt if they would, for authority is divinely delegated to them; but there are very few who have not generosity enough to take pleasure in gratifying the wife, who evidently strives to meet his wishes, and is willing to sacrifice her own pleasures, that she may promote his happiness.”

“But I can't see,” said Mrs. Cunningham, “why my happiness is not of as much consequence as my husband's. I can't see, why all sacrifice should be on my side!”

“Do you not perceive,” said Mrs. Westbury, “that the sacrifices you make, are made to secure your happiness, and not to destroy it?

“I don't know,” said Mrs. Cunningham. “I can't bear to have Ned think to manage me as he would a little child, and then punish me, as he did last night, if I don't do just as he says. I don't think it fair! And I don't know as it would be of any avail, should I follow your advice. Some men will be ugly, do what you will! And why should you understand managing the men better than I do? You are two or three years younger!”

“I never studied how to manage them,” said Mrs. Westbury; “but I have thought a good deal on the best way of securing domestic happiness; and reason, observation, and the word of God teach me, that would the wife be happy and beloved, she must ‘be in subjection to her own husband.’ He may not always be reasonable, but she cannot ‘usurp authority,’ without at once warring against Heaven, and her own peace, and respectability. Think of it, my dear Mrs. Cunningham, ruminate upon it, and in your decision be careful not to let will influence you to sacrifice a greater good for a less. It is not degrading for a wife to submit to her husband. On the contrary, she never appears more lovely than when cheerfully and gracefully yielding up her own wishes, that she may comply with his. Women were not made to rule; and in my view, the wife who attempts to govern, and the husband who submits to be governed, are equally contemptible.”

“What an admirable wife you would be for a tyrant!” exclaimed Mrs. Cunningham. “I never heard the doctrine of passive obedience more strenuously inculcated. Indeed, you would make a tyrant of any man!”

“If any thing would disarm the tyrant,” said Mrs. Westbury, “I think this passive obedience would do it, if at the same time, it were a cheerful obedience. But happily, you have no tyrant to disarm. Your husband, I am satisfied, would be easily pleased. Try, my friend, for a little while, to yield to him, and see if you do not meet a rich reward.”

“Well, I will think of it,” said Mrs. Cunningham, “and perhaps shall do as you advise; for really I am very wretched now. O, dear, I do wish the men were not so obstinate! so overbearing! so selfish!”

For some time things went on very calmly with Julia. Though there was nothing tender, or even affectionate in the manner of her husband, there was a gradual alteration, sufficient to keep hope alive, and stimulate her to exertion. He spent more and more of his leisure time at home, and was at least becoming reconciled to her society. Julia's system of visiting had been partially adopted, and Mr. Westbury enjoyed it highly. Mr. and Mrs. Eveleth, and a few other friends of congenial minds, had been invited to drop in occasionally without ceremony; the invitation had been complied with, and Mr. Westbury and Julia had returned a few visits of this kind. Thus many evenings had been pleasantly, and profitably spent. Another great comfort to Julia, was, that her husband had cheerfully permitted her to decline several invitations to attend large parties, and had sometimes remained at home with her himself, and even when he had thought best, on his own part, to accept the invitation, he had been absent but a short [p. 425] time, and had then returned to pass the remainder of the evening with his wife.

But after awhile, this faint gleam of sunshine began to fade away. A cloud of care seemed settling on Mr. Westbury's brow, he passed less and less time at home, till at length Julia scarcely saw him, except at mealtimes. “What is the matter?” thought Julia. “Am I the cause? is Miss Eldon? or is it some perplexity in his affairs?” She longed to inquire. If she had displeased him, she wished to correct whatever had given displeasure. If his sadness was in any way connected with Miss Eldon, of course she could in no way interfere; but if it originated in any cause foreign to either, she ardently desired to offer her sympathy, and share his sorrows. Day after day passed, without producing any favorable change, and Julia's feelings were wrought up to agony. She resolved, at all hazards, to inquire into the cause of his depression.

He came in late one evening, and taking a seat near the table, beside which Julia was sitting, leaned his head on his hand. Half an hour passed without a word being uttered. “Now is my time,” thought Julia. “Yet how can I do it? What can I say? A favored wife would seat herself on his knee, entwine his neck with her arms, and penetrate his very heart—but I, alas, should only disgust by such freedom?” She drew a sigh, and summoning all her courage, said, in a timid voice—

“I fear I have unwittingly offended you.”

Mr. Westbury looked up in some surprise, and assured her “that she had not.”

“You have absented yourself from home so much of late,” said Julia, “that I feared your own fireside was becoming less agreeable to you than ever.”

“Business of importance,” said Mr. Westbury, “has of late demanded all my time, and to-morrow I must start for New York.”

“For New York!” said Julia. “To be absent how long?”

“That,” said Mr. Westbury, “must depend on circumstances. I may be absent some time.”

“May I not hope to hear from you occasionally?” Julia assumed courage to ask.

“Yes—I will certainly write, from time to time.”

“He does not ask me to write,” thought Julia, with a sigh. “He is quite indifferent how she fares whom he calls his wife!”

The following morning witnessed the departure of Mr. Westbury, and Julia was left to painful conjecture as to the cause of his dejection. Three weeks passed away, in each of which she received a letter from him, comporting exactly with his manner toward her—friendly and respectful, but neither tender nor confiding.

At the close of that period Julia was one day alarmed by the unceremonious entrance of a sheriff's officer. He was the bearer of a writ of attachment, with orders to seize all the furniture.

“At whose suit do you come?” Julia asked the officer.

“At Mr. Eldon's, madam. He holds a note of some thousands against Mr. Westbury, and thinks no time is to be lost in making it secure. You have jewels of value, madam, which I was ordered to include in the attachment.”

“Will you allow me a few minutes for reflection?” said Julia, whose faculties seemed benumbed by the suddenness of the blow.

“Certainly, madam, certainly—any accommodation in my power I shall be happy to grant.”

“What can I do? what ought I to do?” thought Julia. “O, that Mr. Westbury were at home! Mr. Eveleth—yes—I will send for him; he can advise me, if the officer will only wait.”

“Will you suspend your operations for half an hour, sir,” asked Julia, “that I may send for a friend to advise and assist me?”

“Why, my time is very precious, madam, and my orders to attach were peremptory; nevertheless, half an hour will make no great difference, so to oblige you, I will wait.”

The pale and trembling Julia instantly despatched a servant for Mr. Eveleth, and in twenty minutes that gentleman arrived. He was instantly made acquainted with the business in hand, and without hesitation receipted for the furniture, and dismissed the officer. Julia felt relieved of an enormous burden, when the officer left the house—though in her trepidation she scarcely comprehended how he was induced to go, and leave every thing as it was. As soon as she was sufficiently composed and collected to take a pen, she wrote to her husband, giving an account of all that had transpired. Her letter despatched, she had nothing to do but wait in torturing suspense, till she should either see or hear from him. On the third evening, as she was sitting with her eyes resting on the carpet, alternately thinking of her husband, and of her own embarrassing situation, and at times raising her heart to heaven for strength and direction—as she was thus sitting, in deep and melancholy musing, Mr. Westbury entered the apartment. Quick as thought she sprang towards him, exclaiming—

“O, my dear husband, how glad I am that you are come! But what is the matter?” she cried, as he sank into a chair—“you are very ill!”

“I find that I am,” said Mr. Westbury. “My strength has just sufficed to fetch me home.”

Julia took his hand, and found it was burning with fever, and instantly despatching a servant for a physician, she assisted her husband to his chamber. The medical gentleman soon arrived, and pronounced Mr. Westbury in a confirmed fever. For twenty days, Julia was in an agony of suspense. With intense anxiety she watched every symptom, and administered every medicine with her own hand, lest some mistake should be made. It was in vain that the physician entreated her to take some care of herself; she could do nothing, think of nothing, but that which related to her husband. When nature was completely exhausted, she would take an hour's troubled repose, and then be again at her post. On every account, the thought of his death was terrible. “To be lost to me,” thought she, “is unutterably dreadful—but, O, it is a trifle when compared to being lost to himself! He is not fit for heaven. He has never sought the intercession of the great Advocate, through whom alone we can enter on eternal life.” How fervently did she pray that his life might be prolonged! that he might come forth from his affliction like ‘gold seven times refined!’

Mr. Westbury was exceedingly reduced, but there had been no symptom of delirium, though weakness [p. 426] and pain compelled him to remain almost constantly silent. Occasionally, however, he expressed his gratitude to Julia for her unremitted attentions; begged her, for his sake, to take all possible care of her own health, for if her strength should fail, such another nurse—so tender—so vigilant—could not be found. Julia entreated him to take no thought for her, as she doubted not that her heavenly Father would give her strength for the discharge of every duty. Sometimes, when he was uttering a few words of commendation, she panted to say—“Aimez moi, au lieu de me louer;” but with a sigh she would bury the thought at the bottom of her heart, and proceed in the discharge of her duties. Oftentimes she would kneel for an hour together, at his bedside, when he appeared to be sleeping, with his hand clasped in hers, dividing the time between counting his fluttering pulse, and raising her heart to heaven in his behalf.

But Julia's constitution was unequal to the task she had undertaken. Protracted fatigue and anxiety did their work, and on the day that her husband was pronounced convalescent, she was conveyed to a bed of sickness. Unlike Mr. Westbury, she was in a constant state of delirium, induced by mental anxiety, and unremitting watching. Most touchingly would she beg to go to her husband, as he was dying for want of her care. It was in vain that she was told he was better—was rapidly recovering; the impression was gone in an instant, and her mind reverted to his danger. Her physician was anxious that Mr. Westbury should visit her chamber, as soon as he could do so with safety, hoping that the sight of him might change the current of her thoughts, and remove that anxiety that greatly heightened her fever. At the end of ten days he was able to be supported to her chamber, and advancing to the bedside, he said—

“My dear Julia, I am able to come and see you.”

“Thank heaven,” said Julia, clasping her hands—and then raising her eyes, she added—“Heavenly Father, I thank thee! But how sick you look,” she continued; “O, pray go to bed, and I will come and nurse you. I shall very soon be rested, and then they will let me come.”

“I will sit by, and watch and nurse you now, Julia,” said Mr. Westbury—“so try to go to sleep—it will do you good.”

“You called me Julia,” said she, smiling; “O, how sweetly that sounded! But I will mind you, and try to sleep, for my head feels strangely.”

She closed her eyes, and Mr. Westbury sat at the head of the bed, watching her with intense interest. Presently her lips moved, and he leaned forward to hear what she was saying.

“O, should he die,” she murmured in the softest tone—“O, should he die without ever loving me!—die, without knowing how much—how fondly I loved him! And, O,” she added, in a whisper, while an expression of deep solemnity settled on her features—“O, should he die without ever loving the blessed Saviour!—that would be the most dreadful of all!”

Presently a noise in the street disturbed her, and she opened her eyes. She did not see her husband, as she had turned her face a little on the other side, and calling the nurse, she said—

“Do beg them to make less noise; they will kill my dear husband—I know just how it makes his poor head feel,” and she clasped her own with her hands.

Mr. Westbury's feelings were much moved, and his debility was such he could with difficulty restrain them. He found he must return to his own chamber, and taking his wife's hand, he said—

“I hope to be able to come and see you now, every day, my dear Julia.”

“O, do,” she said—“and always call me Julia, will you?—it sounds so kindly!”

Scenes similar to this were constantly recurring for the next ten days. Mr. Westbury continued to gain strength, though his recovery was somewhat retarded by his visits to Julia's chamber, while she was gradually sinking under the violence of her disease. The hopes, however, which her physician gave of her recovery, were not delusive. Within three weeks of the time of her seizure, a crisis took place, and the next day she was pronounced out of danger.

Soon after this, Mr. Westbury was able to attend a little to business, but all the time he was in the house, was spent in Julia's chamber. One day, after she had so far recovered her strength as to be able to sit up for an hour or two at a time, he chanced to be left alone with her.

“My dear Julia,” said he, as he took her emaciated hand, and folded it between his own—“I can never express my gratitude to you for your kind attentions to an unworthy husband; nor my thankfulness to heaven that your precious life did not fall a sacrifice to your efforts to save mine. I hope to prove by my future conduct, that I have learned to appreciate your value.”

He spoke in the softest tones of love, while his eyes were humid with tears.

“Do you, then, love me?” said Julia.

“Love you!—yes, most tenderly—with my whole heart,” said Westbury; “more than any thing—more than every thing else on earth!”

Julia leaned her head on his shoulder, and burst into tears.

“Why do you weep, Julia?” said Westbury.

“O, I am so happy!” said Julia. “There wants but one thing to make my cup of blessedness quite full.”

“And what is that, dearest?”

“That you should give your first—your best affections where alone they are deserved—to your Creator.”

“I trust, my dear wife,” said Mr. Westbury, with deep feeling, “I trust that your precious intercessions for me at the throne of mercy, have been answered. My bed of sickness was a bed of reflection, of retrospection, of remorse, and, I hope, of true penitence. I feel as if in a new world; ‘old things have passed away, and all things have become new.’”

Julia clasped her hands together, leaned her face upon them, and for a long time remained perfectly silent. At length she raised her head, and said—

“Your fortune, I suppose, is gone—but what of that? It was a trifle—a toy—compared with the blessings now bestowed. A cottage—any place will be a paradise to me, possessing the heart of my husband, and he a believer!”

“My dear Julia,” said Westbury, “my fortune is unimpaired. I was in danger of sustaining great loss, through the embarrassments of my banker in New York, but all is now happily adjusted. The difficulty [p. 427] here, was the result of malice. Eldon was embittered against me, I doubt not, through the influence of his sister—of whom it is unnecessary to speak to you. He heard of my difficulties, and knowing that he should be perfectly safe, purchased that note against me, that he might avenge her, by increasing my embarrassments. I have been recently informed that that unhappy girl looked on your pearls with peculiar malignity. Her feelings were too bitter, and too strong for concealment. Poor girl—I fear that she and her brother are kindred in heart, as well as blood. I now look with something like terror, at the gulph into which I wished to plunge myself, and from which my dear father alone saved me. I can never be sufficiently thankful, for being turned, almost by force, from my rash and headstrong course; and for having a wife bestowed on me, rich in every mental and moral excellence—who loves me for myself, undeserving as I am, and not for my wealth.”

It was now June; and as soon as Julia's strength was equal to the fatigue, Mr. Westbury took her into the country for change of air. They were absent from the city some months, and made, in the course of the summer, several delightful excursions in various parts of the country. A few days after their return to their house in town, Julia asked Mr. Westbury “if he had seen or heard any thing of the Cunninghams.”

“I have seen neither of them,” said Mr. Westbury, “but hear sad accounts of both. Mrs. Cunningham is now with a party at Nahant. She has been extremely gay, perhaps I might say dissipated, during the whole season, and her reputation is in some danger. Cunningham has become an inveterate gamester, and I am told that his face shows but too plainly, that temperance is not among his virtues.”

“Poor creatures,” said Julia, “how I pity them for their folly—their madness!”

“I pity him most sincerely,” said Mr. Westbury, “in being united to a woman who selfishly preferred her own pleasure to her husband's happiness. Her I have not yet learned to pity. She richly deserves all she may suffer. Had she taken your advice, Julia—for most touchingly did I hear you warn her!—she might now have been happy, and her husband respectable. Now, they are both lost!—O, that every woman would learn where her true strength—her true happiness lies!—O, that she would learn, that to yield is to conquer! to submit, is to subdue! None but the utterly ignoble and abandoned, could long resist the genial influence of a cheerful, meek, patient, self-denying wife; nay—instances are not wanting, in which the most profligate have been reclaimed through the instrumentality of a consistently amiable and virtuous woman! If the whole sex, my dear Julia, would imbibe your spirit, and follow your example, the effect would soon be manifest. Men would be very different creatures from what they now are, and few wives would have occasion to complain of unkind and obstinate husbands. A vast deal is said of the influence of women on society, and they, themselves, exult in their power; but how seldom, comparatively, do they use it, to benefit themselves, or the world! Let it be a woman's first desire to make her husband good, and happy, and respectable—and seldom will she fail of attaining her object, and at the same time, of securing her own felicity!”


A solitary wild swan may be seen on Loch Oich. It has sailed there for twenty or thirty years, in summer and winter. It had a mate, but about twenty years ago the master of a trading vessel (more wantonly barbarous than the Duke of Cumberland when he burned the old castle of Inverrgarry,) shot the bird. The Glengary swan, however, kept its solitary range. Last winter three other swans lighted on the lake; they remained a month or two, and it was thought the recluse would depart with them, but it had apparently no desire to change its wonted station. As swans have been known to live upwards of a century, we hope this faithful bird will escape accident and cruelty, and live through two or three generations more, to grace the shores of Loch Oich.
Inverness Courier.            

Beautiful bird of the Scottish lake,
With plumage pure as the light snow-flake,
With neck of pride and a wing of grace,
And lofty air as of royal race—
Beautiful bird, may you long abide
And grace Loch Oich in your lonely pride.

Bright was the breast of the “loch,” I ween,
Its crystal wave and its sapphire sheen;
And bright its border of shrub and tree,
And thistle-bloom in its fragrancy—
When to thy side thy fair mate prest,
Or skimm'd the lake with her tintless breast.

But she is not! and still, to thee,
Are the sunny wave and the shadowing tree,
The mossy brink and the thistle flower,
Dear, as to thee in that blessed hour!
What is the spell o'er thy pinion thrown
That binds thee here, fair bird, alone?

Does the vision bright of thy peerless bride
Still skim the lake and press thy side?
And haunt the nook in the fir-tree's shade?
And press the moss in the sunny glade?
And has earth nothing, to thee, so fair,
As the gentle spirit that lingers there?

Oh, 'tis a wondrous, wizard spell!
The human bosom its force can tell;
The heart forsaken hath felt, like thine,
The mystic web with its fibres twine,
Constraining still in the scenes to stay,
Where all it treasured had passed away.

Bird of Loch Oich, 'tis well! 'tis well!
You yield your wing to the viewless spell;
Oh, who would seek, with a stranger eye,
For blooming shores and a brilliant sky
And range the earth for the hopeless art,
To find a home for a broken heart?

Oh, I would linger, though all alone,
Where hallowed love its light has thrown,
And hearth and streamlet and tree and flower,
Are link'd in thought with a blessed hour;
Home of my heart, those scenes should be
As thy own Loch Oich, fair bird to thee.


Otto Venius, the designer of “Le Theatre moral de la Vie Humaine,” illustrates Horace's “Raro antecedentem scelestum deseruit pede pœna claudo,” by sketching Punishment with a wooden leg.

[p. 428]


NO. I.


When I was at Nantucket last summer, trying the virtue of sea-bathing and sea-breezes, for a wearisome chronic disease, I used to resort to every imaginable form of innocent recreation, as a relief to the pain and ennui occasioned by my bodily indisposition. One day, as I was sitting on one of the rocks which project into the sea, observing the multitude of fishing craft that were plying about the island, my attention was arrested by the very remarkable appearance of the commander of a large whale ship. His figure was not strikingly tall or robust; but there were an energy and determination in his look, that seemed to turn his every sinew into iron; while, upon a closer observation, one might read in his upright and noble countenance, a soul of high moral bearing, and a mind unruffled by the passing vexations of life. Such a person always awakens interest, however transiently we may pass him; and although we may not stop, at the time, to define our sentiments, we are struck with something like veneration and awe, when we behold in the midst of hardship, toil, and danger, the tranquillity which marks a mind superior to the accidents of life. But this was not all. One acquainted with human nature, might see under this stern exterior, the generous nature, which would scorn to trample on the weak, or pass by the suffering. I was irresistibly drawn to make some acquaintance with this mariner, but found some difficulty in framing any excuse to accost one of appearance and accent so foreign. Accident soon accomplished the introduction, for which I had taxed my ingenuity in vain. In attempting to descend from my eminence, my decrepid limbs refused their office, and I fell headlong on a shoal of rocks, among which I was scrambling with much pain, when I felt myself raised gently, but powerfully, by a muscular arm. I turned in my distress to see by what kind hand I was assisted, when the eye of the hardy seaman met my inquiring glance. Pity and benevolence shone on his countenance, and I felt even in that moment of corporeal suffering, that the kindred tie of man—yes, of friendship, united us. His first words struck me as being of foreign accent, but his language was that of sympathy, which is read by all nations, and now flowed warm from the heart. After placing me comfortably on the sand, he hastened to his boat lying near, to bring some restoratives in which sailors have much faith. I was soon relieved by his attentions, and desiring to make some return for his kindness, inquired to whom I was indebted for assistance, and in what manner I could show my gratitude. To this the stranger replied, that the action itself brought sufficient reward, since he had been able to relieve a fellow creature. Our acquaintance began from this time, and I gradually drew from him a history of his past life, which had been one of trial and adventure. His narrative was given in our own language, which he spoke very intelligibly, having been long conversant with our seamen.

“In early life I lost my parents, who resided in one of the trading ports of Denmark; and with them perished my fair hopes of ease and affluence. When about nineteen years old, my independent spirit, being no longer contented to owe a scanty maintenance to my paternal relatives, I joined a whaling company, that were fitting out for a voyage in the Northern Ocean. My feelings, when I had resolved to bid farewell, probably forever, to all the scenes of my childhood, and break the ties that bound my youthful heart, to home, friends, and country, and to embark in the adventurous and toilsome life of a whaler, were melancholy enough and calculated to daunt the heart of the bravest; but the desire of independence nerved my courage, and I embarked in a whale ship manned by six men, and accompanied by three other vessels of larger size. The captain and half the hands had made the cruise before with great success, but the rest of us were raw recruits, and suffered much from the hardships of our new mode of life. We steered directly towards the northwest, intending to put in at the Shetland Islands, and wait for the breaking up of the ice at the north pole, when the whales are most abundant, following the increased flow of the tides. We hoped to encounter many of these monsters between these islands and Iceland, where the plan was to refit and spend a part of the summer in preparing our freight to take home. But how uncertain are human calculations! Our voyage was prosperous even beyond our hopes, for some time; we passed the stormy isles of Scotland in safety, and rode the blue billows of the Atlantic, looking ahead with great anxiety for the objects of our cruise. A few days only had elapsed, when some of our experienced harpooners saw tokens of one at a distance, and all hands were set to make ready. It is impossible to describe the excitement this notice produced, in minds so weary of the dullness of inaction, as ours were. The enormous animal was now manifest, from the whirlpool he had created around him. Our boats did not venture near until his frolic was over, and we saw his broad back even with the water. And now the skilful seamen with unerring aim darted the harpoon, and away launched and roared the whale, making the ocean heave with his throes; but our darts were in him, and after he had tried our cable's length several times, he was exhausted and became an easy conquest. This seemed a glorious achievement to me. I was so completely enraptured with the bold and perilous excitement, that I lost all the tender recollections of home, and desired only to be a renowned whaler. Our successes continued, and we mastered several whales, before we were warned that we were coming upon the region of ice. This was indicated by a hoarse crashing sound and a wide heaving of the sea, as if some body of tremendous dimensions had been thrown into it. Our commander feared we had delayed too long, and gave orders to make speedy sail for our destined port. For some time we made good headway, and all hearts were cheered, when, on the utmost verge of the horizon, we discerned the faint outline of land, which we hoped would prove to be the coast of Iceland, for which we now steered with all our press of sail. But just at this time, while we were making observation in the direction of our course, a moving mountain hove in view; at first like a cloud resting on the water, but soon the wary eye of the fisherman saw it fraught with danger, and with dread. An iceberg! an iceberg! and the panic ran through all the ranks, for our course was right in the track of the [p. 429] horrific apparition. To recede was impossible, as the wind would be against us; our utmost exertions were strained to clear the passage in time, for before it heaved a mountain of waters, and behind it yawned a devouring gulph. The three hours of intense interest and uncertainty which passed, seemed like one moment drawn out to eternity. But we did clear its track so as to receive only a slight shock. As soon as the danger was over a reaction followed, almost too great for human nature; our nerves from being strained to their utmost tension, were suddenly relaxed to the weakness of infancy; our first desires were for stimulants which threw us into wild excitement; and our ships exhibited one scene of revelry and recklessness. In this situation we rushed unconsciously on a reef of rocks from which escape seemed impossible. We were already in pitchy darkness, driving among the breakers, which we heard with still greater force roaring ahead. It evidently appeared that we had forsaken our passage, and were on an unknown coast where shipwreck and death awaited us. This was the situation of our ship; we could not hear a sound from the other vessels amidst the roar of waters, but we supposed that they also were beating on rocks from which it was impossible to move them. Daylight only was necessary to confirm our despair, and its first rays shone on a scene of horror too great for utterance. We beheld our ship just in the jaws of destruction, while the other three had cleared a passage, and were free of the rocks, but dared not come within the force of the breakers. In vain we held out the signal of distress; in vain they lowered their boats and attempted to stem the whirlpool. Instant destruction would have been their fate. I saw my companions clinging to the broken masts and spars; but I made no effort: I sunk under the impending weight of that power whose bounty and mercy I had forgotten or despised in my days of prosperity, and whose incensed justice and vengeance I was now to feel.

“In this state of mind, I rose up and looked calmly upon the raging deep, feeling that the ‘sweat of its great agony’ was tranquillity to the vortex that awaited me. One after another of the men were carried off, as the ship split to pieces, but I remained, with two others, on a part of the bows, which seemed rivetted to the rock. I thought a few hours at most must terminate our existence, as the waves were gaining upon our remaining planks. My fellow sufferers clung to life with the tenacity of drowning men; they ascended our quivering mast, to see if any human habitations were discernible on this unknown coast, but nothing was visible but a girdle of steep rocks. While they were straining their vision, and in the wildness of desperation piercing the loud clamor of the waters with their shrieks, three little specks appeared in the direction of the shore; they gradually came nearer, until we perceived they were fishing-boats, each guided by two men. My companions besought me to unite with them in making every possible signal of distress. Our signals were understood, and we soon saw that their object was to rescue us, for they held out a token of recognition, and rowed fast until they came within the whirl of the tides, which obliged them to fall back and try another channel. We could distinctly see that they were baffled in every attempt and almost ready to abandon us; when one of their number, with skill nearly superhuman, darted his boat between two pointed rocks, in so narrow a passage that we expected to see it dashed to pieces every moment. But his fearless courage bore him through—the next instant he sprung on our shattered planks, drew a few hurried breaths, and then informed us, in the dialect of our own land, that they had seen our signals while out fishing, and had come to our relief; but at the same time told us of the danger we must run of being dashed to pieces, in attempting to steer through the breakers. ‘But,’ said he, ‘we will trust in God and do our best; keep up a good heart, I will lash you firmly to the boat, and if you will put your hope in the Almighty Deliverer in time of peril, I will try to save you.’ He then looked fixedly in our faces to see whether we agreed to the conditions; my companions without hesitation answered, that they would venture; death was inevitable if they remained. But I, though fearing death most of all, could not resolve to feign, what I did not feel, trust and hope in God; on the contrary, I felt that his every attribute was justly arrayed against me. In anguish, I exclaimed, ‘leave me to perish, God is my enemy—I shall sink from this gulph into a lower.’ ‘Sinful dying man,’ he said, ‘would you set bounds to the mercy of the Lord? Cry, rather, Lord, save me or I perish, for now is the accepted time, this is the day of salvation.’ I caught the inspiration that glowed on his tongue—I seized his hand, saying, ‘I am ready.’ In a few moments his little boat was amidst the boiling surge, sometimes lost in the tumultuous waves, but the mariner grasped the helm with a firm hand, and shot through the jagged rocks with the rapidity of lightning. Our deliverance was hailed by the other boats with a shout of joy, which was returned by us with all our remaining strength. Our kind deliverers perceiving our bodies and spirits exhausted by the combined suffering of fear, cold, and hunger, cheered us with the warmest expressions of sympathy, and the hope of speedily enjoying all the comforts of their hospitable homes. They steered their boats into a little sheltered bay surrounded by overhanging hills. As we approached the shore, they informed us that it was the coast of their own dear Iceland, whose snow-capt mountains and green valleys, they would not exchange for any other spot in creation.

“As I breathed its pure atmosphere, and pressed the young verdure which was just appearing from beneath the mantle of snow, which had shrouded it for many long months, I felt as if I were treading the unsullied shores of a better world. Our good fisherman conducted our failing footsteps over the wild and slippery rocks into a beautiful valley. The frosts which had locked up nature during the long winter, had yielded to the influence of the returning sun, which sent the rejoicing current through the veins of every living thing. The stunted trees put on their garniture of green in token of joy, the lichens and mosses brightened in the genial ray, and all blended in a smile of love and gratitude. We reached the cottage of the fisherman, sheltered by overhanging rocks on one side, from the icy winds; and were welcomed by its inmates with the looks and offices of kindness. They consisted of a mother and three children. The countenance of the former, notwithstanding the national peculiarity of features, was pleasing, expressing both intelligence and benevolence. [p. 430] The oldest of her offspring was a girl of extremely prepossessing appearance. You would not, perhaps, in your country, call her beautiful, for she had not the slender figure and the delicate features which you associate with the idea of female loveliness; but the laughing blue eye lighted up with its beam, a face which seemed the mirror of her heart; her cheek was now mantled with rosy smiles, now moistened with the tear of sympathy or affection. Her hair was light, scarcely tinged with the sunny glow, but it was in unison with her fair complexion, and curled slightly around a neck of transparent whiteness. Her age might be fourteen, but there was so much childish gaiety in her manner, that you would have supposed her much younger. Her brothers were manly, noble looking boys, several years younger than herself. Never shall I forget the compassionate look with which the matron placed a seat near the warm fire, while with gentle voice she chid the curiosity of her little group, saying, ‘the stranger is cold and tired, and we must do all we can to make him comfortable.’ They instantly retreated—but the two oldest hung over her shoulder, earnestly whispering in her ear. I guessed that I was the subject of their discourse, by hearing the mother reply in a low voice—‘Yes Ulea, you may run and milk Minny, and Korner, get the potatoes ready, and the fish too. By the time you return, he will be dry and warm, I hope.’ With delighted countenances, they shot out of the cottage, and the good woman busied herself in mending up the fire, and spreading a couch of soft skins, on which she invited me to rest my weary limbs. I attempted to speak my gratitude to heaven, and to her, but the words were stifled by the strength of my feelings, which gushed out in tears. She seemed to understand the nature of my emotions. Her tone was soothing and encouraging. ‘God is good,’ she said, ‘and not only saves us in perils, but provides a table in the desert. He puts it in the hearts of strangers to show kindness, and makes us feel that we are all brethren, the children of his care and bounty.’ ‘How,’ said I; ‘in this remote spot of creation, have you learned these heavenly precepts?’ ‘Our lives,’ she answered, ‘are crowned with blessings, and the greatest of all is, that of our dear missionary, who guides our erring footsteps in the way of duty, as he points our hopes to a brighter world.’ While she was speaking, Ulea returned, exclaiming, ‘Ah! mother, Minny seemed to know how much haste I was in, for she stood right still; and here is Korner too, with the fish and potatoes—let us set the dinner for the poor stranger.’ In a few moments the repast was on the table, and I had scarcely taken the seat provided, before my young hosts pressed me to eat of one and another dish, telling me that ‘this was the richest milk because Minny gave it, and these fish were taken by Korner's green rocks.’ I had scarcely finished a hearty meal, when Holstein (for that was the name of the good fisherman) came in, attended by our other deliverers and my two comrades, who having received their hospitality, came with them to consult whether any attempt could be made to save what remained on the wreck. Holstein thought it probable no vestige of the wreck itself was left. But the other fishermen said it might have drifted over the rocks, and still contain something valuable. Under this possibility we followed our conductors to the scene of destruction; but we found it as Holstein had predicted; only a scattered plank here and there marked the place of ruin. Emotions of awe and gratitude filled my soul, when I beheld the vortex from which heaven had rescued us; but my fellow sufferers evinced mortification and disappointment, when their last hope was extinguished, and they saw themselves thrown on the charity of strangers, even for a change of raiment. This was particularly observable in the manner of Osman, a young adventurer, who had joined our expedition from a romantic turn for novelty and excitement. He was a singular compound of opposite qualities; sometimes exhibiting the hardihood and bold daring of his father, who was a Dane, then all the impassioned sentiment joined with the frivolity of an Italian, which he was on his mother's side. Since there remained nothing more to feed this adventurous excitement, his mind seemed to dwell on the loss he had sustained, particularly that of his wardrobe and musical instruments. Notwithstanding the occasion, which was fit to call forth only feelings of a solemn nature, I could not help being interested for him, when I heard him bewailing the loss of these resources of dress and music.

“His person was very striking, calculated to engage the attention of a stranger. A tall and graceful figure was united to a face of perfect symmetry, over which the light of full dark hazel eyes shone in alternate fire and softness. Until this time I had only observed him under passions of another kind, and was astonished at the pathetic strains in which he mourned over the extinction of his prospects. The fishermen endeavored in their sincere but homely language to comfort him, proffering the only help in their power—a share in their fishing spoils and a passage to Denmark, when another whaling expedition should visit the island. His youth and apparent sensibility interested us all in his favor, and induced us to do all in our power to promote his happiness.

“It was concluded that we should each remain with our hosts, and assist in such labor as we were able to do, in making preparations for a fishing cruise. I became more and more attached to the dear members of Holstein's family. Their daily avocations were simple and homely, but their minds were pure and elevated, deriving their highest enjoyments from the contemplation of a better world.

“Ulea engaged much of my interest. She was at that most pleasing of all ages, when we see the simplicity of childhood blended with the thoughts and reflections of a riper age; when the heedless word is followed by the conscious blush, and we love while we rebuke the tongue that speaks all the heart feels.

“Time glided pleasantly away, even in Iceland. We spent the evenings and inclement days in cheerful recreation, or in reading; which is a great, and almost universal resource among these Icelanders: it is thus they pass their long wintry nights—one ‘making vocal the poetic, or historic page.’

“Osman became our constant and welcome visitor. He constructed an instrument, on which he made very sweet music; and frequently sung the sentimental airs of his country. This, joined to his talent for wild and impassioned recitation, charmed the listening ear of all, but it vibrated to the heart of Ulea. Her delight did not show itself like her brother's in noisy ecstacy, but [p. 431] her eyes filled with tears, and her heart throbbed with silent emotion. ‘Mother,’ she would say, ‘Osman's singing reminds me of what I have heard about the harps of the angels.’ ‘It is pretty, my child, but I had rather hear the fisherman's welcome home.’ ‘That, mother, is because our father sings it. But when Osman sings I think of a happier world than this.’ ‘You are mistaken, my dear, if you think Osman's songs have any thing good in them. I have listened to them, and I think they are only calculated to make people discontented with what God has allotted them, and to fill the mind with foolish fancies.’ ‘Ah! mother, how can you wonder that his songs are melancholy, when he is far away from all that he loves, and that he has nothing to console him for the beautiful world he has left! You know he loves to climb our steep rocks, to see the sun go down behind Hecla. I did not know how grand our volcano could look, until he pointed to it, as the sun's last beams rested on its snowy scalp. Then he told me of Italy his country, where the mountains are crowned with snow, while flowers blow in the valleys—birds sing in the branches of trees, which bear golden fruit—the air is filled with the fragrance that breathes from the vineyards, and the bowers that never wither. Then there are temples in every grove, and the ruins of ancient cities, which people come to visit from every country. Do you wonder that he was happy in that lovely land?’ ‘No doubt, the inhabitants have much to be thankful for; but not more than we have. Would you, Ulea, be willing to exchange our own loved island for Italy, with all its charms?’ ‘No, dear mother, but I only wish Iceland was like it.’ ‘This is a vain, and I fear a sinful thought, and I shall tell Osman, when you walk with him again, to talk of something more profitable.’

“The fishermen were generally occupied in building or refitting boats for the approaching expedition, in which they were assisted by our hardy comrade, while Osman and myself were left to occupy or amuse ourselves as we chose. I remarked the gradual influence he was gaining over the unconscious heart of the young Ulea. I mourned over it, for I feared that he was incapable of a deep and lasting attachment. I saw that her family were blinded by their artless confidence, to the insidious poison that threatened to destroy their happiness. I could not bear to be the first to interrupt their peace. What should I do? I revolved in my mind the whole affair, and at last resolved that I would watch the conduct of Osman narrowly, and without being suspected, penetrate the secret of his soul. With this design I mingled more frequently in his pleasures, joined the little circle when he descanted on the scenes of his early life—beautiful Italy! whose charms were always associated with female loveliness, whose atmosphere breathed of love. This was the theme of his glowing narration, and his dark eye seemed to catch inspiration from the kindling blush of Ulea. After he had sung one or two of the most melting Italian airs, I was roused from my ruminating fit by Ulea's remarking—‘Steinkoff has grown very silent of late. Osman's songs, I believe, make him sad.’ ‘Quite otherwise,’ I replied, ‘and if he will listen, I will sing a song of the olden time myself.’ They exclaimed in one voice, ‘he will, he shall!’ ‘No need for compulsion,’ he said, ‘I will hear it with pleasure.’ Without prelude I began—

Soon as the wintry blasts were o'er,
    The maiden roamed the vale,
To hear the cheerful robin pour
    His sweet notes on the gale.

Then he, the faithless-hearted knight,
    Told of his own lov'd bowers,
Where birds sing in the chequered light
    To the bright opening flowers.

And when the light of parting day
    Gleamed on the distant hill,
She climbed the steep and rocky way,
    Or lingered by the rill.

Then he, the faithless-hearted knight,
    Sung of that region bland,
Where sunset paints with golden light,
    The skies, the sea, the land.

When down the long, long night let fall
    Her curtains o'er the earth,
And nature lay in silence, all
    Beneath the pall of death.

Then he, the faithless-hearted knight,
    Spoke of his country fair—
How the moon walks heaven in silv'ry light,
    And the breath of flowers, is the air.

And he whispered the tale of love in her ear,
    And the maiden, believing his truth,
Left the home of her childhood, but sorrow and care
    Fled with her, and faded her youth.

I kept my eye on Osman: I wished to read his conscience. As the strain proceeded, his glance met mine; he saw my suspicions. Conscious that they were well founded, his countenance fell—he bit his lip in anger, and revenge fired his blood. Far differently was the innocent heart of Ulea wrought on. ‘I could weep,’ she said ‘for the poor maiden. Who would have thought the fair spoken knight would be false? But I hope it is only a tale of the olden time, fair and false as the lover of whom it sings.’ ‘It may be so,’ I said; ‘but let it serve as a warning to young maidens, how they listen to tales of love.’ Osman left the cottage while I was speaking. I saw the dark cloud lower on his brow, and I resolved to bring him to an acknowledgment of his passion, while he was under the influence of resentment—an unguarded hour with us all. I found him walking hurriedly, and muttering the words, ‘Villain, he shall pay dearly for this insult.’ I accosted him in a calm voice. I told him that my design was not to irritate or insult him, but to warn him in time of the danger of a passion which was growing upon himself daily, while he could not be insensible to the influence he was gaining over the affections of an unsuspecting girl. ‘And how does it concern you, cold hearted wretch,’ he exclaimed, ‘that I have excited the sympathy, the love of the only amiable being on this desolate island? Know, that love scorns the interference of such meddlers. It is enough that we can trust each other, and woe be to him who gives his counsel unadvisedly.’ With these last words he raised his arm in menace. ‘Osman,’ I replied, ‘you know I am superior to your threats. Unless you openly declare your love to the parents of Ulea, I shall consider myself bound to guard her from your arts.’ ‘Beware,’ he exclaimed, ‘how you injure me with her, or this dagger drinks your blood.’ Saying this, he strode away, and I returned with a heavy heart to the cottage. Not that I was personally afraid of Osman; I never feared the arm of man: but I had a [p. 432] trying office to perform—to destroy the confidence of an amiable family, to show them that they had cherished in their bosoms a serpent, instead of a friend. It was evident that Osman wished to conceal his passion even from her who was the object of it. I determined before another interview, to endeavor to awaken her to the impropriety and danger of giving any encouragement to his attentions. The following day he did not come as usual. ‘How long the day seems,’ said Korner, ‘when Osman does not come. Ulea thinks so too, for she has not spoken a word to-day.’ ‘I have been thinking,’ replied Ulea, ‘that he looked last night as if something disturbed him. Did you observe him, Steinkoff? I hope nothing has happened.’ I said in a low tone, ‘Nothing, I believe. Suppose we walk: perhaps we may meet him.’ She sprang forward, animated with the hope; and we followed the winding path by which he generally came. I proposed that we should see which of us could first attain the top of a picturesque eminence which hung over our path, and from which there was a fine view of the neighboring cottages. She readily consented to make the trial, and arriving at the goal first, exultingly chid my loitering steps. She little knew that my real motive was to obtain a private interview with her. I began by saying, ‘Osman's gait is fleeter than mine, Ulea.’ ‘O yes,’ she said, ‘I shall never forget the charming evening we came here together;’ and a bright smile irradiated her features. ‘His society is fascinating, but it may be dangerous to you. Already he has given you a distaste to the pleasures of your childhood, and he has presented in their place the attractions of an ideal world. Beware how you lend your pure and unsuspecting ear to the seductive charms of his conversation. He has confessed to me that he loves you; that you are the only being in this island that has power to interest him.’ ‘Oh! Steinkoff, ought you not rather to pity than to blame him? He has told me, that were it not for me, he would end his miserable existence—that every one else looks coldly on him. How can I think unkindly of him? He would protect me against all harm. When I told him of my cousin Ormond, who would not go into the far Greenland seas, until my father promised him that his little pet Ulea, should be his when he returned, he only said, May that day be distant, for then you will not care for Osman. And he asked me if I should be quite happy when I should be Ormond's wife.’ ‘And what was your answer?’ I asked anxiously. ‘I did not answer at all; because I have not seen him for a long time, and he seems like a stranger to me—I wish not to think of it now.’ I could no longer repress my indignation. ‘My dear girl,’ I said, ‘trust Osman no further, he will destroy your peace, your innocence. I know him well; for present gratification he would not scruple to involve your whole family in wretchedness. I say this, because I will not see impending ruin coming on the child of my benefactor, if I can avert it.’ I saw Ulea start, while surprise and terror were painted on her countenance. I turned to ascertain the cause, and beheld Osman within a few steps of me. ‘Wretch,’ he cried, ‘have you dared to betray me? Revenge has nerved my arm, and my sword shall drink your blood, even were the form I love best between us.’ At that instant he rushed upon me; but fury blinded his sight, and his weapon missed its aim. This redoubled his wrath; he prepared for another thrust, and my superior muscular strength could not have saved me from the mortal stroke, had not Ulea in a phrenzy of despair, thrown herself between us, and received in her side the stab that was intended for me. Time can never efface the horror of that moment, when I saw her fall under the murderous stroke, and the red current pouring from her side. ‘Monster!’ I exclaimed, ‘you have verified your threat. Would to God, this were my heart's blood instead of hers!’

“I raised the lifeless girl—I pressed her to my bosom. In the agony of my soul I entreated her to speak—to say that she forgave me. But all was silent, save the ebbing pulsations of her heart. Osman had fled the moment he saw what he had done. How should I obtain assistance, or even get a little water to revive her, if life was not extinct? Necessity is fruitful of invention—I lifted the pale form, and hastened to a near rivulet—I bathed her temples—I staunched the blood with the cooling current, and bound the wound with my handkerchief. I heard a faint sigh—I thought it was her last. Imagine my joy, when she opened her eyes, awaking as from a long sleep. I whispered, ‘Speak not, it will exhaust you; I will carry you home—you will soon be better.’ She cast her eyes towards heaven, to signify that her home would soon be there. I was advancing with a quick step, when I heard the voices of the children in search of us. They stopt their merry gambols, and stood in amazement. I broke the silence by telling them that Ulea was very ill, that they must run home and tell their mother not to be alarmed, but endeavor as soon as possible to prepare a cordial and a bed, for I should reach the cottage in a few minutes. I hoped this would be some preparation for what was to follow. The mother met me at the door, with a look of anguish and of doubt. I motioned to her to be silent, while we administered some of the restorative: we then laid Ulea on the bed. I watched by her a few moments, and seeing she had fallen into a gentle sleep, I took the hand of the agonized mother, whose suppressed sobs shook her whole frame. I supported her to a retired spot, where the burst of her grief might be unheard by the languid sufferer.

“I paused to gather firmness for the disclosure; I lifted up my heart to heaven for assistance. She seized my hand convulsively—‘Tell me all—but my heart anticipates it before you speak. Oh Steinkoff! it is the hand of man, yes, of a trusted villain, that has dealt the blow. My soul has labored under a mysterious weight this day—unseen but impending evil hung over me. Oh my God! prepare me to drink the bitter cup, and to trust in thee though thou slay me.’

“I related all—my suspicions of Osman—my conversation with him, the threat he had given, and then all the incidents of the sad catastrophe. ‘Oh my child!’ exclaimed the transported parent, ‘art thou then guiltless? has he not laid mine honor in the dust? If not, I can bear all.’ I concluded by encouraging her to hope the wound was not mortal, and that speedy medical aid might relieve it.

“Korner was immediately despatched for his father, and the nearest physician. We then returned to Ulea, whom we found still sleeping, but uneasily. Her mother kissed her forehead; she waked smiling, and said, ‘Oh, mother! are you here? I thought I was passing through a dark valley to the bright world you have so [p. 433] often described to us. And I was not at all afraid, for a light guided me safely through. Do you know what it was? I do—it was whispered to my heart—it was the Saviour's presence! Mother, you must not weep; I rejoice, because I feel that it will be so. O! yes, I shall soon join the song of the angels—much sweeter than that I used to dream of. Mother, my heart is sinful—I loved to hear of the beauty and love of this world; but that is all passed away now. I hope God will forgive him who wished to lead me astray—and you, Steinkoff, my guardian angel on earth, with what joy shall I welcome you there.’ She saw my emotion—it excited her own: the effect I dreaded followed—the blood gushed out from her side, and she swooned away.

“Her father arrived, attended by the doctor; the last with heartfelt sorrow assured us, that all attempts to revive her were useless—that the slumber of death was even now on the gentle girl. The father, in his desolation of soul, sought the throne of mercy, and we united in committing the spirit of the beloved one to the Shepherd of Israel, and prayed that ‘his rod and staff might comfort and support her.’ Her freed spirit winged its flight, just as the sun's last rays gleamed on her pillow, which all with uplifted hearts blessed as the omen of that spirit's future happiness.

“We sorrowed, but not as those without hope. What saith the scripture? ‘The hope of the righteous is as an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast.’

“I assisted in depositing the beautiful clay in the earth, and planted over it the evergreen fir. It was a dear spot to me, and as long as I remained on the island I resorted to it, to commune with the image of her who was once the animating spirit of all that surrounded me.

“Soon after her death, an opportunity offered for my return to Denmark. I embraced it, promising, if circumstances should ever induce me to visit Iceland, that I would seek the hospitable mansion of Holstein. I never saw Osman again, but I was told by the owner of a boat on the coast, that he had been seen on the night of the fatal encounter, to leap into a fishing craft lying on the beach, and disappear.

“Thus I have given you some particulars connected with my past life. I have rushed into busy scenes—I have tried to forget my own sorrows in relieving the distresses of others—but in vain; the image of that bleeding form haunts me. I long for the hour when the kind hand of death shall blot the recollection forever from my memory.”



Lines suggested on viewing a Painting of a Female laughing.

Oh, let me laugh out, till my eye-lashes glisten
With tear-drops, which joy, like affliction, will bring;
Be not vex'd my dear Hal—I must laugh, you may listen,
And count the shrill echoes that cheerily ring.
                Hark! to the morning gun,
                Hail to thee! rising sun,
    Dances my heart with exuberant glee.
                The sky-lark from earth
                Flies to heaven with its mirth,
    But it cannot ha! ha! and be merry like me.

Mine is no half-suppressed drawing-room titter,
Strangled before it escapes from the lips;
Nor the sardonic smile, than wormwood more bitter,
Which might wither those flowers the honey-bee sips;
                But the fountain of joy,
                Without care or alloy,
    Springs in my bosom—refreshens my heart.
                Forest and river, then,
                Echo my laugh again—
    Never may gladness from Julia depart.

Look not so grave, gentle Henry, at me,
As if you would say all my griefs are to come;
No gloom in the morn of my life can I see,
And my laugh will scare sorrow away from our home.
                Pleasure unending
                Our footsteps attending,
    One brilliant May day through our lifetime shall last.
                Time shall not wear us,
                No trouble come near us,
    But the future be gilded by light from the past.

Now laugh, for my sake, dearest Hal, and the kiss
Which you sued for, I'll give, if you cordially roar.
Well done!—never barter a pleasure like this,
Were a crown to be purchased by laughing no more.
                In contentment and health,
                Tho' untrammel'd by wealth,
    True bliss from the store of our hearts we may draw.
                Let us laugh as we glide
                O'er mortality's tide,
    And cheer our last days with a rattling ha! ha!
E. M.        


To a northern traveller in the southern states, there is scarcely any thing more novel or entertaining than a Court Day. Familiar as the occasion and its scenes may be to a Virginian, there is something in the whole aspect of this monthly festival which rivets the attention of a stranger. And I have not been without my suspicions that the influence of this custom and its adjuncts upon society, manners, and character has never been appreciated. In our northern country there are no occasions upon which the whole population of a county, even as represented by its leading freeholders, convenes at one spot. County courts are attended by functionaries, litigants, and very near neighbors, but not, as in the south, by the gentry and yeomanry of a whole district.

The consequence of such an arrangement as that of the south is, that all the landholders and gentlemen of a neighborhood become mutually acquainted, and lay the foundation for friendly and hospitable reciprocities, which may be continued through life. The whole texture of society has a tincture from this intermingling. It is undeniable, that while aristocratic family pride, and chivalrous elevation of bearing, exist no where in greater vigor than at the south, there is a freer intercourse on the court-house-lawn between the richest planter and the honest poor man, than is ever witnessed in the manufacturing districts of Connecticut or Pennsylvania. This constant mingling of the aged with the young, tends to keep up national characteristics and to perpetuate [p. 434] ancient habits and sentiments. And let an old-fashioned man be allowed to whisper in the ear of this innovating age that all is not antiquated which is old, and that the hoary stream of tradition brings down with it not only prejudices, but wholesome predilections.

To enjoy a genuine and unsophisticated Court Day, one must select a county in the heart of the real Old Dominion, where emigration has not too much thinned the population, nor foreign settlers made the mass heterogeneous. It should be moreover in a region where the increase of villages has not modified the ancient character of the large estates.

I have in my mind's eye the very beau ideal of an old Virginia Court House. The edifice itself is neither large nor lofty, but “time-honored” and solid, and embosomed in a grove of locusts, which at the May Court fill the air with their balsamic odor. The lawn, which surrounds the house and grove, has not the deep green of our northern commons, nor is the earth so perfectly hidden by matted grass, but it is sufficiently soft and fresh to tempt many a group of loungers. But the scene becomes more lively as the day advances. Stalls and booths are rapidly erecting, and wagons of vendibles are disposed in rows; no doubt by pertinacious wanderers from New England. The porches of two or three plain-looking stores are filling rapidly with visiters who are arriving every moment. A northerner is amazed at the number of equestrians, and the ease and non-chalance with which even little boys manage their spirited horses. I must pass a thousand traits which in the hands of Irving or Kennedy would afford a tempting picture. The cordiality of greeting with which Virginians meet is delightful; and from ample trial I am able to pronounce it sincere and available. This heartiness is encouraged by such monthly gatherings. It is vain to object to this vehement shaking of hands and emphatic compellation. As my old pastor used to say, “The form without the power is better than neither;” and as Solomon says, “He that is a friend must show himself friendly.” By the time of dinner, a thousand morsels of business, postponed during the month, have been transacted; a thousand items of precious little family news have been exchanged; hundreds of clusters, under porch or tree, have discoursed of the reigning political topic; or mayhap, the mighty mass has all been moved toward some little eminence to hear the eloquence of a genuine “stump-speech.”

From my very heart, northman as I am, I admire and affect this good remnant of olden time. May no revised code ever disannul it, no sapient convention ever parcel out your counties into little municipal fragments!

I state it as an opinion very deliberately formed in my own mind, after some opportunities of comparison, that the elocution of southern men is more easy, more graceful, more natural, more vivacious, and more pathetic, than that of their northern compatriots. This is fairly to be traced to the influence of such occasions as the one which I describe. The moveable and excitable throng of a court-house-green is precisely the audience which awakens and inspires the orator. The tide of feeling comes back upon him at every happy appeal, and redoubles his energy. It was the Athenian populace, who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing,” (what a picture of a court day!) which made the Athenian orator. The practice of addresses to the literal and real constituency by every aspirant, brings into trial, very early, all the eloquence of the state. The manner of the best models is in some small degree perpetuated. The mere listening to such men as Patrick Henry, and John Randolph, not to mention the living, affords a school of eloquence to the youth of the country, and cultivates the taste of the people. And then in every little group upon yonder green, there is an ardor of conversation on political topics, which, as feeling rises, approaches to the character of harangue. I have never heard the impassioned conversation of southern men, in a tavern or by the way-side, without observing the natural tendency to a higher tone of elocution than would be tolerated in a similar circle at the north.

Whether the practice of “whittling,” during conversation, has any connexion with ease of utterance, is a question too abstruse for my present cursory investigation. The celebrated doctor Rush used jocosely to characterize some of his southern students, by their “R-phobia et Cacoethes secandi.” It may be noted as a token of the “free-and-easy” manner of certain courts, that we have seen advocates whittling during a defence, and judges whittling on the bench.

But finally, and most seriously, I trust no fanaticism of a faction at the north will ever so far prevail against the good sense and sound feeling of the community, as to interrupt the genial flow of hospitality, with which in every individual case I have known, northern men have been received by the gentlemen of old Virginia.



When the dark shadows of approaching ills
    Have fallen on the spirit, and depressed
Its proudest energies—when fear instils
    Its dastard maxims in the noblest breast,
    Preventing action and denying rest—
When, undefined in distance, dimly glow
    Spectres of evil, till, by fancy drest,
The illusive phantoms on the vision grow,
And giants seem to wield the impending blow—

When, wearied by uncertainty, we pray
    For what we fear, and deprecate suspense—
When gleams of hope are painful as a ray
    Flashing at midnight from a light intense,
    And leave the darkness of despair more dense—
When pleasure's cup is tasteless, and we seek
    No more the brief relief we once drew thence—
When comes no sabbath in the lingering week
Harassing thought to end, or coming bliss to speak—

When even “desire it faileth,” and the voice
    Of softest music irritates the ear—
When the glad sun makes fields and groves rejoice,
    While to our eyes the prospect still is drear—
    When the mild southern gale, that used to cheer
With its bland fragrance, while it cooled the brow
    With lingering fever wasted, pained and sere,
Has lost its power to charm—'tis then we know
The worth of woman's love, and what to her we owe.
[p. 435]
Her holy love is like the gentle rill,
    Born where a fountain's waters bright are playing,
(As from the birth of time they have, and will
    Till time shall end,) in noiseless beauty straying
    O'er golden sands, through verdant meads, and staying,
To irrigate and freshen, as it flows
    Where man's proud works around in ruin lying,
Proclaim the triumph of his many foes,
Lust, passion, jealousy, and all the fiends he knows.

And worse than these his breast will enter in,
    And each in turn his labored love control.
The fond idolatry, which is not sin
    When woman loves—that yielding of the soul,
    Which hardly asks return, but gives the whole,
He knoweth not; but, in the folds of pride,
    He seeks his gloomy spirit to enroll:
Then her, who loves him most, he'll basely chide,
And with his bitter words her constancy deride.

Aye! thus infatuate, he will delight
    To lord it o'er the fond, devoted one
Who breathes, but lives not, absent from his sight,
    If, for a moment, sorrow is unknown,
    Ambition gratified, or foes o'erthrown.
But when his soul is darkened with alarms,
    And piercing thorns are in his pathway strown,
He yields a willing pris'ner to her charms,
And seeks to rest his head where love her bosom warms.

But as the savage, when his eyes behold
    The bright creations of the artist's mind,
Where light and shade the loveliest forms enfold,
    And chastened taste with nature's lore is joined,
    Pauses in ecstacy; yet seeks to find
What hath his untaught spirit so subdued,
    But all in vain; so man, to love resigned,
Can comprehend not what hath so endued
Fair woman with the power to soothe his nature rude.

He gazeth on the rill that is her love,
    But cannot pierce the bower of modesty
Where roses, and where lilies twine above
    Its fount, and load the air with fragrancy.
    He hears its voice of heavenly melody;
He sees, above, the bow of beauty spanned;
    He drinks; the draught has power his soul to free
From all its ills; he feels his heart expand;
He bears a charmed life; he walks on Eden land.

Creature of impulse! but of impulse trained
    To do the bidding of a gentle heart,
What man by years of study hath not gained,
    Thy spirit's teaching doth to thee impart.
    To him the unknown, to thee the easy art,
To sway his reason and control his will;
    And when the unbidden gusts of passion start,
To lay the whirlwind and bid all be still,
And Peace, the vacant throne of Anarchy, to fill.

              *               *               *               *               *

My cherished one! this tributary lay
    Upon thy natal morn thy husband brings;
The gathered thoughts of many a weary day.
    Weary, save that my soul, on Fancy's wings,
    Borne as a bird that towards its eyrie springs,
Flew where was thine to hold communion sweet:
    Save that each blissful memory, that clings
Around my heart, would, as a dream, repeat
Unnumbered vanished hours, with love and joy replete.

As, when the orb that makes the day, declines,
    The twilight hour prolongs its cheering reign,
My sun (thy love) through memory's twilight shines,
    Till its fair morning breaks on me again.
    Then shall my song resume in bolder strain
The praises of thy sex, while I behold
    The loveliness, whose image I retain
Within my heart—then shall my arms enfold
Her who hath been to me, more than my lay hath told.


Ever since I could write my name, I have been troubled with a disease which is spreading alarmingly in this our day and generation—I mean Cacoethes Scribendi; and the best antidote I have ever been able to discover for it, I received lately from the “Literary Messenger”—the rejection of my articles. At that time I imagined myself perfectly cured; but, unlike some other diseases, this can be had more than once, and the man who could invent some vaccinating process to prevent it, would deserve more gratitude from the present generation than the discoverer of vaccination against small pox.

I remember distinctly my first attempt at poetry. I was quietly resting under the shade of a stately elm, one bright summer day, turning over the leaves of a favorite author, and listening to the merry carols of a mock-bird that had perched on a thorn just before me. There was a beautiful lawn gently declining from the knoll where I lay, to the river's edge, green with luxuriant long grass, interspersed with the simple lily of the valley. There seemed to be a general thanksgiving of nature, and every thing tended to inspire my juvenile muse. After sundry bitings of the nails, and scratchings of the head,1 I succeeded in pencilling on a blank leaf of the “Lady of the Lake,” lines “To a Mocking Bird.” No sooner had the fever of composition resolved itself into three stanzas, than the mock-bird, the green elms and humming waters, lost all their enchantment, and I hurried home to copy my verses and send them to the printing-office. I selected the whitest sheet of gilt-edged paper I had, made a fine nib to my pen, and soon finished a neat copy, which was forthwith deposited in the office of a respectable hebdomadal. Publication day came, and so did the carrier. Of all ugly boys, I used to think that carrier was the ugliest; but when he handed me the paper that I doubted not contained the first effort of unfledged genius, I thought he had the finest face and most waggish look I had ever seen—and in good truth, I never was so glad to see the fellow in my life. Wonderful metamorphosis! thought I, eagerly snatching the paper from him. But judge, oh! gentle reader, of my surprise and mortification, at not finding my cherished little poem either in the poet's corner, or even among the advertisements. The phiz of the carrier changed to its accustomed ugliness as if by magic, and, as he passed out of the door, he cast on [p. 436] me a sardonic leer, grin'd “a ghastly smile,” and “left me alone in my glory.” I had too much philosophy, however, to remain long in a passion, or to suffer myself to be unhappy for such a trifle. I contented myself, therefore, as well as I could, and determined never to write another line until my first effort saw the light. How fortunate for you, kind reader, and perhaps for me, had my young muse then been nip'd in her incipient budding. But that first effort did see the light the next week, and ‘Solomon in all his glory’ was not so happy as I. You who have written and published, can have some idea of the sensations produced by the success of a first essay. Those who never have, cannot imagine the pleasure, the fluttering of heart, the gratified ambition, and the flattered vanity of him thus first dignified with print. Since then I have been rejected, but never so mortified as when my first poem did not appear when expected. And since then I have written, published, been republished and quoted, which is surely glory enough for one man, but have never been so happy as when my maiden effort first appeared among the blacksmiths' and tailors' advertisements of a village newspaper.

1 Be careful, when invention fails,
  To scratch your head, and bite your nails.—Swift.


Is this thy home? The wild woods wave
    Their branches in the mountain breeze—
And nature to thy mansion gave
    A treasure in those noble trees.
Here flows a river bright and pure
    Along its silver-winding way,
While on its white and pebbled shore
    A fairy group of children play.
Here calm and clear looks heaven's blue dome—
    This is thy lovely Highland home!

This is thy home—at evening's hour
    A social band assemble here,
With converse sweet and music's power,
    To chase each gloomy thought of care.
Affection's gentle language speaks
    In every eye thine eyes behold—
Here revels love on beauty's cheeks
    And bids her braid her locks of gold.
In search of bliss you need not roam—
    But this is not—is not my home!

My home is where the waters roll
    Deep, wide and blue to ocean's caves—
How sweetly soothing to the soul
    The murmur of their dashing waves!
Oft has their music charmed mine ear
    At twilight's soft and dewy hour—
When one I fondly love was near
    To feel with me its witching power,
And watch the billows crown'd with foam,
    Break on thy walls, my lowland home!

My home! how soon that single word
    Can cause regretful tears to flow!
It thrills on feeling's finest chord—
    Still does it make my bosom glow.
Oh what a fountain of delight
    Does that one little sound unseal!
When far away, to mem'ry's sight
    What scenes of bliss does it reveal!
'Tis the voice of nature bids me come
    To thy shrine of love—my own sweet home!

Wealth may be ours, and fame may spread
    With trumpet-voice our names afar—
In honor's cause we may have bled
    And braved the crimson tide of war—
But wealth, and fame, and glory's crown
    Are bubbles which a breath may burst,
As quickly as a breath hath blown;
    They cannot slake the burning thirst
For happiness—for this we roam,
    And this is only found at home!
E. A. S.        


Of the Course on the Obstacles and Hindrances to Education, arising from the peculiar faults of Parents, Teachers and Scholars, and that portion of the Public immediately concerned in directing and controlling our Literary Institutions.

On Parental Faults.

When I last had the honor of addressing you, I promised that I would endeavor to expose all such parental faults as obstruct the progress of correct education. This promise I will now proceed to fulfil, with only one prefatory request, which is, that if any individuals present shall apply a single remark to themselves, to bear it constantly in mind that such application is made by their own consciences—not by me. My observations will all be general—theirs should be particular, and should be carried home to their own bosoms and business; or all that I shall say, might as well be uttered to so many “deaf adders,” as to intelligent, rational, and moral beings.

Having been a parent myself for nearly forty years, and a close observer of other parents ever since I turned my attention particularly to the subject of education, I have much experience to “give in” relative to parental faults and vices. Whether this experience will avail any thing towards their cure, or even their mitigation, your own feelings and judgment can alone decide. The picture which I shall endeavor to draw will be a very revolting one, although not in the slightest degree caricatured or aggravated. But not less revolting is the sight of cancers in the human body, which require to be both seen and thoroughly examined before they can be extirpated. The cancers of the mind, however, as all faults and vices may justly be called, are infinitely harder to cut out; for in all these cases the victim and the operator must be the same person. Here, according to the old adage, every one must be his own doctor—since all that can be done for him by others is to tell him of his malady, and to convince him, if possible, in spite of his self-love and blindness, of its highly dangerous tendency, as well as of its certainly fatal termination, unless he himself will most earnestly and anxiously set about its cure. To produce this conviction in all my hearers who need it, arduous as the undertaking may be, is the sole purpose for which I now address you.

[p. 437]

Although the obstacles to the progress of correct views on the subject of education, as well as to the adoption of the best means for promoting this all-important object, be too numerous easily to determine which are the most pre-eminently mischievous, I shall begin with those which appear to constitute the very “head and front of the offending.” These are created under the parental roof itself, where the first elements of education are almost always acquired, and where it is most obvious that if any but good seed are sown, the most precious part of the child's subsequent existence must be spent rather in the toilsome, painful business of extirpating weeds, than of bringing to perfection such plants as yield the wholesome bread of life. Hence, in a great measure, the little benefit, in numberless instances, from going to school; because, the short time generally allowed for this purpose (particularly in the case of girls) is too often occupied solely in clearing away and rooting out from the mind that which must necessarily be removed before any useful and lasting knowledge can well be implanted.

The first parental fault which I shall notice, is that by which children are first affected. It begins to influence them with the first dawnings of intellect—augments as that expands—accumulates like compound interest, and never ceases to exert its baneful power until fixed for life. This fault is the glaring and frequent contradictions between parental precepts and examples, although the least experience will suffice to convince any one who will consult it, that the latter will forever be followed rather than the former; nor will any thing ever check it but the fear of some very severe punishment—the rod (for example) on the back of the far less guilty child, instead of the shoulders of the parental tempter. The father or mother who calculates on their children totally abstaining, unless by external force, from any vicious indulgence whatever, of which they see their parents habitually guilty, counts on a moral impossibility. As well might they expect water not to boil when sufficient heat is long enough applied, or dry tinder not to burn when brought in contact with fire; for these appliances are to water and tinder what vicious parental examples will always prove to the juvenile mind. Woe, double and triple woe, be to those who set them, for they incur the most awfully dangerous responsibility of rendering their children utterly worthless! I confidently appeal, as in a former lecture, to the experience of every one who now hears me, and I beseech them to ask themselves how many drinking, gambling, profane, lazy, idle fathers have they ever known whose sons were exempt from these vices? How many have they ever known who habitually gave way to bursts of anger and wrath—to a rude, dictatorial, despotic, quarrelsome disposition, especially in the privacy of home, which many seem to think a suitable place for acting as they would be ashamed or afraid to act in public, where they would meet with somewhat more formidable checks than helpless wives and children; how many such fathers can any recollect, whose sons did not resemble and probably surpass them in all their worst habits? Equally sure, too, will the daughters be to follow their mamma's goodly examples, should they also habitually display any of those faults or vices that are calculated to sully the purity of the female character, or in any way to degrade and render it odious. With such facts continually before the eyes of all parents, what supreme folly and madness—nay, what deadly guilt must be theirs, who do not avoid setting bad examples to their children, as they would shun the utmost extremity of misery!

Among those parental faults which soonest begin to work incalculable mischief, is the habitual practice of talking and acting in such a manner, in regard to the whole class of teachers, that by the time their children are sent to school they learn to look upon the entire tribe of schoolmasters and schoolmistresses as belonging to a class much inferior to that of their parents, and to consider their being placed under such supervision as a kind of purgatorial punishment. I once knew a gentleman in whose mind these early notions had taken deep root, who used to say, that he could never pass through a pine-wood resembling that in which his first schoolhouse stood, without being thrown into a cold perspiration by it. Without doubt he had been exposed to the parental practice I am now condemning, the almost inevitable consequence of which is, to create contempt and aversion for teachers, reluctant obedience, distrust in their capacities to teach, and not unfrequently open insubordination. Manners and polite deportment are deemed quite hidden mysteries to these teachers, or matters with which the parents never designed they should meddle—it being frequently intimated that they never had opportunities for acquiring the first, nor feel any interest in teaching the last, farther than to protect themselves from injury and insult. Awkwardness, if not rudeness also, is often deemed an almost inseparable part of their character; and their pupils are not unfrequently encouraged by parental smiles to laugh at and ridicule “the poor schoolmaster or mistress,” instead of being checked by timely reproof in all such conduct. If there happen to be the faint semblance of a little wit or humor in these remarks, many silly parents take the first opportunity of retailing them with evident pleasure, even in the child's presence; and the silly delight manifested at this supposed proof of marvellous precocity, completely overcomes all sense of the culpability of the act, or of its very pernicious influence on the dispositions of the child. At most it is pronounced to be quite a venial peccadillo, amply compensated by the intellectual smartness which it evinces. The seeds of vanity, self-conceit, and censoriousness are thus sown in the youthful mind as soon as they can take root, and by the very hands too whose sacred duty it is to protect it from all harm.

Closely allied to the foregoing fault is the ever restless haste of very many parents to make men and women of their children sooner than nature intended. It may well be called the hot-bed system, and like that from which it takes its name, produces plants out of season, incapable of withstanding necessary exposure to the open atmosphere and the vicissitudes of climate. The consequence is, that the period of scholastic education is most injuriously shortened, particularly for girls. The boys are pushed forward into professions, and turned loose to act for themselves, with a mere smattering of literature and science—often before any power for serious reflection has been acquired, or indeed could well be formed in such juvenile, inexperienced minds, in regard to the great, complicated duties of life, the objects most worthy of pursuit, and the all-important [p. 438] principles which should ever govern them in fulfilling the first, as well as in attaining the last. False estimates of human life, aggravated by innumerable miscarriages in their ill-digested plans, necessarily follow; and the poor youths are most unjustly condemned for failure in pursuits wherein they have been either forced or suffered from most foolish and mischievous indulgence to engage, long before they had maturity either of body or mind sufficient to render success even probable. They are stimulated—nay, often driven to sea, on the vast, tempestuous ocean of life, without compass or rudder to their little barks, and then are most grievously abused for getting wrecked, when the pilots who should have steered their fragile vessels had most unpardonably abandoned their trust. But should the frequent occurrence of such a calamity create any surprise, when we find so many, even of those who know better, so far yielding to the popular error, as to manage their sons in this way? It is quite enough to overcome all their wisest resolves, to be told by the majority of their acquaintance, that “it is a shame to keep their boys so long in leading-strings—they should be doing something for themselves.” This sapient admonition usually settles every doubt, and the unfortunate youths, in all the perilous immaturity of boyhood, are forthwith converted into men, left to think and act for themselves. But their mental outfits for so arduous a business being entirely inadequate, their outfits of property are not unfrequently squandered, and irretrievably lost, several years prior to the time when they could reasonably be expected to understand their only true and legitimate uses. Hence we have many examples of young men who have actually run quite through their estates but a little beyond the time when they should have been first put into possession of them, and who have lost all respectability of character at a period when they should be only commencing their career of active life. If these unfortunate victims of parental folly—may I not say, wickedness—then open their eyes to their real situation, it will often be only to shut them again in utter despair, and plunge into all the fathomless depths of dissipation and vice, as their only refuge from the hopeless misery, the inextricable ruin in which they too late perceive that they have involved themselves. Hasty, inconsiderate marriages are often found to cap the climax of all this wretchedness, by adding helpless women and children to the number of sufferers, and thereby immeasurably augmenting the miseries of a condition which, without this, would seem to admit of scarcely any farther aggravation. A similar catastrophe often befals our girls who have had the deadly misfortune to be subjected to this hot-bed system. With unformed constitutions, and still more unformed minds, they are hurried into situations where they have to act the parts of women, before they are rid of the dispositions, inclinations, and follies of children. They not unfrequently marry and become mothers, while yet distant from the age of maturity, and thus have to fulfil the all-important duty of forming the hearts, minds, and principles of children, when, in fact, they are little more than children themselves. Loss of life is, in many instances, the forfeit paid for such premature marriages. But should they escape this awful sacrifice, they rarely fail to have their constitutions broken down, their powers of useful exertion greatly impaired or irrevocably lost; and an early grave, often—alas! too often, closes the heart-rending scene over these poor, unfortunate victims of parental mismanagement, at a time when probably they would just have reached the meridian of mature life, had they been properly prepared for all the momentous duties of wives and mothers, before they were compelled to fulfil them. Their helpless offspring are thus bereft of maternal nurture, when the parent was just beginning probably to understand what it ought to be—and how holy, how sacred she should esteem her obligations, to fulfil it most unremittingly to the children of her bosom. The same forcing process is then applied to the innocent little survivors; and they, in their turn, are to be married, if possible, when they should still be at school—to have the care of children before they know how to take care of themselves—and often to die, when they should be just beginning to live as the mistresses of families. Boys and girls have thus to act the part of instructers, while they themselves should yet be pupils; and the elementary education of their offspring, which is by far the most important part, is inevitably exposed to all the danger of being entirely perverted, by the inexperience, the unavoidable ignorance, and the moral incapacity of such very juvenile teachers. In regard to daughters especially, it may truly be said, that a cardinal article in the nursery creed of multitudes of mothers is, that they must marry, and marry early, even without nicely weighing moral consequences, if it cannot be done as prudence, common sense, and correct principles would dictate. The period for going to school is thus necessarily curtailed within limits scarcely sufficient for the simplest elementary instruction, that the young candidates for conjugal honors may be pushed into general society and public amusements, which are considered the great marts for matrimonial speculations. Now, although marriage is highly honorable, as well as the state which may afford most happiness in this life, it is indisputably true, that it can be neither honorable nor happy, unless very many circumstances, too frequently overlooked or disregarded, concur to make it so. It can produce nothing but disgrace and unhappiness if contracted, as it often is, without affection, esteem, or even respect for the husband, who is married merely for his wealth; or, because the poor girl has been taught to dread the condition of an old maid as something so terrible, that it should be avoided at every hazard. Equally certain is it that marriage can procure no happiness—nay, that it is a truly miserable condition, without good morals, good temper, and a tender regard among the parties. Yet thousands of unfortunate girls marry rather than live single, simply because their parents and other connexions have made them believe that to remain unmarried, is to become objects of general derision and contempt. Even if this were true, as it certainly is not, surely there is no rational person who would not pronounce such a state much more bearable than a union for life with a man who was vicious both in principles and conduct, who was cursed with a bad temper, and incapable of any sentiment even resembling conjugal love. A very large portion of the miserable marriages which we see in our society, may justly be ascribed to this most cruel—I may say, wicked error in the parental nurture of daughters. It is too shameful to be acknowledged by any as committed by [p. 439] themselves; yet there is not a person probably in the United States who cannot cite many instances of it in others.

Another parental fault of very extensive prevalence, is their sufferance, if not actual encouragement of an opinion very common, at least among their male children, that it is quite manly, magnanimous, and republican to oppose, even by open rebellion, (if nothing less will do) all such scholastic laws and regulations, as they, in the supremacy of their juvenile wisdom, may happen to disapprove. This has been signally and most lamentably verified in regard to that particular law so indispensably necessary to the well being of all schools, which requires the students to give evidence when called upon, against all violators of the existing regulations, without respect to persons. How an opinion so absurd and pernicious first got footing, unless by parental inculcation, it would be difficult to say; but nothing is more certain than its wide-spread influence, nor are there many things more sure than the great agency it has heretofore had in preventing any good schools from being long kept up in a flourishing condition, at least in our own state, where they are as much wanted as in any part of the Union. Such an opinion is the more unaccountable—indeed, it appears little short of downright insanity, when we come to reflect that all think it right for adults to be punished for refusing to give evidence before our courts when required, in regard to any breaches of the laws under which they live; and yet, the same individuals who entertain this opinion, almost universally uphold their own children in committing a similar offence, by withholding their testimony when any of the laws under which they live are violated at their respective schools—even should such violation go to the very subversion of the schools themselves. Nay, more—if a poor devoted teacher or professor should dare to punish these very independent young gentlemen for such unjustifiable and fatal contumacy, a universal clamor is immediately raised against him—his character is instantly stigmatized for cruelty and tyranny, while that of the rebel youths is eulogized as much as if they were really martyrs to generous feeling and magnanimous self-devotion to the good of others. All sense of just punishment and disgrace is thus effectually taken away, and the young offender is taught to pride himself on what should be his shame. That fathers should acquiesce in the wisdom and justice of laws to punish themselves for certain offences against society at large, and be unable to see the justice and wisdom of laws to punish their sons for similar offences against the little societies called schools, is surely one of the greatest and most inexplicable follies of which men, in their senses, can possibly be guilty. Have not these last named institutions precisely the same right and reason, that national governments have, to pass laws for their own preservation? How, indeed, could either long exist without them? It will be in vain to deny the prevalence of this most pernicious folly, so long as we find a very large majority of the youth of our country acting under the opinion of its being highly disgraceful to do that before the faculty of a college, or the head of a school, which their fathers deem it perfectly right to do every time they themselves are called as witnesses before the juries and courts of their country. I have said more on this parental fault than otherwise I should have done, because I am thoroughly and deeply convinced that there never can long exist any flourishing schools, academies, or colleges, in any portion of our country, where so radically mischievous an error prevails. Our youth must be taught, and by their parents too, that they have no more right to exemption from the restraints of scholastic law, than men have from the inhibitions of the laws of their country—that all legitimate human institutions have a clear, indisputable, and necessary power to make regulations for their own preservation; that this power must be obeyed, or it is utterly useless; and that if obedience be proper, honorable, and indispensable in their fathers, it cannot possibly be improper, unessential, or dishonorable in their children. Let our sons be taught this lesson at home, and the absolute necessity of always acting up to it every where, and we may then confidently hope, but not until then, that all our seminaries of instruction will flourish in a far greater degree than we ever yet have witnessed. “It is a consummation most devoutly to be wished,” and one, towards the accomplishment of which, neither time, money, nor intellectual effort should be spared.

Another fault committed by many more parents than are aware of it is, that either from very culpable neglect in studying their children's characters, or from most fatuitous partiality, they often send them to school, in full confidence that they will prove most exemplary patterns of good principles and good conduct, when, in fact, they are signally deficient in both. The consequence is, that should any teacher be daring enough to communicate the painful intelligence, it is either entirely discredited, or it comes on the unfortunate, self-deluded parent with the suddenness and shock of a clap of thunder. If the account is believed, the punishment justly due to the real author of the mischief, the guilty father or mother, is not unfrequently inflicted on the child; or, should it be deemed false, young master or miss (as the case may be) is immediately taken away, and turned loose at home to unrestrained indulgence, or sent to some instructer who has more of the cunning of worldly wisdom than to make any such startling and incredible communications.

In close connexion with the foregoing fault is one of still greater and more injurious prevalence. It is assumed, as a settled point, probably by a majority of parents, that if heaven has not bestowed on their offspring more than a usual proportion of brains, at least a very competent share has been allotted them; and that they—the parents, have not failed previously to sending the children to school, in doing every thing necessary to enable those brains to work beneficially for the craniums which contain them, and for the bodies whose movements are to be governed thereby. Yet there are certainly many children—very many, who from great deficiency of natural talent, appear to be born for nothing higher than to be “hewers of wood and drawers of water.” This truth cannot be denied; yet the fathers and mothers of these children, in despite of nature, will often persist in attempting to make them learned men and learned women. The consequence is inevitable. An irreparable waste of time and money results from the abortive attempt, and thousands who might have become useful and highly respectable day laborers, at some easily acquired handicraft, are [p. 440] converted, by this most misapplied and cruel kindness into ridiculous pretenders to situations that nature never destined them to fill. This parental notion of marvellous talents and virtues in their children—if it happen to be unfounded—and much too often it unfortunately proves so, leads certainly to the conclusion, that whatever scrapes the children get into at school, or, however deficient they may appear in acquirement, when they go home, the whole and sole blame attaches to the teachers; and the children are withdrawn, often without the slightest intimation of the real cause, leaving the luckless instructers to infer, that, probably, they have given satisfaction.

Another very general and deeply rooted fault in parents, is, the readiness with which they believe and act upon the complaints of their children, often without taking the smallest pains whatever to ascertain whether these complaints may not be at least exaggerated, if not entirely unfounded. The humorous author of Peter Plymley's letters has said—“that a single rat in a Dutch dyke is sometimes sufficient to flood a whole province.” The idea intended to be conveyed by this, is eminently true, especially in relation to female seminaries, where only one gossipping, talking girl, although free, perhaps, from malicious intent, is quite enough to destroy an entire school. Were it possible for teachers before hand, to know the propensities of such little bipeds, they should exclude them as carefully as the Dutch attempt to do the small, apparently impotent quadrupeds, that do them so much injury. But suffer me to cite some instances to sustain my opinion. Let us suppose, for example, that the grievance complained of is partial treatment. To say nothing of the difficulty of proving a negative, or of disproving, even when heard, a charge which covers so much ground, and which is rarely suffered to reach the teacher's ears—it is perfectly easy to demonstrate, that it may, and often will be made, without the shadow of truth. When to this is added, its utter incompatibility with that portion of common sense, which all instructers, who are not miserable drivellers, must possess, and which they, of course, will exercise, in comparing their infinitely small and doubtful gains, with their great and certain loss by such injustice towards the complainants, (putting all principles of honor and public pledges out of the question,) the accusation ought to appear in most cases, past all rational credibility. But let us return to the proof, that the charge of partiality may and will often be made without the shadow of truth. It is a thing which deeply concerns all schools, and is therefore a subject of common and vital interest—both to them and to the public. None have so little experience as not to know, that among the scholars of every school there will be irregularities of conduct with corresponding inequalities in talent, application, and acquirement, and that the old adage, that “one man can carry a horse to water, but that four and twenty can't make him drink,” is equally true in a figurative sense as to children at school. Hence, some pupils go on very successfully, without punishment of any kind, while others not unfrequently require it in all its most effective forms. This equitable and obviously necessary difference in treatment, between offenders and non-offenders, is always sensibly felt by the culprits themselves—often deeply resented; the true cause of it, rarely well understood, and still more rarely acknowledged or explained, especially to parents and guardians: for self-accusation is least apt to be made by those who most frequently commit acts that should produce it. Much the most common course among the violators of any moral law or obligation whatever, whether they are children or adults, is to seek refuge from the consciousness of one fault, in the commission of some other—which other, generally, is, to shift the blame, if possible, from themselves. That humble, contrite, self-abasing spirit which caused the prodigal son to exclaim—“Father, I have sinned against heaven and thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son,” is hardly to be expected, in any great degree, among children at school: yet they should possess it, before their parents ought to rely on their competency to judge and decide in their own cases, whether they or their teachers are in the wrong—cases too, wherein it is perfectly obvious, that if the teachers are the offending party, they must have become so in opposition to their best interests. From the foregoing considerations, it is manifest, that among such children at school as are justly reproved or punished for misconduct, unjust complaints of partiality in the teachers will frequently arise; and that these will often be too readily credited, without any investigation, or even the slightest hint to the persons thus secretly accused, of what has been alleged against them. In all such cases a withdrawal of the pupils almost certainly follows, succeeded by abuse of the schools, which often becomes the more bitter and inveterate, from the parents themselves having an unacknowledged conviction, that they are the injurers, instead of the injured party. With all such persons the self-applied cure for the mortification arising from incurable dullness, or depravity in their children, is to slander their teachers wherever it can safely be done.

Another proper and necessary difference in the scholastic treatment of children proceeds from difference of age. But most unluckily, it sometimes happens, that very young little masters and misses expect to be treated like grown up young gentlemen and ladies; and should such very rational expectations be disappointed, as they most assuredly should be, these premature aspirants to the privileges and immunities of manhood and womanhood, take most grievous and unappeasable offence at it. Heavy, but vague complaints of partial treatment follow of course; parental tenderness is naturally excited; parental credulity lends too easy credence to the tale of juvenile woe; and a change of school is the frequent consequence, without the really innocent teachers even suspecting that any such cause could possibly have produced it.

Another most extensively pernicious fault in parents, is the incompatible expectations formed of what teachers can do, with the practice of treating them, and speaking of them, as scarcely above the menial class of society. The expectations of many fathers and mothers would appear to be something not very far from a belief, that instructers are masters of some wonder-working process which can inspire genius where it never existed; give talents that nature has withheld; correct in a few weeks or months every bad habit, however long indulged; and force knowledge into heads, pertinaciously determined to reject, or so constructed as to be incapable of receiving it. The general conduct towards such intellectual magicians, where consistency is at all regarded, should [p. 441] certainly be, at least, to place them on a footing of perfect equality with the members of the most esteemed professions in society. But what is the fact? Why, that schoolmasters and schoolmistresses are viewed by multitudes of those who arrogate the right to decide, as a class of persons, essentially vulgar and awkward in their manners; ignorant of the world; of low, grovelling, selfish principles, and nearly incapable of any of those feelings and high sense of honor which are claimed, as a kind of inalienable property by all who believe, (and there are thousands of such individuals,) that wealth and worldly distinctions authorize them to be proud, arrogant, and contemptuous towards all who are deficient in the gifts of fortune. It is not easy to trace this opinion respecting teachers to its source, because one would think that the least pittance of common sense would teach parents the impossibility of their children ever being well taught by any persons for whom they felt no respect, and the equal impossibility of respecting those whom their parents evidently despised. Two causes probably may have produced this mischievous variance between the conduct of parents towards instructers, and the momentous duties which these last are expected to fulfil. First, that many who have taken upon themselves the profession of teachers, have neither the talents, the knowledge, the temper, nor the manners necessary to discharge its numerous and arduous duties; and secondly, that the pride of wealth, which generally indulges itself in an exemption from bodily and mental labor, naturally seeks to dignify its idleness by assuming a superiority over all who work either with their hands or their head. But be the origin what it may, the cause of education is most injuriously affected by it.

Another parental fault is, the interference both as to matter and manner in which children are to be taught; and this is sure to be committed in proportion to the self-conceited competency, but real inability of the advising, or rather commanding party. Let a single exemplification suffice, out of very many others I could give of this most ridiculous, but very pernicious fault. I select it because it is one of those occurrences in the “olden time,” the relation of which can hurt the feeling of none, but may afford a useful lesson to many. My informant told me, that many years ago he knew a lady who could barely read and write, to carry a little girl whose acquirements extended not much farther than her own, to a school conducted by a gentleman well qualified for his profession. She announced herself, as having brought to him a pupil, who was immediately to be taught some half dozen sciences, the names of which she had somewhere picked up, but could scarcely pronounce; and that “he must make haste to do it, as the little miss had not much more than a year, if that, to go to school.” I was not told whether or not the teacher laughed in her face, but if he refrained he must have had much more than common control over his risible muscles. “It was enough,” (as the hero of Cherubina says,) “to make a tiger titter.” This most compendious way of manufacturing learned young masters and young misses, when viewed in its effects upon the great interests of our community—upon the happiness of families, as well as of the nation at large, is enough to sicken the heart of any person capable, even in a moderate degree, of serious reflection. Numerous instances have I known, in my limited sphere of observation, especially in female schools, where, just as the pupils had acquired a taste for reading, and were beginning to make good progress in their studies, they were hurried away, and plunged headlong into the vortex of gay, pleasure-seeking company, there to lose—far more rapidly than it was gained—all desire, all anxiety for intellectual culture. Books, together with all the useful lessons they are calculated to impart; the whole long-labored scheme of moral instruction, from which so much good had been anticipated; the anxious preparation for a life of active beneficence, are all forgotten or neglected, for constantly recurring schemes of frivolous gaiety, and utter idleness in regard to all really useful pursuits. The only subject of intense interest which seems to occupy these fanatic devotees of worldly pleasure, is marriage; and provided they can succeed in procuring a wealthy husband for their daughters, all other matters are deemed of very subordinate importance. After the teachers of these unfortunate girls may have been laboring for years to convince them that the value of eternal things is immeasurably greater than that of any merely temporal things whatever, they are to be “finished off,” (as it is called) in the school of the world, where all these calculations are utterly reversed, and present objects alone are made to occupy all their thoughts and time.

Another fault of parents, and I may add guardians too, is to be led away by mere reports in regard to the character of schools and their teachers, without always inquiring for themselves, as they should do where possible, minutely into both. Thus, it often happens that, governed entirely by rumor not to be traced to any authentic source, all will be anxiously hurrying to secure places for their children in schools said to be already full to overflowing, so that no more can possibly get in; while schools of equal merit are carefully avoided, because the same common untraceable rumor proclaims that they are losing all their scholars; which, if not true at the time, soon probably becomes so, from the capricious love of change, and the desire to get their children's brains swept by the new broom, or from the common habit of ascribing all removals of pupils from any schools whatever, to incompetency or misconduct in the teachers. These ebb and flood tides of popularity often happen to the same schools, without any change whatever in the schools themselves, except increased fitness in the teachers, from additional experience. A signal instance of this fell under my observation, many years ago, in the case of a long established, highly respectable, but no longer existing city school. This institution, after maintaining very deservedly a high character for many years, was literally stripped almost entirely naked of pupils, by some utter strangers, who, although possibly as meritorious, were certainly not known to be so, by a single individual of the whole number that immediately sent scholars to them. It is true, that the old school, after the public imagination had time to sober a little, somewhat recovered from the shock, although never sufficiently to regain its former standing. What is called “patronage,” had fled from its walls, which were soon entirely deserted, and answered little other purpose than to present another striking monument of public caprice, fickleness, and folly. This case is cited from no invidious motive [p. 442] whatever—both schools having long ceased to exist; but it furnishes a most striking proof of the existence, as well as of the pernicious effects of the last parental fault noticed. As a necessary consequence of this fault, comes the frequent changes made from school to school, often without any assignable cause, but the mere love of novelty; or some secret, but unfounded dissatisfaction imbibed from the ex parte misrepresentation of the children, most carefully concealed from the teachers themselves. If the matter ended here, it might not do more harm than occasion the loss of the particular pupils to the offending teachers; but the fancied injury, although never communicated to the person chiefly interested in removing the unfounded imputation, is, in general, the more diligently made known to others. With all these, the characters of the teachers are deeply injured, if not entirely ruined, without the possibility of a vindication, from utter ignorance of its being any where necessary. Persons who are thus regardless of what they say of schools and their conductors, and who are so careless as to the sources from which they seek a knowledge of their characters, are liable to be greatly deceived, even when making inquiries, in a manner that appears to them most likely to obtain correct information. Thus, in the opinion of these precipitate and reckless judges, it is at once concluded, that if an individual of their acquaintance has merely been at any particular school, whether in casually passing or specially to see it, this person must necessarily be well qualified to tell, describe, and explain every thing about it; and therefore, that the sentence of approval or condemnation produced by this off-hand judge, must be decisive, although it may go no farther than a simple “ipse dixit”—“he or she said it.” Details are rarely, if ever asked by such inquirers, (for I have often witnessed their method of proceeding) but the mere opinion of the informant, for or against the school, is deemed all sufficient; the brief assertion, “I've no notion of it,” or “I like it mightily,” settles the question. It seems never to be even suspected, that to form a just and impartial judgment in regard to the merits or demerits of any school, requires much more time, learning, knowledge of the principles and management of schools in general, acquaintance with the various modes of instructing youth, but, above all, more power of discrimination than most persons possess. Hence, the characters both of schools and teachers, are generally at the mercy of individuals extremely incompetent to determine what they really are.

Another common fault with many parents and guardians, has always reminded me of the old miser who inquired of his merchant for a pair of shoes, that must be at once “very neat, and strong, and fine, and cheap.” They confound together cheapness and lowness of price, although no two things generally differ more widely; and hence they always endeavor to purchase their schools as they do their merchandise. It is certainly true that a high price does not necessarily make either schools or merchandise of good quality; but it is equally true, that a low price can never have any such effect. The principle of equivalents must be alike consulted in both cases, or no fair, equitable bargain can be made, either for bodily or mental apparel. If much is required, much must be given, provided both parties are free to give and take; and those who act upon different principles—be they parents, guardians, or teachers, deserve to be, and generally are, utterly disappointed.

There is another fault which I will here mention—not on account of any connexion with that just noticed, but because the recollection of it has just presented itself. It is of most fearful import, for I verily believe it to be the foundation of most of the infidelity which prevails among the youth of our country. I mean, the neglect of parents to require their children to seek religious instruction by constant attendance at places of religious worship—places where they themselves, if professors of religion, deem it their sacred duty to attend. They require—nay, insist upon these children seeking classical, scientific, and literary knowledge by attending schools and colleges; how then can they possibly justify, or even excuse their attendance at church, not being at least equally insisted upon. They themselves, unless hypocrites, must deem religious knowledge far more important than all other kinds united. To leave their children then, at full liberty to seek or not to seek it, and to coerce them in seeking these other kinds, is to act, not only inconsistently and foolishly, but wickedly.

One of the greatest and most pernicious faults of all, I have reserved for the last to be noticed. It is the utter indifference which, not only parents and guardians but all other persons except the instructors themselves, appear to feel for the reputation of schools and their particular conductors, although this reputation is really a matter of the deepest interest to the whole community. Of these institutions and their managers, it seems in an especial manner, and most emphatically true, that “what is every body's business is no body's business.” Slander and its effects may certainly be called every body's business, since all are exposed to it; yet no individual appears to think it his own, or likely to be so, until it touches his own dear self, although one of the best modes of protecting himself from it, most obviously is—to manifest, on all occasions, a readiness to protect others. But while men remain so prone to believe ill, rather than good, of their fellow creatures, and are too regardless of any reputations but their own, it is hardly to be expected, that so long as they themselves are safe, much care will be felt whether the persons assailed, are openly or secretly attacked, or whether they have opportunities to defend themselves or not. Hence, there are no courts in the world that exercise a more despotic, reckless sway, than what may justly be called courts of defamation; the only qualifications for which are, a talent and love for malignant gossipping. Even the tribunals of the inquisition make a pretence at justice, by calling the accused before them; but the self-constituted inquisitors of reputation, who often, in the course of their various sessions, sit upon schools and their conductors, disdain to use even the mockery of a trial. With them, to try, to condemn, and to execute the character, while the body is absent, constitute but one and the same act; and like so many grand sultans, whose power is supreme, whose word is law, and whose arguments are the scimitars and bow-strings of death, they are alike uncontrolled and uncontrollable by any considerations even approaching towards truth and justice. If defamation never meets with any thing to check it but the unheeded, unavailing complaints of the immediate sufferers from its diabolical spirit, it will [p. 443] continue greatly to impair, if it does not utterly destroy one of the most copious sources of human happiness—I mean, the heart-cheering confidence, that all will acquire fair reputations by always acting in a manner to deserve them, and that nothing can bereave them of this inestimable blessing, but actual misconduct. It is true, that our laws hold out something like a remedy for slander by known individuals. But what is this remedy? While house-breaking and house-burning have often been made punishable by death—character-breaking and burning have met with no other legal corrective than pecuniary fines, and these too, dependent on enactments hard to be applied to any particular case, and upon the capricious, ill-regulated, not to say, prejudiced, judgments of others. To mend the matter, public opinion generally attaches no small disgrace to the seeking this species of redress; as if to sue for damages to character, implied, on the part of woman, some strong probability of guilt, and on the part of man, a great presumption both of guilt and cowardice. Against the effect of inimical motives, calumnious opinions, and their underhand circulation, no law affords any protection whatever. These matters are entirely beyond the reach of all legislation, and unless they can be cured by moral instruction, moral discipline, and such a public sentiment as will keep alive in every bosom a strong sense of our obligations always to judge charitably and justly of each other, the members of our society, one and all, must still live exposed to this deep and deadly curse of secret defamation. Such is the baneful nature of this deplorable evil, that to fear or despise will only serve to aggravate it—while to live above it, although very comfortable to our consciences, can never entirely prevent the injuries it often has the power of inflicting upon even the best of mankind. The disastrous effects of it upon education, so far as this depends upon scholastic establishments, are incalculable; for although some particular schools might rise or fall a sightless distance above the hopes of their most sanguine friends—below the wishes of their bitterest enemies—without materially affecting the general cause of instruction; yet that cause cannot possibly flourish—cannot even approach its maximum of general good, without far greater protection from public sentiment. It must protect, and with parental solicitude too, the reputation both of teachers and schools, or none whatever, even the best, can be secure of a twelve months' existence. None can possibly last, unless all who have any power of giving the tone and character of public opinion, will unite in marking with the severest reprobation the kind of spirit which so frequently gives birth and circulation to the numerous, unfounded calumnies we so often hear against the very best of them; calumnies too, to the greedy swallowing of which, it forms no objection with many, that they have no authors who have hardihood enough to avow them. But the same violent spirit which ruins some schools by calumny, often exerts itself with so little judgment as to destroy others by intended kindness. Thus, the same tongues which will persecute particular schools in secret—“even unto death,” will praise and puff others so immeasurably, as to excite against them that never dying envy and animosity, which is always roused to action by high seasoned commendation of others. These headlong, unreflecting puffers, are either utterly ignorant, or entirely forget that the world is still full of people who are brothers and sisters, at least in feeling, to that Athenian who voted to banish Aristides, (whom he acknowledged he did not know,) solely, as he declared—“because he was weary and sick at heart, on hearing him every where called the Just.”

The foregoing faults, as far as I can recollect, are the chief and most pernicious of those which attach particularly to parents and guardians. But there are many others to which they are parties, either as principals or accessaries with that great and complicated mass of human beings, which, when considered in the aggregate, constitute what is called—“the public.” These often form themselves into large subdivisions, arrayed against each other with all the bitter animosity of partizan hostility, as the assailants and defenders of particular schools; without appearing, for a moment to reflect, that complete success to either party must sweep from the face of the earth one half of the existing schools, although it is manifest to all who will look soberly at our present condition, that the supply of good schools, still falls very far short of the demand. But if this exterminating war between the partizans and enemies of schools in general is never to cease, would it not be far better for the world, if all the schools in it, with their friends and enemies, were crushed together in one promiscuous mass—that some new, and, if possible, better road might be opened to science, literature and religion?

In education there should be, in reality, but one party—(if I may be allowed to say so) that of knowledge and virtue; but one object, and that object human happiness. Until this principle can be universally established and acted upon—until the class of instructers shall not only be held in higher estimation, but be more secure of being protected by public sentiment, from unmerited obloquy and secret detraction, thousands of those who are most capable of fulfilling all the momentous duties of teachers, will shrink entirely from so thankless, so discouraging an occupation. It is true, that even under present circumstances, we have the appearance of much good resulting from the various attempts to educate the rising generation; but no very extensive advantage—no permanent benefit, at all commensurate to the wants and wishes of our thirteen millions of people, can possibly result from them while things remain exactly as they are. This is not the worst consequence of such a state of public sentiment—for, not only will the accessions of highly qualified persons to the class of instructers be much fewer, but those already belonging to it, will either abandon it, or, perceiving that the privilege of teaching is usually let to the lowest bidder, and that their profession is generally treated as an inferior one, having few claims to generous sympathy, and none to that respect and esteem which would bear them harmless, at all times, against all suspicions of meanness and servility, will insensibly contract the spiritless, submissive feelings which they find are commonly supposed to belong to their situation. Seeing also that a spirit of independence—a nice, high-minded sense of honor, are deemed by many, sentiments of much too exalted a grade for those who follow such a calling, their principles are always in danger of sinking to the level of such a standard, however arbitrary and unreasonable may have been its establishment. Woe to the unlucky [p. 444] wight of a schoolmaster or schoolmistress who happens to be gifted with so rebellious a heart, as to betray any feeling, even approaching to indignant resentment, for such treatment! Silence is their true policy, for it will be considered his or her humble duty; and silence must be kept, cost what it may, unless they are prepared to encounter the worst consequences of derision, scorn, or deprivation of what is called patronage.

It is readily admitted, that persons of this profession are more highly estimated than they were forty or fifty years ago; for I distinctly recollect the time when all I have said of the degrading treatment of teachers generally, both by parents and others, was literally true; when to the question, “who is such a one?” the common reply was, “oh, nothing but a schoolmaster or schoolmistress;” and when they were all commonly viewed precisely as we might imagine from such an answer. But although they have, of late years, been elevated a spoke or two higher up the ladder of respectability, still they are not admitted to a level with several other classes, whose real claims to superiority have no better foundation than their own silly, groundless pride.

The following extract from the London Examiner affords a striking proof that what I have affirmed of the public sentiment relative to the class of teachers in the United States, is true to a still more pernicious extent in Great Britain.

The author remarks, “A trust is generally accounted honorable in proportion to its importance, and the order of the qualities or acquirements requisite to the discharge of it. There is, however, one striking exception to this rule in the instance of the instructers of youth, who, specially appointed to communicate the knowledge and accomplishments which may command respect in the persons of their pupils, are, in their own, denied every thing beyond the decencies of a reluctantly accorded civility, and often are refused even those barren observances. The treatment which tutors, governesses, ushers, and the various classes of preceptors, receive in this boasted land of liberality, is a disgrace to the feelings, as well as to the understanding of society. Every parent acknowledges that the domestic object of the first importance is the education of his children. In obtaining the services of an individual for this purpose, he takes care to be assured” (not always so with us) “that his morals are good and his acquirements beyond the common average—in nine hundred and ninety-nine cases out of a thousand, we may add, beyond those which he himself possesses, and on which he sufficiently prides himself. When he has procured such a man as he believes this to be, he treats him with perhaps as much courtesy as his cork-drawer, and shows him less favor than his groom. The mistress of the family pursues the same course with the governess which the master adopts towards the tutor. The governess is acknowledged competent to form the minds and manners of the young ladies—to make, indeed, the future women: but of how much more consequence in the household is she who shapes the mistresses caps, and gives the set to her head-dress—the lady's maid! The unhappy teachers in almost every family are only placed just so much above the servants as to provoke in them the desire to pull them down—an inclination in the vulgar menials which is commonly encouraged by the congenial vulgar and jealous pride of the heads of the house, impatient of the intellectual equality or superiority which they have brought within their sphere. The remark, however, does not apply to the narrow-minded only. All of us regard too lightly those who make a profit of communicating what all of us prize, and what we know entitles us to respect when we possess it. Some carry their neglect or contempt farther than others, but all are, in a greater or less degree, affected by the vicious standard of consideration common in the country. The instructers of youth serve for low wages; that is a sufficient cause for their being slighted, where money puts its value upon every thing and being. The butler and groom, indeed, serve for less than the tutor; but, beside the lowness of price, there is another peculiar ingredient in the condition of the last, which is, the accompaniment with it of a claim to respect on the score of a requital. It is this very claim, so ill-substantiated in hard cash, the secret force of which wounds the self-love of purse-proud nothingness, which sinks the poor tutor in regard below the man of corks or currycombs. We will not deny, too, that there are families in which the care of wine and the training of horses are really accounted, although not confessed, of superior importance to the care and training of youth. These are extreme cases, however, which we would not put. The common one is that of desiring and supposing every thing respectable in the preceptor, and denying him respect—of procuring an individual to instil virtue and knowledge into the minds of youth, and showing them, at the same time, the practical and immediate example of virtue and knowledge neglected or despised in his person. How can a boy (and boys are shrewd enough) believe that the acquirements, the importance of which is dinned in his ears, are of any value as a means of commanding the respect of the world, when he witnesses the treatment, the abject social lot of the very man, who, as best stored with them, has been chosen his instructer? Will he not naturally ask, how can these things obtain honor for me which do not command even courtesy for him who is able to communicate them to me?”

We remember, in a little volume treating on instruction, to have seen this anecdote:

“A lady wrote to her son, requesting to look out for a young lady, respectably connected, possessed of various elegant accomplishments and acquirements, skilled in the languages, a proficient in music, and above all, an unexceptionable moral character—and to make her an offer of 40l. a year for her services as a governess. The son's reply was—‘My dear mother, I have long been looking out for such a person as you describe, and when I have the good fortune to meet with her, I propose to make her an offer—not of 40l. a year, but of my hand, and to ask her to become—not your governess, but my wife.’”

Such are the qualities expected or supposed in instructers; and yet, what is notoriously their treatment?

I will here end this long and painful catalogue of parental faults, and shall devote the next lecture to the faults of teachers—merely remarking, in conclusion, that my sole undertaking being to point out things which require reformation, I shall present no favorable views of the various parties concerned in the great work of education, although many very animating ones might [p. 445] be given. To aid in removing the numerous obstacles which so fatally impede its progress, being my only purpose, I would fain render the nature of them as odious as possible, believing this to be the best means of accomplishing the great end in view.

May the moral mirror which I have endeavored to present to all parents and guardians who may now hear me, enable them so to see and to study their own peculiar faults as speedily to correct them.


Which ever way my vision turns,
    To heaven or earth, I see thee there,
In every star thy eyebeam burns,
    Thy breath in every balmy air;
Thy words seem truth herself enshrined,
    Sweet as the seraph minstrel sung,
And thou, in dignity of mind,
    An angel with a silver tongue.

What dreams of bliss entrance the soul,
    When Persians watch their idol light,
What pleasing visions o'er them roll
    Caught from his beams serene and bright,
Thus, when a sparkling ray is given,
    From eyes so soft, so pure as thine—
We feel as though our earth were heaven
    And thou its radiant light divine.


    In vain are musty morals taught in schools,
By rigid teachers and as rigid rules,
Where virtue with a frowning aspect stands,
And frights the pupil with her rough commands.
But Woman—
Charming Woman, can true converts make—
We love the precepts for the teacher's sake:
Virtue in them appears so bright and gay,
We hear with transport, and with pride obey.



The pages of our Magazine are open, and have ever been, to the discussion of all general questions in Political Law, or Economy—never to questions of mere party. The paper on the Right of Instruction, which forms our leading article this month, was addressed, in the form of a letter, to a gentleman of Richmond. The letter concluded thus—

“I assure you, my dear sir, that I hesitate about sending these sheets to you under the denomination of a letter. But I began to write without knowing how far the subject might carry me on. No doubt had I time to write it over again, I might avoid repetition and greatly abridge it. But I pray you to take it with a fair allowance for all imperfections of manner; for the opinions and argument I confess my responsibility.

Most truly and respectfully your obedient servant,                        
—— ——.”        



A Pleasant Peregrination through the Prettiest Parts of Pennsylvania. Performed by Peregrine Prolix. Philadelphia: Grigg and Elliot.

We know nothing farther about Peregrine Prolix than that he is the very clever author of a book entitled “Letters descriptive of the Virginia Springs,” and that he is a gentleman upon the wrong side of forty. The first fact we are enabled easily to perceive from the peculiarity of an exceedingly witty-pedantic style characterizing, in a manner not to be mistaken, both the Virginia and the Pennsylvania Letters—the second appears from the first stanza of a rhyming dedication (much better than eulogistic) to John Guillemard, Esquire, Fellow of the Royal Society, London

I send my friend a little token
    Three thousand miles across the sea,
Of kindness, forty years unbroken
    And cherished still for him by me.

However these matters may be, it is very certain that Peregrine Prolix is a misnomer, that his book is a very excellent thing, and that the Preface is not the worst part of it.

Our traveller, before setting out on his peregrinations, indulges us, in Letter I, with a very well executed outline sketch, or scratch, of Philadelphia, not troubling himself much about either his keeping or his fillings in. We cannot do better than just copy the whole of his picture.

Philadelphia is a flat, rectangular, clean, (almost too clean sometimes, for on Saturdays “nunquam cessavit lavari, aut fricari, aut tergeri, aut ornari, poliri, pingi, fingi,”1) uniform, well-built, brick and mortar, (except one stone house,) well-fed and watered, well-clad, moral, industrious, manufacturing, rich, sober, quiet, good-looking city. The Delaware washes its eastern and the Schuylkill its western front. The distance between the two rivers is one mile and three quarters, which space on several streets is nearly filled with houses. Philadelphia looks new, and is new, and like Juno always will be new; for the inhabitants are constantly pulling down and new-vamping their houses. The furor delendi with regard to old houses, is as rife in the bosoms of her citizens, as it was in the breast of old Cato with regard to Carthage. A respectable-looking old house is now a rare thing, and except the venerable edifice of Christ Church in Second above Market Street, we should hardly know where to find one.
1 Plautus, Pænuli, Act i., sc. 2, l. 10.
The dwelling-houses in the principal streets are all very much alike, having much the air of brothers, sisters and cousins of the same family; like the supernumerary figures in one of West's historical paintings, or like all the faces in all of Stothard's designs. They are nearly all three stories high, faced with beautiful red unpainted Philadelphia brick, and have water tables and steps of white marble, kept so painfully clean as to make one fear to set his foot on them. The roofs are in general of cedar, cypress or pine shingles; the continued use of which is probably kept up (for there is plenty of slate,) to afford the Fire-Companies a little wholesome exercise.
The streets are in general fifty feet wide, having on each side convenient trottoirs well paved with brick, and a carriage way badly paved with large round pebbles. They are kept very clean, and the kennels are frequently washed by floods of pure Schuylkill water, poured from the iron pipes with which all the streets are underlaid. [p. 446] This same Schuylkill water is the cause of many comforts in the shape of drinking, bathing and clean linen, (indusia toraliaque;) and enters into the composition of those delicious and persuasive liquids called Pepper's beer and Gray's ale and porter.
This water is so pure, that our brothers of New York complain of its want of taste; and it is as wholesome and refreshing as the stream of father Nilus. It is also so copious, that our incendiaries are scarcely ever able to burn more than the roof or garret of one or two houses in a month. The fire companies are numerous, voluntary, well-organized associations, amply furnished with engines, hose, and all other implements and munitions necessary to make successful war upon the destroying element; and the members are intelligent, active and intrepid young men, so skilful from daily practice, that they will put you out three or four fires in a night, in less time than Higginbottom, that veteran fireman of London, would have allowed them to kindle.
The public confidence in these useful, prompt, energetic and faithful companies is so great, that no citizen is alarmed by the cry of fire; for he knows that the first tap on the State House bell, arouses hundreds of these vigilant guardians of the city's safety, who rush to the scene of danger with one accord; and with engines, axes, ladders, torches, hooks and hose, dash through summer's heat, or winter's hail and snows.
The old State House, in whose eastern room the Declaration of Independence was signed, has on the top of it, a sort of stumpy steeple, which looks as if somewhat pushed in, like a spy glass, half shut. In this steeple is a large clock, which, twice as bad as Janus, presents four faces, which at dusk are lighted up like the full moon; and as there is a man in the moon, so there is a man in the clock, to see that it does not lag behind, nor run away from father time; whose whereabout, ever and anon, the people wish to know. This close observer of the time is also a distant observer of the fires, and possesses an ingenious method of communicating their existence and position to his fellow citizens below. One tap on the great bell means north; two indicate south; three represent east, and four point out west; and by composition these simple elements are made to represent also the intermediate points. If the fire be in the north, the man strikes successive blows with solemn and equal intervals, thus; tap——tap——tap——tap; if it be in the south, thus; tap tap——tap tap; if it be in the north east, thus; tap——tap tap tap———tap——tap tap tap; so that when the thrifty and well-fed citizen is roused by the cry of fire at midnight, from a pleasant dream of heaps of gold and smoking terrapins and whisky punch, he uncovers one ear and listens calmly for the State House bell, and if its iron tongue tell of no scathe to him, he turns him on his side and sleeps again. What a convenient invention, which tells the firemen when and where to go, and the terrapin men when to lie snug in their comfortable nests! This clever plan is supposed to have been invented by an M. A. P. S.; this however, we think doubtful, for the Magellanic Premium has never, to our knowledge, been claimed for the discovery. This reminds us that the American Philosophical Society is located2 in Philadelphia, where it possesses a spacious hall, a good library, and an interesting collection of American antiquities, gigantic fossil bones, and other curiosities, all of which are open to the inspection of intelligent and inquisitive travellers.
2 A new and somewhat barbarous, but exceedingly convenient yankeeism, which will probably work its way into good society in England, as its predecessor ‘lengthy,’ has already done.
The Society was founded by the Philosophical Franklin, and its presidential chair is now occupied by the learned and venerable Duponceau.
There exists here a club of twenty-four philosophers, who give every Saturday evening very agreeable male parties;3 consisting of the club, twenty invited citizens and any strangers who may happen to be in town. These parties are not confined to any particular circle; but all men who are distinguished in the arts, whether fine or mechanical; or in the sciences, whether natural or artificial, are liable to be invited. The members of the club are all M. A. P. S., and the parties are supposed to look with a steady eye towards the cultivation of science; the other eye however regards with equal complacency the useful and ornamental arts of eating and drinking. The only defect in the latter department that we have discovered, is the banishment of ice cream and roman punch.
3 Called Wistar parties, in honor of the late illustrious Caspar Wistar, M.D., Professor of Anatomy in the University of Pennsylvania.
The markets are well supplied with good things. The principal one is held under long colonnades running along the middle of Market street, and extending from Front to Eighth street, a distance of more than one thousand yards. The columns are of brick and the roofs of shingles, arched and ceiled underneath. If I were to say all they deserve of its beef, mutton and veal, there would be no end to the praises that flesh is heir to; but the butter and cream-cheese in the spring and summer, are such dainties as are found in no other place under the welkin. They are produced on dairy farms and by families near the city, whose energies have for several generations been directed to this one useful end, and who now work with an art made perfect by the experience of a century.
Here is the seat of the University of Pennsylvania, which comprehends a College of the Arts and several preparatory schools; and a college of Medicine the most celebrated of the United States, in the list of whose professors are many names advantageously known in all civilized nations.
The Hospital for the insane, sick and wounded is a well conducted institution, and worth a stranger's visit. Go and see also the Museum, the Water-Works, the Navy-Yard, and the public squares, and lots of other things too tedious to write down.
The site of the city promises very little for the scenery of the environs; but unlike the witches in Macbeth, what is promised is more than kept. Take an open carriage and cross the Schuylkill by the Market street bridge, and ride up the west bank of the river for five or six miles, and your labor will be fully rewarded by a succession of lovely landscapes, comprehending water, hill and dale; wood, lawn and meadow; villas, farmhouses and cottages, mingled in a charming variety.
On the west bank of the Schuylkill opposite to the city, we regret to say, is an enormous palace, which cost many hundred thousand dollars, called an Almshouse, (unhappy misnomer,) which is big enough to hold all the paupers that would be in the world, if there were no poor laws to make them. But you had better go and see it, and take the length and breadth and height of our unreason, in this age of light, when we ought to know better.
The people of Philadelphia are in general well-informed, well-bred, kind, hospitable and of good manners, very slightly tinged with quaker reserve; and the tone of society is good, except in a small circle of exclusive imagines subitæ, who imitate very awkwardly the exaggerations of European fashion. The tone of the Satanic school, which has somewhat infected the highest circles of fashion in England, has not yet crossed the Atlantic.
There are many good Hotels, and extensive boarding houses; and the table of the Mansion House is said to be faultless.
Taking every thing into consideration, this is certainly the very spot for annuitants, who have reached the rational age of fifty, to nestle in during the long remnant of their comfortable days. We say long remnant, because as a class, annuitants are the longest livers; and there is an excellent company here, that not only grants annuities, but also insures lives.
The climate of Philadelphia is variable, and exhibits (in the shade,) all the degrees of temperature that are contained between the tenth below, and the ninetieth [p. 447] above zero, on the scale of Fahrenheit. In general, winter does not begin seriously until after Christmas, but he sometimes lingers too long in “the lap of spring,” and leaves a bridge of ice on the noble river Delaware until the tenth of March.
There are generally three or four weeks of severe cold, during which the thermometer sometimes at night sinks below zero, and sometimes in the day does not rise to the point of thaw. This period is generally enlivened by two or three snow storms, which set in motion the rapid sleighs, the jingle of whose lively bells is heard through day and night. The Delaware is not frozen over every winter, but there is always made an ample supply of fine crystalline ice to last the citizens until the next winter. The annual average duration of interrupted navigation may be four or five weeks. In March there is sometimes a little Scotch weather in which Sawney would rub his hands and tell you, here is a fine cauld blawey snawey rainy day. There is however not much such weather, though the March winds have been known to blow (as Paddy would say,) even in the first week of April; after which spring begins with tears and smiles to coax the tardy vegetation into life.
Spring is short and vegetation rapid. Summer sprinkles a day here and there in May, and sets in seriously to toast people in June; during which month there are generally six or eight days whose average temperature reaches the altissimum of summer heat. In July the days are hot, but there is some relief at night; whilst in August the fiery day is but a prelude to a baking night; and the whole city has the air of an enormous oven.4 The extremely hot weather does not continue more than six weeks, and so far from being a misfortune, it is a great advantage to the inhabitants; for it makes every body that can spare twenty dollars, take a pleasant journey every year, whereby their minds are expanded, their manners improved, and they return with a double zest to the enjoyments of Philadelphia, having learned, quantum est in rebus inane, that is, in the rebuses of other places.
4 The season of the Dog Days. A witty Philadelphia lady being once asked, how many Dog Days there are, answered that there must be a great many, for every dog has his day. At that time the city abounded in dogs, but the corporation has since made fierce war upon them, with a view perhaps of lessening the number of Dog Days, and improving the climate, by curtailing those innocent beasts.
The autumn, or as the Philadelphians call it, the Fall, is the most delightful part of the year, and is sometimes eked out by the Indian Summer as far as Christmas. The Fall begins in the first half of September and generally lasts until the middle of November, when it is succeeded by the Indian Summer; a pleasant period of two or three weeks, in which the mornings, evenings and nights are frosty, and the days comfortably warm and a little hazy. The Indians are supposed to have employed this period in hunting and laying in game for winter use, before the long-knives made game of them.
The population of Philadelphia and its suburbs exceeds 180,000 souls.

Having taken passage for himself and a friend in the Pioneer line, at 8 A. M., for Hallidaysburg, Mr. Prolix dates his second letter from Lancaster. This epistle is full of fun, bustle, and all good things—gives a lively picture of the horrors of early rising and half-eaten breakfasts—of a cruise in an omnibus, about the city of Brotherly Love, in search of the due quota of passengers—of the depot in Broad Street—of an unilocular car with its baggage and passengers—of an old woman in a red cloak and an old gentleman in a red nose—of a tall, good looking Englishman, who was at the trouble of falling asleep—and of an infantile little American gentleman, who had no trouble whatever about fulfilling all his little occasions. Some account, too, is given of the ride to the foot of the inclined plane on the western bank of the Schuylkill, of the viaduct by which the plane is approached, the view from the viaduct, of the country between Philadelphia and Lancaster, of the Columbia rail road, of Lancaster city, and of Mrs. Hubley's very respectable hotel.

Letter III is dated from Duncan's Island. Mr. Prolix left Lancaster at 5 A. M. in a rail road car, drawn by two horses tandem, arrived at Columbia in an hour and a half, and stopped at Mr. Donley's Red Lion Hotel, where he “breakfasted and dined, and found the house very comfortable and well kept.”

“Columbia,” says Mr. P. “is twelve miles from Lancaster, and is situated on the eastern bank of the noble river Susquehanna. It is a thriving and pretty town, and is rapidly increasing in business, population and wealth. There is an immense bridge here over the Susquehanna, the superstructure of which, composed of massy timber, rests upon stone piers. This bridge is new, having been built within three years. The waters of the Susquehanna, resembling the citizens of Philadelphia, in their dislike to old buildings, took the liberty three years ago, to destroy the old bridge by means of an ice freshet, though it was but twenty years of age, and still in excellent preservation. The views from the bridge, up and down the river, are very interesting. Here is the western termination of the rail road, and goods from the sea-board intended for the great west, are here transhipped into canal boats. Columbia contains about twenty-five hundred souls.”

Our author does not think that the state affords the public as good a commodity of travelling as the public ought to have for the money paid. Each passenger car, he says, pays for locomotive power two cents per mile, for each passenger—for toll two cents a mile for itself, and one cent per mile for each passenger—burthen cars paying half these rates. There is some mistake here or—we are mistaken. The estimated cost of working an engine, including interest and repairs, is sixteen dollars per day—and the daily sum earned is twenty eight dollars—the state clearing twelve dollars per day on each locomotive. Empty cars pay the same toll and power-hire as full ones, which, as Mr. Prolix observes, is unreasonable.

At 4 P. M. our peregrinator went on board a boat to ascend the canal which follows the eastern bank of the Susquehanna. His description of the genus “canal boat,” species “Pioneer Line,” is effective, and will interest our readers.

A canal packet boat is a microcosm that contains almost as many specimens of natural history as the Ark of Noah. It is nearly eighty feet long and eleven wide; and has a house built in it that extends to within six or seven feet of stem and stern. Thirty-six feet in length of said house are used as a cabin by day, and a dormitory by night; the forward twelve feet being nocturnally partitioned off by an opaque curtain, when there are more than four ladies on board, for their accommodation. In front of said twelve feet, there is an apartment of six feet containing four permanent berths and separated from the cabin by a wooden partition, with a door in it; this is called the ladies' dressing room, and is sacred to their uses.
At 9 P. M. the steward and his satellites begin the work of arranging the sleeping apparatus. This consists of a wooden frame six feet long and twenty inches wide, with canvass nailed over it, a thin mattress and sheets, &c. to match. The frame has two metallic points on one side which are inserted into corresponding holes in the side of the cabin, and its horizontality is preserved [p. 448] by little ropes descending from the ceiling fastened to its other side. There are three tiers of these conveniences on each side, making twenty-four for gentlemen, and twelve for ladies, besides the four permanent berths in the ladies' dressing room. The number of berths, however, does not limit the number of passengers; for a packet is like Milton's Pandemonium, and when it is brim full of imps, the inhabitants seem to grow smaller so as to afford room for more poor devils to come in and be stewed; and tables and settees are put into a sleeping fix in the twinkling of a bedpost.
Abaft the cabin is a small apartment four feet square, in which the steward keeps for sale all sorts of potables, and some sorts of eatables. Abaft that is the kitchen, in which there is generally an emancipated or escaped slave from Maryland or Virginia, of some shade between white and black, who performs the important part of cook with great effect. The breakfasts, dinners and suppers are good, of which the extremes cost twenty-five cents each, and the mean thirty-seven and a half.
The passengers can recreate by walking about on the roof of the cabin, at the risque of being decapitated by the bridges which are passed under at short intervals of time. But this accident does not often happen, for the man at the helm is constantly on the watch to prevent such an unpleasant abridgment of the passengers, and gives notice of the approaching danger by crying out ‘bridge.’
This machine, with all that it inherits, is dragged through the water at the rate of three miles and a half per hour by three horses, driven tandem by a dipod with a long whip, who rides the hindmost horse. The rope, which is about one hundred yards in length, is fastened to the side of the roof, at the distance of twenty feet from the bow, in such fashion that it can be loosed from the boat in a moment by touching a spring. The horses are changed once in about three hours and seem very much jaded by their work.

At an hour past midnight Mr. Prolix arrived at Harrisburg, where the boat stops for half an hour to let out and take in passengers. It was pitch dark, however, and nothing was visible from the boat. We miss, therefore, a description of the town, which is cavalierly snubbed by the tourist for containing no more than forty-five hundred inhabitants. He goes to sleep, and awaking at 5 in the morning, finds himself opposite to Duncan's Island. He lands, and takes up his quarters at the hotel of Mrs. Duncan. Unlike the hotels previously described, which were all “elegant, respectable and neat,” this one is merely “neat, elegant and respectable.”

Letter IV is dated from Hallidaysburg. Leaving Duncan's Island at 6, the traveller embarked in the canal packet Delaware, Captain Williams, following the bank of Duncan's Island in a north-western course for about a mile, and then crossing the Juniata over “a substantial aqueduct built of timber and roofed in.” In the course of the day he passed Millerstown, Mexico and Mifflin, arriving at Lewistown before sunset, a distance of about forty miles. Lewistown contains about sixteen hundred inhabitants, some of whom, says Mr. Prolix, make excellent beer. Waynesburg and Hamiltonville were past during the night, and Huntingdon at 7 in the morning. In the course of the day Petersburg, Alexandria and Williamsburg made their appearance, and at 3 P. M. a shower of rain. At half past 6, “the packet glided into the basin at Hallidaysburg.” Here terminates that portion of the Pennsylvania canal which lies east of the Alleghany mountains. Goods destined for the west are taken from the boats and placed in burthen cars, to make their passage over the mountains by means of the Alleghany portage rail road. Mr. Prolix here put up at Moore's hotel, which was not only very “neat, elegant,” &c. but contained at least one vacant room, six feet wide by fourteen long, with a double bed, two chairs, and a wash-stand, “whose cleanliness was as great as its littleness.”

Letter V is headed Bedford Springs, August 7, 1835. At half past 8 on the 6th, “after a good and abundant breakfast,” Mr. P. left Hallidaysburg in a coach and four for these Springs. The distance is thirty-four miles—direction nearly south. In six hours he arrived at Buckstown, a little village consisting of two taverns, a blacksmith's shop, and two or three dwellings. Here our traveller put up at a tavern whose sign displayed the name of P. Amich—probably, quoth Mr. P., a corruption of Peregrini Amicus. Leaving this establishment at 3 P. M. he proceeded eleven miles to the village of Bedford—thence two miles farther to the Springs, of which we have a very pretty description. “The benches,” says Mr. Prolix, “and wooden columns of the pavilion have suffered much from the ruthless ambition of that numerous class of aspirants after immortality who endeavor to cut their way to the temple of fame with their penknives, and inflict the ambitious initials of their illustrious names on every piece of stuff they meet. As a goose delights in its gosling, so does one of these wits in his whittling.”

Letters VI and VII are a continuation of the description of the Springs. From letter VII we extract, for the benefit of our invalid readers, an analysis by Doctor William Church of Pittsburgh, of a quart of the water from the particular springs ycleped Anderson's.

A quart of water, evaporated to dryness, gave thirty-one grains of a residuum. The same quantity of water, treated agreeably to the rule laid down by Westrumb, contained eighteen and a half inches of carbonic acid gas. The residuum, treated according to the rules given by Dr. Henry, in his system of Chemistry, gave the following result.
Sulphate of Magnesia or Epsom Salts, 20    grains.
Sulphate of Lime,     "
Muriate of Soda,     "
Muriate of Lime, ¾     "
Carbonate of Iron,     "
Carbonate of Lime, 2        "
Loss,     ¾     "
  31    grains.
To which must be added 18½ cubic inches of carbonic acid gas.

“These waters,” says our author, “have acquired so great a reputation that immense quantities are sent away daily in barrels to perform long and expensive journeys by land to go and cure those who cannot come to them. The price of a barrel filled, and ready booted and spurred for its journey, is three dollars—and that is enough to last a regular and prudent toper four months.”

Letter VIII is dated “Somerset, August 14.” At 10 in the morning of this day, our traveller left the Springs in a hack, to join the mail coach at Bedford on its way to Somerset. “In an hour,” says Mr. P. “we were snugly ensconced in one of Mr. Reeside's well-appointed coaches, and rumbling over the stone turnpike on our way to the great west.” The road for eleven miles is, we are told, not very hilly. Afterwards the country rises gradually from plateau to plateau, for a [p. 449] distance of fourteen miles, when you reach the summit of the Alleghany. Here is a large stone tavern, where the coach takes fresh horses. The country is now nearly level—but for the next six miles descends by alternate declivities and levels into “the broad valley which lies between the summits of the Alleghany Mountain and Laurel Hill,” the distance between which is about twenty miles. In this valley stands Somerset, which Mr. P. reached at half past 7 P. M. “having been eight hours and a half in travelling thirty-eight miles from Bedford.”

Letter IX is dated “Pittsburg, August 16.” At half past 3 A. M. on the 15th, the tourist took the coach from the east bound to the City of Furnaces—at 7 passed the summit of Laurel Hill—at 8 arrived at Jones' Mills, about one-third down the western declivity of the mountain, and breakfasted—at one reached Mount Pleasant, having passed through two mountain villages, Donegal and Madison—thence twenty miles to Stewartsville—thence thirteen farther to

Pittsburgium, longæ finis chartæque viæque,

in spite of the manifold temptations offered to keen appetites by the luxuries of Chalfant's, at Turtle Creek, which, quoth Mr. Prolix, “is a very good house.” His opinions of Pittsburgh, as of every thing else, are entitled to much weight, and in the present instance we give them entire.

The sensation on entering Pittsburgh is one of disappointment; the country through which you have come is so beautiful, and the town itself so ugly. The government of the town seems to have been more intent on filling the purses, than providing for the gratification of the taste, or for the comfort of its inhabitants. As for the Pittsburghers themselves, they are worthy of every good thing, being enlightened, hospitable, and urbane.
Pittsburgh has produced many eminent men in law, politics and divinity, and is now the residence of the erudite, acute and witty author of the Memoir of Sebastian Cabot, which should be read by every native American. Its manufacturing powers and propensities have been so often described and lauded that we shall say nothing about them, except that they fill the people's pockets with cash, and their toiling town with noise, and dust, and smoke.
Pittsburgh is full of good things in the eating and drinking way, but it requires much ingenuity to get them down your throat unsophisticated with smoke and coal-dust. If a sheet of white paper lie upon your desk for half an hour, you may write on it with your finger's end, through the thin stratum of coal-dust that has settled upon it during that interval.
The Pittsburghers have committed an error in not rescuing from the service of Mammon, a triangle of thirty or forty acres at the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela, and devoting it to the purposes of recreation. It is an unparalleled position for a park in which to ride or walk or sit. Bounded on the right by the clear and rapid Alleghany rushing from New York, and on the left by the deep and slow Monongahela flowing majestically from Virginia, having in front the beginning of the great Ohio, bearing on its broad bosom the traffic of an empire, it is a spot worthy of being rescued from the ceaseless din of the steam engine, and the lurid flames and dingy smoke of the coal furnace. But alas! the sacra fames auri is rapidly covering this area with private edifices; and in a few short years it is probable, that the antiquary will be unable to discover a vestige of those celebrated military works, with which French and British ambition, in by-gone ages, had crowned this important and interesting point.
There is a large bridge of timber across the Alleghany and another over the Monongahela; the former of which leads to the town of Alleghany, a rapidly increasing village, situated on a beautiful plain on the western side of the river. About half a mile above the bridge the Alleghany is crossed by an aqueduct bringing over the canal, which (strange to say) comes down from the confluence of the Kiskeminetas with the Alleghany on the western side of the latter river. The aqueduct is an enormous wooden trough with a roof, hanging from seven arches of timber, supported by six stone piers and two abutments. The canal then passes through the town and under Grant's hill through a tunnel, and communicates by a lock with the Monongahela.
The field of battle on which the conceited Braddock paid with his life the penalty of obstinate rashness, is not far from Pittsburgh, and is interesting to Americans as the scene on which the youthful Washington displayed the germs of those exalted qualities which afterwards ripened into the hero, and made him the founder and father of a nation.
Pittsburgh is destined to be the centre of an immense commerce, both in its own products and those of distant countries. Its annual exports at present probably exceed 25,000 and its imports 20,000 tons. Its trade in timber amounts to more than six millions of feet. The inexhaustible supply of coal and the facility of obtaining iron, insure the permanent success of its manufactories. Pittsburgh makes steam engines and other machinery, and her extensive glassworks have long been in profitable operation. There are also extensive paper mills moved by steam, and a manufactory of crackers (not explosive but edible) wrought by the same power. These crackers are made of good flour and pure water, and are fair and enticing to the eye of hunger, but we do not find the flavor so agreeable to the palate as that of Wattson's water crackers. Perhaps they are kneaded by the iron hands of a steam engine, whereas hands of flesh are needed to make good crackers.
New Yorkers and people from down east, who wish to visit the Virginia Springs, cannot take an easier and more delightful route, than that through Pennsylvania to Pittsburg, and thence down the Ohio to Guyandotte; whence to the White Sulphur the distance is one hundred and sixty miles over a good road, through a romantic country, and by a line of good stage coaches.

Letter X is dated “Johnstown, August 20.” Mr. P. left Pittsburgh on the 18th, at nine in the evening, in the canal packet Cincinnati, Captain Fitzgerald. In a few minutes after moving, the packet entered the aqueduct which carries the canal over to the western bank of the Alleghany, “along which it runs in a north eastern direction for thirty miles.” At five o'clock on the morning of the 19th, our tourist passed the village of Freeport, which stands on the western bank of the Alleghany, below the mouth of the Kiskeminitas. A few minutes afterwards he crossed the Alleghany through an aqueduct, which “carries the canal over that river to the northern bank of the Kiskeminitas, the course of which the canal now pursues in a south eastern direction.”

At eight A. M. Mr. P. passed Leechburg, at twelve Saltsburgh—and at two P. M. an aqueduct leading the canal into a tunnel eight hundred feet long, going through the mountain and cutting off a circuit of four miles. At 3 A. M. on the 20th, Johnstown is reached, “the eastern end of the trans-Alleghanian canal, and the western beginning of the Portage rail road.”

Letter XI gives a vivid picture of the Portage rail road. This also we will be pardoned for copying.

Packet Juniata, near Lewistown, August 21, 1835.
Yesterday, at Johnstown, we soon despatched the ceremony of a good breakfast, and at 6 A. M. were in [p. 450] motion on the first level, as it is called, of four miles in length, leading to the foot of the first inclined plane. The level has an ascent of one hundred and one feet, and we passed over it in horse-drawn cars with the speed of six miles an hour. This is a very interesting part of the route, not only on account of the wildness and beauty of the scenery, but also of the excitement mingled with vague apprehension, which takes possession of every body in approaching the great wonder of the internal improvements of Pennsylvania. In six hours the cars and passengers were to be raised eleven hundred and seventy-two feet of perpendicular height, and to be lowered fourteen hundred feet of perpendicular descent, by complicated, powerful, and frangible machinery, and were to pass a mountain, to overcome which, with a similar weight, three years ago, would have required the space of three days. The idea of raising so rapidly in the world, particularly by steam or a rope, is very agitating to the simple minds of those who have always walked in humble paths.
As soon as we arrived at the foot of plane No. 1, the horses were unhitched and the cars were fastened to the rope, which passes up the middle of one track and down the middle of the other. The stationary steam engine at the head of the plane was started, and the cars moved majestically up the steep and long acclivity in the space of four minutes; the length of the plane being sixteen hundred and eight feet, its perpendicular height, one hundred and fifty, and its angle of inclination 5° 42′ 38″.
The cars were now attached to horses and drawn through a magnificent tunnel nine hundred feet long, having two tracks through it, and being cut through solid rock nearly the whole distance. Now the train of cars were attached to a steam tug to pass a level of fourteen miles in length. This lengthy level is one of the most interesting portions of the Portage Rail Road, from the beauty of its location and the ingenuity of its construction. It ascends almost imperceptibly through its whole course, overcoming a perpendicular height of one hundred and ninety feet, and passes through some of the wildest scenery in the state; the axe, the chisel and the spade having cut its way through forest, rock and mountain. The valley of the little Conemaugh river is passed on a viaduct of the most beautiful construction. It is of one arch, a perfect semi-circle with a diameter of eighty feet, built of cut stone, and its entire height from the foundation is seventy-eight feet six inches. When viewed from the bottom of the valley, it seems to span the heavens, and you might suppose a rainbow had been turned to stone.
The fourteen miles of this second level are passed in one hour, and the train arrives at the foot of the second plane, which has seventeen hundred and sixty feet of length, and one hundred and thirty-two feet of perpendicular height. The third level has a length of a mile and five-eighths, a rise of fourteen feet six inches, and is passed by means of horses. The third plane has a length of fourteen hundred and eighty feet, and a perpendicular height of one hundred and thirty. The fourth level is two miles long, rises nineteen feet and is passed by means of horses. The fourth plane has a length of two thousand one hundred and ninety-six feet, and a perpendicular height of one hundred and eighty-eight. The fifth level is three miles long, rises twenty-six feet and is passed by means of horses. The fifth plane has a length of two thousand six hundred and twenty-nine feet, and a perpendicular height of two hundred and two, and brings you to the top of the mountain, two thousand three hundred and ninety-seven feet above the level of the ocean, thirteen hundred and ninety-nine feet above Hallidaysburg, and eleven hundred and seventy-two feet above Johnstown. At this elevation in the midst of summer, you breathe an air like that of spring, clear and cool. Three short hours have brought you from the torrid plain, to a refreshing and invigorating climate. The ascending apprehension has left you, but it is succeeded by the fear of the steep descent which lies before you; and as the car rolls along on this giddy height, the thought trembles in your mind, that it may slip over the head of the first descending plane, rush down the frightful steep, and be dashed into a thousand pieces at its foot.
The length of the road on the summit of the mountain is one mile and five-eighths, and about the middle of it stands a spacious and handsome stone tavern. The eastern quarter of a mile, which is the highest part, is a dead level; in the other part, there is an ascent of nineteen feet. The descent on the eastern side of the mountain is much more fearful than the ascent on the western, for the planes are much longer and steeper, of which you are made aware by the increased thickness of the ropes; and you look down instead of up.
There are also five planes on the eastern side of the mountain, and five slightly descending levels, the last of which is nearly four miles long and leads to the basin at Hallidaysburg; this is travelled by the cars without steam or horse, merely by the force of gravity. In descending the mountain you meet several fine prospects and arrive at Hallidaysburg between twelve and one o'clock.

Letter XII is dated from Lancaster and is occupied with the return home of the adventurous Mr. Prolix, whose book we heartily recommend to all lovers of the utile et dulce.


Notices of the War of 1812. By John Armstrong. New York: George Dearborn.

These “Notices,” by the former Secretary of War, are a valuable addition to our history, and to our historical literature—embracing a variety of details which should not have been so long kept from the cognizance of the public. We are grieved, however, to see, even in the opening passages of the work, a piquancy and freedom of expression, in regard to the unhappy sources of animosity between America and the parent land, which can neither to-day nor hereafter answer any possible good end, and may prove an individual grain in a future mountain of mischief. At page 12, for example.

Still her abuse of power did not stop here: it was not enough that she thus outraged her rights on the ocean; the bosoms of our bays, the mouths of our rivers, and even the wharves of our harbors, were made the theatres of the most flagitious abuse; and as if determined to leave no cause of provocation untried, the personal rights of our seamen were invaded: and men, owing her no allegiance, nor having any connexion with her policy or arms, were forcibly seized, dragged on board her ships of war and made to fight her battles, under the scourge of tyrants and slaves, with whom submission, whether right or wrong, forms the whole duty of man.

We object, particularly here to the use of the verb forms in the present tense.

Mr. Armstrong's publication will extend to two volumes—the second following as soon as possible. What we have now is mostly confined to the operations on the frontier. The subjects of main interest are the opposition to the War—Hull's Expedition—Loss of Michilimackinac—Surrender of Detroit—Militia operations in the West—Harrison's Autumnal and Winter Campaigns—the Partial Armistice—the attack on Queenstown, by Van Rensselaer—the invasion of Canada, by Smith—the campaign against the British advanced posts on Lake Champlain, by [p. 451] Dearborn—Chauncey and Dearborn's Expedition—the reduction of York and Fort George—the affair of Sackett's Harbor—the first and second investments of Fort Meigs—and the defeat of the British fleet on Lake Erie. The Appendix embraces a mass of official and other matter, which will prove of great service to the future historian. What follows has with us a deep interest, and we know many who will understand its origin and character.

The ministry of the elder Adams in England, began on the 10th of June, 1785. In a letter to the American Secretary of Foreign Affairs, on the 19th of July following, he says—“The popular pulse seems to beat high against America; the people are deceived by numberless falsehoods circulated by the Gazettes, &c. so that there is too much reason to believe, that if the nation had another hundred million to spend, they would soon force the ministry into a war against us. Their present system, as far as I can penetrate it, is to maintain a determined peace with all Europe, in order that they may war singly against America, if they should think it necessary.”
In a second letter of the 30th of August following, he says—“In short, sir, America has no party at present in her favor—all parties, on the contrary, have committed themselves against us—even Shelburne and Buckingham. I had almost said, the friends of America are reduced to Dr. Price and Dr. Jebb.”
Again, on the 15th of October, 1785, he informs the American Secretary—“that though it is manifestly as much the interest of Great Britain to be well with us, as for us to be well with them, yet this is not the judgment of the English nation; it is not the judgment of Lord North and his party; it is not the judgment of the Duke of Portland and his friends, and it does not appear to be the judgment of Mr. Pitt and the present set. In short, it does not at present appear to be the sentiment of any body; and I am much inclined to believe they will try the issue of importance with us.”
In his two last letters, the one dated in November, the other in December, 1787, we find the following passages—“If she [England] can bind Holland in her shackles, and France, from internal dissension, is unable to interfere, she will make war immediately against us. No answer is made to any of my memorials, or letters to the ministry, nor do I expect that any thing will be done while I stay.”


Letters, Conversations and Recollections of S. T. Coleridge. New York: Harper and Brothers.

We feel even a deeper interest in this book than in the late Table-Talk. But with us (we are not ashamed to confess it) the most trivial memorial of Coleridge is a treasure of inestimable price. He was indeed a “myriad-minded man,” and ah, how little understood, and how pitifully villified! How merely nominal was the difference (and this too in his own land) between what he himself calls the “broad, pre-determined abuse” of the Edinburgh Review, and the cold and brief compliments with the warm regrets of the Quarterly. If there be any one thing more than another which stirs within us a deep spirit of indignation and disgust, it is that damnation of faint praise which so many of the Narcissi of critical literature have had the infinite presumption to breathe against the majesty of Coleridge—of Coleridge—the man to whose gigantic mind the proudest intellects of Europe found it impossible not to succumb. And as no man was more richly-gifted with all the elements of mental renown, so none was more fully worthy of the love and veneration of every truly good man. Even through the exertion of his great powers he sought no immediate worldly advantages. To use his own words, he not only sacrificed all present prospects of wealth and advancement, but, in his inmost soul, stood aloof from temporary reputation. In the volume now before us, we behold the heart, as in his own works we have beheld the mind, of the man. And surely nothing can be more elevating, nothing more cheering than this contemplation, to one who has faith in the possible virtue, and pride in the possible dignity of mankind. The book is written, we believe, by one of the poet's most intimate friends—one too in whom we recognize a familiarity with the thoughts, and sympathy with the feelings of his subject. It consists of letters, conversations, and fragmentary recollections, interspersed with comment by the compiler, and dedicated to “Elizabeth and Robin, the Fairy Prattler, and still Meek Boy of the Letters.” The letters are by far the most valuable part of the compilation—although all is truly so. A portion of one of them we copy as affording a picture, never surpassed, of great mental power conscious of its greatness, and tranquilly submitting to the indignities of the world.

But enough of these generals. It was my purpose to open myself out to you in detail. My health, I have reason to believe, is so intimately connected with the state of my spirits, and these again so dependant on my thoughts, prospective and retrospective, that I should not doubt the being favored with a sufficiency for my noblest undertaking, had I the ease of heart requisite for the necessary abstraction of the thoughts, and such a reprieve from the goading of the immediate exigencies as might make tranquillity possible. But, alas! I know by experience (and the knowledge is not the less because the regret is not unmixed with self-blame, and the consciousness of want of exertion and fortitude,) that my health will continue to decline as long as the pain from reviewing the barrenness of the past is great in an inverse proportion to any rational anticipations of the future. As I now am, however, from five to six hours devoted to actual writing and composition in the day is the utmost that my strength, not to speak of my nervous system, will permit; and the invasions on this portion of my time from applications, often of the most senseless kind, are such and so many as to be almost as ludicrous even to myself as they are vexatious. In less than a week I have not seldom received half a dozen packets or parcels of works, printed or manuscript, urgently requesting my candid judgment, or my correcting hand. Add to these, letters from lords and ladies, urging me to write reviews or puffs of heaven-born geniuses, whose whole merit consists in being ploughmen or shoemakers. Ditto from actors; entreaties for money, or recommendations to publishers, from ushers out of place, &c. &c.; and to me, who have neither interest, influence, nor money, and, what is still more àpropos, can neither bring myself to tell smooth falsehoods nor harsh truths, and, in the struggle, too often do both in the anxiety to do neither. I have already the written materials and contents, requiring only to be put together, from the loose papers and commonplace or memorandum books, and needing no other change, whether of omission, addition, or correction, than the mere act of arranging, and the opportunity of seeing the whole collectively bring with them of course,—I. Characteristics of Shakspeare's Dramatic Works, with a Critical Review of each Play; together with a relative and comparative Critique on the kind and degree of the Merits and Demerits of the Dramatic Works of Ben Johnson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and Massinger. The History of the English Drama; the accidental advantages it afforded to Shakspeare, without in the least detracting from the perfect originality or proper creation of the [p. 452] Shakspearian Drama; the contradistinction of the latter from the Greek Drama, and its still remaining uniqueness, with the causes of this, from the combined influences of Shakspeare himself, as man, poet, philosopher, and finally, by conjunction of all these, dramatic poet; and of the age, events, manners, and state of the English language. This work, with every art of compression, amounts to three volumes of about five hundred pages each.—II. Philosophical Analysis of the Genius and Works of Dante, Spenser, Milton, Cervantes, and Calderon, with similar, but more compressed, Criticisms on Chaucer, Ariosto, Donne, Rabelais, and others, during the predominance of the Romantic Poetry. In one large volume. These two works will, I flatter myself, form a complete code of the principles of judgment and feeling applied to Works of Taste; and not of Poetry only, but of Poesy in all its forms, Painting, Statuary, Music, &c. &c.—III. The History of Philosophy considered as a Tendency of the Human Mind to exhibit the Powers of the Human Reason, to discover by its own Strength the Origin and Laws of Man and the World, from Pythagoras to Locke and Condillac. Two volumes.—IV. Letters on the Old and New Testaments, and on the Doctrine and Principles held in common by the Fathers and Founders of the Reformation, addressed to a Candidate for Holy Orders; including Advice on the Plan and Subjects of Preaching, proper to a Minister of the Established Church.
To the completion of these four works I have literally nothing more to do than to transcribe; but as I before hinted, from so many scraps and Sibylline leaves, including margins of books and blank pages, that, unfortunately, I must be my own scribe, and not done by myself, they will be all but lost; or perhaps (as has been too often the case already) furnish feathers for the caps of others; some for this purpose, and some to plume the arrows of detraction, to be let fly against the luckless bird from whom they had been plucked or moulted.
In addition to these—of my GREAT WORK, to the preparation of which more than twenty years of my life have been devoted, and on which my hopes of extensive and permanent utility, of fame, in the noblest sense of the word, mainly rest—that, by which I might,
“As now by thee, by all the good be known,
      When this weak frame lies moulder'd in the grave,
  Which self-surviving I might call my own,
      Which Folly cannot mar, nor Hate deprave—
  The incense of those powers, which, risen in flame,
  Might make me dear to Him from whom they came.”
Of this work, to which all my other writings (unless I except my poems, and these I can exclude in part only) are introductory and preparative; and the result of which (if the premises be, as I, with the most tranquil assurance, am convinced they are—insubvertible, the deductions legitimate, and the conclusions commensurate, and only commensurate, with both,) must finally be a revolution of all that has been called Philosophy or Metaphysics in England and France since the era of the commencing predominance of the mechanical system at the restoration of our second Charles, and with this the present fashionable views, not only of religion, morals, and politics, but even of the modern physics and physiology. You will not blame the earnestness of my expressions, nor the high importance which I attach to this work; for how, with less noble objects, and less faith in their attainment, could I stand acquitted of folly and abuse of time, talents, and learning, in a labor of three fourths of my intellectual life? Of this work, something more than a volume has been dictated by me, so as to exist fit for the press, to my friend and enlightened pupil, Mr. Green; and more than as much again would have been evolved and delivered to paper, but that, for the last six or eight months, I have been compelled to break off our weekly meeting, from the necessity of writing (alas! alas! of attempting to write) for purposes, and on the subjects of the passing day. Of my poetic works, I would fain finish the Christabel. Alas! for the proud time when I planned, when I had present to my mind the materials, as well as the scheme of the hymns entitled, Spirit, Sun, Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Man; and the epic poem on—what still appears to me the one only fit subject remaining for an epic poem—Jerusalem besieged and destroyed by Titus.
And here comes my dear friend; here comes my sorrow and my weakness, my grievance and my confession. Anxious to perform the duties of the day arising out of the wants of the day, these wants, too, presenting themselves in the most painful of all forms,—that of a debt owing to those who will not exact it, and yet need its payment, and the delay, the long (not live-long but death-long) behindhand of my accounts to friends, whose utmost care and frugality on the one side, and industry on the other, the wife's management and the husband's assiduity are put in requisition to make both ends meet,—I am at once forbidden to attempt, and too perplexed earnestly to pursue, the accomplishment of the works worthy of me, those I mean above enumerated,—even if, savagely as I have been injured by one of the two influensive Reviews, and with more effective enmity undermined by the utter silence or occasional detractive compliments of the other,5 I had the probable chance of disposing of them to the booksellers, so as even to liquidate my mere boarding accounts during the time expended in the transcription, arrangement, and proof correction. And yet, on the other hand, my heart and mind are for ever recurring to them. Yes, my conscience forces me to plead guilty. I have only by fits and starts even prayed. I have not prevailed on myself to pray to God in sincerity and entireness for the fortitude that might enable me to resign myself to the abandonment of all my life's best hopes, to say boldly to myself,—“Gifted with powers confessedly above mediocrity, aided by an education, of which, no less from almost unexampled hardships and sufferings than from manifold and peculiar advantages, I have never yet found a parallel, I have devoted myself to a life of unintermitted reading, thinking, meditating, and observing. I have not only sacrificed all worldly prospects of wealth and advancement, but have in my inmost soul stood aloof from temporary reputation. In consequence of these toils and this self-dedication, I possess a calm and clear consciousness, that in many and most important departments of truth and beauty I have outstrode my contemporaries, those at least of highest name; that the number of my printed works bears witness that I have not been idle, and the seldom acknowledged, but strictly proveable, effects of my labors appropriated to the immediate welfare of my age in the Morning Post before and during the peace of Amiens, in the Courier afterward, and in the series and various subjects of my lectures at Bristol and at the Royal and Surrey Institutions, in Fetter Lane, at Willis's Rooms, and at the Crown and Anchor (add to which the unlimited freedom of my communications in colloquial life), may surely be allowed as evidence that I have not been useless in my generation. But, from circumstances, the main portion of my harvest is still on the ground, ripe indeed, and only waiting, a few for the sickle, but a large part only for the sheaving, and carting, and housing, but from all this I must turn away, must let them rot as they lie, and be as though they never had been, for I must go and gather blackberries and earth-nuts, or pick mushrooms and gild oak-apples for the palates and fancies of chance customers. I must abrogate the name of philosopher and poet, and scribble as fast as I can, and with as little thought as I can, for Blackwood's Magazine, or, as I have been employed for the last days, in writing MS. sermons for lazy clergymen, who stipulate that the composition must not be more than respectable, for fear they should be desired to publish the visitation sermon!” This I have not yet had courage to do. My soul sickens and my heart sinks; [p. 453] and thus, oscillating between both, I do neither, neither as it ought to be done, or to any profitable end. If I were to detail only the various, I might say capricious, interruptions that have prevented the finishing of this very scrawl, begun on the very day I received your last kind letter, you would need no other illustrations.
5 Neither my Literary Life, (2 vols.) nor Sibylline Leaves, (1 vol.) nor Friend, (3 vols.) nor Lay Sermons, nor Zapolya, nor Christabel, have ever been noticed by the Quarterly Review, of which Southey is yet the main support.
Now I see but one possible plan of rescuing my permanent utility. It is briefly this, and plainly. For what we struggle with inwardly, we find at least easiest to bolt out, namely,—that of engaging from the circle of those who think respectfully and hope highly of my powers and attainments a yearly sum, for three or four years, adequate to my actual support, with such comforts and decencies of appearance as my health and habits have made necessaries, so that my mind may be unanxious as far as the present time is concerned; that thus I should stand both enabled and pledged to begin with some one work of these above mentioned, and for two thirds of my whole time to devote myself to this exclusively till finished, to take the chance of its success by the best mode of publication that would involve me in no risk, then to proceed with the next, and so on till the works above mentioned as already in full material existence should be reduced into formal and actual being; while in the remaining third of my time I might go on maturing and completing my great work (for if but easy in mind I have no doubt either of the reawakening power or of the kindling inclination,) and my Christabel, and what else the happier hour might inspire—and without inspiration a barrel-organ may be played right deftly; but
“All otherwise the state of poet stands:
  For lordly want is such a tyrant fell,
  That where he rules all power he doth expel.
  The vaunted verse a vacant head demands,
  Ne wont with crabbed Care the muses dwell:
  Unwisely weaves who takes two webs in hand!
Now Mr. Green has offered to contribute from 30l. to 40l. yearly, for three or four years; my young friend and pupil, the son of one of my dearest old friends, 50l.; and I think that from 10l. to 20l. I could rely upon from another. The sum required would be about 200l., to be repaid, of course, should the disposal or sale, and as far as the disposal and sale of my writings produced the means.
I have thus placed before you at large, wanderingly as well as diffusely, the statement which I am inclined to send in a compressed form to a few of those of whose kind dispositions towards me I have received assurances,—and to their interest and influence I must leave it—anxious, however, before I do this, to learn from you your very, very inmost feeling and judgment as to the previous questions. Am I entitled, have I earned a right to do this? Can I do it without moral degradation? and, lastly, can it be done without loss of character in the eyes of my acquaintance, and of my friends' acquaintance, who may have been informed of the circumstances? That, if attempted at all, it will be attempted in such a way, and that such persons only will be spoken to, as will not expose me to indelicate rebuffs to be afterward matter of gossip, I know those to whom I shall entrust the statement, too well to be much alarmed about.
Pray let me either see or hear from you as soon as possible; for, indeed and indeed, it is no inconsiderable accession to the pleasure I anticipate from disembarrassment, that you would have to contemplate in a more gracious form, and in a more ebullient play of the inward fountain, the mind and manners of,
My dear friend,                                  
Your obliged and very affectionate friend,                         

It has always been a matter of wonder to us that the Biographia Literaria here mentioned in the foot note has never been republished in America. It is, perhaps, the most deeply interesting of the prose writings of Coleridge, and affords a clearer view into his mental constitution than any other of his works. Why cannot some of our publishers undertake it? They would be rendering an important service to the cause of psychological science in America, by introducing a work of great scope and power in itself, and well calculated to do away with the generally received impression here entertained of the mysticism of the writer.


Thoughts on the Religious State of the Country; with Reasons for preferring Episcopacy. By Rev. Calvin Colton. New York: Harper & Brothers.

If we are to consider opinions of the press, when in perfect accordance throughout so wide a realm as the United States, as a fair criterion by which to estimate the opinions of the people, then it must be admitted that Mr. Colton's late work, “Four Years in Great Britain,” was received, in the author's native land at least, with universal approbation. We heard not a dissenting voice. The candor, especially—the good sense, the gentlemanly feeling, and the accurate and acute observation of the traveller, were the daily themes of high, and, we have no doubt, of well merited panegyric. Nor in any private circle, we believe, were the great merits of the work disputed. The book now before us, which bears the running title of “Reasons for Episcopacy,” is, it cannot be denied, a sufficiently well-written performance, in which is evident a degree of lucid arrangement, and simple perspicuous reason, not to be discovered, as a prevailing feature, in the volumes to which we have alluded. The candor of the “Four Years in Great Britain,” is more particularly manifest in the “Reasons for Episcopacy.” What a lesson in dignified frankness, to say nothing of common sense, may the following passage afford to many a dunder-headed politician!

Inasmuch as it has been supposed by some, that the author of these pages has made certain demonstrations with his pen against that which he now adopts and advocates, it is not unlikely that his consistency will be brought in question. Admitting that he has manifested such an inclination, it can only be said, that he has changed his opinion, which it is in part the design of this book to set forth, with the reasons thereof. If he has written against, and in the conflict, or in any train of consequences, has been convinced that his former position was wrong, the least atonement he can make is to honor what he now regards as truth with a profession as public, and a defence as earnest, as any other doings of his on the other side. It is due to himself to say and to claim, that while he remained a Presbyterian he was an honest one; and it would be very strange if he had never done or said any thing to vindicate that ground. Doubtless he has. He may now be an equally honest Episcopalian; and charity would not require him to assert it.

But the truth is that Mr. Colton has been misunderstood. To be sure, he has frequently treated of the evils attending the existence and operation of the church establishment in England—the union of Church and State. He manifested deep sympathy for those who suffered under the oppression of this establishment, and even allowed himself to be carried so far (in some early communications on the subject which appeared in the columns of a New York weekly paper,) as to animadvert in unbecoming terms upon a class of British [p. 454] clergymen, whose exemplary conduct deserved a more lenient treatment, but whose zeal for the Church of England blinded them to a sense of justice towards Dissenters, and induced them to oppose that just degree of reform which would have proved effectual in remedying the great causes of complaint. He contended, however, if we are not greatly in error, that total reform, to be safe, must be slow—that a separation at a single blow, could not be effected without great hazard to the public interest, and great derangement of private society.

It is even possible (and Mr. Colton himself admits the possibility) that, mingled up with these animadversions of which we speak, might have been some censures upon the Church itself. This was nothing more than natural in an honest and indignant man—an American too, who beheld the vices of the British Church Establishment. But it appears to us quite evident, that the strictures of the author (when considered as a whole and in their general bearing,) have reference to the character—not of the Church—but of the Church of England. Let us turn, for an exemplification of what we say, to his chapter on “The Church of England,” in the “Four Years in Great Britain.” This chapter consists principally of a collection of facts, tending to show the evils of a conjoined Church and State, and intended especially for the perusal of Americans. It is great injustice to confound what we find here, with an attack upon Episcopacy. Yet it seems to us, that this chapter has been repeatedly so misunderstood, by a set of people who are determined to understand every thing in their own particular fashion. “That Episcopacy,” says Mr. Colton, in vindicating himself from the charge adduced, “is the established Church of England is an accident. Presbyterianism is the established religion of Scotland and of some parts of the north of Europe. So was it of England under the Protectorate of Cromwell. No matter what had been the form of the established religion of Great Britain, in the same circumstances the results must have been substantially the same. It is not Episcopacy that has induced these evils, but the vicious and impracticable plan of uniting Church and State for the benefit of society.”

While in England Mr. Colton wrote and published a book on the subject of Revivals, and declared himself their advocate. In the fifth chapter of his present work he opposes them, and in the Preface alludes to his so doing, maintaining that these religious excitements are materially changed in their character. He speaks also of a chapter in a former work, entitled “The Americans, by an American in England”—a chapter devoted to the removal of aspersions cast in England upon the developments of religion in America. For some such defence it appears that he was called upon by friends. The effort itself was, as Mr. C. assures us, of the nature of an apology—neither attempting to recommend or establish any thing—and he thus excuses himself for apparent inconsistency in now declaring an opinion against the expediency of the practices which were scandalized.

The Episcopacy of Mr. Colton will be read with pleasure and profit by all classes of the Christian community who admire perspicuity, liberality, frankness, and unprejudiced inquiry. It is not our purpose to speak of the general accuracy of his data, or the soundness of his deductions. In style the work appears to us excessively faulty—even uncouth.


This volume, from an officer of our Navy, and a Virginian, strongly commends itself to notice. The works at present used by our navy and general marine, though in many respects not devoid of merit, have always struck us as faulty in two particulars. They aim at comprising a great multiplicity of details, many of which relate to matters only remotely bearing upon the main objects of the treatise—and they are deficient in that clearness of arrangement, without which, the numerous facts and formulæ composing the body of such works are little else than a mass of confusion. The extraction of the really useful rules and principles from the multifarious matters with which they are thus encumbered, is a task for which seamen are little likely to have either time or inclination, and it is therefore not surprising that our highly intelligent navy exhibits so many instances of imperfect knowledge upon points which are elementary and fundamental in the science of navigation.

We think that Mr. Maury has, to a considerable degree, avoided the errors referred to; and while his work comprises a sufficient and even copious statement of the rules and facts important to be known in the direction of a ship, he has succeeded, by a judicious arrangement of particulars and by clearly wrought numerical examples, in presenting them in a disembarrassed and very intelligible form. With great propriety he has rejected many statements and rules which in the progress of nautical science have fallen into disuse, and in his selection of methods of computation, has, in general, kept in view those modern improvements in this branch of practical mathematics in which simplicity and accuracy are most happily combined. Much attention to numerical correctness seems to pervade the work. Its style is concise without being obscure. The diagrams are selected with taste, and the engraving and typography, especially that of the tables, are worthy of the highest praise.

Such, we think, are the merits of the work before us—merits which, it must be admitted, are of the first importance in a book designed for a practical manual. To attain them required the exercise of a discriminating judgment, guided by a thorough acquaintance with all the points in nautical science which are of interest to seamen.

There are particulars in the work which we think objectionable, but they are of minor importance, and would probably be regarded as scarcely deserving criticism.

The spirit of literary improvement has been awakened among the officers of our gallant navy. We are pleased to see that science also is gaining votaries from its ranks. Hitherto how little have they improved the golden opportunities of knowledge which their distant voyages held forth, and how little have they enjoyed the rich banquet which nature spreads for them in every clime they visit! But the time is coming when, imbued with a taste for science and a spirit of research, they will become ardent explorers of the regions in which [p. 455] they sojourn. Freighted with the knowledge which observation only can impart, and enriched with collections of objects precious to the student of nature, their return after the perils of a distant voyage will then be doubly joyful. The enthusiast in science will anxiously await their coming, and add his cordial welcome to the warm greetings of relatives and friends.


Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman. By the author of “Tales and Sketches, such as they are.” New York: Leavitt, Lord & Co.

This book is a public imposition. It is a duodecimo volume, of the usual novel size, bound in the customary muslin cover with a gilt stamp on the back, and containing 225 pages of letter press. Its price, in the bookstores, is, we believe, a dollar. Although we are in the habit of reading with great deliberation, not unfrequently perusing individual passages more than two or three times, we were occupied little better than one hour in getting through with the whole of the “Ups and Downs.” A full page of the book—that is, a page in which there are no breaks in the matter occasioned by paragraphs, or otherwise, embraces precisely 150 words—an average page about 130. A full page of this our Magazine, will be found to contain 1544 words—an average page about 1600, owing to the occasional notes in a smaller type than that generally used. It follows that nearly thirteen pages of such a volume as the “Ups and Downs” are required to make one of our own, and that in about fourteen pages such as we are writing, (if we consider the sixteen blank half-pages at the beginning of each chapter in the “Ups and Downs,” with the four pages of index) the whole of the one dollar duodecimo we are now called upon to review, might be laid conveniently before the public—in other words, that we could print nearly six of them in one of our ordinary numbers, (that for March for instance) the price of which is little more than forty cents. We give the amount of six such volumes then for forty cents—of one of them for very little more than a fi'penny bit. And as its price is a dollar, it is clear either that the matter of which the said “Ups and Downs” is composed, is sixteen times as good in quality as our own matter, and that of such Magazines in general, or that the author of the “Ups and Downs” supposes it so to be, or that the author of the “Ups and Downs” is unreasonable in his exactions upon the public, and is presuming very largely upon their excessive patience, gullibility, and good nature. We will take the liberty of analyzing the narrative, with a view of letting our readers see for themselves whether the author (or publisher) is quite right in estimating it at sixteen times the value of the ordinary run of compositions.

The volume commences with a Dedication “To all Doating Parents.” We then have four pages occupied with a content table, under the appellation of a “Bill of Lading.” This is well thought of. The future man of letters might, without some assistance of this nature, meet with no little trouble in searching for any particular chapter through so dense a mass of matter as the “Ups and Downs.” The “Introduction” fills four pages more, and in spite of the unjustifiable use of the word “predicated,” whose meaning is obviously misunderstood, is by much the best portion of the work—so much so, indeed, that we fancy it written by some kind, good-natured friend of the author. We now come to Chapter I, which proves to be Introduction the Second, and extends over seven pages farther. This is called “A Disquisition on Circles,” in which we are informed that “the motion produced by the centripetal and centrifugal forces, seems to be that of nature”—that “it is very true that the periphery of the circles traversed by some objects is greater than that of others”—that “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”—that “Time wings his flight in circles, and every year rolls round within itself”—that “the sun turns round upon his own axis, and the moon changes monthly”—that “the other celestial bodies all wheel their courses in circles around the common centre”—that “the moons of Jupiter revolve around him in circles, and he carries them along with him in his periodical circuit around the sun”—that “Saturn always moves within his rings”—that “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”—that “the lunar circle betokens a tempest”—that “those German principalities which are represented in the Diet are denominated circles”—and that “modern writers on pneumatics affirm every breeze that blows to be a whirlwind.”

But now commences the “Ups and Downs” in good earnest. The hero of the narrative is Mr. Wheelwright, and the author begs leave to assure the reader that Mr. W. is no fictitious personage, that “with the single abatement that names are changed, and places not precisely designated, every essential incident that he has recorded actually occurred, much as he has related it, to a person who, if not now living, certainly was once, and most of them under his own observation.”

Chapter II, treats of the birth and parentage of the hero. Mr. Daniel Wheelwright originally came from New Jersey, but resides at the opening of the story, in the beautiful valley of the Mohawk “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.” He was early instructed by his father in the “elementary principles of his trade,” which was coach-making. “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,” and we are told “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.” We are also assured that the young gentleman was excessively fond of oysters.

In Chapter III, Daniel Wheelwright “grows up a tall and stately youth.” His mother “discovers a genius in him requiring only means and opportunity to wing an eagle-flight.” “An arrangement therefore is effected” by which our hero is sent to school to a “man whom the mother 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.” This is a new and excellent joke—but by no means so good as the one immediately [p. 456] following, where we are told that “notwithstanding the natural indolence of his character, our hero 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.” He is sent to college, however, having “read Cornelius Nepos and three books of the Æneid, thumbed over the Greek Grammar, and gone through the Gospel of St. John.”

Chapter IV, commences with two quotations from Shakspeare. Our hero is herein elected a member of the Philo-Peithologicalethian Institute, commences his debates with a “Mr. President, I are in favor of the negative of that are question,” is “read off” at the close of every quarter, “advances one grade higher” in his classic course every year, and when about to take his degree, is “announced for a poem” in the proces verbal of the commencement, and (one of the professors, if we comprehend, being called Nott) distinguishes himself by the following satirical verses—

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.

For this happy effort he is admitted ad gradum in artibus, and thus closes chapter the fourth.

Chapter V, is also headed with two sentences from Shakspeare. The parents of Mr. W. are now inclined to make him a clergyman, being “not only conscientious people, but sincerely religious, and really desirous of doing good.” This project is dismissed, however, upon our hero's giving no evidence of piety, and Daniel is “entered in the office of an eminent medical gentleman, in one of the most beautiful cities which adorn the banks of the majestic Hudson.” Our author cannot be prevailed upon to state the precise place—but gives us another excellent joke by way of indemnification. “Although,” says he, “like 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.” Daniel now becomes Doctor Wheelwright, reads the first chapter of Cheselden's Anatomy, visits New York, attends the lectures of Hosack and Post, “presses into his goblet the grapes of wisdom clustering around the tongue of Mitchill, and acquires the principles of surgery from the lips, and the skilful use of the knife from the untrembling hand, of Mott.”

At the close of his second year our hero, having completed only half of Cheselden's article on Osteology, relinquishes the study of medicine in despair, and turns merchant—purchasing “the odds and ends of a fashionable fancy and jobbing concern in Albany.” He is gulled however, by a confidential clerk, one John Smith, his store takes fire and burns down, and both himself and father, who indorsed for him, are ruined.

Mr. Wheelwright now retrieves his fortune by the accidental possession of a claim against government, taken by way of payment for a bad debt. But going to Washington to receive his money, he is inveigled into a lottery speculation—that is to say, he spends the whole amount of his claim in lottery-tickets—the manager fails—and our adventurer is again undone. This lottery adventure ends with the excellent joke that in regard to our hero 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!” Mr. Wheelwright now returns to New York, and is thrown into prison by Messieurs Roe and Doe. In this emergency he sends for his friend the narrator, who, of course, relieves his distresses, and opens the doors of his jail.

Chapter IX, and indeed every ensuing chapter, commences with two sentences from Shakspeare. Mr. Wheelwright now becomes agent for a steamboat company on Lake George—but fortune still frowns, and the steamboat takes fire, and is burnt up, on the eve of her first trip, thus again ruining our hero.

“What a moment!” exclaims the author, “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 on that subject! 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 construction of the boat. The nightbird screamed in 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 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!” At the word margin is the following explanatory note. “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.”

In Chapter X, Mr. Wheelwright marries an heiress—a rich widow worth thirty thousand pound sterling in prospectu—in Chapter XI, sets up a Philomathian Institute, the whole of the chapter being occupied with his [p. 457] advertisement—in Chapter XII, his wife affronts the scholars, by “swearing by the powers she would be afther clearing them out—the spalpeens!—that's what she would, honies!” The school is broken up in consequence, and Mrs. Wheelwright herself turns out to be nothing more than “one of the unmarried wives of the lamented Captain Scarlett,” the legal representatives being in secure possession of the thirty thousand pounds sterling in prospectu.

In Chapter XIII, Mr. Wheelwright is again in distress, and applies, of course, to the humane author of the “Ups and Downs,” who gives him, we are assured, “an overcoat, and a little basket of provisions.” In Chapter XIV, the author continues his benevolence—gives a crow, (cock-a-doodle doo!) and concludes with “there is no more charitable people than those of New York!” which means when translated into good English—“there never was a more charitable man than the wise and learned author of the ‘Ups and Downs.’”

Chapter XV, is in a somewhat better vein, and embraces some tolerable incidents in relation to the pawnbrokers' shops of New York. We give an extract—believing it to be one of the best passages in the book.

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 some where 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.

Chapter XVI, is entitled the “end of this eventful history.” Mr. Wheelwright is rescued from the hands of the watch by the author of the “Ups and Downs”—turns his wife, very justly, out of doors—and finally returns to his parental occupation of coach-making.

We have given the entire pith and marrow of the book. The term flat, is the only general expression which would apply to it. It is written, we believe, by Col. Stone of the New York Commercial Advertiser, and should have been printed among the quack advertisements, in a spare corner of his paper.


Watkins Tottle, and other Sketches, illustrative of every-day Life, and every-day People. By Boz. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and Blanchard.

This book is a re-publication from the English original, and many of its sketches are with us old and highly esteemed acquaintances. In regard to their author we know nothing more than that he is a far more pungent, more witty, and better disciplined writer of sly articles, than nine-tenths of the Magazine writers in Great Britain—which is saying much, it must be allowed, when we consider the great variety of genuine talent, and earnest application brought to bear upon the periodical literature of the mother country.

The very first passage in the volumes before us, will convince any of our friends who are knowing in the requisites of “a good thing,” that we are doing our friend Boz no more than the simplest species of justice. Hearken to what he says of Matrimony and of Mr. Watkins Tottle.

Matrimony is proverbially a serious undertaking. Like an overweening predilection for brandy and water, it is a misfortune into which a man easily falls, and from which he finds it remarkably difficult to extricate himself. It is no use telling a man who is timorous on these points, that it is but one plunge and all is over. They say the same thing at the Old Bailey, and the unfortunate victims derive about as much comfort from the assurance in the one case as in the other.
[p. 458]
Mr. Watkins Tottle was a rather uncommon compound of strong uxorious inclinations, and an unparalleled degree of anti-connubial timidity. He was about fifty years of age; stood four feet six inches and three quarters in his socks—for he never stood in stockings at all—plump, clean and rosy. He looked something like a vignette to one of Richardson's novels, and had a clean cravatish formality of manner, and kitchen-pokerness of carriage, which Sir Charles Grandison himself might have envied. He lived on an annuity, which was well adapted to the individual who received it in one respect—it was rather small. He received it in periodical payments on every alternate Monday; but he ran himself out about a day after the expiration of the first week, as regularly as an eight-day clock, and then, to make the comparison complete, his landlady wound him up, and he went on with a regular tick.

It is not every one who can put “a good thing” properly together, although, perhaps, when thus properly put together, every tenth person you meet with may be capable of both conceiving and appreciating it. We cannot bring ourselves to believe that less actual ability is required in the composition of a really good “brief article,” than in a fashionable novel of the usual dimensions. The novel certainly requires what is denominated a sustained effort—but this is a matter of mere perseverance, and has but a collateral relation to talent. On the other hand—unity of effect, a quality not easily appreciated or indeed comprehended by an ordinary mind, and a desideratum difficult of attainment, even by those who can conceive it—is indispensable in the “brief article,” and not so in the common novel. The latter, if admired at all, is admired for its detached passages, without reference to the work as a whole—or without reference to any general design—which, if it even exist in some measure, will be found to have occupied but little of the writer's attention, and cannot, from the length of the narrative, be taken in at one view, by the reader.

The Sketches by Boz are all exceedingly well managed, and never fail to tell as the author intended. They are entitled, Passage in the Life of Mr. Watkins Tottle—The Black Veil—Shabby Genteel People—Horatio Sparkins—The Pawnbroker's Shop—The Dancing Academy—Early Coaches—The River—Private Theatres—The Great Winglebury Duel—Omnibuses—Mrs. Joseph Porter—The Steam Excursion—Sentiment—The Parish—Miss Evans and the Eagle—Shops and their Tenants—Thoughts about People—A Visit to Newgate—London Recreations—The Boarding-House—Hackney-Coach Stands—Brokers and Marine Store-Shops—The Bloomsbury Christening—Gin Shops—Public Dinners—Astley's—Greenwich Fair—The Prisoner's Van—and A Christmas Dinner. The reader who has been so fortunate as to have perused any one of these pieces, will be fully aware of how great a fund of racy entertainment is included in the Bill of Fare we have given. There are here some as well conceived and well written papers as can be found in any other collection of the kind—many of them we would especially recommend, as a study, to those who turn their attention to Magazine writing—a department in which, generally, the English as far excel us as Hyperion a Satyr.

The Black Veil, in the present series, is distinct in character from all the rest—an act of stirring tragedy, and evincing lofty powers in the writer. Broad humor is, however, the prevailing feature of the volumes. The Dancing Academy is a vivid sketch of Cockney low life, which may probably be considered as somewhat too outré by those who have no experience in the matter. Watkins Tottle is excellent. We should like very much to copy the whole of the article entitled Pawnbrokers' Shops, with a view of contrasting its matter and manner with the insipidity of the passage we have just quoted on the same subject from the “Ups and Downs” of Colonel Stone, and by way of illustrating our remarks on the unity of effect—but this would, perhaps, be giving too much of a good thing. It will be seen by those who peruse both these articles, that in that of the American, two or three anecdotes are told which have merely a relation—a very shadowy relation, to pawn-broking—in short, they are barely elicited by this theme, have no necessary dependence upon it, and might be introduced equally well in connection with any one of a million other subjects. In the sketch of the Englishman we have no anecdotes at all—the Pawnbroker's Shop engages and enchains our attention—we are enveloped in its atmosphere of wretchedness and extortion—we pause at every sentence, not to dwell upon the sentence, but to obtain a fuller view of the gradually perfecting picture—which is never at any moment any other matter than the Pawnbroker's Shop. To the illustration of this one end all the groupings and fillings in of the painting are rendered subservient—and when our eyes are taken from the canvass, we remember the personages of the sketch not at all as independent existences, but as essentials of the one subject we have witnessed—as a part and portion of the Pawnbroker's Shop. So perfect, and never-to-be-forgotten a picture cannot be brought about by any such trumpery exertion, or still more trumpery talent, as we find employed in the ineffective daubing of Colonel Stone. The scratchings of a schoolboy with a slate-pencil on a slate might as well be compared to the groupings of Buonarotti.

We conclude by strongly recommending the Sketches of Boz to the attention of American readers, and by copying the whole of his article on Gin Shops.

It is a very remarkable circumstance, that different trades appear to partake of the disease to which elephants and dogs are especially liable; and to run stark, staring, raving mad, periodically. The great distinction between the animals and the trades is, that the former run mad with a certain degree of propriety—they are very regular in their irregularities. You know the period at which the emergency will arise, and provide against it accordingly. If an elephant run mad, you are all ready for him—kill or cure—pills or bullets—calomel in conserve of roses, or lead in a musket-barrel. If a dog happen to look unpleasantly warm in the summer months, and to trot about the shady side of the streets with a quarter of a yard of tongue hanging out of his mouth, a thick leather muzzle, which has been previously prepared in compliance with the thoughtful injunction of the Legislature, is instantly clapped over his head, by way of making him cooler, and he either looks remarkably unhappy for the next six weeks, or becomes legally insane, and goes mad, as it were, by act of Parliament. But these trades are as eccentric as comets; nay, worse; for no one can calculate on the recurrence of the strange appearances which betoken the disease: moreover, the contagion is general, and the quickness with which it diffuses itself almost incredible.
We will cite two or three cases in illustration of our meaning. Six or eight years ago the epidemic began to display itself among the linen-drapers and haberdashers. The primary symptoms were, an inordinate love of plate-glass, and a passion for gas-lights and [p. 459] gilding. The disease gradually progressed, and at last attained a fearful height. Quiet, dusty old shops, in different parts of town, were pulled down; spacious premises, with stuccoed fronts and gold letters, were erected instead; floors were covered with Turkey carpets, roofs supported by massive pillars, doors knocked into windows, a dozen squares of glass into one, one shopman into a dozen,—and there is no knowing what would have been done, if it had not been fortunately discovered, just in time, that the Commissioners of Bankrupts were as competent to decide such cases as the Commissioners of Lunacy, and that a little confinement and gentle examination did wonders. The disease abated; it died away; and a year or two of comparative tranquillity ensued. Suddenly it burst out again among the chemists; the symptoms were the same, with the addition of a strong desire to stick the royal arms over the shop-door, and a great rage for mahogany, varnish, and expensive floor-cloth: then the hosiers were infected, and began to pull down their shop-fronts with frantic recklessness. The mania again died away, and the public began to congratulate themselves upon its entire disappearance, when it burst forth with ten-fold violence among the publicans and keepers of “wine vaults.” From that moment it has spread among them with unprecedented rapidity, exhibiting a concatenation of all the previous symptoms; and onward it has rushed to every part of town, knocking down all the old public-houses, and depositing splendid mansions, stone balustrades, rosewood fittings, immense lamps, and illuminated clocks, at the corner of every street.
The extensive scale on which these places are established, and the ostentatious manner in which the business of even the smallest among them is divided into branches, is most amusing. A handsome plate of ground glass in one door directs you “To the Counting-house;” another to the “Bottle Department;” a third, to the “Wholesale Department;” a fourth, to “The Wine Promenade,” and so forth, until we are in daily expectation of meeting with a “Brandy Bell,” or a “Whiskey Entrance.” Then ingenuity is exhausted in devising attractive titles for the different descriptions of gin; and the dram-drinking portion of the community, as they gaze upon the gigantic white and black announcements, which are only to be equalled in size by the figures beneath them, are left in a state of pleasing hesitation between “The Cream of the Valley,” “The Out and Out,” “The No Mistake,” “The Good for Mixing,” “The real knock-me-down,” “The celebrated Butter Gin,” “The regular Flare-up,” and a dozen other equally inviting and wholesome liqueurs. Although places of this description are to be met with in every second street, they are invariably numerous and splendid in precise proportion to the dirt and poverty of the surrounding neighborhood. The gin-shops in and near Drury-lane, Holborn, St. Giles', Covent Garden, and Clare-market, are the handsomest in London—there is more filth and squalid misery near those great thorough-fares than in any part of this mighty city.
We will endeavor to sketch the bar of a large gin-shop, and its ordinary customers, for the edification of such of our readers as may not have had opportunities of observing such scenes; and on the chance of finding one well suited to our purpose, we will make for Drurylane, through the narrow streets and dirty courts which divide it from Oxford-street, and that classical spot adjoining the brewery at the bottom of Tottenham-court-road, best known to the initiated as the “Rookery.” The filthy and miserable appearance of this part of London can hardly be imagined by those (and there are many such) who have not witnessed it. Wretched houses, with broken windows patched with rags and paper, every room let out to a different family, and in many instances to two, or even three: fruit and “sweet stuff” manufacturers in the cellars; barbers and red-herring venders in the front parlors; cobblers in the back; a bird-fancier in the first floor, three families on the second; starvation in the attics; Irishmen in the passage; a “musician” in the front kitchen, and a char-woman and five hungry children in the back one—filth every where—a gutter before the houses and a drain behind them—clothes drying at the windows, slops emptying from the ditto; girls of fourteen or fifteen, with matted hair, walking about bare-footed, and in old white great coats, almost their only covering; boys of all ages, in coats of all sizes, and no coats at all; men and women, in every variety of scanty and dirty apparel, lounging about, scolding, drinking, smoking, squabbling, fighting, and swearing.
You turn the corner. What a change! All is light and brilliancy. The hum of many voices issues from that splendid gin-shop which forms the commencement of the two streets opposite; and the gay building with the fantastically ornamented parapet, the illuminated clock, the plate-glass windows surrounded by stucco rosetts, and its profusion of gaslights in richly gilt burners, is perfectly dazzling when contrasted with the darkness and dirt we have just left. The interior is even gayer than the exterior. A bar of French-polished mahogany, elegantly carved, extends the whole width of the place; and there are two side-aisles of great casks, painted green and gold, inclosed within a light brass rail, and bearing such inscriptions as “Old Tom, 549;” “Young Tom, 360;” “Samson, 1421.” Behind the bar is a lofty and spacious saloon, full of the same enticing vessels, with a gallery running round it, equally well furnished. On the counter, in addition to the usual spirit apparatus, are two or three little baskets of cakes and biscuits, which are carefully secured at the top with wicker-work, to prevent their contents being unlawfully abstracted. Behind it are two showily-dressed damsels with large necklaces, dispensing the spirits and “compounds.” They are assisted by the ostensible proprietor of the concern, a stout, coarse fellow in a fur cap, put on very much on one side to give him a knowing air, and display his sandy whiskers to the best advantage.
Look at the groups of customers, and observe the different air with which they call for what they want, as they are more or less struck by the grandeur of the establishment. The two old washerwomen, who are seated on the little bench to the left of the bar, are rather overcome by the head-dresses, and haughty demeanor of the young ladies who officiate; and receive their half quartern of gin-and-peppermint with considerable deference, prefacing a request for “one of them soft biscuits,” with a “Just be good enough, ma'am,” &c. They are quite astonished at the impudent air of the young fellow in the brown coat and white buttons, who, ushering in his two companions, and walking up to the bar in as careless a manner as if he had been used to green and gold ornaments all his life, winks at one of the young ladies with singular coolness, and calls for a “kervorten and a three-out-glass,” just as if the place were his own. “Gin for you, sir,” says the young lady when she has drawn it, carefully looking every way but the right one to show that the wink had no effect upon her. “For me, Mary, my dear,” replies the gentleman in brown. “My name an't Mary as it happens,” says the young girl, in a most insinuating manner, as she delivers the change. “Vell, if it an't, it ought to be,” responds the irresistible one; “all the Marys as ever I see was handsome gals.” Here the young lady, not precisely remembering how blushes are managed in such cases, abruptly ends the flirtation by addressing the female in the faded feathers who had just entered, and who, after stating explicitly, to prevent any subsequent misunderstanding that “this gentleman” pays, calls for “a glass of port wine and a bit of sugar,” the drinking which, and sipping another, accompanied by sundry whisperings to her companion, and no small quantity of giggling, occupies a considerable time.
Observe the group on the other side: those two old men who came in “just to have a dram,” finished their third quartern a few seconds ago; they have made themselves crying drunk, and the fat, comfortable [p. 460] looking elderly women, who had “a glass of rum-srub” each, having chimed in with their complaints on the hardness of the times, one of the women has agreed to stand a glass round, jocularly observing that “grief never mended no broken bones, and as good people's wery scarce, what I says is, make the most on 'em, and that's all about it;” a sentiment which appears to afford unlimited satisfaction to those who have nothing to pay.
It is growing late, and the throng of men, women, and children, who have been constantly going in and out, dwindles down to two or three occasional stragglers—cold wretched-looking creatures, in the last stage of emaciation and disease. The knot of Irish laborers at the lower end of the place, who have been alternately shaking hands with, and threatening the life of, each other for the last hour, become furious in their disputes; and finding it impossible to silence one man, who is particularly anxious to adjust the difference, they resort to the infallible expedient of knocking him down and jumping on him afterwards. Out rush the man in the fur cap, and the pot-boy: a scene of riot and confusion ensues; half the Irishmen get shut out, and the other half get shut in: the pot-boy is knocked in among the tubs in no time; the landlord hits every body, and every body hits the landlord; the bar-maids scream; in come the police, and the rest is a confused mixture of arms, legs, staves, torn coats, shouting and struggling. Some of the party are borne off to the station-house, and the remainder slink home to beat their wives for complaining, and kick the children for daring to be hungry.
We have sketched this subject very lightly, not only because our limits compel us to do so, but because, if it were pursued further, it would be painful and repulsive. Well-disposed gentlemen and charitable ladies would alike turn with coldness and disgust from a description of the drunken, besotted men, and wretched, broken-down, miserable women, who form no inconsiderable portion of the frequenters of these haunts; forgetting, in the pleasant consciousness of their own high rectitude, the poverty of the one, and the temptation of the other. Gin-drinking is a great vice in England, but poverty is a greater; and until you can cure it, or persuade a half-famished wretch not to seek relief in the temporary oblivion of his own misery, with the pittance which, divided among his family, would just furnish a morsel of bread for each, gin-shops will increase in number and splendor. If Temperance Societies could suggest an antidote against hunger and distress, or establish dispensaries for the gratuitous distribution of bottles of Lethe-water, gin-palaces would be numbered among the things that were. Until then, their decrease may be despaired of.


Flora and Thalia; or Gems of Flowers and Poetry: being an Alphabetical Arrangement of Flowers, with appropriate Poetical Illustrations, embellished with Colored Plates. By a Lady. To which is added a Botanical Description of the various parts of a Flower, and the Dial of Flowers. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea, and Blanchard.

This is a very pretty and very convenient volume, on a subject which, since the world began, has never failed to excite curiosity and sympathy in all who have a proper sense of the beautiful. It contains 240 pages, and 24 finely colored engravings, which give a vivid idea of the original plants. These engravings are the Meadow Anemone—the Harebell—the Christmas Rose—the Dahlia—the Evening Primrose—the Fox-Glove—the Heliotrope—the Purple Iris—the Jasmine—the King-Cup—the Lavender—the Mezereon—the Narcissus—the Orchis—the Clove Pink—the Quince—the Provence Rose—the Solomon's Seal—the Tobacco—the Bear Berry—the Violet Pansy—the Wall-Flower—the Yellow Water-Flag, and the Zedoary. The bulk of the volume is occupied with poetical illustrations exceedingly well selected. We do not believe there is a single poem in the book which may not be considered above mediocrity—many are exquisite. The Botanical description of the various parts of a Flower, is well conceived—brief, properly arranged, and sufficiently comprehensive. The Dial of Flowers, will be especially admired by all our fair readers. The following extract from page 227, will give an idea of the nature of this Dial—the manner of composing which, is embraced entire, in the form of a Table, on page 229.

These properties of flowers, and the opening and shutting of many at particular times of the day, led to the idea of planting them in such a manner as to indicate the succession of the hours, and to make them supply the place of a watch or clock. Those who are disposed to try the experiment, may easily compose such a dial by consulting the following Table, comprehending the hours between three in the morning and eight in the evening. It is, of course, impossible to insure the accurate going of such a dial, because the temperature, the dryness, and the dampness of the air have a considerable influence on the opening and shutting of flowers.

We copy from the Flora and Thalia the following anonymous lines.

Alas! on thy forsaken stem
    My heart shall long recline,
And mourn the transitory gem,
    And make the story mine!
So on my joyless winter hour
Has oped some fair and fragrant flower,
    With smile as soft as thine.

Like thee the vision came and went,
    Like thee it bloomed and fell;
In momentary pity sent,
    Of fairy climes to tell:
So frail its form, so short its stay,
That nought the lingering heart could say,
    But hail, and fare thee well!

We are sorry to perceive that our friends of the “Southern Literary Journal” are disposed to unite with the “Knickerbocker” and “New York Mirror” in covert, and therefore unmanly, thrusts at the “Messenger.” It is natural that these two Journals (who refused to exchange with us from the first) should feel themselves aggrieved at our success, and we own that, bearing them no very good will, we care little what injury they do themselves in the public estimation by suffering their mortification to become apparent. But we are embarked in the cause of Southern Literature, and (with perfect amity to all sections) wish to claim especially as a friend and co-operator, every Southern Journal. We repeat, therefore, that we are grieved to see a disposition of hostility, entirely unprovoked, manifested on the part of Mr. Whittaker. He should reflect, that while we ourselves cannot for a moment believe him otherwise than perfectly upright and sincere in his animadversions upon our Magazine, still there is hardly one individual in ninety-nine who will not attribute every ill word he says of us to the instigations of jealousy.