The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Knickerbocker, Vol. 10, No. 5, November
1837, by Various

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Title: The Knickerbocker, Vol. 10, No. 5, November 1837

Author: Various

Release Date: April 18, 2014 [EBook #45429]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, JoAnn Greenwood,
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Transcriber's Note: The following Table of Contents has been added for the convenience of the reader.

SONNET: TO MRS. —— —— ——



Vol. X. NOVEMBER, 1837. No. 5.




General Education is the attribute and glory of republican America. It constitutes one of the strongest pledges of the success of that interesting experiment in politics, which has astonished and enlightened the nations of the eastern continent, and which promises, in future times, to be the grand means of extending the blessings of freedom to the civilized world. Education, in some of the most enlightened European countries, is like the sun rising in majesty, and gilding with surpassing brightness a few mountain tops. Education in the United States is like the sun pouring his cheering radiance over every hill, and into every valley.

The peculiar importance of universal and well-conducted education, in a republican government, must be evident from the slightest consideration. Every American citizen is a juror, before whom each officer of the government is on trial, in regard to his capacity and fidelity. The public prints are the pleaders, oftentimes very artful, and sometimes not altogether honest; and these jurors need to be well furnished with an enlightened understanding, that they may not be imposed upon by misrepresentation and sophistry. Universal suffrage can never be safely trusted but in the hands of an intelligent and virtuous population. And it is questionable whether another country can now be found, beside the United States, where education is sufficiently general, and conducted upon such principles, as to form a sufficient basis on which to rest the structure of a republican government.

The want of a well-educated population has been the occasion of most of the difficulties and disorders which have agitated the South American republics, where one stormy revolution has succeeded another, and where a strong tendency has been evinced to return to the death-like calm of despotism. This is a great reason why France, with all her aspirations after freedom, and all her toil, and sweat, and blood, to obtain it, has had no more success in securing its substantial blessings. This is one reason why reform in the English government is a work of such immense difficulty, and why it cannot be obtained but by a severe struggle, and, as it were, by inches. Some master-spirits in that country, in which there is much to admire, and to approve, and to imitate, have recently engaged in a noble effort to advance the cause of popular education. These men, whether they may be aware of it or not, are firing a train that may[370] eventually produce an explosion, which will shake the lordly aristocracy of that country to its base. There is reason, however, to hope, that in England arbitrary power will gradually give way to liberal principles, and that the desired end may be at length attained, without violent convulsion. This may be hoped for with greater confidence, since intelligence is always friendly to order.

But aside from its political bearing, a general and well-conducted education is a matter of vast importance. Every man has a mind, which can never take its proper rank, and secure its highest enjoyment, without being enlightened; without a proper development of its power, and a suitable direction in applying them to practical purposes. A fire-side in Iceland, a land of frost and of poverty, becomes a scene of contentment and happiness, because it is surrounded by a reading population; and the long and dreary winter's nights pass pleasantly away, in the entertainment afforded by historical narration, or native poetry, or other means of mental cultivation. Every family is a school, and every child receives the rudiments of an education by his own fire-side. In civilized countries, valuable books constitute one of the cheapest, most domestic, and noblest amusements, for the enjoyment of which, however, a good education is an indispensable requisite.

But leaving this strain of general remark, it is proposed to give the subject a practical bearing, by a brief consideration, in the present number, of the importance of a legislative provision for the support of schools, and for the qualification and preparation of teachers.

A legislative provision for the support of schools is a matter of great importance. Every free government is bound by the principle of self-preservation to afford every necessary facility for the education of its whole population. And the most substantial aid which it has in its power to afford is, to furnish pecuniary assistance, by setting apart adequate funds, to bring the means of instruction alike within the reach of the poor and the rich. Schools, and especially common schools, are the Nurseries of Freemen; and not merely of those who are to exercise the important right of suffrage, but also, to an unknown extent, of those who are to sustain the weight of magistracy, and to wield the destinies of the nation. Many a man, during the short continuance of the American republic, who has risen to the highest stations of honor and of trust, who has surrounded his own name and that of his country with distinguished honor, and filled both continents with his fame, has grown up from the humblest circumstances in life, and has been indebted to the common schools of the country for the elements of his reputation and his usefulness; and but for the system of universal education, might have lived in obscurity, and never extended his influence beyond his native village. Franklin, the statesman and the philosopher, was once a humble printer's boy; and had he lived in a country where the aspirations of genius are checked by the principle that every man must keep his place, and not attempt to rise above the condition in which he was born, he might have lived and died a merely respectable setter of types. David Rittenhouse, the son of a plain farmer, was educated a goldsmith; and by his extraordinary[371] mechanical genius, he invented a planetarium, which may justly be regarded as one of the mechanical wonders of the world. Pursuing his researches, he became one of the first practical astronomers of his time, and he succeeded the venerable Franklin as President of the American Philosophical Society, at Philadelphia. Roger Sherman, until the age of twenty-three, occupied a shoemaker's bench. To him it would have been injurious to apply the adage, 'Ne sutor ultra crepidam.' To the acquirements of a good common school education, he added, to a respectable extent, the higher attainments of legal and political science; and no man brought into the councils of this country, at the trying period of the revolution, a sounder head, or a more patriotic heart. To these distinguished examples, hundreds of others might be added, who, if they have not fully equalled those that have been mentioned, in fame, have perhaps not fallen behind them in respectability and usefulness. And what has been true in this respect, in time past, is true at present, and is likely to be equally true in time to come. No man now fills a greater space in the national councils, than the son of a plain farmer in New-Hampshire, who commenced his brilliant career on the benches of a common school, in his native town. And no man can tell what future farmers' or mechanics' sons may occupy the highest and most responsible posts of the nation. In the free government of the United States, every man is, to a great extent, the artificer of his own fortune and fame. Common schools are the means by which native genius is to be, in the first instance, taught to put forth its strength, and by which it is to be raised from its obscurity.

The people of the United States are, to a good degree, awake to the importance of affording legislative aid to the common and higher schools of the country; and in every state in the Union, public funds are, to a greater or less extent, devoted to this object. The new states seem likely, in this respect, to equal, if not to surpass, the old. The funds which they have appropriated to this purpose, have been chiefly new lands, which are constantly rising in value, and which, in many instances, promise, in a future day, to swell to a very respectable amount.

But while the means of education are brought within the reach of all, it is important that they be not made too cheap. Men are prone to set a small value on that which costs them nothing; and a provision too abundant, instead of stimulating to exertion, may but minister to negligence. The state of Connecticut has, it is believed, at present a greater productive school-fund, in proportion to its population, than any other state in the Union. It amounts to about the sum of two millions of dollars. This fund was not produced by the contributions of its inhabitants, but originated principally from the sale of the Western Reserve, an important part of the state of Ohio, to which it laid claim on the ground of its original charter, and which, by way of compromise, was ceded to it by the United States. In no state could the experiment of an abundant public provision for the support of schools have been tried with greater prospect of success, than in this. Previously to this endowment, the cause of education there was in a prosperous condition, and its population had been taught, from their childhood, to hold it in high estimation. Although[372] no enlightened and patriotic inhabitant of that state would wish that this fund should be reduced in its amount, it is questionable whether the cause of education there has advanced in proportion to the abundance of its resources, and whether the largeness of this provision has not, in some instances, if not generally, contributed to keep the public mind less awake to the subject, than if its inhabitants had been compelled to rely more extensively on their own resources and exertions.

Without some legislative aid, there is reason to apprehend that the advantages of education will not be universally enjoyed; and therefore, every enlightened state will be inclined to make a competent provision for this object. If the common schools of the country need this aid, the higher schools and academies need it still more, as their expenses must necessarily be greater. They are required to carry on the work which is begun in common schools, to prepare members for the higher seminaries of learning, and especially to raise up a generation of teachers for the inferior schools. A number of academies, scattered over every state, should be placed on a respectable and permanent foundation, by a competent pecuniary endowment. This subject has not been overlooked by the legislatures of the respective states. A portion of the public revenue, which has been distributed among the several states of the Union, has been wisely set apart for the advancement of the cause of education. What species of internal improvement can be compared to this? Canals and rail-roads, and other similar works, are indeed of great importance. But these things have a principal reference to the physical wants of men. But physical wants are of minor importance, compared with the intellectual and moral elevation of the human mind. Republics, in a particular manner, must depend upon this intellectual and moral elevation for their highest prosperity. Legislative aid should be so afforded that, instead of producing apathy and indifference on the subject of schools, it may but stimulate to greater exertion. In proportion to the munificence of a public provision, the standard of education should be raised; competent teachers should be employed, and all the preparations for instruction should be on an extended scale. Much on this subject remains to be done; and availing themselves of the legislative aid, there is pressing need that the most gifted minds in the country should combine their strength to bring the schools of the nation, of every grade, and particularly the common schools, to answer the high purposes of their institution.

While it is important that adequate funds should be provided for the support of schools, it is still more important, that due care should be taken that these funds be employed in a prudent, wise, and efficient manner. Thousands and tens of thousands of dollars may easily be wasted, from year to year, and rendered of no avail, for the want of a proper management. That schools should answer the object for which they are designed, nothing is more essential, than that they should be under the instruction of competent teachers; and that suitable provision be made for the preparation and support of such teachers.


The government of a school is a matter of no small difficulty and importance; and to conduct it successfully, requires great sagacity, and a knowledge of human nature, the fruit of much observation and experience. The government of a school is unlike that of any other community. It should be neither despotic nor republican; it should be patriarchal. It bears a greater resemblance to the government of a family than to any other, and yet it differs, in many respects, from this. Children have grown up under the authority of their parents; and where parental government has been in any measure what it should be, obedience to it has become a matter of habit. Children are, moreover, dependent on their parents for their comfort and support, and therefore the authority of a parent is supported by a powerful consideration, which teachers of schools have not at command. If the proper government of a family is a difficult work, as every parent will be ready to acknowledge, the suitable government of a school is a work of still greater difficulty.

Without the maintenance of silence, diligence, and order, it is impossible that the business of education should be successfully prosecuted in schools. But to bring the volatility, and thoughtlessness, and love of ease and of play, so natural to children and youth, to a thorough subjection to these principles, is no easy task. The nature and dispositions of children must be carefully and philosophically studied; different modes of management must be tried, and those which are found by experience to be most successful, must be adopted. Every teacher of a school needs much of the patience of Job, and the meekness of Moses, suitably blended with dignity and authority. He should have an entire control over his own passions; and if he has a natural attachment to children, it will greatly aid him in his work. It should be his aim, by an amiable, dignified, and discreet deportment, to secure both the affection and respect of those committed to his charge.

But a talent for government, however important, will not alone fit a teacher of a school for his station. He needs not only a gifted, but a well-furnished mind. He should not only possess a thorough acquaintance with the text-books which he uses, and be able to explain all their intricacies, and to unravel all their difficulties, but he needs, in addition, a great variety of collateral information, which he may bring to bear on all the subjects of instruction. He should be himself a living, walking, speaking text-book. Every system of teaching which is what it should be, will be a course of familiar lecturing. The teacher should possess a fund of information on a great variety of subjects, and should be perpetually bringing forth, from the treasury of a well-furnished mind, the varied riches of literature and science. The qualifications which have been mentioned are important, not only in the higher seminaries, but also in common schools. The amount of instruction which will be given by a thoroughly qualified teacher, will greatly exceed that which is given by a person of inferior qualifications, even where very young children are concerned, and the time of the pupil, and the money of the parent, will be saved by the employment of such teachers.

In this view of the proper qualifications of teachers, we need only inquire what is the character of those who are usually employed, to[374] discover the great deficiency which exists on this subject. The common schools of the country are extensively taught, in the winter season, by a set of intelligent and enterprising young men, who, in the summer season, are engaged in agricultural or other employments, not connected with literature; or in the neighborhood of colleges, in some instances, by young men who are in them receiving an education, and who resort to this means to help them to sustain the expenses which they necessarily incur. Far be it from the writer to speak lightly of those farmers' sons who have more taste for literature than the generality of their fellows, and have better improved the advantages which they have enjoyed, and who aspire to the office of teachers; or of those young men in colleges, who are conflicting with the disadvantages of poverty, and by diligence and perseverance, are raising themselves to usefulness, and perhaps to fame. Many a man, who has been an honor to his country, and sustained with reputation the higher offices of the state, has been, in early life, a teacher of a common school. The academies of the country have hitherto been chiefly taught by young men, who have completed a collegiate course, and having exhausted their patrimony, have resorted to this means to provide themselves with the funds necessary for the study of a profession. Before they have had time to become thoroughly acquainted with their business, they have relinquished it for another employment. In a large proportion of instances, the teachers of schools have labored under the disadvantages of youth and inexperience, and to a great extent, of a contracted education.

In the summer season, the common schools of the country have been chiefly taught by a fine collection of amiable, virtuous, and intelligent females, in many respects well adapted to the instruction of those younger children who, at that busy period, are alone extensively found in common schools. But these teachers have generally labored under the disadvantage of a very limited education.

In the cities, teaching has been more extensively a profession, and has received a more liberal patronage; and from these circumstances, it might be expected that the schools of the cities would have risen to a highly respectable standing. This has been, in some instances, true, but is by no means a general fact. Mere pretension and display, on the part of a teacher, often command more patronage than solid and unostentatious merit. The advertisements of teachers, of almost every description, in the cities, will be found to contain a catalogue of studies nearly sufficient for a collegiate course; studies, many of which some of these teachers do not thoroughly, if at all, understand. And in order that illiterate parents may have a high idea of the proficiency of their children, they are hurried through this course with a most unprofitable rapidity. The hurry and bustle and thousand diversions of a city are not favorable to mental cultivation. Show extensively occupies the place of substance; and even an intelligent teacher will often be found sacrificing his own better judgment to a perverted public taste. Fashionable accomplishments, particularly in the education of females, have been suffered to throw into the back-ground those intellectual pursuits, which can alone raise the mind to its proper dignity, and produce a full development of its powers. If most of the teachers of the cities would pretend[375] to less, and attempt less, they would accomplish more, in the substantial business of education. Like some farmers in the country, they should cultivate a less extent of ground, and they would produce greater crops.

The interests of schools imperiously require that something effectual should be done, to raise up a different generation of teachers from those who have hitherto held in their hands the destinies of American youth. In order to do this, teaching must become more extensively a permanent profession; and such must be the support afforded to teachers, that it shall constitute a sufficient inducement to them not only to devote themselves to this employment, but to undertake the labor and expense of acquiring the requisite qualifications for this important trust; and the community must learn to distinguish between the well-furnished teacher and the mere pretender to literature and science.

Suppose, for a moment, that the mechanic arts were learned and practised as the profession of teaching has extensively been. Let us take the trade of a shoe-maker, for example. Let us suppose that farmers' sons, of a strong mechanical turn, during the leisure of the winter season, should begin with mending their own shoes, and, pleased with the efforts of their untaught ingenuity, should take in hand the shoes of the rest of the family; and having gained a little skill by practice, should set up as cobblers for their neighbors. What kind of shoes, can it be thought, would be worn by the community, if such were the common shoe-makers of the land? And does it require less education to become a competent teacher of youth, than a good shoe-maker? That person must think very highly of his feet, and very meanly of his head, who can entertain such an idea.

The community have, in some measure, yet to learn, that they will never practice a true economy in the business of education, until they are willing, at a reasonable expense, to secure the services of a thoroughly-furnished instructor. It must come to be considered, that a little smattering of information is not sufficient to prepare a person for a teacher of a common school. A collegiate education is not essential to this purpose, because many of the branches taught in a college will not be required to be taught in common schools. But in those branches which are taught, the education should not be less thorough than that which is acquired within the walls of a college.

The academies of the country are, at present, the seminaries in which the great body of teachers for common schools must be prepared; and in order that the academies should become suitable seminaries for teachers, they must be universally taught by able and experienced men, and the business of conducting them should no longer be made by young men a stepping stone to some other employment. These institutions should be, especially, under the charge of men who make teaching a permanent profession. But something beyond this is necessary, that a supply of competent teachers of common schools should be raised up. Seminaries should be instituted for the express purpose of preparing teachers. Such institutions, established on a broad foundation, and sustained by a liberal endowment, would be of incalculable importance to the interests of common[376] schools. The instruction given in them, being specially directed to this object, would be more appropriate and more effectual. Connected with such institutions, should be model-schools, in which the most approved methods of instruction may be exemplified, and in conducting which, those educating for teachers should occasionally bear a part. The clerical, the legal, and the medical professions have been most essentially benefitted, and their character has been greatly elevated, by the establishment of institutions expressly for the preparation of young men for these professions; and the same result might be expected from a similar course in regard to the preparation of teachers.

In a subsequent number, we shall offer some observations upon text-books; the importance of a systematic arrangement and inspection in the management of schools; the illustration of the sciences by appropriate apparatus; and the cheering prospect which the advancement of education holds out, in regard to the stability and permanence of the American government.



'I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most pleasant to me.'



I know not why!—but oft a deep gloom shading,
Steals o'er my gayest mood, my happiest hours;
The glory from my ardent soul is fading—
A tempest withers Hope's reviving flowers!
I know not why!


I know not why!—but oft, when laughter thrilling,
Leaves its light echo joyously behind,
Tears from their secret founts mine eyes are filling;
I shudder, as the leaf shakes in the wind—
I know not why!


Do I not know? Can Fate her stern course alter?
Are they not shadows of the brightness gone,
Which make the fond heart faint, the red lip falter,
Leaving me mournful memories alone—
They tell me why!


They are past and gone!
Those days that were so glad and bright,
Oh, can we call back one?
Ah, never!—would we might!
The memories of our early years,
Shall hallow still this cherish'd spot—
And hopes, though faded, ne'er forgot,
Whose light is quenched in tears!

L. B. Smith.




Why are we not like Nature, ever new,
Freshening with every season? It is pain
To gaze, when sick and wasted, on the blue
Arching as purely o'er us, and the stain
Of the curled clouds, that gather in the train,
Which the low sun makes glorious with his smile;
To see the light Spring weave her rosy chain,
And sow her pearls, no longer can beguile,
When age, and want, and sin, our sinking hearts defile.
Youth is the season when we most enjoy,
If we would know the sweets of life; the mind
Is then pure feeling, for no base alloy
Of gain hath blended with the ore refined
By the wise hand of Nature, who designed
The beautiful years to be alone the time
When we can fondly love, and loving find
In the adored the same glad passion chime,
As if two spirits met in one most tuneful rhyme.
O! there are eyes that have a language—sweet
Comes their soft music round us, till the air
Is one intensest melody; we beat
Through every pulse, as if a spring were there
To buoy us into upper worlds, and bear
Our fond hearts with link'd arms, on whitest wings,
To a far island, where we two may share
Eternal looks, such as the live eye flings
When it collects all fire, and as it blesses, stings.
O! could we stop at this glad hour the wheels
Of Time, and make this point eternity;
Could check that onward flight, which ever steals
Hues, forms, and soul, as the twined colors flee,
Which are above the seven-fold Harmony,
Whose perfect concord meets in the soft light
That sits upon a wave of clouds—a sea
Of rolling vapor, pearled and purely white,
That as a curtain hangs the pale-lit throne of Night.
O! could we dwell in rapture thus forever,
Hearts burning with a high empyreal flame,
Whose blended cones no reckless storm could sever,
But they should tremble upward, till the same
Fine point of centred heat should ever aim
Higher and higher to the perfect glow;
As Dante saw from that celestial Dame
Once loved, now worshipped, Heaven's own splendors flow,
And gather in her smile, that looked so calm below.
It is not in us; we were fashioned here
For a more tranquil feeling, such as home
Sheds on two hearts, whose true and lasting sphere
Is round the holy hearth; hearts do not roam,
When they are pledged by the young shoots that come,
Like the green root-twigs, sweetly to renew
Our life in their dear lives, which are the sum
Of all our after being, where we view
Heaven, as the soul's fond smile those rose-lips tremble through.




I have already described setting out for the law school at L——. After a long and tedious ride over rocky hills, we arrived late in the evening at the town. It is situated on a river, on each side of which are meadows of the most fertile soil, one mile in breadth. On the east side of this river, a short range of mountains rise, grand and imposing, from the generally level face of the country about them. Here is perhaps the finest scenery in New-England. You have a great variety within one half hour's walk. Gardens of exotics, well-tilled farms, more resembling gardens than farms, mountains, a river, woods, cottages, princely edifices; here a street like a city, and the next turn brings you into something simply rural.

Here too might be found, at a later day, the finest school in the country, perhaps in the world, if we may judge from the talent employed in its management, and the splendor of the scale upon which it was got up. The founders of this school are probably in our country the only instance on record of men who had gained high places in the literary world, leaving all their hard-bought honors, and the ease of professorships in the first literary institution in the country, to embark in the thankless task of keeping school. This school has not succeeded according to its merits—as what school does? It enjoyed a temporary reputation and success, as long as it was the fashion and a novelty; and after the curiosity of the public was satisfied, it diminished, and no longer numbers its three hundred pupils. It is the same with our clergymen. People in our country are for ever changing their ministers. It is so with servants, ploughs, and all machinery, moral and physical. Variety, curiosity, experiment, are the words that govern. We are forever tearing things to pieces, to see what they are made of, and how they are constructed. There is not and never has been a permanent private school in America; and our endowed academies sink and rise, and only continue to exist, because from their legal nature they cannot die.

In the town of L—— you might have found, at the time I write of, a race peculiar to the soil of New-England; the descendants of old families, who have inherited wealth from their fathers, and with it a set of feelings that attaches them to old customs and habits. The furniture of their houses is antique, and they themselves are a little tinctured with puritanical manners. There are few places so aristocratic as this. They do not show their pride in equipage and dress, like new-born gentility, but in the distance of their manners, and the seclusion of their lives. A race has grown up and flocked in around these moss-covered families, which is thriving and industrious, but the line is strictly marked between them and the old settlers, who yet consider the land as their own, and themselves as the pillars of the place.

Some of the old men wear gold-headed canes and white-topped boots and cues, though the cocked-hat is obsolete; and the old ladies appear upon gala-days in brocade gowns, worn by their great-grand-mothers,[379] for aught I know, with heads carried as none but old prim, stiff ladies know how to carry their heads: a little in the style, we may suppose, Jupiter carries his head, when he walks among the clouds, where there is no vulgar earth to look upon.

The morning after my arrival, I called upon Judge H——, the principal of the law school, and found him, Cincinnatus like, digging in his garden. He rested upon his spade, as I approached him; took my letter and read it; gave me his hand, when he had finished, and as I looked in his face, and saw his clear eye and benevolent countenance, I loved him. He was a spare man, with the air of a student about him; his face was pale, and worn with much thinking; his manners kind and winning, with the least affectation any one can imagine. He introduced me to his lovely family, and they made me feel at home in a moment, by the sincerity and unostentatiousness of their reception.

Some people, when a stranger is introduced to them, are chiefly occupied in making an impression upon him of their importance and dignity, while the best bred only think how he may be made easy and comfortable.

The judge pointed a boarding-house out to me, and appointed a time to talk farther with me, and I took my leave, thoroughly impressed with the idea that I was the happiest man in the world, and the judge and his family the best and most agreeable people. 'Now for a look at law-students at a law school,' thinks I.

I found a fine set of fellows here, from all parts of the United States. Here was a student from the West, with his dark eye and coal-black hair, and Indian-red cheeks. He was remarkable for his independence and fearlessness; for his up-and-down dealing, and for the originality of his figures, and the indifference all western men feel to weather, domestic comfort, and the elegancies of life. Then comes the hot-blooded Southerner, contending between his ignorance and his pride; for the Southerners, (although there are honorable exceptions,) who come to the North for an education, are too much gentlemen in their own sense, to be able to handle any thing heavier than a cigar; though now and then bolstered up to holding a pistol at some friend they have injured, for the sake of the éclat of the thing. We see enough of this race of spoiled children at college, where they attempt to lord it over the institution and its members. They mistake the contempt which permits their folly to pass unnoticed, for submission.

Here, too, appeared the yankee, with his honest phiz, from the green mountains of Vermont; with his heart in his hand; telling every body who will listen to him all his family affairs and domestic arrangements. Nevertheless he has his points of shrewdness. You are off your guard by his honest and simple confidence in you: find him at a nine-pin alley, and he is your man, as he says, ''at can knock 'em down.' Put him down to 'all fours,' and he will play game; but he does not aspire to whist or billiards; of the latter perhaps he never heard. But if you would see him in his glory, look at him at a scrub-race, mounted on one of his father's colts, taken without leave from the pasture; his hat a little on one side; his neck begirt with a colored handkerchief, the ends flying; the skirts of his coat pinned[380] about in front, and he is in his element. A Vermonter is rarely a drunkard, away from his native state; but to him, and the smooth-faced, precise inhabitant of Connecticut, we are indebted for the bad odor in which yankees are held in the middle and southern states, among the lower order of people, by their sharp bargains, by biting those who intended to eat them up; for they are not always the aggressors in a bargain, beyond the latitude of trade law.

The strongest attachments of the Vermonter are for his horses and cattle, for he was brought up among them, and is taught to regard them as the sources of profit. Until the age of twenty-one, he is buckled close to the barn-yard and stables; but at that age, he is free, and goes from home to seek his fortune in the capacity of pedlar, clerk, student at medicine or law, or to college, if he has a bookish turn, but never as a servant.

Vermont is the most republican of any state in the Union. There, people are more upon an equality than elsewhere; the rate of intelligence, education, property, are more upon a par. It has no clownish aristocracy, like New-Hampshire; no mushroom importance, like New-York; no golden privileges, like Massachusetts; but simple and contented, intelligent and industrious, hospitable and honest, without pretensions and disdaining show, running into no wild chimeras of improvement, and only a little mad upon masonry, it stands firm as its own Green Mountains, full of the purest American character.

Here was the inhabitant of the coast, the polished New-Englander from sea-board, with his literature and his sectional pride, his love of the arts, his belief that Cambridge College is the first institution in the country, and the Unitarian doctrine the most splendid of religious speculation. He is small in stature, for the most part, and has an intellectual face, and a head full of bumps. His dress is simple and neat; his feet and hands are small, but his fingers are short and clumpish, showing that he is not anxious to talk of his grand-father. His manners are retiring and unobtrusive, not as if he lacked self-respect, but as if he feared others would not estimate him properly. It is his pride of character that keeps him silent, and causes him to stand aloof among strangers; for he would not be thought guilty of the vulgar habit of presumption, for his right hand. Show him that you respect him, and he is transformed in an instant; he is all openness and sociability, ready to be obliged, or to bestow favors. He sympathizes with you, till you almost love him like a brother—so aptly does he glide into the bent of your feelings. You will find him more literary than scientific; he writes better than he talks; judges better than he acts; for he is much given to impulse and enthusiasm of the subdued kind, which works like fire around his heart, while the exterior man—the surface of his demeanor—is calm and passionless; he thinks more than he says, and reads more than you have any idea of. His taste is refined, and his sensibility acute.

Science belongs to Yale College, with her grand professor Silliman; but fine writing, criticism, and moral philosophy, belong to Cambridge. Cambridge sends forth eloquent divines, poets, sculptors, and painters; Yale breeds sound lawyers, scientific doctors, and superstitious theologians.


The tall Virginian, with his rakish air, his big mouth, his large teeth, his long legs, and profuse hair, was next pointed out to me. He may be known the world over, by his independent way of chewing tobacco. He squirts out the juice, black as your hat, by the gill, as he walks the streets, or stands at the door of the hotel. He seems as if surrounded by slaves, so towering is his look. He is rarely a student, except in inventing strange oaths or a new-fashioned hat and cane. His family descent is his hobby; and this, in his opinion, makes up for all deficiencies.

Any one may single out the Georgian and the inhabitants of any of the Gulf-states. They are small, dark, men, who look as if they wore daggers. Their air is indolent and careless, when unexcited; but if they receive some slight or opposition, their dark eyes flash, and their lips close tight, with the intensest passion. They are confused by northern manners and yankee plainness. You rarely see them laugh, though they sneer most bitterly at things they dislike, or which are foreign to their own customs. As they come to the North to be educated, they herd with the Carolinians at our colleges and schools; continually quarreling among themselves, and slandering each other, they only agree to hate the 'd——d yankees.'


I found among the students many whom I had known at college slightly. They received me with the greatest kindness and cordiality. They knew enough of my struggles, and thought well enough of my good intentions, to do all they could to heal the wounds I had received. Beside, they knew they had misjudged me at college. I certainly had some good qualities; I was very sincere; spoke my sentiments, any thing that came into my head, right out, without regard to consequences. However imprudent such a course is, we cannot help liking a person who possesses a quality so rare. It was not a virtue in me, but I did it from a wild impulse, a recklessness of consequences; and finding that it gained me friends, and raised a good-natured laugh, I carried it to excess; criticizing my own faults, confessing every weakness, and telling people just what I thought of them.

I do not know when I have passed a more delightful evening than the first after my arrival in this place. With me were C——, and F——, and L——, and D——, all old friends, who had always clung to me, and predicted my reformation. We were all changed, as men always change after leaving college, and mingling in the world, and getting rid of the hateful jealousy, the struggle for rank, the boyish pride, and hot blood, which characterizes students at college, pitted against each other for the prize of parts. We sat together at a spot overlooking the finest landscape I know of. It was a calm summer evening, and the holy rest of nature poured quietness and complacency into our hearts. We silently regarded each other, and let fall the easy remark, each word opening to us the fact that we were different beings from what we were when we parted.

Men educated in the same way, do not talk in round sentences,[382] like the characters in a novel. They interchange ideas by a word, a look, a smile, a gesture; even in silence they hold communion, in looking at a picture or a prospect. Observe how the Indians talk; this is a perfect instance of the near sympathy they have for one another. A shrug of the shoulder, a grunt, or a gesture, a movement of the head or hand, is sufficient to convey their meaning.

My friends saw that I had a good room; they let me into the habits of the place, and drew a fascinating picture of the life they led. I never was so happy. All the dark spots in my life vanished, and I looked only upon bright and joyous anticipations. I was away from scenes of hateful remembrance, and seemed to have began anew. I felt grateful for the chance that brought me there.

I do not intend to dwell long upon this law school; and I have introduced it more for the sake of showing the effect of character upon character, than any thing else, and to illustrate how our very best sympathies, unless properly guarded, may lead us into error.

Law was pursued in this institution with all the plan and regularity with which any school is conducted. Recitations were held every day, and the lessons marked out. I admire this way of getting into the dry details of an uninteresting profession by the beginner. By getting lessons, short lessons, every day, at the end of a few months the student finds himself the master of much information and technical knowledge which he never would have attained by himself, without the severest self-control and discipline.

It is every thing to the student at law to get a right start; to lay the foundation well for future reading and practice. Very many lawyers, particularly in the state of New-York, get a knowledge of their profession after they are admitted. The time of their clerkship is spent in copying legal instruments, and attending to the matter of practice, while principles, and the origin and reason of these forms and technicalities, are regarded with indifference. Surely, no man can be a good lawyer—useful, protecting the poor, and guarding the rights of the widow and the orphan, exposing crime and supporting straight-forwardness and virtue—who is not also a good scholar, a general reader, a nice observer, and sound reasoner. Certainly, a mere machine to hold a pen, and bully in pettifogging suits, cannot be this.

My friend C—— kept a friend's eye upon me, for he soon saw my failing; and so he dragged me to my duty by the gentle and strong persuasion of a friend; the kind and well-meant hint, more influential upon a generous mind than rivets of iron, or the severest authority. I was a good student here for three months. My self-satisfaction and confidence, my reasonings in my own favor, (most dangerous to our peace are such) put me off my guard, and—— But I will tell you.

I had frequently observed a tall, thin, pale, and very genteel young man passing the street. I had seen him once or twice at a law lecture. He evidently belonged to the school. I was surprised, too, that he seemed to know no one, and none of the students bowed to him, as they passed each other in the way. The first time I saw him, his back was toward me. He was elegantly, fastidiously dressed. His walk was very fine, and was the gait of a gentleman. I felt a[383] strong interest to see his face; and when I came to look upon his pale, melancholy countenance, haggard with care and disappointment, I felt my heart lean toward him; I pitied him from the bottom of my soul.

I discovered that our study-rooms were contiguous, and determined to work myself, by some means, into an acquaintance with him. One night, as I was sitting late at my window, looking at the moon, and thinking of by-gone times, when I had one beside me to enjoy such scenes with, the sweetest and most melancholy voice met my ear I had ever heard. The song it sung was plaintive, and the sounds seemed like breathings out of the heart. This feast continued for hours. Now I could only hear a low chant, and then a wild burst of melody, that seemed to pierce the sky; varied again and again, with the most astonishing skill.

I found out, by some means, that the voice was that of Collins, the name of the young man whom I was so anxious to know.

I could not be satisfied, until I had his acquaintance. I wished to become his friend. I knew what it was to be wretched and lonely, and I felt criminal in neglecting him. I talked with particular friends about him, but they answered equivocally. 'They did not know why Collins did not associate more with them. His distance was his own work; he was a singular young man, and they believed he lived upon opium; that he was strange and eccentric, and chose to be alone.' C—— said: 'You had better let him alone; he can do you no good; his case is a hopeless one, and as for his melancholy, it is all fudge.' All I heard, only determined me to seek him out, and find what could occasion such habitual sadness.

Collins received my advances in a very gentlemanly way, though he showed no disposition to palm himself off upon me. He had been absent, until a short time before I saw him, from the school, and treated me as a new-comer; spoke very handsomely of the students, and seemed to know the character and course of every man in the institution. I was charmed with the elegance of his manners, the acuteness of his mind, and his general acquaintance with literature. He soon returned my civility, and we gradually became acquainted.

He pursued his usual habits without any secrecy, and apparently as if there was no harm in such courses. His mornings were usually spent in a deep sleep, more resembling a lethargy than refreshing rest, from which nothing could rouse him. He rose about mid-day and read until night, hardly taking any nourishment. At night he seemed to revel in a world of his own creation; he would sit for hours in one position, chanting low airs, his spirits kept alive by opium and worse stimulus. I never could discover the least mark of intoxication in Mr. Collins, as every body called him. His person was scrupulously neat, his dress always adjusted with the nicest regard to fashion and elegance. His language was at all times proper, and his sentiments refined. His mien was dignified and graceful. Had it not been for his haggard cheek, and the unnatural brightness of his eye, sensual indulgence would be the last vice one could have attributed to him.

The mind of this young man was radically wrong. He had no fixed principle, and if he did right, it was to be in good taste, not to be in opposition to error. Blackstone says, that 'to do right is only[384] to pursue one's own substantial happiness;' and it may be said, that to do right, is to pursue good taste, elegance, refinement, true pleasure, and pure happiness.

Collins was unhappy; he hardly knew why. Possessed of a poetic temperament—nurtured in the lap of ease and wealth—every thing provided for him, he had never learned to think, to reason, but gave free scope to any impulse that came across him. Misfortune he could not bear, for he had never calculated for its inevitable coming; disappointment unmanned him, for he esteemed that wealth exempted him from the common lot of mortality. He had had an unfortunate attachment—as what young man has not?—and he thought he must be melancholy and wretched, to be Byronic and sentimental.

He was, as I found out upon a longer acquaintance, for my own foolish fancies made me singularly acute in tracing the rhapsodies of feeling in others, in a false and unnatural state of mind; a maniac, a madman, unsound. We are apt only to attach the name of madness to extravagant actions and incoherent words, but there is a madness which escapes the common eye—a madness of the soul, which as effectually destroys the balance and contracts the usefulness of man's life, as the wildest inconsistencies of conduct.

With every means of happiness within his reach, but for a strange and ridiculous fancy; with riches, the highest connexions, a fine person and good education, this young man indulged the idea that he was soon to die. It was impossible to shake off this illusion. Considering himself as doomed, he told me that he thought he was bound to make the most of the little time that remained for him, and he supported himself under this idea, so terrific to an ill-regulated mind, by opium, brandy, and any kind of stimulus.

Now his disease was this: Having taken by some accident this impression, he resorted to a bad remedy to drive it away. Each application only drove the poison still deeper into his system. He allowed himself no lucid interval. Could he have been prostrated by a fit of sickness, and placed under proper care, and recovered slowly from his disease, his mind might have been restored. But once in, he continued to weaken his strength by artificial stimulus, and his mind had no opportunity to resume its natural tone. The drunkard only can recover from his malady by going through the ordeal of a trial by water. He must expect to be prostrated. He must suffer intense agony for days, and perhaps weeks, but if he perseveres, his cure is certain.

Collins visited at some houses, and was caressed by a few, as 'a character.' He enjoyed the reputation of being an elegant scholar, among persons to whom he had never given the slightest evidence of scholarship, and who probably did not know what the classics were. This is very common. Who ever knew a case of a young man's throwing himself away, particularly if his connections are respectable, when it was not said: 'What a pity! He is the flower of the family; might be any thing, only——'

The ladies, dear souls! saw in him a desolated genius. It would be laughable to tell the thousand and one stories circulated about his love affair. They used to get him to sing his plaintive airs, and how[385] it went to their hearts to hear the tones of a broken heart. He, under the influence of powerful doses of opium, enjoyed this. He yielded to the idea that he was what they thought him, and was happy in the luxury of wo. After one of these displays, he would ask me to relate to him what occurred the evening before, for he did not know, though all the time he appeared to the company as perfectly rational.

The students did not expose him, though they saw pretty nearly what he was. I, I cannot tell why, was with him constantly, and took pleasure in his society. It was something new to me, and gave me an opportunity of studying myself.

The example of this man constantly before me, the fact that I associated with him, contrary to the wishes of my friends, in the course of time alienated from me the good feeling of my former friends; or they felt bound to resent my neglect of them, by corresponding coldness. I did feel bitterly toward them, for their neglect of Collins, and always took his part; and when lightly spoken of, resented it as an insult to myself.

In this way, I lost the confidence and friendship of those men who could have still been, would I have permitted it, of inestimable advantage to me in healing my own distempered mind.

Collins and myself at last were constantly together, and each other's only companions. I gradually fell into his habits. Certain it is, that we enjoyed some Elysian hours. In the lonely still nights, when all else seemed lost in sleep, and the sound of labor broke not upon the ear to remind us that we were in a toiling world, we used to sally forth and wander through the meadows that skirt the river in this delightful region. Under the soothing influence of that drug, which creates first a heaven and then a hell, we talked and sang to the stars, and the beautiful earth, and the bright moon, and thought we were happy. A man must be far gone for this world, who goes straight about such an excitement of his system, when he knows, as we did, the agony that was to follow, after the charm had ceased. I was the greatest sufferer. My constitution was naturally strong; capable of great action and rëaction. While Collins was left in dull apathy and lethargy, I woke from the trance of joy to excessive nervous pain. My mind was filled with dismal images. I had horrid forebodings. My broken vows to my father—the probable misery I had caused her who really loved me—the days of quiet and peaceful happiness I might have enjoyed by a different course—my ruin—glimpses of what I am—all came to my mind, and inflicted the keenest torture. I lived over again all the pains I had ever suffered. It seemed as if miseries were accumulated to crush me. I meditated self-destruction. I prayed for death. This frame of mind would continue for days, during which time I kept my room, and lived upon the most simple diet. But when recovered in body and mind, and going out with strongest resolution, as I thought, some new temptation would assail me, and the same scene, the same agony, the same remorse, were acted over and over again; and what makes it more astonishing, there was a sincerity in this resistance, which repeated failure could not lead me to doubt.

My only object in forming this acquaintance, was pity for Collins'[386] solitary state, and a desire to alleviate the pain he seemed to suffer. My motive, if I know my own heart, was good. Even believers in human depravity will give me credit for honesty of intention. 'The way to hell is paved with good intentions,' says the preacher. How true!

In one of my fits of voluntary seclusion, I read 'Hope Leslie.' Let me here give the evidence of my own experience in favor of that book. The study of the law was relinquished, and I read only works of feverish interest, when I read any thing. After the indulgence of irregular passions, every one who has suffered, knows that the mind is left in a flighty state; we have strange visions, and think strange thoughts; in short, we are quite poetic. Poetry, novels, music! how grateful they are! They lead us away from ourselves, and we are just unsound enough to yield entirely to the illusion. Under such circumstances, I read 'Hope Leslie.' I was a week about it, and I read all the time too. I was so enchanted with the book, that I consumed it as the child eats his sugar-plums, by little and little, to make it last the longer, dwelling over each passage; reading a scene, and then walking the room, and picturing out the lofty Indian, the heroic Magawisca, the generous youth, and the gentle mother. How I revelled! Beside, I felt strengthened and elevated by the high tone of moral sentiment contained in that work. It was the happiest week I ever lived, infinitely surpassing all possible reality.



I would I were the slight fern growing
Beneath my Highland Mary's tread;
I would I were the green tree throwing
Its shadow o'er her gentle head:
I would I were a wild flower springing
Where my sweet Mary loves to rest,
That she might pluck me while she's singing,
And place me on her snowy breast!
I would I were in yonder heaven,
A silver star, whose soft dim light
Would rise to bless each summer even,
And watch my Mary all the night:
I would beneath those small white fingers
I were the lute her breath has fanned—
The plaintive lute, whose soft note lingers,
As loath to leave her fairy hand.
Ah, happy things! ye may not wander
From Scotland to some darker sky,
But ever live unchanging yonder,
To happiness and Mary nigh;
While I at midnight, sadly weeping,
Upon its deep transparent blue
Can only gaze, while all are sleeping,
And dream my Mary watches too!


SONNET: TO MRS. —— —— ——


Sweet Lady! in the name of one no more,
Both of us loved, and neither can forget,
Make me thy brother, though our hearts before,
Perchance have never in communion met:
Give me thy gentle memories, though there be,
Between our forms, some thousand miles of sea,
Wild tract, and weary desert: let me still,
Whate'er the joy that warms me, or the thrill
That tortures, and from which I may not flee—
Hold a sweet, sacred place within thy breast!
In this, my spirit shall be more than blest;
And, in my prayers, if haply prayers of mine
Be not a wrong unto a soul like thine,
There shall be blessings from the skies for thee.




Lausanne, August 26.—We left St. Bernard, well pleased with our hosts, and hastened back to Martigny, where we procured an open carriage, and proceeded directly to St. Maurice, there to lodge. The ride along the banks of the Rhone, in the cool of the evening, was delicious. As it grew dark, the bonfires of the chamois-hunters were lit up here and there on the distant mountains; and among other things, we passed a beautiful cascade, seven hundred feet high, flowing out of a solid rock. At half past three this morning, we were aroused from our slumbers at St. Maurice, to take the omnibus for Villeneuve, at the head of the Lake of Geneva. It was just after sunrise, on another soft and lovely morning, when we stepped on board the steamer 'Le Leman' to sail down this glorious lake, now placid and smooth as a mirror. The boat was well filled, principally with English tourists. We passed near the walls of the famous Castle of Chillon, where Bonnivard, Byron's 'Prisoner,' lingered in chains:

'Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar—for 'twas trod,
Until his very steps have left a trace,
Worn as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
By Bonnivard!—May none those marks efface,
For they appeal from tyranny to God!'

The castle is at the foot of the hill, on the very margin of the lake, and seems almost to rise out of the water. The poet has finely pictured in his 'Prisoner' a striking scene of loneliness, amidst nature's[388] fairest works. We passed Clarens, too, the 'sweet Clarens' of the author of 'Helöise:'

''Twas not for fiction chose Rousseau this spot,
Peopling it with affections. 'Tis lone,
And wonderful, and deep, and hath a sound,
And sense, and sight of sweetness: here the Rhone
Hath spread himself a couch,[1] the Alps have reared a throne.'

At eleven o'clock we arrived at Lausanne, via its port, Ouchi, for the town is a fourth of a mile up the hill. This is a large but irregularly-built town, and is much frequented by the English. The house where Gibbon lived yet remains, and is now occupied by an English family. Here I took leave of the friendly party, and am to proceed alone to regions as yet to me unknown.

Berne, August 28.—Had a moonlight night-ride from Lausanne, whence we departed at seven, P. M. I am now coming to the Cantons where German is usually spoken, so I suppose I must play deaf and dumb, and talk by signs, guessing the import of what they say to me, as I did, for example, at the diligence office, when I paid my fare; but in this case I was left in a non-plus. When I took my seat, they motioned me out; and I stood patiently waiting to be disposed of. My luggage was put on, the diligence was filled and started off, leaving me there, solus, in deep cogitation. Well, 'thinks I to myself,' they are very polite! Presently, however, a smart buggy came along, and the driver civilly beckoned me to take a seat. Feeling very cool and good-natured, in I jumped, at the risk of going where 'the d——l drives;' for I really was somewhat in the dark, and I couldn't be positive whether it was not the 'old gentleman' himself. Soon, however, these dismal doubts were dispelled by our overtaking the diligence, and receiving an English gentleman into the buggy; and then the simple truth flashed upon me, that the diligence was full, and they were 'forwarding' me in an extra, as they are obliged to do, by law of the land, all who apply before the time.

In some learned discussions about England, I happened to say that the law securing the descent of property of the nobility, there, exclusively to the oldest son, seemed to me very unjust. My companion said he 'gloried in it;' though he himself was a 'younger son, he abhorred democracy and equality.' And with some more talk, I fell asleep, and left him to his cigar.

I was somewhat diverted with a prevalent custom of the Germans—that of embracing and kissing each other, when taking leave. I refer, of course, to the men; for an affectionate salutation of this sort to the ladies, it would be unpardonable to omit. But to see the 'grave and reverend seignors' bussing each other, is a little queer.

At two, A. M., we stopped at a place called Peterlinden, and got some coffee in a 'loft.' About daylight, we were riding in sight of Lake Neufchatel, and passed the little village of Morat, where the [389]Swiss heroically defeated an invasion of the Burgundians, in 1440: of which Byron says:[2]

'There is a spot should not be passed in vain,
Morat! the proud, the patriot field! where man
May gaze on ghastly trophies of the slain,[3]
Nor blush for those who conquered on that plain.
While Waterloo with Cannæ's carnage vies,
Morat and Marathon, twin names shall stand.'

It is vastly amusing and edifying to observe the 'whims and oddities' of the various people one meets with on these routes, or indeed any where. The English and Germans generally like each other, while both dislike the French; and all are equally prejudiced against we poor Americans—perhaps not without reason. There are too many young Americans, who ape the worst traits of the English character, abroad, and make themselves ridiculous, by an affected hauteur and reserve. There were two such at ——, whom our Scotchman pronounced 'contemptible puppies; for they considered themselves too good to speak to the Misses ——, because they kept a pension;' and he added, rather rudely and illiberally, that 'all Americans are alike, when they think they have got money enough to act the aristocrat.' This sweeping charge was not worth notice, and would never be made by the better class of English or Scotch; but it must be owned, there is some ground for it; and it is too bad, that a few dandy upstarts abroad should excite prejudice against the whole of us.

At nine this morning, we rode through a long shady avenue, lined with elms, into the handsome town of Berne, the capital of Switzerland. It is built on a peninsula, formed by the windings of a little stream called the Aar, in the midst of an extensive and fertile plain. The two principal streets are long and uniform, the buildings being all of gray stone, projecting on heavy arches over the side-walks. In the Rue Grand are several public fountains, adorned with grotesque figures. At the city-gate, a couple of wooden 'grisly bears,' (the arms of the Canton,) look down upon all visitors, with a scrutinizing but rather inviting glance. The cathedral is a very curious piece of antique architecture, especially the great door, which is elaborately ornamented with emblematical sculpture. But the most attractive spot in Berne is the public promenade, by the side of the river, from whence you have a magnificent prospect of the whole range of the Oberland Alps, covered with perpetual snows, probably the most imposing array of mountains in the world, at least the finest to be seen at one view. A visit to some of this range, through the valleys of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunen, is usually a prominent object to the Swiss tourist. Near the summit of one of these peaks, where 'winter reigns supreme,' the Jung Frau, is the awful precipice where Byron's 'Manfred' was stopped by the chamois hunter from taking a final leap.

The city and canton of Berne have always been noted as the most aristocratic of the confederacy, both in laws and in the spirit of the [390] people. Each canton, it seems, has a different costume:[4] That of the Berne damsels is marked by white starched over-sleeves, extending to the elbows, and a broad black lace ruffle stuck up over the head, which makes them look like Peter Wilkins' flying islanders.

29th.—Like Mr. Cooper, we patronize 'Le Fauçon;' and the Rev. Mr. Cunningham has invited me among the Anglaise to hear the church service read in his room. The principal topic of the day in Berne is the dispute with Louis Phillipe, which at present looks rather squally.

Alpnach, Lake of Luzerne, 30th.—The ride from Berne to Thun was very agreeable, notwithstanding I was obliged to take the interieur, among some inveterate smokers. The scenery continued to be beautiful, but very different from that we had passed a few days since—the 'lofty heights' being in full view, but far distant.

Thun is a picturesque little village situated in an enchanting place on the Aar, near the head of the lake of the same name, which forms one of a series of the most charming sheets of water in Europe. Instead of the diligence route to Luzerne, I was tempted to enjoy the luxury of a sail over these lakes; and accordingly left Thun yesterday morning in a little steamer, which plies on the 'Thuner See' to Interlachen, another pretty village, situated, as its name implies, between two lakes, Thun and Brientz. It contains several good pensions, and is much frequented by tourists in search of health; and well it may be; for the region round about is a paradise. 'The air itself is a nosegay, the coarse bread a banquet, and the simple whey of the Alps is worth all the elixirs of the apothecary.' You may not sympathize, perhaps, in my enjoyment of this Swiss tour—would you were here to enjoy it with me!—for I know it is tantalizing to read of the 'fairest places of the earth,' when one must long in vain to be in them; and yet, it is pleasant to tell those we love of the pleasant things we have had the good fortune to fall in with.

On our way to Interlachen, from the boat, we passed through the queer and romantic old town of Unterseen. Interlachen is near the Lake of Brientz; and there, with the assistance of an obliging French gentleman, who volunteered as my interpreter, I hired a small boat with four rowers, to take me over the lake to the town of Brientz, a distance of ten miles. There I got 'some lunch,' and hired a horse and guide for my luggage, to Lungern, going myself, by way of variety, on foot, over the Brunig Alp. A violent thunder-storm, which had closely pursued us on the lake, overtook me on the summit of the rugged Brunig, and, at the expense of a thorough drenching, I had a fine chance to observe the sublime commotion of the elements; and sure enough,

——'Far along
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
Leaped the live thunder!'

The movements of the clouds beneath me, after the shower, were [391] extremely beautiful and grand; rising in detached masses, gracefully and majestically up the sides of the mountains, and parting slowly from their summits, or from the green vales below, like a veil which had covered a mystery. Huge masses of rock overhang the path in several places, threatening to tumble suddenly upon the unwary traveller, or the cottages below; and abundant are the proofs that 'such things have been.'

I have said so much about fine prospects, that the one from the Brunig shall only be referred to, and you may read of it elsewhere. At Lungern, I dined, and hired a chaise to take me, solus, to the Lake of the Four Cantons. The ride was along the banks of two more lakes, Lungern and Sarnen, both of which are of a sea-green color, deep as the blue of the 'Leman.' There was little to remark, except an occasional water-fall, or the ruddy peasant girls on the banks, spinning flax.

At sunset, after traversing four lakes, and a mountain of no mean dimensions, since breakfast, I was received by mine host at the 'Cheval-Blanc,' at Alpnach, who is much noted, it seems, as an honest, attentive, and eccentric Swiss publican 'of the old school.' The hotels, be it observed, throughout Switzerland, are generally excellent. The plain but substantial fare which they give you, among the mountains, may be partaken of, after a ramble in those regions of pure and bracing air, with better relish than a princely feast in courtly halls; and in the larger towns they will spread a table d'hôte which would do credit to Meurice, of the Rue Rivoli, or Boyden, of the Astor House. At all the inns, visitors are expected and even required to write in the 'Book of Chronicles' not only their name and residence, but occupation, destination, and 'where from:' and in the 'highland tour' they usually add 'remarks,' scraps of doggerel, and praise or abuse of the last visited inn; such as 'Avoid the 'Epee' at Zurich;' 'Go by all means to the 'Cygne' at Luzerne.' Italy being blockaded by cholera and quarantines, this season, its neighbor Switzerland is more than usually swarmed with tourists; and a good many American names may be found recorded in the medley albums.

Luzerne, August 30.—In company with a couple of very agreeable English gentlemen, who had just returned from Italy, we took a boat at Alpnach, and were rowed down the Lake of the Four Cantons to this beautiful place. This lake is one of the largest, and certainly the most picturesque, in Switzerland, being irregular in its shape, indented with little bays, and affording, in its whole extent, every variety of scenery. After doubling several of its promontories, in a sail of two hours, we landed almost on the very steps of the favorite 'Hotel de Cygne' at Luzerne. It is a capital house, close to the water, and as we sit at dinner, we have on one side a fine panoramic view of the Bay of Naples, and, on the other, the real panorama of this beautiful lake and surrounding mountains.

We dined sumptuously at the table d'hôte, and then walked out to a garden in the suburbs to see a famous piece of sculpture from a model by Thorwaldsen, the Swedish artist. It is a colossal lion,[392] pierced with a barb, cut out on the side of a hill of rock, and under it are inscribed the names of the Swiss guards who fell in the French revolutions of '89 and '30. It is remarkable that Swiss soldiers are yet employed as the body-guards of the kings of France, Naples, etc., as more trustworthy than their own people. These guards are formally 'let out' by the Swiss government; but how such a proceeding is compatible with national honor, I am at a loss to conceive. There are two covered wooden bridges at Luzerne, each fourteen hundred feet long: the interiors are adorned with curious old paintings, of the Dutch school, comprising a regular series of scripture subjects.

You will recollect that this is the place from whence the travellers set out in the graphic opening scene of 'Anne of Gierstein.' It is in the vicinity of the scenes of Tell's exploits, of the battle-field of Sempach, and many other interesting spots. The gloomy and 'cloud-capt' brow of Mount Pilatus, where tradition says Pontius Pilate threw himself into the lake! is a conspicuous object on one side; and opposite, is the isolated Mount Rhigi, on the top of which we propose to lodge to-night, as all faithful travellers here do, for the sake of 'the most magnificent sunset and sunrise prospect which the world affords.'

Summit of the Rhigi, September 1.—Yesterday, at eleven, A. M., I took boat with my companion, (an intelligent young student from Cambridge, Eng.,) and we pushed across the lake to Kusnacht, near William Tell's chapel, and the place where he escaped from Gesler. Thence we proceeded without a guide, the ascent appearing to be quite easy; but we had the luck to lose our way and lose each other: nevertheless, we pressed forward to the goal, like Bunyan's 'Pilgrim,' tugging and climbing under an intensely hot sun, up, up, up, every step seeming to be the last, until I for one almost gave up in despair, when the friendly halloo! of some peasants pointed me to the path. At length we met each other near the top, on the side toward Altorf; and at six P. M. arrived at the inn, almost fainting with hunger and fatigue, and well able to do justice to a good supper.

Much as report had raised my anticipations, the view from the Rhigi Kulm far exceeded them: yet perhaps that from some points half-way to the summit, if not so extensive, is more pleasing and beautiful.[5] From the top, the eye takes in too much; and large towns and lakes appear like baby's play-houses and frog-ponds, and much as they would from a balloon. But the grand whole is certainly magnificent; a view of the whole of Switzerland could not be otherwise:

'Lakes, rivers, long drawn vales, towns, hamlets, towers,
From Gothard's glacier-snows to Swabia's bowers.'

Thirteen lovely lakes, of which those of Luzerne, Zug and Zurich [393]are the nearest and most conspicuous; with a hundred villages scattered along their banks. On the south, the sublime and gigantic array of the snowy Alps of Unterwald and the Grisons, even to the borders of Italy; while on the other hand, 'the view extends into the very centre of Swabia, presenting a richly-colored relief, over which the eye of the spectator roves in silent rapture, as the eagle, hovering in mid air or from his aërie, in some isolated pinnacle of the Alps, looks down upon the states and kingdoms scattered at his feet. The sound of sheep-bells from the pastures, mingling with others that, with a deeper and more distant chime, call the villagers to matins; the smoke of the first fires, curling in light blue wreaths above their sheltering woods; the lowing of herds, rushing to their morning pasture; the mountain peaks, varying in tint and distinctness as the light oversteps their summits; the glaciers, gradually changing their snowy glare into a purple, and then a rosy glow; spires and pinnacles catching the first ray of light, and assuming their wonted station as land-marks in the scene; sails, half in shade and half in sunshine, skimming the lakes with their rural produce and population; the Alpine horn, pealing its signals from the pastoral bergs around; the pilgrim-troop, with solemn chant and motley costume, bringing their donations to the confessional of 'Our Lady;' the screams of the vulture in pursuit of his prey, and many other sights and sounds which it would be tedious to enumerate, strike the eye and imagination of the stranger so forcibly, that he feels for a time as if transported into the mysteries of a new world.'

This is in the early morning; but the most beautiful sight this evening was a sea of clouds resting on the minor hills, far beneath us, the peaks just peeping above, like so many little islands in the ocean. Bodies of vapor also hung, like a canopy, over a part of the lakes; but with us the sky was perfectly clear, and the sun went down in cloudless glory; and when the last morsel disappeared, the Germans of the party doffed their beavers, and made him a low parting bow.

Zurich, September 1.—Cooling as was the change of air on the Rhigi, after such a warm ascent, I never felt brighter than after my nap in that high position, five thousand seven hundred feet above the tide. By-the-by, the announcement at nine, of 'La lune! la lune!' produced a rush from the supper table, but the keen, bracing atmosphere soon compelled the ladies to retreat to their rooms. At 'four-and-a-half,' we were roused from our slumbers by a 'trumpet's martial sound,' announcing the approach of the 'king of day.' It was beautiful to watch the changing tints of the sky, for an hour before the sun appeared. Not a cloud was to be seen in the horizon, for we were far above them; but when the sun's dazzling rays began to be reflected on the hill-tops, and on the sea of vapor beneath us, and the mists began to roll away from over the lakes, gradually disclosing their varied outline, or lifting the canopy from the quiet towns, the scene was truly exquisite to look upon.

I left the 'Kulm' alone, at six, and came down in an hour and a half, on the side toward Goldau. This is the village that was destroyed[394] in 1806, by the fall of a part of Mount Rossberg, when nearly five hundred persons, and property to the amount of half a million, were suddenly buried under a mass of earth, which our Mr. Cooper ascertained to be equal in bulk to all the buildings in New-York put together![6] From thence I walked along the banks of the Zuder See, to the curious old town of Zug. This lake is nine miles long. The road on its banks is lined with fruit trees, and I filled my pockets with nice fresh prunes for the gathering. Blackberries in profusion are there also. It was another delicious day, and I experienced none of the miseries so elegantly described, à la Wordsworth, in the Album at Alpnach:

'I wandered 'midst the untrodden ways
Beside the banks of Zug;
And there I met with scores of fleas,
And there with many a bug,' etc.

There was ringing of bells, and firing of cannon, which made a tremendous echo across the lake, but for what cause I did not learn. At Zug I got dinner, and a direction to a by-path 'across lots' of potatoe-fields to Horgern, on the Zurich See, where I was to take the steam-boat to this place. I was alone, and not a soul on the way could speak any thing but vulgar German. I was stared at as if from the clouds; and albeit not conscious, like the third Richard, of any special deformity, yet,

'As I passed, the dogs did bark at me.'

At one village, a cur at the first house commenced the salute, which was continued to the last, by every

'Mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And cur of low degree.'

The folks did not know what I meant by Horgern, because I did not roll it out with their horrid nasal pronunciation. I stopped to fill my flask at a spring, and had the luck to learn of a farmer that I was going just the wrong way. At length, after achieving another mountain, a splendid landscape was spread out before me; the beautiful Lake of Zurich, bordered with vineyards, and neat villages, flanked by another range of snow-capped Alps. With staff in hand, and knapsack on back, as I approached

'The margin of fair Zurich's waters,'

I met a posse of 'fair Zurich's daughters,' and of course doffed my beaver to the fairest, whereat they were all vastly tickled, and perhaps a little jealous of the 'favored one' (a-hem!) but bon jour, or 'alack-well-a-day,' was all I could say, so I proceeded to the 'margin,' found there was no steam-boat, hired a boat, took in a lady, who applied for a passage, and pushed off for Zurich. It was a lovely afternoon, and as pretty a sail as I have yet had. I had this morning seen the sun rise from the summit of the Rhigi; and now, after walking thirty-five miles in nine hours, under his hottest beams, I saw him set on the Lake of Zurich. This lake is nearly twenty miles long. [395]As we came near the town, we passed several charming pleasure-gardens, on the very margin of the water. Zurich is situated much like Geneva, being built on both sides of the rapid stream which flows out at the head of the lake. It is quite a large and city-like place, and evidently a flourishing one. I saw several large buildings in the course of erection. The walks and rides in its environs, and the sail on its waters, are delightful in the extreme.

It was eight o'clock, P. M., when my boatmen landed me on the dock, and it was with no little trouble that I found the Gastoff Zum Schwardt, or Hotel de L'Epèe, for my pronunciation of the name would not pass. It is a good inn, near the lake, but always full, and very dear. Mine host politely gave me a ticket for the town museum and reading-room. I had sent my luggage here by diligence from Luzerne, and expected to meet my Rhigi companion; but he does not appear, and I must proceed alone to the Rhine and Germany, 'unknowing and unknown.'

Schaffhausen, September 2. * * * In the ride to this place, I had my first glimpse of the Rhine, at the village of Eglisan; and now I have been out to see the celebrated Falls of the Rhine, near Schaffhausen. I came to them from above, and was disappointed; but I found the right view is from the bend, on the other side. The falls are certainly beautiful and picturesque, but not very grand or marvellous. If the falls even of the Androscoggin at good old Brunswick were in Europe, they would be quite a 'lion' in their way.

Having now 'done Switzerland,' you may ask, 'Have we not scenery at home, equal to any in that land of wonders?' And, at the risk, as Mr. Cooper says, of being called unpatriotic and 'spoiled by travelling,' I must say no—at least so far as my knowledge goes. The 'Notch' at the White Mountains is equal in wildness and grandeur to any scenery in Scotland; of course it exceeds any in England, and probably, the rest of Europe, which is saying a good deal; but Swiss scenery, i.e., among the higher Alps, you must bear in mind is on a vastly larger scale than either. Think of mountains two or three times as high as Mount Washington, in some cases rising almost perpendicularly, or overhanging valleys eight or ten thousand feet below, their summits tapering off in fantastic shapes, and pyramids of rock. It is scenery of a different character, probably, from any other; unique in its wild sublimity. So also with extensive prospects. Our Catskill Mountain House is scarcely half as high as the Rhigi Kulm, and as to the relative merits and variety of the view, I would again refer you to Mr. Cooper's comparison. But with these exceptions, we need not go abroad to discover 'the beauties of nature.' Our rivers and river scenery are as much superior to those of Europe as Niagara is to the Falls of Trenton: even the far-famed Rhine, if I may judge from this portion of it, is not worthy to be named with the Connecticut, far less with our noble Hudson.

The Swiss views, recently published, with letter press by Dr. Beattie, are very correct as well as beautiful specimens of art. They will give you a much better notion of the country than any book I[396] know of. You will perceive I visited most of the originals, having passed through the cantons of Geneva, Wallis, Waadt, Freyburg, Berne, Luzerne, Unterwalden, Schwyz, Zug, Zurich, and Schaffhausen, beside an excursion to Savoy and Piedmont. How much Knowles' Mariana says in the simple exclamation;

'Switzerland is a dear country—Switzerland!'

The name will always recall to me many pleasant associations.

I am not a little puzzled in choosing my route through Germany. I desire to go through the Tyrol to Bavaria, Munich, Prague, and Dresden; but it is a long tour, and little travelled. 'The Glyptique' collection of the fine arts at Munich, and the great Dresden Gallery, are doubtless worthy of a visit; but on the whole, I think I shall content myself with the 'sights' of Frankfort, Leipsic, Mayence, the sail down the Rhine to Coblentz and Cologne, and thence to Aix la Chapelle, and the cities of Belgium.


Carlsrhue, Duchy of Baden, September 5.—I was somewhat amused by a good-looking Irish gentleman, who, after paying some pretty sensible compliments to the flavor of the bon vins of mine host at Schaffhausen, very kindly offered me his confidence and friendship, 'free gratis for nothing,' and proposed a walk to the falls, observing by the way, while telling me this, that, and the other, in the between-you-and-me sort of a way, that a rascal, whom he had unsuspectingly made his bosom friend and room-mate at Aix-la-Chapelle, had, with equal good nature, very benevolently relieved him of the care of his purse and gold watch. Poor Pat! I fear he was in a fair way to be operated upon again, with equal efficacy.

Schaffhausen is a queer old Germanized town, quiet and dull. The Hibernian and myself were the only guests at the principal hotel. I had another dreary night-ride from thence to the frontier of this duchy, where passports and luggage were duly inspected. At sunset, I arrived at Offenbourg, a decent town, where I found a very nice inn, kept by a nice man, who deals in wines and broken English. He entertained me excellently well, and sent me on to this place this morning in an extra. We stopped to dine at a town, which I took for our ultimatum, and leisurely disposed myself accordingly, when lo! by mere accident, I observed the carriage starting off, with my portmanteaus safely behind. 'Ou allez vous?'—'à Carlsrhue!' So much for being among people of a strange tongue.

There seemed to be a uniformity of costume in several of the towns. Red vests and breeches and broad-brimmed, hats, were universal among men and boys; i.e., of the peasantry only, for they are a distinct order of beings on the continent. The most laborious part of farming, etc., is performed by the women; the 'fair sex' here are expected to hold the plough, rake the hay, and dig the potatoes. What brutes must the men be!

Carlsrhue, the duke of Baden's capital and residence, is one of the neatest towns I have seen on the continent. The streets are[397] broad, straight, and well-paved, and the buildings all of stone, painted cream-color. The chateau of the duke is in the form of a crescent, opposite a block of private houses in similar style, thus making an elegant circle, with a garden and orangery in the centre. In the rear of the chateau, is an extensive hunting-park. The whole of this duchy appears to be one level plain, not specially fertile; and there is little to remark in riding over it, except the extensive squadrons of geese, tended by the lasses like a flock of sheep, and the battalions of ganders, in the shape of the duke's soldiers.

Our introduction to his Serene Lowness, the Rhine, did not give us the most favorable impression of his majesty. If one should see that part of the river between Switzerland and Mayence, and no more, he would pronounce its far-famed beauties all a joke. It passes here through this flat uninteresting duchy, the banks affording nothing more attractive than pine bushes, six feet high; and the river itself has lost its primitive attraction at Schaffhausen, for here it is of a brown muddy color, instead of its once transparent green. Occasionally, however, the monotony of the shores is relieved by a pretty town, which, the atmosphere being clear, and the view unobstructed, may be seen from a great distance. Among others, we passed Spires and Worms, noted for their cathedrals, which are very conspicuous objects from the river; and Manheim, a handsome town, with a fine palace, (now chiefly in ruins,) in the midst of a beautiful park. Near Manheim is Heidelberg, celebrated for its university, which is the oldest in Germany. These places are in the 'Grand Duchy' of Hesse-Darmstadt, which adjoins that of Baden. The boat stopped a short time at Manheim, and we went on shore to see the palace.

It was dusk when we came in sight of the famous and very pretty town of Mayence, our steamer passing through the bridge of boats over the Rhine, which was promptly opened to admit it. The spires, and domes of the town, as seen from the river, give it quite an imposing appearance. We stepped on the quay, with very little bustle, and without any obstruction or examination. The hotels near the river were all full, but we found good lodgings at the 'Trois Courounes' in the interior. I shall proceed to-morrow to Frankfort and Leipsic, with the intention of returning here to take the Rhine to Cologne.

Frankfort on the Maine, September 7.—The ride from Mayence to this city occupied three hours and a half. The approach to Frankfort is not remarkable, except for the beautiful grounds and gardens laid out on the site of the ancient walls and fortifications in the environs. Frankfort, you know, is one of the four free cities of Germany,[7] (Hanse-Towns,) and is entirely independent of any other state, being a co-equal member of the Germanic confederation, and important also as the seat of the Diet. Some parts of the city are very handsome, and the whole has an air of busy prosperity: it seems to be very like Paris, on a smaller scale. The hotels are renowned [398]for their size and excellence; and as the great semi-annual Fair is in operation, they are at present abundantly well patronized. This Fair is quite an important affair to the city: all the public squares, quays, etc., are filled with temporary stalls and 'magazines' of articles, manufactured in different parts of Germany, the merchant announcing himself 'from Berlin,' or Dresden, or Leipsic. They often bring samples, only, of their wares, and from them make extensive 'package sales.' I should think that one half, at least, of these were filled with pipes—a fair illustration of the smoking propensities of the Germans. These pipes are long and clumsy, but most of them are very prettily ornamented. The Germans are verily inveterate lovers of the weed. They smoke every where and on all occasions; the toll-keeper puffs away while he opens the gate, the conducteur, regulating the diligence, the shop-keeper, while he makes your bill. All classes and degrees are alike in this respect—the duke, the 'professor,' the peasant. The charms of the practice are especially exemplified in the interior of a crowded diligence on a hot day, when three fourths of the passengers are doing their best to suffocate one another with fumes of smoke from pipes, and brimstone from matches. Remonstrance from a novice in the science is vain, for though otherwise polite and obliging, they seem to think smoking so much a matter of course, to prize it above their meat and drink, even above their wine, that they do not imagine it can be disagreeable.

The river Maine, which falls into the Rhine at Mayence, or Mainz, is an insignificant stream, only navigable by flat boats which go down with the current, and are drawn up by horses, as in canals. Frankfort is built on both sides of the river, but the greater part is on the north. The quays are broad, and afford a handsome architectural display, the buildings being all of a light cream color, like those of the French capital. I observed no very splendid public buildings, but the principal street, containing several of the great hotels, is very spacious and stately. In the Hotel de Ville is preserved, among other archives, the original of the celebrated 'Golden Bull.'

Leipsic, September 10.—Here am I, in the very heart of Germany, in the centre of Europe, within ten hours' ride of Dresden, one day of Berlin, two of Prague, three of Munich, four of Warsaw, ten of St. Petersburgh, and a few more of Rome, Constantinople, and Jerusalem, all of which I would fain honor with a visit, did time and the 'needful' permit; at present, however, this will be my ultimatum, and to-morrow I shall commence what the Frenchman said Napoleon did, after the memorable battle of this same Leipsic, not a retreat, but a mouvement retrograde toward home. My journeyings will now be toward the setting instead of the rising sun.

The ride to this city proved, as I expected, extremely tedious and disagreeable. We left Frankfort at half past nine, P. M., and were forty-one hours, including two nights, on the way; the distance being two hundred and twenty miles. I was again doomed to the interieur, amid five smokers, as usual, neither of whom could speak English or French; and the idea of the mistakes and vexations to which my[399] solitary ignorance exposed me, was any thing but comfortable. I escaped, however, with nothing worse than the loss of a cloak in the Frankfort diligence; for on coming to the Prussian dominions, we were transferred to a respectable vehicle, on which was inscribed:

'Konig. Preuss,
Schnell Post.'

(Query, mail or snail? It does not merit the latter appellation so well as some of the French, to say the least.) The public conveyances on the continent are all driven by a postillion, in a kind of livery, with 'seven league boots,' a trumpet with tawdry tassels, and a leathern hat: he always rides the 'nigh' horse, and never goes more than one post, as each 'team' has its own postillion. Every diligence is superintended by a conducteur, who has the best seat in the coupé, but does nothing himself, except delivering the mails and small parcels on the way. The French and Swiss conducteurs are often surly and uncivil, but those in Prussia are very attentive, good-looking, and even well-educated. The most learned doctors of the university will converse with them on familiar terms, with deference and respect.

There is evidently much less exclusiveness in grades, and less show of haughty superiority in the wealthy, and even the noble, in these despotic countries, than in liberal and enlightened England. From the Grand Duke downward, it is usual to give a bow and a 'bon jour,' or 'adieu,' to the meanest servant in return for the same salutations: and these courtesies certainly do not seem to be misconstrued into that familiarity which breeds contempt, but rather to strengthen respect and attachment to the superior.

In coming to Leipsic from Switzerland, I passed through no less than eight independent states and principalities, viz.: the 'Grand Duchies' of Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Gotha, Hesse-Cassel, the free city of Frankfort, and the kingdoms of Prussia and Saxony. The boundaries of these great-little duchies are marked by a plain stone on the way-side, inscribed, 'Weimar,' 'Gotha,' etc., as the case may be. I observed nothing else to indicate that the country was governed by so many different masters. There is nothing on the route deserving the name of scenery: even a gentle hill to relieve the dull, tame prospect of long and often barren plains, occurs but seldom. Of the towns I shall see more on my return.

I was sorry to find that the noted book-publisher, Mr. Tauchnitz, Senior, died of apoplexy, very suddenly, a few months since. His son, who continues the business, is a very courteous and intelligent man, and speaks English fluently. He received me very kindly, and invited me to dine with him at twelve o'clock, M.! In England, I was several times invited to dine at seven, P. M. The usual dinner hour at hotels in Germany is one.

Before dinner, Mr. T. escorted me to the lions. In the principal Lutheran church, I was a little surprised to see paintings, altars and images!—things opposed, as I thought, to the very spirit of Lutheranism.

The 'booksellers' have just completed a handsome 'Exchange,'[400] where the brethren of the 'trade' from all parts of Germany assemble semi-annually, at the Easter and Michaelmas fairs, to settle accounts, and make sales of new books, etc., by sample. The book-trade is carried on here very extensively, and with a great deal of system. Leipsic is the head-quarters for the business in all the German states, and all publishers in other places have their agents here. You will be surprised, perhaps, at the fact, that the number of new books published annually in Germany, is greater than all issued during the same time in Great Britain and France put together.[8] What a nation of book-makers! What a mass of intellect in active exercise! In a country not much exceeding in extent the single state of New-York, there are six thousand new works, comprising nine millions of volumes, printed every year, beside reprints of old works, and all pamphlets and periodicals! One would think the Germans ought to be a learned people!

Mr. Tauchnitz's establishment is one of the most extensive in the trade. He showed me the stereotype plates of his well-known editions of the Greek and Latin classics, of which he publishes a complete series, in an economical, pure text form, one set filling a box twenty inches square. So you may easily ascertain the exact bulk of all the intellect of antiquity!

The Leipsic University, which is one of the oldest in Germany, is also about to occupy a neat and extensive edifice just completed. The ancient fortifications of Leipsic, like those of Frankfort, have been removed, and the space they occupied is laid out in gardens and public promenades; a change decidedly for the better, as every peaceable man will say.[9] As to beauty of architecture, this city has little remarkable; the buildings are mostly antique and uncouth, and the streets narrow, and without side-walks.

At dinner to-day, at Mr. ——, the second dish consisted of thin slices of two sorts of fish, literally raw. It seemed to be regarded as a rare delicacy, but I could not stretch my politeness enough to do justice to it. The dinner, otherwise, was excellent. You know the old man who made the 'Bubbles from the Brunens,' feelingly describes his consternation at the never-ending courses of a German public table; but he does not mention two-thirds of the dishes I have tasted at a single sitting. The feast commences, all the world over, with soup; then comes the dry soup-meat, 'which a Grosvenor-Square cat would not touch with his whiskers!' but which is nevertheless rendered quite palatable by a highly-seasoned gravy; then, cutlets, omelets, and messes of various sorts; followed by poultry, wild fowls, beef, etc.; fifthly, pudding, which with us is a sign that the meat is disposed of; but lo! 'sixthly and lastly' comes a huge quarter of veal, roast chickens, young lobsters, salad, etc.; seventhly, tarts and confectionary; 'and, to conclude, a dessert of prunes, grapes, peaches, cakes, etc., the whole capped by sundry nibbles at a fair, round cheese, or peradventure, as to-day, with coffee, in Lilliputian [401]cups, which I took for baby's play-things. Verily, one has a chance of finding something to his taste in this variety.

After dinner, Mr. Tauchnitz ordered his barouche, with two beautiful bays, and a footman in livery, (Mr. T. is a book-seller,) and we rode out to the field of the memorable battle of 1813, about a mile from the town. The whole vicinity of Leipsic, for several miles, is one vast plain, which has always been, and probably will continue to be, the theatre of battles, when the nations of Europe see fit to fight at all. We walked to a slight elevation, where Napoleon had his head-quarters during the battle. The French had garrisoned the town for six years previous; consequently they had their choice of position. Napoleon had made a mouvement retrograde from Dresden, after giving up his second expedition to Russia; he was followed by the allied army, and here they met. Three days' hard fighting, and the slaughter of twenty thousand men, was the consequence. The French were routed; but their possession of the town enabled them to proceed in their retrograde toward Frankfort, (the same route I had come,) and on the fourth day the allies entered Leipsic. Mr. T. was on the field during the fight, and he gave me a graphic description of it. 'Here stood Blucher, with his Prussians; there, Prince Swartzenberg and the Austrians.' What a scene of horror must that field have been, when twenty thousand human beings lay there, bloody corpses, and half as many more had fallen, wounded and mangled, sighing for death as a relief from their misery!

Otho, the young king of Greece, is now in Leipsic on a visit. He is shortly to be married to a German princess, whose name I have forgotten.

Mayence, Sept. 13.—At six, P. M., on the tenth, I was again in the diligence. There were but three passengers; one of them asked me in German to sit with him in the interior, but having persuaded him in English into a coupé seat, he complacently remarked that he was pretty sure, from the first, that I was English. I declined the honor, with equal good nature. 'Scotch?' No. 'Irish?' No. He looked puzzled. 'You must have spoken English from childhood?' 'Yes. I never spoke any other language.' 'Perhaps you have resided some time in England?' Never was there but three months.' Curious whether he would discover me, I kept mum.

'From the East Indies?' No. 'But you are a British subject?' Oh, no. I acknowledge no king whatever.

'South America?'(!) No.

And, strange to say, I was the first, after all, to hint that there was a republic usually called the United States of America. It did not occur to him, at the moment, that the English language was known to some extent in 'our country;' but singularly enough, when the happy land was mentioned, I found him far from being ignorant of it. He had read of our 'manners' from his own Duke of Saxe-Weimar down to Captain Hall and the Trollope; and he was now writing a critical essay on American poetry. In short, he was Dr. O. L. B. Wolff, professor of belles-lettres in the University of Jena; the author, you will recollect, of the History of German Literature in[402] the London Athenæum, and of other essays which have made his name well known with us. He seemed a good deal interested in our literature, and we beguiled the hours far into the night, in learned talk, parting near the battle-field of Jena, with mutual promises of future correspondence.

The road lies over several memorable fields. Near Lutzen, they pointed to a stone, 'Voila la, Gustave tombeau!' It was the spot where the 'Great Gustavus' Adolphus fell, in the thirty years' war. We passed the house where Charles XII. of Sweden signed his treaty with the Elector of Saxony. At Erfurt is the cell where Martin Luther lived when he was an Augustine friar. At Gotha, Weimar, Eisenbach, and Fulda, the capitals of their respective duchies, are the 'chateaux de residence.'

The approaches to most of the continental towns are through long avenues, shaded by elms or poplars, extending sometimes a couple of miles. One naturally looks for something handsome, after passing such an imposing portal; but it does not always follow. One of the finest of these triumphal arches leads to a filthy hamlet, which would disgrace our backwoods.

They have a peculiar costume, at one of these towns; but in general, there is no costume in Germany. Both at Frankfort and Leipsic, I noticed two remarkable items, the Jews and the pretty girls. The Jews wear long black gowns and girdles, with beards of nearly equal length. They seem to be here a distinct and 'peculiar people.' As to the German ladies, there is certainly more beauty among them than I have seen elsewhere in Europe.

My second entrance into Frankfort was from a better point of view, crossing the stone bridge over the Main. I had been riding four nights, sans sleep, and in the vulgar phrase, was 'quite done up.' It was of course delightful to find that the 'fair' had so thoroughly filled the domicils of every publican in the place, that not a nook or a corner in all those immense hotels was to be had for love or money. I wandered here and there, houseless and alone, till dusk, with a fair prospect of a loafer-like lodging in the street! This was actually the only alternative to going off at ten, P. M., to Mayence. There were probably at least ten thousand strangers in the place at that moment.

The entrance into Mayence, at one o'clock at night, was quite impressive. On the opposite side of the river, in Cassel, is an extensive military establishment, through the gates and court of which we had to pass. The postillion sounded a martial air on his trumpet, and the sentinel, opening the ponderous gates, admitted us to the bridge of boats on which we crossed the Rhine to the city. Every thing was still and quiet, but our rumbling diligence; the stars and the lights of the town were looking at their portraits in the river. At the city portals, another blast of the trumpet[10] procured us admission, [403]but no living thing was to be seen, except the military 'guardians of the night.'

To-day it rains torrents. So I will merely tell you, in guide-book style, that Mayence, as well as Cologne, owes its origin to the Romans, and was occasionally the residence of some of the emperors. The city has also been an electorate of the German empire, but at present it belongs to Prussia; and it is remarkable, that with a population of thirty-two thousand, it has a garrison of twelve thousand soldiers. It claims the honor of being the birth-place of Guttenberg, one, at least, of the inventors of printing, of whom there is a statue in one of the squares. I have been to see the cathedral, noted only for antiquity, and for the numerous monuments and statues of church dignitaries in the interior.

Coblentz, (on the Rhine,) September.—The steam-boat left the quay at Mayence this morning at six, with about one hundred passengers, mostly English, on their homeward retreat. For two or three miles, the banks of the river continued to be low and tame. We passed the palace of the Grand Duke of Nassau, a fine edifice, near the river The classical Brunnens of Langen-Schwalbach are a few miles in the interior.

We were this day to see the only interesting part of the 'glorious Rhine,' that between Mayence and Cologne. Along here, there are a plenty of little islands, and the banks of the river abound with picturesque rocky crags, capped by ruins of castles, and relieved here and there by a green meadow, a vineyard, or a neat village. Johannisberg, a chateau belonging to Prince Metternich, is one of the first from Mayence. This estate has fifty-five acres of vine-grounds, from whence comes the most celebrated of the Rhenish wines. Speaking of Metternich, I need not remind you of his portraiture as 'Beckendorf,' in that unique production, 'Vivian Grey.' Then we passed the ruins of Klopp and Ehrenfels,[11] Vantsberg castle, at present occupied, from which we were saluted with a gun; the ruins of Falkenberg, Guttenfels, Schöenberg, and [404] the rocks of 'the Seven Sisters' in the river;[12] Sternberg and Liebenstein, 'the Brothers,' etc., all famed by many a pathetic legend. There are also the pretty villages of Rudesheim, Geisenheim, Bingen, Oberwesel, Saint Goar, and others, too tedious to mention; and the rock of Lureley, with an echo which repeats seven times.

I am now before the castle of Ehrenbreitstein, the strongest fortress in Europe, built on a rocky elevation, commanding the river for several miles. The city of Coblentz, nearly opposite, and connected with it by a floating bridge, is strongly fortified, and garrisoned by five thousand Prussian soldiers. It was founded by Drusus, the Roman general, thirteen years before Christ.

Cologne, 14th.—I am now in the ancient and honorable city of 'Les Trois Rois,' and of the eleven thousand virgins.

On leaving Coblentz, the shores are again 'flat and stale,' (though perhaps not 'unprofitable' to the vinters,) until thou comest unto Remagen, when there are a few miles of the picturesque, and then the scenery of the Rhine is finished. On the score of natural beauty, it would take a good many Rhines to make a Hudson; but, as Willis says, here we are constantly reminded of the past; history, tradition, and song, have given every thing a charm, and even these rough old ruins are tinted with a couleur de rose; but amidst the hills, and streams, and forests, of the so-called new world, our thoughts stretch forward to the future. We have already the rich material, and perhaps the time will come when Europe may not claim superiority, even in works of art, or in historical associations and reminiscences; albeit we have no princely palaces or baronical strongholds, and, thanks to our democratic rulers! we are in no immediate danger of them.


But the Rhine is interesting—intensely so; and I can only regret, my dear ——, that you are not here to share with me this long-wished for pleasure.

'The castled crag of Drachenfels
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,
And hills all rich with blossom'd trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,
And scatter'd cities crowning these,
Whose far white walls along them shine,
Have strew'd a scene which I should see
With double joy, wert thou with me.
'And peasant girls with deep blue eyes,
And hands which offer early flowers,
Walk smiling o'er this paradise;
Above, the frequent feudal towers
Through green leaves lift their walls of gray,
And many a rock which steeply lowers,
And noble arch in proud decay,
Look o'er this vale of vintage-bowers;
But one thing want these banks of Rhine—
Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine.
'The river nobly foams and flows,
The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turns disclose
Some fresher beauty varying round;
The haughtiest breast its wish might bound
Through life to dwell delighted here;
Nor could on earth a spot be found
To nature and to me more dear,
Could thy dear eyes, in following mine,
Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine.'

If misery loves company, as the proverb says, why should not happiness be also sociably disposed? There is to me a special loneliness in being in these regions of song, with a crowd of strangers, but with no 'congenial spirit' who in after days would recall to us the fond recollection of happy hours passed together in the distant land; who with a single word might bring vividly before us a glowing panorama of scenes remembered as a dream. And is there not as much or more enjoyment in these remembrances, than in the 'first impression?'

Beside the Drachenfels, there are a score of ruins this side of Coblentz, such as Rolandzeck, Godesberg, and other hard names; and we also passed the pretty town of Bonn, the seat of an ancient and well-endowed university. From one of the castles, near the river, we were saluted with three cheers by the garrison.

To-morrow I shall write from Aix-la-Chapelle, for here I must say, albeit not in the Byronic vein,

'Adieu to thee, fair Rhine! How long delighted
The stranger fain would linger on his way;
Thine is a scene alike where souls united,
Or lonely Contemplation thus might stray;
And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey
On self-condemning bosoms, it were here,
Where nature, not too sombre nor too gay,
Wild, but not rude, awful, but not austere,
Is to the mellow earth as autumn to the year.'



'Their voice shall be heard in other ages,
When the kings of Temora have failed.'


Ye say, we sing no household songs,
To those beside our hearths at play;
No minstrelsy to us belongs,
No legends of our by-gone day:
No old traditions of the hills,
Our giant land no memory fills—
We have no proud heroic lay!
Ye ask the time-worn storied page—
Ye ask the things of other age,
From us—a race of yesterday!
Of yore, in Britain's feudal halls,
Where many a warlike trophy hung,
With shield and banner on the walls,
The bard's high harp was sternly strung
To praise of war—its fierce delights—
To 'heroes of an hundred fights,'
Ever the 'sounding shell' outrung!
Gone is the ancient Bardic race—
Their song hath found perpetual place
Their country's proud archives among!
The warlike Norsemen of the isles,
Erst o'er the wave held sovereignty—
A sound is swelling where, erewhile,
Their ringing spears made melody:
Rude hunters of the seal and whale
Are chaunting out the Saga's tale,
To the wild winds sweeping by—
How their heroes heard the Valkyriur call
To the feast and song in Odin's hall—
To the white mead foaming high!
The stirring Scottish border tale,
Pealed from the chords in chieftain's hall—
The wild traditions of the Gäel,
The wandering harper's lays recall:
All have their legends, and their songs—
Records of glory, feud, and wrongs.
What nerved the fair chivalric Gaul,
When woke the bold 'Parisienne?'
The 'Marsellois?' what foeman then
Roused him to conquer or to fall?
What thought the Switzer's bosom thrills,
When sounds the 'Ranz de Vache' on high;
A race as ancient as their hills,
Still echoes their wild mountain cry:
He springs along the rocky height—
He marks the lammergeyer's flight—
The chamois bounding by:
He snuffs the mountain breeze of morn—
He winds again the mountain horn,
And the loud Alps reply!
Our fathers bore from Albion's isle,
No stories of her sounding lyres—
They left the old baronial pile—
They left the harp of ringing wires!
Ours are the legends old and dim,
The household song—the evening hymn,
Sung by your bright hearth-fires!
Each tree that in your soft wind stirs,
Waves o'er our ancient sepulchres—
The ashes of our sires!
Yea, forth they went, nerved to forsake
Home, and the chains they might not bear—
And woman's heart was strong, to break
The links of love which bound her there.
Here, free to worship and believe,
From many a log-built hut, at eve,
Went up the suppliant voice of prayer.
Is it not writ on history's page,
How the strong arm claimed our heritage?—
Of the lion claimed his lair!
Our people sang no loud war-songs,
They shouted no loud battle-cry—
A burning memory of their wrongs
Lit up their path to victory!
With prayer to God to aid the right,
The yeoman girded him for fight,
To free the land he tilled, or die!
They bore no proud escutcheon'd shield—
No blazoned banners to the field—
Nought but their motto—'Liberty!'
Their sons—when after years shall fling
O'er these romance—when time hath cast
The mighty shadow of his wing
Between them and the stoned past—
Will tell of foul oppression's heel,
Of hands which bore the avenging steel,
And battled sternly to the last—
By their hearth-fires—on the hill-side free,
Till the swell is caught by the echöing sea,
And hymned by the wandering blast!




More than one half of the inhabitants of the globe have an imperfect idea of the sufferings that are endured by their kindred, even in the vicinity of their own dwellings. The same laudable sentiment that induces display of the elegancies of life, causes concealment of our miseries, or humiliating misfortunes. The social feeling which induces us to lend aid to a neighbor in peril, or in the full tide of prosperous action, tends to the exhibition of our good fortune; it is sympathy in both instances. It is the sufferer who seeks concealment, having no flattering prospects to offer for the congratulations of the sympathetic. It is the jealous distrust of our natures that induces the pedestrian, who is toiling onward with a humid brow, to cast a nervous and discontented glance at the tenants of the post-coach, as it darts onward; and he welcomes the cloud of dust that insures concealment of his woes, created only by contrast. It is only when crime brings suffering on the innocent kindred of the criminal, that there exists serious cause of discontent.


Joseph Joplin was one of half a dozen sons of a tavern-keeper in the county of Buncombe, North Carolina; and consequently he became initiated in early life into the ways of the world; by which general expression, it may be in this case understood, an acquaintance with whiskey and tar-kilns, long rifles, and quarter-races. When this younger son of the publican of the 'Piny Woods' had nearly attained the stature of the family standard, six feet three inches, and a few months before he had reached his twentieth year, he led up before the township justice of the peace a hope-inspired damsel. She vowed herself his partner, in weal and wo, in life and death. His circumstances at the time were only middling. He owned 'a likely young nag, a dollar bill, and a good rifle-gun.'

A few months after the festivities of the nuptials had left the sober realities of life in bold relief, the young couple began to look beyond the precincts of the paternal double cabins, in order to fix the trace leading to the most inviting region. Their departure was accelerated by 'a small scrimmage,' in which Mr. Joplin was unfortunately a principal actor, at a shooting-match. His antagonist had darkened the manly disc of our hero a little; but then the young bridegroom boasted that he had taken an 'under bit out of his left ear, and stove two of his front teeth down his throat.'

The young couple departed with the buoyancy of hope, (that flattering endorser of accommodation paper,) for the western district; the husband on foot, leading in the devious pathway of his bride, who was mounted on the nag. This animal was well laden with household stuffs, consisting principally of quilts and 'kiverlids.'

The adventurers reached the point of destination, six miles from the last cabin, on the borders of the Indian country, in season to make a crop. When the corn was gathered in, the fall hunt half finished, the venison drying, and the 'bear bacon' cured, the Indian Summer, with its mild haze, shed a soft and cheering influence upon the new-beginners.

On one of the quiet evenings, made more interesting by the tranquillity of the day of rest, the settlers were entertaining a neighboring family with a happy display of the best the house could afford, with 'a streak of fat and a streak of lean.' While the children of their guests were playing antic gambols about the door, a scream of infantile alarm arrested the attention and deep interest of the settlers. As the three males of the party snatched their arms, the anticipated war-cry rang responsive in the precincts of the cabin. The foremost of the assailants fell, and another shot wounded and arrested the advance of the leading warrior, while the affrighted mothers drew in their fugitive infants. As the cabin-door was closed against the foe, a distracted mother saw her youngest child snatched up by a retreating brave, while his comrades dragged off their dead leader. A gun had been hastily charged, and the fearless Joplin, having thrown open the door, drew it to his face; but the wary savage held up, to shield his person, the little captive. 'Fire!' screamed the distracted mother; 'better dead than a prisoner!' At the critical instant when the little sufferer parted asunder its legs, the sharp report of the rifle of the white man was heard, and the crimson current, of a deeper hue than the painted skin of the savage, rippled[409] down his naked trunk. He reeled, and hesitated, and ere the smoke of the rifle had blown away, the frantic mother, with knife in hand, was seen flying to the rescue. The savage, cool and collected, even in the agonies of death, interposed the infant between the thrust of the Amazon and his person, and the unhappy mother plunged her weapon into the bosom of her own child!

The warrior's knife closed the scene as he fell, and was bathed in the heart's blood of the fearless woman, the wife of Joplin's nearest neighbor. The Indians fled without a single scalp.

After the funeral obsequies of the mother and child had been hastily performed, and they were consigned to the same unostentatious grave, the neighboring settlers assembled, and rendezvoused at Joplin's cabin. They elected him their captain. Here they continued during the autumn and winter, with various fortune in sharp skirmishes with their unrelenting and always vigilant enemy.

Early in the spring, they broke up their little settlement, and retired back to the more populous part of the country. Captain Joplin returned to the paternal mansion in the Piny Woods, to exhibit the beginning of the third generation, in the person of young Buckeye Joplin. After lingering awhile in his old haunts, and recounting the perils he had cheerfully met and overcome, he looked out again upon the land of promise, the western expanse, for another channel of enterprise.

The second expedition of our hero was undertaken by water. Having packed his family across to the Tennessee river, and exchanged his 'nag' for a canoe, or 'dug-out,' he embarked in his long and devious voyage to the Mississippi. Joplin occupied the stern as steersman, but his spouse was provided with a paddle, which she plied alternately with her knitting, as they glided onward to an unknown land. The voyage was barren of incident, and only varied by fishing and hunting for the subsistence of the family. They entered the Mississippi, and descended this river to the mouth of White river; and as this was backed up by the spring freshets, the voyagers turned their course up the stream, and crossed the connecting cut, or bayou, to the Arkansas river. They continued their voyage, until they found a landing-place of an inviting aspect, near Little Rock. Here the emigrants landed and pitched their half-face camp. After a year or two of hardship and privation, incident to the settlement of a new country, the Joplin family, somewhat increased in numbers, began to enjoy the fruits of industry. The improved condition of the captain's pecuniary affairs afforded him the means of indulging in his ardent propensity for attendance on all the gatherings, which he had never dismissed from his mind while his necessities restrained him. In the absence of her husband, the pains-taking woman kept the shuttle flying, or sung an accompaniment to the instrumental music of the spinning-wheel. From these gatherings Joplin sometimes returned with marks of personal rencounters; and time, and the soothing care of the even-tempered woman, were requisite to soften the exasperated backwoodsman, and to obliterate the signs of the feud on the distorted visage of her husband. On these occasions, the ferocity of his disposition predominated on the first day after the[410] gathering; on the second, he was moody and thoughtful; and the third brought on repentance, and promises of reformation.

The great races at length came on; and Captain Joplin's colt, sired by Chain-Lightning, out of the celebrated full-blooded dam Earthquake, had been entered for the jockey purse, and the owner was 'obliged to be present.' This he promised should be his last race, and his last fight on any race-course. The good woman ventured, as she handed him his holy-day jeans, to urge his return home at an earlier hour than usual. Very fair promises were made; but, about the hour of midnight, the 'whole team of bear-dogs' opened a boisterous greeting as the roistering captain approached his cabin. The cold bacon, and cabbage, and buttermilk, were set out by the flickering light of a Corinthian tallow peach-wicked candle, and the meal was despatched in silence. When the gentleman from Buncombe had picked his teeth with his pocket-knife, he whispered an appalling secret in the ear of his wife. She drew a long sigh of resignation, wiped her eyes with a corner of her apron, and began packing his saddle-bags, while Joseph Joplin cleaned his 'rifle-gun,' which he called 'Patsy,' after his wife. He had finished trimming the bullets he had cast, when, all things being ready, he rose to depart.

'Joseph Joplin,' said his wife, 'I always allowed it would come to this; but the Lord's will be done!'

In reply, the captain briefly remarked:

'If he don't die of the stab I give him, Mike Target will pass me word, when the boys go out into the bee-woods. I leave you every thing but the colt and my bear-dog, Gall-buster; and, so as I never comes back, tell the boys 'tis my wish that they never gives the lie, nor takes it.'

The period of Joplin's absence was more than three years; during which space of time his patient spouse kept up the monotonous music of her wheel, and the regular vibrations of the shuttle. Her hearth was kept warm and clean, and her children were amply clad in cleanly attire, and well fed. Every Sunday was set apart for extra washing of faces, combing of tow-heads, reading a chapter or two, and chanting a hymn. She had rented her field, so as to secure her bread-stuffs; and her little stock of cattle had increased, while they supplied milk and butter for the subsistence of her children. Each tedious year had she spun, wove, and made up for her absent husband a new suit of jeans, which she hung in the cabin beside her own holiday apparel, that she carefully abstained from wearing, until she could attire herself and husband in their best, on some joyous day of meeting. His Sunday hat hung on the hook where the breech of his rifle had rested. Every day of rest she made it a point to brush the dust from the smooth beaver, and drop a tear into the crown. From the day of his departure, no account had ever been received of him. The sheriff, with a rude posse, had searched the premises on the day after the affray, and the neighboring country had been scoured in vain. The racer had outstripped all pursuers, and the fugitive was secure in the unexplored regions at the foot of the Ozark mountains.

The wounded sportsman who had defrauded our hero, contrary to[411] the most flattering hope, had been effectually cured of the wound that Joplin, in his intoxicated rage, had inflicted. The wife, rejoicing in this piece of good fortune, had resorted to every device within the compass of female ingenuity to convey intelligence to the unknown region, the abode of her husband; but she had almost despaired of ever seeing him again, when an old bee-hunter disembarked from his pirogue opposite her cabin, on the Arkansas river, to dry his blankets after a hard storm. Of this old adventurer Mrs. Joplin learned that he had met a trapper on the head waters of White river, who called himself Griffin, and the description of his person induced the fond wife to think it might be Captain Joplin himself. On his way out to the bee-woods the following season, the old hunter carried with him a letter to the following effect:

'Deer Capting Joe Jopling; arter my best respects, hoping these lines may find you: he arn't dead no more nor you and mee; you mout come home, I reckon; the childrin all right smartly groin; you would never know the baby.

'Patsy Jopling, at the Piny Bend.'

Long and anxiously did the poor affectionate wife wait the return of the father of her little brood, and often in the train of her flattering imagination start as some stranger entered her cabin, with the exclamation, 'I thought it was Capting Jopling!' In her leisure moments, too, she was in the habit of fixing her ardent and steady gaze on the point of rocks behind which she had seen him depart. In all the torture of delay, not a reproachful exclamation was ever uttered by the sufferer. A sigh hastily drawn, and a rudely-constructed prayer, evinced the emotion she deeply felt. The fond woman could perceive, as her children increased in growth, strong resemblances of their father developed in every lineament. But the likeness in 'the baby' was absolutely wonderful. 'If,' said she, 'little Joe was grown, and daddy war here present, they would never know themselves apart.'

It was on one of those mild and sunny days of rest, in the Indian Summer of autumn, that the wanderer returned. The careful mother was surrounded with her children, and was, at the moment he entered the cabin, giving the last touches to the flaxen locks of the youngest child.

'You had as well give my hair a little combing, Patsy,' was the calm salutation of our hero.

'Capting Joseph Jopling!' exclaimed the half-frantic wife, 'ar it you at last!' She smoothed down the folds of her garments as she arose, and, with a smile of welcome, as she gave her hand, said, 'Howdy, Joseph?'

On a close and more deliberate scrutiny of his person, Patsy seemed to think, with her husband, that his hair needed the comb. His locks were matted together like the wool on the forehead of a buffalo; not a comb or an intrusive pair of scissors had interrupted the wild luxuriance of its growth, in a period of more than three years. When his hat had given way to the irritation of cane-brakes and green briars, and the peltings of the storms of summer and winter, he had cultivated the covering with which nature had bountifully provided his cranium. By occasional cropping of his locks with his butcher-knife,[412] as they grew out so as to obstruct his vision, he left his upper-works with a singular aspect; and when the growth of three years' beard is considered, with the bears' oil glistening on its uncombed surface, it is not strange that his charitable wife should give him some ironical compliments, such as these:

'Jopling, you're a beauty! Sally, bring the soap. Joseph, you are a picture! The poor baby don't know its daddy; did he think daddy was a painter? Get your daddy's razor out of mammy's box; put on the tea-kettle, Sally, and heat some water, while I make up a pone of bread. Josey, did you cook for yourself all this time?' and as she bustled about, she began to sing a long-neglected air, to which she had trod a measure in the joyous days of early youth, in the Piny Woods of Buncombe.

The first six months after his return home, Captain Joplin was diligently occupied in repairing his farm, which had fallen into a slovenly condition. He was content with the society of his domestic circle, and remained quietly at home. But, when the great annual races came on, he was tempted to spend a day, only as a spectator, on the track, and accordingly appeared there early on the first morning. He had many acquaintances there, all of whom were thirsty beings; and before the sun went down he felt rich, and generous, and glorious. The ferocious stage of the disease came on after dark.

The return of the husband to his cabin that night was at an earlier hour than usual. He was pale and nervous, and blood was on his hand, and his garments were discolored. He notified his wife of the necessity of his immediate departure. She insisted on leave to accompany him, which was readily granted. Such of their effects as could be speedily packed, were hastily put in portable form. In an hour, the family were mounted on their riding animals, and in the road leading down the river. Few words were exchanged among the fugitives; and the place of destination was never mentioned. On reaching the first ferry, at about the hour of midnight, they turned shortly to the left, and crossed to the opposite bank of the river, without requiring the aid of ferrymen. On landing, Joplin scuttled and sunk the ferry-flat, to cut off pursuit. They continued their route until about ten o'clock, with little regard to road or trace; and having found a deep ravine, apparently untrodden by human footsteps, they halted for refreshment. After a brief repast of dried venison, the party continued their route, and at sunset were fifty miles from their habitation. It should have been observed, that the fugitives left their cabin in a blaze, with a hope that in the neighborhood a belief would prevail that the whole family had been consumed. To strengthen this belief, the cunning woodsman had deposited the carcasses of two deer he had killed the day before, and several joints of bacon, in the corner where the family usually slept, that these might be mistaken for their bones. The impression which it was policy to make, on examination of the ashes, obtained currency to a great extent, and it delayed pursuit. When the doubts that were entertained by some of the destination of the fugitives finally induced search, it was too late to discover any trace of the Joplin family. It was believed[413] by many, who supposed they had fled, that they departed down the river in the ferry-boat that had disappeared.

In the mean time the flight was continued, until Joplin reached his old haunts, in a cane-bottom on Flat Creek, a small tributary of White River. Here security was made doubly sure by the bear-rough that sheltered them, and by the distance they had removed from the settlement in Arkansas. They had, moreover, taken the precaution to locate within the boundaries of Missouri. The fugitive from justice was likewise in the vicinity of a cave, known only to himself and the red hunters who had formerly resided in this quarter of the country. In this subterranean chamber, the dry bones from a neighboring battle-field had been deposited by the tribe who had been the greatest sufferers in a sanguinary conflict. As cheerless as this place might appear, Joplin had reposed in it alone many nights on his former visit to this region of country; and in this place he had cached his furs and peltries, which now constituted his surplus for his new beginning in the world. The erection of a cabin was a task not easily completed, without the aid of neighbors for the raising; but, when the roof had been placed over their heads, and fastened there with weight-poles, and the puncheons composing the floor laid down, the mother of this little colony began to sing, and spin, and bustle about over the irregular surface with cautious footsteps, and stealthily, in her daily task. She had not forgotten the essential portions of her wheel and loom in her departure from the ruin of her old habitation, and the mechanical ingenuity of the woodsman, with his axe, augur, hand-saw, and butcher-knife, supplied the deficiency. The good woman continued still to indulge on Sunday in a clean apron, a chapter, and a comb. These were luxuries she could not readily dispense with. In his former visit to this wild region, Joplin esteemed it no hardship to refrain from the use of bread-stuffs; but he was constrained to make some apology to his wife and children for the privation he would be obliged to impose, until he could raise a crop. He however assured them, that with a mixture of bear-meat and venison, and a 'sprinkle' of turkey-breast, they would do very well without bread, provided they could get time to cut bee-trees.

This isolated family had innocence and contentment in full possession, and independence prospectively within reach. The disturber, known in the west by the name of 'long green' and 'blue ruin,' in Pennsylvania, 'old rye' and 'cider royal,' and by the Indians appropriately named 'fire-water,' and more emphatically 'fool-water,' was happily beyond their reach. The only race-path known in this new settlement was that on which the husband and wife contended for the prize of domestic comfort. In this, the fabrication of jeans by one party, and the dressing of buck-skins by the other, furnished profitable amusement. The only visit made by the daring woodsman to the settlements secured him the patriarch of a flock, and a few meek companions, from the fleeces of which 'the winter of his discontent' was made comfortable. In their retreat, the Joplin family were in a fair way to make their circumstances easy, by such skill as is usually acquired in frontier experience, when a hard winter, attended with much variable weather, set in earlier than was anticipated. The woodsman had exerted himself violently in the[414] chase, to secure his supply of 'bear bacon,' while the Indian Summer lasted. To this cause he attributed the 'dumb ague,' that laid him up when the first snow-storm commenced. With this disease he lingered a few weeks. The only medicine within reach of the settlers was a small parcel of walnut pills. Whether the bark of which these were composed had been scraped up or down the tree, so as to fit it for an emetic or a cathartic, does not appear; but no relief was afforded by administering even 'a double dose,' and he grew weaker as much with the repetition as by discontinuance of the remedy. When he could no longer rise without assistance, or stand alone, the anxious and confiding wife inquired, for the first time, how far it might be to the residence of the nearest neighbor. When she was told it was one hundred and sixty miles, it is uncertain which predominated in her mind, hope or despair. She continued silently and thoughtfully to minister to his wants, to the extent of her circumscribed means, until, when, late at night, the wintry winds were rudely perforating the openings around the cabin-door, and the house-dogs growled a dignified response to the dismal howlings of the wolf, the hoarse death-rattle in the throat of the sufferer was perceived. This added consternation to alarm. To the earnest and almost unconscious inquiry now uttered by the trembling wife, 'Shall I send for a doctor?' no answer was given. Her husband had expired!

The embarrassing position now occupied by the widow had never been anticipated. If her strength could have overcome the resistance of the hard-frozen earth that would enable her to say to the Indian deity of the wilderness, 'With pious sacrilege a grave I stole,' her force, and that of her infant children united, was insufficient for the removal of the body. Widowed destitution was never more complete. There was her dead husband on one side, and her weeping and distracted babes on the other. A single night of bitter wakefulness and watching was the last that she ventured to linger out in her dreary abode; and it seemed to her an eternity of darkness. Early on the morning after the death of her husband, the lone widow packed up a supply of provision, and, with her children, mounted, left her cabin and unburied husband to search for a neighbor. She carried the rifle with her, in order to make fire at her encampments on the journey. On closing the door on the house of mourning, the distress of parting was made doubly agonizing by an inquiry of one of the children, made in these words: 'Are you going to leave daddy?'

The first day's route lay up through the valley, and along the bank of the creek on which her dwelling was situated; and she was therefore guided by it. After the first night's encampment, where she had been surrounded with wolves, and nervously agitated by their howlings, and occasionally the startling scream of a panther, she resumed her journey. The little family of wanderers had marched a short distance from their place of lodging, when all knowledge of their route failed. After wandering sometimes in one direction, and then retracing their steps and striking off at some other point of the compass, the bewildered mother encamped for the second night. The next morning the half-distracted traveller determined to retrace her steps. Two days brought her back to the dreary and desolate abode. The cabin was surrounded with a snarling pack of wolves,[415] which were contending for the remains of her little flock of sheep. These were scared away by the faithful dogs that had followed the family. The interior presented the frightful evidence of mortality. A cat had made horrid inroads on the face of the deceased, and was still feeding on the mutilated corpse! The necessity of burial was in no manner diminished by this horrid spectacle. The afflicted woman scarcely knew why she had returned. She passed another long winter night in her house of mourning, hovering with her little brood around the cheerless hearth.

When morning at last arrived, the family again departed, having confined the cat under a tub, to prevent a repetition of her cannibal feast. After a journey of five days in a southwardly direction, and when the widow began to hope she was approaching a settlement, she was cheered with the view of smoke arising from a hunter's camp. He was out in search of game, but there was an abundance of venison hanging over the embers of his camp fire. This proved a seasonable supply, for the poor woman had that morning given the last morsel of her stock of food to her children, while she piously fasted herself. The hunter was as much gratified, on his return to his camp that evening, to find it so well peopled, as he had been in the successful hunt of the day. The hospitality of the camp was profusely urged upon the strangers, and bear-meat, venison, and turkey, and elk marrow-bones, were proffered with the frank and liberal manner of a woodsman.

This camp was sixty miles from the nearest settlement; and it was speedily arranged that the hunter should accompany the family back to the house, to inter the dead husband. As the party approached the cabin, the family halted, and the hunter advanced to look into the condition of the interior, before the mourners ventured to take another gaze of horror. Hunters, as well as sailors, have their superstitions, which deduct somewhat from their general fearless bearing. They believe in charms on their rifles, and sometimes employ a person skilled in magical incantations to 'take off the spell.' It is not, therefore, unaccountable, that this woodsman felt greater apprehension in approaching the cabin where a dead body lay, than he would in conflict with an Indian, or in a close hug with an 'old he bear,' provided his butcher-knife was stiff, of approved temper, and sharp at the point. He 'laid out' an old she wolf with his rifle, that was scratching at the door of the desolate habitation, and was on the point of raising the latch, when he heard issuing from within a low moaning sound. Venturing to peep through an opening where the chinking had fallen out, a single glance at the frightful and mutilated corpse satisfied his heated imagination that the sound proceeded from the dead husband. He ran off with wild affright, under a full conviction that the house was haunted. The earnest entreaties of the widow induced him, in company with herself, to approach the cabin once more. They looked in at the same moment, and beheld, as their superstitious imaginations severally painted the scene before them, in the conception of the hunter, a black, cloven-footed beast, sitting on the body of the deceased, while the widow insisted that something like a swan was hovering over the remains of her dead husband. The moaning was renewed; the confinement of the cat was not[416] remembered, and the spectators of the horrors within ran away in despair. The hunter once more ventured near enough to the cabin to throw a torch upon its roof. When the flames had spread, and were rapidly reducing the house to a mass of vivid ruin, the funeral party mounted their horses, and turned their backs upon the ashes of the Dead Husband.



It must be sweet in childhood to give back
The spirit to its Maker, ere the heart
Hath grown familiar with the paths of sin,
And soon to gather up its bitter fruits.
I knew a boy, whose infant feet had trod
Upon the blossoms of some seven springs,
And when the eighth came round, and called him out
To revel in its light, he turned away,
And sought his chamber to lie down and die.
'Twas night; he summoned his accustomed friends,
And on this wise bestowed his last request:
'Mother, I'm dying now!
There's a deep suffocation on my breast,
As if some heavy hand my bosom pressed,
And on my brows I feel the cold sweat stand.
Say, mother, is this death?
Mother, your hand!
Here, lay it on my wrist,
And place the other thus, beneath my head;
And say, sweet mother, say, when I am dead,
Shall I be missed?
'Never beside your knee
Shall I kneel down at night and pray,
Nor in the morning wake, and sing the lay
You taught to me.
Oh! at the time of prayer,
When you look round and see a vacant seat,
You will not wait then for my coming feet—
You'll miss me there!
'Father, I'm going home!
To that great home you spoke of, that blessed land,
Where there is one bright summer, always bland,
And tortures do not come;
From faintness and from pain,
From troubles, fears, you say I shall be free—
That sickness does not enter there, and we
Shall meet again!
'Brother, the little spot
I used to call my garden, where long hours
We've stay'd to watch the coming buds and flowers—
Forget it not!
Plant there some box or pine,
Something that lives in winter, and will be
A verdant offering to my memory,
And call it mine.
'Sister, the young rose-tree,
That all the spring has been my pleasant care,
Just putting forth its leaves so green and fair,
I give to thee;
And when its roses bloom,
I shall be gone away—my short course run—
And will you not bestow a single one
Upon my tomb?
'Now, mother, sing the tune
You sang last night; I'm weary, and must sleep:
Who was it called my name? Nay, do not weep—
You'll all come soon!'
Morning spreads over earth her rosy wings,
And that meek sufferer, cold and ivory pale,
Lay on his couch asleep. The morning air
Came through the open window, freighted with
The fragrant odors of the lovely spring.
He breathed it not. The laugh of passer-by
Jarred like a discord in some mournful note,
But worried not his slumber. He was dead!



'Hear me for my cause, and be silent that you may hear.'—'Julius Cæsar.'

Whatever conflicts with the opinions or prejudices of mankind, must commend itself to public favor by something more than its simple truth, or according to the world's estimate of its danger or folly, persecution or ridicule will ever wait upon its progress to general belief.

The phrenologist has not been compelled to ascend the scaffold, nor has he been tortured with 'a slow fire of green wood,' for his heretical opinions; and for this mercy, he is indebted to the enlightenment of the age in which he first proclaimed his discoveries: but he has been preserved, in order to be 'roasted' by the burning satire of his contemporaries, and to be 'served up' for the gratification of those epicures in wit, who, with the aid of a good tailor, can do more for the cause of truth by a look and a laugh, than a Gall or a Spurzheim, by the labors of a life. To these laughing philosophers, your phrenologist is a very eccentric man indeed—very; to their humble apprehensions, his science appears quite stupid—quite; and all he converses about, appears to them to be nothing more nor less than 'bumpology,' positively. Moreover, they have heard some amusing anecdotes upon the subject. A travelling disciple of this wonderful science, who wrote out characters for eighteen pence per head, once departed from the scene of his labors without paying his bill, and his landlord was represented as so far becoming a convert to his guest's theory, as to believe in the organ of 'unpayativeness!'

These philosophers ill conceal their mirth at the frequent occurrence of mistakes made by those gentlemen termed practical phrenologists, and have been known to violate every rule for the suppression[418] of ungentlemanly laughter, when the fact has been related, that a manipulator of heads, supposing himself (being blindfolded,) to be in a prison, pronounced the wealthy mayor of a city to be a thief; a retired butcher to be a murderer; and a minister of the gospel to have been convicted of rape!

More important opponents have been found among the traders in the current literature of the day; as well your 'penny-a-liner,' as the man who has had the courage to write a book, and the good fortune to vend a copy-right, have been unmercifully witty at the expense of my brethren; and without waiting to inquire whether any important truth was concerned in phrenological investigation, they have only sought to know whether any thing ludicrous could be derived from it. These oracles Ignorance consulted, and the response was—a laugh.

One American author, whose writings denote the combined action of mirthfulness and destructiveness, very magnanimously allowed the phrenologist the distinction of being one of the 'Three Wise Men of Gotham.' He is portrayed as sallying forth with no less enthusiasm than La Mancha's renowned knight, nor with less 'rueful visage,' upon a forlorn pilgrimage to some Golgotha, in quest of specimens to illustrate the truths of his mighty discovery; while one of his high compeers sails in quest of the great central hole of the earth; and the other stands in a glow of intense rapture, viewing the sudden perfectability of human nature. But alas for such noble enthusiasm! If our grave author's relation of the facts be genuine, (and who doubts his historical accuracy?) the

'Three little boys that a-sliding went,
All on a summer's day,'

met with an enviable fate, compared with that of these children of wisdom. The captain's boat never entered the wished-for haven; the philanthropist failed to make the lion and the lamb lie down together in peace and safety; and the unhappy phrenologist, in his 'meditations among the tombs,' erred in pronouncing upon the traits of mind that once inhabited the poor fragments he had gathered up; and he found his science blown to atoms, because he mistook the cranium of a fool for that of a philosopher!—a mistake which the vanity of an author might possibly make in his own case, with far better opportunities of judging aright.

A science that could survive an attack like this, must have had brains indeed to support it; and he who ventured to proclaim its truth, after a world's laugh had announced its folly, must have possessed more than an ordinary share of moral courage.

But the science of Human Nature survived this satire, and having outlived the sneers of learned prejudice, and the obstreperous mirth of vulgar ignorance, now commands much of the serious attention of mankind.

The world had long known the principal facts which suggested phrenological inquiry, but had omitted to pursue the investigation necessary to form a correct conclusion from them. Established theories in government, civil and moral, and in mental philosophy, presented[419] great obstacles to such an inquiry as has finally been made. For many centuries, man had been regarded as a depraved moral being—instinctively inclined to do wrong—without a countervailing good sentiment; and the phrenologist has not yet been forgiven, in certain quarters, for his refutation of this slander. To him it was obvious, that no man could be found devoid of any good attribute. One is condemned for injustice; may he not be benevolent? Another professes to hate mankind, and yet loves his own offspring, and cherishes them with the most tender solicitude and care. One is a coward, but nevertheless benevolent and just; another is cruel, and yet he is enthusiastic and brave. Here is a prodigal; but he is kind and noble in his dispositions, and may yet return to paternal love, with forgiveness and blessings upon his head. There, again, is a thorough hater, and yet by the influence of the same temperament, a most ardent lover, whom no maiden would despise. Who had failed to observe as much as this?—and yet where was the apologist of his race—the defender of man's moral nature against the charge of total depravity?

Again: The intellects of men varied in activity and strength, and this difference was known to be early developed in persons born and nurtured under the same roof, and subjected to the same mental and moral discipline. The father who discovered that his son could not easily acquire a knowledge of words, but could nevertheless demonstrate with readiness the most difficult problem in mathematics, observed the fact in profitless silence. The phrenologist pointed the father to the conformation of his child's brain as the origin of his mental peculiarity; and demonstrated, that the effect which the parent had observed in silent wonder, had an adequate cause. For this he was ridiculed; while he who stupidly believed in the effect without the cause, was reverently regarded as both orthodox and wise.

The world knew that the genius of Fulton was not adapted to the writing of romance, while no one ever supposed that Sir Walter Scott was possessed of mechanical skill; yet it was regarded as mere accident, or great good fortune, that these distinguished men stumbled into a career of thought which demanded the world's admiration; and few dreamed that the causes of their varied excellence were as great and different, as the effects were dissimilar. Burns walked a poet behind his plough; and yet no other Scottish farmer seemed a poet 'ready made,' although he may have been as strong, as tall, and equally handsome. There must have been some difference in the head of Scotia's own bard—something that elevated his nature, and lifted him above his walk in life. To adopt his own language, he must have been 'one of Nature's noblemen, who derived the patent for his honors directly from the Almighty;' and yet, by what outward seal the patent was impressed which conferred the native title to distinction, the world knew not, and but for phrenology, never would have known. Pope

'Lisped in numbers, for the numbers came;'

and so did Zerah Colburn; and yet how different their numbers were! So wonderful was this latter individual, when a mere[420] child, that he was esteemed by his friends as an intellectual prodigy; and parental love, fondly doting on its gifted child, and admiring

——'such wisdom in an earthly shape,
Showed up a 'Colburn' as we show an ape.'

People had not ceased to wonder at the brilliancy of the boy, when his mediocrity as a man produced a second surprise. He excelled in nothing but numbers—and that was very mysterious indeed!

Woman has three characteristics, in great perfection and strength, to wit: fear, attachment, and veneration; so much so, that a wag might define woman to be 'a timid, affectionate, and religious animal.' Now the phrenologist has observed, that at certain points where he has located the organs of cautiousness, adhesiveness, and veneration, woman's head is much fuller than man's. The most ordinary observer will admit this to be the fact, upon inspection; but the answer he will be likely to make, will be, that this is so, because she is a woman; whereas she happens to be a woman, because this is so! Without the full manifestations of these organs of the mind, woman's nature would be radically changed; her gentle dependence upon man for safety and protection would cease; her meek reliance upon her Creator, and her distinguished reverence for sacred things, would fail; and the gentleness, grace, and piety of her sex would depart from her. Ambition would usurp the place of loveliness; the lord of the creation would have to bear a sister 'near the throne;' and a rough contest for dominion would as much distinguish the sexes, as they are at present characterized by the fullest manifestation, of mutual courtesy and kindness.

Before phrenological investigation and discovery, man's moral and intellectual nature seemed destined to perpetual mal-treatment. The passion of fear was appealed to alike, to quicken the intellectual faculties and moral sentiments of youth. If one failed to acquire a lesson in a particular study with the same facility as another, it was set down to his indolence; if one betrayed an unruly propensity, which another did not manifest, it was charged to the general corruption of human nature; and the lash, in either case, was regarded as the blessed quickener of mental and moral dulness. The lesson was no better acquired, nor was the dangerous propensity diminished in activity, after the application of this remedy; and yet the rod and the delinquent urchin remained inseparable companions.

The youth who, under the influence of angry excitement, had taken vengeance on his fellow, was never found to have had his destructiveness attempered with benevolence through the influence of scourging; nor has he who neglected mathematics, for the love of poetry, ever been flogged into an admiration of the exact sciences. The world was wondering at the reason of the failure, when the phrenologist stepped forth and informed them; but they laughed at him, and whipped the children still!

Again: The man who was never forbidden to steal, may never have stolen; while another, to whom has been repeated every day of his life the command, 'Thou shalt not kill,' may nevertheless commit murder; and yet both have been treated as though they possessed[421] the same sentiments and passions in an equal degree; and so of course they have received the same moral discipline. In him who knows no fear, how vain the attempt to inspire terror as the preventor of crime! And yet how readily would a noble sentiment respond to your appeal, and come to the rescue, when his virtue was at its greatest need, had it been trained to do so? Pride often concedes what cannot be obtained from a love of justice, while love of approbation will bestow in charity such sums as put benevolence to the blush for her scanty gifts. Cautiousness often gives to vice the fair aspect of virtue; while ingenuousness and courage often expose the purest man to accusation and censure. The love of glory may stimulate to deeds of heroism, which the dauntless patriot cannot excel; and people may worship the hero for braving danger in their behalf, when it was only his vanity he designed most particularly to serve.

The courtier approaches the minister of state with flattery, and obtains power and place; the robber awaits his sojourn through a lonely wood, and by putting in bodily fear, obtains his gold; while the thief secretly creeps into his mansion, and carries off his choicest plate and richest jewelry. Would the minister, the courtier, the robber, and the thief, profit by the same moral lecture, and the like mental discipline? Men often possess great religious reverence, who are as often detected at cheating in trade. Is the world right in denouncing such as hypocrites? May not great veneration and acquisitiveness, with moderate conscientiousness, produce this result? What correction has been applied to defects like these? Not the right one, surely. The patient wants no more religion than he has got, but a little more integrity. Quicken his conscientiousness, and he is cured.

Whose benevolence is heightened by fear? Who refrains from theft for the hope of reward? The just man tells you he has no desire to steal. Will the fear of punishment inspire devotion? The devout man 'feels to adore' his Creator. Will fear convince the atheist of his error?—or the hope of reward convert him to a reasonable faith? Both of these have been lavishly dealt out to him, with very little effect. There are those who love contention better than truth. Will argument convince such? They avoid nothing so much as conviction, which puts an end to contention, and of course to all the pleasure derived from it. Such interpose combativeness between your argument and their reason, and your blows fall thick upon the shield only, and arouse it to more and more resistance. Why spin out the night in fruitless argument? Let them alone, and they will be convinced as soon as the spirit of strife slumbers, and reason assumes her throne.

The phrenologist observed all this, and much more; and he could not fail to conclude, that men's intellectual and moral natures varied almost indefinitely. Here was one distinguished for passion, there another for philosophy; one was celebrated for the brilliancy of his fancy, another for the solidity of his judgment. Here was a mathematician, there a poet; here a mechanic, and there a musician; and those who resembled each other in mental dispositions, still varied in activity and strength; so that there was as much difference in their[422] intellectual as in their physical power. Again, as we have seen, their sentiments were unlike. Benevolence was contrasted with meanness in every condition of human life, and conscientiousness warred with injustice, wherever man was found; so that the moral aspects of men, differed no less than their countenances.



Hail, great Hygeïa! Healing Goddess, hail![14]
And lend one moment to a touching tale;
One moment stay thy pestle-driving hand,
And let thy half-compounded physic stand:
That tale is this: I have a subject here,
Not anatomical—but very near;
A starving vot'ry of the 'healing art,'
Who shows its wond'rous power in every part:
But cannot find the language to describe,
In proper guise, a member of thy tribe.
Oh! then vouchsafe me a 'composing draught,'
Potent as ever willing patient quaff'd!
I thank thee, for I feel it working now,
And composition flows, no matter how.



The doctor sate sole in his easy chair,
And his visage was stamped with the marks of care,
And his vacant eye said, as plain as eye could,
That his mind was digesting but meagre food.
At all events, it were safe to say,
That his own wise thoughts were its food that day.
What ails thee, doctor?[15] Are patients thin?
Nay, I know what you mean by that ready grin:
Don't suppose I thought physic would make a man thrive,
When he's specially blessed, if it leaves him alive:
No; I knew that the veriest wretch that lies
On street-pick'd straw, and with wistful eyes
Covets the steam of the baker's bread,
With which he could never afford to be fed,
If he puts in his stomach one nauseous pill,
Will make himself only more retchéd still:
All this I can fathom; but now I mean,
Are your 'visits,' like angels', far between?
The Angel of Death, that is, of course,
[423] That rides the pale steed, alias 'Pallida Mors?'
Pray have you not 'cases' enough, to pay
For your coat of black and your breeches of gray?
Your perpetual mourning for visiting-friends,
Who, (alas for your purse!) met untimely ends?
Or art sad, that the dose, 'hora somni sumendum,'
Which was meant to soothe suff'rings, should very soon end 'em?
And lamentest, with tears such as doctors weep,
That the patient, in consequence, slept his long sleep?
Or art thinking, if longer you could not have kept him,
If your dose had been 'pilulæ, numero septem?'
Now don't be down-hearted; for people enough
Still live who will patronize medical stuff;
And to whom do you think that a man would come quicker
To find out his ailment—in short, be 'made sicker?'[16]
But softly! It's wasting one's breath to ply
A doctor with questions, and get no reply;
{ And indeed, as he's sitting companionless,
{ For a wiser man 't would be hard to guess
{ That I had been making a mental address:
So I'll call into service that eye of the mind,
Which can see though its owner be never so blind,
And in my own absence can safely depend
On the word of my fancy—a poet's best friend;
And will venture to say my report shall compare
With the best ever written, it matters not where.
For the truest reporter, (his minutes will show,)
Though he uses 'short hand,' often draws 'the long bow.'
The doctor, alone, as I said before,
Was pond'ring some mystical subject o'er;
It puzzled him sorely to know what to think,
And, the scales being even, which side to make sink.
Now made he a gesture, with eloquent hand,
As one who explains what he can't understand;
And anon, with his finger laid fast by his nose,
Impatiently heard what he meant to oppose;
Then, with sagest look and a lengthened face,
He seem'd to maintain t' other side of the case;
But however he view'd it, before or behind,
He never could see it at all to his mind;
And he made a wry face, as a doctor will,
When he sets the example of taking a pill.
But one thing he determin'd—at once to set out,
And fathom the matter beyond a doubt.
'The long and the short of the matter is this:
I'll visit this personage—vis-à-vis!
Come, saddle me up my snow-white horse,
That looks like some phthisical donkey's corse,
When, surmounted by me, with my 'phials of wrath,'
He carries me round on my death-dealing path,
{ Hobbling along in the murky night,
{ And glimmering pale through the dim twilight,
{ With a little more spirit, an excellent sprite.
'But alas! he will travel no road beside
The road to that patient's—the last who died!
In that case, to be sure, I used exquisite skill,
[424] But—it's rather too early to carry my bill:
Let him stand—for I'll own he has duty enough,
And 'Recipiat pabuli quantum suff.''

No man who inhabits the smallest room
That ever had tenant, (this side of the tomb,)
Let its shape or its furniture be what they may,
If his seat have been in it for day after day;
If its little odd corners, the hardest to find,
Were familiar as bosom-friends, time out of mind;
If his coat have hung here and his boots lain there,
And his breeches been toss'd about any where;
No man ever left such a well-known spot,
Uncertain if soon to return or not,
But he stopped at the door, though he knew not why,
And took a last look, and perhaps heav'd a sigh.
So the doctor paused at the open door,
With his hat in his hand that he always wore;
(Its crown was low and its brim was wide,
And an old prescription was stuck inside.)
It seemed as the sight of his elbow-chair
Embodied each lurking shade of care;
'What a thankless life is this we lead!'
He murmur'd, as murmurs the broken reed,
That whispers low at the river's side,
To the wind that is ravaging far and wide.
But bless me! where am I? I ought to compare
A Doctor Despondent to something less fair.
'Tis strange what a walk a man's fancy will take
To find out a figure, for simile's sake.
But he said, in a very sad tone indeed,
'What a thankless life is this we lead;[17]
The good Samaritan's part is mine—
Like him I administer 'oil and wine;'[18]
But those who see me depart to-day,
Will think me an incubus, passing away:
Oh!—speaking of incubi—would not a wife
Make something less bitter this dose of a life?
She would clean out my phials, and make out my bills,
And would do to experiment on with my pills:
{ I'll consider——' he said, as he shut the door,
{ And put on the hat that he always wore,
{ In his haste precipitate, 'hind side before.
He hurried on foot to the car-dépôt;
The engine was puffing, in haste to go.
He seated himself on the hindmost seat,
And he lean'd back his head, and he put out his feet,
And he looked a peculiar look with his eye,
And the man who sat opposite, wondered why;
And he wondered more, when he heard him say
That steam locomotion had had its day;
But what he was thinking, or what he could mean,
That man did not know: it remains to be seen.





'Why weep ye then, for him, who, having won
The bound of man's appointed years, at last,
Life's blessings all enjoyed, life's labors done,
Serenely to his final rest has passed;
While the soft memory of his virtues yet
Lingers like twilight hues, when the bright sun is set.'


The master of our village post-office for many years past was an old man; but the real dispenser of its joys and sorrows was his son, a youth who performed its duties with intelligence, exactness, and delicacy. Some persons may not be aware how much the last quality is called into requisition in a village post-master. Having the universal country acquaintance with his neighbors' affairs, he holds the key to all their correspondences. He knows, long before the news transpires, when the minister receives a call, when the speculator's affairs are vibrating; he can estimate the conjugal devotion of the absent husband; but most enviable is his knowledge of those delicate and uncertain affairs so provoking to village curiosity. Letters, directed in well-known characters, and written with beating hearts within locked apartments, pass through his hands. The blushing youth steals in at twilight to receive from him his doom; and to him is first known the results of a village belle's foray through a neighboring district. Our young deputy post-master rarely betrayed his involuntary acquaintance with the nature of the missives he dispersed; but, whenever sympathy was permitted, his bright smile and radiating or tearful eye would show how earnest a part he took in all his neighbors suffered or enjoyed. Never was there a kinder heart than Loyd Barnard's—never a truer mirror than his face.

Every family, however insignificant in the stranger's eye, has a world of its own. The drama and the epic have their beginning, their middle, and their end, in the material world. The true story of human relations never ends, and this seal of immortality it is, that gives a dignity and interest to the affections of the humble and unknown, beyond that which fiction and poetry, even when it makes gods and heroes its actors, can attach to qualities and passions that are limited to this world's stage. This intrinsic dignity I claim for the subjects of my humble village tale.

Loyd Barnard's father, Colonel Jesse Barnard, belonged to that [426]defunct body, the aristocracy of our country. He served in the revolutionary war, he did good service to the state in the subsequent Shay's rebellion, and, though he afterward inexplicably fell into the ranks of the popular or democratic party, he retained the manners and insignia of his caste—the prescribed courtesies of the old régime, with the neatly tied cue, and the garment that has given place to the levelling pantaloon. He even persevered in the use of powder till it ceased to be an article of merchandise; and to the very last he maintained those strict observances of politeness, that are becoming, among us, subjects of tradition and history. These, however, are merely accidents of education and usage. His moral constitution had nothing aristocratic or exclusive. On the contrary, his heart was animated with what we would fain believe to be the spirit of our democratic institutions, a universal good will. The colonel was remarkably exempt (whether fortunately or unfortunately each according to his taste must decide) from the virtue or mania of his age and country; and consequently, at threescore and ten, instead of being the proprietor of lands in the West, or ships on the sea, he possessed nothing but his small paternal estate in B——, a pretty, cottage-looking dwelling, with a garden and an acre of land. As far back as the administration of Jefferson, he had received the appointment of post-master; and, as the village grew with the prosperity of manufactures and agriculture, the income of the office has of late amounted to some five or six hundred dollars. This, with the addition of his pension as a revolutionary officer, made the colonel 'passing rich;' for by this time his sons and daughters were married, and dispersed from Maine to Georgia, and the youngest only, our friend Loyd, remained at home. 'Passing rich' we say, and repeat it, was the colonel. Those who have never seen an income of a few hundred dollars well administered in rural life, can have no conception of the comfort and independence, nay, luxury, it will procure. In the first place, the staples of life, space, pure air, sweet water, and a continual feast for the eye, are furnished in the country, in unmeasured quantity, by the bounty of Providence. Then when, as with the colonel, there are no vices to be pampered, no vanities to be cherished, no artificial distinctions to be sustained, no conventional wants to be supplied, the few hundred dollars do all for happiness that money can do. The king who has to ask his Commons for supplies, and the Crœsuses of our land who still desire more than they have, might envy our contented colonel, or rather might have envied him, till, after a life of perfect exemption from worldly cares, he came, for the first time, to feel a chill from the shadows of the coming day—a distrustful fear that the morrow might not take care of itself.

Among other luxuries of a like nature, (the colonel was addicted to such indulgences,) he had allowed himself to adopt a little destitute orphan-girl, Paulina Morton. She came to the old people after all their own girls were married and gone, and proved so dutiful and so helpful, that she was scarcely less dear to them than their own flesh and blood. Paulina, or Lina—for by this endearing diminutive they familiarly called her—was a pretty, very pretty girl, in spite of red hair, which, since it has lost the favor some beauty, divine or[427] mortal, of classic days, won for it, is considered, if not a blemish, certainly not an attribute of beauty. Paulina's friends and lovers maintained that hers was getting darker every day, and that even were it fire-red, her soft, blue eyes, spirited, sweet mouth, coral lips, and exquisitely tinted skin would redeem it. Indeed, good old Mrs. Barnard insisted it was only red in certain lights, and those certain Ithuriel lights Loyd Barnard never saw it in; for he often expressed his surprise that any one could be so blind as to call auburn red! In these days of reason's supremacy, we have found out there are no such 'dainty spirits' as Ariel, Puck, and Oberon. Still the lover is not disenchanted.

'Lina, my child,' said the old lady, one evening, just at twilight, while the burning brands sent a ruddy glow over the ceiling, and were reflected by the tea-things, our 'neat-handed lass was arranging,' 'Lina, do you expect Mr. Lovejoy this evening?'

'No, ma'am.'

'To-morrow evening, then?'

'No, ma'am; I never expect him again.'

'You astonish me, Lina. You don't mean you have given him his answer?'

Lina smiled, and Mrs. Barnard continued; 'I fear you have not duly considered, Lina.'

'What is the use of considering, ma'am, when we know our feelings?'

'We can't afford always, my child, to consult feelings. Nobody can say a word against Mr. Lovejoy; he made the best of husbands to his first wife.'

'That was a very good reason why she should love him, ma'am.'

Mrs. Barnard proceeded, without heeding the emphasis on she. 'He has but three children, and two of them are out of the way.'

'A poor reason, as I have always thought, ma'am, to give either to father or children for taking the place of mother to them.'

'But there are few that are calculated for the place; you are cut out for a step-mother, Lina—just the right disposition for step-mother, or step-daughter.'

Paulina's ideas were confused by the compliment, and she was on the point of asking whether step-daughter and daughter-in-law expressed the same relation, but some feeling checked her, and instead of asking she blushed deeply. The good old lady continued her soundings.

'I did not, Lina, expect you to marry Mr. Lovejoy for love.'

'For what then, ma'am, should I marry him?' asked Lina, suspending her housewife labors, and standing before the fire while she tied and untied the string of her little black silk apron.

'Girls often do marry, my child, to get a good home.'

'Marry to get a home, Mrs. Barnard! I would wash, iron, sweep, scrub, beg to get a home, sooner than marry to get one; and, beside, have I not the pleasantest home in the world?—thanks to your bounty and the colonel's.'

Mrs. Barnard sighed, took Lina's fair, chubby hand in hers, stroked and pressed it. At this moment, the colonel, who had, unperceived by either party, been taking his twilight nap on his close-curtained[428] bed in the adjoining bedroom, rose, and drew up to the fire. He had overheard the conversation, and now, to poor Paulina's embarrassment, joined in it.

'I am disappointed, Lina,' he said; 'it is strange it is so difficult to suit you with a husband; you are easily suited with every thing else.'

'But I don't want a husband, Sir.'

'There's no telling how soon you may, Lina; I feel myself to be failing daily, and when I am gone, my child, it will be all poor Loyd can do to take care of his mother.'

'Can I not help him? Am I not stronger than Loyd? Would it not be happiness enough to work for Loyd, and Loyd's mother?' thought Paulina; but she hemmed, and coughed, and said nothing.

'It would be a comfort to me,' continued the old man, 'to see you settled in a home of your own before I die.' He paused, but there was no reply. 'I did not say a word when William Strong was after you—I did not like the stock; nor when the young lawyer sent his fine presents—as Loyd said, 'he had more gab than wit;' nor when poor Charles Mosely was, as it were, dying for you, for, though his prospects were fine in Ohio, I felt, and so did Mrs. Barnard, and so did Loyd, as if we could not have you go so far away from us; but now, my child, the case is different. Mr. Lovejoy has one of the best estates in the county; he is none of your flighty, here to-day and gone to-morrow folks, but a substantial, reliable person, and I think, and Loyd said—' Here the brands fell apart; and, while Paulina was breathless to hear what Loyd said, the old colonel rose to adjust them. He had broken the thread, and did not take it up in the right place. 'As I was saying, my child,' he resumed, 'my life is very uncertain, and I think, and Loyd thinks—'

What Loyd thought Paulina did not learn, for at this moment the door opened, and Loyd entered.

Loyd Barnard was of the Edwin or Wilfred order; one of those humble and generous spirits that give all, neither asking nor expecting a return. He seemed born to steal quietly and alone through the shady paths of life. A cast from a carriage in his infancy had, without producing any mutilation or visible injury, given a fatal shock to his constitution. He had no disease within the reach of art, but a delicacy, a fragility, that rendered him incapable of continuous exertion or application of any sort. A merciful Providence provides compensations, or, at least, alleviations, for all the ills that flesh is heir to; and Loyd Barnard, in abundant leisure for reading, which he passionately loved, in the tranquillity of a perfectly resigned temper, and in a universal sympathy with all that feel, enjoy, and suffer, had little reason to envy the active and prosperous, who are bustling and struggling through the chances and changes of this busy life. His wants were few, and easily supplied by the results of the desultory employments he found in the village, in the intervals of his attention to the post-office. As much of what we call virtue is constitutional, so we suppose was Loyd's contentment; if it was not virtue, it was happiness, for, till of late, he had felt no more anxiety for the future than nature's commoners—the birds and flowers.


'Ah, my son,' said the old gentleman, 'you have come just in the right time—but where is Lina gone?'

'She went out as I came in, Sir, and I thought she looked as if she had been weeping.'

'Weeping!' echoed the colonel; and 'Weeping!' reëchoed the old lady; and 'could we have hurt her feelings?' asked both in the same breath.

'Why, what, in the world have you been saying to her, mother?'

'Nothing, Loyd—nothing—nothing—don't look so scared. We were only expostulating a little, as it were, and urging her to accept Mr. Lovejoy's offer.'

Loyd looked ten times paler than usual, and kept his eye rivetted on his mother, till she added, 'But somehow it seems as if she could not any way feel to it.'

'Thank God!' murmured Loyd, fetching a long breath. Both parents heard the unwonted exclamation, and to both it was a revelation. The Colonel rose, walked to the window, and, though the blinds were closed, stood as if gazing out, and the old lady jerked her knitting-needle from the sheath, and rolled up the knitting-work, though she was not in the seam-needle.

It is difficult in any case for parents to realize how soon their children pass the bounds of childhood, and how soon, among other thoughts incident to maturity, love and marriage enter their heads. But there were good reasons why the Colonel and his wife should have fancied the governing passions and objects of ordinary lives had never risen above their son's horizon. They considered him perfectly incompetent to provide for the wants of the most frugal family, and they had forgotten that love takes no counsel from prudence. It was too late now to remember it.

The Colonel, after repeated clearings of his throat, taking off his spectacles, wiping and putting them on again, said, 'Are you attached to Lina, my son?' He used the word in its prescriptive rustic sense.

'Yes, Sir.'

'Strange I never mistrusted it!—How long have you been so, Loyd?'

'Ever since I was old enough to understand my feelings; but I did not, till very lately, know that I could not bear the thoughts of her becoming attached to another.'

'Do you know what Lina's feelings are?'

'No, Sir.'

'But surely you can guess, Loyd,' interrupted his mother.

'I can hope, mother—and I do.'

'The sooner, my son, you both get over it the better, for there is no kind of a prospect for you.'

'My child,' said the good old man, gently laying his hand on the shoulder of his companion of fifty years, 'trust in Providence; our basket and store have been always full, and why should not our children's be? Loyd now does the business of the post-office; while I live they can share with us, and, when I am gone, it may so be, that the heart of the ruler will be so overruled, that the office will be continued to Loyd.'

Loyd, either anticipating his mother's opposing arguments, or himself[430] impelled irresistibly to the argument of love, disappeared, and the old lady, who, it must be confessed, lived less by faith than her gentle spouse, replied:

'The office continued to Loyd! Who ever heard of old Jackson's heart being overruled to do what he had not a mind to?'

'My dear child!'

'Well, my dear, do hear me out; don't the loaves and fishes all go on one side of the table?'

'Why, we have had our plates filled a pretty while, my dear.'

'Well, my dear, old Jackson could not take the bread and butter out of the mouth of a revolutionary officer.'

'I am sure he has proved that he would not.'

'No, my dear, could not. Why, even his own party—and we all know what his party are in old Massachusetts—'

'About like the other party, my dear.'

'My dear! how can you say so! Why, his own party are the most violent, given-over, as it were, and low-lived people; yet they would be ashamed to see you turned out of office.'

'They would be sorry, I know; for we have many good friends, and kind neighbors among them; there's Mr. Loomis, Harry Bishop, and Mr. Barton.'

'Mr. Barton! Lyman Barton! My dear, every body knows, and every body says, Lyman Barton has been waiting this last dozen years to step into your shoes. The post-office is just what he wants. To be sure he is a snug man, and lives within his means; but then he has a large growing family, and they are obliged to be prudent, and there would be enough to say he ought to have the office. And, beside, is he not always working for the party? writing in the paper? and serving them every way? And who was ever a Jackson man, but for what he expected to get for it? No, no, my dear, mark my words! you won't be cold, before Lyman Barton will be sending off a petition to Washington for the office, and signed by every Jackson man in town.'

'I don't believe it, my dear; I don't feel as if Lyman Barton would ask for the office.'

'Well, my dear, you'll see, after you are dead and gone, how it will be—you may laugh—I mean I shall see, if I am spared—you always have, colonel, just such a blind faith in every body.'

'My faith is founded on reason and experience, my dear. Through life I have found friends kind to me beyond my deservings, and far beyond my expectations. I have got pretty near the other shore, and I can't remember that ever I had an enemy.'

While this conversation was in progress, there was a tête-à-tête, on which we dare not intrude, in another apartment of the house. The slight veil that had covered the hearts of our true lovers dropped at the first touch, and both, finding a mine of the only riches they coveted, 'dared be poor' in this world's poor sense. Secured by the good colonel's indulgence, for the present they were too happy to look beyond the sunshine that played around them for any dark entanglements to which their path might conduct them. In any event, they did not risk the miseries of dependence, nor the pains of starvation. Nature, in our land, spreads an abundant table; and there[431] is always a cover awaiting the frugal and industrious laborer (or even gleaner) in her fruitful fields. Any thing short of absolute want, perhaps even that, it seemed to our young friends happiness to encounter together.

Oh ye perjured traffickers in marriage vows! ye buyers and sellers of hearts—hearts! they are not articles of commerce—buyers and sellers of the bodies that might envelope and contain celestial spirits, eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow ye die! To-morrow your home, that temple of the affections, which God himself has consecrated, shall be their tomb, within whose walls shall be endured the torpor of death with the acute consciousness of life!

Our simple friends wotted not of the miseries of artificial life. These had never even crossed the threshold of their imaginations. The colonel gave his hearty consent for the asking, and his prudent help-mate was too true-hearted a woman to withhold hers. There are those wise as serpents, if not harmless as doves, in village life; and such shook their heads, and wondered if the colonel calculated to live and be post-master for ever! or if Loyd could be such a fool as to expect to succeed to the office, when every body knew it was just as good as promised to Mr. Barton! Loyd Barnard, a steady, consistent (our own side is always consistent) whig, expect the tender mercies of the Jackson party! No, Loyd Barnard indulged no such extravagant expectation. He had stood by 'old Massachusetts' through her obstinate or her consistent opposition to the general government, and he expected to reap the customary reward of such firmness or—prejudice. To confess the truth, he thought little about the future, and not all of the Malthusian theories. His present happiness was enough, and it was brightened with the soft and equal light of the past. As to Paulina, it was her nature,

'Ne'er to forgather wi' sorrow and care,
But gie them a skelp as they're creepin alang.'

The preliminaries being adjusted, it was agreed on all hands that the wedding should not be deferred. Quilts were quilted—the publishment pasted on the church door—and the wedding-cake made. Never had the colonel seemed better and brighter; his step was firmer, his person more erect than usual; and his face reflected the happiness of his children, as the leafless woods warm and kindle in a spring sunshine.

At this moment came one of those sudden changes that mock at human calculations. An epidemic influenza, fatal to the feeble and the old, was passing over the whole country. Colonel Barnard was one of its first victims. He died after a week's illness; and though he was some years beyond the authorized period of mortality, his death at this moment occasioned a general shock, as if he had been cut off in the prime of life. All—even his enemies, we should have said, but enemies he had none—spoke of the event in a subdued voice, and with the sincerest expressions of regret. The grief of his own little family we have not space to describe, or, if we had, how could we depict the desolation of a home from which such a fountain of love and goodness was suddenly removed? Notwithstanding the day of the funeral was one of the coldest of a severe January,[432] the mercury being some degrees below cipher, and the gusty, cutting wind driving the snow into billows, numbers collected from the adjoining towns to pay the last tribute of respect to the good colonel.

There is a reality in the honor that is rendered at a rustic funeral to a poor, good man, a touching sincerity in sympathy where every follower is a mourner.

The custom, growing in some of our cities, of private funerals, of limiting the attendants to the family and nearest friends of the deceased, is there in good taste. The parade of ceremony, the pomp of numbers, the homage of civility, and all the show and tricks of hollow conventional life, are never more out of place, never more revolting, than where death has come with its resistless power and awful truth. But a country funeral has, beside its quality of general sorrow, somewhat of the nature of the Egyptian court that sat upon the merits of the dead. The simplicity and frankness of country life has truly exhibited the character of the departed, and if judged in gentleness (as all human judgments should be rendered) it is equitably judged.

The colonel's humble home was filled to overflowing, so that there were numbers who were obliged to await the moving of the procession in the intense cold on the outside of the house; and they did wait, patiently and reverently—no slight testimony of their respect.

The coffin was placed in the centre of the largest apartment, in country phrase, the 'dwelling-room.' Within the little bedroom sat the 'mourners;' but a stranger, who should have seen the crowd as they pressed forward one after another, for a last look at their departed friend, might have believed they were all mourning a father. They were remembering a parent's offices. There was the widow, whom he had visited in her affliction; there the orphans, now grown to be thriving men and women, fathers and mothers, whom he had succored, counselled, and watched over; there were those whom he had visited in prison; there were sometime enemies converted to friends by his peace-making intervention; there was the young man reclaimed by his wise counsel and steady friendship, for the good colonel had a 'skeptic smile' for what others deemed hopeless depravity, and believed

——'some pulse of good must live
Within a human nature.'

And there were children with wet eyes, for the rare old man who had always a smile for their joys, and a tear for their troubles; and one, I remember, as her mother lifted her up for the last look, whispered, 'Oh, he is too good a man to bury up in the ground!'

And there, in the midst of this sad company, and with a face quite as sad as his neighbors', stood Lyman Barton. A little urchin, a particular friend of the old colonel's, and of mine too, who stood beside me, pulled my ear down to his lips, and turning his flashing eye upon Barton, whispered,

'Ought not he to be ashamed of himself?'

'Why, Hal, why?'

'He is making believe cry, just like a crocodile! Every body says[433] he has written to old Jackson already to be made post-master. I wish he was in the colonel's place.'

'You could not wish him in a better, my dear.'

'Oh, I did not mean that! I did not mean that!'

He would have proceeded; but I shook my head, and put an end to the explanation he was eager to make.

The funeral was over, the cold wind was howling without, the sigh of the mourners alone was heard, where a few days before all had been cheerfulness and preparation for the happiest event of human life. Paulina had lighted a single lamp, and placed it in the farther part of the room, for there seemed something obtrusive even in the cheerfulness of light. She was seated on a low chair beside the old lady. The passiveness of grief was peculiarly unsuited to her active and happy nature; and, as she sat as if she were paralyzed, not even heeding the Colonel's favorite cat, who jumped into her lap, and purred, and looked up for its accustomed caress, one could hardly believe she was the same girl who was for ever on the wing, laughing and singing from morning till night. Poor Loyd too, who had so gently acquiesced in the evils of his lot, who had bent like the reed before the winds of adversity, suffered now as those only do who resist while they suffer. Perhaps it was not in human nature not to mingle the disappointment of the lover with the grief of the son, and, while he was weeping his loss, to ponder over some of his father's last words. 'Of course, my children,' he had said, 'you will dismiss all thoughts of marriage—for the present, I mean. It will be all, I am afraid more, than you can do, Loyd, when the post-office and the pension are gone, to get bread for your mother. If you marry, you can't tell how many claims there may be upon you. But don't be discouraged, my children; cast your care upon the Lord—something may turn up—wait—blessed are they who wait in faith.'

Both promised to wait, and both, as they now revolved their promise, religiously resolved to abide by it, cost what it might.

Their painful meditations were interrupted by a knock at the outer door, and Loyd admitted Major Perrit, one of his neighbors, and one of those everlasting meddlers in others' affairs, who, if a certain proverb were literal, must have had as many fingers as Argus had eyes.

'I am sorry for your affliction, ma'am,' said he, shaking Mrs. Barnard's extended hand, while a sort of simpering smile played about his mouth, in spite of the appropriate solemnity he had endeavored to assume; 'don't go out, Miss Paulina; what I have to communicate is interesting to you, as well as to the widow and son of the deceased.'

'Some other time, Sir,' interposed Loyd, whose face did not conceal how much he was annoyed by the officiousness and bustling manner of his visitor.

'Excuse me, Loyd; I am older than you, and ought to be a little wiser; we must take time by the fore-lock; others are up and doing; why should we not be?'


Loyd now comprehended the Major's business, and, pained and somewhat shocked, he turned away; but, remembering the intention was kind, though the mode was coarse, he smothered his disgust, and forced himself to say:

'We are obliged to you, Major Perrit, but I am not in a state of mind to attend to any business this evening.'

'Oh, I know you have feelings, Loyd; but you must not be more nice than wise. They must not get the start of us. I always told my wife it would be so, and now she sees I was right. I tell you, Loyd, in confidence, your honored father was not cold, before Lyman Barton was handing round his petition for the office.' It was not in human nature for the old lady to suppress an a-hem! at this exact fulfilment of her prediction to the poor colonel. 'Barton's petition,' continued Perrit, 'will go on to Washington in the mail to-morrow, and ours must go with it; here it is.' He took the paper from his pocket, and, opening it, showed a long list of names. 'A heavy list,' he added; 'but every one of them whigs; we did not ask a Jackson man; there would have been no use, you know; Lyman Barton leads them all by the nose.'

Here Perrit was interrupted by a knock at the entry door. A packet addressed to Loyd was handed to him. Perrit glanced at the superscription, and exclaimed, 'This is too much, by George! He has had the impudence to send you the petition.'

'I could not have believed this of him,' thought Loyd, as he broke the seal; for he, like his father, reluctantly believed ill of any one. There were a few lines on the envelope; he read them to himself, and then, with that emotion which a good man feels at an unexpected good deed, he read them aloud:

'My dear friend Loyd:

'Excuse me for intruding on you, at this early moment, a business matter that ought not to be deferred. You will see by the enclosed, that my friends and myself have done what we could to testify our respect for the memory of your excellent father, and our esteem for you. Wishing you the success you deserve,

'I remain very truly yours,

'Lyman Barton.'

The enclosed paper was a petition, headed by Lyman Barton, and signed by almost every Jackson partisan in the town, that the office of post-master might be given to Loyd Barnard. A short prefix to the petition expressed the signers' respect for the colonel, and their unqualified confidence in his son. Perrit ran his eye over the list, and exclaiming, 'This is the Lord's hand! by George!' he seized his hat and departed, eager to have at least the consolation of first spreading the news through the village.

Few persons comprehend a degree of virtue beyond that of which they are themselves capable.

'It is, indeed, in one sense,' said Loyd, as the door closed after Perrit, 'the hand of the Lord; for He it is that makes his creatures capable of such disinterested goodness.'

Those who heard the fervid language and tone in which Loyd expressed his gratitude, when he that night, for the first time, took his father's place at the family altar, must have felt that this was one of the few cases where it was equally 'blessed to give and to receive.'


Loyd's appointment came by return of mail from Washington. In due time the wedding-cake was cut, and Our Village Post-master is as happy as love and fortune can make him.

It was a bright thought in a philanthropist of one of our cities, to note down the actual good deeds that passed under his observation. We have imitated his example in recording an act of rare disinterestedness and generosity. It certainly merits a more enduring memorial; but it has its fitting reward in the respect it inspires, and in its blessed tendency to vanquish the prejudices and soften the asperities of political parties.



Imperial Autumn! Season's Monarch! throned
In more than orient pomp and majesty—
Earth's harvest king! with smiles and sunshine crowned,
Full of perfection and maturity!
Thou art the vaunted glory of the year;
Scarlet and gold and emerald leaves are thine,
Rocks, trees and forests thy rich mantles wear,
And all earth's verdures in thy lustres shine:
Yet, as the expiring lamp most brightly glows—
Or as the hectic on Consumption's cheek—
So to the year, thy beauty paints the close,
Thy added lustre does grim death bespeak:
But even in death thou own'st supremacy,
And mayest example—not exampled—be.


In fruit most tempting, ashes hidden lie;
In richest flowers lives not the sweetest breath;
In berries are, most beauteous to the eye,
Poisons impregnate, in whose taste is death;
The sweetest song-bird's plumage is not gay,
But birds which sing not are most fair to see,
Yet from the beautiful we turn away,
To list the song-bird's dulcet melody!
So homely virtue sometimes lowly lies,
By brazen vice's gaudy lustre seen;
But vice discerned, in ermine we despise;
And virtue known, we honor as a queen.
From fruit, flower, bird, from all the inference is,
We may mistake, full oft, appearances.


He comes with stealthy step and restless eye,
Meagre and wan—a living skeleton—
To where his god, his golden treasures lie,
He comes to feast (his only meal) thereon:
'Rich! rich!' he cries—' I am as Crœsus rich!'
Poor, poor he is!—not Lazarus more poor;
Envy him not, thou houseless, wandering wretch,
Who beg'st for charity from door to door;
It is gaunt Avarice! If he could feed
His famished body through his greedy eye,
Or carry to the grave his gold—indeed!
Envied on earth he'd live, and envied die;
But he is like the wave which covers o'er
Gems unenjoyed, it leaves, in ebbing from the shore.




Strike, strike the golden strings,
And to their glorious sound,
Fill, fill the red wine high,
And let the toast go round:
To woman, dearest woman,
Quaff we the generous wine;
Give me thy hand, my brother,
Here's to thy love and mine,
Thy love and mine!


Strike, strike the harp, that ever
Thrilled to dear woman's praise;
Of all the themes the brightest
May win a poet's lays:
To woman, dearest woman,
Quaff the warm blood of the vine;
And hand in hand, my brother,
Drink we to thine and mine,
To thine and mine!

A. A. M.



We parted, good my reader, last at the Catskills—no? 'It was a summer's evening;' and with my shadow on the mountain mist, I ween, vanished in your thoughts the memory of me. Well, that was natural. A hazy, dream-like idea of my whereabout may have haunted you for a moment—but it passed. I cannot allow you to escape so easily. 'Lend us the loan' of your eye, for some twenty minutes; and if you are a home-bred and untravelled person, 'tis likely, as the valet says in Cinderella, that 'I may chance to make you stare!'

In discoursing of the territorial wonderments in question, which have been moulded by the hand of the Almighty, I cannot suppose that you who read my reveries will look with a compact, imaginative eye upon that which has forced its huge radius upon my own extended vision. I ask you, howbeit, to take my arm, and step forth with me from the piazza of the Mountain House. It is night. A few stars are peering from a dim azure field of western sky; the high-soaring breeze, the breath of heaven, makes a stilly music in the neighboring pines; the meek crest of Dian rolls along the blue depths of ether, tinting with silver lines the half dun, half fleecy clouds; they who are in the parlors make 'considerable' noise; there is an individual at the end of the portico discussing his quadrupled julep, and another devotedly sucking the end of a cane, as if it were full of mother's milk; he hummeth also an air from Il Pirata, and wonders, in the simplicity of his heart, 'why the devil that there[437] steam-boat from Albany, doesn't begin to show its lights down on the Hudson.' His companion of the glass, however, is intent on the renewal thereof. Calling to him the chief 'help' of the place, he says: 'Is that other antifogmatic ready?'

'No, Sir.'

'Well, now, person, what's the reason? What was my last observation? Says I to you, says I, 'Make me a fourth of them beverages;' and moreover I added, 'Just you keep doing so; be constantly making them, till the order is countermanded.' Give us another; go!—vanish!—'disappear, and appear!''

The obsequious servant went; and returning with the desired, draught, observed, probably for the thousandth time: 'There! that's what I call the true currency; them's the ginooyne mint drops; HAha—ha!'—these separate divisions of his laughter coming out of his mouth at intervals of about half a minute each.

There is a bench near the verge of the Platform where, when you sit at evening, the hollow-sounding air comes up from the vast vale below, like the restless murmurs of the ocean. Anchor yourself here for a while, reader, with me. It being the evening of the national anniversary, a few patriotic individuals are extremely busy in piling up a huge pyramid of dried pine branches, barrels covered with tar, and kegs of spirits, to a height of some fifteen or twenty feet—perhaps higher. A bonfire is premeditated. You shall see anon, how the flames will rise. The preparations are completed; the fire is applied. Hear how it crackles and hisses! Slowly but spitefully it mounts from limb to limb, and from one combustible to another, until the whole welkin is a-blaze, and shaking as with thunder! It is a beautiful sight. The gush of unwonted radiance rolls in effulgent surges adown the vale. How the owl hoots with surprise at the interrupting light! Bird of wisdom, it is the Fourth! and you may well add your voice to swell the choral honors of the time. How the tall old pines, withered by the biting scathe of Eld, rise to the view, afar and near—white shafts, bottomed in darkness, and standing like the serried spears of an innumerable army! The groups around the beacon are gathered together, but are forced to enlarge the circle of their acquaintance, by the growing intensity of the increasing blaze. Some of them, being ladies, their white robes waving in the mountain breeze, and the light shining full upon them, present, you observe, a beautiful appearance. The pale pillars of the portico flash fitfully into view, now seen and gone, like columns of mist. The swarthy African who kindled the fire regards it with perspiring face and grinning ivories; and lo! the man who hath mastered the quintupled glass of metamorphosed eau-de-vie, standing by the towering pile of flame, and, reaching his hand on high, he smiteth therewith his sinister pap, with a most hollow sound—the knell, as it were, of his departing reason. In short, he is making an oration!

Listen to those voiceful currents of air, traversing the vast profound below the Platform! What a mighty circumference do they[438] sweep! Over how many towns, and dwellings, and streams, and incommunicable woods! Murmurs of the dark, sources and awakeners of sublime imagination, swell from afar. You have thoughts of eternity and power here, which shall haunt you evermore. But we must be early stirrers in the morning. Let us to bed.

You can lie on your pillow at Catskill, and see the god of day look upon you from behind the pinnacles of the White Mountains in New-Hampshire, hundreds of miles away. Noble prospect! As the great orb heaves up in ineffable grandeur, he seems rising from beneath you, and you fancy that you have attained an elevation where may be seen the motion of the world. No intervening land to limit the view, you seem suspended in mid-air, without one obstacle to check the eye. The scene is indescribable. The chequered and interminable vale, sprinkled with groves, and lakes, and towns, and streams; the mountains afar off, swelling tumultuously heavenward, like waves of the ocean, some incarnadined with radiance, others purpled in shade; all these, to use the language of an auctioneer's advertisement, 'are too tedious to mention, but may be seen on the premises.' I know of but one picture which will give the reader an idea of this ethereal spot. It was the view which the angel Michael was polite enough, one summer morning, to point out to Adam, from the highest hill of Paradise:

'His eye might there command wherever stood
City of old or modern fame, the seat
Of mightiest empire, from the destined walls
Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaïan Can,
And Sarmachand by Oxus, Temir's throne,
To Paquin of Sinæan kings; and thence
To Agra and Labor of great Mogul
Down to the golden Chersonese; or where
The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since
In Hizpahan; or where the Russian Ksar
In Mosco; or the Sultan in Bizance,
Turchestan born; nor could his eye not ken
The empire of Negus, to his utmost port,
Erocco; and the less maritime kings
Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
And Sofala, thought Ophir, to the realm
Of Congo and Angola, farthest south;
Or thence from Niger flood to Atlas' mount,
The kingdoms of Almanzor, Fez, and Suz,
Morocco, and Algier, and Tremizen;
On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway
The world; in spirit perhaps he also saw
Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume,
(And Texas too, great Houston's seat—who knows?)
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
Of Atabalipa; and yet unspoiled
Guiana, whose great city Geyron's sons
Call El Dorado.'

Of the falls, sooth to say, little can be ejaculated in the eulogistic way. The cataract is only 'on hand' for a part of the time. It is kept in a dam, and let down for two shillings. The demand for the article has sometimes exceeded the supply, especially in dry weather.[439] We quote the sales, as per register, while there, at perhaps some three hundred yards. Oh, Mercury! Scenery by the square foot! Sublimity by the quintal!

It looks to be a perilous enterprise, to descend the Catskills. You feel, as you commence the 'facilis descensus,' (what an unhackneyed phrase, to be sure!) very much the sort of sensation probably experienced by Parachute Cocking, whose end was so shocking. The wheels of the coach are shod with the preparation of iron slippers, which are essential to a hold-up; and as you bowl and grate along, with wilderness-chasms and a brawling stream mayhap on one hand, and horrid masses of stone seemingly ready to tumble upon you on the other—the far plain stretching like the sea beneath you, in the mists of the morning—your emotions are fidgetty. You are not afraid—not you, indeed! Catch you at such folly! No; but you wish most devoutly that you were some nine miles down, notwithstanding—and are looking eagerly for that consummation.

We paused just long enough at the base of the mountain, to water the cattle, and hear a bit of choice grammar from the landlord; a burly, big individual, 'careless of the objective case,' and studious of ease, in bags of tow-cloth, (trowsers by courtesy,) and a roundabout of the same material; the knees of the unmentionables apparently greened by kneeling humbly at the lactiferous udder of his only cow, day by day. He addressed 'the gentleman that driv' us down:'

'Well, Josh—I seen them rackets!'

'Wa'n't they almighty bright?' was the inquisitive reply.

This short colloquy had reference to a train of fire-works which were set off the evening before at the Mountain-House—long snaky trails of light, flashing in their zig-zag course through the darkness. It was beautiful to see those fiëry sentences written fitfully on the sky, fading one by one, like some Hebrew character—some Nebuchadnezzar scroll—in the dark profound, and showing, as the rocket fell and faded, that beneath the lowest deep to which it descended, there was one yet lower still, to which it swept 'plumb-down, a shower of fire.'

We presently rolled away, and were soon drawn up in front of the Hudson and the horse-boat, at the landing. The same unfortunate animals were peering forth from that aquatic vehicle; one of them dropping his hairy lip, with a melancholy expression, and the other strenuously endeavoring to remove a wisp of straw which had found a lodgment on his nose. The effort, however, was vain; his physical energies sank under the task; he gave it up, and was soon under way for the opposite shore, with his four-legged fellow traveller, and three bipeds, who were smoking segars.

It is right pleasant and joyous to see the number of juvenile patriots who are taken forth into the country, (whose glories for the first time, perhaps, are shed upon their town-addicted eyes,) on the great[440] national holiday. To them, the flaunting honors of the landscape have a new beauty, and a joyous meaning; the sun hangs above them like a great ball of fire in the sky; the waters wear a glittering sheen; and the wide moving pulse of life beats with a universal thrill of happiness to them. I could not but note the number of urchins in the steamer, whom their 'paternal derivatives' were guiding around, and showing, to their vision at least, 'all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.'

Well, to those who are disposed to glean philosophy from the mayhap less noticeable objects of this busy world, there are few sights more lovely than childhood. The little cherub who now sits at my knee, and tries, with tiny effort, to clutch the quill with which I am playing for you, good reader; whose capricious taste, varying from ink-stand to paper, and from that to books, and every other portable thing—all 'movables that I could tell you of'—he has in his little person those elements which constitute both the freshness of our sublunary mortality, and that glorious immortality which the mortal shall yet put on. Gazing upon his fair young brow, his peach-like cheek, and the depths of those violet eyes, I feel myself rejuvenated. That which bothered Nicodemus, is no marvel to me. I feel that I have a new existence; nor can I dispel the illusion. It is harder, indeed, to believe that he will ever be what I am, than that I am otherwise than he is now. I cannot imagine that he will ever become a pilosus adult, with harvests for the razor on that downy chin. Will those golden locks become the brown auburn? Will that forehead rise as a varied and shade-changing record of pleasure or care? Will the classic little lips, now colored as by the radiance of a ruby, ever be fitfully bitten in the glow of literary composition?—and will those sun-bright locks, which hang about his temples like the soft lining of a summer cloud, become meshes where hurried fingers shall thread themselves in play? By the mass, I cannot tell. But this I know. That which hath been, shall be: the lot of manhood, if he live, will be upon him; the charm—the obstacle—the triumphant fever—the glory, the success—the far-reaching thoughts,

——'That make them eagle wings
To pierce the unborn years.'

I might 'prattle out of reason,' and fancy what, in defiance of precedent furnished by propinquity of blood, he possibly might be; an aldermanic personage, redolent of wines and soup—goodly in visage, benevolent in act, but strict in justice. I might fancy him with a most voluminous periphery, and a laugh that shakes the diaphragm, from the imo pectore to the vast circumference of the outer man. These things may be imagined, but not believed. Yet it is with others as with ourselves: 'We know what they are, but not what they may be.' Time adds to the novel thoughts of the child, the tricks and joyance of the urchin—the glow of increasing years, the passion of the swelling heart, when experience seems to school its energies. But in the flush of young existence, I can compare a child—the pride and delight of its mother and its kindred—to nothing else on earth, of its own form or image. It is like a young[441] and beautiful bird—heard, perhaps, for once, in the days of our juvenescence, and remembered ever after, though never seen again. Its thoughts, like the rainbow-colored messenger discoursed of in the poetic entomology of La Martine,

'Born with the spring, and with the roses dying—
Through the clear sky on Zephyr's pinion sailing;
On the young flowret's open bosom lying—
Perfume, and light, and the blue air inhaling;
Shaking the thin dust from its wings, and fleeing,
And soaring like a breath in boundless heaven:
How like Desire, to which no rest is given!
Which still uneasy, rifling every treasure,
Returns at last above, to seek for purer pleasure.'

In truth, I do especially affect that delightful period in the life of every descendant of old Fig Leaves, in Eden, which may truly be called the April of the heart. How sweet are its smiles! And on the face of babyhood, 'the tears,' to use the dainty term of Sir Philip Sidney, 'come dropping down like raine in ye sunshine, and no heed being taken to wype them, they hang upon the cheekes and lippes, as upon cherries which the dropping tree bedeweth.' Halcyon season! Its pure thoughts and rich emotions come and go, like the painted waftage of a morning cloud; or most like that fulness of pearls which may be shaken from the matin spray. The night, to such, comes with its vesper hush and stillness, like the shadow of a shade. Sorrow is transient, and Hope ever new. Sabbath of the soul, fresh from its God! To the vision of these, how brightly the leaves move, and the breeze-crisped waters quiver! How their quick pulses bound, in the newness of existence, at that which is ancient and disdained of the common eye! To them, every color is prismatic, and wears the hue of Eden. With thoughts like these, however un-novel, I apostrophize 'My Boy:'

Thou hast a fair, unsullied cheek—
A clear and dreaming eye,
Whose bright and winning glances speak
Of life's first revelry;
And on thy brow no look of care
Comes like a cloud, to cast a shadow there.
In feeling's early freshness blest—
Thy wants and wishes few:
Rich hopes are garnered in thy breast,
As summer's morning dew
Is found, like diamonds, in the rose—
Nestling, midst folded leaves, in sweet repose.
Keep thus, in love, the heritage
Of thy ephemeral spring;
Keep its pure thoughts, till after age
Weigh down thy spirit's wing;
Keep the warm heart—the hate of sin.
And heavenly peace will on thy soul break in.
And when the even-song of years
Brings in its shadowy train
The record of life's hopes and fears,
Let it not be in vain,
That backward on existence thou canst look,
As on a pictured page or pleasant book.


In the wonder which we feel as to children growing old, we are apt to associate ourselves with them. When one who, in the hey-dey of his blood, and before the glow of the purpureum lumen of his 'better-most hours' has begun to diminish, is led to regard (and to hear, beside, for the fact rings often at his auricular portals,) that a vital extract is extant, he wonders if that 'embryon atom' will ever come to denominate the agent of his being as 'the old gentleman!' Of course, it must be impossible. Yet 'there is no mistake on some points.' In the course of his travels, Old Time effects many a marvel; but he pushes on with his agricultural implement, and streaming fore-lock; (nobody 'does him proud,' and he disdains the toupée,) until his oldest friends are metamorphosed, and his youngest begin to experience how 'tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis.' This reminds me of a song, which I like amazingly, because it contains such a mingling of truth, beauty, and melody:

I often think each tottering form
That limps along in life's decline,
Once bore a heart as young, as warm,
As full of idle thoughts, as mine!
And each has had his dream of joy,
His own unequalled, pure romance;
Commencing, when the blushing boy
First thrills at lovely woman's glance.
And each could tell his tale of youth—
Would think its scenes of love evince
More passion, more unearthly truth,
Than any tale, before or since.
Yes! they could tell of tender lays
At midnight penned, in classic shades,
Of days more bright than modern days—
Of maids more fair than living maids.
Of whispers in a willing ear,
Of kisses on a blushing cheek—
Each kiss, each whisper, far too dear,
For modern lips to give or speak.
Of prospects, too, untimely crossed,
Of passion slighted or betrayed—
Of kindred spirits early lost,
And buds that blossomed but to fade.
Of beaming eyes, and tresses gay,
Elastic form and noble brow,
And charms—that all have passed away,
And left them—what we see them now!
And is it thus!—is human love
So very light and frail a thing!
And must Youth's brightest visions move
For ever on Time's restless wing?
Must all the eyes that still are bright,
And all the lips that talk of bliss,
And all the forms so fair to sight,
Hereafter only come to this?
Then what are Love's best visions worth,
If we at length must lose them thus?
If all we value most on earth,
Ere long must fade away from us?
If that one being whom we take
From all the world, and still recur
To all she said, and for her sake
Feel far from joy, when far from her;
If that one form which we adore,
From youth to age, in bliss or pain,
Soon withers and is seen no more—
Why do we love—if love be vain!

In what strange contrast with a picture like this, does the beautiful Uhland place some of his nature-colored characters! How sweetly does he draw the picture of two devoted beings, practising palmistry, with palm to palm, and uttering a world of downy nonsense beneath the rolling moon:

'In a garden fair were roaming,
Two lovers, hand in hand;
Two pale and shadowy creatures,
They sat in that flowery land.
On the lips, they kissed each other,
On the cheeks so full and smooth;
They were wrapt in close embracings—
They were warm in the flush of youth.'

These are very apt verses to be made directly out of a man's head, ar'n't they? How the author must have been haunted with visions; all

'Sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,
Or Cytherea's breath.'

I forgot to observe, that the postillion of whom I have spoken, was rather profane. He told a story of his experience some years before, with a divine, who was riding with him, on his professional seat, in the west, to attend a 'protracted meeting.' 'It was about 'lection time,' said he, 'and I had just gi'n in my vote. Of course, I was used with hospitality; and I was a leetle 'how-come-you-so?' as Miss Kimball says in her Tower. Well I driv on, at an uncommon rapid rate; (that's a fact;) and whensumever I threw out the mail-bags at a stoppin' place, I replenished the inner individual. At last I became, as the parson observed, 'manifestly inebriated;' and he ondertook for to lecter me! I said nothing, until he observed, or rather remarked, that 'he should not be surprised if I fell from my seat some day, and would be found with my head broke, and extravagantsated blood on the pious matter.''

'Well,' says I, 'I shouldn't be surprised; it would be just my d——d etarnal luck!''

'He didn't say no more all the trip. I shot him up.'

'But the election'—it was inquired—'did you succeed in that?'

'Oh, yes; and the man that we put in, made a fool of himself at Albany, into the Legislature, and there was a piece put into a book about him a'terwards.'

'Ah?—what was it?

'Here it is,' was the reply of my gentleman, as he drew from his pocket a worn fragment of a printed page.


'On the first day of the session, he was enabled to utter the beginning of a sentence, which would probably have had no end, if it had not been cut short, as it was, by the Speaker. On the presentation of some petitions, which he thought had a bearing on his favorite subject, the election by the people of public notaries, inspectors of beef and pork, sole-leather, and staves and heading, he got on his legs. 'When,' said he, 'Mr. Speaker, we consider the march of intellect in these united, as I may say confederated, states, and how the genius of liberty soars, in the vast expanse, stretching her eagle plumes from the Pacific Ocean to Long-Island Sound, gazing with eyes of fire upon the ruins of empires——' just at which point of aërial elevation, the Speaker brought down the metaphorical flight of the genius, and that of the aspiring orator together, by informing the latter that he should be happy to hear him when in order, but that there was now no question before the House!'[20]

'But what was the name of this man?' was a query following this eloquent extract.

'Smith, Sir, was his name; Smith, John Smith, of Smithopolis, and surrogate of Smith County. He was the first man in Smithville; was a blacksmith in his youth, a goldsmith a'terwards, and John Smith through all. A consistent man, Sir; no change with him; always upright, but always poor; unchanging, for he had nothing to change with! He was a distinguished man; had letters advertised in the post office; owned a blood horse; led the choir at church; read 'the Declaration' on every Fourth-of-July; made all the acquaintances he could; was exceedingly fussy on all occasions. In short, he was a very great man in a small way. His speech will stand as a memorial of his genius, when the Kattskill shall be troubled with the mildew of time, and the worms of decay!'

Well—the reign of autumn, for the present year, has come; and there will doubtless be the annual quotations of description in the newspaper market. Some of it will remain on first hands, and the rest will find a ready circulation. Meditation will vent itself upon apostrophe; poetry will be engendered; old songs will be re-sung. It is, in truth, a delicious season, and no one can be blamed for yielding himself up to its influences. When the first yellow surges of September sunlight seem to roll through the atmosphere; when the dust of the city street, as you look at some stately carriage, whose wheels are flashing toward the west, seems rising around them like an atmosphere, colored betwixt the hue of gold and crimson; when the mountains put on their beautiful garments, where tints of the rainbow mingle with the aërial blue of the sky; when the winds have a melancholy music in their tone, and the heaven above us is enrobed in surpassing purity and lustre—then, the dwellers in great capitals may perhaps conceive of the richness and fruition of the country; but they cannot approach the reality. The harvest moon has waned; the harvest home been held; the wheat is in the garner; [445]the last peaches hang blushing on the topmost branches where they grew; the fragrant apples lie in fairy-colored mounds beneath the orchard trees, and the cheerful husbandman whistles at the cider-press. As September yields her withered sceptre into the grasp of October, the hills begin to invest themselves in those many-colored robes which are the livery of their new sovereign. As my observant friend, (a well-belovéd Epinetus,) who hath discoursed of matters outre-mer, so richly hymns it, then there comes

A mellow richness on the clustered trees;
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light, the pillared clouds,
Morn, on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing; and in the vales
The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash deep crimsoned,
And silver beech, the maple yellow leaved—
Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
By the way-side a-weary. Through the trees
The golden robin moves; the purple finch,
That on wild cherry and red cedar feeds,
A winter bird comes with its plaintive whistle,
And pecks by the witch hazel; while aloud,
From cottage roofs, the warbling blue-bird sings.

To me, there is nothing of that dark solemnity about the autumnal season, which it has to the morbid or the foreboding. It comes, laden with plenty, and breathing of peace. There seems a sweet monition in every whisper of the gale, and the rustle of every painted leaf, which may speak a world of tranquillity to the contemplative mind. If there be sadness around and within, it is the sadness which is cherished, and the gloom that purifies; it is that doubtful twilight of the heart, which is succeeded at last by a glorious morning. We think with the serene and heavenly-minded Malcolm, of the distant, or the departed, who have gone before us to lay down their heads upon pillows of clay, and repose in the calm monotony of the tomb. Reflection asserts her sway, and the spirit expands into song:

Sweet Sabbath of the Year!
When evening lights decay,
Thy parting steps methinks I hear,
Steal from the world away.
Amid thy silent bowers,
'Tis sad but sweet to dwell,
Where falling leaves and fading flowers,
Around me breathe farewell.
Along thy sun-set skies,
Their glories melt in shade;
And like the things we fondly prize,
Seem lovelier as they fade.
A deep and crimson streak,
The dying leaves disclose,
As on Consumption's waning cheek,
Mid ruin, blooms the rose.
The scene each vision brings
Of beauty in decay;
Of fair and early-faded things,
Too exquisite to stay:
Of joys that come no more;
Of flowers whose bloom is fled;
Of farewells wept upon the shore;
Of friends estranged, or dead!
Of all, that now may seem
To memory's tearful eye
The vanished beauty of a dream,
O'er which we gaze and sigh!

And now, reader, Benedicite! 'Hail—and farewell!'

Decidedly thine,



'Lone, trembling one!
Last of a summer race, withered and sere—
Say, wherefore dost thou linger here?
Thy work is done!'

W. G. C.


In solemn silence here I live,
A lone, deserted peach;
So high that none but birds and winds
My quiet bough can reach;
And mournfully, and hopelessly,
I think upon the past—
Upon my dear departed friends,
And I—the last—the last!


My friends!—oh daily one by one
I see them drop away,
Unheeding all my tears and prayers,
That vainly bade them stay;
And here I hang, alone—alone!
While life is fleeing fast,
And sadly sigh that I am left,
Alas!—the last—the last!


Farewell then, thou my little world,
My home upon the tree;
A sweet retreat, a quiet home,
Thou may'st no longer be;
The willow trees stand weeping nigh,
The sky is overcast,
The autumn winds moan sadly by—
I fall—the last—the last!



The Token and Atlantic Souvenir. A Christmas and New Year's Present. Edited by S. G. Goodrich, pp. 312. Boston: American Stationers' Company. New-York: Wiley and Putnam.

Talent of a high order has been employed to enrich both the pictorial and literary departments of the 'Token' for the coming year; and, in our judgment, the work greatly exceeds in merit, as it certainly does in size, any of its predecessors. Let us first take a running glance at the embellishments. The presentation-plate, from a tasteful design by Chapman, is engraved on wood by Adams; and in so masterly a manner is it executed, that it seems more like a fine steel engraving, than a cutting upon wood. The succeeding picture, 'The Expected Canoe,' painted by Chapman, and engraved by Andrews and Jewett, is very spirited in its conception, and finished in execution. The rising storm, the lightning, the anxious countenance of the Indian maiden, and the ease and grace of her position, are worthy of especial praise. There is something quite yankeeish in Chapman's design of the frontispiece—a cupid leaning over a huge pumpkin to see another carve a 'token' upon the rind. We can say little for 'The Only Daughter,' although engraved by Andrews, from a painting by Newton. The subject is harsh and unpleasing. There is Chapman's old fault in the 'Indian Maiden at her Toilet,' or 'The Token.' There is not an Indian feature, nor the semblance of one, in the face of the girl. Otherwise, the picture is well conceived. One of the richest plates in the volume, is 'English Scenery,' engraved by Smillie, from a painting by Brown. It is mellow and soft, in the ensemble, yet distinct in minute detail, and there is about it an almost living atmosphere. A very clever picture, too, is Healy's 'Young American on the Alps,' and it has received ample justice at the hands of the engraver, G. H. Cushman. 'The Last of the Tribe,' painted by Brown, and engraved by Ellis, should have been called 'A Mountain Scene,' and the Indian figure omitted. He lacks the proper physiognomy, sadly. The scenery is well imagined. 'The Fairies in America,' like all attempts at depicting such nondescript creatures of air, strikes us as a failure. Leaving out all the figures, both the painting and engraving reflect credit upon the artists, Chapman and Smillie. 'Martha Washington,' engraved by Cheney and Kellogg, is a good engraving of a far more beautiful female than we have been accustomed to consider the original, from the portraits we have hitherto seen. She is here depicted in her young and rosy years,'plump as a partridge,' and most delectable to look upon. Thus much for the plates; and now a few words touching the literary contents.

'The Wonders of the Deep,' by Pierpont, well deserves the place of honor which it occupies. It is a poem, without the form of verse; and its poetry is of a high order. We ask attention to the annexed paragraphs:

"What a wonder is the sea itself! How wide does it stretch out its arms, clasping islands and continents in its embrace! How mysterious are its depths!—still more mysterious its hoarded and hidden treasures! With what weight do its watery masses[448] roll onward to the shore, when not a breath of wind is moving over its surface! How wonderfully fearful is it, when its waves, in mid ocean, are foaming and tossing their heads in anger under the lash of the tempest! How wonderfully beautiful, when, like a melted and ever-moving mirror, it reflects the setting sun, or the crimson clouds, or the saffron heavens after the sun has set; or when its 'watery floor' breaks into myriads of fragments the image of the quiet moon that falls upon it from the skies!

"Wonderful, too, are those hills of ice that break off, in thunder, from the frozen barriers of the pole, and float toward the sun, their bristling pinnacles glistening in his beams, and slowly wasting away under his power, an object at once of wonder and of dread to the mariner, till they are lost in the embrace of more genial deeps. And that current is a wonder, which moves for ever onward from the southern seas, to the colder latitudes, bearing in its waters the influence of a tropical sun, and saying to the icebergs from the pole, 'Hitherto may ye come, but no farther.' And, if possible, still more wonderful are those springs of fresh water which, among the Indian Isles, gush up from the depths of a salt ocean, a source of refreshment and life to the seaman who is parching with thirst 'beneath a burning sky.' And is it not as wonderful, when, not a spring of fresh water, but a column of volcanic fire shoots up from 'the dark unfathomed caves of ocean,' and throws its red glare far over the astonished waves, that heave and tremble with the heaving and trembling earth below them! wonderful, when that pillar of fire vanishes, leaving a smoking volcano in its place! and wonderful, when that volcano, in its turn, sinks back, and is lost in the depths whence it rose!

"Then there are other wonders in the living creatures of the deep, from the animalcule, that 'no eye can see,' and that scarcely 'glass can reach,' up to 'that Leviathan which God hath made to play therein.' In 'this great and wide sea are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.' Yet He, who hath made them all, even there openeth his hand and satisfieth the desires of all. Wonderful is it, that, of these 'creatures innumerable,' each one finds its food in some other, and in its turn, serves some other for food; and that this great work of destruction and reproduction goes on in an unbroken circle from age to age, in the deep silence of those still deeper waters where the power of man is neither felt nor feared!

"What a wonder, too, is that line of phosphoric light, which, in the darkest night, streams along 'the way of a ship in the midst of the sea!' What is it that gives out this fire, which, like that of love, 'many waters cannot quench, neither can the floods drown it?' Theorists may speculate, naturalists may examine, chemists may analyze; but none of them can explain; and all agree in this, that it is a wonder, a mystery, a marvel. A light that only motion kindles! a fire that burns nothing! a fire, too, seen, not in a bush on Horeb, which is not burned, but in the deep waters of the ocean that cannot be! Is not this a wonder?

"And, if that path of light is a wonder, which streams back from the rudder of a ship, is not that ship itself a wonder? That a fabric so gigantic as a first rate ship, of traffic or of war, framed of ponderous timbers, compacted with bolts and bands of still more ponderous iron, holding in its bosom masses of merchandise, under whose weight strong cars have groaned, and paved streets trembled, or bearing on its decks hosts of armed men, with the thundering armament of a nation—that a fabric thus framed and thus freighted, should float in a fluid, into which, if a man fall, he sinks and is lost, is in itself a wonder. But that such a fabric should traverse oceans, struggling on amid the strife of seas and storms, that it should hold on its way like 'a thing of life,' nay, like a thing of intellect, a being endued with courage, and stimulated by a high purpose, a traveller that has seen the end of his voyage from the beginning, that goes forth upon it without fear, and completes it as with the feeling of a triumph, is, as it seems to me, a greater wonder still. Let me ask you to stand, as you perhaps have stood, upon the deck of such a ship,

'In the dead waist and middle of the night,'

now in the strong light of the moon, as it looks down upon you between the swelling sails, or now in the deep shadow that the sails throw over you. Hear the majestic thing that bears you, breasting and breaking through the waves that oppose themselves to her march! She is moving on alone, on the top of the world, and through the dread solitude of the sea. Nothing is heard, save, perhaps, the falling back of a wave, that has been showing its white crest to the moon, or, as your ship is plowing her way, the rushing of the water along her sides. Yet she seems to care for all that she contains, and to watch, while they sleep as sweetly in her bosom as in their own beds at home: and, though she sees no convoy to guard her, and no torch-bearer to guide her, she seems as conscious that she is safe, as she is confident that she is going right. Is not all this a wonder?"

'Peter Goldthwait's Treasure' is from the pen, and in the peculiar vein, of the author of 'Twice-Told Tales,' whose writings are well known, in every sense, to our readers. We think we are not in error in attributing the spirited sketch, 'Endicott and the Red Cross,' to the same source. 'The Shaker Bridal,' may be traced to a[449] kindred paternity not less unerringly by the table of contents, than by a certain style, which, although sui generis, partakes nevertheless of many of the simple graces of the fine old English prose writers. Of the merits of 'Our Village Post-Office,' by Miss Sedgwick, our readers are enabled to judge; and our opinion of it is expressed 'where they may turn the leaf to read it.' There are pleasant love-stories for the ladies, and young lovers of both sexes, as 'The Love Marriage,' by Mrs. Hale, 'Sylph Etherege,' 'Xeri, or A Day in Batavia,' translated from the German, by Nathaniel Greene, Esq., 'Jaques De Laid,' etc. We could almost forgive the author of 'A Tale of Humble Life' for drawing so revolting, and we must add unnatural a portrait, as that of George Cavendish, in consideration of the following graphic description of the advent of a New-England festival:

"It was the night before Thanksgiving; that season whose very name speaks of happiness; when the prosperous are called upon to remember whence their blessings come, and the wretched to observe that there is no such thing as unmitigated misery; the most forlorn having something in their lot for which they may thank God. Abundance walked with her cornucopia through the land, leaving no virtuous poor, starving amid unrewarded toils; the ties of kindred brought merry groups round many a blazing hearth, and friendship or hospitality threw open the domestic sanctuary, and admitted into the kindly circle those whom the chances of life had separated from their own homes and kindred.

"The lover of Jane had been compelled, by the death of his father in Vermont, to take a long journey at the approach of this festival; and business was to detain him yet a few days longer. It was not for him therefore that she sat listening in the corner of the roaring chimney, turning her head eagerly as the merry sleighs dashed jingling by. Half a dozen noisy youngsters about her threatened demolition to the old flag-bottomed chairs in a game of blind-man's buff, while one rosy urchin sat in her lap, struggling against sleep, and whining in reply to her whispered admonitions, 'I don't want to go to bed till cousin George comes.' At last a sleigh stopped at the door; the blindfold hero of the game tore the bandage from his eyes, the drowsy boy in the corner jumped up wide awake, and clapped his hands, and a young man, muffled in a cloak and seal-skin cap, sprung into the room, as one sure of a welcome. In an instant, the arms of Jane were round her only brother, and the redoubled clamors of the children brought the matron from the pantry, redolent of fresh-baked pies, and the old man from the cellar, laden with a basket of apples worthy of the Hesperides. All was noise and confusion, and the young stranger was loudest and gayest of the throng."

'Night Sketches beneath an Umbrella,' and 'Martha Washington,' the latter by Mrs. Sigourney, are the only prose articles which we have not named, and they are in all respects worthy the excellent company they keep.

The poetry is rather above than below the general 'annual' standard. Among the contributors to this department, are Miss H. F. Gould, O. W. Holmes, Grenville Mellen, H. Hastings Weld, Rev. J. H. Clinch, and others not unknown to fame; but our space obliges us to confine ourselves to these brief comments, and to forego extracts. And we must here conclude, by recommending the 'Token' to American readers, as a work every way worthy of general patronage.

Confessions of a Roman Catholic Priest. Edited by Samuel F. B. Morse, A. M. New-York: John S. Taylor.

This work is from the pen of a French gentleman, now in this country, and but lately a Roman Catholic priest. Portions of it, in the view of the editor, afford strong if not conclusive proofs of a systematic design in Europe to create a strong Popish party in this country. The personal narrative of the writer is replete with the interest of romance, especially those parts of it which describe the love-passages and trials of the priest, and his fair penitents of the confessional. The editor affirms that the author is known to be what he professes himself to be, and that his book is strictly true.



Henry Russell.—Would that every reader upon whom the portrait of Russell in the present number may smile, could hear the 'voice of melody' roll from those lips which has gone to the hearts of so many in our Atlantic cities! Simplicity, tenderness, strength, and mellowness, are the agents by which Mr. Russell produces his effects; and the result is always the same. It is not our purpose here to enter upon an analysis of his extraordinary musical powers; since we have on two or three occasions heretofore spoken of his voice and execution at some length. His style, so simple yet so effective, which 'catches a grace beyond the reach of art,' is lightly regarded, we believe, by certain of those who consider themselves as 'great shakes' in the musical world, simply because they can shake, and trill, and quaver, in that 'difficult' manner which it was once so much the mode to admire, but which, thanks to Russell, and one or two other distinguished melodists, has had its little day. These demurring professors may find some countenance in their attempts to foist upon the public an unnatural taste for a species of music wholly unsuited to the genius of our people, but it will proceed from such as care more for the music of fashion than of the heart, and who have travelled abroad to import new ideas of the art, with not a little conceit, arrogance, and foppery. But the crowds who attend the concerts of Mr. Russell, carry away with them 'remembered harmonies' which will not die, nor fade with the changes of time. Success to simple melody! Success to that music which can awaken human sympathies, and enliven and enlarge the affections!

'Mr. Russell is a young man, having but recently completed his twenty-fourth year; yet he has acquired a reputation far beyond his years, and that too in the country which, youthful as it is, was the fosterer of the genius of Malibran. He was born in England, and there imbibed his earliest lessons in the divine art of which he is so distinguished a professor. He went to Italy at an early age, after studying under King, in London, for some time. Here he was a pupil of Rossini for three years, and thereafter he returned to England for the space of two more, during which time he was chorus-master of the Italian opera in London. Returning once more to Italy, he studied under Generale, Mayerbeer, and other masters, and received a gold medal from the hand of royalty, for the best composition at the conservatorio at Naples. He acquired the language, as well as the musical lore of that lovely country, during his sojourn there, so perfectly as not only to sing, but also to write and converse in Italian, with equal fluency and facility. Coming again to his native country, he married the accomplished daughter of an opulent and distinguished merchant, and soon after came to Canada, where he was invited by some gentlemen of Rochester, in this state, to settle in that thriving city. He accepted the invitation, and was appointed professor of music in an academy devoted to the cultivation of that science.'

It is a source of personal gratification to the editors of this Magazine, that they were the first, in this community and that of Philadelphia, to call public attention to the rare musical endowments of one who was himself too modest and retiring to present his claims to general patronage and regard, beyond the precincts of the public-spirited town where he had been generously taken by the hand, and his gifts properly appreciated. Since his first appearance here, however, Mr. Russell's course has been due on toward the goal of success; and we cannot doubt that he has yet even more signal triumphs to gain, in the production of extended operatic compositions. We shall see.


To those whose good fortune it has been to see and hear Mr. Russell, we need not say that the portrait contained in the present number is an almost speaking likeness of the gifted original; and to none is it deemed necessary to add any thing in praise of the superior execution of the engraving.

Criticism.—That was a charming trait in Scott's character, which prompted him to 'set an author upon his legs,' by quoting the better passages of his works, as an offset to the objectionable portions, which a censor of the meat-axe school was dwelling upon with characteristic gusto, to the exclusion of every thing of an opposite character. No critic should read for mere occasion of censure, and for the sole purpose of dragging forth lurking errors; nor should he be ambitious to act the part of a judge who determines beforehand to hang every man that may come before him for trial. Such censorial dogmatism is both unjust and injurious. We do not object to severe criticism, so that it be just and honest; but we devoutly eschew the captious, cavilling strain of quibble, in which it is getting to be so much the fashion to indulge, and that without any exertion of thought, or labor of investigation, in the discussion of the work condemned. Unfavorable criticism should be so tempered as to be instructive and consolatory, yet at the same time just, to the youthful aspirant. We have been led to these remarks, by noticing the wholesale condemnation which has been poured out upon a small volume of poems, by a young graduate of Yale College, William Thompson Bacon, which was briefly reviewed in our last number. Now we do not know Mr. Bacon, nor any one who does, nor did we ever receive a line from him, or any of his friends, nor from any body else, in relation to his book. The qualified praise which we rendered to his little work, was therefore wholly disinterested, unsolicited, and sincere; and to prove that it was just, we annex the omitted extract, referred to in our last:

'How many years have passed away,
Since on this spot I stood,
And heard, as now I hear them play,
The voices of the wood,
Green boughs and budding leaves among,
Piped low in one continuous song?
'How many years have passed, since here
Upon this bald rock's crest,
I lay, and watched the shadows clear
Upon the lake's blue breast;
Since here, in many a poet dream,
I lay and heard the eagle scream?
'The seasons have led round the year
Many and many a time,
And other hands have gather'd here
The young flowers of the clime,
The which I wove, with thoughts of joy,
About my brows, a poet boy.
'And there were voices too 'lang syne,'
I think I hear them yet;
And eyes that loved to look on mine,
I shall not soon forget;
And hearts that felt for me before—
Alas, alas, they'll feel no more!
'I call them by remember'd names,
And weep when I have done;
The one, the yawning ocean claims,
The distant church-yard, one;
I call—the wood takes up the tone,
And only gives me back my own.
'Still from the lake swell up these walls,
Fronting the morning's sheen;
And still their storm-stained capitals
Preserve their lichens green;
And still upon the ledge I view
The gentian's eye of stainless blue.
'And far along in funeral lines,
Sheer to the higher grounds,
Touch'd by the finger of the winds,
The pines give out their sounds;
And far below, the waters lie,
Quietly looking to the sky.
'And still, a vale of softest green
Th' embracing prospect fills;
And still the river winds between
The parting of the hills;
The sky still blue, the flowers still found,
Just bursting from the moist spring ground.
'So was it many years ago,
As on this spot I stood,
And heard the waters lave below
The edges of the wood,
And thought, while music fill'd the air,
The fairies held their revel there.
'I ask these scenes to give me back
My fresh, glad thoughts again;
Alas, they lie along the track
Which I have trod with men!
The flowers I gather'd here, a child,
I pluck'd, it seems, to deck a wild.'

A very young writer, capable of lines like these, is met with scarce a word of encouragement, but contrariwise, forced satire and second-hand denunciation; and this often from critics unable to produce any thing half so creditable as many of the effusions in the volume in question.


Politics and Literature.—We regret to perceive that our contemporary, the 'American Monthly,' has pushed out upon the stormy sea of politics. We believe with Daniel Webster, that our literary periodicals ought rather to constitute a happy restraint upon the asperities which political controversies engender, than to aid in creating them. Let us keep literature and politics distinct. We need a kind of neutral ground, on which men of all creeds and all politics may meet, and forget the bitterness of party feeling. Literature should be this ground; and the only prominent objection to this position, that we have yet seen, is that the English periodicals are some of them political, and that therefore ours should be so too! To say nothing of the independent, republican spirit evinced in imitating foreign works, as if we were incapable of originality in any thing, let us look at the different circumstances of the case. In America, politics are in every body's hands, in the newspapers of the day, large and small, for the merest trifle of cost. In Great Britain, on the contrary, it is the very reverse. The metropolitan daily journals cost so much, that thousands are wholly unable to procure them; and national politics are conveyed to a large proportion of the public through the less frequently published magazines, one number of which frequently passes into fifty or an hundred hands. How small the necessity or demand, on the other hand, in this country, for an admixture of politics in our literary periodicals, when the partizan may take his daily political dish for a single penny, or at most, three! Beside, premeditately long political disquisitions are universally considered as sad bores, at the best. They are rarely read by more than one side, and make no converts. Let no sinister motive be ascribed to these remarks; for, in our own case, this Magazine possesses the good will of all parties, and has neither the indifference nor the opposition of any. We speak but for the common cause of American literature.

The Fine Arts.—Some months since, an eminent American writer attempted to set forth in these pages the fact that liberty and a republic were no barriers, as had often been alleged, against the progress and perfection of the fine arts in this country; and this position he maintained and supported by triumphant argument. His train of reasoning has since been frequently brought to our minds, by corroborative testimony which has fallen under our own observation; all going to establish the truth, that the enjoyment of a rational freedom, such as we of the United States are blessed with, associated with a general liberal diffusion of property and intelligence, which always carry with them an improvement in taste, is more favorable to the cultivation of the fine arts, than the patronage of kings, princes, and nobles. We were forcibly impressed with the correctness of this assumption, in a recent visit to the studio of the Brothers Thompson, whom many of our readers doubtless now hear named for the first time. The elder of the two, C. Giovanni Thompson, has but recently removed to this city. He has pursued his art with great industry, and his efforts have been marked by gradual yet constant improvement, during a residence of some years in Boston and Providence. His pictures in the Athenæum Gallery, in the former city, won for him a high repute, and brought to his easel several of the first citizens of the New-England capital; and we can speak in terms of high commendation both of the faithfulness and skill with which he has transferred to the canvass many of the élite of the city of Roger Williams. The portrait of President Wayland, of Brown University, would be sufficient, were other evidence wanting, of the distinguished talents of the artist, whose success, since his arrival in New-York, has been no less decided. Of his portraits in general, we may say, that they are animated and well-colored, while the attitudes are unconstrained, natural, and agreeable. There is great merit, too, in the pervading tone of his pictures, and especially in the grace, spirit, and expression of his female portraitures.

Of the efforts of Jerome Thompson, whose stay has been more prolonged among us, and who has acquired a metropolitan reputation from those of our citizens who have[453] sat under his facile pencil, it may not be necessary to speak, farther than to say, that we know of no young artist whose improvement has been more regularly progressive. We have marked him from the beginning, and think we can appreciate the study and taste which have made him favorably known to the New-York public, and even procured for him honorable and profitable engagements in England, whenever he may deem it expedient to turn his face thitherward. He is remarkable not less for the excellence of his likenesses, than for the professional qualities he possesses in common with his brother, which we have already enumerated. The success of these young gentlemen, as we have already hinted, has impressed us with the truth of the remark of the distinguished contributor alluded to, in the commencement of this paragraph, that 'our artists need no longer to go abroad to earn a livelihood, or gain a name. Those who have talents and industry, meet with employment and liberal compensation, and receive quite as much, and sometimes a great deal more, than is given for similar productions in Europe.'

Gulliverana.—Lying is a bad practice at best; but there is a species of sportive 'white lie,' which, when well managed, has an 'ear-kissing smack' in it that is quite delightful. Gulliver's talent in this line has seldom been approached. Whether in Lilliput or Brobdignag, he never forgets himself. The keeping of every thing is admirable; and if any one deems such skeptical relations an easy matter, let him try to sustain a kindred specimen, in all its parts. He must have the eye of a painter, and be well versed in the management of contrasts, to succeed at all in the undertaking. By the way, that was a good story of a man travelling in a stage-coach, who had been listening for an hour or more to the marvellous tales of personal adventure, told by two inflated bucks from the city. 'My uncle,' said he, 'had three children; my father had the same number; all boys. There was some property in dispute between the families; and after a protracted quarrel, it was agreed that the question should be decided by combat between the six sons. My eldest brother fought first, and his antagonist was mortally wounded, and carried off; my next eldest cousin was successful in slaying the brother next before me; and it was with great trepidation that I took my position in front of my youngest cousin. We fired, and——'

Here was a pause for a moment; and the excited cockneys eagerly inquired, 'Well, what was the result?' 'Why, I was killed on the spot!' was the reply; my adversary's bullet pierced my heart, and I expired without a groan! My murderer became possessed of the property in dispute, which he soon dissipated, and is now a mountebank conjurer. It was only yesterday that I saw him at his tricks, in a little village through which we passed. He had placed a ladder in the open street, its top in the air; and when I lost sight of him, as the stage wheeled away, he had reached the uppermost round, and was drawing the ladder up after him!' The town-bred Munchausens reserved their marvels, during the remainder of the journey. This undoubted narrative is akin to the following story, which we have from the best authority. Two passengers, coming down the Mississippi in a steam-boat, were shooting birds, etc., on shore, from the deck. Some sportsman converse ensued, in which one remarked, that he would turn his back to no man in killing rackoons; that he had repeatedly shot fifty in a day. 'What o' that?' said a Kentuckian; 'I make nothing of killing a hundred 'coon a day, or'nary luck.' 'Do you know Capting Scott, of our state?' asked a Tennessean by-stander. 'He now is something like a shot. A hundred 'coon! Why he never p'ints at one, without hitting him. He never misses, and the 'coons know it. T'other day he levelled at an old 'un, in a high tree. The varmint looked at him a minute, and then bawled out: 'Hello, Cap'n Scott!—is that you?' 'Yes,'was the reply. 'Well, don't shoot!' says he; it's no use! 'Hold on; I'll come down; I give in!'—which he did!' It is unnecessary to add, that this was the last hunting story.


Brown vs. Kirkham.—We have received from Mr. Goold Brown a rejoinder to the article of Mr. Kirkham, published in our last number. We are reluctant to extend this controversy, in which we fear a great proportion of our readers take little if any interest; and having just now, moreover, but narrow space, we are compelled to decline the publication of the article in question. It is proper to say, however, that Mr. Brown denies that Kirkham's works have ever ascribed to Rush, Murray, and Walker, the contradictory passages quoted against himself; and that if they had so ascribed them, the ascription would have been untrue; that the brackets, the removal of which was so vehemently complained of, would neither abate the error alleged, nor make Kirkham's version of the text good grammar; and that he never in his life spoke in favor of the grammar of his antagonist. With this 'curtailed abbreviation compressing the particulars' of a syllabus, we take our leave of the matter, trusting that each lingual belligerent will hereafter revolve in his own cycle of declensions, conjugations, syntaxes and prosodies.

Our Portrait of Diedrich Knickerbocker.—'Why,' says an esteemed foreign correspondent, 'have you, in the frontispiece of your cover, represented the venerable and benevolent author of the right veritable 'History of New-York' with such a rigid and austere expression of countenance? Surely, the painter or engraver has belied his character. I have had his counterfeit presentment for many years in my mind's eye; and whenever I look at yours, I think, with Charles Lamb, 'Alas! what is my book of his countenance good for, which I have read so long, and thought I understood its contents, when there comes your heart-breaking errata,' to rob me of my beau ideal?' To all this we answer, in the usual Yankee manner, by asking our friend, if he does not remember, that when Diedrich Knickerbocker was writing his renowned work, at the Columbian Hotel, his literary labors were often interrupted by his landlady coming into his room, and 'putting his papers to rights,' in such wise that it took him a week to find them again? Think of these untimely intrusions, while the melancholy historian was writing as follows: 'Grievous and very much to be commiserated is the task of the feeling historian who writes the history of his native land. * * * I cannot look back on the happier days of our city, which I now describe, without a sad dejection of the spirits. With a faltering hand do I withdraw the curtain of oblivion, that veils the modest merits of our venerable ancestors, and as their figures rise to my mental vision, humble myself before the mighty shades. Such are my feelings when I revisit the family mansions of the Knickerbockers, and spend a lonely hour in the chamber where hang the portraits of my forefathers, shrouded in dust, like the forms they represent. With pious reverence do I gaze on the countenances of those renowned burghers, who have preceded me in the steady march of existence; whose sober and temperate blood now meanders through my veins, flowing slower and slower in its feeble conduits, until its currents shall soon be stopped for ever! These, say I to myself, are but frail memorials of the mighty men who nourished in the days of the patriarchs; but who, alas! have long since mouldered in that tomb, toward which my footsteps are insensibly and irresistibly hastening! As I pace the darkened chamber, and lose myself in melancholy musings, the shadowy images around me almost seem to steal once more into existence—their countenances to assume the animation of life—their eyes to pursue me in every movement! Carried away by the delusions of fancy, I almost imagine myself surrounded by the shades of the departed, and holding sweet converse with the worthies of antiquity! Ah, hapless Diedrich! born in a degenerate age, abandoned to the buffetings of fortune—a stranger and a weary pilgrim in thy native land—blest with no weeping wife, nor family of helpless children; but doomed to wander neglected through these crowded streets, and elbowed by foreign upstarts from those fair abodes, where once thine ancestors held sovereign empire!' Now we have it from the[455] best authority, that while these melting sentences were not yet dry upon the paper before the historian, his pestilent landlady bustled into his apartment, and after an uneasy stay of a minute or two, began to indulge in oblique allusions to 'her little bill' for board, and finally observed, that 'she thought it high time somebody had a sight of somebody's money!' It is at the moment of this inopportune dun, that our sketch is taken; and who could look benign under such circumstances? Is our friend answered?


The Quarterlies.—We have before us the last North-American, American Quarterly, and New-York Reviews, and should be gratified to afford our readers a taste of their several contents; but the tyranny of space forbids other than a brief reference to some of their more prominent papers. The 'New-York' has an admirable article upon the writings of Jean Paul Richter, and a laughable and well-reasoned satire upon 'Dietetic Charlatanry,' or the 'Modern Ethics of Eating.' In some of the short critical notices, there is less research, and more flippancy, or mere ipse dixit, than might reasonably have been expected from such a quarter. The number is a good one, natheless, although inferior to its predecessor. Miss Martineau's 'Society in America,' Lockhart's Life of Scott, the Military Academy at West Point, and the poems of Grenville Mellen, are among the reviews of the American Quarterly, which is a large as well as very able number. In the North-American, that philosopher in petticoats, Miss Martineau, is most happily served up. The irony is keen but smooth, and the spirit mild, though unflinching. Gallantry has nothing to do with such a subject. The 'Palmyra Letters' are reviewed with discrimination, and high but just praise. Of the existence of 'Miriam, a Dramatic Poem,' we are here for the first time informed; but the production can scarcely remain long unknown to the American public. We may refer more in detail to these able American periodicals, in a subsequent number.

Animal Magnetism.—But for the fact that Col. Stone's Letter on Animal Magnetism, containing an account of a remarkable interview between the author and Miss Loraina Brackett, of Providence, (R. I.,) while in a state of somnambulism, is the theme of conversation and newspaper comment, in every section of the country, we should be tempted to occupy three or four of these pages with the extraordinary facts therein narrated. As it is, we shall simply run the risk of being the first to apprize some half dozen American, and an hundred or two foreign readers, that the work records, in easy and exciting detail, an imaginary visit of Miss Brackett to this city, while in a state of somnambulism, portions of which she describes with astonishing accuracy; that she accompanies the author to his own house, where she describes, with wonderful minuteness, localities, furniture, pictures, etc.—and all this, without ever having been in New-York in her life, or hearing or knowing any thing in relation to the scenes and objects visible to her mind's eye! We are not believers in animal magnetism—oh, no! Yet we are not exactly skeptics, either. A 'state of betweenity' aptly expresses our situation in regard to these strange matters.

A New Theory or Animal Magnetism.—Since the above was placed in type, Messrs. Wiley and Putnam have issued a coarsish volume, of some two hundred and twenty pages, entitled, 'Exposition of a New Theory of Animal Magnetism, with a Key to its Mysteries: Demonstrated by Experiments with the most celebrated Somnambulists in America;' together with 'Strictures' upon the Letter noticed above. By C. F. Durant. At the present writing hereof, we have but time and room to say, that so far as we have advanced in the work, Mr. Durant seems to be probing the whole matter quite thoroughly, and to have recorded his proceedings in a style of laughable mock-irony, though in language generally not a little careless, and sometimes—shade of Priscian!—sadly ungrammatical; the result, doubtless, of hasty publication.


Pickwick.—Mr. James Turney, Jr., 55 Gold-street, is publishing in numbers, as they appear in England, the Pickwick Papers, with copies of Cruikshank's spirited illustrations. Some of the engravings are cleverly executed, while others are miserable enough. The numbers, however, are very cheaply afforded, and meet with a wide and rapid sale; the exceeding small coterie of anti-Pickwickians—who have no conception of the burlesque or humorous, and care little for a hearty laugh, that most innocent of diuretics—to the contrary notwithstanding. A southern critic has gravely attempted to show that the old twaddler, Pickwick, does not act and converse as such a man should! He reminds us of the systematic tailor at Laputa, who took Gulliver's altitude by a quadrant, and then with rule and compasses described the dimensions and outlines of his whole body, all which he entered upon paper, and in due time brought back his clothes ill made, having mistaken a figure in the calculation. The idea of subjecting 'Pickvick' and 'Samivel Veller' to a regular standard of criticism!

'Mathematical Miscellany.'—This unpretending but well-conducted and valuable periodical, issued at Flushing, Long Island, is gradually winning its way to merited distinction. In a cursory examination of the recent numbers, we observe that many of its contributors are 'men of mark' and science, in various sections of the country; and that so strong is the feeling in its favor, that several eminent mathematicians have associated together to prevent its discontinuance, in any contingency. Prof. Gill, of the Institute at Flushing, sustains, and ably, its editorial responsibilities. It contains upward of seventy large pages, and is published semi-annually, at the low price of two dollars per annum.

Gazetteer of Missouri.—The Brothers' Harper have published, in a large and handsome volume, of some three hundred and eighty pages, 'A Gazetteer of the State of Missouri: with a Map of the State, from the office of the Surveyor General, including the latest Additions and Surveys.' The compiler, Alphonso Wetmore, Esq., of Missouri, has performed his task with signal ability; and his spirited frontier sketches, a specimen of which may be found elsewhere in these pages, evince, that his talents are not alone confined to statistics and business facts. A frontispiece, engraved on steel, adds to the attractions of the volume.

A Treatise on Astronomy: Illustrated by Maps and Plates. By Mrs. L. H. Tyler, Middletown, (Conn.)—When ladies come into the field of competition for literary honors and scientific research, it behooves us to treat them with gallantry. But in this instance, the lady has little need of favor; for her work may fairly challenge comparison with the best efforts of the male tribe. It is a right down sturdy, lucid, well-executed, and thorough treatise; 'not a mere compilation,' as Professor Smith of the University of Middletown says, 'but bearing throughout the impress of the author's own mind. Professor Smith hazards nothing in predicting, that it will be extensively adopted as a text-book in our high schools and academies.

Unpublished Poems of J. Huntington Bright, Esq.—We have recently given several articles of poetry from the unpublished MSS. of the late J. Huntington Bright, and shall present others hereafter. 'The Dying Boy,' however, in preceding pages, was originally published, some years since, as we understand, in the 'Albany Argus.' It deserves, notwithstanding, a more permanent record than the columns of a newspaper; and we take pleasure in transferring so beautiful a gem to our casket.

'Van Tassel House.'—Mr. Clover, at 294 Broadway, has issued a very pretty colored lithograph of this charming country-seat of Washington Irving, at Tarrytown; the same, as we are given to understand, that was occupied, many years ago, by old Baltus Van Tassel, and his blooming daughter Katrine, and the scene of Ichabod Crane's world-renowned adventures.

Our theatrical critiques for the month, although in type, are unavoidably deferred until the next number.


[1] Flowing in and from the lake.

[2] See also 'Anne of Gierstein.'

[3] A heap of bones of the vanquished remain to this day on the field.

[4] The costume is worn only by the peasantry.

[5] The Rhigi is not remarkable for its height, being but five thousand seven hundred feet above the plain; but being isolated from the great range, it affords much the widest view.

[6] See his calculation in figures, in 'Sketches of Switzerland.'

[7] The others are Hamburgh, Bremen, and Lubeck.

[8] The average number of new works per annum, issued for the first time in Great Britain in the last three years, is about 1200; in France, 4,000; in Germany, 6,000.

[9] A happy combination of safety, beauty, and convenience, is shown in the ramparts of the city of Geneva.

[10] The 'Old Man' of the Bubbles denounces these trumpets, but verily they are preferable to the long tin horns of the English 'guards,' which are indeed enough to

——'break his bands of sleep asunder
And rouse him like a rattling peal of thunder!
Hark, hark! the horrid sound;
He raises his head as if waked from the dead,
And amazed he stares around!'

[11] Among the Rhenish legends, versified by Planche, is one of the 'Mouse-Tower,' near Ehrenfels, commencing:

'The Bishop of Mentz was a wealthy prince.
Wealthy and proud was he;
He had all that was worth a wish on earth,
But he had not charitie!
He would stretch out his empty hands to bless,
Or lift them both to pray;
But, alack! to lighten man's distress,
They moved no other way.'

A famine came; the poor begged in vain for aid, 'till he 'opened his granaries free,' and then locked them in, and 'burned them every one.' 'The merry mice! how shrill they squeak!' said the prelate:

'But mark what an awful judgment soon
On the cruel bishop fell!
With so many mice his palace swarm'd,
That in it he could not dwell.
They gnaw'd the arras above and beneath,
They eat each savory dish up,
And shortly their sacrilegious teeth
Begun to nibble the bishop!
'He flew to the castle of Ehrenfels,
By the side of the Rhine so fair,
But they found the road to his new abode,
And came in legions there!
He built him in haste a tower tall
In the tide, for his better assurance,
But they swam the river, and scal'd the wall,
And worried him past endurance!
'One morning his skeleton there was seen,
By a load of flesh the lighter!
They had pick'd his bones uncommonly clean,
And eaten his very mitre!
Such was the end of the Bishop of Mentz;
And oft at midnight hour,
He comes in the shape of a fog so dense,
And sits on his old 'Mouse-Tower.'

[12] Perhaps you may be amused by this legend. It runs as follows:

'The Castle of Schöenberg was lofty and fair,
And seven countesses ruléd there:
Lovely, and noble, and wealthy I trow—
Every sister had suitors enow.
Crowned duke and belted knight
Sigh'd at the feet of those ladies bright:
And they whispered hope to every one,
While they vow'd in their hearts they would have none!

Gentles, list to the tale I tell;
'Tis many a year since this befel:
Women are altered now, I ween,
And never say what they do not mean!
'At the Castle of Schöenberg 'twas merriment all—
There was dancing in bower, and feasting in hall;
They ran at the ring in the tilt-yard gay,
And the moments flew faster than thought away!
But not only moments—the days fled too—
And they were but as when they first came to woo;
And spake they of marriage or bliss deferr'd,
They were silenced by laughter and scornful word!
Gentles, list to the tale I tell;
'Tis many a year since this befel:
And ladies now so mildly reign,
They never sport with a lover's pain!
'Knight look'd upon knight with an evil eye—
Each fancied a favored rival nigh;
And darker every day they frowned,
And sharper still the taunt went round;
Till swords were drawn, and lances in rest,
And the blood ran down from each noble breast;
While the sisters sat in their chairs of gold,
And smiled at the fall of their champions bold!
Gentles, lift to the tale I tell;
'Tis many a year since this befel;
Times have changed, and we must allow,
Countesses are not so cruel now.
'Morning dawn'd upon Schöenberg's towers,
But the sisters were not in their wonted bowers;
Their damsels sought them the castle o'er—
But upon earth they were seen no more;
Seven rocks are in the tide,
Ober-wesel's walls beside,
Baring their cold brows to heaven:
They are called, 'The Sisters Seven.'
Gentles, list to the tale I tell;
'Tis many a year since this befel:
And ladies now may love deride,
And their suitors alone be petrified!'

[13] The writer of this very spirited sketch of western life, assures us that it is essentially true, having been narrated to him by a respectable citizen, only six miles from the closing scene of the tragic adventure. A fictitious name has been substituted, out of delicacy to the survivors of the family.

Eds. Knickerbocker.

[14] For parallel passages, naturally to be expected in distinguished authors treating of similar subjects, I give a general reference to all great poets, passim.

[15] 'Quam viram aut heroa?' may the reader ask; wherefore, for his benefit, we will declare, that the original of our hero was a Scottish physician, whom we heard at a 'public,' describing a miraculous visit to a 'weird woman.' After finishing his story, and a generous glass of whiskey-toddy, he went his way upon a sorry gray mare, whose acquaintance, I am confident, would have been cut by Rosinante, or Hudibras's famed Bucephalus, if she had solicited a passing recognition. The only change in the circumstantia, is his translation to another locality, and making the object of his pilgrimage one more immediately interesting here.

[16] The motto of the Kirkpatrick family, derived from the answer of one of their 'forbears' to Robert Bruce, when he 'doubted he had slain the red Comyn'—'I make sicker'—we commend to the especial attention of the 'Faculty,' in the event of their application to the herald's college for a new blazonry of the professional arms.

[17] 'Medicé vivere, est miseré vivere.'

[18] Oleum Ricini, and Vinum Antimonii: Castor oil, and Wine of Antimony.

[19] We are indebted to an advance copy of 'The Token,' for 1838, for this admirable story, from the pen of one who touches nothing that she does not ornament; and happily it is only virtue and goodness which she strives to embellish. Like 'Our Burial Place,' written for the Knickerbocker, by the same author, it is domestic and simple in its details, yet even more interesting than romance. It is to be regretted, that the circulation of such of our annuals as blend instruction and valuable lessons with amusement, should be mainly confined, owing to their expensive dress and adornments, to the larger cities and towns. Bestowed at a season when the hearts of both giver and receiver are peculiarly open to kind impulses and good inculcations, they must be regarded as capable of a wide and salutary influence.

Eds. Knickerbocker.

[20] Sands.

[21] 'These lines,' writes a fair correspondent, in a delicate crow-quill hand, and on an aroma-breathing sheet, 'were written the other day in my album, by a dear friend of mine; a school-girl of sixteen. Are they not pretty? I think they are worth publishing—don't you?' Of course we answer, 'Yes.'

Eds. Knickerbocker.

Transcriber's Note

Obvious typographical errors were repaired.

P. 423 and 424: Large braces spanning multiple poetry lines on the right were changed to per-line braces on the left, to accommodate the widest variety of reading formats.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Knickerbocker, Vol. 10, No. 5,
November 1837, by Various


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