Page images
PDF
EPUB

had just arrived, and requesting to have the pleasure of introducing to her his Hungarian friend, the Prince of Seidlitz-Powderz, who intended to stay but two or three days in Paris. With this note was sent a card, engraved :

The Prince of Seidlitz-Powderz.

At Meurice's Hotel.

Mrs. C— immediately replied to his note, by inviting him and his friend to dinner. In the course of the morning, she called on two or three of her fashionable friends, who were to have soirées, requesting permission to introduce the Prince to them. · · The hour of dinner arrived, but the Prince did not make his appearance. The viands were kept back until they were nearly spoiled; still no Prince was forthcoming. The dinner was at last served. Various speculations were indulged, in the course of the repast, about the Prince; what kind of man he might be; whether young or old, tall or short, dark or fair, etc. A Hungarian present, did not know of such a title among their nobility, and hinted, cautiously, that it was possible he might be an impostor. Mrs. C would not listen for a moment to such a suggestion. At length, about nine o'clock, a letter, with a black margin, was received from the Prince, regretting that he could not avail himself of Mrs. C's kind invitation, as he had just heard of the death of his cousin, the Bishop of EpsomSaltz, who had died at Cheltenham! In a corner of the note was written, 'Poisson d Atril !

HERE is a piece of excusable enthusiasm, from the pen of a young and 'talented' correspondent, whose affection for Mother Nature passes the love of women. It forms a paragraph in an epistle dated from Easton, Pennsylvania, in September last : 'At the suggestion of an attentive friend, I this afternoon visited Chesnut Hill,' a mile and a half north of Easton, for the purpose, as I understood it, of obtaining a view of the country at the South, to which, in my ascent, I turned at intervals, to look. It was therefore with the more pleasure, that I found, on reaching the cape of the eminence, that it was from the North that I was to derive the guerdon for my toilsome ascent. And well was I repaid! I sat down under an old beech tree, and gazed upon the scene around me. The far-off range of the Blue Ridge lay hazily in the distance before me, with intervening meadow and sloping upland. The sunshine and shadow of a September day checquered their cloud-like forme; while indented deeply at distant intervals, along their sides, were the wide breaches known as the Delaware Water-Gap, The Lehigh WaterGap, The Wind-Gap, and The Schuylkill Water-Gap. The intervening plain is as if an immense lake, with a gently undulating bottom, had suddenly failed and dried up, and instead of water, appeared sloping meadows, and patches of still, quiet woods! As I beheld the day.god tinge with his farewell rays this glorious prospect, I lifted up my fervent aspirations with GOETHE: 'See how the green-girt cottages slimmer in the setting sun! He bends and sinks. Yonder he hurries off, and quickens other life. Alas ! that I have no wing to lift me from the ground, to struggle after him! - to see in everlasting evening beams the stilly world at my feet; every height on fire — every vale in repose; the rugged mountain, with its dark defiles ; the heavens above, and under me, the waves !'

TAERE would be no insurmountable objection to 'Tom Pipe's sea-story, if it were not so involved, and so unconscionably long. We labored something more than half a day, in a vain endeavor to divide the whole into 'parts, or chapters, preserving the

separate incidents; but like David Dove's unique performance, every chapter, in despite of us, would have a natural dependence upon that which preceded it, and in like manner a relation to that which followed it. Each grew out of the other, just as thought creates thought; and each could no more have been produced, without relation to its predecessor, than Isaac could have begotten Jacob, unless Abraham had begotten Isaac. As the ms., however, which is very carelessly written, is presented to us for 'print or the fire,' we shall take the liberty to pick out a plum or two from it, before we devote it to the flames. The writer says that a true sailor never speaks of his vessel, but as a lite animal; and he once heard an old tar, while himself reposing in the shadow of a sail, on a sultry day in the Mediterranean, talking to his ship as an Arabian does to his horse; urging and entreating her to put forth all her speed, and promising to reward her with a new coat of paint, as soon as they should get into harbor! · · · One 'old salt,' the wag of the forecastle, imparts sundry amusing stories to his mess-mates, among which is one of an old pawn-broker at Port Mahon, who being taken suddenly ill, sent for his ghostly confessor, who found him, on his arrival, in a fainting fit. Fearing that the hand of death was upon the prostrate penitent, he prepared to offer him the sacred wine, in the silver chalice of the church. Just as it approached his lips, the pawn-broker revived, opened his eyes, and observing the chalice, exclaimed, with professional indifference, 'I could n't give you but twenty shillings on that cup, and even that is too much. I could n't indeed! It's not pure metal !

This Catholic anecdote brings out the boatswain, with a story he picked up at Leghorn, of a convent-parrot, in the vicinity, which was pounced upon by a hawk, and carried into the air, but escaped through the efficacy of priestly instruction; having exclaimed, when in the direst extremity, 'Sancle Thoma, adjuva me!' which it had learned in the convent; and upon this powerful appeal, the hawk relaxed his hold, and let loose his intended victim.

The opinion has always extensively prevailed in the United States, and doubtless even now generally obtains, fostered as it is by many of our own writers, that the only feeling which an elderly Englishman, who happened to be 'out' in America, during our national contest, entertains toward this country and her people, is one of decided hatred and repugnance. We can call to mind, at this moment, some half dozen native fictions, and one or two indigenous works of a different character, in which this position is set forth as a prominent fact. Now, as a general truth, we believe the reverse to be the case; and we are sustained in this opinion, by those who have had distinguished opportunities of judging of its correctness. An instance was recently related to us, by an illustrious American, known as well, and as highly honored, abroad as at home, which, without any infraction of social confidence, we shall here take the liberty to repeat, for the benefit of our readers.

Old Admiral Sir HARVEY told me, at dinner, of his serving on the American station, when he was a midshipman in 1776. He was cast away in the 'Liverpool,' in the month of February, on Rockaway beach. The boats were swamped in getting the crew to shore. The people of the neighborhood came down to the beach in wagons, took them up to their homes, changed and dried their clothes, and gave them supper. They remained quartered in this neighborhood for weeks, part of the time in tents, part of the time in the farm-houses. Nothing could exceed the kindness of the people, particularly of the Quaker family of the Hicks's; and another family, who treated them always hospitably in their houses. They made great havoc among the bacon and beans, and passed their time pleasantly among the Quaker girls; who always, however, demeaned themselves with strict propriety; the old Quakers tolerating their youthful frolics. When they came to pay off scores, they expected to have a thundering bill.' The good people would take nothing but the king's allowance. You are people in distress,' said they; 'we will not take any thing out of your pockets. The old Admiral declares he has never forgotten their kindness; it is true, he says, that he has only been able to express his gratitude in words; but if he

had ever met an American in distress, he should have felt bound to befriend him. Whenever he has encountered an American or Quaker, he has felt proud to acknowledge the obligation.'

Here is the initial passage of the promised OLLAPODIANA.' Being too late for our last number, a great portion of the whole article was returned to the author for additions and revision, having been hastily prepared, amidst pressing professional avocations. Through the carelessness of some 'common carrier,' the ms. has not again reached us. The reader will perceive, however, that there is a reasonable prospect of encountering the paper in our next issue.

'I was half disposed to commence my present number in this wise — something new :

"When we take a retrospective view of human nature; when we survey the pages ef ancient history, and scrutinize and investigate the actions of individuals that have shone in times that are past, as heroes and statesmen, and cattle of that description

But I thought it would n't do. The consequence was, that I decided upon the accustomed free-and-easy process. Much depends on this. However much we may admire solidity, (and Heaven knows there is too much of it in this sinful world, intellectually speaking, for it is too often the mere synonyme of stupidity,) I maintain that that which springs freshest from the mind and the heart of one, comes warmest to both in another. Be it joy, be it sorrow - results are the same.

The heart speaks in proverbs, any way you can fix it.' Who ever made a declaration of love, in the way of an elaborate thesis ? No one. Arrange that matter as you will, it usually resolves itself into the spirit of the old, and homely, (oh! call it not homely, but rather delicate, and most constant and comprehensive) couplet :

• If you loves I, as I loves you,
No knife shall cut our loves in two.'

'Observe, that this includes all kinds of sharp hardware, except the shears of the Fates. It goes to the knife, and from that to the hilt ; even common razors are not interdicted, in the vast circumscription. There is not an elegant passage, I will venture to say, in Greek or Roman, or Italian fame, which has not the merit of condensation. Whoso, therefore, makes long speeches, whether in Tammany Hall, or among the crude gatherings of those who so often meet together, from Dan to Beersheba, to superintend the affairs of their beloved country, or in newspapers or periodicals, must expect malediction. Our age is quick, indeliberate, locomotive, 'pretty prompt;' and the laggards in thought, speech, or action, must shift for themselves. Pity, so far as letters are concerned, that it is so. I like the first gushes of thought, from a warm and vigorous mind, the first-born of the brain; but how much more delectable is it, to see the new-dropped cubs clean licked, and graceful, even in the strengthful promise of their youth ?'

A BRIEF and desultory consideration of a few less prominent articles, must put an end, for the present, to our pretty powerfully portentous pen ‘pot-luck’ – perhaps permanently. The Essay on Charles LAMB - gentle Elia!-- is accepted. It is worthy of the subject, and more we need not say in its praise. Apropos of this same 'subject :' The distinguished American gentleman, to whom we have just alluded, mentioned a characteristic anecdote of LAMB, the other evening, which must not go unchallenged into Time's wallet for Oblivion. Our friend was returning to London, (with a knot of choice spirits, among them ROGERS, COLERIDGE, LAMB, etc.,) from Hampstead, if we remember rightly, whither they had sallied out from the metropolis, for a summer-day dinner. About mid-way between Hampstead and town, their omnibus-vehicle was hailed and overtaken by a fat, wheezing John Bull, from the City, who, peering into the coach, in the gathering twilight, inquired, 'Are you all full, inside ?' The boldest held his breath for a time; but at length LAMB, in his voice of childish treble, replied: 'I am

full; I can't answer for the rest, of course; but that last piece of pudding did my business! The coach passed on.

'Idleness, an Idyl,' is quite too long for its title, Moreover, it is diluted, to the last degree but one. There is, if ‘M.' will allow us to say so, more real thought in his motto, than in his entire poem. It is very expressive:

Eschew the idle life!

Flee, flee from doing naught;
For never was there idle brain,

But bred an idle thought.'

'College-Records, by Four of Us' are not without humor; but we see little good that would be likely to ensue to 'Old Yale,' from the publicity we should give to the adroit tricks practised upon staid tutors and grave professors, by half a score of sad wags, bent upon elevating the ancient Henry' -- in the vulgate, 'raising the Old Harry.' Yet this is good. Two of the four' scape-graces, one holiday night, amused themselves by carrying to their rooms at college divers small, accessible signs, from the shops of small city artizans. This reached the tutor's ears; and he stole as noiselessly as possible to the door of the collegiate 'Soap-locks' apartment; but they had got wind of his approach, and the signs were burning rapidly on the grate. On listening at the key-hole, he heard one reading the Scriptures to his silent auditors; and the passage he was dwelling upon with evident unction, was: 'Wicked and adulterous generation, seeking after a sign! There shall no sign be given you!'

• MR. PICKWICK observed, that reputation was dear to the heart of every man. He would not deny that he was influenced by human passions and human feelings ; (eheers!) possibly hy human weaknesses ; (loud cries of ' No!') but this he would say, he had felt some pride, when be presented his Tittlebatian work to the world. It might be celebrated, or it might not. (A cry of K is!" and vehement cheering.) He would take the assertion of that honorable Pickwickian, whose voice he had just heard; it was celebrated !!

Boz More last words of RICHARD BAXTER!' A hint or two to our readers and contributors, in conclusion, explanatory and so forth. It seems to have been supposed, by two or three correspondents, who have enclosed us duplicate copies of articles which have heretofore been declined, that the retirement of the late joint proprietor of this periodical, and the purchase of his interest, have involved some change in the editorial conduct of the work. It is proper, therefore, to say, that the services of the late joint publisher were entirely confined to the business department of the KNICKERBOCKER ; its accounts, publication, and circulation through the mails, etc. No articles were ever accepted or declined by him, nor did a line of his composition ever enter the Magazine. The errors of judgment, and short-comings of the editor, therefore, must remain, as the commercial phrase is, 'in first hands.' For the last six years, it has been his constant aim to make the KNICKERBOCKER an honor to the periodical literature of our young but magnificent country. To this end, he has devoted, he may surely aver, more hours of unintermitted labor, than any contemporary in the city; frequently 'outwatching the Bear,' in the hours beyond the twelve, and sometimes sitting by his waning lamp, until the 'pale morning chilled the eye.' His efforts may not always have been successful; but whether in collecting the noble array of contributors, whose names are found upon the cover of the present number, from every quarter of this country, as well as from abroad, or in superintending and preparing the original portions of the periodical, he cannot see, even now, how he could have devoted an additional energy of head or hand. One can but do his best;' that the past and present editor of this Magazine has done, and that he will continue to do. This professional retrospect and 'article of agreement' are very reluctantly obtruded upon the reader ; but 'for every thing there is a time and a season.'

OLD AND New PHILADELPHIA. — We gave in our last number an extract from an oldtime chronicle, 'A Prospect of New York, in 1683, with the Scituation, Plantation, and Products Thereof,' and we promised a kindred sketch of the City of Brotherly Love, at the same remote period. The 'Prospect of Pennsylvania, with the Scituation, Products, and Conveniences Thereof,' is enriched, among other rare matters, with an 'originall letter from the good Quaker himself,' dated at Philadelphia, only two and a half years after King Charles bad granted letters patent, to give and grant unto William Penn, Esquire, son and heir of the Sir William Penn, all that tract of land in North America, called by the name of Pennsylvania.' We quote the following from the 'good Quaker's letter,' partly for its spirit of benevolence toward the ancient lords of our soil, contrasting so strongly with the later treatment of the red men, and partly as a confirmation of the theory of our friend Major Noah, that the Indians are of the stock of the ten tribes:

* We have agreed, that in all differences between us, six of each side shall end the matter : Don 't abuse them, but let them have Justice, and you win them: The worst is, that they are the worse for the Christians, who have prozagated their Vices, and yielded them Tradition for ill, and not for good things. But as low an ebb as they are at, and as inglorious as their Condition looks, the Christians have not out-lived their sight, with all their Pretensions to an higber Manifestation : What good then might not a good People graft, where there is so. distinct a Knowledg left between good and evil? I beseech God to incline the Hearts of all that come into these parts, to out-live the knowledge of the Natives, by a fixt Obedience to their greater Knowledg of the Will of God; for it were miserable indeed for us to fall under the just censure of the Poor Indian Couscience, while we make profession of thiogs so far transcending.

• For their Original, I am ready to believe them of the Jewish Race, I mean, of the stock of the Ten Tribes, and that for the following Reasons: first. They were to go to a Land not Planted or known, which to be sure Asia and Africa were, if not Europe ; and he that intended that extraordinary Judgment upon thein, might make the passage not uneasy to them, as it is not impossible in itself, from the Easter-most parts of Asia, to the Wester-most of America. In the next place, I find them of like countenance, and their Children of so lively Resemblance, that a man would think himself in Dukes-place or Berry-street in London, when he seeth them. But this is not all; they agree in Rites, they reckon by Moons; they offer their first Fruits, they have a kind of Feast of Tabernacles; they are said to lay their Altar upon Twelve Stones; their Mourning a year, Customs of Womea, with many things tbat do not now occur.'

Let our Philadelphia readers, as they walk through their beautiful streets, admire their matchless public edifices, or survey, from the steeple of the State-House, their noble city, stretching out its polypus arms, and swallowing up suburban village after village, compare the present condition and prospects of the metropolis of Pennsylvania, with the following record, probably the very first description of it by its founder :

· Philadelphia, the Expectation of those that are concern'd in this Province, is at last laid out, to the great content of those here, that are in any wayes Interested therein: The Scituation is a Neck of Land, and lieth between two navigable Rivers, Delaware and Skuikil, whereby it hath two Fronts upoa the Water, each a Mile, and two from River to River. Delaware is a glorious River, but the Skulkil being an hundred Miles Boatable above the Falls, and its Course North-East toward the Fountain of Susquabannah (that tends to the Heart of the Province, and both sides our own) it is like to be a great part of the Settlement of this Age, in which those who are Purchasers of me, will find their Names and Juterest. But this I will say for the good Providence of God, that of all the maay Places I have seen in the World, I remember not one better seated ; so that it seems to me to have been appointed for a Town, whether we regard the Rivers, or the conveniency of the Coves, Docks, Springs, the loftiness aod soundness of the Land and the Air, held by the People of those parts to be very good. It is advanced within less tkan a year to about four score Houses and Cotiages, such as they are, where Merchants and Handicrafts are following their Vocations as fast as they can, while the Couutry men are close at their Farms: Some of them got a little Winter-Corn in the Ground last Season, and the generality have had a handsomo Summer-Crop, and are preparing for their Wiuter.Corn.'

. The City of Philadelpbin, as it is now laid oui, extends in Length, from River to River, two miles, and in Breadth near a Mile ; and the Governour, as a further manifestation of his Kindness to the Purchasers, hath freely given them their respective Lots in the City, without defalcation of any of their Quantities of Purchased Lands; and as it's now placed and modelled between two Navigable Rivers upon a Neck of Land, and that Ships may ride in good Anchorage, in six or eight Fathorn Water in both Rivers, close to the City, and the land of the City level, dry and wholsom ; such a Scituation is scarce to be paralleld. The City is so ordered now, by the Governour's Care and Prudence, that it hath a front to each River, one half at Delaware, the other at Skulkil; and though all this cannot make way for small Purchasers to be in the Fronts, yet they are placed in the next streets, contiguous to each Front, viz. all Purchasers of one Thousand Acres, and upwards, bave the Fronts (aud the Migh-street) and to every five Thousand Acres Purcbase, in the Front about an Acre, and the smaller Purchasers about half an Acre in the backward. Street; By which means the least have room enough for House, Garden and small Orchard, to the great Content and satisfaction of all here concerned.' VOL. XV.

22

« PreviousContinue »