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as long as possible, and not curing them at all. Mr. EARLE, in his sketch of the Middlesex institution, relates the following striking anecdote:
"A workman at the Wakefield Lunatic Asylum left a chisel, more than three feet long, in one of the wards; a furious patient seized it and threatened to kill any one who approached him. Everyone then in the ward immediately retreated from it. At length,' says the author referred to, 'I opened the door, and, balancing the key of the ward on my hand, walked slowly toward him, looking intently at it. His attention was imme. diately attracted; he came towards me, and inquired what I was doing. I told him I was trying to balance the key, and said, at the same time, that he could not balance the chisel in the same way on the back of his hand. He immediately placed it there, and extending his hand with the chisel on it, I took it off very quietly, and without making any comment upon it. Though he seemed a little chagrined at having lost his weapon, he made no attempt to regain it, and in a short time the irritation passed away."
Much commendation is bestowed upon the Retreat, near York, (Eng.,) which is made a home to each patient, by improved grounds and apartments, the encouragement of reading and labor, and the introduction of amusements, judiciously selected. How different the situation of the asylum at Amsterdam, Holland :
"The most glaring defects, at present, are, an insufficiency of room within doors, as well as without; a want of cleanliness, particularly in the men's wards, and an almost entire absence of either labor or amusements. A few of the women were either knitting or sewing; but the men, without exception, were unoccupied, lying on the floor, the ground, or the beds, standing in the stupidity of dementia and idiocy, or walking to and fro, raving with the unbridled fury of madmen. There was about the place an air of most indescribable melancholy.
As means of coercion and punishment, the hands and feet of patients are sometimes fastened, and the camisole, the straight-jacket, and imprisonment, are resorted to. For the last mentioned purpose, there are six dungeons, constructed three upon either side of a small apartment. One of these was occupied, at the time of my visit, by a woman, who was naked, raving, and filthy."
At the Utrecht institution, our author found several patients occupied in drawing, reading, etc. Among them was a physician:
"He conversed freely upon his situation, gave an account of his commencement of practice, and the success which attended his efforts, until his friends thought it best for him to take lodgings in the Lunatic Asylum. At length he asked me if I thought him deranged. He had talked so rationally, and this question was put so directly and so earnestly, that to avoid answering it was almost impossible. An evasive reply, if any, must be given. It is difficult to define derangement, said I ; 'and, if we should accept the definition given by some authors, we should include almost the majority of mankind. He appeared satisfied with the answer, and only remarked, with a melancholy tone, Je crois bien que le plupart des gens sont des aliénés. Poor man! although reason was dethroned, it was evident from his conversation that the affections retained their empire."
In Mr. Earle's account of the Bicêtre, at Paris, he relates an example of cruelty, in the administration of the 'douche, (a stream of cold water upon the head,) which reflects little credit upon the celebrated PINEL. The 'cool and cogent logic of cold water,' which our author enjoys with evident gusto, strikes us, in the case alluded to, as the argument of a tyrant. With what sort of conviction does Mr. EARLE suppose the unfortunate patient 'yielded his points?' A very revolting picture is given of the insane hospital at Constantinople, which our author visited, in company with two American gentlemen. How true is it, that there are no ruins like the ruins of the mind :
"We passed along the corridor to the first window. From between the bars of the iron grating with which this was defended, a heavy chain, ominous of the sad reality within, protruded, and was fastened to the external surface of the wall. It was about six feet in length; the opposite extremity was attached to a heavy iron ring, surrounding the neck of a patient, who was sitting, within the grating, upon the window-seat. We entered the room, and found two other patients, similarly fastened, at the two windows upon the opposite side of the room. It was a most cheerless apartment. A jug to contain water, and, for each of the patients, a few boards, laid upon the floor, or elevated three or four inches, at most, and covered with a couple of blankets, were all the articles
of comfort or convenience with which, aside from their clothing, these miserable creatures were supplied. Although in the latter part of December, they had no fire, nor were the windows glazed.
"There was but one who was not chained. He was an elderly man, though still retaining much of the vivacity of earlier years. His long and profuse hair and beard were nearly white, and his complexion very delicate. He was formerly a priest of the Islam faith. He has been deranged, and confined in this place, nearly fifteen years, during which time he has thrice broken the chain with which he was secured. He is now alone in his apartment, within which no one is permitted to enter. He talked and raved incessantly, threatening to kill those who were making him their gazing stock. Like those in the apartment first mentioned, all the patients, with one exception, were without fire. The person forming this exception, was one of the most hideous of undeformed human beings. He has been in the Timar-hané, as this Asylum is called by the Turks, more than forty years. His hair and beard, both naturally abundant, curly, and black as ebony, appeared as if they had not been cut or combed since his entrance. They nearly concealed his face, and the former hung in a profusion of literally 'dishevelled locks' about his neck and shoulders. His head would have been a nonpareil for an original to the figure of Cain, in David's celebrated picture of 'Cain meditating the death of Abel.' He lay crouched upon all-fours, resting upon his knees and elbows, and holding his head and hands over a manghale of living embers. Whatsoever was said, whether addressed to him or Otherwise, could only induce him slowly to turn his huge head, and present his hideous face more directly to view.' · · · "There was another, one of the finest looking Mussulmen that ever worshipped before the altars of Stamboul. His beard might acknowledge no rival in beauty, excepting that of Mahmoud the Second, and his eye possessed all the mingled fire and softness of the Orient. He was occupied in sewing. Upon being informed that I was an American, «Please,' said he, turning toward me slowly, and without the slightest change of countenance; 'please, effendi, to give my respects to the Sultan of America !
Who knows but this Turk may once have been the 'rose and expectancy of the fair state,' among the super-celestials? Great wit to madness is allied. Dr. Rush, in an article some months since, in this Magazine, offered a remark, that has always forcibly impressed us. It was, that let any, the most sensible man, as he walks the street, express all the thoughts which pass through his mind, and he would be accounted as mad as a March hare. Pity the insane!
MEMOIRS AND REMINISCENCES OF the French REVOLUTION. By Madame TUSSAUD.
Edited by Francis HERVE, Esq. In two volumes. pp. 461. Philadelphia : LEA AND BLANCHARD.
The stiltish preface to these volumes, by the editor, is but a poor introduction to kindred stiltishness in the style of the work itself. * Madame Tussaud saw,' 'Madame Tussaud remembers,' 'Madame Tussaud believes,' etc., strike the eye, in the commencement of nearly every paragraph in the work; and what the good lady saw, remembers, and believes, is not always of the utmost importance, or imbued with any very particular interest; nor can we here perceive the great improvement upon preceding pictures of the French revolution, which seems to be so apparent to the editor of these volumes. The authoress has doubtless given as accurate an account of what occurred during her residence in France, comprising a period of more than thirty years, at an important period, as her memory will permit;' but then, being nearly eighty years of age, and having passed so considerable a period of her life under a constant state of excitement, her recollections must sometimes be in a degree confused and impaired. In short, we cannot avoid thinking, that Mr. Francis Herve, Esq., has been pumping a very old lady, to obtain matériel for a gossiping work, whose sale should help to 'make the pot boil,' when the lean cut from the shambles was standing at a cold simmer; and his labors may not inaptly be compared to a dish of soup maigre, made after the most common Parisian recipe; 'four pails of Seine water to a turnip! This is about the 'rate of interest in these 'Memoirs and Reminiscences.'
THE LETTER-BAG OF THE GREAT WESTERN, OR LIFE IN A STEAMER. By the Author
of "The Sayings and Doings of SAMUEL Slick,' etc. In one volume. pp. 189. Philadelphia: LEA AND BLANCHARD.
Those who have read Sam Slick's homely, gossipping volume, will probably need no incitement to the perusal of the one before us; in which, while there is much that is gross, and which will tend to exclude it from audible perusal by the parlor-fire, there are yet undeniable humor, and pleasant, lively description. We must enter our protest, however, against the constant striving after puns, which Mr. HALIBURTON exhibits throughout his book. Some of them are well enough, in their way; but the great majority are positively shocking. They are strained, it is true, but can scarcely be considered 'fine' in any other sense; being bad, not in LAMB's sense of a good pun, but the 'worst kind of bad. The reader will frankly confess himself of our opinion, before he is half through with the preface. Every body knows the custom which gives rise to the title of the book under notice. On board our packet-ships and ocean steamers, when two or threc days out, the letter-bag is opened, and its contents assorted, ond ck, in presence of the passengers. From this collection, our author has selected several imaginary epistles, which are as remarkable for their variety of style, as for the distinct peculiarity which is made to attach to each. Here is a slight imitation of Mrs. Fanny KEMBLE BUTLER's Journal :
"A shout on deck; all hands rushed up; what a strange perversion of terms is this? It is a water spout: how awful! The thirsty cloud stooping to invigorate itself with a draught of the sea; opening its huge mouth and drinking, yet not even deigning to wait for it, but gulping it as it goes! We fire into it and it vanishes; its watery load is returned, and like ine baseless fabric of a vision, it leaves no wreck behind.' It is one of the wonders of the great deep.' That rude shock has dispelled it. Thus is it in life. The sensitive mind releases its grasp of the ideal, when it comes in contact with grossness. It shrinks within itself. It retreats in terror. Yet what a wonderful sight it is! How nearly were we engulphed, swallowed up, and carried into the sky, to be broken to pieces in our fall, as the sea-mew feeds on the shell-fish by dashing it to pieces on a rock." Oh that vile American! he too has imitated the scene: he has broken my train of thought, by his literal and grovelling remark : 'Well I vow, female, what an everlastin' noise it lets off its water with! I wonder if they hiss in America : surely not, for if they did, such fellows as this would learn better manners. Wrote journal; frenchified my frock, 10 please the New Yorkers; unbooted, unstay’d, and snuggled up like a kitten in bed.'
Captain HALTFRONT, in a letter to Lieut. FUGLEMAN, in Canada, draws an amusing sketch of a night-scene in the cabin of the Great Western. He has just called the steward; 'Steward, here:'
“Bring it directly, Sir.
“It is useless; I will inquire of my neighbor. Pray, Sir, (and I tremble for his answer,) pray, Sir, can you intorm me whether we are to have supper?
“Why, not exactly a regular supper, Sir; there should be, though; we pay enough, and ought to have it: and, really, four meals a-day, at sea, are not at all sufficient. It is too loag to go from tea-time to breakfast, without eating. But you can have any thing you call for; and I think it is high time to begin, for they close the bar at ten o'clock. Steward, brandy and water. It is the signal; voice rises above voice, shout above shout. Whiskey, rum, cider, soda, ham, oysters, and herrings; the demand is greater than the supply. D— them, they don't hear! Why the devil don't you come? Bear-a-hand, will you! Curse that six-foot, he is as deaf as a post! You most par: ticular, everlastin', almighty snail! do you calculate to convene me with them are chicken fixings, or not! I hope I may be shot, if I don't reciprocate your inattention, by a substraction from the amount of your constitutional fees - that's a fact.' 'Blood. and-ounds, man, are you going to be all night? 'Hol dich der Teufel ! what for you come not ?' 'Diable! - Dépêchez donc, bête !'”
There is another capital scene in the 'Letter from a Midshipman,' describing an intentional migunderstanding, wherein a conceited ass, who thought himself bound to VOL. XV.
talk of nothing but steam and machinery, during the voyage, receives an unanswerable quietus. The 'Letter from an Abolitionist closes with a paragraph from a Vicksburg paper, in such ludicrous juxtaposition, as to serve the double purpose of history, and a caution.' We must close our quotations with a short extract from a letter of ROBERT Carter, an English servant, who caught the freedom of his class in this country, he says, before he was half way across the Atlantic. Here is a specimen of his 'making free, when opportunity hoffered :'
“Says the skipper to me one day, (he is a leftenant in the navy,) says he, "are you Captain Haltfront's servant?' Without getting up or touching hats, but setting at ease, sais I, 'I did n't know he had a servant, Sir. 'Did n't know he had one, Sir ?' said he ; 'pray what the devil do you call yourself
, if you are not his servant ?'. Why, Sir, said I, cocking my head a one side, and trying to come Yankee over him, he receives the Queen's pay, Sir, and wears her regimentals; he has an allowance for an assistant, which I receive, and wear her Majesty's cockade, too. We serve her Majesty, Sir, and I am under the Captain's command. Do you take, Sir?' 'Why you internal conceited rascal ! said he, if you were under my command, Sir, instead of his, Ide let you know d-d quick whose servant you were.' * Ah! very like, Sir,' said I, keeping my seat, and crossing one leg over the other, free and easy, and swinging my 100t; 'very like, Sir, but you do n't happen to have that honor, Sir, and my passage money is paid to your masters, the owners of this boat, at Bristol, which happens to alter the case a bit ; you can go, Sir.' 'Go, Sir!' said he; 'why d your eyes, Sir, what do you mean? - do you want to be triced up, Sir ?' and he walked away in a devil of a hurry, as if he was going to do something, but he did n't honor me again with his company. I have put up with a good deal in my time, Tummus, but I puts up with no more. No man calls me servant again, unless at eight dollars a day, as a publicone at Washington, or Van Buren, or Webster, or some of the large cities, where, as I here, no one lives, but every one passes through, and do n't no you again.'
If it were not for certain equivoques, that go too near the edge, occasional gross double entendres, and indelicate hints, we could recommend this book to our readers.
THE GREEN MOUNTAIN Boys: An HISTORICAL TALE OF THE EARLY SETTLEMENT OF
VERMONT. By the Author of 'May Martin, or the Money-Diggers.' In two volumes. pp. 536. Montpelier : E. P. WALTON AND Sons. New-York: Robinson, PRATT, AND COMPANY.
These volumes, as we gather from the author, embody and illustrate a portion of the more romantic incidents which actually occurred in the early settlement of Vermont, with the use of but little more of fiction than was deemed sufficient to weave them together, and impart to the tissue a connected interest. It needed not the declaration of the writer to assure us of this fact; for there is a freshness in his descriptions, and a tone of reality about his incidents, which exhibit less of imagination than of nature. We have perused the volumes with interest and pleasure. We cannot, however, so much commend the 'thread of love' which runs through the work, as the lively and spirited sketches of daring adventure, and the more marked characters of the Scout,' Allen, and one or two others, which stand out in palpable relief. The compulsory 'cut-jacket' scene between Justice Prouty and the surveyor, before the presiding Judge Lynch of that period, is capital, and reminded us of the 'Skinner' and 'Cow-boy' court, in the barn, as described by Cooper. Without room to assign the evidence of the faith that is in us, we would yet express the conviction, that our readers will find these volumes pleasant companions; and hence we commend them cordially to their acceptance. The work is unlike a large proportion of American novels, in one respect. It is not all Indian, with but a sprinkle of white man.' We have become heartily sick of Indian talks, and 'red. men’scenes. They have long been worn thread-bare. Indian has been our poor novelists' food for many a year. Literarily speaking, we have had it abundantly, in softpuddings, boiled and baked; often in ‘johnny' and 'hoe'-cakes ; and time out of mind, in mush' and hominy. We are glad to see this hackneyed fault amended.
John JACOB Astor. – A paper of several pages in length, with the foregoing title, doubtless contrary to the author's anticipations, came into our hands at too late a period of the month for insertion in the body of the present number. We have taken the liberty, therefore, to condense a portion of its contents for this department of our Magazine. 'A few weeks only,' says the writer, near the commencement of his theme,
have passed, and SAMUEL WARD, HENRY WYCKOFF, and Robert Lenox, are numbered with the dead. These are names familiar as household words to all old NewYorkers : others, worthy and beloved, have also departed, but none more intimately associated with the history of our city, and its unexampled progress to prosperity, within the last fifty years, than these. The first, the worthy son of a worthy sire, reaped the fruits of a careful and useful life, and lived to restore to its mercantile prëeminence that name on which the blight of adversity had fallen, while he was yet a youth. The second well maintained the respectability of an ancient family, and merited the general good will and esteem in which he was held. The last presents a striking example of what may be effected by frugality, prudence, forethought, and strict honesty. The world called ROBERT LENOx 'harsh,' 'severe,' 'parsim us,' but never called him unjust. Many who have received his untold bounties, now mourn his loss, and feel that during life full justice was never done to those better qualities, which seemed crusted over with the harshness of the cynic. True it is, he was severe in manner, and a rude censor of the lax morality of the age. True it is, he was, in business matters, exactingly rigid: but in these days of an awakened sense of our condition, what merchant does not feel that such exactness lies at the bottom of commercial integrity, and commercial success? What good citizen but feels that such strictness of precept and of example is required from all lovers of order, and of the well-being of society, to retrieve us from our downward path?
But it was not my purpose to write an epitaph, a eulogy, or a lament. It was the 'lucre of Mammon that fixed my thoughts. "How much was he worth?' is whispered round the funeral circle: 'Ohe jam satis ;' they all died rich; the last surpassingly so. Very few survive, in these United States, more wealthy than he. Among these very few, is John Jacob Astor. Boy and man, I have known him five-and-thirty years ; not much — sometimes more, sometimes less, as the changes and chances of life affected me – but always, and only, as 'the rich Mr. Astor,' who had, from the humblest beginnings, amassed the wealth of Cræsus. I deemed him, as most of his fellow men who daily discourse of his fortunes still do, a modern Midas; an alchymist, at whose touch the base dross of earth turns to virgin gold. I did not dream that he was a great man, of large enterprise, and magnificent conceptions; of vast grasp of intellect, wonderful energy, and equal fortitude. Yet who can doubt it, after reading “Astoria,' and reflecting on what he has read? 'Until the last month, I never perused this work : the publishers (or the author) have made it too dear for general circulation.
And while I am in the mood of faultfinding, let me ask you, Mr. Irving, why it is that you skip over, with such vague generalities, the earlier years of Mr. Astor's career; that 'day of small things,' when the force of circumstances bent his proud and aspiring spirit to endure the rich man's