Page images

Simon's Memoires; Correspondence of the Duchess d'Orleans; Duclos' Memoires ; Dolaure's History of Paris ; Villar's Memoires; Voltaire's History of Parliament : and LACRETELLE's History of France. The story of Count Van Horn, in our last number, was but 'an episode in this veritable history. It was of the shares of Law's famous bank, it will be remembered, that the Count and his companions robbed the Jewish broker. Large quantities of this stock were borne about the persons of more than two-thirds of the citizens of Paris; and the thirst for gain which this spurious wealth engendered, undermined the morals of half the community. The pictare of the late high-exalted financier, pale and trembling in his hiding place, through fear of the 'tempestuous populace' of Paris, is sufficiently striking; but to appreciate it fully, one should bear in mind the peculiar character of the excited multitude, of whom the less mercurial Scotchman was so justly in awe. A little incident, which we derive from a friend who had it from the eloquent lips of the poet Rogers, will effectually define the position' of the deposed banker. Before the French revolution, the abbés were privileged persons in the fashionable world; a kind of general gossips in politics, literature, and court scan. dal. At the tables of the principal noblemen, there would always be a vacant place left for any abbé who might drop in, and the first that arrived took it. About dinner time, the abbés might be seen, neatly dressed, picking their way from one dry stone to another, along the dirty streets of Paris, ringing or rapping at the great port-cochéres of the lordly hotels, and inquiring of the porters, 'Is there a place at table?" If answered in the negative, away they would tittup, in hopes of better luck at the next place of call. An abbé of this sponging order was seated one day, in the bloody time of the revolution, at the table of a nobleman, where there was a large company. In the midst of the repast, a cart drove by, carrying a number of persons to the guillotine. All the company ran to the windows, to see if they had any friends among the victims. The abbé, being a short man, tried, by standing on tip-toe, to peep over the shoulders of those before bim, but in vain; so he ran down to the port-cochére. As the cart went by, one of the prisoners, who knew the abbé, bowed to him. The abbé returned the salutation.

What! cried some of the mob, ' you are his friend! You are of the same way of thinking! Here, citizens, here is another traitor! Away with him! The poor abbé was hoisted into the cart, in spite of his protestations, and hurried off 10 the guillotine. In the mean time, the noble company up stairs, having satisfied their curiosity, resumed their seats at table. One chair, however, remained vacant; and after a while, the ques. tion began to be asked: 'Where is Monsieur the abbé ? What has become of the abbé ?' Alas! by this time, the poor abbé was headless !

We would invite the attention of such of our readers, of both sexes, as have been, are, or hope to be, in love, to a guide-book to true lovers, in the 'Journal OF Love,' elsewhere in the present number. We are aware that we are appealing to a very large class ; for what says (and very beautifully) that cerulean Beatrix, Miss MARTINEAU : 'The lover, where is he not? Wherever parents look upon their children, there he has been; wherever children are at play together, there he soon will be ; wherever there are roofs under which men dwell, wherever there is an atmosphere vibrating with human voices, there is the lover, and there is his lofty worship going on; unspeakable, but revealed in the brightness of the eye, the majesty of the presence, and the high temper of the discourse. True love continues, and will continue, to send up its homage, amid the meditations of every even-tide, and the busy hum of noon, and the 'song of the morning stars.' The 'Journal of Love' is fruitful in lessons of good, to maiden lovers, and lovely maidens. Its teachings, so simple and natural, will embolden the timid on the one hand, and subdue the haughty on the other. The individual to whom the poem relates, and who had suffered severely all the pains and penalties which arise from the want of those personal charms, so much admired by him in others, gave to the author, as he informs us, many years since, some fragments of a VOL. xv.


journal, kept by himself in his early days, in which he had bared his heart, and put down all his thoughts and feelings. This prose journal, writes 'Flaccus, 'has here been transplanted into the richer soil of verse; where, although it has become more enlarged in its dimensions, and more showy in its coloring, there is much doubt whether it may not have lost some of the wild fragrance and touching simplicity that distinguished it in its original and uncultivated condition.' Be this as it may, our modest correspondent may rest assured that even his version is not without its fair proportion of the attributes he enumerates. We read it the other evening to a susceptible friend, in whom the hey-day of the blood is tame, and waits upon the judgment;' yet did it so move bim, that he went back, through a long vista of years, to the days of his boyhood, and related his first 'course of true love;' dwelling with much fervor and enthusiasm upon a tale of passion, told for a long time in sighs and glances between two young hearts, until at length, one balmy eventide in summer, it was confirmed by repeated kisses, in which their fluttering souls met at their meeting lips. The story was a rich one, and its skeleton is in our 'Note-book,' to be 'clothed upon hereafter, should leisure and memory serve. In the mean time, we must commend our 'Lover's Journal to all shrinking, sensitive mortals, who, although 'head and ears in love,' seem utterly inca. pable of appreciating Byror's undeniable argument, that 'brisk confidence the best with woman copes;' but rather, as Mr. YELLOWPLUSH observes, 'lay the flattering function to their souls' that she is to be won by whining and sighs. By the mass, not so!

Nor more grateful to his well-educated palate was the Black-fish, which, on a fine summer morning, he devoured with memorable gusto, between the rocks by the water's side, than are the intellectual entremets of the gentle ‘John Waters' to our familiar taste! How skilfully he moves a horror, and produces affrightments, let the reader judge, who shall peruse the authentic story of 'The Iron Foot-step,' elsewhere in the present issue. Yet is not this a fair example of the writer's power. Does he place before you, with a few touches of his pen a portrait of a departed friend? How faithful and striking the delineation! Does he transcribe heart-records, or depict the affections ? What a quantity of kindred thought and feeling he conveys to the reader! Does he dally with the Nine? What a tender regard they nianifest for him, what time he traces his graceful fancies ! No cumbrous and misplaced description ; no disproportioned and injudicious ornament, mar the beauty of his poetry, or the clearness of his prose. He will ever be thrice welcome to these pages, which, judging from the past - and we have been one of his most attentive and eager readers -- he can never fail to adorn. And here, in justification of our enthusiastic laud, let us introduce to the reader a brief passage from a defence by Mr. Waters of a social practice, which, in the gradual desuetude of old observances, and since the introduction of foreign airs and graces among us, has begun to decline, with the ultra fashionables. Premising that our core respondent has been contending, with his accustomed skill, against the new practice of servants' carving at the side-board -- fellows that cannot even tell the Pope's eye from Queen Elizabeth's bone, in a leg of mutton-and handing round the mangled meats to the guests; while the host, solemn it may chance as a Herculaneum man, and in a lamentable state of worry, twirls his fingers beneath the table - premising, as we said, all this, let us pass to a burst of eloquent indignation, and a portrait of a sometime friend, whose fame, as a benevolent and tasteful operator, the world will not willingly let die :

'Is it come to this, my masters! Is it to be imagined that guests are to be treated like capons! filled with andistinguishalıle food! The very corporate system allered and distended, without any participant exercise of the ethereal spirit? Is there to be henceforth no luxury of choice? No view of the chosen viand in its unity of form? No witness of partition ? No allotment of the parts? No nice preparatory movement of the gustatory organs? No descent from tbe brain unto The palute? No appreciation? No apprehensiou ? No aislysis ? No interchange of sympathy between two insolvable principles that ally man to the spiritual and the natural worlds, upon an occasion so vitally important to both ? . When writers and speakers now-a days would call the attention particularly to their subject, . Here,' say they, is a matter which comes hume to ibe business and bosom of every man who hears me:' but here, Mr. Editor, is a matter which lies

deeper than the bosom of any man, and which comes bome to what the great moralist of England' calls the most important business of the day to every man, Damely, his diuner. If the exhibition aud the carving of our food are to be banished from our boards, farewell to the honest pride of the host in his successful catering, and to the joy of the cook in the brightness of her roast! Bunish carving? Bauish all the world! Thou and I, dear Editor, met both long have remembered a gentleman, whose excellence at this delightful art was one of the wonders of his time. Hobest Bos Walker! Yes, I think his uame was Bub! To see him with his fork thrust home in the breast of a canvass-back duck, and his fice beaming with benevolent autentions toward the expeclaat parties, was euough to ha created an appetite under the ribs of death! . . What a master he was of his bird! After the fork was once inserted - and he planted it with an effortless grace - the severauce of the limbs was a matter of cbarm! Th* duck touched the dish par couriésie, while legs and wings were laid on one side, sonnes hat in the form and posture that we used at the dancing school to call the double allemande,' when we practised figures with misses who wore sashes of pink and blue - digress noi, good heart! -- and these being disposed of, was it not a gratification io behold the glorious bird, with its back extended ou the dish, yield up its round and matchloss breast to the exquisite divisions of that uuerring kuise!'

Could any thing be more picturesque and Lamb-like? An uncompromising enemy to the decadence of our ancient usage, would almost be willing to be 'served' at the board of such a felicitous de ender of a noble science, not as a guest, but as a meat!


A CORRESPONDENT, in a brief note to the editor, speaks in exalted terms of praise of the lectures recently delivered by the Rev. Mr. Levins, upon the life and character of GRATTAN. We regret that our avocations did not lead us to a survey of the newspapers, wherein these lectures were advertised. For no name in Irish history have we a

ore deep respect and honor, than for that of GRATTAN. Many years since, we read in the Edinburgh Review, and never have forgotten, a sketch of this great man's character. We quote from memory, and a mnemonic line or two of our note-book, what we believe formed the concluding passage: 'No government ever dismayed him, the world could not bribe him. He only thought of his country; lived for no other object; dedicated to her his elegant wit, his manly courage, and all the splendor of his astonishing eloquence. He was so born, and so gifted, that poetry, forensic skill, elegant literature, and all the highest attainments of human genius, were within his reach; but he thought the noblest occupation of man was to make other men happy and free ; and in that straight line he went on, for fifty years, without one side-look, without one yielding thoughi, without one motive in his heart which he might not have laid open to the view of God and man. He is gone!-- but there is not a single day of his honest life, of which every good Irishman would not be more proud, than of the whole political existence of his countrymen, the deserters and betrayers of their native land ! An eloquent tribute, and just as eloquent.

We have yielded a portion of our department of literary notices to a review, from an able and disinterested hand, of Dr. ChannixG's pamphlet upon the new science of medicine, concerning the principles and nature of which we are free to confess a general ignorance. It is an undoubted fact, however, that very many professional nanies, of the highest authority in the old world, are numbered among the converts to the new theory, and not a few in this country; including such inveterate opposers of every species of quackery, as our friend Dr. TICKNOR, whose recent calm and apparently well-reasoned letter upon this science we may consider hereafter. Certain it is, moreover, that the new doctrine is exciting much discussion, even among those learned doctors who have, in the ancient way, 'practised to a great extent in this community.' We have seen the old school medicine-man' arrest a brother practitioner, as he was rushing from an act of phlebotomy in the west, to insinuate a bolus in the east, and while he held him by the button-hole, tell him of the ridiculous principles of the new theory; and yet both these persons are now its hopeful converts. The alleged simplicity of homæopathy may not a little aid its pretensions. Foote has left his verdict against medical mysteries, in his whimsical definition of a physician, whom he describes as a grave, formal animal, who picks our pockets by talking unintelligible stuff in a sick man's chamber, till nature cures, or medicines kill him.' Howbeit, blessing and honor,

say we be upon the head of the true physician, of whatever creed, for his is ever a work of mercy and of love. There be those among us, however, who, in circulating their quack nostrums, care little whether they make the well sick, or the sick sicker. "Do you cat well ?' is the language of one of our modern pill-venders, in the manufacture of a patient. 'Yes.' 'Do you sleep well ?' 'Yes.' 'Eh? -- that's not exactly the thing for one in your condition! I'll do away all that for you. Take four of these every morning, and four after dinner. You'll soon see a change!'

From a kind and entertaining companion, whose visits to our 'sanctum,' fruitful as they always are of the pleasantest intellectual discourse, can never be untimely nor unwelcome, we derive the subjoined anecdote, gathered originally at the table of an illustrious nobleman in England. It strikes us as well deserving embalmment in these pages.

Certain it is, as MATTHEWS was wont to say, 'it made a great laugh at the time.' The Rev. Mr. Simeon, a zealous divine of the Church of Eng. land, though of Jewish descent, was a man whose wit and humor almost equalled his piety. A worthy though credulous and simple-minded lady of his acquaintance, Mrs. L-, once related to him a wonderful story, of a ciergy man who had recently received a message from a lady in trouble, requesting to see him, but stating that he must come blind-folded. He complied. He found the lady in bed, in great affliction, and recollected to have often seen her in church, one of the most attentive and devout of his congregation. She informed him that she was a Jewess by birth, but a Christian by conviction; that she wished to be confirmed in the church; that her relatives opposed it, and finding her resolute in her purpose, had determined to make way with her. 'And there,' said she, pointing to a heap of stones, in a corner of the room, 'there are the stones with which they intend to stone me to death to-morrow! Did you ever hear so shocking a story ? continued Mrs. L- ; and what makes it worse, the clergyman was brought away again blind-folded, so that there is no knowing who the lady was, or how to help her, or what has become of her!' 'Madam,' said Mr. SIMEON, gravely, 'all farther meddling in the matter would be useless. The poor lady is dead. She was stoned to death, as she predicted. I can assure you of the fact, for I swallowed the stones after the ceremony!' 'Ah,' said the good lady, 'you are jesting; but I assure you the story is true. I heard it from Mr. Grimes, who told it with tears in his eyes.' 'Mr. Grimes – Mr. Grimes ?' replied Mr. SIMEON; 'oh, is not that the gentleman who was tired of the version of the whale's swallowing Jonah, and insisted that it was Jonah who swallowed the whale ?' 'Indeed!' exclaimed the good Mrs. L—; 'well, I did not know that any one held that belief ! ... On the same occasion, the following amusing instance of kingly ignorance and stupidity, was related by a distinguished foreigner present. The late King of Naples was not very remarkable for his knowledge of literature and literary people. Heinquired casually, one day, of one of his courtiers : 'Eut tell me, what has become of a man who was here some time since, qui arait la tête un peu monter?" (who had his head a little turned ;) Alfieri, I think was his name; what's become of him? The courtier, blushing at the king's ignorance, exclaimed : 'He's dead, sire.' Dead, eh? dead – is he? He was a singular fellow; he kept very fine horses. And, he's dead, is he? How long has he been dead ? 'Fifteen years, sire.' 'Ah! fifteen years! He kept very fine horses !'

We are glad to perceive the currency which has every where been given to Mr. Palmer's fine poem, 'Light,' in our last number. There is scarcely a public journal in the country, in which it has not appeared, and in many with the accompaniment of high and cordial praise. The following, from one of the most popular contributors to this Magazine, may serve as a sample of many kindred tributes, contained in the notes of correspondents : 'Mr. Palmer must have been full of his theme, when he wrote ‘Light.' It absolutely sparkles. In reading the first stanza, I could hardly convince myself that I did not see the scintillations starting from the page. The two last lines

of the second stanza are rich and beautiful in the extreme ; and throughout the whole, there is a fine manly feeling, and a pious spirit. One feels that the neither an atheist nor a tailor; that the object of his adoration is the King of kings, and not the king of the dandi s; that he is one who would not, after spending an hour with an intellectual man, sit down and write an account of the cut of his coat, and the tie of his cravat. You did right to announce him as a true poet.' His verses bear more evidence of genius than of art. They are sparkling, but not meretricious; mellifluous, but not flimsy; energetic, and yet graceful; but above all, devout, without wbining. I hope you will cherish the author.'

Your Mr. STREET, too, is a fine poet, who possesses a most Daguerreotypic eye.' The reader will be glad to learn that Mr. PALMER's future communications will appear exclusively in the KNICKERBOCKER.

THE LATE DR. FOLLEN. 'A Discourse occasioned by the Death of the Rev. Dr. Follen, by William E. CHANNING,' has been sent us by the publishers, Messrs. JAMES MONROE AND COMPANY, Boston. It is marked with the best characteristics of its distinguished author, both as a religious and literary performance. Having recently devoted some space to a sermon, similar, in some respects, from the pen of Rev. ORVILLE Dewey, of this city, we shall content ourselves with calling the reader's attention to the entire discourse, of the merely literary merit of which he may form an estimate from the following passages. Speaking of the burning of the ill-fated Lexington, Dr. CHANNING observes:

• It is not my desire to bring back to your imaginations that affecting scene. Our imaginations in such seasons need no quickeping. They often scare us with mureal terrors, and thus our doubts of God's goodness are aggravated by the fictions of our own diseased minds. Most of us are probably destined to pass through more painful, because more lingering deaths, than the lamented sufferers, who have within a few days been so suddenly summoned to the presence of God. The ocean is a softer, less torturing bed, than that which is to be spread for many here. It was not the physical pain which I shuddered at, when I first heard of that night of horrors. It was the meutal agony of those, who, in a moment of health and security, were roused to see distinctly the abyss opening beneath them; to see God's awful ministers of and sea commissioned to sunder at once every bold on life, and io carry them so unwarved into the unknown world. Even this agony, however, in the first moment of our grief and horror, was perhaps exaggerated. When my mind, composed hy time, now goes back to that Alame-encircled boat, I search for one among the crowd, who was singularly dear to me, the close and faithful friend of many years; and as he rises to my mind, I see no terror on his countenance. I see him with collected mind and quick eye looking round him for means of escape, using every energy of a fearless spirit, thoughtful too of others as well as of himself, and desisting from no efforts of love and prudence till the power of effort failed. I see indeed one agony; it was the thought that the dear counteuances of wife and child and beloved friend were to be seen no more ou earth. I see another, perhaps deeper agony ; it was the thought of the wo which his loss was to inflict on hearts dearer to him than life. But even at that bour his love was not all agony; for it had always lived in union with faith. He had loved spiritually; be had revercaced in his friends an infinite, undying nature; he had cherished iu them principles and hopes stronger than death. I cannot doubt that in that fearful hour, he committed them and bimself with filial trust to the all-merciful Father. I cannot doubt, that death was disarmed of its worst terrors, that the spirit passed away in breathings of unutterable love and immortal hope. Thus died one of that seemingly forlorn, desolate, forsaken company; I hope, thus others died. But one such example mingles with the terrors and agonies of that night so much that is heavenly, soothing, cheering, that I can look at the scene without overwhelming gloom, and without one doubt of the perfect goodness of God.' : ...We may learn from the friend we have lost, now sleeping in the ocean, another lesson. We may learn the glorious power of virtue, how it can throw a brightness over the most appalling scenes of human life, and can rob the most awful forms of death of their depressing influcuce. To the eye of sense, what a sad spectacle was the friend we have lost, first circled with flames, theu weltering in the cold, loncly sea At the moment of hearing the sad news, a feeling of horror oppressed me; but soon a light beamed in this darkness, and it beamed from his virtues. The thought of the spirit which I had communed with, gradually took the place of the body, which had been taken from us under circumstances so appalling. I felt that the spirit which had informed that body, had spoken through those lips, bad beamed from that benign face, was mightier than the elements. I felt that all the waves of ocean could not quench that spark. I felt how vast, how unutterable the transition from that burning deck and pitiless sea to the repose aod life of a better world. I felt that the seal of immortality had been put on the virtue, which we had seen unfolding on our earth. Still more, his virtues have gradually brought back to my mind his outward form divested of painful associations. As I now think of the departed, his countenance is no longer defaced by death. It rises to me in the sweetest, noblest expression which it wore in life. Thus the body, through which virtue has shed its light, becomes hallowed and immortal to the memory and the heart.'

It is gratifying to perceive, from these and kindred passages, that Dr. CHANNING's own style is not in accordance with a principle which he once, we may believe hastily, laid down; namely, that Clearness was not an essential element in good composition.

« PreviousContinue »