Page images
PDF
EPUB

Union with jealous anxiety; to discountenance whaterer may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned ; and indignantly to frown upon the first dawning o every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest;' a country whose liberty was the result of joint councils and joint efforts; of common dangers, sufferings, and successes. May these wise and good counsels, given in the fulness of an overflowing heart, which was 'soon to be consigned to the mansions of rest,' sink deep into the mind of every American! NAPOLEON shook the world, and was the thunderer of the scene; but what was his far-reaching ambition, to the aspirations of WASHINGTON ? What are his triumphs, now that he sleeps on his lonely isle, far amid the wastes of the rea, to the ardent patriotism and unobtrusive piety which filled the heart of WashisGTON with expansive benevolence, with all human charities, making him gentle to others, and severe only to himself ? So long as the 'blue summits of his native mountains shall rise toward heaven; so long as the river on whose banks he lived, and on whose banks he rests, shall now onward toward the sea,' so long shall the memory and teachings of Washington be kept fresh in the hearts of his countrymen !

Editors' Drawer. – Several months have elapsed, since we found leisure to examine attentively the accumulations of our private drawer, wherein is deposited, we may add, in passing, nothing that is not deemed pleasant, and of good report,' either as a whole, or in parts. Sometimes, however, objections exist, of an external nature, which delay, and not unfrequently altogether retard, the publication of articles otherwise wholly unexceptionable. We regret to say, that the length of very many anonymous communications, of a high order of excellence, wholly precludes their insertion in our pages. Among these, we may include 'Arthur's Superstition,' from the pen of a young and modest writer, who will hereafter, unless we greatly mistake the character of his mind, and the bent of his genius, make himself favorably known to the public. If those of our contemporaries whose scope is more ample, do not anticipate us, in securing the services of this young writer, we shall have the pleasure, when our filed articles are reduced in number, of making our readers familiar with his literary promise. Some idea may be formed of the felicity of his pictures of nature, from the following admirable passage, describing the opening of summer, in the forests of the west : "When spring-time came, I was in my old haunts on the cliffs; observing Nature, as she proceeded 10 dress up her fuir scenes for the gay season, and greeting the leaves aud fowers as they came laughing to their places. I watched the urrivals by every soft south wind, I thought I recognized many a constant pair of old birds, who had been to me like fellow-lodgers the previous summer; and I. detected the loud, gay, carousal song of inady a riotous new-comer. These were stirring times in the woods! The robin was already hard at work on his mud foundations, while many of his peighburs were yet looking about, and bothering their heads among the inconvenient forks, or croiches.' The sagacious old wood-pecker was going around, visiting the hollow trees, preping into the kootholes ; dropping in to inspect the accommodations, and then putting his head out to consider the prospect, and all the while, perhaps, not a word was said to a modest little blue-bird that stood by, and had been expecting to take the premises. I observed, too, a pair of sweet little yellow-birds, that appeared like a young married couple, just setting up house-keeping. They fixed upon a bourgh near me, and I soon became interested in their little plans, and inderd felt quite melancholy, as I beheld the troubles they encountered, occasionally, when for whole days they seemed to be at a stand-still. At last, when their little honey-moon cottage was fairly fuished, and softly lined, they both got into it, by way of trial; and when I saw their little heads and bright eyes just rising over the top, I could not help thinking that they really bad little hearts of fiesh, that were absolutely beating in their downy bosoms.'

We know not when we have met with more life-like limning than this; nor have we any fear that the reader will not agree with us, in our admiration of its picturesque beauty. Our young friend is not less happy in his delineations of feeling and passion. Take, for example, the subjoined sketch, a brief episode in the writer's story, occurring soon after an affecting description of the death of his mother. It is a touching instance of the force of human sympathy, in the bosom of childhood :

"One Saturday afternoon, as I loitered in loneliness around my desolate bome, my sorrows over. came me. My heart was ready to break. It swelled and overflowed, and gushes of grief overwhelmed me. Atlength, I took my way down to the burying-ground. It was a little gore of meadow land, between two hills. On each side of it there was a brook; the two presently joined their waters, and flowed away to the westward, between the woody ridges. It was only the family bury. ing-place, but the green hillocks covered a plat about sixty feet square. There was no veslize of a fence around it; and no monument was there, except a broken piece of gray stone, ai the head and foot of each grave, and an old oak tree, of primeval growth, which marked the head of the grave of one of our pilgrim ancestors. Under that tree he had been laid down, and his children for several fruitful generations had been gathered like the leavee around him. Many an alternoon had I been with my mother under that tree, when the pilgrim seemed to me to have been a contemporary of Abraham. I had looked on that grave while iny mother told the traditions, and dwelt upon the virtups, of that good old man. Often had I seen her by his mother's grave, and now there was his own by its side, and the grass was growing over both alike. I sat down, and gave myself up to grief. · · There was a path through the woods on the opposite bill, and a little girl coming along that way, with a basket on her arm, stopped and looked at me. Presently she came down over the brook, nou stood by me. I took no potice of her; I wished her to go away; but she remained standing near, for some time; and at length she lifted up my bat-brim, and looked down into my face. She was a kind, affectionate-looking girl. She took a rose from her basket, and offered it to me; and as I bent my face down, without regarding it, she placed it in my button-bole. She kneeled down on the grass, and taking all the flowers from her basket, evidently the gatherings of a whole morning, she selected the prettiest, and offered them to me, by the handful. I took them, looked at thein, and laid them down ; and then she took them and stuck them in my hat. band, and my bosom, and every button-hole, until I was decked as gaudily as a bullerfly. It was impossible pot to feel the influence of her simple blandishments; and by degrees she won me from sorrow. I smiled, and at length even laughed; and we played about on the green slope the whole afierooon.. Allast, when it grew late, she took up her basket, and went over the brook, and away, as she came. The sun was just going down ; his slanting rays lingered on the gentle bluffs along the valley; and the bright waters blushed beneath the glowing glances of the departing god of day. Little birds were fluttering about in the quiet scene; and a robin on the hill-side filled the air with liquid notes, and revelled in the gushing melody of his evening song. I arose with a freshness and vigor of feeling to which I had long been a stranger. I mounted the hill, and looking around on the landscape, I found it wearing the beauty of my happiest days. I leaped the stovewall, and hurried home, once more a light-hearted boy; and from that afternoon I was almost as cheerful aud joyous as ever.'

Our readers shall hear more, in due time, from the author of 'Arthur's Superstition ;' and in the mean while, let us counsel him to accumulate these fresh and unpremeditated sketches of nature, and 'records of the affections. They will stand him in good stead, in better days.

CARLYLE-ISM' embodies a good deal of deserved satire, yet is mainly unjust to the intellectual staple of that extraordinary writer, Thomas CARLYLE; and as 'C. F.' gives us no liberty to emend, he (or she ? — for the hand-writing is a dainty piece of work,) will find his ms. at the desk of the publication office. The author of 'Sartor Resartus' has many things that a plain reader would desire to see amended; yet it may be questioned whether - such is now his Germanized intellect — any material change would not lose us much which we should be sorry to part with. We had just been reading a passage of his, upon Dr. Johnson, before taking up our correspondent's communication ; and we must ask even 'C. F.' whether it be not a 'curtailed abbreviation' felicitously compressing a synopsis of a good many particulars' in the character of the 'great leviathan:

• Johnson was called the Bear, and did indeed too often look and roar like one, being forced to it in bis own defence; yet within that sbaggy exterior of his, there beat a heart warm as a mother's ; soft as a little child's. Nay, generally his very roaring was but the anger of affection; the rage of a bear, if you will; but of a bear bereaved of her whelps. Touch his religion, glance at the Church of England, or the Divine Right, and he was upon you! These things were his symbols of all that was good and precious for men; his verv ark of the covenant; whoso laid band on them, tore asunder his heart of hearts. Not out of hatred to his opponent, but of love to the thing opposed, did Johnson grow cruel fiercely contradictory; this is an important distinction, never to be forgotten in our censure of his conversational outrages.' . • Generous old man! Worldly possession he has little; yet of this he gives freely from his own hard-earned shilling, the halfpence for the poor, that waited the coming out of one not quite so poor! A Sterne can write sentimentalities on dead asses: Johnson has a rough voice; but he finds the wretched daughter of vice fallen down

arries her home on his own shoulders, and, a good Samaritan, gives help to the help-needing, worthy or unworthy.'

Johnson has found, in Scottish critics, writers disposed to repay in kind his very complimentary remarks upon Scotland and Scotchmen; and these have doubtless assisted to hand down a highly-colored picture of his 'saucy roughness,'which in truth required no embellishment. A recent edition of 'Mrs. Piozzi’s ‘Johnsoniana,' with notes, gives us some new anecdotes, illustrative of the great love borne by 'the Bear for the 'land

in the street ;

o'cakes.' On his return from the Hebrides, he was asked by a Scottish gentleman, at an evening party in London, how he liked Scotland. 'Scotland, Sir ?' replied Johnson,

Scotland ? Scotland, Sir, is a miserable country - a contemptible country, Sir!' 'You cannot do the Almighty the great wrong to say that, Sir,' answered the other, deeply nettled at this harsh judgment; 'God made Scotland, Sir! 'Yes, Sir,' was the cutting rejoinder, 'it is true, God did make Scotland; but you should remember, Sir, that he made it for Scotchmen! God made hell, Sir! This corollary put an end to the conversation. Sidney Smith, in later days, seems to have imbibed Johnson's prejudice, as well as his style. Nothing could be more characteristic of both, than the following : 'With a little oatmeal for food, and a little sulphur for friction, allaying eutaneous irritation with the one hand, and holding his Calvinistical creed in the other, Sawney runs away to his flinty hills, sings his psalm out of tune his own way, and listens to his sermon of two hours long, amid the rough and imposing melancholy of the tallest thistles. Apropos to this general theme : we have an admirable article, entitled 'Scotland and New-England,' comparing the points of resemblance in the characters of Scotchmen and ‘Yankees' proper, which will show how well both may sustain the closest scrutiny.

We owe an apology to the author of the following lines, for so long delaying their publication. But there are scores of accidental contingencies, of which a contributor can form no just idea, that occasionally render the postponement of an article a matter wholly unavoidable :

LINES

IN MEMORY OF THE LATE LIEUT. WILLIAM HULBERT, U. S. A., WHO WAS MURDERED BY A PARTY

OF SEMINOLE INDIANS, NEAR FORT FRANK BROOK, IN FLORIDA, IN MAY, 1839.

Not where the youthful soldier loves to yield

His fival breath, and close his failing eye,
'Mid martial sounds, upon the battle field,

Did he, the youug and poble-hearted, die.
The colors of his country did not wave

In triumph o'er the spot where HULBERT fell,
Yet shall his name he counted with the brave,

Who knew their duty, and performed it well.
And though for him no marble pile may raise

Its lofiy summit to the southern sky,
No graven lines of hyperbolic praise

Arrest the traveller's cold and tearless oye :
Better memorials of his name shall live ;

Remembrancers more durable and dear
Than all Marmorean eulogy can give,

Or all the monuments that art can rear.

For bis had been the favored lot below,

Earth's purest and most sacred joys to find,
In all the fond affection that could flow

From hearts whose tevdrils with his own were twined:
And his the solace, an uufailing fund,

Beneath whatever skies destined to rove,
To know, to feel, he could not go beyond

A mother's blessing, and a sister's love!
And at the toilsome day's desired close,

When with long vigils his young eye grew dim,
He slept, confiding in the prayer that rose,

Far in the green land of his home, for him.
And love, though unavailing to avert

The fortune he was fated to fulfil,
Survives the grave, with power to reassert

Her dear prerogative of memory still.
Yes, Love survives ! - and beautiful and green

Her wreath, of recollected virtues wove :
And, smiling by her side, is ever seen
Hope, pointing to the realms of bliss above!

Owing to the great length of three or four of the 'Original Papers,' in the present issue, the review of Mr. Cooper’s ‘Pathfinder' has not been prepared, as was our intention, for the May number. Desirous, however, to record a timely verdict in favor of the work, we shall content ourselves, for the present, with laying before the reader the following commendation, which we receive in a private note, from a distinguished literary source, while the sheets of this department of our Magazine are passing through the press :

*I have just read "The Pathfinder.' It is an admirable production, full of fine pictures of exalted virtue in the humble paths of life. The characters of the 'Pathfinder and of 'Mabel Dunham' are'noble conceptions, and capitally sustained. The old salt-water tar, 'Cap,' also, is a master-piece; with his nautical wisdom, his contempt for fresh water, and his point-no-point logic. Let no one say, after considering the portraiture of Mabel Dunham, that Mr. COOPER cannot draw a female character. It is a beautiful illustration of womanly virtues, under various trials; some of the most terrific, others of the most delicate and touching nature. The death-bed scene, where Mabel prays beside her father, is among the most affecting things I have ever read; and yet how completely free from all over-wrought sentiment, or false pathos. The strongest proof to my mind of the genius displayed in the work, is the few and simple elements with which the author has wrought out his effects ; for the characters are few, and the story has nothing complicated, but is a mere straightforward narrative.' Violent extremes have violent ends, and in their violence die, may be said (though the parody be something strained,) of Mr. Cooper's recent critics. * The Pathfinder' has thus early passed to a second edition, despite the effects of ultra critiques, which declare, on the one hand, that the work is equal to any thing SCOTT ever wrote!- and on the other, that it is utterly unreadable ! Meantime, it should seem, the public read, and judge for themselves; and thus Mr. Cooper is 'saved' alike from his friends and enemies.

PARK THEATRE. — The ‘Postilliou of Lonjumeau' bas run through a most successful term, with Miss SHIRREFT, Mr. GIUBELEI, and Mr. Wilson, as its chief supporters. When a piece succeeds at the theatre, the inevitable, and certainly most reasonable, conclusion is formed, that it must contain some merit. A tragedy of the rough-and-tumble-school; a drama of the cut-throat and hob-goblin order ; a comedy of the somnolently-serious description; or a farce, filled with the facetious novelties of Joseph Miller deceased ; may each one, and all, under the sufferance of an indulgent public, exist for a matter of three nights; but beyond that, their duration extendeth not. Now this assertion being settled as a truth, it appears rather surprising to us, that the opera of * The Postillion' should bave had a healthful existence of two weeks. We have no hesitation in giving in Miss SHIRREFF the highest praise for the manner in which she executed the music, and acted the part allotted to her; for indeed her greatest admirers were never more loud in her praise. Neither should Messrs. Wilson aud GIUBELEI be considered unworthy of high commendation, for their respective efforts; but it is the opera -- the music, in itself — which appears to us to be devoid of any particular charm. There is nothing in the whole piece which can be remembered or hummed over, one hour after leaving the theatre. There is no particular air which arrests the attention, or in the slightest degrec affects the feelings. We take that to be good music, which all can understand; in which there is something to interest the ignorant, as well as the enlightened in musical matters. Jf it is the end and aim of sweet sounds, or of the science of music, to come within the comprehension of the musician alone, then it may be that the opera of the ' Postillion of Lonjumeau’is a good one, and worthy of all praise ; but if it is intended to please the million - among which majority we, upon this occasion, merge our humble individuality – then has this congregation of demisemiquavers failed in its effects. It pleased all the friends of the Park to see full houses there, whether they were attracted by the magnet of fashion, or the pleasure of hearing the old National singers upon the metropolitan boards. The return of Miss SHIRREFF and Mr. Wilson is expected during this bloomiog month of May; and we, in common with a multitude, put up our humble supplication to the omnipotent manager of the Park, that he will so ordain, tbat an opera or two, even if it be an old one, or two,' which shall come within the comprehension of the unlearned, may be produced ; ‘Fra Diavalo,' • Robert the Devil,' even Massaniello,' to say nothing of any late popular productions, have tones in them to be remembered, and are not se hackpied but they may be sung again to listening cars. VOL. XV.

59

*The Mississippi Bubble.' - Seldom has a paper in this Magazine attracted such sudden and wide attention, as • The Mississippi Bubble,' by Mr. Irving, in our last number. The introduction, • The Weather-Breeders of Traffic,' which, by the by, was written many years ago, has been incorporated entire into the resolutions of one of our political parties, and converted into a partizan tract, for extensive distribution. It is said to 'sketch, as with a pencil of light, the scenes that have passed under our own eyes ;' is pronounced to be worthy of the fame of the author of the SketchBook, and the Life of Columbus ;' and to be as great a favor conferred ou the public morals and the public weal, as his former efforts have been an ornament and an honor to our literature.' The other political party express equal satisfaction with the article, which it also commends, on the ground that the course of the Regent of France, in interfering with the management of Lax's famous bank, is a forcible commentary upon the interference of goveroment with the monetary affairs of a country. Fortunate author! - convenient parties :

Window SHADES. - Something more than a year since, we adverted, at some length, in these pages, to a pleasant article of household furniture, which was then coming into use in the best dwellings of the metropolis. We allude to the window-sliades, or painted muslin curtains, which may be encountered in more than two-thirds of the dwellings in town, admitting a softened, quiet light into the apartments of their owners, and serving, at the same time, as graceful ornaments of the exterior windows. Mr. George Platt, at Number 12 Spruce-street, to whose establishment we invited the public attention, has greatly improved, as we predicted, this admirable fabric, ia the variety and beauty of the pictorial embellishments and matériel. Moreover, such has been the demand for the manufacture, that the prices have been very much reduced; putting it within the ability of almost every householder to ornament his dwelling, at a comparatively trifling expense, with one of the most pleasant inventions of the day,

Gossip with Readers and Correspondents. - We shall commence, in our next number, a series of origina!' Letters from Modern Rome,' written expressly for the Knickerbocker, by George W. Greene, Esq., American Consulat Rome ; a writer of distinguished repute, whose long residence in the capital of the Casars, intimate knowledge of the language, and official position, render him amply qualified to entertain and instruct the reader. Writing in a calm and thoughtful spirit, surrounded by the ruins of seventeen centuries, with comparisons between the past and the present ever rising to his view, we may well anticipate an intellectual repast of no common urder. A large and noble engraving, from a Roman painting by Manglard, in 1753, entitled " Prospetto interno dell' Anfiteatro Flavio, chiamato Colosseo dalla Statca Colossale che era nel Capo della Via Sacra,' lies before us ; and brings back so vividly the glories of the past, snd the ruins of the present, that we long for the fairy power of Eld, to journey unseen, and to

'stand within the Colosseum's wall,

'Mid the chiel relics of almighty Rome!' The Journal of Love,' omitted for reasons elsewhere stated, will be continued in our next. A fair correspondent, 'Clio,' on rose-scented English satin,' writes us as follows: I have been commissioned by a club of ladies, (wbose suruber is

thrice that of the Graces, and precisely that of the Muses,' and who are in the habit of meeting i wice a week for the parpose of reading aloud to each other all new and tender out-pouring of romance or poetry,) to express to you how much we are indebted to you generally for your skill in catering for us, and more especially for that exquisite · Jou mi af Lors,' by 'Flaccus,' which appeared in your last number. We have read nothing so glowing with feeling and fancy, for a loag while. It really carries us back to the dear, delightful days, when we first thrilled under the magic verees of Moore. And how like them, too, in brilliancy and tendernesk ! How interesting is the hero, in spite of his ugliness! How fersid his admiration of our sex! How touching his confusion and reserve, under his growing passion! low exquisite his indomi table resolutions to give his lady-love the flower, and his faint-heartedness on meeting her! And los delicately is the line drawn, and preserved, between his passionate love for her, and her sisterly regard for him! Why, t.e reading of the poem 80 melted us, that it is well the 'embarrassments of the times' have made the men prudent, for in the softened rate of our feelings, we must have yielded to the most indifferent offer.' The following papers are filed for insertion, or under consideration : 'A Fragment on Names ;' " The Day-Book of Life ;' ' An Advertisement,' by John Waters:' • The Stranger,' and 'A Visit to Italy;' 'Many Friends ;' Sketches of Northern Scenery ; ' * The Sculptor in his Studio, * The Brave's Heart ;' 'A Leaf from Florida ;' The Student's Diary ; ' ' Alphonso,' Canto 11.; Letters from da Englishman in America ;''Lament of Pericles ;'' Letters from the Netherlands ; ' ' Afternoon in the Woodlands ;" * The Place of Graves ;' • Defence of Xantippe ;" * Passages from the Public Chronicles of Litle Dingleton ;'. The Sad Sirry :' Skeuandoab;' The White Vulture ;' Destruction of Capitan Pacha's Flag-Ship ;'' American Liberty ;" * T'he Voice of Ocean ;' Treatise on Galvanism and Magnetism;' • The Sympathies,' from the German : “ The Cook, a Domestic Portrait ;' Memorial of Brainerd:' 'Love and Interest ;' "The Sceptered Mook ;' . An Autumn Erening' " Recollections Abroad;' Cathedral Church of St. Genevieve, Paris; ' • Some Thoughts on Acting and Actors;' • Stury of Anton Martinez and his Sister ;' « Tragi-Comedy ;' Woman's Lore; ' • The Lioness and the Queen of Birds,' etc.

The Postillion.' – We must beg leave to differ with our friend and correspondent C.' in relation to the next of this opera.

If it had not pleasant qualities — abundantly sufficient to justify its admirable adaptation ly Mr. Wilean from its eminent author – it would never have been produced, nor when produced, have, even temporarily, taken the general ear captiva. The ‘Poatillion does not claim to be an elaborate, grand opera ; but its pretensions are to the light and the agreeable, and these we think it fully sustains.

« PreviousContinue »