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TEESE graceful lines, awakened by 'Spring Violets,' were received somewhat out of season. We should have been glad to have given them to our readers with the dew on them; but there is a vitality in them wbich bas kept them from fading away.
What tender thoughts around the heart will cling,
What memories the spirit will beset,
Its first sweet Violet!
Dear prophet of the summer-time thou art,
And though the April wind is bleak and cold,
Shot from thy leaves' blue fold.
The gaudier rose hath not put forth her buds,
The butter-cup is nowhere seen to bloom,
But thou, the meek, hast come.
How hast thou borne in all thy gentleness
The clouds and rain that frowned upon thy birth,
The weary ones of earth?
Who loves thee not? The sturdy son of toil
Gazes with fondness in thine upturned eye,
His step goes lightly by.
Let him, worn down with manhood's strivings, say
If thy calm beauty, pure and undefiled,
He plucked thee, when a child.
How oft hast thou become, to loving hearts,
A symbol of their passion and desire !
Strength to their hidden fire.
For in thy soft and fragile beauty they,
As in a vision, see the loved one's charm :
• This gracefulness, her form.'
A lesson to my spirit thou dost bring,
Sweet Violet! wet with April's fickle shower;
And Love is its first flower.
Long ere ambition opes its gaudy flowers,
Ere worldly pleasures waft their sweet perfume,
Thou, first fond love! dost bloom.
Thy petals may be wet with bitter tears,
Thy leaves be ruffled with the saddest sighs,
Beneath the darkest skies.
And from that blossom in the starless night
Gleams forth a promise of Hope's cloudless noon ;
Of the unrisen inoon.
Still bloom, ye Violets! and make glad the earth
With blest foreshadowings of sunny days ;
A light in darkness raise !
WILLIAM B. GLAZIER
M A NIA: ITS PROGRESS.
BY KIT KELVIN.
The world is a chess-board. What strange and complicated games are transacted upon it! All men are players, moving respectively, and in the civil, religious and political scenes continue thus to do, until the automaton Death, with his eyeless skull and fleshless hand, stalks before, chattering with his ghastly jaws, 'check-mate!'
Constituted with a natural irksomeness to sameness, man is ever discovering new methods and devices for fame and wealth, even to self-immolation. Where is there the period in antediluvian, mediæval or modern days, that we cannot fasten this verity ? With this germ enwrapped in our being, cherished by example as well as tinctured by hereditament, we advance toward age only to manifest the growth of this undeniable positive. A charity for others' excesses, for the strange wildness of adventure or scheme, prevents us not from imitation. It needs but the proper incitement to move us upon the stage amid its fantastic masquerades, actors both fanciful and speculative. Example, with sober face and silvery hair, traces of dear-bought experience, disappointment and contrition, sits unheeded in our path. In the inordinate hope of success our vision is blinded; our ear deaf to the voice that would warn us. A feeling soft as oriental luxury steals over us; that charm which breaks not until desolated hopes, withering realities, and an absence of all gladness, are upon us. A fearful leprosy permeates our organism. It is madness! Shudder at the idea as we may, we all have it, a mental element innate. In all ranks, professions and pursuits we have its representatives in full armor. Like Anak, it has moved in past generations with the same unbaffled, emotive stride as we now observe it. Like unto him who was commanded to tarry,' it knows not age, neither can it die.
Let us dwell for a moment upon some of the most conspicuous manias that have become history. How strange does the reality seem! Removed from them by generations, we laugh at the curious vagaries played by our elders; but, fellow pilgrim, beware lest your own inconsistency entrap you before the twelvemonth has passed.
During the reign of William III. this strange mental essential appeared among the citizens of Edinburgh, and from an incipient state sped in rapid gradation to the height of its irregularities and leaped the bounds into merry England. The court and the exchange, the boudoir and the hovel, were alike filled with the contagion. It was the · Darien Scheme.' A colony was to be formed, a city to be built, pros rity unabated to follow, and nabobs were to be as common as coals in Newcastle. The little spark kindled a fire that raged and heated the whole kingdom ; and not until its ignition became alarming, arose a mighty opponent to subdue. The king, troubled lest his capital and commercial strength should be given to Scotland, endeavored to check this enthusiasm by throwing obstacles in the way of the fabricators. But of no avail ; Mania conquered. The colony sailed, landed, organized, and sent home intelligence which caused a carnival in Edinburgh. But upon the heel of this rejoicing came an ill-fed, disheartened, dying remnant of the grand scheme. Sick. ness, starvation, the Spaniard's revenge and the king's proclamations, were too potent bulwarks to besiege. The project faded into a shadow, but not until its portrait had been transferred to canvass, upon which the world has gazed, not without instruction.
Disgusted with the unfruitful soil of Scotland, Mania strided the channel into the sunny vineyards of France. Captivated with the luxury of its capital, it made its appearance in the Place Vendome. It was during the minority of Louis XV., when the Duke of Orleans was Regent, that the world became acquainted with John Law, who, from his handsome person, ready wit and abundance of animal spirits was yclept, · Beau Law.” A more unscrupulous, unprincipled man, probably, never existed. He was a noted gambler as well as a refugee from justice; having shot a convivial pot-companion in a duel. Upon this individual, Mania fixed its delirious eye. It was the charm of the serpent, and under its seductive influence he concocted a plan, which for its masterly design, its universality, its magical success and wide-spread influence, is unprecedented in the annals of speculations. He was the author of the 'Mississippi Scheme' that for three years reigned paramount throughout France, echoed amid the mountains of Germany and hills of England. The financial world stood amazed at the golden shower which fell among the infatuated populace like the natural rain, while the name of Law was more powerful than potentate or empire. A Mephistophiles of finesse and calculation; his word at once law and execution; the Cambon of the seventeenth century. Excitement was at such a pitch in Paris that death fre
quently occurred in the crowds that convened in the street where the stock-jobbers congregated; while gold and velvet costumes were passed unnoticed. But if Law with his guardian Mania shot up to the zenith of all desire with lightning-like celerity, he fell like Lucifer never to hope again.' The god of gold and the idol of the people fled the city, a beggar, to save his life. Thus exploded this grand and gigantic prestige; but not before it had given to the world, as its last will and testament, its history.
The · South-Sea Scheme,' another offspring of Mania, found, like its predecessors, an early and ignominious grave. And thus we have from time to time a new device and another collapse regularly annalized till we come to our own generation. Not satisfied with past defeats, Mania, still vigorous, is pushing its hydra-head above the surface of registering events. In England we have witnessed the metallic resources absorbed in the construction of railways to such an extent as to drain the entire floating capital of the kingdom ; while old established houses, proud in their antiquity and name, together with national institutions, have withered before this blasting simoon. It follows man from the cradle to the grave; lulling him into “the rapture of repose' but to startle him with fierce convulsions and agonizing dreams. While it warms it burns to ashes. A phantasm as remediless in decimation as it is impressible in allurements. While the poor victim is jubilant in expectancy, it is already consigning him to the abysm of hopelessness.
Mania's haggard face is staring in through our windows — we meet it in the streets. While it tempts the rich man to an increment of wealth, it lures the poor laborer from his spade and mattock, throws the golden apple in the path of the husband, and robs the wife of a protector and supporter. Seriously, what is to be the result of the vast Golden Mania of 1848 ? Will the influx of great wealth beguile us to effeminacy - lead us to experience the wild profligacy of the Duke of Orleans' regency? Shall the possession of gold, silver and cinnabar puff us with ingratitude and selfishness, or make us, like Eglon of Moab, to wax fat and to kick ?
As this peculiar positive exists in our mysterious organization, we cannot condemn it; it is higher born than that of our own divination. In its slumbering state it is of no avail, while it is worse than a nonpossession when pushed by unnatural excitement to an excess of action. Under a full development, what travesties, what ungovernable trespasses upon all that is defined by the rules of social life, as well as guarded against by its necessary restraints, follow! We may not exonerate ourselves of wildness, because it is inherent in our natures; the germ is a constituent principle in our mechanism, truly; but we are not to bring to our aid any hot-house atmosphere to force a growth inconformable to nature.
It would indeed appear that our age is one in which Mania has become ripe to yellowness. Nurtured by those who have heralded our appearance, it has grown peevish and turbulent in the abundance of caresses, and is leaping the barriers of restraint to revel amid the common wreck and chaos it creates. It is for us to forestall its progress with a sanative which we have within us- - reflection. However alluring may be the subject, to look before the leap is consummated is wisdom; for afterward there is no alternative but to endure the evils that are entailed.
Mankind, like sheep, forever follow the tinkle of the leader. Barricades of wood or stone, danger or death, are no appliances to save. An unhallowed scheme is boldly promulgated, shooting athwart the track of the moneyed man and of him who has none of earth's mineral to count. There is a speciousness about it that entraps the desire while it enchains the attention. The sober mien of the quiet citizen is exchanged for one of anxious uneasiness. He has divested the fying projectile of all its feasibility, and still it wears a charm.
That the valley of the Sacramento offers inducements of a nature both extraordinary and exciting, is fully apparent by the vast emigration thitherward, as well as by successive accounts that have been duly authenticated; and this inclination to adventure is but perfectly consistent with the elements which form our characters. Still, it is all impulsive. To control such a desire is hardly more practicable than the fusion of basalt by the natural warmth of the hand. An uneasy tenant, it must be humored; yet what are the results ? Where one ' bird of passage' is safely landed, fully satisfied, and re. turns, ' bearing his sheaves with him,' a score meet with indescribable anxiety, disappointment, sickness and death. And yet this untamable spirit, despite all mortal obstacles, is one of our essentials. It is the parent of all our noble and formidable projects and executed designs ; those massive battlements of our country which frown upon all inaction, that inert lymph which clogs the wheels of trundling enterprise. I would not deprecate it; rather would I cherish it. Yet there is an intermediate state of feeling to be the cynosure. Shall we follow it, or shall we plunge headlong into that gurgling flood that knows neither a master nor a friend ?
The world is wide to walk on weary feet,
With step by step along each lengthening mile;
Never the sunbeams on a cottage smile,
Then happy dreams a little way beguile,
I wander homeless by a thousand homes ;
'Tis no right freedom that forever roams :
Of wife and babes, were world enough for me!