« PreviousContinue »
They look to God, and words of solemn prayer go np, responding to the murmurs of the woods and of the waves. They look to God, whose inercy and faithfulness have brought them to this land of proinise; and for the first time since the creation, the echoes of these hills and waters are wakened by the voice of praise. The word of God is opened; and their faith and hope are strengthened for the conflicts before them, by conte'nplating the conflict and the victory of Hin, who in all things the example of his people, was once, like them, 'led forth by the spirit into the wilderness."
A style thus flowing and vigorous, correct delineation of character, felicitous historical allusion, and a generous enthusiasm, are prominent characteristics of the entire performance.
THE LITTLE FRENCHMAN AND HIS Water Lots, with other Sketches of the Times. By George P. Morbis. With etchings by Johnson. In one volume. pp. 155. Philadelphia : LEA AND BLANCHARD.
Here is another specimen of very beautiful typography, from the Philadelphia press, equalling, indeed, the edition of 'Pericles and Aspasia,' elsewhere noticedThe illustrations, likewise, are very good, particularly those of the 'Little Frenchman.' In the first cut, one can almost see the toy-dancer, in the embryo speculator's hands, go through with its galvanic saltations, as he exposes it to the eager juvenile at his counter. The features of the little man, too, are characteristic and capital. Indeed, we may remark, in passing, he more resembles his archetype in looks than in speech; since the French terms he employs are those, in the main, whose English synonymes are first acquired by his expatriated countrymen. Perhaps, however, he was a sham Frenchman, for such have been detected among us; and, like the boasted female linguist of Matthews' country parvenu, who 'l'arnt the lingo of a Garman, that l'arnt it at Dunkirk,' in Scotland, he might not have acquired the language from the most authentic sources. The contents of the volume under notice are: 'The Little Frenchman and his Water Lois;' ' The Monopoly and the People's Line;' 'Sketches from the Springs;' ' Leaves from a Port-folio,' and 'Mrs. Beverley Lee.' They are probably familiar to the public, having been originally printed in the 'New-York Mirror.' and made to radiate from the metropolis, in the daily and other journals, to different and distant sections of the country. Touching their literary merit, we will now proceed, as the orientals have it, to 'knock head and pay respects.' To be candid, then, the contents of the book do not, in our judgment, exhibit great force of imagination, or much originality of invention. We cannot avow an excess of participation in any of the sketches; nor conseientiously declare, that they rise above the denomination of fair light reading. Yet that they will afford a degree of amusement to many readers, there is no reason to doubt. The merely descriptive portions evince an eye for striking points, or effects, and the objects aimed at by the author are satisfactorily developed. That these 'gathered fragments,' however, as the writer modestly and not inaptly terms them, 'possess the quaint beauty of LAMB, and the quiet humor and rich style of Irving,' as has been claimed for them, we are rather inclined to doubt. This hyperbole of laud, also, we have the best authority for believing, is properly appreciated by the author; but even were he as keenly alive to the titillations of applause as the vainest poetaster in christendom, he could not but see, that the tide of such extravagant praise soon recedes as far below the mark of correct judgment, as before, it rose above it; and with never so overweening a desire to shine, he would be disinclined to risk exposure to ridicule, by the mistaken partiality of real, or the elaborate flattery of pretended, friends. With these opinions - which, however they may be regarded, are kindly intended and sincere — we commend these · Hits at the Times' to our readers ; fully satisfied that they will find them light, lively, and ludicrous; but equally assured, that they will not recognise in them either the author of 'Elia' or the 'Sketch-Book.'
JABEZ DOOLITTLE AND HIS LOCOMOTIVE. — Since our last number, we have received lotters from various parts of the country, respecting Jabez Doolittle and his Loconiotive, by which it would appear, he has the gift of ubiquity; for he has been seen about the same time in a dozen different places, and a dozen different manners, but always under full speed; a kind of Flying Dutchman on land. 'Hic et ubique’ should be his motto. We subjoin one of these letters, as it may tend to set the Far West at ease on a matter that seems to have caused some consternation.
'Sir: In your last number, I read with great interest an article entitled 'The First Locomotive.' It throws light upon an incident which has long been a theme of marvel in the Far West. You must know that I was one among the first band of trappers that crossed the Rocky Mountains. We had encamped one night on a ridge of the Black Hills, and were wrapped up in our blankets, in the midst of our first sleep, when we were roused by the man who stood sentinel, who cried out, 'Wild fire, by ! We started on our feet, and beheld a streak of fire coming across the prairies, for all the world like lightning, or a shooting star. We had hardly time to guess what it might be, when it came up, whizzing, and clanking, and making a tremendous racket, and we saw something huge and black, with wheels and traps of all kinds; and an odd-looking being on top of it, busy as they say the devil is in a gale of wind. In fact, some of our people thought it was the old gentleman himself, taking an airing in one of his infernal carriages; others thought it was the opening of one of the seals in the Revelations. Some of the stoutest fellows fell on their knees, and began to pray; a Kentuckian plucked up courage enough to hail the infernal coachman as he passed, and ask whither he was driving; but the speed with which he wbirled by, and the rattling of his machine, prevented our catching more than the last words: 'Slam bang to etarnal smash!' In five minutes more, he was across the prairies, beyond the Black Hill, and we saw him shooting, like a jack-a-lantern, over the Rocky Mountains.
The next day we tracked his course. He had cut through a great drove of buffalo, some hundred or two of which lay cut up as though the butchers bad been there; we heard of bim afterward, driving through a village of Black Feet, and smashing the lodge of the chief, with all his family. Beyond the Rocky Mountains, we could hear nothing more of him; so that we concluded he had ended his brimstone career, by driving into one of the craters that still smoke among the peaks.
*This circumstance, Sir, as I said, has caused much speculation in the Far West; but many set it down as a 'trapper's story,' which is about equivalent to a traveller's tale; neither would the author of 'Astoria' and 'Bonneville's Adventures' admit it into his works, though heaven knows he has not been over squeamish in such matters. The article in your last number, above alluded to, has now cleared up the matter, and henceforth I shall tell the story without fear of being hooted at. I make no doubt, Sir, this supposed infernal apparition was nothing more nor less than Jabez Doolittle, with his Locomotive, on his way to Astoria.
Who knows, who knows what wastes
He is now careering o'er?' as the song goes; perhaps scouring California; perhaps whizzing away to the North
Pole. One thing is certain, and satisfactory; he is the first person that ever crossed the Rocky Mountains on wheels; his transit shows that those mountains are traversable with carriages, and that it is perfectly easy to have a rail-road to the Pacific. If such road should ever be constructed, I hope, in honor of the great projector who led the way, it may be called the 'Dolittle Rail-road;' unless that name should have been given as characteristic, to so ne of the many rail-roais already in progress. 'Your humble servant,
HIRAM CRACKENTHORPE, of St. Louis.
EDITORIAL ‘POT-LUCK.' —- Indulgent reader, will you sit down at our table, and take pot-luck' with us? -- looking, with an eye of faith, to find something in the hash, from our own stores, or from those which have been 'sent in by the neighbors,' to slay your appetite withal? To drop similitude, we are about to resume the selections from our drawer,' among which we would crave permission to intersperse a few fragments from our note-book; the more that, being jotted down in half-indicated thoughts, they are not calculated to keep' for any great length of time; and there are a few pencillings scattered through the leaves, that we would not willingly let die. But first, let us do justice to a correspondent, whose early favor was inadvertently omitted from this department of our last number. Miud, or ihe wonderful thinking principle,' which animates our mortaliy, are surveyed by him in a wide field of vision :
The simple flower which springs up in our path, charms us by its sweetness and fra. gility, and we learn to admire its wonderful mechanism. The rushing of the tornado, and the warring of the elements, we behold with thrilling emotions. Man, too, the lordly tenant of nature's heritage, is a miracle, aside from the ethereal spark which dwells within him. The curious structure of his frame; its wonderful combinations of levers and pulleys; the heart, that admirable forcing-pump, for driving the crimson life through every artery; and the chest, that secret laboratory, where nature, by her own fires, compounds her simples, and distils her vital essences; all these are subjects fraught with deep interest, and open wide fields of inquiry. But after all, what are the wonders of physical nature, without a soul to scan and enjoy them? The thinking principle, that receives these pleasures, that appreciates their value, and dwells with rapture upon the infinite wisdom and benevolence traced in them by the finger of God? Subtle in its essence, intangible in its existence, it eludes our strictest analyses. We see its intelligence, and marvel at its controlling and grasping power. It is around us, and in us, the main spring of our mortal horologe; and yet the question of its nature is more enigmatical than the riddle of the unshorn Nazarite to the Philistines. Philosophy bas grasped it as a subject of the poblest investigation, and philosophers have traced its history, observed its habits, and scanned its operations. But wrapped in the solitude of its own mystery, the mind has deigned merely to give them demonstration of its action, while the inner chambers of its arcana have never been explored.
Wonderful alike in its nature, in its existence, and in its operation, it is at once the fountain of thought, and the receptacle of feeling. Voiceless as the solitude, it goes forth from its frail tabernacle, and gathers the rich fruits of science. It laves its ethereal pinions in Arethusa's silver stream, and kindles with the fires of the Castalian
It careers through the whole cycle of truth, and returning from the long jour. ney, with its choicest pearls, garners up the rich treasures of knowledge.. Soaring on the wing of thought, above the dull regions of sense, it visits other worlds, and other suns; and pausing midway in its daring flight, sports like the lambent flame of the aurora borealis, on the broad play.ground of infinite space; and still rising, still expand. ing, it reaches the habitations of JEHOVAH, and in its wide embrace, takes the gauge and dimensions of the universe. But the mind is not more wonderful in its power than in its development. Feeble in its beginnings, as the twinkling star that heralds the approach of light, yet in its maturity it dazzles and burns with the vehemence of a mid-day sun. In its first outgoings, it is weak and fragile, as the tender vine, clasping its tendrils around every object for support; in its developnient, it lowers with the majesty of the mountain oak, and defies the storm. Cast your eye upon that tender infant, nursed in the sweet Eden of maternal love; the impersonalion of weakness, perhaps, and mental imbecility. How helpless! – how fragile! Yet who shall say, but that a gem of inestimable richness lies concealed in that feeble casket ? Who shall say that the mind, which now beams faintly forth from those eyes, when expanded and matured, shall not prove a mind of magic power ? – that the voice which now sobs in such ten
der accents, when strengthened by age, and nerved with intellectual energy, shall not prove as potent in hurling defiance at tyranny, as that of the far-famed orator of Athens,
whose resistless eloquence
From Macedon to Artaxerxes' throne ?' Who shall say that the little boy, who to-day amuses himself by twirling a fire-brand, and watching the ribands formed by its revolutions, shall not to-morrow prove a FrankLIN, chaining the lightning which plays on the scowling cloud, and giving laws to the warring elemenis ? Who shall say that the child, who to-day is stammering in the first rudiments of letters, shall not to-morrow prove a Milton, charming the world by the beauty of his descriptions, and by the lofty conceptions of his heaven-born muse? or a SHAKSPEARE, harping on the key.string of passion, and swaying the ride of human feeling at his pleasure ? or a Newton, bursting the obstructions casi by nature around our finite conceptions, and with a daring almost divine, carrying the line and plummet to the very outskirts of the Almighty's works? Franklin, Milton, Shakspeare, and Newton, were once infants in mind as well as in years; and that potency of intellect which they subsequently manisested, was but the gradual expansion of the bumble germ which God iniplanted in the first buddings of their infant days. Mysterious in its essence, no calculus can define its powers, calculate its eccentricities, or determine its orbit! The laws of matter cannot control it. Spiritual in its nature, it seeks its own level in kindred spirituality. On the fervid wings of ils aspiration, it struggles upward through obstacles of sense, and burns for ethereal joys. Earth is not its home. It is an exotic, transplanted from heaven, here to bud awhile, and unfold a few of its golden tints, just giving a glimpse of its loveliness, and then to fade and die. But there it will bloom, in perennial freshness! There it will display, in all their perfection, its magic hues, and waft its undying fragrance on the celestial breeze.
We derive the annexed lines from an esteemed friend, who composed them a short time since, partly doubtless as a relaxation from legislative duties and care-, but mainly to oblige the popular vocalist, Mr. H. Russell, who has set them to music, which will soon be published :
OH, how shall I woo thee? With youth's pleasant dream
Oh, how shall I woo thee? The days are by-gone,
Oh, how shall I woo thee? With riches untold ?
Oh, how shall I woo thee? With music's soft tone ?
That should woo thee, and win thee, mine own Isabelle!
Z. BARTON STOUT.
Now there may be some readers, who have outlived the memory of their youthful loves, or else have never had any, who consider all tales and songs of the tender passion as just so much 'nonsense' and 'trash.' Such men, (and women, if there be any,) are greatly to be pitied, and pity is akin to contempt. Keep ever alive, oh reader! your memories of the heart;' and be not ashamed to write or speak of that which VOL. XIII.
springs from the divinity within us for Gon is love. We admire the man who hesitates not to recall with rapture, even when descending the downhill of life, the first faint radiance of an early-kindled flame, and its steady advance to a consuming fire; the stolen interview, the secret billets, the longer letters; the watchings for the glimmer of light in her distant apartment, for full many a night, when none but the pale stars were looking down upon the summer's sward or the winter's snow; and, ihrice-blessed moment! when, all doubt vanished, all aspirations realized, that fond girl placed her soft, warm hand in his; when, with wild audacity, he clasped her to his bosom; when, for the first time, their lips were joined, and their two souls, like dew-drops, rushed into one. Of how many thousands will this be the experience, before these pages shall become forgotten records! How will even aversion melt to final pity, and ridicule be transformed into admiration, and admiration into love! ‘Delicale girl,' wrote a keen observer of human nature, many years ago, 'delicate girl, just budding into womanly loveliness whose heart for the last ten minutes has been trembling behind the snowy walls of thy fair and beautiful bosom, hast thou never remarked and laughed at an admirer, for the mauvaise honte with which he hands to thee a book, or thy cup of half-watered souchong? Laugh not at him again, for he will assuredly be thy husband.' Yes! he will trumble for a few months more, as he stands beside thy music-stool, and join no others in the heartless mockery of their praise; but when every voice which has commended thy song, is hushed, and every note which thou hast clothed in ethereal music, is for. gotten by all beside, to him it will be a theme to dream upon in his loneliness; and every look which thine eye vouchsafed to him, will be laid up as a sacred and a holy thing, in the inmost sanctuary of his secret soul. Thou wilt see, in a short time, that the tremulousness of his nerves is only observable, when his tongue is faltering in his address to thee; pity will enter into thy gentle heart, and thyself wilt sometimes turn the wrong page in thy book of songs, and strike the wrong note on thy piano, when thou knowest that his ears are drinking in thy voice, and his eyes following thy mi. nutest action. Then will he, on some calm evening, when the sun is slowly sinking behind the west, tell thee that without thee he must indeed be miserable; that thou art the one sole light which has glowed and glittered upon 'life's dull stream.'
There follow a few pretty and fanciful lines, written, as we gather from a correspondent, by a child, who has not yet reached her thirteenth year. She is the daughter of Mr. Thomas Mathews, of the National Theatre, whose début, the last season, at that establishment, in the part of ' Apollo,' elicited general applause:
THE ORIGIN OF THE SNOW DROP.
A SNOW-FLAKE fell from the summer sky,
As though it had burst its chain,
Until winter appears again.
Where many a flow'ret grew,
Who bathed them all in dew. It rested wear a blooming rose,
That shed its fragrance round, Folding its leaves in soft repose,
To a fountain's silvery sound.
And wben above, I have often sighed
To see their colors fly :
New life to each rosy flower,
To deck the angel's bower.'
The angel smiled on it, resting there,
And thus addressed the snow :
While the summer sunbeams glow ?'
•Froin the scorching sun on high,
As the snow-flake spake, the flowers that lay
All withering on the ground,
And brightness reigned around.
Sweet pitying spirit of air!
Thau all these flowers inore fair!'
In the place where the snow-flake came,
And THE SNOW-Drop'is its pame!
An ingenious machinist in France once obtained a patent for an automaton'crieur,' that was well adapted for selling property of all descriptions. The machine performed every relative duty of the most experienced auctioneer, with significant and appropriate actions, without the wonted noise and nonsense. When set in motion, it called the