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collision more to be dreaded than the jostle in crowded streets. It turns the cold shoulder to a brother. It tramples upon hearts. There is a haste more eager than the hurry of the driving throng. It cannot stay for duty. There are symptoms of weakened life more fatal than the pallid cheek and shrunken limb. It is the feeble pulsation and the dwarfing of the soul. Many a citizen, who goes to the country in search of green fields and a purer air, does not know that he wants spiritual things far more.
The country, in its comparative freedom from corruption, is favorable to purity of heart; in the greater leisure found there, to meditation and study. Pleasures there are simpler ; tastes more natural. There is a harmony (would that it were greater !) between men's modes of living there, and nature around them. Her face, so fair, so bright, cannot beam upon them wholly in vain. Her sweet influences must steal into their souls. The Great Author must invade at times the thoughts even of the unwilling, on the lone mountain, and in the pathless woods. Peaks, cataracts and glaciers, odors and flowers, are ministers to reinforce the word and the spirit. The thunder has a voice among the hills which wakes all but the dead. The lightning there sends a truth, which cleaves a way of its own to the heart. The great teacher, Death, when he walks in the country, takes a neighbor or a friend.
Have men an, excuse for a scornful and oppressive spirit, where their habitual relations with their fellow men are of necessity mutual good offices and just equality ? Ought they not to be dispassionate! Why, the bot vapors of politics, gendered in the seething cauldron of large assemblies, spend themselves and cool, in the purer air of the country. It is the place, for the most part, where you would expect just and sober views of public policy; whence pure legislation would proceed; and the voice of Truth be raised, to be echoed by posterity. The misty rumors of the day become history, or are detected as falsehoods, before they reach the mountains, and roll along the sparselypeopled valleys. Ought not men to take juster views of life, where the atmosphere is clearer ? Ought they not to do its duties more faithfully, where those duties are plainer and pleasanter ? Ought they not to grow wiser, where nature, society, life, are the teachers, applying knowledge to the heart ?
To a greater or less degree, the influences of the country upon the people have been what we should anticipate. The character of the yeoman mind partakes of the robust strength of the yeoman body, and the manliness of yeoman pursuits. It is the country which builds cities ; and it is the country which, by the constant infusion of new life, saves them. Hence, from the granite cliffs of New Hampshire proceeds a voice which soon commands listening senates. Hence, by the pure mountain streams of Berkshire, a Bryant fed that deep fountain of poetry and heavenly meditation, which reflects sky and tree on its bosom, and sends quiet and holy thoughts into the soul.
But if there be virtues in the country, there are likewise great faults. If it have its opportunities, it has its disadvantages. The
evils in the country come from leisure unimproved, and rust of the mind. And rust of the mind is worse than its wear and tear. The evils in the country come from too narrow a sphere of action; and that contracts the mind and the heart. The evils of the country come from
jealousies, selfishness, and rancor. And such, the more they are pent up, like the expansive energies of steam, the more they rend and de. stroy. The evils of the country come from want of that intimate contact with the varieties of human nature, to be had in cities. Though the superior simplicity of country life reveals more of the hearts of the many, yet a man has less opportunity there to penetrate into the recesses of the few. He may learn in the country how to touch the chord of sympathy in the people. But he must go to the city, to learn the windings and the subtleties of the villain ; and to behold the loftiest virtues, nurtured always by trial, of the human soul. The evils of the country come from want of intercourse with men of all characters and creeds; to rub down the sharp edges of prejudice ; to beget moderation and tolerance; to quicken the intellect and heart. The evils of the country come from the want of the impulse and glow of intense action. The clear lake, with stream neither running in nor out, becomes a stagnant marsh, creating a malaria around it.
It is in the power of the yeoman to do much toward counteracting these evils. The remedies, next to the sanctification of the heart, are the cultivation of the social affections; the study of Nature; and large and healthful reading. Without these, Christianity itself is often a wicked tool.
In conclusion: there are few errors more fatal to the improvement of the old, than that they are too old to learn. None are too old to learn, who are not too old to feel. The opportunities of the young are like the books of the Sybil. The price to be paid for them is at all times the same. It is the sacrifice of self-indulgence and sensuality, whether a man buy wisdom sooner or later; but the delay of a few years makes an immense difference in the value of the purchase.
But one thing is to be remembered. Before all acquisition of knowledge, the debt of duty is to be discharged to the last farthing. To gather KNOWLEDGE, becomes a duty only when the business of life has been done. Sir Walter Scott, al the height of his fame, valued himself more on his clerkship in a court of law, than as an author. Learning can make a pedant; science a philosopher. But he who does his duty, no matter how humble it be, secures the name and reward of a wise man.
'T 18 very odd that poets should suppose
M. C. F.
'A THOUSAND friends! a thousand FRIENDS! ah, that could never be!
'A chosen few' - but few, indeed, for they must love alone,
But who would Aing the love of soul, the foliage of the heart,
And when it withers, when it fades, in sadness and in gloom,
And only one - a glittering one: Beloved ! give a tear !
Tue following paper, in Arthur's own hand, has long lain undisturbed in a dusty pigeon-hole, among other letters and documents, of its own date. Arthur was an early friend of mine; but he has long been dead, as with deep regret I have lately learned ; and now it can do no harm to publish his story. It bears the marks of its author's own rudeness, and will not be doubted, as an honest record, by any one who knew him. It is to be regretted that the day of these things is passing away. Superstition will soon be driven out of the land, and all its sweet legends banished from the heads and hearts of the people. The world is stripping every thing to the naked truth.
No cheating !' is the watch-word; and how heroically these champions of truth are laying about them! How they are digging for facts! What a clamor they are making about proofs !' How valorously they are attacking prejudice; scattering illusion; sweeping away false colors; and slashing up all this intolerable beauty, that forsooth is 'only skin-deep! Presently there will be nothing but naked truth left in the world, and the prettiest flower will be only clay. Mere FACTS will soon fill the earth : they are crowding every thing else from the land : the world is coming to an age of cold utility. Superstition and credulity are dying away in the minds of the people, and the love of plain, naked truth is springing up, and overrunning all classes. Already you may hear young people boasting of their freedom from the trammels of superstition. May Heaven preserve us! I know of a refuge; a land of true believers ; old-fashioned, unsophisticated worthies, who never tell a story without staggering the stoutest cre
dulity, and never hear one without believing it. Bless my soul ! what incredible stories I have heard there! How those old people can talk ! It was thence this story come; there happy Arthur spent his latter days; and thither I am going, ' bag and baggage,'to live and die with the last race of happy visionaries, in a delightful world of shadows and illusions, among the pleasant hills of Old ConNECTICUT.
• How little do we appreciate A MOTHER'S tenderness while living! But when she is dead and gone; when the cares and coldness of the world come withering to our hearts; when we find how bard it is to find true sympathy - how few love us for ourselves, how few will befriend us in our misfortunes — then it is, that we think of the mother we have lost.'
WASHINGTON IRYING. I took up my pen early in the evening, and endeavored to review in a philosophic spirit those matters of mystery which are blended with my existence, and on which you seem to ponder with so deep an interest. I have wandered from my purpose, into dim regions. Little occurrences, long forgotten, have arisen like skeletons in my recollections. Times, scenes, old faces, deep-buried in years, have come forth, and seemed to people the dusk around me. The wizard spirit of old times has brought its sober spells upon me, and contemplations and reflections, sweet though mournful, have shrouded me until this hour. It is now late; but I will endeavor to finish
task. My eye-lids are not heavy: there will be no sleep for me to-night.
. For the first twelve years of my life, I hardly had an existence, independent of my mother. I was but an imperfect being. Her sympathy and affections were to me like an atmosphere, as indispensable as material ether. From her my heart continued to receive its warmth. How often in the midst of play would I leave my fellows and return home, throw down my cap, and glide into the room, to look into those soft eyes, and have a few words with my
mother! With what regularity would I return at the close of school, or from an expedition into the meadows, to behold that face, and bask in that smile! All my mother's affections were concentrated in me. Her soul loved me. I bore her hopes. I was to her a light in the pleasant visions of the future. She regarded me as her star of rejoicing; and the remembrance of previous disappointment increased her solicitude, and troubled her with forebodings. As the poetic mothers of the East watched in the nights of old the stars of promise, observing with anxiety every little cloud that seemed to skirt its way, trembling at every brief obscurity, and falling into raptures when its course cleared, or a bright ray beamed out, so did my mother regard me, in those early years, watching my dawn with prayers and tears.
With what solicitude did she regard the slightest development of my young mind! How earnestly did she labor to occupy my intellect with ideas of purity and virtue ; and how effectually did she inculcate her lessons! How deep was the impression of that first admonition, in which she taught me to preserve the immaculate
. She may
truth! With what dread did I ever after contemplate the very outskirts of a falsehood ! The instructions of my mother might have fitted one for life, if earth had been paradise, and the world a community of angels. And her devotion can never be forgotten. That face, so full of tenderness and sympathy, has never passed from my remembrance : it has been near me in all the solitary hours of my life. I have looked on it, and pondered : I have felt wonder and admiration, in contemplating my mother's love; and through memory, my mother's influence still lingers in the best feelings of my heart : and when I have seen a woman, old and wrinkled, in poverty and dirt, dishonored and degraded, a thought has stolen
upon me : have been a mother; over her boy she has watched, and hoped, and poured out her affections!' Disgust has crept away: I have looked upon her with reverence ; I have spoken words of kindness. mother I discern a heavenly light, which sheds an effulgence on the ruins of the most wretched of her sex.
• Twilight on the old porch! How plainly I recall the sensations with which, while she mused, I sat silent and thoughtful by her side! As the spirit of that still evening scene steals over me, my heart almost feels its old impulses, and my ears seem to catch those old nightly sounds. I hear the rustle of the faint breeze among the leaves. I distinguish again the very direction in which the chirp of the different crickets, and the song of the katy-did, came. I almost feel that warming of the heart, which I experienced whenever my mother looked down into my face. It was there that I first listened to those lessons in which my virtuous feelings were nourished, and my young desires for knowledge awakened: there we held converse about the great and good men of the earth. And when the light faded, and the stars began to peep out, how did my young mind expand, and my imagination rise, while she unfolded the first rudiments of infant astronomy! How would I puzzle, and marvel, till my brow gathered into wrinkles, to encompass the vast idea of infinite space! And when she came to those incredible facts concerning our own orb, how my little mind, all a-tiptoe, was staggered! It was nothing new to me, to learn that the earth was round; that I had always known, from the appearance of the sky. But that we were on the outside of it! That was the wonder! And then came a fearful thought, at which I could hardly keep my seat. If people should go too near the side, and fall off! Where would they go to! It was an important epoch in my imagination, when, in one of those summer evenings, it was first liberated from the little hemispherical cage in which, ignorant and content, it had passed its first years, and found itself perched out on a globe, in the vast abyss of unlimited space! From that hour it became restless; it began to spread and feel its presumptuous wings. Hitherto a hemisphere had been spacious enough; but now it turned a curious eye around; it longed to roam ; to wing its circle about the ocean; to make a flight to the margin; to set foot on the shore; and many a long dreary hour did I pass in bed, at midnight, while this discontented wanderer was away, searching for the borders of the universe.
• But it was not my mother's fault, if I fell into error, or became flighty in my first star-gazing. It was her purpose to enlarge my