« PreviousContinue »
man's depravity; but if you turn away in anger, and despair, and hatred of yourself and others; if you bring yourself to the mad conclusion that there is no virtue or goodness in human nature, the light has indeed shone upon darkness, and the darkness has comprehended it not; and bitter, bitter will be the results of your unhappy decision!
'Indulgent reader, I will no longer weary you: my sheet is full. And at parting, what shall be my salutation? Shall I wish, in the courteous language of the Spaniard, 'that you may live a thousand years?' Shall I desire for you that you may not go down to the grave until age has withered your affections, sorrow blighted your hopes, disease enfeebled your framne? Would you be as the sickly leaf of autumn, clinging to the tree of life, with your beauty lost, your strength exhausted, your companions gone? Would you desire to totter along the path of the living, jostled by the vigorous, sneered at by the unfeeling, forgotten by all? If such be your desire, kind reader, even so be it unto thee! But so be it not unto me! I would not linger until the fountains of my heart are wasted, and its springs dried up; until the golden bowl of life is broken, and the silver chord of affection loosed. The choice is neither in your hands, nor in mine. The issue is with a holier Being, and it belongs not to us to gainsay his decrees. But, (with becoming reverence be it spoken,) there is something beautiful in a youthful departure. It is the repose of the noon-day, while the sun is yet shining, the birds yet singing; ere the shades of twilight or of darkness have conjured up the mocking phantoms of despair ; when hope, and faith, and religion, in their giant strength, can burst asunder from the Philistine grasp of sin, and soar upward and away, to the brightness of eternal glory!
"Give me to live Life's little bour
Witb those I love, and sink ere age
Nor war 'gainst Time unceasing wage :
In Spring-tide, gay, in Summer, flow'ring,
At resi, ere Winter's ills are low'ring.'
'I know that there is nothing more honorable and venerable than a holy anu estimable old age; but let me gaze at it from afar, like the mariner who casts a timid glance at the fairy island, around which are shoals, and rocks, and whirlpools. ... But, dear reader! whether you linger to a green old age, or pass away in the meridian of your beauty, blessings be upon thee and thine! A happy life, and a happier death! Vale, et vale! Farewell, and farewell !'
'The Mississippi BUBBLE,' by Mr. Irving, has been much quoted in England, and translated into one or two French publications. One of the London journals, speaking of the South Sea mania, in connection with its mammoth prototype, mentions the following as among the bubbles which were inflated and burst, about the years 1720-21 : 'For building and rebuilding houses throughout all England; for encouraging the breed of horses, and improving church lands ; for erecting salt-pans in Holy Island; for furnishing funerals to any part of Great Britain ; for insuring of horses ; for carrying on the royal fishery of Great Britain ; for a wheel for a perpetual motion; for drying malt by hot air; for building of hospitals for bastard children ; for the transmutation of quicksilver into a malleable fine metal ; for buying and fitting out ships to suppress pirates; for importing a large number of Spanish jackasses; for extracting silver from lead ; and last and not least, for an undertaking of great advantage, which shall in due time be revealed ;' in which each subscriber was to pay down two guineas, and thereafter to receive a share of one hundred, with a disclosure of the object; and so tempting was the offer, that one thousand of the subscriptions were paid the same morning, with which the proprietor went off in the afternoon!
MicromeGAS, THE CELESTIAL TRAVELLER.' We learn from Mr. BRYANT, that this satire of VOLTAIRE's was translated into English, soon after its first publication in France, and that it thus appeared in this country, several years since. It is pronounced, however, as fresh as if original, by most of our contemporaries of the public press. Its perusal, in our own case, has induced a renewed enjoyment of Gulliver's kindred experiences in Lilliput and Brobdignag; and we would commend a like gratification to the reader. Even a 'thrice-told tale,' by Gulliver can never prove tedious. His negatire grounds of comparison, how ludicrous they are! With what solemnity does he talk of the stately trees in the king's park at Lilliput, the tops of some of which he could hardly reach with his clenched fist! How becoming is the admiration with which he celebrates the prodigious leap of one of the imperial huntsmen over his foot, shoe and all! The mutton of the Lilliputians,' says he, 'yields to the English ; but their beef is excellent. I have had a sirloin so large, that I have been forced to make three bites of it; but this is rare!' A distinguished Lilliputian functionary took a fancy to be jealous of his wife, 'from the malice of some evil tongues, who informed him,' says Gulliver, 'that her Grace had taken a violent affection for my person; and the court scandal ran for some time, that she once came privately to my lodging. This I soleinnly declare to be a most infamous falsehood, without any grounds, farther than that her Grace was pleased to treat me with all innocent marks of freedom and friendship. I own she came often to my house, but always publicly, nor ever without three more in the coach, who were usually her sister and young daughter, and some particular acquaintance; but this was common to many other ladies of the court; and I still appeal to my servants round, whether they at any time saw a coach at my door, without knowing what persons were in it. On those occasions, when a servant had given me notice, my custom was to go immediately to the door; and after paying my respects, to take up the coach and two horses very carefully in my hands, (for if there were six horses, the postillion always unbarnessed four,) and place them on a table, where I had fixed a moveable rim quite round, of five inches high, to prevent accidents ; and I have often had four coaches and horses at once on my table, full of company, while I sat in my chair, leaning my face toward them; and when I was engaged with one set, the coach men would gently drive the others round my table. I have passed many an afternoon very agreeably in these conversations. But I defy the treasurer, or his two informers, to prove that any person ever came to me incognito.' Exquisitely burlesque as is this defence, it is scarcely more so than the picture drawn of the Brobdignagian flies, ‘as large as English larks,' whose uncleanly habitudes interfered so wofully with his meals. He notices the lock of a little box,very particularly, because he had seen one equally large on a gentleman's gate in England; and he greatly undervalues the tower of the great temple in the capital of Brobdignag, which, although three thousand feet in height, is, he thinks, hardly equal in proportion to Salisbury steeple! 'It is by his imperceptible mode of assimilating our ideas of proportion to those of his dwarfs and giants,' says Scott, 'that Gulliver renders lively and consistent a fable, which in other hands would only have seemed monstrous and childish.' The sort of rëaction, 100, which is produced upon the traveller's mind, when restored to persons of his own size, particularly after his return from the land of giants, greatly reconciles us to a deception maintained with such accuracy and truth of description.
New PUBLICATIONS. · We shall embrace another occasion to notice the following works, in connection with other volumes to which we made but brief allusion in our last issue. Unavoidable absence from town, with illness and death in the editor's family, must constitute an ample excuse for the omission of much that would otherwise have received attention at our hands, in the present number : 'GURNEY on the WestIndies;' "William Tell, and other Poems, from the German of SCHILLER ;' 'BRISBANE on Association;' 'Punchard on Congregationalism;' DISTURNELL's excellent 'RailRoad Book for Travellers;' Bulwer's 'Godolphin ;' Hach’s ‘Musical Magazine,' etc.
THE REMAINS OF NAPOLEON. -The following eloquent and well-reasoned passage we take from an article in Frazer's London Magazine, upon the policy and taste displayed by the French Chamber of Deputies, in removing the remains of Buonaparte from the‘lone isle of the ocean,' which they have rendered memorable through all time, to the gay metropolis of France.
"If the true sublime were consulted, Napoleon would be allowed to remain in St. Helena. He has it all to himself. He is the sole mat buried in the Atlantic who has a distinct burial place in the bosom of the ocean. In Pagan mythology Sicily was not more decidedly the burial-place of Enceladus, thao St. Helena is that of the giant disturber of our own generation. There he lies alone - quite alone -a mark for all who sail along the watery ways. The islands and the coasts of the tropics have given their last homes to millions of men, since death began in the world, and no doubt the bones of many a gallant and worthy fellow are there deposited ; but of them who takes thought? Those who traverse the highway from Europe to lodia, from the continent he bad all but won to the empire which was for ever the dazzling object of his ambition – all who
on the trading flood Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape,
Fly sternming nightly to the Pole ;' all whose thoughts turn to the shores of America or Africa; all who go down to the sea in ships, or think of wandering over the face of the deep; to them is the tomb of Buonaparte vividly present. No one passes St. Helena without visiting the willows waving over him. Meu going on bold enterprise, or sent to govern provinces equal to kingdoms, or returning from splendid rule or brilliant conquest; the soldier in quest of time, the sailor of adventure, the merchant of wealth, or each bound homeward laden with what he sought; the star-calculating astronomer, the pondering avtiquary, the leurned philologist, the zealous missionary; these are no idle visitants; and by them is tho grave of Buonaparte duly hallowed.
There he lies iu his ocean resting-place, as well-known to all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea,' as was in the days of Arabian Romance the brazen warrior, standing in solitude upon the wave-washed mountain of adunant, awaiting the coming of Prince Ajib. So should the earthly warrior abido amid his wave-washed precipices, awaiting the more dread summons, the last trumpet-call, which will order the sea to give up its dead.' Sorry, indeed, is the taste, which would remove him from this sublime dwelling, to make bim an additional attraction among the tinsel mummeries of Paris; to confound him with the melodramatic sorrows, the tawdry immortelles, the musty wreathes of Pere la Chuine; to take him from a place where his remains will com: mand the respect of MEN -- and no common men now pass his tomb - lo put him where he will be only a mark for the peering and the jabbering of monkeys ; to degrade hin from being the genrus loci of one of the great landmarks of the world; to become an additional raree-show to gratify a cockney curiosity, and share the glories of an opera-dancer, a patriotic spouter in the Chamber of Deputies, or any other buffoon of the minute, consigned with theatrical honors to the grave.'
Meet it is, that even in death he should be himself alone, who when he fell conquered at last, fell suddenly, without bending till he broke; as a tower falls, smitten by sudden lightning.
"The QUADROON.' – This new novel,' by Mr. INGRAHAM, author of 'Robert Kidd,' etc., has been issued in London by Bentley, the highly conscientious publisher of the very original Magazine which bears his name. The work would seem to have been essentially 'crucified' in London; insomuch as to lead us to question whether the
English reputation of the author, of which we have sometimes vaguely heard on this side the water, be not rather assumed than real. The Athæneum, a journal of authority, says of 'The Quadroon: It is 'a violent story of fine clothes and fierce passions; its epoch, the possession of New Orleans by the Spaniards ; its main idea, the wrongs and perils which beset one of those ill-starred beings who give to the book its title. The author shows no shrinking or superfluous delicacy in the treatment of his subject. The mother is here as willing to barter her child to the highest bidder, as ever was real Quadroon; but such readiness imparts the moral taint of a corrupt society to the book, and makes it repulsive. The machinations of Azelie's 100-natural parent, are defeated by the purer sense of Renault, her supposed son, and by the mysterious influence of a Moorish sorceress -- that Wandering Jew-ess of all novelists — who knows everybody's secret, and stalks here and there, committing all sorts of impossibilities, and awing the dramatis persona, from the greatest to the least. There is also a fierce, unscrupulous, licentious Spanish gover nor, thoroughly and irredeemably vicious, save for the affection he bears to his fair daughter; and there are a series of the grandest possible blue-fire and bloody-dagger stage effects, by way of winding up the novel.' We have our fears that the author of 'The Quadroon' will not a little lessen the reputation he may have
acquired at home, as a clever groupist of melo-dramatic scenes, by publishing too much — by writing more than he reads. If he would consult his fame, he should relieve his hurried novel performances with another series of travelling sketches, like his 'South-West,' which was his first work, in more senses than one.
THE 'BROTHER JONATHAN.' We have hitherto omitted to mention the accession to the literary attractions of this beautiful and well-filled sheet, of N. P. Willis, Esq., who is announced as joint editor with Mr. Weld. The 'Jottings Down in London,' and 'Letters from under a Bridge,' so popular in the 'Corsair' and the 'Mirror,' have been resumed in the ‘Jonathan;' and these, with kindred graphic sketches of Ireland, and those light and graceful tales in which Mr. Willis is so successful — to say nothing of early selections from the best English periodicals, and foreign and domestic correspondence- must add greatly to the repute and circulation of this mammoth journal. The last North American Review thus speaks of Mr. Willis's prose writings :
. The variety and versatility of Mr. Willis's literary abilities have been strikingly displayed within the last few years. He writes a prose style, which, for splendor of diction, brilliancy and tastefulness of ornament, and musical flow, will bear a favorable comparison with that of any author in the walks of elegant literature, whether in England or in the United States, His language possesses that curious but indescribable filicily, that clearness and graphic power, and that grace. fulness of racy, idiomatic expression, which wind their way into every reuer's mind, and enchart his senses by their manifuld fascinations. liis works have had an almost unprecedented circulation, in spite of certain grave faults, which drew down upon them the heavy censure of some of the British critics. But the critics are not omnipotent; and the writings of a man of genius, liko Mr. Willis, however light and transient the theme, will be popular, will be read. His · Pencillings by the Way,' therefore, notwithstanding their offences against the laws of society in some instances, continue to be republished, adorned by all the luxury of the British press. We understand that a new edition of his collected Poems' is about to appear, in the style of Rogers' magnificent volumes.'
The publishers of the 'Jonathan' have found a reward for their untiring enterprise, and liberal expenditure, in a circulation altogether unprecedented. They now issue thirty-two thousand copies of their journal weekly.
ARNOLD THE TRAITOR. - The sketch which occupies the opening pages of the present number, will not escape the notice of the reader; since it is a vivid narrative of a succession of events which must prove of interest to every American. We have received during the month original autograph letters from Arnold's mother to her son; from the traitor himself, written at Crown Point, when treason was distilling its poison in his bosom ; from ANDRE, General Gates, etc., from which we shall take an early occasion to make interesting extracts, for the entertainment of our readers. It was no slight retribution, that after Arnold had thrown himself into the arms of the enemy, and while he was engaged in a service against his country in which victory could have gained no laurels, nor defeat incurred additional disgrace, he was in reality the most wretched of mortals. Remorse sat ever at his heart, and gnawed at its cruel leisure.
To CORRESPONDENTS. — The capital desultory paper upon 'WINE,' from the pen of our friend Prince Gilbert Davis, will have present attention. 'Running the Gauntlet,' a third Reminiscence of the late War, will receive an early insertion. The 'Letters from London,' by the 'American in Paris,' will be resumed in our next. A number of articles, in prose and verse, await that attention which, for certain painful reasons, elsewhere stated, it has been impossible for us to devote to them.
THE DRAMA. — Our several theatrical establishments will be in full force, by the time our next number is issued. We shall keep our readers duly advised of their various attractions. Mr. BUCKSTONE, a popular dramatic author, and very pleasant actor, has been the only borrowed 'star' that has yet shot hitherward from its sphere. His sucess has been complete.
L 0 N D 0 N.
BY THE AUTHOR OF THE AMERICAN IN PARIS,'OUR VILLAGE, ETC.
That which stands with such unpresuming majesty on the north side of the Park, is St. James' Palace. The kings of England live here with the same kind of pride as Diogenes in his tub. The French have put myriads upon their palaces; enough upon Versailles alone to bring a judgment on a nation. Not to rival this magnificence, and to live in this old ruin, seems to me a commendable taste. Half-cut royalty is mean; it should be on one side or other of pretension. In this humble habitation dwells the monarch of a hundred millions of subjects !
I'he column standing at the head of a noble flight of stairs, and overlooking the Park and Westminster, and cut-topping the metropolis, is the 'York Pillar;' the duke's statue peering on its summit. It is not made of the enemy's brass, with • Dacian victories,' and grim conquests of Holland and Germany, carved in spirals to the top, but it is smooth and glossy, and you might write love-letters on it. There is a man standing by the pedestal, and stretching bis eyes upward. Let us imagine, by way of anti-climax, it is my Lord Wellington This column is a bad imitation of Trajan's, and twenty feet higher; the higher it is, the more the personage on top is diminished to a puppet, and his features indistinct. A high column, with a little man on it, is a thing in bad taste, any way. (I ask Trajan's pardon.) The design of a column is to support something ; something, too, proportionate to its size; or it is the emblem of a ruin, having outlived the edifice it once sustained. Trajan's column, Napoleon's column, the Duke of York's column! Mrs. Clarke's affair did not bring much credit to the Duke, but it was a good thing for Mr. Croker.
In the nortb-east corner they were this morning milking the Queen's cows. I will bave a drink, said I, from this pure lacteal fountain, and revenge myself for once of London milk, to which chalk gives the color, cabbage leaves the vegetable flavor, and snails the consis