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Editor's DRAWER. - In closing the last number of the sixteenth volume of the KNICKERBOCKER, it is meet that we should revert to our 'Drawer,' which is again overflowing with communications, in prose and verse, several of which await insertion, while very many have been reserved for extracts, and for comment, for various merits, or for occasional defects of matter or style. We proceed to a consideration of such as we can find present space to publish or discuss; reserving the remainder for another and early occasion. The following, from a new correspondent, we heartily endorse; and must desire that the writer will continue his intercouse with our readers.
AMONG the lawless bands of useless characters which are ever loitering like camp-boys about the great literary army, pillaging, ravaging, and committing all kinds of disorder, there is oure class, Mr. Editor, far more insufferable to me than the demi-savans, the mock-orators, the stagerapters, or the poetasters: I allude to the Quoters, who dally grow in number and consequence, and threaten to beset every road wbich leads to the mind of the great class of readers. Quoting is even becoming fashionable among those who do not profess it as an art. I have remarked many shocking instances of it, from the clergyman's text-woven sermon, down to the Sophomores'exhibi. tion production. It abounds in Fourth-of-July oratious, and obtains largely in lectures. As far as my limited observation goes, an inverse proportion can always be made between the number of quotations and the weakness of the article.
The quoter is prosaic decidedly: in verse he would be a plagiarist, or would publish centones. He writes not from an idea. He seeks not for truth. He is guiltless of invention. He is ever on the look-out for a quotation, as a sportsman is for game; and when he sees one, in glancing over a penny magazine, or in idly turuing the leaves of a . Curiosities of Literature,' with what delight he bags it, and matches it with others tortured from the same work, or from recollections of newspaper mottoes! These rear his fabric. The quotation is not employed to illustrate a conception, but as a nucleus about which common-places may be clustered. When you take up such a production, your eye is at first struck by a wilderness of commas, plentiful as in a Turkish manuscript. When you examine it, what a farrago! Authors of all nations, crammed from dictionaries and American Readers; the immortal great, and the dampable small; bright thoughts, odd quips, witty turns, glued together in scraps ; the writer's own bearing to the whole about the same proportion that the thread bears to the patches in the comfortable bed-quilts of a New England housewife. The quilt material and the quilt spiritual are equally somniferous.
Nay, so eager are the quoters in pursuit of game, that when an experienced gentleman of the tribe inserts a sentence of bis own, faute de mieux, he always claps two or three of the longest or shortest words into quotation-marks, with the addition, as old CHAUCER tells us,' or as fine old BEN JONSON says;' and knowing as little of the inside of their works as the school-boy does of his eternal. Locke and Bacon, Bacon and Locke,' he cheats his reader by forging an endorsement on his
• But why so bitter ?' you will ask. Because I detest pretension, and am almost driven to extremity by reading their pert and Alippant use of names which know them not; because they sin, inasmuch as they usurp the place of better men, besetting the ante-chamber, when they belong to the kitchen ; because they hover around us in such bodies, that we have no time to get at originals, and are obliged to take a villanous hash instead of a noble sirloin. Even now, as I write, methinks I see between me and my book-case, dozens of blue devil'poocillings,' sketches,'confessions,'
smirking and smiling toward me, and bowing me gracefully away from my dear old friends. By Heaven, I will not endure it! I look to you for redress; and would respectfully suggest a method for purging the town of these nibbling vermio; a method effectual without being tyrannical, and purely democratic.
For the other day, rising from the perusal of some such trash, I came suddenly upon a troop of quoters making merry among themselves with the shades of stale puns avd fishy jokes : ‘Look ye,' I cried, indiguantly addressing one of them, will you inform me what author has had the bonor of furnishing you with ibat hackneyed lipe you jot down so often :
. On the light fantastic toe 7'
• To be sure,' he answered pertly; it was Pope!' 'Indeed! And you, Sir; wbere did you get
Where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise?' * From Milton' (rather besitatingly.)
Milton, thou dolt! - 't is Gray's. Ho! there, Mr. Moralist, that I see sneaking off, confess that you did not know that Vauvenargues was the author of this maxim with wbich you have embellished your last three essays:
"Le sentiment de nos forces les augmente ?" *Vauvenargues,' replied he, miserably mispronouncing ; 'I thought it was some Frenchman.' Some Frenchman !
Revenons a nos moutons, is another phrase which all use, and which none of them. I will venture to say, can trace to its origin. As I have heard many queries concerning it, and bave never seen an explanation, it will perhaps be doing them a kindness to disclose the fact. It is well known, that in tbe happy days of Arcadia, Freoch was the fashionable language; and equally matter of fact, that the shepherds and shepherdesses often beglected their focks, and strayed away together in the woods, in the most sentimental manner. And it is recorded, that whenever in these excursions the gentle shepherd, presuming on the strength of his affection, took greater liberties than the gentle shepherdess thought it becoming or maideoly to permit, she always put a stop to his advances by a 'Come, Sir! - revenons à nos moutons ;' which of course broke up both the walk and the sentiment. Let us come back to our sheep.' You, O Editor, influenced by these observations, must publish an edict, or call it a bull, if you please, as you are Diedrich's vicegerent, bearing for title, THE BULL SUUM CUIQUE, and setting forth :
• Be it ordained, that no writer within the jurisdiction of this chair, shall quote, when said quotation does not add to the force of his remarks, by the grace of expression, or by the authority of the name; and that all quoters shall in every case annex the author and the work from which they cite, or insert them in a pote at the bottom of the page.'
This covers the whole ground. They will wince under it, and perhaps swear a little. The old journeymen will bave to give up the trade, and then young apprentices can look up authorities. In a word, as many good consequences will ensue, as the Hampshire Farmer predicted in his • Rejected Address,' (which I have in my head, but can not in conscience quote ;) but above all, your infallibility as KNICKERBOCKER will be firmly and unalterably established.
If the following did not come from an old and favorite correspondent, we should consider it a smuggled advertisement. But we are bound to say, that it is what it purports to be, the tribute of a grateful wight, who loves that good old English word comfort, and all that it inherits, and fervently detests its opposite, however plausibly embellished.
Get one at once,' he says in his note; 'you will find one at any of the hardware and French dry-goods' importers, jewellers’, book-stores, druggists, barbers, and fancy. stores; for they are spreading like a contagion.' To all which we answer, that since we removed half a whisker at a clip, some years ago, in our first unassisted attempt at achieving a shave, the razor is a condemned instrument in our eyes.
DEAR MR. KNICKERBOCKER: Don't you remember that your worthy progenitor speaks of old Governor RiNiNGH's beard – what an 'iron harvest' it was, for weekly reaping? Well, Sir, I am a distant descendant of that valiant officer; and have good reason to know, from my own sad experience in chin-reapiug, that some apology is due to his memory, for the treatment which he bestowed upon PETER STUYVESANT's messenger, the musical VAN COKI.ear. Old Mr. KNICKERBOCKER says, that he called upon the Governor one morning, while he was straddling in the attitude
of the Colossus of Rhodes, before a bit of broken looking-glass, shaving himself with a villanously dull razor, and that the afflicting operation caused him to make a series of horrible grimaces, and to eye him askance over his shoulder, every now and then, with a kind of snarling grin on his countenance; and that finally he pulled Anthony's nose, and sent him back with a very rude mes. sage to the valiant Peter the Headstrong. Now, with his blood issuing in globules from his smurting face – refusing to be dried up -spouting out as from the many beaded Hydra - who can blame his hasty anger, and contemptuous bearing? Sir, I contend that had he possessed such a razorSTROP as I have been using for the last three weeks, KNICKERBOCKER's History would have closed with the peaceful acceptance of Hard Koppig Piet's terms. Many strops there have been since bis day, which could never have effected this result. But. Chapman's Metallic Razor-strop with Four Sides !!.. • Athin-faced man, with a brown coat, brought me one a week ago last Monday. He said but little. "Try it,' said he, and in a week I will call for the pay.' He was a little bald, perspired freely, and seemed of a benevolent turn of mind. He lest me. He has never called for his pay ; but it has been ready for him eight days. I have never seen, never, such an instrument as this strop. The juventor should have a fund made up for him by the wives of such petulant husbands as shave themselves. It is an infallible recipe for ill-nature, before and after shaving. No wonder that from employing two hands in their manufacture, the inventor has been compelled to increase the number to more than three-score. Napolcon of the Strop!- all-conquering Benefactor! Pray, dear OLD KNICK, if you love me, let me, through the pages in which I have labored aforetime - and you have said to edification'.- 'tell Chapman to crow!" Such a practical pbilanthropist cannot exaggerate bis claims upon a suffering public.'
The first canto of an original poem entitled 'Tecumseh' has been laid before us for examination; and if we may infer that the writer increases in excellence as he advances, or even sustains his wing, we may well believe that his will be ‘no middle flight.' He has imagination, fair descriptive powers, and an ear for the music of verse, as two brief passages from his poem, 'A Picture of the Past' and 'America,' in preceding pages, will verify to the reader. We hope to see 'Tecumseh' find an early publisher. Apropos of verse. We have many poetical articles on file, some of which are not inferior to the best modern productions of our native writers; many of them possess great merit in parts, but not in their entire form; while others are of that description which 'neither gods nor men are said to permit.' From this last class, we select a single example, reserving its fellows for the flames. It is entitled 'The Brothers' Duel,' and is altogether a most killing piece of doggerel. It depicts, with inimitable bathos, a small family, one after another, inquiring for their father, who has fallen in a duel with his brother. Listen! 'Hats off in front!'
•Where is my father? -- mother, lell!'
The infant boy did ask,
Prov'd it too great a task.
Wild flowed bis glossy hair ;
Where is my father - where!
The mother rose, without a word
She led them all in, where
There is your father - there!
Made known the horrid tale :
Was drawn — your father fell!"
Since the 'Mournful Lamentation for the young man who died from the bite of a rattle-snake, 'on Springfield's mountain,' we have encountered nothing richer than this. The reader shall judge between the 'poets :'
• On Springfield's mounting there did dwell
• He went on-to the mounting high-
The victim departs for home immediately, under great concern of mind in relation to the reptile's attack:
"Crying aloud, all as he went,
Oh cruel-cruel sa-ar-pent! Would the reader believe, that scarcely better lines than those first quoted above are written every week in some section or other of our country, by persons who really deem them poetry? And yet, from our editorial experience, we may safely assume that such
is the fact. Reserving for a future 'drawer’ a consideration of many of the second class of poetical articles to which we have adverted, we conclude for the present with the following simple and fervent invocation from one of a gentle sect, for a blessing upon his cousin — surely he did love her once' -- a fair Quaker girl, who is taking upon her. self the marriage-vow. “Poor blessing,' he says:
Poor blessing from a powerless lip!
Yet may it prosper thee,
Support the honey-bee.
Who staudeth at thy side,
My cousin for his bride:
Address his happy beart:
Whose chosen lord thou art.
Have borne her humble nume;
Unknowu to wealth or fame.
And underneath that simple robe,
A woman's heart beats high,
The good and ill to try.
And in its weakness strong ;
Patient to suffer wrong.
"T was thy blest lot to fiud;
Thy kiodners will unbind.
She is thy gentle bride!
And clingeth to thy side.
Unbidden tears will rise,
To Jim her sister's eyes.
If this be happiness?
Beneath their last caress.
And never let her say,
She mourneth for this day!
No fertile lands she calleth hers,
Nor India's gold or pearl;
A simple Quaker girl.
A fair and placid brow,
Even as it smleth now!
No gems are on her simple dress,
Nor in her braided hair,
Out-shineth diamonds there.
We derive the subjoined communication from a capable writer, whose enthusiasm in favor of the skill and talents of his own country men, is characteristic of every right minded and hearty American. Would there were more such among us:
CLOSE OF THE PAIR OF
THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE.
On the evening of the 29th of October, the Thirteenth Annual Fair of this Association was brought to a close, by reading the award of premiums, followed by an eloquent and appropriate address from its distinguished president. An immense throng were present, including a goodly number of estimable mothers and fair daughters, who pressed to witness the closing scene.
I would premise, that I was almost a daily visiter of the magnificent display; which comprised numerous animals; bees in new and greatly improved hives; vehicles, machinery, inventions, fabrics, improvements, einbellishments, imitations; in short, every thing that could gratify the eye and the imagination. The horticultural articles were of the noblest kind, and were not the least interesting part of the exhibition. They proved incontestably that our soil and climate are not surpassed for the production of the finest fruits, vegetables, and nowers.
It was remarked by some visiters, however, that the number of articles was less than at the preceding Fair. There may be truth in this; but it can be considered no disparagement, it being understood that numerous articles, calculated to make trouble, without producing any corresponding benefit, were prudently rejected. But when we take into view the many specimens of great and acknowledged ulilily, several of which were new inventious of the highest value, and bear in mind, too, that many of the fabrics bore the gratifying evidence of extraordinary improvement in design and execution, it was easy to perceive, that any diminution in number was more than counterbalanced by proofs of superior usefulness and elegance, which were every where visible.
But notwithstanding the gorgeousness and richness of the exbibition, when confined to valuable inventions, and to the useful as well as the ornamental arts, my attention was more particularly arrested by a collection of the noblest animals that I ever beheld, some of which were bronght from a great distance. It comprised horses, cattle, sheep, and swine, to a large amount. Several of the cattle were recently imported, others were of foriner importations; but the larger portion wera raised in this country from the best English breeds: and ii is questionable, if any part of Europe can produce tiner models for bulk, strength, and symmetry. The value of such
animals to a young, growing, but gigantic country, is ipappreciable; and those gentlemen who are the promoters of plans pregnant with such important consequences to the agricultural interests of the nation, deserve
the cordial thanks of the whole people, and ought to take rank as public benefactors. It is known that a ploughing exhibition took place at Newark during the Fair, which was attended by a numerous concourse of gentlemen, some of whom were from distant states. The object was to ascertain the comparative excellence of differently constructed ploughs, of which a great number were on the ground, and to award premiums for those made conformably to the most approved philosophical principles, and wbich on being tested by experiment, should in the most satisfactory manner Jemonstrate their superior utility. A powerful competition was enlisted, which led to a vigorous aud animated coutesi, as gratifying in its results, as it was honorable to the competitors. I consider such experiments as among the most important that can engage the attention of any association, as it goes to the root of the noblest pursuit of man. Mother Earth is our common parent, and from her bosom we derive our chief nourishment: and hence we are wisely taught to veperate the plough.
On the Thursday evening preceding the close of the fair, the annual address was delivered before the lustituto at the Tabernacle in Broadway, by the Rev. C. Mason, a professor in the Quiversity. Its excellence was attested by the marked attention shown by a crowded audience, and by the unbounded applause bestowed upon it. The speaker, I think, showed his knowledge and good sense in one prominent feature. It appeared to be less an attempt at mere literary display, than an effort to enforce sound doctrives by illustrating their immediate and practicul utility. He demonstrated in the most satisfactory manner the intimate connection there is between science, agriculture and the arts; and that without the aid of the former, the latter can never be made to flourish. Nor was he less happy in proving that labor-saving machinery led to numberless bene. ficial results ; for while it relieved a multitude of laborers from severe and irksome drudgery, it was often the means of placing them in a more agreeable and comfortable situation. It opened the door to more extended information, and placed instruction within the reach of a large class who would otherwise be deprived of it. And while these things were shown to be the foundation of our strength and prosperity, and ministering as they do, infinitely to our comforts, they were found to be not less friendly to the morals of every community in which they had taken root. Indeed it was made manifest, that manufactures and the arts, when united to scientific research, were the chief fountains of wealth and respectability.
But to return to the concluding performances of the Fair. An immense assemblage was edified for the space of nearly two hours, while listening to the interesting and instructive remarks of Gen. TalMADGE upon the great subjects immediately under review. Not only did he show the magnitude and importauce of these vasi concerns, and bow intimately they are connected with our individual interests and daily occupations; how inestimabiy valuable they were in a national point of view; and how strong their tendency was to exalt our character; how they gave affluence io many, and employment and support to thousands who would otherwise be severe sufferers; how by these means our energies were aroused, our country improved, and our independence fortified and confirmed; how it called skill and genius into vigorous action, and opened new and inviting sources of wealth and refinement; how it served to cultivate the best affections, to remove local prejudices, and to bind us together as one people ; but not merely these, for he proved how the imposing aud gratifying exhibition then before them was accomplished by the persevering exertions of a few master spirits, who had united for those purposes, and who could proudly point to the numerous splendid objects arranged before the audience as trophies of their judgmeni and foresight; the whole of which had been effected by unyielding individual labors, without the smallest legislative aid. All this went to show what powerful impulses had been imparted through the wise policy of conferring honorary rewards, as well as the simple grandeur of the scheme which brought it about.
A Native Citizen.
The Author of 'Bacchus' rs. PRINCE Gilbert Davis. — We hinted, in a late issue, that the author of 'Bacchus' had an antagonist to encounter, in the person of 'one who knew whereof he wrote;' and we leave our correspondent to make good the prediction. His remarks are necessarily desultory, since he is compelled to touch upon various branches of a general theme. But what is the variety of his observations, compared with the variety of his ample stores ? What the sparkling of his liveliest stories and most pleasant jests -- and who is his peer in these? --- compared with the 'vinous fluids,' of every kind and degree of excellence, that repose in his richly-stored cellars! Let the doubter test these queries, in this season of holidays, by an application to the PRINCE himself: so shall we ever after be acquitted of undue enthusiasm.
The precise period of wine-making appears to be wrapped in mystery : my opinion, however, is, that wine was known to the Aptediluvians, for we read in Genesis, that Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard,' and that he drank of the wine,' etc. This was after he came out of the ark. HENDERSON, iu bis history, says that 'the Egyptians gave the honor to Osiris, the Latins to Saturn, and the Greeks to Bacchus; and the Old Testament mentions, that corn and wine were the common necessaries of life. Doubtless the grape, like almost all other fruits, was found in the wild state, and brought to perfection, or improved, by careful cultivation. We read in Numbers, that in Syria 'they came unto the brook of Esheol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bear it between two, upon a staff. We should probably have heard more of the cnormous clusters of grapes growing in these eastern countries, if Abuhcker, who flourished in the seventh century, had not overran it: those Saracens, being Mahommedans, were vot permitted the use of wines, and hence neglected the culture of the vine. But though the Mohammedans of Syria did not propagate the vine, nor drink any wine, save by stealth and trespass, yet there were always some Christinas among them, who took caro to cultivate the grape for their own use, and not for export. Those Maboinmedans were 'le-totallers.' I hope our le-totallers are not becoming followers of MAHOMET, 10 forego wine and smoke opium!
The vine was cultivated to great extent by the Israelites, and the wine used