NOW that our attention has been awakened to the subject, we find in our casual reading the testimony in favor of 'mind in animals' greatly to increase and multiply. OLEUS MAGNUS, Bishop of Norway, in a work written in Latin some two centuries ago, tells us of a fox that, in order to get rid of the fleas which infested his skin, was accustomed to swim out into a lake with a straw band held high and dry in his mouth. When the water-hating vermin had all escaped from his submerged body to the dry straw, down dived Reynard, leaving his tormentors 'at sea,' and rising again beyond the scope of safe jumping. 'Curious, isn't it?' A correspondent at Rochester, 'who experienced much satisfaction in the perusal of the article' above alluded to, was yet 'a little dissatisfied with the closing portion of it.' The proposition of the writer to 'abstain entirely from animal food,' on the score of humanity, he considers 'especially ridiculous.' He has 'the gravest authority for stating, that every drop of water that quenches our thirst or laves our bodies, contains innumerable insects, which are sacrificed to our necessities or comforts; each ingredient in the simplest vegetable fare conveys to inevitable destruction thousands of the most beautiful and harmless of created beings. From the first to the last gasp of our lives, we never inhale the air of heaven without butchering myriads of sentient and innocent creatures. Can we upbraid ourselves then for supporting our lives by the death of a few animals, many of whom are themselves carnivorous, when the infant who has lived for a single day has killed an infinitely greater number of human beings than the longest life would suffice to murder by design? Or, if we sacrifice either our lives or our comforts by scrupulously denying ourselves the use of animal food, can we derive much consolation from considering that we spare a few scores of beings, when we involuntarily, but knowingly, are every moment massacreing more than the longest life-time would suffice to enumerate?' . . . A REFERENCE to the case of 'Rachael Baker, the American Somnambulist,' in a late London Magazine, has recalled that remarkable phenomenon very forcibly to our mind. RACHAEL BAKER resided within four miles of 'the house where we were born;' and the first exhibitions of her religious exercises during sleep took place alternately at the homestead and the residence of a relation in its near vicinity. We remember as it were but yesterday the solemnity which sat upon the faces of the assembled neighbors, as they awaited the signal-groan from an adjoining apartment, to which, at about seven P. M., the Somnambulist usually retired for the night. When the door was opened the crowd pressed in. The sleeper, dressed in white muslin, lay straight and motionless in bed; her eyes closed, her face white and inflexible as marble; and her fingers with livid marks beneath the nails, clasped meekly upon her bosom. Flecks of foam were visible at the corners of her mouth, and her lips moved 'as if they would address themselves to speech,' for some seconds before any audible sound came from them. At length, however, in a clear silvery voice she opened with prayer; a prayer fervent, devotional, and evidently direct from the heart. When this was concluded, and after the lapse of a brief space, she began an exhortation, in language pure, beautiful, often eloquent, and occasionally rising to a noble sublimity; and then closed with prayer. If interrupted with a question, as she frequently was, by clergymen, medical gentlemen, and others, she answered it with readiness, and with a felicity of language surpassing belief. 'RACHAEL,' said a clergyman to her in our hearing one evening, while in the midst of her discourse, 'why do you engage in these exercises? and why——' She interrupted the speaker with words to this effect: 'I, even I, a worm of the dust, am but a feeble instrument in the hands of HIM who hath declared, 'I will pour out of my spirit upon you; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy.' Even so FATHER, for so it seemeth good in thy sight!' The girl was of bashful demeanor; altogether uneducated; could scarcely read; knew little of the Bible; and indeed in her waking hours conversed in a language that was far from being respectable English; but neither in her prayers nor in her exhortations was she ever at fault; nor did she at any time exhibit the slightest hesitation or confusion. Her answers to questions were brief, pointed, and invariably correct. Crowds flocked to see her, until the public curiosity overran all bounds. She was visited by many persons from New-York; and finally, under the direction of a committee of medical gentlemen from the city, was brought to the metropolis, where she created a great sensation. A pamphlet was written upon her case by Dr. MITCHELL; and we should feel greatly obliged to any reader who would place it for a short time in our hands. . . . A VALUED friend and correspondent, to whose kindness we have frequently been indebted, has sent us a 'Massachusetts Centinel,' printed in Boston sixty years ago; in which, among many other curious and amusing matters, there is a copy of an original letter written by the celebrated GEORGE ALEXANDER STEVENS, author of 'Lecture on Heads,' etc., dated at 'Yarmouth Jail, County of Norfolk,' which runs thus:
'SIR: When I parted from you at Doncaster, I imagined, long before this, to have met with some oddities worth acquainting you with. It is grown a fashion of late to write lives; I have now, and for a long time have had, leisure enough to undertake mine, but want materials for the latter part of it; for my existence now cannot properly be called living, but what the painters term still life; having ever since February 13, been confined in this town-goal for a London debt.
'As a hunted deer is always shunned by the happier herd, so am I deserted by the company, my share taken off, and no support left me, save what my wife can spare me out of hers:
'Deserted in my utmost need By those my former bounty fed.'
 The Norwich company of players, to which he belonged.
'With an economy, which until now I was a stranger to, I have made shift to victual hitherto my little garrison, but then it has been with the aid of my good friends and allies—my clothes. This week's eating finishes my last waistcoat; and next, I must atone for my errors upon bread and water.
'THEMISTOCLES had so many towns to furnish his table, and a whole city bore the charge of his meals. In some respects I am like him, for I am furnished by the labors of a multitude. A wig has fed me two days; the trimming of a waistcoat as long; a pair of velvet breeches paid my washerwoman, and a ruffled shirt has found me in shaving. My coats I swallowed by degrees. The sleeves I breakfasted upon for weeks; the body, skirts, etc., served me for dinner two months. My silk stocking have paid my lodgings, and two pair of new pumps enabled me to smoke several pipes. It is incredible how my appetite, (barometer like) rises in proportion as my necessities make their terrible advances. I here could say something droll about a good stomach, but it is ill jesting with edge tools, and I am sure that is the sharpest thing about me. You may think I can have no sense of my condition, that while I am thus wretched, I should offer at ridicule: but, Sir, people constituted like me, with a disproportioned levity of spirits, are always most merry when they are most miserable; and quicken like the eyes of the consumptive, which are always brightest the nearer the patient approaches his dissolution. However, Sir, to show you I am not lost to all reflection, I think myself poor enough to want a favor, and humble enough to ask it here. Sir, I might make an encomium on your good nature, humanity, etc.; but I shall not pay so bad a compliment to your understanding, as to endeavor, by a parade of phrases, to win it over to my interest. If you could, any night at a concert, make a small collection for me, it might be a means of my obtaining my liberty; and you well know, Sir, the first people of rank abroad will perform the most friendly offices for the sick; be not, therefore, offended at the request of a poor (though a deservedly punished) debtor.
'GEO. A. STEVENS.'
AMONG the facetiae of the 'Centinel' we find a clever hit at two prominent official characters of the name of DAY: 'TITUS, a Roman emperor, we are told, once lamented that 'he had lost a Day.' If the commonwealth of Massachusetts were to lose two Days, it would not be the cause of much lamentation!' A correspondent elsewhere observes, that in a procession on a certain solemn occasion in this city, the place of the physician was immediately before the corpse; which, he adds, was 'exactly consonant with the etiquette observed at capital executions in ancient times; the executioner always going before!' By the way, 'speaking of STEVENS;' perhaps the reader of good things at second-hand may not be aware how much he is indebted to this author's 'Lectures on Heads' for amusement and instruction. They were very popular throughout Great Britain; and as illustrated by the author, after the manner of 'OLD MATTHEWS,' they are said to have been irresistible. It was in this collection that the law-cases of 'BULLUM vs. BOATUM' and 'DANIEL vs. DISHCLOUT' had their origin. They are familiar to every school-boy, not less for their wit than the canine Latinity in which they abound; 'Primus strokus est provokus; now who gave the primus strokus? Who gave the first offence?' Or, 'a drunken man is 'homo duplicans,' or a double man, seeing things double,' etc., etc. We annex an example or two of the writer's individuality. The first is a sketch of a nil admirari critic and amateur, who has travelled long enough abroad to fall in love with every thing foreign, and despise every thing belonging to his own country except himself: 'He pretended to be a great judge of paintings, but only admired those done a great way off, and a great while ago; he could not bear any thing painted by any of his own countrymen. One day being in an auction-room where there was a number of capital pictures, and among the rest an inimitable painting of fruits and flowers, the connoisseur would not give his opinion of the picture until he had examined his catalogue; when, finding it was done by one of his own countrymen, he pulled out his eye-glass, exclaiming: 'This fellow has spoiled a fine piece of canvass; he's worse than a sign-post dauber; there's no keeping, no perspective, no fore-ground, no chiar'oscuro. Look you, he has attempted to paint a fly upon that rose-bud! Why, it is no more like a fly than I am like an ——' But as the connoisseur approached his finger to the picture, the fly flew away. It happened to be the real insect!' Is not the following a forcible picture of a mercurial, hero-loving Frenchman? 'Has he property? An edict from the Grand Monarque can take it, and he is satisfied. Pursue him to the Bastile, or the dismal dungeon in the country to which a lettre-de-cachet conveys him, and buries him for life: there see him in all his misery; ask him 'What is the cause?' 'Je ne sai pas; it is the will of the Grand Monarque.' Give him a soup-maigre, a little sallad, and a hind-quarter of a frog, and he's in spirits. 'Fal, lal, lal! Vive le Roi? Vive la bagatelle!'' Here we have a Materialist proving the affinity of matter: 'All round things are globular, all square things flat-sided. Now, if the bottom is equal to the top, and the top equal to the bottom, and the bottom and top are equal to the four sides, then all matter is as broad as it is long.' But the materialist 'had not in his head matter sufficient to prove matter efficient; and being thus deficient, he knew nothing of the matter.' One of STEVENS'S 'heads' was that of a heartless, devil-may-care sort of person, in some respects like the hero of 'A Capital Joke' in preceding pages, who is always 'keeping it up.' He illustrates his own character very forcibly: 'I'll tell you how it was; you see, I was in high spirits, so I stole a dog from a blind man, for I do so love fun! So then the blind man cried for his dog, and that made me laugh; so says I to the blind man. 'Halloo, master! do you want your dog?' 'Yes, Sir, indeed, indeed I do,' says he. Then says I to the blind man, says I, 'Go look for him! Keep it up!' I always turn sick when I think of a parson; and my brother, he's a parson too, and he hates to hear any body swear; so I always swear when I am along with him, just to roast him. I went to dine with him one day last week; and as soon as I arrived, I began to swear. I never swore so well in all my life; I swore all my new oaths. At last my brother laid down his knife and fork, and lifting up his hands and eyes, he calls out: 'O Tempora! O Mores.' 'Oh, ho! brother,' says I, 'don't think to frighten me by calling all your family about you. I don't mind you nor your family neither. Only bring Tempora and Moses here—that's all! I'll box 'em for five pounds. Keep it up!' . . . THERE is many a bereaved heart that will be touched by the following sad, sad lines, from the pen of JOHN RUDOLPH SUTERMEISTER, a young and gifted poet, whose mortal part has 'been ashes these many a year,' and whom the reader may remember as the author of a little poem widely quoted and admired many years ago, commencing:
'O! for my bright and faded hours! When life was like a summer stream, On whose gay banks the virgin flowers Blushed in the morning's rosy beam, Or danced upon the breeze that bare Its store of rich perfume along, While the wood-robin poured on air The ravishing delights of song!'
To us, who are familiar with the painful circumstances under which they were written, and the deep affliction which they deplore, they seem almost to sob with irrepressible grief:
GIVE not to me the wreath of green, The blooming vase of flowers; They breathe of joy which once hath been, Of gone and faded hours! I cannot love the rose; though rich, Its beauty will not last: Give me—give me the bloom o'er which The early blight hath passed! The yellow buds—give them to rest On my cold brow and joyless breast, When life is failing fast!
Take far from me the wine-cup bright, In hours of revelry; It suits glad brows, and bosoms light, It is not meet for me: Oh! I can pledge the heart no more I pledged in days gone by; Sorrow hath touched my bosom's core, And I am left—to die! Give me to drink of Lethe's wave, Give me the cold and cheerless grave, O'er which the night-winds sigh!
Wake not upon my tuneless ear Soft music's stealing strain; It cannot soothe, it cannot cheer This anguished heart again! But place the AEolian harp upon The tomb of her I love; There, when Heaven shrouds the dying sun, My weary steps will rove, While o'er its chords Night pours its breath, To list the serenade of death Her silent bourne above!
Give me to seek the lonely tomb Where sleeps the sainted dead, When the pale night-fall throws its gloom Above her narrow bed! There, while the winds which sweep along, O'er the harp-strings are driven, And the funereal soul of song Upon the air is given, Oh! let my faint and parting breath Be mingled with that song of death, And flee with it to heaven!
* * * * *
'WHO hath redness of eyes?' This interrogative 'portion of divine scripture' is forcibly illustrated by an anecdote, related with most effective dryness by a friend of ours. An elderly gentleman, accustomed to 'indulge,' entered the bar-room of an inn in the pleasant city of H——, on the Hudson, where sat a grave Friend toasting his toes by the fire. Lifting a pair of green spectacles upon his forehead, rubbing his inflamed eyes, and calling for a hot brandy-toddy, he seated himself by the grate; and as he did so, he remarked to Uncle BROADBRIM that 'his eyes were getting weaker and weaker, and that even spectacles didn't seem to do 'em any good.' 'I'll tell thee friend,' rejoined the Quaker, 'what I think. I think if thee was to wear thy spectacles over thy mouth for a few months, thy eyes would get sound again!' The 'complainant' did not even return thanks for this medical counsel, but sipped his toddy in silence, and soon after left the room, 'uttering never a word.' . . . THERE have been various surmises, and sundry contradictory statements, in relation to the work superscribed 'Count D'Orsay on Etiquette,' which we noticed at some length in our December issue. Mr. WILLIS, of the 'New Mirror' weekly journal, seems to question its having been written by the COUNT, but expresses his belief that he may have loaned his name to the publishers 'for a consideration;' and this may possibly have been the fact with the latest London edition. The author of the work in question, however, is Mr. CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, an English gentleman, whose acquaintance with the usages of the best European society is personal and authentic; who has observed and travelled much; and who is moreover an artist of a high order; painting in miniature, and sketching with admirable skill. An esteemed friend and correspondent of this Magazine writes us from Boston, that the manner of the fraud is somewhat as follows: 'Mr. DAY is the author of a Journal of Travels, which Messrs. LONGMAN AND COMPANY of London proposed to publish. As they treated him, however, in a dishonorable manner, he withdrew his MSS. from them and came to America. In retaliation, they sent orders to this country to have a spurious edition published of his work on 'Etiquette,' which they had formerly brought out, and which they truly supposed he designed to reprint in New-York or Boston. It has passed through more than twenty editions in London; a fact which I know, from having seen the Messrs. LONGMANS' letters and accounts with the author. His own edition is now in press in Boston; and I learn that he has added some 'Hints' with an especial eye to Yankee manners.' We have also received a letter from Mr. DAY himself, in which, while he 'forbears at present to make any comments on the conduct of the Messrs. LONGMAN,' he proves beyond a doubt that 'the Count D'ORSAY is not the writer of the 'Hints on Etiquette,' but that he himself is 'the real, true author,' past all peradventure. . . . A FRIEND lately returned from the west, relates among other matters the following anecdote: 'On board of one of the steam-boats on the Mississippi, I encountered a deck-hand, who went by the name of BARNEY. Like many of his class, he was a drinking, reckless fellow, but warm-hearted, good-natured, and generous to a fault. In early life he was in easy circumstances; was a husband, and the father of several children. But one night during a violent storm the house in which he resided was struck by lightning, and the whole family, save himself, were instantly killed. His own escape was considered a miracle at the time, not even a hair of his head having been singed. From that time, however, he took to drinking, and so sank lower and lower until he became what I found him. When I had heard his story, I felt somewhat interested in the man, and one day managed to draw him into conversation. He told me his early history with much natural pathos; and finding him in the 'melting mood' I endeavored to lead him to some serious thoughts upon the subject of his misfortunes, and especially of that one which had bereft him in so awful a manner of his wife and children. 'BARNEY,' said I, 'don't you think it was a signal mercy that you alone should have escaped unharmed from the bolt which destroyed all else you loved upon earth? Was there not at least something singular in the fact?' 'That's what I said myself,' replied BARNEY, in a tremulous voice; 'I always thought it was very sing'lar. But the fact I suppose was this, Mr. WHITEHAT. The lightning, you see, was afraid of a man, and so like a d——d sneak, it went twisting about to scorch women and little children!' . . . BLACKWOOD has proclaimed in a late number, the 'Characteristics of English Society,' in language of truth and soberness, which goes explicitly to confirm the reports of nearly all American and other 'foreigners' who have visited England. We subjoin an extract contrasting English with French society:
'WE should indeed be sorry if our demeanor in those vast crowds, where English people flock together, rather, as it would seem, to assert a right, than to gratify an inclination, were to be taken as an index of our national character: the want of all ease and simplicity, those essential ingredients of agreeable society, which distinguish these dreary meetings have long been unfortunately notorious. Too busy to watch the feelings of others, and too earnest to moderate our own, that true politeness which pays respect to age; which tries to put the most insignificant person in company on a level with the most considerable—virtues which our neighbors possess in an eminent degree—are, except in a few favored instances, unknown among us; while affectation, in other countries the badge of ignorance and vulgarity, is ours, even in its worst shape, when it borrows the mien of rudeness, impertinence, and effrontery, the appendage of those whose station is most conspicuous, and whose dignity is best ascertained. There is more good breeding in the cottage of a French peasant than in all the boudoirs of Grosvenor square. . . . 'Frivolity and insipidity are the prevailing characteristics of conversation; and nowhere in Europe, perhaps, does difference of fortune or of station produce more unsocial or illiberal separation. Very few of those whom fortune has released from the necessity of following some laborious profession are capable of passing their time agreeably without the assistance of company; not from the spirit of gaity which calls upon society for indulgence; not from any pleasure they take in conversation, where they are frequently languid and taciturn; but to rival each other in the luxury of the table, or by a great variety of indescribable airs, to make others feel the pain of mortification. They meet as if to fight the boundaries of their rank and fashion, and the less definite and perceptible is the line which divides them, the more punctilious is their pride. It is a great mistake to suppose that this low-minded folly is peculiar to people of rank; it is an English disease.'
No doubt of it; and the question naturally arises, 'Are not these the proper people to talk about men and manners and society in America?' . . . 'NEVER mind, my dear,' says Baron POMPOLINO, while endeavoring to fit the fairy slipper of the lovely CINDERELLA upon the long splay foot of one of his ungainly daughters, 'never mind, my dear, she is not at all like you!' The doting father, it will be remembered, gives this verdict as a flattering compliment. We have sometimes been amused, where the quo animo was apparent, with similar compliments at the hands of reciprocal critics of literature. Pleasant examples in this kind have been furnished lately. A very voluminous critic, very far 'down east,' spoke recently in a metropolitan journal of GOLDSMITH's 'Deserted Village' as 'a very common-place poem, at the best, and only saved from utter and most contemptuous forgetfulness by two or three pleasantries about 'broken tea-cups,' etc., and by one single passage that smacks of sublimity!' Of the poetry however of the author of 'Man in his Various Aspects under the American Republic,' he expresses in the same columns quite a different opinion. 'There has been,' he writes, 'no English poetry better than his, within the memory of man!' A writer in the last number of the 'Southern Literary Messenger,' likewise voluminous in prose and verse, if we rightly surmise, exhibits contrasts of judgment somewhat kindred with the foregoing, although certainly less violent. The author of 'Man in his various Aspects,' he tells us, 'has a boldness that attracts;' his are the 'strong and struggling conceptions which seek utterance in new and original forms.' He dares 'to shun the beaten paths,' and is not afraid to be obscure. His is not the poetry 'which takes the popular ear without tasking the popular thought,' like 'the simple common-places of LONGFELLOW.' Such 'criticism' as this we have cited must needs 'make the judicious' laugh merely, being too impotent to make them 'grieve.' It is not perhaps assuming too much to suppose, that GOLDSMITH's 'Deserted Village' and LONGFELLOW's 'Psalms of Life,' simple though they be, will live and be cherished in generations of human hearts, when the volumes of our critics and their client that yet survive the recollection of any save their publishers, shall be 'forgotten and clean out of mind.' . . . IT is related of the celebrated clergyman, JOHN MASON, that sitting at a steam-boat table on one occasion, just as the passengers were 'falling to' in the customary manner, he suddenly rapped vehemently upon the board with the end of his knife, and exclaimed: 'Captain! is this boat out of the jurisdiction of GOD ALMIGHTY? If not, let us at least thank HIM for his continued goodness;' and he proceeded to pronounce 'grace' amidst the most reverent stillness. It is to be hoped, however, that his 'grace' was not like the few set words handed down from father to son, mumbled without emotion, and despatched with indecent haste, which one sometimes hears repeated over country repasts. 'Bless this portion of food now in readiness for us; give it to us in thy love; let us eat and drink in thy fear—for CHRIST's sake——LORENZO, take your fingers out of that plate!' was a grace once said in our hearing, but evidently not in that of the spoilt boy, 'growing and always hungry,' who could not wait to be served. We should prefer to such insensible flippancy the practice of an old divine in New-England, who in asking a blessing upon his meals, was wont to name each separate dish. Sitting down one day to a dinner, which consisted partly of clams, bear-steak, etc., he was forced in a measure to forego his usual custom of furnishing a 'bill of particulars.' 'Bless to our use,' said he, 'these treasures hid in the sand; bless this——' But the bear's-meat puzzled him, and he concluded with: 'Oh! LORD, thou only knowest what it is!' . . . A FAVORITE correspondent of this Magazine, who appears in the pages of the present number for the first time in several months, accompanies his excellent paper with a letter, from which we take these sentences: 'Since you last heard from me, I have experienced a severe domestic affliction in the loss of my father, who died during the last summer. Day after day and night after night for two months I sat by his bed-side, hoping in vain for his recovery, until life's star was extinguished in the darkness of the grave.' Our cordial sympathies are with our correspondent; but sympathy for affliction such as his can carry with it little of consolation to the bereaved:
——'A FRIEND is gone! A FATHER, whose authority, in show When most severe, and must'ring all its force, Was but the graver countenance of love; Whose favor, like the clouds of spring, might lower, And utter now and then an awful voice, But had a blessing in his darkest frown, Threat'ning at once, and nourishing the plant.'
Perchance our friend may now think with COWPER, that 'although he loved, yet not enough, the gentle hand that reared him.' 'The chief thing that I have to reproach myself with,' writes one who laments a kindred dispensation of the SUPREME, 'is a sort of inattention to my father's feelings, occasionally, arising merely from the disparity of years between us, which I am sensible must at times have interfered with his enjoyments. I would gladly recall now, if I could, many opportunities I suffered to pass, of being more in his company, and more in the way of his advice and instruction.' But he adds: 'When I reflect on these things, it appears to me one of the strongest natural arguments for the immortality of the soul, and the renewal of our earthly relations in a world to come, that even where the greatest possible attachment subsists between parents and their children, the mere disparity of years inevitably prevents that complete association of feelings, and intimate fellowship of heart and soul, which is the cement and prerogative of all other friendships: in a world to come, but no where else, such attachments must receive their full completion.' . . . PROFESSOR GOURAUD, well known among us for his devotion to the interests of art and science, has perfected a System of Remembrance, which he designates by the term 'Mnemotechny,' and which we venture to predict will prove of the greatest service to nearly every class of society. No system of modern mnemonics bears any resemblance to, or comparison with it. Such is the astonishing effect of the plan, that young masters and misses, after a brief study of it, can with ease answer any question from score after score of close-printed pages, involving every variety of events, and all kinds of information. We 'speak but the things which we do know,' in this matter, for seeing is believing. As the scene of Prof. GOURAUD'S operations is for the present the city, and as the daily journals have made his merits widely known to the community, we forbear farther comment at this time upon the useful art which he has brought to such wonderful perfection. New classes organize, we understand, at the Professor's residence, No. 46, Second-street, on the fourth instant. They will be filled at once, and speedily followed by others. . . . THERE is an article in the last number of the Edinburgh Review upon 'Theatres and the Drama,' which is replete with wisdom, and evinces a thorough mastery of the theme. In alluding to the appeals which are now made to the eye by elaborate scenery, machinery, etc., less than to the mind and imagination by superior intellectual personation, the reviewer in effect remarks, that the first attempt at positive reality is fatal to pleasurable illusion. Every person in the pit is aware that the stage is a stage, 'and all the men and women merely players.' In 'As you Like It,' at Drury-Lane, an attempt was made to imitate the notes of birds. 'Suppose the imitation had been so close as to deceive the audience into the belief that there were birds there singing; would not the contrast with trees of painted canvass have been revolting? These were not the conceptions of SHAKSPEARE, when he made his chorus say:
'CAN this cockpit hold The vasty fields of France? or may we cram Within this wooden O the very casques That did affright the air at Agincourt? O pardon! since a crooked figure may Attest, in little place, a million; And let us, ciphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work: Suppose within the girdle of these walls Are now confined two mighty monarchies: Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts; Into a thousand parts divide one man, And make imaginary puisance. Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them Printing their proud hoofs in the receiving earth; For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings— Carry them here and there.'
Advice as necessary at the present day as then; for we may enlarge our stages, increase our supernumeraries, and engage 'real horses;' but we can never make any one believe the stage is other than the stage. The audience can realize for themselves. This trust in the all-sufficiency of imagination is precisely that acted on by children in their daily sports, where from the boundless wealth of the imagination, the rudest materials supply the place of the costliest. Whoever watches boys 'playing horse,' making a pocket-handkerchief dangling behind to represent the tail, and sees them stamping, snorting, prancing, and champing the imaginary bit, witnesses the alchymy of the imagination, an alchymy out-stripping all the wonders and out-weighing all the treasures of the prosaic positive chemistry, so longed for by the present generation. The child 'supposes' the handkerchief a tail, and it becomes a tail. He has but to say to his companion: 'This shall be a whip and this shall be the harness,' and the things are there; not as matters of literal fact, but of imaginative truth. He plays for the enjoyment of the game and the exercise of his imagination; and therefore the handkerchief serves every purpose. This is the procedure of nature. But the modern parent, anxious to realize for the child, and to instil a love of accuracy into his mind, gives him a superb horse-hair tail, bidding him at the same time be careful not to spoil it. What is the result? The child's attention is called from the game, to the consideration of or delight in the tail, which, originally meant as a collateral aid, now takes the first place. The boy no doubt is delighted with his horse-hair tail; but (if it be not altogether superfluous,) it will soon destroy his game, so that the exercise, both of frame and imagination, is lost; the end becomes subordinate to the means. This is precisely what takes place with the drama. Observe also one important point: The tail is real; accuracy is attempted: but though the tail be real, the horse is not; the horse is played by a boy, and only by a boy; it is in this mimicry that the enjoyment consists. But how absurd to put a real tail on an unreal horse! How revolting this mixture of imagination and fact! It is equalled only by that ludicrous practice of placing the face of a real watch in the place of a church-clock in a landscape; where one may not only see the time of day, but may also hear it struck, and that amidst painted trees and houses! This effect, except to the most literal and prosaic minds, is revolting and discordant. But this the modern drama is strenuously endeavoring to produce. 'In opera, ballet, and spectacle, scenery and illustrations must be effective, because they form elements of the piece. In the drama, where the source of entertainment is intellectual, they are merely accessories, and should be used in such wise as to keep up the harmony of effect, but never so as to distract attention from the drama to themselves.' Here is a passage which is not less applicable in America than in England: 'A few years ago it was not uncommon to see several performers of rival excellence supported by others of ability, all playing in the same piece. It is now a rare thing for rivals to play together. A single good actor, among a dozen bad, is deemed sufficient. Are we then to wonder that the regular drama does not pay?' . . . OUR readers will remember the order given by the Chinese Emperor to a corps of Mandarins, who were to exterminate the 'barbarian Englishers' in the harbor of Canton, by going down to the bank of the river in the night, and then and there 'dive straight on board those foreign ships, and put every soul of them to death!' Subsequently however the red-bristling foreigners managed to land, when, as it since turns out, it became necessary to adopt more sanguinary measures. The Emperor called up one of his 'great generals,' and gave him his dreadful orders: 'You must dress your soldiers,' said he, 'in a very frightful manner, painting their faces with the most horrid figures, and depicting dragons and monsters on your banners: you must then rush upon the barbarians with fearful outcries, and terrify them so that they will fall down flat on their faces; and when they are once down,' said the Imperial potentate, 'their breeches are so tight that they can never get up again!' . . . 'I give you five minutes every day to look at the stars, but don't particularize; for some in those far-off places send down their light long after they have been knocked out of existence, and you may be looking at a blank.' So wrote 'JULIAN' in this department of our last number. Prof. OLMSTEAD, of Yale-College, in a recent lecture before the 'Mercantile Library Association,' described the difficulty of ascertaining the distance of the stars from each other and from our earth; yet, he remarked, it had been done. The nearest star's distance from us had been measured, and by the aid of light, by which it could alone be accomplished. That distance, he said, was immense, requiring ten years for light to traverse it! The planets, he had no doubt, were inhabited. Of what use was the reflection of the sun's rays upon them, if there were no eyes there to behold it? What was the use of moons, which the planets certainly have? He spoke also of the fixed stars, which seem by the aid of a telescope to be innumerable. What was their purpose?—for a guide to mariners? No; for a very small portion of them could be seen by the unassisted eye. They were suns like our suns, to worlds like our worlds! To the inhabitants of those fixed stars our sun appears as a star, and the planetary system revolving around it, of which the earth is one, are unseen by them, as are those of theirs by us! Great GOD! 'When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou visitest him!' . . . OUR correspondent who writes of 'The Country,' in preceding pages wields a facile pen. His allusion to the choice of names for a country-seat reminds us of the pleasant satire of 'Thinks-I-to-myself' upon this theme: 'We lived, you must know,' he writes, 'in a Hall; not when I was born, however, nor till long afterward. My sister happened to have a correspondent at school near London, who finding it essentially necessary to the support of her dignity among her school-fellows, always directed her letters so; for the parents of one she found, lived at something HOUSE; and of another at What's-its-name PLACE; and of another at Thingummy Lodge; of another at the Grange; of another at the Castle; of another at the Park; Miss BLAZE, the daughter of a retired tallow-chandler, whose father lived at Candlewick-Castle, was continually throwing out hints that not to live at a 'Castle,' or a 'Park,' or a 'Place,' or a 'House,' or a 'Lodge,' unequivocally bespoke a low origin!' Is this folly altogether indigenous to England? Let the high-sounding names of scores of painted pine palaces not a thousand miles from this metropolis make answer. . . . 'IT don't weigh as much as I expected, and I always thought it wouldn't!' We were reminded of this remark of a person who desired a certain result, but was at the same time unwilling to relinquish his pride of opinion, by the note of our Mississippi correspondent, to whose long communication we alluded in our last number. We have 'taken its measure,' as we promised, and find it quite beyond our compass. . . . OUR friend the Poetical Englishman is somewhat severe upon the godly inhabitants of 'BOTOLPH'S TOWN;' yet we see nothing in his epistle that is not justified by recent occurrences in the 'Literary Emporium.' It is lamentable that Boston should be robbed of a decent theatre by an epidemic of pseudo-sanctity. MACREADY was compelled to play a recent engagement at a second-rate house, down in the 'Wapping' end of the town, whither all the beauty and fashion crowded nightly through the mud to see him. It strikes us that the 'Purification Hymn,' alluded to by our correspondent, must have been a choice production of some MAWWORM of the day. Its reasoning is highly pellucid, and its dignity is past all question. 'Mimic scenes, and mirth and joy,' it would seem, 'allure souls' to endless perdition! Now against the licentiousness and drunkenness of the theatre too much cannot be said; but for 'mimic scenes' dragging men to ——. But cui bono? 'Your dull ass will never mend his pace with beating.' By the by, we are well pleased to see our English friend's preference for mind over matter, in the way of dramatic personations. Yet England has little reason to boast. What says 'the VISCOUNT' to the Chevalier (d'industrie) PIP? 'What's the good of SHAKSPEARE, PIP? I never read him. What the devil is it all about? There's a lot of feet in SHAKSPEARE'S verse, but there ain't any legs worth mentioning in SHAKSPEARE'S plays, are there, PIP? Juliet, Desdemona, Lady Macbeth, and all the rest of 'em, whatever their names are, might as well have no legs at all, for any thing the audience know about it. I'll tell you what it is; what the people call dramatic poetry is a collection of sermons. Do I go to the theatre to be lectured? No; if I wanted that, I'd go to church. What's the legitimate drama, PIP? Human nature. What are legs? Human nature. Then let us have plenty of leg-pieces, PIP, and I'll stand by you, my buck!' This is 'the ticket' in London, as well as in 'BOTOLPH his town.' The 'legs have it' there as well as here. Meanwhile the sometime gallant Thespian is in a sad plight, from having little to do and little pay for it. Admirers fall off, one after another, under such circumstances; and even the gentle sex forget their old enthusiasm:
'Oh! once again we met, but no bandit-chief was there; His rouge was off, and gone that head of once luxuriant hair: He lodges in a two-pair back, and at the tavern near He cannot liquidate his 'chalk' nor wipe away his beer. I saw him sad and seedy, yet methinks I see him now, In the tableau of the last act, with the blood upon his brow.'
And thus he goes on, following his 'occupation' in one sense, and gradually sinking lower and lower; until at length:
'ALAS! poor rat! He has no cravat; A seedy coat, and a hole in that! No sole to his shoe, no brim to his hat; Not a change of linen, except his skin: No gloves, no vest, Either second or best; And what is worse than all the rest, No light heart, though his breeches are thin!
* * * * *
IS not the following illustration of 'The Affections,' by Rev. GEO. B. CHEEVER, 'beautiful exceedingly?' 'On a bright day in summer, while the west wind breathes gently, you stand before a forest of maples, or you are attracted by a beautiful tree in the open field, that seems a dense clump of foliage. You cannot but notice how easily the wind moves it, how quietly, how gracefully, how lovingly, the whole body of it. It is simply because it is covered with foliage. The same wind rustling through its dry branches in winter, would scarce bend a bough, or only to break it. But now, softly whispering through ten thousand leaves, how gently the whole tree yields to the impression! So it is with the affections, the feelings. They are the foliage of our being, moved by the spirit of GOD.' . . . THE annual Festival of Saint Nicholas, beloved of all good KNICKERBOCKERS, was celebrated on the sixth ultimo at the City Hotel, by a crowded assemblage of the members of the Society, and their invited guests. The new President was invested with the orange-badge and venerable cocked-hat of his 'illustrious predecessor,' and new subordinate officers were installed into their several stations; after which ceremony a sumptuous repast, served in the well-known style of Messrs. JENNINGS AND WILLARD, was discussed with universal gout. For the toasts regular and volunteer, and speeches voluntary and involuntary, we must refer the reader to the daily journals 'of that period;' while we simply add, that from soup to Paaes eggs, schnaaps, and pipes, every thing passed off with unwonted hilarity and spirit. May we live to see fifty kindred gatherings of the votaries of our patron saint! . . . 'YOU don't like smokin', 'taint likely?' asked a lank free-and-easy Yankee, as he entered a room where four or five young ladies were sewing, puffing a dank 'long-nine.' 'Well, we do not,' was the immediate reply. 'Umph!' replied the smoker, removing his cigar long enough to spit, 'a good many people don't!'—and he kept on smoking. We know of one reader of the KNICKERBOCKER, a thousand miles from the hand that jots down this anecdote, who will enjoy it hugely; and indeed it is mainly for him that we record it. . . . THIS is Thanksgiving Evening in the Empire State; and as there is a fair-haired, hazle-eyed little boy pulling at our 'sword-arm,' (too fatigued with writing to offer any resistance) suppose we read to you, while he sits 'throned on his father's knee,' this timely and admirable passage from the pen of CHARLES HOOVER, Esq., of New-Jersey, a fine scholar, and a writer of as pure Saxon English as the best among us:
'THERE is much in the aspect of Divine Providence at the present time, both toward our own country and the world, to awaken gratitude and thoughtful joy. An unexampled spectacle is presented in the current history of the world. It is moving on almost without a ripple. The changes of time are taking place as noiselessly as the ordinary changes of nature. The decay of old and injurious social and political systems is going on like the crumbling of ruins in a desert, by the force of inherent tendency rather than by external violence; and milder and more benignant systems are appearing, not like those islands sprung by volcanic shocks above the bosom of the deep, but like the beauty of spring, or the glory of summer, by a natural and imperceptible growth. Within the memory of many yet living there was a very different state of things. Scarcely a month then passed without a shock, a press and medley in human affairs that amazed and bewildered men, and kept anxiety on the stretch. Such was the history of Europe. Every change was a concussion; every fear a storm; every revolution a convulsion. Not less in motion is society now, but it is like the motion of the spheres, grand and silent; and that silence is the emblem and the evidence of greatness and power in the present movement of Providence in human affairs. The once apparently random and divergent lines of that Providence now seem to be flowing to a common point, and terminating in one great result—the improvement and happiness of our race. Abating much of what has been extravagantly vaunted about the march of mind and the perfectibility of human society, it is still visibly true that the general condition of the world is improved and improving. Vast accessions have been made to science; knowledge has been diffused over a wider surface, than was ever before known; ignorance is felt to be a calamity if not a crime; truths that were formerly contemplated only in the closet of the sage, have become familiarized in the cottage and the common mind; the rights of men are better defined and understood; the power of rulers is swayed within juster limits, and is every where abandoning its old apparatus of racks and halters and dungeons as the means of governing immortal mind, and is silently conceding to it its alienable prerogative of free thought.'
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WE have little to chronicle of The Drama proper this month. Music, vocal and instrumental, has kept this branch of the fine arts somewhat in the back-ground. We have had the pleasure to see Mr. MACREADY once only at the Park, on which occasion he personated the character of MELANTIUS in 'The Bridal' with transcendent power. We have seen this fine actor in no part, if we except perhaps that of Werner, in which his genius shone so conspicuous. He was admirably supported by the scarcely subordinate characters represented by WHEATLY, RIDER, Miss CUSHMAN, and Mrs. H. HUNT. Mr. WHEATLY has evidently much of 'the heavy business' at the Park upon his broad shoulders, for he appears in two or three pieces almost every night. On the occasion alluded to, no sooner had the curtain risen after 'The Bridal,' than we found him making Stentorian love ('in a horn') to the 'Dumb Belle' of the evening, in which he excited shouts of uproarious laughter. At the BOWERY THEATRE, as well as at the CHATHAM, 'The Mysteries of Paris' has run a most successful career. The OLYMPIC has been crowded nightly by the mingled attractions of opera and travestie; while the BOWERY AMPHITHEATRE and ROCKWELL'S Circus at NIBLO'S, have shared abundantly in the favor bestowed now-a-days upon popular entertainments. . . . 'DRESS always and act to please your partner for life, as you were fain to do before the nuptial-knot was tied.' This is an old maxim, and here is 'a commentator upon it.' A newly-married lady is suddenly surprised by a visit from a newly-married man, when she straightway begins to apologize: 'She is horribly chagrined, and out of countenance, to be caught in such a dishabille; she did not mind how her clothes were huddled on, not expecting any company, there being nobody at home but her husband!' The husband meanwhile shakes the visitor's hand, and says: 'I am heartily glad to see you, JACK: I don't know how it was, I was almost asleep; for as there was nobody at home but my wife, I did not know what to do with myself!' . . . THE beautiful lines by Mrs. M. T. W. CHANDLER, elsewhere in the present number, illustrate, or are illustrated by the following passage from WARREN HASTING'S eloquent reflections upon the changes to which the SOUL is destined hereafter: 'When the hour is at hand which is to dissolve the mortal tie, the soul parts without regret with those delights which it received from its sensual gratifications, and dwells only, dwells with a fond affection, on the partner or pledges of its love; or on friends from whom it seems to be cut off for ever; and if it looks, as it must look, to futurity, these are the first objects of its wishes connected with it, and the first ingredients in its conceptions of celestial felicity. For my own part (and on a subject like this, where can we so properly appeal as to ourselves?) although my reason dictates to me the hope of a future happiness, whatever may be the mode of it, yet my heart feels no interest in the prospect when viewed as a scene of solitary, selfish enjoyment. It recoils with horror at the thought of losing the remembrance of every past connexion, and even of those whom it loved most dearly, and of being forgotten by them utterly and for ever. Is this too, it asks, one of the delusions of life? No; for all its other passions expire before it; but this remains, like hope, 'nor leaves us when we die.'' . . . THE 'Anglo-American' literary journal has just issued to its subscribers one of the finest counterfeit presentments of WASHINGTON that we have ever seen. It is a print almost the size of a full-length cabinet portrait in oil, engraved in a masterly manner by HALPIN after GILBERT STUART'S celebrated picture. If this superior engraving is a sample of what the patrons of the 'Anglo-American' are hereafter to expect from its publishers, it is easy to foresee that that spirited journal has entered upon a long career of popularity. . . . 'T.'S 'Stanzas' await his order at the publication-office. They are far from lacking merit, but are in parts artificial and labored. Lines eked out with accented letters, in which
——'all the syllables that end in ed, Like old dragoons, have cuts across the head,'
always seem to us to come rather from the head than the heart. We shall expect, nevertheless, to hear from our friend again, according to promise. . . . WE 'stop the press' to announce that Mr. PUNCH has just dropped in from England, bringing the latest intelligence from 'the other side.' He has lately visited several places on the continent, not so much to see them as to be enabled to say, like other English travellers, that he had been there. 'Mr. PUNCH, having arrived at Rouen late at night, left it very early the next morning, much impressed with the institutions of the city, both civil and architectural, as well as its manners, customs, and social life, which he is about to embody in a work called 'Six hours and a half at Rouen,' to be brought out by a fashionable publisher.' From the reports of one of the learned societies, we derive the following important scientific information: 'Mr. SAPPY read a paper, proving the impossibility of being able to see into the middle of next week, from known facts with regard to the equation of time. He stated that, supposing it possible for a person to ascend in a balloon sufficiently high for his vision to embrace a distance of seven hundred miles from east to west, he would then only see forty minutes ahead of him; that is, he would see places where the day was forty minutes in advance of the day in which he lived. Thus he might be said to see forty minutes into futurity. It has also been proved that, in sailing round the world in one direction, a day's reckoning is gained; so that the sailor on his return finds himself to be 'a man in advance of his age' by one day. This one day, however, is the farthest attainable limit; and it is therefore impossible to see into the middle of next Week!' 'Mr. TITE, proprietor of the 'Metropolitan Bakedtatery' brought forward his new 'Low Pressure Potatoe-Can,' upon an improved principle. It was constructed of tin, and warranted to sustain a pressure of twenty potatoes upon the square bottom. Mr. TITE explained that the steam had nothing to do with the warmth of the fruit, but was quite independent of it.' 'Mr. FLIT brought forward his new and improved Street Telescope for looking at the moon. It was most ingeniously constructed, being to the eye a fine instrument of six feet long. Mr. FLIT explained, however, that the telescope itself was only an eighteen-inch one, the case being manufactured to increase its importance, in which the real glass was enclosed. The chief merit of this invention was, that the moon could be seen equally well on cloudy nights, or when there was none at all, the case enclosing an ingenious transparency of that body, behind which a small lamp was hung. Mr. FLIT could always command a view of any of the celestial bodies by the same means.' Here are a few items of law from 'The Comic Blackstone:' 'The statute of EDWARD the Fourth, prohibiting any but lords from wearing pikes on their shoes of more than two inches long, was considered to savor of oppression; but those who were in the habit of receiving from a lord more kicks than coppers, would consider that the law savored of benevolence.' 'Unlawfully detaining a man in any way is imprisonment; so that if you take your neighbor by the button, and cause him to listen to a long story, you are guilty of imprisonment.' PUNCH'S idea of 'Woman's Mission' differs somewhat from other reformers of the times: 'To replace the shirt-button of the father, the brother, the husband, which has come off in putting on the vestment; to bid the variegated texture of the morning slipper or the waistcoat grow upon the Berlin wool; to repair the breach that incautious haste in dressing has created in the coat or the trowsers, which there is no time to send out to be mended; are the special offices of woman; offices for which her digital mechanism has singularly fitted her.' Apropos of 'Missions:' we perceive that DICKENS understands this vague verbal apology for eccentricity or humbugeousness, if we interpret aright his frail and tearful MODDLE; 'who talked much about people's 'missions,' upon which he seemed to have some private information not generally attainable,' and who, 'being aware that a shepherd's mission was to pipe to his flock, and that a boatswain's mission was to pipe all hands, and that one man's mission was to be a paid piper, and another man's mission was to pay the piper, had got it into his head that his own peculiar mission was to pipe his eye, which he did perpetually.' . . . A CURIOUS volume has recently appeared in Paris, entitled 'Poesies Populaires Latines anterieures au Douzieme Siecle;' and as sequels to the work, are certain satires upon the avarice and corruption of the papal government in the twelfth century, among which is the following curious parody:
'Here beginneth the Gospel according to Marks of silver.—In that time the pope said to the Romans: When the son of man cometh to the seat of our majesty, say ye first, Friend, what seekest thou? But if he continue knocking, and give you nothing, cast him out into utter darkness. And it came to pass that a certain poor clerk came to the court of our lord the pope, and cried out, saying, Have pity on me at least you, O gate-keepers of the pope, for the hand of poverty hath touched me. Verily I am needy and poor; therefore, I pray ye, relieve my calamity and my wretchedness. But they, when they heard him, were very wroth, and said, Friend, thy poverty be with thee to perdition! get behind me, Sathanas, for thou art not wise in the wisdom of money. Verily, verily I say unto thee, thou shalt not enter into the joy of thy lord until thou hast given thy last farthing. And the poor man departed, and sold his cloak and his coat and all that he had, and gave it to the cardinals and to the gate-keepers; and they said, What is this among so many? And they cast him out before the doors; and he went out, and wept bitterly, and might not be comforted. Then there came to the court a certain rich clerk, great and fat and swollen, who in a riot had slain a man. He gave first to the gate-keeper, secondly to the chamberlain, thirdly to the cardinals; but they thought among themselves that they should have received more. And when our lord the pope heard that the cardinals and ministers had received many gifts of the clerk, he became sick unto death. But the rich man sent him a medicine of gold and silver, and immediately he was cured. Then our lord the pope called to him the cardinals and ministers, and said to them, Brethren, see that no one seduce you with empty words; for I give you an example, that as I myself receive, so receive ye.'
The corruptions of this era are equally well illustrated by a very amusing anecdote of 'a handsome Italian friar, teres atque rotundus, about thirty, and extremely bold and eloquent;' doubtless one of that class so felicitously limned by THOMSON:
'A little round, fat, oily man of GOD Was one I chiefly marked among the fry; He had a roguish twinkle in his eye And shone all glittering with ungodly dew, If a tight damsel chanced to trippen by; Which when observed he shrunk into his mew, And straight would recollect his piety anew.'
One day at a remote confessional of the church he declared an unholy and forbidden passion to a young and beautiful married lady, whom he had long 'followed with his eyes,' and begged permission to visit her at her residence. Struck with surprise at this new revelation of his character, she evaded reply, being secretly minded to inform her husband, when she returned home, which she did, word for word. He told his wife to contrive to let the friar come, alone and in secret, the next evening, which chanced to be that of Saturday, and the night before the Sunday of Saint Lazarus, on which occasion the friar was to preach. The appointment was made; the friar came, true to the late hour which had been designated; was received at the door, and shown into the lady's bed-room by a servant, who informed him that she had desired him to request the good man to retire to rest, and to say that 'she would be with him straight.' The friar prepared to comply with the direction, and was about stepping into bed, when the door opened suddenly, and the lady entered in great apparent trepidation, exclaiming: 'My husband is knocking at the door! For heaven's sake slip into that chest,' showing him a double one in the apartment, 'and lie there until I see what may be done! Meanwhile I will hide your clothes somewhere or other, as well as I am able. Heaven knows I fear more for your holy person than I do for my own life!' The unfortunate wretch, seeing himself reduced to such a pass, did as the worthy lady desired; while the husband, presently coming in, retired to rest with his wife, who had first locked the friar safe in the chest. The poor prisoner uttered sundry involuntary noises in the course of the night, and was in the direst terror at the inquiries which they awakened on the part of the husband. Daylight at length came, and the church-bells began to ring for prayers, which greatly annoyed the captive, who was to preach at the cathedral. The husband having risen, ordered two servants to carry the chest to the church and place it in the middle, saying they were ordered to do so by the preacher; and that unlocking the chest without raising the lid, they should leave it there; all which the fellows did very neatly. Every body stared, and wondered what all this could mean; some said one thing and some another. At last the bell having ceased to ring, and no one appearing in the pulpit, or any other part of the church, a young man rose and said: 'Really, the good friar makes us wait quite too long; pray let us see what he has ordered to be brought in this chest.' Having said this much, he before all the congregation lifted up the lid, and looking in, beheld the friar in his shirt, pale, almost frightened to death, and certainly appearing more dead than alive, and as if buried in the chest. Finding himself discovered, however, he collected his mind as well as he could, and stood upright, to the great astonishment of all present; and having taken his text from the Sunday of Lazarus, he thus addressed his congregation: 'My dear brethren: I am not at all astonished at your surprise in seeing me brought before you in this chest, or rather at my ordering myself to be brought thus: ye know that this is the way in which our holy church commemorates the wonderful miracle our LORD performed on the person of LAZARUS, in raising him from the dead who had been buried four days. I was desirous in your favor to present myself to you as it were in the form of LAZARUS, in order that seeing me in this chest, which is no other than an emblem of the sepulchre wherein he had been buried, you might be moved more effectually to the consideration of what perishable things we are; and that seeing me stripped of all worldly decorations, thus in my shirt, you may be convinced of the vanity of the things of this world, the which, if only duly considered, may tend greatly to the amending of our lives. Will you believe that since yesterday night I have been a thousand times dead, and revived as LAZARUS was; and considering my dreadful situation, remember (as it were with the memory of a similar penance in your hearts) that we must all die, and trust to HIM who can bestow upon us life eternal: but first ye must die to sin, to avarice, to rapine, to lust, and all those sinful deeds to which our nature prompts us.' In such language, and in such manner, did the friar continue his sermon. The husband, astonished at the extraordinary presence of mind which he displayed, laughed heartily at his success; and in consideration of the adroitness of the culprit, did not attempt any farther revenge; 'but,' it is added, 'he took very good care to shut his door in future against all such double-faced hypocrites.' . . . READER, what are you thinking of at this moment? 'Nothing.' Indeed! and so were we, and of how much a clever man once said upon the subject; observe: 'Philosophers have declared they knew nothing, and it is common for us to talk about doing nothing; for from ten to twenty we go to school to be taught what from twenty to thirty we are very apt to forget; from thirty to forty we begin to settle; from forty to fifty, we think away as fast as we can; from fifty to sixty, we are very careful in our accounts; and from sixty to seventy, we cast up what all our thinking comes to; and then, what between our losses and our gains, our enjoyments and our inquietudes, even with the addition of old age, we can but strike a balance of ciphers.' Happy are they who amidst the variations of nothing have nothing to fear; if they have nothing to lose, they have nothing to lament; and if they have done nothing to be ashamed of, they have every thing to hope for. . . . SENTENTIOUSNESS, let us inform 'S.' of Cambridge, and antitheses, do not consist of short sentences and inversion of words merely; and even the most felicitous examples in each case often sacrifice the sound to the sense. Here is an instance which is unobjectionable: 'I knew the old miser well. He amassed a fortune by raising hemp; and if he had had his deserts, would have died as he lived by it.' . . . JUST as the sheets of this department were passing to the press, we received the announcement of a public exhibition of two collections of pictures, which we have seen, and to which we cannot resist the impulse of directing the public attention. At the rooms of the National Academy, corner of Broadway and Leonard-street, may be seen Mr. COLE'S allegorical pictures of 'The Voyage of Life,' heretofore noticed at length in these pages; 'Mount AEtna, from Taormina, Sicily,' one of the most noble paintings that ever came from this eminent artist's pencil; 'Angels ministering to Christ in the Wilderness;' 'The Past and the Present;' 'A View of Ruined Aqueducts in the Campagna di Roma,' and other pictures; altogether, an exceedingly fine collection. Indeed, the superb view of AEtna alone, with its vast and sublime accessories, is of itself an exhibition worth twice the price of admission. At the rooms of the APOLLO ASSOCIATION, nearly opposite the Hospital, in Broadway, Mr. HARVEY'S series of Forty Historic or Atmospheric American Landscape Scenes are to be seen for a short time. It needed not the high patronage of Queen VICTORIA, the praises of English royalty and nobility, nor the warm encomiums of ALLSTON, SULLY, MOORE, and others, to secure attention to these graphic sketches from nature. They are their own best recommendation. Trust our verdict, reader, and go and see if they are not. . . . 'TERPSICHORE' is the title of a very spirited satirical poem read at the annual dinner of the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Cambridge University in August last, by OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, and copied in 'Graham's Magazine' for January. We subjoin a passage which although abundantly poetical contains yet more truth than poetry. It 'bases' upon the DICKENS dinner:
HE for whose sake the glittering show appears Has sown the world with laughter and with tears, And they whose welcome wets the bumper's brim Have wit and wisdom—for they all quote him. So, many a tongue the evening hour prolongs With spangled speeches, let alone the songs; Statesmen grow merry, young attorneys laugh, And weak teetotals warm to half-and-half, And beardless Tullys, new to festive scenes, Cut their first crop of youth's precocious greens; And wits stand ready for impromptu claps, With loaded barrels and percussion-caps; And Pathos, cantering through the minor keys, Waves all her onions to the trembling breeze; While the great Feasted views with silent glee His scattered limbs in Yankee fricassee.
Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays The pleasing game of interchanging praise; Self-love, grimalkin of the human heart, Is ever pliant to the master's art; Soothed with a word, she peacefully withdraws And sheaths in velvet her obnoxious claws, And thrills the hand that smooths her glossy fur With the light tremor of her gentle pur.
But what sad music fills the quiet hall If on her back a feline rival fall! And oh! what noises shake the tranquil house, If old SELF-INTEREST cheats her of a mouse!
Thou, O my country! hast thy foolish ways, Too apt to pur at every stranger's praise: But if the stranger touch thy modes or laws, Off goes the velvet and out come the claws!
And thou, Illustrious! but too poorly paid In toasts from Pickwick for thy great crusade, Though while the echoes labored with thy name The public trap denied thy little game, Let other lips our jealous laws revile— The marble TALFOURD or the rude CARLYLE; But on thy lids, that Heaven forbids to close Where'er the light of kindly nature glows, Let not the dollars that a churl denies Weigh like the shillings on a dead man's eyes! Or, if thou wilt, be more discreetly blind, Nor ask to see all wide extremes combined; Not in our wastes the dainty blossoms smile That crowd the gardens of thy scanty isle; There white-cheek'd Luxury weaves a thousand charms, Here sun-browned Labor swings his Cyclop arms; Long are the furrows he must trace between The ocean's azure and the prairies' green; Full many a blank his destined realm displays, Yet see the promise of his riper days: Far through yon depths the panting engine moves, His chariots ringing in their steel-shod groves, And Erie's naiad flings her diamond wave O'er the wild sea-nymph in her distant cave: While tasks like these employ his anxious hours, What if his corn-fields are not edged with flowers? Though bright as silver the meridian beams Shine through the crystal of thine English streams, Turbid and dark the mighty wave is whirled That drains our Andes and divides a world.
Under the similitude of a German-silver-spoon, 'used by dabblers in aesthetic tea,' we have the annexed palpable hit at the small-beer imitators of CARLYLE, and copyists after the external garb of the German school, who have occasionally shown themselves up in the pages of 'The Dial,' a work which formerly 'indicated rather the place of the moon than the sun:'
SMALL as it is, its powers are passing strange; For all who use it show a wondrous change, And first, a fact to make the barbers stare, It beats Macassar for the growth of hair: See those small youngsters whose expansive ears Maternal kindness grazed with frequent shears; Each bristling crop a dangling mass becomes, And all the spoonies turn to Absaloms! Nor this alone its magic power displays— It alters strangely all their works and ways; With uncouth words they tire their tender lungs, The same bald phrases on their hundred tongues; 'Ever' 'The Ages' in their page appear, 'Alway' the bedlamite is called a 'Seer;' On every leaf the 'earnest' sage may scan, Portentious bore! their 'many-sided' man; A weak eclectic, groping, vague and dim, Whose every angle is a half-starved whim, Blind as a mole and curious as a lynx, Who rides a beetle which he calls a 'Sphinx.'
And O what questions asked in club-foot rhyme Of Earth the tongueless and the deaf-mute Time! Here babbling 'Insight' shouts in Nature's ears His last conundrum on the orbs and spheres; There Self-inspection sucks its little thumb, With 'Whence am I?' and 'Wherefore did I come?' Deluded infants! will they ever know Some doubts must darken o'er the world below, Though all the Platos of the nursery trail Their 'clouds of glory' at the go-cart's tail?
We should exceedingly like to hear Mr. A. BRONSON ALCOTT'S opinion as touching the faithfulness of the foregoing. . . . THERE is a fearful lesson conveyed in the annexed communication from a metropolitan physician, who assures us that it is in all respects an accurate statement of an occurrence to which he was an eye-witness: 'Duty impels me, Mr. EDITOR, to lay before you one of the little incidents which my situation as a medical man has brought to my notice. There is no class of men who are led with keener perceptions to investigate human nature than enlightened practising physicians. They have a hold upon the affections and confidence of every class of society; and for this reason they should feel it incumbent upon themselves to act the part of moral as well as physical agents. For myself, I think it would be well if medical men were so far constituted missionaries, as to make it a duty to point a moral whenever it would be likely to be well received. I am aware that attempts of this sort with many persons would be vain or injudicious, and sometimes nauseate perhaps, like the accompanying drugs; but eventually it might prove salutary to the soul; and although cursed for good advice, is it not in the end a blessing? But to my story: I was called a short time since to a youth about twenty years of age: he had been only a few months in the city, and I had occasionally seen him, but had little acquaintance with him, being much his senior. When I entered, one of his fits of raving, occasioned by fever, was just coming on. I approached and took his hand: 'What do you want?' said he; 'you look so mild and yet so penetrating. I have not got any.' 'Any what?' said I. 'Any money,' he replied; 'the drawer was locked, and I could not get any without being seen; so go away!' 'I came to cure you, not to take your money,' I replied. 'Ah!' said he, 'did I not take some from you? Look! look! There they come! sixpences, shillings! See! see! how they tumble from the wall! Look! there is a piece of gold! See! look! there they keep coming! I never took all this!—at first I only took enough to get a cigar with, now and then. See! the room is filling! I shall suffocate!' 'What does this mean, young man?' said I; 'be calm.' 'Did they not tell you to come and feel my pulse and see if there was not a sixpence in it?' 'No, no; I came to make you better.' 'Better? better? BETTER? Here, hide these; don't let my friends know of them; they were stolen! I cannot look at them now. Ha! ha! ha!—I cannot!' I was induced to remain until the frenzy of the fever had passed off, and found the young man had intervals of reason. He was now in deep despondency. I inquired his name. He had dropped it, he said; he could not debase it. 'Debase it?' said I. 'Yes!' he answered, with a groan like a howl. The next day the young man sent for me again. He appeared much altered; said that he did not wish to live; that he had 'a gnawing at his soul.' I remarked that he was very young to be tired of life; that if he had been guilty of any crime he should desire to live to expiate it. 'No,' he replied, 'the stain will always last!' I told him, not so; that if he heartily repented and turned to the right source for consolation, it would be vouchsafed him. 'I feel that I cannot live,' he replied, 'and my friends will be better satisfied to know that I am repentant in my last moments, and that I am gone, than they would be to think of me as a vagabond, let loose upon society: they will at least feel that I shall 'cease from troubling.' I have not the excuse that many delinquents have pleaded, early initiation into vice. My childhood was passed with pious relatives, who labored to instil religious principles into my mind; but I 'would none of their reproof.' My friends not being wealthy, I was left at a proper age to my own resources. I found a situation where my talents were appreciated by my employer, and perhaps too highly estimated by myself. I had a brother who was ten years my senior, whom I loved and esteemed—may Heaven keep him in blessed ignorance of my fate!—but I thought less highly of his intellect when I saw him excited by some sublime hymn, which angels might listen to, than I did of my own, when I turned from the devotions of the Sabbath to join my idle companions. In the situation I held, I might have gained respectability; but my besetting sin betrayed me so often, that the kind indulgence of a good master could no longer conceal my crimes. I now see that the sting inflicted by vice must and will remain! We may repent, we may be forgiven; but the mind will not part with its bitter recollections!' I was here called away for a few moments, and when I returned, the unhappy young man was in the land of spirits! I learned that he was engaged to a highly amiable young lady, who relinquished him, and shortly afterward died of a broken heart. Her sad fate threw him into a brain-fever, and as you perceive, decided his likewise. Incidents like these I am aware have often been narrated; yet if the tragedy which I have depicted should be blessed to the use of any young man abandoned to temptation and addicted to small crimes, and lead him to reflection, it will be a gratification to feel that my feeble effort, with Heaven's help, has proved 'a word in season.'' . . . THERE are inequalities of merit in the 'Dirge' of 'D. D.' of Hartford, though the spirit of the verse is tender and touching. We annex a few stanzas, in illustration of our encomium:
THRUST him in his narrow bed, Heap the cold earth on his head, But be sure no tear ye shed— Not a tear for him!
Bitter toil was his from birth, Dearly bought his homely mirth, While his master was of earth— Now he's of the sky.
Death knocked at his door at night, With his crushing hand of might, Woke him to that morning light Which can know no noon!
When that sacred morning beam Wakes his spirit, life shall seem But a dreary changeful dream— Soon o'er, and not too soon!
Patiently for few long years, Struggling with earth's giant fears, With hands too busy to wipe tears, Met he life's long shock.
Yet not all blank and desolate Was this poor man's earthly state; Hope, toil, content, can soften fate, As the moss the rock.
O! lost Brother! still and cold, Sunk like rain into the mould, Silently, unseen, untold— Thou 'rt a GOD-sown seed!
It is a sad sight to look upon the corpse of a laborer, cut down in the midst of a toilsome life; his hard, knotty hands clasped upon the still breast, and the strong limbs laid in serene repose. And yet how happy the change! No longer does he ask leave to toil; no longer is he at war with poverty, for death has made it a drawn battle. He 'rests from his labors' where the rich and the poor meet together, and he hears no more the voice of the oppressor. . . . PERHAPS our readers will have observed that the Sketches of East Florida are from no common pen. The description which has been given by the writer, of the delicious climate in that sunny region, may to many 'Northeners' seem exaggerated; but such is not the fact. A friend writing recently from St. Augustine, thus playfully alludes to the effect which the climate produces upon a New-Yorker: 'If a business-man could be caught up from the whirl of Broadway, and dropped in a warm climate, say that of St. Augustine, and left under a fig-tree to his own reflections, his first thought doubtless would be for an omnibus 'right up.' 'Rather queer!' he would say; 'a hot sun, sandy street, and not a carriage to be seen! There's a man out in his slippers, and a woman with her head tied up in a handkerchief—may-be a night-cap; probably some old Dutch settlers that went to-sleep with RIP VAN WINKLE. Wild turkeys, as I live, all about the market!—and oh, LORD! there's a little nigger with only a shirt on! Halloo there! you little nigger! tell me the way to the Broadway coaches! No coaches? no omnibii? Well, where's your five-o'clock boats?—where's your Harlaem rail-road? I want to go back to town!' Such would probably be his first go-off; and the next impulse would be to run, shout, cry fire! or murder!—any thing to produce a sensation; but unless very soon about it, he would find himself yielding to some strange influence hitherto unfelt; and it would be amusing to notice how soon the fretting restless man of the forty-second latitude would be tamed down in the thirteenth to the equanimity of a child asleep. The climate enters within the man, and brings out one by one some hidden and better impulse, at the same time laying a gentle hand upon his rougher humors; so that when he would shout, he hums, and when he would laugh, he smiles only; and in undertaking to run, he is caught about the waist; and goes floating smoothly around in the ground-swell motion of the Spanish-dance.' . . . WE perceive that the Copy-right Question has been thus early brought before the National Legislature. From the present aspect of things we may indulge a well-grounded hope that authors who have worn themselves out in making other people happy, will not hereafter be left to perish amidst age and infirmity, unrelieved by the fruit of their labors. There is one argument exceedingly well illustrated in the recent address of the 'Copy-right Club.' In allusion to the floods of trash which have for months inundated the Atlantic cities and towns, the writer, addressing himself to American citizens, observes: 'In all other circumstances and questions save that of a literature, you have taken the high ground of freedom and self-reliance. You have neither asked, nor loaned, nor besought, but with your own hands have framed, what the occasion required. Whatever stature you have grown to as a nation, it is due to that sole virtue; and by its exercise may you only hope to hold your place. In almost any other shape than that of silent books you would have spurned the foreign and held fast to the home-born; but stealing in quietly at every opening, making themselves the seemingly inoffensive and unobtrusive lodgers in every house, they have full possession of the country in all its parts; and another people may promise themselves in the next generation of Americans, (as the question now goes,) a restored dominion which their arms were not able to keep. The pamphlet will carry the day where the soldier fell back.' . . . WE derive the annexed stanzas through a Boston correspondent. He assures us that the work of art which they commemorate is most honorable to the genius of the sculptor, who has been winning laurels ever since his removal to the tasteful city:
WRITTEN ON COMPLETING A MARBLE BUST OF THE LATE WASHINGTON ALLSTON.
BY M. A. BRACKETT.
UPWARD unto the living light Intensely thou dost gaze, As if thy very soul wouldst seek In that far distant maze
Communion with those heavenly forms That lifting to the sight Their golden wings and snowy robes, Float on a sea of light.
Anon far, far away they glide, Shooting through realms of bliss, Till from the spirit's eye they fade In heaven's own bright abyss.
Such are the visions thou dost wake, Such are the thoughts that rise In him who 'neath thy upturned brow Beholds thy spirit-eyes.
There is no stain upon that brow; Pure as thy holy life Serene and calm, thy heavenly face— Within, no wasting strife.
How strangely have the swift hours flown As o'er the shapeless pile I poured the full strength of my soul, Lost to all else the while!
When fell the last faint stroke which told That thou and I must part, That all of life that I could give Was thine, how throbbed my heart!
Yet to this form that I have reared Should aught of praise belong, Not unto me the merit due, But Him who made me strong:
Who with his ever fostering care My wayward steps did guide, Through paths of flowers, in beauty cloth'd, Along life's sunny tide.
Semblance of him, the great, the good, Whose task on earth is done; Of those that walked in beauty's light Thou wert the chosen one!
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WE should like to see in some appropriate journal a sketch of the Progress of Mechanics in the United States. Without any question, the Americans are, in respect of that branch of science, behind no nation or people on earth. And yet no longer ago than 1791, a clock-maker from London, after public advertisement of his arrival from England for that purpose, visited our scattered cities and towns to repair clocks! 'Yankee ingenuity' was not then as now synonymous with the accomplishment of any thing that can either be fabricated or 'fixed'. . . . WE have no remembrance of the communication referred to in a note from a correspondent at Albany, in which we find the following sentences: 'If received, I hope it was not amenable to the censure in a late number of the KNICKERBOCKER, of certain correspondence, for having been written 'too carefully.' Now I do flatter myself upon so writing, that compositors can have no excuse for blunders, though I am well aware that to be esteemed a Genious, one's chirography should very nearly approach unintelligibility. If this be true, the patience and good nature of an Editor must be severely tried; but I incline to the opinion that a man of Genious need not model after BYRON's facsimile,' and so forth. Our correspondent does write a good hand; so good indeed, that we lament, as we gaze at it, that he does not know how to spell. A man may certainly be a 'Genious' without being able to write a clerkly hand; but a man who is not a 'Genious,' ought at least to be able to spell the word. As to writing 'too carefully,' our censor has mistaken the letter for the spirit of our remarks. . . . THE lines 'To my Mother' are replete with the poetry of feeling. Their literary execution however is marred by deficiencies, which although slight, require amending. Our correspondent we are sure has the true poetical vein; and we shall not despair of hearing from her again. . . . A VERY 'inquiring' correspondent desires to know 'whether there is any thing below a quartette, in music?—a pintette or a gillette?' He is also anxious, he says, to 'ascertain whether PUFFER HOPKINS is any relation to the pious poet who was in partnership in the psalm and hymn way with old Uncle STERNHOLD, a great many years ago.' Moreover, he considers it 'a little curious' that a black hen should lay a white egg; and states that he 'would give something handsome to be certain whether or no NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S hands, when he was out on grass, grew six-penny or ten-penny nails!' His remaining queries are profane; indeed, the last one goes somewhat too near the edge. . . . 'EVER anxious to please,' as the advertisements have it, we have placed the original department of the KNICKERBOCKER in a larger type; and it seems to us that we may ask with some confidence whether our readers ever saw a Magazine in a neater garniture than 'this same?' Only have the consideration to reciprocate our endeavors to please you, good PUBLIC, and you 'shall see what you shall see.' There are certain delinquents upon our books, to whom we would venture to insinuate, in the most delicate manner conceivable, that 'it is high time somebody had a sight of somebody's money.' . . . A NEW style of frames for drawings, engravings, paintings, looking-glasses, etc., has recently been brought to great perfection, and into very general favor, by Mr. WEISER, at No. 43 Centre-street, near Pearl. They are composed externally of glass-veneerings, beautifully painted and shaded, so as to resemble different-tinted woods, tortoise-shell, or indeed any other colors that may be desired. These are painted on the inner side of the glass, which is so firmly cemented to the wood-frames as to be little liable to injury from jarring or even falling. With a gilt beading, they have a very beautiful appearance, by reason of the admirable lustre of the glass, which gives to them a polish finer than that of the most susceptible woods. They are, in short, exceedingly handsome, easily kept clean, always new and fresh, and what is worthy of mention, much cheaper than wood or gilt.
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.*. WILL our readers have the kindness to exhibit the ADVERTISEMENT OF OUR TWENTY-THIRD VOLUME to their friends? It will be found on the second and third pages of the cover of the present number; and they can testify to the accuracy of its unexaggerated statements. Many articles in prose and verse await examination or insertion, and a more particular reference hereafter. Notices are in type of new publications from the presses of Messrs. BURGESS AND STRINGER, M. W. DODD, J. WINCHESTER, the LANGLEY'S, D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, M. H. NEWMAN, WILEY AND PUTNAM, and of the 'Columbian Magazine,' which we are reluctantly compelled to defer to our February issue.