« ForrigeFortsæt »
full of cheerful remembrances of better days, when there was more comfort and less display, more sincerity and less art, less cant and more honest-hearted hospitality. We could hug him for his defence of God's gifts, which bigots have taboo'd; as if the use instead of the abuse of the comforts and luxuries of life were a matter of condemnation. We shall look hereafter for Yoicks' in the Spirit’s' table of contents with no little interest. • The Done-Over Tailor' is declined, for two reasons. In the first place, it is too evidently suggested, to say the least, by OLLAPOD's story of “Desperation ;' and in the second place, the very gist of its close is borrowed from SHERIDAN, whose reply (as every body knows) to a demand of his schneider for at least the interest on his bill,' was, that it was not his interest to pay the principal, nor his principle to pay the interest.' We did not intend by our comments upon the illiberal tendency of the remarks of a New-England polemical journal, to invite an attack upon the religious denomination whose tenets it holds and defends. One or two of the most repulsive of those tenets, we have reason to believe, are gradually falling into desuetude. There is unfortunately, however, as SYDNEY Smith well observes, so much pride where there ought to be so much humility, that it is difficult to make religious sects abjure or recant the doctrines they have once professed. But still, the doctrine becomes gradually obsolete ; there is a silent antiquation of it; a real improvement, which the parties themselves are too wise not to feel, although not wise enough to own. The more generous method would be, to admit error where error exists; to say, • These were the tenets and interpretations of a darker and more ignorant age; wider inquiry, fresh discussion, superior intelligence, have convinced us we were wrong; we will act in future upon better and wiser principles.' This is what men do in laws, arts, and sciences; and happy for them would it be if they used the same modest docility in the highest of all concerns. Dr. CHATFIELD, an English writer, as remarkable for strong religious faith and high moral views of life as for his wit and humor, puts this case to an illiberal sectarian. We submit it to the candor and good sense of every intelligent reader :
If fifty or five hundred or five thousand of the most learned and clear-sighted men in the country were solemnly to warn him that his salvation or perdition depended on his believing the sky to be of a bright orange color, what would be his reply, if he was an honest man? "Gentlemen, most implicitly do I believe that to your eyes the sky is of a bright orange color; but owing to some singularity or defect in the construction of my visual organs, a misfortune for which I ought to be pitied rather than hated or anathematized, it has always appeared to me of a mild blue color; nor can I ever believe, such being the case, that a God of truth and justice will reward me with eternal happiness for uttering a falsehood; or condemn me to endless torment for uttering that which I believe to be true! Let the bigot upon questions as to the color of faith, infinitely more difficult of proof than the hues of visible objects, grant the indulgence he is thus described as claiming ; let him do as he would be done by, and he will soon lose the reproach of his name, while enlightened and philanthropic christianity will gain a convert.'
We have returned the article upon • The Fine Arts in America' through the post-office, as we were directed to do, “in the event of its non-acceptance.' We have declined it because we think it would do more to discourage than to é encourage a high state of art among us.' Of all cants, defend us from that cant of art which substitutes a blind and indiscrimi. nate reverence of the painter, provided he be dead, for a judicious admiration of his paintings. Such a critical creed substitutes faith for 'good works,' and will fall prostrate before any daub, provided it be sanctified by a popular name. Many of the old masters, avowedly deficient in drawing and composition, were celebrated for their coloring, which the mere effects of time must inevitably destroy; and yet Titian, the great colorist of his day, is still held up to admiration, and by many as an example for slavish imitation, because his bright and blended hues delighted the good folk of the fifteenth century. THANK the Fates, “'Lection' is near at hand! The fusion and confusion of parties, and the eternal repetition of rabble-rousing words, will be things that were before our next number is out. Then we shall hope to entertain you, reader, in such a way as to secure a little of your attention; a thing which we can hardly flatter ourselves we have done during the universal political excitement of the last three or four months. One thing we certainly can affirm ; and that is, that our port-folios have never been so rich in original papers of rare excellence VOL. XXIV.
as at the present moment. That is rather a singular theory of old PETRUS POTERIUS, (we have his huge volume in the original ms., written at a time when it was less costly to write books than to print them,) that every portion of the human frame had some exact representative in the natural world, and that great medicinal virtues spring from the application of ' like to like.' Walnuts, he tells us, ' have the perfect signature of the head; the outward husk or covering represents the pericranium, or outward skin of the skull, whereon the hair groweth; and therefore the juice of those husks is exceedingly good for wounds in the head. The inner woody shell hath the signature of the skull, and the little yellow skin or peel, that of the dura and pia mater, which are the thin scarfs that envelope the brain. The kernel hath the very figure of the brain ; and therefore it is very profitable for the brain.' Curious, is n't it? It's true, though. • The Male Coquette' is under favorable consideration. The only fault of the story is, that it is something too long. It would otherwise have appeared, we think, in the present number. Can we confer with the writer as to the condensation, in one or two places, of his article? His hero is one of those personages known in society as “a sweet-pretty man;' refined in trifles, with a thin varnish of politeness covering his uniform selfishness. The truth is, that a masculine woman is much more endurable than an effeminate man; for though both are abandoning their proper sphere, the former seeks to rise above, the latter to sink beneath it. There is an ambition about the one, which, although it may be offensive, does not move our scorn; whereas there is a pitiful meanness in the other, which always renders it contemptible. That was a singular gratification which an English lunatic promised himself after death; that of becoming acquainted with all his progenitors, in order, degree above degree, up to Noah, and from him up to our first parents. But,' said he, “though I mean to proceed regularly, step by step, curiosity will make me in one instance trespass upon this proper arrangement, and I shall take the earliest opportunity of paying my respects to Adam and Eve! A word to our excellent and always most welcome correspondent, P—: Take daily more bodily exercise. Writers and close thinkers, who do not allow themselves sufficient exercise and relaxation, permit the mind to 'o'er-inform its tenement of clay,' and thus entail upon themselves physical or mental disorders, and oftentimes both. “We are like lamps; if we wind up the intellectual burner too high, the glass becomes thickened or discolored with smoke, or it breaks, and the unregulated flame, blown about by every puff of wind, if not extinguished altogether, throws a fitful glare and distorting shadows over the objects it was intended to illuminate. Our own pursuits are sedentary, but we walk eight miles daily, rain or shine ; illness, God be thanked! is unknown to us; and dyspepsia we put clean away from us.' Our gastric juices would decompose a boulli of pebbles and dissolve a ragout of ten-penny-nails. It is true economy of time to adopt the preventive course of medicine' rather than the curative. Every author or other professional man owes it to himself to pay heedful regard to this view of the matter:
Man's life, Sir, being
Who is the authoress of Melzinga, a Souvenir ? We have not been favored with a copy of the work; but we are certain that it should possess more merit than the passages from it which we have seen would seem to indicate. One or two of our daily journals and the • Southern Literary Messenger' have crucified the volume, by quoting from its pages the worst specimens of verse that we have encountered in a twelve-month. We were the more surprised at this, that we had seen an extract of a letter from General MORRIS to the authoress, wherein he pronounced the highest eulogium upon her poetry, and expressed his deep regret that, ' situated as he was,' he could not undertake the publication of the book. The Brigadier's gallantry overcame his judgment or his sincerity; and hence we view the awkward position in which our lady-author is placed. ... The Siamese Twins' (O
Gemini!) is not a felicitous theme for composition.' We say “is not,' and the expression is grammatical. The lines are very well conceived, however, and there are two or three amusing queries propounded, which it would puzzle a · Philadelphia lawyer to an
Our Ancient,' HENRY INMAN, whose proposed trip across the water we adverted to some months before it was performed, we are rejoiced to hear, on the most reliable authority, is in the enjoyment of perfect health and spirits. As we predicted, he has at the start won his true position as an artist in Great-Britain. A stay of a few weeks with Mr. STEWART, (at his seat of Drummond-Castle,) a nobleman whom we had the pleasure to meet in society on one or two occasions while he was sojourning in this country, resulted in the transfer to canvass of a 'screeching likeness' of the artist's entertainer; and thereafter, in orders for the portraits of more distinguished persons than our friend will find leisure to execute in six months. He has already painted, among others, Dr. CHALMERS, the poet Wordsworth, and MACAULEY. We very much question whether there
at this moment an artist in Great-Britain who can paint a better head than HENRY INMAN; and certain it is that his cheerful pleasant companionship cannot be beat by any of his fellow artists over the big brook.' Mr. Inman is a poet as well as painter; as the following lines (which we receive at a late hour from a friend and interpolate lere) will sufficiently attest. They were penned at a time when the writer was beginning to be convalescent after severe ill
and were answered we remember by some cheering stanzas from Mr. II. T. TUCKERMAN, in which our artist was counselled to cast away despondency, and trim his bark for the open sea of fame which lay spread out before him. We regret that we have not space for the felicitous response in question. The subjoined were the lines which elicited it:
L I N E S.
My bark of life floats idly on;
And passion's fitful gusts are flown.
While sadly round her aimless course
Now lowering brood the mental skies,
And dim the ocean-future lies.
And must this be? My soul, arouse!
See, through the passing clouds of ill,
And gilds thy drooping penant still.
Stretch to thine oar, yon beam thy guide,
Spread to ambition's freshening gale;
And glory's breathings swell thy sail !
A most faithful daguerreotype likeness of our friend's 'human face divine' looks up at us as we write, seated by our table and bright fire-side on this cold autumnal evening; and would that he were here, to imbibe a pleasant draught, that "cheers but not inebriates,' from a pitcher of punch, à la John Waters! Gentlemen! the health of HENRY INMAN! the accomplished artist, the pleasant companion, the joyful sportsman, the everyway.good-fellow!... We are struck with this passage, which we find on a yellow and time-stained leaf of our note-book: 'We look with wonder at the transformations that take place in insects, and yet their physical metamorphoses are not greater than the changes which we ourselves undergo, morally and intellectually, both in relation to others and in our individual nature. Every elderly man is an ancestor to his former self. Let him compare his boyish notions and feelings with his matured judgment, and he will form a
pretty correct notion of the wisdom of our ancestors; for what the child is to the man are the past generations to the present.' . A FRIEND dropped in upon us the other day, to invite our attention to an elaborate and very skilful operation in dentistry, performed by Mr. N. Dodge, at No. 628 Broadway, upon the person of a gentleman, the locum tenens of the American Museum, in the absence of its proprietor. And truth to say, the instance alluded to, with others which had fallen under our observation in the juvenile ranks,' establishes Mr. Dodge's preëminent skill in a profession (say rather an art, and a high one,) to the study of which he has devoted the labors of a life. Mr. Dodge is unquestionably one of the first among the better educated class of dentists in the metropolis ; and he has the reward of his works,' in the ample patronage which he attracts from the fashionable world.' . . . We thank ‘L.' for his essay on · Genius and Business Talent.' It is a worthy defence of intellect against the influence of ignorance and cupidity. One of the most accomplished bank-financiers in town mentioned incidentally to us, not long since, that he once saw one of the ablest financiers of his time, a young man of irreproachable integrity, debarred from the cashiership of a monied institution by the opposition of a man who carried his brains in his pocket, and who objected to him because he sometimes
wrote poetry and pieces for the annuals and literary papers.' Mr. Justice Johnson, of South-Carolina, in an address delivered several years ago, on the occasion, if we remember rightly, of erecting a monument to ELI WHITNEY, inventor of the cotton-gin, assumed the ground that “any thing short of the highest intellectual vigor, the brightest genius, was insufficient to invent one of those extraordinary machines ;' but suppose some short-sighted utilitarian had refused 10 assist Mr. WHITNEY in his invention, because the same imagination, the same genius, was sometimes turned in another and different direction? “The peculiar aptitude for combining and applying the simple powers of mechanics, so as to produce marvellous operations, implies a vivacity of imagination not inferior to that of the poet and orator. The machine, it is true, operates in the first instance on mere physical elements to produce an accumulation and distribution of property. But do not the arts of civilization follow in the train ? and has not he who has trebled the value of the land, created capital, rescued the population from the necessity of drudgery, covered a waste with plenty ; has he not done a service to the country of the highest moral and intellectual character? Prosperity is the parent of civilization and all its refinements; and every family of prosperous citizens added to the community, is an addition of so many thinking, inventing, moral and immortal natures.' Now this is a defence of the same ‘genius,' the same . intellectual vigor,' for the possession of which a most competent man was excluded from an office which he was afterward in vain solicited to fill. The appreciation of his merit came too late. • The End of the World," Mr. Anelli's large painting, with colossal figures,' now on exhibition at the Apollo Rooms, has excited more than usual attention and interest, from the fact that it is in effect an embodiment of Millerism.' We have dropped in on two occasions to survey the picture; and each time saw something new to admire, and two or three very glaring faults to condemn. We may allude to these when we shall have more space than we can command 'at this present.' Meantime, we ask the attention of our readers to this laborious effort of Mr. ANELLI'S pencil. There is a lesson full of wisdom playfully enforced in Neal's story of *PETER PLOddy.' Peter was 'young man' to Mr. Figgs, a grocer, and became discontented with his situation whenever he contrasted it with that of others in the same position of life around him. Young Smith, the apothecary over the way, was a wit and a mimic; could imitate all sorts of things, from the uncorking of a bottle, to the plaintive how! of an imprisoned dog. He could take all the parts in a cat-concert; his imitation of the buzzing of a musquito would render a sound sleeper uneasy; and as a calf he was magnificent; no one in town could bleat half as well. Al these accomplish. ments Ploddy envied and emulated, but without success. His bleat was only called an * infernal noise,' and nobody said “scat!' or 'get out!' at his cat-calls in the dark. His emulation of Bill BARITONE, the young dry-goods clerk, whose sentimental strains went
to the heart of every young damsel, and who was invited out' every evening, was equally fruitless. When PLODDY tried to sing, people stopped their ears; the neighbors sent in to know what was the matter, and the boys in the street were of opinion that something had
broke loose.' He soon abandoned the hope of competing with BarITONE, though he continued to wish that he could sing, ‘at least enough to enable his friends to discover what tune it was, or was meant to be; it was so discouraging to be obliged to tell the name of it.' But the young contemporary whose gifts he envied the most, was Tom QUILLET, who was reading law round the corner. • How he did talk, how he could talk, how he could not be prevented from talking!' whereas it often took PLODDY a considerable time to find any thing to talk about, and to determine whether it was worth talking about when he had found it, and then it was to be brushed up and dressed in words fit to go out; QUILLET, on the contrary, was a walking vocabulary, who sent forth his words to look for ideas, being but little particular whether they found them or not. In truth he used his friends as a target, and remorselessly practised elocution and oratory upon them on all occasions.
Why can't I express myself like QuilLET?' asked Ploddy, in petulance;' what he says don't often amount to much, to be sure, when you come to think of it, but it stretches over a deal of ground, and hammers out broad and thin. A little goes a great way. I wonder if he ever heard any body but himself say any thing? How does he do when he goes to church, I'd like to know, and must sit still without contradicting or giving his notions on the subject? How does he manage to stop his confounded clack long enough to get to sleep? Ploddy finds subsequently, however, that the dashing qualities which are denied to him, and which he envies in others, prove the ruin of their possessors. The funny SMITH' becomes a low actor at a low theatre; BARITONE is transformed into a sot by his nightly convivialities; and Quillet's talking abilities convert him into a mere partizan hanger-on; he neglects his clients, and is finally starved out. · .. Mr. COOPER, in his late work, ' Afloat and Ashore,' says very justly, that Albany, ' leaning against its sharp acclivity, and spreading over its extensive bottom-land,' is one of the most picturesque-looking places in America. “We are a people,' he adds, ‘by no means addicted to placing our candle under a bushel; and yet I cannot recall a single expression in any native writer touching the beauties of Albany. We must beg leave to set Mr. Cooper right in this regard, so far at least as one instance is concerned. At page one hundred and thirty-three of the · Literary Remains of the late Willis Gaylord Clark,' that truly native writer remarks as follows of Albany:
"The lower or business parts of the city, except in the region round about the 'Eagle,' are not perhaps particularly attractive ; but in the upper quarters, near the Capitol-Square, and along Statestreet, few towns in our country 'can with it compare.' I know of no place to which, in some respects, could be better applied the lines of BYRON:
FOR Whoso entereth within this town,
But ascend you to the dome of the City Hall, in Capitol-Square, and look forth upon the scene! It is beautiful; that's the word. Look at the landscape to the North, heaved up in the glory and grandeur of Summer against the sapphire walls of Heaven; varied with meadows and harvestfields, and rural mansions; observe Troy, with its Mount Ida, and the affluent valley of the Hudson; likewise the distant Kaatskills; also the city beneath, with those numerous white swellings,' or domes, of the steeple genus, which have broken out ambitiously all over the town – look at these, and at the whole sweep of Capitol-Square, and you shall meet with great rejoicing of eye.'
We claim also to be an ardent admirer of Albany and the picturesqueness of its situation, and our admiration has been more than once expressed in these pages.
THE writer of the · Lines to a Butterfly' that alighted upon a sail of the ship Ville de Lyon an hundred and fifty miles from land (credat Judæus !) must have read the fanciful little poem of Mr. James LAWSON to his · Wee Voyager.' Many of the thoughts are actually identical. Their resemblance it is true may be accidental as well; but that does n't alter our duty in the premises. The Wee Voyager' has appeared in the KNICKERBOCKER, and our readers