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attend. Hast thou held communion with spirits like these? Mayhap there is more than one who has.
If you make an excursion up the Connecticut Valley this summer, or any other, don't fail to ascend a mountain, which riseth hard by your route from Northampton to Greenfield, and rejoiceth in the sweet and dulcet name of Sugar-Loaf. It is of humble pretensions, but it will repay a visit as well as the more aspiring Holyoke, where fame is spread abroad so widely. Why it bears the appellation of Sugar-Loaf, I know not, unless because it bears no sort of resemblance to one. Pleasant recollections now come up, of a visit of mine to the mountain, a few months since. Toilsome was the climb to the top thereof-especially to the frail and tender creatures who were with me. But when we had overcome the rugged and steepy ascent, all thought of fatigue was put to flight in the enchanting beauty of the scene before us. Beneath our feet, as it were, ran the Connecticut, looking like a broad and silver ribbon, as it wound gracefully toward the south, till lost among the mountains that skirt the horizon in that direction. On both sides were spread out those splendid meadows, that form the chief beauty of the Connecticut Valley; and never have I beheld them, when they looked half so beautiful as then. Mount Holyoke I have often visited; but somehow there was a richness and beauty in this landscape, beyond anything I ever witnessed there. The exquisite, the surpassing loveliness of the scenene-it haunts me still. Our elevation above the valley prevented our observing any slight inequalities in the surface; and there it was, stretching away to the south, seeming as smooth as the painted canvas, and chequered with hues more gorgeous far than the brightest ever formed by the pencil of a Claude. The river, with its silver sheen-the waving crops of grain, already tinted with their golden dye-the green and luxuriant fields of corn and grass, all bathed in the gentle and grateful light of an August sunset-were far more beautiful than art ever can produce. I would rhapsodize in verse a little, were I of the gifted sons of song; but, in the language of the poet, "I am anything else."
In the last number of the American Review there is a fine article on the genius and writings of Thomas Hood. Read it, friend, if you would know more of a man, who had a large and generous heart, as well as a noble and gifted mind. But do more ;-get" Hood's Prose and Verse," and learn of him from the productions of his own pen. A few rambling thoughts in regard to him were thrown out in a late number of our humble Magazine. I am not going to inflict more of the same on you; but I cannot forbear giving you something far better-a brief extract or two from his works, which will serve to throw light on some traits of his character. In his articles on Copy-right, he shows his large-heartedness. He writes not like too many of his countrymen, with a pen dipped in the "gall of bitterness," when speaking of our American republic. He indulges in no invective upon us. He utters no sentiments of sheer selfishness. He shows no narrow spirit, unable to cherish kindness and good-will toward kindred over the ocean; he is
none of those whose sympathies are circumscribed by the watery barriers that surround his native island. But hear him in his own peculiar way: "I am none of the 'Mr. H's' who have drawn, sketched, or caricatured the Americans. The stars and stripes do not affect me like a blight in the eye; nor does Yankee Doodle give me the ear-ache. I have no wish to repeal the Union of the United States, or to alter the phrase in the Testament, into Republicans and Sinners.' In reality, I have rather a Davidish feeling towards Jonathan, remembering whence he comes, and what language he speaks; and holding it better in such cases to have the wit that traces resemblances, than the judgment that detects differences, and perhaps foments them."
In regard to the unhappy influence of a lack of international copyright upon our authors, he speaks as our best writers have spoken. He cannot help indulging in his waggery and grotesqueness, in the midst of sound argument and beautiful language. His description of a Yankee, in connection with this subject, will serve as an example of his comic style. "He is first chop with the hatchet and a crack with the rifle,-grand at a coon, mighty at a 'possum, and awful at a squirrel, he can drive a nail with a bullet, or a bargain with a Jew pedler,-whip his weight in wild-cats, grin jesuit's bark into quinine, and, as some say, wring off the tail of a comet,-but where will be his exploits with the pen? Will he resemble, or not, the big Ben of the school, a dab at marbles, a first-rater at cricket, a top-sawyer at fives, and a good 'un at fisticuffs; but obliged to be obliged for his English themes and exercises to the least boy on the farm?"
He closes the article with the following beautiful passage, on the influence which books had exercised on his own character. "Infirm health, and a natural love of reading, happily threw me, instead of worse society, into the company of poets, philosophers, and sages,— to me good angels and ministers of grace. From these silent instructors-who often do more than fathers, and always more than godfathers, for our temporal and spiritual interests ;-from these mild monitors-no importunate tutors, teasing mentors, moral task-masters, obtrusive advisers, harsh censors, or wearisome lecturers-but delightful associates, I learned something of the divine, and more of the human religion. They were my interpreters in the house beautiful of God, and my guides among the delectable mountains of nature. They reformed my prejudices, chastened my passions, tempered my heart, purified my taste, elevated my mind, and directed my aspirations.
Hence have I genial seasons-hence have I
Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous thoughts;
And thus, from day to day, my little boat
Rocks in its harbor, lodging peaceably.
For the thousandth time have I caught myself repeating, almost unconsciously, that exceeding beautiful little poem of his, entitled, "I remember." Though it is familiar to so many, I cannot help quoting the last two verses.
"I remember, I remember,
My spirits flew in feathers then,
That are so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
"I remember, I remember,
The fir-trees dark and high,
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from heaven
Poor Hood! thou wast like other men, and "all have sinned;" yet, in spite of thy sad reflection in those closing lines, thou wert much nearer heaven than many of thy fellows, who make more professions than didst thou. Thy pure nature was not sullied by the vices of selfishness, envy, and malice. Thy kind and excellent spirit made thee feel for every suffering child of want and woe. Thy generous feelings were not stinted and withered by the chilling influence of a cold and heartless world. Thy large and loving heart extended unto all. But thou hast gone to thy long, long home.
"Dust to its narrow house beneath,
Soul to its place on high."
Peace to thy ashes and rest to thy spirit, thou real friend of man!
Hora Collegianæ! College hours! How swiftly have ye fled! How short the time since, with all my verdancy, I entered these walls! I then looked forward, through long years of toil; and distant, far distant, seemed the goal. But it appeared a pleasant and a flowery way: Bright gleamed the star of hope above my path. Gay and gladsome spirits beckoned me on. Ah! I saw none of the countless vexations which here fall to the lot of us all; I heard not those agonizing sounds which so oft have broken on the stillness of the early morn. Those matin-tones have been anything but blessed tones to me. But a fig's end for them" they are gone, all gone."
"Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure,
Scenes that former thoughts renew,
Ay, there have been hours of pleasure, as well as woe-but that hour before breakfast was not "one of 'em."
Say what you will of the impudence and boorishness existing in our
college fraternity, there is less of affectedness and mawkish foppishness than you will find in almost any other place. There are very few of your "deyvilish foine fellows," as they are called, who are as precise and stiff as if they had been starched at their birth, and dipped three times a day in the material ever since-who can't address you without a lisping drawl, as long as the moral law, with notes and explanations. Personal considerations lead us to differ, in opinion, somewhat from the following :
"A set o' dull, conceited hashes
Confine their brains in college classes;
Burns was a good fellow, and wrote some tolerable poetry-but he had never been to college."
With all the high advantages enjoyed here, and all the inducements to quicken and stimulate exertion, a college life is very apt to give one idle habits. Few, very few, pass through the course without contracting them in some measure. Young men are here thrown together, in the hey-day of the blood, with allurements of a thousand forms to draw them into dissipation; to some of which nearly all yield in greater or less degree. How many come here with integrity of principle, buoyant with hope, and glowing with ambitious ardor, who leave with recklessness of character, habits which unfit them for life's stern duties, and a constitution shattered and broken-not by study! The sunshine of their days has gone forever. Poet never wrote truer verse than this:
Ye, who are yet in the midst of your toils, who are yet in the early part of your career, heed well the time as its passes. Listen not to the witching voice of those who would persuade you, that you can make it up in after years, for what you now lose in sloth and trifling. Believe them not when they tell you, that you will enjoy the present better, by slighting your studies and running a course of idleness and folly. Believe, rather, what all who have tried both will say, if they speak from the heart, that time well improved is more pleasant! Ah, how much more pleasant, than time frittered and wasted away. Be strong in yourselves, and press on with the full and determined purpose of doing while you may. So live, that when the last shred of time is granted you, and you shall no longer be able to patch out the web of life, you may have the blessed consciousness, that it has been woven well. As saith the preacher, so mote it be.
Now, dear Reader, we have a short space left for the "sweet sorrow" of a formal parting. The last page is filled, the last proof corrected, and we yield your Magazine into other, and, we trust, better hands. We need not assure you that it pains us to leave these haunts, where linger the joy-beams of so many blessed hours-to break that connection which unites us not only as members of the same institution, but that nearer and nobler one which has bound us in a society of kindred and coworking minds. The marriage of soul with soul, is the source of a higher and subtler joy than all other relations can yield. It is the precursor of that state where corporate affinities are lost in a universe of spirits. But we must not linger on this sweet, sad theme. We but go before you into the dust and din of this earnest world—to send back in our examples, voices of warning or encouragement.
We would say in the last words, that for our contributors and subscribers we have the warmest thanks; for our successors in charge of the Magazine, the heartiest wishes; and for all, a "God bless you, and a-Good bye."
Your Editors for 1846,
JOHN B. BRISBIN,