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HUMBUG OF HUMBUG.
BY THE EDITOR.
THE readers of The Guardian, we can easily imagine, were astonished when they opened the September number and saw there, among the "book notices," a favorable and most flattering notice of the "musicbook" edited by "Profs. Johnston and Frost," the heroes of the "musical conventions" in Pennsylvania; especially will they be surprised to hear the Editor praising these musical men in the highest terms, as not "selfishly retaining" their great musical wisdom, "but like true scientific philanthropists," scattering their rich sentiments abroad to "make us a nation of the most perfect singers upon which the sun ever shone!" The reader will remember that only a short time ago the same Guardian contained a long article entitled "Humbug Turned Pious," in which the Editor gave his opinion, and the documents, to show that said "musical conventions" were a humbug; and that the object of them evidently was not so much to give instruction to the choirs, as to get them together at the close, in a vast concert of "one hundred singers," to draw a large audience at a quarter a piece, which would richly pay for all the trouble! It was shown that these "conventions" begin piously in the churches and end in some hall, with a mixture of the most silly songs, "to show the difference" between social and profane music, but in reality to draw the young and foolish to the festival which the church was thus made to prepare and baptize as holy.
Now the Editor of The Guardian had no such high notion of these "scientific philanthropists," as to believe that Pennsylvania would be benefited by a "Keystone Collection" of music from them; and hence when the music-book was offered him gratis, with the request to notice, by the publishers, Murray, Young & Co., he declined to do so, stating that for the sake of the publishers he did not wish to notice it unfavorably. The chief member of the firm immediately appreciated the reply and laid the book away.
But now what will the reader think when he is told that only a few days after this offer of the book, and the refusal to notice it, The Guardian appeared with a most enthusiastic notice of the book and its authors! It was foisted into The Guardian without the Editor's knowledge and consent-and the page which contained it never came under the eyes of the Editor in the proof. This is not all; before ever the Editor saw The Guardian bound and finished, part of the same notice appeared in The Saturday Evening Express, quoted as The Guardian's recommendation of the book! That is not all; on the first day of September, the very day on which The Guardian is published, the same notice was already printed, together with its quotation from The Express, on separate slips and pasted on the inside of the cover of the note-book as The Guardian's recommendation of it, and thus sent out with the book! In less than five days after the Editor had declined to notice the book, he was forced to praise it in The Guardian, in The Express, and in the book itself, in the book store, and wherever the
book may go. Verily, if the first noticed by The Guardian was a humbug, then is the second one growing out of it, greater and meaner and less pious than the first.
In this way was the Editor made to contradict himself, and lay himself open to the charge of singular and criminal inconsistency. We were not at all surprised to be written to by a young friend in reference to that notice, as follows:
"When I read said notice I could not help but think of 'Humbug Become Pious,' and of the minister who refused-and nobly too-to publish from his pulpit the announcement for the great 'musical convention.' The thoughts which rushed upon my mind were very strange. 'What!' I thought by myself, 'is it possible that the Editor of The Guardian can have changed his mind so radically that he now puffs the very men whom he formerly denounced as humbugs.'
There is nothing we endeavor more carefully to avoid than inconsistency. We were deeply grieved by the unfortunate occurrence, and desire the false impression to be corrected. Now, therefore, to all whom these presents may come, the Editor of The Guardian sends greeting: and he disowns the recommendation given of the book in toto-he protests against being forced to say what he does not wish to say-and asks that if any one wishes to buy said note-book, he do it, like General Jackson, "on his own responsibility," and not from any recommendation purporting to be from The Guardian, whether it be written, printed, pasted, preached, prayed or sung.
CURIOUS HISTORICAL FACT.
The wife of the celebrated Lord Clarendon, the author of the History of the Rebellion, was a Welsh pot-girl, who being extremely poor in her own country, journeyed to London to better her fortune, and became a servant to a brewer. While she was in this humble capacity, the wife of her master died, and he happening to fix his affections on her she became his wife. Himself dying soon after, left her heir to his property, which is said to have amounted to between £20,000 and £30,000. Amongst those who frequented the tap at the brewery was a Mr. Hyde, then a poor barrister, who conceived the project of forming a matrimonial alliance with her. He succeeded, and soon led the brewer's widow to the altar. Mr. Hyde being endowed with great talent, and now at the command of a large fortune, quickly rose in his profession, becoming head of the Chancery bench, and was afterwards the celebrated Hyde, Earl of Clarendon. The eldest daughter, the offspring of this union, won the heart of James, Duke of York, and was married to him. Charles II. sent immediately for his brother, and having first plied him with some very sharp raillery on the subject, finished by saying, "Jamas as you have brewn, so you must drink," and forthwith commanded that the marriage should be legally ratified and promulgated. Upon the death of Charles, James the II. mounted the throne, but a premature death frustrated this enviable consummation in the person of his amiable duchess. Her daughters, however, were Queen Mary, the wife of William III., and Queen Anne, both grandchildren of the ci devant pot-girl from Wales, and wearing in succession the crown of England.
BY THE EDITOR.
THE early Autumn is always a time of peculiar interest on the farm and in the neighborhood; and it lives in one's associations in a peculiarly pleasant way. The heat and heavy labors of summer are now past, and the spirit, braced by a firmer air, revives into a steady flow of life, which finds great congeniality in the sober scenes that now surround it. It is not late enough yet for the lonely and sad; it is the time for the earnest, hopeful and pleasant. Whether in business or in pleasure, this is the season when men have most heart to undertake, and dare, and do.
The last field is seeded. The early grain is already up. How prettily it grows in rows, and how green it looks when viewed toward the sun in the fresh morning, or in the calm evening.
The orchard still waits to be attended to. Some trees have been stript, but the winter apples are untouched. It is now high time to gather them in. A bag is taken and an apple put into one corner, round which the strings are tied, and this is thrown around the neck. The mouth of the bag is now distended and kept open by a stick pointed at each end and made to span its mouth. Thus it is easy to pick the apples into the bag. Only the best are taken; the rest are shaken to the ground and afterwards gathered and turned into cider.
Hark! how the press groans as the solid apples press into its fearful jaws, as if eager to be devoured. O, be merciful to the swarming bees! Spare them in throwing back the ground apples. Let a boy stand there with an elder bush, and swing it kindly over the trough. Poor, innocent, busy little bees, they have come thither not to molest you, but drawn by that strong instinct of labor which makes them so useful to man. Say not impatiently, "Let them stay away;" you would not say so to your infant creeping under the feet of your horses. They know not their danger. God has given them no wisdom for self-protection, but only the instinct to love sweets for themselves and for man; but to you he has given eyes to see their danger and a heart that ought not wantonly to suffer you to tread on a worm. Therefore, be ye merciful and spare the bees.
The cider-press is a delightful place on a moonlight evening. The neighbor boys gather. Some one has just finished grinding his apples,
and is going home with his horses, while others have already finished their suppers. There is still some cider running from the previous making. This is free to all; and well do the boys enjoy it, while the evening is spent tossing about on the straw, and racing, by long circles, through the meadow. These are the smaller boys-and these are their sports in cider-making time.
Where are the boys of larger growth? They have all been invited to a neighbor's house to "an apple-butter boiling." All the young men and maidens of the neighborhood are gathered there. The severe labors of the day do not unfit them for enjoying this scene of youthful festivity. The horses and cattle attended to, supper over, every-day clothes doffed, the Sunday suit is put on-and away!
Do we transfer ourselves to the place, and what do we see. large kettles filled with cider have already been over fire since morning.
"Two great cauldrons o'er the fire,
Whilst on huge crane stretched from jamb to jamb,
Swing over the blaze with cider streaming hot,
The apples to be pealed are in large tubs, waiting for the company. The young folks begin to drop in one by one, and fall earnestly to work; for the sooner the peeling is done the sooner will playing commence. Therefore thanks to that ambitious young man who comes there with a peeling machine. He is invited to every party of the kind in the whole neighborhood. Let it not be thought that he is merely welcome because of his machine and its great usefulness; for this itself is only a fruit of his general generous disposition. Every one likes him, for he is always useful, and agreeable, and kind. See how he spins the blushing apple, and whirls it peeled into the tub. The poet must have seen this performance:
"Swift flies the apple to the paring blade,
The cider in the kettles is now ready to receive the cut apples, and they are accordingly poured in. But now stirring must also begin; and to this end one of the ladies must leave the apple-cutting party to stirbut not alone! Some one of the young men thinks, and says too, that it is too hard work for her alone. Kind-hearted, charitable, thoughtful young man! He flies to her assistance; and now with the sweep of the stirring movement there is caused also, or at least cultivated, a kind of harmony of hearts, which makes the moments fly swiftly and sweetly. They scarcely thank the lady who comes to relieve them; for she takes his place, as it would not be modest to take her's. But now, it is not right to let two ladies perform that tedious work alone. See a kindhearted youth goes to relieve the first, out of pure pity, of course. So the changing goes on-each in turn relieved, and each in turn pleased to afford the relief.
Meantime the apple-peeling is over. The young people are not all needed to stir the kettles. What now? There is a youth-well he knows how to "begin the plays." We must not be asked to describe them, for almost all but the pleasant general recollection of them has
passed from our memory. The majority of them are of the most simple and innocent character-and not one of them half so foolish as dancing about on one foot then upon another; now, as if there were a thorn in one's toe, and then as if it were in the heel, bobbing up and down, like a cork when the fish bites, and then turning to one side and looking so languishing and interesting, so very beautiful, tender and sentimental with "love and longing." Not half so childish as this is any one of the apple-butter party plays that we have ever seen in the rural districts of Pennsylvania. The attachments that are cultivated in this kind of innocent country life are, we are sure, generally more virtuous and lasting, and oftener followed by a life of true social happiness than any that are formed amid the hot-bed sentimentalism of the ball room.
In these innocent rural parties no young lady is in danger of catching a pennyless, brainless, characterless fop, being distinguished only for his smart small talk, his nice clothes, and his unpaid tailor bill-one who is much more impressed with the praise of his moustache, than with the earnest duns of his poor washerwoman. Here an industrious, earnest young man is not in danger of being entangled in misery for life by a soft Miss, who can indeed "trip it gaily on the fantastic toe," talk languishingly, sigh to the moon, but knows not how to bake a loaf, sweep a room, or mend a garment. Such love and such gentlemen and ladies would do well enough for husbands and wives if houses had nothing but parlors in them, if love indeed were a dream, and the duties and trials of life only fancy and fun.
This seems to be a digression; but we hope it has legitimately grown out of our subject. Let it be regarded in the light of a moral attached to the tale we tell.
Early autumn brings with it many other rural delights, and innocent pastimes for country youth which poets have sung, and which moralists have not felt it necessary to rebuke or demolish. Nor do they painfully afflict the memories of those who shared in them in "boyhood's halcyon days."
"See where the joyous Hollow-eve comes in,
Gradually, and more and more keenly are these days of calm, sunny quietness succeeded by nights of frost and cold. Dark clouds are in the heavens, and black shadows are on the fields and mountains. It must be so to protect the wheat from the fly, to ripen the whole family of nuts, and to prepare for winter.
"It is the season when the woodland trees,
Where like the autumn's brown? Or chestnuts found