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• We shall pay you! Henceforth, take note, ye cockneys! Islanders all, from Guernsey to John o'Groat's! hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest this great fact - Pennsylvania pays !
But yet, great as are the virtues of gunpowder upon fit occasion, perhaps in this case it had better been let to lie quietly in the modest concealment of its canister. Country wives find it sometimes of great service in overpowering a mephitis; say from a dead rat in the wainscot, or the rank miasmata of drains; its wholesome stench too may clear your chamber of mosquitos, and stop their hateful serenade. But will any most lavish expenditure of the costlier sorts of ‘Eagle ! *Dupont's,'Kentucky-Rifle,' or Brough's matchless · Diamond Grain,' do away the foul odor of an ill name, or relieve roguery from that perpetual singing in the ears, arising from a dyspepsia of the conscience? Pennsylvania does well in paying. It is an act of common right; but it is nothing to fire guns for. This noisy virtue is not of the best kind. Fools may be deceived by it, and may echo back the voice of self-applause ; but to the sensible fraction of humanity, a rascal never appears more rascally than when he tries to look honest. When OTHELLO says of the scoundrel Lago:
*This fellow 's of exceeding honesty,' our contempt and disgust at the villain increase in proportion as his victim is deceived. So when a notorious churl buys the name of a munificent benefactor, by giving a round sum toward a church-organ, or the building of an asylum, the more the papers harp on his generosity; the more they talk of our liberal townsman,''our generous fellow.citizen,' the more odious does his true character appear, to those who truly know him. Nevertheless, the church gets its organ, or the little orphans their breeches; the charity is fulfilled ; and in God's name let us continue to give the man his paragraph. He has paid for it right handsomely. Men who know the depth of his beneficence, know also the value of a good name in a newspaper. Let us not grudge him that. We would even throw him in an epitaph, and reckon society bad got the better bargain. But such returns of encomium ought always to be reserved for the more extraordinary and Herculean efforts of virtue. Men should not congratulate themselves upon every trifling instance of common, everyday just-dealing. If people are to fire guns and write articles upon the mere payment of a debt, we shall be choked to death with sulphurous fumes. As well go into a lazzaretto at once, as be subjected to such a perpetual process of quarantine. Salutes would then be proportioned to the magnitude of the debt discharged. If forty-two pounders serve well enough to express the joy of a nation at satisfying her creditors, small musketry might suffice for the settling of a tailor's bill. For a tavern-reckoning, pocket-pistols would furnish a sufficient demonstration of triumph; and still minor explosions would answer for the little demands of the waiter and maid. It is devoutly to be prayed for, that things may not be brought to so ludicrous a pass. And yet we can imagine it: we can fancy some future lexicogråpher, some · harmless drudge' of a Johnson, thus defining the word discharge: ‘DISCHARGE, v. 4.; to discharge a bill; to pay it; derived from a custom of the ancient Pennsylvanians of discharging a cannon upon the settlement of a debt,'
There are sage heads among us who look upon this gunnery business with unfeigned sorrow. They think it shows a dishonest spirit to brag of one's honesty; that those whose fair name is once tainted, cannot easily sweeten it with cunning preparations of saltpetre. Perhaps however these old Nestors take too serious a view of the matter. It may be that it is all according to the genius of our institutions.' Perhaps by using noise enough, wrong may be talked into right. Perhaps it would be wbolly un-American to cry. Pecca. vimus! and to confess our faults. And what is most likely, perhaps this cannonading is only another mode of expressing that System of Mutual Admiration, which is overspr the land. According to this charitable system, which is exerting so benign an influence upon our morals as well as our taste, whatever is cast in our teeth as a failing, may by general vote be pronounced a merit. Its fundamental law is this; that nothing shall shake our confidence in our own deserts; that when the world is loudest in our blame, then shall
we be loudest in our own praise ; and that when, according to the old school, we should fall on our knees with a penitent. Let us pray! on our lips, we shall now simper cheerfully on one another, and say, 'Let us admire !
Very pat to the purport of our homily, comes, from a friend in the East, a slight sketch of this · Mutual Admiration Society ;' of its foundation and extension, and of some of its proceedings, up to the present time:
"SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF MUTUAL ADMIRATION.
No association exists in America equal in talent, respectability, and infallibility, to the various branches of the Mutual Admiration Club. There is none likely to produce so favorable an effect upon the country, and none whose principles are so highly satisfactory to its individual members. The Odd Fellows,' the ‘Rechabites,' the Come-Outers,' and the “Transcendentalists,' lay claim only to a few of its advantages. It has multiplied the genius of the land tenfold. Wherever a lodge has been established, great men have increased in a most remarkable degree; and many highly immortal reputations have been rapidly acquired. Notwithstanding all this, as yet it is little known beyond the sphere of those who enrol themselves on its catalogue. The · Boston Morning Post,' it is true, has occasionally had a malignant sneer at it, but its transactions have hitherto been unre. vealed. It had its origin among the Bostonians, a race naturally given to admire themselves; and in a soil so congenial with its character, such was the rapidity of its growth that it seemed possessed of the genius of Guano. The club hunted HORACE for a motto; and finding nothing appropriate enough, in its literal form, altered the . Nil admirari' into . Nos admirari.' The eagerness with which the principles of the society were adopted, and their speedy extension, may be gathered from the fact that on the third meeting, in compliance with the suggestion of a member, who wished to retain as much of HORACE as possible, the motto was unanimously altered into its present more expressive variation, 'Nil nisi nos admirari ! which happy change has been generally accepted by all the branch-lodges all over the country.
* Although Boston claims to have given birth to the first club, there are some members who date the rise of mutual-admiration principles from a remote antiquity. The heroes of the Iliad, it is contended, were in the habit of lauding each other. Even the stern PeliDES, in his fiercest anger, complimented AGAMEMNON, by confessing that he was like a god in fight;' and AGAMEMNON retorted, by informing ACHILLES, “Thy valor comes from Jove.' Occasional complimentary notices of each other are also found among the Augustan lads. TIBULLUS, VIRGIL, and others, are suspected of having established a club at the house of Pollio. Bavius and Mævius especially, we cannot doubt, were ardent admirers of each other. There is a tradition among the scholiasts that Cicero's eloquent argument for Roscius was paid by the actor in kind. Roscius, it is believed, in an original melo-drama, written for his benefit by a gentleman of Rome, uttered a strong panegyric upon CICERO; advising all who wanted good law, to call at his office. But this anecdote rests upon questionable authority; and, on the whole, it must be conceded that although slight instances of mutual admiration occur in history, the first regularly organized society was that of Boston.
“The manner of its birth was this. Smith, the celebrated writer, was chosen upon a certain fourth-of-July, to deliver the oration. It was but a dull production to the audience. The day was hot, the church crowded, and the orator sleepy. Smith, upon bis own capi. tal, could not do himself justice. He felt this, and feared that the next day's papers would pronounce bim an ass. In this emergency it happily occurred to him to introduce a high encomium upon the newspapers generally, and upon several editors, whom he called by name, and whom he happened to note among the congregation. The effect was perceptible immediately. Several reporters in the gallery gave audible kicks of commendation ; and at the sound of their patronymics, and at the mention of their respective journals, the
aforesaid editors roused from their momentary nap and blushed. One or two gazed fiercely on the chandelier ; some closed their eyes hard, as if to caulk up the passage of any stray tears; and others, with lips austerely compressed, looked frowningly at the speaker, as if to say, ' Pour on! we can endure! The final result of this manœuvre was, that all the news. papers, on the day after the oration, praised it beyond measure. They said it was 'a brilliant effort,' a 'masterly development;' «set things in a new light;' contained sound philosophy;'• ought to be read by every child in the country;' was “an indispensable addition to literature,' etc. So much eulogy had its effect: the oration was bought, read, and talked of ; Smith was invited forthwith to sit for his bust, and a Sunday paper contained a pa. rallel between Smith and DEMOSTHENES, signed . PLUTARCHUS JUVENIS.' Acting upon this experience, the ingenius Smith, who was then pregnant with a volume of poems, inserted therein a sonnet upon Virtue,' which, among sundry great exemplars of virtue, such as Cato, HAMPDEN, TRAJAN and others, instanced, in a modest way, the name of JONES, a famous writer in the North American.' Jones, of course, gave Smith a handsome “puff' in the next number; and from an accidental conjunction between these two literary orbs, at the house of the celebrated BABCOCK, arose the first idea of the regular organization of this mighty engine of modern taste.'
Such will serve for a present sketch of this Society's commencement. We trust to be enabled from time to time to note its proceedings, and those of its branches.'
RANK TO THE DESERVING: STEAM-ENGINEERS. — Have you never thought, reader, while voyaging in one of our princely Hudson steamers, and in a moment of abstraction, watching the engineer, who, silent and thoughtful, directed the complicated powers that swept you onward; have you never thought how much you owed to the man who, under Provi. dence, held your life in his hand? We have, many and many a time; and it is for this reason that we welcome the ensuing passage from the communication of a correspondent, who is familiar with the subject on which he treats, and commend to our readers the plan which he sets forth, and which we hope may not altogether escape the notice of our government: The compensation allowed to engineers on board of steam-boats, and their responsibility, are greatly disproportioned to the rank awarded to them. Every man, on going on board a steamer, finds his attention drawn to the captain. Few, if any, inquire after or even notice the engineer. This important officer has no distinctive badge, nor is there any thing in his appearance to distinguish him from any working-hand about the deck. You are not permitted to see the man at table who has the safety of every one on board in his care ; nor have you any evidence of his qualifications, until your passage is made : then you may adopt the old saw, 'It is a good bridge that carries us safe over.' To draw public attention to this useful but neglected class, it needs only that we look at the number of steamvessels employed in the naval, revenue, and merchant service, and in the various coastwise and transportation lines of the United States. The inquiry naturally arises, 'How are these engineers educated and qualified for their important duties? and what guarantee have the public of their fitness? To satisfy the public mind; to insure safety, and the efficiency of engineers; to prevent the frequent and appaling acci. dents which take place, are surely matters worthy of grave consideration. I ventured to suggest, in the plan to which I have referred, that four great work-shops, or factories, should be established by government, to be located at Pittsburgh, New-York, Boston and Charleston, South Carolina. The Government has already in its employment competent persons to take charge of these establishments. The mode of admission to them of youths of a proper age, sufficiently educated in the elementary branches, might be the same as that adopted at West-Point. A longer time would be required to teach them practically the construction of steam-engines, and the science applicable to their profession. They
should be allowed a small compensation during their course, and their time should be divided between their work and studies, so as to permit them to graduate at the age of twenty-one. A suitable undress-uniform should be allowed to be worn during the hours of relaxation and study. Frequent inspections should be made, to insure cleanliness, good habits, and regard to character. Graduates should be commissioned as steam-engineers, or assistant steam-engineers, according to merit; assistant steam-engineers to be permitted a second examination, after a certain period ; then to be promoted or not, as their qualifications might warrant. When employed by the government, a certain fixed pay should be allowed to each rank, and the uniform to be worn; when not employed by the government, an undress to be worn, and the commission to be retained, but no pay, except such as may be received from private employment. All persons holding the commission of steam-engineers. or assistant steam-engineers, to be subject to arrest for improper conduct; to be tried by a court-martial composed of steam engineers; and the decision of the court, when approved by the President of the United States, to be final. In case of accidents happening to the machinery of a steam-boat, by which a loss of life or property is sustained, a court of inquiry may be demanded by the steam-engineer or assistant steam-engineer, who had charge at the time of the accident. The court of inquiry may acquit, or recommend that the case be referred to a court-martial. Should no court be demanded by the steam-engineer or assistant steam engineer, so in charge, the United States' marshal, in whose district the accident happened, may eause him to be arrested, by application to the officer commanding the nearest naval station. It is believed that a lack of competency has been the source of most of the steam-boat accidents which have happened in our waters; and that they may be provided against by enhancing the pride and elevating the standing of engineers. It is not doubted that very many of those now in charge of steam-engines would be found amply competent to discharge their trusts : all such should be permitted to apply for an examination; and if it should prove satisfactory to the authorized examiners, belonging to either of the United States' steam-engine factories, they should be commissioned in like manner with those who may regularly graduate.
BOOK-KEEPING, OR THE Rich MAN IN SPITE OF HIMSELF. -We are indebted to a friend for the following authentic anecdote of an old New-York merchant, whose name, were we permitted to mention it, would sound familiarly in the ears of many of our metropolitan readers: ‘In old times it was the custom of the merchants of the city of NewYork to keep their accounts in pounds shillingsand pence currency. About fifty years ago, a frugal, industrious Scotch merchant, well known to the then small mercantile community of this city, had by dint of fortunate commercial adventure and economy been enabled to save something like four thousand pounds; a considerable sum of money, at that period, and one which secured to its possessor a degree of enviable independence. His places of business and residence were, as was customary at that time, under the same roof. He had a clerk in his employment whose reputation as an accountant inspired the utmost confidence of his master, whose frugal habits he emulated with the true spirit and feeling of a genuine Caledonian. It was usual for the accountant to make an annual balance-sheet, for the inspection of his master, in order that he might see what had been the profits of his business for the past year. On this occasion the balance-sheet showed to the credit of the business six thousand pounds, which somewhat astonished the incredulous merchant. 'It canna' be,' said he; “ye had better count up agen. I dinna think I ha' had sae profitable a beesness as this represents.' The clerk with his usual patience reëxamined the statement, and declared that it was 'a' right,' and that he was willing to wager his salary upon its correctness. The somewhat puzzled merchant scratched his head with surprise, and commen. ced adding up both sides of the account for himself. It proved right. I did na' think,' said he, that I was worth over four thousand poonds; but ye ha' made me a much richer man.
Weel, weel, I may ha' been mair successful than I had tho't, and I 'll na quarrel wi' mysel' for being worth sax thousand instead.' At early candle-light the store was regularly closed by the faithful accountant; and as soon as he had gone, the sorely-perplexed and incredulous merchant commenced the painful task of going over and examining all the accounts for himself. Night after night did he labor in his solitary counting-house alone, to look for the error; but every examination confirmed the correctness of the clerk, until the old Scotchman began to believe it possible that he was really worth “sax thousand poonds.' Stimulated by this addition to his wealth, he soon felt a desire to improve the condition of his household; and with that view, made purchases of new furniture, carpets, and other elegancies, consistent with the position of a man possessing the large fortune of six thousand pounds. Painters and carpenters were set to work to tear down and build up ; and in a short time the gloomy-looking residence in Stone-street was renovated to such a degree as to attract the curiosity and envy of all his neighbors. The doubts of the old man however would still obtrude themselves upon his mind; and he determined once more to make a thorough examination of his accounts. On a dark and stormy night, he commenced his labors, with the patient investigating spirit of a man determined to probe the matter to the very bottom. It was past the hour of midnight, yet he had not been able to detect a single error; but still he went on. His heart beat high with hope, for he had nearly reached the end of his labor. A quick suspicion seized his mind as to one item in the account. Exreka! He had found it! With the frenzy of a madman, he drew his broad-brimmed white hat over his eyes, and rushed into the street. The rain and storm were nothing to him. He hurried to the residence of his clerk, in Wall-street; reached the door, and seized the handle of the huge knocker, with which he rapped until the neighborhood was aroused with the ‘loud alarum.' The unfortunate clerk poked his night-cap out of an upper window, and demanded : “Wha's there? “It's me, you dom scoondrel!' said the frenzied merchant ; ‘ye’ve added up the year of our Laird amang the poonds !' Such was the fact. The addition of the year of our Lord among the items had swelleď the fortune of the merchant some two thousand pounds beyond its actual amount.
THE LATE MATTHEW C. FIELD: 'Phazma' AT NIAGARA. — We cannot resist the inclination to lay before our readers the following passages from a letter addressed to the Editor, by Mr. JAMIESON, a gentleman whose rare powers as an original dramatic actor have made him very favorably known to the theatre-going communities of our sister-cities. To our conception, the details which ensue have about them something inexpressibly touching : • So that gisted spirit, Mat. Field, has gone! Poor fellow! We were boys together, and close friends until manhood, at about which time we separated, and set out on different roads through life. I had not seen him for some ten years, until his late visit to the East, when he called upon me at my lodgings in Buffalo. Early one morning a servant announced to me that a gentleman below desired to see me. I was somewhat surprised at so early a visit from a stranger; and with not a little curiosity, I hastened down stairs, where I found the gentleman, who seemed studiously bent upon receiving me with the ó full front of his back.' Fancying this greeting somewhat mysterious, I ventured to ask his business. His reply embodied certain phrases which reminded me of boyhood ; yet his figure and voice seemed strange to me. I tried to catch a glimpse of his face, which he still kept averted. After a few moments, however, he turned toward me, seized my hand with the warm grasp of an old friend, and laughed right heartily at my quandary. Poor fellow! the pleasant surprise he had anticipated, entirely failed. I did not recognize him, even then, nor indeed until he was about to tell me his name, so utterly changed was he. Dis. ease had wasted him to a mere shadow, and his short and painful respiration was a sure prognostic of what was soon to come to pass. He told me he was on his way to Boston, for his health, and was desirous of arriving there as soon as possible. He had promised his