Page images
PDF
EPUB

in your face, all admiration like: 'flattered! - impossible, Madam. And then turn short off, and say to yourself aloud, 'Heavens! how unconeious she is of her own power!

There is an illustration of the principle of compensation' in the grades of master and servant in England, in the following passage, which will not escape the attention of the reader:

His master has to attend certain hours in the House of Lords; he has to attend certain hours in his master's house. There aint much difference, is there? His master loses his place if the Ministry goes out; but he holds on to his'n all the same. Which has the best of that? His master takes the tour to Europe, so does he. His master makes all the arrangements and pays all the expenses; he don't do either. Which is master or servant here? His youag master falls in love with an Italian opera gal, who expects enormous presents from him ; he falls in love with the bar-maid, who expects a kiss from him. One is loved for his money, the other for his good looks. Who is the best off? When his master returns, he has larned where the Alps is, and which side of them Rome is ; so has he. Who is the most improved? Whenever it rains his master sighs for the sunny sky of Italy, and quotes Rogers and 'Byron. He damns the climate of England in the vernacular tongue, relies on his own authority, and at all events is original. The only differe. ce is, his master calls the castle my house, he calls it our castle: his master says my park, and he says our park. It is more dignified to use the plural; kings always do: it's a roval phrase, and he has the advantage here. He is the fust commoner of England too. The servants' hall is the House of Commons. It has its rights and privileges, and is plaguy jealous of them too. Let his master give any of them an order out of his line, and see how soon he votes it a breach of privilege. Let him order the coachman, as the horses are seldom used, to put them to the roller and roll the lawn. 'I can't do it, Sir; I couldn't stand it, I should never hear the last of it; I should be called the rollin'-coachman.' The master laughs; he knows prerogative is dangerous ground, that an Englishman values Magna Charta, and sais, . Very well, tell farmer Hodge to do it. If a vine that hides part of the gable of a coach-house, busts its bondage, and falls trailin' on the ground, he sais, - John, you have nothin' to do, it would n't hurt you, when you see such a thing as this loose, to nail it up. You see I often do such things myself; I am not above it.' * Ah! it may do for you. Sir; you can do it if you like, but I can't ; I should lose caste. I should be called the gardener's coachiman.' • Well, well! you are a blocklead; never mind.' Look at the lady's maid ; she is twice as handsome as her mistress, because she worked when she was young, had plenty of exercise and simple diet, and kept early hours, and is full of health and spirits ; she dresses twice as fine, has twice as many airs, uses twice as hard words, and is twice as proud too. And what has she to do? Her mistress is one of the maids in waitin' on the Queen; she is maid in waitin' on her mistress. Who has to mind her p's and q's most, I wonder? Her mistress don't often speak till she is spoken to to the palace ; she speaks when she pleases. Her mistress flatters delicately; she does the same if she chooses, if not she don't take the trouble.'

The sight of an imposing marriage of convenience' at St. James' Church in London awakens some rather sad thoughts in the mind of the Atiaché: 'I like to look at beauty always; my heart yarns toward it; and I do love womer, the dear critturs ! that's a fact. There is no music to my ear like ihe rustlin' of petticoats: but then I pity one o' these high-bred gals, that's made a show of that way, and decked out in first-chop style, for all the world to stare at afore she is offered up as a sacrifice to gild some old coronet with her money, or enlarge some landed estate by addin' her`n on to it. Half the time it aint the joinin' of two hearts, but the joinin' of two pusses, and a wife is chose like a hoss, not for her looks, but for what she will fetch.' The marriage display reminds Mr. Slick how differently the thing is done by a magistrate to Slickville;' and this he illustrates by an amusing anecdote :

'One day, Slocum Outhouse, called there to the Squire's with Deliveravce Cook. They was well acquainted with the Squire, for they was neighbors of his, but they was awful afeerd of him, he was such a crotchical, snappish, peevish, odd, old feller. So after they sot down in the room old Peleg sais, “You must excuse my talkin' to-day, friend Outhouse, for,' sais he, “I'm so almighty busy a-writin': but the women-folks will be in bime bye; the'r jist gove meetin'.' Well,' sais Slocum, 'we won't detain you a minit, Squire; me and Deliverance come to make declaration of marriage, and have it registered.' 'Oh! goin' to be married,' sais he; 'eh? that's right; marry in haste and rapent at leisure. Very fond of each other now; quarrel like the devil by and bye. Hem! what cussed fools some folks is ;' and he never sais another word, but wrote and wrote on, and never looked up, and there they sot and sot, Slocum and poor Deliverance, a-lookin' like a pair of fools; they know'd they could n't move him to go one inch faster than he chose, and that he would have his own way at any rate; so they looked at each other and shook their heads, and then looked down and played with their thumbs, and then they scratched their pates and put one leg over t’ other, and theu shifted it back agin, and then they looked out o'the winder, and counted all the poles in the fence, and all the hens in the yard and watched a man a-ploughin' in a field, goin' first tip and then down the ridge ; then Slocum coughed, and then Deliverance coughed, so as to atract old Squire's attention, and make him 'tend to their business; but no, nothin' would do: he wrot:, and he wrote, and he wrote, and be never stopped, nor looked up, nor looked round, nor said a wood. Then Deliverance looked over at the Squire, made faces, and nodded and motioned to Outhouse to go to him, but he frowned and shook his head, as much as to say, I darsu't do it, dear, I wish you would.

* At last she got narvous, and began to cry out of clear sheer spite, for she was good stuff, rael steel,

put an edge on a knife a'most; and then got Slocum's dander up; so he ups off of his seat, and spunks up to the old squire, and sais he, ' Squire, tell you what, we came here to get married ; if you are 3-goin' to do the job well and good, if you aint say so, and we will go to some one else.' What job,' sais old Peleg, a-lookin' up as innocent as you please. «Why, marry us,' sais Slocum. “Marry you!" sais he, 'why do you, you was married an hour and a-half ago, man. What are you a-talkin' about! I thought you was a-goin' to spend the night here, or else had repented of your bargain;' and then he sot back in his chair and laäsed ready to kill himself. What the devil have you been waitin' for all this time?' sais he; don't you know that makin' declaration, as you did, is all that's required? but come, let's take a glass of grog. Here's to your good health, Mr. Slocum, or Slow-go, you ought to be called, and the same to you, Deliverance. What a nice name you've got, too, for a bride ;' and he laäfed agin till they both joined in it, and laå fed, too, like anythiu'; for laäfiin' is catchin'; you can't help it sometimes, even suppose you are vexed.'

The Attaché has a keen eye for the ludicrous. Nothing in the way of humor or drollery escapes him. Here is an instance of his keeping his eyes open' for matters in this kind; a novel method of 'taking an observation' by a captain of a Nantucket whaler:

"He was what he called a practical man: he left the science to his officers and only sailed her, and managed things and so on. He was a mighty droll man, and p'r’aps as great a pilot as you ever see a-most; but navigation he did n't kuow at all; so when the officers had their glasses up at twelve o'clock to take the sun he'd say, 'Boy!' Yes, Sir.' 'Hand up my quadrant;' and the boy'd hand up a large square black bottle full of gin. “Bear a-hand, you young rascal,' he'd say, “or I shall lose the ob-arvation,' and he'd take the bottle with both hands, throw his head back, and turn it butt eend up and tother eend to his mouth, and pretend to be a-lookin' at the sun; and then, arter his breath give out, he'd take it down, and say to officer, •Have you had a good obsarvation to-day?'Yes. Sir.' 'So have I,' he'd say, a-smackin' of his lips — 'a capital one, too.' 'Its twelve o'clock, Sir. Very well, make it so.' Lord! no soul could help a-larfin', he did it all so grave and serious; he called it practical philosophy.'

Mr. Slick argues forcibly, and cites many corroborative instances in favor of his position, that the eye is a sure criterion of the thoughts of the heart. He admits that he was once at fault, however:

I KNOW'd a woman once that was all caution, and a jinneral favorite with every one: every one said what a nice woman she was, how kind, how agreeable, how sweet, how friendly, and all that, and so she was. She looked so artless, and smiled so pretty, and listened so patient, and defended any one you abused, or held her tongue, as if she would ’nt jine you; and jisi looked like a dear sweet love of a woman that was all goodness, good-will to man, charity to woman, and smiles for all. Well, I thought as every body did. I aint a suspicious mau, at least I usn't to be, and at that time I did n't know all the secrets of the eye as I do pow. One day I was there to a quiltin' frolic, and I was a-tellin' of her one of my good stories, and she was a lookin' strait at me, a-takin' aim with her smiles so as to hit me with every one on 'em, and a-laughin' like any thin'; but she happened to look round for a pair of scissors that was on t'other side of her, jist as I was at the funnyist part of my story, and lo and behold! her smiles dropt right slap off like a petticoat when the string's broke; her face looked vacant for a minute, and her eye waited till it caught some one else's, and then it found its focus, Jooked right straight for it, all true ng'in, but she never looked back for the rest of my capital story. She had never heard a word of it.. Creation" says I, 'is this all a humbug ? — what a fool I be!' I was stumped, I tell you. Well, a few days arterward I found out the eye secret from t'other woman's behaviour, and I applied the test to this one, and I hope I may never see day-light ag'in if there was n't *the manquvring eye' to perfection. If I had know'd the world then as I do now, I should have had some misgivings sooner. No man, nor woman nother, can be a general favorite, and be true. It do'nt stand to natur' and common sense. The world is divided into three classes: the good, the bad, and the indifferent. If a woman is a fororite of all, there is somethin' wrong. She ought to love the good, to hate the wicked, and let the indifferent be. If the indifferent like, she has been pretendin' to them; if the bad like, she must have assented to them; and if the good like, under these circumstauces, they are duped. A general favorite don't deserve to be a favorite rith no one. And beside that, I ought to have know'd, and ought to have asked, does she weep with them that weep, because that is friendship, and no mistake. Any body can smile with you, for its pleasant to smile, or romp with you, for romping is fine fun; but will they lessen your trouble by takin' some of the load of grief off your shoulders for you and carryin' it ? That's the question, for that aint a pleasant task; but it's the duty of a friend though, that's a fact. Oh! cuss your universal favorites, I say! Give me the raël Jeremiah.

The Attaché’s ‘views' while in London are slightly utilitarian, but very sensible, withal: "THERE 's a great many lazy, idle, extravagant women hero, that's a fact. The Park is chock full of 'em all the time, ridin' and gallavantin' about, tricked out in silks anil satins, a-doin' of nothin'. Every day in the week can't be Thanksgivin'-day, nor Independence-day mother. * All play and no work' will soon fetch a noble to ninepence, and make bread-timber short,' I know. Some on 'em ought to be kept to home, or else their homes must be bad taken care of. Who the plague looks after their helps when they are off frolickin'? Who does the presarvin', or makes the pies and apple-sarce and dough-nuts? Who does the spinnin' and cardin' and bleachin', or mends their husband's shirts or darns their stockin's? Tell you what, old Eve tell into mischief when she had nothin' to do; and I guess some o' them flauntin' birds, if they was follered and well watched, would be found a-scratchin' up other folks' gardens sometimes. If I had one on 'em I'de cut her wings and keep her inside her own palin', I know. Every hen ought to be kept within hearin' ot' her own rooster, for fear of the foxes,

that's a fact. Then look at the sarvants in gold lace, and broadcloth as fine as their master's; why they never do nothin', but help make a show. They do n't work, and they could n't if they would; it would sp'ile their clothes so. What on airth would be the vally of a thousand such critturs on a farm ?'

One extract more, and we take our leave of Judge HALIBURTON, now speaking impropria persona, of the decadence of our national variety, in the strict sense of the term.

"It has prevailed more generally heretofore than at present, but it is now not much more obvious than in the people of any other country. The necessity for it no longer erists. That the Americans are proud of having won their independence at the point of the sword, from the most powerful nation in the world, under all the manifold disadvantages of poverty, dispersion, disunion, want of discipline in their soldiers, and experience in their officers, is not to be wondered at. They have reason to be proud of it. It is the greatest achievement of modern times. That they are proud of the consummate skill of their forefathers in framing a constitution the best suited to their position and their wants, and one withal the most difficult in the world to adjust, not only with proper checks and balances, but with any checks at all,- at a time too when there was no model for them, and all experience against them, is still less to be wondered at. Nor have we any reason to object to the honest pride they exhibit of their noble country, their enlightened and enterprising people, their beautiful cities, their magnificent rivers, their gigantic undertakings. The sudden rise of nations, like the sudden rise of individuals, begets under similar circumstances similar effects. While there was the freshness of novelty about all these things, there was national vanity. It is now an old story — their laurels sit easy on them. They are accustomed to them, and they occupy less of their thoughts, and of course less of their conversation, than formerly. At first, too, strange as it may seem, there existed a necessity for it. Good policy dictated the expedicucy of cultivating this self-complacency in the people, however much good taste might forbid it. As their constitution was based on self-government, it was indispensable to raise the people in their own estimation, and to make them feel the heavy responsibility that rested upon them, in order that they might qualify themselves for the part they were called upon to act. As they were weak, it was needful to confirm their courage by strenghtening their selfreliance. As they were poor, it was proper to elevate their tone of mind, by constantly setting before them their high destiny; and as their Republic was viewed with jealousy and alarm by Europe, it was important to attach the nation to it, in the event of aggression, hy extolling it above all others. The first generation, to whom all this was new, has now passed away; the second has nearly disappeared, and with the novelty, the excess of national vanity which it necessarily engendered will cease also.'

The author of The Attaché' is a man of strong prejudices; and it is easy to perceive that our amiable and accomplished Minister to England has had occasion in some manner to excite some one of them. • But that's not much,' probably, in Mr. EVERETT's eyes.

REMINISCENCES OF THE LAST SIXTY-FIVE YEARS, COMMENCING WITH THE BATTLE OF LEX

INGTON. Also, Sketches of his own Life and Times. By E. S. THOMAS. In two volumes. pp. 600. Hartford: CASE, TIFFANY AND BURNHAM.

The veteran author of these entertaining volumes was formerly editor of the 'Charleston (S. C.) City Gazette,' and at a later period, of the 'Cincinnati Daily Evening Post.' His work consists entirely of his personal recollections, except in a very few instances, the sources of which are pointed out, where they occur. The first published reminiscence was of John HANCOCK, the second of SAMUEL A dams; and these having attracted much attention throughout the Union, Mr. Thomas was induced to arrange and put forth the present volumes. He is a graphic racconteur. Without any pretence, or any thing like an effort at fine writing, he carries his readers with him ; whether he converses of the familiar friends of his parents or of his boyhood, who were the great men in our country's earlier history, or whether he records the events of his travels abroad or his peregrinations at home. A man whose father was at the battle of Lexington, the very alpha of our revolutionary struggle, and who is himself familiar with public men and public events, from the time of WASHINGTON down to this era, not only in America but in Europe ; such a man, holding the pen of a ready writer, could not be otherwise than an entertaining and instructive companion. We like exceedingly the pleasant way in which his anecdotes of remarkable persons are introduced and told in his agreeable narrative. In his sketch of Judge BURKE, of South Carolina, we find this pleasant story:

"There was a worthy old Dutch lady, by the name of Van Rhine, who, at one time, lived near the Court-house in Charleston, where it was convenient for the Judge to leave his robe, and call for it as he was going into court. One day he stepped in for it as usual, and taking down the first black gar.

ment that met bis eye, he tucked it under his arm and walked into court, asecnded the bench, and commenced putting it on, when, to the great amazement of all present, he discovered that he had got on a lady's petticoat. Ladies in those days wore pockets, and the Judge had slipped the petticoat over his head, and got his arms through the pocket holes, before he discovered his mistake; when, with that gravity which seldom forsook him, and with his usual asseveration, he exclaimed, ‘Before God, I, have got on Van Rhine's petticoat!!!

Mr. Thomas's description of the personal presence and manners of Washington accords with the unanimous verdict of all who ever had the good fortune to behold that great and good man. “The calm dignity of his manner and the mild accents of his voice," he writes, ' are engraven upon my heart, and will be as lasting as their tablet.' We take this passage from the chapter upon the Father of his Country:

"It is an extraordinary fact, that the life of no man, of any age or nation, who has risen to greatess, ever afforded so few anecdotes as his. One, however, I well remember to have heard frequently spoken of soon after it occurred; it was this : directly after the British were compelled to quit Boston, which was besieged by WASHINGTON, with General Ward second in command, General Ward resigned his commission, which circumstance was thus spoken of by WASHINGTON, in a letter to congress; no sooner is the seat of war removed from beyond the smoke of his own chimneys, than General Ward resigns his command.'

· About the time of the organization of the government under the constitution, General Ward was informed of this remark, and being elected to the second congress, soon after his arrival at the seat of government, (then New-York,) he took a friend with him and called upon WASHINGTON, and asked him if it was true, that he had made use of such language. The President replied that he did not know; but he kept copies of all his letters, and would take an opportunity of examining them, and give himn an answer at the next session. Accordingly, at the next session General Ward called again Frith his friend, and received for answer, that he (WASHINGTON) had written to that effect. Ward then said, • Sir, you are no gentleman,' turned on his heel and left him, and here, of course, the matter ended.

"I have recently met the confirmation of an important fact I had heard mentioned nearly half a century ago; but I do not know that it has found its way into any biography of WASHINGTON. It is this: that Governor Johnson, of Maryland, requested Mr. John Adams to nominate WASHINGTON for commander-in-chieif; that Adams seemed to decline, and Johnson made the nomination. At a previous meeting of the New-England delegation, to consult upon this subject, General Ward was agreed upon with the consent of every man present, but Mr. Adams, who dissented, and declared himself in favor of WASHINGTON. Great God! how often was the fate of this country suspended by a single hair! This was one of the numerous instances.'

Here is a graphic description of the great eclipse of the sun, which occurred in June, 1806. Mr. Thomas is at Providence, Rhode Island :

* The phenomenon commenced between eleven and twelve o'clock, and after the sun became totally obscured, it remained so for more than half an hour. Its operation upon animated nature was truly and awfully sublime. The birds flew about in every direction, in evident distress and terror; the domestic fowls ran about in all directions, cackling as in a fright. Horses galloped round their pastures neighing; while the horned cattle, which seemed more affrighted than the rest, tore up the earth with their horos and feet in madness; all this uproar was followed by the silence of midnight, when the eclipse was complete ; the birds retired to their resting places, the fowls to their roosts, the horses to their stalls, and the cattle to their mangers, while the stars shone forth in their beauty, and all was still When the sun began to re-appear, a large number of musicians, students of Brown University, assembled upon the terrace of the college, and struck up Milton's Hymn to Light. The effect was altogether sublime and beautiful.'

We could pursue, with pleasure and profit, our second excursion through these pleasant pages ; but our space permits us only to add, that the volumes are extremely well printed with large types upon paper firm and white ; so that in manner as well as matter there is little left to be desired.

In one volume.

POEM BY Mrs. Mary Noel McDONALD.
HOOKER AND RUSSELL.

pp. 208. New-York : PUDNEY,

With many of the poems in this very handsome volume our readers are already familiar; they having been written, from time to time, for these pages, within the last two or three years. They are characterized by ease of versification, a peculiarly feminine refinement of thought and expression, great simplicity and feeling, and undoubted truthfulness. It is easy to perceive that with Mrs. McDonald poetry is its own exceeding great reward ;' it is the medium through which her "utterances of affection, love of nature and of human kind,

are poured forth. It is but simple truth to say, that her volume is not less creditable to her heart than to her talents. Those of our readers who may remember - An Old Man's Reminiscence,' • The Spirit's Whisper,' • The Dying Boy,' etc., will not need our counsel to secure the work before us, whose externals are in admirable keeping with the purity of its contents,

YONNONDIO, OR WARRIORS OF THE GENESSEE: a Tale of the Seventeeth Century. By WM. H.

C. HoSMER. In one volume. pp. 239. New-York: WILEY AND PUTXAM. Rochester, N. Y.:
D. M. DEWEY.

Our friend the late lamented Col. William L. STONE was perhaps as familiar with Indian history, Indian manners, customs, virtues and vices, as any other American writer, COOPER and COLDEN excepted; yet, from our knowledge, both of Mr. Hosmer and of the advantages which he has enjoyed, through direct tradition as well as personal observation, in the study of the aboriginal history and character, we are inclined to yield him a place second only to the historian of Red JACKET. Added to this, Mr. Hosmer is a true lover of nature, and depicts with a faithful pencil all her scenes and phases; ample evi. dence of which, had we space to adduce it, might be presented from the volume under notice. The poem is descriptive of events that occurred (not “transpired') in the valley of the Genessee, during the summer and autumn of 1687; of the memorable attempt of the Marquis de NouviLLE, under pretext of preventing an interruption of the French trade, to plant the standard of Louis the Fourteenth in the beautiful country of the Senecas. This frame-work of fact has been invested by our author with a rich drapery of fancy, and a succession of vivid pictures of character and scene, various in kind but kindred in merit, are presented, which will command the admiration of the reader. The subjoined 'proem' will afford a fair example of the smoothness and melody of Mr. HOSMER's verse:

[ocr errors]

REALM of the Senecas! no more

In shadow lies the Pleasant Vale;
Gone are the Chiefs who ruled of yore,

Like chaff before the rushing gale.
Their rivers run with narrowed bounds,
Cleared are their broad, old hunting grounds,
And on their ancient battle fields
The green sward to the ploughman yields;
Like mocking echoes of the hill
Their fame resounded and grew still,
And on green ridge and level plain
Their hearths will never smoke again.
When fade away the summer flowers,
And come the bright autumnal hours,
The ripened grain above their graves
Nods to the wind in golden waves.
Fled are their pomp and power like dreams,
By scribe unmarked, by bard unsung;
But mountains, lakes and rolling streams
Recall their wild rich forest tongue,
And names of melody they bear,
Sweeter than flute-notes on the air.
Oblivion swallows, one by one,
Old legends by the sire to son

Around the crackling camp-fire told;
Their oaks have fallen, trunk and bough,
And hut and hall of council now

Are changed to ashes cold.
Toiled have I many a weary day
To gatber their traditions grey,
And rescue from etfacing time
A few brave deeds and traits sublime.
Now listen, for the tale I tell
Percbance may be remembered well,
Though coarsely framed my sylvan lyre,

Harsh its wild tone, untuned its wire!'
To the tale he tells' we commend our readers; satisfied that in its perusal they will find
cause to thank us, as well as the author.

« PreviousContinue »