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charitable institutions were probably intended principally for his English readers, and as the little which he says of each is generally well said, we shall dismiss them with a recommendation to his own countrymen.

A single observation, however, made in this connection, on the subject of prison discipline, is worthy of a passing notice. It is in reference to the modern improvements in the internal structure, arrangements and occupations of our prisons.

"A visitor requires to reason and reflect a little, before the sight of a number of men engaged in ordinary labor, such as he is accustomed to out of doors, will impress him half so strongly as the contemplation of the same persons in the same place and garb would, if they were occupied in some task, marked and degraded every where as belonging only to felons in jails. In an American stateprison or house of correction, I found it difficult at first to persuade myself that I was really in a jail: a place of ignominious punishment and endurance. And to this hour I very much question whether the humane boast that it is not like one, has its root in the true wisdom or philos ophy of the matter."

Much as we disapprove of any thing approaching cruelty in the treatment of those whom the law has condemned to be shut out from the pale of human society, we have long been of the opinion that there is danger of making the prison too comfortable a place, if not even desirable for those who hardly have a home, and thus lessening the dread of the penalty and its restraining influence. How far these improvements are to be attributed to a mercenary and how far to a philanthropic spirit-how far they are wise and how far truly benevolent, we do not here pretend to determine. We only make the suggestion, that kindness to criminals may be carried so far as to impair the majesty of law by weakening its penalty, and thus injure the welfare of the community. "The tone of society in Boston,' says Mr. D., "is one of perfect politeness, courtesy and good breeding." And the same may be said

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of most of the principal towns of New England, though Mr. Dickens had no opportunity of becoming acquainted with the fact. The ladies, however, do not appear to have found any special favor in his sight, though he could hardly have been expected to institute any comparison between them and his own countrywomen. We believe it is an admitted fact that the American ladies excel the English in beauty in their youth, but that their beauty sooner fades; and our belles might advan tageously exchange a little of their fairness of complexion, for the rosy hue of health which is the reward of frequent and vigorous exercise in the open air. The comments of Mr. Dickens on the education and religious character of the ladies of Boston we shall not stop to notice, believing that they will be duly considered by those who having been privileged with his society can most readily appropriate his compliments to themselves.

His own religious sentiments, as he incidentally expresses them, are deserving of a more particular at tention.

"In the kind of provincial life which prevails in cities such as this, the pulpit has great influence. The peculiar province of the pulpit in New England, (always excepting the Unitarian ministry.) would appear to be the denouncement of all innocent and rational amusements. To the church, the chapel, and the lecture-room, the ladies resort in crowds.

"Wherever religion is resorted to, as a strong drink, and as an escape from the dull monotonous round of hoine, those of its ministers who pepper the highest will be the surest to please. They who strew the eternal path with the greatest amount of brimstone, and who most ruthlessly tread down the flowers and leaves that grow by the wayside, will be voted the most righteous; and they who enlarge with the greatest pertinacity on the difficulty of getting into heaven, will be congoing there; though it would be hard to sidered by all true believers certain of say by what process of reasoning this

conclusion is arrived at."

"The fruits of the earth have their

growth in corruption. Out of the rottenness of these things, there has sprung up in Boston a sect of philosophers known as

Transcendentalists. On inquiring what this appellation might be supposed to sig nify, I was given to understand that whatever was unintelligible would be certainly transcendental. Not deriving much comfort from this elucidation, I pursued the inquiry still farther, and found that the Transcendentalists are followers of my friend Mr. Carlyle, or, I should rather say, of a follower of his, Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. This gentleman has written a volume of essays, in which, among much that is dreamy and fanciful, (if he will pardon me for saying so,) there is much more that is true and manly, honest and bold. Transcendentalism has its occasional vagaries, (what school has not?) but it has good healthful qualities in spite of them; not least among the number, a hearty disgust of cant, and an aptitude to detect her in all the million varieties of her everlasting wardrobe. And, therefore, if I were a Bostonian, I think I would be a Transcendentalist."

This charming criticism upon the general tone of preaching in Boston, is from the pen of a man who spent two whole Sabbaths in the city, the first of which was occupied in strolling through the streets meditating devoutly upon "Harlequins and Columbines;" and the second partly we suppose in the same edifying manner; and partly in listening to the Rev. Mr. Taylor, the far-famed "sailor-preacher," whose chapel was probably sought by Mr. D. with the expectation of finding in its novelty some source of "innocent and rational amusement" appropriate to the Lord's day. Who does not perceive at a glance that such a criticism is not the result of personal observation? that it is the embodiment of hints picked up in the barroom, or perhaps in some respectable and fashionable coterie, in which however, orthodoxy finds no more favor than in the vicinity of "slings, juleps and cobblers." We do not envy the "Unitarian ministry" the distinction of never denouncing such "innocent and rational ments," as theatrical entertainments, balls, cards and dice. We do not contest with them the honor of strewing the path to heaven with leaves and flowers, so that Mr. Dick;


ens, et id omne genus, can tread it pleasantly and securely, walking, reeling or dancing, at their option; on the other hand we congratulate them on a compliment paid with such delicacy and propriety, and coming from a quarter so distinguished. Yet we cannot refrain from asking the discerning public what must be the moral impression of the writings of a man who avows such sentiments as have now been quoted? What streams must issue from such a fountain?

It seems that the pulpit denunciation of innocent and rational amusements is not wholly ineffectual, since Mr. Dickens has occasion to lament that although "there are two theaters in Boston, of good size and construction, they are sadly in want of patronage." His summing up of the "social customs" of the city is given in the following words.

"The usual dinner-hour is two o'clock. A dinner party takes place at five; and at an evening party, they seldom sup later than eleven; so that it goes hard but one gets home, even from a rout, by midnight. I never could find out any difference between a party at Boston and a party in London, saving that at the former place all assemblies are held at more rational hours; that the conversation may possibly be a little louder and more cheerful; that a guest is usually expected to ascend to the very top of the house to take his cloak off; that he is certain to see at every dinner, an unusual amount of poultry on the table; and at every supper, at least two mighty bowls of hot stewed oysters, in any one of which a half-grown Duke of Clarence might be smothered easily.

"There are two theaters in Boston, of

good size and construction, but sadly in want of patronage. The few ladies who resort to them, sit, as of right, in the front rows of the boxes.

"There is no smoking-room in any hotel, and there was none consequently in ours; but the bar is a large room with a stone floor, and there the people stand and smoke, and lounge about, all the evening; dropping in and out as the humor takes them. There too the stranger is initiated into the mysteries of gin-sling, cocktail, sangaree, mint-julep, sherrycobbler, timber-doodle, and other rare drinks. The house is full of boarders, both married and single, many of whom

sleep upon the premises, and contract by the week for their board and lodging; the charge for which diminishes as they go nearer the sky to roost. A public table is laid in a very handsome hall for breakfast, and for dinner, and for supper. The party sitting down together to these meals will vary in number from one to two hundred; sometimes more. The advent of each of these epochs in the day is proclaimed by an awful gong, which shakes the very window frames, as it reverberates through the house, and horribly disturbs nervous foreigners. There is an ordinary for ladies, and an ordinary for gentlemen."

If the gongs have such an effect on 'foreigners,' we advise that they be sent back to China, where they are much needed for that purpose.

Before taking his final leave of Boston and its vicinity, Mr. Dickens made a brief visit to Lowell, with which he seems to have been highly gratified. And every American may well be proud of the condition and character of operatives in the manufactories here, when compared with those of the same class in Eng. land. The British manufacturing system has hitherto been one vast system of oppression and wrong. The author of the "Glory and Shame of England," has depicted its deformities in vivid colors; and after every possible abatement is made in view of the prejudice or exaggeration of the writer, it is still to be feared that his representations are too sadly true. We trust that the superiority of our system, as briefly delineated by Mr. Dickens, may arrest the attention of the philanthropic in that country. After speaking of the neat, cheerful, and healthy appearance of the "factory girls," the cleanliness and decorum prevalent in their boarding-houses, and even in the rooms of the manufactories, he proceeds as follows.

"I am now going to state three facts, which will startle a large class of readers on this side of the Atlantic, very much. "Firstly, there is a joint-stock piano in a great many of the boarding-houses. Secondly, nearly all these young ladies subscribe to circulating libraries. Thirdly, they have got up among themselves a periodical, called THE LOWELL OFFER Vol. I.


ING, a repository of original articles, written exclusively by females actively employed in the mills'-which is duly printed, published, and sold; and whereof I brought away from Lowell four bundred good solid pages, which I have read from beginning to end.

"The large class of readers, startled by these facts, will exclaim, with one voice, How very preposterous! On my deferentially inquiring why, they will answer, These things are above their station. In reply to that objection, I would beg to ask what their station is.

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It is their station to work. And they do work. They labor in these mills, upon an average, twelve hours a day, which is unquestionably work, and pretty tight work too. Perhaps it is above their station to indulge in such amusements, on any terms. Are we quite sure that we in England have not formed our ideas of the station' of working people, from accustoming ourselves to the contemplation of that class as they are, and not as they might be?"

In this trip to Lowell, Mr. Dickens took his first ride on an American railroad; and sadly does he complain of the "shabby omnibuses," in which he was jolted along. We commend his observations on this point to the special attention of those whom it concerns. Let the directors of the railroads see to this matter before Mr. Dickens comes again. Our author writes quite like himself, in his description of railroad travelling. "There is a great deal of jolting, a great deal of noise, a great deal of wall, not much window, a locomotive engine, a shriek

and a bell."

There are many provisions for the comfort and safety of travelers, which we might wisely adopt from our English cousins; and we rejoice to see that the law is imposing its penalties upon those steamboat and railroad companies, by the carelessness of whose agents human life is so often endangered and sacrificed. The returns of the railroad companies in England, from 1832 to 1839, show that more than forty millions of passengers were carried over the roads in that period, and that during the same period only ten persons, (or one in four millions,) were kill

ed by accident, of whom but four, (or one in ten millions,) were passengers. The proportion of accidents and deaths in this country is vastly greater.

Mr. Dickens left Boston on the 5th of February, for Worcester, in company with Governor Davis, with whom he spent the Sabbath. Here he was again entertained with the new and unsubstantial appearance of every thing which he saw. On Monday morning he pursued his journey by the way of Springfield to Hartford. He was much amused with the little boat which conveyed him down the Connecticut, not being aware probably that the river is not navigable for a boat of larger size. Mr. Dickens remained in Hartford four days, but his description of the place is condensed into a single paragraph.

"The town is beautifully situated in a basin of green hills; the soil is rich, well wooded, and carefully improved. It is the seat of the local legislature of Connecticut, which sage body enacted, in bygone times, the renowned code of Blue Laws, in virtue whereof, among other enlightened provisions, any citizen who could be proved to have kissed his wife on Sunday, was punishable, I believe, with the stocks Too much of the old Puritan spirit exists in these parts to the present hour; but its influence has not tended, that I know, to make the people less hard in their bargains, or inore equal in their dealings. As I never heard of its working that effect any where

else, I infer that it never will here. Indeed, I am accustomed, with reference to great professions and severe faces, to judge of the goods of the other world pretty much as I judge of the goods of this; and whenever I see a dealer in such commodities with too great a display of them in his window, I doubt the quality of the article within."

This little paragraph, which most readers perhaps will pass over without attention, contains several items worthy of special notice. In the first place, it revives the old and ridiculous story of the "Blue Laws" of Connecticut. We suppose that Mr. Dickens believes that such a code really existed, and as a stran

ger, he may be excused for his ignorance. It is time, however, that the American public, and especially the New England public, fully understood that no such code as the Blue Laws are represented to have been, ever existed in either of the colonies of Connecticut.

Those who are not already convinced that this oft-repeated story is a sheer fabrication, may be enlightened by the perusal of Prof. Kingsley's Historical Discourse, especially notes G and N, pp. 83, 104. It owes its origin to one Dr. Samuel Peters, who, "at the commencement of the revolutionary war, was an Episcopal missionary at Hebron, in Connecticut. As he was very active in asserting the royal claims, he became obnoxious to the patriots of the day. He was threatened by a mob; though it is believed, no personal violence was done him. About 1774, he went to England, highly exasperated against his country, and especially against his native state, Connecticut. He employed himself while the war continued, in reviling the colonists; and in 1781, published in London, without his name, what he called,

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A general History of Connecticut, from its first settlement under George Fenwick, Esq., to its latest period of amity with Great Britain, including a description of the country, and many curious and interesting anecdotes.'" This history abounded in misrepresentation and falsehood; yet it had sufficient influence to give currency to the report which reached Mr. Dickens' ears in Hartford.

Mr. Dickens laments, that "too much of the old Puritan spirit exists in Connecticut to the present hour." There is greater cause for lamentation, that so little of what was upright and heroic in the Puritan spirit prevails among the present generation. If the love of law and order, of virtue and freedom-if good government, sound morals,

liberal education, and pure religion, are the fruits of this spirit, then let it every where prevail.

But Mr. Dickens was specially grieved by the prevalence of that penurious spirit, which he regards as its concomitant. He laments, that the influence of the old Puritan spirit "has not tended to make the people less hard in their bargains, or more equal in their deal ings." Now how did Mr. Dickens, whose visit to the United States was prompted no less by mercenary motives than by vanity-how did this frank, generous-minded man, receive such an impression of the parsimony of the good people of Hartford? Was it from the facts, that they invited him to visit their city, sent a committee to escort him from Springfield, entertained him for four days at the first hotel, gave him a sumptuous public dinner, opened every place of interest and amuse. ment to his inspection, and all without subjecting him to the expense of å single farthing? Or were all these smart and witty things, about "Blue Laws," "hypocrisy," ritan cant," and "hard bargains," whispered into the ear of Mr. Dickens, by the committee who had him in charge, or by some other worthy citizens of Hartford, who, finding themselves suddenly exalted to the very acme of human felicity, in be ing permitted to shake hands with the author of Pickwick, felt under a necessity of ridiculing their own city, in order that they might appear more liberal or more facetious in his eyes? We strongly incline to the latter opinion; for Mr. Dickens' personal opportunities of becoming acquainted with the characteristics of the people of Hartford, were about equal to those which he enjoyed for observing the style of preaching prevalent in Boston. We suspect that in both cases, there was some prompter behind the curtain.

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At New Haven, which might have furnished some attractions to a gen

tleman of literary pretensions, Mr. Dickens spent but a single night, and almost all that he remembers about his visit there, is, that he "put up at the best inn."

From New Haven he proceeded to New York, where, as we have already intimated, he was received in a most appropriate manner at the theater. His description of the city as usual is meagre, conveying to the stranger no adequate idea, in fact no idea, of its extent and magnificence, its commercial en terprise, its hum of business, its bustle and parade of fashion. These things of course, would not attract the particular attention of one familiar with London, but they are deserving of at least a passing notice. New York, however, appeared to Mr. Dickens more like a soli tude than a Babel.

"But how quiet the streets are!" he exclaims. "Are there no itinerant bands; no wind or stringed instruments? No, fantoccinis, dancing-dogs, jugglers, connot one. By day, are there no punches, jurers, orchestrians, or even barrel-organs? No, not one. Yes, I remember one. One barrel-organ and a dancingmonkey-sportive by nature, but fast fading into a dull, lumpish monkey, of the utilitarian school. Beyond that, nothing lively; no, not so much as a white mouse in a twirling cage."

In fact, Mr. Dickens is ready to die of ennui! What would he give now for one peep at "Mrs. Jarley's wax-works," or for an hour's chat with his old friends, "Messrs. Codling and Short," with a sight of their worn-out" Punch!" Pity for him, that New York has no such dignified "amusements" to enter. tain her elite and literary visitors from abroad. We presume, however, that Mr. Dickens found something answering to the name of "Punch" in some of those "pleas ant retreats," in which he sought a momentary refuge, allured by the illuminated signs," oysters in every style." At length, with an eye to his profession, and to the money to be realized from some American

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