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charitable institutions were probably of most of the principal towns of intended principally for his English New England, though Mr. Dickens readers, and as the little which he had no opportunity of becoming ac. says of each is generally well said, quainted with the fact. The ladies, we shall dismiss them with a recom- however, do not appear to have mendation to his own countrymen. found any special favor in his sight,
A single observation, however, though he could hardly have been made in this connection, on the sub- expected to institute any comparison ject of prison discipline, is worthy of between them and his own countrya passing notice. It is in reference
We believe it is an ad. to the modern improvements in the mitted fact that the American ladies internal structure, arrangements and excel the English in beauty in their occupations of our prisons.
youth, but that their beauty sooner “ A visitor requires to reason and reflect fades ; and our belles might advan, a little, before the sight of a number of tageously exchange a little of their men engaged in ordinary labor, such as fairness of complexion, for the rosy he is accustomed to out of doors, will hue of health which is the reward impress him half so strongly as the contemplation of the same persons in the of frequent and vigorous exercise in same place and garb would, if they were the open air. The comments of occupied in some task, marked and de. Mr. Dickens on the education and graded every where as belonging only to religious character of the ladies of selons in jails. In an American stateprison or house of correction, I found it Boston we shall not stop to notice, difficult at first to persuade myself that I believing that they will be duly conwas really in a jail: a place of ignomini. sidered by those who having been ous punishment and endurance. And to this hour I very much question whether privileged with his society can most the humane boast that it is not like one, readily appropriate his compliments has its root in the true wisdom or philos- to themselves. ophy of the matter."
His own religious sentiments, as Much as we disapprove of any he incidentally expresses them, are thing approaching cruelty in the deserving of a more particular at. treatment of those whom the law tention. has condemned to be shut out from “In the kind of provincial life which the pale of human society, we have prevails in cities such as this, the pulpit long been of the opinion that there
great influence. The peculiar prov.
ince of the pulpit in New England, (alis danger of making the prison too
ways excepting the Unitarian ministry.) comfortable a place, if not even de- would appear to be the denouncement of sirable for those who hardly have a
all innocent and rational ainusements.
To the church, the chapel, and the lechome, and thus lessening the dread
ture-room, the ladies resort in crowds. of the penalty and its restraining * Wherever religion is resorted 10, as a influence. How far these improve- strong drink, and as an escape from the ments are to be attributed to a mer
dull monotonous round of hoine, those of
its ministers who pepper the bighest will cenary and how far to a philan. be the surest to please. They who strew thropic spirit-how far they are wise the eternal path with the greatest amount and how far truly benevolent, we do of brimstone, and who inost ruthlessly not here pretend to determine.
tread down the flowers and leaves that We
grow by the wayside, will be voted the only make the suggestion, that kind
most righteous ; and they who enlarge ness to criminals may be carried so with the greatest pertinacity on the diffifar as to impair the majesty of law culty of getting into heaven, will be conhy weakening its penaliy, and thus sidered by all true believers certain of
going there; though it would be hard to injure the welfare of the community: say by what process of reasoning this
“ The tone of society in Boston,” conclusion is arrived at. says Mr. D., " is one of perfect po
“ The fruits of the earth have their liteness, courtesy and good breed growth in corruption. Out of the rotten
ness of these things, there bas sprung up ing.” And the same may be said in Boston a sect of philosophers known as Transcendentalists. On inquiring what ens, et id omne genus, can tread it this appellation might be supposed to sig. pleasantly and securely, walking, nify, I was given to understand that whatever was unintelligible would be reeling or dancing, at their option ; certainly transcendental. Not deriving on the other hand we congratulate much comfort from this elucidation,
them on a compliment paid with pursued the inquiry still farther, and found that the Transcendentalists are fol- such delicacy and propriety, and lowers of my friend Mr. Carlyle, or, I coming from a quarter so distinshould rather say, of a follower of his, guished. Yet we cannot refrain Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. This gen- from asking the discerning public tleman has written a volume of essays, what must be the moral impression in which, among much that is dreamy and fanciful, (if he will pardon me for of the writings of a man who avows saying so,) there is much more that is such sentiments as have now been true and manly, honest and bold. · Transcendentalism has its occasional vagaries, quoted? What streams must issue (what school has not?) but it has good from such a fountain ? healthful qualities in spite of them; not It seems that the pulpit denuncialeast among the number, a hearty disgust tion of innocent and rational amuseof cant, and an aptitude to detect her in all the million varieties of her everlast.
ments is not wholly ineffectual, since ing wardrobe. And, therefore, if I were
Mr. Dickens has occasion to lament a Bostonian, I think I would be a Trans- that although “ there are two theacendentalist.”
ters in Boston, of good size and This charming criticism upon the construction, they are sadly in want general tone of preaching in Boston, of patronage.” His summing up
of is from the pen of a man who spent the “ social customs” of the city is two whole Sabbaths in the city, given in the following words. the first of which was occupied in
66 The usual dinner-hour is two o'clock. strolling through the streets medita
A dinner party takes place at five; and ting devoutly upon “Harlequins and
at an evening party, they seldom sup Columbines;" and the second partly later than eleven; so that it goes hard we suppose in the same edifying but one gets home, even from a rout, by manner; and partly in listening to
midnight. I never could find out any
difference between a party at Boston and the Rev. Mr. Taylor, the far-famed
a party in London, saving that at the "sailor-preacher," whose chapel was former place all assemblies are held at probably sought by Mr. D. with the more rational hours; that the conversa
tion may possibly be a little louder and expectation of finding in its novelty
more cheerful; that a guest is usually ex. some source of “innocent and ra.
pected to ascend to the very top of the tional amusement" appropriate to house to take his cloak off'; that he is the Lord's day. Who does not per
certain to see at every dinner, an unusual
amount of poultry on the table; and at eveceive at a glance that such a criti
ry supper, at least two mighty bowls of hot cism is not the result of personal stewed oysters, in any one of which a observation ? that it is the embodi. half-grown Duke of Clarence might be ment of hints picked up in the bar.
“ There are iwo theaters in Boston, of room, or perhaps in some respecta- good size and construction, but sadly in ble and fashionable coterie, in which want of patronage. The few ladies who however, orthodoxy finds no more resort to them, sit, as of right, in the front favor than in the vicinity of "slings,
rows of the boxes.
• There is no smoking-room in any juleps and cobblers.” We not hotel, and there was none consequently envy the “Unitarian ministry” the in ours; but the bar is a large room with distinction of never denouncing such a stone floor, and there the people stand 6 innocent and rational
and smoke, and lounge about, all the
evening ; dropping in and out as the hu. ments," theatrical entertain
mor takes them. There too the stranger ments, balls, cards and dice. We is initiated into the mysteries of gin-sling, do not contest with them the honor cocktail, sangaree, mint-julep, sherry
cobbler, timber-doodle, and other rare of strewing the path to heaven with
drinks. The house is full of boarders, leaves and flowers, so that Mr. Dick, both married and single, many of whom
sleep upon the premises, and contract by ING, "a repository of original articles, the week for their board and lodging; written exclusively by females actively the charge for which diminishes as they employed in the mills'—which is duly go nearer the sky to roost. A public prinied, published, and sold ; and where. table is laid in a very handsome ball for of I brought away from Lowell four bunbreakfast, and for dinner, and for supper. dred good solid pages, which I have read The party sitting down together to these from beginning to end. meals will vary in number from one to “ The large class of readers, startled by two hundred; sometimes more. The ad. these facts, will exclaim, with one voice, vent of each of these epochs in the day • How very preposterous ! On my def. is proclaimed by an awful gong, which erentially inquiring why, they will anshakes the very window frames, as it re- swer, . These things are above their slaverberates through the house, and horri- tion.' In reply to that objection, I would bly disturbs nervous foreigners. There is beg to ask what their station is. an ordinary for ladies, and an ordinary * It is their station to work. And they for gentlemen."
do work. They labor in these mills, upIf the gongs have such an effect on
on an average, twelve hours a day, which 'foreigners,' we advise that they be
is unquestionably work, and pretty tight
work too. Perhaps it is above their stasent back to China, where they are lion to indulge in such amusements, on much needed for that purpose.
any terms. Are we quite sure that we Before taking his final leave of in England have not formed our ideas of
the station' of working people, from acBoston and its vicinity, Mr. Dickens customing ourselves to ihe contemplamade a brief visit to Lowell, with tion of that class as they are, and not as which he seems to have been highly they might be ?" gratified. And every American
In this trip to Lowell, Mr. Dickmay well be proud of the condition
ens took his first ride on an Ameri. and character of operatives in the
can railroad; and sadly does he manufactories here, when compared complain of the "shabby omnibuswith those of the same class in Eng. es,” in which he was jolted along. land. The British manufacturing We commend his observations on system has hitherto been one vast this point to the special attention of system of oppression and wrong: those whom it concerns. Let the The author of the “Glory and directors of the railroads see to this Shame of England,” has depicted matter before Mr. Dickens comes its deformities in vivid colors; and again. Our author writes quite like after every possible abatement is himself, in his description of railroad made in view of the prejudice or travelling. “There is a great deal exaggeration of the writer, it is still of jolting, a great deal of noise, a to be feared that his representations great deal of wall, not much winare too sadly true. We trust that dow, a locomotive engine, a shriek the superiority of our system, as and a bell." briefly delineated by Mr. Dickens,
There are many provisions for may arrest the attention of the phi. the comfort and safety of travelers, lanthropic in that country. After which we might wisely adopt from speaking of the neat, cheerful, and
our English cousins; and we rejoice healthy appearance of the “ factory to see that the law is imposing its girls,” the cleanliness and decorum penalties upon those steamboat and prevalent in their boarding houses, railroad companies, by the carelessand even in the rooms of the manu
ness of whose agents human life is factories, he procceds as follows.
so often endangered and sacrificed. "I am now going to state three facts, The returns of the railroad compawhich will starle a large class of readers nies in England, from 1832 to 1839, on this side of the Atlantic, very much.
“Firstly, there is a joint-stock piano in show that more than forty millions a great many of the boarding houses. of passengers were carried over the Secondly, nearly all these young ladies roads in that period, and that during subscribe to circulating libraries. Thirdly, they have got up among themselves a the same period only ten persons, periodical, called The LOWELL OFFER. (or one in four millions,) were kill. Vol. I.
ed by accident, of whom but four, ger, he may be excused for his igno(or one in ten millions,) were pas. rance. It is time, however, that the sengers. The proportion of acci. American public, and especially the dents and deaths in this country is New England public, fully undervastly greater.
stood that no such code as the Blue Mr. Dickens left Boston on the Laws are represented to have been, 5th of February, for Worcester, in ever existed in either of the colonies company with Governor Davis, with of Connecticut. whom he spent the Sabbath. Here Those who are not already conhe was again entertained with the vinced that this oft-repeated story new and unsubstantial appearance is a sheer fabrication, may be enof every thing which he saw. On lightened by the perusal of Prof. Monday morning he pursued his Kingsley's Historical Discourse, es. journey by the way of Springfield pecially notes G and N, pp. 83, to Hartford. He was much amused 104. It owes its origin to one Dr. with the little boat which convey. Samuel Peters, who, “at the comed him down the Connecticut, not mencement of the revolutionary war, being aware probably that the river was an Episcopal missionary at Heis not navigable for a boat of lar. bron, in Connecticut. As he was ger size. Mr. Dickens remained in very active in asserting the royal Hartford four days, but his descrip- claims, he became obnoxious to the tion of the place is condensed into a patriots of the day. He was threatsingle paragraph.
ened by a mob; though it is be
lieved, no personal violence was “ The town is beautifully situated in a basin of green hills; the soil is rich, done him. About 1774, he went to well wooded, and carefully improved. England, highly exasperated against It is the seat of the local legislature of his country, and especially against Connecticut, which sage body enacted, in his native state, Connecticut. He bygone times, the renowned code of * Blue Laws,' in virtue whereof; einigen continued, in reviling the colonists ;
employed himself while the war other enlightened provisions, any citizen who could be proved to have kissed bis and in 1781, published in London, wife on Sunday, was punishable, I be
without his name, what he called, lieve, with the stocks Tuo inuch of the old Puritan spirit exists in these parts to
"A general History of Connectithe present bour; but its influence has cut, from its first settlement under not iended, that I know, to make the George Fenwick, Esq., to its latest people less hard in their bargains, or inore equal in their dealings. As I never
period of amity with Great Britain, heard of its working that effect any where including a description of the coun. else, I infer that it never will here. In- try, and many curious and interdeed, I am accustomed, with reference to esting anecdotes.' This history great professions and severe faces, to judge of the goods of the other world
abounded in misrepresentation and preity much as I judge of the goods of falsehood; yet it had sufficient inihis; and whenever I see a dealer in Auence to give currency to the resuch commodities with too great a dis.
port which reached Mr. Dickens' play of them in his window, I doubt the quality of the article within."
ears in Hartford.
Mr. Dickens laments, that “ too This little paragraph, which most much of the old Puritan spirit exists readers perhaps will pass over within Connecticut to the present hour."? out attention, contains several items There is greater cause for lamenworthy of special notice. In the tation, that so little of what was first place, it revives the old and ri- upright and heroic in the Puritan diculous story of the “ Blue Laws” spirit prevails among the present of Connecticut. We suppose that generation. If the love of law and Mr. Dickens believes that such a order, of virtue and freedom-if code really existed, and as a stran- good government, sound morals,
liberal education, and pure religion, tleman of literary pretensions, Mr. are the fruits of this spirit, then let Dickens spent but a single night, it every where prevail.
and almost all that he remembers But Mr. Dickens was specially about his visit there, is, that he “put grieved by the prevalence of that up at the best inn.” penurious spirit, which he regards From New Haven he proceeded as its concomitant. He laments, to New York, where, as we have that the influence of the old Puri- already intimated, he was received tan spirit “ has not tended to make in a most appropriate manner at the people less hard in their bar- the theater. His description of the gains," or more equal in their deal. city as usual is meagre, conveying ings.” Now how did Mr. Dickens, to the stranger no adequate idea, whose visit to the United States was in fact no idea, of its extent and prompted no less by mercenary mo- magnificence, its commercial en. tives than by vanity-how did this terprise, its hum of business, its frank, generous-minded man, re. bustle and parade of fashion. These ceive such an impression of the par. things of course, would not attract simony of the good people of Hart- the particular attention of one faford? Was it from the facts, that miliar with London, but they are they invited him to visit their city, deserving of at least a passing nosent a committee to escort him from tice. New York, however, appear. Springfield, entertained him for four ed to Mr. Dickens more like a soli. days at the first hotel, gave him a tude than a Babel. sumptuous public dinner, opened
" But how quiet the streets are!" he every place of interest and amuse. exclaims. "Are there noitinerant bands; ment to his inspection, and all with. no wind or stringed instruments ? No, out subjecting him to the expense fantoccinis, dancing-dogs, jugglers, con
not one. By day, are there no punches, of a single farthing? Or were all jurers, orchestrians, or even barrel-orthese smart and witty things, about gans? No, not one. Yes, I remember “ Blue Laws,” “ hypocrisy,"
one. One barrel-organ and a dancing. ritan cant,” and “hard bargains,” fading into a dull, lumpish monkey, of
monkey-sportive hy nature, but fast whispered into the ear of Mr. Dick. the utilitarian school. Beyond that, ens, by the committee who had him nothing lively; no, not so much as a in charge, or by some other worthy white inouse in a twirling cage." citizens of Hartford, wbo, finding In fact, Mr. Dickens is ready to themselves suddenly exalted to the die of ennui! What would he give very acme of human felicity, in be. now for one peep at “ Mrs. Jarley's ing permitted to shake hands with wax-works,” or for an hour's chat the author of Pickwick, felt under with his old friends, “ Messrs. Cod. a necessity of ridiculing their own ling and Short,” with a sight of city, in order that they might appear their worn-out “ Punch !" Pity for more liberal or more facetious in him, that New York has no such his eyes? We strongly incline to dignified “amusements” to enterthe latter opinion; for Mr. Dickens' tain her elite and literary visitors personal opportunities of becoming from abroad. We presume, how. acquainted with the characteristics ever, that Mr. Dickens found someof the people of Hartford, were thing answering to the name of about equal to those which he en. " Punch” in some of those“ pleasjoyed for observing the style of ant retreats,” in which he sought preaching prevalent in Boston. We
a momentary refuge, allured by the suspect that in both cases, there was illuminated signs, " oysters in every some prompter behind the curtain. style.” At length, with an eye to
At New Haven, which might have his profession, and to the money to furnished some attractions to a gen. be realized from some American