« PreviousContinue »
S. E. B.
est applause of the world could scarcely have If I, although in a different field, have shown flattered me so agreeably."
that I also belong to the salt of the earth, then These unknown friends were at length discov- may you know my name; now it could avail ered to be, the poet Körner, his friend Huber, and nothing. the fair ladies to whom they were respectively betrothed, Minna and Dora Stock. The miniatures were executed by the latter, whilst the
II. pocket-book was the work of the former: both
MANHEIM, 7th Dec., 1784. ladies are mentioned by Goethe as among his life-long friends, and Dora is called an excellent Never can you forgive me, my most valued artist.
friends, that to your letters so full of friendship, In conclusion, may we express the hope that breathing so much enthusiasm towards myself, the friendly words and relation of these noble accompanied also by those precious tokens of and gifted beings may not be without effect upon your goodness -I could remain seven months siour minds and hearts, leading us away from all lent. I confess to you, it is with blushing shame, unworthy aims and vain pursuits and conten- that abashes me even before myself, that I write tions, to a life of helpful goodness, and of true, this letter, and that, like a culprit, I cast down earnest endeavor.
my eyes before your portraits, which at this instant seem to be indued with life, and to accuse me. Certainly, my excellent and fair friends,
the shame and embarrassment which I now sufLETTER I.
fer is punishment enough. Do not seek to inJUNE, 1784. fict any other. But allow me a few words,
not to excuse this unheard of negligence, but in At a time when art is daily becoming more
order to render it, in some manner, conceivable. and more the venal slave of a rich and powerful sensualism, it is well that a great man steps forth and relieved in the most agreeable manner an
Your letters, which gave me unspeakable joy, and shows what man is still adequate to accom- hour in my life, found me in the saddest humor plish. The better portion of mankind, who have
at heart, of which I can, by letter, give no aclong been disgusted with their age, who, in the
count. The state of my mind at that time was crowd of degenerate productions, still longed for
not that in which one gladly and for the first time something genuine and great, now quench their
brings one's self before such persons as I conthirst, feeling within an emotion that raises them
ceive you to be. Your flattering opinion of me above their contemporaries, and strength imparted on their toilsome path towards each worthy weak enough to wish that it might not all too
was, indeed, only an agreeable illusion, yet I was aim. Gladly, therefore, would such
the hand of their benefactor, would permit him to ferred my answer till a happier hour, to a visit of
soon pass away. Therefore, dear friends, I desee in their eyes the tears of joy and enthusi
my better genius, when in a more genial mood asm-that they might strengthen and encourage
my heart should be open to better feelings. Those him also, should he ever be in doubt whether his
quiet hours have never yet arrived, and in the sad contemporaries are worthy that he should labor
series of vexations and disappointments, my heart for them. It is for this reason that I, with three
at length became dried up to friendship and joy. others, who are not altogether unworthy to read Unhappy distractions, the thought of which still your works, have united to express to you our wounds, by degrees obliterated the purpose from thanks and grateful homage. For proof whether I understand you, I have attempted to compose denly reminds me of you, and of my own mis
my mind. An accident, a gloomy evening, sudmusic to one of your songs.* Besides the meth- conduct; I hasten to my writing-table to apolood I have chosen, two others were admissible : gize to you, dear friends, for this shameful negeach strophe might have been arranged differ- lect, which from my heart I know not how to erently, or at least with the melodies; for the first plain to myself. How painful must be to you and third, for the second and fourth, and for the the thought of having loved one who could make last. But neither seemed to me well suited to a such a return for your generous goodness! How song introduced for its own sake. Variations
must you have allowed yourselves to repent of a with respect to time, movement, strength and kindness performed towards the most ungrateful softness, belong naturally to each verse; and of men ! But no; that I have never been, and those introduced are merely such as were indis
will never be. Could I believe that you still repensable.
few sparks of that warmth which This is the song of Amelia, in the first Scene of the you formerly cherished towards me, I would dethird Act of the ROBBERS,
mand that you should put my heart to the sex
Whate dal of a frase for being a lille by
CHARACTER OF "FESTUS."
Who has not heard of “Festus ?" It has won
verest test, and allow me by some means to retrieve my past neglect.
But enough of an affair in which I have played so sorry a part.
When I confess to you that your letters and presents were the most agreeable of aught that has happened to me either before or since in the whole period of my authorship, that their joyful appearance indemnified me for the many painful trials which attended me in youth, that, (I say not too much,) you may ascribe it to yourselves if I recall the curse upon my luckless calling of poet, extorted from my heart by the contradictions of my fate ;—when I say this to you, I know that you will not repent of your kindness towards me. If such men, such beautiful souls, reward not the poet, who then shall reward him.
I had hoped, not without grounds, to see you this year face to face, whilst there was a prospeet of my going to Berlin. The occurrence of certain circumstances must postpone this, at least for a year; yet it might come about that I shall visit Leipsic at the fair. What a joyful moment could I meet you there, and your real presence eclipse even the joyful recollection of your images ! - Minna and Dora must let it pass
should they surprise me amid my new poetic ideals, with a little theft upon their images.
I know not whether you, my most valued friends, will consider me, after my past conduct, as worthy of a continuation of your regards, and of a farther correspondence, yet I beg it of you with all warinth. Only a more intimate acquaintance with me and my peculiar manner of being, can restore to you some shadow of that idea which you once conceived of me.
I have enjoyed few pleasures in life, but, (and this is the proudest I can say of myself,) I owe those few to my heart.
You here receive something new from my pen, the announcement of a Journal. It may surprise you that I should play also this part in the world, but perhaps it may yet be reconciled to your ideas. Besides, the German public compels its author to make his election not according to the aim of his genius, but the speculations of the trade. I shall bestow upon this Thalia all my powers ; still I do not deny, could I have acted independently of pecuniary considerations, I should have employed them in another sphere.
Could I, by a few lines, be assured of your forgiveness, a second letter would follow this in quick succession. Ladies are sometimes less forgiving than men ; therefore must I read the pardon subscribed also by their fair hands. With unfailing esteem, Yours,
It is a book sacred in its Intention-
It is a book of rare Imagination-
A common desting in endless bliss !
It is a book sublime in its Religion-
The root of all its most imposing errors
Lexington, Va. Dec. 1, 1848.
HENRY ST. GEORGE TUCKER.
It is a book of deep Philosophy-
It is a book whose high Dramatic power
Henry St. George Tucker, who lately died at Winchester, in the 68th year of his age, was born at Matoax, in the county of Chesterfield, on the 29th of December 1780. His father, St. George Tucker, was a native of the Island of Bermuda; and having been educated at the College of William & Mary, he remained in Virginia where he, in the course of a long life, filled several high judicial offices, as that of Professor of Law, and where he married Mrs. Randolph, the mother of John Randolph, of Roanoke, as well as of the subject of the present notice. This lady, much celebrated for her beauty, wit and force of character, died at the early age of 36.
When Judge Henry Tucker was about nine years of age his father was appointed Professor of Law in William & Mary, and consequently became a resident of Williamsburg. His son there went through a thorough course of classical instruction, first in the Grammar school attached to the college, and then in the College itself, under the Rev. Mr. Bracken, the senior Professor of Humanity.
On obtaining a license to practise law in 1802, Mr. Tucker settled in Winchester, where, in 1806, he married Miss Hunter. He was very successful in his profession; and, in 1807, he
was elected to the State Legislature. In two or three speeches on important subjects at the ensuing session, he acquired a high reputation for political independence as well as ability.
In the war with great Britain, a few years afterwards, he raised a volunteer troop of car
alry, and was at Baltimore when the British were sity of Virginia, which office he had previously there repulsed in 1814. It may be inferred that refused in the life time of Mr. Jefferson. In this his military career, though brief, was meritorious, situation he did not long enjoy health, and in four from the facts that in the succeeding year he was years, the progress of his disease compelled him elected to Congress, and in the year after was to resign. He lingered three years longer, and appointed by the Legislature Brigadier General. terminated his busy, well-spent life on the 28th
He continued four years in Congress, where, day of August last. among his intimate associates, were his brother, To a very pleasing exterior, both in face and John Randolph, Mr. Lowndes, Mr. Calhoun, Mr. figure, Judge Tucker added an address and manClay and Mr. Bolling Robertson of Louisiana. ners that are rarely equalled; for besides being a As chairman of a committee he made an argu- strict observer of the conventional rules of good mentative report, in which he maintained that breeding, he possessed that higher order of poCongress possessed the power, under the Con- liteness which nothing but genuine benevolence stitution, to construct roads and canals, with the and great delicacy of tact can give. Perhaps consent of the States they pass through. He was his most striking characteristic was an affectionate also one of those republicans who voted in 1816 disposition; and it was his never-failing flow of in favor of a Bank of the United States, then kindness, and desire to see others happy, that so deemed indispensable by Mr. Dallas, to reëstab- admirably fitted him for all the duties of fireside lish a sound currency throughout the union, and life. Certainly no one ever discharged those of to secure the collection of the national revenue. husband, parent, master, or friend, more cordially,
These views of the Constitution, as frankly more faithfully, or with better grace. The love avowed as they were deliberately and conscien- he so fervently felt, was, as is usual, cordially retiously formed were in conflict with the opin- ciprocated, and in some instances amounted alions of the politicians then in the ascendant in most to idolatry. his native State, and they probably decided bis Such was his very amiable temper as well as subsequent destiny as a public man. There is scrupulous propriety, that when a personal altergood reason to believe that they more than once cation arose in the House of Representatives beprevented his election to the Senate of the Uni-tween his brother, Mr. Randolph and Mr. Robted States, and his appointment to the Federal ertson, of Louisiana, he maintained his friendly Supreme Court.
relations with Mr. Robertson without giving ofThe memorable law by which members offence to the very irritable and somewhat exactCongress were to receive a fixed salary of $1,500 ing disposition of his brother. per annum, instead of a per diem allowance of But with all this blandness of feeling—this love six dollars, passed while he was a member. He of conciliation and peace-he never hesitated to not only voted against it, but after it passed, with differ from his political associates when his judga fastidious honor, he refused to receive the ex- ment told him they were wrong. It was thus tra allowance which yet remains in the Treasury. that he had maintained the federal power to make In this course it is believed that he stood alone. roads and canals; had voted for an United States
lo 1819 he quitted Congress to return to the Bank; and had opposed the doctrine of nullifipractice of the law, and in 1823–4 he was ap- cation, though he was one of Mr. Calhoun's most pointed Chancellor for the Winchester District. devoted friends. But while he thus fearlessly In the following year he established a law school, differed from his party on particular oceasions, to which his reputation soon attracted students agreeing with them in the main, he remained atfrom every part of the State, and even from tached to them and voted with them through life. other States. He had afterwards the pleasure His mind, while it was vigorous, discriminaof seeing among those who had been his pupils ting and comprehensive, was yet more distinseveral who took a leading part in the councils guished for its polish and its exquisite taste. His of their country.
style was at once easy, natural and graceful. This school was continued until 1831, when Both in speaking and writing, perspicuity, elehe was appointed President of the Court of Ap-gance and good sense were the predominant peals. As he was now compelled to pass most qualities. While he conducted a law school he of his time in Richmond, he, after a while, be- published two volumes of commentaries on the caine a resident of that city. In the year that laws of Virginia, which soon became a handhe received the last appointment, General Jack- book for the practitioner in that State, and still son offered him the place of Attorney General, so continues. This work, and a few of his lecwhich, on his refusal, was afterwards given to tures delivered at the University of Virginia, and Mr. Taney, now the Chief Justice of the United some fugitive essays, are the only monuments he States. Ten years afterwards he was induced has left of his professional or literary talent. He to accept the professorship of law in the Univer-' had a very ready talent at versification, which
was often exercised for the gratification of the | A loud summons is borne like a blast o'er the sea, social circle he so adorned. His taste for classi- T'he tomb of the Just from the Moslem to free, cal studies continued through life. His essays at O'er Jerusalem's walls where the crescent doth gleam, Latin composition, intended only for the eye of The flag of the “red cross” in triumph shall stream. his friends, were very respectable. In no pursuit of life did he succeed better than as a law Farewell to thee! maid of the tower! farewell! lecturer; and while he instructed the minds of There are pangs of ibe heart wbich the tongue cannot tellhis pupils, his courtesy and almost paternal kind- and such the deep grief of his bosom must be, ness, never failed to win their hearts.
Who is torn in his spirit's devotion from thee. Until Judge Tucker had passed the age of sixty,
P. H. H. his life had been unusually prosperous and happy. But his last few years were overclouded by disease, and the anxieties attending a lawsuit of a peculiarly vexatious character. His malady was a species of epilepsy, of a mild description indeed, but evidently impairing his memory, and, FROM OUR PARIS CORRESPONDENT. in some degree, the vigor of his mind. Of this he was not unconscious, and the fear of the loss
Paris, December, 1848. of his mental faculties, forever haunted his imagination, until life became a burden to him. Sen
In this letter I shall not trouble you with polisibly declining in body and mind, he earnestly tics. The prediction of woes yet to fall upon wished for death as the best of the alternatives France from the election of Louis Napoleon, the presented to him, and he met his end with a firm- account of the spread of democracy on the conness and resignation which never deserted him. tinent, its excesses, the flight of the Pope from He left a widow, two daughters and six sons, Rome, the civil wars of Germany, the abdication and it soothed his last moments to be surrounded of Ferdinand of Austria,-all these, I take it, by all those cherished objects of his affection. will interest the generality of your readers less
Few men bad as many warm personal friends; than a chapter from Chateaubriand's posthumous and, judging of others' charity by his own, he work, particularly concerning the United States. not long ago said to a friend, that he - flattered A few months after the death of Chateaubriand, himself he had not an enemy in the world.” Cer- which occurred 4th July last, the journal the tainly the memory of no one could be more ven- Presse commenced the publication of his “Meerated by those to whom he was best known; moires d'outre-tombe,” or “ Memoirs from beand to them, it is feared, that this small tribute yond the tomb." The reproduction of these from one who loved him, will appear altogether Memoirs in any other form being forbidden by inadequate to his merits.
the company to which the copyright belongs, they have not yet appeared in regular volumes. The fleeting, but popular feuilleton of the Presse is eagerly resorted to by the enthusiastic admirers of the illustrious deceased. Four years ago the Presse purchased the right of first publishing these Memoirs, upon the condition that the publication
should not be commenced till after the death of THE CRUSADER'S SERENADE.
the author. The price then paid for this privi
lege is understood to have been 96,000 francs, The sweet star that is beaming on evening's still sky, (about $19,000.) Chateaubriand was never so To my fancy appeareth less bright than thine eye, highly thought of abroad as in France. Though And thy musical tones are more pleasant to me,
for many years he has lived a perfectly retired Than the warbling of songsters from thicket and tree. life, taking no part, and apparently no interest,
in the events transpiring around him, he was reOn thy cheek are the tints of the beautiful flower,
garded with a veneration little short of worship. That blooms o'er the vine.covered sides of thy bower,
The Memoirs, if what has yet been published may And graceful and fair as a spirit of light,
be taken as a criterion for the whole, will hardly Thy form ever riseth to gladden my sight.
bring a great accession to his world-wide fame.
A chapter devoted to the United States I am Sweet maid of the tower, adieu to thy charms,
about to translate for the Messenger. It was For the tumult of camps and the clangor of arms ; written, as appears by the date, in 1822. It is By the side of my loved-one forever I'd stay,
curious as a critique upon the United States and But a vision of glory has called me away.
their institutions. It is interesting as issuing from