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Arms have had their day. The age exceeding smart, and pugnacity is of steel is past. The thunders of Mont thrown to the dogs. Learning, too, St. Jean formed the grand finale to the leaves its solidity in the cloister, and, melo-drama of military exploit, and the no longer frighted by trumpets and curtain fell, never to rise again, upon sulphurous vapors, spreads itself thinly the last scene of martial greatness, abroad. Being in haste, the world when the laurelled warriors of France reads as it runs, so that heavy books, cast aside the baton of command to like heavy artillery, remain in the have recourse to their spurs. Bellona arsenals. Man, commercial man, then went to boarding-school, and speculating man, financial man-man, learned to comb her refractory locks heedless of gory greatness, but eager into the pliant graces of the toilet, for cash, must know all that is in while Mars obtained a situation in a agitation. Having ceased to kill his counting-house, and, seated upon a neighbor, he is anxious to ascertain three-legged stool, still nibs his pen to what his neighbor is about, that he gain a livelihood. Romance expired may turn him and his doings to profitat Waterloo. Chivalry expended itself able account; and hence, in the place when Ney was foiled, and the Belgian of those gaudy banners which used to peasant unconsciously depicted the flout the sky, instead of the oriflamme moral of the fall of the empire, when of nations, which once rallied their he boiled potatoes in the helmet of the battalia, we gather round the newsknight, and cooked his mutton in the paper, not with sword, and shield, and breastplate of the “Guard." The casque, but with ink-stained jacket and world is tired of slaughter—the poetry with pen in ear.
Our clarion now, of the shambles is exhausted. We more potent than the Fontarabian horn, live as long as we can now, and find is the shrill voice of the news-boy, that existence none the worse for having a modern Minerva, who leaped full-blown full supply of arms and legs. A body from the o’erfraught head of journalism; like a colander is not essential to re- and as the news-boy is in some respects putation, and death has become so un- the type of the time—an incarnation popular that it is only by special favor of the spirit of the day—a few words that ambition can get itself hanged. devoted to his consideration may not
New elements produce new combi- be deemed amiss. nations. When the musket rusts in a As the true Corinthian metal was garret, and glory puzzles over the formed from the meltings of the devoted multiplication-table and retails brown city, thus the news-boy is the product sugar, the restless impulses of humani- of the exigencies of the era. The ty seek excitements before unknown. requirements of the age always bring Strategy exhibits itself in the marts of forth that which is wanted. The dratrade. Napoleons are financiers. The gon-teeth of tyranny have often caused sun of Austerlitz bursts through the the earth to crop with armed men ; and clouds which overhang the stock ex- the nineteenth century, thirsting for change. Bulls and bears constitute the information and excitement, finds its contending hosts of modern times, and Ganymede in the news-boy. He is its there is no analogy to the "maraud,” walking idea, its symbol, its personifiunless we find it in embezzlement and cation. Humanity, in its new shape, defalcation.
“smart” now is yet young and full of undefined en
ergies, and so is he. The first genera- thus curl the nose at him ; for he would tion of his race not having outgrown be lost and wearied in such preferment. their business, the important part which Observe his frame, so light yet so youth thus trained is destined to play strong ;—so pliant, wiry, and enduring. in human affairs, is as yet too imper. No “debile wretch” enters the ranks fectly developed even for the medita- of these juvenile Prætorians, or if he tions of the most speculative philosopher should venture on service so far beyond that ever extracted glowing sunbeams his capacity, exhaustion soon removes from the refreshing cucumber ; but as him. Glance at the expression of that nature does nothing in vain, it is but weather-beaten face, prematurely chanfair to infer that the news-boy is des- nelled into line and hardened into tined, in one way or another, to fix the muscle. Care, courage, and resolution period which gave him birth, in the are in every curve of those compacted niche of history. Too many powerful lips. The soft roundness of childhood elements combine in him not to be has departed long since. That mouth productive of grand results. What is knows more of the strong word, the the news-boy-what is necessary to his keen retort, the well-weighed phrases original constitution—what faculties of the bargainer, of cunning solicitation, are involved, cherished, strengthened, and of the fierce wrangle, than of the and made, as it were, the preponderat- endearing kisses of affection. It brings ing forces of his character, by the no memory of rosebuds. It is no poetic calling to which he is devoted ? Sur- feature for romance to dwell upon, but vey the news-boy-extract him from a mouth of plain reality-of confirmed the buzzing crowd and place him on a utilitarianism. It wreathes itself more pedestal, while you analyze his char- readily into the mould of worldly inacter in its psychological and physical trepidity, than into the gentle dimples details, estimating, at the same time, of early life. It is, in the news-boy, the past and future operation of cir- as in all mankind beside, a key to the cumstances in educating him for mature individual mysteries of our nature. effort in the contentions of men. The impulses, the ruling trait, are here Anatomize him, and “ see what breeds developed, and the news-boy offers no about his heart." A rough study, truly exception to the rule. The glance of -soiled garments and patches. The his eye is as cold, but as bright, as the youth is not precisely fitted for pre- beaming sun of a frosty morning, which sentation in the drawing-room, evident sparkles on the ice, but melts it not. though it be, that his self-possession Still, though self-interest and sordid would not desert him in the presence calculation dwell in its depths, we find of an empress. Valets and body-ser- a laughing devil there, which feasts on vants do not trouble themselves about satire, and sports like the chevaliers him. Father and mother, brother and of old, à l'outrance. Its jokes bite sister, if such there be, have enough to shrewdly, and the lance of its wit disdo in struggling for their own existence, plays the point "unbated,” though not without attending to the details of his envenomed."
When the news-boy costume, and many a repair is the result turns awhile from business to the pleaof his own handiwork in hours stolen sures of companionship, he asks no from needful rest. That battered hat, quiet recreation. His raillery and his grown foxy by exposure, is picturesque pleasant tricks both deal in heavy in its proportions, not so much from blows and rude interchanges. Your careless usage as from hard service, nice, nervous sensibility finds no quarand those ox-hide boots, embrowned ter from one whose very existence in and cracked, have shamed the feats of all its phases is roughness. Should he plank-walking pedestrians. Sooth to hereafter learn to woo, it will be “as say, our hero is somewhat uncouth in the lion woos his bride." his externals. That fair damsel there Such is the physique of the newswould scarcely covet him for a parlor boy, and it contains many of the conpet. He would not shine amid carpet stituent points of greatness. Tossed knights, nor would Titania weary early into the world, the impediments Oberon with prayers to have him for which cause other men to fail, are soon her henchman. The news-boy would surmounted in his path. He has no not weep either, if he were to know kindly arın to lean upon, and through that perfumed pride and silken delicacy mistaken tenderness, to make his steps
unsteady. He is his own staff-his-must of necessity produce something own protector. Of diffidence, he never -not a little of roguery, mayhap, heard the name--he does not know its which is often the fungous growth, the nature. Imaginary barriers cannot untrimmed shoot of a certain grade of interpose between him and his object; cleverness. But we look for more than for he recognizes none as worthier than this—if genius is ever latent, the life he, and self-distrust plays no fantastic of the news-boy must bring it forth. tricks to defeat the consummation of The blows which fall on him would what he may resolve. He lives in elicit sparks from the flint. In the deeds, and not in dreamy speculation- school which boasts of such a pupil, he is an actor, not a looker on, and society is the book, adversity the teachpractice has given him that estimate of er, and harsh circumstance plays the his own powers which rarely falls be- part of rattan and ferula. He is scourged low the mark, and which, best of all, into wisdom, almost before others can surreonds disappointment with no un walk alone. real terrors. When he falls, he falls In what peculiar way, Tom Tibbs, but to rise again with renewed strength, whose admirable portrait graces our like the fabled Antæus. And while present number, is likely to distinguish continued collision with the world thus himself, remains to be seen. His faculhardens his intellectual being, his mus- ties are expansive-roaming like sumcular energies, which sustain the spirit, mer bees—the moment of concentration, receive a training of proportionate se- when genius, rallying upon its focus, verity. He has no tender years. Let burns its way through all impediments, wealthy youth be housed in luxury, and has not yet come to him. But Tibbs guarded from the storm. Soft couches is one of whom expectation may be and protracted slumbers do not enervate entertained. In fact, he has long been the news-boy. Compared to him, the spoken of as a “hopeful youth," by sun itself is a sluggard. No morning many of those who know him, and ray finds him in bed; the moon and though the phrase may often be applied stars witness his uprisings, and he derisively, as a sort of lucus a non lutravels forth in darkness to commence cendo, still this is but the vulgar error his daily toil. Let the rain fall in tor- which cannot comprehend the kittenrents—the lightning flash—the thun- hood of lionism—the unappreciated inders roar, the news-boy laughs at the fancy of power.
No one ever achieved elemental strife. Heat and cold are distinction who did not begin by being alike indifferent to one who has such a nuisance, just as greatness in a sinduties to perform. It is on him that gle walk, of necessity constitutes a society waits for its mental aliment, bore ; and it may be so with Tibbs. and can he falter-can he shrink before He has already learned the one great winds and showers, before frosts and lesson of success. He looks upon the heats, who, more truly than any human community as a collective trout-a unibeing, is the “ schoolmaster abroad?" versal fish, which must nibble at his No-others may crouch around the bait, lie in his basket and fill his fryingfire, or shrink beneath their blankets, pan. On this maxim, heroes have at the sound of winter's threatening overrun the world. It has been the blasts, but the news-boy springs up, foundation, not only of fortunes, but of whistling cheerily, to encounter any empires. Why should it not elevate hardship that may oppose him. Tibbs ? Especially as his soul has not
Now, it is contended that whole been whittled down to a single point, masses and classes of youth, thus edu- by the process of acquiring the knowcated, thus trained—who live, as it ledge to which we refer. Tibbs has were, by their wits—by their boldness, the affections, the sympathies, the twintheir address, their perseverance- ing tendrils of the heart, in as great whose faculties are always literally at perfection as can be expected in one the grindstone--who daily practise en- who has been taught to look upon downdurance, fortitude, self-restraint, absti- right fact as the great purpose of exnence, and many other virtues ; who istence. The pennies, however, do not are pre-eminently frugal and industri- engross him utterly; but when he is in ous ; who learn to understand men and pursuit of the pennies, that pursuit is boys, dandies and dandizettes, and are made paramount. He takes his busischooled to emulation and competition ness as Falstaff did his sack, “simple,