Imágenes de páginas


are scarce.

• Why not?' said Jupiter, in manifest surprise. • Why not!' exclaimed the shabby lawyer; because great talents

We do not make ourselves, you know. I guess you never studied phrenology. The difference between him and me is the work of Heaven; hence he receives large fees, and I receive none.'

While Jupiter was reflecting on the organic inequalities which were thus unexpectedly proclaimed to him, he determined to execute an experiment. Suddenly, therefore, while the great lawyer was in the most pathetic part of his argument, Jupiter, unseen by mortal eye, siezed the orator by the throat, and sent his soul to Olympus. The court arose in the most intense confusion. All said the great lawyer had over-exerted himself, and was dead of apoplexy. The same day the sick beggar died, and the rich merchant, and the shabby lawyer. What a loss the world had sustained in the great lawyer; and what a loss the city in the rich man! God help the poor; what is to become of them now! How inscrutable, said every person, are the ways of Providence !

The great lawyer's body was borne to Trinity Church, where a huge granite monument was erected over him by his admirers. The rich man was carefully soldered up in lead, and placed within his family vault; while the shabby lawyer was buried privately in a cherry coffin, and the mendicant was, with little ceremony, screwed up in pine boards, and hurried to Potter's Field. After these differences of an hour, all were alike left to the silent and indiscriminating processes of decay; while the world closed up its ranks with new orators and new merchants, and the losses that yesterday seemed irreparable were remedied and forgotten.

But not thus Jupiter. The experiment which he meditated was to remould the four men, so that they should possess equal powers of mind and body. Nothing should distinguish one from the other, so far as relates to their organization, moral, intellectual and physical; «for,' thought Jove, “I shall be truly sorry if the misery of man, or any portion of it, arises from partiality in their organization. The four souls being thus equalized and furnished with new bodies, were sent back into the world, and in due course of nature were severally born of poor parents in different parts of the Union. The children possessed no consciousness of ever having been on the earth before. They were severally dosed with medicine as soon as they were born, and after struggling for their lives against the other officiousness of nurses, they grew gradually toward maturity, played with tops and marbles, were beaten when their parents were cross, and fared in all respects precisely as other children.

Time passed on, and at the end of fifty years Jupiter again saddled his eagle, and was wafied to the battery, where he had alighted before. The morning was just as mild and salubrious as it had been then; and while he was looking round and admiring the regularity with which inanimate nature obeys the impulse of the seasons, and the seasons revolve in the order of their appointed succession, he was aroused by the approach of a little girl, who in piteous accents solicited a cent to buy bread for her sick daddy.



Struck by the similarity of the application to that which he had experienced on his former visit, he directed the child to lead him to her father. She led him through avenues as crooked as those that he had passed previously, and brought him to a cellar as dirty as the former; and in it he found the same mendicant, again in poverty, again sick, and again accusing Providence for his mischances. Jupiter flew into Union Place. There he found the rich merchant also, and as rich as

He went to the City Hall, and there lounged the shabby lawyer, as drowsy as before; and there stood the great orator, as eloquent as formerly, and talking for a fee of five thousand dollars. •Truly,' said Jupiter, these coincidences are surprising ; but if I had been partial in the formation of men, as was alleged, it would have been more surprising.'

But whence these differences in the condition of the several persons ? The question suggested itself more readily than the solution. "Jupiter was perplexed, and again sought an elucidation from the unemployed lawyer, who again began the old story about phrenology and the orator's great genius; but Jupiter cut the matter short by saying he knew better, and that the orator's genius was no greater than other men’s. At this the shabby lawyer laughed, and happening to be in a more communicative humor than previously, candidly admitted that he was as well organized as the successful orator, and much more deserving of success; but the difficulty was imputable to Misfortune, who had always persecuted him, while fortune had as constantly favored the great ora

This solution seemed reasonable. Jupiter had often heard rumors of the interference of Fortune and Misfortune in the affairs of men, but he had expressly interdicted them from interfering with the present experiment; and as they had disobeyed him in the career of the lawyers, they probably had interfered with the merchant and the beggar. He was accordingly enraged against Fortune and Misfortune, and flying back to Olympus, he summoned forthwith the terrified spirits, and accused them with their disobedience. They trembled at his rebuke, and would have excused themselves by denying all agency in the transactions alluded to, but Jupiter refused to listen to their protestations, and chained them both to the wheel of Ixion, whom he permitted to lie down and rest himself.

Having thus appeased his anger by its gratification, he sat down to enjoy the consciousness of having administered a deserved chastisement; and taking up a huge telescope, by which he can see at once every human being, he pointed it toward the earth, that he might ascertain how the parties fared, now they were relieved from the interference of Fortune and Misfortune. But imagine, if you can, his surprise when he saw Fortune wafting to a profitable port a ship of the rich merchant; and Misfortune applying a torch to fire the dwelling of the shabby lawyer — not insured either, poor man! Jupiter snatched up a thunder-bolt, 'red with uncommon wrath,' to scath therewith, at one féll blow, the two rebellious spirits ; but accidentally casting his eyes toward the wheel of Ixion, he saw them as firmly bound thereto as when he first chained them.

How is this,' thought Jupiter; 'two Fortunes and two Misfortunes,

To re

while I created only one! Which set are the counterfeits ? solve the question, he sent Mercury to seize the two who were on earth, and drag them to Olympus. The son of Maïa departed with a speed proportioned to the power and impatience of the sender ; but with a like speed he returned and solved the mystery. The two on earth were neither Fortune nor Misfortune, though greatly resembling them in external appearance. They were not even deities, but plodding earthborn spirits, who are as steady and uniform in their ministrations as the others are fickle and capricious. Still they had interfered with Jupiter's intentions, and he resolved to extirpate them; but on looking into the Book of Fate, he found they were destined to endure as long as the human race, and their proper names are Management and Mismanagement. What could be done under the circumstances Jupiter resolved to do, for he much wished to relieve himself from the imputation that Heaven permits Fortune and Misfortune to govern the world, or organizes some men for eloquence and literature, others for ineloquence and ignorance; some men for riches and honor, others for poverty and dishonor. And to place the future beyond all contingency, he issued a decree, supplemental to the one already announced, and which, like it, is to endure till the end of time, that Management and Mismanagement shall be subject to the control of mankind only, and be employed by every man as the man himself shall direct. That the person who most eschews Mismanagement, and who employs Management most skilfully and diligently, shall saw the most wood, if he directs his efforts to that object; he shall obtain the most literature and eloquence, if he directs his efforts to those objects; and he shall accumulate the most money, if he applies himself to the acquisition of property.

[blocks in formation]

Boy, bring me the wine that remains in the cup!
For this night, if to Eden your soul were caught up,
Ye would sigh for the bowers of Mosella the fair,
And the sweet streams of Rockna that murmur not there.

They told me the maid whom I prized most of late
Had spoke of her love in the language of hate :
Ah! no- bitter words never came from a lip
Where the red ruby laughed and invited to sip.

Yes, Hafiz, thy song not unsweetly was sung,
For its words were like pearls, which beauty had strung ;
And the soft balmy light which it sheds upon love,

Is like that which the Pleiads shower down from above.


[blocks in formation]

Once again on the hill-side the young grass is springing ;

Once more the bright waters flow sparkling and free;
And afar in the wild-wood the blithe bird is singing,

And faint on the breeze floats the song of the bee:
But my hopes that are flown will return again never,

And vain is the music of spring-time to me;
I but feel from thy side I am parted forever,

And sad is the heart that throbs only for thee.

Still close to my bosom I cherish the token

Thy hand pressed in mine, while you vowed to be true;
And my cheek told the tale that my lips had ne'er spoken,

As we sat on the bank where the wild-flowers grew:
I watched for thee long, till the pale flowers perished,

And the dead leaves fell quiv'ring to earth silently,
And all the bright dreams that my bosom once cherished

Had fled from the heart that throbs only for thee.

0 C T O B E R.

October in the wilderness ! How silent! how glorious! A veil of smoke hangs over the mighty stretch of wood, and quivers all around through its gorgeous aisles, while the dead leaves, like floating blossoms, roll through it, swayed by Autumn's faintest sigh. Yon lake, wrapped in a soft haze, lies asleep in the golden arms of the forest. The very mountain, which towers above it, dyed to its very peak, nods amid the dozy air, and showers down its drapery upon its still waters. Afar, beyond the lake, a small prairie, like a little sea, sends its gores up into the main land, with here and there an island of trees, that looks in the distance like globes of fire suspended between the heavens and the earth. There is the tread of the wild-fowl, the gathering in of the squirrel, the tap of the acorn — all mingled. Hark! it is the partridge. She walks demurely and cautiously toward yon log, and mounting it with a dignity as stiff as great Cæsar's, thunders away to the whole surrounding wood. The Power that made her spins her garments and spreads her board. Her harvest of wild berries ripens for her without thought or care. Away she whirrs and soars, her form waning fainter and fainter in the changing shadows that flicker around, until she is lost.

Chickaree! chickaree! chickaree! Good morning to you, Mr. Chipmuck. And so you are gathering in your winter stores. That acorn under which you are staggering is as great a tug as a mountain to a

[ocr errors]

giant. That's the third time you have attempted to grasp it, but it rolls

away. There, now you have it. Chickaree!- and darting away, his little chequered mantle is swallowed up in the earth. And away down there his little palace is built, as noble as a lord's. It is warm with furs, and its granaries are full. The blast of winter, as it howls

above him, cannot penetrate his home. I have great respect for the v chipmuck, for he belongs to the aborigines. His forefathers, I am very

credibly informed, crossed Bhering's Straits thousands of years ago, on a piece of bark, using their tails for masts and sails, as squirrels now do when crossing streams. Oh! that the history of the continent could be revealed by you! The mound-builders and thy race were contemporary Your ancestry runs back into generations of men, who have only left us their monuments and their bones. Chickaree! - and out he flies, and chattering up a mighty oak hard by, buries himself in its top. And that oak, reader, will count ten centuries by its rings, (those notches of time,) covering more than thirty generations. It was here where Peter the Hermit preached his crusade; and the gale that wafted the May Flower shook, perhaps, its green top in its westward flight. Yet there it stands, deep-rooted in a mound filled with the remains of a people ; and that people, reader - why their stony faces are now grinning at us from the monuments that are shrowded in the silence and gloom of Palenque. At least, so I am informed.

Hark! 't is the drone of the Bee. How he blows his tiny trumpet in the autumnal sky, now swelling, now dying, as he winds away, the strain of his horn sinking less and less, until it expires in the finest and most exquisite thread of melody! That bee is not alone. He is one of a colony, whose city, streaming with wild honey, is built high up in the trunk of yonder gnarled beech. And that city, reader, holds its queen, its military, its police, and its commons. Its streets, squares and edifices, are built with a strength and economy that mathematics cannot improve. O man, who cannot find any evidence of a SUPREME BEING, study the government, the art and science, that controls and preserves that little colony! You


almost see the awful presence of Deity moving behind it.

Ha! ha! Mr. Grasshopper, arrayed in your green surtout, and high mounted on yon tall spire of grass, how those gauze-like wings shiver out their music, though touched, methinks, now and then with a note of melancholy. Relatively, you are a great body. The chain of animated nature that reaches around the earth runs far below thee in minuteness of form, down — down beyond the reach of eye or ear.

But, reader, the whole forest is peopled; a world of life, the half of which is unknown, is here cared for by their CREATOR. This is their palace. The sun their light by day, as well as ours; the moon their lamp at night; the drifted leaves, rich as woven rainbows, their couch : their board is ever spread, without care. They have but to gather in. The curse was upon man alone.

And, reader, the red man is here a fragment only of a great tribe. Alone he sits on yonder cliff, gaudily clad, his bark-canoe anchored below him. He too is here, a wanderer in a deserted temple - the last of the worshippers. The solemn drapery of October hangs around as

« AnteriorContinuar »