Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

und spare de droubles, it would not pe pest to squash de whole proceedings — for mine vife is teadt!' We see announced the successful completion of a great artistic and literary enterprise : "The Gallery of Illustrious Americans' is now ready to deliver, in superb bindings, from fifteen to twenty-five dollars. It is called 'The Gift-Book of the Republic,' and although this name is one of some import, the work is fully worthy of the designation. It contains truthful and beautiful portraits, and ably-written biographies, of twelve of the greatest statesmen, generals, and scholars of this country, of the present age, all printed on imperial folio drawing-paper, of the most superb description. The names of the illustrious Americans are: 1. General TAYLOR. 2. J. C. Calhoun. 3. Silas Wright. 4. DANIEL WEBSTER. 5. Henry Clay. 6. John CHARLES FREMONT. 7. JOHN JAMES AUDUBON. 8. Prescott, the Historian. 9. General Scott. 10. MILLARD FILLMORE. 11. Doctor CHANNING. 12. General Cass. Such a gallery has never been published in America, nor even in Europe. It is, probably, the most splendid specimen of typography ever seen, and how any thing more chaste or beautiful could be made, we cannot well conceive. As an appropriate and elegant gift-book, it will doubtless meet with an extensive sale during the holidays. It is published by Brady, D'Avignon And Lester, the proprietors, by whose united exertions and energies it has been carried triumphantly through, and on whom, as a work of art and literature, it will confer lasting fame. "THE best and most conclusive reason for an effect, that I ever remember to have heard,' writes a western correspondent,' was one given by a 'one-idea' Deutchman, in reply to a friend who remarked: “Why, Hans, you have the most feminine cast of countenance I have ever seen.' 'Oh, yaw,' was the reply: 'I know de reason for dat ; mine moder vas a voman!!! "There is a singular contradiction,' writes' C. A.P.,' of Louisville, Ky., ' in the Merchant of Venice,' (Act I., Scene 1.,) that I do not remember to have seen noticed before, and which can scarcely be attributed to incorrectness of edition. It is as follows:

6

[ocr errors]

6

SAL. I know ANTONIO

Is sad to think upon his merchandize.
ANT, Believe me, no; I thank my fortune for it,

My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year :
Therefore,'etc.

“And yet, near the conclusion of the same scene, after the request of Bassanio, ANTONIO replies :

Thou knowest that all my fortunes are at sea ;
Nor have I money, nor commodity,
To raise a present sum; therefore go forth,
Try what my CREDIT, etc.?

We have recently enjoyed a late-October visit, by the way of the New-York and Erie rail-road, that noble enterprise of the 'Empire State,' to the charming towns of Binghamton and Owego, and delightful parts adjacent; and, on a second visit, we are more than ever impressed with what God hath done for that delicious land !' There is a sublimity in the scenes along the Delaware and Susquehanna divisions of the New-York and Erie rail-road, not elsewhere to be encountered, to the same extent, in this country. You sit in the luxurious, spacious cars, after

you
have

passed the Delaware, and look from the 'Glass-House' Palisades upon the rapid river rushing over ragged rocks ; upon the slow-moving canal-boats, on the opposite side, drawn by horses which, at the distance whence they are seen, look like rats in the family-way; VOL. XXXVI.

37

[ocr errors]

upon sweep after sweep of lofty mountains, now toppling over you, now receding at farther reach, now blue in the distance, but all opening, at unexpected intervals, into vales' stretching in pensive quietness between,' and upon 'rivers that move in majesty,' through banks clad in late Autumn's deepest green. There is nothing like it, that we have ever seen. At charming Binghamton, at pleasant Owego — at the one, the confluence of the Susquehanna with the Chenango ; at the other, the union of the former with the rushing, overflowing Owego- we had seasons of pleasant, calm enjoyment, with quiet, refined, and genial friends. We cannot but remember that such things were, that were most precious to us;' and we must therefore be pardoned for bringing, in this instance, the private I before the public eye,' for we are gossipping, and these are our thoughts, ' as they sholde comen into ye minde.' How one delicious morning, in late October, we crossed, with a few cherished friends, the broad, shinivg, dimpled, eddying Susquehanna, at Owego ; how we went through the spacious grounds of an opulent proprietor of that ilk,' drinking in, at every turn, new scenes of mem

ble beauty; how that same opulent proprietor dispensed a generous hospitality to his unexpected guests; how, on that same evening, there were encountered, on the other side of the river, at a kindred mansion, with a kindred host, a kindred welcome to kindred spirits these things remain to be written. Time presses, however, at this present; but there 's a good time coming,' in which to accomplish this labor of love, and a 'good number of the KNICKERBOCKER, we hope, in which to record it. . . . We have received the following ‘Keärd' from our learned contemporary of the 'Bunkum Flag-Stoff.' It will be seen, that unless the subscribers to that erudite and sprightly journal pay up their past dues, there is great reason to fear that the Editor may be inclined to resign the profession which is so dear to him, and of which he is so distinguished an ornament. "Tired of “The Staff!' — perish the thought! “Not a bit of it!'. we emphatically exclaim — not a bit of it! But to the card :

"A keärd.

[ocr errors]

6

Our readers and correspondents and subscribers and advertisers are requested to bear and forbear with us for the non-republication of the 'Bunkum Flag-Staff,' of which another number, at the request of friends, will appear in our January issoo, and ’xpect we shall then decline. Too much of one thing is good for nothing, and 'praps a good many getting tired of us. Literature, and an exciting life of mind, is too much for us, which now suffers like our poor brother's, with the browncreaturs in the Arkansaäs Territory, whose throat has been swabbed out with luna-caustic for the eleventh time. We got good offers to go into a better business than newspapering, having invested a sum of money in a pin-manufactory to make pins without heads in the State of Connecticut. When we are gone, who will take the part of the patent-medicine-business, and Echo answers who?

Our kindest thank will be due when our last number issood to advertisers, subscribers, and others, who have enabled us to get a living by hard labor, (which we have) betwixt the day-light and the dark. But really — and that is the 'git (soft gee) of what we got to say — the DUES OF SUBSCRIBERS to this orifice have reached such a p'int that even those who pay us in grits send

poor grits; therefore we may resign the editorial pen in favor of the ‘Trumpet-Blast of Freedom,' (and what a flatuous blast he do blow!) now being republished in "The Spirit of Times. We have humbly striven, in our peculiar way, to do good. All may not appreciate us, and think we lack dignity. One objeck has been to promote good humor, which is much lacking; another, to elevate the tone of newspapers, some of which, (but many honorable exceptions) rather vulgar ; another to get bread, (and we have received grits;) another, as we have just hinted at, to help on the patent-medicines, now passing into stomachs of community from loads of pillulæ, down to ship-loads of stickingplasters, etc. We hope we done good in our day. We would not promote the interest of any, except to help along the good of many. For that many, which is the idol of our love, we humbly strove, and if some things appear trilling, they will take the will for the deed. Staf-Office, Bunkum, November 15, 1850.

WAGBTATS.'

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6

Thus writes a kind-hearted and estimable friend, a member of the North Family' of Shakers, at New. Lebanon, to the Editor hereof: “Never having studied LAPLACE or QUITELET, I am not sufficiently skilled in 'the calculus of probabilities,' to say what number of chances to one there may be, that the accompanying cheese was partly made from the contents of that notable 'foaming Shaker pail' which so triumphantly proclaimed thy' ability to milk' in '48. However, suppositions no better founded have sometimes been made the basis of important assumptions. Please accept it from thy 'good friends of the North Family,' with their kind remembrances. We hope thy recollections of us will always be pleasureable.' In enjoying the delicious present of our friend, which is only not butter, we are taken back, in memory, to the first Shaker table we ever sat down at, and the cordiality with which we and ours were welcomed to the bounties which were spread upon its spotless purity. So that beyond its material flavor, there is a spiritual power in this token of kind remembrance, which is at once transferred from the pleased palate to the grateful, gratified heart. CAN we not, in this country, cannot our government, do something for the poor exiled Hungarians in Turkey? We know not how far treaties of peace or terms of alliance with other nations and countries may bear upon the matter; but this we know: the Sublime Porte wishes to send all the Hungarians here; they desire to come and settle in Iowa. England and France back Turkey in this, but Austria is opposing it. The Sultan, we have good reason to know, is willing to send them all in his steamers to Liverpool, and asks us to provide a passage for them from there here. Now the question is, shall we reject the benevolent Sultan's proffered hand? What has been the object of all our loud sympathy for the Hungarians? We hope and trust that some steps will be taken in this matter. We have before us a most touching letter from Kossuth, the brave Hungarian leader, written from Choumla to an esteemed American friend and correspondent, glowing with gratitude for the sympathy of America with himself and his prostrate country. Cannot something be done for the gallant Hungarian exiles? ... 'Puffer HOPKINS,' who came down from 'Arcturus’ on a ‘Behemoth,' and was only lately blowing a shrill penny'Whistle' in the streets, has ceased his piping, and come out as 'Chanticleer —cock of the walk' in his department; he having "come the evil eye' over a good fellow' who was n't afraid to publish his book!' The 'Evening Mirror' quoted lately a highly laudatory review of the work, from a forcible-fecble weekly journal of book-advertisements and other 'reading matter,' (of which Mr. Hopkins is an editor,) written, says our contemporary, by the author himself! Half enough copies to pay the expenses of printing, we are pleased to learn, were ordered before the writer's name was known; that discovered, there was first a 'decline of sales? — second, ‘no offers.' The competent critic of "The Tribune' says the book does credit to the 'good intentions' of the writer, but that the narrative is heavy,' and the rural pictures have a faded look, as if they were sketches from hearsay, rather than copies of actual experience. This is the exact truth, predicable of every description of nature by the author,' and it is just as applicable to the characters which he assumes to delineate. There is not a single touch of real nature in any character or scene ever drawn by the author of · Puffer HOPKINS.' He has words enough, PATIENCE knows, but no genius — not a scintilla. ... It was with a feeling of no common sadness that we stood recently upon 'Sh'nang P'int,' at the junction of the beautiful Susquehanna and Chenango, at Binghamton, and surveyed the autumn-scene before us. The mountains around were disrobed of their summer honors, and rose sadly upon the eye through the hazy

6

a

air ; there was a plaintive wail in the low wind; the two rivers, swollen by the autumn rains, swept resistlessly, and with funereal movement, by; and all around, and in all the air, a 'solemn stillness' reigned. As we gazed upon the gliding waters before us, there came to mind these striking lines of Watts:

* The mighty flood, that rolls

Its torrent to the main,
Can ne'er recall its waters lost

From that abyss again:
So days and years and time,

Descending down to night,
Can thenceforth never more return

Back to the scenes of light !

[ocr errors]

These thoughts were but too natural to us at that moment. A little while before we had heard of the sudden death of one who, when we were last in the place, had with several others, companions and friends, ‘Old Knick.' and his travelling companion among them, sat for a daguerreotype - group. That group is before us now; and foremost among the social brotherhood, reclining upon the carpet, and resting his head affectionately upon the knee of a friend, lies the counterfeit presentment of THOMAS JOHNson, late an officer of the Susquehanna division of the New-York and Erie rail-road. We remembered him well for a certain brightness of thought and quick appreciation, and for the evidences of a keen intellect and susceptible feeling which his pleasant conversation evinced. He was much and deservedly esteemed; and there was many a sad heart in Binghamton when intelligence reached the town that he had been crushed between two cars, and was lying upon his dying bed at a small road-side inn, near Owego. His friends hastened to his relief, but there was no hope for him in this world. As they entered the room, he said to one of them:

Off the track, and all broken up!- an eventful end to an eventful life! Soon after, he expired. He leaves a wife and child, and many friends, to mourn his untimely decease. May the God of the widow and the fatherless' protect and support his bereaved family! ... ELSEWHERE, in its appropriate department, will be found a notice of Mr. Robert Dodge's Diary in Europe.' We received three letters from the author, asking for our opinion of the work, and we did not dream, until we heard it from himself, that the book was not intended for public circulation, and it was then too late to cancel the notice to which we have referred. But the volume was for sale, and at a high price; no less than five dollars a copy being asked of those who, having been invited to do so by the author's circular, called at a metropolitan book-store to look at the work on its tables. If this is not ‘ publication,' we should like to know what is. Having expressed our own honest opinions of the work, we deem it proper to add, that there are other critics, of a high order of legal intellect, who have written to the author that, in their judgment, it is a' valuable addition to a library,' 'sprightly, convenient, and agreeable as a book of reference,' and one that will meet with the approval of his well-wishers. We have received three or four communications from those whose attention had been called to the work. The subjoined, in consonance with the maxim, Audi alteram partem,' we give, in justice to the author. It will be seen that the writer takes high ground in favor of the work :

a

MR. EDITOR : I notice in yesterday's Tribune an extract from an article over the signature of •Subscriber,' attributing to our gifted young townsman, Mr. ROBERT Dodge, the authorship of the serial publication known as the Lorgnette. Although, from facts that have come to my knowledge, I do not concur in this opinion, yet I join in the high encomium he passes upon Mr. Dodge's recent publication. It has taken the few who have had the privilege of its perusal, by surprise, and all such must acknowledge that the author bids fair to become one of the remarkable men of this century. I have recently turned my attention to ódiarys,' and taken up in course three, two of which are recently published. They are those of John Adams, (the elder) of Walter Scott, and of Mr. Robert Dodge; and although to institute a comparison between the latter and his elder predecest sors in this field of literature would be unfair, I do not hesitate to pronounce Dodge's book by far the most entertaining. There is a peculiarity about his style which many unexperienced readers would consider monotony, but to me it was the dead level of a broad fertile prairie of transcendent richness. To enjoy a diary, one must sympathize with, and for the moment exist in, and become parcel of, the writer. So in my case has it been with Dodge: when he describes his sea-sickness, I nauseated; when he dines at a consular board, I had an appetite; when he ogled a beauty at the opera, I saw through his opera-glass; and when he plucked the rose from the rich oak-carving of the cathedral at York, I involuntarily looked around for the verger who had left him to procure the key, fearing lest he might catch us both in the act.

• The writer is never enthusiastic and rarely imaginative. His lines flow with the smoothness of a well-oiled machine. Like CARLYLE, he coins at times words, and again whole sentences, to express his ideas, wherever the want of copiousness of our language embarrasses trains of thought. This is partly occasioned by necessity, and in part by long habit in using languages less restricted during his sojourn abroad. Were I called upon to name the great point in the book, I should say that its pictures of men and things were most accurate. I have never seen a finer description than he gives of the QUEEN, or a more perfect appreciation of character than that of METTERNICH. Few travellers go abroad accredited as Mr. Dodge was, who have the capacity to describe what they see. He had letters to all our consuls and to some prominent men abroad; and was so fortunate as to see the Queen and a great many of the highest nobility of England - at a fair given for the benefit of the distressed Irish. As to M. F. TUPPER, we knew little of him excepting as an author, nothing of his interesting family, until this book came out. Dodge introduces us to him as a parent, a husband and a perfect trump In the way of hospitality. The minuteness of his details, the variety of his irr cidents, the thrilling legends which he from time to time introduces, the valuable statistics given by reliable informants, and the description of the battle of Waterloo, written on the very field, and above all, the modest forgetfulness of self, which pervades every page, render the book interesting to all, and the beauty of its style, and freedom from any of the • Lotharioisms', in which the diarys of bachelors sometimes abound, would render a cheaper copy of it valuable as a class-book for younger, readers. It reminds me more strongly of the work of an author more greatly in vogue, and valuable from the minuteness of his descriptions, good old Pepys, who, in his neatly-powdered wig, wellbrushed coat, with the stately elegance of a Crichton, and the observation of a Paul Pry, jotted down the sayings and doings of his day and generation, which have now become curious to the admirers of “auld lang syne,' than any thing I have seen; and I predict that this book will be sought after by a future generation, and republished publicly, and in a cheaper form, so that all may obtain it, in the year of grace, 1950, by the grandsonis of our Putnams and APPLETONS, as containing the truest and best picture of the state of Europe in the eventful years 1849 — '50.'

a

[ocr errors]

We have often heard a friend, whom we should designate as venerable’ if he were

. not so alert of step and so young in feeling, describe the starting of Fulton's First Steam-Boat on the Hudson. Ile started from the neighborhood of Whitehall, and his clumsy craft came slowly around the Battery, and up along the North River. Of those who had assembled about the wharves to see the thing try to go,' there were many who jeered, and a few who counselled patience,' and even ventured words of encouragement. The boat was called 'The Clermont,' and this, her first trip, was attempted on the first day of August, 1807. In the neighborhood of Cortland-street dock she came to a stand-still; and while some were sneering, others croaking, and yet others denouncing, Fulton, with rolled-up sleeves, emerged from the depths of his crude engine, melting with heat, and begrimed with oil and dust, and begged the crowd to give him time to adjust some portion of his machinery, which had become disarranged, and before ridiculing his invention, to give it a fair chance. He descended again to his engine; and some fifteen minutes thereafter the first steam-boat on the Hudson began to move up the river, against the tide, at the astounding rate of four miles an hour! It reached Albany in thirty-two hours, and returned in thirty,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »