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greatest belles, who are now returning from their morning shopping. One is a fashionable, the other a sentimental, and they are equally beau. tiful. A very fine gentleman is just making his bow to them. Pray notice the difference in their reception of it. The fashionable tosses her head with more haughtiness than ever, while the gentle Evelina has put on her most pensive smile and most graceful bend of the neck. Which do you like best?
Next comes a poor, old man, tottering wearily along to the alms. house. His dress is mean and even ragged, but the expression in his face of a deeply fixed and despairing sorrow, is infinitely more touching than the miserable appearance of his garments. He was once rich, but his wealth has been squandered and his heart broken, by his undu. tiful and ungrateful son. His was the sin of Eli, and Eli-like, full dearly has he expiated his fault.
Look next at that group of boys just dismissed from school. They are all elasticity, and laugh, as they bound along, as if noise and motion were the chief pleasures of existence.
There is one behind who does not join in the sport, but still seems, by his placid smile, to sympathize with the joy of his comrades. It is the little lame boy. His face is the perfection of childish beauty,—and when you see his dark, blue eye, so soft, yet so full of thought,-his Grecian forehead and features—his pale, delicate cheek—his mouth, with that still, tranquil expression we often admire in pictures all receiving a more finished grace from the thick, clustering ring. lets of rich auburn-you would wish heaven had laid misfortune upon any one rather than upon so perfect a being. But in another moment you would change your mind—for you would see that it was affliction which gave to his face that expression which you love far more than his beauty—and through that expression, you would discover the pure and peaceful mind, far better than beauty, which affliction has also given him. The bell rings for dinner, and I must discontinue my observations.
Greenfield High School, June 23, 1830.
A FLIGHT OF FANCY.
As sadly, last night, on my pillow I lay,
While sleep from my feverish eye-lids would flee,
On her wings of soft azure, came floating to me.
'Tis an elf that comes down from her home in the sky,
With her silvery wand, and her mantle of light,
To chase from my pillow the horrors of night.
MEANS OF CULTIVATING YOUTHFUL FEELINGS.
Last eve, she wove round me her mightiest spell,
And drew my soul forth from its prison of clay,
And flew, with my kind, little fairy away!
In an instant, we passed yonder mountains of blue,
For we shot through the clouds like the lightning's wild gleam,
Nor paused as we met it one pale, starry beam.
The gay, varied landscape, unheeded we passed,
Nor lingered one moment its loveliness o'er,
At that dearest of places, my own cottage door.
MEANS OF CULTIVATING YOUTHFUL FEELINGS.
"My heart leaps up, when I behold
The feeling which the poet has here expressed does honor to his heart, and the truth of the sentiment as to the connection of childhood with the current of after years, is so unquestionable, that no one will think of denying it. The dawn is not a surer token of morning—as, at its first blush, when “ blinking upon the hills,” it spreads across the eastern horizon, calling up new
beauties with which to hail the expected “monarch of day"—than are the incipient developments of character, gleaming out in the mind of infancy and childhood, a promise and a presage of that assemblage of traits and dispositions which the revelation of years of manhood and age will yet unfold. Within that little bosom, scarce beating with new-born, life-pent up, as it were, in the delicate frame over which, with all the tenderness of a mother's love, a mother is bending in watchful guardianship, and on which a father's eyes are fondly gazing in proud anticipation-within that baby visage and form, lies enshrined a gem of priceless value—a germ is there, which is yet to shoot forth, luxuriant in its beauty or its unsightliness, and to hang its ripening fruitage, rich in blessings, on the altar of human weal, or to shade and darken by its noxious growth, the fair promises and prospects of life's better joys. Passions are there slumbering, feel
ings and affections are there just struggling forth into existence, which are destined yet to wake to action, and it may be to make earth to wail, or to wear a brighter smile of gladness. Such, indeed, is the connection of childhood with after-life.
In a former number of the Microcosm, we proffered a hasty sketch respecting “ the cultivation of youthful feelings in the after periods of life," and intimated the possibility, that, at some future season, we might resume the subject. We now design to fulfill this half-made promise. Our readers, we trust, will bear in mind the kind of feelings which we have designated. It is the unsophisticated, fresh, and warm current of emotions and affections, which leave their traces on the young and ingenuous mind and heart—the sympathies, the charities, the loves, the uttered vows, and the uncorrupted purposes of childhood. How are these to be cherished, to be inwoven and incorporated with the hours and years of all coming life; how are the simplicity that charms, the sweet. ness that wins, the humility that reproves, and the confidence that disarms—how are these, tempered by knowledge and judgment, to be kept alive and influential, so that, though more vigorous and athletic, yet the whole frame work of maturer years may still seem as if imbathed in and quickened by childhood's spirit?
Surely not, we reply, by despising this period of life and withdrawing from all participation in its hopes and enjoyments. The moment that we cease our sympathies with any object, that moment we break from the circle of its influence. No matter whether thrown off by some sud. den convulsion and sundered at once, or whether by a more gradual and voluntary process we unloose ourselves; yet, if the chain that bound us is severed, a new world of being fastens on us its fetters and we own no more the claims which find no response in our bosoms. The forms that beckoned us on and the scenes that beguiled us then, may not be entirely gone ; but they are too shadowy and too distant to catch the eye which is fixed by some newer and nearer objects; the voices have lost their charm, and fall heedless on the ear that is music. bound by other strains. Habit too strengthens the force of every pas. sion and feeling. Are our habits of life so formed and guided, that we strangely seek to deny the testimonies of memory and observation, and view the earlier periods of life only as those of weakness and folly, which it is manly or womanly to despise, and so rush out unchecked, into the more unpardonable follies and vices of increasing years ;—not contented with the position our Creator has assigned us, do we put on the flippancy and pertness of precocious self-esteem, and press forward to crowd out those wiser and better than ourselves; to usurp the places for which we are yet unqualified—and, as if ashamed that we ever
were children, do we seek to obliterate from the page of memory the · record of those days of comparative innocence and peace, and coldly
quench the sympathies which now and then call us back to mingle in the glow of youthful feelings—if so, we shall indeed too surely be suc. cessful in the maddened purpose. The spark of generous sensibility which, fanned into a flame, might, with more than Orphean power, make even the marble heart to move to its tones of music, and give forth a harmony truer and sweeter than ever was yielded from the
MEANS OF CULTIVATING YOUTHFUL FEBLINGS.
Memnonian statue, suffered to go out or wantonly extinguished, will not longer enliven the features with its attractive play, or lend its choice influence to irradiate and inspire the soul. The young heart too that approaches us, will feel the chilling indifference; the youthful visage, in such presence, will only wear the signs of distrust ; and the eye that would have brightened with smiles at our approach, will be turned away in the conscious assurance of finding no kindred look to give utterance with its own to the delight which is felt in such a meeting. Here again, in our waywardness, we shall most likely impute the blame not to our. selves to whom it belongs, but to the innocent being whose proffered favor we have so rudely rejected, and in this alledged course find, as we claim, a new justification for a further departure from the feeling which we had set at nought and contemned.
But a systematic, determined effort of this kind is not the only course which will lead to the result we are deprecating. A neglect of the opportunities and occasions, that appropriately tend to strengthen the influence of those purer feelings and enjoyments more peculiar to child. hood, may be attended by the same consequences. No benefit is to be enjoyed without a degree of personal interest sufficient to prompt one to aim at its attainment. So is it in this case. When we speak of the cultivation of feelings, we mean that some desire, some care, some exertion is requisite. Nor, in this matter, is the aid of the parent and guide of youth of small importance. The bearing of these feelings may be portrayed—the yearnings of the immature spirit after the accompanying claims and circumstances of manhood or womanhood, may be repressed or regulated—the whispers of flattery, those prompt. ings of others which so injudiciously instil the desire to usurp the places of seniority, and often cause the daughter, ere yet the age of girlhood has passed, ludicrously to ape her matron-mother's foibles, may be withheld and discountenanced; the proper rank and position in life enforced, and the unadorned simplicity of childhood, rather than the gewgaws of fashion, be made the suitable object of admiration.
Individuals there are, such we have known, who have maintained in no slight degree the feelings of their earlier days, and they have worn them in all their freshness and loveliness, while, amid the changes of life, sorrow has shaded their path, and years have left the traces of care and toil upon them. Neither the city nor the country could weaken the power of early associations, and unaffected as ever, they move forward, “ blessing and blest,” on their tranquil way, as if breathing a serener air and possessed by a more untroubled spirit. Fancy, chastened and refined by a truer taste, still can weave for them its tissues of beauty and call up its sprites of an hour ; imagination and memory can combine and charm back the scenes of other years; reclothe the fading visions of the past with new brightness, and revel along the sunny way: sympathy discerns and welcomes the claims that come pleading through the consciousness of by-gone days, and life writes no line of their history dearer to them than that which tells of sweet childhood, taught by their influence to cherish the heart's best virtues and shun the world's most tempting snares. On such, a parental power has been exerted. Early were they taught their appropriate place in the scale of being—to rev.
erence age-to honor worth—to love and be beloved, and win their way to the esteem and approbation of the wise and good; content to owe their advancement in life, not to the noisy panegyric of the vain and the “incense of fools,” but to the truth of claims resting on the more solid foundation of their own merits. We say, then, that in promoting the cultivation of youthful feelings as we enter upon the ad. vancing periods of life, parental influence weighs much. guides of early days, if we mistake not, is chargeable, in no slight de. gree, the breaking up of the humility, the simplicity and the ingenuousness of childhood—dispositions which, if fostered, have a nearer affinity to piety, and the influence of which renders their possessors more likely to become subjects of divine grace than those of any other period of life. If then they are made to feel, that they are men and women grown, if reproved or taunted for the lingering of the heart around its little chosen spots and means of enjoyment, if urged to sigh for an intro. duction to the levities, the kill-time inventions of ingenuity and worn. out pleasure ; we need not wonder that such bear with them no truthful republication of earlier hours, in every day's report of their advancing years.
We have thus indicated, hastily and informally, but as well as our want of leisure permits, the method proposed for the attainment of the object which we recommend. It is, to feel its importance and aim at its accomplishment, by all those means which are adapted to the subjects and the end in view. We must seize upon, cherish, prune and invigorate those tendrils of feeling which so put forth, and twine and cling around their fit objects-guard from the hot breath of flatteryshut out the choaking damps and poisonous air of dissipation-misnamed pleasure—suffer no chill indifference to nip and blast the slender stem or opening flower; but, with all the care and judgment of love, train it up where the light of life, the smiles of truth, the genial power of confiding trust, and the cheerful, gladsome beams of hope may lend their appropriate influences, to sustain, enliven and strengthen the plant of immortal growth. Systems of education, whose tendency is to foster a pert and self-approving spirit--to hurry on the dawning mind, and rudely break away from the nursery itself the subjects of its care, with. out suffering them to go through those gradations of discipline and easy transitions of teaching for which God has designed them—these reforms of our age, as they are called, that so dissever the links which a wise Providence has arranged—have something to answer for, in the corruption and obliteration of youthful feelings. To some, the sacrifice may seem amply repaid, by the plaudits of the admiring many and the gain of power—but dearly is it bought, most dearly, that chaplet twined round the brow of youthful beauty or dignity, if purchased at the price of such a loss as of youthful ingenuousness and the warm sympathies of a confiding heart. No, no, give us rather one sunny hour of childhood's sweeter joys, with its fountains of true feeling, gushing forth undisturbed and sparkling as waters of pearly brightness-its songs of heart-music, its smiles of conscious hope and love, undimmed by a tear-drop of cor. roding satiety—let us live over one such hour in memory, let us carry on with us into life, as we tread its varying paths, sympathies, and affec