« PreviousContinue »
public.'. We suggested, not long since, that a simplification of the nomenclature of the law would not be amiss; and we ventured to offer a few arguments in support of that position. We are quite of the opinion that a similar simplification of Medical Nomenclature would prove of service to the masses. We have sometimes seen the necessity of this very ludicrously illustrated. Very much confounded was our friend Doctor Doane, a few years since, by a remark of one of his patients. The day previous, the Doctor had prescribed that safe and palatable remedy, the syrup of birch-thorn,' and had left his prescription duly written in the usual cabalistic characters : Syr. Rham. Cath.' On inquiring if the patient had taken the medicine, a thunder.cloud darkened her face ; lightning flashed from her eyes; and she roared out: “No! I can read your doctor-writing - and I aint a-goin to take the Syrup of Ram-Cats for any body under God's heaven!' 'Hence we view the great necessity there is' of a material change in our medical nomenclature. • . . THERE is a small class of 'entertainers,' if such they may be called, who have a very mistaken idea of what constitutes true hospitality. We have heard of some 'hospitable' tables in this town where it is made a sine qua non that a guest on his initiation shall be drank under the table;' and no man who is not carried home on a shutter is entitled to a subsequent place at the board of his host. We are struck with an illustration of the true nature of such enforced hospitality,' which we find in a review of the Life of Marion:''He was not present when the city surrendered. He had marched in from Dorchester when his services were needed, but an accident removed him and preserved him for greater achievements. Dining with some friends in Tadd-street, the host, through a blind hospitality, turned the key upon his guests, that they might not escape until gorged with wine. Marion was a temperate man, and resolutely raised the window and let himself out upon the pavement. The fall, from the second story, cost him a broken ankle. The injury was severe, and disabled him for many months. He left the city in a litter, according to the orders of LINCOLN, for the departure of all officers unfit for duty.' He retired to his residence in St. John's parish. His mental and bodily sufferings while thus confined can be imagined.' Most persons have heard perhaps of the direction given by a gawk to a traveller: 'You go down this road, till you come to Squire Jones' house, which always stands by a little yaller dog.' An amusing continental traveller — who was so 'indifferent to natural scenery that he rode around the lake of Geneva in a char-à-banc, with his back to the lake – adopts a similar transposition. He tells us that the German universities are always placed at the seats of celebraled beer! The French traveller in Scotland, who reported that at every village they kept relays of dogs to bark the feeble coach-horses on toward the next one, did not awaken more ludicrous associations. The continental genileman might as well have assumed, from a little circumstance of which he makes mention, that there prevails in Italy a universal taste for wine with a fly in it;' for he tells us that they never put corks into their wine-bottles; and that consequently the neck of the bottle for several inches becomes quite full of flies. "When I poured out some wine into my glass, perhaps a hundred drowned fies came out with a small quantity of liquor, like currant-sauce for roast pig.' ... It was a sad thing for the early admirers of STERNE's “Sentimen. tal Journey' to be obliged to revise their opinion of its author. They were unwilling to believe that while he was writing so feelingly upon an imprisoned bird, and sympathizing so warmly with a dead ass, he could have been in the habit of grossly ill-treating his wife and family at home. Some such feeling came over us, while reading WORDSWORTH’s remonstrance, in a late London journal, against the construction of a rail-road through the beautiful lake-district of England. The love of his kind, the interest which he feels for the Peter Bells around him, seems to be something more than questionable, when we find him contending that no good is to be obtained by transferring uneducated persons in large bodies' to see the lake scenery of England. They cannot have acquired the proper educated habit of observing and studying such scenes. The “tempting of artisans, laborers, and the humbler classes of shop-keepers, to ramble to a distance,' to look upon Nature in her loveliest forms and moods,' it seems is a thing not to be thought of.
Such is the difference between preaching and practice. The London Speciator' weekly journal, adverting to this evidence of Wordsworth’s real character, remarks, that it raises unpleasant notions, and will form unwelcome materials for the immortal bard's future biographer.' It is a little amusing to see the earnestness with which some of the London journalists go about to fortify the argument that the lower orders’ are really capable of feeling and enjoying the beauties of nature and of art. A crowd of people, we are gravely informed,' although,'as is pointedly mentioned, “poor and humble in exterior,' while examining - The Mourners,' a group of statues exhibited at Westminster-Hall,' were affected to such a degree, that tears coursed down their rough and care-worn cheeks! Indeed! Who would have thought it possible! . . . We have already encountered one or two parodies upon Mr. Poe's · Raven,' but have seen nothing so faithful to the original, nor so well executed in all respects, as one which has been sent us, entitled • The Black Cat.' The lines purport to have ‘slipped from the hat of a wild-looking young man, as he rushed from the door of a respectable house in one of our inland towns. It only serves to show the effect upon country minds of so large an amount of 'pokerishpess' as was con. tained in the poem alluded to.' We subjoin a few stanzas:
*Wuen at midnight gently dozing, on my humble couch reposing,
• Is it aught or is it naught?'
Then said I, with whispered wonder, 'What in thunder! what in thunder!
Whether it was aught or naught.
• Then I felt a little better, and my fears dropped like a fetter
Carlo, ne'er by me forgot.
Soon, with trenibling limbs uprising, in excitement past disguising,
Other object there was not.
•From the casemeut I retreated, but again was hardly sealed,
* After all, perhaps 't is naught.'
«Then I turned me, half despairing, with a kind of desperate daring,
He who was but now is not.'
Hence it was not · Carlo,' but a huge Black Cat,' with tail aspiring gifted, and bristling back uplifted,' between 'whom' and the writer there ensues a colloqny, which is quite like the conversation carried on between Mr. Poe and The Raven.' ...MERE stupidity,' says a clever modern essayist, 'accompanied by a certain degree of fluency, is no inconsiderable power. It enables its possessor to protract a contest long after he is
beaten, because he neither understands his own case, nor the arguments which have been triumphantly used against him.' This remark came to our mind recently, while perusing in a northern journal a long and labored reply to our brief strictures upon the undigested odds-and-ends that go io make up a slip-shodical book, facetiously termed • Boyd's Rhetoric' by the compiler thereof. The writer of the article in question, beyond all doubt our author himself, says: 'I had myself formed a very favorable opinion of Mr. Boyd's work.' • Altogether likely;' but in common with several of our contemporaries, we had formed quite another opinion of the book, from the book itself, knowing nothing and caring less about the compiler-author. Mr. Boyd, by a pleasant PECKSNIFFIAN method of reasoning, makes the village where he resides a theme of defence against our ó aspersions!' Rather .a weak invention,' but characteristic enough. The bump of esteem' for mere pen-andink book-makers, adepts at nothing save verbosity and scissors, is very faintly propelled on our cranium; and when in the exercise of professional duty we manifest this . deficiency,' we must expect to take the consequences; for
'Who e'er felt the halter draw,
With good opinion of the law ?' The rhetorican's desence of his book is a very weak one; indeed, except the book itself, we remember nothing more contemptible. But we trifle time.' Good morning, Mr. Boyd! ... We came across the following the other day; and so forcibly, so vividly does it portray the thoughts which have a hundred times passed through our own minds, when surveying similar scenes, that it seemed more a remembrance than any new thing:' “We often pause beneath the windows of some public hospital, and picture to ourself the gloomy and mournful scenes that are passing within. The sudden movement of a taper, as its feeble ray shoots from window after window, until its light gradually disappears, as if it were carried farther back into the room, to the bed-side of some suffering patient, is enough to awaken a whole crowd of reflections; the mere glimmering of the low-burning lamps, which, when all other habitations are wrapped in darkness and slumber, denote the chamber where so many forms are writhing with pain, or wasting with disease, is sufficient to check the most boisterous merriment. Who can tell the anguish of those weary hours, when the only sound the sick man hears, is the disjointed wanderings of some feverish slumberer near him, the low moan of pain, or perhaps the muttered, long-forgotten prayer of a dying man? Who but those who have felt it, can imagine the sense of loneliness and desolation which must be the portion of those who in the hour of dan. gerous illness are left to be tended by strangers; for what hands, be they ever so gentle, can wipe the clammy brow, or smooth the restless bed, like those of mother, wife, or child ? ... That was strong presumptive evidence' of personal cleanliness, which was conveyed by the reply of a lad to a gentleman who asked him why it was that his father came to have such dirty hands : ''Cause,' said he, he is always wiping them on his face. The old gentleman usually illustrated a small distance, as for example, three. fourths of an inch, by saying, “ It was as broad as the black of my nail.' Every body has heard of the man who said, in reply to a remark touching an'awful pause' in a company, that he guess'd they'd have awful paws too, if they performed as much labor as he did.' The following, however, is the most amusing application of the word that we remember ever to have seen: •At an election dinner at Cambridge, the mayor sat at one end of the table, and Sir PETER PAwsEy, a gentleman of good estate, at the other. Sir Peter's son, a raw, long-legged lad from Harrow, was also at table. After dinner, the general buzz that frequently occurs in a large mixed party was succeeded by a momentary silence.
Here is one of those awkward pauses that one sometimes meets with at table,' observed the mayor to a doctor of civil laws on his right. Well, the conversation went on, and in about ten minutes a cessation of talk suddenly took place. • Here is another of those awkward pauses at table, repeated the mayor to the doctor. Not half so awkward as a Cambridge mayor! bellowed Sir Peter Pawsky, casting a furious glance at the astonished
chief magistrate. The fact is, the baronet had pocketed the first supposed personal affront, which he had taken to himself; but the second, glancing as it seemed to do upon his dar. ling and only sun, was too much for his endurance.' • Sunday in a Country Village has been somewhat anticipated by a paper included in the Sketches of the Country,' by our friend. N. S. D.,' entitled 'Sunday in New-England.' The present sketch is well written, especially that portion of it which depicts the Paul-Pryhood of a small village on the Sabbath.
• As the poet says: On Sunday is the time, of course,
Open a shutter, turn a lock,
The whole row feels the electric shock,
Springs tilt their blinds up-throwing;
And every ear and every eye
Darls to one centre, to descry
Who's coming or who's going.
We have dropped in on two or three occasions to hear Mr. Hudson discuss the merits of that very clever writer, Mr. WilliAM SHAKSPEARE, of whom most persons had by parcels something heard,' before Mr. Hudson, like • Peter Cram at Tinnecum,' had cal'lated to lectur' among us. We were not a little disappointed the first time we heard him. Notwithstanding the Boston prestige which preceded his advent, we had not listened to him for ten minutes, before we said, mentally:
'He is one of the tribe who subsist hy their wits,
Remembered by starts and forgotteu by fits;' and it will go nigh to be thought so, shortly. But, however natural the inference, this proved not to be altogether a ‘righteous judgment.' His gestures, his manner, his intonations, were — we desire to use a mild term - ridiculous. St. Vitus and the Rev. Mr. Mawworm seemed contending for the mastery in the composition of bis style. And what was worse than all, the fact could not be disguised that his manner was assumed - that it was not natural. Affectation of any kind is sufficiently contemptible; but affectation of uncouthness strikes us as the height of vulgarity. That his manner was affected, could not, as we have said, be disguised; and moreover it was proved by the fact that the speaker found it necessary, in his subsequent lectures, greatly to subdue and modify his ludicrous defects. They were found not to do,’exactly, in this meridian. Mr. Hudson is a striking lecturer. He has been a diligent student of SHAKSPEARE, but a still more faithful compiler of the opinions of his commentators; some of whom he condemned in no measured terms, while he was actually serving out their own criticisms upon the Great Bard, after an antithetical method of his own, which to those not conversant with Hazlitt, SCHLEGEL, COLERIDGE, and other writers upon the characters of SHAKSPEARE, doubtless seemed as original in matter as in manner. We recognized many an old friend in his transposed and inverted thoughts; just as CARLYLE would have recognized himself in the lecturer's de. scription of Burns in the society of Edinburgh, on his first visit to the Northern Metropolis. Mr. Hudson possesses earnestness of manner; he has fortified himself for his task by some reading and much remembering ; he has occasional feeling, underneath all the semblances of uncouthness which he no doubt finds to stand him in good stead, in one point of view; and these are his principal attractions. But, with our contemporary, the · Albion’ weekly journal, we decline to receive as a capable erpounder of SHAKSPEARE one who holds such absurd opinions touching the character of POLONIUS, and who denies to Lady MACBETH the possession of mind. • . . Our story of the negro who hear'n sumfin drop' when he fell from the top of a tree, has recalled to the mind of a friend in the country the following circumstance: ‘A young gentleman, a member of our college, was expelled for the crime of drawing young ladies up to his room at night, and letting them down in the morning by means of a rope and basket arranged from his window. Of course a great deal of gossiping conversation was the consequence. The following colloquy occurred between two young ladies : ‘JANE, do you really believe that students draw girls up to their rooms ?' *Certainly, my dear; more than that, I know they do.' 'How? Well, I was going by the colleges one morn
ing; it was just before light; ’t was very early in the morning; and I heard a noise in the direction of one of the college-buildings. I looked that way, and as plain as I see you now, I saw a girl in a basket, about half-way from a three-story window to the ground; and just then the rope broke, and down I came!' Very improper, JANE — very!
Not on the Battle-Field' is the striking title of a noble poem from the pen of Reverend JOHN PIERPONT, of Boston, contributed to a recent number of The Peace Advocate.' It . has this motto from The Neighbors:' *To fall on the battle-field fighting for my country, that would not be hard.' The poet expresses a different aspiration; although it is not in conformity exactly with the sentiments of a former poem of his, in which these lines occur:
In the God of Battles trust;
Be consigned so well?' as - where, do you suppose, reader? Why, on the battle-field! But n'importe : the following is otherwise considered : O NO, DO— let me lie
But, as his eye grows dim,
What is a column or a mound to him?
What, to the parting soul,
of drums? No: let me die That I have drawn against a brother's life, Where the blue heaven bends o'er me lovingly, Be in my haud when death
And the soft summer air, Thunders along, and tramples me beneath As it goes by me, stirs my thin white hair, His heavy squadron's heels,
And from my forehead dries Or gory felloes of his cannon's wheels.
The death-damp as it gathers, and the skies
Seem waiting to receive
My soul to their clear depths! Or let me leave *From such a dying bed,
The world, when round my bed Though o'er it float the stripes of white and red,
Wife, children, weeping friends are gathered ; And the bald eagle brings
And the calm voice of prayer The clustered stars upon his wide-spread wings, And holy hymning shall my soul prepare To sparkle in my sight,
To go and be at rest O, never let my spirit take her flight!
With kindred spirits - spirits who have blessed
The human brotherhood
By labors, cares, and counsels for their good.
"And in my dying hour, And sunshine flashes on the lifted lance :
When riches, fame and honor have no power I know that bards have sung,
To bear the spirit up,
Or from my lips to turn aside the cup
That all must drink at last,
Then let my soul run back,
With peace and joy, along my earthly track, Such honors grace the bed,
And see that all the seeds I know, whereon the warrior lays his head That I have scattered there in virtuous deeds, And hears, as life ebbs out,
Have sprung up, and have given, The conquered Aying, and the conqueror's shout. | Already, fruits of which to taste in heaven!'
There is a something which seems to us prosaic in the construction of the lines we have omitted; the familiar names, perhaps, of the towns and monuments that bear record of American valor; and the mere remark, 'Some of these piles I've seen,' with which they are introduced. But the ensuing, as a picture, is perfect, and 'sweetly musical:'
• THY • tomb,' THEMISTOCLES,
And which the waters kiss
And thine, too, have I seen,
That, like a natural knoll,
Watched by some turbaned boy,
A profound essay upon The Spirit of the Age,' in a late English Magazine, contains many hopeful auguries of the general peace of the world in all future time. Instead of