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THE UNITED STATES LITERARY GAZETTE.
particulars respecting the crow and the icicle above | If I do not remember the moment of my birth, this pounded to me and my sisters (for the rest of our mentioned, I was told, while yet smarting under moment I should never forget, were I to live to the vegetable neighbours were asleep) the next mornthe pain of the accident, by my neighbour and gos- age of the oak. Amidst the innumerable objects, ing; and though a violet's existence is computed sip, a withered sprig of spear-grass, which had al- all beautiful and new, above and around,--the birds by minutes instead of years, I thought it worth ready outlived two winters, and was notoriously fitting through the air, the insects creeping among while having been born a flower to see this. the greatest gossip that grew for ten fields round. the herbage, the flowers of many hues that blos- “ But the charm was abruptly broken by a hideBy this merry blade I was taught the rudiments some on my native bank, mine ancient gossip,ous scaring noise directly over our heads. To of useful knowledge ; and whether you believe the spire of dry grass with two withered blades hoo! Tohoo! Tohoo! it cried, and forth from the me or not, I will venture to affirm that my precep- hanging down, and high over all, the patriarchal hollow of the oak issued a giant of a screech-owl tress was as good a schoolmistress as any old wo, oak, towering, and, as it appeared to me, touching Plumb into the midst of the rejoicing assembly be man of eighty within the ring of our bells, and the sky,—nothing caught my attention longer than plunged, when all the fays and fairies (for so I ur myself as good a scholar, at the week's end, as any while I cast a glance across it. As soon as I had derstand they are called in the language of men) little boy or girl three hundred times my age, and looked thus hastily about me, I fixed my eye on with a sound as if the strings of a thousand musical ten thousand times my bulk. During my minority, the sun, coming forth from his golden palace : - as instruments were at once snapt asunder, vanished that is, till my blossom opened, I was blind; and he rose in the firmament, my petals spread wide to in the twinkling of a dew-drop,-except Roben in truth I had then only two of the five senses by receive his ray, and my breath grew sweeter; while Goodfellow, the merriest elf among them all, who which you animals vainly imagine that you are dis- I sighed in the delight of beholding him all day had been playing his antics with me and my sisters tinguished above us vegetables: but let me tell you, long, with the occasional intervention of a cloud, all night, and was then standing on his head, fiddling that I could feel as exquisitely as yourself, Madam and the floating shadows of taller plants around with his legs in the air, on one of my topmost pe Indeed I doubt whether an icicle" a quarter of an that alternately crossed and cleared my sight, 1 tals. Neck and heels, in his fright, poor Robin ! inch long, falling upon your head, would have cost traced the splendid luminary in his course to the he tumbled, a height of three statute-inches at you half the anguish, that such an infliction cost meridian, and downward through a crimson colour- least, into the hollow of one of my footleaves, me. And as for hearing, certainly you will not ed sky, till behind the old oak he vanished from me. where he lay stunned for a full half-second, and pretend to measure your ears with mine: I dare I felt my lively spirits sinking as he declined: when then I saw no more of him. say you never heard a stalk of grass speak in your he was gone, vision began to fade; the objects near " The owl, with another cry of triumph more life; I have heard one uttering oracles all day long, me lost their colour, then their form; I was alarm- horrible than the first, hurried back to bis des -aye, and all night too; for my neighbour talked ed; I thought that my primitive blindness was re- among the ivy of the oak; the moon was becloudas much in her sleep, and as much to the purpose, turning ; the air grew chill; I bowed upon my bed, ed, and I fell asleep again. Lest you should do as when she was awake.
and oppressed with indescribable dejection, I fell the same, -- or rather that you may do the same.“Now while I was blind, I had nothing to do but into a deep slumber.
Madam, I will here make a break in my narrative to grow wiser and bigger every day;-bigger I did " Thanks to the sweet deceiver, Sleep! In my to you. But I must continue it by myself
, and be grow, for I could not help it, and wiser,-- but I must dream (for flowers dream as well as sleep, whatever queath the remainder to you in my will; for though not boast, lest I should prove myself a fool: I may botanists may say,) the glorious image of the sun I am up to the neck in water,-the only means of say, however, that I do not recollect that I ever arose on my imagination, and I spent my day over prolonging my life, after I had been mortally lost a moment in all my schooling, with the old again in the night. From this delicious trance, I wounded by one of the fairest hands in the world, beldame of our bank-side, or under a much higher was awakened by strains of music so inspiring, as you will learn hereafter,--I feel that I shall not and more accomplished tutor, at whose feet I was that I found myself and sisters involuntarily,--and live till to-morrow morning. Meanwhile, and with brought up, and by whom I was as carefully instruct yet, oh! how willingly dancing with all our my sweetest breath, and last, I am, ed, as if, instead of a few spring-days, my life was leaves and blossoms to the melody, which came
Yours, for ever, to equal your grandmother's. This august and ven- nearer, and grew merrier every moment. There erable personage was no other than a majestic was a very pale twilight in the air, when glancing
LETTER II. oak, that had outlasted twenty generations of your upward, I' perceived a dark cloud with a silver marlong-lived race, and five hundred of ours; nay, it gin; in the middle of which there appeared a bright “Dear Madam, had stood so long against the strokes of time and spot, that became thinner and thinner, as if melting "I did not awake out of this second sleep till death, that it had survived two-thirds of itself, be away, till a beautif.. orb broke through it. It was the sun had given his own colour and lustre to the ing only a ruin, yet, even in decay, more magnificent the moon, a little on the wane, which had risen morning-clouds; but the dew, into which an early than a forest of brambles in their glory. This oak, after my eye closed, and was now half-way up the hoar-frost had resolved itself
, lay white upon the which was, or pretended to be, --for I could not sky. She was not so gorgeous as the sun; but in ground, and there was a globale, as big as a lady's help suspecting some unacknowledged gaps in the the first joy of discovering her, I thought ter a tear, in my eye, that entirely filled it. avenue of his genealogy, my honoured tutor having thousand times more lovely; for just then I recol. “At half-past nine o'clock in the forenoon, only one weak point about him, and that was a lected, that while I was falling asleep, I had fancied butterfly, the first that I had seen, --indeed the first certain pride of ancestry incomprehensible to us that I was losing my sight. In the transport of of the season--came fluttering over us. Our chat ephemeral things,-a very commendable pride, having this restored, I had no ear for music: I was was immediately suspended, and every eye folloiryou will perhaps say, in the stump of an old tree! all eye, and that eye was all moon, for I saw noth ed the brilliant stranger, while he sported to and -Be it so,--but I must begin the last sentence ing else ; till suddenly her beams appeared alive, fro, displaying his elegant form and gay apparel in again. This oak, which was, or pretended to be, and in motion toward me. Millions, aye millions, every attitude; hovering here, descending there, the twelfth in descent from one that grew on the of little beings, in form like the lords of creation, alighting powhere. We violets breathed our sighs same slope at the creation, was a marvellous lin- and as brilliant as if they had been born in ladies' of sweetness to allure him; the daisies,-poor guist, having in the course of its own five centuries, eyes, came pouring upon our bank-side, and cover things, how I pitied them !-blushed to the tips of acquired all the knowledge that had been accumu- ed it as thick as dew-drops. The music, which their petals
, for it was plain that he despised them; lated in its family, and transmitted by due inherit- was as much too exquisite for human ears as these the primrosss shivered with spleen, for they were ance from sire to son, for nearly six thousand shapes were too fine for human sight, continued in the shade, and he never went near them; the years.
meanwhile to swell and fall, and float, and quicken, butter-cups blazed out in golden splendour, and • My Royal Oak, however, was very kind and and languish. It seemed a moving spirit among they seemed his favourites, for now he dipt towards condescending to me; and from his sage lessons I these lively little things; sometimes they ran out one, then towards ano her of them, till, to the chagrin learned as much of the works of nature and art. of in lines all the way up to the moon and back again; and astonishment of all, he at length settled on a the actions of animals human and brute, of ethics anon they wheeled in rings so swift as to be indi; glaring yellow dandelion, the vulgarist flower on the and English grammar, as you might suppose a violet vidually indistinguishable ; again they intermingled bank, with which not one of us would even exof tolerable parts, improving every instant, could ac- in measures so slow, that every feature of the small change a word; and there he sate in the sun, openquire in ten days ; so that when I came of age on est face was easily discerned. Love, joy, grief, ing and shutting his burnished wings, with ineffable the eleventh, I was prepared to begin the world to hope, fear, and every passion, were expressed in self-complacency; for it was soon evident that the advantage, having pretty clear ideas of every thing their countenances, carolled in their songs, and coxcomb chose the gaudy weed, not for the love of I might expect to behold when the universe became represented in their dances. They flew among us it, but because its broad disk afforded him a con visible to me,—for you will recollect that I was and over us, with steps so light that we bent notvenient resting-place, on which he could expand blind during the whole of my nonage.
our heads beneath their volatile feet; when his gold and purple finery to the admiration, as he
, my eye- they touched us, we felt in ourselves the very affec, thought, of all that beheld him. We were so pro-
sailant seemed so rough and warlike in form ; nay, 1 barrels, and an occasional clodpole, in his smock tinuous existence, and its history "might be so unceremonious were his manners, if manners frock, whistling as he went for want of thought," written, as if it were that of an individual. they may be called, that he instantaneously saluted -a little company of human beings, consisting of There were ages when it rejoiced in the me, bore me down to the ground, and began suck- yourself, and a few of your friends of either sex, ing my breath till I was ready to faint; then off he came sauntering down the lane. While I was gaz- novelty of existence; when it bounded rapflew, singing as he went, without noticing another ing with delightful astonishment on the apparition, idly along in a career of developement and blossom on the bank. When I had a litle recov- one of you won't say who-stept aside, and discovery, with little regard to detail, and ered from the confusion occasioned by this rencon- plucked me. O the pang of that separation ! may yet less to objections. Now there are, and tre, I perceived that my neighbours were all sneer- you never feel one so sharp, or, if you must, sunny long have been, established principles, and ing at me, and sneering so enviously that I soon it be as momentary;—for the next instant I was the found, -instead of being angry at the honest bee happiest flower in the world ;-it was a lady who recognised axioms, which keep the thoughts for rifing my honey, I ought to have thanked
him had plucked me, and she placed me in her bosom. within the travelled road, and prevent all for his condescension in taking it by storm; and it There I should have been content to die
, but, wheth- aberration into darkness or light. Then in was evident, to me at least, from his preference and er my brain was turned by my good fortune, or its infancy, the mind, bound by no fetters, their jealousy, that I was the sweetest and hand- whether the south-wind was envious of my felicity; and following no footsteps,
gathered, in its somes fower of the party. This notion so delighted and blew me away, cerain it is that I had no estave wide wanderings, brighter thoughts, and my vanity, that I become quite giddy, and eyed cause to be proud of the lady's partiality, for she my companions whom nature had made less at- was so regardless of me, that, before I had gone ten more beautiful conceptions, and wilder fantractive than myself, with a kind compassionate paces, I fell from my high estate,' and what morti- cies, and more extravagant errors, than contempt. Down from a branch of the oak, that mo- hed me most was she never missed me. Then have entered into the imaginations of men ment, fell a great sprawling spider full on my bo- indeed, had perished miserably in the dust in the subsequent ages of reason. These som, where he lay wriggling on his back, five seconds, or been trampled to death by some hob-nailed shoe, I am sure, an age of misery to me !– before he had not another personage in your train, -- he who has glowing thoughts, these all-embracing could gather his legs together, and throw himself , acted as my amanuensis in writing these memoirs
-- truths, these excessive errors, remained, rolled up like a ball
, on one of my lowest leaves, picked me up, carried me home, and placed me in not perhaps in themselves, but in their inwhere he remained to my unutterable annoyance, a lachrymatory, filled, as he assures me, with pure fluence and their consequences. For inconsidering how he should further dispose of him- Castajian dew, in which I have lived long enough to stance, the religious fables of classical self. The Aowers, which had been hitherto stifling tell you the fable of my life, and, with my dying their spleen against me, or muttering it in low words, to say, that if you find no moral in it, the Greece, and the more distorted superstiwhispers, now tittered aloud at this ridiculous mis- fault is not mine. Farewell.
tions of eastern climes, were probably but chance, while I was so paralyzed that I could not
VIOLA. the embodying into a tangible and tradieven cry out for help.
tional form, of the conceptions and the be“At this crisis, the clouds, which had long been
lief of earlier ages, as to the origin, the powlowering, broke suddenly, and poured down rain
ers, and the destinies of nature. Perhaps, in torrents on our beads. The mole, neither liking the air nor the water from above, burrowed his way
in most of those fables there is little meanback again into his subterranean abode, without MY DEAR MR EDITOR,
ing; they may be but arrangements and doing any harm, except humbling the pride of the I fully intend to make a book; but can- modifications of a few simple and original dandelion, for which we were all very much obliged not exactly tell when, or upon what; I have allegories, if we may so call them; and to him. It was only an April storm; towards evening, the sun broke through the gloom, and only determined to publish an 8vo, which they may have been made, alike without spread a beautiful rainbow from one end of heaven shall greatly benefit the public, and myself, method, purpose, or reason; but in those few to the other, as it appeared to me. The blue sky by selling very well. Of course, I want a which were in the most exact sense of the cleared, the earth glowed with verdure; every leaf subject of stainless novelty; one, which word, primitive and elementary, it is cerand sprig of plant and flower, glittered with dia- mortal man has never breathed upon,-nor tainly possible that many distinct traces monds of the first water. Al nature looked smiling and joyous. The gnats, by myriads, were danc- about. It is not the easiest thing in the might be found of the earliest belief, as to ing in circular clouds over our heads, repeatedly world, to tind such a theme; but, at pre- the causes, the connexions and dependenassembling, though as often dispersed by the swal- sent, I think I can't do better than write a cies of all existences, spiritual as well as lows that darted to and fro in the open space be- History of the Human Intellect. This may natural. tween the hedges of the lape, and sometimes skim- not be absolutely, in all its parts, an untrod- There are not many things, which all med athwart our bank, bending our heads with their den field; but, in this quoting, borrowing, men concur in believing; some few truths, delicate breasts, or striking the dew-drops out of our bells, with sudden touches of the tips of their wings. stealing age, which is decidedly of the however, have been acknowledged by all A black-bird, perched on the old oak, chanted in composite order,-it is idle to hope for an nations, in all ages. If we assume that his loudest notes a simple tale, about a few sticks entirely new thing. But such a History, these truths were acquired by the exercise and straws in a neighbouring wood, which he and as a whole, has never been written; which of reflection and ratiocination, and thus his true-love had gathered in the rambles of their rather surprises me, as it certainly might gradually, but universally discovered, we courtship, and woven into what they called a nest, be executed, and, if well done, would ex- meet almost insuperable difficulties in acwhere five chirpers had been disclosed from the shells that very morning. This had awakened, for cite as much interest, and teach as useful counting for the variety of errors which now the first time since he himself was hatched, all the truth, as the relation of any series of ex- enwrap them. We are called to explain rapturous tenderness of a parent in his heart, from ternal events. The materials for a work of the fact, that the same powers which taught the fulness of which he poured forth such a song as this kind, are sufficiently abundant, and themselves to read these truths in the made me wish that I had been born “with such a
available. of ,
The direct record of man's course, the bounty, the wonders, or the em;" for that little home was all the world to thought, is but slightly imperfect in the beauty of nature, should afterwards see him ;-aye, and he had a right to be happy in his ages of classical antiquity, and is hardly them only with false and perverted vision; own way, and to tell every body of his happiness, lost, when we are with the days that lie and to trace to its efficient cause the infithough none besides himself cared a straw about eith- shrouded in the outer darkness of history. nite difference which exists between the er his nest, his mate, or his young ones. Meanwhile we have means of ascertaining the charac- forms they have assumed in various ages,
of larks; the thrushes answered each other from reeter, the power, and the
direction, of the and among various nations. If we pursue to tree; and in the hedges, linnets, chaffinches, and minds of the eminent of former days, in these speculations, we are almost compelled wrens were playing on their small pipes as many their systems of natural and intellectual to believe, that there was a time when all tunes as there were minstrels among them, yet form- philosophy, and their various theories, in- men saw these truths distinctly, not by the ing one harmonious concert. Above all, the cuckoo, tended to explain the mystery, or regu- clouded light of erring reason, not as the continually changing his place, but never changing late the conduct of human existence; and boundless discovery of a finite and feeble his note, made glad the ear that hearkened to him, while the eye in vain sought him out. All was for the mass of mankind, are there not in intelligence, but as a direct emanation of peace and concord around, and we flowers
, forget- the history of their purposes and their living truth, from its only source ;-a beam ting our little enmities and rivalships, enjoyed the achievments, their traditions and their su- which fell from heaven to earth, bright breeze that mingled our sweets, and wafted them perstitions, their prevalent wants and with the lustre of eternal and inherent raas incense to heaven.
In the height of our festivity, a little company of their favourite pleasures, records of their diance. If this be true, what an accession human beings, the first whom I had seen above the mental character, legible, and imperishable
. would it give to the stores of human knowlrank of milk-boys, jolting along on their asses, with The mind of man has had a sort of con- edge, could we gather any portion of the
intellectual wealth of that age, the frag- ¡ different thing from easy reading, and it with the tide of publication by reading ments of whose wisdom have supported all was some time before the former amuse-them. Readers, like the epicure, who of what is called natural religion, which ment gave entire way to the latter. At would eat but one bite from the sunny exists in the world.
length, with the powerful assistance of the side of a peach, must have the essence of A history of Intellect would relate the press, the change was accomplished, and these new books served up to them; hence various states and changes which the mind books supplanted the lance and the sword, many works are written with little other has passed through, and the direction which and became the established playthings of purpose or effect, than to save the trouble human curiosity has pursued in different almost all men of a certain rank. Of of reading many others. In Great Britages, and the results it has discovered. It course, the number of readers was very ain, and many parts of the continent, men could speak of objects which have fastened much increased, and with it increased the of letters, of the finest minds and highest themselves upon the attention with a strong- demand for books; it. therefore became cultivation, almost devote themselves to er grasp, and excited a more intense intel- unnecessary for authors to look to pos- to the work of describing and criticising lectual industry, and nurtured a more meas- terity for their recompense of fame. Men the writings of others; occasionally, by ureless ambition, and a far more presump- always calculate their goods for the nearest way of variety, making a short and brilliant tuous vanity, than any history could, which market; of course, writers of books suited essay, for which the name of some recent saw men only as the parts of a political their wares for the immediate use of their book may serve as a running title. mass;-as the units of a nation. It would own days, as soon as they found their co- It is sometimes said, this is not the age speak of the contractile influence which temporary readers were numerous enough of great minds; it might better be said not diminished the mental strength and stature to pay them for their exertions a sufficiency to be the age of great efforts. There is no of some ages, and of the expansive power, of reputation. Lord Bacon wrote the No- reason to believe, that there exists not now which at other times, opened the mind into vum Organum ;--and he “bequeaths his upon earth as great a quantity of intellecfull development.
name to posterity after some generations tual vigour, as at any former period, or that There have been in the physical world, shall be passed ;” and posterity have en- there are not men capable of accomplishseasons lasting through successive genera- circled that name with a never-dying splen- ing as much, with the same efforts, as the tions, when a universal plague scattered dor. Stewart, too, wrote as a philosopher, eminent of earlier days. the arrows of sickness and death through but he wrote for his own days, and he has The presumption, antecedent to all proof, all the nations; so, in the successive periods lived to see the star of his reputation cul- is certainly against any such intellectual of time, there have been some of yet lon-minate, and perhaps depart from the zenith deterioration; and such facts as must be adger duration, when the intelligence of man on a downward road. Milton expected not mitted, and seem to rebut this presumption, was in a state of decrepitude and disease, popularity; he wrote for fame and for fu- | as, for instance, the difference between the and thick darkness covered the earth. ture ages, and he wrote the Paradise Lost. literary manifestations of mind of these days,
Sometimes a general delusion has over- Lord Byron knows, or rather knew, that and those of the ages which have gone, may shadowed the civilized world, and made the reading public waits for him, and is be accounted for sastifactorily by the want of men mad in the pursuit and expectation of sure that his works will be bought and habits of continued exertion, without supsome boundless blessing, which they idly praised first, and then criticised; conse- posing any deficiency of power. The prehoped would change at once all the circum- quently he wrote Childe Harold.
sent age, certainly should not be considera stances of their being; as, for instance, a A very important consequence of the ex- ed altogether inert and indolent, as it is, on power of controlling the elements, of bid- tension of the reading public, arises from the the contrary, eminently energetic and acding the metals change their natures, or of change in the character of those who are tive. In all branches of natural philosophy; distilling the elixir of unfading life. In to decide upon the merits of a work, and for - in the exact sciences, and the arts which past ages there have been not only empirics whom it must therefore principally be writ- immediately subserve the comforts and who assumed to possess these powers, but ten. When there were scarcely one hun wants of civilized life;-in short, in every fools-and some exceeding wise and learn- dred learned men' in Europe, if any one of thing but in literature, the human intellect ed fools too, who were willing to admit them made a book, he made it with the ex-is acting now, perhaps more strongly and their pretensions, and seek their aid. pectation, that the remaining ninety-nine efficiently than at any former period; and
In these days, credulity certainly is not would criticise it, and he acted accordingly, the absence of high literary excellence the besetting sin; if there be any peculiar in- Now, a writer of talent hopes his work arises, as we have already said, not from tellectual characteristic of this age, it is cu- will be read, and read about, by an hundred a want of effort, but of continued and susriosity. The appetite for novelty has become thousand ; and he knows the mob make tained effort. excessive, and must be gratified, whatever more noise than the few, and he too acts ac- The unapproached superiority, which be the tastes and habits which give way to it. cordingly. There is inherent in this state works of art of the classical ages possess This is the true reason of the fact so often of things, a strong tendency to increase over those of subsequent times, must have complained of, that the mind of man appears and progression; popular books add to the arisen from a similar cause. It is not that to have degenerated ;-that no great intel-number of readers, and with them grows there is not now, or may not be acquired lectual achievements have marked this age; the demand for such books. This has been now, an equal perception and comprehen
-that stronger minds are distinguished from the progress of things to the present day, sion of the beautiful in form, and attitude, weaker, only by more spasmodic and tran- and the consequence is now apparent in and proportion; but that the industry of the sient efforts ;--that we have no Milton, the extreme impatience of sustained men- sculptor, or the architect, is animated by no Newton, no Bacon,-nay, that even the tal effort, which of necessity prevents all other motives, and his life is cheered by lesser great men, the Johnsons and War- intellectual achievement; and, if this age other hopes than that of making one faultburtons, Humes and Gibbons, have passed bears any peculiar mark upon its intellec- less production; therefore, there is not in away, and left no legitimate successors ;- tual character, it is set there by this impa- his heart, the same entireness and intensity in short, that the giant fathers are followed tience, and its necessary consequences. of devotion to his work. Canova earned by a pigmy race, who find it work enough It is thus that we have become a review- his fortune and his Marquisate, by making to walk quietly along the smooth and opening age. Certain it is, that there never many fine statues; Praxiteles earned his roads made ready for them. The reason of were upon the earth so many people who fame by making a few which were perthis state of things, and the way it has read and write books, and talk and think | fection. There needs no other explanabeen brought about, are obvious enough, about books, as at this present time, but it tion of the difference between the Venus though we must go back some distance to is generally far pleasanter to begin a new de Medicis and Canova's Psyche, than find the beginning of the process, au thing than to finish an old one; and to sup- the fact, that in the best ages of Greece,
The age of chivalry has gone, but it was a ply the unceasing and enormous deinand a statue of a god, arrayed in such magood while after it went away, before all its for novelty, books are multiplied until it jesty of beauty, that every heart bowed habits disappeared. Hard fighting is a very I would be intolerably irksome to keep along | down before it, was the labour and the
glory of a life; so it must be with books, employment forced upon them by the needs tations; and having uniformly succeeded in and we must not hope to see in our degene- of their condition, could have nothing to this, nothing that the public can say, or rate days a marble statue, instinct with the do with. Now, almost every man reads, do, will alter our opinions a jot. We esteem life and the spirit of loveliness, for the and is somewhat influenced in his every day it, however, a source of farther congratuvery same reason which forbids our expect life by what he reads, and the good effects lation to this most thinking public, that ing another Novum Organum or Paradise of this radiate from one to another through they have lately shown so much more of Lost.
out all the ramifications of society; every sensibility towards literary excellence than In this state of things there is both good man has some friend, or some friend's friend, we ever supposed they had ; in consequence and evil; and it may be a question, which who receives directly, and reflects around of which we have conceived such an ardent predominates. It is evil, that in these days him, the ameliorating, purifying, and ele- affection for the great mass of our fellowthere are not as grand and ennobling dis- vating influence of letters. Thus, litera- citizens, that we intend without more ado plays of intellectual vigour and exertion, ture and science are brought within the to let them into a number of little plans as in former times, because thereby the reach of almost every one, and institutions which we have at different times projected standard of excellence is lowered, and men are every where made and zealously foster- for their interest and happiness. think, and are thought to do great things, ed, to spread this useful light of knowledge In the first place then be it known, that when they do far less things than their an- yet more widely; to make it pierce yet it is the intention of the Symposium to scrucestors have done; and far less than they more deeply, and illustrate yet more bright- tinize with great exactness the manners might do. It is somewhere said, that though ly, the business, the interests, and the rela- and morals of our beloved townspeople,—“to our knowledge is much greater than that of tions of social life. As all share in this hold as 'twere the mirror up to Boston"former days, as our field of vision is much blessing, so all are beginning to be awake and by pointing out occasionally a shade or wider, and we see much clearly, which to to its advantages, and look to its uses with two in the picture, throw its numberless them was wrapt in darkness, yet we have an attention somewhat proportionate to beauties into stronger relief. By these not the strength which the intellects of those their value. A scientific man is no longer means our fellow-citizens will come at last days exhibited, and are but as dwarfs on the eminent according to the amount of his to acquire a just sense of their own importbacks of giants. This is only true with knowledge, but as he is sagacious and suc- ance, and we shall be well assured, as we respect to that sort of strength which grows cessful in applying that knowledge to the have often slyly suspected, that we are in out of discipline and the habit of steady immediate demands and comforts of society. truth by far the greatest people now breathexertion; but as to this, there is certainly The uses of a thing begin to be the mea- ing under the sun. In the next place, it is a lamentable falling away.
sure of its value, and it is not a little thing intended to reform the literary taste of the Again, there is evil in it, because ages in praise of the present intellectual condi- age; to put down the Edinburgh, Quarof great intellectual vigour and advance- tion of the world, that it has done some- terly, and North American Reviews, which ment, have ever produced, or been produ- what towards establishing the great truth, we consider mere nuisances in the republic ced by certain exceedingly distinguished which lies at the bottom of all wisdom; of letters, and erect ourselves into a grand individuals, who seemed to collect all the that no knowledge is valuable, no acquisi- Court of Appeals with full power to redress scattered rays which rendered the darkness tion worth the making, and no action of all wrongs and grievances of injured auvisible,—to possess over them a power of body or mind, good, but so far as they sub- thors. Thirdly, we intend at the next sesconcentration and direction, and to throw serve the actual interests of humanity, and sion of the Legislature to get ourselves them in full radiance on the forward path. affect with a good influence the governing incorporated, under the name of the Death Now, whether we consider such men but principles of the life and character, and thus and Marriage Insurance Company, and as the effects and signs of their ages, or the promote, not only the enjoyments, but the open books for the information of undermaster-spirits who impress upon their times great purposes of life.
writers, containing a full registry of the their own character, and awaken and direct
age, character, condition, and circumstanthe progressive tendencies which lie with in
ces, of unmarried persons of both sexes, man's moral nature, it seems almost equally
together with accurate lists of reported enunfortunate, that there are not only do such
From the Symposium. gagements, and recent cases of yellow men, but such fixed habits of mental ac
Tuesday Night, 12 o'clock, fever, smallpox, or dyspepsia. The consetion and enjoyment, as must go far to resist
May 25, 1824.
quence of this authentic record of dates the production of such men. MR. EDITOR,
and facts will be, that scandal and gossipBut we have said there are both good We heartily congratulate you and the ing will be totally abolished, and the conand evil, in this state of things, and the public on our appearance in these columns, versation of belles and beaux at a watergood is to be looked for in the infinite dif- which we beg you and them to look upon party, whether hot or cold, become absofusion and very great amount of knowledge as a miracle of good luck. For since we lutely rational; besides that we shall unwhich now exists, and in the consequent at the Symposium are all men of famg questionably relieve the mercantile comdestruction or decay of ancient ignorance, fashion, family, and fortune, as well as wits of munity from a great share of its present and of many prejudices, which, protected the first water, it is evident that nothing embarrassments—for by devoting an office by the sanctity of age and the strength could tempt us to write, but an irresistible exclusively to the business we propose, we of universal habit, enthralled and enfeebled passion for our own amusement, and the shall take off from the frequenters of the the energies' of man, almost through all reformation of mankind. But alas! there present insurance offices a great pressure of time. Science and literature, were former is no knowing how soon we may become other people's affairs, and enable them to ly pent up within very narrow channels, tired of the one and despairing of the other. attend more effectually to their own. but they now pour themselves beyond their It is with these views solely that we have Fourthly, we design to establish a New former bounds, with a searching and undertaken occasionally to furnish you with University at Lechmere's Point, which thorough spread ;-it is like the overflow loose thoughts upon all scientific, literary, we have pitched upon by reason of its of a mighty river; a part of its waters may and other subjects under the sun; a task to great natural advantages, as well as for rush too impetuously among the rocks and which we feel ourselves perfectly compe- the sake of a competition with Harvard. sands of their new channels, and work a tent-as who shall say, that we are not? Infants will be admitted into this Seminary wide destruction; but still its treasures are It is true, we are extremely fastidious in as soon as they are weaned, and will innot wasted, for they are seen glittering in matters of taste, and require a degree of mediately be put under a course of tuition the sun-light, and fertilizing the parched excellence in our own compositions which in the higher branches of pure and mixed soil in the remotest corners of the land, few persons have nous enough to relish be- mathematics, moral, metaphysical
, and poIt has been thought, that study was a sides ourselves; but then we were always litical philosophy, together with the ancient work utterly removed from the uses of firmly resolved whenever we did put goose- and modern languages, biblical criticism, life: a work, which they who had other I quill to paper to outdo our own expec- and polemic divinity. The whole system
TO THE EDITOR OF THE U. S. L. GAZETTE.
THE UNITED STATES LITERARY GAZETTE.
THE PROGRESS OF WHISKEY.
of instruction, including religious exercises, / a windy day, and treated with as little this grand design is in sufficient forwardwill be carried on without the intervention veneration as the very dust with which ness, it will be exhibited for the benefit of of professors and tutors, by Perkins' newly they are mingled. The best of these will the Lunatic Hospital. In the mean time, invented patent Steam Engine, operating be selected, carefully cleansed, and pasted subscription papers will be opened for all on a machine constructed for that purpose, into leaves and volumes, so as to form an the abovementioned societies at No. 1, which will complete the abovementioned agreeable miscellany for light summer Cornhill.
JAMES ROBBINS, course in forty-eight lessons !
reading. We have procured a gentleman Corresponding Secretary of the Symposium, and We have farther thought that a few soci- who has already shown much zeal in the
all the other Societies abovementioned. eties are much wanted among us, and we cause of literature and the fine arts to P. S. Voted unanimously in the Symhave accordingly taken the pains to pro- superintend the establishment; and we posium, that the Editor of the United States ject a number of useful and charitable insti- have no doubt, that in a few months, out of Literary Gazette be kindly permitted tutions, which, we doubt not, will meet a this mere waste and refuse of learning, the publish the late prize Ode upon Whiskey, hearty encouragement from this munificent shelves of the Franklin-place collection will which we herewith inclose. and thinking public. One of these is a be doubled in value—the Nahant library
[Thank you, Gentlemen.—EDITOR.] society for the education of cats in the art enriched with much excellent matter, and of singing. It is well known that there are perhaps a new one formed for the benefit
[Whiskey punch having been recently introduced
into the fashionable circles, and especially adopted among that tribe many voices of great com- of the gulls,-upon Egg Rock. pass and exquisite sweetness, which, with We have in our heads the skeletons of at the
Symposium, as a common circulating
um, to the great satisfaction of all concerned, a the addition of a few scientific graces, and similar institutions, too numerous to men- prize was offered by the President for the best Ode, a little power of modulation, would enable tion. At present we will only add to the or other poem, that should be written thereon. them to supply new-married couples (to list a Cent Society for the encouragement of The prize proposed, was a gallon of whiskey. Unthe great relief of the grooms-men) with domestic manufactures; which is designed der the influence of such a prodigious stimulus, moonlight serenades, much softer than have to buy up all the copies of the 4th of July were produced at the next meeting, from among
one thousand and one odes, sonnets, epics, fc. been given them on some former occasions, Orations, and other patriotic addresses which the following obtained the prize, after long and (which, in these times, is not to be over- “illustrative of American character," which deliberation among the judges. The doubt, howlooked) at a much more moderate expense. are left on the booksellers' hands, and con- ever, was occasioned solely by a resemblance, saWe were at first under apprehensions that vert them, by a very simple process, into youring, somewhat of plagiarism, which some of our harmonious plan might be disconcerted excellent wearing apparel for rainy weath- us. imagined we discovered in it, to Gray's Oxle on
We were all well satisby the dogs, with whose personal liberty the er. The society, clothed uniformly in the fied, however, before awarding the prize, that the Mayor and Aldermen (to their everlasting panoply of independence, will dine together coincidences (some of which are pointed out in the honour be it spoken) have so far interfered once a year in the cradle of American lib- notes subjoined) were entirely accidental.] and with such wonderful effect, that they erty.” After the cloth is removed every (i. e. the dogs) are now required not to ap- member will have the privilege of making
A Pindaric Ode. (1) pear in public without a collar about their a speech upon the new Tariff, and the soci
1. 1. necks; but with that admirable and very ety, one and all, will annually resolve, that
Awake, Hibernian lyre,(2) awake! sufficient security against all disturbance of the proceedings of Congress are highly de- Club, give to rapture, all thy grey goose quills. (3) the public peace, they are still generously rogatory to the dignity of our national From Usquebagh's(4) harmonious stills, permitted to perambulate our streets in character, and ruinous to the best interests
A thousand runs(5) their 'mazing(6) progress great numbers, often barking and howling of the country. The table is to be furnishso vociferously in the dead of the night, as ed with nothing but staple commodities, and, Quaff sweet rebellion as they flow.
The Orange flowers that round them blow,(7) to endanger the tranquil slumbers of the to avoid excess, the toasts of the day will city watch. To remedy this evil, as well be drunk in molasses and water.
1. The author of the Progress of Poesy says, as to confer a great charity on a very nu- The next object to which we shall turn that he was advised even by his friends to subjoin merous class of their distressed fellow-cit-our attention is the state of the fine arts. some few explanatory notes; but had too much reizens, we have proposed to the Common The taste of Boston in this department is spect for the understanding of his readers to take Council to open an asylum for indigent fortunately beyond all commendation; but, Whiskey bas not so much respect for the under
that liberty. As the author of the Progress of dogs, together with a hospital for the in- that it may be more generally diffused standing of his readers, he has ventured to imprve
If we should be seconded in these throughout the continent, we have procur- upon that great master in this particular. benevolent views, we have little doubt, ed accurate draughts to be made of
In the first stanza the various sources and effects that, with the assistance of the Intemperate the Chauncey-place meetinghouse and the of Whiskey, which gives life and inspiration to all Society, we should be enabled, in a short new one in Essex street, which we de- slow, majestic march through Scotland and Eng
it touches, are described ;-its rise in Ireland, its
ter its tumulto-
3. Variation. " Club give to rapture all
* Uequebagh.” The Irish name for whiskey.
7. "The orange flowers that round them blow
Quaff sweet rebellion as they flow." are now uniformly wasted or abused, and filled with effigies of the Handel and
Orange flowers is figurative for Orange Boys, the secure to their respective authors that Haydn Society, singing in full chorus- Irish cut-throats, who are said to blow, as men do meed of immortality, which they so just- - Break forth into joy"-(the music to be when they drink, about the Whiskey stills, filling ly deserve. Hundreds of invaluable scraps, performed by a concealed hand-organ); themselves with rebellion, as they are well known swept out of book-stores, printing-olti- while personifications of Liberty and Equal-todo, at every draught. They are called flowers, ces, and school-rooms, may be seen at ity will be seen rushing into each others led by the free use of whiskey; and also because
by reason of the blooming appearance occasionevery corner, blowing about our streets on arms on the top of the cupola. As soon as of the great valour that is consequent upon it