Page images
PDF
EPUB

yond the western skies. Braver men never lived; England. She has bound herself to the fate of truer men never drew the bow. They had cour- the Union. May she be true to it, now, and for age, and fortitude, and sagacity, and perseverance, ever ; true to it, because true to herself, true to her beyond most of the human race. They shrank own principles, true to the cause of religion and from no dangers, and they feared no hardships. | liberty throughout the world. I speak, then, of If they had the vices of savage life, they had the our common country, of that blessed mother, that virtues also. They were true to their country, has nursed us in her lap, and led us up to manhood, their friends, and their homes. If they forgave not What is her destiny? Whither does the finger of injury, neither did they forget kindness. If their fate point? Is the career, on which we have vengeance was terrible, their fidelity and generosi- entered, to be bright with ages of onward and upty were unconquerable also. Their love, like their ward glory? Or is our doom already recorded in bate, stopped not on this side of the grave. the past history of the earth, in the past lessons of

But where are they? Where are the villagers, the decline and fall of other republics ? If we are to and warriors, and youth; the sachems and the flourish with a vigorous growth, it must be, I think, tribes; the hunters and their families? They by cherishing principles, institutions, pursuits, and have perished. They are consumed. The wast- morals, such as planted, and have hitherto suping pestilence has not alone done the mighty ported New England. If we are to fall, may she work. No,-nor famine, nor war. There has still possess the melancholy consolation of the been a mightier power, a moral canker, which | Trojan patriot: has eaten into their heart-cores—a plague, which "Sat patriæ Priamoque, datum; si Pergama dextra the touch of the white man communicated-a

Defendi possent, etiam hâc defensa fuissent." poison, which betrayed them into a lingering ruin. I would not willingly cloud the pleasures of such The winds of the Atlantic fan not a single re- a day, even with a transient shade. I would not, gion, which they may now call their own. Al

that a single care should flit across the polished ready the last feeble remnants of the race are pre- brow of hope, if considerations of the highest paring for their journey beyond the Mississippi. moment did not demand our thoughts, and give I see them leave their miserable homes, the aged, us counsel of our duties. Who, indeed, can look the helpless, the women, and the warriors, “ few around him upon the attractions of the scene, and faint, yet fearless still.” The ashes are cold

upon the faces of the happy and the free, the on their native hearths. The sinoke no longer smiles of youthful beauty, the graces of matron curls round their lowly cabins. They move on virtue, the strong intellect of manhood, and the with a slow, unsteady step.

The white man dignity of age, and hail these as the accompaniis upon their heels, for terror or despatch; but

ments of peace and independence ;—who can look they heed him not. They turn to take a last look

around him, and not at the same time feel, that of their deserted villages. They cast a last glance change is written on all the works of man; that upon the graves of their fathers. They shed no the breath of a tyrant, or the fury of a corrupt tears; they utter no cries; they heave no groans. populace, may destroy, in one hour, what centuThere is something in their hearts which passes ries have slowly consolidated ? It is the privispeech. There is something in their looks, not of lege of great minds, that to them “coming events vengeance or submission; but of hard necessity, cast their shadows before.” We may not possess which stifles both; which chokes all utterance; this privilege ; but it is true wisdom, not to blind which has no aim or method. It is courage ab- ourselves to dangers which are in full view; and sorbed in despair. They linger but for a mo- true prudence, to guard against those, of which exment. Their look is onward. They have passed perience has already admonished us. the fatal stream. It shall never be repassed by When we reflect on what has been, and is, how them,-no, never. Yet there lies not between

is it possible not to feel a profound sense of the us and them an impassable gulf. They know responsibleness of this Republic to all future ages? and feel that there is for them still one remove What vast motives press upon us for lofty efforts ! farther, not distant, nor unseen. It is to the ge- What brilliant prospects invite our enthusiası! neral burial-ground of their race.

What solemn warnings at once demand our vigiReason as we may, it is impossible not to read lance, and moderate our confidence ! in such a fate much that we know not how to interpret; much of provocation to cruel deeds and deep resentments; much of apology for wrong and perfidy; much of pity mingling with indignation;

THE FIELD OF PEACE. much of doubt and misgiving as to the past ; much of painful recollections ; much of dark forebodings.

And what spot can be more appropriate than this, for such a purpose ? Nature seems to point

it out, with significant energy, as the favourite reDESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC. tirement for the dead. There are around us all

the varied features of her beauty and grandeur ;

the forest-crowned height; the abrupt acclivity ; What is to be the destiny of this Republic? In the sheltered valley; the deep_glen; the grassy proposing this question, I drop all thought of New | glade ; and the silent grove. Here are the lofty

FROM AN ADDRESS AT THE CEMETERY OF MOUNT AUBURN.

FROM THE SAME.

oak, the beach, that“ wreaths its old fantastic roots temples of the gods. I pass over all consideration so high,” the rustling pine, and the drooping wil- of those admired compositions, in which wisdom low ;-the tree, that sheds its pale leaves with speaks, as with a voice from heaven; of those subevery autumn, a fit emblem of our own transitory lime efforts of poetical genius which still freshen, bloom; and the evergreen, with its perennial as they pass from age to age, in undying vigour; shoots instructing us, that “the wintry blasts of of those finished histories which still enlighten and death kills not the buds of virtue.” Here is the instruct governments in their duty and their destithick shrubbery to protect and conceal the new- ny; of those matchless orations which roused namade grave; and there is the wild flower creeping tions to arms, and chained senates to the chariotalong the narrow path, and planting its seeds in wheels of all-conquering eloquence. These all the upturned earth. All around us there breathes may now be read in our vernacular tongue. Ay, a solemn calm, as if it were in the bosom of a wil- as one remembers the face of a dead friend by gaderness, broken only by the breeze, as it murmurs thering up the broken fragments of his image-as through the tops of the forest, or by the notes of one listens to the tale of a dream twice told-as the warbler, pouring forth his matin or his evening one catches the roar of the ocean in the ripple of song.

a rivulet-as one sees the blaze of noon in the Ascend but a few steps, and what a change of first glimmer of twilight..... scenery to surprise and delight us! We seem, as There is not a single nation from the North to it were, in an instant, to pass from the confines of the South of Europe, from the bleak shores of the death, to the bright and balmy regions of life. Baltic to the bright plains of immortal Italy, whose Below us flows the winding Charles, with its rip- literature is not embedded in the very elements of pling current, like the stream of time hastening to classical learning. The literature of England is, the ocean of eternity. In the distance, the city, in an emphatic sense, the production of her schoat once the object of our admiration and our love lars; of men who have cultivated letters in her -rears its proud eminences, its glittering spires, universities, and colleges, and grammar-schools; its lofty towers, its graceful mansions, its curling of men who thought any life too short, chiefly besmoke, its crowded haunts of business and plea- cause it left some relic of antiquity unmastered, sure, which speak to the eye, and yet leave a and any other fame humble, because it faded in noiseless loneliness on the ear. Again we turn, the presence of Roman and Grecian genius. He and the walls of our venerable University rise be- who studies English literature without the lights fore us, with many a recollection of happy days of classical learning loses half the charms of its passed there in the interchange of study and sentiments and style, of its force and feelings, of friendship, and many a grateful thought of the afflu- | its delicate touches, of its delightful allusions, of ence of its learning, which has adorned and nou- its illustrative associations. Who, that reads the rished the literature of our country. Again we poetry of Gray, does not feel that it is the return, and the cultivated farm, the neat cottage, the finement of classical taste which gives such inex. village church, the sparkling lake, the rich valley, pressible vividness and transparency to his diction and the distant hills, are before us, through open- Who, that reads the concentrated sense and meloing vistas; and we breathe amidst the fresh and

dious versification of Dryden and Pope, does not varied labours of man.

perceive in them the disciples of the old school, There is, therefore, within our reach, every va- whose genius was inflamed by the heroic verse, riety of natural and artificial scenery, which is the terse satire, and the playful wit of antiquity? fitted to awaken emotions of the highest and Who, that meditates over the strains of Milton, most affecting character. We stand, as it were, does not feel that he drank deep at upon the borders of two worlds; and, as the mood

6 Siloa's brook, that flow'd of our minds may be, we may gather lessons of

Fast by the oracle of God"profound wisdomn by contrasting the one with the

that the fires of his magnificent mind were lighted other, or indulge in dreams of hope and ambition,

by coals from ancient altars? or solace our hearts by melancholy meditations.

It is no exaggeration to declare that he who proposes to abolish classical studies proposes to render, in a great measure, inert and unedifying

the mass of English literature for three centuries : CLASSICAL STUDIES.

to rob us of the glory of the past, and much of the instruction of future ages; to blind us to excellen

cies which few may hope to equal and none to sur I pass over all consideration of the written trea- pass; to annihilate associations which are intersures of antiquity, which have survived the wreck woven with our best sentiments, and give to distant of empires and dynasties, of monumental trophies times and countries a presence and reality as if they and triumphal arches, of palaces of princes and were in fact his own.

FROM A DISCOURSE BEFORE THE PILI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY.

JAMES KIRKE PAULDING.

(Born 1779.]

It is more than forty years since this vete peared in 1816. The allegory is well sustained, ran author made his first appearance before and the style has a homely simplicity and the public, and at nearly seventy he continues vigour that remind us of Swift. A part of to write with the vivacity, good sense, and this year was passed in Virginia, where he strong love of country for which his earliest wrote his Letters from the South, which were works were distinguished.

published in 1817. The humour in them is Mr. Paulding is of Dutch extraction, and not of his happiest vein, and the soundness of was born on the twenty-second of August, the views respecting education, paper money, 1779, in the town of Pawling, on the Hudson, and some other subjects, may be questioned; so named from one of his ancestors. After but the work contains interesting sketches of receiving a liberal education he settled in

scenery, manners, and personal character. New York, where except during short inter In 1818 Mr. Paulding published The Backvals he has since resided. Connected with woodsman, a poem, and in the next year the some of the first families of the city, with an second series of Salmagundi, of which he income sufficient for his wants, and a love of was the sole author. Koningsmarke, or Old quiet which forbade his seeking distinction Times in the New World, a novel founded as a lawyer or politician, he would probably on incidents in the history of the Swedish have been content with the simple pursuit of settlements on the Delaware, appeared in ease, had not the follies of the town, and subse 1823; John Bull in America in 1824; and quently a conviction of injustice to the coun the Merry Tales of the Three Wise Men of try, called into action his powers as a satirist. Gotham in 1826. The idea that the progress

The first series of Salmagundi, published of mankind is more apparent than actual is a in 1807, was the production of Mr. Paulding favourite one with Mr. Paulding, and modern and Mr. Washington Irving, except the verses improvements and discoveries in political and three or four of the concluding essays, economy, and productive labour, law, and which were by Mr. William Irving, a brother- philosophy, are in this work ridiculed with in-law of the former and brother of the latter, considerable ingenuity. who was afterward well known as a repre The Book of St. Nicholas, a collection of sentative of the city of New York in Congress. stories purporting to be translated from the This work had a great deal of freshness; its Dutch ; The New Pilgrim's Progress, which humour, though unequal, was nearly always contains some of the best specimens of his gay, and as its satire was general, everybody satire, and Tales of the Good Woman by a was pleased. Its success surprised the au Doubtful Gentleman, came out in the three thors, and was perhaps the determining cause

following years. of their subsequent devotion to literature. The Dutchman's Fireside was published in The publisher found it very profitable, as he 1831. Its success was decided and immepaid nothing for the copy; and upon his diate, and it continues to be regarded as the refusal to make any remuneration for it, the best of Mr. Paulding's novels. It is a dowork was suddenly and unexpectedly brought mestic story, of the time of the “old French to a close.

The scenes are among the sources of In 1813 Mr. Paulding published The Lay the Hudson, on the borders of Lake Chamof a Scotch Fiddle, a satirical poem, and in plain, and in other parts of the province of the following year The United States and New York. The characters are natural, and England, in reply to the article on Inchiquin's possess much individuality. From the outLetters in the Quarterly Review. The Divert set the reader feels as if he had a personal ing History of John Bull and Brother Jona- acquaintance with each of them. One of the than, the most successful of his satires, ap most cleverly executed is a meddling little

war."

old Dutchman, Ariel Vancour, who with the Great Britain he resided some time at the seat best intentions is continually working mis of government, and was subsequently many chief: an everyday sort of person, which I do years navy agent for the port of New York. not remember having seen so palpably imbo- | When President Van Buren formed his cabidied by any other author. The hero, Sybrandt net, in the spring of 1837, he was selected Vancour, is educated in almost total seclusion, to be the head of the Navy Department, and and finds himself, on the verge of manhood, he continued in that office until the close of a scholar, ignorant of the world. He is proud, Mr. Van Buren's administration, in 1811. sensitive, and suspicious : unhappy, and a Upon retiring from public life, being then cause of unhappiness to all about him. His more than sixty years of age, he resumed his transformation is effected by the famous Sir pen, and some of his magazine papers, written William Johnson, whom he accompanies on since that time, are equal to any of the produca campaign; and in the end, a self-confident tions of his most vigorous days. In 1846 he and self-complacent gentleman, he marries a published The Old Continental, or the Price woman whom he had loved all the while, but of Liberty, a novel which he had nearly comwhom his infirmities had previously rendered pleted before he entered the cabinet. It has as wretched as himself. The work is marked

all his peculiarities of manner and spirit. throughout with Mr. Paulding's quaint and The various works by Mr. Paulding which peculiar humour, and it is a delightful picture I have mentioned make twenty-five volumes, of primitive colonial life, varied with glimpses and the stories, essays, and other papers which of the mimic court of the governor, where la- he has published in the Tales of Glauber Spa, dies figure in hoops and brocades, and of the and in periodicals, would increase the number camp in the wilderness, and the strategy of to more than thirty. Indian warfare.

Mr. Paulding's writings are distinguished In the following year Mr. Paulding pub for a decided nationality. He has had no relished Westward Ho! The moral of this spect for authority unsupported by reason, but story is, that we are to disregard the presenti on all subjects has thought and judged for ments of evil, withstand the approaches of himself. He has defended our government fanaticism, and feel confident that the surest and institutions, and has imbodied what is means of inducing a gracious interposition of peculiar in our manners and opinions. There Providence in our favour is to persevere our is hardly a character in his works who would selves in all the kind offices of humanity to not in any country be instantly recognised as ward the unfortunate. The characters are an American. original and well-drawn. The Virginia planter He is unequalled in a sort of quaint and who squanders his estates in a prodigal hos whimsical humour, but occasionally falls into pitality, and with the remnants of a liberal

the common error of thinking there is humour fortune seeks a new home in the untried fo

in epithets, and these are sometimes coarse rests; Zeno and Judith Paddock, a pair of vil or vulgar. Humour is a quality of feeling lage inquisitors; and Bushfield, an untamed and action, and like any sentiment or habit western hunter, are all actual and indigenous should be treated in a style which indicates beings. Mr. Paulding had already sketched a sympathy with it. He who pauses to inthe Kentuckian, with a freer but less skilful vent its dress will usually find his invention hand, in his comedy of Nimrod Wildfire. exhausted before he attempts its body. Whoever wanders in the footsteps of Daniel He seems generally to have no regular Boone will still meet with Bushfields, though schemes and premeditated catastrophies. He until he approaches nearer the Rocky Moun follows the lead of a free fancy and writes tains the rough edges of the character may be down whatever comes into his mind. He somewhat softened down; and Dangerfields creates his characters, and permits circumare not yet strangers in Virginia.

stances to guide their conduct. Perhaps the His next work was on slavery in the United effects of this random and discursive spirit States, and this was followed in 1835 by his ex are more natural than those of a strict regard cellent life of Washington for youth, which is to unities. It is a higher achievement to published in Messrs. Harpers' Family Library. maintain an interest in a character than to

After the close of our second war with fasten the attention to a plot.

NEW YEAR IN ELSINGBURGH. vellous, a thing which always puts the governor FROM KONINGSMAKKE.

out of humour.

Counsellor Langfanger talked wonderfully about THE holydays, those wintry blessings which public improvements; Counsellor Varlett sung, or cheer the heart of young and old, and give to the rather roared, a hundred verses of a song in praise gloomy depths of winter the life and spirit of laugh of Rhenish wine; and Othman Pfegel smoked and ing, jolly spring, were now near at hand. The tippled, till he actually came to a determination of chopping-knife gave token of goodly minced pies, bringing matters to a crisis with the fair Christina and the bustle of the kitchen afforded shrewd in the very next day. Such are the wonder-working dications of what was coming by and by. The powers of hot punch! As for the Dominie, he celebration of the new year, it was well known, departed about the dawn of day, in such a plight came originally from the northern nations of Eu- that if it had not been impossible, we should have rope, who still keep up many of the practices, suspected him of being as it were a little overtaken amusements, and enjoyments, known to their an with the said punch. To one or two persons who cestors. The Heer Piper valued himself upon chanced to see him, he actually appeared to stag. being a genuine northern man, and consequently ger a little ; but such was the stout faith of the held the winter holydays in special favour and good Dominie's parishioners, that neither of these affection. In addition to this hereditary attach- worthy fellows would believe his own eyes suffiment to ancient customs, it was shrewdly suspected ciently to state these particulars. that his zeal in celebrating these good old sports A couple of hours' sleep sufficed to disperse the was not a little quickened in consequence of his vapours of punch and pepper-pot; for heads in mortal antagonist, William Penn, having hinted, those days were much harder than now, and the in the course of their controversy, that the practice Heer, as well as his roistering companions, rose of keeping holydays savoured 110t only of popery, betimes to give and receive the compliments and but paganism.

good wishes of the season. The morning was Before the Heer consented to sanction the pro still, clear, and frosty. The sun shone with the jects of Dominie Kanttwell for abolishing sports lustre, though not with the warmth of summer, and ballads, he stipulated for full liberty, on the and his bright beams were reflected with indescribpart of himself and his people of Elsingburgh, to able splendour from the glassy, smooth expanse of eat, drink, sing, and frolic as much as they liked, ice that spread across, and up and down the broad during the winter holydays. In fact, the Dominie river, far as the eye could see. The smoke of the made no particular opposition to this suspension village chimneys rose straight into the air, looking of his blue laws, being somewhat addicted to good like so many inverted pyramids, spreading gradueating and drinking, whenever the occasion justi-ally broader and broader, until they melted away fied; that is to say, whenever such accidents came and mixed imperceptibly with ether. Scarce was

the sun above the horizon, when the village was It had long been the custom with Governor alive with rosy boys and girls, dressed in their new Piper, to usher in the new year with a grand sup- suits, and going forth with such warm anticipaper, to which the Dominie, the members of the tions of happiness, as time and experience impercouncil, and certain of the most respectable burgh- | ceptibly fritter away into languid hopes or strengthens, were always bidden. This year, he determined ening apprehensions.“ Happy New Year!" came to see the old year out and the new one in, as the from every mouth and every heart. Spiced bevephrase was, having just heard of a great victory rages and lusty cakes were given away with liberal gained by the bulwark of the Protestant religion, open hand; everybody was welcomed to every the immortal Gustavus Adolphus; which, though house; all seemed to forget their little heart-burnit happened nearly four years before, had only ings and disputes of yore—all seemed happy, and now reached the village of Elsingburgh. .. all were so; and the Dominic, who always wore

Exactly at ten o'clock, the guests sat down to his coat with four great pockets on new-year's day, the table, where they ate and drank to the success came home and emptied them seven times, of loads of the Protestant cause, the glory of the great of new-year cookies. Gustavus, the downfall of Popery and the Quakers, When the gay groups had finished their rounds with equal zeal and patriotism. The instant the in the village, the ice in front was seen all alive clock struck twelve, a round was fired from the with the small fry of Elsingburgh, gambolling and fort, and a vast and bottomless bowl, supposed to skating, sliding and tumbling, helter skelter, and be the identical one in which the famous wise men making the frost-bit ears of winter glad with the of Gotham went to sea, was brought in, filled to sounds of mirth and revelry. ... All was rout, the utmost brim with smoking punch. The me laughter, and happiness; and that day the icy mory of the departed year and the hopes of the mirror of the noble Delaware reflected- as light future were then drank in a special bumper, after hearts as ever beat together in the new world. which the ladies retired, and noise and fun became At twelve o'clock the jolly Heer, according to his the order of the night. The Heer told his great immemorial custom, went forth from the edge of story of having surprised and taken a whole pic the river distributing apples and other dainties, quet-guard, under the great Gustavus; and each together with handsful of wampum, which, rolling of the guests contributed his tale, taking special away on the ice in different directions, occasioned care, however, not to outdo their host in the mar innumerable contests and squabbles among the fry,

in his way:

« EelmineJätka »