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the intellect, and the exclusive culture flight of the Water-fowl. Veneration of reason may, indeed, make a pedant prompted the inquiry, and logician; but the probability is, these benefits, if such they are, will be When glow the heavens with the last
“ Whither 'midst falling dew, gained at the expense of the soul. Sentiment, in its broadest acceptation, Far through their rosy depths dost thou
steps of day, is as essential to the true enjoyment and
pursue grace of life as mind. Technical in- Thy solitary way?” formation, and that quickness of apprehension which New Englanders call Sometimes, in musing upon genius in smartness, are not so valuable to a hu- its simpler manifestations, it seems as if man being as sensibility to the beautiful, the great art of human culture consisted and a spontaneous appreciation of the chietiy in preserving the glow and divine influences which fill the realms freshness of the heart. It is certain of vision and of sound, and the world of that in proportion as its merely mental action and feeling. The tastes, affec- strength and attainment takes the tions and sentiments, are more absolute- place of natural sentiment, in proporly the man than his talent or acquire- tion as we acquire the habit of receivments. And yet it is by and through ing all impressions through the reason, the latter that we are apt to estimate the teachings of Nature grow indistinct character, of which they are at best but and cold, however it may be with those fragmentary evidences. It is remark- of books. That this is the tendency of able that, in the New Testament allu- the New England philosophy of life and sions to the intellect are so rare, while education, I think can scarcely be disthe “ heart” and the “ spirit we are of” puted. I have remarked that some of are ever appealed to. Sympathy is the our most intelligent men speak of mas“golden key” which unlocks the trea- tering a subject, of comprehending a sures of wisdom; and this depends upon book, of settling a question, as if these vividness and warmth of feeling. It is processes involved the whole idea of therefore that Tranio advises—“ In human cultivation. The reverse of all brief, sir, study what you most affect.” this is chiefly desirable. It is when we A code of etiquette may refine the man- are overcome, and the pride of intellect ners, but the “heart of courtesy,” which, vanquished before the truth of nature, through the world, stamps the natural when, instead of coming to a logical gentleman, can never be attained but decision, we are led to bow in profound through instinct; and in the same man- reverence before the mysteries of life, ner, those enriching and noble senti- when we are led back to childhood, or ments which are the most beautiful and up to God, by some powerful revelation endearing of human qualities, no pro- of the sage or minstrel, it is then our cess of mental training will create. To natures grow. To this end is all art. what end is society, popular education, Exquisite vocalism, beautiful statuary churches, and all the machinery of cul- and painting, and all true literature, ture, if no living truth is elicited which have not for their great object to employ fertilizes as well as enlightens ? Shak- the ingenuity of prying critics, or furspeare undoubtedly owed his marvellous nish the world with a set of new ideas, insight into the human soul to his pro- but to move the whole nature by the found sympathy with man. He might perfection and truthfulness of their aphave conned whole libraries on the peal. There is a certain atmosphere philosophy of the passions ; he might exhaled from the inspired page of gehave coldly observed facts for years, nius, which gives vitality to the sentiand never have conceived of jealousy ments, and through these quickens the like Othello's, the remorse of Macbeth, mental powers. And this is the chief or love like that of Juliet. When the good of books. Were it otherwise, native senthnents are once interested, those of us who have bad memories new facts spring to light. It was under might despair of advancement. I have the excitement of wonder and love, that heard educated New Englanders boast Byron tossed on the lake of Geneva, of the quantity of poetry they have read thought that “ Jura answered from her in a given time, as if rich fancies and misty shroud,” responsive to the thun- elevated thoughts are to be dispatched der of the Alps. With no eye of mere as are beefsteaks on board our steamcuriosity did Bryant follow the lonely boats. Newspapers are estimated by their number of square feet, as if this gentleman. A New England philosohad anything to do with the quality of pher, in a recent work,* betrays no little their contents. Journeys of pleasure fear of “excess of fellowship.” In the are frequently deemed delightful in region he inhabits there is ground for proportion to their rapidity, without the apprehension. No standard of reference to the new scenery or society manners will correct the evil. The they bring into view. Social gatherings peasantry of Southern Europe, and the are not seldom accounted brilliant in most ignorant Irishwomen often exceledthe same degree that they are crowded. ucated New Englanders in genuine courSuch would not be the case, if what the tesy. Their richer feelings teach them phrenologists call the affective powers, how to deal with others. Reverence were enough considered ; if the whole and tenderness (not self-possession and soul, instead of the “ meddling intellect” intelligence), are the hallowed avenues alone was freely developed; if we re- through which alone true souls come alized the truth thus expressed by a together. The cool satisfaction with powerful writer—" within the entire which character is analysed and defined circle of our intellectual constitution, in New Englnnd, is an evidence of the we value nothing but emotion; it is not superficial test which observation alone the powers, but the fruit of those pow- affords. A Yankee dreams not of the ers, in so much feeling of a lofty kind world which is revealed only through as they will yield.”
sentiment. Men, and especially women, One of the most obvious consequences shrink from unfolding the depths of of these traits appears in social inter- their natures to the cold and prying course. Foreigners have ridiculed cer- gaze which aims to explore them only tain external habits of Americans ; but as an intellectual diversion. It is the these were always confined to the few, most presumptuous thing in the world, and where most prevalent have yielded for an unadulterated New Englander, readily to censure. There are incon- however 'cute and studious, to pretend gruities of manners still more objec- to know another human being, if nobly tionable, because the direct exponents endowed; for he is the last person to of character and resulting from the elicit latent and cherished emotions. philosophy of life. Delicacy and self- He may read mental capacities and derespect are the fruits, not so much of tect moral tendencies, but no familiarity intellect as sensibility. We are con- will unveil the inner temple ; only in siderate towards others in proportion as the vestibule will his prying step be enour own consciousness gives us in- dured. sight. The sympathies are the best! Another effect of this exaggerated leachers of politeness ; and these are estimate of intellect is, that talent and ever blunted by an exclusive reliance character are often regarded as idention perception. Nothing is more com- cal. This is a fatal but very prevalent mon than to find educated New Eng- error. A gift of mind, let it ever be landers unconsciously invading the pri- remembered, is not a grace of soul. vacy of others, to indulge their idle Training, or native skill, will enable curiosity, or giving a personal turn to any one to excel in the machinery of exconversation in a way that outrages all pression. The phrase-artistical, whethmoral refinement. This is observable er in reference to statuary, painting, in society professedly intellectual. It literature, or manners, implies only is scarcely deemed rude to allude to aptitude and dexterity. Who is not one's personal appearance, health, dress, aware, for instance, of the vast differcircumstances, or even most sacred ence between a merely scientific knowfeelings, although neither intimacy nor ledge of music and that enlistment of confidence lend the slightest authority the sympathies in the art which makes to the proceeding. Such violation of it the eloquent medium of passion, what is due to others, is more frequently sentiment and truth? And in literamet with among the cultivated of this ture, how often do we find the most than any other country. It is compara- delicate perception of beauty in the tively rare here to encounter a natural writer, combined with a total want of
* Emerson's Essays, 20 Series.
genuine refinement in the man! Art dowment, a crowning grace of hnmanity. is essentially imitative ; and its value, It is that principle through which we as illustrative of character, depends not commune with all that is lovely and upon the mental endowments, but upon grand in the universe, which mellows the moral integrity of the artist. The the pictures of memory into pensive idea of talent is associated more or less beauty, and irradiates the visions of with the idea of success; and on this hope with unearthly brightness ; which account, the lucrative creed of the New elevates our social experience by the Englander recognizes it with indiscrimi- glow of fancy, and exhibits scenes of nate admiration ; but there is a whole perfection to the soul that the senses armory of weapons in the human can never realize. It is the poetical bosom, of more celestial temper. It is principle. If this precious gift could a nobler and a happier thing to be ca- be wholly annihilated amid the commonpable of self-devotion, loyalty, and gene- place and the actual, we should lose the rous sympathies, to cherish a quick interest of life. The dull routine of sense of honor and find absolute com- daily experience, the tame reality of fort only in being lost in another, than things, would weigh like a heavy and to have an eye for color, whereby the permanent cloud upon our hearts. But rainbow can be transferred to canvass, the office of this divine spirit is to or a felicity of diction that can embalm throw a redeeming grace around the obthe truest pictures in immortal num- jects and the scenes of being. It is the bers. Not only or chiefly in what he breeze that lifts the weeds on the highdoes, resides the significance of a hu- way of time and brings to view the vioman being. His field of action and the lets beneath. It is the holy water availability of his powers depend upon which, sprinkled on the Mosaic pavehealth, education, self-reliance, position, ment of life, makes vivid its brilliant and a thousand other agencies; what tints. It is the mystic harp upon he is results from the instincts of his whose strings the confused murmur of soul, and for these alone he is truly to toil, gladness and grief, loses itself in be loved. It is observable among New music. But it performs a yet higher Englanders, that an individual's quali- function than that of consolation. It is ties are less frequently referred to as a through the poetical principle that we test of character than his performances. form images of excellence, a notion of It is very common for them to sacrifice progress that quickens every other fasocial and private to public character, culty to rich endeavor. All great men friendship to fame, sympathy to opinion, are so chiefly through unceasing effort love to ambition, and sentiment to pro- to realize in action, or embody in art, priety. There is an obvious disposition sentiments of deep interest or ideas among them to appraise men and of beauty: As colors exist in rays of women at their market rather than their light, so does the ideal in the soul, and intrinsic value. A lucky speculation, life is the mighty prism which refracts a profitable invention, saleable book, it. Shelley maintains that it is only an effective rhetorical effort, or a saga- through the imagination that we can cious political ruse-some fact which overleap the barriers of self and become proves, at best, only adroitness and good identified with the universal and the fortune, is deemed the best escutcheon distant, and, therefore, that this princito lend dignity to life, or hang as a last- ple is the true fountain of benevolent ing memorial upon the tomb. Those affections and virtue. I know it is more intimate revelations and minis. sometimes said that the era of romance tries which deal with the inmost gifts has passed ; that with the pastoral, of mind, and warmest emotions of the classic, and chivalrous periods of the heart, and through which alone love and world, the poetic element died out. truth are realized, are but seldom But this is manifestly a great error. dreamt of in their philosophy.
The forms of society have greatly There is yet another principle which changed, and the methods of poetical seems to me but faintly recognized in development are much modified, but the the New England philosophy of life, principle itself is essential to humanity. however it may be occasionally culti- No! mechanical as is the spirit of the vated as a department of literature; age, and wide as is the empire of utiliand yet it is one which we should deem ty, as long as the stars appear nightly essentially dear to man, a glorious en- in the firmament, and golden clouds YOL. XVI.-NO. LXXIX.
gather around the departing sun; as seldom awakened by any object, cuslong as we can greet the innocent tom, or association. The new, the smile of infancy and the gentle eye of equal, the attainable, constantly deaden woman; as long as this earth is visited our faith in infinite possibilities. Life by visions of glory and dreams of love rarely seems miraculous, and the comand hopes of heaven; while lise is en- mon-place abounds. There is much to circled by mystery, brightened by affec- excite, and little to chasten and awe. tion and solemnized by death, so long We need to see the blessedness of a rawill the poetical spirit be abroad, with tional conservatism, as well as the inits fervent aspirations and decp spells of spiring call for reform. There are veneenchantment. Again, it is often urged rable and lovely agencies in this existthat the poetical spirit belongs appropri- ence of ours which it is sacrilege to ately to a certain epoch of life, and that scorn. The wisdom of our renowned its influence naturally ceases with leaders in all departments is too restless youth. But this can only be the case and conscious to be desirable ; and it through self-apostasy. The poetical would be better for our boasted “ march element was evidently intended to min- of mind," if, like the quaint British esgle with the whole of human expe- sayist, a few more were dragged rience; not only to glow in the breast along in the procession.” An extravaof youth, but to dignify the thought of gant spirit of utility invades every scene manhood, and make venerable the as- of life however sequestered. We atpect of age. Its purpose clearly is to tempt not to brighten the grim features relieve the sternness of necessity, to of care, or relieve the burdens of responlighten the burden of toil, and throwsibility. The daughter of a distinguishsacredness and hope even around ed law professor in Europe was in the suffering—as the old painters were habit of lecturing in her father's abwont to depict groups of cherubs above sence. To guard against the fascinatheir martyrdoms. Nor can I believe tion of her charms, which it was feared that the agency of this principle is so would divert the attention of the stuconfined and temporary as many suppose. dents, a curtain was drawn before the It is true our contemplation of the beau- fair teacher, from behind which she imtiful is of short duration, our flights into parted her instructions. Thus do we the ideal world brief and occasional. carefully keep out of sight the poetical We can but bend in passing at the altar and veil the spirit of beauty, that we may of beauty, and pluck a flower hastily by worship undisturbed at the shrine of the the way-side ;-but may there not be an practical
. We ever seek the light of instinct which eagerly appropriates even knowledge ; but are content that no these transitory associations ? May fertilizing warmth lend vitality to its they not be unconsciously absorbed into beams. the essence of our life, and gradually When the returning pilgrim aprefine and exalt the spirit within us? I proaches the shores of the new world, I cannot think that such rich provision the first sign of the vicinity of his nafor the poetic sympathies is intended tive land is traced in hues of rare glory for any casual or indiflerent end. Ra- on the Western sky. The sunsets ther let us believe there is a mystic lan- grow more and more gorgeous as he guage in the flowers, and a deep mean- draws near, and while he leans over the ing in the stars, that the transparency bulwarks of a gallant vessel (whose of the winter air and the long sweet- matchless architecture illustrates the ness of summer twilight pass, with im- mechanical skill of her birth-place), perceptible power, over the soul ; rather and watches their shifting brilliancy, it let us cherish the thought that the ab- associates itself with the fresh promise sorbing emotions of love, the sweet ex- and young renown of his native land; citement of adventure, and the impas- and when from the wide solitude of the sioned solemnity of grief, with a kind of Atlantic, he planges once more amid spiritual chemistry, combine and purify her eager crowds, it is with the earnest the inward elements into nobler action and I must think patriotic wish, that and more perfect results. Of the poetical with her prosperous activity might minprinciple, the philosophy of life in New gle more of the poetry of life! England makes little account. Em- But what the arrangements of society blems of the past do not invite our gaze fail to provide, the individual is at libdown the vistas of time. Reverence is erty to seek. Nowhere are natural
beauty and grandeur more lavishly dis- wander through Eden to the music of played than on this continent. In no the blind bard's harp, or listen in the part of the world are there such noble orange groves of Verona, beneath the rivers, beautiful lakes and magnificent quiet moonlight, to the sweet vows of forests. The ermine robe of winter is, Juliet. Let us, then, bravely obey our in no land, spread with more dazzling sympathies, and find in candid and deeffect, nor can the woodlands of any voted relations with others, freedom clime present a more varied array of from the constraints of prejudice and autumnal tints. Nor need we resort form. Let us foster the enthusiasm to the glories of the universe alone. which exclusive intellectual cultivation Domestic life exists with us in rare per- would extinguish. Let us detach ourfection ; and it requires but the hero- selves sufficiently from the social maism of sincerity and the exercise of chinery to realize that we are not intetaste, to make the fireside as rich in gral parts of it; and thus summon into poetical associations as the terrace and the horizon of destiny those hues of verandah of Southern lands. Litera- beauty, love and truth, which are the ture, too, opens a rich field. We can most glorious reflections of the soul !
MONTHLY FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL ARTICLE.
The panic, which was got up on the gress of returning prosperity. Money result of the late elections, speedily sub- remains, in the great cities, plenty, in sided, with no other effect than a fall in the hands of private capitalists; while stocks of some 6 to 8 per cent., from the banks have, as usual in the last which they soon recovered. The ef- month of the year, succeeded in obtainforts made, however, by persons occu- ing high rates from their customers. pying a high station in the commercial The closing of the canals produced its world, to induce the belief that the na- customary influence upon the business tional prosperity would be unfavorably of New York; leaving, however, a good influenced through the ascendency of supply of Western produce upon the the Democratic party, had an injurious Atlantic markets, influencing, in some influence upon the retail traders and degree, the value of money. The banks mechanical employments, because they have, however, lost the control of the checked the easy movement of progres- market; and the attempt, on their part, sive business, growing out of the real to check loans, only serves to draw out advancement of the industrial wealth of the deposits of individuals, who make the country. Employers, laboring un- therewith the loan rejected by the bank, der these vague apprehensions, were less which thus loses the interest. The caready to undertake work or engage pital seeking employ will find it at the hands when they heard persons, emi- market rate, and it is beyond the power nent in commercial pursuits, recklessly of institutions to prevent it. We have, asserting that the defeat of a political in a former number, alluded to the lossparty would ruin the commercial pros- es which the mercantile community perity of the Union. Those disappoint- have sustained during the past year. ed politicians were seemingly determin- During the month thirce failures took ed that the people at large should suffer place in the provision trade through large physically in consequence of the defeat speculations in Pork. The returns of of their political hopes. These effects, the Secretary of the Treasury, for the however, passed away as soon as reason year ending July 1st, 1844, have been had time to exert its influence, and no made. The leading features, as comapparent change is visible in the pro- pared with former years, are as follows: