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a variety of subjects, we intimated a desire to be allowed to culti.
GOOD FRIDAY. vate his acquaintance during our residence at Paris. This, he was polite enough to say, would afford him pleasure equal to that Who is it that comes mumping along in the race of the days, expressed by us. It chanced that, on the following day, we
elothed in a sackcloth shirt, and new tights and dancing-pumpswere suddenly taken so ill as to lose all onsciousness. Dr. de a curious compound of mirth and melancholy, where grigs and L-- being resident in the neighbourhood, the people of the groans struggle for the mastery ;-a simpering widow-a laughing hotel sent for him as the nearest physician at hand. Under his Don Quixote-a harlequin in reduced circumstances-he old treatment we speedily recovered. This circumstance led to a close man and his ass--to what shall I liken thee, mysterious visioa, intimacy between us. Among a variety of topics that formed the that hobbling unwillingly, flanked with two opinions like a handsubject of our conversation, when together, that of animal mag- cuffed deserter between his guards, appeareth sorely puzzled, now netism was at last mentioned.
listening to mortification, and now inclining to merry-making? “ Have you any faith in it, Doctor?" we asked.
0! Good-Friday, the rubric calleth thee a fast, but the profane “ None in somnambulism and its wonders ; none in the pre
insist on a traditional error of the press, and, reading fcast, do eat tended psychological effects of animal magnetism; none in any and drink accordingly; but for fear of a mistake, or in compassion of the various absurdities attached to Mesmerism : but that a to tender consciences, considerately place salt-eel – I beg principle does exist, of wonderful power and effect, and which pardon, salt-cod—at the head of the table. may be termed animal magnetism, for want of a more appropriate
Time was, tlou wert more honoured, and preachings at Paul's name, I firmly believe ; nay more, I employ it in my practice, Cross proclaimed thy presence; but Paul's Cross has vanished, but without the knowledge of my patients, or anybody else. You and sackcloth is in disrepute; and thou, oh! Good Friday, are the first to whom I have confessed as much ; and you will no although thou dost in some sort keep thy state, yet art thou fallen doubt be not a little surprised when I add, that I have very suc.
from thy ancient observances. Thy honours are wrested from cessfully used it upon yourself. I say nothing about it, because thee, and thy mortification is moth-eaten. And yet compunction I would not have the credit of being humbugged (donner dans le still hangs upon those who violate the rigidity of thy ordinances. panneau) by the marvels coupled, in general opinion, with animal The Quaker boldly flings open his shop, and rejoices as greatly in magnetism, which I must tell you is a purely physical effect, the display of his broad window, as of his broad brim; but few are resulting from a cause implanted by nature, and common to all hardy enough to go all lengths with him. Many a door is open, warm-blooded animals. There is nothing marvellous in it except but you may always see a lingering shrinkingness from a ful. exhiits action ; and there are various other effects in nature equally | bition of the stores within. Some shroud themselves beneath the marvellous. Though he certainly covered it with a thick varnish shelter of one-half of their shutters, others content theniselves with of empiricism, Mesmer never dreamt of imputing any supernatural two or three, whilst, even in the shops of the boldest, a little powers to animal magnetism."
be detected screwed up in the extreme corner. The “Why do you not,” said we, “publish your opinions, and dis- school-boy, all agog for the enjoyment of his Easter Holidays, close what animal magnetism really is ?
feels dubious on Good Friday, and whilst angling for tittlebats in “Because," Dr. de L-- replied, “I have no desire to be the New River, seems uneasy at his post, and nervously jerking considered a quack; neither have I strength of mind or of body, at the phantom of a nibble, fails in fixing the fish. had I even leisure, to wage a war of extermination, as it must be, Thou art an anomaly, Janus-faced day; one side of thee looketh against the prejudices of the anti-magnetists, and the absurd grimly on Lent, the other gaily on Easter, and the very hot cross. assumptions and pretended miracles which constitute the faith buns we devour at breakfust, prove that thou art not altogether a of the magnetists. I shall leave behind me copious materials, fast. Some there are whom stern necessity compels to work on which they who will hereafter possess them may publish if they this day, but whilst they lay the flattering unction of Easter think fit."
Monday to their souls, they toil unwillingly. The comfortable “ But what evidence do you offer of the existence of animal closed shutters of others, seem to scorn their naked openness, and magnetism
the very printers' devils, who among other devilries, share this “I hope to give you plenty before I have done ; meanwhile, I curse, look dejected as they flit to and fro, amidst their dingy will make the presence of the fluid sensible to you.'
dens. So saying, he held his fingers extended, with the ends within an Strauge that in England, such opposite opinions should be held inch of our forehead.
respecting the observance of this day; opinions varying from even “Do you feel anything ?” he inquired.
Catholic strictness, (far exceeding that which regulates a Catholic “Yes! there seems to issue a stream of cold wind,” we replied, i Sunday,) through all degrees, to no observance at all. It is, per. " from the tips of your fingers, similar to the wind produced by haps, best as it is ; but we are far from desiring that it should the electric fluid issuing from a metallic point, though not so
cease to be regarded. Each man will use it as seems best to him. strong."
and the mere circumstance of its being a closed day for all public “ Precisely! that is the magnetic fluid."
business, gives the necessary liberty, and none can forget the cause A thought came at that moment which induced us to state where public holidays are so rare. The most careless cannot what we had recently experienced and witnessed, during the forget the purpose of the observance of Good Friday. The recoloperation of the provincial magnetiser, which we have already lection of the great sacrifice is revived, in the minds of the most described.
unthinking; as we have before observed, there is, even “Your sickness and that of your friend,” replied M. de L--, among those who do not think it right or necessary to celebrate it “were no doubt occasioned by your being too near the clumsy by religious observances, a disinclination to turn the day into one operator, who, by his foolish passes, was flinging about his own of revelry, albeit it is a leisure day-with us an oasis in the magnetic fluid. When beyond its influence, you were neither of wilderness. you affected. The faintness and subsequent catharsis of the
Many who make it a practice, and a praiseworthy practice, to patient proceeded from a more direct application of the same worship God in public on Good Friday, yet hold it not improper to cause. I have frequently produced the same effects upon parti- occupy the rest of the day in secular employment or amusement. cular idiosyncrasies. Passes are unnecessary in communicating With the suburban population of a city, it is the great gardening the magnetic fluid; the electric circle is alone sufficient. But i day with many, who never on any other occasion have time or will explain to you what I consider animal magnetism to be, and opportunity to do more to their flower-beds, than pluck out a state to you some of its ordinary effects.”
weed, or remove an unsightly
stone laid bare by a summer shower. This article having already far exceeded our usual limits, we
On the afternoon of a Good Friday, many a good citizen plies bis will give the doctor's explanation in our next, which will close unpractised hands, and sows his annuals in the little beds of his the subject.
straitly enclosed garden. His wife and children hover round him, and many a reproof he undergoes from the more experienced
matron, when she finds him sowing sweet peas close to the boxI cannor contentedly frame a prayer for myself in particular, border, and mignionette in the centre; but all is taken in good part, without a catalogue for my friends, nor request a happiness and the blunderer promises to be wiser-next Good Friday. wherein my sociable disposition doth not desire the fellowship of When Good Friday arrives, we feel convinced, in spite of any iny neighbour. I never hear the toll of a passing, though in my ill-natured north-east wind that will blow, that spring is come; mirth, without my prayers and best wishes for the departing perchance, you find your hot cross-bun crossed with a bunch of spirit: I cannot go to cure the body of my patient, but I forget primroses, “those sweet infantas of the year," and you defy ny profession, and call unto God for his soul.-Sir T. Browne. Boreas. Let him do his worst-you enjoy a dayO citizen ! an
Christ is risen !
extra day-a second day in the week, O rare indulgence ! in the more quiet and gentle George might be seen withdrawn from the bosom of your family, and you bound into the world again like a rest, devouring such specimens of literature as strayed to the humgiant refreshed, not with new wine, but with the renewed feelings ble shed of the fisherman. Among these, the poetical corner of a of earlier days. Blessed are the rare days of leisure unto those philosophical Magazine became an especial object of his emulation. who labour !
What an amazing effect have the ceremonies of the Roman This, in a boy of ten, was an early predilection for the Muse ; but Catholic Church had, in retaining her hold over the minds of genius will find its peculiar aliment, and, to the credit of our men! They are so imposing, so adapted to work upon the weaker poet's father, he appreciated the talents of his son, and devoted portion of our minds, our passions, that for the time, many a good him to the calling of a surgeon. It was during the apprenticeship Protestant has been more than half a Catholic. Who has ever to this profession, while in his twentieth year, that he first appeared beheld the midnight-mass in the Sistine Chapel on the eve of Easter-who has ever heard those mournful tones, the low, weak,
He published, in Ipswich, a short poem, entitled pleadings of the agonizing spirit, Mis-e-re-re, Mis-e-re-re, and not
Inebriety,” which, in its strictures on “the deacon sly,” the trembled ? But the moment is arrived—the crash of the organ,
"easy chaplain," and the “ reverend wig,” at the banquet of the till then mute — the blaze of the unveiled altar, till then lord, contrasts curiously with the after days of Crabbe, when he shrouded-proclaim the glorification of the Lamb-and a thou- himself became chaplain to the Duke of Rutland, and feasted at sand voices hail the tidings,
his table. Its success was inconsiderable, and the poet turned Jubilate! Jubilate !
more sedulously to his professional studies. In these, probably from a deficiency in preparation,--the opportunity for which his
father's circumstances did not permit,,but ultimately from the SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF THE want of the necessary manual tact, Crabbe was never very success. REV. GEORGE CRABBE.*
ful. He felt the reproach, but conscious of his merits in a supeAmidst the diversity and ceaseless change of opinion with rior walk, resolved to venture the future upon a struggle, the respect to the most modern poets, it is pleasing to turn to one uncertainty of which, with all his discouragements, he had not whose merits have constantly been admitted. While others have fully appreciated. He determined to seek his fortune as a literary risen and fallen with the varying scale of popular taste, Crabbe
man in the metropolis. preserved one consistent character for excellence, neither elevated
With fresh youthful hopes,--the fond wishes of a gentle and nor depressed by any transient burst of excitement. The reader faithful heart, the Myra of his early lore, destined to become in who approaches his works has no false veil of prejudice to remove
happier times his wife,—and a small sum of money (barely three before he can enter upon their enjoyment Living apart from the pounds), Crabbe set out for London, the grave of so many cherished bustling scenes, and uncommitted to the party interests of his day, for the event had not reached him at Aldborough, he was entering
expectations and imaginary successes. Unconsciously to himself, it was the rare felicity of Crabbe to appear before the world successfully claiming justice for his Muse. No error of exclusive upon a similar career to that in which Chatterton had so lately political policy, no unfortunate theory of morals, no blinded fallen a victim. This he soon learned, and a disheartening prodevotion to a false revolutionary principle, came between our
spect lay before him. Nothing daunted, however, he prepared a author and popular esteem. He was looked upon only as the poet, small collection of poems, and offered them for publication. They and his works, as they appeared, were received and canvassed
were courteously refused by the publisher. He made another
In the mean time, with an impartiality and regard but rarely paid to living genius. attempt, which met with the like ill success. The opposite principles of the hostile Reviews met for once in har.
he had tried an anonymous publication, " The Candidate," ad. mony on the peaceful ground of letters, and early acknowledged, dressed to the authors of the Monthly Review, which had been with just discrimination, the new claimant for the rewards of partially successful, and was likely to afford him “something," poesy. Honoured with the patronage of Burke, equally flattered when the failure of the publisher extinguished this bright hope. by the admiration of Fox, noticed by Johnson, reverenced as a
His funds were exhausted, and the scauty relief obtained by parent by the rising talent of the day, and preserving this influ. parting with the few articles of value he possessed, every day grew ence through a long literary career, Crabbe has already attained less. He had exerted himself nobly, but had not succeeded. his permanent station with the world. Criticism, relieved from With the prospect of starvation before him, he addressed a letter the burden of establishing his fair fame, has left the agreeable to Lord North, and, after a cold delay, his request for employment duty of noting the excellences by which it was ensured.
was denied. Application to Lord Shelburne and the Chancellor, The biography of Crabbe, as written by his son, forms no unapt Thurlow, met a similar fate. A journal that he wrote during this prelude to his verse. The same gentleness and tender humanity, period has been preserved, and its simple record of his hopes and -the same sympathy with man, regardless of the accident of his disappointment, ever sustained by firm religious confidence, station,—the same keen sense of the domestic relations,—the same
attaches the reader insensibly to the author. Crabbe made one healthy tone of feeling that characterises his poetry, appear in the
more attempt, and, as he afterwards expressed himself, "he fixed unobtrusive incidents of his life. The simple history of the poet, -impelled by some propitious influence, in some happy mo. natural, kind, and benevolent,--the noble heart and head of ment,-upon Edmund Burke, one of the first of Englishmen, and, genius, without its perversity,-must commend itself to all. It is in the capacity and energy of his mind, one of the greatest of a literary memorial that should be well received; for, in exchange human beings.”. The letter he addressed to that eminent statesfor the melancholy errors and misfortunes of poets, it offers the
man was not to be mistaken : the air it bore of sincerity, tempered story of a well-spent life, violating no law of social intercourse,
by melancholy resignation, could not be counterfeit. An early of an honourable reputation earneil without envy or detraction interview was appointed by Burke, and from that instant the from others. In connexion with the striking example of Scott, it difficulties of the poet were past. But this is a theme on which may tend to disabuse the world of an old fallacy, that genius must
his son must speak. The following is an honourable expression of ever be irregular, and the best wits be looked for among the worst
his enthusiasm, in “ The Life :" livers.
“ He went into Mr. Burke's room, a poor young adventurer, Crabbe was born of poor but reputable parents, in the middle of spurned by the opulent and rejected by the publishers, his last the eighteenth century, at the sınall sea-faring town of Aldborough, shilling gone, and all but his last hope with it: he came out virtuon the coast of Suffolk, amidst the rugged and desolate scenes soally secure of almost all the good fortune that, by successive steps, vividly described in his poem of “The Village." In his early afterward fell to his lot,--his genius acknowledged by one whose youth were seen the germs of the future. While his brothers were
verdict could not be questioned,-his character and manners apventuring on the ocean, the scene of their future livelihood, the preciated and approved by a noble and capacious heart, whose
benevolence knew no limits but its power—that of a giant in intellect, who was, in feeling, an unsophisticated child ; a bright
• Prom the New York Review.
example of the close affinity between superlative talents and the more human emotions of common life rather than the high bursts warmth of the generous affections. Mr. Crabbe had afterwards of passion, and weave them into the history of the dramatist, so many other friends, kind, liberal, and powerful, who assisted him the disposition of Crabbe may be truly gathered from his verse. in his professional career ; but it was one hand alone that rescued There is a populas idea that our author deals only in the severer him when he was sinking.”—Vol. i. p. 93.
traits of nature ; that he is ever groping in poor-bouses and dunThe friendship of Burke to our poet was everything. He geons, among the vicious and unfortunate; that his pages abound shortly became established in the family circle at Beaconsfield, and with harsliness and gloom ; that he pictures only the penseroso of was frequently the companion of the statesman in his private life in its most repulsive aspect. This is not the character of the walks. One of the first fruits of this intercourse was a severer great poet of actual life. He has been more just to nature. In criticism than the poet had been accustomed to, of his different his moral anatomy of society, he has laid bare many errors and manuscripts. Of these there must have been a various stock. He misfortunes of the species. He has painted life as it came before mentions in the journal a poem of 350 lines, with the fanciful title him, and never violated truth for sickly sentiment. He has drawn of “An Epistle from the Devil;" then there were “ Poetical a portion of society-the village poor-as they truly exist. But Epistles, with a preface by the learned Martinus Scriblerus ; he has found too * the soul of goodness in things evil." - Tbe "The Hero, an Epistle to Prince William Henry;” and a prose tares and wheat of this world spring up together, and in whatever treatise, being “A Plan for the Examination of our Moral and rank of men there must be much good. No one observes this Religious Opinions," with two dramas. These were at once truth more than our poet; and in his darkest pictures we have rejected, and the poet's powers fastened on “ The Library,” and gleams of the kindliest virtues. The severity of Crabbe's muse “ The Village ;" works which, on their publication, at once ele- consists in the faithful portraiture of nature. If a man is not vated him in the literary world.
always happy, it is not the poet's fault. There is too much of The disposition of Crabbe had always been religious. Nothing sober reality in life to make the picture other than it is. This less, indeed, than this powerful principle could have sustained him Crabbe knows, for he writes of scenes under his own observation. through the difficulties of his early life. His private journal He lived amid the people he describes, felt their little occasional breathes the most devotional spirit. It was with no improper joys, and saddened over their many misfortunes. But in the feelings, then, that he professed to Burke an attachment for the gloomiest character he never “oversteps the modesty of nature." ministry, and through his interest was admitted to orders. From He does not accumulate horrors for effect. He has no extravagant this period the events of Crabbe's life may be briefly comprised. and unnatural heroes pouring forth their morbid sentiment in his Through the continual kindness of his patron, he became chaplain pages. There is no sickly affectation, but a pure and healthy porto the Duke of Rutland, when he published the “Village.” The trait of life-of life it may be in its unhappiest, but in its least " Newspaper" appeared in 1785 ; and, twenty-two years after artificial development, where society has done little to alter its wards, "The Parish Register,"? " The Borough," " Tales in rough uneducated tones, when the actual feelings and passions of Verse," and " Tales of the Hall,'' with a volume of poems, com- man may be traced at every footstep. plete the list of his works. For the copyright of the “ Tales of It has been objected against Crabbe that he has modelled himthe Hall," in 1819, he received from Murray the liberal sum of self after Pope ; and he has been considered by some-ignorant of three thousand pounds. The intervals of those various publica- the true character of his writings—but a mere imitator. Horace tions were mostly spent in the quiet of domestic life, in the Smith has favoured this injustice by a note to the Rejected discharge of his clerical duties, and in the labour of his pen. Addresses, where, merely for the sake of the point, Crabbe is chaDuring the latter part of his life, Crabbe made occasional journeys racterised as “ Pope in worsted stockings. It is not the first to London, where he was always received in the first walks of instance in which truth has been sacrificed to a witticism. No society. He also paid a visit to Sir Walter Scott, with whom he intelligent reader of their poetry can confound the different merits had long held correspondence, at Edinburgh. The personal anec- of Pope and Crabbe. They belong to independent schools. The dotes of his life, if not extraordinary, are always pleasing. He excellence of one consists in the perfection of the Artificial, the was a fluent writer, and found occasion, at times, to submit his merit of the other in the purer love of the Natural. Pope reflects productions to what he calls a “grand incremation,” which was the nice shades of a court life, and adapts bimself to the polished not huddled over in a chimney, but regularly consummated in the society around him. He lives among lords and ladics. open air; his children officiating with great glee at the bonfire. trates beneath the surface of character, but it is within the circle He would be seized with the poetic inspiration, especially during of a court, and after a classical model. Out of Queen Anne's a snow.storm : on one such occasion he composed the very power- reign he would have been nothing. We can form no idea of him ful tale of “ Sir Eustace Grey." At one time he was taken with removed from the wits and gentlemen of his day. He is a master the desire to see the ocean again ; and,"mounting his horse, rode of elegance, and has power as a satirist; can dilate upon the rir. alone to the coast of Lincolnshire, sixty miles from his house, tues of Atticus, or heighten the crimes of Atossa. He can follow dipped in the waves that washed the beach of Aldborough, and where one has gone before. He can revive the felicity of Horace returned to Strathern." He had the gentlest disposition; and, as or the vehemence of Juvenal. Out of the track of the artificial, in the case of Cowper, a striking fondness for the society of intel- the conventional, he is nothing; within it he reigns supreme. ligent females, affords evidence of the purity and simplicity of his Crabbe is of another order. He has no model to copy after. He character. The correspondence with Mary Leadbeater, in which throws himself upon a subject that derives no aid from romance or he so naturally assumes the demure phrase and conversation of classic association. He paints the least popular part of society. Quakerism, does him honour for its artless sincerity. His devo- He has to overcome a powerful prejudice against his characters. tion to the study of botany (evidences of which are scattered through He struggles where art can avail him little; where his whole suchis poems) was also the mark of a simple mind. A naturalist is, cess must depend upon nature. His personages have nothing in with rare exceptions, a good man. Crabbe was always a friend to them to please the taste, or enlist the fancy of the polished. fiction, and, what may excite surprise, not confined to the more They come before us at every disadvantage. They are out of the classic, he devoured eagerly his package from London, of all the pale of good society. They have no relish of high life to add inteproductions of the season. He found something in the poorest : rest to their virtues, or throw a softening shadow over their crimes. a great writer is not always the severest critic. He was emi. They do not belong to the court standard. According to nently the man of private life-the kind father, the constant Touchstone's scale they would infallibly be condemned : “ If thou friend; and, ever ready to the call of the poor, he was loved by all. never wast at court, thou art in a parlous state, shepherd !" But It was a melancholy day at his village of Trowbridge, when, in they have something in their composition prior to and independent 1832, Crabbe at the advanced age of seventy-eight, died, full of of this artificial excitement. They are vigorous specimens of years and honour. The anthems selected at his funeral accorded human nature in its elementary traits, and have their whole charm well with the feelings of those who knew him best.
in being simply men. They interest us as they feel and suffer, as * When the ear heard him, then it blessed him;
they truly exist in themselves, not as they act in an outward paAnd when the eye saw him, it gave witness of him.
geant. They have the feelings and passions of the species, and He delivered the poor that cried, the fatherless, and him
their example comes home to our own breasts. It is in this That had none to help him : Kindness, and meekness, and comfort, were in his tongue."
one touch of Nature makes the whole world kin." respect that
The Artificial must be content with admiration; the Natural This slight sketch of the life of Crabbe has been given for its claims our sympathy. This is the distinction. Pope tickles t'e illustration of the spirit of his poetry. The gentler traits of his sense with fine periods, or gains the fancy by a sparkling picture ; poetical characters were always drawn from himself. As we are while Crabbe leaves an impression on the heart. There may not naturally led, in reading the plays of Shakspeare, to distinguish the l be a single line to be quoted for its brilliancy, like a finished
couplet of Pope; but the passage from our author shall convey a
WILD SCENES IN THE FOREST AND PRAIRIE.* force and reality, the bard of Twickenham-were he twice the master of art he is—could never attain.
MR. HOFFMAN has thrown together a number of slight but A word of apology for the poetry of Crabbe is hardly needed. lively sketches, descriptive of scenes in the forest and prairie, Time was when this might be necessary, but a returning sense of personal adventures, Indian superstitions and traditions, all of justice is rapidly coming over the age, and the world is fast ac
which have such an air of vraisemblance, and are, withal, so knowledging that the relations of life, however simple, afford a true animated, as to interest the reader more strongly than at first ground of poetry. It is pleasing to remark this change in favour sight would appear likely. A portion of them relate to the wild of sound taste. Wordsworth, but lately neglected, begins to
scenes of the northern part of the state of New York, which, receive his due honours. He is no longer laughed at for his strange to say, has been, until very recently, a terra incognita. childishness. This is a triumph of humanity ; for it permits the Others relate to the “ Far West,” and one or two belong to city poor and humble, as well as the great, to feel they too have emo
and civilised life. Some of the Indian superstitions are very tions and sympathies worthy of poesy ; that their simple hopes singular and striking. may also be married to immortal verse." If we have taught a
If the reader will glance over a map of the United States, he man self-respect, we have led him to the path of virtue. When he will perceive that the great state of New York has a kind of trifeels that his existence, however unobtruded upon the world, is an
angular shape, its apex being at the city of New York, and its object of sacred regard to the poet; he must think more nobly of base extending along the St. Lawrence. “ Everybody," says himself and live more wisely. The age is made better by such Mr. Hoffman, " was aware that the Hudson rose among a group works as “The Lyrical Ballads,” and “ The Borough." Ques- of mountains in the northern part of the state of New York; and tion not their claim to poetry. The denial is not founded on a
if you looked upon the map, some of the lakes which formed its proper understanding of the art. Poetry is born not only of the head waters seemed to be laid down with sufficient particularity. lofty and the imaginative, but of the simple and pathetic. The Few, however, until the legislature instituted the geological survey attendant of human feelings and human passions, it exists alike for which is now in progress, had any idea that the mountains upon the means and the extremes of life. Wherever man is separated which this noble river rises overtopped the Catskills and the from the gross earth beneath him, and connected by any link with Alleghanies, and were among the loftiest in the United States : or the vast and beautiful above him ; wherever there exists an image that the lakes from which it draws its birth were equally remarkable of a greater good than the conditions of sense offer ; wherever the for their prodigal numbers, their picturesque variety, and their limited, intellectual
, and moral part of our nature sighs after the wild and characteristic beauty.” The sources of the Hudson were great and the perfect; wherever any of the mysterious links of the only explored during 1837 ; and “the worthy Knickerbockers chain bending together the present with the untried future, are
were not a little surprised, when they learned, from the first official visible—there, in their just degree, like the nature and spirit of report of the surveying corps, that their famous river was fed by poetry,
Mr. Hoffman soaring in the high region of its fancies,” it may mountain snows for ten months in the year. approach " the azure throne, the sapphire blaze.” It may be started on an excursion to the sources of the Hudson. We will
choiring to the young-eyed cherubim," and it may sing of the confine ourselves to the state of New York; and, as a specimen humblest flower that decks the mead," or speak of the smallest of our author's manner of telling a story, quote one relating to hope that breaks the darkness of the least educated. It is not to that early and disastrous time when the lone settlers in the forest be limited in its application. It is not built on learning, or founded were exposed to midnight Indian visits, and to have their slumbers on the canons of the critic. It is itself the foundation of all just disturbed by the whoop of a ferocious war-party, that often spared, critical laws. Its fresh source is in the human heart; its province in their savage fury, neither man, woman nor child. The story also is in the wide map of human relations ; it is bounded only by the illustrates the nature of that mutual hatred and spirit of revenge, horizon of human emotion ; its heritage is the race of man, which too often arises, and is cherished, wherever settlers are and its task-work is to connect and blend the sentiment of the guided only by their own feelings, instead of an enlightened policy, true, the good, the beautiful, the infinite, and eternal, with in their dealings with aborigines. all the passions and emotions that beat in the heart of universal
“ THE DEAD CLEARING. humanity.
" Schroon Lake is the largest, and perhaps the finest body of
water among the myriad lakes which form the sources of the A PICTURE.
Hudson. • The Schroon,' as it is called by the country people,
has, indeed, been likened by travellers to the celebrated lake of Hunting the buck,
Como, which it is said to resemble in the configuration of its I found him sitting by a fountain's side,
shores. It is about ten miles in length, broad, deep, and girt with Of which he borrowed some to quench his thirst,
mountains, which, though not so lotty as many in the northern And paid the nymph again as much in tears.
part of the state of New York, are still picturesque in form, while A garland lay him by, made by himself,
they enclose a thousand pastoral valleys and sequestered dells Of many several flowers, bred in the bay,
among their richly-wooded detiles. Stuck in that mystic order, that the rareness
“In one of the loveliest of these glens, near a fine spring, wellDelighted me.
known to the deer-stalker, there flourished, a few years since, a But ever when he turned
weeping willow, which, for aught I know, may be still gracing the His tender eyes upon 'em, he would weep,
spot. The existence of such an exotic in the midst of our As if he meant to make 'em grow again.
primitive forest would excite the curiosity of the most casual obSeeing such pretty helpless innocence
server of nature, even if other objects adjacent did not arrest his Dwell in his face, I asked him all his story.
attention, as he emerged from the deep woods around, to the sunny He told me that his parents gentle died,
glade where it grew. On the side of a steep bank, opposite to Leaving him to the mercy of the fields,
the willow, the remains of an old fireplace were to be seen; and Which gave him roots ; and of the crystal springs,
blackened timbers, with indications of rough masonry, could be
discovered by turning aside the wild raspberry-bushes that had Which did not stop their courses; and the sun,
overgrown the farther side of the knoll. "These ruins betokened Which still, he thank'd him, yielded him his light.
something more than the remains of a hunting-camp; and the Then took he up his garland, and did show
forester who should traverse an extensive thicket of young beeches What every flower, as country people hold,
and wild cherry-trees, within a few yards of this spot, would be Did signify; and how all, order'd thus,
at no loss to determine that he had lighted upon the deserted home Express'd his grief : and to my thoughts did read
of some settler of perhaps forty years back ;-a scene where the The prettiest lecture of his country art
toil, the privation, and the dangers of a pioneer's life had been That could be wish'd: so that, methought, I could
once endured, but where the hand of improvement had wrought
in vain, for the forest had already closed over the little domain Have studied it. I gladly entertained him,
that had been briefly rescued from its embrace; and the place was Who was as glad to follow; and have got
now what in the language of the country is called a ' dead clearing.' The trustiest, loving'st, and the gentlest boy,
“The story of this ruined homestead is a very common one in the That ever master kept.
*«Wild Scenes in the Forest and Prairie." By C. F. Hoffman, Esq., Philaster, by Beaumont and Fletcher, author of “A Winter in the Far Wost.” London, Bentley, 1839.
private family annals of the state of New York, which has always tomahawk of another savage struck him to the floor. A dozen been exposed to the perils of frontier warfare, and which, for painted demons sprang over his prostrate body into the centre of twenty years, at the close of the seventeenth century, and through the room. The simple scene of domestic joy, but a moment before out the whole of that which followed it, was the battle-field of the so sheltered and homelike, was changed on the instant. The most formidable Indian confederacy that ever arrayed itself against mummied nursling was flung upon the embers near the feet of its the Christian powers on the shores this continent. The broken frantic mother, who slipped and fell in the blood of her husband, remains of that confederacy still possess large tracts of valuable as she plucked her child from the coals and sprang towards the land in the centre of our most populous districts; while their door. It was a blow of mercy, though not meant as such, which brethren of the same colour, but of a feebler lineage, have been dismissed her spirit, as she struggled to rise with her lifeless driven westward a thousand miles from our borders. And when burden. The embers of the fire soon strewed the apartment, while this remnant of the Iroquois shall have dwindled from among us, the savages danced among them with the mad glee of the devil's their names will still live in the majestic lakes and noble rivers own children, until the smoke and blaze, ascending to the roofthat embalm the memory of their language. They will live, too, tree, drove them from the scene of their infernal orgies. unhappily, in many a dark legend of ruthless violence, like that “The next day's sun shone upon that smouldering ruin as which I have to relate.
brightly as if unconscious of the horrors which his light revealed. “ It was in the same year when Sullivan's army gave the finishing so complete had been the devastation of the flames, that little but blow to the military power of the Six Nations, that a settler, who ashes now remained ; and the blue smoke curled up among the
l had come in from the New Hampshire grants to this part of Tryon embowering trees as gently as if it rose only from a cottager's County, (as the northern and western region of New York was at hospitable fire. The oriole, perched upon a cedar-top, whistled as that time called,) was sitting with his wife, who held an infant to usual to his mate, swinging in his nest upon the pendant branches her bosom, enjoying his evening pipe beside his hearth. The of a willow which had been planted by the ill-fated settler near a blaze of the large maple-wood fire spread warmly upon the un- spring not far from his door ; while the cat-bird from the brier. painted beams above, and lighted up the timbers of the shanty thicket replied in mocking notes blither and clearer than those he with a mellow glow that gave an air of cheerfulness and comfort aimed to imitate. The swallow only, driven from her nest in the to the rudely-furnished apartment. From the grey hairs and eaves, and whirling in disordered fight around the place, seemed weather-beaten features of the settler, he appeared to be a man in sharp cries to sympathise with the desolation which had come considerably on the wrong side of forty, while the young bright over it. haired mother by his side had not yet passed the sunny season of early “ There was one human mourner, however, amid the scene. А youth. The disparity of their years, however, had evidently not pre- youth of sixteen sat with his head buried in his hands upon a vented the growth of the strongest affection between them. There fallen tree hard by. So still and motionless he seemed, that his was a soft and happy look of content about the girl, as she sur- form might almost be thought to have been carved out of the grey veyed the brown woodsman, now watching the smoke-wreaths wood, with which his faded garments assimilated in colour. It from his pipe as they curled over his head, now taking his axe would not be difficult to surmise what passed in the bosom of the upon his lap and feeling its edge with a sort of caressing gesture, young forester, as at last, after rising with an effort, he advanced as if the inanimate thing could be conscious of the silent compli- to the funeral pyre of his household, and, turning over the dry ment he paid to its temper, when thinking over the enlargement embers, disengaged a half-burned cloven skull from among them. of the clearing he had wrought by its aid during the day. Nor He threw himself upon the grass and bit the ground with a fierce did the eye of the young mother kindle less affectionately when agony that showed some self-reproach must be mingled with his the brawny pioneer, carefully depositing the simple instrument, sorrow. which is the pride of an American woodsman, behird the chimney, «« « My father ! my father !' he cried, writhing in anguish ; 'why turned to take the hand of the infant, which she pressed to her --why did I not come home at once, when I heard that the Black bosom, and shared at the same time with her the caresses which | Wolf had gone north with his band!' A burst of tears seemed he bestowed on the child.
to relieve him for a moment; and then, with greater bitterness " . That boy's a raal credit to you, Bet. But I think, if he than ever he resumed, · Fool-thrice accursed fool that I was !-I cries to-night, as he has for the last week, I must make a papoose. might have known that he would strike for these mountains, instead cradle for him to-morrow, and swing him somewhere outside of of taking the Sacondaga route, where the palatine yægars were the shanty, where his squalling can't keep us awake. Your face out and on the watch for him. To die so like a brute in the hands is growing as white as a silver birch, from loss of sleep o’nights.' of a butcher-without one word of warning—to be burned like a
"Why, John, how you talk! I'm sure Yorpy never cries ; wood-chuck in his hole-stricken to death without a chance of never, I mean, worth talking of.'
dealing one blow for his defence! My father! my poor father! “As the mother spoke, she pressed the unhappy little youngster Ob, God! I cannot bear it.' somewhat too closely to her bosom, and he awoke with one of “But the youth knew not the self-renovating spirit of life's those discordant outbreaks of infant passion with which the hopeful springtime, when he thought that his first sorrow, bitter as it was, scions of humanity sometimes test the comforts of married life. would blast his manhood for ever. A first grief never blights the
“• Baby---why, baby-there-there now! what will it have?- heart of man. The sapling hickory may be bowed-may be does it want to see brother Ben? Hush-hush--he's coming with shattered by the storm, but it has an elasticity and toughness of something for baby! Hush, now, darling !-Will it bave this?' fibre that keep it from perishing. It is only long exposure to a
". Why, Bet, my dear,' said the father, don't give the brat succession of harsh and biting winds that steals away its vigour, Ben's powder-horn to play with; for thof he does like you as drinks up its sap of life, and sends a chill at last to the roots which much as my first missus, his own mother and flesh and blood, the nourished its vitality. lad doesn't love to have his hunting tools discomboborated. God's “That day of cruel woe, like all others, had an end for the young weather ! where can the tormented chap be staying ?-he ought to forester : and, when the waning moon rose upon the scene of his be home by this time.' With these words he walked to the door, ruined home, her yellow light disclosed the boy kneeling upon the and stood for a moment commenting upon the mildness of the sod wherewith he had covered up the bones of his only earthly night, and wondering why Ben did not return. But the mother relatives. She, too, was sole witness to the vow of undying was too much engaged in soothing the infant, by rocking him to vengeance which he swore upon the spot against the whole race and fro in her arms, to reply.
of red men. “ • Now don't, don't, gal,' continued the kind-hearted woods- “ There are but too many traditions surviving in this region to man, turning from the door, which he left open ; 'you'll tire your prove the fulfilment of this fearful vow. But I leave the dire feats self to death. Let me take him—there, now—there,' said he, as of Bloody Ben,' by which name only is the avenger now reshe relinquished the child to his arms; and, addressing the last membered, to some annalist who finds greater pleasure than I do words to the poor perverse little thing, he walked up and down the in such horrible details. My business, here, is only to describe room with it, vainly trying to lull its gust of passion or peevishness. the first deed by which he requited the murderous act of the
“ • Hush ! you little varmint, you !' said the father at last, Indians. growing impatient ; 'hush ! or I'll call in the Indians to carry you “ The seasons had twice gone their round since destruction had off-I will."
come over the house of the settler, and his son had never yet re“The settler was just turning in his walk, near the open visited the spot, which, with the exuberant growth of an American threshold, as he uttered the ill-omened words, when a swarthy hand, soil, had partly relapsed into its native wildness, from the tangled reaching over bis shoulder, clutched the child from his arms, and vines and thickets which had overgrown the clearing. The strong brained it against the doorpost, in the same moment that the arm of the government had for a while driven the Indians beyond