Imagens das páginas

i neat cotton gown and black bonnet lined with pink. By some unaccountable stupidity the young woman ra placed next to her own brother, a tall sheepish bat of eighteen, while the bridegroom stood on the opposite side of the room, lost amongst a throng of o'.d people and bridesmaids, where he stood twirling his hat and looking as if lie was marvelling what lie came there for. This arrangement had" the effect of producing some ridiculous confusion. The clergyman, mistaking the bridesman for the bonny bridegroom, proceeded with great solemnity to exhort the young people on their duties, and by-and-by to scold the aforesaid lout for his backwardness in making the proper responses; matters had gone as far as that most important question "Wilt thou take this Ionian," &c, when the embarrassment of the parties increased to a ludicrous degree. Nancy cast an imploring look at her lover, but finding the minister was growing positive, and convinced by this time that ail was not right, she began to blush deeper than ever, an:l at last stammered out,

"Bless ye, zur, but that an't he that should be married to I. That's brother!"

Having said this, she danced across the room, and, pulling her discomfited spouse elect by the sleeve, shored him into the place her brother occupied, and stuck herself by his |idc, with an air of self-satisfaction i* her own management that caused even the grave features of the matron of the house to relax into a sale, and brought my risible muscles into play more

decidedly than strict decorum warranted. I had, in 1 truth, nnch ado not to laugh outright;—I only needed, I assure you, one glance from your own mischievous black eye to have set me off—the scene was so truly comical; for the clergyman, who was a little deaf at times, grew confused, and could not at first comprehend where Uic mistake lay. And then the poor ■ brother of the bride looked so rueful at being nearly . forced into a marriage with his own sister, and cast. such sheepish looks at a tall, gawky lass opposite to him, dizened out in a fine green-striped gauze frock, (some second-hand piece of ball finery,) with flounces innumerable, a dirty splashed dimity petticoat, short enough to display thick homespun worsted stockings, and clouted shoes, inch thick with mud.

"Why dtd you not place the bridegroom next your

daughter?" said Mr. , rather sternly, to the

bride's father.

"Lawk, zur! vy, it's zuch a toimc zincc voife and I ztood up together afore the parzon to be married, that I vholly vorgot all about un," said the old man "out I promize your vurzhip I'll remember better ixxt luime."

Methought his old dame looked a little sour at this declaration of her simple spouse, though, I am sure, be meant no ofi'euce to his worthy partner.

So ended the first wedding; and, as soon as they had departed, in came the second couple. They were not quite such a set of ninnies as the former party; but the bride looked sad, and the groom grave; and they were united without a gleam of the sunshine of

true love glancing over their faces. I felt melancholv as I contemplated the sorrowful faces of the bride and the mother who stood near her; and argued hut little for her happiness, when 1 saw the air of indifference with which the husband left his newly-made wife to tread her way through the deep miry streets alone; while he stalked on at a quick pace before her, apparently unmindful of her, for he never once turned his head to see how she made her way along the wet rough road.

I remember, a few months before my own marriage, I found a wedding-ring lying on the threshold of the church porch at W'altham Abbey. I tried, without effect, to discover the owner of the lost ring;—the curate could throw no light on the mystery, — the clerk of the parish only answered, with a facetious wink and nod,—"Oh! well, Miss, 1 suppose it is a sign you won't be long without a ring on your finger. You may say, you are already provided for;" and he cast a sly glance towards the curate as he spoke, who chanced to be a single man, and one of the beaux of the place, and who, I dare say, was as much annoyed as myself at this witticism of the clerk's. The sexton, with a grave shake of his head, on being shown the ring, observed,—" She was a careless wife that dropped that ring; depend upon it, her husband will have little good of her."

The history of the lost ring haunted my imagination for a long time. I often wondered if it had been dropped accidentally by some faithful wife, who would long deplore its loss, and vainly seek it. Or had it been cast away in high disdain by some indignant and heart-wounded bride? I could suppose a highspirited young woman treated in the contemptuous maimer of the bride whose nuptials I witnessed, tearing the fetter from her finger, and casting it from her in bitterness of spirit.

There is an evil that is not of unfrcquent occurrence in this country, aud is a source of muck domestic infelicity, besides having a demoralizing tendency. It is this: Many men coming to the oniony, having previously deserted their wives, or been deserted by them, pass themselves off' for unmarried persons; aud, after having induced some unconscious or thoughtless girl to marry them, forsake their victim, on the plea of illegality in the marriage. I have met with instances in which the young women, with blind infatuation, refused to listen to the warning of friends, and have shut their eyes to proofs of the most startling nature; and there are not wanting instances of clandestine marriages where you would least expect to hear of such romantic proceedings—• among the humbler class of settlers.

It is not very long ago since a farmer in a neighbouring township, early one morning, saw at his door a steed waiting with a side-saddle, and found to his utter astonishment it was to convey away his eldest daughter,—his housekeeper and handmaid, for he was a widower. The bride wns all dressed for a start, when her angry sire intercepted her on her way to her lover. The bonny bridegroom contrived, however, to mollify the resentment of the old man, and he even accompanied them to church, and gave away the bride. So, in this instance, the course of true love did run smooth; but it is a solitary instance, for I could record several runaway matches where the wrath of the parents was scarcely less than that of the Tather of fair Ellen, the lost bride of Netherby, in Scott's ballad.

Our young people generally many on pretty equal terms. The lass brings for her tocher cows or sheep, and often a portion of wild land, or the prospect of it. The husband has generally a lot of land, say a hundred acres, a log house or a good roomy shanty, a yoke of oxen with which to work the land; and if lie be active and sober, the axe soon hews them out a strait path in the world; and the wife clothes her young family, her husband and herself, in warm and comfortable homespun garments, dyed by her own hands, and often the web is woven in the house, or at a neighbour's. The loom is frequently seen in the dwellings of the emigrant, many of whom had followed the craft of weavers in the old country. I have had female servants in my house who could card and weave both. As to knitting, it is an accomplishment learned by all classes; here our ladies think it no disgrace to bring their balls of yarn, and ply their fingers while they chat away. For my own part, I envy and admire their skill and usefulness, whilst I find myself too stupid to imitate their good example. I fancy I could sooner learn to spin than shape a stocking.

No wonder the old-established families of the middling class thrive and become prosperous. The Canadian housewife turns every thing to account. They so contrive to gather up all fragments that nothing be lost: even the snips and shreds of wornout garments are not wasted, but are cut in strips about an inch wide and sewed together. If white, these rags are dyed with arnotto, Spauish brown, butternut bark, the bark of the oak, or with indigo, and many other dyes of native vegetables and earths. These are then wound up in large balls and sent to the loom, where they are manufactured into very decent carpeting. I have seen them in bedrooms, and even parlours, where they looked very neat and even gay; besides these economical coverings for the floors, the settlers' wives sometimes spin a coarse sort of yarn, which is dyed grey, or some sober colour, and is then woven into very respectable carpeting, ■which resembles a coarse drugget, and looks quite as well. They also have bed-covers made of the same material, but it is more gaily coloured, and woven in patterns.

The inferior wool is pulled and washed clean, and made up into thick warm quilts, one of which, containing from five to six pounds of wool, will be equal in warmth and comfort to two pair3 of blankets. The winter sheets are often composed of a mixture of flax, thread, and wool, such as is usually worn by the men as shirts, and the women as petticoats, or dyed for outer garments. When intended to be worn as gowns,

the wool is either dyed blue, grey, brown, or red, or woven in stripes or checks. Sometimes you see them made of the native grey of the sheep, which, when mixed with white, and striped, looks very well, aud never changes its colour.

The country flannel sells from three to four shillings a yard. It is full a yard wide; the frilled cloth is half the width, but, being much finer and thicker, is nearly double the price. Sheep are the greatest source of comfort the settler can possess. Let him get the length of keeping a small flock, and he will never need to go to the store for comfortable aud decent clothing for his family. Besides the wool, lie can have fresh meat aud plenty of caudles; a luxury which those who cannot kill sheep or beef must either forego, or pay at the enormous rale of a shilling a pound for candles half made of lard: if he buys the tallow, he must give sevenpeuce and cightpence per pound for it, and then be at the trouble of making them at home. This last, however, is the cheapest plan, and I would recommend it as most economical to the housewife.

The resinous knots of the pine and hemlock are often the only light the poorest settlers have to do their evening work by; a good store of these laid bj for wiuter use is no bad thing. I have often been glad to avail myself of this substitute for candles; in the parlour and in the kitchen no other light is used excepting on particular occasions. This is one of the many expedients which necessity and want of money teaches the emigrant to adopt.

Many indeed are the useful acquirements of the settler's wife in this country. The young women are brought up in the practice of every kind of domestic thriftiuess; they make the soap soft and hard; the candles, the sugar; they spin, they knit, they card the wool, they dress the flax, they dye the yarn aud thread—to say nothing of the usual feminine accomplishments of pickling, preserving, making butter and cheese. They are their own mantua-makers, and their husbands' tailors; while the men by turns follow the various crafts of weaver, shoemaker, boatbuilder, and carpenter; in short, they can generally turn their hands to any thing that necessity requires them to make or mind, besides the ordinary occupation of the farmer. ,

With such habits of industry, no wonder if our young couples set poverty at defiance, and become independent in every sense of the word, and after a few years of honest struggles and toil acquire those substantial comforts that are less frequently to he seen in the dwellings of those of the higher order of emigrants,—I mean, families of the well-educated but poor gentlemen.

I have told of the weddings and wooings of some of the lower class among us, but you must not take them as general pictures, but only as individual portraits. As to the young people of the better sort, they usually marry and are given in marriage at a much earlier period than is customary at home, from sixteen to twenty being the common age for our Svotmg ladies to oe wooed and won. I must confess I am rather an advocate for early marriages, while the joung heart's affections are warm and untainted by interested motives; while they are yet unspotted by j tie world, or corrupted by the worldly and mercenary spirit that now walks this fair earth amidst the Uunts of fashion and wealth. There is a spring and elasticity in the youthful mind that leads it to conform to circumstances, however adverse they may be, which enables the young wife and mother to struggle more cheerfully against trials which would break the spirit of those more advanced in age. Her hope is more lively, she looks forward to those years to come when the trouble and sorrow of youth shall have disappeared or been overcome, and she docs not despond. The bright light of youth and health and joy gilds the edges of the dark cloud that hovers over her; she hopes to emerge from its obscurity like the moon walking in light in the clouded sky.

Whatever may be the arguments used by the wise and prudent against early marriages in Britain, I uphold them as wise and prudent measures in British America; and so, wishing the single married and the married happy, I close my chapter on "Weddings in the Backwoods.



Tm cVief defect of Thomas Carlyle is his lack of pricticajj'.y when writing on practical subjects. In a ffor'ii constructed on different principles he might be I rerr available man; but the planet Earth has been ret spinning in space, subject to certain conditions on tiie part of its mixed population, which, upon the whole, merely for the sake of existence, it is ns well, perhaps, to obey. In fact, under obedience to the great laws of the universe, there is considerable social trimming and shifting of position to be done before the complicated mechanism of society can move at all. Pure autocratic humanity is at the mercy of inferior Pliers. We live dependent upon our own weaknesses 1 or infirmities, and upon the weaknesses or infirmities of others. We arc sophisticated; and to accomplish ay good in the world we must remember this, else we are apt to dwell in abstractions, to be mere isolated speculators upon human affairs, arrogating some diviner intelligence than the working men around us; while thinking we are gods, accomplishing ourselves ia the purest vices of devils, unmitigated selfishness. The moralist separating himself from the problems of ictive life, with their relative conditions, becomes simply a grumbler. In this world we must do the best we can, and take what wc can get; for the rreatcst misery is to do nothing, and to receive something is essential to life. The common sense of siankiud has bestowed a vulgar epithet upon the oiiLosophers whose chief occupation is railing at the sorld, even from the steps of the temple. They are Croakers, Scolds; and at common law, which sup

posed them to be confined to the feminine gender, when they became insupportable in old English villages, they were liable to an ignominious ducking in a horse pond. You do not alter the character by changing the gender, or giving it the use of type or the freedom of the Loudon Press. The more conspicuous the stage the greater the nuisance. Wc can only see a difference in degree between the virago who annoys a village, or the self-styled philosopher who bores the world with his fault-finding: if the one should be dipped in a puddle, the other should be drowned in the Atlantic.

Now Carlyle, a Scotchman, of very proud and lofty instincts, undoubtedly, is not exempt from a certain resemblance to the communis rixalrix of Blackstone. He is for ever huffing and snarling at the world, quarrelling with everything but his bread and butter. The politics of the world arc all wrong; the kings arc wrong; the democrats arc wrong; civilization is all on the wrong track,—its manufactures, railways, its thousand means; the Church is all wrong,—a mere shabby priestcraft, a system of fraud and delusion.

Now it is very easy to get one's opinions unsettled upon any of the positive institutions of the world, and we are willing to admit the constant law of change which governs them, but, for the time being, they are our homes and shelter; and a wise man, we think, will accomplish his reforms through them, not waste his efforts in unprofilably railing against them.

Take the representative system in politics, to which the world is universally tending in some democratic form: it calls for the wisest counsel, the best head, and the purest aims to guide it. It is worse than idle at this time to prate of the superiority of a strong usurpation of a kingcraft, or talk of a theocracy. Undoubtedly, you may find virtues in the latter systems, and evils in the existing ones, and you may ring the changes to the end of time. As there is a vice of too much confidence in forms, there is equal evil in a contempt for them. It is a grand defect of the railer in snatching after some imaginary good to lose the benefit in his way. So Carlyle attacks the Church of England as an undisguised mass of insincerity, though he cannot discover a real evil which is not denounced by its liturgy aud pulpits daily. The difference between the two is that the Church is a uniform, steady, both conservative and reforming institution, striking at the roots of abuses as they arise, constantly invigorating society, involving the truest and purest system of ethics, and the highest culture of the individual, while the new philosophers who affect to see the world from a loftier point of view, are driven about in a sea of uncertainty, without guide or landmark, save their individual will. If it rested with these various opponents of Christianity, how long should we sec marriage preserved, or the Family, or the State, or a Church? What would be the state of the world under their government or no government of individual intuitions?

In writing this we are by no means desirous of undervaluing the force and literary ability of Carlyle's style, or even of his pungent and frequently wellapplied satire; but we would warn our readers against the direct destructive tendencies of his writings. That he is not an ordiuary vulgar destructive matters little; or that he has certain far-fetched substitutes, in his own niiud, for he gives us nothing definite in his writings, to propose for what he would destroy; he may be on that account the more dangerous, lie deals with truths to be sure, but truths are keen cd?cd weapons, which may wound the handler; and the most treacherous falsity, perhaps, is a misapplied truth.


To reproduce the lyrics of Bcranger in English verse, is a hard task; as hard as the translation of the *' Pickwick Papers " into French prose, or Burns's Songs or Elliott's Corn Law Rhymes into French poetry. It is a difficult matter for any one who lias not been born and bred under the same sunshine with the author of the "Roi d'Yvctot" and " Le Violon Bris<5," by any process so thoroughly to acclimate himself to his peculiarities of style and felicitous idioms of expression, as to understand their full sense and spirit, much more to clothe them in a foreign dress. It is as hard a matter to make English verse of his songs as it would be to make an Englishman of Beranger himself, that Poet of Grisettes, of Iji Grande Nation, of French Democracy and Parisian gaiety, folly and love au Sixieme. Classic authors of almost any country, who indulge in an elaborate style, and write for posterity and academic honours, for aught that appears to the contrary in their works, might easily be translated, physically and bodily, as well as in their writings, into foreign parts, without doing much violence to their habits of thought or nationality of association. But Beranger out of France,—away from the vineyards and the vintage— from the tri-colour—from the village Jr'les of Passy and Tours—from the bachelor couvit iulilics of Paris— would be Beranger no longer. His nationality and his individuality are the life of his poetry and his poetic fame. At home he is universally known; abroad, hardly at all; nor can his genius be properly estimated from the point of view which our standards of criticism adopt in judging of the merits of works of poetic art.

In fact, there was hardly ever an author whose literary eminence has been so entirely owing to his popularity, in the strictest sense of that much abused term, as Beranger. Without a liberal education, without literary connexions, or any profound study or appreciation, apparently, of the resources of poetry, his natural wit, his lively perceptions of the ludicrous, his strong sympathies with humanity, as such, irrespective of caste or class, and his vivid imagination, have infused into his lyrics the truest poetic spirit,

(1) M BeranRer: Two Hundred of his Lyrical Poems done into English Verse." By William Young. New York: Putnam. 1830.

and made them genuine, powerful productions of genius. Their appeal is not to the judgment of critics, but to the sensibilities of every man who reads them. This is a test to which few poets would ehoose to bring their works; but with Bcranger it has been the only test to which he litis cared to bring his. He sings to amuse himself, to entertain the public, to please tlie people; and, strange to say, he succeeds not only in amusing himself, but also in entertaining the public, and pleasing everybody. To object to his morals, or rather his want of Uicm—to criticise his style, or rather his neglect of style—to lament that he should have wasted his life in writing so much that is witty, and so little that is wise—all this makes him none the less the most popular song-writer of the present age.

In spite of his popularity at home, all the greater since the last Revolution, which the whole political tendency of his writings helped to bring on, Beranger has been but little studied or appreciated out of France. One principal reason has been the extreme difficulty, already adverted to, of adapting inflexible English to the necessities of his peculiar and very independent style, which generally derives half its point and beauty from the use of happy expressions in the vernacular, which it is almost impossible to render effectively in a foreign tongue. The few translators who have ventured on the work hitherto, have succeeded very imperfectly, and none have attempted more than partial selections. We remember but three volumes of such translations :—one by William Anderson, published in Edinburgh; one from the press of Pickering, by the " Author of the Exile of ldiia," a poem which never took refuge, to our knowledge, in this country; and another, a Philadelphia collection, issued in a neat volume, in 1S44, by Carey and Hart.

In point of fulness and faithfulness the present translations by Mr Young far surpass the previous attempts. He has laboured evidently to reproduce Beranger as lie really is; and to present the poems which have made him famous, as nearly as possible, as they really arc. The work shows much diligence, discrimination, and poetic power. It is uniformly careful in execution, and in the main very successful. Rv way of comparison with its predecessors, take that charming song, "Ma Vocation," which opens with this simple, compact, and touching stanza :—

"Jetf sur cette boule,
Laid, chetif et souflrant;
EtouffiS dans la foule,
Faute d'etre assez grand;
Une plainte toucliante
l)e ma bouehe sortit,
Lc bbn Dieu me iiit: 'Chantc,
Cliante, pauvre petit!"

This the author of the " Exile of Idria " expands into English verse as follows :—

"Squalid, faint, and suffering;, hnrl'd
Up and down this wheeling world,
Crush'd amongst the crowd of men,
Myself too weak to press again;

I bnatiied a deep and bitter sigh,
That spoke my spirit's misery:
Some God that Ittard, suggested, 'Sing,
And Song shall consolation bring.'"

Tie Philadelphia translator goes beyond this, and miertakes to make a real lyrical affair of it, c. g. :—

"Cast on this ball, despised, opprest,
No giant at the very beat,

I'm stifled by the throng;
Whilst in distress for aid I cry
A voice tciOiin me bids me try

Tlte powers of Lyric song;
Yes! 'tis a voice that sweetly cries,
Rise, hapless Beranger, arise,

And strike the lyre!"

Mr. Young catches the true spirit of this simple ode for the first time amongst these translators of Berangcr:—

"Plain, sorry, and sickly

Adrift on this ball,
Trodden down by the masses

Because I'm so small;
To my lips when a murmur

Will touchingly spring,
God whispers me kindly,

'Sing, little one, sing !'"

A few selections from the volume will give the letter idea both of the spirit of Berangcr and the stjle of the translations. The following version of ike"RotD' Yvetot," one of the most famous of all the poet's productions, in which, under a lively ballad,

i i satire upon the extravagant magnificence and eifcK of the imperiid court is indulged in, is well

1 iae-.

"LE ROI D'yvetut.

"There was a Kin? of Yvetot once,

But little known in story;
To bed betimes, and rising late,
Sound sleeper without glory:
With cotton nigbt-cap, too, instead
Of crown, would Jenny deck his head—

'Tis said, tat, rat tat, rat tat, rat tat,
Oh, what a good little king was that!
llat tat,

"Snug in bis palace thatch'd with straw,
He eat four meals a day;
And on a donkey, through his realm,

Took leisurely his way,
Frank, joyous, Irom suspicion free,
One dog alone his guard to be,

Had he.
Rat tat, rat tat, rat tat, rat tat.
Oh, what a good little king was that!
Rat Ut.

"One single onerous taste was his—■
A somewhat lively thirst;
But the king who heed* bis subjects' good,

Must heed his own the first.
A tax at table to allot,
Direct from every cask he got

One pot,
Rat tit, rat tat, rat, tat, rat tat,
Oh, what a good little king was that I
Kat tat.

"Since maidens of good family
With love he could inspire,
His subjects had a hundredfold
Good cause to call him sire.

Four times a year the roll was beat;
His men at targets to compete,

Would meet
Rat tat, rat tat, rat tat, rat tat,
Oh, what a good little king was that 1

Kat tat.

"He sought not to enlarge his states,
To neighbours kindness show'd,
And, model for all potentates.
Took pleasure for his code.
Thus had his people shed no tear
Till, dying, they in grief drew near

His bier.
Rat tat, rat tat, rat tat, rat tat,
Oh, what a good little king was that!
Rat tat.

"And still of that right worthy prince,
Oft is the portrait shown.
The sign of a famous drinking house,

Through all the province known.
And many a ffite-day crowds will bring
To tipple there before the ' The King,'

And sing
Rat tat, rat tat, rat tat, rat tat,
Oh, what a good little king was that!
Rat Ut."

In a different strain, and with an equal spirit of sympathy with the masses, Berangcr often sang the glories of the Empire, the great qualities of Napoleon, and the souvenirs of his splendid career. As a contrast to the satirical ballad of l lie King of Yvetot, we extract:—

"The People's Reminiscences.

"Ay, many a day the straw-thatch'd cot

Shall echo with his glory!
The humblest shed these fifty years

Shall know no other story.
There shall the idle villagers

To some old dame resort,
And beg her with those good old tales

To make their evenings short.
What though they say he did us harm,

Our love this cannot dim;
Come, Granny, talk of hiin to us,—

Come, Granny, talk of him.

"Well, children: with a train of kings

Once he pass'd by this spot;
'Twas long ago,—I had but just

Began to boil the pot.
On foot he climb'd the hill, whereon

I watch'd him on his way:
He wore a small three cornered hat:

H is overcoat was grey.
I was half frighten'd till he spoke,—

1 My dear,' says he, ' how du!'
'Oh, Granny, Granny, did ho speak 1

What, Granny! speak to you!'

"Next year, as I, poor soul, by chance,

Through l'aris stroll'd one day,
I saw him taking, with his court,

To Notre Dame his way.
The crowd were cbarm'd with such a show

Their hearts were filled with pride ■
What splended weather for the tfite!

Heaven favours him! they cried.
Softly he smiled, for God had given

To his fond arms a boy.
'Oh, how much joy you must have felt;
Oh, Granny ! how much joy.'

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