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history of Massachusetts, we find the amiable and gentle Roger Williams, the patriarch of Rhode Island, when cast forth into the untrodden wilderness by the persecuting spirit of the Puritans, who had only escaped persecution themselves to show that they nad experimentally learned the lesson to practice it on others, cheering his solitary journey through the wild woods, as he sought the hospitality of the red men, in the following quaint verses, that we give for the curiosity of being the first poetry, except the verson of the Psalms to which we have referred, produced in New-England, which has come to our knowledge.
'Lost many a time, I've had no guide, No house, but hollow tree;
No food, no company.
And feeds in wildernesse;
'He cultivated good faith and gentleness with the Indians, and reaped the natural fruit, kindness, in return, which he thus sings:
'How kindly flames of nature burn In wild huminitie!
In wildernesse in great distresso,
In a closing review of the outlines of American literature, which he had necessarily but briefly traced, Mr. Flint observes:
'We deem, that we have produced conclusive evidence, — at least it so seems to us,— that our deficiency has resulted from other causes, than the want of as much genius, as much talent, as quick perceptions, as much endowment, as high thoughts, as true inspiration, as much capability of progress, either in the sciences or the fine arts, as belong to the parent country. Miserable, pinched, and poor-spirited must have been the minds of the Halls, Hamiltons, Fiddlers, et id omne genus, who, within the few past years, have travelled through our country, and appear to have taken pleasure, on returning home, in proclaiming us to be a stupid, half-savage race, without literature, arts, taste, or even the common comforts of life. How much more just would have been the English estimate of us — how much kinder the feelings — if Britons of something of the endowment, philosophical enlargement, and generosity of mind belonging to such men as Humboldt and Chateaubriand, had travelled among us, and published as much of us as those dwarfish egotists! Never, until really instructed, competent, and philosophical observers survey us, and scan our physical and intellectual condition, with an impartial eye, will the English public be able to strike a fair balance between our merits and defects, improvements and deficiencies.' • * * 'But the people of England cannot be so blinded by prejudice, as not to comprehend, that, ' whatever be our deficiencies, we have the inventive boldness, the grasping spirit, the self-respect, the national feeling, the resources of every kind — physical and mental — that constitute all the elements of national greatness. In so brief a political existence, we have spread from the sea to the lakes, and from the cold shores of the North-east to the orange and cane of the South-west, over which space we have already diffused more than thirteen millions of modified and continental Englishmen. Nor is there another country in the world, that contains within itself more ample means of every kind and degree of comfort and inprovement, independent of every other one.'
Christmas.—This delightful and cheering season appears in all its glories, in large towns. There is a bustle, .-stir, among all classes. People give themselves up to enjoyment; and sweet and holy are the interchanges of friendship, respect, and affection. With the young, the world appears in cauleur dt rose; all things are pleasant j and with fond eyes, they read the language of love in every look they encounter. Christmas is, indeed, the carnival of the heart. Madcap Jollity addresses himself to his pursuits with an earnest good-will; and that benevolent old abstraction, Santa Claus, dispenses his favors abundantly. From the sea to the mountains of the West, Christmas is, in some sort, a season of refreshment and comfort. Its observance is by no means confined within the narrow limits of sectarian esteem; but its glow radiates far and wide, disdaining the boundaries of religious opinion. We envy not the heart that can wrap itself away from its cheerfulness —its contagious hilarity. We love to look into the pit of a crowded theatre, on Christmas eve, and observe the half school-house, half bear-garden scene. Listen to that full, irrepressible laugh! See those young heads bowing in a sea of tumultuous happiness, as if their risibility could not escape, without bodily motion! Those for the most part, are school and 'prentice boys, with hearts as warm, unhackneyed, and free, as youth, high health, and careless minds can make them. The museum runneth over; the mastadon wears for the occasion a garland of green; and the elephant hath laurel on his shining tusk, and on proboscis now no longer lithe — he being personally defunct. In the streets, every body is abroad. Many are the limbs of juveniles, whose weariness novelty makes forgotten; many a little tender hand, lodged in the paternal or maternal palm, presses that same with confident affection: p-h-e-t-p! goeth the penny trumpet — bolted is the ginger-bread; and those foreign toys, dolls, German dogs and kittens, together with sweetmeats, 'goodies,' picture-books, and small chattels of all descriptions, do greatly abound. Now the lover giveth the album, that by next Christmas shall be filled with all manner of stupidity, engendered by affection, and with love remembered. You hear, often, that novel phrase, 'The compliments of the season, and many returns.' Now the bard betaketh himself to the conception of New-Year addresses, and the cacoetkes imprimendi attacketh the printers' devils. All things 'work together for good.' The social board is surrounded; some heads have more fumes in them than can well be borne; and the owners of them run against nocturnal gas-posts; signs are taken down; songs wildly sung, and divers uproars made. This, rural reader, is a rude pencil-sketch of Christmas
D«. Bowsing. — We make the annexed extracts from a letter of John Bowrixo, Editor of the London Westminster Review, to a correspondent of this Magazine, residing in Massachusetts. It illustrates the growing interest felt by intelligent foreigners in relation to the United States, and contains a touch of the writer's characteristic investigations. In his antiquarian researches after words, their origin, and 'extremes! roots,' he has not, it should seem, passed by his own name. The letter is dated at Paris, 15th October:
* * * 'It is a fancy in which I frequently and fondly indulge, that I may, some day or other, compare the two sides of the Atlantic, — see, in their own homes, many of my valued American friends, whom I have known in Europe — greet others hitherto unknown — and satisfy my mind on multitudinous points of interest, where I feel the want of knowledge, and the means of judgment. Your country is an object of affection and anxiety to us. The events connected with the slave question have sadly distressed us.'
* * * 'My name is pronounced Bowring,— as if it were written Bough-ring, — which, in fact, is the old Saxon etymology. The tradition in our family is, that the name was first adopted by two Saxon Christians, my ancestors, (brothers,) one of whom, on a memorable occasion, was concealed among the branches of a tree, where a bell was suspended, which he was to ring by shaking the bough, in order to give notice of the approach of the enemy. I have heard my grandfather say, that he had this story from his forefathers.'
Mathewsiana. — Of all actors, we believe Mathews will be the most posthumous, if we may so speak. He has gone, and we shall see him no more; but we doubt not that in the mind's eye of thousands he is acting still. During his late visit to America, the correctness of his pictures did not at first impress us; but their perfect nature is continually flashing upon us, in the intercourse of every-day life. A look — a tone — a ridiculous affectation — will bring him again before us, more palpably, if possible, than the imitations of Reeve, which are excellent — especially the gait, and nervous, restless action. Appropos of Mathews: we have heard a characteristic anecdote of him, which we will relate here. 'When I was about leaving Liverpool for America,' said he to a professional friend, just before he left this country, 'I asked the Yankee captain, as we were lying in the stream, what detained us, that we were not off? He answered, 'The mail, Sir.' I inquired when it was expected?' In about twenty minutes,' was the reply. In an hour or two, the mail came on board; and we had moved but a little distance, when there was another stop. 'What is this for T said I. 'We are waiting for a pilot,' quoth the master. 'How long before he will be on board T was my next question. 'In about twenty minutes,' was the answer, again; and so it was, all the way over. If there was a gale, it never was calculated to last more than twenty minutes; that space of time was likewise the estimated duration of a calm; and one poor fellow, blue-and-white with active sea-sickness, was told to keep good heart, for it might not last more than twenty minutes! When I arrived in New-York, and, after numerous provoking delays, had become fairly established at my lodgings, there comes me up a waiter, in hot haste, with: 'Mr. Mathews! — Mr. Mathews! — you can't stay here not no longer, Sa!' 'Why 7 you villain!' "Cause you can't Sa!' 'What is the
matter'.'— the reason 1 — ir/iy can't If "Cause, Sa, Mr. W , the 'keeper,' has
busted, Sa, and the sheriff has issued his sash-a-rarrar, and the red flag is out o' the winder, and they 're gwyin' to sell all out, Sa!' 'Well, when must I go?' 'Why, Sa, I s'pect you'd better be gittin' away in about twenty minutes!' 'And thus,' (continued Mathews, in his fretful, querulous manner,) 'has it been ever since I set my foot in America. You'd hardly believe it, yet I have but just returned from calling to see an
old friend, who was very kind to me on my former visit. 'Where is Mr. B ?' said I,
to the servant. 'He is dead, Sir!' 'Dead?— dead! How long since did he decease T 'I should think about tirenty minutes, Sir? was the answer. 'In short,' (concluded the inimitable mime,) 'there is nothing that cannot be, and is not done, in the United States, in twenty minutes!"
Unforeseen labors, arisingfrom the destruction of the printing-office of this Magazine, by the late disastrous fire — (a destruction involving the loss of many manuscripts, and causing inconceivable perplexity for a time,) — must be our apology for omitting to notice several works, in the perusal of some of which we have enjoyed much satisfaction. We can only refer — and briefly — to the following:
Portraits or The Twelve Apostles. — We can commend the style of these pentographic engravings, and the excellent letter-press which illustrates them; but we cannot laud the portraits. We should like to know who conceived such faces for the twelve Apostles — (we naturally infer that they cannot have been taken from life,) — and where he procured the originals of such a lot of family noses! We have stood at times, of a summer day, on a corner by an adjacent thoroughfare,
'niflrh whore the, tide of passers-by
In thickest confluence flowed,'
to mark the great variety of human countenances in the busy crowd; but never saw we such noses! They would even defy the classifying ability of the learned Professor of Nosology, who figures elsewhere in these pages. Simon Peter is depicted with a proboscis that would shame, and perhaps even put to deeper blush, the nasal organ of Reeve himself— though that, in length, breadth, and flexibility, is not unlike the incipient trunk of a young elephant. James, Andrew, and Simon, have nothing to boast of, in this regard; and Bartholomew is in all respects a fright, yet a perfect beauty, in comparison with his next neighbor, Thomas. Nothing less can be said of 'James the Less.' Philip, John, Matthew, and Jude, are the only portraits, the features of which are not revolting to the mind that has ever imagined the personal aspects of the Apostles. Still, the pornographic style is a beautiful one, as may be seen from the frontispiece, which is tasteful and highly finished.
Sttdt Of Thk Scbiptcbes. —The importance of the study of the Sacred Writings, as a part of liberal education, is well and forcibly set forth in a brief Essay, by Rev. Chai-scey Colton. D. D., President of Bristol (Penn.) College — an institution that owes its present flourishing condition, in no small degree, to his energy and talents. Coupled with the essay above referred to, is an able 'Address on the Standard of American Scholarship and Enterprise of the Nineteenth Century,' delivered before the faculty of Bristol College, at their inauguration, in April, 1834. It has already reached its fourth edition — a satisfactory evidence of its acceptance with the public. Sir. Colton is the Editor of the Keligimu SmiTmir, an annual of celebrity, and acknowledged excellence, two large editions of which, for 1836, are already exhausted.
The America* Monthly Magazine.—The New-England Magazine has been merged in the American Monthly, of this city, and the united publication, retaining the last-named title, will hereafter be issued simultaneously in Boston and New-York. Park Benjamin, Esq., a popular poet, and a writer of general repute, will be associated with Mr. Hoffman, as editor of the present work. Mr. Herbert, a gentleman distinguished for various erudition, and not less favorably known to the public by many articles in the American Monthly, than by his excellent novel of'The Brothers,' has retired, as we learn, from the Magazine, to the reputation of which he has largely contributed.
The La.tb Chief Jfsric« Marshall. —Of the several tributes which have been paid to this eminent and lamented jurist, we have seen none better—with perhaps one distinguished exception — than the Oration on his life and character, pronounced before the citizens of Alexandria, D. C, by Edgar Snowdex. A plain synopsis is given of his personal history; his character and habits are clearly described; and a just and eloquent meed is awarded to his merits as a man, a lawyer, and a judge. The Oration is worthy of its subject — and it needs no higher praise.
Mr. Gaston's Adpre*?, delivered before the American Whig and Cliosophic Societies of Princeton College, in September last, has but just reached us. It will add to the repute of the author, not less from its manner than from its high moral and religious tone. It illustrates the duty of continued perseverance on the part of the graduate —shows the necessity of regarding life itself as a school — exposes the folly of seeking to acquire property, merely, while higher aims are neglected — and enforces the sanctity of law, the guardian of freedom.
•corrected Proofs.' — A work with this odd but not unpleasing title, from the hand of H. Hastings Weld, Esq., will soon be issued at Boston. It is to constitute a selection from the more popular miscellaneous writings of the author, — Tales, Sketches, Essays, etc., —and will doubtless command a liberal sale.
Thb Complete Wohks or Hannah More have been" published by the Brothers' Habpeb, in seven well-printed and elegantly-bound volumes, each one embellished with a frontispiece and vignette, on steel. The matter of the volumes, of course, requires no praise, at this day.
The same Publishers have in press, or will soon publish, Ricnzi, a novel, by Bclwer; a new History of Italy, to 1830,—Monarchy of the Middle Classes, by H. L. Bulwer, — Education in Germany, by James, the Novelist,— Spain Re-visited, by the author of 'A Year in Spain,' — Life of Washington, and Slavery in the United States, by PaulDing, — Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, by Dr. Hawks,— Traits of the Tea Party, (a Memoir of George R. T. He Wes,) — Martin Faber, (second edition,)— and (with several English re-publications,) Humphrey Clinker, Tom Jones, and Gil Bias, with designs, — similar, in all respects to their late edition of Robinson Crusoe.
The Girls' Week-day Book, the merits and object of which were referred to in the Knickerbocker for December, has been published by William Jackson, of this city. The contents are good in tendency, and lack not interest. The whole is neatly printed, and tastefully bound; and is embellished with a finished engraving by Dick, and several wood-cuts, executed by Adams, in that artist's well-known style of excellence.
American Histoby. — The first volume of Professor Rafinepque's long-delayed 1 History of the Ancient and Modern Nations of North and South America,' will be published, we learn, in all the month of March next. The work will appear quarterly, and will constitute several volumes, at one dollar each.
Honor To Whom Honor. — How a passage across the water seems to stamp the merits of an American production, in the eyes of some of our literary tradesmen! * A Ramble in the Woods on Sunday,' by Paulding, original in this Magazine, is greedily copied from Tail's Edinburgh Magazine, in thii country, and in England, and credited to that periodical. 'Leaves from an ^Eronaul,' written for, and published in, these pages, twelve months since, ban found a wide circulation in England, and lo! our Circulating Libraries of Foreign Literature are dealing it out, with many chuckles, to American readers. The Tale, by Captain Marryatt— sent us by the author, in September lust, placed in type from his manuscript, and extensively copied in America— having found Us way into the London Keepsake, is forthwith re-published here, as coming from that annual, although the American article has the priority, by three months. 'The Petition* by Miss Landon, 'The Happiest Time,' and two or three poems by Mr*. Butler, (Miss Kemble,) now performing a travelling tour in the English journals and periodicals, without any intimation of their American source, wo may expect soon to see journeying in this country, enjoying a reversed paternity. After all, this is less provoking, than to sec article*, written for this Magazine, within one little month 'riding circuit1 in our news and literary journal*, while, like the viewless wind, none can tell whence (hey came. Literary orphans! — in your behalf we issue our mandate, a lamode Taoukwenff, of the Celestial Empire: Let this larceny cease. Make not repentance necessary. Tremble fearfully hereat! Oppose not. A special order. Renpect thit.
To The Reader. — Owing to the haste incident to tin; late establishment of a new printingoffice, typographical errors may, in some few instance*, have escaped the vigilance of the proofcorrectors. In part of the impressions, the leader is desired to substitute, on page 64, 'The length of the evening* too* remarkable for the time of year,' for 'The length of the evenings Kerf remarkable,' etc.