Imagens das páginas

tenanting an iceberg of the northern regions, growling on the nations of Europe, and threatening a descent. She is a colossal power, with such a strange mixture of civilization and barbarism, that one can hardly tell which are the predominant elements, or what her hordes might do, if let forth upon the world.

Our hope for Europe is in that high Providence, who 'makes the wrath of man to praise him, and causeth the remainder thereof to be restrained.'


* High mountains are a feeling.' — Byeon.

The hills!— the 'everlasting hills!'

How peerlessly they rise,
Like Earth's gigantic sentinels

Discoursing in the skies.
Hail! Natures storm-proof fortresses,

By Freedom's children trod;
Hail! ye invulnerable walls —

The masonry of God!

When the dismantled pyramids

Shall blend with desert dust.
When every temple 'made with hands'

Is faithless to its trust,
Ye shall not stoop your Titan crests —

Magnificent as now!
Till your almighty architect

In thunder bids you bow!

I love ye in your quietude,

When o'er a silent world, Morn's silvery mists entwine your peaks,

Like banners lightly furled: Nor less, when throned on blackest clouds

That round ye roll and veer, The storm-god pours his thunder-trump,

And hurls his lightning spear 1

I love the torrents strong and fierce

That to the plain ye fling,
Which gentle flow'rs drink at their goal,

And eagles at their spring.
And, when arrested in their speed

By winter's wand of frost,
The brilliant and fantastic forms

In which their waves are tossed.

I love, upon the breezeless lake,

To see your shadows sleep,
While slowly sails the crested swan

Above each mirror'd steep:
I love your shapes precipitous,

Bare, desolate, and grand, That stand far out in ocean,

Like pilgrims from the land!

Glorious ye are, when Noon's fierce beams

Your naked summits smite,
As o'er ye Day's great lamp hangs poised

In cloudless chrysolite:
Glorious, when o'er ye sunset clouds,

Like broidered curtains lie—
Sublime, when through dim moonlight looms

Your spectral majesty.

I love your iron-sinewed race —

Have shared their rugged fare —
The thresholds of whose eyrie homes

Look out on boundless air:
Bold hunters, who from highest clefts

The wild goat's trophieslmng,
And crest their bonnets with the plumes

Of your aerial king!

I've seen, amid Helvetian alps,

The Switzer's daring leap —
Poised on his pole — o er bridgeless voids,

A thousand toises deep;
While in his keen, unquailing glance,

That challenged where it fell,
I saw the same high purpose beam, That nerved the patriot Tsll.

I love the mountain maidens —

Their step's elastic spring
Is light, as if some viewless bird

Upbuoyed them with its wing;
Theirs is the wild, unfettered grace

That art hath never spoiled, And theirs the healthful purity

That fashion hath not soiled.

Mountains! I dwell not with ye now,

To climb ye, and rejoice —
And round me boometh, as I write,

A crowded city's voice:
But oft in watches of the night,

When sleep the turmoil stills.
My spirit seems to walk abroad

Among ye, mighty hills!

Then, my pulse boundeth, as of yore,

Beneath your bracing air;
I hear the swooping eagle scream —

The wolf howl from his lair.
I see the chamois pinnacled

As if amid the skies —
To the last crag I follow him,

My carbine speaks — he dies!

There is a feeling in my soul

That claims ye as its kin— A majesty that challenges

Your grandeur as its twin:
My spirit hath a portion in

Your brightness and your gloom,
And on your heights I'd make my home,

And in your glens my tomb! in. ODDS AND ENDS.


One of the results of the newspaper-paragraph and magazine-writing mania, which characterizes the universal-diffusion-of-useful-know- ledge-age in which we live, is, that a modest man can no longer remain in private life. It is a melancholy fact, that we the people of these United States are all becoming public characters — not alone, be it understood, in our sovereign capacity, as the rulers of the land, but in our several and individual condition as the people thereof. Every other man we meet is a pamphleteer, or a man of letters; and for the want of a better subject for the exercise of his pen, his retiring and quiet neighbor is dished up for the public palate. Things have, indeed, come to such a pass, that it is dangerous for an individual to step out of the beaten track of life, or lift his head above the common level of humanity. One cannot even eat potatoes with a knife, without attaining a painful and unenviable notoriety. We cannot act from impulse, or even perform a good action, if the thing is unusual, without the same provoking exposure.

A friend of mine, the other day, rescued a boy from drowning, and what was his reward? Why, they eulogized him in the penny papers, and wrote and published a doggrel poem to his praise! Unfortunate and injured man! Little did he think, when he plunged in, and snatched the miniature edition of humanity from the water, and handed him to his mother, that he was doing an act which would place his name in the ' Transcript,' between a police report and a 'shocking occurrence;' that he would be immortalized by the 'Herald,' warmed in the 'Sun,' reflected in the 'Mirror,' and that ' The Star,' with its pale and silver rays, would shed a glorious lustre around his sweetlysounding cognomen of—Jonah Bangs!

I can remember the time when I was in a state of gentle agitation all day, from having seen my name in print among those of my fellowcitizens who had neglected to call at the post-office for their letters; but this morning, with the most perfect nonchalance, I read in one of the little diurnals, while I sipped my coffee, an invitation from my shoemaker, addressed to me, with my name and additions at full length, to the purport that he would be pleased to have me call and pay him seven shillings for soleing my boots. This I considered rather personal. Indeed, it seemed to me like an imputation upon my character, inasmuch as my neighbors might be induced, from a perusal of the missive, to believe that I did not pay my just debts. But public commendation has been quite as annoying to me as public censure. A poor woman sometime since presented me a begging petition, when I was particularly engaged. Not having time to read it, and wishing to get rid of her, I handed her a quarter of a dollar, and told her to be gone. What was my surprise, a few days afterward, on picking up a penny paper, to find the following article:

'Liberal.—We understand that the unfortunate Mrs.C , of Orange county,

who has been reduced to a state of extreme pecuniary distress, in consequence of the

Vol. vii. 47

death of her churning-dog, from a fractured limb, has been enabled, by the kind liberality of our citizens, to purchase another dog, and resume her business. This happy result has been mainly brought about by the active charity and humane exertions of , Esq., one of our most liberal and enlightened citizens.'

It was on the morning of one of the coldest days of the late cold winter, that I ' fixed' myself in the ninth and last seat of the sleigh bound to the capital of the 'Empire State.' As the vehicle moved away from the stage-office, I proceeded, as is my custom on entering a new society, to scrutinize my fellow-passengers, and to form some estimate of their characters and quality.

The first person who attracted my attention was an auctioneer, who I soon learned was going up to see the governor, and get his commission renewed. His was a familiar face, and a well-known voice. Hundreds and hundreds of times, during my hurried walks down Broadway, have I heard the latter, at first faintly in the distance, and then increasing in sound, and volume, and strength, as I approached his little shop, until at length, as I reached it, the loud and discordant peal would almost split my ears; and then again as I hastened on, it would die away, gradually growing softer and fainter, until it became lost in the other street sounds. He was somewhat of a character, and in his way had made much noise in the world; but like a church-bell calling the ungodly to prayers, his was often 'sound and fury, signifying nothing,' and producing nothing. Often when I have heard his voice in the distance, have I been surprised at the energy with which he appeared to

'cry,' and thought to myself,' must be doing a great business to-day.'

As I approached so as to distinguish words, I could hear him rattle off: 'Going — going — thirty-nine dollars bid; just a-going for thirty-nine, forty — forty — forty dollars bid—just a going for forty dollars; last call, gentlemen — last call! Once—twice — gone!' Whack, whack! would go his hammer, and as I reached his door, expecting to see it crowded with eager purchasers, I would find him all alone, engaged in what he called ' crying together an audience.'

It was rather dangerous opening one's mouth in his shop, for at the least movement of the lips, he would be sure to strike off something; and no matter what sum was bid, the poor buyer would invariably get 'a hard bargain.'

I remember having once paused at his store, just as he had produced to the eyes of his admiring auditory a mahogany work-box, about six inches square. 'Here, gentlemen,' he exclaimed, 'is a lot of goods, consisting of the personal ornaments of a gentleman and lady who, having been lately reduced from the greatest opulence to extreme poverty, have been obliged to pledge them for the trifling sum of one hundred and sixty dollars. Here,' holding up a paper, 'is the invoice.' After this peroration, he proceeded to open the box. The first article he displayed, was what appeared to be a splendid gold watch and chain; next followed an elegant opera-glass, then two pair of ear-rings, three breastpins, seven finger-rings, of various descriptions, a gold pencil-case, two silk purses, a silver cigar-tube and tooth-pick, and other smaller matters, as the auctioneer himself expressed it, 'too numerous to mention.' 'Now, gentlemen,' said he, 'the one that speaks first, shall have the set for a hundred and seventy-five dollars.' All were silent. 'Who '11 give a hundred and seventy? What! none? A hundred and sixty-five, then; will none give a hundred and sixty-five? Take them, then, for what they were pledged.' No one seemed disposed to avail himself of this privilege. Will none give a hundred and sixty?' asked the auctioneer, with a look of extreme astonishment. 'Well, then, a hundred and fifty-five—a hundred and fifty — a hundred and forty—a hundred and thirty — a hundred and twenty—a hundred and ten—a hundred —ninety' In this manner he went down, diminishing the sum by ten dollars, at every call, until it was reduced as low as thirty dollars. At this moment, I opened my mouth to say to a gentleman who stood near me that I thought the things could not be worth less than that sum. No sootier did I stir my lips,

than the functionary exclaimed, 'Gone! Mr. , thirty dollars!' I

observed to him that I did not intend to bid upon the property, but that if he was disposed to relinquish me the articles for the sum named, I should not object. 'Oh,' was his reply,' we always go upon honor, and according to the strict rules of business, here. The things were to be sold without reserve, and although we have disposed of them for a sum immensely below their value, yet as they were struck off to you, you can take them.' I paid the thirty dollars, and placing the box, with its contents, under my arm, took it home. How shall I describe my purchase? The watch which, in the masterly and quick-moving hands of the auctioneer, absolutely dazzled the spectator with its brilliancy, when I leisurely examined it, I found to be a newly-furbished pinch-beck with ' a chain to correspond.' The tortoise-shell sides of the opera glass, on closer scrutiny, changed to horn, the golden ornaments on it to brass, and the glasses in it had once formed part of the stock in trade of a glazier. Of the breast-pin and rings I need not speak; but, after remarking that they did not shame the company they were in, will leave them, with the other articles, for the imagination of my readers to 'body forth.'

But enough of the auctioneer. There were several other gentlemen in the sleigh, going up to attend to the renewal of their offices, who, as becomes office holders, were sleek, fat, comfortable, common-place men. Two others, lean, hungry-looking, close-mouthed, and cautious, who occupied the front seat, I took to be office-seekers. Then there was another man with little twinkling, fiery eyes, and a Roman nose, who talked a great deal about the 'resources of the country,' — abused the canal commissioners — was opposed to the widening of the Erie canal, and in favor of something else — but what, exactly, I could not make out from his conversation — who I concluded was what they call in Albany a 'lobby member?

One poor fellow in the sleigh very soon arrested my attention, and excited my commisseration, by being without any over-coat. He was dressed in an old green surtout, thin vest, and thread-bare pantaloons. His hands were without gloves, and a little bundle, which he had with him, tied up in a faded cotton handkerchief, evidently contained the whole of his travelling wardrobe. The man had what is called a 'hard look,' and my first impression was, that he was a person of dissipated habits. This opinion, however, I soon changed, on learning that he had been riding in the cold on the two preceding days. He was quiet and modest in his deportment, rarely joining in the converse

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