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merest rustic would pause to listen to his strain. But mark the difference. As the year advances, as the clover-blossoms disappear, and the spring fades into summer, his notes cease to vibrate on the ear. He gradually gives up his elegant tastes and habits, dofts his poetical and professional suit of black, assumes a russet or rather dusty garb, and enters into the gross enjoyments of common, vulgar birds. He becomes a bon vivant, a mere gourmand ; thinking of nothing but good cheer, and gormandizing on the seeds of the long grasses on which he lately swung, and chaunted so musically. He begins to think there is nothing like the joys of the table,' if I may be allowed to apply that convivial phrase to his indulgences. He now grows discontented with plain, every day fare, and sets out on a gastronomical tour, in search of foreign luxuries. He is to be found in myriads among the reeds of the Delaware, banqueting on their seeds ; grows corpulent with good feeding, and soon acquires the unlucky renown of the ortolan. Wherever he goes, pop! pop! pop! the rusty firelocks of the country are cracking on every side ; he sees his companions falling by thousands around him; he is the reed-bird, the much-sought-for tit-bit of the Pennsylvanian epicure.
Does he take warning and reform? Not he! He wings his flight still farther south, in search of other luxuries. We hear of him gorging himself in the rice swamps; filling himself with rice almost to bursting; he can hardly fly for corpulency. Last stage of his career, we hear of him spitted by dozens, and served up on the table of the gourmand, the most vaunted of southern dainties, the rice-bird of the Carolinas.
Such is the story of the once musical and admired, but finally sensual and persecuted, Boblink. It contains a moral, worthy the attention of all little birds and little boys; warning them to keep to those refined and intellectual pursuits, which raised him to so high a pitch of popularity, during the early part of his career; but to eschew all tendency to that gross and dissipated indulgence, which brought this mistaken little bird to an untimely end.
Which is all at present, from the well-wisher of little boys and little birds,
Spirit of Beauty! where,
Snow-robed in air ?
Or dost thou dwell
Decking the gorgeous shell ?
Or doth thy mansion lie
When the loved one is nigh?
The Life of John Jay: with Selections from his Correspondence and Miscellaneous
Papers. By his Son, WILLIAM Jay. In two volumes. pp. 1015. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS.
It is a striking and a lamentable fact, that the present generation have, in a great measure, forgotten the great principles of liberty, which were the object of the revolution ; are very ignorant of their importance, and insensible to their violation; and are equally uninformed of the elevated character, and as little animated by the pure spirit, of the men by whom our rich inheritance was achieved. Among the foremost of these, was John Jay. It may safely be said, that next to Washington, no one man can be pointed out, who had so much to do in originating the great measures of the revolution; so eminent an agency in their prosecution to their ultimate glorious success; a more distinguished part in giving them efficacy and permanence, in the construction and establishment of the federai constitution; or a more honorable share in carrying them into that operation which gave such prosperity and eminence to our country, under its early administration. A refugee of distinguished character, and his former friend, in a letter to Mr. Jay, written from England in 1782, says: 'What a great theatre are you acting upon, and what a conspicuous part do you sustain! I have always considered you as one of the most formidable enemies of this country.' Mr. JEFFERSON, in a letter to him of April 11, 1783, observes: 'I congratulate you on the singular happiness of having borne so distinguished a part, both in the earliest and latest transactions of this revolution.'
The biography before us throws much light on a matter which has been the subject of great speculation; the transactions at Paris, in the negotiations for peace. It forcibly exhibits the part taken by all the public functionaries of the three nations; the selfish and faithless conduct of the French court, in relation to the interests of this country, on that occasion; and the grounds of the large claims she has made on our national gratitude. This may be deemed severe language; but to justify it, we refer to the following extract :
“In Mr. Jay's diary, is the following entry: ‘October 28th, Monday. Mr. ADAMS was with me three hours, this morning. I mentioned to him the progress and present state of our negotiation with Britain; my conjectures of the views of France and Spain, and the part which it appeared to me advisable for us to act. He concurred with me in sentiment, on all ihese points.' Mr. Adams took an early opportunity to enlighten Dr. FRANKLIN as to the real views of France. I told him,' says he, in his journal,' without reserve, my opinion of the policy of this court, and of the principles, policy, and firmness with which Mr. Jay had conducted the negotiation in his sickness and my absence; and that I was determined to support him to the utmost of my power, in the pursuit of the same system. The Doctor heard me patiently, but said nothing. The first conference we had afterward with Mr. Oswald, the British commissioner, in considering one point and another, Dr. Franklin turned to Mr. Jay and said: 'I am of your opinion, and will go on with these gentlemen, without consulting this court.' Thus was the opinion originally expressed by Mr. Jay, of the impolicy of the instructions of Congress, amply confirmed by the fact, that the three commissioners, including Dr. Franklin himself, found themselves com pelled to disobey those instructions, that they might prevent a selfish ally from sacrificing the inportant rights and interests of their country.'
The remark has been often reiterated, that the government of France was excited to engage in our contest for freedom, by animosity to her natural rival, and old enemy, and not from any regard for the interests of republicanism. But though it may be generally understood that her policy was dictated by a deliberate, sinister regard to her own interests, yet mary will be surprised to learn, that she was so corrupt as to act in hostility to ours; that she sought her own aggrandizement, at the expense of the all-important claims which had been made our ultimata with the British; the Mississippi for a boundary, the right of its free navigation; the fisheries; and even the preliminary admission of our independence, anterior to all negotiation. And their surprise will be magnified to amazement, when they find, that her intrigues were carried to the extent of a proposal to the British government, by the Count DE VERGENNES, the French Secretary of Foreign Affairs, for the dismemberment of America, to be divided between France and Britain! The improbability of such a policy may appear to carry upon the face of it its own refutation. But it will be easily understood, when it is considered that France would be better pleased to have the United States for a dependent ally than an independent nation.
The whole tenor of the narrative is marked with a delicacy which exhibits the power of the father's character, through its influence in moulding that of the son, his biographer. This trait of the work is characterized by a single sentence, toward the close: “The character of John Jay has been portrayed in the preceding pages ;' yet the only portraiture they contain, is hardly any thing more than a naked narrative of his public acts and services, and his political sentiments. There are hardly more than three or four commendatory epithets in their whole compass. Four pages are occupied with what may be more properly called etchings of some traits of his character, which his public life did not bring out, than eulogies on his prëeminence. They may, in strict justice, be termed etchings; for in the second volume, comprising some of his private correspondence, are to be found, in several of his letters, exhibitions much more full, of his private virtues; manifested, not in words, but in acts of reverence and affection toward his parents and family; of humanity to decayed servants, of fidelity in friendship, and of sympathy and liberality to his countrymen in distress. And yet these are evidently no more than occasional indices to the qualities of his heart; and leave the mind in regret, not that his biography could not be written by some mind of equal information, and equal integrity, but under less restraint than that of a delicate and modest son. Such a book cannot be read by our young men, just entering on the great theatre of life, without producing an influence of great value, and great power.
A distinguishing trait in Mr. Jay's character, was modesty; not an affectation of inferiority to others, or a distrust of his own powers, but a total absence of all en. deavors to attract admiration. The work is closed with the following impressive extract from an address delivered soon after his death: 'A halo of veneration seemed to encircle him, as one belonging to another world, though lingering among us. When the tidings of his death came to us, they were received through the nation, not with sorrow or mourning, but with solemn awe, like that with which we read the mysterious passage of ancient scripture : 'And Enoch walked with God, and he was not ; for God took him.' VOL. XIII.
Le Sinaï. IMPRESSIONS DE Voyages. Par A. Dauzats et ALEXANDER DUMAs. In
one volume. pp. 453. New-York : Foreign and Classical Book-store. IMPRESSIONS OF TRAVEL IN EGYPT AND ARABIA PETREA. By ALEXANDER DUMAS. Translated from the French, by a Lady of New York. In one volume. pp. 313. New-York: John S. TayloR.
The translator of this work, whom we see no impropriety in mentioning as Mrs. Edward S. Gould, of this city, since the name has transpired in one or two of our daily journals, remarks, in a brief preface, that this translation, which is made from the New-York edition whose title stands at the head of this notice, is altogether free; the author's style, as well as his French, having been put into an English dress. This course, in the present as in kindred instances, is we think proper enough. Discretionary powers are always judiciously vested in an ambassador at a distant and foreign court; and it would be better for the reading public, if all literary diplomatists were as successful in occasionally exceeding their literal credentials, as our fair countrywoman, who, while she has added words and sentences, and omitted sentences, paragraphs, and pages, has yet, in our judgment, greatly increased the interest and value of the book, to the American reader.
Of these' Travels' we feel qualified to speak, as one having authority; for we read every line of them, from title-page to colophon, at three agreeable sittings; and although many of the scenes described were not new to us, having been made familiar through the works of Stephens, LAMARTINE, and others, yet there was something so attractive in the style — something, we know not what, which pleased, we know not how – that we followed the writer over his whole ground, with unabated enjoyment. And that the reader may be tempted to share this pleasure with us, we subjoin a single passage, which will indicate the uniform felicitous manner of the author. The following is from the description of a journey through a sort of Sleepy Hollow in the desert, called the 'Bewildering Valley :'
“We were in one of the most fearfully renowned wadies of the peninsula. It is called “The Bewildering Valley,' on account of its moving sands, the perpetual changes of which, at the caprice of the wind, render it impossible even for a practised guide to be certaio of his route wile traversing it. We were surrounded by hills of sand; and the wind, as it swept their summits, became freighted with clouds of dust, floated around our heads, passed down our throats, and stitled us like the air of a crucible.
“At length, the hour arrived for our first halt. Our Arabs pitched our tent, and we looked for a brief respite; but the wind carried the tent away at once. A second attempt was made to fasien it, without success; the sand had no consistency beneath the surface, and the stakes could not be secured in it; and if they could, the cords were not strong enough to hold the canvass against the gale. We were forced, therefore, to follow the example of the Arabs, and seek shelter in the shadows of our dromedaries.
“ I had just lain myself down by the side of my beast, when Abdallah came to say that it was impossible to light a fire for his cooking. This news was not so bad as the poor devil ihought it might be: we had no inclination to eat, but a glass of pure, fresh water would have been worth a kingdum. The water we obtained at ihe Fountains of Moses was originally brackish; and this, joined to the smell of the skins, and the intolerable heat, rendered it unfit to drink.
“ The sun continued to ascend, and now reached the zenith of its height and its intensity. Our camels no longer afforded a shade. I retreated to a distance from mine, unwilling to endure his wild-beasi odor, when I could gain no corresponding advantage by suffering its offensiveness, and wrapped myself in Bechara's manue. In ten minutes, the side I exposed to the sun was sutriciently boked, and I turned the other, presuming that when well done, I should cease to suffer. During our two hours' halt, I did nothing but turn and iwist in agony. I was enveloped in my covering, and could not see my companions; and I had not energy enough to inquire after them. All I know is that, mumed in Bechara's mantle, I was, to all intents and purposes, a crab stewing in its shell.
“A change, at last, came over our torments; the time arrived for continuing our journey. We mounted our dromedaries like listless and unwilling criminals, indifferent as to the route we were to pursue.
e were certain that it must be forward in some direction, and that was all. I merely asked if we should have fresh water that eveniny; and Araballah, who was near me, replied that the spot of our intended halt was near a well.
" The sleeplessness of the past night, my abstinence from food, and the state of fusion I had been in for some lime, coinbined, now, to produce an irresistible drowsi
I at first opposed to it the idea of danger; a fall of fifteen feel, although on the sand, had no attraction in it. But the fear of this mischance soon grew indistinct. A hallucination took possession of me. My eyes were closed ; yet I saw the sun, the sand, and the dusty air, only they were changed in color, and took strange and variable hues. I then imagined myself in a vessel rocked by the surges of the ocean. Suddenly, I dreamed that I had fallen from my dromedary, which, however, continued ils course. I tried to call out to my companions, but my voice failed, and the caravan went on. I strove to pursue, but could not keep my feet in the sandy waves; they overwhelmed and nearly drowned me. I endeavored to swim, but I had forgotten the necessary motions.' Over this vision of frenzy, came recollections of my childhood, that for twenty years had been buried in oblivion. I heard the murmur of a pleasant brook gliding through my father's garden. I threw myself under the shade of a chestnut-tree, planted on the day of my birth. How I could simultaneously and interchangeably experience these conflicting visions, I have no power to imagine: the one factitious, that of water and shade; the other real, that of thirsting, parchiny, suffocating. But I was so bewildered that I did not know which of the two was a dream. Presently, a violent blow in my breast or back awakened me; it was a thump from my saddle, that warned me I had, in truth, nearly lost my equilibrium. I opened my eyes with a start of terror: the garden, the brook, the tree, and the shade had vanished: but the sun, the wind, the sand, the desert, in short, remained.
"Hours passed in this manner, but I took no note and had no notion of the time. At length all motion ceased: and, arousing myself once more from my drowsiness, I saw that the caravan had stopped. The whole of the Arabs were grouped around Toualeb; we three remained just where our camels had pleased to halt. I made a sign to Mohammed: he came to me, and I inquired why the Arabs stopped and looked about them so irresolutely. I found from his answer that. The Bewildering Valley' maintained its'reputation, and our men had lost their way."
The forcible picture which succeeds, of the joy that is felt in obtaining an unexpected supply of the most indispensable of life's necessaries, in' a dry and thirsty land, where no water is,' although in type, we are reluctantly compelled to omit. The copious extracts which we have heretofore presented, from travels in the same regions, to say nothing of a plentiful lack of space, must constitute our apology with the reader, for limiting our quotations to this little measure; but the book itself, and a handsome one it is, is extant; and we therefore cordially commend the reader to the fountain head.
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ECONOMY. Illustrated by Observations made in England, in the
year 1836. By THEODORE SEDGWICK. Part Third. In one voluine. pp. 156. NewYork: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
We have heretofore adverted to the entertaining, not less than instructive, works which have preceded the present, by the same author, and having in view the same leading inculcations. Mr. SedgwICK is a clear, vigorous thinker; an acute, and we may add minute, observer; and a very plain, straight-forward, agreeable writer. In these respects, he more nearly resembles COBBETT, than any native or foreign author whom we can call to mind. The volume before us is devoted to the thousand objects of curiosity or admiration, which arrest the attention of a stranger in England, especially an American. Frequent comparisons between the two countries are nstituted; and the contrasts of good and evil; of improvement and the lack of it; of domestic uses and abuses; of social merits and defects, afford the author a wide