Obrazy na stronie


Nothing could surpass the manly and stoical calmness which he nanifested on many great and trying emergencies. The house in vhich he lived happened to take fire while he was in bed. Most people would have started up in great alarm at the first announcenent of such an occurrence. Not so Job. He very sagely concluded tlat the fire might go out of itself, and it would be a sad waste of labor to make any hurry to extinguish it. All he did, therefore, was to thrust his elbows out of bed, from time to time, to ascertain whetler the walls grew hot, knowing that there would be no absolute necessity of stirring till then. The event justified his calculations. The fire was extinguished without his assistance, and Job turned on tle other side, and went to sleep.

On another occasion, he was pursued by a mad bull, and told to rin for his life. Job's presence of mind and deliberation in this cise were never surpassed. He very gravely turned round to the person who

gave this advice, and, in a firm tone, replied, that he would sooner die than run.' Mark the effect of his sagacity! The

seeing Job stand stock still, took him for a post, and passed by without offering him an injury. On the contrary, those who ran avay, only tired their legs, and put themselves out of breath. Job got a great reputation by this feat, and bis reply on the occasion pissed into a proverb. A great many more of Job's bon-mots are current. He was the author of the celebrated remark, *If you 've ary potatoes to dig, bring 'em on!'

Numerous anecdotes more might be related in illustration of his mental serenity, and strong attachment to stedfast habits. He was orce sent into the orchard to gather apples, and not having returned, la:e in the day, some one went in search of him. Job was found lying on his back under an apple-tree, with his mouth open, waiting for the apples to fall in. When his father died, and Job was called upon to walk at the funeral, he replied, “Not to-day;' implying that he might possibly attend the funeral some other time. On another occasion, as he was lying, deep in thought, in the sunshine, under the side of the barn, he was informed by a person passing by, that the pigs were nibbling at his toes, and was advised to drive them away. He very calmly raised his head, and replied, in a deliberate tone, that he'd see about it.' The discretion and presence of mind, also, which he manifested when he happened to fall, on a slippery day, are worthy of commemoration. He lay with perfect resignation, until he saw a passenger approach, and then, lifting up his little finger, beckoned to him with the most admirable coolness and deliberation! Such a man was surely formed for great things.

What trade he learned, what education he acquired, and what labor he performed, to lay up in his mind those great stores of wisdom for which he was celebrated, I am sorry to say cannot be ascertained. A mysterious cloud of obscurity hangs over this part of the history of Job Doolittle. The world has suffered an immense loss by the negligence and stupidity of his acquaintance, in not treasuring up the remembrance of more of the great events in which he was concerned ; for, in addition to the anecdotes above related, I can record nothing respecting him, save that he was once seen driving a cow to pasture, and that one summer afternoon he caught a fly that

had been sitting upon his nose ever since the morning. The remainder of this narrative must of course be brief. Job Doolittle, after passing a long, brilliant, and highly useful career, went the way of all flesh, and was gathered to his fathers, at the age of fifty-seven.

Posterity will do him justice. Nothing remains for me but to give a sketch of his character, manners, and opinions. His character is best illustrated by the acts of his life. He was a good citizen, and a good neighbor, for his political principles never endangered the tranquillity of the state, and his daily life never disturbed the repose of the neighborhood. How few great men can say this of them. selves! His mavners displayed all the regularity and simplicity of a man of genius. He never missed going to bed at night, and never injured his health by going abroad too early in the morning. He was foud of exercise, and generally turned over twice in his bed every morning, for the purpose. More than this he rarely allowed himself. He thought combing his head a great waste of time; and, for the most part, dispensed with the use of buttons in his dress, from the needless labor they occasion every morning and night. His favorite food was small potatoes, placed very few in a pile. Toothpicks he never used.

His opinions bear the stamp of genius, and are, moreover, strongly characteristic of the man. He was often importuned by his friends to engage in a more active course of life, but always replied, with a sagacious look, that it would be all the same a hundred years hence.' How profound, and yet how true! When told that a certain individual was trying to discover the perpetual motion, he fell into a deep reverie, and then replied, wisely shaking his head, that he * guessed he would n't;' à prediction most remarkably justified by the event. On being informed that the earth moved round the sun, he looked hard at the speaker, and asked what was the use of it;' a question which, though it may appear simple, will be found very dificult to answer. He never believed in rail-roads, and always wondered why people could not be content to stay at home. When intelligence arrived, week after week, that the French were marching into Russia, he inquired, very earnestly, how long before they meant to stop, and set down. The whole character of Napoleon was a perfect enigma to him. He had no decided admiration, in fact, for any great conqueror, except King Log.

Such was Job Doolittle ; a man, take him for all in all, we ne'er shall look upon his like again. His example shows how much may be accomplished by undeviating principle, and firmness of purpose. His chief aim appears to have been, not to trouble the world, and not to let the world trouble him ; a maxim worthy the sages of antiquity. This was his aim, and with a noble fortitude did he pursue it, through all the vicissitudes of his eventful career. The glory that rests upon his memory must be his reward. In the classic regions of Lubberland, altars would have smoked in his praise ; but I fear the bustling, rantipole times we are now cast upon, will allow him no more lasting monument than a page of the KNICKERBOCKER. Valeat quantum !

T. T. Merry-Go-nimble Court, Boston.

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Her race is equal with your famne,

Where'er her altars rise,
Bearing the purest, brightest flame,

E'er kindled 'neath the skies;
There shall your memories still be dear,
And there shall many gather near,

To hear the glorious iale,
How our bold fathers bravely fought,
And Virtue won the meed she soughi,

While Tyranny grew pale!
Hartford, (Conn.,) February, 1838.


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And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
A ud shiving morning face, creeping like spail,

Unwillingly to school.' When people have much to say, they say little. When men utter great truths, they use few words.

All remarkable compositions, those that have sunk deep into the common ear, and gained universal consent, have been short. The Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Parables of Christ, the Christian Armor, Gray's Elegy, and the Declaration of American Independence, are perhaps the most full words ever uttered ; to which we beg leave to add these

sayings' of the immortal Shakspeare. The imperative form of speech is the shortest. In the 'fitness of things,' it is ordered that our necessary knowledge should be conveyed, possibly, in few terms. perative duties may be summed up in a phrase, and the whole Chris. tian religion is often embodied by the sacred writers in a single verse. The writer who is filling volumes, will often delight to condense his subject in an aphorism. The story-teller, who writes his tale to illustrate a single principle, will frequently sum up his moral in a sentence, and then spread it out over an hundred pages; as children play with sand, and cards, and putty. There is great use in this manner; because we best apprehend a part, by seeing the whole, and the whole, too, by seeing it piecemeal.

The most influential men in a town or village, are rarely great talkers; on the contrary, they are remarkable for their taciturnity and sententiousness. People mistrust both the soundness and sincerity of word-pilers. The maxim, that a barking dog will not bite, here finds a meaning. If a man have a bad cause, he generally makes a long speech, more in the hope that he may say something, than because he knows he has any thing to say, satisfactory. This is not written to condemn all lengthiness ; but to find the philosophy of conciseness : otherwise, how could we have the face to proceed in our reading ?' From the

history of infancy, our author turns gladly. He lingered an'age' with its pains, and its story being told, he refreshes his spirit with contemplations of boyhood. The muling infant' vanishes, and the boy, with his shining face, leaps out.

With all his restraints, jacket covered with buttons, stiff shirt collar, and pantaloons, (unnatural ! if tight, oh! horrible !) he cannot help bearing about him the marks of joy. The blood mantles in his cheeks; and those locks which the sun curls, as it curls the tendrils of the vine, hang about his dewy forehead, and cluster on his head, with a grace that defies the skill of art. • He creeps like snail to school. He makes little progress onward, but bis sideway excursions are numerous. He stops to listen to the song of birds, or he chases the butterfly with his hat. His eyes, liquid with health and pleasure, are turned on every side. He seems to drink the morning. The flowers beckon him; the shadows court him ; sunlight, air, and fragrant breeze, entice him. His boat is on the stream, or his feet are on the ice. Summer or VOL. XI.



winter, he is at home with his freedom under the sky. He catches the snow-flakes as they fall, or bares his head to the warm shower. What does he care for his new jacket, and clean white trowsers, on the green grass ! He hates to go to school. All nature is talking to him, with her thousand voices, and he goes 'unwillingly' from such delightful conversation. See the little chip-birds cock their eyes at him froin the stone-wall, and the squirrel peep out to see who whistled. They know their man; they will not be caught, but only just keep out of his way as they run along, as if to challenge him to a frolic.' Who would love to go to school from such delightful playmates !

But go he must. He whines as he swings his green satchel over his shoulder, and thinks of the severe brow that will reprove his tardiness; but his face shines ; he cannot help it. And here we would sympathize, retrospectively, with the poor victims of the old regimen. Oh, thou old tyrant; thou executioner; thou ear-twister till the blood ran; thou cruel-pated schoolmaster, thou -! Yes, thou wert all these, and many more hard names; and yet a tear drops for thee, too. Thy duty was to whip.

to whip. It was the spirit of thy age. Kings whipped their subjects ; the clergy whipped their ple. Fear governed in the court, the church, and in the school. Liberty had not dawned. Man did not know his dignity. How many gentle minds were crushed, how many bosoms torn, under that lachrymal system ! What disgust for books, what black revenge and bursting rage, did that whining school-boy with his satchel' feel? The seed was sown. Perhaps he whipped his fag; beat his dog; in a rage, wrung the neck of his pet robin. Lord Byron kept a bear in college. This was a cutting satire. The conceit he got at school. Those were days when every school could boast its bully, and setfights were recreation. Young lords drove the stage-coach, and squirted tobacco-juice through their front teeth; horse-jockeys grew rich, and high example made every vice appear respectable, as the

These were the fruits of the iron age of school-masters. Then followed the age of bronze — of brass and pretension. Young masters and misses were flattered into being spoiled, and their parents cajoled into permitting it. This was the time of the French revolution; a time that turned at large into the world a set of men and women, who, having proved that they had not sense to maintain a government of their own, undertook the task of directing and governing the rising generations of other countries. Short petticoats, bare bosoms, high heels, flaring bonnets, false hair, false teeth, et id omne genus, followed, as a natural consequence. To these were added, for variety, impassioned correspondence upon blue paper; sudden marriages and births ; platonic attachments, and atheism. Still, the youth went ‘unwillingly to school.' There was no heart, no soul, in all this.

Now is the age of simplicity. Learning has put off its wig, and ostentation is ridiculous. All men, whether pupils or professors, acknowledge their ignorance. Humility has exalted the human mind, and a practical illustration is given to the text, that, he who humbleth himself shall be exalted. Man has, by this path, gained the height whence he may survey the wide ocean of Truth; and like the

world goes.

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