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stranger Indians, all speaking a different language. Here, for miles, stretches a perpendicular basaltic wall, three or four hundred feet in height; there foam the boiling eddies, and rush the varying currents ; on one side opens a view of rolling prairies, and through a rocky vista on the other, rise the far-off mountains, mellowed in the beams of the morning sun. Now the traveller passes through a forest of trees, standing, in their natural positions, in the bed of ihe river, twenty feet below the water's surface. Passing these, he comes to a group of islands, lying high in the stream, piled with the coífin-canoes of the natives, filled with their dead, and covered with mats and split plank. He anchors for a while at a wharf of natural basalt, but presently proceeds on his way, gliding now in solemn silence, and now interrupted by the roar of a distant rapid, gradually growing on the ear, until the breaking water and feathery foam arise to the view. Pausing under a rocky cavern, by the shore, formed of semi-circular masses which have overbrowed the stream for ages, ' frowning terrible, impossible to climb,' he awaits the morning; listening during the night-watches, to hear the distant cliffs
reverberate the sound Of parted fragments tumbling from on high.'
Such are the great features of the missionary's course, until the boundary of the 'Far West' is reached, and he reposes for a time from his long and toilsome journey.
Our author gives us many details in relation to the Indians of the Oregon territory, their habits, manners, dispositions, etc. Since 1829, seven-eighths of the Indian population, below the falls of the Columbia, we are informed, have been swept away by disease, principally fever-and-ague, increased partly by intemperance, but greatly augmented by their mode of treatment. 'In the burning stage of the fever, they plunged themselves into the river, and continued in the water until the heat was allayed, and rarely survived the cold stage which followed. So many and so sudden were the deaths which occurred, that the shores of the Columbia were strewed with the unburied dead. Whole and large villages were depopulated, and some entire tribes have disappeared, the few remaining persons, if there were any, uniting themselves with other tribes. This great mortality extended not only from the vicinity of the Cascades to the shores of the Pacific, but far north and south - it is said as far south as California. The natives have a standing clause in their system of table-etiquette, which we have seen obeyed in civilized society, without compulsory enactment: what the guest cannot eat, in closing his repast, he must take away with him - a privilege of which the white man liberally avails himself, for the Indian cuisine is not over extensive nor delicious. Some of the tribes have a famous amusement, called the 'buffalo dancing march.' Dressed in the skin of the neck and head of this animal, the horns all standing, they imitate his low bellow, and wheel and jump, with wonderful fidelity to the original. The natives are exceedingly fond of the fire-water;' and one inveterate drinker, our author tells us, purloined, in sundry secret draughts, all the spirits in which our friend and correspondent, Mr. TOWNSEND, had preserved a large assortment of venomous reptiles, which he had been collecting beyond the Rocky Mountains. These tribes of Indians are truly
aborigines.' One old chief described to Mr. Parker his impressions upon meeting, for the first time, with white men. Himself and his savage companions thought them a new race. Seeing their faces very pale, they supposed them to be suffering from some unknown cause, with cold; and although it was mid-summer, they built a large fire, and invited them into their lodge to warm themselves, where they persisted in wrapping them in buffalo robes !
Not the least attractive portion of this very interesting 'Journal,' is the account of a visit paid by the author to the Sandwich Islands, to which we can only make this brief reference. He sailed from thence for the United States, and arrived safely at New-London, (Conn.,) having been absent more than two years, and having journeyed upward of twenty-eight thousand miles.
Our traveller is of opinion that there are no insurmountable barriers to the construction of a rail-road from the Atlantic to the Pacific. No greater elevations would need to be overcome, than have been surmounted on the Portage and Ohio rail-road. And the work will be accomplished ! Let the prediction be marked. This great chain of communication will be made, with links of iron. The treasures of the earth, in that wide region, are not destined to be lost. The mountains of coal, the vast meadow-seas, the fields of salt, the mighty forests, with their trees two hundred and fifty feet in height, the stores of magnesia, the crystalized lakes of valuable salts, these were not formed to be unemployed and wasted. The reader is now living, who will make a rail-road trip across this vast continent. The granite mountain will melt before the hand of enterprise; valleys will be raised; and the unwearying fire-steed will spout his hot, white breath, where silence has reigned since the morning hymn of young creation was pealed over mountain, flood, and field. The mammoth's bone and the bison's horn, buried for centuries, and long since turned to stone, will be bared to the day, by the laborers of the 'Atlantic and Pacific Rail-Road Company;' rocks which stand now as on the night when Noah's deluge first dried, will heave beneath the action of 'villanous salt petre;' and where the prairie stretches away, like the round ocean, girdled with the sky,' with its woodfringed streams, its flower-enamelled turf, and its herds of startled buffaloes, shall sweep the long, hissing train of cars, crowded with passengers for the Pacific seaboard. The very realms of chaos and old night will be invaded; while in place of the roar of wild beasts, or howlof wilder Indians, will be heard the lowing of herds, the bleating of Aocks; the plough will cleave the sods of many a rich valley and fruitful hill, while from many a dark bosom shall go up the pure prayer to the Great Spirit.'
Forgetful of space, we have gone on, until we find ourselves tugging at the end of our tether, and must now close our notice as abruptly as a hungry judge's summing up. We must first move, however, for a quo warranto against certain blemishes in the volume before us, chiefly in reference to a second edition, which we cannot doubt will speedily be demanded by the public. The language, generally chaste, is now and then a little careless and stiltish. 'Progressing on our journey,'
obliviscating the labors of the day, and the like, live in our memory; as also that minute description of an animal which measured so many feet 'from the tip of its nose to the insertion of its tail!' We infer that, owing to some accident, this was a kindred feature to that canine appendage, of which 'Solomon Swop' was so much in doubt, whether or no it'was cut off or driv’in!' The volume is neatly executed, and illustrated with an excellent map of the Oregon country,
"A PHILOSOPHICAL GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. Adapted equally to the
use of Schools or Private Study. By Joseph W. Wright, C. E. pp. 251. London: WHITAKER AND COMPANY. New-York: SPINNEY AND HODGES.
We do not wish to flatter Mr. Wright, but we cannot avoid saying to him, that in attempting to treat of the science of language, he has embarked on a sea quite too expansive and rough for his frail bark and small spread of canvass; and to illustrate the correctness of our opinion, we will endeavor to convey to the reader a faint idea of the character of the book, in language drawn from its own rules and inculcations. We have not been 'favorably stricken' with the logic and rhetoric by which the
learned author has 'foughten' his way to fame; nor are we greatly delighted with the manner in which he has annihilated 'the most prevailing systems of grammar in modern use.' A short sample of the style in which this great reformation has been being' or 'has begun to be being achieved, may not be amiss. The reader will then be able to judge for ‘his self' whether chicken is or is not the 'plural of chick,' and none but the veriest ignoramuses 'their selves' need remain uninformed as to the 'accomplishment of its execution.' And here we 'take leave to say, that for every thing that is here being marked' with guillemets, we are indebted to the work before us. 'Doubtlessly, accordingly to’the best modern taste, such passages as the following must be considered as exceedingly prettily' written: 'Misconception, on simple subjects, generally arises from incautious applications of the intellectual capabilities!' Again: 'Those who lay down arbitrary marks by which they may fearlessly steer through the channel of danger, should cautiously launch into the ocean of accidents; lest their beacons be lost to the view, and their selves wrecked on the shoals of destruction, as a consequence of their neglect.' Such valuable directions as these for writing well, are 'their selves' worth whole volumes of MURRAY or Brown, and others of the old school. Mr. Wright's system will be a signal relief, to many a lazy urchin, from the tyranny of school-masters; for the whole fraternity of pedagogues, having long held the opinion that parsing is to grammar what cyphering is to arithmetic, are now not only 'to ke being convinced of the unimportance of parsing generally,' but 'to be being shown that it is characterized in its proper light only, when it is designated a finical and ostentatious parade of practical pedantry!' The reader may surprise at'our devoting any space to a work which is destined to occupy no share of altention from the public, beyond its broad ridicule. Our excuse for disturbing for a moment the bristling self-conceit of our author, is, that some respectable names appear as sponsors to his work, who should blush for yielding to the importunities of a grammatical O'Toole.
TRAVELS IN EUROPE: VIZ. IN ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND, FRANCE, ITALY, Swit
ZERLAND, GERMANY, AND THE NETHERLANDS. By Rev. Wilbur Fisk, D. D., President of the Wesleyan University, at Middletown, Conn. With Engravings. In one volume, 8vo. pp. 700. Fourth Edition. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
Tule high estimation in which Dr. Fisk is held, as a scholar, a divine, and a philanthrophist, has awakened a very general interest in the work under notice. The copy before us is from the fourth edition, yet scarcely as many weeks have elapsed since the volume was issued from the press, and we understand that a fifth edition, from the stereotype plates, is already in progress. These facts certainly
speak volumes' in favor of the work. Notwithstanding the numerous publications of travels' with which the press has of late teemed, the present work will be four.d to possess many features which are entirely unique; such indeed as might have been expected from the character, habits, and pursuits of the author. He has chosen the method of narration, in the consecutive order of his entire tour, interspersing the most interesting parts of his epistolary correspondence with descriptions of persons and places, and observations upon men and things, in a manner both instructive and entertaining. But the reader will not only find in this volume accurate and discriminating exhibitions of distinguished persons and familiar places, in the various countries visited by the author, but there will be introduced to his notice many objects alike novel and interesting. The subject of education, to the advancement of which Dr. Fisk has consecrated the labors of his life, and for the promotion of which, in our own country, this journey was mainly undertaken, receives a large sbare of illustration and criticism, and much valuable practical information on this subject is here furnished, as the result of personal observation, in different countries. While the philanthrophist and the Christian will find in the book a vast amount of religious intelligence, in all the departments of benevolence and piely, which is no where else accessible, the civilian, the statesman, the political economist, and the scholar, to whatever profession he may belong, may glean much that may tend to his edification and profit. The style of the work is unaffected and pleasing, and its descriptions have a charming air of nature and life about them, which bespeak an observant eye, and an artist-like pencil. We can commend the volume as one which does honor to the head and heart of its author, and as altogether worthy of his wellearned reputation. Dr. Fisk is an AMERICAN, by birth, education, principle, and affection ; nor was he bewildered by foreign travel, or bewitched out of his preference to his own country, as too many have been before him. Neither do his national partialities blind his eyes to the excellence, or even the superiority, of transatlantic countries, wherever such attributes may be justly claimed ; nor does he condemn every thing foreign, or ridicule it by caricature, as is sometimes done, by those whose prejudices dethrone ibeir candor and their reason. The work is executed with great typographical neatness, and embellished with several good engravings of well chosen objects or scenes.
Words of the ORATORIO OF 'The Skeptic.' By Henry Russell. Boston: KIDDER
The readers of this Magazine are aware of the high rank in which we place Mr. Russell, as a vocalist. The fulness and richness of his voice, the clearness of his pronunciation, and the bewitching simplicity of his manner, stamp him a singer of the first file. "The Skeptic,' an oratorio, composed by Mr. Russell, has recently been brought out in the literary emporium,' and public report speaks favorably of its success. Of its merits as a musical composition, however, we are not prepared to speak; but the character of the literary portion of the oratorio, demands a few words of rebuke; the more, because we have somewhere seen it stated, and reiterated, that our vocalist's poetical like his musical genius seemed to have no limit!' or modest terms, to the same effect. Every true critic and well-wisher of Mr. RUSSELL, who is at all intimate with his literary attainments, owes it to the credit of the divine art,' not less than to himself, to prevent so gross an error from taking possession of our author's mind, or the imaginations of his many musical admirers. If any should doubt hereafter, we pledge ourselves to sustain our position by additional proofs in our possession, which will place its correctness beyond all cavil or gainsaying. Mr. Russell has certainly not commenced poet by rule, for his verse is neither more nor less than prose, and very poor prose, too, divided into unequal cuttings, of several syllables; while the matter is a mixture of tameness, declamatory exaggeration, and disorder. If our vocalist desires to marry music to immortal verse,' he has the power, we think, to do so, so long as his fine voice and good taste shall be spared to him ; but he should select the productions of other bards than himself, or be content to support his music and his rhymes on a separate maintenance. There is certainly some originality in the words of this oratorio, especially in the part assigned to the principal voice. What, for example, can surpass the beauty of the following line, which may also be found in Byron's 'Cain:'
* Leave thee ? why all have left thee!
Now that which we herein most particularly admire, is the amendment which the author has seen proper to effect in his lordship’s grammar:
Leave thee? why all hath left thee!'
stands, a line unrivalled for its adventurous originality. But lest we be thought hypercritical, we subjoin the consecutive lines: The Italics are the author's:
•Leave thec? All hath left thee, but I fear thee not;
Is not this true poetry? Does it not sparkle like the 'tonic and refrigerent salubrious stomachic effervescent ginger beverage,' known in simpler days as 'ginger pop?' What but an Herculean imagination could generate, what but a hand gloved in mail, and writing as it were with an iron stylus, upon a rock of adamant, could trace, that graphic and sublime idea:
'Life's but a shrub - eternity a tree !' With what a sudden transition of thought, descending from a lofty altitude to depth profound, he exclaims:
• Man's mind is a pit, and nothing sees!' We know of no line equal in pathos and sublimity to this, unless indeed it be contained in the subjoined couplet, from the same pen:
• The sum of man, of god-like man, To be nailed down in a narrow place, and there rot!
The general rhythm and melody of language are worthy of especial praise. What, for instance, could be more felicitous than the following:
• Thou 'lt cry when darkness round thee comes,
Some of the lines require a long ear to take them in. The annexed may be cited, as sufficiently extended to fill the auricular vestibule of a mule — supposing that sagacious animal willing to admit such glaring false quantities, in what purports to be, and was evidently intended for, blank verse — and blank enough it is:
* Religion is mistake ; duty ? - there's none, but to repel the cheat.' And the second is like unto it:
“Yes; give the pulse full empire! - live the brute, since as the brute we die!' There are certain brief portions of this distinguished literary performance, which too nearly resemble familiar stanzas in collections of church psalmody, for both to be original. The 'Faith in God, soprano solo,' will be readily recognised, and kino dred passages elsewhere - transformed in some such wise as a shoe-maker makes a pair of new shoes out of an old pair of boots — might be multiplied. But we forbear. We venture, in conclusion, to proffer the author of the ' Words of the Skeptic,' (' words, words, my lord,') this piece of advice; never to attempt poetry, while Hope has a bone to gnaw upon; for he may rest assured, that the last thing of which the public is likely to complain, will be that he writes too little. The'oratorio' is printed upon whitish paper, with blackish ink, and a 'very aggravated type,' and may be obtained at the music stores.