Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

mouth, (nine inches long, and nine for a penny,)' well, why in h-]1 do n't you go to Murray-street ? - nobody hinders you! That now was polite! Ask a Frenchman what's o'clock, and he answers: 'Half past nine -- much obliged to you. There's a contrast for you! And thus the irritable comedian ran on, until Mr. S

grew a-weary, when he paused, as we do, and his auditor escaped -- like the reader.

That was a beautiful picture, which we recently heard painted by an eloquent clergyman, of the revelation of God in childhood. 'Look,' said he, in substance, 'at that revelation, in the first opening form of humanity; at that infant being — that childangel; all innocency, gladness, loveliness. There it is, quite helpless, and almost unconscious; and yet it filleth the whole dwelling, to the very roof-tree, with music and joy. No toy for childhood like that; no treasure for parental affection no treasure of wishes, like that. There it lies, in the narrow space of an infant's cradle, and yet it filleth the whole house with its presence. There is resort to it, from time to time, as if it were something enshrined. Childhood, and age, and manly hope, and matronly beauty, bend over it. I could almost fancy,' added the speaker, 'it were in worship at that fair, pure shrine of the all-creating goodness.' We could not but think, as we heard these admirable and touching sentences, and saw the warm tear start to the eyes of a bereaved young mother, sitting near us, of the Roman line, 'Quam Deus amat, moritur adolescens ;' and of that kindred thought of BULWER: 'Why mouru sor the young? Better that the light cloud should fade away in the mornirg's breath, than travel through the weary day, to gather in darkness, and end in storm.' Who should lament, when 'child-angels' are 'taken from the evil to come,' and translated from their infant cradles to heaven?

Where, with day-beams round them playing,

They their FATHER's face shall see,
And shall hear him gently saying,
*Little children, come to me!"

The toils, the trials, the pains, of a long life, often find their end only in a larger coffin – that cradle in which our second childhood is rocked to sleep. How much truth is conveyed in that simple stanza, carved by a fond parent upon the humble head-stone of his child's grave:

He tasted of life's bitter cup,
Refused to drink the potion up;
But turned his little head aside,
Disgusted with the taste, and died.'

What strange ideas of poetry and imagination some people have! While a certain maller-of-fact class contemn them, because they cannot be sold by the bale, or bought by the cargo, and counted as so much immediately convertible merchandise, another class deem them commodities of easy acquisition, and only to be called for, to be 'constantly on hand.' 'Come, Mr. -, said a simple, but very romantic young woman, lo a poetical friend of ours, not long since, 'won't you sit down now, and write a nice piece of poetry? Do! I should so like to see you make a sweet-pretty piece, right out o' your head! My cousin saw Mr. M - make a very handsome piece, one night. He did it amazingly quick. Come! do make me some!' This young person was akin to the literary young lady,' so well described in 'The Young Ladies' Book,' who kept a small collection of hand-writings, and three or four old half-pence, which she called her coins,' and who addressed a male friend, whom she was 'button-holding' from dinner, 'Do n't you remember that you promised to write down for me, in this album, one of your poetical effusions ? Sit down, there's a good man. Here's the pen, and every thing. You need ’nt fill more than four pages, but mind you write clear!' This may seem exaggerated; but we purpose, ere long, to endeavor to amuse the reader with a portraiture of character in this kind, which we can aver to be by no means a 'fancy sketch.'

[graphic]

READER, were you ever wakened, in the small hours of the morning, by a confused din of instruments and voices – all cracked ? If so, you know how to commiserate that penurious English nobleman, who, in desperation, threw a sixpence to an organ-grinder and his vocal spouse, under his window, and bade them pass on, in God's name. We never goes on, short of a shillin'!' was the consoling reply, and they continued to grind and squall, until the remaining sixpence was extracted. What a bore it is, to be sure, a bald, unripe serenade! But the operators in these entertainments are not always at ease, in pursuing their melodious avocations, as a short story, which we have from 'a friend in the service,' will show. We suspect it must have been related of midshipman * Dandy P—, of whom our agreeable correspondent speaks, in his ‘Log-Book,' who acquired the guitar, (after incessant study, having no native talent for music,) sufficiently to accompany his cracked voice, when he would 'execute' solo serenades, and roll up his eyes 'like a duck in a thunder-storm,' under any pretty damsel's window. One charming moonlight night, our naval exquisite left the ship, then anchored in a South-American port, to screnade a lovely brunette, whom he had repeatedly seen on shore, and whom he already fancied to be one of his numerous conquests. Dressed like a gay cavalier, and accompanied by an honest tar, he'sought the maiden's lattice,' and underneath it began to ply his lungs, and the strings of his instrument. But he had been on double duty for the two previous nights, and notwithstanding the fire which burned in his bosom, his voice gradually died away, and the serenader was presently fast asleep. At this juncture, the lattice opened, and a plump female head and shoulders looked out, as if reconnoitering the premises below. That promising artist, Hooper, has well represented this scene, in the accompanying engraving from a clever sketch by G. L. Brown. Jack, who was waiting at a little distance for his officer, began to grow tired of the sport, when the lattice again suddenly opened, and down came a torrent of water upon the head of the sleeping beauty,' followed with a request from the young lady's maid, that the romantic recumbent would take bimself away. 'If there was n't a whole hogshead,' said Jack, as he encountered the drenched hero, I'll be d-d!' The musical midshipman related, subsequently, that he was dreaning of standing on the' spouting horn,' at Koloa, one of the Sandwich Islands, at which his ship had touched, where the waves roll into an awful cavern, and find their only escape through a narrow fissure of the rock, rising to the height of sixty or sevenly feet, and falling in sheets of spray and foam, with the noise of thunder. Under this food he stood in fancy, and when he awoke, he nothing doubted that it was reality, and no vision. But his dream was ended; and this was his last serenade.

[ocr errors]

Wav, so long the favorite amusement, and often the sole employment of men, has been for many years gradually growing unpopular. Peace societies are not alone of the opinion, that

• Too long at clash of arms, amid her bowers,

And pools of blood, the earth hath stood aghast.' NAPOLEON, were he to revisit now the glimpses of the moon, wonld find his occupation, and a good deal of his reputation, gone. He has strutted his hour upon the stage, where he was once 'accounted a very great actor.' True, the tragedies in which he performed, were got up in stupendous style, 'with music of cannon volleys, and the murder-shrieks of a world; his stage-lights were the fires of confagration; his rhyme and recitative were the tramp of embattled hosts, and the sound of falling cities.' Whole hecatombs of men whiten the gray sands of Egypt, bleach in the snows of Russia, or are garnered on the plains of Italy, who assisted, as nameless and fameless supernumeraries, in his renowned performances. Ah, reader! did you ever consider what was the net purport and upshot of war? Let that imaginary German, (whom once, we confess it with shame-facedness, we condemned before we understood,) paint you the picture:

"To my own knowledge, there dwell and toil, in the British village of Dumdrudge, usually some five hundred souls. From these, by certain 'natural enemies' of the French, there are successively selected, during the French war, say thirty able-bodied men. Dumdrudge, at her own expense, has suckled and nursed them ; she has, not without difficulty and sorrow, fed them up to manhood, and even trained them to crafts, so that one can weave, another build, another hammer, and the weakest can stand under thirty stone avoidupois. Nevertheless, amid much weeping and swearing, they are selected; all dressed in red, and shipped away, at the public charges, some two thousand miles, or say only to the south of Spain ; and fed there till wanted. And now, to that same spot in the south of Spain, are thirty similar French artisans, from a French Dumdrudge, in like manner wending ; till at length, after infinite effort, the two parties come into actual juxta-position; and thirty stands fronting thirty, each with a gun in his hand. Straightway the word 'Fire!' is given; and they blow the souls out of one another; and in place of sixty brisk, useful craftsmen, the world has sixty dead carcasses, (shells of men, out of which all the life and virtue has been blown,) which it must bury, and anew shed tears for. Had these men any quarrel ? Busy as the devil is, not the smallest! They lived far enough apart; were the entirest strangers ; nay, in so wide a universe, there was even, unconsciously, by commerce, some mutual helpfulness between them. How then? Simpleton! their governors had fallen out; and, instead of shooting one another, had the cunning to make these poor blockheads shoot.'

Turn from this sketch, to the falling-out governor - a BONAPARTE, perchance, luxariating in his warm bath in Italy, and there, by a word, giving orders to force a distant march, wherein the foot are directed to be driven forward by the horse with such cruel violence, that thousands perish by the way! Or look back upon the desolate track the army has traversed, and pause at the hospitals, where the numbers of the wounded render assistance impracticable; where novices in surgery serve the apprenticeship of their art amidst hurry and interruption, and the agonizing cries of their suffering patients. All these, as well as the envied dead, who, by a happier fate, were sent suddenly into eternity, are linked by ties of affection to hearts which as yet know not their own bitterness!

One morning, during the ‘rabid stage' of the late 'pressure,' while looking over some new publications, in the fashionable magasin of one skilled in bibliography, there enters us a middle-aged specimen of humanity, who from crown to heel bore the marks of a decayed gentleman. He looked as if he had been spending the night in a stable, and taking his breakfast at a pump.' 'Sir,' said he, bowing condescendingly to the shopman, and speaking with studied precision of diction, 'you see before you an unfortunate individual; one who, as the poet remarks, is greatly

in want of ready rhino, Like many hereabout that you,

And some perhaps that I, know!' Permit me, therefore, my dear Sir, to ask, could you oblige me with the loan of a fip?' No Sir, I could not !' replied the shopman, sarcastically.' 'Ah!' responded the solicilor, 'I had no idea that the times were so hard here. I thought they were hard enough in Philadelphia, but-nothing like it noth-ing like it! I feel for you,' he added, laying his hand, with a philanthropic air, upon his breast, 'I feel for you all!' He mused for a moment, then extending his arm, and Aourishing the tattered remnant of a pocket-handkerchief, he continued: “What is this great and glorious country coming to, I should like to know, under its present rulers, with their bank laws, their currency laws, their sub-treasury, and so forth? To ruin, Sir!- to utter ruin! 'Man,' as the English Grammar very correctly observes, ‘man is a verb.' Our government, the body corporate, is the verb TO BE ! -- TO DO! And we, the people, Sir, of this great and glorious country, are the miserable passive verb, TO SUFFER!' 'Shade of Cicero!' thought we; 'such eloquence, would shame the oratory of our 'Eagle of the North!' 'Sir,' said the shopman, 'I have no time to attend to you. You will oblige me by leaving the store.' 'Oh, certainly!' And he retired accordingly.

Poor Mino,' AGAIN. — 'The KNICKERBOCKER has completely overrun 'Uncle John' Bezonet, in Nassau-street, with visitors, to ste 'Poor Mino,' the wonderful East Indian bird, so graphically described in the May number. It is not uncommon to see his store full of ladies and gentlemen, of a morning, and iwo or three carriages at the door; but ‘Mino' wont talk to the ladies, unless there are gentlemen present.' Thus courteously observed the 'Erening Star' daily journal, a few evenings since; and its statement is sooth. Calling a day or two after this paragraph appeared, welearned that “Mino' had been removed, for keeping too much and mixed company. Beside, he had grown oppressively loquacious. 'Uncle John, there's somebody in the store !' had become his continual announcement of new visitors. He had grown impertinent, withal, and if one surveyed him too minutely, he would inquire, in a querulous tone, 'Who’re you looking at ?' He had collected, moreover, among other things, the popular suffrages in regard to his manifold attractions, and was wont to echo, with great deliberation, and an air ludicrously oracular: 'Well, that is re-a-lly a very ex-tra-or-dinary bird!' - after which, he invariably indulged in that long-drawn, rich, and husky laugh, which would turn the veriest misanthrope into a cachinnatory machine, out of mere sympathy. Reader, we were in the right in what we said concerning birds -- how that they know considerable. We love the man who cherishes in his heart these gentle, heavenward messengers. Herr TEUFELSDRÖCKH has bound us to him for ever, by that beautiful eulogy which he has passed upon our especial favorites, the swallows. • Bright, nimble creatures !' says he, 'who taught you the mason-craft; nay, stranger still, gave you a masonic incorporation, almost social police? For if, by ill chance, and when time pressed, and your house fell, did not five neighborly helpers appear next day, and swashing to and fro, with animated, loud, long-drawn chirpings, and wonderful activity, complete it again before nightfall ? To be sure they did, for we saw them do it.

TECHNICALITIES are very common, even to the best informed, in liberal professions ; but in the language of the lower orders, they often form a most ludicrous feature. The keen, observant eye of that paragon of humorists, the author of the 'Pickwick Papers,' has discovered, and his pen graphically illustrated, this peculiarity. The boor-black lad, at the hotel, who called all the travellers by the character of their boots, such as 'the 'Vellintons in Number 16,' the 'Vite Tops, in Number 13,' and 'the Pumps, in Number 20,' is a good specimen in point. So, too, was the remark of a servant at Vauxhall Garden, not long since recorded. He saw a couple of scape-graces making off, without paying for their ‘refreshments,' and gave the alarm to a fellow waiter: 'I say, Bill, there's a brandy-and-water gettin' over the fence, and a cup o' coffee spillin' his self out o' the back gate! Look 'vild !' 'Nicholas Nickleby,' when he was leaving home, early in the morning, for Do-the-boy's Hall, and Mr. Squeer's tender protection, encountered an excellent professional sample in this kind, in the female miniaturepainter, who had been drawn early from bed by the fine arts, and was waiting for the light, to carry out an idea. “She had got up early to put a fancy nose into a miniature

of an ugly little boy, destined for his grandmother in the country, who was expected to bequeath him property, if he was like the family. "To carry out an idea,' repeated Miss La Creevy; "and that's the great convenience of living in a thoroughfare like the Strand. When I want a nose or an eye for any particular sitter, I have only to look out of the window, and wait till I get one.' 'Does it take long to get a nose, now?' inquired Nicholas, smiling. Why, that depends in a great measure on the pattern,' replied Miss La Creevy. 'Snubs and romans are plentiful enough, and there are flats of all sorts and sizes, when there's a meeting at Exeter Hall; but perfectly aquilines, I am sorry to say, are scarce, and we generally use them for uniforms, or public characters.' 'Indeed!' said Nicholas. 'If I should meet with any in my travels, I will try to sketch them for you.' We shall endeavor, at an early day, to serve up a few technical characters who have come under our own observation. If they fail to please, it will not be because the subjects are deficient in the raw material of fun. They will open rich.'

GRATITUDE, a generous, humanizing virtue, is no where more perceptible, in the brute creation, than in the dog. Do a dog a kindness, and he will not soon forget it. He will never cut you in the street, if you have ever given him a bone, or a bit of cold victuals, even though he may be walking with 'dogs of high degree.' Did you ever mark, reader, the expression of a number of dogs, receiving a repast of meat, or the like, of a morning ? The scene has been well drawn by a clever artist, in the annexed lines:

• Beam with bright blaze their supplicating eyes,
Sink their hind legs, ascend their joyful cries,
Each wild with hope, and maddening to prevail,

Points the pleased ear, and wags the expectant lail.' Dogs are noble, generous creatures, and we love and honor them. But why should we eulogize them? Surely 'it will not be popular,' at a time when the dog-starry influences are about to prevail, and Hydrophobia to walk abroad, dealing terror and death. Ah, that dreadful disease! It is indeed 'too horrible.' A young medical friend at our elbow has described to us a case of this description, which he saw, some time since, at a hospital in Paris. A young Lombardy peasant was brought to the hospital, who had been bitten by a mad cat, that had leaped at him from a shelf in the dairy, where he had caught and beaten ber, for stealing his milk and cream. The enraged animal fastened her teeth in his cheek with so firm a grasp, that she could not be detached until her head was cut off. The usual preventives, such as cantery, purging, bleeding, and mercurial salivation, were immediately resorted to, but without avail. On the twentyeighth day, the fatal symptoms began to appear. In the meantime, the unhappy patient had suffered every thing but death, in anticipating the termination of the event. His dreams were terrific. The difficulty of swallowing water, he overcame, at first, with great fortitude. His wound increased, he was unable to swallow, at length grew furious, and with a low yell, like a cat in agony, he would fly at, and endeavor to bite, all who came near him. He was bound with chains, but broke them, as though they had been the weakest pack-thread. One night he escaped from his bed, ran up and down the hospital hall, trying to bite all he met, and in endeavoring to escape from the door, was seized with chills, and fell down dead. He had grasped an iron bed-wrench, in his last paroxysm, and when taken up, his teeth were so firmly fixed upon it, as to, require the greatest exertion to remove it. The brain and cerebelum were found, on dissection, to be very much inflamed. He died a horrid death, as many others have done from the same cause. But are all dogs to be doubted, and hunted down, because a few run mad? By the mass, no!

There are a great many stories told of the prolific soil of the Great West; how that bread, ready buttered, grows upon high trees; that pigs' tails, planted in the rich alluvial bottom lands, in the fall, fructify in such wise, that on some fine evening in early spring, a crop of juvenile porkers may be seen marching into the sower's farm-yard, VOL. XI.

72

« PoprzedniaDalej »