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against Capt. Landais, as well as to the numerous affidavits in support of them, and to the letters relative to Commodore Jones's appointment, to collect from the governments of France and Sweden, payment for prizes captured during the war, by the squadron under his command.
The publication of amatory correspondence of any kind, is exceedingly objectionable in such a work as this. But the intro•duction of letters from females of at least questionable character, into the same volume with those of Washington and Franklin, of Adams and of La Fayette, discovers a depravity of taste, and contempt of public opinion, which cannot be too severely reprehended.
Whenever Mr. Sherburne, or rather Mr. Van Zandt, has ventured to be original, as in the title page and introduction, he is peculiarly unfortunate. The title of the Chevalier, so affectedly prefixed to the name of John Paul Jones, is ludicrous in the extreme. The next thing, we suppose, will be the pectus of a Biography of the Marechal George Washington, or the Citoyen Governeur Morris. On another page, Mr. Sherburne tells us, that the letters there inserted were received from Thomas Jefferson, Esquire, James Madison, Esquire, and the Honourable Joseph Story. Thomas Jefferson, Esquire ! Shame upon such silly child's play. In the introduction, by a strange oversight, to call it by the gentlest term, General Montgomery and Lord Sterling are enumerated among those who left their native countries for the purpose of joining the revolutionary standard of America.",
To conclude, if the work had been modestly announced as a "collection of documents relating to the life of John Paul Jones, to be printed on very good wrapping paper," the book would not have fallen short of expectation, and we should have been among the first to give it its just due; but as it is, it is in all respects a failure, and the life of the gallant Captain yet remains to be written.
ART. XXXVIII. Husband Hunting, or the Mother and Daugh
lers. A Tale of Fashionable Life. In two volumes, 12mo. Boston. Wells & Lilly. 1825. This work is not by any means to be compared to Miss Edgworth's Manoeuvring, but it is at least equal to the mass of secondary novels of which the English press is now grown so fruitful. These are undoubtedly of a much better stock than their brethren of the beginning of the present century. The sentimental trash over which the immature maiden, and it has also been whispered, the maiden of waning charms, wept
themselves asleep, is swept to the limbo which holds all the lost things of the earth. The Children of the Abbey, and St. Ildefonso, and Santo Sebastiano, and the Wild Irish Girl, and the Wild Irish Boy, and Luxima and Fatima, whose leaves fair hands doubled down in dog's ears, and bright eyes soiled with tears, having fulfilled their appointed functions, are gone where we trust they will never be inquired after. Novels however, and youthfui fair ones, have a mutual attraction, stronger than any thing else in nature, and as long as both are in the world, they will be certain to get together. This being the inevitable law of our condition, we cannot but esteem it as exceedingly fortunate that the character of these writings is so much improved. It is certainly better that the young and susceptible should read such books as Saying and Doings, Don Esteban, Tremaine, The Foresters, and the work before us, than the childish extravagances which twenty years ago were in the hands of their mothers and aunts.
This work professes to be a faithful representation of fashionable society in England, and some of the characters are said to be taken from real life. The British journalists admit and commend the justness of the picture. We have no desire to encourage false views of the manners of other nations, but it may be allowed us to contemplate those which are given by their own writers, and to congratulate ourselves that they have no prototype in our own country. Who, for example, could possibly mistake the following for a picture of American society? One of the fashionable assembly is explaining to the hero of the story the character of the individuals present.
“ You are a young man, sir, and have yet to learn what a peep behind the curtain of the haut-ton alone can teach. See that young fellow, all moustaches aud monkery, with a face as free from care, as it is free from any trait of understanding, honour, or manliness ;-see him heaping bis lieavy attentions on that ancient dame, who receives them with such boundless gratitude. That fellow is absolutely ruined, vot worth a beggarly denier ; living in the rules of the Kings Bench, the only rules he will ever live in.” A bitter smile at the point quivered over his cheek. “And the lady ?" said Vaughan. “ The lady, sir, has been only twenty years the wife of a man who has lavished on her all that almost immeasurable wealth could procure. She is the mother of a large family ; and yet within these three days she will elope with that broken profligate."
Vaughan shrank from the picture, and turned to another group that were lounging over a portfolio. “Ay, there," said Flatter, " you see tastes of another kind. There an old slave of excess is teaching the young idea how
shoot, and beguiling that pretty, delicate, and opulent young simpleton into giving her beeves and acres to his generosity. In one nonth from this minute, she will be living on the bounty of her relations, and he be flourishing away on the Continent, in scorn of debt and dun, with his cherè amie, the wise of that respectable looking peer with whom he is, ay, on my soul, at this moment, shaking hands as if they were a pair of brothers.”
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ATHENEUM MAGAZINE.
It is the opinion of certain philosophers, that the ruin of one man, is often a great public benefit,-inasmuch as his example furnishes a beacon to perhaps thousands of others, who, warned by his fate, steer clear of the rock on which he has split, and pursue their voyage cheerfully through life. These same philosophers have divided mankind into three classes,—those who grow wise by their own experience--those who grow wise by the experience of others—and those who never grow wise at all. I belong to the first class, and it is for the benefit of the second, that I have come to a resolution of making an example of myself, by communicating to the world a sketch of the errors and miscalculations, by which I have been reduced from a state of liberal competency, to one of actual want. However mortifying it may be to my feelings to offer this public disclosure, the hope of being useful to others will make me sufficient amends.
I am descended in the female line, from a very worthy burgher of New-Amsterdam, who, in the year 1673, was the Geheim Schryder, or Recorder of Secrets, that is to say, Secretary of State for the Province of New-Netherlands. A younger daughter of his, married with Claas Lubbersen, who was considered a man of substance, his estate being rated in the assessment of that year at three thousand guilders. Although he could not vie with Frederick Philipse, Cornelius Steenwyck, John Lawrence, Jeronimus Ebbingh, and a few others of that day, still he was beld to be of patrician rank, and was twice one of the schepens of New-Amsterdam, under Governor Van Twiller. These magistrates were always chosen from “ the best and most respectable citizens, of the reformed Christian religion only.”
The schepen Claas Lubbersen, was a prudent, laying up sort of a man, who saved money every year, let what would happen ; and as there were neither Banks, Insurance, LomVol. I.
bard, Gas, Water, nor Wind companies at that time, nor yet brokers to turn a penny to a man's advantage for him, he laid out his money in the purchase of wild lands, in the neighbourhood of Ladies' Valley, Pottebaker's Hills, and the Swamp. These lands remained in the family from generation to generation; for one of the last things a prudent man thinks of, is selling his inheritance. Our family was never remarkable for a numerous posterity, nor ever suffered inconvenience from too many children, as occurs so often in the present time. Thus it happened, that there were never more than a son and two or three daughters to provide for, and the latter were portioned off according to the customs of our ancestors, with a nice feather bed, a cow, a clothes press, and a great massy, polished oaken chest, with splendid brass hinges, and a spring lock. If there happened, by a rare chance, to be any younger sons, they were put to a trade, for it was not then the fashion to bring all the young fellows up to a liberal profession, that is to say, to live by their wits. These younger brothers almost always turned out the most prosperous of the family, as the unlucky heir was kept poor all his life by paying the assessments on his new lands. Being in the city bounds, they came in for city taxes, and nearly the whole produce was swallowed up in this manner. They were always sure to be rated as very rich men, and this was all they gained by their property. By degrees, however, the city gained upon them, and a little of that spirit of speculation, which has since become so rise at intervals in this great city, made its appearance, during the lifetime of my great grand father, Jan Jans Lubbersen. He was actually offered seven hundred and fifty dollars, for his old homestead in the Ladies' Valley, where he had a house of Dutch bricks, with a weathercock on the top of it, and a garden of three or four acres, full of chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, pigeons, guinea hens, and puppy dogs.
This was a sore temptation to himself and his children, consisting of a son and daughter, who beset him, to close with so advantageous an offer. The Old Gentleman at length consented, provided he could purchase another place to his liking. But no such place was to be found in the land of the living; there was always some insuperable objection to each one that was proposed, nor is it probable that the whole universe could have supplied one to his mind. Finally, the thought of quitting his old ark, gradually preyed upon him, so that he fell sick, and his children, being alarmed, promised to press him no further on the subject. From that moment he grew better, and it is a tradition in the family, that his first sally was into the poultry
yard, to communicate this good news to the inhabitants thereof, who made such a cackling, crowing, squeaking, and barking, as alarmed the whole city of New Amsterdam, and waked up
the governor of the fort, who had fallen asleep with his pipe in his mouth. He seemed to have got a new lease for his life, and turned out, in his seventieth year, with the patriotic Jacob Leisler, for the Prince of Orange. He was alive during the Negro Plot, and one of his slaves, called York, was executed on that occasion.
This storm having blown over, the property of the Lubbersen family remained in their hands for two generations more, in spite of the inroads of the city, and the temptations of the speculators, who sorely beset my ancestors. I'hey remained firm in their strong bolds, on Pottebaker's Hills and in the Swamp, while the Hardenbroecks, the Somerindykes, the Waldrons, and the rest of the patroons of the island, gradually became dispossessed, and disappeared from their ancient inheritance. Though they saw their neighbours selling lands, which yielded them only sufficient to gratify the sober wishes of a pure unadulterated Dutchman, for sums that enabled them to enter into trade on a large scale, ride in their coaches, and perhaps get rid of the whole at last, still the Lubbersen family was not tempted by these seducing examples. My father, the last of the family that spoke Dutch, when he spoke at all, which was very seldom, used to blow the smoke leisurely out of his mouth, when he heard of these things, and exclaimed—“ Yaw-yaw-we shall see what will come of all this. My land is here, but their money is nowhere!" The old ladies said, he stood in his own light, and it was the general opinion that he would never have such another opportunity of becoming a very rich man. But whether rich or not, I have since learned to think he was a wise and happy man. He repined not to see the people around him displaying an empty ideal wealth, which came and went no one knew how-one day riding in coaches, the next steeped to the lips in poverty. He kept the even tenor of his way; never wanting any thing that he had not the means of procuring, suiting his wishes to his wealth, and cutting his coat according to his cloth, like a veritable sage. Methinks 1 see him now, in his little three cornered cocked hat, black cloth coat, velvet breeches, and silver shoe and knee buckles, walking forth with his gold headed cane, to visit his garden and poultry yardhis visage so mild and contented—his blue Netherland eye, and full, though not corpulent figure, affording shrewd indications of good living, good health, and a good conscience. The revolutions of states, and the capricious changes of commerce, that lay