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proper occasions, and to the warmer and deeper tone of feeling, and the brighter colouring of imagination, which pervades these pages. Not only are the writings of Miss Edgeworth, designed for youthful readers, carefully devested of whatever has the effect of exciting the imagination, but their tendency is to repress every thing like enthusiasm in youthful minds, and to reduce the motives of action to a sober calculation of worldly profit and advantage. Such a system, of course, excludes all religious influences, and with them, those generous impulses of the heart, which carry us out of ourselves, and prompt us to do good to others without caring for personal consequences. What is commonly called enthusiasm, is often only a fervid and active disinterestedness. It is, without doubt, exceedingly annoying when directed to trifling or impracticable objects; and very dangerous, when it mistakes hurtful for beneficial ones; but it has been, and we apprehend will always be, the spring of nearly all the noble and illustrious actions which dignify the history of the human race. It is the principle that agitates and purifies the moral world; the great enemy of indolence, of the love of pleasure, and of selfish ambition. It is the powerful agent which breaks down established abuses, and at the sacrifice of present advantage, secures important blessings for posterity. Its entire absence from the mind may, in short, be looked upon as a sort of imperfection and deformity. It is a quality bestowed for wise purposes, and capable of being employed to effect important ends : its extravagances are without doubt to be checked, and its direction to be watched over and regulated; but it is no more to be annihilated than either of our five senses. Nor is the imagination a faculty which a system of education, judiciously adapted to our nature, should aim to efface from the mind. It should, of course, be kept under a proper regulation; but we need not waste time in attempting to show that it requires only a wise cultivation, to make it, what it was meant to be, an important means of happiness. That faculty which spreads brightness and beauty over the face of nature; which connects moralassociations with inanimate objects; the exercise of which makes society cheerful, and even turns solitude into a kind of society, is certainly to be looked upon, not merely as an innocent, but as a most useful and valuable faculty.
The work we are now considering, is principally an account of a journey performed by two very young persons, a brother and sister, who, in company with their parents, make what is called the grand tour of Niagara, the lakes, &c. On their way, a variety of interesting incidents take place, which, by the judi
e, securstablishanbition of indat agi
cious management of their parents, aided by the ingenuous reflections of their own minds, are improved into so many lessons of wisdom and benevolence. They are related in a very spirited and agreeable manner. As a specimen of the work, we give one of those beautiful little narratives with which it is interspersed. A stranger is relating to the travellers a tradition concerning the ruins of an old French fortification, situated on a point of land at the junction of the Oswegatchie and the St. Lawrence.
"A commandant of this fort (which was built by the French to protect their traders against the savages) married a young Iroquois, who was before or after the marriage converted to the Catholic faith. She was the daughter of a chieftain of her tribe, and great efforts were made by her people to induce her to return to them. Her brother lurked in this neighbourhood, and procured interviews with her, and attempted to win her back by all the motives of national pride and family affection; but all in vain. The young Garanga, or, to call her by her baptismal name, Marguerite, was bound by a threefold cord-her love to her husband, to her son, and to her religion. Mecumeh, finding persuasion ineffectual, had recourse to stratagem. The commandant was in the habit of going down the river often on fishing excursions, and when he returned, he would fire his signal gun, and Marguerite and her boy would hasten to the shore to greet him.
« On one occasion he had been gone longer than usual. Marguerite was filled with apprehensions, natural enough at a time when imminent dangers and hairbreadth escapes were of every day occurrence. She had sat in the tower and watched for the returning canoe till the last beam of day had faded from the waters ;—the deepening shadows of twilight played tricks with her imagination. Once she was startled by the water-fowl, which, as it skimmed along the surface of the water, imaged to her fancy the light canoe impelled by her husband's vigorous armagain she heard the leap of the heavy muskalongi, and the splashing waters sounded to her fancy like the first dash of the oar. That passed away, and disappointment and tears followed. Her boy was beside her; the young Louis, who, though scarcely twelve years old, already had his imagination filled with daring deeds. Born and bred in a fort, he was an adept in the use of the bow and the musket; courage seemed to be his instinct, and danger his element, and battles and wounds were "household words' with him. He laughed at his mother's fears; but, in spite of his boyish ridicule, they strengthened, till apprehension seemed reality. Suddenly the sound of the signal gun broke on the stillness of the night. Both mother and son sprang on their feet with a cry of joy, and were pressing hand in hand towards the outer gate, when a sentinel stopped them to remind Marguerite it was her husband's order that no one should venture without the walls after sunset. She, however, insisted on passing, and telling the soldier that she would answer to the commandant for his breach of orders—she passed the outer barrier. Young Louis held up his bow and arrow before the sentinel, saying gayly, 'I am my mother's body-guard you know.' Tradition has preserved these trifling circumstances, as the events that followed rendered them memorable.
« The distance, continued the stranger, from the fort to the place where the commandant moored his canoe was trifling, and quickly passed Marguerite and Louis flew along the narrow foot path, reached the shore, and were in the arms of — Mecumeh and his fierce companions. Entreaties and resistance were alike vain. Resistance was made, with a manly spirit, by young Louis, who drew a knife from the girdle of one of the Indians, and attempted to plunge it into the bosom of Mecu. meh, who was roughly binding his wampum belt over Marguerite's mouth, to deaden the sound of her screams. The uncle wrested the knife from him, and smiled proudly on him, as if he recognised in the bravo boy a scion from his own stock.
“ The Indians had two canoes; Marguerite was conveyed to one, Louis to the other-and both canoes were rowed into the Oswegatchie, and up the stream as fast as it was possible to impel them against the current of the river.
“ Not a word nor cry escaped the boy: he seemed intent on some purpose, and when the canoe approached near the shore, he took off a military cap he wore, and threw il so skilfully that it lodged, where he meant it should, on the branch of a tree which projected over the water. There was a long white feather in the cap. The Indians had observed the boy's movement_they held up their oars for a moment, and seemed to consult whether they should return and remove the cap; but after a moinent, they again dashed their oars in the water, and proceeded forward. They continued rowing for a few miles, and then landed; hid their canoes behind soine trees on the river's bank, and plunged into the woods with their prisoners. It seems to have been their intention to have returned to their canoes in the morning, and they had not proceeded far from the shore, when they kindled a fire, and prepared some food, and offered a share of it to Marguerite and Louis. Poor Marguerite, as you may suppose, had no mind to eat; but Louis, saith tradition, ate as heartily as if he had been safe within the walls of the fort. After the supper, the Indians stretched themselves before the fire, but not till they had taken the precaution to bind Marguerite to a tree, and to compel Louis to lie down in the arms of his uncle Mecumeh. Neither of the prisoners, as you may imagine, closed their eyes. Louis kept his fixed on his mother. She'sat upright beside an oak tree; the cord was fastened around her waist, and bound around the tree, which had been blasted by lightning; the moon poured its beams through the naked branches upon her face, convulsed with the agony of despair and fear. With one hand she held a crucifix to her lips; the other was on her rosary. The sight of his mother in such a situation, stirred up daring thoughts in the bosom of the heroic boy-but he lay: powerless in his uncle's naked brawny arms. He tried to disengage himself, but at the slightest movement, Mecumeh, though still sleeping, seemed conscious, and strained him closer to him. At last the strong sleep, that in the depth of the night steeps the senses in utter forgetfulness, overpowered him-his arms relaxed their hold, and dropped beside him, and left Louis free.
“ He rose cautiously, looked for one instant on the Indians, and assured himself they all slept profoundly. He then possessed himself of Mecumeh's knife, which lay at his feet, and severed the cord that bound his mother to the tree. Neither of them spoke a word—but with the least possible sound they resumed the way by which they had come from the shore. Louis in the confidence, and Marguerite with the faint hope, of reaching it before they were overtaken.
“ You may imagine how often the poor mother, timid as a fawn, was startled by the evening breeze stirring the leaves; but the boy bounded forward as if there were neither fear nor danger in the world.
“ They had nearly attained the margin of the river, where Louis meant to launch one of the canoes and drop down the current, when the Indian yell resounding through the woods, struck on their ears. They were inissed, pursued, and escape was impossible. Marguerite, panic-struck, sunk to the ground. Nothing could check the career of Louis. "On-on, mother,' he cried, to the shore-to the shore.' She rose and instinctively followed her boy. The sound of pursuit came nearer and nearer. They reached the shore, and there beheld three canoes coming swiftly up the river. Animated with hope, Louis screamed the watch word of the garrison, and was answered by his father's voice.
“The possibility of escape, and the certain approach of her husband, infused new life into Marguerite. Your father cannot see us,' she said,
as we stand here in the shade of the trees; hide yourself in that thicket; I will plunge into the water. Louis crouched under the bushes, and was completely hidden by an overhanging grape-vine, while his mother advanced a few steps into the water and stood erect, where she could be distinctly seen. A shout from the canoes apprised her that she was recognised ; and at the same moment, the Indians, who had now reached the shore, rent the air with their cries of rage and defiance. They stood for a moment, as if deliberating what next to do; Mecumeh maintained an undaunted and resolved air-but with his followers the aspect of armed men, and a force thrice their number, had its usual effect. They fled. He looked after them, cried shame!' and then, with a desperate yell, leaped into the water, and stood beside Marguerite. The canoes were now within a few yards.—He put his knife to her bosom-The daughter of Tecumseh,' he said, should have died by the judgment of our warriors, but now by her brother's hand must she perish; and he drew back his arm to give vigor to the fatal stroke, when an arrów pierced his own breast, and he fell insensible at his sister's side. A moment after Marguerite was in the arms of her husband, and Louis, with his bow unstrung, bounded from the shore, and was received in his father's canoe; and the wild shores rung with the acclamations of the soldiers, while his father's tears of pride and joy were poured like rain upon his cheek..
“ The stranger paused, and Edward breathed one long breath, expressive of the interest with which he had listened to the tale; and then said, • You have not told us, sir, how the commandant was so fortunate as to pursue in the right direction.'
“He returned soon after Marguerite's departure, and of course was at no loss to determine that she had been taken in the toils of her brother. He explored the mouth of the Oswegatchie, thinking it possible that the savages might have left their canoes moored there, and taken to the land. Louis's cap and feather caught his eye, and furnished him a clue. You have now my whole story, concluded the stranger; and though I can
not vouch-for its accuracy, many similar circumstances must have occur· red, while this country was a wilderness, and my tradition is at least sup
ported by probability."
ART. V.-Lionel Lincoln, or the Leaguer of Boston. By the
Author of the Pioneers, Pilot, fc. New-York: 1825.
Charles Wiley. 2 vols. pp. 533.. The principal aims of criticism in the journals that come to us from abroad, appear to be, to anticipate and to modify general opinion in relation to the works and the subjects discussed in them. They always aspire to at least the judicial, and almost always to the legislative function in literature. It is not enough for the Aristarchuses of these lettered aristocracies to apply sometimes a mistaken, sometimes a supposed, and sometimes a distorted rule; but in defiance of the principles of all sound governments, in the republic of which the government should be the soundest, they create the very code that they administer, and judge the applicant for literary justice, by a system of ex post facto laws, undiscoverable through any human ingenuity by the individual whose practice they should have directed. It is not surprising, in this state of things, that great varieties and inconsistencies should be found in the progress of the same work; that caprice should contradict caprice, and that one writer's partialities, antipathies, and prejudices should counteract another's; that judgments previously pronounced should be forgotten, when new ones on the same subject are to be declared, or when the same author presents himself at successive periods before the same tribunal ;or that even the safe policy of criticism should change, as the minor becomes a man, or as the loyal colony passes through rebellion and independence to rivalry and triumph. Indeed, as long as this assumption is maintained, instances will never be wanting, like those of Lord Byron and of America, of these arbiters of literary destiny beginning in “ Ercles' vein,” and ending with “roaring you as gently as any sucking dove."
A wiser, and certainly a less dangerous course, would be, for a body of critics, however originally established, whether autoclete or regularly nominated and elected, to consider themselves, in the exercise of their public duties, as the representatives of the reading community,—to regard the sentiments expressed by thinking men, where the majority is overwhelming, (particularly in all matters of taste, in which opinions incessantly and innocently clash,) almost as the instructions of constituents,-and where the division of parties is obvious and decided, at least to state the conflicting opinions, let their own be what they may. We would not, by this, be understood as suggesting the idea of relinquishing our claim to the casting vote in those innumerable