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We have only one remark to make, by way of suggestion, and perhaps it is hypercritical. We had thought, that the notion of human sacrifice, or the dedication of human victims to any particular god, as belonging 10 the customs of our Aborigines, had been disproved, and exploded. The martyrdom of the Indian girl, might have taken place with as much propriety, and been made equally effective, without the introduction of this questionable superstition. Be this as it may, every reader of feeling will do homage to the genius of the author, in perusing this brief story. The characters of the good priest, and of the two Indian sisters, the one of whom had devoted herself to the solitude of the cloister, while the other could not break the tendrils of natural feeling which bound her to this world, with its hopes, and fears, and sympathies, are drawn in a manner not unworthy of M‘Kenzie. The conclusion approaches to the sublime.
of the two remaining tales in this volume, the first, which is called, “ A Revolutionary Story," has no particular merit, except that it is written in good English. Dr. Johnson has very justly reinarked, that it requires no great stretch of ingenuity to dispose of the characters in a fable, by killing them all off. There are so many different ways of departing this life, other than by the regular course of professional assistance, that one has no difficulty in cutting to pieces the tangled knot of his own tying, by strewing the stage, as in Tom Thumb, or Bombastes Furioso, with the murdered victims of his sanguinary but uninventive imagination. A tale of disastrous love, where the parties to the suit are got rid of by a simple suggestion on the reeord, that one died of a broken heart, and the other for grief at the loss, requires much poetical embellishment, or unusual pathos in the narration, to save it from the oblivion which has past over so many doleful compositions of a like lugubrious, but unoriginal character.
“ The Waldstetten” is of a different order, though founded on the same basis, of an unfortunate attachment, and terminating as unhappily, in the death of the lovers. The scene, and time of its action, are laid in the heroic days of Switzerland; and the main incident is the voluntary self-devotion of Arnold de Winkelreid. The author appears to have made himself at home, among the lakes and mountains, which he paints with no vulgar pencil; and his fiction, in connexion with the historical matter introduced, is managed with much skill and effect.
The descriptive sketches of Paris, from “ Pere la Chaise," “ Scenes on the St. Lawrence," “ Naples" and“ Athens,” accompanying the respective engravings, are written with much grace, and with great purity of style. Of the poetry, generally, we must speak in more qualified phraseology... It is all very respectable, and some of it is very pretty; but its prevailing character is that of mediocrity. “ The Dream,” is decidedly fat. The writer of the “ Legend of the Forest,” is undoubtedly a poet; and there is much poetry in this production. We think, however, that he has taken too great liberties with the superstitions of our Aborigines, and interwoven with them too much of eastern mythology, producing a texture sometimes inconsistent and inappropriate.
Upon the whole, the volume is highly creditable to the talents of our native writers, and the laudable enterprise of the publishers Its plan is extremely well calculated to elicit the powers of genius, by preserving in a more enduring form its fugitive efforts. It is a beautiful and appropriate present for the season; and we hope the extent of its sale will correspond with its external and intrinsic merits.
STORIES OF A COCK AND BULL.
THE BEAU'S TALE.--HISTORY OF COUNT R
I was born, began the count, in the province of New York, of one of the first families in it. By the first, I mean, one of the first that came over from Holland. My great ancestor accompanied Hendrick Hudson on the voyage, which ended in the discovery of the New-Netherlands, but in what capacity I cannot tell ; and from his not having exercised any particular functions on board, I think I may fairly conclude he was a gentleman passenger. In addition to this presumptive claim to distinction, it is on record that he killed the first bear that ever fell by the hands of a white man in the province. When it is considered how large a portion of the great families abroad, derive their origin and distinction from the performance of exploits not half so innocent, not to say as useful, as that of my ancestor, I think I have fairly made out my pedigree, and shall insist upon it no farther. If any other proofs of honourable descent were necessary, they might be found in the utter obscurity that shrouds the memory of his forefathers. This, in itself, is equal to a certificate from the herald's office, since, in my opinion, the best possible proof of the antiquity of a family, is the total oblivion of its founder. If it has subsisted long enough for him to be entirely forgotten, his descendants may make him out a hero or demi-god, and let him perform as many impossibilities as they please.
I have it from the best authority, that my ancestor was a very clever fellow, who belonged to that class of persons who make their fortunes by making themselves either useful or agreeable to great men. Their sole study is human nature, not in books, but the great volume of the world ; and the most valuable portion of their learning consists in the science, which is sometimes dignified with the honourable appellation of toad eating. When you know as much of the world as I do, you will discover that this class of persons have more to do in the government of mankind than you imagine. My ancestor was an adept in this science, and continued in favour with a succession of governVol. II.
ors, who never agreed in any one thing, but in considering him a very clever fellow, and rewarding him accordingly. Most of the thriving gentlemen of this class, of the present day, have borrowed a leaf out of his book beyond doubt. At that time, the governors exercised the prerogative of giving away as much land as they pleased; and whole manors were sometimes bestowed by their excellencies on their favourites, particularly after dinner. We have it in the family, that my great ancestor once received a patent for a number of city lots, for delighting his Excellency Governor Van Twiller with a jovial Dutch song; and a grant of a square mile in King's county, for a joke upon the Yankees of Connecticut river, which caused Governor Kieft to laugh himself into great good humour, and saved those arch interlopers from a furious proclamation. It was something to be a governor, and it was worth while to make one's self agreeable to a governor, in those times. No wonder people were so much more agreeable and witty than at present. Now, forsooth, all that a governor can do, is to give away a few petty offices, not worth the tenth part of the moiety of a good song, or a tolerable joke ; and his only prerogative consists in the privilege of a goose at Christmas, to be shot at by every rogue in the parish, not for sixpence, but for nothing.
My great ancestor, by his meritorious services, was rewarded with grant upon grant, so that, in a little time, he had a right to an immense property, which, at that time, was worth little or nothing. However, as he paid no taxes, the possession did not actually ruin him. He died full of years, full of lands, and full of glory; for it is related, that the governor of that day followed the body to the grave, and ordered Captain Paulus Kryff to fire minute guns all the while. True it is, that the powder, being intended for trafficking with the Indians, was so bad, that the swivel only went off twice during the whole ceremony. His excellency was wroth, and called the contractor to account; but he justified himself triumphantly by hinting, that as the Indians undoubtedly intended to use the powder in shooting Christians, both piety and humanity inculcated the necessity of cheating the villains. I am thus particular in dwelling on the history of my great great ancestor, because, as he was the only one of the name, except myself, that ever shed a ray of glory as far into the world as the end of his nose, I felt bound in honour to make the most of him, for the credit of the family. I shall, therefore, bury them all quietly in the old Dutch church-yard, leaving it to the writers of epitaphs to tell as many lies about them as they please, and proceed directly to my own particular biography.
The first decided indication of character I exhibited, was a taste for finery, which, I believe, I can trace to a pink.silk bonnet, bedecked with a whole rose bush, and a worked muslin cloak lined with lilac, which my godmother presented me with on my second birthday. From that time I cried for every piece of finery I saw; and as I was never, thank Heaven, denied any thing, because 1 had beautiful curly hair, and my parents were rich enough to afford it, I was the envy of all the little masters, misses, their papas, mamas, rulers, aunts, godfathers and godmothers, and so completely the admiration of my teachers, that they never taught me any thing. As I grew up, my taste for dress grew with, or rather outgrew me; so that, when quite a boy, I dressed like a full grown beau, and was considered quite a premature genius. Alas! my young friends, it was some distinction at that time to be finely dressed, for then it was the living of a gentleman. But this vicious republicanism has levelled every thing to the dust. Kings are now but men; and a fine coat does not even indicate that a man is rich enough to pay for it. It is now quite impossible to tell a gentleman by his dress, so that he is actually obliged to depend on his manners, education, and acquirements, for that distinction. No wonder we have so few gentlemen now-ddays.
For my part, I despised learning, as only fit for schoolmasters, and such poor creatures as could not afford to dress like gentlemen. From sixteen to twenty, my principal pleasure and employment was, walking through William-street, at that time the great emporium, admiring the finery of the milliners' shops, and making myself acquainted with the fashions. There were no French milliners then to clap monstrocities on the heads of our poor girls at pleasure, so that they might look like little poles, with great pigeon houses on the top of them. A bonnet that would fill a whole bow window was unknown; and if a fine lady wanted to cut a figure, instead of a great hat, she put on a great petticoat, and sailed into a ball room like the sign of the globe with a woman's head sticking out of the middle. These were the times! when a lady was absolutely impregnable; and a gallant was obliged to be content with cooing around her like a cock pigeon, without ever getting within the magic circle.
But to return; I became a mighty frequenter of milliners? shops, and from admiring the finery, came at last to admire the little milliners who dispensed it. Indeed, I became so alarmingly smitten with a little Dutch vender of straw bonnets, with blue eyes, white teeth, and a right plump round figure, that
my parents became seriously uneasy lest I should commit the enormous sin of matrimony with her. They determined to send me upon the grand tour to preserve my virtue, and keep me out of mischief. The idea of the grand tour was sublime
-it overwhelmed me with anticipations of I did not know what, but of something inexpressible, inconceivable, and inevitably exquisite. The whole city talked of the matter, and Dominie Frelinghuysen called upon my mother to warn her seriously of the dangers of the seas. But she defied the dominie, and all his works, like a heroine; the danger of being swallowed up by the waves was nothing to the danger of being swallowed up by the little Dutch milliner. I turned my back upon her most heroically; and the jade, such is the inconstancy of the sex, instead of pining away, and breaking her heart, a little while after, married the degenerate son of a soap-boiler. I
pass over the tears of my parents, and the sage admonitions of my good mother, who, though she spoiled me, I shall die loving with all my heart. She furnished me with a store of pickles, sweetmeats, and cakes, to solace me on the voyage, and cautioned me over and over again, against the opera dancers, the Dutch milliners, and the lions in the tower; the good dominie gave me a little Heidelberg catechism, with the blessing of his worthy old heart; and thus spiritually and temporally fortified, we set sail one fine May morning. glided smoothly down the bay, the beauties of the scene and the season, for the first time, struck upon my heart, and I could not help asking of myself, where, in the wide world, I should meet with any thing so gloriously lovely. Feelings of this sort were not apt to come over me often, and for that reason I remember them on account of their novelty.
But, whatever may be the end, the beginning of the grand tour, taking one's departure from New York, is to be remembered with utter abhorrence. Before I lost sight of the land, I was overtaken by that sickness which is the more intolerable, because it seldom, if ever, puts a man out of his misery, by putting an end to him. My whole system partook of the rolling of the ship, and a grand vouleversement took place, like that which your modern geologists suppose to have produced the wrecks, fragments, and out-of-place matters, which, but for this, would puzzle people that nothing else can puzzle I believe. Í exclaimed against the sea, and all that in it is. I cast forth from my mouth the grand tour, and the little Dutch milliner; and when I beheld the captain, and his more experienced passengers, taking their meals with symptoms of insufferable satis. faction, I consigned eating to the infernal gods, and came near