Abbildungen der Seite

ever return to the great circle from which I am now excluded, I have no doubt of exhibiting to my fellow citizens, a most edifying example of worldly wisdom. People are apt to imagine, that to be put into what Shakspeare calls, “circumscription and confine," is to quit the world entirely, little aware that this is in reality going to see the world face to face, in all its naked deformity, and stripped of the tinsel veil of hypocrisy which hides it from the eye of the prosperous. It is going behind the scenes, and detecting the machinery of deception.

On my first introduction to this terra incognita, you may suppose I felt a little strange. I was, as it were, alone in a strange land, of which, to say the truth, I had formed no very pleasing anticipations. I fancied it a den of despair, where there was nothing but weeping and gnashing of teeth—a great house of correction, where people were sent to do penance for their transgressions. But I was soon most agreeably undeceived. Through the friendly agency of the worthy officer, who does the honours of these fashionable introductions, I obtained lodgings at the hotel of a widow lady of fashion, whose husband had once moved in the brightest circles of the bon ton, and spent an immense fortune, although he was never fairly convicted of ever having been worth a farthing. Here I met with a knot of the merriest rogues, among whom I recognised one or two of the gentlemen I remembered as once having been the supreme objects of my envy, as they dusted me with their fast trotters, in my humble equestrian tours on the Bloomingdale road. One of them was the person that taught me what a pair royal was. 1 afterwards learned from his own mouth, that he met with persons deeper in the science of the world than himself, who plucked him not only of his own feathers but mine into the bargain. Such is ever the way in which Providence punishes the being who has long preyed upon the simplicity of mankind. Sooner or later he meets with more than his match, and becomes the victim of those very arts which he has successfully applied to the ruin of others. Rogues, in general, are indeed apt to be taken in. They are so intent upon taking in others, that they become unguarded themselves

; and, like the fowler in the fable, receive their death-wound from the serpent at their feet, while they are taking aim at the innocent ring-dove above their heads.

There are about a dozen of us boarding together, each of whom has spent a fortune, either belonging to himself, or other people, as he is obliged to prove to the satisfaction of the club, as it is called, before he is admitted to the privileges of cracking

his joke, and putting his feet on the fender. It is amazing how sociable we all are, and with what little ceremony

the old members borrow the money of the younger ones, without ever paying it again. They are equally frank in communicating their histories, as well as their present wants, and the various expedients resorted to in order to supply them. I have lately observed, in my progress in this new school, which teaches by short hand an epitome of the world, that there is a state of mind produced by a life of shifts, a careless hopelessness of the future, and a base disinclination to honourable exertion, that is unapproachable by shame. It is then that men promptly disclose every thing, not from candour or compunction, but hardened indifference, and tell their faults with a degree of openness that precludes all hope of reformation. Such is the case with a majority of our club. The only secret inviolably kept from each other, is the possession of money. The moment a man is suspected of a monopoly of this kind, an inquisi. tion is held, and if convicted, the Agrarian law is put in force without ceremony. It is vain to attempt secresy on such occasions. The president of the club knows by instinct when a man has money in his pocket. He affirms that he can tell within a dollar of the weight of a man's purse, by the angle at which he elevates or depresses his nose. I have premised that our club consists of about a dozen per

The number varies occasionally by the redemption from captivity, or occasional disappearance, of some one of the party, who emigrates to some other quarter of our world, around the corner, or on the opposite side of the street.

The club comprises a great variety of profession and character, and nothing can be more various than the amusements, occupations, and pursuits, of its members. Each follows his peculiar cast of genius, and moves around his little circle, from day to day, week to week, month to month, with the monotony of a horse condemned to the doleful drudgery of one of those villainous specimens of modern locomotion, called team boats. The love of variety often gives place to the force of habit, and those who are precluded from the enjoyment of the former, seek and find amends in the delight of doing every day the same thing. People may talk of the art of killing time; but no one can be an adept in it, until he has sojourned a few months in our Terra Incognita. have belonged to many clubs in my time, and have regularly fallen asleep at them all; but our club is of the sect of Democritus, and I defy even Somnus to nap it at one of our sittings.

The President is an old gentleman of upwards of three score


and ten, nearly half of which period he has passed in Terra Incognita. He was part of the time in the Stone Jug, but has lived principally in the Gaol Liberties, which have been from time to time enlarged for the benefit of our club, but greatly to his displeasure and annoyance. Those who have known him longest say, that such is his attachment to circumscription, that though he is never known to go beyond the place to which the laws originally confined him, still the idea, that he can go if he pleases, is a source of perpetual irritation. The world, he sometimes affirms, is so large, and those who live in it such indifferently honest people, that the more you contract the one, and circumscribe the other, the better for both. Still he cannot he called a misanthrope, although a little soured by disappointment. Having been a great beau in the early part of his life, that spark of vanity, which has outlived the sources whence it was lighted, still keeps him in tolerable good humour with himself. To this day, if a pretty woman accidentally casts her eyes towards him, he is happy for the whole day. This harmless foible keeps him in good humour with himself; and indeed, I have observed, that none ever permanently fall out with the world, except those who are on ill terms with themselves.

Having outlived all his enemies, he might, long since, have returned to the great world, had it suited his pleasure. Indeed his creditors often solicited him to accept a free discharge, but he declined it peremptorily, declaring he would not exchange the pleasure of being out of the reach of those infamous villains John Doe, Richard Roe, John a Nokes, and John a Stiles, who had been the bane of his early life, for the privilege of roaming to the uttermost ends of the earth. He is known by the title of Count R-, and may be called the Father of the Limits.

It is a rule of the club, that, on the initiation of every new member, he shall give a full and true account of himself

up to that time. In return for this disclosure, he is favoured, from time to time, with the biography of each of his associates, so that each may become thoroughly acquainted with the others, and thereafter there may be no reserves among them. I have obtained their permission to send these to you for publication, if you think proper; and now transmit you the biography of Count R as taken down from his own relation, in short hand, by a member who is an adept in the science. In compliance with the taste of the literary world, for tales, historical, moral, romantic, descriptive, improbable—and impossible, Í beg permission to dignify my former, present, and future communications with the title of “Stories of a Cock and Bull," it

[ocr errors]

being under the auspices of a sign bearing these two animals, one crowing, the other rampant, that our club holdeth its merry meetings, in the hitherto unexplored Terra Incognita.

Yours, &c.

ADRIAN LUBBERSEN. [We regret extremely that the biography of Count R. came too late to be inserted, without mutilation, in the present number.--Ed.]


In Spring, when virgin earth unbinds
Her frozen bosom to the winds,
The searching wanderer often finds

Along the brook,
His favourite flowers of mingled kinds,


sunny nook.
Young blossoms oft the moss-banks hem;
There, the hepatica's bright gem,
Green glossy leaves and downy stem,

Their beauty lift;
Oft have I stooped to gather them-

Spring's earliest gift!
Just o'er the mosses of her bed,
The round-leaved violet rears her head ;
Her yellow petals, striped with red,

Her modest air,
Charm the fond eye and idle tread

To linger there.
Where leans the alder o’er the brook,
Long aments in the wind are shook,
The hazels, that its boughs o'erlook,

Their green leaves spread-
The sun, that shines into the nook,

Tips them with red.
And here the trientalis glows,
White as the lately-vanished snows,
And o'er the knoll a radiance throws.

Linnæus's flower !
Well might'st thou deck the sage's brows,

And gem his bower.

And here, fast by the brooklet's steeps,
The fragrant fair linnæa creeps,
Or, straying to the margin, peeps

Modestly o'er;
Apt type of him whom science weeps

On Sweden's shore.

When milder rays the season bless,
And earth, in childhood's idleness,
Hastes with fresh blooms her breast to dress,

And blue-birds sing,
Oft let my sauntering footsteps press

The herbs that spring.
Oh, when the joyous morning hours
Break, with new sunshine on young flowers,
And music bursts from budding bowers,

To me be given
To join the song the wide earth pours
To the high heaven!


A Review of the Gallery of the American Academy of Fine Arts,

as now opened for the Exhibition of Dunlap's painting of Death on the Pale Horse."

This Academy is one of the institutions of our country whose sole object is the public good; it can therefore be recommended, without hesitation, to the patronage of the public.

Ignorant indeed must be the man who can think the fine arts are objects of minor consideration in society. It is true, that their productions are not articles of the first necessity; but it is equally true, that they heighten our relish for all that is refined, beautiful, pure, and lovely in nature, and all that is truly great or estimable in the character of man.

Sculpture and painting, the immediate objects of this essay, have, perhaps, a greater and more direct influence upon the moral character of man, than their sister arts, tion of poetry. It will not be too much to say, that the person who, by attention to pictures, acquires a taste for painting, gains another sense, and is lifted higher in the scale of intellectual being. It is no objection to this assertion, that persons can be pointed out, who have this taste, and yet are sordid or vicious. This taste is to be added to previously acquired sciences, accomplishments, and virtues. There are artists and connois

with the excep

« ZurückWeiter »