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London Times, feverish in every thing. One year cannot cure all this, but one year has seen a wonderful progress towards calm self-reliance. We have learned, as we never did before, what we could do within ourselves. And to be generous, KNICK, we must admit that both South and North have shown tremendous power.
The American, when he works, is terribly great.' Yes. Neither side has had cause to be ashamed of its foe.'
* Thirdly, we have been morally improved by the vast charities which we have been called on to take part in. When I see what has been done for the sick and the wounded — the constant pity for the returned sufferers, which flows like an endless fountain, I feel that 'our great time,' while it makes men heroic on one side, doth in no wise check, but rather stimulates the tenderness and kindness which should ever qualify strength. Few of us actually realize all this. But it is a fact. Contrast America at the present day with England, be it here or trans-Dixie. In England nothing but manufacturing and whining; capital frightened and labor clamorous — here, every sacrifice cheerfully borne with, and a brave, hearty hope sustaining us through all, that God will in his own good time relieve our trials. They always say, KNICK, over there in Albion, that they do n't understand us '— and they never understood us so little as now. It is all a war of hatred and vengeance, according to Big Thunder Times, we are 'frenzied,' 'stormy,' and all that. We see it as a time of storm indeed, but as a storm which will clear the air.'
"And then ?'
· Then we shall be older and more self-reliant. Then we shall be relieved from much of our by-gone respect for the old world. Then we shall go to work to pay up our debts and develop our resources. Then we shall have a basis for thought, and thought will bring forth a newer and better literature. We shall be in our strength more American and more feared. Then we shall realize the vast exuberance of our national character, and conquer with strong hand and will the difficulties which would crush other people. It is go ahead!' now; it will be go ahead !' to the end.'
Now I am off. I must see what the Sanitary Commission is about, and want to learn what they say of the last number of our Magazine in the army. We have good friends there, KNICK, and must get up good reading for them. Good evening !'
And he departs. Well, he is a good fellow, this sprite. Great families in Celtic Great Britain keep a family spirit. KNICK cannot afford any thing so exclusive, so he hath a Familiar in common with his readers, one who flits into their homes between our covers, and chats with them in our Gossip, and glides thereby sometimes
* Down into the deepest dreams'
of our fair lady and genial gentlemen friends, and tells them how well it is with us when we can call up smiles or ringing laughs, and make them truly our friends.
Reader, does it never strike you, that he who writes to you, loves you ? Do
you think that any one can speak truly and heartfully, though it be only in type, of what he believes ; that he can write out fairly what he feels, and not VOL. LX.
wonder the while if it will here and there strike no echoing chord of sympathy in another? Yea, friend of ours whom we may have never met, and still — never may meet any where on this earth of storms and flowers, when the word reaches you which once moves, there we live our best in this life. It is as when the pollen leaves the blossom and is borne for leagues by chance, or as some deem by 'sympathy,' and bears life to some far away co-mate. The tree from which it floats knows it not; but oh! how near is the tie, after all, which from that hour links the divided ones!
And it may be that in another world, when we meet in the asphodeled and violet meadows, you will shake hands with your whilom, unseen friend, and say: 'I am really very glad to meet you; let us go down to the nectar spring and become better known.'
Sometimes, though, the editor who has written hours alone to the dear unknown, gets a drop of the nectar, even in this life. There come letters to us from the far-away; here and there we meet with a proof that when we spoke we were heard. There is something in letters from intimates whom we have never met which is strangely weird. There is a beautiful picture, founded on a wild German song, telling of one who had been wont to meet and drink with two friends. The two died ; but the boon companion came as of old to the table, and filling their glasses and lifting his own, drank to the dead. And as he raised it, up rose the other two, and the three touched and rang together.
So the Magazine which you now hold in your hand, O reader! so the letter which reaches us, from unseen friends, so every token sent from the absent, is like the glass which speaks with ringing chime as of far-off bells sounded in spirit-land. They who held the glass had departed ; they who write are as distant, loving ghosts; but their love is with you — with you even in gay, good fellowship and in gleams of the golden wine divine
* Che fiameggia vel Sansovino,' which flames in the Sansovine of the heart. Bon soir !
* But no; hold on! Do n't go yet,' quoth our Familiar, who had suddenly returned. "Wert thou speaking of friendship, O Domine KNICKERBOCKER! See here what I have brought Here is something bien apropos. He writes well who writes that. A true KNICKERBOCKERITE, I 'll warrant you, and none of your small-souled men. Listen! And we did to our
• Old Friend.
BY F. M. R.
*There are no wrinkles on thy brow,
Nor on that jolly heart of thine;
Like rich Burgundian wine,
Of sixty summers syne.
A soul through ages wandering down,
To blend them with thine own,
Forgetful of renown.
"But drink with me to-night, old boy,
Perchance the last for many a year,
While you to westward steer;
We meet again as here.
Soon other scenes will fill the eye,
And other friendships claim the heart,
The strength of prime depart,
Disaster's bolts will dart.
* Then, while the bloom of youth remains,
And hope deferred hath swelled no sigh,
The fervor of the eye;
Oh! fill the beaker high!
And stoutly pledge me firm and leal,
Thou wilt the falsehood seal,
Against my honor's weal.
I sink and lose my manhood true,
Its gorgeous paths pursue,
A tear I crave - adieu.'
Very welcome is the author of the following genial letter, paying kindest tribute to that noblest of hearts and first of American lady-writers, HARRIET E. PRESCOTT. The day will come when every waif and stray of memories regarding her will be carefully gleaned ; for who, centuries hence, when compiling the literary history of this age, will fail to do high honor to 'La Santa PRESCOTT '? For in those days, reader of ours, according to a queer and very 'positive' publication, which lies before us, the old litany of saints will be supplanted by one of the great and wise and good among mankind,' and among these we
or rather, 'we' as somebody else- once sainted · dame et notre dame' PRESCOTT — albeit we have never seen her, even as VIDAL, or some one of the Troubadouring brotherhood did the lady outré mer whom he had known only in the hall of dreams. But to the letter of our truly welcome contributor :
-, N. Y. * DEAR KNICK : Now what am I dearing? Women seldom ratiocinate, but leap at conclusions, mental gymnastics being allowable when and where physical would be highly indecorous. Well, my reason springs and lands on this conclusion, that KNICK, dear Knick, is an impalpable mass of wit, pathos and universal talent. Knick does n't take individual form, yet (bowing and begging pardon of the rest of KNICK) one member of KNICK does take shape in my feminine faney. This part, member, or whatever you may please to term him, has been carved in bass-relief to me, ever since he paid my personal literary friend such a compliment - paid it a long time ago, to be sure. But I have n't forgotten it. It was so truthful — just what I always felt in our school-days, but could n't utter, because I knew nothing but flowers and sun-shine to draw figures from, and they were only part of what she was and is. I'd never floated in that golden fog of German myths, and could n't find similitudes for her delicious, hazy splendor. I've wondered what she was like, often. Some body once said: 'If Shiraz wine had married a Calla lily, she would have been their child.' That conveyed, perhaps, an idea of her sparkling wit and rare sweetness, but it did n't tell all. Who is she of whom I talk ? Why, do n't you remember that brilliant conception, Tone WiLLOUGHBY, that kept you hanging over the 'Amber Gods,' dazzling and charming you, until you were in a quiver of surprised delight? You have n't forgotten that gorgeously reined marble with a flame as its centre - Mrs. LANDERSDALE in Midsummer and flag ?' or how you sniffed fragrance, breathed ambrosia and tasted luscious draughts in 'Sir Rohan's Ghost ?' Well, some people — some who knew her, too — said that she drew herself in ‘Toxe.' But she did n't ; though she is like her in her sunshine-steeped soul. She is LANDERSDALE in self-command — beyond her. She would n't drown herself for any man, I don't believe.
"Well, KNICK -- dear KNICK - this whilom member of your corps is a real being, endued with interest to me, since you once assigned the location of her Name-sakeRestaurant in Lesbos, intoxicating isle !
· The great world out its eyes in significant glances of admiration, and gives occasional shouts of applause now; but I remember but a little while since, when the little world in a school-room, marvelled as, with a dash of her pen, she struck off some keen satire on a conceited student, or softened us by some eye-dewing pathos. It is n't often that country academy students have a true star of genius scintillating in their circumscribed sky. Ah! no, and less often, that the star so warms and wins that envy is unknown. I can see her now entering that old school-room, with a peculiar swimming gait; the finely-formed head thrown a little back, while the body swayed forward slightly ; the full blue eye, with an at once wistful and thoughtful expression, and abstracted from all objects but the line of her way. That meaning-full eye is deep- oh! how deep with spiritual beauty. What visions has it beheld ! what radiance has it watched wax into shape !
• Occhie, stelle mortale!'
*I do remember, Knick, above this eye the fair hair parted low over a broad forehead. It is so little while ago, that I could recall the mouth, if I had n't kissed it since school-days. She smiled, but I think I never heard a laugh from it. There was the lightest breath of hauteur in her air, in those days, Knick, but it all blew aside the moment of address. There was and is a strength in her presence ; you 'd feel that she was able to cope with all that might fall in her path of experience.
“She is just as original in every-day life as she was ' In A Cellar.' You wonder at those flashes of brilliancy of which you now and then catch sight; but you 'd marvel more at its constant glow. And there and therein lies her originality.
"Well, well, Knick, I've said enough, such as it is,' but it is truth, after all. Now I'm going to display my female audacity in asking this member of you, if out of regard to my interest in him, he won't let the Sun-shine of his Thoughts enlighten us as to whether one can do wrong and not know it? I mean people with consciences not hereditarily callous. It's a very sun-shiny thought that one can, but this one don't quite believe it. I'm on the fence;' a whiff of reasoning would blow me either way, and as I'm not intimate with our minister,' I do n't like to ask him to breeze up on the subject and belp me out of this neutral position ; so where can I come but to you, KNICK ? I'm not a bit literary, as you perceive, but I ought to be, judging from my soundings and surroundings.' FENIMORE Cooper's blood is flowing but a little way off. PIERRE M. Irving's home is in my prospect. If my opera-glass were but a field-glass, I could see Louis GAYLORD Clark's home across our Hudson; and grander than all, I can trip through Sunnyside for inspiration in fifteen minutes. It is subduing there now, since he
that made it Sunnyside has gone before. I always feel as though a great calm angel fans the place, but bids all humanity welcome to the sweet retreat. I said gayly a moment since that I had said enough. I say it softly now, and demonstrate my belief.
'I am, Knick, your devoted reader, Bravo. As SHAKSPEARE tried to say,
Miss Chief, thou art a brick,
Take now what course thou wilt!' Delighted to see you, Mademoiselle CHIEF. There are certain occasions, you know, when on the meeting of a certain class in society, who shall be nameless! compliments pass! But there is an allusion in your letter to the Restaurant of the Isle of Lesbos which may not be generally intelligible. It came to pass once into the brain of Meister Karl to propose that here and there in this world's wild or sunny places there should be erected hospices, or inns of rest, or cafis for the use alone of good fellows, fair and witty dames, jovial literati and other sons and daughters of genius, where they, when wearied in their travels, might rest and be merry in bonne companie. And these cafés, said we, or he, or both of us, should be named after this and that great heart. And when it came
her, it read thus: • AND Miss PrescoTT!
Ah ! Mlle. PRESCOTT should have but what place is dreamy and gorgeous and tenderly sensuous and loveable enough to do sufficient honor to one whose Amber Gods belong to a more exquisite fairy-land, a more bewildering Olympus than any which those cold immortals in the Vatican ever came from? The Lord bless her! through the entire litany of His best blessings! Right in LESBOS would I stick the café alla Santa Prescott, and there, could they be re-discovered, should true hearts drain from Iona goblets those Rosicrucian-stilled draughts of intensest rapture which once be-drunkened the Son of the Valley. And the Harp-Girls who play for pence in that café should be the Lost Tones of the Slavonian music-god, which go ever wandering as beautiful shadow-maids of violet mist through the Elfin land.'
That was what we said, and to which Miss CHIEF alludes. When in the Age of Flowers to come, this whole earth becomes fresh and fair, and the cafés in question are built here and there in shady valleys, or on mountain high, or under green trees,' let us hope that one of them will be named after the PRESCOTT.
But Miss Chief asks, 'Can one do wrong and not know it?' Yes, when you ‘forget' to do something which you ought to remember to do, which brings us to the dark debate-able line between our natural abilities and our inabilities on the one side, and our sins of omission and commission on the other. The more we are educated and the greater our efforts to do right, the narrower does this dubious border become; possibly in the clear light of science in highly cultivated strength, and in a keen sense of mutual duty, it would well nigh vanish.
So it seemeth unto us. Thus endeth the first lesson !