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With the growing, glowing summer-tide, with the crescent promisings' of better times and goldener days to come, which as we write seem rising over the land — albeit, no one knows what a day may bring forth — we, even KNICK the Ancient, being 'natrally hopeful,' begin to pick up' somewhat – put on better garments, talk more expansively, and look around for cheerful faces, to say, 'How goes it?' and 'God bless you!' Like some under-the-weather mortal, who has travelled, and travailed sorely at that, for a long season, but finally, after a glorious rest, has arisen and gone forth, shaven and clean-shirtified, into the gay world of life, so do we in this pleasant time of long green walks through the wild-wood, of sitting on fences, and fishing in lily-leaved ponds, grow happy and enterprising, and begin to determine that the world shall see what Mighty Resolve can effect even in the Nestor of the Magazines, For we never grow old, reader — magazines cannot they are like flies, wasps, or other insectarian minor fowl - full-grown at their birth, even 'from the word Go!' and renewing their youth, as the Syrian proverb says the months do, with every full moon.' We, however, have been long weighed down with the burden of war, and all its troubles; and shall, therefore, strenuously strive to become a little younger and handsomer than usual in our subsequent palingeneses. For lo you! good people, Knick hath passed unto a new proprietor, even one of those who will make things spin,' and impel us mightily onward toward excellence. During the past year, when so many sorrows beset the whole community, when the most respectable publications either shortened sail or went by the board, and when the oldest Rats ran away from the ships where they had nibbled cheese securely from the beginning, so soon as the cheese began to give out, KNICK was — not to put too fine a point upon times sore bestéd. More than once did the fine old gentleman arise so bluely, and go forth so sorrowfully, that they who met him were fain to believe that he had joined the sect of the Valetudin Arians - of all heresies the
one least wholesome. But as the Italian proverb saith, “A handsome man is never quite poor;' and a brave, good-looking, honest old Magazine, which has worked well for the public thirty years, heart and soul, doing great good in the world, and no harm, will not be left even in this steam-engine, fast-driving, 'help yourself if you can country, to perish like an old horse by the road-side. Sooth to say, friends, it would have been little to the credit of America if a periodical, which had been made glorious at one time or another by all the great writers of America, from WASHINGTON Irving onward, and one which has through all
it — many
hap ever maintained a high-toned, refined, and moral standard, so that it ever was emphatically the Magazine for a Gentleman; hard would it have been, we say, had such a publication died out for want of friends. Truly, the thought were bitter. What, have you, my bearded friend, no pleasant memories of a long, long time ago? Oh! many a year before the war — in those days when Louis PHILIPPE was king, and you were a boy, and in love with ah! she's dead now, but she was a fair girl then; and you were wont to read to her from the KNICKERBOCKER, and
Yes - it is a long time ago. The Astor House was bran-new in those days, and you enjoyed quartering there amazingly. Nay, we will see you further back into the times when BUNKER'S was for the élite of travel-dom. Then you went to Saratoga, where you met Frank WADDELL; you had the KNICKERBOCKER in your pocket; you danced with Southern belles in those days, and were hand in glove with college-mates from Mississippi and “Old Louisiana,' and promised to come out and winter on their plantations — tempi passati — we were all good friends then. You liked KNICK so well.
How the summers of twenty, thirty years ago, with their dim memories of loves, and drives, and triumphs, and sorrows, and 'gay times,' struggle mistily up! We were there – oh! you met us very often. People were 'a little aristocratic' then; they had money, and held their heads cavalierly —'t was the tone both South and North — and KNICK held his head up too, with the best of them, and you liked him for it. The old gentleman has always kept good company, and scorned the canaille ; been true to his word, and well gifted with a quick, keen instinct of honor the point d'honneur, which can bear death, but not a humiliated life.
Well, he found friends in these later darkened days. Old contributors, genial, kindly souls, gathered around him, and stood by him for the love of auld lang syne. Younger friends, with warm hearts and quick sympathies, who felt at home in good company, gave their aid; more than one fair girl took place at our table, and, in fine, carried us well through. God bless them all ! Friends, it is something to be generous and kindly ; there is something in doing creditable acts; and it would not be creditable for America to let its highest-toned periodical perish, and the one most closely allied to all noble and refined associations and great literary names.
So, as you see, we are revived. But we pray you, make a rally, and do your best to make us realize that KNICK still has friends in the land! It is not always enough to get your money's worth in mere paper and names pray remember that every magazine has its peculiar subtle influence; forming character as well as indicating it. He who reads Knick breathes with it the spirited, earnest, and chevalresque American tone for the past thirty years, and renders himself liable of being suspected to be a gentleman through long habit and association.
Therefore, friends, we pray you all take hold 'withe ryghte goode wille,' and aid us in this our effort to restore our old friend to his former fortune. As it is, we take hold hopefully, vigorously, believing, heart and soul, that we have friends, who will as gladly make an effort to help us as we would them; for never yet did a reader of Knick drop us a line, or ask of us a courtesy editorial, that we did not comply de bonne grace. If but a small portion of those
who love us will simply say to their neighbor or friend, 'Subscribe,' they will do as good a deed — but no matter. Friend Reader, we see you smile, and opine that that smile bodes good to us. Adieu for this month — and when we next meet may we all have cause to act as those do who have heard very good news!
He who wrote the following — we presume it was done in by-gone days for a Richmond newspaper - on his own head be it! We do n't indorse it, inasmuch as our own observations and experiences of Chowder-Land, or of its capital, do in no wise .comport' with its shots. But we give the sinner a hearing:
My friends and my Father-Land.
BY DAVID TOLMÁN.
* Boston is one of the facts of this world, like Niagara Falls, St. Peter's, or the Chinese Empire. It never disappoints expectation. Its streets are as narrow as the most prejudiced New-Yorker could hope for; its straight lines all run in two directions, or a circle, and its squares are rhomboids. If the Lord made the world out of nothing, He undoubtedly made it out of something; and gave Yankees the patent, as witness Back Bay, once in physical elements what Botany Bay is in morals, now a palatial arcadia. Doubtless, in case of the success of the Southern Confederate Army, Boston merchants might create a cotton kingdom for themselves, in the South-Atlantic, out of rebel bones and the refuse of bomb-shells.
* Being a Bostonian myself, and brought up in childhood in one of the 'peculiar institutions,' where, by some occult influence of pedagogism - a sort of educational gamut, with the City Fathers at one end, and a Female and Franklin Medal at the other-children of all sorts and sizes are carried on the lightning-train from root to stem of the tree of knowledge, I became a victim to the popular delusion, that there is no universal Yankee nation outside the 'Hub,' which accounts for the sympathetic thrill which tingled my nerves when, at the Eastern Terminus of the Long-Island Rail-Road, I discovered a gentleman stretched far eastward, on tip-toe, in the act of making a profound bow toward Boston. "Sir,' said he, 'I can say, in emulation of the immortal WEBSTER, 'I was born a Bostonian, I have lived a Bostonian, God helping me, I will die a Bostonian.” I learned afterward the passage in WEBSTER's career he was emulating was that laconic ebullition of party zeal uttered in Faneuil Hall : 'Gentlemen, I was born a® Whig, I have lived a Whig, I will die a Whig.' In a subsequent correspondence with this devotee to the Yankee Mecca, I discovered that he carried his idolatry to such excess as invariably to spell the name in capitals, thus: BOSTON.
"When in Boston, a few weeks since, I was struck with an incident, illustrating the dexterity with which the fair sex there stab each other. I had gone to the Athenæum, to see Church's picture, and noticed in the room a young lady, with an unmistakable Boston phiz under her rouge, a Boston beau at her elbow, and a little removed from them an antique, vixenish dame, with Boston legible in every wrinkle of her forehead. The young lady, pointing with the ivory tip of her parasol, said in a condescending tone : “I admire to see that green paint in the corner.'
"Yes,' piped the shrill vixen at her back, 'and thank the Lord it is n't red cos
metics.' The stiletto struck to her heart; what little blood was left there flushed under the rouge, and the beau took her out.
* Being desirous of examining the points of the Bay State, I took an early train for Barbary-Shore, which had been represented as one of the phenomena of republicanism. The cars were, as usual, quite packed with women and band-boxes, so I had to share seats with a nervous-looking gentleman in JOHN-THE-BAPTIST broadcloth, a huge manuscript, which he cherished with solicitous tenderness, and a pair of eyes which never remained fixed, but floated from corner to corner of the socket, like an air-bubble in a bottle of liquid. As I was reading the evening Traveller, he twitched out in a convulsive tone : • An't I absorbing you !' By some mental intuition I divined that he meant, Am I in your light ?' and having assured him, we subsided to a momentary pause, when again the voice twitched out: "Were you ever contused?'
"No, Sir,' said I, ‘not particularly —
"I was,' said he ; 'I looked over into eternity. Yes, I did, I did ! LORD alive, man! it's an awful thing to look over into eternity. I was on one of the New-York break-neck trains, whose conductors have a private understanding with sudden destruction. A lightning-train, Sir! and it made lightning time. Yes, it did, it did! When the forward part of my car with the engine went fifty feet down a precipice, and left me within a pace of judgment, strange to say, it struck more to my back than to my soul. Yes, it did, it did! A shower of hot lead seemed pouring down my spinal-column, when a female shriek in the corner revived in me the instincts of a gentleman, and I backed down to help her, I did, I did ! for I was so fascinated with the precipice I dare n't turn. away. She was in an abandon of hysterical lamentation, which her daughter vainly endeavored to compo-soothe. "Oh !' said she, “I would n't care for any thing if my face was n't so dirty,' at the same time showing a countenance from which mud-cinders and tears had obliterated the appearance of humanity. 'Oh!' said the daughter, pointing to me, 'never mind your face, just look at that man's.'
• Encouraged by the attention I gave him, this chance genius further informed me that he was on his way to to deliver a lecture on the return of ULYSSES to his beloved PENELOPE, and exacted from me a promise to go and hear it, which I did, and of which I remember only this affecting climax: 'When ULYSSES entered his halls, PENELOPE with a shriek leaned her sweet little head on his Herculean shoulders. What a wife! What a husband! What a meeting !!!
• The lecture was one of a charity course, which embodied some most startling disclosures. For instance, one gentleman, lecturing on the 'Geology of the Flood,' declared it to have been the result of internal eruptions in the earth, or otherwise recourse would have had to have been had to all the resources of oxygen and hydrogen, in all the planetary systems.' Another informed us that if CHARLES WESLEY had accepted his uncle's offer to adopt him, he might have been father of the Duke of WELLINGTON instead of a more distant relative; and still another compared DANIEL WEBSTER to Minot's Ledge Light-House, and the Light-House to an oak-tree. And in a burst of pathetic eloquence affirmed that ‘NAPOLEON's sun set at noon in blood with two hundred thousand dead men !'
Lecturing, litigation, and murdering 'King's English,' seemed to be the chief mania of Barbary Shore during my sojourn. One shrewd lawyer, examining a witness in a case of assault and battery, aquired if any words passed between the parties
“Oh! yes,' answered witness, 'a perfect banditti of words.'
“Not exactly that, Sir! But by a remarkable preponderance of vim, one of the parties found himself, like DIOGENES the Great, in a tub.'
'Here the Judge interposed, and ordered the witness from the stand to acquire the plain speech.'
*Examining an account-book of one of the Barbary-Shore farmers, I was struck with the following orthography: 'I poot my tough (two) sheep to EBIN PARKERS, and Pade him in Poarck. Another, out-Webstering WEBSTER, in the simplification of the language, sent an order for some ‘Rox' to build his wall. *The following affecting stanza is original with one of the Barbary-Shore belles :
• Rite to me sune for harts need Lnve
And I pine for thy smile of lite
Oh never forgit to Rite.'
"Sir,' said one of the Barbary-Shore tars to a crusty old captain : "Did you ever know coffee to hurt any one ?'
“Yes, you fool you,' was the response, 'I knew a bagful to fall on a man's head once and kill him.'
‘At some future day I may be able to communicate something interesting of Barbary Shore, per se. Meanwhile I leave it with this observation, that my residence there convinced me that “nature is better than art, despite the young man who thought that after Church's Icebergs, the elephant and the whale were nasty beasts.''
So we have gone on this many a day printing letters meant for type — why not give a real letter to KNICK which was not intended for publication ? Well do we know that the brave and merry heart of her who wrote it, and who, as report reacheth us, is a belle o' the West and a Will o' the Wisp together, will borrow no sorrow from our so doing. “Room for the lady,' as BRANTÔME hath it :
"Away West, 1862. How nice to have letters all to one's self from Old KNICK!' 'Too much honor for one so mean,' as Browning says in the Statue and the Bust.' (How do you like it and him ?) But, nevertheless, I shall be so glad if you will write me every thing that comes into your head, which you do n't like to write for the rest of the world - chimeras, heresies, absurdities, visions, sbocking opinions, day-dreams, etc.
Will you ? And won't you write oftener than occasionally ? for I suspect I have one of those wicked spirits, fated, for some terrible misdemeanor, to walk this poor old-fashioned sort of a world, in a perpetual fever of impatience; and I can never possess my soul in patience, and wait for an 'occasional correspondent !! Of course I know your half million of duties ; so do n't make any excuse, but write when you can, and I will be satisfied, or — — dis-satisfied, one or the other.
* As for me, my letters are always things of shreds and patches,' made up of just what I think and feel, without regard to what any other human sinner thinks or believes ; and I never like a person so well as when he says exactly what he thinks of me. I like