« AnteriorContinuar »
confidential friendship; private conversations, anecdotes, details, in short, which the author would have either omitted or modified, if he had himself revised his notes for the press. That task he confided to his Editor, who admits that he was laid under no kind of injunction or restriction; we should therefore have expected, that he would execute it in a manner different from what he appears to have done. It was not enough to say, that the style of his patron required no correction; in general, we agree with him on this point; but the style was not the only thing to be considered in a work of this nature. We suspect that Mr. Luden acted more the part of a courtier, than that of a friend; but it is too often the misfortune of princes to have no friends.
Although the Duke upon the whole appears to have formed a pretty correct idea of this country, yet he does not seem to be sufficiently acquainted with the particular modifications of our social existence, differing in many respects from that of Europe. Here official rank or title has little to do with the degree of consideration which a man enjoys in society. That is exclusively bestowed upon personal merit
. "The chief 'magistrate of a place, is not, on that account, the first personage in it; he moves in the circle for which he is fitted by his education and his habits, and beyond that he has no pretensions out of the line of his official duty. Personal merit, on the contrary, commands respect every where, and a willing homage is paid to it by all the classes of our republican society. We make this observation, because we have taken notice that our author is too apt, when speaking of our most distinguished, though untitled citizens, to designate them in terms which with us imply a certain degree of disrespect, such for instance as ein Herr, (a Mr. Such an one,) and other slighting expressions, the more remarkable when compared with his phraseology, when speaking of persons to whom he wishes to show respect; and those whom he thus treats with careless levity, are mostly gentlemen of high respectability and standing among us, with whom he associated, and in whose company he seemed pleased ; men, in some instances, to whom he had brought letters of recommendation, which must have informed him of their true characters. We had thought that those affected forms of speech had been dismissed from the polite courts of Germany, and banished to the more congenial latitude of Krähwinkel. We are still disposed to believe so, and to ascribe to haste or inattention, those unpleasant modes of expression, which not unfrequently occur in the Duke's Journal; and which we are confident he would have corrected, if he had himself prepared his work for the press. We must, therefore, lay the blame on the learved Editor of this book, whom we might perhaps call, by way of retaliation, ein Herr Luden, if we did not recollect
that he is a titled personage, a privy-counsellor ; and, as the good lady, Mrs. Under-Sub-Deputy-Tax-Gatherer Staar, very candidly says: Etwus Geheimes haben wir in unserer Fumilie noch nicht gehabt; "we have never yet had a privy-counsellor in our family.
We have softened these German forms, whenever they occurred in the extracts we have given ; as we did not wish our benevolent visiter to appear in his book less amiable than he did in his person, while among us, when, we must say, that he never deviated for a single moment from the strictest rules of politeness and urbanity.
The Germans are a plain, downright, honest people. Those multifarious forms, invented by their aristocracy to preserve a distinction of ranks, sit very awkwardly upon them. Many are the efforts which they have made to get rid of the burden. To this may be ascribed, in a great degree, the so general introduction of the French language among them. When a great man is to be addressed, whose titles are so long and so complicated, that it requires a professed herald to furnish a complete list of them, the letter is directed in French; and A Monsieur, Monsieur, solves every difficulty. But, when the unfortunate writer is ignorant of that tongue, he puts on his direction at random, & heap of high-sounding titles, and subjoins to them the letters S. T., which mean Salvo titulo, and is as much as to say: “ His Highness or His Excellency will forgive me, but I am not acquainted with the series of his titles.” Thank God, we have no such troublesome things in this country; our only title of distinction is that of gentleman; a word which it is very difficult to make a thorough-bred European comprehend. Neither the French Gentilhomme, the Spanish Hidalgo, nor the German Edelmann, nor yet the Russian Dworiunin, or the Turkish Effendi, can convey to the mind its true and precise meaning, which every child among us, however, fully understands.
Duke Bernard always appeared to us to be a German in the fullest and most honourable sense of the word, ein üchter Deutscher. The love of his native country seems to have been constantly predominant in his mind. We have no doubt that the moet pleasing objects of his meditations while in the United States, were those memorated in pathetic strain in the celebrated Ranz des Vaches:
“ Mon père, ma mère, mon frère, ma sæur ;-
La si gentille Isabeau." Every thing in the book breathes the love of country, and by it apparent contradictions may be explained. When the Duke
* See Kotzebue's excellent comedy, entitled: “The Little Towns of Germany," (Die Deutschen Kleinstädter.)
arrived in Pennsylvania, in a state, one third of which he knew to be inhabited by Germans or their descendants, his expectations were raised to the highest pitch. With what delight he received an invitation of the sons of Herman to partake of a national dinner in the city of Philadelphia, he best can describe. But, alas! when in the midst of them, what a falling off was there! The ancient language forgotten or corrupted; the manners so different from those he had left at home! Even the dishes! a splendid dinner, indeed ; no doubt compounded by the most eminent French Restaurateur. But that was not what he looked for. He expected to see Germans, and he found Americans. Must we wonder, then, that his disappointment appears in the description which he gives of this feast? How different were his feelings at the plain, the homely dinner which was offered him by Mr. Rapp, and his Wurtembergers! No high seasoned sauces, no exquisite condiments, no ragoûts were to be seen there, But the table was covered with German dishes. No doubt, there was the beer-soup, the noodles, the sour-crout; perhaps a sly bottle or two of the genuine Hochheimer, or at least the purple Bischof, the punch of Germany, justly celebrated by a charming poet of that nation :
Aber den Bischof
Hand the Bischof round; It is a wholesome and delicious drink.–Voss' LUISE, Idyl. 3. And the Pfeifchen after dinner; the fragrant lube; the dispeller of ennui, the solace of care! O, the Pfeifchen was surely there; while perhaps, the Pseudo-Germans of Philadelphia, thought it impolite to hand even a cigar! We cannot compare our traveller's description of the two dinners, without honouring his patriotic feelings; while we recommend to the Ex-Germans of the city of brotherly love, to leave off the costume of their Teutonic ancestors, and when another Prince from the Holy Roman Empire shall hereafter visit this country, to invite him to a dinner if they please, but in their own proper character of Americans, the only one which they can sustain with honour and credit to themselves.
But it is time to put an end to this desultory review. We leave our excellent Duke with perfect good humour. He loves our country and we love him. Dear Philadelphia, friendly Baltimore, and the other places which he favoured with his amiable society, will be happy to welcome him again, if chance or inclination should once more direct his way to this hemisphere. These volumes are embellished with
the picture of the author, which we think a very good likeness. They also contain maps of the cities of New York and Philadelphia, and a small one of Pittsburg, besides a number of vignettes and explanatory drawings.
There are, indeed, in this book, many things well known in VOL. IV.-NO. 7.
this country, and which are familiar to our well-informed citizens. But it must be observed that it was written for the meridian of Europe, and in that respect it may be considered as a good general view of the physical and moral situation of the United States at the time when it was written. There are some occasional mistakes; but not of great consequence. As to objects merely political, it may be well understood why the Prince did not think proper to expatiate upon them.
We understand that a translation of this work is preparing for the press. It will be read with interest, and if we are not mistaken, will leave the same pleasing impressions of the author that we have felt ourselves and been happy to express.
Art. X.-Controversy respecting the pretensions of MARCUS
Bull to the Rumford Premium. 1.- Transactions of the American Philosophical Society,
held at Philadelphia, for promoting useful knowledge. Vol. iii. part 1; new series. Containing – “Experiments to determine the comparative quantities of heat evolved in the combustion of the principal varieties of wood and coal used in the United States for fuel; and, also, to determine the comparative quantities of heat lost by the ordinary appara
tus made use of for their combustion.”—By Marcus Bull. 2.-A Defence of the Experiments to determine the compara
tive value of the principal varieties of Fuel used in the United States, and also in Europe; containing a correspondence with a committee of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; their Report and Remarks thereon ; and animadversions on the manner in which the trust confided to the Academy, by Count Rumford, has been managed. By Marcus Bull, Member of the American Philosophical
Society, &.c. 3.-A short reply to a Pamphlet published at Philadelphia ;
entitled, “ A defence of the Experiments," &c. By one of the
Committee of the American Academy. 4.-An Answer to “ A short reply,” &c. &c. &c. By Marcus
Bull, M. A. P. S., &c. &c. &c.
In the year 1823, Mr. Marcus Bull, of this city, undertook a series of experiments, with a view to ascertain the comparative values of different kinds of fuel. In 1826, the results of his inquiry were communicated to the American Philosophical Society, in a paper mentioned at the head of this article, which meeting with great applause, was soon after published at the expense, and under the auspices of the Society.
Thus encouraged, Mr. Bull ventured to apply to the American Academy of Sciences, at Boston, for a premium, which, as trustees of a fund, accepted from Count Rumford, they are obligated to award for meritorious discoveries respecting heat. Mr. Bull was soon apprized by a committee, to whom his claim was referred by the academy, that his experiments were deemed objectionable on certain stated grounds. This led to a controversy, which has been published in the three last of the above mention, ed pamphlets, and the merits of which, we propose briefly to examine.
A person may perform an ingenious, arduous, and accurate course of experiments, and may attain results to which much importance may be attached by competent judges, in whom confidence may be inspired by their acquaintance with him and with his methods of investigation; yet unless some striking discovery be the fruit of his labours, their merit may be honestly questioned by those who know nothing of him, or them, unless by rumour, or through his own writings. These observations we conceive to be applicable in the case under consideration. Our personal acquaintance with Mr. Bull, and our opportunities of observa ing his indefatigable assiduity, and scrupulous accuracy, while engaged in his experiments, created much confidence in his deductions: yet as they depend mainly upon his own statements, and do not carry any inherent evidence of truth, we are not surprised that a committee of a remote society, who are personally unacquainted with him, should not, in consideration of his labours, have felt themselves called upon to award him a premium, to which time has given an accumulated pecuniary value.
Had the committee then refused the Rumford premium to Mr. Bull, simply on the ground that his results required confirmation, it would have been difficult to prove their decision incorrect; but injudiciously, as it appears to us, they deemed it expedient to object theoretically, and as we conceive erroneously, to the means which he employed to guard against the vicissitudes of atmospheric temperature.
Pursuant to the advice of Dr. Hare, one room having been made within another, so as to leave an interval on every side between the partition A of the inner room, and wall B of the outer
room, it is alleged by the committee, that although the air in the interval may have been kept at a uniform temperature, still the