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fig* trees, probably coeral with the mansion, yet exists ; a number of vines, and shrubs, and flowers still reproduce themselves every year aa if to mark iis site, and flourish among the hallowed ruins j and a stone, placed there by Mr. George Washington Custis, bears the simple inscription, "Hero, on (he 11th of February," (O.S.) *• 1732, George Washington was born." Tbe spot ie of the deepest interest, not only from its associations, but its natural beauties. It commands a view of the Maryland shore of the Potomac, one of the most majestic of river?, aod of ita course for many miles towards Chesapeake Bay. An ajed gentleman, still living in the neighborhood, remembers the hau» in which Washington was born. It was a low pitched, single-storied, frame building, with four rooms on the first floor and an enormous chimney at each end on the outside. This was the style of the belter sort of houses in those days, and they are ■till occasionally seen in the old settlements of Virginia.
n pa^e 106, voL Ifwe find the following interesting particulars:
It has been related to me by one whose authority I cannot doubt, that the first meeting of Colonel Washington with his future wife was entirely accidental, and took place at the house of Mr. Chamberlayne, who resided on the Famunkey, one of the branches of York River. Washington was on his way to Williamsburg, on somewhat pressing business, when he met Mr. Chamberlayne, who, according to the good old Virginia custom, which forbids a traveller to pass the door without doing homage at the fireside of hospitality, insisted on his stopping an hour or two at his mansion. Washington complied unwillingly, for his business waa urgent. But it is said that he was in no haste to depart, for he had met the lady of his fate in the person of Mrs. Martha Custis, of the While House, county of New Kent, in Virginia. ,
1 have now before me a copy of an original picture of this lady, taken about the lime of which I am treating, when she captivated the affectioos of Washington. It represents a figure rather below the middle size, with hazel eyes, and hair of the same colour, finely rounded arms, a beautiful chest and taper waist, dressed in a blue silk robe of the fashiqn of the times, and altogether furnishing a very sufficient apology to a young gentleman of seven and twenty for delaying his journey, and perhaps forgetting his errand for a lime. The sun went down and rose aeain before Washington departed for Williamsburg, leaving his heart behind him, and, perhaps, carrying another away in exchange. Having completed his business at the seat ofgovernment, he soon after visited the White House, and being accustomed, as my informant says, to energetic and persevering action, won the lady and carried her off from a crowd of rivals.
The marriage look place in the winter of 1739, but at what precise date is not to be found in any record, nor is it, I believe, within the recollection of any person living. I have in my possession a manuscript containing the particulars of various conversations with old Jeremy, Washington's black servant, who was with him at Brad dock's defeat, and accompanied him on hi* wedding expedition to the White House. Old Jeremy is still living while I am now writing, and in full possession of his faculties. His memory is most especially preserved, and, as mighi be expected, he delights to talk of Massa George. The whole series of conversations was taken down verbatim, in the peculiar phraseology of the old man, and it is quite impossible to read tbe record of this living chronicle of the early days of Washington, without receiving the full conviction of its perfect truth.
Tbe following account of his last illness is copied, we are told, from a memorandum in the handwriting of Tobias Lear, his private secretary and confidential friend, who attended him from first to last.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, the general rode out to his farms at about ten o'clock, and did not return home till past three. Soon after he went out the weather became very bad; rain, hail, and enow falling alternately, with a cold wind. When he came in, I carried some leuers to him to frank, intending to send thern to the prat-office. He franked the letters, but said the weather was too bad to s*nd a servant to the office that evening. I observed to him that I was afraid he had got wet; he said, no; hi* great coat had kept him dry: but his neck appeared to be wet—the snow was hanging on his hair.
He came to dinner without changing his drees. In the even
ing he appeared as well as usual. A heavy fall of snow took place on Friday, which prevented the general from riding out as usual. He had taken cold (undoubtedly from being so much exposed the daybefore,) and complained of having a sore throfit; he had a hoarseness, which increased in the evening, but ho made light of it, as he would never lake any thing to carry off a cold,—always observing,' Let it go as it came.' In the evening, the papers having come from the post office, he sat in the room with Mrs. Washington and myself, reading them till about nine o'clock; and when he met with any thing which he thought diverting or interesting, he would read it aloud. He desired me to read to him the debates of the Virginia Assembly on the election of a senator and governor, which I did. On his retiring to bed he appeared to be in perfect health, except the cold, which he considered as trilling—he had been remarkably cheerful all the evening.
About two or three o'clock on Saturday morning he awoke Mrs. Washington, and informed her that he felt very unwell, and had an ague. She observed that he could scarcely speak, and breathed with difficulty, and she wished to get up and call a servant; but the general would not permit her, lest she should take cold. As soon as the day appeared, the woman Caroline went into the room to make a fire, and the general desired that Mr. Hawlins, one of the overseers, who was used to bleeding the people, might be sent for to bleed him before the doctor could arrive. I was sent for—went to the general's chamber, where Mrs. Washington was up, and related to me his being taken ill between two and three o'clock, as before staled. I found him breathing with difficulty, and hardly able to utter a word intelligibly. I went out instantly, and wrote a line to Dr. Flask, and sent it with all speed. Immediately I returned to the general's chamber, where I found him in the same situation I had left him. A mixture of molasses, vinegar, and butter was prepared, but he could not swallow a drop; whenever he attempted he was distressed, convulsed, and almost Buffocated.
Mr. Rawlins came in soon after Biinriae and prepared to bleed him; when the arm was ready, the general, observing Rawlins appeared agitated, said, with difficulty, 'Don't bo afraid;' and after the incision was made, he observed the orifice was not large enough: however, the blood ran pretty freely. Mrs. Washington, not knowing whether bleeding was proper in the general's situation, begged that much might not be taken from him, and desired me to slop il. When 1 was about to nurse the string, the general put up his hand to prevent it, and, as soon as he could speak, said, ' More.1
Mrs. Washington still uneasy lest too much blood should be drawn, it was stopped after about half a pint had been taken. Finding that no relief was obtained from bleeding, and that nothing could be swallowed, I proposed bathing the throat externally with sal volatile, which was done ; a piece of flannel was then put round his neck. His feet were also soaked in warm water, but this gave no relief. By Mrs. Washington's request, I despatched a messenger for Doctor Brown at Port Tobacco. About nine o'clock, Dr. Craik arrived, and put a blister of canthatidea on the throat of the general, and look more blood, and had some vinegar and hot water set in a teapot, for him to draw in the stream from the spout.
He also had sage-tea and vinegar mixed and used as a gargle, but when he held back his head to let it run down, it almost produced suffocation. When the mixture came out of his mouth some phlegm followed it, and he would attempt to cough, which the doctor encouraged, but without effect. About eleven o^clock, Dr. Dick was sent for. Dr. Craik bled the general again; no effect was produced, and he continued in tho same state, unable to swallow any thing. Dr. Dick came in about ihrce o'clock, and Dr. Brown arrived soon after; when, after consultation, the general was bled again: the blood ran slowly, appeared very thick, and did not produce any symptoms of fainting. At four o'clock the general could swallow a little. Calomel and tartar emetic were administered without effect. About half past four o'clock he requested me to ask Mrs. Washington to come to his bedside, when he desired her to go down to his room, and lake from his desk two wills which she would find there, and bring them to him, which she did. Upon looking at one, which ha observed was useless, he desired her to burn it, which she did; and then look the other and put it away. Alter this was done, I returned again to his bedside and took his hand. He said to Die, 'I find I am going—my breath cannot continue long—I believed from the first attack it would be fatal. Do you arrange and re*
cord all my military letters and papers; arrange my accounts and settle my books, as you know more about them than any one else; and let Mr. Rawlins finish recording my other letters, which he has begun.' He asked when Mr. Lewis and Washington would return? I told him that I believed about the twentieth of the month. He made no reply.
The physicians arrived between five and six o'clock, and when they came to his bedside, Dr. Craik asked him if he would sit up in the bed: he held out his hand to me and was raised up, when he said to the physician—' 1 feel myself going j you had better not take any more trouble about me, but let me go off quietly ; I cannot last long.' They found what had been done was without effect; he laid down again, and they retired, excepting Dr. Craik. He then said to him—* Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go; I believed from my first attack I should not survive it; my breath cannot last long.' The doctor pressed his hand, but could not utter a word; he retired from the bedside and sat by the fire, absorbed in grief. About eight o'clock, the physicians again came into the room, and applied blisters to hU legs, but went out without a ray of hope. From this time he appeared to breathe with less difficulty than he had done, but was very restless, continually changing his position, to endeavor to get ease. I aided him all in my power, and was gratified in believing he fell it, for he would look upon me with eyes speak Ing gratitude, but unable to utter a word without great distress. About ten o'clock he made several attempts to speak to me before he could effect it; at length he said, 'I am just going. Have me decently buried; and do not let my body be put into the vault in less than two days after I am dead.' I bowed assent. He looked at me again and said, 'Do you understand me?' I replied, * Yes, sir.' * 'Tis well,' said he. About ten minutes before he expired, his breathing became much easier: he lay quietly: he withdrew his hand from mine, and felt his own pulse. I spoke to Dr. Craik, who sat by the fire ; he came to the bedside. The general's hand fell from his wrist; I took it in mine, and placed it on my breast. Dr. Craik placed his hands over his eyes; and he expired without a struggle or a sigh.
We proceed with some farther extracts of alike kind taken at random from the book.
His manly disinterestedness appeared, not only in thus divesting himself of the means of acquiring glory, perhaps of the power of avoiding defeat and disgrace, but in a private act which deserves equally to be remembered. While the British fleet was lying in the Potomac, in the vicinity of Mount Vernon, a message was sent to the overseer, demanding a supply of fresh provisions. The usual penalty of a refusal was setting fire to the hou.se and barns of the owner. To prevent this destruction of properly, the overseer, on receipt of the message, gathered a supply of provisions, and went himself on board with a flag accompanying the present with a request that the property of the general might be spared.
Washington was exceedingly indignant at this proceeding, as will appear by the following extract of a letter to his overseer.
"It would," he writes, "have been a less painful circumstance to me to have heard that, In consequence of your noncompliance with the request of the British, they had burned my house, and laid my plantation in ruins. You ought to have considered yourself as my representative, and should have reflected on the bad example of communicating with the enemy, and making a voluntary offer of refreshment to them with a view to prevent a conflagration."
And here I will take what seems to me a proper opportunity of refuting a false insinuation. In the edition of Plutarch's Lives, translated by John and William Langhorne, ami revised by the Reverend Francis Wran^ham, M. A., F.R.8., there is the following note appended to the biography of Catn the Censor, whose khdncss is said fo hove extended to his cattle and sheep: " Yet Washington, the Tertius Cato of these tatter times, it said to have sold hi* ofd charger .'"
On first seeing this insinuation of a calumny founded on hearsay, I applied to Colonel Lear, who resided at Mount Vernon, and acted as the private secretary of Washington at the time of his death, and many years previously, m learn whether there was any foundation for the report. His denial was positive and unequivocal. The horse of Washington, sold, not by him, but one of his heirs, after his death, was that which he was accustomed lo ride about his plantation after his retirement from pub
lic life. The aged war-horse was placed under the special ore of the old black servant who had served the same campaigns with him; was never rode after the conclusion of the war, and died long before his illustrious master.
As illustrating his character and affording an example? of his great self-command, the following anecdote is appropriate to my purpose. It is derived from Judge Breckenrldge* himse'f, who used often to tell the story. The judge was an illimitable humorist, and, on a particular occasion, fell in with Washington at a public house. They supped at the same table, and Mr. Eiectenridge essayed all his powers of humor to divert the general; but in vain. He seemed aware of his purpose, and listened without a smile. However, it so happened that the chambers of Washington and Breckenridge adjoined, and were only separated from each other by a thin partition of pine boards. The general had retired first, and when the judge entered hi* own room, he was delighted to hear Washington, who was already in bed, laughing to himself with infinite glee, no doubt at the recollection of his stories.
He was accustomed sometimes to tell the following ecory :— On one occasion, during a visit he paid to Mount Vernon whBe president, he had invited the company of two distinguished lawyers, each of whom afterwards attained to the highest judicial situations in this country. They came on horseback, and, for convenience, or some other purpose, had bestowed ibeir wardrobe in the same pair of saddle-bags, each one occupying bes Bide. On their arrival, wet to the skin by a shower of rain, they were shown into a chamber to change their garments. One allocked his side of the bag, and the first thing he drew forth was a black bottle of whiskey. He insisted that this was bis compankmH repository; but on unlocking the other, there was found a huge twist of tobacco, a few pieces of corn-bread, and the complete equipment of a wagoner's pack-saddle. They had exchanged siddle-bags with some traveller on the way, and finally made their appearance in borrowed clothes that fitted them most h*dicrously. The general was highly diverted, and am need himself with anticipating the dismay of the wagoner when he discovered this oversight of the men of law. It was during this visit thai Washington prevailed on one of his guests to enter into public life, and thus secured to his country the services of one of la* most distinguished magistrates of this or any other ag;e.
Another anecdote of a more touchingcharacteris deriredfr&m a Bource which, if I were permitted to mention, would not oaiy vouch for its truth, but give it additional value and interest. When Washington retired from public life, his name and* feme excited in the hearts of the people at large, and most especial* the more youthful portion, a degree of reverence which, by checking their vivacity or awing them inio silence, t*flca gave him great pain. Being once on a visit to Colonel Blackburn, ancestor to the exemplary matron who now possesses Mount Vernon, a large company of young people were assembled to welcome his arrival, or on some other festive occasion. The general was unusually cheerful and animated, but he observed nut whenever he made his appearance, the dance lost Hs vivacity, the little gossipings in corners ceased, and a solemn silence prevailed, as at the presence of one they either feared or reverenced too much to permit them to enjoy themselves. He strove toremove this restraint by mixii-g familiarly among them and chatting with unaffected hilarity. But it was all in vain; there was a spell on the little circle, and he retired among the elders ic ao adjoining room, appearing to be much pained at the restraint bit presence inspired. When, however the young people had agate become animated, he arose cautiously from his seat, walked c& tiptoe to the door, which was ajar, and stood contemplating the scene for nearly a quarter of an hour, with a look of eenGJe* and benevolent pleasure that went to the very hearts of the parents who were observing him.
fn regard to the style of Mr. Paulding's Washington, il would scarcely be doinjr it justice to speak of it merely as well adapted to ils subject, and to its immediate design. Perhaps a rigorous examination would detect an occasional want of euphony, and some inaccuracies of syntatica! arrangement. But nothing could be more out
* Author of Modern Chivalry.
of place than any such examination in respect to a book whose forcible, rich, vivid, and comprehensive English, might advantageously be held up, as a model for the young writers of the land. There is no better literary nanner than the manner of Mr. Paulding. Certainly no American, and possibly no living writer of England, has more of those numerous peculiarities which go to the formation of a happy style It is questionable, we think, whether any writer of any country combines as many of these peculiarities with as much of that essential negative virtue, the absence of affectation. We repeat, as our confident opinion, that it would be difficult, even with great care and labor, to improve upon tlie general manner of the volumes now before us, and that they contain many long individual passages of a force and beauty not to be surpassed by the finest passages of the finest writers in any time or country. It is this striking character in the Washington of Mr.Paukling—striking and peculiar indeed at a season when we ore so culpably inattentive to all matters of this nature, as to mistake for style the fine airs at second hand of the silliest romancers—it is this character we say, which should insure the fulfilment of the writer's principal design, in the immediate introduction of his book into every respectable academy in the land.
Didactics—Social, Literary, and Political. By Robert Walsh, Philadelphia: Carey, Lea, and Blanchard.
Having read these volumes with much attention and pleasure, we are prepared to admit that their author is one of the finest writers, one of the most accomplished scholars, and when not in too great a hurry, one of the most accurate thinkers in the country. Yet had we never seen this collection of Didactics, we should never have entertained these opinions. Mr. Walsh has been peculiarly an anonymous writer, and has thus been instrumental in cheating himself of a great portion of that literary renown which is most unequivocally his due. We have been not unfrequently astonished in the perusal of the book now before us, at meeting with o variety of well known and highly esteemed acquaintances, for whose paternity we had been accustomed to give credit where we now find it should not have been given. Among these we may mention in especial the very excellent Essay on the acting of Kcan, entitled "A'otiecs of Kean's principal performances during his first season in Philadelphia," to be found at page 146, volume i. We have often thought of the unknown author of this Essay, as of one to whom we might speak, if occasion should at any time be granted us, with a perfect certainty of being understood. We have looked to the article itself as to a fair oasis in the general blankness and futility of our customary thea'trical notices. We read it with that thrill of pleasure with which we always welcome our own long-cherished opinion*, when we meet them unexpectedly in the language of another. How absolute is the necessity now daily growing, of rescuing our stage criticism from the control of illiterate mountebanks, and placing it in the hands of gentlemen and scholars!
The paper on Collegiate Education, beginning at page 165, volume ii, is much more than a sufficient reply to that Essay in the Old Bachelor of Mr. Wirl,
in which the attempt is made to argue down colleges as seminaries for the young. Mr. Walsh's article does not uphold Mr. Barlow's plan of a National University—a plan which is assailed by tho Attorney General—but comments upon some errors in point of fact, and enters into a brief but comprehensive examination of the general subject. He maintains with undeniable truth, that it is illogical to deduce arguments against universities which are to exist at the present day, from the inconveniences found to be connected with institutions formed in the dark ages—institutions similar to our own in but few respects, modelled upon the principles and prejudices of the times, organized with a view to particular ecclesiastical purposes, and confined in their operations by an infinity of Gothic and perplexing regulations. He thinks, (and we believe he thinks with a great majority of our well educated fellow citizens) that in the case either of a great national institute or of State universities, nearly all the difficulties so much insisted upon will prove a series of mere chimeras—that the evils apprehended might be readily obviated, and the acknowledged benefits uninterruptedly secured. He denies, very justly, the assertion of the Old Bachelor—that, in the progress of society, funds for collegiate establishments will no doubt be accumulated, independently of government, when their benefits are evident, and a necessity for them felt—and that the rich who have funds will, whenever strongly impressed with the necessity of so doing, provide, either by associations or otherwise, proper seminaries for the education of their children. He shows that these assertions are contradictory to experience, and more particularly to tho experience of the State of Virginia, where, notwithstanding the extent of private opulence, and the disadvantages under which the community so long labored from a want of regular and systematic instruction, it was the government which was finally compelled, and not private societies which were induced, to provide establishments for effecting the great end. He says (and therein we must all fully agree with him) that Virginia may consider herself fortunate in following the example of all the enlightened nations of modern times rather than in hearkening to the counsels of the Old Bachelor. He dissents (and who would not?) from the allegation, that "the most eminent men in Europe, particularly in England, have received their education neither at public schools or universities," and shows that the very reverse may be affirmed—that on the continent of Europe by far the greater number of its great names have been attached to the rolls of its universities—and that in England a vast majority of those minds which we have reverenced so long—the Bacons, the Newtons, the Barrows, the Clarkes, the Spencers, the Miltons, the Drydcns, the Addisons, the Temples, the Hales, the Clarendons, the Mansfields, Chatham, Pitt, Fox, Wyndham, &c were educated among the venerable cloisters of Oxford or of Cambridge. He cites the Oxford Prize Essays, so well known even in America, as direct evidence of the energetic ardor in acquiring knowledge brought about through the means of British Universities, and maintains that " when attention is given to the subsequent public stations and labors of most of the writers of these Essays, it will be found that they prove also the ultimate practical utility of the literary discipline of the
colleges for the students and the nation." He argues, that were it even true that the greatest men have not been educated in public schools, the furl would have little to do with the question of their efficacy in the instruction of the mass of mankind. Great men cannot be created—and are usually independent of all particular schemes of education. Public seminaries are best adapted to the generality of cases. He concludes with observing that the course of study pursued at English Universities, is more liberal by far than we are willing to suppose it—that it is, demonstrably, the best, inasmuch as regards the preference given to classical and mathematical knowledge—and that upon the whole it would be an ensy matter, in transferring to America the general principles of those institutions, to leave them their obvious errors, while we avail ourselves as we best may, of their still more obvious virtues and advantages.
We must take the liberty of copying an interesting paper on the subject of Oxford.
The impression made on my mind by the first aspect of Paris wasscirccly more lively or profound, than that which I experienced on entering Oxford. Great towns were already familiar to my eye, but a whole city sacred to the cultivation of science, composed of edifices no less venerable for their antiquity than magnificent in their structure, was n novelty which at once delighted and overpowered my imagination. The entire population is in some degree appended and ministerial to the colleges. They comprise nearly the whole town, and arc so noble and imposing, although entirely Gothic, that I was in cliued to apply to the architecture of Oxford what has been said of the schools of Athens;
"The Muse alorrn unequal dealt her rage,
And graced with noblest pomp her earliest stage."
Spacious gardens laid out with taste and skill arc annexed to each college, and appropriated to the exercises and meditations of the students. The adjacent country is in the highest state of cultivation, and watered by a beautiful stream, which bears the name of Lis, the divinity of the Nile and the Ceres of the Egyptians. To you who know my attachment to letters, and my veneration for the great men whom this university has produced, it will not appear nfTeclntion, when I say that 1 was most powerfully affected by this scene, that my eyes filled with tears, that all the enthusiasm of a student burst forth.
After resting, I delivered next morning, my letter of
introduction to one of the professors, Mr. V , and
who undertook to serve as my cicerone through the university. The whole day was consumed in wandering over the various colleges and their libraries, in discoursing on their organization, and in admiring the Gothic chapels, the splendid prospects from their domes, the collection of books, of paintings, and of statuary, and the portraits of the great men who were nursed in this seat of learning. Both here and at Cambridge, accurate likenesses of such as have by their political or literary elevation, ennobled their alma mater, are hung up in the great halls, in order to excite the emulation of their successors, and perpetuate the fame of the institution. I do not wish to fatigue you by making you the associate of all my wanderings and reflections, but only beg you to follow me rapidly through the picture-gallery attached to the celebrated Bodleian library. It is long indeed, and covered with a multitude of orignal portraits, but from them I shall merely select a few, in which your knowledge of history will lead you to take a lively interest.
1 was struck with the face of Martin Luther the reformer. It was not necessary to have studied Lavater to collect from it, the character of his mind. His features were excessively harsh though regular, his eye intelli
gent but sullen and scowling, and the whole expression of his countenance, that of a sour, intemperate, ovabearing controversialist. Near him were placed likenesses of Locke, Butler, and Charles II., painted by Sir PcterLely; with the countenance of Locke you arentil acquainted, that of Butler has nothing sportive in itdoes not betray a particle of humor, but is, on the contrary, grave, solemn, and didactic in the extreme, and must have been taken in one of his splenetic moods, when brooding over the neglect of Charles, rather thsn ill one of those moments of inspiration, as they may be styled, in which he narrated the achievements of Hudibrus. The physiognomy of Charles is, I presume, familiar to you, lively but not "spiritual." Lord North is among the number of heads, and I was caught by his strong resemblance to the present king; so strong as to remind one of the scandalous chronicles of times past. The face of Mary queen of Scots next attracted my notice. It was taken in her own time, and amply justifies what historians have written, or poets have sung, concerning her incomparable beauty. If ever there was a countenance meriting the epithet of lovely in its most comprehensive signification, it was this, which truly "vindicated the veracity of Fame," and in which I needed not the aid of imagination to trace the virtues of her heart. In reading Hume and Whilaker I have often wept over her misfortunes, and now turned with increased disgust from an original por'.rait of Elizabeth, her rival and assassin, which was placed immediately above, and contributed to heighten the caplivauons of the other by the effect of contrast. The features of Elizabeth are harsh and irregular, her eye severe, her complexion bad, her whole face, in short, just such as you would naturally attach to such a mind.
Among the curiosities of the gallery may be ranked a likeness of Sir Phillip Sydney, done with a red id poker, on wood, by a person of the name of Griffith, belonging to one of the colleges. It is really a monument of human patience and ingenuity, and lias the appearance of a good painting. I cannot describe to you without admiration another most extraordinary freak of genius exhibited herr, and altogether laiqvt in its kind. It is a portrait of Isaac Tuller, a celebrated painter in the reign of Charles II., executed by himstif when drunk. Tradition represents it as an admirable likeness, and of inebriety in the abstract, there neTer was a more faithful or perfect delineation. This anecdote is authentic, and must amuse the fancy, if we picture to ourselves the artist completely intoxicated, inspecting his own features in a mirror, and hitting off, with complete success, not only the general character, but the peculiar stamp, which such a state must have impressed upon them. His conception was as full of humor as of originality, ond well adapted to the system of manners which the reigning monarch introduced ami patronized. As I anion the subject of portraits, permit mc to mention three to which my attention was particularly called on my visit to the University of Dublin. They were those of Burke, Swift, and Bishop Berkeley, done by the ablest masters. The latter must have had one of the most impressive physiognomies ever given to man, "the humanJace divine." That of Burke isfar inferior, but strongly marked by an indignant smile; a proper expression for the feelings by which his mind was constantly agitated towards the close of his life. The face of Swift from which you would expect every thing, is dull, heavy and unmeaning.
Portrait painting is the forte, as it has always been the passion of this country. Happily for tile inquisiuve stranger, every rich man has all his progenitors and relatives on canvass. The walls of every public institution arc crowded with benefactors and pupils, and no town hall is left without the heads of the corporation,or the representatives of the borough. The same impulse that prompts us to gaze with avidity on the persons ot our cotemporaries, if there be any thing prominent in their character, or peculiar in their history, leads us to turn a curious and attentive eye on the likenesses of die "mighty dead," whose souls as well as faces are thus in some degree transmitted to posterity. Next to my association with the living men of genius who render illustrious the names of Englishmen, no more sensible gratification has accrued to me from my residence in this country, than that of studying the countenances of their predecessors; no employment has tended more efficaciously to improve my acquaintance with the history of the nation, to animate research, and to quicken the spirit of competition.
1 quilted Oxford with a fervent wish that such an establishment might one day grace our own country. 1 have uttered an ejaculation to the same effect whenever the great monuments of industry and refinement which Europe displays exclusively, have fallen under my observation. We have indeed just grounds to hope thai we shall one day eclipse the old world.
"Each rising art by just gradation moves,
The only paper in the Didactics, to whicli we have any decided objection, is a tolerably long article on the subject of Phrenology, entitled "Memorial of the
Phrenological Society of to the Honorable the
Congressof sitting at ." Considered as a
specimen of mere burlesque the Memorial is well enough —but we arc sorry to see the energies of a scholar and an editor (who should be, if he be not, a man of metaphysical science) so wickedly employed as in any attempt to throw ridicule upon a question, (however much maligned, or however apparently ridiculous) whose merits he has never examined, and of whose very nature, history, and assumptions, he is most evidently ignorant. Mr. Walsh is either ashamed of this article now, or he will have plentiful reason to be asjnpied ot it hereafter.
Sketches of Switzerland. By an American. Carry, Lea and Blanchard.
These very interesting sketches are merely selections from a work of much larger extent, originally intended for publication, but which, as a whole, is, for private reasons, suppressed. There is consequently on this account, and on some others, several vacuums in the narrative, Mr. Cooper commenced the year 1828 in Piiris, whence, after a short stay, he paid a visit to England. In June he returned to France by the way of Holland and Belgium. The narrative embraced in 'oL i commences at Paris after his return from England, and terminates at Milan. The remainder of the year 1828, and the years 1829, 1830, and 1831, with part of 1832, were passed between Italy, Germany, France and Belgium. Volume ii recommences at Paris, and a great portion of it is occupied with matters relating to other countries than that which gives a title to the book.
We either see, or fancy we see, in these volumes, and more particularly in the Preface affixed to them, a degree of splenetic ill humor with both himself and his countrymen, quite different from the usual manner of lie novelist, and evincing something akin to resentment for real or imaginary ill usage. He frankly tells us among other tilings, that had the whole of his intended publication seen the light, it is probable their writer would not have escaped some imputations on his patriotism—for in making the comparisons that naturally arose from his subject, he has spoken in favor of American principles much oftencr than in favor of American
things. He then proceeds with a sneer at a "numerous class of native critics," and expresses a hope that he may be permitted at least to assert, that "a mountain fifteen thousand feet high is more lofty than one of fifteen hundred, and that Mont Blanc is a more sublime object than Butter Hill." We quote a specimen of the general tone of this Preface.
The writer does not expect much favor for the political opinions that occasionally appear in these letters. He has the misfortune to belong to neither of the two great parties that divide the country, and which, though so bitterly hostile and distrustful of each other, will admit of no neutrality. It is a menacing symptom that there is adisposition to seek fora base motive, whenever a citizen may not choose to plunge into the extremes that characterize the movements of political factions. This besetting vice is accompanied by another feeling, that is so singularly opposed to that which every body is ready to affirm is the governing principle of the institutions, that it may do no harm slightly to advert to it. Any one who may choose to set up a semi-official organ of public opinion, allied a newspaper, however illiterate, base, flagrantly corrupt, and absolutely destitute of the confidence and respect of every man in the community, may daily pour out upon the public his falsehoods, his contradictions, his ignorance, and his corruption, treating the national interests as familiarly as "household terms," and all because he is acting in an admitted vocation ; the public servant, commissioned to execute the public will, may even turn upon his masters, and tell them not only in what light they are to view him and his conduct, but in what light they are also to view the conduct of his associates in trust; in short, tell them how to make up their judgments on himself and others; and all because he is a public servant, and the public is his master: but the private citizen,who mrely forms a part of that public, is denounced for his prestTmplion, should he dare to speak of matters of general concernment, except under such high sanction, or as the organ of party.
It may be well to say at once, that this peculiar feeling has not been permitted to influence the tone of these letters, which have been written, in all respects, as if the republic did not contain one of those privileged persons, honored as " patriots" and "godlikes," but as if both classes were as actually unknown to the country as they are certainly unknown to the spirit and letter of its institutions.
The spirit of these observations seems to be carried out (we cannot say with what degree of justice,) in many other portions of the book. On page 71, vol. i, we observe what follows.
Among other books, I have laid my hands, by accident, on the work of a recent French traveller in the United States. We read little other than English books at home, and arc much given to declaiming against English travellers for their unfairness; but, judging from this specimen of Gallic opinion, our ancient allies rate us quite as low as our quondam fellow subjects. A perusal of the work in question has led me to inquire further into the matter, and I am now studying one or two German writers on the same interesting subject. I must say that thus far, I find little to feed national vanity,and I begin to fear (what I have suspected ever since the first six months in Europe) that we are under an awkward delusion respecting the manner in which the rest of Christendom regards that civilization touching which we are so sensitive. It is some lime since I have made the discovery, that'the name of an American is not a passport all over Europe,' but on the other hand, that where it conveys any very distinct notions at all, it usually conveys such as are any thing but flattering or agreeable. ... I shall pursue the trail on which I have fallen, and you will probably hear more of this, before these letters are brought to a close.