Page images
PDF
EPUB

scenes came back to his recollection. He forgot every resentment. He remembered but his first, his only love. He walked hastily after the wagon, and readily persuaded the old soldier to give the little girl to him. Then taking her in his arms while she still slept, he walked almost with a light heart into the village. It was of course difficult at first to pacify the little creature; but kindness and devotion soon do their office, and all the love which she had had for her mother was transferred to her kind protector. She has always borne his name, and, I believe, is unacquainted with her history, at least with the more melancholy portions of it. Do not ask me any more questions. I know you want to speak of your friend Macklorne. I must not show you too much favor at one time; besides, we must visit Lina a few moments. I have quite neglected her of late.

We were now driving into Thun. At the door of Dr. Paul, we were met by the maiden herself, a sprightly, good-natured, and very pretty young girl, who insisted that we should descend and partake of some

freshments, and see her new garden. Accordingly, we alighted, and were detained so long and so agreeably, that our ride home was by moonlight.

A drive by moonlight, and Josephine Fluellen my companion !

[blocks in formation]

Once methought I saw an angel

Smiling in a maiden's eyes,
And my heart was captive taken,

Like a city by surprise.
Then it seemed another angel

Springing upward from my heart,
From mine eyes looked on the other,

And beheld its counterpart.
At the moment of the greeting,

From her lips no whisper feli,
And before her I was silent,

Rapt in a delicious spell.
Love, awaiting in my bosom,

Love, of pure impulses born,
Lighted up my happy pathway

Like a sun of summer morn.

Marked for mine the gentle maiden

With the angel in her eyes ;
Years agone we linked our fortunes

By indissoluble ties.
Philadelphia, Dec. 9, 1851.
VOL, XXXIX.

6

LITERARY NOTICES.

such "This book is inscribed to A. B. JOHNSON, Esq., of Utica, with whom, in 1810, the author made his first excursion to the West, preparatory to the manufacture of window-glass by a hundred-thousand-dollar corporation, just created by the New-York Legislature. Mr. Schoolcraft alone possessed any knowledge of glass-making, and to him, with a salary of a thousand dollars a year, was confided the planning of all necessary buildings, contracting for their erection, originating the furnaces, procuring raw materials, governing the artisans, disbursing the expenditures, manufacturing the glass, and preparing it for market. But few manufactories of window-glass existed in the United States, and their absence was painfully apparent in new settlements, by window-sasbes disfigured with rude substitutes for glass. This state of the country caused the stock of the corporation to be owned by patriotic citizens; and among the most active and influential of the corporators was the Hon. John GREIG, who resided in Canandaigua, and who is still there, the foremost citizen in all that is praiseworthy; illustrating strikingly, by his eminent social position, the scriptural promise, that He who watereth shall be watered again.'

DREAM-LIFE: A FABLE OF THE SEAsons. By IK MARVEL. In one volume: pp. 286. New-York: CHARLES SCRIBNER.

Here we have, in very beautiful guise, the charming volume of which we presented an avant-courier in 'The Country-Church, published in our last number. We could well wish that our available space might enable us to pay a tribute to the excellence of the book, with examples of the same, as its character deserves. As it is, however, we can only desire the reader to test for himself the justice of our commendation. Let any one-we care not how hy. percritical, however much a ‘man of the world,' or howsoever soured by it, he may be — read the different divisions, under the head of Dreams of Boyhood' and ‘Dreams of Youth,' and note the deep, natural feeling; the gradual growth of the mind and of the soul; the quiet pictures of nature, and the still-life' of the heart; let any one do this, and he will agree with us, that few modern writers excel our author in an authentically winning a way to the reader's confidence and affection. Nor in naming these two divisions of the work do we wish to indicate a preference for them over the 'Dreams of Manhood' and Dreams of Age,' save that in the latter the scenes of pathos are too painfully touching to be perused with dry eyes. Throughout the entire work we encounter those little felicities of expression, those rare touches of the pencil, which effect so much in the completeness of a picture, and which always indicate the true master. The work is inscribed, in a brief and well-written dedication, to Washington Irving; in the course of which 'Introductory Letter' Mr. MITCHELL observes: 'If I have attained to any facility in the use of language, or have gained any fitness of expression in which to dress my thoughts, I know not to what writer of the English language I am more indebted than to yourself. And if I have shown, as I have tried to show, a truthfulness of feeling that is not lighted by any counterfeit of passion, but rather by a close watchfulness of nature, and a cordial sympathy with human suffering, I know not to what man's heart that truthfulness will come home sooner than to yours.' This is well said: and in good truth, although their verbal styles are entirely different, there is nevertheless much in common between the two authors. We are glad to have been made the medium of bringing two such writers for the first time into each other's presence. We must add a word in favor of the good taste of Mr. MITCHELL'S publisher; for he seems well to understand that there is as much in the physiognomy of a book as in that of a gentleman.

PERSONAL MEMOIRS OF A RESIDENCE OF THIRTY YEARS WITH THE INDIAN TRIBES ON THE AMERICAN FRONTIERS; with brief Notices of Passing Events, Facts, and Opinions, A. D. 1812 to A. D. 1842. By HENRY R. SchoolCraft. In ono volume: pp. 703. Philadelphia: LIPPINCOT, GRAMBO AND COMPANY.

We present the subjoined notice of a work which we have not had the pleasure to receive from its publishers, with the confidence that it does not exaggerate the merits which it sets forth and commends. The critic is an old and favorite contributor to the KNICKERBOCKER, whose own literary works give value and force Lo his literary opinions :

“The bank of Seneca Lake, a mile from Geneva, was selected for the new establishment. Forest timber covered the site; but in about three months glass was manufactured for market, and a small village had been erected for the workmen. Mr. SchoolCRAFT was only seventeen years old; and this reveals his early character as unmistakably as the agricultural productions of a country reveal its climate. He was precocious generally, being an expert draftsman, mature penman, with a respectable knowledge of chemistry and mineralogy, while ethically he was exempt from the irregularities which ordinarily accompany youth. We happened to know him intimately at this period, and these remarks result from that intimacy, not from the book, in which his residence at Geneva, and its important incidents, are modestly referred to in a dozen words.

* The author's early expectations, and the pervading tendency of his feelings, were toward a devotion of his life to a sedentary cultivation of literature and science. But “PROVIDENCE shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we may;' and Schoolcraft compares more with LEDYARD for activity, than with any other American whose records have interested the world. During thirty years he was an active explorer of the unsettled portions of our territory, when the great lakes and rivers of the west were traversed only by canoes. In one of these excursions he traced the Mississippi to its source, the source being previously deemed problematical; Pike, in 1806, having placed it at Leech Lake, and Cass, in 1820, at Red Cedar Lake. He was efficiently instrumental in directing public enterprise to the copper regions of Missouri, and iu disclosing the general topography of the Mississippi valley, and the regions of the lakes. In no other book is the wonderful progress of our country, in population and industry, so strikingly apparent. We find the author conjecturing the business capabilities of places which, in less than twenty years thereafter, are populous cities; and in the year 1830, he makes one of perhaps the first party of pure pleasure, having no objects of business of any kind, who ever went from the upper lakes to visit Niagara Falls.'

• But the principal interest of the memoirs consists in what pertains to the Indians, among whom the author, during much of the thirty years, acted as agent of the United States. Official station, and his having married a highly educated half-breed grand-daughter of an Indian chief of the vicinity, yielded bim unsurpassed advantages for ascertaining the habits of the Indians, their traditions, customs, knowledge, language, superstitions, and opinions generally. The whole information passes into the possession of the reader incidentally, rather than doctrinally; the memoirs constituting a journal of what the author saw and beard, whereby the mass glides before the reader like the contents of a diorama which is being gradually unfolded, every incident introducing naturally its successor. The author avoids the common error of narrating only his intellectual reflections; he gives you the raw, sensible materials, wherefrom every reader can make his own reflec tions. The raw material is also of a kind which is daily becoming more difficult to collect; the unsophisticated Indian and his antiquities, language, customs, and traditions, being already defaced by time, and fading fast from existence. Nothing could have been more providential than the

residence among the Indians for thirty years of such a person as ScHQOLCRAFT, and at such an epoch. Before his day, men have passed their lives among the Indians, but not like him have they, for thirty years, devoted a vigorous intellect and discriminating judgment in collecting useful information, with no hope of reward but to instruct contemporaries, and to be kindly remembered by posterity. We may well say, with HAMLET, “You cannot feed capons so;' nor can you feed men 80, except the occasional self-denying literary enthusiast.

“The memoirs are, however, only a highly-condensed summary of a thirty years' daily collection of facts; not a detail of items. Many of the items have already been published, Mr. ScHooLCRAFT being one of our most voluminous authors, as well as one most widely known in Europe and at home. What has not been thus published, he is preparing for publication, as a great national work, under direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, by virtue of an act of Congress, passed in March 1847. One large luxurious volume, in folio form, and elegantly illustrated by S. Eastmax, Captain in the U. S. Navy, has just issued from the press, entitled "Historical and Statistical Insormation respecting the History, Condition, and Philosophy of the Indian Tribes of the United States.' The human intellect acquires details most readily, by first acquiring a knowledge of them in gross: hence the present memoirs, though published after many volumes of detail, ought to be read first; just as the journal of our late State Convention is an advantageous precursor to a study of the constitution which the convention formed.

“We cannot close our too brief notice of these interesting memoirs, the chart of a laborious life, without saying that, although we have known the writer favorably for more than forty years, our respect for him is greatly increased by the perusal of this book. He has consorted early and long with public officers, not greatly his official superiors originally, but now high in authority, and pros pectively to become still higher - perhaps the highest. For the sake of science, for the sake of literary industry and good example, we trust that the eminent citizens to whom we have alluded will, as a privilege of their exaltation, crown Mr. Schoolcraft's latter days with some station at Washington, in the line to which he has devoted his life, and where his knowledge may be made available to the country in the highest station to which it is congenial. We know not that his feelings will respond acceptably to this suggestion, and it may shock his delicacy; but we are sure that ‘righteousness exalteth a nation,' and that nothing is more righteous than to reward unobtrusive merit.'

THE INDICATIONS OF THE CREATOR: or the Natural Evidences of the Final Cause. By GEORGE

TAYLOR. In one volume. New-York: CHARLES SCRIBNER.

Although a belief founded on knowledge and investigation may not be more meritorious, in a theological point of view, than the faith of humble ignorance, yet has the first this higher duty and prerogative: it is the natural protector and defender of the faith of the uninstructed from the assaults of the enemies of morality and religion. Mr. Taylor, in the attractive volume before us, has aimed to popularize the additional proofs of the divine creation and government of the universe with which the discoveries of modern physical science has armed the believers in the existence of the Deity. Proceeding upon the idea of CICERO, in his 'de Natura Deorum,' that the belief in a Deity is the basis on which all the virtues, all justice, piety, and religion must repose, he has in the present work adduced, in a summary way, all the lights of the present advanced state of science, to guide the sincere investigator, and to strike the modern skeptic with “judicial blindness;' to leave him no excuse for his atheism but that hardness of heart which resists all the weapons of conviction.

The first great step of modern, as well as ancient, infidelity toward demoral izing the nations, has been to debauch their faith in the existence of a Supreme, Omniscient, and Omnipotent Being, governing all things visible and invisible. The professors of this school of modern philosophy have alternately taught its disciples the atheistical tenets of blind fatalism, or the more dangerous, because more seductive and insidious, but really identical, dogmas of 'pantheism.' In this latter shape, they do but revive the exploded and most unphilosophical doc

error.

trines of EPICURUS, with this slight difference in favor of the ancient school over the modern, that, while Epicurus did not expressly deny the existence of the gods, but merely held them indifferent to all human affairs, the pantheists make gods of every collection of organic and inorganic matter that ever existed, or ever will exist. This is the main foundation of the ingenious, metaphysical absurdities of SPINOLA, and of his modern, though, in many instances, unconscious followers. But in whatever form these irreligious theories may present themselves, it is not permitted to those who can give a reason for the enlightened and steadfast faith which is in them of the existence of the Deity, to fold their arms, and leave the field as if the battle were won. It is a fight which has lasted more than forty centuries, in every successive generation of humanity. It is a contest “never ending, still beginning: 'new combatants present themselves continually, and with the same facts on either side. These facts are but the weapons. Knowledge, reason, induction, these are the life and breath and strength which must decide the issue. Happily for mankind, the spirit of persecution which sought to spread religion by fire, fagots and torture, has long ago discovered its

The calm investigation of science, stamped with the seal of Christian charity, is found to be the best of all swords and of all shields. It is this spirit which sheds a serenity over the work of Mr. Taylor, and is not the least of its numerous recommendations. Not a word of denunciation, not a syllable of bigotry, disfigures his pages. It is truly refreshing to find a work, controversial in its aim and object, so entirely free from that almost inevitable concomitant of polemical philosophy, and socetimes of purely theological exegesis.

It is most curious to observe, however, that some of those philosophical writers who have furnished the strongest ramparts of natural religion in their works, have most offended the ignorant and besotted bigotry of their times. Des CARTES o.nd Pascal were each of them denounced as enemies of the true Church by unlettered bigots in the Church itself! Yet what magazine has supplied more weapons to combat infidelity than the works of PASCAL? Through all the works of Des Cartes, and particularly in his intimate scientific correspondence with his enthusiastic scholar and admirer, the Princess PALATINE, there breathes a spirit of true religion, on which Dr. Young's well-known line may have been founded :

An undevout astronomer is mad.' It is true, that upon some minds the transition from the darkness of ignorance to the wondrous light of science has operated to blind their vision; chiefly by causing them to forget that God has only enabled mortals to comprehend secondary causes. But where one such instance has occurred, thousands have derived from scientific researches a firmer faith and a purer devotion. They have searched the great book of nature in the same spirit as the Christian is enjoined to search the Scriptures — the spirit of truth. Those who thus pursue her, must be content to arrive slowly, and to remain at that great portal of the temple of human knowledge, where is inscribed its final doom in this world: “'Tis but to know how little can be known;' yet are we not, therefore, to remit our endeavors within that limit. Modern science has accomplished more than even half a century ago was dreamed of. But it sees its labors of HERCULES are only beginning. “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased ;' and as its new treasures accumulate, we may hope that some skilful hand shall still group all its new discoveries in one picture, with the same beneficent intention which has dictated the composition of the volume before us.

« PreviousContinue »