Duncan, M. P. for Dundee, and about a dozen other official gentlemen, but no answer of any description was ever made to it.

TESTIMONIAL TO DR. DICK.-In addition to former acknowledgments we have received from "About two or three months ago, a respectable M. S., New York, $5; from Geo. L. Ditson, Esq., gentleman from England paid me a visit, and, in the price of a copy of "Circassia," $1.50; from the course of conversation, allusions happened to be "Springfield, 13 Feb.," $5-making $11.50-made to the memorial sent to Lord John Russell. which we have sent to Mr. Burritt. This makes our collection $30.50, to begin with. We copy from the Philadelphia Ledger the following:

He requested a copy of it, which I afterwards sent
in the Athenæum, partly founded on the statements
to his address. Soon after, a paragraph appeared
given in the memorial, which was soon copied into
several other London journals. In this way my
circumstances were, in some measure,
laid open
to the public, otherwise I should scarcely have
thought of expressing anything on the subject.


[ocr errors]

A few months ago the pecuniary embarrassments of Dr. Dick, the Christian philosopher, were referred to in the Ledger, his friend, Elihu Burritt, Esq., having made an appeal in his behalf for assistance to the American public, who have been My publications, though profitable enough to so largely the gainers by his literary labors. The the British publishers, have produced to me a comarticle which appeared in the Ledger was enclosed paratively small degree of compensation. For the to Dr. Dick by a friend in this city, Dr. J. A. El- entire copyright of The Christian Philosopher," kinton, which elicited the following reply, con- which has passed through more than ten large edifirmatory of the original statement respecting the tions, of 1500 and 2000 copies each, I received only situation of Doctor D.'s financial affairs, and com- £120. The price, till lately, was kept up to eight municating some interesting information respecting shillings per copy; and therefore, I presume, that, the sale and compensation of his principal works. by this time, the publisher must have cleared, on The letter was not intended for publication, but, as this work alone, about £2000. For the copyright the circumstances of the author have already been of The Philosophy of a Future State,' which has publicly alluded to, we see no impropriety in pre-passed through at least five large editions, I received senting to the readers of the Ledger a correct state- only £80, and a few copies, &c., &c. From ment of the facts. The letter is quite an interesting America I received two or three sums for transmitone, and we commend it to the perusal of the ting corrected sheets as they came from the press. readers of the Ledger, who all, no doubt, sympathize For the Sidereal Heavens,' I received from New strongly with the misfortunes which have fallen York, from Messrs. Harper, £80, and for the upon this eminently good and useful man: 'Practical Astronomer,' £50; and from my worthy friend, Mr. Biddle, of Philadelphia, £20, for a small work entitled The Atmosphere.' This gentleman, likewise, a considerable time ago, sent me $60, when he published my Essay on Covetousness, although he was under no obligation to do so. These are about all the sums I received from America; but these, and the other sums to which I allude, have been spread over a period of about twenty-six years.

"Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, 9th Jan., 1850. "MY DEAR SIR-I was favored a few days ago with your very kind and friendly letter of the 12th December, 1849, and return my grateful acknowledgments for the good opinion you express in regard to my character and writings, and for the friendly and generous intentions with which you are animated. "The extract from 'The Ledger,' which is prefixed to your letter, is partly true, though rather strongly expressed. My income for several years past has been very limited, not much exceeding £40 per annum; and I have been subjected of late years to several pecuniary burdens and bodily afflictions. About seven years ago, my daughter and her husband died, in the prime of life, within thirteen days of each other, leaving an orphan family of five children, two sons and three daughters-the chief part of whose maintenance and education devolved on me. Two of the girls were, about three years ago, admitted into John Watson's Institution, Edinburgh, where they are maintained and educated; but when they attain the age of thirteen or fourteen, they return again to me. Besides, I have an aged infirm sister, without the means of subsistence, who has been maintained by us for seven years past. Last spring I was long confined to bed by a dangerous disorder, which at first seemed to baffle all the efforts of my medical attendants; but, through the goodness of God, I gradually recovered during the summer and autumn months. Within those five or six weeks, however, I was subjected to a painful surgical operation on my breast, from which a large tumor was extracted. At present, however, thanks to God, I am in a pretty moderate state of health and mental vigor.

"About three years ago, on the suggestion of certain respectable gentlemen, I presented a memorial to Lord John Russell for a small pension from the fund allotted to authors, &c., with recommendations from Lord Duncan, Lord Kennaurd, G.

letter. I return you many thanks for your kind and "But to come to the main point alluded to in your liberal intentions, and I feel no hesitation in stating that a small addition to my income would be highly acceptable; it would free my mind from worldly and perplexing cares-would procure me some comforts I have not hitherto enjoyed, and make the remainder of my pilgrimage a little more smooth and equable than it has hitherto been. It would enable me to give my grand-children such an education as I would wish, and to provide a little for their future It would cheer the heart of my beloved partner, who is of a delicate constitution, and perhaps rendered more so by assiduous attentions to the young, and watching over the sick bed of the aged and infirm, having had no servant for a considerable time past.



Wishing you all happiness, comfort through life, hope in the prospect of death, and an abundant entrance, at last, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, I am, my dear sir, yours THOMAS DICK.' most sincerely.

[blocks in formation]

this answer they agreed with their correspondent | Smith. The paper is well in its way, but we like in some respects, and in others disagreed-and the settlement much better. If our people of held to the doctrine that circumstances ought to be African blood had a little more true self-respect taken into consideration. For instance, they only disapprove of skating when the ice is thin.

they would abandon the cities and villages, where they now herd as menials, and go back into the new country, form settlements there by themselves, and show the world their fitness for freedom by becoming true freemen. They might club their means and buy a whole county in Iowa or Michigan, each man owning what he paid for, but under a general agreement to sell only to men of their own race, and to have the county settled entirely by colored men to those at just prices, (not land speculators,) so as and freeholders, who must then of course fill its honors. Such a colony would do more for the race than any amount of ill-directed philanthropy.

them to let their light shine before men, than tc Dear Mr. Greely, would it not be better for go away into the wilderness?

Now our part is an exceedingly humble one. We copy good advice from other papers, but rarely attempt to give any of our own. But as soon as No. 300 was published, a young gentleman called to complain that we were too strict about amusements. As he is rather a wild young man, (that is, he wears a moustache,) we suspected he was turning us into an amusement, and thought no more of it. But here has been a very solid, judicious, and elderly gentleman, who comes to say-Tribune. how entirely he agrees with our opinions against checkers, dominos, ninepins, and "others of kin." We assured him that he did us too much credit, and that we would hasten to give the honor more explicitly to whom it was due. Nay, nay,” said he, “let it alone-you need n't be ashamed of it. I'd be willing to father it myself."-Then we asked a young lady if she thought the article was so printed as to look like our opinion. Why, certainly," said she, "I so understand it."-"No," we said, 66 we took it all from the Christian Advocate."--" It 's of no use talking," she replied, "don't tell me that you did not write that against skating on thin ice. If you copied it from the Christian Advocate, you wrote it for that paper."-The case seems hopeless, but indeed we did n't write it.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


London, named Punch.

We especially object to the creation of an aristocracy, which is openly avowed as one of the objects of such a settlement. This should be resisted at once.

BARNABAS BATES, ESQ.-We do not know from which of the New York papers the following our hearty assent and willingness to cooperate. was taken, but copy it with the expression of And we desire to express a share of the public thanks to another zealous laborer in this good work, Mr. Joshua Leavitt.

Among the persons removed from the New York Custom-house, is Barnabas Bates, Esq., the American "Rowland Hill." Partly as a compliment to foolish verses in this number from a person in him, but more for the public advantage, it is proposed to give him a salary which shall enable him We copied them to to devote his whole energies to the promotion of amuse some of the young people. While it is cheap postage under the direction of the Cheap true that the "Society of Friends" looks to George Postage Association. No fitter man could be Fox and Robert Barclay as exponents of its doc- selected. By his volunteer labors in time past, he trines, rather than to William Penn, yet it is im- has shown that his heart is in the work; and havportant to that society, as to all other lovers of ing had much experience in connection with the mankind, that the Founder of Pennsylvania should talents and address,) he is eminently qualified for Post-Office establishment, (not to speak of his be vindicated from the charges made against him the undertaking. We hope the suggestion will be by Macaulay. It is said that this has been effect-carried into effect. ually done in a late pamphlet by Mr. Foster, which we have not seen.

As for this Punch, living in the vortex of London, he has not had a good opportunity of seriously considering this subject. We should like to have him alongside of us (if he could keep still for an hour and a half) in a Silent meeting, such as we used to have nearly forty years ago, when we spent a happy year at school in Haddonfield, N. J.

THE "Florence Telegraph" is a weekly paper printed at Albany, by S. Myers, for and in behalf of a band of colored people who have united to form a settlement in the township of Florence, Oneida Co.-we believe on lands given them by Gerritt

as Littell's Living Age would take from our col-
"We did not expect so dignified a publication
umns the biography of Fredrika Bremer, by Mary
Howitt, and publish it without credit."-Godey's
Lady's Book.

but copied it, as we found it. in some newspaper
We never saw the article in the Lady's Book,
where it was published without credit. And yet
there was something by which we knew that it
was not original in the newspaper, and supposed
it came from some English paper.
We are very
sorry, and give the credit now.
Our readers will have observed that we are very
careful on this point.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.-No. 304.-16 MARCH, 1850.

From the Edinburgh Review. The grand function of woman, it must always be recollected, is, and ever must be, maternity; and this we regard not only as her distinctive characteristic and most endearing charm, but as a high and holy office-the prolific source, not only of the

Shirley: a Tale. By CURRER BELL, author of "Jane Eyre." Smith, Elder and Co. 1849. THE gallant suggestion of our great peasant poet, that Nature "tried her 'prentice hand" on man, before venturing on the finer task of fashion-best affections and virtues of which our nature is ing woman, has not yet found acceptance otherwise than as a sportive caprice of fancy-the sort of playful resignation of superiority which threw Samson at the feet of Dalilah, and made Hercules put aside his strength

Spinning with Omphale-and all for love! Men in general, when serious and not gallant, are slow to admit woman even to an equality with themselves; and the prevalent opinion certainly is that women are inferior in respect of intellect. This opinion may be correct. The question is a delicate one. We very much doubt, however, whether sufficient data exist for any safe or confident decision. For the position of women in society has never yet been-perhaps never can be-such as to give fair play to their capabilities. It is true, no doubt, that none of them have yet attained to the highest eminence in the highest departments of intellect. They have had no Shakspeare, no Bacon, no Newton, no Milton, no Raphael, no Mozart, no Watt, no Burke. But while this is admitted, it is surely not to be forgotten that these are the few who have carried off the high prizes to which millions of men were equally qualified by their training and education to aspire, and for which, by their actual pursuits, they may be held to have been contending; while the number of women who have had either the benefit of such training, or the incitement of such pursuits, has been comparatively insignificant. When the bearded competitors were numbered by thousands, and the smooth-chinned by scores, what was the chance of the latter? Or with what reason could their failure be ascribed to their inferiority as a class?

capable, but also of the wisest thoughtfulness, and most useful habits of observation, by which that nature can be elevated and adorned. But with all this, we think it impossible to deny that it must essentially interfere both with that steady and unbroken application, without which no proud eminence in science can be gained-and with the discharge of all official or professional functions that do not admit of long or frequent postponement. All women are intended by nature to be mothers; and by far the greater number-not less, we presume, than nine tenths-are called upon to act in that sacred character; and, consequently, for twenty of the best years of their lives—those very years in which men either rear the grand fabric or lay the solid foundations of their fame and fortune -women are mainly occupied by the cares, the duties, the enjoyments, and the sufferings of maternity. During large parts of these years, too, their bodily health is generally so broken and precarious as to incapacitate them for any strenuous exertion; and, health apart, the greater portion of their time, thoughts, interests, and anxieties ought to be, and generally is, centred in the care and the training of their children. But how could such occupations consort with the intense and unremitting studies which seared the eyeballs of Milton, and for a time unsettled even the powerful brain of Newton? High art and science always require the whole man, and never yield their great prizes but to the devotion of a life. But the life of a woman, from her cradle upwards, is otherwise devoted; and those whose lot it is to expend their best energies, from the age of twenty to the age of forty, in the cares and duties of Nevertheless, with this consideration distinctly maternity, have but slender chances of carrying borne in mind, we must confess our doubts whether off these great prizes. It is the same with the women will ever rival men in some departments of high functions of statesmanship, legislation, genintellectual exertion; and especially in those which eralship, judgeship, and other elevated stations and demand either a long preparation, or a protracted pursuits, to which some women, we believe, have effort of pure thought. But we do not, by this, recently asserted the equal pretensions of their prejudge the question of superiority. We assume sex. Their still higher and indispensable funcno general organic inferiority-we simply assert tions of maternity afford the answer to all such an organic difference. Women, we are entirely claims. What should we do with a leader of disposed to admit, are substantially equal in the opposition in the seventh month of her pregnancy? aggregate worth of their endowments; but equal-or a general-in-chief who, at the opening of a ity does not imply identity. They may be equal, campaign, was doing as well as could be exbut not exactly alike. Many of their endowments pected?" or a chief justice with twins?* are specifically different. Mentally, as well as bodily, there seem to be organic diversities; and these must make themselves felt whenever the two sexes come into competition.

[blocks in formation]



* Plato, indeed, argues that a woman should be trained to exercises of war, since the female dogs guard sheep as well as the male! But this is one of the many "exquisite reasons" of the divine philosopher, which look very like puerility. Duncan's strange account of the king of

If it be said that these considerations only apply | man's point of view, instead of from the woman's. to wives and mothers, and ought not to carry along That which irretrievably condemns the whole literwith them any disqualification of virgins or child-ature of Rome to the second rank-viz., imitation less widows, the answer is, that as Nature qual--has also kept down the literature of women. ifies and apparently designs all women to be moth- The Roman only thought of rivalling a Greekers, it is impossible to know who are to escape not of mirroring life in his own nationality; and that destiny till it is too late to begin the training so women have too often thought but of rivalling necessary for artists, scholars, or politicians. On men. the other hand, too much stress has, we think, been laid on man's superiority in physical strength —as if that, in itself, were sufficient to account for the differences in intellectual power. It should be remembered that, in the great contentions of man with man, it has not been physical strength which has generally carried the day; and it should further be remembered, that it is precisely in that art which demands least employment of physical force, viz., music, that the apparent inferiority of women is most marked and unaccountable.

It is their boast to be mistaken for meninstead of speaking sincerely and energetically as women. So true is this, that in the department where they have least followed men, and spoken more as women-we mean in fiction-their success has been greatest. Not to mention other names, surely no man has surpassed Miss Austen as a delineator of common life. Her range, to be sure, is limited-but her art is perfect. She does not touch those profounder and more impassioned chords which vibrate to the heart's core-never ascends to its grand or heroic movements, nor descends to its deeper throes and agonies; but in all she attempts she is uniformly and completely successful.

Indeed, music is by far the most embarrassing topic to which those who maintain the mental equality of the sexes can address themselves. It is true, that, of all kinds of genius, a genius for It is curious too, and worthy of a passing remusic is the least akin to, and the least associated mark, that women have achieved success in every with, any other. But, on the other hand, it is an department of fiction but that of humor. They art that is cultivated by all women who have the deal, no doubt, in sly, humorous touches often least aptitude for it; and in which, as far as mere enough; but the broad provinces of that great taste and execution are concerned, many more domain are almost uninvaded by them; beyond the women than men are actually found to excel. But, outskirts, and open borders, they have never venas composers, they have never attained any distinc- tured to pass. Compare Miss Austen, Miss Fertion. They have often been great, indeed, as per- riar, and Miss Edgeworth, with the lusty mirth formers-whether with the impassioned grandeur and riotous humor of Shakspeare, Rabelais, Butof a Pasta and a Viardot, or with the perfect ler, Swift, Fielding, Smollett, or Dickens and vocalization of a Lind and an Alboni-whether Thackeray. It is like comparing a quiet smile pianists, such as Camille Pleyel-violinists, such with the inextinguishable laughter" of the as Madame Flipowicsz or the little Milanolo-Homeric gods! So also on the stage-there whether as organists, or even as trombone (!) have been comic actresses of incomparable merit, players—yet in musical composition they are abso-lively, pleasant, humorous women, gladdening the lutely without rank. We can understand their scene with their airy brightness and gladsome not creating the stormy grandeur and tumultuary |presence; but they have no comic energy. There harmonies, the gloom and the enchanting loveliness of a Beethoven, since to that height women never have attained in any art; but why no one among them should yet have rivalled the moonlight tenderness and plaintive delicacy of a Bellini, is a mystery to us.

It is in literature, however, that women have most distinguished themselves; and probably because hundreds have cultivated literature, for one that has cultivated science or art. Their list of names in this department is a list that would rank high even among literary males. Madame de Stael was certainly as powerful a writer as any man of her age or country; and whatever may be the errors of George Sand's opinions, she is almost without a rival in eloquence, power, and invention. Mrs. Hemans, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Baillie, Miss Austen, Mrs. Norton, Miss Mitford, Miss Landon, are second only to the first-rate men of their day; and would probably have ranked even higher, had they not been too solicitous about male excellence had they not often written from the Amazonian corps, several thousands strong, is the only

real experiment of the sort we ever heard of.


has been no female Munden, Liston, Matthews, or Keeley. To be sure, our drama has no female parts, the representation of which after such a fashion would not have been a caricature.

But we must pursue this topic no further; and fear our readers may have been wondering how we have wandered away to it from the theme which seemed to be suggested by the title of the work now before us. The explanation and apology is, that we take Currer Bell to be one of the most remarkable of female writers; and believe it is now scarcely a secret that Currer Bell is the pseudonyme of a woman. An eminent contemporary, indeed, has employed the sharp vivacity of a female pen to prove upon irresistible evidence" that "Jane Eyre" must be the work of a man! But all that "irresistible evidence" is set aside by the simple fact that Currer Bell is a woman. We never, for our own parts, had a moment's doubt on the subject. That Jane herself was drawn by a woman's delicate hand, and that Rochester equally betrayed the sex of the artist, was to our minds so obvious, as absolutely to shut our ears to all the evidence which could be adduced by the


« ElőzőTovább »