« ElőzőTovább »
Affecting picture of constancy in love.—CRABBE.
Yes! there are real mourners—I have seen A fair, sad girl, mild, suffering, and serene; Attention (through the day) her duties claimed, And to be useful as resigned she aimed : Neatly she dressed, nor vainly seemed to expect Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect; But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep, She sought her place to meditate and weep. Then to her mind was all the past displayed, That faithful memory brings to sorrow's aid : For then she thought on one regretted youth, Her tender trust, and his unquestioned truth; In every place she wandered, where they'd been And sadly-sacred held the parting scene, Where last for sea he took his leave ;—that place With double interest would she nightly trace. For long the courtship was, and he would say Each time he sailed—this one, and then the dayYet prudence tarried, and when last he went, He drew from pitying love a full consent.
Happy he sailed, and great the care she took,
He called his friend, and prěfaced with a sigh
till death I wore it for her sake :
Yes! I must die-blow on, sweet breeze, blow on!
He had his wish—had more ; I will not paint
Still, long she nursed him ; tender thoughts meantime
One day he lighter seemed, and they forgot
She placed a decent stone his grave above,
She would have grieved, had friends presumed to spare
Here will she come, and on the grave will sit,
Diedrich Knickerbocker's New-England Farmer.-W. IRVING.
The first thought of a Yankee farmer, on coming to the years of manhood, is to settle himself in the world—which means nothing more than to begin his rambles. To this end, he takes to himself for a wife some buxom country heiress, păssing rich in red ribands, glăss beads and mock tortoise-shell combs, with a white gown and morocco shoes for Sunday, and deeply skilled in the mystery of making <pple-sweetmeats, long sauce, and pumpkin pie. Having thus provided himself, like a pedlar, with a heavy knapsack, wherewith to regale his shoulders through the journey of life, he literally sets out on his peregrinations.
His whole family, household furniture, and farming utensils, are hoisted into a covered cart; his own and wife's wardrobe packed up in a firkin-which done, he shoulders his axe, take stăff in his hand, whistles “ Yankee doodle," and trudges off to the woods, as confident of the protection of Providence, and relying as cheerfully on his own resour'ces, as ever did a pātriarch of yore, when he journeyed into a strānge country of the Gèntiles. Having buried himself in the wilderness, he builds himself a log-hut, clear. away a corn-field and potato-patch, and, Providence smil ing upon his labors, he is soon surrounded by a snug farm, and some half a score of flaxen-headed urchins, who, by their size, seem to have sprung all at once out of the earth, like a crop of toadstools.
But it is not the nature of this most indefatigable of speculators to rest contented with any state of sublunary enjoyment: improvement is his darling passion; and having thus improved his lands, the next state is to provide a mansion worthy the residence of a landholder.. A huge palace of pine-boards, immediately springs up in the midst of the wilderness, large enough for a parish church, and furnished with windows of all dimensions ; but so rickety and flimsy withal, that every blåst gives it a fit of the ague. By the time the outside of this mighty air-căstle is completed, either the funds or the zeal of our adventurer are exhausted, so that he barely manages to half finish one room within, where the whole family burrow together, while the rest of the house is devoted to the curing of pumpkins, or storing of carrots and potatoes, and is decorated with fanciful festoons of dried apples and peaches.
The outside remaining unpainted, grows venerably black with time; the family wardrobe is laid under contribution for old hats, petticoats, and breeches to stuff into the broken windows; while the four winds of heaven keep up a whistling and howling about the aërial palace, and play as many unruly gambols as they did of yore in the cave of Æolus. The humble log-hut, which whilom nestled this improving family snugly within its narrow but comfortable walls, stands hard by, ignominious con'trăst! degraded into a cowhouse or pig-sty; and the whole scene reminds one forcibly of a fable, which I am surprised has never been recorded, of an aspiring snail, who abandoned his humble habitation, which he had long filled with great respectability, to crawl into the empty shell of a lobster, where he could no doubt have resided with great style and splendor, the envy and hate of all the pains-taking snails in his neighborhood, had he not accidentally perished with cold in one corner of his stupendous mansion.
Being thus completely settled, and, to use his own words, "to rights,” one would imagine that he would begin to enjoy the comforts of his situation, to read newspapers, to talk politics, něglect his own business, and attend to the affairs of the nation, like a useful or pātriotic citizen ; but now it is that his wayward disposition again begins to operate. He soon grows tired of a spot where there is no longer any room for improvement, sells his farm-his air-căstle, petticoatwindows and all, reloads his cart, shoulders his axe, puts himself at the head of his family, and wanders away in search of new lands, again to fell trees, again to clear cornfields, again to build a shingle-palace, and again to sell off, and wander.
On the dangers of moral sentiment, unaccompanied with active
Of the various appearances of melancholy weakness in youth, none is more general or more fatal to every duty or hope of the christian, than that, where the youthful taste is exalted above the condition in which life is to be passed. The faithful pārent, or the wise instructer of the young, will ever assiduously accommodate the ideas of excellence to the actual circumstances and the probable scenes in which their future years are to be engaged; and every condition of life undoubtedly affords opportunities for the highest excellence of which our nature is susceptible. If, on the other hand, these hours are neglected, --if the fancy of youth be suffered to expand into the regions of visionary perfection,-if compositions, which nourish all these chimerical opinions, are permitted to hold an undue share in the studies of the young,-if, what is far more, no employments of moral labor and intellectual activity are afforded them to correct this progressive indolence, and give strength and energy to their opening minds, there is much dānger that the seeds of irreme'diable evil are sown, and that the future harvest of life will be only feebleness, and contempt, and sorrow.
If, in the first place, it is to the common duties of life they advance, how singularly unprepared are they for their discharge! In all ranks and conditions, these duties are the same ;-every where sācred in the eyes of God and man ;every where requiring activity, and firmness, and perseverance of mind ;—and every where only to be fulfilled by the deep sense of religious obligation. For such scenes, however, of common trial and of universal occurrence, the characters we are considering are ill prepared.—Their habits have given them no energy or activity ;—their studies have enlightened their imaginations, but not warmed their hearts ;—their anticipations of action have been upon a romantic theatre, not upon the humble dust of mortal life.
It is the fine-drawn scenes of visionary distress to which they have been accustomed, not the plain circumstances of common wretchedness.—It is the momentary exertions of generosity or greatness which have elevated their fancy, not the long and patient struggle of pious duty. It is before