« AnteriorContinuar »
that the proposed and needful change took far exceeds any other pleasure. It leaves a place at Christmas.* We had so much to goodly savor behind it. Selfishness must not, prattle about at this season-so much of cannot intrude at such seasons. Beholding the interesting to communicate in the matter our friends happy, their hearts warm, their of social reunions, and the annual renewals of countenances radiant with delight; and those affectionate feelings of love and friend whilst listening to the joyous sounds of ship which do such honor and service to merriment proceeding from their innocent humanity. Well is it for us, that “ Fashion"- children-we behold a sight, and hear sounds, the universal tyrant, has not swept away this which we cannot but rejoice in. May the annual custom of meeting together, as well time never arrive that shall see us differently as so many other of the wholesome ob-minded! servances of life!
Whilst very many thousands have been so There is a great deal of rust contracted on enjoying themselves, it will hardly be imathe human heart, in the course of a single gined that we have stood out. Oh no! year-ave, in the course of a few short months. Familiarly and pleasingly known as “OUR Absence very often produces a cruel coldness EDITOR," we have dropped in here, there, amongst those who ought to be the best of everywhere--a welcome, privileged friend.. friends; and this coldness of feeling too often We were an invalid too; and, on that account, grows into something worse than indifference. | the more "interesting!” Then, people will get fancying all sorts of Christmas Day was, of course, our “first silly things: nor does ill-nature slumber appearance this season." On that happy ander such circumstances. Many a sly hint day we were enrolled-Self & Co.-among will be thrown out by a venomous tongue,
the members of a numerous "happy family." interested in spreading dissension, that will / We passed the day as it ought to be passedkeep the choicest of friends at variance. in amity, friendship, love, and unity. We However, « Time works wonders.” The never tell tales; but we may relate, in con season for friendly meetings again comes
fidence, that the “good old customs” were round. Invitations are given and accepted. rigidly and properly kept up. One arch Old acquaintances meet; the band is offered | face-we will not say how many more arch and taken-ave, shaken too! Doubts are faces followed the good example--slyly cleared up; the heart expands under Nature's drawing us beneath warmth, and all are happy"--as they should " The blossom that hangs on the bough,” be. Nature! how we love thee !
playfully remarked, “Our Editor, being Well, all that we have been talking about invisible, * is nobody!" The arch face, with has already taken place. Friends have em- a pretty mouth, then whispered somethingbraced, laughed, danced, sung, played, and oh, how sweet l-in our ear; and as we sighed made merry. Youth and age have melted out,-" Take heed, — whisper low!" the into one. The follies of fashion have, among / lisp died softly away in the distance. the sensible, dwindled away; and Nature has “ Sweet seventeen!” (-aye, and “ Sweet reigned triumphant amongst her children. twenty-one !") how we love thee! Long Thus has the New Year come in, radiant may innocence like thine live to greet us with smiles. The glorious sun heralded in annually ; long may we live to go through the 1st of January, 1853. We saw his face the same pleasing ceremonies of the season with delight. It was but a glimpse, truly ; ) with theel So treated, we will remain "nobut that glimpse shadowed forth a host of body" allour life. We never can grow" old." “ promises ” now in course of daily fulfil-! We have, no doubt, here touched a chord ment.
that will awaken in other breasts besides Now let us improve these few opening ob. ours, many a pleasing reminiscence of Christservations on the season. Let each one of mas'1852-3. us boldly ask himself—if his heart does not! We are all children at such times, and feel all the lighter for the share he has taken ought to be so. It is Nature's gentle law, in promoting the happiness of others? And and must be obeyed. Thus do our minds the beauty of it is, the pleasure of pleasing become unbent, our best feelings expanded:
and thus are all the avenues opened which * We have before mentioned ( see our SECOND lead to kind, friendly, and affectionate soVOLUME, passim), “why " we have been con- licitude, one for the other. strained to convert Our JOURNAL into a MONTHLY PRUDERY must never dare show her ugly Periodical. The booksellers refused to procure it deformed features at holiday times. No! in its weekly form ; and the complaints we re- No! We will have none of her detestable ceived from all parts of the country in consequence, have left us no alternative. The tender mercies of a bookseller are indeed cruel! Their * Hereby hangs a curious tale. Our invisible community stand unenviably “alone" in their cloak, and its mysterious properties, will be found feelings of envy and hard-heartedness.
duly chronicled in our first volume, page 104.
heresies introduced amongst Nature's children. son living who is at once blind, deaf, and Her ladyship claims to rule, in her own sweet dumb. The deaf and dumb can learn by way, once a year at least ; and insists in seeing; and the blind by hearing, -but Laura putting us in the right way, whether we can learn in no such way. She can only learn continue to walk in it or not. She hates the by the sense of touch alone ! Strange as it may superficial and the artificial as much as we appear, she has been taught not only to condo. Oh that we could, between us, banish verse freely, but to write. This has been them for ever!
accomplished by the sense of touch alone. The curtain must here fall. Papas and How did she learn her letters? How was the mammas, boys and girls, young and old, first idea communicated to her? As we grave and gay-all have met to keep Nature's entered the room, she was in earnest converholiday, and to rejoice together in love.sation with her blind companion. The blind Sight-seeing is at an end. The vacation is girl could hear our approach, but Laura litenearly over. The last boy is now “due" at rally “turned a deaf ear" to us. school. Whilst we write, * Black Monday" | While viewing the two, we almost envied is frowning on our young friends, and duty the condition of the blind girl, in contrast is beckoning them away from pleasure. with the night of night in which poor Laura
Well; they have had their treat, and must was encompassed. Laura could speak to now away to improve their minds. We will, others by the motion of her fingers, like the in their absence, try and prepare something deaf and dumb spelling out every word. But to "assist" in this, against their return. The while she could speak to others in this way, seasons will soon roll over ; then will they no one by similar motions could speak to again assemble to give a loose to the dictates her. She could not see the motion of their of honest Nature.
hands. In speaking to her, the motion of May God bless our rising youth! say we; the fingers had to be made inside of her and as we grow older, may we contrive--if | hand. She could then understand their mean: possible, to grow more patural !
ing. Laura and the blind girl both conversed
in this way. On the desk, before Laura, lay THE BLESSING OF SIGHT AND HEARING. a piec
a piece of grooved tin, with a slip of paper. I
asked if she would write her name for me; The following graphic sketch appears in
as I should prize it as a choice memento. the “ Boston Transcript." There is a vein
She complied cheerfully, after learning the of feeling in it, which we wish to impress
request through her teacher. She placed upon the mind of every reader. How little
the paper on the grooved tin, measuring the do we value our gifts, until by comparison
distance from the side; and wrote in plain
round letters—“ LAURA BRIDGMAN TO Dr. we are brought to reflection ! A few days since, says Dr. C., the narrator,
| C.” She guided her pencil with the left hand, I paid a visit, by invitation, with a friend, to
| in the grooves of the tin. the “ Blind Institution" at South Boston,
Poor Laura ! Heaven grant that the darkwhere I had an opportunity of seeing Laura
ness which now surrounds you, may end in Bridginan. Although much has been written
this life! There is a kind Providence, whose about this interesting young lady, yet I am
care is over even the most obscure creature, inclined to believe that her actual condition
and in time will compensate and rectify all is not generally well understood. The Blind
wrongs. There is no blindness or deafness Institution has long been established, and is
| in Heaven. “ There the eyes of the blind
11 now under the superintendence of Dr. Howe,
shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf una man whose intelligence and humanity ad? stopped.” On leaving the Blind Institution. mirably fit him or the situation.
I trust I had a more truthful sense of the Laura is blind, deaf, and dumb. She can
blessings of sight and hearing, and of the neither hear, see, nor speak ! I had somehow
corresponding obligations they impose. formed an opinion that she was a little girl,
Laura Bridgman is considered by those who but I learned that she was 22 years of age,
know her condition and her attainments, as although she appeared not above 16 or 18.
the highest object of interest in the world, Her features are regular-an oval face,
Let those who indulge in complaints at the with a very pleasing expression of counte
| disappointments and disadvantages they nance. Her head is what phrenologists
suffer in life, only think of LAURA BRIDGwould call "finely balanced”-the moral and
MAN! intellectual predominating. Her demeanor was lady-like, and attractive. One would
THE NEW not suppose she ever entertained a thought that
YEAR.-Every first of January
ght that we arrive at, is an imaginary milestone in of sadness, from her appearance.
the track of human life; at once a resting-place The mode of communicating intelligence for thought and meditation, and a starting point to her, is entirely different from that of any for fresh exertions in the performance of our other human being-she being the only per- | journey.
LITTLE KINDNESSES. close of the year,—despairing, perhaps, lest,
| after all, our enterprise should fall to the As welcome as sunshine
ground. When, however, we found ourself In every place. Is the beaming approach
such a general object of regard, and exOf a good-natur'd face.
perienced such overwhelming and convincing As genial as sunshine,
proofs that our JOURNAL had so won its Like warmth to impart,
way to favor,-creeping into the very hearts Is a good-natur'd deed From a good-natur'd heart.
of our readers, we took fresh courage, and
| feel at the present time that there are those UNDER THE HEADING of “Little Kind
| interested in our success who will never nesses," we ventured a few seasonable remarks
slumber nor sleep till we are placed beyond at the close of our last year's volume. Little
the reach of danger.
We have labored hard—very hard, to did we imagine, whilst penning those remarks, that so many of our readers were in the pos
create a brotherly and a sisterly feeling session of our thoughts, and that we shared
among mankind generally. It has indeed those thoughts in common! Sympathy is
been up-hill work! Our three-halfpenny indeed indescribable,-in its fountain and in
readers positively derided us for our sentiits streams.
ments, and withdrew from our standard. It We are under obligations innumerable,-
was “natural," perhaps-yet rather unkind. albeit they are pleasing obligations, to the
But let it pass. many kind individuals who have not let the
Our present body guard are of a very season of Christmas pass by without assisting.
different order. They tell us, frankly, they most liberally, in the decoration of our table;
could not expect us to write, nor could they and in substantially providing us with regal
be satisfied to read anything we had written, fare to keep up the prevailing festivities with
| unless they knew that we were, at all events, all due honor.
protected from actual loss. This is manly, From all parts of the country, testimonials
| fair, and just. We love such sentiments. of gratitude for little services professionally
The year 1852 has not passed without rendered by us, have flowed in like a river. I
like a river affording us many opportunities for noticing We name this under a general head, in order
how much real good may be effected by that one tribute of thankful acknowledgment
| kindness,--and that, in a multitude of little may be accorded to all. We never could
ways. The hollowness of the world we live make a speech“ under such circumstances ;"
in," deadens those latent feelings that only and we shall most assuredly not attempt to
want a fitting occasion to show themselves;and do so now.
people, naturally kind, loving, and sociable, are Among the assembled offerings was "one." | by circumstances rendered too often callous, most delicately conveyed. It reached us
indifferent, and morose. They find no echo to just before Christinas. It was franked
their own sentiments, become misanthropical, throughout, and forwarded anonymously. On
" and turn their backs upon society with a sheet of paper, in a most loveable hand
disgust. These are the people after whom writing, were penned these words:--"For the
we seek. We have picked up many of them Editor. From a grateful friend-wishing
already, and they have become polished jewels. the Editor and his family a merry Christmas
More,-many more, we trust, are yet to be and a happy New Year.' The“ present” was
found. Our pen shall search them out. a noble, snow-white bird, sacred to Christmas,
Kindness begets kindness, and sincerity of weighing some eighteen pounds. A neat
heart creates love. Love, when once born, label notified that it had ceased to live, three
never dies. We have set ourselves a task to days previously; and a ticket showed that it
prove this. We will prove it, if we live. had travelled on the Southampton Railway. This offering of gratitude delighted us. The JOY,-EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL. bird was not packed in the usual way. It had evidently occupied some little time in He who, to the best of his power, has secured its preparation. It was placed (so neatly!) the final stake, has a fons perennis (a perpetual in a rush basket; and the sewing, it needed | fount) of joy within him. He is satisfied from no prophet to tell us, was leisurely performed himself. They, his reverse, borrow all froin by a little hand which felt a secret pleasure wi every tiine the needle was inserted and with
Joy, wholly from without, is false, precarious, drawn. We repeat we know not the donor;
| and short. From without, it may be gathered ;
| but, like gathered flowers, though fair and sweet but we rejoice in feeling that we are remembered by one," with whom time, perhaps, offensive.
for a scason, it must soon wither and become will make us better acquainted. A tribute Joy, from within, is like smelling the rose on thus paid can never be forgotten,-it were the tree. It is more sweet and fair. It is lasting; impossible.
and I must add, it is IMMORTAL. We were becoming melancholy at the
are not; to show them that happiness does
not consist in selfishness; and that true charity, When thou hast done a good deed, do not show if sought after, can readily be found. We It with thy finger, neither let it be
want to crush false pride wherever it inhabits, Profaned: else it will come back unto thee
and to cement a bond of brotherly and sisterly Like to a handled flower, where the glow
love between those who now see no beauty Of hue and sweetness of the perfume no More dwells. Upon God's altar, with all the
in such a union. We want to establish First freshness on it, place it; and then HE
common honesty among us; a reign of Will make its perfume everlasting, 80
kindness instead of a reign of terror. We "Twill be a joy for aye. There are but two
desire to do away with a mass of the cool To whom it matters that thy deeds be known calculation that now exists amongst us as to God and thyself. And if to these alone
“what we can get" by doing offices of soThey be so, then rejoice thereat; for you
called kindness. In fact, we want to reThus know them to be good deeils, in the true generate the human heart. And sublime sense-true, like thy father's own!
Should it be urged that this is an impossibility, - we admit that it is so, to a
certain extent. Yet have we evidence in “Our Sunrual" and the Publir.
our possession, that we have not labored in
vain touching this matter. For twelve As IT IS NOW SOME FIFTY-SIX WEEKS months has our pen been unceasingly occusince we put forth a Prospectus of the pied in the endeavor to accomplish what nature and objects of this Paper, it may be we now profess to be our aim. During that as well, for the benefit of new readers, briefly period, our correspondence from all parts of to re-state them.
| the world has been immense,--more parLet it be borne in mind then, imprimis, ticularly during the latter quarter of the that OUR JOURNAL is a Journal of Nature. | past year, We avowedly eschew all that is artificial;! Among this correspondence are letters, we lay bare the wretched hypocrisy that so whose value we can never sufficiently apuniversally prevails in society; and we call | preciate. Entering fully into our views, and all things by their proper names. We regard fathoming our heart, the writers of these life, not as a mere puppet to be played with letters have not hesitated to tell us the large as we will, but as a “reality”-involving amount of good we have already done, in considerations of the deepest interest here certain quarters; and they urge us to perand hereafter. Thus viewed, it possesses a severe with increased energy in the noble new interest altogether.
work we have undertaken." This it is that We are a grovelling nation, for the most has kept us so unflinchingly to our self-impart. Our lives are sacrificed in the vain posed task; and that has induced us not to pursuit of wealth. It is the only God that give up all as lost, without a further effort. we “worship.” When we get it, it hardens We have found out, that there is many a our heart ; and whilst we seek it, we neglect heart seeking,-aye, pining, for feelings in most of the kind offices of life. “In the unison with its own; but which, for lack of midst of life we are in death," and know it opportunity, it has never been able to fall in not. Neither care we for it. Here is a with. These hearts-not a few, have sought daguerreotyped picture of humanity! True and found a resting place, a harbour of to the letter, nevertheless. Well might refuge, in our heart. There they have livedWORDSWORTH say :-
do live, and will live, whilst we are an inThe world is too much with us!
habitant of this lower world. This is one of
Late and soon, the « rewards" we claim for our labor of Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers. Little we see in Nature that is ours,
love. We have giv'n our hearts away, a sordid boon!
| The other main objects of OUR JOURNAL
are-harmless amusement, blended with solid Whatever progress we may make in the popular instruction; and an inter-communi. mechanical arts, it is quite clear that, in cation of ideas between ourselves and the these matters, we remain totally unchanged. Public, connected with Natural History and Nay, we retrograde. Let us reform this matters of every-day life. altogether!
This renders our Miscellany an amusing We seek to unite, and make of one mind, one for the time being; and stamps a lasting all who have hitherto prided themselves on value on it as a work of reference on Natural rigid exclusiveness. We want to establish History, and Things in General. the fact, that we are, or rather ought to be, Our two First Volumes are still in print; to a certain extent, all of one family,--con- and we are well contented to let them speak nected by one object; and that object, love to for us in the absence of a longer prospectus. God and to each other. We.labor hard to “Deeds, not words," is our motto; and it is make people what they " seem to be," but one which is now very generally received.
SOMETHING" SEASONABLE.” “A glorious month indeed, maids, this is !
It brings you scores and scores of kisses,
For always, when the sun comes there,*
Valentine's Day is drawing near;
And both the men and maids incline
To choose them each a Valentine. While “doubt" remains where Love shall fix bis Should a man get the one he loves, throne !
He gives her first a pair of gloves;
And entre nous, to seal his bliss, IT SEEMS BUT AS YESTERDAY, that we sat He crowns the favor with a kiss. down to pen a few random thoughts on this The kiss begets more love-and then most interesting day; and yet have very That love begets a kiss again; nearly twelve months passed over our heads Until the man this trade doth catch, since our expressed thoughts went forth to And then he does propose the match. the world.* So very quickly does the time The maid is “willing ” tho' she's shy, slip away when the mind is fully occupied !
She gives her swain this soft reply : The importance of St. Valentine's Day no
“I'll not decide one thing or other
Until I first consult my mother!" person attempts to dispute. Birds and
When she says so, 'tis half a grant, animals, lads and lasses, young people and
And may be taken for ' consent.' old people, rich and poor, gentle and simple, -all seem to regard the day as an eventful
Just so, good Robin. Only get the ear of one in the Calendar. As for the poor post
your “heart's idol” to listen to you. Your men-those shamefully ill-paid, but best of
words will quickly sink into her heart; and men, their legs know. little rest from
her “wish " will be her mother's “law."
* morning till night. So laden are they with
Never go one step, say we, without the "heavy "messages of love, and borne down
consent of the mother. Her blessing is above by “pictures" of the wooed and the wooing;
all. This is a remark by the way. some very like-a whale!
We are inclined favorably towards the A tolerable idea may be formed of the
ed of the little displays made on this memorable day, extent of adoration lavished by the worship
inasmuch as they are for the most part purely pers at the shrine of St. Valentine, on the
| harmless. The ideas are, with a few excepobjects of their heart, when we state a little
itions, cut and dried. They are not the irrestatistical fact in connection with the 14th pressible bursts of passion, made by a heart day of last February. Up to five o'clock,
1 * full to o'erflowing." No! The “sentip.m., 200,000 letters over and above the
ments" are prepared in a garret by some ordinary daily average, had passed through P.
poor author, or disappointed suitor, perhaps ; the Post Office in St. Martin's-le-Grand and disposed of by him to the printers of This was for London alone; and the net
these literary curiosities. They have then profit was nearly £1,500. When we come to
to be wedded to certain symbolic designs, calculate further the quantity of ink, paper,
and invested with a dignity meant to strike wax, and pens used, and also the cost of the
| deep into the heart. We will not attempt “Devices," &c., we imagine the revenue
to turn such poetical effusions into contempt.
| Oh no! Let them go forth with their speakmust feel grateful to the “good saint" for his patronage.
ing voices; led by rosy-faced Cupids, armed The “pairing of birds” is said to com
with majestically-mischievous "bows and mence on this day; and many bird-fanciers
glittering arrows, and attended with the make their preparations in consequence. It
Haming torches of Hymen-chariots of love, is not for us to debate upon the policy of
& crowned with roses, and drawn by sylphs, such a step, at a time like this; at all events, 1"
be flying ethereally towards the altar. the birds are not allowed to have all the love
1.There is a pretty considerable trade done in to themselves. The example they set, is
these elaborated missives of love. No sooner thought good enough to be followed by their
has the new year dawned upon us, than young masters and mistresses. Accordingly,
“ Valentines" greet us in multitudes, in nearly we find the day ushered in with an amount
every successive window of the shops of of pleasing curiosity, and harmless excite
London and the suburbs. How we do delight ment, perfectly indescribable. Poor Robin
in halting now and then, to fathom the hearts says, in his Almanac for 1557, “ Term is no
me of the many pretty, innocent faces, that we sooner out, than in comes Valentine, to trade behold gazing into those same shop windows! in sweethearts. Then the maids look out
Nor will we affirm that we have not made a sharp to have him for a Valentine (if pos
viva voce observation more than once, that sible) whom they could inwardly incline to
has called forth a bewitching smile from the choose for a husband.” He adds :
rosy lips, parted by a row of ivory, which belonged to the fair creature we have been
addressing. * See our article on " St. Valentine's Day," in Volume 1, of OUR JOURNAL, page 97.
* The sun this month enters into “ Pisces.”