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ble or imposing? Our primary schools are numerous, each professing to have its own system, but we have no uniformity, no one standard, no aim in our education. A system of drilling, such as prevails at Harrow, in England, is not practised in this country. How many of our graduated youths could compose Latin verses such as are found in the ‘Arundines ?' On the score of quantity of words, we imagine that work will bear a pretty rigid scrutiny. Yet this particular, to transgress in which is considered a grievous sin among English scholars, is almost wholly disregarded among us. There are scarcely any scholars at our universities, who, as regards quantity, could read a single passage in an ancient author without outrage to the most unscrupulous ears.* We believe that we are stating nothing more than the truth on this subject. We know it from personal observation, and regret that it is so, only hoping that the time may not be far distant when candor may be enabled to render a better verdict. There are too few among us who pursue learning for its own sake. But perhaps the cause for this is to be sought in the peculiar stage of advancement to which we are arrived. The nation, as such, is poor, and the whole energy of the people is naturally bent on the development of the great resources of the country, and, true to their English origin, on the promotion of individual weal. Arts and the refinement of letters are secondary, and riches and all luxury but the representatives of so much mortal toil. Wealth is accumulated first, and then, overflowing, it summons to its aid the resources of genius, and delights in the treasures of art. But until it waves its magical wand, the Muses are found in a sacred privacy. Men live in their unadorned dwellings. There are few among them to give the language of Fancy utterance, to embody in enduring forms the delicate creations of an old mythology, whose essence was a passion for the Beautiful, the very religion of the Greeks. Where shall we look for the three forms of Art, which are, in fact, one, and may be comprised under the name of Poet? For the marble and the canvas are creative, and eloquent as

thoughts that breathe,' or words that burn. But as yet few worship art. There is no Claude to diffuse his delicious tints over the canvas; no artist to sculpture the lovely Venus from the stone; no genius to upheave the dome which makes infinity comprehensible; no Angelo to hang the Pantheon in air. A few ages pass away, and sordid gain has amassed its treasures, when, sinking into its despised grave, it leaves the legacy of tears and toil to others. But a new race has arisen, not born to labor. Witness then the transfusion of the gold. Wealth speaks the word, and whatever we choose to imagine is accomplished. Nature and Art submit to the allegiance of Taste. The very fields are regulated in their wild luxuriance, and the landscape is neat with culture. Painting, sculpture, architecture, embellish the splendid cities. Music breathes voluptuously. The theatre reflects the manners of the age, which a higher education polishes. The lofty mansion bespeaks pride. Lines of ancestors are on the walls. It may be a very museuin, where Art has collected her most precious gems; every nook contains some triumph, and every niche a master-piece. The humane letters indeed may flourish under every discouragement. Penury and cold neglect cannot make the genius dim which struggles to shine. But every congenial element must be brought to bear to raise up a body of learned men, and to make the seats of learning rival those of old renown. In the mean time let us as far as possible correct what is deficient, and plant the seeds at least of good systems, in hopes that time shall develop their fruits, and that the treasures which are now attainable by a few, may be diffused among the many.

* COLUMBIA COLLEGE, in New York, forms, as we believe, a solitary exception to the above reinarks.

THE WISS A HICON.

A REMINISCENOE: FROM TIE PORTFOLIO OF A VOYAGER.

SWEET WISSAHICON! dear romantic stream!
Try sight recalls my boyhood's happy dream,
And from the fount of Memory once more
I quaff the freshness of those days of yore;
Bright days of innocence and gushing joy,
When Pleasure smiled without the world's alloy,
When not a cloud obscured life's sunny sky,
And HOPE, bright Hope, illumed futurity.

'T was then, with springy step and laughing brow,
I sought thy shades, as blithe and gay as thou ;
'T was then I loved to roam thy grassy side,
And view thy crystal waters downward glide,
That now run deeply through their rocky bed,
Now in one mirror'd basin widely spread,
And now o'er babbling rapids dance away,
Or dash o'er beauteous falls, in dazzling spray.

Dear to my heart was then the varied scene
Of hills and rocks, and banks of smiling green,
Of shady wood and deep majestic grove,
Where Nature's works I first began to love.
And though all changed, thou still to me art dear,
For fond associations linger here;
And as sweet Memory weaves her silken chain,
I call to mind those happy days again,
When from thy stream, with thrill of pure delight,
I drew the perch, all writhing, silvery bright;
Launch'd the light skiff from off thy pebbly shore,
And o'er thy mirror'd bosom plied the oar;
Or on thy turf, in many an artless play,
The gilded hours, unnumber'd, sped away.

In genial Spring I early sought thy shades,
Roam'd o'er thy hills, and wander'd through thy glades;
Pluck'd the first flower with perfumed petals gay,
That oped its bosom to the orb of day,
And paused to hear the merry songster's lays,
That welcomed back once more the sunny days:

And oft I loved, at Summer's eventide,
To come alone, and wander by thy side,
When sombre twilight shed her mystic veil
O'er wood and bower and stream, o'er hill and dale ;
When echoing shouts along thy grassy shore,
And joyous laughter's sounds were heard no more:
When the blithe songster sought his airy nest,
And all the sounds of life had sunk to rest.

And when at last dark Autumn's hour drew near,
With change prophetic of the dying year,
I loved thy forest in its coat of brown;
I loved to view the leaf that rustled down,
To watch the changing tints from day to day,
Till dreary Winter snatch'd each charm away,
And e'en to hear the voices of the breeze,
That mournful sigh'd among the leafless trees.

Where'er around my wandering eyes are cast,
Some relic greets me of the cherish'd past:
This crystal spring, fit emblem of the time
When innocence and purity were mine,
Suill gayly bubbles from its pebbly bed,
Though many a long and weary year has fled
Since, when a boy, upon its mossy brink,
With eager thirst I stoop'd me down to drink.

Here is the oak, beneath whose spreading shade,
In sportive pranks and artless games, I play'd !
Like some true friend, that absence cannot change,
Nor time nor distance in the least estrange,
It seems to streich its brawny arms with joy,
To welcome back once more the wandering boy.
Still, still I view, upon its rugged frame,
The marks of many a well-remember'd name,
That youthful friendship once with ardor traced,
But which the hand of Time has quite defaced ;
And still among its glossy leaves I hear
The breezy voice that charm'd my boyish ear,
As, 'neath its shade reposing, oft I lay,
And idly dream'd the sultry hours away.

Ah! even now, as pensive Memory strays,
With fond delight, to those long-vanish'd days,
Sweet o'er my senses steals the fancied sound
Of youthful footsteps from each grove around;
While, on the bosom of the evening breeze,
Methinks is wafted from yon clump of trees
The 'shout, the laugh, the joyous loud halloo
Of friends beloved, that once my boyhood knew.
But ah! 't is fancy! Here again no more
Those friends shall greet me as they did of yore!
No more, disporting on this smiling green,
Shall we together all again be seen.
Relentless Time, whose course no power can stay,
With rapid flight has wing'd our youth away;
And on the bosom of its mighty tide,
In all the strength of manhood, now we glide,
Far from the pleasures of this quiet spot,
Whose early friendships have been long forgot.

Changed art thou, Wissahicon! since the hours
I gayly sported mid thy shady bowers.
Then lovely Nature o'er the beauteous scene,
In calm and solemn stillness, reign'd supreme,
And scarce a sound broke on the wakeful ear,
Save wild-bird's note, thy solitude to cheer.
But now, the noisy mill, the hammer's sound,
The axe's stroke, from every side resound;
Houses appear between the straggling trees,
And busy footsteps float on every breeze.

And must the lingering charms that still remain
Fade one by one before Improvement's train?
Must these long groves, these woods of beauteous oak,
Bow down to dust before the woodman's stroke,
And every view that warm'd each feeling heart
Be sullied over by the hand of Art ?
Stay, stay, 0 man! thy sacrilegious hand,
And blot not out the beauties of the land !

Stay, if thou canst, Improvement's ruthless sway,
Ere each remaining charm be swept away,
And sacred let this cherish'd spot remain
To Nature's lovely, solitary reign :
Then 'neath her kindly hand shall quickly fade
Th' unsightly blemishes that Art has made;
Then in these bowers the wood-bird's note once more
Shall sound as sweetly as it did of yore,
And artless childhood shall again be seen
In many a pastime sporting o'er thy green;
While youthful lovers in the shady grove
Shall breathe their vows of constancy and love.

Sweet Wissahicon! swiftly fades the day,
And evening's shadows bid me haste away.
Farewell, farewell! and should I come no more,
To roam thy hills, or wander by thy shore,
Full oft to fancy's eye shall reäppear
These lovely haunts, still to this bosom dear;
And Memory's chords shall then responsive sing
Of those bright days when life was in its spring.

And when these eyes are dim, this hair is gray,
And life's brief hour is hastening swift away,
My lips shall say to each inquiring friend,
Who fondly v'er this sinking form may bend:
“Oh! place my ashes by that beauteous stream,
Where once I roam'd in boyhood's sunny dream;
That on my breast may rest the self-same sod
In those bright hours I oft so gayly trod;
That o'er me still may wave the ancient tree
Whose spreading boughs so oft have shelter'd me;
Where many a bird, through each succeeding spring,
May tune its throat my requiem to sing,
And the bright waters, sweetly warbling by,

Shall join to swell the pleasing symphony.
United States' Ship North-Carolina, April, 1851.

R, TM VOL. XXXVIII.

A SKETCH OF G ULF-SERVICE.

BY THE WANDERER.

It was a lovely morning in the month of March; not that cold, bleak, rainy March, which chills the bones of the dweller in higher latitudes, but the March of the Gulf of Mexico, interspersed indeed with icy northers,' but between them the air is of that delightful temperature which sometimes blesses the Manhattaner in the latter part of April and early part of May; being neither too hot nor too cold.

Our stately vessel was anchored off Tuxpan river, about nine miles from shore, under the lee of the rees that would defend it in bad weather from the force of the sea, which during storms rolls in with great violence, gathering strength as it comes along the whole extended surface of the widest part of the Gulf, and wastes its fury in snow-capped billows on the coral reefs that rise to arrest its progress.

Old father Sol had just shown his smiling head about a handspike high in the eastern horizon, and threw a golden streak of sunshine over the waters that now lay tranquil as a sleeping infant, as if to form a pathway by which we might pass from the ship to the footstool of his resplendent majesty. A light breeze scarce ruffled the face of the ocean, as if the zephyr wished to greet old Neptune with a morning kiss; but the lazy fellow was so locked in slumbers that he scarce felt the chaste salute.

The officer of the watch sauntered up and down the holy-stoned deck, whose snowy whiteness seemed almost insulted by the touch of his négligé high-lows. The sentry at the captain's door reports six bells, and in a moment the echoes of the gun-deck are awoke by the measured sound of the old brazen-tongued time-teller. “Messenger-boy, tell the boatswain to call away the barge and second cutter.' 'Ay, ay, Sir;'and now are heard the merry notes of the pipe as it peals thrillingly on the air. 'Away there, barges, away! Away there, second cutters, away!' Each boatswain's mate in turn, or rather in tune, takes up the burden of the song : ‘Away there, barges, away! Away there, second cutters, away!' Quick at the word, the well-disciplined crews fly to the gangway and descend to their respective boats, which have been hauled alongside the accommodationladder by their keepers. “Pass those arms into the boats !' 'Ay, ay, Sir !' and a musket, cutlass and pair of pistols for each man were handed down the side.

In a few minutes we all had taken our seats in the stern-sheets, armed in like manner with the men, save the musket, which was exchanged for a short carbine that loaded at the breech, and thus was rendered much more convenient for service, not needing the use of the ramrod for sending the charge home. Shove off,' says the captain, and now, the word given, the oars, that had been held erect with their blades pointing to heaven, fell all at once splashing into the quiet waters, and threw the drops, rainbow-dyed, high into the air. “Give way!' cries the coxswain ;

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