Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

But here they come, the genuine alted the moral standard of mankind, benefactors of their race. Some have we will choose for his companion some wandered about the earth, with pic. poor laborer, who has wrought for love tures of bliss in their imagination, and in the potatoe-field of a neighbor poorwith hearts that shrank sensitively er than himself. from the idea of pain and woe, yet We have summoned this various have studied all varieties of misery multitude—and, to the credit of our that human nature can endure. The nature, it is a large one-on the principrison, the insane asylum, the squalid ple of Love. It is singular, neverihechambers of the alms-house, the manu- less, to remark the shyness that exists factory where the demon of machi- among many members of the present nery annihilates the human soul, and class, all of whom we might expect to the cotton-field where God's image recognize one another by the free-mabecomes a beast of burthen; to these, sonry of mutual goodness, and to emand every other scene where man brace like brethren, giving God thanks wrongs or neglects his brother, the for such various specimens of human aposiles of humanity have penetrated. excellence. But it is far otherwise. This missionary, black with India's Each sect surrounds its own righteousburning sunshine, shall give his arm ness with a hedge of thorns. It is to a pale-faced brother who has made difficult for the good Christian to achimsell familiar with the intected al knowledge the good Pagan; almost leys and loathsome haunts of vice, in impossible for the good Orthodox to one of our own cities. The generous grasp the hand of the good Unitarian, founder of a college shall be the part, leaving to their Creator to settle the ner of a maiden lady, of narrow sub- matters in dispute, and giving their mustance, one of whose good deeds it has tual efforts strongly and trustingly to been, to gather a little school of orphan whatever right thing is too evident to children. If the mighty merchant be mistaken. Then again, though the whose benefactions are reckoned by heart be large, yet the mind is often of thousands of dollars, deem himself such moderale dimensions as to be exworthy, let him join the procession clusively filled up with one idea. When with her whose love has proved itself a good man bas long devoted himself to by watchings at the sick-bed, and all a particular kind of beneficence—to one those lowly offices which bring her species of reform--he is apt to become into actual contact with disease and narrowed into the limits of the path wretchedoess. And with those whose wherein he treads, and to fancy that impulses have guided them to benevo- there is no other good to be done on leni actions, we will rank others, 10 earth but that self-same good 10 which whom Providence has assigned a dif- he has put his hand, and in the very ferent tendency and different powers. mode that best suits his own concepMen who have spent their lives in tions. All else is worthless; his generous and holy contemplation for scheme must be wrought out by the the human race; those who, by a united sirength of the whole world's certain heavenliness of spirit, have pu- stock of love, or the world is no longer rified the atmosphere around them, worthy of a position in the universe. and thus supplied a medium in which Moreover, powerful Truth, being the good and high ihings may be projected rich grape-juice expressed from the and performed, -give to these a lofiy vineyard of ihe ages, has an intoxicatplace among the benefactors of man- ing quality, when imbibed by any save kind, although no deed, such as the a powerful intellect, and often, as it world calls deeds, may be recorded of were, impels the quaffer to quarrel in them. There are some individuals, of his cups. For such reasons, strange whom we cannot conceive it proper to say, it is harder to contrive a friendly that they should apply their hands to arrangement of these brethren of love any earthly instrument, or work out and righteousness, in the procession of any definite act; and others, perhaps life, than to unite even the wicked, not less high, to whom it is an essen- who, indeed, are chained together by tial attribute to labor, in body as well as their crimes. The fact is too preposspirit, for the welfare of their brethren. terous for tears, 100 lugubrious for Thus, if we find a spiritual sage, whose laughter. unseen, inestimable influence has ex But, let good men push and elbow

a

one another as they may, during their Perchance the two species of unfortuearthly march, all will be peace among nates may comfort one another. Here them when the honorable array of their are Quakers with the instinct of battle procession shall tread on heavenly in them; and men of war who should ground. There they will doubtless have worn the broad-brim. Authors find, that they have been working shall be ranked here, whom some freak each for the other's cause, and that of Nature, inaking game of her poor every well-delivered stroke, which, children, has imbued with the confiwith an honest purpose, any mortal dence of genius, and strong desire of struck, even for narrow object, fame, but has favored with no correswas indeed stricken for the universal ponding power; and others, whose lofty cause of good. Their own view may gifts were unaccompanied with the be bounded by country, creed, profes- faculiy of expression, or any of that sion, the diversities of individual cha- earthly machinery, by which ethereal racter--but above them all is the endowments must be manifested to breadth of Providence. How many, mankind. All these, therefore, are mel. who have deemed themselves antago- ancholy laughing-stocks. Next, here nists, will smile hereafter, when they are honest and well-intentioned perlook back upon the world's wide har. sons, who, by a want of tact- by inacvest field, and perceive that, in uncon curate perceptions-by a distorting scious brotherhood, they were helping imagination-have been kept continuto bind the self-same sheaf!

ally at cross-purposes with ihe world, But, come!., The sun is hastening and bewildered upon the path of life. westward, while the march of human Let us see, if they can confine themlife, that never paused before, is delayed selves within the line of our procession. by our attempi to re-arrange its order. In this class, likewise, we must assign It is desirable to find some comprehen- places to those who have encountered sive principle, that shall render our task that worst of ill-success, a higher foreasier by bringing thousands into the tune than their abilities could vindi. ranks, where hitherto we have brought cate; writers, actors, painters, the pets one. Therefore let the trumpet, if pos- of a day, but whose laurels wither sible, split its brazen throat with a unrenewed anid their hoary hair; polilouder note than ever, and the herald ticians, whom some malicious continsummon all mortals who, from what. gency of affairs has thrust into conspiever cause, have lost, or never found, cuous station, where, while the world their proper places in the world. stands gazing at them, the dreary con

Obedient to this call, a great multi- sciousness of imbecility makes them tude come together, most of them with curse their birih-hour. To such men, a listless gait, betokening weariness of we give for a companion him whose soul, yet with a gleam of satisfaction in rare talents, which perhaps require a their faces, at the prospect of at length revolution for their exercise, are buried reaching those suitable positions which, in the tomb of sluggish circumstances. hitherto, they have vainly sought. But Not far from these, we must find here will be another disappointment; room for one whose success has been of for we can attempt no more than merely the wrong kind; the man who should to associate, in one fraternity, all who have lingered in the cloisters of a uniare afflicted with the same vague trou- versity, digging new treasures out of ble. Some great mistake in life is the the Herculaneum of antique lore, diffuchief condition of admittance into this sing depth and accuracy of literature class. Here are members of the learned throughout his country, and thus makprofessions, whom Providence endowed ing for himself a great and quiet fame. with special gifts for the plough, the But the outward tendencies around him forge, and the wheel-barrow, or for the have proved too powersul for his inward routine of unintellectual business. We nature, and have drawn him into the will assign them, as partners in the arena of political tumult, there to conmarch, those lowly laborers and handi- tend at disadvantage, whether front to craftsmen, who have pined, as with a front, or side by side, with the brawny dying thirst, after the unattainable foun- giants of actual life. He becomes, it tains of knowledge. The latter have may be, a name for brawling parties to lost less than their companions; yet bandy to and fro, a legislator of the much, because they deem it infinite. Union; a governor of his native state;

an ambassador in the courts of kings Yet pause awhile! We had forgoior queens; and the world may deem ten the Chief-Marshal. him a man of happy stars. But not so Hark! That world-wide swell of the wise; and not so himself, when he solemn music, with the clang of a looks through his experience, and sighs mighty bell breaking forth through its to miss that fitness, ihe one invaluable regulated uproar, announces his aptouch, which makes all things true and proach. He comes; a severe, sedate, real. So much achieved, yet how imunovable, dark rider, waving his abortive is his life! Whom shall we truncheon of universal swar, as he choose for his companion? Some weak- passes along the lengthened line, on framed blacksmith, perhaps, whose ihe Pale Horse of the Revelations. delicacy of muscle might have suited a Ii is Death! Who else could assume tailor's shop-board better than theanvil. the guidance of a procession that com

Shall we bid the trumpet sound prehends all humanity? And if some, again? It is hardly worth the while. among these many millions, should There remain a few idle men of for- deem themselves classed amiss, yet lune, tavern and grog-shop loungers, let them take to their hearts the comlazzaroni, old bachelors, decaying fortable truth, ibat Death levels us all maidens, and people of crooked intel- into one great brotherhood, and that lect or temper, all of whom may find another state of being will surely rectify their like, or some tolerable approach the wrong of this. Then breathe thy to it, in the plentiful diversity of our wail upon the earth's wailing wind, latter class. There, too, as his ulti- thou band of melancholy music, made mate destiny, must we rank the up of every sigh that the human dreamer, who, all his life long, has heart, unsatisfied, has uitered! There cherished the idea that he was pecu- is yet triumpb in thy tones. And now liarly apt for something, but never we move! Beggars in their rags, and could determine what it was; and Kings trailing the regal purple in the there the most unfortunate of men, dust; the Warrior's gleaning helmet; whose purpose it has been to enjoy the Priest in his sable robe; ihe hoary life's pleasures, but to avoid a mansul Grandsire, who has run life's circle struggle with its toil and sorrow. The and come back io childhood; the ruddy remainder, if any, may connect them- School-boy with his golden curls, sriskiselves with whaiever rank of the pro- ing along the march; the Artisan's cession they shall find best adapted to stuff-jacket; the Noble's star-decorated their tastes and consciences. The coat;-the whole presenting a motley worst possible sate would be, to remain spectacle, yet with a dusky grandeur behind, shivering in the solitude of brooding over it. Onward, onward, time, while all ihe world is on the into thai dimness where the lights of move toward eternity. Our attempt Time, which have blazed along the to classify society is now complete. procession, are flickering in their The result may be anything but per- sockets! And whither? We know fect; yet better—to give it the very not; and Death, hitherto our leader, lowest praise-than the antique rule of deserts us by the wayside, as the tramp the herald's office, or the modern one of our innumerable fooisteps passes of the tax-gatherer, whereby the acci- beyond his sphere. He knows not, dents and superficial attributes, with more than we, our destined goal. But which the real nature of individuals God, who made us, knows, and will has least to do, are acted upon as the not leave us on our toilsome and doub!deepest characteristics of mankind. ful marchi, either 10 wander in infinite Our task is done. Now let the grand uncertainty, or perish by the way! procession move!

THE WHITE STEED OF THE PRAIRIES,

Mr. Kendall, of the New Orleans Picayune, in giving some account of what he saw and suffered in his late expedition toward Santa Fe, which resulted in imprisonment at Mexico, after noticing flocks of small white horses in the Prairies, adds the following:

“ Many stories are cold of a large white horse that has been seen often in the vicinity of the Cross Timbers and near the Red River. He has never been known to gallop, but paces even faster than any horse that has been sent out after him can run; and so gaine and untiring is the .While Steed of the Prairies,' for he is well known to trappers and traders hy that name, that he has tired down no less than three race-nags sent out expressly to catch him with a Mexican rider. The latter had nothing but a lasso or lariat with him, a long rope made either of horse hair or hemp, and which the Mexicans throw with great dexterity; but although he took a fresh horse after tiring one down, he was never near enough the noble animal to throw a slip-noose over his head, or even to drive him into a canter. He has been known to pace a mile in less than two minutes, and can keep up this rate hour after hour, or until he has tired down whatever may be in chace. Large sums have been offered to any one who would catch him, and the attempt has frequently been made; but he still roams the prairies in free. dom, solitary and alone. One of the hunters even went so far as to tell me that he was too proud to be seen in company with the other mustangs, being a beautiful animal of far better action than those of his race; bui this part of the story I could not make it convenient to believe."

Mount, mount for the chase! let your lassos be strong,
And forget not sharp spur and tough buffalo thong;
For the quarry ye seek hath oft baffled, I ween,
Steeds swift as your own, backed by hunters as keen.
Fleet barb of the Prairie, in vain they prepare
For thy neck, arched in beauty, the treacherous snare;
Thou wilt toss thy proud head, and with nostril streiched wide,
Defy them again, as thou still hast defied.
Trained nags of the course, urged by rowel and rein,
Have cracked their strong thews in the pursuit in vain:
While a bow-shot in front, without siraining a limb,
The wild courser careered as 'twere pastime to him.
Ye may know him at once, though a herd be in sight,
As he moves o'er the plain like a creature of light-
His mane streaming forth from his beautiful form
Like the drift from a wave that has burst in the storm.
Not the team of the Sun, as in fable portrayed,
Through the firmament rushing in glory arrayed,
Could match, in wild majesty, beauty and speed,
That tireless, magnificent, snowy-white steed.
Much gold for his guerdon, promotion and fame,
Wait the hunter who captures that fleet-footed game;
Let them bid for his freedom,-unbridled, unshod,
He will roam till he dies through these pastures of God.
And ye think on his head your base halters to fling!
So ye shall-when yon Eagle has lent you his wing;
But no slave of the lash that your stables contain
Can e'er force to a gallop the steed of the Plain !
His fields have no fence save the mountain and sky;
His drink the snow-capped Cordilleras supply ;
'Mid the grandeur of nature sole monarch is he,
And his gallant heart swells with the pride of the free.

J. BARBER.

SIR ASTLEY COOPER.*

The publication of this work we deem experience, observation, and experito have been as much an ordinary ment. We propose, with the purpose affair of trade, without any regard to of interesting our readers-not forgetthe higher purposes of literature, as ting their non-professional characterany every-day business transaction in to extract from the book before us “ihe city." The life of Sir Astley what we esteem of sufficient general Cooper, a prominent man in the eye of interest to come within the scope of the world, the first surgeon of his day, this magazine. was of course to be written; it was These volumes are not as rich in certain a demand would exist for the contemporary history as might have work, whatever might be the value or been anticipated. It is natural, in the interest of the facts it should possess, biography of a celebrated surgeon, to or the skill with which they might be seek for full details of the life and presented. And little do we question character of the men of “mark and that the extent of that demand was likelihood” with whom he is necessaanticipated in the “Row," to the copy. rily in habits of association. The very The fact of its publication is no earn naiure of the office of a medical man est of its being a work of peculiar in- supposes the closest intimacy with his terest. It will be sought for as the life patient, the fullest knowledge of his of a prominent character, not as the character and disposition. Sickness is biography of Sir Astley Cooper. He your great leveller. The surgeon is was known to the public as ihe great brought into relation with man as he is ; surgeon of London ; surgeon to kings “proud majesty is to him a subject;" and princes, prime ministers and peers. and the wily statesman, a Machiavelli He was surrounded by no individual to the world, is but a sick man to his interest independent of his position. physician. The surgeon is the least He had none of the eccentricities of an likely to be diverted by the glitter of Abernethy to render his name a bye- the star and the imposing dignity of word to the lovers of humor, no ac the baton, from a consideration of the complishments beyond the limits of real character. his professional acquirements to gain Sir Astley Cooper's career was one for him a general interest. He was smooth ascent to fame and fortune. purely and exclusively the surgeon. He had none of the obstacles to overBiography has a two-fold interest, come, nor difficulties to struggle with, that which regards the personal of ihe which mark ordinarily the course of individual, and that which belongs to the metropolitan surgeon. He early the circumstances and characters by evinced a natural bias for his art, havwhich he may be surrounded. It is in ing saved the life of a servant by skil. reference to this latter only that the life fully stopping a bleeding by compressof Sir Astley Cooper will recommending an artery with all the skill that itself to the general reader; for public science could prompt. In the amusesentiment, if we mistake not, views ments of his boy hood, he surpassed his the surgeon very much in the light of fellows in daring; and some of his the public hangman, as associated with early pranks evinced not only an intredeeds of blood, and shrinks from all pidity beyond his age, but a want of sympathy with him. To the profes- feeling unusual for the innocence of sional reader, endowed with the ordi- childhood. He passed through the nary esprit de corps, this work will be usual course of study in London under acceptable as the life of the heroic the eye of his master, the celebrated operator, the skilful anatomist, the surneon, Mr. Cline, at whose table he indefatigable teacher, and the contri- met frequently Horne Tooke, and butor of highly valued surgical and others of a republican bias, from whom physiological information, the result of he imbibed a liberality of political sen

The Life of Sir Astley Cooper, Bart., interspersed with sketches from his note. books of distinguished contemporary characters. By Bransby Blake Cooper, Esq., F.R.S.; 2 vols., 8vo., London: John W. Parker, 1843.

« AnteriorContinuar »