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‘over the most touching scene in the whole poem ! From that moment, the great umpire's ' little business was finished,' in at least one female coterie of London. But what has all this to do with Manilla and the Phillipines ? Revenons à nos mouton !'
A few more desultory passages must close our article. Here is a reproach of a female correspondent, who had spoken` Americanisms' trippingly on the tongue. Nice, howbeit, as the writer should have known, is far more an English than an American term : · I am glad to hear that you liked the little
that it was ‘nice'. an Americanism, meaning good. Pray never say to any one that I am a 'nice' person, or I shall never forgive you. I know by experience, that the biped most to be avoided in this world, is that which the ladies call •a nice man. I have seen many, and they are most insufferable bores. Then again, you say to a person who may come at a proper hour, that he is just in season.' An American lady at M
who had invited me to dine at her house, told me on entering, that I was just in season ;' and as fruits and vegetables come “in season,' a man with a limited imagination, like myself, when told that he is in season, naturally fancies himself a squash, and trembles lest the succeeding sentence may be a mandate to the servant John, to bring a string, and hang him up by the neck to a beam in the pantry! It is by these home expressions, that'grifins' are at once discovered abroad. Never, as you value your fair fame, call a person ‘a nice man'. or tell him he is in season'. or ask him to *call again'
- or any such thing. Abroad, it is certain ruin to one, and at home, has the appearance of being very green.'
The following passage is a striking commentary upon a remark of an accomplished and favorite contributor to these pages: · Next to the pressure of the lips — next to the pressure of the hand - is the unfolding of those white-winged messengers, which come commissioned by Love, with tidings from the absent :'
When I am deep — twice fathoms five' - sunk into calculations of profits, and losses, and commissions, (beautiful word, this last!) and interest, and in balances carried to the debit of new account, bearing interest from the seventeenth of August last, at the delightful rate of one per cent. per month ; a rate rather usurious, but with us
hab got old custom, as the Chinese say; and the midnight cock crows, (as he always does here,) and the lamp burns dim and drowsily; and the cigar which lies on the right hand corner of the desk, has expired and become a defunct soldier; and Time, the alert old rascal, (may his home be ruined ! for he has caused seven white hairs to take up their unwelcome abode upon my front, to remind me every time I look into my glass, that my days are passing,) tolls out his requiem to the day departed, and Saz! 'a change comes o'er the spirit of my dream, and in walks one of your charming letters, full of butterfly's wings, and nightingales' songs, and knocking head to the northwestern corner of my desk, says, “Tenga, buenos dias, Don J le traigo una carta de sa hermana M. .!'
A kit-kat' picture of a smuggler, and a fragment of fashionable intelligence from the court end' of Manilla, etc., bring us down to the last advices : 'I had prepared a tremendous flourish with which to finish this
letter; but my inspiration was dispelled to the winds of heaven, by the sudden appearance of my old friend • Carlos el Chico,' (Carlos the little man,) a rather celebrated 'contrabandisto,' who furnishes – or who is rather purveyor general to my vice of smoking tobacco; a huge fellow in his way, although a funny, wary little man, from the mountains of Gapan, a range many leagues at the north, where he keeps his hold, and whence he supplies young gentleman like myself with the best puros' that the islands can produce. Tobacco is a monopoly of government here, and the penalties are severe in the extreme, in case any one be caught illegally interfering with this branch of Her Majesty's royal rents. Yet this omnipresent little ugly man has succeeded until now, in keeping his neck out of the 'garrote,' and ranges north and south, through village and through city, in defiance of the patroles of Her Majesty's tobacco guards.
• There was a grand ball given here, not long since, by ‘M. Barrot, Consul de France,' in honor of the birth-day of the King of the French, and at which I assisted as one of the comissarios,' or masters of ceremonies, and eclipsed all the Knights of the Legion of Honor, Knights of the royal orders of San Fernando and San Hermenezildo, Knights of Albuera, and Calatrava, Knights of Arragon, and of Cadiz, and of Los Molinos, and of every other cross and order under the sun. There were knights and gentles, who had fought in all the peninsular wars, and through and through South America; who had never 'flinched nor bated one single jot ;' who were literally blazing with orders; yet
I would you had been there to see,
• Why the deuce do you write with steel pens ? They are a rascally invention, and I would rather pen my inspirations' with a bamboo, than use one. No! give me my gray goose quill, that mighty instrument of little men'. - as sings the noble bard in his satire upon English bards and Scotch reviewers against the world. I can make a straight mark with a steel pen pretty well, but when it comes to turning corners ! - oh!'
'I can find nothing but black wax to seal my letter with ; but do n't be frightened, because you know if I were dead, you know, this letter would not be from me, you know — eh!--do n't you see?'
Fate's direst page unmoved to read,
Is thine, and thine alone;
Hath petrified to stone :
Death drops his dark design;
An icier hand, in thine!
HA! thon art coming, then, breeze of the west!
The motionless glass of the dawn-tinted lake
Come haste to ihe dew-jewelled hazle and brake,
Ah, little ye guess what the roaming winds know;
There is many a tale left alone to the gale,
But list, mortal, list! I will tell thee my tale :
Far away on a surf-beaten isle of the ocean;
On the lowermost bough, as I gave it motion :
Ah me! the sweet tone was too sad for devotion !
I lifted a tress from her cold, cold face;
O, the magic of beauty, asleep on the dead! Through each impress of sorrow a smile I could trace ;
And I mourned that no tears bave the breezes to shed ;
So I kissed up the dew from her eyelids, and fled :
From the east came dancing a sister breeze ;
And her song was of cataracts, rivers, and riils, And blue lakes, endless and deep as the seas,
Of woodlands, savannas, and oak-studded hills,
Where the wild dashing steed wheels and halts when he wills;
O the ocean, the ocean, the broad, flashing ocean!
Who plays like the gale on this floor of the sky ?
And Hings the white crest in a wreath on high?
O joy to the balls of the free mountain-wind!
Spread out in its stillness the world is behind
But the crags give me back, with their evergreen sbades,
It was late when I slid from the ether-bathed height:
There was frost on my plumes, on my wings there was snow;
And scattered it off on the valleys below:
And the holiest spot that a morial can know,
Then away I swept over a motionless main;
Said I, as I skimmed the green waste, can it be?
Are yonder the palm-crested isles of the sea ?
With a snort, the wild courser made answer to me;
I go where the skies and the zephyrs are bland,
To drink the perfume of the rosy-lipped flowers ;
And whisper my tale in their love-making bowers,
When the Muezzin sings from the crescented towers;
L. L. K.
'ADOLESCENTES mori sic mihi videntur ut cum aquæ multitudine vis flamme opprimitur : senos autem sicut sua sponte nulla adhibita vi, consumptus ignis extivguitur; et quasi poma ex arboribus, cruda si sent, vi avelluntur; si matura et coacta, decidunt ; sic vitam adolescentibus vis aufert, senibus maturitas ; quæ mihi quidem tam jucunda est ut quo proprius ad mortem accedam quasi terram videre videar, aliquandoque in portum ex longa navigatione esse veuturus. CIC. DE SENEC
It is delightful to behold the patriarch descending gracefully into the vale of years, afar from the noise of life, and the strifes of vain ambition, surrounded by the children whom God has given him, all vieing in acts of filial affection, and basking in the sunshine of that happiness of which he is the source. I have watched such an one, year after year, not only by the words of his counsel, but what is of far more importance, the influence of example, leading them into the paths of virtue, and illustrating the words of the Scripture, that'her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.' I have seen him sink like the sun, with no cloud to obscure his setting, shedding around him, as he touched the horizon of life, a mild and benignant light, and sinking at last into the arms of death, as gently as the dimness of a summer's twilight glides into the shades of evening. · The venerable man, moving with tremulous majesty among the scions of his house, and lording it over his little empire of hearts; now bending in acts of cottage piety, or blessing the contents of his humble board, affects the generous heart with a deeper satisfaction, than the spectacle of the hereditary monarch, moving resplendent amid the crowd of his courtiers, and peers of the realm.
These quiet family scenes in the country, delight one more than the contemplation of those characters whom the world call great ; who stand out in bold relief in the drama of existence, either by personal prowess on the field of battle, or the gigantic power of their minds. There is, it is true, something infinitely more grand in viewing one's little barque tossed about on the billows of worldly strife and ambition, than to behold it safely moored in some serene and settled haven. There is a more exciting interest in viewing a host of human passions fanned into fury, and struggling for mastery, than to look upon the peaceful adornment of every gentle and endearing virtue. In the one case, we have the sublime, in the other the beautiful, of morality. The one is a spectacle which raises the mind too much above its common level, and excites sensations of too intense a nature to be long endured. The other is a picture so calm and beautiful, that we become the more enamoured as we gaze. Like those tranquil landscapes, which nature has adorned with the less bold, but not less perfect, touches of her pencil, it occasions no high excitement, but an equanimity which is still more pleasing; and acting with the charm of soft and sweet music, it quiets every passion of the soul.
I have lately had occasion to admire, in the gallery of a quiet country gentleman, to whom the liberal arts are by no means strangers, two pieces, which are remarkable for their contrast, and which are the chef d'auvres of no mean artists. The one represents the death scene of an humble patriarch, the other of the most distinguished of European generals. So expressive are the groups, so natural is every attitude of the attendants, that one is scarcely persuaded that he is viewing but the canvass. The soldier is drawn with the insignia of war, and the accoutrements of the battle-field strewed around the apartment. His officers and staff are by his bed-side, watching the moment when the last breath shall have receded from his lips, and announced the end of existence. He is represented with his eyes staring wildly about, as if in search of some avenue to escape his last invincible enemy, struggling against the disease with the energies of a giant constitution, and grappling with the tyranny of death. But the patriarch's head reclines as gently as for an evening's slumber. His silver locks repose like snow-flakes on his brow, and in every benignant feature there is the impress of a spirit prepared to launch upon the untried waters, with calmness and with majesty. His children are grouped beside him, who are shedding no tears but those of genuine sorrow. He places his hand upon their heads, breathes into their ear the last words of paternal counsel, then yields without reluctance to the touch which dissolves his being.
As these pictures are placed in juxtaposition, I cannot avoid comparing the subjects of them often in my mind, and sometimes in gazing upon them, fall into deep and protracted reveries. I follow them, in imagination, through all the varied scenes of their existence. With the one, I am assisted in the picture I am drawing, by the portrayings of the historian. I wade through scenes of slaughter to a throne,' and behold him emblazoned with every emblem of royal splendor. The other I imagine only at his home, and his fireside, and he too is surrounded by jewels, but they are his children. Having