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Rash Man! - Forbear!
Of him that slumbereth there!
With covered head and covered feet! Where William Shakspeare used to meet His God,
Uncovered and unshod,
Thou wilt not surely venture where
But sleeps the awful dead,
And that alarming tread.
The very dust, below
The haughty dead, will make
Shod as it is with steel,
Should fall on Shakspeare's head!
AGE, 61 YEARS.
JOHN NEAL, Esq., also known in the literary world, as "Jehu O'Cataract," was born in the city of Portland, August the twentyfifth, 1793. In a note he informs us that he is a graduate of no College, being a self-educated man, which reflects great credit upon his perseverance, and success in literary acquirements. On arriving at that age which frees the young man from parental bondage, Mr. Neal removed to Baltimore, and soon after entered into copartnership with John Pierpont, now known as Rev. John Pierpont, the poet, but not meeting with success, they abandoned mercantile pursuits, and chose the more hazardous ones of literature, in which, however, they were abundantly successful. His first articles appeared in the "The Portico," a Southern monthly Magazine. In 1818 "Keep Cool, a Novel," his first work, made its first appearance, followed the succeeding year by "The Battle of Niagara, and other Poems," also "Otho, a Tragedy". in 1821, " Allen's History of the American Revolution," to which he contributed largely; in 1822, “Logan, a Novel," which from its great popularity was reprinted, and had an extensive sale in England. This was followed by "Seventy-Six," said to have been the most popular of Mr. Neal's works. In 1823, he published "Randolph," also, "Errata, or the Works of Will Adams." During his sojourn in France and England, whither he went in 1824, he published "Brother Jonathan, a Novel,” and also, contributed many able articles to Blackwood's and other Magazines, among which were "The Five American Presidents and their Rival Candidates," an article that attracted a great deal of attention, and brought its author into distinguished notice. On his return, in 1828, to Port
land, Mr. Neal commenced his Novel of "Rachel Dyer," which appeared during that year. "Bentham's Morals and Legislation,” “The Down Easters," "Authorship," and a work on "Spiritualism," have since appeared; also, numerous contributions to the leading Magazines. Since that time, Mr. Neal has devoted himself more particularly to his profession, the practice of law, at Portland, and has acquired a considerable fortune, which he is now enjoying. Dr. Griswold, in his "Poets and Poetry of America," has the following notes in regard to Mr. Neal:
"In a note in Blackstone's Magazine,' Mr. Neal says he wrote Randolph' in thirty-six days, with an interval of about a week between the two volumes, in which he wrote nothing; 'Errata' in less than thirty-nine days; and Seventy-Six' in twenty-seven days. During this time he was engaged in professional duties, and they were written in the leisure and idle hours of a lawyer.'
"When Mr. Neal lived in Baltimore, he went one evening to the rooms of Pierpont, and read to him a poem which he had just completed. The author of 'Airs of Palestine,' was always a nice critic, and he frankly pointed out the faults of the poem. Neal promised to revise it and submit it again on the following morning. At the time appointed he repaired to the apartment of his friend, and read to him a new poem of three or four hundred lines; he had tried to improve his first attempt, but failing to do so, had chosen a new subject, a new measure, and produced an entirely new work, before he had retired to sleep. True poetry is never so written."
These notes illustrate the energy and go-ahead-itiveness of Mr. Neal. He cannot bear to have any thing obstruct his path, and if he cannot force his way through, he chooses the quicker mode of breaking a new road around. The rapidity with which his works were written, injured their permanent popularity, to secure which they should be carefully revised and re-issued. The absence of a finished education, also, detracted much from their merit. This fault could also be remedied.
THE BATTLE OF NIAGARA.
AN EXTRACT. (h)
AND there the stranger stays: beneath that oak,
And one might think, who saw his outstretch'd hands, That something more than soldiers e'er may feel,
Had touch'd him with its holy, calm appeal:
That yonder wave the heaven-the earth the air Had call'd upon his spirit for her prayer.
His eye goes dimly
o'er the midnight scene:
- the cot- the wood - the faded green
the sky-the distant morning light,-
The panes are ruddy through the clambering vines,
And blushing leaves, that summer intertwines
In warmer tints than e'er luxuriant spring,