Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

nish of politeness and mask of hypocrisy to complete from a Trajan, an Abel from a Cain? But it is not the likeness.

in this spirit that it is either wise or happy to conAnother description of children, deservedly un- template any thing. Better is it--when we behold popular, is the over-educated and super-excellent - the energy and animation of young children, their who despise dolls and, drums, and, ready only for in- warm affections, their ready, unsuspicious confistruction, have no wish for a holiday, no fancy for a dence, their wild, unwearied glee, their mirth so ea. fairy tale. They appear to have a natural taste for sily excited, their love so easily won—to enjoy, un. pedantry and precision; their wisdom never indul- restrained, the pleasantness of life's morning; that ges in a nap, at least before company ; they have morning so bright and joyous, which seems to "jus. learned the Pestalozzi system and weary you with tify the ways of God to men,” and to teach us that questions; they require you to prove every thing Nature intended us to be happy, and usually gains you assert, and are always on the watch to detect you her end till we are old enough to discover how we in a verbal inaccuracy, or a slight mistake in a date. may defeat it.

But, notwithstanding the infinite pains taken to Little girls are my favourites. Boys, though suffispoil nature's lovely works, there is a principle of re- ciently interesting and amusing are apt to be insistance, which allows of only partial success ; and fected, as soon as they assume the manly garb, with numbers of sweet children exist, to delight, and a little of that masculine violence and obstinacy, soothe, and divert us, when we are wearied or fret- which, when they grow up, they will call spirit and ted by grown-up people, and to justify all that has firmness; and they lose, earlier in life, that docility, been said or written of the charms of childhood. tenderness and ignorance of evil, which are their Perhaps only women, their natural nurses and faith. sisters' peculiar charms. In all the range of visible ful protectresses, can thoroughly appreciate the at- creation, there is no object to me so attractive and tractions of the first few months of human existence. delightful, as a lovely, intelligent, gentle little The recumbent position, the fragile limbs, the leth-girl of eight or nine years old. This is the point argic tastes, and ungrateful indifference to notice, of at which may be witnessed the greatest improvement a very young infant, render it uninteresting to most of intellect compatible with that lily-like purity of gentlemen, except its father; and he is generally mind, to which taint is incomprehensible, danger unafraid to touch it, for fear of breaking its neck. But suspected, and which wants not only the vocabulareven in this state, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and lary, but the very idea of sin. nurses assure you, that strong indications of sense Even the best and purest of women would shrink and genius may be discerned in the little animal ; from displaying her heart to our gaze, while lovely and I have known a clatter of surprise and joy ex- childhood allows us to read its very thought and fancited through a whole family, and matter afforded cy. Its sincerity, indeed, is occasionally very in. for twenty long letters and innumerable animated convenient; and let that person be quite sure that conversations, by some marvellous demonstration he has nothing remarkably odd, ugly or disagreeable of intellect in a creature in long clothes, who could about his appearance, who ventures to ask a child not hold its head straight.

what it thinks of him. Amidst the frowns and But as soon as the baby has acquired firmness and blushes of the family, amidst a thousand efforts to liveliness; as soon as it smiles at a familiar face, prevent or to drown the answer, truth, in all the and stares at a strange one; as soon as it employs horrors of nakedness, will generally appear in the its hands and eyes in constant expeditions of discov. surprised assembly; and he who has hitherto thought, ery, and crows and leaps, from the excess of animal in spite of his mirror, that his eyes had merely a contentment,-it becomes an object of indefinable slight and not unpleasing cast, will now learn for the and powerful interest, to which all the sympathies first time, " that every body says he has a terrible of our nature attach us—an object at once of curiosi- squint.”' ty and tenderness, interesting as it is in its helpless- I cannot approve of the modern practice of dressness and innocence, doubly interesting from its pros-ing little girls in exact accordance with the prevail. pects and destiny; interesting to a philosopher, ing fashion, with scrupulous imitation of their eldoubly interesting to a Christian.

ders. When I look at a child, I do not wish to feel Who has not occasionally, when fondling an in-doubtful whether it is not an unfortunate dwarf, fant, felt oppressed by the weight of mystery which who is standing before me, attired in a costume suithangs over its fate? Perhaps we hold in our arms ed to its age. Extreme simplicity of attire, and a an angel, kept but for a few months from the heaven dress sacred to themselves only, are most fitted to in which it is to spend the rest of an immortal exist. these “ fresh female buds ;” and it vexes me to see ence ; perhaps we see the germ of all that is hide-them disguised in the fashions of the day, or prac. ous and hateful in our nature. Thus looked and tising the graces and courtesies of maturer life. Will thus sported, thus calmly slumbered and sweetly there not be years enough, from thirteen to seventy, smiled the monsters of our race in their days of in. for ornamenting or disfiguring the person at the fat fancy. Where are the marks to distinguish a Nero of French milliners; for checking laughter and forc

SUMMER WOODS.

BY MARY HOWITT.

ing smiles; for reducing all varieties of intellect, all gradations of feeling, to one uniform tint? Is there not already a sufficient sameness in the aspect and tone of polished life? Oh, leave children as they are, to relieve, by their “ wild freshness," our elegant insipidity; leave their “ hair loosely flowing, robes as free,” to refresh the eye that loves simpli. city; and leave their eagerness, their warmth, their unreflecting sincerity, their unschooled expressions of joy or regret, to amuse and delight us, when we are a little tired by the politeness, the caution, the wisdom and the coldness of the grown-up world.

Children may teach us one blessed, one enviable art,—the art of being easily happy. Kind nature has given to them that useful power of accommodation to circumstances, which compensates for so many external disadvantages; and it is only by inju. dicious management that it is lost. Give him but a moderate portion of food and kindness, and the peasant's child is happier than the duke's; free from artificial wants, unsated by indulgence, all nature ministers to his pleasures; he can carve out felicity from a bit of hazel twig, or fish for it successfully in a puddle.

He must have been singularly unfortunate in childhood, or singularly the reverse in after-life, who does not look back npon its scenes, its sports and pleasures, with fond regret. The wisest and happiest of us, may occasionally detect this feeling in our bosoms. There is something unreasonably dear to the man in the recollection of the follies, the whims, the petty cares and exaggerated delights of his childhood. Perhaps he is engaged in schemes of soaring ambition; but he fancies, sometimes, that there was once a greater charm in flying a kite.Perhaps, after many a hard lesson, he has acquired a power of discernment and spirit of caution, which defies deception; but he now and then wishes for the boyish confidence, which venerated every old beg. gar, and wept at every tale of wo.-N. M. Mag.

Come ye into the summer woods,

There entereth no annoy;
All greenly wave the chesnut leaves,

And the earth is full of joy.
I cannot tell you half the sights

Of beauty you may see,
The bursts of golden sunshine,

And many a shady tree.
There, lightly swung, in bowery glades,

The honey-suckles twine;
There blooms the rose-red campion,

And the dark blue columbine.
There grows the four-leaved plant “ true-love,"

In some dusk woodland spot :
There grows the enchanter's night shade,

And the wood forget-me-not.
And many a merry bird is there,

Unscared by lawless men:
The blue-winged jay, the wood-pecker,

And the golden-crested wren.
Come down, and ye shall see them all,

The timid and the bold;
For their sweet life of pleasantness,

It is not to be told.

And far within that summer-wood,

Among the leaves so green, There flows a little gurgling brook,

The brightest e'er was seen.

THE DEAD CHILD.

BY WILLIAM H. BURLEIGH.

One tiny hand amid his curls is lying

Over the blue veined temple--and his face,

Pale as the water-lily, shows no trace Of passion or of tears. The pang of dying

Left not its record on the beautiful clay,

And—but the flush of life were stolen awayWell might we deem he slept. His ruby lip,

Weareth its freshness yet—and see! a smile

Lingers around his mouth, as all the while
The spirit with the clay held fellowship!
And this is death!-his terrors laid aside,

How like a guardian angel doth he come

To bear the sinless spirit to his homeThe sheltering bosom of the CRUCIFIED !

There come the little gentle birds,

Without a fear of ill;
Down to the murmuring water's edge,

And freely drink their fill!
And dash about and splash about,

The merry littie things;
And look askance with bright black eyes,

And flirt their dripping wings. I've seen the freakish squirrels drop

Down from their leafy tree,
The little squirrels with the old, -

Great joy it was to me!
And down unto the running brook,

I've seen them nimbly go;
And the bright water seemed to speak

A welcome kind and low.

The nodding plants they bow their heads,

As if, in heartsome cheer,
They spake unto those little things,

.. 'Tis merry living here !"

Oh how my heart ran o'er with joy!

I saw that all was good, And how we might glean up delight All round us,

if we would !

And many a wood-mouse dwelleth there,

Beneath the old-wood shade, And all day long has work to do,

Nor is of aught afraid.

The green shoots grow above their heads,

And roots so fresh and fine
Beneath their feet, nor is there strife

Mong them for mine and thine.

There is enough for every one,

And they lovingly agree; We might learn a lesson, all of us,

Beneath the green-wood tree!

THE POOR VOTER'S SONG.

They knew that I was poor,

And they thought that I was base ; They thought that I'd endure

To be covered with disgrace;
They thought me of their tribe,

Who on filthy lucre doat,
So they offered me a bribe
For my vote, boys, my vote!
O shame upon my betters,

Who would my conscience buy!
But I'll not wear their fetters,

Not I indeed, not I!

FASHIONABLE FOLLIES. There are in the United States one hundred thousand young ladies, as Sir Ralph Abercrombie said of those of Scotland, « the prettiest lussies in a the world," who know neither to toil nor spin, who are clothed like the lilies of the valley, -who thrum the piano, and, a few of the more dainty, the harp:who walk, as the Bible says, softly,- who have read romances, and some of them seen the interior of theatres, - who have been admired at the examination of their high school,- who have wrought algebraic solutions on the blackboard,—who are, in short, the very roses of the garden, the attar of life, who yet, horresco referens,-can never expect to be married, or, if married, to live without-shall I speak, or for. bear ?---putting their own lily hands to domestic drudgery.

We go into the interior villages of our recent wooden country. The fair one sits down to clink the wires of the piano. We see the fingers displayed on the keys, which, we are sure, never prepared a din. ner, nor made a garment for her robustious brothers. We traverse the streets of our own city, and the wires of the piano are thrummed in our ears from every considerable house. In cities and villages, from one extremity of the Union to the other, wherever there is a good house, and the doors and windows betoken the presence of the mild months, the ringing of the piano wires is almost as universal a sound, as the domestic hum of life within.

We need not enter in person. Imagination sees the fair one, erect on her music stool, laced, and pinioned, and reduced to a questionable class of entomology, dinging at the wires, as though she could, in some way, hammer out of them music, amusement and a husband. Look at her taper and cream. colored fingers. Is she a utilitarian ? Ask the fair one when she has beaten all the music out of the keys, “ Pretty fair one, canst talk to thy old and sick father, so as to beguile him out of the headache and rheumatism? Canst write a good and straightforward letter of business? Thou art a chemist, I remember, at the examination; canst compound, prepare, and afterwards boil, or bake, a good pudding? Canst make one of the hundred subordinate ornaments of thy fair person? In short, tell us thy use in existence, except to be conten plated as a pretty picture ? And how long will any one be amused with the view of a picture, after having surveyed it a dozen times, unless it have a mind, a heart; and, we may emphatically add, the perennial value of utility ?"

It is a sad and lamentable truth, after all the incessant din we have heard of the march of mind, and the interminable theories, inculcations and eulogies of education, that the present is an age of unbounded desire of display and notoriety, of exhaustless and unquenchably burning ambition ; and not an age of calm, contented, ripe and useful knowledge, for the

My vote? It is not mine

To do with as I will; To cast, like pearls, to swine,

To these wallowers in ill. It is my country's due,

And I'll give it, while I can, To the honest and the true,

Like a man, like a man!

No, no, I'll hold my vote

As a treasure and a trust, My dishonor none shall quote

When I'm mingled with the dust; And my children, when I'm gone,

Shall be strengthened by the thought, That their father was not one To be bought, to be bought ! O shame upon my betters,

Who would my conscience buy! But I'll not wear their fetters,

Not I indeed, not I!

*

sacred privacy of the parlour. Display, notoriety, he has sacrificed so much, finds that a servant must surface and splendor—these are the first aims of the be hired for the young ladies. mothers; and can we expect that the daughters will Here is not the end of the mischief. Every one drink into a better spirit ? To play, sing, dress, knows that mothers and daughters give the tone, and glide down the dance, and get a husband, is the les- laws-more unalterable than those of the Medes and son; not to be qualified to render his home quiet, Persians—to society Here is the root of the matwell-ordered and happy.

ter, the spring of bitter waters. Here is the origin It is notorious, that there will soon be no interme of the complaint of hard times, bankruptcies, greedidiate class between those who toil and spin, and ness, avarice and the horse-leech cry Give ! give!' those whose claim to be ladies is founded on their Here is the reason why every man lives up to his being incapable of any value of utility. At present, income, and so many beyond it. Here is the reason we know of none, except the little army of martyrs, why the young trader, starting on credit and calling

himself a merchant, hires and furnishes such a house yclept school-mistresses, and the still smaller corps of editorial and active blue-stockings. . If it should as if he really was one, fails, and gives to his credi. be my lot to transmigrate back to earth, in the form tors a beggarly account of empty boxes and misapof a young man, my first homages in search of a wife plied sales. He has married a wife whose vanity and would be paid to the thoughtful and pale faced fair extravagance are fathomless, and his ruin is explainone, surrounded by her little, noisy refractory sub- ed. Hence, the general and prevalent evil of the jects, drilling her soul to patience, and learning to present times, extravagance-conscious shame of the drink of the cup of earthly discipline, and more im- thought of being industrious and useful. Hence the pressively than by a thousand sermons, tasting the concealment by so many thousand young ladies, (who bitterness of our probationary course, in teaching

have not yet been touched by the extreme of modern the young idea how to shoot. Except, as aforesaid, degeneracy, and who still occasionally apply their school-mistresses and blues, we believe that all other hands to domestic employment,) of these, their good damsels, clearly within the purview of the term deeds, with as much care as if they were crimes. lady, estimate the clearness of their title precisely Every body is ashamed not to be expensive and fash. in the ratio of their uselessness.

ionable; and every one seems equally ashamed of

honest industry. Allow a young lady to have any hand in the adjust

I cannot conceive, that mere idlers, male, or fement of all the components of her dress, each of male, can have respect enough for themselves to be which has a contour which only the fleeting fashion comfortable. I cannot imagine, that they should not of the moment can settle; allow her time to receive

carry

about them such a consciousness of being a morning visitants, and prepare for afternoon appoint blank in existence, as would be written on their ments and evening parties, and what time has the forehead, in the shrinking humiliation of perceiving dear one to spare, to be useful and do good ? To la that the public eye had weighed them in the balance, bor! Heaven forfend the use of the horrid term! The and found them wanting. Novels and romances may simple state of the case is this. There is some say this or that about their etherial beauties, their fine where, in all this, an enormous miscalculation, an Jadies tricked out to slaughter my lord A., and play infinite mischief-an evil, as we shall attempt to Cupid's archery upon dandy B. and despatch Amaryshow, not of transitory or minor importance, but lis C. to his sonnets. I have no conception of a beau• fraught with misery and ruin, not only to the fair tiful woman, or a fine man, in whose eye, in whose ones themselves, but to society and the age.

port, in whose whole expression, this sentiment We have not, we admit, the elements on which to does not stand imbodied :— .I am called by my Crebase the calculation; but we may assume as we have ator to duties; I have employment on the earth; my that there are in the United States a hundred thou. sterner, but more enduring pleasures are in dischargsand young ladies brought up to do nothing excepting my duties." dress, and pursue amusement. Another hundred Compare the sedate expression of this sentiment thousand learn music, dancing, and what are called in the countenance of man or woman, when it is the fashionable accomplishments. It has been said known to stand, as the index of character and the " that revolutions never move backwards.” It is fact, with the superficial gaudiness of a simple, goodequally true of emulation of the fashion. The few for-nothing belle, who disdains usefulness and emopulent who can afford to be good for nothing, pre-ployment, whose empire is a ball-room, and whose cede. Another class presses as closely as they can subjects dandies, as silly and as useless as herself. upon their steps; and the contagious mischief spreads Who, of the two, has most attractions for a man of downward, till the fond father, who lays every thing sense ? The one a helpmate, a fortune in herself, who under contribution, to furnish the means for pur-can aid to procure one, if the husband has it not ; chasing a piano, and hiring a music.master for his who can soothe him under the loss of it, and what daughters, instead of being served, when he comes is more, aid him to regain it? and the other a paint. in from the plough, by the ruined favourites for whom led butterfly, for ornament only during the vernal and

BY FRANCES ANN BUTLER.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

sunny months of prosperity; and then not becoming But our paths might all be smoother
a chrysalis, an inert moth in adversity, but a croaking And our hearts would aye be blest,
repining, ill-tempered termagant, who can only recur With Contentment for a motto,
to the days of her short-lived triumph, to imbitter And a Heart's-ease for a crest.
the misery, and poverty, and hopelessness of a hus-
band, who, like herself, knows not to dig, and is
ashamed to beg.

FAITH.
We are obliged to avail ourselves of severe lan-
guage in application to a deep-rooted malady. We
want words of power. We need energetic and stern ap- Better trust all, and be deceived,
plications. No country ever verged more rapidly to- And weep that trust, and that deceiving;
wards extravagance and expense. In a young republic, Than doubt one heart, that if believed
like ours, it is ominous of any thing but good. Men of Had blessed one's life with true believing.
thought, and virtue, and example, are called upon to

Oh, in this mocking world, too fast look to this evil. Ye patrician families, that croak,

The doubting fiend o’ertakes our youth ! and complain, and forbode the downfall of the re

Better be cheated to the last public, here is the origin of your evils. Instead of

Than lose the blessed hope of truth. training your son to waste his time, as an idle young gentleman at large,-instead of inculcating on your daughter, that the incessant tinkling of a harpsi

THE LAST WISH. chord, or a scoruful and lady-like toss of the head, or dexterity in waltzing, are the chief requisites to Wilson, the ornithologist, requested that he might make her way in life,-if you can find no better em be buried in some sunny spot. This, some one has ployment for them, teach him the use of the grub- finely expressed as follows : bing hoe, and her to make up garments for your ser- In some wild forest shade, vants. Train your son and daughter to an employ. Under some spreading oak, or waving pine, ment, to frugality, to hold the high front, and to Or old elm, festooned with the gadding vine, walk the fearless step of independence, and suffi.

Let me be laid. ciency to themselves in any fortunes, any country, or

In this dim lonely grot, any state of things. By arts like these, the early Romans thrived. When your children have these No foot intrusive will disturb my dust; possessions, you may go down to the grave in peace, But o’er me songs of the wild birds shall burst,

Cheering the spot.
as regards their temporal fortunes.-Flint's Western
Review.

Not amid charnel stones,
Or coffins dark, and thick with ancient mould,
With tattered pall, and fringe of cankered gold,

May rest my bones;
HEART'S EASE.

But let the dewy rose,
I knew her in her brightness,

The snow-drop and the violet, lend perfume
A creature full of glee,

Above the spot where, in my grassy tomb,
As the dancing waves that sparkle
O'er a placid summer sea;

Year after year,
To her the world was sunshine,

Within the silver birch tree o’er me hung,
And peace was in her breast,
For Contentment was her motto,

The chirping wren shall rear her callow young,

Shall build her dwelling near.
And a Heart's-ease was her crest.
Yet deem not for a moment

And ever at the purple dawn of day
That her life was free from care;

The lark shall chant a pealing song above,
She shared the storms and sorrows

And the shrill quail shall pipe her hymn of love
That others sigh to bear;

When eve grows dim and gray.
But she met earth's tempests meekly,

The blackbird and the thrush,
In the hope of heaven's rest,

The golden oriole, shall fit around,
So she gave not up her motto,

And waken, with a mellow gust of sound,
Nor cast away her crest.

The forest's solemn hush.
Alas! the many frowning brows,

Birds from the distant sea
And eyes that speak of wo,

Shall sometimes hither flock on snowy wings,
And hearts that turn repiningly

And soar above my dust in airy rings,
From every chastening blow;

Singing a dirge to me.

T

I take repose.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »