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While near the scene of the difficulties, the two executives were met by Messrs. Rush and Howard, commissioners appointed by the President on the part of the United States, to make certain conciliatory propositions, and to settle, if possible, the highly exasperated feelings of the parties. Through these commissioners, the government proposed that Ohio should be permitted, without molestation, to re-mark the line which she claims as her northern boundary, (Harris's line, so called ;) that the State and the Territory should exercise a concurrent jurisdiction over the disputed tract, till the ensuing session of Congress, (December, 1935;) and that all prosecutions commenced by the authorities of Michigan, for the punishment of persons attempting to carry into effect the laws of Ohio, and all recognizances taken for the same offence, should be discharged ; and that no new prosecutions, under the territorial law for the punishment of such offenders, should be commenced. These recommendations were dignified with the name of “compromise ;' but, unfortunately for the characters of those gentlemen, as impartial mediators, it was all on one side. From Michigan, it was taking everything, and conceding to Ohio all she could ask ; for the people on the disputed ground being all friendly to Ohio, the jurisdiction was to her, indeed, concurrent ; but to Michigan it was a very uncurrent jurisdiction. Probably no more cunning device was ever hit upon by a shrewd politician, for delivering one community into the hand of another. Besides, the practical effect of this recommendation was to suspend and render nugatory a law which was still in force, and of as indispensable obligation on the territorial executive, as the laws for the collection of debts ; and it was, farthermore, a license to Ohio to commit, with present impunity, and the prospect of ultimate triumph, an act of gross usurpation on the territory and property of the United States, in direct violation of the act of Congress of 1805. It would be, perhaps, curious to know what reasons the President of the United States could be able to assign for such singular instructions — and still more curious to know what other Doctor of Laws' we have in the country who would believe them.
Be this as it may, however — the acting governor refused, positively and peremptorily, to obey ; and the immediate consequence was the passage of the law of Ohio mentioned at the beginning of this article, and the antagonist act on the part of Michigan. The pertinacity of the acting governor was punished by a removal from office; but not until after he had enjoyed the satisfaction of reviewing, on the banks of the Maumee, about one thousand four hundred rugged militia-men, a vast proportion of whom had voluntarily left their homes to protect from insult their soil, and to prevent the dishonor of its falling a victim to the policy of interested partizans at Washington, or the grasping ambition
of Ohio. The troops occupied the little village of Toledo, near the mouth of the Maumee, at the head of lake Erie, from the sixth to the ninth of September last. But seeing no demonstration on the part of Ohio, they returned quietly to their homes. For what reason it is impossible to say, but not even the symptom of an armed force, on the part of Ohio, was found there to give evidence that the people of the State had any sympathy with the warlike turgescencies of their executive. No attempt was made, during the stay of the troops, publicly to hold legal proceedings under the laws of Ohio ; and it is believed that, however unpleasant may be the event, as viewed in the light of our national history, and however feeble may at present be the means of Micbigan for protecting herself against the encroachments of her southern neighbor, and the far more dangerous and unconstitutional recommendations of the cabinet at Washington, still there are features in her case and in her conduct, which will long cause to be respected the Voice of the Peninsula.'
THESE days, these balmy days — how soft and strange!
Old Maids ; their Varieties, Characters and Conditions. New
York: C. Shepard. pp. 180. We are glad to see a reprint of this amusing little duodecimo. Many extracts from it have appeared in the Magazines ; and disposed us to think favorably of the source whence they were derived. The whole is not less delightful than parts; to those who love quiet humor, it will be peculiarly acceptable ; and to old maids, in particular, it is an invaluable fountain, whose waters will refresh their parched lips and thirsty imaginations.
There is no class of society for whom we entertain deeper feelings of compassionate respect, than for these venerable spinsters. They are all alone by themselves' in this sad world ; they seem to have nothing to do and yet do everything ; the monotony of their busy want of employment is unbroken ; they pass their day like “the weary knife-grinder,' turning and turning and sharpening and sharpening — their own countenances. As they grow old, their eyes become keener, their chins keener, their noses keener ; the two last approximate to the appearance of nut-crackers, and have an untempered blue color, like burnt steel. They vegetate, but do not live. They are as desolate as Palmyra. Every hour do the sands encroach more and more on the Oasis of their hopes. We look upon them with affectionate sorrow. Queer similies rush into our minds, typical of their forlorn condition. They would be approached and are unapproachable. They are like floating lilies in the midst of a standing pool ; boys throw stones at them from the brink, because they cannot reach them without plunging into the water ; as this looks cold as ice even in mid-summer, no one ventures the experiment; and so they grow yellow and wither, in isolated serenity. They are laid up high on the shelf, yet would gladly be taken down. They are fossil-remains, petrified specimens, valued only by the curious. Gems that have been worn and polished, are more precious to the many. They are pieces of antique tapestry, which people look at on the wrong side, seeing only the fuzzy threads. They are bodily indurations of abstract ideas — metaphysical links separated from the chain of human associations. Yet they are sweet and rare and of price and bright — and old bachelors, like ourselves, love them — that is, with reason, though awed by their unapproachable charms - and their eternal knitting-needles.
But to our task, which is not only to notice a book about old maids, but to present to the six thousand and fifty readers of Maga a letter from one of the sisterhood, written to our most critical self, and, in our profound estimation, worthy of a paper of Clio,' in the Spectator.
After a most fructifying preface and a most magnanimous chapter, ‘introductory and dedicatory to the sisterhood,' we are favored with a classification of old maids.' Here, great ingenuity is displayed by the author - who is truly a doughty champion in the cause of single blessedness. He makes five general divisions of the class Old Maid, namely – Voluntary Old Mails; Involuntary Old Maids; Olil Maids by Accident; Inexplicable Old Maids; Literary Old Maids. These form the subjects of the various chapters — and are, to say the least, treated in a style singularly apposite. For our own part, we do not exactly perceive the shades of distinction, between involuntary and accidental old maids, as here set forth. Now, an accident is always purely involuntary, though what is involuntary may not be accidental. The former, therefore, includes the latter. That there are voluntary old maids, we hold it heresy to doubt ; but, on the exceedingly small number of that genus, we may hazard a reasonable conjecture. The charms which sages have seen in the face of solitude, are not preferable in the eyes of woman to a fond husband's smile. Tent-stitch is a less interesting occupation than premature baby-caps for the female hand ; and the squall of a parrot is not so musical to her ear as the first attempts at conversation of a toddlin' wee thing.'
That involuntary old maids are poured forth from this 'populous north,' in * legions,' cannot be disputed. At the last census taken in New-England, it was discovered that the number of females vastly exceeded that of males. In short, that the matrimonial books would show a balance, in favor of the gentlemen, of twenty-five thousand :-'errors excepted.' Now we take for granted, that all these are accidental or involuntary old maids ; because, till the appearance of this very original work, the genus voluntary was not known to exist. Since its marvellous discovery, however, and the light which will be diffused on the subject, numerous accessions will probably accrue to the sisterhood, from the knowledge that this respectabie title will shield many from the reproach of tabbyism. The next census will therefore, we guess, shew a surplus of at least forty thousand females. But this is not all. There are twenty thousand old bachelors, for whom twenty thousand ladies must be set off. This gives sixty thousand females, who can never hope to be married ; and if we count the men whom the widows will appropriate — say about eighteen thousand more — we may set down as the result, seventy-eight thousand Hopeless Old Maids, (a genus of our own invention, which the author has our leave to adopt) who must remain, like 'ungathered roses,' to waste their sweetness on the bleak air of this ungenial clime. We would very strenuously advise all fair damsels who expect to be of this number, to buy this charming little book, were we not aware that such counsel would be doing great damage to the publishers ; for, if the work were to look only to such patronage, it is positive that not a solitary copy would be sold.
Now for the letter. Miss Marthelina is evidently, at the present writing, of that class denominated by their champion, Literary Old Maids.' She was never a • Voluntary Old Maid' for a moment ; she was an "Accidental Old Maid' for a short time, till she attempted to better her situation ; and now, as we cail them, she is one of the Hopeless Old Maids.' If, however, she will send us a liberal quantity of the essays and sonnets she speaks of, we think that we can extend some slight encouragement. Not that 'we ourself' intend to be silly in our old
age — (Minerva defend us !) — but that, perhaps, one of a dozen bachelors of our acquaintance (who have mittens enough to last through the winter) might be fascinated by tender verses into a final attempt.
To the Editor of the New-England Magazine :
MR. EDITOR, — Periodical papers have long been a medium of complaint to the unfortunate. The Spectator, the Guardian, the Tattler, &c., down to the days of modern chivalry, have been the resource of a sex to which I belong; and I cannot doubt but you will allow me, through this medium, to pour out the sorrows of my heart, and give a vent to that sensibility which threatens to consume me whatever malicious people may say — in the flower of my age. As I cannot hope to interest you in my cause without giving you a sketch of my history, I shall enter upon it without further preamble.
I was one of those who, from childhood, discover a wonderful taste for literature. Though born in a small town, it afforded a circulating library – that nurse of tender and exalted sentiment ! Every shilling my mother gave me was not spent — as is generally the case with young people — for confectionary or finery, but for the accumulation of learning. Hour after hour, and day after day, I poured over · The Sorrows of Araminta,' rambled through the Castle of Udolpho,'trod with Emily its dizzy heights, hung breathless over the yawning chasm, and was wrapt in emotions of love, hatred, indignation and delight. Judge, then, what must have been my horror, when my mother one day said to me, “Patty,' (my name was Martha, but I always wrote it Marthelina) · Patty, you are now fifteen, and I think it is high time you began to help me a little about earning a living. Here I have had to slave all day long, and you do n't earn the salt for your porridge. Now I desire, instead of laying on the bed from morning to night, and reading them silly books, you would come down into the shop and lend me a hand.'
My mother, though indulgent, was, I knew, very resolved ; so the next day I entered on my office. Alas! must it be told? — but we are not answerable for fate - it was attendance on a grocery shop! Hitherto, with the alchemy of taste, I had converted the profits of it into the pure gold of elegant literature ; but the time had arrived when I was to drink from the bitter waters of reality.
The next morning I dressed myself in snowy white ; my raven locks floated on my shoulders ; and, with a pensive expression of countenance, I descended to the shop and took my seat on a candle box, with The Sorrows of Araminta' in my hand. It was not long before the shop began to fill; candles were in particular demand ; I was obliged continually to rise and deliver pounds of the ignoble article. My mother had no great confidence in my arithmetical powers ; indeed, I believe it is universally allowed that the sensitive and sentimental cannot learn to cypher. She therefore took this part of the business upon herself, and mine was to deliver such articles as were called for. Judge what I must have experienced, through three months' apprenticeship; for so long my mother persevered — heaping upon her offspring, in the most unnatural manner, woes unnumbered. O, Mr. Editor! imagine to ourself the unfortunate Marthelina, now called to draw, from a dirty hogshead, a quart of molasses, measuring a gill of rum — and, for the climax of her misery, doomed to soil her hands by pounds of greasy pork! Human suffering has its bounds. My health began to droop under this trial, and my mother, who VOL. IX.