« AnteriorContinuar »
lated country life, of which we have so frequently of those elements which favor individual developspoken. Placed beyond the reach of general so- ment, and its weakness in the subjection of those ciety, the only refuge of the Virginia farmer was elements which favor social progress. But, if we in the bosom of his family. Here he found his be right in another proposition of ours, this latter wife and children, and but few besides-they alone evil will, in time, cure iiself. For we have argued were his companions—they alone divided his sor- that the iwo great elements of civilization--indirows, and shared his joys. Whatever concerned vidual development and social melioration-howhim, deeply interested them, and the members of ever they may separate for a time, must, by the this little circle became gradually united to each laws of their own movement, ultimately come toother hy the strongest ties that can bind human gether, and advance abreast. And, in the mean. beings together. And we accordingly find that the time, until these two movements shall become parties of family and kindred, the associations which allel, there is, as we think, nothing discouraging in connect themselves with home, and make it a shrine the present condition of the commonwealth. She in after years, and "all the charities of father, son is, at least, in possession of one, and that the most and brother," acquired a force in Virginia that is valuable of the great elements of civilization. seldom seen elsewhere. The preponderance of And, indeed, grave doubts have been entertained domestic life in the colony, and, since, in the com- by wise and reflecting men whether, after all, the monwealth, is not, therefore, to be wondered at. prodigious progress, which modern society is ma. It was, as we have just stated, the necessary con- king towards perfection in social organization, is sequence of that retired country life which the the summum bonum which it has all along been people then led, and still lead, to a great extent. supposed to be. It is argued that order and harBy force of his position, the affections of the Vir- mony in the social arrangements are very beautiful ginia planter were oblige to center in his Home. things, and, in no wise, to be neglected; but, upon Here his life was spent, here were his only friends the other hand, it is said that the tendency of the and companions, here all his visions of happiness present system is to destroy all individuality, 10 in this life clustered. Feelings which, under other make men mere conventional machines and res. circumstances, would have been weakened by dif- pectable drudges. And thus, while you erect a fusion, were here strengthened by concentration, grand and imposing social edifice, with all its parts and, almost, by exclusiveness. And here we re-adjusted in perfect harmony and order, you sap the mark, in passing, upon the social position of wo-foundation upon which it rests. Society progresses man in Virginia. No where is it more exalted — for awhile with wonderful rapidity, but the individno where is woman held in higher respect. And ual man deteriorates. It is not difficult to predict this is attributable to the prevalence of those do- the ultimate fate of such a community. And in mestic manners which we have just been descri- respect to progress in material wealth, it is argued bing.
Here her importance and value became that, while it is certainly a very good thing that manifest. Woman, at one time man's drudge, and, men should be well-fed, well-clothed, well-housed, at another, his toy, in the bosom of that isolated and that their external condition, in every respect, country life which the people of Virginia have al- should be comfortable and happy, yet that society ways led, became at once his friend, companion has now passed that point, and the tendency of and guide. And, as is always the case, this im- the present order of things is to engross men erprovement in her social position, has been accom-clusively in the miserable work of accumulation, panied by a corresponding improvement in her and to chain down their minds to low and perishamoral and intellectual faculties. As her influence ble interests, to the neglect of higher and more and importance have increased, her mind has been enduring interests and the cultivation of those expanded, and her virtues illustrated. And it will, spiritual and intellectual faculties which distinguish accordingly, be found that if woman has always man from the brute, and connect him, in the gracommanded cordial and unfeigned respect and ad-dation of being, with higher intelligencies. They miration in Virginia, this has been but a just tribute say that Mammon is the “Great God” of the age, to her many virtues. No where, in our judgment, and that it has none other God but him. We must has the female character ever attained to greater not be understood as approving these views—upon excellence--no where has woman ever been more the contrary we, for the most part, reject them. chaste, more lovely, more self-devoting. A Vir- But yet we have thought proper to state them for ginia mother, in the circle of her family, with her the encouragement of those who are inclined to children around her, is the noblest specimen of her regret and despair over the present aspect of civ
ilization in Virginia. For ourselves we need conA word in conclusion. We have now pointed solation from no such source. We find it in the out, though in a very imperfect manner, nat, in Social System of the State itself. We believe that our judgment, constitutes the strength and weak- that system, while it has its impersections, is full ness of the Social System of Virginia. We have of hope and promise, and destined to future greatseen that its strength consists in the preponderance' ness. And we found this opinion upon that pre
How mighty are thy marvels !- whose the hand
That shaped and reared with wondrous power on high Those basalt columns, side by side which stand
In desolate grandeur between sea and sky: Towering in height, in skill all unsurpassed, A barrier impregnable and vast.
Is it a record of the skill and power
Or giant nations, passed away from earth? E'er man immortal breathed in Eden's bower,
These palisades of wonder had their birth. The first born sun shone on them:-and the flood Swept earth from pole to pole-yet still they stood.
The Power which calls and guides the stormy cloud,
The bow of proroise pictures in yon heaven; Which wakes ihe thunder, pealing long and loud
Which sendeth forth the quiet stars at even; This Power Almighty, into being called Thee, and thy strange, wild beauty, Ocean's Emerald'
The pride of Wicklow's wooded hills, and fall
of rushing light, is beautiful to see, And where the fragments of St. Kevin's wall,
Stand 'mid Glendalough's lone serenity, I've watched the harvest moon-beams on the pile Descend in semblance of an Angel's smile.
ponderance, which we have so often pointed out, of those elements which favor the development of the individual man. While the constituent members of a community remain sound and healthytheir moral and intellectual natures improved and cultivated-however imperfect its social organization may be, it possesses the materials for a fine society; for, after all, it is the noble people that make the noble government, rather than the converse. Institutions are much ; but they are not all. And it is a truth which should never be forgotten, that those memorable revolutions in religion, morals and government, as well as those important inventions and discoveries in art and science, which have added so largely to the stock of human comfort and happiness, have resulted, not from social or political mechanism and organization, but from isolated and individual energy and devotion. They have, each and all of them, been either the legacies which some silent thinker has bequeathed to his country and his age from the retirement of his closet, or the achievements of some bold reformer, who, overflowing with love for his race and burning with indignation at their wrongs, has fired the human soul with new hope and new daring, and changed the course of history. And now, perhaps, when we least expect it, some such thinker or reformer may be in our midst. In the bosom of that isolated country life, which still constitutes a distinguishing feature in Virginia society, there may linger, obscure and unknown, and only awaiting a fit occasion to develop his priceless worth, some Jefferson, who shall expound to his country and the world the great principles of civil and religious liberty, and teach mankind how individual liberty may best be reconciled with social order—some Henry, whose burning words shall again stir up men's souls, and whose voice, as of old, shall sound to arms in the hoor of peril—or some Washington, upon whose broad shoulders his country may again repose in the day of need, and feel that his consiant soul and outstretched arm are a better safeguard than fleets and armies. “ The glory of an age is often hidden from itself."
H. A. W. Westmoreland county, Va.
Where the old kings of Munster held their court,
In Cashel's palmy days of power and state, The peasant children gayly now may sport
In all their reckless gleefulness elate ; For the bright morn and evening's suns are shed O'er roofless dwellings of the crowned dead.
But with less lightsome mien their steps they trace,
Where on the rock precipitous arise The crumbling ruins of the holy place
of their own land's religious mysteries : For every little heart bath thrilled at tale And fairy legend of the Lia Fale.
Sport on,- while yet the days of brightness be ;
E'er hunger's iron fingers grasp the heart, And all secure in helpless infancy,
In toil and torturing care ye have no part; No portion in the bitter thoughts which try The elder-hearted with fierce agony.
Where are the lords, the owners of the soil,
Who should the shelter of their vassals be; Their rescuers from misery and toil,
Imposed by the oppressor's tyranny ! Alas! though Erin's voice is one of wail, What ear is open to her piteous tale ?
A purer, holier joy than that of yore,
A brighter honor, a more fair renown,
Honor which hath salvation for its crown;
'Till then, let children raise their bands and bless
In humble adoration, God, who here
And desolate poverty, may safely steer
" Cæsar to Cicero:
Expect help." It was thrown over into the camp, affixed to a javelin : for the barbarians prevented all personal access. Hardly had it been received, when the hearts of the garrison were made to leap with a yet livelier joy by the sight of the smoke from Cæsar's camp-fires, surging above the woods. They were seen also by the savage besiegers; who left the siege to attack him, and were ulterly routed, with great slaughter.
3. It is well known that an English dandy, who courted the familiarity of Lord Chesterfield, eloped to Gretna Green with an heiress, and after having the nuptial knot tied, wrote thus to his lordship : “MY DEAR LORDI am the happiest dog alive.
Oh! would that I could all unlink the chain
Of wretchedness, and set thee, Erin, free, Wipe from thy annals every dark’ning stain,
Light up thy heart with fire of liberty ; And then beneath the sky no Ocean gem Were brighter in old Neptune's diadem.
To which the wit responded
« Dear JACK BRIEF EPISTLES.
Every dog has his day.
ChesteRFIELD." 1. The letter of Lentulus to Catiline, in Sal. lust's account of the conspiracy of Catiline, cer
Our own times have afforded samples of epistotainly is a model of brevity; consisting, in Latin, lary brevity, that may compare not badly with of but 31 words, which in English it is difficult to Cæsar’s. I do not allude to the breathless disavoid expanding into 38. In view of the bloody patches by the lightning-horse, lately harnessed convulsions which that letter was designed to pro- and made to bear“ winged-words” with a celerity duce, it used to strike my boyish fancy as having that Iris or Mercury never dreamed of, however a touch of the sublime in its awful and mysterious Jupiter might hurry them. The instances I am conciseness :
going to cite, were before the magnetic telegraph "You will learn who I am, from him I send to had been invented. you. Reflect, in what peril you are, and remem
4. One was a New England mother's letter to ber that you are a man.
Consider what your cir- her son, who had roved away to Louisiana. It was cumstances require-seek help from all, even from as follows: the lowest."
“ Dear Tom 2. But that letter was as a President's message
Come home. to a speech of Queen Victoria, compared with a
Your MOTHER," &c. missive which Julius Cæsar wrote to his lieuten
Tom's answer, quite as laconic, ran thus : ant, Quintus Cicero. The latter, with a small force, was beleaguered in an isolated camp, or for
“ DEAR MOTHER
I won't. tress, by an immense host of Gauls, or Germans -
Your LOVING Son," &c. no matter which. They guarded all the approaches to him so closely, that with extreme difficulty and
5. Virginia, some half a century since, furnishhazard, he conveyed news of his peril to Cæsar. ed a corres ndence briefest of all. It had but The great leader instantly posted off, with 7,000 one word in each epistle. The eccentric Doctor men, to relieve Cicero; but sent forward a nimble Honeyman, of Hanover, had contracted to buy, courier, with a note in two words, which must have from Captain Robert Dabney, of Louisa, some live been to the distressed lieutenant one of the most pork, which the latter was to drive down and dedelicious of billets-doux. It was in Greek—that liver. It did not come, however, so soon as it the enemy might not understand it, should it fall ought: and the doctor, in a fit of mingled impainto their hands :
tience and waggery, folded a large sheet of fools
cap into a very complicated letter-form, having Καισαρ Κικέρωνι:
written in its innermost recess the single word Βρεθειαν προσδεχου.”
“ Hogs!” This he dispatched by express to CapThe two upper words were only the address, or tain Dabney-a humorist also, of the first grain. direction of the letter. The whole, in English, In half a day the messenger returned, bearing in
reply a similarly folded sheet, in the very penetra
BY H. T. TUCKERMAN.
lia whereof was written, only the word used by for much of the crime he is said to have comswine-drivers to orge along their grunting herd- mitted. "Houx!"-pronounced hoo-y!—By this, the doc- The genius of Shakspeare first sanctioned the lor was given to understand that the pork was com- general impression against the onhappy Richard ing on, with all speed. And he had hardly done III. Shakspeare was a poet, and he wanted a sube laughing at the relort of his joke, when the Louisa ject; he was a Lancasterian, and he wished that captain appeared, with his hogs and drivers. subject to be the enemy of the House whose cause
Would it at all tellers of stories (myself included), he had espoused. He was a very curt narrator of and all makers of speeches, writers of essays, and events (though Marlborough did say that he was the builders of books, would learn from the heroes and best of all historians; in some respects, such as heroine of my narrative, one among the most im- giving a vivid impression of the times in which his portant rules of man's brief and busy life--Be hero lived, beyond all doubt he was ;) but after this
Shakspeare was but a poet; he drew upon his fancy M.
always when it was necessary to supply his facts.
After him came a historian more generally read than any other that has written our language,
who seems, strangely enough, to have taken up the cudgels for the house of Lancaster, three hundred
years after the quarrel had been extinguished in SONNET.
the death of all the parties and who perverted history even more than Shakspeare. This may be accounted for, in a very great degree, by Hume's in
attention to business. There are still existing, it When in the temple at still eventide
has been said, in the Foreign Office, piles of docuThe young priest said in firm and moving tone,
ments, which were ordered to be copied out for That human love was sacredly allied
him—they stand just as the clerks copied them, To that which God proclainneth as his own:
they were never examined by him and there they And bade us all remeinber how the hours
will remain to the end of all time, a monument of Of trembling sympathy, intense though feet,
a historian's indolence and a warning to those who Awoke devotion's most exalted powers
put their faith in history. As flew the soul its counterpart to meet ;
When Horace Walpole first published his “ HisThen o'er my spirit, like a sudden flame,
toric Doubts,” Hume was placed in a very awkThe memory of our love exultant grew,
ward attitude. The proof of it may be seen in his I turned to thee,-no answering glances came Notes to the second edition of his history. The For thy sweet head was bowed as flowers with dew;
advantage was evident; the man of leuers—the Yet my veiled eyes I felt were deeply fraught
mere scholar-had beaten the professed historian With a responsive beam of kindling thought.
at his own weapons—upon his own field of conflict-and, evidently, under all the disadvantages which superior opportunities could afford to the latter. The fact was susicient to prove that though
David possessed some of the highest requisites for
making a historian-thongh he had the most inRICHARD JII. *
sinuating and most delightful of all possible styles, Genius, like the rays of the sun, illuminates
he was yet deficient in one particular, which of every thing it touches; yet, like those very rays, important ingredient in the character of him who
late, and only of late, has began to be thought an it oflen presents the objects on which it falls in a false light. Perhaps the truth of this observation writes history. David had no sort of care or prewas never more fully illustrated than in the history dilection for facts ; not more than Livy had, whose of the character, whose name stands at the head of history we have always thought one of the most this article. Like many others, who have fallen splendid romances we ever read. The two men upon evil times in their generation, and become the were alike in one particular; they were both men scape-goats of history, the probability is growing
of genius—hey resembled each other also in ano. every day stronger that he has been greally mis- ther, they took no pains to find out whether they represented that he was, by no means, the mon
were writing truth or falsehood, but only followed Ster we have been taught to believe-that he was
the bent of their own fancy. A splendid work, not at least as good as any of his contemporaries—and
a historical record, seems to have been equally the that many of those contemporaries are responsible object of both. Livy, io gratify the prejudices of
his nation, chose to perpetuate numberless anti* RICHARD 111. as Duke of Gloucester and King of Eng. quated Roman lies with regard to Hannibal the land. By Caroline A. Halsted.
Carthaginian; Hume, to tickle his own country
men, seems to have resolved that no slander that BLACK PRINCE, who was the eldest of them all, and had ever been propagated against Cromwell should upon whom the crown would of course have defind its grave, at least in his day. Hume would volved, having died, his son, (Richard II.,) sucnot look at the records after they were copied out; ceeded to the throne. In the year 1399, this prince, Livy, we doubt not, never took the trouble to ex- who seems to have inherited none of the qualities amine whether there was even any record of the of his father, or grandfather, was deposed by his events he describes or not. Livy wrote most elo own near relation, Henry of Bolingbroke, who was quently and most musically ; so did Hume. The the oldest son of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancas. Roman's introduction of Hannibal, on the stage, ter, whose name is so familiar to all the readers of surpasses almost all we have seen in history; we Shakspeare. say almost because we mean to give place to his It is proper to mention in this connection, that great rival's description of Cromwell's death. before the dethronement of Richard II., Parlia
We only compare these two great national his. ment taking matters into their own hands, liad altorians, for the purpose of showing that the highest ready nominated as his successor Roger Morti. elements which enter into a genius for writing his- mer, Earl of March, who was the grandson of Litory, that is for making history agreeable to the onel, Duke of Clarence, which Lionel was the elman who reads it, are very apt to be wanting in der brother of John of Gaunt, the “time honored him who attends to the more important part of re- Lancaster," who has become so famous as the procording facts as they really are, and vice versa. genitor of the family of Lancaster. It is evident, They seem also, in part, to illustrate the cause therefore, that the claims of those who were dewhy the character of Richard III. has been always scended from the Duke of Clarence, according to porsued with execration by all the readers of Eng- the feudal ideas of the rights of property, were supelish History. Let us now return to that monarch-rior to the claims of those who were descended from to Mrs. Halsted's book—and to the various chroni- John of Gaunt. The house of Lancaster, howcles that have recorded the wars of the Two Roses. ever, was powerful and wealthy, far more so, for
Richard, as the reader very well knows, was the the time, than any other of king Edward's delast monarch of the illustrious house of Plantagenet, scendants. It retained possession of the crown and fell in battle at the early age of thirty-two. for three reigns, Henry IV., V. and VI, all having He is represented, by the great dramatist, as show- successively worn it. The reign of the last of ing an instinctive ihirst for blood two years before these monarchs was one of the longest recorded in he was actually born.—as commitiing many crimes the whole history of England—we believe the very at a period when he must have been in his nurse's longest with the exception of George III. arms. The poet was excusable-he had little to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, left an only child, do with facis—all he wished was a position 10 Philippa, who married Edward Mortimer, Earl of show off his hero—but for the historian there is March, and whose son, Roger, inherited all the ti00 excuse.
tles thus concentred. This son, however, died beWe regard the present work—that of Mrs. Hal- fore the deposed monarch ; and Henry IV. imprissted—as a real acquisition to literature, not for oned his heir, a child of seven years, at Windsor its style, but for two qualities which would have Castle, in order that his rich possessions might stood very low in the eyes of the two great nation- enure to the benefit of his son, the Prince of Wales, al historians to whom we have already alluded, afterwards Henry V.; one of the most famous Hume and Livy. Her book is distinguished by monarchs in English history, and especially well deep research into the history of the age on which known to all readers of Shakspeare, as the “mad she professes to descant, and she never speaks out prince"—the companion of Falstaff and Poinsof the record. She has the advantage of Walpole the especial favorite, in one word, of the great in one particular, while she is behind him in ano-dramatist himself, who seems to have derived his ther; she cannot speak in the same style of simple, affection for, and prejudices in favor of, the family easy elegance, by which all he has written is mark- of Lancaster, from this splendid creation of his ed, and which, in our opinion, has never been ri- genius. That “ Hal," as Shakspeare calls him, vailed by any male writer who ever existed; but in some degree deserved the enthusiastic devotion she has had an opportunity which was denied to he always manifested for his memory, there can him; that of more thoroughly inspecting the rec- be no doubt; and the fact that a most intimate ords of the eventful times of which they treat than friendship sprung up between him and the impriswas ever afforded to any other person, or at least oned Edward Mortimer, is sufficient to establish to any other person who has thought proper to it
. Mortimer made no opposition to him, though take advantage of it. Our limits forbidding us to his claims were in law superior, but on the contraextract from the book, we merely propose to give ry was through life a devoted friend and follower. the reader some general idea of its contents. Things stood thus during the reigns of Henry IV.
Edward III., it is well known, had seven sons and his son. and five daughters, all by one marriage. The The fifth son of Edward III. was Edmund Lang