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longer indulging in it, detain you from the perusal of the incidents I have proposed to relate.
Of my ancestry my memory has become so much impaired, that I can say but little; but if I recollect aright, in my youth, while under the influence of several hundred thousand charms of a young lady of family, I tried to trace the origin of mine. To my shame, however, I must confess, that I did not succeed in getting farther back than my father and mother. “It is a wise child,' it is said, “that knows its own father ;' and in my infancy, and in that of our country and society, it was also considered a respectable child that was able to point to the immediate author of his existence; but now-a-days, since we have become so refined and aristocratic that we must have a grand-father, on at least one side of the house, it is possible that it may be a matter of reproach that I never could clearly ascertain who stood in that venerable relation to me. However this may be, it is a matter of some satisfaction for me to be able to state, that as far as I did go, I traced my origin with great distinctness. Here is a copy of our family tree, made by me at the time:
. You will observe, that it is composed of a trunk and two branches. The right branch is my father, and the left my mother. The little saplings you see springing up from the foot of the parent stem, and extending in regular gradation to the right, to the number of a baker's dozen, are my brothers and sisters. The last and least of these, you will please to take notice, is myself. It appears to me that I was a kind of remnant, thrown into the world, as it were, into the bargain, as you, lady, perhaps, have had the last skein of silk remaining in the package, after you had selected the dozen you wished, added by the civil shopkeeper to your purchase. Be this as it may, if I was least in size, I was not least in consequence, of my family. I grew in stature, in beauty, and in wisdom, until I became the wonder of my nurse, the pride of my mother, and the admiration of our neighbors. You will excuse me for not dwelling on my boyish days. Interesting as that period is to myself, my recollections of it will afford nothing particularly instructive to you, or beneficial to posterity. I will, therefore, pass on to the period when the boy was sprung to manhood.'
• In my younger days, before the elevated notions which now universally prevail were known in this country, it was considered proper for every young gentleman to have some ostensible means of support. My parents, therefore, directed my attention to the study of a profession not, however, with any expectation of my pursuing it for a livelihood, for they considered me a child of genius,' and naturally enough supposed that if food or raiment should ever be wanted by me, my extraordinary talents could easily procure both. It may not, however, be amiss for me here to state, that I had a recipe against actual want, in the shape of a small estate of a few hundred dollars per annum, bequeathed to me by a maiden aunt. When I became of age, and the uncontrolled master of my little property, I began, for the first time, gravely to consider into which of the thousand great thoroughfares of life I should turn. Should I, like the majority of mankind, become a
seeker after wealth? Should I join the throng of those who seek glory at the cannon's mouth? Should the immortality of the poet, or the orator, or the statesman, be the object of my aspirations? No,' I exclaimed; “I will not travel any of these turnpike roads to wealth or renown. I will find a path to riches and distinction that the foot of man has never yet trod.'
*After long and serious meditation, and self-examination, I decided upon my course. I fixed upon a character which I determined to sustain as long as I should think it advantageous for me so to do. I chose a line of conduct appropriate to this character, which I resolved steadily to pursue, until the experiment I was about to make should be complete.
The principle ingredient in my assumed character, was impudence. To it were added coolness, self-possession, and a sprinkling of hauteur and assumption. It was necessary to divest myself of every appearance of human passions or sympathy. A single virtue, or tender feeling, or impulse of any kind, would have destroyed the structure. It was an arduous task I had undertaken; but after long and patient study, and a nice adjustment of the different parts, I at length succeeded in producing in my own person the first specimen of that species afterward so distinguished, by the name of the · Nonchalants.'
• Lady, it would have been worth your while to have lived at that day, if but to have seen the spectacle I presented in my borrowed feathers. I appeared a kind of walking statue. My figure in public was always erect and unbending. My eyes turned neither to the right nor the left – were never either elevated or depressed but had the same forward, unchanging direction. My countenance always retained the same expression of imperturbable gravity; not a feature was disturbed, not a muscle moved. The whole world might have passed before me, without apparent consciousness on my part. I spoke, it is true, occasionally, but my observations were always cold and sententious. The least enthusiasm or warmth would have destroyed my character.
• You will be surprised at this account of myself, and will perhaps wonder how I could have submitted to the privations necessary to the assumption and sustaining of so ridiculous a conceit. I can only an. swer, that
the human heart. It enables us to accomplish Herculean tasks, and
I must defer any further extracts from the remains of the late Mr. Smith, until some future number. Were I not fearful of encroaching
space the editors have assigned to the instructive articles,' I would have extended them far enough, at least, to have shown the extraordinary success that attended Mr. Smith's first appearance in his new character; to have shown how the ladies admired him, how men envied him, and then followed him; how his disciples increased until they became a sect; how Mr. Smith attempted to take advantage of his popularity, and to run off with a young heiress; how he was overtaken by her guardian, and lost his prize and his self-command; how, (to continue the manner of speech of honest old Grumio) he abused the guardian; how the guardian beat him; how he got into disrepute, and how his system declined — all these matters, for the reasons aforesaid, and, (in your ear, reader,) because I am very sleepy, and very tired, must be reserved until the next, or some subsequent number.
ANALYTIC GRAMMAR, with SYMBOLIC ILLUSTRATION. BY FREDERICK A. P. BARNARD, A. M., C. A. S. 12mo. pp. 264. New-York: C. FRENCH.
The author of this work, Professor BARNARD, of the New-York Institution for the instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, is doubtless known to many of our readers, as the writer of several valuable articles on that deeply interesting subject in the quarterly periodicals. With some knowledge of the obligations which the science of deaf and dumb instruction, at least in the United States, owes to this gentleman, we were prepared to expect that a work from his pen, in which its great principles should be unfolded and applied to the instruction of children, who are blessed with the faculties of hearing and speech, would possess no ordinary claim to public favor. Our expectations have not been disappointed.
The two principal characteristics of the book are, its analytical character, and the employment of symbolic illustration. After a minute and careful examination, we are prepared to say that the analysis of the laws of construction is far more thorough than can be found in any of the English grammars which have fallen under our notice. The author, instead of consulting the common works of the day, and presenting under lightly modified form what has been a thousand times presented ady, has evidently gone to the fountain-head of all correct grammar the philosophy of language. Combining this with the minuteness of detail so indispensable in the instruction of the deaf and dumb, an analysis of the laws of language has been produced of the highest character. In the common works on English grammar, nearly all that is attempted, is, to enable the learner to 'parse,' as it is termed — that is, to distinguish one part of speech from another, and apply the rules which regulate their mutual dependance. In this exercise, as generally conducted, only a slight degree of mental exertion is required - so slight, in fact, that it may almost be termed mechanical. Professor Barnard has had a higher object in view — to make the pupil a thinker as well as a knower. With this view, the greatest effort is made to explain the reason of things : to cause the learner to see, not only that language is divided into certain parts of speech, but why it is thus divided : to make him acquainted, in fine, with the whole rationale of language.
To accomplish this, next to minute analysis and simplicity and clearness of explanation, certain symbols, representing the powers of the different divisions of language, have been relied upon. These symbols, it appears from the author's preface, have been somewhat extensively used in the instruction of the deaf and dumb, as representatives of the laws and connection of language. Since this unfortunate class are unable, in the earlier period of their instruction, to comprehend a grammatical rule, expressed in artificial language, it becomes necessary to represent the parts of speech and the rules of grammar by visible symbols, which shall speak to the eye. Thus the nominative case may be expressed by a perpendicular mark, out of which another somewhat inclined to the right proceeds, denoting that from the suhject an action issues. Such a figure may be made for the verb, that it shall seem to transfer the action, (if transitive,) to something else : and for the objective, a charac:er similar
to that of the nominative may be made — the projection, however, inclining to the left; denoting that the object receives the action that is, is acted upon. On the same principle, a complete set of characters may be devised, which shall be a picture of the powers of words, and of their mutual dependance in connected discourse.
Obvious as the practicability of devising such a system is, it is evident that its beauty, and even its practical utility, must depend altogether upon the manner in which it is executed. If the characters of such a system were, for i.:stance, entirely arbitrary, and should have no visible connection with each other, they not only would be of no use to the learner, but would be a positive and serious incumbrance. Such is not the case with the system of grammatical signs in the book before us. On the contrary, the symbols are in the highest degree expressive, and have evidently demanded much ingenuity and labor to perfect them. They compose, in fact — if we may use the expression—a complete grammatical atlas. To sum up in a few words the character of the work, the peculiarities of which we have endeavored to state-- it is profound and minute, and at the same time simple and entertaining. It will interest the learner, discipline his mind, and give him a thorough knowledge of gram
We heartily commend the 'Analytic Grammar to all the friends of real improvement in the science of education.
SKETCHES OF SWITZERLAND. BY AN AMERICAN. In two vols. pp. 465. Philadelphia :
CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD. New-York: WILEY AND LONG.
We have before alluded to these agreeable volumes, and expressed our gratification that they were so well calculated to aid in removing the unfavorable effect which the later works of the author were exercising upon his reputation. The 'Sketches' are given in a series of letters, and in an easy, gossipping, yet evidently elaborated style, present various pictures of Switzerland; and whatever the writer may think to the contrary, we cannot but believe, that whoso rises from an attentive perusal of these volumes, will have acquired very perfect conceptions of the sublime country through which he has, in fancy, accompanied the graphic traveler. It is an evidence of no common power, that, treading in the paths of divers other tourists, wherein striking instances of concomitance in description might naturally be expected, Mr. Cooper has given a succession of views clearly his own, without so much as a borrowed shade or tint, to impress the reader with an idea that similar pictures had met his eye before. We select two extracts in justification of our encomiums in this regard. The traveler is describing two sublime aspects of the Alps, as seen from Berne :
“One of these appearances is often alluded to, but I do not remember to have ever heard the other mentioned. The first is produced by the setting sun, whose rays, of a cloudless evening, are the parents of hues and changes of a singularly lovely character. For many minutes the lustre of the glacier slowly retires, and is gradually succeeded by a tint of rose colour, which, falling on so luminous a body, produces a sort of roseate light;' the whole of the vast range becoming mellowed and subdued to indescribable softness. This appearance gradually increases in intensity, varying on different evenings, however, according to the state of the atmosphere. At the very moment, perhaps, when the eye is resting most eagerly on this extraordinary view, the light vanishes. No scenic change is more sudden than that which follows. All the forms remain unaltered, but so varied in hue, as to look like the ghosts of mountains. You see the same vast range of eternal snow, but you see it ghastly and spectral. You fancy that the spirits of the Alps are ranging themselves before you. Watching the peaks for a few minutes longer, the light slowly departs. The spectres, like the magnified images of the phantasmagoria, grow more and more faint, less and less
material, until swallowed in the firmament. What renders all this more thrillingly exquisite is, the circumstance that these changes do not occur until after evening has fallen on the lower world, giving to the whole the air of nature sporting, in the upper regions, with some of her spare and detached materials.
A view of the Oberland Alps, rising above a row of mountain outposts, 'any one of which would be of itself a spectacle in another country :'
“The day, on the occasion to which I allude, was clouded, and as a great deal of mist was clinging to all the smaller mountains, the lower atmosphere was much charged with vapour. The cap of the Niesen was quite hid, and a wide streak of watery clouds lay along the whole of the summits of the nearer range, leaving, however, their brown sides misty but visible. In short, the Niesen and its immediate neighbours looked like any other range of noble mountains, whose heads were hid in the clouds. I think the vapour must have caused a good deal of refraction, for above these clouds rose the whole of the Oberland Alps to an altitude which certainly seemed even greater than usual. Every peak and all the majestic formation was perfectly visible, though the whole range appeared to be severed from the earth, and to Hoat in air. The line of communication was veiled, and while all below was watery, or enfeebled by mist, the glaciers threw back the fierce light of the sun with powerful splendor. The separation from the lower world was made the more complete, from the contrast between the sombre hues beneath and the calm but bright magnificence above. One had some difficulty in imagining that the two could be parts of the same orb. The effect of the whole was to create a picture of which I can give no other idea, than by saying it resembled a glimpse, through the windows of heaven, at such a gorgeous but chastened grandeur, as the imagination might conceive to suit the place. There were moments when the spectral aspect just mentioned dimmed the lustre of the snows, without injuring their forms, and no language can do justice to the sublimity of the effect. It was impossible to look at them without religious awe; and, irreverent though it may seem, I could hardly persuade myself I was not gazing at some of the sublime mysteries that lie beyond the grave.'
A picturesque description of an avalanche, must close our quotations :
“These avalanches, as you will readily imagine, are of as many different forms and characters as can be assumed by falling snow under the vicissitudes of the season, and amid the wild formations of the Alps. Sometimes they are of fresh snow, that has accumulated in huge balls, which come down with their own weight, or are broken off by the oscillations of the air; at other times superior pressure drives them from their seats; the melting of the thaws, and the passage of rills of water produce others. In short, all the causes that can so easily be imagined, combine to force the frozen element from its aëries into the valleys.
"Once or twice the sound we heard was like the mutterings of a distant storm, and we tried to fancy it a mountain turning in its lair. A mountain groaning is very expressive !
"My eye was fixed on the side of the Jung Frau, when I saw a speck of snow start out of a mass which formed a sort of precipice, leaving a very small hole, not larger in appearance than a bee-hive. The report came soon after. It was equal to what a horseman's pistol would produce in a good echo. The snow glided downward two or three hundred feet, and lodged. All heard the report, though no one saw this little avalanche but myself. I was in the act of pointing out the spot to my companions, when a quantity of dusty snow shot out of the same little hole, followed by a stream that covered an inclined plane, which seemed to be of the extent of ten or twelve acres. The constant roaring convinced us the affair was not to end here. The stream forced its way through a narrow gorge in the rocks, and rëappeared, tumbling perpendicularly two hundred feet more on another inclined plane. Crossing this, it became hid again; but soon issued by another rocky gorge on a third plane, down which it slid to the verge of the green pastures; for, at this season the grass grows beneath the very drippings of the glaciers.
“This was a picturesque avalanche to the eye, though the sound came so direct, that it was like the noise produced by snow falling from a house, differing only in degree. The size of the stream was so much reduced in passing the gorges, that it bore a strong resemblance to the Staubbach, and according to the best estimate I could make, its whole descent was not short of a thousand feet. The hole out of which all this mass of snow issued, and which literally covered acres, did not appear to have more capacity than a large oven! We shook our heads, after examining it, and began to form better estimates of heights and distances among the Alps.”
We welcome Mr. Cooper back into the 'old ways,' and rejoice in the hope which these volumes afford, that he will not again stray into by and forbidden paths, wherein his numerous admirers are little inclined to wander with him.