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Frequent allusions to the practice of smoking are to be met with in some of the early dramatists; Ben Johnson, for example, who thus unequivocally declares himself in its behalf: “I do assert, and will affirm it before any living person, to be the most sovereign and ferocious weed that ever the earth tendered for the use of man." Spenser also styles it in his Faerie Queen, - divine tobacco ;" most probably from a participation of its pleasures ; and Sir Henry Wotton, when alluding to his pipe, says—“ tobacco tranquilizes the mind and makes men wiser. Isaac Walton seems to have been as fond of smoking as angling. Dr. Garth, Dr. Parr, Sir Isaac Newton, and a host of the learned pundits of Johnson's times, including the “ Kit-Kat-Club,” were devotees to the pipe of peace. Two amusing anecdotes are recorded of two learned doctors, (Parr and Aldrich,) which we may as well cite in this place. Dr. Parr had the reputation of being, like the celebrated Robert Hall, a most inordinate smoker,-on some occasions having puffed off twenty pipes of tobacco per diem. Dr. Aldrich's excessive fondness for his pipe was so notorious among the students under his charge, that on one occasion a wager was laid between two of them, that the Dean, who was at the time in his study, it being ten o'clock in the morning, would be found then in the act of smoking. On their being admitted to his room, and announcing the object of their visit, the Dean, with perfect good humor, replied, " you see, sir,” addressing the party who gave the challenge, "your friend has lost his wager, for I am not now smoking, but only filling my pipe!" Old Parr was one day invited by an opulent friend of his to dinner ; a pipe after such a repast was a sine qua non with the worthy doctor, which fact soon became evident to the eagle eye of the fastidious wife of his friend, by sundry anxious and uneasy attempts to reveal itself by his optics, till at length failing in eye language, and being compelled to resort to an oral disclosure, the following interesting colloquy ensued. “Dr. Parr," said the lady, “ I hope you will excuse what I am about to say, but I cannot permit smoking in my drawing room.” “ And why not, madam ?" replied the discomfited Doctor, “ I have smoked a pipe with my king, and it surely can be no offence or disgrace to a subject to permit me the like indulgence ?" " Notwithstanding that, sir," was the response, I will never allow my drawing-room to be defiled with the nauseous smoke of tobacco." " Madam!” i Sir ?" Madam, you are"-quickly echoed through the room. I hope, sir, you will not express any rudepess," rejoined the inexorable lady; when the former, raising his voice to full concert pitch cried out, “ Madam, you are the greatest tobacco stopper in all England !" This sally caused a loud laugh, though poor Parr was deprived of the pleasure of his pipe.
During the period of English history which boasted of more great men than any previous—or almost any subsequent age-nearly every writer was either a smoker or a snuffer. Addison, Steele, Bolingbroke, Scott, and Lord Herbert, of Cherburg, and also, in later times, Campbell, Milton, Brougham, Christopher North, Robert Hall, Burns, Talfourd, Dickens, Bulwer, John Locke, cum maltis aliis. The last named, on one occasion, went so enthusiastically into its estimate, that he exclaimed, “ bread or tobacco !” And these two terms, placed in such strange juxtaposition, brings us naturally to the item of poets' fancies, as it regards their palates. Literary men have proverbially wenk digestion, superinduced in most instances by their sedentary habits and devotion to study. So universally is this an infirmity to which the class are predisposed, that a physician is said to have declared he never knew a literary man with a strong stomach. Sir Bulwer Lytton might be considered an exception, perhaps-thanks to the magic power of hydropathy. On the subject of literary dietetics and libations, we find a very interesting essay by Chambers, of Edinburgh, to which source we shall have to be indebted for many of the following particulars. For the love of charity, and the honor of the profession, we say not a word about those unfortunate ones who lived upon-nothing.
Some authors have gained a notoriety for singularity in their diet and appetites. Dr. Rondelet, an ancient writer on fishes, was so fond of figs, that he died, in 1566, of a surfeit occasioned by eating them to excess. In a letter to a friend, Dr. Parr confesses his love of “ hot boiled lobsters, with a profusion of shrimp-sauce." Pope, who was an epicure, would lie in bed for days at Lord Bolingbroke’s, unless he was told that there were stewed lamprey's for dinner, when he arose instantly and came down to table. A gentleman treated Dr. Johnson to new honey and clouted cream, of which he ate so largely, that his entertainer became alarmed.
All his lifetime Dr. Johnson had a voracious attachment for a leg of mutton. my aunt Ford's,” says he, “ I ate so much of a boiled leg of mutton, that she used to talk of it. My mother, who was affected by little things, told me seriously that it would hardly ever be forgotten." Dryden, writing in 1699 to a lady, declining her invitation to a handsome supper, says: “If beggars might be choosers, a chine of honest bacon would please my appetite more than all the marrow-puddings, for I like them better plain, having a very vulgar stomach."
Dr. George Fordyce contended that as one meal a day was enough for a lion, it ought to suffice for a man. Accordingly, for more than twenty years, the Doctor used to eat only a dinner in the whole course of the day. This solitary meal he took regularly at 4 o'clock, at Dolly's chow house. A pound and a half of rump steak, half a boiled chicken, a plate of fish, a bottle of port, a quarter of a pint of brandy, and a tankard of strong ale, satisfied the doctor's moderate wants till four o'clock next day, and regularly engaged one hour and a half of his time. Dinner over, he returned to his home in Essex street, Strand, to deliver his six o'clock lecture on anatomy and chemistry,
Baron Maseras, who lived nearly to the age of ninety, used to go one day in every week without any dinner, eating only a round of dry toast at tea.
Aristotle, like a true poet, seems to have literally feasted on fancy. Few could live more frugally; in one of his poems, he says of himself, “that he was a fit person to have lived in the world when acorns were the food of men.” Shelley, who had an ineffable contempt for all the sensualities of the table, and, like Newton, used sometimes to inquire if he had dined, was of opinion that abstinence from animal food subtilises and clears the intellectual faculties. To counteract a tendency to corpulency, Lord Byron, at one period, dined four days in the week on fish and vegetables, and even stinted himself to a pint of claret. If temperate in eating, it does not appear that he was equally conscientious with respect to his libations—especially in that beverage styled gin-and-water, to the inspiration of which some of his lucubrations owe their origin. Burns—the glowing but erratic Burns-was, as is but too well known, a wretched instance of the baneful effects of intemperance.
(To be Continued.)
Light of my heart, sweet Mary, thou to me
Art dearer than all other friends beside ;
Thy gentle love, so long and truly tried,
And in thy murmured words of tenderness
Rejoice that thou art mine, my soul to bless.
All human ills ;—misfortune's chilling breath
For ours is faithfulness, e'en unto death!
We e'er may joy in thine, and in each other's love!
POLITICAL PORTRAITS WITH PEN AND PENCIL.
HENRY C. MURPHY.
He who steadily acquires the approbation of his fellows, or systematically controls his course of action to a lofty purpose, has a task to perform which entitles him, when successful, to a higher place in our regards than the creature of mere circumstances, however elevated. And what constitutes the greatest beauty in our republican form of government is, that it leaves, in this respect, more for individual exertion to accomplish, and less for the casualties of birth and wealth nd patronage to bestow. Still, with us, occasion and necessity, as in other countries differently constituted, have a mighty power to direct the efforts and bend the mind to particular ends, or to divert them from any fixed purpose. Henry C. Murphy, whose portrait accompanies this number of our magazine, by his firm and consistent—as well as able support of the principles of the republican party, has acquired an influence in the community whose representative on various occasions he has been, which is of as marked and fattering a character as it is the result of honorable effort.
He was born in Brooklyn, where he has always lived, and still continues to reside, in the year 1810. Timothy Murphy, his grandfather, came from Ireland to Monmouth county, in New-Jersey, in 1769, having left home in the spirit of adventure at an early age. He married a great-grand-daughter of Richard Hartshorne, of Middletown, who was one of the council, in 1634, of Gawen Lawrie, deputy governor of the proprietaries of East Jersey.* When the revolutionary struggle commenced, he warmly espoused the cause of the colonies, and took up arms with the other whigs of Monmouth in its behalf. He was no less ardent in his support of the Jeffersonian principles of '98—a faith which has been regularly transmitted from sire io son, to the subject of this sketch. Henry C. Murphy graduated at Columbia College, New-York, in 1830, and entered immediately upon the study of the law, under the late Hon. Peter W. Radcliff. He found time to bestow attention upon literary and political matters as well as upon his professional studies; and he was, previous to his admission to the bar as well as afterwards, a frequent contributor to several periodicals of a high literary character, and to some of the political journals of the day in vindication of the measures of President Jackson. Upon being admitted to the profession, in 1833, he devoted himself assiduously to its pursuit; but not so as to prevent him from participating actively in the political contests which followed. In the Young Men's Convention, assembled at Herkimer, in 1834, he exhibited his political foresight and energy of character. The state of New-York had long been pursuing, in regard to its monied interests, a policy which had placed them in the control of petty monopolists, created by political favoritism in every section of the state. He was designated as chairman of the committee on resolutions; and he introduced in the committee, and subsequently in the convention, a resolution, denouncing this system, al
• He was also a member of the council of Governor Andrew Hamilton, in 1695, and repeatedly a representative in Assembly. His plantation embraced Sandy Hook, but was subject to the right of the proprietors to fortify that point. He subsequently bought Wake Cake of the ludians, which was preceded by a patent from Governor Nicolls.
though its patronage had been distributed for the benefit of his party. A violent opposition was made to the resolution, but it finally passed with some modification. It was, however, never permitted to see the light, having been suppressed in the official report of the proceedings of the convention. Still it had its effect. The fact that it was suppressed was made known. Many democratic journals, of which the Evening Post, then edited by the late William Leggett, was most prominent, charged the suppression home, took up the doctrine, and gave it a strength and popularity which resulted in a few years in the utter prostration of the system of monopolized banking in the state.
Until the year 1842 Mr. Murphy held no public trust, except professionally, although always foremost to advocate the interests of the republican party, by his speeches and writings. He was, however, for several years, the attorney and counsel of the corporation of his native city, and in that capacity rendered himself familiar not only with its affairs, but with the nature and operation of municipal corporations generally, of which he has since urged some essential and radical reforms. In the year 1842 he was elected Mayor of Brooklyn, and his administration of its affairs was signalized by a system of retrenchment which, for the first time since its incorporation, kept the expenditures of the year within its income, and which was commenced by a large reduction of his own salary.
Before the expiration of his term of office as mayor, he was returned a member of the 28th Congress, and took his seat, accordingly, in December, 1843. He occupied at once a high stand in that body, although one of its youngest members. His views upon the great questions discussed there were thoroughly democratic, and were sustained with great ability on the floor. His speech on the tariff was a strong and logical argument in favor of the free trade doctrines, and in opposition to the restrictions contained in the law of 1842. On that question he advocated a system of duties for revenue purposes only, except as regards the munitions of war.
The annexation of Texas received his vote; but he advised a postponement of the measure until the administration of Mr. Polk, in order that another opportunity might be afforded Mexico to give her assent, and that more unanimity might be secured thereby in favor of it among our own people. The question was, however, brought up; but in view of the events which have since transpired, the wisdom of his recommendation must be admitted. His letter to the committee at Tammany Hall is an able and manly exposition of the grounds of his opinion upon the subject. On other questions of public policy he sustained himself most ably. The Native American party, which had then sprung into existence, sought an alteration of the naturalization laws, so as to require twenty-one years' residence as a condition of admission to citizenship. He demonstrated the inconsistency of such a measure with the genius of our government, as well as its injustice and impolicy-maintaining that the true conditions of those laws spring from one obvious distinction—that an alien born is not held to an allegiance to the country until he has shown by some act that he has renounced the government under which he was born, while, on the contrary, a native owes it a natural allegiance; and that, therefore, the term of residence required should be no longer than may be sufficient to show that the alien has in good faith thrown himself upon the protection of our government, after expressly renouncing that under which he was born. Mr. Murphy also advocated donations of the public domain to actual settlers. He was not less attentive to the interests of his district and state. The citizens of New-York and Brooklyn had long desired the construction of a permanent dry-dock at this port. The subject was committed to him by the naval committee, of which he was a member,
and he made a report which had the effect of procuring the favorable action of Congress on the subject. That great national work, which had been previously commenced and abandoned, was, through his instrumentality, accordingly resumed, and is now in successful course of completion.
In 1844 he was again presented as a candidate for Congress, but the democratic party was in a minority in the district, on the question of president; and, although he ran ahead of the ticket, he participated in its defeat.
The framing of a new constitution for the state presented an occasion for the exertion of his talents, as he was elected by a very large majority a member of the convention which was called for that purpose. The deliberations of that body are too recent not to be familiar to most readers, and not to dispense with the necessity of referring to the different parts which he took in them. He showed himself a ready and accomplished debater, and was the author of several important provisions, introduced into the instrument which was adopted. As chairman of the Committee on Municipal Corporations, he presented a report upon that subject from the committee; but that not going far enough, he presented also a minority report from himself alone, embracing wise and salutary reforms, such as the growing abuses in our city governments will soon render absolutely necessary. For want of time the convention only partially acted upon these reports, but adopted a provision, prepared by Mr. Murphy, enjoining the subject upon the attention of the legislature. The principles of reform suggested by him are of sufficient importance to be stated here, from public considerations. He objected to special charters, as a mere imitation of the grants of privileges, by which the free cities of Europe, so called, were invested with powers and rights, frequently of a sovereign and despotic character; and proposed that general laws should be passed, by which all cities, of the same class, should be subjected to the same provisions, just as all towns or counties are respectively regulated by one law. He also objected to special assessments for local improvements, as subversive of the right of private property, which was made by them, subject to mere caprice and opinion; and as calling forth, in a majority of cases, unnecessarily, the exercise of the right of eminent domain. In the place of them, he proposed that all improvements made by any city corporation, should be paid for out of the general treasury. He also proposed to limit the power of cities and villages in contracting liabilities, to cases where provision had previously been made by tax to discharge them, expressly, in whole or in part, thus securing to tax-payers the opportunity of determining beforehand whether they would incur the debt for any specific purpose. The rapidly-increasing indebtedness of almost all the cities of the state of New York, and the enormous abuses which the assessment-system, as practised, permits, calls for these or other like efficacious remedies. In these reforms, as in that of bank charters, he has only for a while anticipated legislative action.
This course met the approbation of his constituents, and he was elected, on his return from the convention, to a seat in the next Congress, by a larger majority than before, and upon the largest vote ever polled in the district. Another field is thus before him. Judging from the past, we feel assured that he will continue to show the same zeal and ability in sustaining the cause of popular rights, and to devote the same industry and energy of purpose in the public service, as has thus far characterized his political