« PreviousContinue »
Claremont, which finally proved successful. Under this mode of treat ment a brauch of blossoms was produced, between two and three feet long, and composed of some hundreds of large flowers, resplendent with scarlet and yellow. The plant has the remarkable property of living wholly upon air. It is suspended by the Chinese from the ceilings of their rooms, which are thus adorned by its beauty and perfumed by its fragrance.
EDUCATION IN THE NETHERLANDS.
At Mons, in the Netherlands, a monthly journal is published, devoted to the purposes of primary and higher instruction. The last number contains a dialogue between the pastor of a parish and his parishioner, who is alarmed at the very name of learning. The worthy curate, in language appropriate to the prejudices of his hearer, at last succeeds in making him comprehend, that in less time than was formerly spent in learning to read, many elementary notions might now be acquired in writing, arithmetic, drawing, history, and geography. The peasant, however, is not convinced at first that any thing more is necessary for young people beyond some knowledge of arithmetic, but in a subsequent dialogue, yields to the overwhelming arguments of his instructer. In general, we cannot bestow too much praise on the government of the Netherlands for the pains it takes to diffuse the blessings of education among the very poorest of the people, well convinced that education is the grand safeguard of public morals and happiness.
The site of the late engagement is an example of the loveliness of Grecian scenery. The spacious bay, whose waters are of that deep blue peculiar to southern climes, where the heavens they reflect are pure and cloudless, is enclosed by a picturesque range of majestic mountains, whose flanks, broken into ridges warmed and brightened by the sun,
and into valleys, whose deep recesses collect in their flight the dissipated shadows, present those sublime ef fects of light and shade, which the hand of nature, and of nature only, can produce. These mountains, as they rise above the mass formed by their intermingled bases, divide into peaks, often bold and rugged; and where opposed to the meridian sun, their divers hues heightened by its rays, form a delightful contrast of colour with the deep azure of the sky on which the summits trace their outline. The shores are varied by promontories, whitened by the foam of the waves breaking incessantly at their feet, and by receding creeks, on whose shelving beach the surfless waters advance and retire without obstruction. On one side, the mo dern Navarino, with its walls and citadel and bastion, rises on the steep declivity of the cone-topped Mount Temathia; and on the other, the ruins of old Navarino, the Pylos of the ancients, the city of the venera ble son of Neleus, crown the heights. Off the point, in which the land here terminates, the Coryphaison of the Lacedæmonians, lies the rocky isl and of Sphacteria, so celebrated in the annals of Greece, closing and defending the entrance to the bay.
Two-and-twenty centuries have elapsed since the Athenian and Spartan triremes struggled for mas tery in the bay of Pylos, and again the beautiful haven has become the theatre of strife for hostile navies, Yet, how different the scene! In the place of contest between flotillas of galleys, manoeuvring to sink their antagonists by the simple blow of a rostrum ; instead of combats hand to hand, with sword and buckler; the vast three deckers of modern na tions make the shores of Navarin echo with their artillery. The cla mour of the combatants is drowned in the roar of the cannon, and in the explosion of floating fortresses. Ri val nations no longer contending, but now inspired by mutual emula tion, seem animated by the more generous sentiments of our nature
by feelings such as those which Napoleon knew how to touch with effect, as incentives to glorious deeds, when within sight of the pyramids of Egypt, he reminded his troops that twenty ages looked down upon their
sons of the male sex, in the different professions immediately connected with printing and engraving and more than half that number are united in provident societies, which guarantee them from the need of relief from an hospital: but of the 300,000 individuals of other callings which Paris contains, only 10,330, a little more than a thirtieth part, belong to any friendly societies; it is thence fairly inferred, there is fifteen times more sense and care among the journeymau printers, than among the members of all the other callings followed in the French capital.
People are, just now, talking a quantity of most superlative nonsense against the steam-coaches. They will blow up, forsooth, and they will destroy the breed of draught-horses. As for their blowing up, accidents, doubtless, at first will occasionally happen; but, pray, was not the Manchester mail upset a few months ago, the Leeds coach a few weeks ago, and the Chester mail a few days ago? And were there not lives lost in each of these instances? With respect to the breed of horses, when we want them no longer, why, in folly's name, should we continue to breed them? But, then, the farmers will be obliged to give up growing oats. Yes; and so, thirty years ago, were the Birmingham people obliged to discontinue making shoe-buckles. "Oh!" says some worthy countrygentleman, who receives three letters in the month, and writes one, "I'm sure we get our post quite soon enough; what do a few hours more or less signify?" "Why, a letter, arriving a few hours sooner or later, may signify to a merchant half his fortune, or to any one of us the happiness of a life-time, nay, that life itself. Moreover you drive horses to death for the same purpose which steam will answer without any inhumanity at all." "But these steam"There engines are innovations." you have me; I cannot answer that; but I may observe, so were, in their. day, coats, waistcoats, and breeches; houses, beds, sea-coal fires, and roast
MODE OF KEEPING APPLES.
It seems not to be generally known, that apples may be kept the whole year round by being immersed in corn, which receives no injury
Of the total amount of members of the provident societies of Paris, the number of individuals connected with the press, forms a fourth part. Paris gives employment to 6000 per
beef. PROVIDENCE OF THE PARISIAN PRINT- from their contact. If the American apples were packed among grain, they would arrive here in much finer condition. In Portugal, it is customary to have a small ledge in every apartment, (immediately under the cornice,) barely wide enough to hold
The monthly dinners given by the Editor of the "Revue Encyclopedique," during the last nine years, have an interest and a peculiarity of character which no other re-union of Celebrated this nature possesses. individuals of every nation then meet for the purposes of literary or social intercourse, and for destroying those baneful prejudices which formerly set nations in array against each other, and perpetuated enmities which a more frank and cordial intercourse might have altogether prevented. At a recent meeting of this nature, we observed natives of Britain, Russia, Poland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Dalmatia, Moldavia, Italy, Corfu, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, &c., together with many Frenchmen. Learned men, in short, of every nation, then meet to communicate those ideas which may afterwards become the fruitful germ of civilization over far distant countries.
an apple in this way the ceilings are fringed with fruit, which are not easily got at without a ladder; while one glance of the eye serves to show if any depredations have been conmitted.
A poor Swiss, who was in the mad-house of Zurich, was rather afflicted by imbecility than madness, and was allowed his occasional liberty, which he never abused. All his happiness consisted in ringing the bells of the parish church; of this he was somehow deprived, and it plunged him into despair. At length he sought the governor, and said to him, "I come, sir, to ask a favour of you. I used to ring the bells; it was the only thing in the world in which I could make myself useful, but they will not let me do it any longer. Do me the pleasure then of cutting off my head; I cannot do it myself, or I would save you the trouble." Such an appeal produced his re-establishment in his former honours, and he died ringing the bells.
A few evenings since, a French gentleman in the pit at Drury-Lane theatre perceiving some dirt on the coat of the gentleman seated on his left, said, "I perceive, sir, you have had a rencontre with a cart." sir," replied the other, peevishly, "it was a coach."
PARAPHRASE OF THE 19TH PSALM. That beautiful paraphrase of the 19th Psalm, beginning with "The spacious firmament on high," generally attributed to Addison, was real ly written by the patriot, Andrew Marvel. This was one night referred to at the Literary Club, where Dr. Johnson was present: when he, taking off his hat, went through the whole hymn with a solemnity so impressive, as deeply to affect his attentive auditors. The general appearance of the doctor was harsh and repulsive, but on this occasion, his features were brightened into an almost celestial mildness and serenity.
Mr. Peel, Secretary for the Home Department, when speaking in the House of Commons of the Lord Chancellor, (Eldou,) said, that to apply the words of the poet to that noble Lord, "even his failings leaned to virtue's side." A gentleman present remarked that in that case his lordship's failings resembled the leaning tower of Pisa, which, in spite of its long inclination, had never yet gone over!
EFFEMINACY OF THE ROMANS.
The Romans, said Nigrinus to Lucian, dare to speak truth once in their lives-when they make their wills; and what use do they make of this liberty? why, to command some favourite robe to be burnt with them, some particular slave to keep watch by the sepulchre, some particular garland to be hung about the urn! And this is the end of a life spent in being carried on soft litters to luxurious baths, slaves strutting before, and crying to the bearers to beware of the puddles, and gorging at banquets, and being visited at noon-day by physicians, and all the bustle and tumult of the hippodrome, all the noise about statues to charioteers, and the naming of horses.
These are the gentry whose fin gers are SO overburthened with rings, whose hair is so fantastically curled out, who answer one's humblest salute by proxy, and who are accustomed, nevertheless, to see beggars become viceroys, and viceroys beggars, as at the shifting of a scene.
Before the introduction of vaccination into the new world, one hundred thousand Indians were destroyed by the smallpox in one year in the single province of Quito. The late Duke of York said, that "in the Military Asylum not one unsuccessful case in vaccination had happened in the course of twenty years."
BOSTON, JUNE 15, 1828.
[VOL. 9, N. S.
SKETCHES OF CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS.
WITH what different feelings do mind in England, and not one of the
we write this name, from those with which it will be seen by (we fear) a large proportion of our readers! A few have read the works of Wordsworth, and disapprove; many have not read them, and therefore condemn; the rest, among whom are we, think of him as of one greater, and purer from vulgar meannesses, than to belong exclusively to our generation, and yet connected with it by deep sympathies, by a thousand gentle and strong associations, and by the noblest moral influence.Wherefore this variety of conviction? Partly because the public taste has been in a large degree formed by very different models from that presented by this great poet; partly be cause it has been much misled by evil guidance; but chiefly because his poems require in their readers a far more majestic state of feeling, and more active exercise of reason, than are to be found among ordinary men. Of our own belief we shall now offer some explanation.
highest order, whereof a trace remains, that dreamed of acting upon the feelings through the imagination, by the aid of any more powerful engines than the passions and modes of reasoning which display themselves on the surface of human intercourse, and, as they spring from nothing essential in man's nature, are perpetually shifting and passing away. The muse was dressed like a lady on a birth-night, with a toupee and patches, a stomacher and a hoop-petticoat. Her offspring were mere vague shadows, with a certain conventional inanity of feature; and the heroes of poetry were only more interesting than the mutes who clear the stage between the acts of a play, by being more sillily irritable, more ludicrously fierce, and fonder of words of six syllables, than are real and living men ;-while the way to bring a description or event home to the feelings of every reader, and to impress it vividly on his imagination, was by comparing it to something in the scandalous chronicle of Greek or Roman mythology; by arraying it in a patched garment of classical allusion; by calling a breeze "a zephyr," and a rivulet" the Naiad of the crystal flood."
At the period of the change of dynasty, in 1688, however necessary it may have been to take strong measures for the purpose of saving our bishops from martyrdom, and our venerable ancestors from a Popish explosion; there was at least as much need of a revolution in poetry as in Government. Indeed, from the time of the death of Milton until our own generation, there was scarcely a 26 ATHENEUM, vol. 9, 2d series.
The dynasty of this gentle dulness was destined, however, to be shaken and overthrown, in the midst of its most triumphant imbecility. Threefourths of the eighteenth century
passed away without producing in Europe a single really important political event, or one great predominating mind. But these things were all destined to be changed in the changes of the great moral cycle, acting apparently through the proximate causes of various political convulsions. The obstinate tyranny of England forced the colonies in North America into a most just and holy rebellion. A contest of principles arose; it was imitated in Ireland, in the conflict which triumphed in the year 1782; and reproduced under a more formidable and astounding shape in the French Revolution. Wars became struggles of the intellects and passions of nations,-not merely of musquets and bills of exchange. Politics were changed into the opposition of great moral principles, instead of the frivolous frenzies of pamphleteers and secretaries of state, for the possession of a village or the inviolability of a sinecure. Men learned, in short, to think and to feel for themselves, instead of being talking or acting mechanism. The breath of universal existence seemed to become a subtle and mighty power, an impulse, and an inspiration. The hearts of men were enlarged by the reception of a vast hope; and their faculties impregnated by the glorious influences of the time. The great visible changes were, the awakening of nations, the overthrow of the mighty, the destruction of armies and empires, the reform of France into a republic, and of Italy into a people. But there were also the stranger, more fruitful, and more permanent changes, the regeneration of the German mind, and the second miraculous descent upon English literature of the purifying and kindling fire from heaven.
Of this imbreathed spirit, Wordsworth has in our country received more largely than any one now living; or rather bringing with him into manhood rarer faculties than the rest of his generation, he has also laboured more unceasingly and earnestly to make them instruments of
ideal art and moral truth, creators of the beautiful, and ministers to the good. For these objects he has ceased to draw from the shallow and muddy fountains of so much preceding and contemporary literature. He has sequestered himself from the customary interests and busy compe titions of the society around him; and has endeavoured to see, in his own breast, and in the less artificial classes of mankind, the being of his species as it is, and as it might be, and in the outward world a treasury of symbols, in which we may find reflections of ourselves, and intimations of the purport of all existence. He has attempted to build up in this way his own nature; and to impress it upon his kind, by embodying his serene benevolence and universal sympa thies in the forms supplied by a peculiarly faithful and fertile imagination. He has not aimed at all at mo mentary applause, nor even made renown, either present, or to be, the object of his exertions; but he has written from the love for man, the reverence for truth, and the devotion to art, which, though totally uncon nected with the business of book-mak. ing, are the only foundations of lit erary excellence. Therefore it is, that, amid all the ridicule with which he who belongs not to the age has been attacked by its minions, his influence has been gradually but uniformly extending; and those who judge every thing by the commercial standard of the day, will be surpris ed to find that the booksellers have lately thought it for their advantage to publish a complete and beautiful edition of the works of this "drivel ling ballad-monger."
The main strength of the clamour against Wordsworth has been directed upon his fonduess for the use of plain and ordinary phraseology. Now for this there are various reasons la the first place, the constant employ ment by metrical writers of certain set forms of phrase, many of them never used by any one to express real feelings, and the rest by the ve ry fact of becoming the cant language