ePub 版

place, you may know there is a lecturor tiro of saying regularly at balf-past. going to bed in it." He shivers wild seven o'clock, of five or six evenings in nights away upon the prairies; he drags the week, “In the beautiful antedilaout dreary days in rummy bar-rooms; vian year one, the wren one morning he bires rickety vebicles, with stolid awoko in Eden, and said to the spardrivers and inadequate horses, to carry row, 'good-day." He must be bannted him over unbeaten roads to distant by the thought that at least twenty of towns; and, when he lands in the in- bis hearers have heard that beforo, and evitable bar-room, the inevitable loafer, anticipate his jokes, and climb bis diwho is cooking expectoration on a red- maxes, and drop asleep upon them, behot stove, drawls out to him, indiffer- fore he arrives. He knows that the ently, tbat there “won't be no lecter, lynx-eyed Rhadamanthus of the Semikoz Miss Smucks bas a sort o' party to- Weekly Tempestuous Teapot is sitting night.” He pays his team and his lodg. under him, with his lynx eyes open, ing, and departs--himself unpaid. He and his mind out in great force. He arrives too late for toa, too latē to shave, knows that there will surely be applause too late to shirt; he plunges, grim and at the joke, out of which chronic reiteragrimy, into the desk, and spins his tion has long since squeezed the last drop hour's discourse ; he is taken home ro- of any fun for himself; and ho fears, as he luotantly toward that bed; but, before falters out his poporation, as if intelloothis final fate is roachod, he undergoos, ual deterioration had already sot in with tealess, supperless, the homage of a dreadful rapidity, and has a dizsy fancy select cirole of literary spinsters, who that when his decay is completed, his ask bim his views of the Infinite and of fellow-countrymen will build him a gray Tupper's poetry. With the sad, slow granite monument, with five per cent day returns the giddy monotony of the off the cost prioe for cash, and cervo national breakfast-tough steak, weak upon it, in the spese apon which they boot-heels, milk-and-water sauco, hot have not out their own names: “He bread of pearlash, and fried leather died young, and his country laments blankets, fondly termed buckwheats. him; but she recalls, with pride, that bo He starts again; his feet freeze, his head eat more tough steaks, and faster, in a aches, his stomach refuses to be paci- given time, than any of his follow-oitified. His neighbor batters him with zens, and stranger, pause !--made upquestions ; he changes oars in the snow, wards of THIRTY THOUSAND and loses his place, and shakes in bis DOLLARS FROM A SINGLE LECcorner by a broken window, where his TURE. Selah !" cold nose gets the fumes of scorched You see it is no summer-pastime to trowsers, fried spit, * and sizzled apple- be a lectures, and the constant iteration parings from the stove, without any of and reiteration of the same discourse tho warmth. His days are desaltory- becomos, at last, even mortifying; 80 his nights dreary. Wherever he goes, that Thackeray was said to have left he is told, “Oh, you should come in us with a kind of sad bumility, as if he the suinmer!” Wherever the snow had traversed the land, making himself blocks him, banks bim, barricades a motley to the view. him, the committee evidently con- But, unless you are ready to assert sidor bim at fault, and wonder what that the sermons of the last six years they can say to the audience. He must bave done do good, you must concede bear with the man who tells him, as he the value of this stated lay preaching. told him last year, that Deacon Bump's The lyceum is, in truth, a week-day evening meeting and the remarkable church a little humanized and enlarged, weather have diminished the audience; and its direct influence upon Sunday and, as they were asleep, and did not has undoubtedly en, the demand for a applaud, he must blandly smile upon more pioturesque and pungent style of the other man, who recalls to him the pulpit oratory. This fact opens the close attention with which he was beard, view of its disadvantages. For, the and informs him that the directors have tendency of the lecture-system is, to resolved to keep good order by putting place brilliancy before all other qualiout any boys who endeavor to stamp ties. A miscellaneous audience is most or clap during the lecture. He must easily held by a series of sparkling sen

Spittan, Saxon.

tences and pictures. The popular lec- the winter, and making it worth a man's ture explodes like a battalion volley. while to prepare a series of lectures It is a succession of climaxes and upon subjects of his especial study; or, points.

Often this is natural to the the interest may languish for a little, but speaker, but, gradually, it shapes the will certainly revive again and flourish. performance of any man; so that, in For, to return to our text, it is the Amepreparing his lecture, he will be swayed rican amusement which is most conby his consciousness of what the audi- genial to our habits and tastes. The ence will expect, and what will surely opera is always an exotic with us; the amuse them.

In reaching this bril- theatre is a reproduction of the English, liancy, he will naturally often lose, some- in which the actors, the plays, and the. times sacrifice, what is better than bril- local humor are British, and the dralianoy. His lecture thus fades into a mas we have ourselves produced, are phantasmagoria, or blazes into rhetoric. either adaptations of the French, or It tastes sweetly, it looks brightly; but mere spectacles of the lowest and most when the auditor gets homo ho is not prurient sarcastic scandal. The negro fed, and has no vision. You will find, minstrelsy, which is partly indigenous, consequently, that the lecture audience has degenerated into coarse burlesque is composed mainly of young people, and sentimental buffoonery. These and largely of women. Dry old men, things only thrive in the city, and tifere and dryer young ones, quote to you the only by rapid and exciting changes. stalest of old stories, that when Mr. And in the city, naturally, lectures Emerson began to lecture in Boston, an languish. Scarcely a lecture in the city ancient lawyer said, when he was asked, this winter has attracted a crowd. But, that he did not go because he did not in the country, where the insanity for understand him; " but,” he added, “my intense excitement is less imperious, daughters do." The inference was sup- and the genuine Yankee character bas posed to be that the lecture was non- fairer development and play, the weeksense, because the lawyer did not un- ly lecture flourishes, and the strolling derstand it. But then, even the song theatre or minstrelsy live for a few unof the Syrens would be dull, if you had certain evenings, and then move

on, no ear for music.

like other vagrants. We do not feel any serious apprehen- Since, then, the public will be amused, sion that the lecturers will be too bril- and is generally intelligent and sensiliant, or that any American audience will ble, is it likely to return to Jim along permanently dine upon whipped syllabub Josey, or to require that the lecture sbali however ingeniously flavored with rose- be constantly better and more attractwater. It will surely do no harm that ive ? As men of cultivation and talent the popular mind requires a rather high. find that they have the gift of public er tone in preaching, for the dullness of talking, and that they can, in that way, sermons is proverbial ; but it will, we turn their advantages to the best pecuconfess, be rather hard upon the clergy, niary acoount, are they not likely to if they are compelled to prepare two labor to make themselves more and “brilliant” lectures every week. Doubt- more acceptable ? loss, however, they will assert their pri- And every noble man, who knows the vilege by not doing so.

magic of speech, and believes that, in We will not follow E. M. and the this oountry of good general morality Herald, by indulging in vaticination. and common schools, as great and as It is not easy to foresee what modifica- profound an influence is to be exerted, tions the lecture system will undergo, morally as it is politically, by that perbut we have no fear that it will perish. suasive magic, will not let his talent lie Perhaps, instead of the miscellaneous and rot in the handsomest damask napcourses now offered, there will be a kin, but will keep it turning and accucombined literary and scientific course, mulating in the great exchange of the thereby giving unity to the interest of world.

VOL. IX.-21

[ocr errors]





- WHOEVER loves trees—and we trustly a mistake, as mere sbade can produce there are few men with soul so dead as not no such effect, so far as in this manner it to love them—will welcome Dr. PIPER's en prevents the elevation of temperature, it terprise, called the Trees of America. It is a acts to this end and no further. Trees serial publication, in which he proposes to prevent evaporation, be says, mainly as rescue those noble and beautiful objects, they prevent the abstraction of heat by which distinguish our landscape above al- retarding the motion of the air. He does most any other, from forgetfulness, and to not know that the mere absence or presgive them a name and a history. The ence of light has anything to do with regular writers upon horticulture and bota- evaporation, and supposes that it depends dy have described and classified the mon- solely upon the temperature and motion of archs of our fields and forests with suffi. the atmosphere. A good illustration of cient precision ; but Dr. Piper proposes to this has recently come under his notice. A take their portraits. An engraver as well gentleman of his acquaintance, who is an as a draughtsman, be visits every locality extensive piano-forte manufacturer, conin which famous trees are to be found, gets structed a large brick building, air and & perfectly accurate likeness of them, light-proof, with furnace beneath, for the which he transfers to steel, and then pub purpose of baking the wood used in his lishes their images, with such descriptive, instrumente. Upon finishing his building, poetical and scientific remarks as the theme be invited Dr. Piper to inspect it; he suggests. Two numbers of his publication pointed out his friend's error, but he perare before us, and we have been both in. sisted in filling it with lumber, and was structed and delighted by them. His much surprised when he found that it realdrawings of trees are remarkable for their ly accumulated moisture.

This arose fidelity, while the letter-press illustration plainly from this cause—that the air was always contains some useful thought. In completely saturated with moisture prethe last number, for instance, he directs vious to the introduction of the timber, attention to the uses of trees in prevents and, of course, it could take up no more; ing a too rapid evaporation of heat and but, when the door was opened, a current moisture, presenting the subject in what of cold air rushed in, and, by lowering the is to us a novel light, and suggesting some temperature, at once precipitated a portion highly important considerations, as to of it, which was absorbed by the wood. vegetable economy in general. Several The defect bas been remedied by the introyears since, & writer in the North American duction of ventilators. As everybody is Review predicted that many and serious aware, the air can take up only a definite evils would result from the rapid destruc- amount of moisture, depending upon its tion of our forests. Prominent among temperature. At freezing, it will hold in these evils, he placed the injurious in- suspension 1-160 of its weight; at 59°, fluence of it upon the climate, arguing 1-80, and 80 on, doubling at every from the fact that other countries had 27° increase of temperature. Now, in a been affected in this way, to such extent, country where there was no motion of the indeed, that, in some regions, large tracts air, and no other sources of loss but evaof territory had been rendered uninhabita. poration, this might go on forever, and ble from this cause. Dr. Piper contends there remain the same amount of water as that these bad influences are already at the commencement. Of course, in such making themselves felt; but he accounts a country there would be no rain. for the effect in another way than is com- Dr. Piper suggests that our railroads, in monly adopted.

order to prevent the evils which they ocIn the Massachusetts State Report on casion by their enormous consumption of Agriculture, it is said that “ trees, by their the forests (about one hundred thousand shade, prevent the abstraction of moisture acres going annually in this way), should be from the earth.” This, he thinks, is entire planted with trees; and contends that, if

[ocr errors]

the plan should be adopted, not only his theoretical principles of art, we shall would the lines be beautified, and a source not stop to say ; it is enough that he has of income be provided for the futare, but considered bis theme with great thorougbthat the trece, by preventing the motion ness, and brings to the discussion of it inof the wind, would lead to no little econo- telligence and good sense. His volume my in the use of fuel. He informs us is a perfect store-bouse of information in that it is ascertained, from actual experi- nearly every department of his art. ment, that double the fuel is used in pass- -Haswell's Mechanics' Tables (Harper & ing through an open, from what is used in Brothers, 1856).—This small work conpassing through a wooded, country. We tains much matter of the first value to cannot tell how correct he may be in this manufacturers and mechanics—B0 neces utilitarian aspect of the case, but we agree

sary that it seems strange that its preparaentirely with bim as to the artistic bear. tion should have been delayed to this day. ings of the subject. Our lines of rail are Mr. HASWELL is already well known for bideously bare and bleak, and ought to be various other works of value, which he has put into wood and grass, for the benefit prepared for engineers and mechanics; and of the human eyes, if for no other end. we take it for granted that these tables for

- The best description which can often measurement of circles and angle iron are be given to a book is its title-page; we, correct. Besides these tables, the work contherefore, copy as follows: " The Archi- tains the weight per foot of wrought and tectural Instructor, containing a history of cast iron, of bolts and rods, of copper and architecture from the earliest ages to the lead, of tubes and pipes; also, receipts for present time, illustrated with nearly two the preparation of solders, paints, etc. hundred and fifty engravings of ancient, Altogether, it cannot but be a valuable mediæval and modern cities, temples, work, so far as we can judge. cathedrals, and monuments; also, the -MR. PRESCOTT bas performed an acGreek and early Roman classic orders, ceptable service to historical science, in their principles and beauties, with a large presenting it a new edition of Robertson's number of original desigos of cottages, Charles the Fifth. That is a standard work villas, and mansions of different sizes, in literature, and could not be easily accompanied with practical observations superseded by any new work on the same on construction, with all the important sabject, and yet it is not au niveau to the details on a scale suficiently large and de present state of knowledge. Since the finite to enable the builder to execute learned Scottish professor wrote, great with accuracy; and further, designs of developments have taken place in history. churches, monuments, and public buildings. The discovery, or, rather, the making pabtogether with a glossary of architectural lic, of the Spanish archives of Simancas, terms. By Mioard Lafever, architect." has brought to light a great many import G. P. Putnam & Co. This is a long name, ant documents, which put a new face on but the book is a big book, and deserving many points in European history. Robertof its name. Designed not only for pro- Bon's book professes to narrate the reigo of fessional but for popular use, the author Charles V., and devotes a few pages only has brought together nearly everything to the life of that monarch, after his relinthat is useful or pleasant to know in re- quishment of his crown.

But those pages gard to the art of construction. With a are not correct. It was no fault of the profound practical knowledge of his sub- anthor that they were not, because he ject, he has spared no pains of bistorical wrote according to the best authorities research. Every chapter of the work be. available to him at the time. The revelatrays the most careful study and sound tions from Simancas bave come since then, judgment. Hisl principles throughout showing that Charles, instead of being are also illustrated by plans and cuts, wholly abstracted from the concerns of which greatly increase the value of the government and politics, during his retirevolume. For the man of wealth or pleasure ment, as Robertson represents, was almost who is about to build, and to the work. as active as he was before. The subject ing architect as well, his instructions will has been treated, under the new light, by be found to possess the bigbest utility. Mr. Sterling of England, and by Mignet and Whether Mr. Lafever is always right in Pichot of France, and Mr. Gaebard of Bel

gium, and Mr. Prescott, availing himself was appointed to the command of the forces of their labors, has also made extensive

in the southern states; and, within less than a use of the MSS. in his own possession, armed, half-clad, and often balf-starved, with.

year, with the remnant of an army half. copied for his Philip the Second. He is out a military chest, and with no resources enabled, by these means, to give us nearly had, by four battles and a series of vigorous

but those of his own energy and genius, he two bundred pages of additional matter, attacks upon the enemy's posts, driven Corn. which adds grcatly to the value of the wallis, with one part of the bostilo army, into

the toils of Yorktown, and shut up the other original work. Apart from the new and

in limits bardly more than large enough for interesting matter contributed by Mr. them to pitch their tents upon.'

During the Prescott, we are glad to have a new and whole of this period he was the confidential

friend and counselor of Washington, who rehandsome edition of Roberteon; for the

lied upon him for advice, support, and sym. old one, in one volume, which has hitherto patby, and bad, according to the general becirculated, was execrable as to typography

lief of the army, marked him out as his

successor, in case of any disaster to his own and shape.

person." -No more important work is projected

-A History of France is a desideratum than the Letters and Dispatches of Major

in English literature. We have no work, General Nathanael Greene, which will be

on that subject, worthy of the notice either edited, from originals in the possession of

of the scholar or the general reader. bis family, by his grandson, GEORGE WASI

That of Crowe is the merest compilation, INGTON GREENE. To this work, one of our

and that of Mrs. Markham is only intended ripest and most accomplished scholars

for beginners. No original, elaborate, brings a rare literary talent, and the filial well-considered history exists. Mr. WRIGHT reverence of a descendant. It is equally has undertaken to supply the deficiency in a unnecessary to remind our readers of the

book which is now being issued in numbers value of the work or the ability of the

by Tallis & Co., but not with more than workman. No unpublished revolutionary qualified success. Like most of his pro records could be so valuable, and every decessors, Mr. Wright makes most of his good citizen is interested that they shall

statements at second-hand, and prefers & be prepared with that tact, and knowledge, rapid and superficial narrative to a patient and skill with wbich the name of Professor investigation of authorities. In the abGreene is synonymous.

We cannot so

sence of other and better works, however, well commend bis work as in his own

bis will serve to satisfy the curiosity of words, describiog the position and charac

the mass of readers. The edition, of which ter of his grandfatber. The book will be

four numbers are before us, is bandsomely published for subscribers only, in six vol

printed and illustrated. umes, of the style of Sparks's “ Washing

“The quarry-man,” says Dr. HITCH

COCK," who bas made excavations in the “Of all the materials for the history of the war of the Revolution, there are none which, rocks for architectural materials, someafter the letters and dispatches of Washing- times looks over the fragments which have ton, are so important as the letters and dis.

been thrown aside, and finds blocks that patches of Major-General Grecne. General Groene joined the army at the camp before

seem to him worth preserving." Thus Boston, immediately after the battle of Lex- has be been doing with the literary deington, in 1775, and continued in active serv

bris which, during his active and useful ico, without a day's furlough, to the final disbandment, in 1783. From the spring of 1778 life, have been quarried and wrought on to the summer of 1780, be filled, in addition different occasions, and afterwards thrown to his rank as major-general, the office of

aside. Under the name of Religious Truth quartermaster-general, which be accepted at tho urgent solicitation of Washington—which Nlustrated from Science, he has gathered be found in a state of absolute disorganiza. into one form numerous addresses and sertion, and which, under all the disadvantages

mons delivered before different scientific of an exhausted country and depreciated currency, he administered with such prompti. and religious bodies. The object of all of tudo and efficiency as to eall forth from the

them is, to present certain aspects of reliCommander-in-Chief the assurance that no plan of operations had ever been thwarted or

gious principle in the light of modern scidelayed by want of cooperation in his depart- ence, to show, not only that there is no ment. After the defeat of General Gates, on the 16th of August, 1780, which left the essere incompatibility between them, but that lipas and Georgia in the hands of the enemy,

they confirm each other. Dr. Hitchcock and Virginia open to immediate invasion, he stands so bigh in both the religious and


« 上一頁繼續 »