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praise. Flowing cups, myrtle wreathes and rosy garlands, laughter and song, and the dance, giving occasionally place to nymphs, inspired by the same divinity, not encumbered with modesty, and glowing with fires, worthy of the power that kindles them, are the persons in this drama. As to that hilarity of heart and vivacity of converse, flowing from sound health, the child of temperance, the candour of innocence, the ardour of social affection, and the sparkling of true wit, we find nothing here but tipsy dance and jollity, the delirium of intoxication and the goadings of lasciviousness.
How much are mankind misled by names. Lycæus and Aphrodite, Bacchus and Venus, the mirth and love of Anacreon and Horace shall be listened to with reverence, and regarded as something like divinities, and yet reduced into plain English, and stripped of metaphor, they are nothing but drunkenness and lewdness. Anacreon is neither more nor less than a hoary debauchee and reveller, whose vicious and beastly habits are only strengthened by age, and whose understanding is so depraved, that he glories in that which should constitute his shame, which at any age, is hostile to true joy and true dignity, but which is peculiarly shameful and detestable in grey hairs.
Tom here interrupted my harangue, with a severe invective against my prudery, my cant and so forth, and I listened without reply: for, Tom, I am sorry to say, is one of those who have no conception of love, but as leading to the brothel, or of joy, but as flowing from the bottle. They study night and day, Anacreon, Horace, and all those bards ancient and modern, who resolve all human joy into the odour of roses, the fumes of wine, and the instigations of venereal appetite. I pity, even more than I despise, the disciples of such pleasure, and terminated the debaty by referring Tom to the faVOL....1 NO.q..ITI.
ble of the Sparrow and the Dove by Moore, where my notions of love and joy are exhibited at full length.
This evening the conversation of the company turned upon the ingredients of poetry. Some maintained that verse and even rhyme were indispensable. Others were satisfied with verse alone, but differed among themselves as to the criterion of verse: some restricting it by very rigorous laws, and others extending its bounds so as to comprehend much of what is vulgarly called prose.
Some considered language and measure as things of no importance in the estimate. They confined their views entirely to thought and imagery, and maintained that strength and beauty in these respects, constituted poetical excellence. According to this class of critics, Tacitus is by far a better poet than Virgil, and some of Milton's prose contains far more poetry than any of his verse. In short, wherever there is warmth of reasoning, invention or imagery, delivered through the medium of words, there is poetry.
Another set extended the limits of poetry still further, and made it comprehend every effort of the imagination, whether conveyed by means of sounds, or colours, or figures and whether the pen, the pencil, the chissel, or the tongue, be the instru
It is amusing to hear men employing terms, for years together, without any visible diversity in their notions of the meaning of such terms: and yet when it is formally proposed to define them, there are generally as many definitions given as there are persons present.
Some people are very fond of this kind of discussion. Language is the instrument of thought, and to improve this instrument seems to be a most important undertaking. There is infinite room for further
investigation on this subject, for there is not one word in ten in the English language, the meaning of which is settled with absolute precision. Poetry is one of those terms, and the debate of this evening, left the company as far from unanimity as it found them. Even on this subject, the zeal of disputation almost degenerated into asperity, and the combatants were more active and vigorous at twelve o'clock than they had been at eight. At last, a temporary truce was effected by H.....ng who called the attention of the company to the following lines, as containing all the requisites of poetry, according to every one's hypothesis.
Had shed immortal glories on your brow,
That all your virtues cannot purchase
We had a very animated conversation to night of a phylollogical nature. The question was whether Latin or French had entered most into the composition of the English language. As French is little else than a dialect of Latin, every thing derived from the former must ultimately be traced to the latter, but the point in view was to ascertain how far the Latin had been incorporated without alteration or dilution into our own tongue,
The languages of most of the sciences is pure Latin, but many words and phrases are taken into the substance of the popular dialect, without changing their ortho
graphy. Some of these are scien tific terms also, but their utility has brought them into ordinary and popular use.
By way of illustration the following fragment was produced in which a very liberal use had been made of these foreigners without encroaching upon custom or upon any law of composition but elegance: id est: videlicit: examplo gratia.
I have long been your slave incognito, and intimated my devotion to your charms, by hints and innuendo's, which my diffidence would not suffer you to understand. I labour under the odium of poverty, though I by no means merit the charge, for though I abound not with gold, and silver, I have virtue which ought always to
be a succedaneum for riches. In the minds of ordinary women, I know, money is the ne plus ultra of their wishes. Among many who is less selfish, though money be not every thing, yet it is the sina qua non, without which a lover cannot hope to succeed: and certainly desiderata of human life, by those it is to be numbered among the unambitious. Nor should I dare to who are most dispassionate and appear before you in this guise, were I not persuaded, that though I am poor, you have enough for us
A woman, to whom a lover's poverty creates no objection to his suit, is indeed a rare phenomenon: but I hope, though hitherto a non descript, that you, Madam, will furnish an example of disinterestedness. What my merits are, it is for your own observation to inform you. My mere ipse dixit is of no weight, nor would there be any decorum in enlarging on my own virtues.
I have long been anxious to disburden my heart to you, but I can neither sing impromptu nor speak ex tempore, where my hopes are so much engaged. I could never get so far as the exordium of a declara
tion, and the impetus of terror confounded all my thoughts. My eloquence at best is but a caput mortuum and though some weeks have been employed in making memoranda for this letter, I am afraid it will do injustice to the sincerity of my passion.
I pretend not to be faultless; in many respects I am a mere ignoramus, and to many accusations, truth would oblige me to cry peccavi, but I hope my faults are not of such magnitude as to make you enter a caveat against my pretensions. If my actions, rather than my words be the data on which a judgment be formed, I shall have little fear of an impartial decision.
I shall anxiously look for your ultimatum. In the interim I hope every thing may be considered as inter nos. Meanwhile, I am,
Your most humble,
most obsequious et cætera.
Nota bene. I made my exit yesterday abruptly,merely because Mr. X....... entered, and I cannot derive any pleasure from your company, unless I enjoy it solus.
Aug. 19, 1801..... This day being fixed on for setting out upon our journey up the Susquehannah, brother J.... and myself, mounted our horses at six in the afternoon, and taking to the Ridge road, arrived at the Wissihicken, where we stopped for the night.
Previous to the adoption of the plan, now in operation, for water, ing the city of Philadelphia, this creek was recommended to the notice of the corporation, as eligible for the purpose; but as there was reason to fear, that in dry seasons the water would prove insufficient, and as it would have been attended
with considerable expense to pur
which must have been destroyed to acquire a sufficient head, the project was abandoned. Notwithstanding the periodical scantiness of the sup ply, this is a valuable stream. From Peter Robinson's, where it discharges itself into the Schuylkill, to Wheler's, a distance of about twelve miles, in a direct line, there are eighteen merchant and gristmills, capable of furnishing, at least, one hundred thousand barrels of flour, per annum ; but as they are not constantly provided with grain, and the water frequently fails, it is believed that they do not prepare more than sixty thousand. average Philadelphia price of flour for the last ten years, may be safely taken at eight dollars and a quarter per barrel, which proves that the millers of Wissihicken receive almost half a million of dollars annually, for the produce of their mills. In the year 1796, when flour was at the highest, and when, from the extraordinary price, it is presumable that they manufactured more than the usual quantity, it is probable
The following statement extrac ed from the books of an extene and correct flour factor, in Phidelphia, will shew the price of fur for a period of ten years. Inster of following the fluctuations mitely into every month, the average ales of the two principal seasons each year high as fourteen and half, and even have been taken. In 796 it was as fifteen dollars; but maintained these mited time. prices for a very
chase the requisite number of mills 1800 10 50
9 25 10
that their receipts fell little short of a million; and that they have not laboured in vain, is fairly deduceable from the circumstance of their being rich.
The universal vehicle for conveying the flour to market, is the waggon; and the vicinity to the city gives these millers no inconsiderable advantage over their competitors.
This mode of conveyance is common throughout Pennsylvania. In New-York it is otherwise; watercarriage alone being used there. The consequence of which is, that whenever the navigation of the North and East rivers is interrupted by ice, that city is deprived of her inland commerce; whereas, Philadelphia carries on a brisk trade with the interior country and her back settlements during the severest frosts.
The banks of the Wissihicken are steep and rugged. They are covered with a rich foliage of native trees, interspersed with the wild grape, the woodbine, and other flowering plants, which perfume the air with their odour, and add greatly to the beauty of the scenery..... The wanderer may here immerse himself in the deepest solitude, and contemplate nature in her most hidden recesses: or, if other views be more agreeable to his fancy, he may direct his steps towards the habitations of the millers, and feast his eyes on luxuriant and well cultivated fields, verdant meadows, and variegated gardens. To those who have not lost their relish for the sportive charms of native scenery, .contrasted and blended with the useful works of man, Wissihicken will ever be a delightful retreat. In my juvenile days, I have ofter visited these hills to gaze on the limped stream, and breathe the delicious fragrance of the wild flower. The remembrance is now dear to me,
The clatter of the mills might well recal to our memory, the sim. ple story of the German boor, who, on his first approach to a mill, heard a strange voice loudly and deliberately pronounce "Ich juckt ihr
buckel.....Ich juckt ihr buckel..... Ich juckt ihr buckel."* The language was sufficiently intelligible; but, as he had committed no offence, he supposed the threat was uttered against some other person. Curiosity tempted him to enter. He gave umbrage to the surly proprietor, received a drubbing, and was turned out. The miller had occasion to alter the gears, and as the unlucky clown was hastening away, he suffered the additional mortification of being briskly taunted by the flippant mill with, "Gelt Ich habt ihr buckel gejuckt? Gelt Ich habt buckel ihr gejuckt? Gelt Ich habt ihr buckel gejuckt?"†
20....Lodged as comfortably as a sultry night would permit, at our hospitable friend, P. Robinson's, where we likewise breakfasted. My unruly steed chose to put his foot on mine, so that lameness is added to debility. A foggy morning, succeeded by a bright and hot sun. Stopped to bait at Norristown. 'Tis a poor, ill-looking place, consisting of about twenty houses. The courts of justice for Montgomery county are held in this place, in an ill-fashioned stone building.... placed on a naked eminence. The town is situated on a sloping bank, on the margin of the river, which flows here, with a gentle current over a gravelly bottom. It is here that the canal is taken from the Schuylkill, and considerable progress has been made in cutting it through a rocky ridge, below the town. The want of funds has put a total stop to the work. It
• I'll-tickle your back....I'll tickle, Sc.
Hey! didn't I tickle your back.... Hey! did'nt I &c.
I know of no word in the English language that expresses the full meanI have used tickle....but it has by no ing of the German Juck or Jucken. means the same humorous signification. It is also observable, that the German articulation more nearly resembles the language of the mill than the English.
is to be hoped, that it will at some period be resumed. Notwithstand ing the large sums which have already been expended on this object, it is probable that it will yet require between three and four hundred thousand dollars to complete it. It is satisfactory, however, to observe, that much of what is done is of a permanent nature; but unless the Susquehannah and Schuylkill canal be accomplished, and the navigation of the river above this place be considerably improved, the utility of the Schuylkill and Delaware canal may be questionable. Whenever the waters are sufficiently high to admit of the passage of rafts or loaded boats to Norristown, they can always proceed with safety to the city. This circumstance, no doubt, occurred to the projectors and prosecutors of the work.
In one of the rooms of the tavern, we observed a pedlar, very busy in displaying his scanty wares on the backs of chairs, on tables and trunks, with an air as consequential as if he were surrounded with the riches of Indostan. He had posted an advertisement on the door, enumerating the articles he had for sale, and giving notice that he would sell very cheap, and continue for some days, and longer if encouraged. It is remarkable, however, notwithstanding the general opprobrium heaped on the poor pedlars, that some of the wealthiest traders in America commenced business in this humble station.
The Ridge road is a channel through which immense riches flow into the city. Large quantities of lime, marble, flour, and other produce of the country, being continually conveyed along it, which occasion it to be much cut up, and from the nature of the soil, it is, during winter, nearly impassable; while in summer the deep bed of dust which covers it, renders travelling very unpleasant. A turnpike has become almost indispensable.
We stopped to view the stone bridge over the Perkiomen, a small
but beautiful stream. This is one of the greatest structures of the kind in America, and adds greatly and justly to the fame of Pennsylvania in this respect. It was built by one Lewis, a Welshman, of no education. He has, however, given much satisfaction to his employers in the execution of this work. It is built not without taste, and has a good effect upon the eye, though irregular in its construction. It has one arch of seventy-five feet span, three of sixty, and two of thirty, resting on strong piers and solid abutments. It passes obliquely over the channel, and appears to be, including the abutments, between seven and eight hundred feet in length; but the stream does not usually occupy more than one fourth of that space. The bridge is sufficiently broad to admit two carriages a-breast.
Dined at the Trap Tavern, a mile and an half beyond the bridge, and twenty-six miles from Philadelphia. During our stay, there occurred a heavy fall of rain. We were overtaken here by the sheriff of Montgomery county, with a jury in his train. As they appeared to be bent upon a frolic, I inquired of one of them, whom I knew, whither they were going. He replied, "A few miles higher up to hold an inquest on some land, which might be done in a day; but, as the sheriff was just going out of office, and the expense was to fall on others, they intended to keep it up three days." All of them were mounted, and if some of the horses lacked spirit, it was otherwise with their riders.
Showery all the afternoon. Every little transient cloud was surcharged with water, and seemed in a humour to be merry with us. We stopped to save our jackets, and then it ceased to rain. Invited by a bright sun, we set out again, and it immediately began to pour..... Others were no better off than ourselves. One care-taking man, particularly, was constantly occupied in putting on and pulling off his great coat, and so unlucky was he,