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profited by her affectionate daughter's instructions, the day was going evidently and rapidly against her, when, with a mark of piety which, if it had been exhibited in any other way, should not have passed without an eulogium, Miss Drubbs struck in, and assisted her mother. In vain did Mrs. Trumpery aim the most skilful blows—in vain did she shift her position-a fatal hit on the nose—a well directed blow inflicted by Mrs. Drubbs' carneous hand, terminated the contest, and the redoubtable Mrs. Trumpery fell vanquished. And as
" looks the pent up lion o'er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paw.” so Mrs. Drubbs gazed upon her prostrate foe.
By this time the people in the house, alarmed by the noise, rushed into the room, and Mr. Drubbs casting a significant look towards a man who just appeared, cried “our wives!” The dutchman ran in, with his night cap and dressing gown, crying: “What, in Got's name is de matter ? I tink I must be possess’d, vere ever I run noting but noise, noise, gabber, gabbergabber;" and gabbering the poor man again sought his bed. The combatants ashamed of themselves, withdrew. With the officer, his wife, and the lunatic, I proceeded on my journey, and was separated much to my concern, from the Drubbs'. E. R.
FOR THE AMERICAN MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
A FUNERAL SCENE.
If faith unite the faithful but to part,
THERE are few of us so unfortunate as to be confined throughout our lives, from one end of the year to the other, amid the toil and hurry of the city; and there are few that in their temporary absence do not meet with something of a character so interesting and affecting as to stamp it on their memories through every change of prospect or condition. There are some things which the heart is willing to retain with all its fondness and affection--to cherish with all the warmth of its generous nature, and to which it clings with all its sensibility and feeling ; while there are others it would consider itself happy in being able to to forget.
To visit the scenes of our younger days, to tread in the footsteps of our juvenile companions, to seek the haunts of what was once our dwelling place, and to look upon them as the remnants of that period of delight and hope, is an employment in which the mind can feel itself lost to present sorrow and misfortunes. The scenes of our earliest friendships and affections, how they rise before us like the shades of what was, without the promise of what will be!
“ But Hope can here her moonlight vigils keep,
It was but lately that I left the hurry and confusion of the city, to seek among the forests of a neighbouring State, the thousand pleasures which every tongue is willing to acknowledge as the attributes of the country. To bury myself in a seclusion where the eye might look around upon creation and bless its Maker ; where the soul unimcumbered by the cares of life, might, in so perfect a solitude, forget that what detained it here was mortal.
It was on such a visit and with such designs, that I was invi. ted by a friend, to follow with him the remains of a young and interesting stranger to her long and peaceful home. It was a tribute of affection and respect, trifling in itself to him who paid it, but doubly grateful to the agonized feelings of one who survived her. She for whom the grave was opened, was a stranger from the South. She came accoinpanied by her husband to restore her health, already wasted by consumption, when a mandate which it were impious to arraign, summoned her from a state of limited existence, to a world of immortality. Cut off in the spring-time of her life with every blessing shining on her, with every thing that wealth could purchase, that sympathy could bestow, or that love could name, she sleeps where none moun over her grave.
“By stranger's hands her dying eyes were closed,
At the hour appointed for the funeral, the coffin was deposited on a bier, and covered by a velvet pall. The only real mourner, supported by the friendly arm of the physician who had watched her in her latest struggle, followed immediately, and the procession was continued by the villagers, with an appearance of feeling and of sympathy, honourable to their hearts.
The bell of the neighbouring Church tolled mournfully in the ear, and every stroke seemed to deepen in the bosoms of the company as they approached the yard. At the grave the coffin rested for a moment on the bier, and was then deposited in its narrow house. Here every eye was bent upon the single mourner, as if expecting a natural burst of sorrow over the ashes of his departed partner ; but there was none. He stood calm and collected. He saw the coffin lowered into the grave, and he dropped a tear, he saw the cords drawn up, and he heard a clod, by accident pushed into the grave, fall upon the remains of all in this world he held dear, and he dropped another, but it was all. The rest, if there were any, he wiped away. His friend then led him nearer to the grave, and after having gazed a moment, after having taken the last farewell, final look, he threw a twig of willow into it. At this mark of sensibility and affection, he was still composed; but the spectators were overcome, and many a tear was shed by strangers for the misfortunes of one they knew not.
This was a spectacle at which the Stoic might experience emotion, from which the painter might sketch his fairest subject, and on which the poet might dwell with all the glow of inspiration. Such little peculiarities of feeling and affection as these, coming
“ Warm from the heart and faithful to its fires," declare to us, that he who is there possessor can boast a gift of no ordinary value. It is one which will bear him up through many a misfortune, and become the solace of his melancholy hours. A twig of willow in the grave of his departed wife! Oh! if those spirits whose discarded tenements are now mouldering into kindred dust, are permitted to hover over the destinies of those they loved and left behind, surely her's to whose gentle memory this weeping willow was at ribute, was looking down and at that time pronouncing a blessing on the head of him who offered it!
POEMS BY J. G. PERCIVAL. New-York, published by Charles Wiley, 1 vol. 8vo. p.p. 396. That poetry, taken in its literal sense, is distinguished from prose by the peculiar formation of its language, rather than by the nature of its subjects or its modes of thought, is an opinion which, in a late number of this magazine, we have already ventured to advance, although we know that it is in direct opposition to that generally entertained on the subject. The majority of critics look upon language as having only a secondary influence in rendering the effusions of mind prose or poetry; and maintain that the primary and essential character of each, depends solely on the nature of the thoughts which it comprises. If these be bolder, warmer, more fanciful, or more romantic, than such as are suggested by the ordinary affairs of life—than such as are suited to the pursuits of business, arts, philosophy, religion, or government, it is the general opinion, that they are no longer prose, and that although they should be expressed in the common, every day forms of speech, they are to all intents and purposes poetry. Force and fervour of thought, not musical or measured arrangement of language, are what have been said, and said almost without contradiction, to be the intrinsic constituents of poetry. But in holding a different doctrine, we believe we shall be supported not only by the examples of the poetry and prose of every known language, but by the very nature of the two species of composition:
We know of but one quality in writing or speaking, nor do we believe that any critic can inform us of another, which is not the common property of both prose and poetry, we mean, a musical arrangement of words. Wherever composition possesses this, our ordinary senses inform us that it has avoided the structure of prose and become poetry, But these senses will give us no such information if a musical arrangement of the language be absent, although the piece may possess every other quality, or combination of qualities, that can be introduced into literary composition.
Do we not every day meet with eloquent productions which no one would dream of calling poetical, but which, in the qualities of force and fervour, no poctry ever excelled? Do we not read books in prose, in which all the ardour of imagination, the wildness of fancy and the fire of enthusiasm, combine to give us “thoughts that breathe and words that burn,” and in which nature and passion are often depicted in colours as faithful and strong as even a Shakspeare could give? Yes. And what pre
vents the contents of these from being poetry? Nothing, assuredly, but the want of musical numbers. We shall add, that throwing the most common and contemptible ideas into harmonious measure, will always procure for them the title of poetry, as is exemplified in the productions of Wordsworth, some of Crabbe's, many of Byron's and Hogg's, not to mention those of the whole race of doggerlists, from Propertius to Hudibras, and from Hudibras to Peter Pindar and the croaking authors of the delectable Fanny, and her numerous brazen-voiced kindred of the Beppo family,
The mistake as to bold and fiery thoughts and accurate representations of nature alone constituting poetry, seems to have arisen from the circumstance, that writing in numbers is more favourable to the expression of such thoughts, and to the exhibition of such representations than writing in the common language of life, not only because the latter is somewhat degraded by its ordinary daily use, but because its being so, has rendered it necessary to confine it more within the bounds of logical precision and cool decorum. The measured or poetical structure of language is allowed a liberty which those who write in it, frequently exercise, sometimes even to excess, of uttering thoughts in a style of pomposity and gorgeousness, which it would be neither just nor judicious to grant to prose. The writers of prosu may be occasionally ornamented; but they would subject themselves to ridicule if they would assume the stately and inflated style so willingly admitted to poets.
This limit set to the range of thought in prose composition, has formed a collateral and adventitious distinction between it and poetry, which has imposed itself on the minds of men, as the primary and essential distinction between them. But whoever reflects for a moment on the subject, will percieve that this distinction arises altogether from the greater latitude allowed to the fancy of the poet, in consideration of the shackles thrown upon him by the very nature of his art confining him to musical measures, and also on account of these musical measures serving to conceal, or at least, to overshade whatever appearance of absurdity might attend the flights of thought permitted by this indulgence. But that these flights of thought are not
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