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If now we should in turn read a homily to this supreme head, (which is bound to have ears,) we might perhaps forfeit all the gratitude we suppose ourselves to have earned from him. We should show him such a list of the duties which true headship imposes, that he would be glad to be diminished, and perhaps change places with the least important of his subjects. The possession of unquestionable authority almost makes him responsible for the happiness of the household. No sunshine is so cheering as the countenance of a father who is feared as well as loved. A brow clouded with care, a mind too much absorbed by schemes of gain or ambition to be able to unbend itself in the domestic circle, a temper which vacillates between impatience under annoyance, and the decision which puts an end to it, a disposition to indulgence which has no better foundation than mere indolence, and which is, therefore, sure to be unequal—these are all forbidden to him whose right it is to rule. In short, unless he rule himself, he is obviously unfit to rule anybody else; so that, to assume this high position under law and gospel, is to enter into bonds to be good which appears to us a fair offset against the duty of obedience on the other side.
One reason, certainly, why there is less household feeling than formerly, is that young married people, at present, think it necessary to begin life where their fathers left off—with a complete establishment, and not a loop-hole left for those little plans of future addition to domestic comforts or luxuries which give such a pleasant stimulus to economy, and confer so tender a value on the things purchased by means of an especial self-denial in another quarter. Charles Lamb, who was an adept in these gentle philosophies, said that after he had the ability to buy a choice book when he chose, the indulgence had, somehow, lost its sweetness, and brought nothing of the relish that used to attend a purchase after he and Mary had been looking and longing, and at last only dared buy upon the strength of days' or weeks' economizing. This is a secret worth learning by those who would get the full flavor of life, and make home the centre of a thousand delightful interests and memories.
BORROW ING “OUT WEST.”
Your true republican, when he finds that you possess any thing which would contribute to his convenience, walks in with, “Are you going to use your horses to-day?” if horses happen to be the thing he needs.
“Yes, I shall probably want them.”
“Oh, well; if you want them I was thinking to get ’em to go up north a piece.”
Or, perhaps, the desired article comes within the female department. “Mother wants to get some butter: that 'ere butter you bought of Miss Barton this mornin’.” And away goes your golden store, to be repaid, perhaps, with some cheesy, greasy stuff, brought in a dirty pail, with, “Here's your butter " A girl came in to borrow a “wash-dish,” “because we've got company.” Presently she came back: “Mother says you've forgot to send a towel.” “The pen and ink, and a sheet o' paper and a wafer,” is no unusual request; and when the pen is returned, you are generally informed that you sent “an awful bad pen.” I have been frequently reminded of one of Johnson's humorous sketches. A man returning a broken wheelbarrow to a Quaker with, “Here, I've broke your rotten wheelbarrow usin' on't: I wish you'd get it mended right off, 'cause I want to borrow it again this afternoon;” the Quaker is made to reply, “Friend, it shall be done:” and I wished I possessed more of his spirit.
Like many other virtues, hospitality is practised in its perfection by the poor. If the rich did their share, how would the woes of this world be lightened how would the diffusive blessing irradiate a wider and a wider circle, until the vast confines of society would bask in the reviving ray ! If every forlorn widow whose heart bleeds over the recollection of past happiness made bitter by contrast with present poverty and sorrow, found a comfortable home in the ample establishment of her rich kinsman; if every young man struggling for a foothold on the slippery soil of life were cheered and aided by the countenance of some neighbor whom fortune had endowed with the power to confer happiness; if the lovely girls, shrinking and delicate, whom we see every day toiling timidly for a mere pittance to sustain frail life and guard the sacred remnant of gentility, were taken by the hand, invited and encouraged, by ladies who pass them by with a cold nod—but where shall we stop in enumerating the cases in which true, genial hospitality, practised by the rich ungrudgingly, without a selfish drawback—in short, practised as the poor practise it—would prove a fountain of blessedness, almost an antidote to half the keener miseries under which society groans !
Yes: the poor—and children—understand hospitality after the pure model of Christ and his apostles.
The forms of society are in a high degree inimical to true hospitality. Pride has crushed genuine social feeling out of too many hearts, and the consequence is a cold sterility of intercourse, a soul-stifling ceremoniousness, a sleepless vigilance for self, totally incompatible with that free, flowing, genial intercourse with humanity, so nourishing to all the better feelings. The sacred love of home—that panacea for many of life's ills—suffers with the rest. Few people have homes nowadays. The fine, cheerful, every-day parlor, with its table covered with the implements of real occupation and real amusement—mamma on the sofa, with her needle—grandmamma in her great chair, knitting—pussy winking at the fire between them—is gone. In its place we have two gorgeous rooms, arranged for company, but empty of human life; tables covered with gaudy, ostentatious, and useless articles —a very mockery of any thing like rational pastime—the light of heaven as cautiously excluded as the delicious music of free, childish voices; every member of the family wandering in forlorn loneliness, or huddled in some “back room” or “basement,” in which are collected the only means of comfort left them under this miserable arrangement. This is the substitute which hundreds of people accept in place of home ! Shall we look in such places for hospitality ? As soon expect figs from thistles. Invitations there will be occasionally, doubtless, for “society” expects it; but let a country cousin present himself, and see whether he will be put into the state apartments. Let no infirm and indigent relative expect a place under such a roof. Let not even the humble individual who placed the stepping-stone which led to that fortune ask a share in the abundance which would never have had a beginning but for his timely aid. “We have changed all that "
This highly-finished and fascinating writer was born in Salem, Massachusetts, about the year 1805. He was educated at Bowdoin College, and was graduated there in 1825, Professor Longfellow being one of his classmates. In 1837 he published the first, and in 1842 the second, volume of his Twice-Told Tales, so called because they had before appeared in annuals and periodicals." IIis next
1 Of the character of these Twice-Told Tales the “Christian Examiner” thus speaks:—“These tales abound with beautiful imagery, sparkling metaphors, novel. and brilliant comparisons. They are everywhere full of those bright gems of thought which no reader can ever forget. They have also a high moral tone. It is for this, for their reverence for things sacred, for their many touching lessons concerning faith, Providence, conscience, and duty, for the beautiful morals so often spontaneously conveyed, not with purpose prepense, but from the fulness of the author's own heart, that we are led to notice them in this journal.”—xxv. o Read also an enthusiastic review of them in the “North American Review," xlv. 59.
publication was The Journal of an African Cruiser, which he prepared and edited from the manuscript of Horatio Bridge, of the United States Navy. In 1843, he went to reside in Concord, in the “Old Munse;” and in 1846 appeared a collection of his papers, which he wrote during his three years' residence there, for several magazines, under the title of Mosses from an Old Manse. The same year he was appointed by the President, Mr. Polk, surveyor in the custom-house at Salem, which post he held for a year, at the same time carefully observing (as it proved. for future use) the scenes and characters with which he was daily conversant; for, on being dismissed from that post, on a change of administration, he published The Scarlet Letter, in the preface of which he gives some of his cl.atom-house experiences. Soon after, he took up his residence in Lenox, Massachusetts; and in 1851 appeared his House with Seven Gables, the scene of which is laid in Salem and connected with its earliest history. Since that, he has published the following:–True Stories from History and Biography, 1851; The Blithedale Romance, 1852; A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls, 1832; The Snow Image, and other Twice-Told Tales, 1852;' Tanglewood Tales for Boys and Girls, 1833.”
A RILL FROM THE TOWN PUMP.
Scene.—The corner of two principal streets. The Town Pump talking through its nose.
Noon, by the north clock | Noon, by the east ! High noon, too, by these hot sunbeams, which fall, scarcely aslope, upon my head, and almost make the water bubble and smoke in the trough under my nose. Truly, we public characters have a tough time
1 A new edition of the Twice-Told Tales was published, in 1857, by Ticknor & Fields, in their usual, attractive style.
* “Hawthorne wrote numerous articles, which appeared in ‘The Token :’ occasionally an astute critic seemed to see through them, and to discover the soul that was in them; but in general they passed without notice. Such articles as “Sights from a Steeple,’ ‘Sketches beneath an Umbrella,’ ‘The Wives of the Dead,' “The Prophetic Pictures,’ now universally acknowledged to be productions of extraordinary depth, meaning, and power, extorted hardly a word of either praise or blame; while columns were given to pieces since totally forgotten. I felt annoyed—almost angry, indeed--at this. I wrote several articles in the papers, directing attention to these productions; and, finding no echo of my views, I recollect to have asked John Pickering to read some of them and give me his opinion of them. He did as I requested: his answer was that they displayed a wonderful beauty of style, with a kind of double vision, a sort of second sight, which revealed, beyond the outward forms of life and being, a sort of spirit-world, somewhat as a lake reflects the earth around it and the sky above it; yet ho deemed them too mystical to be popular. He was right, no doubt, at that period; but, ere long, a portion of mankind, a large portion of the reading world, obtained a new sense, how, or where, or whence, is not easily determined,—which led them to study the mystical, to dive beneath and beyond the senses, and to discern, gather, and cherish gems and pearls of price in the hidden depths of the soul. Hawthorne was, in fact, a kind of Wordsworth in prose.-less kind, less genial toward mankind, but deeper and more philosophical. His fate was similar: at first he was neglected, at last he had worshippers."—Goodrich's Itecollections, vol. ii.
of it! And, among all the town officers, chosen at March meeting, where is he that sustains, for a single year, the burden of such manifold duties as are imposed, in perpetuity, upon the Town Pump : The title of “town treasurer” is rightfully mine, as guardian of the best treasure that the town has. The overseers of the poor ought to make me their chairman, since I provide bountifully for the pauper, without expense to him that pays taxes. I am at the head of the fire-department, and one of the physicians to the board of health. As a keeper of the peace, all water-drinkers will confess me equal to the constable. I perform some of the duties of the town clerk; by promulgating public notices when they are posted on my front. To speak within bounds, I am the chief person of the municipality, and exhibit, moreover, an admirable pattern to my brother officers, by the cool, steady, upright, downright, and impartial discharge of my business, and the constancy with which I stand to my post. Summer or winter, nobody seeks me in vain; for, all day long, I am seen at the busiest corner, just above the market, stretching out my arms to rich and poor alike; and at night, I hold a lantern over my head, both to show where I am, and keep people out of the gutters. At this sultry noontide, I am cupbearer to the parched populace, for whose benefit an iron goblet is chained to my waist. Like a dramseller on the mall at muster-day, I cry aloud to all and sundry, in my plainest accents, and at the very tiptop of my voice. Here it is, gentlemen Here is the good liquor Walk up, walk up, gentlemen, walk up, walk up ! Here is the superior stuff! Here is the unadulterated ale of father Adam,_better than Cognac, Hollands, Jamaica, strong beer, or wine of any price; here it is by the hogshead or the single glass, and not a cent to pay ! Walk up, gentlemen, walk up, and help yourselves | It were a pity if all this outcry should draw no customers. Here they come. A hot day, gentlemen Quaff, and away again, so as to keep yourselves in a nice cool sweat. You, my friend, will need another cupful, to wash the dust out of your throat, if it be as thick there as it is on your cow-hide shoes. I see that you have trudged half a score of miles to-day, and, like
a wise man, have passed by the taverns, and stopped at the running brooks and well-curbs. Otherwise, betwixt heat without and
fire within, you would have been burnt to a cinder, or melted down to nothing at all, in the fashion of a jelly-fish. Drink, and make room for that other fellow, who seeks my aid to quench the fiery fever of last night's potations, which he drained from no cup of mine. Welcome, most rubicund sir! You and I have been great strangers, hitherto; nor, to confess the truth, will my nose be anxious for a closer intimacy, till the fumes of your breath be