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proceeds with dainty pace around the corner of the Sealed in thy silver chaire, house, casting one sidelong glance at you as she goes.
State in wonted manner keepe! You follow her, and find her footsteps are tending Hesperus intreats thy light, spring ward. But Mab is dainty and particular: she Goddesse, excellently bright ! must drink out of her own proper bucket:
“Earth, let not thy envious shade "The moss-covered bucket that hangs in the well ;”
Dare itselfe to interpose ! and, if you would have her amble well on your next
Cynthia's shining orbe was made
Heaven to cleave, when day did close. ride, you must draw for her now. Mab will not go ride, whenever you like, unless she
“Lay thy bow of pearle apart, like to do so too. Catch her afield, at such time, if you
And thy crystal-shining quiver, can! Yet when this fit of playfulness is over, she will Give unto the flying hart come up to your hand, and winking knowingly at you,
Space to breathe, how short soever! will ask you, (more plainly than the ass asked Balaam,
Thou, that mak'st a day of nightif he was not ashamed of himself to whip her so cruelly,) Goddesse excellently bright!" if you have a mind to ride to-day? She is as full of tricks as Puck, and has a delightful one, which she There is a little nook in the tree tops here, which uses upon occasion, especially with humans, of her own the garish light of day prevents the gazer from distinsex,—that of sitting quietly down in the centre of a guishing, but which is brought out most beautifully
, bubbling runlet, while the bridle is loosened to permit when “the sunne is laid to sleepe.” The trees of unher to refresh herself with a drink from the shady equal heights and varying distances, present a dark stream. The slyness with which she regards, aslant, the undulating line against the sky, and the array of stars, unfortunate lady, whose
which gild that part of the firmament, passes like a “ Clothes (like Ophelia's,) spread wide,
brilliant panorama before the open spaces thus formed
before the eye of the beholder. This is our night-dial, And mermaid-like, awhile do bear her up,"
here at Oakwood. As Orlando says, is one of the most laughable things in nature. Even the victim of the joke enjoys it highly, and is like to
"There's no clock in the forest." drown, less from the depth of the water than the height of her hysterics. But enough of Mab; I was to talk of the disk of our dial, and Jupiter is shedding his slani
When the sun goes down, Venus has passed over trees. Old Wotton, in the time of James the First
, had do not see Jupiter on the plate; he is near the zenith of
wise rays over the tree tops into its depth : but you pleasant associations, with sylvan retreats. Hear him! our wood-bounded firmament Yet as he goes down, “Welcome pure thoughts! Welcome ye silent groves! there is a bright constellation shining in the very midst These guests, these courts, my soul most dearly loves! of the vista, on which we gaze and watch the lapse of Now the wing'd people of the sky shall sing
the hours. We trace the brilliant succession as they Most cheerful anthems to the gladsome spring! appear, pass over the blue path, and each in turn fade Here dwell no hateful looks, no palace cares;
from our view behind the western boundary of the wood, No broken vows dwell here, nor pale-faced fears.
and have come to learn them all, each in its proper moHere, if Contentment be a stranger-then
ment, as we know the figures on the clock. As Libra I'll ne'er look for it, but in heaven, again !"
finishes its slow and well-balanced journey from the
eastern to the western verge of our fanciful dial, the The nights, when moons shine clear, are the times close of its career is taken as the signal for our retiring ; for country enjoyment after all. Such a time is this at and then we welcome "sleep, that knits up the ravelled which I write. The days, even among woods, are 100 sleeve” of each day's cares and pleasures. Thus do we hot, in August, ln ramble wide from home. Spring sylvans find out the meaning of the quaint cognomen water, with brook ice—thorough draughts through open that Shakspeare gives the " bald old sexton," when he passages—the sun-beams, which escape the leafy cano- calls him “old Time, the clock-setler.” py, shut out of house by Venetian blinds-Mary How. Unhappy, yet nobly courageous Richard of England
, itt's “Wood Leighton," or Isaac Walton, or White in his dungeon at Pomfret, thus moralizes from the simiof Selbourne, or Gardiner's “Musie of Nature,” in litudes of a clock. He says, hand, upon the trelliced portico, will make the days pass serenely enough, while town thermometers stand“ I have been studying how I may compare at ninety-five; but
This prison where I live, unto the world, « In the starry light
For now hath Time made me his numbering clock. Of the summer night,"
My thoughts are minutes; and, with sighs, they jar
Their watches (that is, tick the time,) on mine eyes, the that is the time to enjoy the country: and at no hour is
outward watch (or dial,] Oakwood so lovely. What says “Rare Ben Jonson"
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point, in his “Cynthia ?” See how these verses make them
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears. selves vocal :
Now, sir, the sound, that tells what hour it is,
Are clamorous groans, that strike upon my heart, "Queene and huntresse, chaste and faire,
Which is the bell. So sighs, and tears and groans, Now the sunne is laid to sleepe,
Show minutes, times, and hours," &c.
But this is another digression. Our present business is I fancied the age he had attained to be more than a with the woods.
century and a half, and longed to see his heart, to count I sent you, months since, some notice of Phineas the circles around it, to ascertain how nearly I had Fletcher, his "Purple Island,” with extracts, but the guessed the truth. Then I thought of the sin, the following was not among them. How beautiful! The crime, the sacrilege, of cutting down such a magnificent poet is writing of the shepherd :
tree, to gratify a curiosity so trifling: nay, for any
purpose ! and my song involuntarily changed : " His certain life, that never can deceive him, Is full of thousand sweets, and rich content,
“Spare, oh spare that tree; The smooth-leaved beeches in the field receive him,
Touch not a single bough; With coolest shades, till noontide's rage is spent.
In peace it shelters me,
And I'll protect it now."
A few days after this, a cloud of terrible blackness rose
from the south, directly over that broad woodland. The The spring flowers had all passed away before the lightning was fearfully vivid, and the thunder was one beats of summer, before I came to Oakwood, and ever continuous crash for more than half an hour. Each since that time I have had to watch the decay of many flash and each report seemed more and more directly succeeding buds and blossoms of beautiful variety. The over ead, till at length there came a
glar wood flowers just now in bloom are but few, but there and on the instant a terrific peal, which startled our is yet to come a brilliant array of autumn ones. Among household from their seats. The bolt fell into the very the most beautiful of those now visible is the large Con- midst of the forest, and when, on the next day, I wanvolculus, which peeps out from the hedge rows at the dered thither, and sought my noble old oak, behold ! foot of the oaks, under fences, and sometimes straggling there it lay, rent asunder in two equal parts by the up with the wild vine, over the trunks of trees, and fatal bolt, its “ broad green crown” draggled in the among the underwood of the forest. But they wither underwood, and its wealth of foliage torn and scattered almost the moment they are plucked, and you must by the awful crash! I thought, as I went melancholy admire their beauty, (short-lived at best,) upon the home, of that fine simile of old Wallerspot which gives them birth. Oh, gentle Herrick !
• Thus the tall oak which now aspires " Faire flowers! we weep to see
Above the fear of private fires,
Grown and designed for nobler use,
Not to make warm but build the house;
Though from our meaner fires secure,
Must that which falls from heaven endure !''
But, perhaps, this is enough woodland gossipping for
one month. Come and see me here, and we'll go on But to the even song;
with it at leisure. And, by the bye, why did you not And, having pray'd together, we
do so, a fortnight since, when only within two miles of Will goe with you along!
this very table, and, as I hear, in search of me? It is Wel e have short time to stay, as you
a delightful spot, and reminds one, by its location, of We have as short a spring;
the opening of Denham's “Cooper's Hill" As quick a growth to meel decay
“Mine eye, descending from the hill, surveys
Where Thames among the wanton vallies strays.”
Write Potomac for Thames, and the following lines,
from the same refreshing poem, will describe Oakwood Like to the summer's raine,
to you, like a guide-book :
“ The wood-topped hill his forest summits hides
Among the clouds. His shoulders and his sides Is not that a gem ?
A shady mantle clothes : his curled brows The season has been remarkable for the frequency Frown on the gentle stream, which calmly flows and severity of the thunder-gusts. Hardly a day since While winds and storms his lofty forehead beat: I have been at Oakwood, has passed, without lightning The common fate of all that's high or great. and thunder; and some of my favorites of the forest Low at his foot a spacious plain is placed, have suffered greally in consequence. There is one Between the mountain and the stream embraced, noble oak in the centre of a neighboring wood, beneath Which shade and shelter from the hill receives, which I threw myself along, but a fortnight ago, and While the kind river wealth and beauty gives : sang
And, in the mixture of all these appears
Variety, which all the rest endears !” " The song of the oak, the brave old oak, Who hath stood in this land so long!
I will endeavor to give you some autumn foliage for Long health and renown, io his broad green crown, October. Till then, adieu ! And his fifty arms so strong!"
Oakwood, Va., Aug. 1, 1833.
J. F. O
cessity of perfecting the knowledge of the globe-of EXPLORING EXPEDITION.
describing the newly discovered portions, of fixing their Thoughts suggested by its approaching departure.
relative positions, and of enriching science, commerce and
the arts with the natural products of their different Three periods characterize the history of the progress climates. England was the first to start in this glorious of navigation :
career, the era of which terminates the second period of In the first, Columbus discovers a new world. Ata the progress of navigation : she can boast a Cook, who later period, hardy adventurers launch into the immense established the geography of the oceanic seas, and sea lying between the continents of America and founded the school from which proceeded Foster, Davis, Asia, discovering continents and islands, the inhabitants Vancouver and others. France followed with honor: of which, it seemed to have condemned to remain forever she had her Bougainville, Laperouse, Marchand, d'Ep• unknown. By their hazardous voyages, the domain of crecasteaux, &c. The public was put in possession of geography is enriched with those numberless islands those interesting and instructive journals redounding and fertile archipelagos, scattered throughout the great so much to the credit of these illustrious men, and gainocean, and all the numerous lands whose extent, posi- ing for them universal gratitude and the admiration of tion, formation, as well as the origin of their inhabitants, navigators and geographers-journals forming of themoffer so vast a field to political enterprise, to the re- selves complete encyclopedias ; displaying the skill of searches of the man of science, and the meditation of the the navigator and the veracity of the historian; from philosopher.
the rich records of which the statesman may draw bis These brilliant discoveries, dissipating the last sha- details for projects of public utility, and the philosopher dows of the middle age, roused the spirit of conquest and and man of science the information to elucidate the of commercial speculation : ambition incited sovereigns, phenomena of nature and of man. cupidity animated their subjects, and gold, the charms The third period belongs to our own age. It is not of which all men are capable of knowing and appre- remarkable for any great discoveries in geography, to ciating, was the sole object of every enterprise. And so immortalize the names of those who have made them. passed the second period, of more than two centuries, But a new spirit characterizes it, and a new glory is during which the vessels of every maritime nation in open to it:-ä glory not less solid that it is more diffi. Europe traversed the seas in every direction, adding to cult to acquire, that it does not depend on fortune, and the discoveries of their predecessors such islands only as that it must be sought with trouble and danger to be the fortune of their route might throw in their way. But merited. This period is immediately interesting to us, no elevated sentiment governing this general and simul- and will justify our entering into some details to make laneous movement, little advantage resulted from it to known the spirit which characterizes it. the acquisition of positive geographical knowledge. The world may be said to have been known only is Nautical science was still in its infancy; it possessed only mass. The multitudes of voyages performed in every arbitrary and uncertain methods for the determination direction, had nearly demonstrated that there remained of longitudes at sea; and the men under whose com- no more important lands to discover; that nothing more mand the vessels were placed, were, from their habits could be hoped than to fall upon some small islands on and education, more inclined to an adventurous pursuit an unfrequented route, and perhaps some uninhabitable of fortune, than to the advancement of the art on which lands of little extent, which might be still shut up in the depended the success of their profession. The positions ices of the poles, that had as yet barred all access to of the accumulating discoveries, not being determined them. How fatal to the advancement of human know. with even approximate accuracy upon the charts, and ledge, had enlightened rulers, and learned societies, and the most important of these discoveries being often kept navigators, and geographers, imagined then, that the secret, through the jealousy of certain nations, it some full harvest had been reaped that all had been done! times happened that the same place was supposed to be Every thing, on the contrary, it may be asserted, with discovered several times, and the science of geography the exception of discoveries, remained to be done! The was then at its epoch of disorder and confusion, during same ground was again to be gone over, but with mere which, the navigator knew not on what to depend for his efficient material aid, and more precise and exact sciengovernment, nor the historian from what document he tific means than the preceding age had been able to as could draw for authentic information.
ford. Fortunately, Europe, recovering from its long Forty years of inaction succeeded this eager thirst of wars, could at last enjoy the benefits of peace, and with gold, war and conquest, upon these remote shores. the proof of its advance in science and intelligence, proDuring this time, the intelligence of Europe became claim the high degree of civilization it had attained
. emancipated; a revolution in feeling took place, the The crowned heads of Europe perceived that the only sciences shed a bright light over the theory of the celes. ambition to be permitted them, was that of laboring for tial world, and over every branch of natural philosophy: the prosperity and well-being of their people, in chethe arts, enlightened by them, exerted a reciprocal in- rishing that elevated love of science, which had been fluence, by extending their application, and civilization developed, and which is now a characteristic of every commenced an empire, henceforth never to be disputed. nation. The epoch was ready. Astronomy had reachWith better times came better principles—principles ed that sublime perfection as to strike with astonishment now more moral and more enlightened, more liberal and even him who is familiar with it. It taught numerous more humane, placing men in proper relation with the new methods of observation and calculation, applicable new state of things, and bringing back to their bosomsa under all circumstances of navigation. The celestial sentiment of true glory.
Ephemerides, an indispensable work for the scientifie Enlightened governments recognised at last the ne-traveller, and the most useful of the monuments raised
by the liberality and wisdom of France and England to have been conducted with zeal and fidelity; and within the commerce of nations and in aid of humanity, were a period of about twenty years, Europe has been graducalculated with a degree of exactness till then unknown, ally covered with a network of triangles, embracing and offered to the navigator a chart of the heavens, with every corner of the land; upon this groundwork, by which he could compare with confidence the sky of the operations of another order, are delineated the courses of regions which he visited, and safely deduce from this streams, chains of mountains, outlines of coasts, &c.; and comparison all the elements of position, direction and topography furnished additional means of expressing distance that the object of his pursuit might require. the relief of all these different parts. Maps, thus con
The mechanic arts had perfected the astronomical structed, afford a basis whereon to fix the extent and instruments, and those for measuring time; the inge- rights territorial possessions, from the boundaries of nuity of the economic arts was taxed to improve the a nation to those of the smallest farm. Civil engineers number and quality of artieles of subsistence, in find there those grand inequalities of ground, a knowcontriving new modes of preparation ; and better means ledge of which is necessary for their projects of roads of preserving the health and comfort of the lonely ad- and canals ;-military engineers, those by which to venturer, was secured by a variety and abundance of determine a system of attack and defence, and the local wholesome food. Finally, the improvements in naval administrations, the information required to carry on arehitecture, by a better arrangement of the parts their various labors of public service. of the vessel, both as regarded the strength of the UPON THE SEA:--The analogy existing with the land ship and the accommodation of the crew, conduced to the is perfect. The celebrated expeditions which had so security and comfort of those, for whom it was so long honorably illustrated the close of the eighteenth cento be the home. · A vessel thus equipped for objects tury, had been able to execute their labors only on a solely of science and humanity, may be considered the scale of exactness commensurate with the state of the most wonderful production of the genius of man,- sciences at that period. It was known that several of displaying at once his civilization and advancement their determinations required verification ; that there in science and art, his elevated sentiments in the were doubts to clear up; many discoveries to confirm religion which he practises, and the desire of doing good or complete; that lands had only been visited, not which animates him; the polish of his manners, in explored ; that some of the archipelagos were known the justice and moderation of discipline; and his only in their mass and not in detail; that every day energy and courage in the patriotism and devotion brought with it through the commercial marine, knowwhich he is called to display.
ledge of new islands and new isolated reefs, which Thus, with respect to the state of navigation, science were but indefinitely determined. It was perceived and the arts, every thing was in readiness to resume with that everywhere navigation was deficient in good ardor the geographic investigations, and place the geographical positions, in places of refuge from temknowledge of the globe in a fitting relation with the pests, and in ports for refitting ; that everywhere it was wants and with the knowledge of the age. Govern- attended with doubt and danger, and that everywhere ments were well disposed, and men capable of carrying a great want of nautical information was felt. out the enterprises were not wanting. A state of war Navigation, which had enriched science and the world had been the means of founding brilliant schools of at large, had the right to expect a return; it had a officers, of civil, military and marine engineers; it was right to demand the construction nautical charts, a sound policy, to profil by the leisure of peace to obtain general and particular, of every sea, founded upon the extended means of instruction, and keep in activity best astronomical and hydrographical observations. their bravery and intelligence.
It was these considerations that induced those useUpon LAND:-Some portions of continents remain ful expeditions which have been carried on in our own still unexplored, and others have been visited only time, in which the officers appointed to conduct them with difficulty. Long voyages have been made, and yet have been called upon to display at once the qualities only a faint light breaks through the thick darkness that of the sailor, the officer, the diplomatist, and the man still overshadows large portions of Asia and of Africa. of science and literature ; with whom learned men are
The nations of Europe were for a long time ignorant glad to associate themselves, to have an opportunity of of their true respective limits, and the superficial extent personally observing the phenomena of natural and of their possessions. Territorial property, public and physical science, which till this time they had been able private, was wanting in that accurate determination, which to study only in their quiet homes. secures order and morality in society, by establishing England, France and Russia have entered this career, the rights of its members. The people demanded that interrupted at intervals, only to await a more favoracommunications for purposes of commerce should be ble opportunity, and to be renewed with ardor. Magopened, and that outlets for the products of the agricul- nificent works containing the results of these expeditural and mechanic arts should be contrived. In order tions have been published, and form a rich addition to to accomplish these different objects of public interest, the library of the scholar; they delight our leisure, the necessity of one fundamental document is immedi- enlarge our ideas, and extend the empire of the world. ately recognised, this is, a map of the country ; but a But the more brightly they merit our admiration and map mathematically exact, based upon astronomical gratitude, for the information already to be derived and geodesical observations, ineasures and calculations, from them, the more sensibly do we feel the want of on which should be delineated all the features of the what yet remains to be accomplished. Civilized nacountry, in the minutest details. The undertaking of tions are eager for new and positive knowledge, because these extensive works has been ordered at great expense; it is becoming indispensable to the development of their the operations, requiring great skill and information, education and of their institutions. In this respect, the career so nobly commenced, will not be fully accom-, opening to his country the commerce of the seas, the plished, till we see all those nations, whose interests and pioneers of Virginia and Pennsylvania traverse the whose honor are concerned, entering frankly and hear. Alleghanies at all points, explore the valley of the west tily the lists of honorable emulation.
and pitch their tents upon the borders of the MissisFrom the period when the United States so glori- sippi. By their efforts in settling the country, and indusously achieved their independence, their attention has try in developing its resources, they lay the foundation been fully occapied with their civil and political insti- of an interior commerce through the unknown nations tutions, with the material wants of a growing commu- inhabiting the forests beyond the mighty river of the nity and with the means of promoting the development west. of their population over the vast extent of their pos- Government has also lent its aid to this energetic sessions. An unprejudiced observer will not consider and extraordinary spirit of enterprise, which is disit then at all surprising, that they have been unable to playing itself upon every point of the national terridevote themselves at once to the cultivation of the arts tory. Lewis and Clarke accomplish their memorable and sciences. But though circumstances have pre- journey from the Mississippi across the immense cluded their contributing in this way to the march of prairies watered by the Missouri, over the Rocky civilization, has it not received powerful assistance in mountains, to the Pacific ocean. Major Pike and other respects quite as essential? It would be unjust Major Long, in their successive expeditions, extend to deny it. It was by the American people that liberty our knowledge of the far west, and commence its phy. has been revived and cherished: it is they who have sical geography; and the adventurous trader, following demonstrated to the world its blessings! it is they who now the tracks of these celebrated travellers, arrives have taught, by the force of their example, how rapidly at Santa Fe, California, or the mouth of the Columbia, a nation, under the shelter of its ægis, may obtain the and there meets the whaling captain of the eastern highest degree of prosperity, and how securely it may merchant, who has despatched them both. base those institutions which will ever be the dearest From this time, the ardent commercial enterprise of to humanity. They are not yet ready for all the re- the Americans has been more and more displayed upon finements of older and more advanced nations, but a sea and land; seconded by a spirit of association, the spirit of attention is already developing, and the first advantages of which are so well appreciated, every essay in a new track is now about to be made. channel of abundance and prosperity has been opened;
Scarcely was American liberty assured, when the public wealth has been considerably augmented; the flag of the republic was to be seen waving over every population has quintupled, the mercantile marine is coast of Europe: in the Indies, and on the shores of inferior now only to one, and the United States have China; a spirit of speculation and enterprise bore it assumed a rank among the first nations in the world. over the two oceans, and into all the internal seas, rous- The people of the United States, after having ing a languid commerce, multiplying the exchanges of strengthened their institutions and secured forever continent with continent, and nation with nation; and their nationality, could not fail to turn their attention under the auspices of a wise neutrality, becoming the to those great public improvements which characterize carriers of contending nations.
the civilization of the nineteenth century. And have American commerce, disappointed for a moment in they not acquired a right to some portion of national the hopes it had founded upon Asia, as a market for pride, when they contemplate what has been projected, the produce of their soil and industry, undismayed in and in part already executed, in their own country, of its weary voyage, goes to seek on its remote north- this character ; when they see distinguished foreigners western coast, a substitute in the furs for which it cross the ocean to examine and admire the vast system would be sure to meet with a demand. These articles of internal communication and facilities of transport, of exchange, though to the eye within an easy grasp which is extending with every day, new ramifications of the American, were not all of them available; the over new territories, where a new population is grow. most valuable, those of the wild regions of the western ing up? coast, were separated by a barrier hitherto deemed in- Experience is showing every day, that the Atlantic surmountable; and while nature offered with one hand coast is but very imperfectly known, and that this want the tempting prize to the enterprise of the east, she of knowledge is becoming more and more destructive pointed with the other to a weary and circuitous track to life and to property, in proportion as the relations of more than sixteen thousand miles, that must be tra- between the two worlds become more intimate. There versed to procure it. But this difficulty could not is but one remedy-to make a survey of the coast. arrest the enterprise of the American. He sets out on The necessity of such a measure is obvious, from his long voyage, twice, coasting the continent of the its importance to the security of commerce and naviga. new world—from north to south, and from south again tion, and the influence it will exert over the choice of to north, and penetrates the high latitudes of the west. a good system of defence for the maritime frontier ; ern coast of his country, to seek there a medium where society will also reap the benefit of the instruction that with to open a lucrative commerce with the empire of will be received from it by men of talents, when they China. Upon his route, he harpoons the whale upon leave the high theoretical and practical school that this the coasts of Brazil, pursues it into the frozen regions great measure must of necessity create. of the Antarctic seas, and amidst the numberless shoals The survey has been ordered, and for some years and reefs of the archipelagos of the Pacific ocean up has been conducted upon a plan which leaves nothing to the most remote regions of the north where his prey to be desired, when compared with the most perfect takes refuge.
works of the kind that have yet been executed. The Whilst the hardy mariner of New England is thus liberality of the means is commeasurate with the mal