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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A ROSE-BUD.
Nothing less than the claims of gratitude, dear reader, could ever have induced me to step from the deep seclusion which, though pressed thither by " stern necessity's supreme command,” has now become my decided choice. I feel the blushes of early youth kindling anew upon my cheek, as I essay to mingle with the witty and the wise, the gifted and the good, who throng this literary parterre.
My peculiar circumstances in life have left me little opportunity of knowing much of my parentage. I retain, however, some distinct and endearing recollections of the mother who nourished and cherished my embryo existence. She was a beautiful mother; her graceful form, enveloped in a rich robe of green, embroidered with variously-shaded roses and buds, has made an indelible impression upon my memory. She was also a deeply solicitous mother. Ah! too well she knew my fate. She knew that the beauty and grace I inherited from her, while they drew closer around me the fibres of her soul, were but to be the ineans of our sudden and painful separation. While I, all unconscious, lay shielded beneath the vernal covering in which she sought to screen me from the rude gaze of the passer-by, she saw, with an anxious eye, one and another scrutinizing my hiding-place, as if ready, the moment I opened my eye and smiled, to secure me for their own.
Mine, too, was a judicious mother. She taught me that beauty alone could not secure lasting esteem, so she imparted to me a fragrance that she foresaw would live when my beauty had departed. She also taught me that to stay within my mossy covering would more commend me to the esteem of the wise and worthy; that a modest bud would be more likely to find an honored resting-place, than a gay and flaunting rose.
Mine was not an ambitious, but she was a grateful mother. She had one friend who had guarded her infancy with maternal affection; who had ministered to all her wants; who bad trained her for usefulness, and assigned her an honored place among her nurslings. To this friend I was ever at home; and my grateful mother would, for her sake, that I might win her regard, have fain imparted to me the fragrance of Araby, and the beauty of the Houris.
But here I leave the story of a mother's solicitude, a mother's gratitude, and a mother's undying affection. In my case, her anxiety was requited. I won the admiration of her early friend, and as she watched my expanding loveliness beneath maternal care, she sought some honored place where to transplant me, that I might unveil my beauty and exhale my fragrance where there was taste to admire, and hearts to appreciate my worth.
My guardian and friend had a face of which any lady might be proud, and yet the subdued and tender expression of her mild blue eye, and the smile of benevolence which ever played around her coral lips, most sweetly told of a heart which, if at all acquainted with those jarring passions which too often revel in the human soul, still held them in quiet subjection. Her look and smile operated on my expanding petals like a sunbeam, and I yielded to her gentle caresses, in the fullest confidence that, whatever disposal she might make of me, it would be well, and, as the sequel proves, this was no vain confidence; for while thousands of my contemporaries have been scattered to the winds, and other thousands doomed to undergo the process of distillation, I have for fifteen years found a quiet, happy home where poetry, and song, and lore's hallowed breathings alone have met my ear.
But I anticipate, and must return to a bright winter's morning, when, beneath the same roof where I had spent my hitherto short existence, a youthful pair stood before the hymeneal altar. The pledge had been given, angels, and a chosen few of earth had borne witness to the solemnity, when my sweet patroness stepped forward, and gently loosing me from the maternal grasp, bade me conceal my blushes, and breathe my fragrance beneath a fold in the bodice of that bridal robe. For a moment I trembled, so sudden was the transition, and so dignified my peculiar position; but as I lay silently pondering the change, I felt the heavings of that young bride's heart, as the full tide of love, and hope, and joy swelled and gushed within the narrow boundary, and now for the first time did sympathy's warm current rush between my swelling petals, a magic spell
THE PLACE OF PRAYER.
seemed weaving around me, and anon I breathed the invigorating atmosphere of poetic inspiration. Sentiment and song seemed as if my native tongue, and thus I sang to her on whose bosom I reposed :
Fair bride, like me the hand of love
Has taken thee from thy parent stem,
There to remain its brightest gem.
That beauty fades as time glides by,
Of Deity, can never die. I know not how long I should have indulged these sentimental warblings, had not the travelling mantle been drawn so closely around me as to hush me into quietude, and the jarririg motion of a carriage, for a time, precluded all intercourse between my new companions and myself.
When the light of heaven again shone upon me, I found myself at the young bride's home, passing from hand to hand amid the exclamations, “ beautiful !” “ lovely!" &c. But the power of maternal teachings made me shrink from such flattery, and rejoice when I found myself refreshed by a glass of cold water on the toilette of my friend alone. Ilere I remained for some time quietly moralizing on my change
of condition, receiving each day a supply of what to me was nectar-pure water from the spring; and in return, I gratefully emitted my sweetest odors. And now the day approached of which my judicious mother had forewarned me, when youth and beauty must give place to shrivelled and wrinkled age, when professed friends would forsake, and I in all probability be cast out to die.
As I was one morning moralizing upon this affecting subject, my fair friend approached, and taking me from my chilly resting-place, kissed my shrivelled cheek, and folded me in a neat paper, containing only a simple date ; then opening a little box on her toilette, which was nearly filled with love's mementoes, she laid me within the folds of a most valued letter ; and now, though my withered and discolored petals tell of age, it is an age of honor, for my life has not been all in vain. It has been my privilege full oft to awaken in the heart of my protectress emotions of sweetest pleasure, and to call up reminiscences which have beguiled her of care, and led her to bless the little faded rose, which from its retirement has carolled to her heart in accents soft and sweet, the brightest, richest strains in “ love's young
C. M. S.
little child's fondness for flowers. We have a hundred times thought with emotion of the story told by Mrs. Ellis, of a little girl who was accustomed to carry her favorite miniature chair into the garden, and to sit down near a bed of flowers, where she has often been overheard saying softly: “Come, you little flower-open, you little flower. When will you open your pretty blue eye?" But there is something more than beauty, more than poetry in this. There are the gushings of a loving heart. We would rather by far hear this of a child we loved, than to know that she was intelligent above her years. There is something almost moral in this love, instinctive as it is; and we would encourage it where it exists, and endeavor to excite it where it is absent. In many ways it may be made the fulcrum upon which one of virtue's most powerful levers will act in the family circle.
LIFE IN THE COUNTRY.—We have just returned from the country; and we are more than ever satisfied that, if there is a man in the world who has cause to be pre-eminently thankful for his condition in life, that man is the farmer. It is strange that anybody should ever doubt this fact, -stranger still that so many young men should leave their fathers' farms for a city counting-room. And yet nothing is more common than to find an enterprising youth panting to exchange his hoe and his scythe for a yardstick and a ledger. Poor fellows! how often they get sick of the city after a trial of it for a few months or years, and how heartily they wish themselves back again driving the old gentleman's team. People live too fast in the city. We get ourselves into a fever, and our pulse beats wildly and furiously. We hazard a great deal in our business; and the result is, that though we may be drawn up pretty near the top of the wheel of fortune, the chances are perhaps quite as many, that we shall get down to the bottom. But, whether we are going up or down, or while our destiny is still a problem, we are in a feverish state of excitement. We are driving ahead with railroad velocity. The whole system of business in the city goes by steam.
The farmer, on the other hand, as our artist has him sketched in the engraving, takes things coolly. The current of his life moves not so swiftly. He risks little: his success is almost certain. There is no great crisis in his affairs ever and anon staring him in the face by day, and giving him the nightmare in his sleep. There are no notary's tickets to scare him when there is a pressure in the money market. The vexations of money-borrowing – shinning, according to the expressive and somewhat unique idiom of Wall street-he knows nothing of. He is a happy man, or ought to be, surely.
But that is not all, nor is it the most favorable, in our opinion, of the circumstances attending this life in the country. Nature is here, and familiarity with nature, in all its varied forms, exerts, or may exert, the kindest influence upon the family, regarded in a social or moral aspect. The hills and vales, the meadows and forests, the trees and flowers, the birds and bees—all nature's beautiful things--when they are studied and loved, have a humanizing, almost a sanctifying effect on the soul.
There is something inexpressibly beautiful, by the way, not to say poetic, in the very idea of a
To CORRESPONDENTS.—“ To One Beloved," we have filed for publication. It is good—too good to be marred by such a rhyme as appears in the first stanza. Will the writer oblige us by making such an alteration as to marry the first and third lines? As they are now, it strikes us that there is something like odd fellowship about them.
"A Thought in the Morning," "How Old art Thou?” “ Why wast Thou?" (we wonder if our friends the poets are not hard pushed for titles sometimes,) and “Vocalli, the Albanian Klept," we must decline. The latter is exceedingly well written, and the plot of the tale is good. We cannot publish it, however, consistently with the plan we have marked out for the Parlor Magazine. The morale of the article will hardly warrant its publication in our pages. We hope, nevertheless, that the author will favor us with another tale. We are confident he has genius in this species of composition
SHOPPING IN GENERAL, AND SHOE-SHOPPING IN PARTICULAR.--We wonder that no one has ever written a volume on the morals of shopping. It is a fruitful topic, inexhaustible, almost. There is Mrs. A. now, at Stewart's, in Broadway, looking at a beautiful dress, in which she expects to shine at her party next week. Mr. A., her husband, as everybody knows, failed for sixty thousand dol
purposes of laced boots.
The Congress boot seems to us to combine all the features of a good article; and we can scarcely doubt that it will come into very general use. We see no obstacle to its success, except that Mr. Day's invention is patented; but if the manufacturers are not unreasonably charged for the patent, that obstacle cannot be a formidable one; for as soon as the ladies are convinced of the excellence of the thing—and they are on the qui vive in respect to all such matters—they will have it. Shoemakers, fathers, husbands, must all yield. The dear creatures! who but a bear ever thinks of refusing them anything!
lars last year about this time, and his creditors receipted their bills against his great house, for twenty-five cents on a dollar. He could not pay any more-poor man! He has failed. “But we must live,” says his philosophical wife; so she steps into Stewart's and orders a dress sent home, for which she pays three hundred and seventyfive dollars. She must live, of course, if her husband has failed. Then there is Mrs. B., who is managing all sorts of ways, tying odds and ends together, retrenching in this thing and that thing, grudging the shilling she pays for charitable purposes, and screwing her milliner down to the lowest possible cent, to make a display in the fashionable world, like her neighbors, Mrs. C. and Mrs. D., whose husbands are worth ten times as much as hers. It is an interesting branch of ethics, this of shopping. It overhangs a large surface. We have only cracked a nut or two from it, though there are hundreds more, equally rich, as anyone can satisfy himself in a few minutes, if he is so disposed, especially if he is fond of a little scandal, as we hope he is not.
But as we intended to do quite another thing when we set out, than to knock down nuts of this kind, and only threw a stone just to show how readily they fell, and what a flavor they had, we may as well pass on. The truth is, we stopped into a fashionable shoe-store on Broadway awhile ago; and as our publisher-who does anything he chooses in the way of embellishments—has given the patrons of the Parlor Magazine, in this number, a beautiful and life-like picture of shoeshopping, we must take this opportunity to say a word about what we saw and heard in this emporium of elegance and fashion, of the Congress Boot. It seems that the boot so named is exciting not a little attention, especially among the ladies, though it is equally adapted for the use of both sexes.
When this article was introduced into the American market we have not been able to ascertain; but we think we heard of it nearly a year ago. The patentee is Mr. Horace H. Day, of this city, a very extensive manufacturer of and dealer in India-rubber goods. One of the principal excellences of the boot, aside from its beauty, is the facility with which it adjusted on the foot, and taken off. In place of the ordinary method of lacing and tying, which is attended with so much inconvenience, Mr. Day adopts the expedient of confining the shoe to the ankle by means of an India-rubber gore, so constructed that its expansion and contraction answer all the
On this last point, however, by the way, people differ. Here is a communication, for instance, which we are desired benevolently to whisper to the ladies--for their especial comfort, we suppose, —that tells quite another story. We cannot help thinking that the writer is slightly mistaken in his notions. Of that matter, however, our fair readers must themselves be the judges. One thing is pretty certain, we think: if the theory of the poet, given in the first four stanzas, is correct, every body must unite in the invocation with which he winds up. What is the state of the case, ladies? Pray write to us, and let us know.
BY HENRY H. PAUL.
low sad and dark is woman's fate!
No blissful change her fortune knows ; Kneeling to man in every state,
Iler life is fraught with sollen woes.
In youth a father's stern command
And watchful eye control her will ; A stately brother mindful stands
To keep her closer captive still.
Now love beguiles her tender heart,
And paints bright phantoms lo her eyes ; Some lover's image haunts her rest,
And smiles give place to tears and sighs.
The cynic husband next appears,
With dark and corrugated brow ;Sweet smil's his face no longer wears,
Her slave becomes her sovereign now.
O Destiny! if ye designed
Tnat tyrant man should have full sway, To woman's form give slavish mind,
And teach her nought but to obey.
Dealings with the Firm of Dombey & Son. By
CHARLES DICKENS. With Illustrations, by H. K. Browne. Philadelphia : Lea & Blanchard.
There is a great deal of excellence in Dickens, with somewhat of evil commingled, it must be confessed. One hardly knows, sometimes, when he lays down a novel written by this author, whether the good or the ill predominates. That, so far as their moral influence is concerned, his efforts are far less objectionable than those of the great mass of our modern fashionable novelists, there can be no doubt; and whatever can be said or denied in this respect of his former novels, this one must be acknowledged to be negatively above reproach, if not—as we regard it-positively excellent. There is no attempt in the book, from beginning to end, to dress up vice in the garb of virtue. Things are called by their right names. If a character is introduced superlatively bad, that character is not so invested with nobleness of soul, after the fashion of Bulwer, as to protect it, like a coat of mail, from our abhorrence and detestation. On the whole, we think the tendency of the novel is toward the side of virtue, and is among the best, in every respect, from the pen of this author. But Dickens frequently attempts too much. He has done so, we think, in “ Dombey and Son.” He is not a Walter Scott, and it is strange that he or his warmest friends should ever dream that he was such a genius. He can delineate certain phases of character very well; but he cannot sketch a great mind in different and opposite circumstances and vicissitudes, and he always fails when he attempts it. We could not help noticing this in reading “ Dombey and Son.” We felt a little disposed, too, as we proceeded, to find some fault with the author's plot. The prominent features in it were well conceived, it must be admitted ; but some of the details of the plot are not so happy. We can scarcely resist the conviction, indeed, that the author steered a different course in the latter part of his voyage, from the one he intended to take when he set out. There are several editions of this book republished in this country. This of Messrs. Lea & Blanchard has the merit of being the cheapest, we believe. The Thousand and One Nights. New York:
Harper & Brothers.
tales are published. Half the entire work is now completed. There are to be six hundred wood engravings, and when bound, the book will be among the most beautiful that are prepared for the library of the young. Washington, and the Generals of the American
Revolution. Complete in two volumes, with sixteen portraits on steel, from original pictures. Philadelphia : Carey & Hart. New York: sold by John S. Taylor.
This is evidently a book of genuine merit. The author, whoever he is, sets about his work with the consciousness that it is no child's play. His modesty at the outset in sketching faintly the miniature of the man Washington, must charm every one who has formed a just conception of that remarkable man, and serve not a little to attract every such reader toward the author of the sketch. “ Gen. Washington's mental abilities," he says, with as much felicity as truth, “illustrate the very highest type of greatness. His mind, probably, was one of the very greatest that was ever given to mortality.” Nevertheless, concedes the writer, it is difficultimpossible, from the nature of the case, by a direct analysis of his character, to establish that position. * The processes of Washington's understanding are entirely hidden from us. What came from it, in counsel or in act was the life and glory of his country; what went on within it is shrouded in impenetrable concealment. We cannot see him as he was, because we are not like him. The tones of the mighty bell were heard with the certainty of time itself, and with a force which vibrates still upon the air of life, and will vibrate forever; but the clock-work by which they were regulated and given forth, we can neither see nor understand."
Modern French Literature. By L. RAYMOND DE
VERIcour, formerly Lecturer in the Royal Athenæum, Paris, author of “Milton et la Poesie Epique,” &c. Revised with Notes alluding particularly to writers prominent in late political events at Paris. By W. S. CHASE, A.M. Boston: Gould, Kendall & Lincoln. New York: For sale by Burgess, Stringer & Co.
This book will be a popular one with those who are interested in the literature and literary characters of France, who have written during the