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they did not immediately chill the taste which they doubt that your interest in the subject would secure excite-restrictivg the majority of their readers to your indulgence, were I to rest upon it, yet I have the narrow corriculum into which they were thrown already detained you so long, that I must leave at their first waking, they would be very desirable others to draw their own inferences from the sugand serviceable ministers in the Temple of the gestion loosely thrown out. The hint is in itself Muses—they would not only chant to the prose- sufficient, especially after the general attention lytes of the outer gale some faint echo of the melo- which has been devoted latterly to the doctrine of dies within, but would introduce by gradual steps the International Copyright, owing in a great measure aspiring acolytes to the glories of the inner courts. to the labors of yourself and Mr. Cornelius Mathews. But I much fear that their functions are seldom ex But among other causes operating to produce the tended beyond the execution of the first of these feebleness and popularity of the Magazines must duties, at least in our country. In England, where undoubtedly be considered the desultory habits and the universities, the learned professions, and many undisciplined minds even of the educated men of other influences keep constantly active and alive a the country, resulting, parily, from their early, really literary and scientific class, accustomed to zealous, and continual engagement in the practical drink of the original fountains, and not easily lured pursuits of life ; and partly from the diffuseness off by every sparkling rivulet that meanders in its and necessary laxity of a hurried and incomplete eccentric course through fragrant and flowery training at school and college. We may add also meads, the injurious effects are by no means so ex- that, while in other countries the reading public is tensive. There is always a higher elevation pre-emphatically the educated public, here, on the consented, and all the substantial honors of letters are trary, a vast majority of the readers have scarcely denied to those who do not attain to some one of gone beyond the rudiments of instruction. Elseits many pinnacles. But we have no such load- where too, those who read are men of some habitual star to draw us upwards—if we are pulled down leisure, who can rely with confidence upon having forcibly towards the earth, we must ourselves “imp their two or three hours a day, undisturbed by the feathers to our broken wings” before we can hope intrusion of business, unoccupied by the cares of to rise again. No assistance-no coöperation is the world. But here, no hour is peculiarly sacred offered to us in this effort, whether we succeed or to relaxation and mental pleasures-all hours are fail, it must be by our own exertion or neglect. alike consecrated to the world, and only those are But there is very little to suggest, or to tempt to devoted to the pleasant walks of Literature which this self-improvement. And hence, while few accident, the want of society, or laziness may have readers, comparatively, rise above Magazine read- given. We may readily conclude that under such ing, very few authors rise above Magazine writing. circumstances the amusement required will be
The causes which have conduced to the popu- sought not from the ponderous tomes of Locke and larity of Magazines to their defects--and those Bacon, but from lighter and more tractable works, of their contributors may be gathered from what which may gratify for the moment, without leaving has been now said and thus a reply may be con- any unwelcome incentive to reflection behind them. sidered as having been given to the questions with I have already remarked, in substance, if not in which I started. But justice requires that I should words, that the character of the supply will always add a few of those concomitant influences which correspond with the nature of the demand. But have effected the present condition of Magazine in the present state of Literature the demand first Literature; for if what I have said were the sole heard will not be the request of those who ask for explanation of causes that could be given, we might excellence, but that of those who are more clamoindeed recognize their abundant efficacy, but there rous from their number, and less fastidious about would be scarcely any room left for the indulgence the sop that may be thrown to Cerberus. This of that hope of future and speedy amelioration, majority have their own peculiar habits of readingwhich I profess to entertain, and of which I fancy if the want of any fixed habit can be designated a that indubitable traces may already be discerned. habit—to which we have more than once alluded:
Had not your late articles in the Southern Lite- they take up a book by fits and starts, read occarary Messenger treated in such a satisfactory man- sionally at odd limes, here a little and there a little, ner the general bearings of the great question of now in this book and then in that, and throw them International Copyright, I might dwell upon it for all aside one after the other after a desultory glance a little while and illustrate the mode in which the over their pages. They read often they read want of a liberal and far-seeing legislation on the much-they read all things, but we might parody subject has operaled to force the growth of the the sole remaining line of the Margites for their Magazines while it has completely stifled the seeds benefit, if we were at all in a satirical mood. or stunted the plants of a more solid and healthy Now let it be remembered that an author is not Literature. Even though you have yourself so a being above, distinct and isolated from the crowdthoroughly considered this question of the most he is no strange monster dropped from the moon to vital importance to American Literature, I have no'astonish the gaze of the ignorant and excite the
gaping of the fool, he is not sent into the world Death in the summer-time! oh! no; with novel instruments of power or strange incan Nor in the glorious spring, tations for the direction of human actions and the When the soft South wind begins to blow, moulding of human thought; but he is a man as And the trees are blossoming! other men, subjected to the same influences with And the earth puts on her beauteous dress, them, equally susceptible to the tone of society and Jewell'd with flowers of loveliness. the spirit of the age, and consequently bearing more or less the same general characteristics which
Let me not perish then-not then. unite and assimilate the rest of the community to
O let me draw my breath, each other. The habitudes, accordingly, which he
'Till the funeral time comes round again, has formed as a man amongst men; the same he
At nature's annual death. will reveal to a greater or less extent when he
When the voice of joy has ceas d to flow, assumes his pen and speaks to them from the
Then, let the weary prisoner go. cathedra of the Author. And hence the desultory
When the summer's lightsome days are o'er, pursuit of Literature, which we note among readers,
When the streams rush by with glee no more, finds its counterpart in the fragmentary and fugitive
When the glow is faint in the evening sky, nature of the productions of writers. I remember,
Then, let me die. once before in a private conversation calling your attention to this peculiarity in the Literature of our When I hear no more the rippling rill, day, though I do not think that I then attempted When the dancing boughs are bare and still, any explanation of its cause. No life-time is de And the cheerless winds in the branches sigh, voted to the execution of one great work, no years
Then, let me die. consumed in the laborious collection of the materials, no youth wasted in the mental preparation
When the birds their dulcet music chime, necessary for the task prescribed, no matured con
In the fragrant groves of a softer clime, ception of an artistic and finished design carefully
And I hear no more their joyful cry, elaborated into excellence, fulness and perfection.
Then, let me die. But now-a-days no sooner has the solitary thought,
And the beautiful moon, when it waxeth dim, most unwonted visitant, flitted into the dark nooks and crevices of pericranium, than the gray goose
And the sun looks down with a cheerless glim,
And lime, in his wintry car drags by, quill is put in requisition, and its developed expres
Then, let me die. sion is rattled off with a hopeless rapidity, which reminds us that we live in the era of steam.
You will observe that sundry pernicious consequences result from this fugitive mode of composition and the equally fugitive mode of publication
THE TWO MOTHERS. by which modern lucubrations are ushered into light. One of these is that fragmentary character of modern Literature which requires a closer consideration than my paper will now permit me to One lovely eve, in the soft time of June, bestow upon it. I will therefore defer the exami I wander'd where a cottage stood embower'd nation of these consequences till my next Letter, Amid green trees, through which the clear full moon and break off here abruptly, by subscribing myself, Touches of silver light all trembling shower'd, With the highest esteem and regard,
On the low roof, o'er which the locust flower'd.
It was a luxury-the scented air I breath'd
But just within the vine-hung cottage door,
A lovelier sight I saw. A fair young mother
Her beauteous babe, there playing with each other;
(Strange woke the feeling that I could not smother,)
While oft she kiss'd the blooming cherub's face,
Ere long she trill'd the silliest nursery song,
That ever mother lo her baby chanted;
Yet with soft links it drew my heart along
And like a spell my homeward footstep haunted.
O whose sweet presence was it then I wanted ?
BY MRS. ELIZABETH J. EAMES.
BY E. B. HALE.
TO THE AUTHOR OF THE BRITISH SPY.
Now never more in the long twilight dim
|tion to him. The amiable modesty of the writer, which To taste thy“ breath of flowers” shall I lean o'er thee, led him to withhold it from its original destination, would While lull'd to slumber by the low-voic'd hymn.
have detained it still on his files, limited to the reading of So proudly fond thy father stood before thee,
his own family. At my earnest solicitation, however, he Nor dream'd of death when we did so adore thee. has submitted it to my disposal, and I hasten to communi. But he hath won thee ;-on thy soft seal'd eyes
cate it to your columns, confident that you will agree with The shadow of the grave all dim, and darkly lies ! me in the opinion that the touching scene it so graphically Lies—and forever! Yet for thee, my flower,
records, deserves to be read and transmitted as a part of No selfish thought is 'mid my deep grief nourish'd ; the well authenticated history of the “Blind Preacher." Though thou hast faded in thy spring-time hour,
Respectfully yours, Though many a high hope that thy parents cherisha,
R. W. BAILEY. Beside thy early burial coldly perish'd
Slaunton, July 16, 1844.
Fresh, and unstained on the wings of morning;
The distinguished notice you have taken of the And Angel-hands have fashion'd thy adoring
Rev. James Waddell of Virginia, in the character Joy, joy, for thee! and I shall soon cease mourning, of the “ Blind Preacher," has induced me to give Thou never canst return Belov'd to me,
you some account of an event unnoticed by you, But yet a liule while, and I shall go to thee.
and which forms an era in his life-I refer to the August, 1844.
restoration of his sight. I do this with less reserve, since it is generally understood that the British Spy had been long a warm friend of the subject of his notice; and that his removal from
the vicinity of the Blind Preacher, in whose hospi"THE BLIND PREACHER" AND " THE BRITISH SPY." table mansion he had received many and warm
greetings, had left him uninformed of the event to Many of our readers recollect the rapturous tri- which I have alluded, and of the circumstances bute paid by the late William Wirt, in one of the which I propose to detail. You have described letters of his “ British Spy,” to the fervid eloquence him blind, and while occupying the rude enclosure of the Blind Preacher,” the Rev. James Wad- of a forest pulpit, addressing an unseen multitude in dell. One is almost led to believe the opwrought strains of eloquence which might captivate cities eulogy of the gifted author extravagant; but he and win the admiration of grave senates. The who so excelled in the graces and power of elo- incidents to which I refer were more private-in quence must be deemed a competent judge. From his own house and in the midst of his family. For his description there must have been in the oratory eight years he had been blind, a stranger equally of the Blind Herald of the Cross, a charm and to the cheerful light of day, and the cheering faces efficiency most unusual, which his blindness served of kindred and friends. It will readily be suponly to enhance.
posed, that in this lapse of time great changes had Mr. Wirt dwells particularly upon the matchless taken place. The infant had left the knee to rove manner in which the Preacher quoted the cele- amidst the fields—the youth had started into manbrated passage of Rousseau, “Socrates died like hood, and bidding adieu to the haunts of his childa philosopher, but Jesus Christ died like a God!" hood, had gone forth to act for himself upon the He tried a thousand times, as he rode along, to theatre of life, with the hope indeed of again and imitate it, but in vain. Ever since he wrote his again looking upon his venerable father, but withglowing description, there has been the deepest out hope of that father's ever looking upon him. interest felt in the “Blind Preacher.” A memoir A calm and patient resignation had settled over the of him is now in preparation by Mr. Alexander of mind of this man of God, as a summer's cloud Princeton, which will appear in one of the journals settles over the horizon of evening, peaceful, hopeof this city. The following touching account of ful and reclining upon the bosom of Heaven. bis restoration to sight will be read with pleasure Every painful solicitude about himself had fled by every one.-(Ed. Mess.
away. This personal peace and Christian submission were calculated, however, to concentrate his
reflections and solicitudes upon the destinies of his To the Editor of the Sou. Lit. Messenger,
family, here and hereafter. His eye could not SIR :- The following paper was lately brought to my now see for them; but he had a heart to invoke notice in the possession of the author, a descendant of the the watchfulness of an eye that neither slumbers “Blind Preacher.” It was written, as it imports, during nor sleeps, that neither grows dim with age nor the life of Mr. Wirt and designed for a private communica. any infirmity. His palsied hand could guide them
no longer, but patriarchal counsel was freely given; duced by a long absence. The fondness of a father and enforced by the tremendous realities of a future in contemplating those most dear to him was never existence. The thread 10 be followed through the more rationally exemplified, or exquisitely enjoyed labyrinth of life, it was taught, had its fastenings than on this occasion. in eternity; the responses of the heart to the bid And now, the venerable man, arising from his dings of conscience would be echoed in eternity- seat and grasping a long staff which lay convenient the strings connected with human responsibility to him, had proceeded but a short distance, then must vibrate in eternity-uime and all sublunary the staff itself seemed powerfully, but momentarily, things should be viewed in the light of eternity to engage his attention-it had been the companion But although the mental vision was acute and widely of his darkest days, the pioneer of his domestic circumspect, the dark curtain still hung over the travels, and the supporter of a weak and toitering organs of sight, and seemed destined to rise no frame.
He next proceeded to the front door to take a view And what if it should be otherwise ?—that hope of the mountains, ihe beautiful south-west range of sighit should take the place of resignation to stretching out in lovely prospect at the distance of blindness—and more than this, that hope should be about three miles. All followed, myself among the turned into fruition--that afier the darkness of eight rest ; and the mountain scene, though viewed a years he should be presented with a broad daylight thousand times before, was now gazed upon with view of every thing around him! And this I assure deeper interest, and presented a greater variety of you was almost ihe fact; for after an operation for beauties than ever. Indeed this mountain scenery cataract, which, in the progress of some years, had ever after continued to delight my unsatisfied vision; rendered light sensible, and then, ohjects faintly whether my attention had not before this been carevisible,--a strong and well constructed convex lens, fully drawn to its beauties, or that the suggestive procured by the kindness of a distant friend,* ena- faculty, Jinking the prospect with the sympathetic bled him in a moment to see with considerable dis- pleasures previously enjoyed, had thrown around tinctness. At this juncture, I happened at his resi- me a pleasing delusion, I am unable to decide. dence, called by himself long before Hopewell— Delusion apart, however, this sunny base of the and now fulfilling in happy reality, the import of a S. W. mountains is a delightful region, distinsoft and cheerful name. The scene, without dis- guished not only by the natural advantages of ferpute, was the most moving I had ever witnessed.tile soil salubrious climate and beautiful scenery, The father could again see his children who rivetted but by a race noted for the social virtues and for a his attention and absorbed his soul. Among these, high order of intellect. emotions of intense interest and varied suggestion
But to relura to the individual whom I had left were visible in the eye, the countenance and hur- exercising a new born vision upon the external ried movements. The bursts of laughter-the world. The book-case interviews I had looked running to and fro—the clapping of hands—the for with solicitude, and presently had the pleasure sending for absent friends and then the silent tear of witnessing. Watts, and Dodridge, and Locke, bedewing the cheek in touching interlude-the eager and Reid, with a host of worthies, had been the gazes of old servants, and the unmeaning wonder companions of his best days : there had been a long of young ones-in short, the happy confusion from night of separation. The meeting and communion the agitation of joy—all taken together, was a was that of kindred souls, and complimentary alike scene better adapted to the pencil than the pen, to his piety, scholarship and taste. The sight of and which a master's hand might have been proud his own hand writing upon the blank leaves of his to sketch. How I regrelted that the mantle of books, was in itself a small circumstance, but seemed some Raphael or Michael Angelo had not fallen to affect him not a little, associated no doubt with upon me; then had my fame and my feelings, each varied reminiscences of past days. been identified with the scene, and others should I left the house full of reflections. I had been have been permitted to view upon the canvass what always awed by the solemn sanctity and personal I must fail to describe upon paper.
dignity of the Blind Preacher. The yearning soliThe paroxysm produced by the arrival of the citude which I had just witnessed of such a father glasses having passed away, and a partial experi- over his children, seen now for the first time after ment having satisfied all of their adaptation to the the dreary blindness of years, bad melted my feel. diseased eye; behold! the Patriarch seated uponings. My imagination took flight, and passing his large arm-chair, with his children around him, rapidly through time was conducted by the inciand scanning with affectionate curiosity the bashful dents of this day to the resurrection day; when group. There was a visible shyness among the the saint of God, throwing off the trammels of the lesser members of the family community while un tomb, with quickened vision and more than mortal dergoing this fatherly scrutiny, not unlike that pro- solicitude, casts around for the children of his pil
grimage. * The late Dr. Hall of S. C.
Q. P. F.
With thee? ah yes! when thou art near,
OR CUSTOMS OF SICILY.
BY LIEUT. WM. D. PORTER, V. S. N.
And wilt thou then forsake for me,
Where earth, and air and sky unite
To make this chosen spot mere bright
Than aught, save thine own lucid eye,
Whose hue alone cau match the sky ? a wedding in Messina being over, the Count and family retired to their country seat, which was Ada. situated near the little town of Sera, at the foot of Aye, as the dancing sunbeams play the mountains. An arm of the sea indented the
Upon the light and sparkling spray, Island and swept along the foot of the village. A
Like summer air, as light as free small stream of water passed along the Count's
As thine own bounding step shall be,
And should dark billows swell the sea, gardens, over which hung the verandah of his man Naught I'll fear while I cling to thee. sion. It was here in this quiet spot Ada proposed to spend the remainder of the honey-moon, or as
Gerald. the Sicilians term it “ Dolce Luna.” The busi
Then haste with me: sun, dews and showers ness of Johnston could not be neglected; cargoes
Have formed thee like gay birds and flowers,
Or like a graceful Jessamine were daily arriving consigned to his care, and it Whose tendrils round my heart do twine ; was necessary that he should have the papers And I the oak whose stately form arranged with the Government. He could only Shall guard thee, loved one, from the storm. snatch a few moments in several days to visit the Count's quiet country seat ; but not so with Gerald, window for her cousin, which falling in the grass,
The duette finished, Ada threw a ring from the he was the constant companion of Ada. If any aquatic excursion was proposed, Gerald plied the
was not perceived by Gerald, who, the moment he oar; a ride, Gerald accompanied his cousin ; a
finished, stepped into his light gondola and pulled “pic nic,” Gerald arranged and appointed the place;
to an old cottage near to offer charity in the name
of his cousin. fresh bouquets of flowers were constantly supplied by Gerald; if music was heard, it was Gerald's
Johnston, who had arrived late in the evening guitar; if the poor were relieved, Gerald was the
from Messina, had determined to surprise his bride bearer of the good tidings; in short, Gerald was
by an unexpected visit. He had fastened his the “Cicisbeo."
horse some distance from the house, sprang over Johnston's jealousy was first aroused by the fol
the garden fence and approached the mansion lowing circumstance. It was a calm evening, and through the garden at the very moment Gerald and Gerald had been on a visit to some poor in the
Ada were singing the duette. His jealousy was neighborhood. He had to cross the little stream he advanced softly towards Gerald, raised his
at once aroused; drawing a dagger from his bosom, which passed under the window of his cousin; he stopped and fastened his boat at the foot of an old weapon to strike. A moment more and the ob
ject of his hatred would have been in eternity; but cypress, tuned his guitar and commenced a duette, the English habits and education of Johnston caused composed by himself when quite a boy. Ada him to pause and reflect a moment ere he committed had often sang it with him; it was also a signal the deed. He now concealed himself behind the in former days to walk in the garden, or meet him at the foot of the old “
shrubbery until Gerald departed. His first thought
cypress.” The quick ear of Ada at once detected the minstrel. Gerald was to return to Messina, but in passing under in a full, rich and melodious voice commenced the
the window a ray of light fell upon the diamond following:
ring, making it glitter. Picking it up he at once
recognized it to be the one he had given his wife Oh maiden wilt thou
on the night of their wedding. Looking at it for O'er the wide, wide perilous sea
some time, his veins swelling with passion, he ex-
did not murder him. My blood runs cold at the And smile as now, through weal or w
thought; he shall have a chance for his life. I'll
demand satisfaction for the injury. Constantine He finished the verse, when Ada throwing open has left the Island to join the army, the contract the window, took up the lay, Gerald accompanying Ada still holds sealed, then I'll let the punishment her with his guitar :
fall on her."