صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

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, lo 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,
His life is neither tost in boisterous seas,

And I'll protect it now."
Of troublous world, nor lost in slothful ease;
Pleased and full blest he lives,” &c. &c.

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 heats 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 head, till at length there came a dazzling glare, wood Rowers just now in bloom are but few, but there and on the instant a terrific peal, which stariled our is yet to come a brilliant array of autumn ones. Among household from their seats. The bolt fell into the very the most beauziful of those now visible is the large Con- midst of the forest, and when, on the next day, I wan. volvulus, 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 faral 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 Waller spot 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,
You haste away so soone ;

Grown and designed for nobler use,
As yet the early rising sun

Not to make warm but build the house;
Has not attained his noone!

Though from our meaner fires secure,
Stay, stay,

Must that which falls from heaven endure !"
Until the hastening day,

But, perhaps, this is enough woodland gossipping for
Has run

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 We e have short lime 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 meet decay

“ Mine eye, descending from the hill, surveys
As you, or any thing.

Where Thames among the wanton vallies strays."
We die
As do you ; and drie

Write Potomac for Thames, and the following lines,
Away,

from the same refreshing poem, will describe Oakwood Like to the summer's raine,

to you, like a guide-book :
Or as the pearles of morning dew,
Ne'er to be found again!”

“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 greatly 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, 1639.

J. F. O

66

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

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. At a 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'En. unknown. By their hazardous voyages, the domain of trecasteaux, &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, posio ing for them universal gratitude and the admiration of Lion, formation, as well as the origin of their inhabitants, navigators and geographers-journals forming of themosser 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 his 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. cupidiiy 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 :-a 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 taneous 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 in 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 knox. 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 more 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 afcould draw for authentic information.

ford. Forlunately, 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 Auence, 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 bosoms a under all circumstances of navigation. The celestial sentiment of true glory.

Ephemerides, an indispensable work for the scientific Enlightened governments recognised at last the ne-l 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 grour.dwork, 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 of 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 articles 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 ventarer, 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 architecture, 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 every where 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 of nautical charts, a sound policy, to profit 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 use. UPON 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 lo 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 accurale 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 favora. communications 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 aris 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 delighi 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, measures 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, I 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, will 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 Missis. From the period when the United States so glori- sippi. By their efforts in seliling the country, and indusously achieved their independence, their attention has try in developing its resources, they lay the foundation been fully occupied 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 dis. it then at all surprising, that they have been unable to playing itself upon every point of the national terri. devote themselves at once to the cultivation of the arts cory. 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 liberly 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 hunianity. 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 interior 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, disa ppointed 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 Atlantie surniountable; 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 difficully 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 commensurate with the mago

nitude of the undertaking, and when finished, it will But what gives the greatest interest to this production constitute one of the noblest monuments of public is, that it contains the diplomatic creed of perhaps the utility that science can raise to the glory of a nation. greatest negotiator of ancient or modern times. It is

We are now brought to an epoch, when interests gratifying to observe, that he repels with something not less considerable, and our national honor, make it like indignation, the prevalent notion that deception a duty to take a direct and active part in the advance and duplicity are indispensable to the diplomatist. He ment of the geography and navigation of those remote proclaims good faith, not only to be a duty but a necesseas hitherto so little known.

sary one, in negotiating, as the sole foundation in fact of The increase of our commerce is such that not less confidence, but accompanied by discretion and reserve. than two to three hundred whaling vessels belonging Dr. Franklin could not have expressed a more true or to our countrymen, with from nine to twelve thousand republican sentiment. In hazarding the opinion that men, are in the habit of frequenting the Pacific ocean, theologians make the best diplomatists, Talleyrand pays engaged in pursuits, the profits of which are so much an indirect compliment to himself, as he is perhaps the the greater, as in most instances not dependent on most remarkable illustration of the proposition, which a mere exchange of com

mmodities, they are drawn by could be adduced. The remarks of the veteran stateslabor from the bottom of the deep. But these ope- man upon the obligation of duty, the religion of duty, rations are difficult and hazardous, and the lives of as he expressively calls it, are philosophical, sagacious, the sailors are always in peril. We navigate the and well worthy of deep consideration. But I did not whole ocean-but we draw almost all our knowledge set out with the intention of analyzing this remarkable of it from the contributions of others. This state of discourse. It is distinguished by an elegant, yet severe things cannot fail to excite the solicitude of an enlight- simplicity of style, characteristic of the best age of ened people, who wish to fulfil their high destinies. French literature. Clear, yet forcible; pointed, yet

It has been determined, that a scientific expedition flowing; it has none of the faux brillant of the present should be despatched to explore the South seas and school. It was listened to with admiration, by an audiPacific ocean. Its primary object, is the promotion of ence composed of all the rank, wit and intelligence of the the great interests of commerce, and the advancement French metropolis. I have preserved its phraseology, of navigation and geography. Promotion of natural as much as is consistent with the English idiom. sciences is considered an object of great, but secondary Before I close, I cannot resist the temptation of relaimportance.

ting an anecdote which I have never seen in print. It The inquiries relative to these two objects naturally is strikingly illustrative of the perfect self-control of divide themselves into two distinct classes. The first Talleyrand; his impassibility, as the French term it. I class comprehends all researches referring to nautical think it was in 1927, while attending in his capacity of art, to hydrography, to geography, to terrestrial mag. Grand Chamberlain, the anniversary commemoration netism, and to meteorology. These researches are of the death of Louis XVI, in the cathedral of St. the exclusive province of the officers of the navy, who Denis, as he was leaving the door, he was struck to the sail in the expedition. The second class comprehends earth by a certain de Manubreuil, and remained some time all the researches relative to the different branches of insensible, stunned either by the force of the blow or of the natural history of the earth, to the history of the the fall. This de Maubreuil asserted, that he had been native tribes, to philology, &c. These researches are employed by Talleyrand, after the fall of Napoleon, to entrusted particularly to the scientific corps, which is attack or assassinate some of the members of the to make part of the expedition, chosen from individu. Bonaparte family, in order to recover the crown jewels. als not of the navy, each one of whom will have spe- He did not succeed in his mission, and when he applied cial charge of the department under which he is nomi- for his reward, as he asserted, Talleyrand refused to renated.

cognize him, and ever after persisted in disavowing him. August 7, 1839.

Spurred to frenzy by this alleged neglect, he could find no other means of revenging himself, than by this public outrage. The story of de Maubreuil who was looked upon as deranged, obtained but little credence.

I happened during a residence of several years in Paris, PRINCE TALLEYRAND.

to be well acquainted with the Baroness de Bourgoing,

widow of a distinguished ambassador, who wrote a very To the Editor of the Southern Literary Messenger.

good work on Spain, and mother-in-law of Marshal SIR: At a time when the recent death of that extraor- Macdonald, a woman of superior intelligence and mandinary man Talleyrand, attracts so much attention to his ners, who was then “Surintendante, of the royal estabcharacter, I have thought that a translation of the dis- lishment of the Legion of Honor at St. Denis.” Her course which he delivered at the French Academy, a few house was the resort of the best company, and I recol. months before his decease, might not be altogether un lect, among others, to have spent a morning there with acceptable to your readers. It is in itself a remarkable Madame Recamier, so famous in the annals of beauty circumstance, that this veteran statesman and courtier, and fashion. No longer young, she was still unusually loaded with years, riches and honors, should at an age attractive in face and person, and of exceedingly moso advanced, present himself at the literary tribune. dest and interesting manners. She was really what the The purpose too was an amiable one, for it was to bear French call de beaux restes. This by way of episode. testimony, which he alone could render, to the merits To return to my story; a son of Madame de Bourgoing of a man of humble birth, of different religion, and of told me, that the Prince, after the outrage, was brought position and functions, often, comparatively obscure. I into his mother's apartment, and that as soon as he re

Vol. IV.-72

« السابقةمتابعة »