« AnteriorContinuar »
dom, even after years of subduing method and dress; the former lowers her tone-depreciates spirit-breaking confinement!"
This "instinct," so beautifully noticed by Willis, is what I would point to as the compensating power of the wilderness. Those who are "to the manor born," feel this most sensibly, and pity, with all their simple hearts, the walled-up denizens of the city. And the transplanted onesthose who have been used to no forests but "forests of chimneys" - though "the parted bosom clings to wonted home," soon learn to think nature no step-mother, and to discover many redeeming points even in the half-wild state at first so uncongenial.
That this love of unbounded and unceremonious liberty is a natural and universal feeling, needs no argument to show; I am only applying it on a small scale to the novel condition in which I find myself in the woods of Michigan. I ascribe much of the placid contentment, which seems the heritage of rural life, to the constant familiarity with woods and waters
All that the genial ray of morning gilds,
her to herself, even though the latter may be quite incapable of inspiring her with pride. No man feels quite at ease in a shining new coat; he is conscious of an inequality between his present self and the old friend whom he could have met so warmly yesterday. The friend may not notice the coat or its influence, but the wearer never forgets it. The Spectator, or some one of those cunning old observers, tells of a young lady who carried herself with unusual hauteur, and seemed to feel a new consciousness of power, upon no greater occasion than the wearing of a new pair of elegant garters. This affords an argument both for and against dress. We ought not to wear what makes us proud and creates a secret contempt of others; but neither should we neglect any thing that aids our self-respect and keeps our spirits at the proper pitch. Some parents, from the best motives in the world, do their children serious injury by wilfully denying them such dress as may put them on an outward equality with their young companions, or make them feel equal. It is in vain to be philosophical for other people; we must convince their judgments and bring them over to our way of thinking, before we can obtain true
to the harmony which the Creator has instituted and healthy conformity. We submit with toler
between the animate and inanimate works of HIS hands.
A DEBATING SOCIETY AT THE WEST.
One evening-I hope that beginning prepares the reader for something highly interesting-one evening the question to be debated was the equally novel and striking one which regards the comparative mental capacity of the sexes; and as it was expected that some of the best speakers on both sides would be drawn out by the interesting nature of the subject, every body was anxious to attend.
The debate was interesting to absolute breathlessness, both of speakers and hearers, and was gallantly decided in favour of the fair by a youthful member who occupied the barrel as president for the evening. He gave it as his decided opinion, that if the natural and social disadvantages under which woman laboured and must ever continue to labour, could be removed; if their education could be entirely different, and their position in society the reverse of what it is at present, they would be very nearly, if not quite equal to the nobler sex, in all but strength of mind, in which very useful quality it was his opinion that man would still have the advantage, especially in those communities whose energies were developed by the aid of debating societies.
From Sartain's Magazine.'
There is, no doubt, a reflex influence in dress. One of the best ways of inspiring the degraded with self-respect is to supply them with decent and suitable clothing. We are wholly unable, at any stage of cultivation, to withstand this influ
Every one must have noticed the effect of dress upon the character and condition of servants. Those who have grown up in houses where slat ternly personal habits are allowed, never become really respectable, even although they may have many good qualities. They do not respect themselves, and their sympathy with their employers is blunted by the great difference in outward appearance. It is true that domestics sometimes act so earnestly upon this principle, that they end in erring on the side of too much attention to costume. We remember once, and once only, finding at a foreign hotel a chambermaid dressed in silk, with artificial roses in her hair; the feeling that she would not be of much use to us flashing across the mind at once. English servants hit the happy medium oftener than any other; their tidiness suggests alacrity, and we have a comfortable assurance of being well served, as soon as we look upon them. It is odd what a difference one feels
in offering a gratuity to a well or ill-dressed attendant in travelling. Shabbiness favours our penuriousness, most remarkably! The eye scans the expectant instinctively, and instead of the generous impulse to give most liberally to those who need, we graduate our donation by the probable expectation of one who has evidently not found the world very generous. If the servant be well enough dressed to bespeak independence, and especially if he be gifted with the modest assurance which is often both cause and consequence of good fortune, pride whispers us at once not to disgust so genteel a person by a shabby gift, and we bestow on success what we should grudge to necessity
DRESS OF LADIES.
Women generally have an intense dislike to the picturesque style in female dress, and they are not at all apt to think favourably of the stray sheep who adopt it. Some "ill-advis'd" persons fancy that ladies dress for the eyes of gentlemen, but this opinion shows little knowledge of the sex. Gentlemen dress for ladies, but ladies for each other. The anxiety that is felt about the peculiarities of fashion, the chase after novelty, the thirst for expense, all refer to women's judgment and admiration, for of these particulars men know nothing. Here we touch upon the point in question. Women who depart from fashion in search of the picturesque are suspected of a special desire to be charming to the other sex, a fault naturally unpardonable, for ought we not all to start fair? Has any individual a right to be weaving private nets, and using unauthorized charms? A lady who values her character, had better not pretend to be independent of the fashion. The extra admiration of a few of her more poetical beaux will not compensate for the angry sarcasms she must expect from her own sex. This is a matter in which we find it hard to be merciful, or even candid.
Shall the becoming, then, be sacrificed to the caprices of fashion, which consults neither complexion, shape, nor air, but considers the female sex only as a sort of dough, which is to be moulded at pleasure, and squeezed into all possible forms, at the waving of a wand? We do not go so far. There are rules of taste, standards of grace and beauty, boundaries of modesty and propriety, restraints of Christian benevolence. Saving and excepting the claims of these, we say follow the fashion enough to avoid singularity, and do not set up to be an inventor in costume.
LEE, HANNAH F.,
Is now a resident of Boston, Massachusetts, of which state she is a native. Her birth-place was Newburyport, where her father was an eminent physician. Mrs. Lee has for many years been a widow, and so situated as not to be influenced by pecuniary motives in devoting a part of her time
to literature. She wrote from a full heart, sympathizing with those who suffered from lack of knowledge respecting the causes of their troubles. Her Three Experiments of Living," published about 1838, was written during a season of commercial distress, when every one was complaining of hard times." She embodied in this tale the thoughts suggested by scenes around her, without any idea of publication. The friends who read her manuscript insisted on its being printed, and one of them, the late John Pickering, Esq., well known in the literary and scientific world, gave the manuscript to the printer, and saw to its execution. The unparalleled success of this work justified his opinion. Edition after edition was called for, (about thirty have been issued in America,) and we may say, that in no country has a work, teaching the morals of domestic life, met with such success. It circulated widely from the English press, and was advertised in large letters in the bookstores at Dresden. The name of the author was for a long time unknown, as Mrs. Lee had never prefixed it to any publication.
Her next work was the "Old Painters," written with the earnest desire of benefiting youth by mingling instruction with amusement. Her succeeding works, "Luther and his Times," "Cranmer and his Times," and the " Huguenots in France and America," were written from the same motive. Mrs. Lee's first publication was entitled "Grace Seymour," a novel. Nearly the whole edition of this work was burnt in the great fire at New York, before many of the volumes had been bound and issued. She has never reprinted it, though some of her friends think it one of her best writings. Another little book, "Rosanna, or Scenes in Boston," was written by particular desire, to increase the funds of a charity school. As her name has not been prefixed to any of her books, it is impossible to enumerate all which have proceeded from her pen; we may, however, mention a volume of tales, and also several small tracts. One of these, "Rich Enough," was written to illustrate the insane desire of accumulating wealth which at that time prevailed. The "Contrast, or Different Modes of Education,' "The World before You, or the Log-Cabin," are titles of two of her other little books. In 1849, she published a small volume of "Stories from Life for the Young." Her first known publication was the appendix to Miss Hannah Adams' memoir of herself, edited by Dr. Joseph Tuckerman. Nearly all Mrs. Lee's works have been republished in England.
In contrasting the genius of the sexes, we should always estimate the moral effect of mental power; the genius which causes or creates the greatest amount of good to humanity should take the highest rank. The Hon. John Pickering, to whom allusion is made as the friend of Mrs. Lee, was a profound scholar, an eminent lawyer, a philologist of high attainments; and yet, probably, the greatest benefit his talents conferred on his country, was his aid and encouragement in developing the talents of Mrs. Lee. Her moral influence has had a power for good over domestic life, and on
the formation of character, which incalculably outweighs all speculative philosophies. Great reverence is due to the memory of Mr. Pickering for his high estimation of woman's moral power.
From "Three Experiments of Living."
Most young physicians begin life with some degree of patronage, but Frank Fulton had none; he came to the city a stranger, from the wilds of Vermont, fell in love with Jane Churchwood, uncle Joshua's niece,—a man whom nobody knew, and whose independence consisted in limiting his wants to his means. What little he could do for Jane, he cheerfully did. But after all necessary expenses were paid, the young people had but just enough between them to secure their first quarter's board, and place a sign on the corner of the house, by special permission, with Doctor Fulton handsomely inscribed upon it. The sign seemed to excite but little attention, - as nobody called to see the owner of it, though he was at home every hour in the day.
After a week of patient expectation, which could not be said to pass heavily, for they worked, read and talked together,-Frank thought it best to add to the sign, Practises for the poor gratis. At the end of a few days another clause was added, Furnishes medicines to those who cannot afford to pay for them. In a very short time, the passers by stopped to spell out the words, and Frank soon began to reap the benefit of this addition. Various applications were made, and though they did not as yet promise any increase of revenue, he was willing to pay for the first stepping-stone. What had begun, however, from true New England calculation, was continued from benevolence. He was introduced to scenes of misery, that made him forget all but the desire of relieving the wretchedness he witnessed; and when he related to his young and tender-hearted wife, the situation in which he found a mother confined to her bed, with two or three helpless children crying around her for bread, Jane would put on her straw bonnet, and follow him with a light step to the dreary abode. The first quarter's board came round; it was paid, and left them nearly penniless. There is something in benevolent purpose, as well as in industry, that cheers and supports the mind. Never was Jane's step lighter, nor her smile gayer, than at present. But this could not last; the next quarter's board must be provided, and how? Still the work of mercy went on, and did not grow slack.
It would be pleasant to dwell longer on this period of Dr. Fulton's life. It was one of honest independence. Their pleasures were home pleasures,
the purest and the most satisfactory that this world affords. We cannot but admit that they might have been elevated and increased by deeper and more fervent principle. Nature had been bountiful in giving them kind and gentle dispositions, and generous emotions; but the bark, with its swelling sails and gay streamers, that
moves so gallantly over the rippling waters, struggles feebly against the rushing wind and foaming wave. Prosperous as Frank might be considered, he had attained no success beyond what every industrious, capable young man may obtain, who, from his first setting out in life, scrupulously limits his expenses within his means. This is, in fact, to be his text-book and his ægis. Not what others do, not what seems necessary and fitting to his station in life, but what he, who knows his own affairs, can decide is in reality fitting. Shall we, who so much prize our independence, give up what, in a political view alone, is dross, compared to independence of character and habits? Shall we, who can call master spirits from every portion of our land, to attest to the hard-earned victory of freedom and independence, give up the glorious prize, and suffer our minds to be subjugated by foreign luxuries and habits? Yet it is even so; they are fast invading our land; they have already taken possession of our sea-ports, and are hastening towards the interior. Well may British travellers scoff, when they come amongst us, and see our own native Americans adopting the most frivolous parts of civilized life, - its feathers and gewgaws, our habits and customs made up of awkward imitations of English and French; our weak attempts at aristocracy; our late hours of visiting, for which no possible reason can be assigned, but that they do so in Europe! Let us rather, with true independence, adopt the good of every nation, their arts and improvements,-their noble and liberal institutions,-their literature, and the grace and real refinement of their manners; but let us strive to retain our simplicity, our sense of what is consistent with our own glorious calling, and above all, the honesty and wisdom of living within our income, whatever it may be. This is our true standard. Let those who can afford it, consult their own taste in living. If they prefer elegance of furniture, who has a right to gainsay it? But let us not all aim at the same luxury. Perhaps it is this consciousness of unsuccessful imitation that has given a colour to the charge made against us, by the English, of undue irritability. Truly, there is nothing more likely to produce it. Let us pursue our path with a firm and steadfast purpose, as did our fathers of the Revolution, and we shall little regard those who, after receiving our hospitality, retire to a distance, and pelt us with rubbish.
LIVING BEYOND THE MEANS.
Jane was not behind Mrs. Bradish, in costume or figure. Every morning, at the hour for calls, she was elegantly attired for visitors. Many came from curiosity. Mrs. Hart congratulated her dear friend, on seeing her moving in a sphere for which it was evident nature intended her. Mrs. Reed cautioned her against any mauvaise honte, that might remind one of former times. Others admired her furniture and arrangements, without any sly allusions. On one of these gala mornings, uncle Joshua was ushered into the room. Jane was fortunately alone, and she went forward and offered two fingers with a cordial air, but whis
pered to the servant, "if any one else called while | world can give. When I lost you, Jane, I was a he was there, to say she was engaged." She had poor solitary being. The world, you know, is not scrupulously observed her promise, of never send- much to me, and I was still less to that. For a ing word she was not at home. There was a time, you were still my own Jane; but when your mock kind of deference in his air and manner, family increased, and-as was very natural-you that embarrassed Jane. were occupied by it, then I was thrown quite on
"So," said he, looking round him, "we have a myself. And a dreary prospect it was. Then I palace here!"
"The house we were in was quite too small, now that our children are growing so large," replied Jane.
"They must be greatly beyond the common size," said uncle Joshua, "if that house could not hold them."
"It was a very inconvenient one; and we thought, as it was a monstrous rent, it would do better to take another. Then, after we had bought this, it certainly was best to furnish it comfortably, as it was for life."
"Is it paid for?" asked uncle Joshua, drily. Jane hesitated.
"Very comfortable," said uncle Joshua; "that is a comfortable glass for your husband to shave by; and those are comfortable curtains, to keep out the sun and cold." Both of these articles were strikingly elegant. "That is a comfortable lamp that hangs in the middle of the room; it almost puts out my eyes with its glass danglers. Times are strangely altered, Jane, since you and I thought such comforts necessary."
"Frank has been very successful in his speculations, uncle; he does not now depend on his profession for a living; indeed, he thinks it his duty to live as other people do, and place his wife and children upon an equality with others."
"And what do you call an equality, -living as luxuriously, and wasting as much time, as they do? Dwelling in as costly apartments, and forgetting there is any other world than this? When you were left to my care, and your dear mother was gone from us, how often I lamented that I could not supply her place, that I could not better talk to you of another world, to which she had gone; but then, Jane, I comforted myself that I knew something of the duties that belonged to this, and that, if I faithfully instructed you in these, I should be preparing you for another. When I saw you growing up, dutiful and humble, charitable and self-denying, sincere, and a conscientious disciple of truth, then I felt satisfied that all was well. But I begin now to fear that it was a short-sighted kind of instruction, that it had not power enough to enable us to hold fast to what is right. I begin now to see that we must have motives that do not depend on the praise or censure of this world, - motives that must have nothing to do with it."
"Frank told me the other day," said Jane, "that he thought you were growing quite religious."
"If I am," said uncle Joshua, "it is from the conviction that I want higher motives than this
asked myself, if all was to end here? Not but what I believed in another world, but it was just as I believed in England or France: but now, Jane, I have thought it over, till I feel that heaven is a land I am going to, and the Bible my chart to steer by; and I am no longer solitary or alone. Now, my dear Jane, I want you to believe it."
"I do, uncle," said Jane, affectionately; "you always taught me that my mother had gone to heaven, and that if I was good, I should go, too."
"Ah, but, my dear child, I want you to feel it, -to feel the comfort and blessing of God's presence. It seems to me that when we once realize the glory of heaven, we shall not think much of these earthly palaces. Do not wait till you go to heaven, to realize God's presence, but feel that he is with you always, -teach it to your children,win your husband to the truth."
Is a native of Philadelphia, where she has resided the greater portion of her life. Her paternal ancestors were from Scotland; her great-grandfather, Robert Leslie, emigrated to the then colony of Maryland about the year 1745. The father of Miss Leslie removed to Philadelphia before she was born; but he had previously married, in Maryland, the grandaughter of a worthy Swede; and thus Miss Leslie, who has been criticised as an English authoress, "has not," to quote her own words, "a drop of English blood in her veins." The mistake probably arose from the circumstance that, when she was a child, her father took his family with him to London for a few years, and afterwards to Portugal; and her brother, Charles Leslie, the distinguished artist, settled in London. This American family of Leslies are very talented, and, moreover, have won success, which genius
does not always achieve. Miss Anne Leslie, a younger sister of Miss Eliza, has succeeded, as an artist, beyond what females usually do; she has copied her brother's pictures with such truth and spirit, that her work is often mistaken for the original.
After the return of Mr. Leslie, Senior, to Philadelphia, he engaged in business; yet, being fond of books, he devoted much of his time, while abroad and when in his own land, to mathematics and natural philosophy. These pursuits brought him, before he went abroad, into intimacy with Franklin, Jefferson, Rittenhouse, and other philosophers of the day; and his reminiscences of these distinguished men had, doubtless, an abiding influence on the mind of his young and gifted daughter, the bent of whose genius has always been towards the useful and practical. Miss Leslie's first book, 'Seventy-Five Receipts," a little manual to assist ladies in their housekeeping, owed its appearance to this desire of being useful. She had had the benefit of an institution, peculiar to Philadelphia, which may be termed "A Cooking School for Young Ladies," where practical instruction was given in the mysteries of making cakes, pastry, preserves, &c. At this school, under the care of Mrs. Goodfellow, (no relation of Robin,) who acquired a great repu- | tation in her way, Miss Leslie not only graduated among the highest, but she had the good sense to secure her acquirements by taking notes. She soon found herself the authority to whom appeal was made, on any special occasion, for this scientific skill in cookery. She grew tired of writing out receipts for her "five hundred friends," and, yielding to the counsels of her brother, prepared the book for publication, about the year 1829. Its success was so signal, that the publisher proposed to Miss Leslie the writing of a work for children. With much persuasion, she was prevailed on to undertake this, and produced several books for juvenile readers, which were very popular and useful. "The Mirror" was the first of the series; then followed "The Young American," "Atlantic Tales," "Stories for Emma," and "The American Girl's Book," published in 1832. Prior to this, Miss Leslie commenced writing for Godey's Lady's Book, and her contributions were continued, with but slight intermissions, till 1850. She also contributed to other periodicals, and has been editor of monthlies and annuals. Her various papers have been, in part, collected and published, with the title of "Pencil Sketches, or Outlines of Character and Manners." The first volume was published in 1833, and contained "Mrs. Washington Potts," a prize tale, which has been very much praised. The second volume was published in 1835, and the third in 1837. During these years, she prepared a large work on "Cookery," which has met with great favour; also, "The House Book," a useful manual for young housekeepers; and the "Ladies' New Receipt Book."
In 1841, "Althea Vernon" appeared; and in 1848, was published her longest and most finished fictitious narrative, "Amelia; or a Young Lady's Vicissitudes," in one volume. Miss Leslie has
quick observation, a retentive memory, a sprightly fancy, and a persevering mind; she has also the great merit of being free from affectation; her purpose is always to be useful, to correct faults, expose follies, and wage war with what is perverse and contemptible. If, in doing this, she sometimes seems severe on what are called trifles, it should be borne in mind, that from these little faults grave misfortunes not unfrequently have their origin; and Miss Leslie is such a truehearted American, that she earnestly desires to aid her countrywomen in becoming perfect. Few of our female writers have wielded so powerful an influence, or been more widely read. Her "Sketches and Stories," scattered through periodicals, are soon to be issued in a convenient form for popular circulation. Miss Leslie is now engaged in preparing "The Behaviour Book;" and the "Life of John Fitch," the first experimenter in steam navigation. For this, she has abundant materials, as that unfortunate man of science was an intimate friend of her father's, who took a deep interest in his projects, afterwards realized by Fulton.
From "Kitty's Relations."
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.
Albert Colesbury, of Philadelphia, fell in love with Catherine Branchley, of New York, at a quarter past ten o'clock, while dancing opposite to her on the evening of his arrival at Ballston Springs; there being a ball at the Sans Souci Hotel. Perhaps the precise moment selected by Cupid for directing his shaft towards the heart of our hero, was that in which the young lady acknowledged, with a graceful bow, and a smile of unaffected sweetness, his civility in presenting to her a sprig of jessamine that had fallen from her hair, Shortly after, another sprig of jessamine happened to fall; and this time, Colesbury was so dishonest as not to return it, but took an opportunity of slipping it within his vest.
When the set was over, he hastened to procure an introduction to Miss Branchley, by means of a young New Yorker, whom he knew, and who had just been dancing with her. Our hero would have gladly engaged her for the next set, but her hand was already promised to another gentleman; however, she smilingly consented to give it to Colesbury for the set following. Having no inclination to dance with any one else, he took his seat beside Mrs. Seabright, a young widow, whom he had frequently met with at places of public resort, where she generally did him the favour to matronize him. Colesbury, unable to think of anything else, broke forth into warm encomiums on the beauty of Miss Branchley, and even manifested his intention of endeavouring to engage her for every succeeding To do him justice, she really was pretty. Mrs. Seabright judiciously cautioned the impetuous inamorato against all violent measures. as they would certainly have a tendency to excite false hopes in the heart of a poor simple girl, who had evidently just come out, and was of course inexperienced in both balls and beaux. "False hopes!" exclaimed Colesbury. should her hopes be false?"