« PreviousContinue »
or two alphabetical irregularities grown cub of the lion (as we have (hardly to be avoided, in the first con- well nigh said before) will outlive a litcoction of an index,without assistance,) ter of lap-dogs.
, have been discovered_by ourselves We make no apologies, as we have in two or three of our late papers, con- said before; but—but we do what is cerning the affairs of North America. better, we make atonement; correct
-Our justification for we our irregularities, and supply our make an apology-is that we write al. omissions, just so fast as they become together from recollection, without a obvious to ourselves—but no faster. book of any kind : a note, or a bint, We shall do it, on this occasion (afof any name, or nature, to freshen our ter a few minutes,) because we pique memories with. Books, indeed, ex- ourselves, not a little, upon our scrucept as a reference for dates, words, pulous impartiality, truth, exactness, and figures, three things which we and plain dealing, in our treatment of carefully avoid, whenever they can be whatever concerns the United States avoided, with decency--believing on of North America :- a country, about our oaths, that there is nothing so in- which, all circumstances considered, supportable, in this world, as unneces- there would seem to be not only a lasary precision-books, indeed, would mentable mis-apprehension, but a labe out of the questions for we professmentable ignorance, in quarters, where to supply that, which cannot be found one might look for better things ; for in any book or books, whatever. And positive and exact information,-inas for notes and memoranda, about stead of rigmaroll (serious or profane) matters and things in general, we are - for manly and severe criticism, inof those, who take them, as they stead of loose rambling, and superfludo perceptions of beauty----sound and ous recrimination among those who
: colour—ilavour and hue-only upon are extravagantly partial to whatever the invisible tablets of the heart and is American, chiefly because it is not mind; only into the lighted chambers English-and partly, because it is of both. We use no camera obscura; American ; and among those, who are make no drawings—no sketches-blot as decidedly partial to whatever is Enno paper with hints, every one of glish-chiefly because it is English, which, over a sea-coal fire, or in it, as and partly, because it is not American. the case may be (that generally de- Many laughable, some serious, pending upon another question—as some provoking, and some extraordiwhether it be in print or in inanuscript; nary errors, concerning one another, the property of the author and the pur- do prevail, at this hour, among both chaser, &c.)—at some future period of these great parties-on both sides may become the nucleus of a chapter of the Atlantic :-errors, which, if -perchance, of a volume.--We like they be not speedily seen to, with a to carry our young till they are fully strong hand, or a sharp knife, will sow grown, where nature intended them to their own seed ; multiply and perpetbe carried--not in memorandum-books, uate their poison ; drug the very atcotton, raw-silk, or hand-baskets- mosphere with mischief ; overgrow within us, not without-in our hearts, and strangle whatever is wholesome or not in our hands :—and would be de- precious in the neighbourhood of our livered of them, if not precisely as posterity, on both sides of the water. Jove was, of his, in panoply complete -This must not be shall not be at least, not before their teeth and if we can prevent it: and we shall try claws are grown, so that they can take hard. Let Americans be what they care of themselves. A short season of pretend— Americans. Let our men gestation is bad enough--but whelp- of Great Britain be what they pretend
- Britons--let each prefer his own superabundance of sweet sauce, country, as he would his own mother; Cayenne pepper.- No if you treat let each be partial, if you please, in of America at all, do it soberly-rightany reasonable degree, to his own eously-in the main however, you country,—for that is natural --(nay, to may have to sprinkle it, now'and then, be otherwise, were so un-natural, that with fire and brimstone, for the palate we should suspect any man's heart,and of the over-fed. pity his understanding, who should not And so, too if you would be sebe somewhat partial --so far as affec- vere on the Americans; severe, we tion, or judgment, but not veracity, mean, to any good purpose, cither for were concerned-to his own country; yourself, or for them--for your counjust as we should his understanding try, or for theirs ; severe, beyond the and heart, who should not be partiał petty tingling sarcasm of the hour; to his own mother :)-but, while we severe, beyond the miserable severity say this; while we encourage a natural of that 'miserable insect, which cannot partiality, in every man's heart, for his sting but once-and then, dies ;own country, and his own mother ; that noisy nothing, which, when it is and are ready to forgive much-very exasperated, strikes in a hurry--and is much, that proceeds from an affection glad to escape in a hurry-always losso honourable to humanity, even when ing his weapon-often his life--never it influences the head Yet, we see drawing blood-and sometimes backno reason for encouraging anybody in ing out, like the scorpion by downright running afoul of other people's coun- suicide-or, as the fashion is to call it tries and mothers :--and are not very now, be derangement, visitation, or willing, either to overlook or forgive, accidental death : :--if
would be the folly and wickedness of that man, severe on the Americans, in a better be he who he may, who, in the super- way—a way more worthy of yourself, fuity of his affection and zeal, for if you are a man-speak the truth of what relates to his own country, and them. Nothing cuts like the truth :his own home, is eternally breaking or, as the Quarterly would have it, in in upon the repose of every other a late criticism, not anything-cuts man's country and home.- -Defence like the truth. is one thing ---attack another. A brave In one word--Let us understand manly quarrel, in withstanding aggres- what we are talking about, whether sion, is always creditable :-but, where we praise and condemn these brother we are the aggressor, shameful. Fam- Jonathans, these western Englishmen; ily feuds are absurd : national feuds, these children of our fathers - on the
Nothing was ever gained by other side of the world.--To illuseither not even reputation.
trate our observations, to some purWould you flatter the Americans ? pose - from recent occurrences—we
-Don't puff them-don't exagger- would ask what can be more absurd, ate_stick to the truth. There is no in the estimation of a statesman ; or flattery in falsehood. Acquaint your- more wicked in that of any person, of selves thoroughly with your subject : common-sense, or common humanity, and, whatever else you do, speak the than to hear the people of America plain truth.
Poetry, declamation, called our inveterate enemies, our inrhetoric, and all that are out of place; placable enemies-and, worst of all, wit, is mischievous; and humour, pro- our NATURAL enemies,- -Our nailla fane, (unless employed for seasoning; ral enemies !—for what?
-Why, and only for seasoning, on a subject forsooth, because (if they can help it of such importance. Nothing can be which is very doubtful) they won't worse, for the stomach of this public, let us manufacture for them: and, benor in much worse taste, than to dish cause, if they can (which is, also, very up anything American-game or not doubtful) they will manufacture for game; wild meat,* or not—with a themselves.- -Does that make them
* As the late case of Mr. John D. HUNTER---for example, of whom a word by and by.
our natural enemies ? --we have no look about us--and if they are, in the fear—nor they, any hope, (unless their name of God, where are we to look for heads are turned), of their ever being our natural friends ?---If we cannot able to out-manufacture us; or to un- look to them, who are of the same dersell
in any but their own mar- blood, and the same religion ; whose kets : nor even there without a system language is the same; whose laws are of taxation, which, whatever may be the same; whose very form of governthe ultimate good, operates in a very ment is more like ours, than any other equivocal manner, now, by obliging government upon earth ; whose literaone part of the community to maintain ture is the same ; whose antipathies the other, without an equivalent ;- and prejudices are the same where that is, by obliging the consumer to shall we look--to whom ?feed the manufacturer, by purchasing One word more-the people of of him, at much higher prices than he North America know their own intermight purchase elsewhere.
est. They do not want anybody to This is their look-out—not ours flatter them. They know, for they
They won't employ us for ever- are a shrewd people, take them all in granted—but what right have we to all that highly-colored,romantic stories, complain ?- They do not become our & superfine rhapsodies,about anything, natural enemies, by refusing to em- which is really excellent, only serve to ploy us--it is only by out-working us; make it ridiculous: that eulogy, howevor underselling us to a third party. - er well meant, or delicately flavoured,is O, but they are our natural enemies, pretty sure to do more harm than good; nevertheless.- Why ?-Because they that intemperate praise provokes intemmultiply so fast-empire upon empire rate ridicule, or censure ; eulogy, sa
from ocean to ocean.- -Alas! if tire—and that, the bitterness and asthey were not their own enemies—the perity of the counteracting dose, are most unpatural of all enemies—they intended, wisely enough, to overcome would roll back again to their ancient the nausea, which is natural to him, boundaries-retreat into their citadel, who has unexpectedly, or accidentally, the thirteen Original States-or, at swallowed a small quantity of unadulleast, build a wall of brass about them, terated eulogium- accidentally, we for a place of reluge, in the time, that say, because nobody-not even the will come. --They are, now, in a fair subject of eulogium, will swallow it, if way to fall asunder by their own he knows what it is. weight--or perish, like a monster, by “ Praise undeserved, is censure in exhaustion of the heart, while the ex- in disguise.”—This is a favourite copytremities are preternaturally enlarged. slip in America." Heaven save us -New England is the heart of the con- from our friends! we will take care of federacy-New York and Pennsylva- our enemies”- they say, also, when nia, the back-bonebut, at the rate they read such beautiful books, as have they are now going on, they will soon been made about them lately. They want a dozen such hearts, and as many know well, that the droll, stupid blunmore such back-bones, to keep them dering of Messieurs Fearon, Faux, and in shape.
Co., on one side of the water ; and the Some people talk of staying the worse than blundering--the lies-of northern inundation, by making use the New-ENGLAND-Man, on the of Mexico. This cannot be done other; and the everlasting misreprethe very idea is absurd-childish- sentation, falsehood, and confusion Mexico would be swept away, before of the newspaper-gentry, on both sides, / it could muster on the frontiers--but are soon laughed out of countenance ; if it could, why should it be done ? - overborne by weightier proof; smothIs it either wise, necessary, or expedi- ered in their own dust, or consumed in ent ?--Are the people of the United their own acrimony. States—are they indeed our NATURAL
The brother Jonathans will never enemies ?-If they are, it is time to think the worse of us-whatever they
45 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series,
may think of our common sense, if, on sed into these remarks by the occurrentaking up one of our papers, they come ces of the day.-Let us proceed, now, upon a paragraph headed • AMERICAN on our course. In speaking lately of ABSURDITY;and containing an extract the AMEIRCAN PAINTERS, we omitted from one of their papers,* wherein they one, who is an American ; one, who had spoken very handsomely of two or passes for an American ; and some three English travellers; (recommend three or four, actually in London, of ing them with emphasis, to the hospi- whom we knew little or nothing. - We tality of the Americans ;) and express- shall despatch the whole of them,thereed a proper anxiety for the promotion fore, in double quick time. of a good understanding between A- R. SULLY : (nephew of T. Sully, merica and Great Britain :No- touched off in our former number.) nor will they think a whit the better Portrait. A native American (Virof Mr. Matthews, when they coine to ginia)-young-enthusiastic; and wilhear that after the first night represen- ling to work hard : has good notions tation of bis 6 Jonathan in London' he of drawing ; has been under a capital left out-precisely the best thing in it* master (his uncle, T. S.); handles the -in consequence of a little shufiling in crayon remarkably well—for an Amerthe pit, made,probably, by some junior ican ; has had some practice in paintAmericans (fresh from the dinner table) ing from life ; and, if he have patience, -who never well understood what will undoubtedly make a figure. they were shuffling about, at least, we
- PORTRAIT. A native should hope so, in charity.
American,we believe : now in London; But enough. We have been surpri- a worthy man ; but we know, of our
* Speaking of American Papers---one word on a late Miracle, taken out of the Norfolk Beacon; which seems to be doubted here, while it is going the rounds. We care nothing for the 200 persons who saw it; nor for the testimony of the Rev. gentleman that swore to it; but, we rely on the probability of the story ---It proves itself.--- What is it?..Only that the face of Miss Narcissa Crippin, on the 19th of August, gay, about 8 o'clock' (she being so operated' upou by some spirit at a camp-meeting,) became too bright and shining, for mortal eyes to gaze upon,' &c. &c.---' It resembled the reflection of the sun upon a bright cloud'-.-The appearance of her face for forty minutes was truly angelic.--ino doubt, only observe the reason)---during which time she was silent'---(this, we take, to be the MIRACLE).--. After which, she spoke---when her countenance gradually faded !'...There !--that is all. Now, we ask what there is improbable (bating the silence---which we have high authority to believe possible---for the same length of time, where women are supposed to be---to wit-.-in heaven)---in all this !--- Do you still doubt :---make the experiment for yourself. Persuade any woman, if you can, to hold her tongue for "forty minutes:' and see if her face doesn't shine---aye, and fade away, too,---when she opens her mouth,
+ The passage was to this effect. We were not present on the first night; but we are assured of what we say---and know sof our own knowledge,” as the law-people say--that, whatever it was, it is left out now. The English negress tells the Yankee "pigger”---a slave ---that, baving set foot op English ground, he is free.---" FREE !...What is that?" says he--“ I have heard a great deal about him, in America ; but never knew what he meant.". Now---why is this passage left out ?---Ís it untrue---absurd---or what ?--- Does an American slave know anything about what liberty means---in America ? No---he does not. Why, then, do the blockheads leave it out?--- Because other blockheads have chosen to kick up their heels about it. What! is it come to this ?--- Are we to be intimidated in this way, by boys ?---Are our publiek performers afraid of speaking the truth ---Are we to feed the Americans with sop and caudle ?---The young of the British Lion, with pap ? ---No---let us rather give them that---if it be medicine---which will take the hair off---try what they are made of --their "bone and gristle,”---about whieh Edmund Burke said so many fine things --Ay, and give it scalding hot, when justifiable, though it take the skin from their plated ware---raise a blister on the solid metal below, whatever it be, gold or brass, iron or steel, set fire to their tinsel, and show what there is underneath. Grant everything in favour of the United States ; grant everything against ourselves ; grant, if you please, that we keep slaves in our colonies; thai we introduced them into America (which is not strictly true, by the way); that Virginia herselt made the first proposal that ever was made, for the abolition of slavery, (as the Marquis of Lansdowne asserts, on the authority of Mr. John RANDOLPH of ROANOKE,'---a very splendid---very honest---and very crazy gentleman, who represents Virginia in the Lower House of Congress); that the work of emancipation is going ou, gradually, in America ; that slavery is unknown throughout New England, and some of the other States; that there has been everything but open war to prevent it, in certain of the new States ; that America was the first power to declare the taking of siaves, piracy; grant all this.--Yet---yet---enough remains of inconsistency in herself--and of truth in the sarcasm, to justify it entirely.
selves, little or no good of him, as a him. Not long after, Vanderlyn appainter. The only head of his except peared ; grew up under Burr's patronhis own) that we ever saw, was a very age ; went to France; and, when Burr hard, positive sort of a thing. Good fled for his life to this country, after judges here, however, tell us that be having shot Alexander Hamiltonhas improved surprisingly. We are when, after having had his hand upon glad of it-nothing is more probable- the presidential chair, and his foot, we only know that he is industrious, within one step of the American throne, and began, rather unfortunately, with he became, instantaneously as it were, copying Rembrandt.
an outcast, and a wanderer, in a foreign WATMULLER History andPor- country-he was found and supported, TRAIT. This gentleman passes, in A- in his misery, by Vanderlyn, the merica (since he painted his Danaë,) blacksmith's boy. for an American. He is not-he is a Jarvis is not an American. He is Swede. His portraits are singularly an Englishman. Eicholt is either a beautiful; but we never saw his Danäe. German, or born of Gerinan parents. It has been spoken of as a masterpiece PEALE (CHARLES] father of Rem-nay, as a picture, dangerous even brandt, founder of the PhiladelphiaMufor a woman to look at. The plain seum, (an institution honourable to Atruth is, we believe,that such a woman, merica) and a respectable solid portraitso full of languor, richness, and beauty, painter-is, also, an Englishman. He has not often been met with in this world. was a saddler. Jarvis painted fire
King, C.B.-Portrait: "Loca- buckets till he was about nineteen,when ted” in Washington : a student of
he and copied one of Stewart's West at the same time with Sully. pictures. He is now in the foremost Very clever. Makes good faces-dis- rank of American masters. Thus, the tinct--hárd and forcible ; and, some- chief American painters are English,by times, a rich picture. Works most of birth or study, both ; and most of his time upon the great men of Wash- them were mechanicks.' Thus, all the ington, and the “heads of department :” statesmen were lawyers ; and almost -- works hard, “improves” every hour; all the authors are New-Englandmen, and will be very good.
(Yankees, and lawyers into the barVANDERLYN -Historical. Stu- gain. There are only three landscapedied in France-painted Marius, (a painters of any note; two of whom noble,strong,superbly-finished picture) (Shaw and Guy) are Englishmen ; the and Ariadne, (a rather beautiful affair) other, Doughty, an American. Shaw in Paris. For one of which, he obé is very good ; but a mannerist and a tained a prize, we believe. He is a na. plagiarist. Guy is middling ; but steals tive American--a little Frenchified in very judiciously, and almost always his notions of painting ; but, neverthe- from the same source ;--Claude, in his
; less, a man of decided, strong talent.- water, sea-mist, and vapour. Doughty
, We have all heard of Aaron Burr, in is young; was a tanner and currier ; this country--the American Cæsar has made great progress; and will be a very dangerous, and very extraordi- something exraordinary. nary man. When Vanderlyn was a
Thus much for our omissions. Now boy, an apprentice to a blacksmith (as for two or three errors--two of which the story goesand we have good rea- are not ours. Mr. C. HARDING was son to believe it substantially true,) not born, as we said, in Kentucky ; he Aaron Burr fell in his way, by acci- only broke out in Kentucky. He was dent, while he was travelling : saw born somewhere in the back parts of some of his pen-and-ink drawings, which New-York. he mistook for engravings : tried, instantly, to obtain his discharge from his Thus much to relieve our conscience; master, who was inexorable (on the avoid the recurrence of some irresistidiscovery of his prize): and, failing, ble translations ; and pave the way for
; counselled the boy, if he should ever our AMERICAN WRITERS ;-whom we run away from his master, to come to now re-introduce without ceremony.