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landed proprietor was a lord or something worse, and the cultivator of the soil a serf, a boor, a peasant or a slave, cannot well separate, in their ideas, the possession of earth from the possession of authority. They arrive in the United States unprepared-come when they will, it is unprepared; and for a while they are half crazy with freedom-delirious with new thought-wild about all that concerns the power of confederated America:
They breathe her buoyant mountain atmosphere;
Where slaves are men-are monarchs; and their tread
They must have soil of their own, forsooth-soil, whatever it be, and wherever it lie, though it may not grow a builrush or a thistle-root; for, according to all their experience, the proprietorship of land is the proprietorship of power, if not of nobility.
It is ridiculous enough to watch the behaviour of those newly arrived, before they have got reconciled to the taste of things. A Scotchman keeps aloof, and says little or nothing about himself or his views, political or religious. An Englishman is tearing his breeches after game, because here no qualification is required. The Irishman is talkative, on that very theme which he was not permitted to talk much about before he had crossed the waters; he is for overwhelming the House of Hanover, without losing a day--and righting the wrongs of Ireland, without losing a breath. But all are after the possession of soil; and most are on tip-toe after the rights of their new citizenship, crazy about the privileges of election. But all this wears off long before they have become naturalized-finding that the possession of poor soil gives a man little or no distinction over the very multitude here, for every body may have it for the asking, in some parts of the country; finding, too, that as every body has leave to carry a gun if he is fool enough, and leave to fire it if he can find any thing to fire at a very difficult matter, of course, where game is not "preserved,"-there is no privilege in carrying a gun over the shoulder; and, above all, finding that a power to vote is looked upon as a troublesome power, of no value except when the right of it is denied or the value of it is questioned, he gets to look upon all such matters with what he would have regarded, on his arrival, as a sort of apathy, quite peculiar to the barbarians of the new world.
Speculation here, in matters which concern the proprietorship of land, is carried on I hardly know how, but in such a way that all parties are cheated of course. I have known a score of ridiculous affairs like the following, which occurred soon after the late war with your country. It may not be true in detail, but, from what I myself have seen here, it looks probable enough to me, and I dare say is substantially true.
* Battle of Niagara. By one of the American poets.
M. M. New Series.-VOL. I. No. 1.
A township of land was put up for sale at a crowded auction, so the story goes, in the City of New York, the title warranted. Charts, maps, plans, &c. &c. were passed about, " beautifully executed in a superior style," and about three-quarters of the whole " township" was marked off into "house lots." No time was allowed for inquiry; and people, taking it for a hoax, contented themselves with bidding half-adollar for a house lot! one dollar for a house lot! two dollars, &c. &c. by way of a frolic-the title being re-assured between every two bids. Matters proceeded very well in this way, and house lots enough were knocked off, in the course of an hour, to produce nearly four hundred dollars. A speculator observing this, and having assured himself anew about the title, left the auctioneer at work, and hurried off a special agent to the place where the land was reported to lie-intending, if it should prove worth his while, to buy up the whole township, lot by lot, of the frolicksome purchasers, who after all might have been speculating to advantage, he thought, while he was permitting a great prize to slip through his fingers. The territory in dispute lay somewhere about fifty or sixty miles north of the city. The agent rode express, knowing how much would necessarily depend upon his getting back before any body else, if the township were worth having. He arrived in safety. Matters looked well: he found every part of the representation true; the land was not only somewhere, but actually on the spot where it had been reported to be:-yet more, the title was perfect in every possible way; no formality had been overlooked by the proprietor, who was himself a man of the law. But, on further inquiry, as if such a capital bargain were too good for such hap-hazard people without some drawback-the house lots were found to be not exactly where a purchaser would have sought for them, perhaps; and the rest of the township not exactly where he might have wished, perhaps, for his own particular use; the former being laid out on the steep side of a rocky mountain, which overhung a sort of greenish lake, and the latter being under water—a sort of low territory.
By the way, one word more of these proprietor people before I throw aside my pen-the farmers of North America are chiefly ambitious of being large proprietors. They would sooner double the quantity of their land, whatever might be the quality, than double the quantity of their produce. They go on, hitching acre to acre, generation after generation, without caring much about increasing the fertility of a single square foot which they possess. It is not more corn that a real North American labours for, it is only more earth. Men with a hundred, yea, with five hundred acres of soil here, may not have, and in fact seldom do have, a single acre under a good state of cultivation. Farewell. When I have leisure, I shall give you a word or two more on this or some other subject of the sort.
Boston, New England, Oct. 1, 1825.
A. B. C.
ADVICE TO THE CLERGY, BY THE REV. SYDNEY SMITH.
My Beloved Brethren :-You are all fully sensible of the deep and sincere interest I have ever felt for your temporal and everlasting welfare. If a doubt of my sincerity or zeal should lurk in the mind of any one of you, the proof I am now on the point of giving you will remove it.
you all rectories, vicarplaces, and so provide, Since it is not in my
I would, if it were in my power, bestow on ages, deaneries, prebendal stalls, and other fat in a great degree, for your temporal wants. power to do so, I must perform the next best office within the compass of my means.
I will, my brethren, offer you a few short apothegms in verse, which, if you commit to memory, may do much towards obtaining those temporal blessings which I, alas! cannot bestow.
I have preferred reducing the substance into poetry, since the essence of it, by so doing, is better condensed, and perhaps more easily remembered. Since the plan may seem uncommon to some among you, it will be as well to offer you a few authorities, or prototypes, which will effectually shield me from what you all know to be a crying and heinous sin, well deserving clerical excommunication-innovation.
Solomon, of whom, I presume, you have all heard, has given to the world a code of ethics in couplets, called by the learned, antithetic parallelisms. Some other, perhaps Hellenistic Jews, followed his example. Plutarch has also, in pithy prose, conveyed to posterity the apothegmatic sayings collected in his time. Stobæus has done much of the same nature, and deserves your attention, after your tithes have been gathered in, and you have nothing to do. Macrobius indulged his fancy in that kind of writing. Julius Cæsar, who, I think, would have favoured pluralities had he been ordained in our church, has preserved for our use many admirable sayings. Cervantes may be read with advantage. Lord Bacon's apothegms, too, should be diligently studied.
It may be said that these great men have given us knowledge, as skilful chemists give us compounded essences.
Many, my brethren, have been the schemes proposed by men to convey information with rapidity and certainty to others. Dean Swift tells us of a celebrated projector, who was condensing the essence of books into pills, which were to be taken in the morning fasting, and which was to be persevered in for days, when the essence of their contents would be conveyed to the brain. However admirable the former part of this plan may be, you will, I am sure, agree with me in condemning the latter part as impracticable; and if, to some extraordinary persons, probably curates from the northern counties, not impracticable from long habits, a cruel and grievous mode of giving public instruction; and so injurious to the agricultural and commercial interests of the country, as to be unworthy of farther discussion.
Some men have been eminently successful in condensing the whole substance of books into single paragraphs, which, you will admit, is very superior to the system of pills and fasting. I should not have given so decided an opinion on this point, if the fasting could have been dispensed with, and the pills would have created an appetite and improved the powers of digestion.
Gray, in his "Memoria Technica," has done much towards the condensation of matter; and as Sir Isaac Newton agreed with our learned departed brother Barrow, in saying, that "poetry was a kind of ingenious nonsense," his metrical lines contain all that is useful in that art, without those conceits and verbal inversions of which the remainder consists. But his lines are only useful in desperate emergencies.
The next specimen I shall give of this happy art has been displayed by that erratic genius, Byron. The world was agitated by "Malthus's Dissertation on Population." Senates fearfully referred to the awful subject. The wise began to devise methods for facilitating emigration. The great critics discussed the subject with profound research, and complicated calculation. The patriots and the benevolent were haunted in their dreams by two dreadful hobgoblins: arithmetic ratio-a monster with many heads and many limbs, from which grew others, that tripled and quadrupled until it oppressed the land, and looked like a dread chimera; the other was geometric ratio-a poor slow animal, that vainly endeavoured to satisfy the appetite of the former by continual offerings, but in vain. These terrible spectral dreams defied all medical skill. Dr. Baillie himself declared, that until Malthus's book was burned, refuted or explained, medicine could do no good. It is true he was opposed by Mr. Abernethy, who pertinaciously affirmed, that the stomach either was the seat of the disorder, or would become so, and therefore ordered moderate doses of blue pill by anticipation. At length, my beloved brethren, Byron claimed the gratitude of the present, and of all future generations, by explaining the whole system of the renowned Malthus, in the following lines:
"his book's the eleventh commandment,
Which says, Thou shalt not marry,' unless well.”
This, my brethren, dispelled the gloom which had "gathered on the faces of men," and proved Dr. Baillie's prognostic true, and stopped the people from taking blue pill from Mr. Abernethy by anticipation."
Very lately our learned brother Dr. Bloomfield was raised to episcopal rank, as Bishop of Chester. You all know that he is renowned for his knowledge of Greek, for his having been a Whig, and for his gallantry in drinking the Lady Mayoress's health soon after his accession to the rank of a Spiritual Peer. According to the custom of our Church, he soon published a long, elaborate, learned and profound charge to his clergy, which embraced all that could be said in the way of admonition, expostulation, advice and exhortation. This charge proved to mankind his fitness for the high office to which he had been called. Fearing, from its length and profundity, that many would not extract its luscious treasures, I have followed the example of Byron, and offer you a condensed and genuine essential compound extract of the whole, in such lines as are readily committed to memory, and which you will, I am convinced, receive as an indisputable proof of my zeal and affection for your welfare. The whole substance of this celebrated charge
"Hunt not, fish not, shoot not,
Dance not, fiddle not, flute not;
Be sure you have nothing to do with the Whigs,
And, above all, I make it my particular desire,
That at least once a week you dine with the 'squire."
AN OLD GIPSY A VILLAGE SKETCH.
We have few gipsies in our neighbourhood. In spite of our tempting green lanes, our woody dells and heathy commons, the rogues don't take to us. I am afraid that we are too civilized, too cautious; that our sheep-folds are too closely watched; our barnyards too well guarded; our geese and ducks too fastly penned; our chickens too securely locked up; our little pigs too safe in their sty; our game too scarce; our laundresses too careful. In short, we are too little primitive: we have a snug brood of vagabonds and poachers of our own, to say nothing of their regular followers, constables and justices of the peace-we have stocks in the village, and a treadmill in the next town; and therefore we go gipsyless-a misfortune of which every landscape painter, and every lover of that living landscape, the country, can appreciate the extent. There is nothing under the sun that harmonizes so well with nature, especially in her woodland recesses, as that picturesque people, who are, so to say, the wild genus-the pheasants and roebucks of the human race.
Sometimes, indeed, we used to see a gipsy procession passing along the common, like an eastern caravan, men, women and children, donkies and dogs; and sometimes a patch of bare earth, strewed with ashes and surrounded by scathed turf, on the broad green margin of some cross road, would give token of a gipsy halt; but a regular gipsy encampment has always been so rare an event, that I was equally surprised and delighted to meet with one in the course of my walks last autumn, particularly as the party was of the most innocent description, quite free from those tall, dark, lean Spanish-looking men, who it must be confessed, with all my predilection for the caste, are rather startling to meet when alone in an unfrequented path; and a path more solitary than that into which the beauty of a bright October morning had tempted me could not well be imagined.
Branching off from the high road, a little below our village runs a wide green lane, bordered on either side by a row of young oaks and beeches just within the hedge, forming an avenue, in which, on a summer afternoon, you may see the squirrels disporting from tree to tree, whilst the rooks, their fellow denizens, are wheeling in noisy circles over their heads. The fields sink gently down on each side, so that, being the bottom of a natural winding valley, and crossed by many little rills and rivulets, the turf exhibits even in the driest summers an emerald verdure. Scarcely any one passes the end of that lane without wishing to turn into it; but the way is in some sort dangerous and difficult for foot passengers, because the brooklets which intersect it are in many instances bridgeless, and in others bestridden by planks so decayed, that it were rashness to pass them; and the nature of the ground, treacherous and boggy, and in many places as unstable as water, rendering it for carriages wholly impracticable.
I however, who do not dislike a little difficulty where there is no absolute danger, and who am moreover almost as familiar with the one only safe track as the heifers who graze there, sometimes venture along this seldom-trodden path, which terminates, at the end of a mile and a-half, in a spot of singular beauty. The hills become abrupt and woody, the cultivated enclosures cease, and the long narrow valley ends in a little green, bordered on one side by a fine old park, whose mossy