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Among the many epithets that may justly be given to our times, is that of the age of discrimination. Analysis is now universal; new definitions increase, and shades of meaning in character are observed and noted by the philosophic with no less care than the elements of matter by men of science; all subjects are tested either by the clever method of French nomenclature, the spiritual refinements of German thought, or the bold rhetoric and vigorous sense of the Anglo-Saxon mind. Perhaps no human trait has become so modified to common apprehension by this intellectual process as courage.

It is now needful that something beyond bold adventure, impetuous warfare, or even patient endurance, should exist, in order to gain the renown of bravery. We hesitate at the action to search its motive; the temperament, intelligence, experience, and moral sensibility, of the individual are taken into account before we admit his claims to the title of hero.

Whoever has carefully read Foster's “Essay on Decision of Character," De Quincey's "Treatise on the Cæsars," and Carlyle's “Hero-Worship,” — all books of the day and more or less

“ popular, - cannot fail to discriminate somewhat between the indications of rashness and determination, ferocity and self-control, impulse and hardihood, in judging of those who occupy the foreground of history. Heroism is now regarded as a higher quality than instinct; as truly characteristic of Dante as Nelson, less questionable in Sir Thomas More than in Murat, and quite as obvious at Valley Forge as at Waterloo. With all the subtle distinctions, however, that modern enlightenment finds between real and apparent heroism, there are a few absolute principles that stamp the indisputable hero; and among these are a thorough consciousness of the hazard incurred, a voluntary self-renunciation, a deliberate purpose consistently followed, and an honest zeal based on individual sentiment. Thus intellect, will, and heart, combine to mould the hero, and inform his character with an ardor, a harmony, and a nobleness, equally removed from fanaticism on the one hand and mere hardihood on the other. Where the first development of this spirit is social and literary, and its subsequent phase action and martyrdom, the cycle of heroic

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life is adequately filled, its conditions realized, and its fame achieved.

Such was the case with Theodore Körner. The vivacity of his mind first exhibited itself in comic pieces, that amused the gay Viennese, and wafted the young author prosperously along the flattering tide of metropolitan success; his critics, however, attached to them little intrinsic value; but some of the minor poems scattered through the four volumes, published by his father after his death — most of them written before the age of twentytwo — are permanently enshrined in the literature of his country; they prove the sincerity of his after course; in them are manifest the fiery assailant and the poetical lover; while the more elaborate dramas of “Rosamund” and “ Zriny” unfold at length the same innate vigor of the will and the affections — the one inducing fortitude, and the other tenderness. The spirit of chivalry and pathos, thus emanating from the poet, were actualized by the soldier; and this is Körner's beautiful distinction. His "Sword Song" became the Marseilles Hymn of Germany; and he bravely fought the battle of truth and liberty with the lyre and the sword

thenceforth and forever blended with his name.

THE MECHANICIAN.

ROBERT FULTON.

A CELEBRATED geographer speaks of the State of New York as an epitome or type of the whole country - representing the grand scale of its waters, the productiveness of its soil, and the picturesque beauty of its scenery. An analogous character may be recognized in the intellectual history of the state. Without the universal mental culture and the special literary development of New England, New York has given birth to men remarkable for comprehensive minds and social efficiency, such as Hamilton, Livingston, Jay, Morris, and Clinton ; with whom originated liberal schemes of polity, and a great system of internal improvements. They proved wise and eloquent advocates of our national

. welfare; and justice refers us continually to their important services as the basis of much of our existent prosperity, freedom, and advancement. There was a scope, hospitality, and selfrespect in their character, which betokened a noble race; and their names ever awaken sentiments of patriotic elation. It seems not less appropriate that a region of inland seas, with an ocean on one side and a vast extent of country on the other, the state that links the eastern and western portions of the confederacy, and whose metropolis is the commercial port of the nation, should have been the scene of triumph to the mechanician who first successfully applied steam to navigation, and thus supplied the grand desideratum to our physical resources and social unity. The interests of agriculture, commerce, and education, were inti

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mately dependent on the experiment. Facility of intercourse between the island of Manhattan and the banks of her two rivers instantly enlarged her local power, while we are only now beginning to realize the political influence and new avenues of wealth incident to the same rapid and frequent communication with Europe and the Pacific. Both the results and the origin of Fulton's inventive energy are, therefore, naturally associated with New York; and the corporation of the city did but respond to a universal public sentiment when they gave his name to the thoroughfare extending through three sections of as many cities brought together by steam ferriage. The first steamboat voyage through Long Island Sound and up the Hudson, as well as the launch of the first steam-frigate, are among the memorable reminiscences upon which our elder citizens yet expatiate with enthusiasm, while the waters around now literally swarm with the improved and restless progeny of those comparatively recent achievements :

“ See how yon flaming herald treads

The ridged and rolling waves,
As, clambering o'er their crested heads,

She bows her surly slaves !
With foam before, and fire behind,

She rends the clinging sea,
That flies before the roaring wind,

Beneath her hissing lee.
With dashing wheel and lifting keel,

And smoking torch on high,
When winds are loud and billows reel,

She thunders foaming by ;
When seas are silent and serene,

With even beams she glides,
The sunshine glimmering through the green

That skirts her gleaming sides.”

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The Patent Office at Washington affords an extraordinary demonstration of the predominance of mechanical talent in the country; but it is in special and limited machines, in refinemente upon old inventions, and in cleverness of detail, that this aptitude is chiefly indicated; there is more evidence of ingenuity thar genius. Yet this characteristic of the American mind, which reached its acme in Franklin, is not without its higher types of development; men who unite to a taste for mechanics a compre

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hensive view of their utility and possible results; who have combined with a knowledge of material laws a rare sagacity in their application; and possessed both the faculty to invent and the enthusiasm and strength of moral purpose to advocate inventions of a kind essentially adapted to modify society, and advance the condition of the whole world. Such mechanicians are philosophers as well as artisans, and work in the spirit of a broad and philanthropic intelligence. They illustrate most effectively the true dignity of labor, by relieving humanity of its greatest burdens, and enlisting brain as well as muscle, and nature's mysterious agency not less than man's intelligence and hardihood.

Such a character was Robert Fulton, manifesting, through life, the ardor and pertinacity of a comprehensive enthusiast, united with the patient assiduity of a practical mechanic. Born in a secluded township in the interior of Pennsylvania, and indebted for his early instruction exclusively to a common school, it is natural that his sagacious and active mind should have embraced the sources of culture afforded by observation and thought with singular avidity: He studied in the woods, by the road-side, and in solitude, feeding his imagination by communion with nature, and his intellect with such waifs of knowledge as came in his way, and readily assimilated with his tastes; for, like all men of decided traits, Fulton seems to have been a nonconformist by instinct, and to have delighted in original ideas and individual opinion. The only means his isolated boyhood yielded for gratifying the artistic tendency of his mind was painting, into which he was initiated by a school-fellow, in a very crude and ineffective way, but sufficiently to give scope and incitement to his talent. With the facility thus acquired he removed, while a youth, to Philadelphia, and, in the course of four years, earned a sum adequate to the purchase of a farm in the interior of the state, upon which he established his widowed mother. On his return to the city, he visited some celebrated springs for his health, which had become seriously impaired by labor and exposure; and there met several intelligent gentlemen, who became so much interested in the promise and agreeable manners of the young artist, that they counselled him to hasten to London, and place himself under the teaching of his then renowned and prosperous countryman —

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