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niary transaction, and wished to leave this evidence of his reliance upon his grasping disposition.
During his life, a high position and good sense enabled Chesterfield to reap advantages from polished and sagacious urbanity, wbich naturally led to an exaggerated estimate of its value under less auspicious circumstances. Having studied with marked success at Cambridge, through the influence of a relative, he was appointed gentleman of the bedchamber to the Prince of Wales, and afterwards elected to Parliament by the borough of St. Germain in Cornwall. His first speech established a reputation for oratory, and is described as quite as remarkable for able reasoning as for elegant diction. He seems to have retained the good opinion thus aequired while in the House of Lords; to his father's seat in which assembly he duly succeeded. His judicious management while ambassador to Holland, in 1728, saved Hanover from a war, and, for this service, he was made knight of the Garter. Subsequently he filled, with apparent success, the offices of Lord Steward of the Household in George the Second's reign, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Secretary of State. Upon resigning the seals, he retired from public life, and deafness soon confined him to books and a small circle of acquaintance. The prestige of official rank, and the allurements of an elegant address, having passed away with his life, we must turn from the orator and statesman to the author for authentic evidence of his character. His fate in this regard is somewhat curious. The elaborate speeches and sketches of character which he gave to the public have, in a great measure, lost their significance. The style of writing has so much advanced since his time that we recognize in him no such claims to literary excellence as his cotemporaries awarded. His name is now almost exclusively associated with his letters to his natural son — letters written in the most entire parental confidence, and with the vain hope of converting, by specific instructions, an awkward and apparently honest-hearted and sensible fellow into an accomplished, winsome, and shrewd man of the world. It has been said, in excuse for the absolute stress laid upon external qualities in these letters, that the youth to whom they were addressed was lamentably deficient in these respects ; but there can be no doubt that they form the most
genuine expression of Chesterfield's mind -- the more so that they were never intended for the public eye. By a not uncommon fortune in literary ventures, these estrays and waifs of private correspondence alone keep alive the name and perpetuate the views of Chesterfield.
It would be unjust not to ascribe the worldly spirit and absence of natural enthusiasm in these epistles, in a degree, to the period that have them birth. give
them birth. It was an age when intrigue prospered, and wit, rather than sentiment, was in vogue. There was a league between letters and politics, based wholly on party interests. It was the age of Swift, Pope, and Bolingbroke. The queen governed George the Second. Lady Yarmouth the queen, and Chesterfield, for a time, Lady Yarmouth. Agreeable conversation, an insinuating manner, and subtlety of observation, were then very efficient weapons. Iligh finish, point, verbal felicity, the costume rather than the soul of literature, won the day. Neither the frankness and undisguised overflow of thought and feeling that mark the Shakspearian era, nor the earnest utterance and return to truth ushered in by the first French Revolution, existed; but, on the contrary, that neutral ground between the two periods, whereon there was the requisite space, leisure, and absence of lofty purpose, to give full scope to the courtier, the wit, and the intriguante. It was, comparatively speaking, a timid, time-serving partisan, and showy epoch. The spirit of the times is caught up and transmitted in Ilorace Walpole's letters, and quite as significantly embodied, in a less versatile manner, in those of Chesterfield.
Instead, therefore, of regarding courteous manners as a mere necessary appendage to a man, - a convenient, and appropriate facility. like current coin, or the laws of the land, - Chesterfield attempts to elevate them into the highest and most comprehensive practical significance. Ile would have manner overlay individuality, and goes so far as to declire that a soldier is a brute, a scholar a pedant, and a philosopher a cynic, without good breeding. If, for the latter term, feeling were substituted, those and similar broad inferences would be far more correct. Some of the greatest brutes, cynies, and pedants, we encounter in the world, are perfectly well-bred; they refuse an act of humanity with a
graceful bow, smile good-naturedly while exposing the ignorance of a sensitive companion, and engross, with an affable and even respectful air, all the privileges at hand. It is common to see a Frenchman salute, in the most polite manner, those who enter a public conveyance, pass round his snuff-box, and entertain the company with a greeable remarks; but, if it suits his pleasure, he will, at the same time, gormandize a reeking paté, put on his nightcap and snore, or refuse to yield his seat to an invalid, with a complacent e rotism that would astonish an American backwoodsman, who, without a particle of monsieur's external courtesy, obeys the laws of chivalric kindness from instinct and habit. un lerstanding is the voiture of life,” says Chesterfield, and, apparently, he infers that it is to be put at random on any track, an to move at any speed, which the will of the elegant majority dietate; an axiom wholly at variance with that independence which some one has nobly declared to be the positive sign of a gentleman. Absence of mind in company, so often the indication of superiority, he considered only as evidence of weakness; and so enervated was his taste that he preferred the cold proprieties of the artificial French stage to the violated unities of robust English tragedy. It is characteristic of such a man to believe in chance more than truth; and his unconquerable love of play accords with the blind philosophy that controlled his life. His conceit of knowledge of human nature was based upon the most inadequate and one-sided oliservation : he associated chiefly with women of fashion and men of state, and, therefore, saw the calculating and vain, not the impulsive and unconscious play of character. For the game of conventional life, therefore, are the best of his maxims adapted. In that latent sphere of truth and nature. familiar to more ingenuous and genial spirits, where candor, intelligent sympathy, and spontaneous taste luxuriate, they are as irrelevant as they are unnatural.
THERE hung, for many months, on the walls of the Art-Union gallery in New York, a picture so thoroughly national in its subject and true to nature in its execution, that it was refreshing to contemplate it, after being wearied with far more ambitious yet less successful attempts. It represented a flat ledge of rock. the summit of a high cliff that projected over a rich, umbrageous country, upon which a band of hunters, leaning on their rifles, were gazing with looks of delighted surprise. The foremost, a compact and agile, though not very commanding figure, is pointing out the landscape to his comrades, with an air of exultant yet calm satisfaction; the wind lifts his thick hair from a brow full of energy and perception ; his loose hunting-shirt, his easy attitude, the fresh brown tint of his cheek, and an ingenuous, cheerful, determined, yet benign expression of countenance, proclaim the hunter and pioneer, the Columbus of the woods, the forest philosopher and brave champion. The picture represents Daniel Boone discovering to his companions the fertile levels of Kentucky. This remarkable man, although he does not appear to have originated any great plans, or borne the responsibility of an appointed leader in the warlike expeditions in which he was engaged, possessed one of those rarely balanced natures, and that unpretending efficiency of character, which, though seldom invested with historical prominence, abound in personal interest. Without political knowledge, he sustained an infant settleinent; destitute of a military education, he proved one of the most formidable antagonists the Indians ever encountered ; with no pretensions to a knowledge of civil engineering, he laid out the first road through the wilderness of Kentucky; unfamiliar with books, he reflected deeply, and attained to philosophical convictions that yielded him equanimity of mind; devoid of poetical expression, he had an extraordinary feeling for natural beauty, and described his sensations and emotions amid the wild seclusion of the forest as prolific of delight; with manners entirely simple and unobtrusive, there was not the least rudeness in his demeanor; and, relentless in fiyht, his disposition was thoroughly humane ; his rifle and his cabin, with the freedom of the woods, satisfied his wants; the sense of insecurity, in which no small portion of his life was passed, only rendered him circumspect; and his trials induced a serene patience and fortitude; while his love of adventure was a ceaseless inspiration. Such a man forms an admira
. ble progenitor in that nursery of character, the West; and a fine contrast to the development elsewhere induced by the spirit of trade and political ambition. Like the rudely sculptured calumets picked up on the plantations of Kentucky, — memorials of a primitive race, whose mounds and copper utensils yet attest a people antecedent to the Indians that fled before the advancing settlements of Boone. — his character indicates, for the descend
, ants of the hunters and pioneers, a brave, independent, and noble ancestry. Thus, as related to the diverse forms of a national character in the various sections of the country, as well as on account of its intrinsic attractiveness, the western pioneer is an object of peculiar interest; and the career of Boone is alike distinguished for its association with romantic adventure and historical fact.
A consecutive narrative, however, would yield but an ineffective picture of his life as it exists in the light of sympathetic reflection. The pioneer, like the mariner, alternates between long uneventful periods and moments fraught with excitement ; the forest, like the ocean, is monotonous as well as grand; and its tranquil beauty, for weeks together, may not be sublimated by terror; yet in both spheres there is an under-current of sus. gestive life, and when the spirit of conflict and vigilance sleeps,