Page images
PDF
EPUB

The chief labor in education is the eradi- resolved to become either sailors or hunters. cation of instincts. School-life is for a long What days are spent in grievous indecision time but an artful war between the peda- whether it is better to go to the Rocky gogue and the savage propensities of his Mountains and shoot buffaloes or to the Japan pupils. Observe what bloody books are seas and harpoon whales. What nights are boys' favorites. Their earliest reading is of made glorious by dreams of killing seals by pirates and Arabs. The attack of Indians torch-light in caves where the Antarctic Trion the cabin of the settler, with its attendant tons blow their“wreathed horns” in alarm at horrors of burning roofs, ringing rifles, and the robbery of their folds. What plots for remerciless murders, have a fascination for viving the ancient and amiable fraternity of them- even for the mildest. Books of des- Sea Kings are concocted of winter evenings, perate or vagrant and lawless action please by flaxen-headed conspirators, as they crack them. In history, they open an intimacy butternuts before the kitchen fire--thwackwith Hannibal and Leonidas; in adventure, ing the solid nut-shells with their hammers with Captain Kyd and the Argonauts. These as if they were smiting the mailed heads of propensities are cunningly made to work Celts and Saxons, while some young hero their own destruction. The savage instinct who has lately posted himself up in Scandiis gratified by reading about vagabonds and navian matters doles out tales of the Red headlong heroes, but the shrewd teacher will Erics, the Rollos, and the Harold Slambangremark how this arouses faculties which will ers who roamed the seas with their gigantic in time master instinct. His appetite for boatswains, before the Law of Nations was other delights arises, and a taste for books heard of in the North Sea and the Bay of of a somewhat different tone is provoked. Biscay. What consultations are held conThe young reader gets an ear for the graces cerning the feasibility of fitting up the old of style, and remarks the difference between den in the rocks above the village for a cave those abrupt sentences which pitch him of Forty Thieves, who are to operate accordalong like the chopping waves of a Gulf ing to the system of the enterprising gentleStream, and the majestic periods, the long men of the Arabian tale, excepting that oil Ciceronian swells on which we are borne is to be abstained from both as an article of through successive chapters till as we ap- trade and as a beverage—the former because proach the close, like sailors in a boat, we it proved the ruin of Ali Baba's guests, and hear a fine roaring of surges, and ride to the the latter owing to a grudge entertained beach through the surf of a peroration. Thus since infancy. Minerva, overhearing these is a taste for Literature born, and in a few eager conversations, smiles. In forty years years, when the bloodthirsty little reader has Red Eric is President of a Marine Insurance attained man's estate, his earliest acquaint-Company, and Rollo's bills are honored in ances, the forest outlaws and the buccaneers, Copenhagen. Some of the Forty Thieves are received at his mental levées on entirely are Justices of a Western Court of Stara different footing. The old desire of train-Chamber, administering Lynch-Law to forging in Robin Hood's company has assumed ers and blacklegs, and others are legislators perhaps the form of a willingness to be Little and grand jurymen. The young lions have John to Carlyle or some other æsthetical been cheated of their teeth. The lust for bandit. The satisfaction he once would have barbarism has been quenched by stimulating felt at boarding an argosy on the Spanish the remote appetite for refinement. The main, has become a singular delight in way- | boy who at the age of twelve is fully relaying the portly octavo in which some solved, as soon as he is released from home learned man has stowed his philosophic tyranny, to pitch his campon the North fork ingots, and is ploughing his stately course in of the Arkansas, and spend the rest of his fancied security; in dashing at the clumsy life in the society of wolves and wild horses, prize after the fashion of Hawkins and Mor- finds that each year a band is tied to him gan, and in making the wretched master which he will not be able to sunder; and at walk the plank like a grandee of Arragon twenty-one he is firmly bound to civilization intercepted by Black Beard in his voyage -a slave to clocks and stoves and tables— from Porto Bello to Cadiz.

a bondman to hotels and newspapers. Few boys, it has been remarked, I believe, Schoolmasters, the missionaries whom we reach manhood without at some time having lemploy to labor in that dense barbarism

which darkens our nurseries, bear witness pigeon shot rolling through these became, to the fidelity of all juveniles to their when viewed through that eye of imaginamother, Nature. They can testify, how- tion which boys possess in such perfection, ever, that the general rule is not without cattle trains, freight trains, and express apparent exceptions. They sometimes get trains, circulating through the United States young converts faster than they bargained in the most lively manner imaginable. for. Some young gentlemen manifest the Ought not the pedagogue to hare rejoiced most precocious faculty for adapting them at the achievements of this precocious Railselves to the artificial structure of the so- road Director, as so many triumphs over the ciety in which they find themselves born, wild nature within him! Perhaps he as if they saw the uselessness of resistance, ought, but he didn't. He seemed to carry and were inclined to make the best of their in his single soul more hostility to internal misfortune. Inconsistent as it may seem, improvements than the whole band of these little pioneers are made to feel the Michigan conspirators, and one day man“ peculiar institution” which prevails in all aged to throw the mail train off the track well-regulated schools, more often than their with such violence, that the brakeman was duller mates, who hanker for the pleasures seriously contused and the conductor got of Bedouins, and hang back and sulk when his knuckles broken. This rather dampened the handsome young man with the helmet the railroad mania. (see the frontispiece of the spelling-book) The young gentlemen of that school offers to lead them to yonder edifice, labelled showed a surprising aptitude for civilization

Science ; which inscription needs only to be within doors, and a no less decided genius changed to Circus to fire the sulkers, for for barbarism without. There were more years to come, with love at first sight for all naval and financial enterprises afloat than young men who wear helmets. The reason there were in Tyre of old. One financial is, that schoolmasters are generally impene- operation we remember, which would have trably pedantic, and insist that youth shall startled Wall street. A genius in a secluded be enlightened according to certain approved corner of the room started the “Empire systeins. All short cuts to civilization, Bank,” which began business on the giganavoiding the slough of Orthography and tic scale of the Bank of England. For the valley of the shadow of Arithmetic, are about a week notes were issued daily to the as criminal in their eyes as the contrivance amount of hundreds of thousands of dolof the gentleman immortalized in the Pil- lars, and the school was in a short time full grim's Progress, to get on the high road to of millionaires in bare feet and linen jackets, the City without facing the enemies which not a few of whom would have been imthe intrepid Christian met and vanquished. pudent enough to offer Rothschild the loan I once knew a school where grammar was of a hundred dollars to set up a grocery with, not loved quite so well as some other things or to propose to Nicholas to supply hiin with in which Black Hawk would have delighted, funds to carry on the Circassiau war, proviwhere nevertheless the most complicated ded he would give a chattel mortgage on the and artificial transactions of the civilized Kremlin for security. world were carried on with amazing zeal.

" Pandemoniam, the high capital But these it was necessary to conceal from Of Satan and his peers," the teacher, for he had his own way, of course, and visited the Banking Institutions, did not arise more suddenly or mysteriously the East India Companies and the Express than this financial prodigy, and was not a Offices which flourished in his dominions more gorgeous affair, nor worth more money with the same undiscriminating switch with when it was completed. Still there was which he tingled the legs of truants and something not altogether secure, I fear, blockheads.

about the basis of its credit. It never was How fresh is our recollection of one disclosed what securities were pledged to hazel-eyed young schemer—the Hudson of indemnify the holders of its notes, but I susthe school-who had a finger in more rail- pect that if an inventory of its actual prop roads than you can find in the North erty which might have been reached in American Guide-Book. Long grooves in Equity bad been taken, the schedule of the the pine desk were his railway lines, and I investigating committee would have exhib

ited about ten fish-hooks and a kite. Think | disgorge their treasures, till he found himof these chattels, and a doubtful demand self in possession of a "pile” which would against an Irish boy for breaking a ball-club, have bought out the East India Company, as resources, to meet liabilities somewhat This was disastrous, it is true, but the Bank greater than the national debt of Great Bri- was a very spry one, and was on its legs tain! Nevertheless, holders felt secure, and again by dinner time. The President was the manufacture of money went on without remarkably fertile in expedients. Before interruption. Nabobs of the most astound- the afternoon was half through, his financial ing opulence surrounded the throne of our foundry was in full blast, and before the unconscious Sultan, who continued to cuff summons of “ All hands aboy to spell” was and ferule with as little ceremony as they given at four bells, the Bank of England, cut off paupers' heads in the East. Even which had shot ahead during the temporary in India it won't do to strangle a nabob suspension of its rival, was “ nowhere." as summarily as his porter; but here there The panic had subsided; insolvents had was not the slightest discrimination between picked themselves up. Our next neighbor, Bobs and Nabobs. Indeed, it was some who lost all in the general bankruptcy of the time before the Despot found that an aris- morning, was worth a million of dollars tocracy of wealth was springing up in his when school was dismissed, owing to a masrealm; but one unlucky day, a thousand- terly speculation in buck-shot, but he lost dollar note having fallen into his hands by two hundred and fifty thousand before bedaccident or treachery, there was a tremen- time, by indiscreetly carrying it in his pocket dous commotion in the money market forth- when he went after the cows. with. The Bank exploded ; indeed, what These illustrations, we admit, do not maelse could have been expected of an institu- terially support our argument. These ention whose credit depended upon a pledge terprises indicated a marvellous aptitude for of kites and fish-hooks of the gross value of civilization, it must be confessed, and so far, eighteen pence? The schoolmaster's en- they go to sap the theory which has just counter with it was like General Jackson's been presented. But could we show you famous tilt with the “Monster.” He was these young Bankers and “Railway Kings" not awed by wealth-not he! He would out of doors, and unveil their schemes and have “ tanned ” Crosus himself for spelling secrets, their wishes, plots and dreams, phthysic without a p and two h's. So he (which cannot in justice to the Rights of handled the “monopoly" without mittens, Readers be now done,) the balance in favor as Old Hickory would have done, spanked of barbarism would, we fear, be rather startthe Cashier, and compelled fund-holders to I ling.

G. H. M.

NO MORE!

“Les années qui me sont déterminée s'en vont, et j'entre dans un sentier d'où je ne reviendrai plus.”

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THE EARLY ENGLISH DRAMATISTS.

JOHN FORD.

It is a curious fact, that within the short public. In 1629 he published his “Lover's space of half a century, from the middle of Melancholy,” which he assures us, in his Elizabeth's reign to the breaking out of the dedication to the Society of Gray's Inn, was civil wars, there flourished all that England his first printed dramatic effort. It is probcan boast of as superior in the art of serious able that he composed several plays in the dramatic literature. Perhaps we should long interim for representation, although make an exception in favor of one solitary none of them had as yet emanated from the example—the Samson Agonistes; but after press. Happily for our curiosity, his dedithat we have almost nothing. In the firma- cations afford us some irrefragable testimony ment of this age of "strong-minded Eng- as to the history of the compositions to which land,” the name of Shakspeare has the posi- they are attached. The first play, the protion of the sun; a comparison which will duct of Ford's mind, that appeared on the hold good in many ways. The brightness stage, seems to have been, “ Tis pity she's a encircling Shakspeare's memory completely Whore," although it was not published until blinds the ordinary gazer to the beauties of 1633. In the dedication to the Earl of other kindred contemporary spirits—as Ben Peterborough, the author styles it “the first Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher

, Massinger, fruit of his leisure in this action.” From Webster, Kit Marlow, and numerous others. the very nature of this play, its damnation Among these, John Ford held in his day a ensues. The horrible traits in the characters very high position, which even now he is of the hero and heroine of the piece render allowed to have merited.

it unfit for perusal by the young, and sickenJohn Ford, or as he sometimes spelt his ing to the old. It is pleasing however to name, Forde, was born of reputable parent- hear the author's real sentiments in the very age in Devonshire, England, in the spring opening of the play, from the mouth of of 1586. It is the lamentable dearth of all Friar Bonaventura, (a second Friar Laupositive evidence, even on such a point as rence :)— this, that has caused one of the most dis

Dispute no more in this, for know, young man, tinguished British poets to say, “It is painful These are no school-points; nice philosophy to find the name of Ford a barren spot in May tolerate unlikely arguments, our poetical biography, marked by nothing But Heaven admits no jests! Wits that presumed but a few dates and conjectures, chiefly drawn on wit

too much, by striving how to prove from his own dedications.” However, there Discovered first the nearest way to hell

,

There was no God, with foolish grounds of art, is still extant at Ilsington, in Devonshire, the And filled the world with devilish atheism. record of his baptism, dated April 17th, Such questions, youth, are fond; far better 'ție 1586. Like Congreve, and many others of To bless the sun, than reason wby it shines ; the brotherhood, Ford, after receiving a No more ;– I may not hear it.”

And He thou talk'st of is above the sun. liberal education, was entered in the Middle Temple, 16th November, 1602, as a student

Hear the lover describing the charms of of law. It would seem that in after life he his mistress, in an impassioned strain worthy was a practitioner of no mean eminence in of Ariosto himself:this science. In 1606, not yet arrived at the age of manhood, he published an affectionate « View well her face, and in that little round tribute to the memory of the Earl of Devon- You may observe a world of variety: shire, in the shape of some verses entitled For coral, lips ; for sweet perfumes, her breath; "Fame's Memorial,” etc. Twenty-three years Hair; for delicious choice of flowers, cheeks;

For jewels, eyes; for threads of purest gold, after this date we again find him before the Wonder in every portion of that form. VOL. VIII.

20

NO. IV.

NEW SERIES,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »