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contest with the most determined manli- | deals justly and liberally with an opponent. ness, never for a moment yielding a prin- But when provoked by any low or unfair ciple or asking a concession-staking every thing upon the open field. He met the opposition in the most fearless spirit; defied the combination against him; entered the arena in person; appealed to the people throughout his extensive district, and addressed them in mass-meetings; brought the question before them in all its relations, involving in its ultimate settlement the honor of the South, the safety of the Union, and the glory of the nation; and insisted that, under Gen. Taylor's administration, we should be able to maintain "the RIGHTS of the States, and the UNION of the States." He emerged from the contest with a triumphant majority, and he returns to his seat in Congress-which he has filled with such distinguished ability, and with the increased confidence of his constituents and his country-to employ his powers still farther in the service of both. He is just reaching the prime of manhood, and we may hope that a long career of usefulness and distinction opens before him.
Mr. Hilliard as an orator, enjoys a wide and enviable reputation. His speeches are characterized by comprehensiveness and liberality. Generous in sentiment, candid in opinion, inclined to the most favorable construction of action and conduct, he ever
attack, his sarcasm is irresistible. Keen as the blade of Saladin, it cuts to the quick or leaves excoriations that smart through life. In his wielding it is a fearful weapon, never used unless deserved, but when used scathing to an unmeasured degree. Many of his speeches, during his late canvass, in grandeur of style, indignant declamation, wit, and burning sarcasm, would have earned him distinction among the first orators of any day or country. His style of oratory, when engaged in earnest discussion upon a great question, is thought to bear a strong resemblance to that of Fisher Ames, vividly recalling that eloquent statesman to the memory of those who are acquainted with his peculiar manner. He requires an occasion to arouse him to his best efforts; but his powers are most advantageously displayed when encountering a formidable opposition. He is characterized by energy, firmness, and unswerving adherence to the principles which he professes.
Of Mr. Hilliard's literary attainments we have not space to say anything. He has been a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution from its organization, and still continues to manifest the deepest interest in the success of that great establishment.
I REMEMBER Jane Austen, the novelist, a little child; she was very intimate with Mrs. Lefroy, and much encouraged by her. Her mother was a Miss Leigh, whose paternal grandmother was a sister of the first Duke of Chandos. Mr. Austen was of a Kentish family, of which several families have been settled in the Weald, and some are still remaining there. When I knew Jane Austen I never suspected she was an authoress, but my eyes told me that she was fair and handsome, slight and elegant, but with cheeks a little too full. The last time I saw her was at Ramsgate, in 1803 perhaps she was then about twenty-seven years old. Even then I did not know that she was addicted to literary composition.-SIR EGERTON BRYDGES.
You mention Miss Austen; her novels are more true to nature, and have (for my sympathies) passages of finer feeling than any other of this age. She was a person of whom I have heard so well, and think so highly, that I regret not having seen her, nor ever had an opportunity of testifying to her the respect which I feel for her.SOUTHEY, (in a letter to Sir E. Brydges.)
He then retired to Bath with his wife, Jane, and her sister, where he died in about four years. He was a man of taste and THE brightness and beauty of the acquirements, and gave the direction to his morning have induced me to go down in daughter's talents. After his death, his the garden, and there read and write. wife and her two children retired to SouthThe trees are now in blossom. The ampton, and subsequently to the village of peach with its delicate blush color, beau- Chawton, in the same county, where Jane tiful bell-shape, the lips turning back-wrote her novels, four of which were pubward and exposing the entire beauty of the lished anonymously in her life time, nameflower, is mingled with the white blossom ly: "Sense and Sensibility," "Pride of the plum, and that of the cherry twi- and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park," and ning its lovely flowers all around the long" Emma." A fair constitution, regular straight branches, from end to end, not a leaf to be seen except those that come as a green crowning ornament at the tip of each bough-and, sweetest of all, there are the apple blossoms, fresh, delicate and modest, -a blending of the rose and the lily. Countless bees are diving down to the very heart of the flowers, and with a perpetual and drowsy hum make pleasant music to
habits, calm and happy pursuits, seemed to promise her a long life, but in May, 1817, her health rendered it necessary that she should remove to some place where constant medical aid could be obtained. She went to Winchester, and there expired on the 24th day of July in the same year, aged forty-two. For two months before her death she suffered great pain and weari
ness, natural to drooping and fading life, with unflinching patience. Her memory, judgment, temper and warm affections, were unimpaired to the last. While she could write with a pen she did so; when that became inconvenient, she used a pencil. Her last words, in reply to the questions of what could be done for her, were, "I want nothing but death." She thanked her physician for his attention, and received the sacrament before she became exceedingly weak she was buried in the Cathedral church of Winchester.
It is said that of personal attractions she possessed a considerable share, her figure was fine, her deportment quiet and graceful, her countenance expressive of cheerfulness, sensibility and benevolence. Her complexion was superb; the blood spoke in her modest cheek through" the pearly texture of her dainty skin." Her voice was sweet, her language fluent and precise. She was formed to enjoy and adorn elegant society. She was a good musician, and fond of dancing in which she excelled, as she did also in drawing. She was considerate as regards the frailties and foibles of others, although fully alive to them, and never uttered either a hasty, a silly, or a severe expression. Her manners were exceedingly pleasant, and those who once met her had a strong desire to become better acquainted with her, and to gain her friendship. Her mein was tranquil and serene. She became an author entirely from taste and inclination, when neither the hope of fame or gain mingled with her mo
The poet's name,
Are writ in sunbeams, by Fame's loving hand;
And hero's on the brazen book of time,
But none record the household virtues there. In company she turned away from any mention of herself as an author.
She was a warm admirer of fine landscapes, both on canvass and in nature. Gilpin, on the picturesque, fascinated her at an early age, and she seldom changed her opinion either of books or men. Her memory was excellent, and her reading extensive. Johnson and Cowper were her favorite moral authors Her natural discrimination was gratified by Richardson's power of creating, and preserving the consistency of his characters, as he has done in Sir Charles Grandison. Her power of inventing characters was intuitive, she studied from nature. But better than all these endearing qualities and talents, she was thoroughly devout, fearful of giving offence to God or to any of his creatures. In one of her letters in reply to a mock charge of purloining from the manuscripts of a young relation, she writes: "What should I do, my dearest E, with your vigorous and manly sketches, so full of life and spirit? How could I possibly join them on to a little bit of ivory, two inches wide, on which I work with a brush so fine as to produce little effect after much labor."
The following extract is from a letter written a few weeks before her death:"My attendant is encouraging and talks of making me quite well. I live chiefly on the sofa, but am allowed to walk from It was with great difficulty her friends one room to another. I have been out could persuade her to publish her first once in a sedan chair, and am to repeat it, work, and she thought its failure so certain, and be promoted to a wheel chair as the and that its sale would not repay her pub-weather serves. On this subject I will lisher, that she retained a part of her only say further, that my dearest sister, small income to meet the expected loss. my tender, watchful, indefatigable nurse, How great was her surprise when "Sense has not been made ill by her exertions. As and Sensibility" brought her a clear pro- to what I owe to her, and to the anxious fit of £130. With all her great talents affection of all my beloved family on this she was unpretending, although gratified to occasion, I can only cry over it and pray hear the applause that from time to time God to bless them more and more." She reached her ears from those whose judg- concludes in this vein: "You will find ment she highly valued. She shrank from Captain a very respectable, wellthe idea of attaching her name to any of meaning man, without much manner; his her productions, although amid her own wife and sister all good humor and obligingfamily she talked of them freely and mod-ness, and I hope, (since the fashion allows estly, was glad of their praise, and submissive to their criticism.
it,) with rather longer petticoats than last year." Ah, Jane, the last sentence savors
of old maidishness. Can morality or immorality be judged by the length of petticoats and skirts, or by their shortness? A Swiss peasant girl is as likely to be modest as a fine lady with a long trail to her dress.
Miss Austen's novels are entirely unexceptionable, naturally and ably written. Her characters you seem to have known all your life, to have been with them and listened to their conversation in the sitting room, or by the dining table, and to have walked with them in parks, fields, and by the road side. You see into their very hearts, become acquainted with their virtues, foibles and vices. For instance, let any one take up Pride and Prejudice; they will never forget Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, or Elizabeth, Ann, or Lydia, with her intense love for officers, or the pompous and empty Sir William Lucas, the foolish Collins, tedious, and with a skull of solid proof, impenetrably dull; the haughty, vain and silly Lady Catherine de Bourgh, the good hearted but wavering Bingley, and his sister, proud, scheming and heartless, or the sensible, well-bred Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, the sleek villain Wickham, or the proud, generous Darcy, who is at last compelled to love and wed Ann Bennet in spite of the vulgarity and offensive manners of her mother. The story of this courtship is well told.
Miss Austen possessed good sense and pure religious feeling, not ostentatiously put forth, but winding like a thread of gold through all her writings, beautifying and enriching her genius. No particular moral, no dogma is inculcated in her stories. They give a true picture of life, of men and women as they really are, not as the imagination often dresses them up, and we see characters such as she describes, daily. The drawing and coloring is so correct and true, the outline so definite, that it seems as if any one could write novels equally good. In this respect they are deceitful enough, reminding us of the inimitable grace and flowing ease, the felicitous endowments, and the copiousness of Goldsmith, apparently easily to be imitated, but their naturalness and style have hitherto been unapproached. Doctor Johnson's style was happily copied by all, from lottery dealers to utterers of heavy sermons from well cushioned pulpits.
To interesting narrative, Miss Austen adds sound principles, and inculcates unsophisticated manners, integrity and rectitude, over the more common and artificial pretensions of society. Her discrimination, quiet humor and delineation of charter have never been surpassed. A very intelligent writer speaks of novels in the following strain, and I heartily concur with his views. "If all literary fiction could be withdrawn and forgotten, and its renovation prohibited, the greater part of us would be dolts, and what is worse, unfeeling, ungenerous, and under the debasing dominion of the selfishness of simple reason. It has always appeared to me that those who cautiously keep novels from young people mistake the nature of the mind, thinking it only intellect, and would cultivate the understanding alone. Imagination they look upon as an ignis fatuus to be extinguished if possible-an ignis fatuus arising out of a quagmire, and leading astray to one. There is nothing good comes from the intellect alone. The inventive faculty is compound, in which the imagination does the most work; the intellectual portion selects and decides, but collects not the materials All true sentiment, all noble, all tender feeling, comes not of the understanding, but of that mind or heart, if we so please to call it-which imagination raises, educates and perfects. Even feelings are to be made are much the result of education. The wildest romances will in this respect teach nothing wrong. If they create a world somewhat unlike the daily visible, they create another which is a reality to the possessor, to the romantic, from which he can extract much that is practical, though it may seem not so; for from hence may spring noble impulses, generosity and fortitude. It is not true that such reading enervates the mind. I firmly believe it strengthens it in every respect, and fits it for every action, by unchaining it from a lower and cowardly caution. Who ever read a romance that inculcated listless, shapeless idleness. It encourages action and endurance. We have not high natures till we learn to suffer. I have noted much the different effect troubles have upon different persons, and have seen the unromantic drop like sheep under the rot of their calamities, while the romantic have been buoyant, and mastered them. They
have more resources in themselves, and are not bowed down to one thought, nor limited to one feeling; in fact, they are higher beings. The caution professes mainly to protect women; yet, among all the young women I have been acquainted with, I should say that the novel-readers are not only the best informed, but of the best nature, and some capable of setting examples of a sublime fortitude-the more sublime because shewn in a secret and all-enduring patience. Who are they that will sit by the bed-side of the sick day and night, suffer privation, poverty, even undeserved disgrace, and shrink not from the self-imposed duty, but those very young women in whom the understanding and imagination have been equally cultivated, so as to render the feelings acute and impulsive? and these are novel readers. Love, it is said, is the only subject all novels are constructed upon, and such reading encourages extravagant thoughts, and gives rise to dangerous feelings. And why dangerous? And why should not such thoughts and feelings be encouraged? Are they not such as are requisite for wife and mother to hold, and best for the destiny of woman -best in every view-best, if her lot be a happy one, and far best if her lot be an ill one? For the great mark of such an education is endurance-a power to create a high duty, and energy and patience, where both are wanted. Women never sink under any calamity but blighted affection; and we love them not less, we admire them not less, that they do sink then, for their heroism is in the patience that brings and that awaits death."
Poor Mrs. Bennet with her mean understanding, little information, and variable temper! when she was discontented she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news. take delight (she exclaims) in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves. Don't keep coughing so Kitty, for heavens sake! have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.' (( Kitty has no discretion in her coughs,' said ber father," she times them ill." "I do not cough for my own amusement," replied Kitty fretfully. Mrs. B., speaking of Bingley's sisters, says "they are charming women. I never saw in my life any thing
more elegant than their dresses; I dare say the lace upon Mrs. Hurt's gown here she was interrupted. "The Lucases," continued Mrs. Bennet, "are very artful people indeed, sister. They are all for what they can get. I am sorry to say it of them, but so it is. It makes me very nervous and poorly, to be thwarted so in my own family, and to have neighbors who think of themselves before any body else. However, your coming just at this time is the greatest of comforts to me, and I am very glad to hear what you tell us of long sleeves."
"It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are." "All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles what do you mean?" all of them I think. They all paint tables, cover screens, and net purses. I scarcely know any one of them who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time without being informed that she was very accomplished."
Mansfield Park, is a most delightful novel, and finely displays the discriminating taste and judgment of Miss Austen. In describing fools she is truly Shaksperian, and in this very production she has hit off the character of Rushworth inimitably well. There is likewise a capital portrait of a Mrs. Norris, who is always dictating liberality to others, but herself mean, plotting and disingenuous, one of those well meaning people who are always doing mistaken and very disagreeable things. The Miss Bertrams are fine, showy, fashionable girls, accomplished, in the worldly sense of the word, but vain, cold, and unfeeling, their heads somewhat cultivated, but their hearts a rank wilderness, from whence spring no wholesome fruits or lovely flowers. Lady Bertram paid not the smallest attention to the education of her daughters. She had not time for such cares. She was a woman who spent her days in sitting nicely dressed on a sofa, doing some long piece of needle work, of little use, and no beauty, thinking more of her pug than her children, but very indulgent to the latter when it did not put herself to inconvenience, being one of those persons who think nothing can be dangerous or difficult, or fatiguing to any body but themselves.