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rupted decisions, having an eye on thy word ; a sure guide, giving to the simple wisdom and knowledge.” “Deeply impress on all our minds that we are accountable, not to men, but unto God, who seeth and heareth all things. Let all respect of persons be removed from us, that we may award justice unto the rich and the poor, unto friends and enemies, to residents and to strangers, according to the law of truth, and that not one of us may in any instance swerve therefrom.” “Grant unto us, also, that we may not rashly prejudge any one without a hearing, but that we patiently hear the parties, and give them time and opportunity for defending themselves.” “Graciously incline our hearts, that we exercise the power which thou hast given to us, to the general good of the cornmunity,"
The inhabitants of the city and colony seem, at that early period, to have carried their rejoicings and sports on New Year's day, and May day, rather further than was deemed consonant with a proper regard to the well-being of the community. And we find that Governor Stuyvesant and his Council, on New Year's eve, 1655, declared, that “ from this time forth, within this province of New Netherlands, on the New Year and May days, there shall be no firing of guns, nor May poles planted ; nor shall there be any beating of the drum ; nor shall there be on the occasion any wines, brandy wines, or beers dealt out.” The Dutch inhabitants seemed to have been very fond of firing guns, when they went the rounds visiting their neighbours' houses on New Year's eve and New Year's day; a practice, which, notwithstanding that ordinance, continued in full force in many parts of the State of New York, until after the Revolutionary war, when it was made a penal offence by an act of the Legislature.
The Dutch government under Stuyvesant also made several attempts to introduce the culture and manufacture of various articles of commerce in the colony. Tobacco was cultivated with great success on several plantations in Brooklyn, opposite the city. And, such was the high character which it attained in the European market, from a rigid inspection established by the colonial government, that it for some timne obtained the preference over that from any other colony. Its culture for the purposes of trade soon began to diminish under the English administration, until, in the course of about thirty years, if not sooner, it ceased to be exported. Attempts were also made to introduce the culture of silk. And in 1656, the West India Company sent instructions to Governor Stuyvesant " to attend to the cultivation and increase of the silkworm” in the colony. This too was lost sight of by the English government. The vine was also cultivated, and, according to Vander Donck, several persons had vineyards and 6 wine hills” under cultivation ; " and Providence blessed their labors with success, by affording fruit according to the most favorable expectation.” They also introduced foreign grape stocks, and induced men to come over from Heidelberg, who were vine-dressers, for the purpose of attending to the vineyards. The clove tree was likewise introduced during this administration, but with what success we are not told.
Our white and red roses, cornelian roses, and stock roses, with gilly flowers, tulips, crown-imperials, white lilies, marigolds, and violets, were brought from Holland into the colony by the Dutch settlers, who had a fine taste for flowers. The sun-flowers, red and yellow lilies, several species of bell-flowers, mountain-lilies, with a great variety of others, were indigenous, and found in the country by the colonists ; as were also peaches and apples ; but the quince tree was introduced by the Huguenots and Palatines from the banks of the Danube.
After the surrender of his government to an overwhelming English force in 1664, Governor Stuyvesant was so highly esteemed by his fellow-citizens, that he passed the remainder of his life, being eighteen years, on Manhattan Island. His remains are interred in the family vault, constructed originally within the walls of the second church in the city of New York, also known as the Governor's Chapel, which, for pious purposes, he had built at his own expense on his Bouwery or Farm. And when the first church was erected in the then new plantation of “ Brenkelen,” opposite the city, and the congregation were too few to afford a sufficient support to a minister of the Gospel, he agreed, if they would call and settle the Reverend Henry Selyns, of whom we have before spoken as an able and learned man, he would pay one half of his salary, and Mr. Selyns should preach in the afternoon in his chapel, which was accordingly done. That chapel is gone, and its site is now and has been for many years occupied by St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Some years ago we took an antiquarian stroll upon Manhattan Island, in which we visited that church. On the outer wall of the eastern side of the church we found, near the water table, a freestone tablet, on which is the follow ng inscription ;
" In this vault lies buried Petrus Stuyvesant, late CaptainGeneral and Commander-in-chief of Amsterdam in New Netherland, now called New York, and the Dutch West India Islands. Died August, A. D. 1682,* aged eighty years.”
We have thus given a short notice of the most able and worthy of the Dutch governors of New York, and in so doing, trust we have brought to light some of the acts of that excellent man, which were veiled in obscurity, and beyond the ken of most, beside the historical antiquary.
The remainder of the volume under consideration is an Historical Sketch of the New York Historical Society, prepared by Mr. Folsom with much care and research, and constituting a document of great interest to its members.
We cannot leave the subject without again commending to the notice of the public this valuable collection of history. If the volumes to succeed it shall equal it in merit, they will constitute a series invaluable, not only from the rarity of the works in their original form, which are there given, but also by reason of their excellence. The selection is made with great judgment. And the introductory notices and notes, by the editor, from the ability with which they are made, add much to the value of the work.
* This is an error, as the last will and testament of Governor Stuyvesant was proved in 1672. See the work under review, p. 399. The stone tablet was erected about the year 1800, by a descendant of the Dutch governor, who trusted entirely to tradition in regard to the time of his decease. At this time, the vault was repaired and enlarged, and the remains of the Governor were supposed to be recognised, after the lapse of nearly one hundred and thirty years.
ART. IV. - Italy. General Views of its History and Lit
erature in Reference to its Present State. By L. MARIOTTI. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1841. ,
Chich they are sted with the timate with
Why is a good, or, indeed, any systematic literary history, so rare among us? Is it that the obstacles to its successful execution are so much greater than those which belong to civil history ? The latter has to do with facts gleaned from tradition, or the pages of preceding writers. In the former, the books themselves are the facts of the narrative. The history of literature is the history of books. Every new fact implies the reading of a new volume, and instead of finding his story spread over comparatively few pages, as with the civil historian, the writer must sist it from whole libraries.
But not only must he know the especial authors that he criticizes ; he must, also, be familiar with the departments in which they are eminent. Whoever criticizes Shakspeare, must be acquainted with the drama generally. Whoever analyzes Locke, should be intimate with all the complex, contradictory schemes of metaphysics. Merit is comparative ; and how can we settle the standard of a writer, till we know that of his competitors ? How can we measure his performance, till we know the state of the art or science when he entered on it ?
There is, besides this, the difficulty of a sure taste to guide the literary, by no means demanded in the political historian. He must be something of a poet, or, rather, he must have sufficient fancy and feeling to be sensible to the charms of poetic fiction, who takes upon himself to disclose its beauties, often latent, to the reader. His own judgment must be true, who is to guide, to form, it may be, the judgment of others. The political writer has, indeed, to weigh the actions of men. But it is in a moral balance ; and ten persons can decide on what is correct in morals, to one who can pronounce on what is correct in taste. An eminent example of this difficulty is afforded by Johnson, in his " Lives of the Poets.” How sound in his judgment of men; how untrustworthy in his criticism on their works !
But why is it that these difficulties do not seem to be felt by the nations on the European continent so sensibly as by
the English and ourselves ? For such would seem to be the fact, from the much greater extent to which literary history has been cultivated by the former nations. There are but four or five historians, of any value, of our vernacular literature, chiefly its poetry ; and none, if we except Hallam's recent work, of a foreign language. Perhaps it may be, that in England, as with us, the greater freedom of the press, as well as of social institutions, has invited the writer to the discussion of the more attractive themes of religion and politics ; more attractive, because they come home to the bosoms and business of men more nearly than abstract literary criticism and disquisition. The French until lately, the Italian and Spaniard even now, are excluded from this wide and lofty range of speculation, and naturally turn to those elegant departments of letters, which, while they delight the taste, and inform the mind, have nothing in them to stir the bile of a jealous police. They may safely venture on the examination of works, which have been pronounced safe by the censor.
Yet in England and America, although works of longue haleine in this province are rare, the critical propensity finds a large escape in the form of Reviews, Magazines, and the like periodical works, which operate as so many conductors to carry off the electric Auid ; insensibly and noiselessly, indeed, but, perhaps, not the less serviceably to the community.
The work before us presents a view of Italian literature, written in English. It adds nothing, however, to the stores of original native publication in this line ; since, though in English, it is by an Italian. Those who had the good fortune to attend the lectures of Signor Mariotti, some three years since, in Boston, will refresh their recollection of them in the more correct and complete form in which they appear in these volumes.
There is no modern literature, which, on the whole, affords a richer field for the critic than the Italian ; none where the beautiful has been exhibited in a greater variety of forms, and where it has reached a higher standard of excellence. It was in Italy, that the sun of civilization set upon the world, and there that the new light first broke upon the nations. At the close of the thirteenth, and beginning of the fourteenth centuries, when the rest of Europe was in darkness, when many a priest could not read his missal, and