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OURSELVES AND OUR READERS.
sorts of mutations, Nature has marked this pe- 1 paragraph, to aid in the healthful development riod as one of the most remarkable in the of the mind, including under this term not the earth's circuit in the zodiac. In this latitude, intellect merely, but the taste and the affecwaking from their winter sleep, hundreds tions. of sweet flowers, as if by magic, spring up in Still, in guiding our bark away from the the wild wood and the meadow, and unfold dangers of Scylla, we shall endeavor to avoid their delicate petals to the kiss of the breeze; the perhaps equally formidable dangers of and the music of birds, hushed for months by Charybdis. We shall read no dull, prosy homthe cold breath of winter, again gladdens our ilies, nor shall we allow our respected and hearts. Bright, beautiful, charming May ! valued correspondents to do anything of the How we love thee and thine! How dost thou kind. light up everything with the smiles of thy own While we hope our magazine will be acblessed face!
ceptable generally to all the members of the But we wander. We said, reader, or tried to family, we frankly confess that we shall labor say, that at this eventful period—eventful in the to make it especially a favorite with the ladies. city and in the country-we commence a new They, we are aware, cannot be expected to volume of the PARLOR MAGAZINE. Our pub take a deep interest in most of the current lisher, taking a hint from Nature, who is so newspaper periodicals of the day, teeming as generously providing new robes for the earth, they do, many of them, with the details of politihas had his protégé furnished with one of cal controversy ; and consequently they need the richest and most graceful and becoming access to channels of literature more congenial dresses that could be found. We do candidly to their taste and habits of thought. Such a believe that a more tasteful and elegant cover literature we shall aim to provide for them. does not envelop any magazine on this conti It is a matter of some doubt with us as it nent, than that which is designed by Wallin is to most thinking men and women who have and engraved by Felter, for our own monthly. at heart the interests of the domestic sanctuary
But this is not all. We shall not forget -how far it is judicious to employ the agency that the gem is of more importance than the of fiction in rendering our work acceptable and casket which holds it—that the spirit of our useful. Fiction is both a valuable and a danmagazine claims far more attention than the gerous instrument. Wielded with judgment, outward adornments of its person; and the and especially judgment controlled by moral editor and publisher will labor assiduously to | principle and religion, it may be made availarender its pages richer than they ever have been. ble not only in enlisting the sympathies of The PARLOR MAGAZINE now--thanks to the youth of either sex, when all other agencies thousands who have appreciated its design and are comparatively powerless, but in exerting a valued its mission-is established on a secure kindly influence directly or indirectly upon the basis. Whatever apology might have been sacred founts of the affections. So that we valid for allowing it to fall below the standard shall not discard it altogether. Yet, like others of mechanical excellence to which any of its classes and orders of literature, innocent and cotemporaries have attained, no such apology even estimable in themselves, it cannot be discan be made at this period in its history; for puted that this of fiction is liable to abuse; and its increased popularity has, we are aware, we shall exercise a zealous and careful censorenhanced in the same ratio its facilities for im ship over this department in our magazine. provement in all the elements which constitute This rule must ever be a prominent one with a good magazine. We shall not be unmindful us, in deciding upon the admission or rejection of this.
of every article in prose or verse: to be adWe are desirous that our plan should be dis mitted, the article must possess some positive tinctly understood. We design-as we have points of utility. By this we mean, that it will designed from the outset of our undertaking-- not be considered sufficient endorsement for an to furnish a monthly literature of the lighter article, that it be enteriaining and spicy. This class for the family circle, and especially for element is well enough; we have no objections young ladies and gentlemen, not only free from to urge against it--but the contrary. We the exceptionable features by which our lite- | shall not allow the means to take the place of rary monthlies are too generally and strongly the end, however. Other periodicals there are, marked, but aiming, in every page and every | scores of them, that have large alcoves appro
OURSELVES AND OUR READERS.
priated to humor and jeux d'esprit, some of friends to assist us in providing the monthly which are at least of a questionable character. entertainment of the Parlor MAGAZINE. The } But our Parlor will exhibit these features but editor wishes to establish and keep up an intisparingly, and never unaccompanied by some mate correspondence with those who write for valuable lesson, or when desirable to temper the press; and we shall be sincerely grateful a healthful moral precept.
for any contributions in our judgment approAs for poetry, it is our deliberate conviction, priate to our pages, and acceptable and profitathat in this, as in the sister branches of art, ble to our readers. poor or indifferent specimens are worse than We mean, ere long, to lay down a few rules none at all. We are fond of poetry. Indeed, to direct our friends in their communications, unless we greatly mistake, we narrowly in other words, to tell them precisely what we escaped being a poet ourself. A few grains most desire for our pages. Meanwhile we may more of imagination, and perchance a drachm say, in general, that while there are many of or two additional of ideality, in our constitu our present contributors from whom we should tion, we verily believe, would have formed the love to hear much oftener than we now do, it materials of that mysterious compound, which, would gratify us not a little to extend our list; when it passes through the alembic of the and we should be satisfied if our new friends soul, is called poetry. But, for all that, we were as fortunate in their selection of subjects shall consent rather to have our pages from be and in their manner of treating them, as those ginning to end, as barren of poetic thought and now in the field. We are confident there is a expression as the problems and propositions of great deal of unemployed genius in the way Euclid, than to make them the media of rhymes, of literary effort, among our patrons, and we miscalled poetry, and unconformable in the are not without our hopes that we shall be main to the conventional rules of the art.
able to educe some of that genius for the beneThis we say, friend author, to you, as well fit of our magazine. We shall try hard at any as to our readers. We say it prophetically, or rate. if that term is inadmissible, prospectively; for But we must spend no more time in “ definin the offing of the future—in the dim perspec ing our position," as they say in Congress. tive which bounds the present—we see some We would rather our friends should judge of bushels of manuscripts, more or less, belonging | the character and disposition of our Parlor to every class, order, genus and species of visitor by personal observation than from a poetical composition under the sun, all of miniature sketch; and doubtless they will prewhich are sure anon to find their way into our fer to do the same. One thing we will say, sanctum, and to look imploringly up to us as however that no means accessible by talent an usher to introduce them to their excellent and untiring industry, will be left unapprofriend the public—and many of which are as priated to make the PARLOR MAGAZINE the bure to be disappointed.
best work of its class in the world; and though Still we are anxious to encourage real it may savor a little of undue enthusiasm, genius, however sparingly developed, in this possibly of arrogance, we assure our friends as in every branch of the fine arts; and we that we fondly hope to make it such. do most cordially and earnestly invite our
Wilt thou too leave me—thou, who wast the first
And fairest vision of my happiest youth, -
And blent wild fiction with the hues of Truth ;
In the wood-path--by the sunny stream-
Thou wert my Inspiration, and my dream.
The Glory of thy Presence once, once more,
The Prophecy the Sibyl wrote of yore.
THE POWER OF FICTION;
OR, DEACON PRESCOTT AND HIS DAUGHTER.
BY T. S. ARTHUR.
Than Deacon Job Prescott a more unyielding. Sometimes Deacon Prescott would discover opponent of fiction, in all its forms, was no- | a stray volume of romance, and then came where to be found. He denounced all com trouble to the guilty one who had dared introposed histories as lies, and referred the ori. duce the “moral poison.” But it all did not gin of this particular order of literature to the do. Mrs. Radcliffe, Scott, Cooper, and dozens Father of Lies. It was but rarely that Deacon of others, were familiar names among the Prescott had patience to reason with any one younger members of the family. The evil reon the subject. To him, the truth of his posi sulting from Deacon Prescott's rigid views and tion was so clear, that he felt irritated when practice on the subject of fiction, was, that he others attempted to sustain an opposite opinion. ceased to be the rational guide of his children. Knock-down arguments were his weapons in Had he wisely discriminated on this subject, he dealing with the Monster of Iniquity, as he was would have understood that there was a wide pleased to call it.
difference between a mere fictitious history, in Unfortunately for the peace of Deacon Pres which imaginary characters are made to appear cott's household, his sons and daughters by no and act out to their ultimate consequence cermeans agreed with him as to the sinfulness of tain good or evil principles, and a deliberate fiction. In spite of his most watchful care, falsehood uttered with the end to deceive. He novels and tales were obtained and read by would have seen that there was a power in ficthem in secret, with an avidity increased by tion that might be made to subserve good as ? the fact that the pleasure was a stolen one. well as evil purposes; and instead of interdictMary, quiet, thoughtful, loving Mary Prescott, ing light reading, as it is called, altogether, who, from the time her sweet young mouth have introduced that which was elevating to could take a kiss from her father's lips, up to his children, and thus been their guide where the period when the bud of girlish beauty ex one was so much needed. But, instead of this, panded into the lovely young woman, had been he condemned all as bad; and the inevitable acknowledged by the Deacon as his most pre consequence was, that his children, unable to cious gift from Heaven-saving, always, her see that he was right, obtained novels and romother-even Mary, in the solitude of her little mances, and read them in secret. Two evils chamber, long after all the household had re were the result. In the first place, they distired for the night, would often lose herself for obeyed their father, and lost respect for his hours in the deep 'spell that lies in Ivanhoe, judgment; and, in the second place, with no Waverley, Kenilworth, and other master-pieces guide to a selection of books, read the good and of fictitious history, from the pen of gifted novel the bad indiscriminately. Nor was a perverists. Often, as the light of morning came steal sion of taste, so far as bad books were read, the thily in, and blending with, at length destroyed only consequence. Mary's health-she was the dim rays of the feeble lamp, has Mary of a delicate constitution—from sitting up late started with surprise to find that the night was at night, and often in a cold room, to devour, past ; and hiding away the fascinating book, rather than read, the fascinating works of fic. that had caused her to take no note of time, tion that she was able to obtain from one source thrown herself upon the bed to catch an hour's or another, was seriously injured; and her pasleep before joining the family, and entering | rents remarked, with anxiety, her altered appearinto the regular duties of the day.
ance, without in the least suspecting the cause.
THE POWER OF FICTION.
Thus matters went on, until Mary, so deeply than an act of insanity, and he would 'never loved by her father, was addressed by a young consent to do it. man for whom Deacon Prescott entertained a The final result was, that Mary left her dislike almost equal to what he felt for novels father's house secretly, and was married to and tales of fiction. The rigid, uncompromis Baldwin. When she wrote home, conjointly ing old Puritan, the moment he saw what was with her husband, announcing the fact, and eargoing on, acted with his usual decision. There nestly desiring that opposition to what was was no temporizing in his policy.
inevitable might no longer exist, the old man "Mary, if that young man comes here again, returned no answer. They wrote again, but I shall request him not to repeat the visit,” said he remained silent. With her hand upon her the father, on the occasion of Edward Baldwin's heart to repress its agitated pulsations, Mary first formal visit to the lovely maiden.
then went back to her father's house, and Tears came to the eyes of Mary, and a bright sought forgiveness. But her tearful, imploring flush to her cheeks. Her head drooped, and face could not move the inflexible old man. her bosom heaved strongly; but she made no
Sternly he waved her away, uttering, as he did answer, and as soon as it was respectful to do so, the words— . so, arose and left her father's presence.
“ You have dissolved the tie between us; you Deacon Prescott considered the matter as are no longer my child !” settled. Mary had always been a loving, obe With a fainting spirit, Mary went back to dient child, and the thought that she would go her home, and fell, with a gush of tears and a directly counter to his wishes, did not once | cry of pain, upon the breast of her cross his mind. But he erred. The very fact He asked no question, for he understood all too of opposition to the young man, caused her to well. But he held her tightly to his bosom, think of him with more favor. She could not while he cursed the evil spirit of unforgiveness understand the objection as anything but an that had so wronged his innocent, loving, genunfounded prejudice.
tle-hearted bride. Baldwin came again, and the Deacon, trae No further attempt was made, on the part of to his purpose, desired him not to repeat the the young couple, to bend the old man from his visit. The manner in which this was done stern spirit of resentment. Months passed, was offensive, and the young man was indig nay, even years went by, and Deacon Prescott, nant; but it did not in the least touch his re in all that time, had not once seen his daughter, gard for Mary, to whom he wrote a long letter, who, shortly after her marriage, removed to fully declaring the nature of his feelings for another city with her husband. Mary corre. her, and begging her to give him an interview. sponded with her sister and mother, but her They met according to his wish, when pledges father would not see her letters, nor hear with of affection were exchanged. From that hour, patience any allusion that was made to her. Edward Baldwin was all the world to the true But he was not permitted to indulge his humor hearted Mary. They met frequently, at the unopposed. The mother often strove with him, house of a friend. In due time, thoughts of and sought, by every means in her power, to marriage came, and the lovers began to look restore Mary to her old place in her father's forward to a union. The desire, on both sides, heart. She did not know how desolate his to conciliate the father and gain his consent, heart was without the smiling image of his fawas very strong, and an attempt was made by vorite child, nor how strongly nature pleaded the young man to effect this. He called upon for her to be brought back again into his acthe old gentleman, and frankly stated the rela knowledged affections. But he could not fortion that existed between him and Mary, and give an act of disobedience like that. Mary earnestly desired his approbation and consent had chosen her own way. She had gone to a marriage union. But all availed not. The from his side, and taken for her companyoung man he looked upon as carnal-minded, ion one whom he utterly disliked and disapand given to worldly follies. In his eyes he | proved. The act was wrong, and she must was a mere pleasure-seeker; one who, without suffer the full penalty. religious principles, was afloat upon the great | It happened, two years or so from the time ocean of life possessed of neither chart nor that Mary left her father's house, and while her compass. To resign his daughter into the father still retained his unbending position tohands of such a man, he considered little better | wards her, that the old man was in company