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SECT OF SHAKERS IN AMERICA.
traordinary sect are gleaned from course whatsoever, which she held up an entertaining Work just published as a mortal sin, yet she gained numer by Baldwin and Co. entitled “An Ex- rous proselytes, who have since made cursion through the United States and various settlements in different parts of Canada during the years 1822-23; by the United States. an English Gentleman.”
The principal persons in the sect New Hampshire appears to be the are the elders, father confessors, and State where this wretched species of saints. They enjoin confessions, pefanaticism is most prevalent. It cer- nances, absolutions, &c. The memtainly equals, in absurdity, the most bers are frequently honoured by the monstrous heresies of the early ages of miraculous interpositions of the Deity. Christianity. Enfield, a village of Indeed they affirm that they do every New-Hampshire, is mostly inhabited thing by “a gift,” that is, by an imby this singular sect. On entering it, mediate inspiration of the Holy Spirit. (says our English traveller) I was im- An account of the application of this mediately struck with the remarkable very rational doctrine is thus given in neatness of the houses, farms, and fen- the North American Review. "A ces; and the first impression was youth of one of the Shaker settletherefore very much in favour of the ments, of a cheerful happy spirit, was sect. The Shakers, like the Harmo- once asked, whether he had his libnites, are great manufacturers, and erty, and could do as he pleased. supply the neighbourhood with a Certainly,' said the youth (repeatquantity of necessary articles at a ing, doubtless, what all are taught to cheap rate. They apply machinery believe); we do whatsover we have to every purpose that can be imagined, a gift to. On being asked therefore, and carry this to such a length, as even what he would do, if he wanted on a to churn butter by the assistance of fine winter's morning to go down and the wind. This however is a very skate on Enfield Pond, he replied, 'I simple and effectual way, and is wor- should tell the Elder, that I had a gift thy of being adopted more extensive- to go down and skate. Being further ly; for a very light breeze is sufficient asked, whether the Elder would perto put in motion the small sails attach- mit him ; he answered, certainly, ed to the churn.
unless he had a gift that I should not The sect of Shakers was founded go. But if you still told the Elder about the year 1768, by Anne Lee, that you had a gift to go down and the wife of an English blacksmith. skate, and go you must ?
Why, then She pretended to be inspired ; called the Elder would tell me that I had a herself “ Anne the Word;” and in- lying gift, and that he had a gift to stituted
mode of worship, beat me, if I did not go about my work “ praising the Lord by dancing,” immediately.” Being prosecuted for riotous conduct, The Shakers maintain, that they she and her followers were thrown are the only true Church ; that all the into prison ; a treatment which caused rest of mankind will be damned ; and their emigration. They came to Ame- that by 6 the Second Dispensation,” rica in 1774, and settled in the State that is, by the appearance of Anne of New Hampshire. Anne afterwards Lee, the Old Testaments and the Gosremoved to the State of New York, pels, which were before necessary, are where she began to prophecy, declar- now useless. They have in ing that she was the second Christ, quence a Bible of their own, called and those who followed her should - Christ's Second Appearance ;" a have their sins forgiven. Although work which persons who are not of
41 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series.
their sect would consider as a curious the young proselytes. So strong inproof of the madness of superstition. deed is it, that few ever leave the sect
Every one, whether man or woman, who have joined it as children : and who may join the society, must give though nature will sometimes assert up all worldly possessions to what they her rights, and brother Ebenezer run call the Church. In obedience to this off with sister Susan, yet as soon religious duty, husbands leave their enjoyment has somewhat abated their wives and families destitute, and occa- desires, and when that fatal period the sion the greatest possible distress. Sev. honey-moon is about to terminate, the eral States therefore have passed a sinners will almost always return; and law, obliging a man who may join the having confessed their sins, and underShakers, to make some provision for gone penance, are again received into his family.
the society. Like all sects that pretend to the We could easily enlarge on the subcommunity of goods, the rule of equal- ject of Shakerism, and could mention ity is not strictly adhered to... On the some of the horribly disgusting and incontrary, the Elders, and chief men decent scenes, said to be practised in and women, are much better off than private by members this sect; but the rest, live in better houses, and have not to offend modesty, we refer all better fare.
those who may be curious to know As persons in the full possession of more about them, to a work lately pubtheir faculties are little disposed to lished in New Hampshire, entitled embrace visionary doctrines, it may at “A Portraiture of Shakerism," by first be a matter of surprise to the Mary M. Dyer. This woman's husreader, how this continent sect is ena- band joined the Shakers, and obliged bled to keep up its numbers, and even her to do the same, by making over to be rather on the increase. But the all bis substance to his new brethren. Shakers will receive children of any She afterwards quitted the society, age, preferring those who are very having suffered great cruelty and inyoung; and poor people, who have sult from them; and as she is now large families, are induced to send ane their enemy, and moreover a Baptist,
more children to the Shakers, her own statements must be looked knowing that they will be well-clothed upon with a skeptical eye. Her book and fed gratis, and moreover taught is ill-written ; but this does not desome useful trade. So far the society stroy the authenticity of the numerous is a good one ; but these children are affidavits, made before magistrates, at only just taught to read and write, are different places and in different times, not allowed to read any book but the both by persons who have been themSh Bible, are made to look upon selves Shakers, and by others. These the Elders as demi-gods, and are con- affidavits contains statements of deprastantly impressed with the charitable vity, folly, and horrible brutality, that belief that the world's people" (thus are quite astounding, and exceed every they designate all who are not Shakers) thing laid to the charge of the monks will inevitably go to everlasting punish- of the darkest and most depraved pement. They have indeed very little riod of the Middle Ages. So shockintercourse with “ the world's people;" ing indeed are they, as to be almost for all business is transacted by the incredible ; and yet many of the perElders.
sons who have sworn to the truth of Those who know what influence them, live near Enfield, and, from all superstition has upon the youthful inquiries, are respectable and trustmind, and how great an effort it re- worthy. quires, in those even who frequent The Shaker Bible, or 6 Christ's Secthe best society, to get rid of the pre- ond appearance,” shows how prone judices in which they have been edu- the human mind is to receive any sucated, may easily conceive what an pernatural accounts; and how wisely influence this system, backed by the all who relate them insist upon faith. most profound ignorance, exerts upon Indeed it has been remarked (although
of course only with reference to the any person's religious principles, yet I Shakers,) that when a man can once cannot but think that it is rather à disbe persuaded that the Great Creator of grace to the Nineteenth Century, for a the Universe wishes him to believe sect to exist and fourish, which not only what is incomprehensible and impossi- praises the Great Spirit by dancing, ble, he might just as well be deprived of but even believes that Anne Lee, the his reason altogether, and become a drunken profligate wife of an English mere brute. For my own part, (says blacksmith, is co-equal and co-eternal the writer) although I am a friend to with the Deity! toleration, and do not wish to offend
we notice the publication of the success; and has, we think wisely, first volume of Mr. Wiffen's excellent adopted the Spencerian stanza, instead version of the Jerusalem Delivered ; a of employing, as Mr. Rose has done work which will be esteemed creditable in his translation of Ariosto, the meaat once to the genius of the translator sure of the original. The Life of the and the literature of our country. Poet, prefixed by Mr. Wiffen, is pleasFrom the specimen which sometime ingly written, and will be found to conago Mr. W. gave to the world, we tain an able critical examination of the were induced to form a high expecta- question of Tasso's attachment to the tion of the manner in which this Princess Leonora. In the Life several great task was about to be executed, translations from the poet's minor lyand we are happy to say that our ex- rical pieces are interspersed, from pectation has not been disappointed. which we select the following as a Mr. Wiffen has studied the mellow ver- specimen of the translator's talents.
The following circumstance recently tle, and his clothes received its conoccurred at Ferring. A fisherman tents. On reaching home, he placed named Moore, went out for a bottle himself before the fire of his apartment, of spirits for the use of his family, on when his clothes caught the flame, by some particular occasion, and having which he was so dreadfully burnt, in procured it, proceeded on his return despite of immediate assistance, that he home, when on getting over a low wall died soon afterwards. to shorten his route, he broke the bot
Original Anecdotes, Literary News, Chit Chat, Incidents, &c.
confined by any standard ; The first cargo of tobacco ever im- black and grizzly seem to be the pre ported from Colombia is now in the vailing hue. They appear to have river Thames. It must, however be some difficulty in barking, and when re-imported to Hamburgh, because it they do attempt it, which is very se cannot be used in England without dom, it is more of a howl than a bark. payment of a duty of 6s; for the Uni- Their general appearance would inted States of America alone are per- duce one to suppose that they are a mitted to supply the English market sullen and pusillanimous race; but with this article at 4s. The quality is this proceeds more from the abject equal to the best Cuba cigar tobacco. state of subordination in which they LORD BYRON'S DAUGHTER.
are kept, than from the natural dispoThe Greek Government has sent tion of the animal; for some that we over two letters addressed to the daugh- had on board, on being treated kindly, ter of Lord Byron, giving an account
soon showed that they neither wanted of her father's death, and of the servi. courage, nor were void of playfulness. ces he had rendered Greece, and de- They answer the same purposes to claring that Greece will consider her the Esquimaux that horses do to Euas its own child.
ropeans; for in the winter an Esqui
maux seldom goes any distance, exECONOMY. Sir James Lowther, after changing with great pomp, and, on a hard and
cept on his sledge, which he drives a piece of silver in George's Coffee level surface, with as much speed as house, and paying two pence for his
our mail coaches.t The Dogs are dish of coffee, was helped into his chariot, (for he was then very lame and work of dragging home the seals, wal
always used in the more laborious infirm,) and went home : Some little
ruses, and deer, that are killed; and time after he returned to the same cof.
as some of these animals are frequentfee-house, on purpose to acquaint the ly slain at the distance of several woman who kept it, that she had given miles from the huts, it would be alhim a bad halfpenny, and demanded most impossible for the people to get another in exchange for it. Sir James them to their abodes by any other had about forty thousand pounds per
It is also by their aid that the annum, and was at a loss whom to ap- bear is killed; for while the attention point his heir.
of that animal is engaged, defending THE ARCTIC OR SIBERIAN DOG. itself against the dogs, the daring Es
From the plates and descriptions quimaux plunges his spear or kpife which I have seen of the Siberian Dog, into his body. The opulence of an I have no hesitation in saying that Esquimaux may in some measure be the Esquimaux Dog belongs to the estimated by the number of his Dogs; same variety. Their resemblance to for I have generally observed that the wolf has already been mentioned: those who have the most are best supand I think I have pointed out suffi- plied with food and clothes. From cient marks of distinction, even for twelve to fifteen are the greatest numthe most ordinary observer to know ber that I have known to possess ; the one from the other. The Esqui- but the ordinary team varies from maux Dog is about the size of our three or four to half a dozen ; while shepherd's dog, but, being covered some families have none at all. When with a long and thick coat of hair, going on any particular service, that
more bulky appearance: its is, for a heavy load to any consideratail is long and bushy, and its ears ble distance, those who have but few short, erect and sharp-pointed.* With respect to colour, they cannot be said
| About six miles an hour may be reckoned their
ordinary rate Sof travelling, when moderately la* The temperature of one killed was found to
den ; that is, with two persons on a sledge, drawn be 99 deg.
by balf a dozen dogs:
SYMPTOMS OF VANITY.
dogs, borrow from their neighbours; resolved, as the only chance of preso that on these occasions it is no un- serving life, to tap the liver. The common thing to see
operation was ably performed by Mr. twenty dogs in one sledge. In one or Fitch, senior surgeon of that institutwo instances I have seen two dozen tion, in the presence of other gentleyoked to a sledge, and managed by men of the faculty connected with the one man, without any thing more to establishment. Upon the liver being guide it than his whip, for they never touched, upwards of five pints of disuse reins. To direct the sledge past eased matter immediately flowed from a hummock of snow or ice, when such the wound. A tube, nine inches in happen to come in their way, they length, was then introduced and reoccasionally use their feet, but the tained in the wound, through which whip, as has just been observed, is a pint of the same fluid was daily evacthe principal leading instrument. Al- uated for a week. though on particular occasions a score of dogs and upwards are used to one To place 1001. at a banker's, in sledge, yet the ordinary yoke is from order to give a cheque, sometimes six to eight; that number being suffi- for 21. cient to drag a walrus, and the driver,
To go to Calais, return the next who never condescends to walk if he day, and afterwards' talk of a contican by any means avoid it. In con- nental tour. cluding, the Esquimaux make one
To go into a coffee-house, ask in use more of their Dogs, which, al
a loud tone if the Champagne be good, though the last, is perhaps not the and in a low voice, order a bottle of least in point of importance-namely, soda-water. that when hard pressed for food, they
OF FORESIGHT. eat them. Of this we were eye-wit
To give up a debt of 1001. in order nesses in the spring of 1822 ; the tribe
to avoid a law-suit. in our neighbourhood at that time be
To dine before visiting an author. ing so badly off for food as to kill and
To burn a MS. in lieu of placiag it eat several of these valuable animals. in the hands of a bookseller. It appears, however, that they are not fond of this kind of food, and that To nothing but dire necessity compels Port at 's Hotel.
pay ten shillings for a bottle of them to use it; for as soon as we be
To eat beef at Paris, and omelets in came acquainted with their distress
London. and supplied them with bread-dust, they threw away the carcasses of two dogs which they had killed for provi
It has been ascertained that no less sion, evidently preferring the bread- than 30,000 are now in use in the disdust.
trict that surrounds Manchester, EXTRAORDINARY OPERATION. An extraordinary operation was
The qantity of cotton converted into lately performed at Kent and Canter
one year is about ...
160,000,000 bury Hospital, and which has been at- The loss in spinning may be estimated at tended with the happiest results. A one ounce and a half per pound .... 15,000,000 patient was received some time since with a very bad case of diseased liver : Quantity of yarn produced.
145,000,000 after some time the case assumed the
Amount, supposing 18d. to be the aver-
10,875,0001. worst possible appearance, and it was
According to Mr. Kennedy's calcuof their skins they also make some of their best dresses, which circumstance may likewise be
lation that every person employed in enumerated amongst the useful purposes to which
spinning produces 900lbs. per annum, these animals are applied. I also understand that the number of persons employed is they scent the holes in the ice, where the seals 161,111. The number of spindles emare, or had lately been, which must be of great
ployed, supposing each to produce 15 service to the Esquimaux, when sealing in the winter.
Ibs. weight per annum, is 9,666,666.
yarn in Great Britain and Ireland in