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sufficiently adequately for to describe. He is exceedingly fleet – in fact, very much so. He has four legs- two short ones on one side, and two long ones on the other. He always grazes on an inclined plane; and the way they catch him, is curious. They head him, make him turn round, and this brings his long legs on the up-hill-side; consequence of which, his short legs an't no account. He falls down, rolls over and over and is mighty soon catched.' The apparently credulous president offered a handsome sum for a live specimen; and proceeded to hoax the naturalist in return, while he was deeply interested in a cage of playful foxes. "Them animals,' said he, 'comes from Iceland, a cold country, north of Canada, a piece. They are very fond of crows' eggs, which they steal from the precipices, on the sea-side. They are cunning critters very. When they come to a spot where they expect to find a batch of nests, they make a ring, and begin to wrestle, to see which is the strongest. When they find out, the stoutest goes to the edge of the precipice, takes his next neighbor's tail in his teeth, and he takes another, and so on, till the string is long enough to hang over and reach the eggs, which are then handed up from one to another, (our greedy listener forgot to ask how,) until they arrive in safety at the top!' The 'prock' fabulist retired, filled with amazement at the marvellous vulpine string.
Grievous and considerably unpleasant, if not more,' to bear, is the burthen of a new coat. A hat is bad enough — but a new coat, with a tight fit!' What an amount of care and of personal solicitude it brings with it — to say nothing of that indescribable feeling, which makes an unoccupied arm a decided superfluity - a mere hanger-on; a sensation, faintly shadowed forth, when the wearer's 'measure' was taken, and he was told to hold up his head, like a man, and drop his hands, which dangled so strangely far below the termination of sleeves that had always seemed long enough until then. See yonder victim, dodging fellow pedestrians, as if he feared that contact would collapse him, like a soap-bubble. Hear him think aloud, in the language of one who knows,' as he threads his devious way: 'Oh to be the martyr of a few yards of cloth; to be the Helot of a tight fit; to be shackled by the ninth fraction of a man; to be made submissive to the sun, the dust, the rain, and the snow; to be panic-stricken by the chimney-sweep, scared by the dustman; to shudder at the advent of the baker; to give precedence to the scavenger; to concede the wall to a peripatetic conveyancer of eggs; to palpitate at the irregular sallies of a mercurial cart-horse; to look with awe at the apparition of a giggling servant girl, with a slop-pail reversed; to coast a gutter, with horrible anticipations of the consequences! There is, however, one consolation. The evil will soon wear of, and the draper shall benevolently rejoice that it has been removed.
The 'Tree of LEGAL KNOWLEDGE.' - A very large engraving, thus entitled, has been shown us by the author. The ingenuity and research manifested in its construction, demand high praise. In this legal tree, the lawyer or the student will find spread out before him, as on a map, the various methodical divisions and subdivisions of his abstruse science. All the great principles of the common law, with the enlargements and curtailments by statute, clothed in the garb of material objects, may here be traced. The whole is to the law what an atlas is to the study of geography, and can scarcely fail to command an extensive circulation among the legal fraternity of the United States. It is ornamented with well-executed and appropriate vignettes, and dedicated to Hon. William Gaston, of North Carolina. We can confidently commend this tree' as one which bids fair to be favorably known by its fruits. VOL. XI.
C. G. THOMSON, THE ARTIST. — We are glad to perceive the praise which is awarded to this young but gifted artist, in some of the public journals. He deserves it all; and we have not a little pleasure in finding that the justice of the encomiums with which we accompanied his first introduction to the lovers of art in this city, has been fully and substantially acknowledged by the public. The richness and fidelity of his coloring, the grace and ease of his drawing and positions, are themes of especial laud, particularly in his ‘lady-portraits,' and likenesses of children. One of these latter has elicited the following lines from the pen of an esteemed correspondent:
SUGGESTED BY THE 'NURSERY SCENE,' A PICTURE BY C. G. THOMSON, REPRESENTING THE HEAD OF
A BOY RESTING ON THE POSOM OF HIS SISTER,
How deep, beyond all utterance, is the joy
And can it be, that when a few short years
Have swiftly fled, your hearts can be so changed
That ye unconsciously may be estranged
And hours like this forgotten ? Can it be,
This image of your joyous infancy,
The thought is sad, where that young head may lie:
Perchance, when those few fleeting years have passed ;
Or shivering in the northern tempesis' blast:
Where it may siuk, where it may lie, at last,
It may sink down in sorrow to the dust;
Its weak and failing springs of life may burst:
On the rent battle-field or bloody deck ;
Go down in some storm-rent, night-foundered wreck,
And when thy head, fair boy! is far away
From that loved pillow where it doth repose,
Around that fond and gentle breast may close!
I love to gaze on your mute loveliness,
Forgetful of the magic work of art ;
To elevale and purify the heart,
A. G. C.
The National Theatre is doing a 'profitable spring business.' Ernest Maltravers, a late novelty, repeatedly attracted crowded audiences. This was to have been expected, from the previous interest in the unfinished tale of Bulwer; but the dramatist, merely taking the hint from the novel, has worked up from her own imagination a piece of five acts, even still more exciting and immoral than the original story; and of course its tendency is none the less evil, for its being admirably represented, in a series of scenes and tableaux, effectively got up. This sort of drama, it is true, (and the fact is larnentable,) is the most likely to fill the house, and the manager's pocket; but still we hope there is good taste enough in the community to warrant the eschewing of the Bowery school, altogether. Is there not ample matériel for novelties of a more chaste and classical character, and which shall be equally attractive, withal? Surely Mr. WALLACK's excellent company are capable of adorning any branch of their profession. Their abilities were well displayed on the occasion of Browne's benefit, a few weeks since, in 'Rule a Wife and Have a Wife,' (VANDENHOFF as 'Leon,') 'The Adopted Child,' (Wallack as 'Michael') and the new farce of 'The Good Looking Fellow.' The house was filled to the ceiling, for Browne is a jewel of an actor, and a great favorite.
Mr. VANDENHOFF, one of the first living tragedians, has, we regret to state, returned to England. Among his recent performances, was Cardinal Wolsey. The whole play of Henry VIII. (H. WALLACK, as the King, Miss E. WHEATLEY, Queen Catherine,) was never done so well in this country: but VANDENHOFF's Wolsey was indeed a rare specimen of the highest grade of acting; chaste, dignified, affecting. He has many warm personal friends among us, and carries with him the respect and hearty good wishes of all who know him. Mr. Wallack deserves thanks for procuring the visit of such a man, and we rejoice that it will soon be repeated.
Mrs. H. WALLACK, (late Miss Turpin,) has appeared in the new and gorgeous spectacle of 'Leila,' which will undoubtedly have a great run. The scenery has proved equal to that of 'Telemachus,' which was a 'spectacle' worth seeing.
'La Petite AugusTA.' — This extraordinary little girl has been among us again, der lighting, as before, large audiences at the Park, with her graceful dancing, and admirable action in pantomime. As the 'Dew-Drop,' in the 'Mountain Sylph,' she won all hearts. She has greatly improved, even in the short period which has elapsed since her first engagement at the Park. She is now on the seas, on her way to England and France, where she is to remain for a considerable period, to complete her education. She will return to us, we hesitate not to predict, one of the most accomplished artistes, in her department, that has ever appeared before the American public. We join her numerous friends and admirers in warm wishes for her welfare.
The Tides. — The Honolulu (Sandwich Islands) Gazette – which we feel bound in courtesy to notice, since it largely honors the KNICKERBOCKER — mentions a remarkable recession of the tide, that occurred there on the 14th of November last, and which is especially worthy of record, in connection with our correspondent's remarks, in another place, upon similar phenomena. An alarming announcement, 'The sea is dry, and the ships are stranded ! brought the editor to the beach, where he found nearly the whole population of Honolulu; some of the natives dancing joyously in the slimy bed of the sea, among thousands of stranded fish, both of the finny and mollusca tribes, and others ferretting out the tender'small fry' from the crannies of the coral rocks. On a similar occasion, if we remember rightly, the sudden reflux of the tide buried numbers in the resistless flood. Volcanic influences at Hawaii, or the islands at sea an earthquake in some quarter of the island-group — the sudden draining of the ocean by the simultaneous spouting of a large body of whales! — and the sinking of some part of the foundation of the ocean - were among the suggestions, serious and jocular, as of the cause of the phenomena.
BATHING. — 'Took a sea-bath, that Lethe to a troubled mind, and best of all corporeal renovators.' So says Byron, in a paragraph of his journal; and if our readers were thoroughly aware of the luxury of salt-water bathing - if they knew how much it conduces to health – how agreeably it acts upon the mind, through the medium of a renovated body — they would echo the opinions of the noble bard, and avail themselves, without prompting, of a 'creature comfort in all respects so salutary and delightful. The annual anchoring of the 'New-York FLOATING Baths,' opposite the Battery, near Castle-Garden, affords an appropriate occasion to remind our citizens - our literary and professional friends, especially — that they have within convenient reach a most pleasant resort, where salt-water bathing may be enjoyed in perfection; and if even one of our many metropolitan readers shall say, after having luxuriated, of a warm day, in these safe reservoirs of pure ocean brine, enjoyed the ever-springing breeze and the unmatched view of our glorious bay, with its picturesque shores, which may be commanded from the roof of the bath, if he (or she, for the ladies are also well provided for,) shall say that we have at all overrated this healthful luxury, the error shall stand publicly corrected, in our own pages !
We have seen it stated, that an attempt is to be made, by the capable and enterprising proprietor of the baths in question, to obtain permission from the mayor and city councils to secure a location for a more spacious establishment, with enlarged accommodations, to be placed upon permanent piers, between Castle-Garden and Whitehall, and another, of a kindred description, at some point of convenient access in the East River. We cannot doubt that the proposition will be received with favor at the hands of our public-spirited authorities. Such establishments, while they may be made ornaments to a city, with the increase and improvement of which they have hitherto scarcely kept pace, and the admiration of strangers, are also rendered a perpetual source of the purest enjoyment - that which springs from health.
A CORRESPONDENT modestly requests us to change the name of our beloved KNICKERBOCKER. What a Goth he must be! A more renowned cognomen is not contained in the language. Why, man, look at the effect of our name. Since the establishment of this Magazine, how the days of history have come back upon us! What a number of 'Knickerbocker stages' — beautiful omnibii — have been started, and 'Knickerbocker barges' launched! The boys slide, in winter, on gaily-painted Knickerbocker sleds; 'Knickerbocker Halls,' and places of various entertainment, have arisen and multiplied ; 'Knickerbocker Circulating Libraries' abound; whoso wishes to attract particular attention to a communication in a public journal, always adopts our ever-memorable patronymic as a signature; and half our letters, from abroad as well as at home, come directed to ‘ DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER, Jr.'*Change the name! Surely, sapient ‘M. B. S.,' your intellectuals cannot be in a healthful state. 'Does your anxious mother know you are out ?" "Change the name! We appreciate now the emotions of the parish work-house overseer, when Oliver Twist 'asked for more.' Change the name, indeed! Marry come up! We should as soon think of doing it, however, as of adopting our correspondent's suggestion in another particular – namely, to 'give more solid articles.' Our aim is to amuse and entertain, as well as to instruct and inform. Hence, variety, and attractive light reading - but not too light -enter largely into our plan. In giving, occasionally, substantial articles, we aim to avoid those which make the reader feel the weight of the matter too sensibly in a heavy style, and present those, rather, which bring down knowledge to the level of ordinary understanding, serving as a medium of communication between the profound mind, on the one hand, and the practical man of business, and the industrious mechanic or artizan,on the other; removing
prejudice, and increasing the aggregate of general intelligence, on which national happiness and improvement depend. These are our plans; and the substantial evidences that our course is acceptable, liberal as they have ever been, yet greatly increase with every issue. For all which we shall labor to be duly and practically grateful.
Mr. George H. Hill. — This gentleman leaves us soon, for Europe; and we cannot permit the occasion to pass, without saying a few words in relation to his merits, both as an actor and as a man. Touching the former, we but echo public opinion, when we affirm, that in the exhibition of the quiet, dry humor, peculiar to the yankee, par excel. lence, he stands unrivalled. His acting is nature itself. As a gentleman, Mr. Hill is deservedly esteemed, in private life, for his correct deportment, and his entire freedom from those draw-backs which sometimes attach to gifted members of the histrionic corps. We cordially wish him a repetition of the favor which he has already met with abroad, and a timely return to his native country.
THE PASSION FOR Riches. A pamphlet has been sentus- and we regret that it did not reach us in season for more extended notice — entitled, "The Passion for Riches, and its Influence upon our Social, Literary, and Political Character,' being a Lecture delivered by J. W. Williams, Esq., before the Young Men's Association of the City of Utica, in February last. We should be glad to see this lecture widely disseminated, for the evil which it so forcibly exposes, in its various forms, has long been, and justly, a reproach to our country, and a fruitful theme for the derision of foreigners. An effect of this haneful passion upon onr literary interests is thus set forth : 'We are apt, in this country, to think of a man who addicts himself to science and literature, that his time might be turned to more profitable account, were he engaged in some calling that would tend more directly to the increase of his fortune. We are all for the practical; by which we mean, that which has little to do with mental advancement, and every thing with gain. We appear to consider the modicum of knowledge which enables one to pursue business with profit, as all abundant in the way of education; and that whatever exceeds that, weakens the capacity for the affairs of every-day life. The consequence is, that shrewdness in turning a penny or driving a bargain has become a sort of national characteristic. Our enterprise, which is distinguished, is directed rather to the increase of our opulence, than to the elevation of our minds. We so much magnify the one, that we almost overlook the other. We seem to estimate the possession of riches as the chief good, and the want of them as a crime.' All this is undeniable; but the ridicule of other nations, and a growing self-respect, has somewhat lessened, and we trust will still farther diminish, this national reproach.
Medical AdviseR. We need do nothing more than announce the comprehensive title of the following work, recently published by Messrs. CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD. The name of the author is a sufficient warrant for the character of the volume : 'Popular Medicine, or Family Adviser ; consisting of Outlines of Anatomy, Physiology, and
ygiene, with such hints on the practice of Physic, Surgery, and the Diseases of Women and Children, as may prove useful in families, when regular physicians cannot be procured; being a companion and guide for intelligent principals of manufactories, plantations, and boarding-schools, heads of families, masters of vessels, missionaries, or travellers ; and a useful sketch for young men about commencing the study of medicine. By REYNELL Coates, M. D., Fellow of the College of Physicians, etc.?