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with a wild and abundant verdure. Wells also were scattered through its bed, and resorted to by Bedouin women, for the supply of their flocks and camps. These united circunstances render it an attractive retreat for birds, antelopes, and hares, which we found here in considerable numbers, crossing our footsteps in all the confidence inspired by undisturbed security, until we came into the cultivated valley of El Ouadi Tomalat, where the canal appears to have entered Egypt, though cultivation has so obliterated its limits as to render all vestiges of it, beyond this union of the barren desert and the cultivated fields, imperceptible.
It was a source of high gratification to me thus to have completed a journey, undertaken for the express purpose of examining the remains of a canal, whose very existence has been disputed by some, and its completion doubted by others, notwithstanding the positive testimony of the historian, already quoted, more particularly of Herodotus — with whose description of its course out of the Nile from west to east, and then turning off southerly toward the Red Sea, its breadth sufficient to admit iwo trirèmes abreast, and its being so circuitous as to make its length equal to a four days' voyage — its remains so accurately correspond as to stamp a high character for veracity on the writings of that father of bistory.
The question as to the position of the head of the canal, or the exact point from which it led off from the Nile, can only be discussed by a comparison of the different authorities on which it rests, and arguments founded on the bearings, distances, etc., of places mentioned in them; a task which has been so satisfactorily performed by the able pen of Rennell, as to leave nothing to be added to it. The canal of Trajan, as described by Ptolemy to lead through the Egyptian Babylon, or Fostat, may, as D'Anville and Rennell suppose, be recognised in that which, after watering the city of Cairo, discharges itself into the Birket-êl-Hadji, or lake of the Pilgrims, and that of Amrou in the portion of a bed which runs to the northward of Heliopolis ; but since the cultivation of the soil here, has obliterated all traces of the work of Necos which Darius continued, as far at least as to the edge of the desert, one can only say that the vicinity of its Jast vestiges, and their inclining line of direction to Bubastis, give every reason to believe that Herodotus and Diodorus were extremely accu.. rate, the one in making the water to enter the canal from the Nile near Bubastis, the other from the Pelusian branch of that great
WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT.
To impede her Alight, or discompose her wings,
But solemn Midnight all her force inspires,
A. M. G,
Hers is a spirit cheerful as a bird's,
Conteni to live within a narrow cage,
With trills of music, charming Youth and Age:
In breathless ecstacy repressed by fear,
Lest some rude footstep falling quickly near,
My nioments, touched by merry thoughts, would glide!
Hermiox. New-York, February, 1838.
THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF JOB DOOLITTLE.
BY THE AUTHOR
OF 'YANKEE NOTIONS.'
Job Doolittle was a remarkable man - a very remarkable man; one of the most remarkable men of this remarkable age. He was born in the town of Dronesborough, he was brought up in the town of Dronesborough, and he died in the town of Dronesborough ; in fact, he never was out of the town of Dronesborough; a circumstance sufficient of itself to mark him as an extraordinary individual; for what could induce a person, in these spiritstirring and body-stirring times, to pass fifty-seven years within a small country village, without once setting his foot out of it? What but genius - wonderful genius!
The ancestors of Job Doolittle came from Little Pokesworth, near Piddletown, in Shropshire. They came very late to America, and the cause of their emigration cannot be ascertained. Some extraordinary circumstance must have been connected with it, as the family were never given to making long journeys, without necessity. The oldest of the family, at the time of the emigration, was Creeper Doolittle, for some time proprietor of the 'Slow Coach,' which ran between Little Pokesworth and Stopford. He was related, by the mother's side, to Major Dawdle, well known for his brilliant carpaign at Mahon. Many anecdotes of others of his relatives may be found in Memoirs of the late Mr. Tardy.' The great grandfather of Job, by the mother's side, was the celebrated Simon Snorewell, who used to barn half a dollar a day by sleeping. Job's great uncle was Mr. Lawrence Doolittle, known in Dronesborough as · Blind Lawrence. He lost his sight by the rain beating upon his face through a leaky roof, while he lay in bed. Another uncle of Job, Mr. Dribletr Doolittle, became famous in his native town, by performing, on one occasion, a walk without stopping, from Penny Ferry to Sleepy Hill, a distance of a mile and a half; being a feat, which had not been equalled by any one of the family, time out of mind. He married his wife after a courtship of twenty-nine years. Her name was Snail, She
was the daughter of Perriwinkle Snail, Esq., a member of the Long Parliament.
Job Doolittle, the subject of this memoir, was the son of Waitstill Doolittle and Patience Slugg. His mother was the daughter of old Tranquillity Slugg, of Lubberton. He was born at the old family mansion, in Dumpy Lane, near Standfast Corner. Job was the only child of his parents, and was born thirteen years after their marriage. His birth happened on the twenty-first day of June, being the longest day in the year. Whether this circumstance had any influence upon the formation of his character, it would perhaps be useless to inquire ; but the most trivial particulars in the life of a great man are interesting. Why he came to be christened Job, is a very curious question. Some authorities say, that it was on account of its shortness, as old Waitstill Doolittle had a mortal aversion to all such superfluous expenditure of breath as is required for the pronunciation of long
Some say one of his ancestors was called Job. Some say his father took the first name that came to hand ; and others again give still more ingenious reasons.
But there is so much contradictory evidence in the case, that nothing appears clearly demonstrated, except the fact that he was named Job. After all, it might have been owing to his patience in not complaining at being suffered to go for so great a length of time without a name ; for it seems old Waitstill Doolittle was not able to provide his son with one, until he had attained his sixth
Young Job was put to school at ten years of age, and made such a proficiency in his infantile studies, that he learned his alphabet in less than three years. None of the Doolittle family had ever before been known to get through it in less than five. It is interesting also to know, that he was taught by an old school. mistress named Patience Suill.
The extraordinary genius of Job Doolittle displayed itself very early in his career. I need not say that his main characteristics were great forethought and circumspection, in every act of his life. He was never known to be guilty of a single rash or hasty action; and it was prophetically pronounced by his great uncle, old Creeper Doolittle, the toll-keeper at Sluggett's Bridge, that Job would be an honor to the family. This sagacious prediction was soon verified. Job was challenged by his playmates one day to a game of hop-scotch, and inquired, with great earnestness, if it was a game that could be played standing stilī
. Being informed that it could not, he instantly refused to engage in it. Chucking marbles was a game that he was fond of; and he would have continued to play it, but for the extraor, dinary labor of picking up the marbles again after chucking them. Bat-and-ball he abhorred, as a most prodigal expenditure of human strength and exertion. Hide-and-seek he indulged in a good deal ; but he was so much fonder of hiding than seeking, that he seldom found a boy willing to take a share in the play. He was still more fond of Old Buzzard; but he particularly excelled in a game called Pee-wit, which consists in trying who can stand still the longest,
From these indications, it is easy to perceive that our hero was a person of great deliberation in all his movements, and that he had a most philosophical indifference for those objects and pursuits which dissipate the power and energies of ardent youth by over-exertion,
Nothing could surpass the manly and stoical calmness which he manifested on many great and trying emergencies. The house in which he lived happened to take fire while he was in bed. Most people would have started up in great alarm at the first announcement of such an occurrence. Not so Job. He very sagely concluded that the fire might go out of itself, and it would be a sad waste of labor to make any hurry to extinguish it. All he did, therefore, was to thrust bis elbows out of bed, from time to time, to ascertain whether the walls grew hot, knowing that there would be no absolute necessity of stirring till then. The event justified his calculations. The fire was extinguished without his assistance, and Job turned on the other side, and went to sleep.
On another occasion, he was pursued by a mad bull, and told to run for his life. Job's presence of mind and deliberation in this case were never surpassed. He very gravely turned round to the person who gave this advice, and, in a firm tone, replied, that he would sooner die than run. Mark the effect of his sagacity! The bull, seeing Job stand stock still, took him for a post, and passed by without offering him an injury. On the contrary, those who ran away, only tired their legs, and put themselves out of breath. Job got a great reputation by this feat, and his reply on the occasion passed into a proverb. A great many more of Job's bon-mots are current. He was the author of the celebrated remark, ‘If you
'VC any potatoes to dig, bring 'em on!'
Numerous anecdotes more might be related in illustration of his mental serenity, and strong attachment to stedfast habits. He was once sent into the orchard to gather apples, and not having returned, late in the day, some one went in search of him. Job was found lying on his back under an apple-tree, with his mouth open, waiting for the apples to fall in. When his father died, and Job was called upon to walk at the funeral, he replied, “Not to-day;' implying that he might possibly attend the funeral some other time. On another occasion, as he was lying, deep in thought, in the sunshine, under the side of the barn, he was informed by a person passing by, that the pigs were nibbling at his toes, and was advised to drive them away. He very calmly raised his head, and replied, in a deliberate tone, that he'd see about it.' The discretion and presence of mind, also, which he manifested when he happened to fall, on a slippery day, are worthy of commemoration. He lay with perfect resignation, until he saw a passenger approach, and then, lifting up his little finger, beckoned to him with the most admirable coolness and deliberation! Such a man was surely formed for great things.
What trade he learned, what education he acquired, and what labor he performed, to lay up in his mind those great stores of wisdom for which he was celebrated, I am sorry to say cannot be ascertained. A mysterious cloud of obscurity hangs over this part of the history of Job Doolittle. The world has suffered an immense loss by the negligence and stupidity of his acquaintance, in not treasuring up the remembrance of more of the great events in which he was concerned; for, in addition to the anecdotes above related, I can record nothing respecting him, save that he was once seen driving a cow to pasture, and that one summer afternoon he caught a fly that
had been sitting upon his nose ever since the morning. The remainder of this narrative must of course be brief. Job Doolittle, after passing a long, brilliant, and highly useful career, went the way of all flesh, and was gathered to his fathers, at the age of fifty-seven.
Posterity will do him justice. Nothing remains for me but to give a sketch of his character, manners, and opinions. His character is best illustrated by the acts of his life. He was a good citizen, and a good neighbor, for his political principles never endangered the tranquillity of the state, and his daily life never disturbed the repose of the neighborhood. How few great men can say this of themselves! His manners displayed all the regularity and simplicity of a man of genius. He never missed going to bed at night, and never injured his health by going abroad too early in the morning. He was foud of exercise, and generally turned over twice in his bed every morning, for the purpose. More than this he rarely allowed himself
. He thought combing his head a great waste of time; and, for the most part, dispensed with the use of buttons in his dress, from the needless labor they occasion every morning and night. His favorite food was small potatoes, placed very few in a pile. Toothpicks he never used.
His opinions bear the stamp of genius, and are, moreover, strongly characteristic of the man. He was often importuned by his friends
in a more active course of life, but always replied, with a sagacious look, that it would be all the same a hundred years hence.' How profound, and yet how true ! When told that a certain indi. vidual was trying to discover the perpetual motion, he fell into a deep reverie, and then replied, wisely shaking his head, that he • guessed he would n't;' a prediction most remarkably justified by the event. Ou being informed that the earth moved round the sun, he looked bard at the speaker, and asked what was the use of it;' a question which, though it may appear simple, will be found very diificult to answer. He never believed in rail-roads, and always wondered why people could not be content to stay at home. When intelligence arrived, week after week, that the French were marching into Russia, he inquired, very earnestly, how long before they - meant to stop, and set down.' The whole character of Napoleon was a perfect enigma to him. He had no decided admiration, in fact, for any great conqueror, except King Log.
Such was Job Doolittle; a man, take him for all in all, we ne'er shall look upon his like again. His example shows how much may be accomplished by undeviating principle, and firmness of purpose. His chief aim appears to have been, not to trouble the world, and not to let the world trouble him; a maxim worthy the sages of antiquity. This was his aim, and with a noble fortitude did he
pursue it, through all the vicissitudes of his eventful career. The glory that rests upon his memory must be his reward. In the classic regions of Lubberland, altars would have smoked in his praise; but I fear the bustling, rantipole times we are now cast upon, will allow him uo more lasting monument than a page of the KNICKERBOCKER. Valeat quantum !
Merry-Go-nimble Court, Boston.