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Upon this wonderful and glorious ALL I look, and see there's nought destroyed, or lost, Though all things change. The rain-drops gently fall, But die not where they fall. Some part doth post Swiftly away on wings of air, to accost The summer clouds, and ask to sail the deep With them, as vapory travellers, or frost. Some part anon into the ground doth creep, And maketh the sweet herbs and flowers to grow, Or oozeth softly through the dark, deep earth, Teaching the streamlet under ground to flow, 'Till forth it breaks with a glad sunshine birth Ripples a dancing brook then flows a river Then mingles with the sea, the air, circling for ever.
Even so I looked on the vast realm of Truth,
Yea, Truth, immortal as its primal source,
THE AMERICAN DEMOCRAT, OR HINTS ON THE SOCIAL AND Civic RELATIONS OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. By J. FENIMORE COOPER. In one volume. pp. 192. Cooperstown: H. AND E. PHinner. New-York: WILEY AND PUTNAM.
THE' American Democrat’opens with a brief preface, from which we learn that the work was written in consequence of its author having had many occasions to observe the manner in which principles that are of the last importance to the happiness of the community, are getting to be confounded in the popular mind;' and that the intention of the book is, 'to make a commencement toward a more just discrimination between truth and prejudice.' Mr. Cooper says, in conclusion: ‘Had a suitable compound offered, the title of the book would have been something like 'Anti-Cant,' for such a term expresses the intention of the writer better, perhaps, than the one he has actually chosen. The work is written more in the spirit of censure than of praise, for its aim is correction; and virtues bring their own reward, while errors are dangerous. From these sentences, the reader will infer, that the 'American Democrat’ is a plain-speaking volume- and such is the fact. It is unnecessary to add, that Mr. Cooper no where loses sight of what he deems distinctive American principles, and what is due to the American character.
Our limits will not admit of the extracts we had selected for insertion, from those portions of the volume which treat of government, the republic, executive powers, advantages and disadvantages of monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, public and private duties of station, etc. In the remarks on 'American Equality,' the readers of the KNICKERBOCKER will find the very same grounds maintained, which were assumed and defended by the author of The Nobility of Nature,' published a few months since in these pages. If the writers had been identical, they could scarcely have reasoned more alike. Mr. Cooper pays very little court to the American press; indeed, his observations upon this theme are more severe and bitter than any he has here put forth. Passing these, and other topics, however, we proceed to make a few extracts from those sections which touch upon language, manners, deportment, etc. We take the following random paragraphs from the last-named division:
"The Amencan people are superior in deportment in several particulars, to the people of Europe, and inferior in others. The gentlemen have less finesse, but more frankness of manner, while the other classes have less vulgarity and servility, relieved by an agreeable attention to each other's rights, and to the laws of humanity in general.' On the whole, the national deportment is good, without being polished, supplying the deficiency in ihis last essential, by great kindness and civility. In that part of deportment which affects the rights of all, such as the admission of general and common laws of civility, the absence of social selfishness, and a strict regard to the wants and feebleness of woman, all other nations might be benefitted by imitating this.
"The Americans are reproached with the want of a proper deference for social station; the lower classes manifesting their indifference by an unnecessary insolence. As a rule, this charge is unmerited, civility being an inherent quality of the American character; still, there are some who mistake a vulgar audacity for independence. Men and women of this disposition, require to be told that, in thus betraying their propensities, they are
giving the strongest proofs that they are not what their idle vanity would give reason io suppose they fancy themselves, the equals of those whom they insult by their coarseness.
"Some men imagine they have a right to ridicule what are termed 'airs,' in others. If it could be clearly established what are 'airs,' and what noi, a corrective of this sort might not be misapplied. But the term is conventional
, one man experiencing disgust at what enters into the daily habits of another. It is exceedingly hazardous, therefore, for any but those who are familiar with the best usages of the world, to pronounce any thing 'airs,' because it is new to them, since what has this appearance to such persons, may be no more than a proof of cultivation, and of a good ione of manners.
“On the other hand, many who have been thrown accidentally, and for short periods, into the society of the more refined classes, adopt their usages without feeling or understanding their reasons and advantages, caricaturing delicacy and sentiment, and laying stress on habits, which, though possibly convenient in themselves, are not deemed at all essential by men and women of the world. These affectations of breeding are laughed at, as the 'silver-forkisms of pretenders. To the man of the world it is unnecessary to point out the want of tasie in placing such undue stress on these immalerial things, but it may not be unnecessary to the novice in the usages of the better circles, to warn him that his ignorance will be more easily seen by his exaggerations, than by his deficiencies of manner. The Duc de Richlieu is said to have detected an impos. tor by his not taking olives with his fingers.
“But these are points of little interest with the mass, while civility and decency lie at the root of civilization. There is no doubt that, in general, America has retrogaded in manners, within the last thirty years. Boys, and even men, wear their hats in the houses of all classes, and before persons of all ages and conditions. This is not inde pendence, but vulgarity, for nothing sooner distinguishes a gentleman from a blackguard, than the habitual attention of the former to the minor civilities established by custom. It has been truly said, that the man who is well dressed respects himself more, and behaves himself better, than the man that is ill-dressed; but it is still more true, that the man who commences with a strict observance of the commoner civilities, will be the most apt to admit of the influence of refinement on his whole character."
Mr. Cooper cites the following examples of the abuse of significations and pronunciation, as common to Americans. Some of his amendments strike us as peculiar, if not inelegant:
“The limits of this work will not permit an enumeration of the popular abuses of significations, but a few shall be mentioned, in order that the student may possess a general clue to the faults. "Creek,' a word that signifies an inlet of the sea, or of a lake, is misapplied to running streams, and frequently to the outlets of lakes. A square' is called a “park;' lakes' are often called “ponds;' and 'arms of the sea' are sometimes termed 'rivers.'
" In pronunciation, the faults are still more numerous, partaking decidedly of provincialisms. The letter u, sounded like double o, or oo, or like i, as in virtoo, fortin, fortinate; and ew, pronounced also like oo, are common errors. This is an exceedingly vicious pronunciation, rendering the langụage mean and vulgar. New,'pronounced as 'noo,' is an example, and 'few,' as 'foo;' the true sounds are 'nu' and 'fu,' the u retaining its proper soft sound, and not that of .00.'
“The attempt to reduce the pronunciation of the English language to a common rule, produces much confusion, and taking the usages of polite life as the standard, many uncouth innovations. All know the pronunciation of PLOUGH; but it will scarcely do to take this sound as the only power of the same combination of final letters, for we should be compelled to call though, thou; THROUGH, throu; and tough, tou."
"False accentuation is a common American fault. Ensign (insin,) is called ensyne, and engine (injin,) engyne. Indeed, it is a common fault of narrow associations, to suppose that words are to be pronounced as they are spelled.
* Many words are in a state of mutation, the pronounciation being unsettled even in the best society, a result that must often arise, where language is as variable and undetermined as the English. To this class belong 'clerk, cucumber' and 'gold,' which are often pronounced as spelt, though it were better, and more in conformity with polite usage, tosay clark,' cow-cumber,'(not cowcumber,) and goold. For lootenant (lieutenant) there is not sufficient authority, the true pronunciation being 'levtenant. By making a familiar compound of this word, we see the uselessness of attempting to reduce the language to any other laws than those of the usages of polite life, for tbey who affect to say lootenant, do not say “lootenant-co-lo-nel, but 'lootenant-kurnel.'
“The polite pronunciation of either and 'neither,' is 'i-ther and 'ni-ther,' and not 'eether' and 'neether.' This is a case in which the better usage of the language has respected derivations, for 'ci,' in German are pronounced as in height and sleight, ei' making the sound of ee.' We see the arbitrary usages of the English, however, by comparing these legitimate sounds with those of the words 'lieutenant-colonel,
which are derived from the French, in which language the latter word is called 'co
While our author admits that property is desirable, as the ground-work of moral independence, as a means of improving the faculties, and of doing good to others, he nevertheless considers mere wealth, of all the sources of human pride, as the basest and most vulgar-minded. 'A people,' says he, 'that deems the possession of riches its highest source of distinction, admiis one of the most degrading of all influences to preside over its opinions. At no time should money be ever ranked as more than a means; and he who lives as if the acquisition of property were the sole end of his existence, betrays the dominion of the most sordid, base, and grovelling motive, that life offers.'
There are many other subjects treated of in this little book, beside those to which we have alluded, or from which we have quoted; but we must recommend the reader to the work itself, for a more comprehensive taste of its quality.
MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GRIMALDI. Edited by 'Boz.' In two volumes. pp. 428. Phila
delphia : CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD.
The life of a dramatic clown would scarcely appear, at first sight, to possess much attraction; but the author of the 'Pickwick Papers' has thrown around the whole history of Grimaldi an unusual interest; and the reader follows the eminent mime through his childhood, young affections, and theatrical pursuits and vicissitudes, without any sensations of weariness or labor. Much of the felicity of thought and language, which is the characteristic of Mr. Dickens' style, is apparent in parts of these volumes. As a specimen we subjoin the following description of the celebrated '0. Priot, at Covent Garden Theatre, (of which American readers have only ' by parcels something heard,') which lasted for upward of seventy consecutive nights :
“Every body knows that the 0. P. row originated in the indignation with which the play-going public regarded an increase in the prices of admission of one shilling each person to the boxes, and sixpence to the pit, with which was coupled a considerable increase in the number of private boxes; and every body knows, moreover, that the before mentioned play-going public expressed their dissatisfaction night after night in scenes of the most extraordinary and unparalleled nature. The noises made by the audience utterly overwhelmed every attempt that the actors could make to render themselves audible. Not a word that was said on the stage could be distinguished even in the front row of the pit, and the O. P. (Old Price) rioters, fearful that the exercise of their voices would not create a sufficient uproar, were in the habit of bringing the most extraordinary variety of curious and ill-toned instruments with them, io add to the noise and discordance of the scene. One gentleman, who constantly seated himself in the boxes, regaled himself and the company with a watchman's rattle, which he sprang vigorously at short intervals throughout the performances; another took his seal regularly every night in the centre of the pit, armed with a large dustman's bell, which he rang with a perseverance and strength of arm quite astounding to all beholders; and a party of three or four pleasant fellows brought live pigs, which were pinched at the proper times, and added considerably to the effect of the performances.
“But rattles, bells, pigs, trumpets, French horns, sticks, umbrellas, cat-calls, and bugles, were not the only vocal weapons used upon these occasions: Kemble was constantly called for, constantly came on, and constantly went off again, without being able to obtain a hearing. Numbers of Bow-street officers were in regular attendance ; whenever they endeavored to seize the ring-leaders, the ring-leaders were defended by their partisans, and numerous fights (in one of which a man was nearly killed) resulted. Scarce an evening passed without flaming speeches being made from pit, boxes, and gallery; and sometimes half a dozen speeches would be in course of delivery at the same time. The greater portion of the time of the magistrates was occupied in investigations connecied with the disturbances, and this state of things continued for nearly seventy nights. Placards were exhibited in every part of the house, principally from the pit; of the quality of which effusions the following may be taken as specimens :
« Notice to the Public. - This house and furniture to be sold - Messrs. John Kemble and Co. declining business.'
". Notice to the Public. — The work-house in Covent Garden has been repaired and greatly enlarged for the use of the public.'
« Cause of Justice. ~ John Bull versus John Kemble — verdict for the plaintiff.'
“A large coffin, with the inscription, Here lies the body of New Prices, who died of the whooping-cough, Sep. 23, 1809, aged six days.'
“The instant the performances began, the andience, who had been previously sitting with their faces to the stage, as audiences generally do, wheeled round to a man, and turned their backs upon it. When they concluded, which, in consequence of the fearful uproar, was frequently as early as half-past nine o'clock, they united in singing a parody on God save the King, of which the first verse ran thus :
"God save great Johnny Bull,
God save Jobu Bull !
God save John Bull!'
“Then followed the O.P. dance, and a variety of speeches, and then the rioters would quietly disperse.
“The opinions of the press being, as a matter of course, divided on every question, were necessarily divided upon this. The Times and Post supported the new system; in consequence of which, a placard was exhibited from the pit every evening, for at least a week, with the inscription,
u The Times and Post are bought and sold,
By Kemble's pride, and Kemble's gold.'
The Chronicle, on the other hand, took up the opposite side of the question, and supported the O. P. rioters with great fervor and constancy. In its columns one of the most popular of the numerous squibs on the subject appeared, which is here inserted. It may be necessary to premise that 'Jack' was John Kemble; that the 'Cat' was Madame Catalani, then engaged at Covent Garden Theatre, and who was much opposed at that time, in consequence of her being a foreigner; and ibat the boxes' were the new private boxes, among the great objects of popular execration.
THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT.' "This is the House that Jack Built. "These are the boxes, let to the great, that visit the house that Jack built.
""These are the pigeon holes over the boxes, let to the great that visit the house that Jack built.
“This is the Cat, engaged to squall to the poor, in the pigeon-holes, over the boxes, let to the great, that visit the house that Jack built.
“This is John Bull, with a bugle-horn, that hissed the Cat, engaged to squall to the poor, in the pigeon-holes, over the boxes, let to the great, that visit the house that Jack built.
"This is the thief-taker, shaven and shorn, "That took up John Bull
, with his bugle-horn, who hissed the Cat, engaged to squall to the poor, in the pigeon-holes, over the boxes, let to the great, that visit the house that Jack built.
"This is the manager full of scorn, "Who RAISED THE PRICES to the people forlorn, “And directed the thief-taker, shaven and shorn, “To takeup John Bull with his bugle-horn, who hissed the Cat, engaged to squall to the poor, in the pigeon-holes, over the boxes, let to the great, ibat visit the house that Jack built.'
"When this had gone on for several nights Kemble sent for Grimaldi, and said, that as the people would not hear dialogue, they would try pantomime, which might perhaps suit their tastes better, and accordingly Don Juan was put up for the next night, Grimaldi sustaining his old part of Scaramouch. He was received on his entrance with great applause, and it happened, oddly enough, that on that night there was little or no disturbance. This circumstance, which he naturally attributed in some degree to himself, pleased him amazingly, as indeed it did Kemble also, who, shaking him cordially by the hand, when he came off, said, 'Bravo, Joe! we have got them now; we'll act this again to-morrow night.' And so they did ; but it appeared that they had not got them' either, for the uproar re-commenced with, if possible, greater fury than before, all the performers agreeing that until that moment they had never heard such a mighty and indescribable din.
Eventually, on the 15th of December, the famous 0. P. row terminated, on the pro