Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE RATS AND THE CHEESE.

A LETTER FROM SETH SLOMAN, ESQUIRE, OF SLYWINK, TO THE EDITOR.

Slywink, Mass., Dec. the 15th, 1850. had laid herself rite out makin' cheeses, and MR. EDITOR:

she'd got three or four piles all made up, when Sir, I seen by the papers

one nite, just arter supper, while she and Unele that you was a

goin' to publish a real yankee Zad was a smokin' their pipes, they heerd an Magazine, and as soon as I'd seen it I said to all fired noise up in the garret, and things a myself, that's just the critter I want. So yis

tumblin' as though all satan was let loose. terday I went down to Boston with a load, and the pipe out of his mouth and looked up at

“What on airth !” sez Uncle Zad, as he took when I was there l inquired and I found you'd printed the fust number, and I bought one, and Aunt Debby. Aunt Debby's eyes was as big as sot up last night and read it all through, and 1

sassers for a minnit, but after a while she says, like it fust rate. But I want to git the Republic says she, “I dun no, but I guess somethin's sent here regular, so here's tew dollars, and you

fell down in the garret." "I guess so tew,” must send it a year to the direction at the bot- says Uncle Zad, "and if your a mine to, we'll tom of this letter.

go up and see.” So up they started, a little I don't think I'm unchristian or hard-heart-shy at fust, but they looked all round the gared, but it does make me rile up sometimes, and ret and could'nt find nothin' out o' place. At crawl all over, when I see these fellers from last Uncle Zad thought he'd look in the cheese over the herrin' pond, so obstaciously greedy bin, and there, sure enuf, he found it all out. after our offices, jest as though the old Revolu- One of the piles of cheese had tumbled down cotioners haden't nothin' to dew but to fight and junk on to the floor, and when they come to look make pap for them to get fat on, or to make a

arter the cause, they found that the rats had country for them to rule-or spile, one or 'toth- nawed a hole through the bin, and got inside, er, and they don't seem to care which, some on

and then they'd nawed away the bottom 'em, s’long as they can whooraw and talk pol- cheese of that pile till the foundation had all itics and git into some office or 'nother. And gone, and down came the hull pile, killin' five then they know so much tew,—we yankees

or six rats that was under it when it tumbled. can't hold a candle to 'em about politics! Now

So I think these office-ious forreners is somewhen I see these things a goin' on, it allers thin' like the rats, they'r nibblin' away at our puts me in mind of a story our old Aunt Deb- politics, till bime-by they'l undermine the by used to tell afore she died, about her cheeses, constitution, without knowin' it, and afore they and if you like I'll tell it.

know where they are, the hull consarn 'll tumAunt Debby allers used to brag about her ble down like the pile of cheeses, and kill them cheeses. She sed she allers made tew hundred

and us at the same time. Now, arter Aunt dollars a year off the skim-milk besides the Debby's cheese pile had been sarved so, she butter 'at she got from the cream, and Uncle told Uncle Zad to git her some strips of tin, and Zad kept about twenty cows, and told Aunt

when he got 'em she nailed 'em all around the Debby she mite have all she could make in

bottom of the bin, and arter that the rats didn't cheeses, for pin money. Of course the old

naw through. I wish our Congress, and Legiscritter took a world of pride in her diary as

latures and people would take warning after she used to call it, and all summer she was a

Aunt Debby's accident, and put the tin strips makin' cheese, and after it was dried she

put

around our dear bought liberties afore they it away in a bin up garret, big enuf to hold all tumble down, and not wait 'till its tew late, that she could make in a hull year. When she when the mischief's all done. They can dew it put 'em away in the bin, she used to put the if there a mind to, and the sooner they git about biggest wuns down to the bottom and then pile

it the better. 'em up one on another, according to size, till

So no more at present from she got 'em about five foot high, up to the top

Your friend of the bin. Well, one summer Aunt Debby

SETH SLOMAN.

MUSICAL TASTE.

[ocr errors]

UPON no subject connected with the science essay, what, in my estimation, constitutes legiof music, exists such diversity of opinion as timate musical Taste. upon that of Taste.

I shall propose two points for my discussion : MUSICAL TASTE does not, in the general ac- first, What is not Taste; and second, What is ceptation of the term, comprehend the differ- Taste. ent orders into which music is divided. It is To proceed with the first question : The feelusually understood to be merely a judgment ing often called forth by a simple air. does not displayed in favor of, or against some particular decide that the person in whose breast such composition-whether sublime or beautiful, feeling has being, possesses this faculty. How solemn or gay, melancholy or animated. De- many are there who are delighted alone by the fined truly, Taste is a manifest sensibility to all consumptive ballads of the day, or the comic the beauties of the higher orders of music, both minstrelsy which has, for a long time past, as regards the descriptions of loveliness and overran our country? The melancholy pleagrandeur in Nature, and the magnificence and sure derived from the ballad, “I'm sitting on omnipotence of God, its Creator.

the stile, Mary,"and the vivacity of spirits caused Among professors, there is a commonly re- by the performance of “ See that old gray goose ceived idea, which includes all the essentials of sitting over yonder," are feelings which exist music; a highly elaborated style, and this ap- but temporarily. The style of music of the plied to either sacred or secular writings. If a former may sometimes act as a means of placcomposition of the simple-classic order, having ing one in an attitude of the character often some religious subject for its theme, does not described in novels: the head resting romantidisplay excessive originality, the seal of censure cally upon the hand, the eyes peering obliis by them attached to it, and it accordingly viously into the flickering, light of the taper. lingers in obscurity till finally forgotten. But The latter kind, among those who are not imif a work of the same sacred cast is treated bued with the true spirit of music, causes a elaborately, and is capable of describing, by the desire to almost turn somersets for very laughgrandeur or exquisite sweetness of its harmo- ter. What benefit results from such songs as nious combinations, every sentiment suggested these? Do they leave any good behind them? in the theme, the stamp of approval is by them do they gratify any intellectual quality of the placed upon it, and it is presented to the world soul? No, neither; they satisfy only a feeling as a work with which to adorn some shelf in that may be uppermost at the time-romantic the school of high-classic music. With respect this moment; that, jocose. We frequently hear to secular writings, the decisions of these pro persons remark, that such an individual has no fessors are the same : does simplicity character- taste for music, or such a one has no ear for ize the one, it is thrown aside, and becomes a anything really fine. Now, what do these obnonentity; does sublimity mark the style of the servers mean by fire? The music of Handel's other, that receives their encomiums, and is “ Messiah ?" of Haydn's “ Creation ?" of Beeplaced among those which are considered the thoven's “Mount of Olives ?" of Mozart's “ Reschool to which the student or amateur must quiem ?" of Mendellsohn's “ Elijah ?” No;. turn for the acquisition of a perfect musical these are far, far away from their thoughts : education. I presume no one will question that they look much lower than the splendor of there is a Taste connected with music, as well such musical scriptures. What remains for as with all others of those sciences from whose them to deduce as examples of the fine? “Come, beauties we derive so many pleasurable emo- oh, come with me," ** Carry me back to old tions. It will not be my province to “investi- Virginny,” and similar manufactures. These gate the nature of those qualities that produce daubings of musical painting (to which rethe emotions of Taste;" nor “ to investigate the course might be had occasionally, if it was not nature of that faculty by which these emotions a settled fact that we are too prone to indulge are received." I shall endeavor, however, to in anything superficial or nonsensical) are deimpress upon the mind of those who peruse this ficient in the true object to which music was

evidently intended by our beneficent Creator. with few exceptions, our periodicals teem with I do not mean to prefer the idea, that man their nonsensical compositions-compositions should devote himself exclusively to the sacred which, if much noticed, will deteriorate the order of music; but I do desire to see his advancement some few Americans are at prefaculties—which raise him so far above all else sent making in the noble art. Many persons in creation-directed in the healthy channel of who have neglected to cultivate their musical moral songs, lower than which man should not abilities, and upon whose tables these periodiallow them to descend, and out of which, it is cals find a place, imagine that, as the literary indubitable, can spring powers to cheer him talents displayed by their editors or editresses on through life, though misfortune and sorrow are of a high order, they must possess excellent hang their shadowy clouds incessantly over judgment in the choice of music for their pages. him. He could find no solace from his cares With this conception the subscriber feels conby recourse to love ballads, nor could he be tent, and concludes that it is unexceptionable. cheered through the drollery of comic min- But I venture the assertion, that not one out of strelsy; on the contrary, they would awaken fifty editors or editresses can play a tune, sing in him disgust rather than pleasure, and tend a note, or exhibit any actual musical taste. to deepen the gloom with which he might be Love for a class of music, such as these writers surrounded.

bestow upon the world, does not denote that Again ; what a curious species of music is intellectual faculty by which the good or bad affixed to the end of the numerous monthly is determined. It is a class productive, through magazines. It would seem to be understood by weak causes, of futile and transient effects. itinerant professors, that the more senseless It is composed, usually, of chains of notes suffimusic is, the better will it succeed with the pub- ciently juxtapositious to create an air, but if lic. Though this idea is entertained by some, examined artistically, even artificially so, it it does not obtain with the majority of those will be observed how little genuine melody or writers; for the latter do consider that such intrinsic harmony is employed and combined works can be written by themselves alone, and to exhibit that beauty of proportion which, through great study and trouble, simple as above all others, the science of music so impethey are. Their sense of the glory of the ratively demands. Even the choice and appliscience is drowned in their extraordinary ap- cation of music are often foreign to the sentipreciation of themselves, and their supposed ment of the words which they accompany: a talentta talent thus far evinced by them, won- rondo soothes the broken spirit of some wo-bederful for its superficiality. The very aban- gone lover; a dead-march attests the joyfulness doned taste they adopt, or which they, at least, of meeting between long-absent and long-sepaseem to cultivate, indicates the absence from rated friends. Neither of the species of music them of true genius. Their sphere is generally to which I have thus far referred, contains the confined to what is termed secular music; and, I least of that essence which Taste dictates.

THE BABY IN DAGUERREOTYPE.

BY MRS, ANNA L. SNELLING.

WHAT! put her in daguerreotype,

And victimize the pet!
Those ruby lips, so cherry-ripe,

On lifeless silver set!
The frisking, laughing, bouncing thing,

So full of life and glee-
A restless bird upon the wing-

A sunbeam on the sea !
Put shadows on that forehead fair-

That look of quick surprise-
And give a dull unmeaning stare

To those blue laughing eyes!
Now, do you think a chance you've got?

Out with the colors quick;

She's screaming at the very thought

of such a shabby trick.
Now she is still-fly to the stand;

The smiling features trace!
In vain-up goes her tiny hand,

And covers half her face.
Give up the task-let childhood be

Nature's own blooming rose !
You cannot catch the spirit free,

Which only childhood knows.
Earth's shadows o'er that brow will pasti,

Then paint her as you will;
When time shall make her wish, alas

She were a baby still.

PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS.

'Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o'nights :
Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous."

Julius Cæsar

Julius CÆSAR, according to William Shak-to-day. Is he a mechanic? When he reaches speare, proved himself, by the utterance of the home, the sudden transition from labor to the sentiment above quoted, to have been a man of quiet of his own household, produces a transient shrewdness and wisdom. There are no men dullness—he plays a little with the children, 80 deserving to be shunned, or so dangerous kisses his wife, tries to read a little, and then as associates, as your cloud-covered, vinegar- with the remark that he must be "up early in visaged, calculating creatures, who are always the morning,” he goes early to bed, weary with plodding with their noses to the ground, and, nothing to do. Now, an occasional evening eschewing all pleasure themselves, grunt and given to public amusement by these good peogroan when they witness the enjoyment which ple, breaks up the insipid monotony. The exothers partake of. Sometimes this spirit is ereise of going forth-the preparation-the evinced through an ostentatious exhibition of anticipation—the crowd of people into which mock-morality ; sometimes through a sordid, they are thrown, and the performances which heart-eating, miserly canker; and again, from they witness—are all powerful solvents of those an inborn, a natural incapacity, to appreciate glued up crannies of the mind, which, when that which belongs to the beautiful and the loosened, pour forth a flood of topics, each afgood.

fording of its kind-food for the finest and best “ Laugh and grow fat,"

sensibilities--instruction-or, perchance, mere is a trite old saw, and quite in keeping with merriment. A play has been known to convert the axiom of the honest old Roman, Julius a rogue into an honest man ; a night at ChrisCæsar. Show us a man that lets out the strings ty's has kept many a family in gayety for a of his heart in a vein of playfulness now and month ; even the quaint monkey that folthen, and we will show you a man that will lows the organ-grinder about the streets, with keep his word with you, and who always has his tricks and grimace, has shook the wrinkles an odd trifle about him

out of many a dried up spleen, and brought a

warm grin to the frozen and austere visage. “For sweet charity's sake."

We are no advocates of mere frivolity, or You shall with us to the concerts of the two licentiousness ; but the axiom that nightingales, or to Barnum's, or Christy's, or

"All work and no play Fellows' , or, indeed, to any of the various

Makes Jack a dull boy," places of rational amusement in the metropolis, holds good in our estimation. “Men are but and we will show you a crowd of happier, aye, | children of a larger growth,” and grown-up and better people, tha'n you will find at the children require relaxation as much as those money-mart any day of the week—and there is who are “only little.” Music, Dancing and many a good and happy fellow on 'change, too, the Stage, have all been largely employed as but he is one of those who partake, rationally, accessories to religion ; in fact, the latter found at the feast of popular amusement.

its origin in the Church, and was for a long It is a fixed principle in man's nature, that period employed as the most powerful auxiliary to be happy, his mịnd must undergo a process that could be used to fix religious impressions of relaxation from the toil and thought which upon the minds of the people. These things, the every-day duties of life impose upon him. therefore, in their legitimate sense, cannot be Is he a merchant ? He goes from his counting-called profane--it is only their perversion that room at night, not to enjoy the sweets of the is condemnable. domestic circle, but to fret over losses by bank- Private amusements, such as family parties, ruptcy, to speculate upon the prospects of to where music, dancing, and convivial conversamorrow, or at best, to calculate the profits of tion are employed, albeit a little harmless flirtation may be going forward at the same public or private, when properly conducted, as time, come not improperly under consideration an oasis on the desert of metropolitan existence. in this article. They give a spice to life, and It is frequently a source of instruction as well make a great many people satisfied, either with as of pleasure to the mind, and, when nei themselves or somebody else ; and those of our abused, affords a fountain of public as well as divines who would root these felicitous enter- of individual good. Like many other fountainments out of our social code, and denounce tains, religious as well as profane, it is possible them as immoral, should be informed that by to drink of it too deeply ;-we speak of it only so doing they are making a task of religion, and in its rational use, and in such wise approve it. throwing cold water upon the sensibilities of thousands of those who profess it. We could

“ Though duller thoughts succeed,

The bliss een of a moment, still is blissquote Scripture, chapter, verse and book, to

Thou would'st not of her dew-drops spoil the thora prove that enjoyment of this nature is not in- Because her glory will not last till noon; compatible with religion, and those who plead Nor still the lightsome gambols of the colt

Whose neck to-morrow's yoke will gall. that a smileless face, a mincing gait, and a demure demeanor, are the only evidences of sanc

“From the sad years of life tity, do but injure the cause they erroneously

We sometimes do short hours, yea, minutes, strike,

Keen, blissful, bright, never to be forgotten; seek to serve.

Which through the dreary gloom of time o'erpast, We regard popular amusement, whether Shine like fair sunny spots on a wild waste."

ROMANCE OF MATRIMONY.

B by BALTIMORE

We have all heard of marriages, cross-mar- returned, her mind was more composed, and in riages, and intermarriages; but for the utter less than six months after her arrival, she confusion of marriages, the reader is referred found herself reclining upon the affections of a to the following statement, which is avouched second husband, a countryman of her own. as true in all its particulars.

With this one she resided upwards of a year, Some years ago a respectable young Eng- and having a strong desire to visit home again, lish woman, residing near London, became the she obtained her husband's consent, and de object of affection to a worthy sea captain, and parted on board a steamer, for the land of her after due acquaintance and preliminaries, it early joys and sorrows. As she approached was agreed among the friends, as well as them- her native shores, her reflections naturally reselves, that their union would be a proper one, verted to past scenes, among which those of her and they were accordingly married. The first domestic enjoyments were vividly promimarriage was a most happy one, and the hus- nent. The form of her lost one rose before band and wife lived together in the bonds of her, and mingled in memory with scenes of real affection. At length, during a distant voy- happiness, like the half-faded images of a age, the captain's vessel was lost, and the golden dream, and a shower of tears attested young wife was made wretched with the intelli- the sincerity of her emotions. She reached gence that her husband, together with every England. What was her astonishment on besoul on board, had been lost with the wreck. ing informed that her husband, the captain, Utterly disconsolate, and wasting in health, after boxing the compass over strange seas and the young widow was at length induced by her strange lands for a couple of years, had rerelatives to visit America, in the hope that a turned safe and sound, and was at that moment change of scene would wean away her distress. within the sound of the Bowbells! Her de She had friends already here, and to them she light was unbounded; she forgot-no, she did came on a temporary visit. Having reached not forget—her later spouse, but she forth with the western world, it was found that either sat down and addressed to him an epistle, statchange of scene. or the salt-sea air, had wrought ing the fact of the return of her first love, and miracles on her health and spirits; her bloom | in polite, if not tender strains, assured him

« PreviousContinue »