« AnteriorContinuar »
city. To your right, somewhat in the rear, you have Staten Island, with her gently sloping bills, capped with country-seats; to your left, the Jersey shores, with smaller bays and inlets, and another city; and all the three waters strewed with vessels of all sizes and destinations; some slowly ploughing the waves, all sails set, above and aloft, with a drowzy breeze, soine speeded by man's ingenuity, some riding and resting at anchor in the stream, some in the service of peaceful commerce, some with a heavy burden of metal; some are coming up from the narrows after a long passage; you can see it by the rust which the sea has washed from the iron of the shrouds, and which now stains her sides, as she comes from beyond one of the distant fellow-capes, thrown out into the sea, to mark where the Atlantic ceases; here you perceive some as they are lowed down by the steamboat, there you see the schooners beating up the river, with their large canvass, like widewinged gulls at a distance, so many in number, that they are spread out like the tents of an Arabian camp, on the even surface; here are the heavy-laden Indiaman, the racing packet, the nimble cutter, from the Chesapeake, the gazelle of the waters, and the fleet and Saxon news-boat, defying even the swift pilot, with his inclining masts, and sailing closer to the wind than vessel ever did before, and the skiffs of the fisherman, the flat bark of the patient oyster-man, and the buoyant yatch, to carry buoyant youths; and between all these vessels, move the quick ferries, like busy spiders, to and fro. It is, indeed, an enchanting sight! What man loves, and what he dares; nature in all her fullness, freedom, and grandeur; nature tamed by man—all is here collected on one spot.
A NORTH RIVER STEAM-BOAT SETTING OFF.
“Sir, the Courier and Inquirer! Latest news from Europe; Sir," says a little fellow, approaching you with a bundle of that paper.
“ The Standard, Sir! a Jackson paper; the latest news from Washington,” calls another, concluding from your refusal of the Courier, that you are a friend of the administration. “ The Daily Advertiser!” exclaims one; “ The Gazette!" says another; “ The Advocate?'' a third; “ There is a letter of Jack Downing in to-day”—“A great fire in Charleston”—“'The total loss of the ship Raleigh.” The steam begins to whistle with its sharp noise, an over-match to every other sound, except the similar cutting tone of escaping steam from the pipes of opposition boats. The vessel, yet fastened to the pier, moves forward and backward, like an impatient horse, dashing the water against the side of the wharf: the loud bell rings over your head; the opposition boats ring their bells, too; ladies and gentlemen, with their children, rush in over the narrow bridge, which connects the boat with the land, together with pushing porters and searching friends; trunks float over your head, veils fly by your face, canes threaten your eyes, carpet bags knock you right and left, wheel-barrows endanger your toes and shins. The single strokes are tolling; the opposition toll their single strokes too; late comers hasten from the different streets, puffing and blowing; hackney coaches rattle from all directions;—some people call from the wharves, some leap on board and climb over the railing: the boat moves more unruly to and fro;-a bundle of tracts is thrown to you: “Please, Sir, distribute them;" a baby, with a cap of sky-blue sarsinet, silver tassels, and yellow feathers, is yet handed over to a
red-faced, panting Irish woman, with a bonnet of contrasting colors, and--some people remain disappointed on shore, looking with an angry face, after the boat, because a single second costs them twelve hours, perhaps twenty-four. The shrill steam ceases the boat moves on.Some bundles and valises are yet thrown from the wharf; one falls into the water-never mind, the boat cannot stop. Presently a second boat darts from between two other piers, the dangerous race begins, and now the American feels comfortable.-Another bell! « Passengers who have not paid their fare, please step to the Captain's office!" Another rush—another squeeze.
Our author's remarks respecting the Land of Silly Names” in New York State, deserve attention among us in the West, who have to give names to so many new townships.
Our last extracts will be examples of a class of remarks to be met with in this volume, in which he traces traits of char. acter in little things. He finds on a sign board, indications of respect for Law, and on the back of a turtle, a utilitarian turn of mind. He may be right in this straws show how the wind is blowing. With these extracts we bid him farewell, but should like to see him among us, to make observations on the Western character.
RESPECT FOR LAW.
“Keep to the right, as the Law directs’:y
you will often find on sign boards on bridges, in this country. It expresses the authority which the Law here possesses. I doubt very much whether the Romans, poted for their obedience to the Law, held it in higher respect than the Americans.”
“ The following inay, perhaps, serve as another instance of the American practical turn of mind. I found, one day, in a street in Boston, a turtle walking with the step which Cicero recommends to philosophers, before the door of a restaurant, with the words“ Tomorrow Soup” written on the back of the poor creature, which thus was doomed to invite man's all-exploring appetite to partake of its flesh."
• The quiet August noon bas come;
A slumberous gilence fills the sky;
In glassy sleep the waters lie."--BRYANT-A Noon Scene.
Dust on thy mantle! dust,
A tarnish, as of rust,
Dimmeth thy brilliant sheen:
Thee hath the August sun
And still and lazily run,
Scarce whispering in their pace, The half-dried rivulets, that lately sent A shout of gladness up, as on they went.
Flame-like, the long mid-day-
The down upon the spray,
Where rests the panting bird, Dozing away the hot and tedious noon, With fitful twitter, sadly out of tune.
Seeds in the sultry air,
E'en the tall pines, that rear
Their plumes to catch the breeze,
Happy, as man may be,
While the voluptuous bee
Robs each surrounding flower,
Against the hazy sky,
LEE,* such have met thine eye,
And such thy canvass crowd!
JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD, by J. M. REYNOLDS.
This book contains an account of the voyage of the frigate Potomac, under the command of Commodore John Downes, during the circumnavigation of the Globe, in the years 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1834, including a particular account of the engagement at Quollah Battoo on the coast of Sumatra ; with all the official documents relating to the same; and its motto is “naval power is national glory.” It is accordingly dedicated to the Honorable the SECRETARY AND OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES Navy." We believe the officers of the navy are not styled “Honorable," but this is no matter. Nor is it worth while to stop to inquire whether national glory consists of "naval power.” Let us not be deterred by these mistakes in the beginning, but examine the book. The introduction, of ten pages, is taken up with stating that a great part of the journal is made up of the notes of others. Mr. Reynolds not having been himself with the Potomac, until "some twenty months” before her return to the United States. The attack on QuallahBattoo seems to be uppermost in the author's mind; and the apparent object of writing the book, is to correct public sentiment on this subject. Be this as it may, the volume is an interesting and valuable one. But it is written with rather too much diffuseness, and ambition of style, for a plain narrative. All that is valuable in it, might have been embraced in half the size. It is a vice of the age to spread out books to an absurd length.
In the 1st chapter, we have a history of the city of Washington—a description of Mount Vernon, where rest the ashes of the Father of his country, “10gether with those of his connubial partner"--and an account of La Fayette's visit to the spot. " The subject of which digression,” he queerly observes, “ will naturally plead its excuse.” Next, a description of Norfolk. The fact is next stated that the Potomac was instructed to recieve on board the ** Honorable Martin Van Buren and suite, the recently appointed Minister to the Court of St. James. It is next stated that “ James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, died on the fourth of July 1831," which he calls ** a third point to a coincidence of a remarkable character." Then follows an indignant and most patriotic curse against the Malays, for murdering some of the crew of the Friendship. At last, at the 23d page, or rather the 33d, the ship begins her voyage! “We do really believe," says he “ no one can thus depart without experiencing emotions which do credit to the human heart.” When in sight of the Cape de Verd Islands, he says rather verbosely, “ The voyage of the Potomac thus far, had not been very favorable, as her course had not been facilitated by any winds which were entitled