« ПретходнаНастави »
common in our own immediate neighborhood. Yet, with a becoming deference to the popular belief that distinctions of this sort are enhanced in value by every additional mile they travel, I have intermixed the names of some tolerably distant literary and other associations with the rest.
I add here, also, an advertisement, which, that it may be the more readily understood by those persons especially interested therein, I have written in that curtailed and otherwise maltreated canine Latin, to the writing and reading of which they are accustomed.
OMNIB. PER TOT. ORB. TERRAR. CATALOG.
Minim. gent. diplom. ab inclytiss. acad. vest. orans, vir. honorand. operosiss., at sol. ut sciat. quant. glor. nom. meum (dipl. fort. concess.) catal. vest. temp. futur. affer., ill. subjec., addit. omnib. titul. honorar. qu. adh. non tant. opt. quam probab. put.
Litt. Uncial, distinx. ut Pries. S. Hist. Nat. Jaal.
Nevertheless, finding that, without descending to a smaller size of type than would have been compatible with the dignity of the several societies to be named, I could not compress my intended list within the limits of a single page, and thinking, moreover, that the act would carry with it an air of decorous modesty, I have chosen to take the reader aside, as it were, into my private closet, and there not only exhibit to him the diplomas which I already possess, but also to furnish him with a prophetic vision of those which I may, without undue presumption, hope for, as not beyond the reach of human ambition and attainment. And I am the rather induced to this from the fact that my name has been unaccountably dropped from the last triennial catalogue of our beloved Alma Mater, Whether this is to be attributed to the difficulty of Latinizing any of those honorary adjuncts (with a complete list of which I took care to furnish the proper persons nearly a year beforehand), or whether it had its origin in any more culpable motives, I forbear to consider in this place, the matter being in course of painful investigation. But, however this may be, I felt the omission the more keenly, as I had, in expectation of the new catalogue, enriched the library of the Jaalam Athenæum with the old one then in my possession, by which means it has come about that my children will be deprived of a never-wearying winter evening's amusement in looking out the name of their parent in that distinguished roll. Those harmless innocents had at least committed no but I forbear, having intrusted my reflections and animadversions on this painful topic to the safe-keeping of my private diary, intended for posthumous publication. I state this fact here, in order that certain nameless individuals, who are, perhaps, overmuch congratulating themselves upon my silence, may know that a rod is in pickle which the vigorous hand of a justly incensed posterity will apply to their memories.
The careful reader will note that, in the list which I have prepared, I have included the names of several Cisatlantic societies to which a place is not commonly assigned in processions of this nature. I have ventured to do this, not only to encourage native ambition and genius, but also because I have never been able to perceive in what way distance (unless we suppose them at the end of a lever) could increase the weight of learned bodies. As far as I have been able to extend my researches among such stuffed specimens as occasionally reach America, I have discovered no generic difference between the antipodai Fogrum Japonicum and the F. Americanum sufficiently
HOMERUS WILBUR, Mr., Episc. Jaalam, S. T. D. 1850, et Yal. 1849, et NeoCæs. et Brun. et Gulielm. 1852, et Gul. et Mar. et Bowd. et Georgiop. et Viridimont. et Columb. Nov. Ebor. 1833, et Amberst. et Watervill. et S. Jarlath. Hib. et S. Mar. et S. Joseph. et S. And. Scot. 1854, et Nashvill. et Dart. et Dickins. et Concord. et Wash. et Columbian. et Charlest. et Jeff. et Dubl. et Oxon. et Cantab. et Cæt. 1855, P. U. N. C. H. et J. U. D. Gott. et Osnab. et Heidelb. 1860, et Acad. BORE US. Berolin. Soc., et SS. RR. Lugd. Bat. et Patav. et Lond. et Edinb. et Ins. Feejee. et Null. Terr. et Pekin. Soc. Hon. et S. H. S. et S. P. A. et A. A. S. et S. Humb. Univ. et S. Omn. Rer. Quarund. 9. Aliar. Promov. Passamaquod. et H. P. C. et I. O. H, et A. A. $. et n. K. P. et $. B. K. et Peucin, et Erosoph. et Philadelph. et Frat. in Unit. et 2. T. et S. Archæolog. Athen, et Acad. Scient. et Lit. Panorm. et SS. R. H. Matrit. et Beeloochist. et Caffrar. et Caribb. et M. S. Reg. Paris. et S. Am. Antiserv. Soc. Hon. et P. D. Gott. et LL. D. 1852, et D. C. L. et Mus. Doc. Oxon. 1860, et M. M. S. S. et M. D. 1854, et Med. Fac. Univ. Harv. Soc. et S. pro Convers. Pollywog. Soc. Hon. et Higgl. Piggl. et LL. B. 1853, et S. pro Christianiz. Moschet. Soc. et SS. AnteDiluv. ubiq. Gent. Soc. Hon. et Civit. Cleric. Jaalam. et S. pro Diffus. General. Tenebr. Secret. Corr.
only culture and the pulling up of weeds from INTRODUCTION
about it, I thought it best to get before him
the acknowledged examples of English comWAEN, more than three years ago, my tal- position in verse, and leave the rest to natural ented young parishioner, Mr. Biglow, came to emulation. With this view, I accordingly lent
Ι me and submitted to my animadversions the him some volumes of Pope and Goldsmith, to first of his poems which he intended to com- the assiduous study of which he promised to mit to the more hazardous trial of a city news- devote his evenings. Not long afterward, he paper, it never go much as entered my imagi- brought me some verses written upon that nation to conceive that his productions would model, a specimen of which I subjoin, having ever be gathered into a fair volume, and ush- changed some phrases of less elegancy, and a ered into the august presence of the reading few rhymes objectionable to the cultivated ear. public by myself. So little are we short
The poem consisted of childish reminiscences, sighted mortals able to predict the event! I and the sketches which follow will not seem confess that there is to me a quite new sat- destitute of truth to those whose fortunate isfaction in being associated (though only as education began in a country village. And, sleeping partner) in a book which can stand first, let us hang up his charcoal portrait of by itself in an independent unity on the the school-dame. shelves of libraries. For there is always this
Propped on the marsh, a dwelling now, drawback from the pleasure of printing a ser- The humble school-house of my A, B, C, mon, that, whereas the queasy stomach of this
Where well-drilled urchins, each behind his generation will not bear a discourse long tire, enough to make a separate volume, those re- Waited in ranks the wished command to fire, ligious and godly-minded children (those Sam- Then all together, when the signal came, uels, if I may call them so) of the brain must Discharged their a-b abs against the dame. at first lie buried in an undistinguished heap,
Daughter of Danaus, who could daily pour and then get such resurrection as is vouch
In treacherous pipkins her Pierian store, safed to them, mummy-wrapped with a score
She, mid the volleyed learning firm and calm,
Patted the furloughed ferule on her palm, of others in a cheap binding, with no other
And, to our wonder, could divine at once mark of distinction than the word “Miscella
Who flashed the pan, and who was downright neous" printed upon the back. Far be it from
dunce. me to claim any credit for the quite unexpected popularity which I am pleased to find “There young Devotion learned to climb with these bucolic strains have attained unto. If I know myself, I am measurably free from the
The gnarly limbs of Scripture family-trees,
And he was most commended and admired itch of vanity; yet I may be allowed to say
Who soonest to the topmost twig perspired ; that I was not backward to recognize in them
Each name was called as many various ways a certain wild, puckery, acidulous (sometimes As pleased the reader's ear on different days, even verging toward that point which, in our So that the weather, or the ferule's stings, rustic phrase, is termed shut-eyed) flavor, not Colds in the head, or fifty other things, wholly unpleasing, nor unwholesome, to pal- Transformed the helpless Hebrew thrice a ates cloyed with the sugariness of tamed and
week cultivated fruit. It may be, also, that some
To guttural Pequot or resounding Greek, touches of my own, here and there, may have
The vibrant accent skipping here and there, led to their wider acceptance, albeit solely
Just as it pleased invention or despair ;
No controversial Hebraist was the Dame; from my larger experience of literature and
With or without the points pleased her the authorship.
same; I was at first inclined to discourage Mr. If any tyro found a name too tough, Biglow's attempts, as knowing that the desire And looked at her, pride furnished skill to poetize is one of the diseases naturally in
enough ; cident to adolescence, which, if the fitting She nerved her larynx for the desperate thing, remedies be not at once and with a bold hand
And cleared the five-barred syllables at a applied, may become chronic, and render one,
spring. who might else have become in due time an
“Ah, dear old times! there once it was my hap, ornament of the social circle, a painful object Perched on a stool, to wear the long-eared cap even to nearest friends and relatives. But
From books degraded, there I sat at ease, thinking, on a further experience, that there A drone, the envy of compulsory bees; was a germ of promise in him which required Rewards of merit, too, full many a time,
1 The reader curious in such matters may refer (if he A Discourse on the Late Eclipse, Dorcas, a Funeral can find them) to A sermon prenched on ihe Anniver. Sermon on the Death of Madam Submit Tidd, Relict of sary of the Dark Day, An Artillery Election Sermon, the late Experience Tidd, Esq., &c., &c.
Each with its woodcut and its moral rhyme,
have endeavored to glean the materials of reyolutionary history from the lips of aged persons, who took a part in the actual making of it, and, finding the manufacture profitable, continued the supply in an adequate propor tion to the demand.
“Old Joe is gone, who saw hot Percy goad
quick Beat on stove drum with one uncaptured stick, And, ere death came the lengthening tale to
lop, Himself had fired, and seen a red-coat drop; Had Joe lived long enough, that scrambling
fight Had squared more nearly with his sense of
right, And vanquished Percy, to complete the tale, Had hammered stone for life in Concord jail."
Ah, dear old times! how brightly ye re
turn! How, rubbed afresh, your phosphor traces
burn! The ramble schoolward through dewsparkling
meads, The willow-wands turned Cinderella steeds, The impromptu pin-bent hook, the deep reO'er the chance-captured minnow's inchlong The pockets, plethoric with marbles round, That still a space for ball and pegtop found, Nor satiate yet, could manage to confine Horsechestnuts, flagroot, and the kite's wound
twine, Nay, like the prophet's carpet could take in, Enlarging still, the popgun's magazine; The dinner carried in the small tin pail, Shared with some dog, whose most beseeching
tail And dripping tongue and eager ears belied The assumed indifference of canine pride ; The caper homeward, shortened if the cart Of Neighbor Pomeroy, trundling from the
mart, O'ertook me, – then, translated to the seat I praised the steed, how stanch he was and
fleet, While the bluff farmer, with superior grin, Explained where horses should be thick, where
thin, And warned me (joke he always had in store) To shun a beast that four white stockings wore. What a fine natural courtesy was his ! His nod was pleasure, and his full bow bliss ; How did his well-thumbed hat, with ardor
rapt, Its curve decorous to each rank adapt ! How did it graduate with a courtly ease The whole long scale of social differences, Yet so gave each his measure running o'er, None thought his own was less, his neighbor's
more; The squire was flattered, and the pauper knew Old times acknowledged 'neath the threadbare
blue ! Dropped at the corner of the embowered lane, Whistling I wade the knee-deep leaves again, While eager Argus, who has missed all day The sharer of his condescending play, Comes leaping onward with a bark elate And boisterous tail to greet me at the gate ; That I was true in absence to our love Let the thick dog's-ears in my primer prove."
I do not know that the foregoing extracts ought not to be called my own rather than Mr. Biglow's, as, indeed, he maintained stoutly that my file had left nothing of his in them. I should not, perhaps, have felt entitled to take so great liberties with them, had I not more than suspected an hereditary vein of poetry in myself, a very near ancestor having written a Latin poem in the Harvard Gratulatio on the accession of George the Third. Suffice it to say, that, whether not satisfied with such limited approbation as I could conscientiously bestow, or from a sense of natural inaptitude, certain it is that my young friend could never be induced to any further essays in this kind. He affirmed that it was to him like writing in a foreign tongue, - that Mr. Pope's versification was like the regular ticking of one of Willard's clocks, in which one could fancy, after long listening, a certain kind of rhythm or tune, but which yet was only a poverty. stricken tick, tick, after all, — and that he had never seen a sweet-water on a trellis growing so fairly, or in forms so pleasing to his eye,
as a fox-grape over a scrub-oak in a swamp. He added I know not what, to the effect that the sweet-water would only be the more disfigured by having its leaves starched and ironed out, and that Pegāsus (so he called him) hardly looked right with his mane and tail in curl. papers. These and other such opinions I did not long strive to eradicate, attributing them rather to a defective education and senses untuned by too long familiarity with purely natural objects, than to a perverted moral sense. I was the more inclined to this leniency since
I add only one further extract, which will possess a melancholy interest to all such as
gufficient evidence was not to seek, that his verses, wanting as they certainly were in classic polish and point, had somehow taken hold of the public ear in a surprising manner. So, only setting him right as to the quantity of the proper name Pegasus, I left him to follow the bent of his natural genius.
Yet could I not surrender him wholly to the tutelage of the pagan (which, literally interpreted, signifies village) muse without yet a further effort for his conversion, and to this end I resolved that whatever of poetic fire yet burned in myself, aided by the assiduous bellows of correct models, should be put in requisition. Accordingly, when my ingenious young parishioner brought to my study a copy of verses which he had written touching the acquisition of territory resulting from the Mexican war, and the folly of leaving the question of slavery or freedom to the adjudication of chance, I did myself indite a short fable or apologue after the manner of Gay and Prior, to the end that he might see how easily even such subjects as he treated of were capable of a more refined style and more elegant expression. Mr. Biglow's production was as follows:
I've sighted an' I 'll let her went;
Fore it comes ten o'clock ternight." “ I won't agree to no such bender,"
Sez Isrel; keep it tell it's tender;
Till cunnin' Isrel sez to Joe,
Le's wait till both on us git cool,
sez Joe, an' so they did,
THE TWO GUNNERS
My own humble attempt was in manner and form following, and I print it here, I sincerely trust, out of no vainglory, but solely with the hope of doing good.
LEAVING THE MATTER OPEN
Two fellers, Isrel named and Joe,
Igunnin' soon 'z the bells wuz done
BY HOMER WILBUR, A. M.
Two brothers once, an ill-matched pair,
Isrel he ups and grabs his gun;
Lived on his means, cut no great dash, And paid his debts in honest cash.
In that way I shall get the start,
" The grain
On tother hand, his brother South
“For peace's sake,
- we 'll have no fence at all ;
Won't hurt them," answered South again; “But they destroy my crop ;
“No doubt; 'T is fortunate you 've found it out; Misfortunes teach, and only they, You must not sow it in their way; Nay, you," says North, must keep them
of your own good the scorner,
expect me to resign My rights
But where," quoth North,“ are mine?" “ Your rights,"
"" well, that's funny, I bought the land”
I paid the money ; That," answered South, “is from the point, The ownership, you 'll grant, is joint; I'm sure my only hope and trust is Not law so much as abstract justice, Though, you remember, 't was agreed That so and so— consult the deed ; Objections now are out of date,
· Agreed !" cried North ; thought he, This fall With wheat and rye I ’úl sow it all;