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claimed by Ohio, should be re-marked by the surveyor, without interruption ; and that the people upon the disputed territory should acknowledge, at their option, the jurisdiction either of Ohio or Michigan. This arrangement, however, left the matter pretty much where it was found, and did not assuage the existing excitement. The war accordingly broke out anew upon the border, to enforce and resist the jurisdiction of either State.
This question was not acted upon, finally, by Congress, until the month of April of the last year, in " the bill to establish the boundary line of Ohio, and to provide for the admission of Michigan into the Union.” In this bill, the boundary, as claimed by Ohio, was established for that State, and the admission of Michigan was made conditional on its assent to this boundary, given by a convention of delegates from the people. As a quittance, the same act granted an extension of its territorial limits towards the shores of Lake Superior. This matter was acted on by a convention held in September last, and the condition proposed in the act of Congress was rejected. The important questions involved seem, therefore, at least as far from adjustment as ever.
No one can travel through Michigan at the present time, without being astonished at the spirit of speculation, which there perhaps, more than in any other district of the West, is burning with such fanatical intenseness. It seems impossible to doubt that it proceeds, to a great extent, upon a basis of calculations which never can be realized; and that, exceedingly often, valuations are merely factitious. Certainly, a new and growing country is the right field of speculation. A broad acre of good arable soil is doubtless worth double the government price, for actual use ; and there are eligible points, where large cities will eventually be built up. The evil is, that the spirit excited by the imagination, travels beyond all reasonable prospects of the growth of the country, and that it is opposed to that every-day industry, which must itself create the growth that is looked for. The hardy yeoman who emigrates to that country, with limited funds, for the purpose of purchasing and improving a farm, is soon infected with the epidemic speculating mania, and betakes himself to bis paper and pencil, instead of uprooting the oaks, and following his plough through the mellow soil. Altogether too great a por
a tion of the land is purchased to sell, and too little to cultivate. The cities of the West cannot be maintained and enriched, but by agricultural industry. Festina lente is an important maxim, not only for individuals, but nations. Magnificent institutions will doubtless rise up in the West, for rapid growth is the necessary consequence of its affluent resources ; but we have no doubt, that before that period arrives, many rivers which are now of great consideration on paper, will be used as mere duck ponds, and many sites of very plausible cities, now engraved upon the maps, will be bought and sold as wheat fields. Happy if they are capable even of being put to that use, for the city-makers do not always operate on such good materials.*
The valuable Discourses of Mr. Whiting and Mr. Biddle, which are presented in the volume of “ Historical and Scientific Sketches of Michigan,” both relate to the later history of that Territory, and we have been indebted to them for many of our statements belonging to that period. They are followed by extracts from a lecture delivered by Mr. Schoolcraft, before the Detroit Lyceum, upon the Natural History of Michigan, containing important and curious details, respecting its geology, animals, and minerals. A few remarks by Major Whiting, on the supposed tides of the North American Lakes, are subjoined. These are illustrated by a tabular view of the periodical rise and fall of the tides at Green Bay, the result of observations made in 1828, at the request of Governor Cass. The history and science, as well as the social prosperity of Michigan, are not under greater obligations to any individual, living or dead, than to that distinguished soldier, scholar, and statesman.
* The process of city-making for purposes of speculation, as it is too often practised in Michigan, as well as in other Western States, is substantially as follows. A tract of land is purchased by the acre, sometimes by individuals, but more frequently by companies, at the government price, and, if it can be obtained, along the banks of a lake or stream. This tract is surveyed, and laid out into a city or village, with the streets, squares, and public buildings all tastefully laid down upon a map
Choice city lots are then offered in market, at an enhanced price, and under an imposing name. The vender does not always tell, nor does he always know, whether his city possesses local adyantages or not; whether it is upon the shore of a dismal fen, or the brow of a precipice. Sales have actually been sometimes effected of immense tracts, which have never been explored by either party; and no wonder, if the dream of wealth is sometimes broken by the “ sober certainty" of an unenvied as well as undisputed possession of some pestilential bog, or swamp of Tamarack.
Art. V. — Philothea, a Romance. By Mrs. Child,
Author of " The Mother's Book,” &c. Boston ; Otis,
The early writings of Mrs. Child gave brilliant promise of future eminence in the path of imaginative literature. The little tale of “Hobomok"contains passages of pathos and power, which are certainly extraordinary, coming from so young and untried an hand. Notwithstanding some serious defects in the plot, the numerous excellences of the work, its copious, vigorous, and eloquent style, and the rare descriptive talent it manifested, placed its gifted and youthful authoress, at once, among our most promising writers of fiction. This romance was followed, at a considerable interval, by the tale of “The Rebels"; and public curiosity was strongly excited, to know if this second appearance would sustain the reputation won by the first. If we remember rightly, the reading circles were somewhat disappointed; but still the same vigorous expression, lively fancy, and copious eloquence, which charmed the readers of “Hobomok," were undeniably exhibited. It was naturally supposed that a career, so auspiciously commenced, in the fascinating pursuit of literary renown, would be followed out, until the authoress's fully developed powers had assumed their rightful station in the literature of the country. In this, our expectations were not fulfilled. With the exception of a few short tales and poems, - a few slender veins that served only
, to show the riches of the mine beneath the surface, – Mrs. Child added nothing to the elegant literature of the day. It was a subject of some surprise and more regret, that one so well qualified to adorn the path she had apparently chosen, should have deserted it so soon. “ The practical tendencies of the age,” she remarks, in an elegantly written preface, "and particularly of the country in which I lived, have so continually forced me into the actual, that my mind has seldom obtained freedom to rise into the ideal.” Mrs. Child's works, subsequent to the publication of “The Rebels,” hardly come within the
of this Journal, and we therefore pass at once to the new novel, the title of which stands at the head of this article. We cannot, however, allow the occasion to pass by, without expressing our pleasure at meeting Mrs. Child again in the calm and gladsome light of literature.
This novel, as its title indicates, is 'an'attempt to paint the manners and life of Grecian classical times. The attempt is a bold one, and of a kind rarely attended with much success. Mr. Lockhari's “Valerius” is a splendid and powerful delineation of the first age of the Christian religion. But there was an element at work among the fragments of the institutions of early classical times, which connected the feelings of that period with the predominant feelings of later ages. It was not, therefore, so hard a task to give a living picture of that period, as Mrs. Child has undertaken in her romance. Mr. Bulwer's “ Pompeii'' has the advantage of describing a wonderful and terrible event in the physical world, of which an eyewitness has left us a striking memorial. He too deals with the sufferings of the early Christians, and bis work is but slightly tinctured with the coloring of classical antiquity. It is a brilliant and gorgeous succession of pictures, but has none of the calm and majestic strength of the old masters. Indeed, to revive the scenes of bistorical or classical interest, with a fidelity which shall satisfy the imagination and heart, demands a power of intellect, that few novel-writers possess. A Milton, a Goethe, a Talfourd can do it. Original genius is not the only thing needed ; to that must be added minute and thorough learning, and a power of keenly searching into the spirit of other days. Critical skill must yield the treasures of its long and painful investigations ; imagination must summon the forms of the departed, and the severest taste must represent them in the shapes of historical truth. The classical novelist must know how to go beyond the circle of his daily associations, and lay aside the feelings of the modern. He must contemnplate life, art, society, and religion under an aspect wholly different from that, to which bis mind has been accustomed from his boyish days. He must renounce himself, and transform his being, for the time, into the great original he draws. He must be able to contemplate the scenes he describes objectively, as the Germans call it. An egotist, like Lord Byron, would find it utterly impossible to write a classical novel.' Indeed, the universal uproar of this age of new things, in which every individual is fighting under his own banner, and means to make the most of his chance to better bis condition, renders the attempt to recall the serene spirit of beauty, which, in our iinaginations at least, is breathed over the manners, arts, and literature of the classical world, peculiarly hazardous, and any
degree of success peculiarly honorable to the genius of the aspirant after that kind of literary faine.
Mrs. Child has some intellectual traits, which are well suited to success in this field of literary enterprise. She bas a vigorous and exuberant imagination, and an accurate eye for beauty of form. She understands the harmonious construction of language, and can describe both nature and society with liveliness and truth. Her style, in its general character, is rich and eloquent ; abounding in brilliant turns and fanciful illustrations. It is generally simple, energetic, and impressive, but sometimes it is too dazzling. In fact, the copiousness of her inagination, and the ardor of her feelings, which lend such power to her enthusiastic eloquence, in a measure injure her style for classical novel-writing. It is deficient in repose ; we must use that word for want of a better.
a Classical scholars feel that ancient literature is deeply impressed with the peculiar quality, which can be described in its effect by that word alone. The study of the best classics soothes and solemnizes the mind like the contemplation of nature, or the presence of a gallery of ancient statues, standing before us in the marble stillness of centuries ; and our imagination craves the same impressive effect in a work that essays to recall the spirit of classical times. In this point of view, it appears to us that Mrs. Child has not been entirely successful. She has not gone out of her peculiar feelings and opinions far enough to give us something thoroughly Greek. trace distinctly enough certain ways of thinking, that belong, not merely to modern times, but to Mrs. Child herself. Through the whole work, we are threading the mazes of an imaginative faith, and a transcendental philosophy, parily Platonic, partly Swedenborgian. This influence bas guided her in forming the leading characters, and in constructing the discourses and dialogues, in which their peculiarities are unfolded.
The time selected by Mrs. Child is the most brilliant period in the history of Athens. Pericles, the master statesman of the ancient world, is at the head of affairs, swaying the destinies of the tumultuous republic. Plato teaches philosophy in the Academy, and Phidias builds the temples and carves the statues of the gods. Aspasia captivates the gravest sages by her beauty, wit, and eloquence, and well nigh overthrows the ancient severity of female manners, by introducing among the matrons and maidens of the violet-crowned city, the unheard-of