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and the very news it conveys to the people, are such only as the will of the sovereign approves. What is right and what is authentic are, in this way, largely suppressed, and the newspaper becomes a vapid and false sheet. But in our country the press is free to speak out, at all times, its convictions, and publish its information, thus inforn:ing and educating the masses.
Moreover, the American public is confessedly the greatest reading people, and, as a whole, the most discriminating and appreciative one, in the world. Taught in the art of reading by the ubiquitous “free schools ” of the land, every citizen considers his home unfurnished and his family circle incomplete without the presence of the garrulous "daily” or “weekly." 'Tis his traveling companion-often more attractive to his mind than scenes of natural beauty and wonder that lie just outside the car-window-as well as his guest, his counselor in business, his oracle and mouthpiece in politics, and his code in morals. He is never so fatigued or perplexed or sluggish that the newspaper may not befit his hands, and yield entertainment suited to his every mood.
The first newspaper published in the United States was the Boston Newsletter. It was begun in 1704, and was edited by John Campbell. At present, the number of newspapers which, as "dailies," "weeklies," and "fortnightlies," are flooding the land, is reckoned by thousands, and is daily on the increase. Not only cities, but even small towns, anı! those, too, in regions but recently settled, have their own newspapers, which, as "organs” of one or other political party or religious sect, grind out their small or great, but always absorbing, music, and dance their variously-sized puppets of local gossip or dogma. In our country the newspaper, more certainly and vividly than any or all other branches of our literature, indicates the status of the people, whether in social life, morals, politics, or literary culture.
Juvenile Literature.-If the love of American parenta for their children, and the interest taken by our people in the instruction and entertainment of the young, are to be measured by the number of domestic juvenile publications, then, indeed, may we rest easy for our national laurels in this direction. Every Christmas, particularly, brings to our book-shelves scores of new volumes, comprehending, in their endless variety, the story of the striking events of the child's own times, books of history and biography, novels and romances with girls and boys for heroes and heroines, incidents of travel, adventure, and pioneer life, games, and wonder- and fairy-stories, many of them admirably written, and loud- and sweet-tongued in pictures, illuminations, type, and binding,-all designed to charm and tutor our youth. Eccentric indeed must be the child's taste that cannot find its own confection on this many-armed and bountiful Christmas-tree.
Prominent among the many authors in this line of literary activity we may name Jacob Abbott, S. G. Goodrich (“Peter Parley”), “Grace Greenwood,” Harriet Beecher Stowe, T. B. Aldrich, “Oliver Optic,” “Walter Aimwell,” T. S. Arthur, J. T. Trowbridge, Alice B. Haven, “Sophie May,” Miss Warner,“Fanny Fern,” Harry Castlemon, “Mrs. Madeline Leslie,” Mrs. Abby A. Tenney, Louisa C. Tuthill, Dr. Eddy, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. (See Supplement J.)
Not only are our youth supplied with their own special literature in book-form--they also have magazines published expressly in their interests. Such are Our Little Ones, Our Boys and Girls, The Little Corporal, Golden Hours, Children's Hour, and St. Nicholas. These are contributed to by the ablest writers of juvenile literature in the country, and their articles are characterized by instructive matter and edifying thought, as well as by interesting and marvelous narration.
We now close this sketch of the rise and progress of the various phases of American literature, as determined by natural surroundings, political and national events, and as colored by the genius of our authors; and in succeeding articles will invite the student's attention to a inore special and minute study of the lives and the literary peculiarities and merits of our most distinguished writers, illustrating their representative character as men of letters by liberal and choice selections from their principal works.
MANUAL OF AMERICAN LITERATURE.
LONGFELLOW. HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW"was born in Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807, in an old square wooden house upon the edge of the sea. He entered Bowdoin College, where in due time he was graduated in the class with Hawthorne, in 1825."*
But four years elapsed when he was chosen to lecture at his Alma Mater as Professor of Modern Languages and Literature. While here he properly began his literary career by contributing to the North American Review, and by penning the sketches of travel in Outre Mer.
Relinquishing his professorship at Bowdoin in 1835, he accepted a similar one at Harvard College. Prior to entering on each of the above-mentioned appointments, Longfellow visited Europe, and familiarized himself with the scenery, history, and civilization of the western, southern, and northern portions of the Continent.
In 1837 he established himself in the old Cragie House, Cambridge, occupied for a while during the Revolution by Washington as army head-quarters; where he continues to reside, entwining, if not eclipsing, its war-like traditions with the sweeter and nobler associations of the poet.
Hyperion, a Romance, a prose description—though one full of poetic feeling and expression of a tour up the Rhine, was published in 1839. It abounds in historic, biographical, and legendary notes, together with criticisms of authors and works of art, philosophical speculations, and the most sympathetic and vivid pencilings of season and scenery.
* Duyckinck's Cyclopædia of American Literature.
GLIMPSES INTO CLOUDLAND.
LIFE is one and universal, its forms many and individual Throughout this beautiful and wonderful creation there is never ceasing motion, without rest by night or day: ever weaving to and fro. Swifter than a weaver's shuttle it flies from Birth to Death, from Death to Birth; from the beginning seeks the end, and finds it not, for the seeming end is only a dim beginning of a new out-going and endeavor after the end.
As the ice upon the mountain, when the warm breath of the summer sun breathes upon it, melts and divides into drops, each of which reflects an image of the sun, so life, in the smile of God's love, divides itself into separate forms, each bearing in it and reflecting an image of God's love. Of all these forms the highest and most perfect in its God-likeness is the human soul.
The vast cathedral of NATURE is full of holy scriptures, and shapes of deep, mysterious meaning. But all is solitary and silent there: no bending knee, no uplifted eye, no lip adoring, praying. Into this vast cathedral comes the human soul, seeking its Creator; and the universal silence is changed to sound, and the sound is harmonious and has a ineaning, and is comprehended and felt.
It was an ancient saying of the Persians, that the waters rush from the mountains and hurry forth into all the lands to find the Lord of the Earth; and the flame of the fire, when it il wakes, gazes no more upon the ground, but mounts heavenward to seek the Lord of Heaven; and here and there the Earth has built the great watch-towers of the mountains, and they lift their heads far up into the sky, and gaze ever upward and around, to see if the Judge of the World comes not!
Thus in Nature herself, without man, there lies a waiting and hoping, a looking and yearning, after an unknown somewhat. Yes; when, above there, where the mountain lifts its head over all others, that it may be alone with the clouds and storms of heaven, the lonely eagle looks forth into the gray dawn, to see if the day comes not; when, by the mountain torrent, the brooding raven listens to hear if the chamois is returning from his nightly pasture in the valley; and when the soon uprising sun calls out the spicy odors of the thousand flowers, the Alpine dowers, with heaven's deep blue and the blush of sunset ou