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Captain or farmer, he got the blind side of our author, who declares with enthusiasm that the evening fled in the most interesting manner; the jests went round; the mug of cider cireulated, and the rosy apple brightened each laughing lip.' This cider, however, had an effect on the worthy captain himself, at which our author only hints. Always jocular, the old gentleman became exceedingly so, and even permitted one of his men, who was standing, to sit down upon a wash basin instead of the chair, which he had silently removed.' The man was unquestionably highly pleased with the permission. The worthy captain seems to have taken the phrase of drowning care in the bowl' somewhat literally; or was perhaps living his youth over again, and thought he was letting a green hand into a tub, on crossing the equator; a mistake the less to be murmured at, as the mug of cider had circulated, and the ancient navigator appears to have been half seas over. Our author, who, to all appearance, is a bit of a wag himself, declares, 'that he left this house with regret.' His agreeable entertainment in it was but an unfaithful augury of his company in the stage coach to Boston. Among them were two persons, whom he pronounces to have been, ' in the mild signification of the term, Boston sharpers, and who commenced business by a boisterous colloquy about such smart men of their town, such and such sharp fellows of their neighborhood, and made many shrewd remarks concerning horse dealing, swapping, purchasing molasses, and vending clocks, wooden bowls, and pumpkin-pie dishes to the southward.' We think we see the wicked smile of these rogues in making our poor pedestrian swallow all they chose to put themselves off for; and a high treat they must have had to see worthy Mr Stansbury entering them in his note-book, first as horse jockies, then West India supercargoes, then travelling pedlars, or rather all at once, without the good man's dreaming of the hoax. The Boston folks are sharp indeed; rather too much so to blow themselves thus to Mr Stansbury. We have no doubt he expected every moment to see the dogs pull out a bag of wooden nutmegs.
Approaching nearer the ocean from Connecticut river, our author had the good fortune to find the land grow more fertile; whence it is plain that the luck of making discoveries, which attends him on foot, does not desert him in the coach. 'His vehicle rolled speedily, he tells us, through Bedford, Nashford, and Tungsborough, each a splendid place, without one
small or ill looking house about it. This is travelling with a witness; and a very valuable annotation informs us that the New England currency is 6s. 8d. to a dollar; from which we are sorry to argue, that we have lived all our days with a set of sharpers, who have put the odd eight pence in their pockets, for every dollar they have exchanged for us.
But the glorious things which it was reserved for our author to disclose, crowd fast upon us. We passed,' saith he, 'through Dunstable, Chelmsford, Billerica, Burlington, and Woburn, without stopping more than ten minutes in each place. Bur lington has become famous for its extensive theological institutions, which are brick buildings of extraordinary elegance as well as simplicity.' This discovery of Mr Stansbury's at Burlington strikingly confirms a remark often made, that travellers will find out more of a place in a few moments, than inhabitants and neighbors in a long life. Struck with shame on reading this part of Mr Stansbury's valuable work, we immediately set off on foot to do penance with a fifteen miles walk, and make a pedestrian trip to Burlington. We did not allow the word pedestrian, however, nor our purpose of taking a walk, to betray us into a too literal accomplishment of that plan. Availing ourselves of one of those advantages, which Mr Stanbury declares to be peculiar to pedestrians, that of jumping into the first vehicle which we encountered, we craved a seat in the one horse chaise of our former academical associate and esteemed friend, the reverend Mr Sewall, of Burlington, not doubting that if there were a theological institution in his parish, he would certainly know the fact, and peradventure belong to the establishment. Our friend was not less surprised at the strain of our remarks, than we had been in reading the paragraph of Mr Stansbury's work. Too mild, however, to express a disparaging judgment, he half whispered with a significant smile, 'fuit haud ignobilis Argis,' and bid us good morning.
Mr Stansbury put up at the Rising Sun in Boston, the only sign we are sure at all appropriate to the happy day, when he entered our walls. With a peculiar talent at getting over the ground, which his habit of walking probably conferred, he contrives to bring his observations on Boston, Charlestown, and Cambridge, within the compas of one day, and starts off the next morning for Newport. His conscience having smitten him for his intemperate indulgence in a seat in the Concord stage, he determined once more to adopt what he learnedly New Series, No. 12.
calls the peripatetic mode; which appears, however in the sequel, to mean getting on board a fast sailing packet at Providence.' But before leaving this part of the country, our author gives the following very judicious and impartial summary of the character of its various regions. Amongst ourselves, we call the former [New Englanders] Yankies; but foreigners have dubbed us all with that title. The latter [of the south] according to their respective states, are denominated Virginians, Kentuckians, Georgians. The New Englanders, considered as one body, represented in an individual, are a sanctimonious, sober, good-looking, and withal, an enterprising neighbor, full of excellent thoughts and new inventions. The southern people, considered in the same manner, are a hospitable, complaisant, as well as a profane, slave-driving, and swarthy looking personage, who however keeps a sharp eye to his own aggrandisement, and that of his country. The middle states, among which New York stands prominent, hold that just medium, which cannot fail to produce respect and veneration.'
With these reflections, our venerable traveller draws near to New York, and approaches the Wallabout, with throbbing exultation. Landing at Crane-wharf, he finds, as he observes, a new subject of congratulation, in perceiving the rising columns of a new market, and treads the hallowed spot with an imagination glowing, no doubt, at the sirloins and haunches, that are to be. The concluding remarks evince a naïveté so amiable, that we cannot forbear to quote them. Our remarks are now more than sufficiently protracted. With "a simple tale,” [qu. the author of this striking quotation] we have made an effort for the honor of the nation, and not altogether as maliciousness might whisper, for the advantage of ourselves, to unfold some of the natural beauties, and artificial magnificence of North American scenery, and until that voice, which bids the lover to clamber down the precipice to pluck for his mistress a flower, or the patriot to behold unmoved the shafts of hatred and malice aimed at his heart, again speaks, we will throw down the pen.' It would indeed be a piece of most gratuitous malice, for any one to whisper that our author has written for his own advantage. We profess not to understand the meaning of the last sentence, but we suspect Messrs Myers and Smith hope by this time, that the said voice which is to lead Mr Stansbury to give them another book to print, will not very soon speak again.
The truth is, for it is time to speak seriously, this book is too bad. There is a great deal of stuff daily issuing from the press, and as most of it comes with its own corrective of dullness, it seems unkind for the critic to step in, to hurry it to its doom. One circumstance only has determined us to notice the work before us. Large numbers of the inhabitants of our cities resort annually to that scene of glory and beauty, presented to them in a part of the tour, which this book pretends to describe. All ought to do it, who can possibly spare time and money for the journey. Niagaram vidi ought almost to be the American's pass word. Now in the hurry of packing up for the lakes, and in that want of some sort of guide-book, which most feel on such an occasion, it may, by some evil chance, befall a traveller of weak nerves to see Mr Stansbury's tour to the lakes and the Canadas, in a shop window, to buy it, and reserving the perusal till he arrives at the spot, to put it unopened in his trunk. It is plain that no dependence could be placed. on the continued sanity of a man, who, under these circumstances, should arrive at his destination, and opening Mr Stansbury's book for directions at the falls, chance on the following passage:
'Down drop the brimful oceans, crash upon crash, loud peal the hollow rattling thunders. As a thousand crags rifted at once by lightning from the top of a lofty mountain, dart headlong, crumbling to the distant valley, and reiterating with deafening loudness, stupify the dismayed (?) inhabitant, over whose head they rebounded, so flies Niagara over us desperately swift; and madly bellowing as it recoils high above the trembling earth, astounds the affrighted senses of the presumptuous mortals who thus dare to break into this worse than Tartarean dungeon. An awful plunge! Dreadful uproar echos round the deep abyss, whilst the never ceasing war of jarring elements break, quiver, burst, and roll around,
As if the phrenzi'd demons of the air,
Loosed from their chains of adamant, had met
Mingling yells and groans of horror appear to unite with the class of sparkling armor, and the angry spirits of the torrent from their watery caverns seem to exclaim loud and threatening, begone! We obey the summons, and hurrying precipitately away, rejoin a more secure and comfortable station.'
ART. XVI.-A translation of the first book of Ovid's Tristia, in heroic English verse, with the original text. By Francis Arden, Counsellor at Law. New York, 1821.
WHATAVER may be thought of the merits of this author's poetry, the candor of his preface should certainly secure him. from illnatured criticism. The following exposition of the object to which his efforts were principally directed, will materially assist the reader in forming an impartial and thorough judgment of his success.
The present essay claims to be no more than an experimental effort, in which the translator has so markedly preferred the words and order of his text to less restrained attempts at imitative elegance, that in no instance has he dropped expressive terms of the original, or presumed to vary from its manner, unless the genius of our language, or some metrical obstacle, seemed to require the liberty. He is not conscious, however, of needing much indulgence either for what he has omitted, or may in any way have ventured to change.
A course so straightened not only diminishes opportunities for ornamental display, but renders the display itself proportionably difficult; the reader is therefore cautioned against anticipations of high poetical beauties, and intreated to rest satisfied with a degree of smoothness in the composition, exceeding, perhaps, what its alleged closeness might have prepared him to expect.
If it be asked, why this has not been executed in greater conformity to the prevailing style of verse translation? I answer, that an attempt to render a Latin Poem such as it would appear if originally composed in English, seems, to my apprehension, rather calculated to cover the freedoms of its translator, than susceptible of attainment; that my intent was not to exhibit Ovid in the folds of paraphrastic drapery, but to convey what he wrote; and that I was particularly desirous to learn how my manner of executing this intent would be received.
I will not attempt to deprecate severity of criticism, by enumerating the disadvantages under which my little work was completed, and yet these were perhaps as great as have attended the presentation of any ancient classic in modern language; my best excuse is in the fidelity of the version; and I have only to request, that the critical reader will bear in mind the goal at which I purposed to arrive, and by comparing my lines with the original, ascertain how nearly I have approached it.'
Modest as these promises are, it is a high as well as just praise, to say that they are amply fulfilled. Of all the languages generally studied in this country or in England, the