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should a majority, in such a case, where to pour out the full price into the treasthere is evidently no obligation, but a ury of the Sanitary Fair. mere fancy, insist on its own course of Thus should they best meet the apconduct, at the hazard of losing the ap- plause of the world, secure to themselves probation and countenance of multitudes a lasting fame, and leave, untarnished whose favor were well worth courting, with a blot, and distinguished for its by no sacrifice of principle.
purity, the great Sanitary Fair of the Not questioning the sincerity of the Metropolitan City. Managers, nor abating an iota from And should the receipts not be so their patriotism, we could wish that, large, as by the process of raffling, even now, they would nobly announce which, to say the least, is doubtful; if to the country a reversion of their deci- many withhold their contributions from sion. It would ennoble them, thus to the Fair, and pour them out through sacrifice opinion to charity and benefi- another channel ; yet should we all have cence, and secure a whole-souled and uni- reason to bless God, that our beneficence versal interest in the glorious and Christ- was not blotted with a single stain, nor ian aims of the enterprise.
the treasury of the Fair rusted with the Rather abandon the mere fun and mammon of unrighteousness. Thus, merriment of the thing, and trust to too, might it be hoped that the God the high patriotism and generosity of of purity and of peace would give us the wealthy contractors, that no article His most benignant smile, and render there will be so costly as not to find a the charity a more grateful offering to purchaser, ready from his Croesus-gains, the soldier himself,
I WIPED my honeyed lips after reading baby's face; yet, when you grasp broom, "Say and Seal,' saying within myself: poker, or other feminine weapon, she 'Surely this is the ne plus ultra of silly brushes so tenderly against your skirt, sweetness. But now I am an amber hugs your feet with trusting love, looks hemisphere of quince preserve, embalm- up, purring pleadingly, eyes darkening ed in sticky, fragrant syrup, saturated in a "divine despair,' that hand and foot out of all memory of sun or breeze or falter. You gently push her away, fiery trial. I have read “The Old Hel- broken-hearted she returns; you give met.' It is a cunning book, a siren a considerate poke with your broombook, that disarms the most vindictive handle, her supple body caresses the critic, that laps Mephistopheles in a rod. So the contest ends in your lifting lotus-lethargy. Suppose you are told the culprit daintily and carrying her out to drive a cat from the room ; you to the warmest streak of sunshine the know that she is vicious and imper- 'season affords. tinent, that she dips her pretty pink Now for cat,substitute book—for housetongue into your water-pitcher, that keeper, critic. Impelled to punish (in a with one graceful bound she lands in feeble way perhaps) by a sense of offendthe immediate vicinity of the butter- ed truth, a hundred good, pretty, and plate or cream-jug, that she leaves mot- tender things rise up to appease distled hairs on your ruffled pillow-case, gusted reason, and unnerve a would-be that she breathes unwholesomely in the sarcastic pen, threatening to leave the condemned basking in praise, instead of ends in tropical moonshine, and between being thrust away into oblivion, there the two are variated lips and moonshine. to hide richly merited blows and scars. Other feeble essences are used, the strong,
* The Old Helnet. By the author of 'The Wide, Wide World.' CARTER BROTHERS, Publishers.
How some books ever got written is est being 'old ruins' and 'fern leaves.' one of life's mysteries. Did mortal wo- The scene opens in an old ruin, where man's pen distil such cloying drops ? the fern-leaf man and the heroine consome houri, fresh from the emerald tents verse, in what an American girl would and singing-trees of Paradise, must have call 'humdrum style.' She is English, hung above the muse's shoulder, and (let Columbia's daughters be thankful) whispered in her dreams. Tom Moore, remarkable for her hair, and a way she feminized, Christianized, Americanized, has of advancing into a room with “slow, speaks again. And the poor wretches uncertain steps. She says little, but has who set up the type! could they have the dialect peculiar to her fine-natured had hands of flesh ? I verily believe a family, Ellen Montgomery, Fleda, Kate phantom press, a phantom printer did Howard, Elizabeth Hay, and others. the work for Carter.
Glances, arch curvings of the lip, blushWe may so far gratify this charitable es of every shade and degree, all of age as to forgive Arnold, to admire Burr, which are sufficiently eloquent when you to canonize the great regicide, to let Jeff have priced the glances one of them, Davis alone; but it is the touch of hu- we are told, being worth just five bun. manity which distorts our vision. 'We dred pounds! — geometrized the curtes, are poor critters, Cilly,' more apt to pity and applied latitude and longitude to the than condemn great, gifted, vicious, un- blushes, for the nature of the emotion is happy men. But take from perfidy, vice, ascertained by the height to which the regicide, treason, the charms of individu- crimson wave swells. ality and association, dwell upon them Mr. Rhys, her vis-a-vis, is what we in the abstract as lovely and desirable would call 'the Circuit Rider,' a genqualities; and, unless the black drop be tlemanly personage, with the most wonthickly wrapped in sweets, the same derfully searching eyes that were ever public will turn away in horror and dis- heard of this side of Dante's Inferno. gust.
His remarks have a strong Pecksniffian Now, the most sensational of yellow- flavor, such as would lead one of us to backs slightly ennobles itself by teach- say, again applying the home-gauge: ing, on almost every page, the beauty of villain or a fanatic.' constancy, the sacredness of a promise A theatrical storm came up directly, between man and woman. "What a far- and Eleanor has a wétting, which causes off, cast-iron hero is Ivanhoe till the last a serious illness, though she is 'sound page; his weakness and strength are re- as a nut and sweet as Cape Jessamine.' vealed in one sentence, and we love him Her mother is altogether unworthy of because he loved Rebecca and was loyal such a daughter, by reason of her good to Rowena.
looks, fair curls, weak affection, and • The Old Helmet'lays down a worldly ambition. She is given to say: platform of the newest plank. Jilt- ing, "I never could manage Eleanor,' ing is classed among the moralities. which, we understand, was highly creThe heroine, from the moment when ditable to the young lady. Nevertheshe murmurs ‘Robert Macintosh!' till less, it is probable she was lifted and she pens her final letter in peaceful Plas- soothed and smoothed, through weary sy, courts treasonable thoughts, pricks nights and days, by the hands to which on her heart to revolt with Gospel wea- she would never yield in health, that pons, and pleads religion in the place of under the undisturbable curls was a another love. The book begins with a head that ached for her, in the Merdle gleam of teeth,' a 'frank, free upper lip;' bosom a heart that beat for her. But
what of that? Eleanor's Methodism, to catch Mr. Rhys' step her ear was even in its conception, forbids allegiance strained; mental states were forgotten to those who have not on the iron hel- when he moved, kneeled, and looked; it met; under its strange influence her was his white hand over those eyes, his nature grows so warped and contracted tender, pleading tones, that wrung her that natural affection is exiled; to none heart. but fellow-sectaries can she give love or With this false and indelicate beginobedience, tacitly taking to herself credit ning her religion is made to anger her for being quite too 'fine and good for parents, banish her from home, break human nature's daily food.'
her troth, resign her heart before it was True, her father is gouty and addicted sought; to encourage, by her own conto the use of tobacco and classical oaths; fession, her first lover to a second proJulia, the love-medium, an inconvenient posal and a second refusal; to be discreation; poor Alfred living but to have carded by her justly indignant father ; s'tutor written or spoken after his name; and, finally, to leave entirely the highbut could she not have pardoned them way of conventionalities, and wander off for presuming to exist, by remembering across the ocean to an island of cannihow the whole dull constellation revolved bals, there to marry a man who has in stupid devotion about her own clear never looked or spoken a word of love. star?
We do not wonder that Mrs. Powle But coming to the real wrong of the separated Julia from her erratic sister; book, jesting must be laid aside, though we can keep her company when she what farther sacrilege could be commit- shudders over Methodism; we can blush ted than the deliberate mingling of love for her shame, when she faintly suggests and religion? such a subtle compound, to the crazy Eleanor that it would be that the girl herself cannot tell where better for Mr. Rhys to come for her. the one begins and the other ends, nor Critics have been very gentle with the separate the love of Mr. Rhys from the children of this family. It is hard to love of holiness. It is an easy thing to strike the cat. But indignant womanimpose, with tales of wondering igno- hood must have mutinied in many inrance, on Sunday-school children, but it stances, and longed to cover with disis hard for full-grown men and women grace a sister who could ask the world to believe that an educated, mature mind to admire such spiritless ideals as Fleda, could grope for months in darkness with Faith Derrick, Eleanor Powle, creatures open Billes on every side. Suspicion whose lives are passed in constant but will suggest that she willingly wove the fruitless efforts to resist the influence cobweb doubts, that Mr. Rhys' 'white of strong, still-eyed Carletons, Lindens, hands' might clear them away. That Carlisles, Spiritual Hercules, who subjuhe might do this, she did not scorn to gate by touch, or glance, or smile, or employ such servants as falsehood and eighteen kisses in a row. impropriety, but called them to her aid Gentlemen, I know you are not inas often as she could succeed in worry. digenous to our soil, but should you ing herself into a 'troubled conscience.' happen to become exotic, do not take Her mother and betrothed were repeat- this school of novel for a guide-book. edly deceived, disobeyed, mortified, that American girls recognize no Salic law. her wayward fancy might be amused, They are brave as they are refined, genthat her conviction might be deepened tle as they are firm, with fearless natures, by the magnetism of the young minister's upon which your royal touch, your eyes presence. At chapel her thoughts were of blue or dazzling hazel
, your self-asnot fixed on sins past, forgiveness pres- sured tones, would strike as sun and ent, amendment in the future. It was wind on granite. You must run the gauntlet of reason to get to their hearts, Miss Edgeworth contracted with her and only touch their hands after years infidel father, that if he would write of strategy
nothing against the Christian religion, What Mr. Woodbury, in Hannah she would write nothing for it. And Thurston, says of poetry, applies equal- yet the sincerest professor might find ly well to fiction, when we change 'mo- more pleasure and profit in a review of ral purpose' to 'religious purpose.' · Helen' than of The Old Helmet.'
“We may find sermons in poems, as Some minds shrink more from these we find them in stones; but one should 'nice talks about Jesus' than they do be as unconscious of the fact as the from blasphemy. Renan's is not the other. It seems to me that all poetry 'only Life of Jesus, which were best which the author designs, in advance, to unwritten. We keep from the eyes of be excessively moral or pious, is more the children coarse wood-cuts of the or less a failure. Poetry is the blossom SAVIOUR; is not this elaborate wordof literature, not the fruit; therefore, painting of His manifestations to His that while it suggests the fruit - while disciples, equally pernicious and repul. its very odor foretells the future flavor- sive ? it must be content to be a blossom and If 'Hannah Thurston' is American nothing more. The meaning is this: life, and 'The Old Helmet' English life, That a moral may breathe through a then, indeed, is the new home healthier, poem from beginning to end, but must wiser, happier, than our old. not be plumply expressed.'
In a brief notice, on the cover of the admirers, ready to do their bidding and to March number, it was intimated that the wait fawning at their feet. It is difficult, Editor, in this number, would further therefore, amid the popularity of certain indicate his plans.
opinions, to find a magazine whose If the Evening Post, of this city, were pages will be open to any other thoughts the appointed and accepted expositor or sentiments than those acceptable to and censor for the republic, it were the present majority and the powers quite unnecessary to proceed a step fur- that be. ther; for that luminary has already en- Hence, the conversion of old KNICKlightened the public on the subject. It ERBOCKER, staid and steady as he should proclaims the old KNICKERBOCKER to always be into his present conservative have become secesh and copperhead.' attitude. He sat in his high-backed As the latter term, at least, has not yet chair, smoking his pipe ; and, every thing been defined, either by Worcester or going on prosperously, the wheels of Webster, in any political or literary sense, government well lubricated, he reclined nor by any one else very definitely, ex- at his ease, now and then touching on cept to mean 'one who does not pray local affairs. But he suddenly wakes up for the President, but only for rulers,' with the creaking of the wheels, and a we prefer, on the whole, to be the expos- new state of affairs, the old foundations itor of our own views, taking very kind- shaking under his feet, and ponders well ly all virulent notices from our antag- the old principles and maxims of the onists.
Fathers, and thus inspired, he feels as Success, in itself, is no evidence of if he should recall them to the children. either intellect or honesty, yet this same In short, THE AMERICAN MONTHLY tiara, worn even by the ignorant and un- (KNICKERBOCKER) will henceforth give worthy, secures the bowing admiration utterance, in occasional articles, to those of the multitude, and is the passport to great truths which rarely find expresplace and power.
sion, now-a-days, but which, nevertheless, Truth is, generally, however, in pos- lie at the basis of all hope for restoration session of the minority. Any error may and peaceful reconstruction of our once become popular, in the passion of the happy Union. hour, and an ill-conceived necessity may The beacon must be lighted, though override fundamental doctrines and well- the storm should quench it; the warning established institutions.
must be given, though unheeded; the Power and pageantry win obsequious seeds of truth must be scattered, though VOL. LXIII.