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sprang from the ground, cleared the pit at a single leap, and, with the swiftness of desperation, ran towards the road. Just at this moment, my uncle putting his head forth from the pit to see what was the matter, caught the eye, and diverted the attention of the lady. “ Donner and Blitzen,” exclaimed she, “ another !—but I'll teach him to dig :--Heigh, Swartzcope, seize him, boy.” Job now saw that he had no time to spend in vain parlance; so, scrambling from the hole, he made signs of hurrying off as fast as possible.
What farther took place during the tête-à-tête of my uncle with Dame Van Dam the damnable, after the retreat of Toby, from whom I gathered the foregoing particulars, I have never been able to ascertain. All that was known is, that early the next morning, Job was seen to limp home, much bruised and soiled in his person, but apparently still more hurt in mind. His nose was bloody, and swelled to a great size ; his cheeks exhibited many deep and dismal scratches, and one eye was completely closed ; his pantaloons were torn, as if by the fangs of some ravenous beast, and he exhibited altogether a most piteous and deplorable spectacle.
He crawled away to his chamber, and betook himself to bed, with a fixed expression of despondency, from which he never recovered. He was now and then heard to mutter in a melancholy tone, like the elfin page of Lord Cranstown, “ Lost ! lost ! lost!"--but all attempts to get him to explain where he had been, and by whom he had been ill-treated, were ineffectual. He obstinately refused all food; and in a short time pined away, drooped and died, evidently of a broken heart. And the green sod, which, when living, he never permitted to be at rest, now covers all that remains of my uncle, Job Cook,
To the Edilor of the Atlantic Magazine.
Populus me silibat ; at mihi plaudo
At this time, when the attention of the public has been calle ed to the necessity of cultivating a taste for the Fine Arts, I have thought it not unseasonable to offer a few observations upon the subject of public spirit, which have been suggested by the able and well-written Address of Mr. Verplanck, before
the American Academy of Fine Arts. An inquiry into the causes which operate in producing that apathy and total want of interest, which are ever attendant upon plans proposed for the improvement and honour of our city, may not be without its advantages ; but, to be so, it is necessary to bring them fairly and impartially into view, that we may plainly discern our defects, and hasten to apply to them the proper remedies. Truth is always offensive to our vanity ; it unmasks our faults, and our mortification is increased, in proportion as we are unable to deny their existence: but it sometimes has a happy etfect, by awakening a proper pride, and thus correcting what we have been unfortunately reconciled to by time. These remarks, I think, can be shown to be directly applicable to our city. We speak with pride of our great natural advantages, and exultingly boast that no city in the union can assert a superiority over us in this respect. While this feeling is by no means to be condemned, it behoves us, however, to be alive to the conviction, that it imposes upon us the necessity of a bright example. Our commercial prosperity is indeed unrivalled. Our extent is not easily marked; for, like the plants of nature, it shoots forward with a yearly impulse, till it becomes nearly impossible to point to the place from whence it last began to grow. Other cities have nobly striven to keep pace with us; but nature can never be out-done.
• Verum hæc tantum alias inter caput extulit urbes,
Quantum lenta solent inter viburra cupressi." We not only enjoy the means of acquiring great wealth, but we are actually in the possession of it; and, of course, our power of usefulness is increased far beyond that of other cities of more limited advantages. And yet, where is the evidence of it to be found ? What exhibits the consciousness of the blessing, or of the necessity of devoting any portion of it in promoting the good of the public? What public institution have we to point to, that has been founded in private donations, and cherished and supported by the example? The answer is, alas! too close at hand:
-we have none. Not one among the many men of wealth, throughout this extensive city, has ever considered it incumbent upon him, to become a liberal contributor to erect a public edifice, sacred to the purposes of science and literature ; nay, the entire absence of every thing approaching to public spirit, is still more obvious. In the bosom of our city we have an institution, that might, if there was even a degree of latent pride existing among us, enlist the attention and good feelings of some of our opulent citizens towards it. Highly respectable for the talent, learning and piety of its professors, together with the excellent system of discipline established in it, it affords advantages that are not surpassed, if equalled, by any College in our country. Yet Columbia College is permitted to suffer under the burthen of debt; and suificient generosity can no where be found among our efficient men, urging them to bestow that assistance which would be so honourable and useful to our city. Year after year do strangers visit our College, and, walking through its library, look with astonishment upon the empty shelves; and though frequent opportunities have presented themselves, not a single name, from the crowd of affluent men, stands recorded as a benefactor upon the archives of this institution.* This argues a want of proper moral sentiment in this community,-a deadness to the finer and nobler feelings of our nature; it evinces a selfish love of accumulation, and an absorption in the mean and sordid views of avarice. Well may we say, in disgust, with the poet,
“ Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay." It certainly cannot be urged, that the habits of business are incompatible with the cultivation of taste and the refinement of feeling; it is not true; and a complete refutation is furnished to every absurd supposition of this sort, in the wellknown character of Roscoe. He has been distinguished for his constant attention to business; and conspicuous, too, as a polished scholar, as an ardent lover of letters, and the anxious and zealous promoter of every plan that conduced to the honour or advantage of the public. Here, then, is an illustrious example ; and if it has ever enkindled a glow of generous feeling, we may not despair of beholding its benign effects. If it has ever warmed a single bosom, let the feeling be cherished. “ Macte nova virtute,” may it not perish in the land. But how is it to be accounted for, that among our sister cities the “ patriæ" is so much more a distinguished trait in the character of their citizens? It can be explained in no other way, than by admitting that the tendency of successful commercial enterprize is to enrich the man, but to impoverish his soul. Public edifices, to promote literary and charitable purposes, spring up among them, and are supported by individual munificence; nor is this spirit confined to a few; it is the subject of honourable emulation; and every citizen may justly boast of its exist
* Our public spirited citizen, Dr. Hosack, is the only donor, we believe, who has filled an alcove with books. This, while it is a lasting evidence of his generosity, most abundantly proves the prevalent poverty of spirit that cannot be influenced by so laudable an example.
ence and encouragement. Even the humblest participates in the general feeling, as he enjoys the advantages which generous wealth confers. The eloquent remark of Mr. Verplanck, is here fully realized—“A noble hall for the purposes of legislation or justice, or a grand pile of buildings for the uses of learning, is the immediate property of the people, and forms a portion of the inheritance of the humblest citizen.” Nor is this the only superiority that they claim, and are indisputably entitled to over us. They have a keener and more fixed relish for the fine arts, and a more substantial literary taste. They feel a deep interest in the success, and consider their characters concerned in the advancement and prosperity of their periodical publications. But among us the reverse of the picture is the melancholy truth. We may regret it, but cannot deny that a literary journal has in vain been attempted among us. It droops, languishes and decays, from the withholding of public patronage; and after a short and sickly career, it “ exhales its odours, blazes, and expires." Such has been the gloom of the past. If brighter days have succeeded, we stand ready to hail their approach ; and their coming can be tested by the experiment that is now renewed.
This listlessness may be, in some slight degree, accounted for, in those who have remained entirely at home, (saving and reserving to them the benefit of every excuse but what shall we say for those who have been abroad? What public evidence do they put forth of their improvement ? Travelling is important and very useful; it is essential, however, that certain preparations be made beforehand, in order to realize its benefits. He who crosses the Atlantic, leaving his country behind him, in ignorance of its geography and its institutions, to be landed on the opposite side of the ocean in equal darkness as to the country through which he came to travel, can learn but little. He meets with curiosities unexpectedly, and without being ready for them; and a great variety of subjects for his information so rapidly succeed one another, that his mind (if it may so be called) is thrown into the most absolute confusion.
This species of improvable travellers place the fullest reliance upon
their instinct; and some one, who is thus bold in his originality, being early freed from the trammels of a grammar school, and rejoicing in his escape from such useless expenditure of time, resolves, having
Drop't the dull lumber of the Latin store,
Spoil'd his own language, and acquird no more, to commence his travels. This worthy representative of his country returns to admire things he never saw, and to speak of others that he could not comprehend ; thus, at every word he utters, we perceive, with sorrow and contempt, “how fluent nonsense trickles from his tongue.” We do not mean to be understood to include in this class all our citizens who visit distant climes. The charge would be unfounded ; for there are gentlemen, who go abroad, fitted to embrace the advantages that offer ; but it is fair to inquire how far their native city is benefitted by these visits. Transatlantic liberality, it is reasonable to suppose, would impress them agreeably, and awaken a desire to see our country emulating it as far as our means will permit. Who could visit the Liverpool Institution, and behold it flourishing in the full vigour of its usefulness by voluntary subscriptions, and not feel that it was a proud monument of the liberality of the place, and of its love of literature and science ? Where are the useful effects of these impressions? They must have been felt at the moment, but seem to have passed away and been forgotten. When an American visits the Royal Academy of Paintings, in London, he there beholds the finest works of art to improve his taste, and must be forcibly struck with the happy effect of encouragement, in nourishing and bringing to perfection the genius of the artist. If he visits the Louvre at Paris, he is again reminded that genius is the gift of Heaven to a nation, worthy to be fostered by private taste and public spirit. In reading the very entertaining travels in Europe of Professor Griscom, an observation of the author upon visiting a gallery of paintings at Milan, ought to be promulgated, to call the attention, if possible, of our wealthy citizens, whose enlightened curiosity may hereafter lead them in that direction, to the opportunity there given them to encourage the Fine Arts in their city. “ There was a variety of elegant paintings in this room, at the time of our visit, for sale. From the prices attached to them, I could not but think, that an American Academy might be supplied on very moderate terms." Notwithstanding they enjoy the means, and see the chance within their reach, they bring home with them no decided evidence of an improved taste; nor is a single specimen of the Fine Arts, in painting or in sculpture, presented to our Academy to assist and improve the genius, zeal and industry of the artists of their country, who are struggling with difficulties almost insurmountable. The classic taste and patriotic spirit of Chancellor Livingston did much to improve