Page images

From Chambers' Journal.

AMONG Some of the pleasantest of my reminiscences of New York state, is that of a few months' sojourn on the banks of the Croton River, the stream which supplies the great metropolis of the Union with the means of cleanliness it so much requires. The country around my residence was wild, mountainous, woody, and haunted by half-forgotten tales of love and war—- traditions of the struggle between the royalist and the patriot. On one hill-side, deep in the woods, was still to be seen Old Sarah's Cave," where for upwards of forty years the half-crazed victim of an unhappy passion had expiated her follies and sins in solitude and suffering. The old people of the neighboring town of Salem loved to tell how they remembered her coming, Sabbath after Sabbath, to their church, and how, being missed one day from her accustomed place in the middle aisle, she was sought at her dreary home, and found there dead. In a cottage, too, quite near us, dwelt a descendant of one of the three captors of poor André; and here and there, among the surrounding villages, the gray and tottering ruin of many a revolutionary hero still existed to reward the search of the curious. It was, indeed, quite romantic ground for the New World.


steads, and the poorer inhabitants of the ville, were a simple, unsophisticated race, sociable, and primitively hospitable. Many were the moon-light tea-drinkings, and quilting-frolics, and Dorcas-meetings, at which I assisted, in company with Mrs. Jones, the miller's wife, and her gossip, the blacksmith's better half. But of all the village gatherings, the Giving Bee gave me the most pleasure, and has remained the most interesting recol lection of my visit.

Our minister 66 a man he was to all the country dear". was "hired," as the native expression is, at a salary of 200 dollars a year, and a house, garden, orchard, and pasture for his horse and cow. He added somewhat to his income by preaching every other Sunday afternoon at Salem, seven miles off, and by instructing half-a-dozen children in branches of education not taught at the district school. The flock, however, did not consider their pastor yet sufficiently remunerated, and therefore held an annual Bee," as an assembly for any kind of work is sometimes termed in the States, to supply him and his family with a portion of their yearly necessaries.

It was rather late in the afternoon of the day appointed by the elders - it was a Presbyterian community- that I started with my offering for the minister's dwelling. The December day was dying, the Croton shut up The "ville," on the outskirts of which we beneath ice two feet thick, and the ground lived, had risen in a pleasant spot; straggling covered deep with snow; but the air was so along the left bank of the rapid and stony- still and clear, that the cold was far from bedded river, and sheltered from the cold win- being unpleasantly severe, and the rapid ter blast and the sultry summer sun by moun-motion of the sleigh so exhilarating, that the tains wooded to their summits. At one cor-drive was delightful. The ville presented a ner of the single street, shaded by majestic gay scene; vehicles of every shape and size, sycamores, stood the smithy, that, in all mounted on runners, drawn by horses decked lands, most picturesque of work-shops; a profusely with tinkling bells, and laden with little beyond, the "store" claimed attention noisy parties from the farms, and stores of the coach-office, post-office, and gossiping good things, were rushing in swift succession place of the neighborhood. The mill clacked towards the place of meeting; while grouped and rumbled on the opposite side, and then beneath the bare locust-trees around the followed a few pretty white houses, occupied church, were to be seen numerous empty cars, by humble mechanics and laborers, of which the horses taken out, and bestowed somewhere the fringed window-curtains and precise neat- under shelter; where all the poor animals ness of exterior gave evidence that the inmates found refuge that evening, I never discovered. resembled, in some respects at least, their On reaching the house, I was received at the near neighbors the good folks of Connecti- door by some young ladies, farmers' daughcut. A neat church, in summer almost ters, who for that occasion had taken posseshidden by the lofty locust-trees that grew sion of the entire domicile. the master and around it, and only separated from the min-mistress appearing in the character of guests, ister's dwelling by his garden and orchard, a delicate simulation, which put both giver terminated the village street; beyond it began and receiver much more at their ease than the heavy white lime-stone walls that in this they could otherwise have felt. I was conpart of Westchester county are frequently ducted to the company bed-chamber to unwrap, used, instead of rail fences, to divide the and to deposit my little gift in the adjoining oorn-fields and meadows, and which, with the room, appropriated to the reception of the ugly red barns and outhouses of the farms" scattered on the hills around, were far from improving the charm of the landscape.

freewill-offerings." It presented an odd

scene of confusion; barrels of flour and apples; bags of buckwheat and Indian meal;

Both the owners of the comfortable home-hams, and huge hanks of yarn for the good.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

man and children's stockings; calico and homespun; pickles and preserves; a box of sugar; a jar of honey; a roll of flannel; a bundle of "comfortables;" cheese and crackers; all were heaped or scattered upon the floor, forming, it seemed to me, a year's supply of clothing, and almost of food.

"I guess it will be a kind of help," remarked one of the young ladies in answer to my exclamation of admiring surprise; ..but it's amazing what a profusion of such articles is consumed in twelve months!"'

On entering the parlor, I found a numerous assembly of the neighbors, rich and poor, engaged in general conversation, and awaiting the summons to tea. The ladies before mentioned were busy preparing the meal. for which they had brought every requisite from their own homes, and had taxed the house for nothing except fire, water, and a kettle. Tables were joined to form one that nearly filled the modest "keeping-room," and was yet too small to accommodate at one time all the members of the Bee; the seniors of the party, therefore, took the precedence, and were first served, the mistresses of the ceremonies attending the guests. The great staples of the entertainment were smokinghot butter-milk rolls, and waffles—a cake inherited from the Dutch, and made of butter; it is poured into curiously-shaped iron-moulds, and baked in the midst of a glowing fire. Great plates of butter, cheese, and thinlyshaven smoked beef, accompanied these; while deep crystal dishes of various kinds of preserves gave an air of lightness and elegance to the somewhat heavy display of good things. Every one was helped to everything; and it was amusing to see the heaped-up plate of each individual surrounded by a host of satellites in the form of Liliputian saucers, filled with preserved cherries, peaches, quince, and ginger, all to be discussed with the beef, cheese, and butter. There was no conversation during the repast, which fortunately was not a protracted one; both relays had soon finished, and the waiting-maids proceeded to make merry together; then, after restoring everything to its former order, and packing their baskets for the return-journey, they joined the rest of the party.



The evening passed pleasantly in conversathe elderly folks discoursed on the split" which had recently taken place among them on the subject of church government; the matrons debated domestic mysteries; and the young men and maidens talked, laughed, and even flirted; while I, as a stranger and a Britisher," received much attention, and had to talk and listen more, it seemed to me, than was quite fair.


[blocks in formation]

Do tell!" exclaimed the lady; "and yet he's been there four years, and he 's in public life!"

"Indeed; in what capacity ?"

"He's with Major Jerry Crane, the great wild-beast speculator! They travel with a splendid caravan, as my son calls it, all over the country, and make considerable money."

"It's a remarkable good profession in the old country," observed Mr. Jones, the miller, who sat near; "I guess all the wealthiest gentlemen in this section have made their fortunes by it. That splendid hotel at Somers, The Elephant,' was built by one of them!'"


"I opine you have no such meetings as this in England?" remarked a pleasant-looking young farmer, as he took the seat next to me.

"We have not," I replied; "but you are aware that all church matters are conducted very differently there from what they are in America."



I hope so," said the candid gentleman; "I reckon, too, a giving bee' would be considerable of a help to some of those poor curates I 've read about! I'll be darned if I could sit and look such a one in the face, while he preached 'Do unto others, as ye would they should do unto ye !'


How our native land seems part of ourselves when we are far from it—I blushed as if his words were personal!

About eight o'clock, a general cessation of conversation took place, and a silence of three or four minutes was broken by the minister rising and solemnly inviting us to join him in prayer. All rose, and stood with heads bowed and eyes cast down, while he gave thanks with all the eloquence of unaffected piety for the blessings each enjoyed. When he had ended, another brief silence ensued, and then rose tremblingly, at first from a single voice, the sweet notes of a hymn of praise-soon all joined, and the sacred strain swelled full and loud. The moment it was concluded, the bustle of departure began-hands were hastily shaken, the men ran out to seek their sleighs and horses, while the women collected their baskets and wraps. The night was glorious- the moon shone with the purest, softest lustre, making the white ground sparkle, and silvering the snow-laden trees; and as each sleigh dashed off with its merry load, their ringing laughter awoke the mountain echoes.


LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.—No. 473.—11 JUNE, 1853.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



THE Spring is breathing on the earth

Its soft warm gales of scented air, And birds and bees are singing forth

The joy of Nature everywhere.

A darker green creeps o'er the hill,
The lilac purples in the hedge,
The budding willow by the rill

Leans with young boughs beside its edge.

The bush, that in the winter long

Tapped dolefully against the pane, Is gladdened by a golden throng

Of blossoms brimmed with evening's rain.

But here, while all is joy and hope,

In Death's mysterious slumbers bound, Lies one, whose eyes shall never ope

To the gay scene of life around.

POETRY: An Incident - Ohs, 641; Give me a Home - Noiseless Wheels, 642; St. Stephen and his Cherubs, 656; Time, 678; The Secret of the Stream An April Rhyme, 703; The Children — Dirge, 704.

On the cold wrinkled face a smile

Tells that the soul, exempt from change, Has sailed for some serener isle,

In happier fields than ours to range.

[ocr errors]

SHORT ARTICLES: Leather-The Great Salt Lake of Utah, 652; Last Moments of Rob Roy, 662; Nicknames, 672; The Pine-Apple - Life without an Aim, 678; Too much Reading - Harmonic Rapping, 682.


As free and light, as if the breeze

Had blown her from the odorous west, A child, wreathed with anemones,

Glides towards the aged form at rest. CCCCLXXIII. LIVING AGE. VOL. I.

Household Words, . . 643
New Monthly Magazine, 646





Journal of Commerce,
Gentleman's Magazine,
Chambers' Journal,

Chambers' Journal,



Blackwood's Magazine,






. 676




Her fair curls toss in wild delight,

Her sweet eyes are of changeful blue,
Yet the still mystery of that sight

Has touched them with a deeper hue.

Start not, dear child, so sweet and fair!

At the calm features thou hast viewed, For thou, with that pale sleeper there,

Art linked in strange similitude.

Both at Life's dawning! thine is blent

Of care and mirth, of smiles and tears; Hers, flooded with divine content, Unchanging through the eternal years.

From the Ladies' Companion. OHS.


O! that I hearkened to each clock's advice,
What time it doles out life in tones precise -
Occasions lost shall never more avail!
O! that I studied o'er each day's deep tale!
The same is ne'er told twice; no more, no more
Come th' opportunities we scorned before:
No day hath ever known a second dawn:
'Tis briefly lent to us, and then withdrawn.

O! that we might the least, light part regain
Of Time's lost treasures, proffered us in vain!

O! that calm Memory, of our deeds and days
Might spread a map, all sunshine to our gaze!
O! that Her voice-all music to our souls,
Could tell a tale as fair as Hope unrolls!
O! that each hour that fades from us in night,
Might bring a star of Truth and Trust to light!

And then what else can heart desire in home-
What other light should aid dispelling gloom?
Save some sweet instrument whose tunings choice
Should sweetly mingle with the minstrel's voice-
A few fair sketches of earth, sea and sky;
Pencillings of distant friends to bring them nigh-
A little library of spirits rare ;

Earth's great historians and sweet singers fair-
Kind saints-old sages souls who cannot die,

O! that the fancies, that we see like flowers
Die in our path, in dark and wintry hours
Would yield their vacant place in aching hearts| But in their thoughts live on immortally;
Home friends!-its purifying element-
Who teach us wisdom-industry-content ;
With such a Home, O, who would envy wealth!
With such a Home, and competence and health !
O, give me such! no marbled dome should rise
A truer temple grateful to the skies!

To deathless hopes, whose freshness ne'er de-

O that each sigh we heave- and who but
Could lift the deep heart nearer to the skies!
O that we read the World's great story right,
Passing away" with all its pomp and might.


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


GIVE a home with garden lawn around -
The sweet grass mingled with the flower-decked

From Punch.


THERE is a rumor and a talk

Of an invention that 's applied,
Not to the use of those that walk,

[ocr errors]

But to the use of those that ride.
What is it to the public ear

In loud advertisements appeals?
What do they speak of far and near?
What makes this noise? The "noiseless

A subtle meaning may be found

Let it slope gently to the soft-breathed south, And quaff its warm draughts with a thirsty mouth;

Let a green valley fair before it spread,

And through its mead a bright blue stream be

Let high hills rise beyond, and a calm sky
Bend o'er and hide the neighboring town from

And be it roofed with thatch, or slate, or tile—
It matters not-so it has rustic style;
Let a small wood behind it lift its leaves,
At a healthy distance-yet above its eaves;
And let a winding path amid the trees
Lead to quaint seats and bowers of shady ease,
Where brother bards might list the cushat's coo,
And tone their thoughts to amorous accents low,
Or wander through the undergrowth of nut,
And hark the nightingale at evening shut;
And then within let woman fair be found-
Queen of the Hearth with household honors

The Lady of the Board-supremely sweet -
Whose daily duties sandal angels' feet!
Companion-counsellor a shield from strife!
Home's queen! man's help—a loving, faithful

And let glad children play her steps beside-
Girls, gentle, graceful-boys, with noble pride;
Tender, yet brave- gleesome, yet thoughtful


Branches whose trunk shall joy in buds that

Where 't is not looked for by the throng-
A "noiseless wheel!" Thus, free from sound,
The wheel of Time revolves along.

No voice is heard to note its speed,

Silent and swift it onward steals; 'Tis only by its loss we heed

The flight of Time - with "noiseless wheels."

Under the sun there's nothing new ;

Whatever is, has always been:
Invention can but bring to view

Things that would else remain unseen.
The law of Nature-far and near-

The principle at once reveals;
The world, the seasons, year by year,
Go round and round, like "noiseless wheels."

The blood that warms the mortal frame
In circulation will be found;
The air about us does the same,

In silent currents twirling round.
The head itself will often swim;

The brain occasionally reels;
And round will come the lot of him
Who's helped by fortune's "noiseless wheels.”

But science may have missed its aim,

For clattering wheels are oft preferred
By those who think that noise is fame;
Not mute would be the vulgar herd.
Rare is the man his carriage owns,

Who modestly his state conceals;
He'd rather rattle o'er the stones,
Than pass unheard with "noiseless wheels."

From Household Words.


SOME curious particulars respecting Arabian horses have lately been given to the world, from no less authoritative a source than Abd-el-Kader himself. General Daumas has published a work, entitled Les Chevaux du Sahara, and it contains the answers furnished by the Arab chief to a list of inquiries that had been expressly addressed to him. The emir's letter was translated into French by M. Boissonnet, its original form being scrupulously retained; and many of our readers may be gratified by the sight of an English version of the document, even if it be not likely to afford them any very great practical


journey for two or three successive days. We started from Saïda towards eight in the morning (au dohha), in order to fall upon the Arbâa, who encamped at Aain-Toukria (among the Oulad-Aïad, near Taza), and we reached them by break of day (fedjer). You know the country, and are acquainted with the road which we had to traverse.

November 8, 1851 (the 23d of Moharrem, the first month of 1268). Glory to the One God. His reign alone is eternal.

III. You ask me for instances of abstinence



Health to him who equals in good qualities all the men of his time, who seeks only after good, whose heart is pure and his discourse accomplished, the wise, the intelligent Lord, General Daumas, on the part of your friend, Sid-el-Hadi Abd-el-Kader, son of Mahi-Eddin.

in the Arabian horse, and for proofs of his power of enduring hunger and thirst. mouth of the Mélouïa, we made razzias in the Know that when we were stationed at the Desert. On the day of attack, we pushed Djebel-Amour, following the route of the without taking breath, completing our excurour horses on for a gallop of five or six hours sion thither and back in twenty, or at most in five and twenty days. During this interval of time, our horses had no barley to eat, except what their riders were able to carry with about eight ordinary feeds. Our horses found no straw to eat, but only alfa and chiehh, or besides that, in spring-time, grass. Notwithstanding which, on returning home again, we performed our games on horseback the day of our arrival, and we shot with a certain number of them. Many which were unable to go through with this last exercise, were still in good travelling condition. Our horses went without drinking, either for one day, or for two; once, no water was to be found for three days. The horses of the Desert do much more than that; they remain, about three months without eating a single grain of barley; they have no acquaintanc with straw, except on the days when they go to buy corn in the Teli, and in general b ave nothing to eat but alfa and chichh, and sometimes guetof. Chichh is better than alfa, and guetof is better than chiehh. The Arab s say,

Behold the answer to your questions. 1. You ask how many days an Arabian horse can travel without resting, and without being made to suffer too much.

Know that a horse, who is sound in all his members, who eats barley which his stomach requires, can do whatever his rider wishes him. On this subject the Arabs say Allef ou annef. "Give barley and overwork." But without overworking the horse, he may be made to travel sixteen parasanges every day (a parasange is a measure of distanceoriginally Persian equal to a French league and a half, or three and three quarters Eng-Alfa makes a horse go, chichh makes him fit lish miles, as near as may be); that is the for battle." And "Guetof is better than bardistance from Mascara to Koudiah-Aghelizan, ley." Certain years occur in which the horses on the Oued-Mina; it has been measured in of the Desert go without tasting a single drua (cubits). A horse performing this dis-grain of barley during the whole twelvemonth, tance (of sixty miles English) daily, and eat- when the tribes have not been rece ived in the ing as much barley as he likes, can go on Teli. They then sometimes give dates to without fatigue for three, or even for four their horses; this food fattens them. Their months, without resting a single day. horses are then capable both of travelling and of going to battle.

II. You ask what distance a horse can travel in one day..

IV. You ask me why, when the French do not mount their horses till they are four years old, the Arabs mount theirs at an early age.

I cannot tell you precisely; but the distance ought to be not much less than fifty parasanges (one hundred and eighty-seven miles and a half), as from Tlemcen to Mascara. We have seen a very great number of horses perform in one day the distance from Tlemcen to Mascara. Nevertheless, a horse which has completed that journey ought to be spared the following day, and ought only to be ridden a much shorter distance. Most of our horses could go from Osran to Mascara in one day, and would perform the same

[ocr errors]

Know that the Arabs say that horses, like
men, can learn quickly only in their child-
hood. These are their proverbs on that sub-
ject: "The lessons of infancy are engraved
on stone; the lessons of mature age disappear
like birds' nests." They also say,
young branch rises straight up again without
great difficulty: but the timber tree never
rises up again."

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »