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Title: Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman
Author: Stone, William L. (William Leete), 1792-1844
Language: English
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Transcriber's Note: This sentence is incomplete, as printed:

Wheelwright, hoping that he was the bearer of agreeable tidings from
his estates, threw him all but his last quarter, and Thady took his
leave with,



UPS AND DOWNS

IN THE LIFE OF

A DISTRESSED GENTLEMAN.



BY THE AUTHOR OF
"TALES AND SKETCHES, SUCH AS THEY ARE."

WILLIAM L. STONE


If fortune wrap thee warm,
Then friends about thee swarm,
  Like flies about a honey pot;
But if fortune frown,
And cast thee down,
  Thou mayest lie and rot.



NEW-YORK:

LEAVITT, LORD & CO. 180 BROADWAY.

BOSTON:--CROCKER & BREWSTER.

1836.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, by LEAVITT, LORD & Co., in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, in the
Clerk's office of the southern district of New-York.

WEST & TROW, PRS.


                    TO
           ALL DOATING PARENTS,
            WHO IMAGINE THAT
WISDOM WILL DIE WITH THEIR OWN CHILDREN,
       THIS LITTLE RECORD OF THE
   LIFE AND MISFORTUNES OF A GENIUS,
      IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED,
    BY THEIR FRIEND AND WELL WISHER,

                        THE AUTHOR.



BILL OF LADING.


INTRODUCTION.

How to keep a secret--Unique illustration of the way to do
it--Historical truth--Anecdote of a Chinese Emperor                 9

CHAPTER I.

Wherein the Author discourses of cycles, of which he enumerates a
great variety, illustrates the uses of some, and speaks of the
genesis of others. As to the intent or application of this chapter,
the reader will be kept in the dark for a time                     13

CHAPTER II.

Of pedigree--Introduction to a beautiful section of country--Birth
of the hero--The secret of obtaining the root of all evil          20

CHAPTER III.

Genius in its juvenility--Indulgent mothers--Women sure to carry
their points--Preparation for the university--How he gets in       27

CHAPTER IV.

Intellectual development--Learned societies--The progress of
genius--Idleness and incompetency no bar to academic
advancement--Literary exercises--A bit of knotty and doubtful
metre--The hill of science--The crowning honor                     33

CHAPTER V.

The learned professions--Why a man should not be a lawyer--Contention
respecting the birthplace of Homer--Any body can be a doctor--_Bas
bleus_--Medical studies and lectures--A studious genius in
New-York--Gallantry--Sad effects of choosing the wrong profession  46

CHAPTER VI.

Easy methods of pulpit preparation--Revival of ancient pulpit
eloquence--Style of living--The mercantile profession not
incompatible with genius--Parallel between Burke and the last
man that would be thought of in Rhode-Island--The art of sinking
capital--A profitable clerk--A fire--And a mercantile catastrophe  57

CHAPTER VII.

A claim upon the public treasury--Amy Darden--Mr. Whittlesey--Life in
Washington--Swells and _attaches_--Fortune's frolics--Difficulty
of getting rich by lotteries--Pockets to let                       69


CHAPTER VIII.

Ancient edifice--Brief lecture upon the arts--of architecture
in particular--Summons from a gentleman in distress--Poppy
Lownds--Prison discipline--Not improved since the days of the
Vicar of Wakefield--Unexpected meeting with a genius--A scene
in limbo--The bastile--An aged prisoner--Illiberality of a
landlord--Paying debts by the assistance of the Record             80

CHAPTER IX.

Unexpected morning scene at the foot of Courtlandt-street--An
agreeable surprise--Some things can be done as well as
others--Fashionable travelling--Touches of the sublime and
beautiful--Ancient history of Lake George--Darkness
visible--Ludicrous situation of the hero--A skeleton dance
which did not take place--Fire works, and a midnight view
of mountain, wood, and water scenery                               95

CHAPTER X.

The yellow fever--The Genius appearing by the side of a
mysterious lady--Unsatisfied curiosity--Fortune-hunting--Bright
prospects ahead--Obscured by a little cloud of dubiousness        111

CHAPTER XI.

Mistake of Mr. Pope--Anticipation--Value of editorial
assistance in the march of mind--Female education--Model
of a modern prospectus--Advantages of travel in the art
of imparting female embellishments, mental and physical           124

CHAPTER XII.

Village excitement and ambition--A pattern seminary--Beautiful
embroidery and blending of languages--Flight of a flock of
girls--A touch of the brogue--An explosion--Miss Fortune turns
out to be a humbug--A sad development                             139

CHAPTER XIII.

Reflections on poverty--Mistakes of country people concerning the
supposed wealth and comfort of every body that lives in town--The
narrative resumed--Visit from the hero in a snow-storm--Evidences
of misfortune, with a colloquy thereon--Hard way to earn a
living--Destitution--Relief therefrom--Miss Edgeworth's tale of
Murad, the Unlucky--Seneca--Closing moralities of the chapter     155

CHAPTER XIV.

Visit to the abode of Famine--Unexampled state of destitution--A
spectacle that would have melted the heart of Shylock--Singular
affection of a wife who loved her husband too well to keep him
from starvation--Charitable character of New-Yorkers--Visit
to the Lombards--Painful scenes--Frauds and oppression of
those establishments--Avarice--How it chills the current of
sympathy--Chapter breaks off unfinished                           171

CHAPTER XV.

Continuation of the subject--Pawn-brokers' shops good
schools of study for the philosopher--Illustration of
intemperance--A loving husband--How to provide for one's
household--A young man about town--A benevolent gambler--A
shark in trouble--Unexpected development--An interesting
stranger--Gems--How to embezzle a jewel--The lady's
history--Ship of war going to sea--Forebodings--West India
climate and scenery--Venus and her glittering train--A
hurricane and a shipwreck in which the hero has no
concern--Return from the digression--Bedstead timber              183

CHAPTER XVI.

Dilemma of Garrick and the author hereof--Evils of
prosperity--Message from a gentleman in Bridewell--Account of a
domestic civil war--Tribulations of matrimony--Gallantry of a
husband in defence of his wife--Accident to a nose with a woman
behind it--Scene in the police, the actors in which were unhappily
born in exile from their native land--Clemency of the
magistrate--What sad care some people take of their virtue--How
to divide a quarrelsome house--COMPLETION OF THE CIRCLE--THE
MORAL                                                             207



INTRODUCTION.


The best parallel to the conduct of the silly ostrich, that thrusts her
head into a thicket, or the sand, and fancies she is thereby hidden
from view, occurred some years since in the village of Catskill. A
printer, who was neither an observer of the Sabbath, nor a member of
the Temperance Society, went to a grocery one Sunday morning for a
bottle of gin. On coming out of the dram-shop, with his decanter of
fire-water, he perceived that the services in the church near by, were
just closed, and the congregation were returning to their homes. Not
having entirely lost his self-respect, and unwilling to be seen in the
public street by the whole village, on such a day, and with such a
burden, he hastily thrust his hand, holding the bottle, behind, for the
purpose of concealing it underneath the skirts of his coat: and in this
way, apparently with the greatest possible unconcern, the disciple of
Faust walked up the street, just in advance of the congregation.
Unfortunately, however, in his haste he had thrust his decanter quite
through between the folds of his coat-skirts, so that his hands and the
neck of the bottle only were concealed; while, to the irresistible
merriment of the people, the object which he wished to hide was ten
times more the subject of observation than it could have been before.
Very much in the same predicament stands the writer of the following
pages. His intention was to publish them anonymously, if at all. But an
unauthorized annunciation of his name, in the Booksellers' Advertiser,
a few weeks since, has rendered the effort as abortive as the trick of
the foolish bird, and the expedient of the printer. The mask, thus
torn, has therefore been entirely doffed.

And now a few words as to the sketches themselves.

Whatever else may be said of the writer, it cannot be predicated of
him, as by Addison of a certain class of biographers of his day, "that
they watched for the death of a great man, like so many undertakers, on
purpose to make a penny by him." The subject of this little volume is
neither a great man, nor, happily, is he yet numbered among the dead.
Should it then be asked, Why write about small men at all, or, in any
event, until after they are dead? The answer is at hand: it is the
fashion of the times in which we live. The present is the age of small
men, whose lives are necessarily written while living, lest, when dead,
and all hope of reward is past, nothing should be remembered to be
said of them. What, moreover, can be more agreeable, than for a man
to read his own biography, especially when drawn by the partial hand
of friendship, and retouched in each successive edition, as new
circumstances require, new virtues are disclosed, and new deeds demand
a record? It may be likened to the reading of one's own epitaph,
wherein one can see to it for himself, that SHAKSPEARE did not speak
advisedly when he wrote, "It is the evil only that men do that lives
after them, while the good is interred with their bones." And besides,
biography is history; and history has been defined to be "philosophy
teaching by example." By having his own biography in his library,
therefore, a man may become his own philosophical teacher, and save the
expense of a professor; while, at the same time, he can enjoy the
consolation of seeing how mankind around him are improving themselves
by the study of his example. Should the subject of the present sketches
object, that the writer has deviated from the course of most modern
biographers, by the indulgence of his old-fashioned notions of
impartiality and truth, he must plead guilty to the charge; but, in
mitigation of punishment, he would beg leave to relate a story:

It is written in the annals of the Celestial Empire, that there once,
and for ages, existed an historical tribunal, instituted for the
purpose of perpetuating the virtues and vices of their monarchs. One
day the Emperor Tai-t-song summoned the President of this tribunal
before him, and ordered him to exhibit the history of his own reign.
The President declined to obey the mandate, upon the ground that they
were required to keep an exact record of the virtues and vices of their
sovereigns, and would no longer be at liberty to record the truth, if
their register was to be subject to the royal inspection. "What!"
exclaimed the Father of the Sun and the Uncle of the Moon, "you
transmit my history to posterity, and do you assume the liberty of
acquainting it with my faults?" "It is inconsistent with my character,"
rejoined the President, "and with the dignity of my office, ever to
disguise the truth. I am bound to record the whole, even to the
slightest fault; and such is the exactness and severity of my duty,
that I am not suffered to omit a record of our present conversation."
Tai-t-song had an elevation of soul to be found in the hearts of few
monarchs, even in more civilized countries than the land of Confucius.
"Continue," said he to the official historian, "to write the truth
without constraint. May my virtues and vices contribute to the public
utility, and be instructive to my successors. Your tribunal is free; I
will for ever protect it, and permit it to write my history with the
utmost impartiality."

It is readily admitted that the cases are not exactly parallel. Still,
the relation contains an excellent lesson, not only to princes, but to
other people. How happy would it be for the world, if we all lived
under the full persuasion of the fact, that the faithful hand of
history will not fail to send us down to posterity odious or respected,
as by our lives and conduct we shall have deserved! And if my friend
Wheelwright shall feel offended that I have kept a record of the most
striking incidents of his life, I have only to hope that he will dispel
his frowns, dismiss his objections, and, by his own example, illustrate
the value of such magnanimity as that displayed by the Emperor of China.



SOME PASSAGES

IN THE LIFE OF

MR. DANIEL WHEELWRIGHT.



CHAPTER I.

A DISQUISITION ON CIRCLES.

"In _circle_ following _circle_."


The horse at the cider-mill; the mules in the press-room of the
American Tract Society; and the watchman who walks his drowsy round
until he falls asleep; are not the only beings that spend their lives
in traversing a circle. As the curve is the true line of beauty, and as
the circle in Egyptian hieroglyphics is ever used as the symbol of
renewed life--the type or sign of the generative principle--so the
motion produced by the _centripetal_ and _centrifugal_ forces, seems
to be that of nature. We are often told of the never-ending domestic
duties of the faithful housewife, doomed--

    "To tread the same dull circle round and round;"--

The parson often discourses touching the round of his parochial duties;
and who does not sympathize with the diurnal editor at the thought of
the harassing duties devolving upon him, "in circles incessant." The
man of the world, and the sensualist, dance the giddy round of pleasure.
The judge goes his circuit, to bring men to justice in this world, and
the self-denying missionary traverses his, to save them from it in the
next. It is very true that the periphery of the circles traversed by
some persons and objects, is greater than that of others. One man walks
the circumference of his duties in a single day; another in a week;
while it may require the whole life of the third to perform the
journey. Many members of Congress make speeches in circles, whether
arguing abstruse points of constitutional law, or the claims of a party
candidate; as do lawyers their cases at the bar, proving the foregoing
proposition by the following, and inferring the following from the
foregoing. Cast a stone into a lake or a mill-pond, and it will produce
a succession of motions, circle following circle in order, and
extending the radius until they disappear in the distance. The
political movements of nations are circular. Under the severe pressure
of despotism the people rise in their fury, and snap their chains
asunder. A republic follows; degenerating first into a rude and wild
democracy; and thence into a cruel and more turbulent anarchy. As a
relief from the evils of this, the people, sighing for repose, fly back
again into the arms of despotism. But with a people who have once
tasted the sweets of liberty, this kind of tranquillity is short.
Maddened by wrongs, real or supposed, they are soon prepared again to
rush into the death-dance of revolution. The "one eternal principle" of
the Chinese, forming "the first link in the great material chain" of
their system, is represented by a circle. Time wings his flight in
circles, and every year rolls round within itself. Hence the poets sing
of "the circling years." The sun turns round upon his own axis; and the
moon "changes monthly in her circled orb." The other celestial bodies
all wheel their courses in circles around the common centre. The moons
of Jupiter revolve around him in circles, and he carries them along
with him in his periodical circuit round the sun. Saturn always moves
within his rings, and thus adorned himself, walks in circles through
the regions of space:--

    "And other planets circle other suns."

A ship on the ocean, though apparently bounding over a plain of waters,
rides in fact upon the circumference of a circle around the arch of the
earth's diameter. The brisk swallow cuts the air in circles; the
vampire wheels circularly about your head; the timid hare flees the
ravenous pack of the sportsman in a winding course, until in despair it
returns to die in its form. The lunar circle betokens a
tempest;--modern writers on pneumatics affirm every breeze that blows,
from the gentle-breathing zephyr to the rude northeastern blast, to be
a whirlwind; and the beautiful hues of the iris, bright with hope and
promise, play upon the melting clouds in the segment of a circle. The
eagle soars toward the heavens in curves, as though measuring the
angles of distant objects by geometrical figures; and the drunkard,
when unable longer to control his movements, describes a curvilinear
path as he reels homeward from his revels, and waits at his bed-side to
catch hold of a post as it "comes round again." Those German
principalities which are represented in the Diet, are denominated
circles; and if a man is so ignorant as not to know that the moss
always grows on the north side of a tree, and consequently gets lost in
the woods, he invariably makes the discovery by finding that he has
been unconsciously traversing a circle. Indeed, with most of our race
the journey of human life would be circular, were it not that it has
both a beginning and an end,--and so has a circle, if you could find
them. From all which it follows, that by the laws of the universe, all
things, animate and inanimate, move in revolutionary harmony; and
though complex in their machinery as the wheels of Ezekiel's vision,
are yet so perfect and beautiful in their order, as to have suggested
to the ancients the poetical idea of "the music of the spheres." And
now for the truth of the foregoing propositions in geometrical physics,
they shall, in at least one striking instance, be illustrated by a few
passages from the life and adventures of a quondam acquaintance of
mine, whose name stands at the head of this bit of biography.



CHAPTER II.

BIRTH AND PARENTAGE.

"I am no herald, to inquire of men's pedigrees; it sufficeth me if I
know their virtues."--_Sidney._


There being no herald's college in this free and happy country, where
equality was declared by the revolutionary congress to be as
self-evident as our right to independence, I have no means of tracing
the pedigree of my friend for many generations back. Indeed, as it was
long ago remarked by Lord Camden, alterations of sirnames were in
former ages so very common, as to have obscured the truth of our
pedigrees, so that it is no little labor to deduce many of them. But,
although no crest marks the career of his ancestors, or shield
emblazons their escutcheon with mementoes of achievements in arts or in
arms; and although I claim not in his behalf, as of the heroes in olden
times, "a pedigree that reached to heaven," yet no doubt exists of the
antiquity of his family. The name was duly inscribed in the Doomsday
book of the Norman Conqueror, and had not the limbs of the genealogical
tree been broken, it is believed that their ancestry might,
nevertheless, have been traced back to a gentleman by the name of
Japheth, "who was the son of Noah." Still, as I have already intimated,
this inquiry can be of little consequence. In this land of freedom,
where every tub stands on its own bottom--where men are the architects
of their own fame and fortunes--where he that hath neither coat nor
shoes is at liberty to go without them,--it is of little moment whether
a man knows who he happens to be, or not, provided always that he
behaves well. Nay, if he cannot tell whence he sprung, he escapes the
censure of being the son of his father, and may arrive at the highest
honors of the republic without either borrowing merit from the dead, or
having any too much of his own. Avoiding genealogies, therefore, I will
come directly to the point, and assume it as granted, that, inasmuch as
Mr. Daniel Wheelwright is known to have had a father and mother, so
likewise he must have had grand-parents. And these were, doubtless,
sensible and judicious people, more desirous of being industrious and
useful, than what the world calls great. Borrowing, therefore, a hint
from their own honest name, in selecting an occupation for their son,
they chose that of coachmaking--an art, which, in the progress of
civilization, he carried from New-Jersey into the beautiful valley of
the Mohawk--not many years after the original proprietors of that
section of the republic had been finally driven away by those who
understood tilling their land better than they. It was in this
picturesque and delightful valley, on the banks of the river, and in a
town alike celebrated for the taste of its people in architecture, and
distinguished as a seat of learning, that my friend and hero, Daniel,
first saw the light. I have cast no figure to ascertain which of the
divinities presided at his birth, or what particular star first
pencilled his pale blue eyes with its silver rays. But no angry planet
was culminating in that particular chamber of the heavens at the time,
for he grew up the best-natured being in those parts; and if the genius
of Dulness was not actually present on the occasion, his court must
have been held on that evening at no great distance therefrom. Not to
be too particular, however, it is enough for the present to say, that
he waxed towards the stature of manhood much as other boys do--save
that he was never engaged in a quarrel--from the circumstance,
probably, that he had neither sufficient energy, nor decision of
character, to commence or to end one. To do him justice, if honesty be
a fault, it was surely his; and I can truly say that in all the passing
vicissitudes of his life, it has never been taken out of him to this
day. His father was industrious and economical, never losing an hour in
which he could make any thing, or parting with a dollar so long as he
could keep it. In his domestic arrangements he was exceedingly careful
that nothing should be lost. If he had eels for breakfast, he would
always contrive, by preserving and drying the skins, to save more than
the original cost of these somewhat questionable members of the
piscatory family. He early instructed his son in the elementary
principles of his trade; and it is believed that before he was
seventeen he not only knew the number of spokes in a wheel, but had
actually adjusted them to the felloes, and driven them up to the hub.
He was also taught in some branches of household carpentry work, which
proved of no disadvantage to him in the end. Full of good nature, he
was always popular with the boys; was never so industrious as when
manufacturing to their order little writing desks, fancy boxes, and
other trifling articles not beyond the scope of his mechanical
ingenuity--for which he exacted such compensation as he could obtain.
In sober truth, like his parent, he was fond of money. The world, he
was wont to say, owed him a living, and he prided himself not a little
on his skill in procuring the wherewithal. And yet he was rarely known
to realize one shilling that did not cost him two; or in other words,
in all his multifarious transactions of barter and otherwise, he was
almost uniformly overreached. There was one way, moreover, in which his
little earnings could always be taken from him. He was fond of good
living, albeit not his father's fault, since his family board was
seldom spread with other than the plainest and least expensive fare.
Certain was it, therefore, that the palate had never received any
epicurean lessons at home; but it was equally certain that he had
acquired a _taste_ for the good things of this world. Hence those of
his associates who had a design upon whatever of small change they
supposed him from time to time to have accumulated, had only to tempt
him with some trifling luxury, and the work was done. A plate of
oysters was irresistible!



CHAPTER III.

HIS DESTINY UNDERGOES A CHANGE.

"God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them
use their talents."--_Shakspeare._


Daniel Wheelwright grew up a tall and stately youth; and to do him
justice, his personal appearance was not a little in his favor. I have
before intimated that the city in which he dwelt was the seat of a
learned institution; and it was his fortune--ill or good, will appear
in the sequel--to make the acquaintance of several inmates of the
university, who seemed "to take a liking to him," to borrow the quaint
juvenile expression in such cases, especially during the ripening and
ingathering of the fruit in his father's little orchard. At these
seasons their visits were frequent; and as the student's life appeared
to be at once more easy and promising than a coachmaker's, and more
genteel withal, Daniel manifested a desire to change his occupation. It
may be, however--for Daniel is my friend, and were he not, I would do
him no injustice--that the fire of ambition had begun to glow in his
bosom, and that he was really and truly desirous of describing a wider
"circle" than that of a carriage wheel. His mother, too--mothers always
most love and indulge the oldest son--discovered a genius in Daniel
requiring only means and opportunity, to wing an eagle-flight. It was
some considerable time, however, before the father could be persuaded
into the measure. By dint of industry and economy, he was getting along
snugly in the world; and as he had no more extended education himself,
he judged it all-sufficient if a man could read his Bible, and cast the
interest on a note of hand by the assistance of Daboll's Arithmetic. My
friend's common-school education, therefore, was judged by his father
to be all that was necessary for an honest man. But the woman
prevailed,--as women generally do. It happened that at the distance of
some sixty or seventy miles farther up the vale of the Mohawk, lived a
man whom she had previously known in New-Jersey, and whose occupation
was that of "teaching young ideas how to shoot"--not grouse and
woodcock, but to shoot forth into scions of learning. He had a son whom
he desired exceedingly to send to college; but as he was forever
compelled to be scraping the bottom of his scanty exchequer to supply
the current wants of his family, he was destitute of the means;--and
there were fewer education societies, and other facilities for
obtaining eleemosynary instruction in those days than in the present
age of disinterested benevolence. The inventive genius of the woman was
therefore not slow to devise a project by which her friend might be
served, while at the same time her own favorite design might be
furthered--and that, too, without making, even prospectively, any
essential encroachment upon the means of her husband. For the
attainment of this object--or rather for the removal of so formidable
an obstacle in the future career of her son--she had for a long while
been taxing her inventive and diplomatic powers. An arrangement was
therefore soon negotiated, by which the pedagogue received our hero
under his own roof, and prepared him for the university, while his own
son was taken as a boarder into the family of the coachmaker, where he
remained during the whole of his collegiate course. The immediate
results were auspicious. The son of the pedagogue took the honors of
his class, and has since been enabled to rejoice as the president of a
transmontane university; and our hero was, in turn, duly prepared for
matriculation beneath the academic evergreens of his own neighborhood.
It is but fair to acknowledge, moreover, that students have entered
that institution, as well as divers others, no better prepared than
Daniel Wheelwright. Notwithstanding the natural indolence of his
character, he knew that he must know something before he could enter
college, and that in case of a failure, he must again cultivate more
acquaintance with the _felloes_ of the shop, than with the fellows
of the university; and with the stimulus of such a consideration before
him, he applied himself to his books with extraordinary diligence. His
preceptor was in all respects adequate to his task; and the requisites
of the college being quite liberal and republican--not repressing the
generous ardor of young ambition by exacting too much in the
outset--the aspiring Daniel crossed the threshhold of the university
without any considerable difficulty. His prudent and sagacious mother
had managed every thing with consummate forecast and tact; and to avoid
any difficulty that might have resulted from too many unanswered
questions, her son had been represented to the faculty as a very modest
and diffident youth, who knew much more than he could tell--like the
grave bird, of which it was believed that although it said but little,
it thought the more. Indeed, it is believed that he had actually read
Cornelius Nepos and three books of the Æneid. He had likewise thumbed
over his Greek grammar, and gone through the gospel of John. The kind
mother heard of his initiatory success with delight, and the father was
rather gratified than otherwise--especially as it cost him nothing.



CHAPTER IV.

OF UNIVERSITY HONORS AND THE WAY THEY ARE OBTAINED.

"O this learning! what a thing it is!"--_Shakspeare._

"You do ill to teach the child such words: he teaches him to hick and
to hack, which they'll do fast enough of themselves; and to call horum;
fye upon you!"--_Idem._


How young Wheelwright had ever accomplished even what has already been
indicated, was a matter of astonishment to himself; and before many
months had passed away, to every body else, for his subsequent
acquirements did not correspond thereunto. In good sooth it is believed
that he never really mastered a single lesson afterward. Having
succeeded in getting _into_ the college, it was a very rational
conclusion that he would some day find his way _out_ of it. He knew
that the four years would pass away in less than five; and as he had
turned student to avoid hard labor, why should he fatigue himself by
digging at the roots of hard language! It was either from sheer
indolence, or because he had completely exhausted himself in his
preparatory studies, that he made no farther advances in literature,
although he kept within its flowery walks. I have already mentioned a
snug little orchard, which, in truth, was one of rare productiveness,
and of which his father's industry had made him the proprietor. The
produce of this orchard, both of apples and cider, added to, and in
connection with, his imperturbable good nature, enabled Daniel to
maintain the popularity among the students of which I have spoken in a
former chapter. The reader will not be surprised, therefore, to learn
that he succeeded in obtaining an election as a member of the
_Philo-Peitho-logicalethian Institute_--a society, as its name imports,
learned in all that is eloquent, logical and veracious--and of which, I
am proud to say, the distinguished subject of this memoir had the honor
once of being chosen semi-monthly secretary, after a sharp and close
canvass. In the transactions of this society the principal forte of
Daniel was debating; albeit the character of his elocution was not the
most brilliant, and it was not often until after the ayes and noes were
called, that it could be determined from the drift of his argument,
which side he had espoused, or in fact whether he himself understood
the proposition--unless, indeed, as was sometimes the case, he
commenced his speech by saying, "Mr. President, I _are_ in favor of the
negative of that are question." In the ordinary tasks of his class he
contrived from day to day, by the promptings of others, to work his way
along; and previous to the quarterly examinations, it was his practice
to obtain the assistance of some of his classmates to go over his
exercises with him, which they very cheerfully did, as an evening could
always be comfortably spent in this way, over a pitcher of cider and a
basket of apples. Having a pretty good memory, Dan could retain a part
of his lesson, guess at another part, and catch the wings and legs of
the residue from the promptings of friends--although he so greatly
outstripped them in growth, that it became difficult to send the
necessarily subdued sounds of their corrections up to his anxious ears.
It was a kind and indulgent class of which he was a member, and of no
ordinary character--it having furnished the president of one
university; the chief manager, for years, of half the Christian
missionaries in heathendom; and its full share of learned professors,
sagacious legislators, and eloquent counsellors in the law. And as the
truly great are ever the most active in labors of love, its members
were always ready and willing to lend our hero a helping hand in
"climbing" the difficult "steep" which Dr. Beattie pronounces so "hard"
of access. Still, at the close of every quarter, he was regularly "read
off," as the declaration of deficiency is denominated, and threatened
with degradation. But he nevertheless kept along; how, his biographer
cannot tell;--all that he is able to say upon this point, being the
fact, that the close of every academic year found him one year older,
somewhat taller, and advanced one grade higher in his classic course.
Whether on the ground of proficiency, of size, of family influence, or
for the purpose of swelling the catalogue by another name, the reader
is left to determine for himself.

The earth having at length nearly completed her fourth annual circle
around the orb of day, since Daniel commenced his collegiate course,
the anniversary at which he was to take his degree, if he could get it,
was rapidly approaching, for which occasion it may well be supposed he
was no better prepared than he should be. The faculty, however, were
indulgent, and had, moreover, even at that early day, hit upon the
happy expedient of awarding to every member of the graduating class an
honor of some sort, the delivery of an oration or a poem,--taking
especial care, by the way, to note in the _proces verbal_ of the
exercises that those students who were too poor to purchase, and too
stupid to manufacture, either the one or the other, had been excused
from taking the part assigned;--a convenient device, by which many a
deceived and doting parent has been adroitly blinded. It was in this
way that the faculty determined to dispose of the subject of this
memoir; and an Irish professor, who was an incontinent snuff-taker, and
sometimes a little mischievous withal, caused him to be announced for a
poem. Alike to the amusement and the astonishment of every body,
although he had no ear for numbers, and scarcely knew a dactyl from a
spondee, Daniel accepted the honor. Nor, after all, was he so much of a
fool as many people took him to be; and, whether by the process of
counting his fingers, or by some other means, I cannot say, but still I
have known him to bring out several stanzas of Hudibrastic metre,
sweetly rhyming "trees" with "breeze," "love" with "dove," "zephyr"
with "heifer," &c. Indeed I have likewise known him to be guilty of
positive waggery; but it must be confessed that in this line his
attempts were few and far between, and not always successful. He had
seen, however, that the professor, though not exactly poking fun at
him, had nevertheless intended a sly touch of irony upon his
proverbially prosing character. He therefore determined to "be up to
him," as the fancy have it; and having somewhere found the copy of an
obsolete satirical epic which an enamored snuff-taker had once
addressed to a mistress, who could reciprocate the interjection over
her snuff box,--

    "Knows he the joys that my nose knows!"

Wheelwright copied it out, and presented it to the faculty as his own
composition. Being addicted to the use of the titillating powder
himself, it was but a reasonable supposition on his own part, that it
would give no offence. It commenced thus:--

    Softly waft, ye southern breezes,
    Bear my plaints to her I _love_--
    Say to her whene'er she sneezes,
      Sympathy my muscles _move_;

    My true-love is formed of graces,
      Takes cephalic, likes a quid,
    And is beauteous as the faces
      Carved on an _Irish_ snuff-box lid.

                          _Cetera desunt._

The hit at the rhetoric-professor's snuff-box was only understood by
those who had seen the article referred to; and on the whole, the
performance was considered a very clever _jeu-d'esprit_ by the faculty,
who knew nothing of its paternity, and set it down as his own. Still,
as being hardly in keeping with the gravity of the occasion, it was
rejected as a part of the public exercises of the commencement.
Anticipating this result, however, Daniel had provided himself, by
virtue of a basket of Spitzenbergs, with a few stanzas of metre,
entitled "An Ode on Ambition," which were more successful. It was
written by a young gentleman who has since taken several silver cups
for theatrical prize-addresses, full of phoenixes, and the Greek
classics from Lempriere. He has also been a large contributor to those
beautifully printed, useful, and fashionable hebdomadals, the
Milliners' Literary Gazette, Young Ladies' Companion, _et id genus
omne_. The ode ran thus:--

    The warrior fights, and dies for fame--
    The empty glories of a name;--
    But we who linger round this spot,
    The warrior's guerdon covet Nott.

    Nott for the miser's glittering heap
    Within these walls is bartered sleep;
    The humble scholar's quiet lot
    With dreams of wealth is troubled Nott.

    While poring o'er the midnight lamp,
    In rooms too cold, and sometimes damp,
    O man, who land and cash hast got,
    Thy life of ease we envy Nott.

    Our troubles here are light and few;--
    An empty purse when bills fall due,
    A locker, without e'er a shot,--
    Hard recitations, or a Knot.

    Ty problem, which we can't untie,--
    Our only shirt hung out to dry,--
    A chum who never pays his scot,--
    Such ills as these we value Nott.

    O, cherished *****! learning's home,
    Where'er the fates may bid us roam,
    Though friends and kindred be forgot,
    Be sure we shall forget thee Nott.

    For years of peaceful, calm content,
    To science and hard study lent,
    Though others thy good name may blot,
    T'were wondrous if we loved thee Nott.

There was a touch of waggery, if not of mischief, in these verses,
which happened to escape detection from the faculty, though not very
artfully concealed. But the terminations of the stanzas rendered the
thing transparent to the audience during the delivery, as was quite
manifest from the general movement of their risibles. But Wheelwright
was himself as ignorant of the pun as the faculty were, until both were
enlightened the following week, when the real author caused it to be
published in the _Cistula Literaria_--an interesting journal, edited by
a committee of the junior class--with a capital "N" and a superfluous
"t" in the monosyllable referred to, as it appears in the present
memoir. The conceit was _Nott_ thought a bad one, and those who were
not in the secret gave my hero more credit for his metrical skill, than
he has ever received since.

Thus borne along upon the current with his class, Wheelwright was
admitted _ad gradum in artibus_--a certificate of which fact he took
care to have elegantly filled out upon the largest and handsomest
scroll of parchment that could be procured. It was of course verified
by the signature of the Reverend Præses, and decorated with an enormous
seal, representing, very appropriately in the present and many other
instances the Temple of Science perched upon an _inaccessible_ hill. At
the base of the hill, stood the goddess of Wisdom with her favorite
bird (the owl) upon her shoulder, and pointing the attention of young
aspirants to its beetling summit. The motto was "_Perseverantia omnia
vincit_," a very consoling legend to the numerous alumni proceeding
annually from this venerable university.

With the subject of this history, and perhaps with many others also,
the puzzle was to construe this splendid testimonial for the
edification of his simple-minded parents, when he came home with the
burden of his blushing honors. But in this effort we question whether
he ever succeeded. Indeed it has always been a grave matter of doubt
among philologers, whether the document was even capable of being
rendered into English, in conformity with the laws of any language
which the human race has ever spoken, since the low Dutch and the
Basque dispersed our ambitious ancestors at the building of Babel.



CHAPTER V.

HE CHOOSES A PROFESSION.

"Here let us breathe, and happily introduce a course of learning, and
ingenious studies."--_Shakspeare._

"The whole world cannot again prick out five such, take each one in his
vein."--_Idem._


Having thus completed his classical studies, and come off, as we have
seen, with the customary academic honors, the next subject of
consideration at the domestic fireside was the choice of a profession.
His parents were not only conscientious people, but sincerely
religious, and really desirous of doing good. They would, therefore,
have preferred making him a clergyman, had he given evidence of piety.
But such was not the fact. He was truly amiable in his disposition, of
grave and quiet manners, and of sound morality. Still, they could not
think of thrusting their son into the sacerdotal office, as is
oftentimes the practice with regard to younger sons in foreign parts,
merely as a trade to get a living by, while the head only is engaged in
the work, and the heart has neither part nor lot in the matter. Some
other profession was therefore necessary; and as his good parents were
religiously opposed to the quarrelsome profession of the law, the
choice was necessarily directed to that of medicine. In the sequel it
will be seen, that, let people be ever so conscientious, they are
obnoxious to great errors in the education of their children, and
equally liable with others to err in the selection of that walk of
life, or profession, for which they are least adapted by character or
capacity.

But to proceed. Law and divinity being out of the question, it was
resolved, in family council, that Daniel should become a disciple of
Galen, and acquire the art of compounding simples, and healing the
various diseases which flesh is heir to. He was accordingly entered in
the office of an eminent medical gentleman, in one of the most
beautiful cities which adorn the banks of the majestic Hudson. I will
not be so particular as to name the place, lest other towns should be
moved to jealousy. Each of the seven cities that contended for the
honor of giving birth to Homer, was as well off as though each was
actually entitled to it--whereas, had the point been settled, six of
them would not have been worth living in; rent-free. There is another
reason for not being too particular. Although, unlike Byron, I have no
fear of being taken for the hero of my own tale, yet were I to bring
matters too near their homes, but too many of the real characters of my
narrative might be identified. Suffice it, then, to say of the
location--_Ilium fuit_!

Immediately after his induction into the office of his Æsculapian
Mentor, Daniel became DOCTOR WHEELWRIGHT--and through all the subsequent
vicissitudes of his life, and all the changes of his pursuits, and
they have neither been few nor unimportant, the title has adhered to
him until this day.

I have already said that his personal appearance was good, a
circumstance which of course was not at all to his disadvantage. His
first business in his new station, was the selection of a genteel
boarding-house, the purchase of a new and fashionable suit of clothes,
and a snuff-box. Ever partial to the society of ladies, he was
assiduous in his efforts to cultivate their acquaintance, especially of
those among them who were of a literary turn. Chief of the female
literati of the town, was a lady of no certain age, but of great
pretensions, whose hose were deeply _azure_. With her he became quite
intimate, and she found his services particularly convenient, in
sending to the circulating library for books, and in other respects in
which it was found he could render himself useful; and he in turn was
never more truly happy than when obeying the behests of a blue of such
celebrity. These preliminary arrangements occupied about three or four
months of the first year, during which he could of course have but
little time to attend to his books. He did, however, make a beginning;
but mental application was no easier now, than when in college, and he
had moreover succeeded in forming acquaintances in a larger and more
attractive circle than was to be found within and about the college
walls. It required the greater portions of his mornings to keep alive
these acquaintances; and every body knows it is no time for hard study
after a hearty dinner--of which, particularly if it were good, few were
more fond than "Doctor Wheelwright." Thus the first year found him
scarcely at the close of the first chapter of Cheselden's Anatomy.

An attendance upon the lectures of some regular medical college was of
course essential to a thorough professional education, and his father
had now become ambitious of doing the best for a son upon whom he began
to look as a young man of high promise. Every where he was now spoken
of as "young Doctor Wheelwright;" and there was something gratifying to
a parent's ear in that. He was therefore sent to New-York to hear the
instructive eloquence of Hosack; the wise and prudent counsels of Post;
to press into his goblet the grapes of wisdom clustering around the
tongue of Mitchill; and to acquire the principles of surgery from the
lips, and the skilful use of the knife from the untrembling hand, of
Mott. Tickets were procured for all the regular courses of the college
lectures, all of which were attended without intermission, and most of
them slept over without compunction. The truth is, that neither medical
authors, nor medical orations had any congeniality with his feelings.
His love for science could not conquer his aversion to the
dissecting-room, and he greatly preferred taking care of the body as he
found it, to the labor of ascertaining how it was made;--he liked well
to have the springs and wheels of his own frame in easy and accurate
motion, but cared not to examine the delicate structure of the
complicated machinery. The consequence was, that when not in the
lecture-room his time was occupied--not with his books, but in
lion-hunting. He visited the theatre when Cooper, and Pritchard, and
Mrs. Darley, were in their glory; lounged frequent hours in the
museums; and was the first to run after every new attraction placarded
at the corners. He was greatly taken with the agility of an Armenian
girl, upon the wire and slack-rope, who was in truth a second Fenella
in the sprightliness of her nimble exhibitions. Day Francis, the
conjuror, was his admiration. He was delighted with Rannie, the old
ventriloquist, and the first in America; and Potter, the late sable and
celebrated professor of legerdemain, in slight-of-hand, he thought
actually excelled Doctor Mott himself.

At the close of the term he returned to the country, and resumed
Cheselden. But he yet preferred the society of the ladies--accompanying
them in their morning walks, and at their evening parties. And with
them all he was a favorite--of a particular description. Full of good
nature--easy and accommodating in his disposition, ever ready to
oblige, when any of the fair were in distress for a beau, he could
always be had, and even felt honored to be called upon such service,
when it was not desirable to take such a liberty with gallants of a
different cast and temperament. Especially were his services of value
at parties, where exigencies of a particular description were likely to
occur--as, when some not very popular damsel lived at the farthermost
end of the town; or in such other undefinable cases as might result in
the danger of some forlorn maidens being left, after the whips and
blanc-manges were disposed of, to perform the homeward pilgrimage on
foot and alone--as the girl went to get married.

But the beau and the student are different animals; and at the close of
the second year, the young doctor had only half completed Cheselden's
article on Osteology. It began now to be evident that at this rate he
would never become an M.D., easily as this honor is obtained; and it
was equally doubtful whether the most complaisant censors of a medical
society, would, at the end of three years, admit him to practice. The
distinguished medical gentleman with whom he was attempting to play the
student, saw that if Harvey had not discovered the theory of the
circulation of the blood, Doctor Wheelwright certainly would never have
made it, and he hinted to his pupil in as delicate a manner as
possible, that even if he had been cut out by nature for a physician,
he had been spoiled in the making up. My friend was by this time quite
of the same opinion himself; and he thereupon quitted the profession,
with no more medical knowledge than the art of mixing suitable portions
of salts and senna for children, and the preparation of cough-drops, by
compounding the syrup of squills with paregoric and balsam of honey in
equal proportions--which mixture, by the way, is the best prescription
to be found in the Vade Mecum of any physician in Christendom--from Sir
Astley Cooper down to Hahnnemann, of all medical humbugs the chief.
Would that Daniel Wheelwright were the only person who has trifled away
the misapplied money of industrious and misjudging parents!



CHAPTER VI.

HOW HE BECAME A MERCHANT--AND THE RESULT.

    "----Now I play a merchant's part,
    And venture madly on a desperate mart."--_Shakspeare._

"A man whom Fortune hath cruelly scratched."--_Idem._


Having thus "thrown physic to the dogs," the next important subject of
consideration was the choice of some new occupation or pursuit, not of
a professional character. His mother's project of making him a
clergyman had been previously rejected, as stated in a former chapter.
The decision might have been otherwise had the lot of our hero been
cast in England, where the minor clergy of the establishment purchase
their sermons already written to their hands, if they are able, or copy
them from the moral essays of Doctor Johnson, or the more devotional
writings of Hannah More, according to their tastes and feelings, if
they are not. But such easy methods of pulpit preparation are not
tolerated in this country, unless in respect of the youngest
ecclesiastics; and even they are compelled to be exceedingly chary in
the use even of the printed skeletons to be found in most Episcopal
libraries--not venturing to let their people know of the existence of
such "helps," much less that they are in the habit of cutting out their
sermons by such patterns. Moreover, as for the preaching of other men's
sermons outright, the Americans are such a reading people, that the
detection of borrowed "thunder," is almost certain to follow its use.
An instance in point was then fresh in the public mind, in which one of
the most eloquent and popular pulpit orators in the land, had been
arraigned before an ecclesiastical tribunal, on the charge of
appropriating _ad libitum_ to his own use and the behoof of his
congregation the works of Barrow and Jeremy Taylor, Flavel and
Massillon, Toplady and Tillotson. True, the depredator was endowed with
powers of eloquence worthy of the great masters whose sermons he had
the good taste to prefer to his own--delivering their breathing
thoughts and burning words, with a deep-toned solemnity, and a splendor
of elocution, which thrilled the bosoms, and alternately charmed the
minds, and melted the hearts, of his devotional hearers. But the
disguise of manner was not sufficient. There were those of his
congregation who had read and remembered the works with which he was
making so free; and although they were by no means the losers by the
substitution of the kindling periods of the sound old divines for his
own, yet the late Rev. Mr. Hooper soon found himself under the
discipline of his clerical superiors. Shut out, therefore, from the
pulpit, my friend Wheelwright had turned his attention to medicine, as
being in his apprehension the next easiest of the learned professions;
and now that he had relinquished the healing art, because he possessed
neither the industry nor the capacity for acquiring it, some other
method of earning a subsistence seemed to be necessary. Should it be
the law? His resolution would have deserted him at the thought of
mastering even the elementary treatises of Blackstone, and the sight of
an ordinary law library would have appalled him. But employment he must
have. He had cultivated a taste for style, and ease, and luxury, which
it would require no inconsiderable means to indulge. He desired to cut
a figure in the world, and to make money that he might do so; and he
was anxious withal to select that occupation with which he might
personally be the least occupied--in which he might indulge his
inactive propensities with the least corporeal exertion--and by which
he might realize the greatest profit. After duly weighing matters,
therefore, and balancing the various considerations that occurred, with
all appropriate gravity, he determined to engage in merchandise--a
branch of business for which of all men he possessed the least possible
fitness. His worthy parents, moreover, were thereunto consenting. Fond
and unhappy people! They had never read the splendid philippic of Burke
against the mercantile character, in which the indignant senator
denounced the members of that enterprising occupation as having no
altar but their counter, no Bible but their leger, and no God but their
gold! Nor, (being neither prophets nor descendants of prophets,) could
they foresee that another Burke was soon to illuminate this occidental
hemisphere, by the blaze of his genius,--embodying in his own person
half the wisdom of the whole nation of Rhode Island,--who should revive
and indorse the dictum of the florid British rhetorician, and fix upon
the name of the American merchant as fact, the fancy sketch first drawn
by a brilliant but libellous imagination! Had it been otherwise, I am
sure my friend would have been spared the toils and perplexities
incident alike to the mercantile calling, whether dealing in foreign
commerce by millions, or vending tape and buckram by the yard in
Chatham-street or Albany.

But it was written that Daniel was to be a merchant; and an opportunity
was soon presented for purchasing the odds and ends of a fashionable
fancy and jobbing concern in Albany. His father, moreover, who had by
this time accumulated a snug property by his own honest calling--who
knew little of the perils of the mercantile business, and still less of
the skill and attention necessary for its successful prosecution,
consented in an evil hour to become his indorser. The chief clerk of
the concern, a young man by the name of John Smith, was continued in
the establishment; new goods were bought in New-York in most
enterprising quantities; and although both old and new were purchased
at no small disadvantage, yet a plausible exterior, and a fair credit,
enabled Mr. Wheelwright to drive a brisk, and, as he no doubt honestly
thought, a thriving business. It was indeed true that the return of
every six months found him somewhat deeper in debt. He was obliged to
fill up the blanks in the notes which his kind parent had indorsed in
advance, and by the quantity, for larger and yet larger sums, and
occasionally to ask the name of some other friend, "just for form's
sake," under that of his father. But his faithful clerk assured him
that his capital was increasing, as the books would show, and that
every thing was going on swimmingly. He took lodgings at the Tontine,
like a gentleman of means; was free and liberal in his expenditures;
invited his friends often to suppers of game and oysters, which
invitations were but too often accepted;--and as he knew nothing of his
own business, but continued to repose all confidence in his chief
clerk--taking his assurances that all was well,--he supposed it was so,
and began to fancy that he was actually becoming rich. It had ever been
a common saying in his mouth, that "the world owed him a living," and
he now verily believed that he had taken the wave of fortune at its
flood, and was floating along triumphantly upon the spring-tide of
wealth. Nor was he undeceived until the disclosure was too late for the
salvation of his credit. His notes began to come round too fast to be
promptly "lifted;" and just at the moment when a portion of his
increased capital would have been exceedingly convenient, greatly to
his surprise he was unable to find even that with which he had
commenced. The consequence was frequent visits from the notary; and his
indorsers began occasionally to receive an unceremonious call from
those officious legal gentlemen, Messrs. John Doe and Richard Roe.

At this stage of his unpromising mercantile career, the approaching
catastrophe was hastened by a very grievous and untoward event. After
having despatched a duck and a dozen of oysters at Bement's, he had
scarcely composed himself to sleep before he was aroused by an alarm of
fire, and astounded by the vociferations of a watchman under the
window, who thundered in his ears that it was his own store that was
now illuminating the venerable Dutch capital! Not an article escaped
the ravages of "the devouring element," to quote the newspaper account
of the following morning; and what was more melancholy still, his
faithful clerk, who always slept in the store, was for the moment
supposed to have perished in the flames! Morning came, however, and lo!
Mr. John Smith, junior, was seen to emerge from the portal of a house,
the fame whereof was no better than it should have been--it being none
other than one of those places of which the wise man would have said,
"the dead are there," and "the guests in the depths of hell."

The residue of this section of Mr. Wheelwright's biography is soon
told. With the flames of his store, were his fortunes for the time
being extinguished; and his father soon afterward found himself to be
as destitute of property as when he first entered the valley of the
Mohawk, with only an adz, a pod-auger, and an axe upon his shoulder.
The trusty clerk soon afterward sickened, even unto death, and in his
last moments disclosed various delinquencies which had hastened his
employer's ruin;--for all of which he was readily forgiven by the
really kind-hearted man whom he had so deeply wronged, and from his
penitence it is to be hoped he was also forgiven by Him against whom he
had yet more grievously sinned.

The merchants of New-York are proverbially liberal to unfortunate
debtors; the tale of Mr. Wheelwright's misfortunes excited their lively
sympathies; and they generously released him from all those obligations
which neither he nor his indorsers could pay. And thus amid the frowns
of adversity ended the mercantile career of the subject of this memoir.



CHAPTER VII.

HOW FORTUNE AGAIN SMILED, AND THEN FROWNED UPON HIM.

    "----Fortune is merry,
    And in this mood will give us any thing."--_Shakspeare._

    "Full oft 'tis seen our mere defects
    Prove our commodities."--_Idem._

    "----A motley company,
    Blacklegs, and thieves, and would-be gentlemen."--_Idem._

"The lottery of my destiny bars me the right of voluntary
choosing."--_Idem._


The succeeding stage in the life of my hero and friend, was marked by
no very striking or extraordinary event; but the incidents attending it
were nevertheless quite characteristic of his varying fortunes. It so
happened that in adjusting the results of his mercantile experiment,
Mr. Wheelwright became possessed of a questionable claim upon the
government, for property said to have been destroyed by the enemy on
the northern frontier, during the late war with Great Britain. It came
into his hands by way of satisfaction for a debt due from a country
merchant; and although the chances were as twenty to one, either that
it had already been paid, or that it had no existence in equity, or
that even if ever so just, like the claim for Amy Dardin's celebrated
blood-horse, the period of two generations would be consumed in
petitioning for relief, yet he determined forthwith to proceed to the
federal capital, and prosecute his suit before the august majesty of
the people in congress assembled. What with boats taken by General
Wilkinson for the public service, in his memorable descent of the St.
Lawrence,--for the purpose, among other things, of celebrating
Christmas in Montreal--a festival, by the way, which an obstinate enemy
would not allow him to keep there,--and buildings so effectually
destroyed during an irruption of the British across the lines, that
their sites have never been discovered to this day,--all duly set forth
in the papers with which he was furnished,--Mr. Wheelwright presented a
claim, respectable in amount, which was referred to the proper
committee of the "collective wisdom." The hawk-eyed Whittlesey was not
then its chairman. In process of time, therefore, the committee
reported in his favor; and, in the end, to the astonishment of every
body, he succeeded in obtaining it! How, or by what artful appliances,
he became thus successful,--and that, too, during the first session,--I
have never been clearly informed. It was, however, a winter of great
activity and excitement at Washington. A distinguished "military
chieftain," flushed with the pride of victory, and crowned with Indian
laurels, had suddenly appeared in the capital, to defend himself
against charges preferred by the legislative authorities of the
nation,--authorities, which he openly derided, and threatened to beard
in their own council-chambers;--and it is not unlikely that while some
of the members were engaged in studying the arts of self-defence, and
others holding with both hands upon the ears that had been openly
threatened, the bill for the liquidation and payment of Mr.
Wheelwright's claims, was passed in the alarm and confusion, without
observation. It is not impossible, moreover, that as the claimant had
resided at Albany, and as the Albanian tactics had not then been
introduced into Washington, he might have tried his hand at some of
those ingenious devices, of the successful operation of which he had
been the silent witness in the pure and incorruptible capital of the
empire state.

Be all these matters, however, as they may, it is certain that he
succeeded in his application beyond the most sanguine expectations
alike of himself and his friends. Thus far, therefore, all was well; a
brighter prospect seemed to dawn upon his fortunes; and all would
probably have continued well, had he turned his back upon the capital
the day after receiving the auditor's warrant upon the treasury, and
hastened home. But the President's levees were about opening for the
season; and two or three of those most insufferable of all coxcombs,
the _attachés_ of foreign embassies,--whisking their dandy rattans
and sporting finely curled mustachoes;--who, to his unsophisticated
observation, appeared to be men of far greater importance than their
less-pretending diplomatic masters,--and who not unfrequently shared
oysters with him during the day at Laturno's, and canvass-backs and
champagne at O'Neal's by night,--persuaded him to remain a few weeks
longer,--not much to the advantage of his exchequer, as may well be
supposed. Still, as he was not a gambler, and was withal a moral man,
no great inroad upon his purse would have resulted from a few
entertainments thus bestowed upon his sponging acquaintances,--who, as
he really supposed, were reversing the order of the obligation, by the
light and flashy touches they gave him of high life in Europe,--relating,
with great particularity, their adventures in France,--dining with the
Dukes of Chartres and Angouleme, and attending the opera with the Duke
of Berry and the Countess de Chausel,--visiting Rome with the grand
Duke of Tuscany, and flirting with the Countess Guiccioli, in the
absence of Lord Byron,--engaged in the chase with the Percies of
Northumberland, or at Almack's, with the Marchioness of Conyngham,--all
of which apocryphal incidents and adventures my simple-minded friend
received as sober verity, and felt himself exceedingly edified thereby.

The result was, that Wheelwright whiled away the whole winter in
Washington; and it was a marvel, that what between the mid-day
dissipation at Laturno's--that unhallowed den in the base of the
capitol, which has proved the grave of so many reputations,--and the
suppers at Brown's and O'Neal's, he did not quite use himself up. But
he escaped in those respects; and notwithstanding his natural
indifference to public and intellectual matters, he actually became not
a little interested in the great debates on the Seminole war, and the
conduct of the commander who had conducted it according to law "as he
understood it."

It was during these interesting proceedings that Mr. Wheelwright most
unluckily formed two other acquaintances, in the persons of a clever
and plausible lottery-broker at Washington, the author of the
celebrated parody of "Hail to the Chief," beginning--

    "All hail to Ben Tyler, who sells all the prizes," &c.

and the chief manager of the memorable Washington Monument Lottery.
Both were acute, and the manager no less plausible than the
vender;--and the easy good nature of Mr. Wheelwright, who was not a
little credulous withal, pointed him out as a person whose pockets
would not be of difficult access. It is not necessary to descend
minutely into particulars in this place. Suffice it to say, that the
next ensuing scheme of the lottery promised a capital prize of one
hundred thousand dollars, besides one of thirty thousand, another of
twenty, with the customary lots of smaller ones; and as my hero had yet
a lingering attachment to "CIRCLES," he was very soon persuaded to
mount upon the wheel of Fortune. Every body has heard of the honest
Hibernian, who, in order to ensure the highest prize, determined to
purchase the whole lottery; and although Mr. Wheelwright did not
exactly form the same resolve, yet he understood enough of the doctrine
of chances, to know, that the more tickets he possessed, the greater
his number of chances of obtaining the splendid capital he was
seeking,--he stopped not to reflect that the odds were two to one
against him for any thing, even the smallest prize, and twenty-nine
thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine to one against him for the great
prize, besides the discount of fifteen per centum on the whole.

Forgetting these trifling drawbacks, therefore, he invested the whole
of his revenues in the aforesaid lottery; and from that day until the
drawing thereof, he lived upon the brightest hopes. The golden shower
of the heathen poets, in which Jove once descended, was but a little
sprinkle, in comparison with the river of that precious metal, soon to
flow into his coffers. But alas! the goddess, being blind, not only
failed to discern his peculiar claims upon her regard, but was cheated
herself! A shrewd Virginian dreamed the ticket which drew the hundred
thousand dollars, into his own pocket; the manager failed, and thereby
turned all the prizes into blanks;--and Mr. Daniel Wheelwright found
himself flat on his back, at the bottom of the wheel, when he least
anticipated such a downfall. He was therefore, on his return to
New-York, again in the condition of Bob Logic, "with pockets to
let"--or perchance of the poor Yankee, who complained, not without
reason, that with him there were five OUTS to one IN, viz: _out_ of
money, and _out_ of clothes; _out_ at the heels, and _out_ at the toes;
Out of credit, and _in_ debt!



CHAPTER VIII.

HOW AN HONEST MAN MAY GET INTO LIMBO.

"And as for the Bastile,--the terror is in the word.--Make the most of
it you can, said I to myself, the Bastile is but another word for a
tower;--and a tower is but another word for a house you can't get out
of."--_Sterne._


A stranger in New-York, and even many of its younger citizens, would
hardly suppose, from the present appearance of the handsome Ionic
temple standing directly east of the City Hall, for what "base uses"
that classic edifice was originally built, or for what ignoble purposes
it was kept, until within a few years back. Although it may now be
justly considered one of the most correct and pleasing specimens of
architecture in the union, yet, until the recent transformation of its
outward form and proportions, it was one of the most unsightly of
buildings. It was not, however, of republican origin--having been
erected early in the reign of his late most excellent Majesty, King
George the Third, as a place of confinement for such of his refractory
subjects as either could not, or would not, pay their debts. And it is
no great credit to his Majesty's successors in the government, that it
should not have been appropriated to some other use at a much earlier
day. Long did the citizens of New-York petition for its removal or
destruction, but in vain,--until, "in the course of human events," the
public service demanded an additional edifice as a depository for its
records. A change from the Boeotian to the Ionic order, and its
conversion to a more humane purpose, were then determined upon, not
only for the public convenience, but from motives of economy. One of
the patriotic members of the city government, distinguished for his
enterprise, and his public spirit, undertook the job, and gave to the
ancient walls of unhewn stone their existing "form and pressure;"--at
an amount, too, not much exceeding, probably, twice the cost of two new
buildings of the same dimensions.

Architecture is one of the crowning glories of a city; and nothing more
strongly indicates the cultivation of a people, than refinement in this
beautiful department of science. "Order is the first law of nature,"
and the utter disregard hitherto paid to all established orders of
architecture in this country, is one reason, probably, that we have
become such a disorderly people. The taste of the Greeks in the arts
has contributed more to their glory than their deeds in arms. The
chisel of Phidias carved for him a name of more true renown, than the
sword did for Alexander; and the name of Sir Christopher Wren will live
as long in English history as the Duke of Wellington's. Every patriotic
Gothamite, therefore, should rejoice at each successive indication of
an improvement in architectural taste amongst us. Who knows but the
beauty of the new commercial exchange that is to be, will cause
gladness to those who wept alike over the ugliness and the destruction
of the old! Who knows but that a grinning populace will one day
displace the lions grinning from the gutters at the eaves of the new
stone church in Duane-street! And who knows but that in process of
time, American architects will be found who shall understand the
difference between the Composite and the Corinthian, and that a long
sperm candle was never intended as a model for a Doric column!

The simple-minded reader who imagines that every narrative,
biographical or historical, should read straight on, like Robinson
Crusoe, or a speech of Colonel Crockett, may suppose that a digression
like this in which I have just indulged, must be wholly irrelevant, in
the life of an humble and unpretending individual like Daniel
Wheelwright,--but he will soon discover his mistake--with which
preliminary flourish, the order of my history is resumed.

It was some four or five years before the change in the _don-jon_
just indicated, that the humble writer hereof was informed by a special
messenger, that there was "a gentleman in distress" at the debtor's
prison, who desired to see him. Not for the instant recollecting any
friend who was just then in need of house-room at the public expense,
the writer was entirely at a loss to imagine who could have requested
the interview. But aside from the dictates of humanity, in a country
where every Shylock has a right to imprison such of his debtors as may
have become too poor to pay in any thing but flesh, it is always wise
to answer summonses of this description, since there is no telling
whose turn may come next. And besides, if your friend in the bilboes
has brought himself thither by his own imprudence, there is a chance
that you may have the consolation of seeing him come out a wiser man
than he went in.

No time was lost, therefore, in repairing to the sombre and substantial
mansion already described. It was during the latter days of the
venerable "Poppy Lownds," as the worthy old jailer was called, who for
so long a succession of years had presided over the internal police of
the prison. He was a kind-hearted old gentleman; and amidst all the
storms and vicissitudes of party, was never removed from office during
his life-time--for the good reason, probably, among others, that the
venerable officer had grown so lusty in his place, that it was
impossible to remove him out of it, without removing a portion of the
prison walls also. Be that, however, as it may, the writer found Poppy
Lownds sitting in his big oaken arm-chair, dozing in some pleasing
reverie, like a Turk over his sherbet after dinner, or "as calm and
quiet as a summer's morning," to quote a favorite metaphor of the day,
in regard to the guiding spirit of an often-killed but still living and
breathing "monster." As the writer entered his apartment, he took a
long pipe from his mouth with the most easy deliberation, while the
last whiff from the aromatic Virginia weed curled upward in an azure
cloud, and mingled with the vapor which had preceded it.

Having made known the cause of my visit, in answer to the inquiry as to
the inmate of his establishment who had despatched the messenger, Poppy
Lownds assured me that the "distressed gentleman" was a good-looking
stranger, with an indifferent wardrobe, and rather out-at-the-elbows
like,--destitute of money, and somewhat in want of a dinner,--but one
of the easiest and best-natured prisoners ever committed to his charge,
since the evacuation by the British troops, in November, 1783;--an
event, by the way, which General Morton will not live long enough to
forget, although on every cold and drizzling return of the anniversary,
his brigade for three generations past have heartily wished that it had
taken place in June, or almost not at all!

The scowling turnkey was thereupon summoned, and the writer was
conducted through one dark passage and another, secured by bolts and
bars enough to have ensured the safe keeping of Baron Trenck, or a
second Ethan Allen. At length, ascending a flight of stairs, he was
ushered into an apartment, connected with several others, the
communicating doors between which were opened for the day, containing
sundry sorry groups of inmates, with long beards, and patches upon both
elbows, some of whom were eating the soup just received from that
excellent charity, the Humane Society--while others were playing at all
fours, with cards looking as old and dirty as though first used by the
Moabites. Others, again, were engaged at domino; and others still
busied in scoring the walls with their pen-knives, or whittling
shingles as they whistled for want of thought. These latter were
Yankees of course; but an air of idleness and indifference pervaded the
apartments, which almost begets a yawn in the remembrance.

When the good Vicar of Wakefield was sent to prison by the villany of
Thornhill, he expected on his entrance to find nothing but lamentations
and various sounds of misery; but it was very different. The prisoners
seemed all employed in one common design--that of forgetting thought in
merriment or clamor. My own disappointment was equally great on the
occasion I am relating--although there was less of clamor, probably,
than that encountered by the Vicar--owing, most likely, to the
lassitude incident to a fervid sun in July. But in all other respects,
the prison scene depicted by Goldsmith one hundred years ago, would
have answered very well for New-York in 1821--albeit we discerned not
among them the shrewd features of a Jenkinson, and heard nothing of the
cosmogony either of Sanchoniathon or Manetho.

Among them all, however, there was not a countenance that could be
recognized, and the writer began to flatter himself that he had been
called by mistake. It was not so. Turning to a strongly grated window
in another direction, whom should he see but his quondam friend Doctor
Wheelwright--as sound asleep as though in attendance upon a lecture on
the circulation of the blood, in the Medical College! On awaking him
from his slumber, he appeared neither surprised nor chagrined at the
interview. "The iron had not entered into _his_ soul," whatever might
have been the case with others--as may be inferred from the following
brief dialogue, in which my friend bore his part with all imaginable
_non-chalance_:--

"Ah, doctor, is this you?"

"How are you? Why shouldn't it be?"

"But pray how came you here?"

"Like most other honest people, for that matter--because I couldn't
help it. But it's all come of a mistake."

"Why, they have not mistaken you for another man, have they?"

"I can't say exactly that; but I made a mistake in going into the
lottery trade."

"Then you didn't draw the high prize, eh?"

"No: but I came plaguey nigh it though--three more of the figures would
have given me two of them."

"Indeed! you made the mistake in selecting the tickets, then? All you
wanted was the right numbers!"

"Exactly so: but it's no use to cry over spilt milk, you know; and
besides, that fellow the manager has failed, so that it's all blanks
and no prizes, and I am as well off as others. But if I could dream as
well as that Mr. Clark did, with his eyes open, in Richmond, I should
like to go into Yates & M'Intyre's next scheme. It's well enough to
have honest managers, you know."

"Very true, friend Wheelwright; but even then, it is the last 'way to
wealth,' in my opinion, that any sensible man would take--on
calculation."

"Yes: but then it's well enough to be in luck's way, _arnt it_?"

It will readily have been perceived from the language and bearing of
Wheelwright, that his spirits were far less depressed than his
circumstances. Indeed he was as cheerful and as full of good nature as
ever,--indifferent as to the past,--not much troubled at the
present,--and yet unconcerned and full of hope for the future.

On making the necessary inquiry into the state of his affairs, it
appeared that, not having a superabundance of visible means for his
support, his landlord, on hearing that he had missed drawing the high
prize, had very unkindly seized upon his clothes for his board, and
shut him up so that he could earn nothing to pay the balance. But, so
that it is a part of the contract that in default of the payment of a
debt, the delinquent promises to go to jail, it is all right. The
wisdom of sending him there, is another matter, which there is not time
now to discuss, and we proceed. My friend's object in sending for me,
was merely to obtain the means of procuring "a little something to
eat," since his only food for the week preceding had been given him by
one of the prisoners--a venerable man, with snow-white hair, who had
been an inmate of the prison upward of thirty years, and who, to the
day of his death, refused to leave the prison, although the creditors
who had imprisoned him, had long since paid the debt of nature. If
deeds of charity, or the voice of mercy, or the requirements of
business, have in former days called any of the readers of these pages
to the old prison, they will remember this ancient prisoner. The old
man had perhaps read the pathetic tale in the school-books, of the aged
prisoner released from the Bastile, and he cared not to return to a
world by which he was unknown, or had long since been forgotten. If,
perchance, any of those whom he had once taken by the hand, were yet on
the stage, their chariot-wheels might roll too fast to enable them to
recognize the poor old man by whose early patronage they had been
enabled to purchase their equipage. He therefore preferred the cold
victuals of his prison-house, to the cold charities of the world.

Wheelwright had already taken the preliminary steps to procure relief
under the insolvent law. He should soon be discharged from jail "by
order of the honorable Richard Riker;"--and as "the world owed him a
living," he was quite confident of doing well enough yet.

All that was necessary for his comfort was of course done for him, and
at the time appointed, he was discharged from prison in due course of
law--free from debt--and the wide world all before him where to choose.
His clothes were redeemed from the landlord; and setting his face
northward, he departed, in the first steamboat, for the ancient city of
Albany, and to revisit the scenes of his youth in the valley of the
Mohawk.



CHAPTER IX.

AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL.

"Who can speak broader than he who has no house to put his head
in?"--_Shakspeare._

"With darkness circled, and an ambient cloud."


Nearly a year elapsed after his release from the old _don-jon_,
before I was enabled again to rejoice in a meeting with my friend
Wheelwright; and our interview happened on this wise: Passing by, or
rather crossing, the foot of Courtland-street, one bright morning in
May, I observed a group of laborers occupied in placing some articles
of heavy iron-machinery on board of an Albany sloop--the General
Trotter, I believe, commanded by Capt. Keeler--a veteran navigator of
the Hudson. And whom should I discover among these men, giving
directions with an authoritative air, and actually bending his own back
to the work, but the veritable Doctor Daniel Wheelwright! It was indeed
no less a personage. From the previous character and habits of my
friend, the reader may judge of my surprise at beholding him thus
engaged--laboring, too, as though his work was made easy by the good
will with which he was performing it. Having exchanged salutations,
mingled with expressions of surprise at finding him thus employed, and
inquired upon what new enterprise he was bent--

"Why havn't you hearn?" was his response.

"No," was the laconic reply.

"What? not of the launch of the 'Lady-of-the-Lake,' on Lake George?"

"Ah--let me see--yes: I think I have seen a paragraph respecting it, in
the Sandy Hill newspaper. But pray what have _you_ to do with that?"

"To do with it? Why every thing. I am the agent of the concern. I have
made up the company, and built the boat. The engine has gone up the
river, and I am now shipping the last of the machinery.--[Come, bear a
hand there, boys--what are you about?] Have you ever been to Lake
George? If you want to see a touch of the grand and glorious, I guess
you'll find it there. The hills is sublime; and the lake so clear that
you can see the stars in it when it's cloudy."

"Indeed! And you then are to be wedded to the Lady-of-the-Lake?"

"And a beautiful thing she is, too. We shall have all the travel of the
grand tower through the lake to Montreal, and mean to have the boat
ready to take the first travellers from the Springs after the fourth of
July."

"And you are really looking up in the world again?"

"To be sure I be. I always told you that the world owed me a living,
and I believe I have at last struck upon the right track to find it.
[Come, bear a hand there, boys--Why don't you take hold of that
shackle-bar, Tom?"]

Saying which he applied his own shoulder to a huge cog-wheel, with the
alacrity, if not the power, of another Hercules.

I was alike surprised and gratified with this apparent change in the
Doctor's circumstances, as also at the unwonted industry and energy he
was now putting forth. It seemed as though by some rare chance, my
esteemed and hitherto unfortunate friend had at length become
associated in an enterprise for which he might be found very competent,
and which might one day prove valuable--at least to him, if not to the
stockholders. He was moreover taking hold of the work himself like one
who had at last been taught by the "sweet uses of adversity," that a
man is not always certain of obtaining a living by his wits, unless the
labors of his own hands are superadded. Fashionable travelling during
the summer months, was even then extensive; it was increasing from year
to year--and was sure to continue increasing, with the augmentation of
the national wealth and population. The unsurpassed attractions of that
region--the lake--its bright waters--its enchanting islands--its course
of winding beauty--and its stupendous mountains--glorious in their
height, their wildness, and their desolation,--would soon become more
generally known, and must inevitably command the attention of all
travellers of taste, whenever it should appear that its surface might
be traversed by a steamboat in a few hours, from the ruins of Fort
William Henry at one extremity, to those of Ticonderoga at the other.
Wishing the Doctor a good morning, therefore, and all possible success
in his new undertaking,--in which he was evidently sustained by the
strongest hope and the most undoubting confidence,--we parted for that
time--not, however, without a promise on the part of my friend,
proffered of his own accord,--as had been the case at sundry times
before,--that he would shortly remit the amount of several small
advances which it had fortunately been from time to time in my power to
make, for the purpose of occasionally rescuing him from his
oft-returning pecuniary tribulations.

The machinery all arrived safe, and in good condition, at the head of
the lake, and the boat was actually completed, under the charge of Dr.
Wheelwright. The good people of the little borough of Caldwell rejoiced
in the brightening prospects of their village, and actually began to
calculate how soon they might be able to repaint their houses, and
substitute nine by seven window glass for the old hats and petticoats
which, in the progress of their poverty, had been stuffed into the
broken casements.

Arrangements were making for the first trip down the lake, and among
the fairy islands apparently floating like emeralds upon its bosom; and
but a few days more were to elapse before all things were to be in
readiness. Meantime, however, before the captain and crew had been
shipped, and in order that accident might not happen to the fair
Lady-of-the-Lake, or danger come nigh her, Mr. Wheelwright slept on
board himself, like a prudent guardian of the property confided to his
charge.

The last memorable night on which he thus slept on board, was
remarkably clear and beautiful. All was silent and sublime among the
lofty mountains in which the peaceful lake lay deeply embosomed. A
grateful coolness pervaded the atmosphere, and no sounds disturbed the
general repose, after the night-hawk and whip-poor-will had ceased
their vesper-melodies, save the distant hootings of the owl on the
mountain-side, or the occasional crash of a dried limb of a tree, over
which the prowling wolf, or perchance some heavier tenant of the
forest, was bounding. The stars hung pendent and sparkling like
diamonds from a canopy of "living sapphires," and were reflected back
with vivid brilliance from the dark surface of the waters.

A poet could not have gone to bed on such a night, and amid such a
scene of gloomy grandeur as this. But the agent of the Lady-of-the-Lake
was not distinguished for enthusiasm of that sort, and he turned into
his berth--having no oyster-supper to eat--at a very early hour, and
betook himself to dreaming--not "of antres vast and desarts idle,"--or
of what is sublime and glorious in creation,--but of piston-rods and
safety-valves--pence and passengers. But his repose was disturbed in a
manner alike unexpected and unwelcome; by a catastrophe, too, which had
well-nigh deprived the world of the farther services of Mr.
Wheelwright, and his biographer of the pleasing duty of extending these
memoirs beyond the present chapter. In plain terms, at about half-past
twelve o'clock he was awakened by a choking sensation, and sprang upon
his feet, already half suffocated by smoke. The awful truth of the
cause was literally _flashing_ around him upon all sides. The
Lady-of-the-Lake--the first of the fair upon whom he had ever in fact
bestowed his affections--was not only on fire, but the flames had
already made such progress in the work of destruction as at once to
preclude the hope of extinguishing them. From the cabin windows, the
appearance rendered it certain that the whole structure was wrapped in
a sheet of flame. In the next instant, the fire burst through the
dividing partition of the cabins, obliging our hero to fly in his
night-gown, with his inexpressibles under his arm. Thus, coatless and
bootless, he leaped on shore, when delay a second longer would have
effectually prevented his ever recounting the tale.

What a moment, and what a spectacle for a lover of the "sublime and
beautiful!" Could Burke have visited such a scene of mingled
magnificence, and grandeur, and terror, what a vivid illustration would
he not have added to his inimitable treatise upon that subject! Let
the reader picture the scene to himself. There, at the dark hour of
midnight, among the ruins of Fort William Henry and Fort George, stood
Daniel Wheelwright, alone, like Marius amid the ruins of Carthage,--_in
puris naturalibus_; as the insurgent Shays fled on horseback, and in a
snow-storm, from the face of General Lincoln--and looking for all the
world like a forked radish, as Shakspeare says of Justice Shallow. But
albeit ludicrous in his own plight and position, there was nothing of
that character in the scene around him, or in his own contemplations.
The fire raged with amazing fury and power,--stimulated to madness
as it were, by the pitch, and tar, and dried timbers, and other
combustible materials used in the constriction of the boat. The lurid
flames ascended to a great height,--the smoke rolled upward in majestic
volumes, while the light, red as the flames of Ætna, streamed across
the lake, gilding the crumbling battlements of the old fort, flushing
the face of the waters, and tinging the mountain sides to their very
crests. The night-bird screamed with terror, and the beasts of prey
fled in wild affright into the deep and visible darkness beyond.

This is truly a gloomy place for a lone person to stand in of a dark
night--particularly if he has a touch of superstition. There have been
fierce conflicts on this spot--sieges, and battles, and fearful
massacres. Here have the Briton, and the Gaul, and the painted savage,
mingled in the dread fight,--steed rushing upon steed, hands clenched
in hands with grappling vigor, while the climbing fire, and the
clashing steel, and eyes flashing with maddened fury, and the appalling
war-whoop of the Indian, have all combined in adding terror to "the
rough frowns of war." Here "hath mailed Mars sat on his altar up to his
ears in blood," smiling grimly at the music of echoing cannons, the
shrill trump, and all the rude din of arms, until, like the waters of
Egypt, the lake became red as the crimson flowers that blossom upon its
margin.[1] And if at "the witching hour of night," the unquiet ghosts
of murdered sinners _do_ stalk forth to re-visit earth by the pale
glimpses of the moon, the slaughter of Fort William Henry might have
furnished a goodly number of shadowy companions for the hero of a tale
which is no fiction. But I am not aware that any of them came forth to
add to the troubles of that memorable night, or divert his mind from
what must then have been the absorbing subject of his contemplations.
Still, if they had had any desire of mustering for a midnight review,
or for a goblin-dance, they lost the best opportunity, probably, that
will again occur for ages;--since another such illumination of the
beautiful esplanade in front of the old fortress where the massacre
took place, and where the skeleton platoons would of course have
mustered, will never again be presented--at least not until another
Doctor Wheelwright shall build and watch over the fortunes of another
Lady-of-the-Lake.

In the course of an hour, the beautiful vessel was burned to the
water's edge; when the weight of the massive iron machinery, rendered
white and malleable by the intenseness of the heat, carried down the
hull to the bottom, and the waters closed over it, sissing and boiling
for a moment, as when a stream of lava runs burning into the embrace of
the ocean. The illumination being thus extinguished, darkness once more
brooded over the mountains, the face of the deep, and the fortunes of
Mr. Daniel Wheelwright--of whom, for the present, we must take leave,
even while thus he stands, as Sir John Moore lies under the walls of
Corunna--"alone in his glory"--surveying

    "----The circling canopy
    Of night's extended shade."


      [1] The _Lobelia Cardinalis_, commonly called the _Indian
      Eye-Bright_. It is a beautiful blossom, and is frequently met
      with in this region. The writer has seen large clusters of it
      blooming upon the margin of the "_Bloody Pond_," in this
      neighborhood--so called from the circumstance, of the slain being
      thrown into this pond, after the defeat of Baron Dieskau, by Sir
      William Johnson. The ancients would have constructed a beautiful
      legend from this incident, and sanctified the sanguinary flower.



CHAPTER X.

HOW HE AGAIN CHANGES HIS CIRCUMSTANCES.

"When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think that I should live
till I were married."--_Shakspeare._

"I knew a wench married in an afternoon, as she went to the garden for
parsely to stuff a rabbit."--_Idem._


The year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two, is yet
freshly remembered in New-York, as being the last, (thus far,) in which
that metropolis was visited by the afflictive plague of yellow fever.
It was also a memorable year in the life of Doctor Wheelwright. Most of
the inhabitants were obliged to flee the city--those who could, to the
country;--and those who could not, to the temporary lodges hastily
constructed for their reception upon the then unoccupied grounds
between Broadway and the North River, now covered by Greenwich and the
splendid edifices of the fifteenth ward--containing much of the present
opulence and taste of the city. The location of the writer hereof was
near the hotel and nine-pin alley, kept by Signor Fieschi;--an Italian,
celebrated for the excellence of his segars, and for whipping his wife
with rods larger than is allowed by the English common law--the size of
Lord Chief Justice Holt's little finger being the maximum in such
cases.

The Autumn of that year was remarkable for the beauty and clemency of
the weather. Knowing that there was little hope for the abatement of
the pestilence, and none of its extinction, until after a severe frost,
the exiled citizens were never before so anxious for the frosty
foretaste of winter. But the heavens continued cloudless, and week
after week of ethereal mildness succeeded, until past the middle of
October.

It was during this protracted season of sunny weather, that for several
days in succession, I observed my old friend Wheelwright passing the
window of my temporary office, in company and close conversation with a
lady clad in the deepest habiliments of mourning. The doctor was well
dressed, and so was the lady; for the suit and trappings of her wo were
new as though she was but recent from "the sad burial feast," probably,
of her wedded lord. Whether her countenance was as indicative of a
sorrowful and bleeding heart, as the deep sables in which she was
veiled, I could not tell. But no matter: day after day were they
seen strolling leisurely up the then unbuilt portion of Broadway, and
among the wooded lanes leading therefrom in the outskirts of the city.
Love lane--a retired and charming walk--exactly the place for meditation
or making love,--crossing over from the Bloomingdale road to the North
River, which has since been "improved" out of existence,--was a favorite
place of resort with my old friend and his fair companion--_fair_, no
doubt she was, albeit her beauty was hidden from the vulgar gaze in the
manner already indicated.

But who was _she_? Perhaps a sister, or some other near relative
of his, whose husband had been swept off by the pestilence, and into
whose throbbing bosom he was kindly endeavoring to pour some of the
balmy drops of consolation! But no--such could not be the fact, since
no corresponding weed of sorrow appeared upon his own well-brushed
beaver. Perhaps a stranger, just rendered an orphan, or bereft of a
brother by the ruthless hand of the West India plague--an acquaintance
of my friend, whose melancholy he was kindly endeavoring to assuage.
But, on the other hand, such offices were quite out of his line, since
he was not easily moved--unless from one purpose to another--and of all
men he was the most unused "to the melting mood." It was truly a
perplexing affair; and the mystery was increased by the pains taken by
Wheelwright to avoid such an interview with me as might lead to an
_eclaircissement_. Several times did I strive to throw myself in the
way of the lady and her assiduous attendant--venturing even to cross
their path, on one occasion, for the purpose of making some discovery.
But the attempt was vain, for my old acquaintance had apparently become
so near-sighted as not to discern a person, unless he came bolt-upright
against him--or unless, perchance, on some occasions, when he was
sufficiently far-sighted, to enable him to turn a corner in season to
avoid an interview. Once, and once only, I received a nod of
recognition; but although I had succeeded in gaining a closer proximity
than usual, all that I could ascertain through the deep folds of the
lady's crape, was an impression that she was pale, pensive, a little
pock-marked, and five and thirty. Had the ladies not all been driven
from the city by the pestilence, I should most assuredly have engaged
some one or more of them to solve the question, whether the doctor was
engaged in offices of sympathy, or an affair of the heart--or whether
he was actually _engaged_ in any way. But there was no pretty familiar
at hand skilled in these delicate matters; and I was therefore
compelled to forego, for a time at least, the gratification of my
curiosity.

Obedient to the law of the disease, with the first sound frost, the
fever disappeared; the citizens returned to their respective homes;
resumed their wonted avocations; and as usual in New-York, the calamity
which had interrupted its business, and driven its inhabitants out of
town for half the season, was forgotten, with its consequences, in a
fortnight. One of my earliest visiters, after business had resumed its
accustomed channels, was none other than the subject of this memoir,
whose recent avoidance of me had been marked with so much emphasis. He
entered my little _sanctum_ with a grin between a smile and a laugh,
and was evidently on excellent good terms with all the world, himself
not excepted. Without waiting to see what might be his reception, he
began:

"Ah, Colonel, how are ye? Escaped the yellow fever, then, eh?"

"Yes: I have been thus fortunate--and am well."

"Is that all you've got to say? I hope you've hearn of my good luck,
haint you? You know I've always said the world owed me a living."

"I hope you'll get it: Pray what new scheme are you driving at now, Mr.
Wheelwright?"

"Do tell! don't you know that I am now a married man--good as the rest
of you?"

"Married, my good doctor! To whom?"

"Why, to a young widow from England, with only one child, and worth
thirty-thousand pounds sterling--think of that!"

"Indeed! Well: I wish you joy, doctor. It's a long road that never
turns. But I hope there's no doubt"--

"There's no doubt or mistake in the matter. The lady was the widow of
an Irish captain, and"--

"The lady in mourning, I presume, to whom you seemed so attentive up
town, a few weeks ago? But whence the necessity of keeping so dark upon
the subject?"

"I thought it like enough you'd think I was behaving kinder-curious-like.
But her husband was lately dead, and she didn't care to see any body
just then;--and besides, I was determined nobody should know what was
going on betwixt us, till the job was done."

"A rich widow, then, and thirty-thousand pounds--sterling, did you
say?"

"Why, to be sure I did."

"And is she young and handsome?"

"She's comfortably good looking--though I don't know that you would say
raly handsome. But the thirty-thousand pounds, you know----"

"Very true: But who would have ever dreamed of your turning
fortune-hunter?"

"No body had more need on't than I."

"Not handsome, but rich: and so, I suppose you will soon learn to sing
the old ballad--

    "Her _golden_ charms so sweetly _shine_,
      While rising to my raptured view;
    That I would rather call _them_ mine,
      Than any _girl_ I ever knew!"

"Why, you don't mean to poke fun at me, I hope?"

"Not at all: But have you got the _ready_? Did she give you the
guineas, or good bills of exchange, with her person?"

"Why, no, not exactly that. The fact is, that her property belonged to
her husband, the late Captain Scarlett, of the King's Own, and it's all
vested in real estate."

"And you are quite sure?"

"As sure as a gun: just as sure as if I had the money in my hands. She
has a long row of housen in Dublin, and owns several housen, besides,
in one of the best streets in Liverpool."

Having communicated this agreeable intelligence, Mr. Wheelwright was
apparently about taking his departure, and moved to the door; but
suddenly turning round, as though some part of his errand had been
forgotten, he resumed:--

"So, you see, the small matter I am owing you will soon be paid;--but I
shall be obleeged to raise a little money--only a thousand dollars or
so--to pay a lawyer to investigate the titles, and I think it
like-enough I shall be obleeged to go to England before I get it all
settled."

"Oho! Then you are not quite so certain of the fortune, after all. The
titles are yet to be examined, eh?"

"But that won't amount to nothing serious though. I know all about it."

"Still, my good doctor, it would have been better had you looked well
to those titles before she obtained a title to you."

"But it's of no consequence. You see the case is just here: The
captain, d'ye see, had something to do with another woman, who now
claims the property for her children; but she wasn't his wife, and it
will all come right, as my lawyer tells me, if I can only get him a few
hundred dollars to carry it on."

By this time I began to see much more of the poor fellow's case than he
did himself. But as it was not particularly convenient for me to
accommodate him with another advance, we parted for that time--he to
live out his honey-moon in dreams of treasures shortly to be added to
the bliss of "wedded love"--and I to indulge in a variety of
reflections naturally arising upon the subject, which were doubtless
very good, though long since forgotten. The sagacious reader will,
perhaps, have no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that my
reflections and Doctor Wheelwright's treasures proved, in the end, of
about equal value; and that neither would have been taken as good
security by any bank or broker to whom application might have been made
for a loan of the required funds. Whether such a conclusion, when
arrived at, would be correct or not, will be discovered in a succeeding
chapter.



CHAPTER XI.

PREPARES TO LIVE BY HIS LEARNING.

"For now sits Expectation in the air."--_Shakspeare._

"A man, to be the governor of an island, should know something of
grammar. 'Grammar?' replied Sancho, 'who the d----l is he?'"--_Don
Quixotte._


The mellifluous bard of Twickenham was egregiously mistaken when he
pronounced "a little learning" to be "a dangerous thing." Had it not
been for the modicum of letters, small as it was, acquired by Mr.
Wheelwright, at the school of which I had occasion to speak early in
the present history, to say nothing, as seems most meet, of the
university, his family would now have been rather short of bread and
butter. They had great possessions, of the which they were not yet
possessed. But these were a great way off; and, most unfortunately,
somebody else had obtained the occupancy, and held the titles. Nor,
from the existing state of Mr. Wheelwright's finances, according to the
report of his counsel, was there any immediate prospect of his soon
becoming master of what was now in the right of his wife unquestionably
his own. The consolation, however, was, that in the end, when those in
the unjust possession of the property should be ejected, they would be
compelled to disgorge the accumulating revenues from the rental, and
other sources of income. Meanwhile it was necessary that Mr.
Wheelwright should set about doing something "to make the pot boil."
Accordingly, after casting round for an occupation which promised to
produce the greatest income for the least bodily or mental exertion and
the smallest capital, it was determined by himself and lady to
establish a classical school for the instruction of young ladies and
gentlemen, in one of the most flourishing villages adjacent to the city
of New-York.

Mr. Wheelwright was too well acquainted with the way in which most
public objects for private advantage are managed now-a-days, not to
secure the countenance, and, if possible, the editorial assistance of
the conductor of a "happy folio of four pages," which once a week
poured forth its treasures of knowledge for the enlightenment of the
good people in the village, and the region round about, even to
New-Utrecht and Flatlands. He therefore, and that wisely, sought the
acquaintance of the gentleman of paste and scissors, with an
advertisement ready prepared--of somewhat formidable dimensions--and
for the composition of which he was indebted to a retired schoolmaster,
who had cheerfully rendered this little service for the occasion. Like
most of the conductors of the latter-day luminaries which dispense that
sound political wisdom and universal knowledge which render the people
of this nation "the most intelligent on earth," the editor was very
accessible and gracious. Indeed, he was truly desirous of testifying
the satisfaction he felt, on the accession to his village of an
institution which promised so many advantages, particularly to the
gentler sex of the rising generation; and which would offer another
inducement for people to do their eating, and sleeping, and tax-paying
on Long Island, and their business in New-York. His next publication,
therefore, contained the following article:--

    "_From the Longa Insula Astra, Dec. 10, 1822._

    "We take great pleasure in calling the attention of those of our
    citizens who are parents to the article which will be found
    immediately below. It was indeed handed in as an advertisement; but
    we feel so deeply interested in the object proposed, to say nothing
    of the classical and poetical beauty of the article itself, that we
    could not forbear awarding to it a greater conspicuity. Indeed we
    scarcely know when we have published an article with more
    heart-felt pleasure. The gentleman and lady, we understand, have
    been reduced by a succession of misfortunes, from a state of
    affluence to that of much humbler circumstances. But with that
    noble spirit of independence which, we are proud to say, is so
    peculiarly the indweller of American bosoms, they have determined
    to rise superior to their misfortunes, and win for themselves that
    patronage which they have heretofore had it in their power to
    dispense. We have had the pleasure of a personal interview with the
    gentleman who is to have the charge of the proposed institution. He
    appears to be well educated, modest, and unassuming--a master of
    the ancient languages, as his lady is of the modern; and from what
    we have heard, we doubt not their ample qualifications for the
    undertaking. Mrs. W. has enjoyed the advantages of foreign travel,
    which will enable her to form the manners of her pupils after the
    best models of the _salons_ of Paris, Vienna, and London; and
    we believe that by her judicious counsel she has been of great
    service to the most celebrated female seminaries in New-York, as
    also to the distinguished seminary in Troy--all of which, we trust,
    will soon be rivalled by that of our own village. It is the design
    of Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright to extend their institute as rapidly as
    will be consistent with their means, and in the course of a year or
    two to obtain a charter for a college, with power to confer degrees
    upon their female as well as their male pupils. And why not? The
    intellectual equality of females with males has been fully
    established by the Edgeworths, and Hannah Mores, and Lady Morgans
    of Europe, and by females equally illustrious among our own fair
    countrywomen, only they do not occur to us just at this moment.
    Why, then, should not female proficients be entitled to degrees of
    merit, as well as nine-tenths of the blunder-heads who go through
    college, and come out no wiser than they went in? For our parts we
    shall stand up for female rights,--for, as the poet says:--

        "The world was sad, the garden was a wild,
        And man, the hermit, sighed, till woman smiled.

    "We therefore hope the college will go on, and when we obtain the
    South Ferry, we will look about to see what is to be done next. But
    we have not room to extend our remarks--of which, however, there is
    no occasion, since the eloquent article below will speak for
    itself.

        "EDUCATION.

        "'Tis education shows the way,
        Each latent beauty to display;
        Each happy genius brings to light,
        Conceal'd before in shades of night;--
        So diamonds from the gloomy mine,
        Taught by the workman's hand to shine,
        On Chloe's ivory bosom blaze,
        Or grace the crown with brilliant rays.

        "PHILOMATHIAN INSTITUTE.

    "Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright beg leave to announce to parents and
    guardians in this village and its vicinity, that on the 1st of
    January now ensuing, they will open a literary and classical
    institution for the instruction of the rising generation--both of
    young gentlemen and ladies. The rising glories of this western
    hemisphere have scarcely yet begun to be developed; and as Mr. and
    Mrs. Wheelwright have been deeply impressed with the importance, in
    a young and rising republic, of having the youth of the land, of
    both sexes, reared in the paths of virtue and the intellectual
    flower-garden of knowledge, they have determined to devote their
    best faculties to the sacred cause of education,--fully believing,
    from the inexpressible interest they feel upon the subject, that
    they shall be enabled to exclaim with the immortal poet--

        "'Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
        And teach the young idea _how to shoot_!'

    "From long and profound reflection upon the never-sufficiently-
    enough-to-be-estimated subject of education, Mr. and Mrs.
    Wheelwright have become entirely and unchangeably persuaded that
    all existing systems of instruction are essentially, and radically,
    as they may say, if not from the root, erroneous, and consequently
    defective as it were; and they trust that they shall be enabled to
    introduce such improvements and innovations in the science of
    teaching, as essentially to assist the spirit of a generous
    emulation in its efforts for noble rivalry; to aid the aspirations
    of a well-regulated ambition; and to encourage, in all possible and
    practicable ways, the desire of young genius to wing his eagle
    flight, as it were, on the pinions of intellectual corruscations.
    Every branch of human learning, either useful or ornamental, or of
    the least utility, will be taught at the Philomathian Institute,
    for which Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright feel the utmost confidence in
    their own capacities and qualifications; since, in addition to
    being a graduate of one of the first universities of the age in
    which we live, Mr. W. has studied a learned profession, and Mrs. W.
    is possessed of the superior advantage of having been reared and
    educated in several of the leading European capitals. The utmost
    regard will be had to the morals and manners of such young
    aspirants as may be entrusted to their charge. To invigorate the
    constitutions of the pupils, a gymnasium will be provided for the
    boys of the male sex, and one hour per day will be devoted to
    callisthenics in the female department, to be occupied by the
    girls. In this department, the higher branches of instruction, both
    useful and ornamental, will be prosecuted under the immediate
    superintendence of Mrs. Wheelwright, who will spare no pains in the
    inoculation of the soundest lessons of virtue, while yet their
    young and youthful minds can be bent like the twig, and inclined
    like the tree, as the poet says. Those who desire it will receive
    instruction in the elements of moral philosophy, for which purpose
    they must be provided with Newtown's Principles, and other works of
    the kind. Mrs. Wheelwright has paid much attention to this sublime
    and beautiful study, which so enraptured the immortal Milton:--

        "'How charming is divine Philosophy!
        Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
        But musical as Apollo's lute,
        And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,
        Where no rude surfeit reigns.'

    "It is to such a feast that the young ladies of this village will
    soon be invited. Great pains will moreover be taken to cultivate
    the domestic habits and affections, as the poet says:--

        "'Man may for wealth and glory roam,
        But woman must be bless'd at home;
        To this should all her studies tend,
        This her great object, and her end.'

    "At the same time no efforts will be spared to keep their young
    budding minds from vicious associations, and to render them as
    sweet as innocent, as innocent as gay, as gay as happy:--

        "'Vice is a monster of such frightful mien,
        As to be hated, needs but to be seen;
        But seen too oft, familiar with his face,
        We first endure, then pity, then embrace.'

    "Knowing this to be true from experience, the principal and
    vice-principal of the Philomathian Institute will do all in their
    power to keep their pupils in the paths of wisdom, and
    pleasantness, and peace, as Shakspeare, the sweet swan of Avon,
    says. In one word, it will be the object and aim of Mr. and Mrs.
    Wheelwright to qualify the young gentlemen to act nobly their part
    in this republican monarchy, and the young ladies whose education
    has been so long neglected--whose minds have so long been evolved
    in Siberian darkness--and as it were wasting their sweetness on the
    desert air--for the wives and mothers of freedom."

Added to this eloquent and promising proclamation, introduced as we
have already seen, by the editor, were the names of sundry presidents
of colleges, reverend doctors, editors, especially of the religious
papers, various public officers, among whom were the governor of the
state, the mayor and recorder, several classical teachers, and other
gentlemen, as references--most of whom when applied to, declared that
they had never heard of the concern before; others admitted that they
had allowed reference to be made to their names, because they knew
nothing against it; while a few assented to the high qualifications of
the teachers without scruple.

As to the morality of such an unauthorized use of great names, on the
one part, and the authorized use of them on the other, merely to avoid
the utterance of a monosyllable of two letters, when the effect is a
deception upon the public, it is not a subject for present discussion.
Both practices are abuses of the times, which have been carried to such
an extent that nothing can be more unmeaning than references of this
kind--in regard as well to schools, and "institutes," and "seminaries,"
as to the publication of books by subscription, and the superior merits
of patent blacking and razor-straps; as to which, by the way, it has
always been a subject of speculation to the writer, why a reverend
divine or an eminent physician should be supposed better qualified to
give an opinion than a boot-black or a barber. Here, therefore, "let us
breathe," as Shakspeare says, "and happily introduce a course of
learning and ingenious studies," in the next chapter.



CHAPTER XII.

OF THE MARCH OF MIND.

"_Smith._ The clerk of Chatham: he can write, and read, and cast
accompt.

_Cade._ O monstrous!

_Smith._ We took him setting of boys' copies.

_Cade._ Here's a villain!

_Smith._ H'as a book in his pocket with red letters in't.

_Cade._ Nay, then, he's a conjuror.

                    *      *      *      *      *

_Cade._ Dost thou use to write thy name? or hast thou a mark to
thyself, like an honest man?

_Clerk._ Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I
can write my name."--_Shakspeare._


"Hail, wedded love"--"and all that sort of thing."

                         _Milton and Matthews._


It may well be imagined that the appearance of such a flourishing
literary manifesto as that set forth in the preceding chapter, created
an uncommon sensation in the village. The ladies admired the distiches
of poetry with which the pompous proclamation was so plentifully
sprinkled, and the gentlemen, not being conversant with those
convenient _helps_, the "_Elegant Extracts_," supposed of course that
the advertisers must be persons of considerable erudition. Indeed,
the thing took wonderfully, and nothing was thought of, or talked of,
by ambitious mothers, and those opening rose-buds, their daughters,
for the full period of nine days, but the new "Institute," or
"Seminary"--the old-fashioned word "school" never being once mentioned.
Nor were the lords of creation unmindful of the good fortune in which
they were so soon to rejoice. Various situations were proposed and
discussed, for the site of a new edifice which would doubtless be
required within a twelve-month, and real estate rose exorbitantly in
every vicinity thus designated. A charter from the Legislature was
of course to be applied for, and several meetings of those who were
to form the Board of Trustees, were held to adjust the details.
The privileges of a college were to be obtained, with the power
of conferring the same degrees upon female students, as upon
males--forgetting, in their ardor, that the constitution of _female_
Bachelors and Masters of Arts would be a misnomer in any other country
than Ireland. In one word, there was to be no other classical
institution, in this country or any other, comparable with it--and to
it the nuns of Canada, the Moravians of Bethlehem, and the azure-hosed
professors of modern Ilium, would forever thereafter be compelled to
send for instructers.

It need not be added, that under all this excitement, and in view of
all these measures, on the opening of the institute, there was a rush
of pupils, promising golden returns to the accomplished and enterprising
teachers. As to its progress, and the moral and intellectual results,
the biographer has not been supplied with the materials for a minute
history. It is known, however, that the principals provided themselves
with the most modern, and consequently the best elementary "helps" to
be found in the bookstores. Justice also requires of the biographer to
say, that his friend Wheelwright did not enter upon his preceptorial
duties without many severe misgivings; and for some weeks previous to
the opening of the seminary, he applied himself to the work of
preparation with unwonted assiduity. But he was nevertheless sadly
deficient, as may well be supposed. Still, in his classes of geography
and rhetoric, he managed to get along for several weeks, by the aid of
those convenient instruments of instruction, which contain all
necessary questions and answers at the bottom of the pages--Kames and
Malte-Brun done over again by sciolists, so that the real authors would
be astonished to find how greatly they had been simplified. Alexander's
Virgil, also, reflecting the Latin of one page back in English from the
other, was of great assistance to him. But in arithmetic and grammar he
was completely at fault. He had never been able to repeat the whole
multiplication table; and he now found it utterly beyond his capacity
to work a common problem in the rule of three. In grammar, moreover, he
could never quite distinguish between a noun and a verb; and although
he almost committed the rules, and could enumerate the several parts of
speech, yet he could never apply the principles in parsing.

It was not long, therefore, before the most forward of his pupils began
to discover that they knew more than their instructer--and the natural
consequences--contempt and insubordination--speedily followed.

Meantime the qualifications and efforts of Mrs. Wheelwright, in the
other branch of the institute, were presently discovered to be equally,
even if not more, defective and profitless. She was an Irish lady by
birth--had resided for a time in Scotland, and likewise in
England--previous to her visit across the channel to complete her
education in the capital of _la grande nation_. When she left the
emerald isle, "her speech," to use a phrase of Lord Bacon, "was in the
full dialect of her nation." She had afterward conversed enough with
English and Scotch, to complete the union of the three kingdoms--to all
which was added such a smattering of French as was to be acquired by a
residence--as a _femme de chambre_, as it was afterward scandalously
reported--in Paris of a year or perhaps more. She had readily picked up
a good many French words, in the course of her sojourn; but her Gallic
pronunciation was blended with all the other dialects, among which the
brogue of her own mother tongue ludicrously enough predominated.

The reader has probably heard the story of the Yankee candidate for the
mastership of one of our common schools, who, on being asked by the
inspectors whether he knew any thing of mathematics, answered that he
didn't know Matthew, although he had seen a good deal of one Tom
Mattocks, in Rhode Island; but he'd never hearn of his having any
brother. So with Mrs. Wheelwright--Mr. Syntax was equally a stranger to
her. But she had seen some coarse pieces of embroidery from the rustic
pupils of country boarding schools, and knew that they were needlework,
of some sort. She therefore set herself to teaching that elegant branch
of the fine arts. The first group attempted, was a family picture--a
mother and her six children at the tomb of their deceased husband and
father, under what was meant for a willow tree drooping over an
obelisk. But such a group! such a widow! and such weeping children!
Indeed they looked _sorry_ enough. Surely no eye e'er saw such
scare-crows; and no one could look upon them without emotion--but of
what kind, the reader, who has doubtless seen many kindred specimens in
this department of a modern education, may decide for himself. The next
piece was the Prodigal Son, taking leave of his benevolent father, in a
red dress-coat and white-top boots! The drawings were copies, and the
needlework resembling the darnings in the hose to be seen on the heels
of the ladies sitting in the country markets. Thus much for her fancy
work; and the French she taught was on a par. Such French had never
before been spoken--out of Ireland!

Such were the condition and prospects of this hopeful seminary, when
another unexpected change came over the temporal circumstances of poor
Wheelwright. The girls under the charge of his accomplished consort
having been engaged in a frolic during her absence to prepare the
pottage for dinner--and girls at school will always have their
frolics--the gentle instructress returned in a rage, flushed with
passion, the heat of the kitchen fire, and perhaps a drop of the
CRATHUR--swore several big Irish oaths that she would have no more such
carryings on by the _childers_ in her house, and by the powers, she
would be afther clearing them out--the spalpeens!--that's what she
would, honies!

It was her first outbreak of the kind, and the little misses were
appalled, and many of them, thinking, perhaps, that she was crazy, or
had "a drop in her eye," ran home in affright. Nor did their parents,
or at least the most of them, allow their children again to return.

"Rare are solitary woes," says the poet--on the contrary, they are ever
apt to be treading each other's heels; and it was so with the hero of
this biography in the present instance. The school had been undertaken
as a temporary resource, during the pendency of the legal measures
necessary to obtain his estates. It had now been suddenly broken up,
and that, too, before any thing but delays and expense had been
realized. An incident that occurred the day following, moreover, might
have occasioned misgivings as to the future to a man of quicker
perceptions than Mr. Wheelwright--but fortunately his wife was the
earliest riser. It happened that as his spouse was exchanging some
rather undignified jokes with the milkman, a jolly son of Erin came
along, whose rubicund visage kindled with a thousand smiles as his eyes
rested on the lady.

"Och! the top o' the morning to you, Misthress Judy O'Calloran!" says
Pat. "Divil burn me, but it's a long while sin my eyes have seen the
like o'ye, Misthress Judy," he continued.

"And that's you, Misther Thady O'Flannerty," replied the fair one--"but
I'm not Misthress Judy O'Calloran,--and d'ye think it's myself that
does'ent know."

"Troth, and if ye're not Misthress Judy, honey, then it's not your dare
ould mother's darther that ye be."

"Whisht!" rejoined the lady:--"Don't ye percave that it's not I--it's
not Judy--botheration, Thady--how can ye be afther coming where you
ain't known?"

"Och, Judy, thin ye see if it's not ye'rsel, it's bekase I'm not Thady
O'Flannerty that was, sin the wake last night. But it's mighty
unnathural if it's not Judy I suspict. And where's the man that ye had,
Pat Rooney that was!"

"Get ye gone, ye baste," replied the amiable Misthress Wheelwright,
"you mallet-headed bog-throtter, to hinsult an honest woman all of a
suddint so. No gintilman would thrifle with a dacent woman afther this
gate, whin he'd niver seen her."

"Och, murther in Irish now, and it's the blissed thruth, Misthress
Judy, that I was tellin ye. But thin, such is the way of the
world--Saint Pathrick save us! If the crathur hadn't bin afther laving
her own husband, and runnin' off with Pat Rooney, may be that her
darlint ould mother's life would have bin extinded many years afther
her death--shame on the crathur! But thin, it's not the ould lady's
wake that would have bin the last that Thady O'Flannerty attinded in
Limerick--bad luck to her!"

Long before her unwelcome acquaintance had finished his oration,
however, the indignant lady had scampered into the house, slamming the
door after her with great violence, and dashing her pitcher of milk to
fragments by the same unguarded action. But Thady followed on, as
though to make good his acquaintanceship, and was met at the threshhold
by Wheelwright himself, who had been aroused by the clamor.

"And plase your honor," says Thady, "can you tell me where is Misther
Whalewright's boardin'-school that was, that's called the siminary that
is?"

"That _was_--sure enough,--said Wheelwright, bitterly. I 'spose this
is the place you're looking for as-like-as-not."

"Arrah, thin it's the right place that I'm already in--thanks to
Misthress Judy for that. And thin, there's a letter for your worship's
honor, and that's yer'self!"

Wheelwright took the despatch, and at once perceived from the
superscription, that it was a missive from his counsel. He was turning
upon his heel, but Thady, unwilling to retire without a fee, arrested
his retreat by saying:--

"Faith, thin, but I'm thinking your honor's mimory is none of the
longest, and that a thrifle of change would do me no harm for the
throuble I've had."

Wheelwright, hoping that he was the bearer of agreeable tidings from
his estates, threw him all but his last quarter, and Thady took his
leave with,

"Blissings on your honor, and long life to ye; and as your worship is a
civil-spoken gintilman, may be ye'll not think it bowld if I jist hint
to your honor, that if Misthress Judy there is a servant, she needs
looking to--and bad luck to her!"

Not having heard the street dialogue already related, this benevolent
caution was lost upon the husband, who, on opening the note, found it
as he had anticipated--a summons to call upon his lawyer in the city.
High with hope, therefore,--upon the pleasures of which he had been
living already too long,--not doubting that success had at length
crowned the exertions of his legal advisers,--and supposing, therefore,
that the school was just dissolving at the fortunate moment when it was
no longer necessary to his support, he hastened across the ferry. But
alas! Little indeed did he anticipate the cause of his summons to the
city. The development fell upon his disappointed senses like the crash
of a thunderbolt. In the progress of his investigations, the learned
counsel had discovered that the accomplished lady of my friend, was
none other than one of the unmarried wives of the lamented Captain
Scarlett, and that the legal representatives were already in the secure
possession of his estates!



CHAPTER XIII.

HE LIVES AS HE HAD NEVER EXPECTED.

"My stars shine darkly over me"--_Shakspeare._

"A most poor man, made tame by fortune's blows."--_Idem._


How little do one half of the world know how the other half live! And
how just the remark of Goldsmith, that they who would know the miseries
of the poor, must see life and endure it. More especially do these
remarks hold good in respect to the inhabitants of crowded cities. In
country towns, and small villages, every body knows every body, and,
very commonly, almost too much of every body's business. But in large
cities, the people are huddled together in close proximity, and are yet
as much strangers to each other as though divided by a waste of
wilderness or waters. The rich, who fare sumptuously; the middling
class, who have enough, and a little to spare; and the squalid wretch
who would be overjoyed with a basket of coals, and a joint of meat; may
all be found in the same block, and yet neither one of them know any
thing of the comforts, the distress, or the affluence of the other. The
middling and lower classes of people in the country are prone to form
an undue estimate of the advantages, and the comparative ease, of a
city life. Because so much is said of the wealth of cities, they
imagine that all who dwell in them must be rich, and consequently have
no hard labor to perform. But it is a sad mistake. "Great cities," says
the philosopher of Monticello, "are great sores;" and if the envious
and discontented poor know little of the splendid misery of the fancied
rich,--of the number of aching heads and hearts upon beds of
down,--much less do the truly rich, living within great cities, and the
world at large without them,--know of the wretchedness and the crime,
the poverty and the woe, to be found in the great and crowded marts of
trade and commerce in every country. Were mankind, in general, better
informed upon these particulars, there would be less of envy in the
world, and less of poverty. There would likewise be fewer people "well
to do" in the country, crowding to the cities, to become beggars, and
at last either to find dishonorable graves, or, when honestly dead, to
merit the Italian inscription upon a well man who took physic--"I was
well--I wished to be better--and here I am."

During the five years immediately succeeding the catastrophe recorded
at the close of the last chapter, I neither saw, nor heard a syllable
from, the subject of this narrative. The winter of 1827-28, was one of
extraordinary severity in New-York. The month of January, in
particular, was unusually tempestuous and severe. Those of the common
poor, who had been the most improvident and reckless when they should
have husbanded their earnings, were brought upon the public bounty
considerably earlier than usual, and backs "hanging in ragged misery"
were already more plenty than was wont.

It was on a bitterly cold Saturday morning of that month, that my old
and unfortunate friend presented himself in my office--but alas how
changed! He looked exceedingly dejected and poverty-stricken--as though
what little of energy he ever might have possessed, had been utterly
extinguished by the withering touch of penury. A single glance of
course served to show that matters had gone hard with him--and that if
"the world owed him a living," as he was formerly wont to boast, it was
turning him off with a very scanty one. A storm, which had been
fiercely raging for several days, gave no signs of exhaustion.--The
snow, which had been falling for fifty or sixty hours--not in a fleecy
shower, but mingled with cutting particles like hail--filled the
atmosphere, and with each successive gust of a stiff northwester, was
whirled aloft in vast curling sheets and wreaths--or driven through the
narrow streets with a force that was blinding and almost irresistible.
Nor man nor beast ventured forth, save from dire necessity, and it
seemed as though the storm-king with his fiercest aspect, and armed
with all his terrors, had made a conquest of the city.--Wheelwright's
left arm was in a sling, and his tattered garments afforded but a sorry
protection against the rude peltings of the pitiless storm, of which I
have given a very inadequate description.

After the ordinary and reciprocal inquiries as to health, &c. had been
interchanged, he sat several minutes with averted eyes, and without
uttering a syllable. I saw that he was embarrassed, poor fellow!--and
turned to the window--viewing the clouds of snow that were high
upborne, like a canopy over the city, or playing in fantastic wreaths
as the wind whistled around the cornices of the contiguous
buildings--that he might collect himself. At length he broke silence
nearly as follows:--

"I'm afeard you will think I have come on rather curious
business-like--for me."

"How so? What is the case, Mr. Wheelwright?"

"Why, I've had a hard life on't, since I seen you, when my school was
broke up; and I've called to see--I was too proud once to come of such
an arrant--but I thought 'twas likely you would not see a poor family
suffering in such a storm as this."

"Surely not--if it is in my power to render assistance."

"Well, I thought as much--and I've called to see if you have not some
second-hand clothes, and a little something to eat, that you can give
us--or any thing else that you can spare--for we are in very great
distress."

"Indeed--in actual want--of food and clothes, did you say? What has
brought----

"O, don't ask--that woman there--I little thought I should ever come to
this."

"Why have you not informed me of it before? Pray what is the matter
with your hand, doctor?"

"I accidentally run a gouge through it, and hain't been able to do any
work since. We had nothing to live upon. My hands were my only
resources from day to day;--my working tools, and every article of
furniture in the house, to the last blanket, the last shirt, and my
wife's last shawl, have been pawned at the broker's, to enable us to
keep the breath of life in us. We have now neither a stick of wood to
burn, nor a morsel to eat!"

"Can it be possible, my dear sir, that you are reduced to a condition
so deplorable? Why have you not been to see me sooner?"

"I was ashamed."

"But you need not have been. You should not have been left to suffer
deprivations like these."

"I knew that, very well; but after all that has happened, I wished to
bury myself, and never see the face of an old friend again. I hoped to
live through, until my hand got well, and then I could have gone to
work again."

"Work? What work?"

"You know I had partly larnt a trade once--pity I ever left it!--and as
I retained knowledge enough of the use of tools to make common
bedsteads, after my school run down, and my visions of property all
vanished, I engaged in that business, and have contrived to get a poor
living by it ever since, until I cut my hand so dreadfully."

"But your wife--cannot she do something with her needle?"

"What! that woman?"----

He paused, and heaved a deep sigh. It was a bitter exclamation, from
the heart.

"No," he continued. "She has no faculty for getting along. She does
nothing but harass my life out."

"A misfortune, in--

"True enough, I missed the fortune; and I should not have come to you
now, but that we are freezing, and the children were shivering and
crying for something to eat, when I left."

"Children! How many have you?"

"The woman, you know, had one when I married her, and we have had two
since. One of these is dead. I am not sorry. Poor little fellow! he is
much better off."

But it is needless to continue the colloquy. My heart bled for him. His
tale of want and woe was told with the honest simplicity of truth. He
did not shed any tears, but looked as though he was past weeping--like
the personification of disappointment and despair.

From his relation it appeared, that during four years, my unfortunate
friend's only income had been derived from the manufacture of the
common article of furniture already mentioned. His place of residence
and workshop were in the remote eastern part of the city. He had never
the means of purchasing the materials for more than one bedstead at a
time, and was obliged, from his extreme poverty, to carry the timber on
his shoulders from the Albany Basin to his shop--a distance of two
miles. This labor he performed at evenings. The article done, he had
then to carry it to the furniture auction rooms in Chatham-square, for
sale. The profit, over and above the cost of the materials, constituted
the whole of his income--sometimes amounting to a dollar upon each, and
sometimes to not more than two and six-pence--according to the run of
the sales. And thus from day to day, for four long years, had the poor
fellow been living, as we have seen, without allowing the friends of
his better years to know where he was, or in what business or
occupation he was engaged. Having once been the cause of his father's
ruin, he was resolved not to call upon the old gentleman again while he
could possibly avoid it, or preserve life without it. The motive for
his conduct in this trying emergency, was honorable; and in the present
hour of his bitter affliction I felt more sympathy for him, than I had
ever supposed it possible to entertain for a man who, in times past,
had made such indifferent use of his advantages. If there is any thing
in this world that can subdue the passions, damp the ardor, or quench
the spirit of a man, it is biting, remediless, hopeless poverty. Many
are the minds, far more powerful than that of Mr. Wheelwright, which
have sunk under its chilling influence. And my wonder was, how the
doctor had borne up as well as he seemed to have done, under the
complication of calamities which had befallen him.

Having heard his woeful relation through, I did what any one entitled
to the name of man, would have done under the like circumstances. He
was provided with an overcoat, and furnished with a little basket of
provisions; and I promised to call in the afternoon, and examine into
his condition for myself; albeit one of the ancient writers hath
informed us that "he that spendeth his liuelode to helpe the poore at
theyr nede, semeth mad vnto hym who hath reposed the ayd of this
presente lyfe in worldlie riches."

The melancholy history just related by my unfortunate friend, threw me,
after his departure, into a train of musing upon the vicissitudes of
life, and the inequality with which Fortune distributes her favors. I
could not help calling to mind Miss Edgeworth's admirable tale of Murad
the Unlucky, and his friend the lucky Saladin. Like the former,
Wheelwright seemed destined but to fall from one calamity into another,
and effort to retrieve his affairs, did but plunge him deeper into the
slough of misery. I could not but perceive, however, that as in the
case of the persecuted Mussulman, the misfortunes of my poor friend had
their origin in his own bad management, and to speak the honest truth,
of common sense. The wound in his hand, indeed, might perhaps be
accounted an unavoidable casualty; but had it not been for his previous
errors, this misfortune would not have proved the cause of such
hopeless penury and suffering.

We shall see, ere we close our tale whether a better if not a brighter
destiny did not await him in coming years. Meantime, those who would
avoid contemplating a scene of suffering like that which is to follow,
should remember with Seneca,--"He that never was acquainted with
adversity, has seen the world but on one side, and is ignorant of half
the scenes of nature."

Too many there are, even in this boasted age of benevolence, who are
thus ignorant of the scenes referred to by the ancient moralist--who
believe it a virtue to be rich, and that there is no sin but beggary.
"When fortune wraps them warm"--while their tables smoke with savory
viands, and the choicest wines distil their grateful aroma--they turn a
deaf ear to every sound of distress, exclaiming,

    "----------------I am _rich_,
    And wherefore should the clamorous voice of woe
    Intrude upon mine ear?"

But we can forgive them, as their own worst enemies. They know nothing
of the luxury of doing good, and when they are called to make up their
last account, they will mourn that they have no investments in those
funds that never fluctuate--in that bank "where moth and rust doth not
corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." Let such
remember, moreover, that as they brought nothing into world, so they
can carry nothing out of it. And let it also be remembered, in the
language of another, that were there as many worlds as there are
particles of sand in our globe, and were those worlds composed of angel
gold; or were there any thing in the wide extent of the Almighty's
dominion, which is more precious than gold, and were those worlds
composed of that material, all melted into one solid mass, to fill the
coffers of a single individual, it would avail him nothing in procuring
the salvation of his soul, or in affording him happiness beyond the
brief period of his three-score years and ten!



CHAPTER XIV.

THINGS PROVE WORSE THAN WAS EXPECTED.

    "And euery ioye hym is delaied,
    So that within his herte affraied
    A thousande tyme with one breath,
    Wepende he wissheth after death,
    Whan he fortune fynt aduerse."--_Gower._

    "Ah, little think the gay, licentious proud,
    How many pine in want,             *      *
    *   *    *    how many drink the cup
    Of baleful grief, and eat the bitter bread
    Of misery!"


Never in my life, in any place, or under any circumstances, had I
before entered a human abode of such perfect and entire destitution as
that of poor Wheelwright! It was a wretched apology for a house, at
best, containing two stories, of two rooms upon a floor each. The upper
apartments were occupied by several poor Irish families. The front room
below had been Wheelwright's workshop, and the family lived in the room
back of it. Both looked as though they had been swept and garnished by
the hand of Famine herself. Not a single article of furniture, of any
description, was left! Crouched over two short brands,--the remains of
a couple of sticks of wood which a poor neighbor had given them the day
before,--were Wheelwright and his wife, shivering with cold. In one
corner of the room lay two or three bushels of chopped straw, in which
they slept. Not a bed, nor a blanket, nor a chair, nor any article or
utensil of furniture whatsoever, had been left; all, all, was in the
hands of the remorseless pawn-brokers, as the sufferers showed me by
their certificates--pawned, too, for such pitiful sums as at once
attested the oppressive and disgraceful system of avarice upon which
those establishments are conducted. The storm yet howled fearfully
without, and the hard particles of indurated snow were sifting through
the interstices of the crazy building. The eye of man has seldom rested
upon such a scene of stern and unmitigated poverty. Shylock or Sir
Giles Overreach--aye!--any body but a pawn-broker--would have melted
into tears at the spectacle. The children, almost naked, had just been
taken to the fire-side of a poor Irish neighbor, to keep their benumbed
bodies from freezing to the heart. I was appalled for the moment, as I
gazed about upon this unexampled picture of destitution. Before me,
seated on his haunches upon the hearth, was poor Wheelwright, resting
his chin upon his hand,--and "the woman"--unfortunately his wife--by
his side. He was moody--broken--crushed!

"Well!" he exclaimed, as I approached the forlorn couple--"you see what
I have come to!"

I saw the state of the case--the cause, and the effect--at a
glance--"THAT WOMAN!"--as he had denominated her with such emphasis in
the morning. In good sooth, I liked her not. She looked hale and
hearty, notwithstanding their destitution--was ragged, and none of the
neatest in her person.

I entered into conversation with her, and soon discovered that she had
both a sharp, and, if necessary, an artful tongue of her own. I
remarked that she appeared to be in good health, and might, I should
have supposed, do something with her needle toward the supply of their
pressing necessities. But her excuses were many, and were uttered with
genuine Irish eloquence and volubility. The principal of these,
however, were, that, what with taking care of her poor dear husband's
wounded hand, and looking after the _childer_, she had not time, and
could get nothing to do besides.

"Indeed, your honor," said she, "and sure we had everything that was
dacent about us, and were quite happy and comfortable, considering,
until my poor dear husband--God bless him, your worship!--kilt his
hand, and I don't know where is like to be the end of it."

"But," I remarked, "surely, Mrs. Wheelwright, you could have found time
to do a little something--if no more than to buy a loaf of bread and a
few coals now and then, to mitigate your sufferings."

"Fait, your honor"--for if the woman had ever lost any portion of the
peculiar _patois_ of her own country, while living in Paris as a
_femme de chambre_, or with Capt. Scarlett as a mistress, it had
all returned with her more recent associations, and she was now a pure
Emerald--"fait, your honor," said she, "and how could I be afther
laving the poor body in his distress to go out afther work, when I love
him above the world and all that's in it? And then, your worship, I'd
no clothes that was dacent to go out in, and to go to jontlemen's
houses with such tatters as these, Mr. Wheelwright, says I, it would
not do by any manner of means, says I. And that's the rights of it from
end to end, if your worship will ounly hear to me."

Wheelwright himself was evidently bowed down by the severity of his
wants and the depth of his degradation.

If moral energy had ever been one of his characteristics, it was quite
clear that its fire had long since been extinguished; and more than
all, it was equally evident that he was the object of domestic tyranny.
But he uttered no complaint, and indeed scarcely opened his lips,
unless in reply to the interrogations put to him.

My first business was to rescue the unhappy sufferers from immediate
want. Had the woman alone been concerned, my solicitude would have been
hardly discernible. But whatever had been the defects in the character
of Wheelwright, or the errors which, for the most part, were the
consequence, the wide contrast between his present and past condition
was truly affecting. For his indiscretions, never involving moral
obliquity, he had most grievously answered. And, besides, was he not "a
man and a brother!" There is no more charitable people in the world
than those of New-York. Let any case of distress be presented--any call
of real suffering--which has actually been ascertained, and is vouched
for by a respectable citizen, the hearts of the New-Yorkers will
instantly respond to the appeal. Two or three hours of active exertion,
therefore, enabled me to obtain the means, and procure all the supplies
actually necessary; and in three days' time Wheelwright and his family
were comfortably furnished with bedding, clothing, fuel, and provisions
for the residue of the season of snows.

The next measure resolved upon, was the redemption of Wheelwright's
tools and other articles of furniture, clothing, &c., from the hands of
the pawn-brokers, for which purpose he accompanied me. The object was
accomplished after no little trouble, in visiting the principal
establishments doing business under the beautiful sign of the three
golden balls, in Chatham-street, and redeeming one or two articles
here, another there, and a third or fourth somewhere else. But although
this part of the labor was an irksome job, attended by scenes and
objects of a description exceedingly painful, yet I was enabled to read
some dark pages in the book of human nature, which will never be
forgotten.

I had previously imbibed a strong prejudice against those receptacles
of the goods, new and old, of the poor, the miserable, and the vicious.
I had been told of the system of universal cheatery upon which they
practised, and the enormous exactions made in grinding the faces of the
poor. I had heard described their dexterity in the substitution of
colored glass and crystals, for gems, while pretending to examine
articles of the latter description brought for pledges, and was
prepared to encounter all that was sinister and heartless. But the
one-half had not been told me, and I soon found that my previous
conceptions fell far short of the reality. As I have already remarked,
I had occasion to visit several of them, and was detained at each, by
the delays in finding the articles of which I was in search, and for
which the holders had doubtless flattered themselves no inquiries would
ever be made. The press of business at all, was another cause of delay.
It really seemed in my eyes the most fraudulent and oppressive business
in which man could engage. As I recovered Wheelwright's articles, one
by one, it appeared at once that the most outrageous system of
extortion had been practised in every instance. The sums advanced had
been pitiful in amount, and the rates of interest charged exorbitant
beyond belief. O how does avarice harden the heart, and dry up the
current of human sympathy! How lamentable this accursed thirst for gold!

    "Wide, wasting pest! that rages unconfined,
    And crowds with crimes the records of mankind.
    For gold, his sword the hireling ruffian draws;
    For gold, the hireling judge distorts the laws;
    Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth, nor safety buys;
    And dangers gather as the treasures rise."

And at every one of these dens, what a crowd of victims were collected!
"A motley company indeed--black-legs, and would-be-gentlemen--the
cheater and the cheated." The widow parting with her last trinkets, or,
perchance, her last disposable article of dress, to procure one more
meal for her famishing children! A poor consumptive girl, with the
hectic flush upon her wasting cheek, applying for the same purpose; and
the griping miser--very likely a woman too!--without a spark of
generosity, or an emotion of pity--reading the condition of the
sufferers from their countenances, with the coolest imaginable
calculation--thus ascertaining from their looks the urgency of their
respective cases, that the utmost possible advantage might be taken,
and the intended cheat be made the greater. The pick-pocket, moreover,
the thief, and the purloining servant, received with equal readiness,
and the spoils divided between them, with the fullest understanding
that no questions were to be asked! O 'tis monstrous! "The offence is
rank, and smells to heaven!"

But my visits to these establishments were fruitful of incidents, the
recollection of which is too vivid to be passed lightly over. And as
the present chapter is already of sufficient length, it is proposed to
appropriate a separate one as a record of some of those
reminiscences--one of which may better suffice as a temperance lecture,
than a sermon, while another may perhaps interest the reader from its
aspect of romance. If the reader chooses, he can pass it over
altogether.



CHAPTER XV.

SCENES IN THE LOMBARDS.

    "A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,
    Uncapable of pity, void and empty
    From any dram of mercy."--_Shakspeare._

"----there, there, there! a diamond gone, cost me three thousand ducats
in Frankfort! The curse never fell on our nation till now."--_Idem._

"O sailor boy, sailor boy, peace to thy soul!"--_Dibdin._


To one who would study human nature, especially in its darker features,
there is no better field of observation than among these pawn-brokers'
shops.

In a frequented establishment, each day unfolds an ample catalogue of
sorrow, misery, and guilt, developed in forms and combinations almost
innumerable; and if the history of each customer could be known, the
result would be such a catalogue as would scarcely be surpassed even by
the records of a police-office or a prison. Even my brief stay while
arranging for the redemption of Dr. Wheelwright's personals, afforded
materials, as indicated in the last chapter, for much and painful
meditation.

I had scarcely made my business known, at the first of "my uncle's"
establishments to which I had been directed, when a middle-aged man
entered with a bundle, on which he asked a small advance, and which, on
being opened, was found to contain a shawl and two or three other
articles of female apparel. The man was stout and sturdy, and, as I
judged from his appearance, a mechanic; but the mark of the destroyer
was on his bloated countenance and in his heavy, stupid eyes.
Intemperance had marked him for his own. The pawn-broker was yet
examining the offered pledge, when a woman, whose pale face and
attenuated form bespoke long and intimate acquaintance with sorrow,
came hastily into the shop, and with the single exclamation, "O
Robert!" darted, rather than ran, to that part of the counter where the
man was standing. Words were not wanted to explain her story. Her
miserable husband, not satisfied with wasting his own earnings, and
leaving her to starve with her children, had descended to the meanness
of plundering even her scanty wardrobe, and the pittance for the
obtaining of which this robbery would furnish means, was destined to be
squandered at the tippling-house. A blush of shame arose even upon his
degraded face, but it quickly passed away; the brutal appetite
prevailed, and the better feeling that had apparently stirred within
him for the moment, soon gave way before its diseased and insatiate
cravings.

"Go home," was his harsh and angry exclamation; "what brings you here,
running after me with your everlasting scolding? go home, and mind your
own business."

"O Robert, dear Robert," answered the unhappy wife, "don't pawn my
shawl. Our children are crying for bread, and I have none to give them.
Or let me have the money; it is hard to part with that shawl, for it
was my mother's gift; but I will let it go, rather than see my children
starve. Give me the money, Robert, and don't leave us to perish."

I watched the face of the pawn-broker to see what effect this appeal
would have upon him, but I watched in vain. He was hardened to
distress, and had no sympathy to throw away. "Twelve shillings on these
things," he said, tossing them back to the drunkard, with a look of
perfect indifference.

"Only twelve shillings!" murmured the heart-broken wife, in a tone of
despair. "O Robert, don't let them go for twelve shillings. Let me try
somewhere else."

"Nonsense," answered the brute. "It's as much as they're worth, I
suppose. Here, Mr. Crimp, give us the change."

The money was placed before him, and the bundle consigned to a drawer.
The poor woman reached forth her hand toward the silver, but the
movement was anticipated by her husband. "There Mary," he said, giving
her half a dollar, "there, go home now, and don't make a fuss. I'm
going a little way up the street, and perhaps I'll bring you something
from market, when I come home."

The hopeless look of the poor woman, as she meekly turned to the door,
told plainly enough how little she trusted to this ambiguous promise.
They went on their way, she to her famishing children, and he to
squander the dollar he had retained, at the next den of intemperance.

While this little scene was in progress, another had been added to the
number of spectators. This was a young man, dressed in the height of
the fashion, that is to say, in a be-frogged and be-laced frock coat
with a standing collar, a pair of cossack pantaloons tapering down to
the foot with a notch cut in the front for the instep, and a hat about
twice as large at the crown as at the rim, much resembling in shape an
inverted sugar-loaf, with the smaller end cut away. He had a reckless,
dare-devil, good humored look, and very much the air of what is called
"a young man about town;" that is, one who rides out to Cato's every
afternoon, eats oyster suppers at Windust's every night after the play,
and spends the rest of his time and his money at billiards. I had cast
my eye upon him occasionally during the affair of the shawl, and saw
that he took a deep interest in its termination. The moment the poor
woman was gone, he twitched from his neck a gold chain, at the end of
which was a small gold watch, and placing it in the hands of the
pawn-broker, with whom he seemed to be on terms of acquaintance, he
exclaimed, "Quick now, Crimp; thirty dollars on that; you've had it
before, and needn't stop to examine it."

The money was instantly produced and paid over; and the young man of
fashion, crumpling the notes up in his hand, ran off at full speed,
first looking up and then down the street in a manner that gave me a
suspicion as to the cause of his haste. I took the liberty of following
him to the door, and was in abundant time to find my conjecture
verified by seeing him accost the poor woman who had just left the
shop, thrust into her hand either the whole or part of the sum he had
just received on the pledge of his watch and chain, and then hurry away
to the other side of the street, without stopping either for thanks or
for explanation.

The reverie of mingled surprise and admiration into which I was thrown
by this unexpected manifestation of benevolence, was interrupted by a
loud outcry from Mr. Crimp, the pawn-broker, and by seeing him, with a
look of wrath and horror, hurry round his counter and out through the
door, upon the sidewalk, where he stood for a moment straining his eyes
down the street, as if in search of the kind-hearted youth, who had by
this time disappeared up one of the cross streets.

"The villain," he exclaimed; "the swindling scoundrel! Which way did he
go, the ungrateful thief? Tell me," he continued, turning to me, "tell
me which way he went, and I'll give you any thing you've a mind to ask.
Yes, I'll give you--half a dollar, if you'll show me where he is."

I was not a little astonished at all this, but deferring the
gratification of my curiosity for the present, pointed out to Mr. Crimp
the course taken by his late customer, and mentioned also what I had
seen take place between him and the poor woman. The information, or
perhaps even the brief space employed in giving it, seemed to produce a
change of intention in the mind of the estimable gentleman.

"Ah it's no use," he said; "he's got off clear by this time, and my
thirty dollars is a case. But I'll find him yet, some day." And thus
soliloquizing, Mr. Crimp returned into his shop.

The explanation for which I was so curious, was now afforded me. The
young man had several times before deposited the watch in the hands of
Mr. Crimp, as the quid pro quo of certain needful advances, and as
often redeemed it, when accident or luck at the billiard table placed
the requisite funds at his disposal. Taking advantage of the
familiarity that had thus grown up between the broker and the trinket,
as a means of dispensing with the usual and requisite examination, a
gilt chain had been substituted for the gold one, which had been so
often deposited with the watch; and the deception had passed unnoticed
until it was too late. The watch itself was probably worth about the
sum advanced.

There was another case of a very touching description, which occurred
at the place of my next visit. It was that of an interesting female, of
about five and thirty, and in the garb of mourning. She entered the
place evidently with reluctance and timidity, and could hardly make the
object of her visit known, from very emotion. She was of a delicate
frame; of easy and rather graceful manners, and but for the ravages of
care upon her countenance, might yet have been beautiful. At length she
brought forth a ring from a pretty little morocco case, upon the pledge
of which she wished to realize such an amount of money as would sustain
herself and children through the winter. I saw that it was costing her
a pang to part with the gem; but necessity knows no law. The eyes of
the extortioner kindled, for the instant, and with evident exultation,
at the first glance of the jewel--but they fell in a twinkling as he
assumed the cold, hard aspect of his calling, took the ring in his
fingers, and holding it up to the window, pretended to examine
it--assuming, at the same time, an air of affected disappointment. He
thereupon began at once to depreciate the article--declaring that it
was nothing but a Brazilian crystal, and that he would hardly take it
at any price. I saw by the countenance, and the heaving bosom of the
lady--for such I was convinced she was, though in reduced
circumstances--that she was bitterly disappointed--having calculated
upon realizing a considerable sum from an article which she had
supposed of much higher value. But the miser was inexorable, and
peremptorily refused to advance more than four or five dollars. Her
appearance and manner at this moment were affecting to a degree.
"Well," said she: "'tis hard, but patience must endure. I have left my
babes a-crying, and I must do it; and when this is gone, I must depend
upon Him who feedeth the young ravens when they cry. But," she added,
with a heavy sigh, "_he_ said it was worth a great deal more than
that." There was a peculiar tenderness and affection in the manner in
which she, involuntarily perhaps, made this reference to some one who
was not present; and the rising tear trembled and glistened in her eye,
like the jewel in the miser's fingers.

I had seen, as the sordid wretch eyed the ring with secret satisfaction
by the window, from its brilliance, that it was a gem of value. It
glittered and sparkled in the light, with an intensity that nothing
equals but the diamond; and I was determined that the fair and
unfortunate owner should not be thus imposed upon. Just before the
bargain was completed, however, as I was about to interpose myself,
another gentleman, who had also been watching the procedure, stepped
forward and declared that that beautiful ring should not be thus
sacrificed to the rapacious Hebrew. The latter at once endeavored to
hasten matters, and declaring the bargain to have been completed, would
have succeeded in thrusting the jewel into the drawer, but for the
resolution of the gentleman, who seized and saved it. The wretch
muttered something about people's interfering in business that was
exclusively his own concern, but to no purpose. The poor widow was
rescued from his fangs; and although it was a struggle to part with the
ring, which indeed contained a choice brilliant, her heart was
gladdened by the receipt of seventy-five dollars, from one who was
willing to pay its value.

The tale of this poor lady in whose case my sympathies had been thus
enlisted, was not without interest. She was an orphan, daughter of a
Virginia planter who had been eaten into poverty by his own slaves, so
that his children were left portionless, and had been married when
young to one of those high-minded, gallant spirits, who bear their
country's flag so proudly on the wave--brave, and generous to a fault,
and in fact one of those who almost literally "spend half a crown out
of six-pence a day." She was adored by her husband, to whom she early
presented several cherub-looking sailor-boys, and while he lived to
supply her wants, though free-hearted and reckless of expenditure, she
had always enough for the present, and "a shot in the locker," to serve
while he was tossing upon the main. But alas! she had occasion too soon
to deplore the capricious uncertainty of all sublunary enjoyments.

Never was a more beautiful day, nor a more gallant spectacle, than when
the ship to which Lieutenant ---- was attached, got underway, and
departed for her last cruise in the West India seas. Every sail was
set, and so clear was the atmosphere, that the light tracery of her
rigging was seen against the sky, as she bore down through the Narrows.
Maria watched the ship intently until the last dark point of the
top-mast disappeared in the distance. How her bright eye sparkled, when
she heard the praises of her husband's carriage on deck as he assumed
his duties, spoken from the lips of friends who had with her witnessed
the departure of the ship!--But before she retired to rest, tears had
more than once usurped the features which were a few hours before
dimpled by joy. A strange sensation--some unusual and undefinable
apprehension of--she knew not what--had taken possession of her bosom,
and she closed her long, silken eye-lashes to sleep even while yet she
had scarce done weeping.

But the ship assumed her station in the squadron in due season, and
every return vessel brought letters from her Frederick, full of
affection for herself, and kisses and remembrances for Jack, Tom, and
the baby. Often, moreover, did they abound with glowing descriptions of
the scenery of those sunny West India climes, through which he had
strolled when occasionally on shore. It was summer, and the tropical
sun was reigning in his full glory. But his mind was enthusiastic and
poetical, and the nights, so transcendantly beautiful in those regions,
were his delight. After the sun, which had been blazing with
irresistible fierceness in an unclouded sky, through the day, had sunk
to rest, there was such a luxury in the enjoyment of a tropical
evening! The clearness and brilliancy of the heavens, the serenity and
soft tranquillity of the atmosphere, diffusing the most calm and
delightful sensations. The moon shines out with a greater radiance in
those heavens than in ours, and when she coquettishly turns her back
upon this side of our mundane sphere, her place is well supplied by the
superior brilliance of the stars. Such, in those clear skies, is their
glittering effulgence, that the visiter from other latitudes would
scarce suppose them to be the same luminaries that sparkle in their own
heavens. Venus--the bright and beautiful divinity of love--appears of
far greater magnitude than here,--shining with a much greater intensity
of brightness--so strong indeed as to cast a shadow from the trees.
These things were all described by Frederick to his Maria, with a
richness and a glow of language, such as sailors seldom use. And all
that was wanting to complete his happiness, was his Eve to stroll by
his side among the groves of citron and lemon--redolent with every
fruit that is inviting, and every flower that is beautiful. And how she
longed to be with him I need not tell!

While, however, the ship was yet in those seas, cruising in the gulf of
Mexico, autumn came on, and with it the season of storms. The lofty
peaks of the stupendous mountains, in some of the nearest islands, were
frequently in sight, perceptible often at a great distance, from the
peculiar transparency of the atmosphere. At length the experienced
navigators discerned celestial phenomena, which caused them to watch
the heavens with greater solicitude. Piles of massive clouds, fleecy,
and of a reddish hue, were observed in the morning, in the
south-eastern quarter of the heavens, and the crests of the mountains,
cloudless and yet of an azure cast, seemed nearer the ship than they
were wont. Soon the pillowy masses of vapor began to move lazily toward
the mountains--flashes which were but dimly discerned breaking from
them, followed by the hollow and distant roll of thunder--sometimes so
distinctly as to sound as if reverberating from peak to peak among the
mountains, though yet at a very great distance. The ocean, too, began
to heave as though in labor, and its roaring was borne along upon the
freshening breeze. These indications spoke but too clearly the approach
of one of those dreadful visitations in which the Almighty so
frequently displays his power in the West India seas, and proclaims his
judgments in such melancholy dispensations. The wind increased, the
roaring of the ocean deepened upon the ear, and all hands in every
craft upon the gulf were engaged in reefing their sails, and making
every thing snug for the onset.

Nothing can be more fierce, sudden, or uncontrollable, than the West
India hurricanes. Electrical in their origin, the moment the spark
produces a combination of oxygen and hydrogen, the sudden and terrible
fall of hail and rain pouring impetuously down, creates a vacuum into
which the air rushes from every direction with tremendous velocity.
Sometimes the air, by the meeting of opposite currents, assumes the
form of a whirlwind: a dark cloud preceding it, unrolling itself
suddenly, and mantling the whole heavens in gloom, lightened
occasionally by the flashings of lurid fire,--while if upon land,
houses, corn-stacks, cane-fields, and even whole forests, are whirled
aloft and scattered to fragments in an instant; or, if upon the deep,
the whole ocean is wrought into maddened and foaming fury; and woe to
the vessel, no matter for its strength or magnitude, that is brought
within the vortex of the tempest.

Such was the fact in regard to the hurricane of which I am speaking.
Some of the light craft then upon the gulf, escaped and came into the
harbor of New-York. They reported that never within the memory of man,
had that sea been the scene of so fearful a tempest. It commenced with
a tremendous crash from the heavens, and the gulf was almost instantly
lashed into a foam of contending currents. At the instant of its
commencement, apparently in the very focus of its fury, one of them saw
a dark object, resembling a ship of war, rise upon the ridge of a
towering wave, and then sink with a heavy roll into the trough of the
sea, whence she rose no more. It was a fearful night, that which
followed; the seas rushing and doubling onward, curling and foaming and
breaking with awful majesty. But the United States ship HORNET was
never heard of more. Her gallant officers and daring crew--full of high
health and hope but an hour before--were all--all, in that dread
moment--without one instant to bid adieu or breathe a prayer--hurried
to their doom!

But to return from this digression. Mr. and Mrs. Wheelwright's articles
were all redeemed, and their house comfortably warmed and supplied for
the winter, as I have already intimated. And in addition to such
present relief as was rendered imperatively necessary by his wounded
hand, the funds contributed for his benefit enabled me to lay in, for
his use and behoof, ample materials for sixty bedsteads--a stock in
trade rendering him a rich man, compared with what had been his
temporal condition for a long while before. His spirits in a good
measure revived at even _such_ a change in his circumstances--and his
wife poured forth an overwhelming torrent of Irish blessings, with
thanks to "his honor," and "his worship," without number.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE END OF THIS EVENTFUL HISTORY.

    O matrimony! thou art like
      To Jeremiah's figs;--
    The good were very good;--the bad--
      Too sour to give the pigs.--_Old Saw._

"Slender, I broke your head--what matter have you against
me?"--_Shakspeare._


One of the most amusing, and, indeed, one of the best pictures of Sir
Joshua Reynolds, is that of Garrick, between comedy and tragedy. On the
one side, with her mask in hand, stood the presiding divinity of comic
poetry, coaxing the immortal hero of the sock and buskin with her
archest smiles; while on the other stood Melpomene, rapt in solemn
thought, and with eyes upraised in gloomy grandeur, pointing the actor
to a loftier walk than that of her witching sister Thalia. The
situation of poor Garrick is most embarrassing--and appears the more so
from the powers of face at his command, as delineated by the artist,
whereby he is represented as doubting to which invitation he should
yield, while with one half of his face he looks the deepest tragedy,
and with the other, the merriest comedy.

Very much in the situation of Garrick, as thus described, does the
biographer find himself at the threshhold of this concluding chapter.
It is not his fault, however, that comic or rather farcical incidents
must follow so closely upon the pathetic. But "the course of true love
never did run smooth"--a fact of which, as the reader has already seen,
my unfortunate friend Wheelwright had had some knowledge, early in his
wedded life--and of which he was convinced over again, soon after the
events recorded in the last two chapters.

It was on a clear frosty morning in March, that one of the watchful
guardians of the peace and quiet of the city, connected with the police
establishment, did me the unexpected honor of a visit. He stated that a
poor but very decent sort of a man had fallen into the hands of the
watch during the preceding night, and had been committed to Bridewell
by the sitting magistrate, on a charge of assault and battery.
According to the report of Dogberry, the man was "quite
down-in-the-mouth about it, and," (he added,) "he contests that he is
entirely hinnocent. He also says he is acquainted with you, and he
thinks if you would be good enough to come up to the hall and see him,
no doubt that you would bail him out."

"How is that, my friend? A man taken up in a night-row, and now in
Bridewell, and says he is an acquaintance of mine--eh?"

"So he says, and he looks as though he might have seen better days. We
have to deal with many such--but then he don't act as though he was
often in such scrapes, no how."

"His name?"

"Doctor--Wheel--Wheelwright, I think they call him."

"O--ah--yes:" another incident, thinks-I-to-myself, in the chequered
life of my unhappy friend.

"And a _striking_ incident, too, according to the account of the
Irish woman who lodged the complaint."

"An _Irish_ woman! Mischief in her proper shape again. But, my word for
it, if it is my quondam friend Wheelwright, who is in the scrape, he
has not struck any body or thing--man, woman, or child."

"'Zactly so: that's just what he says; and as he has no friends, he
thinks you might stand by him in a pinch, if you knew as how he has
been in the lock-up half the night, and has now been walked off to
Bridewell."

This was a far less agreeable call upon my attention and services than
I had ever had the honor of receiving from him before; but still,
knowing the honesty of the man, and his pacific character, and fully
believing in his representations of innocence, I at once determined to
inquire into the circumstances of the case, and, if necessary, make
another effort in his behalf.

The investigation resulted as I had anticipated. The unfortunate
husband now opened his heart, and poured out all his domestic sorrows
and tribulations before me. He needed not to tell me that he had not
married a fortune, as he had supposed, when I first saw him in the
hey-day of his honey-moon; but from the simple tale now unfolded, it
seemed that, on the contrary, he had been wedded to Mis-fortune, and
all her progeny. The rather turbulent lady of Socrates--(unless Mrs.
Xantippe was scandalized by her neighbors)--was a sweet-tempered dame,
and "gentle as a sucking dove," in comparison with the vixen who had
been harassing his life and soul away for years. The only peaceable
hours of his existence were those in which she was too much fatigued
with liquor to annoy him. When awake and sober, her temper was little
better, and her tormenting tongue seemed to have been hung in the
middle, so that it might run at both ends. It is related of Foote, the
comedian, that when once suffering from the tongue of a shrew, he
replied--"I have heard of _Tartars_, and _Brimstones_, madam; and by
Jove you are the _cream_ of the one, and the _flour_ of the other." And
next to the Grecian lady above mentioned, the Tartar who bearded Foote,
seemed, in my view, to be the only parallel of Mistress Wheelwright, of
which the books give any account.

How few can bear prosperity! Indeed, although we all covet it so much,
the examples of those ruined by sudden reverses of fortune, would
probably present a greater number of those who have been raised from
poverty to wealth, than of those who have been cast down from a state
of affluence to that of penury. An illustration of this proposition was
afforded in the family of Mr. Wheelwright. It appeared that after the
change recorded in the last chapter, from a condition of the most
abject misery, to that of comparative comfort, the Doctor's lady,
elated by her prosperity, began to take airs upon herself, and her
carriage was such as to excite the jealousy of her neighbors up stairs.
The consequences were a speedy and open rupture, so that occasional
hostilities were waged between them; and the civil dudgeon ran so high
that all attempts of poor Wheelwright to keep the peace were abortive.
At last, on the night of my friend's arrest, one of the ladies from
above, remarkable for the dimensions of her facial organ, descended to
his apartment in a tempest, and insulted his wife. Like a true Amazon
as she was, the latter repelled the invader, pursued her in her flight,
and like Scipio carried the war into Africa. The tenants above made
common cause with Mistress Judy Pettit, and the gentle lady of Mr.
Wheelwright was in turn discomfitted, and compelled to descend headlong
down stairs, in rather too quick time for her comfort, with a cataract
of Irish women tumbling after her. Wheelwright ran to the rescue of his
help-meet, and pulling her through the door, endeavored to shut it on
the instant, to keep out the foe; in doing which the proboscis of
Mistress Pettit, which was truly of the Strasburgh order, was unhappily
and literally caught in the door crack, and beyond all question
somewhat injured thereby. In the language of the trumpeter's wife in
Tristram Shandy, it was truly "a noble nose," and the pinch it endured,
though transient, it must be confessed, was rather severe and biting.
Its fair possessor therefore ran into the street, smarting from the
pain, and vociferating alternately for the "watch," and "Och murther!
I'm kilt, I'm kilt," so pertinaciously and so obstreperously withal, as
to wake up several of the guardians of the night, who made a rally, and
carried the whole party to the watch-house, including an Irishman who
happened to be on a visit up stairs, by the name of Timothy Martin.

From all account, the morning examination before the sitting magistrate
must have afforded one of the most amusing scenes for the fancy that
have recently occurred this side of Bow-street. It was difficult to say
which of the ladies was the most clamorous, Mistress Pettit, the
complainant, or Mistress Wheelwright, or whether other females of the
party did not talk as loud and as fast as either. Mistress Pettit gave
an account of their neighborhood concerns for some time previous.

"Fait, your worship," says she, "we was always afther being kind to
them, when they had not a faggot to warm them, or a paratoe to ate; and
then she'd come to me sometime, and bring the childer, says she, for
she'd two of them at that same time--bad luck to her--and this, your
honor, is one of them," (for the eldest of Wheelwright's children had
been brought up in the medley;) "and says I to Mistress Wheelwright,
says I, plase your worship, you may come with your childer and warm ye,
and here's a drop of the crathur that Tim Martin brought to me. And
then whin she wint off a-begging as no dacent woman would, bekase I
pitied the childer, I tould Mrs. Wheelwright, says I, that they might
stay with me till ye come back yourself--and may-be ye'll come the
sooner, Mrs. Wheelwright, says I. And come she wouldn't by no manes,
but was out all night sometimes."

"Och deevil burn ye," interrupted Mistress Wheelwright, "if ye go on
at that rate, I'll tell his honor of the pig ye stole,--you and Tim
Martin, ye did."

"Och Murther," cried Mistress Pettit, "that a dacent woman like I
should be charged with staling along with such a spalpeen as Tim
Martin, your honor."

Whereupon up started Tim Martin, exclaiming--

"Botheration, and that's what I get for kindness," says he, "there's
grathitude your worship!--And fait, I'll tell his honor of the money
ye stole in the strong box that I left," says Tim Martin, says he.

"Yes," interposed Mistress Wheelwright, "when word com'd that she'd
gone off with a man that she had, and left her own childer for me to
care for, bad luck to her."

"Och!" Mistress Wheelwright, says Mistress Pettit, says she; "and you
and Tim Martin's lies will be the death of me, and he's selling whiskey
without a license, yer honor, that's Tim Martin, he is!"

But it is impossible to follow these precious parties through the
particulars of their examination disclosing the miseries of their
neighborhood, and in their own words, when they all talked together. I
must therefore content myself by informing the reader, that the
magistrate interposed as soon as he could, by stating that he did not
sit there to hear about their squabbles with each other and Tim Martin,
but to hear what they had to say against the accused.

Poor Wheelwright! During the whole of the scene just described, he sat
upon one of the benches, his eyes cast upon the floor, without uttering
a word. When called upon, however, to answer to the charge, he could
only deny, and try to explain--but Mistress Pettit and her associates
were too much for him. And besides, deny having molested her nose, as
he might, the aspect of the member itself bore abundant testimony of
rough usage and a narrow escape--to say nothing of the crimson drops,
that seemed to have oozed therefrom, and fallen upon good Mistress
Pettit's neck-handkerchief. The consequence was, that the magistrate
could do no less than commit him, although from Wheelwright's subdued
demeanor, he had strong doubts as to his intentional delinquencies.
Under these circumstances, I found but little difficulty, from my own
knowledge of the man, in persuading the magistrate to release him on
his own recognizance.

                    *      *      *      *      *

In a few weeks afterward, Wheelwright ascertained that the always
equivocal virtue of his wife had become of so little consequence in her
own eyes, as to release him from any farther obligation, in honor or in
law, to stand any longer as its nominal guardian and protector. He
divided the children, giving her the one to which she had a fair title
before he courted her fortune,--but which, poor thing!--proved to be
all she had,--and took the only one now living, which bore his own
name, to himself. He also at length assumed sufficient energy to divide
the house between them--giving her the _out_-side and retaining the
_in_-side for himself. Thus ends the history of Doctor Daniel
Wheelwright in New-York.

                    *      *      *      *      *

"It is the end," says the Bard of Avon, "that crowns all;" and bringing
these "passages" in the life of my friend to a close, from the position
in which I shall leave him, the reader may perhaps agree with the same
illustrious poet:--

    "More are men's ends mark'd than their lives before."

At all events, we will "let the end try the man." The latest
intelligence which I can furnish the reader respecting him, however, is
this. Having recently made a flying excursion through the valley of the
Mohawk--visited the old baronial castle of Sir William Johnson, and
from thence struck across to the south through the Schoharie-kill
valley, to explore the wonders of the great cavern of the Helderbergs,
an accident to the light vehicle drawn by my coal-black steed, on my
return, obliged me to call upon a coachmaker in the first city west of
Albany. On arriving at the shop, and inquiring for the principal of the
establishment, I was directed to an athletic man engaged with his whole
attention, in giving the finishing strokes to a substantial
coach-wheel. Judge of my astonishment, as he looked up, on beholding
none other than the hero of the present memoir, in his own proper
person! His sleeves were rolled up to his shoulders; his complexion was
ruddy; and a cheerful smile lighted up his countenance, such as I had
not seen playing there for many a year--never, in fact, since he became
acquainted with "that woman there." Every thing about him bore the
marks of industry and consequent thrift. "Ah, Mr. Doolittle! is that
you?" he exclaimed, as he wiped away the large drops of perspiration
that stood upon his face. Indeed, he was quite glad to see me; and
after interchanging a few remarks of mutual surprise at such an
unexpected though agreeable meeting, and after briefly relating what
had been his personal history since I had last seen him under the
cloud, he observed,--"You see I have gone clean round 'THE CIRCLE,' and
am at the old spot again--my father's shop. I have always told you that
'THE WORLD OWED ME A LIVING.' But the mischief on't was, I always went
the wrong way to work to obtain it. I believe, however, that I have got
about right at last."

                    *      *      *      *      *

The reader of the preceding narrative, may perhaps suppose that the
materials of which it is framed, are such unsubstantial stuff as dreams
are made of. I beg leave, however, at the close, to assure him of his
error. With the single abatement that names are changed, and places are
not precisely designated, every essential incident that I have
recorded, actually occurred, much as I have related it, to a person
who, if not now living, certainly was once, and most of them under my
own observation. As Scott remarks, at the close of the Bride of
Lammermoor, "it is AN OWER TRUE TALE."

The moral is briefly told. Let the young man remember that it requires
not actual vice to expose him to all that is humiliating and painful in
poverty. He may be assured of misery enough, if he merely neglects the
advantages which a kind Providence has placed within his power.

Let the parent learn, before he resolves to educate his son, the
importance of ascertaining whether his son was ever designed for
professional life. The weak vanity of a parent has frequently ruined
his son, and brought down his own gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.


THE END.



WORKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED

BY

LEAVITT, LORD & CO.

WITH SOME EXTRACTS FROM NOTICES OF THEM.

                    *      *      *      *      *

SHIP AND SHORE, or Leaves from the Journal of a Cruise to the
Levant--by an officer of the Navy.

Another contribution from a source, to which nobody would have thought
of turning, but a few years ago; but which is now beginning to yield
fruit abundantly and of an excellent flavor, sound, wholesome and
trustworthy; not those warm cheeked and golden pippins of the Red Sea,
which 'turn to ashes on the lips'--but something you may bite with all
your strength, of a grapy, and oftentimes of a peachy flavor. The
preface itself is a gem.--_New-England Galaxy._

This book is written with sprightliness and ease, and may justly claim
to be considered an agreeable as well as an instructive companion. It
is inscribed in a brief but modest dedication to Mrs. E. D. Reed--a
lady of uncommon refinement, of manners and intellectual accomplishments.
The descriptions of Madeira and Lisbon are the best we have read. The
pages are uniformly enriched with sentiment, or enlivened by incident.
The author, whoever he is, is a man of sentiment, taste and
feeling.--_Boston Courier._


MEMOIRS OF MRS. WINSLOW, late Missionary to India, by her husband, Rev.
Miron Winslow--in a neat 12mo, with a Portrait.

The book contains a good history of that mission, including the plan
and labors of the Missionaries, and the success attending them,
together with almost every important event connected with the mission.
It also presents much minute information on various topics which must
be interesting to the friends of missions, relating to the character,
customs and religion of the people--their manner of thinking and
living: and the scenery of their country and its climate. It also
describes the perplexities and encouragements of Missionaries in all
the departments of their labor, and throws open to inspection the whole
interior of a mission and a mission family, exhibiting to the reader
_what missionary work and missionary life are_, better perhaps
than any thing before published--_Missionary Herald._

Mrs. Winslow would have been a remarkable character under any
circumstances, and in any situation. Had she not possessed a mind of
unusual power and decision, she never could have triumphed over the
obstacles which were thrown in her way. We hope that in this memoir
many a pious young lady, will find incitements to prayerfulness and
zeal--and that our readers will enjoy the privilege of reading all the
pages of this interesting volume.--_Abbott's Magazine._


PASTOR'S DAUGHTER--or the Way of Salvation explained to a Young
Inquirer; from reminiscences of the conversations of the late Dr.
Payson with his daughter.


ZINZENDORFF, a new original Poem--by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, with other
Poems, 12mo. This book is in a neat style, and well calculated for
Holiday presents.


HARLAN PAGE'S MEMOIRS, one of the most useful books ever published.

There has been much fear that the attention of the church was becoming
too exclusively turned towards the great external forms of sin. These
fears are not groundless. Here, however, is one remedy. The circulation
of such a work as this, holding up a high standard of ardent personal
piety, and piety, too, showing itself in the right way--by quiet,
unpretending efforts to spread the kingdom of Christ from soul to
soul.--_Abbott's Magazine._


COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF PSALMS; on a plan embracing the _Hebrew
Text_, with a New Literal Version. By _George Bush_, Prof. of Heb. and
Orient. Lit. in the New-York City University.

This commentary, although it every where discovers evidence of highly
respectable research, is not designed exclusively for the use of mere
biblical critics. It is true the author has constant recourse to the
Hebrew and to ancient translations and commentaries, &c. in the
explanation of difficult passages: but he does it with such clearness
of perception and such tact of language that even unlettered readers
can hardly fail to be profited by his comments. He has hit with an
admirable degree of precision, the happy medium between a commentary
purely scholastic and critical, which could be interesting to only a
few very learned men, and one exclusively practical, which would be
likely to be unsatisfactory to men of exact and scrutinizing minds. It
is a pleasing circumstance, although some perhaps may be disposed to
make it a ground of carping and disparagement, that the work is an
_American_ one. It is written in our own land and by one of our
own beloved brethren, and is therefore entitled on the ground of
country and patriotism, as well as of religion, to all that kindness
and favor of reception, which may be justified by its intrinsic merits.
The work is published in a highly creditable style by the house of
Leavitt, Lord & Co. New-York.--_Christian Mirror._

We have spent so much time, delightfully, in reading this number, that
we have little left for description of its contents. We have first an
admirable preface of two pages, stating the plan and object of the
work. Persons wishing to revive their knowledge of neglected Hebrew, or
desirous to learn it anew without a teacher, can find no book better
adapted to facilitate the acquisition than this, in addition to a
grammar and dictionary.

The good sense of Mr. Bush, is well indicated by his remarks on the
word _Selah_ where it first occurs. No mere empiric would have made
such an acknowledgment.--_Ib._

While the work is adapted to be a real treat more particularly for
scholars, it is so conducted that readers merely of the English version
can hardly fail to receive from it much profit and delight.--_Pittsburgh
Friend._

We have not examined critically all the notes, but we have examined
them enough to satisfy ourselves of the author's competency to his Work
and of his fidelity.--_Christian Register._

The mechanical execution of the work is beautiful, particularly the
Hebrew text, and fully equal to any thing that has come from the
Andover Press, which hitherto has stood unrivalled in this country, for
biblical printing. The introduction and notes give evidence of
laborious and patient investigation, extensive biblical learning, and
heartfelt piety. It promises to be a work of great value and we hope it
will meet with ample encouragement.--_Cincinnati Journal._


A GRAMMAR OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE, with a brief Chrestomathy for the use
of beginners, by _George Bush_; Prof. Heb. and Orient. Lit. in the
N. Y. city University.

We hail sincerely this finely executed volume, with its tasteful
display of the University front labelled in gilt on the back. But the
outward dress is a matter of minor moment. It is the _marrow_ of the
book which gives us pleasure. That it is calculated to be an important
accession to the elementary works on Hebrew, no one acquainted with the
ripe scholarship of Prof. B. can doubt, much less any one who has
examined the book. The main object of the author in preparing it, as we
learn from his well written preface, was to facilitate the acquisition
of the holy tongue by the _simplification of its elements_. With the
book as a guide, the student will find the entrance upon the language
instead of difficult and repulsive, easy and inviting. Taken
altogether, we regard the grammar of Prof. B. as eminently adapted to
the use of students in our Theological Seminaries; and we see not why
it should not successfully compete with the ablest of its predecessors.
In addition to its intrinsic rights it has moreover the recommendation
of being sold at the low price of $1 25.--_N. Y. Evangelist._

It is enough to say for the information of students in this most
interesting and valuable department of human (rather divine) knowledge,
that in this grammar they will find all the information requisite for
ordinary purposes in a form more accessible and inviting than has
usually been given it. Minor recommendations are, the inviting
character of the print, and the moderate price of $1 25 (the
chrestomathy being part of the same volume.) Students in Hebrew,
especially if they have made trial of other grammars, will deem this
work a valuable accession to our facilities for the acquisition of this
original and sacred tongue. It need scarce be added that this
commendation is given without any disposition to injure the deserved
repute of the almost father of Hebrew literature in this country. He
will not surely, regret that a spirit which has done so much to
promote, should develop itself in new and felicitous attempts to
improve the field that he so arduously and successfully
cultivates.--_N. Y. Churchman._

Prof. Stuart's grammar is full and copious. Prof. Bush bears testimony
to its merit, and observes that his design has been, by a greater
simplification of the elements, to produce a work better adapted to the
wants of those who are beginning a course of careful study of the
language, while the grammar of Prof. Stuart, which leads at once into
the deeper complexities of the language, answers in a great degree the
purpose of an ample Thesaurus to the advanced student. We believe there
is a greater simplification, combined with as much fullness and detail
as are requisite to aid the student in attaining an accurate knowledge
of the language. We are glad to see that Prof. Bush has returned, or
rather adheres to the old system of the distinction of vowels into long
and short. It has always appeared to us that the change adopted by
Prof. Stuart from Gesenius, substituting for the distinction into long
and short vowels, a classification into three analogous orders, brought
with it much greater complexity without any adequate compensation in
the advantage which might result from it.--_Christian Intelligencer._

His grammar is more intelligible and contains less of unnecessary and
doubtful matter, than any other equally complete work with which we are
acquainted. We have no doubt that its circulation will prove an
important means of recommending the study of the Hebrew
language.--_N. Y. Observer._

The publishers are happy to state, from information recently received
from the author, that the above work has been adopted as the text-book
on Hebrew Grammar at the Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J., and
that it is under consideration, with a like view, at several other
institutions in the country.


FEMALE STUDENT.--LECTURES TO YOUNG LADIES, comprising Outlines and
Applications on the different branches of _Female Education_. For
the use of Female Schools, and private Libraries; delivered to the
Pupils of the Troy Female Seminary. By _Mrs. Almira H. Lincoln
Phelps_, late Vice Principal of that Institution: Author of Familiar
Lectures on Botany, etc.

This lady is advantageously known as the writer of "Familiar Lectures
on Botany," and other popular works for the use of students and the
young generally. Her present work may be safely commended to the class
for whom it is more especially designed, and to the use of schools in
particular, as one of various interest, and of very judicious and
useful composition.--_Evening Gazette._

We recommend the work to teachers and all others who are sensible of
the vast amount of influence which woman exerts on society, and how
inadequately she has hitherto in general been prepared to make that
influence beneficial to our race.--_Boston Mercantile Journal._

Her views of the various methods of instructing are _practical_, for
they _are the results of experience_. To _parents_, particularly
_mothers_ desirous of pursuing the most judicious course in the
education of their children, I would recommend this book as useful
beyond any other I am acquainted with, in arming them against that
parental blindness from which the best of parents are not wholly exempt
and which often leads them unawares to injure in various ways the
character of their children and lay the foundation of future misfortune
for their offspring and sorrow for themselves. To _young women_ who
cannot afford the expense of attending such schools as afford the
highest advantages, Mrs. P.'s lectures afford substantial aid in the
work of _self-education_. _Young Ladies_ about to go abroad to schools
or those already from home, may consult this book as they would a
judicious mother, or faithful and experienced friend: it will warn them
of the dangers to which they will be exposed, or the faults into which
they are liable to fall, so that being "forewarned" they may be
_forearmed_ to escape them.--In my opinion the peculiar tendency of
this work is to produce in the mind that "humility" which "goes before
honor," to impart to the thoughtless, a sense of the awful restraints
of morality.--_Mrs. Willard, Prin. Troy Female Seminary._

The present work is intended to unfold the natural objects of female
education. This is accomplished in a series of lectures written in a
perspicuous, pleasing style, and treating of the various studies
pursued in a well regulated school for young ladies. It is really and
truly what it proposes to be, a guide in the intellectual education of
woman, and will, we have no doubt, become a standard work in our
schools and families.--_Ladies' Magazine._

We think this plan is generally executed in a manner calculated to
instruct pupils and to furnish useful hints and maxims for teachers. We
can cordially recommend the work, generally, as sound in its principles
of education, interesting in its style, and excellent in its spirit--a
valuable gift to pupils and teachers.--_Annals of Education._

We know not when we met with a book which we have perused with more
pleasure, or from which we have derived more profit. The authoress is
evidently possessed of a vigorous understanding, with just so much of
imagination as to chasten down the matter-of-factness of her style,
which is eminently beautiful. She is perfectly acquainted with her
subject, and expresses herself in a manner at once clear and forcible,
affectionate and convincing. It is well known how much the intellectual
character of the child depends on that of the mother, and yet girls are
brought up and educated as if they were born only to buzz and flutter
on the stage of life, instead of forming the character of a future
generation of men.--_Montreal Gazette._

Mrs. Phelps's course of lectures furnishes a guide in the education of
females, for mothers as well as for the young! all may profit by the
just and practical ideas it contains relative to the various branches
of education. It should be in the hands of all who are educating
others, or attempting to instruct themselves.--_Mad'lle Montgolfier
of France._

Mothers may find in this book a valuable assistant to aid them in
bringing up their daughters to prefer duty to pleasure, and knowledge
to amusement; and who would teach them to be learned without pedantry
and graceful without affectation. Educate your daughters "to be wise
without vanity, happy without witnesses and contented without
admirers."--_Southern Religious Intelligencer._

Of Mrs. Phelps' Lectures to young ladies, I cannot speak in
sufficiently high terms of commendation. Such a work was greatly needed
and must prove of inestimable value. I am in the practice of reading
portions of it to my school, &c. I shall recommend to all young ladies
who are or may be under my care to possess themselves of copies of the
book.--_Miss E., Principal of the celebrated school for young ladies
at Georgetown, D. C._

Rev. Wm. Cogswell, Sec. A.B.C.F.M., writes the publishers, I understand
that you are about issuing a second edition of Mrs. Phelps' "Lectures
on Female Education." This fact I am happy to learn. I can cordially
recommend them as being well adapted not only to interest and instruct
the young ladies, of the institution for whom they were originally
designed, but also others in similar institutions. The style and
execution of the work is highly commendable; and the subjects on which
it treats, important to young Ladies, acquiring a finished education,
Its originality and value, entitle it to an extensive circulation,
which I doubt not it will obtain.

_Boston_, Oct. 16, 1835.


FOREIGN CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE LIBERTIES OF THE UNITED STATES.--2d
edition.

One excellence of the publication before us, almost peculiar to this
writer, when compared to others who have written upon this subject in
our country, is, that it handles the matter of discussion with
calmness, the writer not suffering himself to indite his letters under
the influence of exacerbated feelings, but wisely avoids those harsh
and blackening epithets which do more to irritate the passions than to
convince and enlighten the judgment. On this account the book may be
read with profit by all.--_N. Y. Christian Advocate._ (Methodist.)


The letters of Brutus deserve an extensive circulation.--Missouri,
_St. Louis Observer_. (Presbyterian.)


"From what I have seen and know, the fears entertained by the writer in
the New-York Observer, under the caption of 'Foreign Conspiracy,' &c.
are not without foundation, especially in the West."--_Letter of a
Traveller in the West._ (Maryland,) _Methodist Protestant._


"BRUTUS.--The able pieces over this signature, relative to the designs
of Catholicity in our highly favored land, originally published in the
New-York Observer, it is now ascertained were written, not by an
individual who was barely indulging in conjectures, but by one who has
witnessed the Papacy in all its deformity. One who has, not long since,
travelled extensively in the Romish countries, and has spent much time
in the Italian States, where the seat of the Beast is. Rome is familiar
to him, and he has watched the movements there with great
particularity. We may, therefore, yield a good degree of credence to
what Brutus has told us. His numbers are now published in a pamphlet,
and the fact which has just come out in regard to his peculiar
qualification to write on this great subject, will give them extensive
circulation."--_Utica Baptist Register._

_The numbers of Brutus._--"Our readers are already acquainted with
their contents. The object is to awaken the attention of the American
public to a design, supposed to be entertained by the despotic
governments of Europe, particularly of Austria, in conjunction with his
Holiness the Pope, to undermine gradually our free institutions by the
promotion of the Catholic Religion in America. The letters are
interesting, from the numerous facts which they disclose; and are
deserving the careful attention of the citizens of these United States,
who should guard with vigilance the sacred trust which has been
confided to us by our fathers."--_N. Y. Weekly Messenger._

The work embodies a mass of facts, collected from authentic sources, of
the deepest interest to every friend of civil liberty and Protestant
Christianity. The efforts of despotic European sovereigns, to inoculate
our country with the religion of Rome, are fully proved. Could they
succeed in these efforts, and annihilate the spirit of liberty on our
shores, the march of free principles in our own dominions would cease.
They could then sit securely on their thrones, and rule with a rod of
iron over their abject vassals.--Ohio, _Cincinnati Journal_.
(Presbyterian.)



COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM

OF

MODERN GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY:

REVISED AND ENLARGED

From the London edition of "Pinnock's Modern Geography," and adapted to
the use of Academies and Schools in the United States, with an Atlas.

                    *      *      *      *      *

BY EDWIN WILLIAMS,

Author of the New Universal Gazetteer, New-York Annual Register, etc.

                    *      *      *      *      *

NEW-YORK:
LEAVITT, LORD & CO.,
180 Broadway.

                    *      *      *      *      *

Extracted critical remarks from the English Reviews of Pinnock's Modern
Geography and History.

"_Mr. Pinnock's_ Catechisms and other publications have made his
name universally known throughout the country, as one of the most
meritorious and successful authors in this department of literature,
who have ever directed their attention to inform the rising generation.
The present volume is, in all respects, worthy of his name; it is well
conceived, well arranged, diligently edited, and beautifully got up, at
a very moderate cost. By mingling the attractions of history with the
dry details of geographical science, the study is rendered pleasing and
interesting. Ample intelligence is produced, in the first instance, and
then the learner is judiciously exercised by questions on the subjects
as they occur."--_Literary Gazette._


"This is truly the age of intellectual improvement, and in every form
and manner exertions are multiplied to advance it. Daily the unwearied
press teems with new publications in aid of truth and knowledge.
Compendiums, abridgments, and compressments of scientific lore, rapidly
succeed each other in their pretensions to public favor; and it is now
a point of competition amongst authors and publishers to give the
greatest quantity of valuable information for the least money. It was,
however, it seems, reserved for the experienced author of the work
before us to excel all his predecessors in this particular; and we
cannot restrain our admiration when we observe the immense collection
of geographical and historical learning comprised in this little book.
It is impossible, in the limits to which this notice can extend, to
give a detailed account of the plan of _Mr. Pinnock's_ work: suffice
it, that its title is fully answered in the compilation, and that it
is, in our judgment, eminently calculated to supersede the use of those
elementary geographical works in present use, which, however useful
they may be, are utterly poor and meagre when compared to this. The
astronomical portion of _Mr. Pinnock's_ book is excellent, and the
historical memoranda, which follow the account of each country, are
highly interesting, and tend to enliven the study of geography, while
they furnish a fund of instruction to the learner.

"On the whole, this _multum in parvo_, for such it pre-eminently is, is
calculated to become a universal instructer in the knowledge of the
earth. It will not be confined to the use of schools, for adults will
find it a valuable addition to their Biblical store."--_Courier._


"This is unquestionably the _very cheapest_ work of the sort that has
hitherto issued from the press; and it is but doing a bare act of
justice to the public-spirited publishers to say, that they deserve the
most unlimited patronage. The literary arrangement of the whole does
great credit to the well known talents and indefatigable research of
_Mr. Pinnock_; and instead of the study being, as was the case some
twenty years ago, dry and almost appalling, it is rendered familiar
and entertaining, from its being mixed up with numerous anecdotes
associated with the history of the countries described."--_Berkshire
Chronicle._


"A truly _comprehensive_ compendium of geographical and historical
information, judiciously blended, has been heretofore a great
desideratum. _Mr. Pinnock's_ name has for many years been a standard
warranty to school books; and this, his last labor, fully sustains his
established reputation. It is a very comprehensive condensation of all
which is necessary in teaching the important science of geography. The
statistical details of countries are pleasantly relieved by a series of
admirable _historical memoranda_, which bear evidence of fidelity and a
deep research. We are surprised, in looking through the book, to
observe what a vast quantity of instruction is comprised in its 446
pages."--_Sunday Times._


"We have just now before us a handsome and compact little volume, 'got
up' with great care, taste, and judgment: '_A Grammar of Modern
Geography and History_.' The quantity of really useful information
that it contains is astonishing."--_La Belle Assemblee._


"To _Mr. Pinnock_ belongs the merit of inventing those Catechisms
of Science and General Knowledge, which even a Lord Chancellor
condescended to read and to praise. Nothing more is necessary to be
said to recommend his book in every quarter."--_London Magazine._


"_Grammar of Geography and History._--Every person engaged in the
education of children, will be much pleased to turn over the pages of
one of the best, because most simplified, and at the same time
compendious works on geography that has ever yet appeared. The name of
_Pinnock_ stands at the head of modern pioneers in the march of
Juvenile Intellect; and the present volume is another exhibition of his
meritorious industry. It is announced among our advertisements, and we
are sure that our readers will be thankful for thus having specially
directed their attention to so useful, elegant, and withal _very cheap_
a publication."--_Taunton Courier._


"_Pinnock's Modern Geography._--We call the attention of our readers,
and more especially the heads of seminaries, to a useful, splendid, and
_singularly cheap_ work, just published by _Poole & Edwards_, entitled
'_A Comprehensive Grammar of Modern Geography and History._' Without
any exception, it is the best book of the sort hitherto
published."--_Windsor Herald._


"This little book is of a description much superior to the ordinary
class of school books. Its author needs no praise from us, as his long
and faithful services to the cause of education have met that general
approbation which is their fittest and highest reward. We are happy to
say, that the same judicious industry which distinguished his smaller
works for the benefit of children, is displayed in full force in the
little volume now on our table. It is well arranged, and written in a
clear, simple style. But it is also much more than a mere outline of
geography, for it also contains an admirable summary of the most
important points in history and chronology: and its pages are
interspersed with interesting physical facts relating to the various
countries under consideration. We approve much the catechetical system
of teaching, which is provided for by questions appended to each
section. These will enable the self-instructer to ascertain with ease
and certainty what real progress he has made in the acquisition of
knowledge. A good treatise of this comprehensive nature has long been
wanting in our schools. To those whose time will not permit them to
turn to more ponderous sources of information, and to those who may
wish to refresh their memories by looking over an accurate summary of
facts already known, we heartily recommend this Geography as the best
elementary work we have seen."--_London Weekly Review._


_From the New-York Evening Post._

To the publishers, the public are indebted for an elementary work on
Geography, which, from a more attentive examination than we are usually
able to give to books of that description, we think will prove a very
useful volume in the education of young persons. The work we allude to
is a very neat and well printed edition of Pinnock's Modern Geography
and History, wholly revised and much enlarged by Edwin Williams, of
whose accuracy and research, as a statistical writer, the public have
already had various satisfactory evidences. The department of knowledge
in which the labors of Mr. Williams have been mainly exerted, have
necessarily furnished him with a copious store of materials highly
useful to be employed in a work like that which has now engaged his
pen. The original work of Mr. Pinnock bore a high reputation both in
England and this country, and its value is now very greatly increased
by the extensive and judicious improvements made by Mr. Williams. To
convey some idea of the superior excellence of the present edition over
any previous one, it needs only to be stated that the portion relating
to America, has been wholly rewritten and enlarged so as to extend
through more than a hundred additional pages. The recent changes in the
political divisions of South America are also carefully noted, and a
succinct and clear history of its various revolutions is given.
Numerous other improvements of the original work have been made by Mr.
Williams, but what we have stated, will serve to convey some idea of
the additional value he has imparted to a production which before
enjoyed a high reputation. The publishers deserve credit for the
exceedingly neat style in which they have published this useful
elementary work.


_From the Commercial Advertiser._

Pinnock has done very essential service to the cause of education, by
his excellent editions of established school books. To go no farther,
this is the best compendium of geography we have yet seen for schools.
The European States are never treated with the importance they deserve
in our ordinary school books of this description. Here they receive
great attention, and the American department, under Mr Williams'
careful and accurate superintendence, is not behind them, while the
history of each State is woven in its leading facts with its
description.


_From the New-York American._

This is a well printed, and we dare say, a well digested compound of
geography and history, adapted for young persons. The portion relating
to America has been rewritten here and much extended, and in that very
fact we see evidence to strengthen a conviction we have long
entertained, and occasionally expressed, that the elementary
works--those of history especially--designed for American schools,
should be written at home.


_From the New-York Weekly Messenger._

We have rarely met with a work of this size embracing so large a fund
of useful, we might say necessary, knowledge of a geographical and
historical character. This work is formed on the basis of Pinnock's
celebrated Manual of Geography, combining the leading facts of history.
It has been revised by Edwin Williams, Esq., a gentleman well known as
the author of the New-York Annual Register, and New Universal
Gazetteer, &c. That part of the work relating to our own country has
been entirely rewritten, and occupies about one hundred closely printed
pages. It will command a place, as a class book, in all our respectable
seminaries of learning; but a work of this kind ought not and will not
be confined to schools. It will be found in the library of the
scholar--the cheerful and happy dwelling of the farmer--the workshop of
the mechanic--the closet of the student--and the counting-room of the
merchant, by all of whom it may be advantageously consulted as a book
of reference.


_From the Knickerbocker._

Mr. Edwin Williams, whose "Annual Register" and "Universal Gazetteer"
are so favorably known to the public, has recently issued--revised and
enlarged from the London edition, and adapted to the use of Academies
and Schools in the United States--Pinnock's celebrated Modern
Geography. The part relating to America has received numerous important
additions in the revision, and the whole may be relied on us affording
a faithful picture of the present state of the world, as far as known.
The work presents a combination of geography and history, which renders
it both useful and entertaining. The latter quality is an unusual
feature in most of our modern school geographies.


_From the New-York Courier and Enquirer._

_Williams' Geography._--The habits and studies of Mr. Williams render
him peculiarly fitted for an undertaking of this sort, and he has
performed the task well. Pinnock's original work is in some respects
one of the best to be found, but the labors of Mr. Williams have
rendered this edition exceedingly valuable. We have looked this book
through with considerable attention, and find a mass of _American
information_ there embodied far beyond our expectation. We question,
indeed, whether any other book in print contains as much; and we are
mistaken if it is not extensively made use of hereafter in our schools
and academies. Few men in the country have amassed more statistical
material than Mr. Williams, and none have spread it before the public
with more accuracy. This book alone is sufficient to entitle him to the
thanks of the community.


_From the New-Yorker._

_Pinnock's Geography._--Mr. Edwin Williams, favorably known as the
compiler of several statistical works of acknowledged merit, has just
submitted to the public an Americanized edition of Pinnock's
"Comprehensive System of Geography and History"--the part relating to
the United States having been entirely re-written and extended over one
hundred pages. The high reputation of the original author as a
geographer, affords a satisfactory guaranty for the character of the
work, which is adapted to the use of seminaries without forfeiting its
claims on the attention of the more abstract student of geography and
history.


_From the New-York Observer._

_Williams' Geography and History._--Mr. Edwin Williams, the publisher
and compiler of the New-York Annual Register, has prepared a new
geography for the use of schools, founded on Pinnock's work on modern
geography, which has been revised and extended. The plan is to combine
a summary of the history of each country with its geography, and to
adapt it to the use of schools and academies, by references to the
maps, and by questions. The part of the work relating to America has
been entirely rewritten, and copious additions have been made to other
parts of the volume. We have not found time to examine the work
critically, but we have no doubt, from what we know of the
qualifications of the author, that it is one of the most valuable
works of the kind in the market.


_From the Albany Argus._

_Modern Geography and History._--Mr. Edwin Williams, the publisher
and compiler of the New-York Annual Register, has added another to the
valuable publications for which the public are indebted to his industry
and enterprise, in a revision and extension of Pinnock's celebrated
work on modern geography. The plan of this geography is to combine a
summary of the history and present condition of each country with its
geography, and to adapt it to the use of schools and academies, by
references to the maps, and by questions designed to elicit from the
learner the facts stated in the historical and statistical parts of the
work. Numerous additions have been made in the revision, particularly
in that part relating to America, which, it appears, has been entirely
re-written and extended over one hundred pages. It gives also full
descriptions of the West India Islands, not particularly noticed in any
other geography; extended notices of the modern divisions and
revolutions in South America, and in Greece and Belgium, &c. &c. The
entire work appears to have been prepared with the usual care and
accuracy of the America editor: and his own additions are among the
most valuable of the many important and interesting facts with which
the book is replete. The character of both the American and the English
author must commend the work to the favorable notice of teachers and
all interested in facilitating the business of public instruction.


_Pinnock's Modern Geography and History_, revised by Edwin Williams, is
an excellent compendium of the branches on which it treats, and we
cheerfully recommend it for adoption by teachers and others. Were this
work in general use by the higher classes in academies and schools, the
labors of instruction would be greatly diminished and the youth of our
country, of both sexes, would exhibit a knowledge of Geography and
History which is far from being frequent at present.

JOHN F. JENKINS, Principal of } _Mechanics'
  the Male Department;        } Society
ARABELLA CLARK, Principal of  } School._
  the Female Department;      }

_February 22, 1836._


_Pinnock's Geography._--This is an excellent book, and not inferior in
value to any which have been put forth by this most industrious
compiler and author.

The work is of that terse, comprehensive character, which distinguishes
his former productions. It is full of entertainment and instruction,
clear and judicious in style and arrangement, discriminating in the
selection of topics, abundant in details, and conducted with that
peculiar brevity which leaves not a word redundant or deficient. It
is a valuable class book, and merits general adoption in the
schools.--_Silliman's "American Journal of Science and Arts._" Vol.
XXVII. No. 2. July, 1835.



RECOMMENDATIONS OF BARNES' NOTES.

_From Abbott's Religious Magazine._

We have previously, in a brief notice, recommended to our readers
Barnes' Notes on the Gospels. But a more extended acquaintance with
that work has very much increased our sense of its value. We never have
opened any commentary on the Gospels, which has afforded us so much
satisfaction. Without intending, in the least degree, to disparage the
many valuable commentaries which now aid the Christian in the study of
the Bible, we cannot refrain from expressing our gratitude to the
Author, for the interesting and profitable instructions he has given
us.--The volumes are characterized by the following merits.

1. The spirit which imbues them is highly devotional. It is a devotion
founded on knowledge. It is a zeal guided by discretion.

2. The notes are eminently intellectual. Apparent difficulties are
fairly met. They are either explained, or the want of a fully
satisfactory explanation admitted. There is none of that slipping by a
knot which is too common in many commentaries.

3. The notes are written in language definite, pointed and forcible.
There is no interminable flow of lazy words. Every word is active and
does its work well. There are no fanciful expositions. There are no
tedious display of learning.

There may be passages in which we should differ from the writer in some
of the minor shades of meaning. There may be sometimes an unguarded
expression which has escaped our notice. We have not scrutinized the
volumes with the eye of a critic. But we have used them in our private
reading. We have used them in our family. And we have invariably read
them with profit and delight.

We have just opened the book to select some passage as an illustration
of the spirit of the work. The Parable of the rich man and Lazarus now
lies before us. The notes explanatory of the meaning of the parables,
are full and to the point. The following are the inferences, which Mr.
Barnes deduces.

"From this impressive and instructive parable, we may learn,

    "1. That the souls of men do not die with their bodies.

    "2. That the souls of men are _conscious_ after death; that
    they do not sleep, as some have supposed, till the morning of the
    resurrection.

    "3. That the righteous are taken to a place of happiness
    immediately at death, and the wicked consigned to misery.

    "4. That wealth does not secure us from death.

        "How vain are riches to secure
        Their haughty owners from the grave.

"The rich, the beautiful, the gay, as well as the poor, go down to the
grave. All their pomp and apparel; all their honors, their palaces and
their gold cannot save them. Death can as easily find his way into the
mansions of the rich as into the cottages of the poor, and the rich
shall turn to the same corruption, and soon, like the poor, be
undistinguished from common dust, and be unknown.

"5. We should not envy the condition of the rich.

    "On slippery rocks I see them stand,
    And fiery billows roll below.

"6. We should strive for a better inheritance, than can be possessed in
this life.

    "'Now I esteem their mirth and wine.
    Too dear to purchase with my blood,
    Lord 'tis enough that _thou_ art mine.
    My life, my portion, and my God.'"

"7. The sufferings of the wicked in hell will be indescribably great.
Think what is represented by _torment_, by burning flame, by
insupportable thirst, by that state when a single drop of water would
afford relief. Remember that all this is but a representation of the
pains of the damned, and that this will have no relief, day nor night,
but will continue from year to year, and age to age, and without any
end, and you have a faint view of the sufferings of those who are in
hell.

"8. There is a place of suffering beyond the grave, a hell. If there
is not, then this parable has no meaning. It is impossible to make
anything of it unless it is designed to teach that.

"9. There will never be any escape from those gloomy regions. There is
a gulf fixed--_fixed_, not moveable. Nor can any of the damned beat a
pathway across this gulf, to the world of holiness.

"10. We see the amazing folly of those, who suppose there may be an
_end_ to the sufferings of the wicked, and who on that supposition
seem willing to go down to hell to suffer a long time, rather than go
at once to heaven. If man were to suffer but a thousand years, or even
_one_ year, why should he be so foolish as to choose that suffering,
rather than go at once to heaven, and be happy at once when he dies?

"11. God gives us warning sufficient to prepare for death. He has sent
his word, his servants, his son; he warns us by his Spirit and his
providence, by the entreaties of our friends, and by the death of
sinners. He offers us heaven, and he threatens hell. If all this will
not move sinners, what _would_ do it? There is nothing that would.

"12. God will give us nothing farther to warn us. No dead man will come
to life, to tell us what he has seen. If he did, we would not believe
him. Religion appeals to man, not by ghosts and frightful apparitions.
It appeals to their reason, their conscience, their hopes, and their
fears.--It sets life and death soberly before men, and if they will not
choose the former they must die. If you will not hear the Son of God,
and the truth of the Scriptures, there is nothing which you will or can
hear; you will never be persuaded, and never will escape the place of
torment."

If we have any influence with our readers, we would recommend them to
buy these volumes. There is hardly any Christian in the land, who will
not find them an invaluable treasure.


_Extract of a Letter from a distinguished Divine of New England._

It (Barnes' Notes) supplies an important and much needed desideratum in
the means of Sabbath School and Bible Class instruction.

Without descending to minute criticism, or attempting a display of
learning, it embraces a wide range of general reading, and brings out
the results of an extended and careful investigation of the most
important sources of Biblical knowledge.

The style of the work is as it should be, plain, simple, direct; often
vigorous and striking; always serious and earnest.

It abounds in fine analyses of thought and trains of argument,
admirably adapted to aid Sabbath School Teachers in their responsible
duties: often too, very useful to Ministers when called suddenly to
prepare for religious meetings, and always helpful in conducting the
exercises of a Bible Class.

Without vouching for the correctness of every explanation and sentiment
contained in the Notes, its author appears to have succeeded very
happily in expressing the mind of the Holy Spirit as revealed in those
parts of the New Testament which he has undertaken to explain.

The theology taught in these volumes, drawn as it is from the pure
fountain of truth, is eminently common sense and practical.

It has little to do with theory or speculation.

The author appears not to be unduly wedded to any particular school or
system of theology, but to have a mind trained to habits of independent
thinking, readily submissive to the teachings of inspiration, but
indisposed to call any man master, or to set up anything in opposition
to the plain testimony of the Bible.


We would here say, once for all, we consider Barnes' Notes the best
commentary for families we have seen.--_N. E. Spectator.





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