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with its fast horses, fast men, and fast women,-its whirl of fashionable equipages, its confused din of "hop" music, scandal, flirtation, serenades, and supreme voice of the sea breaking through the fog and dust. Not that the prevailing tone, however, is ironical. On the contrary, his own poetical habit of thought and feeling colours and warms every page, and sustains its predominance by frequent citations from his favourite minstrels. Thus we find him again and again quoting whole pieces from Herrick, and introducing Uhland's Rhine ballad, "Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee"-and Heine's tenderly-phrased legend of Lorelei-and tid-bits from Wordsworth's Yarrow, and Tennyson's Princess, and Longfellow's Waif, and Keats' Nightingale, and Waller's "Go, lovely Rose!" and Charles Lamb's "Gipsy's Malison," and George Herbert, and Shelley, and Browning, and Charles Kingsley,* and (for is not he also among the poets?) Thomas de Quincey. Being no longer on Eastern ground, the author's style is, appropriately enough, far more subdued and prosaic than when it was the exponent of a Howadji; yet of brilliant and rhapsodical passages there is no lack. His characteristic vein of reflection, too, pursues its course as of old-and the blood thereof, which is the life thereof, will repay extraction.† American as he is, to the core, he by no means contends that the home-scenery he depicts is entitled to "whip creation." Indeed, both implicitly and explicitly his creed in this respect is a little independent of the stars and stripes. He has been in Italy and Switzerland, and has not forgotten either. The Hudson is dear to him, but so is the Rhine. "The moment you travel in America," he says, "the victory of Europe is sure"-and he thinks it ill-advised to exhort a European to visit America for other reasons than social and political observation, or buffalo hunting-affirming the idea of the great American lakes, or of her magnificent monotony of grass and forest, to be as impressive and much less wearisome than the actual sight of them. In presence of
* The lines, namely, in "Alton Locke," beginning
which certainly have a pictorial power and a wild suggestive music, all their own -and of which Mr. Curtis justly says: "Who that feels the penetrating pathos of the song but sees the rain-shroud, the straggling nets, and the loneliness of the beach? There is no modern verse of more tragic reality."
We are here too stinted for room to apply the lancet with effect. But in illustration of the aphoristic potentiality ('ws 'eños 'εiew) of the Lotos-eater, we may refer to his wise contempt for an indiscriminate eulogy of travelling, as though it involved an opus operatum grace and merit of its own-saying, "A mile horizontally on the surface of the earth does not carry you one inch towards its centre, and yet it is in the centre that the gold mines are. A man who truly knows Shakspeare only, is the master of a thousand who have squeezed the circulating libraries dry."
The following, again, has the true Emerson stamp: "Any great natural object -a cataract, an alp, a storm at sea-are seed too vast for any sudden flowering. They lie in experience moulding life. At length the pure peaks of noble aims and the broad flow of a generous manhood betray that in some happy hour of youth you have seen the Alps and Niagara."
One more, and a note-worthy excerpt: "He is a tyro in the observation of nature who does not know that, by the sea, it is the sky-cape, and not the landscape, in which enjoyment lies. If a man dwelt in the vicinity of beautiful inland scenery, yet near the sea, his horse's head would be turned daily to the ocean, for the sea and sky are exhaustless in interest as in beauty, while, in the comparison, you soon drink up the little drop of satisfaction in fields and trees."
Trenton Falls and Niagara, he cannot restrain longing allusions to the thousand Alpine cascades of Switzerland that flicker through his memory, "slight avalanches of snow-dust shimmering into rainbow-dust"—and to the Alpine peaks themselves, those "ragged edges of creation, half blent with chaos," upon which, inaccessible for ever, in the midst of the endless murmur of the world, antemundane silence lies stranded, like the corse of an antediluvian on a solitary rock-point in the sea❞—those solemn heights, towards which painfully climbing, you may feel, "with the fascination of wonder and awe, that you look, as the Chinese say, behind the beginning." Why does not Mr. Curtis give us his travels in Switzerland? All his Alpine references have an Alpine inspiration that makes us wish for more.† And albeit his temptation may be to indulge in a little rhapsody, and to dazzle with diamond-dust, yet has he too keen a sense of the ludicrous, and too confirmed a tendency to sarcasm, to lose himself in mystic rapture. Even at sunrise on the Righi, he has more than "half-an-eye" for the cloaked and blanketed cockneys beside him-" as if each had arisen, bed and all, and had so stepped out to enjoy the spectacle"-and finds the exceeding absurdity of the crowd interfere with the grandeur of the moment.
The chapters devoted to Saratoga and Newport, remind us in many a paragraph of both Hawthorne and Thackeray. The watering-places' talk is of blooming belles, who are grandmothers now, and of brilliant beaux, bald now and gouty: mournful midnight gossips! that will not you leave those whose farewells yet thrill in your heart, in the eternal morning of youth, but compel you to forecast their doom, to draw sad and strange outlines upon the future-to paint pictures of age, wrinkles, ochre-veined hands, and mob-caps until your Saratoga episode of pleasure has sombred into an Egyptian banquet, with your old, silently-smoking, and meditative habitué for the death's-head. Savours this not of "Edward Fane's Rosebud" and of " Vanity Fair?" A history of that community whereby hangs a tale of "Blithedale Romance," has been suggested to Mr. Curtis by Nathaniel Hawthorne, who says, "Even the brilliant Howadji might find as rich a theme in his youthful reminiscences of Brook Farm, and a more novel one,close at hand as it lies,—than those which he has since made so distant a pilgrimage to seek, in Syria, and along the current of the Nile." Such a history, by such a historian, might be a curious parallel, or pendant, to the record of Miles Coverdale.
* Akin, perhaps, to that of Wordsworth's "Stepping Westwards."
† Elsewhere he sketches the view of the Righi-celestial snow-fields, smooth and glittering as the sky-rugged glaciers sloping into unknown abysses, Niagaran cataracts frozen into foam for ever-the range of the Jura, dusky and far, and the faint flash of the Aar in the morning mist-while over the hushed tumult of peaks thronging to the utmost east, came the sun, sowing those sublime snow-fields with glorious day. And again, of his impressions from the Faulhorn, the highest inhabited point in Europe, he says: "And as I looked across the valley of Grindelwald, and saw the snow-fields and ice-precipices of all the Horns,-never trodden and never to be trodden by man,-shining cold in the moonlight, my heart stood still as I felt that those awful peaks and I were alone in the solemn solitude. Then I felt the significance of Switzerland, and knew the sublimity of mountains." This "significance" is noted àpropos of the Catskill view, where he feels the want of that true mountain sublimity, the presence of lonely snow-peaks.
BOSTON-LOWELL-NEW LONDON-LONG ISLAND.
BY J. W. HENGISTON, ESQ.
SAILING among these islands in smooth water, after the kicking about we have had for twenty days, is very delightful. This is in the immediate neighbourhood, I think, of that little gem belonging to Mr. Daniel Webster Lady Emmeline Stuart mentions as so picturesque and charming; but we could only see them at a distance as we threaded our way through shoals and rocky passages; their villages and harbours looking very inviting, with their numerous coasting craft at anchor or under sail, others busy fishing, while scattered farms, and their cattle grazing, enlivened the scene; all the more pleasing on a fair sunny day, as the night before we were threatened with a gale from the east.
Passing the island of Nantucket, we fly along the low sandy shores which form Cape Cod; and our old weather-beaten farmer-looking pilot for this inner passage is superseded off the lighthouse by a smart young fellow of the bay, much against his will (as he had some faint hopes of evading him and taking us on); but these beauteous white-winged seagulls of pilot-boats are too numerous and sharp-sighted to leave a chance; she pounced on us like a hawk, and we beat in through the numerous rocky islands and shoals of this vast bay in the teeth of half a gale of wind, with royals set and colours flying.
The passage to the inner harbour, guarded by Fort Independence to the left on Castle Island, and a battery on Thompson's Island to the right; where there is a very large general hospital, to which young medical students repair for practice, as ours do to Guy's or St. George'sgetting in against the wind through so narrow a passage is a ticklish affair, tack and half tack-but our barque, can go about in her own length, and towards night we are anchored, previous to being warped in, for the night-for the whole line of wharves are so crammed with ships in double and treble tiers, that it has to be carefully ascertained where room for us can be found, not too far from the cotton marts, which lie at the north end of Commercial-street, the leading thoroughfare in the lower part of the town. We find it now, the last of April, very cold, and not a leaf out on the trees: ten degrees south of the Isle of Wight! I would fain say more of these islands-a most interesting group-full of villages and harbours, with hundreds of coasting schooners, sloops, and fishing-smacks, darting about with their white sails-or at anchor by dozens in various nooks and coves. Coming up the coast to the north, to Boston, this is called the inner passage-it is intricate, full of shoals, and full of pilots, which make, indeed, the American waters, in spite of their numerous and fine harbours, very expensive to their merchantmen. The Mara paid about fifty dollars to her two pilots-two and a half to three dollars a foot-she drew only ten feet.
Our first old fellow (pilot), who had been a man-of-war's man, farmer, captain, storekeeper, and fisherman, having left his schooner among the islands outside, rejoins her by the railway to Plymouth, or one of the numerous towns below on the coast.
But I must trifle no longer, the sands of my magazine life are counted. We pass the effective battery on Castle Island, close to the city, anchor, and warp to "Battery" Wharf, in the cotton-warehouse quarter.
My skipper, the best creature alive, has got his best coat on; he cal'ates them varmint won't leave him one of his men on board-boarding-house touters who rush on board the moment we touch the wharf, and seize on the men; pestering them with their lying promises--in five minutes, swamp 'em; and, indeed, off they go (the case with all their ships) the moment the dear little Mara is lashed fast. Seamen are now at a premium; though, poor devils, for ever the silly victims of alternate tyranny or cunning. In the States it is a rare thing for a sailor to ship a second time with the same captain, or the same ship, even when they have no particular fault to find: what with the water-side boarding-houses, lying crimps, and their own excessive folly-nay, intermittent madness-it is as hard to man a ship this year (1852) in Boston, as it is to man a Queen's ship in England. The same thing exactly goes on at Liverpool; indeed, the seaports of the two countries are getting more like each other every day, not only as to sailors, but in all the business of everyday life.
Boston is really a fine city; her grandeur and riches are as conspicuous in her noble public buildings as in her immense long wharves, towering warehouses, and forests of shipping, which fringe the whole water-side of the town, on projecting wharves, some of them half a mile long, which jut out like the teeth of a comb.
The body of the place is almost surrounded by water; as it is built on a neck of land bending round from the heights of Canton and Roxbury westward, and ending at the bridge at Charleston; the eastern suburb-East Boston-though on an island, sweeping round by Charleston, Chelsea, and the navy-yard, completes the harbour on this side, while on the south it is prolonged opposite in suburb streets, called South Boston, together with the "Common" (a small park-like triangle in the centre, of fifty acres, not so large as our Green Park). This undulating neck is not wanting in requisite space; though all behind the town to the north and west is cut off from the country by a shallow lagoon or inlet, across which long causeways and drawbridges have been constructed, and the railroads to the south and west. These waters are rather a convenience for sloops and barges loaded for the suburbs, Cambridge, Dorchester, and Roxbury, which pass the drawbridges, to supply the environs beyond the tide, for two or three miles. All this country is rocky, with clean sandy shores. Hills, and nice undulations of the land are everywhere, in and out of the town. The Capitol, or State-house, stands conspicuous on its hill at the head of the common; and the grand monument looms afar from Bunker's Hill, on the Charleston side, which is but a suburb prolonged to East Boston, where the great sea steamers lie, and much of the crowded shipping; where there is a railroad station, and where several of their chief ship-building yards are established, beyond the U. S. dockyard; but all this can give no idea of what the thing really is-from many elevated spots in and out of the town the whole can be seen at a glance-a glorious panorama. Whether one looks from old Fort Washington, on the hill in South Boston, towards Bunker's Hill, northward, or from the great granite
monument, one looks to the south at the city, the country, and the islands of the bay outside.
As a whole, perhaps the richest and most complete view may be had from the gentle hills about Canton; a village, among others, which stud the frame of hills beyond the water, inside the city, at three or four miles distance. To the north, on the Cambridge side, and towards Mount Auburn Cemetery, the country is more flat. This same Cambridge (we have everywhere our own old familiar names) is a kind of town of villas and garden-houses, with here and there a street; the whole spreading four or five miles into the country, almost as far as the cemetery, which lies beyond it. Here, too, they have their chief university-plain large buildings, like grammar schools rather than what we call universities (thinking of Oxford or Cambridge, or the German ones). They may not be the less effective; but, indeed, all the states of New England are remarkable for their very numerous schools.
Boston is the most irregularly built town in America. I was constantly losing myself among her crooked, winding streets; this has happened partly from the conformation of the ground, and the careless want of any plan, which marks everything English two hundred years ago, when the pilgrim fathers settled here. In all our own ill-built towns one can easily trace how it was from the first hut, at any one water-side at our seaports, or in our own narrow Strand, which at first was a row of huts facing the river at a respectful distance, and leaving a good wide strand as common property.
To consider the more minute features, I am struck by the numbers of solid granite buildings; conspicuous is the custom-house, town-hall, Faneuil-hall, and others-great hotels, the Tremont and Revere, where I went, at the end of Court-street-the Tremont-temple (just burnt down), hotel, and museum.
The town reservoir of the Cochituate waterworks, behind the Statehouse, is very remarkable; so is the Great North, or Fitchburg Railway station, with its grand arches and embattled towers, all of solid granite; even the domed roof of the custom-house is of granite. This solid and everlasting stone forms the basement of half the larger buildings and private houses, and strikes the eye in every street; so that, together with the excellent brickwork of the houses, marble and granite steps, window and door frames, pilasters, cornices, &c., one is everywhere impressed with an idea of riches, solidity, and strength. The dimensions of their public and private buildings, here and in all the American cities, taking the latter throughout, in their more retired and second-rate streets, is evidently greater than our own. The same thing may be said of their shops in general, though their front plate-glass displays and arrangements are inferior.
In this particular Boston, however, cannot vie with New York or Philadelphia; she is sober Minerva; their more staid religious sister-the last to give way to the vanities of this world, French frippery, or English pride and gorgeous show; backed and surrounded by her own sober state, and all New England still clinging in their countless white board villages and weeping willows to the ascetic gloom and gnashing of teeth of their pilgrim forefathers in this vale of tears. The Bostonians have been, perhaps, the last to swim with the universal current of light amusements and