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father occasional visits, and sometimes she was enabled to persuade him to return and pass a few days among his grand-children. These visits, for a time, gave him much pleasure, but after a few years he became more and more unwilling to leave his home, even for a short time. Margaret was never very desirous that her father should make these visits, notwithstanding the great benefit they rendered to his health and spirits. She paid him the most devoted attention, and had no wish to have a rival in his affections. Having now the undisputed control of all his domain — for even the affairs of his farm became less and less the object of his care — she hoped that even his death would not deprive her of any portion of that power which it was her pride to exercise.
Time was now rapidly making its inroads on the old man's mental and bodily energies, and it was painful to perceive his increased unwillingness to make any exertion, until finally it seemed an effort for him to move from the old arm-chair which had for many years been placed at a window commanding a view of the rolling ocean. He loved to sit in this spot, listening to the dashing waves, and to watch one billow succeed another on that beach, upon which he had so often walked with the partner of his joys and sorrows. The scene soothed and tranquillized him, and as he pictured to himself the ocean of eternity, which seemed to roll between him and her whom he had lost, he could not repress the wish that its last wave would come and bear him to that shore to which she, whom he so fondly loved, had long since been borne. As he was sitting one summer's evening in this, his favorite seat, watching the moonbeams playing on the waters, he imagined that the long line of golden light, reflected from its sparkling surface and appearing to extend to a boundless infinity, resembled the bright path by which he should soon be conducted to another world. And oh! how ardently he wished that he might even now tread its windings, and for ever be at home in the mansions beyond! Weary with gazing, and overcome with the thoughts that swelled his bosom, his head sank back on the chair which had so often supported him, and thus he remained until Margaret came to seek him for the purpose of assisting him to his room. She spoke, he did not answer; she took his hand, it fell from her motionless; and, as its icy touch penetrated to her heart, the truth flashed upon her bewildered mind. A piercing shriek called around her the household ; medical assistance was summoned, but all aid was unavailing. His wish was answered ; he had indeed trod the luminous path over which imagination had wandered ; and never more would he need the repose he so earnestly sought on earth. .The silver cord of life was loosened,' but not until it shone with the gems of another world ; 'the pitcher was broken at the fountain,' but the incense it inclosed had ascended to heaven, and diffused around a sweet perfume which lasted long after its frail vessel had perished. * The bright memorial of the just shall flourish while he sleeps in dust.' Long, long was it enshrined in the hearts of his children, and in the memories of those who knew and appreciated his worth.
LIFE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON. BY WASHINGTON IRVING. In Three Volumes: Volume
First: pp. 504. New-York: George P. Putnam AND COMPANY, Park Place.
One could scarcely wish for our most eminent American author a more triumphant "crowning glory' to a career of the highest literary renown, than that he should become the historian of the Saviour of his country,' as he had been before of its great Discoverer. The life of WASHINGTON by WASHINGTON IRVING! The combination will carry with it, and create, a permanent popularity ; such as has not been accorded to any other book within the last century; and from this time forward, to the remotest years of our country's history, WASHINGTON and Washington IRVING will walk down the corridors of Time together. From a work which, before these pages shall pass before the eyes of our readers, will have had perhaps a hundred thousand readers, extracts would be supererogatory, especially after the numerous reviews and quotations which have appeared in the metropolitan daily press. From two among the ablest of these reviews, from the pen of an accomplished critic, Mr. George RIPLEY, of 'The Tribune' daily journal, and of Mr. WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, we take the subjoined clear synopsis of the volume:
"We cannot but express our satisfaction at the final completion of this work. Its publication will form an important epoch in American literature. The life-long labors of its illustrious author could not have been crowned with a more appropriate termination. His name will henceforth be indissolubly connected with that of WASHINGTON, not only by his baptismal appellation, but by the noble monument which he has reared to his memory. It was a befitting task that the writer who has left such a brilliant impress of his genius on the nascent literature of his country - whose famo is devoutly cherished in the hearts of the American peopleheld in equally affectionate remembrance in the rude cabins of the frontier, the halls of universities, and the saloons of fashionable life — whose successes in the varied walks of classical composition have done as much to illustrate the character of America in the eye of the world as the eloquence of her senators or her prowess in arms - sliould create a permanent memorial of WASHINGTON in a style worthy the dignity of the subject and the reputation of the author.
But in proportion to the magnitude and the fitness of the task was the difficulty
of its execution. With the delicate sensitiveness of Mr. Irving, it would not have been wonderful had it weighed like a night-mare on his spirit. There is no trace of this, however, in the composition of the work. He approaches the theme with a cheerful energy, almost a gay hilarity, which shows a consciousness of mastership, as well as his characteristic temperament. A writer of less sanguine hopefulness would have shrunk from the duty of attempting a new portraiture of a character so universally known as that of WASHINGTON. His whole history was as familiar to the American mind as the charter of our liberties, which was the fruit of his labors. Previous explorers, it would seem, had gathered every fact, noted every incident, exhausted every record, in describing his biography. His life, moreover, was so devoted to public ends as to throw into the sbade the minute traits of personal character which after all form the magnetic links of sympathy. He lived so habitually in the gaze of the world as to produce a constant sense of responsibleness quite incompatible with the freedom of spontaneous action. His character was so uniformly grave, self-sustained, and elevated above common human weaknesses, that it would seem to present few materials for romantic delineation or fascinating biography. But Mr. IRVING has not only bravely faced the difficulties of his subject — he has gathered from them an enduring triumph. He has done well what has never been done before at all. He has presented WASHINGTON as a living personality, not as a political or military automaton. He has laid bare the mighty heart of the hero beneath the buff and blue encasings of the Continental uniform, and enabled us to listen to its audible throbs. Henceforth we shall know more of the man than we ever did before. The name of WASHINGTON will not only be a household word as of old, but will awaken fresh sympathies in every lover of our marvellous humanity.
"Mr. IRVING introduces his volume with an account of the WASHINGTON family. Although not of exciting interest, it presents several curious antiquarian details. WASHINGTON was of an ancient English stock, the genealogy of which has been traced up to the century immediately succeeding the Norman Conquest. WILLIAM DE HERTBURN, a follower of WILLIAM the Conqueror, was the progenitor of the WASHINGTONS. The surname of this brave knight was taken from a village which he held by a feudal tenure, and afterward exchanged for the manor and village of Wessyngton. The family changed its surname with its estate, and thenceforward assumed that of DE WESSYNGTON. By degrees, the seignorial sign of de disappeared from before the family surname, which also varied from WESSYNGTON to WASSINGTON, WASSHINGTON, and finally to WASHINGTON. A parish in the County of Durham bears the name as last written, and in this probably the ancient manor of Wessyngton was situated.'
"The task of writing the life of WASHINGTON, whom we once heard a distinguished man of letters in Europe call the greatest man that God ever made,' could not have been committed to worthier hands. The graceful flow and harmonious coloring of Mr. Irving's style, the clearne-s and picturesqueness of his narrative, his knowledge of the world and of mankind, and his vein of quiet humor, make him the most delightful of biographers. The anecdotes of WASHINGTON's early life collected by Mr. IRVING are interesting. He had, it seems, the usual weaknesses of youth; he was early in love, and though we are not told whether he was ever carried through the measles and the chicken-pox, it seems certain that he had, like many other great men, a turn of being poetical. The attack, however, was a mild one, and left no permanent traces on his intellectual constitution. The part taken by WASHINGTON in the wars of the colony of Virginia with the Indians, and afterward with the French, furnishes his biographer with the means of tracing the formation of that habit of coolness in danger, military forecast, and the sagacious choice of expedients which afterward distinguished the part he bore in the great contest between the revolted colonies and the mother country. One of the most interesting - affecting, we had almost said — parts of the narrative is that which introduces the modest hero upon the great stage of the Revolution, not wholly unconscious of his own great powers, yet oppressed with the responsibilities laid upon him, and dreading lest he might not be found equal to them. Mr. IRVING has skilfully brought out the high qualities of his character as shown at this stage of his life. Near the close of the volume, the first scene of the war — the battle of Bunker-IIill — is portrayed with vivid distinctness and minuteness.'
A portrait of WASIIINGTON is given in this volume, engraved from an original picture by WESTMULLER, a Danish or Swedish artist, who painted it from life in 1795. The second volume will contain an engraving of Peale's celebrated portrait, and the third an engraving of Hordon's full-length statue of WASHINGTON, now in the Capitol at Richmond. The paper and typography of the volume are superb. The present is the large edition. Another, of a smaller page, is in the hands of the printers, for the use of schools. We almost envy the little boys and girls who will derive their first connected knowledge of the career of the 'Father of his country' from this 'Life of WASHINGTON.
Peers FROM A BELFRY: OR TIIE Parisu SKETCH-Book, By F. W. SHELTON, Author of
* The Rector of St. Bardolph's,' “Salander and the Dragon,' 'Crystalline, etc. (Second Notice.) New-York: CHARLES SCRIBNER.
NOTWITHSTANDING our extended notice, in the last KNICKERBOCKER, of the advance-sheets of this work, we find it impossible to resist the inclination again to counsel our readers, one and all, to compass its perusal entire, being well assured that each and every one of them will confirm and justify our judgment in the premises.' We make two more selections from its pages, which carry their own praise with them. The first is from The Model Parish,' and is a charming limning of a charming character :
HERBERT was the auspicious name of the gentle Rector of St. John the Evangelist's. He had caught in some degree the spirit of his namesake who wrote the Country Parson,' and it would task the genial heart and mellow diction of another WALTON to describe the portion of a life wbich scarcely yet approached its prime. Upon the threshold of an acquaintance you felt already as one who stands beneath a blossomcovered porch, and longs to see the portals opened, and to gain admittance to the pleas. ant chambers which are within. His open, candid look, his beaming eres and cheerful countenance, comblended with a dignity which never stopped beyond the proper bounds; the earnest way in which he talked on common things like common men; a sympathy and human feeling with the outer world, all stood in well-marked contrast with the fixed, and stiff, and starched, and formal cast of countenance impressed with dogma, and cast within the settled mould of theologic srstem. An atrabilious, melancholy look is by no means the best means to denote that .wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness.' His countenance was always happy, which was a pretty sure index that his theology was right, and that while he thought upon the justice, he had not clean put the mercy and goodness of God from before his eyes. That a parson should be a bugbear is sometimes due to a formal and forbidding air, to a cold and averted
glance which he gives at the wicked world, instead of looking it plump in the face-to a formality more decided than can be conveyed by the cut of the garments, or what is more unpleasant still, to a sleek smoothness of the visage, as if anointed with the emollient oil of sanctity from the Pharisee's own cruet. In many cases prepossession is unfounded, and when the chill has subsided, and the first horror is done away, the clergy as a class will be found to be, what their education, predilections, and noble calling onght to make them, the most agreeable and companionable people in the world. It does not follow that if a stifl-necked man who wears a white cravat looks solemn, he must be a hypocrite; that the children must run away when he puts his band to the knocker, that the novel must be thrust into the folds of a religious news, paper, and the vestiges of the card-table swept into a drawer, and that he must be welcomed with a prepared and steady look, as if he came to talk expressly about the affairs of the soul! He will do so by his unblemished conduct upon a Monday morning, as much as by his direct and earnest preaching on the Sunday. A little reflection will show that other causes than that of rigorous dogma may sometimes cast his face into the mould of melancholy - that not peculiar
peculiar want of it. may make him over-anxious about the temporal wants of to-day - that he has divers troubles, and does not find the cup of poverty to be sweet. Sometimes his debts hang over his head, and they are of such a kind that he can only wish that they were paid, but can hardly pray that ihey may be forgiven; or his feeling have been hurt, his relations have been disturbed, and the Williwillows threaten to leave the parish. Sometimes, but not always, the creed lengthens the face of the man.'
Remark, if you please, the pathos, the tender, heartful feeling, which pervades the subjoined extract from a short chapter, entitled, “The Child's Funeral.' Many a bereaved parent's heart will melt at its simple picture of a sorrow that is like no other sorrow:
'A Child fills up a large space in a human heart, however much it may be preoccupied by cares, or given up to worldliness. It is by absence often and not by presence, by the want and not by the possession, that the value of an object is made known. You enter into some house replete with the adjuncts of worldly comfort, the snug chambers all deftly furnished, the walls hung with pleasant pictures, something on all hands to charm the sense, and steal into the heart with genial influences. "You go there a second time and every thing has been removed. Forlorn and dismantled, it has no tenant, the niches are uno
s are unoccupied, the hangings have been taken down, no more the gardener trains the honeyed vines about the porch. Balclutha! - Balclutha! - A damp and a chilliness strike to the heart. So is every home from which a child has been removed by death. There is a painful sense of vacancy. How do the hands hang listless which used to be employed in momentary offices! The eye misses its accustomed sights, and the ear its sounds, and the heart every thing, for a child engrosses all. In his electric vivacity he flits everywhere within his narrow bounds, and needs a. darting eve and hurried tuet to snatch him from instant peril. He is a diligent student of the geography of his realm, and is familiar with all its places. He is in the chambers, in the kitchen, in the garret, in the pantry, on the stair-case, on the porch, in the garden, by the water-tank, on the edge of the precipice, if there be any, or on the brink of the stream, clambering over high places, courting all dangers, and fearing none. His voice is an all-pervading melody whose echoes come back from every nook with a ringing and hilarious welcome to a parent's ears. But when at break of day, at what tiine the birds fiap their wings and sing their matins, no more when he used to nestle in his mother's bosom shall be heard his morning salutation, the first and sweet articulate aitempts at speech, and when with every set of sun those oft-repeated still-reluctant partings can be known no more, the morning is bereft of its refreshing cheerfulness, and the night draws on with added gloom.
His place is vacant at the household board. That purest, simplest imitation of a HEATENI.Y FATHER, the giving to a child its daily bread, that almost sacramental right in homely sanctuaries, which breaks the crumbs to craving little ones, and answers their appeals, wakes up no more the blended train of human sympathies, and lets the embers on the altar of the heart wax cold. Yes, dreary is the home which first misses those mutual interchanges that knit together all the happy family, and melt like holy ele. ments into the religion of the soul. But more than all its winning ways, and temporal beanty, the parents mourn the bright example of the child. From those tender eyes spoke forth a love which the world knows not, and suspecting no disguise. There was exhibited a humility which considered no playmate too humble to be a compeer, and invited the beggar to be a guest. There faith essential worked its little miracles, and made the mountains move. That undissembled love, which wound itself just like the clasping tendril of the vine around its objects, that humbleness with buovant and angelic wings wbich soared toward heaven, that faith so real, and beautiful, the very sub.