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wavered, it consumed. Its lambent lines lengthened sidelong. At length, not a coal, but a shield, as the shield of Jehovah, stood above the east, and it was day. The vapor sea heaved, and broke, and rolled up the mountain-sides. The lakes flashed back the conquering splendor. The wide panorama, asleep no more, was astir with teeming life. pp. 303, 304.


We care much more for the spiritual character than for the intellectual or æsthetic culture of the traveller whom we accompany amid the grand and beautiful in nature. On mountain-summit or ocean-side, under Italian heavens or on tropical seas, one finds but what he carries. Hills, streams, forests, and sunsets are not constants, but variables in the formula of human experience, to the fopling, infinitesimal as compared with his dinners and wines; to the devout spirit, endowed with a putative infinity as pervaded by the immeasurable Creator. One American tourist of great ephemeral popularity boasted of having drawn the cork of a bottle of champagne on the top of Mount Sinai; another, of enduring fame, reverently opened his Hebrew Bible, and read the Decalogue aloud in its original tongue on the spot where he believed it to have been promulgated to the awe-stricken Israelites. Palestine is a picturesque region, but destitute of natural features or phenomena that can be compared in grandeur with those of Switzerland; its Jordan is a mere rivulet, its ocean a land-locked sea. Yet the poets of Palestine alone furnish adequate expression for the loftiest and profoundest emotions experienced among scenes vastly more majestic than ever met their outward eye. And this is because for them the inward vision had been unsealed, and they ever saw "the great white throne, and Him that sat upon it." The swelling, bounding thought of God, crowding and exceeding every capacity and affection, intensified for them into its own fulness and grandeur whatever bore the signature of his hand; and had their home been remote from mountains and by sluggish waters, still to their God-awakened consciousness "the floods would have clapped their hands, and the little hills rejoiced on every side." It is only those touched with their spirit, that can worthily be the historiographers or poets of nature in its wilder and loftier forms, of mountain, waterfall, or ocean.

From the passages which we have already quoted, as well as from her world-famous story, our readers are aware that Mrs. Stowe wields a vigorous, masculine pen, versatile in its adaptations, capable of the highest themes, yet not too dainty for the simplest and rudest forms of human feeling and experience. She abounds in starts and flashes of eloquence, in illustrations as bold as they are apposite, in metaphors that incarnate thought, and transmute the abstract into concrete forms which we can almost see and handle with the organs of sense. Little Eva's death-scene and Uncle Tom's martyrdom are unsurpassed in all the elements of rhetorical pathos and grandeur. And to a great thought her expression is never false. Yet in the even flow of prosaic narrative we sometimes miss the accuracy and finish, the humbler graces and amenities of style, which characterize many female writers of far inferior merit and capacity. She has no talent for merely fine writing.

The Beecher family almost constitute a genus by themselves. The same type of mind and style is reproduced in the writings of the venerable father and of his singularly gifted children, though stiffening into a certain solemn stateliness in the author of "The Conflict of Ages," and in Henry Ward trenching close upon the dividing line between licit humor and lithe buffoonery. The father, in his palmy days, was unequalled among living divines for dialectic keenness, scathing invective, pungent appeal, lambent wit, hardy vigor of thought, and concentrated power of expression; but he always fumbled over an extra-Scriptural metaphor, and exhibited little beauty except that of strength and holiness, - a beauty which never shone from him so resplendently as now, that, on the verge of fourscore, it hallows the sunset of as noble a life as man ever led, and presages the dawning of a renewed youth in a more exalted sphere of the Divine service. His daughter inherits in full his vigor of conception, his logical acumen, his tenacious hold upon the conscience, his fervent strenuousness of aim, and his wit subordinated to and sanctified by the gravest purpose and the most momentous mission; while in the handling of subsidiary thoughts and in rhetorical ornament she alternates between his unconscious heedlessness and her own finer perception and more graceful culture.

We would gladly follow Mrs. Stowe through her extended tour, and look further with her searching vision at the works of God and the ways of men; but the rapid sale of her book supersedes the necessity and even the fitness of a detailed review; and what we have written has been written less with the purpose of introducing her to our readers, than of doing justice to our journal by a permanent record of a work which has ministered equally to our instruction and our edification.

ART. VIII.-1. Report of the Special Committee of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, on the Distribution of the Income of the Smithsonian Fund, &c. [Signed by HON. JAMES A. PEARCE.] Washington. 1854. 8vo. pp. 25.

2. Report of HON. JAMES MEACHAM, of the Special Committee of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, on the Distribution of the Income of the Smithsonian Fund, &c. Washington. 1854. 8vo. pp. 63.

A POPULAR French writer, M. Jules Sandeau, whose works have a rather more elevated tone than that of the modern school of authors at Paris, has written an amusing story, which, moreover, has a good moral, describing the inconveniences suffered by a young musician who unexpectedly receives a large fortune by bequest. He becomes entangled in lawsuits and disputes, his domestic peace is invaded, he is at loss how to spend his money, and finally is driven to the conclusion that his legacy was no boon. He renounces his rights to the next heirs, and retires from the field, leaving the wrangling and the lawsuits to others. The idea of this story was somewhat bold even for a novelist,- for Miss Edgeworth says it never hurt a heroine to be an heiress; but we are not sure that a similar story must not be truly told when the final history of the Smithsonian bequest shall be written, for that history may not improbably have the same denouement with Sandeau's novel. Indeed, something of this sort was more

than hinted at in the debates which took place in Congress, even before the institution was established. It was the settled opinion of one class of statesmen, (which they took frequent opportunities to urge,) that Congress had made a mistake in accepting the bequest, and that the money ought to be paid back into the British Court of Chancery, to be claimed by anybody who thought he had a right to it. Now that the eight years' history of the institution has so bitterly disap, pointed the just expectations of the public, arguments of this sort might be renewed with increased force. If the institu tion is to be made merely a vehicle for personal aggrandize. ment and special favoritism, if its care implies the abuse of a weighty public trust, and the appropriation of its funds for uses not authorized by law, then the bequest will have been no boon, and the sooner the establishment is broken up, and the United States relieved of responsibility in the premises,

the better.

It is fortunately the case, however, that an abuse cannot attain its full growth in this country without being perceived in time for the application of a remedy; so that even our most firmly established institutions find themselves powerless to resist the hand of reform, when guided by truth and right. We do not anticipate, therefore, so summary a catastrophe as the absolute extinction of the Smithsonian Institution, on account of the faults of its administration. We have too much confidence in the force of public opinion, not to speak of their own enlightened sense of their duty, to believe that the managers will not speedily adopt a course of proceeding different from that which they have hitherto pursued.

James Smithson, a subject of Great Britain, who had never visited this country, died in 1829. By his will, dated October 23, 1826, he bequeathed the whole income of his property, after the payment of a small annuity to an old servant, to his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, and, after his death, the whole property, "absolutely and for ever," to his child or children, legitimate or illegitimate, should he have any. The next sentence of the will is in these words:

"In case of the death of my said nephew without leaving a child or children, or of the death of the child or children he may have had un

der the age of twenty-one years or intestate, I then bequeathe the whole of my property, subject to the annuity of £ 100 to John Fitall, and for the security and payment of which I mean stock to remain in this country, to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men."

In these few words is contained the whole of the munificent testator's directions with regard to the institution which he desired should carry his name down to posterity, in case of the failure of descendants to cherish it. It is probable enough, that, if he had regarded the contingency of the establishment of the institution as likely to happen, he would have given a more specific intimation of his wishes with reference to it. But whether this were the case or not, there is no other written evidence of his intentions and wishes than that included in the brief sentence just quoted. The words, though few, are intelligible and explicit, and he may well have supposed that it would be wiser not to trammel the United States with conditions and restrictions. He had never visited this country, and did not know what sort of an institution was needed here, or would be most beneficial. He was willing to leave the arrangement of details to Congress, and contented himself with the simple expression of the liberal wish that the institution should be "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men."

In 1836, July 1, Congress passed an act accepting the bequest, and authorizing the President to appoint an agent to prosecute in the English courts the claim of the United States to the money. This act provided that the money, when received, should be paid into the Treasury of the United States, and kept separate from the other funds, subject to such further disposal as might afterwards be provided by Congress. The third section of the act was in the following language:

"And be it further enacted, That any and all sums of money, and other funds, which shall be received for or on account of said legacy, shall be applied in such manner as Congress may hereafter direct, for the purpose of founding and endowing at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men; to which application of the said

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