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Do not consider us premature, dear KNICK., although fourteen days are still to elapse before the time when the ardent apprentice and the constant counter-hopper indite their amatory lays. We wish to say something about the fête. Who the saint was, we are unable to inform you, having looked for him in the Classical Dictionary and not found him in. But what of that? We know he must have been an amiable, pleasant fellow, loving the pretty girls; a kind of bishop-saint, in fact, nothing improper, you know; all sentiment, and that sort of thing. This is evident from the traditions of the Church.
What a pity that the calendar is made up! Perhaps we might obtain a place for one of our «Latter Day Saints.' (How would St. Priapus do ?) That is, if the advocatus diaboli would admit that deeds in love give as good a title as sighs and songs.
Once before we wrote you a Valentine, in which we advised an old bachelor to get married. It was of no use none whatever. He still remains an unit, although he read the paper in question, and admired the force and facetiousness of the reasoning. It does appear strange. We scarcely know whether to grieve or to rejoice. We are sad, to see our literary shot rebound harmless from his cuirass of celibacy; but we are gay, when we think of a certain heirship presumptive; a hope, faint it is true, but still a hope, which cheers and sustains the melancholy state of our pockets.
It is the day then when Young Gentlemen,' as Thorburn calls them in his flower-advertisements, bless their stars that Jane rhymes with Pain, and wonder if amusing would jingle with Susing. Lucky word for them, that Valentine! It has such a pretty cadence, and such a poet-helping tail. as thus:
Rhymes thick as blackberries ring around us ;
OH! I pine
Exists there a man with soul so dead ? Breathes there so unmelo. dious an ass, who could not shake this up into something soft and soul. subduing? We are afraid there are many such, so poor in intellect that they must buy their verses ready-made. For on that day every book-store is turned into a Valentine slop-shop, where a general assortment of cleft-hearts and cupids, altars and angels, are sold to suit purchasers' at prices to suit the times:' Also, acrostics warranted to fit any name, and fashionable sonnets to match any shade of hair, and to suit the whole range of optics, from the pig-like peeper to the gazelle goggleeye.
Some Frenchman of the Louis XIV. times said, that to succeed, it was simply necessary to tell a woman she was beautiful three times: “On disait trois fois à une femme qu'elle était jolie, car il n'en fallait pas plus.' We beg leave to suggest to the amatory pocts of February, '45, that every stanza ought to contain this idea at least once. No matter if the woman have a Medusa head. She may be a little incredulous at the first verse, but she will be convinced at the second, and believe in the writer at the end.
St. Valentine's is after all the best fête day we have. There are not many such in Manhattan land, and most of these rather sectional than general, and either insipid or intolerable. Evacuation day has a cathartic sound about it, and is only attractive to the great boys who play at soldiering. The Fourth of July is a national nuisance, unfortunately not indictable. How the sellers of rum and gunpowder appreciate the blessings of independence on that day! Thanksgiving has a Presbyte. rian twang, which makes it repulsive. Christmas is only for children and the owners of roomy stomachs. New Year's day ought to be called Lady-day ; the Saturnalia of women. Every goddess sits upon her own shrine, to receive the adoration of her beaux, not considering that her beaux have been kneeling at every shrine up and down Broadway and the right-angle streets, during the whole morning. This custom of universal visiting is getting to be an impossible absurdity. It has ceased to be social, and has become gymnastic.
Captain Barclay himself could not get through with the work of a man who
goes much into society. Suppose a bet were offered in the Spirit of the Times,'thus: “G. M. P. offers to bet one hundred dollars that no man can be found who will walk fifteen miles, run up and down one hundred and fifty stoops,' enter one hundred and fifty drawing-rooms, say the same thing one hundred and fifty times, and make three hun.
dred bows in five hours.' How many takers do you think G. M. P. would have ? Not one. And yet every woman in this city expects every man of her acquaintance should do it, nay insists upon it. It is the great test of a man's invitability. Stay away on New Year's and you stay away all the year. Small boys or girls, with an instinctive knowledge of names, are stationed in corners, to keep the roll; and wo to the man who has dropped at his hundred and tenth visit from sheer exhaustion ! (and hot punch!) Weak legs never won fair lady. He is immediately expunged from the lists of the remaining forty : He did not call New-Year's, and we will not invite him.'
The gentler sex are so cruelly exacting, only to gratify their vanity, and to enable them to tell how many calls they have had.
And even for this object, such severity seems to us rather unnecessary, for the honestest fib a dozen or so, and the fair listener always makes a liberal mental discount from her friend's sum-total. No, friend KNICK., unless a visiting locomotive be invented to run up and down steps, enter draw. ing-rooms, and let off a little steam there, or unless gentlemen are allowed to enter into a visiting partnership, one to attend to the up town, one to the middle town, and one to the down town population, like Rushton and Co.'s apothecary shops, the custom must come to a conclusion.
And now farewell, Mr. K.; we have detained you long enough. There is nothing like retiring gracefully, and avoiding the disagreeable moment when it becomes necessary to leave or to be turned out. It is a bad practice to stay too long. Old Sully, who made such interminable calls on Henri IV., before he was up of a morning, says: “Je me retirai longue la reine demanda sa chemise.'
A G E R M A N SONG.
STILL she sleeps, and the linden tree
Still she sleeps, and the water's sound
Still she sleeps, and hill and dale
Still she sleeps. Oh! might I be
An irresistible inclination for the new and extraordinary ; a desire to enjoy excitement; gave, according to SULGER, existence to the stage. Exhausted by the monotonous, often oppressive, transactions of the day; satiated with the ordinary pleasures of life; man necessarily feels a vacuum in his being, which is contrary to his continual longing after activity ; and our nature, equally incapable of always enjoying those ordinary sensual pleasures, as it is of being in such a state as to continue the elevated exertions of the mind, requires a medium, which unites the two opposite extremes ; which reduces painful excitement to soft harmony, and facilitates the mutual passage from one state to the other. This object is usually gained by the exstatic sense, or the taste for the beautiful and sublime. As it must be the first aim of a wise legislator to select from two effects the most beneficial, he will not be satisfied with only having disarmed the inclinations of his people; but he will if possible use them for more noble projects, and endeavor to change them into sources of happiness. He therefore selected THE STAGE, which opens to the mind thirsting after activity an unlimited field; gives nourishment to every power of the soul, without overstraining one; and unites the cultivation of the mind and heart with the noblest of entertainments.
He who first made the observation that. The strongest pillar of a gov. ernment is Religion ;' that without it even the laws lose their power; has, perhaps without intending it, defended the Stage on its noblest side. It is the insufficiency, the vascillating quality of political laws, that ren. ders religion indispensable to a country, which decides the moral influ. ence of the Stage. He intended to say, that laws turn only on negative duties; Religion extends her demands to real actions; laws only clog effects, which would dissolve the unity of society ; Religion commands such as bind it more firmly.
The laws take no cognizance beyond the open manifestations of the will ; actions alone are subject to them. Religion holds her jurisdiction over the most remote corners of the heart, and persecutes thought to its inmost source. Laws are changeable as caprice or passion; religion binds strongly and eternally. If then we allow Religion to possess such power over the heart of man, can she, or will she complete his education ? Religion (we separate the political side from the godly one) works in general upon the senses of the people; and therefore it is that she works the more efficiently ; her power
when we rob her of this: she ceases to be any thing to the mass of mankind when we take from her her Scriptural accessories; when we destroy her hea. ven and her hell. What reinforcement to religion and the laws, when they enter into league with the stage ! — where there is reality and pre