[To “Voices from 19th-Century America”]

Reviews of The Token for 1834

New England Magazine, November 1833

The Knickerbocker, November 1833

North American Review, January 1834



Reviews of the 1834 Token were more or less critical—certainly more critical of the engravings than in earlier years. The reviewer for the Knickerbocker, however, was the most harsh—though he did manage to find a piece worth appropriating. The North American Review included more praise, comparing the Token favorably with British annuals—theoretically more sophisticated. His review included a section from “The Modern Job” which uses several antiquated terms, among them “slut,” which had a slightly less exciting meaning then than it does now, the Royal Standard English Dictionary of 1777 reminds us: “a low dirty woman; a term of slight contempt for a woman” (though “dirty” also could mean “sordid,” “shameful,” and “scandalous”). And he made space for the Token’s poem by John Quincy Adams.



Review of The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, for 1834 (from the New England Magazine, November 1833; pp. 435-437)

The Token and Atlantic Souvenir. For 1834.

Having survived its contemporary annuals, the Token makes its seventh appearance, with no marks of premature decay. Whether this success has been owing to its literary merit, its style of embellishment, or the management and skill of its publishers, we cannot pretend to decide; but as the simple fact of success is a criterion of merit in politics, we hardly know why it should not be so received in literature. We congratulate all parties on this prosperity, because it is our impression, that the present work has done something for American art, and, if on no other account, is deserving of ample encouragement.

To any one, aware of the difficulty of selecting large pictures, that will prove effective when reduced, it will not be a matter of surprise, that several of the plates, in the present volume are unfortunately chosen. The Presentation Plate is, perhaps, well enough, with a single exception; we are always in favor of having even statuary billing and cooing carried on in private. Interesting as are the little figures on the pedestal in the back ground, we think they had been better placed in the rear of the tree; such a situation would have been decidedly more natural, as, in all probability, a living couple would have chosen it for the indulgence of similar antics. The title-page, we think, is similarly unfortunate; we do not sufficiently understand the circumstances or the scene, and, unless further informed, shall die in ignorance of the fact whether the back ground is intended to represent the sky and a star, or a brick wall and a candle.

The Fall of Nineveh exhibits an effect that could be well produced by the tasteful application of a blacking-brush. Napoleon might have bivouacked his armies in a nut-shell with as much propriety as that with which an artist undertakes to represent the magnificent ruin of the great city in four inches by three. Rebecca and Ivanhoe form a disagreeable, black-looking picture, some of whose details of drapery and architecture are well done. Its painter would be more successful in designing for upholsterers, or inventing showy fashions for the milliners, than in giving visible expression to the imaginations of a Scott. The human countenances, in which the whole interest and intellect of such a picture should be concentrated, are sorry caricatures; dull and meaningless. Rebecca’s attitudinizing is also far from faultless; we cannot imagine in what school the artist studied his graces, any mroe than we can trace the origin of his beauties.

But to turn to a more agreeable view of the matter. The Orphans, and Why Don’t he Come, both by John Cheney, are engravings of a very superior order; their finish is exquisite. That more striking and attractive subjects might have been chosen for the display of his power, we cannot deny; but we think none could have been selected, into which he would have thrown more sweetness, or that would have been

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more happily adapted to the peculiar character of his excellence. If the Token had done nothing more than it has done in fostering and bringing forward the rising talent of Cheney, it would have rendered eminent assistance to the progress of American art. We look forward with confidence to the time when this young man will stand among the first engravers of his time, if he do not rise to the very summit of his profession.

Benares is pretty well executed; the chief fault consists in our familiarity with the original engraving, and in the attempt to reduce so much matter into so small a space. The Flowers is a sweet design, and delicately engraved by Pelton. The Castle, by Ellis, is good, though by no means equal to other of that artist’s productions. The Night Storm, by Neagle, is spirited, and equal to the best in the volume; it reflects credit on the artist, and Vandervelde himself, we have no doubt, would be satisfied with it. In the Death of Hassan, the effect of the original has been lost. If the Portrait be really a portrait, we hope it is an ugly likeness; every thing is pretty about it but the face, in which a slip of the graver, or bad taste of the artist, has ruined one of the most important features. The Peasant Girl is an attempt at simplicity, but lacks beauty and interest; there is some sweetness about the face, but no enough to compensate for the general dinginess of the picture. The Young Harlequin, another of Neagle’s productions, is capital; the design is highly pleasing, the grouping is fortunate, and the whole picture is full of life and easy nature.

We need not pretend to deny, that the only possible motive for encouraging publications of this character is found in the encouragement they extend to artists. They do not necessarily cultivate a good style of literature; but they do necessarily create a good taste and actual improvement in the arts. Before the introduction of Souvenirs, our engravers were employed, almost exclusively, on coarse and cheap work; and to this they are now obliged chiefly to confine their attention. We cannot expect to meet a Heath or a Finden, in every work-shop, or to find a finished artist in every cutter of visiting cards. Our engravers are young men; they must be encouraged and led forward by public favor and assistance; and it is only by discriminating approval or condemnation that they can become aware of their own merits or defects. We regret very much that some of the expense, lavished on this publication, had not been distributed among the painters. Some of the most effective pictures in the previous volumes of this very work, have been from the designs of Weir, Fisher, and other American artists. Let the publisher cut down a few of the plates—for so large a number is unnecessary—and let him employ native painters on designs of native interest. He could abstract eight or nine hundred dollars from the cost of engravings, for this purpose, if he would only rid himself of the absurd notion, that the quality of the engravings is of less importance than the number.

But little room remains for an examination of the literary merit of the Token. The Reminiscence of Federalism, by Miss Sedgwick, is the best, and Autumn, by Mr. Thompson, is the worst piece in the book; the latter has all the tameness and common-place of a school-boy’s theme, with none of its childish simplicity. The article of Mr. Greenwood exhibits the usual excellencies of his style; and that of

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Mr. Dewey is fluent, feeling, and eloquent. The Diamond and the Castle are only unfortunate in their subjects; their style is rich and glowing, though still chaste and elegant; the fortunate combination of these antagonist characteristics cannot fail to make up a popular and attractive manner.

Of the poetry we think some verses might have been advantageously omitted, though we remember no single piece that is particularly objectionable. Miss Gould is as fortunate as usual, and Mrs. Sigourney has not fallen below some of her previous efforts. Some of the anonymous pieces possess merit. Pleasant Thoughts is a pleasant trifle; it would not be a feature for a large bird to plume himself upon, but answers very well for the filament of a butterfly’s wing. The illustration of the Night Storm exhibits poetical fancy, and is decidedly a pretty thing. The versification of the Sea Shell is harmonious and pleasing. Mr. Mifflin had better cease paying his addresses to the Muses; we do not think they give him sufficient encouragement. The little poems, by Park Benjamin, display a rich use of language, and are quite acceptable productions. Death and his Myrmidons is rough, and displays a most frank, though not very laudable, contempt for the proprieties of verse; but the pictures in it are striking, the language is often condensed and highly expressive, and here and there are glimpses of the “vision and the faculty,” which indicate a high order of poetry. Perhaps the rudeness of the versification may have been adopted under the mistaken idea, that it is more in keeping with the character of the subject. The poetical efforts of the editor, in the present volume, seem to aim at a quiet and simple beauty, without an attempt at any thing beyond it. We think they are successful; the pieces are smooth, melodious, and agreeable. Though, perhaps, not so well adapted as some others for public exhibition, they are quite pretty cabinet pictures, and would tell better in a parlor than in a gallery. For this very reason they are well selected for a parlor book. The Old Oak, by Mr. Goodrich, exhibits feeling and good taste, and, if we had not already overstepped our limits, we should be pleased to extract it.

On the whole, we are not aware that the Token has lost any claim on public favor by the appearance of the present volume. The merit which has enabled it to outlive its competitors still sustains it. The publisher and editor, however, must bear in mind that the improved taste which they have in part created will destroy them, if they remain stationary; every year must improve the appearance of the work, or it will not come up to the standard of excellence which the work itself has raised.


Review of The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, for 1834 (from The Knickerbocker, November 1833; pp. 397-398)

The Token and Atlantic Souvenir. A Christmas and New Year’s present. Edited by S. G. Goodrich. Boston; Charles Bowen.

A work like this, having especially for its object the advancement of the arts in our country, is deemed entitled to, and would generally receive critical lenity when it appeals, as it ought to do, to the indiscriminating generosity of national feeling. But when it is arrogantly held up as an example of perfection, and announced to be as fine as fifteen thousand dollars can make it, (credat judeus Apella,) it must stand or fall by its own merits alone. In the present volume of the Token, these claims entitle it to but a very slender consideration, in fact less than any of its predecessors. The majority of the engravings are not equal to those now commonly issued by our respectable publishers. The subjects are not only all copies, but copies of stale prints, familiar to the public for the last two or three years. The very binding has an air of slovenly elegance about it, which may be called any thing but taste, and the embossed design, like the engravings—a piracy. The contributions with many signal exceptions are however better. Some popular writers are enrolled upon the list. That we may not be charged with want of attention to this volume we make room for the following charming little allegory by Miss Gould. The only prose poem she has written.

THE ANGEL OF THE LEAVES.

‘Alas! alas!’ said the sorrowing tree, ‘my beautiful robe is gone! It has been torn from me. Its faded pieces whirl upon the wind; they rustle beneath the squirrel’s foot, as he searches for his nut. They float upon the passing stream, and on the quivering lake. Wo is me! for my fair green vesture is gone. It was the gift of the angel of the leaves! I have lost it, and my glory has vanished; my beauty has disappeared. My summer hours have passed away. My bright and comely garment, alas! it is rent in a thousand parts. Who will leave me such another? Piece by piece, it has been stripped from me. Scarcely did I sigh for the loss of one, ere another wandered off on air. The sound of music cheers me no more. The birds that sang in my bosom were dismayed at my desolation. They have flown away with their songs.

‘I stood in my pride. The sun brightened my robe with his smile. The zephyrs breathed softly through its glassy folds; the clouds strewed pearls among them. My shadow was wide upon the earth. My arms spread far on the gentle air; my head was lifted high; my forehead was fair to the heavens. But now, how changed! Sadness is upon me; my head is shorn, my arms are stripped; I cannot throw a shadow on the ground. Beauty has departed; gladness is gone out of my bosom; the blood has retired from my heart, it has sunk into the earth. I am thirsty, I am cold. My naked limbs shiver in the chilly air. The keen blast comes pitiless among them. The winter is coming; I am destitute. Sorrow is my portion. Morning must wear me away. How shall I account to the angel who clothed me, for the loss of his beautiful gift?’

The angel had been listening. In soothing accents he answered the lamentation.

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‘My beloved tree,’ said he, ‘be comforted! I am by thee still, though every leaf has forsaken thee. The voice of gladness is hushed among thy boughs, but let my whisper console thee. Thy sorrow is but for a season. Trust in me; keep my promise in thy heart. Be patient and full of hope. Let the words I leave with thee, abide and cheer thee through the coming winter. Then I will return and clothe thee anew.

‘The storm will drive over thee, the snow will sift through thy naked limbs. But these will be light and passing afflictions. The ice will weigh heavily on thy helpless arms; but it shall soon dissolve in tears. It shall pass into the ground and be drunken by the roots. Then it will creep up in secret beneath thy bark. It will spread into the branches it has oppressed, and help me to adorn them. For I shall be here to use it.

‘Thy blood has now only retired for safety. The frost would chill and destroy it. It has gone into thy mother’s bosom for her to keep it warm. Earth will not rob her offspring. She is a careful parent. She knows the wants of all her children, and forgets not to provide for the least of them.

‘The sap that has for a while gone down, will make thy roots strike deeper and spread wider. It will then return to nourish thy heart. It will be renewed and strengthened. Then, if thou shalt have remembered and trusted in my promise, I will fulfil it. Buds shall shoot forth on every side of thy boughs. I will unfold for thee another robe. I will paint it and fit it in every part. It shall be a comely raiment. Thou shalt forget thy present sorrow. Sadness shall be swallowed up in joy. Now, my beloved tree, fare thee well for a season.’

The angel was gone. The muttering winter drew near. The wild blast whistled for the storm. The storm came and howled around the tree. But the word of the angel was hidden in her heart; it soothed her amid the threatenings of the tempest. The ice cakes rattled upon her limbs; they loaded and weighed them down. ‘My slender branches,’ said she, ‘let not this burden overcome you. Break not beneath this heavy affliction; break not, but bend, till you can spring back to your places. Let not a twig of you be lost! Hope must prop you up for a while, and the angel will reward your patience. You will move upon a softer air. Grace shall be again in your motion, and beauty hanging around you!’

The scowling face of winter began to lose its features. The raging storm grew faint, and breathed its last. The restless clouds fretted themselves to atoms; they scattered upon the sky, and were brushed away. The sun threw down a bundle of golden arrows. They fell upon the tree; the ice cakes glittered as they came. Every one was shattered by a shaft, and unlocked itself upon the limb. They were melted and gone.

The reign of spring had come. Her blessed ministers were abroad in the earth; they hovered in the air; they blended their beautiful tints, and cast a new created glory on the face of the heavens.

The tree was rewarded for her trust. The angel was true to the object of his love. He returned; he bestowed upon her another robe. It was bright, glossy and unsullied. The dust of summer had never lit upon it; the scorching heat had not faded it; the moth had not profaned it. The tree stood again in loveliness; she was dressed in more than her former beauty. She was very fair; joy smiled around her on every side. The birds flew back to her bosom. They sang on every branch a hymn to the Angel of the Leaves.


"The Annuals": Review of The Token, for 1834 (from the North American Review, January 1834; pp. 198-209

[excerpt]

1. The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, a Christmas and New Year’s Present. Edited by S. G. Goodrich. Boston. 1834.

2. The Religious Souvenir. Philadelphia. 1834.

These beautiful volumes are highly creditable to the state of learning, as well as of the arts, in this country. If they fall below the British publications of the same description, in the luxury of their typographical execution, binding, and embellishments,—in all which particulars, however, they are worthy of high praise,—they are on the other hand decidedly superior to their foreign competitors in the more important department of literary merit. We have seen no British annual, that could be compared in this respect with the Tokens of this and the preceding years. The latter have, in fact, been enriched by contributions from many of the best writers in the United States. In the one now before us, there are articles avowedly from the pens of President Adams, Miss Sedgwick, Rev. Messrs. Dewey, Greeenwood, and Pierpont, Mr. Thatcher, Mr. Cushing, and other persons of established reputation, as well as some anonymous writers, whose names, if known, would do no discredit to the above list. In attending carefully to the point of literary execution, the editors of our annuals may, perhaps, have been stimulated by the example of their brethren of Germany, where the similar publications are often replete with contributions of the greatest merit, some of which have taken their station in the literature of the country as standard works. It is well known, for example, that Schiller’s History of the Thirty Years’ War,—the best historical work in the German language,—made its first appearance in this form. We hope that the publishers of these works will continue to pay the same attention to the literary department, that they have heretofore done. It is quite desirable that volumes, which circulate so widely as these do, especially among the younger part of the community, should not only gratify the eye of taste by the beauty of their embellishments, but should be made the vehicle of good principles and valuable information.

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Of the annuals of this year, the Token is decidedly the first. The engravings are unequal, but some of them have very great merit, particularly those of Cheney, of which ‘The Orphans’ is the best. This is really a beautiful thing, and does the highest credit to the skill and taste of the young artist. The poetry of the volume is not as a whole equal to the prose, although it includes some very agreeable articles. Of the prose contributions, the ‘Reminiscence of Federalism’ and the ‘Modern Job’ are, perhaps, the most remarkable. The former is from the eloquent pen of Miss Sedgwick, and serves in some degree as a compensation for her long and much-regretted silence in the way of extended publications. The ‘Diamond,’ and two shorter tales with the same signature, though they bear some marks of hasty composition, exhibit the felicity of style and various information which distinguish the other productions of the fair author. The ‘Convent of the Paular,’—probably by Professor Longfellow,—is a very striking sketch. The Reflections on the opening and on the close of the Year,—the former from the pen of Mr. Dewey, the latter by an anonymous writer,—many well be compared with the finest efforts of the kind in the language. There are also various other articles, which our limits do not permit us to notice particularly, but which are equal, perhaps superior, in merit to some of those which we have named.

As a specimen of the poetry, we extract the ‘Plague in the Forest,’ which, if not absolutely the best poem in the volume, is very agreeably versified, and is curious as the production of President Adams. It is well known, that this illustrious statesman has, through life, amused his leisure by occasional compositions in verse, some of which have found their way to the public eye, and exhibit, with the vigor of thought and warmth of expression that distinguish all his writings, a command of the forms of poetry, which was hardly to be expected from a mere amateur.

Time was, when round the lion’s den,

A peopled city raised its head;

’Twas not inhabited by men,

But by four-footed beasts instead.

The lynx, the leopard and the bear,

The tiger and the wolf, were there;

The hoof-defended steed;

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The bull, prepared with horns to gore,

The cat with claws, the tusky boar,

And all the canine breed.

In social compact thus combined,

Together dwelt the beasts of prey;

Their murderous weapons all resigned,

And vowed each other not to slay.

Among them Reynard thrust his phiz;

Not hoof, nor horn, nor tusk was his,

For warfare all unfit;

He whispered to the royal dunce,

And gained a settlement at once;

His weapon was, his wit.

One summer, by some fatal spell,

(Phoebus was peevish for some scoff,)

The plague upon that city fell,

And swept the beasts by thousands off.

The lion, as became his part,

Loved his own people from his heart.

And taking counsel sage,

His peerage summoned to advise

And offer up a sacrifice,

To soothe Apollo’s rage.

Quoth lion, ‘we are sinners all,

And even it must be confessed,

If among sheep I chance to fall,—

I, I am guilty as the rest.

To me the sight of lamb is curst,

It kindles in my throat a thirst,—

I struggle to refrain,—

Poor innocent! his blood so sweet!

His flesh so delicate to eat!

I find resistance vain.

Now to be candid, I must own

The sheep are weak and I am strong,

But when we find ourselves alone,

The sheep have never done me wrong.

And, since I purpose to reveal

All my offences, nor conceal

One trespass from your view;

My appetite is made so keen,

That with the sheep the time has been

I took,—the shepherd too.

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‘Then let us all our sins confess,

And whosesoe’er the blackest guilt,

To ease my people’s deep distress,

Let his atoning blood be spilt.

My own confession now you hear,

Should none of deeper dye appear,

Your sentence freely give,

And if on me should fall, the lot,

Make me the victim on the spot;

And let my people live.’

The council with applauses rung,

To hear the Codrus of the wood;

Though still some doubt suspended hung,

If he would make his promise good,—

Quoth Reynard,—‘Since the world was made,

Was ever love like this displayed?

Let us like subjects true

Swear, as before your feet we fall,

Sooner than you should die for all,

“We all will die for you.

‘But please your majesty, I deem,

Submissive to your royal grace,

You hold in far too high esteem

That paltry, poltroon, sheepish race;

For oft, reflecting in the shade,

I ask myself why sheep were made

By all-creating power?

And howsoe’er I tax my mind,

This the sole reason I can find,

For lions to devour.

‘And as for eating now and then,

As well the shepherd as the sheep,—

How can that braggart breed of men

Expect with you the peace to keep?

’Tis time their blustering boast to stem,

That all the world was made for them,

And prove creation’s plan;

Teach them by evidence profuse

That man was made for lion’s use,

Not lions made for man.’

And how the noble peers begin,

And, cheered with such examples bright,

Disclosing each his secret sin,

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Some midnight murder brought to light,

Reynard was counsel for them all,

No crime the assembly could appal,

But he could botch with paint:

Hark! as his honied accents roll,

Each tiger is a gentle soul:

Each blood-hound is a saint.

When each had told his tale in turn,

The long-eared beast of burden came

And meekly said, ‘my bowels yearn

To make confession of my shame;

But I remember on a time

I passed, not thinking of a crime,

A haystack on my way:

His lure some tempting devil spread,

I stretched across the fence my head,

And cropped,—a lock of hay.’:

‘(Oh, monster! villain!’ Reynard cried,—

‘No longer seek the victim, sire;

Nor why your subjects thus have died,

To expiate Apollo’s ire.’

The council with one voice decreed;

All joined to execrate the deed,—

‘What, steal another’s grass!’

The blackest crime their lives could show,

“Was washed as white as virgin snow;

The victim was,—The Ass.’

As a specimen of the prose, we extract the conclusion of the ‘Modern Job.’ The hero of this little tale, Mr. Evelyn, like his ancient prototype, is suddenly reduced, by a ‘concurrence of calamitous circumstances,’ from affluence to a bare competency; upon which, however, he contrives to live, with his family, in a retired situation in the country, with some degree of comfort and even elegance. This excites first the astonishment, and then the envy of the gossips of Tattleborough where the scene is laid; who can in no other way account for Mr. Evelyn’s incomprehensible resources, but by supposing him to have discovered the Philosopher’s Stone. After suffering a good deal of uneasiness on the subject, the gossips finally conclude to consult Moll Pitcher, and obtain her advice as to the course they ought to pursue. The passage we extract, and which forms the conclusion of the tale; contains some

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account of this person, who, as many of our readers are aware, was a real character, together with the oracle she delivered to the Tattleborough gossips, including an explanation of the nature of the Philosopher’s Stone.

‘Moll Pitcher, or, as she is still called in the neighborhood where she resided, Molly Pitcher, was no ordinary woman. Her grandfather possessed the gift of divination; that is, the tough old Marblehead seaman (for such he was) could tell when it was going to storm, almost as sure as the almanac; and was too well acquainted with the roguish boys about town, not to give a pretty shrewd guess, when Captain Kingsbury’s moses-boat was carried off, who was in the mischief. Old John Diamond, for that was his name, had also been a piece of a merry good-hearted wag in his youth; and the bare glimpse of a tidy petticoat always set his heart to thumping in his broad weather-beaten bosom. When the pretty girls came to get their fortunes told by old John Diamond, he was apt to be a long time puzzling about their plump little hands before he could make out the lines to his satisfaction; and never failed to give them the promise of having a handsome sweetheart. John’s liberality on this point, and his known willingness at all times to take a commutation of his fee in a hearty smack, established his character as a soothsayer from Sandy Bay round to Pulling Point. After lying in abeyance one generation, the gift revived in his granddaughter Mary, the renowned Moll Pitcher. Mary Diamond in her youth was beautiful; she had a pair of eyes as bright as her name. She married, had one son, who was lost at sea, and soon after was left a widow and childless, and Mary’s lonely heart drooped within her. She was intelligent beyond her station in life; shrewd, thoughtful, and romantic. She lived within the roar of the resounding sea; her haunts, in her lonely rambles, were among the caves of the ocean; and she loved at the cold grey dawn to climb the lofty rocks which overhung her humble cabin, and look down upon the village of Lynn, the heaving shore, and out upon the eternal waters. The busy and prosperous denizens of the world did not comprehend poor Molly’s mood, which shaded off at last, perhaps, into heart-stricken melancholy. At times she certainly wandered. Her descent from John Diamond was not forgotten. She was poor; she was lonely; she was contemplative, and saw more of the movements of things than many gifted with more worldly wisdom. In short, poor Molly, by degrees, was made to be a fortune-teller, and a diviner, in spite of herself. For along time she disclaimed the character, and denied herself to many sought her. This was ascribed to churlishness, and a de-

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sire to extort more generous pay. The more she shunned resort, the more she was visited; till the poor creature at last was obliged to tell fortunes in self-defence. But it speaks volumes in Molly’s favor, that she was never accused of being in league with evil spirits; nor were the disasters suffered by her neighbors, in field, or fold, laid at her door. In truth there was nothing terrific in her mode of divination or attendance. A faithful tabby cat was her only companion, and poor Molly saw all things (which she saw at all) in the bottom of her tea-cup. Her humble dwelling on the road to Salem was easily identified, by two enormous bones of a whale, which her opposite neighbor had set up as gate-posts. Many a respectable tradesman, farmer, and shipmaster, from the neighboring country, half-ashamed to be caught inquiring for Moll Pitcher, would express a curiosity, as he drove into town, to see the bones of the whale, which he understood were set up somewhere in these parts.

‘Mr. Evelyn knew Molly well. His wife and he had often encountered her on her solitary rambles about the rocks. He had often bidden her to his house; but she never entered any habitation but her own. He gave her the freest range of his grounds and woods; conversed with her about her own affairs; entered into her feelings; and discovered, that when she was not bewildered, she was an uncommonly shrewd and observant person. In return, he opened himself freely to her, spoke of his pursuits, tastes, and intentions; and in this way obtained her confidence and friendship. Since his misfortunes, his new abode was at a greater distance from Molly’s humble retreat; but he had nevertheless met her twice at the rocks, when he had been there on business, and had conversed with her unreservedly on the change of his circumstances, and his present situation. The calm and quiet philosophy of Mr. Evelyn struck the key-note in Molly’s intellectual system. The harsh, money-making, selfish world irritated, perplexed and well-nigh crazed her; and she wept tears of joy, when she witnessed the elastic and unpretending cheerfulness with which James bore his troubles.

‘ “And the dear Lady,” said she, the last time she had met Mr. Evelyn, “how does she bear the hard change? It’s a cruel world for the poor soul to struggle through, without the thing they all love, yea worship, without the money.”

‘ “Emily bears her change of circumstances,” said James, “like an angel. She is the same kind, uncomplaining being, you knew her here; not a murmur or a sigh escapes her.”

‘ “Too good for the world,” said Molly, “too good for the world! They will tease and torment her. And now she is poor, should she become a lone and friendless creature like

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me, who knows but they will come and persecute her as they did me, and make her tell fortunes and find out stolen goods. If it were not for the hidden cool caves of a day, and the still kind moon at night, I should have gone crazy long ago. But on the top of the rock it is sweet to watch the glorious stars; and near by is the grave-yard; and there all is peace,—peace,—peace. Many is the good fortune I have told for others; but who will tell a good fortune for poor Molly?”

‘ “Were I what I lately was, Molly,” said Mr. Evelyn, “you know, that if what the world calls good fortune would make you happy, you should not have cause to complain.”

‘ “And do you, James Evelyn, do you, who valued so little the worthless dross, who have enjoyed it without pride, and parted from it without sorrow; do you think it is this for which poor Molly mourns? Alas! I would dig in the earth, but not for golden ore; and the lost ones that lie there, I may not bring them up. But in truth, I have been to the grave-yard, with my mattock, at midnight, and thought to try, but that was when I was not in my right mind. Could ye give me your calm contented mind, James Evelyn, the gold ye have lost would be to me as worthless as it was to you. But beneath the sod and beneath the sea, there lie Molly’s treasures; and sometimes in the deep caverns, the waters speak so soft and low, I cannot but start as if it were that kind voice which was once music to poor Molly’s ear. But farewell, James Evelyn! the goods of this world could not spoil you, and that shall enable you to bear its frowns. Farewell! poor Molly’s good word is worth but little, but such as it is you will never want it.”

‘It was but a few days after this interview, that the gossips of Tattleborough, in considerable numbers, repaired, as a kind of deputation, to Moll Pitcher’s cabin, to lay their troublous case before her. Many of them were her old customers. She had promised Miss Charity Harkwell a husband, years ago, which was one of the greatest stretches of conscience Molly ever committed, and shook her reputation, as a true prophet, in the opinion of most persons except the lady herself. She had given Colonel Fourthproof pretty strong hopes of commanding the brigade; and Thomas Twigmore, the school-master, had nearly worried her into the reversion of tho ushership at the Littlefield Philosophical and Manual Labor Institute. But to do Molly justice, although, like the great Lord Chancellor Bacon, she took fees from all of them, she administered her favors with a pretty strict eye to merit. It required a smart thrifty lass to get any thing of a match out of Molly’s tea-cup. She fobbed off the forward, impertinent sluts, that were continually pestering her, with

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ordinary fellows. She put several on rigid probation, and sentenced more than one to solitary blessedness for life.

Molly saw the troop wending their way towards her cottage. She knew them all at a glance; and as her mind was pretty full of the recent trouble of her friends the Evelyns, who she knew had settled down in the midst of this precious neighborhood; and as she had heard all the tattle of the place from some of them who had of late been separately to consult her, she had a kind of foreboding that the visit now made had reference to the Evelyns. This was one of those shrewd guesses which persons of rapid apprehension occasionally make: which often come to no thing, and sometimes prove true. A few such lucky hits had originally gone far to establish Molly’s character for divination. Moll framed her question with a very considerable latitude, to fit almost any state of the case; for of course she knew nothing of their precise errand.

‘ “And what are ye doing with the Evelyns, good people?” she said, “I know your thoughts.”

‘This struck the nail on the head; and terrified those whose fanaticism had not mastered their humanity. They stood abashed in the presence of one, who, they thought, read the ill nature of their hearts.

‘Molly perceived that she had hit the,mark; and sternly repeated the question, “and what are you doing with the Evelyns, Deacon Pitchpipe, Master Twigmore, and you, Nabby Broadfist; I hope, Nabby,” she added in a half-whisper, to the damsel, “that ye mind your ways; the smart cocked hat and epaulette I spied for you in the tea cup last Christmas, had almost vanished before the new year. But neighbors, gossips all, what are you doing with the Evelyns? I know your thoughts.”

‘With a great deal of hemming, and ha-ing, and appealing from one to the other, and stammering and confusion, the deacon, and school-master, and Colonel Fourthptoof, made out to explain their visit. They stated the notorious loss of property which the Evelyns had met with; that nevertheless they appeared to live in comfort and want for nothing; that Mrs. Evelyn had her piano, and Mr. Evelyn his hogsheads of wine; that they had books to read, and clothes to wear, and money to give when it was asked; that Mr. Evelyn had been lately heard to say, that ten of his best ships had come in that morning; that he had boasted of riding in his coach and four, and finally declared that he had the Philosopher’s Stone. These strange and uncomfortable doings had perplexed the good people of Tattleborough; they were an honest hard-working people, who paid their taxes: (“when you are sued,” muttered Moll, “and not before, and that

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ye know, Squire Closefee, right well; for you spirit them up not to pay, and then you set the constable on ’em,”) and were opposed to all popery, witchcraft, and black art; they took the Philosopher’s Stone to be neither more nor less, than one of the works of the devil; and had come to ask Mrs. Pitcher’s advice what they had better do. And saying this, by way of fitting the action to the word, Twigmore attempted to lay a silver dollar, (the fund which had been raised by the company to cross Molly’s palm,) in her broad outstretched hand.

‘Molly drew herself up, with unaffected native dignity, and turned her hand, with a repulsive gesture, away from Twigmote. As she gathered up her thoughts to reply, the long and confidential intercourse she had had with the Evelyns rushed upon her mind, and particularly their last interview. She remembered many instances of Emily’s kindness to herself in winter and in sickness. The admirable conduct of both, in the reverse of their fortunes, (with which her conversation with Mr. Evelyn had made her well acquainted,) crowded upon her recollection. She was provoked at the senseless persecutions they encountered; vexation mingled with her tenderness; and as usually happens in such cases, she ran off in a somewhat extravagant and mock heroic strain, in which, as in the character of Hamlet, it was not easy to discriminate the method of madness, from the agitation, of a shrewd but excited intellect. Looking sternly round upon, the group, and stretching forth her hand in an oratorical manner, she commenced her address with an exordium, not precisely calculated, according to the precepts of Quinctilian, to conciliate the audience.

‘ “Louts, tipplers, and busy bodies, I told ye I knew your thoughts, when I asked what ye would with the Evelyns. Go back to your place, vain tormenting people. What! do you wonder that they live in comfort? Do ye not know that the man is free from debt, and hath a quiet conscience; and that his wife is an angel of goodness? Ay, free from debt, farmer Shortswath, and well were it for you, if you would be the same. And when I tell you that his wife is a good-tempered soul, your husband will know what that means, Jane Peckstill. Ye tell me ‘they live in comfort.’ Well, when he lost the fortune of a prince, (which he spent, ye skinflints, as nobly as an imperial monarch,) he saved a poor five hundred dollars a year; and less than half of that pays the board of himself and wife. Does the like sum pay your bill at the bar-room of the tavern? Answer that, Colonel Fourthproof, as you hope one day to be a brigadier; but I have turned and turned my tea-cup over and over again, and not an inch can I start you from your regiment, Colonel; and the

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wise he gives you to drink, (and there I blame him) he has it for you because it never wets his own lips. I do not wonder that passes your understanding, George Guzzlewell; and then she dresses tidy, does she, Nab Broadfist? I tell ye, malkin, ye might rig on a new changeable lustring every day in the month, and put Emily Evelyn into a single plain calico once a year, with a pretty sprig on a white ground, (and I see her neat little shape as plain as if she were here,) and ye’d always look like a slut as ye are, and she like a lady. And she has her piano, has she, Eunice Screechowl, that gape in the front gallery of Sundays, till ye take the curl out of the minister’s wig? I’ll tell you how she has it. It’s not her own, Eunice, for that went with the rest of her things; and they tell me that she took a leave of it, that would have melted the heart of your nether mill-stone, Sam Poorgrist, or your own, which is as hard; but she hires it in Boston, if you must know, and pays a few dollars a year for the use of it;—and the poor soul allows that it is a little extravagant, but her husband obliges her to keep it, and makes it up by saving in something else because he says he cannot live without his wife’s music. Do you think your husband, Eunice Screechowl, will say as much, if I ever let you have one? Thank your stars, I have picked you out an old quarter-gunner, that has been as deaf as a haddock since the war at Tripoli; but the last time I turned the tea-cup for ye, he had got a hearing trumpet in his ear. Unless he gives that up ye lose him. And you, Twigmore, you do not see.where he gets his books? At the public library, you oaf; and what is the public library for? And do you suppose that James Evelyn is a thick-pated fellow like yourself, that must thumb, and thumb, and thumb till the leaf is worn into rags, and then not half understand it, Thomas Twigmore? And when his elegant books were brought to the hammer, did he not calmly say, ‘I could have read but few of them, had they remained my own, and what I have leisure to read, I can borrow from the public library?’ And his coach and four ye cannot comprehend. There, there it goes, louts, tipplers, gossips,” pointing at the Salem stage that dashed by at the moment; “that’s James Evelyn’s coach and four, and my coach and four, and, yours, Charity Harkwell, if ye choose to ride in it; and quite as creditable it would be to you, I can tell you, as your own old square-top chaise, and poor raw-boned spavined beast, to go limping along with ye. And his ships, did he talk of, James Evelyn’s ships? Yes, well I remember, ships he had; and dreadful was the storm that sent one to the bottom. Could the bright and blessed moon have called off the roaring waves, she would have done so. We toiled all night, the moon and I, to save the noble vessel. I was

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at Pigeon Cove, when the storm came on, and that you remember, Richard Smugglejug. They heard my tramp at the dark midnight, like an earthquake, through Beverly and Danvers. But the bright moon that had raised the storm, could not lay it, and James Evelyn’s ship went upon the Graves. But did he boast of his five good ships? Now look out upon the ocean, louts, tipplers, gossips, five, ten, twenty ships dancing over the tide, and gladsome to the heart of him that sees them. The owners are eaten with care; the owners mayhap are loaded with debt; the owners are worried to sell the cargo; but whosoever has a heart to rejoice in the prosperous works of his neighbor, and the wonders of Providence, he is the lord of what his eyes rest on. He has the comfort of all he sees, while others have the cares. The town is his, and the country is his. He enjoys the stately palace, whose fair proportions meet his eye; he enjoys the broad fields, which spread beneath his feet. They yield him all the pleasure which man can derive from them. He owns their beauty and their fertility; the proprietor owns but their trouble and weariness.

‘And what is the Philosopher’s Stone, Dr. Longleech? a thing, I trow, that’s not over plenty among your ill-savored rubbish. What’s the Philosopher’s Stone, Thomas Twigmore? a thing ye’ll not pound into your poor brats, for you have not got it yourself; and how shall they teach that have not learned, Thomas Twigmore? What’s the Philosopher’s Stone, Eunice Screechowl? Your quarter gunner that you leave me no peace for (and a weary long time he tarries, I grant ye, and that’s not the worst of it, ’twill be longer ere it’s shorter,) he’ll hardly bring you that from his foreign travel. I’ll tell you, louts, tipplers, gossips, and you, busy bodies and trollops, it’s domestic peace. It’s a gentle temper; mark that, Alice Sourface! It’s a clear conscience; hear ye that, Ichabod Prowlwood! It’s temperance, Colonel Fourthproof. It’s patience, Amanda Flashfire. It’s brotherly love, you Job Pesterkin, that swore your own sister’s child into the State’s Prison, for passing a counterfeit bill on ye, and who made it ye know yourself as well as any body. It’s these that make the plenty and the happiness of the Evelyns, and their Philosopher’s Stone is a contented mind.’


The Religious Souvenir, though it makes less pretension on the score of mechanical and literary execution than the Token, is especially commendable for its excellent moral tone. It is also enriched by some very valuable contributions, particularly a tale by Mrs. Sigourney of Hartford, illustrating the fatal results, of Intemperance. …

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