Imatges de pÓgina
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ties. At last he rushed to the door, say- to convict him in court. Therefore I ing he “would stand no such nonsense.” shall let him off on these conditions : He

“But you will have to stand it ! ” shall disyorge to Captain Grant his prof

Chip was gone. Mr. Hopkins was in its on that cotton with interest, relinquish a state of amazement; and Millicent, if Miss Millicent's hand, if she so pleases, she did not swoon, seemed to herself in a and, at any rate, relieve Boston of his trance. Neither of them could see in the presence altogether and for good. He cause anything to account for the effect. may do it as soon as he likes, and as priHow could a merchant prince quail be- vately." fore so flimsy a piece of paper ? Mr. This course at once met the approbaSterling explained. Mr. Hopkins begged tion of all parties, and was carried out. the matter might not be made public, What became of Squire Sterling, whethabove all things, that legal proceedings er he inarried the mistress of that manshould be avoided.

sion or her maid, this deponent saith not; “ No,” said Sterling,—" I shall punish though he doth say that he did marry him more effectually. The proof, though one of them, and had no cause to regret strong as holy writ, would probably fail

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'Tis here I only seem to be, But really sail another sea,

Another sea, pure sky its waves,
Whose beauty hides no heaving graves,-
A sea all haven, whereupon
No hapless bark to wreck hath gone.

The winds that o'er my ocean run
Reach through all heavens beyond the sun ;
Through life and death, through fate, through time,
Grand breaths of God, they sweep sublime.

Eternal trades, they cannot veer,
And, blowing, teach us how to steer;
And well for him whose joy, whose care,
Is but to keep before them fair.

Oh, thou God's mariner, heart of mine,
Spread canvas to the airs divine !
Spread sail ! and let thy Fortune be
Forgotten in thy Destiny !

For Destiny pursues us well,
By sea, by land, through heaven or hell;
It suffers Death alone to die,
Bids Life all change and chance defy.

Would earth's dark ocean suck thee down?
Earth's ocean thou, O Life, shalt drown,
Shalt flood it with thy finer wave,
And, sepulchred, entomb thy grave!

Life loveth life and good : then trust
What most the spirit would, it must;
Deep wishes, in the heart that be,
Are blossoms of Necessity.

A thread of Law runs through thy prayer,
Stronger than iron cables are ;
And Love and Longing toward her goal
Are pilots sweet to guide the Soul.

So Life must live, and Soul must sail,
And Unseen over Seen prevail,
And all God's argosies come to shore,
Let ocean smile, or rage and roar.

And so, 'mid storm or calm, my bark

wake still nears her mark;
Cheerly the trades of being blow,
And sweeping down the wind I go.



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AMONG my letters is one from Dr. feature of his countenance. Taken all E. D. North, desiring me to furnish any together, his appearance was that of a facts within my reach, relating to the weak man, of delicate constitution,-an scientific character and general opinions appearance hardly justified by the fact ; of the late James G. Percival. This in- for he endured fatigue and privation with formation Dr. North proposed to incorpo- remarkable stanchness. rate into a memoir, to be prefixed to a Percival's face, when he was silent, was new edition of Percival's Poems. The full of calm, serious meditation ; when biographer, with his task unfinished, has speaking, it lighted up with thought, and followed the subject of his studies to the became noticeably expressive. He cointomb.

monly talked in a mild, unimpassioned Dr. North's request revived in me undertone, but just above a whisper, letmany recollections of Percival ; and ting his voice sink with rather a pleasing finally led me to draw out the follow- cadence at the completion of each sening sketch of him, as he appeared to tence. Even when most animated, he my eyes in those days when I saw him used no gesture except a movement of often, and sometimes shared his pursuits. the first and second fingers of his right Vague and shadowy is the delineation, hand backward and forward across the and to myself seems little better than the palm of the left, meantime following their reminiscence of a phantom or a dream. monotonous unrest with his eyes, and Percival's lite had few externalities,-he rarely meeting the gaze of his interlocurelated himself to society by few points tor. He would stand for hours, when of contact; and I have been compelled talking, his right elbow on a mantelto paint him chiefly by glimpses of his piece, if there was one near, his fingers literary and interior existence.

going through their strange palmistry; My acquaintance with him grew out and in this manner, never once stirring of some conversations on geological top- from his position, he would not unfreics, and commenced in 1828, when he quently protract his discourse till long was working on his translation of Malte- past midnight.

An inexhaustible, unBrun's Geography. The impression made demonstrative, noiseless, passionless man, on me by his singular person and man- scarcely evident to you by physical qualners was vivid and indelible. Slender ities, and impressing you, for the most in form, rather above than under the part, as a creature of pure intellect. middle height, he had a narrow chest, and His wardrobe was remarkably inexa peculiar stoop, which was not in the pensive, consisting of little more than a back, but high up in the shoulders. His single plain suit, brown or gray, which head, without being large, was fine. His he wore winter and summer, until it beeyes were of a dark hazel, and possessed came threadbare. He never used boots; uncommon expression. His nose, mouth, and his shoes, though carefully dusted, and chin were symmetrically, if not ele- were never blacked. A most unpretendgantly formed, and came short of beauty ing bow fastened his cravat of colored only because of that meagreness which cambric. For many years his only outer marked his whole person. His complex- garment was a brown camlet cloak, of ion, light without redness, inclined to very scanty proportions, thinly lined, sallow, and suggested a temperament and a meagre protection against winsomewhat bilious. His dark brown hair ter. His hat was worn for years before had become thin above the forehead, re- being laid aside, and put you in mind vealing to advantage that most striking of the prevailing mode by the law of


contrast only. He was never seen with in it alone, being very reluctant to let gloves, and rarely with an umbrella. any one see it,” applies equally well to The value of his entire wardrobe scarce- Percival. ly exceeded fifty dollars; yet he was al- He was rarely visible abroad except ways neat, and appeared unconscious of in his walks to and from the country, any peculiarity in his costume.

whither he often resorted to pass not An accurate portrait of him at any hours only, but frequently entire days, period of his life can scarcely be said to in solitary wanderings,-partly for physiexist. His sensitive modesty seems to cal exercise, --still more, perhaps, to study have made him unwilling to let his fea- the botany, the geology, and the minuttures be exposed to the flaring notoriety est geographical features of the environs ; of canvas.

Once, indeed, he allowed for his restless mind was perpetually obhimself to be painted by Mr. George A. servant, and could not be withheld from Flagg; but the picture having been external Nature, even by his poetic and exhibited in the Trumbull Gallery of philosophic meditation. In these excurYale College, Percival's susceptibility sions, he often passed his fellow-mortals took alarm, and he expressed annoy- without noticing them. A friend, if obance,-though whether dissatisfied with served, he greeted with a slight nod, and the portrait or its public exposure I can- possibly stopped him for conversation. not say:

The artist proposed certain Once started on a subject, Percival rarealterations, and the poet listened to him ly quitted it until it was exhausted ; and with seeming assent. The picture was consequently these interviews sometimes taken back to the studio; objectionable outlasted the leisure of his listener. You or questionable parts of it painted out; excused yourself, perhaps; or you were the likeness destroyed for the purpose called away by some one else; but you of correction; and Percival was to give had only put off the conclusion of the another sitting at his convenience. That discourse, not escaped it. The next time was the last time he put himself within Percival encountered you, his first words painting reach of Mr. Flagg's easel. * were, “ As I was saying,”—and taking up

In those days of our early acquaint- the thread of his observations where it ance, he occupied two small chambers, had been broken, he went straight to the one of which fronted on the business part end. of Chapel Street (New Haven). His The excellent bookstore of the late books, already numerous, were piled in Hezekiah Howe, one of the best in New double tiers and in heaps against the England, and particularly rich in those walls, covering the floors also, and barely rare and costly works which form a bookleaving space for his sleeping-cot, chair, worm's delight, was one of Percival's and writing-table. His library was a best-loved lounging-places. He bought sanctum to which the curious visitor freely, and, when he could not buy, he hardly ever gained admittance. He met was welcome to peruse. He real with even his friends at the door, and gener- marvellous rapidity, skipping as if by inally held his interviews with them in the stinct everything that was unimportant; adjoining passage. Disinclined to bor- avoiding the rhetoric, the commonplaces, row books, he was especially averse to the falsities; glancing only at what was lending. Dr. Gubrauer's assertion re- new, what was true, what was suggestive. specting Leibnitz, that “his library was He had a distinct object in view; but it numerous and valuable, and its possessor was not to amuse himself, nor to compare had the peculiarity that he liked to worm author with author; it was simply to in

crease the sum of his own knowledge. * I remember to have seen an excellent

Perhaps it was in these rapid forays portrait of him, by Alexander, in the studio of that artist, in the year 1825; but in whose through unbought, uncut volumes, that possession it now is, I am unable to say. he acquired his singular habit of read


ing books, even his own, without subject toward a worthy and learned man,

who ing them to the paper-knife. People who had been his own instructor, Percival wanted to see Percival and obtain his proposed a plan for stopping the annoyviews on special topics were accustomed It was, that a number of old to look for him at Mr. Howe's, and al- graduates, professors, and others, himways found him willing to pour forth his self being one, should attend the lecroluminous information.

tures, listen to them with the respect His income at this time was derived they merited, and so, if possible, bring solely from literary jobs, and was un- the students to a sense of propriety and derstood to be very limited. What he of the advantages they were neglectearned he spent chiefly for books, par- ing. ticularly for such as would assist him in No, Percival was not a misanthrope. perfecting that striking monument of his During an acquaintance of twenty-five varied and profound research, his new years, I never knew him do an act or uttranslation and edition of Malte-Brun. ter a word which could countenance this For this labor the tiine had been esti- opinion. He indulged in no bitter remated, and the publishers had made him marks, cherished no hatred of individuals, an allowance, which, if he had worked affected no scorn of his race; on the conlike other men, would have amounted to trary, he held large views concerning the eight dollars a day. But Percival would noble destinies of mankind, and expresslet nothing go out of his hands imper- ed deep interest in its advancement to fect; a typographical error, even, I have ward greater intelligence and virtue. heard him say, sometimes depressed him The local affections he certainly had; like actual illness. He translated and for he was gratified at the prosperity of revised so carefully, he corrected so his fellow-townsmen, proud of his native many errors and added so many foot- State, and took a pleasure in defending notes, that his industry actually devoured her name from unjust aspersions. Paits own wages; and his eight dollars triotic, too,-none more so,-he rejoiced gradually diminished to a diurnal fifty in the welfare of the whole country, knew cents.

its history thoroughly, and bestowed on Percival made no merely ceremonial its military heroes, in particular, a lively calls, few friendly visits, and attended no appreciation, which was singular, perhaps, parties. If he dropped in upon a fam- in a man of such gentle habits and nature. ily of his acquaintance, he rarely ad- I cannot forget the excited pleasure with dressed himself to a lady. Otherwise which we visited, when on the geological there was nothing peculiar in his de- survey of Connecticut, Putnam's Stairs at portment; for, if silent, he was not em- Horseneck, and Putnam's Wolf-Den in barrassed,—and if he talked, it was with- Pomfret. At the latter place, Percival's out any appearance of self-conscious- enthusiasm for the heroic hunter and nese.

warrior led him to carve his initials on a Judging from his isolated habits, some rock at the entrance of the chasm. It persons supposed him misanthropic. Let was the only place during the tour where me give one instance of his good-nature. he left a similar memorial. One of the elder professors of Yale had American statesmen he admired scarcefallen into a temporary misappreciation ly less than American soldiers ; nor did with the students, who received his in- he neglect any information within his structions, to say the least, with an ill- reach concerning public men and measconcealed indifference. They whispered It was singular to observe with during his lectures, and in other ways what freedom from excitement he disrendered themselves strenuously disa- cussed the most irritating phases of pargreeable to the sensitive nerves of the ty,-speaking of the men and events of professor. Indignant at such behavior his own day with as much philosophic


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