Imatges de pÓgina

My dear girls, the visit of such a woman as Mrs. Wentworth, and the evidence we have received of her friendly feelings towards us, are more than enough to counterbalance any petty mortification that such people as the Hantons and Winwoods might strive to inflict. The change in our circumstances has taught me, at least, this truth-that those persons whose refinement, station, and real wealth entitle them to be called the highest class, if any such distinction can be made in our society, are invariably those who place the least value on show and parade.. From old and respectable families like the Wentworths we have received even more attention than when we were surrounded by the appurtenances of fashion; while it is only those who have the 'parvenu love of glare and tinsel,' who have neglected us, or treated us with less respect.'

"Oh!" said Anna, [showing a mind not yet entirely free from the dominion of false opinion,] 'I am delighted with the anticipation of my visit to The Uplands. I have always heard that the society in its neighbourhood is the very first in the country. How the Winwoods would envy me even in our two-story house, if they knew we were on such terms of intimacy with the Wentworth family, for they were very anxious to become acquainted with them, and even asked me to call for them last winter when I spoke of returning Mary Wentworth's visit.'

"The Wentworth family,' replied Sophia, 'is one of the few that my aunt begged that I would visit intimately. But it was on account of their intellectual refinement and moral worth, and not for their station in fortune: for, after all, it is only their minds and characters, and not any extrinsic possessions, that entitle them to respect and attention.""-p. 113-15.

The Harcourts continue to live in the quiet enjoyment of rational happiness. They form a new acquaintance, with the family of "one of the old style of merchants, who has never extended his credit beyond his capital. Although nominally worth less than many of our commercial men, yet his house is considered one of the soundest in our city."

"The next morning Mrs. Harcourt and her daughters paid their visit to their new neighbours in due form, and were received with so much courtesy, and so little of the ceremony usual on a first introduction, that Mrs. Harcourt felt that her set conventional phrases would be wholly out of character if addressed to the Morvens. The freshness and originality of their conversation, and the refined simplicity of their manners, delighted Sophia. She had been so wearied by the drilled speeches and artificial inanity of fashionable society, that an acquaintance with persons who thought and felt for themselves, and who were perfectly natural, was a pleasure she had seldom or ever experienced since she left Ros mount. Mary Wentworth and her admirable parents were the only exception, but she had seen too little of them to form any degree of inti.

macy. For, while the Harcourts were considered among the fashionables, Mrs. Wentworth took no pains to cultivate their friendship.

"The most friendly intercourse was soon established between the families, and as they very frequently formed one circle in the evening, it was like the meeting of one household who had been sepa. rated during the day by their respective occupations. Mr. Har. court regarded Mr. Morven as a brother, and felt that he had gained much instruction from the greater experience and deeper reflection of his friend.

"One evening the two mothers, with their daughters, were enjoying the twilight breeze in the little garden, and as the two mer. chants were left alone, their conversation of course soon turned upon mercantile subjects.

"There never was a time,' said Mr. Harcourt,' when there was a greater evidence of commercial prosperity than at the present. The enormous profits said to have been realized by some of our houses are almost incredible. This has rendered men bold in ven. turing upon new and more daring speculations; and those who but a few years past commenced with a very limited capital, are now engaged in as extended commercial operations as our old es. tablished firms. I cannot understand how they are able to keep pace with those whose fortunes are nearly quadruple. It is not only in their business that this competition exists; look at the extravagance and ostentation of wealth displayed in their families and in their style of living. Formerly our mercantile men, even of large capital, who wished to carry on an extensive business, were always averse to withdrawing their money from trade to expend it in any thing superfluous, or to use it for purposes unconnected with their regular business. Then, no one built a fine house and furnished it magnificently unless he possessed great wealth, was secure from the fluctuations of commerce, or was worth at least enough to justify him, in the opinion of others, as to his being able to afford it. But in these days men can build lofty mansions, enter largely into land speculations, and carry on business at the same time, to the amount of several hundred thousands or a million. And all this can be done, too, by men who a few years ago were selling needles by the paper and tape by the piece.'


"The picture you have drawn, my friend,' replied Mr. Morven, 'has, I regret to say, too many originals throughout our trading community. I fear that the greater part of our apparent prosperity has neither soundness in its superstructure nor solidity in its foun. dation, and before many years it must fall, and great will be the fall of it.' The system of extending credit beyond all probable, or indeed possible, security-the facilities afforded to all who are tempted to enlarge their business far beyond what their real capital warrants are preparing the way for one of those periodical crashes' that the mercantile world have so frequently experienced

since its present machinery came into operation. The craving for show and splendour that has possessed the female sex, and has been stimulated to excess by the constant indulgence of their fathers and husbands, is rapidly accelerating the crisis. It must come, and it will come speedily.'”—p. 134–136.

Mr. Morven retires from business, and Mr. Harcourt, having recovered several large debts, that at the time of his suspension were considered more than doubtful, finds himself, after a final settlement of all his affairs, possessed of capital enough to become Mr. Morven's successor. He conducts his business upon the principles of his predecessor-realizes a moderate competency and retires to the quiet enjoyment of a country life at "Woodland Green."

Meantime came the predicted "crash" in the commercial world. The Winwoods were among the first to fall. They failed to an immense amount; and, amidst the abuses and curses of those who suffered by them, they lost the only pretension they ever advanced to fashionable consideration.

9. The Savings Bank, and other Stories: illustrating true Independence and domestic Economy. Translated from the French. By a Lady. New-York: Samuel Colman. Boston: Weeks, Jordan & Co. 1837.

THIS is the fourth part of the "Stories from Real Life,”—the "Three Experiments of Living," "Elinor Fulton," and "The Harcourts," forming the first three parts. It is not so well adapted to our habits and manners as the others, being a translation from the French of M. Bouilly, an eminent useful writer of the present day. We prefer to have the good lessons this little series is designed to convey, drawn from the store-house of our own native life and manners. These stories, however, are interesting, the last three particularly are truly touching, and calculated to do good among the labouring classes by the affecting pictures they present of the filial and domestic affections, and by cherishing those sentiments and habits on which the virtue, independence, and happiness of life depend. The translation is in some instances, (we should imagine, not having the original,) slightly at fault: but, on the whole, the publication deserves commendation.

Some, perhaps, may think it strange that we take so much notice of this sort of little books. We do it because we have

a special sympathy with their object and intention, their tone and tendency; because we think the tyranny of fashion, of vulgar, false and unenlightened opinion, has within a few years grown to a prodigious strength; and we deem it our duty to commend every well-directed attempt to recall the public mind to the true sources of individual and social well-being.

Besides, we think these books deserving of a great deal more attention than many a much more pretending volume. They are written with a great deal more spirit, freshness, and talent. We are sick of the solemn trash with which our press continually teems under the general class of popular and practical books. Never was a poor country so cursed with small literature of this sort. We have boys' and girls' "Own Books"-young mens' and ladies' "Friends "_" Guides "—" Aids "—" Companions ;""Lectures" to old men and women, young men and maidens, children and babies,-upon all sorts of subjects-full of feeble common-place and solemn dulness-bringing down the most important subjects into shallow compends, which give only the most superficial knowledgeserving as a substitute for all thinking on the part of readers --and ministering none of that quickening impulse and culture to the fancy, the imagination, and the heart, without which mere knowledge in the head, even if thorough, is sap less and lifeless-but, being shallow, is full of cold-hearted, selfcomplacent conceit.

10. Letters of LUCIUS M. PISO, from Palmyra, to his Friend Marcus Curtius at Rome. Now first translated and published. New-York: C. S. Francis. 1837. 2 vols. 12mo.

WE have one great objection to this book. It relates to its exhibitions of Christianity. There is an entire misconception of the true nature of Christianity, or of its distinguishing peculiarities; and its claims are exhibited in a very poor and insufficient way. The author makes it just a republicationclearer and more authentic, if you will, but nothing more than a republication—of the truths of Natural Religion; accompanied by precepts and motives of a purer morality, exemplified by its founder in a life of sublimer goodness. This, now, is all very true, and very well as far as it goes; but, taken as a just and complete view of Christianity, it is very miserable. The author appears to have no conception whatever of that grand fact in human nature-that great want of our fallen race-which being met in the Gospel, constitutes the central

peculiarity by which it is distinguished from all other systems, and makes Christianity alone the religion for sinners. It seems never to have entered the author's mind that mankind needed any thing beyond light, precepts, motives; that there was any evil in man which doctrines and instructions could not reach and cure. Hence his view of the nature and intention of Christianity-its provisions of inward spiritual power to meet the everlasting wants of man, and restore him to perfect goodness, is wretchedly defective; and his exhibition of its claims to belief and trial wretchedly superficial. If the Apostle Paul had preached like the author's Probus, if John had talked about Christianity like the author's hermit, they would never have made converts to the Gospel; or if they had, it would have been converts to a Gospel superior in no essential respect to the religion of Plato or Longinus.

Having said this, we add, that in other respects it is decidedly one of the most interesting fictitious works that have lately appeared. It is in general beautifully written, with a fine perception of classical elegance exhibited in the cast of thought and in the turns of expression; while at the same time it is in a style of pure and choice English. The letters purport to be written from Palmyra, by a Roman noble who had gone thither in order to open a communication with Persia, and ascertain the fate of his brother, made prisoner some years before along with the Emperor Valerian, at the time when the Romans had been defeated by the Persian monarch. We have exquisite descriptions of Palmyra, and of the gorgeous luxury of Oriental life-a vivid picture of the magnificent Zenobia-her person, her mind, her way of life. We are introduced to her court-we mingle with the private circle of her friends with whom she relaxed from the cares of state, and indulged in the elegant and refined enjoyments of letters and philosophy. We have delightful conversations in which the great Longinus plays a distinguished part. The second volume was to our feelings less interesting than the first. The great and stirring events related, the advance of Aurelianthe battle-the treachery which threw Zenobia into his handsthe destruction of Palmyra,-do not allow our minds to pause with pleasure for the progress and issue of the long conversations and discussions upon philosophy and religion which intervene.

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