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Then the toys and plumes of the man-child took their proper place; and, when little more happiness was expected from these baubles, then another day-star arose to usher in the light of another sun. The man of humility can write gramercy at the bot- 1 tom of the page of every day's diurnal. The fountain thereof was so great, that it jetted out in streams of poetical running; and, candid reader, the first fruits, wherein I hope the heart prompts the fantasy, shall be given to thee.
O, most gentle Jupiter!-what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried, Have patience, good people.
VERY curious is it to remark how in proportion to the despotism of the government, and the fixedness of religious and other opinions, is the changeless condition in which people are retained in the profession to which they are supposed to be born. In Hindostan, a shudra never can rise from his station;" he is chained down to it by all the restraints of opinion and custom. In Germany, the ranks of society are a little less restricted; and in Great Britain, the freest country in Europe, we begin to find the career of enterprise; and it scarcely surprises us, that one of their prime ministers was the son of an actress ; though even there, a man is generally found in age in the profession, which was the choice of his youth. But in New England, society is like a troubled sea;
all its elements mix and ferment; the high sink, and the low rise; and no man knows how soon his laurels may fade, or his disgraces be turned into glory.
Of all this, the life of poor John Oldbug has been a striking instance. When I left my father and grandfather's houses, (between which I used to alternate, like a Canadian goose between the northern and southern skies,) I was sent into Boston, to stand behind a counter, and measure silks and tape to the ladies. There I was taught to tell shop-lies; to receive the ladies with my best bow and my polite smile; to fold over the goods with my polished fingers; and to assure the gulls, who were credulous enough to believe me, that on special occasions, and to favorite customers, we sold our articles cheaper than we bought them. On Saturday night, I was permitted to fly, like an uncaged bird, to the country, to display my new plumes in the sight of my brother rustics, and to show how much the city had polished my manners. To this life, I was destined by my honest father, who had such a taste for the superficial genteel. However, it lasted not long. Two years completed my miseries; I became sick of the business, sick of my master, and sick of myself. I have often wondered I did not become a woman-hater. To be compelled, hour after hour, to turn over half the goods in the shop; and after racking your conscience to tell the best story possible, to have nothing bought! ---“I thank you, Sir; put up your goods; I will call
again." O misery! Lawyers lie; but they lie to some purpose. But for a shopkeeper, the wave of opulence breaks, ere it reaches him, and throws him nothing, but the vitious foam.
Now I resolved to be a scholar; and went to Andover to finish my studies. It was a great transition. Boston and Andover! It was like passing from a dancing school to a funeral. But I must speak well of that serious place. There I drank deep at the fountains of classical knowledge. Our mild instructor, Mr. Newman, whose virtue won us as his learning guided, was not more the master than the father of all his pupils. Every shade in that sober town, even the wild pasture where the pupils were wont to wander to feast on whortleberries, is connected with some pleasing and useful recollection.
It is the spot,
Then came college-life under the tuition of Dr. Dwight. I can seem to see that venerable tutor now, in the eyes of a burning memory, as he entered the lecture room; his large frame, his firm tread, his head a little inclined forward, his hat on his breast, his green spectacles, his white-top-boots, and the solemn and paternal air with which he took the chair, at the head of the hall by the old fireplace, to deal out those instructions, so animated and yet so
useful, as even to make the sound of the dinner-bell almost unwelcome! Though neither a poet, nor metaphysician, nor a scholar, nor an orator, in the highest and exclusive sense of those terms, he yet always poured out a mass of good sense, which stamped him as the great man; and with many of his maxims, I hope to sprinkle my humble page; for unless I collect them they will be lost forever.
After leaving college, I spent some time, like other young men, in a bewildered state; not knowing exactly what to do. The choice of a profession is no small affair, as it reduces many an ingenuous youth to the borders of despair. During this state of suspense, I took two journies to the eastward (i. e. the then District of Maine) to measure wild land; went one voyage to the West Indies, as a kind of half supercargo, and spent one year in the house of a southern nabob, as a teacher to his children, amid the black slaves of the high sons of liberty. In all these conditions, I had my eyes open I watched the follies and virtues of mankind; and having no business of my own, I learned how to direct that of other people, in that blessed separation of theory from practice, which, in religion and morality, forms the glory and the goodness of the present age.
After this, I betook myself to the study of divinity. For three years I preached, but never received a call; which was a mystery I never could explain. Greek and Latin I had in abundance; my character