« AnteriorContinuar »
I found afterwards that these children had read Virgil to some purpose; for each could dilate on the enviable tranquillity of Tityrus, the adversity of Melibæus, and the perils of the pious hero.
After continuing three days with my friend, he accompanied me from West Chester, in a passage-boat to New-York. It is almost superfluous to observe, that we passed through Hell-Gate.
At New York, we experienced an oblivion of care at King's little tavern, next to the Presbyterian church; which, from the jollity that resounded in every room on a Sunday, brought to recollection the proverb, that the nearer to church, the further from heaven. Here, however, we drank porter, smoked segars, and forgot we were Tutors.
The following day, I prevailed on Mr. George to visit Newtown, and I introduced him to my friends. We dined with Mr. Rensen, from whose house he departed for West Chester in a canoe. I awaited in the piazza the return of the canoe, chatting most delectably with Miss Eliza Remsen, over a cup of tea administered by her fair hands. The canoe returned, and brought me a note from
“ I (thank God) found none of the family at " home on my arrival; so I can walk about the house without feeling my dependance."
Mr. George only remained with Mr. Ludlow till his quarter expired, when it was concerted by
every party, that I should resume the place. But he was not long unemployed; for the inhabitants of Newtown, being in want of a teacher, converted a spare dwelling into a school, and engaged my friend on liberal terms to educate their children.
From the tenour of Mr. George's letters, it required but little penetration to discover that his situation was not agreeable. He was one of those men who could not appease pride by seeming submission ; and who would not descend to live with a prince hut on terms of equality. The verse he most admired in his own productions, was the image of his mind.
And scorn to low lefore the sons of pride !
For my part, I thought differently on this subject. I thought a few sacrifices might be made for every elegance of accommodation, and a hundred guineas a year ; and I was glad to resume the place, because my salary was a good one. Nor could I perceive that my
friend had any real cause for complaint; on the contrary, I was of opinion that he had been disgusted without offence, and alienated without enmity.
Mr. George was now on Long Island, and I had received a very polite letter from Mrs. Ludlow, who entreated me to hasten my return to her family. For my part, I obeyed her orders with alacrity, for I was weary of the cant and
carping of Parson Vandyke, who so overflowed with scripture, that he cudgelled his men-servants and maid-servants with the Bible.
I therefore drove Mr. George in a chair to the water-side, and at the house of Mr. Berian, hired a canoe to cross the Sound. Bu tfirst, I smoked a segar
my friend in the porch, and left him weeping and laughing ; weeping to lose his company, and laughing at his absence ; for, nescio quid meditans nugarun, he forgot I had not paid for the chair, which he would unavoidably have to do.
After an hour's rowing, the boatman reached West Chester, and landed me at Mr. Ludlow's. Of the family the children were only at home, who received me with every demonstration of joy ; but not long after Mrs. Ludlow returned in her chariot, whose elegant and conciliating manners soon reconciled me to my situation.
I sent my friend his trunks by the return of the canoe, and a short note produced from the impulse of the moment. In a few days I was favoured with an epistle from Mr. George.
"After your departure from Berian's in the canoe, I resumed my station with the old “ fellow on the porch; here I awaited with impatience the return of the boat with
trunk. “ Berian I found to be a plain, honest, sensible, “old navigator, and I drank tea with him.
“ At night-fall the boat returned with my rs trunk and a letter from my beloved companion
« in adversity; it is only by the absence of persons “ who are dear to us, that we can estimate
truly their value ; and I now began sensibly “ to feel the privation of your company. I left « Berian's at seven; the night was very dark, “ and the moon (though considerably above the “ horizon) was entirely obscured by clouds. I “ was in no small danger of breaking my neck “ over the rocks which obstructed my passage, “ but my horse not being of a disposition to run
away with his burden, I escaped the danger of “ an overthrow. After opening and shutting “ several gates that impeded my journey, and
passing over many rocky hills, I descended to “ the shore, of which the waves were covered by
a thick mist, that obscured their agitation, and “ rendered their fury more awful; the tide had
usurped much of the road, and the left wheel “ of the chair rolled through the water. Hence, “after travelling along the beached verge of the “ salt flood, I ascended a high hill, and turning “ into a different road from that through which
you were my companion, I drove into a thick spreading wood of oak: here I was fearful of
cntirely losing my way through the trees; but " the clouds dispersed, and the moon arose to.
light nie on my journey. At nine I reached “the parson's, where I found the family peacea
bly occupied with their needles; they received “ me with kindness, but the rustic silence which
prevailed among them, and the tedious rever
“berations of the clock, compelled me to retire to
my room, where I indulged myself in uninter“ rupted reflection, and in pondering over your “ curious epistle.”
During my abode at West Chester, I wrote a little Novel entitled, The Farmer of New Jersey ; the publication of which inflamed the wrath of the Mohawk Reviewers. In my preface I had disdained to deprecate the severity of their censure, and they besieged me from their attic stories with the javelins of criticism. What these fathers of American criticism chiefly objected to, was the style of the book, in which I had been purposely unambitious of ornament. That they could spy a mote in the eye of their neighbour, and not perceive the beam in their own, the following passage from the Mobawk Review will, I am of opinion, evince. “ The slightest acquaint"ance with the history of literature is sufficient is to convince the most ardent admirer of simpli
city and of unadorned truth of the necessity of
a good style, and of the advantages of an occa“sional use of its highest ornaments.”* Americans ! rejoice! the Augustan age
your country cannot surely be remote, when you possess such Reviewers!
I turn from the unpleasing sounds of the warhoop of these Mobawks, to the mild strain of friendship exhibited in the graceful negligence of the epistles of Mr. George. The following letter
* New-York Review, vol. 1. page 16.