Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Though Evergreen is often prevented, by his gout, from taking cognizance of the fashionable world, we shall manage among us to pay particular attention to the ladies especially. Feeling, as we have ever felt, the greatest solicitude for their success in life, we shall take every measure of advice and gentle reprehension, to ensure their so conducting themselves as to outdo even the young gentlemen in the elegance of their forms, and still continue to retain that unrivalled superiority over those of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other cities, which they have hitherto maintained in the estima-> tion of all enlightened foreigners. In this important province of our duties, Evergreen will be assisted by WiLL WIZARD, whose additional experience in the beau-monde during the last ten years, eminently qualifies him for the task.

Will, by dint of mixing much in the fashionable world, where I have observed beaux become scarcer every year, and keeping company with Tippy TITTIPUP, king of the dandies in New-York, is greatly improved in dress and manners. He has discarded his immense queue; wears his hair curled at the back of his neck, and has parted with his rusty steel watch-chain, in compliment, I believe, to Miss BARBARA COCKLOFT, who some time since presented him with a silk one of her own netting, By-the-by, I have a little gossiping on this matter, which shall be forthcoming all in good time. His immense tobacco-box was exchanged for a

snuff-box, about the time that Napoleon Bonaparte set all the fashionable world snuffing; and he never tells a long story, except in compliment to the master and mistress of Cockloft Hall. WILL does not require quite as much stuffing and machinery to make him look like a man, as some of our fashionable young fellows; but I some time ago actually routed him out of a pair of corsets, which he had put on at the instigation of TIPPY TITTIPUP, to go to the last city assembly. In short, little remains of our ancient coadjutor, but those habits and opinions which make up, as it were, the moral identity of man, and over which time passes without leaving any perceptible impression, like the waves, which smooth the sands, and render the hard rock more tough and inflexible.

In addition to our former fellow-labourers in the rich harvest of the bon ton, I am promised the frequent correspondence of two worthy young fellows, with whom I have lately formed an acquaintance, that bids fair to ripen into a lasting friendship. The first is a young Virginian, of easy fortune; without any profession, but well educated, and possessing much natural good sense. He was born and resides in an old family mansion, erected on James's river, by one of the descendants of the early adventurers to this new world. He is a most inexorable republican in theory, and a confirmed aristocrat in practice; nor is it possible to conceive a being, who would resist with more spirit

1

and perseverance, any attempt to extend the power of the government over him, or circumscribe his power over others. The house is situated in the centre of one of those extensive plantations which create a sort of solitude around them, and his nearest neighbours are several miles distant. This lonely situation, added to his having few or none around him that can control his actions, or influence his opinions, has given full play both to his reason and his imagination, the former of which is vigorous and original, the latter often wild, and sometimes fantastical. Add to this, he is for ever in the sunshine ; a looker at the bright side of every thing; always anticipating the most glowing realities, yet, always exhibiting, even in the midst of the most romantic enthusiasm, a mind chastened by natural good sense and deep reflection. Were it not for these, his flights would sometimes be a little alarming. In the winter season he generally visits some of our principal cities, where he stays so long as he finds amusement, or, as generally happens, till he becomes tired of some fashionable belle, with whom he has fallen in love, and invested with all the spiritual attributes of an imaginary heroine. When the fine weather comes on, he flies, like the birds, to his native bower, where he remains till the hot months, which he spends in roving about the country, stopping where he likes, and going just whither he will. He has promised to let me have the benefit of his reveries at home,

as well as his experience and observations abroad; and I will venture to predict, that the public shall enjoy a share of the pleasure I expect to derive from them. I have his full permission to do what I will with his communications, unless, as he pleasantly tells me-"He should be fool enough to write poetry.". The real history of his life is hardly yet begun with him. His likes and dislikes, his loves and friendships, are as spontaneous as ardent; and he often exhibits his feelings and impressions with a vigour, a warmth, and a freshness, that, to an old, weatherbeaten sensibility like mine, is peculiarly touching. It is like the ray of morning, waking and invigorating the plant which the chills of the night have shrivelled almost to death.

My other associate, or rather correspondent, is a young fellow from New-England, with whom I formed a sort of intimacy during a couple of months I spent in one of the charming villages of the pleasant state of New Jersey. In the course of our gossiping walks, of an evening, I learned that he was one of the nine sons of an honest New-England farmer, who was ambitious of decking his family with some of the honours of scholarship. So he sent my friend to college, whether to Yale or Harvard, I forget. While here, his conduct was highly exemplary, and his acquisitions respectable ; but having no connexions to bring him forward in the world, and no means of immediate support, he set forth to seek his fortune, and found it in the situation of a village schoolmaster. Though apparently content with his station and prospects, there is a tinge of silent unobtrusive melancholy in his face; and his views of this life, as well as his estimate of human happiness, are those of a man who has suffered enough to make him hope humbly. Nature is his goddess, and if ever, on any occasion, he seems to be drawn from the even tenour of feeling which seems to sway the actions of his life, it is when contemplating some fair landscape, glowing in the hues of the setting sun, or fading in the gray teints of a twilight summer evening.

Yet even on these occasions, I have never found him to associate these beautiful scenes with any thing like anticipations of future happiness, I mean temporal happiness. On the contrary, they always seemed intertwined with melancholy, or tender recollections of the past; with reflections of a serious and solemn character, occasionally, yet rarely, lighted up with transient glimmerings of vivacity, which even misfortune cannot entirely subdue, in the elastic composition of youth. He is reported, among the village gossips, to be a

charming poet," which is a qualification so common in these times, that it had almost escaped my recollection. Such, indeed, is the wide and general diffusion of literature in this happy age, such the attainments of all tolerably well-educated

« ZurückWeiter »