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acy, “ the rest of mankind” would be re- | tricity, and others equally potent and happy joicing in the blessings of this wonderful are, as it were, waiting on the threshold, to revolution. And then, how our social ideas be brought within the circle of world's facts. of things would be turned topsy-turvy to Electricity, so variously appropriated by the see Betty bringing the anthracite and pine- wit and ingenuity of mortals, seems to perlogs from the pipe or the pump-setting her vade all nature in some mysterious connecmagnets and helices in order, with something tion with the light and heat of the sun, in of the dignity of a scientific professor, to boil the direction of whose apparent course Amthe kettle for breakfast or roast a shoulder pere and others conclude that it carries the of mutton! Fancy a china jug doing duty currents across the earth. This lightningfor a coal-scuttle, and a man warming his spirit may not alone be termed the missive feet, before stepping into bed, at a pint of of angry Jupiter, flashing from Olympus; cold water! But the benefits to machinery but the Gnome doing business in the veins would be more effective than any others. of the earth, and fashioning the crystal palLet us imagine large steam-ships dispensing aces underground; the Undine of the lakes with their loads of coal, and therefore run- and rivers ; the Proteus of the ocean, and ning with a larger freight of men and the universal Pan of the forests and moun. merchandise. What a triumph of mind tains; the cosmical spirit that, as potent in over matter, to see the fuel of the engine a drop of water as a thunder-storm, drawn over the side in buckets, and water turning its heated energy to vanquish the
“ Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; ocean; reminding us of the image in one of
Lives through all life, extends through all extent' the old Lybian fables spoken of by Eschy- | Spreads undivided, operates unspent.” lus — the eagle conquered by an arrow fledged with one of his own feathers ! Ves- Since writing the foregoing, we have seen sels being thus more cheaply constructed a suggestion concerning one more use of the and impelled from shore to shore, the inter- electric agency which brings us back to the course of nations would be increased and fancy with which we set out. It is, that the cheapened, and the best interests of civiliza- Telegraph shall be employed, all over the tion rapidly promoted.
federation, to give a general notice and alarm But Electricity is about to do more than of storms; the wires from each city of the this. While it proposes to use hydrogen to States striking upon its bell in the Capitol, make steam, it entertains the arrière pensée and warning all men of the insurrection of of abolishing steam altogether as a motive the Elements in any locality, and of the road power! Professor Henry has already ren- by which they are marching ! This idea as dered a magnet powerful enough to support much transcends the Gothic romance, as the a ton weight; and Professor Page of Wash- tornadoes and clouds of heaven, ington entertains good hopes of producing - When Thunder flings out his red banner of Lightstrong electro-magnetic machinery. He has
ning," been enabled to set an engine in motion, at the rate of seventeen miles an hour. When are more sublime objects than men in rebelthis magnetic principle shall be sufficiently lion; though the poet Akenside holds a conpowerful for all purposes of locomotion, peo- trary opinion. It would be a striking achieve
go “ up and down on the earth and merit to erect in some central locality (Washto and fro in it” with a great deal of sub- ington would do for the present) a building limity and satisfaction. The dangerous and which may be called, after the earliest raised expensive agency of steam, with the snorting by the ancient Greeks, the Temple of the and the smoke, will be done away with; and Winds, round the walls of which the atmosthe lightnings of heaven will be almost lite- pheric history of our northern continent rally broken in, harnessed, and drawing a should be recorded from day to day. Here mighty train along the land, as astonishingly the wires of the nation should converge so and beautifully as ever those Coursers of the that “ Libs, Notus, Auster," and the rest of Sun, immortalized by Guido, drew the cha- that turbulent family, would have their riot of Phæbus-Apollo through the firma- whereabouts and doings prated of all over ment!
the country ; for the warnings received at Such are among the developments of Elec- the centre would be instantly radiated in all
directions. Thus, a Warder of the Winds much under the control of despots to be the at Buffalo would give notice of a hurricane beneficent agent it is designed and destined on the Lakes, with a south-eastern tendency to be. Instantly, the ships of New York, Boston, In conclusion, we must not omit to note Baltimore, Charleston, New-Orleans, &c., one inevitable achievement of the electric are bid look out for squills, in due time, and principle,—the finest and most propitious of farmers and all others having to do with the all! It tends to maintain the integrity of elements are put on their guard. The the Union ; to bind the “ rods of empire" storms cannot keep pace with the lightning together in one magnificent fasces for Freemessenger:
dom to strike the tyrannies of the world
with, or at least over-awe them, if the other Compared with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind ;"
word be too strong for the occasion. To the
arguments of those who anticipate separaand so people every where may expect the tion on account of distance and extent of
skyey intiuences” without surprise. In ad- territory, the Telegraph replies by diminishdition to all this, such a system would create ing space and time in such a way that, in a body of atmospheric statistics, accumulat- less than twenty years, all North America, ing for years, which in the end would help from the Lakes to the Gulf, and from one science to some theory beneficial to the world ocean to the other, will be as compact to all in general, and sailors and farmers in par- intents and purposes as England was twenty ticular—a monument of practical philosophy years ago. ' Electric wires will bring the as stately as the Temple itself
thoughts of the most distant States together Of all countries, this is the most suitable in a few hours; and electric motors will for the Telegraph. Here the giant has am- cheaply bring the people of them together plest room to grow to full stature and stretch in a few days. And so, the Genius of the out his arms on every side. The telegraph | Great Republic—from Washington's Monuis not succeeding in England as a trading ment on the Potomac, or from the banks of speculation. The island is too circumscribed our Mediterranean Stream-shall continue for that whose name and nature imply wide to extend her lightning fingers to all the exspaces. So that this last is very much in the tremest points of her continental dominion, predicament of the Vicar of Wakefield's and around an enlightened and happy brothfamily picture, too big to be accommodated erhood, in the house when all was done! In Germany,—that congeries of divided nations,
“Rivet the electric chain wherewith we are
are closely in France and other countries of Europe, bound." where the telegraph is established, it is too!
The remarkable character exhibited by a sturdy inhabitant of Cape Cod, and one SEARGENT S. PRENTISS was appreciated by of the founders of the now flourishing town thousands of his fellow-citizens. A short but of Gorham, in the State of Maine. In this brilliant career in Congress had given him relation were exhibited many traits of charin some respects a national reputation; but acter peculiar to the subject of this imperthose who knew hin best, and had most feet memoir
, for he always displayed an aroccasion to admire and wonder at his genius, dent love of country, of liberty, and a fondwill ever feel that he was but comparatively ness for political excitement. The father unknown, and that his untimely death, oc- of Mr. Prentiss was a man of high respectacurring as it did in the meridian of his use-bility, and distinguished as an enterprising fulness, destroyed the fond hope indulged and successful shipmaster of Portland. He by his admirers that the day would again was remarkable for that indomitable will that come when his field of operation would ex- so eminently distinguished his son. From tend beyond the labors of the bar, and that his mother Mr. Prentiss inherited those more his mighty intellect would be exerted in gentle qualities that ever characterized his giving form and direction to events that life; qualities that shed over bis eloquence affect not only the vital interests of persons, such bewitching sweetness, and gave to his but nations and governments. The an- social intercourse such an indescribable nounceinent of his death came upon the charm. writer of this article as a cloud that obscures Mr. Prentiss was born in Portland, Maine, the noon-day sun. In the impulse of the September 30th, 1808; but ere he was camoment a hasty tribute to his memory was pable of much observation his father became prepared for the press, which, attracting un- a resident of a fine farm in the vicinity of expected attention from the interest felt by Gorham. Here it was that Sargent passed all to know something of Mr. Prentiss's his youth. Labor was the motto of his character, has given rise to this more detailed people, for his native soil was only generous notice, which is written with imperfect data, when carefully wrought; honesty and fruand a paucity of materials, even to the ab- gality every where prevailed; yet the imagisence of any record of some of the most nation was not unted, for into his youthful remarkable events in his career, and withal, mind were poured traditions of the “ "gora want of that leisure for reflection and an-geous east," and the strange adventures of alysis so necessary for the writer of a bio- those “ who go down to the sea in ships," graphical notice.
while the natural scenery that surrounded Seargent S. Prentiss was emphatically the him was of the grandest form. The everoffspring of New-England. His forefathers lasting surge of the Atlantic surf beat in his were among the earliest settlers of the Pil- ears, and upon his bounded horizon rose in grim land, and combined in an eminent de- silent majesty the summits of snow-capped gree those seening opposite qualities of the mountains ; and the influence of all these greatest sternness and self-sacrifice, with associations can easily be traced throughout the kindest heart and most enthusiastic his after life. temperament.
In youth Mr. Prentiss, it is said, was reThe maternal grandfather of Mr. Prentiss markable for great personal beauty, for inwas an officer at the battle of Bunker Hill, I telligence, and fondness for reading. It
would seem that those who recall his early half-fledged wing, destined soon to soar in character, portray in a subdued degree that the regions of unrivalled eloquence. It was of his maturer years
. There is sprightliness, in the mention of the demure face, and the humor, keen wit, biting sarcasm, strong orchard stripped of fruit, except in the most Datural sense, great kindness and impulsive remote and inaccessible branches, that we feeling; at the same time as affectionate as distinguish the love of fun and the thoughta maiden, and as brave as a youthful Cæsar. less daring, that ripened finally into the At school and at home he mingled his studies keenest wit and the bravest front. in apparent confusion, yet learned every Having been thoroughly prepared in all thing well and in order, garnishing holiday rudimentary studies, he entered Bowdoin hours from severe labor by the most atten- College, and in due course graduated with tive perusal of Shakspeare, and a thought- honor in 1826. It is evident that he had ful study of the Sacred Volume.
at an early day decided upon his profesA picture of the youthful Prentiss is sion; for, with the receipt of his scholastic beautifully portrayed by his own exquisite honors, he returned to Gorham, and at once mind in his address before the New-Orleans commenced the study of law. It can easily + New-England Society.” On that occasion be imagined that the now maturing mind of he said:
the youthful Prentiss conceived a wider field
than that offered among the staid and prac“ The common village school is New-England's tical people of his carly associations. The fairest boast -the brightest jewel that adorns her brow. Behold,” said he, “ yönder simple building great West, no doubt, flitted through his near the crossing of the village roads! It is of fancy as the Dorado of wealth and intellecsmall and rude construction, but stands in a pleas- tual conquest. With a scanty allowance of ant and quiet spot. A magnificent old elm spreads this world's goods, but a brave heart, he set its broad arms above and seems to lean towards out upon his adventure. The “Queen City it, as a strong man bends to shelter and protect of the West" became his temporary home. a child. A brook runs through the meadow near, and bard by there is an orebard; but the trees Here he made the acquaintance of an enihave suffered much, and bear no fruit, except upon nent lawyer, who must
, judging from Mr. the most remote and inaccessible branches. From Prentiss's letters, instinctively liave discovwithin its walls comes a busy hum, such as you cred that the fiery temperament, the chivalmay hear in a disturbed bee hive. Now peep through yonder window, and you will see a hun rous thonght, and the prompt action of the .dred children, with rosy cheeks, mischievous eyes, young adventurer, latent though they were, and demure faces, all engaged, or pretending to would best ripen under a southern sun; for be engaged, in their little lessons. It is the pub- this new-made friend directed lic school—the free, the common school-provided toward that field on which he was to win by law; open to all; claimed from the community as a right, not accepted as a bounty. Here so many brilliant victories, and unhappily the children of the rich and poor, high and low, find an early grave. meet upon perfect equality, and commence under It was most fortunate that in the South he the same auspices the race of life. Here the sus found inducements to remain in Natchez, tenance of the mind is served up to all alike, as Spartans served their food upon the public table. then the most splendid city in Mississippi. Here young ambition climbs its little ladder, and Perhaps no part of the Union could boast a boyish genius plumes his half-fledged wings. greater amount of wealth, among the same From among these laughing children will go forth number of inhabitants, than was to be found the men who are to control their age and country; in the vicinity of the City of the Bluffs.” the statesman, whose wisdom is to guide the Senate; the poet, who will take captire the hearts No place in the South has more attractive of the people, and bind them together with im- scenery, or is more rich in legendary lore. mortal song; the philosopher, who, coldly seizing Here it was, amid the associations of affluto his vishes, and, through new combinations of ence, that the future orator, “for independtheir primal laws, by some great discovery, revo
ence' sake,” pursued his studies by the lutionize both art and science."
midnight lamp, and devoted his daylight
hours to the task of teaching youth. Little, The picture is complete. It was in the indeed, is recorded of those now forgotten public school of New-England that the boy days of the gifted Prentiss. It is no doubt Prentiss first climbed ambition's little lad- a fact, that he was for a short while unnoder, that was eventually to take him to the ticed and unknown. height of a noble profession, and plumed his . Familiar as I am with the scenes and
his steps associations about Natchez, I have heard no the loose legislation with regard to the rights reminiscence regarding these days of obscu- and immunities of citizens, that is so comrity; but I have often imagined the shrink- mon to all newly-settled countries, by being but proud boy, living unnoticed and coming suddenly confronted by the nicer unknown, among the wealthiest citizens of rules that prevail where the population is the South. Buried in the quiet of his hum- dense, opened up a field for litigation fresh ble school, there cannot be a doubt that he in its character, and constantly increasing in looked out upon the busy world, and meas- its importance; such, perhaps, as was never ured the mighty capacities of his soul with before presented to a master mind. Prentiss: those whom society had placed above him. was equal to the day; and there was soon I think I can see him brooding over his to be heard through the wide-spread land position, and longing to be free, as the suf- the voice of eloquence, and witnessed the focating man longs for the boundless air of wisdom of deep research, and the profound heaven. Then it was that the lordly equip-responsibility that characterize important age rolled by, and over its sides leaned in events, occurring where, but a few years becareless ease the wealthy planter, who heed- fore, was found the nestling-place of the wolf ed not the presence of the nameless youth, and the home of the unfortunate savage. that in comparatively a few days more was A few short months only passed before he literally by his breath to confirm or destroy was literally overwhelmed with business. the titles of his lordly estate. His hour of The people by whom he was surrounded felt triumph came, however, and surpassed, the same sympathy for him, as he unfolded perhaps, his own aspirations. From the the pent-up richness of his heretofore unschool-room he entered that of the Court: known mind, that they did for the generous a chance offered ; a position gained; the law soil on which they lived, which was so rapidhis theme, he at once not only equalled, but ly enriching all with the fertility of its primisoared even beyond the aim of the most tive strength, and his triumphs were felt to favored of his compeers. Of him, among be the victories of the spirit of the times. the multitude, there was no thought of the The favored sons of Mississippi, full as they past, no inquiry as to the origin of the were of natural talent, and possessed of every luminary, so complete was its splendor, so accomplishment of the mind, the heirs of appropriate its sphere.
princely fortunes, the descendants of heroes, He did not, however, long remain in men of power and place, of family pride, Natchez. The northern part of Mississippi of national associations, received at once had then but recently become the property the gifted Prentiss, unheralded as he was, of the white man, and there was pouring save by his own genius, as one who, in his into that now wealthy section of the State pride, in his bearing, in every thing, deserved a most active and energetic people, and one to be accepted of as one among the noblest of the most prosperous that can be imagined. Romans of them all. Lands purchased at Government prices As time wore on, each step he made in almost in a day rose to be worth enormous his career seemed only to elicit new qualisums, and the returns for the labor of the ties for admiration. At the forum he dazzled; enterprising were more than a hundred fold. the jury and the judge were alike conFvery body was positively or prospectively founded; the crowd carried him to the rich ; the very atmosphere teemed with ex- stump, and the multitude listened as to one citement. Vicksburg was made the outlet inspired; fair ladies vied with each other in to the Mississippi river for all this newly-ac- waving tiny hands in token of admiration; quired territory, and it rapidly increased into these stolid judges of the Supreme Court the City of the Walnut Hills.” To this wondered at the mind of the appeant boy. place of promise Prentiss repaired, and prob- His course was as rapid and brilliant as the ably one could not have been found better meteor that suddenly springs athwart the suited to his peculiar character. His glow- heavens, yet it seemed to promise, in spite of ing imagination found inexhaustible food in its splendor, to shine with all the steadiness the rapid growth of towns and cities, that of the unchanging stars. he saw springing up under his eye; the As might have been expected, he was abundance of every man's substance seemed soon engaged in the excitement of politics, to add a sumptuousness to existence; while naturally so congenial to his feelings. A ses