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men had ears,' they would hear much fine preaching, beside that uttered by the regular clergy. Healthy and wholesome preaching is going on around us, which, alack ! findeth few hearers. Were the air vocal, we should this day hear unnumbered sermons floating up to the blue vault of heaven. Some of them are pregnant with interjections; some conditional, and abounding in conjunctions; but not a few short and earnest, bearing glad tidings to the listening angels above us. Each object in nature unconsciously utters its sermon. The vilest reptile, in his crawling, draws an argumentative sermon after him. The sonorous tramp of the greatest of animals conveys its suited lesson. The roar of the lion in jungles has a touch of eloquence in it; and the whale spouteth out in water-columns its sublime sermon. The repose of each mountain hath a lesson; the stream in the green mead ripples out most instructive sentences. The sandy desert is loquacious ; the barren peak is voluble. Each pattering rain-drop speaks in audible language; each fountain murmurs in joyous tones; each solemn swell of old ocean sounds its appropriate speech. Each Favonian breeze, or roaring north wind, hath its sermon. The rigid oak, pointing to the sky, conveys its thoughts; the modest violet, blushing beneath, speaks its sweet words. The soaring eagle preaches near the clouds; and the lark, of spiral flight, is a surmonizer in song. Every night the boundless arch with numberless preachers is spangled, who convey to mortals, in sparkling sympathy, their salutary sermons of love.
If thus natural objects deliver themselves, what a vigorous sermon may not the life of a true gentleman be! In what harmonious tones may not the utterance be given ! How it may smack of love, of mercy, and of crowning charity! Moving onward with
"TAE innumerable caravan that moves
tohow many pleasant oases may not the refined man of gentle heart lead his weary companions ? Such a man will always find abundant employment. In the social circle, he may sow good seed, which shall flourish and bear fruit. In the banqueting hall, he may for an hour cheat the melancholy out of the recollection of their sorrow. In the marts of business, his forbearance may afford relief to the embarrassed, and his courteous kindness may subdue the frantio efforts of avarice. By the bed of the sick, his gentleness may cause the smile of gratitude to diffuse itself over the wan features of the sufferers. In all circles of society his influence will be attended with happiest results. Among all men, he will be marked as one of stately integrity and merciful heart. Looking to his conscience, and the smiles of Heaven, for approbation, he will be impervious to the arrows of envy, and will present an unterrified front to malicious foes. His courtesy, better than triple-fold armor of steel, will secure him from insult, and with a smile will always disarm rudeness. His trųe nobility of soul will baffle the aspersions of slanderers, and his unassailable dignity will be a tower of strength against evil speakers. In private, as in public relations, a stern sense of right will mark his every action. He will not lower his self-respect to gratify a mean spirit of revenge ; nor will he stoop to accomplish a base purpose. The love of justice will be his law of guidance, and no inducement will swerve him from it. If Prosperity's sun shines upon him, its splendor does not hide the worth of the lowly from his eyes, or dazzle himself into a false estimate of himself. In poverty, his nobility of soul will not desert him ; but, cleaving unto him, will render his greatness more conspicuous by the humility of his condition. If in a dungeon of obscurity, like courteous Paul, his true dignity will represent him as more majestic than him crowned in a palace, and called a king. In all situations of life, his excellent graces will cluster about him, as roses in an arbor, perfuming the atmosphere around him. Wherever found, the true gentleman is acceptable to men, and beloved of angels.
As from the sleeping marble
Leaps out the radiant Thought,
The loveliest forms are caught,
My singing should prolong,
Of Beauty, Truth, and Song !
But bolt, nor bar, nor fetter,
The spirit's will can tame;
It wings its flight of flame !
That burn the hill along,
To greet my humble song.
This gloomy winter-time, I'd pour my earnest yearnings
In pulsing throbs of rhyme;
That shout their wild release,
A nation's heart to peace.
Yet peers a prairie prison
Against a sunless sky,
My voiceless hopes must die;
That spanned my youthful brain,
Beneath a captive's chain.
LITE R A R Y NOTICES.
BIOGRAPHY OF ELISHA KENT KANE, Commander of the Last Arctic Expedition in Search of Sir John FRANKLIN and his Men. By William ELDER. Philadelphia : CHILDS AND PETERSON.
We have heretofore announced this work as in a state of advanced progress, and expressed our very favorable opinion of the merits of Mr. ELDER as a biographer. He has in no respect disappointed us. His style is exceedingly clear; his incidents selected and collated with great industry, and contrasted with good taste and marked effect: and he has the rare capacity of avoiding verbal repetitions, in scenes and events, which must more or less simulate each other, in an account of occurrences and adventures in one especially marked and peculiar region of our globe. It was a coïncidence, that on the very evening in which we received the book from our friend Mr. PETERSON, there were sent to us by Messrs. WILLIAMS, STEVENS AND WILLIAMS, from town, framed in dark oak-and-gold for the sanctum, three pictures, (photographs of the best kind, from a Philadelphia house, which we ought to have noticed before, and which we should notice now, but that the names of the excellent firm are cut off in the framing,) of KANE, BAYARD Taylor, and THACKERAY. But of these more anon. But our present business is with Dr. ELDER's excellent book, which we predict will prove a very popular one, and most deservedly run through many editions. The annexed, by a reviewer in the Times daily journal, is a succinct account of the life and career of the subject of the memoir :
Dr. Elisha KENT KANE was born in Philadelphia on the third day of February, 1820. He was a slight, frail child, quick, bold, impatient of restraint, and greatly averse to regular studies. There was nothing remarkable in his boyhood, and his parents, it seems, did not anticipate any greatness for their eldest child. He soon manifested a love of enterprise, and delighted in accomplishing feats of difficulty and danger for the mere pleasure of accomplishing them. His biographer says he earned the character of a bad boy,' because he was a brave one, and would not pocket an affront from any body. His first notable exploit, which seemed to indicate bis future achievements, was a successful attempt to make the ascent of a tall kitchen-chimney, which rose temptingly above the roof sixteen feet high. He had made up his mind that he would seat himself upon the top of this towering pile, and, in order to accomplish his purpose, he persuaded his younger brother,
Tom, to assist him. After the family were a-bed and asleep, he got out upon the roof, and by the aid of a clothes-line, which he had secreted for the purpose, he succeeded in accomplishing the aim of his ambition, at the imminent risk of breaking his neck; and having seated himself on the chimney-top, he went back to bed. He was then ten years old, and, like the similar feat related of Lord Nelson, it indicated only a boldness of character, which might in time ripen into a hero — or a burglar. Up to his thirteenth year, he was an unpromising school-boy, and, according to the testimony of the family physician, ‘he manifested no extraordinary love of learning.' He had an extraordinary love for learning, however, although it was not noticed, because it was manifested in a direction different from what his teachers desired; and he was called “refractory,' because he would not seem to consent when he did not mean to obey. He would only study according to his own inclinations; and refused to be driven where he did not wish to go. He was fond of chemistry, geology, and geographical explorations, and delighted in all kinds of field-sports; he had a partiality for sketching and whittling, and was fascinated by dogs and horses. But he hated classical studies, and took genially and fondly to Robinson Crusoe and Pilgrim's Progress. At the age of sixteen he began to be sensible of his deficiencies in study, and set himself resolutely to make amends for his neglect of the classics; his father intended him for a civilengineer, and he had given more attention to Mathematics than to his other studies, so that when he was taken to New-Haven for the purpose of being entered at Yale, he was found not to be sufficiently prepared for college, and it was thought that he would be compelled to devote himself to another year of preparatory study. So it was determined that he should enter at the University of Vir. ginia, where a greater freedom was permitted. He remained here a year-and-ahalf, and distinguished himself by his proficiency in chemistry, having also made considerable progress in Latin and Greek. But the symptoms of the disease which at last proved fatal, and which at first manifested itself at New-Haven, now assumed so alarming a form that his father had to carry him home in a blanket. For a long time his life was despaired of by his family, and when he recovered, it was only to be informed that he might at any moment fall as suddenly as from a musket-shot. He was now in his eighteenth year, and about to commence the serious business of life with the knowledge that he had in his system a fatal disease, which might suddenly terminate his earthly career, at a moment's warning, and which was sure to be always a source of pain and suffering. His father said to him, ‘ELISHA, if you must die, die in the harness ;' and he resolved to act in conformity with the advice, which was, in reality, a matter of necessity, for inaction was more injurious to him than constant exposure to dangers, and he found that the only way to combat with his enemy was to keep himself incessantly employed. There is the best authority for the opinion, according to his biographer, that his ailments had always in them a preponderating character of neuropathic disturbance. Even when he was comparatively free from the acute form of rheumatic disorder, his nerves were tingling and rioting with irritation. But in the midst of this nervous rioting he was always heroically calm, sedate, serious, and thoughtful. His friends, believing that his disease rendered him unfit for the profession of an engineer, he yielded to their suggestions, and began the study of medicine. In his twenty-first year he was elected Resident Physician in the Pennsylvania Hospital at Blockley, over the Schuylkill. He attended strictly to his duties for six months, while he was laboring under so severe an attack of cardiac disease, as to be unable to sleep in a horizontal position; and he never closed his eyes at night without the feeling that the chances were against his ever opening
them again in this world. The consciousness of his physical condition must have weighed heavily upon his ardent nature, but it never interfered in the least degree with the performance of his duties.'
* His father, being satisfied that the routine of a physician's life would be fatal to his son's constitution, obtained for him, without his knowledge, an appointment as a Surgeon in the Navy. He was greatly indisposed to the place, and the position he held on ship-board was always odious to him. His aversion to a sea life amounted to detestation; but he again yielded to his father's wishes, and after his examination prepared himself cheerfully for his new duties.
Now commences the actual career of this remarkable man: and henceforth his life is a succession of wild and romantic adventures, which sound more like the creations of some highly imaginative fictionist than the actual exploits of a slight youth, who, with a mortal disease in his system, has quietly schooled himself to the determination to die in harness.' His first appointment to active service was as physician to our Chinese Embassy, when Mr. CUSHING was sent out as Commissioner to China. The Commissioner went out over-land, with the design of meeting the frigate at Bombay that was to carry him to Canton, and Doctor KANE embarked in the ‘Brandywine,' expecting to join him at that port. He sailed in May, 1843, and had the advantage of stopping at Madeira and Rio de Janeiro. At the latter place he improved his time by making an ascent of the Eastern Andes, which rear their fantastic forms on the coast of Brazil. The notes which he made of this exploration were unhappily lost while he was travelling on the Nile. On the voyage from Rio to Bombay he employed himself assiduously in the study of navigation and modern languages, and Mr. Cushing not having arrived when the ‘Brandywine' reached the latter port, he directly began to visit the caves of Elephanta, and every other object of interest in the neighborhood, and then started on an elephant-hunt in the island of Ceylon. The frigate, with the Commissioner and his suite, arrived at Canton in July, 1844: and impatient at the tedious progress of Chinese diplomacy, he obtained leave of absence from Mr. Cushing, and started to make an exploration of the Philippine Islands. He traversed the largest of the group, Luconia, from Manila across to its Pacific coast, and, at great hazards and imminent perils, he made the descent of the crater of the Tael: a feat which but one European had ever attempted, and he without success. This feat very nearly cost him his life : first, by the poisonous gases he inhaled; and secondly, from the attacks of the wild natives, who were outraged by his sacrilegious invasion of the nce of their Deity. After the departure of the embassy, he remained at Canton to establish himself as a physician; but, at the end of six months, he was struck down with the rice-fever, and came near dying; but he recovered after a long illness, and left Whampoa for Singapore, in company with a young Englishman, intending to make the overland journey for Europe; and while en route, he visited Borneo and Sumatra, and crossing over to the Indian Peninsula, he made the ascent of the Himalaya Mountains. Arriving in Calcutta about the time the great DWAKANOTH TAGORE was preparing to start on his visit to England, he joined the suite of the princely East Indian, and having visited Persia and Syria, parted from him at Alexandria, whence he visited Thebes and the Pyramids, and, in the course of his wanderings, formed the acquaintance of Professor LEPSIUS. Here again he twice narrowly escaped with his life; once in a skirmish with the Bedouins, in which he was wounded in the leg, and then from an attack of the plague. After six months of travel, he determined to return to Manila, and establish himself as a physician ;