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Vice-President J. R. BRODHEAD proposed 'The Health of the Stewards,' which was responded to by Steward J. D. VAN BUREN, who, with his characteristic wit and eloquence, narrated the great difficulties which had attended their enterprise, and of the triumphant success which had at last crowned their exertions.
Mr. WRIGHT, from Communipaw, New-Jersey, was then introduced, who, in a most happy manner, deplored the degeneracy of our neighboring State, and its subjugation by Rail-road Companies. He gave in conclusion :
•The HEALTH OF Hon. Gulian C. VerPLANCK.'
Dr. J. C. BEALES, Ex-President of Saint GEORGE's, being called out, made a few remarks on the Dutch character. He alluded more particularly to the successful efforts of Dutchmen to keep out water.'
Dr. BEADLE, being called upon, responded for the Physicians of the Society :
• The office of Physician is a sinecure, as the Sons of Saint Nicholas are never sick. Their temperate habits, their untiring industry, and, above all, their uninterrupted devotion to the pipe, with the use of the buckwheat-cake, enabled them to defy disease.'
Collector SCHELL was then, after much effort, induced to get on his legs. He contended for the independence of the State Sovereignties, as 'imperiâ in imperio;' alluded to the many important posts of honor and trust, under the General and State Goveruments, which had been filled by members of the Saint Nicholas Society, showing the great confidence reposed in its members; and contended that the confidence was not misplaced. He concluded by giving :
"THE HEALTI OF Governor ROBERT J. WALKER.'
The Governor returned his acknowledgments, and expressed the belief that within twenty years, New-York would command the commerce and exchanges of the world, and, as a means of hastening that consummation, recommended the plan of the old Amsterdam Bank, of issuing no certificates save on deposits of hard specie. This was loudly cheered.
Dr. MACKAY made a few remarks after Governor WALKER. He spoke of England: there was 'life in the old boy yet,' for twenty, forty, ay, for two hundred years to come. There is yet room for both England and America in the world: let us pull together in peace and amity.
Mr. R. B. COLEMAN, of Saint NICHOLAS' Hotel, was called up by Mr. VAN WAGENEN, in a vote of thanks for his efficient coöperation with the Stewards. Mr. COLEMAN alluded to his entertainment of the various Charitable Societies during his connection with the Astor House. He hoped that he had made arrangements by which the Saint Nicholas Society would find a permanent home at the Saint NICHOLAS Hotel.
Mr. J. H. KIP proposed the health of 'Hon. Hamilton Fish,' the founder of the Saint Nicholas Society ; which was drank with all the honors.
Mr. G. F. Train, author of 'Young America,' recently returned from a seven years' cruise around the world, made a few remarks complimentary to the Society, and to the city of New-York. At half past-twelve precisely, the Society adjourned.
We must be allowed to state that the occasion passed off most happily, and that the dinner was a complete success.' We were, however, sorry to miss many familiar faces, the representatives of Old New - York. Where were the STUYVESANTS, BREVOORTS, BENSONS, BLEECKERS, CRUGERS, DE PEYSTERS, FIELDS, HOFFMANS, OOTHOUTS, RAPELYES, REMSENS, VAN ANTWERPS, VAN BLARCOMS, and the VAN DAJS? Where was our venerable friend, Dr. J. W. FRANCIS, without whose presence no New-York reunion can ever be complete ? - the Sons of Saint
NICHOLAS can never give him up, venerable though he may be, yet tough as Dutch kruller : the highest honors of the Society await him.
The singing of a hymn to Saint Nicholas was a new feature in our celebration, and was given with fine effect. The whole assembly rose, and sang the hymn to the tune of Old Hundred,' that great composition of MARTIN LUTHER, the glorious * High Dutchman,' as it was originally written, and not in the emasculated version attempted to be imposed upon us by certain Yankee singing masters. It is proper to state, that the verses were from the classic pen of the senior Steward.
Contrary to the old-established usage of the Society, a reporter was invited by. the Stewards, with the view of giving to the public the address of Hon. Governor WALKER. We venture the hope, that no reporter may ever again be introduced ; Old New-York does not sanction this modern innovation, which, ere long, will in. sist upon intruding itself upon the privacy of our fire-sides, and the domestic circle, for the amusement of the general public at their breakfast-tables. It is a Yankee invention, and as such, must be frowned down by the Sons of Saint NICHOLAS. The world should know that the KNICKERBOCKER MAGAZINE is the only legitimate organ of the Society; and to it all New-Yorkers will apply for the requisite information. Our thanks are hereby tendered to the Assistant Secretary, for his valuable services in procuring the materials for this report. December 12th, 1857.
J. G, A.
GOSSIP WITH READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS. - THE 'Atlantic Monthly' for December ‘holds its own,' at least in one respect. The 'Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,' as in the initial-number, is king over all his fellows in the well-printed pages which they severally serve to fill. He will be imitated, no doubt: there will be men, unlike him speaking from a rich mind, who will doubtless endeavor to elevate their farthing-tapers beside his clearburning sperm : in precisely suchwise as the clever author of 'Nothing to Wear' was imitated quasily by the writers of 'Nothing to Eat,’ ‘Nothing to Do,' and half-a-dozen of other ‘Nothings,' of the same stamp. But they can't extinguish his light in their ‘ineffectual fires.' 'It 's mighty aizy,' as poor Power used to say, with a humming twirl of his shillelah, “it's mighty aizy to say, 'Put him out,' but who 's a-going to do it ?' Listen to one or two of his pregnant subsections :
'Where have I been for the last three or four days ? Down at the island, deer-shooting. How many did I bag? I brought home one buck shot. The island is where? No matter. It is the most splendid domain that any man looks upon in these latitudes. Blue sea around it, and running up into its heart, so that the little boat slumbers like a baby in lap, while the tall ships are stripping naked to fight the hurricane outside, and storin-slay-sails banging and flying in ribbujos. Trees in streiches of miles; beeches, oaks, most numerous – many of them hung with moss, looking like bearded Druids; some coiled in the clasp of huge, dark-stemmed grape-vines. Open patches where the sun gets in and goes to sleep, and the winds come so tinely sitied that they are as soft as swan's down. Rocks scattered about — Stonehenge-like monoliths. Fresh-water lakes; one of them Mary's lake, crystal-clear, full of flashing pickerel lying under the lily-pads like tigers in the jungle. Six pounds of ditto one morning for breakfast. Ego fecit.
The divinity-student looked as if he would like to question my Latin. No, Sir, I said, you need not trouble yourself. There is a bigher-law in graminar, not to be put down by Andrews and SroDDARD. Then I went on.
“Such hospitality as that island has seen there has not been the like of in these our New-England sovereignties. There is nothing in the shape of kindness and courtesy that can make life beautiful, which bas not found its home in that ocean-principality. It has welcomed all who were worthy of welcome, from the pale clergyman who came to breathe the sea-air with its medicinal salt and iodine, to the great statesman who turned his back on the affairs of empire, and smootbed bis Olympian forehead, and flashed his white teeth in merriment over the long table, where his wit was the keepest and his story the best.
•[I do p't beliere any man ever talked like that in this world. I do n't believe I talked just so ; but the fact is, in reporting one's conversation one cannot help Blairing it up more or less, ironing out crumpled paragraphs, starching limp, ones, and crimping and plaiting a little sometimes; it is as natural as prioking at the looking. glass.]
-How can a man help writing poetry in such a place ? Every body does write poetry that goes there. In the state archives, kept in the library of the Lord of the Isle, are whole volumes of unpublished verse — sume by well-known hands, and others, quite as good by the last pe iple you would think of as versifiers — men who could pension off all the genuine poets in the countrv, and buy ten acres of Boston Common, if it was for sale, wiib wbat they bad left. Of course I had to write my little copy of verses with the rest; here it is, if you will hear me read it. When the sun is in the west, vessels sailing in an easterly direction look bright or dark to one who observes them from he north or south, according to the tuck they are sailing upon. Watching them from one of the windows of the great mansion, saw these perpetual changes, and moralized thus:
• As I look from the isle, o'er its billows of green
To the billows of foam-crested blue,
Half-dreaming, my eyes will pursue ;
As the chaff in tbe stroke of the flail;
The sun gleamiog bright on her sail.
Of breakers that whiten and roar;
They see him that gaze from the shore !
To the rock that is under his lee,
O'er the gulfs of the desolate sea.
Where life and its ventures are laid,
May see us in sunshine or shade;
We'll trim our broad sail as before,
Nur ask how we look from the shore!'
We think the slight emendations' in the following piece of pieced-verse, will remind the old readers of the KNICKERBOCKER of the sad fate which befel the effusion of a foregone bard in the pages of this Magazine, embraced in • The Victim of a Proof-Reader,' in the Ollapodiana' papers:
Here is a little poem I sent a short time since to a committee for a certain celebration. I understood that it was to be a festive and convivial occasion, and ordered my: self accordingly. It seems the president of the day was what is called a 'teetvtaller.' I received a note from him in the following words, containing the copy subjoined, with the emendations annexed to it:
“Dear Sir: Your poem gives good satisfaction to the committee. The sentiments expressed with reference to liquor are not, however, those generally entertained by this community. I bave therefore consulied the clergyınan of this place, who has made some slight changes, which he thinks will remove all objections, and keep the valuable portions of the poem. Please to inform me of your charge for said poem. Our means are limited, etc., etc., etc.
“Yours, with respect.'
• HERE IT IS - WITH THE SLIGHT ALTERATIONS!
'Come! fill a fresh bumper -- for why should we go
sugar of lead
stable boys smoking long-nines
strychnine and whiskey, and ratsbane and beer
Luty tive litt gott Scrittrt trat tett os for the-ak The company said I had been shabbily treated, and advised me to charge the committee double -- which I did. But as I never got my pay, I do n't know that it made much difference. I am a very particular persou about having all I write printed as I write it. I require to see a proot, a revise, a re-revise, and a double re-revise, or fourthproof rectified impresion of all my productions, especially verse. Manuscripts are such puzzles !' HOLMES' are no puzzles.' DOUBTLESS we have in our metropolis, in the great mansions of the Fifth-Avenue, and othersome marble and 'brownstone-front' dwellings, in choice localities, sumptuous and splendid parties; but what are these, to a genuine old-fashioned Country Molasses- Candy Party ? Such an one we recently attended at the spacious mansion of our distinguished friend and neighbor,' Colonel S. who, being engaged in affairs of state at Albany, was unable to be present. The rooms were thrown open at eight to the assembled company — 'small but select,' not more than twenty or thirty being present. (And now for a slight touch of JENKINS, who does up' the high-life-society sketches for the 'London Morning-Post,' and his American apes on this side,' who write letters from the fashionable watering-places during the summer season : ') The ladies were all
a rich brown silk, white cape, and a charming lace head-dress; Mrs. Mand Mrs. C- attired in rich black silk dresses, with tasteful coiffurcs and ornaments; Mrs. Q-, in a charming green silk, with’short sleeves and rich black velvet head-dress, and plain gold bracelets, which set off to advantage the delicate whiteness of her fair arms; Miss F- S- and Miss M C—, in exceedingly handsome and graceful robes-à-quille ; Miss E DOM, in a close-fitting white basque, with a delicatelytinted muslin skirt; Miss De P-, in a plaid merino, of a choice and elegant pattern; with others, which we cannot now recall. Among the
gentlemen were the Messrs. F and D D-; Mr. McG
-; Mr. N. -; Messrs. E
and P- H—; Mr. F with his courtly manners, and old-time reminiscences of similar scenes in the country; Mr. C—, very modest and retiring, but fond of fun, of the quiet, 'right sort;' and Mr. N-Q -; all the male guests in black, save the last-named gentleman, who with his accustomed good-taste, wore an elegantly-fitting suit of rich dark brown, which the ladies one and all pronounced "terribly becoming' to his fine figure and compact form. (O ye JENKINSES of America! how surely do you 'earn your wages!' The foregoing is the hardest piece of writing we have accomplished in a twelvemonth.) And now the music ceases, and we are summoned to the kitchen; spacious, commodious, and clean and neat as a new pin, in every part; the shields upon the walls (tin pans, dippers, sauce-pans, and things') shining as bright as polished steel. Manly and fair hands are laved and dried upon white napkins; 'blobs' of the sweet-smelling masses are given out from the ready and abundant 'tins.' And now the sport begins universal pulling' commences. Bejewelled fingers become 'all stuck up,' but are presently liberated again: that which was but now a black lump, has become a twisted golden string; until a casual spectator might fancy himself in a saccharine rope-walk, conducted by a score or more of halfdemented 'manipulators,' 'pullers' and 'twisters,' of both sexes. Refreshments anon succeed in the dining-room, with beverages 'which cheer but not inebriate:' then all go up into the drawing-rooms, where singing, dancing, and waltzing, until only just the hour 'ayant the twal' close the performances. Such is a 'Molasses-Candy Party' at 'Cedar-Hill on the 'Udson.'
Here ensueth a few more:
'I HAVE been often asked by strangers, (that is, persons from other cities, though men of intelligence, I admit,) why it is that there is, or seems to be, no centralization of a literature in Philadelphia ? Why we have no recognized exponent of our own literary talent - no Philadelphia 'KNICKERBOCKER,' 'Atlantic Monthly,' etc., etc., whose pages are devoted to the development and encouragement of the genius within us, if we had any ? and that we had, was proved, they thought, by the contributions which went from here to fill the columns of journals and periodicals in other cities. Boston had its peculiar publications, sustained by its peculiar literati; New-York, ditto; other cities, ditto, ditto; while our talent went travel. ling through the mails after an opening.'
“This, and much more of the same kind has been said to me, and asked of m3; but I have not answered. But, at length, impertinent individuals have hinted that the cause of this want here, (as well as of my silence on the subject) was a lack of talent, a dearth of sufficient literary ability to get up and sustain a periodical from our own resources, with our own pens. They have asked: “Where is your talent? Where, and who are your writers, authors, poets — literati, in short ? Show us twelve - only twelve ?'
"And I have not shown them.
"Wherefore? Because our men of mind, our poets, biographers, 'breakfasttable Autocrats,' etc., are, with a very few exceptions, men of such 'rare modesty,'