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that their lights are hidden. They write, but do n't print. Their immediate family. circles know of, and appreciate, their talents; but the world - the world, Sir, is lamentably ignorant of them. That's it, Sir!
But we've got them! Men who think; men who argue; men who evolve ; (that's a neat term, I flatter myself !) men who rhyme, and men who
- Why, only yesterday, I discovered a new Author in embryo : a Philadelphian, Sir, too, body and broadcloth.' No other than my own third cousin, Doctor SKUTIS — GUY A. SKUTIS, M.D.
SKUTIS, Sir, is about to shine upon the world of letters. After imitating the bad (for it is bad for the world) example of Philadelphia genius, in ‘hiding his light under a bushel'- of MSS. - for years, he is about to come forth mildly (not to rush) into print. He yesterday confided his intention to me, and the reasons that induced him to determine upon it, and brought me the Introduction to his proposed 'Book,' to read and criticise. I told him it was good! and he but, stop; I've got it yet: (he left it for me to punctuate: he is rather weak on punctuation :) it won't tire you too much to have me copy it for you; will it? Beside, there's a wholesome satire in it, that, in my opinion, is good! as I told him. And, beside, again, if you print it, it will serve him, as a tip-top advertisement of the "Book,' à la New - York Ledger, you know; with the great advantage of being gratis ; for you won't charge any thing: will you, friend KNICK? Any how, here it is! (with the punctuation perfected — a-hem !)
"When my friend WAGGLES returned from his European tour, (of three weeks' duration, exclusive of the passages there and back,) he showed me a tolerably thick portfolio, and exclaimed triumphantly: “There, Guy, my boy, is the material for
6. What book?' asked I innocently.
• I looked, and read upon the first sheet of about a ream of foolscap : ‘IMPRESSIONS OF THE OLD WORLD, SOCIAL, MORAL, AND POLITICAL : BY A TRAVELLING PHILOSOPHER.' I turned the leaf, and saw 'PREFACE' in large letters; but not another word: page third, totally virgin, and ditto the whole ream.
"What do you mean,' exclaimed Iin amazement, 'by calling this the material of your 'Book'?
"Why, is n't it? What is the material of a book or a Ms. but paper ?'
"Of course: but you know what I mean. Where's the contents, notes, chapters — the 'Impressions,' in short ?'
"In that ream of foolscap, my dear Guy, the sum total of any 'moral, social, or political impressions' that I am aware of having received, is recorded.'
"Oh! ah! I see! very good l hal hal a 'sell' - hey?'
any sale.' "Sale? What do you mean? You can't sell a title-page, and a ream of blank paper, for a book!' "Of course not, my boy: I don't mean to try. But I mean to fill the blank
and then sell' it, and the public, together; to say nothing of the publisher.' "But you said you had received no impress
"I know, I know : but I'm going to. You 're wonderfully unsophisticated for a literary amateur. Don't you know how books of travelling 'Impressions,' etc., are fabricated ? Thus : you
"Yes! do n't interrupt me. You take a 'trip,' or rather a race, through foreign ' lions,' (or even you do n't take one,) buying cheap lithographs of celebrated scenes, edifices, etc., at each halt for dinner, or sleep. Then, upon your return, you go to a library, and get out several genuine Travel-Books of a moderately past date, and still more moderate celebrity. Then you get your material ready, and go to work thus: Taking Number One of the genuine books, you (having got a friend to write you a preface) turn to Chapter First. You find that the genuine traveller was therein delighted with city A, disgusted with steamer B, on river C, charmed with society D, and thought ruin E the finest, grandest specimen of architecture F, in the vicinity. You also find that he met on steamer, a disagreeable old fogy G, several noisy, fidgety children, and inquisitive women, which we will call collectively H. Very good You commence your Chapter First. Therein you are disgusted with city A, delighted with steamer B, on river C, bored by society D, and (consulting your cheap lithograph of the place) think ruin E much inferior, as specimen of architecture F, to ruin X, which latter (with eye on lithograph) you proceed to dilate upon scientifically, or what amounts to the same, uvintelligibly. You wind up by a pleasant fiction of an intelligent tourist, with a fascinating daughter, and an interesting child with a romantic history attached to it, whom you met on steamer, and you promise to give the romantic history in a future chapter. (This you of course do n't do, by-the-by; but, by a master stroke of art, you keep up the reader's desire for the aforesaid romance, by dark allusions to it every few chapters, and farther promises for its future relation, and thus get him through your book hopefully.) You have now got Chapter First triumphantly completed, and turning to travel-book Number Two, you select a second chapter, as a guide to your Second Chapter, upon which you proceed to work in the same adinirable manner. For Chapter Third, take Book Third, on similar priuciples, and so on, till having exhausted the number of books, you recommence with Number One, and repeat, and recommence and repeat, until you have worked through your material, and finished your 'Impressions.' In order to be eminently original, however, you do n't travel in the same order as any of your prototypes, of course, but skip about quite in your own manner, which is done by simply changing the order of your models' chapters, and taking a tenth of one of them, for a fifteenth of yours, or a sixth for a ninth, etc.; being careful to keep your map by you, so that you do not make an impracticable jump across an impossible-to-be jumped-over space of land or water, in the given time. Farther, you interweave, here and there, clever little anecdotes, adventures, and rencontres, with celebrated personages, foreign or domestic, which you may easily collect from private sources, among some of your travelled friends who never publish, and are too modest to 'peach,' if they should detect themselves, masked, in your pages. Your ludy traveller friends are preferable for this little assistance generally, (though you must be shy of literary ladies and elderly spinsters,) as they have a natural love for contrabandistas, and an inclination to help all such little enterprises through. Lastly: In all your journeying from place to place, your meetings with personages, your descriptions of pageants, and your discussions upon historical topics, you must be extremely sparing of dutes; in fact, it is better not to use any. Instead, for iustance, of saying you arrived at A September third, or left B August ninth, or had the pleasure of being presented to His Royal Highness, etc., on the sunny morning of the first of June, etc., etc., say merely you arrived, etc., on Tuesday; left, etc., on Friday; was presented, etc., etc., on an unclouded summer morning, etc., etc. Then you go Halloa ! GUY! I'm a mummy, if he has n't gone to sleep!'
"I was very near it, I confess, FRED; but I've heard your explanation in toto. I do n't place implicit confidence in it, though, WAGGLES. I can't believe that the charming Books of Travel I have read with such pleasure, were such infamous humbugs.
"Come, come, old fellow! no personalities, you know. Wait till you read my 'Impressions;' wait till you see my success !!
The 'Impressions' were published, read, admired, puffed, sold-out, went into a second edition, a third, are now going through a fourth. I am convinced ! so convinced, that I am about to publish a similar 'infamous humbug' myself; with this difference; that I acknowledge, before I begin, the humbug alluded to.
I confess that these about-to-be-written 'Notes' are as yet virgin sheets of foolscap; that they have no nucleus of memorandum-book, map, or even cheap lithograph. But one fact I desire to state, and in consideration of my frankness in the foregoing confession, I wish to be believed. This is, that all the scenes I intend to describe, I have seen; all the people I speak of, I have met; all the events I narrate, I have had a personal knowledge of. This is all! I shall use no dates, and my names shall all be nobody's names, that I know of. Reader, is my introductory satisfactory? [End of Copy.]
'Ay! that 's the question! Is his Introductory satisfactory? I ask you, rcader, and you, friend KNICK: is it is it not satisfactory?
'And I conclude in the words of the New-York contemporary's 'specimen (advertisement) chapters,' above referred to: 'This is all that will be given (at present) of the (to be) thrilling and powerfully-written work' of my cousin GUY A. SKUTIS, M.D. Some folks' know GUY ASKUTIS!
The 'Rockland County Kite' has been withdrawn from the line, and laid up for the winter, in the room which contains our sub-library, adjoining the sanctum. It is not, however, the KITE of which we said some time ago, that 'due notice would be given of its second appearance.' It is the 'Leviathan' of American kites: of fine gauze-muslin; profusely illustrated, in bronze, blue, gold, and crimson, (chiefly from Mr. Trow's beautiful ‘Specimen-book,') including, for borders, several rich circular lace-patterns, from the Ladies' Magazines, which we never found so interesting before. Mechanical improvements in bow, mainshaft, cross-bar, and belly-band, have been introduced. The result was - perfection. It arose, for the first time, on a day soon after the middle of November: that it was a heavenly day, with a fine stiff breeze, is all that we can remember; for our excitement was great, and our young (marry, and our elderly) audience dotted the russet hill-side, clear down to the cedar-screen beyond the lawn. How she glided up the blue empyrean! The line - five balls, strong as wire - went smoking over the double-gloved hand over which it paid out,' until it stood, diminished almost to a speck, far off, and right over the wide Tappaän-Zee. It was a beautiful sight! And while we were holding the line, (it was our watch' at the moment,) we saw a triangle of wild-geese high in air, ‘to the south’ard a-steering, twenty-five on each side, with a head-goose-captain, nearing the end of the long Pier, with their hoarse "ke-lank! - ke-lank ! . ke-lonk! - ke-lonk ! - k'lank! - k'lank ! klank !' And just as they were over the out-works.of the Pier, our 'Rockland' made its first dive, a circular swoop of half a mile in diameter: at VOL. LI.
the same moment the Pier's 'Rockland' switch-engine sent up one of its unearthly shrieks: the goose-columns were startled : the commander wavered: they separated, turned round, took a long détour over Rockland Tower, and 'made the Hudson' again at SNEEDEN’s Landing, whence they paused a moment to see John VOORHEES catch two shad, and then sailed on their course.
The 'R and Kite' is daily 'on view' at the sanctumlibrary. Grits and shorts for our cow, oats and corn for our neighbor's chickens, postage-stamps, and other country-produce, received for admission. All good children admitted free.
Taking his cue, we suspect, from the forcible remark of some observant author, that 'the great Town is but a great HOTEL, where multitudinous guests are variously accommodated,' a new metropolitan correspondent, (from whom we shall be glad to hear again,) among other philosophical reflections, gives us the subjoined. We judge that if his hotel, by some unnatural convulsion of nature, should be turned bottom up*ward, he would be found in the cellar: in other words, that his room is on the first floor from the roof. But listen to the reflections of our elevated philosopher :
'I ENJOY in my room (it is No. 773) the rich blessing of contentment. Having but little to lose, I have but little to fear. I never find, on coming in, that a skilful thief has relieved me of my hard gold, or that a riotous crowd has broken the windows and spattered my magnificent clothes with mud. I never have my
dinner spoiled, and my feelings harrowed, by the unexpected coming of my agent, who breathlessly tells me that the Southern Fire-eaters have seized and confiscated my last cargo of goods, because an Abolition tract chanced to be found in the newspaper packing; or that the cholera has broken out on all my six plantations at once, and is daily sweeping off fourteen hundred of my negroes; or that the great commercial house of EXPAND, BURST AND COMPANY, which owes me three-quarters of a million, is just on the point of winding up! No, no; I am troubled with none of these things. I say, with some degree of pride, that I care nothing for money. I consider it belittling. If I had in reality the charge of the world, there should be no money. There should be no hoarding misers; making and losing fortunes in a day; no extravagance in princely houses, ruled over by capricious FORTUNE; no ghastliness in starving garrets, ruled over by stern, inflexible WANT. There should be no more of these! There should be no craving, except after goodness, and no neeessity, except that of existence. Men should labor, as now; but it should bo for the general good, and MY HOTEL should be free as air to every comer. And yet, after all, I am King in my own hotel. What matters it that my sway is unnoticed and unacknowledged ? Is not secret power always the best? My Hotel is a miniature world, containing within itself all the elements of life; and my guests are all in transitu. One day, from one of the lower rooms, I heard a feeble wail, announcing the dawn of life, and but a few hours after, I heard the cry from aged lips, which told me how a 'ight is the distance between the beginning and the end.' Thus I was taught that DEATH is a mightier king than I.
'Number 773 is exactly the place for a king to live in; it is elevated, and all kings occupy elevated positions. To be sure, my throne is not very expensive, but the ancient sovereigns had poorer ones than mine; yet none had so great power as they. Indeed, I remember having read that the Empress CATHERINE of Russia, had a palace of ice, which surely was far worse than living in Number 773., And I have always observed that gilded thrones are attended with the loss of real
power. Good Queen Victoria, for instance, is not allowed to rule her own nursery women, which would be quite a respectable dominion for a person of moderate ambition. Again, Number 773 is just the place for a philosopher: it is my DIOGENES' tub. I think it a great pity that hotels with fifteen stories were not known two thousand years ago. To be sure, ADAM did n't need them, for he was very favorably situated for meditation. He had also a valuable assistant in the person of his accomplishedlady,' who was exceedingly desirous of adding both to her own stock of knowledge and to his. No man can philosophize properly in a constant change of scene; and this, I suspect, is the reason why the glorious Nineteenth Century is so lamentably deficient in this respect. But here, in Number 773, every thing is familiar. I know all the furniture, and I fancy that it knows me. I fancy that in the dripping of my cracked wash-bowl, as I leave it after a hasty toilet, I have as good a Niobe, all tears at my departure, as can be found in all the marble statuary of No. 32. Now, what should I do, if I were rich? Of course, I should retain Number 773, unless I should move into Number 32, for the sake of experiment, and to make my old room seem the dearer to me on my return. And, of course, I should 'go to the Springs,' merely to get new opportunities for the study of character; and
"Suddenly, the gong sounded, throwing its brazen clamors through all the corridors of My Hotel, and arousing me from my reverie at my little window. Looking out, I saw several ragged urchins fighting for the short remnant of a cigar which I had just dropped ; and I was pleased to fancy myself clad in royal robes, and scattering largesses with a royal hand. 'Ah!' thought I, as I rose to go down, 'these balcyon, golden days of mine are not yet over. I am still the unenvied, though not anenviable, the occupant of Number 7731"
An inch of Laugh is worth an ell of Moan, in any state of the market. So thinks 'DEMOCRITUS,' whose wholesome essay followeth :
"WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE says well: 'All the world's a stage;' and this being so, is it not well to make it a pleasant performance, and go laughing through life ? I hold that it is. Let us have the comedy first, for the tragedy comes at the end. Let us not make a solemn drama of our life, and perhaps die twice, as some fictitious actors do; for then do we dull the edge of it, and at the second performance our death will not be more regretted than is the 'Blue Pirate of the Dark Green Gulf,' or any other melo-dramatic performer. It is well to make a kind of mellow drama of our life; but do it with all dignity, like honest JOHN FALSTAFF. With BEN JONSON, I hold it better to
-"Make the circle of your eyes
Flow with distilléd laughter.' •Du Bartas in 'hys Hystorie of y Worlde,' which treats not only of 'hys hystorie,' but of divers other matters, vilifies the greatest friend to jollity, tobacco, and says from its derivation of name, Toi Bacchoi, 'To Bacchus,' it evidently leads to drink. He speaks as one without authority, for he never tried it, or he must have sounded the praises of 'Heaven's last best gift to man.' He may have commenced tobacco-experience on a bad cigar, and so have become disgusted with the world, and tobacco: but over my old meerschaum, companion of my youth and collegodays, I have had more of good-will toward men enter my heart, and more pleasant fancies enter my brain, than ever could come out of it: and as I look on the old battered head of my friend MEERSCHAUM, we hold such amusing conversations, as