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Day after day witnessed Volatile's visits to the syren. He exhausted his allowance, borrowed of me, and wrote home for more. Poor Captain Volatile ! Little did you, in the simplicity of your heart, imagine that your beloved son was preparing to present you with a French daughter-in-law! It was well that you were naturally of an unsuspicious temper: had it been otherwise, you would have actually expired with indignation. Volatile was so infatuated, that it seemed as if nothing short of a miracle could save him. Had An. gelique given him credit for the purity of heart which he possessed, he would have been ruined outright. One day, however, as he was sitting with his intended bride, a pretty little child ran into the room, and clasping the knees of Angelique, cried :
• Ah ! maman ! combien je vous aime.' • N'est elle pas jolie comme un ange?' asked Angelique. Beautiful!' said Volatile : 'but why does she call you mother?'
'She is my child !' replied the unblushing Parisian. Volatile stared aghast. After sitting a few minutes longer, he arose and retreated to the door. He wished the lady 'good morning, but it was an eternal farewell. He never saw her face again. And thus ended his nine days' delusion, and the reign of the French Dancing Girl.
THE LAND OF LOVE.
Oh, Love!-- no habitant of earth thou art!' - CHILDE HAROLD.
Axo dost thou ask where Love is found
Unchangeable and pure,
From human ills secure?
And search through the luxurious Eas!
Hast thon yet found the gem ?
Decks it that diadem ?
Oh! do not ask - but look, and see Gaze on the regions of the North :
And in that chilly clime,
Mark the seraph shineth forth, Without a darkening trace
Untinged by wo or crime: of selfish feeling on its name --
Ah! here, too, often sorrow flings Of sorrow's mists, to dim its flame. Her gloomy fetters o'er his wings. Turn thee to the far southern land :
Not even in our own sweet isles Say, hast thou found it there?
Can we the spirit claim; Boast they Love's smiling, rosy band,
Sometimes o'er us he gently smiles, Without a thorn of care ?
With pure and holy flame : No!-- Passion's steps have o'er them been, Tis but the glory of his eye, To mar the beauty of the scene.
That looks on us in passing by.
As flow the lava's burning waves,
As bursts the earthquake-shock,
E'en like their own siroc-
Pure love is not of morral birth,
Nor oft to mortals given :
But oh! its home is heaven!
MARY ANNE BROWNE.
NAMES OF TOWNS IN THE UNITED STATES.
Our countrymen have claimed for themselves an inventive genius superior to that of any other people. This may be true, so far as the mechanical arts are concerned; but when the imagination has been exercised in the invention of words, by which to designate the numerous cities, towns, villages, and rivers of our country, it is evident that there is a great deficiency of originality, as well as good taste.
The writer of these pages was accidentally led to notice this subject, while making some statistical researches, during the winter of 1835 and '36. The frequent occurrence of the same names in almost every state in the Union, was the cause of much perplexity, and induced him to examine the subject at length. This examination reulted in the following analysis of American names.
The people of ancient as well as of modern times designated their cities, towns, etc., by names peculiar to themselves. Every nation had a class of names as distinct as its language. These were seldom borrowed by others, as foreigners could not understand the meaning which was intended to be conveyed by them among the people with whom they originated. These names indicated the particular object for which the towns or cities that bore them were built, or to whose munificence they owed their origin and prosperity, if fortune had favored them with the latter. In other cases, they obtained their appellations from the peculiarities of their situation, or from the avocations of their inhabitants. The names of mountains, rivers, and other geographical divisions, were alike indicative of their situation.
The cities of ancient Egypt bore names which at once made known to what god or goddess they owed their protection, or whose fanes of devotion they had the honor and exclusive privilege of containing. The Hebrew names of cities, mountains, rivers, etc., were, in some way, connected with their history or location, or with the religious opinions of the particular tribes which inhabited them.
Greek and Roman appellations, also, originated from similar sources, or were more or less connected in their origin, with their mythology. Asiatic names, particularly those of Hindostan, indicate by their termination whether they designate a district, a city, a town, or a village; whether it is fortified; whether in a morass, on a hill, and other peculiarities in its situation. The origin of these may, perhaps, be attributed to the copiousness of the languages from which they are derived, as in them much may be expressed by a single word or termination. Many East Indian names can be traced to the Sanscrit language, in which their true meaning may be found. The same remarks will apply to other places in Asia, the original names of which are formed in its primitive languages.
European names also contain significant meanings in the languages of her aboriginal inhabitants, when they owe their origin to them; and although in their terminations they have been altered to suit the peculiar dialects of the people by whom they are now em ployed, are not unfrequently the medium through which may be
traced the character of the people who originally gave name to, and inhabited, the particular regions of country in question.
England, which was colonized by Normans, Danes, Saxons, Romans, etc., retains the names given by the descendants of these to the several parts occupied by them. The course pursued by the Teutonic, Gothic, and Celtic nations, from which sprang the present people of Europe, can be traced as well by the names they respectively gave to the countries through which they passed in their mi. grations, as by the more usual method of tracing the affinities of languages, or by an etymological analysis.
These remarks are made, to show how closely the names of places are identified with the history of the countries in which they are found. This is very far from being the case in our own country. How many names are there in the United States, which are employed to designate our numerous cities and towns, that convey a meaning expressive of any peculiarity connected with their situation or history? And how few there are, in proportion to the great num! derived from the aboriginal inhabitants !
It would seem that the first settlers of the Union were not fied with exterminating the lawful possessors of the soil, but in der that their memory might die with them, they altered the names which the aborigines gave to their country, and which were always expressive, for others, borrowed from foreign countries, wholly inapplicable to designate them. The Indian names were well calculated to perpetuate the memory of the several tribes, beside being more melodious in sound than the English ones. The copiousness of their languages, and the method of compounding words, enabled the Indian nations to express in a single word what we could only do in a dozen.
Who will deny that the ancient name of the island of New York, Manhattan, is not more beautiful than that by which it is now known? Beside, it is a lasting monument of an event which must forever remain a foul blot upon the first Dutch navigators who landed on the island an event but a prelude of what was to follow, and which, even at the present moment, is occurring in our western borders, as the march of the whites encroach upon the soil of the aborigines. Manhattan is derived from the Indian word Manahactaniend, which means · The island where we all became intoxicated." Comment is unnecessary.
Nine only of our states have Indian names; the remainder are English or French. Our rivers have more generally retained the names by which they were known to the aborigines; but a city or town with an appellation of that character is extremely rare. In the eastern states, aboriginal names are more frequent than in other parts of the Union ; but they merely designate small sections of country, where there were formerly Indian settlements, and have only been preserved by those in the immediate vicinity. Handed down from father to son, they will, in a few generations, become totally extinct, save where English names have not been substituted by public authority.
* See HECKWELDER on the Indian languages.
Although the subject is not an important one, yet, in a literary point of view, and as a matter of curiosity, the investigation of the names of American towns may not be entirely destitute of interest.
In New-England, the names of towns and counties are chiefly borrowed from Great Britain. It would seem that the puritan fathers were desirous of preserving some memento of the country from which religions persecution drove them, to seek an asylum among the wilds of America. Where there had been native settlements, the Indian names were for a while retained. Such was the case with Salem, Boston, and Providence. But the determination of the colonists was to eradicate every thing that perpetuated the native tribes, and the ancient names of Naumkeag, Shawmut, and Mooshasuck, gave place to those above-mentioned. Towns which received their names previous to the revolution, borrowed them from well known places in England. Those named after, were from the heroes and patriots who made themselves conspicuous during that contest.
Worcester, Leicester, Gloucester, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bristol, Warwick, Somerset, Cambridge, Chelsea, Newport, Northampton, etc., are of the former class, and among the latter, are Hancock, Adams, Warren, Greene, Washington, Franklin, etc. It was quite a fashion, in those primitive days, to prefix the word new to many of their towns, and although they have attained the age of two centuries, they still retain it. New-York will probably retain her name until she is as old as London is now, or perhaps until she has shared the fate of Rome and Carthage.
The names would do very well, did not every state in the Union resorto the same vocabulary; and in many instances several counties in the same state have selected the same name. This is not only bad taste, but it causes much perplexity, and obliges one to designate the particular county as well as state, in which the town is located. The state of Maine includes among her towns many named after the European states and cities, both ancient and modern. The names of the patriots of the revolution, Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Jefferson, Lee, Montgomery, Hamilton, and Adams, have been given to counties and towns in all of the New-England states. There is a Washington in each of them, and a Franklin in all, save one.
The great state of New York or the 'Empire State,' as it is called seems to have ransacked the globe for appellations for her numerous towns. Every kingdom and empire has contributed its part. From the ancient kingdoms and states, she has borrowed Greece, Athens, Sparta, Troy, Jerusalem, Palmyra, Tyre, Utica, Corinth, Carthage, and Rome : Marathon and Macedon, also, have places among her towns. From the modern states, she has taken her Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Holland, Sardinia, Italy, Wales, China, Delhi, Peru, Chili, Mexico, etc., together with the following capitals : Stockholm, Petersburg, Copenhagen, Dresden, Berlin, Wilna, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Paris, Naples, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Amsterdam, Turin, Geneva, Vienna, Florence, Antwerp, Warsaw, Batavia, Canton, Cairo, Lima, etc. Well may she be called the • Empire State,' when the greatest kingdoms and empires, as well as their capitals, have places within her boundaries ! Not content with these, she has transplanted the names of their heroes, philosophers, law-givers and poets to her towns, and occasionally thrown in an Indian, French, and English name among them. The ancient names are, Homer, Hector, Lysander, Marcellus, Solon, Horace, Pompey, Brutus, Cato, Scipio, Hannibal, Romulus, Tully, Camillus, Manlius, Cincinnatus, Cicero, Seneca, Plato, Milo, Virgil, Fabius, Euclid, and Ovid! In scriptural names, she has an Eden, a Bethany, a Bethlehem, a Jericho, a Canaan, a Lebanon, a Hebron, and a Goshen!
Diana alone represents the ancient mythology – from which circumstance, one would suppose it to be meant for the Ephesian goddess of nature, denoting the nutritive power of the soil, as well as the mother of nations. The great men of England have contributed their part, and are as well represented as the learned of olden times. Scott, Byron, Milton, Dryden, Hume, and the unknown Junius, are each the appellations of her towns. All the revolutionary heroes, all the eminent statesmen, all the celebrated geniuses, and all the large land-speculators, have, with their names, added a link to the heterogeneous and conglomerated mass of counties, towns, and villages, which constitute the state of New York.
The cities and towns in the middle and southern states are generally named from European places, or from the surnames of individuals, with the words, town, field, boro', ville, etc., affixed to them. The names of distinguished Americans are common, as they should be, to all the states.
There is a county or town of Washington in every state and territory of the Union, except Delaware ; and in the majority of them, there is both a county and a town of this name. The name of Franklin occurs twenty-one times, exclusive of numerous Franklinvilles, and Franklintons. Jefferson, Madison, and Munroe, including a few with the termination of ville, and ton, each occur from fifteen to twenty times. Adams nearly as many. Jackson, with the terminations, thirty-six times. Hancock and Montgomery are about as frequent as Adams. Distinguished generals appear to have the preference over philosophers and statesmen, in having their names given to towns. Twenty-five towns, some of which are places of considerable importance, bear the appellation of Warren; nineteen that of Fayette and Fayetteville ; and the residence of the latter general, • La Grange,' has been given to ten more. Stcuben, De Kalb, Pulaski, Knox, Lee, Macon, Jay, Pinckney, and Livingston, have their places. Columbia is found in sixteen different states, exclusive of ten Columbus's and as many Columbiana's and Columbiaville's. Fredonia, Freedom, Freeholă, Freeman, Freeport, Freetown, and other names commencing with Free, occur twenty-two times.
Milton, England's favorite bard, has not been sufficiently immortalized by the country that gave him birth. Sixteen towns in the United States feel pride in bearing his name.
The capitals and principal cities of foreign countries seem to have been favorite names with the founders, or the persons by whom our towns were christened. Athens, with which so many interesting events are associated, occurs eleven times ; Berlin, eight; Canton, eleven ; Dover, ten; Dublin, six ; Paris, nine ; Troy, eleven, and Salem, sixteen times.