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DUNCAN, HENRY, a Scottish clergyman and ne originator of savings banks, born near Dumfries, in 1774; died in 1846. In 1810 he instituted at Ruthwell a parish savings' bank, the success of which led to the establishment of other banks of the same character. He also discovered in 1828 the footprints of animals on layers of clay between the sandstone beds in a quarry in Dumfriesshire. He was the author of The Cottage Fireside and The Sacred Philosophy of the Seasons (1836–37).
BLESSINGS OF THE DEW.
The beneficial effects of dew, in reviving and refreshing the entire landscape, have already been adverted to. How frequently do we observe the aspect of the fields and woods improved by the dew of a single night. In the summer season, especially, when the solar heat is most intense, and when the luxuriant vegetation requires a constant and copious supply of moisture, an abundant formation of dew often seasonably refreshes the thirsty herbs, and saves them from the parching drought. In Eastern countries like Judea, where the summer is fervid and long continued, and the evaporation excessive, dew is both more needed, and formed in much greater abundance, than in our more temperate climate. There it may be said to interpose between the vegetable world and the scorching influence of a powerful and unclouded sunto be the hope and joy of the husbandman, the theme of his earnest prayer and heartfelt gratitude. Accordingly, the sacred writers speak of it as the choicest of blessings wherewith a land can be blessed ; while the want of it is with them almost synonymous with a curse. Moses,
blessing the land of Joseph, classes the dew among "the precious things of heaven;" and David, in his lamentation over Saul and Jonathan, poetically invoking a curse upon the place where they fell, wishes no dew to descend upon the mountains of Gilboa. The Almighty himself, promising, by the mouth of one of His prophets, to bless His chosen people, says, “I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as a lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon." Here the refreshing and fertilizing effects of dew beautifully represent the prosperity of the nation which God specially favors and protects. The dew is also employed, by the prophet Micah, to illustrate the influence of God's people in the midst of an evil world, where he says, that “the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people, as a dew from the Lord.” What emblem more expressive of that spiritual life, in some of its members, which preserves a people from entire corruption and decay !
Another beautiful application of the dew in Scripture, is its being made to represent the influence of heavenly truth upon the soul. In the commencement of his sublime song, Moses employs these exquisite expressions : “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew; as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." Similar passages might be quoted from the sacred writers, wherein, by a felicity of comparison that all must at once acknowledge, the word and ordinances of God are likened to the dew of the field.
As the dew of a night will sometimes bring back beauty and gloom to unnumbered languishing plants and flowers, and spread a pleasant freshness over all the fields, so will some rich and powerful exposition of revealed truth, or some ordinance, dispensed with genuine fervor, not unfrequently enliven and wholly refresh a Christian congregation, or even spread a moral verdure over a large portion of the visible church.-Sacred Philosophy of the Seasons.
DUNLAP, WILLIAM, an American painter, dramatist, and historian, born at Perth Amboy, N. J., in 1766; died in 1839. He studied in London under Benjamin West, and on his return to America busied himself with painting and dramatic writing. His best play is The Father of an Only Child, which was brought out in 1789, and was very successful. He was sole manager of the Park Theatre, New York, from 1798 to 1805. He then gave himself up to the practice of his art, to literature, and to theatrical management. In 1821 he painted his first great picture “Christ Rejected” (18x12 ft.), after the style of one by West on the same subject; in 1828 appeared “ Calvary” (18x14 ft.), both of which he exhibited in the principal cities of the United States. He was the author of The Memoirs of George Frederick Cooke (1812); A Life of Charles Brockden Brown, A History of the American Theatre, a standard work (1833) ; History of the Arts of Design in the United States (1834); Thirty Years Ago; or the Memoirs of a Water Drinker (1836); A History of New York for Schools (1837), and a History of New Netherlands, Province of New York, and State of New York, with a curious and valuable appendix (1839). Mr. Dunlap was one of the founders of the New York Academy of Design.
It was in the month of April, in the year 1823, that I embarked with two hundred and fifty others, in the steamboat Chancellor Livingston, for Albany. After the bustle of leave-taking, and the various ceremonies and multifarious acts of hurried business which daily take place on the departure of one of these selfmoving hotels from the city of New York, I had leisure to look around me, with the intention of finding some acquaintance as a companion, or at least to satisfy my curiosity as to who were on board. I had seen many faces known to me when I first entered the boat, but they had vanished : all appeared, at first, strange. I soon, however, observed James Fenimore Cooper, the justly celebrated novelist, in conversation with Dr. Francis. . I soon after noted a man of extraordinary appearance, who moved rapidly about the deck, and occasionally joined the gentlemen above named. His age might be forty; his figure was tall, thin, and muscular; one leg was shorter than the other, which, although it occasioned a halt in his gait, did not impede his activity ; his features were extremely irregular, yet his physiognomy was intelligent, and his eyes remarkably searching and expressive. I had never seen Mathews, either in private or public, nor do I recollect that I had at that time ever seen any representation of him, or heard his person described ; but I instantly concluded that this was no other than the celebrated mimic and player. Doubtless his dress and manner, which were evidently English, and that peculiarity which still marks some of the votaries of the histrionic art, helped me to this conclusion. I say, “still marks"; for I remember the time when the distinction was so gross that a child would say, “There goes a playactor."
The figure and manner of the actor were sufficiently uncommon to attract the attention of a throng of men usually employed in active business, but here placed in a situation which, of all others, calls for something to while away time ; but when some who traced the likeness
between the actor on the deck of the steamboat, and the actor on the stage of the theatre, buzzed it about that this was the mirth-inspiring Mathews, curiosity showed itself in as many modes as there were varieties of character in the motley crowd around him. This very natural and powerful propensity, which every person who exposes himself or herself upon a public stage, to the gaze of the mixed multitude, wishes ardently to excite, was, under the present peculiar circumstances of time, place, and leisure, expressed in a manner rather annoying to the hero of the sock, who would now have willingly appeared in the character of a private gentleman.
One clown, in particular followed the object of his very sincere admiration with a pertinacity which deserved a better return than it met. He was to Mathews a perfect Monsieur Tonson, and his appearance seemed to excite the same feelings. The novelist and physician pointed out to me the impertinent curiosity of this admirer of the actor, and we all took some portion of mischievous delight in observing the irritability of Mathews. It increased to a ludicrous degree when Mathews found that no effort or change of place could exclude his tormentor from his sight; and when, after having made an effort to avoid him, he, on turning his head, saw Monsieur Tonson fixed as a statue, again listening in motionless admiration to his honeyed words, the actor would suddenly change from the animated relation of story or anecdote, with which he had been entertaining his companions, to the outpouring of a rhapsody of incoherent nonsense, uttered with incredible volubility. .. But he found that this only made his admirer listen more intently, and open his eyes and mouth more widely and earnestly.-History of the American Theatre.