« ForrigeFortsett »
and, filled with vain hopes of recovering what is lost, the unthinking victim is led on, from step to step, till he finds it impossible to regain his ground, and he gradually sinks into a miserable outcast; or, by a bold and still more guilty effort, plunges at once into that gulf where he hopes protection from the stings of conscience, a refuge from the reproaches of the world, and oblivion from existence.
If we consider the dealing in lottery-tickets as a calling or employment, so far as the venders are concerned, it deserves to be treated, in legislation, as those acts are which are done to get money by making others suffer; to live upon society by making a portion of its members dishonest, idle, poor, vicious, and criminal. In its character and consequences, the dealing in lotterytickets is the worst species of gaming, and deserves a severer punishment than any fine would amount to. If it involves the moral and legal offences of fraud and cheating, does it not deserve an infamous punishment, if any fraudulent acquisition of mere property should be punished with infamy? Considered in its complicated wrongs to society, it certainly deserves the severest punishment, because it makes infamous criminals out of innocent persons, and visits severe afflictions on parents, employers, family connections, and others, who in this respect have done no wrong themselves; and thus the innocent are made to suffer for the guilty-an anomaly which is revolting to all our notions of justice, and to all the moral and natural sympathies of mankind.
Legislative Report, 1833.
WASHINGTON ALLSTON, 1779—1843.
“The element of beanty which in theo
Was a prevailing spirit, pure and high,
Now seems to whisper thou canst never die!
Their mantles on a noble lineage fall:
Death could not fold thee in Oblivion's pall:
Eternal watch shall keep beside thy tomb,
Its shades with Heaven's radianco illume:
H. T. TUCKERMAN.
WASHINGTON Allston was born at Charleston, S.C., on the 5th of November, 1779. He was sent to New England to receive his education, and graduated at Harvard College in 1800. Throughout his collegiate course, he showed his innate love of nature, music, poetry, and painting; and though, from his strong aspirations after the beautiful, the pure, and the sublime, he led what might be called an ideal life, yet he was far from being a recluse, but was a popular, highspirited youth, and passionately fond of society. As a scholar in classical and English literature his rank was high ; and on taking his degree he delivered a poem which was much applauded.
On leaving college, he determined to devote his life to the fine arts, and embarked for London in the autumn of 1801. He at once became a student of the Royal Academy, with whose President, Benjamin West, he formed an intimate and lasting friendship. After three years spent in England, he went to Paris, and thence to Italy, where he first met with Coleridge. In 1809, he returned to America, and remained two years in Boston, his adopted home, and there married the sister of Dr. W. E. Channing. In 1811, he went again to England, where his reputation as an artist had been completely established. In 1813, he published a small volume entitled The Sylphs of the Seasons, and other Poems, wbich was republished in this country, and gave him a rank ameng our best poets. Soon after this he passed through a long and serious illness, from which he bad scarcely recovered when he suffered the loss of his wife. These trials, however severe, were truly sanctified to him: he became an earnest and sincere Christian, and to the close of life preserved a beauty and consistency of Christian character rarely equalled.
In 1818, he again returned to America, and again made Boston his home. “There, in a circle of warmly-attached friends, surrounded by a sympathy and admiration which bis elevation and purity, the entire harmony of his life and pursuits, could not fail to create, he devoted himself to his art, the labor of his love." In 1830, he married his second wife, the daughter of the late Jud Dana, and removed to Cambridge, and soon after began the preparation of a course of lectures on art. But four of these he completed. His death occurred at his own house, Cambridge, on Sunday morning, July 9, 1843. “ He had finished a day and week of labor in his studio, upon his great picture of Belshazzar's Feast,2 the fresh paint denoting that the last touches of his pencil were given to that glorious but melancholy monument of the best years of his later The Sylphs of the Seasons is Allston's most finished poem. The argument in brief is this. The poet falls asleep, and in his dream finds himself in
1 In one of his letters he thus writes :-"To no other man do I owe so much, intellectually, as to Mr. Coleridge, with whom I became acquainted in Rome, and who has honored me with his friendship for more than five-and-twenty years. He used to call Rome the silent city; but I never could think of it as such while with him; for, meet him when and where I would, the fountain of his mind was never dry, but, like the far-reaching aqueducts that once supplied this mistress of the world, its living stream seemed specially to flow for every classic ruin over which we wandered. And when I recall some of our walks under the pines of the Villa Borghese, I am almost tempted to dream that I have once listened to Plato in the groves of the Academy."
2 This embodiment of a sublime conception, magnificent even in its unfinished state, may be seen in the Picture Gallery of the Boston Athenæum.
3 Memoir of Allston prefixed to an edition of his works, by Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
* Allston's appearance and manners accorded perfectly with his character. His form was slight and his movements quietly active. The lines of his countenance, the breadth of the brow, the large and speaking eye, and the long, wbite hair, made him an immediate object of interest. If not engaged in conversation, there was a serene abstraction in his air. When death so tranquilly overtook him, for many hours it was difficult to believe that ho was not sleeping, so perfectly did
“ A bright saloon,
That seem'd illumined by the moon," wbere “four damsels stood of faery race,”—the sylphs of the four seasons,-cach of whom addresses him, striving by her eloquence to win his heart and hand.” The following is the best portion of
THE ADDRESS OF THE SYLPH OF SPRING.
Then spake the Sylph of Spring serene :-
With sympathy shall move;
To piety and love.
Hast left thy sullen fire,
To swell the tinkling choir ;
The tardy-moving swain;
And skimming now the plain ;
Of some broad river's stream,
Late roll’d the heavy team :
And feel the high control
His omnipresent soul.
the usual expression remain. His torchlight burial, at Mount Auburn, harmonized, in its beautiful solemnity, with the lofty and sweet tenor of his lite."— Tuckerman's Artist Lije.
“Or, brooding o'er some forest rill,
And quivering maiden-hair,
On all was shadow'd there;
Beneath the noontide ray,
With motion ever gay:
To gentle Nature bend,
As with an early friend;
For every living thing.
And bless the Sylph of Spring."
Of Mr. Allston's fugitive poems, that which has been most praised is his odo entitled
AMERICA TO GREAT BRITAIN.1
All hail ! thou noble land,
Our fathers' native soil !
Gigantic grown by toil,
For thou with magic might
The world o'er.
The Genius of our clime,
From his pine-embattled steep,
While the Tritons of the deep
1 Written in America, in the year 1810, and in 1817 inserted by Coleridge in the first edition of his “ Sibylline Leaves," with the following note:-“This poem, written by an American gentleman, a valued and dear friend, I communicate to the reader for its moral no less than its poetio spirit."--Editor.
With their conchs the kindred league shall proclaim.
Then let the world combine,-
Bright in fame!
Since our fathers left their home,
O'er untravell’d seas to roam,
And shall we not proclaim
By its chains ?
Which the Bard of Avon sung,
How the vault of heaven rung
While this, with reverence meet,
Round our coast ;-
That mould a nation's soul,
Between let ocean roll,
Yet still from either beach
“ We are One."
Allston's Lectures on Art are very beautiful and instructive; but to be appreciated they must be read as a whole. Of his prose, therefore, I select the following few aphorisms from many that were written on the walls of his studio :
BENEVOLENCE. No right judgment can ever be formed on any subject having a moral or intellectual bearing without benevolence; for so strong is man's natural self-bias, that, without this restraining principle, he insensibly becomes a competitor in all such cases presented to his mind; and, when the comparison is thus made personal, unless the odds be immeasurably against him, his decision will rarely be
| Note by the Author.- This alludes merely to the moral union of the two countries. The author would not have it supposed that the tribute of respect offered in these stanzas to the land of his ancestors would be paid by him if at the expenso of the independence of that which gave him birth.