The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3, March, 1852

The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3, March, 1852

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3, March, 1852, by Various
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Title: The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3, March, 1852
Author: Various
Release Date: February 3, 2010 [EBook #31162]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY, MARCH 1852 ***
Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, Josephine Paolucci and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net. (This file was produced from images generously made available by Cornell University Digital Collections.)
THE INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE
Of Literature, Art, and Science.
Vol. V.—NEW-YORK, MARCH 1, 1852—No. III.
Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of the article. Table of contents has been created for the HTML version.
Contents
THE AZTECS AT THE SOCIETY LIBRARY. A DAY AT CHATSWORTH. MEN AND WOMEN OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. A MODEL TRAVELLER. A MYSTERIOUS HISTORY. EDWARD EVERETT AND DANIEL WEBSTER.
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ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING. THE HAPPINESS OF OYSTERS. THE RECLAIMING OF THE ANGEL. THE ENEMY OF VIRGINIA. A WORD ABOUT THE ARMY-PRIVATE. TO SUNDRY CRITICS. THE "RED FEATHER." THRENODIA. MR. ASHBURNER IN NEW-YORK. LEONORA TO TASSO. HUNGARIAN POPULAR SONGS. A SONG FOR THIS DAY AND GENERATION. FEATHERTOP: A MORALIZED LEGEND. A CHAPTER ON GAMBLING. AN ELECTION ROW IN NEW-YORK. THE JEWISH HEROINE: A STORY OF TANGIER. LAMAS AND LAMAISM. STORY OF GASPAR MENDEZ. JOHN ROBINSON, THE PASTOR OF THE PILGRIMS. A CHAPTER ON CATS. THE HEIRS OF RANDOLPH ABBEY. NEW DISCOVERIES IN GHOSTS. THE WOLF-GATHERING. MY NOVEL THE WHITE LAMB. AUTHORS AND BOOKS. HISTORICAL REVIEW OF THE MONTH. THE FINE ARTS. SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES AND PROCEEDINGS SOCIETIES. RECENT DEATHS. LADIES' FASHIONS FOR MARCH.
OF
LEARNED
THE AZTECS AT THE SOCIETY LIBRARY.
For several weeks the attention of the curious has been more and more attracted to a remarkable ethnological exhibition at the Society Library. Two persons, scarcely larger than the fabled gentlemen of Lilliput, (though one is twelve or thirteen and the other eighteen years of age), of just and even elegant proportions, and physiognomies striking and peculiar, but not deficient in intellect or refinement, have been visited by thron gs of idlers in quest of amusement, wonder-seekers, and the profoundest inquirers into human history. Until very recently, Mexico was properly described asTerra Incognita. The remains of nations are there shrouded in oblivion, and cities, in their time surpassing Tadmor and Thebes, untrodden except by the jaguar and the ocelot. A few persons, indeed, attracted by uncerta in rumors of ancient grandeur in Palenque, have visited her temples and tombs—
There to track Fallen states and empires o'er a land Which was the mightiest in her high command, And is the loveliest—
but no one has been found to read the hieroglyphics of Tolteca, to disclose the history of the dwellers in Anahuac, to make known the annals of the rise and fall of Tlascala, Otumba, Copan, or Papantla. In th e great work of Lord Kingsborough are collected many important remains of Mexican and Aztec art and learning; Mr. Prescott has combined with a masterly hand the traditions of the country; and Mr. Stevens and Mr. Squier have done much in the last few years to render us familiar with the more accessibl e and probably most significant ruins which illustrate the civilization of the race subdued by the Spaniards; but still Central America is unexplored. In the second volume of the work of Mr. Stevens, he mentions that a Roman Catholic priest of Santa Cruz
del Quiche told him marvellous stories of a "large city, with turrets white and glittering in the sun," beyond the Cordilleras, where a people still existed in the condition of the subjects of Montezuma. He proceeds:
"The interest awakened in us, was the most thrillin g I ever experienced. One look at that city, was worth ten years of an every-day life. If he is right, a place is left where Indians and a city exist, as Cortez and Alvarado found them; there are living men who can solve the mystery that hangs over the ruined cities of America; who can, perhaps, go to Copan and read the inscription on its monuments. No subject more exciting and attractive presents itself to any mind, and the deep impression in my mind wil l never be effaced. Can it be true? Being now in my sober senses, I do verily believe there is much ground to suppose that what the Padre told us is authentic. That the region referred to does not acknowledge the government of Gautamala, and has never been explored, and that no white man has ever pretended to have entered it; I am satisfied. From other sources we heard that a largeruinedcity was visible; and we were told of another person who had climbed to the top of the sierra, but on account of the dense clouds rising upon it, he had not been able to see any thing. At all events, the belief at the village of Chajul is general, and a curiosity i s aroused that burns to be satisfied. We had a craving desire to reach the mysterious city. No man if so willing to peril his life, could undertake the enterprise, with any hope of success, without hovering for one or two years on the borders of the country, studying the language and character of the adjoining Indians, and making acquaintance with some of the natives. Five hundred men could probably march directly to the city, and the invasion would be more justifiable than any made by Spaniards; but the government is too much occupied with its own wars, and the knowledge could not be procured except at the price of blood. Two young men of good constitution, and who could afford to spend five years, might succeed. If the object of search prove a phantom, in the wild scenes of a new and unexplored country, there are other objects of interest; but, if real, besides the glorious excitement of such a novelty, they will have something to look back upon through life. As to the dangers, they are always magnified, and, in general, peril is discovered soon enough for escape. But, in all probability, if any discovery is made, it will be made by the Padres. As for ourselves, to attempt it alone, ignorant of the language, and with the mozos who were a constant annoyance to us, was out of the question. The most we thought of, was to climb to the top of the sierra, thence to look down upon the mysterious city; but we had difficulties enough in the road before us; it would add ten days to a journey already almost appalling in the perspective; for days the sierra might be covered with clouds; in attempting too much, we might lose all; Palenque was our great point, and we determined not to be diverted from the course we had marked out."—Vol. ii., p. 193-196.
Mr. Stevens appears to have had some confidence in the Padre's statement, and expresses a belief that the race of the aborigi nal inhabitants of Central
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America is not extinct, but that, scattered perhaps and retired, like our own Indians, into wildernesses which have never been penetrated by white men —erecting buildings of "lime and stone," "with ornaments of sculpture, and plastered," "large courts," and "lofty towers, with high ranges of steps," and carving on tablets of stone mysterious hieroglyphs, there are still in secluded cities "unconquered, unvisited, and unsought aborigines." It is stated in a pamphlet before us, that such a city was discovered in 1849 by three adventurous travellers, and that one of them succeeded in bringing to New York two specimens of its diminutive and peculiar i nhabitants—the persons now being exhibited in Broadway. Of the credibility of this account we express no opinion, but the "Aztec Children" have the phren ological and general appearance of the ancient Mexican sculptures, and may well be regarded for their probable origin, their physical structure, or their mere appearance, as among the "most wonderful specimens of humanity." We assent to the following paragraph by Mr. Horace Greeley, whose testimony agrees with the common impressions they have produced:
"I hate monstrosities, however remarkable, and am rather repelled than attracted by the idea of their truthfulness. Assuming that there is a propensity in human nature—an 'organ,' as the phrenologists would phrase it—that finds gratification in the ins pection and scrutiny of Joice Heths, Woolly Horses, and six-legged Swine, I would rather have it gratified by fabricated and factitious than by natural and veritable productions, and would rather not share in the process from which that gratification is extracted. There is a superabundance of ugliness and deformity which one is obliged to see, without running after and nosing any out. It was, therefore, with some reluctance that I obeyed a polite invitation to visit the Aztec children, and ratify or dispute the commendations h itherto bestowed on them, in these columns and elsewhere. I did not expect to find ogres nor any thing hideous, but, among all similar exhibitions, remembering with pleasure only Tom Thumb, I could not hope to find gratification in the sight of two dwarf Indians. But I was disappointed. These children are simply abridge ments or pocket editions of Humanity—bright-eyed, delicate-featured, olive-complexioned little elves, with dark, straight, glossy hair, well-proportioned heads, and animated, pleasing countenances. That their ages are honestly given, and that the boy weighs just about as many pounds as he is years old (twenty), while the girl is about half his age and three pounds lighter, I see no reason at all for doubting. That they are human beings, though of a low grade morally and intellectually, as well as diminutive physically, there can be no doubt; and they are not freaks of Nature, but speci mens of a dwindled, minnikin race, who almost realize in bodi ly form our ideas of the 'brownies,' 'bogles,' and other fanciful creations of a more superstitious age. Their heads, unlike those of dwarfs, are small and not ill-looking, but with very low foreheads and a general conformation strongly confirmatory of certain funda mental assertions of Phrenology. Idiotic they are not; but their intellect and language are those of children of three or four years, to whom their gait also assimilates them; but they have none of c hildhood's
reserve or shyness, are inquisitive and restless, and articulate with manifest efforts and difficulty. To children of three to six or eight years, their incessant pranks and gambols must be a source of intense and unfailing delight. The story that they were procured from an unknown, scarcely approachable Aboriginal City of Central America calledIximaya, situated high among the mountains and rarely visited by civilized man, may be true or false; but that they are natives of that part of the world, I cannot doubt. To the moralist, the student, the physiologist, they are subjects deserving of careful scrutiny and thoughtful observation; while to those whose highest motive is the gratification of curiosity, but especially to children, they must be objects of vivid interest."
A DAY AT CHATSWORTH.
THE PRISON OF MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, AND PALACE OF THE DUKES OF DEVONSHIRE.
THE ENTRANCE GATES.
Among the most magnificent of the palatial homes of England—indeed one of the most rich and splendid residences occupied in a ll the world by an uncrowned master—is Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, the most beautiful district in the British islands. With some abridgment we transfer to theInternational an account of a recent visit to Chatsworth, by Mrs. S. C. HALL, with the illustrations by Mr. FINHALT, from the January number of the LondonArt-Journal. Our agreeable authoress, after some general observation s respecting the attractions of the neighborhood, proceeds:
"We are so little proud of the beauties of England, that the foreigner only hears of Derbyshire as the casket which contai ns the rich jewel of CHATSWO RTH. The setting is worthy of the gem. It ranks foremost among proudly beautiful English mansions; and merits its familiar title of the Palace of the Peak. It was the object of our
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pilgrimage; and we recalled the history of the nobles of its House. The family of Cavendish is one of our oldest descents; it may be traced lineally from Robert de Gernon, who entered England with the Conqueror, and whose descendant, Roger Gernon, of Grimston, in Suffolk, marrying the daughter and sole heiress of Lord Cavendish in that county, in the reign of Edward II., gave the name of that estate as a surname to his children, which they ever after bore. The study of the law seems to have been for a long period the means of according position and celebrity to the family, Sir William Cavendish, in whose person all the estates conjoined, was Privy Councillor to Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Mary; he had been Gentleman-Usher to Wolsey; and after the fall of the great Cardinal, was retained in the service of Henry VIII. He accumulated much wealth, but chiefly by his third marriage, with Elizabeth, the wealthy widow of Robert Barley, at whose instigation he sold his estates in other parts of England, to purchase lands in Derbyshire, where her great property lay. Hardwick Hall was her paternal residence, but Sir William began to build another at Chatsworth, which he did not live to finish. Ultimately, Elizabeth became the wi fe of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury; she was one of the most remarkable women of her time, and the foundress of the two hou ses of Devonshire and Newcastle. Her second son, William, by the death of his elder brother in 1616, after being created Baron Cavendish, of Hardwick, was in 1618 created Earl of Devonshire. It was happily said of him, 'his learning operated on his conduct, but was seldom shown in his discourse.' His son, the third Earl, w as a zealous loyalist; like his father, remarkable for his culti vated taste and learning, perfected under the superintendence of th e famous Hobbes of Malmesbury. His eldest son, William, was the first Duke of Devonshire; the friend of Lord Russell, and one of the few who fearlessly testified to his honor on his memorable trial. Wearied of courts, he retired to Chatsworth, which at that tim e was a quadrangular building, with turrets in the Elizabethan taste; and then, 'as if his mind rose upon the depression of his fortune,' says Kennett, 'he first projected the now glorious pile of Chatsworth;' he pulled down the south side of 'that good old seat,' and rebuilt it on a plan 'so fair an august, that it looked like a model only of what might be done in after ages.' After seven years, he added the other sides, 'yet the building was his least charge, if regard b e had to his gardens, water-works, statues, pictures, and other the finest pieces of Art and Nature that could be obtained abroad or at home.' He was highly honored with the favor and confidence of William III. and his successor Anne. Dying in 1707, his son William, who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, spent the latter part of his life at Chatsworth, dying there in 1755. It is now the favorite country residence of his great grandson, the sixth Duke and ninth Earl of Devonshire.
"The Duke's tastes, as evinced at Chatsworth, are of the purest and happiest order;—and are to be found in the adornmen ts of his rooms, the shelves of his library, the riches of his galleries of art, and the rare and beautiful exotic marvels of his ga rdens and
conservatories. Charles Cotton, in his poem, theWonders of the Peak, wrote, two centuries ago, of the then Earl of Devonshire —and no language can apply with greater truth to the Duke who is now master of Chatsworth:
"But that which crowns all this, and does impart A lustre far beyond the pow'r of Art, Is the great Owner; He, whose noble mind For such a Fortune only was design'd. Whose bounties, as the Ocean's bosom wide, Flow in a constant, unexhausted tide Of Hospitality, and free access, Liberal Condescension, cheerfulness, Honor and Truth, as ev'ry of them strove At once to captivate Respect and Love: And with such order all perform'd, and grace, As rivet wonder to the stately place."
THE EMPEROR FOUNTAIN.
"Although carriages are permitted to drive from the railway terminus at Rowsley, to the pretty and pleasant inn at Edenson, by a road
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which passes directly under the house, the stranger should receive his first impressions of Chatsworth from one of the surrounding heights. It is impossible to convey a just idea of its breadth and dignity; the platform upon which it stands is a fitting base for such a structure; the trees, that at intervals relieve and enliven the vast space, are of every rich variety, the terraces nearly twelve hundred feet in extent—'the emperor fountain' throwing its jet two hundred and seventy feet into the air, far overtopping the avenue of majestic trees, of which it forms the centre. The dancing fountain, the great cascade, even the smaller fountains (wonderful objects any where, except here, where there are so many more wonderful ) sparkle through the foliage; while all is backed by magnifi cent hanging woods, and the high lands of Derbyshire, extending from the hills of Matlock to Stony Middleton. And the foreground of the picture is, in its way, equally beautiful; the expansive view, the meadows now broken into green hills and mimic valleys, the groups of fallow deer, and herds of cattle, reposing beneath the shade of wide-spreading chestnuts, or the stately beech—all is harmony to p erfection; nothing is wanting to complete the fascination of the whole. The enlarged and cultivated minds which conceived these vast yet minute arrangements, did not consider minor details as unimportant; every tree, and brake, and bush; every ornament, every path, is exactly in its right place, and seems to have ever been there. Nothing, however great, or however smal l, has escaped consideration; there are no bewildering effects, such as are frequently seen in large domains, and which render it difficult to recall what at the time may have been much admired; all is arranged with the dignity of order; all, however gr aceful, is substantial; the ornaments sometimes elaborate, never descend into prettiness; the character of the scenery has been borne in mind, and its beauty never outraged by extravagance. All is in harmony with the character which nature in her most generous mood gave to the hills and valleys; God has been gracious to the land, and man has followed in the pathway He has made.
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THE TEMPLE CASCADE.
THE WELLINGTON ROCK AND CASCADE.
"A month at Chatsworth would hardly suffice to count its beauties; but much may be done in a day, when eyes and ears are open, and the heart beats in sympathy with the beauties of Nature and of Art. It is, perhaps, best to visit the gardens of Chatsworth first; they are little more than half a mile to the north of the park; and there Sir Joseph Paxton is building his new dwelling, or rath er adding considerably to the beauty and convenience of the o ld. In the Kitchen-Gardens, containing twelve acres, there are houses for every species of plant, but the grand attraction is the house which contains the Royal Lily (Victoria Regia), and other lilies and water-plants from various countries. It will be readily believed that the flower-gardens are among the most exquisitely beautiful in Europe; they have been arranged by one of the master minds of the age,
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and bear evidence of matured knowledge, skill, and taste; the nicest judgment seems to have been exercised over e ven the smallest matter of detail, while the whole is as pe rfect a combination as can be conceived of grandeur and loveliness. The walks, lawns, and parterres are lavishly, but unobtrusively, decorated with vases and statues; terraces occur here and there, from which are to be obtained the best views of the adjacent country; 'Patrician trees' at intervals form umbrageous alleys; water is made contributory from a hundred mountain streams and rivulets, to form jets, cascades, and fountains, which, infinitely varied in their 'play,' ramble among lilies, or—it is scarcely an exaggeration to say —fling their spray into the clouds, and descend to refresh the topmost leaves of trees that were in their prime three centuries ago. The most striking and original of the walks is that which leads through mimic Alpine scenery to the great conservatory; here Art has been most triumphant; the rocks, which, have been all brought hither, are so skilfully combined, so richly clad i n mosses, so luxuriantly covered with heather, so judiciously based with ferns and water-plants, that you move among or beside them in rare delight at the sudden change which transports you from trim parterres to the utmost wildness of natural beauty. From these again you pass into a garden, in the centre of whic h is the conservatory, always renowned, but now more than ever, as the prototype of the famous Palace of Glass, which, in thisAnnus Mirabilise of all, received under its roof six millions of the peopl nations, tongues, and creeds. In extent, the conservatory at Chatsworth is but a pigmy compared with that which glorifies Hyde Park: but it is filled with the rarest Exotics from all parts of the globe —from 'farthest Ind,' from China, from the Himalayas, from Mexico; here you see the rich banana, Eschol's grape hangin g in ripe profusion beneath the shadow of immense paper-like leaves; the feathery cocoa-palm, with its head peering almost to the lofty arched roof; the far-famed silk cotton-tree, supplying a sheet of cream-colored blossoms, at a season when all outward vegetable gayety is on the wane: the singular milk-tree of the Caraccas—the fragrant cinnamon and cassia—with thousands of other rare and little-known species of both flowers and fruits. The Italian Garden —opposite the library windows, with its richly colored parterres, and its clustered foliage wreathed around the pillars which support the statues and busts scattered among them, and hanging from one to the other with a luxurious verdure which seems to belong to the south—is a relief to the eye sated with the splendors of the palatial edifice.