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TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS.
WE have to express our regret that the favours of some of our poetical correspondents, have not been inserted more promptly and seasonably, during the past year. Not being in the habit of calculating, excepting on our own manuscripts, the space which an essay might occupy, we have frequently trespassed on the limits allotted to the poetical department of this miscellany.
QUEVEDO has been very successful in imitating the easy gayety of Horace His Horace in Philadelphia has been received with delight in many a classical sircle.
CURIOSA reminds us that our predecessors often varied the amusement which they prepared for the public, by mingling narration with eriticism; and rebieved the aridness of disquisition by the charms of story. Always sedulous to propitiate the fair, to glad their ear, and please their eye, we shall seek among our own resources, or procure from foreign aid, some fabulist of cunning faney; one of whom the great poet, in conferring upon him the distinguished privilege of having ladies for listeners, would say, "Let him tell the tale; your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.”
The crabbed and crusty tambies of Morosus are rejected. Such abuse of lovely woman is unmanly and unfair. Let him entertain nobler views of the sex that is "soft, mild, pitiful, flexible." Let him attune his pipe to harmoni eus strains, and hail the
Pegasian nymphs, that hating viler things,
The lines from a student at Cambridge are not sufficiently correct for pubHeation. It is very unreasonable in this writer, and in many others, in similar Bases, to expect that their juvenile attempts should take place of much more meritorious performances.
J. M S. who favoured us with a sensible essay last year, is earnestly invited to continue his correspondence.
Does the friend of Mazzei intend to keep his promise only to the ear?
of The Lay Preacher is in the press.
THE PORT FOLIO.
CONDUCTED BY OLIVER OLDSCHOOL, ESQ.
Various; that the mind
Of desultory man, studious of change
And pleased with novelty may be indulged.-CowPER.
STEEP is the ascent by which we mount to fame; nor is the summit to be gained, but by sagacity and toil. Fools are sure to lose their way, and cowards sink beneath the difficulty; the wise and the brave alone succeed--persist in their attempt, and never yield to the fatigue.-PHILOLOGICAL ENQUIRIES.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
THE LIFE OF JAMES LAWRENCE,
LATE CAPTAIN IN THE UNITED STATES' NAVY.
THE wealth of nations is in no instance so conspicuously displayed as in the value of their public men. Wealth is of consequence chiefly as a source of power; and what can add more to power of a nation than the number of its eminent subjects? If the interest of a country in the character of its citizens be thus generally important, what a sacredness does it not acquire, when those citizens are no more! "The blood of Douglas" can then no longer protect itself; and the people in whose cause it was shed should be animated by the sacrifice to perpetuate, extend, and hallow the recollection of the act. The property of nations in the reputation of individuals would be comparatively worthless, were reputation not to be posthumous. If the "life in others' breath" were not to outlast the life in their own, what temptation would men have to live, not for themselves, but their Fourth Series, VOL. III.
country? "The path of glory" does in truth lead beyond "the grave," or it would be trodden by few. That it may lead far beyond, and that the number of the glorious may be great, it has been an object with mankind, in all ages, to show to the living their sense of the illustrious dead, by cherishing their renown, and evincing, in every emotion of respectful gratitude, "that they would not have their very names profaned." As polytheists, they deified the self-devoted, thinking that the best of men were the worthiest to become gods. Worshippers of one deity, they "raise," at this improved period of time, "no mortal to the skies," but would achieve the bringing of an "angel down," by making the spirit of an ascended hero walk the earth for ever, in memory immortal. Allegiance to greatness is natural to man.
The instance of individual fame, which has the most imperious claim upon the attention of a country, is where the efforts of a life have become so identified with the events of a nation, that to` tell the story is among the duties which it owes to its own history. It must then be faithful, from selfishness, at least. Neglecting the memory of the dead is, in such case, negligence of national character; and respect to the deceased is involved in the obligation the nation is under to respect itself. Eminent men form "the most conspicuous features of their country's greatness;" their country sits for their picture, as for her own, with all the solicitude for a faithful resemblance that a parent feels for a portrait, in which he may survive to his children. Biography and history should be made to vie with each other, in exhibiting to posterity these "conspicuous features" in their fairest light.
JAMES LAWRENCE has been eminently instrumental in establishing the naval character of these United States. He is, in some measure, the cause that an American, at the extremities of the earth, surrounded by natives of other climes, can glow with felicitation, when he remembers his home.
The youngest son of John Lawrence, esquire, of Burlington, in the state of New Jersey, he was born the 1st of October, 1781. He could hardly know what it was to have a mother, having lost this parent within a few weeks after his birth. But his two sisters, supplying her place, by their tender attention to his infant years, took the most effectual precautions to prevent his ever knowing
what it was to have lost her. These were they who first kept, with all diligence, that heart, out of which were the issues of his life. That these streams were so cheering may be ascribed to the daughters who so faithfully tended the fountain. It is matter of regret in philosophy that so little can be learned of the annals of infancy. It would be delightful to trace the very first germinations of character-to follow the tree to the twig-contemplate an oak, operated upon in the acorn-a Nelson produced in the nursery. Imagination is at liberty to indulge in speculations like these, but is generally left to create its materials. In the present instance, however, it is somewhat supplied with facts. The man manifested such gratitude for the care of the minor, that either the attentions of the sisters, or the grateful sense of the brother, must have been more than common. This sense, it should be remembered, they had implanted; and, though done for the good of others, the first fruits of it were fairly their own; as well to be an assurance that their culture had been crowned with success, as an honourable acknowledgment for the disinterestedness of their labour. His affections for these sisters were in a measure filial, as well as fraternal, being bound to them by the double tie of blood and education. In him their tenderness had awakened the soul, and had moulded the heart, leaving nothing to futurity but to elevate the genius. Their assiduities were directed to the feelings and the principles. These were moral, and those were the best. They felt relieved from responsibility, on giving him up to society, liberal, humane, and virtuous.
At the age of twelve he is said to have first discovered a passion for the sea. But his father, attached to a profession, in which he had been considerably distinguished, was solicitous that another of his sons should be educated a lawyer. To this solicitude James, it seems, yielded, and prepared, with a resignation greatly beyond his years, to offer up his darling ambition a sacrifice at the shrine of his duty. He was put to a grammar-school, at Burlington, where his improvement indicated as well of his talents as his manners had favourably for his disposition. The mediocrity of his father's means did not admit his receiving a collegiate education-a circumstance which had a tendency to damp his relatives' ardour in preparing him for professional pursuits,
and partly occasioned his being suffered at last to live on the element for which he was born. The circumstance most deprecated by all, at the time, and perhaps by himself, was the one of his whole life that appears, upon review, ought most to have been desired since the world had probably not known the eventual amplitude of his fame, but for this original narrowness of his fortune. He was now thirteen years of age, and still he determined to stand yet longer the tug, so grievous to be borne, of duty against inclination. He removed to Woodbury. Here it was that he commenced a course of legal researches, under the care of his brother, John Lawrence, esquire. He entered on this course, sincerely determined to persevere. He "resolved, and re-resolved" in vain; the office was a prison, from which he longed to escape; for "he had heard of battles." Its walls, however, confined him for nearly two years—a length of time that is matter of wonder. At this period his father died. James was now wholly an orphan. Losing the only parent he had been permitted to know must have touched him severely. While they were together in being, we have seen, with admiration, yet surely not without shuddering, the filial reverence of a pious youth approximate by degrees to self-immolation. At length they are sundered; and, though the shock must have been great, and James felt for the departed the utmost veneration, yet duties to himself survived. What stood between his hopes and him had vanished; and, when awe for the transition was over, no wonder he sprung to their embrace. He conceives that he is left, jointly with his brother, the arbiter of his own fate. To this brother he now urges a last appeal, in favour of the path to which his genius directs him. The appeal hardly needs urging. The brother had discovered that the pursuits of law were loathsome to the taste of his pupil. Sedentary habits, he was conscious, suited not a frame formed for activity, nor study a mind that gloried in action, nor the land a heart whose only delight was to be abroad upon the ocean. Besides, the claims of the extensive profession, for which he had been preparing, could, after all, not be met fairly but by the most liberal education the country afforded; and this it had been out of their power to give. Fixing him here might then be confining for ever to subaltern rank a superior mind. It was therefore