Letters of Life/III
In the dramatis personæ of every young life, dear friend, the teachers are wont to have prominence. My first one! Methinks she is now entering the room. I start, for I was always afraid of her. Not that she was severe to me; she could get no chance to be so. A timid little thing of four years, always obedient and diligent, offered no facilities for her ferule. Above the usual height was she, with sharp, black eyes, large hands, a manly voice, a capacious mouth, and a step that made the echoes of the quiet schoolroom tremble. She wore an immense black silk calash, and when I saw it bobbing up and down by our garden wall, as she passed, I hid myself, like the malcontents of Eden, among the trees. Especially was I affrighted at discovering that she was once coming, by invitation, to take tea at our table. I did not enter the parlor until I was called, and then curled down in a corner with a small book, which, whether it were Robinson Crusoe or Grumbdumbo, I could not readily have told. Gladly would I have been excused from the repast, for I dared not eat before her. But, peering out from under my drooping eyelids, I ascertained that she made the same use of her large mouth that others did, appropriating good things in goodly quantities, and with correct appreciation of their different ratios of relish and rarity. What I learned of an intellectual nature under her sway, it might be difficult, through the long vista of years, to decipher. My chief enjoyment was in the spelling-class, where we "went above," according to our own skill and the mistakes of others. Having very early learned to read by myself, the forms of words, and their syllabic construction, dwelt in memory like the minutiæ of a picture, so that the usual amount of study made me fearlessly perfect in the daily orthographical lesson. Hence, the mounting by detachments to the head of a regiment of some threescore and ten personages was no unfrequent occurrence. Some were four times my own age, and of formidable altitude and prowess; but the victory was more quietly accorded to a meek-looking lilliputian, than to one better qualified for a rival in other matters. The position being held but one night, the chieftain going to the bottom of the class and rising again, pacified the discomfited, while at the same time it nourished an unslumbering ambition in the bosom of the aspirant.
My next teacher was of the masculine genus. Why, at so tender an age, my parents should commit me thus to the miscellaneous association of large district schools, it might be difficult to say, save that it was the custom of the times. The idea of being given in charge to a man, filled me with uncontrollable awe. On the first morning of my entrance, I could have taken the shoes from my feet, as if the place where he stood were a modern Sinai, where the law might be given amid thunderings, and lightnings, and tempest. Yet, on the contrary, I was far more at ease than under the dominion of his predecessor. To my amazement, I found myself rather a favorite with him, and kindly appreciated by the scholars. Some of these were large boys, on the borders of manhood, who attended school in winter, and at other seasons pursued various useful occupations. One of their prime accomplishments was covering large sheets of paper with fine chirography of different sizes, they having been previously ruled and ornamented with devices in bright red, blue, and green ink. I thought them intensely elegant, and, as I now remember them, they had somewhat the effect of the old illuminated missals. My aid in devising their decoration, and selecting the poetry that formed a great portion of their contents, was sought and valued, so that I suddenly became a personage of consequence. Instead of being made a scapegoat or a burnt-offering, as I had anticipated, I was vastly comforted at this terrific "man's school," and not a little built up in my own estimation. Though my highest pleasures were still at home, in the "calm school of silent solitude," I here learned that it was possible to make myself acceptable out of my own family—a fact which, from constitutional diffidence, I had been accustomed to doubt.
My next educational movement was to attend a school for needlework. Our instructress was mild and ladylike, though distant and reserved. In this truly feminine department we strove to excel in nicety of performance, and our working materials were required to be kept in perfect order. Here it would seem that content and happiness must surely reign. But who can tell, by looking on a fair surface, what may smoulder beneath? The vines on the bosom of Vesuvius were scarcely more agitated by the lava-stream at their roots, than we tiny politicians by what we termed the partiality of the mistress for one of our compeers, her own niece. She always walked with her on her way to and from school, sat by her side, and received attentions and caresses which we coveted. We fancied she was made independent of the rules, and shielded when she deserved rebuke. Forthwith the fiercest proceeded to hate her, and the most Socratic ones to treasure up little instances of injustice as themes for private talk. I have often marvelled that I, who had heretofore been an upholder of the most despotic authority on the part of teachers, in the days when the Busby code prevailed, should have been carried away by this current, when the power arrogated was simply an expression of preference. But the sense of injustice in the young mind is keen, and, when once roused, magnifies trifles and inadvertencies into wrongs.
The next teacher was one of more pretension—an English lady, who came, with her family, to reside in our immediate vicinity, and received both day scholars and boarders. She instructed in what were termed the higher branches, including music, painting, and embroidery. She executed on the piano with great skill, and, as I had been a singer from infancy, I found much pleasure in the practice of uniting an instrument with the voice. Having become an enthusiast about our aborigines, the first tune that I was permitted to choose for my own performance was that sweetly plaintive melody of the "Indian Chief's Death-Song," beginning,
"The sun sets at night, and the stars shun the day,
But glory remains while their lights fade away."
I was never tired of singing and playing this mournful harmony, and curtailed my scientific practice to enjoy it. But my chief delight was to paint and draw in water colors—an accomplishment in which the instructress excelled. In my own little sanctum I had sketched at pleasure from the earliest years, with a pin and lilac leaf, with a slate-pencil and fragment of slate, ere I was the owner of a lead-pencil, or could obtain backs of letters—pen and ink being forbidden, lest my garments should be defiled. As I grew older, the illustrations in my Hieroglyphic Bible were copied, and any graphic scene that I read, or heard narrated, produced one or more designs. As what I called my pictures multiplied, the desire to see them in colors became eager and engrossing. After various experiments, I succeeded in manufacturing certain substitutes and pigments wherewith to adorn the groups and regions of my fancy. A piece of gamboge was in my possession, which, with a fragment of indigo begged from the washerwoman, furnished different shades of yellow, blue, and green; while a solution of coffee-grounds sufficed for the trunks of my trees, and the ambered brown of their autumnal foliage. A wash of India-ink, dashed with indigo, answered for my skies and waters. Thus I got along wonderfully with my landscapes: but my chief delight was in peopling them; and how to obtain tints for any variety of costume, was the question. After many experiments, I found the expressed juice of the scokeberry quite a passable pink, which, with changes and dilutions, supplied me with color for lips and cheeks, and dresses for my gay women and children. Mingled with indigo, it produced a kind of purple, which I used for kingly robes. But it was hideous, and something better employed my poor, infantine chemistry night and day. I had executed what I considered a very fine scene from Roman history, and wanted something for the flowing mantles of the senators. Images of the Tyrian purple haunted me, and flashed before my dreams. I pressed the rich petals of the pansy, but they yielded nothing to my hope. At length, in one of our desserts, I observed in the over flowing syrup of a tart, composed of the ripe currant and whortleberry, the identical tint for which I had so earnestly sought. Requesting a few spoonfuls, after sundry filtrations I applied it to the drapery of a belle, and, had I known the meaning of Eureka, should have shouted it at the top of my voice. But as the saccharine properties of my new color eventually predominated, causing the dress to cleave away from the form it arrayed, I did not use it for the conscript fathers. A single brush, in these processes of limning, was all that I could call my own. When I desired some of larger capacity, I found that I could manufacture them from small quills and my own soft hair. This one nice little brush, with the pieces of India-ink and gamboge before mentioned, and a lead-pencil, were all the articles for which I was indebted to the shops, in this my early career toward the fine arts. Yet the rapture enjoyed in my solitary chamber, as these untaught efforts accumulated, was indescribable. Not even a particle of rubber was mine, that substance not being then common; so that I was careful to draw with extreme accuracy, effacing the few false outlines with crumbs of stale bread. Though the delight experienced from this unprompted impulse of taste was doubtless heightened by the ingenuity of the expedients that sustained it, I can never give paper or speech any semblance of the joy with which I received from my father's hand, soon after entering this new school, a box of the finest water colors, with camel's-hair pencils of different sizes, drawing paper, and a piece of India-rubber, which I have kept to this day, a simple trophy and record of the past. Thus reënforced and upbuilt, I proceeded to copy large and complicated patterns, taking pride in the degree of labor they required. "Maria," or the crazy girl described by the sentimental Yorick, was one of the first large pictures of my production. She was represented sitting under an immense tree, with exuberant brown tresses, a pink jacket and white satin petticoat, gazing pensively at a small lapdog fastened to her hand by a smart blue ribbon. Sterne is seen at a distance, taking note of her with an eye-glass, riding in a yellow-bodied coach, upon a fresh-looking turnpike road, painted in stripes with ochre and bistre. But notwithstanding this, and other pictorial exhibitions of shepherds and shepherdesses, encompassed by huge wreaths and emblems, were sufficiently lauded and marvelled at, my proficiency, after I was furnished with every requisite material, did not equal my perseverance in the days of my destitution. The few rules which were given us, and which were almost entirely about the use of colors, no correct ones for perspective being accorded, seemed rather an incumbrance, and I secretly bemoaned my lost satisfactions in sketching ad libitum from the historians and poets.
A boldness of literary enterprise also came over me; and, though I had scarcely perused a novel except surreptitiously, I commenced to write one. It was in the epistolary style, and a part of the scene laid in Italy. I remember several of the letters, which, contrary to my previous habit with all other compositions, I mentioned to my companions. Forthwith there was a burst of ridicule from the grown-up young ladies of the school.
"What a fool Lydia Huntley is! Don't you think, she is undertaking to write a novel, and only just eight years old! She can no more do it than she could tame Bucephalus. She'd better stick to her painting—and that's not over good."
The critics, deeming my precocity too exuberant, and a subject for the pruning-knife, proceeded to occasional browbeatings, which were very slightly regarded. Most of my associates here were fully sensible of the honor of sharing the tuition of a lady from London, and were careful to comport themselves with sufficient exclusiveness, as a patrician order, when they encountered any of the members of the plebeian district schools.
My next instructor was strongly contrasted both in person and pursuit, an earnest adept in mathematics. I had a fondness for arithmetic, derived from my father, and used often to work out by myself the more difficult problems in Daboll, the standard book of the times, and show him the result, because it was always repaid by his peculiar smile, and coveted eulogium of "Good child! good child!" But this earnest-minded gentleman, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, finding in me the application that he liked, led me on from stage to stage of accuracy in computation, to higher principles and pleasures of demonstrative science, where, fearing no change, no failure of experiment, no mistake in conclusion, we advance fearlessly to the truth, and are satisfied. The salutary influence of such studies on the intellect, especially that of females, I believe to be great. Too little time is apt to be accorded to them. It was so in my own case. Yet I look back on them now, at this great distance of time, as on a heritage not to be alienated. My enthusiasm, while pursuing them, led me to endorse the precept which Plato caused to be inscribed over the door of his school: "Let no one enter here who is ignorant of geometry." After my school-days were over, and philosophical reading became a source of satisfaction, I fully subscribed to the axiom of Bacon: "Mathematics, if the mind be too wandering, fix it; if too inherent in the senses, abstract it." I have always felt in some degree a debtor to warm-hearted Erin for the instructions of this her grave, silver-haired, and erudite son, who, with his family, became inhabitants of our country ere the tide of emigration had awakened its present unebbing flood.
My parents next decided to send me to the institution endowed, as has been already mentioned, by Dr. Daniel Lathrop, all of whose members had the privilege of instruction in Latin and Greek, after making requisite progress in the solid English branches. Hitherto, when not under private tuition, I had always attended at a schoolhouse, sheltered and shouldered by ledges of gray rock, and within sight of the windows of our dining-room. Now I was to go to one on the green plain near the meeting-house, half a mile from home. It was like turning away from the brooding wing—the first flight from the nest. This walk, four times a day, at all seasons and in all weathers—for I could never consent to be absent for the wildest wintry storm, lest I should lose my place in the class—gave a spirit of self-reliance and a sense of liberty and power never before realized. Both these edifices were of red brick, much on the same plan, though of different sizes, with unpainted desks and benches projected around three sides of the room, the fourth having a recess for the teacher's desk, a closet for books, a space for the water pitcher, and a capacious fireplace, where plenty of wood crackled and blazed and disappeared.
Do not suppose, friend, that I am about to satirize the scholastic temples of my own day, bare as they were of all the appliances of modern luxury. Remnants of a barbarous age they might doubtless now be styled. Nevertheless, they subserved the purposes of knowledge and of discipline. We had seen nothing better, and were content. The teacher is of more consequence than the temple. Gratified as I am that the progress in taste and comfort should embrace the structures allotted to education, I still look back to the lowly ones of my own nurture with associations of loving thought.
The master of this endowed school was somewhat stricken in years, and had held his office from early manhood, it being sufficiently lucrative for a life concern. He was a thorough scholar, and austere. Not being addicted to social pleasures, he was considerably past his prime before he entered the marriage relation, and he still retained the temperament of a recluse. Never having had opportunity to wreathe his features into a smile for a babe of his own, they were not often moved to that form by the children of others. Indeed, according to the system of Rochefoucault, he seemed to take it for granted that every boy was a rogue, until proved to the contrary. Neither was slight proof sufficient to overcome his skepticism. He was of a tall, spare form, with a keen, black eye. Every one in school could imitate his frown, his measured gait, and precision of speech.
"Boy, I shall be compelled to punish you severely, if there is either persistence in or repetition of such conduct."
Little did the Dominie suppose that, in the familiar talk of the scholars, the irreverent cognomen of "Uncle Billy" was applied to him. The more observant ones, who, according to Goldsmith,
"were skill'd to trace
The day's disaster in the morning's face,"
would sometimes say pantomimically, "Uncle Billy is chewing a tough Greek root to-day. Look out for breakers!"
To the female branch of his dominion he was eminently taciturn. I doubt whether I ever addressed him, save in replies to his questions on the lessons, or what sprung collaterally from the business of the school. Still, there was no mixture of dislike in our reserved intercourse. On the contrary, I felt an innate sense of his approbation, which sustained my complacency. He elevated me, as an especial honor, to the office of monitor of the reading classes. This was no sinecure, as the classes were large; and when they were marshalled for this exercise, I was expected to stand opposite each one, as they read, and criticize elocution and emphasis, having the power to make them repeat their allotted portion as often as I deemed necessary. On the whole, I enjoyed myself, and improved under the stern old master, and felt a sort of pride in his strictness, which I think scholars generally do, not withstanding what they may say to the contrary.
I was removed from his regency to share the benefits of a school unique in those times, and, I am inclined to think, not easily paralleled in any. A young gentleman of superior talents, education, and position in society, having been compelled by some infirmity of health to abandon his choice of the clerical profession, consented to take charge for one year of a select circle of twenty-five pupils. A rare privilege was it, indeed, to be under his guidance. He had but recently completed his collegiate course, and it seems a scarcely credible fact that, ere he had reached his twentieth birthday, he should have judgment to conduct such an institution, and to impress every varying spirit with respect and obedience. Yet so it was. The secret of his sway was in his earnest piety and consistent example. We revered both, and would not for the world have done aught to trouble him. The order of the school was perfect. The classics were excellently well taught, as were also the English studies. Among the latter, I recollect geography was quite a favorite, probably because it was deepened by our construction of maps and charts, in which we were strenuous for accuracy, and some degree of elegance. The former we decorated by painted vignettes and devices, and for the latter had immense sheets manufactured at the paper mill on purpose for us. These, being divided into regular parallelograms by lines of red ink, we wrote on their left the name of every country on the habitable globe, filling its even line of regular compartments according to their designation over the top—Length and Breadth, Latitude and Longitude, Boundaries, Rivers, Mountains, Form of Government, Population, Universities and Learned Men, where they existed, and whatever circumstance of history was reducible to so narrow a compass. The search after these facts, the conciseness of style requisite, and the fair chirography which was held indispensable, were all valuable attainments. This could not be an exercise common to the whole school, from the large space required for accommodation. I recollect being one of six—three of each sex—who had permission to pursue it, and to have each a table spread for that purpose in a large vacant apartment. So much was our conscientiousness cultivated by this admirable instructor, that we, in conformity to our promise, comported ourselves with the same gravity as if in his presence, holding no conversation save what was necessary to test and condense the knowledge drawn out from the text-books on separate papers, and criticized ere they were copied. He also suggested an excellent employment for the intervals of Sunday—the selection of passages of Scripture on subjects given us by himself. Our zeal to bring a large number, neatly copied, on Monday morning, prevented the idle waste of consecrated time, and promoted an intimate acquaintance with the treasures of the sacred volume. The reputation of this school transcending aught of the kind which had preceded it in that region, caused numerous applications to obtain its privileges. But as the number was limited, and each planet revolving around the centre tenacious of its orbit, the aspirants were doomed to disappointment. Among them was a robust man, older than the preceptor, whose desire for knowledge was the more commendable for being cherished amid the hard labor of the hands by which he earned subsistence. His note is characteristic:
"Understanding, sir, that there is a vacuity in your school, should be pleased to occupy the same one-half of a quarter of twelve weeks, as your friend and scholar."
There was, however, no vacuity, and the smith smote on.
I have never attended a school where the religious sentiment was so perfectly cultivated, or brought into such successful operation. It seemed the secret of its government, inspiring high conscientiousness, a performance of duty because it was enjoined by the Heavenly Father and the Righteous Judge. This effect was not produced by the constant repetition of precept, still less by the enforcement of peculiar doctrines, or the censure of others. It was not wearisome argument or set forms of speech, but the influence of an earnest, consistent, pious example. The deep feeling of the morning prayer often moistened the eyes of the most unthinking; and the same spirit, caught from the closing orison, followed them home. It might be difficult to believe, by those who had never witnessed it, that a teacher so very young could do so much in aid of the ministers of religion—I had almost said, so much more than they, with the hearts of his disciples.
The future course of Mr. Pelatiah Perit fully verified its opening promise. He maintained a high position among the active operations and benevolent institutions of the country, and was for many years President of the Chamber of Commerce, and of the Seamen's Saving Bank, in New York. Wherever he was, and in whatever he engaged, his influence was for God and goodness.
At his beautiful residence in New Haven, whither, in later years, he had retired from the excitements of business, he devoted himself more exclusively to works of charity and piety, and has but recently passed away, respected and lamented by all, having reached the confines of fourscore wholly unimpaired, except for some slight inroads on physical vigor.
The school which I was endeavoring to describe to you, my loved friend, and which he superintended but a single year, was taken in charge by the Rev. Daniel Haskell, a gentleman of somewhat more mature years, and also a graduate of Yale College. He was decidedly a religious character, a ripe scholar, and of great amenity of manners and disposition. The belles-lettres studies were admirably taught by him, and he gave critical attention to the correct expression of written thought. He read to us portions of the best standard authors, in his own elegant elocution, and encouraged us freely to criticize both style and sentiment.
There seemed an arrogance in such a band of tyros sitting in judgment on Addison, and Steele, and Johnson, and Lord Bacon, and Edmund Burke. But his tact and patience were wonderful with our crude opinions, often uttered for the sake of saying something, and not unmarked by captiousness. Into the idioms and refinements of our own language he carefully led us. The "Exercises of Lindley Murray" he especially rendered delightful in daily lessons, throwing us back continually upon definition and derivation, until the roots of words, and their minute shades of meaning, became beautiful as thought-pictures. So much did he inspire us with his own favorite tastes, that parsing the most difficult passages of the poets, remarkable either for elision or amplification, was coveted as a sport. The culture of memory was also a prominent object with him, for, being a natural metaphysician, he scanned the intellect as a map, and wrought in each department. He occasionally read slowly to us pages from rare or antique works, historical, descriptive, or didactic, and, closing the book, required the substance or analysis in our own language. This was given orally at the time, and might also, if we chose, be presented in writing, subject to his correction. The advantage of this exercise, though, perhaps, not immediately seen, was great in forming the habit of fixed attention, which is the integral element of the retentive power. It also enforced a ready utterance, and correct relation of facts, or assertions, in which a strong memory may be mournfully deficient.
Our course of study, which was arduous, he sustained and quickened by emulation. The gift of books signalized the close of each term, of which there were four in the year, and a silver medal was semiannually awarded. These premiums were so definitely adjusted to different grades of proficiency, or exemplary deportment, that there was no possibility of partiality, and so wisely balanced by the kind feelings cultivated among us, as never to create jealousy or dislike. I well remember our added meekness of manner when in the reception of these coveted prizes, and am sure that it was the fruit of his teachings. He faithfully developed not the intellect alone, but the affections. Instructors have that power, if they will but use it. Each pupil was led to consider the others as members, for the time, of one family, holding respectability, honor, and happiness as a common stock. Hence we rejoiced in the attainments or good fortune of our companions, and covered their errors with the mantle of silent forbearance. To a soil thus prepared, friendships were indigenous. Some of mine, then formed, have stood the test of half a century, and are still among the solaces of my life. There also sprang up my closest intimacy with an associate of similar age, who was to me a sisterly spirit, a second self, until Death took her, in her beautiful youth. Under the charge of this learned and amiable man, there was a perceptible growth of "whatsoever was lovely and of good report."
His sway sweetly illustrated the beauty of rule and the beauty of obedience. Our grief at the termination of the school was more deep and passionate than aught I have ever seen on a similar occasion. He was to us all the "man greatly beloved." We were as Niobes at the parting interview, when, gathering us around him that last, sad morning, he read once more in his voice of music from the Holy Book, gave us solemn, tender counsels, and, kneeling down, commended us to the blessed care of the "Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
Thou, who didst bend to guide the timorous mind,
Wise as a father, as a brother kind;
With gentle hand its wayward cause withheld,
Allured, not forced—encouraged, not compelled,
Till the clear eye look'd up, devoid of fears,
I bless thee for thy love, through all this lapse of years.
What is strictly called school education now found a pause at the early age of thirteen. It was thought expedient that I should devote more time and attention to the employments that appertain to the sphere of woman. I passed directly under the tuition of my beautiful mother. A model housekeeper was she in those times when nothing was neglected or despised that promoted home welfare. Happy is the daughter who has a wise mother for her teacher, and is lovingly docile to her instructions. Still, mental progress was by no means abandoned. I am not certain but it was more vigorously pursued for the pleasant contrast and excitement of physical exercise. A thorough course of History and Mental Philosophy agreeably coalesced with household industry.
Afterwards I zealously studied Latin with an experienced and somewhat venerable instructor, but without becoming a member of his school. My translations from the Æneid I occasionally amused myself by giving a rhythmical form, and recollect winning praise for one from the Fourth Book, describing the visit of Juno to the cave of Eolus, to beg a wind for the discomfiture of her enemies.
After having become indoctrinated in the theory and practice of what Milton calls "household good," I left home for the first time, accompanied by my sister-friend, N. M. Hyde, and attended two boarding-schools in the semimetropolis of the State. There, for several months, we applied ourselves to drawing and painting, also to embroidery of historical scenes, filigree, and other finger-works accounted accomplishments in those days. Side by side, inseparable, we pursued with a double strength what often failed to interest us, sustained each other's spirits under the privation of separation from our beloved parents, and participated in the unutterable rapture of return.
Another summoned form glides over the tablet of memory—tall, slightly bent, and with locks like snow—my old French teacher.
Courteous was he, and formally ceremonious, as belonging to the ancient regime. Titles and fortune had been his in his native land before the Buonaparte dynasty; but he bore their loss with admirable philosophy, obtaining a subsistence in this New World when past threescore and ten, as an instructor in dancing and modern languages. Exacting was he, yet patient, and eminently strenuous in his Parisian pronunciation. His drill in the difficult sound of the letter u, was particularly uncompromising.
"You will never get that u. No—because you will not put out your lips the way I tell you. Put them out even with your nose—so, so. Now say u, u."
Good, honest man! He is described by the graphic pen of a fellow student, the Hon. S. G. Goodrich (Peter Parley), at the sixty-first page of his second volume of "Recollections of a Lifetime."
Afterwards two clerical gentlemen, with an interval of several years between, kindly aided me in my wish to obtain some knowledge of the Hebrew. It had been an early cherished desire to read the sublime sacred poetry in the original. I pursued the study without the masoretic points, approaching with delight and awe that sacred fountain, from whose overflowings God deigned to reveal himself in Eden, and to instruct
"The Shepherd who first led the chosen seed
In the beginning, how the heavens and earth
Rose out of chaos."
I was continually attracted by its severe simplicity, its figurative beauty, and boldness of personification. The significance of its proper names interested my research, and the analysis of its verbs to their roots of two or three letters, seemed like the pleasure with which we contemplate the infantine elements of being, and then follow by prefix and suffix, biographically, through all the variations of time's pilgrimage. I especially recall the happiness of one winter, during almost the whole of whose lengthened evenings the Bible and Parkhurst were my companions. The Instructor had directed me to commence with the Book of Jonah, as having less idiom than most of the prophetic writings. The recreant prophet seemed to become a personal friend. Indeed, my indwelling with him was intense. When he disobediently took ship for Tarshish, and was tossed by a mighty tempest upon the deep, I was with him. I felt the chill when the "mariners took him up and cast him forth into the raging sea," and entered into the bitterness of his soul, when, sitting under the smitten gourd, he claimed the right to be "angry even unto death." Though I professed no critical knowledge of the language, I could not but be gratified to find that the annexed fragmentary rendering of his soul-cry, "out of the belly of hell!" coincided in many respects with the translation in the Memoir of that admirable linguist, Miss Elizabeth Smith:
To Jehovah I cried from my prison,
He will hear me;
From the depths of the grave I cry,
He heareth my voice.
Thou hast cast me into wide waters,
Floods compass me about;
All thy billows and dashing waves
Roll over me.
I said I am cast out from thine eyes.
Oh, that I might behold once more
Thy holy Temple!
Waters are on every side,
The deep surrounds me,
Sea-weed bindeth my head.
Down to the roots of the mountains I go,
Earth hath shut her bars behind me
Yet wilt Thou raise my soul from corruption,
Jehovah, my God:
In the fainting away of my life
I remember Jehovah.
The list of my teachers is now, I believe, complete. Benefactors were they, those who still remain among us, and those who have gone before. Upon the altar of memory I burn incense for them—a perpetual offering. The gift of knowledge, connected with right principles and purposes, is inalienable, never to be repaid in this life for it reaches beyond. True is the quaint old proverb: "To Parent, Teacher, and God all-sufficient none can render equivalent."