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Chance and change are busy ever;
Two years have now passed away from the calendar of Time since the first number of the New-England Magazine was presented to the public, a candidate for their approbation,-and with them one of its editors has also passed away from the face of the Earth. The intelligence of this event was received while the last sheet of the last number was passing through the press. The period and the occasion seem to demand a brief explanation.
The New-England Magazine was the offspring and the property of EDWIN BUCKINGHAM. In projecting the work, the idea of making money was no part of the consideration. The elder of the editors had previously had sufficient experience in the publication of literary periodicals to enable him to feel how uncertain and delusive are all calculations of that sort. The other was just then passing that point in age where the law sets up a distinction between the man and the minor-ardent, ambitious, active, and panting for a pecuniary independence that should correspond in some measure to the fearless moral and intellectual independence, which had, from the days of childhood, been an imposing and distinctive trait in his character. He had, already, for several years, been co-editor of a daily newspaper-an employment that is usually supposed to demand labor enough, of both mental and physical powers, to relax the assiduity of an ordinarily industrious individual; but for HIM something more was needed,--and he sought this, as a field for improvement in the pleasanter depart. ments of literature, for the cultivation of a better taste, and for the development of faculties, that have no kindred with the noise and bustle of trade and the turbulence of politics. Such was the origin of 1
this Magazine. No promises were made, to win the favor of the public, except that it should be continued for one year, in order that none, who contracted to receive it for that period, should be disappointed. It has not failed to make its appearance on the first day of every month for two years; consequently no pledge was given that has not been amply redeemed.
But HE, by whom and for whom the Magazine has existed, is no Brief as its term has been, it has yet outlived its parent. In consequence of his declining health, for more than a year, the responsibility of conducting it has rested solely on the senior editor. It has met with all the favor that was expected-it has escaped the perils of earliest infancy, and is able to go alone. The surviving editor feels that natural affection, as well as duty to its generous friends, will not permit him to desert it now. It will, therefore, be continued by him.
To gratify the curiosity of some of the friends of the Magazine, it may be proper to mention, that the political essay under the title of "United States," in No. 1,-the origical papers, entitled "Letter on Orthography," in No. 2;-"The First Day of April," in No. 10 ;and "A New Chapter in Natural History," in No. 12, together with most of the Literary Notices in the first eight numbers, were written by the deceased editor. In the same numbers, also, the matter arranged under Politics and Statistics, Universities and Colleges, Deaths, and Miscellanies, was arranged and epitomized by him.
But a brief record and a passing remark remain to be added. EDWIN BUCKINGHAM was born in Boston, June 26, 1810, and died on board the brig Mermaid, May 18, 1833. His funeral rites were performed by an American sailor, in the presence of an unlearned but kind-hearted crew of foreigners; and his remains were committed to the bosom of the Atlantic ocean, which must be his grave and his monument, till time shall be no longer. Of the character of a son it does not become a father to speak; but he would wrong a parent's feeling-nay, he would be less than man-if he did not acknowledge, with deep respect, the sympathy of cotemporaries, old and young.
Could Honor's voice provoke the silent dust
Could the regrets of friends and the kind sensibilities of less familiar acquaintance tempt the deep to surrender up its treasures
Though Love itself had ceased to Heaven to pray,
then might the dead revive, and the living cease to lay it to his heart. But, why should this be? The prison-wall of mortality is dissolved; he has tasted the wormwood and the gall; the bitterness of death is
passed, and "ages of happiness are bursting on the soul." Why should bereaved survivers wish to fix again upon earth that eye, which has already" caught the vision of God?" Who would turn back the footsteps of him, whose "march of eternity is begun ?" J. T. B.
"Wrapped in the raiment that it long must wear,
How eloquent, how awful in its power,
Rest, Loved One, rest-beneath the billow's swell,
But Israel's song, alas! is hushed,
That all her tales of triumph told, And mute is every voice that gushed In music to her harps of gold; And could my lyre attune its string
To lofty themes they loved of yore, Alas! my lips could only sing
All that we were but are no more! Our hearts are still by Jordan's stream,
And there our footsteps fain would be; But oh, 't is like the captive's dream
Of home his eyes may never see.
And darkly spreads o'er Zion's hill,
Yet, where the rose of Sharon blooms,
Breaks a deep voice that stirs the dead. Through the wide world's tumultuous roar
Floats clear and sweet the solemn word,"Oh, virgin daughter, faint no more,
Thy tears are seen, thy prayers are heard. What though, with spirits crushed and broke Thy tribes like desert exiles rove, Though Judah feels the stranger's yoke, And Ephraim is a heartless dove;Yet, yet shall Judah's LION wake,
Yet shall the day of promise come, Thy sons from iron bondage break,
And God shall lead the wanderers home!"