Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

when, at ten o'clock in the evening, having taken leave of his distressed family, he died.

The private character of Edmond C. Genet cannot be too much praised. His disposition was very lively, and with true philosophy he endured all the ills of life, of which he received a large share, with the most perfect and unaffected fortitude and resignation. His conversation was full of instruction, as well as entertaining, not only for his children, but for all who listened; and he was in the habit, at his family meals, and on other occasions, of drawing largely from the fund of knowledge and amusement which the experience of his varied life had enabled him to accumulate. He has never solicited or held any office of political honor or trust in this country, although the strong interests which he took în matters relating to agriculture and the arts and sciences was the cause of his frequently accepting offices in societies formed to promote these objects.

Although not employed in any public situation, Mr. Genet has frequently wielded his able pen in the cause of philanthropy and liberty, and in the support of such men and measures as he considered would be best calculated to promote the true interests of his adopted country. He was the author of the law for the abolishment of imprisonment for debt in New York, and the law for the equity of redemption. By his ‘untiring perseverance, and without assistance, against violent opposi- tion for several years, he at length procured the passage of the law of equal taxation, which, beside its own intrinsic merits, is worthy of especial remark as being the means of adding a vast sum of money to the annual revenue of the state. He was the founder of the school of Mines, and of other works of public utility in France. He has endured much ridicule for so zealously endeavoring to procure a ship-canal to be constructed around the obstructions in the Hudson at Albany; a measure the necessity of which every year demonstrates, and which must finally be carried into effect, as he said, when I shall be forgotten as the author of it.

In 1825 he published a work entitled · A Memorial on the Upward Forces of Fluids, and their applicability to several Arts and Sciences and Useful Improvements. For the discoveries contained in this work he obtained a patent. In 1814 he discovered a method and made very successful experiments in the rectification of musty flower; several years afterward Sir Humphrey Davy made the same discovery, and published an account of it in England. Genet made a very successful experiment in New York in 1825, in presence of the wardens of the port and others, to prevent a boat from sinking, by means of tubes filled with air, on the plan of his patent. A square hole was cut in the bottom of the boat, which was very small; it was then filled with stones and three men stood upon it, yet it floated with ease and bouyancy. The same principle can be applied, with little expense, to the largest vessels.

Another plan which occupied his attention very much was that of steering balloons; the practicability of which has been admitted by Mr. Bolton, with whom Mr. Genet formed an intimate acquaintance during is residence in London. But to enumerate all his projects of

public utility would swell this sketch to a volume. Enough has been written, we trust, not only to give our readers better views in relation to the political life of this man, but also to give them much information in relation to his private worth and personal good qualities.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Is there no rest for hearts worn out and broken?

No subtle anodyne to soothe their pain?
Those gentle accents by the Saviour spoken,

"My peace I give you,' were they breathed in vain ? No, not in vain !- the sighs wrung out by Sorrow

Are calmed by thoughts of childhood's sinless years; From that sweet source the saddest heart can borrow

Relief from anguish, and a balm for tears.

Hallowall, (Maine.)

но W то вы нAPPY.

BT A. 2. JOENSON.

The learned are continually witnessing the explanation of so many mysteries, and the development of so many wonders, that they know not what to disbelieve ; while the unlearned are so frequently compelled to believe what they cannot explain, and to witness performances which they have deemed impossible, that they believe almost any thing. These are the classes of society who became ready victims some few years since to the moon hoax of Locke,' and who crowd the lecture-rooms of animal-magnetizers to ascertain whether men can really be made to see without the agency of eyes; and who submit their heads to the examination of phrenology, for the purpose of learning the extent of their own sagacity. But between these extremes of knowledge and ignorance, are found a vast multitude of people, who err on the side of incredulity, and sturdily reject every assumption that conflicts with their personal experience. They seem to have no poetry in their organization, and life is to them nothing but a routine of common-place occurrences. They are the men who in the days of Captain Lemuel Gulliver, the great early discover of unknown countries, disbelieved his narratives, though we are now enabled by a most fortunate accident to render tardy justice to that much abused navigator; so far at least as relates to the country of the Houynhnms, and the intellectual intelligence of its quadruped inhabitants. Some twenty-three years ago, a Nantucket whaler fell in with the coast of those people, and the captain saw on the beach what he supposed to be a mare with two very young colts. He naturally inferred that the country was inhabited, and hoping he might procure from the inhabitants some fresh provisions of which he was much in need, by reason that some of his men exhibited symptoms of scurvy; he ordered a boat to be lowered from the ship, and proceeded with it to the beach. The moment he landed and approached within a short distance of the mare, he became satisfied that he was in the country of the Houynhnms; for the mare, instead of fearing the approach of the stranger, trotted up to him in the most aristocratic manner, with the unmistakeable intention of seizing him, and probably transporting him into the interior, where he would have been held in bondage to horses for the remainder of his life. Who can blame him when under such circumstances he drew from his belt a large double-shotted pistol, and killed the assailant, amiable and respected though she may have been among her own people. The colts were too young to understand the irreparable loss which they had sustained, and quietly permitted the captain and his boat's crew to take them on shipboard, whence they were eventually carried to Nantucket and sold to a farmer of the interior, who treated them kindly though he was ignorant of their real character. They soon themselves, lost all distinct recollection of their origin, though an observer who knew the stock from which they sprang, could easily have discovered that they were not common horses; but evidently communed together in language intelligible to themselves.

The colts were unbroken and lived in a fine fresh clover pasture which yielded them an abundance of juicy food; though they kept cropping it night and day as if they were trying for a wager whether they could not eat faster than nature could replenish. One calm summer morning, the sun was just peering above the horizon, the birds of the neighborhood were just commencing the labor of hunting for breakfast, and the spiders on the fences and grass were repairing their webs, which had been injured by the dews of the past night; and all were working with the activity that results from pleasant anticipations that the dawning day was to be prodigal of vivacity and sport. The colts also, had just arisen from their grassy beds, and were shaking the dust from their smooth sides preparatory to the commencement of any frolic that should occur, when suddenly a small dog bounded over the fence into the pasture, and ran furiously toward the colts with open mouth and shrill bark, as though he intended nothing less than to eat them both up when he should arrive near enough, or at least inflict on them some grievous bodily injury. The colts, in all the hilarity of untamed youth and high spirits, pointed at him their long flexible ears, as though they were much alarmed, and wanted to be fully acquainted with the whole extent of their danger. They permitted him to approach sufficiently near to make him yelp fearfully in repentance of his temerity, when they snorted loud, turned short about, threw their heels at him high into the air ; and then relieved the little braggart's fears by bounding forward across the field like a shadow.

But the dog portended something more than the colts imagined. He was but the precursor of his and their master, who soon appeared in person, and authoritatively calling back the dog, chid him for his currish interference with what he was not bidden to intermeddle with. The colts stood still to admire this new incident, and to enjoy the fun of seeing their petty assailant sneak slowly toward his master, with half bended knees and imploring eyes as though some invisible spell which he could not resist, was dragging him reluctantly forward to expected punishment. The moment of triumph is often the moment of danger; and the colts, who now felt that they had been abundantly revenged, and might seek some new sport, soon found that the man had also a mission for them, and that he was not to be baffled as the dog had been.

They had hitherto known men only as admirers, and who in that character tolerate all manner of antic tricks; but now they were required to know man as a master; a change which alters his conduct considerably, as young ladies often discover as well as colts. In vain they dodged in every direction as the owner approached; they were eventually driven into a short corner, where escape became impracticable, and both were finally bitted and bridled.

When the colis looked at each other, and saw the curious head-dress with which they were ornamented, each neighed with mirth at the grotesque appearance of the other; but when the owner intimated, by gently pulling at the bridles, that he wished the colts to follow him, they

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »