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twelve peers. Ah! whoever can be certain of having one of these peers at his table every day of his life, may promise himself to have no more any unhappy hours to fear! If however any one has been deprived of the society of so noble a companion, shall I counsel him therefore to go bang himself ? No, indeed! whether good or bad, let us thankfully drink such wine as Providence has given us.'
NAVAL SKETCHES: Scenes in Havana, Etc. -Our young and enthusiastic correspondent, Mr. E. Curtis Hine, attached to the United States' sloop-of-war * Albany,' writes us as follows from Havana, under date of the thirteenth of December. The · Albany' subsequently sailed for Vera Cruz; and Mr. Hine will keep us fully advised of whatever of interest may occur in a quarter to which so many anxious eyes are now turned: It was a bright and sunny afternoon when we approached Havana. The grim mountains of Cuba towered against the far distant saffron. colored sky, while gently intervening hills rose before us, their green sides thickly studded with beautiful trees, from whose branches the yellow oranges and bananas hung in clusters. It was a beautiful sight to see the “ Albany,' with her white wings spread wide and high, and the winds singing in her mazy cordage, as she dashed the foam from her sharp bows, and few like a wild-swan toward Havana, whose old gray towers and turrets were one by one opening on our view. Directly before us rose the frowning battlements and lofty bastions of the Moro Castle, grimly planted upon their rocky base, and scowling upon the passers-by; while beyond, the brown walls of Castle Blanco glittered in the sun, and the beautiful ensign of Spain floated from its lofty staff upon the wind. Man the to’-gallant clewlines! cried the shrill voice of the first-lieutenant through his trumpet; and in a moment the rustling top-gallant sails hung in graceful festoons from their respective yards. The ship was at that time rounding the Castle, and in a moment the whole magnificent panorama burst upon us. There lay the calm, still bay, sleeping like an inland lake beneath an August noon. In the mirror-like depths of that blue tide stood inverted tall spars and black ranges of shrouds of many a goodly bark from distant quarters of the world ; the stern fortresses, with their ponderous cannon, tier upon tier; the whitewalled houses; the groves of orange and banana trees, from the midst of whose branches peeped the half-hidden turrets of many a gray old church, from which the softened music of bells came faintly to our ears :
"THE convent-bells were ringing,
But mournfully and low,
With a deep sound, to and fro.'
As we ran slowly up the harbor, close to the sterns of the different vessels that lay head-on to the wharves, we could distinctly hear the melancholy songs with which the half-naked negro slaves cheered their weary toil, mingled with the strains of a military band that was playing in the Plaza. Strewn along the shores of the har. bor might be descried the wrecks of many a craft dasheu among the breakers by the violence of the late hurricane, deserted by their crews, and left to moulder piecemeal on the rocks. Among them wero the remains of a noble sixty-gun frigate, with the tri-color flying gaily above her, as in the palmy days when she bore the chivalry and pride of France to distant lands.
• It was a glorious view we had from the deck of our beautiful vessel that sunny afternoon! Far inland was stretched a chain of mountains, like a blue thundercloud, piled peak on peak against the sky, which bent like a golden canopy above them, while nearer could be seen many a green and cone-shaped hill, on which the tall and thinly-scattered cocoa-trees stood like sentinels over some hoarded treasure, waving their long arms in the freshening breeze. Before us lay the white walls and dwellings of the city, every thing clearly defined, and standing inverted in the bay. Vessels of almost every nation, and from almost every land, lay lazily riding at their anchors; small ferry-steamers were busily plying to and fro between Havana and Regules, and many a light pleasure-boat, with an awning over its stern, glided noiselessly along, bearing in most cases a single passenger, dressed in his white roundabout, pantaloons secured at the waist by a red silk sash, an enormous Manilla hat, and light pumps. Opposite the city, gray with the stains of time, and commanding the narrow entrance of the harbor, loomed the giant Moro Castle, and towering above it the light-house, with its revolving beacon, to point the way of the benighted mariner to 'the haven where he would be.'
• The streets of Havana are narrow and but poorly lighted. Soldiers in their white dresses and monks with their shaven heads, coarse garments and suspended crucifixes, are to be met with at almost every turn; while an ungainly and unwieldy sort of two-wheeled vehicle, drawn by inules, on the forward one of which is seated a negro-driver in his scarlet livery, long boots and many-thonged whip, plod their slow length along' the dusty thoroughfares. The buildings are in general from one to three stories in height, the walls plastered over with stucco, and accommodated with green latticed jalousies, from which peer down star-like upon the passers-by the soft lustrous eyes of many a beautiful Spanish maiden. In the Plazı stands a monument to the memory of ChristoVAL ColoxIt is built of white marble, with a broad Doric base, and surmounted by a statue of the great Navigator, over whose shoulders is thrown a cloak, after the Spanish fashion. The features of the statue are dignified and commanding. In the right hand is grasped a scroll, while the left rests upon the hilt of a sword.
• Night is the time to see Havana in all its glory. When the sun,' an orb of blood,' descends behind the wbite walls of the city, the whole western horizon assumes the myriad hues of the rainbow. Slowly and one by one the heavenly tints fade away, the amber succeeding the crimson, the purple the amber, until the whole sky is gilded with the last rays of the King of Day. Then the stars come slowly from their hiding-places, and coyly look upon their features in the calm bay below. At length the whole of the countless lamps of heaven are lit, and the water below seems alive with them. The moon slowly rises over the grim battlements of the Moro, and silently climbs the arch of the cloudless sky, silvering over with her rays the distant groves of orange-trees, and rendering evening far more lovely than the moruing. Through the still watches of the night the weird beacon-light of the Moro flashes fitfully on the northern sky, illuminating for a moment the vessels in the harbor with a blood-like glow, and then fading away, leaves their black hulls and delicate tapering spars again silvered over with the moonbeams. Thus wear the hours away, until a crimson blush appears on the face of the eastern horizon, as if it were ashamed of destroying so much loveliness, and the loud boom of the signal-gun, echoing over hill and dale, announces that day has again resumed her empire over Havana.'
Gossip with READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS. — Our readers will remember that in the November number of this Magazine notice was taken, in the review-department, of a pamphlet entitled · Lo Here!' which had for its purpose the exhibition of the su. perstitions and mal-practices of a class known as The Shakers.' The author of that production, a gentleman of character and education, well known as such to many persons in this community, and now on his travels in Europe, called upon us, and in an interview of some length, imparted to us the reasons which had impelled him to the publication of the pamphlet. His own sister, he affirmed, a young and lovely girl of seventeen, the idol of her family, had been wiled from her bome, and by what arts or indirect or forced courses' he knew not,' poisoned and subdued in ber affections toward her natural protectors, and induced to remain with the Shakers in a northern society of that sect. He had endeavored, he informed us, with others of his friends, to obtain an audience with his sister, that he might ascertain from herself whether she tarried among the Shakers of her own will, and if so, to reason with her upon the danger and folly of her course ; but, he added, that in this attempt he was entirely frustrated; that he was even treated with great personal violence, and was finally compelled to forego the execution of his purpose. These circumstances, he said, had led him thoroughly to examine into the characteristics of the Shaker faith and practice; and the result of this investigation, he declared, he had faithfully recorded in the pamphlet which he laid before us. Reasoning from the statements there made, as well as partly from corroborative information previously derived, we did not hesitate to condemn the principles and practices of the Shakers, as subversive of the strongest bonds of domestic life and the most sacred charities of home. Premising this much, we present to our readers the subjoined letter, which we havo received from a distinguished member of the society in question. It would seem that, “according to the best of the writer's knowledge and belief,' there is a *Lo There!' side of the picture; and we certainly have no wish to deny him a hearing:
RESPECTED FRIEND: Upon my return bome last evening from nearly a month's absence, I find a query in the KNICKERBOCKER, (page 559,) which I answer. If what is set down in 'Lo Here" as true, he veritable,' thou art 'right' in animadverting strongly and with severity upon such principles and practices as are therein stated to belong to Shakers;' but that the derogatoryt statements made and charges brought in that anonymous pamphlet are true, I deny, fully and unequivocally, aecording to the best of my knowledge and belief; which denial is made from an acquaintance with this people for more than thirty years; an intimate kuowledge of them for a part of that time; the reading of all their publications, and every publication written against them, so far as I could leara of or procure them; and the hearing of and examining into the many and varied objections to them which were presented to me before I united with them. Since then I have been often and for weeks together an ipmate of different families; have freely visited the Societies at New-Lebanon, Watervleit, Canaan, Tyringham, Hancock and Enfield; bad full opportunities with those in highest authority down to the school children; had personal acquaintance and correspondence with members of distant societies; associated with all classes, in all suitable situations and circumstances ; been with them in their labors in the fields, garians and shops; in their relaxations and worship ; with the young, the aged, the sick and the dying. Having had these opportunities of forming a judgment of those among whom I have cast my lot, as a people prosessing to hold to the pure principles of the Gospel of our LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, as handed down to us in the New Testament, and the practice of self-denial and of every christian virtue, I could not but regret, on thy own account and on that of thy readers, that thou shouldst unqualifiedly state, as an important fact, that we inculcate superstitions by system and by rule, probably exceeding in vulgarity and darkness almost any thing that is revealed in the scrolls of heathenism. That this was an honest expression of mis.
taken views I can believe; but if thy statement be indeed fact, then I desire to know what I have not yet learued, for I profess to love truth for Truth's sake, and to follow it, come whence it may, lead where it will
'Lo Here l' but for thy endorsement would have been incurrent paper, as I think, and have attracted little notice; and that ebulition of private griefs' by the principal author in passionate invective inight have spent itself harınlessly to all others. I understand the booksellers who had the pamphlet for sale say that the publisher has called in the copies left with them. I tried in vain to get another copy to-day; no responsible person, so far as I can learn, being found to father the production. But not so with the reviewer. His article stands out in bold relief as the record of condemuatory opinions of a gentleman who possesses an extensive intluence with the reading public, most of whom would doubtless take his decision, after scanning with some care the proofs,' as conclusive evide in such a case, and think it not worth the trouble to look into the matter themselves. Thou hast brought us before the bar of public opinion, and charged us, in bitter language, with being the veriest dregs of all superstition, delusion and fanaticism; as enemies to all that is virtuous and praiseworthy. Allow us, I pray, the privilege secured to the most depraved reprobate, to plead Not Guilty. And we appeal to Him who knoweth all hearts, and who ordereth all things aright. We profess a self-denying religion. We look not for popularity; this belongs not to us nor to our ways. We send abroad no missionaries nor tract-distributors. We mingle not in matters of government; but sub. mit thereto as to God's ministers for the punishment of evil-doers and the praise of them who do well. We are a people every where spoken against ;' and it must be so. We do not huut after the groundless stories that are peddled about the country, to prosecute for slander, but try to live down calumoy and put reproach to shame. Seeing that we have been brought from our seclusion, and thought worthy to be placed so prominently before thy readers, many of whom I should hope are seeking for truth, it would seem to we but reasonable to ask thee in all friendliness to give us the privilege to say to thee ourselves what we do hold to, and give thyself an opportunity to judge of our truthfulness. It is adınitted that we are a singular people ; but even Lo Here!' allows that we extend courtesy to visitors. Come therefore, I invite thee respectfully, as soon as it may suit thy inclination and convenience, and make us a personal visit, We will welcome thee, and try not to harm thee. (He who is forewarned is forearmed.) We want thee to know if these things be indeed so. We prosess to be children of the light and of the day, and to disown whatever we should be afraid or ashamed to have our fellow creatures witness. Come then, I repeat; leave thy prepossessions behind, and if we once get thee fairly umoug us, rely upon it, we will take Shaker reVenge.
•With kind regards, thy friend, R— W, JB.'
Very well; so be it. When the time of the singing of the birds hath come,' and the voice of the turtle is heard once more in the land, we shall (Deo volente) make an excursion to New-Lebanon, and shall be glad there to meet and exchange courtesies with our correspondent and the Society whom he so fervently, and we must add, quite naturally defends. We shall then be able to ascertain, from personal examination, whether it is the first time they have ever had a visitation from, or social comimunication with, .THE OLD KNICK! .::· The Two Brothers of China,' a tale in preceding pages, which is here first translated from the original Chinese, by a gentleman now and for the last twenty years resident in Canton, will arrest the attention of the reader, by the simplicity of its narrative-style and the faithful picture which it presents of life and death) in the Celestial Empire. The romantic incident evolved in the dénouement is one of which we have often heard ; but no instance was probably ever known to occur, out of China, in which an exposé of the mysterious sex was made in such a manner and under such circumstances. The following extract from a private letter, written at Canton in June last to a friend in this city, will throw some light upon the funereal custom so often alluded to in the tale to which we have referred. The writer is not the translator of the story in question, yet he has resided several years at Canton, with advantages for observation rarely enjoyed by any of his countrymen ; and his accuracy and intelligenco entitle his remarks to much consideration : · By the “Thos. W. Sears' I send you a stone model of a Chinese tomb, which I think you may like to place in your cabinet. You probably know how much importance these people attach to their last resting-places, and that they carry their ideas of filial reverence and respect so far as to go solemnly every year to visit the tombs, and there offer up oblations and invoke the shades of their ancestors. In fact, this ceremony is religiously observed as the first of duties, the neglect of which is deemed the greatest of sins, is even punishable by the laws, and is sure to be followed by misfortune. The great Annual Festival occurs early in the month of April, at which time the whole population of a village may be seen trooping in parties to the hills, to repair and sweep the tombs, to make their offerings and invocations, and thus demonstrate their filial piety. The sight of these is interesting and affecting, although it has sadly degenerated into idolatry. One of the considerations which tend to keep up the habit is the hope and assurance that they also will be laid in such tombs, and that their children and descendants will honor and worship their memory and remains in the same manner. Hence the hopelessness of this makes the childless doubly miserable. The tombs are many of them large and handsome, and expensive according to the means of the family. It is a most singular coincidence, if accidental, that the shape of the tomb is exactly like the Greek Omega ; last, the end. The best are of white stone, like your model. This is the mourning color of the Chinese. They are generally placed on the top and sides of lofty hills, so that when one dies, it is commonly said, "He has gone to ramble upon the immortal hills.' There are two tablets, with Chinese characters upon them. Dr. BRIDGMAN has copied and translated a specimen of them. The first is :
• THE cloudy hills are shady and dark;
The green waters are tranquil and deep:
• Erected on a lucky day in the summer of 1845.'
The other tablet was doubtless erected upon one of those occasions when the children or friends of the deceased go to sweep the tombs ; for it says:
"THE stony way leads up the lofty sombre hills ;
There the white clouds thickly involve the abodes of men:
• This tomb was erected April fourth, 1846 ;' the time of the annual festival, as you see in my preceding remarks. The Chinese are the most figurative and poetical people in their language that I know of; and in this, as well as in many other respects, are truly entitled to the appellation which they have given them. selves of · The Central Flowery People. Their writings are over-loaded with imagery and attempts to illustrate their meaning by comparison with nature and external objects. Many of their verses are beautifully poetic, although they are apt to run into hyperbole. I have been much amused with a love-letter which was sent by some soft-hearted damsel in Canton to her sweet-heart lately, and which fell into the hands of a friend of mine, who gave me a translation of it. There is no doubt of its being a genuine one ; and I copy the translation that you may know what strange feelings actuate the minds of your sex in China. Thus :
*ABSENT through five months is my chief's face; they appear to me as long as three autumas. In dreams I think of thee, and the inner divinity seeks to sit at your right and left. I know how. ever that your g emneous person is in tranquillity, and that good fortune favors you immensely. I am therefore rejoiced. Your mistress still lives alone in the green chamber, which is as insipid as