Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]
[ocr errors]

PEN-PORTRAIT OF THE EX-EDITOR. PORTRAIT painters, especially if they attempt we have chosen a great subject.

have obtained eminence in that noble There are few men who enjoy a higher, profession, need not be surprised if in a more extensive, or better earned poppassing along the street some day their ularity than the Rev. Abel STEVENS. own handsome profiles should salute them Wherever his name is met with it is althrough the bow window of an humble ways in such connection as to convey the member of the fraternity with a right impression that its wearer is no ordinary hearty“Good morning, sir!" Sketchers character. The reverend gentleman havneed not be surprised if some owner of a ing now been before the public in the goose-quill should try his hand to bring character of preacher on extraordinary before the public gaze outline delineations occasions, as lecturer on every variety of of their personnel.

subject, as journalist, and author, his name It must be confessed that for our first I has become a “household word.” But

Vol. XI.-8

there are thousands to whom the name is cheeks betoken hard and intense study. thus familiar who never saw the man. combined with much physical indisposiWill such allow us to introduce our dis- tion. The nose is a model of Grecian tinguished guest to them? On his part beauty. The lower part of the chin is the introduction is acknowledged with a thin and prominent. Seldom has it been smile and the warmest cordiality.

our lot to meet with so fine a pair of eyes. The first time we saw Dr. Stevens was They are of a very dark brown, and in in New Bedford, Mass., in the June of the repose of the countenance beam with 1845. He was fashionably, but not fop- a mild benignity and unmistakable intellipishly attired. A slight, but symmetrical gence. When Mr. Stevens rises to speak form was clad in a well-fitting coat and he removes his glasses. It is then those accompaniments. When the back was “ windows of the soul” begin to sparkle turned we saw hanging from the pocket with a brilliancy seldom seen elsewhere. about one half of a white silk handker- As the speaker warms up into his theme chief. By the whole combined, man, garb, and throws out his “thoughts that breathe" and movement, our attention was ar- | in " words that burn," these “ indexes of rested, fixed, and fascinated. Of a friend the soul" sparkle with a luster that dazclose at our side we inquired, “Who is zles the beholder and hearer. that?" That,” said he, “is Abel Ste The forehead is high, broad, and exvens.” “Abel Stevens!" we exclaimed. pansive, with a fullness of development The demolished fragments of the creation seldom met with. Manifestly a giant of our imagination were immediately scat- mind is hid beneath it. The head is well, tered to the four winds by the sudden con but not profusely covered with hair of a cussion from the living, moving reality soft texture, slightly inclining to black. now before us.

Whiskers of the same color cover a large Imagine, if you can, how we must have portion of each cheek. Since this fashion been taken aback in being compelled to has prevailed the two branches have been exchange our ideal of aldermanic propor- allowed a downward course until they tions for a “pocket edition of humanity," have united together and spread themour venerable editor for a comparatively selves under the chin and about the throat. young man. Here, then, was the verita As a preacher Mr. Stevens commenced ble Abel Stevens, the man we had long his career while yet a mere boy. But and earnestly desired to see, right before those juvenile performances were of such

He is now in our sanctum, sitting for a character as to preclude the necessity his likeness, our optics are ready, and the of the admonition from the lips of his plate is dropped into its socket. Now, seniors in this sacred calling, “Let no then, we hope the sun will shine clearly man despise thy youth.” While the through our skylight, so as to enable us to youth of the speaker was the attractive present a life-like ambrotype.

magnet in gathering large audiences, the · It will already have been inferred that astonishing eloquence, pathos, and power we are not to bring forth a physical giant. with which he proclaimed his heavenly Dr. Stevens is rather below the medium message retained and augmented the wonheight, with not the least tendency to | dering throng. And now that the novelty corpulence. But in the absence of unu of boyishness has passed away, what else sual height and redundancy, he presents but the transcendent charm which chara personal appearance of much more than acterizes the delivery of these discourses average beauty. The good taste with of an hour and a half in length retains to which he dresses sets off his almost per- their close with ever increasing interest fect symmetry to great advantage. In the crowds who listen to him ?: walking or standing the head maintains We first heard the subject of this sketch an erect position, and the whole form is at the anniversary of a missionary soci. straightened up to his full height, unless, ety. The address delivered on that occaperchance, somewhat thereof may be lost sion will not soon be forgotten, either by by "leaning,"as Paddy would say, "t'other ourself or the hundreds then present. We way.”

hesitate not to pronounce it the finest But.let us turn to the expressive part stream of platform eloquence ever poured of our subject, the head.

The counte

upon us.

Taking into account thought, nance is oval; its deep pallor and sunken imagery, language, management of voice,

us.

gesticulation, action, earnestness, and it, and now stands before you in the transwhatever is comprised in effective speak- parency of noon-day. All this has been ing, we never expect to hear its like again, done with a few well-chosen and pertinent unless it be from the same lips. From words. The speaker resumes his seat those same lips we may yet have a re and is soon absorbed in thought. No one newal of what we deem one of the most rises to reply, for nothing more is needed. ecstatic periods of our whole life, although The chair puts the question, and a unaniwe have heard many of the greatest men to mous vote settles it forever. Never, perbe found on this continent, or on the British haps, was this rare faculty more strikingly isles, who have spoken upon this most stir- displayed than during the session of the ring of all themes, the emancipation of the General Conference in Pittsburgh, in the morally enslaved race of inan from the spring of 1848. tyranny of sin.

Some of your readers may perhaps reIntimation has been made that the sub- member that, as editor of Zion's Herald, ject of this sketch ranks high as a member he was suddenly and unexpectedly charged of deliberative bodies. In this character by a member with giving, through that we have had frequent opportunities of journal, such reports of the doings of Conwitnessing his power over other minds. ference as were not strictly correct. This The last session of the Providence Con-charge upon the Eastern editor, we have ference is the only one at which we have said, was unexpected, and took him by surnot seen him present. His absence at prise. But though surprised, he was not this time was occasioned by his being unprepared for a reply which must have traveling in Europe. During the session astounded, and did most certainly silence he intrudes not himself upon our notice, as his antagonist. That reply was published, though he were the only one present capa- and called forth the most unmeasured ble of speaking upon the question under | eulogiums of every intelligent reader. discussion. He speaks but little, but And well it might. Rarely has the senate never to little purpose. If he rises to chamber, the halls of jurisprudence, or the speak, it is frequently when some knotty sanctuary, been the theater of such unquestion is on the tapis, and its knots have answerable logic, or such glowing elobeen multiplied or made more intricate by quence. That off-hand, purely extemposome of the previous speakers. He rises raneous effort might serve as a perpetual slowly, with eyes fixed upon the floor. warning for all mere pigmies not to wake The most nervous and impulsive,'on wit- up the sleeping lion. Its effect upon the nessing this deliberative movement, make intelligent body before whom it was deno attempt to gain the floor before him. In livered was manifested by his election to this respect there is a deference paid to him our highest denominational editorial post. akin to that offered to venerable and distin Dr. Stevens has been too long before the goished rank and high official grade. Si public as an editor to call for any notice of lence pervades the entire assemblage. Uni- him in this character from our pen. His versal attention is waked up. Every eye late editorial post we have always conis riveted, every ear is open. A stranger sidered as the most critical and difficult would at once conjecture that something un it was possible for our Church to assign usual is expected. Before rising, the speak to any of its servants. If we have come er doffs his glasses; these on rising are held at a correct knowledge of facts, it was deby one side of the frame between the thumb signed that The National should not, on and forefinger of one hand, and are made the one hand, be so grave as to deter the to perform a few revolutions round the unconverted from its pages ; nor, on the wrist. The fingers of the other hand are other hand, so light and frothy as to fall run a few times through the hair on the under the censure of the prevailing literafore part and sides of the head. The ture of the day. Its purpose was to break chair is addressed in the most deferential the spell which binds the votaries of the manner, and the speaker plunges at once fictitious trash by which our land is flooded. into the subject. He has seen it in all its with these limitations on either side, would bearings, and with all its intricacies, and it have been possible to have found a man will soon cause you to see it with equal who could have given us a production more clearness. The question is soon divested in character with the design of its projectof all the difficulties which had surrounded ors ? Should pastors, parents, and guard

ians of youth but take hold of this maga- but in less than fifteen days they gain con-
zine as its merits deserve, such a mental siderable growth and activity, and disperse
and moral revolution would soon be to seek their own food.
achieved, as is most devoutly to be desired. This abundant multiplication is turned

As an author it is superfluous to speak to good account under some circumstances.
of our subject. In this character “his The keepers of reptiles in menageries
own works praise him in the gates.” As sometimes raise these mice in great num-
a tourist let his recently published letters, bers, as food for those creatures which re-
from the European continent, testify of his fuse dead prey. It is known that many
wide-awake look-out, his Yankee inquisi- serpents of this kind only require food at
tiveness, acuteness of observation, keen- | long intervals, and the white mouse serves
ness of discrimination, historical knowl-them admirably.
edge, political information, ecclesiastical This creature is found not only in our
lore, facility in writing, and felicity of temperate climates, but also in the north
description. In the language of the Ce- and south of the two continents. Some
lestials, may Abel Stevens “live a thou- authors pretend that they came originally

from the north of Europe, but no facts yet
stated seem to confirm this opinion.

The Zerda is a small and very rare car-
CURIOUS ANIMALS.

nivorous animal, principally found in DonHE white mouse, sometimes called the gola, Sennaar, Libya, and sometimes at

sand years.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

in color of the common gray mouse, (Urus English traveler of the last century, first muscolus.) Its fur is a brilliant white, its advised zoologists of the existence of this eyes a rosy red. These colors are trans- animal, and he has a cut of it in his fine mitted by generation.

work containing an account of his AbyssinAll its characteristics, except color, are ian and Nubian journey in 1768 to 1772. the same as those of the little troublesome The Zerda is only about two thirds the nibbler that often swarms in our habita- height of an ordinary fox, and its length, tions and annoys us by its ravages. It from the end of the nose to the root of the has the same instincts and the same tem-tail, is aboui ten inches. Its general physiperament. Notice its habitual bearing : it ognomy is also that of the fox, but it has is timid by nature, and only becomes famil one peculiarity, its ears are disproportioniar by necessity: mark with what peace-ately large, and the inside filled with long ful hesitation it puts out its head from its and fine hairs, tufted at the border, but narrow dwelling, whence it only issues to more scattered in the center. seek its food ; but it does not go far, and Its color is a fine russet dun, verging on runs back on the slightest alarm. It may the white beneath, tail nearly black, a be tamed to a certain degree, but it never tawny spot under each eye, the pupil very becomes seriously attached to its keeper. large and very black, the iris a deep blue; The white mouse does not inspire that head small compared with the rest of the sort of horror which many feel at the sight body; the nose slender, the end pointed, of the common gray mouse, a sentiment black, and very smooth; teeth long and which, we think, is only inspired by the very sharp; legs slender; toes long, black, little surprises and annoyances which he and crooked ; claws not retractile. occasions.

Few animals have given rise to so many In many places in Europe, but still more doubts and discussions relative to the real commonly in China, the white mouse is place which it should occupy in the scale raised in a kind of domesticity. They are

of mammifers. Bruce did not venture to easily kept on bread, cheese, lard, butter, pronounce upon its affinities ; Buffon, who and green salad, of which they are very received from Bruce a description of the fond, and generally all the aliments which new genus, partly designated it as anonyman prepares for himself satisfy their appe- mous, and found it related to both the tite.

hare and the squirrel. They multiply in a manner truly pro Other naturalists have allied it to the digious. A litter, usually numbering five dog. At last the more intelligent study or six, is produced in twenty-five days. of its zoological characters, particularly The little ones are at first naked and blind, I those of its skeleton, has proved that the

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Zerda is a carnivorous animal, and should sugar. A living bird that was placed in be classed with the fox. It constitutes their cage inmediately fixed their attenthe smallest species of this genus.

tion, and it was evident that they were in Its habits are little known. Bruce had the habit of preying upon it, doubtless for a few of the living animals ; they partook food. On the other hand, the very presof dates eagerly, and did not refuse other ence of a cat frightened them; they did not fruits that were given to them ; they de seek to defend themselves, but only to esFoured the eggs of the pigeon and other cape. small eggs with incredible voracity ; when A few live specimens now in the menhungry they readily accepted of bread, agerie at Paris remain nearly asleep all especially if it was spread with honey or day; it is sometimes difficult to keep them

« VorigeDoorgaan »