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by knowing editors, and other of the literary sages of the town. Some thought that the moon would whisk across the sun's disc, like a moth through a candle. Some deemed that we were to be enveloped in midnight darkness; and others were of the opinion, that extraordinary events were clearly portended; and that it was high time for the people to cast their eyes about, and be prepared for the worst. These latter enlightened personages will doubtless find their theory confirmed by circumstances, and the innocent sun and moon will have to bare the blame for divers fires, deaths, broken crockery, and other accidents. Luckily, however, their shoulders are broad, and the animadversions of their earthly critics, as sometimes happens in other cases, will have but feeble influence upon the future destiny of the objects of their spleen. The stars of heaven were expected to come forth, honored with the society of a fiery-tailed comet, which has paid us a flying visit. Several learned old ladies, with the foresight natural to age, had their lamps duly trimmed and filled; and it is even rumored that a scientifie office holder in the city hall, who, in his youth, had devoted himself to the study of astronomy with unparalleled success, did arrange on his table a row of the best sperm candles, for the accommodation of such desperate transactors of business as might possibly keep an eye upon their sublunary affairs, at such a sublime period.
When the obscuration of daylight became apparent, the streets presented a singular spectacle. Lawyers, doctors, and merchants came forth to examine if the much-talked-of-event were actually taking place. Editors, with pens stuck behind their learned ears, left unfinished paragraphs, planted themselves on the steps with clerks, printers, and devils, all looking through smoked glass with one eye shut. The cartman stopped his horse, and satisfied himself of the fact that the sun was actually behind something which, rather than "argufy the topic," he was willing should pass for the moon. The chimney sweep flung down his brush, and indulged in his own reflections upon the subject; and juvenile delinquents, who, ten chances to one, had played truant from school, gathered together in groups in the middle of the streets, and interchanged pretty deep observations
upon the popular branches of astronomy. not, however, wanting ill-disposed persons, who went about openly expressing feelings of dissatisfaction. They protested against the whole affair, as neither more nor less than an imposition-a mere hoax, palpably got up to effect some political or other private purpose. It was, they said, just such another piece of quackery as the elephant, which they had been led to expect would take up the supernumeraries by dozens, and fling them about in the air like so many foot balls, whereas no such desirable feat was exhibited, and the beast was nothing more than a mere natural animal. Little boys stationed themselves in several streets with lighted candles and pieces of broken glass, and saluted passengers with the frequent salutation of "See the eclipse today, sir? Only two cents!" At the same time presenting the glass; but few deemed themselves warranted by the importance of the exhibition in incurring such an unnecessary and heavy expense.
We are told that the enterprising proprietor of one of the museums, who had made extensive preparations for a grand illumination, and had advertised it to be the interest of all the world to come and behold his magnificent building brilliantly illuminated at noon-day, as one of the sublimest spectacles which could engage the human mind, was induced to utter some very improper expressions when it became apparent that the world needed not his disinterested services. He declared it was one of the most ridiculous things he had ever seen in the course of his life. The truth is, however, to speak seriously, the interest with which we gaze upon this phenomenon is unlike that excited by physical wonders in general. A lofty mountain, its summit piercing through the clouds, a volcano spouting out fire, a cataract pouring its world of waters in thunder down the broken rocks, or any other object of curiosity, even those which continually pass by us unregarded, the sun's rising and setting, the break of day, the varying shapes and appearances of the moon as the clouds change" the expression of the sky," are all intrinsically more beautiful. But the importance of an occurrence, similar to that which has just taken place, consists not so much in the delight it affords the eye, as the illustra VOL. II.-16
tion it affords to the mind, of the perfect accuracy with which the great principles of nature operate, and the height to which human science has soared, in thus exercising throughout the broad universal regions of space, the same accurate observations with which it fathoms the depth of a stream, or determines the shape of an island. When regarded in its connection with the cheering and elevating hopes of religion, from a subject of idle curiosity, it rises into a theme of wonder, and assumes an importance amounting to sublimity. It is a palpable and undeniable proof to those whose understanding cannot reach the conclusion through the mazes of metaphysical discussion, that the inconceivably vast plan of the universe is conducted by the control of unlimited wisdom. Nor can human reason refuse to
submit its destiny to a power that sways the stupendous operations of the heavens with a regularity which time cannot disturb.
THE MELANCHOLY MAN.
Mav.-I feel 'tis so.
Thus have I been since first the plague broke cut,
To walk through wo to all eternity.
Astrologer-Thou canst not, fool!
I HAVE been all my life haunted with a desire to commit suicide. It has crossed me-it still crosses me continually. It is partly the result of constitution, and partly of early and frequent misfortunes, and a habit of brooding over them. This dreadful disease has for ever caused me to look with sickly eyes on the charms of life and the beauties of nature. I shall not here write any history of myself. It would not interest others.
Those incidents which have made me wretched, happier dispositions would soon forget. I can never forget them. I feel that my game of life has been played and lost. Those secret springs of joy and hope, which give elasticity to other minds, in me are broken. I have been always struggling against the current; and sometimes, nay often, it has appeared to me as if some awful and inexorable power were present at my undertakings, and took a mysterious delight in bringing them to ruin. True, my reason often teaches me that this is merely an absurd fancy, and that it cannot be. Yet I think it is, and that is sufficient to make me wretched. Sometimes, in the endeavor to combat this opinion as a superstition, I have compelled. myself to embark in a design, or to entertain an affection; but invariably I have met with such severe disappointments, that I have long since ceased to hope. When I first reached the years of manhood, I found this in all my pecuniary business. Stock fell if I touched it; banks broke as soon as I became interested. The fable relates, that whatever the celebrated king of Phrygia touched, turned to gold; wherever I laid my hand, I was sure to produce destruction. At length I have grown so timid, that I am afraid to love, afraid to form a friendship, afraid to offer advice. He who peruses this will, doubtless, smile incredulously on me; he will say it is an impossibility. Well, let him. Indeed it seems equally so to me. I have racked my brain to believe it merely an accidental train of unfavorable events, which tomorrow may change; yet it has not changed, and I am half fain to abandon myself to the startling and terrible thought, that I am branded with some mysterious curse. Whatever may be the cause, I am miserable, and always have been so beyond description. I look for nothing this side the grave.
I became acquainted sometime ago with a little girl, eight or nine years old, with unusual powers of mind and charms of person. The sight of her face positively dispelled the shadows which brooded over my mind. She discovered a singular attachment to me. I was delighted with her thousand winning ways. I was almost happy while under the influence of her irrepressible happiness. It was a joy for me to meet her in the I have caught a gleam of her beautiful bright
countenance, amid a group of her companions going to school early in the morning, which haunted me all day.
"Shall I love this creature?" said I to myself; "will it not be bringing down upon her sweet young head the dark influence which has ever pursued me and mine? Yes," said I, “I will love her. I will once more try this fearful experiment. I will watch to see in what form the effects of my interest in her welfare will fall on her; to what doom it will consign her? Will the turf soon press her tender breast? Will some mourn
ful doom darken her living heart?"
I made these reflections one morning as she passed me, with a smile, in the street.
One week after, a single line in the newspaper answered my interrogatories. She had died of a sudden and painful attack of the scarlet fever. As I perused the information I positively thought I heard the laugh of a demon in my ear, whispered on the passing breeze.
It is not one, two, nor indeed twenty circumstances of this kind which could have alone prostrated my love of life so utterly. I never had a real friend, except my mother, and she died just when I was old enough to mourn for her acutely. Among my other tortures, disease has not been wanting. A violent pain in my chest has, at certain intervals, incapacitated me for all employment. Sometimes my head grows dizzy, or burns with shooting pains. I feel like Caliban, for ever contending against a supernatural enemy, whose spirits appear busy about me. That speech of the deformed monster ever haunts my memory :
"For every trifle they are set upon me :
The idea of being perpetually encumbered with a disease, which, while it takes from your heart the secret hope that leads to action, does not exclude you from the necessities of toil, is one of the most benumbing and wretched evils that man can suffer. He wanders through the crowd, without participating in their gladness. He