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were some French neutrals, who, in 1755, escaped from the savage cruelty of their civilized enemies, and Aed to the wilderness to enjoy their liberty, religion, and lives. But the same power, by which they were once oppressed, is still exerted over them, and they have found their residence in the forests no safeguard against the rod of their former masters. They have generally preserved the French language of the seventeenth century, and the old manners, customs, and fashions of the Gallic colonies.
Near to this singular people, and somewhat connected with them, we find the tribe of St. John Indians. Only three small communities of the aborigines now remain: the St. John's tribe, and those on the Penobscot and at Passamaquoddy, consisting of three or four hundred persons each. These are the miserable remnants of the once powerful race that held the other natives as far south as New York in constant fear of their attacks; and who, with little intermission, waged, for more than fifty years, a war of extermination against the inhabitants of the eastern country. Their incursions caused the destruction of nearly as many of our people, as the last war with Great Britain.
The leading tribe (the Penobscot Indians) reside on some fire islands in the beautiful river which bears their name. Their settlements commence at Old-town island, about twelve miles above Bangor, and are scattered along the islands in the stream, more than forty miles. This part of the river is in general wide, smooth, and glassy, and skirted with the luxuriant Howering maple. The low alluvial islands appear like so many floating gardens on the bosom of the smooth, still stream. These delightful abodes have but sew charms for the savage; he rarely attempts to cultivate his lands, but prefers the precarious subsistence of a hunter, and passes his life in alternate want and profusion, stupid indolence, and unnatural exertion. They, as well as the other two tribes, are nominally Cathclics, have a church at Old-town, and are usually attended by a priest. Their language is smooth, though guttural, and abounds in long compound words. Some attempts have been made by their priests to teach them to read and write, with linited success.
Their intellectual faculties are good, but their schools are not equal to those of their civilized neighbors.
The common schools of Maine are inferior to none in the Union. As soon as the separation had taken place, the attention of the Legislature was directed to the subject of education, and the laws respecting it underwent a thorough revision. Every town is required, under a large penalty, to raise at least forty cents to each inhabitant, for the support of common schools; and there are few that do not exceed the requisition of the statute. A comparison of the proficiency of the students at common schools in Maine with those in Massachusetts, would be decidedly in favor of the former. In most of the higher institutions, however, the case would be reversed. Bowdoin College, and the medical school attached to it, are exceptions to this observation, and would advantageously compare with institutions of the same nature in any country,
Many persons in this State have believed, that a more practical education than is generally acquired at literary institutions would be of great utility to persons engaged in the active business of life. The Legislature has lately taken measures to investigate the subject, and to determine the propriety of altering the course of studies pursued in those institutions over which it has control. The opinion begins to prevail, that the study of the ancient languages is not attended with so many advantages as formerly, when most scientific works were written in them; and some consider the study of Greek and Latin not only in a great measure useless, but on the whole injurious. What effect an investigation of the subject may have, cannot be foretold, but few will dispute the propriety of having some seminary in Maine, as well as in the other States, where a practical education can be obtained.
The increase of its population has been greater than in the United States generally, and we have no reason to look for a comparative diminution. Some of the new towns increase with much rapidity. The village of Bangor, the great centre of the lumber trade, has nearly doubled in population since 1820; several hundred buildings will be erected during the present season ; and there is reason to suppose, that it will contain at least fifteen thousand inhabitants at the next census. At present, the increase of the town hardly keeps pace with that of the country.
The trade of more than nine thousand square miles will centre here. A company has already been formed at this place, for the purpose of building a dam entirely across the Penobscot river, a mile above the village. Should this project be carried into effect, Bangor will become one of the greatest manufacturing towns in the United States.
Finally, in whatever light Maine is observed, it is entitled to much attention. It was settled before any other part of New England, and about the same time with Virginia. The natives, assisted by their French auxiliaries, were more powerful than in any other place on the continent, and several times destroyed nearly all the inhabitants. Possessing an excellent soil ; with a territory larger than that of Ireland and many European nations; covered with valuable timber; having commercial privileges superior to those of any other State, and a most enterprising population ; it must become one of the most important members of our mighty confederacy. In 1825, one eighth of all the tonnage in the United States and one fifth of the tonnage employed in the fisheries were owned by Maine. More than ten thousand seamen were attached to its vessels; and the exports, including the live stock driven into the neighboring States and countries, amounted to more than eight milhon dollars.
Art. VI.—Memoirs of Mrs. Inchbald.
pondence with Persons of her Time. To which are added the Plays entitled the Massacre and a Case of Conscience, now first published from her Autograph Copies. Edited by James Boaden, Esq. 2 vols. London. Sir Walter Scott, in the person of the young heir of Avenel, has forcibly delineated the enthusiastic delight with which a man witnesses, for the first time in his life, a dramatic representation. This pleasure is not often reserved for manhood : it is generally in our early days, that we behold for the first time the vast and shadowy green curtain, which shuts out from our view the splendors of a fairy-land. We are no critics then ;—the eye roving entranced over gay columns, whose gilded Aluting glitters in the lavish light, and a ceiling whence the heathen goddesses shower garlands on the heads of the spectators, receives at a coup d'æil the impression of a perfect building. We are then uninitiated in the arcana of the decorative art; we are too much dazzled to discover the coarseness of the canvass or the touches of the pencil, and before we have time to think of commencing an investigation, the music leads our thoughts into another channel. Be it the composition of Rossini or Mozart, of Weber or Beethoven, it is equally celestial; the leader of the orchestra is a Paganini, and the concord of sweet sounds' the melody of the spheres. The Eleusinian veil, that covers the mysteries into which we are promised an initiation, rises to a ravishing symphony, and lo! a new world is before us ;-various and vague feelings pass rapidly through the brain,-imagination for once beholds her dreams realized, and, at the falling of the curtain, we retire in silent anazement and delight.
Nor do we immediately undertake to analyze. The youthful mind is far from being philosophical, and, without a thought of the tendency of the amusement, or the moral conveyed by it, we give ourselves up to the delightful recollection of the past enjoyment, and the not less delightful anticipation of the future. But this intensity of emotion soon wears off, curiosity is excited with regard to the agents who produce so wonderful an effect, and a new direction is given to inquiry. We are soon like Wilhelm Meister, when a stealthy examination has shown him the personages of his mother's puppetshow lying side by side with motionless limbs, the inactive wires resting beside them. We perceive that there are certain springs which put all this human machinery in action, and we long to learn their principles. Our interest in the performers continues long after the decorations of the theatre have ceased to attract our admiration and attention. These, with their canvass materials and rude daubing, comprising the coarsely-framed scenery, the tin water-falls, the wooden trees, the patent incombustible flames, the wardrobe with its tinsel finery, its glass regalia and harmless weapons, give a shock to the imagination from which it never recovers. Our fairyland is too palpable a cheat, the enchantments of Prospero are too evidently the contrivance of a carpenter, and the flight of Ariel too plainly depends on the action of a couple of stout cords. But the actors bear a scrutiny and yet remain enigmas, —their Protean power is a riddle,—their delivery a charm.
Thus our early predilections dispose us to regard with peculiar favor the lives of distinguished performers, and dramatic biography possesses, with most readers, a remarkable fascination. It is true that a man of taste and principle is too often shocked and disgusted with the details presented to his view ; very often have actors, meriting the highest praise for histrionic talent, deserved the severest reprehension for their private life; yet we are still willing to investigate, still hope to discover among them some who are worthy to be ranked with the ornaments of other professions. Nor are we always disappointed in these researches. We are not going into a discussion on the possibility of making the drama a school of morality, far less to assert that its effects have been invariably good ; that they might have been and may be so, we believe, but there is no occasion for giving our ideas upon this point at length. While the theatre is the cherished resort of the dissolute and thoughtless, while dramatic regulations must permit the vilest to have the most decisive influence in the selection of plays and the engagement of performers, we can regard it with no very favorable eye. But when, on taking a retrospective view of those who have devoted their lives and talents to the stage, we behold an individual pursuing a correct course through innumerable temptations, animated by the best motives and the warmest feelings, we cannot pass over so signal an example unnoticed. Of such the stage has not been utterly devoid. We cannot forget that Shakspeare trod the boards, and that Siddons, Kemble and Talma have flung over the poet's conceptions the light of their own genius.
It is not unimportant to trace the course of any human exertion, and to mark how the determined spirit, in spite of every obstacle, arrives at the summit of its ambition. It is thus that we learn how necessary are courage, perseverance, patience, and study to success; how few spring at once, by the mere force of genius, to the zenith of a lasting fame. Those who have done so have been exceptions to a general rule, and not examples. We do not even know how many trials and fail
Shakspeare made before he produced his master-pieces, and have no proof that he was the very unlettered man, he is generally represented to have been : certainly none, in the profusion of his classical allusions and images. We have seen a Kemble (Frances Ann), at once winning all hearts and all applause, but we have seen another of the same family (Mrs. Siddons), painfully toiling in provincial theatres, before her worth was acknowledged. Miss O'Neil, with all her beauty and talent, the fit representative of Juliet, lived many