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ing to our feelings that—“I move,” said Nung—“Second that motion,” reiterated three voices,— “l move, Caius, excuse me, Mr. Pres”— “Yes sir, thank you for my cane,” interrupted the president, evidently nettled. “Oh ! a thousand pardons, I had forgotten that”— “Your motion, sir,” thundered Caius. “I move, then, in short, I move that the contents of that box remain ‘under consideration.’” And here the record saith “passed unanimously, by a silent assent, well becoming the solemnity of the act.” “I have in my hand,” said the president, “several communications which I have received in various ways. The first is a treatise on “Anatomica-philanthropica-perpetua-hydrophobia, in two volumes octavo.’” Of this the record only saith, “After the table of contents, &c. had been read, this elaborate production was referred to a special committee, to be issued in an extra number at the expense of the author.” The further proceedings of the meeting may be . learned from the perusal of the preceding pages. It was now late, and an adjournment was more than hinted at, when Nung Boah arose, and spoke to the following effect. “Mr. President and Gentlemen, now that all other “matter’ is disposed of, I beg leave to mention a matter of much importance: it is nothing less than the election of an assistant to the editor-in-chief”—a frown from the chair discomfited him for a moment, but he proceeded—“not that I mean any disparagement to that worthy officer; no, gentlemen, he is fully adequate to his task. But let us not impose the drudgery of the office on him; let us rather choose for this one who shall be subservient to him, and render what assistance he shall direct.” Now whether Nung Boah imagined that his relation to the “celestial empire” entitled him to be “commander in chief of the editorial forces,” and whether he therefore made his proposal through envy, is a matter of doubt to the fraternity, and must remain a historical ambiguity to perplex future generations. It is evident that he changed the tone of his remarks when he observed the president's frown, and as “a soft answer turneth away wrath,” that worthy officer smiled again, and the motion to elect a secretary prevailed. On the first ballot the votes were declared to be as follows.
Caius declared that no choice had been made, though Nung expressed it as his firm conviction that in one sense there was a majority, while in another sense there might not be a majority. Hereupon Zotoff and Alcibiades declined being candidates, but Nung
Boah, thinking that no man could in honor decline being a candidate, nor when a candidate, could he in honor give his vote for any other man, wisely consented to run again. On the second balloting, therefore, the votes were as follows.
Nung Boah, . . . . . . . 2
Total, . . 3
Whereupon Nung Boah was declared to be duly elected. Whether he treated or not, dear reader, is of little consequence to thee.
“R. S.” “Q.” and “Terence,” are declined. “Gracchus” is too much of a reformer. His views might accord with those of some village demagogue, but they are unsuited to the taste, and unworthy the attention of our readers. “The Victim” is under consideration. The author is requested to call at our room next Tuesday evening, at eight o'clock. “A Fragment” is not needed “to fill up any vacancy in the pages of the Magazine.” “The Author's Dream” is respectfully declined. N– has not done himself justice. If he would condense his piece, and express his ideas with more perspicuity, we should be happy to hear from him again. “A.” might improve his translation of Horace by comparing it with that of Francis. The request of the author of “Sea Music” is complied with. The author of “Lamentations” may never become an Ovid, but if he perseveres he will most undoubtedly secure his object, for what maiden is so obdurate as not to be moved by strains like the followIng. “They regarded not my struggle, And they cared not for my cries, Or the tears which like a mountain stream Flowed down from both my eyes.
“I cannot live without her,
O could I be about her,
YALE LITERARY MAGAZINE.
WOL. II. JULY, 1837. NO. 8.
ANCIENT AND MODERN REPUBLICS.
THE influence of literature upon individual and national character is no longer questioned or disregarded. The time has been, when the arbitrary will of one man constituted the only law, when the people acted no other part in the great machinery of government, than to be the passive recipients of the impulses of others, that the education of the chief, was all that was absolutely necessary for the proper direction of public affairs. But when this unnatural state of society was changed, when the people began to recover their natural and invaluable rights, then the prosperity, the very existence of the government depended upon the intelligence of the people. That we may duly appreciate the difference between the intellectual condition of the citizens of ancient republics and our own, we must carefully divest ourselves of all those prejudices, which our systems of education so naturally create and cherish. In the very commencement of our literary course, we are taught to repeat the mames and rehearse the productions of a Cicero and a Demosthenes; to dwell with pleasure upon the beauties of Virgil, and the bold imagery of Homer. The mind unconsciously acquires a reverence for these authors; and this reverence invests even the age and the country in which they lived, with a sanctity that ill disposes us to receive the truth concerning the intellectual character of their fellow citizens. The glowing descriptions of the “golden age of Literature,” and of the “abodes of the muses,” so frequently to be found in our literary addresses, tend to encourage this impression among those who from their education are not disposed, or from their circumstances are not able to investigate the subject; and they soon believe that the distinguished men so frequently alluded to, were but the indexes of their age, representing favorably it is true, but yet correctly, the condition of the people. If this error was one only of opinion, one which exerted its influence merely on the individual, it might be disregarded, but when it is vol. II. 37