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Editor's Table, February 1852

From: Editor's Table
Creator:  A (author)
Date: February 1852
Publication: The Opal
Source: New York State Library

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We take great pleasure in sending forth another number of our litttle monthly. We trust its contents will not be unpleasant to our teaders. From the preparation of them, we have derived that enjoyment which innocent, and still more, which use-ful employment secures to minds which it has pleased Providence, for a term, to render unfit for the active duties of life.


Before dashing in full into the discussion of our present subject, de omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis, -- which, being done into English, means the multiform and multi-farious mass which accumulates on the Table of an Editor, -- we wish to correct a wrong impression which is entertained by some, with regard to the picture at the top of this page. Whatever may have been said about it, it is positively not the portrait of the Editor of the Opal. There is not such a looking person in the Asylum.


There is a class of readers, and in that we reget to say, that we shall have to place the "eating" Editor of the Oneida Morning Herald, whose attention can be arrested only by some rather gross (and oftentimes, the grosser the better) addresses to the senses. Books for children are ways made up in accordance with this prin-ciple, and on this principle has a somewhat grotesque looking figure been placed above. In the selection of a subject, we have probably made a mistake, certainly, as far as this Editor is concerned. It should have been an oyster, or, still better perhaps, a lam.


Our residence in this place has taught us a benevolent anxiety for others, lest they should be brought here also. Impelled by this anxiety, we are constrained to warn this Editor, gourmanderie, excessive eating, is a not unfrequent cause of insanity. Between the stomach and the brain, there is a mysterious but most intimate sympaty -sic-. Let him beware then. Especially should he beware, since, intrusted, though temporarily, with the care of an important public print, he unblushingly proclaims himself by a soubriquet which indicates a very gross nature, and manifests symptoms which may terminate in a nine or twelve months' residence in the Asylum.


The New York Evening Post -- In looking at a late number of this venerable, almost classic, Journal, we encountered an article which greatly surprised us. It surprised us because it was not in harmony with the character of the author of the "Thanatopsis," nor with anything else with which he is associated. After remarking on the quietness of the exodus from office which the Whig party were making, it states that there is one exception ; -- "The Deaf and Dumb had heard of the virtues of Sec. Morgan;" and after advising that the Canal accounts should be submitted to the inspection of the Blind, it concludes thus: "We cannot say which of the ex-State-officers is waiting for the expression of the approbation of the inmates of the Asylum at Utica; but Gov. Hunt, inspired by the good fortune of his Secretary, looks forward with placid confidence of going next year, with the canal certificates, out of public life, and bearing with him the approbation and endorsement of the Hospital of Idiots." Now, at the very best, this is a very poor article of wit. There is not salt enough in it to save it from the condemnation of Grub Street. But the offending point is, that such a paper as the Post should trifle thus with human misery. To be shut out from all communication with that "Nature which speaks a language so various and so glorious," (we here use the words of Mr. Bryant,) is not a subject for merriment; but insanity, oh! let it never be thought or spoken of but with tenderness and fear. A human soul, no matter where or in what condition it is, holds awful relations to God and an endless life; and though it may be shattered, -- all broken to pieces, like a mirror -- still, let it not be forgotten, that the same Almighty Being, who, on the great Day, shall gather together from the four winds the scattered dust of the body, will at the same time reunite into a harmony, that shall be perfect and everlasting, the broken fragments of the soul.


The Black Swan. -- We had the satisfaction of listening to this wonderful woman at her recent concert in this city. We are not sufficiently versed in the laws and terminology of music to be justified in attempting a formal critique of her singing. We cannot, however, forbear making a remark or two, suggested by the appearance of this extraordinary debutante.


In the first place, we cannot but regard it to be an interesting fact that the voice of the greatest compass known, and, probably, ever known, is possessed by a negro woman. Is it too much to anticipate, that, as Terence, a black man, was the first of Roman dramatists, as Tertullian, a black man, was, was but one exception, the most eloquent of the Christian Fathers, and as the Moors, all blacks, were the finest race of their time, so, Miss Greenfield is soon to become the first singer of the age in which she lives, and be made, simply from her becoming the mistress of her divine talent, the instrument of reinstating in its proper place, that branch of the human family to which she belongs?

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