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Miscellany: Arrival Of Elihu Burritt

Miscellany: Arrival Of Elihu Burritt image
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Lrifit r.'ei'k westated thnt Mr. Burritt vas expectod by the elenmship Hibernia, which was due on Sundaj', and our anicrpations proved correct. Thie worthy aborer in the great cause of hutnanit)' arrived in England, on Sundsy morning; ie remained in Liverpool till Monday nfternoon, d on Tuesday wo ïrid ihc pleasureof spending a few hours with liim, and of hearing him discourse upon thosfi thernpsof benevolenceand pliianlhrophy which he has so ably advócales in his newspaper and other pnblications. In hi personal appearance Mr. iiurritt is a very remaiknble man. The jhrenologitit could not desire a finer subect fur the appiicaiion of his science han is furnished bv th head of ihe "Connecticut Blac-ksmilh." The lowering beíevolence'aníJ veneralion, well supported by firrnnes, and the prominent develjpment of the región of ideality, sta.-np lis features wiih a sweetness and a natural dignity such as we have seldom witnessed in any human counlenanco, and'urnish an admirable illuslration of the doctrine ilmt the principies of phrenology and physiogiiomy are in perfect harmony with each oiher. In a late nutnber of our pub'ication we gave a 6hort notice of Mr. Burritt, in which it was snited thaï, by dint of hard nbor, he has become a proficient in the difficult langunges of Asia, and in many of those langunges of Europe which ore now ncarly disused or obsolete. In conversing with him upon tho subject, he e.)ressed himself annoyed at the mode in which his nn ma has been iionizcd, and seemed disposed lo undervalue his attainir.ents ns a linguist very much, or, at least, to speak of them as nothing very wonderful - as nothing more than what any individual might acconiplish, we re he only to apply himself to it with hearl and soul, as Mr. Burritt nppears to have done. His study of languages did not commence till he was twentv-one, and ns hois now only thirtv-five it is evident that his persevcrnncc must havo heen invincible and his applicntion almost unremitling for the great portion of that time. - And vet, as we learn from his diary, ihose studies were pursued only in the brief intervals of cessation from his daily toil, for he was engnged in severe labor attheanvilor the furge, from eighttoi twelve hours a day. When he carne to Wurcrster, Mass., in 1837, trade and manufactures were suffering from that severe depression which followedthe land fever of 1835, and, ns employment was scarce, he was glad to accept an engagement as a journoyman blocksmith, at tho very moderato sum of twelve dollars a month with board. From the tinturo of this engagement, his time was not his owii during the chief part of the day, and he could appropriate only a few hours out of the twenty-four, to his favorito pursuits. Bul every spare moment or noolc of leisure was used to the best advantage. In the winter mornings,whentheother members of the family were still seated at the breakiast table, he had his lnrge Hebrew Bible placed beforo him under the lamp, whilo,with lexicon in hand, ha lookedouiforsuch words ras he required. At the dinner hour the same economy oi lime was exercised, and ihen, of course, the four or fivc hours of mechanical labor which followed.though severe enough lor the body, left the mind at liberty to dïgest the mental food which had been taken along with that for the body. Bul at the time he vas greally cramp cd in his studies, lYom riot being able to. get awny from the forge to the public libra ry of Worcester, his hours of labor being nearly the snme as those in which thelibrary was open to the public. In the folio wing year, however, he succecded in moking fin arrangement by which he was enablcd to spend a much lnrger portion of his time in the midát of his fayorte books. In 1838, he engaged to work by the hour, at 16 cents nn hour, without board, making bis hours to suit his own convenience. Under this plan he made r.ipid progresa in his studies. In connection with liis study of the Ccltic langua ge, Mr. Burritt relates on nterestingcireurnstance. One day, while ooking over the books at the public lirary, he lighted upon a grammar and dictionary of the Celto-Breton language. which had been presented by the Roy al Anliquariiin Society of Paris. In turnng over the leaves of the dictionary it struck him that it would be ,a very fine exercise for him to try and write a letter in that language to the President of iho Royal Anüquarian Society. When this thougbl first crossed his mind he üid not knowa single word of the langunge; but wilh hitnto wijl such an undertaking was to perform it. He immedtately be-' gan the tusk,andin lessihanthree months it was accompjished. A letter was written in the Celto-Breton tongue, and duly forwarded to Paris, in August, 1838. - About a year afterwards a gentleman residing in Worcester called upon our learned friend,whom he found busüy cmployed at the anvil, nnd handed him a Inrge parcel, addressed, liMr. Elihu Burritt, Worcester, Massachusett?, U. S." This was from the Roynl Antiqunrian Society,andalong with it a letter from the secretnry - not in oncient Celto-Breton. however, but in good modern French - acknowledging the receipt of Mr. Burri'.t'.s letter, and containing a copy of the yearly transactions of the society, in which, among oiher mierest ing documents, that letter, followed by a translation into Frene?), had been inserted. - Mr. Burritt speaks of this incident as one of the mnst gratifying wliich has occurred to him in connection with his studies, and certainly it was one of tlie most wonderful, seeing that for want of proper books, he had to huni up his words in the dictionary, which was merely the Celto-Breton and French portion, and consequently not very available for his purpose. In looking for a Celtic word he had sometimes to go through the whole diclionary two or three times before he could find it. But Mr. Burritt was not a man to be arresied by any such obstacles. He had made up his mind that "it would be a very good thing to show the French savans what a real Yankee could do." And we have no doubt that he would rather asionish them with bis Celtic epistle from New England. In concluding this brief nnd imperfect sketch of so wonderful and wortby n man, we may ment ion that, for severo 1 years past, he has wholly given up the study of languages, having found, as he sn'ys, tliat there is much work to bsrloneof a mote practical nature. About lwo or threeyears ago hc s'.arted the Chrislian Citizen, a weekly newspaper, published n Worcester, whir.h. lias nlrendy acquired n pretty wide circulation, and which, under lus ab!e management is y et destined toaid migluily in promoiing the cause of peace, the antislavery cause, the temperante cause, and in furthcring ev ery great movement which may be originated for tho cause of truth, and the assertion of the universal brotherhood of man. Since the commencement of his editorial labors he hascensed lo labor at the i forgp, and ihe consoquence has been thai His health has áuñered somewhat from the want of suiTicient bodily exercise. - In future he intends to remedy this evi! by cmploying himself more in tho cultivation of his garden ; making the spnde or the rake tnke the place of tho pen for severa] hoursa doy. By doing so he will act wisejy, and we trust that under such a régimen he will so renovate his constitution as to secure to a good oíd age the blessings of bodily, as well as mental, jieallh.