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sounds still ring in my ear! such as angels No one can forget Mackenzie's novels; might play when the sainted soul ascends they came from his soul, they have pierced to heaven up.” The unfortunate and innocent the souls of others. Their quiet traits and Julia perishes.
descriptions of human life and nature are "Violets plucked the sweetest rain
delicately tinted by a refined fancy, and enMake not fresh, nor grow again.” riched by noble affections. We arise sad
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER, dened from their perusal, with our feelings Montauban, too late, is assured of the ceeply touched, but, at the same time, invigpurity of his wife, and destroys himself
. orated with a determination to be good İMontauban is a genuine Spaniard. As Leigh and sincere, faithful and honest. They cast Hunt well says, St. Dominic was a Spaniard. off from the soul the impurities and bitterSo was Borgia; so was Philip the Second. nesses which so often sully it by a contact There seems to be an inherent semi-barbar
with the world. They appeal to those pri
mal emotions which are common to us all. ism in the character of Spain, which it has never got rid of to this day. If it were not We all have our gentle reminiscences,-perfor Cervantes, and some modern patriots, it sons and things to which we cling with obwould hardly appear to belong to the right stinate affection, and the thoughts of them European community. Even Lope de Vega
. was an inquisitor, and Mendoza, the enter- We look back with pensive regret to a motaining author of Lazarillo de Tormes, a
ther and father's love and care; to the house cruel statesman. Cervantes, however, is
we were born in; to the books we read long, enough to sweeten a whole peninsula.
long ago; to our visit to the theatre for the Perhaps I love the letters of Julia de first time; to the first paintings and engrarRoubigné more than I otherwise should, ings we saw: these are all colored by senfrom the name of her residence, “ Belville.”
around bis father's dwelling, he feels the calm of I am writing this essay in the lovely city of that peaceful hour mingling with the thousand Newark, and a few miles above it, on the associations that combine to form his most vivid banks of the Passaic river, is the pretty little and poetical idea of sunset. In this manner we village of Belville; a pleasant walk or drive not unfrequently single out from the works of art from Newark, and still more delightful as a interest so deep, a regard so earnest, that they
some favorite object upon which we bestow an sail on a fine summer's evening, when the wear the character of admiration which no permoon is throwing its radiance on the water ceptible quality in the object itself can justify, and and shore, and the boat glides noiselessly which other beholders are unable to understand. along, “save the light drip of the suspended those which are most worthy of general notice, oar;" and as I pass the cemetery on its when suddenly our attention is struck with one bank, where repose the remains of one inex- little unpretending picture almost concealed in an pressibly dear to me, I drop a tear to her obscure corner, and totally unubserved by avy one memory. Time has assuaged the bitterness beside. of my grief, but added to the poignancy of
" It is the representation of a village church, the
very church where we first learned to feel, and, in my regrets.*
part, to understand the solemnity of the Sabbath.
Beside its venerable walls are the last habitations *"Impressions made upon our minds by local cir- of our kindred, and beneath that dark and mourncumstances are frequently of so deep and durable ful yew is the ancient pastor's grave. Here is the a nature, as to outlive all the accidents of chance winding path so familiar to our steps, when we and change which occur to us in after life. Should trod the earth more lightly than we do now; the the poet or painter in his study endeavor to place stile, on which the little orphan girl used to sit, before his mind's eye the picture of a brilliant sun- while her brothers were at play; and the low set, he insensibly recalls that scenery in the midst bench beside the cottage-door, where the an:ent of wh ch b's youthful fancy was first warmed into dame used to pore over her Bible in the briglit poetic life by the 'golden day's decline.' He sees, sunshine. Perbaps the wheels of Time have rolled bright and goryeous with sunbeame, the distant hill over us with no gentle pressure since we last bewhich his hoyish fancy taught him to believe it held that scene; perhaps the darkness of our pres. would be the height of happiness to climb; the ent lot makes the brightness of the past more sombre woods that skirt the horizon; the valley, briglit. Whatever the cause may be. our gaze is misty and indistinct below; the wandering river, fixed and fascinated, and we turn away from the whose glancing waters are here and there touched more wonderful productions of art to muse upon as they gleam out with the radiance of the re. that little picture again and again, when all but splendent west; and while memory paints again ourselves have passed it by without a thought."-the long, deep shadows of the trees that grew | The Poetry of Life.
timent, and do they not afford us truer and only identity, save that of consciousness, more vivid pleasures than all the tame which man with certainty retains ; it links realities of daily life? We cling to the past the different periods of our life together; as a priceless boon; we are sure of it; the thoughts are awakened, fresh, fragrant, beaujoys belonging to it are lodged beyond the tiful and pure as the lily, graceful and pliant reach of fate. The future is dark and un- as the waving willow branch. Stern and sad certain, clouds and darkness rest upon it. memorials of the past also arise, but so Justly has it been said, “that real sentiment softened by time, their asperities so mitigatis the truest, the most genuine, and the most ed, that they even afford a subdued pleasure. lasting thing on earth.”* It preserves the Sentiment, the eye glancing inward, and
revealing to us the hoarded secrets of human ** Sentiment is of three kinds : plain, honest, bosoms, give us more true knowledge than manly, simple-the outbursting of an uncorrupted all our boasted reason affords. heart; or graceful and refined, cultivated by education, elevated by society, purified by religion ; Newark, N. J.,June, 1851. or else of that magnificent and swelling character, such as fills the breast of the patriol and the genuine philanthropist. The sentiment of old and Sterne, to the second; the sentiment of WordsIzaak Walton- to take examples from books-worth, and Burke, and Sbakspeare, to the third.”answers to the first; the sentiment of Mackenzie W. A. Jones's “Essays upon Authors and Books."
H O P E.
Is there Hope? my Spirit cried,
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. *
The death of Wordsworth has had a ten-, office of judge is a nonentity until the Headency to recall attention to his works. He ven-sent legislator makes his appearance. lived to multiply his presence in countless The world has many a pertly-talking Cousin, loving hearts, and has gone to sing else- but Plato alone is philosophy. Men of talent where than on earth. His name is a word are sown over the ages, while nature seems of benediction to all who have felt the influ- to grudge the fire of genius. Many useful ence of his kindly spirit. Not without a verse-makers exist to cut a set of diamonds tear we resign to nature the dust-garment dug from nature's mine only by the true poet. woven by the spirit around itself, but a holy An age without its gifted inventor, without calm succeeds when we are permitted to its law-giver
, without its poet, must live over shake hands with the real being across the the old life, walk by hearsay, and subsist on « bourne whence no traveller returns." We imitation. We have at least a dumb consee not the soul now, we saw it not in life. sciousness that our well-being on this planet Its thoughts, its feelings, its aspirations, have depends upon our insight into the nature of been embalmed for us with an art more our existence, and we are always ready to mysterious than that of the old Egyptians. ask help of him whose vision is clearer than As the aged Jeronemite said to Wilkie in our own. We welcome, therefore, the true the Escurial, while looking at Titian's famous seer. He is eyes for the world; he is the picture of the Last Supper, that he had come true keeper of the keepers. to regard the abiding figures in the picture Foremost among these is the true poet. He as realities, and the living, more than one is an intuitive seer; something more than a generation of whom—his seniors, those of seer. Novalis says: “The fresh gaze of a child equal age, as well as many younger than is richer in significance than the forecasting himself-he had seen pass away as shadows; of the most indubitable seer.” so we now turn to the works of the poet, the full-grown child. For him creation reand easily persuade ourselves that we have tains its wonder, its sanctity, its grandeur. the reality, while only the shadow has de- Each returning season the flower blooms parted.
mysteriously as at first. The voice of Deity Juvenal made the inquiry, not more sig- in storm or ocean loses not its significance. nificant eighteen centuries ago than to-day: “God said, Let there be light, and there was Quis custodiet custodes? If we ponder it light," is written for him on the face of well, we shall find that this is the question nature as often as morning opens its eyelids. of questions. “Who shall keep the keep- When the sun rises, he forgets that it has ers ?" asks the spirit of humanity in every ever risen before, and, age. Such a one is the expressed or unex
" with earnest voice, pressed need, the dumb or articulate want,
As if the thought were not a moment old, of each generation. Of skilful workmen Claims absolute dominion for the day.” the supply is tolerably abundant at all times, but there must be also a divine planner of The poet alone is able to answer the old work. Cunning fingers must be guided by Sphinx that sits by the highway of life, some cunning soul. Very good judges may interrogating each passer-by, for he looks be found among any people, but the very upon all things as though they had just
The poet is
* Memoirs of William Wordsworth, Poet Laureate, D.C. L. By Christopher Wordsworth, D. D., Canon of Westminster. Edited by Henry Reed. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1851.
The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth. New Edition. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co. 1851,
sprung into existence at his own magic be applied the pregnant words of Novalis : touch. While tottering with age he is a “Man exists in truth. If he exposes truth, wandering child in a freshly-created world. he exposes himself. If he betrays truth, he " To carry on the feelings of childhood into betrays himself." He spoke as the unsophisthe powers of manhood,” says Coleridge, ticated child always speaks—from the heart. “to combine the child's sense of wonder and Serpent-critics might hiss, but his time was novelty with the appearance which every too precious to waste with them. He who day for perhaps forty years had rendered is conversing with angels, feels not the bite familiar,
of vipers. He has other than carnal wea"With sun and moon and stars throughout the year, pons with which to bruise their heads. Born And man and woman;"
among the hills, the favorite of nature, what
did Wordsworth care for Jeffrey's ridicule, this is the character and privi ege of genius, or the neglect of contemporaries! More and one of the marks which distinguish than half a century he wrote and lived genius from talents." Goethe
“Old poetry. Hills and mountains put on for him age does not make childish, as men say; it looks of benediction ; Nature smiled upon only finds us still as true children.” him in flowers, and sung to him her love
One of these true world-children, whose with warbling tongues. He could afford to home is everywhere in the heart of humanity, be laughed at by the foolish, to be hooted is Wordsworth. The mere verse-maker-at by literary owls. What had ḥe to do the artisan, working with imitative skillis with the world's approbation? He was a a kind of gipsey wanderer, homeless, friend-born poet, and could not listen to the less, and, to Apollo's household, worthless ; cry of critic or multitude. Like a benign while the true poet, the artist—is at length spirit, he brooded over the world of affection housed in the affections, warmed in the and sentiment, and in being true to these, bosom of love, and at the feast of the gods he was true to himself
. His voice has been is commanded by Jove himself to come up borne on the bosom of the mountain wind, hither. Wordsworth, as a true poet, existed and already the ear of humanity is ravished in unity. His life was not a widening arc, with its kindly tone. An age of imitation but a circle with continually lengthening never recognizes the inspired teacher who is radius. Many exist as a multitude of small true to man in being true to his own nature. arcs, with different radii, lacking unity, har- Just so far as the spiait of the times is false mony, rotundity. There is no connection will the true poet be neglected. The one between their past and their future. They who tacks to catch the popular breeze, may have no sympathy with what they have run with great rapidity-alas, not often heavbeen. All the keys of their being are flats enwards. When the multitude are repentand sharps. The delicate fingers of Nature ing, woe to those who have received their are answered by discordant tones. The poet greatest favors, and joy to those who have alone, with his unity and harmony of being, raised heroic and prophetic voices of warnunderstands the past, alone can prophesy of ing and true guidance! Happy the age in the future; for the continually full circum- which a strong, devout soul converses with ference of his life expands through the arcs the Spirit of the universe in the hearing of of all fragmentary existences. Tenderly and men! Words of bitterness and of jest may beautifuliy, and out of his own heart, has be thoughtlessly uttered, but many shall Wordsworth expressed this fact :
learn to worship; seeing the light of con
secrated genius that shines in truth and sin"My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky:
cerity, they shall learn to glorify Him whose So was it when my life hegan;
most perfect image is the divinest poet. So is it now I am a man;
It is well for us to ascertain, as clearly as So let it be when I grow old,
may be, Wordsworth's relation to his times. Or let me die.
His name is associated with great changes
in poetry and philosophy. He seems to be Bound cach to each by natural piety.” one of the connecting links between two
very different periods. He saw the mockWordsworth was sincere from the neces- ing-birds that sung around the grave of sity of his poetic constitution. To him may Pope, pierced with the poisoned arrows of Gifford, and witnessed many symptoms of gods and goddesses were used in vain, for returning faith in nature. He beheld the neither of them comprehended the real close of an unbelieving age in the earthquake- meaning of Grecian mythology. We may shock and volcano-blaze of the French safely say that Landor is the only English Revolution, and over the ruins heard the poet who has caught the genuine spirit of tone of violence softening into regret, or ancient Greece. Prior, Akenside, and many trembling with remorse—tirst indications of others have shown a familiarity with mythoawakening spiritual life. Wordsworth in logic history, but that which is unexpressed, England, surrounded by Coleridge, Southey, that indefinable something, that poetic air Lloyd, Shelley, Scott, Keats, and Byron, we which the Grecian breathed, has rarely been may dare to say, occupies a position somewhat felt. It cannot be trapped by a historical analogous to that of Goethe, surrounded by name. You might as well try to shut the Schiller and others, in Germany. Upon sunlight in a room by closing the blinds. these two points, then, we must dwell, but | The external life of the Grecian was a kind briefly as their importance will permit. of language which he unconsciously used in
In regard to changes in poetry, we may uttering his poetic thoughts. Grecian mysay that they are only new manifestations thology, history, and philosophy must be of the same thing modified by time and understood and felt in order to get a clear place. Poetry is poetry, in the vale of insight into Grecian poetry. But let one Cashmere or in Wyoming. As a part of study the subject until he carries all Greece history, it comes from within humanity. Its in bis bosom, yet what business has a Greek elements are every where the same, but in modern England? Who will listen to these elements are combined in different one who speaks a dead language? English proportions in different places. The ma- words may be used, but more than half the terial is every where the same, but it is language may still be Grecian. Landor is shaped by external nature, or by existing a real ancient, a true genius, but there is institutions. With its elements there is little sympathy between him and the one otten mixed a foreign element, at the dicta- who uses the language of the nineteenth tion of a perverted or half-formed taste. century. If these things are true, then, in Sometimes one or more of its elements is regard to one who has caught the spirit of rejected. Criticism therefore often clips the classic antiquity, how much more are they wings of the poet, and then demands a true in regard to those who have merely flight against the storm; it lays a weight remembered words without understanding upon the spirit, and then demands a soaring their latent meaning. I would not say of aloft with joy. Poetry has its roots in the Dryden and Pope, that they were only soul. Those faculties that create it will shadows of ancient poetry, and mirrors of emancipate it from the bondage of narrow French poetry. It is certain, however, that criticism, and will reanimate it when starved their poetry was an exotic on Saxon soil. on imitation.
The so-called correct school was certainly For more than half a century after the an artificial onc. The bee-sting of Pope's death of Pope, there was a poetical drought satire, the diamond-flash of his wit, his in the land of England. One should study power of pointed condensation, the elvish that period well, if he would awaken in frolic of his fancy, indicated superior genius, himself any feeling of regard for mosquito- although many elements that characterize Killing Gifford. Dryden and Pope were the highest poetry were wanting. The not without a manly vigor of mind, and an period of Queen Anne was a lamentable one earnest purpose. With the best helps of in English literature, when viewed in relatheir times they studied the poetry of Greece tion to the preceding age, and as containing and Rome. They learned to admire the in itself the causes of future decay. English beauties of ancient poetry, but did not catch poets were irreverently saying sharp things the spirit of antiquity. The delicately think- over the graves of Shakspeare and Spenser, ing, the sensitive, the profoundly intellectual Johnson and Fletcher, Raleigh and Bacon. Greek, best represented by Plato, they did Strange that they should look for other than not understand. They listened to a far-off Teutonic gods. Woe to the age that reravishing melody, and attempted to imitate garded as barbarian, those early ballads that it with a harmonic jingle. The names of bear the burden of sturdy young England's