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We of this age and country are in little danger of unnecessarily multiplying festivals. We have been charged with being too plodding and solicitous, of making life too serious a business, being too intent on gain or interest, allowing too little time for recreation, and partaking too grudgingly of the enjoyments of the present moment. And certain it is we are as a people sufficiently serious in our worldly occupations; we have few enough intervals of repose. A spirit of feverish anxiety, an intense application of the thoughts to purposes of accumulation or aggrandizement, a hurry and excitement, are manifest enough. We need not labor to augment them. The few unexceptionable festivals we have, should, we think, be observed and cherished, and that of Thanksgiving as one of them, set apart as it is to religious gratitude for the harvest, and to family and social greetings. Nor can we conceive how any one can be the less fitted to hail the joyful morn of Christ's nativity for having first thanked God for the common blessings of the year on this old New England day. With regard to the objection that one is of civil and the other ecclesiastical appointment, it is an objection which will weigh least with those who are best acquainted with the early history of Christian festivals, or who look deepest beneath the outside and letter of religion.
Art. IV. - BEAUTY.
At the natal dawn of creation's morn
I 'rose in the pride of my charms,
Received the embrace of my arms;
Oft seen on the face of the storm,
In the rainbow's expanded form.
The silvery light of the queen of night
Is reflected from my bright eye,
As I watch with care a being so fair
On her lonely course through the sky;
I a starry banner unfurled,
Shall surround an admiring world.
In the gorgeous dyes of the sunset skies
Is portrayed my exquisite skill, For the placid lake a copy I make,
To glow on its bosom so still ;
In an atmosphere pure and rare,
Dwells my spirit forever there.
My smile may be seen in each landscape serene
With which nature enrobes the earth,
Is by me endowed with its worth.
And their delicate forms I designed,
I their splendid array combined.
From founts on the hill, where the crystal rill
Gushes forth to refresh the plain,
Whence their springs are supplied again.
I painted and polished each shell,
I in loveliness long shall dwell.
A holy desire of love I inspire
In the depths of each mortal heart;
With the raptures I there impart.
Midst its loveliest scenes first trod,
In the glorious image of God.
An essence refined, I pervade the mind
Of those gifted beings of earth,
Perfection to what I give birth.
In death's stern and icy embrace,
What I once delighted to grace.
Let virtue control the immortal soul,
And a holier triumph I claim :
Through eternity ever the same.
And to him let gratitude flow;
Through the universe bright to glow.
Art. V. - THE CONNECTION BETWEEN INTELLECTUAL
AND MORAL CULTURE.*
We had not the pleasure of hearing either the Address or the Oration, the titles of which are given below, and are therefore particularly indebted to the authors for affording us an opportunity of reading them. The Address, as might be expected from the well-known character of its author, is rich in that wisdom which comes of much learning, long reflection, and a Christian spirit. And though Judge White, in the introductory paragraph, would lead his hearers to expect a discourse all prose, fruit, but no flowers,' — it is by no means deficient in tasteful and poetic ornament. It weaves a graceful chaplet for the brow of a loved Alma Mater, and with gentle persuasion invites her sons, admiring her unfaded beauty, to come home on her birth-days and pay her the homage of reverent and grateful hearts. The Address is conservative and yet liberal in its general views of collegiate education. It is interesting and valuable for the strong filial attachment to the University which it breathes; for its timely hints on the duties of the alumni to that venerable institution; for its judicious and weighty remarks on “the free University system,” as exhibited abroad, the introduction of which amongst us it earnestly deprecates; and above all, for the admirable suggestions it contains touching the mutual relations and reciprocal duties of teachers and pupils in our Colleges. On this last point Judge White has spoken not only like a religious philosopher, but like a Christian parent, and we heartily commend what he has said to the grave consideration of all who are interested in the subject.
* 1. An Address delivered before the Society of the Alumni of Harvard University on their Anniversary, August 27, 1844. By Daniel APPLETon Wuite. Published at the request of the Society. Cambridge: John Owen. 1844. 8vo. pp. 42.
2. An Oration delivered at Cambridge before the Phi Beta Kappa Society in Harvard University, August 29, 1844. By George Putnam. Boston : Little & Brown. 1844. 8vo. Pp. 36.
Mr. Putnam's Oration is an able and eloquent production; clear, vigorous, and animated in style; in thought, independent and bold, without being extravagant; in spirit, warm with the love and the inspiration of truth ; and in its moral tone, quite above the vulgar — we fear also the polite — standard of present opinion and feeling. We are at no loss to understand how, with the earnest and persuasive manner of the orator, its delivery should have had, as we are told it did, a thrilling effect on the hearers. And yet we are not surprised, notwithstanding its merit and the encomiums it has elicited, that some upon sober consideration have been led to dissent from the leading position of the author, and to differ from him in his estimate of the remarkable men by reference to whose character and influence he seeks to justify that position. We, however, in the main agree with him. The general views set forth by him with such force and brilliancy, we have long entertained ; and we thank him for putting upon them the stamp of his name and sending them abroad.
No one can reasonably doubt that there is some nection between Intellectual and Moral Culture, between scholarship and character, literature and life.” Is it said, that literature is the product of intellectual culture ? But in every literary production there are certain moral
characteristics which are the fruit of moral culture, or which indicate the want of it; and these characteristics constitute one of the principal elements to be taken into account in estimating the value of the work. Moreover, it will be found on examination, that the approved works of any given period of literary history indicate and represent the degree of moral culture belonging to that period. There are some exceptions, we know, to this rule. There have been epochs of deep and wide-spread moral destitution in which a single living genius has arisen, who by the energy of a heaven-born soul has redeemed it from the infamy of total barrenness; as we sometimes see a solitary star shining out through the thin haze that overspreads it, whilst all the rest of the firmament is dark with clouds. And again, one epoch sometimes seems to overlap that which follows it, and thus he who has his birth and does his work on the border of one, lives in reality — is recognized, is felt - only in the circle of the other. Such men are in a high sense, if not the highest, prophets. They belong not to the class of common gifted mortals. They are « not of their own age.” Like Milton, they must wait for another generation to read them, for other ages to do them full justice. But, in general, authors are the exponents and representatives both of the intellectual culture and of the moral principle and sentiment of their time. They are the amanuenses which their age employs to write, in such fashion as they may, its own outward and inward life. The sale-books of publishers disclose with sufficient accuracy the state of the popular heart.
But while this general correspondence between the literature and the heart of an age or a people is admitted, it is sometimes denied that there is a similar connection between the intellect and the character of the individual author. It is maintained, that in doing its own work the intellect has no need of the conscience; that it can and does succeed succeed in acquiring unfading laurels — alone; that its highest achievements may be effected by one whose soul is dark, troubled, diseased, without hope, without God! Now we do not hesitate to affirm the contrary. It is time the question were settled. Is there a law, holy and divine, which genius and talent must obey, or fail?. It is time, we say, that this question were settled. For the sake of that talent