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torian, and unfolds his facts in a narrative so easy, and yet so correct, that you plainly perceive he wanted only the dismissal of other pursuits to have rivalled Livy or Hume. But soon this advance is interrupted, and he stops to display his powers of description, when the boldness of his design is only matched by the brilliancy of his coloring. He then skirmishes for a space, and puts in motion all the lighter arms of wit, sometimes not unmingled with drollery, sometimes bordering upon farce. His main battery is now opened, and a tempest bursts forth of every weapon of attack - invective, abuse, irony, sarcasm, simile drawn out to allegory, allusion, quotation, fable, parable, anathema. The heavy artillery of powerful declamation and the conflict of close argument alone are wanting; but of this the garrison is not always aware ; his noise is oftentimes mistaken for the thunder of true eloquence; the number of his movements distracts, and the variety of his missiles annoys, the adversary; a panic spreads, and he carries his point as if he had actually made a practicable breach ; nor is it discovered till after the smoke and confusion is over, that the citadel remains untouched.
MR. FOX. In most of the external qualities of oratory Mr. Fox was certainly deficient, being of an unwieldy person, without any grace of action, with a voice of little compass, and which, when pressed in the vehemence of his speech, became shrill almost to a cry or squeak; yet all this was absolutely forgotten in the moment when the torrent began to pour. Some of the undertones of his voice were peculiarly sweet; and there was even in the shrill and piercing sounds which he uttered when at the more exalted pitch, a power that thrilled the heart of the hearer. His pronunciation of our language was singularly beautiful, and his use of it pure and chaste to severity. As he rejected, from the correctness of his taste, all vicious ornaments, and was most sparing, indeed, in the use of figures at all, so, in his choice of words, he justly shunned foreign idiom, or words borrowed, whether from the ancient or modern languages, and affected the pure Saxon tongue, the resources of which are unknown to so many who use it, both in writing and in speaking.
He is to be placed, without any doubt, in the highest class. With a sparing use of ornament, hardly indulging more in figures, or even in figurative expression, than the most severe examples of ancient chasteness allowed, with little variety of style, hardly any of the graces of manner, he nopsooner rose than he carried away every hearer, and kept the attention fixed and unflagging till it pleased him to let it go; and then
So charming left his voice, that we, a while,
Still thought him speaking, still stood fixed to hear." But if such was the unfailing impression at first produced, and which, for a season absorbing the faculties, precluded all criticism, upon reflection, faults and imperfections certainly were disclosed. There prevailed a monotony in the matter, as well as in the manner, and even the delightful voice which so long prevented this from being felt was itself almost without any variety of tone. All things were said nearly in the same way; as if by some curious machine, periods were rounded and Aung off; as if, in like moulds, though of different sizes, ideas were shaped and brought out. His composition was correct enough, but not peculiarly felicitous; his English was sufficiently pure without being at all racy, or various, or brilliant ; his style was, by Mr. Windham, called “a state paper style,” in allusion to its combined dignity and poverty; and the same nice observer
, referring to the eminently skilful way in which he balanced his phrases, sailed near the wind, and seemed to disclose much whilst he kept the greater part of his meaning to himself, declared that “he verily believed Mr. Pitt could speak a king's speech off-hand.” His declamation was admirable, mingling with and clothing the argument, as, to be good for anything, declamation always must, and no more separable from the reasoning than the heat is from the metal in a stream of lava. Yet, with all this excellence, the last effect of the highest eloquence was for the most part wanting; we seldom forgot the speaker, or lost the artist in the work. He was earnest
he seemed quite sincere; he was moved himself as he would move us ; we even went along with him, and forgot ourselves; but we hardly forgot him; and while thrilled with the glow which his burning words diffused, or transfixed with wonder at so marvellous a display of skill, we yet felt that it was admiration of a consummate artist which filled us, and that, after all, we were present at an exhibition, gazing upon a wonderful performer, indeed, but still a performer.
Horace Smith was born in London in 1779. His elder brother, James, was associated with him in several literary ventures, so that their names are almost always mentioned together, and their productions regarded as common property. But James was merely a clever writer of verses intended for special occasions, while Horace had the true poetic talent, and has left some poems which will not be soon forgotten. Both were educated at a private school, after which the elder succeeded his father in a public office, and the younger became a member of the Stock Exchange. Horace amassed a fortune in his business, but found leisure to write no less than fifty separate works. Several of his novels enjoy a certain popularity to this day. His best known poems are The Address to the Mummy in Belzoni's Exhibition, dear to all school-boys – Campbell's Funeral, and the Hymn to the Flowers, which is here printed. The work by which the brothers are best known is the Rejected Addresses, a sories of burlesque imitations of the best poets of the period, purporting to have been writtea upon the occasion of the opening of Drury Lane Theatre, which had been rebuilt, after having been burned. These parodies are among the best of their class, but to be appreciated they require considerable acquaintance with current events, and a pretty thorough familiarity with the style of the reigning poets.
The poems of the brothers have been collected and annotated in a very admirable manner by Mr. Epes Sargent. The great number, and the comparatively unimportant rank, of the novels and other works of Horace Smith render an enumeration of them difficult, and, in a measure, useless.
In private life Horace Smith was highly esteemed; and his career, fortunate in two aspects, shows that literary success is not incompatible with sound business qualities. He died in 1849, in his seventieth year.
HYMN TO THE FLOWERS.
DAY-STARS, that ope your frownless eyes to twinkle
From rainbow galaxies of earth's creation,
As a libation,
God's lidless eye, –
Incense on high,
The floor of nature's temple tessellate,
Your forms create !
And tolls its perfume on the passing air,
A call to prayer.
Not to the domes where crumbling arch and column
Attest the feebleness of mortal hand,
Which God hath planned
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon supply; Its choir, the winds and waves ; its organ, thunder ;
Its dome, the sky.
Through the green aisles, or, stretched upon the sod, Awed by the silence, reverently ponder
The ways of God,
Each cup a pulpit, every leaf a book,
From loneliest nook.
Floral apostles, that, in dewy splendor,
“Weep without woe, and blush without a crime,” O, may I deeply learn, and ne'er surrender,
Your lore sublime.
“Thou wert not, Solomon, in all thy glory,
Arrayed,” the lilies cry, “in robes like ours. How vain your grandeur ! ah, how transitory
Are human flowers !"
In the sweet-scented pictures, heavenly Artist,
With which thou paintest nature's wide-spread hall, What a delightful lesson thou impartest
Of love to all !
Not useless are ye, flowers, though made for pleasure:
Blooming o'er field and wave, by day and night, From every source your sanction bids me treasure
Ephemeral sages, what instructors hoary
For such a world of thought could furnish scope ? — Each fading calyx a memento mori,
Yet fount of hope.
Posthumous glories, angel-like collection,
Upraised from seed or bulb interred in earth, Ye are to me a type of resurrection
And second birth.
Were I in churchless solitudes remaining,
Far from all voice of teachers and divines,
Priests, sermons, shrines.
THE FARMER'S WIFE AND THE GASCON.
At Neufchâtel, in France, where they prepare
This good wife had, to help her in the farm,
One morn she had prepared a monstrous bowl