Title: Evolution of Expression — Volume 1
Author: Charles Wesley Emerson
Release date: January 1, 2004 [eBook #4942]
Most recently updated: December 28, 2020
Produced by Robert Rowe, Charles Franks
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
TO MY STUDENTS Whose need has been my inspiration and whose understanding my rich reward, these volumes are affectionately DEDICATED
THE TEA-KETTLE AND THE CRICKET Charles Dickens
THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN Robert Browning
GROUP OF LYRICS:
PIPPA PASSES Robert Browning
THE SNOWDROP Alfred Tennyson
THE THROSTLE Alfred Tennyson
ONE MORNING, OH, SO EARLY Jean Ingelow
FREEDOM John Ruskin
A LAUGHING CHORUS
THE CHEERFUL LOCKSMITH Charles Dickens
HOME THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD Robert Browning
LOCHINVAR Sir Walter Scott
THE POLISH WAR SONG James G. Percival
THE VILLAGE PREACHER Oliver Goldsmith
TO THE DAISY William Wordsworth
PSALM XXIII David
EXTRACT FROM EULOGY ON
WENDELL PHILLIPS George William Curtis
THE BROOK Alfred Tennyson
OLD AUNT MARY'S James Whitcomb Riley
MY SHADOW Robert Louis Stevenson
THE SWING Robert Louis Stevenson
THE LAMPLIGHTER Robert Louis Stevenson
WAITING John Burroughs
THE REVENGE Alfred Tennyson
THE OCEAN Lord Byron
SPARTACUS TO THE GLADIATORS
AT CAPUA Rev. Elijah Kellogg
TELL TO HIS NATIVE MOUNTAINS, James Sheridan Knowles
BATTLE HYMN Karl Theodor Korner
SELF-RELIANCE Ralph Waldo Emerson
ADAMS AND JEFFERSON Daniel Webster
THE DEFENCE OF LUCKNOW Alfred Tennyson
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
IS THERE FOR HONEST POVERTY Robert Burns
HAMLET TO THE PLAYERS William Shakespeare
THE BOY AND THE ANGEL Robert Browning
SPEECH AND SILENCE Thomas Carlyle
THE RICH MAN AND THE POOR
GATHERING OF THE FAIRIES Joseph Rodman Drake
THE SONG OF THE RAIN Spectator
HEARTY READING Sidney Smith
IVRY Lord Macaulay
THE DAFFODILS William Wordsworth
CHEERFULNESS J. H. Friswell
APRIL IN THE HILLS Archibald Lampman
Teach me, then,
To fashion worlds in little, making form,
As God does, one with spirit,—be the priest
Who makes God into bread to feed the world.
The revised edition of the "Evolution of Expression" is issued in response to frequent requests from teachers and students for a formulation of those principles upon which natural methods in the teaching of expression are based. It is hoped that the brief explanatory text introducing each chapter may aid teacher and pupil to avoid arbitrary standards and haphazard efforts, substituting in their place, psychological law. Growth in expression is not a matter of chance; the teacher who understands nature's laws and rests upon them, setting no limit to the potentialities of his pupil, waits not in vain for results.
No printed text, however, can take the place of a discerning teacher. A knowledge of the philosophy of education in expression avails little without the ability to create the genial atmosphere conducive to the development of the student. The teacher is the gardener, his service—his full service—is to surround the young plant with favorable conditions of light and soil and atmosphere; then stand out of its way while it unfolds its full blossom and final fruitage.
The tendency of modern education is towards the discovery and perfection of methods. The thought of leading educators is turned from the what to the how; to the development of systems of progressive steps through which the pupil may be led to a realization of himself. This trend is best shown in the multiplicity and excellence of recent pedagogical treatises and in the appearance of carefully graded and progressive text-books. The ancients believed that their heroes were born of gods and goddesses. They knew of no means by which the mind could be developed to the compass of greatness. The ancient theory to account for greatness was preternatural birth; the modern theory is evolution. To-day the interest of the child is awakened, his mind is aroused, and then led onward in regular steps.
The study of all forms of art, so far as methods are concerned, should be progressive. For correct guidance in our search for the best methods, we must understand the order of the development of the human mind. A child, before he arrives at an age where he can be taught definitely, is simply a little palpitating mass of animation. Soon he begins to show an attraction toward surrounding objects. Next he begins to show a greater attraction for some things than for others. His hands clutch at and retain certain objects. He now enters the period of development where he makes selections, and thus is born the power of choice. Objects which, at first, appeared to him as a mass now begin to stand out clearly one from another; to become more and more differentiated, while the child begins to separate and to compare. Thus the brain of the child passes through the successive stages from simple animation to attraction, to selection or choice, to separation or analysis. This principle of evolution, operating along the same lines, is found in the race as in the individual. In all man's work he has but recorded his own life or evolution. All history, all religions, all governments, all forms of art bring their testimony to this truth, and in each the scholar may find these successive stages of development.
In the age of Phidias the art of sculpture reached its maturity. No race and no people have ever surpassed the consummate achievements of that period. But this perfection was the result of a process of evolution. There had been graduated steps, and those same steps must to-day be taken in the education of the artist. Art had passed into its second period before authentic Greek history began. The first stage was shown in that nation so justly called the "Mother of Arts and Sciences." In Egypt we find probably the first real manifestations of mind in art forms. They are colossal exhibitions of energy, such as the Temple of Thebes, seven hundred feet in length, statues seventy feet tall, monuments rearing their heads almost five hundred feet in air.
"Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous
Of which the very ruins are tremendous."
To Assyria we turn in our search for the next step in the progress of art. Here we find the artists making melodramatic efforts to attract the attention and fascinate the mind with weird and incongruous shapes of mongrel brutes and hydraheaded monsters.
Finding art at this point, the Greeks, true to their race instinct, at once began to evolve from it higher forms. They soon awoke to the perception that beauty itself is the true principle of fascination. Reducing their new theory to practise, the Greek artists turned their attention to perfecting the details of the art they had borrowed. To works originally repellant from their very crudeness, they supplied finish and perfection of the parts. The ideal was still before them; the grotesque monsters might fascinate the beholder, but, however skilfully executed, however perfected in finish, the impression produced was but transitory, and failed to satisfy the craving of the soul Beauty was found to be the only abiding source of satisfaction. As the conceptions of the past no longer satisfied the criterion which their own minds had embraced, the Greek artists sought in nature herself for models of that beauty, which, when placed in art forms, should be a joy forever. The monsters of antiquity disappeared, and in their places, came attempts to faithfully copy nature. To be sure, some specimens of the art era from which the Greeks had just emerged appeared at much later periods of their history; but these creations, as in the case of the Centaur, were usually representations of what were believed to be historical facts, rather than fantastic creations designed by the artist to startle the beholder. The Greek still gratified his passion for beauty of detail, while he was pursuing his new-born purpose of copying nature. It was not long before he found that nature, however skilfully copied, could be perfectly mirrored to the eye of the beholder only when presented as she appears to the mind of man. This discovery budded and blossomed into the consummate flower of true art, the fourth or suggestive era, which reached its acme in the work of Phidias and his contemporaries. Every creation was the expression of some state of mind. Everything was made as it appeared to the eye of the poet, not as it might seem to the man of no sentiment. The impression of the poetic mind found its expression in art, and now the statues think, fear, hate, love.
The same general laws which have governed the rise of sculpture, underlie the evolution of all forms of art. It is the purpose of the present writing to hint at, rather than to trace, the four stages of development in painting, music, and literature. To follow the steps of progress in painting is somewhat more difficult than to trace the evolution of sculpture or architecture, on account of the perishable nature of the materials. Music has unfolded with the unfolding of the human mind, from the startling sounds of the savage,—exhibitions of pure energy,—through efforts at fascination by the medium of weird and unnatural combinations, and through attempts to reproduce natural sounds, ever upward till it breathes the very spirit of nature in a Haydn or a Beethoven.
We may follow the growth of the English drama through the same process, from its dawning in the fantastic miracle plays with their paraphernalia of heaven and hell, of gods, devils, angels, and demons, to the creations' of "the thousand-souled Shakespeare." In religion we see the same phases—from the worship of life itself, of natural phenomena, through the panorama of deities friendly and deities unfriendly, of gods many and of devils many, until the human mind grasps the conception of Unity in deity, and bows in worship before an Infinite Being of Love and Providence.
In the history of government is written the same tale of evolution, from manifestations of brute energy, seeking gratification in subjugation for its own sake,—from the government typified by the iron heel,—to the government which, seeking the education and protection of all the people becomes a school rather than a system of restraint.
Therefore the race, in its march from savagery to civilization, may be considered as one man, showing, first, animation; next, manifesting his objects of attraction; third, displaying his purposes; and finally putting forth his wisdom in obedience to the true, the beautiful, and the good.
These principles of natural evolution have been applied by the writer to the study of oratory. The orator must illustrate in his art the same steps of progress which govern the growth of other arts. He may have developed the power of the painter, the sculptor, the musician, yet if he would unfold the art of the rhetorician, he must pass through the progressive gradations that have marked the education of his powers in other departments. In a single lifetime he may attain the highest art expression, yet he cannot escape the necessity of cultivating his powers by the same process of evolution which the race needed centuries to pass through. It remains for the teacher, therefore, to so arrange the methods of study as to enable the pupil to pursue the natural order of education. In all things he must stimulate and not repress normal growth.
There is an old notion sometimes found among theoretical educators that the mind of a child is like a piece of paper upon which anything may be written; a mould of clay upon which any impression may be made; a block of stone in which the teacher, like the famous sculptor of old, sees, in his poetic vision, an angel, and then chips and hacks until that angel stands revealed. The theory is absurdly and dangerously fallacious. Paper and clay are not living organisms; the orator is not the statue chiselled from the rough stone of human nature, or, if the teacher succeeds in so far perverting nature as to hack and trim a human organism into the semblance of a statue, the product of his work will stand forth a living illustration of the difference between the genuine and the spurious. The stone has no life. Life must be breathed into it, and the sculptor may breathe into it such life as he chooses. The gardener, on the other hand, must obey the laws of the life of the plant he nurtures. He must so direct the forces of nature as to help its inherent tendencies. A certain line of growth is written in the structure of every species of plant. The plant may be hindered or perverted in its development; it may be killed, but it cannot be made to grow into the form of another plant.
The progress of the human mind can be illustrated only by that which is vital, not by anything mechanical. Mind reacts upon whatever is given to it according to the divine laws of its own organism. The human mind, like the plant, must exhibit vitality in abundance before it finds a higher and more complex manifestation. The unskilled teacher, instead of inviting out the young pupil along the line of his own organism, may, at the outset, paralyze the unfolding mind by ill-advised dictation. There can be no true teaching which does not involve growing, and growing in the way intended by nature. The teacher must be something more than a critic. The critic establishes criteria, protects the public, and, in a measure, educates the public taste. When he is able to teach others how to reach true criteria he becomes a teacher. Until he can do this he has no place in the class room.
It will be observed that the four volumes of the "Evolution of Expression" recognize the four general stages of man's development: Volume I., representing the period when the individual is engrossed with subjects or objects as a Whole, and his passion for life is expressed through rude energy, size—the Colossal; Volume II., when he delights in so presenting The Parts to which he has been attracted, as to make them Effective in attracting the attention of others; Volume III., when his appreciation of the use or Service of the Parts carries him beyond the melodramatic to the Realistic; and Volume IV., in which his dawning perception of that higher service resulting from the truthful Relationship of the Parts leads him beyond realism to idealism, the Suggestive.
In choosing the selections for this and the accompanying volumes, the aim has been to preserve the natural oneness between the study of literature and that of expression, and to encourage the appreciation of this unity in the minds of teacher and student. It may be said that the greatest of the world's literature was written for the ear, not for the eye, and its noblest influence is felt only when it is adequately voiced by an intelligent and sympathetic reader. It is the object of these volumes to foster in the student a keener and deeper appreciation of the truth and beauty of great prose and verse, and at the same time to enrich his own and other lives by cultivating the power of expressing the glories which are opened to his vision.
The arrangement of the selections is for the purpose of teaching the art of reading according to the steps of natural evolution hinted at in the foregoing pages, and in a way which experience has found most prolific in practical results.
While no effort has been made to search for novelties, great care has been taken to secure selections which, while of pure literary merit, are especially adapted for drill in the several steps of progress in reading. The power developed in the student through carefully directed drill on these selections will enable him to illuminate whatever other literature he may care to interpret. The arrangement of the selections in small divisions or paragraphs has been made for convenience in the work of the class room.
The "Evolution of Expression" does not offer art criteria by which the work of an orator is to be measured; it presents rather a system of education by which one may attain the plane of art in expression. The teacher or student who desires a formulation of laws which afford a standard of art criticism is referred to the four volumes of "The Perfective Laws of Art," the text-book succeeding the "Evolution of Expression."
The author wishes to express his sincere gratitude to George N.
Morang & Co., to Bobbs-Merrill Company, and to Houghton, Mifflin &
Co., for their courtesy in allowing him to reprint in this volume
selections from their publications.
The body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body.—ST. PAUL.
How good is man's life, the mere living! How fit to employ
All the heart and the soul and the senses forever in joy!
(NOTE.—Let the teacher and student remember that the headings of the chapters name effects rather than causes, signs rather than things signified. They are not, therefore, objects of thought for the student while practising; they are finger points for the teacher; the criteria by which he measures his pupil's development.)
Reading is a communication of thought; a transference of ideas from one mind to other minds so as to influence their thinking in a definite manner. The process is distinctively communicative, involving two parties, speaker and audience, equally indispensable. As well might the student of manual training attempt his work without materials, to paint without paper or canvas, carve without wood or stone, model without clay, as the student of expression to read or speak without an audience. For this reason in all his private practice as well as class drill, the student should hold in mind an audience to whom he directs his attention. The office of the teacher is to hold constantly before the pupil these two mental concepts, his thought and his audience, or his thought in relation to his audience. The pupil must be taught to respond to the author's thought as to his own, and at the same time he must be inspired with the desire to give that thought to others. In his endeavor to awaken other minds his own will be quickened. This mental quickening reports itself in animation of voice and manner. Herein is illustrated a fundamental law of development; what we earnestly attempt to do for another that we actually do for ourselves. The constant endeavor of the teacher, therefore, must be to inspire the pupil to serve his audience through truth, the truth of his discourse. His attempt to gain the attention of his hearers and to concentrate their minds on this truth will secure such concentration of his own mind as will stimulate his interest, and interest is always vital.
Let no one mistake loudness for animation. A whisper may be more vital, more animated than a shout. The slightest quiver of a muscle may reveal greater intensity of thought than the most violent gesticulation. Yet since freedom and abandon of the agents of expression are necessary to their perfect service, let the teacher invite that freedom and abandon without fear of sacrificing good taste. He is not to be regarded as an artist yet; nor is it now profitable to measure him by the criteria of art. Let the form of his expression be as crude as it may, only let it be born of the thought. The student is learning to think on his feet; and the act of mental concentration upon his author's thought in relation to his audience is not at first a simple task. Do not hurry him in his development. Remember that expression to be truthful, must be spontaneous. The teacher needs only to hold the right objects of thought before the pupil's mind, then stand aside and let him grow in nature's own way. No thought of the HOW should be allowed to enter the student's mind while he is speaking, it is only the WHAT that concerns him. Form is born of spirit; the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
The requirement of the present chapter is met when the student is able to fix the attention of those who listen upon the central idea or theme of the selection. The WHOLE or unit of thought should be held before the pupil's mind, and by him, before the mind of the audience, attention not yet being directed specifically to PARTS.
The basis of intelligent vocal interpretation of literature is careful analysis. One cannot express shades of meaning that are not in the mind; until one clearly perceives the motives and relationships of the selection, he cannot reflect them to others. Too much cannot be said upon the importance of thorough thought and study of a selection previous to any effort toward expression. It is needless to explain that one cannot give what he does not possess; and it is equally self-evident that one gains by giving. Long and thoughtful quiescent concentration should precede the concentration of mind while speaking. The author's words are like a gold mine which must be searched by thorough digging for the nuggets of thought beneath. The pupil must live with his author, see through his eyes, think with his intellect, feel with his heart, and choose with his will, picturing to himself every scene, putting himself in the place of every character described.
Like every organism every true work of art has organic unity; it represents a unit of thought, the WHOLE, made up of essential PARTS. Each part is a part of the whole, because in its own way it reflects the whole. The perfect unity of an organism or of a work of art results from the service rendered by each part to every other part.
Here, then, is the logical order of analysis: first, the WHOLE or unit of thought; second, the PARTS; third, the SERVICE, OR THE USE OF THE PARTS; fourth, the RELATIONSHIP OF THE PARTS which is the highest service and results in revelation. In determining this higher service we are reconstructing our whole from the unit of the selection to the revelation of truth resulting from the relationship of parts; the analysis must culminate in synthesis, else it would defeat its purpose. The end of literature, as in other forms of art, is revelation. The end of analysis is to lead to the perception of this revelation. In the earlier stages of development the pupil's attention should not be directed toward minute analysis. At this period his mind is engrossed with the principal thought or unit of the composition,—the dominant theme which is developed in every organic literary composition. Let his mind rest upon this until he lives in the spirit of the theme through a passion for reflecting it to others.
Inasmuch as an attempt to define always limits, it is a question how far it will be profitable to formulate definite statements of the whole, parts, etc. Written expression, as well as oral, is individual. Each pupil may have a different formulation. Inasmuch, however, as every author is possessed by a definite purpose, we may suggest, for the guidance of the student, a tentative analysis of a selection which may aid him in reflecting its truth to an audience.
It is hoped that this brief study of one selection from each chapter may be acceptable as a working basis, a hint of the logical method of procedure rather than an arbitrary model. The elaboration of these principles is without limit and must be left to the teacher. It is the purpose here to give only simple statements intended to be suggestive rather than final.
Example: "The Cheerful Locksmith." (Page 46.)
The Unit, or Whole for working basis: The character of the
(a) The sound he makes. Paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 7.
(6) His personal appearance. Paragraph 4.
(c) The appearance of objects around him. Paragraphs 5, 6.
The Service of the Parts:
(a) Serves the Whole by engaging the interest at once in the Cheerful Locksmith, whom it introduces, and whose nature it reflects.
(b) Serves by presenting a definite picture of him, radiating cheer.
(c) Serves by revealing further his cheerful personality through its effect upon surrounding objects.
The Relationship of the Parts:
(a) Foreshadows (b) and (c).
(b) Fulfils the expectation awakened in (a) and helps to prepare the mind for (c).
(c) Is a natural outgrowth from (a) and (b).
The revelation of truth through these relationships gives us a "New Whole" which maybe stated thus: The spirit of cheerfulness, radiating from the Locksmith's personality and expressed through his work, is reflected by all around him.
The above analysis is suggested as a guide for study. A tentative analysis of each selection might be offered here; but it is better that the student develop his own powers of discrimination by doing this preliminary work himself, directed, as far as necessary, by the teacher. However, it is not essential that a formal analysis of every selection be made; indeed, as has been already implied, minute analysis may even defeat the end of these opening chapters. The question of formal analysis may be left to the discretion of the teacher, who must determine how far it serves his purpose in each individual instance.
The criterion of Chapter I. does not demand an interpretation based upon the complete analysis given above, which is intended as an illustration of all analysis; if all the relationships suggested above be reflected through an oral reading of "The Cheerful Locksmith," the reader has attained the steps of development embodied in Volume IV. However, in drill on the selections in Volume I., the teacher should never think of limiting the pupil to the significance of that volume; every student should be encouraged to reflect as much of the truth, literal and suggestive, as his degree of discernment and of freedom will allow.
The immediate aim of drill on "The Cheerful Locksmith" should be a hearty response to the spirit of the Whole, however much beyond that may be achieved. The student must be inspired by an ardent desire to awaken the interest of his audience in "The Cheerful Locksmith," as does one who through introductory remarks presents the "speaker of the evening."
It is to be thoughtfully noted that all the selections in this and the three succeeding chapters have been chosen for their easy adaptability to use in the first natural period of art— expression, the Colossal period. They are selections with an easily distinguishable theme. Throughout these chapters the mind of the student should be engaged with the motif of the selection as it first catches the mind. Nothing in later study can make up for the loss of the first glow, the undefined answering response to the animating spirit of a writer's message. His differentiated meanings, his elaborations of theme for the purpose of increased force, intensity or suggestion are but useless lumber to a mind that has not throbbed in sympathy, scarce knowing why. It is just here that almost all teaching in both literature and its expression fails; there is not enough browsing—knee-deep, waist- deep,—for the pure joy of it.
At first, the student may find it difficult to concentrate the minds of his hearers upon his theme steadily and continuously. His ability to do this may come spasmodically. This irregular mental activity reports itself in unevenness of delivery; life appears in gleams not in steady shining. But with continued effort to concentrate other minds upon his subject, this unevenness gives place to ease in delivery, to smoothness of voice. Continuity of thought impels smoothness of expression. When a thought is held steadily in the mind of the pupil, together with a dominating purpose to communicate that thought to others, the tones of his voice become evenly sustained and smooth.
Smoothness may be said to result from a sense of oneness with the audience. So long as there is a gulf between the speaker and audience, there is conscious and apparent effort in the address. It is a growing love, a vital sympathy with the audience that manifests itself in smoothness.
This second step grows in natural sequence out of the first. Out of the abundance of life comes sweetness. In all the successive steps of the pupil's evolution, he is constantly to add, never to discard or lay aside any power previously gained. Rather than outgrow it, he will grow in it. All that he will outgrow will be his faults, his mannerisms, his limitations. As he gains freedom, transcending limitations, his mannerisms will fall away from him; he need never be made conscious that he has had them.
Analysis. Example, "The Village Preacher." The Unit, or Working
Whole: A village preacher who radiates the spirit of love.
The student's endeavor must be to reflect continuously the overflowing love of the preacher's nature, which blessed all with whom he came in contact. The audience should feel the presence of the great-hearted man throughout the reading of the entire selection, even when he is not described. For instance, he may be foreshadowed in the introduction.
Out of the effort toward continued concentration is born the perception of values. Dwelling upon the thought and striving to hold it steadily in the minds of those who listen, the pupil begins to perceive its greater value, and to realize that the expression of this value will aid him in holding the attention of his audience. His will becomes more definitely aroused. Feeling his new power, he should be inspired to direct it definitely toward his hearers. This new element of will directed through the perception of value expresses itself in the added quality called volume of voice.
Here, as everywhere, the discernment of the teacher must be relied upon to detect the difference between true and mechanical expression. Failure on the part of the pupil to perceive what is desired may lead him to offer, as a counterfeit of volume, force or loudness. Volume of voice, free from both, is the expression of the growing appreciation of values.
Analysis. Example: "Spartacus to the Gladiators."
The Unit, or Whole: The personality of Spartacus revealed through his effort to inspire his fellows with the spirit of liberty.
The theme which Spartacus presents is of universal value—the spirit of liberty, dear to all mankind. This value must be realized by the student, who must make the effort of Spartacus his own effort, throughout the entire selection. The value of the theme must be behind every spoken word, felt, if not uttered.
The life manifested in the three previous chapters now begins to take more definite thought form. The intellect seeing more clearly, appeals to the intellects of those who listen that they may think with greater sharpness and distinctness the thoughts presented. By aiming to present these thoughts so as to be clearly understood, distinctness and precision of utterance are gained. The elements of speech become more perfectly and beautifully chiseled. Thus keener thinking and greater care in presentation serve in forming the elements and perfecting the articulation, which need not be made a matter of mechanical drill.
Careless enunciation, which so mars the beauty of a speaker's discourse, is usually due to careless thinking. Clear speaking comes from clear thinking. Exceptional cases of long confirmed bad habits, faultily trained ears, or defects in the vocal apparatus, sometimes make technical drill to meet individual cases, a necessary supplement to the persistent practice in earnest revelation of thought. But in ordinary cases the speaker's endeavor to impress his hearers with the parts which make up his discourse will result, in due time, in accurate, distinct articulation. With continued practice this perfection of speech will become habitual. Spirit moulds form; this law cannot be overemphasized. In this new stage of the pupil's development, as always, the desired result proceeds as an effect from an inner psychological cause; it is a natural and spontaneous outgrowth, rather than a dull and lifeless form.
Analysis. Example: "The Song of the Rain." UNIT, OR WHOLE: The beneficence of rain after a drought. Here the student should hold the attention of the audience upon the distinct features of the picture presented. He should make his hearers see and enjoy the rain and appreciate the response of nature and of people to its refreshing influence.
1. It appeared as if there were a sort of match, or trial of skill, you must understand, between the kettle and the cricket. And this is what led to it, and how it came about.
2. The kettle was aggravating and obstinate. It wouldn't allow itself to be adjusted on the top bar; it wouldn't hear of accommodating itself kindly to the knobs of coal; it would lean forward with a drunken air, and dribble—a very idiot of a kettle —on the hearth. It was quarrelsome, and hissed and sputtered morosely at the fire.
3. To sum up all, the lid, resisting Mrs. Peerybingle's fingers, first of all turned topsy-turvy, and then, with an ingenious pertinacity deserving of a better cause, dived sideways in, down to the very bottom of the kettle; and the hull of the Royal George has never made half of the monstrous resistance in coming out of the water which the lid of the kettle employed against Mrs. Peerybingle before she got it up again.
4. It looked sullen and pig-headed enough, even then, carrying its handle with an air of defiance, and cocking its spout pertly and mockingly at Mrs. Peerybingle, as if it said, "i won't boil. Nothing shall induce me!"
5. But Mrs. Peerybingle, with restored good-humor, dusted her chubby little hands against each other, and sat down before the kettle laughing. Meantime the jolly blaze uprose and fell, flashing and gleaming on the little haymaker at the top of the Dutch clock, until one might have thought he stood stock still before the Moorish palace, and nothing was in motion but the flame.
6. Now it was, observe, that the kettle began to spend the evening. Now it was that the kettle, growing mellow and musical, began to have irrepressible gurglings in the throat, and to indulge in short vocal snorts, which it checked in the bud, as if it hadn't quite made up its mind yet to be good company. Now it was that, after two or three such vain attempts to stifle its convivial sentiments, it threw off all moroseness, all reserve, and burst into a stream of song so cozy and hilarious as never maudlin nightingale yet formed the least idea of.
7. So plain, too! Bless you, you might have understood it like a book; better than some books you and I could name, perhaps. With its warm breath gushing forth in a light cloud, which merrily and gracefully ascended a few feet, then hung about the chimney corner, as its own domestic heaven, it trolled its song with that strong energy of cheerfulness that its iron body hummed and stirred upon the fire; and the lid itself, the recently rebellious lid—such is the influence of a bright example—performed a sort of jig, and clattered like a deaf and dumb young cymbal that had never known the use of its twin brother.
8. That this song of the kettle's was a song of invitation and welcome to somebody out of doors, to somebody at that moment coming on towards the snug, small home and the crisp fire, there is no doubt whatever. Mrs. Peerybingle knew it perfectly, as she sat musing before the hearth.
9. "It's a dark night," sang the kettle, "and the rotten leaves are lying by the way, and above all is mist and darkness, and below all is mire and clay, and there's only one relief in all the sad and murky air; and I don't know that it is one, for its nothing but a glare of deep and angry crimson, where the sun and wind together set a brand upon the clouds, for being guilty of such weather; and the widest open country is a long, dull streak of black; and there's hoar-frost on the finger-post, and thaw upon the track; and the ice isn't water, and the water isn't free; and you couldn't say that anything is what it ought to be; but he's coming, coming, coming!—"
10. And here, if you like, the cricket did chime in with chirrup, chirrup, chirrup of such magnitude, by way of chorus, with a voice so astoundingly disproportionate to its size, as compared with the kettle (size, you couldn't see it!)—that if it had then and there burst itself, like an overcharged gun, if it had fallen a victim on the spot, and chirruped its little body into fifty pieces, it would have seemed a natural and inevitable consequence, for which it had expressly labored.
11. The kettle had had the last of its solo performances. It persevered with undiminished ardor; but the cricket took first fiddle, and kept it. Good heaven, how it chirped! Its shrill, sharp, piercing voice resounded through the house, and seemed to twinkle in the outer darkness like a star.
12. There was an indescribable little thrill and tremble in it, at its loudest, which suggested its being carried off its legs, and made to leap again, by its own intense enthusiasm. Yet they went very well together, the cricket and the kettle. The burden of the song was still the same; and louder, louder, louder still they sang it in their emulation.
13. There was all the excitement of a race about it. Chirp, chirp, chirp! cricket a mile ahead. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! kettle making play in the distance, like a great top. Chirp, chirp, chirp! cricket round the corner. Hum, hum, hum-m-m! kettle sticking to him in his own way; no idea of giving in. Chirp, chirp, chirp, cricket fresher than ever. Hum, hum, hum-m-m! kettle slow and steady. Chirp, chirp, chirp! cricket going in to finish him. Hum, hum, hum-m-m! kettle not to be finished.
14. Until at last they got so jumbled together, in the hurry- scurry, helter-skelter of the match, that whether the kettle chirped and the cricket hummed, or the cricket chirped and the kettle hummed, or they both chirped and both hummed, it would have taken a clearer head than yours or mine to have decided with certainty.
15. Of this there is no doubt; that the kettle and the cricket, at one and the same moment, and by some power of amalgamation best known to themselves, sent each his fireside song of comfort streaming into a ray of the candle that shone out through the window, and a long way down the lane. And this light, bursting on a certain person, who, on the instant, approached towards it through the gloom, expressed the whole thing to him literally in a twinkling, and cried, "Welcome home, old fellow! welcome home, my boy!"
This end attained, the kettle, being dead beat, boiled over, and was taken off the fire.
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin was a pity.
They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.
At last the people in a body
To the Town Hall came flocking;
"Tis clear," cried they, "our Mayor's a noddy;
And as for our Corporation,—shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you're old and obese,
To find in the furry, civic robe ease?
Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking,
To find the remedy we're lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!"
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.
An hour they sat in council.
At length the Mayor broke silence:
"For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;
I wish I were a mile hence.
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain,
I'm sure my poor head aches again,
I scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh, for a trap, a trap, a trap!"
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap.
"Bless us!" cried the Mayor, "what's that?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat."
"Come in," the Mayor cried, looking bigger;
And in did come the strangest figure;
His queer long coat from heels to head
Was half of yellow and half of red.
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light, loose hair, yet swarthy skin—
No tuft on cheek, nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in,
There was no guessing his kith or kin;
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire.
Quoth one, "It's as my great-grand-sire,
Starting up at the trump of Doom's tone,
Had walked this way from his painted tomb-stone."
He advanced to the council-table:
And, "Please your honors," said he, "I'm able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep, or swim, or fly, or run,
After me so as you never saw.
"And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,—
The mole, and toad, and newt, and viper,—
And people call me the Pied Piper;
Yet," said he, "poor Piper as I am,
In Tartary I freed the Cham
Last June from his huge swarm of gnats;
I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampire-bats;
And, as for what your brain bewilders,
If I can rid your town of rats,
Will you give me a thousand guilders?"
"One? fifty thousand!" was the exclamation
Of the astonished Mayor and corporation.
Into the street the piper stept,
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while;
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling,
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling,
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling,—
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives,—
Followed the piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing,
Until they came to the river Weser,
Wherein all plunged and perished.
You should have heard the Hamelin people
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple.
"Go," cried the Mayor, "get long poles,
Poke out the nests, and block up the holes.
Consult with carpenters and builders,
And leave in our town not even a trace
Of the rats." When suddenly up the face
Of the Piper perked in the market place,
With, "First, if you please, my thousand guilders."
A thousand guilders; the Mayor looked blue
And so did the Corporation, too.
"Beside," quoth the Mayor, with a knowing wink,
"Our business was done at the river brink;
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what's dead can't come to life, I think.
A thousand guilders? Come, take fifty."
The Piper's face fell, and he cried,
"No trifling. Folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe to another fashion."
Once more he stepped into the street
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth, straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling,
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping, and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a barnyard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping ran merrily after
The wonderful music—with shouting and laughter.
When, lo! as they reached the mountain's side,
A wondrous portal opened wide,
As if a cavern were suddenly hollowed;
And the piper advanced and the children followed,
And when all were in to the very last
The door in the mountain side shut fast.
Alas, alas for Hamelin!
There came into many a burgher's pate
A text which says that heaven's gate
Opens to the rich at as easy rate
As the needle's eye takes the camel in!
The mayor sent east, west, north, and south
To offer the Piper by word of mouth,
Wherever it was men's lot to find him,
Silver and gold to his heart's content,
If he'd only return the way he went,
And bring the children behind him.
But soon they saw 'twas a lost endeavor,
And piper and dancers were gone forever.
And the better in memory to fix
The place of the children's last retreat,
They called it the Pied Piper's Street—
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor
Was sure for the future to lose his labor.
And opposite the place of the cavern
They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great church window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away;
And there it stands to this very day.
The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his heaven—
All's right with the world.
Many, many welcomes
Ever as of old time,
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the gay time,
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses,
Many, many welcomes
"Summer is coming, summer is coming.
I know it, I know it, I know it.
Light again, leaf again, life again, love again,"
Yes, my wild little Poet.
Sing the new year in under the blue.
Last year you sang it as gladly.
"New, new, new, new!" Is it then so new
That you should carol so madly?
"Love again, song again, nest again, young again,"
Never a prophet so crazy!
And hardly a daisy as yet, little friend,
See, there is hardly a daisy.
"Here again, here, here, here, happy year
O warble unchidden, unbidden!
Summer is coming, is coming, my dear,
And all the winters are hidden.
One morning, oh! so early, my beloved, my beloved,
All the birds were singing blithely, as if never they would cease;
'Twas a thrush sang in my garden, "Hear the story, hear the story!"
And the lark sang, "Give us glory!"
And the dove said, "Give us peace!"
Then I listened, oh! so early, my beloved, my beloved,
To that murmur from the woodland of the dove, my dear, the dove;
When the nightingale came after, "Give us fame to sweeten duty!"
When the wren sang, "Give us beauty!"
She made answer, "Give us love!"
Sweet is spring, and sweet the morning, my beloved, my beloved;
Now for us doth spring, doth morning, wait upon the year's increase,
And my prayer goes up, "Oh, give us, crowned in youth with marriage glory,
Give for all our life's dear story,
Give us love, and give us peace!"
1. No quality of Art has been more powerful in its influence on public mind; none is more frequently the subject of popular praise, or the end of vulgar effort, than what we call "Freedom." It is necessary to determine the justice or injustice of this popular praise.
2. Try to draw a circle with the "free" hand, and with a single line. You cannot do it if your hand trembles, nor if it hesitates, nor if it is unmanageable, nor if it is in the common sense of the word "free." So far from being free, it must be under a control as absolute and accurate as if it were fastened to an inflexible bar of steel. And yet it must move, under this necessary control, with perfect, untormented serenity of ease.
3. I believe we can nowhere find a better type of a perfectly free creature than in the common house-fly. Nor free only, but brave; and irreverent to a degree which I think no human republican could by any philosophy exalt himself to. There is no courtesy in him; he does not care whether it is king or clown whom he teases; and in every step of his swift mechanical march, and in every pause of his resolute observation, there is one and the same expression of perfect egotism, perfect independence and self-confidence, and conviction of the world's having been made for flies.
4. Strike at him with your hand, and to him, the mechanical fact and external aspect of the matter is, what to you it would be if an acre of red clay, ten feet thick, tore itself up from the ground in one massive field, hovered over you in the air for a second, and came crashing down with an aim. That is the external aspect of it; the inner aspect, to his fly's mind, is of a quite natural and unimportant occurrence—one of the momentary conditions of his active life. He steps out of the way of your hand, and alights on the back of it.
5. You cannot terrify him, nor govern him, nor persuade him, nor convince him. He has his own positive opinion on all matters; not an unwise one, usually, for his own ends; and will ask no advice of yours. He has no work to do—no tyrannical instinct to obey. The earthworm has his digging; the bee her gathering and building; the spider her cunning network; the ant her treasury and accounts. All these are comparatively slaves, or people of vulgar business.
6. But your fly, free in the air, free in the chamber—a black incarnation of caprice, wandering, investigating, flitting, flirting, feasting at his will, with rich variety of choice in feast, from the heaped sweets in the grocer's window to those of the butcher's back yard, and from the galled place on your cab- horse's back, to the brown spot in the road, from which, as the hoof disturbs him, he rises with angry republican buzz—what freedom is like his?
7. Indeed, the first point we have all to determine is not how free we are, but what kind of creatures we are. It is of small importance to any of us whether we get liberty; but of the greatest that we deserve it. Whether we can win it, fate must determine; but that we will be worthy of it we may ourselves determine; and the sorrowfulest fate of all that we can suffer is to have it WITHOUT deserving it.
8. I have hardly patience to hold my pen and go on writing, as I remember the infinite follies of modern thought in this matter, centered in the notion that liberty is good for a man, irrespectively of the use he is likely to make of it. Folly unfathomable! unspeakable! You will send your child, will you, into a room where the table is loaded with sweet wine and fruit— some poisoned, some not?—you will say to him, "Choose freely, my little child! It is so good for you to have freedom of choice; it forms your character—your individuality! If you take the wrong cup or the wrong berry, you will die before the day is over, but you will have acquired the dignity of a Free child."
9. You think that puts the case too sharply? I tell you, lover of liberty, there is no choice offered to you, but it is similarly between life and death. There is no act, nor option of act, possible, but the wrong deed or option has poison in it which will stay in your veins thereafter forever. Never more to all eternity can you be as you might have been had you not done that—chosen that.
10. You have "formed your character," forsooth! No; if you have chosen ill, you have De-formed it, and that forever! In some choices it had been better for you that a red-hot iron bar struck you aside, scarred and helpless, than that you had so chosen. "You will know better next time!" No. Next time will never come. Next time the choice will be in quite another aspect—between quite different things,—you, weaker than you were by the evil into which you have fallen; it, more doubtful than it was, by the increased dimness of your sight. No one ever gets wiser by doing wrong, nor stronger. You will get wiser and stronger only by doing right, whether forced or not; the prime, the one need is to do THAT, under whatever compulsion, until you can do it without compulsion. And then you are a Man.
11. "What!" a wayward youth might perhaps answer, incredulously, "no one ever gets wiser by doing wrong? Shall I not know the world best by trying the wrong of it, and repenting? Have I not, even as it is, learned much by many of my errors?" Indeed, the effort by which partially you recovered yourself was precious: that part of your thought by which you discerned the error was precious. What wisdom and strength you kept, and rightly used, are rewarded; and in the pain and the repentance, and in the acquaintance with the aspects of folly and sin, you have learned SOMETHING; how much less than you would have learned in right paths can never be told, but that it IS less is certain.
12. Your liberty of choice has simply destroyed for you so much life and strength, never regainable. It is true, you now know the habits of swine, and the taste of husks; do you think your father could not have taught you to know better habits and pleasanter tastes, if you had stayed in his house; and that the knowledge you have lost would not have been more, as well as sweeter, than that you have gained? But "it so forms my individuality to be free!" Your individuality was given you by God, and in your race, and if you have any to speak of, you will want no liberty.
13. In fine, the arguments for liberty may in general be summed in a few very simple forms, as follows:
Misguiding is mischievous: therefore guiding is.
If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch: therefore, nobody should lead anybody.
Lambs and fawns should be left free in the fields; much more bears and wolves.
If a man's gun and shot are his own, he may fire in any direction he pleases.
A fence across a road is inconvenient; much more one at the side of it.
Babes should not be swaddled with their hands bound down to their sides: therefore they should be thrown out to roll in the kennels naked.
14. None of these arguments are good, and the practical issues of them are worse. For there are certain eternal laws for human conduct which are quite clearly discernible by human reason. So far as these are discovered and obeyed, by whatever machinery or authority the obedience is procured, there follow life and strength. So far as they are disobeyed, by whatever good intention the disobedience is brought about, there follow ruin and sorrow.
15. The first duty of every man in the world is to find his true master, and, for his own good, submit to him; and to find his true inferior, and, for that inferior's good, conquer him. The punishment is sure, if we either refuse the reverence, or are too cowardly and indolent to enforce the compulsion. A base nation crucifies or poisons its wise men, and lets its fools rave and rot in its streets. A wise nation obeys the one, restrains the other, and cherishes all.
Oh, such a commotion under the ground
When March called "Ho, there! ho!"
Such spreading of rootlets far and wide,
Such whispering to and fro.
And "Are you ready?" the Snowdrop asked;
"'Tis time to start, you know."
"Almost, my dear, "the Scilla replied;
"I'll follow as soon as you go."
Then, "Ha! ha! ha!" a chorus came
Of laughter soft and low
From the millions of flowers under the ground—
Yes—millions—beginning to grow.
"I'll promise my blossoms," the Crocus said,
"When I hear the bluebirds sing."
And straight thereafter Narcissus cried,
"My silver and gold I'll bring."
"And ere they are dulled," another spoke,
"The Hyacinth bells shall ring."
And the Violet only murmured, "I'm here,"
And sweet grew the air of spring.
Then, "Ha! ha! ha!" a chorus came
Of laughter soft and low
From the millions of flowers under the ground—
Yes—millions—beginning to grow.
Oh, the pretty, brave things! through the coldest days,
Imprisoned in walls of brown,
They never lost heart, though the blast shrieked loud,
And the sleet and the hail came down,
But patiently each wrought her beautiful dress,
Or fashioned her beautiful crown;
And now they are coming to brighten the world,
Still shadowed by winter's frown;
And well may they cheerily laugh, "Ha! ha!"
In a chorus soft and low,
The millions of flowers hid under the ground—
Yes—millions—beginning to grow.
Yes—millions—beginning to grow.
1. From the workshop of the Golden Key there issued forth a tinkling sound, so merry and good-humored that it suggested the idea of some one working blithely, and made quite pleasant music. Tink, tink, tink—clear as a silver bell, and audible at every pause of the streets' harsher noises, as though it said, "I don't care; nothing puts me out; I am resolved to be happy."
2. Women scolded, children squalled, heavy carts went rumbling by, horrible cries proceeded from the lungs of hawkers; still it struck in again, no higher, no lower, no louder, no softer; not thrusting itself on people's notice a bit the more for having been outdone by louder sounds—tink, tink, tink, tink, tink.
3. It was a perfect embodiment of the still, small voice, free from all cold, hoarseness, huskiness, or unhealthiness of any kind. Foot-passengers slackened their pace, and were disposed to linger near it; neighbors who had got up splenetic that morning, felt good-humor stealing on them as they heard it, and by degrees became quite sprightly; mothers danced their babies to its ringing;—still the same magical tink, tink, tink came gaily from the workshop of the Golden Key.
4. Who but the locksmith could have made such music? A gleam of sun, shining through the unsashed window and checkering the dark workshop with a broad patch of light, fell full upon him, as though attracted by his sunny heart. There he stood working at his anvil, his face radiant with exercise and gladness, his sleeves turned up, his wig pushed off his shining forehead—the easiest, freest, happiest man in all the world.
5. Beside him sat a sleek cat, purring and winking in the light, and falling every now and then into an idle doze, as from excess of comfort. The very locks that hung around had something jovial in their rust, and seemed like gouty gentlemen of hearty natures, disposed to joke on their infirmities.
6. There was nothing surly or severe in the whole scene. It seemed impossible that any of the innumerable keys could fit a churlish strong-box or a prison door. Storehouses of good things, rooms where there were fires, books, gossip, and cheering laughter— these were their proper sphere of action. Places of distrust, and cruelty, and restraint they would have quadruple-locked forever.
7. Tink, tink, tink. No man who hammered on at a dull, monotonous duty could have brought such cheerful notes from steel and iron; none but a chirping, healthy, honest-hearted fellow, who made the best of everything and felt kindly towards everybody, could have done it for an instant. He might have been a coppersmith, and still been musical. If he had sat in a jolting wagon, full of rods of iron, it seemed as if he would have brought some harmony out of it.
Oh, to be in England now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brush-wood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
And after April, when May follows
And the white-throat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's edge—
That's the wise thrush: he sings each song twice over
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the West,—
Through all the wide border his steed was the best!
And, save his good broadsword, he weapon had none,—
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone;
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none.
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late;
For a laggard in love and a dastard in war
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.
So boldly he entered the Netherby hall,
'Mong bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:
Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword
(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word),
"Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"
"I long wooed your daughter—my suit you denied;
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide;
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."
The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up;
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lip, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar;
"Now tread we a measure?" said young Lochinvar.
So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
While her mother did fret and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume,
And the bride-maidens whispered, "'Twere better by far
To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."
One touch to her hand and one word in her ear,
When they reached the hall door, and the charger stood
So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung:
"She is won! we are gone! over bank, bush, and scar;
They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.
There was mounting'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan;
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran;
There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee;
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?
Freedom calls you! Quick, be ready,—
Rouse ye in the name of God,—
Onward, onward, strong and steady,—
Dash to earth the oppressor's rod.
Freedom calls, ye brave!
Rise and spurn the name of slave.
Grasp the sword!—its edge is keen,
Seize the gun!—its ball is true:
Sweep your land from tyrant clean,—
Haste, and scour it through and through!
Onward, onward! Freedom cries,
Rush to arms,—the tyrant flies.
By the souls of patriots gone,
Wake,—arise,—your fetters break,
Kosciusko bids you on,—
Sobieski cries awake!
Rise, and front the despot czar,
Rise, and dare the unequal war.
Freedom calls you! Quick, be ready,—
Think of what your sires have been,
Onward, onward! strong and steady,
Drive the tyrant to his den.
On, and let the watchword be,
Country, home, and liberty!
Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There, as I passed with careless steps and slow,
The mingled notes came softened from below;
The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung,
The sober herd that lowed to meet their young;
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children just let loose from school;
The watchdog's voice that bayed the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind,—
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And filled each pause the nightingale had made.
Near yonder copse where once the garden smiled,
And still where many a garden flower grows wild,
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher's modest mansion rose.
A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place.
Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the vagrant train;
He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain;
The long-remembered beggar was his guest,
Whose beard, descending, swept his aged breast;
The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed;
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sat by his fire and talked the night away;
Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won.
Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side;
But in his duty prompt at every call,
He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all;
And, as a bird each fond endearment tries,
To tempt his new-fledged offspring to the skies,
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.
Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed,
The reverend champion stood. At his control
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down, the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last faltering accents whispered praise.
At church with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorned the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools who came to scoff remained to pray.
The service past, around the pious man,
With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran;
E'en children followed, with endearing wile,
And plucked his gown to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed;
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven:
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm;
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
With little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Sweet Daisy! oft I talk to thee
For thou art worthy,
Thou unassuming Common-place
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace
Which Love makes for thee!
Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit and play with similes,
Loose types of things through all degrees,
Thoughts of thy raising;
And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame
As is the humour of the game,
While I am gazing.
A nun demure, of lowly port;
Or sprightly maiden, of Love's court,
In thy simplicity the sport
Of all temptations;
A queen in crown of rubies drest;
A starveling in a scanty vest;
Are all, as seems to suit thee best,
A little Cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next—and instantly
The freak is over,
The shape will vanish, and behold!
A silver shield with boss of gold
That spreads itself, some faery bold
In fight to cover.
I see thee glittering from afar—
And then thou art a pretty star,
Not quite so fair as many are
In heaven above thee!
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem'st to rest;—
May peace come never to his nest
Who shall reprove thee!
Sweet Flower! for by that name at last
When all my reveries are past
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,
Sweet silent Creature!
That breath'st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share
Of thy meek nature!
1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
2. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
3. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runueth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
1. Like other gently nurtured Boston boys, Phillips began the study of law; and, as it proceeded, doubtless the sirens sang to him, as to the noble youth of every country and time. If, musing over Coke and Blackstone, in the full consciousness of ample powers and of fortunate opportunities, he sometimes forecast the future, he doubtless saw himself succeeding Fisher Ames, and Harrison Gray Otis, and Daniel Webster, rising from the bar to the Legislature, from the Legislature to the Senate, from the Senate— who knew whither?—the idol of society, the applauded orator, the brilliant champion of the elegant repose and the cultivated conservatism of Massachusetts.
2. The delight of social ease, the refined enjoyment of taste in letters and art, opulent leisure, professional distinction, gratified ambition—all these came and whispered to the young student. And it is the force that can tranquilly put aside such blandishments with a smile, and accept alienation, outlawry, ignominy, and apparent defeat, if need be, no less than the courage which grapples with poverty and outward hardship and climbs over them to worldly prosperity, which is the test of the finest manhood. Only he who fully knows the worth of what he renounces gains the true blessing of renunciation.
3. When he first spoke at Faneuil Hall some of the most renowned American orators were still in their prime. Webster and Clay were in the Senate, Choate at the bar, Edward Everett upon the academic platform. From all these orators Phillips differed more than they differed from each other. Behind Webster, and Everett, and Clay there was always a great organized party or an entrenched conservatism of feeling and opinion. They spoke accepted views. They moved with masses of men, and were sure of the applause of party spirit, of political tradition, and of established institutions. Phillips stood alone.
4. With no party behind him and appealing against established order and acknowledged tradition, his speech was necessarily a popular appeal for a strange and unwelcome cause, and the condition of its success was that it should both charm and rouse the hearer, while, under cover of the fascination, the orator unfolded his argument and urged his plea. This condition the genius of the orator instinctively perceived, and it determined the character of his discourse.
5. He faced his audience with a tranquil mien and a beaming aspect that was never dimmed. He spoke, and in the measured cadence of his quiet voice there was intense feeling, but no declamation, no passionate appeal, no superficial and feigned emotion. It was simple colloquy—a gentleman conversing. Unconsciously and surely, the ear and heart were charmed. How was it done? Ah! how did Mozart do it, how Raphael? The secret of the rose's sweetness, of the bird's ecstacy, of the sunset's glory—that is the secret of genius and of eloquence.
6. What was heard, what was seen, was the form of noble manhood, the courteous and self-possessed tone, the flow of modulated speech, sparkling with matchless richness of illustration, with apt illusion, and happy anecdote, and historic parallel, with wit and pitiless invective, with melodious pathos, with stinging satire, with crackling epigram and limpid humor, like the bright ripples that play around the sure and steady prow of the resistless ship. The divine energy of his conviction utterly possessed him, and his
"Pure and eloquent blood
Spoke in his cheek, and so distinctly wrought
That one might almost say his body thought."
7. Phillips cherished profound faith in the people, and because he cherished it he never flattered the mob, nor hung upon its neck, nor pandered to its passion, nor suffered its foaming hate or its exulting enthusiasm to touch the calm poise of his regnant soul. He moved in solitary majesty, and if from his smooth speech a lightning flash of satire or of scorn struck a cherished lie, or an honored character, or a dogma of the party creed, and the crowd burst into a furious tempest of dissent, he beat it into silence with uncompromising iteration. If it tried to drown his voice, he turned to the reporters, and over the raging tumult calmly said, "Howl on, I speak to 30,000,000 here."
8. There was another power in his speech sharper than in the speech of any other American orator,—an unsparing invective. The abolition appeal was essentially iconoclastic, and the method of a reformer at close quarters with a mighty system of wrong cannot be measured by the standards of cool and polite debate. Phillips did not shrink from the sternest denunciation, or ridicule or scorn, of those who seemed to him recreant to freedom and humanity. The idols of a purely conventional virtue he delighted to shatter, because no public enemy seemed to him more deadly than the American who made moral cowardice respectable.
9. He knew that his ruthless words closed to him homes of friendship and hearts of sympathy. He saw the amazement, he heard the condemnation; but, like the great apostle preaching Christ, he knew only humanity and humanity crucified. Tongue of the dumb, eyes of the blind, feet of the impotent, his voice alone, among the voices that were everywhere heard and heeded, was sent by God to challenge every word, or look, or deed that seemed to him possibly to palliate oppression or to comfort the oppressor.
10. I am not here to declare that the judgment of Wendell Phillips was always sound, nor his estimate of men always just, nor his policy always approved by the event. I am not here to eulogize the mortal, but the immortal.
11. The plain house in which he lived—severely plain, because the welfare of the suffering and the slave were preferred to book, and picture, and every fair device of art; the house to which the north star led the trembling fugitive, and which the unfortunate and the friendless knew—the radiant figure passing swiftly through these streets, plain as the house from which it came, regal with, a royalty beyond that of kings—the ceaseless charity untold—the strong, sustaining heart—the sacred domestic affection that must not here be named—the eloquence which, like the song of Orpheus, will fade from living memory into a doubtful tale—the surrender of ambition, the consecration of a life hidden with God in sympathy with man—these, all these, will live among your immortal traditions, heroic even in your heroic story.
12. But not yours alone. As years go by, and only the large outlines of lofty American characters and careers remain, the wide republic will confess the benediction of a life like this, and gladly own that if with perfect faith, and hope assured, America would still stand and "bid the distant generations hail," the inspiration of her national life must be the sublime moral courage, the all-embracing humanity, the spotless integrity, the absolutely unselfish devotion of great powers to great public ends, which were the glory of Wendell Phillips.
I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally,
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.
By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges;
By twenty thorps, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.
I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.
With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling.
And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me as I travel,
With many a silvery water-break
Above the golden gravel.
I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers,
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.
I murmur, under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses,
I linger by my shingly bars,
I loiter round my cresses.
And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
Wasn't it pleasant, O, brother mine,
In those old days of the lost sunshine
Of youth—when the Saturday's chores were through,
And the "Sunday's wood" in the kitchen, too,
And we went visiting, "me and you,"
Out to Old Aunt Mary's?
It all comes back so clear to-day!
Though I am as bald as you are gray—
Out by the barn-lot, and down the lane,
We patter along in the dust again,
As light as the tips of the drops of the rain,
Out to Old Aunt Mary's!
We cross the pasture, and through the wood
Where the old gray snag of the poplar stood,
Where the hammering "red-heads" hopped awry,
And the buzzard "raised" in the "clearing" sky,
And lolled and circled, as we went by
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.
And then in the dust of the road again;
And the teams we met, and the countrymen;
And the long highway, with sunshine spread
As thick as butter on country bread,
Our cares behind, and our hearts ahead
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.
Why, I see her now in the open door,
Where the little gourds grew up the sides and o'er
The clapboard roof!—And her face—ah, me!
Wasn't it good for a boy to see
Out to Old Aunt Mary's?
And, O, my brother, so far away,
This is to tell you she waits to-day
To welcome us:—Aunt Mary fell
Asleep this morning, whispering, "Tell
The boys to come!" And all is well
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.
JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY.
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to
Not at all like proper children which is always very
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of
him at all.
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks
One morning very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me, and was fast asleep in
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the country side.
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the
Now Tom would be a driver, and Maria go to sea,
And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do,
O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps
For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And Oh, before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-night!
Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, or tide, or sea;
I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.
I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face,
Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.
What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it has sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.
The waters know their own, and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.
The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.
At Flores in the Azores Sir Richard Grenville lay,
And a pinnance, like a flutter'd bird, came flying from
"Spanish ships of war at sea! we have sighted fifty-
Then sware Lord Thomas Howard: "'Fore God I am
But I cannot meet them here, for my ships are out of
And the half my men are sick. I must fly, but follow
We are six ships of the line; can we fight with fifty-
Then spake Sir Richard Grenville: "I know you are
You fly them for a moment to fight with them again.
But I've ninety men and more that are lying sick ashore.
I should count myself the coward if I left them, Lord Howard,
To these Inquisition dogs and the devildoms of Spain."
So Lord Howard past away with five ships of war that day,
Till he melted like a cloud in the silent summer heaven;
But Sir Richard bore in hand all his sick men from the land
Very carefully and slow,
Men of Bideford in Devon,
And we laid them on the ballast down below;
For we brought them all aboard,
And they blest him in their pain, that they were not
left to Spain,
To the thumbscrew and the stake, for the glory of the Lord.
He had only a hundred seamen to work the ship and to fight,
And he sailed away from Flores till the Spaniard came in
With his huge sea-castles heaving upon the weather bow.
"Shall we fight or shall we fly?
Good Sir Richard, tell us now,
For to fight is but to die!
There'll be little of us left by the time this sun be set."
And Sir Richard said again: "We be all good English
Let us bang these dogs of Seville, the children of the
For I never turn'd my back upon Don or devil yet."
Sir Richard spoke and he laugh'd, and we roar'd a
hurrah, and so
The little Revenge ran on sheer into the heart of the
With her hundred fighters on deck, and her ninety sick
For half of their fleet to the right and half to the left
And the little Revenge ran on thro' the long sea-lane
Thousands of their soldiers look'd down from their
decks and laugh'd,
Thousands of their seamen made mock at the mad little
Running on and on, till delay'd
By their mountain-like San Philip that, of fifteen hundred
And up-shadowing high above us with her yawning
tiers of guns,
Took the breath from our sails, and we stay'd.
And while now the great San Philip hung above us
like a cloud
Whence the thunderbolt will fall
Long and loud,
Four galleons drew away
From the Spanish fleet that day,
And two upon the larboard and two upon the starboard
And the battle-thunder broke from them all.
But anon the great San Philip, she bethought herself
Having that within her womb that had left her ill
And the rest they came aboard us, and they fought us
hand to hand,
For a dozen times they came with their pikes and
And a dozen times we shook 'em off as a dog that
shakes his ears
When he leaps from the water to the land.
And the sun went down, and the stars came out far
over the summer sea,
But never a moment ceased the fight of the one and
Ship after ship, the whole night long, their high-built
Ship after ship, the whole night long, with her battle-
thunder and flame;
Ship after ship, the whole night long, drew back with
her dead and her shame.
For some were sunk and many were shattered, and so
could fight us no more—
God of battles, was ever a battle like this in the world
For he said "Fight on! fight on!"
Tho' his vessel was all but a wreck;
And it chanced that, when half of the short summer
night was gone,
With a grisly wound to be drest he had left the deck,
But a bullet struck him that was dressing it suddenly
And himself he was wounded again in the side and the
And he said "Fight on! fight on!"
And the night went down, and the sun smiled out far
over the summer sea,
And the Spanish fleet with broken sides lay round us
all in a ring;
But they dared not touch us again, for they fear'd that
we still could sting,
So they watch'd what the end would be.
And we had not fought them in vain,
But in perilous plight were we,
Seeing forty of our poor hundred were slain,
And half of the rest of us maim'd for life
In the crash of the cannonades and the desperate strife;
And the sick men down in the hold were most of them
stark and cold,
And the pikes were all broken or bent, and the powder
was all of it spent;
And the masts and the rigging were lying over the side;
But Sir Richard cried in his English pride,
"We have fought such a fight for a day and a night
As may never be fought again!
We have won great glory, my men!
And a day less or more
At sea or ashore,
We die—does it matter when?
Sink me the ship, Master Gunner—sink her, split her
Fall into the hands of God, not into the hands of
And the gunner said "Ay, ay," but the seaman made
"We have children, we have wives,
And the Lord hath spared our lives.
We will make the Spaniard promise, if we yield, to let
We shall live to fight again and to strike another blow."
And the lion there lay dying, and they yielded to the
And the stately Spanish men to their flagship bore
Where they laid him by the mast, old Sir Richard
caught at last,
And they praised him to his face with their courtly foreign
But he rose upon their decks, and he cried:
"I have fought for Queen and Faith like a valiant man
I have only done my duty as a man is bound to do:
With a joyful spirit I Sir Richard Grenville die!"
And he fell upon their decks, and he died.
And they stared at the dead that had been so valiant
And had holden the power and glory of Spain so cheap
That he dared her with one little ship and his English
Was he devil or man? He was devil for aught they
But they sank his body with honor down into the deep,
And they mann'd the Revenge with a swarthier alien crew,
And away she sail'd with her loss and long'd for her
When a wind from the lands they had ruin'd awoke
And the water began to heave and the weather to moan,
And or ever that evening ended a great gale blew,
And a wave like the wave that is raised by an earthquake grew,
Till it smote on their hulls and their sails and their
masts and their flags,
And the whole sea plunged and fell on the shot-shatter'd
navy of Spain,
And the little Revenge herself went down by the island
To be lost evermore in the main.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark-blue ocean—roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin—his control
Stops with the shore;—upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When for a moment like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals;
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war,—
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee—
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage,—what are they?
Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts;—not so thou,
Unchangeable, save to thy wild waves' play-
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow—
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed—in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving;—boundless, endless, and sublime—
The image of Eternity—the throne
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee: thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sport was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers—they to me
Were a delight; and if thy freshening sea
Made them a terror, 'twas a pleasing fear;
For I was, as it were, a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane—as I do here.
1. Ye call me chief; and ye do well to call him chief who for twelve long years has met upon the arena every shape of man or beast the broad Empire of Rome could furnish, and who never yet lowered his arm. If there be one among you who can say that ever, in public fight or private brawl, my actions did belie my tongue, let him stand forth and say it. If there be three of all your company dare face me on the bloody sand, let them come on.
2. And yet I was not always thus,—a hired butcher, a savage chief of still more savage men. My ancestors came from old Sparta, and settled among the vine-clad rocks and citron groves of Syrasella. My early life ran quiet as the brooks by which I sported; and when, at noon, I gathered the sheep beneath the shade, and played upon the shepherd's flute, there was a friend, the son of a neighbor, to join me in the pastime. We led our flocks to the same pasture, and partook together our rustic meal.
3. One evening, after the sheep were folded, and we were all seated beneath the myrtle which shaded our cottage, my grandsire, an old man, was telling of Marathon and Leuctra; and how, in ancient times, a little band of Spartans, in a defile of the mountains, had withstood a whole army. I did not then know what war was; but my cheeks burned, I know not why, and I clasped the knees of that venerable man, until my mother, parting the hair from off my forehead, kissed my throbbing temples, and bade me go to rest, and think no more of those old tales and savage wars.
4. That very night the Romans landed on our coast. I saw the breast that had nourished me trampled by the hoof of the war horse—the bleeding body of my father flung amidst the blazing rafters of our dwelling! Today I killed a man in the arena; and, when I broke his helmet-clasps, behold! he was my friend! He knew me, smiled faintly, gasped, and died;—the same sweet smile upon his lips that I had marked, when, in adventurous boyhood, we scaled the lofty cliff to pluck the first ripe grapes, and bear them home in childish triumph!
5. I told the praetor that the dead man had been my friend, generous and brave; and I begged that I might bear away the body, to burn it on a funeral pile, and mourn over its ashes. Ay! upon my knees, amid the dust and blood of the arena, I begged that poor boon, while all the assembled maids and matrons, and the holy virgins they call vestals, and the rabble, shouted in derision, deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see Rome's fiercest gladiator turn pale and tremble at sight of that piece of bleeding clay! And the praetor drew back as if I were pollution, and sternly said, "Let the carrion rot! There are no noble men but Romans."
6. And so, fellow gladiators, must you, and so must I, die like dogs! O Rome! Rome! thou hast been a tender nurse to me. Ay! thou hast given to that poor, gentle, timid shepherd lad, who never knew a harsher tone than a flute-note, muscles of iron and a heart of flint; taught him to drive the sword through plaited mail and links of rugged brass, and warm it in the marrow of his foe;—to gaze into the glaring eyeballs of the fierce Numidian lion, even as a boy upon a laughing girl! And he shall pay thee back, until the yellow Tiber is red as frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze thy life-blood lies curdled!
7. Ye stand here now like giants, as ye are! The strength of brass is in your toughened sinews; but to-morrow some Roman Adonis, breathing sweet perfume from his curly locks, shall with his lily fingers pat your red brawn, and bet his sesterces upon your blood. Hark! hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? 'Tis three days since he has tasted flesh; but to-morrow he shall break his fast upon yours,—and a dainty meal for him ye will be!
8. If ye are beasts, then stand here like fat oxen, waiting for the butcher's knife! If ye are men, follow me! Strike down yon guard, gain the mountain passes, and then do bloody word, as did your sires at old Thermopylae! Is Sparta dead? Is the old Grecian spirit frozen in your veins, that you do crouch and cower like a belabored hound beneath his master's lash? O comrades! warriors! Thracians! if we must fight, let us fight for ourselves! If we must slaughter, let us slaughter our oppressors! If we must die, let it be under the clear sky, by the bright waters, in noble, honorable battle.
Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
I hold to you the hands you first beheld,
To show they still are free. Methinks I hear
A spirit in your echoes answer me,
And bid your tenant welcome home again!
O sacred forms, how proud you look!
How high you lift your heads into the sky!
How huge you are! how mighty and how free!
How do you look, for all your bared brows,
More gorgeously majestical than kings
Whose loaded coronets exhaust the mine.
Ye are the things that tower, that shine; whose smile
Makes glad—whose frown is terrible; whose forms,
Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear
Of awe divine; whose subject never kneels
In mockery, because it is your boast
To keep him free!
Ye guards of liberty,
I'm with you once again! I call to you
With all my voice! I hold my hands to you
To show they still are free. I rush to you
As though I could embrace you!
Will soon be here. Oh, when will Liberty
Once more be here? Scaling yonder peak,
I saw an eagle wheeling near its brow,
O'er the abyss his broad-expanded wings
Lay calm and motionless upon the air
As if he floated there without their aid,
By the sole act of his unlorded will,
That buoyed him proudly up.
I bent my bow; yet kept he rounding still
His airy circle, as in the delight
Of measuring the ample range beneath
And round about; absorbed, he heeded not
The death that threatened him. I could not shoot.
'Twas liberty. I turned my bow aside,
And let him soar away.
Father of earth and heaven! I call thy name!
Round me the smoke and shout of battle roll;
My eyes are dazzled with the rustling flame;
Father, sustain an untried soldier's soul!
Or life or death, whatever be the goal
That crowns or closes round this struggling hour,
Thou knowest, if ever from my spirit stole
One deeper prayer,'twas that no cloud might lower
On my young fame! Oh, hear, God of eternal power!
God! thou art merciful—the wintry storm,
The cloud that pours the thunder from its womb,
But show the sterner grandeur of thy form;
The lightnings glancing through the midnight
To Faith's raised eye as calm, as lovely come,
As splendors of the autumnal evening star,
As roses shaken by the breeze's plume,
When like cool incense comes the dewy air,
And on the golden wave the sunset burns afar.
God! thou art mighty!—at thy footstool bound,
Lie gazing to thee Chance, and Life, and Death;
Nor in the Angel-circle flaming round,
Nor in the million worlds that blaze beneath
Is one that can withstand thy wrath's hot breath—
Woe in thy frown—in thy smile, victory!
Hear my last prayer—I ask no mortal wreath;
Let but these eyes my rescued country see,
Then take my spirit, All-Omnipotent, to thee.
Now for the fight—now for the cannon-peal—
Forward—through blood and toil, and cloud and
Glorious the shout, the shock, the crash of steel,
The volley's roll, the rocket's blasting spire;
They shake—like broken waves their squares
On, them, hussars!—now give them rein and heel;
Think of the orphaned child, the murdered sire:—
Earth cries for blood—in thunder on them wheel!
This hour to Europe's fate shall set the triumph seal.
1. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,—that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment. Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato and Milton is that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men, but what THEY thought.
2. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
3. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.
4. There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. 5. Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact, makes much impression on him, and another none. This sculpture in the memory is not without pre- established harmony. The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray.
6. We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. It may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver. In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse befriends; no invention, no hope.
7. Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the Eternal was stirring at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.
8. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids pinched in a corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers and benefactors, pious aspirants to be noble clay under the Almighty effort, let us advance on Chaos and the Dark.
1. Adams and Jefferson, I have said, are no more. As human beings, indeed, they are no more. They are no more, as in 1776, bold and fearless advocates of independence; no more, as on subsequent periods, the head of the government; no more, as we have recently seen them, aged and venerable objects of admiration and regard. They are no more. They are dead.
2. But how little is there of the great and good which can die? To their country they yet live, and live forever. They live in all that perpetuates the remembrance of men on earth; in the recorded proofs of their own great actions, in the offspring of their intellect, in the deep engraved lines of public gratitude, and in the respect and homage of mankind. They live in their example; and they live, emphatically, and will live, in the influence which their lives and efforts, their principles and opinions, now exercise, and will continue to exercise, on the affairs of men, not only in their own country, but throughout the civilized world.
3. A superior and commanding human intellect, a truly great man,— when heaven vouchsafes so rare a gift,—is not a temporary flame, burning bright for awhile, and then expiring, giving place to returning darkness. It is rather a spark of fervent heat, as well as radiant light, with power to enkindle the common mass of human mind; so that, when it glimmers in its own decay, and finally goes out in death, no night follows; but it leaves the world all light, all on fire, from the potent contact of its own spirit.
4. Bacon died; but the human understanding, roused by the torch of his miraculous mind to a perception of the true philosophy and the just mode of inquiring after truth, has kept on its course successfully and gloriously. Newton died; yet the courses of the spheres are still known, and they yet move on, in the orbits which he saw and described for them, in the infinity of space.
5. No two men now live—perhaps it may be doubted whether any two men have ever lived in one age,—who, more than those we now commemorate, have impressed their own sentiments, in regard to politics and government, on mankind; infused their own opinions more deeply into the opinions of others; or given a more lasting direction to the current of human thought. Their work doth not perish with them. The tree which they assisted to plant will flourish, although they water it and protect it no longer; for it has struck its roots deep; it has sent them to the very center; no storm, not of force to burst the orb, can overturn it; its branches spread wide; they stretch their protecting arms broader and broader, and its top is destined to reach the heavens.
6. We are not deceived. There is no delusion here. No age will come, in which the American Revolution will appear less than it is—one of the greatest events in human history. No age will come, in which in it will cease to be seen and felt, on either continent, that a mighty step, a great advance, not only in American affairs, but in human affairs, was made on the 4th of July, 1776. And no age will come, we trust, so ignorant, or so unjust, as not to see and acknowledge the efficient agency of these we now honor, in producing that momentous event.
Banner of England, not for a season, O banner of
Britain, hast thou
Floated in conquering battle or flapt to the battle cry!
Never with mightier glory than when we had reared
thee on high,
Flying at top of the roofs in the ghastly siege at Lucknow—
Shot through the staff or the halyard, but ever we raised
And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.
Frail were the works that defended the hold that we held with our lives— Women and children among us—God help them, our children and wives! Hold it we might—and for fifteen days or for twenty at most. "Never surrender, I charge you, but every man die at his post!" Voice of the dead whom we loved, our Lawrence the best of the brave; Cold were his brows when we kissed him—we laid him that night in his grave.
"Every man die at his post!" and there hailed on our
houses and halls
Death from their rifle bullets, and death from their cannon
Death in our innermost chamber, and death at our slight
Death while we stood with the musket, and death while
we stoopt to the spade,
Death to the dying, and wounds to the wounded, for
often there fell,
Striking the hospital wall, crashing through it, their
shot and their shell,
Death—for their spies were among us, their marksman
were told of our best,
So that the brute bullet broke through the brain that
could think for the rest;
Bullets would sing by our foreheads, and bullets would
rain at our feet—
Fire from ten thousand at once of the rebels that girdled
Death at the glimpse of a finger from over the breadth
of a street,
Death from the heights of the mosque and the palace—
and death in the ground!
Mine? yes, a mine! Countermine! down, down! and
creep through the hole,
Keep the revolver in hand! You can hear him—the
Quiet! ah! quiet—wait till the point of the pickaxe
Click with the pick, coming nearer and nearer again
Now let it speak, and you fire, and the dark pioneer is
And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England
Ay, but the foe sprung his mine many times, and it chanced on a day, Soon as the blast of that underground thunder-clap echoed away, Dark through the smoke and the sulphur, like so many fiends in their hell— Cannon-shot, musket-shot, volley on volley, and yell upon yell— Fiercely on all the defences our myriad enemies fell.
What have they done? where is it? Out yonder.
Guard the Redan!
Storm at the Water-gate, storm at the Bailey-gate!
storm, and it ran
Surging and swaying all round us, as ocean on every
Plunges and heaves at a bank that is daily drowned by
So many thousands that if they be bold enough, who
Kill or be killed, live or die, they shall know we are
soldiers and men.
Ready! take aim at their leaders—their masses are
gapped with our grape—
Backward they reel like the wave, like the wave
flinging forward again,
Flying and foiled at the last by the handful they could
And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England
Handful of men as we were, we were English in heart
and in limb,
Strong with the strength of the race to command, to
obey, to endure,
Each of us fought as if hope for the garrison hung but
Still, could we watch at all points? We were every
day fewer and fewer.
There was a whisper among us, but only a whisper
"Children and wives—if the tigers leap into the folds
Every man die at his post—and the foe may outlive
us at last,
Better to fall by the hands that they love, than to fall
Roar upon roar—in a moment two mines, by the enemy sprung, Clove into perilous chasms our walls and our poor palisades. Riflemen, true is your heart, but be sure that your hand be as true. Sharp is the fire of assault, better aimed are your flank fusilades; Twice do we hurl them to earth from the ladders to which they had clung, Twice from the ditch where they shelter we drive them with hand grenades—, And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.
Then on another wild morning another wild earthquake
Clean from our lines of defence ten or twelve good
paces or more.
Riflemen, high on the roof, hidden there from the light
of the sun—
One has leapt up on the breach, crying out, "Follow
me, follow me!"
Mark him—he falls! then another, and him, too, and
down goes he.
Had they been bold enough then, who can tell but that
the traitors had won?
Boardings, and raftings, and doors—an embrasure;
make way for the gun!
Now, double charge it with grape! It is charged, and
we fire, and they run.
Praise to our Indian brothers, and let the dark face
have his due.
Thanks to the kindly dark faces who fought with us,
faithful and few,
Fought with the bravest among us, and drove them,
and smote them, and slew—
That ever upon the topmost roof our banner in India
Hark! cannonade! fusilade! is it true that was told
by the scout?
Outram and Havelock breaking their way through the
Surely, the pibroch of Europe is ringing again in our ears!
All on a sudden the garrison utter a jubilant shout;
Havelock's glorious Highlanders answer with conquering
Forth from their holes and their hidings our women
and children come out,
Blessing the wholesome white faces of Havelock's good
Kissing the war-hardened hand of the Highlander wet
with their tears.
Dance to the pibroch! saved! we are saved! is it you?
is it you?
Saved by the valor of Havelock, saved by the blessing
"Hold it for fifteen days!" we have held it for eighty-
And ever aloft on the palace roof the old banner of
To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn,
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide.
Doth God exact day labor, light deny'd,
I fondly ask? but patience to prevent
That murmur soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise;
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith;
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Is there, for honest poverty,
That hangs his head, and a' that?
The coward slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Our toils obscure, and a' that;
The rank is but the guinea-stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.
What though on hamely fare we dine.
Wear hodden gray and a' that,
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man, for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, and a' that;
The honest man, though e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that!
Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
His riband, star, and a' that;
The man of independent mind,
He looks and laughs at a' that!
A king can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Guid faith he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their dignities, and a' that,
The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.
Then let us pray that come it may—
As come it will for a' that—
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth
May bear the gree, and a' that;
For a' that, and a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That man to man, the warld o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.
1. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness.
2. Oh, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig- pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.
3. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure.
4. Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh, there be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, nor man, have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
Morning, evening, noon and night,
"Praise God!" sang Theocrite.
Then to his poor trade he turned,
Whereby the daily meal was earned.
Hard he labored, long and well;
O'er his work the boy's curls fell.
But ever, at each period,
He stopped and sang, "Praise God!"
Then back again his curls he threw,
And cheerful turned to work anew.
Said Blaise, the listening monk, "Well done;
I doubt not thou art heard, my son:
As well as if thy voice to-day
Were praising God, the Pope's great way.
This Easter Day, the Pope at Rome
Praises God from Peter's dome."
Said Theocrite, "Would God that I
Might praise him, that great way, and die!"
Night passed, day shone,
And Theocrite was gone.
With God a day endures alway,
A thousand years are but a day.
God said in heaven, "Nor day nor night
Now brings the voice of my delight."
Then Gabriel, like a rainbow's birth,
Spread his wings and sank to earth;
Entered, in flesh, the empty cell,
Lived there, and played the craftsman well;
And morning, evening, noon and night,
Praised God in place of Theocrite.
And from a boy, to youth he grew:
The man put off the stripling's hue:
The man matured and fell away
Into the season of decay:
And ever o'er the trade he bent,
And ever lived on earth content.
(He did God's will; to him, all one
If on the earth or in the sun.)
God said, "A praise is in mine ear;
There is no doubt in it, no fear:
"So sing old worlds, and so
New worlds that from my footstool go.
Clearer loves sound other ways;
I miss my little human praise."
Then forth sprang Gabriel's wings, off fell
The flesh disguise, remained the cell.
'Twas Easter Day: he flew to Rome,
And paused above Saint Peter's dome.
In the tiring-room close by
The great outer gallery,
With his holy vestments dight,
Stood the new Pope, Theocrite;
And all his past career
Came back upon him clear,
Since when, a boy, he plied his trade,
Till on his life the sickness weighed;
And in his cell, when death drew near,
An angel in a dream brought cheer:
And rising from the sickness drear,
He grew a priest, and now stood here.
To the East with praise he turned,
And on his sight the angel burned.
"I bore thee from thy craftsman's cell,
And set thee here; I did not well,
"Vainly I left my angel-sphere,
Vain was thy dream of many a year.
Thy voice's praise seemed weak: it dropped—
Creation's chorus stopped!
Go back and praise again
The early way, while I remain.
With that weak voice of our disdain,
Take up creation's pausing strain.
"Back to the cell and poor employ;
Resume the craftsman and the boy!"
Theocrite grew old at home;
A new Pope dwelt at Peter's dome.
One vanished as the other died:
They sought God side by side.
1. He who speaks honestly cares not, needs not care, though his words be preserved to remotest time. The dishonest speaker, not he only who purposely utters falsehoods, but he who does not purposely, and with sincere heart, utter Truth, and Truth alone; who babbles he knows not what, and has clapped no bridle on his tongue, but lets it run racket, ejecting chatter and futility—is among the most indisputable malefactors omitted, or inserted, in the Criminal Calendar.
2. To him that will well consider it, idle speaking is precisely the beginning of all Hollowness, Halfness, Infidelity (want of Faithfulness); it is the genial atmosphere in which rank weeds of every kind attain the mastery over noble fruits in man's life, and utterly choke them out: one of the most crying maladies of these days, and to be testified against, and in all ways to the uttermost withstood.
3. Wise, of a wisdom far beyond our shallow depth, was that old precept, "Watch thy tongue; out of it are the issues of Life!" Man is properly an incarnated word: the word that he speaks is the man himself. Were eyes put into our head, that we might see, or that we might fancy, and plausibly pretend, we had seen? Was the tongue suspended there, that it might tell truly what we had seen, and make man the soul's brother of man; or only that it might utter vain sounds, jargon, soul-confusing, and so divide man, as by enchanting walls of Darkness, from union with man?
4. Thou who wearest that cunning, heaven-made organ, a Tongue, think well of this. Speak not, I passionately entreat thee, till thy thought have silently matured itself, till thou have other than mad and mad-making noises to emit: hold thy tongue till some meaning lie behind, to set it wagging.
5. Consider the significance of SILENCE: it is boundless, never by meditating to be exhausted, unspeakably profitable to thee! Cease that chaotic hubbub, wherein thy own soul runs to waste, to confused suicidal dislocation and stupor; out of Silence comes thy strength. "Speech is silvern, silence is golden; speech is human, silence is divine."
6. Fool! thinkest thou that because no one stands near with parchment and blacklead to note thy jargon, it therefore dies and is harmless? Nothing dies, nothing can die. No idlest word thou speakest but is a seed cast into Time, and grows through all Eternity! The Recording Angel, consider it well, is no fable, but the truest of truths: the paper tablets thou canst burn; of the "iron leaf" there is no burning.
So goes the world;—if wealthy, you may call
THIS friend, THAT brother;—friends and brothers all;
Though you are worthless—witless—never mind it:
You may have been a stable-boy—what then?
'Tis wealth, good sir, makes HONORABLE MEN.
You seek respect, no doubt, and YOU will find it.
But if you are poor, Heaven help you! though your sire
Had royal blood within him, and though you
Possess the intellect of angels, too,
'Tis all in vain;—the world will ne'er inquire
On such a score:—Why should it take the pains?
'Tis easier to weigh purses, sure, than brains.
I once saw a poor fellow, keen and clever,
Witty and wise:—he paid a man a visit,
And no one noticed him, and no one ever
Gave him a welcome. "Strange!" cried I, "whence is
He walked on this side, then on that,
He tried to introduce a social chat;
Now here, now there, in vain he tried;
Some formally and freezingly replied,
Said by their silence—"Better stay at home."
A rich man burst the door;
As Croesus rich, I'm sure
He could not pride himself upon his wit,
And as for wisdom, he had none of it;
He had what's better; he had wealth.
What a confusion!—all stand up erect—
These crowd around to ask him of his health;
These bow in HONEST duty and respect;
And these arrange a sofa or a chair,
And these conduct him there.
"Allow me, sir, the honor;"—Then a bow
Down to the earth—Is't possible to show
Meet gratitude for such kind condescension?
The poor man hung his head,
And to himself he said,
"This is indeed beyond my comprehension;"
Then looking round,
One friendly face he found,
And said, "Pray tell me why is wealth preferred
To wisdom?"—"That's a silly question, friend!"
Replied the other—"have you never heard,
A man may lend his store
Of gold or silver ore,
But wisdom none can borrow, none can lend?"
'Tis the middle watch of a summer's night—
The earth is dark, but the heavens are bright;
Naught is seen in the vault on high
But the moon, and the stars, and the cloudless sky,
And the flood which rolls its milky hue,
A river of light on the welkin blue.
The moon looks down on old Cro'nest;
She mellows the shades on his craggy breast;
And seems his huge gray form to throw
In a silver cone on the waves below.
His sides are broken by spots of shade,
By the walnut-bough and the cedar made,
And through their clustering branches dark
Glimmers and dies the fire-fly's spark,
Like starry twinkles that momently peak
Through the rifts of the gathering tempest's rack.
The stars are on the moving stream,
And fling, as its ripples gently flow,
A burnished length of wavy beam
In an eel-like, spiral line below;
The winds are whist, and the owl is still,
The bat in the shelvy rock is hid.
And naught is heard on the lonely hill
But the cricket's chirp, and the answer shrill
Of the gauze-winged katy-did,
And the plaint of the wailing whippoorwill,
Who moans unseen, and ceaseless sings,
Ever a note of wail and woe,
Till the morning spreads her rosy wings,
And earth and sky in her glances glow.
'Tis the hour of fairy ban and spell;—
The wood-tick has kept the minutes well;
He has counted them all with click and stroke
Deep in the heart of the mountain-oak;
And he has awakened the sentry Elve
Who sleeps with him in the haunted tree,
To bid him ring the hour of twelve,
And call the Fays to their revelry;
Twelve small strokes on his tinkling bell—
'Twas made of the white snail's pearly shell.
"Midnight comes, and all is well!
Hither, hither wing your way!
'Tis the dawn of the fairy-day!"
They come from beds of lichen green,
They creep from the mullein's velvet screen,
Some on the backs of beetles fly
From the silver tops of moon-touched trees,
Where they swing in their cobweb hammocks
And rocked about in the evening breeze;
Some from the hum-bird's downy nest—
They had driven him out by elfin power,
And, pillowed on plumes of his rainbow breast,
Had slumbered there till the charmed hour;
Some had lain in the scoop of the rock,
With glittering rising-stars inlaid;
And some had opened the four-o'clock,
And stole within its purple shade.
And now they throng the moonlight glade,
Above—below—on every side,
Their little minim forms arrayed
In the tricksy pomp of fairy pride.
They come not now to print the lea,
In freak and dance around the tree,
Or at the mushroom board to sup,
And drink the dew from the buttercup;—
A scene of sorrow waits them now.
For an Ouphe has broken his vestal vow;
He has loved an earthly maid,
And left for her his woodland shade;
He has lain upon her lip of dew,
And sunned him in her eyes of blue,
Fanned her cheek with his wing of air,
Played in the ringlets of her hair,
And, nestling on her snowy breast,
Forgot the Lily-King's behest,—
For this the shadowy tribes of air
To the Elfin Court must haste away!—
And now they stand expectant there,
To hear the doom of the Culprit Fay.
The throne was reared upon the grass,
Of spice-wood and of sassafras;
On pillars of mottled tortoise-shell
Hung the burnished canopy,
And o'er it gorgeous curtains fell
Of the tulip's crimson drapery.
The monarch sat on his judgment-seat,
On his brow the crown imperial shone,
The prisoner Fay was at his feet,
And his Peers were ranged around the throne.
Lo! the long, slender spears, bow they quiver and flash
Where the clouds send their cavalry down!
Rank and file by the million the rain-lancers dash
Over mountain and river and town:
Thick the battle-drops fall—but they drip not in blood;
The trophy of war is the green fresh bud:
Oh, the rain, the plentiful rain!
The pastures lie baked, and the furrow is bare,
The wells they yawn empty and dry;
But a rushing of waters is heard in the air,
And a rainbow leaps out in the sky.
Hark! the heavy drops pelting the sycamore leaves,
How they wash tha wide pavement, and sweep from
Oh, the rain, the plentiful rain!
See, the weaver throws wide his own swinging pane,
The kind drops dance in on the floor;
And his wife brings her flower-pots to drink the sweet
On the step by her half-open door;
At the tune on the skylight, far over his head,
Smiles their poor crippled lad on his hospital bed.
Oh, the rain, the plentiful rain!
And away, far from men, where high mountains tower,
The little green mosses rejoice,
And the bud-heated heather nods to the shower,
And the hill-torrents lift up their voice:
And the pools in the hollows mimic the fight
Of the rain, as their thousand points dart up in the
Oh, the rain, the plentiful rain!
And deep in the fir-wood below, near the plain,
A single thrush pipes full and sweet,
How days of clear shining will come after rain,
Waving meadows, and thick growing wheat;
So the voice of Hope sings, at the heart of our fears,
Of the harvest that springs from a great nation's tears:
Oh, the rain, the plentiful rain!
1. Curiosity is a passion very favorable to the love of study, and a passion very susceptible of increase by cultivation. Sound travels so many feet in a second; and light travels so many feet in a second. Nothing more probable: but you do not care how light and sound travel. Very likely: but make yourself care; get up, shake yourself well, pretend to care, make believe to care, and very soon you will care, and care so much that you will sit for hours thinking about light and sound, and be extremely angry with any one who interrupts you in your pursuits; and tolerate no other conversation but about light and sound; and catch yourself plaguing everybody to death who approaches you, with the discussion of these subjects.
2. I am sure that a man ought to read as he would grasp a nettle: do it lightly, and you get molested; grasp it with all your strength, and you feel none of its asperities. There is nothing so horrible as languid study, when you sit looking at the clock, wishing the time was over, or that somebody would call on you and put you out of your misery. The only way to read with any efficacy is to read so heartily that dinner-time comes two hours before you expected it.
3. To sit with your Livy before you, and hear the geese cackling that saved the Capitol: and to see with your own eyes the Carthaginian sutlers gathering up the rings of the Roman knights after the battle of Cannae, and heaping them into bushels; and to be so intimately present at the actions you are reading of that when anybody knocks at the door it will take you two or three seconds to determine whether you are in your own study, or in the plains of Lombardy, looking at Hannibal's weather-beaten face, and admiring the splendor of his single eye.
4. This is the only kind of study which is not tiresome; and almost the only kind which is not useless: this is the knowledge which gets into the system, and which a man carries about and uses like his limbs, without perceiving that it is extraneous, weighty, or inconvenient.
Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories
And glory to our sovereign liege, King Henry of
Now let there be the merry sound of music and of
Through the corn-fields green, and sunny vines, O
pleasant land of France!
And thou Rochelle, our own Rochelle, proud city of
Again let rapture light the eyes of all thy murmuring
As thou wert constant in our ills, be joyous in our joy;
For cold and stiff and still are they who wrought thy
Hurrah! hurrah! a single field hath turned the chance
Hurrah! hurrah! for Ivry, and Henry of Navarre!
Oh! how our hearts were beating, when, at the dawn
We saw the army of the League drawn out in long
With all its priest-led citizens, and all its rebel peers,
And Appenzel's stout infantry, and Egmont's Flemish
There rode the brood of false Lorraine, the curses of our
And dark Mayenne was in the midst, a truncheon in his
And, as we looked on them, we thought of Seine's
And good Coligni's hoary hair all dabbled with his blood;
And we cried unto the living God, who rules the fate
To fight for his own holy name, and Henry of Navarre.
The king is come to marshal us, in all his armor dressed;
And he has bound a snow white plume upon his gallant
He looked upon his people, and a tear was in his eye,
He looked upon the traitors, and his glance was stern
Right graciously he smiled on us, as rolled from wing
Down all our line, a deafening shout, "God save our
Lord the King!"
"And if my standard bearer fall, as fall full well he
For never I saw promise yet of such a bloody fray—
Press where you see my white plume shine amidst the
ranks of war,
And be your oriflamme to-day the helmet of Navarre."
Hurrah! the foes are moving. Hark to the mingled din,
Of fife, and steed, and trump, and drum, and roaring
The fiery duke is pricking fast across Saint-Andre's
With all the hireling chivalry of Guelders and Almayne
Now by the lips of those ye love, fair gentlemen of
Charge for the golden lilies—upon them with the lance!
A thousand spurs are striking deep, a thousand spears
A thousand knights are pressing close behind the snow-
And in they burst, and on they rushed, while, like a
Amidst the thickest carnage blazed the helmet of
Now God be praised, the day is ours; Mayenne hath
turned his rein;
D'Aumale hath cried for quarter; the Flemish count is
Their ranks are breaking like thin clouds before a Biscay
The field is heaped with bleeding steeds, and flags, and
And then we thought on vengeance, and all along our
Remember Saint Bartholomew! was passed from man
But out spake gentle Henry—"No Frenchman is my
Down, down with every foreigner, but let your brethren
Oh! was there ever such a knight, in friendship or in war,
As our sovereign lord, King Henry, the soldier of
Right well fought all the Frenchmen who fought for
And many a lordly banner God gave them for a prey.
But we of the religion have borne us best in fight;
And the good Lord of Rosny hath ta'en the cornet
Our own true Maximilian the cornet white hath ta'en,
The cornet white with crosses black, the flag of false
Up with it high; unfurl it wide—that all the host
How God hath humbled the proud house which wrought
his church such woe.
Then on the ground, while trumpets sound their loudest
point of war,
Fling the red shreds, a foot-cloth meet for Henry of
Ho! maidens of Vienna! ho! matrons of Lucerne—
Weep, weep, and rend your hair for those who never
Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexican pistoles,
That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor
Ho! gallant nobles of the league, look that your arms
Ho! burghers of St. Genevieve, keep watch and ward
For our God hath crushed the tyrant, our God hath
raised the slave,
And mocked the counsel of the wise, and the valor of
Then glory to His holy name, for whom all glories are;
And glory to our sovereign lord, King Henry of Navarre!
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of the bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought;
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
1. A cheerful man is pre-eminently a useful man. He knows that there is much misery, but that misery is not the rule of life. He sees that in every state people may be cheerful; the lambs skip, birds sing and fly joyously, puppies play, kittens are full of joy, the whole air is full of careering and rejoicing insects— that everywhere the good outbalances the bad, and that every evil that there is has its compensating balm.
2. Then the brave man, as our German cousins say, possesses the world, whereas the melancholy man does not even possess his share of it.
Exercise, or continued employment of some kind, will make a man cheerful; but sitting at home, brooding and thinking, or doing little, will bring gloom. The reaction of this feeling is wonderful. It arises from a sense of duty done, and it also enables us to do our duty.
3. Cheerful people live long in our memory. We remember joy more readily than sorrow, and always look back with tenderness on the brave and cheerful.
We can all cultivate our tempers, and one of the employments of some poor mortals is to cultivate, cherish, and bring to perfection, a thoroughly bad one; but we may be certain that to do so is a very grave error and sin, which, like all others, brings its own punishment; though, unfortunately, it does not punish itself only.
4. Addison says of cheerfulness, that it lightens sickness, poverty, affliction; converts ignorance into an amiable simplicity, and renders deformity itself agreeable; and he says no more than the truth.
5. "Give us, therefore, oh! give us"—let us cry with Carlyle— "the man who sings at his work! He will do more in the same time, —he will do it better,—he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stars are said to make harmony as they revolve in their spheres.
6. "Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, altogether past calculation its powers of endurance. Efforts, to be permanently useful, must be uniformly joyous,—a spirit all sunshine, graceful from very gladness, beautiful because bright."
7. Such a spirit is within everybody's reach. Let us but get out into the light of things. The morbid man cries out that there is always enough wrong in the world to make a man miserable. Conceded; but wrong is ever being righted; there is always enough that is good and right to make us joyful.
8. There is ever sunshine somewhere; and the brave man will go on his way rejoicing, content to look forward if under a cloud, not bating one jot of heart or hope if for a moment cast down: honoring his occupation, whatever it may be; rendering even rags respectable by the way he wears them; and not only being happy himself, but causing the happiness of others.
To-day the world is wide and fair
With sunny fields of lucid air,
And waters dancing everywhere;
The snow is almost gone;
The noon is builded high with light,
And over heaven's liquid height,
In steady fleets serene and white,
The happy clouds go on.
The channels run, the bare earth steams,
And every hollow rings and gleams
With jetting falls and dashing streams;
The rivers burst and fill;
The fields are full of little lakes,
And when the romping wind awakes
The water ruffles blue and shakes,
And the pines roar on the hill.
The crows go by, a noisy throng;
About the meadows all day long
The shore-lark drops his brittle song;
And up tihe leafless tree
The nut-hatch runs, and nods, and clings;
The bluebird dips with flashing wings,
The robin flutes, the sparrow sings,
And the swallows float and flee.
I break the spirit's cloudy bands,
A wanderer in enchanted lands,
I feel the sun upon my hands;
And far from care and strife
The broad earth bids me forth, I rise
With lifted brow and upward eyes.
I bathe my spirit in blue skies,
And taste the springs of life
I feel the tumult of new birth;
I waken with the wakening earth;
I match the bluebird in her mirth;
And wild with wind and sun,
A treasurer of immortal days,
I roam the glorious world with praise,
The hillsides and the woodland ways,
Till the earth and I are one.