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Title: The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886

Author: Ministry of Education

Release Date: November 27, 2006 [EBook #19923]

Language: English

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The Ontario Readers.







Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand
eight hundred and eighty-six, by the
Minister of Education for Ontario,
in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture

Hunter, Rose & Co.,


The selections in the High School Reader have been chosen with the belief that to pupils of such advancement as is required for entrance into High Schools and Collegiate Institutes, oral reading should be taught from the best literature, inasmuch as it not only affords a wide range of thought and sentiment, but it also demands for its appropriate vocal interpretation such powers of sympathy and appreciation as are developed only by culture; and it is to impart culture that these institutions of higher learning have been established.

Experience has shown that it is from their ordinary reading books that pupils obtain their chief practical acquaintance with literature, and the selections here presented have been made with this in remembrance. They have been taken from the writings of authors of acknowledged representative character; and they have been arranged for the most part chronologically, so that pupils may unconsciously obtain some little insight into the history of the development of the literary art. They have also been so chosen as to convey a somewhat fair idea of the relative value and productivity of authorship in the three great English-speaking communities of the worldthe mother countries, our neighbours' country, and our own.

While a limited space, if nothing else, prevents the collection here made from being a complete anthology, yet it does pretend to represent the authors selected in characteristic moods, and (in so far as is possible in a school book, and a reading text-book) to present a somewhat fair perspective of the world of authorship. It may be said that, if this be so, some names are conspicuously absent: McGee, Canada's poet-orator; Parkman, who has given to our country a place in the portraiture of nations; William Morris, the chief of the modern school of romanticism; Tyndall, who of the literature of science has made an art; Lamb, daintiest of humorists; Collins, "whose range of flight," as Swinburne says, "was the highest of his generation." Either from lack of space, or from some inherent unsuitableness in such selections as might otherwise have been made, it was found impossible to represent these names worthily; but as they are all more or less adequately represented in the Fourth Reader, the teacher who may wish to correct the perspective here presented may refer his pupils to the pieces from these authors there given. It may be added, too, that the body of recent literature is so enormous, that no adequate representation of it (at any rate as regards quantity) is possible within the limits of one book.

The selections in poetry, with but three necessary exceptions, are complete wholes, and represent, as fairly as single pieces can, the respective merits and styles of their authors. The selections in prose cannot, of course, lay claim to this excellence; but they are all complete in themselves, or have been made so by short introductions; and it is hoped that they too are not unfairly representative of their authors. In many cases they are of somewhat unusual length; by this, however, they gain in interest and in representative character.

In some of the prose selections, passages have occasionally been omitted, either because they interfered with the main narrative, or because, as they added nothing to it, to omit them would be a gain of space. In most cases these omissions are indicated by small asterisks.

All the selections, both in prose and in verse, have been made with constant reference to their suitableness for the teaching of reading. They are fitted to exemplify every mode of expression, except, perhaps, that appropriate to a few of the stronger passions. It is not pretended that they are all simple and easy. Many of them will require much study and preparation before they can be read with that precision of expression which is necessary to perfect intelligibility. The chronological arrangement precludes grading; the teacher will decide in what order the selections are to be read.

The introductory chapter is mainly intended to assist the teacher in imparting to his pupils a somewhat scientific knowledge of the art of reading. Of course the teacher will choose for himself his mode of dealing with the chapter, but it has been written with the thought that he should use it as a convenient series of texts, which he might expand and illustrate in accordance with his opportunities and judgment. Examples for illustration are indispensable to the successful study of the principles described, and they should be sought for and obtained by the teacher and pupils together (whenever possible they should be taken from the Reader), and should be kept labeled for reference and practice. If the application of these principles be thus practically made by the pupils themselves, they will receive a much more lasting impression of their meaning and value than if the examples were given to them at no cost of thought or search on their part.

To the teacher it is recommended that he should not be contented with the short and necessarily imperfect exposition of the art of reading therein given. The more familiar he is with the scientific principles the more successfully will he be able to direct the studies and practices of his pupils. Works on elocution are numerous and accessible. Dr. Rush's Philosophy of the Voice is perhaps the foundation of all subsequent good work in the exposition of voice culture. Professor Murdoch's Analytic Elocution is an exhaustive and scholarly treatise based upon it, and to the plan of treatment therein fully developed the practical part of the introductory chapter has largely conformed.

The pleasing task remains of thanking those authors who have so kindly responded to requests for permission to use selections from their works: to President Wilson, for a sonnet from Spring Wild Roses, and for Our Ideal; to Mr. Charles Sangster, for two sonnets from Hesperus; to Mr. John Reade, for two poems from The Prophecy of Merlin; to Mr. Charles Mair, for the scenes from Tecumseh; and to Professor C. G. D. Roberts, for To Winter.

To Miss A. T. Jones, thanks are due for permission to use Abigail Becker, recently published in the Century Magazine. The heroic acts described in this poem seem so wonderful, so greatly superior to woman's strength, even to human strength and endurance, to accomplish, that were it possible to doubt its truthfulness, doubt one certainly would. Nevertheless the poem is not only strictly in accordance with the facts, it is even within and below them.


(The Titles of the Selections in Poetry are printed in Italics.)

I. King Solomon's Prayer and Blessing at the Dedication of the Temple. Holy Bible 33
II. Invitation. Holy Bible 39
III. The Trial Scene in the "Merchant of Venice." Shakespeare 40
IV. Of Boldness. Bacon 53
V. To Daffodils. Herrick 55
VI. Of Contentedness in all Estates and Accidents. Taylor 56
VII. To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars. Lovelace 61
VIII. Angling. Walton 62
IX. On the Morning of Christ's Nativity. Milton 67
X. Character of Lord Falkland. Clarendon 76
XI. Veni, Creator Spiritus. Dryden 81
XII. Lines printed under the Portrait of Milton. Dryden 82
XIII. Reason. Dryden 83
XIV. On the Love of Country as a Principle of Action. Steele 83
XV. The Golden Scales. Addison 88
XVI. Misjudged Hospitality. Swift 93
XVII. From the "Essay on Man." Pope 96
XVIII. Rule, Britannia. Thomson 101
XIX. The First Crusade. Hume 102
XX. The Bard. Gray 111
XXI. On an Address to the Throne concerning Affairs in America. Chatham 116
XXII. From "The Vicar of Wakefield." Goldsmith 127
XXIII. Meeting of Johnson with Wilkes. Boswell 133
XXIV. The Policy of the Empire in the First Century. Gibbon 142
XXV. On the Attacks upon his Pension. Burke 147
XXVI. Two Eighteenth Century Scenes. Cowper 155
XXVII. From "The School for Scandal." Sheridan 159
XXVIII. The Cotter's Saturday Night. Burns 171
XXIX. The Land o' the Leal. Lady Nairn 177
XXX. The Trial by Combat at the Diamond of the Desert. Scott 179
XXXI. To a Highland Girl. Wordsworth 202
XXXII. France: an Ode. Coleridge 205
XXXIII. Complaint and Reproof. Coleridge 208
XXXIV. The Well of St. Keyne. Southey 209
XXXV. The Isles of Greece. Byron 211
XXXVI. Go where Glory Waits Thee. Moore 214
XXXVII. Dear Harp of My Country. Moore 215
XXXVIII. Come, ye Disconsolate. Moore 216
XXXIX. On a Lock of Milton's Hair. Hunt 217
XL. The Glove and the Lions. Hunt 217
XLI. The Cloud. Shelley 219
XLII. On First Looking into Chapman's Homer. Keats 222
XLIII. On the Grasshopper and the Cricket. Keats 222
XLIV. The Power and Danger of the Cæsars. De Quincey 223
XLV. Unthoughtfulness. Dr. Arnold 227
XLVI. The Bridge of Sighs. Hood 234
XLVII. A Parental Ode to my Son. Hood 237
XLVIII. Metaphysics. Haliburton 239
XLIX. Indian Summer. Lover 246
L. To Helen. Praed 246
LI. Horatius. Macaulay 247
LII. The Raven. Poe 258
LIII. David SwanA Fantasy. Hawthorne 262
LIV. My Kate. Mrs. Browning 270
LV. A Dead Rose. Mrs. Browning 271
LVI. To the Evening Wind. Bryant 272
LVII. Death of the Protector. Carlyle 274
LVIII. Each and All. Emerson 282
LIX. Waterloo. Lever 284
LX. The Diver. Lytton 294
LXI. The Plague of Locusts. Newman 299
LXII. The Cane-bottom'd Chair. Thackeray 306
LXIII. The Reconciliation. Thackeray 308
LXIV. The Island of the Scots. Aytoun 315
LXV. The Gambling Party. Beaconsfield 321
LXVI. The Pickwickians Disport themselves on Ice. Dickens 327
LXVII. The Hanging of the Crane. Longfellow 336
LXVIII. Earthworms. Darwin 342
LXIX. "As Ships, Becalmed at Eve." Clough 346
LXX. Duty. Clough 347
LXXI. Sonnets. Heavysege 349
LXXII. Dr. Arnold at Rugby. Dean Stanley 350
LXXIII. Ode to the North-east Wind. Kingsley 354
LXXIV. From "The Mill on the Floss." George Eliot 356
LXXV. The Cloud Confines. Rossetti 359
LXXVI. Barbara Frietchie. Whittier 361
LXXVII. Contentment. Holmes 364
LXXVIII. The British Constitution. Gladstone 367
LXXIX. The Lord of Burleigh. Tennyson 370
LXXX. "Break, Break, Break." Tennyson 373
LXXXI. The "Revenge". Tennyson 373
LXXXII. Hervé Riel. Browning 378
LXXXIII. Sonnet. Dr. Wilson 383
LXXXIV. Our Ideal. Dr. Wilson 383
LXXXV. From the Apology of Socrates. Jowett 384
LXXXVI. The Empire of the Cæsars. Froude 389
LXXXVII. Of the Mystery of Life. Ruskin 390
LXXXVIII. The Robin. Lowell 397
LXXXIX. The Old Cradle. Locker 400
XC. Rugby Chapel. Matt. Arnold 401
XCI. In the Orillia Woods. Sangster 408
XCII. Morals and Character in the Eighteenth Century. Goldwin Smith 409
XCIII. A Liberal Education. Huxley 412
XCIV. Too Late. Mrs. Craik 416
XCV. Amor Mundi. Miss Rossetti 417
XCVI. Toujours Amour. Stedman 418
XCVII. England. Aldrich 419
XCVIII. Rococo. Aldrich 420
XCIX. Kings of Men. John Reade 420
C. Thalatta! Thalatta! John Reade 421
CI. The Forsaken Garden. Swinburne 422
CII. A Ballad To Queen Elizabeth of the Spanish Armada. Dobson 424
CIII. Circe. Dobson 426
CIV. Scenes from "Tecumseh." Mair 426
CV. The Return of the Swallows. Gosse 437
CVI. Dawn Angels. Miss Robinson 438
CVII. Le Roi Est Mort. Miss Robinson 439
CVIII. To Winter. Roberts 440
CIX. Abigail Becker. Miss Jones 442


He that cannot see well Bacon 54
Stone walls do not a prison make Lovelace 55
When the heart is right Berkeley 87
It must be soPlato, thou reasonest well Addison 92
England, with all thy faults, I love thee still Cowper 154
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast Cowper 158
Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us Burns 170
Life! we've been long together Mrs. Barbauld 178
Rough wind, that moanest loud Shelley 218
There is a book, who runs may read Keble 233
There is no great and no small Emerson 245
Wellington, Thy great work is but begun Rossetti 293
Sacrifice and self-devotion Lord Houghton 320
Flower in the crannied wall Tennyson 366
It fortifies my soul to know Clough 369
And yet, dear heart! remembering thee Whittier 372
There is no land like England Tennyson 377
The Summum Pulchrum rests in heaven above Clough 382
Be of good cheer then, my dear Crito Socrates 388
What know we greater than the soul Tennyson 407
That is best blood that hath most iron in't Lowell 411
Such kings of shreds have woo'd and won her Aldrich 419


Addison, Joseph 88, 92
Aldrich, Thomas Bailey 419, 420
Arnold, Matthew 401
Arnold, Thomas 227
Aytoun, Wm. Edmondstoune 315
Bacon, Lord (Francis) 53, 54
Barbauld, Anna Lætitia 178
Beaconsfield, Lord (Benjamin Disraeli) 321
Berkeley, Bishop (George) 87
Bible, The Holy 33, 39
Boswell, James 133
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett 270, 271
Browning, Robert 378
Bryant, William Cullen 272
Burke, Edmund 147
Burns, Robert 170, 171
Byron, Lord (George Gordon Noel) 211
Carlyle, Thomas 274
Chatham, Lord (Wm. Pitt) 116
Clarendon, Lord 76
Clough, Arthur Hugh 346, 347, 369, 382
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor 205, 208
Cowper, William 154, 155, 158
Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock 416
Darwin, Charles 342
De Quincey, Thomas 223
Dickens, Charles 327
Dobson, Austin 424, 426
Dryden, John 81, 82, 83
Eliot, George (Marian Evans Cross) 356
Emerson, Ralph Waldo 245, 282
Froude, James Anthony 389
Gibbon, Edward 142
Gladstone, William Ewart 367
Goldsmith, Oliver 127
Gosse, Edmund William 437
Gray, Thomas 111
Haliburton, Thomas Chandler 239
Hawthorne, Nathaniel 262
Heavysege, Charles 349
Herrick, Robert 55
Holmes, Oliver Wendell 364
Hood, Thomas 234, 237
Houghton, Lord (Richard Monckton Milnes) 320
Hume, David 102
Hunt, Leigh 217
Huxley, Thomas Henry 412
Jones, Amanda T. 412
Jowett, Benjamin 384
Keats, John 222
Keble, John 233
Kingsley, Charles 354
Lever, Charles James 284
Locker, Frederick 400
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth 336
Lovelace, Richard 55, 61
Lover, Samuel 246
Lowell, James Russell 397, 411
Lytton, Lord (Edward Bulwer) 294
Macaulay, Lord (Thomas Babington) 247
Mair, Charles 426
Milton, John 67
Moore, Thomas 214, 215, 216
Nairn, Baroness (Carolina Oliphant) 177
Newman, Cardinal (John Henry) 299
Poe, Edgar Allan 258
Pope, Alexander 96
Praed, Winthrop Mackworth 246
Reade, John 420, 421
Roberts, Charles George Douglas 440
Robinson, A. Mary F. 438, 439
Rossetti, Christina Georgina 417
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel 293, 359
Ruskin, John 390
Sangster, Charles 408
Scott, Sir Walter 179
Shakespeare, William 40
Shelley, Percy Bysshe 218, 219
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley 159
Smith, Goldwin 409
Southey, Robert 209
Stanley, Dean (Arthur Penrhyn) 350
Stedman, Edmund Clarence 418
Steele, Sir Richard 83
Swift, Jonathan 93
Swinburne, Algernon Charles 422
Taylor, Bishop (Jeremy) 56
Tennyson, Lord (Alfred) 366, 370, 373, 377, 407
Thackeray, William Makepeace 306, 308
Thomson, James 101
Walton, Izaak 62
Whittier, John Greenleaf 361, 372
Wilson, President (Daniel) 383
Wordsworth, William 202



The ability to read well cannot be attained without much pains and study. For even a moderate proficiency in the art of reading two requirements are essential: (1) A cultivated mind quick to perceive the sequence of thoughts which the words to be read logically express, and equally quick in its power sympathetically to appreciate the sentiment with which the words are informedthe feeling, emotion, passion, which pervades thembut which they suggest rather than actually portray; and (2) a voice so perfected that its utterances fall upon the ear of the listener with pleasing effect, and so flexible that it can be managed skilfully to convey to him the full meaning and force of all the ideas and sentiments formally expressed by the words or latent in them. Of these two requirements the first is undeniably the more important; and that training in the art of reading in which the close, persistent, and liberal study of literature for its own sake has not proceeded pari passu with the requisite exercises for the development of the powers of the voice and with the study of the principles of vocal interpretation, has resulted in a meretricious accomplishment of very illusive value.

Nor will the special study and accurate mastery of a number of individual selections give that readiness of mental apprehension which is indispensable to a good reader. The ability quickly to recognize word-forms and to utter them with ease, to catch the drift of ideas, and to feel ready sympathy with change and flow in sentiment, is not to be had without a long course of wide and varied reading. No one can become a good reader by passing through, no matter how carefully, a set of reading text-books merely. Pupils should be encouraged to read for themselves. They should, of course, be guided in their selection of reading matter, and they should be helped to acquire a taste for that which is purest and most helpful in literature; but unless they form a habit of reading, and of reading thoughtfully and with precision, they can never become good readers.

In oral reading, readiness and accuracy depend largely upon the alertness and flexibility of the vocal organs, and to secure ease and excellence in the working of their delicate mechanism much practice is necessary. The pupil should persistently read aloud. A practice of this sort, watchfully pursued, with a reasonable degree of self-discipline in the correction or avoidance of errors, is helpful not alone in obtaining a mastery of the reading art, and in mental culture,it is equally beneficial as a physical exercise. It will, however, be much more efficacious of good, both of mind and of body, if pursued in accordance with those principles of voice culture and of vocal interpretation, which experience and special study have established.

[xii]But only a small proportion of all the reading that is done, is oral reading. It is silent reading that is universally employed as an instrument of study, of business, of amusement. As a rule, however, very little provision is made for the acquirement of a facility in silent reading; this, it is thought, will result as a by-product of the regular training in oral reading. Almost the reverse of this is true. Ease and flexibility of articulation, quickness in catching the drift of ideas, and readiness in varying the tones of the voice in the utterance of words so as impressively to portray their latent sentiment,all this is possible with those alone to whom difficult word-forms, complex sentence-structures, and the infinite variety and play of thought and emotion, are more or less familiar through such a wide range of reading as only the silent prosecution of it makes possible.

The art of oral reading, however, though not so generally needful as silent reading, is still of great importance to everyone in respect of its practical utility simply,though few of those whose duty it is to read aloud in public, do so either with accuracy or grace; as an accomplishment which may be used to give pleasure to others, it is, when perfectly possessed, not excelled by any other; so that as an acquisition which puts one in a position of vantage either for benefitting one's self or for bestowing delight or benefit upon others, it is worth every necessary struggle for its attainment.

One of the most valuable results of oral reading when systematically pursued as a school study, is the effect which it has in improving the tones of the voice for ordinary conversation and discourse, and in securing some measure of orthoepy as a fixed habit of utterance. Conversational speech is notoriously slovenly. The sonority of our vowels is lost, and their distinguishing qualities are obscured; and with unnoticed frequency our consonants are either dropped or amalgamated with one another. Yet, while amendment in these matters is to be striven for, there is nothing that the teacher who wishes to establish habits of orthoepy has to be more watchful in guarding against, than bestowing upon his pupils an affected or mincing utterance, all the more ludicrous and objectionable, it may be, in that a certain set of words are pronounced with over-nicety, while almost all others are left in a state of neglected vulgarity.

Too frequently the study of oral reading is pursued with reference solely to the prospective public use of the art in the declamation of prepared passages; and the elocution-master's science has been brought into some discredit by wide discrepancies between the performances of his pupils in their well-drilled and often hackneyed selections and their ability to read unfamiliar pieces at sight. It is quite true that voice culture is greatly aided by the close study and frequent rendering of selections suitably chosen for the elocutionary difficulties which they present; but it should never be forgotten that good reading, the sort of reading which the schoolmaster should above all else endeavor to make his pupils proficient in, implies the ability so to read a plain account, a story, an oration, a play, or what not, at sight, with absolute correctness as to pronunciation, with such clearness of articulation and appropriateness of sentence utterance as will make it perfectly audible and intelligible to one's auditors, and with[xiii] such suitable and impressive intonations as will put them in full possession of those emotions which may be said to be the essence or spirit of the piece;and, moreover, to do all this with pleasure to one's hearers and with ease to one's self. Now as comparatively few readers are ever required to read in public, and as in the home-circle everyone ought to read, it is plain that the first duty of the teacher of elocution is to develop in his pupils a mastery of such a style of reading as is appropriate to small audiences; and, then, if he have time and opportunity, to extend and amplify the practice of his art so as to fit such as are capable of fuller mastery of it to appear before greater audiences. For though all voices are capable of being much improved through cultivation, few only can be adapted to the requirements of a large auditorium; and the care and attention which should be devoted to the benefit of all should not be spent for the advantage merely of the few.

And moreover, those practices and studies which voice culture and the attainment of a knowledge of the principles of vocal interpretation demand, may be pursued by all in common. That alone which is necessary for the public reader or orator, is a more extended, and, perhaps, a more earnest and thoughtful practice.

Although practices for the improvement of the voice cannot proceed far without attention to the principles of vocal interpretation, and though the study of the latter necessarily includes the former, yet for the sake of clearness the elementary principles of voice culture may be discussed separately from their application in the interpretation of thought and sentiment.

With respect both to articulation and expression the generic properties of the voice are five, namely: Quality, Pitch, Force, Time, Abruptness. Of these properties there are, of course, many modes or degrees, but the voice must, in every tone that it utters, manifest itself in some mode or other of each; and it is the possibility of infinite choice in the ways of combining the modes that gives to vocal expression its infinite possibility of variety. The principles of voice culture will be best understood, however, if these properties be considered separately.

Quality has reference to the kind of the voice in respect of its smoothness or roughness, sonority or thinness, musicalness or harshness; also in respect of the completeness of its vocality.

Pitch has reference to the degree of elevation or depression in what is called in music the scale. It may be used specifically, in reference to single tones or syllables (either as to their opening, or as to their whole utterance), or generally, as descriptive of the prevailing tone or note which the voice assumes in reading a sentence or passage.

Force has reference to the power or intensity with which the sounds of the voice are uttered. When force is used in the utterance of single syllables, in whole or in part, it is spoken of as Stress.

Time is rate of utterance. It is used with reference both to single syllables, and to phrases, sentences, and passages. In regard to single syllables it is sometimes called Quantity. In the consideration of time may be included that of pauses and rhythms.

[xiv]Abruptness has reference to the relative suddenness with which syllables may be uttered. It may vary from the most delicate opening to a forcible explosion.

Vocality depends upon respiration. All exercises, therefore, which are effective in increasing the vigor, freedom, and elasticity of the breathing apparatus, may be taken as initiatory steps in voice culture; and, in moderation, they should be practised continually. Full, slow inspirations followed by slow, and, as far as possible, complete expirations; full, quick inspirations similarly followed; full inspirations followed by sudden and forcible expirations; full, deep inspirations, followed by slow, slightly but distinctly audible expirations, as in deep sighing; these and similar practices may be pursued. What is to be aimed at is to secure complete control of the breath, especially to the degree that, with perfect deliberateness, it can be equably and smoothly effused.

In all exercises where vocality is required it is best first to use the sound of ä, as in far, for in this sound the quality of the human voice is heard in most perfection, and in uttering it the vocal organs are most flexible and most easily adapt themselves to change. It may be preceded by the aspirate h, or by some consonant, as may be thought necessary.

In effective speaking or reading, with respect to the abruptness and rapidity of expiration there are three modes of utterance: the effusive, by which the voice is poured forth smoothly and equably, the expulsive and the explosive. Of these three modes the effusive is by far the most important, but the others, and especially the expulsive, have their uses also. These modes will be illustrated in the following exercise:

Exercise.1. After a full and deliberate inspiration let the expiration of the element h be gently effected, until the lungs are exhaustedthe aspiration coming from the very depths of the throat. Let this be repeated with the syllable häh, audibly whispered. This is effusive utterance.

2. After a full and deliberate inspiration let the expiration of the element h be suddenly effected, the expiration being continued until the whispering sound vanishes in the bottom of the throat. Let this be repeated with the syllable häh, audibly whispered. This is expulsive utterance.

3. Let the exercise be the same as in (2) except that the expiration is to be much more forcibly effected, and completed almost instantaneously. This is explosive utterance.

In the cultivation of the voice either one of two ends is generally kept in viewits improvement for speaking or its improvement for singing; but progress may be made towards both ends by the same study, and those exercises which benefit the singing voice benefit the speaking voice, and vice versa. The distinction between speaking tones and singing tones should be clearly understood. Musical tones are produced by isochronous (equal-timed) vibrations of the vocal organs continued for some length of time. Hence, a musical tone is a note, which may be prolonged at will without varying in pitch, either up or down. A speaking tone, on the contrary, is produced by vibrations which are not isochronous; it is not a note, properly so called, and can not be prolonged, without varying in pitch. Musical tones are discrete,the voice passes from pitch to pitch through the intervals silently. In speaking, every tone, however short the time taken in uttering it, passes from one pitch to some other through[xv] an interval concretely, that is, with continuous vocality; though, with respect to one another, speech syllables, like notes in music, are discrete. This may be exemplified by uttering the words, "Where are you going?" In singing these words, they may be uttered on the same note, or on different notes, or, indeed, with different notes for the same word; but the voice skips from note to note through the intervals. In speaking the words, each is uttered with an inflection or intonation in which the voice varies in pitch, but passes through the interval concretely; the separate words, however, and the separate syllables (if there were any) being uttered discretely. Musical utterance might be graphically illustrated by a series of horizontal lines of less or greater length succeeding one another at different distances above or below a fixed horizontal line. In a similar notation for speech utterance the lines would all be curved, to represent the concrete passage through the various intervals. It is the concrete intonation of every syllable and monosyllabic word which gives to speech its distinctive character from music. Each syllable and monosyllabic word is called a concrete, and it is with the concrete in all its various possibilities of utterance that voice culture has mainly to do.

The intervals traversed by the voice in uttering the concrete are very variable. Using the musical scale for reference it may be said that in ordinary speech they are generally of but one, or, at most, two notes. In animated discourse or passionate utterance the intervals may be greater. For illustration, let the pronoun "I" be uttered in a tone of interrogative surprise; a concrete with a rising interval will be the result. The more the surprise is emphasized, especially if indignation be conjoined with it, the greater will be the interval that the voice passes through in uttering the concrete. If the word "lie" be given immediately after the pronoun with the same intensity of feeling, the voice discretely descends from the high pitch heard at the end of the utterance of the pronoun, and in uttering the next concrete, again ascends through an interval, of less or more extent according to the emphasis which is imparted to it.

Again, in speech of sorrow, murmuring, piteous complaint, and the like, concrete intervals of less extent than those used in ordinary discourse are often heard. Thus, if the sentence "Pity me, kind lady, I have no mother," be uttered with a plaintive expression, concretes with small intervals will be distinctly noticeable; but it will be also noticed that with respect to one another the syllables are discretely uttered, just as in the sentence where the concrete intervals were much greater.

Without intending a scientifically accurate and rigid statement, it may be said (again borrowing the terminology of music) that in ordinary speech the concretes are uttered with intervals of a second, or at most a third; that in very expressive or impassioned utterance intervals of a fifth or an octave are frequently used; and that the mode of progression from syllable to syllable is diatonic, that is, not concretely, but discretely from tone to tone; and further, that in plaintive language, the syllables are uttered concretely with intervals of a semitone only, but that the mode of progression from syllable to syllable is still discrete.

[xvi]Sometimes, but rarely, syllables are uttered tremulously, or with a tremor; that is, with constituent intervals of less than a semitone, uttered discretely in rapid succession, and passing, in the aggregate, through an interval of more or less width. An exaggerated form of this utterance may be heard in the neighing of a horse.

Exercise.1. Utter the syllable pä as a concrete, with rising and falling intervals, severally, of a second, third, fifth, and an octave; also with intervals of a semitone; also with a tremor. Let the exercise be varied so as to include many degrees of initial pitch. Use a diagram of a musical staff for reference.

2. Read with exaggerated impressiveness, "Am I to be your slave? No!"

In the pronunciation of the letter ā, as in pate, two sounds are heard: the first is that of the name of the letter, which is uttered with some degree of fulness; the second is that of ē in mete, but, as it were, tapering and vanishing;in the meantime the voice traverses a rising interval of one tone, that is, of a second. The utterance of these two sounds, although the sounds themselves are distinct, is completely continuous, from the full opening of the one to the vanishing close of the other, and it is impossible to say where the first ends and where the last begins. It is essential, however, to consider them separately. The first is called the radical movement, and the second the vanishing movement; and these together constitute the entire concrete.

All the vowels do not equally well exemplify in their utterance a distinction of sound in their radical and vanishing movements, because some vowel sounds are less diphthongal than others, and some, again, are pure monophthongs; but these two movements and the concrete variation of pitch, the result of one impulse of the voice, are the essential structure of every syllable, and are characteristic of speech-notes as contradistinguished from those of song.

When the radical and vanishing movements are effected smoothly, distinctly, and without intensity or emotion, commencing fully and with some abruptness, and terminating gently and almost inaudibly, the result is the equable concrete. This of course may be produced with intervals, either upward or downward, of any degreetone, semitone, third, fifth, or octave. It must be said, however, that some syllables, and even some vowels, lend themselves more easily than others to that prolonged utterance which is essential to the production of wide intervals and the perfectness of the vanishing movement.

The equable concrete is the natural, simple mode of utterance; but under the influence of interest, excitement, passion, and so on, the utterance of the concrete may be greatly varied from this by means of stress, or force applied to some part or to all of its extent. The different variations may be described as follows:

(1) Radical Stress, where force is applied to the opening of the concrete. (It should be said that a slight degree of radical stress is given even in the equable concrete, producing its full, clear opening.)

(2) Loud Concrete, where force is applied throughout the whole concrete, the proportion of the radical to the vanish remaining unaltered.

(3) Median Stress, where force is applied to the middle of the concrete, producing a swell, or impressive fulness.

[xvii](4) Compound Stress, where force is applied in an unusual degree to each extremity of the concrete.

(5) Final Stress, where force is applied to the end of the concrete, the radical stress being somewhat diminished in fulness.

(6) Thorough Stress, where force is so applied that the concrete has the same fulness throughout.

Exercise.With the syllable pä exemplify the equable concrete and the several varieties of stress, using different degrees of initial or radical pitch, and the various intervals of the tone, semitone, third, fifth, and octave. The exercises for the radical stress should be first aspirated, then repeated with full vocality.

Besides the forms of the simple rising and falling intervals in which the concrete is generally uttered, there is another form, called the wave, effected by a union of these modes. It is of two varieties: (1) where a rising movement is continued into a falling movement, called the direct wave; (2) where a falling movement is continued into a rising movement, called the inverted wave. Waves may pass through all varieties of intervals, and may be either (1) equal, where the voice in both members passes through the same interval; or (2) unequal, where in one flexion the interval traversed by the voice is greater than in the other.

Exercise.With the syllable pā exemplify the different kinds of waves, with the same variations of radical pitch, interval, and stress, as before.

The elementary sounds of speech are of three natural divisions; the tonics, the subtonics, and the atonics.

The Tonics are the simple vowels and diphthongs. They are of perfect vocality; they admit the concrete rise and fall through all the intervals of pitch; they may be uttered with more abruptness than the other elements; and being capable of indefinite prolongation they can receive the most perfect exemplification of the vanishing movement. They may be said to be: , as in all; ä, as in arm; , as in ask; ă, as in an; ā, as in ate; â, as in air; ē, as in eve; ĕ, as in end; ë, as in err; ī, as in ice; ĭ, as in inn; ō, as in old; ő, as in or; ŏ, as in odd; ū, as in use; ŭ, as in up; ōō, as in ooze; ŏŏ, as in book; oi, as in oil; ou, as in out. (There are various ways of arranging and classifying these.)

Exercise.Exemplify generally the equable concrete, loud concrete, radical stress, and median stress, with upward and downward intervals, with clear, sharp openings, and with gradually attenuated vanishes, upon each of the tonic elements.

The Subtonics possess the properties of vocality and prolongation in some degree, but much less perfectly than the tonics, and their vocality (known as the vocal murmur) is the same for all. They are as follows:b, d, g, v, z, y, w (as in woe), th (as in then), zh (as z in azure), j (as in judge, by some considered not elementary), l, m, n, ng (as in sing), r (as in ran), and r (as in far). They can not, without great effort, be given an abrupt opening, and so are not capable of much radical fulness, but from their property of vocality they can receive, to a considerable degree, an exemplification of the vanishing movement.

[xviii]Exercise.Utter the word bud slowly, and detach from the rest of the word the obscure murmur heard in pronouncing the first letter: this is the subtonic represented by b. Utter this sound with different degrees of initial pitch, and with different intervals, both downward and upward. Produce as full an opening of the radical movement as possible, but do not attempt to give it much stress. Obtain in every case a distinct vanish. Be careful not to convert the subtonic into a tonic. Proceed in a similar manner with the other subtonics. Then, distinctly obtaining the subtonics, unite them severally with the sound of ä, first forcibly, then more gently, producing such syllables as bä, dä, etc., which may be rendered with upward and downward intervals, and with different degrees of initial pitch. Finally, with such syllables as äb, äd, äg, äv, etc., exemplify all the varieties of stress.

The Atonics correspond with the first eleven of the subtonics as given above, from which they differ almost alone in having no vocality. They are p, t, k, f, s, h, wh (as in when), th (as in thin), sh, and ch (as in child, by some considered not elementary).

Exercise.1. Form a list of such words as pipe, tote, kick, fife, siss, etc., and severally utter them slowly, holding the final element for a moment, and then letting the breath escape suddenly; then, holding the initial letter firmly for a moment let it come forcibly against the sound of the remainder of the word, producing an abrupt opening, and radical stress of the vowel concrete. 2. Aspirate strongly the atonics as given above.

Exercise Recapitulatory.1. Produce the syllable pä in an articulate whisper in all the different varieties of pitch, interval, and stress. 2. Repeat with such syllables as paw, pooh, pōh, etc. 3. Utter these syllables (1) expulsively, (2) explosively, with varying intervals both upward and downward, and producing distinct and clearly attenuated vanishes. 4. Select some passage of poetry involving passionate thought, and read in articulated whispers, with appropriate intonations, somewhat exaggerated, it may be. Let the intervals and stresses be slowly and distinctly given. 5. Repeat the exercise in a half whisper. 6. Next read the passage over several times in pure vocality, without exaggeration, increasing the strength of the utterance until it is as full and ringing as possible. Care must be taken that the utterance is in reality full and ringing, not sharp and hard. Let the pitch chosen be not too highas low as possible; and let the tones come mainly from the chest and lower part of the throat.

Note.In all the exercises care should be taken that they be performed easily and naturally, with perfect deliberation and without undue force; else they will be harmful rather than useful.

Exercise in Concrete Intervals Continued.1. Read with appropriate intonations: "Did you say , as in all?""No, I said ā, as in arm,"producing in the emphatic syllables suitable rising or falling intervals of one tone. Then repeat, but with greater emphasis, producing intervals of a third, a fifth, or an octave. Vary the sentences so as to include all the tonic elements. 2. With each tonic element, severally, produce first a rising and then a falling interval, each of a tone; then intervals of a third, a fifth, and an octave. 3. Extend the exercise so as to produce with each element, and with all the various intervals, a series or succession of rising and falling intervals, thus: rising, falling, rising, falling, etc. Use the blackboard and the musical scale for illustration and reference.

Syllables vary greatly in their capacity for prolongation, and in this respect are classified into immutable, mutable, and indefinite.

[xix]Immutable Syllables are almost incapable of prolongation; they are those which end in one of the abrupt atonic elements, p, t, k; as tip, hit, kick; or in one of the abrupt subtonics, b, d, g; as tub, thud, pug. Some syllables that so end, by virtue of tonic or subtonic elements which they may contain, are capable of some prolongation; for example, warp, dart, block, grab, dread, grog. These are called Mutable Syllables.

Indefinite Syllables are capable of almost indefinite prolongation; they are those which terminate in a tonic, or any subtonic except one of the three abrupt subtonics, b, d, g; for example, awe, fudge, hail, arm.

Note.It must be remembered that when for the sake of exercise or effect syllables are extended in time, they must be so uttered that their identity is not impaired,that is, their enunciation must be free from mouthing.

As has been remarked before our pronunciation of vowels is notoriously careless; but by a little attention anyone can easily free himself from this reproach. Frequent practice in the accurate enunciation of the tonic elements as given above, and a habit of watchfulness established as to the orthoepy of those which are most easily obscured, in all words in which they occur, will soon secure, if not a resonant, sonorous utterance with respect to the tonic elements, at least a correct pronunciation. But the correct and distinct pronunciation of the subtonic, and especially of the atonic, elements, when they occur, as is so frequent in English words, in combination, is not so easily accomplished; and orthoepy, in this respect, as a habit, cannot be secured without great care and incessant practice. For example, the word months is habitually pronounced by almost everyone as if it were spelled munce. The following list for practice will afford material to begin with; other lists should be prepared by the teacher.

Plinth, blithe, sphere, shriek, quote, whether, tipt, depth, robed, hoofed, calved, width, hundredth, exhaust, whizzed, hushed, ached, wagged, etched, pledged, asked, dreamt, alms, adapts, depths, lefts, heav'ns, meddl'd, beasts, wasps, hosts, exhausts, gasped, desks, selects, facts, hints, healths, tenths, salts, builds, wilds, milked, mulcts, elms, prob'd'st, think'st, hold'st, attempt'st, want'st, heard'st, mask'st.

Exercise.Utter the words in the above list in distinct articulate whispers; then with vocality, softly and gently. Avoid hissing and mouthing.

While, in reading, distinct enunciation is an excellence to be aimed at, yet the words of a sentence should not be uttered as if completely severed from one another. Every sentence falls naturally into groups, the several groups being composed of words related in sense; and for impressive reading the words of each group should be implicated, or tied together. For example, in the line, Once upon a midnight dreary, while I ponder'd, weak and weary, there are naturally three groups; in the line, The quality of mercy is not strain'd, there is but one. In these groups the terminal sound of each word is implicated with the initial sound of the succeeding word. If the terminal sound is a tonic, or a flowing subtonic, the implication consists of a gentle murmuring prolongation of the terminal element coalescing with the initial element of the next word; if[xx] the terminal element is a flowing atonic the prolongation will not be accompanied by a murmur; but in either case the vocal organs, while prolonging the sound of one word, prepare, as it were, to begin the next. If the terminal element be one of the abrupt subtonics the vocal murmur is difficult to produce, and in this case, and also when the terminal element is an abrupt atonic, there is a suspension of the voice for a time equal to that occupied by the murmuring prolongation in the other cases; but the organs keep the position which they have in finishing the one word until they relax to take position for the utterance, with renewed exertion, of the opening sound of the next.

It must be added that this implication is not confined to the component words of a group; for the sake of impressiveness the groups themselves are often implicated,but by suspension of the voice and a maintenance of the vocal organs in their previous position, before they suddenly relax to form the opening sound of the first word in their next group, rather than by the murmuring prolongation above described.

Exercise.Read with suitable implication: (1) O Tiber! father Tiber! to whom the Romans pray, a Roman's life, a Roman's arms, take thou in charge this day! (2) But still the patriot, and the patriot-bard, in bright succession raise, her ornament and guard.

The nicety with which implication should be effected depends, like exactness of articulation, upon the gravity, complexity, fervor, grace, beauty, or other distinguishing and elevated quality of the thoughts and sentiments contained in the words to be read. Common-place ideas are couched, as a rule, in common-place language, and require no nice discrimination of sounds, or other refinement of utterance, for their full rendering; but in true poetry and impassioned prose implication is no mean instrument of effectual interpretation.

The speaking voice, like the singing voice, is capable of utterance through a considerable range of pitchin highly cultivated voices, of three octaves; in less highly cultivated voices, of one octave; but for all voices, not perverted by bad habit, there are three or four notes, of moderate height, upon which utterance is most easy and natural, and most capable of great and sustained effort. These notes should be selected as the normal pitch of discourse.

In speaking or reading, except in certain infrequent cases, the whole of the breath expired from the lungs should be utilized in producing pure vocality. Should any breath be spent in aspiration, or in hissing, or in guttural enunciation, the vocality is said to be impure. Impure vocality, it is true, has its own appropriate use, in the representation of certain emotional states of the mind. Pure vocality is heard naturally in the tones of children at play; but in adults, through carelessness or injudicious education, it is often wanting.

The mechanism of the voice is very complicated and not thoroughly understood. It is a matter of common experience, however, that in the utterance of tones of low pitch, whether speech tones or musical, the voice seems to come from the chest rather than from the head; and, in the utterance of tones of high pitch, on the other hand, it seems to come from the head rather than from[xxi] the chest; so that all tones are said to belong either to the lower or chest register, or to the higher or head register. As both chest tones and head tones may be obscured by impurities, and their resonance diminished or destroyed by defective enunciation, the pure, clear, ringing utterance of tones of both registers should be constantly striven for. The normal pitch of utterance, referred to above, should always be such that the tones comprised in it can be produced either from the head or from the chest, at will; but for sustained efforts, for the best effects both of reading and of oratory, the chest tones are much to be preferred, since, as compared with head tones, they are capable of being produced with greater resonance and penetrating power, and, for any considerable length of time, with greater ease to the speaker.

All tones of the human voice, whether speaking or musical, whether of the head or of the chest, are spoken of as having quality, or timbre, and the term is also used more generally in reference to the whole compass of utterance. The quality of the voice is its most distinguishing characteristic, and it is upon its cultivation and improvement that the greatest efforts of the student should be spent. Pure voice is usually spoken of as being manifested in two qualities, the natural and the orotund.

Natural Quality may be described as a head tone to which some degree of resonance is given by the chest; but the brilliancy of its resonance is produced by its reverberation against the bony arch of the mouth. It may, of course, vary in pitch, but tones of low pitch that are intended to be impressive are most suitably rendered in orotund quality. In its perfect manifestations, the natural quality should be clear, ringing, light, and sparkling,if it be possible to describe its characteristics by such metaphorical words.

Orotund Quality is the result only of cultivation, but no speaker or reader can produce those finer effects which are the appropriate symbols of strong and deep emotion, whose voice cannot assume this mode at will. It differs from the natural mode in obtaining from the chest a greater supply of air, and a deeper and fuller resonance, and the reverberations seem to be against the walls of the pharynx, or posterior regions of the mouth, rather than against the palate, or upper part of the mouth. In fulness, strength, and ringing quality, it is superior to the natural mode, but not distinct from it; in clearness and smoothness it should be equal to it. As it befits a chest tone rather than a head tone, it is natural to utterances in medium and low pitch; but it must not be confounded with low pitch simply, nor must its characteristic fulness be taken for loudness simply. With the orotund, as well as with the natural quality, all the voice modes previously described may be conjoined.

Exercise.1. With the syllable häh, make an expiration in the voice of whisper, forcing slowly all air out from the chest. Then give to this expiration vocality, producing the reverberation far back in the mouth: the resulting utterance is a hoarse exemplification of the orotund. With the mouth in the position of a yawn, making the cavity of reverberation as large as possible, repeat the exercise until the utterance can be produced smoothly and without hoarseness. 2. Form similar syllables containing other tonic elements, and make similar[xxii] exercises, taking care to produce a smooth, effusive utterance. 3. Select a sentence such as "Roll on thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll," abounding in long open vowels and indefinite syllables, and using suitable intonations read it in low pitch, with full, resonant chest tones. Then gradually raise the pitch, still obtaining the tones from the chest and uttering them with full resonance. 4. With such syllables as häh, you, now, man, war, hail, fool, practise in orotund voice the various exercises for pitch, concrete intervals, waves, stress, etc., previously suggested. 5. Read with feeling and appropriate intonations selected sentences from compositions of elevated or impassioned diction, as "Solomons's Prayer" (p. 35), "The Hymn" (p. 68), "France" (p. 205).

Of the various qualities (as they are called) of impure voice, the Aspirate, the Sibilant, and the Guttural are defined with sufficient clearness, by their names. Though these modes can be appropriately used only occasionally, nevertheless they are of great value to the reader, and the voice should be trained to assume them whenever necessary. Great care must be exercised, however, that impurities shall never be present as characteristics of normal utterance; this, whether from the head or chest, should be distinct, sonorous, and smooth, and should exhaust every particle of air expired.

Another impure quality is the Pectoral, which is an aspiration produced, as it were, from the lowest cavities of the chest; and still another is the Falsetto, an unnatural voice, that seems to be produced entirely in the upper cavities of the head. The employment of the Falsetto at any time, either in speaking or reading, is of doubtful taste.

Exercise.1. With the syllable häh exemplify severally the aspirate, guttural, and pectoral qualities, first with insufficient vocality, then with sufficient. Exemplify the sibilant impurity with such syllables as pish, false, traitress, miscreant. In those exercises employ intervals of varying lengths, different degrees of initial pitch, and the several varieties of stress; and let the utterances be made effusively, expulsively, and explosively. 2. Select appropriate passages in "The Raven" (p. 258) for exercise in natural, orotund, aspirate, guttural, and pectoral qualities. Read the passages severally with appropriate intonations,it may be somewhat exaggeratingly. Then read the whole poem feelingly, with appropriate, but not exaggerated intonations.

So far, what has been said has had reference mainly to the cultivation and improvement of the voice, by the analogies and description of the various effective modes in which it can be manifested, and by the suggestion of suitable exercises for increasing its endurance, strength, flexibility, and resonance. It remains now to discuss shortly some of the principles of vocal interpretation,that is, to discuss what modes of voice-action are appropriate to the representation of the various emotions which the wide range of literature presents to the reader.

It must be said in respect of principles that only broad and easily verifiable ones are of use, and even these may be abused by a too rigorous adherence to them. The best rule that can be given, as indeed it is founded on a principle of widest application, is that laid down in the Fourth Reader:To give a faithful sympathetic attention to the full meaning and sentiment of what is read, and to manage the voice so as effectively to express this meaning and sentiment; since this will always ensure a certain measure of appropriateness, if not the full per[xxiii]fection of it. And it cannot be too much emphasized that even the fullest knowledge and most patient study can establish for the reading of any selection, or passage, or sentence, none but general directions, since the same words may very frequently be rendered in several ways, with differences of pitch, time, stress, quality, implication, and so on, but with equal effectiveness and equal appropriateness. And, on the other hand, any whole selection, even the simplest, is far too complex in its thought and sentiment to be disposed of in one general analysis, which shall predetermine the pitch, tone, and stress, and the prevailing width of the intervals, and the direction of the inflections; all these will vary from paragraph to paragraph, and from sentence to sentence, even from word to word. To sum up, it may be said that good reading demands as indispensable, quick-witted intelligence, ready sympathy, and a voice so trained as to be flexible and resonant; if the reader have this much endowment his reading will always be effective, and, moreover, appropriate and impressive.

All diction may be roughly described as exhibiting one of three states of feeling: (1) that in which feeling, as it is generally understood, is almost wanting; (2) that in which it is present in some considerable degree; (3) that in which the feeling is present in an extreme degree, dominating the ideas which the several sentences logically express. To the first division, which may be called the diction of discourse, belongs all language indicative of a quiet state of mindformal statement, narrative, description, simple argument or reasoning: it is the language of all ordinary writing. To the second division, which may be called the diction of sentiment or feeling, belongs all language which indicates that the mind of the speaker, real or supposed, is in a state of moderate excitement; that he is interested in the relation of himself to others, and, consequently, in the effect of his utterances upon them; or that, subjectively, he is interested in himself: it is the language of admiration, reverence, awe, sincerity, dignity, of pathos, supplication, penitence. To the third division, which may be called the diction of passion, belongs all language expressive of deeper excitement and more vehement interest than that described as animating the diction of feeling: it is the language of earnest or anxious interrogation, of passionate ejaculation, of powerful appeal, strong accusation, and fierce denunciation; also, of contempt, derision, scorn, loathing, anger, hate, and so on.

Voice, as we have seen, possesses five generic properties, pitch, force, quality, time, and abruptness; and, in every spoken word, it must assume some mode of each of these properties, manifesting them in co-existence. This conjoint mode, or vocal sign, as it is called, should be the appropriate expression of the thought and feeling of which the word, in its place in the sentence, is the graphical sign. Hence, as each word in a sentence may be said to have its appropriate vocal sign, so each variety of diction may be said to have its appropriate vocal expression,a latitude of choice in the constituent modes, and a consequent indeterminateness in the resulting expression, being, of course, always conceded.

The appropriate vocal expression for the diction of discourse may be said to consist of the following modes:normal pitch, simple intonations, and waves[xxiv] of a second, moderate force, the equable concrete varied by slight radical stress, in quality the natural mode, in abruptness sufficient sharpness of opening to effect clear articulation, and in time a moderate rate with effusive utterance.

As the diction rises above this plain unimpassioned character, and becomes more and more informed with feeling and sentiment, the constituent vocal signs, and hence the whole vocal expression, become more and more expressive. In pitch there is frequent variation: in expressions of joy, astonishment, or for command, the voice assumes naturally a somewhat higher elevation; and with equal naturalness it descends below its normal level to utter the language of grave, solemn, and reverential feeling. Again, inasmuch as the interval of the second is the plainest and simplest within the command of the voice, in such diction as we are now considering, intervals of a third, a fifth, or even an octave, may be heard, both in simple intonations and in waves. Force, too, will not be unvaryingly applied, but will be greater or less according as energy or passion may demand. In stress the equable concrete will give place to the radical or to the final, to express energetic resolve; or, in the language of pathos, exaltation, reverence, supplication, and so on, to the medianthe most effective of all modes for the expression of such deep feeling as is compatible with slow utterance. In time the rate of utterance will vary with the syllabic quantities, these being short and crisp in the language of vivacious conversation, but extended, and with distinct, attenuated vanishes, in grave and important monologue. In quality, whenever the diction, departing from its simple character, becomes pervaded by some deep emotion, the natural mode will give place to the orotund. And while effusive utterance is always the prevalent mode, it will give place to the expulsive mode or to the explosive, when energy of thought or force of passion requires it so.

Thus, as the diction rises from plain discourse to the language of feeling, the appropriate vocal expression gathers intensity and becomes more varied, assumes, as may be said, brighter colors and displays greater contrasts; and so, in the third class of diction, the diction of passion, it displays its intensest and most vivid modesits brightest colors, its deepest contrasts.

As it is in a general sense only, that diction can be understood to be referrible to three classes, so also, in a general sense only, can it be understood that any particular sentence or passage has its appropriate vocal expression. All that is intended is simply this: an analysis of the sentence, or passage, or selection, gives to the careful student a certain conception of the quality and intensity of the feeling or passion that pervades it; this is to be interpreted, as well as may be, by the most appropriate vocal signs possiblethe whole constituting the vocal expression suitable to the piece. In respect to its pervading emotion, the selection will have what is called a drift, or general tendency, towards one of those states described as characteristic of the diction of discourse, the diction of feeling, and the diction of passion, respectively; and it is the business of the reader to watch for this drift, which of course may vary from passage to passage, from sentence to sentence, and sometimes from word to word, and to interpret it as best he may.

[xxv]To indicate what modes of voice utterance are naturally most appropriate to the expression of these various emotional states and drifts, it will be best to take up, one by one, the different properties of the voice, and the several modes in which they are manifested, and to state briefly, and in general terms, the emotional state or drift of which it is an appropriate expression. (With respect to quality and abruptness this will be sufficiently done indirectly.) The student then must for himself, if he wishes to apply these results to the reading of any selected passage, first by analysis ascertain what are the emotional states which it involves, what are its prevailing drifts, then in respect to each property of the voice choose the suitable mode for the interpretation of these several states or drifts, conjoin the selected modes into appropriate vocal signs, and with these form the vocal expression that suitably interprets the whole passage. The teacher, or the teacher and student together, should select from the Reader, or elsewhere, sentences or passages that fitly exemplify the different modes; these should be written upon a black-board, or in some other way preserved, and be referred to frequently for practice both in voice culture and in vocal interpretation.

I. Pitch. Pitch must be considered under three heads: first, as referring to the prevailing elevation of tone assumed by the voice in the reading of a whole sentence, passage, or selection, called general or sentential pitch; second, as referring to the degree of elevation assumed by the voice in the utterance of the opening, or radical, of any syllable, called initial or radical pitch; third, as referring to the tone-width of the intervals in the utterance of the syllable concrete.

Sentential Pitch in its various modes is descriptive of the general position in the scale taken by the tones of the voice in uttering a sentence or passage. It may be spoken of as medium, high, and low. Medium Pitch should correspond with the normal pitch of discourse previously described. It is natural to the expression of all unimpassioned thought, and also of all emotions, except the livelier, and the deeper and more intense. High Pitch and Low Pitch are only relative terms. They do not represent fixed and definite modes of utterance; and all that can be said is, that for the interpretation of what may be called the lighter feelings and emotions, such as cheerfulness, joy, exultation, interest, and so on, also for the expression of raillery, facetiousness, humorous conversation, laughter, and the like, sentential pitch of a degree somewhat higher than normal pitch is appropriate; and, on the other hand, for the interpretation of what may be called the graver and deeper feelings, such as awe, reverence, humility, grief, and melancholy, and the more impassioned emotions, as disgust, loathing, horror, rage, despair, as well as for the expression of all very serious and impressive thought, sentential pitch of a degree somewhat lower than normal pitch is appropriate. The degree of elevation and depression must be determined by the judgment and good taste of the reader; but it must be borne in mind that this degree may vary from passage to passage, and from sentence to sentence, and even from phrase to phrase.

In every style of diction, no matter how unimpassioned it may be, there will[xxvi] be frequent changes in the train of thought, and frequent changes in the intensity of feeling; to represent these changes there should be corresponding variations, or transitions in sentential pitch. These transitions also serve another purpose, namely, to indicate an interpolated or parenthetical idea. In making transitions the voice follows the general law of all vocal interpretation; strong contrasts in thought and feeling are marked by transitions of wide intervals, and lesser contrasts by lesser intervals.

Transitions in pitch are naturally accompanied by corresponding changes in force, rate of utterance, and phrasing; and, like all other modes of expression, these receive their color from the intensity of thought and feeling of which they are the symbols. For example, in the rendering of a parenthetical clause (since, as a rule, the thought expressed in the parenthesis is of less gravity than the thought in the main sentence), the voice will manifest itself in lighter force and generally in quicker movement, that is, in lighter, less contrasting colors; but whether the pitch be raised or lowered depends upon the sentential pitch appropriate to the main sentence,it should be in contrast with that. And it may be remarked in passing, that the reading of the parenthesis should end with a phrase melody similar to that appropriate to the words immediately before the parenthesis, so that the ear may naturally be carried back to the proper place in the main clause for the continuation of the expression of the principal thought.

Radical Pitch, that is the pitch with which the opening of a syllable is uttered, is, in respect of appropriate employment, the most important element of reading or speaking; but all that can be done here, is to call attention to this, and leave the student to exercise his taste and judgment in regard to its use. The importance of appropriately varying radical pitch so as to impart melody to continued utterance will be seen at once if a simple sentence (for example, "Tom and Jim sat on a log") be read, first in that monotonous voice (that is, with unvarying radical pitch) so often heard in the labored reading of improperly taught young children, and then with those appropriate intonations heard in animated colloquy. When properly rendered, even if read with but little animation, each syllable, or concrete, passes through an interval of a second, and the several syllables are discretely uttered; but the radical pitch varies from syllable to syllable, forming a diatonic melody. For the rendering of any given sentence in appropriate diatonic melody, positive direction as to the order of succession in respect of radical pitch cannot be given; the same words may be uttered with equal appropriateness in many varieties of melody. The ignoring of this fact has led to the most absurd pretensions.

A group of two or three syllabic concretes is called a phrase of melody; and as phrases vary with respect to pitch, in the order of succession of the radicals of their constituent syllables, they receive different names: such as the monotone, in which the radicals are all on the same pitch; and the ditone and the tritone, groups of two tones and three tones respectively, with radicals of different pitch; and, again, the concretes in these phrases may have upward or downward intonations: but fixed rules cannot be laid down for their use. The reader must bear in mind, however, that it is upon the tasteful use of phrases[xxvii] and cadences, that is, upon the tasteful employment of variation in radical pitch, that the melody of uttered language depends; and that if it be devoid of this melody, it is both wearisome and unimpressive to the hearer.

The intonations of the voice must necessarily be through either rising intervals or falling intervals, and there is a generic difference in the meaning of these. The rising interval is heard naturally at the end of a direct question; that is, one to which "yes" or "no" is an expected answer, as "Are you going home?" The suspensive tone which the voice assumes at the end of the interrogation is indicative of incompleteness of thought; and indication of incompleteness is the characteristic function of all rising intervals.

The falling interval is heard naturally at the close of a complete statement, as "I am here"; and hence, words indicating completeness, positiveness, resolution, are appropriately uttered with downward intervals. In effecting a downward intonation the voice operates in one of two ways: either the weaker mode, in which it descends from a radical pitch at or near the current tone to a lower pitch; or the stronger mode, in which it assumes discretely a radical pitch as much above the current tone as the emphasis requires, and descends concretely either to the current tone or below it.

As every sentence is more or less incomplete until the end is reached, rising intervals are the rule in intonation, and falling intervals the exception, and it is this infrequency of use which gives to the falling movement its value as a mode of emphasis. But where the emphasis is that of doubt, uncertainty, surprise, or interrogation, the suspensiveness of these emotional states is appropriately expressed by rising intonations; and hence, too, in all sentences in which the interrogative element is strongly present, the rising interval should characterize every syllable in it, and the sentences be uttered with interrogative intonations throughout. If in any such sentence, a particular word is to be especially emphasized, this is effected by giving to the word a low radical pitch and retaining the rising interval indicative of interrogation.

The width of the interval depends, as is natural, upon the intensity of the thought or emotion of which the concrete is intended to be an expression. For example, suppose the statement, "You are the culprit," be answered by the surprised and indignant interrogation, "I?" The emphatic words here used may be appropriately uttered with intervals of a tone, a third, a fifth, or an octave, according to the emphasis supposed necessary.

The Semitone, as has been said before, is an interval sometimes heard in language of distress, complaint, grief, sorrow, tenderness, compassion, pity. Occasionally it is introduced in diatonic melody as an appropriate emphatic mode of uttering a single word; as, for example, "Other friends have flown before; on the morrow he will leave me." At times diction may assume what may be called a pathetic drift, and for the suitable interpretation of this drift semitonic intervals may be used, and the mode of progression cease for a space to be diatonic and become semitonic, or chromatic, as it is called.

The Wave is one of the most impressive of the elements of expression; but its proper use demands great flexibility in the vocal organs and a high degree of[xxviii] taste in the reader. Like all other unusual modes, its employment lends color and contrast to utterance; that is, it makes it more effective for the purposes of emphasis or distinction. The wave, as has been described, is a concrete with an upward and a downward movement united; but its last constituent is that which most affects the ear and leaves upon it the stronger impression, and hence, especially if it be given with a wide interval, its dominant characteristic will be that of the second movement; for example, if the second movement be upward, the wave may express interrogation mingled with surprise or scorn; if the second movement be downward, the wave may express astonishment mingled with indignation. The intervals which are given to the wave depend upon the diction to which it is applied. To express great surprise or vehement indignation it may sweep through a fifth or a whole octave. In these extreme modes the wave frequently is given a wider interval in the second movement than in the first, and its effect intensified by the appropriate use of stress, and (for the expression of such emotions as scorn, contempt, irony, ridicule, and so on) of the impure qualities of voice. When used with intervals of the second, the characteristics of direct and inverted forms lose some of their distinctness; but in this degree the wave is effectively used to put into relief occasional words, or, with median stress and long quantities, to give to the otherwise short and tripping character of the second a dignified and impressive effect suited to the rendering of all serious and important diction that is not impassioned.

The Wave of the Semitone is generally employed when time, or syllabic quantity, is needed as an element in the expression of the language of complaint or pathos. The effect is much the same whether it be direct or indirect.

The Tremor may be used to express grief, supplication, tenderness, in which the interval through which it ranges may be wide, or, for a more plaintive effect, be limited to the semitone. With constituent intervals other than the semitone (that is, of a tone or otherwise), and ranging through an aggregate interval of less or greater width, it may be used to express laughter; as, for example, in the utterance of the syllables "ha, ha, ha, ha, ha," which, when rapidly effected, resembles one syllable uttered with discrete intervals. Combined with stress, aspiration, and guttural vibration, in suitable modifications, this laughing tone may be made to express scorn, derision, exultation, triumph, and so on.

II. Force. Force must be considered under two aspects: first, as to the degree of its intensity in the utterance of syllables, words, phrases, and sentences; and second, as to the form of its application in the utterance of the concrete. When the term is used without qualification, the first of these considerations is intended; when the second is intended, force is generally spoken of as stress.

Force must be contradistinguished from loudness. In mere loudness the vocal organs are comparatively relaxedthe intensity of sound being produced by the violent discharge of a great volume of air from the lungs. In forceful utterance the vocal organs are compressed and tense, and though the volume of air effused be small, the resulting sound-vibrations are strong, and distinct, and of penetrating power.

In respect of intensity, force may be manifested in infinite variation, but the[xxix] degrees usually spoken of are very light, light, moderate, strong, and very strong. As with all other modes, these degrees will vary from word to word, and from sentence to sentence; and great judgment and taste must be exercised in employing them, so that they appropriately represent the intensity of the thought and feeling of which they are to be the expression.

Moderate Force is the natural expression of tranquillity, and, therefore, of all unimpassioned diction. As the diction becomes pervaded by the more positive emotions, the tones of the voice naturally become stronger. Certainty requires strong force with pure quality. So all the passions, the lighter as well as the more vehement, require the degree of force to be heightened: cheerfulness, joy, ecstacy, requiring force moderately strong; and anger, hate, terror, revenge, being suitably rendered by very strong force. Again, doubt, uncertainty, secrecy, as well as the gentler and more plaintive emotions, are most suitably represented by the lighter shades of force.

As the voice assumes the intenser modes of force, the vocal organs become more and more compressed, and utterance is more and more labored; the breath forced out cannot all be vocalized; the voice becomes less and less pure, and manifests itself in the aspirate and guttural qualities. Hence, strongly suppressed utterance in impure vocality, rather than mere loudness in pure vocality, is the appropriate expression for all the intenser passions.

III. Stress. Stress is force considered with respect of the form of its application to the concrete. Since the equable concrete is the natural colorless expression of unimpassioned thought, force applied to any part of it changes its character, and gives it a more or less significant emphasis. The three most usual forms of stress are the radical, the median, and the final; these may be effected in any of the degrees of force. Compound stress and thorough stress admit of but little variation.

Radical Stress, to some extent an essential, but not an expressive element in the equable concrete, is, in a somewhat stronger form, an element in all utterance that is intended to be vivid and energetic, emphasizing these characteristics by its own incisive clearness. The more animated and energetic the diction the clearer and more determined should be the opening of the concrete, that is, the more distinct and forcible should be its radical stress; while in graver language the radical stress is less pronounced. In its emphatic degree it ought at no time to be allowed to become a current mode, imparting its peculiar incisive character to every syllable; though, for especial emphasis, it may be appropriately used in this way in the utterance of the several words of a phrase.

Final Stress differs from radical stress principally in this, that while it equally indicates energy and positiveness, it does so as in accordance with predetermination and reflection. Radical stress denotes, as it were, an involuntary state of energy; final stress, the energy or fixedness of resolve. Hence, final stress is appropriate to the expression of resolution, of obstinacy, of earnest conviction, of passionate resolve. It emphasizes the characteristics of wide intervals, giving to rising intonations a more decidedly interrogatory character, and making falling intonations more vehemently and passionately positive.

[xxx]Median Stress, as it can be effectively applied to none but indefinite or mutable syllables, is compatible only with such a rate of utterance as will permit of these receiving long quantities. It may receive any degree of force, from that gentle swell which indicates a tranquil flow of emotion, to that firm and swelling energy which is the appropriate expression of the language of elevated feeling. With the wider intervals it should be used only for occasional emphasis; but in its lighter forms it may prevail as a drift of dignified expression. Median stress, being always necessarily associated with long quantity in syllables, is not an appropriate mode in the language of colloquy, or in vivacious discourse of any kind. It is, however, the fit interpreter of that fervid and lofty imagination which clothes itself in forms of grace and grandeur; and hence, with intonations and waves of the lesser intervals, with medium or low sentential pitch, a moderate degree of force, and the pure or orotund quality, it is the appropriate expression of all exalted prose and poetry, not strongly dramatic.

Thorough Stress is effected by continuing the force and fulness of the radical stress throughout the whole concrete. Used as a current mode, which should be but rarely, it is expressive of bluntness, arrogance, bravado; and, with short quantities, of ignorant coarseness. Occasionally it may be used instead of final stress to give emphasis to a syllable whose vanishing movement is but little capable of receiving an increase of force.

Compound Stress combines the qualities of both radical and final stress; it is therefore of extreme character, and can be only occasionally used. With wide intervals, in its stronger modes, it is expressive of the utmost intensity of feeling; in its lighter modes it is the natural expression of strong surprise.

The Loud Concrete is simply the equable concrete uttered with greater fulness of breath and loudness of tone. It is used to break a current of light force for the sake of emphasizing some word or phrase; and, in impassioned discourse, it may be used as a current mode, individual words or phrases being then put in relief by receiving the forcible radical, or thorough, or compound stress.

In reference to stress it must be remembered that, as with all other varieties of emphatic utterance, no one form should prevail as an exclusive mode. Even a prevalent drift of thought or feeling will be most effectively rendered by vocal signs which change in color and intensity from word to word. It must also be borne in mind in reference both to force and stress, and to pitch and time as well, that the modes which are employed must sustain a suitable relation to the situation and surroundings of the speaker. Where considerable space has to be filled and distance overcome, the energy of utterance should be correspondingly intense; but for great distances, what is called level speaking is the only effectual mode,that is, speaking exclusively in those tones of normal pitch in which the voice has most penetrating power, with force of almost constant intensity, and in a somewhat slow movement with long syllabic quantities, but of course with as much needful variation of expression as is possible within these limits.

IV. Time. Time is rate of utterance. It comprehends quantity, or rate considered in reference to the duration of individual syllables; and movement, or rate considered in reference to the utterance of syllables and words in succession.[xxxi] With it may be considered pauses, or cessations of the voice, helpful in the expression of thought and feeling, and necessary to the working of the vocal mechanism.

Quantity, as defined above, is an arbitrary thing, dependent almost entirely upon the will of the speaker. But many words and syllables are more expressive of their meaning when, in uttering them, the voice is somewhat prolonged,hence quantity is an element of expression. Again, many words and syllables can receive this prolongation of utterance more readily than others,hence quantity is a natural element of spoken language. As indefinite syllables are much more capable of prolongation than mutable or immutable syllables, they are said to possess long quantity, or, more shortly, "to possess quantity"; mutable syllables possess quantity in a less degree, and immutable syllables are naturally deficient in quantity.

As an element of expression, quantity (that is, long quantity) lends dignity and grace to the movement of the voice, and affords ground for the display of those expressive modes of vocal action which are incompatible with the rapid or ejaculatory utterance of the concrete; and hence, with median stress, the wave, moderate intervals, medium or low sentential pitch, it is used as naturally interpretative of solemnity, reverence, awe, deep pathos, ardent admiration, and all elevated emotion. Colloquial tones, excited argument, wit, raillery, and all the lighter emotions, require for their expression, brilliancy rather than grace, and so are more fittingly interpreted by short quantities and radical stress.

The discerning reader, in his work of vocal interpretation, will not fail to take advantage of the inherent character of syllables with respect to quantity. Our language abounds in indefinite syllables to which he may impart whatever quantity he may desire. On the other hand, immutable syllables, while not admitting the wave and the median stress, are eminently fitted to receive the more forcible forms of radical stress; and mutable syllables, with their abrupt closes, permit of perfect exemplifications of thorough and final stress.

Movement, though it depends for its slower and more expressive forms upon the capacities of syllables for the reception of long quantities, is, in its more rapid forms, quite independent of syllabic structure, and dependent only on the will of the speaker; hence it may be spoken of as being altogether under his control. A medium rate of utterance is, with respect to time, the natural expression of an equable flow of thought. The livelier emotions should be indicated by quicker rates, and hence, cheerfulness, joy, vivacious dialogue, animated narration, naturally find their expression in movements more or less brisk, with short quantities, varied intonations, and pitch higher than the normal; the more vehement emotions, eagerness, anger, excited anxiety, demand simply heightened forms of these modes. Contrariwise, thought of grave and meditative character, admiration, reverence, and all the deeper and calmer feelings, require a deliberative, slow-timed utterance, with long quantities for accented syllables, and extended time for even unaccented syllables. As these serious emotions become stronger and deeper, the syllabic quantities become proportionately longer, and with impressive median swells, orotund quality, low pitch,[xxxii] waves and simple intonations of the second, frequent phrases in monotone, and an occasional tremor, constitute the most impressive utterance of adoration.

Occasionally an abrupt change in quantity, or movement, may be employed as a mode of emphasis, either positive or negative; for example, in a current of rapid movement, a word may be put into strong relief by being uttered with quantity much extended; contrariwise, a parenthetical or explanatory phrase is usually touched upon lightly and with a more rapid movement than that of the current in which it is found.

Pause may be used as an element in the expression of thought simply, that is, as a help to the interpretation of the mere sense of the words read; or, more emphatically, as an element in the expression of feeling and emotion. As interpretative of thought, pauses should correspond mainly with the graphical marks of punctuation. Two things, however, must be borne in mind: first, the use of punctuation marks in writing and in printing is always more or less an arbitrary matter, scarcely any two authors agreeing in their employment of them; and therefore the reader's own good sense must be to him his principal authority as to the closeness with which he follows them: and second, pauses are to an auditor what punctuation marks are intended to be to a reader; but, whereas the eye may constantly keep within its vision the relation of each word uttered, both to those which preceded it and to those which are to follow, the ear hears the words that are read only ictus by ictus, stroke by stroke, and therefore can not aid the mind to grasp this relationthe memory alone helping to do that; and hence, in reading, pauses should be more frequent, and perhaps more prolonged, than the punctuation marks might seem to necessitate. The reader should also bear in mind that even the plainest and simplest diction, or that requiring the most rapid utterance, may be so marked by appropriate pauses that those stoppages of the voice necessarily required for inspiration, shall never occur except when they assist to interpret the sense,they must not interrupt it.

As interpretative of emotion pauses do not necessarily correspond to grammatical structure; but, as with all the modes of expression previously considered, their frequency and lengththeir only modificationsmust harmonize with the feeling which they are to assist in interpreting. In length, for example, they should correspond with the movement of which they may be said to form a part; when the movement is slow, as in the expression of awe, reverence, and the like, they are naturally long; in the brisk movement required to interpret the livelier emotions, they should be short. As a mode of emphasis pause serves to fix the attention of the hearer,either backward upon a word or phrase, that the mind may dwell upon it, or forward to awaken curiosity and expectation: it is evident then that a frequent use of it for this purpose would destroy its value.

Pauses may be used in reading to simulate an appropriate labor of utterance, as when the mind is supposed to be overcome by sorrow, or disturbed by anger. At such times also, they serve as fit rests for the voice in its efforts to express the disturbed condition of the mind, and as appropriate avenues for the escape of emotion otherwise than by vocality, as by sibling. Pauses should be used also to indicate sudden transitions from one state of caution to another.




From the First Book of Kings.

Translated 1611Revised 1885.

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers' houses of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast, in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. And they brought up the ark of the Lord, and the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent; even these did the priests and the Levites bring up. And king Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto its place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the[34] ark and the staves thereof above. There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

Then spake Solomon, The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee an house of habitation, a place for thee to dwell in for ever. And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be there; but I chose David to be over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart: nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. And the Lord hath established his word that he spake; for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. And there have[35] I set a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.

And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: and he said, O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath; who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants, that walk before thee with all their heart: who hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou didst promise him: yea, thou spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Now therefore, O Lord, the God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; if only thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me as thou hast walked before me. Now therefore, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father. But will God in very deed dwell on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded! Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee this day: that thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place whereof thou hast said, My name shall be there: to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall pray toward this place. And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: yea, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling[36] place: and when thou hearest, forgive. If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and he come and swear before thine altar in this house: then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his own head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness. When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; if they turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication unto thee in this house: then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers. When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them: then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou teachest them the good way wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance. If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting or mildew, locust or caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; what prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) that they may fear thee all the days[37] that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. Moreover concerning the stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, when he shall come out of a far country for thy name's sake; (for they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy mighty hand, and of thy stretched out arm:) when he shall come and pray toward this house; hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all the peoples of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name. If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatsoever way thou shalt send them, and they pray unto the Lord toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive unto the land of the enemy, far off or near; yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn again, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captive, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have dealt wickedly; if they return unto thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies, which carried them captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause; and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee,[38] and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee; and give them compassion before those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them: for they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron: that thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them whensoever they cry unto thee. For thou didst separate them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.

And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread forth toward heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel, as every day shall require: that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord, he is God; there is none else.[39] Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day. And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord.


From Isaiah.

Translated 1611Revised 1885.

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David....

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring[40] forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.


William Shakespeare.1564-1616.

SceneA Court of Justice. PresentThe Duke, the Magnificoes, Antonio, Bassanio, Gratiano, Solanio, and others.

Duke. What, is Antonio here?

Antonio. Ready, so please your grace.

Duke. I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.

Antonio.I have heard
Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate,
[41]And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury; and am arm'd
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.

Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court.

Solanio. He's ready at the door: he comes, my lord.

Enter Shylock.

Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our face.
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then 'tis thought
Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse, more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty;
And where thou now exact'st the penalty,
Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,
Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture,
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back,
Enough to press a royal merchant down
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train'd
To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

Shylock. I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose;
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
To have the due and forfeit of my bond:
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh than to receive
[42]Three thousand ducats; I'll not answer that;
But, say, it is my humor; is it answer'd?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats
To have it ban'd? What, are you answer'd yet?
Some men there are love not a gaping pig;
Some, that are mad if they behold a cat;
And others, when the bagpipe sings i' the nose,
Cannot contain themselves: for affection,
Master of passion, sways it to the mood
Of what it likes, or loathes. Now, for your answer:
As there is no firm reason to be render'd,
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
Why he, a woollen bagpipe,but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
More than a lodg'd hate and a certain loathing
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd?

Bassanio. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

Shylock. I am not bound to please thee with my answer.

Bassanio. Do all men kill the things they do not love?

Shylock. Hates any man the thing he would not kill?

Bassanio. Every offence is not a hate at first.

Shylock. What, would'st thou have a serpent sting thee twice?

Antonio. I pray you, think you question with the Jew.
You may as well go stand upon the beach,
And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf,
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
[43]When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
You may as well do anything most hard,
As seek to soften thatthan which what's harder?
His Jewish heart: therefore, I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no further means,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.

Bassanio. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.

Shylock. If every ducat in six thousand ducats
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them; I would have my bond.

Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none?

Shylock. What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchas'd slave,
Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them: shall I say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs?
Why sweat they under burdens? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands? You will answer,
"The slaves are ours:" so do I answer you:
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought; 'tis mine, and I will have it:
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.
I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it?

Duke. Upon my power I may dismiss this court,
Unless Bellario, a learnèd doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day.

Solanio.My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
New come from Padua.

Duke. Bring us the letters; call the messenger.

[44]Bassanio. Good cheer, Antonio! What, man, courage yet!
The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all,
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.

Antonio. I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Meetest for death: the weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me:
You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio,
Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.

Enter Nerissa, dressed like a lawyer's clerk.

Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario?

Nerissa. From both, my lord: Bellario greets your grace.
[Presents a letter.

Bassanio. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?

Shylock. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt there.

Gratiano. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
Thou mak'st thy knife keen; but no metal can,
No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?

Shylock. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.

Gratiano. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog!
And for thy life let justice be accus'd.
Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter,
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd itself in thee; for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.

Shylock. Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond,
Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud:
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
[45]To cureless ruin. I stand here for law.
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
A young and learnèd doctor to our court:
Where is he?

Nerissa. He attendeth here hard by,
To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.

Duke. With all my heart.Some three or four of you
Go give him courteous conduct to this place.
Meantime the court shall hear Bellario's letter.

[Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick: but, in the instant that your messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome; his name is Balthazar. I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant: we turned o'er many books together: he is furnished with my opinion: which, bettered with his own learning, the greatness whereof I cannot enough commend, comes with him, at my importunity, to fill up your grace's request in my stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew so young a body with so old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.

Duke. You hear the learned Bellario, what he writes:
And here, I take it, is the doctor come.

Enter Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws.

Give me your hand: came you from old Bellario?

Portia. I did, my lord.

Duke.You are welcome; take your place.
Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question in the court?

Portia. I am informèd, throughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?

Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.

Portia. Is your name Shylock?

[46]Shylock.Shylock is my name.

Portia. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow;
Yet in such rule that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you as you do proceed.
You stand within his danger, do you not?[To Antonio.

Antonio. Ay, so he says.

Portia.Do you confess the bond?

Antonio. I do.

Portia.Then must the Jew be merciful.

Shylock. On what compulsion must I? Tell me that.

Portia. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

Shylock. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.

Portia. Is he not able to discharge the money?

[47]Bassanio. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court;
Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you,
Wrest once the law to your authority:
To do a great right, do a little wrong;
And curb this cruel devil of his will.

Portia. It must not be; there is no power in Venice
Can alter a decree establishèd:
'Twill be recorded for a precedent;
And many an error, by the same example,
Will rush into the state. It cannot be.

Shylock. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel!
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee!

Portia. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.

Shylock. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.

Portia. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.

Shylock. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul?
No, not for Venice.

Portia.Why, this bond is forfeit;
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart.Be merciful;
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.

Shylock. When it is paid according to the tenor.
It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
You know the law, your exposition
Hath been most sound: I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my soul I swear
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me: I stay here on my bond.

Antonio. Most heartily I do beseech the court
To give the judgment.

Portia.Why, then, thus it is:
You must prepare your bosom for his knife;

Shylock. O noble judge! O excellent young man!

Portia.For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

Shylock. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge!
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!

Portia. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.

Shylock.Ay, his breast:
So says the bond:doth it not, noble judge?
"Nearest his heart:" those are the very words.

Portia. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh
The flesh?

Shylock. I have them ready.

Portia. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge,
To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.

Shylock. Is it so nominated in the bond?

Portia. It is not so express'd; but what of that?
'Twere good you do so much for charity.

Shylock. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.

Portia. Come, merchant, have you anything to say?

Antonio. But little: I am arm'd, and well prepar'd.
Give me your hand, Bassanio: fare you well!
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you;
For herein Fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is still her use
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow
An age of poverty; from which lingering penance
Of such a misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honorable wife:
[49]Tell her the process of Antonio's end;
Say how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent not you that you shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt;
For, if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.

Bassanio. Antonio, I am married to a wife
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life:
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

Portia. Your wife would give you little thanks for that,
If she were by, to hear you make the offer.

Gratiano. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love:
I would she were in heaven, so she could
Entreat some power to change this currish Jew.

Nerissa. 'Tis well you offer it behind her back;
The wish would make else an unquiet house.

Shylock. [Aside.] These be the Christian husbands! I have a daughter;
Would any of the stock of Bárrabas
Had been her husband rather than a Christian!
[To Portia.] We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence.

Portia. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine:
The court awards it, and the law doth give it.

Shylock. Most rightful judge!

Portia. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast:
The law allows it, and the court awards it.

Shylock. Most learnèd judge! A sentence!Come, prepare.

Portia. Tarry a little; there is something else.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
The words expressly are "a pound of flesh":
[50]Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.

Gratiano. O upright judge!Mark, Jew:O learnèd judge!

Shylock. Is that the law?

Portia.Thyself shalt see the act:
For, as thou urgest justice, be assur'd
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.

Gratiano. O learnèd judge!Mark, Jew:a learnèd judge!

Shylock. I take this offer, then: pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian go.

Bassanio.Here is the money.

Portia. Soft!
The Jew shall have all justice;soft! no haste:
He shall have nothing but the penalty.

Gratiano. O Jew! an upright judge, a learnèd judge!

Portia. Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh.
Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less nor more
But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more
Or less than a just pound,be it but so much
As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance,
Or the division of the twentieth part,
Of one poor scruple; nay, if the scale do turn
But in the estimation of a hair,
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.

Gratiano. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Portia. Why doth the Jew pause? Take thy forfeiture.

Shylock. Give me my principal, and let me go.

Bassanio. I have it ready for thee; here it is.

Portia. He hath refus'd it in the open court:
He shall have merely justice, and his bond.

Gratiano. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel!
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.

[51]Shylock. Shall I not have barely my principal?

Portia. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

Shylock. Why, then the devil give him good of it!
I'll stay no longer question.

Portia.Tarry, Jew:
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be prov'd against an alien
That by direct or indirect attempts
He seek the life of any citizen,
The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st;
For it appears, by manifest proceeding,
That, indirectly, and directly too,
Thou hast contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears'd.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.

Gratiano. Beg that thou mayst have leave to hang thyself:
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge.

Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it:
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

Portia. Ay, for the state; not for Antonio.

Shylock. Nay, take my life and all; pardon not that:
You take my house when you do take the prop
[52]That doth sustain my house; you take my life,
When you do take the means whereby I live.

Portia. What mercy can you render him, Antonio?

Gratiano. A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's sake.

Antonio. So please my lord the duke, and all the court,
To quit the fine for one half of his goods,
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter:
Two things provided more,that, for this favor,
He presently become a Christian;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd,
Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.

Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant
The pardon that I late pronouncèd here.

Portia. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?

Shylock. I am content.

Portia.Clerk, draw a deed of gift.

Shylock. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence;
I am not well: send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.

Duke.Get thee gone, but do it.

Gratiano. In christening thou shalt have two godfathers;
Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten more,
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.[Exit Shylock.

Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner.

Portia. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon:
I must away this night toward Padua,
And it is meet I presently set forth.

Duke. I am sorry that your leisure serves you not.
Antonio, gratify this gentleman,
For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.

[Exeunt omnes.


[A] As an introduction read "The Merchant of Venice," Fourth Reader, page 311.



Lord Bacon.1561-1626.

From Essays.

It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man's consideration: question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? He answered, action: what next? action: what next again? action. He said it that knew it best, and had by nature himself no advantage in that he commended. A strange thing, that that part of an orator which is but superficial, and rather the virtue of a player, should be placed so high above those other noble parts, of invention, elocution, and the rest; nay, almost alone, as if it were all in all. But the reason is plain. There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise; and therefore those faculties by which the foolish part of men's minds is taken, are most potent. Wonderful like is the case of boldness in civil business; what first? boldness: what second and third? boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts: but, nevertheless, it doth fascinate, and bind hand and foot those that are either shallow in judgment or weak in courage, which are the greatest part; yea, and prevaileth with wise men at weak times; therefore we see it hath done wonders in popular states, but with senates and princes less; and more, ever upon the first entrance of bold persons into action, than soon after; for boldness is an ill keeper of promise. Surely, as there are mountebanks for the natural body, so are there mountebanks for the politic bodymen that undertake great cures, and perhaps have been lucky in two or three experiments, but[54] want the grounds of science, and therefore cannot hold out. Nay, you shall see a bold fellow many times do Mahomet's miracle. Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled: Mahomet called the hill to come to him again and again; and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, "If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill." So these men, when they have promised great matters, and failed most shamefully, yet, if they have the perfection of boldness, they will but slight it over, and make a turn, and no more ado. Certainly, to men of great judgment, bold persons are sport to behold; nay, and to the vulgar also boldness hath somewhat of the ridiculous: for, if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you not but great boldness is seldom without some absurdity; especially it is a sport to see when a bold fellow is out of countenance, for that puts his face into a most shrunken and wooden posture, as needs it mustfor in bashfulness the spirits do a little go and comebut with bold men, upon like occasion, they stand at a stay; like a stale at chess, where it is no mate, but yet the game cannot stir: but this last were fitter for a satire than for a serious observation. This is well to be weighed, that boldness is ever blind, for it seeth not dangers and inconveniences: therefore it is ill in counsel, good in execution; so that the right use of bold persons is, that they never command in chief, but be seconds, and under the direction of others; for in counsel it is good to see dangers, and in execution not to see them, except they be very great.

He that cannot see well, let him go softly.




Robert Herrick.1594-1674.

Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you;
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for a hermitage:
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.

Richard Lovelace.1618-1658.



Jeremy Taylor.1613-1667.

From Holy Living.

Virtues and discourses are, like friends, necessary in all fortunes; but those are the best, which are friends in our sadnesses, and support us in our sorrows and sad accidents: and in this sense, no man that is virtuous can be friendless; nor hath any man reason to complain of the Divine Providence, or accuse the public disorder of things, or in his own infelicity, since God hath appointed one remedy for all the evils in the world, and that is a contented spirit: for this alone makes a man pass through fire, and not be scorched; through seas, and not be drowned; through hunger and nakedness, and want nothing. For since all the evil in the world consists in the disagreeing between the object and the appetite, as when a man hath what he desires not, or desires what he hath not, or desires amiss; he that composes his spirit to the present accident, hath variety of instances for his virtue, but none to trouble him, because his desires enlarge not beyond his present fortune: and a wise man is placed in the variety of chances, like the nave or centre of a wheel, in the midst of all the circumvolutions and changes of posture, without violence or change, save that it turns gently in compliance with its changed parts, and is indifferent which part is up, and which is down; for there is some virtue or other to be exercised, whatever happens, either patience or thanksgiving, love or fear, moderation or humility, charity or contentedness, and they are every one of them equally in order to his great[57] end and immortal felicity: and beauty is not made by white or red, by black eyes and a round face, by a straight body and a smooth skin; but by a proportion to the fancy. No rules can make amiability; our minds and apprehensions make that: and so is our felicity; and we may be reconciled to poverty and a low fortune, if we suffer contentedness and the grace of God to make the proportions. For no man is poor that does not think himself so: but if, in a full fortune, with impatience he desires more, he proclaims his wants and his beggarly condition. But because this grace of contentedness was the sum of all the old moral philosophy, and a great duty in Christianity, and of most universal use in the whole course of our lives, and the only instrument to ease the burdens of the world and the enmities of sad chances, it will not be amiss to press it by the proper arguments by which God hath bound it upon our spirits; it being fastened by reason and religion, by duty and interest, by necessity and conveniency, by example, and by the proposition of excellent rewards, no less than peace and felicity.

Contentedness in all estates is a duty of religion; it is the great reasonableness of complying with the Divine Providence, which governs all the world, and hath so ordered us in the administration of his great family. He were a strange fool that should be angry because dogs and sheep need no shoes, and yet himself is full of care to get some. God hath supplied those needs to them by natural provisions, and to thee by an artificial: for he hath given thee reason to learn a trade, or some means to make or buy them, so that it only differs in the manner of our provision: and which had you rather want, shoes or reason? and my patron, that hath given me a farm, is freer to me than if he gives a loaf ready baked. But,[58] however, all these gifts come from him, and therefore it is fit he should dispense them as he pleases; and if we murmur here, we may, at the next melancholy, be troubled that God did not make us to be angels or stars. For if that which we are or have do not content us, we may be troubled for every thing in the world which is beside our being or our possessions.

God is the master of the scenes; we must not choose which part we shall act; it concerns us only to be careful that we do it well, always saying, "If this please God, let it be as it is:" and we, who pray that God's will may be done in earth as it is in heaven, must remember that the angels do whatsoever is commanded them, and go wherever they are sent, and refuse no circumstances; and if their employment be crossed by a higher decree, they sit down in peace, and rejoice in the event; and when the angel of Judea could not prevail in behalf of the people committed to his charge, because the angel of Persia opposed it, he only told the story at the command of God, and was as content, and worshipped with as great an ecstasy in his proportion, as the prevailing spirit. Do thou so likewise: keep the station where God hath placed you, and you shall never long for things without, but sit at home, feasting upon the Divine Providence and thy own reason, by which we are taught that it is necessary and reasonable to submit to God.

For is not all the world God's family? Are not we his creatures? Are we not as clay in the hand of the potter? Do we not live upon his meat, and move by his strength, and do our work by his light? Are we any thing but what we are from him? And shall there be a mutiny among the flocks and herds, because their lord or their shepherd chooses their pastures, and suffers[59] them not to wander into deserts and unknown ways? If we choose, we do it so foolishly that we cannot like it long, and most commonly not at all: but God, who can do what he pleases, is wise to choose safely for us, affectionate to comply with our needs, and powerful to execute all his wise decrees. Here, therefore, is the wisdom of the contented man, to let God choose for him; for when we have given up our wills to him, and stand in that station of the battle where our great General hath placed us, our spirits must needs rest while our conditions have for their security the power, the wisdom, and the charity of God.

Contentedness in all accidents brings great peace of spirit, and is the great and only instrument of temporal felicity. It removes the sting from the accident, and makes a man not to depend upon chance and the uncertain dispositions of men for his well-being, but only on God and his own spirit. We ourselves make our fortunes good or bad; and when God lets loose a tyrant upon us, or a sickness, or scorn, or a lessened fortune, if we fear to die, or know not to be patient, or are proud or covetous, then the calamity sits heavy on us. But if we know how to manage a noble principle, and fear not death so much as a dishonest action, and think impatience a worse evil than a fever, and pride to be the biggest disgrace, and poverty to be infinitely desirable before the torments of covetousness; then we who now think vice to be so easy, and make it so familiar, and think the cure so impossible, shall quickly be of another mind, and reckon these accidents amongst things eligible.

But no man can be happy that hath great hopes and great fears of things without, and events depending upon other men, or upon the chances of fortune. The rewards[60] of virtue are certain, and our provisions for our natural support are certain; or if we want meat till we die, then we die of that diseaseand there are many worse than to die with an atrophy or consumption, or unapt and coarser nourishment. But he that suffers a transporting passion concerning things within the power of others, is free from sorrow and amazement no longer than his enemy shall give him leave; and it is ten to one but he shall be smitten then and there where it shall most trouble him; for so the adder teaches us where to strike, by her curious and fearful defending of her head. The old Stoics, when you told them of a sad story, would still answer, "What is that to me?" Yes, for the tyrant hath sentenced you also to prison. Well, what is that? He will put a chain upon my leg; but he cannot bind my soul. No; but he will kill you. Then I will die. If presently, let me go, that I may presently be freer than himself: but if not till anon, or to-morrow, I will dine first, or sleep, or do what reason or nature calls for, as at other times. This, in Gentile philosophy, is the same with the discourse of St. Paul, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry; both to abound and suffer need."

We are in the world like men playing at tables; the chance is not in our power, but to play it is; and when it is fallen we must manage it as we can: and let nothing trouble us, but when we do a base action, or speak like a fool, or think wickedly,these things God hath put into our powers; but concerning those things which are wholly in the choice of another, they cannot fall under our deliberation, and therefore neither are they fit for[61] our passions. My fear may make me miserable, but it cannot prevent what another hath in his power and purpose; and prosperities can only be enjoyed by them who fear not at all to lose them; since the amazement and passion concerning the future takes off all the pleasure of the present possession. Therefore, if thou hast lost thy land, do not also lose thy constancy; and if thou must die a little sooner, yet do not die impatiently. For no chance is evil to him that is content: and to a man nothing is miserable unless it be unreasonable. No man can make another man to be his slave unless he hath first enslaved himself to life and death, to pleasure or pain, to hope or fear: command these passions, and you are freer than the Parthian kings.


Richard Lovelace.1618-1658.

Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you, too, shall adore,
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Lov'd I not honor more.



Izaak Walton.1593-1683.

From The Complete Angler.

Venator.O my good master, this morning walk has been spent to my great pleasure and wonder; but I pray, when shall I have your direction how to make artificial flies, like to those that the trout loves best, and also how to use them?

Piscator.My honest scholar, it is now past five of the clock; we will fish till nine, and then go to breakfast. Go you to yon sycamore-tree, and hide your bottle of drink under the hollow root of it; for about that time, and in that place, we will make a brave breakfast with a piece of powdered beef, and a radish or two, that I have in my fish-bag: we shall, I warrant you, make a good, honest, wholesome, hungry breakfast, and I will then give you direction for the making and using of your flies; and in the meantime, there is your rod and line, and my advice is, that you fish as you see me do, and let's try which can catch the first fish.

Venator.I thank you, master; I will observe and practise your direction as far as I am able.

Piscator.Look you, scholar, you see I have hold of a good fish: I now see it is a trout. I pray put that net under him, and touch not my line, for if you do, then we break all. Well done, scholar! I thank you.

Now for another. Trust me, I have another bite: come, scholar, come, lay down your rod, and help me to land this as you did the other. So now we shall be sure to have a good dish for supper.

[63]Venator.I am glad of that; but I have no fortune: sure, master, yours is a better rod and better tackling.

Piscator.Nay, then, take mine; and I will fish with yours. Look you, scholar, I have another. Come, do as you did before. And now I have a bite at another. Oh me! he has broke all: there's half a line and a good hook lost.

Venator.Ay, and a good trout too.

Piscator.Nay, the trout is not lost; for pray take notice, no man can lose what he never had.

Venator.Master, I can neither catch with the first nor second angle: I have no fortune.

Piscator.Look you, scholar, I have yet another. And now, having caught two brace of trouts, I will tell you a short tale as we walk towards our breakfast. A scholar, a preacher I should say, that was to preach to procure the approbation of a parish that he might be their lecturer, had got from his fellow-pupil the copy of a sermon that was first preached with great commendation by him that composed it; and though the borrower of it preached it, word for word, as it was at first, yet it was utterly disliked as it was preached by the second to his congregation; which the sermon borrower complained of to the lender of it; and thus was answered: "I lent you, indeed, my fiddle, but not my fiddle-stick; for you are to know, that every one cannot make music with my words, which are fitted to my own mouth." And so, my scholar, you are to know, that as the ill pronunciation or ill accenting of words in a sermon spoils it, so the ill carriage of your line, or not fishing even to a foot in a right place, makes you lose your labor; and you are to know, that though you have my fiddle, that is, my very rod and tacklings with which you see I catch fish, yet you[64] have not my fiddle-stick, that is, you yet have not skill to know how to carry your hand and line, nor how to guide it to a right place; and this must be taught you; for you are to remember, I told you angling is an art, either by practice or a long observation, or both. But take this for a rule: when you fish for a trout with a worm, let your line have so much and not more lead than will fit the stream in which you fish; that is to say, more in a great troublesome stream than in a smaller that is quieter; as near as may be, so much as will sink the bait to the bottom, and keep it still in motion, and not more.

But now let's say grace and fall to breakfast. What say you, scholar, to the providence of an old angler? does not this meat taste well? and was not this place well chosen to eat it? for this sycamore-tree will shade us from the sun's heat.

Venator.All excellent good, and my stomach excellent good too. And now I remember and find that true which devout Lessius says: "That poor men, and those that fast often, have much more pleasure in eating than rich men and gluttons, that always feed before their stomachs are empty of their last meal, and call for more; for by that means they rob themselves of that pleasure that hunger brings to poor men." And I do seriously approve of that saying of yours, "that you would rather be a civil, well-governed, well-grounded, temperate, poor angler, than a drunken lord." But I hope there is none such: however, I am certain of this, that I have been at many very costly dinners that have not afforded me half the content that this has done, for which I thank God and you.

And now, good master, proceed to your promised direction for making and ordering my artificial fly.

[65]Piscator.My honest scholar, I will do it; for it is a debt due unto you by my promise....

... Look how it begins to rain!and by the clouds, if I mistake not, we shall presently have a smoking shower, and therefore sit close: this sycamore-tree will shelter us; and I will tell you, as they shall come into my mind, more observations of fly-fishing for a trout....

... And now, scholar, my direction for fly-fishing is ended with this shower, for it has done raining: and now look about you, and see how pleasantly that meadow looks; nay, and the earth smells as sweetly too. Come, let me tell you what holy Mr. Herbert says of such days and flowers as these; and then we will thank God that we enjoy them, and walk to the river and sit down quietly, and try to catch the other brace of trouts.

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky:
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;
For thou must die.

Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave;
And thou must die.

Sweet Spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
Thy music shows ye have your closes;
And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives;
But, though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.

[66]Venator.I thank you, good master, for your good direction for fly-fishing, and for the sweet enjoyment of the pleasant day, which is so far spent without offence to God or man; and I thank you for the sweet close of your discourse with Mr. Herbert's verses, who, I have heard, loved angling; and I do the rather believe it, because he had a spirit suitable to anglers, and to those primitive Christians that you love and have so much commended.

Piscator.Well, my loving scholar, and I am pleased to know that you are so well pleased with my direction and discourse.... And now, I think it will be time to repair to our angle-rods, which we left in the water to fish for themselves: and you shall choose which shall be yours; and it is an even lay, one of them catches.

And, let me tell you, this kind of fishing with a dead rod, and laying night-hooks, are like putting money to use; for they both work for the owners, when they do nothing but sleep, or eat, or rejoice; as you know we have done this last hour, and sat as quietly, and as free from cares under this sycamore, as Virgil's Tityrus and his Melibœus did, under their broad beech tree. No life, my honest scholar, no life so happy and so pleasant, as the life of a well-governed angler; for when the lawyer is swallowed up with business, and the statesman is preventing or contriving plots, then we sit on cowslip banks, hear the birds sing, and possess ourselves in as much quietness as these silent silver streams, which we now see glide so quietly by us. Indeed, my good scholar, we may say of angling as Dr. Boteler said of strawberries, "Doubtless, God could have made a better berry, but doubtless, God never did;" and so, if I might be judge, "God never did make a more calm, quiet, innocent recreation than angling."




John Milton.1608-1674.


This is the month, and this the happy morn,
Wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal King,
Of wedded maid and virgin mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.


That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-table
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid aside; and, here with us to be,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.


Say, Heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
To welcome him to this his new abode,
Now while the heaven, by the Sun's team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?


[68]See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wizards haste with odors sweet!
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessèd feet;
Have thou the honor first thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the Angel Choir,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.



It was the winter wild,
While the Heaven-born child,
All meanly wrapt, in the rude manger lies;
Nature, in awe to him,
Had doff'd her gaudy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the Sun, her lusty paramour.


Only, with speeches fair,
She woos the gentle Air
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow,
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinful blame,
The saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.


[69]But he, her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace:
She, crown'd with olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning sphere,
His ready harbinger,
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing;
And, waving wide her myrtle wand,
She strikes a universal peace through sea and land.


No war, or battle's sound,
Was heard the world around:
The idle spear and shield were high up hung;
The hookèd chariot stood,
Unstain'd with hostile blood;
The trumpet spake not to the armèd throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.


But peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of Light
His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kiss'd,
Whispering new joys to the mild Ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmèd wave.


The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fix'd in steadfast gaze,
Bending one way their precious influence;
[70]And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,
Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.


And, though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
The Sun himself withheld his wonted speed;
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame
The new-enlighten'd world no more should need;
He saw a greater Sun appear
Than his bright throne or burning axletree could bear.


The shepherds on the lawn,
Or ere the point of dawn,
Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they then
That the mighty Pan
Was kindly come to live with them below:
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.


When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,
As never was by mortal finger strook,
Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringèd noise,
As all their souls in blissful rapture took:
The Air, such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close.


[71]Nature, that heard such sound
Beneath the hollow round
Of Cynthia's seat, the Airy region thrilling,
Now was almost won
To think her part was done,
And that her reign had here its last fulfilling:
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier union.


At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light,
That with long beams the shame-faced Night array'd;
The helmèd cherubim,
And swordèd seraphim,
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd,
Harping in loud and solemn choir,
With unexpressive notes to Heaven's new-born Heir.


Such music (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,
But when of old the Sons of Morning sung,
While the Creator great
His constellations set,
And the well-balanced world on hinges hung,
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the welt'ring waves their oozy channel keep.


Ring out, ye crystal spheres!
Once bless our human ears,
(If ye have power to touch our senses so,)
[72]And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;
And let the bass of Heaven's deep organ blow;
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full consort to the angelic symphony.


For, if such holy song
Enwrap our fancy long,
Time will run back, and fetch the Age of Gold;
And speckled Vanity
Will sicken soon and die;
And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould;
And Hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.


Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,
Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between,
Thron'd in celestial sheen,
With radiant feet the tissu'd clouds down steering;
And Heaven, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace-hall.


But wisest Fate says, No,
This must not yet be so;
The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss;
So both himself and us to glorify:
Yet first, to those ychain'd in sleep,
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep.


[73]With such a horrid clang
As on Mount Sinai rang,
While the red fire and smould'ring clouds out brake:
The aged Earth, aghast,
With terror of that blast,
Shall from the surface to the centre shake;
When, at the world's last session,
The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his throne.


And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
But now begins; for from this happy day
The Old Dragon under ground,
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurpèd sway;
And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.


The Oracles are dumb;
No voice or hideous hum
Runs through the archèd roof in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathèd spell,
Inspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic cell.


The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;
[74]From haunted spring, and dale
Edg'd with poplar pale,
The parting Genius is with sighing sent;
With flower-inwoven tresses torn
The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.


In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,
The Lars, and Lemures, moan with midnight plaint;
In urns, and altars round,
A drear and dying sound
Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;
And the chill marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar Power forgoes his wonted seat.


Peor, and Bälim,
Forsake their temples dim,
With that twice-batter'd God of Palestine;
And moonèd Ashtaroth,
Heaven's queen and mother both,
Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine:
The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn;
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz mourn.


And sullen Moloch, fled,
Hath left in shadows dread,
His burning idol all of blackest hue
In vain with cymbals' ring
They call the grisly king,
In dismal dance about the furnace blue;
The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.


[75]Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian grove or green,
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings loud;
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest;
Naught but profoundest Hell can be his shroud;
In vain, with timbrell'd anthems dark,
The sable-stolèd sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark.


He feels from Juda's land
The dreaded Infant's hand;
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands control the damnèd crew.


So, when the sun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red,
Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to the infernal jail,
Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave;
And the yellow-skirted fays
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-lov'd maze.


But see! the Virgin blest
Hath laid her Babe to rest.
Time is our tedious song should here have ending:
[76] Heaven's youngest-teemèd star,
Hath fix'd her polish'd car,
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending;
And all about the courtly stable
Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.


Lord Clarendon.1608-1674.

From History of the Rebellion.

In this unhappy battle [of Newbury] was slain the Lord Viscount Falkland; a person of such prodigious parts of learning and knowledge, of that inimitable sweetness and delight in conversation, of so flowing and obliging a humanity and goodness to mankind, and of that primitive simplicity and integrity of life, that if there were no other brand upon this odious and accursed civil war, than that single loss, it must be most infamous, and execrable to all posterity.

Before this parliament, his condition of life was so happy that it was hardly capable of improvement. Before he came to be twenty years of age, he was master of a noble fortune, which descended to him by the gift of a grandfather, without passing through his father or mother, who were then both alive, and not well enough contented to find themselves passed by in the descent. His education for some years had been in Ireland, where his father was lord-deputy; so that, when he returned into England, to the possession of his fortune, he was unentangled with any acquaintance or friends, which[77] usually grow up by the custom of conversation; and therefore was to make a pure election of his company; which he chose by other rules than were prescribed to the young nobility of that time. And it cannot be denied, though he admitted some few to his friendship for the agreeableness of their natures, and their undoubted affection to him, that his familiarity and friendship, for the most part, was with men of the most eminent and sublime parts, and of untouched reputation in point of integrity; and such men had a title to his bosom.

He was a great cherisher of wit, and fancy, and good parts in any man; and, if he found them clouded with poverty or want, a most liberal and bountiful patron towards them, even above his fortune; of which, in those administrations, he was such a dispenser, as, if he had been trusted with it to such uses, and if there had been the least of vice in his expense, he might have been thought too prodigal. He was constant and pertinacious in whatsoever he resolved to do, and not to be wearied by any pains that were necessary to that end. And, therefore, having once resolved not to see London, which he loved above all places, till he had perfectly learned the Greek tongue, he went to his own house in the country, and pursued it with that indefatigable industry, that it will not be believed in how short a time he was master of it, and accurately read all the Greek historians.

In this time, his house being within little more than ten miles of Oxford, he contracted familiarity and friendship with the most polite and accurate men of that university; who found such an immenseness of wit, and such a solidity of judgment in him, so infinite a fancy, bound in by a most logical ratiocination, such a vast knowledge, that he was not ignorant in anything, yet[78] such an excessive humility, as if he had known nothing, that they frequently resorted and dwelt with him, as in a college situated in a purer air; so that his house was a university in a less volume; whither they came not so much for repose as study; and to examine and refine those grosser propositions, which laziness and consent made current in vulgar conversation....

He was superior to all those passions and affections which attend vulgar minds, and was guilty of no other ambition than of knowledge, and to be reputed a lover of all good men; and that made him too much a contemner of those arts, which must be indulged in the transactions of human affairs....

He had a courage of the most clear and keen temper, and so far from fear, that he seemed not without some appetite of danger; and therefore, upon any occasion of action, he always engaged his person in those troops which he thought, by the forwardness of the commanders, to be most like to be farthest engaged; and in all such encounters, he had about him an extraordinary cheerfulness, without at all affecting the execution that usually attended them; in which he took no delight, but took pains to prevent it, where it was not by resistance made necessary: insomuch that at Edge-hill, when the enemy was routed, he was like to have incurred great peril, by interposing to save those who had thrown away their arms, and against whom, it may be, others were more fierce for their having thrown them away: so that a man might think he came into the field chiefly out of curiosity to see the face of danger, and charity to prevent the shedding of blood. Yet, in his natural inclination, he acknowledged he was addicted to the profession of a soldier; and shortly after he came to his fortune, before[79] he was of age, he went into the Low Countries, with a resolution of procuring command, and to give himself up to it; from which he was diverted by the complete inactivity of that summer; so he returned into England, and shortly after entered upon that vehement course of study we mentioned before, till the first alarm from the north; then again he made ready for the field, and though he received some repulse in the command of a troop of horse, of which he had a promise, he went a volunteer with the earl of Essex.

From the entrance into this unnatural war, his natural cheerfulness and vivacity grew clouded, and a kind of sadness and dejection of spirit stole upon him, which he had never been used to; yet being one of those who believed that one battle would end all differences, and that there would be so great a victory on one side, that the other would be compelled to submit to any conditions from the victorwhich supposition and conclusion generally sunk into the minds of most men, and prevented the looking after many advantages that might then have been laid hold ofhe resisted those indispositions. But after the king's return from Brentford, and the furious resolution of the two Houses not to admit any treaty for peace, those indispositions, which had before touched him, grew into a perfect habit of uncheerfulness; and he, who had been so exactly unreserved and affable to all men, that his face and countenance was always present, and vacant, to his company, and held any cloudiness, and less pleasantness of the visage, a kind of rudeness or incivility, became, on a sudden, less communicable; and thence, very sad, pale, and exceedingly affected with the spleen. In his clothes and habit, which he had minded before always with more neatness,[80] and industry, and expense, than is usual to so great a soul, he was not now only incurious, but too negligent; and in his reception of suitors, and the necessary or casual addresses to his place, so quick, and sharp, and severe, that there wanted not some menstrangers to his nature and dispositionwho believed him proud and imperious; from which no mortal man was ever more free....

When there was any overture or hope of peace, he would be more erect and vigorous, and exceedingly solicitous to press anything which he thought might promote it; and sitting among his friends, often, after a deep silence, and frequent sighs, would, with a shrill and sad accent, ingeminate the word Peace, Peace; and would passionately profess, "that the very agony of the war, and the view of the calamities and desolation the kingdom did and must endure, took his sleep from him, and would shortly break his heart." This made some think, or pretend to think, "that he was so much enamoured of peace, that he would have been glad the king should have bought it at any price;" which was a most unreasonable calumny. As if a man, that was himself the most punctual and precise in every circumstance that might reflect upon conscience or honor, could have wished the king to have committed a trespass against either....

In the morning before the battle, as always upon action, he was very cheerful, and put himself into the first rank of the Lord Byron's regiment, then advancing upon the enemy, who had lined the hedges on both sides with musketeers; from whence he was shot with a musket in the lower part of the belly, and in the instant falling from his horse, his body was not found[81] till the next morning; till when, there was some hope he might have been a prisoner; though his nearest friends, who knew his temper, received small comfort from that imagination. Thus fell that incomparable young man, in the four-and-thirtieth year of his age, having so much despatched the true business of life, that the oldest rarely attain to that immense knowledge, and the youngest enter not into the world with more innocency: whosoever leads such a life, needs be the less anxious upon how short warning it is taken from him.


John Dryden.1631-1700.

Creator Spirit, by whose aid
The world's foundations first were laid,
Come, visit every pious mind;
Come, pour thy joys on humankind;
From sin and sorrow set us free,
And make thy temples worthy thee.

O source of uncreated light,
The Father's promis'd Paraclete!
Thrice holy fount, thrice holy fire,
Our hearts with heavenly love inspire;
Come, and thy sacred unction bring
To sanctify us, while we sing.

Plenteous of grace, descend from high,
Rich in thy sevenfold energy!
Thou strength of his Almighty hand,
Whose power does heaven and earth command;
Proceeding Spirit, our defence,
[82] Who dost the gift of tongues dispense,
And crown'st thy gift with eloquence.

Refine and purge our earthy parts;
But, oh, inflame and fire our hearts!
Our frailties help, our vice control,
Submit the senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown,
Then lay thy hand, and hold them down.

Chase from our minds the infernal foe,
And peace, the fruit of Love, bestow;
And lest our feet should step astray,
Protect and guide us in the way.

Make us eternal truths receive,
And practise all that we believe:
Give us thy self, that we may see
The Father and the Son by thee.

Immortal honor, endless fame,
Attend the Almighty Father's name:
The Saviour Son be glorified,
Who for lost man's redemption died:
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Paraclete, to thee!



Three poets, in three distant ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England did adorn.
The first in loftiness of thought surpass'd,
The next in majesty, in both the last.
The force of Nature could no farther go;
To make a third she join'd the former two.




From Religio Laici.

Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stars
To lonely, weary, wandering travellers,
Is Reason to the soul; and as on high
Those rolling fires discover but the sky,
Not light us here; so Reason's glimmering ray
Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way,
But guide us upward to a better day
And as those nightly tapers disappear,
When day's bright lord ascends our hemisphere;
So pale grows Reason at Religion's sight;
So dies, and so dissolves, in supernatural light.


Richard Steele.1672-1729.

From The Tatler, June 10, 1710.

When men look into their own bosoms, and consider the generous seeds which are there planted, that might, if rightly cultivated, ennoble their lives, and make their virtue venerable to futurity; how can they, without tears, reflect on the universal degeneracy from that public spirit, which ought to be the first and principal motive of all their actions? In the Grecian and Roman nations, they were wise enough to keep up this great incentive,[84] and it was impossible to be in the fashion without being a patriot. All gallantry had its first source from hence; and to want a warmth for the public welfare, was a defect so scandalous, that he who was guilty of it had no pretence to honor or manhood. What makes the depravity among us, in this behalf, the more vexatious and irksome to reflect upon, is, that the contempt of life is carried as far amongst us, as it could be in those memorable people; and we want only a proper application of the qualities which are frequent among us, to be as worthy as they. There is hardly a man to be found who will not fight upon any occasion, which he thinks may taint his own honor. Were this motive as strong in everything that regards the public, as it is in this our private case, no man would pass his life away without having distinguished himself by some gallant instance of his zeal towards it in the respective incidents of his life and profession. But it is so far otherwise, that there cannot at present be a more ridiculous animal, than one who seems to regard the good of others. He, in civil life, whose thoughts turn upon schemes which may be of general benefit, without further reflection, is called a projector; and the man whose mind seems intent upon glorious achievements, a knight-errant. The ridicule among us runs strong against laudable actions; nay, in the ordinary course of things, and the common regards of life, negligence of the public is an epidemic vice. The brewer in his excise, the merchant in his customs, and, for aught we know, the soldier in his muster-rolls, think never the worse of themselves for being guilty of their respective frauds towards the public. This evil is come to such a fantastical height, that he is a man of a public spirit, and heroically affected to his[85] country, who can go so far as even to turn usurer with all he has in her funds. There is not a citizen in whose imagination such a one does not appear in the same light of glory, as Codrus, Scævola, or any other great name in old Rome. Were it not for the heroes of so much per cent. as have regard enough for themselves and their nation to trade with her with their wealth, the very notion of public love would long ere now have vanished from among us. But however general custom may hurry us away in the stream of a common error, there is no evil, no crime, so great as that of being cold in matters relating to the common good. This is in nothing more conspicuous than in a certain willingness to receive anything that tends to the diminution of such as have been conspicuous instruments in our service. Such inclinations proceed from the most low and vile corruption, of which the soul of man is capable. This effaces not only the practice, but the very approbation of honor and virtue; and has had such an effect, that, to speak freely, the very sense of public good has no longer a part even in our conversations. Can then the most generous motive of life, the good of others, be so easily banished the breast of man? Is it possible to draw all our passions inward? Shall the boiling heat of youth be sunk in pleasures, the ambition of manhood in selfish intrigues? Shall all that is glorious, all that is worth the pursuit of great minds, be so easily rooted out? When the universal bent of a people seems diverted from the sense of their common good, and common glory, it looks like a fatality, and crisis of impending misfortune.

The generous nations we just now mentioned understood this so very well, that there was hardly an oration[86] ever made, which did not turn upon this general sense, "That the love of their country was the first and most essential quality in an honest mind." Demosthenes, in a cause wherein his fame, reputation, and fortune, were embarked, puts his all upon this issue; "Let the Athenians," says he, "be benevolent to me, as they think I have been zealous for them." This great and discerning orator knew, there was nothing else in nature could bear him up against his adversaries, but this one quality of having shown himself willing or able to serve his country. This certainly is the test of merit; and the first foundation for deserving good-will is, having it yourself. The adversary of this orator at that time was Æschines, a man of wily arts and skill in the world, who could, as occasion served, fall in with a national start of passion, or sullenness of humor, which a whole nation is sometimes taken with as well as a private man; and by that means divert them from their common sense, into an aversion for receiving anything in its true light. But when Demosthenes had awakened his audience with that one hint of judging by the general tenor of his life towards them, his services bore down his opponent before him, who fled to the covert of his mean arts, until some more favorable opportunity should offer against the superior merit of Demosthenes.

It were to be wished, that love of their country were the first principle of action in men of business, even for their own sakes; for when the world begins to examine into their conduct, the generality, who have no share in, or hopes of any part in power or riches, but what is the effect of their own labor or prosperity, will judge of them by no other method, than that of how profitable their administration has been to the whole. They who are[87] out of the influence of men's fortune or favor, will let them stand or fall by this one only rule; and men who can bear being tried by it, are always popular in their fall. Those, who cannot suffer such a scrutiny, are contemptible in their advancement.

But I am here running into shreds of maxims from reading Tacitus this morning, which has driven me from my recommendation of public spirit, which was the intended purpose of this lucubration. There is not a more glorious instance of it, than in the character of Regulus. This same Regulus was taken prisoner by the Carthaginians, and was sent by them to Rome, in order to demand some Punic noblemen, who were prisoners, in exchange for himself; and was bound by an oath that he would return to Carthage, if he failed in his commission. He proposes this to the senate, who were in suspense upon it, which Regulus observing, without having the least notion of putting the care of his own life in competition with the public good, desired them to consider that he was old, and almost useless; that those demanded in exchange were men of daring tempers, and great merit in military affairs; and wondered they would make any doubt of permitting him to go back to the short tortures prepared for him at Carthage, where he should have the advantage of ending a long life both gloriously and usefully. This generous advice was consented to; and he took his leave of his country and his weeping friends, to go to certain death, with that cheerful composure, as a man, after the fatigue of business in a court or a city, retires to the next village for the air.

When the heart is right there is true patriotism.

Bishop Berkeley.1684-1753.



Joseph Addison.1672-1719.

From The Spectator, August 21, 1712.

I was lately entertaining myself with comparing Homer's balance, in which Jupiter is represented as weighing the fates of Hector and Achilles, with a passage of Virgil, wherein that deity is introduced as weighing the fates of Turnus and Æneas. I then considered how the same way of thinking prevailed in the eastern parts of the world, as in those noble passages of Scripture, where we are told, that the great king of Babylon, the day before his death, had been weighed in the balance, and been found wanting. In other places of the holy writings the Almighty is described as weighing the mountains in scales, making the weight for the winds, knowing the balancings of the clouds; and, in others, as weighing the actions of men, and laying their calamities together in a balance. Milton, as I have observed in a former paper, had an eye to several of these foregoing instances, in that beautiful description wherein he represents the archangel and the evil spirit as addressing themselves for the combat, but parted by the balance which appeared in the heavens, and weighed the consequences of such a battle.

The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh'd,
The pendulous round earth with balanced air
In counterpoise; now ponder; all events,
[89] Battles and realms: in these he puts two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight:
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend.

"Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine,
Neither our own, but given; what folly then
To boast what arms can do! since thine no more
Than Heaven permits; nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
Where thou art weigh'd, and shewn how light, how weak,
If thou resist." The fiend look'd up and knew
His mounted scale aloft; nor more: but fled
Murm'ring, and with him fled the shades of night.

These several amusing thoughts having taken possession of my mind some time before I went to sleep, and mingling themselves with my ordinary ideas, raised in my imagination a very odd kind of vision. I was, methought, replaced in my study, and seated in my elbow-chair, where I had indulged the foregoing speculations, with my lamp burning by me, as usual. Whilst I was here meditating on several subjects of morality, and considering the nature of many virtues and vices, as materials for those discourses with which I daily entertain the public; I saw, methought, a pair of golden scales hanging by a chain in the same metal over the table that stood before me; when, on a sudden, there were great heaps of weights thrown down on each side of them. I found upon examining these weights, they showed the value of everything that is in esteem among men. I made an essay of them, by putting the weight of wisdom in one scale, and that of riches in another, upon which the latter, to show its comparative lightness, immediately "flew up and kicked the beam."

[90]But, before I proceed, I must inform my reader, that these weights did not exert their natural gravity, till they were laid in the golden balance, insomuch that I could not guess which was light or heavy, whilst I held them in my hand. This I found by several instances, for upon my laying a weight in one of the scales, which was inscribed by the word Eternity; though I threw in that of time, prosperity, affliction, wealth, poverty, interest, success, with many other weights, which in my hand seemed very ponderous, they were not able to stir the opposite balance, nor could they have prevailed, though assisted with the weight of the sun, the stars, and the earth.

Upon emptying the scales, I laid several titles and honors, with pomps, triumphs, and many weights of the like nature, in one of them, and seeing a little glittering weight lie by me, I threw it accidentally into the other scale, when, to my great surprise, it proved so exact a counterpoise, that it kept the balance in an equilibrium. This little glittering weight was inscribed upon the edges of it with the word Vanity. I found there were several other weights which were equally heavy, and exact counterpoises to one another; a few of them I tried, as avarice and poverty, riches and content, with some others.

There were likewise several weights that were of the same figure, and seemed to correspond with each other, but were entirely different when thrown into the scales, as religion and hypocrisy, pedantry and learning, wit and vivacity, superstition and devotion, gravity and wisdom, with many others.

I observed one particular weight lettered on both sides, and upon applying myself to the reading of it, I found[91] on one side written "In the dialect of men," and underneath it, "calamities;" on the other side was written, "In the language of the gods," and underneath, "blessings." I found the intrinsic value of this weight to be much greater than I imagined, for it overpowered health, wealth, good-fortune, and many other weights, which were much more ponderous in my hand than the other.

There is a saying among the Scotch, that "an ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy;" I was sensible of the truth of this saying, when I saw the difference between the weight of natural parts and that of learning. The observation which I made upon these two weights opened to me a new field of discoveries, for notwithstanding the weight of natural parts was much heavier than that of learning, I observed that it weighed an hundred times heavier than it did before, when I put learning into the same scale with it. I made the same observation upon faith and morality; for notwithstanding the latter outweighed the former separately, it received a thousand times more additional weight from its conjunction with the former, than what it had by itself. This odd phenomenon showed itself in other particulars, as in wit and judgment, philosophy and religion, justice and humanity, zeal and charity, depth of sense and perspicuity of style, with innumerable other particulars, too long to be mentioned in this paper.

As a dream seldom fails of dashing seriousness with impertinence, mirth with gravity, methought I made several other experiments of a more ludicrous nature, by one of which I found that an English octavo was very often heavier than a French folio; and by another, that an old Greek or Latin author weighed down a whole library of moderns. Seeing one of my Spectators lying[92] by me, I laid it into one of the scales, and flung a twopenny piece in the other. The reader will not inquire into the event, if he remembers the first trial which I have recorded in this paper. I afterwards threw both the sexes into the balance; but as it is not for my interest to disoblige either of them, I shall desire to be excused from telling the result of this experiment. Having an opportunity of this nature in my hands, I could not forbear throwing into one scale the principles of a Tory, and in the other those of a Whig; but as I have all along declared this to be a neutral paper, I shall likewise desire to be silent under this head also, though upon examining one of the weights, I saw the word TEKEL engraven on it in capital letters.

I made many other experiments, and though I have not room for them all in this day's speculation, I may perhaps reserve them for another. I shall only add, that upon my awaking I was sorry to find my golden scales vanished, but resolved for the future to learn this lesson from them, not to despise or value any things for their appearances, but to regulate my esteem and passions towards them according to their real and intrinsic value.

It must be soPlato, thou reasonest well!
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us;
'Tis heaven itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.

From Cato.Addison.



Jonathan Swift.1667-1745.

From The Tatler, March 6, 1711.

Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes
Emollit mores.

Those inferior duties of life which the French call les petites morales, or the smaller morals, are with us distinguished by the name of good manners or breeding. This I look upon, in the general notion of it, to be a sort of artificial good sense, adapted to the meanest capacities, and introduced to make mankind easy in their commerce with each other. Low and little understandings, without some rules of this kind, would be perpetually wandering into a thousand indecencies and irregularities in behavior; and in their ordinary conversation, fall into the same boisterous familiarities that one observeth amongst them when a debauch hath quite taken away the use of their reason. In other instances, it is odd to consider, that for want of common discretion, the very end of good breeding is wholly perverted; and civility, intended to make us easy, is employed in laying chains and fetters upon us, in debarring us of our wishes, and in crossing our most reasonable desires and inclinations. This abuse reigneth chiefly in the country, as I found to my vexation, when I was last there, in a visit I made to a neighbor about two miles from my cousin. As soon as I entered the parlor, they put me into the great chair that stood close by a huge fire, and kept me there by force, until I was almost stifled. Then a boy came in great hurry to pull off my boots, which I in vain opposed, urging that I must return soon after[94] dinner. In the meantime, the good lady whispered her eldest daughter, and slipped a key into her hand. The girl returned instantly with a beer-glass half full of aqua mirabilis and syrup of gillyflowers. I took as much as I had a mind for; but madam avowed I should drink it offfor she was sure it would do me good, after coming out of the cold airand I was forced to obey; which absolutely took away my stomach. When dinner came in, I had a mind to sit at a distance from the fire; but they told me it was as much as my life was worth, and set me with my back just against it. Although my appetite was quite gone, I resolved to force down as much as I could; and desired the leg of a pullet. "Indeed, Mr. Bickerstaff," says the lady, "you must eat a wing, to oblige me;" and so put a couple upon my plate. I was persecuted at this rate during the whole meal. As often as I called for small-beer, the master tipped the wink, and the servant brought me a brimmer of October. Some time after dinner, I ordered my cousin's man, who came with me, to get ready the horses; but it was resolved I should not stir that night; and when I seemed pretty much bent upon going, they ordered the stable door to be locked; and the children hid my cloak and boots. The next question was, what I would have for supper. I said I never ate anything at night; but was at last, in my own defence, obliged to name the first thing that came into my head. After three hours spent chiefly in apologies for my entertainment, insinuating to me, "that this was the worst time of the year for provisions; that they were at a great distance from any market; that they were afraid I should be starved; and that they knew they kept me to my loss," the lady went, and left me to her husbandfor they took special care I should[95] never be alone. As soon as her back was turned, the little misses ran backward and forward every moment; and constantly as they came in, or went out, made a courtesy directly at me, which, in good manners, I was forced to return with a bow, and, "Your humble servant, pretty miss." Exactly at eight the mother came up, and discovered by the redness of her face that supper was not far off. It was twice as large as the dinner, and my persecution doubled in proportion. I desired, at my usual hour, to go to my repose, and was conducted to my chamber by the gentleman, his lady, and the whole train of children. They importuned me to drink something before I went to bed; and upon my refusing, at last left a bottle of stingo, as they called it, for fear I should wake and be thirsty in the night. I was forced in the morning to rise and dress myself in the dark, because they would not suffer my kinsman's servant to disturb me at the hour I desired to be called. I was now resolved to break through all measures to get away; and after sitting down to a monstrous breakfast of cold beef, mutton, neats' tongues, venison-pasty, and stale-beer, took leave of the family. But the gentleman would needs see me part of my way, and carry me a short-cut through his own grounds, which he told me would save half a mile's riding. This last piece of civility had like to have cost me dear, being once or twice in danger of my neck, by leaping over his ditches, and at last forced to alight in the dirt; when my horse, having slipped his bridle, ran away, and took us up more than an hour to recover him again. It is evident that none of the absurdities I met with in this visit proceeded from an ill intention, but from a wrong judgment of complaisance, and a misapplication in the rules of it.



Alexander Pope.1688-1744.

Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state;
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know;
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
O blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by heaven;
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be, blest.
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heaven;
[97]Some safer world in depth of woods embraced,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire;
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.

What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this general frame;
Just as absurd to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing Mind of All ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That changed through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth, as in the ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees;
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.

All nature is but art unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
[98]And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
Few in the extreme, but all in the degree:
The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise;
And even the best by fits what they despise.

Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law,
Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw:
Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight,
A little louder, but as empty quite:
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age:
Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before,
Till tired he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.

Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good
Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food?
Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn,
For him as kindly spreads the flowery lawn.
Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings?
Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings.
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?
Loves of his own and raptures swell the note.
The bounding steed you pompously bestride
Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride.
Is thine alone the seed that strews the plain?
The birds of heaven shall vindicate their grain.
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer.
[99]The hog, that ploughs not, nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labors of this lord of all.
Know, Nature's children all divide her care;
The fur that warms a monarch warm'd a bear.
While man exclaims, "See all things for my use!"
"See man for mine!" replies a pamper'd goose:
And just as short of reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.

For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best administer'd is best:
For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right.
In faith and hope the world will disagree,
But all mankind's concern is charity:
All must be false that thwart this one great end,
And all of God that bless mankind or mend.

Honor and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.
Fortune in men has some small difference made,
One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade;
The cobbler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd.
"What differ more (you cry) than crown and cowl?"
I'll tell you, friend, a wise man and a fool.
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Or, cobbler-like, the parson will be drunk,
Worth makes the man, and want of it, the fellow;
The rest is all but leather or prunello.

Go! if your ancient but ignoble blood
Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood,
Go! and pretend your family is young,
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long.
[100]What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards?
Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.

Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates,that man is great indeed.

An honest man's the noblest work of God.

Know then this truth (enough for man to know),
"Virtue alone is happiness below."

... Never elated while one man's oppress'd;
Never dejected while another's bless'd....[C]

See the sole bliss heaven could on all bestow!
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know:
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
The bad must miss, the good untaught will find:
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through nature up to nature's God;
Pursues that chain which links the immense design,
Joins heaven and earth, and mortal and divine:
Sees that no being any bliss can know,
But touches some above and some below;
Learns from this union of the rising whole,
The first, last purpose of the human soul;
And knows where faith, law, morals, all began,
All end, in love of God and love of man.


[B] If the Essay on Man were shivered into fragments, it would not lose its value: for it is precisely its details which constitute its moral as well as literary beauties.A. W. Ward, quoted by Mark Pattison.

[C] In these two lines, which, so far as I know, are the most complete, the most concise, and the most lofty expressions of moral temper existing in English words, Pope sums the law of noble life.

Ruskin, Lectures on Art.



James Thomson.1700-1748.

When Britain first, at Heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never will be slaves!

The nations not so blest as thee,
Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall,
Whilst thou shalt flourish, great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never will be slaves!

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke;
As the loud blast that tears the skies,
Serves but to root thy native oak.
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never will be slaves!

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame;
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame,
But work their woe and thy renown.
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never will be slaves!

To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
[102]All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles thine.
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never will be slaves!

The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair;
Blest isle! with matchless beauty crown'd,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never will be slaves!


David Hume.1711-1776.

From History of England.

After Mahomet had, by means of his pretended revelations, united the dispersed Arabians under one head, they issued forth from their deserts in great multitudes; and being animated with zeal for their new religion, and supported by the vigor of their new government, they made deep impression on the eastern empire, which was far in the decline, with regard both to military discipline and to civil policy. Jerusalem, by its situation, became one of their most early conquests; and the Christians had the mortification to see the holy sepulchre, and the other places, consecrated by the presence of their religious founder, fallen into the possession of infidels. But the Arabians or Saracens were so[103] employed in military enterprises, by which they spread their empire in a few years from the banks of the Ganges to the Straits of Gibraltar, that they had no leisure for theological controversy: and though the Alcoran, the original monument of their faith, seems to contain some violent precepts, they were much less infected with the spirit of bigotry and persecution than the indolent and speculative Greeks, who were continually refining on the several articles of their religious system. They gave little disturbance to those zealous pilgrims, who daily flocked to Jerusalem; and they allowed every man, after paying a moderate tribute, to visit the holy sepulchre, to perform his religious duties, and to return in peace. But the Turcomans or Turks, a tribe of Tartars, who had embraced Mahometanism, having wrested Syria from the Saracens, and having, in the year 1065, made themselves masters of Jerusalem, rendered the pilgrimage much more difficult and dangerous to the Christians. The barbarity of their manners, and the confusions attending their unsettled government, exposed the pilgrims to many insults, robberies, and extortions: and these zealots, returning from their meritorious fatigues and sufferings, filled all Christendom with indignation against the infidels, who profaned the holy city by their presence, and derided the sacred mysteries in the very place of their completion. Gregory VII., among the other vast ideas which he entertained, had formed the design of uniting all the Western Christians against the Mahometans; but the egregious and violent invasions of that pontiff on the civil power of princes, had created him so many enemies, and had rendered his schemes so suspicious, that he was not able to make great progress in this[104] undertaking. The work was reserved for a meaner instrument, whose low condition in life exposed him to no jealousy, and whose folly was well calculated to coincide with the prevailing principles of the times.

Peter, commonly called the Hermit, a native of Amiens in Picardy, had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Being deeply affected with the dangers to which that act of piety now exposed the pilgrims, as well as with the instances of oppression under which the Eastern Christians labored, he entertained the bold, and, in all appearance, impracticable project of leading into Asia, from the farthest extremities of the West, armies sufficient to subdue those potent and warlike nations which now held the holy city in subjection. He proposed his views to Martin II., who filled the papal chair, and who, though sensible of the advantages which the head of the Christian religion must reap from a religious war, and though he esteemed the blind zeal of Peter a proper means for effecting the purpose, resolved not to interpose his authority, till he saw a greater probability of success. He summoned a council at Placentia, which consisted of four thousand ecclesiastics, and thirty thousand seculars; and which was so numerous that no hall could contain the multitude, and it was necessary to hold the assembly in a plain. The harangues of the Pope, and of Peter himself, representing the dismal situation of their brethren in the East, and the indignity suffered by the Christian name, in allowing the holy city to remain in the hands of infidels, here found the minds of men so well prepared, that the whole multitude suddenly and violently declared for the war, and solemnly devoted themselves to perform this service, so meritorious, as they believed it, to God and religion.[105]

But though Italy seemed thus to have zealously embraced the enterprise, Martin knew, that, in order to insure success, it was necessary to enlist the greater and more warlike nations in the same engagement; and having previously exhorted Peter to visit the chief cities and sovereigns of Christendom, he summoned another council at Clermont in Auvergne. The fame of this great and pious design being now universally diffused, procured the attendance of the greatest prelates, nobles, and princes; and when the Pope and the Hermit renewed their pathetic exhortations, the whole assembly, as if impelled by an immediate inspiration, not moved by their preceding impressions, exclaimed with one voice, It is the will of God, It is the will of God!words deemed so memorable, and so much the result of a divine influence, that they were employed as the signal of rendezvous and battle in all the future exploits of those adventurers. Men of all ranks flew to arms with the utmost ardor; and an exterior symbol, too, a circumstance of chief moment, was here chosen by the devoted combatants. The sign of the cross, which had been hitherto so much revered among Christians, and which, the more it was an object of reproach among the Pagan world, was the more passionately cherished by them, became the badge of union, and was affixed to their right shoulder, by all who enlisted themselves in this sacred warfare.

Europe was at this time sunk into profound ignorance and superstition. The ecclesiastics had acquired the greatest ascendant over the human mind: the people, who, being little restrained by honor, and less by law, abandoned themselves to the worst crimes and disorders, knew of no other expiation than the observances imposed on them by their spiritual pastors: and it was easy to[106] represent the holy war as an equivalent for all penances, and an atonement for every violation of justice and humanity. But amidst the abject superstition which now prevailed, the military spirit also had universally diffused itself; and though not supported by art or discipline, was become the general passion of the nations governed by the feudal law. All the great lords possessed the right of peace and war: they were engaged in perpetual hostilities with each other: the open country was become a scene of outrage and disorder: the cities, still mean and poor, were neither guarded by walls nor protected by privileges, and were exposed to every insult: individuals were obliged to depend for safety on their own force, or their private alliances: and valor was the only excellence which was held in esteem, or gave one man the pre-eminence above another. When all the particular superstitions, therefore, were here united in one great object, the ardor for military enterprises took the same direction; and Europe, impelled by its two ruling passions, was loosened, as it were, from its foundations, and seemed to precipitate itself in one united body upon the East.

All orders of men, deeming the Crusades the only road to heaven, enlisted themselves under these sacred banners, and were impatient to open the way with their sword to the holy city. Nobles, artisans, peasants, even priests, enrolled their names; and to decline this meritorious service was branded with the reproach of impiety, or, what perhaps was esteemed still more disgraceful, of cowardice and pusillanimity. The infirm and aged contributed to the expedition by presents and money; and many of them, not satisfied with the merit of this atonement, attended it in person, and were determined, if[107] possible, to breathe their last in sight of that city where their Saviour had died for them. Women themselves, concealing their sex under the disguise of armor, attended the camp. The greatest criminals were forward in a service, which they regarded as a propitiation for all crimes; and the most enormous disorders were, during the course of those expeditions, committed by men enured to wickedness, encouraged by example, and impelled by necessity. The multitude of the adventurers soon became so great, that their more sagacious leaders, Hugh count of Vermandois, brother to the French king, Raymond count of Toulouse, Godfrey of Bouillon, prince of Brabant, and Stephen count of Blois, became apprehensive lest the greatness itself of the armament should disappoint its purpose; and they permitted an undisciplined multitude, computed at 300,000 men, to go before them, under the command of Peter the Hermit and Walter the Moneyless. These men took the road towards Constantinople through Hungary and Bulgaria; and trusting that Heaven, by supernatural assistance, would supply all their necessities, they made no provision for subsistance on their march. They soon found themselves obliged to obtain by plunder, what they had vainly expected from miracles; and the enraged inhabitants of the countries through which they passed, gathering together in arms, attacked the disorderly multitude and put them to slaughter without resistance. The more disciplined armies followed after; and passing the straights at Constantinople, they were mustered in the plains of Asia, and amounted in the whole to the number of 700,000 combatants....

After the adventurers in the holy war were assembled on the banks of the Bosphorus, opposite to Constant[108]inople, they proceeded on their enterprise; but immediately experienced those difficulties which their zeal had hitherto concealed from them, and for which, even if they had foreseen them, it would have been almost impossible to provide a remedy. The Greek emperor, Alexis Comnenus, who had applied to the Western Christians for succor against the Turks, entertained hopes, and those but feeble ones, of obtaining such a moderate supply, as, acting under his command, might enable him to repulse the enemy: but he was extremely astonished to see his dominions overwhelmed, on a sudden, by such an inundation of licentious barbarians, who, though they pretended friendship, despised his subjects as unwarlike, and detested them as heretical. By all the arts of policy, in which he excelled, he endeavored to divert the torrent; but while he employed professions, caresses, civilities, and seeming services towards the leaders of the crusade, he secretly regarded those imperious allies as more dangerous than the open enemies by whom his empire had been formerly invaded. Having effected that difficult point of disembarking them safely in Asia, he entered into a private correspondence with Soliman, emperor of the Turks; and practised every insidious art, which his genius, his power, or his situation, enabled him to employ, for disappointing the enterprise, and discouraging the Latins from making thenceforward any such prodigious migrations. His dangerous policy was seconded by the disorders inseparable from so vast a multitude, who were not united under one head, and were conducted by leaders of the most independent intractable spirit, unacquainted with military discipline, and determined enemies to civil authority and submission. The scarcity of provisions, the excesses of[109] fatigue, the influence of unknown climates, joined to the want of concert in their operations, and to the sword of a warlike enemy, destroyed the adventurers by thousands, and would have abated the ardor of men impelled to war by less powerful motives. Their zeal, however, their bravery, and their irresistible force, still carried them forward, and continually advanced them to the great end of their enterprise. After an obstinate siege they took Nice, the seat of the Turkish empire; they defeated Soliman in two great battles; they made themselves masters of Antioch; and entirely broke the force of the Turks, who had so long retained those countries in subjection. The soldan of Egypt, whose alliance they had hitherto courted, recovered, on the fall of the Turkish power, his former authority in Jerusalem; and he informed them by his ambassadors, that if they came disarmed to that city, they might now perform their religious vows, and that all Christian pilgrims, who should thenceforth visit the holy sepulchre, might expect the same good treatment which they had ever received from his predecessors. The offer was rejected; the soldan was required to yield up the city to the Christians; and on his refusal, the champions of the cross advanced to the siege of Jerusalem, which they regarded as the consummation of their labors. By the detachments which they had made, and the disasters which they had undergone, they were diminished to the number of twenty thousand foot, and fifteen hundred horse; but these were still formidable, from their valor, their experience, and the obedience which, from past calamities, they had learned to pay to their leaders. After a siege of five weeks, they took Jerusalem by assault; and, impelled by a mixture of military and religious rage, they put the[110] numerous garrison and inhabitants to the sword without distinction.

Neither arms defended the valiant, nor submission the timorous: no age or sex was spared: infants on the breast were pierced by the same blow with their mothers, who implored for mercy: even a multitude to the number of ten thousand persons, who had surrendered themselves prisoners, and were promised quarter, were butchered in cold blood by those ferocious conquerors. The streets of Jerusalem were covered with dead bodies; and the triumphant warriors, after every enemy was subdued and slaughtered, immediately turned themselves, with the sentiments of humiliation and contrition, towards the holy sepulchre. They threw aside their arms, still streaming with blood: they advanced with reclined bodies, and naked feet and heads, to that sacred monument: they sang anthems to their Saviour, who had there purchased their salvation by his death and agony: and their devotion, enlivened by the presence of the place where he had suffered, so overcame their fury, that they dissolved in tears, and bore the appearance of every soft and tender sentiment. So inconsistent is human nature with itself! and so easily does the most effeminate superstition ally, both with the most heroic courage and with the fiercest barbarity!

This great event happened on the fifth of July in the last year of the eleventh century. The Christian princes and nobles, after choosing Godfrey of Bouillon king of Jerusalem, began to settle themselves in their new conquests; while some of them returned to Europe, in order to enjoy at home that glory, which their valor had acquired them in this popular and meritorious enterprise.



A Pindaric Ode.[D]

Thomas Gray.1716-1771.

I. 1.

""Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
Confusion on thy banners wait;
Though fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing,

They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail,
Nor e'en thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!"
Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side
He wound with toilsome march his long array.
Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance:
"To arms!" cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quivering lance.

I. 2.

On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
Rob'd in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the Poet stood;

(Loose his beard, and hoary hair
Stream'd, like a meteor, to the troubled air),
And with a master's hand, and prophet's fire,
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.
[112]"Hark, how each giant-oak, and desert cave,
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
O'er thee, O King! their hundred arms they wave,
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

I. 3.

"Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
That hush'd the stormy main:
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topt head.
On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,
Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail;
The famish'd eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear, as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear, as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Ye died amidst your dying country's cries
No more I weep. They do not sleep.
On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,
I see them sit; they linger yet,
Avengers of their native land:
With me in dreadful harmony they join,
And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.

II. 1.

"Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of Edward's race.
Give ample room, and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
[113] Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death, through Berkley's roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing king!
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate,
From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs
The scourge of heaven. What terrors round him wait!
Amazement in his van, with flight combin'd,
And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.

II. 2.

"Mighty victor, mighty lord!
Low on his funeral couch he lies!
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm, that in thy noontide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the Zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm;
Regardless of the sweeping Whirlwind's sway,
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

II. 3.

"Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.
[114] Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long years of havoc urge their destin'd course,
And through the kindred squadrons mow their way.
Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight murder fed,
Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame,
And spare the meek usurper's holy head.
Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twin'd with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled boar in infant-gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursèd loom,
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

III. 1.

"Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun.)

Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)

Stay, O stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn:
In yon bright track, that fires the western skies,
They melt, they vanish from my eyes.
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height
Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight!
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail.
All hail, ye genuine kings, Britannia's issue, hail!

III. 2.

"Girt with many a baron bold
Sublime their starry fronts they rear;
[115]And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old
In bearded majesty, appear.
In the midst a form divine!
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line;
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,
Attemper'd sweet to virgin-grace.
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,
What strains of vocal transport round her play.
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.
Bright Rapture calls, and soaring, as she sings,
Waves in the eye of heaven her many-color'd wings.

III. 3.

"The verse adorn again
Fierce War, and faithful Love,
And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest.
In buskin'd measures move
Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,
With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice, as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;

And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
That lost in long futurity expire.
Fond impious man, thinks thou yon sanguine cloud,
Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day?
To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The different doom our fates assign.
Be thine despair, and sceptred care;
To triumph, and to die, are mine."
He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height
Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.


[D] This ode is founded on a tradition current in Wales, that Edward the First, when he completed the conquest of that country, ordered all the Bards that fell into his hands to be put to death.Gray.[116]


HOUSE OF LORDSNovember 18th, 1777.

Lord Chatham.1708-1778.

I rise, my Lords, to declare my sentiments on this most solemn and serious subject. It has imposed a load upon my mind, which, I fear, nothing can remove, but which impels me to endeavor its alleviation, by a free and unreserved communication of my sentiments.

In the first part of the address, I have the honor of heartily concurring with the noble Earl who moved it. No man feels sincerer joy than I do; none can offer more genuine congratulations on every accession of strength to the Protestant succession. I therefore join in every congratulation on the birth of another princess, and the happy recovery of her Majesty.

But I must stop here. My courtly complaisance will carry me no farther. I will not join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. I cannot concur in a blind and servile address, which approves and endeavors to sanctify the monstrous measures which have heaped disgrace and misfortune upon us. This, my Lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment! It is not a time for adulation. The smoothness of flattery cannot now availcannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the Throne in the language of truth. We must dispel the illusion and the darkness which envelop it, and display, in its full danger and true colors, the ruin that is brought to our doors.

This, my Lords, is our duty. It is the proper function of this noble assembly, sitting, as we do, upon our honors[117] in this House, the hereditary council of the Crown. Who is the ministerwhere is the minister, that has dared to suggest to the Throne the contrary, unconstitutional language this day delivered from it? The accustomed language from the Throne has been application to Parliament for advice, and a reliance on its constitutional advice and assistance. As it is the right of Parliament to give, so it is the duty of the Crown to ask it. But on this day, and in this extreme momentous exigency, no reliance is reposed on our constitutional counsels! no advice is asked from the sober and enlightened care of Parliament! but the Crown, from itself and by itself, declares an unalterable determination to pursue measuresand what measures, my Lords? The measures that have produced the imminent perils that threaten us; the measures that have brought ruin to our doors.

Can the minister of the day now presume to expect a continuance of support in this ruinous infatuation? Can Parliament be so dead to its dignity and its duty as to be thus deluded into the loss of the one and the violation of the other? To give an unlimited credit and support for the steady perseverance in measures not proposed for our parliamentary advice, but dictated and forced upon usin measures, I say, my Lords, which have reduced this late flourishing empire to ruin and contempt! "But yesterday, and England might have stood against the world: now none so poor to do her reverence." I use the words of a poet; but, though it be poetry, it is no fiction. It is a shameful truth, that not only the power and strength of this country are wasting away and expiring, but her well-earned glories, her true honor, and substantial dignity are sacrificed.[118]

France, my Lords, has insulted you; she has encouraged and sustained America; and, whether America be wrong or right, the dignity of this country ought to spurn at the officious insult of French interference. The ministers and ambassadors of those who are called rebels and enemies are in Paris; in Paris they transact the reciprocal interests of America and France. Can there be a more mortifying insult? Can even our ministers sustain a more humiliating disgrace? Do they dare to resent it? Do they presume even to hint a vindication of their honor, and the dignity of the State, by requiring the dismission of the plenipotentiaries of America? Such is the degradation to which they have reduced the glories of England! The people whom they affect to call contemptible rebels, but whose growing power has at last obtained the name of enemies; the people with whom they have engaged this country in war, and against whom they now command our implicit support in every measure of desperate hostilitythis people, despised as rebels, or acknowledged as enemies, are abetted against you, supplied with every military store, their interests consulted, and their ambassadors entertained, by your inveterate enemy! and our ministers dare not interpose with dignity or effect. Is this the honor of a great kingdom? Is this the indignant spirit of England, who "but yesterday" gave law to the house of Bourbon? My Lords, the dignity of nations demands a decisive conduct in a situation like this....

My Lords, this ruinous and ignominious situation, where we can not act with success, nor suffer with honor, calls upon us to remonstrate in the strongest and loudest language of truth, to rescue the ear of majesty from the delusions which surround it. The desperate state of our[119] arms abroad is in part known. No man thinks more highly of them than I do. I love and honor the English troops. I know their virtues and their valor. I know they can achieve anything except impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannot, I venture to say it, you cannot conquer America. Your armies in the last war effected everything that could be effected; and what was it? It cost a numerous army, under the command of a most able general [Lord Amherst], now a noble Lord in this House, a long and laborious campaign, to expel five thousand Frenchmen from French America. My Lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing and suffered much. Besides the sufferings, perhaps total loss of the Northern force, the best appointed army that ever took the field, commanded by Sir William Howe, has retired from the American lines. He was obliged to relinquish his attempt, and with great delay and danger to adopt a new and distant plan of operations. We shall soon know, and in any event have reason to lament, what may have happened since. As to conquest, therefore, my Lords, I repeat, it is impossible. You may swell every expense and every effort still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little pitiful German prince that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign prince; your efforts are forever vain and impotentdoubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your enemies, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting[120] them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my armsnevernevernever.

But, my Lords, who is the man, that, in addition to these disgraces and mischiefs of our army, has dared to authorize and associate to our arms the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage? to call into civilized alliance the wild and inhuman savage of the woods; to delegate to the merciless Indian the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of his barbarous war against our brethren? My Lords, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. Unless thoroughly done away, it will be a stain on the national character. It is a violation of the Constitution. I believe it is against law. It is not the least of our national misfortunes that the strength and character of our army are thus impaired. Infected with the mercenary spirit of robbery and rapine, familiarized to the horrid scenes of savage cruelty, it can no longer boast of the noble and generous principles which dignify a soldier, no longer sympathize with the dignity of the royal banner, nor feel the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war, "that make ambition virtue!" What makes ambition virtue?the sense of honor. But is the sense of honor consistent with a spirit of plunder, or the practice of murder? Can it flow from mercenary motives, or can it prompt to cruel deeds?

The independent views of America have been stated and asserted as the foundation of this address. My Lords, no man wishes for the due dependence of America on this country more than I do. To preserve it, and not confirm that state of independence into which your measures hitherto have driven them, is the object which[121] we ought to unite in attaining. The Americans, contending for their rights against arbitrary exactions, I love and admire. It is the struggle of free and virtuous patriots. But, contending for independency and total disconnection from England, as an Englishman, I cannot wish them success; for in a due constitutional dependency, including the ancient supremacy of this country in regulating their commerce and navigation, consists the mutual happiness and prosperity both of England and America. She derived assistance and protection from us; and we reaped from her the most important advantages. She was, indeed, the fountain of our wealth, the nerve of our strength, the nursery and basis of our naval power. It is our duty, therefore, my Lords, if we wish to save our country, most seriously to endeavor the recovery of these most beneficial subjects; and in this perilous crisis, perhaps the present moment may be the only one in which we can hope for success. For in their negotiations with France, they have, or think they have, reason to complain; though it be notorious that they have received from that power important supplies and assistance of various kinds, yet it is certain they expected it in a more decisive and immediate degree. America is in ill humor with France; on some points they have not entirely answered her expectations. Let us wisely take advantage of every possible moment of reconciliation. Besides, the natural disposition of America herself still leans toward England; to the old habits of connection and mutual interest that united both countries. This was the established sentiment of all the continent; and still, my Lords, in the great and principal part, the sound part of America, this wise and affectionate disposition prevails. And there is a very considerable part of[122] America yet soundthe middle and the southern provinces. Some parts may be factious and blind to their true interests; but if we express a wise and benevolent disposition to communicate with them those immutable rights of nature and those constitutional liberties to which they are equally entitled with ourselves, by a conduct so just and humane we shall confirm the favorable and conciliate the adverse. I say, my Lords, the rights and liberties to which they are equally entitled with ourselves, but no more. I would participate to them every enjoyment and freedom which the colonizing subjects of a free state can possess, or wish to possess; and I do not see why they should not enjoy every fundamental right in their property, and every original substantial liberty, which Devonshire, or Surrey, or the county I live in, or any other county in England, can claim; reserving always, as the sacred right of the mother country, the due constitutional dependency of the colonies. The inherent supremacy of the state in regulating and protecting the navigation and commerce of all her subjects, is necessary for the mutual benefit and preservation of every part, to constitute and preserve the prosperous arrangement of the whole empire.

The sound parts of America, of which I have spoken, must be sensible of these great truths and of their real interests. America is not in that state of desperate and contemptible rebellion which this country has been deluded to believe. It is not a wild and lawless banditti, who, having nothing to lose, might hope to snatch something from public convulsions. Many of their leaders and great men have a great stake in this great contest. The gentleman who conducts their armies, I am told, has an estate of four or five thousand pounds a year; and[123] when I consider these things, I cannot but lament the inconsiderate violence of our penal acts, our declaration of treason and rebellion, with all the fatal effects of attainder and confiscation.

As to the disposition of foreign powers which is asserted [in the King's speech] to be pacific and friendly, let us judge, my Lords, rather by their actions and the nature of things than by interested assertions. The uniform assistance supplied to America by France suggests a different conclusion. The most important interests of France in aggrandizing and enriching herself with what she most wants, supplies of every naval store from America, must inspire her with different sentiments. The extraordinary preparations of the House of Bourbon, by land and by sea, from Dunkirk to the Straits, equally ready and willing to overwhelm these defenceless islands, should rouse us to a sense of their real disposition and our own danger. Not five thousand troops in England! hardly three thousand in Ireland! What can we oppose to the combined force of our enemies? Scarcely twenty ships of the line so fully or sufficiently manned, that any admiral's reputation would permit him to take the command of. The river of Lisbon in the possession of our enemies! The seas swept by American privateers! Our Channel trade torn to pieces by them! In this complicated crisis of danger, weakness at home, and calamity abroad, terrified and insulted by the neighboring powers, unable to act in America, or acting only to be destroyed, where is the man with the forehead to promise or hope for success in such a situation, or from perseverance in the measures that have driven us to it? Who has the forehead to do so? Where is that man? I should be glad to see his face.[124]

You cannot conciliate America by your present measures. You cannot subdue her by your present or by any measures. What, then, can you do? You cannot conquer; you cannot gain; but you can address; you can lull the fears and anxieties of the moment into an ignorance of the danger that should produce them. But, my Lords, the time demands the language of truth. We must not now apply the flattering unction of servile compliance or blind complaisance. In a just and necessary war, to maintain the rights or honor of my country, I would strip the shirt from my back to support it. But in such a war as this, unjust in its principle, impracticable in its means, and ruinous in its consequences, I would not contribute a single effort nor a single shilling. I do not call for vengeance on the heads of those who have been guilty; I only recommend to them to make their retreat. Let them walk off; and let them make haste, or they may be assured that speedy and condign punishment will overtake them.

My Lords, I have submitted to you, with the freedom and truth which I think my duty, my sentiments on your present awful situation. I have laid before you the ruin of your power, the disgrace of your reputation, the pollution of your discipline, the contamination of your morals, the complication of calamities, foreign and domestic, that overwhelm your sinking country. Your dearest interests, your own liberties, the Constitution itself totters to the foundation. All this disgraceful danger, this multitude of misery, is the monstrous offspring of this unnatural war. We have been deceived and deluded too long. Let us now stop short. This is the crisisthe only crisis of time and situation, to give us a possibility of escape from the fatal effects of our[125] delusions. But if, in an obstinate and infatuated perseverance in folly, we slavishly echo the peremptory words this day presented to us, nothing can save this devoted country from complete and final ruin. We madly rush into multiplied miseries, and "confusion worse confounded."

Is it possible, can it be believed, that ministers are yet blind to this impending destruction? I did hope, that instead of this false and empty vanity, this overweening pride, engendering high conceits and presumptuous imaginations, ministers would have humbled themselves in their errors, would have confessed and retracted them, and by an active, though a late, repentance, have endeavored to redeem them. But, my Lords, since they had neither sagacity to foresee, nor justice nor humanity to shun these oppressive calamitiessince not even severe experience can make them feel, nor the imminent ruin of their country awaken them from their stupefaction, the guardian care of Parliament must interpose. I shall, therefore, my Lords, propose to you an amendment of the address to his Majesty, to be inserted immediately after the two first paragraphs of congratulation on the birth of a princess, to recommend an immediate cessation of hostilities, and the commencement of a treaty to restore peace and liberty to America, strength and happiness to England, security and permanent prosperity to both countries. This, my Lords, is yet in our power; and let not the wisdom and justice of your Lordships neglect the happy, and, perhaps, the only opportunity. By the establishment of irrevocable law, founded on mutual rights, and ascertained by treaty, these glorious enjoyments may be firmly perpetuated. And let me repeat to your Lordships, that the strong bias of[126] America, at least of the wise and sounder parts of it, naturally inclines to this happy and constitutional reconnection with you. Notwithstanding the temporary intrigues with France, we may still be assured of their ancient and confirmed partiality to us. America and France cannot be congenial.

My Lords, to encourage and confirm that innate inclination to this country, founded on every principle of affection, as well as consideration of interest; to restore that favorable disposition into a permanent and powerful reunion with this country; to revive the mutual strength of the empire; again to awe the House of Bourbon, instead of meanly truckling, as our present calamities compel us, to every insult of French caprice and Spanish punctilio; to re-establish our commerce; to reassert our rights and our honor; to confirm our interests, and renew our glories forevera consummation most devoutly to be endeavored! and which, I trust, may yet arise from reconciliation with AmericaI have the honor of submitting to you the following amendment, which I move to be inserted after the two first paragraphs of the address:

"And that this House does most humbly advise and supplicate his Majesty to be pleased to cause the most speedy and effectual measures to be taken for restoring peace in America; and that no time may be lost in proposing an immediate opening of a treaty for the final settlement of the tranquillity of these invaluable provinces, by a removal of the unhappy causes of this ruinous civil war, and by a just and adequate security against the return of the like calamities in times to come. And this House desire to offer the most dutiful assurances to his Majesty, that they will, in due time,[127] cheerfully co-operate with the magnanimity and tender goodness of his Majesty for the preservation of his people, by such explicit and most solemn declarations, and provisions of fundamental and irrevocable laws, as may be judged necessary for the ascertaining and fixing forever the respective rights of Great Britain and her colonies."



Oliver Goldsmith.1728-1774.

Whatever might have been Sophia's sensations, the rest of the family was easily consoled for Mr. Burchell's absence by the company of our landlord, whose visits now became more frequent and longer. Though he had been disappointed in procuring my daughters the amusements of the town, as he designed, he took every opportunity of supplying them with those little recreations which our retirement would admit of. He usually came in the morning, and while my son and I followed our occupations abroad, he sat with the family at home, and amused them by describing the town, with every part of which he was particularly acquainted. He could repeat all the observations that were retailed in the atmosphere of the play-houses, and had all the good things of the high wits by rote long before they made their way into the jest-books. The intervals between conversation were employed in teaching my daughters piquet, or sometimes in setting my two little ones to box to make them sharp,[128] as he called it; but the hopes of having him for a son-in-law, in some measure blinded us to all his imperfections. It must be owned that my wife laid a thousand schemes to entrap him; or, to speak it more tenderly, used every art to magnify the merit of her daughter. If the cakes at tea ate short and crisp, they were made by Olivia: if the gooseberry wine was well knit, the gooseberries were of her gathering: it was her fingers that gave the pickles their peculiar green; and in the composition of a pudding, it was her judgment that mixed the ingredients. Then the poor woman would sometimes tell the 'squire, that she thought him and Olivia extremely of a size, and would bid both stand up to see which was tallest. These instances of cunning, which she thought impenetrable, yet which everybody saw through, were very pleasing to our benefactor, who gave every day some new proofs of his passion, which, though they had not risen to proposals of marriage, yet we thought fell but little short of it; and his slowness was attributed sometimes to native bashfulness, and sometimes to his fear of offending his uncle. An occurrence, however, which happened soon after, put it beyond a doubt that he designed to become one of our family; my wife even regarded it as an absolute promise.

My wife and daughters happening to return a visit to neighbor Flamborough's, found that family had lately got their pictures drawn by a limner, who travelled the country, and took likenesses for fifteen shillings a head. As this family and ours had long a sort of rivalry in point of taste, our spirit took the alarm at this stolen march upon us, and notwithstanding all I could say, and I said much, it was resolved that we should have our pictures done too. Having, therefore, engaged the[129] limner, for what could I do? our next deliberation was to shew the superiority of our taste in the attitudes. As for our neighbor's family, there were seven of them, and they were drawn with seven oranges, a thing quite out of taste, no variety in life, no composition in the world. We desired to have something in a brighter style, and after many debates, at length came to an unanimous resolution of being drawn together in one large historical family piece. This would be cheaper, since one frame would serve for all, and it would be infinitely more genteel; for all families of any taste were now drawn in the same manner. As we did not immediately recollect an historical subject to hit us, we were contented each with being drawn as independent historical figures. My wife desired to be represented as Venus, and the painter was desired not to be too frugal of his diamonds in her stomacher and hair. Her two little ones were to be as Cupids by her side, while I, with my gown and band, was to present her with my books on the Whistonian controversy. Olivia would be drawn as an Amazon, sitting upon a bank of flowers, dressed in a green Joseph richly laced with gold, and a whip in her hand. Sophia was to be a shepherdess, with as many sheep as the painter could put in for nothing; and Moses was to be dressed out with an hat and white feather. Our taste so much pleased the 'squire, that he insisted on being put in as one of the family, in the character of Alexander the Great, at Olivia's feet. This was considered by us all as an indication of his desire to be introduced into the family, nor could we refuse his request. The painter was therefore set to work, and as he wrought with assiduity and expedition, in less than four days the whole was completed. The piece was large, and it must[130] be owned he did not spare his colors; for which my wife gave him great encomiums. We were all perfectly satisfied with his performance; but an unfortunate circumstance had not occurred till the picture was finished, which now struck us with dismay. It was so very large that we had no place in the house to fix it. How we all came to disregard so material a point is inconceivable; but certain it is, we had been all greatly remiss. The picture, therefore, instead of gratifying our vanity, as we hoped, leaned, in a most mortifying manner, against the kitchen wall, where the canvas was stretched and painted, much too large to be got through any of the doors, and the jest of all our neighbors. One compared it to Robinson Crusoe's long-boat, too large to be removed; another thought it more resembled a reel in a bottle; some wondered how it could be got out, but still more were amazed how it ever got in.

But though it excited the ridicule of some, it effectually raised more malicious suggestions in many. The 'squire's portrait being found united with ours, was an honor too great to escape envy. Scandalous whispers began to circulate at our expense, and our tranquillity was continually disturbed by persons who came as friends to tell us what was said of us by enemies. These reports we always resented with becoming spirit; but scandal ever improves by opposition.

We once again therefore entered into a consultation upon obviating the malice of our enemies, and at last came to a resolution which had too much cunning to give me entire satisfaction. It was this: as our principal object was to discover the honor of Mr. Thornhill's addresses, my wife undertook to sound him by pretending to ask his advice in the choice of an husband for her[131] eldest daughter. If this was not found sufficient to induce him to a declaration, it was then resolved to terrify him with a rival. To this last step, however, I would by no means give my consent, till Olivia gave me the most solemn assurances that she would marry the person provided to rival him upon this occasion, if he did not prevent it, by taking her himself. Such was the scheme laid, which, though I did not strenuously oppose, I did not entirely approve.

The next time, therefore, that Mr. Thornhill came to see us, my girls took care to be out of the way, in order to give their mamma an opportunity of putting her scheme in execution; but they only retired to the next room, whence they could overhear the whole conversation: my wife artfully introduced it, by observing, that one of the Miss Flamboroughs was like to have a very good match of it in Mr. Spanker. To this the 'squire assenting, she proceeded to remark, that they who had warm fortunes were always sure of getting good husbands: "But heaven help," continued she, "the girls that have none. What signifies beauty, Mr. Thornhill? or what signifies all the virtue, and all the qualifications in the world, in this age of self-interest? It is not, what is she? but, what has she? is all the cry."

"Madam," returned he, "I highly approve the justice, as well as the novelty, of your remarks, and if I were a king, it should be otherwise. It should then, indeed, be fine times for the girls without fortunes: our two young ladies should be the first for whom I would provide."

"Ah, sir," returned my wife, "you are pleased to be facetious: but I wish I were a queen, and then I know where my eldest daughter should look for an husband. But now that you have put it into my head, seriously,[132] Mr. Thornhill, can't you recommend me a proper husband for her? She is now nineteen years old, well grown and well educated, and, in my humble opinion, does not want for parts."

"Madam," replied he, "if I were to choose, I would find out a person possessed of every accomplishment that can make an angel happy. One with prudence, fortune, taste, and sincerity; such, madam, would be, in my opinion, the proper husband." "Ay, sir," said she, "but do you know of any such person?""No, Madam," returned he, "it is impossible to know any person that deserves to be her husband: she's too great a treasure for one man's possession: she's a goddess. Upon my soul, I speak what I think, she's an angel""Ah, Mr. Thornhill, you only flatter my poor girl: but we have been thinking of marrying her to one of your tenants, whose mother is lately dead, and who wants a manager; you know whom I mean, farmer Williams; a warm man, Mr. Thornhill, able to give her good bread; and who has several times made her proposals:" (which was actually the case) "but, sir," concluded she, "I should be glad to have your approbation of our choice.""How, Madam," replied he, "my approbation! My approbation of such a choice! Never. What! Sacrifice so much beauty and sense, and goodness, to a creature insensible of the blessing! Excuse me, I can never approve of such a piece of injustice! And I have my reasons!""Indeed, sir," cried Deborah, "If you have your reasons, that's another affair; but I should be glad to know those reasons.""Excuse me, madam," returned he, "they lie too deep for discovery;" (laying his hand upon his bosom) "they remain buried, rivetted here."

After he was gone, upon general consultation, we[133] could not tell what to make of these fine sentiments. Olivia considered them as instances of the most exalted passion; but I was not quite so sanguine: yet, whatever they might portend, it was resolved to prosecute the scheme of farmer Williams, who, from my daughter's first appearance in the country, had paid her his addresses.



James Boswell.1740-1795.

From Life of Samuel Johnson, ll. d.

I am now to record a very curious incident in Dr. Johnson's life, which fell under my own observation; of which pars magna fui, and which I am persuaded will, with the liberal-minded, be much to his credit.

My desire of being acquainted with celebrated men of every description had made me, much about the same time, obtain an introduction to Dr. Samuel Johnson and to John Wilkes, Esq. Two men more different could not perhaps be selected out of all mankind. They had even attacked one another with some asperity in their writings; yet I lived in habits of friendship with both. I could fully relish the excellence of each; for I have ever delighted in that intellectual chemistry, which can separate good qualities from evil in the same person.

Sir John Pringle, "mine own friend and my father's friend," between whom and Dr. Johnson I in vain wished to establish an acquaintance, as I respected and lived in[134] intimacy with both of them, observed to me once, very ingeniously, "It is not in friendship as in mathematics, where two things, each equal to a third, are equal between themselves. You agree with Johnson as a middle quality, and you agree with me as a middle quality; but Johnson and I should not agree." Sir John was not sufficiently flexible; so I desisted; knowing, indeed, that the repulsion was equally strong on the part of Johnson; who, I know not from what cause, unless his being a Scotchman, had formed a very erroneous opinion of Sir John. But I conceived an irresistible wish, if possible, to bring Dr. Johnson and Mr. Wilkes together. How to manage it, was a nice and difficult matter.[E]

My worthy booksellers and friends, Messieurs Dilly in the Poultry, at whose hospitable and well-covered table I have seen a greater number of literary men than at any other, except that of Sir Joshua Reynolds, had invited me to meet Mr. Wilkes and some more gentlemen on Wednesday, May 15th. "Pray," said I, "let us have Dr. Johnson." "What, with Mr. Wilkes? not for the[135] world," said Mr. Edward Dilly: "Dr. Johnson would never forgive me." "Come," said I, "if you'll let me negotiate for you, I will be answerable that all shall go well." Dilly. "Nay, if you will take it upon you, I am sure I shall be very happy to see them both here."

Notwithstanding the high veneration which I entertained for Dr. Johnson, I was sensible that he was sometimes a little actuated by the spirit of contradiction, and by means of that I hoped I should gain my point. I was persuaded that if I had come upon him with a direct proposal, "Sir, will you dine in company with Jack Wilkes?" he would have flown into a passion, and would probably have answered, "Dine with Jack Wilkes, Sir! I'd as soon dine with Jack Ketch." I, therefore, while we were sitting quietly by ourselves at his house in an evening, took occasion to open my plan thus: "Mr. Dilly, Sir, sends his respectful compliments to you, and would be happy if you would do him the honor to dine with him on Wednesday next along with me, as I must soon go to Scotland." Johnson. "Sir, I am obliged to Mr. Dilly. I will wait upon him." Boswell. "Provided, Sir, I suppose, that the company which he is to have is agreeable to you?" Johnson. "What do you mean, Sir? What do you take me for? Do you think I am so ignorant of the world as to imagine that I am to prescribe to a gentleman what company he is to have at his table?" Boswell. "I beg your pardon, Sir, for wishing to prevent you from meeting people whom you might not like. Perhaps he may have some of what he calls his patriotic friends with him." Johnson. "Well, Sir, and what then? What care I for his patriotic friends? Poh!" Boswell. "I should not be surprised to find Jack Wilkes there." Johnson. "And if Jack[136] Wilkes should be there, what is that to me, Sir? My dear friend, let us have no more of this. I am sorry to be angry with you; but really it is treating me strangely to talk to me as if I could not meet any company whatever, occasionally." Boswell. "Pray forgive me, Sir, I meant well. But you shall meet whoever comes, for me." Thus I secured him, and told Dilly that he would find him very well pleased to be one of his guests on the day appointed.

Upon the much expected Wednesday, I called on him about half an hour before dinner, as I often did when we were to dine out together, to see that he was ready in time, and to accompany him. I found him buffeting his books, as upon a former occasion, covered with dust, and making no preparation for going abroad. "How is this, Sir?" said I. "Don't you recollect that you are to dine at Mr. Dilly's?" Johnson. "Sir, I did not think of going to Dilly's; it went out of my head. I have ordered dinner at home with Mrs. Williams." Boswell. "But, my dear Sir, you know you were engaged to Mr. Dilly, and I told him so. He will expect you, and will be much disappointed if you don't come." Johnson. "You must talk to Mrs Williams about this."

Here was a sad dilemma. I feared that what I was so confident I had secured would yet be frustrated. He had accustomed himself to show Mrs. Williams such a degree of humane attention, as frequently imposed some restraint upon him; and I knew that if she should be obstinate, he would not stir. I hastened down stairs to the blind lady's room, and told her I was in great uneasiness, for Dr. Johnson had engaged to me to dine this day at Mr. Dilly's, but that he had told me he had forgotten his engagement, and had ordered dinner at home.[137] "Yes, Sir," said she, pretty peevishly, "Dr. Johnson is to dine at home." "Madam," said I, "his respect for you is such, that I know he will not leave you, unless you absolutely desire it. But as you have so much of his company, I hope you will be good enough to forego it for a day, as Mr. Dilly is a very worthy man, has frequently had agreeable parties at his house for Dr. Johnson, and will be vexed if the Doctor neglects him to-day. And then, Madam, be pleased to consider my situation; I carried the message, and I assured Mr. Dilly that Dr. Johnson was to come; and no doubt he has made a dinner, and invited a company, and boasted of the honor he expected to have. I shall be quite disgraced if the Doctor is not there." She gradually softened to my solicitations, which were certainly as earnest as most entreaties to ladies upon any occasion, and was graciously pleased to empower me to tell Dr. Johnson, "That all things considered, she thought he should certainly go." I flew back to him, still in dust, and careless of what should be the event, "indifferent in his choice to go or stay"; but as soon as I had announced to him Mrs. Williams's consent, he roared, "Frank, a clean shirt," and was very soon dressed. When I had him fairly seated in a hackney-coach with me, I exulted as much as a fortune-hunter who has got an heiress into a post-chaise with him to set out for Gretna Green.

When we entered Mr. Dilly's drawing room, he found himself in the midst of a company he did not know. I kept myself snug and silent, watching how he would conduct himself. I observed him whispering to Mr. Dilly, "Who is that gentleman, Sir?""Mr. Arthur Lee." Johnson. "Too, too, too" (under his breath), which was one of his habitual mutterings. Mr. Arthur Lee could[138] not but be very obnoxious to Johnson, for he was not only a patriot, but an American. He was afterwards minister from the United States at the court of Madrid. "And who is the gentleman in lace?""Mr. Wilkes, Sir." This information confounded him still more; he had some difficulty to restrain himself, and, taking up a book, sat down upon a window-seat and read, or at least kept his eye upon it intently for some time, till he composed himself. His feelings, I dare say, were awkward enough. But he had no doubt recollected his having rated me for supposing that he could be at all disconcerted by any company, and he, therefore, resolutely set himself to behave quite as an easy man of the world, who could adapt himself at once to the disposition and manners of those whom he might chance to meet.

The cheering sound of "Dinner is upon the table," dissolved his reverie, and we all sat down without any symptoms of ill humor.... Mr. Wilkes placed himself next to Dr. Johnson, and behaved to him with so much attention and politeness, that he gained upon him insensibly. No man ate more heartily than Johnson, or loved better what was nice and delicate. Mr. Wilkes was very assiduous in helping him to some fine veal. "Pray give me leave, SirIt is better hereA little of the brownSome fat, SirA little of the stuffingSome gravyLet me have the pleasure of giving you some butterAllow me to recommend a squeeze of this orange; or the lemon, perhaps may have more zest""Sir; sir, I am obliged to you, Sir," cried Johnson, bowing, and turning his head to him with a look for some time of "surly virtue," but, in a short while of complacency.

Foote being mentioned, Johnson said, "He is not a[139] good mimic." One of the company added, "A merry-andrew, a buffoon." Johnson. "But he has wit too, and is not deficient in ideas, or in fertility and variety of imagery, and not empty of reading; he has knowledge enough to fill up his part. One species of wit he has in an eminent degree, that of escape. You drive him into a corner with both hands; but he is gone, Sir, when you think you have got himlike an animal that jumps over your head. Then he has a great range for wit; he never lets truth stand between him and the jest, and he is sometimes mighty coarse. Garrick is under many restraints from which Foote is free." Wilkes. "Garrick's wit is more like Lord Chesterfield's." Johnson. "The first time I was in company with Foote was at Fitzherbert's. Having no good opinion of the fellow, I was resolved not to be pleased; and it is very difficult to please a man against his will. I went on eating my dinner pretty sullenly, affecting not to mind him. But the dog was so very comical, that I was obliged to lay down my knife and fork, throw myself back in my chair, and fairly laugh it out. No, Sir, he was irresistible. He upon one occasion experienced, in an extraordinary degree, the efficacy of his powers of entertaining. Amongst the many and various modes which he tried of getting money, he became a partner with a small-beer brewer, and he was to have a share of the profits for procuring customers amongst his numerous acquaintance. Fitzherbert was one who took his small-beer, but it was so bad that the servants resolved not to drink it. They were at some loss how to notify their resolution, being afraid of offending their master, who, they knew, liked Foote much as a companion. At last they fixed upon a little black boy, who was rather a favorite, to be[140] their deputy, and deliver their remonstrance; and, having invested him with the sole authority of the kitchen, he was to inform Mr. Fitzherbert, in all their names, upon a certain day, that they would drink Foote's small-beer no longer. On that day Foote happened to dine at Fitzherbert's, and this boy served at table; he was so delighted with Foote's stories, and merriment, and grimace, that when he went down stairs, he told them, 'This is the finest man I have ever seen. I will not deliver your message. I will drink his small-beer.'"

... Mr. Wilkes remarked, that "among all the bold flights of Shakespeare's imagination, the boldest was making Birnam-wood march to Dunsinane; creating a wood where there never was a shrub; a wood in Scotland! ha! ha! ha!" And he also observed, that "the clannish slavery of the Highlands of Scotland was the single exception to Milton's remark of 'the mountain nymph, sweet Liberty,' being worshipped in all hilly countries." "When I was at Inverary," said he, "on a visit to my old friend Archibald, Duke of Argyle, his dependents congratulated me on being such a favorite of his Grace. I said, 'It is, then, gentlemen, truly lucky for me; for if I had displeased the Duke, and he had wished it, there is not a Campbell among you but would have been ready to bring John Wilkes's head to him in a charger. It would have been only

"'Off with his head! so much for Aylesbury.'

"I was then member for Aylesbury."

... Mr. Arthur Lee mentioned some Scotch who had taken possession of a barren part of America, and wondered why they should choose it. Johnson. "Why, Sir, all barrenness is comparative. The Scotch would not[141] know it to be barren." Boswell. "Come, come, he is flattering the English. You have now been in Scotland, Sir, and say if you did not see meat and drink enough there." Johnson. "Why, yes, Sir; meat and drink enough to give the inhabitants sufficient strength to run away from home." All these quick and lively sallies were said sportively, quite in jest, and with a smile, which showed that he meant only wit. Upon this topic he and Mr. Wilkes could perfectly assimilate; here was a bond of union between them, and I was conscious that as both of them had visited Caledonia, both were fully satisfied of the strange narrow ignorance of those who imagine that it is a land of famine. But they amused themselves with persevering in the old jokes. When I claimed a superiority for Scotland over England in one respect, that no man can be arrested there for a debt merely because another swears it against him; but there must first be the judgment of a court of law ascertaining its justice; and that a seizure of the person, before judgment is obtained, can take place only if his creditor should swear that he is about to fly from the country, or, as it is technically expressed, is in meditatione fugæ;Wilkes. "That, I should think, may be safely sworn of all the Scotch nation." Johnson (to Mr. Wilkes). "You must know, Sir, I lately took my friend Boswell, and showed him genuine civilized life in an English provincial town. I turned him loose at Lichfield, my native city, that he might see for once real civility; for you know he lives among savages in Scotland and among rakes in London." Wilkes. "Except when he is with grave, sober, decent people, like you and me." Johnson (smiling). "And we ashamed of him."

... This record, though by no means so perfect as I[142] could wish, will serve to give a notion of a very curious interview, which was not only pleasing at the time, but had the agreeable and benignant effect of reconciling any animosity, and sweetening any acidity, which, in the various bustle of political contest, had been produced in the minds of two men, who, though widely different, had so many things in commonclassical learning, modern literature, wit and humor, and ready reparteethat it would have been much to be regretted if they had been forever at a distance from each other.

Mr. Burke gave me much credit for this successful negotiation; and pleasantly said, "that there was nothing equal to it in the whole history of the corps diplomatique."

I attended Dr. Johnson home, and had the satisfaction to hear him tell Mrs. Williams how much he had been pleased with Mr. Wilkes's company, and what an agreeable day he had passed.


[E] Johnson's dislike of Mr. Wilkes was so great that it extended even to his connections. He happened to dine one day at Sir Joshua Reynolds's with a large and distinguished company, amongst whom were Mr. Wilkes's brother, Israel, and his lady. In the course of conversation, Mr. Israel Wilkes was about to make some remark, when Johnson suddenly stopped him with, "I hope, sir, what you are going to say may be better worth hearing than what you have already said." This rudeness shocked and spread a gloom over the whole party, particularly as Mr. Israel Wilkes was a gentleman of a very amiable character and of refined taste, and, what Dr. Johnson little suspected, a very loyal subject. Johnson afterwards owned to me that he was very sorry that he had "snubbed Wilkes, as his wife was present." I replied, that he should be sorry for many reasons. "No," said Johnson, who was very reluctant to apologize for offences of this nature; "no, I only regret it because his wife was by." I believe that he had no kind of motive for this incivility to Mr. Israel Wilkes but disgust at his brother's political principles.

Miss Reynolds's Recollections


Edward Gibbon.1737-1794.

From The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

In the second century of the Christian era, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valor. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants[143] enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines.

The principal conquests of the Romans were achieved under the republic; and the emperors, for the most part, were satisfied with preserving those dominions which had been acquired by the policy of the senate, the active emulation of the consuls, and the martial enthusiasm of the people. The seven first centuries were filled with a rapid succession of triumphs; but it was reserved for Augustus to relinquish the ambitious design of subduing the whole earth, and to introduce a spirit of moderation into the public councils. Inclined to peace by his temper and situation, it was easy for him to discover that Rome, in her present exalted situation, had much less to hope than to fear from the chance of arms; and that, in the prosecution of remote wars, the undertaking became every day more difficult, the event more doubtful, and the possession more precarious and less beneficial. The experience of Augustus added weight to these salutary reflections, and effectually convinced him that, by the prudent vigor of his counsels, it would be easy to secure every concession which the safety or the dignity of Rome might require from the most formidable barbarians. Instead of exposing his person and his legions to the arrows of the Parthians, he obtained, by an honorable treaty, the restitution of the standards and prisoners which had been taken in the defeat of Crassus.[144]

His generals, in the early part of his reign, attempted the reduction of Æthiopia and Arabia Felix. They marched near a thousand miles to the south of the tropic; but the heat of the climate soon repelled the invaders, and protected the unwarlike natives of those sequestered regions. The northern countries of Europe scarcely deserved the expense and labor of conquest. The forests and morasses of Germany were filled with a hardy race of barbarians, who despised life when it was separated from freedom; and though, on the first attack, they seemed to yield to the weight of the Roman power, they soon, by a signal act of despair, regained their independence, and reminded Augustus of the vicissitude of fortune. On the death of that emperor, his testament was publicly read in the senate. He bequeathed, as a valuable legacy to his successors, the advice of confining the empire within those limits which nature seemed to have placed as its permanent bulwarks and boundaries: on the west the Atlantic Ocean; the Rhine and Danube on the north; the Euphrates on the east; and towards the south, the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa.

Happily for the repose of mankind, the moderate system recommended by the wisdom of Augustus was adopted by the fears and vices of his immediate successors. Engaged in the pursuit of pleasure, or in the exercise of tyranny, the first Cæsars seldom showed themselves to the armies or to the provinces; nor were they disposed to suffer that those triumphs which their indolence neglected should be usurped by the conduct and valor of their lieutenants. The military fame of a subject was considered as an insolent invasion of the imperial prerogative; and it became the duty, as well as interest, of every Roman general to guard the frontiers intrusted[145] to his care, without aspiring to conquests which might have proved no less fatal to himself than to the vanquished barbarians.

The only accession which the Roman empire received during the first century of the Christian era was the province of Britain. In this single instance the successors of Cæsar and Augustus were persuaded to follow the example of the former, rather than the precept of the latter. The proximity of its situation to the coast of Gaul seemed to invite their arms; the pleasing, though doubtful, intelligence of a pearl-fishery attracted their avarice; and as Britain was viewed in the light of a distinct and insulated world, the conquest scarcely formed any exception to the general system of continental measures. After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the most stupid, maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated by the most timid of all the emperors, the far greater part of the island submitted to the Roman yoke. The various tribes of Britons possessed valor without conduct, and the love of freedom without the spirit of union. They took up arms with savage fierceness; they laid them down, or turned them against each other, with wild inconstancy; and while they fought singly, they were successively subdued. Neither the fortitude of Caractacus, nor the despair of Boadicea, nor the fanaticism of the Druids, could avert the slavery of their country, or resist the steady progress of the imperial generals, who maintained the national glory, when the throne was disgraced by the weakest or the most vicious of mankind. At the very time when Domitian, confined to his palace, felt the terrors which he inspired, his legions, under the command of the virtuous Agricola, defeated the collected force of the Cale[146]donians at the foot of the Grampian hills; and his fleets, venturing to explore an unknown and dangerous navigation, displayed the Roman arms round every part of the island. The conquest of Britain was considered as already achieved; and it was the design of Agricola to complete and insure his success by the easy reduction of Ireland, for which, in his opinion, one legion and a few auxiliaries were sufficient. The western isle might be improved into a valuable possession, and the Britons would wear their chains with the less reluctance, if the prospect and example of freedom was on every side removed from before their eyes.

But the superior merit of Agricola soon occasioned his removal from the government of Britain; and forever disappointed this rational, though extensive, scheme of conquest. Before his departure the prudent general had provided for security as well as for dominion. He had observed that the island is almost divided into two unequal parts by the opposite gulfs, or, as they are now called, the Friths of Scotland. Across the narrow interval of about forty miles he had drawn a line of military stations, which was afterwards fortified, in the reign of Antoninus Pius, by a turf rampart, erected on foundations of stone. This wall of Antoninus, at a small distance beyond the modern cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, was fixed as the limit of the Roman province. The native Caledonians preserved, in the northern extremity of the island, their wild independence, for which they were not less indebted to their poverty than to their valor. Their incursions were frequently repelled and chastised, but their country was never subdued. The masters of the fairest and most wealthy climates of the globe turned with contempt from gloomy hills assailed by the winter[147] tempest, from lakes concealed in a blue mist, and from cold and lonely heaths, over which the deer of the forest were chased by a troop of naked barbarians.

Such was the state of the Roman frontiers, and such the maxims of imperial policy, from the death of Augustus to the accession of Trajan.


Edmund Burke.1729-1797.

In one thing I can excuse the Duke of Bedford for his attack upon me and my mortuary pension: He cannot readily comprehend the transaction he condemns. What I have obtained was the fruit of no bargain, the production of no intrigue, the result of no compromise, the effect of no solicitation. The first suggestion of it never came from me, mediately or immediately, to his Majesty or any of his ministers. It was long known that the instant my engagements would permit it, and before the heaviest of all calamities had forever condemned me to obscurity and sorrow, I had resolved on a total retreat. I had executed that design. I was entirely out of the way of serving or of hurting any statesman or any party, when the ministers so generously and so nobly carried into effect the spontaneous bounty of the crown. Both descriptions have acted as became them. When I[148] could no longer serve them, the ministers have considered my situation. When I could no longer hurt them, the revolutionists have trampled on my infirmity. My gratitude, I trust, is equal to the manner in which the benefit was conferred. It came to me, indeed, at a time of life, and in a state of mind and body, in which no circumstance of fortune could afford me any real pleasure. But this was no fault in the royal donor, or in his ministers, who were pleased, in acknowledging the merits of an invalid servant of the public, to assuage the sorrows of a desolate old man....

I was not like his Grace of Bedford, swaddled, and rocked, and dandled into a legislator: "Nitor in adversum" is the motto for a man like me. I possessed not one of the qualities, nor cultivated one of the arts, that recommend men to the favor and protection of the great. I was not made for a minion or a tool. As little did I follow the trade of winning the hearts by imposing on the understandings of the people. At every step of my progress in lifefor in every step was I traversed and opposedand at every turnpike I met, I was obliged to shew my passport, and again and again to prove my sole title to the honor of being useful to my country, by a proof that I was not wholly unacquainted with its laws, and the whole system of its interests both abroad and at home. Otherwise, no rank, no toleration even, for me. I had no arts but manly arts. On them I have stood, and, please God, in spite of the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Lauderdale, to the last gasp will I stand....

The Duke of Bedford conceives that he is obliged to call the attention of the House of Peers to his Majesty's grant to me, which he considers as excessive and out of all bounds.[149]

I know not how it has happened, but it really seems, that, whilst his Grace was meditating his well-considered censure upon me, he fell into a sort of sleep. Homer nods, and the Duke of Bedford may dream; and as dreamseven his golden dreamsare apt to be ill-pieced and incongruously put together, his Grace preserved his idea of reproach to me, but took the subject-matter from the crown grants to his own family. This is "the stuff of which his dreams are made." In that way of putting things together, his Grace is perfectly in the right. The grants to the house of Russell were so enormous, as not only to outrage economy, but even to stagger credibility. The Duke of Bedford is the leviathan among all the creatures of the crown. He tumbles about his unwieldy bulk; he plays and frolics in the ocean of the royal bounty. Huge as he is, and whilst "he lies floating many a rood," he is still a creature. His ribs, his fins, his whalebone, his blubber, the very spiracles through which he spouts a torrent of brine against his origin, and covers me all over with the sprayeverything of him and about him is from the throne. Is it for him to question the dispensation of the royal favor?

I really am at a loss to draw any sort of parallel between the public merits of his Grace, by which he justifies the grants he holds, and these services of mine, on the favorable construction of which I have obtained what his Grace so much disapproves. In private life I have not at all the honor of acquaintance with the noble Duke; but I ought to presume, and it costs me nothing to do so, that he abundantly deserves the esteem and love of all who live with him. But as to public service, why, truly, it would not be more ridiculous for me to compare myself, in rank, in fortune, in splendid descent,[150] in youth, strength, or figure, with the Duke of Bedford, than to make a parallel between his services and my attempts to be useful to my country. It would not be gross adulation, but uncivil irony, to say that he has any public merit of his own to keep alive the idea of the services by which his vast landed pensions were obtained. My merits, whatever they are, are original and personal: his are derivative. It is his ancestor, the original pensioner, that has laid up this inexhaustible fund of merit, which makes his Grace so very delicate and exceptious about the merit of all other grantees of the crown. Had he permitted me to remain in quiet, I should have said: "'Tis his estate; that's enough. It is his by law; what have I to do with it or its history?" He would naturally have said on his side: "'Tis this man's fortune. He is as good now as my ancestor was two hundred and fifty years ago. I am a young man with very old pensions: he is an old man with very young pensionsthat's all."

Why will his Grace, by attacking me, force me reluctantly to compare my little merit with that which obtained from the crown those prodigies of profuse donation by which he tramples on the mediocrity of humble and laborious individuals?... Since the new grantees have war made on them by the old, and that the word of the sovereign is not to be taken, let us turn our eyes to history, in which great men have always a pleasure in contemplating the heroic origin of their house.

The first peer of the name, the first purchaser of the grants, was a Mr. Russell, a person of an ancient gentleman's family, raised by being a minion of Henry the Eighth. As there generally is some resemblance of[151] character to create these relations, the favorite was in all likelihood much such another as his master. The first of those immoderate grants was not taken from the ancient demesne of the crown, but from the recent confiscation of the ancient nobility of the land. The lion, having sucked the blood of his prey, threw the offal carcass to the jackal in waiting. Having tasted once the food of confiscation, the favorites became fierce and ravenous. This worthy favorite's first grant was from the lay nobility. The second, infinitely improving on the enormity of the first, was from the plunder of the church. In truth, his Grace is somewhat excusable for his dislike to a grant like mine, not only in its quantity, but in its kind, so different from his own.

Mine was from a mild and benevolent sovereign: his, from Henry the Eighth. Mine had not its fund in the murder of any innocent person of illustrious rank, or in the pillage of any body of unoffending men: his grants were from the aggregate and consolidated funds of judgments iniquitously legal, and from possessions voluntarily surrendered by the lawful proprietors with the gibbet at their door.

The merit of the grantee whom he derives from, was that of being a prompt and greedy instrument of a levelling tyrant, who oppressed all descriptions of his people, but who fell with particular fury on everything that was great and noble. Mine has been in endeavoring to screen every man, in every class, from oppression, and particularly in defending the high and eminent, who, in the bad times of confiscating princes, confiscating chief-governors, or confiscating demagogues, are the most exposed to jealousy, avarice, and envy.

The merit of the original grantee of his Grace's pen[152]sions was in giving his hand to the work, and partaking the spoil with a prince who plundered a part of the national church of his time and country. Mine was in defending the whole of the national church of my own time and my own country, and the whole of the national churches of all countries, from the principles and the examples which lead to ecclesiastical pillage, thence to a contempt of all prescriptive titles, thence to the pillage of all property, and thence to universal desolation.

The merit of the origin of his Grace's fortune was in being a favorite and chief adviser to a prince who left no liberty to his native country. My endeavor was to obtain liberty for the municipal country in which I was born, and for all descriptions and denominations in it. Mine was to support, with unrelaxing vigilance, every right, every privilege, every franchise, in this my adopted, my dearer, and more comprehensive country; and not only to preserve those rights in this chief seat of empire, but in every nation, in every land, in every climate, language, and religion, in the vast domain that still is under the protection, and the larger that was once under the protection, of the British crown.

His founder's merits were, by arts in which he served his master and made his fortune, to bring poverty, wretchedness, and depopulation on his country. Mine were under a benevolent prince, in promoting the commerce, manufactures, and agriculture of his kingdom.

His founder's merit was the merit of a gentleman raised by the arts of a court and the protection of a Wolsey to the eminence of a great and potent lord. His merit in that eminence was, by instigating a tyrant to injustice, to provoke a people to rebellion. My merit was, to awaken the sober part of the country, that they[153] might put themselves on their guard against any one potent lord, or any greater number of potent lords, or any combination of great leading men of any sort, if ever they should attempt to proceed in the same courses, but in the reverse order,that is, by instigating a corrupted populace to rebellion, and, through that rebellion, introducing a tyranny yet worse than the tyranny which his Grace's ancestor supported, and of which he profited in the manner we behold in the despotism of Henry the Eighth.

The political merit of the first pensioner of his Grace's house was that of being concerned as a counsellor of state in advising, and in his person executing, the conditions of a dishonorable peace with France,the surrendering of the fortress of Boulogne, then our outguard on the Continent. By that surrender, Calais, the key of France, and the bridle in the mouth of that power, was not many years afterwards finally lost. My merit has been in resisting the power and pride of France, under any form of its rule; but in opposing it with the greatest zeal and earnestness, when that rule appeared in the worst form it could assume,the worst, indeed, which the prime cause and principle of all evil could possibly give it. It was my endeavor by every means to excite a spirit in the House, where I had the honor of a seat, for carrying on with early vigor and decision the most clearly just and necessary war that this or any nation ever carried on, in order to save my country from the iron yoke of its power, and from the more dreadful contagion of its principles,to preserve, while they can be preserved, pure and untainted, the ancient, inbred integrity, piety, good-nature, and good-humor of the people of England, from the dreadful pestilence which,[154] beginning in France, threatens to lay waste the whole moral and in a great degree the whole physical world, having done both in the focus of its most intense malignity.

The labors of his Grace's founder merited the "curses, not loud, but deep," of the Commons of England, on whom he and his master had effected a complete Parliamentary Reform, by making them, in their slavery and humiliation, the true and adequate representatives of a debased, degraded, and undone people. My merits were in having had an active, though not always an ostentatious share, in every one act, without exception, of undisputed constitutional utility in my time, and in having supported, on all occasions, the authority, the efficiency, and the privileges of the Commons of Great Britain. I ended my services by a recorded and fully reasoned assertion on their own journals of their constitutional rights, and a vindication of their constitutional conduct. I labored in all things to merit their inward approbation, and (along with the assistants of the largest, the greatest, and best of my endeavors) I received their free, unbiased, public, and solemn thanks.

Thus stands the account of the comparative merits of the crown grants which compose the Duke of Bedford's fortune, as balanced against mine.


[F] From "A Letter to a Noble Lord, on the attacks made upon Mr. Burke and his Pension, in the House of Lords, by the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Lauderdale, early in the Present Session of Parliament." 1796.

England, with all thy faults, I love thee still,
My country! and, while yet a nook is left
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrain'd to love thee. Though thy clime
Be fickle, and thy year, most part, deform'd
With dripping rains, or wither'd by a frost,
I would not yet exchange thy sullen skies
And fields without a flower, for warmer France
With all her vines.

Cowper.The Timepiece.



William Cowper.1731-1800.

From letters to the Rev. John Newton.

Nov. 17th, 1783.

... Since our conflagration here, we have sent two women and a boy to the justice, for depredation; S. R. for stealing a piece of beef, which, in her excuse, she said she intended to take care of. This lady, whom you well remember, escaped for want of evidence; not that evidence was wanting, but our men of Gotham judged it unnecessary to send it. With her went the woman I mentioned before, who, it seems, has made some sort of profession, but upon this occasion allowed herself a latitude of conduct rather inconsistent with it, having filled her apron with wearing-apparel, which she likewise intended to take care of. She would have gone to the county gaol, had William Raban, the baker's son, who prosecuted, insisted upon it; but he, good-naturedly, though I think weakly, interposed in her favor, and begged her off. The young gentleman who accompanied these fair ones is the junior son of Molly Boswell. He had stolen some iron-work, the property of Griggs the butcher. Being convicted, he was ordered to be whipped, which operation he underwent at the cart's tail, from the stone-house to the high arch, and back again. He seemed to show great fortitude, but it was all an imposition upon the public. The beadle, who performed it, had filled his left hand with yellow ochre, through which, after every stroke, he drew the lash of his whip, leaving the appearance of a wound upon the skin, but in reality not hurting him at all.[156] This being perceived by Mr. Constable H., who followed the beadle, he applied his cane, without any such management or precaution, to the shoulders of the too merciful executioner. The scene immediately became more interesting. The beadle could by no means be prevailed upon to strike hard, which provoked the constable to strike harder; and this double flogging continued, till a lass of Silver-End, pitying the pitiful beadle thus suffering under the hands of the pitiless constable, joined the procession, and placing herself immediately behind the latter, seized him by his capillary club, and pulling him backwards by the same, slapped his face with a most Amazon fury. This concatenation of events has taken up more of my paper than I intended it should, but I could not forbear to inform you how the beadle thrashed the thief, the constable the beadle, and the lady the constable, and how the thief was the only person concerned who suffered nothing.

March 29th, 1784.

It being his Majesty's pleasure, that I should yet have another opportunity to write before he dissolves the Parliament, I avail myself of it with all possible alacrity. I thank you for your last, which was not the less welcome for coming, like an extraordinary gazette, at a time when it was not expected.

As when the sea is uncommonly agitated, the water finds its way into creeks and holes of rocks, which in its calmer state it never reaches, in like manner the effect of these turbulent times is felt even at Orchard Side, where in general we live as undisturbed by the political element as shrimps or cockles that have been accidentally deposited in some hollow beyond the water-mark, by the[157] usual dashing of the waves. We were sitting yesterday after dinner, the two ladies and myself, very composedly, and without the least apprehension of any such intrusion in our snug parlor, one lady knitting, the other netting, and the gentleman winding worsted, when to our unspeakable surprise a mob appeared before the window; a smart rap was heard at the door, the boys bellowed, and the maid announced Mr. Grenville. Puss was unfortunately let out of her box, so that the candidate, with all his good friends at his heels, was refused admittance at the grand entry, and referred to the back door, as the only possible way of approach.

Candidates are creatures not very susceptible of affronts, and would rather, I suppose, climb in at the window, than be absolutely excluded. In a minute, the yard, the kitchen, and the parlor were filled. Mr. Grenville, advancing toward me, shook me by the hand with a degree of cordiality that was extremely seducing. As soon as he, and as many more as could find chairs, were seated, he began to open the intent of his visit. I told him I had no vote, for which he readily gave me credit. I assured him I had no influence, which he was not equally inclined to believe, and the less, no doubt, because Mr. Ashburner, the draper, addressing himself to me at this moment, informed me that I had a great deal. Supposing that I could not be possessed of such a treasure without knowing it, I ventured to affirm my first assertion, by saying, that if I had any I was utterly at a loss to imagine where it could be, or wherein it consisted. Thus ended the conference. Mr. Grenville squeezed me by the hand again, kissed the ladies, and withdrew. He kissed likewise the maid in the kitchen, and seemed upon the whole a most loving, kissing, kind-hearted[158] gentleman. He is very young, genteel, and handsome. He has a pair of very good eyes in his head, which not being sufficient, as it should seem, for the many nice and difficult purposes of a senator, he has a third also, which he suspended from his buttonhole. The boys halloo'd, the dogs barked, puss scampered, the hero, with his long train of obsequious followers, withdrew. We made ourselves very merry with the adventure, and in a short time settled into our former tranquillity, never probably to be thus interrupted more. I thought myself, however, happy in being able to affirm truly that I had not that influence for which he sued; and which, had I been possessed of it, with my present views of the dispute between the Crown and the Commons, I must have refused him, for he is on the side of the former. It is comfortable to be of no consequence in a world where one cannot exercise any without disobliging somebody. The town, however, seems to be much at his service, and if he be equally successful throughout the country, he will undoubtedly gain his election. Mr. Ashburner, perhaps, was a little mortified, because it was evident I owed the honor of this visit to his misrepresentation of my importance. But had he thought proper to assure Mr. Grenville that I had three heads, I should not, I suppose, have been bound to produce them....

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.

Cowper.The Winter Evening.



Richard Brinsley Sheridan.1751-1816.

Scene.A Room in Sir Peter Teazle's House.

Enter Sir Peter Teazle.

Sir Pet. When an old bachelor marries a young wife, what is he to expect? 'Tis now six months since Lady Teazle made me the happiest of menand I have been the most miserable dog ever since. We tiffed a little going to church, and fairly quarrelled before the bells had done ringing. I was more than once nearly choked with gall during the honeymoon, and had lost all comfort in life before my friends had done wishing me joy. Yet I chose with cautiona girl bred wholly in the country, who never knew luxury beyond one silk gown, nor dissipation above the annual gala of a race ball. Yet she now plays her part in all the extravagant fopperies of fashion and the town with as ready a grace as if she never had seen a bush or a grass-plot out of Grosvenor Square! I am sneered at by all my acquaintance, and paragraphed in the newspapers. She dissipates my fortune, and contradicts all my humors; yet the worst of it is, I doubt I love her, or I should never bear all this. However, I'll never be weak enough to own it. But I meet with nothing but crosses and vexationsand the fault is entirely hers. I am, myself, the sweetest-tempered man alive, and hate a teasing temper; and so I tell her a hundred times a day.Ay! and what is very[160] extraordinary, in all our disputes she is always in the wrong. But Lady Sneerwell, and the set she meets at her house, encourage the perverseness of her disposition. Then, to complete my vexation, Maria, my ward, whom I ought to have the power of a father over, is determined to turn rebel too, and absolutely refuses the man whom I have long resolved on for her husband

Enter Lady Teazle.

Lady Teazle, Lady Teazle, I'll not bear it!

Lady Teaz. Sir Peter, Sir Peter, you may bear it or not, as you please; but I ought to have my own way in everything, and, what's more, I will too. What! though I was educated in the country, I know very well that women of fashion in London are accountable to nobody after they are married.

Sir Pet. Very well, ma'am, very well; so a husband is to have no influence, no authority?

Lady Teaz. Authority! No, to be sure. If you wanted authority over me, you should have adopted me, and not married me: I am sure you were old enough.

Sir Pet. Old enough!ay, there it is. Well, well, Lady Teazle, though my life may be made unhappy by your temper, I'll not be ruined by your extravagance!

Lady Teaz. My extravagance! I'm sure I'm not more extravagant than a woman of fashion ought to be.

Sir Pet. No, no, madam, you shall throw away no more sums on such unmeaning luxury. Such wastefulness! to spend as much to furnish your dressing-room with flowers in winter as would suffice to turn the Pantheon into a greenhouse, and give a fête champêtre at Christmas.

Lady Teaz. And am I to blame, Sir Peter, because[161] flowers are dear in cold weather? You should find fault with the climate, and not with me. For my part, I'm sure I wish it was spring all the year round, and that roses grew under our feet.

Sir Pet. Oons! madamif you had been born to this, I shouldn't wonder at your talking thus; but you forget what your situation was when I married you.

Lady Teaz. No, no, I don't; 'twas a very disagreeable one, or I should never have married you.

Sir Pet. Yes, yes, madam, you were then in somewhat a humbler stylethe daughter of a plain country squire. Recollect, Lady Teazle, when I saw you first sitting at your tambour, in a pretty figured linen gown, with a bunch of keys at your side, your hair combed smooth over a roll, and your apartment hung round with fruits in worsted, of your own working.

Lady Teaz. Oh, yes! I remember it very well, and a curious life I led. My daily occupationto inspect the dairy, superintend the poultry, make extracts from the family receipt-book, and comb my aunt Deborah's lap-dog.

Sir Pet. Yes, yes, ma'am, 'twas so indeed.

Lady Teaz. And then you know my evening amusements! To draw patterns for ruffles, which I had not materials to make up; to play Pope Joan with the curate; to read a sermon to my aunt; or to be stuck down to an old spinet to strum my father to sleep after a fox-chase.

Sir Pet. I am glad you have so good a memory. Yes, madam, these were the recreations I took you from; but now you must have your coachvis-à-visand three powdered footmen before your chair; and, in the summer, a pair of white cats to draw you to Kensington Gardens.[162] No recollection, I suppose, when you were content to ride double, behind the butler, on a docked coach-horse.

Lady Teaz. NoI vow I never did that: I deny the butler and the coach-horse.

Sir Pet. This, madam, was your situation; and what have I done for you? I have made you a woman of fashion, of fortune, of rankin short, I have made you my wife.

Lady Teaz. Well, then, and there is but one thing more you can make me to add to the obligation, that is——

Sir Pet. My widow, I suppose?

Lady Teaz. Hem! hem!

Sir Pet. I thank you, madambut don't flatter yourself; for, though your ill conduct may disturb my peace of mind, it shall never break my heart, I promise you: however, I am equally obliged to you for the hint.

Lady Teaz. Then why will you endeavor to make yourself so disagreeable to me, and thwart me in every little elegant expense?

Sir Pet. Madam, I say, had you any of these little elegant expenses when you married me?

Lady Teaz. Sir Peter! would you have me be out of the fashion?

Sir Pet. The fashion, indeed! what had you to do with the fashion before you married me?

Lady Teaz. For my part, I should think you would like to have your wife thought a woman of taste.

Sir Pet. Aythere againtaste! Zounds! madam, you had no taste when you married me!

Lady Teaz. That's very true, indeed, Sir Peter! and after having married you, I should never pretend to taste again, I allow. But now, Sir Peter, since we have[163] finished our daily jangle, I presume I may go to my engagement at Lady Sneerwell's.

Sir Pet. Ay, there's another precious circumstancea charming set of acquaintances you have made there!

Lady Teaz. Nay, Sir Peter, they are all people of rank and fortune, and remarkably tenacious of reputation.

Sir Pet. Yes, they are tenacious of reputation with a vengeance; for they don't choose anybody should have a character but themselves! Such a crew! Ah! many a wretch has rid on a hurdle who has done less mischief than these utterers of forged tales; coiners of scandal, and clippers of reputation.

Lady Teaz. What, would you restrain the freedom of speech?

Sir Pet. Ah! they have made you just as bad as any one of the society.

Lady Teaz. Why, I believe I do bear a part with a tolerable grace.

Sir Pet. Grace, indeed!

Lady Teaz. But I vow I bear no malice against the people I abuse; when I say an ill-natured thing, 'tis out of pure good humor; and I take it for granted they deal exactly in the same manner with me. But, Sir Peter, you know you promised to come to Lady Sneerwell's too.

Sir Pet. Well, well, I'll call in, just to look after my own character.

Lady Teaz. Then, indeed, you must make haste after me, or you'll be too late. So good-bye to ye.

Sir Pet. SoI have gained much by my intended expostulation! Yet with what a charming air she contradicts everything I say; and how pleasantly she shows her contempt for my authority! Well, though I can't make her love me; there is great satisfaction in quarrel[164]ling with her; and I think she never appears to such advantage as when she is doing everything in her power to plague me.

Scene.A room in Lady Sneerwell's House.

Lady Sneerwell, Mrs. Candour, Crabtree, Sir Benjamin Backbite, and Joseph Surface, discovered.

Enter Lady Teazle and Maria.

Lady Sneer. Lady Teazle, I hope we shall see Sir Peter?

Lady Teaz. I believe he'll wait on your ladyship presently.

Lady Sneer. Maria, my love, you look grave. Come, you shall sit down to piquet with Mr. Surface.

Mar. I take very little pleasure in cardshowever, I'll do as your ladyship pleases.

Mrs. Can. Now I'll die; but you are so scandalous, I'll forswear your society.

Lady Teaz. What's the matter, Mrs. Candour?

Mrs. Can. They'll not allow our friend Miss Vermillion to be handsome.

Lady Sneer. Oh, surely she is a pretty woman.

Crab. I am very glad you think so, ma'am.

Mrs. Can. She has a charming fresh color.

Lady Teaz. Yes, when it is fresh put on.

Mrs. Can. Oh, fie! Her color is natural: I have seen it come and go!

Lady Teaz. I dare say you have, ma'am: it goes off at night, and comes again in the morning.

Sir Ben. True, ma'am, it not only comes and goes; but, what's more, her maid can fetch and carry it!

[165]Mrs. Can. Ha! ha! ha! how I hate to hear you talk so! But surely now, her sister is, or was, very handsome.

Crab. Who? Mrs. Evergreen? Oh! she's six-and-fifty if she's an hour!

Mrs. Can. Now positively you wrong her; fifty-two or fifty-three is the utmostand I don't think she looks more.

Sir Ben. Ah! there's no judging by her looks, unless one could see her face.

Lady Sneer. Well, well, if Mrs. Evergreen does take some pains to repair the ravages of time, you must allow she effects it with great ingenuity; and surely that's better than the careless manner in which the widow Ochre caulks her wrinkles.

Sir Ben. Nay, now, Lady Sneerwell, you are severe upon the widow. Come, come, 'tis not that she paints so illbut, when she has finished her face, she joins it on so badly to her neck, that she looks like a mended statue, in which the connoisseur may see at once that the head is modern, though the trunk's antique.

Crab. Ha! ha! ha! Well said, nephew!

Mrs. Can. Ha! ha! ha! Well, you make me laugh; but I vow I hate you for it. What do you think of Miss Simper?

Sir Ben. Why, she has very pretty teeth.

Lady Teaz. Yes, and on that account, when she is neither speaking nor laughing (which very seldom happens), she never absolutely shuts her mouth, but leaves it always on a-jar, as it werethus.
[Shows her teeth.

Mrs. Can. How can you be so ill-natured?

Lady Teaz. Nay, I allow even that's better than the pains Mrs. Prim takes to conceal her losses in front.[166] She draws her mouth till it positively resembles the aperture of a poor's-box, and all her words appear to slide out edgewise as it werethus: How do you do, madam? Yes, madam.

Lady Sneer. Very well, Lady Teazle; I see you can be a little severe.

Lady Teaz. In defence of a friend it is but justice. But here comes Sir Peter to spoil our pleasantry.

Enter Sir Peter Teazle.

Sir Pet. Ladies, your most obedient.[Aside,] Mercy on me, here is the whole set! a character dead at every word, I suppose.

Mrs. Can. I am rejoiced you are come, Sir Peter. They have been so censoriousand Lady Teazle as bad as any one.

Sir Pet. That must be very distressing to you, indeed, Mrs. Candour.

Mrs. Can. Oh, they will allow good qualities to nobody: not even good nature to our friend Mrs. Pursy.

Lady Teaz. What, the fat dowager who was at Mrs. Quadrille's last night?

Mrs. Can. Nay, her bulk is her misfortune; and, when she takes so much pains to get rid of it, you ought not to reflect on her.

Lady Sneer. That's very true, indeed.

Lady Teaz. Yes, I know she almost lives on acids and small whey; laces herself by pulleys; and often, in the hottest noon in summer, you may see her on a little squat pony, with her hair plaited up behind like a drummer's, and puffing round the ring on a full trot.

Mrs. Can. I thank you, Lady Teazle, for defending her.

Sir Pet. Yes, a good defence, truly.[167]

Mrs. Can. Truly, Lady Teazle is as censorious as Miss Sallow.

Crab. Yes, and she is a curious being to pretend to be censoriousan awkward thing, without any one good point under the sun.

Mrs. Can. Positively you shall not be so very severe. Miss Sallow is a near relation of mine by marriage, and, as for her person, great allowance is to be made; for, let me tell you, a woman labors under many disadvantages who tries to pass for a girl of six-and-thirty.

Lady Sneer. Though, surely, she is handsome stilland for the weakness in her eyes, considering how much she reads by candlelight, it is not to be wondered at.

Mrs. Can. True, and then as to her manner; upon my word I think it is particularly graceful, considering she never had the least education; for you know her mother was a Welsh milliner, and her father a sugar-baker at Bristol.

Sir Ben. Ah! you are both of you too good-natured!

Sir Pet. Yes, distressingly good-natured! This their own relation! Mercy on me!

Mrs. Can. For my part, I own I cannot bear to hear a friend ill-spoken of.

Sir Pet. No, to be sure!

Sir Ben. Oh! you are of a moral turn. Mrs. Candour and I can sit for an hour and hear Lady Stucco talk sentiment.

Lady Teas. Nay, I vow Lady Stucco is very well with the dessert after dinner; for she's just like the French fruit one cracks for mottoesmade up of paint and proverb.

Mrs. Can. Well, I will never join in ridiculing a friend; and so I constantly tell my cousin Ogle, and you all know what pretensions she has to be critical on beauty.[168]

Crab. Oh, to be sure! she has herself the oddest countenance that ever was seen; 'tis a collection of features from all the different countries of the globe.

Sir Ben. So she has, indeedan Irish front——

Crab. Caledonian locks——

Sir Ben. Dutch nose——

Crab. Austrian lips——

Sir Ben. Complexion of a Spaniard——

Crab. And teeth à la Chinoise.

Sir Ben. In short, her face resembles a table d'hôte at Spawhere no two guests are of a nation——

Crab. Or a congress at the close of a general warwherein all the members, even to her eyes, appear to have a different interest, and her nose and chin are the only parties likely to join issue.

Mrs. Can. Ha! ha! ha!

Sir Pet. Mercy on my life!a person they dine with twice a week!

Mrs. Can. Nay, but I vow you shall not carry the laugh off sofor give me leave to say that Mrs. Ogle——

Sir Pet. Madam, madam, I beg your pardonthere's no stopping these good gentlemen's tongues. But when I tell you, Mrs. Candour, that the lady they are abusing is a particular friend of mine, I hope you'll not take her part.

Lady Sneer. Ha! ha! ha! well said, Sir Peter! but you are a cruel creaturetoo phlegmatic yourself for a jest, and too peevish to allow wit in others.

Sir Pet. Ah, madam, true wit is more nearly allied to good nature than your ladyship is aware of.

Lady Teas. True, Sir Peter; I believe they are so near akin that they can never be united.

Sir Ben. Or rather, suppose them man and wife, because one seldom sees them together.

[169]Lady Teaz. But Sir Peter is such an enemy to scandal, I believe he would have it put down by parliament.

Sir Pet. Positively, madam, if they were to consider the sporting with reputation of as much importance as poaching on manors, and pass an act for the preservation of fame, as well as game, I believe many would thank them for the bill.

Lady Sneer. Why! Sir Peter; would you deprive us of our privileges?

Sir Pet. Ay, madam; and then no person should be permitted to kill characters and run down reputations but qualified old maids and disappointed widows.

Lady Sneer. Go, you monster!

Mrs. Can. But, surely, you would not be quite so severe on those who only report what they hear?

Sir Pet. Yes, madam, I would have law merchant for them too; and in all cases of slander currency, whenever the drawer of the lie was not to be found, the injured parties should have a right to come on any of the indorsers.

Crab. Well, for my part, I believe there never was a scandalous tale without some foundation.

Lady Sneer. Come, ladies, shall we sit down to cards in the next room?

Enter Servant, who whispers Sir Peter.

Sir Pet. I'll be with them directly.[Exit Servant.] I'll get away unperceived.

Lady Sneer. Sir Peter, you are not going to leave us?

Sir Pet. Your ladyship must excuse me; I'm called away by particular business. But I leave my character behind me.

[170]Sir Ben. Wellcertainly, Lady Teazle, that lord of yours is a strange being: I could tell you some stories of him would make you laugh heartily if he were not your husband.

Lady Teaz. Oh, pray, don't mind that; come, do let's hear them.

[Exeunt all but Joseph Surface and Maria.

Jos. Surf. Maria, I see you have no satisfaction in this society.

Mar. How is it possible I should? If to raise malicious smiles at the infirmities or misfortunes of those who have never injured us be the province of wit or humor, Heaven grant me a double portion of dulness!

Jos. Surf. Yet they appear more ill-natured than they are; they have no malice at heart.

Mar. Then is their conduct still more contemptible; for, in my opinion, nothing could excuse the intemperance of their tongues but a natural and uncontrollable bitterness of mind.


[G] For the sake of brevity a part of the first scene has been excised. It subsequently appears that Lady Teazle abandons the society of the scandal-mongers, and she and her fond but somewhat irascible husband become happily reconciled.

Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursel's as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
And e'en devotion!

Robert Burns.



Robert Burns.1759-1796.

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.


My lov'd, my honor'd, much respected friend!
No mercenary bard his homage pays;
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end,
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise:
To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene;
The native feelings strong, the guileless ways;
What Aiken in a cottage would have been;
Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there, I ween.

November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;[1]
The short'ning winter-day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
The black'ning trains o' craws to their repose:
The toil-worn Cotter frae his labor goes
This night his weekly moil is at an end,
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
Hoping the morn[2] in ease and rest to spend,
And, weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.

At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
The expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher[3] through,
To meet their dad, wi' flichterin[4] noise an' glee.
[172] His wee bit ingle,[5] blinkin bonnily,
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile,
The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labor an' his toil.

Belyve,[6] the elder bairns come drapping in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun';
Some ca'[7] the pleugh, some herd, some tentie[8] rin
A canny[9] errand to a neebor town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw[10] new gown,
Or deposite[11] her sair-won[12] penny-fee,[13]
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.

Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet
And each for other's welfare kindly spiers:[14]
The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnoticed fleet;
Each tells the uncos[15] that he sees or hears;
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward points the view.
The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,
Gars[16] auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

Their master's an' their mistress's command
The younkers a' are warnèd to obey;
An' mind their labors wi' an eydent[17] hand,
An' ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk[18] or play:
[173]"An' oh! be sure to fear the Lord alway,
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore His counsel and assisting might:
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!"

But, hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
The wily mother sees the conscious flame
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, an' flush her cheek;
Wi' heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his name,
While Jenny hafflins[19] is afraid to speak;
Weel pleas'd the mother hears it's nae wild, worthless rake.

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;[20]
A strappan youth; he taks the mother's eye;
Blithe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;
The father cracks[21] of horses, pleughs, and kye.
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy,
But, blate[22] an' laithfu',[23] scarce can weel behave;
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy
What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae grave;
Weel pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like the lave.[24]

O happy love! where love like this is found!
O heart-felt raptures! bliss beyond compare!
I've pacèd much this weary, mortal round,
And sage experience bids me this declare
"If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,
One cordial in this melancholy vale,
'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale."

[174] Is there, in human form, that bears a heart
A wretch! a villain! lost to love and truth!
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Curse on his perjur'd arts! dissembling smooth!
Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exil'd?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child?
Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild!

But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The halesome parritch, chief of Scotia's food
The soupe[25] their only hawkie[26] does afford,
That 'yont the hallan[27] snugly chows her cood;
The dame brings forth, in complimental mood,
To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd[28] kebbuck,[29] fell,[30]
An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid:
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell
How 'twas a towmond[31] auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.[32]

The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide;
The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace,
The big ha'-Bible,[33] ance his father's pride:
His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside,
His lyart[34] haffets[35] wearing thin an' bare;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales[36] a portion with judicious care;
And "Let us worship God!" he says, with solemn air.

They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim:
[175] Perhaps "Dundee's" wild warbling measures rise,
Or plaintive "Martyrs," worthy of the name;
Or noble "Elgin" beets[37] the heavenward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:
Compar'd with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickled ears no heart-felt raptures raise;
Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.

The priest-like father reads the sacred page
How Abram was the friend of God on high;
Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.

Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
How He, who bore in Heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay His head;
How His first followers and servants sped;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land;
How he, who lone in Patmos banishèd,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand;
And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced by Heaven's command.

Then kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal King,
The saint, the father, and the husband prays:
Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing,"
That thus they all shall meet in future days:
[176] There ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear;
Together hymning their Creator's praise,
In such society, yet still more dear;
While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.

Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method, and of art,
When men display to congregations wide
Devotion's every grace, except the heart!
The Power, incens'd, the pageant will desert,
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
But, haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well pleas'd, the language of the soul;
And in His book of life the inmates poor enroll.

Then homeward all take off their several way:
The youngling cottagers retire to rest;
The parent-pair their secret homage pay,
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request
That He, who stills the raven's clam'rous nest,
And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,
Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,
For them, and for their little ones provide;
But chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine preside.

From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,
That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad:
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings;
"An honest man's the noblest work of God;"
And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road,
The cottage leaves the palace far behind;
What is a lordling's pomp?a cumbrous load,
Disguising oft the wretch of human kind,
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refin'd!

[177] O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent!
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content!
And, oh! may Heaven their simple lives prevent
From luxury's contagion, weak and vile!
Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,
A virtuous populace may rise the while,
And stand a wall of fire around their much-lov'd Isle.

O Thou! who pour'd the patriotic tide
That stream'd through Wallace's undaunted heart;
Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,
Or nobly die, the second glorious part,
(The patriot's God peculiarly Thou art,
His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!)
O never, never, Scotia's realm desert;
But still the patriot, and the patriot-bard,
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard.


[H] Inscribed to R. Aiken, Esq.

[1] Moan. [2] Morrow. [3] Stagger. [4] Fluttering. [5] Fire-place. [6] Presently. [7] Drive, i.e., with shouting or calling. [8] Attentive. [9] Requiring judgment. [10] Brave, fine, handsome. [11] De´posite, for depos´it. [12] Dear-won, hard-earned. [13] Money-wages. [14] Enquires. [15] Unknown things, news. [16] Makes. [17] Diligent. [18] Trifle. [19] Half. [20] In, into the room. [21] Talks. [22] Bashful. [23] Unwilling, shy. [24] What is left, rest. [25] Sup; here, milk. [26] White-faced cow. [27] Partition wall. [28] Carefully kept. [29] Cheese. [30] Tasty. [31] Twelvemonth. [32] Since flax was in flower. [33] Hall-Bible. [34] Grey, greyish. [35] Temples, here temple-locks. [36] Chooses. [37] Feeds, nourishes.


Lady Nairn.1766-1845.

I'm wearin' awa', John,
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, John,
I'm wearin' awa'
To the land o' the leal.
There's nae sorrow there, John;
There's neither cauld nor care, John;
The day is aye fair
In the land o' the leal.

[178] Our bonnie bairn's there, John;
She was baith gude and fair, John;
And oh! we grudg'd her sair
To the land o' the leal.
But sorrow's sel' wears past, John,
And joy's a-comin' fast, John,
The joy that's aye to last
In the land o' the leal.

Sae dear that joy was bought, John,
Sae free the battle fought, John,
That sinfu' man e'er brought
To the land o' the leal.
Oh! dry your glistening e'e, John,
My soul langs to be free, John,
And angels beckon me
To the land o' the leal.

Oh! haud ye leal and true, John,
Your day it's wearin' through, John,
And I'll welcome you
To the land o' the leal.
Now fare-ye weel, my ain John,
This warld's cares are vain, John,
We'll meet, and we'll be fain
In the land o' the leal.

Life! we've been long together,
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear;
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not Good-night, but in some brighter clime
Bid me Good-morning.

Mrs. Barbauld.1743-1825.



From The Talisman.

Sir Walter Scott.1771-1832.

It had been agreed, on account of the heat of the climate, that the judicial combat, which was the cause of the present assemblage of various nations at the Diamond of the Desert, should take place at one hour after sunrise. The wide lists, which had been constructed under the inspection of the Knight of the Leopard, enclosed a space of hard sand, which was one hundred and twenty yards long by forty in width. They extended in length from north to south, so as to give both parties the equal advantage of the rising sun. Saladin's royal seat was erected on the western side of the enclosure, just in the centre, where the combatants were expected to meet in[180] mid encounter. Opposed to this was a gallery with closed casements, so contrived, that the ladies, for whose accommodation it was erected, might see the fight without being themselves exposed to view. At either extremity of the lists was a barrier, which could be opened or shut at pleasure. Thrones had been also erected, but the Archduke, perceiving that his was lower than King Richard's, refused to occupy it; and Cœur de Lion, who would have submitted to much ere any formality should have interfered with the combat, readily agreed that the sponsors, as they were called, should remain on horseback during the fight. At one extremity of the lists were placed the followers of Richard, and opposed to them were those who accompanied the defender, Conrade. Around the throne destined for the Soldan were ranged his splendid Georgian Guards, and the rest of the enclosure was occupied by Christian and Mohammedan spectators.

[181]Long before daybreak, the lists were surrounded by even a larger number of Saracens than Richard had seen on the preceding evening. When the first ray of the sun's glorious orb arose above the desert, the sonorous call, "To prayer, to prayer!" was poured forth by the Soldan himself, and answered by others, whose rank and zeal entitled them to act as muezzins. It was a striking spectacle to see them all sink to earth, for the purpose of repeating their devotions, with their faces turned to Mecca. But when they arose from the ground, the sun's rays, now strengthening fast, seemed to confirm the Lord of Gilsland's conjecture of the night before. They were flashed back from many a spear-head, for the pointless lances of the preceding day were certainly no longer such. De Vaux pointed it out to his master, who answered with impatience, that he had perfect confidence in the good faith of the Soldan; but if De Vaux was afraid of his bulky body, he might retire.

Soon after this the noise of timbrels was heard, at the sound of which the whole Saracen cavaliers threw themselves from their horses, and prostrated themselves, as if for a second morning prayer. This was to give an opportunity to the Queen, with Edith and her attendants, to pass from the pavilion to the gallery intended for them. Fifty guards of Saladin's seraglio escorted them, with naked sabres, whose orders were, to cut to pieces whomsoever, were he prince or peasant, should venture to gaze on the ladies as they passed, or even presume to raise his head until the cessation of the music should make all men aware that they were lodged in their gallery, not to be gazed on by the curious eye.

This superstitious observance of Oriental reverence to the fair sex called forth from Queen Berengaria some[182] criticisms very unfavorable to Saladin and his country. But their den, as the royal fair called it, being securely closed and guarded by their sable attendants, she was under the necessity of contenting herself with seeing, and laying aside for the present the still more exquisite pleasure of being seen.

Meantime the sponsors of both champions went, as was their duty, to see that they were duly armed, and prepared for combat. The Archduke of Austria was in no hurry to perform this part of the ceremony, having had rather an unusually severe debauch upon wine of Schiraz the preceding evening. But the Grand Master of the Temple, more deeply concerned in the event of the combat, was early before the tent of Conrade of Montserrat. To his great surprise, the attendants refused him admittance.

"Do you not know me, ye knaves?" said the Grand Master in great anger.

"We do, most valiant and reverend," answered Conrade's squire; "but even you may not at present enterthe Marquis is about to confess himself."

"Confess himself!" exclaimed the Templar, in a tone where alarm mingled with surprise and scorn"and to whom I pray thee?"

"My master bid me be secret," said the squire; on which the Grand Master pushed past him, and entered the tent almost by force.

The Marquis of Montserrat was kneeling at the feet of the Hermit of Engaddi, and in the act of beginning his confession.

"What means this, Marquis?" said the Grand Master, "up, for shameor, if you must needs confess, am not I here?"

[183]"I have confessed to you too often already," replied Conrade, with a pale cheek and a faltering voice. "For God's sake, Grand Master, begone, and let me unfold my conscience to this holy man."

"In what is he holier than I am?" said the Grand Master."Hermit, prophet, madmansay, if thou darest, in what thou excellest me?"

"Bold and bad man," replied the Hermit, "know that I am like the latticed window, and the divine light passes through to avail others, though alas! it helpeth not me. Thou art like the iron stanchions, which neither receive light themselves, nor communicate it to any one."

"Prate not to me, but depart from this tent," said the Grand Master; "the Marquis shall not confess this morning, unless it be to me, for I part not from his side."

"Is this your pleasure?" said the Hermit to Conrade; "for think not I will obey that proud man, if you continue to desire my assistance."

"Alas!" said Conrade irresolutely, "what would you have me say? Farewell for a whilewe will speak anon."

"O, procrastination!" exclaimed the Hermit, "thou art a soul-murderer!Unhappy man, farewell; not for a while, but until we both shall meetno matter where.And for thee," he added, turning to the Grand Master, "tremble!"

"Tremble!" replied the Templar contemptuously, "I cannot if I would."

The Hermit heard not his answer, having left the tent.

"Come! to this gear hastily," said the Grand Master, "since thou wilt needs go through the foolery.Hark theeI think I know most of thy frailties by heart, so we may omit the detail, which may be somewhat a long[184] one, and begin with the absolution. What signifies counting the spots of dirt that we are about to wash from our hands?"

"Knowing what thou art thyself," said Conrade, "it is blasphemous to speak of pardoning another."

"That is not according to the canon, Lord Marquis," said the Templar; "thou art more scrupulous than orthodox. The absolution of the wicked priest is as effectual as if he were himself a saint; otherwise,God help the poor penitent! What wounded man inquires whether the surgeon that tents his gashes have clean hands or not?Come, shall we to this toy?"

"No," said Conrade, "I will rather die unconfessed than mock the sacrament."

"Come, noble Marquis," said the Templar, "rouse up your courage, and speak not thus. In an hour's time thou shalt stand victorious in the lists, or confess thee in thy helmet, like a valiant knight."

"Alas, Grand Master!" answered Conrade, "all augurs ill for this affair. The strange discovery by the instinct of a dog, the revival of this Scottish knight, who comes into the lists like a spectre,all betokens evil."

"Pshaw!" said the Templar, "I have seen thee bend thy lance boldly against him in sport, and with equal chance of success. Think thou art but in a tournament, and who bears him better in the tilt-yard than thou?Come, squires and armorers, your master must be accoutred for the field."

The attendants entered accordingly, and began to arm the Marquis.

"What morning is without?" said Conrade.

"The sun rises dimly," answered a squire.

"Thou seest, Grand Master," said Conrade, "naught smiles on us."

[185]"Thou wilt fight the more coolly, my son," answered the Templar. "Thank Heaven that hath tempered the sun of Palestine to suit thine occasion."

Thus jested the Grand Master; but his jests had lost their influence on the harassed mind of the Marquis, and, notwithstanding his attempts to seem gay, his gloom communicated itself to the Templar.

"This craven," he thought, "will lose the day in pure faintness and cowardice of heart, which he calls tender conscience. I, whom visions and auguries shake notwho am firm in my purpose as the living rockI should have fought the combat myself.Would to God the Scot may strike him dead on the spot; it were next best to his winning the victory. But, come what will, he must have no other confessor than myself. Our sins are too much in common, and he might confess my share with his own."

While these thoughts passed through his mind, he continued to assist the Marquis in arming, but it was in silence.

The hour at length arrived, the trumpets sounded, the knights rode into the lists armed at all points, and mounted like men who were to do battle for a kingdom's honor. They wore their visors up, and, riding around the lists three times, showed themselves to the spectators. Both were goodly persons, and both had noble countenances. But there was an air of manly confidence on the brow of the Scot, a radiancy of hope, which amounted even to cheerfulness, while, although pride and effort had recalled much of Conrade's natural courage, there lowered still on his brow a cloud of ominous despondence. Even his steed seemed to tread less lightly and blithely to the trumpet-sound than the noble Arab which was[186] bestrode by Sir Kenneth; and the spruch-sprecher shook his head while he observed, that while the challenger rode around the lists in the course of the sunthat is, from right to leftthe defender made the same circuit widder-sinsthat is, from left to rightwhich is in most countries held ominous.

A temporary altar was erected just beneath the gallery occupied by the Queen, and beside it stood the Hermit in the dress of his order, as a Carmelite friar. Other churchmen were also present. To this altar the challenger and defender were successively brought forward, conducted by their respective sponsors. Dismounting before it, each knight avouched the justice of his cause by a solemn oath on the Evangelists, and prayed that his success might be according to the truth or falsehood of what he then swore. They also made oath, that they came to do battle in knightly guise, and with the usual weapons, disclaiming the use of spells, charms, or magical devices, to incline victory to their side. The challenger pronounced his vow with a firm and manly voice, and a bold and cheerful countenance. When the ceremony was finished, the Scottish Knight looked at the gallery, and bent his head to the earth, as if in honor of those invisible beauties which were enclosed within; then, loaded with armor as he was, sprung to the saddle without the use of the stirrup, and made his courser carry him in a succession of caracoles to his station at the eastern extremity of the lists. Conrade also presented himself before the altar with boldness enough; but his voice, as he took the oath, sounded hollow, as if drowned in his helmet. The lips with which he appealed to Heaven to adjudge victory to the just quarrel, grew white as they uttered the impious mockery. As he[187] turned to remount his horse, the Grand Master approached him closer, as if to rectify something about the sitting of his gorget, and whispered, "Coward and fool! recall thy senses, and do me this battle bravely; else, by Heaven, shouldst thou escape him, thou escapest not me!"

The savage tone in which this was whispered, perhaps completed the confusion of the Marquis's nerves, for he stumbled as he made to horse; and though he recovered his feet, sprung to the saddle with his usual agility, and displayed his address in horsemanship as he assumed his position opposite to the challenger's, yet the accident did not escape those who were on the watch for omens, which might predict the fate of the day.

The priests, after a solemn prayer that God would show the rightful quarrel, departed from the lists. The trumpets of the challenger then rung a flourish, and the herald-at-arms proclaimed at the eastern end of the lists,"Here stands a good knight, Sir Kenneth of Scotland, champion for the royal King Richard of England, who accuseth Conrade, Marquis of Montserrat, of foul treason and dishonor done to the said King."

When the words Kenneth of Scotland announced the name and character of the champion, hitherto scarce generally known, a loud and cheerful acclaim burst from the followers of King Richard, and hardly, notwithstanding repeated commands of silence, suffered the reply of the defendant to be heard. He, of course, avouched his innocence, and offered his body for battle. The esquires of the combatants now approached, and delivered to each his shield and lance, assisting to hang the former around his neck, that his two hands might remain free, one for the management of the bridle, the other to direct the lance.

[188]The shield of the Scot displayed his old bearing, the leopard, but with the addition of a collar and broken chain, in allusion to his late captivity. The shield of the Marquis bore, in reference to his title, a serrated and rocky mountain. Each shook his lance aloft, as if to ascertain the weight and toughness of the unwieldy weapon, and then laid it in the rest. The sponsors, heralds, and squires, now retired to the barriers, and the combatants sat opposite to each other, face to face, with couched lance and closed visor, the human form so completely enclosed, that they looked more like statues of molten iron than beings of flesh and blood. The silence of suspense was now generalmen breathed thicker, and their very souls seemed seated in their eyes, while not a sound was to be heard save the snorting and pawing of the good steeds, who, sensible of what was about to happen, were impatient to dash into career. They stood thus for perhaps three minutes, when at a signal given by the Soldan, an hundred instruments rent the air with their brazen clamors, and each champion striking his horse with the spurs, and slacking the rein, the horses started into full gallop, and the knights met in mid space with a shock like a thunderbolt. The victory was not in doubtno, not one moment. Conrade, indeed, showed himself a practised warrior; for he struck his antagonist knightly in the midst of his shield, bearing his lance so straight and true, that it shivered into splinters from the steel spear-head up to the very gauntlet. The horse of Sir Kenneth recoiled two or three yards and fell on his haunches, but the rider easily raised him with hand and rein. But for Conrade there was no recovery. Sir Kenneth's lance had pierced through the shield, through a plated corselet of Milan steel, through a secret, or coat[189] of linked mail, worn beneath the corselet, had wounded him deep in the bosom, and borne him from his saddle, leaving the truncheon of the lance fixed in his wound. The sponsors, heralds, and Saladin himself, descending from his throne, crowded around the wounded man; while Sir Kenneth, who had drawn his sword ere yet he discovered his antagonist was totally helpless, now commanded him to avow his guilt. The helmet was hastily unclosed, and the wounded man, gazing wildly on the skies, replied, "What would you more? God hath decided justly. I am guiltybut there are worse traitors in the camp than I.In pity to my soul, let me have a confessor!"

He revived as he uttered these words.

"The talismanthe powerful remedy, royal brother," said King Richard to Saladin.

"The traitor," answered the Soldan, "is more fit to be dragged from the lists to the gallows by the heels, than to profit by its virtues: and some such fate is in his look," he added, after gazing fixedly upon the wounded man; "for though his wound may be cured, yet Azrael's seal is on the wretch's brow."

"Nevertheless," said Richard, "I pray you do for him what you may, that he may at least have time for confession. Slay not soul and body! To him one half-hour of time may be worth more, by ten thousand fold, than the life of the oldest patriarch."

"My royal brother's wish shall be obeyed," said Saladin."Slaves, bear this wounded man to our tent."

"Do not so," said the Templar, who had hitherto stood gloomily looking on in silence. "The royal Duke of Austria and myself will not permit this unhappy Christian prince to be delivered over to the Saracens,[190] that they may try their spells upon him. We are his sponsors, and demand that he be assigned to our care."

"That is, you refuse the certain means offered to recover him?" said Richard.

"Not so," said the Grand Master, recollecting himself. "If the Soldan useth lawful medicines, he may attend the patient in my tent."

"Do so, I pray thee, good brother," said Richard to Saladin, "though the permission be ungraciously yielded.But now to a more glorious work. Sound, trumpetsshout, England, in honor of England's champion!"

Drum, clarion, trumpet, and cymbal, rung forth at once, and the deep and regular shout, which for ages has been the English acclamation, sounded amidst the shrill and irregular yells of the Arabs, like the diapason of the organ amid the howling of a storm. There was silence at length.

"Brave Knight of the Leopard," resumed Cœur de Lion, "thou hast shown that the Ethiopian may change his skin and the Leopard his spots, though clerks quote Scripture for the impossibility. Yet I have more to say to you when I have conducted you to the presence of the ladies, the best judges, and best rewarders, of deeds of chivalry."

The Knight of the Leopard bowed assent.

"And thou, princely Saladin, wilt also attend them. I promise thee our Queen will not think herself welcome, if she lacks the opportunity to thank her royal host for her most princely reception."

Saladin bent his head gracefully, but declined the invitation.

"I must attend the wounded man," he said. "The leech leaves not his patient more than the champion the[191] lists, even if he be summoned to a bower like those of Paradise.... At noon," said the Soldan, as he departed, "I trust ye will all accept a collation under the black camel-skin tent of a chief of Curdistan."

The same invitation was circulated among the Christians, comprehending all those of sufficient importance to be admitted to sit at a feast made for princes.

"Hark!" said Richard, "the timbrels announce that our Queen and her attendants are leaving their gallery; and see, the turbans sink on the ground, as if struck down by a destroying angel. All lie prostrate, as if the glance of an Arab's eye could sully the lustre of a lady's cheek! Come, we will to the pavillion, and lead our conqueror thither in triumph. How I pity that noble Soldan, who knows but of love as it is known to those of inferior nature!"

Blondel tuned his harp to its boldest measure, to welcome the introduction of the victor into the pavilion of Queen Berengaria. He entered, supported on either side by his sponsors, Richard and William Longsword, and knelt gracefully down before the Queen, though more than half the homage was silently rendered to Edith, who sat on her right hand.

"Unarm him, my mistresses," said the King, whose delight was in the execution of such chivalrous usages; "let Beauty honor Chivalry! Undo his spurs, Berengaria; Queen though thou be, thou owest him what marks of favor thou canst give.Unlace his helmet, Edith; by this hand, thou shalt, wert thou the proudest Plantagenet of the line, and he the poorest knight on earth!"

Both ladies obeyed the royal commands,Berengaria with bustling assiduity, as anxious to gratify her hus[192]band's humor, and Edith blushing and growing pale alternately, as slowly and awkwardly she undid, with Longsword's assistance, the fastenings which secured the helmet to the gorget.

"And what expect you from beneath this iron shell?" said Richard, as the removal of the casque gave to view the noble countenance of Sir Kenneth, his face glowing with recent exertion, and not less so with present emotion. "What think ye of him, gallants and beauties?" said Richard. "Doth he resemble an Ethiopian slave, or doth he present the face of an obscure and nameless adventurer? No, by my good sword! Here terminate his various disguises. He hath knelt down before you, unknown save by his worth; he arises, equally distinguished by birth and by fortune. The adventurous knight, Kenneth, arises David, Earl of Huntingdon, Prince Royal of Scotland!"

There was a general exclamation of surprise, and Edith dropped from her hand the helmet which she had just received....

"May we know of your grace by what strange and happy chance this riddle has been read?" said the Queen Berengaria.

"Letters were brought to us from England," said the King, "in which we learned, among other unpleasant news, that the King of Scotland had seized upon three of our nobles, when on a pilgrimage to Saint Ninian, and alleged as a cause, that his heir being supposed to be fighting in the ranks of the Teutonic Knights, against the heathen of Borussia, was, in fact, in our camp and in our power; and, therefore, William proposed to hold these nobles as hostages for his safety. This gave me the first light on the real rank of the Knight of the[193] Leopard, and my suspicions were confirmed by De Vaux, who, on his return from Ascalon, brought back with him the Earl of Huntingdon's sole attendant, a thick-skulled slave, who had gone thirty miles to unfold to De Vaux a secret he should have told to me."

"Old Strauchan must be excused," said the Lord of Gilsland. "He knew from experience that my heart is somewhat softer than if I wrote myself Plantagenet."

"Thy heart soft? thou commodity of old iron, and Cumberland flint that thou art!" exclaimed the King. "It is we Plantagenets who boast soft and feeling hearts, Edith," he continued, turning to his cousin, with an expression which called the blood into her cheek."Give me thy hand, my fair cousin, and, Prince of Scotland, thine."...

It is needless to follow into further particulars the conferences at the royal tent, or to enquire whether David, Earl of Huntingdon, was as mute in the presence of Edith Plantagenet, as when he was bound to act under the character of an obscure and nameless adventurer. It may be well believed that he there expressed, with suitable earnestness, the passion to which he had so often before found it difficult to give words.

The hour of noon now approached, and Saladin waited to receive the Princes of Christendom in a tent, which, but for its large size, differed little from that of the ordinary shelter of the common Curdman, or Arab; yet, beneath its ample and sable covering, was prepared a banquet after the most gorgeous fashion of the East, extended upon carpets of the richest stuffs, with cushions laid for the guests. But we cannot stop to describe the cloth of gold and silver, the superb embroidery in Arabesque, the shawls of Cashmere, and the muslins of India,[194] which were here unfolded in all their splendor; far less to tell the different sweetmeats, ragouts edged with rice colored in various manners, with all the other niceties of Eastern cookery. Lambs roasted whole, and game and poultry dressed in pilaus, were piled in vessels of gold, and silver, and porcelain, and intermixed with large mazers of sherbet, cooled in snow and ice from the caverns of Mount Lebanon. A magnificent pile of cushions at the head of the banquet, seemed prepared for the master of the feast, and such dignitaries as he might call to share that place of distinction, while from the roof of the tent in all quarters, but over this seat of eminence in particular, waved many a banner and pennon, the trophies of battles won, and kingdoms overthrown. But amongst and above them all, a long lance displayed a shroud, the banner of Death, with this impressive inscription, "Saladin, King of KingsSaladin, Victor of VictorsSaladin must die." Amid these preparations, the slaves who had arranged the refreshments stood with drooped heads and folded arms, mute and motionless as monumental statuary, or as automata, which waited the touch of the artist to put them in motion.

Expecting the approach of his princely guests, the Soldan, imbued, as most were, with the superstitions of his time, paused over a horoscope and corresponding scroll, which had been sent to him by the Hermit of Engaddi when he departed from the camp.

"Strange and mysterious science," he muttered to himself, "which, pretending to draw the curtain of futurity, misleads those whom it seems to guide, and darkens the scene which it pretends to illuminate! Who would not have said that I was that enemy most danger[195]ous to Richard, whose enmity was to be ended by marriage with his kinswoman? Yet it now appears that a union betwixt this gallant Earl and the lady will bring about friendship betwixt Richard and Scotland, an enemy more dangerous than I, as a wild cat in a chamber is more to be dreaded than a lion in a distant desert.But then,...How now, what means this intrusion?"

He spoke to the dwarf Nectabanus, who rushed into the tent fearfully agitated, with each strange and disproportioned feature wrenched by horror into still more extravagant ugliness,his mouth open, his eyes staring, his hands, with their shrivelled and deformed fingers, wildly expanded.

"What now?" said the Soldan, sternly.

"Accipe hoc!" groaned out the dwarf.

"Ha! say'st thou?" answered Saladin.

"Accipe hoc!" replied the panic-struck creature, unconscious, perhaps, that he repeated the same words as before.

"Hence! I am in no vein for foolery," said the Emperor.

"Nor am I further fool," said the dwarf, "than to make my folly help out my wits to earn my bread, poor helpless wretch!Hear, hear me, great Soldan!"

"Nay, if thou hast actual wrong to complain of," said Saladin, "fool or wise, thou art entitled to the ear of a King.Retire hither with me;" and he led him into the inner tent.

Whatever their conference related to, it was soon broken off by the fanfare of the trumpets, announcing the arrival of the various Christian princes, whom Saladin welcomed to his tent with a royal courtesy well becoming their rank and his own; but chiefly he saluted the young[196] Earl of Huntingdon, and generously congratulated him upon prospects, which seemed to have interfered with and overclouded those which he had himself entertained.

"But think not," said the Soldan, "thou noble youth, that the Prince of Scotland is more welcome to Saladin, than was Kenneth to the solitary Ilderim when they met in the desert, or the distressed Ethiop to the Hakim Adonbec. A brave and generous disposition like thine hath a value independent of condition and birth, as the cool draught which I here proffer thee, is as delicious from an earthen vessel as from a goblet of gold."

The Earl of Huntingdon made a suitable reply, gratefully acknowledging the various important services he had received from the generous Soldan; but when he had pledged Saladin in the bowl of sherbet which the Soldan had proffered to him, he could not help remarking with a smile, "The brave cavalier, Ilderim, knew not of the formation of ice, but the munificent Soldan cools his sherbet with snow."

"Wouldst thou have an Arab or a Curdman as wise as a Hakim?" said the Soldan. "He who does on a disguise must make the sentiments of his heart and the learning of his head accord with the dress which he assumes. I desired to see how a brave and single-hearted cavalier of Frangistan would conduct himself in debate with such a chief as I then seemed; and I questioned the truth of a well-known fact, to know by what arguments thou wouldst support thy assertion."

While they were speaking, the Archduke of Austria, who stood a little apart, was struck with the mention of iced sherbet, and took with pleasure and some bluntness the deep goblet, as the Earl of Huntingdon was about to replace it.

[197]"Most delicious!" he exclaimed, after a deep draught, which the heat of the weather, and the feverishness following the debauch of the preceding day, had rendered doubly acceptable. He sighed as he handed the cup to the Grand Master of the Templars. Saladin made a sign to the dwarf, who advanced and pronounced, with a harsh voice, the words, Accipe hoc! The Templar started, like a steed who sees a lion under a bush, beside the pathway; yet instantly recovered, and to hide, perhaps, his confusion, raised the goblet to his lips;but those lips never touched that goblet's rim. The sabre of Saladin left its sheath as lightning leaves the cloud. It was waved in the air,and the head of the Grand Master rolled to the extremity of the tent, while the trunk remained, for a second, standing, with the goblet still clenched in its grasp, then fell, the liquor mingling with the blood that spurted from the veins.

There was a general exclamation of treason, and Austria, nearest to whom Saladin stood with the bloody sabre in his hand, started back as if apprehensive that his turn was to come next. Richard and others laid hand on their swords.

"Fear nothing, noble Austria," said Saladin, as composedly as if nothing had happened, "nor you, royal England, be wroth at what you have seen. Not for his manifold treasons;not for the attempt which, as may be vouched by his own squire, he instigated against King Richard's life;not that he pursued the Prince of Scotland and myself in the desert, reducing us to save our lives by the speed of our horses;not that he had stirred up the Maronites to attack us upon this very occasion, had I not brought up unexpectedly so many Arabs as rendered the scheme abortive;not for any or[198] all of these crimes does he now lie there, although each were deserving such a doom;but because, scarce half-an-hour ere he polluted our presence, as the simoom empoisons the atmosphere, he poniarded his comrade and accomplice, Conrade of Montserrat, lest he should confess the infamous plots in which they had both been engaged."

"How! Conrade murdered?And by the Grand Master, his sponsor and most intimate friend!" exclaimed Richard. "Noble Soldan, I would not doubt thee; yet this must be proved; otherwise"——

"There stands the evidence," said Saladin, pointing to the terrified dwarf. "Allah, who sends the fire-fly to illuminate the night-season, can discover secret crimes by the most contemptible means."

The Soldan proceeded to tell the dwarf's story, which amounted to this.In his foolish curiosity, or as he partly confessed, with some thoughts of pilfering, Nectabanus had strayed into the tent of Conrade, which had been deserted by his attendants, some of whom had left the encampment to carry the news of his defeat to his brother, and others were availing themselves of the means which Saladin had supplied for revelling. The wounded man slept under the influence of Saladin's wonderful talisman, so that the dwarf had opportunity to pry about at pleasure, until he was frightened into concealment by the sound of a heavy step. He skulked behind a curtain, yet could see the motions, and hear the words of the Grand Master, who entered, and carefully secured the covering of the pavillion behind him. His victim started from sleep, and it would appear that he instantly suspected the purpose of his old associate, for it was in a tone of alarm that he demanded wherefore he disturbed him.

[199]"I come to confess and absolve thee," answered the Grand Master.

Of their further speech the terrified dwarf remembered little, save that Conrade implored the Grand Master not to break a wounded reed, and that the Templar struck him to the heart with a Turkish dagger, with the words Accipe hoc,words which long afterward haunted the terrified imagination of the concealed witness.

"I verified the tale," said Saladin, "by causing the body to be examined; and I made this unhappy being, whom Allah hath made the discoverer of the crime, repeat in your own presence the words which the murderer spoke, and you yourselves saw the effect which they produced upon his conscience."

The Soldan paused, and the King of England broke silence:

"If this be true, as I doubt not, we have witnessed a great act of justice, though it bore a different aspect. But wherefore in this presence? wherefore with thine own hand?"

"I had designed otherwise," said Saladin, "but had I not hastened his doom, it had been altogether averted, since, if I had permitted him to taste of my cup, as he was about to do, how could I, without incurring the brand of inhospitality, have done him to death as he deserved? Had he murdered my father, and afterward partaken of my food and my bowl, not a hair of his head could have been injured by me. But enough of him; let his carcass and his memory be removed from amongst us."

The body was carried away, and the marks of the slaughter obliterated or concealed with such ready dexterity, as showed that the case was not altogether so[200] uncommon, as to paralyze the assistants and officers of Saladin's household.

But the Christian princes felt that the scene which they had beheld weighed heavily on their spirits, and although, at the courteous invitation of the Soldan, they assumed their seats at the banquet, yet it was with the silence of doubt and amazement. The spirits of Richard alone surmounted all cause for suspicion or embarrassment. Yet he, too, seemed to ruminate on some proposition, as if he were desirous of making it in the most insinuating and acceptable manner which was possible. At length he drank off a large bowl of wine, and addressing the Soldan, desired to know whether it was not true that he had honored the Earl of Huntingdon with a personal encounter.

Saladin answered with a smile, that he had proved his horse and his weapons with the heir of Scotland, as cavaliers are wont to do with each other when they meet in the desert; and modestly added that, though the combat was not entirely decisive, he had not, on his part, much reason to pride himself on the event. The Scot, on the other hand, disclaimed the attributed superiority, and wished to assign it to the Soldan.

"Enough of honor thou hast had in the encounter," said Richard, "and I envy thee more for that, than for the smiles of Edith Plantagenet, though one of them might reward a bloody day's work.But what say you, noble princes; is it fitting that such a royal ring of chivalry should break up without something being done for future times to speak of? What is the overthrow and death of a traitor, to such a fair garland of honor as is here assembled, and which ought not to part without witnessing something more worthy of their regard?[201] How say you, princely Soldan; what if we two should now, and before this fair company, decide the long-contended question for this land of Palestine, and end at once these tedious wars? Yonder are the lists ready, nor can Paynimrie ever hope a better champion than thou. I, unless worthier offers, will lay down my gauntlet in behalf of Christendom, and, in all love and honor, we will do mortal battle for the possession of Jerusalem."

There was a deep pause for the Soldan's answer. His cheek and brow colored highly, and it was the opinion of many present that he hesitated whether he should accept the challenge. At length he said: "Fighting for the Holy City against those whom we regard as idolaters, and worshippers of stocks and stones, and graven images, I might confide that Allah would strengthen my arm; or if I fell beneath the sword of the Melech Ric, I could not pass to Paradise by a more glorious death. But Allah has already given Jerusalem to the true believers, and it were a tempting the God of the Prophet to peril, upon my own personal strength and skill, that which I hold securely by the superiority of my forces."

"If not for Jerusalem, then," said Richard, in the tone of one who would entreat a favor of an intimate friend, "yet, for the love of honor, let us run at least three courses with grinded lances."

"Even this," said Saladin, half smiling at Cœur de Lion's affectionate earnestness for the combat, "even this I may not lawfully do. The Master places the shepherd over the flock, not for the shepherd's own sake, but for the sake of the sheep. Had I a son to hold the sceptre when I fell, I might have had the liberty, as I have the will, to brave this bold encounter; but your own Scripture sayeth, that when the herdsman is smitten, the sheep are scattered."

[202]"Thou hast had all the fortune," said Richard, turning to the Earl of Huntingdon with a sigh. "I would have given the best year of my life for that one half-hour beside the Diamond of the Desert!"

The chivalrous extravagance of Richard awakened the spirits of the assembly, and when at length they arose to depart, Saladin advanced and took Cœur de Lion by the hand.

"Noble King of England," he said, "we now part, never to meet again. That your league is dissolved, no more to be reunited, and that your native forces are far too few to enable you to prosecute your enterprise, is as well known to me as to yourself. I may not yield you up that Jerusalem which you so much desire to hold. It is to us, as to you, a Holy City. But whatever other terms Richard demands of Saladin, shall be as willingly yielded as yonder fountain yields its waters. Ay, and the same should be as frankly afforded by Saladin, if Richard stood in the desert with but two archers in his train!"


[I] While the army of the crusaders was inactive near Ascalon, a truce having been agreed to between the Saracens and their assailants, the Grand Master of the Templars, Conrade Marquis of Montserrat, and others of the Christian Princes, were plotting to effect its dismemberment. Richard of England was the leading spirit of the crusade, and the plotters wished either to get rid of him or to inspire his colleagues with jealousy of his leadership. The Grand Master sought to have the King assassinated. Conrade tried to break up the league by milder means: he first provoked the Duke of Austria to insult the English banner; and then thinking rightly that the suspicion and wrath of Richard would fall upon Austria, he secretly stole the banner from its place. Its safe-keeping, after Austria's insult, had been entrusted by the King to Sir Kenneth, known as the Knight of the Leopard, in reality David Prince of Scotland, who in the disguise of an obscure gentleman had joined the crusade as a follower of the English King. Sir Kenneth was innocently decoyed from his watch, and in his absence, the banner, left with but his dog to guard it, was stolen by Conrade. For his failure of duty. Sir Kenneth was condemned to immediate death, but Saladin, who in the disguise of an Arab physician was in the English camp, and who had rescued the King from death by fever, urgently interceding, his life was spared. Saladin took Sir Kenneth to the camp of the Saracens, and knowing his worth and valor, having previously had knightly encounter with him in the desert, disguised him as a Nubian slave, and sent him as a present to Richard with the hope that he might in some way discover by whom the banner had been stolen. Attending Richard as a slave Sir Kenneth saved the king from the assassination which the Grand Master had instigated, and aided by the instinct of his dog, also disguised, he detected the thief in Conrade. Richard thereupon, at once charged Conrade with the theft, and challenged him to mortal combat. The King was prevented by the Council of the Princes from fighting in person, but having divined in the Nubian slave the former Knight of the Leopard, he permitted Sir Kenneth to fight in his stead, that the knight might atone for the dishonor of being faithless in his watch. Conrade's cause was espoused by the Grand Master, who had been his confidant, and by the Duke of Austria. The encounter was appointed to take place at the Diamond of the Desert, in the territory of Saladin, who was asked to act as umpire. It had been stipulated that but five hundred Saracens should be present at the trial; Saladin, however, having been apprised of further plotting on the part of the Grand Master, for safety's sake caused a larger attendance of his followers. Sir Kenneth had long loved Edith Plantagenet, but being known to her only as a poor and nameless adventurer, he had not yet openly avowed his love.


(At Inversneyde, upon Loch Lomond.)

William Wordsworth.1770-1850.

Sweet Highland girl, a very shower
Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
Twice seven consenting years have shed
Their utmost bounty on thy head:
And these gray rocks; this household lawn;
These trees, a veil just half withdrawn;
[203] This fall of water, that doth make
A murmur near the silent lake;
This little bay, a quiet road
That holds in shelter thy abode;
In truth, together do ye seem
Like something fashion'd in a dream;
Such forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
Yet, dream and vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart:
God shield thee to thy latest years!
Thee neither know I nor thy peers;
And yet my eyes are fill'd with tears.

With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away:
For never saw I mien, or face,
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here scatter'd like a random seed,
Remote from men, thou dost not need
The embarrass'd look of shy distress,
And maidenly shamefacèdness:
Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a mountaineer:
A face with gladness overspread!
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred!
And seemliness complete, that sways
Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
With no restraint, but such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech:
A bondage sweetly brook'd, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
[204]So have I, not unmov'd in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,
Thus beating up against the wind.

What hand but would a garland cull
For thee who art so beautiful?
O happy pleasure! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell;
Adopt your homely ways, and dress,
A shepherd, thou a shepherdess!
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality:
Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea; and I would have
Some claim upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighborhood.
What joy to hear thee, and to see!
Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father, anything to thee!

Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place.
Joy have I had; and going hence
I bear away my recompense.
In spots like these it is we prize
Our memory, feel that she hath eyes:
Then, why should I be loth to stir?
I feel this place was made for her;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loth, though pleas'd at heart,
Sweet Highland girl! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I grow old,
As fair before me shall behold,
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall;
And thee, the spirit of them all!




Samuel Taylor Coleridge.1772-1834.


Ye Clouds! that far above me float and pause,
Whose pathless march no mortal may control!
Ye Ocean-Waves! that, wheresoe'er ye roll,
Yield homage only to eternal laws!
Ye Woods! that listen to the night-birds singing,
Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclin'd,
Save when your own imperious branches, swinging,
Have made a solemn music of the wind!
Where, like a man belov'd of God,
Through glooms, which never woodman trod,
How oft, pursuing fancies holy,
My moonlight way o'er flowering weeds I wound,
Inspir'd, beyond the guess of folly,
By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound!
O ye loud Waves! and O ye Forests high!
And O ye Clouds that far above me soar'd!
Thou rising Sun! thou blue rejoicing Sky!
Yea, every thing that is and will be free!
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be,
With what deep worship I have still ador'd
The spirit of divinest Liberty.


When France in wrath her giant-limbs uprear'd,
And with that oath, which smote air, earth, and sea,
Stamp'd her strong foot and said she would be free,
Bear witness for me, how I hoped and fear'd!
[206] With what a joy my lofty gratulation
Unaw'd I sang, amid a slavish band;
And when to whelm the disenchanted nation,
Like fiends embattled by a wizard's wand.
The Monarchs march'd in evil day,
And Britain join'd the dire array,
Though dear her shores and circling ocean,
Though many friendships, many youthful loves,
Had swoll'n the patriot emotion,
And flung a magic light o'er all her hills and groves;
Yet still my voice, unalter'd, sang defeat
To all that brav'd the tyrant-quelling lance,
And shame too long delay'd and vain retreat!
For ne'er, O Liberty! with partial aim
I dimm'd thy light or damp'd thy holy flame;
But bless'd the pæans of deliver'd France,
And hung my head and wept at Britain's name.


"And what," I said, "though Blasphemy's loud scream
With that sweet music of deliverance strove!
Though all the fierce and drunken passions wove
A dance more wild than e'er was maniac's dream!
Ye Storms, that round the dawning east assembled,
The Sun was rising, though ye hid his light!"
And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and trembled,
The dissonance ceas'd, and all seem'd calm and bright;
When France her front deep-scarr'd and gory
Conceal'd with clustering wreaths of glory;
When, insupportably advancing,
Her arm made mockery of the warrior's tramp,
While, timid looks of fury glancing,
Domestic treason, crush'd beneath her fatal stamp,
Writh'd like a wounded dragon in his gore:
[207] Then I reproach'd my fears that would not flee;
"And soon," I said, "shall Wisdom teach her lore
In the low huts of them that toil and groan!
And, conquering by her happiness alone,
Shall France compel the nations to be free,
Till Love and Joy look round, and call the earth their own."


Forgive me, Freedom! O forgive those dreams!
I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament,
From bleak Helvetia's icy cavern sent,
I hear thy groans upon her blood-stain'd streams!
Heroes, that for your peaceful country perish'd,
And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountain-snows
With bleeding wounds, forgive me, that I cherish'd
One thought that ever bless'd your cruel foes!
To scatter rage, and traitorous guilt,
Where Peace her jealous home had built;
A patriot-race to disinherit
Of all that made their stormy wilds so dear,
And with inexpiable spirit
To taint the bloodless freedom of the mountaineer,
O France, that mockest Heaven, adulterous, blind,
And patriot only in pernicious toils,
Are these thy boasts, champion of human kind?
To mix with kings in the low lust of sway,
Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous prey;
To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils
From freemen torn; to tempt and to betray?


The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain,
Slaves by their own compulsion! In mad game
They burst their manacles and wear the name
Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain!
[208] O Liberty! with profitless endeavor
Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour;
But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever
Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power.
Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee
(Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee),
Alike from Priestcraft's harpy minions,
And factious Blasphemy's obscener slaves,
Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions,
The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of the waves!
And there I felt thee!on that sea-cliff's verge,
Whose pines, scarce travell'd by the breeze above,
Had made one murmur with the distant surge!
Yes, while I stood and gaz'd, my temples bare,
And shot my being through earth, sea, and air,
Possessing all things with intensest love,
O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there.




How seldom, friend! a good great man inherits
Honor or wealth, with all his worth and pains!
It sounds like stories from the land of spirits,
If any man obtain that which he merits,
Or any merit that which he obtains.


For shame, dear friend! renounce this canting strain!
What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain?
[209] Placetitlessalarya gilded chain
Or throne of corses which his sword hath slain?
Greatness and goodness are not means but ends!
Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good great man?three treasures,love, and light,
And calm thoughts, regular as infant's breath;
And three firm friends, more sure than day and night,
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.


Robert Southey.1774-1843.

A well there is in the west country,
And a clearer one never was seen;
There is not a wife in the west country
But has heard of the Well of St. Keyne.

An oak and an elm-tree stand beside,
And behind doth an ash-tree grow,
And a willow from the bank above
Droops to the water below.

A traveller came to the Well of St. Keyne;
Joyfully he drew nigh;
For from cock-crow he had been travelling,
And there was not a cloud in the sky.

He drank of the water so cool and clear,
For thirsty and hot was he;
And he sat down upon the bank
Under the willow-tree.

There came a man from the house hard by,
At the well to fill his pail;
[210] On the well-side he rested it,
And he bade the stranger hail.

"Now, art thou a bachelor, stranger?" quoth he;
"For, an if thou hast a wife,
The happiest draught thou hast drank this day
That ever thou didst in thy life.

"Or has thy good woman, if one thou hast,
Ever here in Cornwall been?
For, an if she have, I'll venture my life
She has drank of the Well of St. Keyne."

"I have left a good woman who never was here,"
The stranger he made reply;
"But that my draught should be the better for that,
I pray you answer me why."

"St. Keyne," quoth the Cornish-man, "many a time
Drank of this crystal well;
And, before the angel summon'd her,
She laid on the water a spell,

"If the husband of this gifted well
Shall drink before his wife,
A happy man thenceforth is he,
For he shall be master for life;

"But if the wife should drink of it first,
God help the husband then!"
The stranger stoop'd to the Well of St. Keyne,
And drank of the water again.

"You drank of the well, I warrant, betimes?"
He to the Cornish-man said;
But the Cornish-man smiled as the stranger spake,
And sheepishly shook his head:

[211] "I hasten'd, as soon as the wedding was done,
And left my wife in the porch;
But i' faith she had been wiser than me,
For she took a bottle to church."


Lord Byron.1788-1824.

The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho lov'd and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phœbus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse:
Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires' "Islands of the Blest."

The mountains look on Marathon
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sate on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,
And men in nations;all were his!
[212] He counted them at break of day
And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blushfor Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
Must we but blush?Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,

To make a new Thermopylæ!

What, silent still? and silent all?
Ah! no;the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, "Let one living head,
But one, arise,we come, we come!"
'Tis but the living who are dumb.

In vainin vain: strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
Hark! rising to the ignoble call
How answers each bold Bacchanal!

[213]You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet;
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave
Think ye he meant them for a slave?

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
We will not think of themes like these!
It made Anacreon's song divine:

He servedbut served Polycrates
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.

The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
That tyrant was Miltiades!
Oh! that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind!
Such chains as his were sure to bind.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks
They have a king who buys and sells:
In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells;
But Turkish force, and Latin fraud,
Would break your shield, however broad.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade
[214] I see their glorious black eyes shine;
But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die:
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!


Thomas Moore.1779-1852.

Go where glory waits thee;
But, while fame elates thee,
O, still remember me!
When the praise thou meetest
To thine ear is sweetest,
O, then remember me!
Other arms may press thee,
Dearer friends caress thee,
All the joys that bless thee
Sweeter far may be;
But when friends are nearest,
And when joys are dearest,
O, then remember me!

When, at eve, thou rovest
By the star thou lovest,
O, then remember me!
[215] Think, when home returning,
Bright we've seen it burning,
O, thus remember me!
Oft as summer closes,
When thine eye reposes
On its lingering roses,
Once so lov'd by thee,
Think of her who wove them,
Her who made thee love them,
O, then remember me!

When, around thee dying,
Autumn leaves are lying,
O, then remember me!
And, at night, when gazing
On the gay hearth blazing,
O, still remember me!
Then, should music, stealing
All the soul of feeling,
To thy heart appealing,
Draw one tear from thee;
Then let memory bring thee
Strains I used to sing thee,
O, then remember me!



Dear Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee,
The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long,
When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee,
And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song!

[216] The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness
Have waken'd thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill;
But, so oft hast thou echo'd the deep sigh of sadness,
That ev'n in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.

Dear Harp of my Country! farewell to thy numbers,
This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine!
Go, sleep with the sunshine of fame on thy slumbers,
Till touch'd by some hand less unworthy than mine;

If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover,
Have throbb'd at our lay, 'tis thy glory alone;
I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over,
And all the wild sweetness I waked was thy own.



Come, ye disconsolate, where'er you languish,
Come, at God's altar fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, Light of the straying,
Hope, when all others die, fadeless and pure,
Here speaks the Comforter, in God's name saying,
"Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure."

Go, ask the infidel, what boon he brings us,
What charm for aching hearts he can reveal,
Sweet as that heavenly promise Hope sings us,
"Earth has no sorrow that God cannot heal."



Leigh Hunt.1784-1859.

It lies before me there, and my own breath
Stirs its thin outer threads, as though beside
The living head I stood in honor'd pride,
Talking of lovely things that conquer death.
Perhaps he press'd it once, or underneath
Ran his fine fingers, when he leant, blank-ey'd,
And saw, in fancy, Adam and his bride
With their rich locks, or his own Delphic wreath.
There seems a love in hair, though it be dead.
It is the gentlest, yet the strongest thread
Of our frail plant,a blossom from the tree
Surviving the proud trunk;as though it said
Patience and gentleness is power; in me
Behold affectionate eternity.


Leigh Hunt.

King Francis was a hearty king, and lov'd a royal sport,
And one day, as his lions strove, sat looking on the court:
The nobles fill'd the benches round, the ladies by their side,
And 'mongst them Count de Lorge, with one he hoped to make
his bride;
And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,
Valor and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

Ramp'd and roar'd the lions, with horrid laughing jaws;
They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with
their paws;
[218] With wallowing might and stifled roar they roll'd one on another,
Till all the pit, with sand and mane, was in a thund'rous smother;
The bloody foam above the bars came whizzing through the air;
Said Francis then, "Good gentlemen, we're better here than

De Lorge's love o'erheard the King, a beauteous, lively dame,
With smiling lips, and sharp bright eyes, which always seem'd
the same:
She thought, "The Count, my lover, is as brave as brave can be;
He surely would do desperate things to show his love of me!
King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the chance is wondrous fine;
I'll drop my glove to prove his love; great glory will be mine!"

She dropp'd her glove to prove his love: then look'd on him
and smiled;
He bow'd, and in a moment leap'd among the lions wild:
The leap was quick; return was quick; he soon regain'd his
Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face!
"In truth!" cried Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from
where he sat:
"No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that!"

Rough wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;
Sad storm, whose tears are vain,
Bare woods, whose branches strain,
Deep caves and dreary main,
Wail, for the world's wrong.

A Dirge.Shelley.



Percy Bysshe Shelley.1792-1822.


I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noon-day dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rock'd to rest on their Mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under;
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.


I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the Blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers
Lightning, my pilot, sits;
In a cavern under is fetter'd the Thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits.
Over earth and ocean with gentle motion
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the Genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills and the crags and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
[220] Wherever he dream under mountain or stream
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.


The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain-crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And, when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardor of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest on mine airy nest,
As still as a brooding dove.


That orbèd maiden, with white-fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The Stars peep behind her and peer.
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee
Like a swarm of golden bees,
[221] When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each pav'd with the moon and these.


I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the Stars reel and swim,
When the Whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch, through which I march,
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chain'd to my chair,
Is the million-color'd bow;
The Sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.


I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when with never a stain
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise, and unbuild it again.



John Keats.1795-1821.

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacificand all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.



The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead:
That is the grasshopper'she takes the lead
In summer luxury,he has never done
With his delights, for, when tired out with fun,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The grasshopper's among some grassy hills.



Thomas De Quincey.1785-1859.

From The Cæsars.

To this view of the imperial character and relations must be added one single circumstance, which in some measure altered the whole for the individual who happened to fill the office. The emperor de facto might be viewed under two aspects; there was the man, and there was the office. In his office he was immortal and sacred: but as a question might still be raised, by means of a mercenary army, as to the claims of the particular individual who at any time filled the office, the very sanctity and privilege of the character with which he was clothed might actually be turned against himself; and here it is, at this point, that the character of Roman emperor became truly and mysteriously awful. Gibbon has taken notice of the extraordinary situation of a subject in the Roman empire who should attempt to fly from the wrath of the Cæsar. Such was the ubiquity of the emperor that this was metaphysically hopeless. Except across pathless deserts or amongst barbarous nomads, it was impossible to find even a transient sanctuary from the imperial pursuit. If the fugitive went down to the sea, there he met the emperor: if he took the wings of the morning, and fled to the uttermost parts of the earth, there was also Cæsar in the person of his lieutenants. But, by a dreadful counter-charm, the same omnipresence of imperial anger and retribution which withered the hopes of the poor humble prisoner, met and confounded the emperor himself, when hurled from his elevation by some fortunate rival. All the kingdoms of the earth, to[224] one in that situation, became but so many wards of the same infinite prison. Flight, if it were even successful for the moment, did but a little retard his inevitable doom. And so evident was this, that hardly in one instance did the fallen prince attempt to fly; passively he met the death which was inevitable, in the very spot where ruin had overtaken him. Neither was it possible even for a merciful conqueror to show mercy; for, in the presence of an army so mercenary and factious, his own safety was but too deeply involved in the extermination of rival pretenders to the crown.

Such, amidst the sacred security and inviolability of the office, was the hazardous tenure of the individual. Nor did his dangers always arise from persons in the rank of competitors and rivals. Sometimes it menaced him in quarters which his eye had never penetrated, and from enemies too obscure to have reached his ear. By way of illustration we will cite a case from the life of the Emperor Commodus, which is wild enough to have furnished the plot of a romance, though as well authenticated as any other passage in that reign. The story is narrated by Herodian, and the outline was this:A slave of noble qualities, and of magnificent person, having liberated himself from the degradations of bondage, determined to avenge his own wrongs by inflicting continual terror upon the town and neighborhood which had witnessed his humiliation. For this purpose he resorted to the woody recesses of the province (somewhere in the modern Transylvania), and, attracting to his wild encampment as many fugitives as he could, by degrees he succeeded in training a very formidable troop of freebooters. Partly from the energy of his own nature, and partly from the neglect and remissness of the provincial[225] magistrates, the robber captain rose from less to more, until he had formed a little army, equal to the task of assaulting fortified cities. In this stage of his adventures he encountered and defeated several of the imperial officers commanding large detachments of troops; and at length grew of consequence sufficient to draw upon himself the emperor's eye, and the honor of his personal displeasure. In high wrath and disdain at the insults offered to his eagles by this fugitive slave, Commodus fulminated against him such an edict as left him no hope of much longer escaping with impunity.

Public vengeance was now awakened; the imperial troops were marching from every quarter upon the same centre; and the slave became sensible that in a very short space of time he must be surrounded and destroyed. In this desperate situation he took a desperate resolution: he assembled his troops, laid before them his plan, concerted the various steps for carrying it into effect, and then dismissed them as independent wanderers. So ends the first chapter of the tale.

The next opens in the passes of the Alps, whither, by various routes, of seven or eight hundred miles in extent, these men had threaded their way in manifold disguises, through the very midst of the emperor's camps. According to this man's gigantic enterprise, in which the means were as audacious as the purpose, the conspirators were to rendezvous, and first to recognize each other, at the gates of Rome. From the Danube to the Tiber did this band of robbers severally pursue their perilous routes through all the difficulties of the road and the jealousies of the military stations, sustained by the mere thirst of vengeancevengeance against that mighty foe whom they knew only by his proclamations against themselves.[226] Everything continued to prosper; the conspirators met under the walls of Rome; the final details were arranged; and those also would have prospered but for a trifling accident. The season was one of general carnival at Rome; and, by the help of those disguises which the license of this festival time allowed, the murderers were to have penetrated as maskers to the emperor's retirement, when a casual word or two awoke the suspicions of a sentinel. One of the conspirators was arrested; under the terror and uncertainty of the moment, he made much ampler discoveries than were expected of him; the other accomplices were secured: and Commodus was delivered from the uplifted daggers of those who had sought him by months of patient wanderings, pursued through all the depths of the Illyrian forests, and the difficulties of the Alpine passes. It is not easy to find words of admiration commensurate to the energetic hardihood of a slavewho, by way of answer and reprisal to an edict summarily consigning him to persecution and death, determines to cross Europe in quest of its author, though no less a person than the master of the worldto seek him out in the inmost recesses of his capital city, of his private palace, of his consecrated bed-chamberand there to lodge a dagger in his heart, as the adequate reply to the imperial sentence of proscription against himself.

Such, amidst the superhuman grandeur and hallowed privileges of the Roman emperor's office, were the extraordinary perils which menaced the individual officer. The office rose by its grandeur to a region above the clouds and vapors of earth: the officer might find his personal security as unsubstantial as those wandering vapors. Nor is it possible that these circumstances of[227] violent opposition can be better illustrated than in this tale of Herodian. Whilst the emperor's mighty arms were stretched out to arrest some potentate in the heart of Asia, a poor slave is silently and stealthily creeping round the base of the Alps, with the purpose of winning his way as a murderer to the imperial bed-chamber; Cæsar is watching some potent rebel of the Orient, at a distance of two thousand leagues, and he overlooks the dagger which is within three stealthy steps, and one tiger's leap, of his own heart. All the heights and the depths which belong to man's frailty, all the contrasts of glory and meanness, the extremities of what is highest and lowest in human casualties, meeting in the station of the Roman Cæsar Semper Augustushave combined to call him into high marble relief, and to make him the most interesting study of all whom history has emblazoned with colors of fire and blood, or has crowned most lavishly with diadems of cyprus and laurel.


Dr. Arnold.1795-1842.

A Lecture delivered in Rugby Chapel.

The state of spiritual folly is, I suppose, one of the most universal evils in the world. For the number of those who are naturally foolish is exceedingly great; of those, I mean, who understand no worldly thing well; of those who are careless about everything, carried about by every breath of opinion, without knowledge, and without principle. But the term spiritual folly includes,[228] unhappily, a great many more than these; it takes in not those only who are in the common sense of the term foolish, but a great many who are in the common sense of the term clever, and many who are even in the common sense of the terms, prudent, sensible, thoughtful, and wise. It is but too evident that some of the ablest men who have ever lived upon earth, have been in no less a degree spiritually fools. And thus, it is not without much truth that Christian writers have dwelt upon the insufficiency of worldly wisdom, and have warned their readers to beware, lest, while professing themselves to be wise, they should be accounted as fools in the sight of God.

But the opposite to this notion, that those who are, as it were, fools in worldly matters are wise before God,although this also is true in a certain sense, and under certain peculiar circumstances, yet taken generally, it is the very reverse of truth; and the careless and incautious language which has been often used on this subject, has been extremely mischievous. On the contrary, he who is foolish in worldly matters is likely also to be, and most commonly is, no less foolish in the things of God. And the opposite belief has arisen mainly from that strange confusion between ignorance and innocence, with which many ignorant persons seem to solace themselves. Whereas, if you take away a man's knowledge, you do not bring him to the state of an infant, but to that of a brute; and of one of the most mischievous and malignant of the brute creation. For you do not lessen or weaken the man's body by lowering his mind; he still retains his strength and his passions, the passions leading to self-indulgence, the strength which enables him to feed them by continued gratification. He will not think, it is[229] true, to any good purpose; it is very possible to destroy in him the power of reflection, whether as exercised upon outward things, or upon himself and his own nature, or upon God. But you cannot destroy the power of adapting means to ends, nor that of concealing his purposes by fraud or falsehood; you take only his wisdom, and leave that cunning which marks so notoriously both the savage and the madman. He, then, who is a fool as far as regards earthly things, is much more a fool with regard to heavenly things; he who cannot raise himself even to the lower height, how is he to attain to the higher? he who is without reason and conscience, how shall he be endowed with the spirit of God?

It is my deep conviction and long experience of this truth, which makes me so grieve over a want of interest in your own improvement in human learning, whenever I observe it,over the prevalence of a thoughtless and childish spirit amongst you.... The idleness and want of interest which I grieve for, is one which extends itself, but too impartially, to knowledge of every kind: to divine knowledge, as might be expected, even more than to human. Those whom we commonly find careless about their general lessons, are quite as ignorant and as careless about their Bibles; those who have no interest in general literature, in poetry, or in history, or in philosophy, have certainly no greater interest, I do not say in works of theology, but in works of practical devotion, in the lives of holy men, in meditations, or in prayers. Alas, the interest of their minds is bestowed on things far lower than the very lowest of all which I have named; and therefore, to see them desiring something only a little higher than their present pursuits, could not but be encouraging; it would, at least, show that the mind was[230] rising upwards. It may, indeed, stop at a point short of the highest, it may learn to love earthly excellence, and rest there contented, and seek for nothing more perfect; but that, at any rate, is a future and merely contingent evil. It is better to love earthly excellence than earthly folly; it is far better in itself, and it is, by many degrees, nearer to the Kingdom of God.

There is another case, however, which I cannot but think is more frequent now than formerly; and if it is so, it may be worth while to direct our attention to it. Common idleness and absolute ignorance are not what I wish to speak of now, but a character advanced above these; a character which does not neglect its school-lessons, but really attains to considerable proficiency in them; a character at once regular and amiable, abstaining from evil, and for evil in its low and grosser forms having a real abhorrence. What, then, you will say, is wanting here? I will tell you what seems to be wantinga spirit of manly, and much more of Christian, thoughtfulness. There is quickness and cleverness; much pleasure, perhaps, in distinction, but little in improvement; there is no desire of knowledge for its own sake, whether human or divine. There is, therefore, but little power of combining and digesting what is read; and, consequently, what is read passes away, and takes no root in the mind. This same character shows itself in matters of conduct; it will adopt, without scruple, the most foolish, commonplace notions of boys, about what is right and wrong; it will not, and cannot, from the lightness of its mind, concern itself seriously about what is evil in the conduct of others, because it takes no regular care of its own, with reference to pleasing God; it will not do anything low or wicked, but it will some[231]times laugh at those who do; and it will by no means take pains to encourage, nay, it will sometimes thwart and oppose anything that breathes a higher spirit, and asserts a more manly and Christian standard of duty.

One cause of this consists in the number and character and cheapness, and peculiar mode of publication, of the works of amusement of the present day. The works of amusement published only a very few years since were comparatively few in number; they were less exciting, and therefore less attractive; they were dearer, and therefore less accessible; and, not being published periodically, they did not occupy the mind for so long a time, nor keep alive so constant an expectation; nor, by thus dwelling upon the mind, and distilling themselves into it as it were drop by drop, did they possess it so largely, coloring even, in many instances, its very language, and affording frequent matter for conversation.

The evil of all these circumstances is actually enormous. The mass of human minds, and much more of the minds of young persons, have no great appetite for intellectual exercise; but they have some, which by careful treatment may be strengthened and increased. But here to this weak and delicate appetite is presented an abundance of the most stimulating and least nourishing food possible. It snatches it greedily, and is not only satisfied, but actually conceives a distaste for anything simpler and more wholesome. That curiosity which is wisely given us to lead us on to knowledge, finds its full gratification in the details of an exciting and protracted story, and then lies down as it were gorged, and goes to sleep. Other faculties claim their turn, and have it. We know that in youth the healthy body and lively spirits require exercise, and in this they may and ought to be indulged;[232] but the time and interest which remain over when the body has had its enjoyment, and the mind desires its share, this has been already wasted and exhausted upon things utterly unprofitable: so that the mind goes to its work hurriedly and languidly, and feels it to be no more than a burden. The mere lessons may be learnt from a sense of duty; but that freshness of power which in young persons of ability would fasten eagerly upon some one portion or other of the wide field of knowledge, and there expatiate, drinking in health and strength to the mind, as surely as the natural exercise of the body gives to it bodily vigor,that is tired prematurely, perverted, and corrupted; and all the knowledge which else it might so covet, it now seems a wearying effort to retain.

Great and grievous as is the evil, it is peculiarly hard to find the remedy for it. If the books to which I have been alluding were books of downright wickedness, we might destroy them wherever we found them; we might forbid their open circulation; we might conjure you to shun them as you would any other clear sin, whether of word or deed. But they are not wicked books for the most part; they are of that class which cannot be actually prohibited; nor can it be pretended that there is a sin in reading them. They are not the more wicked for being published so cheap, and at regular intervals; but yet these two circumstances make them so peculiarly injurious. All that can be done is to point out the evil; that it is real and serious I am very sure, and its defects are most deplorable on the minds of the fairest promise; but the remedy for it rests with yourselves, or rather with each of you individually, so far as he is himself concerned. That an unnatural and constant excitement of the mind is most injurious, there is no doubt;[233] that excitement involves a consequent weakness, is a law of our nature than which none is surer; that the weakness of mind thus produced is and must be adverse to quiet study and thought, to that reflection which alone is wisdom, is also clear in itself, and proved too largely by experience. And that without reflection there can be no spiritual understanding, is at once evident; while without spiritual understanding, that is, without a knowledge and a study of God's will, there can be no spiritual life. And therefore childishness and unthoughtfulness cannot be light evils; and if I have rightly traced the prevalence of these defects to its cause, although that cause may seem to some to be trifling, yet surely it is well to call your attention to it, and to remind you that in reading works of amusement, as in every other lawful pleasure, there is and must be an abiding responsibility in the sight of God; that, like other lawful pleasures, we must beware of excess in it; and not only so, but if we find it hurtful to us, either because we have used it too freely in times past, or because our nature is too weak to bear it, that then we are bound most solemnly to abstain from it; because, however lawful in itself, or to others who can practise it without injury, whatever is to us an hindrance in the way of our intellectual and moral and spiritual improvement, that is in our case a positive sin.

There is a book, who runs may read, which heavenly truth imparts;
And all the lore its scholars need,pure eyes and Christian hearts.
The works of God, above, below, within us and around,
Are pages in that book, to show how God Himself is found.

John Keble.1792-1866.



Thomas Hood.1799-1845.

One more Unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing.

Touch her not scornfully;
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly;
Not of the stains of her,
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful:
Past all dishonor,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.

[235] Still, for all slips of hers,
One of Eve's family,
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily.

Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
Oh! it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God's providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,[236]
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
Swift to be hurl'd
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly,
No matter how coldly
The dark river ran,
Over the brink of it,
Picture it,think of it,
Dissolute Man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!

[237] Dreadfully staring
Through muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix'd on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurr'd by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest.
Cross her hands humbly,
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
Her evil behavior,
And leaving, with meekness,
Her sins to her Saviour!



Thomas Hood.

Thou happy, happy elf!
(But stop,first let me kiss away that tear)
Thou tiny image of myself!
(My love, he's poking peas into his ear!)
Thou merry, laughing sprite!
With spirits feather-light,
Untouch'd by sorrow, and unsoil'd by sin
(Good heavens! the child is swallowing a pin!)
[238] Thou little tricksy Puck!
With antic toys so funnily bestuck,
Light as the singing bird that wings the air
(The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!)
Thou darling of thy sire!
(Why, Jane, he'll set his pinafore a-fire!)
Thou imp of mirth and joy!
In Love's dear chain so strong and bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents(Drat the boy!
There goes my ink!)

Thou cherubbut of earth;
Fit playfellow for Fays, by moonlight pale,
In harmless sport and mirth,
(That dog will bite him if he pulls its tail!)
Thou human humming-bee extracting honey
From ev'ry blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in Youth's Elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble!that's his precious nose!)
Thy father's pride and hope!
(He'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope!)
With pure heart newly stamp'd from Nature's mint
(Where did he learn that squint?)

Thou young domestic dove!
(He'll have that jug off with another shove!)
Dear nursling of the hymeneal nest!
(Are those torn clothes his best?)
Little epitome of man!
(He'll climb upon the table, that's his plan!)
Touch'd with the beauteous tints of dawning life
(He's got a knife!)

Thou enviable being!
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing,
Play on, play on,
My elfin John!
[239] Toss the light ballbestride the stick
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick!)
With fancies buoyant as the thistle-down,
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk,
With many a lamb-like frisk,
(He's got the scissors, snipping at your gown!)

Thou pretty opening rose!
(Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose!)
Balmy, and breathing music like the South,
(He really brings my heart into my mouth!)
Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star,
(I wish that window had an iron bar!)
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove,
(I tell you what, my love,
I cannot write, unless he's sent above!)


Thomas Chandler Haliburton.1796-1865.

From Traits of American Humor.

Old Doctor Sobersides, the minister of Pumpkinville, where I lived in my youth, was one of the metaphysical divines of the old school, and could cavil upon the ninth part of a hair about entities and quiddities, nominalism and realism, free-will and necessity, with which sort of learning he used to stuff his sermons and astound his learned hearers, the bumpkins. They never doubted that it was all true, but were apt to say with the old woman in Molière: "He speaks so well that I don't understand him a bit."

[240]I remember a conversation that happened at my grandfather's, in which the Doctor had some difficulty in making his metaphysics all "as clear as preaching." There was my grandfather; Uncle Tim, who was the greatest hand at raising onions in our part of the country, but "not knowing metaphysics, had no notion of the true reason of his not being sad"; my Aunt Judy Keturah Titterwell, who could knit stockings "like all possest," but could not syllogise; Malachi Muggs, our hired man that drove the oxen; and Isaac Thrasher, the district schoolmaster, who had dropped in to warm his fingers and get a drink of cider. Something was under discussion, and my grandfather could make nothing of it; but the Doctor said it was "metaphysically true."

"Pray, Doctor," said Uncle Tim, "tell me something about metaphysics; I have often heard of that science, but never for my life could find out what it was."

"Metaphysics," said the Doctor, "is the science of abstraction."

"I'm no wiser for that explanation," said Uncle Tim.

"It treats," said the Doctor, "of matters most profound and sublime, a little difficult perhaps for a common intellect or an unschooled capacity to fathom, but not the less important on that account, to all living beings."

"What does it teach?" asked the Schoolmaster.

"It is not applied so much to the operation of teaching," answered the Doctor, "as to that of inquiring; and the chief inquiry is, whether things are, or whether they are not."

"I don't understand the question," said Uncle Tim, taking the pipe out of his mouth.

"For example, whether this earth on which we tread," said the Doctor, giving a heavy stamp on the floor, and[241] setting his foot on the cat's tail, "whether the earth does really exist, or whether it does not exist."

"That is a point of considerable consequence to settle," said my grandfather.

"Especially," added the schoolmaster, "to the holders of real estate."

"Now the earth," continued the Doctor, "may exist"

"Why, who ever doubted that?" asked Uncle Tim.

"A great many men," said the Doctor, "and some very learned ones."

Uncle Tim stared a moment, and then began to fill his pipe, whistling the tune of "Heigh! Betty Martin," while the Doctor went on:

"The earth, I say, may exist, although Bishop Berkeley has proved beyond all possible gainsaying or denial, that it does not exist. The case is clear; the only difficulty is, to know whether we shall believe it or not."

"And how," asked Uncle Tim, "is all this to be found out?"

"By digging down to the first principles," answered the Doctor.

"Ay," interrupted Malachi, "there is nothing equal to the spade and pickaxe."

"That is true," said my grandfather, going on in Malachi's way, "'tis by digging for the foundation, that we shall find out whether the world exists or not; for, if we dig to the bottom of the earth and find the foundationwhy then we are sure of it. But if we find no foundation, it is clear that the world stands upon nothing, or, in other words, that it does not stand at all; therefore, it stands to reason"

"I beg your pardon," interrupted the Doctor, "but you totally mistake me; I used the word digging meta[242]phorically, meaning the profoundest cogitation and research into the nature of things. That is the way in which we may ascertain whether things are, or whether they are not."

"But if a man can't believe his eyes," said Uncle Tim, "what signifies talking about it?"

"Our eyes," said the Doctor, "are nothing at all but the inlets of sensation, and when we see a thing, all we are aware of is, that we have a sensation of it: we are not aware that the thing exists. We are sure of nothing that we see with our eyes."

"Not without spectacles," said Aunt Judy.

"Plato, for instance, maintains that the sensation of any object is produced by a perpetual succession of copies, images, or counterfeits, streaming off from the object to the organ of sensation. Descartes, too, has explained the matter upon the principle of whirligigs."

"But does the world exist?" asked the Schoolmaster.

"A good deal may be said on both sides," replied the Doctor, "though the ablest heads are for non-existence."

"In common cases," said Uncle Tim, "those who utter nonsense are considered blockheads."

"But in metaphysics," said the Doctor, "the case is different."

"Now all this is hocus-pocus to me," said Aunt Judy, suspending her knitting-work, and scratching her forehead with one of the needles, "I don't understand a bit more of the business than I did at first."

"I'll be bound there is many a learned professor," said Uncle Tim, "could say the same after spinning a long yarn of metaphysics."

The Doctor did not admire this gibe at his favorite science.

[243]"That is as the case may be," said he; "this thing or that thing may be dubious, but what then? Doubt is the beginning of wisdom."

"No doubt of that," said my grandfather, beginning to poke the fire, "and when a man has got through his doubting, what does he begin to build up in the metaphysical way?"

"Why, he begins by taking something for granted," said the Doctor.

"But is that a sure way of going to work?"

"'Tis the only thing he can do," replied the Doctor, after a pause, and rubbing his forehead as if he was not altogether satisfied that his foundation was a solid one. My grandfather might have posed him with another question, but he poked the fire and let him go on.

"Metaphysics, to speak exactly——"

"Ah," interrupted the Schoolmaster, "bring it down to vulgar fractions, and then we shall understand it."

"'Tis the consideration of immateriality, or the mere spirit and essence of things."

"Come, come," said Aunt Judy, taking a pinch of snuff, "now I see into it."

"Thus, man is considered, not in his corporeality, but in his essence or capability of being; for a man, metaphysically, or to metaphysical purposes, hath two natures, that of spirituality, and that of corporeality, which may be considered separate."

"What man?" asked Uncle Tim.

"Why, any man; Malachi there, for example; I may consider him as Malachi spiritual, or Malachi corporeal."

"That is true," said Malachi, "for when I was in the militia they made me a sixteenth corporal, and I carried grog to the drummer."

[244]"That is another affair," said the Doctor in continuation; "we speak of man in his essence; we speak, also, of the essence of locality, the essence of duration"

"And essence of peppermint," said Aunt Judy.

"Pooh!" said the Doctor, "the essence I mean is quite a different essence."

"Something too fine to be dribbled through the worm of a still," said my grandfather.

"Then I am all in the dark again," rejoined Aunt Judy.

"By the spirit and essence of things I mean things in the abstract."

"And what becomes of a thing when it goes into the abstract?" asked Uncle Tim.

"Why, it becomes an abstraction."

"There we are again," said Uncle Tim; "but what on earth is an abstraction?"

"It is a thing that has no matter: that is, it cannot be felt, seen, heard, smelt, or tasted; it has no substance or solidity; it is neither large nor small, hot nor cold, long nor short."

"Then what is the long and short of it?" asked the Schoolmaster.

"Abstraction," replied the Doctor.

"Suppose, for instance," said Malachi, "that I had a pitchfork——"

"Ay," said the Doctor, "consider a pitchfork in general; that is, neither this one nor that one, nor any particular one, but a pitchfork or pitchforks divested of their materialitythese are things in the abstract."

"They are things in the hay-mow," said Malachi.

"Pray," said Uncle Tim, "have there been many such things discovered?"

[245]"Discovered!" returned the Doctor, "why, all things, whether in heaven, or upon the earth, or in the waters under the earth, whether small or great, visible or invisible, animate or inanimate; whether the eye can see, or the ear can hear, or the nose can smell, or the fingers touch; finally, whatever exists or is imaginable in the nature of things, past, present, or to come, all may be abstractions."

"Indeed!" said Uncle Tim, "pray, what do you make of the abstraction of a red cow?"

"A red cow," said the Doctor, "considered metaphysically or as an abstraction, is an animal possessing neither hide nor horns, bones nor flesh, but is the mere type, eidolon, and fantastical semblance of these parts of a quadruped. It has a shape without any substance, and no color at all, for its redness is the mere counterfeit or imagination of such. As it lacks the positive, so is it also deficient in the accidental properties of all the animals in its tribe, for it has no locomotion, stability, or endurance, neither goes to pasture, gives milk, chews the cud, nor performs any other function of the horned beast, but is a mere creation of the brain, begotten by a freak of the fancy and nourished by a conceit of the imagination."

"Pshaw!" exclaimed Aunt Judy. "All the metaphysics under the sun wouldn't make a pound of butter!"

"That's a fact," said Uncle Tim.

There is no great and no small
To the Soul that maketh all:
And where it cometh, all things are:
And it cometh everywhere.




Samuel Lover.1797-1868.

When summer's verdant beauty flies,
And autumn glows with richer dyes,
A softer charm beyond them lies
It is the Indian summer.
Ere winter's snows and winter's breeze
Bereave of beauty all the trees,
The balmy spring renewal sees
In the sweet Indian summer.

And thus, dear love, if early years
Have drown'd the germ of joy in tears,
A later gleam of hope appears
Just like the Indian summer:
And ere the snows of age descend,
O trust me, dear one, changeless friend,
Our falling years may brightly end
Just like the Indian summer.


[J] The brief period which succeeds the autumnal close, called the "Indian Summer,"a reflex, as it were, of the early portion of the yearstrikes a stranger in America as peculiarly beautiful, and quite charmed me.Lover.


July 7, 1839.

Winthrop Mackworth Praed.1802-1839.

Dearest, I did not dream, four years ago,
When through your veil I saw your bright tear shine,
Caught your clear whisper, exquisitely low,
And felt your soft hand tremble into mine,

[247] That in so briefso very brief a space,
He, who in love both clouds and cheers our life,
Would lay on you, so full of light, joy, grace,
The darker, sadder duties of the wife,
Doubts, fears, and frequent toil, and constant care
For this poor frame, by sickness sore bested;
The daily tendance on the fractious chair,
The nightly vigil by the feverish bed.

Yet not unwelcom'd doth this morn arise,
Though with more gladsome beams it might have shone:
Strength of these weak hands, light of these dim eyes,
In sickness, as in health,bless you, My Own!


[K] Praed died on the 15th of July.



Lord Macaulay.1800-1859.

Lars Porsena of Clusium by the Nine Gods he swore
That the great house of Tarquin should suffer wrong no more.
By the Nine Gods he swore it, and named a trysting day,
And bade his messengers ride forth, east and west and south
and north,
To summon his array.

East and west and south and north the messengers ride fast,
And tower and town and cottage have heard the trumpet's blast.
Shame on the false Etruscan who lingers in his home,
When Porsena of Clusium is on the march for Rome.

[248] The horsemen and the footmen are pouring in amain
From many a stately market-place; from many a fruitful plain;
From many a lonely hamlet, which, hid by beech and pine,
Like an eagle's nest, hangs on the crest of purple Apennine;
From lordly Volaterræ, where scowls the far-famed hold
Piled by the hands of giants for godlike kings of old;
From seagirt Populonia, whose sentinels descry
Sardinia's snowy mountain-tops fringing the southern sky;
From the proud mart of Pisæ, queen of the western waves,
Where ride Massilia's triremes heavy with fair-hair'd slaves;
From where sweet Clanis wanders through corn and vines and
From where Cortona lifts to heaven her diadem of towers.

Tall are the oaks whose acorns drop in dark Auser's rill;
Fat are the stags that champ the boughs of the Ciminian hill;
Beyond all streams Clitumnus is to the herdsman dear;
Best of all pools the fowler loves the great Volsinian mere.
But now no stroke of woodman is heard by Auser's rill;
No hunter tracks the stag's green path up the Ciminian hill;
Unwatch'd along Clitumnus grazes the milk-white steer;
Unharm'd the waterfowl may dip in the Volsinian mere.
The harvests of Arretium, this year, old men shall reap;
This year, young boys in Umbro shall plunge the struggling
And in the vats of Luna, this year, the must shall foam
Round the white feet of laughing girls whose sires have march'd
to Rome.

There be thirty chosen prophets, the wisest of the land,
Who alway by Lars Porsena both morn and evening stand:
Evening and morn the Thirty have turn'd the verses o'er,
Traced from the right on linen white by mighty seers of yore.
And with one voice the Thirty have their glad answer given:
"Go forth, go forth, Lars Porsena; go forth, belov'd of heaven.
[249] Go, and return in glory to Clusium's royal dome;
And hang round Nurscia's altars the golden shields of Rome."

And now hath every city sent up her tale of men:
The foot are fourscore thousand, the horse are thousands ten.
Before the gates of Sutrium is met the great array.
A proud man was Lars Porsena upon the trysting day.
For all the Etruscan armies were ranged beneath his eye,
And many a banish'd Roman, and many a stout ally;
And with a mighty following to join the muster came
The Tusculan Mamilius, prince of the Latian name.

But by the yellow Tiber was tumult and affright:
From all the spacious champaign to Rome men took their flight.
A mile around the city, the throng stopp'd up the ways;
A fearful sight it was to see through two long nights and days.
For aged folks on crutches, and women great with child,
And mothers sobbing over babes that clung to them and smiled,
And sick men borne in litters high on the necks of slaves,
And troops of sun-burn'd husbandmen with reaping-hooks and
And droves of mules and asses laden with skins of wine,
And endless flocks of goats and sheep, and endless herds of
And endless trains of wagons that creak'd beneath the weight
Of corn-sacks and of household goods, choked every roaring

Now, from the rock Tarpeian, could the wan burghers spy
The line of blazing villages red in the midnight sky.
The Fathers of the City, they sat all night and day,
For every hour some horseman came with tidings of dismay.
To eastward and to westward have spread the Tuscan bands;
Nor house, nor fence, nor dovecote in Crustumerium stands.
Verbenna down to Ostia hath wasted all the plain;
Astur hath storm'd Janiculum, and the stout guards are slain.
[250] I wis, in all the Senate, there was no heart so bold,
But sore it ached, and fast it beat, when that ill news was told.
Forthwith up rose the Consul, up rose the Fathers all;
In haste they girded up their gowns, and hied them to the wall.
They held a council standing, before the River-Gate;
Short time was there, ye well may guess, for musing or debate.
Out spake the Consul roundly: "The bridge must straight go
For, since Janiculum is lost, nought else can save the town."

Just then a scout came flying, all wild with haste and fear:
"To arms! to arms! Sir Consul: Lars Porsena is here."
On the low hills to westward the Consul fix'd his eye,
And saw the swarthy storm of dust rise fast along the sky.
And nearer fast and nearer doth the red whirlwind come;
And louder still and still more loud, from underneath that rolling
Is heard the trumpet's war-note proud, the trampling, and the
And plainly and more plainly now through the gloom appears,
Far to left and far to right, in broken gleams of dark-blue light,
The long array of helmets bright, the long array of spears.
And plainly and more plainly above that glimmering line,
Now might ye see the banners of twelve fair cities shine;
But the banner of proud Clusium was highest of them all,
The terror of the Umbrian, the terror of the Gaul.
And plainly and more plainly now might the burghers know,
By port and vest, by horse and crest, each warlike Lucumo.
There Cilnius of Arretium on his fleet roan was seen;
And Astur of the four-fold shield, girt with the brand none else
may wield,
Tolumnius with the belt of gold, and dark Verbenna from the
By reedy Thrasymene.

Fast by the royal standard, o'erlooking all the war,
Lars Porsena of Clusium sat in his ivory car.
[251] By the right wheel rode Mamilius, prince of the Latian name;
And by the left false Sextus, that wrought the deed of shame.
But when the face of Sextus was seen among the foes,
A yell that rent the firmament from all the town arose.
On the house-tops was no woman but spat towards him and
No child but scream'd out curses, and shook its little fist.
But the Consul's brow was sad, and the Consul's speech was low,
And darkly look'd he at the wall, and darkly at the foe.
"Their van will be upon us before the bridge goes down;
And if they once may win the bridge, what hope to save the

Then out spake brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods,
And for the tender mother who dandled him to rest,
And for the wife who nurses his baby at her breast,
And for the holy maidens who feed the eternal flame,
To save them from false Sextus that wrought the deed of shame?
Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me, will hold the foe in play.
In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopp'd by three.
Now who will stand on either hand, and keep the bridge with

Then out spake Spurius Lartius; a Ramnian proud was he:
"Lo, I will stand at thy right hand, and keep the bridge with
And out spake strong Herminius; of Titian blood was he:
"I will abide on thy left side, and keep the bridge with thee."

"Horatius," quoth the Consul, "as thou sayest, so let it be."
And straight against that great array forth went the dauntless
[252] For Romans in Rome's quarrel spared neither land nor gold,
Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life, in the brave days of old.
Then none was for a party; then all were for the state;
Then the great man help'd the poor, and the poor man lov'd
the great:
Then lands were fairly portion'd; then spoils were fairly sold:
The Romans were like brothers in the brave days of old.
Now Roman is to Roman more hateful than a foe,
And the Tribunes beard the high, and the Fathers grind the
As we wax hot in faction, in battle we wax cold:
Wherefore men fight not as they fought in the brave days of old.

Now while the Three were tightening their harness on their
The Consul was the foremost man to take in hand an axe:
And Fathers mix'd with Commons seized hatchet, bar, and crow,
And smote upon the planks above, and loosed the props below.

Meanwhile the Tuscan army, right glorious to behold,
Came flashing back the noonday light, rank behind rank, like
surges bright
Of a broad sea of gold.
Four hundred trumpets sounded a peal of warlike glee,
As that great host, with measured tread, and spears advanced,
and ensigns spread,
Roll'd slowly towards the bridge's head, where stood the dauntless

The Three stood calm and silent, and look'd upon the foes,
And a great shout of laughter from all the vanguard rose:
And forth three chiefs came spurring before that deep array;
To earth they sprang, their swords they drew, and lifted high
their shields, and flew
To win the narrow way;
Aunus from green Tifernum, lord of the Hill of Vines;
And Seius, whose eight hundred slaves sicken in Ilva's mines;
[253] And Picus, long to Clusium vassal in peace and war,
Who led to fight his Umbrian powers from that gray crag where,
girt with towers,
The fortress of Nequinum lowers o'er the pale waves of Nar.

Stout Lartius hurled down Aunus into the stream beneath:
Herminius struck at Seius, and clove him to the teeth:
At Picus brave Horatius darted one fiery thrust;
And the proud Umbrian's gilded arms clash'd in the bloody

Then Ocnus of Falerii rush'd on the Roman Three;
And Lausulus of Urgo, the rover of the sea;
And Aruns of Volsinium, who slew the great wild boar,
The great wild boar that had his den amidst the reeds of Cosa's
And wasted fields, and slaughter'd men, along Albinia's shore.

Herminius smote down Aruns: Lartius laid Ocnus low:
Right to the heart of Lausulus Horatius sent a blow.
"Lie there," he cried, "fell pirate! no more, aghast and pale,
From Ostia's walls the crowd shall mark the track of thy
destroying bark.
No more Campania's hinds shall fly to woods and caverns when
they spy.
Thy thrice accursèd sail."

But now no sound of laughter was heard among the foes.
A wild and wrathful clamor from all the vanguard rose.
Six spears' lengths from the entrance halted that deep array,
And for a space no man came forth to win the narrow way.

But hark! the cry is Astur: and lo! the ranks divide;
And the great Lord of Luna comes with his stately stride.
Upon his ample shoulders clangs loud the four-fold shield,
And in his hand he shakes the brand which none but he can

[254] He smiled on those bold Romans a smile serene and high;
He eyed the flinching Tuscans, and scorn was in his eye.
Quoth he, "The she-wolf's litter stand savagely at bay:
But will ye dare to follow, if Astur clears the way?"
Then, whirling up his broadsword with both hands to the height,
He rush'd against Horatius, and smote with all his might.
With shield and blade Horatius right deftly turn'd the blow.
The blow, though turn'd, came yet too nigh; it miss'd his helm,
but gash'd his thigh:
The Tuscans raised a joyful cry to see the red blood flow.
He reel'd, and on Herminius he lean'd one breathing-space;
Then, like a wild-cat mad with wounds, sprang right at Astur's
Through teeth, and skull, and helmet, so fierce a thrust he sped,
The good sword stood a hand-breadth out behind the Tuscan's
And the great Lord of Luna fell at that deadly stroke,
As falls on Mount Alvernus a thunder-smitten oak.
Far o'er the crashing forest the giant arms lie spread;
And the pale augurs, muttering low, gaze on the blasted head.
On Astur's throat Horatius right firmly press'd his heel,
And thrice and four times tugg'd amain, ere he wrench'd out
the steel.
"And see," he cried, "the welcome, fair guests, that waits you
What noble Lucumo comes next to taste our Roman cheer?"

But at his haughty challenge a sullen murmur ran,
Mingled of wrath, and shame, and dread, along that glittering van.
There lack'd not men of prowess, nor men of lordly race;
For all Etruria's noblest were round the fatal place.
But all Etruria's noblest felt their hearts sink to see
On the earth the bloody corpses, in the path the dauntless
[255] And, from the ghastly entrance where those bold Romans stood,
All shrank, like boys who unaware, ranging the woods to start
a hare,
Come to the mouth of the dark lair where, growling low, a fierce
old bear
Lies amidst bones and blood.
Was none who would be foremost to lead such dire attack:
But those behind cried "Forward!" and those before cried
And backward now and forward wavers the deep array;
And on the tossing sea of steel, to and fro the standards reel;
And the victorious trumpet-peal dies fitfully away.

Yet one man for one moment stood out before the crowd;
Well known was he to all the Three, and they gave him greeting
"Now welcome, welcome, Sextus! now welcome to thy home!
Why dost thou stay, and turn away? here lies the road to Rome."
Thrice look'd he at the city; thrice look'd he at the dead;
And thrice came on in fury, and thrice turn'd back in dread;
And, white with fear and hatred, scowl'd at the narrow way
Where, wallowing in a pool of blood, the bravest Tuscans lay.

But meanwhile axe and lever have manfully been plied;
And now the bridge hangs tottering above the boiling tide.
"Come back, come back, Horatius!" loud cried the Fathers all.
"Back, Lartius! back, Herminius! back, ere the ruin fall!"
Back darted Spurius Lartius; Herminius darted back:
And, as they pass'd, beneath their feet they felt the timbers
But when they turn'd their faces, and on the farther shore
Saw brave Horatius stand alone, they would have cross'd once
But with a crash like thunder fell every loosen'd beam,
And, like a dam, the mighty wreck lay right athwart the stream:
And a long shout of triumph rose from the walls of Rome,
As to the highest turret-tops was splash'd the yellow foam.
[256] And, like a horse unbroken when first he feels the rein,
The furious river struggled hard, and toss'd his tawny mane,
And burst the curb, and bounded, rejoicing to be free,
And whirling down, in fierce career, battlement, and plank, and
Rush'd headlong to the sea.

Alone stood brave Horatius, but constant still in mind;
Thrice thirty thousand foes before, and the broad flood behind.
"Down with him!" cried false Sextus, with a smile on his pale
"Now yield thee," cried Lars Porsena, "now yield thee to our
Round turn'd he, as not deigning those craven ranks to see;
Nought spake he to Lars Porsena, to Sextus nought spake he;
But he saw on Palatinus the white porch of his home;
And he spake to the noble river that rolls by the towers of
"O Tiber! father Tiber! to whom the Romans pray,
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms, take thou in charge this day!"
So he spake, and speaking sheathed the good sword by his side,
And with his harness on his back plunged headlong in the tide.

No sound of joy or sorrow was heard from either bank;
But friends and foes in dumb surprise, with parted lips and
straining eyes,
Stood gazing where he sank;
And when above the surges they saw his crest appear,
All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry, and even the ranks of
Could scarce forbear to cheer.
But fiercely ran the current, swollen high by months of rain:
And fast his blood was flowing, and he was sore in pain,
And heavy with his armor, and spent with changing blows:
And oft they thought him sinking, but still again he rose.
Never, I ween, did swimmer, in such an evil case,
Struggle through such a raging flood safe to the landing-place:
But his limbs were borne up bravely by the brave heart within,
And our good father Tiber bare bravely up his chin.

[257] "Curse on him!" quoth false Sextus; "will not the villain
But for this stay, ere close of day we should have sack'd the
"Heaven help him!" quoth Lars Porsena, "and bring him safe
to shore;
For such a gallant feat of arms was never seen before."
And now he feels the bottom; now on dry earth he stands;
Now round him throng the Fathers to press his gory hands;
And now, with shouts and clapping, and noise of weeping loud,
He enters through the River-Gate, borne by the joyous crowd.

They gave him of the corn-land, that was of public right,
As much as two strong oxen could plough from morn till night;
And they made a molten image, and set it up on high,
And there it stands unto this day to witness if I lie.
It stands in the Comitium, plain for all folk to see;
Horatius in his harness, halting upon one knee:
And underneath is written, in letters all of gold,
How valiantly he kept the bridge in the brave days of old.

And still his name sounds stirring unto the men of Rome,
As the trumpet-blast that cries to them to charge the Volscian
And wives still pray to Juno for boys with hearts as bold
As his who kept the bridge so well in the brave days of old.
And in the nights of winter, when the cold north-winds blow,
And the long howling of the wolves is heard amidst the snow;
When round the lonely cottage roars loud the tempest's din,
And the good logs of Algidus roar louder yet within;
When the oldest cask is open'd, and the largest lamp is lit;
When the chestnuts glow in the embers, and the kid turns on
the spit;
When young and old in circle around the firebrands close;
When the girls are weaving baskets, and the lads are shaping
[258] When the goodman mends his armor, and trims his helmet's
When the goodwife's shuttle merrily goes flashing through the
With weeping and with laughter still is the story told,
How well Horatius kept the bridge in the brave days of old.


[L] For the sake of space a change has been made from the usual form of the poem.


Edgar Allan Poe.1809-1849.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I ponder'd, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber-door.
"'Tis some visitor," I mutter'd, "tapping at my chamber-door,
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah! distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wish'd the morrow: vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow,sorrow for the lost Lenore;
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrill'd mefill'd me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber-door,
Some late visitor, entreating entrance at my chamber-door;
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger: hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
[259] But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber-door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you";here I open'd wide the door;
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whisper'd word "Lenore?"
This I whisper'd, and an echo murmur'd back the word "Lenore!"
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window-lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore,
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore:
'Tis the wind, and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepp'd a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he, not a minute stopp'd or stay'd he,
But, with mien of lord or lady, perch'd above my chamber-door;
Perch'd upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber-door;
Perch'd, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure
no craven,
[260] Ghastly, grim, and ancient Raven, wandering from the Nightly
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvell'd this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we can not help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was bless'd with seeing bird above his chamber-door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber-door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he utter'd, not a feather then he flutter'd,
Till I scarcely more than mutter'd, "Other friends have flown before:
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful Disaster
Follow'd fast, and follow'd faster, till his songs one burden bore,
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore,

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheel'd a cushion'd seat in front of bird, and bust,
and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird
of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

[261] This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl, whose fiery eyes now burn'd into my bosom's core:
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er;
But whose velvet violet lining, with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall pressah! nevermore.

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen
Swung by seraphim, whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent theeby these angels
he hath sent thee
Respite, respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, Oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!prophet still, if bird or devil!
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest toss'd thee here
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted,
On this home by Horror haunted,tell me truly, I implore,
Is thereis there balm in Gilead? tell metell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore,
Tell this soul, with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore,
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shriek'd,
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
[262] Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off
my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas, just above my chamber-door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be liftednevermore!


Nathaniel Hawthorne.1804-1864.

From "Twice-Told Tales."

We can be but partially acquainted even with the events which actually influence our course through life, and our final destiny. There are innumerable other events, if such they may be called, which come close upon us, yet pass away without actual results, or even betraying their near approach by the reflection of any light or shadow across our minds. Could we know all the vicissitudes of our fortunes, life would be too full of hope and fear, exultation or disappointment, to afford us a single hour of true serenity. This idea may be illustrated by a page from the secret history of David Swan.

We have nothing to do with David until we find him, at the age of twenty, on the high road from his native[263] place to the city of Boston, where his uncle, a small dealer in the grocery line, was to take him behind the counter. Be it enough to say, that he was a native of New Hampshire, born of respectable parents, and had received an ordinary school education, with a classic finish by a year at Gilmanton Academy. After journeying on foot from sunrise till nearly noon of a summer's day, his weariness and the increasing heat determined him to sit down in the first convenient shade, and await the coming up of the stage-coach. As if planted on purpose for him, there soon appeared a little tuft of maples, with a delightful recess in the midst, and such a fresh bubbling spring, that it seemed never to have sparkled for any wayfarer but David Swan. Virgin or not, he kissed it with his thirsty lips, and then flung himself along the brink, pillowing his head upon some shirts and a pair of pantaloons, tied up in a striped cotton handkerchief. The sunbeams could not reach him; the dust did not yet rise from the road, after the heavy rain of yesterday; and his grassy lair suited the young man better than a bed of down. The spring murmured drowsily beside him; the branches waved dreamily across the blue sky overhead; and a deep sleep, perchance hiding dreams within its depths, fell upon David Swan. But we are to relate events which he did not dream of.

While he lay sound asleep in the shade, other people were wide-awake, and passed to an fro, afoot, on horseback, and in all sorts of vehicles, along the sunny road by his bed-chamber. Some looked neither to the right hand nor to the left, and knew not that he was there; some merely glanced that way, without admitting the slumberer among their busy thoughts; some laughed to see how soundly he slept; and several, whose hearts were[264] brimming full of scorn, ejected their venomous superfluity upon David Swan. A middle-aged widow, when nobody else was near, thrust her head a little way into the recess, and vowed that the young fellow looked charming in his sleep. A temperance lecturer saw him, and wrought poor David into the texture of his evening's discourse, as an awful instance of dead-drunkenness by the road-side. But censure, praise, merriment, scorn, and indifference, were all one, or rather all nothing, to David Swan.

He had slept only a few moments when a brown carriage, drawn by a handsome pair of horses, bowled easily along, and was brought to a stand-still nearly in front of David's resting-place. A linch-pin had fallen out, and permitted one of the wheels to slide off. The damage was slight, and occasioned merely a momentary alarm to an elderly merchant and his wife, who were returning to Boston in the carriage. While the coachman and a servant were replacing the wheel, the lady and gentleman sheltered themselves beneath the maple-trees, and there espied the bubbling fountain, and David Swan asleep beside it. Impressed with the awe which the humblest sleeper usually sheds around him, the merchant trod as lightly as the gout would allow; and his spouse took good heed not to rustle her silk gown, lest David should start up, all of a sudden.

"How soundly he sleeps!" whispered the old gentleman. "From what a depth he draws that easy breath! Such sleep as that, brought on without an opiate, would be worth more to me than half my income, for it would suppose health and an untroubled mind."

"And youth besides," said the lady. "Healthy and quiet age does not sleep thus. Our slumber is no more like his than our wakefulness."

[265]The longer they looked, the more did this elderly couple feel interested in the unknown youth, to whom the wayside and the maple shade were as a secret chamber, with the rich gloom of damask curtains brooding over him. Perceiving that a stray sunbeam glimmered down upon his face, the lady contrived to twist a branch aside, so as to intercept it. And having done this little act of kindness, she began to feel like a mother to him.

"Providence seems to have laid him here," whispered she to her husband, "and to have brought us hither to find him, after our disappointment in our cousin's son. Methinks I can see a likeness to our departed Henry. Shall we waken him?"

"To what purpose?" said the merchant, hesitating. "We know nothing of the youth's character."

"That open countenance!" replied his wife, in the same hushed voice, yet earnestly. "This innocent sleep!"

While these whispers were passing, the sleeper's heart did not throb, nor his breath become agitated, nor his features betray the least token of interest. Yet Fortune was bending over him, just ready to let fall a burthen of gold. The old merchant had lost his only son, and had no heir to his wealth, except a distant relative, with whose conduct he was dissatisfied. In such cases, people sometimes do stranger things than to act the magician, and awaken a young man to splendor, who fell asleep in poverty.

"Shall we not waken him?" repeated the lady, persuasively.

"The coach is ready, sir," said the servant, behind.

The old couple started, reddened, and hurried away, mutually wondering that they should ever have dreamed of doing anything so very ridiculous. The merchant[266] threw himself back in the carriage, and occupied his mind with the plan of a magnificent asylum for unfortunate men of business. Meanwhile, David Swan enjoyed his nap.

The carriage could not have gone above a mile or two, when a pretty young girl came along with a tripping pace, which showed precisely how her little heart was dancing in her bosom. Perhaps it was this merry kind of motion that causedis there any harm in saying it?her garter to slip its knot. Conscious that the silken girth, if silk it were, was relaxing its hold, she turned aside into the shelter of the maple-trees, and there found a young man asleep by the spring! Blushing as red as any rose, that she should have intruded into a gentleman's bed-chamber, and for such a purpose, too, she was about to make her escape on tiptoe. But there was peril near the sleeper. A monster of a bee had been wandering overheadbuzz, buzz, buzznow among the leaves, now flashing through the strips of sunshine, and now lost in the dark shade, till finally he appeared to be settling on the eyelid of David Swan. The sting of a bee is sometimes deadly. As free-hearted as she was innocent, the girl attacked the intruder with her handkerchief, brushed him soundly, and drove him from the maple shade. How sweet a picture! This good deed accomplished, with quickened breath, and a deeper blush, she stole a glance at the youthful stranger, for whom she had been battling with a dragon in the air.

"He is handsome!" thought she, and blushed redder yet.

How could it be that no dream of bliss grew so strong within him, that, shattered by its very strength, it should part asunder, and allow him to perceive the girl among[267] its phantoms? Why, at least, did no smile of welcome brighten upon his face? She was come, the maid whose soul, according to the old and beautiful idea, had been severed from his own, and whom, in all his vague but passionate desires, he yearned to meet. Her only could he love with a perfect lovehim only could she receive into the depths of her heartand now her image was faintly blushing in the fountain by his side; should it pass away, its happy lustre would never gleam upon his life again.

"How sound he sleeps!" murmured the girl.

She departed, but did not trip along the road so lightly as when she came.

Now, this girl's father was a thriving country merchant in the neighborhood, and happened, at that identical time, to be looking out for just such a young man as David Swan. Had David formed a wayside acquaintance with the daughter, he would have become the father's clerk, and all else in natural succession. So here, again, had good fortunethe best of fortunesstolen so near, that her garments brushed against him; and he knew nothing of the matter.

The girl was hardly out of sight, when two men turned aside beneath the maple shade. Both had dark faces, set off by cloth caps, which were drawn down aslant over their brows. Their dresses were shabby, yet had a certain smartness. These were a couple of rascals, who got their living by whatever the devil sent them, and now, in the interim of other business, had staked the joint profits of their next piece of villainy on a game of cards, which was to have been decided here under the trees. But, finding David asleep by the spring, one of the rogues whispered to his fellow

[268]"Hist!Do you see that bundle under his head?"

The other villain nodded, winked, and leered.

"I'll bet you a horn of brandy," said the first, "that the chap has either a pocket-book or a snug little hoard of small change, stowed away amongst his shirts. And if not there, we shall find it in his pantaloons' pocket."

"But how if he wakes?" said the other.

His companion thrust aside his waistcoat, pointed to the handle of a dirk, and nodded.

"So be it!" muttered the second villain.

They approached the unconscious David, and, while one pointed the dagger towards his heart, the other began to search the bundle beneath his head. Their two faces, grim, wrinkled, and ghastly with guilt and fear, bent over their victim, looking horribly enough to be mistaken for fiends, should he suddenly awake. Nay, had the villains glanced aside into the spring, even they would hardly have known themselves, as reflected there. But David Swan had never worn a more tranquil aspect, even when asleep on his mother's breast.

"I must take away the bundle," whispered one.

"If he stirs, I'll strike," muttered the other.

But, at this moment, a dog, scenting along the ground, came in beneath the maple-trees, and gazed alternately at each of these wicked men, and then at the quiet sleeper. He then lapped out of the fountain.

"Pshaw!" said one villain. "We can do nothing now. The dog's master must be close behind."

"Let's take a drink, and be off," said the other.

The man with the dagger thrust back the weapon into his bosom, and drew forth a pocket-pistol, but not of that kind which kills by a single discharge. It was a flask of liquor, with a block-tin tumbler screwed upon the mouth.[269] Each drank a comfortable dram, and left the spot, with so many jests, and such laughter at their unaccomplished wickedness, that they might be said to have gone on their way rejoicing. In a few hours they had forgotten the whole affair, nor once imagined that the recording angel had written down the crime of murder against their souls, in letters as durable as eternity. As for David Swan, he still slept quietly, neither conscious of the shadow of death when it hung over him, nor of the glow of renewed life when that shadow was withdrawn.

He slept, but no longer so quietly as at first. An hour's repose had snatched from his elastic frame the weariness with which many hours of toil had burthened it. Now he stirrednow moved his lips, without a soundnow talked in an inward tone to the noonday spectres of his dream. But a noise of wheels came rattling louder and louder along the road, until it dashed through the dispersing mist of David's slumberand there was the stage-coach. He started up, with all his ideas about him.

"Hallo, driver! Take a passenger?" shouted he.

"Room on top!" answered the driver.

Up mounted David, and bowled away merrily towards Boston, without so much as a parting glance at that fountain of dreamlike vicissitude. He knew not that a phantom of Wealth had thrown a golden hue upon its waters, nor that one of Love had sighed softly to their murmur, nor that one of Death had threatened to crimson them with his bloodall, in the brief hour since he lay down to sleep. Sleeping or waking, we hear not the airy footsteps of the strange things that almost happen. Does it not argue a superintending Providence, that, while viewless and unexpected events thrust themselves continually athwart our path, there should still be regu[270]larity enough in mortal life, to render foresight even partially available?


Elizabeth Barrett Browning.1809-1861.

She was not as pretty as women I know,
And yet all your best made of sunshine and snow
Drop to shade, melt to nought in the long-trodden ways,
While she's still remember'd on warm and cold days
My Kate.

Her air had a meaning, her movements a grace;
You turn'd from the fairest to gaze on her face:
And when you had once seen her forehead and mouth,
You saw as distinctly her soul and her truth
My Kate.

Such a blue inner light from her eyelids outbroke,
You look'd at her silence and fancied she spoke:
When she did, so peculiar yet soft was the tone,
Though the loudest spoke also, you heard her alone
My Kate.

I doubt if she said to you much that could act
As a thought or suggestion: she did not attract
In the sense of the brilliant or wise: I infer
'Twas her thinking of others, made you think of her
My Kate.

She never found fault with you, never implied
Your wrong by her right; and yet men at her side
Grew nobler, girls purer, as through the whole town
The children were gladder that pull'd at her gown
My Kate.

[271] None knelt at her feet confess'd lovers in thrall;
They knelt more to God than they used,that was all;
If you praised her as charming, some ask'd what you meant,
But the charm of her presence was felt when she went
My Kate.

The weak and the gentle, the ribald and rude,
She took as she found them, and did them all good:
It always was so with her: see what you have!
She has made the grass greener even here ... with her grave
My Kate.

My dear one!when thou wast alive with the rest,
I held thee the sweetest and lov'd thee the best:
And now thou art dead, shall I not take thy part
As thy smiles used to do for thyself, my sweet Heart
My Kate?


Mrs. Browning.

O Rose, who dares to name thee?
No longer roseate now, nor soft nor sweet,
But pale and hard and dry as stubble wheat,
Kept seven years in a drawer, thy titles shame thee.

The breeze that used to blow thee
Between the hedgerow thorns, and take away
An odor up the lane to last all day,
If breathing now, unsweeten'd would forego thee.

The sun that used to smite thee,
And mix his glory in thy gorgeous urn
Till beam appear'd to bloom, and flower to burn,
If shining now, with not a hue would light thee.

[272] The dew that used to wet thee,
And, white first, grow incarnadined because
It lay upon thee where the crimson was,
If dropping now, would darken where it met thee.

The fly that 'lit upon thee
To stretch the tendrils of its tiny feet
Along thy leafs pure edges after heat,
If 'lighting now, would coldly overrun thee.

The bee that once did suck thee,
And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive,
And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive,
If passing now, would blindly overlook thee.

The heart doth recognize thee,
Alone, alone! the heart doth smell thee sweet,
Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete,
Perceiving all those changes that disguise thee.

Yes, and the heart doth owe thee
More love, dead rose, than to any roses bold
Which Julia wears at dances, smiling cold:
Lie still upon this heart which breaks below thee!


William Cullen Bryant.1794-1878.

Spirit that breathest through my lattice, thou
That cool'st the twilight of the sultry day,
Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow;
Thou hast been out upon the deep at play,
Riding all day the wild blue waves till now,
Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray,
And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee
To the scorch'd land, thou wanderer of the sea.

[273] Nor I alone;a thousand bosoms round
Inhale thee in the fulness of delight;
And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound
Livelier at coming of the wind of night;
And languishing to hear thy grateful sound,
Lies the vast inland stretch'd beyond the sight.
Go forth into the gathering shade; go forth,
God's blessing breathed upon the fainting earth!

Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest,
Curl the still waters, bright with stars, and rouse
The wide old wood from his majestic rest,
Summoning from the innumerable boughs
The strange deep harmonies that haunt his breast;
Pleasant shall be thy way where meekly bows
The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass,
And where the o'er-shadowing branches sweep the grass.

The faint old man shall lean his silver head
To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep,
And dry the moisten'd curls that overspread
His temples, while his breathing grows more deep;
And they who stand about the sick man's bed
Shall joy to listen to thy distant sweep,
And softly part his curtains to allow
Thy visit, grateful to his burning brow.

Go,but the circle of eternal change,
Which is the life of nature, shall restore,
With sounds and scents from all thy mighty range,
Thee to thy birthplace of the deep once more;
Sweet odors in the sea-air, sweet and strange,
Shall tell the homesick mariner of the shore;
And, listening to thy murmur, he shall dream
He hears the rustling leaf and running stream.



Thomas Carlyle.1795-1881.

From Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches.

And so we have now nothing more;and Oliver has nothing more. His Speakings, and also his Actings, all his manifold Strugglings, more or less victorious, to utter the great God's-Message that was in him,have here what we call ended. This Summer of 1658, likewise victorious after struggle, is his last in our World of Time. Thenceforth he enters the Eternities; and rests upon his arms there.

Oliver's look was yet strong; and young for his years, which were Fifty-nine last April. The "Three-score and ten years," the Psalmist's limit, which probably was often in Oliver's thoughts and in those of others there, might have been anticipated for him: Ten Years more of Life;which, we may compute, would have given another History to all the Centuries of England. But it was not to be so, it was to be otherwise. Oliver's health, as we might observe, was but uncertain in late times; often "indisposed" the spring before last. His course of life had not been favorable to health! "A burden too heavy for man!" as he himself, with a sigh, would sometimes say. Incessant toil; inconceivable labor, of head and heart and hand; toil, peril, and sorrow manifold, continued for near Twenty years now, had done their part: those robust life-energies, it afterwards appeared, had been gradually eaten out. Like a Tower strong to the eye, but with its foundations undermined; which has not long to stand; the fall of which, on any shock, may be sudden.

[275]The Manzinis and Ducs de Crequi, with their splendors, and congratulations about Dunkirk, interesting to the street-populations and general public, had not yet withdrawn, when at Hampton Court there had begun a private scene, of much deeper and quite opposite interest there. The Lady Claypole, Oliver's favorite Daughter, a favorite of all the world, had fallen sick we know not when; lay sick now,to death, as it proved. Her disease was of a nature, the painfullest and most harassing to mind and sense, it is understood, that falls to the lot of a human creature. Hampton Court we can fancy once more, in those July days, a house of sorrow; pale Death knocking there, as at the door of the meanest hut. "She had great sufferings, great exercises of spirit." Yes:and in the depths of the old Centuries, we see a pale anxious Mother, anxious Husband, anxious weeping Sisters, a poor young Frances weeping anew in her weeds. "For the last fourteen days" his Highness had been by her bedside at Hampton Court, unable to attend to any public business whatever. Be still, my Child; trust thou yet in God: in the waves of the Dark River, there too is He a God of help!On the 6th day of August she lay dead; at rest forever. My young, my beautiful, my brave! She is taken from me; I am left bereaved of her. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord!...

In the same dark days, occurred George Fox's third and last interview with Oliver..... George dates nothing; and his facts everywhere lie round him like the leather-parings of his old shop: but we judge it may have been about the time when the Manzinis and the Ducs de Crequi were parading in their gilt coaches, That George and two Friends "going out of Town," on a summer day, "two[276] of Hacker's men" had met them,taken them, brought them to the Mews. "Prisoners there awhile:"but the Lord's power was over Hacker's men; they had to let us go. Whereupon:

"The same day, taking boat I went down" (up) "to Kingston, and from thence to Hampton Court, to speak with the Protector about the Sufferings of Friends. I met him riding into Hampton-Court Park; and before I came to him, as he rode at the head of his Lifeguard, I saw and felt a waft" (whiff) "of death go forth against him."——Or in favor of him, George? His life, if thou knew it, has not been a merry thing for this man, now or heretofore! I fancy he has been looking, this long while, to give it up, whenever the Commander-in-Chief required. To quit his laborious sentry-post; honorably lay-up his arms, and be gone to his rest:all Eternity to rest in, O George! Was thy own life merry, for example, in the hollow of the tree; clad permanently in leather? And does kingly purple, and governing refractory worlds instead of stitching coarse shoes, make it merrier? The waft of death is not against him, I think,perhaps against thee, and me, and others, O George, when the Nell-Gwynn Defender and Two Centuries of all-victorious Cant have come in upon us! My unfortunate George——"a waft of death go forth against him; and when I came to him, he looked like a dead man. After I had laid the Sufferings of Friends before him, and had warned him according as I was moved to speak to him, he bade me come to his house. So I returned to Kingston; and, the next day, went up to Hampton Court to speak farther with him. But when I came, Harvey, who was one that waited on him, told me the Doctors were not willing that I should speak with him. So I passed away, and never saw him more."

[277]Friday the 20th of August 1658, this was probably the day on which George Fox saw Oliver riding into Hampton Park with his Guards, for the last time. That Friday, as we find, his Highness seemed much better: but on the morrow a sad change had taken place; feverish symptoms, for which the Doctors rigorously prescribed quiet. Saturday to Tuesday the symptoms continued ever worsening: a kind of tertian ague, "bastard tertian" as the old Doctors name it; for which it was ordered that his Highness should return to Whitehall, as to a more favorable air in that complaint. On Tuesday accordingly he quitted Hampton Court;never to see it more.

"His time was come," says Harvey; "and neither prayers nor tears could prevail with God to lengthen out his life and continue him longer to us. Prayers abundantly and incessantly poured out on his behalf, both publicly and privately, as was observed, in a more than ordinary way. Besides many a secret sigh,secret and unheard by men, yet like the cry of Moses, more loud, and strongly laying hold on God, than many spoken supplications. All which,the hearts of God's People being thus mightily stirred up,did seem to beget confidence in some, and hopes in all; yea some thoughts in himself, that God would restore him."

"Prayers public and private:" they are worth imagining to ourselves. Meetings of Preachers, Chaplains, and Godly Persons; "Owen, Goodwin, Sterry, with a company of others, in an adjoining room"; in Whitehall, and elsewhere over religious London and England, fervent outpourings of many a loyal heart. For there were hearts to whom the nobleness of this man was known; and his worth to the Puritan Cause was evident. Prayers,[278]strange enough to us; in a dialect fallen obsolete, forgotten now. Authentic wrestlings of ancient Human Souls,who were alive then, with their affections, awestruck pieties; with their Human Wishes, risen to be transcendent, hoping to prevail with the Inexorable. All swallowed now in the depths of dark Time; which is full of such, since the beginning!Truly it is a great scene of World-History, this in old Whitehall: Oliver Cromwell drawing nigh to his end. The exit of Oliver Cromwell and of English Puritanism; a great Light, one of our few authentic Solar Luminaries, going down now amid the clouds of Death. Like the setting of a great victorious Summer Sun; its course now finished. "So stirbt ein Held," says Schiller, "So dies a Hero! Sight worthy to be worshipped!"He died, this Hero Oliver, in Resignation to God; as the Brave have all done. "We could not be more desirous he should abide," says the pious Harvey, "than he was content and willing to be gone." The struggle lasted, amid hope and fear, for ten days....

On Monday August 30th, there roared and howled all day a mighty storm of wind.... It was on this stormy Monday, while rocking winds, heard in the sickroom and everywhere, were piping aloud, that Thurloe and an Official person entered to enquire, Who, in case of the worst, was to be his Highness's Successor? The Successor is named in a sealed Paper already drawn-up, above a year ago, at Hampton Court; now lying in such and such a place. The Paper was sent for, searched for; it could never be found. Richard's is the name understood to have been written in that Paper: not a good name; but in fact one does not know. In ten years' time, had ten years more been granted, Richard might have become[279] a fitter man; might have been cancelled, if palpably unfit. Or perhaps it was Fleetwood's name,and the Paper, by certain parties, was stolen? None knows. On the Thursday night following, "and not till then," his Highness is understood to have formally named "Richard",or perhaps it might only be some heavy-laden "Yes, yes!" spoken, out of the thick death-slumbers, in answer to Thurloe's question "Richard?" The thing is a little uncertain. It was, once more, a matter of much moment;giving color probably to all the subsequent Centuries of England, this answer!...

Thursday night the Writer of our old Pamphlet [Harvey] was himself in attendance on his Highness; and has preserved a trait or two; with which let us hasten to conclude. Tomorrow is September Third, always kept as a Thanksgiving day, since the Victories of Dunbar and Worcester. The wearied one, "that very night before the Lord took him to his everlasting rest," was heard thus, with oppressed voice, speaking:

"'Truly God is good; indeed He is; He will not'——Then his speech failed him, but as I apprehended, it was, 'He will not leave me.' This saying, 'God is good,' he frequently used all along; and would speak it with much cheerfulness, and fervor of spirit, in the midst of his pains.Again he said: 'I would be willing to live to be farther serviceable to God and His People: but my work is done. Yet God will be with His People.'

"He was very restless most part of the night, speaking often to himself. And there being something to drink offered him, he was desired To take the same, and endeavor to sleep.Unto which he answered: 'It is not my design to drink or sleep; but my design is, to make what haste I can to be gone.'

[280]"Afterwards, towards morning, he used divers holy expressions, implying much inward consolation and peace; among the rest he spake some exceeding self-debasing words, annihilating and judging himself. And truly it was observed, that a public spirit to God's Cause did breathe in him,as in his lifetime, so now to his very last."

When the morrow's sun rose, Oliver was speechless; between three and four in the afternoon, he lay dead. Friday 3rd September 1658. "The consternation and astonishment of all people," writes Fauconberg, "are inexpressible; their hearts seem as if sunk within them. My poor Wife,I know not what on earth to do with her. When seemingly quieted, she bursts out again into a passion that tears her very heart in pieces."Husht, poor weeping Mary! Here is a Life-battle right nobly done. Seest thou not,

"The storm is changed into a calm,
At His command and will;
So that the waves which raged before
Now quiet are and still!

"Then are they glad,because at rest
And quiet now they be:
So to the haven He them brings
Which they desired to see."

"Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord;" blessed are the valiant that have lived in the Lord. "Amen, saith the Spirit,"Amen. "They do rest from their labors, and their works follow them."

"Their works follow them." As, I think, this Oliver Cromwell's works have done and are still doing! We have had our "Revolutions of Eighty-eight," officially called "glorious"; and other Revolutions not yet called glorious;[281] and somewhat has been gained for poor Mankind. Men's ears are not now slit-off by rash Officiality; Officiality will, for long henceforth, be more cautious about men's ears. The tyrannous Star-chambers, branding-irons, chimerical Kings and Surplices at All-hallowtide, they are gone, or with immense velocity going. Oliver's works do follow him!The works of a man, bury them under what guano-mountains and obscene owl-droppings you will, do not perish, cannot perish. What of Heroism, what of Eternal Light was in a Man and his Life, is with very great exactness added to the Eternities; remains forever a new divine portion of the Sum of Things; and no owl's voice, this way or that, in the least avails in the matter.But we have to end here.

Oliver is gone; and with him England's Puritanism, laboriously built together by this man, and made a thing far-shining, miraculous to its own Century, and memorable to all the Centuries, soon goes. Puritanism, without its King, is kingless, anarchic; falls into dislocation, self-collision; staggers, plunges into ever deeper anarchy; King, Defender of the Puritan Faith there can now none be found;and nothing is left but to recall the old disowned Defender with the remnants of his Four Surplices, and Two Centuries of Hypocrisis (or Play-acting not so-called), and put-up with all that, the best we may. The Genius of England no longer soars Sunward, world-defiant, like an Eagle through the storms, "mewing her mighty youth," as John Milton saw her do: the Genius of England, much liker a greedy Ostrich intent on provender and a whole skin mainly, stands with its other extremity Sunward; with its Ostrich-head stuck into the readiest bush, of old Church-tippets, King-cloaks, or what other "sheltering Fallacy" there may be, and so awaits the[282] issue. The issue has been slow; but it is now seen to have been inevitable. No Ostrich, intent on gross terrene provender, and sticking its head into Fallacies, but will be awakened one day,in a terrible à-posteriori manner, if not otherwise!--Awake before it come to that; gods and men bid us awake! The Voices of our Fathers, with thousand-fold stern monition to one and all, bid us awake.


[M] The author's use of capital letters and punctuation marks has been retained.


Ralph Waldo Emerson.1803-1882.

Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloak'd clown
Of thee from the hill-top looking down;
The heifer that lows in the upland farm,
Far-heard, lows not thine ear to charm;
The sexton, tolling his bell at noon,
Deems not that great Napoleon
Stops his horse, and lists with delight,
While his files sweep round yon Alpine height;
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent.
All are needed by each one
Nothing is fair or good alone.

I thought the sparrow's note from heaven,
Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
I brought him home in his nest, at even,
He sings the song, but it pleases not now;
For I did not bring home the river and sky;
He sang to my earthey sang to my eye.
[283] The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave,
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me.
I wiped away the weeds and foam
I fetch'd my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore,
With the sun and the sand, and the wild uproar.

The lover watch'd his graceful maid,
As 'mid the virgin train she stray'd;
Nor knew her beauty's best attire
Was woven still by the snow-white choir.
At last she came to his hermitage,
Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage;
The gay enchantment was undone
A gentle wife, but fairy none.

Then I said, "I covet truth;
Beauty is unripe childhoods cheat
I leave it behind with the games of youth."
As I spoke, beneath my feet
The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
Running over the club-moss burrs;
I inhaled the violet's breath;
Around me stood the oaks and firs;
Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground;
Over me soar'd the eternal sky,
Full of light and of deity;
Again I saw, again I heard,
The rolling river, the morning bird;
Beauty through my senses stole
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.



Charles James Lever.1806-1872.

From Charles O'Malley.

"This is the officer that I spoke of," said an aid-de-camp, as he rode up to where I was standing, bare-headed and without a sword. "He has just made his escape from the French lines, and will be able to give your lordship some information."

The handsome features and gorgeous costume of Lord Uxbridge were known to me; but I was not aware, till afterwards, that a soldierlike, resolute looking officer beside him, was General Graham. It was the latter who first addressed me.

"Are you aware, Sir," said he, "if Grouchy's force is arrived?"

"They had not: on the contrary, shortly before I escaped, an aid-de-camp was despatched to Gembloux, to hasten his coming. And the troops, for they must be troops, debouching from the wood yonderthey seem to form a junction with the corps to the rightthey are the Prussians. They arrived there before noon from St. Lambert, and are part of Bülow's corps. Count Löbau and his division of ten thousand men were despatched, about an hour since, to hold them in check."

"This is great news," said Lord Uxbridge. "Fitzroy must know it at once."

So saying he dashed spurs into his horse, and soon disappeared amid the crowd on the hill top.

"You had better see the Duke, Sir," said Graham: "your information is too important to be delayed. Captain Calvert, let this officer have a horse; his own is too tired to go much further."

[285]"And a cap, I beg of you," added I, in an under tone; "for I have already found a sabre."

By a slight circuitous route, we reached the road upon which a mass of dismounted artillery-carts, baggage-wagons, and tumbrils, were heaped together as a barricade against the attack of the French dragoons, who more than once had penetrated to the very crest of our position. Close to this, and on a little rising ground, from which a view of the entire field extended from Hougoumont to the far left, the Duke of Wellington stood, surrounded by his staff. His eye was bent upon the valley before him, where the advancing columns of Ney's attack still pressed onwards; while the fire of sixty great guns poured death and carnage into his lines. The second Belgian division, routed and broken, had fallen back upon the twenty-seventh regiment, who had merely time to throw themselves into square, when Milhaud's cuirassiers, armed with a terrible long straight sword, came sweeping down upon them. A line of impassable bayonets, a living chevaux-de-frise of the best blood of Britain, stood firm and motionless before the shock: the French mitraille played mercilessly on the ranks; but the chasms were filled up like magic, and in vain the bold horsemen of Gaul galloped round the bristling files. At length the word "fire!" was heard within the square, and as the bullets at pistol range rattled upon them, the cuirass afforded them no defence against the deadly volley. Men and horses rolled indiscriminately upon the earth: then would come a charge of our dashing squadrons, who, riding recklessly upon the foe, were, in their turn, to be repulsed by numbers, when fresh attacks would pour down upon our unshaken infantry.

"That column yonder is wavering: why does he not[286] bring up his supporting squadrons?" inquired the Duke, pointing to a Belgian regiment of light dragoons, who were formed in the same brigade with the seventh hussars.

"He refuses to oppose his light cavalry to cuirassiers, my lord," said an aid-de-camp, who had just returned from the division in question.

"Tell him to march his men off the ground," said the Duke, with a quiet and impassive tone.

In less than ten minutes the regiment was seen to defile from the mass, and take the road to Brussels, to increase the panic of that city, by circulating and strengthening the report, that the English were beaten,and Napoleon in full march upon the capital.

"What's Ney's force? can you guess, Sir?" said Lord Wellington turning to me.

"About twelve thousand men, my lord."

"Are the Guard among them?"

"No, Sir; the Guard are in reserve above La Belle Alliance."

"In what part of the field is Buonaparte?"

"Nearly opposite to where we stand."

"I told you, gentlemen, Hougoumont never was the great attack. The battle must be decided here," pointing, as he spoke, to the plain beneath us, where still Ney poured on his devoted columns, where yet the French cavalry rode down upon our firm squares.

As he spoke an aid-de-camp rode up from the valley.

"The ninety-second requires support, my lord: they cannot maintain their positions half an hour longer, without it."

"Have they given way, Sir?"


[287] "Well, then, they must stand where they are. I hear cannon towards the left; yonder, near Frischermont."

At this moment the light cavalry swept past the base of the hill on which we stood, hotly followed by the French heavy cuirassier brigade. Three of our guns were taken; and the cheering of the French infantry, as they advanced to the charge, presaged their hope of victory.

"Do it, then," said the Duke, in reply to some whispered question of Lord Uxbridge; and shortly after the heavy trot of advancing squadrons was heard behind.

They were the Life Guards and the Blues, who, with the first Dragoon Guards and the Enniskilleners, were formed into close column.

"I know the ground, my Lord," said I to Lord Uxbridge.

"Come along, Sir, come along," said he, as he threw his hussar jacket loosely behind him, to give freedom to his sword-arm."Forward, my men, forward; but steady, hold your horses in hand; threes about, and together charge."

"Charge!" he shouted; while, as the word flew from squadron to squadron, each horseman bent upon his saddle, and that mighty mass, as though instinct with but one spirit, dashed like a thunder-bolt upon the column beneath them. The French, blown and exhausted, inferior beside in weight both of man and horse, offered but a short resistance. As the tall corn bends beneath the sweeping hurricane, wave succeeding wave, so did the steel-clad squadrons of France fall before the nervous arm of Britain's cavalry. Onward they went, carrying death and ruin before them, and never stayed their course, until the guns were recaptured, and the cuirassiers, re[288]pulsed, disordered, and broken, had retired beneath the protection of their artillery.

There was, as a brilliant and eloquent writer on the subject mentions, a terrible sameness in the whole of this battle. Incessant charges of cavalry upon the squares of our infantry, whose sole manœuvre consisted in either deploying into line to resist the attack of infantry, or falling back into square when the cavalry advancedperforming those two evolutions under the devastating fire of artillery, before the unflinching heroism of that veteran infantry whose glories had been reaped upon the blood-stained fields of Austerlitz, Marengo, and Wagramor opposing an unbroken front to the whirlwind swoop of infuriated cavalry;such were the enduring and devoted services demanded from the English troops, and such they failed not to render. Once or twice had temper nearly failed them, and the cry ran through the ranks, "Are we never to move forward?Only let us at them!" But the word was not yet spoken which was to undam the pent-up torrent, and bear down with unrelenting vengeance upon the now exulting columns of the enemy.

It was six o'clock: the battle had continued with unchanged fortune for three hours. The French, masters of La Haye Sainte, could never advance further into our position. They had gained the orchard of Hougoumont, but the château was still held by the British Guards, although its blazing roof and crumbling walls made its occupation rather the desperate stand of unflinching valor than the maintenance of an important position. The smoke which hung upon the field rolled in slow and heavy masses back upon the French lines, and gradually discovered to our view the entire of the army. We quickly perceived that a change was taking place in[289] their position. The troops which on their left stretched far beyond Hougoumont, were now moved nearer to the centre. The attack upon the château seemed less vigorously supported, while the oblique direction of their right wing, which, pivoting upon Planchenoit, opposed a face to the Prussians,all denoted a change in their order of battle. It was now the hour when Napoleon was at last convinced that nothing but the carnage he could no longer support could destroy the unyielding ranks of British infantry; that although Hougoumont had been partially, La Haye Sainte, completely, won; that although upon the right the farm-houses Papelotte and La Haye were nearly surrounded by his troops, which with any other army must prove the forerunner of defeat: yet still the victory was beyond his grasp. The bold stratagems, whose success the experience of a life had proved, were here to be found powerless. The decisive manœuvre of carrying one important point of the enemy's lines, of turning him upon the flank, or piercing him through the centre, were here found impracticable. He might launch his avalanche of grape-shot, he might pour down his crashing columns of cavalry, he might send forth the iron storm of his brave infantry; but, though death in every shape heralded their approach, still were others found to fill the fallen ranks, and feed with their heart's blood the unslaked thirst for slaughter. Well might the gallant leader of this gallant host, as he watched the reckless onslaught of the untiring enemy, and looked upon the unflinching few, who, bearing the proud badge of Britain, alone sustained the fight, well might he exclaim, "Night, or Blücher!"

It was now seven o'clock, when a dark mass was seen to form upon the heights above the French centre, and[290] divide into three gigantic columns, of which the right occupied the Brussels road. These were the reserves, consisting of the Old and Young Guards, and amounting to twelve thousandthe élite of the French armyreserved by the Emperor for a great coup-de-main. These veterans of a hundred battles had been stationed, from the beginning of the day, inactive spectators of the fight; their hour was now come, and, with a shout of "Vive l'Empereur!" which rose triumphantly over the din and crash of battle, they began their march. Meanwhile, aids-de-camp galloped along the lines, announcing the arrival of Grouchy, to reanimate the drooping spirits of the men; for, at last, a doubt of victory was breaking upon the minds of those who never before, in the most adverse hour of fortune, deemed his star could set that led them on to glory.

"They are coming: the attack will be made on the centre, my lord," said Lord Fitzroy Somerset, as he directed his glass upon the column. Scarcely had he spoke when the telescope fell from his hand, as his arm, shattered by a French bullet, fell motionless to his side.

"I see it," was the cool reply of the Duke, as he ordered the Guards to deploy into line, and lie down behind the ridge, which now the French artillery had found the range of, and were laboring at with their guns. In front of them the fifty-second, seventy-first, and ninety-fifth were formed; the artillery, stationed above and partly upon the road, loaded with grape, and waited but the word to open.

It was an awful, a dreadful moment: the Prussian cannon thundered on our left; but so desperate was the French resistance, they made but little progress: the dark columns of the Guard had now commenced the as[291]cent, and the artillery ceased their fire as the bayonets of the grenadiers showed themselves upon the slope. Then began that tremendous cheer from right to left of our line which those who heard never can forget. It was the impatient, long-restrained burst of unslaked vengeance. With the instinct which valor teaches, they knew the hour of trial was come; and that wild cry flew from rank to rank, echoing from the blood-stained walls of Hougoumont to the far-off valley of La Papelotte. "They come! they come!" was the cry; and the shout of "Vive l'Empereur!" mingled with the outburst of the British line.

Under an overwhelming shower of grape, to which succeeded a charge of cavalry of the Imperial Guard, the head of Ney's column fired its volley and advanced with the bayonet. The British artillery now opened at half range, and although the plunging fire scathed and devastated the dark ranks of the Guards, on they came,Ney himself, on foot, at their head. Twice the leading division of that gallant column turned completely round, as the withering fire wasted and consumed them; but they were resolved to win.

Already they had gained the crest of the hill, and the first line of the British were falling back before them. The artillery closes up; the flanking fire from the guns upon the road opens upon them; the head of their column breaks like a shell; the Duke seizes the moment, and advances on foot towards the ridge.

"Up, Guards, and at them!" he cried.

The hour of triumph and vengeance had arrived. In a moment the Guards were on their feet; one volley was poured in; the bayonets were brought to the charge; they closed upon the enemy: then was seen the most[292] dreadful struggle that the history of all war can present. Furious with long restrained passion, the guards rushed upon the leading divisions; the seventy-first, and ninety-fifth, and twenty-sixth overlapped them on the flanks. Their generals fell thickly on every side; Michel, Jamier, and Mallet are killed: Friant lies wounded upon the ground; Ney, his dress pierced and ragged with balls, shouts still to advance; but the leading files waver; they fall back; the supporting divisions thicken; confusion, panic succeeds; the British press down; the cavalry come galloping up to their assistance; and, at last, pell-mell, overwhelmed and beaten, the French fall back upon the Old Guard. This was the decisive moment of the day;the Duke closed his glass, as he said:

"The field is won. Order the whole line to advance."

On they came, four deep, and poured like a torrent from the height.

"Let the Life Guards charge them," said the Duke; but every aid-de-camp on his staff was wounded, and I myself brought the order to Lord Uxbridge.

Lord Uxbridge had already anticipated his orders, and bore down with four regiments of heavy cavalry upon the French centre. The Prussian artillery thundered upon their flank, and at their rear. The British bayonet was in their front; while a panic fear spread through their ranks, and the cry "Sauve qui peut!" resounded on all sides. In vain Ney, the bravest of the brave; in vain Soult, Bertrand, Gourgaud, and Labedoyère, burst from the broken disorganized mass, and called on them to stand fast. A battalion of the Old Guard, with Cambronne at their head, alone obeyed the summons: forming into square, they stood between the pursuers and their prey, offering themselves a sacrifice to the tarnish[293]ed honor of their arms: to the order to surrender, they answered with a cry of defiance; and, as our cavalry, flushed and elated with victory, rode round their bristling ranks, no quailing look, no craven spirit was there. The Emperor himself endeavored to repair the disaster; he rode with lightening speed hither and thither, commanding, ordering, nay imploring too; but already the night was falling, the confusion became each moment more inextricable, and the effort was a fruitless one. A regiment of the Guards, and two batteries were in reserve behind Planchenoit; he threw them rapidly into position; but the overwhelming impulse of flight drove the mass upon them, and they were carried away upon the torrent of the beaten army. No sooner did the Emperor see this his last hope desert him, than he dismounted from his horse, and, drawing his sword, threw himself into a square, which the first regiment of chasseurs of the Old Guard had formed with a remnant of the battalion; Jerome followed him, as he called out:

"You are right, brother: here should perish all who bear the name of Buonaparte."

The same moment the Prussian light artillery rend the ranks asunder, and the cavalry charge down upon the scattered fragments. A few of his staff, who never left him, place the Emperor upon a horse,and fly.

Thy great work is but begun!
With quick seed his end is rife
Whose long tale of conquering strife
Shows no triumph like his life
Lost and won.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti.1828-1882.
On Wellington's Funeral, Nov. 18th, 1852.



Edward Bulwer, Lord Lytton.1805-1873.

Translated from the German of Schiller.

"O where is the knight or the squire so bold
As to dive to the howling Charybdis below?
I cast in the whirlpool a goblet of gold,
And o'er it already the dark waters flow;
Whoever to me may the goblet bring,
Shall have for his guerdon that gift of his king."

He spoke, and the cup from the terrible steep,
That, rugged and hoary, hung over the verge
Of the endless and measureless world of the deep,
Swirl'd into the maelstrom that madden'd the surge.
"And where is the diver so stout to go
I ask ye againto the deep below?"

And the knights and the squires that gather'd around,
Stood silentand fix'd on the ocean their eyes;
They look'd on the dismal and savage profound,
And the peril chill'd back every thought of the prize.
And thrice spoke the monarch: "The cup to win,
Is there never a wight who will venture in?"

And all as before heard in silence the king,
Till a youth with an aspect unfearing but gentle,
'Mid the tremulous squires stepp'd out from the ring,
Unbuckling his girdle, and doffing his mantle;
And the murmuring crowd, as they parted asunder,
On the stately boy cast their looks of wonder.

As he strode to the marge of the summit, and gave
One glance on the gulf of that merciless main,
Lo! the wave that for ever devours the wave,
Casts roaringly up the Charybdis again:
[295] And, as with the swell of the far thunder-boom,
Rushes foamingly forth from the heart of the gloom.

And it bubbles and seethes, and it hisses and roars,
As when fire is with water commix'd and contending,
And the spray of its wrath to the welkin up-soars,
And flood upon flood hurries on, never ending;
And it never will rest, nor from travail be free,
Like a sea that is laboring the birth of a sea.

Yet, at length, comes a lull o'er the mighty commotion,
And dark through the whiteness, and still through the swell,
The whirlpool cleaves downward and downward in ocean
A yawning abyss, like the pathway to hell;
The stiller and darker the farther it goes,
Suck'd into that smoothness the breakers repose.

The youth gave his trust to his Maker! Before
That path through the riven abyss closed again,
Hark! a shriek from the gazers that circle the shore,
And, behold! he is whirl'd in the grasp of the main!
And o'er him the breakers mysteriously roll'd,
And the giant-mouth closed on the swimmer so bold.

All was still on the height, save the murmur that went
From the grave of the deep, sounding hollow and fell,
Or save when the tremulous, sighing lament
Thrill'd from lip unto lip, "Gallant youth, fare thee well!"
More hollow and more wails the deep on the ear,
More dread and more dread grows suspense in its fear.

If thou shouldst in those waters thy diadem fling,
And cry, "Who may find it shall win it and wear";
God wot, though the prize were the crown of a king,
A crown at such hazard were valued too dear.
For never shall lips of the living reveal
What the deeps that howl yonder in terror conceal.

[296] Oh, many a bark, to that breast grappled fast,
Has gone down to the fearful and fathomless grave;
Again, crash'd together the keel and the mast,
To be seen toss'd aloft in the glee of the wave!
Like the growth of a storm ever louder and clearer,
Grows the roar of the gulf rising nearer and nearer.

And it bubbles and seethes, and it hisses and roars,
As when fire is with water commix'd and contending;
And the spray of its wrath to the welkin up-soars,
And flood upon flood hurries on, never ending,
And as with the swell of the far thunder-boom,
Rushes roaringly forth from the heart of the gloom.

And, lo! from the heart of that far-floating gloom,
Like the wing of the cygnetwhat gleams on the sea?
Lo! an arm and a neck glancing up from the tomb!
Steering stalwart and shoreward: O joy, it is he!
The left hand is lifted in triumph; behold,
It waves as a trophy the goblet of gold!

And he breathèd deep, and he breathèd long,
And he greeted the heavenly light of the day.
They gaze on each other,they shout as they throng,
"He liveslo, the ocean has render'd its prey!
And safe from the whirlpool, and free from the grave,
Comes back to the daylight the soul of the brave!"

And he comes, with the crowd in their clamor and glee;
And the goblet his daring has won from the water
He lifts to the king as he sinks on his knee
And the king from her maidens has beckon'd his daughter.
She pours to the boy the bright wine which they bring,
And thus spoke the diver; "Long life to the King!

[297] "Happy they whom the rose-hues of daylight rejoice,
The air and the sky that to mortals are given!
May the horror below nevermore find a voice,
Nor man stretch too far the wide mercy of Heaven!
Nevermore,nevermore may he lift from the sight
The veil which is woven with terror and night!

"Quick brightening like lightning the ocean rush'd o'er me,
Wild floating, borne down fathom-deep from the day;
Till a torrent rush'd out on the torrents that bore me,
And doubled the tempest that whirl'd me away.
Vain, vain was my struggle,the circle had won me,
Round and round in its dance the mad element spun me.

"From the deep then I call'd upon God, and He heard me;
In the dread of my need, He vouchsafed to mine eye
A rock jutting out from the grave that interr'd me;
I sprung there, I clung there,and death pass'd me by.
And, lo! where the goblet gleam'd through the abyss,
By a coral reef saved from the far Fathomless.

"Below, at the foot of that precipice drear,
Spread the gloomy and purple and pathless Obscure!
A silence of horror that slept on the ear,
That the eye more appall'd might the horror endure;
Salamander, snake, dragonvast reptiles that dwell
In the deepcoil'd about the grim jaws of their hell.

"Dark crawl'd, glided dark, the unspeakable swarms,
Clump'd together in masses, misshapen and vast;
Here clung and here bristled the fashionless forms;
Here the dark-moving bulk of the hammer-fish pass'd;
And, with teeth grinning white, and a menacing motion,
Went the terrible shark,the hyena of ocean.

[298] "There I hung, and the awe gather'd icily o'er me,
So far from the earth, where man's help there was none!
The one human thing, with the goblins before me
Alonein a loneness so ghastlyAlone!
Deep under the reach of the sweet living breath,
And begirt with the broods of the desert of Death.

"Methought, as I gazed through the darkness, that now
It sawa dread hundred-limb'd creatureits prey!
And darted, devouring; I sprang from the bough
Of the coral, and swept on the horrible way;
And the whirl of the mighty wave seized me once more,
It seized me to save me, and dash to the shore."

On the youth gazed the monarch, and marvell'd: quoth he,
"Bold diver, the goblet I promised is thine;
And this ring I will give, a fresh guerdon to thee
Never jewels more precious shone up from the mine
If thou'lt bring me fresh tidings, and venture again,
To say what lies hid in the innermost main."

Then out spake the daughter in tender emotion:
"Ah! father, my father, what more can there rest?
Enough of this sport with the pitiless ocean:
He has serv'd thee as none would, thyself hast confest.
If nothing can slake thy wild thirst of desire,
Let thy knights put to shame the exploit of the squire!"

The king seized the goblet, he swung it on high,
And whirling, it fell in the roar of the tide;
"But bring back that goblet again to my eye,
And I'll hold thee the dearest that rides by my side;
And thine arms shall embrace as thy bride, I decree,
The maiden whose pity now pleadeth for thee."

[299] And Heaven, as he listen'd, spoke out from the space,
And the hope that makes heroes shot flame from his eyes;
He gazed on the blush in that beautiful face
It palesat the feet of her father she lies!
How priceless the guerdon!a momenta breath
And headlong he plunges to life and to death!

They hear the loud surges sweep back in their swell,
Their coming the thunder-sound heralds along!
Fond eyes yet are tracking the spot where he fell.
They come, the wild waters, in tumult and throng,
Roaring up to the cliff,roaring back as before,
But no wave ever brings the lost youth to the shore!


Cardinal Newman.1801-

From Callista.

Juba's finger was directed to a spot where, amid the thick foliage, the gleam of a pool or of a marsh was visible. The various waters round about, issuing from the gravel, or drained from the nightly damps, had run into a hollow, filled with the decaying vegetation of former years. Its banks were bordered with a deep, broad layer of mud, a transition substance between the rich vegetable matter which it once had been, and the multitudinous world of insect life which it was becoming. A cloud or mist at this time was hanging over it, high in air. A harsh and shrill sound, a whizzing or a chirping, proceeded from that cloud to the ear of the attentive listener. What these indications portended was plain....

[300]The plague of locusts, one of the most awful visitations to which the countries included in the Roman empire were exposed, extended from the Atlantic to Ethiopia, from Arabia to India, and from the Nile and Red Sea to Greece and the north of Asia Minor. Instances are recorded in history of clouds of the devastating insect crossing the Black Sea to Poland, and the Mediterranean to Lombardy. It is as numerous in its species as it is wide in its range of territory. Brood follows brood, with a sort of family likeness, yet with distinct attributes. It wakens into existence and activity as early as the month of March; but instances are not wanting, as in our present history, of its appearance as late as June. Even one flight comprises myriads upon myriads passing imagination, to which the drops of rain or the sands of the sea are the only fit comparison; and hence it is almost a proverbial mode of expression in the East, by way of describing a vast invading army, to liken it to the locusts. So dense are they, when upon the wing, that it is no exaggeration to say that they hide the sun, from which circumstance indeed their name in Arabic is derived. And so ubiquitous are they when they have alighted on the earth, that they simply cover or clothe its surface.

This last characteristic is stated in the sacred account of the plagues of Egypt, where their faculty of devastation is also mentioned. The corrupting fly and the bruising and prostrating hail preceded them in that series of visitations, but they came to do the work of ruin more thoroughly. For not only the crops and fruits, but the foliage of the forest itself, nay, the small twigs and the bark of the trees are the victims of their curious and energetic rapacity. They have been known even to gnaw[301] the door-posts of the houses. Nor do they execute their task in so slovenly a way, that, as they have succeeded other plagues, so they may have successors themselves. They take pains to spoil what they leave. Like the Harpies, they smear every thing that they touch with a miserable slime, which has the effect of a virus in corroding, or as some say, in scorching and burning. And then, perhaps, as if all this were little, when they can do nothing else, they die; as if out of sheer malevolence to man, for the poisonous elements of their nature are then let loose and dispersed abroad, and create a pestilence; and they manage to destroy many more by their death than in their life.

Such are the locusts. And now they are rushing upon a considerable tract of that beautiful region of which we have spoken with such admiration. The swarm to which Juba pointed grew and grew till it became a compact body, as much as a furlong square; yet it was but the vanguard of a series of similar hosts, formed one after another out of the hot mould or sand, rising into the air like clouds, enlarging into a dusky canopy, and then discharged against the fruitful plain. At length the huge innumerous mass was put into motion, and began its career, darkening the face of day. As became an instrument of divine power, it seemed to have no volition of its own; it was set off, it drifted, with the wind, and thus made northwards, straight for Sicca. Thus they advanced, host after host, for a time wafted on the air, and gradually declining to the earth, while fresh broods were carried over the first, and neared the earth, after a longer flight, in their turn. For twelve miles did they extend from front to rear, and their whizzing and hissing could be heard for six miles on every side of them. The bright[302] sun, though hidden by them, illumined their bodies, and was reflected from their quivering wings; and as they heavily fell earthward, they seemed like the innumerable flakes of a yellow-colored snow. And like snow did they descend, a living carpet, or rather pall, upon fields, crops, gardens, copses, groves, orchards, vineyards, olive woods, orangeries, palm plantations, and the deep forests, sparing nothing within their reach, and where there was nothing to devour, lying helpless in drifts, or crawling forward obstinately, as they best might, with the hope of prey. They could spare their hundred thousand soldiers twice or thrice over, and not miss them; their masses filled the bottoms of the ravines and hollow ways, impeding the traveller as he rode forward on his journey and trampled by thousands under his horse-hoofs. In vain was all this overthrow and waste by the roadside, in vain their loss in river, pool, and watercourse. The poor peasants hastily dug pits and trenches as their enemy came on; in vain they filled them from the wells or with lighted stubble. Heavily and thickly did the locusts fall; they were lavish of their lives; they choked the flame and the water, which destroyed them the while, and the vast living hostile armament still moved on.

They moved right on like soldiers in their ranks, stopping at nothing, and straggling for nothing; they carried a broad furrow or wheal all across the country, black and loathsome, while it was as green and smiling on each side of them and in front, as it had been before they came. Before them, in the language of prophets, was a paradise, and behind them a desert. They are daunted by nothing they surmount walls and hedges, and enter enclosed gardens or inhabited houses. A rare and experimental vineyard has been planted in a sheltered grove. The[303] high winds of Africa will not commonly allow the light trellice or the slim pole; but here the lofty poplar of Campania has been possible, on which the vine plant mounts so many yards into the air, that the poor grape-gatherers bargain for a funeral pile and a tomb as one of the conditions of their engagement. The locusts have done what the winds and lightning could not do, and the whole promise of the vintage, leaves and all, is gone, and the slender stems are left bare. There is another yard, less uncommon, but still tended with more than common care; each plant is kept within due bounds by a circular trench round it, and by upright canes on which it is to trail; in an hour the solicitude and long toil of the vine-dresser are lost, and his pride humbled. There is a smiling farm; another sort of vine, of remarkable character, is found against the farmhouse. This vine springs from one root, and has clothed and matted with its many branches the four walls. The whole of it is covered thick with long clusters, which another month will ripen. On every grape and leaf there is a locust. Into the dry caves and pits, carefully strewed with straw, the harvest-men have (safely, as they thought just now) been lodging the far-famed African wheat. One grain or root shoots up into ten, twenty, fifty, eighty, nay, three or four hundred stalks: sometimes the stalks have two ears apiece, and these shoot into a number of lesser ones. These stores are intended for the Roman populace, but the locusts have been beforehand with them. The small patches of ground belonging to the poor peasants up and down the country, for raising the turnips, garlic, barley, water-melons, on which they live, are the prey of these glutton invaders as much as the choicest vines and olives. Nor have they any reverence for the villa of the civic[304] decurion or the Roman official. The neatly arranged kitchen garden, with its cherries, plums, peaches, and apricots, is a waste; as the slaves sit round, in the kitchen in the first court, at their coarse evening meal, the room is filled with the invading force, and news comes to them that the enemy has fallen upon the apples and pears in the basement, and is at the same time plundering and sacking the preserves of quince and pomegranate, and revelling in the jars of precious oil of Cyprus and Mendes in the store-rooms.

They come up to the walls of Sicca, and are flung against them into the ditch. Not a moment's hesitation or delay; they recover their footing, they climb up the wood or stucco, they surmount the parapet, or they have entered in at the windows, filling the apartments, and the most private and luxurious chambers, not one or two, like stragglers at forage or rioters after a victory, but in order of battle, and with the array of an army. Choice plants or flowers about the impluvia and xysti, for ornament or refreshment, myrtles, oranges, pomegranates, the rose and the carnation, have disappeared. They dim the bright marbles of the walls and the gilding of the ceilings. They enter the triclinium in the midst of the banquet; they crawl over the viands and spoil what they do not devour. Unrelaxed by success and by enjoyment, onward they go; a secret mysterious instinct keeps them together, as if they had a king over them. They move along the floor in so strange an order that they seem to be a tessellated pavement themselves, and to be the artificial embellishment of the place; so true are their lines, and so perfect is the pattern they describe. Onward they go, to the market, to the temple sacrifices, to the bakers' stores, to the cookshops, to the confectioners, to[305] the druggists; nothing comes amiss to them; wherever man has aught to eat or drink, there are they, reckless of death, strong of appetite, certain of conquest....

Another and a still worse calamity. The invaders, as we have already hinted, could be more terrible still in their overthrow than in their ravages. The inhabitants of the country had attempted, where they could, to destroy them by fire and water. It would seem as if the malignant animals had resolved that the sufferers should have the benefit of this policy to the full; for they had not got more than twenty miles beyond Sicca when they suddenly sickened and died. When they thus had done all the mischief they could by their living, when they thus had made their foul maws the grave of every living thing, next they died themselves, and made the desolated land their own grave. They took from it its hundred forms and varieties of beautiful life, and left it their own fetid and poisonous carcases in payment. It was a sudden catastrophe; they seemed making for the Mediterranean, as if, like other great conquerors, they had other worlds to subdue beyond it; but, whether they were overgorged, or struck by some atmospheric change, or that their time was come and they paid the debt of nature, so it was that suddenly they fell, and their glory came to nought, and all was vanity to them as to others, and "their stench rose up, and their corruption rose up, because they had done proudly."

The hideous swarms lay dead in the moist steaming underwoods, in the green swamps, in the sheltered valleys, in the ditches and furrows of the fields, amid the monuments of their own prowess, the ruined crops and the dishonored vineyards. A poisonous element, issuing from their remains, mingled with the atmosphere, and[306] corrupted it. The dismayed peasant found that a plague had begun; a new visitation, not confined to the territory which the enemy had made its own, but extending far and wide, as the atmosphere extends, in all directions. Their daily toil, no longer claimed by the fruits of the earth, which have ceased to exist, is now devoted to the object of ridding themselves of the deadly legacy which they have received in their stead. In vain; it is their last toil; they are digging pits, they are raising piles, for their own corpses, as well as for the bodies of their enemies. Invader and victim lie in the same grave, burn in the same heap; they sicken while they work, and the pestilence spreads.


William Makepeace Thackeray.1811-1863.

In tatter'd old slippers that toast at the bars,
And a ragged old jacket perfumed with cigars,
Away from the world and its toils and its cares,
I've a snug little kingdom up four pair of stairs.

To mount to this realm is a toil, to be sure,
But the fire there is bright and the air rather pure;
And the view I behold on a sunshiny day
Is grand through the chimney-pots over the way.

This snug little chamber is cramm'd in all nooks
With worthless old knicknacks and silly old books,
And foolish old odds and foolish old ends,
Crack'd bargains from brokers, cheap keepsakes from friends.

[307] Old armor, prints, pictures, pipes, china, (all crack'd,)
Old rickety tables, and chairs broken-back'd;
A twopenny treasury, wondrous to see;
What matter? 'tis pleasant to you, friend, and me.

No better divan need the Sultan require,
Than the creaking old sofa that basks by the fire;
And 'tis wonderful, surely, what music you get
From the rickety, ramshackle, wheezy spinet.

That praying-rug came from a Turcoman's camp;
By Tiber once twinkled that brazen old lamp;
A Mameluke fierce yonder dagger has drawn:
'Tis a murderous knife to toast muffins upon.

Long, long through the hours, and the night, and the chimes,
Here we talk of old books, and old friends, and old times;
As we sit in a fog made of rich Latakie
This chamber is pleasant to you, friend, and me.

But of all the cheap treasures that garnish my nest,
There's one that I love and I cherish the best;
For the finest of couches that's padded with hair
I never would change thee, my cane-bottom'd chair.

'Tis a bandy-legg'd, high-shoulder'd, worm-eaten seat,
With a creaking old back, and twisted old feet;
But since the fair morning when Fanny sat there,
I bless thee, and love thee, old cane-bottom'd chair.

If chairs have but feeling, in holding such charms,
A thrill must have pass'd through your wither'd old arms!
I look'd, and I long'd, and I wish'd in despair;
I wish'd myself turn'd to a cane-bottom'd chair.

[308] It was but a moment she sat in this place,
She'd a scarf on her neck, and a smile on her face!
A smile on her face, and a rose in her hair,
And she sat there, and bloom'd in my cane-bottom'd chair.

And so I have valued my chair ever since,
Like the shrine of a saint, or the throne of a prince;
Saint Fanny, my patroness sweet I declare,
The queen of my heart and my cane-bottom'd chair.

When the candles burn low, and the company's gone,
In the silence of night as I sit here alone
I sit here alone, but we yet are a pair
My Fanny I see in my cane-bottom'd chair.

She comes from the past and revisits my room;
She looks as she then did, all beauty and bloom;
So smiling and tender, so fresh and so fair,
And yonder she sits in my cane-bottom'd chair.



There was scarce a score of persons in the Cathedral beside the Dean and some of his clergy, and the choristers, young and old, that performed the beautiful evening prayer. But Mr. Tusher was one of the officiants, and[309] read from the eagle in an authoritative voice, and a great black periwig; and in the stalls, still in her black widow's hood, sat Esmond's dear mistress, her son by her side, very much grown, and indeed a noble-looking youth, with his mother's eyes, and his father's curling brown hair, that fell over his point de Venisea pretty picture such as Vandyke might have painted. Mons. Rigaud's portrait of my Lord Viscount, done at Paris afterwards, gives but a French version of his manly, frank English face. When he looked up there were two sapphire beams out of his eyes such as no painter's palette has the color to match, I think. On this day there was not much chance of seeing that particular beauty of my young lord's countenance; for the truth is, he kept his eyes shut for the most part, and, the anthem being rather long, was asleep.

But the music ceasing, my lord woke up, looking about him, and his eyes lighting on Mr. Esmond, who was sitting opposite him, gazing with no small tenderness and melancholy upon two persons who had so much of his heart for so many years, Lord Castlewood, with a start; pulled at his mother's sleeve (her face had scarce been[310] lifted from her book), and said, "Look, mother!" so loud, that Esmond could hear on the other side of the church, and the old Dean on his throned stall. Lady Castlewood looked for an instant as her son bade her, and held up a warning finger to Frank; Esmond felt his whole face flush, and his heart throbbing, as that dear lady beheld him once more. The rest of the prayers were speedily over; Mr. Esmond did not hear them; nor did his mistress, very likely, whose hood went more closely over her face, and who never lifted her head again until the service was over, the blessing given, and Mr. Dean, and his procession of ecclesiastics, out of the inner chapel.

Young Castlewood came clambering over the stalls before the clergy were fairly gone, and running up to Esmond, eagerly embraced him. "My dear, dearest old Harry!" he said, "are you come back? Have you been to the wars? You'll take me with you when you go again? Why didn't you write to us? Come to mother."

Mr. Esmond could hardly say more than a "God bless you, my boy," for his heart was very full and grateful at all this tenderness on the lad's part; and he was as much moved at seeing Frank as he was fearful about that other interview which was now to take place: for he knew not if the widow would reject him as she had done so cruelly a year ago.

"It was kind of you to come back to us, Henry," Lady Esmond said. "I thought you might come."

"We read of the fleet coming to Portsmouth. Why did you not come from Portsmouth?" Frank asked, or my Lord Viscount, as he now must be called.

Esmond had thought of that too. He would have given one of his eyes so that he might see his dear friends again once more; but believing that his mistress had[311] forbidden him her house, he had obeyed her, and remained at a distance.

"You had but to ask, and you knew I would be here," he said.

She gave him her hand, her little fair hand: there was only her marriage ring on it. The quarrel was all over. The year of grief and estrangement was passed. They never had been separated. His mistress had never been out of his mind all that time. No, not once. No, not in the prison; nor in the camp; nor on shore before the enemy; nor at sea under the stars of solemn midnight; nor as he watched the glorious rising of the dawn: not even at the table, where he sat carousing with friends, or at the theatre yonder, where he tried to fancy that other eyes were brighter than hers. Brighter eyes there might be, and faces more beautiful, but none so dearno voice so sweet as that of his beloved mistress, who had been sister, mother, goddess to him during his youthgoddess now no more, for he knew of her weaknesses; and by thought, by suffering, and that experience it brings, was older now than she; but more fondly cherished as woman perhaps than ever she had been adored as divinity. What is it? Where lies it? the secret which makes one little hand the dearest of all? Who ever can unriddle that mystery? Here she was, her son by his side, his dear boy. Here she was, weeping and happy. She took his hand in both hers; he felt her tears. It was a rapture of reconciliation....

"And Harry's coming home to supper. Huzzay! huzzay!" cries my lord. "Mother, I shall run home and bid Beatrix put her ribbons on. Beatrix is a maid of honor, Harry. Such a fine set-up minx!"

"Your heart was never in the Church, Harry," the[312] widow said, in her sweet low tone, as they walked away together. (Now, it seemed they had never been parted, and again, as if they had been ages asunder.) "I always thought you had no vocation that way; and that 'twas a pity to shut you out from the world. You would but have pined and chafed at Castlewood: and 'tis better you should make a name for yourself. I often said so to my dear lord. How he loved you! 'Twas my lord that made you stay with us."

"I asked no better than to stay near you always," said Mr. Esmond.

"But to go was best, Harry. When the world cannot give peace, you will know where to find it; but one of your strong imagination and eager desires must try the world first before he tires of it. 'Twas not to be thought of, or if it once was, it was only by my selfishness, that you should remain as chaplain to a country gentleman and tutor to a little boy. You are of the blood of the Esmonds, kinsman; and that was always wild in youth. Look at Francis. He is but fifteen, and I scarce can keep him in my nest. His talk is all of war and pleasure, and he longs to serve in the next campaign. Perhaps he and the young Lord Churchill shall go the next. Lord Marlborough has been good to us. You know how kind they were in my misfortune. And so was youryour father's widow. No one knows how good the world is, till grief comes to try us. 'Tis through my Lady Marlborough's goodness that Beatrix hath her place at Court; and Frank is under my Lord Chamberlain. And the dowager lady, your father's widow, has promised to provide for youhas she not?"

Esmond said, "Yes. As far as present favor went, Lady Castlewood was very good to him. And should[313] her mind change," he added gaily, "as ladies' minds will, I am strong enough to bear my own burden, and make my way somehow. Not by the sword very likely. Thousands have a better genius for that than I, but there are many ways in which a young man of good parts and education can get on in the world; and I am pretty sure, one way or other, of promotion!" Indeed, he had found patrons already in the army, and amongst persons very able to serve him, too; and told his mistress of the flattering aspect of fortune. They walked as though they had never been parted, slowly, with the grey twilight closing round them.

"And now we are drawing near to home," she continued, "I knew you would come, Harry, ifif it was but to forgive me for having spoken unjustly to you after that horridhorrid misfortune. I was half frantic with grief then when I saw you. And I know nowthey have told me. That wretch, whose name I can never mention, even has said it: how you tried to avert the quarrel, and would have taken it on yourself, my poor child: but it was God's will that I should be punished, and that my dear lord should fall."

"He gave me his blessing on his death-bed," Esmond said. "Thank God for that legacy!"

"Amen, amen! dear Henry," said the lady, pressing his arm. "I knew it. Mr. Atterbury, of St. Bride's, who was called to him, told me so. And I thanked God, too, and in my prayers ever since remembered it."

"You had spared me many a bitter night, had you told me sooner," Mr. Esmond said.

"I know it, I know it," she answered, in a tone of such sweet humility, as made Esmond repent that he should ever have dared to reproach her. "I know how wicked[314] my heart has been; and I have suffered too, my dear. But I knew you would come backI own that. And to-day, Henry, in the anthem, when they sang it, 'When the Lord turned the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream,' I thought yes, like them that dreamthem that dream. And then it went, 'They that sow in tears shall reap in joy; and he that goeth forth and weepeth, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him;' I looked up from the book and saw you. I was not surprised when I saw you. I knew you would come, my dear, and saw the gold sunshine round your head."

She smiled an almost wild smile as she looked up at him. The moon was up by this time, glittering keen in the frosty sky. He could see, for the first time now clearly, her sweet careworn face.

"Do you know what day it is?" she continued. "It is the 29th day of Decemberit is your birthday! But last year we did not drink itno, no. My lord was cold, and my Harry was likely to die: and my brain was in a fever; and we had no wine. But nownow you are come again, bringing your sheaves with you, my dear." She burst into a wild flood of weeping as she spoke; she laughed and sobbed on the young man's heart, crying out wildly, "bringing your sheaves with youyour sheaves with you!"

As he had sometimes felt, gazing up from the deck at midnight into the boundless starlit depths overhead, in a rapture of devout wonder at that endless brightness and beautyin some such a way now, the depth of this pure devotion quite smote upon him, and filled his heart with thanksgiving. Gracious God, who was he, weak and friendless creature, that such a love should be poured out[315] upon him? Not in vainnot in vain has he livedhard and thankless should he be to think sothat has such a treasure given him. What is ambition compared to that, but selfish vanity? To be rich, to be famous? What do these profit a year hence, when other names sound louder than yours, when you lie hidden away under the ground, along with idle titles engraven on your coffin? But only true love lives after youfollows your memory with secret blessingor precedes you, and intercedes for you. Non omnis moriarif dying, I yet live in a tender heart or two; nor am lost and hopeless living, if a sainted departed soul still loves and prays for me.


[N] From "The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., a Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne. Written by himself."

The late Lord Castlewood had been killed in a duel, and young Esmond, who had lived in his house as a dependant (reputed to have been illegitimately related to a former Viscount of Castlewood), devotedly attending him at his death-bed, received from the dying man confession and proof that he, the supposed obscure orphan, was the true inheritor, and in justice ought to have been the possessor, of the Castlewood titles and estates. But Esmond, for the love he had borne his patron, and from devotion to Lady Castlewood, who had much befriended him, immediately destroyed the proofs which were given him of his honorable parentage, and ever afterwards kept his claim a secret. After the duel, while Esmond was in prison, Lady Castlewood visited him, and in the wildness of her grief for her murdered husband, reproached her loyal kinsman for not having saved her lord's life, or avenged his death. In the estrangement which these reproaches occasioned, Esmond sought his fortune abroad in war; but subsequently, desiring to learn of the welfare of his mistress and her family, whose happiness he prized more than his own, he returned to England, and went to Winchester, near which was Walcote, Lady Castlewood's home. The family were attending service in the cathedral, and there the reconciliation took place.Esmond had formerly been promised the living of Walcote, but the vacancy occurring while the estrangement continued. Lady Castlewood had given it to one Mr. Tusher.


(December, 1697.)

William Edmondstoune Aytoun.1813-1865.

The Rhine is running deep and red, the island lies before,
"Now is there one of all the host will dare to venture o'er?
For not alone the river's sweep might make a brave man quail;
The foe are on the further side, their shot comes fast as hail.
God help us, if the middle isle we may not hope to win!
Now is there any of the host will dare to venture in?"

"The ford is deep, the banks are steep, the island-shore lies
Nor man nor horse could stem its force, or reach the further side.
See there! amidst the willow-boughs the serried bayonets gleam;
They've flung their bridge,they've won the isle; the foe have
cross'd the stream!
Their volley flashes sharp and strong,by all the saints! I trow
There never yet was soldier born could force that passage now!"

[316] So spoke the bold French Mareschal with him who led the van,
Whilst rough and red before their view the turbid river ran.
Nor bridge nor boat had they to cross the wild and swollen
And thundering on the other bank far stretch'd the German line.
Hard by there stood a swarthy man was leaning on his sword,
And a sadden'd smile lit up his face as he heard the Captain's
"I've seen a wilder stream ere now than that which rushes there;
I've stemm'd a heavier torrent yet and never thought to dare.
If German steel be sharp and keen, is ours not strong and true?
There may be danger in the deed, but there is honor too."

The old lord in his saddle turn'd, and hastily he said,
"Hath bold Duguesclin's fiery heart awaken'd from the dead?
Thou art the leader of the Scots,now well and sure I know,
That gentle blood in dangerous hour ne'er yet ran cold nor
And I have seen ye in the fight do all that mortal may:
If honor is the boon ye seek, it may be won this day,
The prize is in the middle isle, there lies the adventurous way,
And armies twain are on the plain, the daring deed to see,
Now ask thy gallant company if they will follow thee!"

Right gladsome look'd the Captain then, and nothing did he say,
But he turn'd him to his little band,O, few, I ween, were they!
The relics of the bravest force that ever fought in fray.
No one of all that company but bore a gentle name,
Not one whose fathers had not stood in Scotland's fields of fame.
All they had march'd with great Dundee to where he fought and
And in the deadly battle-strife had venged their leader well:
And they had bent the knee to earth when every eye was dim,
As o'er their hero's buried corpse they sang the funeral hymn;
And they had trod the Pass once more, and stoop'd on either
[317]To pluck the heather from the spot where he had dropp'd and
And they had bound it next their hearts, and ta'en a last farewell
Of Scottish earth and Scottish sky, where Scotland's glory fell.
Then went they forth to foreign lands like bent and broken men,
Who leave their dearest hope behind, and may not turn again.

"The stream," he said, "is broad and deep, and stubborn is
the foe,
Yon island-strength is guarded well,say, brothers, will ye go?
From home and kin for many a year our steps have wander'd
And never may our bones be laid our fathers' graves beside.
No children have we to lament, no wives to wail our fall;
The traitor's and the spoiler's hand have reft our hearths of all.
But we have hearts, and we have arms, as strong to will and
As when our ancient banners flew within the northern air.
Come, brothers! let me name a spell shall rouse your souls
And send the old blood bounding free through pulse and heart
and vein.
Call back the days of bygone years,be young and strong once
Think yonder stream, so stark and red, is one we've cross'd
Rise, hill and glen! rise, crag and wood! rise up on either hand,
Again upon the Garry's banks, on Scottish soil we stand!
Again I see the tartans wave, again the trumpets ring;
Again I hear our leader's call: 'Upon them for the King!'
Stay'd we behind that glorious day for roaring flood or linn?
The soul of Græme is with us still,now, brothers, will ye in?"

No stay,no pause. With one accord, they grasp'd each other's
Then plunged into the angry flood, that bold and dauntless band.
[318]High flew the spray above their heads, yet onward still they
Midst cheer, and shout, and answering yell, and shot, and
"Now, by the Holy Cross! I swear, since earth and sea began,
Was never such a daring deed essay'd by mortal man!"

Thick blew the smoke across the stream, and faster flash'd the
The water plash'd in hissing jets as ball and bullet came.
Yet onwards push'd the Cavaliers all stern and undismay'd,
With thousand armèd foes before, and none behind to aid.
Once, as they near'd the middle stream, so strong the torrent
That scarce that long and living wall their dangerous footing
Then rose a warning cry behind, a joyous shout before:
"The current's strong,the way is long,they'll never reach
the shore!
See, see! they stagger in the midst, they waver in their line!
Fire on the madmen! break their ranks, and whelm them in
the Rhine!"

Have you seen the tall trees swaying when the blast is sounding
And the whirlwind reels in fury down the gorges of the hill?
How they toss their mighty branches struggling with the
How they keep their place of vantage, cleaving firmly to the
Even so the Scottish warriors held their own against the river;
Though the water flash'd around them, not an eye was seen to
Though the shot flew sharp and deadly, not a man relax'd his
For their hearts were big and thrilling with the mighty thoughts
of old.
One word was spoke among them, and through the ranks it
"Remember our dead Claverhouse!" was all the Captain said.
Then, sternly bending forward, they wrestled on a while,
Until they clear'd the heavy stream, then rush'd towards the isle.

The German heart is stout and true, the German arm is strong;
The German foot goes seldom back where armèd foemen throng.
But never had they faced in field so stern a charge before,
And never had they felt the sweep of Scotland's broad claymore.
Not fiercer pours the avalanche adown the steep incline,
That rises o'er the parent-springs of rough and rapid Rhine,
Scarce swifter shoots the bolt from heaven than came the
Scottish band
Right up against the guarded trench, and o'er it sword in hand.
In vain their leaders forward press,they meet the deadly

O lonely island of the Rhine,where seed was never sown,
What harvest lay upon thy sands, by those strong reapers thrown?
What saw the winter moon that night, as, struggling through
the rain,
She pour'd a wan and fitful light on marsh, and stream, and
A dreary spot with corpses strewn, and bayonets glistening
A broken bridge, a stranded boat, a bare and batter'd mound;
And one huge watch-fire's kindled pile, that sent its quivering
To tell the leaders of the host the conquering Scots were there!

And did they twine the laurel-wreath, for those who fought so
And did they honor those who liv'd, and weep for those who
[320]What meed of thanks was given to them let agèd annals tell.
Why should they bring the laurel-wreath,why crown the cup
with wine?
It was not Frenchmen's blood that flow'd so freely on the
A stranger band of beggar'd men had done the venturous deed:
The glory was to France alone, the danger was their meed.
And what cared they for idle thanks from foreign prince and
What virtue had such honey'd words the exiled heart to cheer?
What matter'd it that men should vaunt and loud and fondly
That higher feat of chivalry was never wrought elsewhere?
They bore within their breasts the grief that fame can never
The deep, unutterable woe which none save exiles feel.
Their hearts were yearning for the land they ne'er might see
For Scotland's high and heather'd hills, for mountain, loch and
For those who haply lay at rest beyond the distant sea,
Beneath the green and daisied turf where they would gladly be!

Long years went by. The lonely isle in Rhine's tempestuous
Has ta'en another name from those who bought it with their
And, though the legend does not live,for legends lightly die
The peasant, as he sees the stream in winter rolling by,
And foaming o'er its channel-bed between him and the spot
Won by the warriors of the sword, stills calls that deep
and dangerous ford
The Passage of the Scot.

Sacrifice and Self-Devotion hallow earth and fill the skies.

Lord Houghton.1809-1885.



Earl of Beaconsfield.1805-1881.

From The Young Duke.

The young Duke had accepted the invitation of the Baron de Berghem for to-morrow, and accordingly, himself, Lords Castlefort and Dice, and Temple Grace assembled in Brunswick Terrace at the usual hour. The dinner was studiously plain, and very little wine was drunk; yet everything was perfect. Tom Cogit stepped in to carve in his usual silent manner. He always came in and went out of a room without anyone observing him. He winked familiarly to Temple Grace, but scarcely presumed to bow to the Duke. He was very busy about the wine, and dressed the wild fowl in a manner quite unparalleled. He took particular care to send a most perfect portion to the young Duke, and he did this, as he paid all attentions to influential strangers, with the most marked consciousness of the sufferance which permitted his presence: never addressing his Grace, but audibly whispering to the servant, "Take this to the Duke"; or asking the attendant, "whether his Grace would try the Hermitage?"

After dinner, with the exception of Cogit, who was busied in compounding some wonderful liquid for the future refreshment, they sat down to écarté. Without having exchanged a word upon the subject, there seemed a general understanding among all the parties that to-night was to be a pitched battle, and they began at once, briskly. Yet, in spite of their universal determination, midnight arrived without anything decisive. Another hour passed over, and then Tom Cogit kept touching the[322] Baron's elbow and whispering in a voice which everybody could understand. All this meant that supper was ready. It was brought into the room.

Gaming has one advantage, it gives you an appetite; that is to say, so long as you have a chance remaining. The Duke had thousands; for at present his resources were unimpared, and he was exhausted by the constant attention and anxiety of five hours. He passed over the delicacies and went to the side-table, and began cutting himself some cold roast beef. Tom Cogit ran up, not to his Grace, but to the Baron, to announce the shocking fact that the Duke of St. James was enduring great trouble; and then the Baron asked his Grace to permit Mr. Cogit to serve him. Our hero devoured: we use the word advisedly, as fools say in the House of Commons: he devoured the roast beef, and rejecting the Hermitage with disgust, asked for porter.

They set to again fresh as eagles. At six o'clock accounts were so complicated that they stopped to make up their books. Each played with his memoranda and pencil at his side. Nothing fatal had yet happened. The Duke owed Lord Dice about five thousand pounds, and Temple Grace owed him as many hundreds. Lord Castlefort also was his debtor to the tune of seven hundred and fifty, and the Baron was in his books, but slightly. Every half-hour they had a new pack of cards, and threw the used one on the floor. All this time Tom Cogit did nothing but snuff the candles, stir the fire, bring them a new pack, and occasionally make a tumbler for them. At eight o'clock the Duke's situation was worsened. The run was greatly against him, and perhaps his losses were doubled. He pulled up again the next hour or two; but nevertheless, at ten[323] o'clock, owed every one something. No one offered to give over; and everyone, perhaps, felt that his object was not obtained. They made their toilets and went down-stairs to breakfast. In the meantime the shutters were opened, the room aired, and in less than an hour they were at it again.

They played till dinner-time without intermission; and though the Duke made some desperate efforts, and some successful ones, his losses were, nevertheless, trebled. Yet he ate an excellent dinner and was not at all depressed; because the more he lost, the more his courage and his resources seemed to expand. At first he had limited himself to ten thousand; after breakfast it was to have been twenty thousand; then thirty thousand was the ultimatum; and now he dismissed all thoughts of limits from his mind, and was determined to risk or gain everything.

At midnight, he had lost forty-eight thousand pounds. Affairs now began to be serious. His supper was not so hearty. While the rest were eating, he walked about the room, and began to limit his ambition to recovery, and not to gain. When you play to win back, the fun is over: there is nothing to recompense you for your bodily tortures and your degraded feelings; and the very best result that can happen, while it has no charms, seems to your cowed mind impossible.

On they played, and the Duke lost more. His mind was jaded. He floundered, he made desperate efforts, but plunged deeper in the slough. Feeling that, to regain his ground, each card must tell, he acted on each as if it must win, and the consequences of this insanity (for a gamester at such a crisis is really insane) were, that his losses were prodigious.

[324]Another morning came, and there they sat, ankle-deep in cards. No attempt at breakfast now, no affectation of making a toilet or airing the room. The atmosphere was hot, to be sure, but it well became such a Hell. There they sat, in total, in positive forgetfulness of everything but the hot game they were hunting down. There was not a man in the room, except Tom Cogit, who could have told you the name of the town in which they were living. There they sat, almost breathless, watching every turn with the fell look in their cannibal eyes which showed their total inability to sympathize with their fellow-beings. All forms of society had been long forgotten. There was no snuff-box handed about now, for courtesy, admiration, or a pinch; no affectation of occasionally making a remark upon any other topic but the all-engrossing one. Lord Castlefort rested with his arms on the table: a false tooth had got unhinged. His Lordship, who, at any other time, would have been most annoyed, coolly put it in his pocket. His cheeks had fallen, and he looked twenty years older. Lord Dice had torn off his cravat, and his hair hung down over his callous, bloodless cheeks, straight as silk. Temple Grace looked as if he were blighted by lightning; and his deep blue eyes gleamed like a hyena's. The Baron was least changed. Tom Cogit, who smelt that the crisis was at hand, was as quiet as a bribed rat.

On they played till six o'clock in the evening, and then they agreed to desist till after dinner. Lord Dice threw himself on a sofa. Lord Castlefort breathed with difficulty. The rest walked about. While they were resting on their oars, the young Duke roughly made up his accounts. He found that he was minus about one hundred thousand pounds.

[325]Immense as this loss was, he was more struck, more appalled, let us say, at the strangeness of the surrounding scene, than even by his own ruin. As he looked upon his fellow gamesters, he seemed, for the first time in his life, to gaze upon some of those hideous demons of whom he had read. He looked in the mirror at himself. A blight seemed to have fallen over his beauty, and his presence seemed accursed. He had pursued a dissipated, even more than a dissipated career. Many were the nights that had been spent by him not on his couch; great had been the exhaustion that he had often experienced; haggard had sometimes even been the lustre of his youth. But when had been marked upon his brow this harrowing care? when had his features before been stamped with this anxiety, this anguish, this baffled desire, this strange unearthly scowl, which made him even tremble? What! was it possible? it could not be, that in time he was to be like those awful, those unearthly, those unhallowed things that were around him. He felt as if he had fallen from his state, as if he had dishonored his ancestry, as if he had betrayed his trust. He felt a criminal. In the darkness of his meditations a flash burst from his lurid mind, a celestial light appeared to dissipate this thickening gloom, and his soul felt as if it were bathed with the softening radiancy. He thought of May Dacre, he thought of everything that was pure, and holy, and beautiful, and luminous, and calm. It was the innate virtue of the man that made this appeal to his corrupted nature. His losses seemed nothing; his dukedom would be too slight a ransom for freedom from these ghouls, and for the breath of the sweet air.

He advanced to the Baron, and expressed his desire to[326] play no more. There was an immediate stir. All jumped up, and now the deed was done. Cant, in spite of their exhaustion, assumed her reign. They begged him to have his revenge, were quite annoyed at the result, had no doubt he would recover if he proceeded. Without noticing their remarks, he seated himself at the table, and wrote cheques for their respective amounts, Tom Cogit jumping up and bringing him the inkstand. Lord Castlefort, in the most affectionate manner, pocketed the draft; at the same time recommending the Duke not to be in a hurry, but to send it when he was cool. Lord Dice received his with a bow, Temple Grace with a sigh, the Baron with an avowal of his readiness always to give him his revenge.

The Duke, though sick at heart, would not leave the room with any evidence of a broken spirit; and when Lord Castlefort again repeated, "Pay us when we meet again," he said, "I think it very improbable that we shall meet again, my Lord. I wished to know what gaming was. I had heard a great deal about it. It is not so very disgusting; but I am a young man, and cannot play tricks with my complexion."

He reached his house. He gave orders for himself not to be disturbed, and he went to bed; but in vain he tried to sleep. What rack exceeds the torture of an excited brain and an exhausted body? His hands and feet were like ice, his brow like fire; his ears rung with supernatural roaring; a nausea had seized upon him, and death he would have welcomed. In vain, in vain he courted repose; in vain, in vain he had recourse to every expedient to wile himself to slumber. Each minute he started from his pillow with some phrase which reminded him of his late fearful society. Hour after hour moved on with[327] its leaden pace; each hour he heard strike, and each hour seemed an age. Each hour was only a signal to cast off some covering, or shift his position. It was, at length, morning. With a feeling that he should go mad if he remained any longer in bed, he rose, and paced his chamber. The air refreshed him. He threw himself on the floor; the cold crept over his senses, and he slept.


Charles Dickens.1812-1870.

From The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.

"Now," said Wardle, after a substantial lunch had been done ample justice to; "what say you to an hour on the ice? We shall have plenty of time."

"Capital!" said Mr. Benjamin Allen.

"Prime!" ejaculated Mr. Bob Sawyer.

"You skate, of course, Winkle?" said Wardle.

"Ye-yes; oh, yes," replied Mr. Winkle. "IIam rather out of practice."

[328] "Oh, do skate, Mr. Winkle," said Arabella. "I like to see it so much."

"Oh, it is so graceful," said another young lady.

A third young lady said it was elegant, and a fourth expressed her opinion that it was "swan-like."

"I should be very happy, I'm sure," said Mr. Winkle, reddening; "but I have no skates."

This objection was at once over-ruled. Trundle had a couple of pair, and the fat boy announced that there were half a dozen more down stairs: whereat Mr. Winkle expressed exquisite delight, and looked exquisitely uncomfortable.

Old Wardle led the way to a pretty large sheet of ice; and the fat boy and Mr. Weller, having shovelled and swept away the snow which had fallen on it during the night, Mr. Bob Sawyer adjusted his skates with a dexterity which to Mr. Winkle was perfectly marvellous, and described circles with his left leg, and cut figures of eight, and inscribed upon the ice, without once stopping for breath, a great many other pleasant and astonishing devices, to the excessive satisfaction of Mr. Pickwick, Mr. Tupman, and the ladies: which reached a pitch of positive enthusiasm, when old Wardle and Benjamin Allen, assisted by the aforesaid Bob Sawyer, performed some mystic evolutions, which they called a reel.

All this time, Mr. Winkle, with his face and hands blue with the cold, had been forcing a gimlet into the soles of his feet, and putting his skates on, with the points behind, and getting the straps into a very complicated and entangled state, with the assistance of Mr. Snodgrass, who knew rather less about skates than a Hindoo. At length, however, with the assistance of Mr. Weller, the unfortunate skates were firmly screwed and buckled on, and Mr. Winkle was raised to his feet.

[329]"Now, then, sir," said Sam, in an encouraging tone; "off vith you, and show 'em how to do it."

"Stop, Sam, stop!" said Mr. Winkle, trembling violently, and clutching hold of Sam's arms with the grasp of a drowning man. "How slippery it is, Sam!"

"Not an uncommon thing upon ice, sir," replied Mr. Weller. "Hold up, sir!"

This last observation of Mr. Weller's bore reference to a demonstration Mr. Winkle made at the instant, of a frantic desire to throw his feet in the air, and dash the back of his head on the ice.

"Thesetheseare very awkward skates; ain't they, Sam?" inquired Mr. Winkle, staggering.

"I'm afeerd there's a orkard gen'l'm'n in 'em, sir," replied Sam.

"Now, Winkle," cried Mr. Pickwick, quite unconscious that there was anything the matter. "Come; the ladies are all anxiety."

"Yes, yes," replied Mr. Winkle, with a ghastly smile. "I'm coming."

"Just a goin' to begin," said Sam, endeavoring to disengage himself. "Now, sir, start off!"

"Stop an instant, Sam," gasped Mr. Winkle, clinging most affectionately to Mr. Weller. "I find I've got a couple of coats at home that I don't want, Sam. You may have them, Sam."

"Thank'ee, sir," replied Mr. Weller.

"Never mind touching your hat, Sam," said Mr. Winkle, hastily. "You needn't take your hand away to do that. I meant to have given you five shillings this morning for a Christmas-box, Sam. I'll give it you this afternoon, Sam."

"You're wery good, sir," replied Mr. Weller.

[330]"Just hold me at first, Sam; will you?" said Mr. Winkle. "Therethat's right. I shall soon get in the way of it, Sam. Not too fast, Sam; not too fast."

Mr. Winkle stooping forward, with his body half doubled up, was being assisted over the ice by Mr. Weller, in a very singular and un-swan-like manner, when Mr. Pickwick most innocently shouted from the opposite bank:



"Here. I want you."

"Let go, sir," said Sam. "Don't you hear the governor a callin'? Let go, sir."

With a violent effort, Mr. Weller disengaged himself from the grasp of the agonized Pickwickian, and, in so doing, administered a considerable impetus to the unhappy Mr. Winkle. With an accuracy which no degree of dexterity or practice could have insured, that unfortunate gentleman bore swiftly down into the centre of the reel, at the very moment when Mr. Bob Sawyer was performing a flourish of unparalleled beauty. Mr. Winkle struck wildly against him, and with a loud crash they both fell heavily down. Mr. Pickwick ran to the spot. Bob Sawyer had risen to his feet, but Mr. Winkle was far too wise to do anything of the kind, in skates. He was seated on the ice, making spasmodic efforts to smile; but anguish was depicted on every lineament of his countenance.

"Are you hurt?" inquired Mr. Benjamin Allen, with great anxiety.

"Not much," said Mr. Winkle, rubbing his back very hard.

"I wish you'd let me bleed you," said Mr. Benjamin, with great eagerness.

[331]"No, thank you," replied Mr. Winkle hurriedly.

"I really think you had better," said Allen.

"Thank you," replied Mr. Winkle; "I'd rather not."

"What do you think, Mr. Pickwick?" inquired Bob Sawyer.

Mr. Pickwick was excited and indignant. He beckoned to Mr. Weller, and said in a stern voice, "Take his skates off."

"No; but really I had scarcely begun," remonstrated Mr. Winkle.

"Take his skates off," repeated Mr. Pickwick firmly.

The command was not to be resisted. Mr. Winkle allowed Sam to obey it in silence.

"Lift him up," said Mr. Pickwick. Sam assisted him to rise.

Mr. Pickwick retired a few paces apart from the bystanders; and beckoning his friend to approach, fixed a searching look upon him, and uttered in a low, but distinct and emphatic tone, these remarkable words:

"You're a humbug, sir."

"A what?" said Mr. Winkle, starting.

"A humbug, sir. I will speak plainer, if you wish it. An impostor, sir."

With these words, Mr. Pickwick turned slowly on his heel, and rejoined his friends.

While Mr. Pickwick was delivering himself of the sentiment just recorded, Mr. Weller and the fat boy, having by their joint endeavors cut out a slide, were exercising themselves thereupon, in a very masterly and brilliant manner. Sam Weller, in particular, was displaying that beautiful feat of fancy-sliding which is currently denominated "knocking at the cobbler's door," and which is achieved by skimming over the ice on one foot, and oc[332]casionally giving a postman's knock upon it with the other. It was a good long slide, and there was something in the motion which Mr. Pickwick, who was very cold with standing still, could not help envying.

"It looks a nice warm exercise that, doesn't it?" he inquired of Wardle, when that gentleman was thoroughly out of breath, by reason of the indefatigable manner in which he had converted his legs into a pair of compasses, and drawn complicated problems on the ice.

"Ah, it does indeed," replied Wardle. "Do you slide?"

"I used to do so on the gutters, when I was a boy," replied Mr. Pickwick.

"Try it now," said Wardle.

"Oh do, please, Mr. Pickwick!" cried all the ladies.

"I should be very happy to afford you any amusement," replied Mr. Pickwick, "but I haven't done such a thing these thirty years."

"Pooh! pooh! Nonsense!" said Wardle, dragging off his skates with the impetuosity which characterized all his proceedings. "Here; I'll keep you company; come along!" And away went the good tempered old fellow down the slide, with a rapidity which came very close upon Mr. Weller, and beat the fat boy all to nothing.

Mr. Pickwick paused, considered, pulled off his gloves and put them in his hat: took two or three short runs, baulked himself as often, and at last took another run, and went slowly and gravely down the slide, with his feet about a yard and a quarter apart, amidst the gratified shouts of all the spectators.

"Keep the pot a bilin', sir!" said Sam; and down went Wardle again, and then Mr. Pickwick, and then Sam, and then Mr. Winkle, and then Mr. Bob Sawyer, and then the fat boy, and then Mr. Snodgrass, following[333] closely upon each other's heels, and running after each other with as much eagerness as if all their future prospects in life depended on their expedition.

It was the most intensely interesting thing, to observe the manner in which Mr. Pickwick performed his share in the ceremony; to watch the torture of anxiety with which he viewed the person behind, gaining upon him at the imminent hazard of tripping him up; to see him gradually expend the painful force he had put on at first, and turn slowly round on the slide, with his face towards the point from which he had started; to contemplate the playful smile which mantled on his face when he had accomplished the distance, and the eagerness with which he turned round when he had done so, and ran after his predecessor: his black gaiters tripping pleasantly through the snow, and his eyes beaming cheerfulness and gladness through his spectacles. And when he was knocked down (which happened upon the average every third round), it was the most invigorating sight that can possibly be imagined, to behold him gather up his hat, gloves, and handkerchief, with a glowing countenance, and resume his station in the rank, with an ardor and enthusiasm that nothing could abate.

The sport was at its height, the sliding was at the quickest, the laughter was at the loudest, when a sharp smart crack was heard. There was a quick rush towards the bank, a wild scream from the ladies, and a shout from Mr. Tupman. A large mass of ice disappeared; the water bubbled up over it; Mr. Pickwick's hat, gloves, and handkerchief were floating on the surface; and this was all of Mr. Pickwick that anybody could see.

Dismay and anguish were depicted on every countenance, the males turned pale, and the females fainted,[334] Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle grasped each other by the hand, and gazed at the spot where their leader had gone down, with frenzied eagerness: while Mr. Tupman, by way of rendering the promptest assistance, and at the same time conveying to any persons who might be within hearing, the clearest possible notion of the catastrophe, ran off across the country at his utmost speed, screaming "Fire!" with all his might.

It was at this moment, when old Wardle and Sam Weller were approaching the hole with cautious steps, and Mr. Benjamin Allen was holding a hurried consultation with Mr. Bob Sawyer on the advisability of bleeding the company generally, as an improving little bit of professional practiceit was at this very moment, that a face, head, and shoulders, emerged from beneath the water, and disclosed the features and spectacles of Mr. Pickwick.

"Keep yourself up for an instantfor only one instant!" bawled Mr. Snodgrass.

"Yes, do; let me implore youfor my sake!" roared Mr. Winkle, deeply affected. The adjuration was rather unnecessary; the probability being, that if Mr. Pickwick had declined to keep himself up for anybody else's sake, it would have occurred to him that he might as well do so, for his own.

"Do you feel the bottom there, old fellow?" said Wardle.

"Yes, certainly," replied Mr. Pickwick, wringing the water from his head and face, and gasping for breath. "I fell upon my back. I couldn't get on my feet at first."

The clay upon so much of Mr. Pickwick's coat as was yet visible, bore testimony to the accuracy of this statement; and as the fears of the spectators were still fur[335]ther relieved by the fat boy's suddenly recollecting that the water was nowhere more than five feet deep, prodigies of valor were performed to get him out. After a vast quantity of splashing, and cracking, and struggling, Mr. Pickwick was at length fairly extricated from his unpleasant position, and once more stood on dry land.

"Oh, he'll catch his death of cold," said Emily.

"Dear old thing!" said Arabella. "Let me wrap this shawl round you, Mr. Pickwick."

"Ah, that's the best thing you can do," said Wardle; "and when you've got it on, run home as fast as your legs can carry you, and jump into bed directly."

A dozen shawls were offered on the instant. Three or four of the thickest having been selected, Mr. Pickwick was wrapped up, and started off, under the guidance of Mr. Weller: presenting the singular phenomenon of an elderly gentleman, dripping wet, and without a hat, with his arms bound down to his sides, skimming over the ground, without any clearly defined purpose, at the rate of six good English miles an hour.

But Mr. Pickwick cared not for appearances in such an extreme case, and urged on by Sam Weller, he kept at the very top of his speed until he reached the door of Manor Farm, where Mr. Tupman had arrived some five minutes before, and had frightened the old lady into palpitations of the heart by impressing her with the unalterable conviction that the kitchen chimney was on firea calamity which always presented itself in glowing colors to the old lady's mind, when anybody about her evinced the smallest agitation.

Mr. Pickwick paused not an instant until he was snug in bed. Sam Weller lighted a blazing fire in his room, and took up his dinner, and afterwards a great rejoicing was held in honor of his safety.


[O] Mr. Pickwick, a benevolent, simple-minded old gentleman, is the founder of the Pickwick Club. He and three other members, Mr. Winkle, Mr. Snodgrass, and Mr. Tupman, form the Corresponding Society of the club, and they travel over England together, meeting with many laughable adventures. They are accompanied by Samuel Weller, Mr. Pickwick's servant, an inimitable compound of cool impudence, quaint humor, and fidelity. The Pickwickians have accepted the invitation of Mr. Wardle, of Manor Farm, Dingley Dell, to be present at the marriage of his daughter, Isabella, to Mr. Trundle. Among the guests are also Mr. Bob Sawyer and Mr. Benjamin Allen, two medical students, and Mr. Allen's sister, Arabella. Other members of Mr. Wardle's household are Mr. Wardle's mother, the "old lady" of Manor Farm, his daughter, Emily, and Joe, a servant lad, known as the "fat boy." The wedding takes place on the twenty-third of December, and then follow the Christmas festivities, of which the skating forms a part.



Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.1807-1882.


The lights are out, and gone are all the guests
That thronging came with merriment and jests
To celebrate the Hanging of the Crane
In the new house,into the night are gone;
But still the fire upon the hearth burns on,
And I alone remain.

O fortunate, O happy day,
When a new household finds its place
Among the myriad homes of earth,
Like a new star just sprung to birth,
And roll'd on its harmonious way
Into the boundless realms of space!
So said the guests in speech and song,
As in the chimney, burning bright,
And merry was the feast and long.


And now I sit and muse on what may be,
And in my vision see, or seem to see,
Through floating vapors interfused with light,
Shapes indeterminate, that gleam and fade,
As shadows passing into deeper shade
Sink and elude the sight.

For two alone, there in the hall,
Is spread the table round and small;
Upon the polish'd silver shine
The evening lamps, but, more divine,
[337]The light of love shines over all;
Of love, that says not mine and thine,
But ours, for ours is thine and mine.

They want no guests, to come between
Their tender glances like a screen,
And tell them tales of land and sea,
And whatsoever may betide
The great, forgotten world outside;
They want no guests; they needs must be
Each other's own best company.


The picture fades; as at a village fair
A showman's views, dissolving into air,
Again appear transfigured on the screen,
So in my fancy this; and now once more,
In part transfigured, through the open door
Appears the selfsame scene.

Seated, I see the two again,
But not alone; they entertain
A little angel unaware,
With face as round as is the moon;
A royal guest with flaxen hair,
Who, throned upon his lofty chair,
Drums on the table with his spoon,
Then drops it careless on the floor,
To grasp at things unseen before.

Are these celestial manners? these
The ways that win, the arts that please?
Ah yes; consider well the guest,
And whatsoe'er he does seems best;
He ruleth by the right divine
[338] Of helplessness, so lately born
In purple chambers of the morn,
As sovereign over thee and thine.
He speaketh not; and yet there lies
A conversation in his eyes;
The golden silence of the Greek,
The gravest wisdom of the wise,
Not spoken in language, but in looks
More legible than printed books,
As if he could but would not speak.
And now, O monarch absolute,
Thy power is put to proof; for, lo!
Resistless, fathomless, and slow,
The nurse comes rustling like the sea,
And pushes back thy chair and thee,
And so good night to King Canute.


As one who walking in a forest sees
A lovely landscape through the parted trees,
Then sees it not, for boughs that intervene;
Or, as we see the moon sometimes reveal'd
Through drifting clouds, and then again conceal'd,
So I behold the scene.

There are two guests at table now;
The king, deposed and older grown,
No longer occupies the throne,
The crown is on his sister's brow;
A Princess from the Fairy Isles,
The very pattern girl of girls,
All cover'd and embower'd in curls,
Rose-tinted from the Isle of Flowers,
And sailing with soft, silken sails
From far-off Dreamland into ours.
[339] Above their bowls with rims of blue
Four azure eyes of deeper hue
Are looking, dreamy with delight;
Limpid as planets that emerge
Above the ocean's rounded verge,
Soft-shining through the summer night.
Steadfast they gaze, yet nothing see
Beyond the horizon of their bowls;
Nor care they for the world that rolls
With all its freight of troubled souls
Into the days that are to be.


Again the tossing boughs shut out the scene,
Again the drifting vapors intervene,
And the moon's pallid disk is hidden quite:
And now I see the table wider grown,
As round a pebble into water thrown
Dilates a ring of light.

I see the table wider grown,
I see it garlanded with guests,
As if fair Ariadne's Crown
Out of the sky had fallen down;
Maidens within whose tender breasts
A thousand restless hopes and fears,
Forth reaching to the coming years,
Flutter awhile, then quiet lie,
Like timid birds that fain would fly,
But do not dare to leave their nests;
And youths, who in their strength elate
Challenge the van and front of fate,
Eager as champions to be
In the divine knight-errantry
Of youth, that travels sea and land
[340] Seeking adventures, or pursues,
Through cities, and through solitudes
Frequented by the lyric Muse,
The phantom with the beckoning hand,
That still allures and still eludes.
O sweet illusions of the brain!
O sudden thrills of fire and frost!
The world is bright while ye remain,
And dark and dead when ye are lost!


The meadow-brook, that seemeth to stand still,
Quickens its current as it nears the mill;
And so the stream of Time that lingereth
In level places, and so dull appears,
Runs with a swifter current as it nears
The gloomy mills of Death.

And now, like the magician's scroll,
That in the owner's keeping shrinks
With every wish he speaks or thinks,
Till the last wish consumes the whole,
The table dwindles, and again
I see the two alone remain.
The crown of stars is broken in parts;
Its jewels, brighter than the day,
Have one by one been stolen away
To shine in other homes and hearts.
One is a wanderer now afar
In Ceylon or in Zanzibar,
Or sunny regions of Cathay;
And one is in the boisterous camp
Mid clink of arms and horses' tramp,
And battle's terrible array.
I see the patient mother read,
[341] With aching heart, of wrecks that float
Disabled on those seas remote,
Or of some great heroic deed
On battle-fields, where thousands bleed
To lift one hero into fame.
Anxious she bends her graceful head
Above these chronicles of pain,
And trembles with a secret dread
Lest there among the drown'd or slain
She find the one belovèd name.


After a day of cloud and wind and rain
Sometimes the setting sun breaks out again,
And, touching all the darksome woods with light.
Smiles on the fields, until they laugh and sing,
Then like a ruby from the horizon's ring
Drops down into the night.

What see I now? The night is fair,
The storm of grief, the clouds of care,
The wind, the rain, have pass'd away;
The lamps are lit, the fires burn bright,
The house is full of life and light:
It is the Golden Wedding day.
The guests come thronging in once more,
Quick footsteps sound along the floor,
The trooping children crowd the stair,
And in and out and everywhere
Flashes along the corridor
The sunshine of their golden hair.

On the round table in the hall
Another Ariadne's Crown
Out of the sky hath fallen down;
More than one Monarch of the Moon
[342] Is drumming with his silver spoon;
The light of love shines over all.

O fortunate, O happy day!
The people sing, the people say.
The ancient bridegroom and the bride,
Smiling contented and serene,
Upon the blithe, bewildering scene,
Behold, well pleas'd, on every side
Their forms and features multiplied,
As the reflection of a light
Between two burnish'd mirrors gleams,
Or lamps upon a bridge at night
Stretch on and on before the sight,
Till the long vista endless seems.


Charles Darwin1809-1882.

From The Formation of Vegetable Mould
through the action of Worms

Worms have played a more important part in the history of the world than most persons would at first suppose. In almost all humid countries they are extraordinarily numerous, and for their size possess great muscular power. In many parts of England a weight of more than ten tons of dry earth annually passes through their bodies and is brought to the surface on each acre of land; so that the whole superficial bed of vegetable mould passes through their bodies in the course of every few years. From the collapsing of the old burrows the[343] mould is in constant though slow movement, and the particles composing it are thus rubbed together. By these means fresh surfaces are continually exposed to the action of the carbonic acid in the soil, and of the humus-acids which appear to be still more efficient in the decomposition of rocks. The generation of the humus-acids is probably hastened during the digestion of the many half-decayed leaves which worms consume. Thus the particles of earth, forming the superficial mould, are subjected to conditions eminently favorable for their decomposition and disintegration. Moreover, the particles of the softer rocks suffer some amount of mechanical trituration in the muscular gizzards of worms, in which small stones serve as mill-stones....

Archæologists ought to be grateful to worms, as they protect and preserve for an indefinitely long period every object, not liable to decay, which is dropped on the surface of the land, by burying it beneath their castings. Thus, also, many elegant and curious tesselated pavements and other ancient remains have been preserved; though no doubt the worms have in these cases been largely aided by earth washed and blown from the adjoining land, especially when cultivated. The old tesselated pavements have, however, often suffered by having subsided unequally from being unequally undermined by the worms. Even old massive walls may be undermined and subside; and no building is in this respect safe, unless the foundations lie six or seven feet beneath the surface, at a depth at which worms cannot work. It is probable that many monoliths and some old walls have fallen down from having been undermined by worms.

Worms prepare the ground in an excellent manner for the growth of fibrous-rooted plants and for seedlings of[344] all kinds. They periodically expose the mould to the air, and sift it so that no stones larger than the particles which they can swallow are left in it. They mingle the whole intimately together, like a gardener who prepares fine soil for his choicest plants. In this state it is well fitted to retain moisture and to absorb all soluble substances, as well as for the process of nitrification. The bones of dead animals, the harder parts of insects, the shells of land-molluscs, leaves, twigs, etc., are before long all buried beneath the accumulated castings of worms, and are thus brought in a more or less decayed state within reach of the roots of plants. Worms likewise drag an infinite number of dead leaves and other parts of plants into their burrows, partly for the sake of plugging them up and partly as food.

The leaves which are dragged into the burrows as food, after being torn into the finest shreds, partially digested, and saturated with the intestinal secretions, are commingled with much earth. This earth forms the dark-colored, rich humus which almost everywhere covers the surface of the land with a fairly well-defined layer or mantle. Von Hensen placed two worms in a vessel eighteen inches in diameter, which was filled with sand, on which fallen leaves were strewed; and these were soon dragged into their burrows to a depth of three inches. After about six weeks an almost uniform layer of sand, a centimetre (.4 inch) in thickness, was converted into humus by having passed through the alimentary canals of these two worms. It is believed by some persons that worm-burrows, which often penetrate the ground almost perpendicularly to a depth of five or six feet, materially aid in its drainage; notwithstanding that the viscid castings piled over the mouths of the burrows[345] prevent or check the rain-water directly entering them. They allow the air to penetrate deeply into the ground. They also greatly facilitate the downward passage of roots of moderate size; and these will be nourished by the humus with which the burrows are lined. Many seeds owe their germination to having been covered by castings; and others buried to a considerable depth beneath accumulated castings lie dormant, until at some future time they are accidentally uncovered and germinate.

Worms are poorly provided with sense-organs, for they cannot be said to see, although they can just distinguish between light and darkness; they are completely deaf, and have only a feeble power of smell; the sense of touch alone is well developed. They can therefore learn little about the outside world, and it is surprising that they should exhibit some skill in lining their burrows with their castings and with leaves, and in the case of some species in piling up their castings into tower-like constructions. But it is far more surprising that they should apparently exhibit some degree of intelligence instead of a mere blind instinctive impulse, in their manner of plugging up the mouths of their burrows. They act in nearly the same manner as would a man, who had to close a cylindrical tube with different kinds of leaves, petioles, triangles of paper, etc., for they commonly seize such objects by their pointed ends. But with thin objects a certain number are drawn in by their broader ends. They do not act in the same unvarying manner in all cases, as do most of the lower animals; for instance, they do not drag in leaves by their foot-stalks, unless the basal part of the blade is as narrow as the apex, or narrower than it.

[346]When we behold a wide, turf-covered expanse, we should remember that its smoothness, on which so much of its beauty depends, is mainly due to all the inequalities having been slowly levelled by worms. It is a marvellous reflection that the whole of the superficial mould over any such expanse has passed, and will again pass, every few years, through the bodies of worms. The plough is one of the most ancient and most valuable of man's inventions; but long before he existed the land was in fact regularly ploughed, and still continues to be thus ploughed by earth-worms. It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.


Arthur Hugh Clough.1819-1861.

As ships, becalm'd at eve, that lay
With canvas drooping, side by side,
Two towers of sail at dawn of day
Are scarce long leagues apart descried;

When fell the night, upsprung the breeze,
And all the darkling hours they plied,
Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas
By each was cleaving, side by side:

E'en sobut why the tale reveal
Of those, whom year by year unchanged,
Brief absence join'd anew to feel,
Astounded, soul from soul estranged?

[347] At dead of night their sails were fill'd,
And onward each rejoicing steer'd
Ah, neither blame, for neither will'd,
Or wist, what first with dawn appear'd!

To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
Brave barks! In light, in darkness too,
Through winds and tides one compass guides
To that, and your own selves, be true.

But O blithe breeze! and O great seas,
Though ne'er, that earliest parting past,
On your wide plain they join again,
Together lead them home at last.

One port, methought, alike they sought,
One purpose hold where'er they fare,
O bounding breeze, O rushing seas!
At last, at last, unite them there.


Arthur Hugh Clough.

Dutythat's to say, complying
With whate'er's expected here;
On your unknown cousin's dying,
Straight be ready with the tear;
Upon etiquette relying,
Unto usage nought denying,
Lend your waist to be embraced,
Blush not even, never fear;
Claims of kith and kin connection,
Claims of manners honor still,
[348] Ready money of affection
Pay, whoever drew the bill.
With the form conforming duly,
Senseless what it meaneth truly,
Go to churchthe world require you,
To ballsthe world require you too,
And marrypapa and mamma desire you,
And your sisters and schoolfellows do.

Duty'tis to take on trust
What things are good, and right, and just;
And whether indeed they be or be not,
Try not, test not, feel not, see not:
'Tis walk and dance, sit down and rise
By leading, opening ne'er your eyes;
Stunt sturdy limbs that Nature gave,
And be drawn in a Bath chair along to the grave.

'Tis the stern and prompt suppressing,
As an obvious deadly sin,
All the questing and the guessing
Of the soul's own soul within:
'Tis the coward acquiescence
In a destiny's behest,
To a shade by terror made,
Sacrificing, aye, the essence
Of all that's truest, noblest, best:
'Tis the blind non-recognition
Or of goodness, truth, or beauty,
Save by precept and submission;
Moral blank, and moral void,
Life at very birth destroy'd.
Atrophy, exinanition!
Yea, by duty's prime condition
Pure nonentity of duty!



Charles Heavysege.1816-1876.


The day was lingering in the pale north-west,
And night was hanging o'er my head,
Night where a myriad stars were spread;
While down in the east, where the light was least,
Seem'd the home of the quiet dead.
And, as I gazed on the field sublime,
To watch the bright, pulsating stars,
Adown the deep where the angels sleep
Came drawn the golden chime
Of those great spheres that sound the years
For the horologe of time.
Millenniums numberless they told,
Millenniums a million-fold
From the ancient hour of prime.


The stars are glittering in the frosty sky,
Frequent as pebbles on a broad sea-coast;
And o'er the vault the cloud-like galaxy
Has marshall'd its innumerable host.
Alive all heaven seems! with wondrous glow
Tenfold refulgent every star appears,
As if some wide, celestial gale did blow,
And thrice illume the ever-kindled spheres.
Orbs, with glad orbs rejoicing, burning, beam,
Ray-crown'd, with lambent lustre in their zones,
Till o'er the blue, bespangled spaces seem
Angels and great archangels on their thrones;
A host divine, whose eyes are sparkling gems,
And forms more bright than diamond diadems.



Hush'd in a calm beyond mine utterance,
See in the western sky the evening spread;
Suspended in its pale, serene expanse,
Like scatter'd flames, the glowing cloudlets red.
Clear are those clouds; and that pure sky's profound,
Transparent as a lake of hyaline;
Nor motion, nor the faintest breath of sound,
Disturbs the steadfast beauty of the scene.
Far o'er the vault, the winnow'd welkin wide,
From the bronzed east unto the whiten'd west,
Moor'd, seem, in their sweet, tranquil, roseate pride,
Those clouds the fabled islands of the blest;
The lands where pious spirits breathe in joy,
And love and worship all their hours employ.


Arthur Penrhyn Stanley.1815-1880.

With his usual and undoubting confidence in what he believed to be a general law of Providence, he based his whole management of the school on his early-formed and yearly-increasing conviction that what he had to look for, both intellectually and morally, was not performance but promise; that the very freedom and independence of school life, which in itself he thought so dangerous, might be made the best preparation for Christian manhood; and he did not hesitate to apply to his scholars the principle which seemed to him to have been adopted in the training of the childhood of the human race[351] itself. He shrunk from pressing on the conscience of boys rules of action which he felt they were not yet able to bear, and from enforcing actions which, though right in themselves, would in boys be performed from wrong motives. Keenly as he felt the risk and fatal consequences of the failure of this trial, still it was his great, sometimes his only support to believe that "the character is braced amid such scenes to a greater beauty and firmness than it ever can attain without enduring and witnessing them. Our work here would be absolutely unendurable if we did not bear in mind that we should look forward as well as backwardif we did not remember that the victory of fallen man lies not in innocence but in tried virtue." "I hold fast," he said, "to the great truth, that 'blessed is he that overcometh;'" and he writes in 1837: "Of all the painful things connected with my employment, nothing is equal to the grief of seeing a boy come to school innocent and promising, and tracing the corruption of his character from the influence of the temptations around him, in the very place which ought to have strengthened and improved it. But in most cases those who come with a character of positive good are benefited; it is the neutral and indecisive characters which are apt to be decided for evil by schools, as they would be in fact by any other temptation."

But this very feeling led him with the greater eagerness to catch at every means by which the trial might be shortened or alleviated. "Can the change from childhood to manhood be hastened, without prematurely exhausting the faculties of body or mind?" was one of the chief questions on which his mind was constantly at work, and which in the judgment of some he was disposed to answer too readily in the affirmative. It was with the elder boys, [352] of course, that he chiefly acted on this principle, but with all above the very young ones he trusted to it more or less. Firmly as he believed that a time of trial was inevitable, he believed no less firmly that it might be passed at public schools sooner than under other circumstances; and, in proportion as he disliked the assumption of a false manliness in boys, was his desire to cultivate in them true manliness, as the only step to something higher, and to dwell on earnest principle and moral thoughtfulness, as the great and distinguishing mark between good and evil. Hence his wish that as much as possible should be done by the boys, and nothing for them; hence arose his practice, in which his own delicacy of feeling and uprightness of purpose powerfully assisted him, of treating the boys as gentlemen and reasonable beings, of making them respect themselves by the mere respect he showed to them; of showing that he appealed and trusted to their own common sense and conscience. Lying, for example, to the masters, he made a great moral offence: placing implicit confidence in a boy's assertion, and then, if a falsehood was discovered, punishing it severely,in the upper part of the school, when persisted in, with expulsion. Even with the lower forms he never seemed to be on the watch for boys; and in the higher forms any attempt at further proof of an assertion was immediately checked: "If you say so, that is quite enoughof course I believe your word;" and there grew up in consequence a general feeling that "it was a shame to tell Arnold a liehe always believes one."

Perhaps the liveliest representation of this general spirit, as distinguished from its exemplification in particular parts of the discipline and instruction, would be formed by recalling his manner, as he appeared in the[353] great school, where the boys used to meet when the whole school was assembled collectively, and not in its different forms or classes. Then, whether on his usual entrance every morning to prayers before the first lesson, or on the more special emergencies which might require his presence, he seemed to stand before them, not merely as the head-master, but as the representative of the school. There he spoke to them as members together with himself of the same great institution, whose character and reputation they had to sustain as well as he. He would dwell on the satisfaction he had in being head of a society, where noble and honorable feelings were encouraged, or on the disgrace which he felt in hearing of acts of disorder or violence, such as in the humbler ranks of life would render them amenable to the laws of their country; or again, on the trust which he placed in their honor as gentlemen, and the baseness of any instance in which it was abused. "Is this a Christian school?" he indignantly asked at the end of one of those addresses, in which he had spoken of an extensive display of bad feeling amongst the boys; and then added,"I cannot remain here if all this is to be carried on by constraint and force; if I am to be here as a jailer, I will resign my office at once." And few scenes can be recorded more characteristic of him than on one of these occasions, when, in consequence of a disturbance, he had been obliged to send away several boys, and when in the midst of the general spirit of discontent which this excited, he stood in his place before the assembled school and said: "It is not necessary that this should be a school of three hundred, or one hundred, or of fifty boys; but it is necessary that it should be a school of Christian gentlemen."



Charles Kingsley.1819-1875.

Welcome, wild North-easter!
Shame it is to see
Odes to every zephyr;
Ne'er a verse to thee.
Welcome, black North-easter!
O'er the German foam;
O'er the Danish moorlands,
From thy frozen home.
Tired we are of summer,
Tired of gaudy glare,
Showers soft and steaming,
Hot and breathless air.
Tired of listless dreaming
Through the lazy day:
Jovial wind of winter
Turns us out to play!
Sweep the golden reed-beds;
Crisp the lazy dyke;
Hunger into madness
Every plunging pike.
Fill the lake with wild-fowl;
Fill the marsh with snipe;
While on dreary moorlands
Lonely curlew pipe.
Through the black fir-forest
Thunder harsh and dry,
Shattering down the snow-flakes
Off the curdled sky.
Hark! The brave North-easter!
Breast-high lies the scent,
[355]On by holt and headland,
Over heath and bent.
Chime, ye dappled darlings,
Through the sleet and snow.
Who can over-ride you?
Let the horses go!
Chime, ye dappled darlings,
Down the roaring blast;
You shall see a fox die
Ere an hour be past.
Go! and rest to-morrow,
Hunting in your dreams,
While our skates are ringing
O'er the frozen streams.
Let the luscious South-wind
Breathe in lovers' sighs,
While the lazy gallants
Bask in ladies' eyes.
What does he but soften
Heart alike and pen?
'Tis the hard grey weather
Breeds hard English men.
What's the soft South-wester?
'Tis the ladies' breeze,
Bringing home their true-loves
Out of all the seas.
But the black North-easter,
Through the snow-storm hurl'd,
Drives our English hearts of oak
Seaward round the world.
Come, as came our fathers,
Heralded by thee,
Conquering from the eastward,
Lords by land and sea.
[356] Come; and strong within us
Stir the Vikings' blood,
Bracing brain and sinew;
Blow, thou wind of God!


George Eliot.1820-1880.

The next morning Maggie was trotting with her own fishing-rod in one hand and a handle of the basket in the other, stepping always, by a peculiar gift, in the muddiest places, and looking darkly radiant from under her beaver bonnet because Tom was good to her. She had told Tom, however, that she should like him to put the worms on the hook for her, although she accepted his word when he assured her that worms couldn't feel (it was Tom's private opinion that it didn't much matter if they did). He knew all about worms, and fish, and those things; and what birds were mischievous, and how padlocks opened, and which way the handles of the gates were to be lifted. Maggie thought this sort of knowledge was very wonderfulmuch more difficult than remembering what was in the books; and she was rather in awe of Tom's superiority, for he was the only person who called her knowledge "stuff," and did not feel surprised at her cleverness. Tom, indeed, was of opinion that Maggie was a silly little thing; all girls were silly; they couldn't throw a stone so as to hit anything, couldn't do anything with a pocket-knife, and were frightened at frogs. Still, he was very fond of his sister, and meant always to take[357] care of her, make her his housekeeper, and punish her when she did wrong.

They were on their way to the Round Poolthat wonderful pool, which the floods had made a long while ago. No one knew how deep it was; and it was mysterious, too, that it should be almost a perfect round, framed in with willows and tall reeds, so that the water was only to be seen when you got close to the brink. The sight of the old favorite spot always heightened Tom's good-humor, and he spoke to Maggie in the most amiable whispers, as he opened the precious basket and prepared their tackle. He threw her line for her, and put the rod into her hand. Maggie thought it probable that the small fish would come to her hook, and the large ones to Tom's. But she had forgotten all about the fish, and was looking dreamily at the glassy water, when Tom said, in a loud whisper, "Look! look, Maggie!" and came running to prevent her from snatching her line away.

Maggie was frightened lest she had been doing something wrong, as usual, but presently Tom drew out her line and brought a large tench bouncing on the grass.

Tom was excited.

"O Magsie! you little duck! Empty the basket."

Maggie was not conscious of unusual merit, but it was enough that Tom called her Magsie, and was pleased with her. There was nothing to mar her delight in the whispers and the dreamy silences, when she listened to the light dipping sounds of the rising fish, and the gentle rustling, as if the willows, and the reeds, and the water had their happy whisperings also. Maggie thought it would make a very nice heaven to sit by the pool in that way, and never be scolded. She never knew she had a bite till Tom told her, but she liked fishing very much.

[358] It was one of their happy mornings. They trotted along and sat down together, with no thought that life would ever change much for them: they would only get bigger and not go to school, and it would always be like the holidays; they would always live together and be fond of each other. And the mill with its boomingthe great chestnut-tree under which they played at housestheir own little river, the Ripple, where the banks seemed like home, and Tom was always seeing the water-rats, while Maggie gathered the purple plumy tops of the reeds, which she forgot and dropped afterwardabove all, the great Floss, along which they wandered with a sense of travel, to see the rushing spring-tide, the awful Eagre, come up like a hungry monster, or to see the Great Ash which had once wailed and groaned like a manthese things would always be just the same to them. Tom thought people were at a disadvantage who lived on any other spot of the globe; and Maggie, when she read about Christiana passing "the river over which there is no bridge," always saw the Floss between the green pastures by the Great Ash.

Life did change for Tom and Maggie; and yet they were not wrong in believing that the thoughts and loves of these first years would always make part of their lives. We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in itif it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grassthe same hips and haws on the autumn hedgerowsthe same red-breasts that we used to call "God's birds," because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known, and loved because it is known?

[359] The wood I walk in on this mild May day, with the young yellow-brown foliage of the oaks between me and the blue sky, the white star-flowers, and the blue-eyed speedwell, and the ground-ivy at my feetwhat grove of tropic palms, what strange ferns or splendid broad-petaled blossoms, could ever thrill such deep and delicate fibres within me as this home-scene? These familiar flowers, these well-remembered bird-notes, this sky with its fitful brightness, these furrowed and grassy fields, each with a sort of personality given to it by the capricious hedgerowssuch things as these are the mother tongue of our imagination, the language that is laden with all the subtle inextricable associations the fleeting hours of our childhood left behind them. Our delight in the sunshine on the deep-bladed grass to-day might be no more than the faint perception of wearied souls, if it were not for the sunshine and the grass in the far-off years, which still live in us, and transform our perception into love.


Dante Gabriel Rossetti.1828-1882.

The day is dark and the night
To him that would search their heart;
No lips of cloud that will part
Nor morning song in the light:
Only, gazing alone,
To him wild shadows are shown,
Deep under deep unknown
And height above unknown height.
[360] Still we say as we go,
"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

The Past is over and fled;
Named new, we name it the old;
Thereof some tale hath been told,
But no word comes from the dead;
Whether at all they be,
Or whether as bond or free,
Or whether they too were we,
Or by what spell they have sped.
Still we say as we go,
"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

What of the heart of hate
That beats in thy breast, O Time?
Red strife from the furthest prime,
And anguish of fierce debate;
War that shatters her slain,
And peace that grinds them as grain,
And eyes fix'd ever in vain
On the pitiless eyes of Fate.
Still we say as we go,
"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

What of the heart of love
That bleeds in thy breast, O Man?
Thy kisses snatch'd 'neath the ban
Of fangs that mock them above;
[361] Thy bells prolong'd unto knells,
Thy hope that a breath dispels,
Thy bitter forlorn farewells
And the empty echoes thereof?
Still we say as we go,
"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

The sky leans dumb on the sea,
Aweary with all its wings;
And oh! the song the sea sings
Is dark everlastingly.
Our past is clean forgot,
Our present is and is not,
Our future's a seal'd seedplot,
And what betwixt them are we?
We who say as we go,
"Strange to think by the way,
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."


John Greenleaf Whittier.1807-

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The cluster'd spires of Frederick stand
Green-wall'd by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,

[362]Fair as a garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famish'd rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee march'd over the mountain wall,

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapp'd in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon look'd down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bow'd with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men haul'd down;

In her attic-window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouch'd hat left and right
He glanced: the old flag met his sight.

"Halt!"the dust-brown ranks stood fast
"Fire!"out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shiver'd the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatch'd the silken scarf;

[363]She lean'd far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

"Shoot, if you must, this old grey head,
But spare your country's flag!" she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirr'd
To life at that woman's deed and word:

"Who touches a hair of yon grey head,
Dies like a dog! March on!" he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

All day long that free flag toss'd
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that lov'd it well;

And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more

Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier.

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

[364]Peace and order and beauty draw
Round thy symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!


Oliver Wendell Holmes.1809-

"Man wants but little here below."

Little I ask; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone,
(A very plain brown stone will do,)
That I may call my own;
And close at hand is such a one,
In yonder street that fronts the sun.

Plain food is quite enough for me;
Three courses are as good as ten;
If Nature can subsist on three,
Thank Heaven for three. Amen!
I always thought cold victual nice;
My choice would be vanilla-ice.

I care not much for gold or land;
Give me a mortgage here and there,
Some good bank-stock,some note of hand,
Or trifling railroad share,
I only ask that Fortune send
A little more than I shall spend.

[365] Honors are silly toys, I know,
And titles are but empty names;
I would, perhaps, be Plenipo,
But only near St. James;
I'm very sure I should not care
To fill our Gubernator's chair.

Jewels are baubles; 'tis a sin
To care for such unfruitful things;
One good-sized diamond in a pin,
Some, not so large, in rings,
A ruby, and a pearl, or so,
Will do for me;I laugh at show.

My dame should dress in cheap attire;
(Good, heavy silks are never dear;)
I own perhaps I might desire
Some shawls of true Cashmere,
Some marrowy crapes of China silk,
Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.

I would not have the horse I drive
So fast that folks must stop and stare;
An easy gaittwo, forty-five
Suits me; I do not care,
Perhaps for just a single spurt,
Some seconds less would do no hurt.

Of pictures I should like to own
Titians and Raphaels three or four,
I love so much their style and tone,
One Turner, and no more,
(A landscape,foreground golden dirt,
The sunshine painted with a squirt.)

[366] Of books but few,some fifty score
For daily use, and bound for wear;
The rest upon an upper floor;
Some little luxury there
Of red morocco's gilded gleam,
And vellum rich as country cream.

Busts, cameos, gems,such things as these,
Which others often show for pride,
I value for their power to please,
And selfish churls deride;
One Stradivarius, I confess,
Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.

Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn,
Nor ape the glittering upstart fool;
Shall not carv'd tables serve my turn,
But all must be of buhl?
Give grasping pomp its double share,
I ask but one recumbent chair.

Thus humble let me live and die,
Nor long for Midas' golden touch;
If Heaven more generous gifts deny,

I shall not miss them much,
Too grateful for the blessing lent
Of simple tastes and mind content.

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies;
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flowerbut if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.




The Right Hon. William Ewart Gladstone.1809-

From Kin Beyond Sea.

The Constitution has not been the offspring of the thought of man. The Cabinet, and all the present relations of the Constitutional powers in this country, have grown into their present dimensions, and settled into their present places, not as the fruit of a philosophy, not in the effort to give effect to an abstract principle; but by the silent action of forces, invisible and insensible, the structure has come up into the view of all the world. It is, perhaps, the most conspicuous object on the wide political horizon; but it has thus risen, without noise, like the temple of Jerusalem.

"No workman steel, no ponderous hammers rung;
Like some tall palm the stately fabric sprung."

When men repeat the proverb which teaches us that "marriages are made in heaven," what they mean is that, in the most fundamental of all social operations, the building up of the family, the issues involved in the nuptial contract, lie beyond the best exercise of human thought, and the unseen forces of providential government make good the defect in our imperfect capacity. Even so would it seem to have been in that curious marriage of competing influences and powers, which brings about the composite harmony of the British Constitution. More, it must be admitted, than any other, it leaves open doors which lead into blind alleys; for it presumes, more boldly than any other, the good sense and good faith of those who work it. If, unhappily, these personages meet[368] together, on the great arena of a nation's fortunes, as jockeys meet upon a racecourse, each to urge to the uttermost, as against the others, the power of the animal he rides; or as counsel in a court, each to procure the victory of his client, without respect to any other interest or right: then this boasted Constitution of ours is neither more nor less than a heap of absurdities. The undoubted competency of each reaches even to the paralysis or destruction of the rest. The House of Commons is entitled to refuse every shilling of the Supplies. That House, and also the House of Lords, is entitled to refuse its assent to every Bill presented to it. The Crown is entitled to make a thousand Peers to-day, and as many to-morrow: it may dissolve all and every Parliament before it proceeds to business; may pardon the most atrocious crimes; may declare war against all the world; may conclude treaties involving unlimited responsibilities, and even vast expenditure, without the consent, nay without the knowledge, of Parliament, and this not merely in support or in development, but in reversal, of policy already known to and sanctioned by the nation. But the assumption is that the depositaries of power will all respect one another; will evince a consciousness that they are working in a common interest for a common end; that they will be possessed, together with not less than an average intelligence, of not less than an average sense of equity and of the public interest and rights. When these reasonable expectations fail, then, it must be admitted, the British Constitution will be in danger.

Apart from such contingencies, the offspring only of folly or of crime, this Constitution is peculiarly liable to subtle change. Not only in the long-run, as man changes between youth and age, but also, like the human body,[369] with a quotidian life, a periodical recurrence of ebbing and flowing tides. Its old particles daily run to waste, and give place to new. What is hoped among us is, that which has usually been found, that evils will become palpable before they have grown to be intolerable....

Meantime, we of this island are not great political philosophers; and we contend with an earnest, but disproportioned, vehemence about changes which are palpable, such as the extension of the suffrage, or the redistribution of Parliamentary seats, neglecting wholly other processes of change which work beneath the surface, and in the dark, but which are even more fertile of great organic results. The modern English character reflects the English Constitution in this, that it abounds in paradox; that it possesses every strength, but holds it tainted with every weakness; that it seems alternately both to rise above and to fall below the standard of average humanity; that there is no allegation of praise or blame which, in some one of the aspects of its many-sided formation, it does not deserve; that only in the midst of much default, and much transgression, the people of this United Kingdom either have heretofore established, or will hereafter establish, their title to be reckoned among the children of men, for the eldest born of an imperial race.

It fortifies my soul to know
That, though I perish, Truth is so:
That, howsoe'er I stray and range,
Whate'er I do, Thou dost not change.
I steadier step when I recall
That, if I slip Thou dost not fall.

Arthur Hugh Clough.



Lord Tennyson.1809-

In her ear he whispers gayly,
"If my heart by signs can tell,
Maiden, I have watch'd thee daily,
And I think thou lov'st me well."
She replies, in accents fainter,
"There is none I love like thee."
He is but a landscape-painter,
And a village maiden she.
He to lips, that fondly falter,
Presses his without reproof:
Leads her to the village altar,
And they leave her father's roof.
"I can make no marriage present;
Little can I give my wife.
Love will make our cottage pleasant,
And I love thee more than life."
They by parks and lodges going
See the lordly castles stand:
Summer woods, about them blowing,
Made a murmur in the land.
From deep thought himself he rouses
Says to her that loves him well,
"Let us see these handsome houses
Where the wealthy nobles dwell."
So she goes by him attended,
Hears him lovingly converse,
Sees whatever fair and splendid
Lay betwixt his home and hers;
Parks with oak and chestnut shady,
Parks and order'd gardens great,
Ancient homes of lord and lady,
Built for pleasure and for state.
[371]All he shows her makes him dearer:
Evermore she seems to gaze
On that cottage growing nearer,
Where they twain will spend their days.
O but she will love him truly!
He shall have a cheerful home;
She will order all things duly,
When beneath his roof they come.
Thus her heart rejoices greatly,
Till a gateway she discerns
With armorial bearings stately,
And beneath the gate she turns;
Sees a mansion more majestic
Than all those she saw before:
Many a gallant gay domestic
Bows before him at the door.
And they speak in gentle murmur,
When they answer to his call,
While he treads with footsteps firmer,
Leading on from hall to hall.
And, while now she wonders blindly,
Nor the meaning can divine,
Proudly turns he round and kindly,
"All of this is mine and thine."
Here he lives in state and bounty,
Lord of Burleigh, fair and free,
Not a lord in all the county
Is so great a lord as he.
All at once the color flushes
Her sweet face from brow to chin:
As it were with shame she blushes,
And her spirit changed within.
Then her countenance all over
Pale again as death did prove;
But he clasp'd her like a lover,
And he cheer'd her soul with love.
[372]So she strove against her weakness,
Tho' at times her spirits sank:
Shaped her heart with woman's meekness
To all duties of her rank:
And a gentle consort made he,
And her gentle mind was such
That she grew a noble lady,
And the people lov'd her much.
But a trouble weigh'd upon her,
And perplex'd her, night and morn,
With the burden of an honor
Unto which she was not born.
Faint she grew, and ever fainter,
As she murmur'd, "O, that he
Were once more that landscape-painter,
Which did win my heart from me!"
So she droop'd and droop'd before him,
Fading slowly from his side:
Three fair children first she bore him,
Then before her time she died.
Weeping, weeping late and early,
Walking up and pacing down,
Deeply mourn'd the Lord of Burleigh,
Burleigh-house by Stamford-town.
And he came to look upon her,
And he look'd at her and said,
"Bring the dress and put it on her,
That she wore when she was wed."
Then her people, softly treading,
Bore to earth her body, drest
In the dress that she was wed in,
That her spirit might have rest.

And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
Am I not richer than of old?




Lord Tennyson.

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.



Lord Tennyson.

At Flores in the Azores Sir Richard Grenville lay,
And a pinnace, like a flutter'd bird, came flying from far away:
"Spanish ships of war at sea! we have sighted fifty-three!"
Then sware Lord Thomas Howard: "'Fore God I am no coward!
But I cannot meet them here, for my ships are out of gear,
[374] And the half my men are sick. I must fly, but follow quick.
We are six ships of the line; can we fight with fifty-three?"

Then spake Sir Richard Grenville: "I know you are no coward;
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, my 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 sail'd away from Flores till the Spaniard came in sight,
With his huge sea-castles heaving upon the weather bow.
"Shall we fight or shall we fly?
Good Sir Richard, let us know,
For to fight is but to die!
There'll be little of us left by the time the sun be set."
And Sir Richard said again: "We be all good Englishmen.
Let us bang these dogs of Seville, the children of the devil,
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 foe,
With her hundred fighters on deck, and her ninety sick below;
For half of their fleet to the right and half to the left were seen,
And the little "Revenge" ran on thro' the long sea-lane between.

[375] Thousands of their soldiers look'd down from their decks and
Thousands of their seamen made mock at the mad little craft
Running on and on, till delay'd
By their mountain-like "San Philip" that, of fifteen hundred tons,
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 lay,
And the battle-thunder broke from them all.

But anon the great "San Philip," she bethought herself and went,
Having that within her womb that had left her ill-content;
And the rest they came aboard us, and they fought us hand to
For a dozen times they came with their pikes and musqueteers,
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 ceas'd the fight of the one and the fifty-three.
Ship after ship, the whole night long, their high-built galleons
Ship after ship, the whole night long, with their 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 shatter'd, and so could fight
us no more
God of battles, was ever a battle like this in the world before?
[376] For he said, "Fight on! fight on!"
Tho' his vessel was all but a wreck;
And it chanced that, when half of the 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 dead,
And himself he was wounded again in the side and the head,
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 shore,
We diedoes it matter when?
Sink me the ship, Master Gunnersink her, split her in twain!
Fall into the hands of God, not into the hands of Spain!"

And the gunner said, "Ay, ay," but the seamen made reply:
"We have children, we have wives,
[377] And the Lord hath spared our lives.
We will make the Spaniard promise, if we yield, to let us go;
We shall live to fight again, and to strike another blow."
And the lion there lay dying, and they yielded to the foe.

And the stately Spanish men to their flagship bore him then,
Where they laid him by the mast, old Sir Richard caught at last,
And they prais'd him to his face with their courtly foreign grace;
But he rose upon their decks, and he cried:
"I have fought for Queen and Faith like a valiant man and true;
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 true,
And had holden the power and glory of Spain so cheap,
That he dared her with one little ship and his English few;
Was he devil or man? He was devil for aught they knew,
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 own;
When a wind from the lands they had ruin'd awoke from sleep,
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 rais'd 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 crags
To be lost evermore in the main.

There is no land like England, where'er the light of day be;
There are no hearts like English hearts, such hearts of oak as
they be.




Robert Browning.1812-

On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two,
Did the English fight the French,woe to France!
And, the thirty-first of May, helter-skelter through the blue,
Like a crowd of frighten'd porpoises a shoal of sharks pursue,
Came crowding ship on ship to St. Malo on the Rance,
With the English fleet in view.

'Twas the squadron that escaped, with the victor in full chase;
First and foremost of the drove, in his great ship, Damfreville;
Close on him fled, great and small,
Twenty-two good ships in all;
And they signall'd to the place
"Help the winners of a race!
Get us guidance, give us harbor, take us quick;or, quicker
Here's the English can and will!"

Then the pilots of the place put out brisk and leapt on board:
"Why, what hope or chance have ships like these to pass?"
laugh'd they:
"Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the passage scarr'd and
Shall the Formidable here with her twelve and eighty guns
Think to make the river-mouth by the single narrow way,
Trust to enter where 'tis ticklish for a craft of twenty tons,
And with flow at full beside?
Now, 'tis slackest ebb of tide.
Reach the mooring? Rather say,
While rock stands or water runs,
Not a ship will leave the bay!"

[379] Then was call'd a council straight.
Brief and bitter the debate:
"Here's the English at our heels; would you have them take
in tow
All that's left us of the fleet, link'd together stern and bow,
For a prize to Plymouth Sound?
Better run the ships aground!"
(Ended Damfreville his speech.)
Not a minute more to wait!
"Let the captains all and each
Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the vessels on the beach!
France must undergo her fate.

"Give the word!" But no such word
Was ever spoke or heard;
For up stood, for out stepp'd, for in struck, amid all these,
A captain? a lieutenant? a mate,first, second, third?
No such man of mark, and meet
With his betters to compete!
But a simple Breton sailor press'd by Tourville for the fleet,
A poor coasting-pilot he,Hervé Riel, the Croisickese.

And "What mockery or malice have we here?" cries Hervé
"Are you mad, you Malouins? Are you cowards, fools,
or rogues?
Talk to me of rocks and shoals?me, who took the soundings,
On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell
'Twixt the offing here and Grève where the river
Are you bought by English gold? Is it love the lying's for?
Morn and eve, night and day,
Have I piloted your bay,
Enter'd free and anchor'd fast at the foot of Solidor.
[380] Burn the fleet and ruin France? That were worse than
fifty Hogues!
Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me
there's a way!
Only let me lead the line,
Have the biggest ship to steer,
Get this Formidable clear,
Make the others follow mine,
And I lead them, most and least, by a passage I know well,
Right to Solidor past Grève,
And there lay them safe and sound;
And if one ship misbehave,
Keel so much as grate the ground,
Why, I've nothing but my life,here's my head!" cries Hervé

Not a minute more to wait.
"Steer us in, then, small and great!
Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron!" cried its
Captains, give the sailor place!
He is admiral, in brief.
Still the north-wind, by God's grace!
See the noble fellow's face
As the big ship, with a bound,
Clears the entry like a hound,
Keeps the passage as its inch of way were the wide sea's
See, safe through shoal and rock,
How they follow in a flock!
Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that grates the ground,
Not a spar that comes to grief!
The peril, see, is past!
All are harbor'd to the last!
And just as Hervé Riel hollas "Anchor!"sure as fate
Up the English come,too late!

[381] So, the storm subsides to calm:
They see the green trees wave
On the heights o'erlooking Grève.
Hearts that bled are stanch'd with balm.
"Just our rapture to enhance,
Let the English rake the bay,
Gnash their teeth and glare askance
As they cannonade away!
'Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on the Rance!"
Now hope succeeds despair on each captain's countenance!
Out burst all with one accord,
"This is Paradise for Hell!
Let France, let France's king,
Thank the man that did the thing!"
What a shout, and all one word,
"Hervé Riel!"
As he stepp'd in front once more,
Not a symptom of surprise
In the frank blue Breton eyes,
Just the same man as before.

Then said Damfreville, "My friend,
I must speak out at the end,
Though I find the speaking hard.
Praise is deeper than the lips;
You have saved the king his ships,
You must name your own reward.
'Faith our sun was near eclipse!
Demand whate'er you will,
France remains your debtor still.
Ask to heart's content, and have! or my name's not Damfreville."

Then a beam of fun outbroke
On the bearded mouth that spoke,
As the honest heart laugh'd through
Those frank eyes of Breton blue:
[382] "Since I needs must say my say,
Since on board the duty's done,
And from Malo Roads to Croisic Point, what is it but a
Since 'tis ask and have, I may,
Since the others go ashore,
Come! A good whole holiday!
Leave to go and see my wife, whom I call the Belle Aurore!"
That he ask'd and that he got,nothing more.

Name and deed alike are lost:
Not a pillar nor a post
In his Croisic keeps alive the feat as it befell;
Not a head in white and black
On a single fishing smack,
In memory of the man but for whom had gone to wrack
All that France saved from the fight whence England bore
the bell.
Go to Paris: rank on rank
Search the heroes flung pell-mell
On the Louvre, face and flank!
You shall look long enough ere you come to Hervé Riel.
So, for better and for worse,
Hervé Riel, accept my verse!
In my verse, Hervé Riel, do thou once more
Save the squadron, honor France, love thy wife the Belle Aurore!

The Summum Pulchrum rests in heaven above;
Do thou, as best thou may'st, thy duty do:
Amid the things allow'd thee live and love,
Some day thou shalt it view.

Arthur Hugh Clough.



President Wilson.1816-

Great things were ne'er begotten in an hour;
Ephemerons in birth, are such in life;
And he who dareth, in the noble strife
Of intellects, to cope for real power,
Such as God giveth as His rarest dower
Of mastery, to the few with greatness rife,
Must, ere the morning mists have ceased to lower
Till the long shadows of the night arrive,
Stand in the arena. Laurels that are won,
Pluck'd from green boughs, soon wither; those that last
Are gather'd patiently, when sultry noon
And summer's fiery glare in vain are past.
Life is the hour of labor; on Earth's breast
Serene and undisturb'd shall be thy rest.


President Wilson.

Did ever on painter's canvas live
The power of his fancy's dream?
Did ever poet's pen achieve
Fruition of his theme?
Did marble ever take the life
That the sculptor's soul conceiv'd?
Or ambition win in passion's strife
What its glowing hopes believ'd?
Did ever racer's eager feet
Rest as he reach'd the goal,
Finding the prize achiev'd was meet
To satisfy his soul?



Benjamin Jowett.1817-

From The Dialogues of Plato.

Not much time will be gained, O Athenians, in return for the evil name which you will get from the detractors of the city, who will say that you killed Socrates, a wise man; for they will call me wise, even although I am not wise, when they want to reproach you. If you had waited a little while, your desire would have been fulfilled in the course of nature. For I am far advanced in years, as you may perceive, and not far from death. I am speaking now only to those of you who have condemned me to death. And I have another thing to say to them: You think that I was convicted through deficiency of wordsI mean, that if I had thought fit to leave nothing undone, nothing unsaid, I might have gained an acquittal. Not so; the deficiency which led to my conviction was not of wordscertainly not. But I had not the boldness or impudence or inclination to address you as you would have liked me to address you, weeping and wailing and lamenting, and saying and doing many things which you have been accustomed to hear from others, and which, as I say, are unworthy of me. But I thought that I ought not to do anything common or mean in the hour of danger: nor do I now repent of the manner of my defense, and I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet at law ought any man to use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in[385] other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death. I am old and move slowly, and the slower runner has overtaken me, and my accusers are keen and quick, and the faster runner, who is unrighteousness, has overtaken them. And now I depart hence, condemned by you to suffer the penalty of death, and they too go their ways, condemned by the truth to suffer the penalty of villainy and wrong; and I must abide by my awardlet them abide by theirs. I suppose that these things may be regarded as fated,and I think that they are well.

And now, O men who have condemned me, I would fain prophesy to you; for I am about to die, and that is the hour in which men are gifted with prophetic power. And I prophesy to you who are my murderers, that immediately after my death punishment far heavier than you have inflicted on me will surely await you. Me you have killed because you wanted to escape the accuser, and not to give an account of your lives. But that will not be as you suppose: far otherwise. For I say that there will be more accusers of you than there are now; accusers whom hitherto I have restrained: and as they are younger they will be more severe with you, and you will be more offended at them. For if you think that by killing men you can avoid the accuser censuring your lives, you are mistaken; that is not a way of escape which is either possible or honorable; the easiest and the noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourselves. This is the prophecy which I utter before my departure to the judges who have condemned me.

[386]Friends, who would have acquitted me, I would like also to talk with you about this thing which has happened, while the magistrates are busy, and before I go to the place at which I must die. Stay then a while, for we may as well talk with one another while there is time. You are my friends, and I should like to show you the meaning of this event which has happened to me. O my judgesfor you I may truly call judgesI should like to tell you of a wonderful circumstance. Hitherto the familiar oracle within me has constantly been in the habit of opposing me even about trifles, if I was going to make a slip or error about anything; and now as you see there has come upon me that which may be thought, and is generally believed to be, the last and worst evil. But the oracle made no sign of opposition, either as I was leaving my house and going out in the morning, or when I was going up into this court, or while I was speaking, at anything which I was going to say; and yet I have often been stopped in the middle of a speech, but now in nothing I either said or did touching this matter has the oracle opposed me. What do I take to be the explanation of this? I will tell you. I regard this as a proof that what has happened to me is a good, and that those of us who think that death is an evil are in error. This is a great proof to me of what I am saying, for the customary sign would surely have opposed me had I been going to evil and not to good.

Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is a good, for one of two things: either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a[387] sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by the sight of dreams, death will be an unspeakable gain. For if a person were to select the night in which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to compare with this the other days and nights of his life, and then were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I think that any man, I will not say a private man, but even the great king will not find many such days or nights, when compared with the others. Now if death is like this, I say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? If indeed when the pilgrim arrives in the world below, he is delivered from the professors of justice in this world, and finds the true judges who are said to give judgment there, Minos and Rhadamanthus, and, Æacus, and Triptolemus, and other sons of God who were righteous in their own life, that pilgrimage will be worth making. What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musæus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again. I, too, shall have a wonderful interest in a place where I can converse with Palamedes, and Ajax the son of Telamon, and other heroes of old, who have suffered death through an unjust judgment; and there will be no small pleasure, as I think, in comparing my own sufferings with theirs. Above all, I shall be able to continue my search into true and false knowledge; as in this world, so also in that; I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not. What would not a man give, O judges, to be able to examine the leader of the great Trojan expedi[388]tion; or Odysseus or Sisyphus, or numberless others, men and women too? What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking them questions! For in that world they do not put a man to death for this; certainly not. For besides being happier in that world than in this, they will be immortal, if what is said is true.

Wherefore, O judges, be of good cheer about death, and know this of a truththat no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death. He and his are not neglected by the gods; nor has my own approaching end happened by mere chance. But I see clearly that to die and be released was better for me; and therefore the oracle gave no sign. For which reason, also, I am not angry with my accusers or my condemners; they have done me no harm, although neither of them meant to do me any good; and for this I may gently blame them.

Still I have a favor to ask of them. When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them, and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing,then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, I and my sons will have received justice at your hands.

The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our waysI to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.

Be of good cheer then, my dear Crito, and say that you are burying my body only.

Socrates, in the Phædo.Plato.



James Anthony Froude.1818-

From Cæsar.

Of Cæsar it may be said that he came into the world at a special time and for a special object. The old religions were dead, from the Pillars of Hercules to the Euphrates and the Nile, and the principles on which human society had been constructed were dead also. There remained of spiritual conviction only the common and human sense of justice and morality; and out of this sense some ordered system of government had to be constructed, under which quiet men could live, and labor, and eat the fruit of their industry. Under a rule of this material kind there can be no enthusiasm, no chivalry, no saintly aspirations, no patriotism of the heroic type. It was not to last forever. A new life was about to dawn for mankind. Poetry, and faith, and devotion were to spring again out of the seeds which were sleeping in the heart of humanity. But the life which is to endure grows slowly; and as the soil must be prepared before the wheat can be sown, so before the Kingdom of Heaven could throw up its shoots there was needed a kingdom of this world where the nations were neither torn in pieces by violence nor were rushing after false ideals and spurious ambitions. Such a kingdom was the Empire of the Cæsarsa kingdom where peaceful men could work, think, and speak as they pleased, and travel freely among provinces ruled for the most part by Gallios who protected life and property, and forbade fanatics to tear each other in pieces for their religious opinions. "It is not lawful for us to put any man to death," was the com[390]plaint of the Jewish priests to the Roman governor. Had Europe and Asia been covered with independent nations, each with a local religion represented in its ruling powers, Christianity must have been stifled in its cradle. If St. Paul had escaped the Sanhedrim at Jerusalem, he would have been torn to pieces by the silversmiths at Ephesus. The appeal to Cæsar's judgment-seat was the shield of his mission, and alone made possible his success.


John Ruskin1819-

From Sesame and Lilies.

And now, returning to the broader question what these arts and labors of life have to teach us of its mystery, this is the first of their lessonsthat the more beautiful the art, the more it is essentially the work of people who feel themselves wrong;who are striving for the fulfilment of a law, and the grasp of a loveliness, which they have not yet attained, which they feel even farther and farther from attaining, the more they strive for it. And yet, in still deeper sense, it is the work of people who know also that they are right. The very sense of inevitable error from their purpose marks the perfectness of that purpose, and the continued sense of failure arises from the continued opening of the eyes more clearly to all the sacredest laws of truth.

This is one lesson. The second is a very plain, and greatly precious one, namely:that whenever the arts[391] and labors of life are fulfilled in this spirit of striving against misrule, and doing whatever we have to do, honorably and perfectly, they invariably bring happiness, as much as seems possible to the nature of man. In all other paths, by which that happiness is pursued, there is disappointment, or destruction: for ambition and for passion there is no restno fruition; the fairest pleasures of youth perish in a darkness greater than their past light; and the loftiest and purest love too often does but inflame the cloud of life with endless fire of pain. But, ascending from lowest to highest, through every scale of human industry, that industry worthily followed, gives peace. Ask the laborer in the field, at the forge, or in the mine; ask the patient, delicate-fingered artisan, or the strong-armed, fiery-hearted worker in bronze, and in marble, and with the colors of light; and none of these, who are true workmen, will ever tell you, that they have found the law of heaven an unkind onethat in the sweat of their face they should eat bread, till they return to the ground; nor that they ever found it an unrewarded obedience, if, indeed, it was rendered faithfully to the command"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to dodo it with thy might."

These are the two great and constant lessons which our laborers teach us of the mystery of life. But there is another, and a sadder one, which they cannot teach us, which we must read on their tombstones.

"Do it with thy might." There have been myriads upon myriads of human creatures who have obeyed this lawwho have put every breath and nerve of their being into its toilwho have devoted every hour, and exhausted every facultywho have bequeathed their unaccomplished thoughts at deathwho being dead, have yet spoken, by majesty of memory, and strength of example.[392] And, at last, what has all this "Might" of humanity accomplished, in six thousand years of labor and sorrow? What has it done? Take the three chief occupations and arts of men, one by one, and count their achievements. Begin with the firstthe lord of them allagriculture. Six thousand years have passed since we were set to till the ground, from which we were taken. How much of it is tilled? How much of that which is, wisely or well? In the very centre and chief garden of Europewhere the two forms of parent Christianity have had their fortresseswhere the noble Catholics of the Forest Cantons, and the noble Protestants of the Vaudois valleys, have maintained, for dateless ages, their faiths and libertiesthere the unchecked Alpine rivers yet run wild in devastation: and the marshes, which a few hundred men could redeem with a year's labor, still blast their helpless inhabitants into fevered idiotism. That is so, in the centre of Europe! While, on the near coast of Africa, once the Garden of the Hesperides, an Arab woman, but a few sunsets since, ate her child, for famine. And, with all the treasures of the East at our feet, we, in our own dominion, could not find a few grains of rice, for a people that asked of us no more; but stood by, and saw five hundred thousand of them perish of hunger.

Then, after agriculture, the art of kings, take the next head of human artsweaving; the art of queens, honored of all noble Heathen women, in the person of their virgin goddesshonored of all Hebrew women, by the word of their wisest king"She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff; she stretcheth out her hand to the poor. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself covering of tapestry, her[393] clothing is silk and purple. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and delivereth girdles to the merchant." What have we done in all these thousands of years with this bright art of Greek maid and Christian matron? Six thousand years of weaving, and have we learned to weave? Might not every naked wall have been purple with tapestry, and every feeble breast fenced with sweet colors from the cold? What have we done? Our fingers are too few, it seems, to twist together some poor covering for our bodies. We set our streams to work for us, and choke the air with fire, to turn our spinning-wheels,andare we yet clothed? Are not the streets of the capitals of Europe foul with the sale of cast clouts and rotten rags? Is not the beauty of your sweet children left in wretchedness of disgrace, while, with better honor, nature clothes the brood of the bird in its nest, and the suckling of the wolf in her den? And does not every winter's snow robe what you have not robed, and shroud what you have not shrouded; and every winter's wind bear up to heaven its wasted souls, to witness against you hereafter, by the voice of their Christ,"I was naked, and ye clothed me not"?

Lastlytake the Art of Buildingthe strongest-proudestmost orderlymost enduring of the arts of man, that of which the produce is in the surest manner accumulative, and need not perish, or be replaced; but if once well done will stand more strongly than the unbalanced rocksmore prevalently than the crumbling hills. The art which is associated with all civic pride and sacred principle; with which men record their powersatisfy their enthusiasmmake sure their defencedefine and make dear their habitation. And, in six thousand years of building, what have we done? Of the greater part of[394] all that skill and strength, no vestige is left, but fallen stones, that encumber the fields and impede the streams. But from this waste of disorder, and of time, and of rage, what is left to us? Constructive and progressive creatures, that we are, with ruling brains, and forming hands; capable of fellowship, and thirsting for fame, can we not contend, in comfort, with the insects of the forest, or, in achievement, with the worm of the sea? The white surf rages in vain against the ramparts built by poor atoms of scarcely nascent life; but only ridges of formless ruin mark the places where once dwelt our noblest multitudes. The ant and the moth have cells for each of their young, but our little ones lie in festering heaps, in homes that consume them like graves; and night by night, from the corners of our streets, rises up the cry of the homeless"I was a stranger, and ye took me not in."

Must it be always thus? Is our life forever to be without profitwithout possession? Shall the strength of its generations be as barren as death; or cast away their labor, as the wild fig-tree casts her untimely figs? Is it all a dream thenthe desire of the eyes and the pride of lifeor, if it be, might we not live in nobler dream than this? The poets and prophets, the wise men, and the scribes, though they have told us nothing about a life to come, have told us much about the life that is now. They have hadthey also,their dreams, and we have laughed at them. They have dreamed of mercy, and of justice; they have dreamed of peace and good-will; they have dreamed of labor undisappointed, and of rest undisturbed; they have dreamed of fulness in harvest, and overflowing in store; they have dreamed of wisdom in council, and of providence in law; of gladness of parents, and strength of children, and glory of gray hairs. And[395] at these visions of theirs we have mocked, and held them for idle and vain, unreal and unaccomplishable. What have we accomplished with our realities? Is this what has come of our worldly wisdom, tried against their folly? this our mightiest possible, against their impotent ideal? or have we only wandered among the spectra of a baser felicity, and chased phantoms of the tombs, instead of visions of the Almighty; and walked after the imaginations of our evil hearts, instead of after the counsels of Eternity, until our livesnot in the likeness of the cloud of heaven, but of the smoke of hellhave become "as a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away"?

Does it vanish then? Are you sure of that?sure, that the nothingness of the grave will be a rest from this troubled nothingness; and that the coiling shadow, which disquiets itself in vain, cannot change into the smoke of the torment that ascends forever? Will any answer that they are sure of it, and that there is no fear, nor hope, nor desire, nor labor, whither they go? Be it so; will you not, then, make as sure of the Life, that now is, as you are of the Death that is to come? Your hearts are wholly in this worldwill you not give them to it wisely, as well as perfectly? And see, first of all, that you have hearts, and sound hearts, too, to give. Because you have no heaven to look for, is that any reason that you should remain ignorant of this wonderful and infinite earth, which is firmly and instantly given you in possession? Although your days are numbered, and the following darkness sure, is it necessary that you should share the degradation of the brute, because you are condemned to its mortality; or live the life of the moth, and of the worm, because you are to companion them in the dust?[396] Not so; we may have but a few thousands of days to spend, perhaps hundreds onlyperhaps tens; nay, the longest of our time and best, looked back on, will be but as a moment, as the twinkling of an eye; still, we are men, not insects; we are living spirits, not passing clouds. "He maketh the winds His messengers; the momentary fire, His minister;" and shall we do less than these? Let us do the work of men while we bear the form of them; and, as we snatch our narrow portion of time out of Eternity, snatch also our narrow inheritance of passion out of Immortalityeven though our lives be as a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

But there are some of you who believe not thiswho think this cloud of life has no such closethat it is to float, revealed and illumined, upon the floor of heaven, in the day when He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him. Some day, you believe, within these five, or ten, or twenty years, for every one of us the judgment will be set, and the books opened. If that be true, far more than that must be true. Is there but one day of judgment? Why, for us every day is a day of judgmentevery day is a Dies Iræ, and writes its irrevocable verdict in the flame of its West. Think you that judgment waits till the doors of the grave are opened? It waits at the doors of your housesit waits at the corners of your streets; we are in the midst of judgmentthe insects that we crush are our judgesthe moments we fret away are our judgesthe elements that feed us, judge, as they ministerand the pleasures that deceive us, judge as they indulge. Let us, for our lives, do the work of Men while we bear the Form of them, if indeed those lives are Not as a vapor, and do Not vanish away.



James Russell Lowell.1819-

From My Garden Acquaintance.

The return of the robin is commonly announced by the newspapers, like that of eminent or notorious people to a watering-place, as the first authentic notification of spring. And such his appearance in the orchard and garden undoubtedly is. But, in spite of his name of migratory thrush, he stays with us all winter, and I have seen him when the thermometer marked 15 degrees below zero of Fahrenheit, armed impregnably within, like Emerson's Titmouse, and as cheerful as he. The robin has a bad reputation among people who do not value themselves less for being fond of cherries. There is, I admit, a spice of vulgarity in him, and his song is rather of the Bloomfield sort, too largely ballasted with prose. His ethics are of the Poor Richard school, and the main chance which calls forth all his energy is altogether of the belly. He never has those fine intervals of lunacy into which his cousins, the catbird and the mavis, are apt to fall. But for a' that and twice as muckle 's a' that, I would not exchange him for all the cherries that ever came out of Asia Minor. With whatever faults, he has not wholly forfeited that superiority which belongs to the children of nature. He has a finer taste in fruit than could be distilled from many successive committees of the Horticultural Society, and he eats with a relishing gulp not inferior to Dr. Johnson's. He feels and freely exercises his right of eminent domain. His is the earliest mess of green peas; his all the mulberries I had fancied mine. But if he get also the lion's share of the rasp[398]berries, he is a great planter, and sows those wild ones in the woods, that solace the pedestrian and give a momentary calm even to the jaded victims of the White Hills. He keeps a strict eye over one's fruit, and knows to a shade of purple when your grapes have cooked long enough in the sun. During a severe drought a few years ago, the robins wholly vanished from my garden. I neither saw nor heard one for three weeks. Meanwhile a small foreign grape-vine, rather shy of bearing, seemed to find the dusty air congenial, and, dreaming perhaps of its sweet Argos across the sea, decked itself, with a score or so of fair bunches. I watched them from day to day till they should have secreted sugar enough from the sunbeams, and at last made up my mind that I would celebrate my vintage the next morning. But the robins too had somehow kept note of them. They must have sent out spies, as did the Jews into the promised land, before I was stirring. When I went with my basket, at least a dozen of these winged vintagers bustled out from among the leaves, and alighting on the nearest trees interchanged some shrill remarks about me of a derogatory nature. They had fairly sacked the vine. Not Wellington's veterans made cleaner work of a Spanish town; not Federals or Confederates were ever more impartial in the confiscation of neutral chickens. I was keeping my grapes a secret to surprise the fair Fidele with, but the robins made them a profounder secret to her than I had meant. The tattered remnant of a single bunch was all my harvest-home. How paltry it looked at the bottom of my basket,as if a humming-bird had laid her egg in an eagle's nest! I could not help laughing; and the robins seemed to join heartily in the merriment. There was a native grape-vine close by, blue with its less refined[399] abundance, but my cunning thieves preferred the foreign flavor. Could I tax them with want of taste?

The robins are not good solo singers, but their chorus, as, like primitive fire-worshippers, they hail the return of light and warmth to the world, is unrivalled. There are a hundred singing like one. They are noisy enough then, and sing, as poets should, with no afterthought. But when they come after cherries to the tree near my window, they muffle their voices, and their faint pip, pip, pop! sounds far away at the bottom of the garden, where they know I shall not suspect them of robbing the great black-walnut of its bitter-rinded store.[P] They are feathered Pecksniffs, to be sure, but then how brightly their breasts, that look rather shabby in the sunlight, shine in a rainy day against the dark green of the fringe-tree! After they have pinched and shaken all the life out of an earthworm, as Italian cooks pound all the spirit out of a steak, and then gulped him, they stand up in honest self-confidence, expand their red waistcoats with the virtuous air of a lobby member, and outface you with an eye that calmly challenges inquiry. "Do I look like a bird that knows the flavor of raw vermin? I throw myself upon a jury of my peers. Ask any robin if he ever ate anything less ascetic than the frugal berry of the juniper, and he will answer that his vow forbids him." Can such an open bosom cover such depravity? Alas, yes! I have no doubt his breast was redder at that very moment with the blood of my raspberries. On the whole, he is a doubtful friend in the garden. He makes his dessert of all kinds of berries, and is not averse[400] from early pears. But when we remember how omnivorous he is, eating his own weight in an incredibly short time, and that Nature seems exhaustless in her invention of new insects hostile to vegetation, perhaps we may reckon that he does more good than harm. For my own part, I would rather have his cheerfulness and kind neighborhood than many berries.


[P] The screech-owl, whose cry, despite his ill name, is one of the sweetest sounds in nature, softens his voice in the same way with the most beguiling mockery of distance.Author's Note.


Frederick Locker.1821-

And this was your Cradle? Why, surely, my Jenny,
Such cosy dimensions go clearly to show
You were an exceedingly small pickaninny
Some nineteen or twenty short summers ago.

Your baby-days flow'd in a much-troubled channel;
I see you, as then, in your impotent strife,
A tight little bundle of wailing and flannel,
Perplex'd with the newly-found fardel of Life.

To hint at an infantile frailty's a scandal;
Let bygones be bygones, for somebody knows
It was bliss such a Baby to dance and to dandle,
Your cheeks were so dimpled, so rosy your toes.

Ay, here is your Cradle; and Hope, a bright spirit,
With Love now is watching beside it, I know.
They guard the wee nest it was yours to inherit
Some nineteen or twenty short summers ago.

It is Hope gilds the future, Love welcomes it smiling,
Thus wags this old world, therefore stay not to ask,
[401] "My future bids fair, is my future beguiling?"
If mask'd, still it pleasesthen raise not its mask.

Is Life a poor coil some would gladly be doffing?
He is riding post-haste who their wrongs will adjust;
For at most 'tis a footstep from cradle to coffin
From a spoonful of pap to a mouthful of dust.

Then smile as your future is smiling, my Jenny;
I see you, except for those infantine woes,
Little changed since you were but a small pickaninny
Your cheeks were so dimpled, so rosy your toes!

Ay, here is your Cradle, much, much to my liking,
Though nineteen or twenty long winters have sped.
Hark! As I'm talking there's six o'clock striking,
It is time Jenny's baby should be in its bed.


November, 1857.

Matthew Arnold.1822-

Coldly, sadly descends
The autumn-evening. The field
Strewn with its dank yellow drifts
Of wither'd leaves, and the elms,
Fade into dimness apace,
Silent;hardly a shout
From a few boys late at their play!
The lights come out in the street,
In the school-room windowsbut cold,
[402] Solemn, unlighted, austere,
Through the gathering darkness, arise
The chapel-walls, in whose bound
Thou, my father! art laid.

There thou dost lie, in the gloom
Of the autumn evening. But ah!
That word, gloom, to my mind
Brings thee back in the light
Of thy radiant vigor again:
In the gloom of November we pass'd
Days not dark at thy side;
Seasons impair'd not the ray
Of thy buoyant cheerfulness clear.
Such thou wast! and I stand
In the autumn evening, and think
Of bygone autumns with thee.

Fifteen years have gone round
Since thou arosest to tread,
In the summer-morning, the road
Of death, at a call unforeseen,
Sudden. For fifteen years,
We who till then in thy shade
Rested as under the boughs
Of a mighty oak, have endured
Sunshine and rain as we might,
Bare, unshaded, alone,
Lacking the shelter of thee.

O strong soul, by what shore
Tarriest thou now? For that force,
Surely, has not been left vain!
Somewhere, surely, afar,
In the sounding labor-house vast
Of being, is practis'd that strength,
Zealous, beneficent, firm!
[403]Yes, in some far-shining sphere,
Conscious or not of the past,
Still thou performest the word
Of the Spirit in whom thou dost live
Prompt, unwearied, as here!
Still thou upraisest with zeal
The humble good from the ground,
Sternly repressest the bad!
Still, like a trumpet, dost rouse
Those who with half-open eyes
Tread the border-land dim
'Twixt vice and virtue; reviv'st,
Succorest!this was thy work.
This was thy life upon earth.

What is the course of the life
Of mortal men on the earth?
Most men eddy about
Here and thereeat and drink,
Chatter and love and hate,
Gather and squander, are rais'd
Aloft, are hurl'd in the dust,
Striving blindly, achieving
Nothing; and then they die
Perishand no one asks
Who or what they have been,
More than he asks what waves,
In the moonlit solitudes mild
Of the midmost Ocean, have swell'd,
Foam'd for a moment, and gone.

And there are some, whom a thirst
Ardent, unquenchable, fires,
Not with the crowd to be spent,
Not without aim to go round
[404] In an eddy of purposeless dust
Effort unmeaning and vain.
Ah yes! some of us strive
Not without action to die
Fruitless, but something to snatch
From dull oblivion, nor all
Glut the devouring grave!
We, we have chosen our path
Path to a clear-purpos'd goal,
Path of advance!but it leads
A long, steep journey, through sunk
Gorges, o'er mountains in snow.
Cheerful, with friends, we set forth
Then, on the height, comes the storm.
Thunder crashes from rock
To rock, the cataracts reply;
Lightnings dazzle our eyes;
Roaring torrents have breach'd
The track, the stream-bed descends
In the place where the wayfarer once
Planted his footstepthe spray
Boils o'er its borders! aloft
The unseen snow-beds dislodge
Their hanging ruin!alas,
Havoc is made in our train!
Friends, who set forth at our side,
Falter, are lost in the storm.
We, we only are left!
With frowning foreheads, with lips
Sternly compress'd, we strain on
Onand at nightfall at last
Come to the end of our way,
To the lonely inn 'mid the rocks;
Where the gaunt and taciturn host
Stands on the threshold, the wind
[405] Shaking his thin white hairs
Holds his lantern to scan
Our storm-beat figures, and asks:
Whom in our party we bring?
Whom we have left in the snow?

Sadly we answer: We bring
Only ourselves! we lost
Sight of the rest in the storm.
Hardly ourselves we fought through,
Stripp'd, without friends, as we are.
Friends, companions, and train,
The avalanche swept from our side.

But thou would'st not alone
Be saved, my father! alone
Conquer and come to thy goal,
Leaving the rest in the wild.
We were weary; and we
Fearful, and we in our march
Fain to drop down and to die.
Still thou turnedst, and still
Beckonedst the trembler, and still
Gavest the weary thy hand.
If, in the paths of the world,
Stones might have wounded thy feet,
Toil or dejection have tried
Thy spirit, of that we saw
Nothingto us thou wast still
Cheerful, and helpful, and firm!
Therefore to thee it was given
Many to save with thyself;
And, at the end of thy day,
O faithful shepherd! to come,
Bringing thy sheep in thy hand,
[406] And through thee I believe
In the noble and great who are gone;
Pure souls honor'd and blest
By former ages, who else
Such, so soulless, so poor,
Is the race of men whom I see
Seem'd but a dream of the heart,
Seem'd but a cry of desire.
Yes! I believe that there liv'd
Others like thee in the past,
Not like the men of the crowd
Who all round me to-day
Bluster or cringe, and make life
Hideous, and arid, and vile;
But souls temper'd with fire,
Fervent, heroic, and good,
Helpers and friends of mankind.

Servants of God!or sons
Shall I not call you? because
Not as servants ye knew
Your Father's innermost mind,
His, who unwillingly sees
One of his little ones lost
Yours is the praise, if mankind
Hath not as yet in its march
Fainted, and fallen, and died!

See! In the rocks of the world
Marches the host of mankind,
A feeble, wavering line.
Where are they tending?A God
Marshall'd them, gave them their goal.
Ah, but the way is so long!

Years they have been in the wild!
Sore thirst plagues them, the rocks,
[407] Rising all round, overawe;
Factions divide them, their host
Threatens to break, to dissolve.
Ah, keep, keep them combined!
Else, of the myriads who fill
That army, not one shall arrive;
Sole they shall stray; on the rocks
Batter forever in vain,
Die one by one in the waste.

Then, in such hour of need
Of your fainting, dispirited race,
Ye, like angels, appear,
Radiant with ardor divine.
Beacons of hope, ye appear!
Languor is not in your heart,
Weakness is not in your word,
Weariness not on your brow.
Ye alight in our van! at your voice,
Panic, despair, flee away.
Ye move through the ranks, recall
The stragglers, refresh the outworn,
Praise, re-inspire the brave.
Order, courage, return;
Eyes rekindling, and prayers,
Follow your steps as ye go.
Ye fill up the gaps in our files,
Strengthen the wavering line,
Stablish, continue our march,
On, to the bound of the waste,
On, to the City of God.

What know we greater than the soul?
On God and Godlike men we build our trust.




Charles Sangster.1822-

My footsteps press where, centuries ago,

The Red Men fought and conquer'd; lost and won.

Whole tribes and races, gone like last year's snow,

Have found the Eternal Hunting-Grounds, and run

The fiery gauntlet of their active days,

Till few are left to tell the mournful tale:

And these inspire us with such wild amaze

They seem like spectres passing down a vale

Steep'd in uncertain moonlight, on their way

Towards some bourn where darkness blinds the day,

And night is wrapp'd in mystery profound.

We cannot lift the mantle of the past:

We seem to wander over hallow'd ground:

We scan the trail of Thought, but all is overcast.

There was a timeand that is all we know!

No record lives of their ensanguin'd deeds:

The past seems palsied with some giant blow,

And grows the more obscure on what it feeds.

A rotted fragment of a human leaf;

A few stray skulls; a heap of human bones!

These are the recordsthe traditions brief

'Twere easier far to read the speechless stones.

The fierce Ojibwas, with tornado force,

Striking white terror to the hearts of braves!

The mighty Hurons, rolling on their course,

Compact and steady as the ocean waves!

The fiery Iroquois, a warrior host!

Who were they?Whence?And why? no human

tongue can boast!



Goldwin Smith.1823-

From Cowper.

The world into which Cowper came was one very adverse to him, and at the same time very much in need of him. It was a world from which the spirit of poetry seemed to have fled. There could be no stronger proof of this than the occupation of the throne of Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, by the arch-versifier Pope. The Revolution of 1688 was glorious, but unlike the Puritan Revolution which it followed, and in the political sphere partly ratified, it was profoundly prosaic. Spiritual religion, the source of Puritan grandeur and of the poetry of Milton, was almost extinct; there was not much more of it among the Nonconformists, who had now become to a great extent mere Whigs, with a decided Unitarian tendency. The Church was little better than a political force cultivated and manipulated by political leaders for their own purposes. The Bishops were either politicians, or theological polemics collecting trophies of victory over free-thinkers as titles to higher preferment. The inferior clergy as a body were far nearer in character to Trulliber than to Dr. Primrose; coarse, sordid, neglectful of their duties, shamelessly addicted to sinecurism and pluralities, fanatics in their Toryism and in attachment to their corporate privileges, cold, rationalistic, and almost heathen in their preachings, if they preached at all. The society of the day is mirrored in the pictures of Hogarth in the works of Fielding and Smollett; hard and heartless polish was the best of it; and not a little of it was [410] Marriage à la Mode. Chesterfield, with his soulless culture, his court graces, and his fashionable immoralities, was about the highest type of an English gentleman; but the Wilkeses, Potters, and Sandwiches, whose mania for vice culminated in the Hell-fire Club, were more numerous than the Chesterfields. Among the country squires, for one Allworthy, or Sir Roger de Coverley, there were many Westerns. Among the common people religion was almost extinct, and assuredly no new morality or sentiment, such as Positivists now promise, had taken its place. Sometimes the rustic thought for himself, and scepticism took formal possession of his mind; but as we see from one of Cowper's letters, it was a coarse scepticism which desired to be buried with its hounds. Ignorance and brutality reigned in the cottage. Drunkenness reigned in palace and cottage alike. Gambling, cock-fighting, and bull-fighting were the amusements of the people. Political life, which, if it had been pure and vigorous, might have made up for the absence of spiritual influences, was corrupt from the top of the scale to the bottom: its effect on national character is portrayed in Hogarth's Election. That property had its duties as well as its rights, nobody had yet ventured to say or think. The duty of a gentleman towards his own class was to pay his debts of honor, and to fight a duel whenever he was challenged by one of his own order; towards the lower class his duty was none. Though the forms of government were elective, and Cowper gives us a description of the candidate at election time obsequiously soliciting votes, society was intensely aristocratic, and each rank was divided from that below it by a sharp line which precluded brotherhood or sympathy. Says the Duchess of Buckingham to Lady Hun[411]tingdon, who had asked her to come and hear Whitefield, "I thank your ladyship for the information concerning the Methodist preachers; their doctrines are most repulsive, and strongly tinctured with disrespect towards their superiors, in perpetually endeavoring to level all ranks and do away with all distinctions. It is monstrous to be told you have a heart as sinful as the common wretches that crawl on the earth. This is highly offensive and insulting; and I cannot but wonder that your ladyship should relish any sentiments so much at variance with high rank and good breeding. I shall be most happy to come and hear your favorite preacher." Her Grace's sentiments towards the common wretches that crawl on the earth were shared, we may be sure, by her Grace's waiting-maid. Of humanity there was as little as there was of religion. It was the age of the criminal law which hanged men for petty thefts, of life-long imprisonment for debt, of the stocks and the pillory, of a Temple Bar garnished with the heads of traitors, of the unreformed prison system, of the press-gang, of unrestrained tyranny and savagery at public schools. That the slave trade was iniquitous hardly any one suspected; even men who deemed themselves religious took part in it without scruple. But a change was at hand, and a still mightier change was in prospect. At the time of Cowper's birth, John Wesley was twenty-eight, and Whitefield was seventeen. With them the revival of religion, was at hand. Johnson, the moral reformer, was twenty-two. Howard was born, and in less than a generation Wilberforce was to come.

That is best blood that hath most iron in 't
To edge resolve with, pouring without stint
For what makes manhood dear.

James Russell Lowell.



Thomas Henry Huxley.1825-

From Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews.

Suppose it were perfectly certain that the life and fortune of every one of us would, one day or other, depend upon his winning or losing a game at chess. Don't you think that we should all consider it to be a primary duty to learn at least the names and the moves of the pieces; to have a notion of a gambit, and a keen eye for all the means of giving and getting out of check? Do you not think that we should look with a disapprobation amounting to scorn, upon the father who allowed his son, or the state which allowed its members, to grow up without knowing a pawn from a knight?

Yet it is a very plain and elementary truth, that the life, the fortune, and the happiness of every one of us, and, more or less, of those who are connected with us, do depend upon our knowing something of the rules of a game infinitely more difficult and complicated than chess. It is a game which has been played for untold ages, every man and woman of us being one of the two players in a game of his or her own. The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance. To the man who plays well, the highest stakes are paid, with that sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong shows delight in strength. And one who plays ill is checkmatedwithout haste, but without remorse.

[413]My metaphor will remind some of you of the famous picture in which Retzsch has depicted Satan playing at chess with man for his soul. Substitute for the mocking fiend in that picture, a calm, strong angel, who is playing for love, as we say, and would rather lose than winand I should accept it as an image of human life.

Well, what I mean by Education, is learning the rules of this mighty game. In other words, education is the instruction of the intellect in the laws of Nature, under which name I include not merely things and their forces, but men and their ways; and the fashioning of the affections and of the will into an earnest and loving desire to move in harmony with those laws. For me, education means neither more nor less than this. Anything which professes to call itself education must be tried by this standard, and if it fails to stand the test, I will not call it education, whatever may be the force of authority, or of numbers, upon the other side.

It is important to remember that, in strictness, there is no such thing as an uneducated man. Take an extreme case. Suppose that an adult man, in the full vigor of his faculties, could be suddenly placed in the world, as Adam is said to have been, and then left to do as he best might. How long would he be left uneducated? Not five minutes. Nature would begin to teach him, through the eye, the ear, the touch, the properties of objects. Pain and pleasure would be at his elbow telling him to do this and avoid that; and by slow degrees the man would receive an education, which, if narrow, would be thorough, real, and adequate to his circumstances, though there would be no extras and very few accomplishments.

And if to this solitary man entered a second Adam,[414] or, better still, an Eve, a new and greater world, that of social and moral phenomena, would be revealed. Joys and woes, compared with which all others might seem but faint shadows, would spring from the new relations. Happiness and sorrow would take the place of the coarser monitors, pleasure and pain; but conduct would still be shaped by the observation of the natural consequences of actions; or, in other words, by the laws of the nature of man.

To every one of us the world was once as fresh and new as to Adam. And then, long before we were susceptible of any other mode of instruction, Nature took us in hand, and every minute of waking life brought its educational influence, shaping our actions into rough accordance with Nature's laws, so that we might not be ended untimely by too gross disobedience. Nor should I speak of this process of education as past for any one, be he as old as he may. For every man, the world is as fresh as it was at the first day, and as full of untold novelties for him who has the eyes to see them. And Nature is still continuing her patient education of us in that great university, the universe, of which we are all membersNature having no Test-Acts.

Those who take honors in Nature's university, who learn the laws which govern men and things, and obey them, are the really great and successful men in this world. The great mass of mankind are the "Poll," who pick up just enough to get through without much discredit. Those who won't learn at all are plucked; and then you can't come up again. Nature's pluck means extermination.

Thus the question of compulsory education is settled so far as Nature is concerned. Her bill on that question[415] was framed and passed long ago. But, like all compulsory legislation, that of Nature is harsh and wasteful in its operation. Ignorance is visited as sharply as wilful disobedienceincapacity meets with the same punishment as crime. Nature's discipline is not even a word and a blow, and the blow first; but the blow without the word. It is left to you to find out why your ears are boxed.

The object of what we commonly call educationthat education in which man intervenes and which I shall distinguish as artificial educationis to make good these defects in Nature's methods; to prepare the child to receive Nature's education, neither incapably nor ignorantly, nor with wilful disobedience; and to understand the preliminary symptoms of her displeasure, without waiting for the box on the ear. In short, all artificial education ought to be an anticipation of natural education. And a liberal education is an artificial education, which has not only prepared a man to escape the great evils of disobedience to natural laws, but has trained him to appreciate and to seize upon the rewards which Nature scatters with as free a hand as her penalties.

That man, I think, has had a liberal education, who has been so trained in youth that his body is the ready servant of his will, and does with ease and pleasure all the work that, as a mechanism, it is capable of; whose intellect is a clear, cold, logic engine, with all its parts of equal strength, and in smooth working order; ready, like a steam engine, to be turned to any kind of work, and spin the gossamers as well as forge the anchors of the mind; whose mind is stored with a knowledge of the great and fundamental truths of Nature and of the laws of her operations; one, who, no stunted ascetic, is full of[416] life and fire, but whose passions are trained to come to heel by a vigorous will, the servant of a tender conscience; who has learned to love all beauty, whether of Nature or of art, to hate all vileness, and to respect others as himself.

Such an one and no other, I conceive, has had a liberal education; for he is, as completely as a man can be, in harmony with Nature. He will make the best of her, and she of him. They will get on together rarely; she as his ever beneficent mother; he as her mouth-piece, her conscious self, her minister and interpreter.


Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.1826-

Could ye come back to me, Douglas, Douglas,
In the old likeness that I knew,
I would be so faithful, so loving, Douglas,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.

Never a scornful word should grieve ye,
I'd smile on ye sweet as the angels do,
Sweet as your smile on me shone ever,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.

O to call back the days that are not!
My eyes were blinded, your words were few;
Do you know the truth now up in heaven,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true?

I never was worthy of you, Douglas,
Not half worthy the like of you;
[417] Now all men beside seem to me like shadows,
I love you, Douglas, tender and true.

Stretch out your hand to me, Douglas, Douglas,
Drop forgiveness from heaven like dew,
As I lay my heart on your dead heart, Douglas,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.


Christina Georgina Rossetti.1830-

"O where are you going with your love-locks flowing,
On the west wind blowing along this valley track?"
"The down-hill path is easy, come with me an it please ye,
We shall escape the up-hill by never turning back."

So they two went together in glowing August weather,
The honey-breathing heather lay to their left and right;
And dear she was to doat on, her swift feet seem'd to float on
The air like soft twin pigeons too sportive to alight.

"Oh, what is that in heaven where grey cloud-flakes are seven,
Where blackest clouds hang riven just at the rainy skirt?"
"Oh, that's a meteor sent us, a message dumb, portentous,
An undecipher'd solemn signal of help or hurt."

"Oh, what is that glides quickly where velvet flowers grow thickly,
Their scent comes rich and sickly?" "A scaled and hooded worm."
"Oh, what's that in the hollow, so pale I quake to follow?"
"Oh, that's a thin dead body which waits the eternal term."

[418] "Turn again, O my sweetest,turn again, false and fleetest:
This beaten way thou beatest, I fear is hell's own track."
"Nay, too steep for hill mounting; nay, too late for cost counting:
This down-hill path is easy, but there's no turning back."


Edmund Clarence Stedman.1833-

Prithee tell me, Dimple-Chin,

At what age does love begin?

Your blue eyes have scarcely seen

Summers three, my fairy queen,

But a miracle of sweets,

Soft approaches, sly retreats,

Show the little archer there,

Hidden in your pretty hair;

When didst learn a heart to win?

Prithee tell me, Dimple-Chin!

"Oh!" the rosy lips reply,

"I can't tell you if I try.

Tis so long I can't remember:

Ask some younger lass than I."

Tell, O tell me, Grizzled-Face,

Do your heart and head keep pace?

When does hoary Love expire,

When do frosts put out the fire?

Can its embers burn below

All that chill December snow?

Care you still soft hands to press,

Bonny heads to smooth and bless?

[419] When does Love give up the chase?

Tell, O tell me, Grizzled-Face!

"Ah!" the wise old lips reply,

"Youth may pass and strength may die;

But of Love I can't foretoken:

Ask some older sage than I!"


Thomas Bailey Aldrich.1836-

While men pay reverence to mighty things,
They must revere thee, thou blue-cinctured isle
Of Englandnot to-day, but this long while
In the front of nations, Mother of great kings,
Soldiers, and poets. Round thee the Sea flings
His steel-bright arm, and shields thee from the guile
And hurt of France. Secure, with august smile,
Thou sittest, and the East its tribute brings.
Some say thy old-time power is on the wane,
Thy moon of grandeur fill'd, contracts at length
They see it darkening down from less to less.
Let but a hostile hand make threat again,
And they shall see thee in thy ancient strength,
Each iron sinew quivering, lioness!

Such kings of shreds have woo'd and won her,
Such crafty knaves her laurel own'd,
It has become almost an honor
Not to be crown'd.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich.
On Popularity.



Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

By studying my lady's eyes
I've grown so learnèd day by day,
So Machiavelian in this wise,
That when I send her flowers, I say

To each small flower (no matter what,
Geranium, pink, or tuberose,
Syringa, or forget-me-not,
Or violet) before it goes:

"Be not triumphant, little flower,
When on her haughty heart you lie,
But modestly enjoy your hour:
She'll weary of you by-and-by."


John Reade.1837-

As hills seem Alps, when veil'd in misty shroud,
Some men seem kings, through mists of ignorance;
Must we have darkness, then, and cloud on cloud,
To give our hills and pigmy kings a chance?
Must we conspire to curse the humbling light,
Lest some one, at whose feet our fathers bow'd,
Should suddenly appear, full length, in sight,
Scaring to laughter the adoring crowd?
Oh, no! God send us light!Who loses then?
The king of slaves and not the king of men.
[421] True kings are kings for ever, crown'd of God,
The King of Kings,we need not fear for them.
'Tis only the usurper's diadem
That shakes at touch of light, revealing fraud.


John Reade.

In my ear is the moan of the pinesin my heart is the
song of the sea,
And I feel his salt breath on my face as he showers his kisses
on me,
And I hear the wild scream of the gulls, as they answer the
call of the tide,
And I watch the fair sails as they glisten like gems on the
breastof a bride.

From the rock where I stand to the sun is a pathway of
sapphire and gold,
Like a waif of those Patmian visions that wrapt the lone
seer of old,
And it seems to my soul like an omen that calls me far
over the sea
But I think of a little white cottage and one that is
dearest to me.

Westward ho! Far away to the East is a cottage that looks
to the shore,
Though each drop in the sea were a tear, as it was, I can see
it no more;
For the heart of its pride with the flowers of the "Vale of the
Shadow" reclines,
Andhush'd is the song of the sea and hoarse is the moan
of the pines.



Algernon Charles Swinburne.1837-

In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland,
At the sea-down's edge between windward and lee,
Wall'd round with rocks as an inland island,
The ghost of a garden fronts the sea.
A girdle of brushwood and thorn encloses
The steep square slope of the blossomless bed
Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses
Now lie dead.

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken,
To the low last edge of the long lone land.
If a step should sound or a word be spoken,
Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's hand?
So long have the gray bare walks lain guestless,
Through branches and briers if a man make way,
He shall find no life but the sea-wind's, restless
Night and day.

The dense hard passage is blind and stifled,
That crawls by a track none turn to climb
To the strait waste place that the years have rifled
Of all but the thorns that are touch'd not of time.
The thorns he spares when the rose is taken;
The rocks are left when he wastes the plain.
The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-shaken,
These remain.

Not a flower to be prest of the foot that falls not;
As the heart of a dead man the seed-plots are dry;
From the thicket of thorns whence the nightingale calls not,
Could she call, there were never a rose to reply.
[423] Over the meadows that blossom and wither
Rings but the note of sea-bird's song;
Only the sun and the rain come hither
All year long.

The sun burns sere and the rain dishevels
One gaunt bleak blossom of scentless breath.
Only the wind here hovers and revels
In a round where life seems barren as death.
Here there was laughing of old, there was weeping,
Haply, of lovers none ever will know,
Whose eyes went seaward a hundred sleeping
Years ago.

Heart handfast in heart as they stood, "Look thither,"
Did he whisper? "Look forth from the flowers to the sea;
For the foam-flowers endure when the rose-blossoms wither,
And men that love lightly may diebut we?"
And the same wind sang and the same waves whiten'd,
And or ever the garden's last petals were shed,
In the lips that had whisper'd, the eyes that had lighten'd,
Love was dead.

Or they lov'd their life through, and then went whither?
And were one to the endbut what end who knows?
Love deep as the sea as a rose must wither,
As the rose-red seaweed that mocks the rose.
Shall the dead take thought for the dead to love them?
What love was ever as deep as a grave?
They are loveless now as the grass above them
Or the wave.

All are at one now, roses and lovers,
Not known of the cliffs and the fields and the sea.
Not a breath of the time that has been hovers
In the air now soft with a summer to be.
[424] Not a breath shall there sweeten the seasons hereafter
Of the flowers or the lovers that laugh now or weep,
When as they that are free now of weeping and laughter
We shall sleep.

Here death may deal not again for ever;
Here change may come not till all change end.
From the graves they have made they shall rise up never,
Who have left nought living to ravage and rend.
Earth, stones, and thorns of the wild ground growing,
When the sun and the rain live, these shall be;
Till a last wind's breath upon all these blowing
Roll the sea.

Till the slow sea rise and the sheer cliff crumble,
Till terrace and meadow the deep gulfs drink,
Till the strength of the waves of the high tides humble
The fields that lessen, the rocks that shrink,
Here now in his triumph where all things falter,
Stretch'd out on the spoils that his own hand spread,
As a god self-slain on his own strange altar,
Death lies dead.



Austin Dobson.1840-

King Philip had vaunted his claims;
He had sworn for a year he would sack us;
With an army of heathenish names
He was coming to fagot and stack us;
[425] Like the thieves of the sea he would track us,
And shatter our ships on the main;
But we had bold Neptune to back us,
And where are the galleons of Spain?

His carackes were christen'd of dames
To the kirtles whereof he would tack us;
With his saints and his gilded stern-frames,
He had thought like an egg-shell to crack us;
Now Howard may get to his Flaccus,
And Drake to his Devon again,
And Hawkins bowl rubbers to Bacchus,
For where are the galleons of Spain?

Let his Majesty hang to St. James
The axe that he whetted to hack us;
He must play at some lustier games
Or at sea he can hope to out-thwack us;
To his mines of Peru he would pack us
To tug at his bullet and chain;
Alas! that his Greatness should lack us!
But where are the galleons of Spain?


Gloriana!the Don may attack us
Whenever his stomach be fain;
He must reach us before he can rack us, ...
And where are the galleons of Spain?

He lives not best who dreads the coming pain
And shunneth each delight desirable:
Flee thou extremes, this word alone is plain,
Of all that God hath given to Man to spell!

Andrew Lang.1844.
From Sonnets from the Antique.




Austin Dobson.

In the School of Coquettes
Madame Rose is a scholar:
O, they fish with all nets
In the School of Coquettes!
When her brooch she forgets
'Tis to show her new collar;
In the School of Coquettes
Madame Rose is a scholar!


Charles Mair.1840-

Scene.Tecumseh's Cabin.

Enter Iena.

Iena. 'Tis night, and Mamatee is absent still!
Why should this sorrow weigh upon my heart,
And other lonely things on earth have rest?
Oh, could I be with them! The lily shone
[427] All day upon the stream, and now it sleeps
Under the wave in peacein cradle soft
Which sorrow soon may fashion for my grave.
Ye shadows which do creep into my thoughts
Ye curtains of despair! what is my fault,
That ye should hide the happy earth from me?
Once I had joy of it, when tender Spring,
Mother of beauty, hid me in her leaves;
When Summer led me by the shores of song,
And forests and far-sounding cataracts
Melted my soul with music. I have heard
The rough chill harpings of dismantled woods,
When Fall had stripp'd them, and have felt a joy
Deeper than ear could lend unto the heart;
And when the Winter from his mountains wild
Look'd down on death, and, in the frosty sky,
The very stars seem'd hung with icicles,
Then came a sense of beauty calm and cold,
That wean'd me from myself, yet knit me still
With kindred bonds to Nature. All is past,
And hewho won from me such love for him,
And hemy valiant uncle and my friend,
Comes not to lift the cloud that drapes my soul,
And shield me from the fiendish Prophet's power.


Enter Mamatee.

Give me his answer in his very words!

Mamatee. There is a black storm raging in his mind
His eye darts lightning like the angry cloud
Which hangs in woven darkness o'er the earth.
Brief is his answeryou must go to him.
The Long-Knife's camp-fires gleam among the oaks
Which dot yon western hill. A thousand men
Are sleeping there cajoled to fatal dreams
By promises the Prophet breaks to-night.
Hark! 'tis the war-song.

Iena.Dares the Prophet now
Betray Tecumseh's trust, and break his faith?

Mamatee. He dares do anything will feed ambition.
His dancing braves are frenzied by his tongue,
Which prophesies revenge and victory.
Before the break of day he will surprise
The Long-Knife's camp, and hang our people's fate
Upon a single onset.

Iena.Should he fail?

Mamatee. Then all will fail;Tecumseh's scheme will fail.[R]

[429] Iena. It shall not! Let us go to him at once!

Mamatee. And risk your life?

Iena.Risk hovers everywhere
When night and man combine for darksome deeds.
I'll go to him, and argue on my knees
Yea, yield my handwould I could give my heart
To stay his purpose and this act of ruin.

Mamatee. He is not in the mood for argument.
Rash girl! they die who would oppose him now.

Iena. Such death were sweet as lifeI go! But, first
Great Spirit! I commit my soul to Thee. [Kneels.

Scene.An open space in the forest near the Prophet's Town. A fire of billets burning. War-cries are heard from the town.

Enter the Prophet.

Prophet. My spells do work apace! Shout yourselves hoarse,
Ye howling ministers by whom I climb!
For this I've wrought until my weary tongue,
Blister'd with incantation, flags in speech,
And half declines its office. Every brave
Inflamed by charms and oracles, is now
A vengeful serpent, who will glide ere morn
To sting the Long-Knife's sleeping camp to death.
[430] Why should I hesitate? My promises!
My duty to Tecumseh! What are these
Compared with duty here? Where I perceive
A near advantage, there my duty lies;
Consideration strong which overweighs
All other reason. Here is Harrison
Trepann'd to dangerous lodgment for the night
Each deep ravine which grooves the prairie's breast
A channel of approach; each winding creek
A screen for creeping death. Revenge is sick
To think of such advantage flung aside.
For what? To let Tecumseh's greatness grow,
Who gathers his rich harvest of renown
Out of the very fields that I have sown!
By Manitou, I will endure no more!
Nor, in the rising flood of our affairs,
Fish like an osprey for this eagle longer.
But, soft!
It is the midnight hour when comes
Tarhay to claim his bride. [Calls.] Tarhay! Tarhay!

Enter Tarhay with several braves.

Tarhay. Tarhay is here!

Prophet.The Long-Knives die to-night.
The spirits which do minister to me
Have breathed this utterance within my ear.
You know my sacred office cuts me off
From the immediate leadership in fight.
My nobler work is in the spirit-world,
And thence come promises which make us strong.
Near to the foe I'll keep the Magic Bowl,
Whilst you, Tarhay, shall lead our warriors on.

Tarhay. I'll lead them; they are wild with eagerness.
But fill my cold and empty cabin first
With light and heat! You know I love your niece,
And have the promise of her hand to-night.
[431] Prophet. She shall be yours!
[To the braves.] Go bring her here at once
But, look! Fulfilment of my promise comes
In her own person.

Enter Iena and Mamatee.

Welcome, my sweet niece!
You have forstall'd my message by these braves,
And come unbidden to your wedding-place.

Iena. Uncle! you know my heart is far away

Prophet. But still your hand is here! this little hand!
[Pulling her forward.

Iena. Dare you enforce a weak and helpless girl,
Who thought to move you by her misery?
Stand back! I have a message for you too.
What means the war-like song, the dance of braves,
And bustle in our town?

Prophet.It means that we
Attack the foe to-night.

Iena.And risk our all?
O that Tecumseh knew! his soul would rush
In arms to intercept you. What! break faith,
And on the hazard of a doubtful strife,
Stake his great enterprise and all our lives!
The dying curses of a ruin'd race
Will wither up your wicked heart for this!

Prophet. False girl! your heart is with our foes;
Your hand I mean to turn to better use.

Iena. Oh, could it turn you from your mad intent
How freely would I give it! Drop this scheme,
Dismiss your frenzied warriors to their beds;
And, if contented with my hand, Tarhay
Can have it here.

Tarhay.I love you, Iena!

Iena. Then must you love what I do! Love our race!
[432] 'Tis this love nerves Tecumseh to unite
Its scatter'd tribeshis fruit of noble toil,
Which you would snatch unripen'd from his hand,
And feed to sour ambition. Touch it not
Oh, touch it not, Tarhay! and though my heart
Breaks for it, I am yours.

Prophet.His anyway,
Or I am not the Prophet!

Tarhay.For my part
I have no leaning to this rash attempt,
Since Iena consents to be my wife.

Prophet. Shall I be thwarted by a yearning fool![Aside.
This soft, sleek girl, to outward seeming good,
I know to be a very fiend beneath
Whose sly affections centre on herself,
And feed the gliding snake within her heart.

Tarhay. I cannot think her so

Mamatee.She is not so!
There is the snake that creeps among our race;
Whose venom'd fangs would bile into our lives,
And poison all our hopes.

Prophet.She is the head
The very neck of danger to me here,
Which I must break at once! [Aside.] Tarhayattend!
I can see dreadful visions in the air;
I can dream awful dreams of life and fate;
I can bring darkness on the heavy earth;
I can fetch shadows from our fathers' graves,
And spectres from the sepulchres of hell.
Who dares dispute with me, disputes with death!
Dost hear, Tarhay?

[Tarhay and braves cower before the Prophet.

Tarhay.I hear, and will obey.
Spare me! Spare me!

Prophet.As for this foolish girl,
[433] The hand she offers you on one condition,
I give to you upon a better one;
And, since she has no mind to give her heart
Which, rest assured, is in her body still
There,take it at my hands!
[Flings Iena violently towards Tarhay, into whose arms she
falls fainting, and is then borne away by
[To Tarhay.] Go bring the braves to view the Mystic Torch
And belt of Sacred Beans grown from my flesh
One touch of it makes them invulnerable
Then creep, like stealthy panthers, on the foe!

Scene.Morning. The field of Tippecanoe after the battle. The ground strewn with dead soldiers and warriors.

Enter Harrison, officers and soldiers, and Barron.

Harrison. A costly triumph reckon'd by our slain!
Look how some lie still clench'd with savages
In all-embracing death, their bloody hands
Glued in each other's hair! Make burial straight
Of all alike in deep and common graves:
Their quarrel now is ended.

1st Officer.I have heard
The red man fears our steel'twas not so here;
From the first shots, which drove our pickets in,
Till daylight dawn'd, they rush'd upon our lines,
And flung themselves upon our bayonet points
In frenzied recklessness of bravery.

Barron. They trusted in the Prophet's rites and spells,
Which promis'd them immunity from death.
All night he sat on yon safe eminence,
Howling his songs of war and mystery,
Then fled, at dawn, in fear of his own braves.

Enter an Aide.

Harrison. What tidings bring you from the Prophet's Town?
[434] Aide. The wretched women with their children fly
To distant forests for concealment. In
Their village is no living thing save mice
Which scamper'd as we oped each cabin door.
Their pots still simmer'd on the vacant hearths,
Standing in dusty silence and desertion.
Naught else we saw, save that their granaries
Were cramm'd with needful corn.

Harrison.Go bring it all
Then burn their village down! [Exit Aide.

2nd Officer.This victory
Will shake Tecumseh's project to the base.
Were I the Prophet I should drown myself
Rather than meet him.

Barron. We have news of him
Our scouts report him near in heavy force.

Harrison. 'Twill melt, or draw across the British line,
And wait for war. But double the night watch,
Lest he should strike, and give an instant care
To all our wounded men: to-morrow's sun
Must light us on our backward march for home.
Thence Rumor's tongue will spread so proud a story
New England will grow envious of our glory;
And, greedy for renown so long abhorr'd,
Will on old England draw the tardy sword!

Scene.The Ruins of the Prophet's Town.

Enter the Prophet, who gloomily surveys the place.

Prophet. Our people scatter'd, and our town in ashes!
To think these hands could work such madness here
This envious head devise this misery!
Tecumseh, had not my ambition drawn
Such sharp and fell destruction on our race
You might have smiled at me! for I have match'd
[435] My cunning 'gainst your wisdom, and have dragg'd
Myself and all into a sea of ruin.

Enter Tecumseh.

Tecumseh. Devil! I have discover'd you at last!
You sum of treacheries, whose wolfish fangs
Have torn our people's fleshyou shall not live!

[The Prophet retreats facing and followed by Tecumseh.

Prophet. Naystrike me not! I can explain it all!
It was a woman touch'd the Magic Bowl,
And broke the brooding spell.

Tecumseh. Impostor! Slave!
Why should I spare you? [Lifts his hand as if to strike.

Prophet. Stay, stay, touch me not!
One mother bore us in the self-same hour.

Tecumseh. Then good and evil came to light together.
Go to the corn-dance, change your name to villain!
Away! Your presence tempts my soul to mischief.
[Exit the Prophet hastily.
Would that I were a woman, and could weep,
And slake hot rage with tears! O spiteful fortune,
To lure me to the limit of my dreams,
Then turn and crowd the ruin of my toil
Into the narrow compass of a night!
My brother's deep disgracemyself the scorn
Of envious harriers and thieves of fame,
Who fain would rob me of the lawful meed
Of faithful services and duties done
Oh, I could bear it all! But to behold
Our ruin'd people hunted to their graves
To see the Long-Knife triumph in their shame
This is the burning shaft, the poison'd wound
That rankles in my soul! But, why despair?
All is not lostthe English are our friends.
My spirit risesmanhood bear me up!
[436] I'll haste to Malden, join my force to theirs,
And fall with double fury on our foes.
Farewell ye plains and forests, but rejoice!
Ye yet shall echo to Tecumseh's voice.

Enter Lefroy.

Lefroy. What tidings have you glean'd of Iena?

Tecumseh. My brother meant to wed her to Tarhay
The chief who led his warriors to ruin;
But, in the gloom and tumult of the night,
She fled into the forest all alone.

Lefroy. Alone! In the wide forest all alone!
Angels are with her now, for she is dead.

Tecumseh. You know her to be skilful with the bow.
'Tis certain she would strike for some great Lake
Erie or Michigan. At the Detroit
Are people of our nation, and perchance
She fled for shelter there. I go at once
To join the British force. [Exit Tecumseh.

Lefroy. But yesterday
I climb'd to Heaven upon the shining stairs
Of love and hope, and here am quite cast down.
My little flower amidst a weedy world,
Where art thou now? In deepest forest shade?
Or onward, where the sumach stands array'd
In autumn splendor, its alluring form
Fruited, yet odious with the hidden worm?
Or, farther, by some still sequester'd lake,
Loon-haunted, where the sinewy panthers slake
Their noon-day thirst, and never voice is heard
Joyous of singing waters, breeze or bird,
Save their wild wailings.[A halloo without.] 'Tis Tecumseh calls!
Oh Iena! If dead, where'er thou art
Thy saddest grave will be this ruin'd heart! [Exit.


[Q] These scenes are enacted at the "Prophet's Town," an Indian village, situated at the junction of the Tippecanoe river with the Wabash, the latter a tributary of the Ohio. Tecumseh is gone on a mission to the Southern Indians to induce them to unite in a confederation of all the Indian tribes, leaving his brother, the Prophet, in charge of the tribes already assembled, having strictly enjoined upon him not to quarrel with the Americans, or Long-Knives, as the Indians called them, during his absence. General Harrison, Governor of Indiana, and commander of the American forces, having learned of Tecumseh's plans, marches to attack the Prophet; but the latter, pretending to be friendly, sends out some chiefs to meet Harrison. By the advice of these chiefs, the Americans encamp on an elevated plateau, near the Prophet's Town,"a very fitting place," to the mind of Harrison's officers, but to the practised eye of Harrison himself, also well fitted for a night attack by the Indians. He, therefore, very wisely makes all necessary preparations for defence against any sudden attack. Tecumseh has left behind him, under the protection of the Prophet, his wife, Mamatee, and his niece, Iena. He is accompanied on his mission by Lefroy, an English poet-artist, "enamoured of Indian life, and in love with Iena." The Prophet, who is hostile to Lefroy, intends to marry Iena to Tarhay, one of his chiefs, but Mamatee has gone to intercede with her brother-in-law for Iena, and, if possible, to turn him from his purpose.

[R] Tecumseh had long foreseen that nothing but combination could prevent the encroachments of the whites upon the Ohio, and had long been successfully endeavoring to bring about a union of the tribes who inhabited its valley. The Fort Wayne treaties gave a wider scope to his design, and he now originated his great scheme of a federation of the entire red race. In pursuance of this object, his exertions, hitherto very arduous, became almost superhuman. He made repeated journeys, and visited almost every tribe from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, and even north of them, and far to the west of the Mississippi. In order to further his scheme he took advantage of his brother's growing reputation as a prophet, and allowed him to gain a powerful hold upon the superstitious minds of his people by his preaching and predictions. The Prophet professed to have obtained from the Great Spirit a magic bowl, which possessed miraculous qualities; also a mystic torch, presumably from Nanabush, the keeper of the sacred fire. He asserted that a certain belt, said to make those invulnerable who touched it whilst in his hands, was composed of beans which had grown from his flesh; and this belt was circulated far and wide by Indian runners, finding its way even to the Red River of the North. These, coupled with his oratory and mummeries, greatly enhanced an influence which was possibly added to by a gloomy and saturnine countenance, made more forbidding still by the loss of an eye. Unfortunately for Tecumseh's enterprise, the Prophet was more bent upon personal notoriety than upon the welfare of his people; and, whilst professing the latter, indulged his ambition, in Tecumseh's absence, by a precipitate attack upon Harrison's force on the Tippecanoe. His defeat discredited his assumption of supernatural powers, led to distrust and defection, and wrecked Tecumseh's plan of independent action. But the protection of his people was Tecumseh's sole ambition; and, true statesman that he was, he joined the British at Amherstburg (Fort Malden), in Upper Canada, with a large force, and in the summer of 1812 began that series of services to the British interest which has made his name a household word in Canada, and endeared him to the Canadian heart.From Author's Note.[437]


Edmund William Gosse.1849-

"Out in the meadows the young grass springs,
Shivering with sap," said the larks, "and we
Shoot into air with our strong young wings
Spirally up over level and lea;
Come, O Swallows, and fly with us
Now that horizons are luminous!
Evening and morning the world of light,
Spreading and kindling, is infinite!"

Far away, by the sea in the south,
The hills of olive and slopes of fern
Whiten and glow in the sun's long drouth,
Under the heavens that beam and burn;
And all the swallows were gather'd there
Flitting about in the fragrant air,
And heard no sound from the larks, but flew
Flashing under the blinding blue.

Out of the depths of their soft rich throats
Languidly fluted the thrushes, and said:
"Musical thought in the mild air floats,
Spring is coming and winter is dead!
Come, O Swallows, and stir the air,
For the buds are all bursting unaware,
And the drooping eaves and the elm-trees long
To hear the sound of your low sweet song."

Over the roofs of the white Algiers,
Flashingly shadowing the bright bazaar,
Flitted the swallows, and not one hears
The call of the thrushes from far, from far;
Sigh'd the thrushes; then, all at once,
Broke out singing the old sweet tones,
[438] Singing the bridal of sap and shoot,
The tree's slow life between root and fruit.

But just when the dingles of April flowers
Shine with the earliest daffodils,
When, before sunrise, the cold clear hours
Gleam with a promise that noon fulfils,
Deep in the leafage the cuckoo cried,
Perch'd on a spray by a rivulet-side,
"Swallows, O Swallows, come back again
To swoop and herald the April rain."

And something awoke in the slumbering heart
Of the alien birds in their African air,
And they paused, and alighted, and twitter'd apart,
And met in the broad white dreamy square;
And the sad slave woman, who lifted up
From the fountain her broad-lipp'd earthen cup,
Said to herself, with a weary sigh,
"To-morrow the swallows will northward fly!"


A. Mary F. Robinson.1856-

All night I watch'd, awake, for morning:
At last the East grew all aflame,
The birds for welcome sang, or warning,
And with their singing morning came.

Along the gold-green heavens drifted
Pale wandering souls that shun the light,
Whose cloudy pinions, torn and rifted,
Had beat the bars of Heaven all night.

[439] These cluster'd round the Moon; but higher
A troop of shining spirits went,
Who were not made of wind or fire,
But some divine dream-element.

Some held the Light, while those remaining
Shook out their harvest-color'd wings,
A faint unusual music raining
(Whose sound was Light) on earthly things.

They sang, and as a mighty river
Their voices wash'd the night away:
From East to West ran one white shiver,
And waxen strong their song was Day.


A. Mary F. Robinson.

And shall I weep that Love's no more,
And magnify his reign?
Sure never mortal man before
Would have his grief again.
Farewell the long-continued ache,
The days a-dream, the nights awake,
I will rejoice and merry make,
And never more complain.

King Love is dead and gone for aye,
Who ruled with might and main,
For with a bitter word one day,
I found my tyrant slain,
And he in Heathenesse was bred,
Nor ever was baptized, 'tis said,
Nor is of any creed, and dead
Can never rise again.



Charles G. D. Roberts.1859-

Ruling with an iron hand
O'er the intermediate land
'Twixt the plains of rich completeness,
And the realms of budding sweetness,
Winter! from thy crystal throne,
With a keenness all thy own
Dartest thou, through gleaming air,
O'er the glorious barren glare
Of thy sunlit wildernesses,
Thine undazzled level glances,
Where thy minions' silver tresses
Stream among their icy lances;
While thy universal breathing,
Frozen to a radiant swathing
For the trees, their bareness hides,
And upon their sunward sides
Shines and flushes rosily
To the chill pink morning sky.
Skilful artists thou employest,
And in chastest beauty joyest
Forms most delicate, pure, and clear,
Frost-caught starbeams fallen sheer
In the night, and woven here
In jewel-fretted tapestries.
But what magic melodies,
As in the bord'ring realms are throbbing,
Hast thou, Winter?Liquid sobbing
Brooks, and brawling waterfalls,
Whose responsive-voicèd calls
Clothe with harmony the hills,
Gurgling meadow-threading rills,
[441] Lakelets' lisping wavelets lapping
Round a flock of wild ducks napping,
And the rapturous-noted wooings,
And the molten-throated cooings,
Of the amorous multitudes
Flashing through the dusky woods,
When a veering wind hath blown
A glare of sudden daylight down?
Naught of these!And fewer notes
Hath the wind alone that floats
Over naked trees and snows;
Half its minstrelsy it owes
To its orchestra of leaves.
Ay! weak the meshes music weaves
For thy snarèd soul's delight,
'Less, when thou dost lie at night
'Neath the star-sown heavens bright,
To thy sin-unchokèd ears
Some dim harmonies may pierce
From the high-consulting spheres:
'Less the silent sunrise sing
Like a vibrant silver string
When its prison'd splendors first
O'er the crusted snow-fields burst.
But thy days the silence keep,
Save for grosbeaks' feeble cheep,
Or for snow-birds' busy twitter
When thy breath is very bitter.

So my spirit often acheth
For the melodies it lacketh
'Neath thy sway, or cannot hear
For its mortal-cloakèd ear.
And full thirstily it longeth
For the beauty that belongeth
[442] To the Autumn's ripe fulfilling;
Heapèd orchard-baskets spilling
'Neath the laughter-shaken trees;
Fields of buckwheat full of bees,
Girt with ancient groves of fir
Shod with berried juniper;
Beech-nuts mid their russet leaves;
Heavy-headed nodding sheaves;
Clumps of luscious blackberries;
Purple-cluster'd traceries
Of the cottage climbing-vines;
Scarlet-fruited eglantines;
Maple forests all aflame
When thy sharp-tongued legates came.

Ruler with an iron hand
O'er an intermediate land!
Glad am I thy realm is border'd
By the plains more richly order'd,
Stock'd with sweeter-glowing forms,
Where the prison'd brightness warms
In lush crimsons through the leaves,
And a gorgeous legend weaves.


(Off Long Point Island, Lake Erie, November 24th, 1854.)

Amanda T. Jones.

The wind, the wind where Erie plunged,
Blew, blew nor'-east from land to land;
The wandering schooner dipp'd and lunged,
Long Point was close at hand.

[443] Long Pointa swampy island-slant,
Where, busy in their grassy homes,
Woodcock and snipe the hollows haunt,
And musk-rats build their domes;

Where gulls and eagles rest at need,
Where either side, by lake or sound,
Kingfishers, cranes, and divers feed,
And mallard ducks abound.

The lowering night shut out the sight:
Careen'd the vessel, pitch'd and veer'd,
Raved, raved the wind with main and might;
The sunken reef she near'd.

She pounded over, lurch'd, and sank;
Between two sand-bars settling fast,
Her leaky hull the waters drank,
And she had sail'd her last.

Into the rigging, quick as thought,
Captain and mate and sailors sprung,
Clamber'd for life, some vantage caught,
And there all night they swung.

And it was coldoh, it was cold!
The pinching cold was like a vise:
Spoondrift flew freezing,fold on fold
It coated them with ice.

Now when the dawn began to break,
Light up the sand-path drench'd and brown,
To fill her bucket from the lake,
Came Mother Becker down.

From where her cabin crown'd the bank
Came Abigail Becker tall and strong:
[444] She dipp'd, and lo! a broken plank
Came rocking close along!

She pois'd her glass with anxious ken:
The schooner's top she spied from far,
And there she counted seven men
That clung to mast and spar.

And oh, the gale! the rout and roar!
The blinding drift, the mounting wave,
A good half-mile from wreck to shore,
With seven men to save!

Sped Mother Becker: "Children! wake!
A ship's gone down! they're needing me!
Your father's off on shore; the lake
Is just a raging sea!

"Get wood, cook fish, make ready all."
She snatch'd her stores, she fled with haste,
In cotton gown and tatter'd shawl,
Barefoot across the waste,

Through sinking sands, through quaggy lands,
And nearer, nearer, full in view,
Went shouting through her hollow'd hands:
"Courage! we'll get you through!"

Ran to and fro, made cheery signs,
Her bonfire lighted, steeped her tea,
Brought drift-wood, watch'd Canadian lines
Her husband's boat to see.

Cold, cold it wasoh, it was cold!
The bitter cold made watching vain:
With ice the channel laboring roll'd,
No skiff could stand the strain.

[445] On all that isle, from outer swell
To strait between the landings shut,
Was never place where man might dwell,
Save trapper Becker's hut.

And it was twelve and one and two,
And it was three o'clock and more.
She call'd: "Come on! there's nought to do,
But leap and swim ashore!"

Blew, blew the gale; they did not hear:
She waded in the shallow sea;
She waved her hands, made signals clear,
"Swim! swim, and trust to me!"

"My men," the captain cried, "I'll try:
The woman's judgment may be right;
For, swim or sink, seven men must die
If here we swing to-night."

Far out he mark'd the gathering surge;
Across the bar he watch'd it pour,
Let go, and on its topmost verge
Came riding in to shore.

It struck the breaker's foamy track,
Majestic wave on wave uphurl'd,
Went grandly toppling, tumbling back,
As loath to flood the world.

There blindly whirling, shorn of strength,
The captain drifted, sure to drown;
Dragg'd seaward half a cable's length,
Like sinking lead went down.

Ah, well for him that on the strand
Had Mother Becker waited long!
[446] And well for him her grasping hand
And grappling arm were strong!

And well for him that wind and sun,
And daily toil for scanty gains,
Had made such daring blood to run
Within such generous veins!

For what to do but plunge and swim?
Out on the sinking billow cast,
She toil'd, she dived, she groped for him,
She found and clutch'd him fast.

She climb'd the reef, she brought him up,
She laid him gasping on the sands;
Built high the fire and fill'd the cup,
Stood up and waved her hands!

Oh, life is dear! The mate leap'd in.
"I know," the captain said, "right well,
Not twice can any woman win
A soul from yonder hell.

"I'll start and meet him in the wave."
"Keep back!" she bade: "what strength have you?
And I shall have you both to save,
Must work to pull you through!"

But out he went. Up shallow sweeps
Raced the long white-caps, comb on comb:
The wind, the wind that lash'd the deeps,
Far, far it blew the foam.

The frozen foam went scudding by,
Before the wind, a seething throng,
The waves, the waves came towering high,
They flung the mate along.

[447] The waves came towering high and white.
They burst in clouds of flying spray:
There mate and captain sank from sight,
And, clinching, roll'd away.

Oh, Mother Becker, seas are dread,
Their treacherous paths are deep and blind!
But widows twain shall mourn their dead
If thou art slow to find.

She sought them near, she sought them far,
Three fathoms down she gripp'd them tight;
With both together up the bar
She stagger'd into sight.

Beside the fire her burdens fell:
She paus'd the cheering draught to pour,
Then waved her hands: "All's well! all's well!
Come on! swim! swim ashore!"

Sure, life is dear, and men are brave:
They came,they dropp'd from mast and spar;
And who but she could breast the wave,
And dive beyond the bar?

Dark grew the sky from east to west,
And darker, darker grew the world:
Each man from off the breaker's crest
To gloomier deeps was hurl'd.

And still the gale went shrieking on,
And still the wrecking fury grew;
And still the woman, worn and wan,
Those gates of Death went through,

As Christ were walking on the waves,
And heavenly radiance shone about,
[448] All fearless trod that gulf of graves
And bore the sailors out.

Down came the night, but far and bright,
Despite the wind and flying foam,
The bonfire flamed to give them light
To trapper Becker's home.

Oh, safety after wreck is sweet!
And sweet is rest in hut or hall:
One story Life and Death repeat,
God's mercy over all.

Next day men heard, put out from shore,
Cross'd channel-ice, burst in to find
Seven gallant fellows sick and sore,
A tender nurse and kind;

Shook hands, wept, laugh'd, were crazy-glad;
Cried: "Never yet, on land or sea,
Poor dying, drowning sailors had
A better friend than she.

"Billows may tumble, winds may roar,
Strong hands the wreck'd from Death may snatch:
But never, never, nevermore
This deed shall mortal match!"

Dear Mother Becker dropp'd her head,
She blush'd as girls when lovers woo:
"I have not done a thing," she said,
"More than I ought to do."


End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Ontario Readers: The High School
Reader, 1886, by Ministry of Education


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