« НазадПродовжити »
The authors of “Gaities and Gravities," give it, winter, seemed the diminutive, smoke-stained woas their opinion, that no object of sight is regard- men of Lapland, who wrapped him in their furs, ed by us as a simple, disconnected form, but that an and ministered to his necessities with kindness and instantaneous reflection as to its history, purpose, or gentle words of compassion. Lovely to the homeassociations, converts it into a concrete one-a pro. sick heart of Park seemed the dark maids of Sego, cess, they shrewdly remark, which no thinking being as they sung their low and simple song of welcome can prevent, and which can only be avoided by the beside his bed, and sought to comfort the white unmeaning and stolid stare of “a goose on the com- stranger, who had “no mother to bring him milk, mon, or a cow on the green.” The senses and the and no wife to grind him corn." O! talk as we faculties of the understanding are so blended with, may, of beauty as a thing to be chiselled from marand dependent upon, each other, that not one of them ble or wrought ont on canvass,--speculate as we can exercise its office alonc, and without the modi- may upon its colors and outlines, what is it but an fication of some extrinsic interference or suggestion. intellectual abstraction, after all? The heart feels Grateful or unpleasant associations cluster around a beauty of another kind ;-looking through the outall which sense takes cognizance of: the beauty ward environment, it discovers a deeper and more which we discern in an external object is often but real loveliness. the reflection of our own minds.
This was well understood by the old painters. In What is Beauty, after all? Ask the lover, who their pictures of Mary, the Virgin Mother, the beaukneels in homage to one who has no attractions for ty which melts and subdues the gazer, is that of the others. The cold on-looker wonders that he can call soul and the affections-uniting the awe and mystethat unclassic combination of features, and that awk- ry of that mother's miraculous allotment with the ward form, beautiful. Yet so it is. He sees, like irrepressible love, the unutterable tenderness of Desdemona, her - visage in her mind,” or her affec
young maternity-Heaven's crowning miracle with tions. A light from within shines through the ex
Nature's holiest and sweetest instinct. And their ternal uncomelinesss, softens, irradiates and glorifies pale Magdalens, holy with the look of sins forgiven, it. That which to others seems common-place and how the divine beauty of their penitence sinks into the unworthy of note, is to him, in the words of Spenser, heart ? Do we not feel that the only real deformity “ A sweet, attractive kind of grace, ,
is sin, and that goodness evermore hallows and sancA full assurance given by looks, Continual comfort in a face,
tifies its dwelling place? When the soul is at rest. The lineaments of Gospel books."
when the passions and desires are all attuned to the " Handsome is that handsome does—hold up your
divine harmony,– heads, girls !” was the language of Primrose in the
“ Spirits moving musically play, when addressing her daughters. The worthy
To a lute's well ordered law," matron was right. Would that all my female readers, who are sorrowing foolishly because they are do we not read the placid significance thereof in the not in all respects like Dubufe's Eve, or that Statue human countenance ? " I have seen," said Charles of the Venus, « which enchants the world,” could Lamb, faces upon which the dove of peace sat be persuaded to listen to her. What is good look- brooding.” In that simple and beautiful record of ing, as Horace Smith remarks, but looking good? Be a holy life, the Journal of John Woolman, there is good, be womanly, be gentle-generous in your a passage of which I have been more than once resympathies, heedful of the well-being of all around minded in my intercourse with my fellow beings :you, and my word for it, you will not lack kind " Some glances of real beauty may be seen in their words of admiration. Loving and pleasant associations faces, who dwell in true meekness. There is a barwill gather about you. Never mind the ugly reflec- mony in the sound of that voice to which divine love tion which your glass may give you. That mirror gives utterance.” has no heart. But quite another picture is yours Quite the ugliest face I ever saw was that of a on the retina of human sympathy. . There the beau. woman whom the world calls beautiful. Through ty of holiness, of purity, of that inward grace - which its - silver veil" the evil and ungentle passions lookpasseth show," rests over it, softening and mellow. ed out, hideous and hateful. On the other hand, ing its features, just as the full, calm moonlight there are faces which the multitude at the first glance melts those of a rough landscape into harmonious pronounce homely, unattractive, and such as “nature lovelinesss. Hold up your heads, girls!" I repeat fashions by the gross,” which I always recognize after Primrose. Why should you not ?—Every with a warm heart-thrill; not for the world would mother's daughter of you can be beautiful. You can I have one feature changed; they please me as they envelope yourselves in an atmosphere of moral and are; they are hallowed by kind memories; they are intellectual beauty, through which your otherwise beautiful through their associations; nor are they plain faces will look forth like those of angels. Beau- any the less welcome, that with my admiration of tiful to Ledyard, stiffening in the cold of a Northern them, the stranger intermeddleth not.”
A CHRISTMAS HYMN.
| THE GOOD PART THAT SHALL NOT BE
BY ALFRED DOMMETT..
BY HENRY W. LONG FELLOW.
It was the calm and silent night!
Seven hundred years and fifty-three Had Rome been growing up to might,
And now was queen of land and sea. No sound was heard of clashing wars,
Peace brooded o'er the hushed domain: Apollo, Pallas, Jove, and Mars Held undisturbed their ancient reign,
In the solemn midnight,
She dwells by Great Kenhawa's side,
In valleys green and cool;
Are in the village school.
That robes the hills above, Thongh not of earth, encircles there
All things with arms of love.
With praise and mild rebukes;
Of One who came to save;
And liberate the slave.
'T was in the calm and silent night,
The senator of haughty Rome. Impatient urged his chariot's fight,
From lordly revel rolling home : Triumphal arches gleaming swell
His breast with thoughts of boundless sway; What recked the Roman what befell A paltry province far away,
In the solemn midnight,
And oft the blessed time foretells
When all men shall be free; And musical, as silver bells,
Their falling chains shall be.
And following her beloved Lord,
In decent poverty, She makes her life one sweet record
And deed of charity.
Within that province far away,
Went plodding home a weary boor; A streak of light before him lay,
Fallen through a half-shut stable-door Across his path. He passed,—for naught
Told what was going on within; How keen the stars, his only thought, The air, how calm, and cold, and thin,
In the solemn midnight,
For she was rich, and gave up all
To break the iron bands Of those who waited in her hall,
And labored in her lands.
Long since, beyond the Southern Sea
Their outbound sails have sper, While she, in meek humility,
Now earns her daily bread.
0, strange indifference! low and high
Drowsed over common joys and cares; The earth was still,—but knew not why
The world was listening, -unawares. How calm a moment may precede
One that shall thrill the world for ever! To that still moment, none would heed, Man's doom was linked no more to sever,
In the solemn midnight,
It is their prayers, which never cease,
That clothe her with such grace ; Their blessing is the light of peace
That shines upon her face.
So should we live, that
hour Should die, as dies a natural flowerA self-reviving thing of power ;
It is the calm and solemn night!
A thousand bells ring out, and throw Their joyous peals abroad, and smite
The darkness,-charmed and holy now! The night that erst no shame had worn,
To it a happy name is given; For in that stable lay, new-born, The peaceful prince of earth and heaven,
In the solemn midnight,
That every thought, and every deed,
Esteeming sorrow,- whose employ
NOT ON THE BATTLE FIELD.
BY JOHN PIERPONT.
" To fall on the battle field, fighting for my dear countrythat would not be hard.-NS. in Miss Bremer's “ Neighbors."
0, no, no,-let me lie
Let not the iron tread
Nor let the reeking knife,
Be in my hand, when death
His heavy squadron's heels,
From such a dying bed, Though o'er it float the stripes of white and red,
And the bald Eagle brings
To sparkle in my sight,
I know that beauty's eye
And brazen helmets dance,
I know that bards have sung,
In honor of the brave,
I know that, n'er their bones,
Some of these piles I've seen :The one at Lexington, nipon the green,
Where the first blood was shed, That to my country's independence led;
And others, on our shore,
And that on Bunker's Hill,
Or drums? No-let me die
And the soft summer air,
And, from my forehead, dries
Seem waiting to receive
The world, when, round my bed,
And the calm voice of prayer
To go and be at rest
The human brotherhood
And in my dying hour,
To bear the spirit up,
That all must drink, at last,
Then, let my soul run back,
And see that all the seeds
Have sprung up, and have given, Already, fruits of which to taste is heaven!
And, though no grassy mound Or granite pile, say 'tis heroic ground,
Where my remains repose, Still will I hope-vain hope, perhaps ! — that those
Whom I have striven to bless, The wanderer reclaimed, the fatherless,
May stand around my grave, With the poor prisoner, and the poorer slave,-
And breathe an humble prayer, That they may die like him, whose bones are
BY WILLIAM W. STORY.
Thy " Tomb,” Themistocles,
And which the waters kiss,
And thine, too, have I seen, The mound of earth, Patroclus, robed in green,
'That, like a natural knoll, Sheep climb and nibble over, as they stroll,
Watched by some turban'd boy,
Such honors grace the bed,
And hears, as life ebbs out,
But, as his eyes grow dim,
What, to the parting soul,
Be of good cheer, ye firm and dauntless
BY WILLIAM HAZLITT.
IGNORANCE OF THE LEARNED. learned reader to lay down his book and think for
himself. He clings to it for his intellectual support ;
and his dread of being left to himself is like the hor< For the more languages a man can speak,
ror of a vacuum. He an only breathe a learned His talent has but sprung the greater leak :
atmosphere, as other men breathe common air. He And, for the industry he has spent upon't,
is a borrower of sense. He has no ideas of his own, Must full as much some other way discount.
and must live on those of other people. The habit The Hebrew, Chaldee, and the Syriac,
of supplying our ideas from foreign sources « enfeeDo, like their letters, set men's reason back,
bles all internal strength of thought,' as a course of And turn their wits that strive to understand it
dram-drinking destroys the tone of the stomach. (Like those that write the characters) left handed. The faculties of the mind, when not exerted, or Yet he that is but able to express
when cramped by custom and authority, become No sense at all in several languages,
listless, torpid, and unfit for the pnrposes of thought Will pass for learneder than he that's known
or action. Can we wonder at the languor and lassi. To speak the strongest reason in his own."
tude which is thus produced by a life of learned The Author of Hudibras.
sloth and ignorance ; by poring over lines and sylThe description of persons who have the fewest lables that excite little more idea or interest than ideas of all others are mere authors and readers. It is if they were the characters of an unknown tongue, better to be able neither to read nor write than to be till the eye closes on vacancy, and the book able to do nothing else. A lounger who is ordinarily drops from the feeble hand! I would rather be a seen with a book in his hand, is (we may be almost a wocd-cutter, or the meanest hind, that all day sure) equally without the power or inclination to at "sweats in the eye of Phæbus, and at night sleeps in tend either to what passes around him, or in his own Elysium,” than wear out my life so, 'twixt dreammind. Such a one may be said to carry his under. ing and awake. The learned author differs from the standing about with him in his pocket, or to leave learned student in this, that the one transcribes what it at home on his library shelves. He is afraid of the other reads. The learned are mere literary venturing on any train of reasoning, or of striking drudges. If you set them upon original composition, out any observation that is not mechanically sug- their heads turn, they know not where they are. gested to him by passing his eyes over certain legi- The indefatigable readers of books are like the everble characters; shrinks from the fatigue of thought, lasting copiers of pictures, who, when they attempt which, for want of practice, becomes insupportable to do any thing of their own, find they want an eye to him; and sits down contented with an endless quick enough, a hand steady enough, and colours wearisome succession of words and half-formed bright enough, to trace the living forms of nature. images, which fill the void of the mind, and conti. Any one who has passed through the regular granually efface one another. Learning is, in too many dations of a classical education, and is not made a cases, but a foil to common sense; a substitute for fool by it, may consider himself as having had a true knowledge. Books are less often made use of very narrow escape. It is an old remark, that boys as “spectacles” to look at nature with, than as who shine at school do not make the greatest figure blinds to keep out its strong light and shifting scene when they grow up and come out into the world. ry from weak eyes and indolent dispositions. The The things, in fact, which a boy is set to learn at book-worm wraps himself up in his web of verbal school, and on which his success depends, are things generalities, and sees only the glimmering shadows which do not require the exercise either of the highof things reflected from the minds of others. Nature est or the most useful faculties of the mind. Memoputs him out. The impressions of real objects, ry (and that of the lowest kind) is the chief faculty stripped of the disguises of words and voluminous called into play, in conning over and repeating les. round-about descriptions, are blows that stagger sons by rote in grammar, in languages, in geography, him; their variety distracts, their rapidity exhausts arithmetic, &c., so that he who has the most of this him; and he turns from the bustle, the noise and technical memory, with the least turn for other glare and whirling motion of the world about him things, which have a stronger and more natural (which he has not an eye to follow in its fantastic claim upon his childish attention, will make the changes, nor an understanding to reduce to fixed most forward school-boy. The jargon containing principles) to the quiet monotony of the dead lan- the definitions of the parts of speech, the rules for guages, and the less startling and more intelligible casting up an account, or the inflections of a Greek combinations of the letters of the alphabet. It is verb, can have no attraction to the tyro of ten years well, it is perfectly well. « Leave me to my re- old, except as they are imposed as a task upon him pose” is the motto of the sleeping and the dead. by others, or from his feeling the want of sufficient You might as well ask the paralytic to leap from his relish or amusement in other things. A lad with a chair and throw away his crutch, or, without a mira- sickly constitution, and no very active mind, who cle, to " take up his bed and walk," as expect the can just retain what is pointed out to him, and has
neither sagacity to distinguish nor spirit to enjoy for not of men or things. He thinks and cares nothing himself, will generally be at the head of his form. about his next-door neighbours, but he is deeply An idler at school, on the other hand, is one who read in the tribes and castes of the Hindoos and Cal. has high health and spirits, who has the free use of muc Tartars. Hecan hardly find his way into the his limbs, with all his wits about him, who feels next street, though he is acquainted with the exact the circulation of his blood and the motion of his dimensions of Constantinople and Pekin. He does heart, who is ready to laugh and cry in a breath, not know whether his oldest acquaintance is a knave and who had rather chase a ball or a butterfly, feel or a fool, but he can pronounce a pompous lectnre the open air in his face, look at the fields or the on all the principal characters in history. He cansky, follow a winding path, or enter with eagerness not tell whether an object is black or white, round into all the little conflicts and interests of his ac or square, and yet he is a professed master of the quaintances and friends, than doze over a musty laws of optics and the rules of perspective. He spelling-book, repeat barbarous distichs after his knows as much of what he talks about, as a blind master, sit so many hours pinioned to a writing-desk, man does of colours. He cannot give a satisfactory and receive his reward for the loss of time and plea- answer to the plainest question, nor is he ever in the sure in paltry prize-medals at Christmas and Mid-right in any one of his opinions, upon any one mat
There is indeed a degree of stupidity ter of fact that really comes before him, and yet he which prevents children from learning the usual gives himself out for an infallible judge on all those lessons, or ever arriving at these puny academic points of which it is impossible that he or any other honours. But what passes for stupidity is much person living should know anything but by conjecoftener a want of interest, of a sufficient motive to ture. He is expert in all the dead and most of the fix the attention, and force a reluctant application to living languages; but he can neither speak his own the dry and unmeaning pursuits of school-learning. fluently, nor write it correctly. A person of this The best capacities are as much above this drudgery, class, the second Greek scholar of his day, undertook as the dullest are beneath it. Our men of the great to point out several solecisms in Milton's Latin est genius have not been most distinguished for their style; and in his own performance there is hardly a acquirements at school or at the university. sentence of common Engligh. Such was Dr. “ Th’enthusiast Fancy was a truant ever."
Such is Dr.
Such was not Porson. He was Gray and Collins were among the instances of this an exception that confirmed the general rule,-a man wayward disposition. Such persons do not think so that, by uniting talents and knowledge with learnhighly of the advantages, nor can they submit their ing, made the distinction between them more strikimaginations so servilely to the trammels of stricting and palpable. scholastic discipline. There is a certain kind and A mere scholar, who knows nothing but books, degree of intellect in which words take root, but into must be ignorant even of them. 6 Books do not which things have not power to penetrate. A me. teach the use of books.” How should he know any. diocrity of talent, with a certain slenderness of thing of a work, who knows nothing of the subject moral constitution, is the soil that produces the most of it? The learned pedant is conversant with books brilliant specimens of successful prize-essayists and only as they are made of other books, and those Greek epigrammatists. It should not be forgotten, again of others, without end. He parrots those who that the most equivocal character among modern poli- have parroted others. He can translate the same word ticians was the eleverest boy at Eton.
into ten different languages, but he knows nothing Learning is the knowledge of that which is not gene- of the thing which it means in any one of them. He rally known to others, and which we can only derive stuffs his head with authorities built on authorities, at second-hand from books, or other artificial sources. with quotations quoted from quotations, while he The knowledge of that which is before us or about locks up his senses, his understanding, and his heart. us, which appeals to our experience, passions and He is unacquainted with the maxims and manners pursuits, to the bosoms and businesses of men, is of the world; he is to seek in the characters of indinot learning. Learning is the knowledge of that viduals. He sees no beauty in the face of nature or which none but the learned know. He is the most of art. To him " the mighty world of eye and ear" learned man who knows the most of what is farthest is hid; and “ knowledge,” except at one entrance, removed from common life and actual observation, “quite shut out." His pride takes part with his that is of the least practical utility, and least liable ignorance; and his self-importance rises with the to be brought to the test of experience, and that, number of things of which he does not know the having been handed down through the greatest number value, and which he therefore despises as unworthy of intermediate stages, is the most full of uncertainty, of his notice. He knows nothing of pictures;-16 of difficulties, and contradictions. It is seeing with the the colouring of Titian, the grace of Raphael, the eyes of others, hearing with their ears, and pinning purity of Domenichino, the corregiescity of Corregour faith on their understandings. The learned mangio, the learning of Poussin, the airs of Guido, the prides himself in the knowledge of names and dates, I taste of the Caracci, or the grand contour of Michael