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terious intruder. This intruder is in the one case a ghastly, grim, and ancient raven;" in the other “a vision of a lady," that “ 'twixt the purple lattice curtains” “standeth still and pale.” Again, one line bas been reproduced almost exactly by the author of the “Raven,” though we think unconsciously; for a writer is apt to mistake some vague reminiscence floating in his mind, for a conception of his own.
Mrs. Browning's poem reads as follows:
" With a rushing stir, uncertain, in the air, the purple curtain
E. A. Poe's as follows:
“ And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain,
The whole of this poem (Lady Geraldine's Courtship) is one that none who read it once will soon forget. It reminds one of Locksley Hall. The versification is the same, with an additional syllable at the end of every alternate line. The line “ Oh the dreary, dreary moorlands,” &c., is echoed by the passage in Mrs. B's poem, commencing, “O the blessed woods of Sussex." The plot of the poem is superior, but the execution falls below that of Tennyson in condensation and in sustained power; at the same time there are passages in it which surpass in brilliancy any. thing in Locksley Hall. The conclusion, too, is much more satisfactory, for Locksley Hall ends in the same tone of despairing regret with which it began.
For all that has been said of Mrs. Browning's harsh rhymes and uncouth phrases, her faults are those of expression merely. In comparison with her merits they are like spots on the sun, and they might be erased with a little labor. In her happier moments she seems to throw them off entirely in the hurry of her inspiration,.
“As a strong runner straining for his life,
In reading her poems, we are impressed by a reach of thought and a depth of feeling which excite our admiration and reverence. She has nobly vindicated the higher instincts of the heart. The devotion to Truth and Beauty, the dignity and true mission of poetry--the dignity and the true mission of woman--she has fully recognized and nobly illustrated. Religion with her is not a sentiment, nor is it a metaphysical problem which every one is to solve in his own way, but it is the great fact of the Universe, in which she believes with as firm a faith as in her own existence, or in that of the objects of sense that surround her. With those solemn questions that lie at the base of all others, she deals fearlessly and profoundly.
Her poetical creed seems to be contained in the following lines from the “Vision of Poets :''
“In my large joy of sight and touch,
“I know-is all the mourner saith-
We have given the following lines a place in the Magazine, although, strictly speaking, they have no right here. They were written by a girl of thirteen years old, during the delivery of a lecture on Anatomy, before a public school of which she was a member. She had never before seen a skeleton, and the strange and (to a sensitive child) fearful spectacle inspired these verses ; which while remarkable for their beauty of thought and naturalness of expression, will also recall to the mind of any one who in earlier years had looked for the first time upon one of these bleached memorials of a vanished life, those strange feelings which then overwhelmed him, as they seem to have swept through the soul of this child.
To think! my God, my God! to think
That withered, bleaching frame within,
Fettered and chained in bonds of sin !
To think! to think! it lived-it moved,
Among the busy scenes of earth;
Now crushed by grief, now filled with mirth.
To think! to think! what spirit dwelt
Within that silent, voiceless frame;
That lived to love its Saviour's name?
Was it a spirit mad with rage,
That hot with haste, for vengeance burned !
By earth's proud beings scorned and spurned !
Was it a spirit dark and dim,
O’er whom delirium ever hung?
That everywhere with gladness sung ?
To think! to think! where is it now
On what far distant shore, oh! where?
Or in a world of dark despair ?
To think! my Lord, my God, to think!
That soon will still these earthly tones ;
A frame of lifeless, whitening bones!
A Few Thoughts on know-Nothingism. AMERICAN politics, like the American character, are of an order which has come to be known as fast; that they are, on the whole, progressive we are not prepared to affirm. Political Economy has, in all its essential features, made few advances or added many modern improvements, since the day of Jefferson, of Hamilton, or of Jackson. We of course speak not of any lack of novelty in the phenomena of the political sky, as far as recards a multiplicity of theories, or an abundance of proposed social and general reforms. No period of our history has been more productive of such fruit than the present. But we speak of Political Economy as an enlarged system, and a practical science. Upon the fundamental ideas of such a science parties very early in our history were formed, and have since continued. But at the present day, we see party organizations in our midst, whose vitality in nowise depends upon such ideas, and the avowed purposes of which, judged by old standards, defy classification.
An organization of this latter class is the party, or society, which, with more originality than taste, has christened itself the “Know-Nothing." The more readily to address itself to the favor of the American people, it has invoked the charm of secrecy, and while its principles are publicly promulgated, its action is always in the dark. And this fact alone renders it a pernicious influence in our politics, aside from any evil to be feared from the results which it proposes to accomplish. Never so much as when we are called upon to disregard precedents, to revolutionize existing systems, or new cast the framework of society, do we need the light of fair and open dealing. Under no circumstances is it just to designate as reform, any movement in politics or morals which relies for its success upon that mystery which captivates the fancy, while it blinds the judgment of men. And this truth is strengthened and approved in a degree directly proportionate to the importance and magnitude of the object which it is proposed to accomplish. How palpable should it be, therefore, when applied to the case of an organization which aims not merely at reforming, but at destroying ; which would not only amend the constitution of our body politic, but would even ignore the principles on which that constitution depends ? By all means let us have light ! Without it truth may suffer; with it, error must.
But our objections to this new organization are not all founded on the manner and the means which it employs. The end to be attained commends itself neither to our humanity nor our reason.
This end is to Americanize more completely our whole system of government, whether Federal or Municipal. To accomplish this purpose, another principle is introduced into the creed of the new party, and that is to Protestantize the government, by applying a religious test to qualification for office. It is unnecessary to notice in detail the more unimportant and incidental factors which compose the creed of this party. They are all reducible to these general terms, and are fairly stated by them.
Now in the necessity, which it is claimed exists, for a character more largely American in our country and government, we are no believers. That such a necessity will ever exist, we see no competent reason to anticipate; -but that it is a present reality, statistics and common sense conspire to disprove. Notwithstanding the vast immigration of Celtic, Teutonic, and other bloods in this country, three-fourths of the population may still be regarded as Anglo-Saxon. The character of the population is even more Anglo-Saxon than its blood. Not only the constitutions and laws of the various States, with the single exception of Louisiana, are eminently such, but also the social life, the manners, and the general opinions of the inhabitants. To this system of things the immigrating population soon learn to conform. Even where strong national sympathies are not immediately overcome in the immigrants during the first generation, the children of those immigrants growing up
amid the influences of American educational and social life, become Anglo-Saxons in the second ; if not in blood, at least in character. Again, the positive advantages to the general interests of the country from this extensive immigration, are of no slight importance. The wealth brought into the United States by immigrants amounts to several millions annually. In addition to this, millions more are earned by American shipowners in passenger and freight money. The pioneers of our western civilization are foreigners, who although they carry thither few of the refinements and none of the elegancies of life, nevertheless open with their stalwart arms a way for them. The useful ever precedes the ornamental in the civilizing process, and while we admire the art which ministers to the one, let us not forget the energy which furnishes the other.
This new party will find by reference to facts, that the crusade which it has volunteered in behalf of American interests, is, at least, uncalled for. It has appeared an age too early, and will die by suicide, unless it shall select as the recipient of its philanthropy some more needy cause.
But not content with Americanizing the government, the new party proposes also to Protestantize it.
To accomplish this, no Roman Catholic is to be eligible to office, and all present naturalization laws are to be repealed, and more severe ones substituted in their place.
The same objections which we have urged against the Americanizing mission of the Know-Nothings, are just as applicable here. There is no necessity demanding of us such a change in the organization of our governmental system, and all restrictions upon the rights of man, which are not necessary, are oppressive. The civil discords, the riots, the bloodshed, and the broils which, from time to time, have disgraced our cities, have as often been referable to anti-Catholic as Catholic influence. In no case, that we know of, has it ever been pretended that Roman Catholic influence, in official stations, has had anything to do with them. Many of the high places of our government have been occupied and adorned by Roman Catholics, eminent alike for devotion to their religion and to the interests and welfare of their country. The highest judicial station in our country has, for years, been filled by a man who, though a foreigner by descent, and a Catholic, is beyond reproach in respect either to capacity or integrity. How tremendous ought that necessity to be, which should induce us to ignore transcendent talent, unquestioned integrity, and great moral worth, because it is associated with a religious faith which differs from our own!
But the principles of the new party are not only objectionable because their application is unnecessary. They are inherently pernicious, and as