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the most eminent physicians of France, and acquired an intimate knowledge of the language. He returned to Boston near the close of 1835, and in the following spring commenced the practice of medicine in that city. He soon acquired a large and lucrative practice, and in 1847 succeeded Dr. Warren as Professor of Anatomy in the medical department of Harvard University. His earlier poems appeared in “The Collegian,” a monthly miscellany, published in 1830, by the under-graduates at Cambridge. His longest poem, “Poetry, a Metrical Essay,” was delivered before a literary society at Cambridge in 1835. He published “Terpsichore," a poem read at the annual dinner of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, in 1843; and in 1846, “ Urania, a Rhyme Lesson,” pronounced before the Mercantile Library Association. Since the “ Atlantic Monthly” was started in 1855, he has been a leading contributor, both in prose and verse; and here first appeared his “ Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” and “Elsie Venner.” A completo edition of his poems was published in 1862. Dr. Holmes is a poet of art and humor and genial sentiment, with a style remarkable for its purity, terseness, and point, and for an exquisite finish and grace. “His lyrics ring and sparkle like cataracts of silver, and his serious pieces arrest the attention by touches of the most genuine pathos and tenderness.”
\HAT, in the formation of language, men have been much
tions meant to be represented, is a fact of which every known speech gives proof. In our own language, for instance, who does not perceive in the sound of the words thunder, boundless, terrible, a something appropriate to the sublime ideas intended to be conveyed? In the word crash we hear the very action implied. Imp, elf,—how descriptive of the miniature beings to which we apply them! Fairy,—how light and tripping, just like the fairy herself !—the word, no more than the thing, seems fit to bend the grass-blade, or shake the tear from the blue-eyed flower.
2. Pea is another of those words expressive of light, diminutive objects; any man born without sight and touch, if such ever are, could tell what kind of thing a pea was from the sound of the word alone. Of picturesque' words, sylvan and crystal are among our greatest favorites. Sylvan .—what visions of beautiful old sunlit förests, with huntsmen and buglehorns, arise at the sound! Crystal !-does it not glitter like the very thing it stands for? Yět crystal is not so beautiful as its own adjective. Crystalline !—why, the whole mind is light
Pict'ūr ěsque', expressing that peculiar kind of beauty that is please ing in a picture, natural or artificial.
ened up with its shine. And this superiority is as it should be ; for crystal can only be one comparatively small object, while crystallīne may refer to a mass—to a world of crystals.
3. It will be found that natural objects have a larger proportion of expressive names among them than any other things. The eagle,-what appropriate daring and sublimity! the dove, what softness! the linnet,—what fluttering gentleness! "That which men call a rose" would not by any other name, or at least by many other names, smell as sweet. Lily,—what tall, cool, pale, lady-like beauty have we here! Viölet, jessamine, hyacinth, a-nem'onè, geranium !-beauties, all of them, to the ear as
well as the eye.
4. The names of the precious stones have also a beauty and magnificence above most common things. Dümond, sapphire, am'ethyst, běr'yl, ruby, ag'ate, pearl, jasper, topaz, garnet, emerald, —what a caskanet of sparkling sounds! Düdem and coronet glitter with gold and precious stones, like the objects they represent. It is almost unnecessary to bring forward instances of the fine things which are represented in English by fine words. Let us take
passage of our poëtry, and we shall hardly find a word which is inappropriate in sound. For example :
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
Leave not a rack1 behind. The “gorgeous palaces,” “ the solemn temples,”—bow ad'mirably do these lofty sounds harmonize with the objects!
5. The relation between the sound and sense of certain words is to be ascribed to more than one cause. Many are evidently imitative representations of the things, movements, and acts, which are meant to be expressed. Others, in which we only find a general relation, as between a beautiful thing, and a beautiful word, a ridiculous thing and a ridiculous word, or a sublime idea and a sublime word, must be attributed to those faculties,
Răck, properly, moisture; damp- quently read, “Leave not a wreck ness; hence, thin, flying, broken behind.” It is manifest, however, clouds, or any portion of floating that Shakspeare wrote rack, a more Vapor in the sky. This line is fre poetical and descriptive epithet.
native to every mind, which enable us to perceive and enjoy the beautiful, the ridiculous, and the sublime.
6. Doctor Wallis, who wrote upon English grammar in the reign of Charles II., represented it as a peculiar excellence of our language, that, beyond all others, it expressed the nature of the objects which it names, by employing sounds sharper, softer, weaker, stronger, more obscure, or more stridulous,' according as the idea which is to be suggested requires. He gives vārious examples. Thus, words formed upon st always denote firmness and strength, anal'ogous to the Latin sto; as, stand, stay, staff, stop, stout, steady, stake, stamp, &c.
7. Words beginning with str intimate violent force and energy; as, strive, strength, stress, stripe, &c. Thr implies forcible motion : as, throw, throb, thrust, threaten, thraldom, thrill: gl, smoothness or silent motion; as, glib, glide : wr, obliquity or distortion; as, wry, wrest, wrestle, wring, wrong, wrangle, wrath, &c.: sw, silent agitation, or lateral' motion; as sway, swing, swerve, sweep, swim : sl, a gentle fall or less observable motion ; as, slide, slip, sly, slit, slow, slack, sling : sp, dissipation or expansion ; as, spread, sprout, sprinkle, split, spill, spring.
8. Terminations in ash indicate something acting nimbly and sharply; as, crash, dash, rash, flash, lash, slash : terminations in ush, something acting more obtusely and dully; as, crush, brush, hush, gush, blush. The learned author produces a great many more examples of the same kind, which seem to leave no doubt that the analogies of sound have had some influence on the formation of words. At the same time, in all speculations of this kind, there is so much room for fancy to operate, that they ought to be adopted with much caution in forming any general theory.
CHAMBERS. ROBERT CHAMBERS, a noted Scottish writer and publisher, remarkable for his energy and industry, was born in 1801. He, with his brother William, commenced trade in book-shops in Edinburgh; and, subsequently, became author and publisher. The brothers are completely identified with the cheap and useful literature of the day, in this country, as well as in the United Kingdom.
1 Strid' u lous, making a creaking form, design, effects, etc., or in the sound.
relations borne to other objects. ? A năl' o gous, correspondent; • Lăt' er al, pertaining or belong. having a similarity with regard to ing to the side ; from side to side.
64. THE POWER OF WORDS.
CORDS are most effective when arranged in that order
which is called style. The great secret of a good style, we are told, is to have proper words in proper places. To marshal one's verbal battalions in such order that they must bear at once upon all quarters of a subject, is certainly a great art. This is done in different ways. Swift, Temple,' Addison, Hume,' Gibbon, Johnson, Burke,' are all great generals in the discipline of their verbal armies, and the conduct of their paper wars. Each has a system of tactics of his own, and excels in the use of some particular weapon.
2. The tread of Johnson's style is heavy and sonorous, resembling that of an elephant or a mail-clad warrior. He is fond of leveling an obstacle by a polysyllabic battering-ram. Burke's words are continually practicing the broad sword exercise, and sweeping down adversaries with very stroke. Arbuthnot," “plays his weapon like a tongue of flame.” Addison draws up his light infantry in orderly array, and marches through sentence after sentence, without having his ranks disordered or his line broken.
3. Luther® is different. His words are “half battle ;" "his smiting idiomatic phrases seem to cleave into the věry secret of
* Jonathan Swift, of English de- Edinburgh, Scotland, April 26th, scent, author of the“ Travels of Lem- 1711, and died in August, 1776. uel Gulliver," was born at Dublin, in Edmund Burke, a celebrated November, 1667. In the spring of British orator, statesman, and philos1713 he was appointed Dean of St. opher, was born at Dublin, Jan. 1st, Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. As a 1730, and died July 8th, 1797. writer of plain, pure, vigorous, idio- 6 John Arbuthnot, an eminent matic Er Swift had no equal; English physician of the 17th cenand he had hardly any superior as a tury, but more distinguished as a satirist. He died in October, 1745. man of wit and letters; the associate
• Sir William Temple, an eminent of Popeand Swift, and the companion statesman and writer, born at Lon- of Bolingbroke at the court of Queen don, in 1628, and died in 1700. Anne: born in 1675, and died in 1735.
• David Hume, one of the most Martin Luther, the great Gercelebrated historians and philoso- man reformer, was born November phers of Great Britain, author of a 10th, 1483, and died on the 18th of “ History of England," was born at February, 1546.
the matter.” Gibbon's legions are heavily armed, and march with precision and dignity to the music of their own tramp. They are splendidly equipped, but a nice eye can discern a little rust beneath their fine apparel, and there are suttlers in his camp who lie, cog, and talk gross obscenity. Macaulay, brisk, lively, keen, and energetic, runs his thoughts rapidly through his sentence, and kicks out of the way every word which obstructs his passage. He reins in his steed only when he has reached his goal, and then does it with such celerity that he is nearly thrown backward by the suddennèss of his stoppage.
4. Gifford's' words are moss-troopers, that waylay innocent travelers and murder them for hire. Jeffrey is a fine “lance," with a sort of Ar'ab swiftness in his movement, and runs an iron-clad horseman through the eye before he has had time to close his helmet. John Wilson's’ camp is a disorganized mass, who might do effectual service under better discipline, but who under his lead are suffered to carry on a rambling and predatory warfare, and disgrace their general by flagitious excesses. Sometimes they steal, sometimes swear, sometimes drink, and some
5. Swift's words are porcupine's quills, which he throws with uněrring aim at whoever approaches his lair. All of Ebenezer Elliot's words are gifted with huge fists, to pummel and bruise. Chatham. and Mirabeau throw hot shot into their opponents' magazines. Talfourd's forces are orderly and disciplined, and march to the music of the Doriän flute; those of Keats' keep time to the tones of the pipe of Phoebus ; ' and the hard, harsh
· William Gifford, a celebrated greatestoratorsand writersof France, English writer, was born in 1756, and a leader of the revolution, was and died in 1826.
born in 1749, and died in 1791. • John Wilson, a well-known and Thomas Noon Talfourd, an able very eminent Scottish writer, was English poet and prose writer, an born in 1785, and died in 1854. advocate, judge, and member of Par
* Ebenezer Elliot, a genuine poet, liament, beloved for his social virtues, the celebrated “Corn Law Rhymer," was born in 1795, and died in 1854. was born in 1781, and died in 1849. * John Keats, a true poet, born in
* Chatham, William Pitt, Earl of London, in 1796, and died at Rome, Chatham, one of the most celebrated in 1820. of British statesmen and orators, Phæbus, the Bright or Pure, an born November 15th, 1708, and died epithet of Apollo, used to signify the May 11th, 1778.
brightness and purity of youth, also Mirabeau, (mé'rå bd), one of the applied to him as the Sun-god.