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featured battalions of Maginn,' are always preceded by a brass band. Hallam's' word-infantry can do much execution, when they are not in each other's way. Pope's phrases are either daggers or rapiërs.

6. Willis's words are often tipsy with the champagne of the fancy, but even when they reel and stagger they keep the line of grace and beauty, and though scattered at first by a fierce onset from graver cohorts, soon reünite without wound or loss. John Neal's forces are multitudinous, and fire briskly at every thing. They occupy all the provinces of letters, and are nearly useless from being spread over too much ground. Everett's weapons are ever kept in good order, and shine well in the sun, but they are little calculated for warfare, and rarely kill when they strike. Webster's words are thunder-bolts, which sometimes miss the Titans at whom they are hurled, but always leave enduring marks when they strike.

7. Hazlitt's' verbal army is sometimes drunk and surly, sometimes foaming with passion, sometimes cool and malignant; but drunk or sober, are ever dangerous to cope with. Some of Tom Moore's words are shining dirt, which he flings with excellent aim. This list might be indefinitely extended, and arranged with more regard to merit and chronology. My own words, in this connection, might be compared to raggèd, undisciplined militia, which could be easily routed by a charge of horse, and which are apt to fire into each other's faces. WHIPPLE.

E. P. WHIPPLE, one of the youngest and most brilliant of American writers, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on the 8th of March, 1819. When four years of age, his family removed to Salem, where he attended various schools until he was fifteen, when he entered the Bank of General Interest in that city as a clerk. In his eighteenth year, he went to Boston, where he has ever since been occupied mainly with commercial pursuits. Although, from the age of fourteen, Mr. Whipple has been a writer for the press, occasionally writing remarkably well, he was only known as a writer to his few associates and confidants until 1843, when he published in the Boston Miscellany paper on Macaulay, rivaling in analysis, and reflection, and richness of diction, the best productions

· William Maginn, L.L. D., an able ar, one of the greatest British hisBritish writer of prose and poetry, a torians, author of “ View of the State frequentcontributor to “Blackwood's of Europe during the Middle Ages," Magazine,” the founder of “Frazer's born in 1777, and died Jan. 21st, 1859. Magazine,” was born at Cork, in 3 William Hazlitt, a well-known 1794, and died at Walton-on-the and very able British essayist and Thames, in 1842.

critic of art and poetry, born in 1778, ? Henry Hallam, a profound schol- and died in 1830.

of that brilliant essayist. He has since published, in the North American Review, articles on the Puritans, American Poets, Daniel Webster as an Author, Old English Dramatists, British Critics, South's Sermons, Byron, Wordsworth, Talfourd, Sydney Smith, and other subjects; in the American Review, on Beaumont and Fletcher, English Poets of the Nineteenth Century, etc.; and in other periodicals, essays and reviewals enough to form several volumes. As a critic, he writes with keen discrimination, cheerful confidence, and unhesitating freedom; illustrating truth with almost unerring precision, and producing a fair and distinct impression of an author. His style is sensuous, flowing, and idiomatic, abounding in unforced antitheses, apt illustrations, and natural grace

V.

65. FROM THE ESSAY ON CRITICISM.

W!

HOEVER thinks a faultless piece to see

Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
In every work regard the writer's end,
Since none can compass more than they intend ;
And, if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
To avoid great errors must the less commit;
Neglect the rules each verbal critic lays;
For not to know some trifles, is a praise.
Most critics, fond of some subservient art,
Still make the whole depend upon a part :
They talk of principles, but notions prize,

And all to one loved folly sacrifice.
2. Some to conceit alone their taste confine,

And glittering thoughts struck out at every line;
Pleased with a work where nothing's just or fit;
One glaring chaos and wild heap of wit.
Poets, like painters, thus unskilled to trace
The naked nature, and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover every part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.
True wit is Nature to advantage dressed,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed;
Something, whose truth convinced at sight we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind.
As shades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modèst plainnèss sets off sprightly wit;

For works may have more wit than does them good,

As bodies perish through excess of blood. 3. Others for language all their care express,

And value books, as women men—for dress :
Their praise is still—the style is excellent:
The sense, they humbly take upon content.
Words are like leaves ; and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense benēath is rarely found.
False eloquence, like the prismatic glass,
Its gaudy colors spreads on every place;
The face of Nature we no more survey,
All glares alike, without distinction gay:
But true expression, like the unchanging sun,
Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon;

It gilds all objects, but it alters none.
4. Expression is the dress of thought, and still

Appears more decent, as more suitable :
A vile conceit in pompous words expressed,
Is like a clown in regal purple dressed ;
For different styles with different subjects sort,
As several garbs, with country, town, and court.
In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold;
Alike fantastic, if too new or old :
Be not the first by whom the new are tried,

Nor yět the last to lay the old aside.
5. But most by numbers judge a poet's sóng ;

And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong. In the bright Muse though thousand charms conspire, Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire ; Who haunt Parnassus' but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to church repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there. These, equal syllables alone require, Though öft the ear the open vowels tire ; While expletives their feeble aid do join, And ten slow words oft creep in one dull line: While they ring round the same unvaried chimes, With sure returns of still expected rhymes ; Par năs' sus, a celebrated mountain in Greece, considered in mythology as sacred to Apollo and the Muses,

11

1

Where'er you find the "cooling western breeze,”
In the next line it “whispers through the trees :"
If crystal streams “ with pleasing murmurs creep,”
The reader's threatened (not in vain) with "sleep"
Then at the last and only couplet, fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless Alexandrine' ends the song,

That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. $ 6. Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know

What's roundly smooth or languishingly slow;
And praise the easy vigor of a line,
Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join,
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiëst who have learned to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence;
The sound must seem an echo to the sense :
Sõft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the cool stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,

The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent rõar. 7. When Ajaxstrives some rock’s vast weight to throw;

The line too labors, and the words move slow :
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims ălong the main :
Hear how Timotheüs'' varied lays surprise,
And bids altern'ate passions fall and rise!

While, at each chānge, the son of Libyan Jove? 1 Al ex ăn' drine, a verse or line num, was one of the swift-footed ser of twelve syllables, so called from a vants of Diana, accustomed to the poem written in French, on the life chase and to war. Virgil represents of Alexander.

her as so swift and light of foot, that * Sir J. Denham, an English wri- shecould run over a field of corn with. ter of verse, born in 1615, and died out bending the stalks, or over the in 1668.

sea without wetting her feet. : Edmund Waller, one of the most Ti mõ' the us, a femous musician famous of the early English poets, and poet, born at Miletus, B. C. 446, born in 1605, and died in 1687. and died in 357, in the ninetieth

* Ajax, one of the Grecian princes year of his age. Also the name of a in the Trojan war, and, next to distinguished flute-player, the favorAchilles, the bravest.

ite of Alexander the Great. Camilla, daughter of King Meta- 'Son of Libyan Jove, a name bus, of the Volscian town of Triver- which Alexander the Greatarrogated.

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Now burns with glory, and then melts with love ;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow;
Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow :
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found,

And the world's victor stood subdued by sound. POPE. ALEXANDER POPE, the poet, to whom English poetry and the English language are greatly indebted, was born May 22d, 1688, in London. He was a very sickly child; and his bodily infirmities remained through life. He never grew to be taller than about four feet; and his deformity and weakness of limbs were so great, that, for several years before his death, he could not dress or undress him. self. Yet, after his twelfth year, he attended no school, but educated himself. The whole of his early life was that of a severe student. He was a poet in infancy. The “Ode to Solitude” dates from his twelfth year. At the age of sixteen he wrote his Pastorals, and his imitation of Chaucer. He soon became acquainted with most of the eminent persons of the day, both in politics and literature. His “Essay on Criticism,” which was composed when he was only twenty-one, is regarded by many as the finest piece of argumentative poetry in the English language. His celebrity was effectually and deservedly secured in 1712, by his first edition of the “Rape of the Lock.” He soon after published "The Messiah," “The Temple of Fame,”

,” “Ode on St. Cecilia's Day,” and “Windsor Forest." His translation of the Iliad, published by subscription, from 1715 to 1720, produced to the author more than £5,000. His edition of Shakspeare, and his Odyssey, appeared in 1725. The “Essay on Man," and several other valuable poems, appeared in 1738. He died in May, 1744. For a description of Pope's fine poetic endowments, see the next exercise.

VI.

66. PARALLEL BETWEEN POPE AND DRYDEN.

POPF

OPE professed to have learned his poëtry from Dryden,

whom, whenever an opportunity was presented, he praised through his whole life with unvaried liberality ; and perhaps his character may receive some illustration, if he be compared with his master.

2. Integrity of understanding, and nicety of discernment, were not allotted in a less proportion to Dryden than to Pope. The rectitude of Dryden's mind was sufficiently shown by the dismission of his poëtical prejudices, and the rejection of unnatural thoughts and rugged numbers. But Dryden never desired to apply all the judgment that he had. He wrote, and professed to write, merely for the people; and when he pleased others, he contented himself. 3. He spent no time in struggles to rouse lātent powers ;

he never attempted to make that better which was already good, nor often to mend what he must have known to be faulty. He

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