« السابقةمتابعة »
deceased, and to assure them of our deep sympathy in their
To live with them is far less sweet distress.
Than to remember theel That they be also desired to lay before the Court of Appeals, the request of this meeting, that a copy of these proceedings be Mr. Willis has expanded the thought, and given it new entereil on the order book of the Court.
illustrations : And that they also cause these proceedings to be published. On motion, the meeting adjourned to attend the funeral of
'As, gazing on the Pleiades, Judge Carr. FRANCIS T. BROOKE, Chairman.
We count each fair and starry one, S. S. Baxter, Secretary,
Yet wander from the light of these
To muse upon the Pleiad gone-
The rose's most enchanting hue
Reminds us but of other hours
Whose roses were all lovely too
The bright ones of this foreign sky,
And mark the smile, and list the song, prove that he is a poet: but whoever has failed to find
And watch the dancers gliding by, the evidences of it there, needs only read a few pieces The fairer still they seem to be, in the volume mentioned below, to be satisfied of their
The more it stirs a thought of thee!' author's claim to that title. It is not intended to assert
The 'Lines on leaving Europe' have three stanzas for him a very high place on the Muses' hill. His own sound taste and good sense would be among the first to almost worthy of Moore's happiest mood. The last of
them refers to the author's young wife, whom he had revolt at an association of him with Byron, Scott, or
married in England: Campbell; far more with the great, earlier masters of song. Perhaps he cannot be raised quite to the level
Adieu, oh fatherland! I see even of James Montgomery, Mrs. Hemans, Rogers, Your while cliff's on th' horizon's rim, Halleck, and Bryant: but the place he merils, if be And though to freer skies I flee, low these, is just below them. His poetry does not
My heart swells, and my eyes are dim!
As knows the dove the task you give her, excite the deepest or stormiest emotions. Scarcely
When loosed upon a foreign shorea sublime passage is to be found in il-either of the
As spreads the rain-drop in the river calm, or of the terrible kind: none, for example, pos
In which it may have flowed beforesessing in ever so small a degree, either the quiet gran.
To England, over vale and mountain, deur of the stanzas to the ocean, in Childe Harold, or
My fancy flew from climes more fair
My blood, ihat knew its parent fountain, the awful magnificence of those describing a tempest
Ran warm and fast in England's air. and shipwreck, in Don Juan, The gentle and tender My mother! In thy prayer to-night affections are those moved by his strains. His breath
There come new words and warmer tears! ings of filial, fraternal, and parental love; his picturings
On long, long darkness breaks the lightof mental suffering; his exhibitions of human feeling, in
Comes home the loved, ihe lost for years ! whatever form he has occasion to display it; are true,
Sleep safe, oh wave-worn mariner!
Fear not, to-night, or storm or sea! forcible, and touching. The images he presents are The ear of hearen bends low to her! sometimes of exquisite beauty, and the most happily He comes to shore who sails with me! appropriate to the subjects they are designed to illus The wind-tost spider needs no token trate.
How stands the tree when lightnings blaze
And by a thread from heaven unbroken, The poem especially named in the title page, is one
I know my mother lives and prays! of the longest in the book; being of nearly 22 pages' length--loose, wide-lined pages, however. We cannot I come-but with me comes another much praise its plot; its catastrophe is the instanta To share the heart once only mine! neous death of the heroine, Melanie,t at the altar,
Thou, on whose thoughts, when sad and lonely, where she discovers that the lover she is about to marry,
One star arose in memory's heaven
Thou, who hast watch'd one treasure only— is her own brother! The next, “Lord Ivon and his
Watered one flower with tears at evendaughter,” of 24 pages, is a better conceived tale, and Room in thy heart! The heart she left more thrillingly told. Both these contain passages
Is darken'd to lend light to ours ! worth quoting; but we hasten on to shorter pieces.
There are bright flowers of care bereft,
And hearts that languish more than flowers, The first stanza of the lines “To — written
She was their light-their very airduring a long sojourn in Europe, has been often copied, Room, mother! in thy heart !-place for her in and justly admired. Its turn of thought bears some
thy prayer!' analogy to that contained in Shenstone's pathetic sen English Channel, May, 1836. tence, • Heu, quanto minus est cum reliquis versari,
"The Dying Alchymist is a successful representation Quam tui meminisse!
of well-imagined horrors. The lonely and comfortless which Moore has translated;
chamber in a solitary tower; the agony of death, 'Though many a gised mind I meet,
trebled by disappointment in the visionary's quest of Though fairest forms I see ;
that mysterious essence which had been the hope of his
lifetime; are depicted with great truth and power, * Melanie and other Poems. By N. P. Willis. New York. The aged sufferer gasps out a soliloquy, of which the Saunders & Oiley. pp 242. 12mo. + To be pronounced Mela-nie, in three syllables ; the accent following is the commencement ;—the italics, ours, lo
mark what we think extraordinary beauties;
on the first.
I did not think to die
With this my mortal eye;
* And yet it is, I feel
And something seems to steal
"And this is death! But why
Would it not leap to fly,
I fear-I fear that this poor life is all !' The scene is closed by these fearfully graphic passages:
'Twas morning, and the old man lay alone.
Brooding in quiet on her lowly nest!' But of all his compositions, Mr. Willis has been most happy in some blank verse narratives of several Scriptural incidents. The tities of these pieces are “The Leper,' 'Christ's Entrance into Jerusalem,” “The Healing of the Daughter of Jairus,' "The Baptism of Christ,' 'The Shunamite,' 'Absalom,' 'Hagar in the Wilderness,' and 'The Widow of Nain.' Three of them strike us with especial admiration : ‘The Leper,' "The Widow of Nain,' and “The Healing of the Ruler's Daughter. He must have very strong eyes, or a very weak head (as Sterne said, with reference to the first scene of Samson Agonistes), who can read any one of the three, without tears. At the hazard of overquotation, we shall copy one of them; founded upon the incident in Luke's Gospel, chapter vii.
"THE WIDOW OF NAIN.
Of comers to the city mart was done,
'Twas now high noon.
, And with a gasping sob, quick as a child's, And an inquiring wildness flashing through The thin, gray lashes of her fever'd eyes, She came where Jesus stood beside the way. He look'd upon her, and his heart was moved. “Weep not!” he said, and, as they stay'd the bicr, And at his bidding laid it at his feet, He gently drew the pall from out her grasp And laid it back in silence from the dead. With troubled wonder the mute throng drew near, And gaz'd on his calm looks. A minute's space He stood and pray'd. Then taking the cold hand He said, “ Arise!" And instantly the breast
Heav'd in its cerements, and a sudden Alush
And my locks are not yet gray ; Ran through the lines of the divided lips,
For it stirs the blood in an old man's heart, And, with a murmur of his mother's name,
And makes his pulses fly, He trembled and sat upright in his shroud.
To catch the thrill of a happy voice, And, while the mourner hung upon his neck,
And the light of a pleasant eye. Jesus went calmly on his way to Nain.'
I have walked the world for fourscore years; 'The Leper' is perhaps even superior still, in beauty
And they say that I am old, and pathos.
And my heart is ripe for the reaper, Death, Throughout the volume, are many pieces of uncom And my years are well nigh told. mon excellence; and detached passages, embodying
It is very true; it is very true ;
I'm old, and “I bide my time :" thoughts fine enough to be enrolled among those uttered
But my heart will leap at a scene like this by the best poets in the language. How expressive is And I half renew my prime. this image of a lovely woman:
Play on, play on; I am with you there, "Never swan
In the midst of your merry ring ; Dreamed on the water with a grace so calm !
I can feel the thrill of the daring jump,
And rush of the breathless swing. And this, of a young girl's innocent buoyancy, con I hide with you in the fragrant hay, irasted with the blighted hopes and seared feelings of And I whoop the smothered call, one who had experienced how 'all is vanity.'
And my feet slip up on the seedy floor,
And I care not for the fall.
'I am willing to die when my time shall come, While mine was ebbing, fast and low,
And I shall be glad to go;
For the world at best is a weary place,
And my pulse is getting low; The following lines, from the “Healing of Jairus' But the grave is dark, and the heart will fail
In treading its gloomy way; Daughter,' present a water scene with more than the vividness of painting :
And it wiles my heart from its dreariness,
To see the young so gay.' 'It was night-And softly o'er the sea of Galilee,
Notwithstanding all this praise, however, there is Danced the breeze-ridden ripples to the shore, some ground for censure. Tipp'd with the silver sparkles of the moon. Our first quarrel is with the metre which Mr. Willis The breaking waves play'd low upon the beach often uses. It is so much out of the common way, that Their constant music; but the air beside Was still as starlight.'
ordinary readers cannot find in it half the pleasure
which the same thoughts would afford, if couched And where can be found a more exquisite picture of in rhyming couplets, or in quatrains with alternate Jesus than follows ?
rhymes;—those old-fashioned, but smoothest, most
transparent, and most captivating forms of poetical "On a rock
diction. Writers who adopt either the spenserian With the broad moonlight falling on his brow, He stood and taught the people.'
stanza, or the more new-fangled one preferred by our
present author, may be assured that they diminish very His hair was parted meekly on his brow, much their chances of popularity ; for both the latter And the long curls from off his shoulders fell are unmanageable and with difficulty understood, by As he leaned forward earnestly, and still
readers whose ear is charmed by the melody while their The same calm cadence, passionless and deep, minds are alive to the meaning, of Campbell, Gold. And in his looks the same mild majesty, And in his mien the sadness inix'd with power,
smith, and Pope. How much better are the metrical Fill'd them with love and wonder.'
forms of these poels adapted to quotation, and there
fore how much more likely to win that fame which ail A great merit of Mr. W.'s poems, is the admirable poets long for, than the really beautiful ideas embodied moral tone that pervades them. There is not an inde in the following stanzas! They are a part of some cent word or allusion : no holding up of villainy, or lines' On a picture of a girl leading her blind mother.' gentlemanly vice, to admiration; no attempt, by sneer
But thou canst hear ! and love or innuendo, to throw ridicule upon any of man's good
May richly on a human tone he pour'd, affections. On the contrary, no one can read the volume,
And the least cadence of a whisper'd word with clear understanding and proper feeling, without
A daughter's love may prove having the generous principles of his nature refined And while I speak thou know'st if I smile, and strengthened. Nor is Mr. W.'s always a tearful Albeit thou canst not see my face the while ! or pensive muse, like that of Mrs. Hemans. Serious,
Yes, thou canst hear! and He she generally is: but now and then, her frolic step and
Who on thy sightless eye its darkness hung, joyous note shew a just consciousness that life has a To the attentive ear, like harps, hath strung due mixture of gladness with its gloom. The piece
Heaven and earth and sea! called “Saturday Afternoon,” is an instance of this.
And 'tis a lesson in our hearts to knowThe supposed speaker is a cheerful old man:
With but one sense the soul may overfiow.' "I love to look on a scene like this,
There is an occasional want of exactness in Mr. Of wild and careless play,
Willis's rhymes. In the last extract, 'love' and 'prove,' And persuade myself that I am not old, l'pour’d' and 'word,' are unnaturally yoked together.
Elsewhere, 'love' is made to rhyme with 'wove;' and We have no objection to fancy-pictures, when they 'flow' with 'bow' (to bend the body.) Let us not be are happily conceived and well drawn: but when they misunderstood. We would not alter a syllable, an falsify Nature or History, they deserve ridicule or accent, or a pause, in several of the pieces here, which reprobation, accordingly as the untruth is merely ludivary from the modes of versification we generally pre-crous, or positively mischievous. The latter imputafer. “Saturday Afternoon," above quoted, is not more tion, certainly, rests upon the verse, which crowns exquisite in conception, than musical and appropriate treason and all baseness, with the laurels of patriotism in its bounding numbers. Many of Moore's poems,- and virtue : which says of Arnold, almost all that ' Birth Days,' for instance-are unsurpassably melodi- could be said of Washington. We entreat Mr. Willis, ous; and print themselves in the memory without an if he loves historic truth and justice, to blot out this effort, and almost without volition on the reader's part. piece from his book. And who can be insensible to the varied flow of Walter Scott's epic verse, so happily commingling sweetness and strength ? But even there, our favorite forms predominate ; and are only sometimes departed from, to
LORD BACON. prevent monotony.
The sense of his verses is not always clear. It was only after thrice reading, that we could discern what the last six lines of the following stanza mean; and
HIS CHARACTER, AND WRITINGS. even now, they seem a jumble of ill assorted and in. The Baconian Philosophy--its chief peculiarity--its end, 'Fruil
-Bacon contrasted with Seneca---superiority of the Baconian, felicitous metaphors, leaving no distinct idea in the
to the ancient Philosophy, even to that of Socrates-still more, mind :
to that of Epicurus-Fruitlessness of ancient philosophy
Why?--its disdain of the merely useful--its disrepute, even "I fear thy gentle loveliness,
before Bacon's time--ils false use, and false estimate, of the Thy witching tone and air,
ting-medicine--difference of Bacon in these respects.
The chief peculiarity of Bacon's philosophy seems
to us to have been this—that it aimed at things altoBut they who kneel at woman's shrine,
gether different from those which his predecessors had
proposed to themselves. This was his own opinion. Breathe on it as they bowYe may ding back the gift again,
Finis scientiarum,' says he, 'a nemine adhuc bene
positus est.'* And again, 'Omnium gravissimus error But the crushed flower will leave a stain.'
in deviatione ab ultimo doctrinarum fine consistit.'t
Nec ipsa meta,' says he elsewhere, 'adhuc ulli, quod But the greatest fault in the whole book, is the hono- sciam,"mortalium posita est et defixa. The more rary tribute to Benedict Arnold. In boyhood, he was carefully his works are examined, the more clearly, we selfish and cruel : in riper years, he added peculation think, it will appear, that this is the real clue to his and swindling to increased selfishness and cruelty: whole system; and that he used means different from later still, he grafted upon those vices, constantly grow. arrive at an end altogether different from theirs.
those used by other philosophers, because he wished to ing more intense in his bosom and in his practice,-a
What then was the end which Bacon proposed to treason unparalleled in its blackness and enormity: himself? It was, to use his own emphatic expression, and the sun of his life went down amid clouds of just FRUIT.' It was the multiplying of human enjoyments contempt, and storms of revenge, drunkenness and ava. and the mitigating of human sufferings. It was the rice. Yet in 'The Burial of Arnold," Mr. Willis calls relief of man's estate.. It was commodis humanis this prodigy of crime the noble sleeper'! and 'the no- vitæ humanæ incommoda.' It was ' dotare vitam hu
inservire.'t It was 'efficaciter operari ad sublevanda blest of the dead! Of him, whose childhood, like Domi- manam novis inventis et copiis.'!! It was 'genus hu. tian's, was signalized by torturing brutes and insects, as manum novis operibus et potestatibus continuo dotare.' well as by oppressing his weaker playmates, * Mr. This was the object of all his speculations in every Willis asks and answers,
department of science,-in natural philosophy, in legis
lation, in politics, in morals. "Whose heart, in generous deed and thought,
Two words form the key of the Baconian doctrineNo rivalry might brook,
utility and progress. The ancient philosophy disdained And yet distinction claiming not ?
to be useful, and was content to be stationary. It dealt There lies he-go and look !'
largely in theories of moral perfection, which were so
sublime that they never could be more than theories; So far from not claiming his share of distinction, Arnola in attempts to solve insoluble enigmas; in exhortations
to the aitainment of unattainable frames of mind. It was greedy even of that which properly belonged to could not condescend to the humble office of ministering others.
to the comfort of human beings. All the schools reOf him, whose last years were those of a drunkard, garded that office as degrading; some censured it as and whose eyes were therefore probably bloodshot, immoral. Once indeed Posidonius, a distinguished his eye-lids inflamed, and his features discolored and himself as to enumerate among the humbler blessings
writer of the age of Cicero and Cæsar, so far forgot bloated, in accordance with the usual effect of drunken. which mankind owed to philosophy, the discovery of ness, Mr. W. says (beautifully, were it not so untruly,) the principle of the arch, and the introduction of the
use of metals. This eulogy was considered as an af'Tread lightly-for 'tis beautiful, That blue-veined eye-lid's sleep,
** The proper aim of science, no man hath as yet determined.” Hiding the eye death left so dull
t'The most grievous of errors is, to miss the true and main
end of learning.' Its slumber we will keep.' [!]
• To promote the good of mankind.'
"To strive to alleviate the ills of human life.' See Mr. Sparks' Life of Arnold.
1.To endow life with new inventions and resources.'
front, and was taken up with proper spirit. Seneca, he said, in one of the most remarkable of his early letvehemently disclaims ihese insulting compliments. ters, 'was so fixed in his mind as it could not be removed,' Philosophy, according to him, has nothing to do with this majestic humility, this persuasion that nothing can teaching men to rear arched roofs over their heads. be too insignificant for the attention of the wisest, which The true philosopher does not care whether he has an is not too insignificant to give pleasure or pain to the arched root or any roof. Philosophy has nothing to do meanest—is the great characteristical dictinction, the with teaching men the uses of metais. She teaches us essential spirit of the Baconian philosophy. We trace to be independent of all material substances, of all me it in all that Bacon has written on physics, on laws, on chanical contrivances. The wise man lives according morals. And we conceive that from this peculiarity all to nature. Instead of attempting to add to the physi- the other peculiarities of his system directly and almost cal comforts of his species, he regrets that his lot was necessarily sprang. not cast in that golden age when the human race had The spirit which appears in the passage of Seneca to no protection against the cold but the skins of wild which we have referred, tainted the whole body of the beasts--no screen from the sun but a cavern. To im- ancient philosophy from the time of Socrates down. pule to such a man any share in the invention or im- wards; and took possession of intellects with which provement of a plough, a ship, or a mill, is an insult. that of Seneca cannot, for a moment, be compared. It "In my own time,' says Seneca, 'there have been pervades the dialogues of Plato. It may be distinctly inventions of this sort, transparent windows, -tubes traced in many parts of the works of Aristotle. Bacon for diffusing warmth equally through all parts of a build. has dropped hints from which it may be inferred, that ing, -short-hand, which has been carried to such per- in his opinion the prevalence of this feeling was in a fection that a writer can ep pace with the most rapid great measure to be attributed to the ivfluence of Sospeaker. But the inventing of such things is drudgery crates. Our great countryman evidently did not consifor the lowest slaves: philosophy lies deeper. It is not der the revolution which Socrates effected in philosophy her office to teach men how to use their hands. The as a happy event; and he constantly mainiained that object of her lessons is to form the soul-Non est, inquam, the earlier Greek speculators, Democritus in particular, instrumentorum ad usus necessarios opifex.'* If the non were, on the whole, superior to their more celebrated were left out, this last sentence would be no bad descrip- successors.* tion of the Baconian philosophy; and would, indeed, Assuredly, if the tree which Socrates planted, and very niuch resemble several expressions in the Novum Plato watered, is to be judged of by its flowers and Organum. "We shall next be told,' exclaims Seneca, leaves, it is the noblest of trees. But if we take the
that the first shoemaker was a philosopher. For our homely test of Bacon,-if we judge of the tree by its own part, if we are forced to make our choice between fruits, -our opinion of it may perhaps be less favorable. the first shoemaker, and the author of the three books When we sum up all the useful truths which we owe 'On Anger,' we pronounce for the shoemaker. It may to that philosophy, to what do they amount? We be worse to be angry than to be wet. But shoes have find, indeed, abundant proofs that some of those who kept millions from being wet; and we doubt whether cultivated it were men of the first order of intellect. Seneca ever kept any body from being angry. We find among their writings incomparable specimens
It is very reluctanily that Seneca can be brought to both of dialectical and rhetorical art. We have no confess that any philosopher bad ever paid the smallest doubt that the ancient controversies were of use in so attention to any thing that could possibly promote far as they served to exercise the faculties of the dispuwbut vulgar people would consider as the well being of tants; for there is no controversy so idle that it may not mankind. He labors to clear Democritus from the dis be of use in this way. But, when we look for something graceful imputation of having made the first arch, and more—for something which adds to the comforts or alleAnacharsis from the charge of having contrived the viates the calamities of the human race, --we are forced potter's wheel. He is forced to own that such a thing to own ourselves disappointed. We are forced to say might happen; and it may also happen, he tells us, that with Bacon, that this celebrated philosophy ended in a philosopher may be swift of foot. But it is not in his nothing but disputation; that it was neither a vineyard character of philosopher that he either wins a race or not an olive ground, but an intricate wood of briers and invents a machine. No, to be sure. The business of thistles, from which those who lost themselves in it, a philosopher was to declaim in praise of poverty with brought back many scratches and no food. two millions sterling out at usury-lo meditate epigram. We readily acknowledge that some of the teachers matic conceits about the evils of luxury, in gardens of this unfruitful wisdom were among the greatest men which moved the envy of sovereignsmio rani about that the world had ever seen. If we admit the justice liberty, while fawning on the insolent and pampered of Bacon's censure, we admit it with regret, similar to freedmen of a tyranı-to celebrate the divine beauty of that which Dante felt when he learned the fate of those virtue with the same pen which had just before wriilen illustrious heathens who were doomed to the first circle a defence of the murder of a mother by a son.
of Hell. From the cant of this philosophy-a philosophy meanly proud of its own unprofitableness—it is delighi.
"Gran duol mi prese al cuor quando lo'ntesi,
Perocché gente di molio valere ful to iurn to the lessons of the great English teacher.
Conobbi che’n quel limbo eran sospesi.'! We can almost forgive all the faulis of Bacon's life when we read that singularly graceful and dignified
But, in truth, the very admiration which we feel for passage:-Ego certe, ut de me ipso, quod res est, loquar, the eminent philosophers of antiquity, forces us to adopt et in iis quæ nunc edo, et in iis quæ in posterum, medi- the opinion, that their powers were systematically mistor, dignitatem ingenii et nominis mei
, si qua sit, sæpius directed. For how else could it be ihat such powers sciens et volens projicio, dum commodis humanis inservi- should effect so little for mankind? A pedestrian may am; quique architectus fortasse in philosophia et scien. show as much muscular vigor on a treadmill as on the tiis esse debeam, etiam operarius ei bajulus, et quidvis highway road. But on the road his vigor will assuredly demum fio cum haud pauca quæ omnino fieri necesse carry him forward ; and on the treadmill he will not sit, alii autem ob innatam superbiam subterfugiant, ipse advance an inch. The ancient philosophy was a treadsustineam et exsequar.'! This philanthropia, which, as
mill, not a path. It was made up of revolving ques.
tions,-of controversies which were always beginning * 'She, I say, is (ort) a mere artisan, to drudge with tools.' again. It was a contrivance for having much exertion
†'If I may be allowed to say so, --1 do often, both in my present and in my meditated works, lay aside the dignity of genius * Norum Organum, Lib. 1, Aph. 71, 79. De Augmentis, Lib. and of repeation (if any I have,) in my zeal for the good of 3. Cap. 4. mankind : and I, who should perhaps be an architect in science Redargutio philosophjarum.
De principiis atque originibus. Cogitata et visa. and philosophy, drudge as a hodman; doing and bearing many † Norum Organum. Lib. 1, Aph. 73. things indispensabic to the work, but which others, through Great sorrow seized my heart, when I heard it, for I knew pride eschew.
that persons of great worth were suspended in that limbo.'