« السابقةمتابعة »
hood, and the knowledge of the inviolable holiness of the time, the mellow cadences of a church bell give to the hush of the country Sabbath, a holiness to which only a desperate heart could be insensible.
Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for abil. ity. Their chief use, for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business. Expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars one 5 by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a 10 scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience; for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, 15 simple men admire them, and wise men use them: for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh 20 and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read
wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books 25 also, may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, 30 and writing an exact man: and therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not.
Influence of Human Knowledge.-E. EVERETT.
We are composed of two elements: the one, a little dust caught up from the earth, to which we shall soon return; the other, a spark of that divine intelligence, in which and through which we bear the image of our Creator. By knowledge, the wings of the intellect are 5 spread;- by ignorance, they are closed and palsied, and the physical passions are left to gain the ascendency. Knowledge opens all the senses to the wonders of creation ; ignorance seals them up, and leaves the animal propensities unbalanced by reflection, enthusiasm, and 10 taste. To the ignorant man, the glorious pomp of day, the sparkling mysteries of night, the majestic ocean, the rushing storm, the plenty-bearing river, the salubrious breeze, the fertile field, the docile animal tribes, the broad, the various, the unexhausted domain of nature, are 15 a mere outward pageant, poorly understood in their character and harmony, and prized only so far as they min
ister to the supply of sensual wants. How different the scene to the man whose mind is stored with knowledge ! For bim the mystery is unfolded, the veil lifted up, as 20 one after another he turns the leaves of the great volume of creation, which is filled in every page with the characters of wisdom, power, and love; with lessons of truth the most exalted; with images of unspeakable loveliness and wonder; arguments of Providence; food for medi- 25 tation;
themes of praise. One noble science sends him to the barren hills, and teaches him to survey their broken precipices. Where ignorance beholds nothing but a rough inorganic mass, instruction discerns the intelligible record of primal convulsions of the world; the 30 secrets of ages before man was; the landmarks of the elemental struggles and throes of what is now the terraqueous globe. Buried monsters, of which the race are now extinct, are dragged out of deep strata, dug out of eternal rocks, and brought almost to life, to bear witness 35 to the power that created them. Before the admiring student of nature has realized all the wonders of the elder world, thus, as it were, recreated by science, another delightful instructress, with her microscope in her hand, bids him sit down, and learn at least to know the 40 universe in which he lives, and contemplate the limbs, the motions, the circulations of races of animals, disporting in their tempestuous ocean — a drop of water. Then, while his whole soul is penetrated with admiration of the power which has filled with life, and motion, 45 and sense, these all but non-existent atoms, -oh! then, let the divinest of the muses, let astronomy approach, and take him by the hand; let her
" Come, but keep her wonted state, With even step and musing gait,
50 And looks commencing with the skies, Her wrapt soul sitting in her eyes :"
Let her lead him to the mount of vision ; let her turn her heaven-piercing tube to the sparkling vault; through that let him observe the serene star of evening, and see 55 it transform into a cloud-encompassed orb, a world of rugged mountains and stormy deeps; or behold the pale beams of Saturn, lost to the untaught observer amidst myriads of brighter stars, and see them expand into the broad disk of a noble planet, — the seven attendant 60 worlds, — the wondrous rings, – a mighty system in itself, borne at the rate of twenty-two thousand miles an hour, on its broad pathway through the heavens; and then let him reflect that our great solar system, of which Saturn and his stupendous retinue are but a 65 small part, fills itself, in the general structure of the universe, but the space of one fixed star; and that the power which filled the drop of water with millions of living beings, is present and active throughout this illimitable creation! Yes, yes,
“ The undevout astronomer is mad!"
Sublimity of Ossian's Poems.-BLAIR.
All the circumstances of Ossian's composition are favorable to the sublime, more perhaps than to any other species of beauty. Accuracy and correctness, artfully connected narrations, exact method and proportion of parts, we may look for in polished times. The gay and 5 the beautiful will appear to more advantage in the midst of smiling scenery and pleasurable themes. But amidst the rude scenes of nature, amidst the rocks and torrents,
and whirlwinds and battles, dwells the sublime. It is the thunder and lightning of genius. It is the offspring 10 of nature, not of art. It is negligent of all the lesser graces, and perfectly consistent with a certain noble disorder. It associates naturally with that grave and solemn spirit which distinguishes our author. For the sublime an awful and serious emotion, and is heightened 15 by all the images of Trouble, and Terror, and Darkness. Simplicity and conciseness are never-failing characteristics of the style of a sublime writer.
He rests on the majesty of his sentiments, not on the pomp of his expressions. The main secret of being 20 sublime, is to say great things in few and plain words ; for every superfluous decoration degrades a sublime idea. The mind rises and dwells, when a lofty description or sentiment is presented to it, in its native form. But no sooner does the poet attempt to spread out this 25 sentiment or description, and to deck it round and round with glittering ornaments, than the mind begins to fall from its elevation; the transport is over; the beautiful may remain, but the sublime is gone. Hence the concise and simple style of Ossian gives greåt advantage to 30 bis sublime conceptions, and assists them in seizing the imagination with full power.
Influence of Wordsworth upon Poetical Taste.
H. T. TUCKERMAN.
It is not easy to estimate the happy influence Wordsworth has exerted upon poetical taste and practice, by the example he has given of a more simple and artless