« السابقةمتابعة »
and criminal jurisprudence, which are, but now, received as plausible theories by the politicians and economists of Europe? Is it nothing to have been able to call forth, on every emergency, either in war or peace, a body of talents 5 always equal to the difficulty? Is it nothing to have, in less than half a century, exceedingly improved the sciences of political economy, of law, and of medicine, with all their auxiliary branches; to have enriched human knowledge by the accumulation of a great mass of useful 10 facts and observations, and to have augmented the power and the comforts of civilized man, by miracles of mechanical invention? Is it nothing to have given the world examples of disinterested patriotism, of political wisdom, of public virtue; of learning, eloquence, and valor, never 15 exerted save for some praiseworthy end? It is sufficient to have briefly suggested these considerations: every mind would anticipate me in filling up the details.
No,-Land of Liberty! thy children have no cause to blush for thee. What! though the arts have reared few 20 monuments among us, and scarce a trace of the Muse's footstep is found in the paths of our forests, or along the banks of our rivers; yet our soil has been consecrated by the blood of heroes, and by great and holy deeds of peace. Its wide extent has become one vast temple, and hallowed 25 asylum, sanctified by the prayers and blessings of the persecuted of every sect, and the wretched of all nations.
Land of Refuge,-Land of Benedictions! Those prayers still arise, and they still are heard: "May peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces!" 30 "May there be no decay, no leading into captivity, and no complaining in thy streets!" May truth flourish out of the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven !"
LESSON XVI.-THE GENIUS OF DEATH.- -Croly.
[Marked for Emphasis, as applied to Poetry.]
What is DEATH? 'Tis to be FREE!
No more to love, or hope, or fear
To join the great equality:
ALL alike are humble there!
Wraps lord and slave;
Nor pride nor poverty DARES come
Sink, like waves upon the shore:
WHAT's the grandeur of the EARTH
To thy kingdom ALL have gone.
The wondrous band;
Bards, heroes, sages, side by side,
Who DARKENED NATIONS when they died!
Earth has HOSTS; but thou canst show
No step has come;
There fix'd, till the LAST THUNDER's sound
LESSON XVII.-THE DEEP.-J. G. C. BRAINARD.
[To be marked for Emphasis, by the reader.] There's beauty in the deep:
The wave is bluer than the sky;
And though the light shine bright on high,
There 's beauty in the deep.
There's music in the deep:
How little of the sea-nymph's shell,
There's quiet in the deep:
LESSON XVIII.-POPE AND DRYDEN.-Johnson.
[This piece is marked in application of the rules of Inflection, stated in PART I., § viш., page 30.]
Pope professed to have learned his poetry 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 5 compared with his master.
Integrity of understanding, and nicety of discérnment, were not allotted in a less proportion to Drýden than to Pope. The rectitude of Dryden's mind was sufficiently shown by the dismission of his poetical préjudices, and 10 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 óthers, he contented himself. He spent no time in struggles to rouse latent 15 pòwers; he never attempted to make that better which was already good, nor often to ménd what he must have known to be faulty. He wrote, as he tells us, with very little consideration: when occasion or necessity called upon him, he poured out what the present moment hap20 pened to supply, and, when once it had passed the press, ejected it from his mind; for; when he had no pecuniary interest he had no further solicitude.
Pope was not content to satisfy; he desired to excèl, and therefore always endeavored to do his bèst; he did not court the cándor, but dared the judgment of his reader, and, expecting no indulgence from others, he showed none 5 to himself. He examined lines and words with minute and punctilious observation, and retouched every part with indefatigable diligence, till he had left nothing to be forgiven.
For this reason he kept his pieces very long in his 10 hands, while he considered and rèconsidered them.
The only poems which can be supposed to have been written with such regard to the times as might hasten their publicátion, were the two satires of Thirty-eight: of which Dodsley told me, that they were brought to him by the 15 author, that they might be fairly copied. "Every line," said he, "was then written twice over; I gave him a clean trànscript, which he sent some time afterwards to me for the préss, with every line written twice over a second time."
His declaration, that his care for his works ceased at their publicátion, was not strictly true. His parental attention never abandoned them; what he found amiss in the first edition, he silently corrected in those that fòllowed. He appears to have revised the Iliad, and freed 25 it from some of its imperfèctions; and the Essay on Críticism received many improvements, after its first appearance. It will seldom be found that he áltered without adding clearness, élegance, or vigor. Pope had perhaps the judgment of Dryden; but Dryden certainly wanted 30 the diligence of Pope.
In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to Dryden, whose education was more scholàstic, and who, before he became an author, had been allowed more time for stúdy, with better means of information. His 35 mind has a larger ránge, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science. Dryden knew more of man in his general náture, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of 40 Pope by minute attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Drýden, and more cértainty in that of Pope.
Poetry was not the sole praise of either: for both ex
celled likewise in pròse: but Pope did not borrow his prose from his prèdecessor. The style of Dryden is capricious and váried; that of Pope is cautious and ùniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mínd; Pope 5 constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vèhement and rápid; Pope is always smooth, úniform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetátion: Pope's is a 10 velvet làwn, shaven by the síthe and levelled by the roller.
Of génius, that power which constitutes a póet; that quality without which judgment is cold, and knowledge is inért; that energy which collècts, combines, àmplifies, and ánimates; the superiority must, with some hesitation, be 15 allowed to Dryden. It is not to be inferred, that of this poetical vigor Pope had only a little, because Dryden had móre; for every óther writer since Milton, must give place to Pòpe; and even of Dryden it must be said that if he has brighter páragraphs, he has not better poems. 20 Dryden's performances were always hàsty, either excited by some external occasion, or extorted by domestic necèssity; he composed without considerátion, and published without correction. What his mind could supply at call, or gather in one excursion, was all that he sought, and all 25 that he gave. The dilatory caution of Pope enabled him to condénse his sèntiments, to múltiply his images, and to accumulate all that study might prodúce, or chánce might supply. If the flights of Dryden, therefore, are higher, Pope continues longer on the wing. If of Dryden's fire 30 the blaze is brighter, of Pope's the heat is more régular and constant. Dryden often surpasses expectation, and Pópe never falls belòw it. Dryden is read with frèquent astonishment, and Pope with perpétual delight.
LESSON XIX. THE PURITANS.—Macaulay.
The Puritans were men whose minds had derived a peculiar character from the daily contemplation of supèrior béings and etérnal interests. Not content with acknowledging, in general terms, an overrùling Providence, 5 they habitually ascribed évery event to the will of the Great Being, for whose power nothing was too vást, for