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subsiding of light and sound, take upon him up of various pieces inlaid'— Stubborn to give any opinion at all.
glebe' is from Gay; • drive afield' from MilNORTH. My boy, Talboys.
ton; 'sturdy stroke' from Spenser. Such is Talboys. “And leave the world to dark- too much the system of Gray's composition, ness and to me.” Ay–into his hut goes the and therefore such the cause of his imperploughman, and leaves the world and me to fections. Purity of language, accuracy of darkness—which is coming—but not yet thought, and even similarity of rhyme, all come—the Poet knows it is coming—near at give way to the introduction of certain poethand its coming glooms; and Darkness shows ical expressions; in fact, the beautiful jewel, her divinity as she is preparing to mount her when brought, does not fit into the new setthrone.
ting or socket. Such is the difference beNorth. Nothing can be better.
tween the flower stuck into the ground and Talbuys. “ Now fades the glimmering those that grow from it.” Talboys ? landscape on the sight.' Here the incident,
Buller. Why not-Buller ? instead of being progressive, falls back, and Talboys. I give way to the gentleman. makes the picture confused and inharmoni BULLER. Not for worlds would I take the ous.” Confused and inharmonious! By no word out of any man's mouth. manner of means. Nothing of the sort. TALBOYS. Gray took “stubborn glebe" There is no retrogression—the day has been from Gay. Why from Gay? It has been unwilling to die-cannot believe she is dying familiar in men's mouths from the introduc-and cannot think ’tis for her the curfew is tion of agriculture into this İsland. May tolling ; but the Poet feels it is even so; the not a Saxon gentleman say “drive their glimmering and the fading, beautiful as they teams a-field” without charge of theft from are, are sure symptoms—she is dying into Milton, who said “ drove a-field ?” Who Evening, and Evening will soon be the dying first said “Gee-ho, Dobbin?” Was Speninto Night; but to the Poet's eye how beau ser the first—the only man before Milton tiful the transmutations ! Nor knows he who used “ "sturdy stroke ?” and has nothat the Moon has arisen, till, at the voice body used it since Gray ? of the night-bird, he looks up the ivied Buller. You could give a church-tower, and there she is, whether full, stroke" yourself, Talboys. What's your waning, or crescent, there are not data for weight ? the Astronomer to declare.
TALBoys. Gray's style is sometimes too North. My friend, Mr. Mitford says of composite-you, yourself, sir, would not dethe line, “ No more shall rouse them from ny it is so—but Mr. Mitford's instances here their lowly bed”—That “here the epithet are absurd, and the charge founded on them lowly, as applied to bed, occasions an ambi- false. Gray seldom, if ever-say never, guity, as to whether the Poet means the bed “sacrifices purity of language, and accuracy on which they sleep, or the grave in which of thought,” for the sake of introducing cer, they are laid," and he adds, “ there can be tain poetical expressions. “All give way" no greater fault in composition than a doubt is a gross exaggeration. The beautiful ful meaning.”
words of the brethren, with which his loving Talboys. There cannot be a more touch- memory was stored, came up in the hour of ing beauty. Lowly applies to both. From imagination, and took their place among the their lowly bed in their lowly dwellings words as beautiful of his own congenial inamong the quick, those joyous sounds used spirations; the flowers he transplanted from to awaken them; from their lowly bed in poetry " languished not, grew dim, nor their lowly dwellings among the dead, those died;" for he had taken them up gently by joyous sounds will awaken them never more: the roots, and with some of the old mould but a sound will awaken them when He comes adhering to their tendrils, and, true florist as to judge both the quick and the dead; and he was, had prepared for them a richest soil for them there is Christian hope-from
in his own garden, which he held from na" Many a holy text around them strewed ture, and which the sun and the dew of
That teach the rustic moralist to die.” nature nourished, and will nourish forever. NORTH.
BULLER. That face is not pleasant, sir.
Nothing so disfigures a face as envy. Old “Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe hath broke; Poets at last grow ugly all— but you, sir,
How jocund did they drive their team afield ! How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!"
are a Philosopher—and on your benign
countenance 'twas but a passing cloud. This stanza--says Mr. Mitford—“is made 1 There—you are as beautiful as ever-how
page or two.
comely in critical old age! Any farther | the joyous sunshine for an hour privileged to fault to find with our friend Mitford ? be happy in a world of grief.
Buller. Let's change the subject, sir. NORTH.
May I ask what author you have in your
other hand ? “On some fond breast the parting soul relies, North. Alison on Taste.
Some pious drops the closing eye requires, Buller. You don't say so! I thought Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
you quoted from memory. Even in our ashes live their wonted fires."
North. So I did; but I have dog-eared a “• Pious drops’ is from Ovid-piæ lachrymæ ; "closing eye' is from Pope voice of Pavilion-only Newspapers—and Magazines
BULLER. I see no books lying about in the nature' from the Anthologia, and the last
-and Reviews—and trash of that kindline from Chaucer - Yet on our ashes cold
North. Without which, you, my good is fire preken. From so many quarries are fellow, could not live a week. the stones brought to form this elaborate
Buller. The Spirit of the Age! The Mosaic pavement." I say, for "
I say, for “piæ lachrymæ” all honor to Ovid—for “ pious drops” from hand to mouth on Periodical Literature.
Age should be ashamed of herself for living all honor to Gray. "Closing eye” is not The old Lady should indeed, sir. If the from Pope's Elegy; “voice of nature” is not Pensive Public conceits herself to be the from the Anthologia, but from Nature herself; Chaucer's line may have suggested
North. Let us help to make her so. I Gray's, but the reader of Chaucer knows have a decent little Library of some three that Gray's has a tender and profound mean
hundred select volumes in the Van-my ing which is not in Chaucer's at all and he Plate-chest—and a few dozens of choice knows, too, that Mr. Mitford is not a reader
wines for my friends—of Champagne, which of Chaucer—for were he, he could not have
you, Buller, call small beerwritten “ashes” for “ashen." There were
Buller. I retracted and apologized. Is no quarries—there is no Mosaic. Mosaic that the key of the Van at your watchpavement! Worse, if possible-more os
chain ? tentatiously pedantic-even than stuck in
North. It is. So many hundred people flowers, jewels, settings, and sockets.
about the Encampment—sometimes among Talboys. The stanza is sacred to sorrow. North. “ From this Stanza,” quoth Mit- search of the picturesque, and perhaps the
them suspicious strangers in paletots in ford, “ the style of the composition drops pecuniary—that it is well to intrust the key into a lower key; the language is plainer, to my own body-guard. It does not weigh and is not in harmony with the splendid and
And ihal lock is not to be picked elaborate diction of the former part.”. This by the ghost of Huffey White. objection is disposed of by what I said some
SEWARD. But of the volume in hand, sir ?
North. BULLER. Half an hour ago—on Grayish-ond Book of the Georgics,” says Mr. Alison,
In that fine passage in the SecNorth. And I have only this farther to native country, after these fine lines
“ in which Virgil celebrates the praises of his say, gentlemen, that though the language is plainer-yet it is solemn; nor is it unpoetical Hic ver assiduum, atque alienis mensibus æstas ; —for the hoary-headed swain was moved as Bis gravidæ pecudes, his pomis utilis arbos. he spake; the style, if it drop into a lower At rabida tigres absunt, et sæva leonum key, is accordant with that higher key on Semina : nec miseros fallunt aconita legentes : which the music was pitched that has not Nec rapit immensos orbes per humum, neque tanto yet left our hearing. “An Elegy is not an
Squameus in spiram tractu se colligit anguis.' Ode--the close should be mournful as the openiny-with loftier strain between—and it There is no reader whose enthusiasm is not is so; and whatever we might have to say of checked by the cold and prosaic line which the Epitaph—its final lines are “awful”. -as follows, every man must have felt them to be—whether thought on in our own lonely night-room * Adde tot egregias urbes, operumque laborem.' -in the Churchyard of Granchester, where it is said Gray mused the Elegy-or by that The tameness and vulgarity of the tradition Burial-ground in Inishail-or here afloat in dissipates at once the emotion we had shared
with the Poet, and reduces him, in our opin- | is very beautiful-brings the whole under ion, to the level of a mere describer." the domain of Poetry, by singular Pictu
SEWARD. Cold and prosaic line! Tame-resqueness, and by gathering the whole past ness and vulgarity! I am struck mute. history of Italy up-fetching it in with a
North. I have no doubt that Mr. Alison word-antiquos. distressed himself with “ Adde." It is a word SEWARD. I can form no conjecture as to from a merchant's counting-house, reckoning the meaning of Mr. Alison's objections. He up his gains. And so much the better. quotes a few lines from the “Praise of Italy," Virgil is making out the balance sheet of and then one line which he calls prosaic, and Italy—he is inventorying her wealth. Mr. would have us to hold up our hands in wonAlison would have every word away from der at the lame and impotent conclusion—at reality. Not so the Poet. Every now and the sudden transformation of Virgil the poet then, they—the Poets-amuse themselves into Virgil the most prosaic of Prosers. You with dipping their pencils into the real, have said enough already, sir, to prove that the common, the everyday, the homely. he is in error even on his own showing ;—but By so doing they arrest belief, which above how can this fragmentary—this piecemeal everything they desire to hold fast. I mode of quotation—so common among critics should not wonder if you might catch Spen- of the lower school, and so unworthy of ser at it, even. Shakspeare is full of it. those of the higher-have found favor with There is nothing else prosaic in the passage; Mr. Alison, one of the most candid and most and if Virgil had had the bad taste to say enlightened of men? Some accidental pre"Ecce," instead of “ Adde," I suppose no judice from mere carelessness—but, once fault would have been found.
formed, retained in spite of the fine and true SEWARD. But what can Mr. Alison mean Taste which, unfettered, would have felt the by the charge of tameness and vulgarity ? fallacy, and vindicated his admired Virgil. NORTH. I have told you,
North. The “Laudes”-to which the SEWARD. You have not, sir.
Poet is brought by the preceding bold, North. I have, sir.
sweeping, winged, and poetical strain about SEWARD. Yes-yes-yes. “ Adde” is the indigenous vines of Italy–have two-fold vulgar! I cannot think so.
root—Trees and the glory of LANDS. VirNorth. The Cities of Italy, and the " ope- gil kindles on the double suggestion—the rum labor," always have been and are an ad trees of Italy compared to the trees of other miration. The words “Egregias urbes” sug- regions. They are the trees of primary human gest the general stateliness and wealth service and gladness—Oil and Wine. For
operumque laborem,” the particular build- see at once the deep, sound natural ground ings — Temples, Basilicas, Theatres, and in human wants-the bounty of Nature-of Great Works of the lower Utility. A sum. Mother Earth—“whatever Earth, all-bearmary and most vivid expression of a land ing Mother, yields"—to her human children. possessed by intelligent, civilized, active, That is the gate of entrance; but not prospirited, vigorous, tasteful inhabitants—also saically—but two gate-posts of a most poetan eminent adorning of the land.
ical mythus-fed husbandman. For we have Seward. Lucretius says, that in spring Jason's fire-mouthed Bulls ploughing, and the Cities are in flower—or on flower -or a Cadmus-sown teeth of the dragon springing flower— with children. And Lucan, at the up in armed men. Then comes, instead, beginning of the Pharsalia, describes the mild, benign, Man-loving Italy—“gravidæ Ancient or Greek Cities desolate. They fruges”—the heavy-eared corn-or rather were fond and proud of their “tot egregiæ big-teeming — the juice of Bacchus — the urbes” as the Modern Italians are—and with Olives, and the “broad herds of Cattle." good reason.
Note-ye Virgilians--the Corn of Book North. How judiciously the Critics stop First—the Oil and Wine of Book Secondshort of the lines that would overthrow their and the Cattle of Book Third—for the suscriterion always! The present case is an ex- taining Thought—the organic life of his traordinary example. Had Mr. Alison looked Work moves in his heart. to the lines immediately following, he would BULLER. And the Fourth—Bees-honey not have objected to that One. For —and honey-makers are like Milkers—in a
way small Milch-cows.
North. They are. Once a-foot-or a-wing “ Tot congesta manu præruptis oppida saxis,
-he hurries and rushes along, all through Fluminaque antiquos subter labentia muros" the “ Laudes.” The majestic victim-Bull of
the Clitumnus-the incipient Spring-the “ Adde tot egregias urbes, operumque laborem, double Summer—the absence of all enven Tot congesta manu præruptis oppida saxis, omed and deadly broods-tigers-lions
Fluminaque antiquos subter labentia muros.' aconite—serpents. This is NATURE'S FAVOR. Then Man's Works—cities and forts—(rock
The first line
grasps in one handful all the fortresses)—the great lakes of Northern mighty, fair, wealthy Cities of Italy—the Italy-showing Man again in their vast edi- second all the rock-cresting Forts of Italyfications. Then Nature in veins of metals from the Alpine head to the sea-washed precious or useful—then Nature in her
foot of the Peninsula. The collective One
production of Man—the Marsi—the Sabellian Thought of the Human Might and Glory of youth—the Ligurian inured to labor—and Italy—as it appears on the countenance of the Volscian darters—then single mighty tration in the girdled Towns and Cities of
the Land-or visible in its utmost concenshapes and powers of Man-Romans—the
Men. Decii, the Marii, the Camilli,
Buller. “ Adde” then is right, Seward. Scipiadas duros bello, et te, maxime Cæsar,"
On that North and you are at one.
NORTH. Yes, it is right, and any other The King of Men—the Lord of the Earth- word would be wrong. Adde! Note the the pacificator of the distracted Empire - sharpness, Buller, of the significance—the which, to a Roman, is as much as to say vivacity of the short open sound. Fling it the World. Then—hail Saturnian Land! out--ring it out—sing it out. Look at Mother of Corn! Saturnian, because golden the very repetition of the powerful "Tor” Saturn had reigned there—Mother, I sup
-"tot egregias”—" lol congesta"-witnesspose the rather because in his time corn ing by one of the first and commonest rules sprung unsown--sine semine—She gave it in the grammar of rhetoric—whether Virgil from out of her own loving and cherishing speaks in prose or in fire. bosom. To Thee, Italy, sing I my Ascræan
BULLER. In fire. or Hesiodic song. The Works and Days
North. Mr. Alison then goes on to say, the Greek Georgics are his avowed prototype
" that the effect of the following nervous and --rude prototype to magnificence-like the beautiful lines, in the conclusion of the same Arab of the Desert transplanted to rear his Book, is nearly destroyed by a similar defect. empire of dazzling and picturesque civiliza- After these lines, tion in the Pyrenean Peninsula. BULLER. Take breath, sir. Virgil said
“Hanc olim veteres vitam coluêre Sabini, well
Hanc Remus et Frater; sic fortis Etruria crevit,
Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma ;” " Adde tot egregias urbes operumque laborem.”
We little expect the following spiritless con
clusion: SEWARD. Allow me one other word. Virgil in the vivid lines quoted with admiration by Septemque una sibi muro circumdedit arces." Mr. Alison-lauds his beloved Italy for the absence of wild beasts and serpents—and he SEWARD. Oh! why does Mr. Alison call that magnifies the whole race of serpents by his line spiritless ? picture of One—the Serpent King-yet with North. He gives no reason-assured by subjects all equal in size to himself in our his own dissatisfaction, that he has but to imagination. The Serpent is in the Po-quote it, and leave it in its own naked imetry, but he is not in Italy. Is this a false potence. artifice of composition—à vain ornament ? SEWARD. I hope you do not think it spiritOh, no! He describes the Saturnian Land- less, sir, the mother of corn and of men-bounteous, North. I think it contains the concenbenign, golden, maternal Italy. The nega- trated essence of spirit and of power. Let tion has the plenitude of life, which the fabu- any one think of Rome, piled up in greatlous absence of noxious reptiles has for the ness, and grandeur, and glory—and a Wall sacred Island of Ierne.
round about—and in a moment bis imaginaBuller. Erin-go-bragh!
tion is filled. What sort of a Wall ? A Seward. Suddenly he sees another vision garden wall to keep out orchard thieves--or —not of what is absent but present; and a modern wall of a French or Italian town then comes the line arraigned and con to keep out wine and meat, that they may demned - followed by lines as great come in at the gate and pay toll; I trow
But a Wall against the World armed mournful apostrophe of an Italian Poet, who and assailing! Remember that Virgil saw saw, in the latter ages, his refined but enerRome—and that his hearers did—and that vated countrymen trampled under the foot in his eyes and theirs she was Empress of the of a more martial people from far beyond inhabited Earth. She held and called her- the Alps. self such—it was written in her face and on NORTH. Good Manners giving a vital enher forehead. The visible, tangible splendor ergy and efficacy to good Laws in these and magnificence meant this, or they meant few words, gentlemen, may be comprised the nothing. The stone and lime said this—and needful constituents of National Happiness Virgil's line says it, sedately and in plain, and Prosperity—the foremost conditions. simple phrase, which yet is a Climax.
TALBOYS. Ay-ay-sir. For good Laws Seward. As the dreaded Semiramis was without good Manners are an einpty breathflesh and blood-corporeal-made of the whilst good Manners ask the protecting and four elements—yet her soul and her empiry preserving succor of good Laws. But the spoke out of her—so spake they from the good Manners are of the first necessity, for Face of Rome.
they naturally produce the good Laws. NORTH. Ay, Seward-put these two things NORTH. What does history show, Taltogether—the Aspect that speaks Domina- boys, but nations risen up to flourish in tion of the World, and the Wall that girds wealth, power, and greatness, that with corher with strength impregnable—and what rupted and luxurious manners have again more could you possibly demand from her sunk from their pre-eminence; whilst another Great Poet?
purer and simpler people has in turn grown SEWARD. Arx is a Citadel-we may say mighty, and taken their room in the world's an Acropolis. Athens had one Arx—so had eye—some hardy, simple, frugal race, perCorinth. One Arx is enough to one Queenly haps, whom the seeming disfavor of nature City. But this Queen, within her one Wall, constrains to assiduous la bor, and who mainhas enclosed Seven Arces—as if she were tain in the lap of their mountains their indeSeven Queens.
pendence and their pure and happy homes. North. Well said, Seward. The Seven Talboys. The Luxury — the invading Hills appeared—and to this day do—to char-Goth and Hun—the dismembering-and acterize the Supremacy of Rome. The Sev new States uprisen upon the ruins of the en-Hilled City! You seem to have said World's fallen Empire. There is one line in everything—the Seven Hills are as a seven Collins' Ode 10 ° Freedom--Mr. North pillared Throne--and all that is in one line, which I doubt if I understand. given by Virgil. Delete it--no, not for a NORTH. Which ? thousand gold crowns.
TalboYS. Buller. Not for the Pigot Diamond—not for the Sea of Light.
Freedom, no-I will not tell North. Imagine Romulus tracing the cir- How Rome before thy weeping face cuit on which the walls were to rise of his Pushed by a wild and artless race little Rome--the walls ominously lustrated From off its wide, ambitious base,
With heaviest sound a giant-statue fellwith a brother's blood. War after war hum
What time the northern Sons of Spoil awoke, bles neighboring town after town, till the And all the blended work of strength and grace, seas that bathe, and the mountains that with many a rude repeated stroke, guard Italy, enclose the confederated Re- And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments public. It is a step-a beginning. East
broke." and West, North and South, Hies the Eagle, dipping its beak in the blood of battle-fields. North. Which? Where it swoops, there fanning away the Talboys. “How Rome before thy weeping pride, and fame, and freedom of nations, face.” with the wafture of its wings. Kingdoms North. Freedom wept at Rome's overand Empires that were, are no more than throw—though she had long been Freedom's Provinces ; till the haughty Roman, stretch-enemy-and though her destroyers were ing out the fact to the limits of his ambitious Freedom's children—and “Spoil's Sons”. desires, can with some plausibility deceive for how could Freedom look unmoved at the himself, and call the edges of the Earth the wreck “of all that blended work of strength boundaries of his unmeasured Dominion. and grace"-though raised by slaves at the
SEWARD. “O Italy! Italy! would Thou beck of Tyrants? It was not always so. wert stronger or less beautiful!"—was the BULLER. Let me, Apollo-like, my dear sir,