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pinch your ear, and admonish you to return everything that makes a people. In short, to the point from which, in discursive gyra- England, properly the name of the land, is tions, you and Seward have been
intended to be, at the same time, the name NORTH. Like an Eagle giving an Eaglet of the Nation. lessons how to fly
BULLER. You promised solemnly, sir, not“ England, with all thy faults, I love Thee still.” to mention Eagles this evening. North. I did not, sir.
There Cowper speaks to both at once—the Buller. But, then, Seward is no Eaglet- | faults are of the men only—moral—for he he is, and long has been, a full-fledged bird, does not mean fogs, and March east winds, and can fly as well's yourself, sir.
and fever and agues. I love thee—is to the NORTH. There you're right. But then, green fields and the white cliffs, as well as making a discursive gyration round a point to all that still survives of the English heart is not leaving it—and there you're wrong. and thought and character. And this abSilly folk-not you, Buller, for you are a sorption, sir, and compenetration of the two strong-minded, strong-bodied man - say ideas—land into people, people into land“ keep to the point”—knowing that if you the exposition of which might, in good hands, quit it one inch, you will from their range of be made beautiful—is a fruitful germ of Patvision disappear-and then they comfort riotism--an infinite blending of the spiritual themselves by charging you with having and the corporeal. To Virgil
, Rome the melted among the clouds.
city was also Rome the Romans; and, thereBULLER. I was afraid, my dear sir, that fore, sir, those Houses and Palaces, and that having got your Eaglet on your back—or Wall, were to him, as those green fields, and your Eaglet having got old Aquila on his-hills, and streams, and towns, and those cliffs you would sail away with him-or he with are to Us. The girdled-in compendium of you—“to prey in distant isles.”
the Heaven's Favor, and the Earth's Glory NORTH. You promised, solemnly, sir, not and Power. to mention Eagles this evening.
BULLER. I did not, sir. But don't let us “Scilicet et Rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma, quarrel.
Septemque una sibi muro circumdedit arces.” Seward. What does Virgil mean, sir, by “Rerum,” in the line which Mr. Alison Do you all comprehend and adopt my explathinks should have concluded the strain
nation, gentlemen ?
Talboys. I do. “ Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma.”
SEWARD. I ask myself whether Virgil's North. “Rerum”—what does he mean “Rerum Pulcherrima” may not mean “ Fairby “ Rerum ?” Let me perpend. Why, est of Things"-of Creatures—of earthly exSeward, the legitimate meaning of Res, here, istences ?. To a young English reader, probis a State—a Commonwealth. “ The fairest ably that is the first impression. It was, I of Powers--then--of Polities--of States." think, mine. But fairest of earthly States
SEWARD. Is that all the word means here? and Seats of State is so much more idiomatic NORTH. Why, methinks we must explain. and to the purpose, that I conceive it-induObserve, then, Seward, that Rome is the bitable. Town, as England the Island. Thus“ Eng
NORTH. You all remember what Horatio land has become the fairest among the King- sayeth to the soldiers in Hamlet, on the comdoms of the Earth.” This is equivalent, ing and going of the Ghost. good English ; and the only satisfactory and literal translation of the Latin verse. But “In the most high and palmy state of Rome, here, the Physical and the Political are iden- A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, tified—that is, England. England is the The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead name at once of the Island-of so much Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell;
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets ; earth limited out on the surface of the ter- Disasters veiled the sun, and the moist star raqueous globe--and of what besides? Of Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands, the Inhabitants? Yes? but of the inhab Was sick almost to Doomsday with eclipse.” itants (as the King never dies) perpetuated from generation to generation. Moreover, What does Horatio mean by high and palmy of this immortal inhabitation, further made state ? That Rome was in a flourishing conone by blood and speech, laws, manners, and dition ?
BULLER. That, I believe, sir, is the com- | Non-Scholars. And show me the living mon impression. Hitherto it has been mine. Scholar who could speak as Horatio spake.
Nortu. Let it be erased henceforth and Touching the matter that is in all their minds forever.
oppressively, he will transport their minds a Buller. It is erased-I erase it.
flight suddenly off a thousand years, and a North. Read henceforth and forever high thousand miles or leagues—their untutored and palmy State. Write henceforth and minds into the Region of History. He will forever State with a towering Capital. Res! take them to Rome—"a little ere”—and, “ Most high and palmy State” is precisely therefore, before naming Rome, he lifts and and literally " Rerum Pulcherrima.
he directs their imagination—"In the most Seward. At your biddirg—you cannot high and palmy State." There had been Four err.
Great Empires of the World—and he will NORTH. I err not unfrequently—but not by these few words evoke in their minds the now, nor I believe this evening: Horatio, Image of the last and greatest. And now the Scholar, speaks to the two Danish Solobserve with what decision, as well as with diers. They have brought him to be of what majesty, the nomination ensues--0F thoir watch because he is a Scholar—and Rome. they are none.
This relation of distinction Talboys. I feel it, sir. is indeed the ground and life of the Scene. NORTH. Try, Talboys, to render “State"
by any other word, and you will be put to it. “Therefore I have entreated him, along
You may analogize. It is for the Republic With us to watch the minutes of the night;
and City, what Realm or Kingdom is to us That if again this apparition come,
-at once place and indwelling Power. He may approve our eyes, and speak to it.",
· State”-properly Republic—here specifiTALBOYS.
cally and pointedly means Reigning City.
The Ghosts walked in the City-not in the “ Thou art a Scholar-speak to it, Horatio.” Republic.
TALBoys. I think I have you, sir-am not North. You know, Talboys, that Scholars sure. were actual Conjurors, in the mediæval be North. You have me—you are lief, which has tales enow about Scholars in Now suppose that, instead of the solemn, that capacity. Horatio comes, then, pos- ceremonious, and stately robes in which Hosessed with an especial Power; he knows ratio attires the Glorious Rome, he had said how to deal with Ghosts—he could lay one, simply, “in Rome,” or “at Rome,” where if need were.
He is not merely a man of then his Luxarwyla-his leading of their superior and cultivated intellect, whom intel- spirits ? Where his own scholar-enthusilectual inferiors engage to assist them in an asm, and love, and joy, and wonder ? All emergency above their grasp-but he is the gone? And where, Talboys, are they who, very man for the work.
by here understanding "state" for • condiTalboys. Have not the Commentators tion”—which every man alive doessaid as much, sir ?
Talboys. Every man alive?
North. Yes, you
did. they have in plenitude, I say it again—be- Where are they, I ask, who thus oblige Hocause I once did not know it-or think of it ratio to introduce his nomination of Rome --and I suppose that a great many persons -thus nakedly—and prosaically ? Every die believing that the Two resort in the way hackneyer of this phrase-state-as every of general dependence merely on Horatio. man alive hackneys it—is a nine-fold Mur
TALBoys. I believed, but I shall not die derer. He murders the Phrase ; he murders believing so.
the Speech; he murders Horatio; he murNorth. Therefore, the scholarship of Ho- ders the Ghost; he murders the Scene; he ratio, and the non-scholarship of Bernardo murders the Play; he murders Rome; he and Marcellus, strike into the life, soul, es murders Shakspeare-and he murders Me. . sence, ground, foundation, fabric, and organ TalBoys. I am innocent. ization of this First Ghost Scene—sustain North. Why, suppose Horatio to meanand build the whole Play.
“in the most glorious and victorious condiTALBOYS. Eh?
tion of Rome, on the Eve of Cæsar's death, NORTH. Eh? Yes. But to the point in the graves stood tenantless”—You askhand. The Ghost has come and gone; and Where? See where you have got. A stothe Scholar addresses his ates the two | ry told with two terminations of Time, and
none of Place! Is that the way that Shak- ease.” The line here objected to is the life speare, the intelligent and intelligible, recites of the description--and instead of offence, it a fact? No! But my explanation shows is the clenching of the pathos. First of all, the Congruity or Parallelism. “In the most it is that which the poets always will high and palmy State,”—that is, City of have and the critics wont—the NecessiRome-ceremonious determination of Place tated—the Thing itself—the Matter in —“a little ere the mightiest Julius fell,”— hand. It shapes — features - characterizes ceremonious determination of Time.
that particular Murrain. Leave it out— the Talboys. But is not the use of State, sir, one Ox drops dead in the furrow, and the for City, bold and singular ?
Ploughman detaches the other.' It's a great North. It is. For Verse has her own pity, and very surprising—but that is no Speech-though Wordsworth denies it in his PLAGUE. Suddenly he falls, and blood and Preface—and proves it by his Poetry, like foam gush mixed with his expiring breath. his brethren Shakspeare and Milton. The That is a plague. It has terror-affrightlanguage of Verse is rapid-abrept and ab- sensible horror-life vitiated, poisoned in its rupt. Horatio wants the notion of Republic; fountains. Vomil—a settled word, and one because properly the Republic is high and of the foremost, of the reversed, unnatural palmy, and not the wood, stone, and marble. vital function. Besides, it is the true and So he manages an expeditious word that proper word. Besides, it is vivid and picshall include both, and strike you at once. turesque, being the word of the Mouth. The word of a Poet strikes like a flash of Effundit (which they would prefer—I do lightning—it penetrates—it does not stay to not mean it would stand in the verse) is genbe scanned—“probed, vexed, and criticis- eral-might be from the ears. Vomit in ited,”—it illuminates and is gone.
self says mouth. The poor mouth! whose must have eyes—and suffer nobody to shut function is to breathe, and to eat grass, and them. I ask, then-Can any lawful, well- to caress—the visible organ of life—of vivibehaved Citizen, having weighed all this, and fication--and now of mortification. Taken reviewed all these things, again violate the from the dominion of the holy powers, and Poesy of the Avonian Swan, and his own given up to the dark and nameless destroyer. muse-enlightened intelligence, by lending Vomii ore Cruorem !" The verse moans hand or tongue to the convicted and con and groans for him-it may have in it a demned VULGARISM?
death rattle. How much more helpless and TALBOYS. Now, then, and not till now, we hopeless the real picture makes Arator's disThree know the full power of the lines tress! Now, it trislis" comes with effect.
SEWARD. Yes, Virgil, as in duty bound to
do, faced the Cattle Plague in all its hor“Scilicet et Rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma,
Had he not, he would have been false Septemque una sibi muro circumdedit arces.
to Pales, the Goddess of Shepherds—to
Apollo, who fed the herds of Admetus. So NORTH. Another word anent Virgil. Mr. did his Master, Lucretius—whom he emulaAlison -“ There is a still more surpris- ted—equalled, but not surpassed, in execuing instance of this fault in one of the tion of the dismal but inevitable work. The most pathetic passages of the whole Poem, whole land groaned under the visitationin the description of the disease among the nor was it confined to Cattle-it seemed as cattle, which concludes the Third Georgic. if the brute creation were about to perish. The passage is as follows:
But his tender heart, near the close, singled
out from the thousands, one yoke of Steers* Ecce autem duro fumans sub vomere Taurus
in two lines and a half told the death of one Concidit, et mixtum spumis vomit ore crnorem -in two lines and a half told the sadness of Extremosque ciet gemitus; it tristis arator, its owner—and in as many lines more told, Mærentem abjungens fraternâ morte juvencum, too, of the survivor sinking, because his Atque opere in medio defixa relinquit aratra.'
brother “was not”—and in as many more a
lament for the cruel sufferings of the harmThe unhappy image in the second line is less less creature—lines which, Scaliger says, he calculated to excite compassion than disgust, would rather have written than have been and is singularly ill-suited to the tone of ten honored by the Lydian or the Persian king: derness and delicacy which the Poet has ev Buller. Perhaps you have said enough, erywhere else so successfully maintained, in Seward. It might have been better, perdescribing the progress of the loathsome dis- haps, to have recited the whole passage.
North. Here is a sentence or two about struck then. But he was somewhat too Homer.
dainty-schooled-school-nursed and schoolBULLER. Then you are off. Oh! Sir- born. A Judge and critic of Poetry should why not for an hour imitate that Moon and have been caught wild, and tamed; he those Stars? How silently they shine! But should carry about him to the last some what care you for the heavenly luminaries ? relish of the wood and the wilderness, as if In the majestic beauty of the nocturnal | he were ever in some danger of breaking heavens vain man will not hold his peace. away, and relapsing to them. He should
Seward. Is that the murmur of the far know Poetry as a great power of the Unioff sea ?
verse—a sun-of which the Song—whosoNorth. It is—the tide, may be, is on its ever-only catches and fixes a few rays. return—is at “Connal's raging Ferry”—from How different in thought was Epos to him Loch Etive—yet this is not its hour—'tis but and to Homer! Homer paints Manners—arthe mysterious voice of Night.
chaic, simple manners. Everybody feelsBULLER. Hush !
everybody says this—Mr. Alison must have North. By moonlight and starlight, and known it—and could have said it as well as to the voice of Night, I read these words the bestfrom Mr. Alison—" In the speech of Aga SEWARD. But the best often forget it. memnon to Idomeneus, in the Fourth Book of They seem to hold to this knowledge better the Iliad, a circumstance is introduced alto- now, Mr. North ; and they do not make gether inconsistent both with the dignity of Homer answerable as a Poet, for the facts of the speech, and the Majesty of Epic Poetry: which he is the historian-Why not rather
accept than criticise ? " Divine Idomeneus! what thanks we owe
NORTH. I am
sorry, Seward, for the To worth like thine, what praise shall we be- Achæan Chiefs who had to drink dostponstow!
that is all. I had hoped that they had To Thee the foremost honors are decreed, First in the fight, and every graceful deed.
helped themselves. For this, in banquets, when the generous bowls
SEWARD. Perhaps, sir, the Stint was a Restore our blood, and raise the warriors' custom of only the orvov yepouglova ceremosouls,
nious Bowl-and if so, undoubtedly with Though all the rest with stated rules be bound, religious institution. The Feast is not honUnmixed, unmeasured, are thy goblets crown- orary—only the Bowl: for anything that ap
pears, Agamemnon, feasting his Princes,
might say, “Now, for the Bowl of Honor”_ SEWARD. That is Pope. Do you remem and Idomeneus alone drinks. Or let the ber Homer himself, sir ?
whole Feast be honorific, and the Bowl the NORTH. I do.
sealing, and crowning, and characterizing
solemnity. Now the distinction of the Stint, Ιδομενού, πέρι μέν σε τίω Δαναών ταχυπώλων, and the Full Bowl, selected for a signal of ημεν ενί πτολέμω ήδ' αλλοίω επί έργω, different honoring, has to me no longer any; ήδ' εν δαιθ', ότε πέρ τε γερούσιον αίθοπα οίνον
thing irksome. It is no longer a grudged 'Αργείων οι άριστοι ένι κρητηρσι κέρωνται. and scanted cheer—but lawful Assignment είπερ γάρ τ’ άλλοι γε καρη ομόωντες 'Αχαιοί
of Place. δαισρον πίνωσιν, σον δε πλείον δέπας αιει
Talboys. The moment you take it for έστηχ' ώσπερ εμοί, πιέειν, ότε θυμός ανώγοι,
Ceremonial, sir, you don't know what proαλλ' όρσευ πόλεμόνδ', οίος πάρος εύχεο είναι.
found meaning may, or may not be in it.
The phrase is very remarkable. I believe you will find that in general men NORTH. When the “ Best of the Argives” praise more truly, that is, justly, deservedly, mix in the Bowl “ the honorific dark-glowing than they condemn. They praise from an wine,” or the dark-glowing wine of honor impulse of love—that is, from a capacity. when, örs—quite a specific and peculiar ocNature protects love more than hate. Their casion, and confined to the wine-you would condemnation is often mere incapacity—want almost think that the Chiefs themselves are the of insight. Mr. Alison had elegance of ap- wine-mixers, and not the usual ministrantsprehension—truth of taste-a fine sense of which would perhaps express the descent the beautiful—a sense of the sublime. His of an antique use from a time and manners instances for praise are always well—often of still greater simplicity than those which newly chosen, from an attraction felt in his Homer describes. Or take it merely, tbat in own genial and noble breast. The true chord | great solemnities, high persons do the func. VOL. XVIII. NO. II.
tions proper to Servants. This we do know, North. The Homeric, heroic manners! that usually a servant, the Taureus, or the Heyne has a Treatise or Excursus—as you OsvoXous, does mix the Bowl. By the way, know—on the dusapxeia—I think he calls it, ?alboys, I think you will not be a little of the Homeric Heroes--their waiting on amused with old Chapman's translation of themselves, or their self-sufficiency-where I passage.
think that he collects the picture. TALBOYS. A fiery old cbap was George. SEWARD. I am ashamed to say I do not North, It runs thus
NORTIT. No matter. You see how this “O Idomen, I ever loved thyself past all the connects with the scheme of the Poem—in Greeks,
which, prevalent or conspicuous by the amIn war, or any work of peace, at table, every- plitude of the space which it occupies, is the where;
individual For when the best of Greeks, besides, mix spicuous, too, by its moment in action.
of heroes in field-conprowess
This ever at our cheer My good old ardent wine with small, and our
is another and loftier mode of the αυταρκεια. . inferior mates
The human bosom is a seat or fountain of Drink ever that mixt wine measured too, thou power. Power goes forth, emanates in all drink'st without those rates
directions, high and low, right and left. Our old wine neal ; and ever more thy bowl | The Man is a terrestrial God. He takes
stands like to mine; To drink still when and what thou wilt; then
counsel with his own heart, and he acts.
He conversed with his own magnanimous rouse that heart of thine ; And whatsoever heretofore thou hast assumed spirit”–
—or as Milton says of Abdiel meeting to be,
Satan—" And thus his own undaunted heart This day be greater."
Seward. Yes, Mr. North, the man is as a TalBoys. Well done, old Buck! This fer-terrestrial God; but—with continual recogvor and particularity are admirable. But, nition hy the Poet and his heroes—as under methinks, if I caught the words rightly, that the celestial Gods. And I apprehenu, sir, George mistakes the meaning of yepovolov — that this two-fold way of representing man, honorary; he has yepwv yepovtos, an old man, in himself and towards them, is that which singing in his ears; but old for wine would first separates the Homeric from and above be quite a different word.
all other Poetry, is its proper element of North. And he makes Agamemnon com- grandeur, in which we never bathe without mend Idomeneus for drinking generously and coming out aggrandized. honestly, whilst the others are afraid of their North. Seward, you instruct me bycups—as Claudius, King of Denmark, might SEWARD. Oh, no, sir ! You instruct praise one of his strong-headed courtiers, me and laugh at Polonius. Agamemnon does North. We instruct each other.
For not say that Idomeneus' goblet was not mixed this the heroes are all Demigods--that is, —was neul—rather we use to think that the son of a God, or Goddess, or the Descendwine was always mixed—but whether“ with ant at a few Generations. Sarpedon is the small," as old Chapman says, or with water, son of Jupiter, and his death by Patroclus is I don't know—but I fancied water! But perhaps the passage of the whole Iliad that perhaps, Seward, the investigation of a Gre- most specially and energetically, and most cian Feast in heroic time, and in Attic, be- profoundly and pathetically, makes the Gods comes an exigency. Chapman is at least de- intimate to the life and being of men--pretermined—and wisely--to show that he is sents the conduct of divinity and humanity not afraid of the matter--that he saw nothing with condescension there, and for elevation in it " altogether inconsistent with the dig- here. I do not mean that there is not more nity of the speech and the majesty of Epic pomp of glorification about Achilles, for Poetry.”
whom Jupiter comes from Olympus to Ida, SEWARD. Dignity! Majesty! They stand, and Vulcan forges arms—whose Mothersir, in the whole together-in the Manners Goddess is Messenger to and from Jupiter, taken collectively by themselves throughout and into whose lips, when he is faint with the entire Iliad—and then taken as a part of toil and want of nourishment-abstaining in the total delineation. Apply our modern his passion of sorrow and vengeance-Minotions of dignity and majesty to the Homeric nerva, descending, instils Nectar. But I Poetry, and we shall get a shock in every doubt if there be anything so touching--un
der this relation—and so intimately aggran