Page images
PDF
EPUB

Or I would launch with thee upon the deep,
And like the petrel make the wave my home,
And careless as the sportive sea-bird roam;.
Or with the chamois on the Alp would leap,
And feel myself upon the snow-clad height,
A portion of that undimmed flow of light,
No mist nor cloud can darken-O! with thee,
Spirit of Freedom! deserts, mountains, storms,
Would wear a glow of beauty, and their forms
Would soften into loveliness, and be
Dearest of earth,-for there my soul is free.

PARTING OF DOUGLAS AND MARMION.-Scott

Not far advanced was morning day,
When Marmion did his troops array,

To Surrey's camp to ride;
He had safe-conduct for his band,
Beneath the royal seal and hand,

And Douglas gave a guide:
The ancient Earl, with stately grace,
Would Clara on her palfrey place,
And whispered, in an under tone,
“Let the hawk stoop, his prey is flown.”
The train from out the castle drew;
But Marmion stopp'd to bid adieu:-

“ Though something I might plain,” he said,
“Of cold respect to stranger guest,
Sent hither by your king's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I staid,
Part we in friendship from your land,

And, noble Earl, receive my hand.”—
But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:-

“My manors, halls, and bowers, shall still
Be open, at my sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, howe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation stone,-

The hand of Douglas is his own,
And never shall, in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp.”

Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire, And shook his very frame with ire,

And—“This to me!” he said,

An 't were not for thy hoary beard, Such hand as Marmion's had not spared

To cleave the Douglas' head!
And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer,
He, who does England's message here,
Although the meanest in her state,
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate;
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,

Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here in thy Hold, thy vassals near,
(Nay, never look upon your lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword,)

I tell thee, thou 'rt defied!
And if thou said'st, I am not peer
To any Lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,

Lord Angus, thou hast lied!”.
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage
O’ercame the ashen hue of age;
Fierce he broke forth: “And dar’st thou then
To beard the lion in his den,

The Douglas in his hall? And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go? No, by Saint Bryde of Bothwell, noUp drawbridge, grooms—what, warder, ho!

Let the portcullis fall.”— Lord Marmion turned, -well was his need, And dashed the rowels in his steed, Like arrow through the arch-way sprung, The ponderous grate behind him rung: To pass there was such scanty room, The bars, descending, razed his plume.

The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise;
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim.

And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clenched hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers.
“Horse! horse!” the Douglas cried, “and chase!"
But soon he reined his fury's pace;
A royal messenger he came,
Though most unworthy of the name.- .
Saint Mary mend my fiery mood!
Old age ne'er cools the Douglas blood,
I thought to slay him where he stood.
'Tis pity of him, too,” he cried;
“ Bold can he speak, and fairly ride:
I warrant him a warrior tried.”-
With this his mandate he recalls,
And slowly seeks his castle halls.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ELOQUENCE.-N. A. Review

Genius is thought, is study, is application. The two simple, but magic words, which contain the secret of Newton's greatness, according to his own explanation, are patient thought.' There is not a more indispensable characteristic of génius than good sense. It is this that has given to the true works of genius, universal reception and immortal fame. And here, too, is indicated the rock, on which thousands have split. Many men have a powerful imagination, but they have not the patient thought,' the good sense, requisite to control it. They have not learned, in

the very torrent, tempest, and whirlwind of passion, to acquire and beget the temperance, that may give it smoothness.'

We wish that we could see an analysis of genius on these principles; that we could see unfolded all the previous thought, the patient study, the thorough reflection, the fine discrimination, that are necessary to produce even a page of really fine writing. It would be a useful lesson. It would teach our aspiring youth, that they never can succeed without labor; that it never will do to trust to irregular hasty efforts; that they might as well expect literally to command the lightnings of the tempest without philosophy, as without philosophy to wield the lightnings of eloquence. They ought not to have this power without laboring for it, without waiting patiently at the shrine of that divinity,—the industry, which alone can give it. The gift is too great, too high, to cost them little.

But this is a point, which deserves to be considered by itself,—the greatness of the art. To give the noblest thoughts the noblest expression; to stand up in the pure light of reason, or to create a new atmosphere, as it were, for intellectual vision; to put on all the glories of imagination as a garment; to penetrate the soul, and to make men feel as if they were themselves new creatures; to make them conscious of new powers and a new being; to exercise, in the loftiest measure, the only glorious and godlike sway, that which is exercised over willing minds; to fill the ear, the eye, the inmost soul, with sounds, and images, and holy visions of beauty and grandeur; to make truth and justice, to make wisdom, and virtue, and religion, more lovely and majestic things, than men had ever thought them before; to delight, as well as to convince; to charm, to fascinate, to win, to arouse, to calm, to terrify, to overwhelm,—this is the work of eloquence; and it is a glorious work.

THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.

The great object of all the liberal arts is to exhibit the mind; to exhibit character, thought, feeling, in their various aspects. In this consists all their power and sublimity. For this, the painter spreads upon the dull canvass the breathing forms of life; the sculptor causes the marble to speak; the architect models the fair and majestic structure, with sublimity enthroned in its dome, with beauty shaped in its columns, and glory written upon its walls; and the poet builds his lofty rhyme; and the eloquent in music, orders his movement and combination of sweet sounds.

But, of this mind, the human frame is the appointed instrument. It was designed for this end. For it could have answered all the purposes of physical existence, without any of its present grace and beauty. It was made with no

more obvious intent, than to be the expression of mind, the organ of the soul, the vehicle of thought. And when all its powers are put in requisition for this purpose, -the voice with all its thrilling tones; the eye, “through which, as a window, the soul darts forth its light;' the lips, on which 'grace is poured;' the whole glowing countenance, the whole breathing frame, which, in their ordinary forms, can express more than the majesty of an Apollo, more than the agony of a Laocoon;—when every motion speaks, every lineament is more than the written line of genius, every muscle swells with the inspiration of high thoughts, every nerve is swayed to the movings of some mighty theme; what instrument of music, what glories of the canvass, can equal it?

THE SAME SUBJECT CONCLUDED.

ELOQUENCE is the combination of all arts, and it excels them all in their separate powers. Nor is it confined to the mere gratification of taste. The great and ultimate object of social existence, is for man to act on man; and eloquence is the grandest medium of this action. It is not only the highest perfection of a human being (for 'the orator must be a good man') but it is that perfection in act. It is sublimity, beauty, genius, power, in their most glorious exercise.

*Eloquence, it is often said, is the peculiar attribute of man. But more than this is true. It belongs to humanity. The human soul is eloquent, whenever and wherever it has a full developement. Its signatures are divine; and where they are seen, they cannot fail to leave their impression.

It is one of the maxims with which we have no patience, that the English character is not fitted for an earnest delivery; that eloquence will not flourish on this stock; that there is something in our temperament or taste that forbids it. The English mind not eloquent! We might as well say, that it is possessed of no strong feelings or noble thoughts. For if it has these, and has them, in fact, in uncommon strength, has it not a language, a voice, a countenance, a free and unfettered arm, the weapon of the orator,' to express them?

« PreviousContinue »