« PreviousContinue »
faction ; but, before I had got to the end of the bridge, my better feelings returned, and I burst into tears, thinking how ungrateful I had been to my good aunt, to go and give her good 225 gift away to a stranger that I had never seen before, and who might be a bad man for aught I knew; and then I thought of the pleasure my aunt would be taking in thinking that I-I myself, and not another-would eat her nice cake. And what should I say to her the next time I saw her? How naughty I was to 230 part with her pretty present! And the odor of that spicy cake came back upon my recollection, and the pleasure and the curiosity I had taken in seeing her make it, and her joy when she sent it to the oven, and how disappointed she would feel that I had never had a bit of it in my mouth at last. And I blamed 235 my impertinent spirit of almsgiving and out-of-place hypocrisy of goodness; and, above all, I wished never to see the face again of that insidious, good-for-nothing, old gray impostor.
19. Our ancestors were nice in their method of sacrificing these tender victims. We read of pigs whipped to death with 240 something of a shock, as we hear of any other obsolete custom. The age of discipline is gone by, or it would be curious to inquire (in a philosophical light merely) what effect this process might have towards intenerating and dulcifying a substance naturally so mild and dulcet as the flesh of young pigs. It looks 245 like refining a violet. Yet we should be cautious, while we condemn the inhumanity, how we censure the wisdom of the practice. It might impart a gusto.
20. I remember an hypothesis, argued upon by the young students when I was at St. Omer's, and maintained with much 250 learning and pleasantry on both sides, “Whether, supposing that the flavor of a pig who obtained his death by whipping (per flagellationem extremam) superadded a pleasure upon the palate of a man more intense than any possible suffering we can conceive
LITERARY ANALYSIS.—239. nice. Meaning here?
244. intenerating, rendering tender.—dulcifying, rendering sweet. These are instances of Lamb's fondness for rare or obsolete words.
246. refining a violet. Query as to this expression.
249–256. I remember ... decision. Observe the drollery of this imitation of the kind of questions argued by the mediæval schoolmen.
in the animal, is man justified in using that method of putting 255 the animal to death ?” I forget the decision.
21. His sauce should be considered. Decidedly, a few breadcrumbs, done up with his liver and brains, and a dash of mild sage. But banish, dear Mrs. Cook, I beseech you, the whole onion tribe. Barbecue your whole hogs to your palate, steep 260 them in shallots, stuff them out with plantations of the rank and guilty garlic ; you cannot poison them, or make them stronger than they are ; but consider, he is a weakling—a flower.
LITERARY ANALYSIS. — 256. I forget the decision. Would it have been good art to remember it?
257-263. In the last paragraph point out an example of alliteration Of metaphor.
1. Little anywhere can be added now to that wealth of eulogy that has been heaped upon the tomb of Webster. Before he died, even, renowned in two hemispheres, in ours he seemed to be known with a universal nearness of knowledge. He walked
so long and so conspicuously before the general eye; his actions, his opinions, on all things which had been large enough to agitate the public mind for the last thirty years and more, had had importance and consequences so remarkable—anxiously waited for, passionately canvassed, not adopted always into the particular measure, or deciding the particular vote of government or the country, yet sinking deep into the reason of the people—a stream of influence whose fruits it is yet too soon for political philosophy to appreciate completely ; an impression of his extraordinary intellectual endowments, and of their peculiar superiority in that most imposing and intelligible of all forms of manifestation, the moving of others' minds by speech-this impression had grown so universal and fixed, and it had kindled curiosity to hear him and read him so wide and so largely indulged; his individuality altogether was so absolute and so pronounced, the force of will no less than the power of genius; the exact type and fashion of his mind, not less than its general magnitude, were so distinctly shown through his musical, transparent style; the exterior of the man, the grand mystery of brow and eye, the deep tones, the solemnity, the sovereignty, as of those who would build states, where every power and every grace did seem to set its seal, had been made-by personal observation, by description, by the exaggeration even, of those who had felt the spell — by art, the daguerreotype and picture and statue—so familiar to the American eye, graven on the memory like the Washington of Stuart; the narrative of the mere incidents of his life had been so often told (by some so authentically and with such skill), and had been so literally committed to heart,—that when he died there seemed to be little left but to say when and how his change came; with what dignity, with what possession of himself, with what loving thought for others, with what gratitude to God, uttered with unfaltering voice, that it was appointed to him there to die; to say how thus, leaning on the rod and staff of the promise, he took his way into the great darkness undismayed, till death should be swallowed up of life ; and then to relate how they laid him in that simple grave, and turning and pausing, and joining their voices to the voices of the sea, bade him hail and farewell. ...
2. But there were other fields of oratory on which, under the influence of more uncommon springs of inspiration, he exempli
fied, in still other forms, an eloquence in which I do not know that he has had a superior among men. Addressing masses by tens of thousands in the open air, on the urgent political questions of the day; or designated to lead the meditations of an hour devoted to the remembrance of some national era, or of some incident marking the progress of the nation, and lifting him up to a view of what is, and what is past, and some indistinct revelations of the glory that lies in the future, or of some great historical name, just borne by the nation to his tomb—we have learned that then and there, at the base of Bunker Hill, before the corner-stone was laid, and again when from the finished column the centuries looked on him; in Faneuil Hall, mourning for those with whose spoken or written eloquence of freedom its arches had so often resounded ; on the rock of Plymouth; before the Capitol, of which there shall not be one stone left on another before his memory shall have ceased to live-in such scenes, unfettered by the laws of forensic or parliamentary debate; multitudes uncounted lifting up their eyes to him ; some great historical scenes of America around; all symbols of her glory and art and power and fortune there; voices of the past, not unheard ; shapes beckoning from the future, not unseensometimes that mighty intellect, borne upwards to a height and kindled to an illumination which we shall see no more, wrought out, as it were in an instant, a picture of vision, warning, prediction: the progress of the nation; the contrasts of its eras ; the heroic deaths; the motives to patriotism ; the maxims and arts imperial by which the glory has been gathered and may be heightened—wrought out, in an instant, a picture to fade only when all record of our mind shall die.
3. We seem to see his form and hear his deep, grave speech everywhere. By some felicity of his personal life; by some wise, deep, or beautiful word spoken or written ; by some service of his own, or some commemoration of the services of others, it has come to pass that “our granite hills, our inland seas, prairies, and fresh, unbounded, magnificent wilderness ;” our encircling ocean ; the resting-place of the Pilgrims ; our new-born sister of the Pacific ; our popular assemblies; our free schools; all our cherished doctrines of education, and of the influence of religion, and national policy and law, and the Constitution. give us back