Page images

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!”

[ocr errors]


[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!

The mighty grave

Wraps lord and slave ;
Nor pride nor poverty DARES come
Within that refuge-house, the TOMB !




Spirit with the drooping wing,

And the ever-weeping eye,
EMPIRES at thy footstool lie !

Beneath thee strewed

Their multitude
Sink, like waves upon the shore :
What's the grandeur of the EARTH

To the grandeur round THY THRONE !
Riches, glory, beauty, birth,
To thy kingdom All have gone.

Before thee stand

The wondrous band ;
Bards, heroes, sages, side by side,
Who DARKENED NATIONS when they died !
Eurth has HOSTS ; but thou canst show

Many a MILLION for her ONE ;
Through thy gates the mortal flow
Has for countless years rollid on:

Back from the tomb

No step has come;
There fix'd, till the LAST THUNDER's sound
Shall bid thy prisoners be UNBOUND !





[To be marked for Enphasis, by the reader.]
There's beauty in the deep :-
The wave is bluer than the sky;
And though the light shine bright on high,
More softly do the sea-gems glow,
That sparkle in the depths below;
The rainbow's tints are only made
When on the waters they are laid ;
And sun and moon most sweetly shine
Upon the ocean's level brine.---
There's beauty in the deep.

There's music in the deep:
It is not in the surf's rough roar,
Nor in the whispering, shelly shore,-
They are but earthly sounds, that tell



How little of the sea-nymph's shell,
That sends its loud, clear note abroad,
Or winds its softness through the flood,
Echoes through groves with coral gay,
And dies, on spongy banks away!
There's music in the deep.

There's quiet in the deep:
Above, let tides and tempests rave,
And earth-born whirlwinds wake the wave;
Above, let care and fear contend,
With sin and sorrow to the end :
Here, far beneath the tainted foam,
That frets above our peaceful home,
We dream in joy, and wake in love,
Nor know the rage that yells above.-.

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., § viii., 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, per

haps, his character may receive some illustration, if he be 5 compared with his màster.

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 nùmbers.

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 others, he contented him

sèlf. He spent no time in struggles to rouse latent 15 powers; 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 hánds, 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 áuthor, that they might be fairly còpied. “Every line,"

said he, “was then written twice dver; 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." 20 His declaration, that his care for his works ceased at

their publication, was not strictly trùe. His parental attention never abandoned them ; what he found amiss in the first edition, he silently corrected in those that fəl

lowed. He appears to have revised the Iliad, and freed 25 it from some of its imperfections; and the Essay on Criticism received many improvements, after its first appear

It will seldom be found that he altered without adding clèarness, élegance, or vigor. Pope had perhaps

the judgment of Drýden; 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 range, 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 certainty in that of Pope.

Poetry was not the sole praise of either: for both ex


[ocr errors]

celled likewise in pròse : but Pope did not borrow his prose from his predecessor. The style of Dryden is capricious and váried ; that of Pope is cautious and uni

form. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind; Pope 5 constrains his mind to his own rules of composition.

Dryden is sometimes vehement 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 vegetation : Pope's is a 10 velvet làwn, shaven by the síthe and levelled by the ròller.

Of génius, that power which constitutes a poet; 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 more; for every other writer since Milton, must give place to Pope; and even of Dryden it must be said that

if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems. 20 Dryden's performances were always hàsty, either excited

by some external occasion, or extorted by domestic necès. sity; he composed without consideration, 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 sentiments, to múltiply his images, and to accumulate all that stùdy might prodúce, or chance might supplỳ. 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 below it. Dryden is read with fréquent astonishment, and Pope with perpétual delight.


[Marked for Inflections.] The Puritans were men whose minds had derived a peculiar character from the daily contemplation of supèrior beings and eternal interests. Not content with ac

knowledging, in general terms, an overrùling Providence, 5 they habitually ascribed every event to the will of the

Great Being, for whose power nothing was too vást, for

« PreviousContinue »