Imágenes de páginas

to the stern law of necessity, we know that the very monuments which record the decay of their outward frame, are so many proofs and symbols that they shall never really expire.

6. We feel that those whose remembrance is thus extended beyond the desolating power of the grave, over whose fame death and mortal accidents have no power, are not themselves destroyed. And, when we recollect the more indestructible moniments of their genius, those works, which live, not only in the libraries of the studious, but in the hearts and imaginations of men, we are conscious at once, that the spirit which conceived, and the souls which appreciate and love them, are not of the earth, earthy. Our thoughts are not wholly of humiliation and sorrow; but stretch forward, with a pensive majesty, unto the permanent and the immortal.


ANTITHESIS, whence the adjective antithetical, is from the Greek (Anti, against, and Thesis, the act of putting), and signifies the act of putting things over against one another for the purposes of comparison and contrast. Passages of this sort furnish fine exercises for practice in reading



1 COR. CHAP. XV. The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit, that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they, also, that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they, also, that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall, also, bear the image of the heavenly.



MRS. BARAN & ILLIS. Simple as the language of a child—it charms the most fastidious taste. Mournful as the voice of grief—it reaches to tho highest pitch of exultation. Intelligible to the unlearned peasant -it supplies the critic and the sage with food for earnest thought. Silent and secret as the reproofs of conscience-it echoes beneath the vaulted dome of the cathedral, and shakes the trembling multitude. The last companion of the dying and destitute—it seals the bridal vow, and crowns the majesty of kings. Closed in the heedless grasp of the luxurious and the slothful

-it unfolds its awful record over the yawning grave. Bright and joyous as the morning star to the benighted traveler-it rolls like the waters of the deluge over the path of him who willfully mistakes his way.



LONDON ATLAS. Talent is something, but tast is everything. Talent is serious, sober, grave, and respectable: tact is all that, and more too. It is not a sixth sense, but it is the life of all the five. It is the open eye, the quick ear, the judging taste, the keen smell, and the lively touch; it is the interpreter of all riddles, the surmounter of all difficulties, the remover of all obstacles. It is useful in all places, and at all times; it is useful in solitude, for it shows a man his way into the world; it is useful in society, for it shows him his way through the world. Talent is power, tact is skill; talent is weight, tact is momentum; talent knows what to do, tact knows how to do it; talent makes a man respectable, tact will make him respected; talent is wealth, tact is ready money.

* Sarah Stickney Ellis, wife of William Ellis, an English missionary, is the author of some twenty or thirty different publications, all written in excellent style, and devoted to the moral and intellectual culture of her own sex



1. They, by a strange frenzy driven, fight for power, for plunder, and extended rule ;-we, for our country, our altars, and our homes. They follow an adventurer whom they fear, and obey a power which they hate ;-we serve a monarch whom we love—a God whom we adore. Where'er they move in anger, desolation tracks their progress! Where'er they pause in amity, affliction mourns their friendship.

2. They boast they come but to improve our state, enlarge our thoughts, and free us from the yoke of error !-Yes :—they will give enlightened freedom to our minds, who are themselves the slaves of passion, avarice, and pride. They offer us their protection !-Yes, such protection as vultures give to lambscovering and devouring them! They call on us to barter all the good we have inherited and proved, for the desperate chance of something better, which they promise.



CICERO. Against these gallant troops of your adversary, prepare, O Romans, your garrisons and armies; and, first, to that maimed and battered gladiator oppose your Consuls and Generals; next, against that miserable, outcast horde, lead forth the strength and flower of all Italy! On the one side, chastity contends; on the other, wantonness; here purity, there pollution; here integrity, there treachery; here piety, there profaneness; here constancy, there rage; here honesty, there baseness; here continence, there lust; in short, equity, temperance, fortitude, pru dence, struggle with iniquity, luxury, cowardice, rashness; every virtue with every vice; and, lastly, the contest lies between well-grounded hope and absolute despair.

* See Note on Sheridan, Exercise XCV. + See Note on Exercise LXX.




How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
How complicate, how wonderful is man!
How passing wonder He wbo made him such !
Who centered in our make such strange extremes !
A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt !
Though sullied and dishonored, still divine !
Dim miniature of greatness absolute !
An heir of glory! a frail child of dust!
Helpless immortal! insect infinite !
A worm! a god !-I tremble at myself.
O what a miracle to man is man!
Triumphantly distressed! what joy! what dread!
Alternately transported and alarmed,
What can preserve my life? or what destroy ?
An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave;
Legions of angels can't confine me there!




But where's the man who counsel can bestow,
Still pleased to teach, and yet not proud to know;
Unbiased, or by favor, or by spite;
Not dully prepossessed, nor blindly right;
Though learned, well-bred; and, though well-bred, sincere;
Modestly bold and humanely severe;
Who to a friend his faults can freely show,
And gladly praise the merit of a foe;
Blest with a taste exact, but unconfined;
A knowledge both of books and human-kind ?

* See Note on Young, Exercise CXXXVI.
+ See Exercise CXLVIII.

[ocr errors]


BANCROFT. 1. Historians have loved to eulogize the manners and virtues, the glory and the benefits of Chivalry. Puritanism accomplished for mankind far more. If it had the sectarian crime of intolerance, chivalry had the vices of dissoluteness. The Knights were brave from gallantry of spirit; the Puritans from the fear of God. The Knights were proud of loyalty; the Puritans of liberty. The Knights did homage to monarchs, in whose smile they beheld honor, whose rebuke was the wound of disgrace; the Puritans, disdaining ceremony, would not bow at the name of Jesus.

2. Chivalry delighted in outward show, favored pleasure, multiplied amusement, and degraded the human race by an exclusive respect for the privileged classes ; Puritanism bridled the passions, commanded the virtues of self-denial, and rescued the name of man from dishonor. The former valued courtesy; the latter, justice. The former adorned society by graceful refinements; the latter founded national grandeur on universal education. The institutions of Chivalry were subverted by the gradually-increasing weight, and knowledge, and opulence of the industrious classes; the Puritans, rallying upon those classes, planted in their hearts the undying principles of democratio liberty.


POPE. Homer was the greater genius; Virgil, the better artist. In one we most admire the man; in the other, the work. Homer hurries and transports us with a commanding impetuosity; Virgil leads us with an attractive majesty : Homer scatters with a generous profusion; Virgil bestows with a careful magnificence: Homer, like the Nile, pours out his riches with a boundless over. flow; Virgil, like a river in its banks, with a gentle and constant stream. When we behold their battles, methinks the two poets

* See Note on Exercise CXXXIII.

« AnteriorContinuar »