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noon yesterday? Who saw the narrow sunbeam that came out of the south and smote upon their summits until they meltej and moldered away in a dust of blue rain ? Who saw the dance of the clouds when the sunlight left them last night, and the west wind blew them before it like withered leaves ?
8. All has passed, unregretted as unseen; or, if the apathy be ever shaken off, even for an instant, it is only by what is gross or what is extraordinary; and yet it is not in the broad and fierce manifestations of the elemental energies, not in the elash of the hail, nor the drift of the whirlwind, that the highest characters of the sublime are developed. God is not in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the still, small voice. They are but the blunt and lost faculties of our nature, which can only be addressed through lampblack and lightning.
9. It is in quiet and subdued passages of unobtrusive majesty, the deep, and the calm, and the perpetual,—that which must be sought ere it is seen, and loved ere it is understood,—things which the angels work out for us daily, and yet vary eternally, which are never wanting, and never repeated, which are to be found always, yet each found but once,—it is through these that the lesson of devotion is chiefly taught, and the blessing of beauty given.
10. These are what the artist of highest aim must study; it is these, by the combination of which his ideal is to be created; these of which so little notice is ordinarily taken by common observers, that I fully believe, little as people in general are concerned with art, more of their ideas of sky are derived from pictures than from reality, and that, if we could examine the conception formed in the minds of most educated persons when we talk of clouds, it would frequently be found composed of fragments of blue and white reminiscences of the old masters
"The chasm of sky above my head
Is Heaven's profoundest azure. No domain
And whose soft gloom, and boundless depth, might tempt
12. In his American Notes, I remember Dickens notices the same truth, describing himself as lying drowsily on the barge deck, looking not at, but through the sky. And, if you look intensely at the pure blue of a serene sky, you will see that there is a variety and fullness in its very repose. It is not that lat, dead color, but a deep, quivering, transparent body of penetrable air, in which you trace or imagine short, falling spots of deceiving light, and dim shades, faint, vailed vestiges of dark vapor.
13. It seems to me that, in the midst of the material nearness of the heavens, God means us to acknowledge His own immediate presence as visiting, judging, and blessing us. “The earth shook, the heavens also dropped, at the presence of God!" “He doth set His bow in the cloud," and thus renews, in the sound of every dropping swathe of rain, His promises of everlasting love. “In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun;" whose burning ball, which, without the firmament, would be seen as an intolerable and scorching circle in the blackness of vacuity, is by that firmament surrounded with gorgeous service, and tempered by mediatorial ministries; by the firmament of clouds the golden pavement is spread for his chariot wheels at morning; by the firmament of clouds the temple is built for his presence to fill with light at noon; by the firmament of clouds the purple vail is closed at evening round the sanctuary of his rest; by the mists of the firmament his implacable light is divided, and its separated fierceness appeased into the soft blue that fills the depth of distance with its bloom, and the flush with which the mountains burn as they drink the overflowing of the dayspring.
14. And, in this tabernacling of the unendurable sun with men, through the shadows of the firmament, God would seem to set forth the stooping of His own majesty to men, upon the throne of the firmament. As the Creator of all the worlds, and the Inhabiter of eternity, we can not behold Him; but as the Judge of the earth and the Preserver of men, those heavens are, indeed, His dwelling-place. “Swear not, neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it His footstool.” And all those passings to and fro of fruitful shower and grateful shade, and all those visions of silver palaces built about the horizon, and voices of moaning winds and threatening thunders, and glories of colored robe and cloven ray, are but to deepen in our hearts the acceptance, and distinctness, and dearness of the simple words,—“ Our Father which art in Heaven !”.
JOSEPH ADDISON, author of the following beautiful lines, was born at Milston, Wiltshire, in England, in the year 1672. He died in 1719. For a ubetch of his character, see Exercise CXXIII.
THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOO.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
What though, in solemn silence, all
The Hand that made us, is divine !"
OLIVER GOLDSMITH was born in the county of Longford, Ireland, in the year 1728, and died in London, in 1774. “There are few writers," says Washington Irving, “ for whom the reader feels such personal kindness as for Oliver Goldsmith. The fascinating ease and simplicity of his style; the benevolence that beams through every page; the whimsical, yet amiable view of human life and human nature; the mellow unforced humor, blended so happily with good feeling and good sense, throughout his writings, win their way irresistibly to the affections, and carry the author with them. While writers of greater pretensions and more sounding names are suffered to lie upon our shelves, the works of Goldsmith are cherished and laid in our bosoms. We do not quote them with ostentation, but they mingle with our minds; they sweeten our tempers and harmonize our thoughts; they put us in good humor with ourselves and with the world; and, in doing so, they nake us happier and better men."
1 AL'LEGORY is a word of Greek origin. It is made up of two parts, ALL, other, and EQORY, discourse : the literal meaning of the compound being discourse about other things, that is, things other than those ex: pressed by the words, literally interpreted Thus, in the LXXX Psalm, we have a beautiful allegory, in wnich the chosen people of God are represented under the figure of a vine planted and nurtured by the band of the Almighty.
Allegory is, therefore, the general name for that class of compositions, as Fables, Apologues, Parables, and Myths, in which there is a double signification, one literal and the other figurative: the literal being designed merely to give a more clear and impressive view of that which is figurative. It is, indeed, a lively, though silent comparison, or series of comparisons; differing from what is called metaphor, or implied company son, merely in being more extended. Thus, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory.
GRACE PREFERABLE TO BEAUTY:-AN ALLEGORY. 1
OLIVER GOLDSMITH. 1. I fancied myself between two landscapes; this called the Region of Beauty, and that the Valley of the Graces; the one adorned with all that luxuriant nature could bestow; the fruits of various climates adorned the trees, the grove resounded with music, the gale breathed perfume, every charm that could arise from symmetry and exact listribution, was here conspicuous; the whole offering a prospect of pleasure without end.
2. The Valley of the Graces, on the other hand, seemed, by no means, so inviting; the streams and groves appeared just as they usually do in frequented countries; no magnificent parterres,* no concert in the grove, the rivulet was edged with weeds, and the rook joined its voice to that of the nightingale. All was simplicity and nature.
3. The most striking objects ever first allure the traveler. I entered the Region of Beauty with increased curiosity, and promised myself endless satisfaction in being introduced to the presiding goddess. I perceived several strangers who entered with the same design; and what surprised me not a little, was to see several others hastening to leave this abode of seeming felicity.
4. After some fatigue, I had, at last, the honor of being introduced to the goddess, who represented Beauty in person. She was seated on a throne, at the foot of which stood several strangers, lately introduced like me; all regarding her form in ecstasy. “Ah, what eyes! what lips ! how clear her complexion! how perfect her shape !” At these exclamations, Beauty, with downcast eyes, would endeavor to counterfeit modesty, but soon again looking round as if to confirm every spectator in his