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BAYARD TAYLOR was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, January 11th, 1825. While yet an apprentice in a printing-office, he occupied his leisure hours in literary studies, and in occasional compositions for the periodicals of the day. In 1844 he published his early poems in a volume under the title “ Ximena." Soon after he commenced that remarkable career of travel which has made him an eye-witness to the ways of life in almost every region of the globe, and the records of which, embodied in books of enduring interest, have given him a most favorable reception in the whole reading world. His manner is well shown in the following specimen.
1. As we crossed the mouth of the Ulvsfjord * that evening, we had an open sea horizon toward the north, a clear sky, and so much sunshine, at eleven o'clock, that it was evident the Polar day had dawned upon us at last. The illumination of the shores was unearthly in its glory, and the wonderful effects of the orange sunlight, playing upon the dark hues of the island cliffs, can neither be told nor painted. The sun hung low between Fugloë, rising like a double dome from the sea, au! the tall mountains of Arnoë, both of which islands resemble immense masses of transparent purple glass, gradually melting into crimson fire at their bases.
2. The glassy, leaden-colored sea was powdered w'ull a goldeu bloom, and the tremendous precipices at the mouth of the Lyngen Fjord, behind us, were steeped in a dark-red, mellow fush, and touched with pencilings of pure, rose-colored light, until their naked ribs seemed to be clothed in imperial velvet. As we turned into the Fjord and ran southward along their bases, a waterfall, struck by the sun, fell in fiery orange foam down the red walls, and the blue ice-pillars of a beautiful glacier filled up the ravine beyond it. We were all on deck; and all faces, excited by the divine splendor of the scene, and tinged by the same wonderful aureole,ť shone as if transfigured. In my whole life I have never seen a spectacle so unearthly beautiful.
3. Our course brought the sun rapidly toward the ruby cliffs of Arnoë, and it was evident that he would soon be hidden from sight. It was not yet half-past eleven, and an enthusiastic pas senger begged the captain to stop the vessel until midnight. “Why," said the latter, “it is midnight now, or very near it; you have Drontheim time, which is almost forty minutes in arrears.” True enough, the real time lacked but five minutes of midnight, and those of us who had sharp eyes and strong imaginations saw the sun make his last dip and rise a little, before he vanished in a blaze of glory behind Arnoë. I turned away with eyes full of dazzling spheres of crimson and gold, which danced before me wherever I looked; and it was a long time before they were blotted out by the semi-oblivion of a daylight sleep.
JAMES Beattie was born in Kincardineshire, Scotland, October 25th, 1735, and died at Aberdeen, August 18th, 1803. Through the aid of an elder brother,-for his father died while he was yet a child,-he succeeded in getting a good education, and afterwards spent some time in the business of teaching. In 1771 he began the publication of " The Minstrel," a didactic poem, showing the rise and progress of a poetical genius; which work is the basis, in fact, of his reputation, as a poet. This poem, which is very unequal, both in thought and expression, though embracing some stanzas of surpassing force and beauty, was never finished. But that which secured for him the highest credit, was his celebrated “Essay on Truth," published before this time, and intended, as a reply, to the cold and subtle skepticism of David Hume. Among his later productions are “ Dissertations, Moral and Critical," “ Evidences of the Christian Religion," “ Elements of Moral Science," and & biography of his eldest son.
OPENING STANZAS OF THE MINSTREL.
And yet the languor of inglorious days
Then grieve not thou, to whom the indulgent Muse
All that the genial ray of morning gilds,
CHARLES SUMNER was born in Boston in 1811. He is distinguished for large legal attainment, and for remarkable grace and skill as an orator and a writer. He is now (1862) a member of the Senate of the United States. The following is from his address before the American Peace Society. at, t.beir anniversary in Boston, May 28th, 1849.
THE BLESSING OF PEACE.
CHARLES SUMNEK. 1. Peace is the grand Christian charity, the fountain and parent of all other charities. Let peace be removed, and all other charities sicken and die. Let peace exert her glaisome sway, and all other charities quicken into celestial life. Peace is a distinctive promise and possession of Christianity. So much is this the case, that, where peace is not, Christianity can not be.
2. There is nothing elevated which is not exalted by peace. There is nothing valuable, which does not contribute to peace. Of Wisdom herself it has been said, that all her ways are pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Peace has ever been the longing and aspiration of the noblest souls—whether for themselves or for their country.
3. In the bitterness of exile, away from the Florence which he has immortalized by his divine poem, pacing the cloisters of a convent, in response to the inquiry of the monk,—“What do you seek 2" Dante* said, in words distilled from his heart, • Peace! Peace!” In the memorable English struggle, when King and Parliament were repding the land, a gallant supporter of the monarchy, the chivalrous Falkland, touched by the intolerable woes of war, cried in words which consecrate his memory more than any feat of arms,—“Peace! Peace! Peace!”
* See Note on Exercise CXXXVII.
4. Not in aspiration only, but in benediction, is this word uttered. As the apostle went forth on his errand, as the son left his father's roof, the choicest blessing was,—“Peace be with you!" As the Savior was born, angels from Heaven, amidst quiring melodies, let fall that supreme benediction, never before vouchsafed to the children of the human family,—Peace on earth and good-will toward men!
REGINALD HEBER, the celebrated bishop of Calcutta, was born in Cheshire, England, April 21st, 1783, and died in Madras, April 3d, 1826. Evincing, even in childhood, a remarkable fondness for learning, he lost none of his enthusiasm, in this direction, by the advance of life. His career at Oxford, where he took his degree, was singularly brilliant: being distinguished, among other things, by his famous prize poem entitled “Palestine.” As a poet, he is most remarkable for those qualities that were so conspicuous in his character, as a man, namely, gentleness, benevolence, devotional feeling, and the vigor that comes of Christian zeal.
PASSAGES FROM BISHOP HEBER.
PICTURE OF PALESTINE.