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The poetry of earth is never dead.
On the Grasshopper and Cricket. Here lies one whose name was writ in water."
THOMAS NOON TALFOURD. 1795–1854.
So his life has flowed
Ion. Act i. Sc. 1.
THOMAS CARLYLE. 1795-1881.
Except by name, Jean Paul Friedrich Richter is little known out of Germany. The only thing connected with him, we think, that has reached this country is his saying, — imported by Madame de Staël, and thankfully pocketed by most newspaper critics, — “Providence has given to the French the empire of the land; to the English that of the sea; to the Germans that of — the air !”
Richter. Edinburgh Review, 1827. Literary men are ... a perpetual priesthood.
State of German Literature Ibid.
1 See Chapman, page 37.
Among the many things he has requested of me to-night, this is the principal, – that on his gravestone shall be this inscription. — RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES : Life, Letters, and Literary Remains of John Keats. Letter to Serern, vol. ii. p. 91.
Clever men are good, but they are not the best.
Goethe. Edinburgh Review, 1828. We are firm believers in the maxim that for all right judgment of any man or thing it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.
Ibid. How does the poet speak to men with power, but by being still more a man than they ?
Burns. Ibid. A poet without love were a physical and metaphysical impossibility.
Ibid. His religion at best is an anxious wish, - like that of Rabelais, a great Perhaps.
Ibid. We have oftener than once endeavoured to attach some meaning to that aphorism, vulgarly imputed to Shaftesbury, which however we can find nowhere in his works, that " ridicule is the test of truth.” 1
Voltaire. Foreign Review, 1829. We must repeat the often repeated saying, that it is unworthy a religious man to view an irreligious one either with alarm or aversion, or with any other feeling than regret and hope and brotherly commiseration.
There is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man; also it may be said, there is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed.
Sir Walter Scott. London and Westminster Review, 1838.
1 How comes it to pass, then, that we appear such cowards in reasoning. and are so afraid to stand the test of ridicule? - SHAFTESBURY : Characteristics. A Letter concerning Enthusiasm, sect. 2.
Truth, 't is supposed, may bear all lights ; and one of those principal lights or natural mediums by which things are to be viewed in order to a thorough recognition is ridicule itself. – SHAFTESBURY: Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour, sect. 1.
'T was the saying of an ancient sage (Gorgias Leontinus, apud Aristotle's “Rhetoric,” lib. iii. c. 18), that humour was the only test of gravity, and gravity of humour. For a subject which would not bear raillery was suspicious ; and a jest which would not bear a serious examination was certainly false wit. - Ibid. sect 5.
Silence is deep as Eternity, speech is shallow as Time.
Sir Walter Scott. London and Westminster Review, 1838. To the very last, he [Napoleon] had a kind of idea; that, namely, of la carrière ouverte aux talents, — the tools to him that can handle them."
Ibid. Blessed is the healthy nature; it is the coherent, sweetly co-operative, not incoherent, self-distracting, selfdestructive one!
Ibid. The uttered part of a man's life, let us always repeat, bears to the unuttered, unconscious part a small unknown proportion. He himself never knows it, much less do others.
Ibid. Literature is the Thought of thinking Souls. ibid.
It can be said of him, when he departed he took a Man's life with him. No sounder piece of British manhood was put together in that eighteenth century of Time.
Ibid. The eye of the intellect “sees in all objects what it brought with it the means of seeing."
Varnhagen Von Ense's Memoirs. lbid. Happy the people whose annals are blank in historybooks.
Life of Frederick the Great. Book xvi. Chap.i. As the Swiss inscription says: Sprechen ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden, — “Speech is silvern, Silence is golden ;” or, as I might rather express it, Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.
Sartor Resartus. Book iii. Chip. iii. · The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
Heroes and Hero-Worship. The Hero as a Prophet.
1 Carlyle in his essay on Mirabeau, 1837, quotes this from a “ New England book."
2 MONTESQUIEU : Aphorism.
8 His only fault is that he has none. -- PLINY THE YOUNGER : Book ix Letter ärvi.
580 CARLYLE. - HALIBURTON. – MOTHERWELL.
In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time: the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and inaterial substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream. Heroes and lero - Worship. The Hero as a Man of Letters.
The true University of these days is a Collection of Books.
Ibid. One life, - a little gleam of time between two Eternities.
Ibid. Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one inan who can stand prosperity there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
THOMAS C. HALIBURTON. 1796–1865.
I want you to see Peel, Stanley, Graham, Sheil, Russell, Macaulay, Old Joe, and so on. They are all upper-crust here.
Sam Slick in England.2 Chap. xxiv. Circumstances alter cases. The Old Judge. Chap. xv.
WILLIAM MOTHERWELL. 1797-1835.
I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
Through many a weary way;
The love of life's young day. Jeannie Morrison.
i Those families, you know, are our upper-crust, - not upper ten thousand. — Cooper: The Ways of the Hour, chap. vi. (1850.)
At present there is no distinction among the upper ten thousand of the city. – N P. Willis : Necessity for a Promen de Drive.
3 “Sam Slick" first appeared in a weekly paper of Nova Scotia, 1835.
THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY. 1797–1839.
I'd be a butterfly born in a bower,
I'd be a Butterfly.
Her name is never heard ;
Oh no! we never mention her.
Welcome me Home.
Why don't the Men propose ?
The night that first we met. She wore a Wreath. Friends depart, and memory takes them
To her caverns, pure and deep. Teach me to forget. Tell me the tales that to me were so dear,
Long, long ago, long, long ago. Long, long ago.
Is not the rose for me. The Rose that all are praising.
Isle of Beauty, fare thee well! Isle of Beauty
1 I find that absence still increases love. — CHARLES Hopkins : To C.C.
Distance sometimes endears friendship, and absence sweeteneth it. Howell: Familiar Letters, book i. sect, i. No.6.