Part 8 out of 8
And I must rent the dear old place, and go to daughter Ruth.
Thee'll say her ways are not like mine,--young people now-a-days
Have fallen sadly off, I think, from all the good old ways.
But Ruth is still a Friend at heart; she keeps the simple tongue,
The cheerful, kindly nature we loved when she was young;
And it was brought upon my mind, remembering her, of late,
That we on dress and outward things perhaps lay too much weight.
I once heard Jesse Kersey say, a "spirit clothed with grace,
And pure, almost, as angels are, may have a homely face.
And dress may be of less account; the Lord will look within:
The soul it is that testifies of righteousness or sin."
Thee mustn't be too hard on Ruth: she's anxious I should go,
And she will do her duty as a daughter should, I know.
'Tis hard to change so late in life, but we must be resigned;
The Lord looks down contentedly upon a willing mind.
* * * * *
The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht,
Wi' mickle faucht an' din;
"Oh, try and sleep, ye waukrife rougues,
Your faither's comin' in."
They never heed a word I speak;
I try to gie a froon,
But aye I hap them up, an' cry,
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
Wee Jamie wi' the curly head--
He aye sleeps next the wa',
Bangs up an' cries, "I want a piece"--
The rascal starts them a'.
I rin' an' fetch them pieces, drinks;
They stop awee the soun',
Then draw the blankets up an' cry,
"Noo, weanies, cuddle doon."
But ere five minutes gang, wee Rab
Cries out frae' neatn the claes,
"Mither, mak' Tarn gie ower at ance,
He's kittlin wi' his taes.",
The mischief's in that Tam for tricks,
He'd bother half the toon,
But aye I hap them up an' cry,
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
At length they hear their faither's fit,
An' as he steeks the door
They turn their faces to the wa',
While Tam pretends to snore.
"Hae a' the weans been gude?" he asks
As he pits off his shoon,
"The bairnies, John, are in their beds,
An' lang since cuddle doon."
An' just afore we bed oursel's,
We look at oor wee lambs;
Tam has his airm roun' wee Rab's neck,
An' Rab his airm roun' Tam's.
I lift wee Jamie up the bed,
An' as I straik each croon
I whisper, till my heart fills up,
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht.
Wi' mirth that's dear to me;
But sune the big warl's cark an' care
Will quaten doon their glee.
Yet come what will to ilka ane
May He who sits aboon,
Aye whisper, though their pows be bauld,
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
* * * * *
PER PACEM AD LUCEM.
I do not ask, O Lord! that life may be
A pleasant road;
I do not ask that Thou wouldst take from me
Aught of its load:
I do not ask that flowers should always spring
Beneath my feet;
I know too well the poison and the sting
Of things too sweet.
For one thing only, Lord, dear Lord! I plead:
Lead me aright--
Though strength should falter, and though heart should bleed--
Through Peace to Light.
I do not ask, O Lord! that Thou shouldst shed
Full radiance here;
Give but a ray of peace, that I may tread
Without a fear.
I do not ask my cross to understand,
My way to see,--
Better in darkness just to feel Thy hand,
And follow Thee.
Joy is like restless day, but peace divine
Like quiet night.
Lead me, O Lord! till perfect day shall shine,
Through Peace to Light.
_Adelaide Anne Procter._
* * * * *
THE NEWSBOY'S DEBT.
Only last year, at Christmas time, while pacing down the city street,
I saw a tiny, ill clad boy--one of the many that we meet--
As ragged as a boy could be, with half a cap, with one good shoe,
Just patches to keep out the wind--I know the wind blew keenly too:
A newsboy, with a newsboy's lungs, a square Scotch face, an honest brow,
And eyes that liked to smile so well, they had not yet forgotten how:
A newsboy, hawking his last sheets with loud persistence; now and then
Stopping to beat his stiffened hands, and trudging bravely on again.
Dodging about among the crowd, shouting his "Extras" o'er and o'er;
Pausing by whiles to cheat the wind within some alley, by some door.
At last he stopped--six papers left, tucked hopelessly beneath his arm--
To eye a fruiterer's outspread store; here, products from some country farm;
And there, confections, all adorned with wreathed and clustered leaves
While little founts, like frosted spires, tossed up and down their mimic
He stood and gazed with wistful face, all a child's longing in his eyes;
Then started as I touched his arm, and turned in quick, mechanic wise,
Raised his torn cape with purple hands, said, "Papers, sir? _The
He brushed away a freezing tear, and shivered, "Oh, sir don't refuse!"
"How many have you? Never mind--don't stop to count--I'll take them all;
And when you pass my office here, with stock on hand, give me a call."
He thanked me with a broad Scotch smile, a look half wondering and half
I fumbled for the proper "change," and said, "You seem a little lad
To rough it in the streets like this." "I'm ten years old on Christmas-day!"
"Your name?" "Jim Hanley." "Here's a crown, you'll get change there across
"Five shillings. When you get it changed come to my office--that's the
Now wait a bit, there's time enough: you need not run a headlong race.
Where do you live?" "Most anywhere. We hired a stable-loft to day.
Me and two others." "And you thought, the fruiterer's window pretty, hey?"
"Or were you hungry?" "Just a bit," he answered bravely as he might.
"I couldn't buy a breakfast, sir, and had no money left last night."
"And you are cold?" "Ay, just a bit; I don't mind cold." "Why, that is
He smiled and pulled his ragged cap, and darted off to get the "change."
So, with a half unconscious sigh, I sought my office desk again;
An hour or more my busy wits found work enough with book and pen.
But when the mantel clock struck six I started with a sudden thought,
For there beside my hat and cloak lay those six papers I had bought.
Why where's the boy? and where's the 'change' he should have brought an
Ah, well! ah, well! they're all alike! I was a fool to tempt him so,
Dishonest! Well, I might have known; and yet his face seemed candid too.
He would have earned the difference if he had brought me what was due.
"But caution often comes too late." And so I took my homeward way.
Deeming distrust of human kind the only lesson of the day.
Just two days later, as I sat, half dozing, in my office chair,
I heard a timid knock, and called in my brusque fashion, "Who is there?"
An urchin entered, barely seven--the same Scotch face, the same blue eyes--
And stood, half doubtful, at the door, abashed at my forbidding guise.
"Sir, if you please, my brother Jim--the one you give the crown, you know--
He couldn't bring the money, sir, because his back was hurted so.
"He didn't mean to keep the 'change.' He got runned over, up the street;
One wheel went right across his back, and t'other forewheel mashed his feet.
They stopped the horses just in time, and then they took him up for dead,
And all that day and yesterday he wasn't rightly in his head.
"They took him to the hospital--one of the newsboys knew 'twas Jim--
And I went, too, because, you see, we two are brothers, I and him.
He had that money in his hand, and never saw it any more.
Indeed, he didn't mean to steal! He never stole a pin before.
"He was afraid that you might think, he meant to keep it, anyway;
This morning when they brought him to, he cried because he couldn't pay.
He made me fetch his jacket here; it's torn and dirtied pretty bad;
It's only fit to sell for rags, but then, you know, it's all he had.
"When he gets well--it won't be long--if you will call the money lent.
He says he'll work his fingers off but what he'll pay you every cent."
And then he cast a rueful glance at the soiled jacket where it lay,
"No, no, my boy! take back the coat. Your brother's badly hurt you say?
"Where did they take him? Just run out and hail a cab, then wait for me.
Why, I would give a thousand coats, and pounds, for such a boy as he!"
A half-hour after this we stood together in the crowded wards,
And the nurse checked the hasty steps that fell too loudly on the boards.
I thought him smiling in his sleep, and scarce believed her when she said,
Smoothing away the tangled hair from brow and cheek, "The boy is dead."
Dead? dead so soon? How fair he looked! One streak of sunshine on his hair.
Poor lad! Well it is warm in Heaven: no need of "change" and jackets there.
And something rising in my throat made it so hard for me to speak,
I turned away, and left a tear lying upon his sunburned cheek.
* * * * *
Have you read in the Talmud of old,
In the Legends the Rabbins have told,
Of the limitless realms of the air,--
Have you read it,--the marvellous story
Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory,
Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer?
How erect, at the outermost gates
Of the City Celestial he waits,
With his feet on the ladder of light,
That, crowded with angels unnumbered,
By Jacob was seen, as he slumbered
Alone in the desert at night?
The Angels of Wind and of Fire
Chant only one hymn, and expire
With the song's irresistible stress;
Expire in their rapture and wonder,
As harp strings are broken asunder
By music they throb to express.
But serene in the rapturous throng,
Unmoved by the rush of the song,
With eyes unimpassioned and slow,
Among the dead angels, the deathless
Sandalphon stands listening breathless
To sounds that ascend from below;--
From the spirits on earth that adore,
From the souls that entreat and implore;
In the fervour and passion of prayer;
From the hearts that are broken with losses,
And weary with dragging the crosses
Too heavy for mortals to bear.
And he gathers the prayers as he stands,
And they change into flowers in his hands,
Into garlands of purple and red,
And beneath the great arch of the portal,
Through the streets of the City Immortal,
Is wafted the fragrance they shed.
It is but a legend I know,--
A fable, a phantom, a show,
Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
Yet the old mediaeval tradition,
The beautiful, strange superstition,
But haunts me and holds me the more.
When I look from my window at night,
And the welkin above is all white,
All throbbing and panting with stars,
Among them majestic is standing,
Sandalphon, the angel, expanding
His pinions in nebulous bars.
And the legend, I feel, is a part
Of the hunger and thirst of the heart,
The frenzy and fire of the brain,
That grasps at the fruitage forbidden,
The golden pomegranates of Eden,
To quiet its fever and pain.
* * * * *
HAGAR IN THE WILDERNESS
The morning broke.--Light stole upon the clouds
With a strange beauty.--Earth received again
Its garment of a thousand dyes; and leaves,
And delicate blossoms, and the painted flowers,
And every thing that bendeth to the dew,
And stirreth with the daylight, lifted up
Its beauty to the breath of that sweet morn.
All things are dark to sorrow; and the light
And loveliness, and fragrant air, were sad
To the dejected Hagar. The moist earth
Was pouring odours from its spicy pores;
And the young birds were singing as if life
Were a new thing to them: but oh! it came
Upon her heart like discord; and she felt
How cruelly it tries a broken heart,
To see a mirth in any thing it loves.
The morning passed; and Asia's sun rode up
In the clear heaven, and every beam was heat.
The cattle of the hills were in the shade,
And the bright plumage of the Orient lay
On beating bosoms, in her spicy trees.
It was an hour of rest!--But Hagar found
No shelter in the wilderness; and on
She kept her weary way, until the boy
Hung down his head, and opened his parched lips
For water; but she could not give it him.
She laid him down beneath the sultry sky;--
For it was better than the close, hot breath
Of the thick pines,--and tried to comfort him;
But he was sore athirst; and his blue eyes
Were dim and bloodshot; and he could not know
Why God denied him water in the wild.--
She sat a little longer; and he grew
Ghastly and faint, as if he would have died.
It was too much for her. She lifted him,
And bore him farther on, and laid his head
Beneath the shadow of a desert shrub;
And, shrouding up her face, she went away,
And sat to watch, where he could see her not,
Till he should die; and watching him, she mourned:--
"God stay thee in thine agony, my boy!
I cannot see thee die; I cannot brook
Upon thy brow to look,
And see death settle on my cradle joy.
How have I drunk the light of thy blue eye
And could I see thee die?
"I did not dream of this, when thou wast straying
Like an unbound gazelle, among the flowers,
Or wiling the soft hours,
By the rich gush of water-sources playing,
Then sinking weary to thy smiling sleep,
So beautiful and deep.
"Oh no! and when I watched by thee, the while,
And saw thy bright lip curling in thy dream,
And thought of the dark stream
In my own land of Egypt, the far Nile,
How prayed I that my fathers' land might be
A heritage for thee!
"And now the grave for its cold breast hath won thee,
And thy white delicate limbs the earth will press;
And oh! my last caress
Must feel thee cold, for a chill hand is on thee--
How can I leave my boy, so pillowed there
Upon his clustering hair"
* * * * *
She stood beside the well her God had given
To gush in that deep wilderness, and bathed
The forehead of her child until he laughed
In his reviving happiness, and lisped
His infant thought of gladness at the sight
Of the cool plashing of his mother's hand.
_N. P. Willis_
* * * * *
THE MODEL WIFE
His house she enters there to be a light,
Shining within when all around is night,
A guardian angel o'er his life presiding,
Doubling his pleasures and his cares dividing:
Winning him back when mingling with the throng
Of this vain world we love, alas, too long,
To fireside's happiness and hours of ease,
Blest with that charm, the certainty to please;
How oft her eyes read his! Her gentle mind
To all his wishes, all his thoughts inclined;
Still subject--ever on the watch to borrow
Mirth of his mirth and sorrow of his sorrow.
* * * * *
Falling leaf and fading tree,
Lines of white in a sullen sea,
Shadows rising on you and me--
The swallows are making them ready to fly.
Goodbye, Summer! Goodbye!
Hush! A voice from the far away!--
"Listen and learn," it seems to say,
"All the to-morrows shall be as to-day."
The cord is frayed and the cruse is dry.
The ink must break and the lamp must die.
Goodbye, Hope! Goodbye!
What are we waiting for? Oh! my heart,
Kiss me straight on the brows and part!
Again! again! My heart! my heart!
What are we waiting for, you and I?
A pleading look--a stifled cry--
Goodbye forever! Goodbye!
MAKIN' AN EDITOR OUTEN 0' HIM.
"Good morning, sir, Mr. Printer; how is your body today?
I'm glad you're to home, for you fellers is al'ays a runnin' away.
But layin' aside pleasure for business, I've brought you my little boy, Jim;
And I thought I would see if you couldn't make an editor outen o' him.
He aint no great shakes for to labour, though I've laboured with him a
And give him some strappin' good arguments I know he couldn't help but to
But he's built out of second-growth timber, and nothin' about him is big,
Exceptin' his appetite only, and there he's as good as a pig.
I keep him a carryin' luncheons, and fillin' and bringin' the jugs,
And take him among the pertatoes, and set him to pickin' the bugs;
And then there is things to be doin' a helpin' the women indoors;
There's churnin' and washin' o' dishes, and other descriptions of chores;
But he don't take to nothin' but victuals, and he'll never be much, I'm
So I thought it would be a good notion to larn him the editor's trade.
His body's too small for a farmer, his judgment is rather too slim,
But I thought we perhaps could be makin' an editor outen o' him!
It aint much to get up a paper, it wouldn't take him long for to learn;
He could feed the machine, I am thinkin', with a good strappin' fellow to
And things that was once hard in doin', is easy enough now to do;
Just keep your eye on your machinery, and crack your arrangements right
I used for to wonder at readin', and where it was got up, and how;
But 'tis most of it made by machinery, I can see it all plain enough now.
And poetry, too, is constructed by machines of different designs,
Each one with a gauge and a chopper, to see to the length of the lines;
An' since the whole trade has growed easy, 'twould be easy enough, I've
If you was agreed, to be makin' an editor outen o' Jim!"
The Editor sat in his sanctum and looked the old man in the eye,
Then glanced at the grinning young hopeful, and mournfully made a reply:
"Is your son a small unbound edition of Moses and Solomon both?
Can he compass his spirit with meekness, and strangle a natural oath?
Can he leave all his wrongs to the future, and carry his heart in his cheek?
Can he do an hour's work in a minute, and live on a sixpence a week?
Can he courteously talk to an equal, and brow-beat an impudent dunce?
Can he keep things in apple-pie order, and do half-a-dozen at once?
Can he press all the springs of knowledge, with quick and reliable touch?
And be sure that he knows how much to know, and knows how not to know too
Does he know how to spur up his virtue, and put a check-rein on his pride?
Can he carry a gentleman's manners within a rhinoceros hide?
Can he know all, and do all, and be all, with cheerfulness, courage,
If so, we, perhaps, can be makin' an editor outen o' him.'"
The farmer stood curiously listening, while wonder his visage o'erspread,
And he said: "Jim, I guess we'll be goin', he's probably out of his head."
_Will M. Carleton._
* * * * *
Attend, all ye who list to hear our noble England's praise;
I tell of the thrice famous deeds she wrought in ancient days,
When that great fleet invincible against her bore in vain,
The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts of Spain.
It was about the lovely close of a warm summer day,
There came a gallant merchant ship full sail to Plymouth Bay;
Her crew had seen Castile's black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle,
At earliest twilight, on the waves lie heaving many a mile,
At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial grace;
And the tall _Pinta_, till the noon, had held her close in chase.
Forthwith a guard at every gun was placed along the wall;
The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgecombe's lofty hall;
Many a light fishing bark put out to pry along the coast;
And with loose rein, and bloody spur, rode inland many a post.
With his white hair unbonneted, the stout old sheriff comes,
Behind him march the halberdiers, before him sound the drums;
The yeomen, round the market cross, make clear an ample space,
For there behoves him to set up the standard of her Grace;
And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells,
As slow upon the labouring wind the royal blazon swells.
Look how the Lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown,
And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down!
So stalked he when he turned to flight, on that famed Picard field,
Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Caesar's eagle shield:
So glared he when at Agincourt, in wrath he turned to bay,
And crushed and torn, beneath his claws, the princely hunters lay.
Ho! strike the flagstaff deep, sir knight! Ho! scatter flowers, fair maids!
Ho, gunners! fire a loud salute! Ho, gallants! draw your blades!
Thou, sun, shine on her joyously; ye breezes, waft her wide;
Our glorious _semper eadem_, the banner of our pride.
The fresh'ning breeze of eve unfurled that banner's massy fold--
The parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty scroll of gold:
Night sank upon the dusky beach, and on the purple sea;
Such night in England ne'er had been, nor ne'er again shall be.
From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to Milford bay,
That time of slumber was as bright, as busy as the day;
For swift to east, and swift to west the warning radiance spread--
High on St Michael's Mount it shone--it shone on Beachy Head;
Far o'er the deep the Spaniard saw, along each southern shire,
Cape beyond cape, in endless range, those twinkling points of fire.
The fisher left his skiff to rock on Tamar's glittering waves,
The rugged miners poured to war, from Mendip's sunless caves;
O'er Longleat's towers, o'er Cranbourne's oaks, the fiery herald flew,
And roused the shepherds of Stonehenge--the rangers of Beaulieu.
Right sharp and quick the bells all night rang out from Bristol town;
And, ere the day, three hundred horse had met on Clifton Down.
The sentinel on Whitehall gate looked forth into the night,
And saw o'erhanging Richmond Hill, the streak of blood-red light;
Then bugle's note, and cannon's roar, the death-like silence broke,
And with one start, and with one cry, the royal city woke;
At once, on all her stately gates, arose the answering fires;
At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling spires;
From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the voice of fear,
And all the thousand masts of Thames sent back a louder cheer;
And from the furthest wards was heard the rush of hurrying feet,
And the broad streams of pikes and flags dashed down each roaring street:
And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the din,
As fast from every village round the horse came spurring in;
And eastward straight, from wild Blackheath, the warlike errand went;
And roused, in many an ancient hall, the gallant squires of Kent:
Southward, from Surrey's pleasant hills, flew those bright couriers forth;
High on bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor, they started for the north;
And on, and on, without a pause, untired they bounded still;
All night from tower to tower they sprang, they sprang from hill to hill;
Till the proud peak unfurled the flag o'er Derwent's rocky dales;
Till like volcanoes, flared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales;
Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely height;
Till streamed in crimson on the wind, the Wrekin's crest of light;
Till broad and fierce, the star came forth, on Ely's stately fane,
And town and hamlet rose in arms, o'er all the boundless plain;
Till Belvoir's lordly terraces the sign to Lincoln sent,
And Lincoln sped the message on, o'er the wide vale of Trent:
Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's embattled pile,
And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.
* * * * *
TRIAL SCENE FROM THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
DUKE. You hear the learned Bellario, what he writes;
And here, I take it, is the doctor come.--
_Enter_ PORTIA, _dressed like a doctor of laws._
Give me your hand: Came you from old Bellario?
POR. I did, my lord.
DUKE. You are welcome: take your place.
Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question in the court?
POR. I am informed thoroughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?
DUKE. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
POR. Is your name Shylock?
SHYLOCK. Shylock is my name.
POR. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow;
Yet in such rule that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.--
You stand within his danger, do you not? [_To_ ANT.
ANTONIO. Ay, so he says.
POR. Do you confess the bond?
ANT. I do.
POR. Then must the Jew be merciful.
SHY. On what compulsion must I? tell me that.
POR. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the heart of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this--
That in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much,
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
SHY. My deeds upon my head: I crave the law,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
POR. Is he not able to discharge the money?
BASSANIO. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court
Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you,
Wrest once the law to your authority:
To do a great right do a little wrong:
And curb this cruel devil of his will.
POR. It must not be; there is no power in Venice
Can alter a decree established:
'Twill be recorded for a precedent;
And many an error, by the same example,
Will rush into the state: it cannot be.
SHY. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee!
POR. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
SHY. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
POR. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.
SHY. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul?
No, not for Venice.
POR. Why, this bond is forfeit;
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart:--be merciful;
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.
SHY. When it is paid according to the tenour.
It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
You know the law, your exposition
Hath been most sound: I charge you by the law
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment: by my soul I swear
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me: I stay here on my bond.
ANT. Most heartily I do beseech the court
To give the judgment.
POR. Why then, thus it is:
You must prepare your bosom for his knife.
SHY. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
POR. For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.
SHY. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge!
How much more elder art thou than thy looks.
POR. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
SHY. Ay, his breast.
So says the bond;--Doth it not, noble judge?
Nearest his heart, those are the very words.
POR. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh
SHY. I have them ready.
POR. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge
To stop his wounds, lest he should bleed to death.
SHY. Is it so nominated in the bond?
POR. It is not so express'd; but what of that?
'Twere good you do so much for charity.
SHY. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
POR. Come, merchant, have you anything to say?
ANT. But little; I am arm'd, and well prepar'd,--
Give you your hand, Bassanio; fare you well!
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you;
For herein fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is still her use,
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
An age of poverty; from which lingering penance
Of such a misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honourable wife;
Tell her the process of Antonio's end,
Say, how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent not you that you shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt;
For, if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.
BASS. Antonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life;
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.
POR. Your wife would give you little thanks for that,
If she were by, to hear you make the offer.
GRATIANO. I have a wife, whom I protest I love;
I would she were in heaven, so she could
Entreat some power to change this currish Jew.
NER. 'Tis well you offer it behind her back;
The wish would make else an unquiet house.
SHY. These be the Christian husbands: I have a daughter;
Would any of the stock of Barrabas
Had been her husband, rather than a Christian! [_Aside_.
We trifle time: I pray thee pursue sentence.
POR. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine;
The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
SHY. Most rightful judge.
FOR. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast;
The law allows it, and the court awards it.
SHY. Most learned judge!--A sentence; come, prepare.
POR. Tarry a little;--there is something else.--
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
The words expressly are a pound of flesh:
Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.
GRA. O upright judge!--Mark, Jew!--O learned judge!
SHY. Is that the law?
POR. Thyself shall see the act:
For as thou urgest justice, be assur'd
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.
GRA. O learned judge!--mark, Jew; a learned judge!
SHY. I take this offer then,--pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian go.
BASS. Here is the money.
The Jew shall have all justice;--soft;--no haste;--
He shall have nothing but the penalty.
GRA. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge!
POR. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh.
Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less nor more,
But just a pound of flesh; if thou tak'st more,
Or less, than just a pound,--be it so much
As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance,
Or the division of the twentieth part
Of one poor scruple,--nay, if the scale do turn
But in the estimation of a hair,--
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.
GRA. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.
POR. Why doth the Jew pause? take thy forfeiture.
SHY. Give me my principal, and let me go.
BASS. I have it ready for thee; here it is.
POR. He hath refus'd it in the open court;
He shall have merely justice, and his bond.
GRA. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel!--
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
SHY. Shall I not have barely my principal?
POR. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.
SHY. Why then the devil give him good of it!
I'll stay no longer question.
POR. Tarry, Jew;
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,--
If it be proved against an alien,
That by direct or indirect attempts
He seeks the life of any citizen,
The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one half his goods: the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st:
For it appears by manifest proceeding,
That, indirectly, and directly too,
Thou hast contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears'd.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.
GRA. Beg that thou may'st have leave to hang thyself:
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
Therefore, thou must be hanged at the state's charge.
DUKE. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.
POR. Ay, for the state; not for Antonio.
SHY. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that:
You take my house, when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my life,
When you do take the means whereby I live.
POR. What mercy can you render him, Antonio?
GRA. A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's sake.
ANT. So please my lord the duke, and all the court,
To quit the fine for one half of his goods;
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter;
Two things provided more,--That for this favour,
He presently become a Christian;
The other, that he do record a gift
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd
Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.
DUKE. He shall do this; or else I do recant
The pardon that I late pronounced here.
POR. Art thou contented, Jew; what dost thou say?
SHY. I am content.
POR. Clerk, draw a deed of gift.
SHY. I pray you give me leave to go from hence:
I am not well; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.
DUKE. Get thee gone, but do it.
GRA. In christening, thou shalt have two godfathers;
Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten more,
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.
* * * * *
THE FAITHFUL HOUSEWIFE.
I see her in her home content,
The faithful housewife, day by day,
Her duties seem like pleasures sent,
And joy attends her on her way.
She cares not for the loud acclaim
That goes with rank and social strife.
Her wayside home is more than fame;
She is its queen--the faithful wife.
When summer days are soft and fair,
And bird-songs fill the cottage trees,
She reaps a benison as rare,
As her own gentle ministries.
Peace shrines itself upon her face,
And happiness in every look;
Her voice is full of charm and grace,
Like music of the summer brook.
In winter when the days are cold,
And all the landscape dead and bare,
How well she keeps her little fold,
How shines the fire beside her chair!
The children go with pride to school,
The father's toil half turns to play;
So faithful is her frugal rule,
So tenderly she moulds the day.
Let higher stations vaunt their claim,
Let others sing of rank and birth;
The faithful housewife's honest fame
Is linked to the best joy on earth.
* * * * *
SCENE FROM RICHELIEU.
Enter JULIE DE MORTEMAR
RICHELIEU. That's my sweet Julie! why, upon this face
Blushes such daybreak, one might swear the morning
Were come to visit Tithon.
JULIE (_placing herself at his feet_). Are you gracious?
May I say "Father?"
RICH. Now and ever!
A sweet word to an orphan.
RICH. No; not orphan
While Richelieu lives; thy father loved me well;
My friend, ere I had flatterers (now I'm great,
In other phrase, I'm friendless)--he died young
In years, not service, and bequeathed thee to me;
And thou shalt have a dowry, girl, to buy
Thy mate amid the mightiest. Drooping?--sighs?--
Art thou not happy at the court?
JULIE. Not often.
RICH, (_aside_). Can she love Baradas? Ah! at thy heart
There's what can smile and sigh, blush and grow pale,
All in a breath! Thou art admired--art young;
Does not his Majesty commend thy beauty--
Ask thee to sing to him?--and swear such sounds
Had smoothed the brow of Saul?
JULIE. He's very tiresome,
Our worthy King.
RICH. Fie! Kings are never tiresome
Save to their ministers. What courtly gallants
Charm ladies most?--De Sourdioc' Longueville, or
The favorite Baradas?
JULIE. A smileless man--
I fear and shun him.
RICH. Yet he courts thee!
He is more tiresome than his Majesty.
RICH. Right, girl, shun Baradas. Yet of these flowers
Of France, not one, in whose more honeyed breath
Thy heart hears Summer whisper?
HUGUET. The Chevalier De Mauprat waits below.
JULIE. (_starting up_). De Mauprat!
RICH. Hem! He has been tiresome too!--Anon. [_Exit_ HUGUET.
JULIE: What doth he?
I mean--I--Does your Eminence--that is--
Know you Messire de Mauprat?
RICH. Well!--and you--
Has he addressed you often?
JULIE. Often? No--
Nine times: nay, ten;--the last time by the lattice
Of the great staircase.(_In a melancholy tone_.) The
Court sees him rarely.
RICH. A bold and forward royster!
JULIE. _He_? nay, modest,
Gentle and sad, methinks,
RICH. Wears gold and azure?
JULIE. No; sable.
RICH. So you note his colours, Julie?
Shame on you, child, look loftier. By the mass,
I have business with this modest gentleman.
JULIE. You're angry with poor Julie. There's no
RICH. No cause--you hate my foes?
JULIE. I do!
RICH. Hate Mauprat?
JULIE. Not Mauprat. No, not Adrien, father.
Familiar!--Go, child; no,--not _that_ way;--wait
In the tapestry chamber; I will join you,--go.
JULIE. His brows are knit; I dare not call him
father! But I _must_ speak. Your Eminence--
RICH. (_sternly_). Well, girl!
Smile on me--one smile more; there, now I'm happy.
Do not rank Mauprat with your foes; he is not,
I know he is not; he loves France too well.
RICH. Not rank De Mauprat with my foes?
So be it.
I'll blot him from that list.
JULIE. That's my own father. [_Exit_ JULIE.
_Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer._
* * * * *
"DIOS TE GUARDE."
FROM THE SPANISH.
God keep thee safe, my dear,
From every harm,
Close in the shelter of
His mighty arm!
So, when thou must look out
Over earth's noise and rout
May thy calm soul be free
From all alarm.
Or if He shall ordain,
He, the Most Wise,
That woe shall come, that tears
Shall dim thine eyes,
May He still hold thee near,
Dispelling doubt and fear,
Giving thy prostrate heart
Strength to arise.
And when His night comes, love,
And thou must go,
May He still call to thee,
Cradled upon His breast
Sinking to sweetest rest,
God have thee safe, my dear,
And keep thee so.
* * * * *
TO HER HUSBAND;
_Written in the prospect of death_, 1640.
How soon, my dear, death may my steps attend,
How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend,
We both are ignorant. Yet love bids me
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,
That, when that knot's untied that made us one,
I may seem thine, who in effect am none.
And, if I see not half my days that's due,
What Nature would God grant to yours and you.
The many faults that well you know I have
Let be interred in my oblivious grave;
If any worth or virtue is in me;
Let that live freshly in my memory.
And when thou feel'st no grief, as I no harms,
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms;
And, when thy loss shall be repaid with gains,
Look to my little babes, my dear remains,
And, if thou lov'st thyself or lovest me,
These oh, protect from stepdame's injury!
And, if chance to thine eyes doth bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honour my absent hearse,
And kiss this paper, for thy love's dear sake,
Who with salt tears this last farewell doth take.
* * * * *
Was it the chime of a tiny bell,
That came so sweet to my dreaming ear,
Like the silvery tones of a fairy's shell,
That he winds on the beach so mellow and clear,
When the winds and the waves lie together asleep,
And the moon and the fairy are watching the deep,
She dispensing her silvery light,
And he his notes as silvery quite,
While the boatman listens and ships his oar,
To catch the music that comes from the shore?--
Hark! the notes on my ear that play,
Are set to words! as they float, they say,
"Passing away! passing away!"
But, no; it was not a fairy's shell,
Blown on the beach so mellow and clear:
Nor was it the tongue of a silver bell
Striking the hours that fell on my ear,
As I lay in my dream: yet was it a chime
That told of the flow of the stream of Time,
For a beautiful clock from the ceiling hung,
And a plump little girl for a pendulum, swung,
(As you've sometimes seen, in a little ring
That hangs in his cage, a canary bird swing)
And she held to her bosom a budding bouquet,
And as she enjoyed it, she seemed to say,
"Passing away! passing away!"
Oh, how bright were the wheels, that told
Of the lapse of time as they moved round slow!
And the hands as they swept o'er the dial of gold
Seemed to point to the girl below.
And lo! she had changed;--in a few short hours,
Her bouquet had become a garland of flowers,
That she held in her outstretched hands, and flung
This way and that, as she, dancing, swung
In the fullness of grace and womanly pride,
That told me she soon was to be a bride;
Yet then, when expecting her happiest day,
In the same sweet voice I heard her say,
"Passing away! passing away!"
While I gazed on that fair one's cheek, a shade
Of thought, or care, stole softly over,
Like that by a cloud in a summer's day made,
Looking down on a field of blossoming clover.
The rose yet lay on her cheek, but its flush
Had something lost of its brilliant blush;
And the light in her eye, and the light on the wheels,
That marched so calmly round above her,
Was a little dimmed--as when evening steals
Upon noon's hot face:--yet one couldn't but love her;
For she looked like a mother whose first babe lay
Rocked on her breast, as she swung all day;
And she seemed in the same silver' tone to say,
"Passing away! passing away!"
While yet I looked, what a change there came!
Her eye was quenched, and her cheek was wan;
Stooping and staffed was her withered frame,
Yet just as busily swung she on:
The garland beneath her had fallen to dust;
The wheels above her were eaten with rust;
The hands, that over the dial swept,
Grew crook'd and tarnished, but on they kept;
And still there came that silver tone
From the shrivelled lips of the toothless crone,
(Let me never forget, to my dying day,
The tone or the burden of that lay)--
"PASSING AWAY! PASSING AWAY!"
FROM THE FIRST ORATION AGAINST CATILINE.
How far wilt thou, O Catiline, abuse our patience? How long shall thy
madness outbrave our justice? To what extremities art thou resolved to push
thy unbridled insolence of guilt! Canst thou behold the nocturnal arms that
watch the palatium, the guards of the city, the consternation of the
citizens; all the wise and worthy clustering into consultation; this
impregnable situation of the seat of the senate, and the reproachful looks
of the fathers of Rome? Canst thou, I say, behold all this, and yet remain
undaunted and unabashed? Art thou sensible that thy measures are detected?
Art thou sensible that this senate, now thoroughly informed, comprehend the
full extent of thy guilt? Point me out the senator ignorant of thy
practices, during the last and the proceeding night: of the place where you
met, the company you summoned, and the crime you concerted. The senate is
conscious, the consul is witness to this: yet mean and degenerate--the
traitor lives! Lives! did I say? He mixes with the senate; he shares in our
counsels; with a steady eye he surveys us; he anticipates his guilt; he
enjoys his murderous thoughts, and coolly marks us out for bloodshed. Yet
we, boldly passive in our country's cause, think we act like Romans if we
can escape his frantic rage.
Long since, O Catiline! ought the consul to have doomed thy life a forfeit
to thy country; and to have directed upon thy own head the mischief thou
hast long been meditating for ours. Could the noble Scipio, when sovereign
pontiff, as a private Roman kill Tiberius Gracchus for a slight
encroachment upon the rights of this country; and shall we, her consuls,
with persevering patience endure Catiline, whose ambition is to desolate a
devoted world with fire and sword?
There was--there was a time, when such was the spirit of Rome, that the
resentment of her magnanimous sons more sternly crushed the Roman traitor,
than the most inveterate enemy. Strong and weighty, O Catiline! is the
decree of the senate we can now produce against you; neither wisdom is
wanting in this state, nor authority in this assembly; but we, the consuls,
we are defective in our duty.
* * * * *
THE INEXPERIENCED SPEAKER.
The awkward, untried speaker rises now,
And to the audience makes a jerking bow.
He staggers--almost falls--stares--strokes his chin--
Clears out his throat, and.. ventures to begin.
"Sir, I am.. sensible"--(some titter near him)--
"I am, sir, sensible"--"Hear! hear!" (they cheer him).
Now bolder grown--for praise mistaking pother--
He pumps first one arm up, and then the other.
"I am, sir, sensible--I am indeed--
That,.. though--I should--want--words--I must proceed
And.. for the first time in my life, I think--
I think--that--no great--orator--should--shrink--
And therefore,--Mr. Speaker,--I, for one--
Will.. speak out freely.--Sir, I've not yet done.
Sir, in the name of those enlightened men
Who sent me here to.. speak for them--why, then..
To do my duty--as I said before--
To my constituency--I'll ... say no more."
* * * * *
SKETCHES OF AUTHORS.
ADDISON, JOSEPH, born May 1st, 1672, at Milston, Wiltshire, son of the Rev.
Lancelot Addison, was educated at the Charterhouse and at Magdalen College,
Oxford. He was destined for the church, but turned his attention to
political life, and became eventually a member of parliament, and in 1717,
one of the principal Secretaries of State. He first rose into public
notice, through his poem on the battle of Blenheim, written in 1704, and
entitled, _The Campaign_. He was chief contributor to _The
Spectator_. His tragedy of _Cato_, produced in 1713, achieved a
great popularity, which, however, has not been permanent. He died on June
17th, 1719. As an observer of life, of manners, of all shades of human
character, he stands in the first class.
ALDRICH, THOMAS BAILEY, an American poet, born at Portsmouth, New
Hampshire, 1836. He has been an industrious worker on the newspaper press,
and is the author of Baby Bell, a beautiful poem of child-death. He has
published his collected poems under the title of _Cloth of Gold_, and
of _Flower and Thorn_. He is also a prose writer of considerable note,
having an exquisite humour. His published novels are _Prudence
Palfrey_, _The Queen of Sheba_, _The Still-water Tragedy_,
AYTOUN, WILLIAM EDMONDSTOUNE, an eminent critic and poet, born in
Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1813. He studied law, and was appointed Professor
of Rhetoric in Edinburgh University in 1845, and was closely connected with
_Blackwood's Magazine_ for many years. He was a poet of the highest
order, and his _Execution of Montrose_, and the _Burial March of
Dundee_, are two noble historical ballads. He was author of the
celebrated _Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers_, _Bon Gaultier
Ballads_, _Firmilian_, _a Spasmodic Tragedy_, _Bothwell_,
_Poland, and other Poems_, _The Life and Times of Richard Coeur de
Lion_, etc. Died August 4th, 1865.
BEECHER, HENRY WARD, a celebrated author and divine, born at Litchfield,
Connecticut, on the 24th of January, 1813. He studied at Amherst College,
where he graduated in 1834. In 1847, he became pastor of Plymouth Church
(Congregational), Brooklyn. He is one of the most popular writers, and most
successful lecturers of the day in the United States. He has published,
_Lectures to Young Men, Life Thoughts_, a novel entitled
BRONTE, CHARLOTTE (Currer Bell). A popular English novelist, born at
Thornton, Yorkshire, April 21st, 1816, was a daughter of the Rev. Patrick
Bronte. In 1846, in conjunction with her sisters--Anne and Emily--
published a small volume of poems. It was as a writer of fiction, however,
that Charlotte achieved her great success, and in 1848, her novel of
_Jane Eyre_, obtained great popularity, and brought the talented
author well merited fame. She afterwards published _Shirley_ and
_Villette_, both very successful works. In June, 1854, she married the
Rev. Arthur B. Nicholls, but after a brief taste of domestic happiness, she
died at Haworth, March 31st, 1855. _The Professor_, her first
production (written in 1846), was published in 1856, after her death.
BROWNING, ELIZABETH BARRETT, one of the most gifted female poets that have
ever lived, the daughter of Mr. Barrett, an opulent London merchant, born
near Ledbury, Herefordshire, about 1807. She began to write verse when only
ten years of age, and gave early proofs of great poetical genius. At the
age of seventeen, she published _An Essay on Mind, with other Poems_,
and her reputation was widely extended by _The Seraphim and other
Poems_, published in 1838. In 1846, she was married to Robert Browning,
the poet, and they lived for many years in Italy. In 1851, she published
_Casa Guidi Windows_, the impressions of the writer upon events in
Tuscany, and in 1856, appeared _Aurora Leigh_, a poem, or novel in
verse, which is greatly admired. "The poetical reputation of Mrs.
Browning," says the _North British Review_ (February, 1857), "has been
growing slowly, until it has reached a height which has never before been
attained by any modern poetess." She died at Florence, June 29th, 1861.
BROWNING, ROBERT, a distinguished English poet, born at Camberwell, London,
in 1812. He was educated at the University of London, and in 1836 published
his first poem, _Paracelsus_, which attracted much attention by its
originality. He has been a voluminous writer, and of all his works,
_Pippa Passes_, and _The Blot in the Scutcheon_, are perhaps the
best. The _Ring and the Book_ appeared in 1868. He is considered by
some critics as one of the greatest English poets of his time, but is not
BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN, an American poet, born at Cummington,
Massachusetts, November 3rd, 1794. At the age of ten years he made very
creditable translations from the Latin poets, which were printed, and at
thirteen he wrote _The Embargo_, a political satire which was never
surpassed by any poet of that age. He wrote _Thanatopsis_ when but
little more than eighteen, and it is by many considered as his finest poem.
In 1826 he became one of the editors of the _Evening Post_, which he
continued to edit until his death. He published a complete collection of
his poems in 1832, and in 1864. Among his prose works are, _Letters of a
Traveller_, and in 1869 he published a translation of Homer's
_Iliad_, which is an excellent work. Washington Irving says of Bryant:
"That his close observation of the phenomena of nature, and the graphic
felicity of his details, prevent his descriptions from becoming
commonplace." He died June 12th, 1878.
BURNS, ROBERT, the national poet of Scotland, was the son of a small
farmer, and was born near the town of Ayr, on January, 25th, 1759. His
early life was spent in farming, but he was about emigrating to the West
Indies, when the publication of a volume of his poems, in 1786, which were
very favourably received, determined him on remaining in his native land,
and he proceeded to Edinburgh, where he made the acquaintance of the
distinguished men of letters of that famous city. His reception was
triumphant, and a new edition of his poems was issued, by which he realised
more than L500. In 1788 he was married to Miss Jean Armour (Bonnie Jean),
and soon after obtained a place in the excise, and in 1791 he removed to
Dumfries, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died on July 21st,
1796. Nature had made Burns the greatest among lyric poets; the most
striking characteristics of his poetry are simplicity and intensity, in
which qualities he is scarcely, if at all, inferior to any of the greatest
poets that have ever lived. "No poet except Shakespeare," says Sir Walter
Scott, "ever possessed the power of exciting the most varied and discordant
emotions with such rapid transitions."
BYROM, DR. JOHN, an English poet, born at Kersal, near Manchester, in 1691.
He contributed several pieces to the _Spectator_, of which the
beautiful pastoral of _Colin and Phoebe_, in No. 603, is the most
noted. He invented a system of shorthand, which is still known by his name.
Died at Manchester in 1763.
BYRON, GEORGE GORDON NOEL (Lord), an English poet and dramatist of rare
genius, was born in London, January 22nd, 1788. He was educated partly at
Harrow, and in 1805 proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge. While at
College he published, in 1807, his _Hours of Idleness_, a volume of
juvenile poems, which was severely criticised in the _Edinburgh
Review_. Two years later he published his reply, _English Bards_
and _Scotch Reviewers_, a satire which obtained immediate celebrity.
In 1812 he gave the world the fruits of his travels on the continent, in
the first two Cantos of _Childe Harold's Pilgrimage_. The success of
this was so extraordinary that, as he tells us, "he awoke one morning and
found himself famous." He then took his seat in the House of Lords, but
soon lost his interest in politics. In 1813 he published _The Giaour_,
and _The Bride of Abydos_, and in 1814, _The Corsair_. In
January, 1815, he married Anne Isabella Milbank, only daughter of Sir Ralph
Milbank, but the marriage was an unhappy one, and she returned to her
father's in the January of 1816. In April, 1816, Byron left his country
with the avowed intention of never seeing it again, and during his absence
he published, in rapid succession, the remaining cantos of _Childe
Harold_, _Mazeppa_, _Manfred_, _Cain_,
_Sardanapalus_, _Marino Faliero_, _The Two Foscari_,
_Werner_, and _Don Juan_, besides many other smaller poems.
During his residence on the Continent, his sympathies for Grecian liberty
became strongly excited, and he resolved to devote all his energies to the
cause, and left Italy in the summer of 1823. He arrived in Missolonghi on
January 10th, 1824. On February 15th he was seized with a convulsive fit,
which rendered him senseless for some time. On April 9th he got wet, took
cold and a fever, on the 11th he grew worse, and on the 19th he died,
inflammation of the brain having set in. Among the most remarkable
characteristics of Byron's poetry, two are deserving of particular notice.
The first is his power of expressing intense emotion, especially when it is
associated with the darker passions of the soul. "Never had any writer,"
says Macaulay, "so vast a command of the whole eloquence of scorn,
misanthropy and despair.... From maniac laughter to piercing lamentation,
there is not a single note of human anguish of which he was not master."
CAMPBELL, THOMAS, an eminent British poet, born at Glasgow in 1777. In 1799
he published _The Pleasures of Hope_, of which the success has perhaps
had no parallel in English literature. He visited the continent in 1800 and
witnessed the battle of Hohen-linden, which furnished the subject of one of
his most exquisite lyrics. _Gertrude of Wyoming_, published in 1809,
is one of his finest poems. He wrote several spirited odes, etc., and other
literary work, has placed his fame on an enduring basis. He died at
Boulogne, in 1844, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
CARY, ALICE, an American author, born near Cincinnati, Ohio, about 1822.
She first attracted attention by her contributions to the _National
Era_, under the name of Patty Lee; she afterwards published several
volumes of poems and other works, including _Hagar_, _Hollywood_,
etc. Her sketches of Western Life, entitled _Clovernook_, have
obtained extensive popularity. She died, February 12th, 1871.
CARY, PHOEBE, a sister of Alice, has also contributed to periodical
literature and in 1854 published a volume entitled _Poems and
Parodies_. She died July 31st, 1871.
COLERIDGE, SAMUEL TAYLOR, an eminent English poet and critic, born at
Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, October 21st, 1772. In 1796, he published a
small volume of poems and in 1797, in conjunction with Mr. Wordsworth, he
formed the plan of the Lyrical Ballads, for which he wrote the _Ancient
Mariner_. In 1800 he removed to Keswick, where he resided in company
with Wordsworth and Southey, the three friends receiving the appellation of
the Lake Poets. He wrote several excellent works, of which
_Christabel_ is the best. He led a somewhat wandering life and died on
July 25th, 1834. As a poet, he was one of the most imaginative of modern
times, and as a critic his merits were of the highest order.
COLLINS, WILLIAM, an eminent English lyric poet, born at Chichester, in
1720. He was a friend of Dr. Johnson, who speaks well of him. His best
known work is his excellent ode on, _The Passions_, which did not
receive the fame its merits deserve. Before his death, which occurred in
1756, he was for some time an inmate of a lunatic asylum.
COWPER, WILLIAM, a celebrated English poet, originally intended for a
lawyer, and appointed as Clerk of the Journals in the House of Lords at the
age of 31 years, but his constitutional timidity prevented him from
accepting it. He had to be placed in a lunatic asylum for some time. He was
born at Berkhampstead in 1731. In 1767 he took up his abode at Olney, in
Buckinghamshire, where he devoted himself to poetry, and in 1782 published
a volume of poems, which did not excite much attention, but a second
volume, published in 1785, stamped his reputation as a true poet. His
_Task, Sofa, John Gilpin_, are works of enduring excellence. In 1794
his intellect again gave way, from which he never recovered, and he died at
Dereham, in Norfolk, April 25th, 1800.
CROLY, REV. GEORGE, a popular poet, born in Dublin in 1780. He was for many
years rector of St. Stephen's, Wallbrook, London, and was eminent as a
pulpit orator. His principal works are: _The Angel of the World_; a
tragedy, entitled _Cataline_, _Salathiel,_ etc. He died November
DICKENS, CHARLES, one of the most successful of modern novelists, was born
at Landport, Portsmouth, February 7th, 1812. Intended for the law, he
became a most successful reporter for the newspapers, and was employed on
the _Morning Chronicle_, in which paper first appeared the famous
_Sketches by Boz_, his first work. The _Pickwick Papers_ which
followed, placed him at once in the foremost rank of popular writers of
fiction. His novels are so well known that any list of their titles is
superfluous. In 1850 he commenced the publication of _Household
Words_, which he carried on until 1859 when he established _All the
Year Round_, with which he was connected until his death, which occurred
very suddenly at his residence. Gad's Hill, Kent, on June 9th, 1870. He
left his latest work, _The Mystery of Edwid Drood_, unfinished, and it
remains a fragment. It was not merely as a humorist, though that was his
great distinguishing characteristic, that Dickens obtained such unexampled
popularity. Be was a public instructor, a reformer and moralist. Whatever
was good and amiable, bright and joyous in our nature, he loved, supported
and augmented by his writings; whatever was false, hypocritical and
vicious, he held up to ridicule, scorn and contempt.
DRYDEN, JOHN, a celebrated English poet, born at Aldwinckle,
Northamptonshire, August 9th, 1631. He was educated at Trinity College,
Cambridge, where he received his degree of M.A. He removed to London in
1657, and wrote many plays, and on the death of Sir William Davenport he
was made poet laureate. On the accession of James II. Dryden became a Roman
Catholic and endeavoured to defend his new faith at the expense of the old
one, in a poem entitled The Hind and the Panther. At the Revolution he lost
his post, and in 1697 his translation of _Virgil_ appeared, which, of
itself alone is sufficient to immortalize his name. His ode, _Alexander's
Feast_, is esteemed by some critics as the finest in the English
language. He died May 1st, 1700.
GOLDSMITH, OLIVER, one of the most distinguished ornaments of English
literature, born at Pallas, Ireland, in 1728. He studied at Trinity
College, Dublin and afterward at Edinburgh. He traveled over Europe, on
foot, and returned to England in 1756, and settled in London. It was not
until 1764 that he emerged from obscurity by the publication of his poem
entitled _The Traveller_. In the following year appeared his beautiful
novel of the _Vicar of Wakefield_. In 1770 he published _The
Deserted Village_, a poem, which in point of description and pathos, is
beyond all praise. As a dramatist he was very successful and he produced
many prose works. He died in London on the 4th of April, 1774.
GRAY, THOMAS, an English poet of great merit, born in London in 1716. He
was educated at Eton and Cambridge and in 1738 entered the Inner Temple,
but never engaged much in the study of the law. In 1742 he took up his
residence in Cambridge, where, in 1768, he became professor of modern
history. The odes of Gray are of uncommon merit, and his _Elegy in a
Country Churchyard_ has long been considered as one of the finest poems
in the English language. He died in July, 1771. He occupied a very high
rank in English literature, not only as a poet, but as an accomplished
HALLECK, FITZ-GREENE, an American poet, born at Guildford, Conn., July 8th,
1790. He became a clerk in the office of J. J. Astor, and employed his
leisure moments in the service of the Muses. In 1819, in conjunction with
his friend, Joseph R. Drake, he wrote the celebrated _Croaker Papers_,
a series of satirical poems which brought him into public notice. On his
martial poem, _Marco Bozzaris_, published in 1827, his fame
principally rests, although he has written other pieces of great merit. He
died November 19th, 1867.
HARTE, FRANCIS BRET, a native of Albany, N.Y., has written short stories
and sketches of Californian life, and several poems in dialect, of which
_The Heathen Chinee_, is the most celebrated. He possesses great wit
and pathos, and has been very successful in novel writing, and also in
writing for the stage.
HEMANS, FELICIA DOROTHEA, an excellent English poet, born at Liverpool,
September 25th, 1794, was the daughter of a merchant named Browne. Her
first volume of poems was published in 1808. In 1812 she married Capt.
Hemans, but the marriage was a very unhappy one and they separated in 1818.
She is the most touching and accomplished writer of occasional verse that
our literature has yet to boast of. "Religious truth, moral purity and
intellectual beauty, ever meet together in her poetry." She died in Dublin,
HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL, M.D., a distinguished American poet, author and
wit, was born at Cambridge, Mass., August 29th, 1809. He studied law, but
soon left it for medicine, and took his degree of M.D. in 1836. In 1847, he
was appointed Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in Harvard University. He
early began writing poetry, publishing a collected edition of his poems in
1836. He is a genuine poet, and as a song writer, has few if any superiors
in America, excelling in the playful vein. He is best known by his series
of excellent papers, contributed to the _Atlantic Monthly_, under the
title of _The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table_, published in 1857-8;
_The Professor at the Breakfast Table_ and the _Poet at the
Breakfast Table_. He has also written some successful novels, one of
which, _The Guardian Angel_, is one of the best American novels yet
produced. He has also written able works on subjects connected with his
HOOD, THOMAS, a famous poet, humorist and popular author, born in London in
1798. He was the son of a bookseller, served an apprenticeship as an
engraver, but soon betook himself to literature. In 1821 he was sub-editor
of the _London Magazine_. His novels and tales were less successful than
his humorous works. Among his most popular poems are:--_The Song of the
Shirt, The Bridge of Sighs_ and the _Dream of Eugene Aram_. In the
latter years of his life--which was one of prolonged suffering--he was
editor of _The New Monthly Magazine_. As a punster he is unrivalled,
and some of his serious poems are exquisitely tender and pathetic. In all
his works a rich current of genial humour runs, and his pleasant wit, ripe
observation and sound sense have made him an ornament to English
literature. He died March 3rd, 1845.
HUNT, J. H. LEIGH, a popular English poet, born at Southgate, near London
October 19th, 1784. He early turned his attention to literature, and
obtained a clerkship in the War Office, which he resigned in 1808, to
occupy the joint editorship (along with his brother John) of the
_Examiner_. Their boldness in conducting this paper led to their being
imprisoned for two years and fined L500 each, for some strictures on the
Prince Regent which appeared in its columns. He was a copious writer and
his productions occupy a wide range. _Rimini_, written while in
prison, is one of his best poems. Prof. Wilson styles Hunt "as the most
vivid of poets and the most cordial of critics." He died August 28th, 1859.
INGELOW, JEAN, a native of Ipswich, Suffolk, born about 1826, is the author
of several volumes of poems, the first of which ran through 14 editions in
five years. She wrote _A Story of Doom_ and other poems, published in
1867, _Mopsa the Fairy_ in 1869, and several prose stories, etc.
IRVING, WASHINGTON, a distinguished American author and humorist, born in
New York City, April 3rd, 1783. He studied law and was admitted to the bar,
but soon abandoned the legal profession for literature. In 1809 he
published his Knickerbockers History of New York, a humorous work which was
very successful. His works, are very numerous, including the famous
_Sketch Book, The Alhambra, Conquest of Granada, Life of Columbus, Life
of Washington_, etc., etc. For easy elegance of style, Irving has no
superior, perhaps no equal, among the prose writers of America. If
Hawthorne excels him in variety, in earnestness and in force, he is,
perhaps, inferior to Irving in facility and grace, while he can make no
claim to that genial, lambent humour which beams in almost every page of
Geoffrey Cravon. He died November 28th, 1859.
LAMB, CHARLES, a distinguished essayist and humorist, born in London, Feby.
18th, 1775, and educated at Christ's Hospital. In 1792 he became a clerk in
the India House, a post he retained for 33 years. He was a genial and
captivating essayist and his fame mainly rests on his delightful _Essays
of Elia_, which were first printed in the _London Magazine_. His
complete works include two volumes of verse, the _Essays of Elia,
Specimens of the English Dramatic Poets_, etc., etc. For quaint, genial
and unconventional humour, Lamb has, perhaps, never been excelled. He died
December 27th, 1834.
LONGFELLOW, HENRY WADSWORTH, the most popular and artistic of all American
poets, was born in Portland, Maine, Feby. 27th, 1807. He graduated at
Bowdoin College in 1825, and one year afterwards was offered the
professorship of Modern Languages at that Institution, which he occupied
until 1835, when he accepted that of professor of Modern Languages at
Harvard, which he continued to hold until 1854, when he resigned the chair.
His poetical works are well known and are very numerous, the most noted of
his longer pieces being _Evangeline, The Golden Legend, Hiawatha,
Courtship of Miles Standish_, etc. All his poetical works are
distinguished by grace and beauty, warmed by a greater human sympathy than
is displayed in the writings of the majority of eminent poets. He relies
chiefly for his success on a simple and direct appeal to those sentiments
which are common to all mankind, to persons of every rank and of every
clime. He wrote only three prose works, _Outre-Mer, Hyperion and
Kavanagh_, and a few dramas, all of which deserve to rank with the best
American productions. _Evangeline_ is considered "to be the most
perfect specimen of the rhythm and melody of the English hexameter." He
died at Cambridge, Mass., March 24th 1882.
LOWELL, JAMES RUSSELL, a distinguished American poet, critic and scholar,
born in Cambridge, Mass., February 22nd, 1819. He graduated from Harvard,
in 1838, and was admitted to the bar, but soon abandoned law as a
profession and devoted himself to literature. His _Biglow Papers_
first made him popular, in 1848. In 1857, on the establishment of the
_Atlantic Monthly_, he was made editor of that popular magazine. His
prose works consisting chiefly of critical and miscellaneous essays, "show
their author to be the leading American critic, are a very agreeable union
of wit and wisdom, and are the result of extensive reading, illuminated by
excellent critical insight." His humour is rich and unrivalled and he seems
equally at home in the playful, the pathetic, or the meditative realms of
poetry. In 1880, he was appointed Envoy Extraordinary to Great Britain,
which office he held until 1885.
LYTTON, LORD, Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer Lytton, a distinguished
novelist, poet, dramatist and politician, was born May, 1805. He was the
son of William Earle Bulwer, and owes his chief fame to his novels, some of
which are among the best in the English language, notably _The Caxtons,
My Novel, What will He do with It?_ and _A Strange Story_. As a
playwright he was equally successful; he was the author of The Lady of
Lyons--the most popular play of modern days;--_Richelieu, Not so Bad as we
Seem_, the admirable comedy of _Money_, etc. A man of prodigious
industry he showed himself equal to the highest efforts of literature;
fiction, poetry, the drama, all were enriched by his labours. As a
politician he was not quite so successful. In 1866 he was raised to the
peerage as Baron Lytton. He assumed the name of Lytton, his mother's maiden
name, in 1844, on succeeding to the Knebworth estates. He died January
18th, 1873, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
LYTTON, EDWARD ROBERT BULWER, The son of the preceding author, better known
perhaps by his _nom de plume_, Owen Meredith, born November 8th, 1831.
He entered the diplomatic service in 1849. and has represented the British
Government with great distinction. His chief works are _Clytemestra,
Lucile, The Wanderer, Fables in Song, The Ring of Amasis_, a prose
MACAULAY, THOMAS BABINGTON, a celebrated historian, orator, essayist and
poet, was born at Rothley Temple, Lincolnshire, October 26th, 1800. From
his earliest years he exhibited signs of superiority and genius, and earned
a great reputation for his verses and oratory. He studied law and was
called to the Bar, commencing his political career in 1830, and in 1834 he
went to India, as a member of the Supreme Council, returning in 1838 to
England, where for a few years he pursued politics and letters,
representing Edinburgh in the House of Commons, but being rejected, on
appearing for re-election, he devoted himself to literature. During the
last twelve years of his life his time was almost wholly occupied with his
_History of England_, four volumes of which he had completed and
published, and a fifth left partly ready for the press when he died.
Besides the _History_ and _Essays_, he wrote a collection of
beautiful ballads, including the well-known _Lays of Ancient Rome_. In
1849 he was elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, and in 1857,
his honours culminated in his elevation to the peerage as Baron Macaulay.
He died on the 28th of December, 1869.
MILTON, JOHN, An immortal poet, and with the exception of Shakespeare, the
most illustrious name in English Literature, was born in Bread Street,
London, on December 9th, 1608. He graduated at Cambridge, and was intended
for the law or the Church, but did not enter either calling. He settled at
Horton in Buckinghamshire, where he wrote his _Comus, L'Allegro, Il
Penuroso_, and _Lycidas_. He took the side of the Parliament in the
dispute with King Charles I. and rendered his party efficient service with
his pen. About 1654 he became totally blind, and after serving the
Protector as Latin Secretary for four or five years, he retired from public
life in 1657. In 1665, the time of the Great Plague, he first showed the
finished manuscript of his great poem, _Paradise Lost_, which was
first printed in 1667, this immortal work being sold to a bookseller for
L5! He afterwards wrote _Paradise Regained_, but it is, in all
respects, quite inferior to _Paradise Lost_. He died in London, on the
8th of November, 1674.
MOORE, THOMAS, a celebrated poet, born in Dublin, May 28th, 1779, and was
educated at Trinity College in that city. He studied law but never
practised. He published two volumes of poems previous to the production of
_Lalla Rookh_, his masterpiece, which was highly successful and was
published in 1817. His works are very numerous and some of them are
extremely popular, the best being _Lalla Rookh_ and _Irish
Melodies_. As a poet he displays grace, pathos, tenderness and
imagination, but is deficient in power and naturalness. He died February
POE, EDGAR ALLAN, a distinguished American poet and prose writer, born in
Baltimore in 1809. He was an entirely original figure in American
literature, his temperament was melancholy, he hated restraint of every
kind and he gave way to dissipation, and his life is a wretched record of
poverty and suffering. But the _Bells, The Raven_ and _Annabel
Lee_, his principal poetical works, are wonderfully melodious,
constructed with great ingenuity, and finished with consummate art. He
wrote several weird prose tales and some critical essays. He died at
Baltimore, under circumstances of great wretchedness, October 7th, 1849.
POPE, ALEXANDER, a popular English poet and critic, born in London, May
22nd, 1688. During his childhood he displayed great ability and resolved to
be a poet. His _Pastorals_ were written at the age of sixteen. He
wrote a large number of poems, the most celebrated being; the _Essay on
Criticism, The Rape of the Lock_ and the _Essay on Man_. He also
published translations of Homer's _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_. His
talent for satire is conspicuous in the _Duncaid_. He possessed little
originality or creative imagination, but he had a vivid sense of the
beautiful, and an exquisite taste. He owed much of his popularity to the
easy harmony of his verse, the keenness of his satire, and the brilliancy
of his antithesis. He has, with the exception of Shakespeare, added more
phrases to the English language than any other poet. He died on the 30th of
PROCTER, ADELAIDE ANNE, an English poet, born in London, October 30th,
1825. She was a daughter of Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall). She was
a contributor to _Household Words_ and _All the Year Round_, and
published in 1858, a volume of poetry, _Legends and Lyrics_. A second
volume was issued in 1861. She died February 3rd, 1864.
READ, THOMAS BUCHANAN, a distinguished American artist and poet, born in
Pennsylvania, March 12th, 1822. He visited England and also spent several
years in Florence and Rome. He wrote several good poems, but his
_Sheridan's Ride_, brought him more popularity than any of his
previous works. He died May 11th, 1872.
ROGERS, SAMUEL, an eminent English poet, born in London, July 30th, 1763.
He was a rich banker and enabled to devote much leisure time to literature,
of which he was a magnificent patron. His best works are _Pleasures of
Memory, Human Life_, and _Italy_, the last appeared in a
magnificent form, having cost L10,000 in illustrations alone. Died December
SAXE, JOHN GODFREY, a humorous American poet, born in Vermont, in 1816. He
has been most successful in classical travesties and witty turns of
language, and he has won a good place as a sonneteer. A complete edition of
his poems (the 42nd) was published in 1881.
SCOTT, SIR WALTER. An illustrious Scotch author, novelist and poet, born in
Edinburgh, August 15th, 1771. He was called to the bar in 1792, and being
in circumstances favourable for the pursuit of literature, he commenced his
poetical career, by translating several poems from the German. In 1805, he
published the _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, and became at once one of
the most distinguished poets of the age. It was speedily followed by
_Marmion_ and the _Lady of the Lake_ (1810), and many other
poems, all of which added to his fame. In August, 1813, he was offered the
position of poet-laureate, which he declined. But he was destined to add to
his already great reputation as a poet, by a success equally as great in
the realms of prose fiction. In 1814 appeared _Waverley_, published
anonymously, and its success was enormous. It was quickly followed by the
other volumes of the "Great Unknown," as Scott was now designated,
amounting in all to twenty-seven volumes. In 1820 he was created a baronet
and his degree of success had been unparalleled and had raised him to
apparent affluence, but, in 1826, by the failure of two publishing houses
with which he was connected, he was reduced to bankruptcy. He set himself
resolutely to redeem himself from the load of debt (L147,000) but, although
successful, his faculties gave way before the enormous mental toil to which
they were subjected. He died at Abbotsford, Sept. 21st, 1832. In addition
to the poetical works and the Waverley Novels, Scott was the author of many
other popular works, too well known to need mentioning here.
SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM.--The greatest poet of England, born at Stratford-on-
Avon, Warwickshire, April 23rd, 1564. Unfortunately the materials for a
biography of the poet are very meagre, and are principally derived from
tradition. He appears to have been well educated, married very early, when
about nineteen years of age, his wife, Anne Hathaway, being then twenty-
six. Shortly after this he left Stratford for London, where he became an
actor and eventually a writer of plays. His first printed drama (Henry VI.,
part II.) was issued in 1594. In 1597, he purchased the best house in his
native town, and about 1604 he retired to Stratford, where he spent the
last twelve years of life, and where he is supposed to have written many of
his plays, but we have no means of determining the exact order in which
they were composed. He died April 23rd, 1616. His works are of world-wide
fame, and need not be enumerated here. The name is often spelled
SHELLEY, PERCY BYSSHE.--An eminent English poet, born near Horsham, Sussex,
August 4th, 1792. He studied at Oxford, from whence he was expelled for
publishing a _Defence of Atheism_. He made an unhappy marriage and
soon separated from his wife. He published _Queen Mab, Alsator_, and
in 1817 the _Revolt of Islam_. In 1818 he left England, to which he
was destined never to return. In July, 1822, (July 8th), while residing at
Leghorn, he went out on the Gulf of Spezzia, in a sail boat, which was
upset in a squall, and the poet perished. In addition to the poems already
mentioned he wrote _The Cenci_, _Adonais_, _Prometheus_, and
a number of smaller pieces. As a poet he was gifted with genius of a very
high order, with richness and fertility of imagination, but of a vague and
partly unintelligible character.
SHERIDAN, RICHARD BRINSLEY BUTLER.--A celebrated Irish orator and
dramatist, born in Dublin in 1751. He directed his attention to literature,
and in 1775 produced the comedy of _The Rivals_, and several other
pieces. In 1777, his celebrated comedy of _The School for Scandal_,
established his reputation as a dramatic genius of the highest order. He
managed Drury Lane Theatre for some time, and also entered Parliament. His
speech on the impeachment of Warren Hastings is regarded as one of the most
splendid displays of eloquence in ancient or modern times. He died in
London, in July, 1816.
SOUTHEY, ROBERT.--An eminent author and poet, born at Bristol, August 12th,
1774. Intended for the church, he studied at Oxford, but abandoned divinity
for literature. His first poem was _Joan of Arc_, published in 1796.
He was a most voluminous writer, being the author of more than 100 volumes
of poetry, history, travels, etc., and also of 126 papers, upon history,
biography, politics and general literature. His principal works are
_Madoc, Thalaba the Destroyer, The Curse of Kehama_, lives of
_Nelson, Bunyan, John Wesley_, etc., etc. He was appointed poet
laureate in 1813. He died at Keswick, Cumberland, March 21st, 1843.
TENNYSON, ALFRED (Lord Tennyson), a distinguished and the most popular
English poet, born at Somersby, Lincolnshire, August 5th, 1809. He early
displayed poetic genius, his first volume (written in conjunction with his
brother Charles) entitled, _Poems by Two Brothers_, having been issued
in 1827. In 1842, a volume of his poems was published and was most
enthusiastically received, since which period his well-known productions
have been issued at intervals. We need only mention _The Princess, In
Memoriam_, (a record of the poet's love for Arthur Hallam), _Maud,
Idyls of the King, Enoch Arden_, and the dramas of _Queen Mary,
Harold_, etc. In 1833 he was appointed poet-laureate. Refined taste and
exquisite workmanship are the characteristics of all he has written. His
range of poetic power is very wide, and as a describer of natural scenery
he is unequalled, while his rich gift of imagination, his pure and elevated
diction, and his freedom from faults of taste and manner, give him a high
place amongst those who are the great masters of song. He was elevated to
the peerage in January, 1884, as Baron Tennyson.
THACKERAY, WILLIAM MAKEPEACE.--A distinguished English novelist and
humourist, was born in Calcutta, July 18th, 1811. He I was educated at
Cambridge, and at first inclined to be an artist, but after a few years,
devoted himself to literature. He gained popularity as a contributor to
_Punch_, but his progress in popular favour was not rapid, until in
1846, when he published his _Vanity Fair_, one of his best works,
which raised him into the first rank of English novelists. His subsequent
works all tended to enhance his popularity. We need only mention
_Pendennis, the Newcomes, History of Henry Esmond_, the
_Virginians_, etc. He was also a popular lecturer, and his lectures on
the _Four Georges_, and _The English Humourists of the Eighteenth
Century_, were very successful. He edited the _Cornhill Magazine_
from 1860 until April, 1862, when he relinquished it, continuing however to
write for the Magazine. He died somewhat suddenly on December 24th, 1863,
leaving a novel, _Denis Duval_, unfinished. His inimitably graceful
style, in which he has been excelled by no novelist, may be in part due to
his familiarity with Addison, Steele, Swift and their contemporaries. His
pathos is as touching and sincere as his humour is subtle and delicate. His
fame as a novelist has caused his poems to be somewhat neglected, but his
admirable ballads and society verses attain a degree of excellence rarely
reached by such performances.
THOMSON, JAMES.--A celebrated poet, born in Roxburghshire, Scotland,
September 11th, 1700. He went to London to seek his fortune in 1725, and
his poem of _The Seasons_, published in 1726-30, was an important era
in the history of English poetry, as it marked the revival of the taste for
the poetry of nature. Besides the _Seasons_, Thomson wrote some
tragedies, which were failures, also what some critics consider his best
work, _The Castle of Indolence_, published in 1748. He is often
careless and dull, his poetry disfigured by classic allusions to Ceres,
Pomona, Boreas, etc., but he had a genuine love of nature, and his
descriptions, despite their artificial dress, bear the stamp of reality. He
was successful in obtaining a comfortable competence by his literary
exertions, and died August 27th, 1748.
TWAIN, MARK (Samuel Langhorne Clemens.) An American humourist, who has
achieved great popularity, was born in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, and
after an apprenticeship on the "Press," sprang into notice on the
publication of his _Innocents Abroad_, published in 1869, a semi-
burlesque account of the adventures of a party of American tourists in
Europe and the East. _Roughing It_, and other works of his published
subsequently, have been equally successful. The qualities of his style are
peculiar, slyness and cleverness in jesting being his predominant
WHITTIER, JOHN GREENLEAF.--The Quaker Poet of America, born December 17th,
1807, near Haverhill, Mass. He passed his early years on his father's farm,
but in 1829 he began to be connected with the "Press" and edited newspapers
until 1839. He early identified himself with the Anti-Slavery movement and
rendered it noble service by his pen and influence. His first work,
_Legends of New England_, was published in 1831. His works are very
numerous, _Maud Mueller_ being the best known of his poems, and
_Barbara Frietchie_ of his poems connected with the Civil War. As a
writer of prose he unites strength and grace in an unusual degree, and his
poetic effusions are characterized by intense feeling and by all the spirit
of the true lyric poet.
WILLIS, NATHANIEL PARKER.--A distinguished American poet and writer,
born at Portland, Maine, January 20th, 1806. He graduated from Yale in
1827 and devoted himself to literature, publishing a volume in that year
which was well received. He wrote between thirty and forty separate
publications, in addition to editing the _Evening Mirror_ and other
periodicals including the _Home Journal_. Though marred by occasional
affectation, the sketches of Willis are light, graceful compositions,
but the artificiality of his poems have caused them to be neglected.
He died at Idlewild, New York, January 20th, 1867.
WORDSWORTH, WILLIAM.--An illustrious English poet, born at Cockermouth,
Cumberland, April 7th, 1770. He studied at Cambridge and took his B. A.
degree in 1791. In 1793 (after a residence for a short time in France) he
produced his first verses, entitled An Evening Walk. In 1798, a small
volume entitled _Lyrical Ballads_, was published in conjunction with
ST. Coleridge, but was not a success. In 1800, he settled in Grasmere,
Westmoreland, where also resided Southey, Coleridge, de Quincy, and Wilson,
to whom the critics applied the term "Lake School." In 1813 he removed to
Rydal Mount, where he published _The Excursion_ in 1814, _The White
Doe of Rylston, Peter Bell, The Waggoner, The Prelude_, etc. In 1843 he
was appointed to succeed Southey as poet-laureate. He is undoubtedly a poet
of the first rank. Regarding Nature as a living and mysterious whole,
constantly acting on humanity, the visible universe and its inhabitants
were alike to him full of wonder, awe and mystery. His influence on the
literature and poetry of Britain and America has been immense, and is yet
far from being exhausted. He died April 23rd, 1850.
YOUNG, EDWARD, An English divine and poet, born at Upham, Hampshire, in
1684. He was educated at Oxford, and in 1727 was ordained and appointed to
the living of Welwyn, Hertfordshire. As a poet he excels most in his
_Night Thoughts_, which abound with ornate images, but are often very
obscure. He wrote several other works. Died in 1765.