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So the few famous men of old combined
And let the multitude rise underneath
And reach them and unite so Florence grew :
Braccio speaks well, it was well worth the price.
But when the sheltered Many grew in pride
And grudged their station to the glorious ones,
Who, greater than their kind, are truly great
Only in voluntary servitude.
Which they who, being less, would fain be more,
And so accept not, then are least of all
Time was for thee to rise, and thou art here.
Such plague possessed this Florence · who can tell
The mighty girth and greatness at the heart
Of those so noble pillars of the grove
She pulled down in her envy? Who as I
The light weak parasite born but to twine

each of them, and, measuring them, so live ?
My light love keeps the matchless circle safe,
My slender life proves what has passed away!
I lived when they departed ; lived to cling
To thee, the mighty stranger; thou would’st rise
And burst the thraldom, and avenge, I knew.
I have done nothing all was thy strong heart
But as a bird's weight breaks the infant tree
Which after holds an aery in its arms,
So did I care that naught should warp thy spire
From rising to the height; the roof is reached
Break through and there is all the sky above !
Go on to Florence, Luria! 'Tis man's cause !
But fail thou, and thy fall is least to dread !
Thou keepest Florence in her evil way,
Encouragest her sin so much the more
And while the bloody past is justified,
The murder of those gone before approved,
Thou all the surelier dost work against
The men to come, the Lurias yet unborn,
That, greater than thyself, are reached o’er thee
Who giv'st the vantage-ground their foes require,
As o'er my prostrate House thyself wast reached !
Man calls thee God shall judge thee : all is said !
The mission of my House fulfilled at last !
And the mere woman, speaking for herself,
Reserves speech ; it is now no woman's time.”

But in Luria, now that the last victory is gained for Florence, and there is no more demand made


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p. 16.

faculties of his mind, the reflective and ideal qualities of
character begin in turn to predominate. His revenge must
not be of a physical and animal type. It will be based more
on impulse than reason, but it must be intellectual and heroic.
He accordingly takes poison, and dies just as Braccio re-
turns from Florence, whither Tiburzio has gone with a gen-
erous rival's admiration of his magnanimity to testify in his
favor, with the news of his acquittal. Up to the fifth act,
the characters have been kept entirely distinct, each within
his own limited personality, and absorbed in his own aims.
But now every thing centres toward Luria. His unselfish
grandeur magnetizes all the rest. The true human soul in
each breaks through its artificial barriers, reaching towards
and doing fealty to the enthusiasm of the greater spirit which
attracts and absorbs their own. There is something in this
not only natural, but nobly so. We see in it an appreciation
of the true elements of tragedy, not dependent on any over-
throw of outward fortune, but on the simple, broad humanity
common to us all. We must gratify ourselves by giving the
conclusion almost entire.
- Lur.

My own East !
How nearer God we are! He glows above
With scarce an intervention, presses close
And palpitatingly, His soul o'er ours !
We feel Him, nor by painful reason know !
The everlasting minute of creation
Is felt there ; Now it is, as it was Then;
All changes at His instantaneous will,
Not by the operation of a law
Whose maker is elsewhere at other work !
His soul is still engaged upon his world
Man's praise can forward it, Man's prayer suspend,
For is not God all-mighty ? - To recast
The world, erase old things and make them new,
What costs it Him? So man breathes nobly there !
And inasmuch as Feeling, the East's gift,
Is quick and transient comes, and lo, is gone
While Northern Thought is slow and durable,
Oh, what a mission was reserved for me,
Who, born with a perception of the power
And use of the North’s thought for us of the East,
Should have stayed there and turned it to account,
Giving Thought's character and permanence

Speak, Luria! Here begins your true career

to it!

- All now is possible –
The glory and the grandeur of each dream
And every prophecy shall be fulfilled

· (nay, now your word must come at last) – That you would punish Florence !

Husain (pointing to Luria's dead body). That is done !"

Save one

- pp. 19, 20.

We cannot leave Mr. Browning without giving one extract of another kind. His humor is as genuine as that of Carlyle, and if his laugh have not the “ earthquake" character with which Emerson has so happily labelled the shaggy merriment of that Jean Paul Burns, yet it is always sincere and hearty, and there is a tone of meaning in it which always sets us thinking. Had we room, we should be glad to give our readers a full analysis of his Soul's Tragedy, which abounds in the truest humor, Aitting from point to point with all the electric sparkle and condensed energy of wit. Wit employs itself about externals and conventionalities. Its merit lies quite as much in nicety of expression as in the idea expressed, or even more. For it is something which may be composed, and is therefore necessarily choice of form. Humor goes deeper, bases itself upon the eternal, and not the ephemeral, relations of things, and is something interfused through the whole nature of the man, and which, forcing him to feel keenly what is hollow in the outward forms of society, often makes him careless of all form. In literature, therefore, we see it overleaping or breaking down all barriers. Wit makes other men laugh, and that only once. It may be repeated indefinitely to new audiences, and produce the same result. Humor makes the humorist himself laugh. He is a part of his humor, and it can never be repeated without loss. If we take the common metaphor, that humor is broader than wit, we shall express well enough its greater carelessness of forin and precise limit. It especially behooves a poet, then, to be on his guard against the impulses of his humor. Poetry and humor are subject to different laws of art, and it is dangerous to let one encroach upon the province of the other. It may be questioned, whether verse, which is by nature subject to strict law, be the proper vehicle for humor at all.

The contrast, to be sure, between the preciseness of the metrical rule and the frolicscme license of the thought, has

something humorous in itself. The greater swing which is allowed to the humorous poet in rhythm and rhyme, as well as in thought, may be of service to him, and save him from formality in his serious verses. Undoubtedly the success of Hood's Bridge of Sighs was due in some degree to the quaintness and point of the measure and the rhyme, the secret of which he had learned in his practice as a humorous versifier. But there is danger that the poet, in allowing full scope to this erratic part of his nature, may be brought in time to value form generally at less than its true worth as an element of art. We have sometimes felt a jar in reading Mr. Browning's lyrical poems, when, just as he has filled us full of quiet delight by some touch of pathos or marble gleam of classical beauty, this exuberant geniality suggests some cognate image of the ludicrous, and turns round to laugh in our faces. This necessity of deferring to form in some shape or other is a natural, and not an ingrafted, quality of human nature. It often, laughably enough, leads men, who have been totally regardless of all higher laws, to cling most pertinaciously and conscientiously to certain purely ceremonial observances. If the English courts should ever dispense with so much of their dignity and decorum as consists in horsehair, we have no doubt that the first rogue who shall be sentenced by a wigless judge will be obstinately convinced of a certain unconstitutionality in the proceeding, and feel himself an injured man, defrauded of the full dignity of the justice enjoyed by his ancestors.

We copy one specimen of Mr. Browning's more formal and, so to speak, scholastic humor.

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“Plague take all pedants, say I !

He who wrote what I hold in my hand
Centuries back was so good as to die,

Leaving this rubbish to bother the land ;
This, that was a book in its time,
Printed on paper

and bound in leather,
Last month in the white of a matin-prime

Just when the birds sang all together,
“ Into the garden I brought it to read ;

And under the arbute and laurustine
Read it, so help me grace in my need,

From title-page to closing line.

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Chapter on chapter did I count,

As a curious traveller counts Stonehenge ; Added up the mortal amount ;

And then proceeded to my revenge. " Yonder 's a plum-tree, with a crevice

An owl would build in, were he but sage ; For a lap of moss, like a fine pont-levis

In a castle of the middle age, Joins to a lip of gum, pure amber;

When he'd be private, there might he spend Hours alone in his lady's chamber :

Into this crevice I dropped our friend.

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Splash, went he, as under he ducked,

- I knew at the bottom rain-drippings stagnate; Next a handful of blossoms I plucked

To bury him with, my bookshelf's magnate ; Then I went in-doors, brought out a loaf,

Half a cheese, and a bottle of Chablis ; Lay on the grass and forgot the oaf

Over a jolly chapter of Rabelais. “ Now, this morning, betwixt the moss

And gum that locked our friend in limbo, A spider had spun his web across,

And sat in the midst with arms akimbo ;
So I took pity, for learning's sake,

And, de profundis, accentibus latis,
Cantate, quoth I, as I got a rake,


I fished his delectable treatise.

“Here you have it, dry in the sun,

With all the binding all of a blister,
And great blue spots where the ink has run,

And reddish streaks that wink and glister
O'er the page so beautifully yellow -

Oh, well have the droppings played their tricks! Did he guess how toadstools grow, this fellow ?

Here's one stuck in his chapter six !

“ How did he like it when the live creatures

Tickled and toused and browsed him all over, And worm, slug, eft, with serious features,

Came in, each one, for his right of trover ;

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