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It wakes up Aden's flashing eyes,
Dusk brows, and swarthy limbsThe dark Liberian soothes her child
With English cradle hymns.
Tasmania's maids express their thoughts
In gentle Saxon speech;
By Sidney's sheltered beach :
Meet oceans broad and blue,
The wide and waste Karroo.
It kindles realms so far apart,
That while its praise you sing,
And those with flowers of spring;
Flame in an arctic sky;
Hangs its orbed fires on high.
It goes with all that prophets told,
Ånd righteous kirgs desired,
And glorious Greeks admired;
And Milton's soaring mind,
To cheer and bless mankind.
Mark, as it spreads, how deserts bloom,
And error fees away,
Before the star of day!
Whose monuments we see,
Of noontide yet to be.
Still more then may it speed the time,
By good men prayed for long,
Will scorn revenge and wrong;
Shall cease to pine or roam,
FAITH, FREEDOM, HEAVEN, and HOME.-LYONS.
INFLUENCE OF SHAKSPEARE OVER THE HUMAN
MIND. Shakspeare was the profoundest thinker, the wittiest, the airiest, the most fantastic spirit (reconciling the extremes of ordinary natures) that ever condescended to teach and amuse mankind. He plunged into the depths of speculation; he penetrated to the inner places of knowledge, plucking out " the heart of the mystery;" he soared to the stars; he trod the earth, the air, the waters. Every element yielded him rich tribute. He surveyed the substances and the spirits of each; he saw their stature, their power, their quality, and reduced them without an effort to his own divine command.
There is nothing more detestable in literature than the system of rating an author by his defects instead of by his merits,—of estimating him by what he does not, rather than by what he does accomplish. The French writers say that Shakspeare is guilty of extravagance, of anachronisms, of undue and coarse jesting, and of fifty other inconsistencies ;—and so he is. But we do not build up his pyramid of fame upon such unholy ground. It is not because he has crowded tragedy and farce together, nor because he has laid prostrate the unities, that we worship him. But it is because he has outshone all writers of all nations, in dramatic skill, in fine knowledge of humanity, in sweetness, in pathos, in humour, in wit, and in poetry. It is because he has subdued every passion to his use, and explored and made visible the inequalities and uttermost bounds of the human mind,--because he has embodied the mere nothings of the air, and made personal and probable the wildest anomalies of superstition,-because he has tried everything, and failed in nothing,-because, in tine, he has displayed a more stupendous intellect, a more wondrous imagination, and has attempted and effected more than the whole French dramatists, from Corneille to the author of yesterday, that we bow down in silent admiration before him, and give ourselves up to a completer homage than we would descend to pay to any other writer. He was the true magician, before whom the astrologers and Hermetic sages were nothing, and the Arabian wizards grew pale. He did not, indeed, trace the Sybils' book, nor the Runic rhyme. Nor did he drive back the raging waters or the howling winds : but his power stretched all over the human mind, from wisdom to fatuity, from joy to despair, and embraced all the varieties of our uncertain nature. He it was, at whose touch the cave of Prospero opened and gave out its secrets. To his bidding Ariel appeared. At his call arose the witches and the earthy Caliban, the ghost who made “night hideous,” the moonlight fays, Titania and Oberon, and the rest. He was the “so potent" master, before whom bowed kings and heroes, and jewelled queens, men wise as the stars, and women fairer than the morning. All the vices and virtues of life were explained by him; and the passions stood plain before him. From the cradle to the coffin he drew them all. He created, for the benefit of wide posterity and for the aggrandizement of human nature,- lifting earth to Heaven, and revealing the marvels of this lower world, and piercing even the shadowy secrets of the grave.
The never-ceasing progress of decay
Has swept the mighty and the mean away,
Towering above all tempests and all time,
A pyramid more glorious and sublime
Are but unspeaking stones, where lies enshrin'd
Pours forth still from his exhaustless stores of mind,
Mounting with tireless wing on every wind,
MILTON AND HIS PROSE WRITINGS. In his character the noblest qualities of both the Puritans and the Royalists were combined in harmonious union. From the Parliament and from the Court, from the conventicle, and from the Gothic cloister, from the gloomy and sepulchral circles of the Roundheads, and from the Christmas revel of the hospitable Cavalier, his nature selected and drew to itself whatever was great and good, while it rejected all the base and pernicious ingredients by which those finer elements were defiled. Like the Puritans he lived
“As ever in his Great Task-master's eye.” Like them he kept his mind constantly fixed on an Almighty Judge and an eternal“ reward. Hence he acquired their contempt of eternal circumstances, their fortitude, their tranquillity, and their inflexible resolution. But not the coolest sceptic or the most profane scoffer was more perfectly free from the contagion of their frantic delusions, their savage manners, their ludicrous jargon, their scorn of science, and their aversion to innocent pleasures. Hating tyranny with a perfect hatred, he had nevertheless, all the estimable and ornamental qualities which were almost entirely monopolized by the party of the despot. There was none who had a stronger sense of the value of literature, a finer relish for every elegant amusement, or a more chivalrous delicacy of honour and love. Though his opinions were democratic, his tastes and his associations were such as harmonise best with monarchy and aristocracy. He was under the influence of all the feelings by which the gallant Cavaliers were misled. But of those feelings he was the master and not the slave. Like the hero of Homer, he enjoyed all the pleasures of fascination; but he was not fascinated. He listened to the Song of the Syrens; yet he glided by without being seduced to their fatal shore. The illusions which captivated his imagination never impaired his reasoning powers. The statesOLIVER CROMWELL.
His grandeur he deriv'd from Heaven alone,
For he was great ere fortune made him so : And wars, like mists that rise against the sun,
Made him but greater seem, not greater grow. No borrowed bays his temples did adorn,
But to our crown he did fresh jewels bring; Nor was his virtue poison'd soon as born
With the too early thoughts of being king.
And set as seamarks for himself to shun;
By acts their age too late would wish undone.
We owe that blessing not to him but Heaven, Which to fair acts unsought rewards did join,
Rewards that less to him than us were given. Swift and resistless through the land he pass'd,
Like that bold Greek who did the East subdue; And made to battles such heroic haste,
As if on wings of victory he flew.
And treach'rous Scotland, to no interest true,
Her land to civilize as to subdue.
Nor was he like those stars which only shine
When to pale mariners they storms portend; He had his calmer influence and his mien
Did love and majesty together blend.
Fame of th' asserted sea through Europe blown,
Made France and Spain ambitious of his love; Each knew that side must conquer he would own,
And for him fiercely as for empire strove. When absent, yet we conquer'd in his right:
For though some meaner artists' skill were shown In mingling colours or in placing light,
Yet still the fair designment was his own. From this high spring our foreign conquests flow,
Which yet more glorious triumphs do portend; Since their commencement to his arms they owe,
If streams as high as fountains may ascend.
He made us freemen of the Continent,
Whom Nature did like captives treat before ;
And taught him first in Belgian walks to roar.
His name a great example stands, to show
NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENGLISH. The English nation cannot be weighed, and measured, and ticketed, and classified by a narrow understanding and cold heart. We, too, have a positive philosophy; and its fundamental maxim is, that it is wise for men and nations to mind their own business, to do their own duty, and to leave their results to God. By adhering to this, we have attained some results which may not be unworthy of the attention even of a positive philosopher. Children are born to-day who will live to hear the English language spoken over half the world, by hundreds of millions of men descended from English blood; and their remote posterity will not see the day when the territories so peopled will be over-crowded. When we look at home, we see only one European country in which freedom of speech and writing exists at all, or in which government is not carried on by mere brute force. The oldest man living there has never heard a cannon fired in anger within its bounds. It has discussed, prepared, and actually carried into operation, within the last thirty years, reforms which have succeeded in no other European country, though they have been attempted in almost all, and have been extinguished in almost all, amidst bloodshed, and treachery, and heart-burnings unutterable.-Saturday Review.
The wealth of the source is seen in the plenitude of English nature. What variety of power and talent; what facility and plenteousness of knighthood, lordship, ladyship, royalty, loyalty; what a proud chivalry is indicated in the Peerage through eight hundred years! What dignity resting on that reality and stoutness! What courage in war, what sinew in labour, what cunning workmen, what inventors and engineers, what seamen and pilots, what clerks and scholars! No one man and no few men can represent them. It is a people of myriad personalities. Their many-headedness is owing to the advantageous position of the middle class, who are always the source of letters and science; hence the vast plenty of their oesthetic productions. As they are many-headed, so they are many-nationed: their colonization annexes archipelagoes and continents, and their speech seems destined to be the universal language of men. I have noted the reserve of power in the English temperament. In the island, they