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Such are the discoveries which the poets make for us ;-worlds, to which that of Columbus was but a handful of brute matter. It began to be richer for us the other day, when Humboldt came back and told us of its luxuriant and gigantic vegetation ; of the myriads of shooting lights which revel at evening in the southern sky; and of that grand constellation at which Dante seems to have made so remarkable a guess (“Purgatorio,” cant. 1. V. 22). The natural warmth of the Mexican and Peruvian genius, set free from despotism, will soon do all the rest for it, awaken the sleeping riches of its eyesight, and call forth the glad music of its affections.

To return to our parks or landscapes, and what the poets can make of them. It is not improbable that Milton, by his “Genius of the Grove at Harefield,” covertly intended himself. He had been applied to by the Derbys to write some holiday poetry for them. He puts his consent in the mouth of the Genius, whose hand, he says, curls the ringlets of the grove, and who refreshes himself at midnight with listening to the music of the spheres ; that is to say, whose hand confers new beauty on it by its touch, and who has pleasures in solitude far richer and loftier than those of mere patrician mortals.

See how finely Ben Jonson enlivens his description of Penshurst, the family seat of the Sydneys; now with the creations of classical mythology, and now with the rural manners of the time :

“Thou art not, Penshurst, built to envious show,

Or touch, of marble ; nor canst boast a row
Of polish'd pillars, or a roof of gold :
Thou hast no lantern, whereof tales are told;
Or stair, or courts; but stand’st an ancient pile,
And these, grudg'd at, are reverenced the while.
Thou joy'st in better marks, of soil, of air,
Of wood, of water: therein thou art fair.
Thou hast thy walks for health, as well as sport;
Thy mount, to which the Dryads do resort;
Where Pan and Bacchus their high feasts have made,
Beneath the broad beech and the chestnut shade ;

That taller tree, which of a nut was set
At his great birth, where all the Muses met. *
There, in the writhéd bark, are cut the names
Of many a Sylvan, taken with his flames

And thence the ruddy Satyrs oft provoke
The lighter Fauns to reach thy lady's oak.
Thy copse too, named of Gamage, thou hast there,
That never fails to serve thee season'd deer,
When thou wouldst feast, or exercise thy friends:
The lower land, that to the river bends,
Thy sheep, thy bullocks, kine, and calves do feed;
The middle grounds thy mares and horses breed :
Each bank doth yield thee conies; and the tops
Fertile of wood, Ashore and Sydney copse,
To crown thy open table, doth provide
The purple pheasant with the speckled side.

Then hath thy orchard fruit, thy garden flowers,
Fresh as the air, and new as are the hours.
The early cherry, with the later plum,
Fig, grape, and quince, each in his time doth come :
The blushing apricot, and woolly peach,
Hang on thy walls, that every child may reach;
And though thy walls be of the country stone,
They're rear'd with no man's ruin, no man's groan.
There's none that dwell about them wish them down;
But all come in, the farmer and the clown,
And no one empty-handed, to salute
Thy lord and lady, though they have no suit.
Some bring a capon, some a rural cake,
Some nuts, some apples; some, that think they make
The better cheeses, bring them; or else send
By their ripe daughters, whom they would commend
This way to husbands, and whose baskets bear

An emblem of themselves in plum or pear." Imagination enriches everything. A great library contains not only books, but

The assembled souls of all that men held wise."


The moon is Homer's and Shakspeare's moon, as well as the one we look at. The sun comes out of his chamber in the east, with a sparkling eye, “rejoicing like a bridegroom.” The commonest thing becomes like Aaron's rod, that budded. Pope called up the spirits of the Cabala to wait upon a lock of hair, and justly gave it the honours of a constellation ; for he has hung it, sparkling for ever, in the eyes of posterity. A common meadow is a sorry thing to a ditcher or a coxcomb; but, by the help of its dews from imagination and the love of nature, the grass brightens for us, the air soothes us, we feel as we did in the daisied hours of childhood. Its verdures, its sheep, its hedge-row elms,--all these, and all else which sight, and sound, and association can give it, are made to furnish a treasure of pleasant thoughts. Even brick and mortar are vivified, as of old, at the harp of Orpheus. A metropolis becomes no longer a mere collection of houses or of trades. It puts on all the grandeur of its history and its literature ; its towers and rivers ; its art, and jewellery, and foreign wealth ; its multitude of human beings, all intent upon excitement, wise, or yet to learn ; the huge and sullen dignity of its canopy of smoke by day; the wide gleam upwards of its lighted lustre at night-time; and the noise of its many chariots, heard at the same hour, when the wind sets gently towards some quiet suburb.

* Sir Philip Sydney

[NOTE. —The passage about the great things to be done by the Mexicans and Peruvians when “set free from despotism” has a halfmournful, half-ludicrous sound at the present day, when, after nearly half a century of nominal freedom and actual anarchy (especially in Mexico), the Spanish Americans are in as bad a state as they were even under the base and selfish tyranny of the old country. When Leigh Hunt wrote that passage, the Mexicans and Peruvians were struggling for independence; and there was the same enthusiasm for them in this country as was manifested a few years later on behalf of the Greeks, with as little justification by after facts. Alas! the cashiering of a monarch is not always enough to regenerate a people; or the way would be a short one.-E. O.]

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EXT Friday,* making the proper allowance of twelve

days from the 23d of April, according to the change of

the style, is the birthday of Shakspeare. Pleasant thoughts must be associated with him in everything. If he is not to be born in April, he must be born in May. Nature will have her with him on her blithest holidays, like her favourite lover.

O thou divine human creature, greater name than even divine poet or divine philosopher,--and yet thou wast all three ! -a very spring and vernal abundance of all fair and noble things is to be found in thy productions! They are truly a second nature. We walk in them, with whatever society we please ; either with men, or fair women, or circling spirits, or with none but the whispering airs and leaves. Thou makest worlds of green trees and gentle natures for us, in thy forests of Arden, and thy courtly retirements of Navarre. Thou bringest us among the holiday lasses on the green sward ; layest us to sleep among fairies in the bowers of midsummer; wakest us with the song of the lark and the silver-sweet voices of lovers; bringest more music to our ears, both from earth and from the planets; anon settest us upon enchanted islands, where it welcomes us again, from the touching of invisible instruments; and, after all, restorest us to our still-desired haven, the arms of humanity. Whether grieving us or making us glad, thou makest us kinder and happier. The tears which thou fetchest down are like the rains of April, softening the times that come after them. Thy smiles are those of the month of love, the more blessed and universal for the tears.

* This paper originally appeared on Wednesday, May 3, 1820.-ED.

The birthdays of such men as Shakspeare ought to be kept, in common gratitude and affection, like those of relations whom we love. He has said, in a line full of him, that

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

How near does he become to us with his thousand touches ! The lustre and utility of intellectual power is so increasing in the eyes of the world, that we do not despair of seeing the time when his birthday will be a subject of public rejoicing ; when the regular feast will be served up in tavern and dwelling-house, the bust crowned with laurel, and the theatres sparkle with illuminations. The town is lucky enough once more to have a manager who is an enthusiast. If Mr Elliston would light up the front of his theatre next Friday with the name of Shakspeare, we would warrant him a call from the pit, and whole shouts of acknowledgment.

In the meantime, it is in the power of every admirer of Shakspeare to honour the day privately. Rich or poor, busy or at leisure, all may do it. The busiest finds time to eat his dinner, and may pitch one considerate glass of wine down his throat. The poorest may call him to mind, and drink his memory in honest water. We had mechanically written health, as if he were alive. So he is in spirit ;--and the spirit of such a writer is so constantly with us, that it would be a good thing, a judicious extravagance, a contemplative piece of jollity, to drink his health instead of his memory. But this, we fear, should be an impulse. We must content ourselves with having felt it here, and drinking it in imagination. To act upon it, as a proposal of the day before yesterday, might be too much like getting up an extempore gesture, or practising an unspeakable satisfaction.

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