Imagens da página

unless he was assured that the victory was of banking! Whaterer disturbs society, yea, certain,-ay, and the object for which he even by a causeless panic, much more by an fights not to be wrested from his hands actual struggle, falls first upon the market amidst the uproar of the elements that the of labour, and thence affects prejudicially battle bas released."

every department of intelligence. In such The Italian paused, shaded his brow with times the arts are arrested, literature is neg. his hand, and remained lony silent. Then, lected, people are too busy to read anything gradually resuming his ordinary tone, he save appeals to their passions. And capital, continued,

shaken in its sense of security, no longer “Revolutions that have no definite objects ventures boldly through the land, calling made clear by the positive experience of his forth all the energies of toil and enterprise. tory ; revolutions, in a word, that aim less and extending to every workman his reward. at substituting one law or one dynasty for Now, Lenny, take this piece of advice. You another, than at changing the whole scheme are young, clever, and aspiring: men rarely of society, have been little attempted by real succeed in changing the world; but a man statesmen. Even Lycurgus is proved to be seldom fails of success if he lets the world a myth who never existed. Such organic alone, and resolves to make the best of it. changes are but in the day-dreams of philoso-You are in the midst of the great crisis of phers who lived apart from the actual world, your life: it is the struggle between the new and whose opinions (though generally they desires knowledge excites, and that sense of were very benevolent good sort of men, and poverty which those desires convert either wrote in an elegant poetical style) one into hope and emulation, or into envy and would no more take on a plain matter of despair. I grant that it is an up-hill work life, than one would look upon Virgil's · Ec- that lies before you ; but don't you think it logues' as a faithful picture of the ordinary is always easier to climb a mountain than it pains and pleasures of the peasants who tend is to level it? These books call on you to our sheep. Read them as you would read level the mountain ; and that mountain in poets, and they are delightful. But attempt the property of other people, subdivided to shape the world according to the poetry, amongst a great many proprietors, and proand fit yourself for a madhouse. The farther tected by law. At the first stroke of the off the age is from the realization of such pickaxe it is ten to one but what you are projects, the more these poor philosophers taken up for a trespass. But the path up have indulged them. Thus, it was amidst the mountain is a right of way uncontested. the saddest corruption of court manners that You may be safe at the summit before (even it became the fashion in Paris to sit for one's if the owners are fools enough to let you) picture with a crook in one's hand, as Alexis you could have levelled a yard. Cospetto !" or Daphne. Just as liberty was fast dying quoth the Doctor, “it is more than two thouout of Greece, and the successors of Alexan- sand years ago since poor Plato began to level der were founding their monarchies, and it, and the mountain is as high as ever !" Rome was growing up to crush in its iron Thus saying, Riccabocca came to the end grasp all states save its own, Plato with of his pipe, and stalking thoughtfully away, draws his eyes from the world, to open them he left Leonard Fairfield trying to extract in his dreamy Atlantis. Just in the grim- / light from the smoke. mest period of English history, with the axe My Novel; or, Varieties in English Life, hanging over his head, Sir Thomas More Vol. i., Book iv., Chap. 8. gives you his Utopia. Just when the world is to be the theatre of a new Sesostris, the sages of France tell you that the age is too enlightened for war, that man is henceforth HENRY WADSWORTH to be governed by pure reason and live in a

LONGFELLOW, paradise. Very pretty reading all this to a wan like me, Lenny, who can admire and born at Portland, Maine, 1807, graduated at smile at it. But to you, to the man who has Bowdoin College, 1825, was soon afterwards to work for his living, to the man who appointed Professor of Modern Languages thinks it would be so much more pleasant and Literature in the same, and, after spendto live at his ease in a phalanstere than to ing three years and a half in Europe, aswork eight or ten hours a day; to the man sumed the duties of bis office ; in 1835 sucof talent, and action, and industry, whose ceeded George Tieknor in the professorship future is invested in that tranquillity and of Modern Languages and Belles-Lettres, order of a state in which talent and action, and after a second visit to Europe, 1835 to and industry are a certain capital; why, 1838, in the latter year entered upon the Messrs. Coutts, the great bankers, had bet labours connected with this chair, which he ter encourage a theory to upset the system held until 1854, when he was succeeded by



James Russell Lowell. llere he is to be con- land landscape. Around you are forests sidered only as a prose writer : for notices of fir. Overhead hang the long fan-like and specimens of his poems we refer to Alli- branches, trailing with moss, and heavy bone's Every-Day Book of Poetry and Alli- with red and blue cones. Underfoot is a bone's Critical Dictionary of English Litera- carpet of yellow leaves; and the air is warın ture and British and American Authors. and balmy. On a wooden bridge you cross Outre-Mer: a Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea, a little silver stream; and anon come forth New York, 1835, 2 vols., 4th edit., 1850, into a pleasant and sunny land of farms. 16mo ; IIyperion, a Romance, New York, Wooden fences divide the adjoining fields. 1839, 2 vols. 12mo, 13th edit., Bost., 1853, Across the road are gates, which are opened 12mo; Kavanagh, a Tale, Bost., 1849, 16mo. by troops of children. The peasants take Prose Works, Boston, Ticknor & Fields, 1857, off their hats as you pass ; yon sneeze, and 2 vols. 32mo: vol. i., Outre-Mer; Drift- they cry, “God bless you!" The houses in Wood: a Collection of Essays; vol. ii., Hy- the villages and smaller towns are all built perion; Kavanagh.

of hewn timber, and for the most part To the North American Review Longfel- painted red. The floors of the taverns are low has contributed the following articles : strewed with the fragrant tips of fir-boughs. Origin and Progress of the French Lan- In many villages there are no taverns, and guage, vol. 32: 227 ; Defence of Poetry, 34: the peasants take turns in receiving travel56; History of the Italian Language and lers. The thrifty housewife shows you into Dialects, 35: 283 ; Spanish Language and the best chamber, the walls of which are Literature, 36 : 316 ; Old English Romances, hung round with' rude pictures from the 37 : 374; The Great Metropolis, 44 : 461; Bible; and brings you her heavy silver Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales, 49: 59; spoons-an heirloom—to dip the curdled Tegnér's Frithiofs Saga, 45 : 149; Anglo- milk from the pan. You have oaten cakes Saxon Literature, 47: 90 ; The French Lan- baked some months before, or bread with guage in England, 51: 285; Clark's Liter- aniseseed and coriander in it, or perhaps a ary Remains, 59: 239,

little pine bark. “He (Dom Pedro II., Emperor of Brazil] made

Meanwhile the sturdy husband has brought some remarks on Irving, Cooper, and Prescott, his horses from the plough, and harnessed showing an intimate acquaintance with each. His them to your carriage. Solitary travellers eye falling upon the name of Longfellow, he asked come and go in uncouth one-horse chaises. me, in great haste and eagerness, Monsieur Most of them have pipes in their mouths, Fletcher, avez vouz les poëmes de M. Longfellow? and hanging around their necks in front a It was the first time that I ever saw in Dom Pedro leather wallet, in which they carry tobacco, II. an enthusiasm which in its earnestness and simplicity resembled the warmth of childhood and the great bank-notes of the country, as when about to possess it-elf of some long-cherished large as your two hands. You meet also object. I replied, “I believe not, your Majesty.' groups of Dalekarlian peasant women, trav"Oh,' said he, I am exceedingly sorry, for I have elling homeward, or townward in pursuit of sought in every book-store of Rio de Janeiro for work. They walk barefoot, carrying in their Longfellow, and I cannot find him.

I have a num

hands their shoes, which have high heels ber of beautiful morceaux from him; but I wish the whole work. I admire him so much. Mr. Fletcher under the hollow of the foot, and soles of afterwards presented him with the Poets and Poetry birch bark. of America, informing the emperor that it con. Frequent, too, are the village churches tained some choice selections from the American standing by the road-sides, each in its own poet whom he so much admired, and whom he little gardeň of Gethsemane. In the parish called My Longfellow. Afterward, at the palace register great events are doubtless recorded. of S. Christopher, when Mr. F. took leave of the Some old king was christened or buried in emperor, the latter said to him, When you return to your country have the kindness to any to Mr.

that church ; and a little sexton, with a rusty Longfellow how much pleasure he has given me, key, shows you the baptismal font or the and be pleased to tell him combien je l'estime, com- colfin. In the church-yard are a few flowers, bien je l'aime.Brazil and the Brazilians, in Hin- and much green grass; and daily the shadow torical and Descriptive Sketches, by Rev. D. P. of the church spire, with its long tapering Kidder and Rev.J. C. Fletcher, Phila., 1857, 8vo.

finger, counts the tombs, representing a dialRURAL LIFE IN SWEDEN.

plate of human life, on which the hours and

minutes are the graves of men. The stones There is something patriarchal still linger- are flat, and large, and low, and perhaps ing about rural life in Sweden, which renders sunken, like the roofs of old houses. On it a fit theme for song: Almost primeval some are armorial bearings; on others only simplicity reigns over that northern land, the initials of the poor tenants, with a date, almost primeval solitude and stillness.


as on the roofs of Dutch cottages. They all pass out from the gate of the city, and as if sleep with their heads to the westward. by magic, the scene changes to a wild wood- | Each held a lighted taper in his hand when he died ; and in his coffin were placed his and wedding guests, half of them perhaps little heart-treasures, and a piece of money with pistols and guns in their hands. A for his last journey. Babes that came life- kind of baggage-wagon brings up the rear, less into the world were carried in the arms laden with food and drink for these merry of gray-haired old men to the only cradle pilgrims. At the entrance of every village they ever slept in; and in the shroud of the stands a triumphal areh, adorned with flow. dead mother were laid the little garments of ers, and ribands, and evergreens; and as the child that lived and died in her bosom. they pass beneath it, the wedding guests fire And over this scene the village pastor looks a salute, and the whule procession stors; from the window in the stillness of midnight, and straight from erery pocket flies a blackand says in his heart, “How quietly they jack, filled with punch or branuy. It is rest, all the departed !"

passed from hand to hand among the crowd: Near the church-yard gate stands a poor provisions are brought from the wagon, box, fastened to a post by iron bands, and and, after eating and drinking and hurrah secured by a padlock, with a sloping wooden ing, the procession moves forward again, roof to keep off the rain. If it be Sunday, and at length draws near the house of the the peasants sit on the church steps and con bride. Four heralds ride forward to antheir psalm-books. Others are coining down nounce that a knight and his attendants are the road with their beloved pastor, who talks in the neighbouring forest, and pray for to them of holy things from beneath his hospitality." How many are you?" asks the broad-brim med hat. He speaks of fields and bride's father. " At least three hundred," harvests, and of the parable of the sower is the answer; and to this the last replies, that went forth to sow. He leads them to “ Yes ; were you seven times as many you the Good Shepherd, and to the pleasant pas- should all be welcome: and in token thereof tures of the Spirit-land. He is their patri- receive this cup.". Whereupon each herald arch, and like Melchizedek, both priest and receives a cup of ale; and soon after the king, though he has no other throne than whole jovial company comes storming into the church pulpit. The women carry psalm- the farmer's yard, and riding round the books in their hands, wrapped in silk hand- May-pole, which stands in the centre, alight kerchiefs, and listen devoutly to the good amid a grand salute and flourish of music. man's words ; but the young men, like Gal- In the hall sits the bride, with a crown upon lio, care for none of these things. They are her head and a tear in her eye, like the Virgin busy counting the plaits in the kirtles of the Mary in old Church paintings. She is dressed peasant girls, their number being an indica- in a red bodice and kirtle, with loose linen tion of the wearer's wealth. It may end in sleeves. There is a gilded belt around her a wedding.

waist; and around her neck strings of golden I will endeavour to describe a village beads, and a golden chain. On the crown wedding in Sweden. It shall be in summer- rests a wreath of wild roses, and below it antime, that there may be flowers, and in a other of cypress. Loose over her shoulders northern province, that the bride may be falls her faxen hair; and her blue innocent fair. The early song of the lark and chanti- eyes are fixed upon the ground. Oh, thou cleer are mingling in the clear morning air, good soul! thou hast hard hands, but a soft and the sun, the heavenly bridegroom with heart. Thou art poor. The very ornaments golden locks, arises in the east, just as our thou wearest are not thine. They have been earthly bridegroom, with yellow hair, arises hired for this great day. Yet thou art rich, in the south. In the yard there is a sound rich in health, rich in hope, rich in thy first, of voices and trampling of hoofs, and horses young, fervent love. The blessing of lienren are led forth and saddled. The steed that be upon thee! So thinks the parish priest, is to bear the bridegroom has a bunch of as he joins together the hands of bride and flowers upon his forehead, and a garland of bridegroom, saying in deep solemn tones, " I corn-flowers around his neck. Friends from give thee in marriage this damsel, to be thy the neighbouring farms come riding in, their wedded wife in all honour, and to share the blue cloaks streaming to the wind; and half of thy bed, thy lock and key, and every finally the happy bridegroom, with a whip third penny which you two may possess, or in his hand, and a monstrous nosegay in the may inherit, and all the rights which Upland's breast of his black jacket, comes forth from laws provide, and the holy King Erik gare." his chamber; and then to horse and away The dinner is now served, and the bride towards the village, where the bride already sits between the bridegroom and the priest. sits and waits.

The spokesman delivers an oration after the Foremost rides the spokesman, followed ancient custom of his fathers. He interlards by some half-dozen village musicians. Next it well with quotations from the Bible, and comes the bridegroom between his two invites the Saviour to be present at this groomsmen, an 1 then forty or fifty friends marriage-feast, as lle was at the marriage



feast of Cana of Galilee. The table is not Swedish peasants dance on straw, and the
sparingly set forth. Each makes a long peasant girls throw straws at the timbered
arm, and the feast goes cheerily on. Punch roof of the hall, and for every one that sticks
and brandy pass round between the courses, in a crack shall a groomsman come to their
and here and there a pipe is smoked, while wedding. Merry Christmas, indeed! For
waiting for the next dish. They sit long at pious souls there shall be church-songs and
table ; but, as all things must have an end, sermons, but for Swedish peasants brandy
so must a Swedish dinner. Then the dance and nut-brown ale in wooden bowls; and
begins. It is led off by the bride and the the great Yule-cake, crowned with a cheese,
priest, who perform a solemn minuet to and garlanded with apples, and upholding a
gether. Not till after midnight comes the three-armed candlestick over the Christmas
last dance. The girls form a ring around feast. They may tell tales, too, of Jous
the bride, to keep her from the hands of the Lundsbraka, and Lunkenfus, and the great
married women, who endeavour to break | Riddar-Finke of Pingsdada.
through the magic circle, and seize their And now the glad leafy midsummer, full
new sister. After long struggling, they suc- of blossoms and the song of nightingales, is
ceed ; and the crown is taken from her head come! Saint John bas taken the flowers
and the jewels from her neck, and her bodice and festival of heathen Balder; and in every
is unlaced, and her kirtle taken off, and, like village there is a May-pole fifty feet high,
a vestal virgin, clad all in white, she goes,- with wreaths and roses, and ribands stream-
but it is to her marriage-chamber, not to the ing in the wind, and a noisy weathercock
grave; and the wedding guests follow her on the top, to tell the village whence the
with lighted candles in their hands. And wind cometh and whither it goeth. The
this is a village-bridal.

sun does not set till ten o'clock at night, and
Nor must I forget the suddenly changing the children are at play in the streets an
seasons of the northern clime. There is no hour later. The windows and doors are all
long and lingering spring, unfolding leaf open, and you may sit and read till midnight
and blossom one by one; no long and lin- without a candle. Oh, how beautiful is the
gering autumn, pompous with many-coloured summer night, which is not night, but a
leaves and the glow of Indian summers. But sunless yet unclouded day, descending upon
winter and summer are wonderful, and pass earth with dews, and shadows, and refresh-
into each other. The quail has hardly ceased ing coolness! Ilow beautiful the long mild
piping in the corn, when winter, from the twilight, which, like a silver clasp, unites
folds of trailing clouds, sows broadcast orer to-day with yesterday! How beautiful the
the land snow, icicles, and rattling hail. silent hour, when morning and evening thus
The days wane apace. Ere long the sun sit together, band in hand, beneath the star-
hardly rises above the horizon, or does not less sky of midnight! From the church
rise at all. The moon and the stars shine tower in the public square the bells toll the
through the day; only, at noon, they are hour with a soft musical chine; and the
pale and wan, and in the southern sky a red watchman whose watch-tower is the belfry,
fiery glow, as of sunset, burns along the blows a blast on bis born for each stroke of
horizon, and then goes out. And pleasantly the hammer, and four times, to the four cor-
under the silver moon, and under the silent, ners of the heavens, in a sonorous voice he
solemn stars, ring the steel shoes of the chants :
skaters on the frozen sea, and voices, and

“Ho! watchman, ho! the sound of bells.

Twelve is the clock ! And now the northern lights begin to

God keep our town

From fire and brand, burn, faintly at first, like sunbeams playing

And hostile hand! on the waters of the blue sea. Then a soft

Twelve is tho clock !" crimson glow tinges the heavens. There is a blush on the cheek of night. The colours

From his swallow's-nest in the belfry he come and go, and change from crimson to

can see the sun all night long; and farther gold, froin gold to crimson.

The snow

north the priest stands at his door in the is stained with rosy light. Twofold from warm midnight, and lights his pipe with a the zenith, east and west, flames a fiery

common burning-glass. sword ; and a broad band passes athwart

Preface to Longfellow's translation of The the heavens like a summer sunset. Soft

Children of the Lord's Supper. purple clouds come sailing over the sky, and through their vapoury folds the wink

RICHARD CHENEVIX ing stars shine wbite as silver. With such

TRENCH, D.D., pomp as this is merry Christmas ushered in, though only a single star heralded the first born 1807, Archbishop of Dublin, 1864, is Christmas. And in memory of that day the the author of many valuable works,-Bibli


cal, theological, portical, and philological, — by the history of a word than by the history of which the best known is entitled On the of a campaign." Study of Words, Lond., 1851, 12mo, fre- Impressing the same truth, Emerson has quently republished in England and Amer somewhere characterized language as "* fosica.

sil poetry." le evidently means that just “ Teachers of all grades will find it an invalua- as in some fossil, curious and beautiful ble aid both to their own private improvement shapes of regetable or animal life, the grace and the instruction of their scholars. Nobody ful fern or the finely vertebrated lizard, such can think the study of words, as pursued by this as now, it may be, have been extinct for writer, is dry or barren."Lond. Athen., 1832, thousands of years, are permanently bound 378. See also 1855, 290 ; 1859, ii. 255.

up with the stone, and rescued from that "It is a book which ought to be introduced into perishing which would otherwise bare been all normal schools.”Low. Lit. Gaz., 1852, 278.

theirs,-so in words are beautiful thoughts THE ADVANTAGES TO BE DERIVED FROM A

and images, the imagination and the feeling STUDY OF WORDS.

of past ages, of men long since in their

graves, of men whose very names have perThere are few who would not readily ac- ished, these, which would so easily have perknowledge that mainly in worthy books are ished too, preserved and made sale forever. preserved and hoarded the treasures of wis- The phrase is a striking one; the only dom and knowledge which the world has fault which one might be tempted to find accumulated ; and that chiefly by aid of with it is, that it is too narrow. Language these they are handed down from one gen- may be, and indeed is, this " fossil poetry;" eration to another. I shall urge on you in but it may be affirmed of it with exactly the these lectures something different from this ; same truth that it is fossil ethics or fossil hisnamely, that not in books only, which all tory. Words quite as often and as effectuacknowledge, nor yet in connected oral dis- ally embody facts of history, or convictions course, but often also in words contemplated of the moral common sense, as of the imsingly, there are boundless stores of moral agination or passion of inen: even as, so and historic truth, and no less of passion far as that moral sense may be perverted, and innagination, laid up,—that from these they will bear witness and keep a record of lessons of infinite worth may be derived, if that perversion. only our attention is roused to their exist- On the Study of Words. ence. I shall urge on you (though with teaching such as you enjoy, the subject will ON THE MORALITY IN WORDS. not be new) how well it will repay you to study the words which you are in the habit But has man fallen, and deeply fallen, of using or of meeting, be they such as re- from the heights of bis original creation ? late to highest spiritual things, or our com- We need no more than his language to prove mon words of the shop and the market, and it. Like everything else about him, it bears of all the familiar intercourse of life. It will at once the stamp of his greatness and of his indeed repay you far better than you can degradation, of his glory and of his shame.' easily believe. I am sure, at least, that for What dark and som bre threads he must have many a young man his first discovery of the woren into the tissue of his life, before we fact, that words are living powers, are the could trace those threads of darkness which vesture, yea even the body, which thoughts run through the tissue of his language! What weave for themselves, has been like the facts of wickedness and woe must have exdropping of scales from his eyes, like the isted in the one, ere such words could exist acquisition of another sense, or the intro- to designate these as are found in the other! duction into a new world; he is never able There have never wanted those who would to cease wondering at the moral marvels make light of the hurts which man has inthat surround him on every side, and ever ficted on himself, of the sickness with which reveal themselves more and more to his he is sick ; who would persuade themselves gaze. : : . A great writer not very long de- and others that moralists and divines, if parted from us has borne witness at once to they have not quite invented, have yet enor the pleasantness and profit of this study. mously exaggerated, these. But are state“In a language,” he says, “like ours, where ments of the depths of his fall, the malignity 80 many words are derived from other lan- of the disease with which he is sick, found guages, there are few modes of instruction only in Scripture and in sermons ? Are more useful or more amusing than that of those wbo bring forward these, libellers of accustoming young people to seek for the human nature? Or are not mournful coretymology or primary meaning of the words roborations of the truth of these imprinted they use. There are cases in which more deeply upon every promise of man's natural knowledge of inore value may be conveyed and spiritual life, and on none more deeply

« AnteriorContinuar »