Изображения страниц

true spirit of controversy, with resolution to be heartily scurri. ouse and angry; to urge on his own reasons without the least regard to the answers or objections of his opposite ;37 and fully predetermined in his mind against all conviction.

6. “ Not to disparage myself,” said he, “ by the comparison with such a rascal, what art thou but a vagabond, E1 without house or home, without stock or inheritance ? born to no possession of your own but a pair of wings and a drone-pipe. Your livelihood is a universal plunder upon nature. A freebooter over fields and gardens; for the sake of stealing, you will rob a nettle as easily as a violet.Ei Whereas, I am a domestic animal, für. nished with a native stocker within myself. This large castle (to show my improvements in the mathematics)" is all built with my own hands, 100 and the materials extracted altogether out of my own person."

7. “ I am glad,” answered the bee, “ to hear you grant at least that I am come honestly by my wings and my voice; for then, it seems, I am obliged to Heaven alone for my flights and my music; and Providence would never have bestowed on me two such gifts, without designing them for the noblest ends. I visit, indeed, all the flowers and blossoms of the field and garden; but whatever I collect thence enriches myself, without the least injury to their beauty, their smell, or their taste. Now, for you and your skill in architecture El and other mathematics, I have little to say. In that building of yours there might, for aught I know, have been labor and method enough; but, by woful experience for us both, it is too plain the materials are naught; and I hope you will henceforth take warning, and consider duration40 and matter, as well as method and art.

8. “You boast, indeed, of being obliged93 to no other creature, but of drawing28 and spinning out all from yourself; that is to say, if we may judge of the liquor in the vessel30 by what issues out, you possess a good plentiful store of dirt and poison in your breast; and, though I would by no means lessen or dispar'age your genuine stock of either, yet I doubt you are somewhat obliged, for an increase of both, to a little foreigns assistance. Your inhēr’ent portion of dirt does not fail of acquisitions, by sweepings exhaled54 from below; and one insect furnishes you with a share of poison to destroy another. So that, in short, the question comes all to this: whetherl03 is the nobler being of the two, that which, by a lazy contemplation of four inches round, by an overweening pride, feeding and engendering on itself, turns all into venom, producing nothing at all but flybane and a cobweb; or that which, by a universal range, with long search, , much study, true judgment, and distinction of things, brings home honey and wax”



1. I SHALL never forget-9 my first view of these mountains.25 It was in the course of a voyage up the Hudson, Ei in the good old times, before steamboats and railroads had driven all poëtry and romance83 out of travel.30 Such an excursion in those days was equal to a voyage to Europe at present, and cost almost as much; but we enjoyed the river then. My whole voyage up the Hudson was full of wonder and romance. I was a lively boy, somewhat imaginative, of easy faith, and prone to relish everything which partook of the marvellous. Among the passengers on board of the sloop was a veteran Indiano trader, on his way to the lakes to traffic with the natives. He had discovered my propensity, and amused himself throughout the voyage by telling me Indian legends and grotesquel stories about every noted place on the river. .

2. The Catskiller Mountains, especially, called forth a host of fanciful traditions. We were all day tidinges along in sight of them, so that he had full time to weave his whimsical narratives. In these mountains, he told me, according to Indian belief, was kept the great treasury of storm and sunshine for the region of the Hudson. An old squaw28 spirit had charge of it, who dwelt on the highest peak of the mountain. Here she kept Day and Night shut up in her wigwam, letting out only one of them at a time. She made new moons every month, and hung them up in the sky, cutting up the old ones for stars. The great Manitou, or master spirit, employed her to manufacture clouds : sometimes she wove them out of cobwebs, gossamers, and morning dew,33 and sent them off, flake after flake, to float in the air and give light summer showers; — sometimes she would brew up black thunder-storms, and send down drenching rains, to swell the streams, and sweep everything away.

3. He had many stories, also, about mis'chievous spirits, who infested the mountains in the shape of animals, and played all kinds of pranks upon Indian hunters, decoying them into quage mires and morass'es, or to the brinks of torrents91 and precipiccs. All these were doled out to me as I lay on the deck, throughout a long summer's day, gazing upon these mountains, the everchanging shapes and hues of which appeared to reälize the mag. ical influences in question. · Sometimes they seemed to approach; at others, to recede. During the heat of the day they almost melted into a sultry haze. As the day declined they deepened in tone; their summits were brightened by the last rays of the sun, and, later in the evening, their whole outline was printed in

deep purple against an amber sky. As I beheld them thus shifting continually before my eye, and listened to the marvellous legends of the trader, a host of fanciful notions was conjured into my brain, which have haunted it ever since.

4. As to the Indian superstitions concerning the treasury of storms and sunshine, and the cloud-weaving spirits, they may have been suggested by the atmosphericalet phenomena El of these mountains, the clouds which gather round their summits, and the thousand aërial effects which indicate the changes of weather over a great extent of country. They are epitomēs of our variable climate, and are stamped with all its vicissitudes.40 And bere let me say a word in favor of those vicissitudes, which are too often made the subject of exclusive repining. If they annoy us occasionally by changes from hot to cold, from wet to dry, they give us one of the most beautiful climates in the world.

5. They give us the brilliant sunshine of the south of Europe, with the fresh verdure of the north. They float our summer sky with clouds of gorgeous tints or fleecy whiteness, and send down cooling showers to refresh the panting earth and keep it green. Our seasons are all poetical; the phenomena of our heavens are full of sublimity and beauty. Winter with us has none of its proverbial gloom. It may have its howling winds, and chilling frosts, and whirling snow-storms; but it has also its long intervals of cloudless sunshine, when the snow-clad earth gives redoubled brightness to the day; when, at night, the stars beam with intensest lustre, or the moon floods the whole landscape with her most limpid radiance.

6. And then the joyous outbreak of our Spring, bursting at once into leaf and blossom, redundant90 with vegetation, and vociferous with life! And the splendors of our Summer; its morning voluptuousness and evening glory; its airy palaces of sun-gilt clouds piled up in a deep azure sky; and its gusts of tempest of almost tropical grandeur, when the forked lightning and the bellowing thunder volley 4 from the battlements of heaven and shake the sultry atmosphere !Et And the sublime melancholy of our Autumn, magnificent in its decay, withering down the pomp and pride of a woodland country, yet reflecting back from its yellow forests the golden serenity of the sky! Surely we may say that, in our climate, “ the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth forth his handiwork : day unto day uttereth speech; and night unto night showeth knowl edge."



1.- HAPPINESS. — Keble. THERE are166 in this rude stunning tide

Of human care and crime, With whom the melodies abide

Of the everlasting chime; Who carry music in their heart,

Through dusty lane and wrangling mart Plying their daily toil with busier feet, Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.

2. — FRIENDSHIP. — Wordsworth. Sunall service is true service while it lasts ,

Of friends, however humble, scorn not one:
The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dew-drop33 from the sun.

Methinks, if ye would know
How visitations of calamity
Affect the pious soul, 't is shown you there!
Look yonder at that cloud, which, through the sky,
Sailing alone, doth cross in her career
The rolling moon! - I watched it as it came,
And deemed the deep opaquee would blot her beams
But, melting like a wreath of snow, it hangs
In folds of wavy silver round, and clothes
The orb with richer beauties than her own;
Then, passing, leaves her in her light serene !

4.- FUTURITY.40 — Dryden.
Too curious man, why dost thou seek to know
Events, which, good or ill, foreknown are woe?
The all-seeing Power that made thee mortal gave
Thee everything a mortal state should have ;
Foreknowledge only is enjoyed by Ileaven,
And, for his peace of mind, to man forbidden ;
Wretched were life, if he foreknew his doom ;
Even joys foreseen give pleasing hope no room,
And griefs assured are felt before they come.

A dew-drop, falling on the ocean-wave,
Exclaimed, in fear, “ I perish in this grave ;”
But, in a shell received, that drop of dew
Unto a pearl of marvellous beauty grew ;

And happy now, the grace did magnify
Which thrust it forth — as it had feared - to die;
Until again, “ I perish quite," it said,
Torn by rude diver from its ocean bed :
0, unbelieving! – So it came to gleam
Chief jewel in a monarch's diadem.

6.- INDEPENDENCE. — Thomson.
I care not, Fortune, what you mel56 deny; .
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace;
You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
Through which Auroraxi shows her brightening fico,
You cannot barEl my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve :
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave;
Of Fancy, Reason, Virtue, naught can me bereave!

7.—THE MORAL Law. — Wordsworth.

All true glory rests,
All praise of safety, and all happiness,
Upon the moral law. Egyptian Thebes, El
Tyre by the margin of the sounding waves,
Palmy'ra central in the desert, fell,
And the arts died by which they had been raised.
Call Archimēdései from his buried tomb45
Upon the plain of vanished Syracuse, EI
And feelingly the sage shall make report
How insecure, how baseless in itself,
Is that philosophy whose sway is framed
For mere material instruments :- how weak
Those arts and high inventions, if unpropped
By Virtue.


leked of Time, from whom those temples rose,

That, prostrate by his hand, in silence lie. His lips disdained the mystery156 to disclose,

And, borne on swifter wing, he hurried by!• These broken columns,59 whose ?” I asked of Fame :

(Her kindling breath gives life to works sublime131) With downcast looks of mingled grief and shame,

She heaved the uncertain sigh, and followed Time. "rapt in amazement, o'er the mouldering pile

I saw Oblivion pass, with giant stride; ind, whilst his visage wore Pride's scornful smile,

“ Haply thou know'st; — then, tell me whose !" I cried, --Whoso these vast domes that even in ruin shine?” I reck not whose,” he said ; “ they now are mine!"

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »