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Within those silent chambers where they dwell
4 And I am there!
Ah! little thought I, when in school I sat,
5. But what a narrow space
Just underneath! In many a heap the ground
6. Here the first Brutus" stood, — when o'er the corse Of her so chaste all mourned, — and from his cloud
That ran with blood, the blood of his own child,
7. Now all is changed; and here, as in the wild,
The day is silent, dreary as the night;
None stirring, save the herdsman and his herd,
Savage alike; or they that would explore,
And learnedly discuss; or they that como
(And there are many who have crossed the earth)
That they may give the hours to meditation,
And wander, often saying to themselves,
"This was the Roman Forum!" Rogers.
CXLVI.—SELECT PASSAGES IN VERSE.
1. The Pleasures Op Hope. — Campbell.
At summer eve, when Heaven's ethereal bow
2. Fame. — Pope.
Nor Fame I slight, nor for her favors call
She comes unlooked for, if she comes at all.
But if the purchase cost so dear a price
As soothing Folly, or exalting Vice,
O! if the Muse" must flatter lawless sway,
And follow still where Fortune leads the way,—
Or if no basis bear my rising name,
But the fallen ruins of another's fame, —
Then teach me, Heaven! to scorn the guilty bays,"
Drive from my breast that wretched lust of praise;
Unblemished let me live, or die unknown;
0, grant an honest fame, or grant me none!
, 3. Death. — Youngv
Why start at death! Where is he? Death arrived
The knell, the shrDud, the mattock, and the grave,
4. Kosciusko." — Campbell.
O! bloodiest picture in the book of time,
5. The Captive's Dreams.— Mrs. Hemans.
I dream of all things free! of a gallant, gallant bark,
6. On Ancient Greece. — Byron
Clime of the unforgotten brave ! —
Will add to theirs a name of fear,
7. The Banyan-tree.—Moore.
They tell us of an Indian tree,
Which, howsoe'er the sun and sky
And shoot and blossom wide and high,
Downward again to that dear earth,
Its grateful being first had birth.
And fed with fame, — if fame it be, —
With love's true instinct, back to thee!
W hom call we gay 1 that honor has been long
CXLVII. — Shakspeare's POWER OF EXPRESSION.
1. To say that he was the greatest man that ever lived is to provoke a useless controversy, and comparisons that lead to nothing, between Shakspeare and Caesar, Shakspeare and Charlemagne," Shakspeare and Cromwell;" to say that he was the greatest intellect that ever lived is to bring the shades of Aristotle, and Is ito, and Bacon, aid Newton, and all your othei systematic thinkers, grumbling about us, with demands for a definition of intellect, which we are by no means in a position to give; nay, finally, to say that he is the greatest poet that the world has produced (a thing which we would certainly say, were we provoked to it) would be unnecessarily to hurt the feelings of Homer, and Soph'ocles, and Dante, and Milton. What we will say, then, and what we will challenge the world to gainsay, is that he was the greatest expresser that ever lived. This is glory enough, and it leaves the other question open.
2. Other men may have led, on the whole, greater and moro impressive lives than he; other men, acting on their fellows through the same medium of speech that he used, may have expended a greater power of thought, and achieved a greater intellectual effect, in one consistent direction; other men, too (though this is very questionable), may have contrived to issue the matter which they did address to the world in more compact83 and perfect artistic shapes. But no man that ever lived said such splendid extem'pore" things on all subjects universally; no man that ever lived had the faculty of pouring out on all occasions such a flood of the richest and deepest language. He may have had rivals in the art of imagining situations; he had no rival in the power of sending a gush of the appropriate intellectual effusion over the image and body of a situation once conceived.
3. From the jewelled ring on an alderman's finger to the most mountainous thought or deed of man or demon, nothing suggested itself that his speech could not envelop and enfold with ease. That excessive fluency which astonished" Ben Jonson when he listened to Shakspeare in person astonishes the world yet. Abundance, ease, redundance," a plenitude of word, sound, and im'agery, which, were the intellect at work only a little less magnificent, would sometimes end in sheer braggardism and bombast," are the characteristics of Shakspeare's style. Nothing is suppressed, nothing omitted, nothing cancelled. On and on the poet flows, words, thoughts, and fancies, crowding on him as fast as he ean write, all related to the matter on hand, and all poured forth together, to rise and fall on the waves of an established ca'dence.
4. Such lightness and ease in the manner, and such prodigious wealth and depth in the matter, are combined in no other writer. How the matter was first accumulated — what proportion of it was the acquired capital of former efforts, and what proportion of it welled up in the poet's mind during and in virtue of the very act of speech — it is impossible to say; but this, at least, may be afiirmed without fear of contradiction, that there never was a mind in the world from which, when it was prick by any occa