« ZurückWeiter »
I have been shouldered ? Pray, do not philosopher and something of a poet"; finger your eyes any longer! Screw your for I do not believe, O fortunate youth, lyre up to concert pitch, and go on with that you ever invoked the ten ladies your stridulous performances ! Neither minus one in your life; and I shrewdly you nor I know how bad may be the suspect, that, so far from knowing the taste of our grandchildren, or how high difference between a male and a female you may stand when they have
rhyme, you are unfamiliar with the close
family connection between “ trees” and "Made prostitute and profligate the Muse.”
“ breeze,” or between "love" and “dove." If you cannot be a poet, be a poetaster; My episodical remarks are for the beneand if you cannot be that, be a poetess, fit of young Dolce Pianissimo, who has or “she-poet," as Johnson, in his big dic- taken, I am sorry to say, to gin, shirt-coltionary, defines the word. So “gently lars prodigious, and the minor magazines, take all that ungently comes,” and ham- and whose friends are standing aghast mer away as sedulously as old Boileau. and despairing at his lunacy. But, after Somebody will, undoubtedly, in the next all, 'tis my best irony quite thrown away; age, relish your rinsings. A poet, you for the foolish boy will believe me quite know, is a prophet. Console yourself in earnest, and will still be making love by vaticinating in the bower of your bed- to that jade, Mistress Fame, although he chamber, as you count the feet upon your knows well enough how many she bas fingers, your own immortality. If 'tis a de- jilted. But as he grows in stature, he lusion, 'tis a cheap one, to which even a po- may grow in sense. If you see him very et can afford to treat himself. Play with savagely cut up in “ The Revolver," you and humor your life, till you fall asleep, will recognize the kindly hands which and then the care will be over! Mean- held the bistoury, scalpel, and tenaculum, while, you must be more stupid than I and the gentleman who wept while he think, if you cannot find somebody to give wounded. you your folder of flattery. You need But I have long enough, I fear too not blush, for I know that you like it, long, tormented you with my drivel. It and you need not be ashamed of liking it. must be your consolation, that, in spirit, We all do,--we are all women in that you have been with me to-night, as I regard ; although the honestest man to have thought of the old days, pausing confess it that I ever heard of was Sir for a moment over these mute but eloGodfrey Kneller, who said to Pope, when quent companions, to dream or to sigh, he was painting his picture, “ I can't do and then once more turning the old faso well as I should do, unless you flatter miliar pages as I try to forget, for just a me a little; pray, flatter me, Mr. Pope ! little while, that dear familiar face. If You know I love to be flattered." something of indifference has tinctured
You see, my excellent Robert, that, by these hurried lines, if I have been unsome hocus-pocus which I do not exactly just in my estimate of the world's honors comprehend, myself, I have introduced a and the rewards of the Muses, you will wheel within a wheel, a letter within a forgive me, if you will remember how letter, a play within a play, after the the great Burke reduced the value of manner of the old dramatists; and I beg earthly honors and emoluments to less you to make a note that the foregoing than that of a peck of wheat. My fire admonitions and most sapient counsels is gone out. My candle is flickering in are not aldressed to you. You are some- the socket. There is light in the cold, thing of a philosopher; but you are not, gray East. Good-morning, Don Bob! like Mr. Stephen Duck, “ something of a good-morning!
And one voice, sweeter than others are,
Breaking into silvery speech,
Telling, through lips of bearded bloom,
An old, old story over again,
To the golden gittern's strain,
Two and two, they dreamily walk,
While an unseen spirit walks beside,
He claimeth one for a bride.
Oh, Maud and Madge, dream on together,
With never a pang of jealous fear!
Shall whiten another year,
Robed for the bridal, and robed for the tomb,
Braided brown hair, and golden tress,
Of the bearded lips to press,
Only one for the bridal pearls,
The robe of satin and Brussels lace,-
Oh, beautiful Madge, in your bridal white,
For you the revel has just begun;
The revel of Life is done!
But robed and crowned with your saintly bliss,
Queen of heaven and bride of the sun,
The kisses another hath won !
ROCK, TREE, AND MAN.
It is an interesting thought, that will mal kingdoms, as well as every minoccur to a contemplative mind, that the eral, were floating in amorphous masses world contained, from the time when it through space. Human beings, like the was a nebulous mass, all the materials genius that was condensed from vapor at of the future individuals of the animate the rubbing of Aladdin's lamp, were difand inanimate creation,--that the elabo- fused in gases, waiting the touch of the rate creatures of the vegetable and ani- Great Magician's wand to bring them
into form and infuse them with life. In tiniest animalcule to man, were there, all the distinct creations of God, from the unmodelled, not even in enibryo,-their time when the waters first subsided and separate existences then only in the mind the dry land appeared, in everything of God. There, Christian and Saracen, organized and inorganized, earth, air, Jew and Gentile, Caucasian and Negro, sea, and their inhabitants, there is no Hindoo and Pariah, all the now heteroelement which was not in existence when
geneous natures which are as oil and the earth was without form and void. water, were blended in one common vaPhilosophers tell us that three hundred
por. and fifty millions of years elapsed after Finally the condensation of all the gasthe globe began to solidify, before it was eous elements began, and the aëriform fitted for the lowest plants. And more masses became liquid, and the waters, — than one million years more were neces- what mineral waters they were, when sary, after the first plants began to grow they were saturated with granite and upon its young surface, to bring it for- marble, diamonds, rubies, arsenic, and ward to the condition which the Divine iron !—thus deposited by the vapor, left Father deemed suitable for the recep- a gas above them light enough to bear tion of man.
If the days of Cain and some faint resemblance to our air. Still Abel were the infancy of the world, -as this atmosphere was surcharged with vawe have sometimes heard, — when will pors which no lungs could tolerate, whethit come to maturity? Its divisions of life er of man or reptile; and other steps must cannot follow the plan of animated be- be taken to clear it of its unwholesome ings; for, with an embryonic condition properties. Then did the Almighty will of an indefinite period, and an infancy introduce, one after another, the germs of of three hundred and fifty millions of plants,- first of all, the lower orders, the years, more or less, we can hardly expect ferns, which seek the shade, and the lithat it will really have begun to enjoy the chens, which grow in damp and dark refreedom of adult life, before the human cesses, mosses, which cling to bare rocks, race will have attained to its earthly living almost on air and water alone,limit of perfectibility, or have so over- everything which needed not bright sunstocked the surface of the globe as to light to invigorate it nor soil to cling to. make it necessary to remove to some Year by year and age by age did these larger sphere.
humble plants extract their nourishment It is curious, we say, to think that er- from the murky vapors that shrouded the erything now on the earth or composing earth, and, after fashioning those gases its substance was present, though in far into a living tissue of stems and leaves, different form, at the beginning, - that year after year did they die and lay their the Almighty gathered together in this remains
upon the rocks, accumulating by part of the universe all the materials slow steps a soil which would in time be out of which to create all the forms of capable of giving holding-ground to mighthings which it was his pleasure to evolve tier plants. The trees came, -and giganhere through all time,—that in that neb- tic they must have been ; and every speulous mass were revolving, not only the cies of tree, shrub, and herb now upon gases which were at last to combine in the earth, and of all animals that walk, various manners and proportions to form fly, or swim, was introduced before the the rocky crust and the watery invest- creation of man. ment of the earth, but that in that dense It was as if the elements were too gross and noisome cloud floated also the ele- for the constitution of man, when they ments of all the beautiful objects that were first collected from the nebulous furnish the daily enchantments of life. mass, -as if they needed to go through Flowers and trees, birds and fishes, lo- the intermediate forms of plants and ancusts and mastodons, all things, from the imals, passing in succession from one to another, before they could be permitted and in form and function the last animal to enter into the boilies of those beings is a precise copy of the first of his race. who were to be in God's likeness. But, If we attempt to trace a particle of in very truth, the elements were unalter- matter, we shall find its wanderings ended by their many transmigrations. It was less. Annihilation is a term which is not the divine act of God which caused every applicable to material things. Matter is plant to spring forth and gave birth to ev- never destroyed; it rarely rests. Oxyery living thing. Every seed and every gen, for instance, the most important conegg was at the first formed by Him. No stituent of our atmosphere, is the combinsudden effort of man's will, such as that ing element of all things, the medium of by which Pygmalion was believed to have communication between the kingdoms of animated the work of his chisel, nor any Nature, the agent of the interchanges that industrious current of electricity, passed are continually taking place among all for uninterrupted weeks through the pur- created things. Oxygen keeps life in est gum, and stimulated by the enthusi- man, by combining with his blood at evasm of a Cross, can transform the worm ery inhalation ; it is absorbed by flowers, to a breathing being, or reach the human to be employed in the perfection of the climax by slow steps, even if the first one fruit; many minerals are incapable of the be in the humble form of a louse. When various uses of society, until oxygen has a new plant appeared, it was the hand attacked and united with them. It gives of God that formed the seed. When a us lime and soda, the oil of vitriol, and new species of animal came upon the common salt; the mineral pigments in earth, it was the same Power that creat- common use are impossible without it; ed it. But the materials were not new; and the beautiful colors of our autumn * out of the dust of the earth” was man leaves are due to the combination of oxycreated.
gen with their juices. It enters into all Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon, and Ni- plans and operations with a helping hand; trogen,—do not turn away from us, gen- animals and plants owe their lives to it; tle reader, we will not be grimly scientif- but when the shadow of death begins ic, but a few of the terms of science must to fall upon them, it is as ready to aid in be employed, even here,—these four ele- their destruction. Like calumny, which ments are the chief ingredients of all blackens whatsoever is suspected, oxygen vegetable and animal structures. When
pounces upon the failing and completes separated from their connections, three their ruin. The processes of fermentaof them are gases; and the fourth, in tion and putrefaction cannot commence union with one of the others, is also a in any substance, until it has first taken gas. In various combinations they form oxygen into combination. Thus, cans of literally the dust of the earth, they make meat, hermetically sealed, with all the rock and water, vapor and air. In the air first carefully expelled, undergo no hand of the Almighty, they are so many change so long as the air does not get acplastic elements, that form now a plant of cess to them. If the minutest opening the lowliest condition, now a magnificent remain, the oxygen of the atmosphere oak, now a fish, and now a man. And combines with the contents of the can, the germ of each organized being be- and fermentation or putrefaction follows. queathes to its offspring the power to Rust, which takes the keen edge from the reproduce its likeness,--so that each suc- knife, is only another name for oxydaceeding generation is a repetition of its tion: keep the knife bright, and no oxypredecessor. There is no change in gen dares touch it; but the slightest plants and animals from the first; the blemish is made a loophole for the ensame materials in the same proportions trance of the ever-watchful enemy, who that were selected by the earliest trees never again leaves it until its destruction for their composition are chosen now; is complete.