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ness is sublimity; his only prospect, eflluvia of the wicks, exclaiming
AIRT." That God alone is to be seen in heaven.” There is no English word sypan
mous with the Scotch “ Airt," sbich SENSIBILITY.
must either be expressed by A rare instance of sensibility oc of the compass," or the general wors curred in Paris not long since, in the “direction.” The word itself is otiperson of a cook. He had, as he ginally Erse. In Welch and Cornish supposed, served up a dinner in the it is arth, or bear ; whence, perhaps, highest gastronomical perfection; his Arcturus, one of the northern stars. master, however, either faute de bon In modern Irish it is aird, and seems goût, or from caprice, criticised some to exist in the Teutonic wart, locus, of the sauces severely. To survive a place. “ What airt is the wind !" such dishonor was impossible ; there- is Scots for “ What direction is the fore Monsieur le Cuisinier stabbed wind ?” himself in despair,—whether with his ANECDOTE OF JAMES VI. spit or a skewer, I have not as yet
When Buchanan was the tutor of learned.
James VI., in order to teach him to
beware of granting requests too easiThe rosin-gas, which is now so ly, he presented him with two papers successfully applied to the illumina- to sign, which the prince at once did, tion of the London Institution, has without taking the trouble to read just been adopted in the town of them. His astonishment may be Windsor. There are several minor guessed, when Buchanan showed him establishments in different parts of the that he had signed a resignation of the country.
thrones of Scotland and England to KAMTSCHATKA.
him (Buchanan) and his heirs. The Russian government has sent a skilful gardener to Kamtschatka, to ORIENTAL PREPARATION OF COFFEE. instruct the inhabitants in the art of The coffee is never roasted nor cultivating the earth to the greatest ground till about to be used, and is advantage.
The climate of Kamt then considerably more burned, and schatka is not so severe as is gene- reduced to a finer powder, thao with rally supposed ; and many vegetable us. In preparing it, a small tin resproductions may be raised there, with sel, holding exactly the quantity to be proper management.
used (generally about a wine-glass
ing at the same time the coffee and
The state of English poetry at the some new thing ;" when the wheel of present period is of a very singular publication rolls round, like the wheel nature—what Mr. Coleridge would of day and night, from January to call a psychological curiosity; and December, with no pause to cool its what, even by a less learned appella- fiery axle ; when all the dim and dry tive, is well worthy of some examina resources of old literature are forced tion.
into the service of new; when the liIt is perfectly clear that, from braries of the great are no more cewhatever causes, the art has ceased meteries of the souls and bodies of in a great measure to stimulate the books, but open temples and promepublic ; that it has lost its activity nades, for the worshipper of the Muse; among the writers ; that the most dis- when every man who can, or cannot, tinguished of our poets have grown writes ; and authorship has become a reluctant to re-enter the field ; and fourth estate in the legislature. that the most vigorous exertion of Yet the muse of muses droops her our most vigorous poetic minds, is wing, or disdains to unfold it, but in “ a Ballad,”-a “ Sonnet to a Mis- those brief and partial flights which tress's Eyebrow,”—“ Lines in an give us a mere glimpse of its plumage, Album,” or « Stanzas" in some of and are done. The fact has struck those graceful and costly little publi- other investigators ; and the consultacations, which gather the poetic flow- tion of the “psychologists" has ers for our Christmas firesides, like closed like many another, in leaving flowers in French vases, and in which the matter more puzzled than ever. the gilding and coloring of the vase We propose our
own solution in form a large constituent of the popu- turn, and propose it on the unequilar charm. And the singularity of all vocal grounds of the grand principle of this is, that it happens, not when the repletion. The world were overchargmind of England is dead, but when ed with poetry. The banquet had it is signally alive ;-not when a gen- lasted twenty years; and the human eral somnolency has wrapped faculties appetite must have been of extraordiof all kinds in kindred dumbness, but nary vigor to have lasted half the when the land is echoing from every time. The feast was exquisite ; but corner with the conflict of tongues ; there is a limit to the utmost power of not when men abjure the pen of their indulgence. This is the first law of fathers, but when millions of those pleasure. There is a corresponding
winged arrows of good and evil,” law of production ; that when the deare plunged in bourly inkstands; mand ceases, there is no prudence in when, like the Athenians, our coun- accumulating the commodity. trymen are perpetually
The same course has been run by 56 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
every graceful art that has remained cellence, which is made to delight the among us since the deluge.
popular feeling in all its senses. The England, Italy, France, Spain, all old chivalric stories of the ancestral the leading European countries, have life of England have always had a witnessed the same lapses of power charm, from their mixture of the wild in the whole family of the arts; and adventure, that the human heart, un
distinction of England, der all its changes, still loves; with though an admirable one, is, that if the magnificence of princely life, and they go down successively to the the solemnity and mystical pomp of tomb, even within her vivid realms, that life of the priesthood, which, there are periods when darkness gives fearfully constructed to awe its ow them up again. In other lands, the time, is to us only like the ruins of one sleeper sleeps forever.
ofits own cathedrals, with all the sullenThe causes of poetry are so strong- ness and severe terror of the pile past ly implanted in the human heart, and away, the sun streaming through its so peculiarly fostered by the general open aisles and cells, and the seasons education, the literary honors, and the staining it with lovely dyes, and cornational temperament of England, ering its old, grim sculptures with fothat there never has been a period in liage and flowers. our intellectual history, for the last The skill of the poet in English three hundred years, when poetry was antiquity, his strong feeling of the rowithout its fame. No traveller, in mantic and picturesque, and the softthe worst of our days, could wander ness and Auency of his fine versificafrom our Dan to Beersheba, and say tion, formed on the ancient ballad, that all was barren. But the excite- and indulging the ear and the memory ment that distinguished the last quar- together, gave the “ Lay of the Last ter of a century, was of an order of Minstrel” remarkable popularity ; and such unforced and flourishing luxuri- at once, by its intrinsic charm-by the ance, that it clothed the wilderness reputation which it conferred on its like a Russian steppe in spring.
author—and by the humbler, yet by It is singular that so rich a change no means unexciting evidence, that should be traceable to a compilation, poetry might become a singularly proand that compilation so trivial, as ductive species of toil, the whole mulMonk Lewis's Tales of Wonder. titude of the lovers of fame, of the The work is long past away--it was muse, and of money, were roused to never of any intrinsic value--all of it the pursuit. that exhibited literary power had It may be alleged against our theobeen already before the public; and ry, that no imitation of “ The Lay of the inventions of the ingenious compi- the Last Minstrel” ever appeared in ler himself were made for speedy ob- this world of emulous imitation, or livion. But it struck the key-note ; none that attracted any peculiar name. it was the idle wind across the Æolian But the enigma is solved by the fact, harp; and where a thousand stirring which has been so curiously exempligusts had passed in vain, this whisperfied, in another department, on a still of the air awakened all the resources larger scale, by the same author. He of the sleeping harmony.
suffered no man to take his discorery A long train of admirable poets froin him. Having got his patent came forth, whose works, exhibiting signed and sealed in the court of the every variety of style and beauty, will Nine, he put it into such unremitting live as long as the language. But it is activity, that no intruder could comto the author of the " Lay of the Last pete with the patentee. He had Minstrel,” that the distinction of hav- found the mine, and hour after hour ing first embodied the popular feeling he worked it, with a dexterity and nain the cause of poetry, is due. The tional perseverance that gave no felstyle of his poem is that one par ex low adventurer time to break into his
lode. His success was complete ; his fame, as a prize to be sought through possession was undisturbed ; and when good and evil; and of enjoyment, as he abandoned the labor, he left to be chiefly purchased by trampling few sanguine enough to think that the down the irksome duties of common remaining product was worth the life; of crime, as finding, not simply trouble of its extraction.
its palliative, but its authority, in inAs it is not our purpose bere to of. tellectual preëminence; and of that fer opinions on the genius of the preëminence, as finding its native disother great poets of our time, but to tinction in the magnitude, boldness, trace the striking vicissitudes of popu- and firmness of its tread into that lar feeling ; we pass through the long world of darkness, where Crime and period in which poetry influenced and Confusion sit twin despots on the delighted the general mind, down to same fiery throne. Doctrines like the new impulse given by the style of these must find partisans in the comByron. And even on this strange and mon corruption and insolence of spipowerful style, we shall not venture rit, that make so large a portion of to fatigue the reader, with what must living society ; even if they were be the repetition of censures and transmitted from the lips of children. praises heard for the thousandth time. But Byron uttered them with the We are now concerned only with its power of a true poet. The sternest effects. It was made to close the po- vigor of language was condensed into etic era : yet not more from the sud- his words ; the richest and sometimes den and exclusive admiration of the the most touching illustrations diversiwriter's genius, than from the nature fied the sullen fervor of his poetry; of his productions. The fierce and and, like the story of the hearers of sullen spirit that characterized his pen the Athenian orator, who were awed was death to all the graceful concep- at a distance by the majesty of his tions under which poetry had won our gesture; nearer still, charmed by the worship so long. She was no more in melody of his voice ; and nearer still, the lovely and fantastic youth of the subdued by the force of his language ; muse of the “Last Minstrel,” nor in the the great poet had grasp and captivafull and fine-proportioned beauty of the tion for all. riper time that followed. When Byron But he produced no followers ; his threw open the valves of the temple, dynasty was cut off with himself : and she was the Pythia on the tripod, hag- this, for the obvious reason, that his gard and wild, with her youth stricken power was urged to its extreme. He into premature age, and with the went to the farthest limit at which words of fate and scorn burning on the scorn, spleen, and the rending open of lips of a being made at once proud private sufferings and sensibilities, and miserable by the conscious inspi- could be tolerated.
In him they ration.
were endured for the sake of their The style became instantly popular, presumed reality ; yet even in him for it told of wrong, a tale in which they had begun to be tiresome. But every judge of his own cause feels in another, had that other possessed sudden sympathy; it exaggerated the Lord Byron's faculty of verse, or a delights of that life of adventure, for higher faculty still, the same strain of which all men have a lurking fond- continual querulousness would have ness; it talked with rapture of the been burlesque, and the tragedy must power of beauty, and with enthusiasm have closed in laughter. The rejecof the resistless empire of passion : tion of society, or by society ; the all popular with the multitude. It sickly and bilious frame; the domesharangued loftily on the glories of tic quarrel; the insults given and reholding human opinion in contempt, ceived in an unlucky connexion with and of following the impulse of that an alienated and strangely unconciliatcontempt through all hazards; of ing kindred, were essential to Lord
Byron's authorship-were the living made chiefly by female writers, some stimulants of his mental epicurism. of whom have done the female genius They were more, they were its only honor, by the grace and purity of their food. Like the Theriaki of Constan- pens. But after all, poetry is a mastinople, he lived solely upon doses, of culine art, and is made for something which the slightest would have extin- more than the celebration of the birth guished the career of others. He di- of the “ first rose,” or the death of the yersified surcharges of opium by sur- “last leaf.” It is a stately and superb charges of corrosive sublimate. And, thing, like nature itself; and rejoices in like the Theriaki, his life was a the display of great powers on a great dream, and that dream alternately of scale. It may not be without its pleathe magnificent and the miserable-a sure in the minor beauties of the glorious vision of Paradise, and of sorrow un- landscape that lies within the range of assuaged, remorseless exile, and con- its vision : it can enjoy the coloring of suming flame.
flowers and the song of birds ;-but But while the popularity of this its true elevation is in the grander style remained alive upon the public features and powers; in the moral mind, none other could be attempted storm ; in the developement of those with a prospect of success. The hu- awful materials of good and ill, which man heart loves tragedy. The Eng- lie hidden in clouds and darkness unlish are eminently fond of deep and til the appointed hour; in the discofierce emotion; and after having very of the mighty influences by which “ supped full of horrors” with the the whole moral atmosphere is loaded noble bard, they could not easily turn with sudden gloom, or the gloom to the lighter banquet. But who chased away by new-born, and scarcecould be in a condition to follow the ly less awful, splendor. career in which this man of misfor There have, however, been several tune and fame had so long rode at the poems lately published, which furnish head of English poetry ?-or in what a proof that the poetic spirit is still writer, however surnished with domes- cherished among us; and the more tic evils, could the same compound of important proof, that there still ill luck be gathered once more, with exists a latent vigor and feeling any tolerable credibility ?
by which, when the excitement of Thus sank into its long sleep the public celebrity shall be brought poetry of England. The attempts into action, striking results may be since made to awaken it, have been achieved.
BY L. E. L.
The shadow of the church falls o'er the ground,
The willow shade is on the ground,
A green and solitary shade ;
Its pleasant summer home has made.
And every breath that waves a leaf
Flings down upon the lonely flowers A moment's sunshine, bright and brief,
A blessing looked by passing hours.