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mentality. It is the brain in the hand. In literature, Cleverness is more frequently accompanied by wit—Genius and Sense by humour.
If I take the three great countries of Europe, in respect of intellectual character—namely, Germany, England, and France, I should characterize them thus,—premising only that in the first word of the two first tables, I mean to imply that Genius, rare in all countries, is equal in both of these, the instances equally numerous—and characteristic therefore not in relation to each other, but in relation to the third country. The other qualities are more general characteristics.
Geamanv,— Genius, Talent, Fancy.
The latter chiefly as exhibited in wild combinations, and in pomp of ornament. N. B. Imagination is implied in Genius.
Knc;i.ami,— Genius, Sense, Humour. Faance,— Cleverness, Talent, Wit.
So again, with regard to the forms and effects in which the qualities manifest themselves, i. e. intellectually.
It is Shakspeare's peculiar excellence, that throughout the whole of hissplendid picture-gallery, (the reader will excuse the confessed inadequacy of this metaphor), we find individuality every where,mere portrait no where. In all his various characters we still feel ourselves com muning with the same human nature, which is every where present as the vegetable sap in the branches, sprays, leaves, buds, blossoms, and fruits,—their shapes, tastes, and odours.
As soon as a critic betrays that he knows more of his author than the author's publications could have told him;—as soon as from this more intimate knowledge, elsewhere obtained, he avails himself of the slightest trait against the author, his censure immediately becomes personal injury—his sarcasms personal insults. He ceases to be a Caitic, and takes on him the most contemptible character to which a rational creature can be degraded—that of a gossip, backbiter, and pasquilant: but with this heavy aggravation, that he steals with the unquiet, the deforming passions of the world, into the museum; into the very place which, next to the chapel and oratory, should be our sanctuary, and secure place of refuge; offers abominations on the altar of the muses, and makes its sacred paling the very circle in which he conjures up the lying and profane spirit.
In this age of personality—this age of literary and political gossiping, the meanest insects are worshipped with a sort of Egyptian superstition, if only the brainless head be atoned for by the sting of personal malignity in the tail. The most vapid satires have become the objects of a keen public interest, purely from the number of contemporary characters named in the patchwork notes, (which possess, however, the comparative merit of being more poetical than the text) and because, to increase the stimulus, the author has sagaciously left his own name for whispers and conjectures.
MATERIALS OF POETRY.
Good sense is the body of poetic genius, fancy its drapery, motion its life, and imagination the soul that is every where, and in each; and forms all into one graceful and intelligent whole.
Praises of the unworthy are felt by ardent minds as robberies of the deserving.
SHAFSFEARE AND MILTON.
Shakspeare, no mere child of nature—no automaton of genius—no passive vehicle of inspiration, possessed by the spirit, not possessing it,—first studied patiently, meditated deeply, understood minutely, till knowledge became habitual and intuitive, wedded itself to his habitual feelings, and at length gave birth to that stupendous power, by which he stands alone, with no equal or second in his own class— to that power which seated him on one of the two glory-smitten summits of the poetic mountain, with Milton as his compeer, not rival. While the former darts himself forth, and passes into all the forms of human character and passion,—the one Proteus of the fire and the flood; the other attracts all forms and things to himself, into the unity of his own ideal.
ADVICE TO LITERARY ASPIRANTS.
With no other privilege than that of sympathy and sincere good wishes, I would address an affectionate exhortation to youthful literati, grounded on my own experience. It will be but short, for the beginning, middle, and end converge to one charge: never pur
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sue literature as a trade. With the exception of one extraordinary man, I have never known an individual, least of all an individual of genius, healthy or happy without a profession) i. e. some regular employment which does not depend on the will of the moment; and which can be carried on so far mechanically, that an average quantum only of health, spirits, and intellectual exertion, are requisite to its faithful discharge. Three hours of leisure, unannoyed by an alien anxiety, and looked forward to with delight, as a charge and recreation, will suffice to realize in literature a larger product of what is truly genial, than weeks of compulsion. Money, and immediate reputation, form only an arbitrary and accidental end of literary labour. The hope of increasing them by any given exertion, will often prove a stimulant to industry; but the necessity of acquiring them, will, in all works of genius, convert the stimulant into a narcotic.
The trumpet's voice hath roused the land,
Light up the beacon-pyre!
And waved the sign of fire!
Their gorgeous folds have cast,
A king to war went past I
The chiefis arming in bis hall,
The peasant by his hearth;
And rises from the earth I
Looks with a boding eye ;—
Whose young hearts leap so high.
The bard hath ceased his song, and bound
The falchion to his side;
The lover quits his bride!
By earthly clarion spread!
The blast that wakes the dead r
THE BLACK FERRY.
* * * I Was then returning from my first session at college. The weather had for some time before been uncommonly wet, tsvery brook and stream was swollen far beyond its banks, the meadows were flooded, and the river itself was increased to a raging Hellespont, insomuch, that the ferry was only practicable for an hour before and after high tide.
The day was showery and stormy, by which I was detained at the inn until late in the afternoon, so that it was dark before I reached the ferry-house, and the tide did not serve for safe crossing until midnight. I was therefore obliged to sit by the fire and wait the time, a circumstance which gave me some uneasiness, for the ferryman was old and 'infirm, , and Dick his son, who usually attended the boat during the night, happened to be then absent, the day having been such, that it was not expected any travellers would seek to pass over that night.
The presence of Dick was not however absolutely necessary, for the boat swung from side to side by a rope anchored in the middle of the stream, and on account of the strong current, another rope had been stretched across by which passengers could draw themselves over, without assistance, an easy task to those who had the sleight of it, but it was not so to me, who still wore my arm in a sling.
While sitting at the fire-side conversing with the ferryman and his wife, a smart, good-looking country lad, with a recruit's cockade in his hat, came in, accompanied by a young woman who was far advanced in pregnancy. They were told the state of the ferry, and that unless the recruit undertook to conduct the boat himself, they must wait the return of Dick.
They had been only that day married, and were on their way to join a detachment of the regiment in which Ralph Nocton, as the recruit was called, had that evening enlisted, the parish officers having obliged him to marry the girl. Whatever might have been their former love and intimacy, they were not many minutes in the house when he became sullen and morose towards her; nor was she more amiable towards him. He said little, but he often looked at her with an indignant eye, as she reproached him for having so rashly enlisted, to abandon her and his unborn baby, assuring him that she would never part from him while life and power lasted.
Though it could not be denied that she possessed both beauty and an attractive person, there was yet a silly vixen humour about her ill calculated to conciliate. I did not therefore wonder to hear that Nocton had married her with reluctance; I only regretted that the parish officers were so inaccessible to commiseration, and so void of conscience as to be guilty of rendering the poor fellow miserable for life, to avert the hazard of the child becoming a burden on the parish.
The ferryman and his wife endeavoured to reconcile them to their lot; and the recruit, who appeared to be naturally reckless and generous, seemed willing to be appeased; but his weak companion was capricious and pettish. On one occasion, whenasudden shower beat hard against the window, she cried out, with little regard to decorum, that she would go no further that night.
"You may do as you please, Mary Blake," said Nocton, "but go I must, for the detachment marches to-morrow morning. It was only to give you time to prepare to come with me, that the Captain consented to let me remain so late in the town."
She, however, only remonstrated bitterly at his cruelty, in forcing her to travel, in her condition, and in such weather. Nocton refused to listen to her, but told her somewhat doggedly, more so than was consistent with the habitual cheerful cast of his physiognomy," that, although he had already been ruined by her, he trusted she had not yet the power to make him a deserter." He then went out, and remained some time alone. When he returned, his appearence was surprisingly changed; his face was of an ashy paleness; his eyes bright, febrile, and eager, and his lip quivered as he said,
"Come, Mary, I can wait no longer; the boat is ready, the river is not so wild, and the rain is over."
In vain she protested; he was firm; and she had no option but either to go, or to be left behind. The old ferryman accompanied them to the boat, saw them embark, and gave the recruit some instructions how to manage the ropes, as it was still rather early in the tide. On returning into the house, he remarked facetiously to his wife,
"I can never see why young men should be always blamed, and all pity reserved for the damsels."
At this moment a rattling shower of rain and hail burst like a platoon of small shot on the window, and a flash of vivid lightning was followed by one of the most tremendous peals of thunder I have ever heard.
"Hark I" cried the old woman startling, " was not thata shriek?"
We listened, but the cry was not repeated; we rushed to the door, but no other sound was heard than the raging of the river, and the roar of the sea-waves breaking on the bar.
Dick soon after came home, and the boat having swung back to to her station, I embarked with him, and reached the opposite inn, where I soon went to bed. Scarcely had I laid my head on the pillow, when a sudden inexplicable terror fell upon me; I shook with an unknown horror; I was, as it were, conscious that some invisible