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witty, sensible, yet impassioned. The eloquence of sayage nations is too metaphorical to please a chastened ear. We meet in it with much that charms us by its ingenuousness and simplicity, and engages our attention by the striking truth of its comparisons-but its images are all material, derived from the external world : we of course look in vain for the logic of argument or the reflections of philosophy. It may be considered a literary heresy to breathe aught against the supremacy of Grecian and Roman eloquence; but it would seem to us, that the human mind has profited little by extended civilisation and Christian knowledge, if their influence has not raised the character of human eloquence-if men's views have not been enlarged as their information has expanded-and if this improvement were not visible in their mental exercises. Again; but two great names present themselves among the orators of the illustrious people we have mentioned : blot out the memories of Demosthenes and Cicero, and Grecian or Roman eloquence would not be mentioned in connection with their music, their statuary, their painting, their architecture, and their poetry. On the contrary, in modern Europe, we can point to a splendid galaxy, who have exhausted in every department of oratorical effort, the brightest intellectual endowments.
Let us not be supposed to underrate the eloquence of our own country, or to deny that a field, even fairer (because more extended) than England affords, is not opened to our own citizens. A word upon this subject may not be out of place here.
The condition and circumstances of our land, natural and political, are well known, and therefore need not be dwelt
upon here. But we are not aware that they have been noticed in connection with her eloquence. Here, the climate, the soil, and the character of the people are
favourable to rapid, precocious, and vigorous growth of natural and intellectual products. Plants shoot up to an enormous size-population swells in an unexampled degree-magnitude is a feature of the country; and the same may be said of the speeches of the people. The length of American orations is their primary characteristic : it is so obvious a mark, and one so much of the essence of an harangue, that it cannot escape notice. It is in some measure the evidence of want of due precision of idea and expression, and certainly of an uncorrected taste. It is the sign of an exuberance of ideas, which would be pruned by careful preparation and education, that would suggest the propriety of not starting in every discussion ab ovo, and of presuming the previous knowledge of certain first principles. The remark is of equal force and truth, when applied to legal arguments, judicial opinions, legislative, literary or popular discourses. Of all and each it may be said, “ they drag their slow length along."
'Twas not when thou wast dying,
It came the hour of parting!
Why should the tie be sever'd
Beyond life's troubled ocean,
THE ICE ISLAND.
BY DR. R. M. BIRD.
MASTLESS, helmless, gaping at every seam, and groaning and crashing at every pitch over the rolling surges, yet supported above the water by the buoyancy of the cargo, our miserable 'bark still struggled with the tempest. Sailors without further duty, and passengers without further hope, were seen in various parts lashing themselves to the rigging, and commending their souls to heaven.
It is always awful to die ; but when perishing in the unvisited solitudes of the deep, while the heavens and the seas are at war with each other, and nature herself seems to encourage the anarchy of her elements, awe is swallowed up in a more subduing horror. It was night, too, and there was a moon in the sky, but a moon that
Wandered darkling in the eternal space
covered and concealed by massy volumes of vapour, which, except when shooting forth sheets of living flame, enveloped the great abyss with impenetrable darkness.
The uproar of the tempest was such as may be recalled by those who have witnessed similar scenes. Thunder that crashed, and rattled, and yelled through the firmament; winds that howled and whistled through the