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airy yet robust universality of Ariosto; the hearty out-of-door nature of Theocritus, also a universalist; the finest lyrical poets, (who only take short flights, compared with the narrators ;) the purely contemplative poets, who have more thought than feeling; the descriptive, satirical, didactic, epigrammatic. It is to be borne in mind, however, that the first poet of an inferior class may be superior to followers in the train of a higher one, though the superiority is by no means to be taken for granted; otherwise Pope would be superior to Fletcher, and Butler to Pope. Imagination, teeming with action and character, makes the greatest poets; feeling and thought the next; fancy (by itself) the next; wit the last.

What the poet has to cultivate above all things is love and truth ;— what he has to avoid, like poison, is the fleeting and the false. He will get no good by proposing to be "in earnest at the moment." His earnestness must be innate and habitual; born with him, and felt to be his most precious inheritance. "I expect neither profit nor general fame by my writings," says Coleridge, in the Preface to his Poems; "and I consider myself as having been amply repaid without either. Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward; it has soothed my afflictions ; it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments; it has endeared solitude; and it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me."

"Poetry," says Shelley, "lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. It reproduces all that it represents; and the impersonations clothed in its Elysian light stand thenceforward in the minds of those who have once contemplated them, as memorials of that gentle and exalted content which extends itself over all thoughts and actions with which it coexists. The great secret of morals is love, or a going out of our own nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another, and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is imagination; and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the cause."

Leigh Hunt.



IN 1798

requires a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch. understanding. Their only idea of wit, or rather that inferior variety of this electric talent which prevails occasionally in the North, and which, under the naine of wUT, is so indefinitely distressing to people of good taste, is laughing immoderately at stated intervals. They are so imbued with metaphysics that they even make love metaphysically. I overheard a young lady of my acquaintance, at a dance in Edinburgh, exclaim, in a sudden pause of the music, "What you say, my lord, is very true of love in the aibstract, but-" here the fiddlers began fiddling furiously, and the rest was lost. No nation has so large a stock of benevolence of heart. If you meet with an accident, half Edinburgh immediately flocks to your door to inquire after your puir hand or your puir foot, and with a degree of interest that convinces you their whole hearts are in the inquiry. You find they usually arrange their dishes at dinner by the points of the compass-"Sandy, put the gigot of mutton to the south, and move the singet sheep's-head a wee bit to the nor-wast." If you knock at the door, you hear a shrill female voice from the fifth flat shriek out, "Wha's chapping at the door?" which is presently opened by a lassie with short petticoats, bare legs, and thick ancles. My Scotch servants bargained they were not to have salmon more than three times a-week, and always pulled off their stockings, in spite of my repeated objurgations, the moment my back was turned. Their temper stands anything but an attack on their climate. They would have you even believe they can ripen fruit; and to be candid, I must own in remarkably warm summers I have tasted peaches that made most excellent pickles; and it is upon record that at the siege of Perth, on one

occasion, the ammunition failing, their nectarines made admirable cannonballs. Even the enlightened mind of Jeffrey cannot shake off the illusion that myrtles flourished at Craig Crook. In vain I have represented to him that they are of the genus Carduus, and pointed out their prickly peculiarities. In vain I have reminded him that I have seen hackney coaches drawn by four horses in the winter on account of the snow; that I had rescued a man blown flat against my door by the violence of the winds, and black in the face; that even the experienced Scotch fowls did not venture to cross the streets, but sidled along, tails aloft, without venturing to encounter the gale. Jeffrey sticks to his myrtle illusions, and treats my attacks with as much contempt as if I had been a wild visionary, who had never breathed his caller air, nor lived and suffered under the rigour of his climate, nor spent five years in discussing metaphysics and medicine in that garret of the earth-that knuckle-end of Englandthat land of Calvin, oat-cakes, and sulphur.

Sydney Smith.




N, on, on, over the countless miles of angry space, roll the long heaving billows. Mountains and caves are here, and yet are not; for what is now the one, is now the other; then all is but a boiling heap of rushing water. Pursuit, and flight, and mad return of wave on wave, and savage struggling, ending in a spouting up of foam that whitens, the black night; incessant change of place, and form, and hue; constancy in nothing but eternal strife; on, on, on they roll, and darker grows the night, and louder howl the winds, and more clamorous and fierce become the million voices in the sea-when the wild cry goes forth upon the storm, "A ship!"

Onward she comes, in gallant combat with the elements, her tall masts trembling, and her timbers starting on the strain; onward she comes, now high upon the curling billows, now low down in the hollows of the sea, as hiding for the moment from its fury; and every storm-voice in the air and water cries more loudly yet, "A ship!"

Still she comes striving on: and at her boldness and the spreading cry, the angry waves rise up above each other's hoary heads to look; and round about the vessel, far as the mariners on her decks can pierce into the gloom, they press upon her, forcing each other down, and starting up, and rushing forward from afar, in dreadful curiosity. High over her they break, and round her surge and roar; and, giving place to others, moaningly depart, and dash themselves to fragments in their baffled anger: still she comes onward bravely. And though the eager multitude crowd thick and fast upon her all the night, and dawn of day discovers the untiring train yet. bearing down upon the ship in an eternity of troubled water, onward she comes, with dim lights burning in her hull, and people there, asleep: as if no deadly element were peering in at every seam and chink, and no drowned seaman's grave, with but a plank to cover it, were yawning in the unfathomable depths below.


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