Page images
PDF
EPUB

home with equal facility, if not to the sympathies, Church, too, and churchyard were to Jane at least to the perception of Sterling.

A realm of dream, and sight and lore; His diction is concise and rhetorical and is mark

And, but for one green field or twain,

All else a sea without a shore. ed by philosophical definiteness, so that we are sometimes let into the essential point of a subject of this her isle the central rock, by a single felicitous phrase. Thus he says of Stood up in that old tower sublime, Montaigne, that he “ delighted in all kinds of dis

Which uttered from its wondrous clock tinct human realities;" of Carlyle, that he “ Joves

The only thought she had of time. the ideal realized in things and persons, not ex- Withdrawn was she from passing eyes pounded in systematic thought;" and aptly de- By more than Fortune's outward law, scribes his style, “not so much a figured as an

By bashful thoughts like silent sighs, embossed one." Dr. Johnson he declares “some

By Feeling's lone retiring awe. thing between the parish schoolmaster and the Great Mogul;" and admirably describes Jean Paul's

Henry. genius as shrinking " with fastidious and self-com

For far unlike was Henry's mind placent vivacity from all the forms, blazonries and To aught that Jane had seen before ; authorities of social existence, when these happen Though poor and lowly, yet refined to be insufficiently supported by the worth of the With much of noblest lore. men whom nature's habitual irony has thus digni

A gentle widow's only child fied."

He grew beneath a loving rule ; In metaphor he often evinces the poetical in- A man with spirit undefiled, stinct. Thus speaking of relative excellence, he He taught the village schoot. says—" the iris in the dew-drop is just as true and

And many books had Henry read, perfect an iris, as the bow that measures the hea

And other tongues than ours he knew, vens, and betokens the safety of a world from del- His heart with many fancies fed, uge ; elsewhere speaks of “ the artificial parasol Which oft from hidden wells le drew. of self-conceit" as substituted for the infinite con

What souls beroic dared and bore cave of heaven; and compares a poor child's fu

In ancient days for love and duty, neral in a gay street in London, to "a wounded

What sages could by thought explore, raven fluttering through the chamber of a king." What poets sang of beauty. In accordance with these characteristics the po

With these he dwelt, because within, etry of Sterling has more grave philosophy than

His breast was full of silent fire. lyric fire. His muse is aphoristic rather than me.

No praise of men he cared to win, lodious. The calm wisdom of Wordsworth, and More high was his desire. the metaphysical intelligence of Coleridge re-ap

Thus Henry lived in meek repose, pear in his verse. contains, however, striking

Though suffering of the body's pain, rhetorical beauties. In expression, he often blends

Though sometimes aimless thoughts and woes precision of idea with force of language, so as to Like wrestling giants wracked the brain. produce rare verbal felicity. Thus in the longest of his poems, “ The Sexton's Daughter," though

Her looks like summer lightning spread,

And filled the boundless heavenly deep; many of the stanzas are common-place, the effect

Devoutest peace around she shed, of the whole is singularly pathetic, and it leaves a

The calm without the trance of sleep. sweetly melancholy impression on the reader's mind, like a strain of elegiac music. His descrip

And so she freshened all his life, tion of the three principal characters, afford a fair

As does a sparkling mountain rill,

That plays with scarce a show of strife example both of the manner and significance of the

Around its green, aspiring hill. composition :

We lack space to designate the many beautiful THE SEXTON.

touches which give effect to this simple rhythmiSad seemed the strong, gray-headed man,

cal tale. Sterling has thrown around it the charm Of lagging thought and careful beed;

of a pensive imagination, unexaggerated and natiHe shaped his life by rule and span,

ral. He sincerely recognized the principle of his And hoarded all beyond bis need.

favorite Carlyle, that—" Reverence is the condi

tion of insight.” His ideal of love is elevatedJare.

uniting the human and religious :

1

Thus from within and from without,

She grew, a flower of mind and eye; "Twas love that circled her about

And love in her made quick reply:

And man will ask below the skies

That breast may lean to beating breast,
That mingling hands and answering eyes

May halve the toil and glad the rest.

Yet could he temper love and meekness

jality, taste and necessity, duty and love, by perpetWith all the sacred might of law,

val conflict, restrain the efficiency of the man. He Dissevering gentleness from weakness, And hallowing tenderness by awe.

is a looker-on, where he would fain be an actor;

be dreams, hopes and reasons in a perpetual cir“ Aphrodite” exhales a classical spirit and has cle; reveals himself hy glimpses, and, haunted by many fine images. As a poem it offers a rich con

a sease of lofty purposes,— with a mind craving trast to the “Sexton's Daughter”—and is radiant

Rew and rast truth, and a heart parched with an with the atmosphere of the goddess, by whom

infinite thirst for sympathy-instead of adventure,

pilgrimage, warfare, or original intellectual creaas tale and history tell,

Lion-those moulds in which the glowing spirits of And sculptured marble gray,

past ages cast the lava of enthusiasm-a morbid And oracle of sestal rite,

self-inspection, a melancholy prying into consciousSurviving men's decay; By whom all things are beautiful,

ness-an oppressive sense of the responsibility and And peaceable and strong,

the mysteries of life—make the gified of this cenAnd joy from every throe is born,

tury too often but modified re-productions of Childe And mercy conquers wrong.

Harold— which, not withstanding the repudiation of

critics, is most emphatically the illustrative epic of The “ Hymns of a Hermit” are pervaded by a the age. Sterling was, indeed, guiltless of ungratetruly devout spirit, a confidence in truth, and a so- ful misanthropy; and his pious sentiments were a blime hope. The language is concise and appro- bar to reckless despair; but when we trace the priate, and some memorable lines occur.

evidences in these volumes of intense mental ac“ Otho III.,” “ Louis XV.,” and “ Alfred the tivity—a fearless spirit of inquiry—a singularly Harper," are highly suggestive historical anec- candid and affectionate disposition, and the comdotes, reproduced in eloquent and picturesque verse. paratively meagre result-we cannot but feel that Bot perhaps the most striking and characteristic his self-dissatisfaction was inevitable. of Sterling's minor poems, is ibat entiled “ Abe- Want of scope is, indeed, the complaint of the lard to Heloise." Although ostensibly the embo- 'most gifted of the present day. They leave mediment of another's feeling, it has an earnest clear-'morials of what they were capable of, instead of ness-a deep undertone and terse beauty which eternal deeds and writings. Achievement seems to mark it as the offspring of individual emotion. It is have become visionary, conquest a speculative a genuine sybilline leaf, torn warm from the heart event, and martyrdom a domestic process. Shelof an impassioned, yet noble and just being; which ley in his letters from an Italian hermitage and appeals to the fondest records of experience. Lamartine in his Palestine Journal, breathe the

Such life-dramas, as that of Sterling, have an same consciousness of baffled will and perplexed immortal type in Hamlet. We recognize in the endeavor. Indeed, how few men, like Schiller, sools whose developments we thus trace—as in unite genius and character, power regulated by the character of the musing prince-reflective pow- wisdom, and writings moulded from the soul's life, ers, both acute and profound,-a world of sensi- yet shaped into forms of enduring beauty, by pability, impassioned affections, delicate moral feel- tience, taste and rectitude! ing-all the noblest elements of humanity-yet so balanced and opposed as to find no healthful and complete external manifestation. Hence the internal conflict, the aspirations and doubts, the magDificent conceptions and ardent longings which find

BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON. vague atterance perhaps, but “ Jose the name of action." Ao existence like this, is more common to this than any preceding age; and its record is,

BY REV. JOHN C, M'CABE. as before suggested, like a problem but half solved. lo a word, the restlessness which accompanies the By their waters we sat ; o'er our sorrows still brooding, unattained, robs their being of harmony. The The memory of joys, long departed, intruding, want of a nucleus only seems to prevent a splen- When Judah went up from the prey like a lion.*

Our tear-drops feil freely, we thought of loved Zion, did erystalization. Struggle is the most obvious law, and regret the most evident fruit of powers Our wild harps, neglected, above us were swinging, which needed but definite scope, aim, and motive Their chords to the winds in hoarse murmurs were ringing, to leave enduring and valuable fruits. With vari- Like a wail of despair their sad echoes were given, ety of knowledge, there are no grand and satisfac- And we felt as abandoned by man and by Heaven! tory principles; with intense thought there comes while sadly we gazed on the Euphrates' waters, forth no sastaining belief; with quick and ardent All sandalled and jewelled came Babylon's daughtersaffection, there is no lasting, adequate and reciprocated love. Social elaims and personal individu- * See Genesis, xlix-9.

us.

BY REV. R. W. BAILEY.

3

Their dark eyes were moistened by pilying sadness- with a charge to “ till il-and to keep it." This apBut her sons mocked our grief, which was swelling to pointment designates the first profession in the madness.

world-first in order; and suited to the wants, the Strike the harp, sing a song!" said the heathen-the constitution and happiness of man. Next in order, stranger

incidental and necessary to the successful cultiva. We were captives, sore stricke: , yet heedless of danger, tion of the soil, are the mechanic arts. As agriOur souls swelled with pride, as rich visions came o'er us, culture furnishes the necessary means of life, And Zion, in fancy, rose towering before us !

these contribute to its civilization, luxury and soar. "Oh never," we cried, “ till to Zion returning,"

ces of happiness. The flame of affection within us still burning,

We do not undervalue the other professions when “Oh! never shall harp-strings be swept by our fingers, we say they may be more easily dispensed with. Not a song from our lips where the foeman still lingers ! Even the minister of religion, should his office cease,

leaves to us suillour Great High Priest, who has, once “ Jerusalem ! through our sad tear-drops fast falling

for all, offered up Himself, a sacrifice for sin ; and The memory of all that thou wast still recalling, Should our hearts for a moinent from love of thee sever,

having made atonement, has passed into the hearMay these right hands forget all their cunning forever!

ens, where He ever liveth to make intercession for

The minister of religion performs only a mio“If we do not prefer thee, loved Zion, dear mother! isterial office, a service rendered by divine preseripMay our fast cleaving tongues speak no praise of another, tion. The word of life is left us, though he he reAh vainly they threaten, we smile upon danger, We never will chant Zion's song for the stranger !"

moved, and we are taught to come directly and each

one for himself, to the Priest, whose office is comSmithfield, Va., 1848.

mensurate with the work of man's redemption, and who alone can make effectual atonement for sin. This office, therefore, first in dignity and first in

importance to the race as moral and immortal be

ings, may be merged in the office-work of Him. THE WORKING MAN. who has appointed it. Religion is a personal con

cern, and each must labor himself 10 obtaiu it.

The physician, too, exercises a secondary office. Were the healing art not made the business of 3

certain profession, it would become a subject of In the progress of society, and in a country like common study. Jf all felt the importance of guardours, there is one subject which deserves to be more ing against the causes of disease, how much might fully presented and better understood. It is the be prevented! And if all by force of circumstanWORKING man-his proper relative position in so- ces, were made their own physicians, how rapidly ciety--his responsibilities and duties.

would the knowledge of therapeutics be acquired By the working man, I mean one whose profes- and extended ! sion is fulfilled by physical labor, whose hard hand The lawyer is an expounder of the law,-Fei and lusty sinews show him of that race who were sometimes in his zeal for a bad cause, the pervertappointed to procure their bread by the sweat of er of law, and the subverter of justice. In a simtheir brow, and who fulfils his destiny; whose oc-pler form of society, men setile their disputes by copation is to till the ground for the means of life, methods more direct and less expensive, by the or practise the arts.

laws of equity as adjudged by common sense, and There are other great subdivisions of society, a reference to common men-than whom nohe are but these are primordial. I am a working man, beiter qualified to constitute a court of equity. This but not of this class. The physician, the lawyer, position is exemplified in all trials by jury

, which the divine, each may be devoted laboriously to his is ever considered, and must be, the best safe-gaard profession; the merchant, the factor, the clerk, to justice.

Every man could plead his own cause, magistrate, or legislator, each to his respective the strongest argument for which is the truth is er calling :-yet none of these, though all may be idence, and a jury of independent men of hard work, are of the class here contem- men are the best judges. plated.

Let me not be understood as proposing modifiezMost of the other occupations of life are facti- tions in society in agreement with these suppe tious, incidental, contingent. The Farmer and lions. What may be practicable, may not be esMechanic are provided for and appointed in nature, pedient—and the relative supremacy of one pro in the original constitution of society, interwoven fession does not of course render the others use with its elements and lying at its foundation. The less.

Without further qualification of what I have natural position, therefore, of these professions is said, I may claim assent to the principles asserted first in order, in dignity, in responsibility, in claims. And what I have said of some professions in feliz When God created the earth, he placed man in it 'tion to the farmer and mechanic way, I believe, be

common sense

sex.

said of all others. The farmer and mechanic can-, form, his capacities and capabilities, in order to his not be dispensed with. They are essential to the proper influence and command. Give a man knowexistence of the race in any form which elevates ledge, and you give him power Give himn indus. the condition of man above the barbarian and the try, and you give him wealth, which again is power. savage.

These greatly advance if they do not perfect him Yet it is evident that working men in society in his power to influence and control others. No have not the influence which naturally belongs man without them, onless in a state of barbarism to them; nor do they occupy that position 10 nearly related to the brule, has ever allained to which they are entiiled. Whiskered impudence great power, or held it long. and dandy affectation of the gentleman take the We may find then in each class of society the precedence. Upstarts, whose lily hands and bleach- principal elements of its own elevation. If some ed brows give evidence that they have never fuld have risen to unnatural heighis, their knowledge and filled the command of their Creator to work and to wealth have principally contributed to their false sweat for their bread, who have never provided for position. If other classes have been depressed their own living, nor can earn a living for others, and degraded below what belonged to them as men, often take the reward,-in some important aspects, their ignorance or poverty has done it. the highest reward in this life of human labor and Working men fail of their proper position in socieffort, -the hands and hearts of the fair, while the ely for want of knowledge and industry to compete hard-handed and whole-hearted, the laborious, eco- with other classes. Ignorance and poverty lead to Domical, efficient farmer and mechanic are rejected vice. These, united, aid and exasperate each other and despised. We may attribute this, and some and complete the degradation. limes rightly, to the false education of our daugh. Bai is it necessarily so ? The working man is ters; but I am about to show that the cause lies not excluded from letters. So far from il-his ocdeeper, and goes back to the education of the other cupations often require the use and practice of some

of the highest principles in some of the most abThere is nothing in man so much admired by struse sciences. Geometry in many of its princidiscerning woman as manliness; the character ples, is necessary to the carpenter; chemistry to which belongs to him, who has the power by na- every man who works in the metals, and in many ture to provide for, defend, and protect her. Man of jis principles, to the agriculturist—and the grand then commends himself to her approval, when he doctrines of natural or mechanical philosophy, to fulfils the proper destiny of man, and appears in every mechanic whose trade occupies him with his appropriate character. She may be amused by machinery. the dandy, who can hand her politely through the Yet because the time and terms of ordinary apstreets and pick her nosegays, slippered and sha- prenticeship in the mechanic arts do not allow him ven as from a bandbox. But when she is look- to study at college and acquire the theory separate ing to a settlement in life—for a protector who from the practice of his profession, popular prejucan, if need be, take her on his shoulder and ford dice and popular practice sometimes consign the the stream, or provide for her at home, the foot laboring man to ignorance. This is wrong. The that is shud for the mud, the hand that is hardened best advantages for studying principles are had in by industry, the sinews that are strengthened by the practice of them. The theory is best acquired labor, will naturally come into a very different es in the practice. It is the troe inductive methodtimale. The man of business is the man of worth. natural, convincing, above all rendering the instrucWhere this is not the case, the state of society it- tions permanent in the mind. self is factitious and mothers are at fault.

Such are the advantages enjoyed by the mechanYet it is evident that in society, factitious as it ic for acquiring knowledye,—at least in some of is to a great extent, the working man has not the the trades. In all, the mind is left free to think. position which belongs to him. Why is it? The It is even aided by the animation and vigor impartanswer is obvious.

ed by exercise and free perspiration. There must be something more in man than brule Sludy-a habit of thinking, although on a sepaforce to raise him to his proper position, and se

rate subject from the labor in hand, is in no way cure to him his proper influence in society. There calculated-unless it degenerate into a form of abmust be intelligence and industry, which are, in solute abstraction--lo divert the mind from a proptheir results, power and wealth.

er attention to business. Indeed, to a limited ex" Knowledge,” said Lord Bacon, “is power." tent, it certainly inspires the hody to energy in " Time," said Franklin, “is money.” These pro- labor. positions, by two amongst the greatest men of our That the hardest thinkers have been the hardest race, are full of wisdom, and embrace the concen- workers, is a fact which fully sustains this position. trated instruction of volumes. These,-knowledge Let things take their proper course, and stody be and industry,—the appropriate properties of man, wedded, as is fil, to the mechanical irades, and pamust be added to his other qualities, to his uprigtit'rents who wish to educate their sons will bind them

VOL. XIV-75

as apprentices rather than consign them to indo quainted with each of the sciences named, and all lence and vice in a fashionable course.

of them with every other branch of learoing—and Is this mere theory ? Then it is so only because what may be done by these, may be done by any men are false to themselves. Every mechanic and other and every other master and apprentice in every working man has time to be a literary man: every trade and in every branch of business. I do and if he possess but an ordinary capacity, with not say that they will then know as much as the suitable application and mental discipline, he will masters and professors of these several sciences, become intelligent if not learned. A very few de- but they will know something worih having :tails will easily show this.

they will discipline their minds in the process of Let any farmer's boy, who can read and spell, acquisitions, and make experiments and discoveand who has arrived at vears of discretion, take in ries often in their respective occupations. A koor. hand the small volume by Blake on the Physiology ledge of abont eight or nine minerals will soon enof Boranv. and he will in a single year become ac- able an inquisitive mind to learn all the combinaquainted with the whole subject: with the nature. tions in the science of mineralogy. Geolngy is analysis and habits of plants; their manner of acquired with the same ease; and a comprehen. growth ; their diseases with the means of preven- sive geographic survey of the earth's sorface is tion and cure; the composition, improvement and the work of but a glance of the eye. The nations adaptation of soils ; temperature and light; rotation in their respective ranks are soon marshalled in of crops ; the best manner of cultivation and im- order and assigned to their relative locations; their provement of plants; with the whole system of manners, habits and character, arising to a great classification, nomenclature and analysis. Let him extent from climate, soil and natural relations, are the next spring take Mrs. Lincoln's Manual of Bot- educed from those relations with almost strict acany, and enter on the analysis of Aowers, and he curacy, without personal observation. Political becomes a Botanist.

government, statistical details, and more minute Let the apprentice to any trade that is employed facts, are successively added to the ennmeration, in working metals, take a small volume called and the common day laborer becomes a geograJones' Conversations on Chemistry, and read suc- pher. cessively twenty pages a day; and the whole vol- Elihu Burritt carried his Greek grammar in his ome, containing a pretty complete system of Chem-hat when a blacksmith's apprentice. He now and istrv, will be read in fifteen days. Then let him then stole a glance at its contents before the iroa take the list of simple substances, with their subdi- was hot, and while he swong the sledge with his visions, and while at his regular work, he will re- sinewy arms, he revolved the idea in his mind uuril quire but two or three days to commit ihem famil- it was welded opon his memory like steel upon jarly to memory. Let him then turn his attention steel. Any blacksmith's boy may do the same to the imponderable agents, light, heat and elec- until he learns Greek and Latin, and like Borritt

, tricity, with which he is practically conversant every filiy languages besides. Whatever may be done day, and in a few weeks he learns almost every by a blacksmith in this way, can be done also by : thing that is known of them by philosophers, illos- shoemaker, a saddler, a jeweller, a button-maker, trated by experiments, which fall under his daily a wagoner on the road, a day laborer, or any other observation. He may proceed successively to the man of common sense in any avocation of life. metals, earths, alkalies, gases, chemical affinity, The separation of literary and scientific pursuits salis, crystalography, and the application of steam from manual labor is unnatural, and the popular power to machinery-and not to say that a few sentiment that has sanctioned it is fraught with the months spent in this employment of his leisure greatest evils to intellectual advancement. The hours, will greatly enlarge his range of thought mind is as free to act on any subject of science in and happiness, we say confidently that in another a blacksmith, as in a closeted student. If not as year he is a chemist.

advantageously placed for abstract investigations, Lei the carpenter's apprentice take Jones' Con- it is under greater facilities for vigorous effort. versations on Natural Philosophy; and while he Physical health conduces greatly, if it be not deshoves the plane one day, he may learn the names cessary, to energy and efficiency in mental action, and definitions of the general properties of matter. The mens sana in corpore sano" can be expected In the successive chapters of this small manual, as only where regular labor, daily labor, secures the he goes to his work, let him take up the mechani- corpus sanum by the systematic use of nature's cal powers, and the laws of motion with their ap- sanative hard work. The physical ille that flesh plication to machinery and to the planetary system, is heir to, can be prevented only by this appliance and he will soon be a scientific mechanic. A few against man's universal disposition to laziness. weeks more will suffice to take him through Pneu- So far then from the doctrine that labor unfits a matics, Hydrostatics and Optics, and he is able to man for study, the union of labor and study is oatdispute with philosophers.

ural, and those only should be classed among the In the same way, each of these may become ac- 'ignorant who are not obliged to work. I do not

« PreviousContinue »