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isted. It came as soon as it was invoked by the new rulers of Europe. The task of taming the wild passions of infuriated warriors, was assumed and accomplished by Christianity, by a religion whose doctrine linked it to Platonism, through the heavenly purity of the morality it taught; whose liturgy and dread mysteries satisfied, even more than Polytheism, the love of the multitude for the marvellous; whose majestic temples, splendid pageants and awful ceremonies, gratified the artistic instinct of half-civilized nations,-a religion which offered to society the full fruition of the threefold aspirations of the human mind at that epoch-subjects of deep meditation, and subtile disquisitions to science and philosophy; constant communings with the visible objects of abstract adoration to the multitude; and, to the artist and the poet, an ever flowing source of inspiration.

By the combined action of these varied influences, on minds of diverse propensities, the stern ferocity of the warriors who had stifled the civilisation of ages, in the land which had been both its cradle and its tomb, were subdued with a facility that will ever be the wonder of those who view effects only, without ever meditating on their remote or immediate causes. The clergy, during the middle ages, assailed the human mind, through all the avenues by which it can be invaded, they spoke to every faculty, to every power of the intellect; sometimes quelling with gentle and soothing accents the wild excitements of ruthless hordes; sometimes awakening with patient teachings the latent propensities of untamed barbarians for the culture of those arts, those sciences, which create pleasures that wealth cannot purchase treasures which brutal strength cannot wrest from their pos



The power which had wrought among all ranks that desire to see society rebuilt, in another form, but resting on stronger foundations, was too enlightened to attempt the reconstruction of the Roman system of government which the invaders had overthrown; aware that it had fallen, not under the force that attacked it, but through the weakness of those by whom it was defended. In fact, no one can doubt but that the subdued nations themselves would

have wrought their respective severance from Rome, even if the swarms of Northern barbarians had not successively fallen on the several provinces.

A fatal experience had shown that there are states of society where unity is weakness: when force must be sought from the strong organization of groups, with but a feeble dependence on the governing central power. This conviction gave birth to feudality; a form of government whose foundations are made to rest on accidental superiorities, instead of being laid on the solid level of natural equality.

The impetus of conquest had inspired a spirit of independence which never could have been curbed by the fiction of distant allegiance. The warrior was willing to obey only on condition that the same chief who had commanded him in battle should continue to govern him in the relations of civil and peaceful life. The leaders, too, consented to abdicate a portion of their own authority, but only by transmitting it to the chiefs who had exercised a superior authority over them in virtue of higher military rank. These, in their turn, agreed, when called upon, on rare and well defined occasions, to bring to the field their retainers, under the command of the duke, count, prince, or emperor.

A countless hierarchy bound together the before severed rods of all social authorities. A homogeneous power arose from the separate actions of isolated force, each individual (except the serfs, held in hopeless bondage by the conquerors) alternately commanding and obeying. It would have been both absurd and unjust to have required, that the clergy, the only power, not founded on material force, which presided over this rebuilding of the social order, should have left itself altogether unprotected against that very brute strength, which its influence had disarmed of some of its formidable vigor, in the event of the warlike instincts again resuming at intervals their dan gerous energies.

It was to guard against this danger that the high dignitaries of the church secured to themselves a large share of temporal, in addition to the spiritual authority they had never ceased to possess. That temporal authority was mainly defensive. In the worst time

of clerical usurpation, history, except in Italy, presents but rare instances of its becoming aggressive. The feebleness of kings, that even of the German emperors, the mere shadow of the Cæsars, made it necessary, in order to maintain some balances between power and obedience, that the word of him whom the Christian world venerated as the inspired expounder of divine laws on earth, should likewise be made the supreme arbiter, the counterpoise, of all worldly passions and ambitions. Viewed in that light, we hesitate not to assert, in spite of the declamations of modern philosophy, that the preponderance of the papal power, from the establishment of the Capetian dynasty in France, until the reign of Charles the Wise, was a social necessity of the epoch. It prevailed, because society without its salutary exercise would have relapsed into frightful anarchy. We go further; and, were this the place to proceed with the examination of a subject of so deep an interest, even at this moment we could easily prove, that even without the reform brought about by Luther, the temporal authority of the Pope would have gradually ceased. It was established because the spirit, the circumstances of the times in which it sprang into life, and grew rapidly to a giant size, demanded it. It would have died because another spirit had arisen, because other circumstances had modified that social necessity.

The authority of Rome, like feudality itself, from its very nature, was transitory. As soon as it had ceased to be in accord with the opinions, the aspirations of the people, which had founded and supported it, it would have given way under its own inert weight. The period of its decay would have come when the descendant of the northern conquerors, having completed his initiation into a more perfect social order, under the guardianship of the barbaric oligarchies felt the want, at the same time that he saw the possibility, of political unity.

The royal power, to which public opinion entrusted the task of organizing, under the auspices of ecclesiastical influence, a system of social government, founded on the principles of a

centralization of powers, accomplished this new modelling of European society, by changing institutions which a growing civilisation had made unfit for the coming time. This is a singular trait of European history. To defend the people against the oligarchy, absolute monarchy was called into being by the democracy; and monarchy, in its turn, immediately after its birth, called on democracy to guard it from the attacks of aristocracy.

In France, particularly, this alliance of the kingly power with the municipal authorities of cities enriched by commerce, and with the peasantry in the more enlightened provinces, against feudal aristocracy, is worthy of the study of future historians. Charles the Eighth began the strife by forming a small standing army, by which he was enabled to crush the ambitious designs of disobedient vassals.

We will not be deterred from the due administration of historical justice by the fear of being charged with maintaining paradoxical opinions, and therefore, hesitate not to say, that it was only with his courtiers, with the nobles who were willing to purchase the advantages of the royal presence, by incurring all the dangers of royal caprices, that Louis the Eleventh was the heartless tyrant depicted by Philippe de Comines. It is a fact, on the contrary, well attested by impartial chroniclers, that he was loved by the people, whom he protected against the nobility.

Richelieu, too, a much vituperated and calumniated minister, was the champion of democratic interests when he vanquished the Protestant nobles, the allies of England, before the walls of La Rochelle; and though the aristocracy shuddered, more with fear for themselves, than through horror at the deed, when the head of Montmorency fell under the axe of the executioner, at the bidding of the stern cardinal, the people, all over France, hailed the blow as the signal of their enfranchisement from feudal thraldom.

But it is time that we here close this article, lest we trespass on ground where the giant footsteps of Montesquieu and Hallam are deeply impressed

like Diomede, it is not for us to strive against unearthly might.



SERE forest leaves whirled from your summer home,
Pale, withered grass, damp with ungenial rain,
Dark river, rushing in thy turbid foam

With tribute waters to the monarch main,
Deep moaning autumn wind that wailing sighs
Nature's wild dirge, and cloud-enveloped skies,

Where broods the winter tempest-seeing all

Your multiform but long-accustomed change,
Hearing your many voices-from the call

Of social passage-bird, to whisperings strange
Rustling 'mid ancient wood, by shelving steep,
Or through dim cave, lorn dingle, echoing deep-

(Sounds that might realize the sunny dreams
Of old belief-sweet mournings in the air
Of summer sprite, departing with the gleams
Of the year's dying splendor, from the care
Of founts, and fields, and flowers, shrunk, bare, and wan;)
Not as of wont I hear-Earth's charm is gone.

Nor as of wont I see-but turning, trace
With soul-enkindled vision far amid

Thy ebon depths, illimitable space,

That path, till now to mortal gazers hid,
Where the effulgence of thy golden car,
Flings forth its glory, last-created star!

And upward thus, in speculative thought,

Of what thou wert, and art, and yet may'st be,
And how with mine thy destiny is wrought,

And why thy dawning light first gladdened me,
And wherefore, from old chaos' dim abyss,
Thou 'rt called to shine upon a world like this.

And what thy times and seasons, and if there
The Maker's mighty hand hath o'er thee laid
A vesture like to earth's-more softly fair,

And if or blight or misery shall invade
Thy primal bloom-and if a holier chain
Of life begin in thee, or if remain

Thy solitudes unpeopled. Crowding fast
Such fond inquiry to th' uncertain mind,
With transient brilliance, each may passing cast
An Iris gleam, less palpable than kind,
And fading, teach what words in vain express,
How clay obscures the spirit's consciousness.

The lustrous star which Tycho Brahe, in 1573, obtained the honor of discovering in the constellation Cassiopeia, had been previously observed by Paul Heinzel of Augsburgh. It is somewhere related that he devoted himself to the contemplation of this splendid stranger with so much intensity, that his mental and bodily health were alike injured. And as in a few months the star gradually declined in brilliancy, and finally disappeared altogether, he became a prey to melancholy, and the disappointed astronomer sank despairing to the grave.

Yet still the ambitious questioner within,

Will rise again in strength, and shake its wings,
Unwearied, and unsatisfied, begin

Its curious chase of wild imaginings,
Rejoicing one high privilege is free,
Thought instantaneous, which can fly to thee.

Earth wears large jewels on her haughty brow,
Her mountain coronets, her regal streams,
Her gorgeous forests waving green and low,

Her broad plains smiling in the sun's fair beams,
Her seas sublime, o'er bright shores shining far,
Earth has rich raiment-what hast thou, O Star?

Earth has her evils-want, and pain, and care,
Sorrow, and sin-and still o'ermastering wrong
Binding the weak by force or subtle snare,

And vital crimes, the old gigantic throng,
War, famine, pestilence, defile her throne-
Does ought dim thy sweet light, my radiant one?

Earth's children have high thoughts-since that old day
When shouts presumptuous rose from Shinar's plain,
Down through long years of disappointed sway

The groping pride of nescience doth maintain,
Prompting each idle search and futile scheme—
Hast thou, too, sages wrapt in such wild dream,

As dazzles my calm vigil? Day, that brings

Light, joy, and life to all, hath naught for me;
Fevered till night, the dark enchantress, sings
Her mystic melodies, I wait for thee,

To pour thy starry music far along
The glorious fields of the sidereal throng.

And yet at times strange throes convulse my heart
With doubt and fear-if thou, so long concealed
In those resplendent regions, shouldst depart

Suddenly, as thy presence was revealed;

Oh, in that agony of hope's decline,

I know this mean existence linked with thine

Inseparably !-But whence that link is cast,

I ask not-(Death may solve the mystery!)
Whether from old connexion with the past,

Or years unborn-enough, that thou to me
Dost manifest the still creating word,
Which calls from naught all being-and is heard.
Then leave me not, most beautiful, most bright,
Herald and sov'reign of all future fame!
Through the far vista of unfolding light,

By thee shed o'er my memory and my name,
I triumph o'er oblivion Thou hast given
Thyself my record on the Book of Heaven.

But night doth wear away, and thou hast gone
To wilder with thy lustre many a clime,
Feeling through each enfeebled nerve, upon
Thy lowly watcher, bowed by cares and time,


And stained perchance by sin, and pierced by woes,
Thou shinest not-I seek my dull repose.

Once more, once more, a denizen of earth,
Once more, too conscious of the dust that clings
Around th' impassioned spirit, from its birth
Still madly soaring on imperfect wings,
To perish like the Cretan boy who gave
Man a vain lesson, and himself a grave.

The wind is chill; thick early mists arise;

Low murmurs pass from valley, field, and flood;
The grey cold dawn steals on through wintry skies;
Hoarser the rolling of Vertova's flood-

Within my cell I shrink, to muse, and be
Apart from all the Universe but thee.


The poets tell us that life is a stream,

Down which in youth all joyfully we glide,
As brightly round our brow the sunbeams gleam
And dance the bubbles on the sparkling tide;
And that along the bank are many flowers.
For ever blooming as in summer hours.

But ah! not thus has been fair youth to me!

No flowers have bloomed along the stream of life;

And if my bark e'er rode a quiet sea,

The storm too soon has risen in wilder strife,
And dashed my hopes as it doth dash the spray,
And fling aloft the foam-beads in its play.

But this life is a battle-no smooth river

And men do wrestle as when time was young;
Yet 'tis not for a crown of flowers, that quiver
And die, as a sweet strain from harp-string flung-
We wrestle with full many a sterner power,

In the deep midnight and noonday hour.

And I have wrestled with stern want-my lot
Hath been among the lowly of the earth-

The poor, whom even pity reacheth not;

And while around the world has danced with mirth,
My portion hath it been to toil and weep,

And struggle up life's pathway as a steep.

But it shall not be thus for aye. The bow
Of holy promise beams along the sky;
And if sad sighs ascend, and tears still flow,
The dawning of a better day is nigh,
And we are not as those for whom no ray
Of hope appears to cheer life's clouded way

Skaneateles, September, 1843.

E. S.

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