« AnteriorContinuar »
Return? Alas, my Arab steed, what shall thy master do,
When last I saw him drink! Away! the fever'd dream is o'er
Ah! bless'd are they for whom, ʼmid all their pains,
In thy black weeds, and coif of widow's woe;
By that deep wretchedness the lonely know:
Conn'd by unwilling lips, with listless air ;
More than the widow's pittance then could spare.
Enduring sorrow, not by fits and starts,
Alone amidst thy brood of careless hearts !
The young rebellious spirits crowding round,
And could not comfort-yet had power to wound !
SONNETTO MY BOOKS.
Silent companions of the lonely hour,
Friends, who can never alter or forsake, Who for inconstant roving have no power,
And all neglect, perforce, must calmly takeLet me return to you; this turmoil ending
Which worldly cares have in my spirit wrought, And, o'er your old familiar pages bending,
Refresh my mind with many a tranquil thought, Till haply meeting there, from time to time,
Fancies, the audible echo of my own,
My native language spoke in friendly tone,
Little they think, the giddy and the vain,
Wandering at pleasure 'neath the shady trees, While the light glossy silk or rustling train
Shines in the sun or flutters in the breeze, How the sick weaver plies the incessant loom,
Crossing in silence the perplexing thread, Pent in the confines of one narrow room,
Where droops complainingly his cheerless head: Little they think with what dull anxious eyes,
Nor by what nerveless, thin, and trembling hands, The devious mingling of those various dyes
Were wrought to answer Luxury's commands: But the day cometh when the tired shall restWhere weary Lazarus leans his head on Abraham's breast !
How little thanksgiving ascends to God!
To wander with free footsteps o'er the sod,
See various blossoms paint the valley clod,
A miracle as great as Aaron's rod,
They who most suffer value Suffering's pause;
Kneel oftenest to the Giver and the Cause.
Heavy the curtains feasting Luxury draws, To hide the sunset and the silver night;
While humbler hearts, when care no longer gnaws, And some rare holiday permits delight, Lingering, with love would watch that earth-enchanting sight. THE PRISON CHAPLAIN.
I saw one man, arm’d simply with God's Word,
Enter the souls of many fellow-men,
While conscience echoed back his words again;
Till, even as showers of fertilizing rain
So their hearts open'd to the wholesome pain,
Is still before me: there the Mother bows,
Unusual tears. There knitting his dark brows,
The penitent blasphemer utters vows
Whose one weak vice went near to bid him lose
By a new sense of overcoming shame,
Round a young sister who deserves no blame;
As though like innocence she now would claim,
The father who refused to speak her name :
THOMAS CARLYLE. 1796.
Thomas Carlyle, the renowned essayist, reviewer, and historian, was born at Middlebio, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, in 1796. His father, an elder in the Socession church, was a small farmer, and Thomas received the rudiments of a classical education at a school in Annan.' At the age of seventeen, he went to the University of Edinburgh, where he was distinguished for his attainments in mathematics, of which he was particularly fond. After leaving the university, which he prefixed an “ Essay on Proportions," and also published his translation of Goethe's “Wilhelm Meister.” On the completion of this, he commenced his “Life of Schiller,” which appeared by instalments in the "London Magazine." About 1826 he married, and resided in Dumfriesshire, where he continued writing for the “Foreign” and other reviews until about 1830, when he went to London, and became one of the chief contributors to “Frazer's Magazine,” in which appeared his “Sartor Resartus." In 1837 he published his “ French Revolution," and two years after his “Chartism" appeared, and with it his “Critical and Miscellaneous Essays," in five volumes, collected and republished from reviews and magazines. In 1840 he delivered in London a course of lectures on “HeroWorship,” which were published in the following year. Since that, he has given to the world bis "Past and Present,” “Life of Oliver Cromwell,” “ Latter-Day Pamphlets,"\ “Life of John Sterling," &c. &c.
It will readily be seen, by the above list of works, that Mr. Carlyle has been a very industrious man. But this industry is accompanied by a genius of a very high order, and no man of the present century has inade a more decided mark upon the age than he. While, however, his writings show great depth as well as originality of thought, and are remarkable for their “suggestiveness,” his style is so quaint and eccentric as to be any thing but a model for imitation. And yet a large number of young writers have affected his “tone of quaint irony and indulgent superiority,” hoping thereby that they may be thought to have some of the genius of their great prototype, while, in fact, “they have shown nothing of Cicero but his wart, nor of Demosthenes but his stammer.”
The trait of Mr. Carlyle's character, which has gained him so many admirers, is the perfectly fearless and unreserved manner in which he utters his thoughts; for mankind love to see earnestness of purpose and independence of spirit, even if they do not coincide with the views thus manly uttered. We could wish, indeed, that our author were less Germanized in his philosophy, and less quaint in his style ; but still we are glad to take him as he is, and to profit by his valuable teachings. If he be not a popular writer, and is not read by the masses, it may truly be said that the influence he has exerted upon the thinking men of the age is hardly exceeded by that of any other man now living.
On Monday, the 14th of October, 1793, a cause is pending in the Palais de Justice, in the new revolutionary court, such as these old stone-walls never witnessed: the trial of Marie-Antoinette. extreme need, is not wanting to herself, the imperial woman. Her look, they say, as that hideous indictment was reading, continued calm ; "she was sometimes observed moving her fingers, as when one plays on the piano." You discern, not without interest, across that dim revolutionary bulletin itself, how she bears herself queenlike. Her answers are prompt, clear, often of laconic brevity; resolution, which has grown contemptuous without ceasing to be dignified, vails itself in calm words. “You persist then in denial ?”
-“ My plan is not denial : it is the truth I have said, and I persist in that.” Scandalous Hébert has borne his testimony as to many things : as to one thing, concerning Marie-Antoinette and her little
1,—wherewith human speech had better not further be soiled. She has answered Hébert; a juryman begs to observe that she has not answered as to this. “I have not answered," she exclaims, with noble emotion, “because Nature refuses to answer such a charge brought against a mother. I appeal to all the mothers that are here.” Robespierre, when he heard of it, broke out into something almost like swearing at the brutish blockheadism of this Hébert, on whose foul head his foul lie has recoiled. At four o'clock on Wednesday morning, after two days and two nights of interrogating, jury-charging, and other darkening of counsel, the result comes out: sentence of death. “ Have you any thing to say?” The Accused shook her head without speech. Night's candles are burning out; and with her, too, Time is finishing, and it will be Eternity and Day. This hall of Tinville's is dark, illlighted, except where she stands. Silently she withdraws from it, to die.
Two processions, or royal progresses, three-and-twenty years apart, have often struck us with a strange feeling of contrast. The first is of a beautiful Archduchess and Dauphiness, quitting her mother's city, at the age of fifteen; towards hopes such as no other daughter of Eve then had : “On the morrow,” says Weber, an eye-witness," the dauphiness left Vienna. The whole city crowded out; at first with a sorrow which was silent. She appeared : you saw her sunk back into her carriage; her face bathed in tears; hiding her eyes now with her handkerchief, now with her hands; several times putting out her head to see yet again this palace of her fathers, whither she was to return no more. She motioned her regret, her gratitude to the good nation, which was crowding here to bid her farewell. Then arose not only tears; but piercing cries, on all sides. Men and women alike abandoned themselves to such expression of their sorrow. It was an audible sound of wail in the streets and avenues of Vienna. The last courier that followed her disappeared, and the crowd melted away."
The young imperial maiden of fifteen has now become a worn discrowned widow of thirty-eight; gray before her time; this is the