Imágenes de páginas

SOME NEW JOTTINGS IN MY NOTE-BOOK. the sentiment of the old wise Greek; and I FIRST GATHERING.

see nothing in it abhorrent to Christian feeling, or that would prevent one giving as their best wish—“A happy death, and

one in youth !" From the Dublin University Magazine.


“I wish you saw me half starting out of my chair; with what confidence, as I grasp the elbow of it, I look up, catching the idea, even sometimes before it half-way reaches me!

Two. 7. I believe in my conscience, I intercept many a thought which Heaven intended for another man."-STERNE.

Might not a curious paper be written on “ They tell but dreams.”—Mrs. Hemans. the last verses of our poets, and an attempt

made to show that in them those glorious One.

spirits took, perhaps unconsciously, no unThere is one wish my heart has always meet farewell of the muse? The last lines faltered in, nor could I bring myself to give written by Lord Byron were:it to my friends; and yet it is so commonly

Seek out-less often sought than foundspoken, and so generally esteemed a kind

A soldier's grave, for thee the best ; one, that it may appear extraordinary to re- Then look around, and choose thy ground, fuse one's assent to it. I allude to the cus

And take thy rest. tom, on new-year's days, and birth days, and

Shelley's last poem, and perhaps the most the other little eras of a person's life, of wishhim of

mystical of any he wrote, is called “The think the prayer a good one, and have al- Triumph of Life," and was in great part ways paused in uttering it. And wherefore? composed as he floated on that fatal sea Because I may not recognize in old age a

which was so soon to ingulf him. Its conblessing. I remember the altered form, the clusion is :failing memory, the palsied mind, the closed

After a brief space up heart—and I ask myself, Are these the

From every form the beauty slowly waned;

From every firmest limb and fairest face goods I would give my friend? And more

The strength and freshness fell like dust, and than these ; I call to mind that those who left live long, die over and over again in losing The action and the shape, without the grace their beloved ones; and that hope, and joy, Of life.

Thus on the way and health, all perish, even while the poor Mask after mask fell from the countenance body yet lives on. Thus the protracted life

And form of all; and long before the day presents only the wider field for the sorrow- Was old, the joy which waked, like heaven's ful invasion of change and grief.

glance, Schiller, with his wonted felicity, gives And some grew weary of the ghastly dance,

The sleepers in the oblivious valley, died ; us a glimpse of the profound deep of desolation in this couplet :

And fell, as I have fallen, by the wayside ;

Those soonest from whose forms most shadows “ Das Herz ist gestorben, die Welt ist leer,

past, Und weiter giebt sie dem Wunche nichts mehr.”

And least of strength and beauty did abide.

Then, what is life? I cried. And so, with the old man the world has truly become an empty place. His co-mates, who The lingering sweetness of the last notes started with him in the same morning of life, of the Hemans has not yet quitted our ears, are long since at rest in their dusty graves. and her “ Sabbath Sonnet” was the tender Some died abroad, and some in their own adieu the daughter of music, with failing finland. Some lingered on through months, or gers, took of her harp. It followed-how even years, of pain; others were struck fitly !-her magnificent lyric, “Despondendown in a passing moment. Some died cy and Aspiration,” and told that the resthappily, and at peace; others in want and less longings of that lofty strain were all fulmisery unspeakable. At all events, they are filled, and oh, how abundantly! She died gone, and his heart sinks within him as he in early summer, and this was the broken feels he is alone; and he wonders when he melody of the poor sufferer on her last Sabthinks how strange all things have become, bath morning. Memories of the sunshiny and how differently people speak and act fields of her own England came across her now from what they did when he was a boy. soul, the peacefulness which seems pre-emi

“Whom Heaven loves, dies early," was nently cast over nature during the hallowed JULY, 1844. 23


hours, the happy groups wending their

Three. way alike from hall and from hamlet, towards the gray church-tower, whence the

One thing you will learn fast enough in sweet jangling chimes are issuing-and the world, for it is potent in such teachingthen the touching allusion to her own fee- that is, to be suspicious. Oh! cast from you bleness :

for ever the hateful lesson. Men do not think

how much of their innocency they are laying I may not tread

down, when they assume a clothing whose With them those pathways,—to the feverish bed

texture is guile. Beware of this mock proOf sickness bound ;-yet, oh my God! I bless Thy mercy, that with Sabbath peace hath filled tection; for you can hardly use it without Myʻchastened heart, and all its throbbings stilled practising deceit. I do not ask you to trust To one deep calm of lowliest thankfulness. always; but I would have you think well of

men until you find them otherwise. When Another, and an altered, gust from the wind-harp! Yes; the breezy tones are a spoken falsehood, trust that person no

you are once deceived, either by an acted or changed, and the instrument obeys the unseen agent's ministration. Is not the human

I had it once laid down to me as an axiom soul the instrument we speak of; and feel by a very dear friend, (and I am so satisfied ings, do they not sweep its chords, and shake of the precept's truth as to make it a rule of out responses, ay! and to widely different

my life,) that persons rarely suspect others vibrations? William Motherwell, whose Scottish bal- except of things which they are capable of

doing themselves. Yes; these shadows of lads have brought tears to the eyes of many doubting are generally flung from some bad a snooded maiden of his own country, and realities within. You are looking at you! whose wild Norse legends have yet more powerfully affected the men, is the next 1 in your neighbor's face.

own image when you see so much rileness

How much better shall refer to for illustration of my position. might not we ourselves become, if we used With a sense of coming mortality creeping more largely to others that blessed charity over him, and a feeling as though the long which thinketh no evil! grass were already waving above his head, and with the natural desire not wholly to pass away from men's memories, the poet passionately entreats, in his last lines, to be remembered. He asks himself, will there

Four. be any to visit his grave, and pace it round thinking of him, and sit down by his side, There can be litile doubt but that, with all as he lies there cold and senseless, and name its absurdiries, heraldry is a most ancient his name, now growing unfamiliar? And science. The twelve Hebrew tribes bore on then, while half hoping and half doubting, their banners insignia, under which the dyhe calls to mind that the dead have no need ing patriarch Jacob had typified them (Gen. of this tribute, even as they so rarely receive xlix). The supporters of our own national it; and his conclusion is a kind of palinode arms were regal emblems, even in the days of all his preceding wishes. I quote from of Balaam. When that bold bad man would memory, but I am sure I quote correctly :- speak of the victories and power of Israel,

he selects those two animals in illustration It may be so.

But this is selfish sorrow
To ask such meed,

(Numbers xxii. 22, 24; xxiv. 8, 9)-the A weakness and a wickedness to borrow

lion, as the emblem of conquest; the uniFrom hearts that bleed,

corn, of strength. The wailings of to-day for what to-morrow

Shall never need.
Lay me, then, gently in my narrow dwelling,

Thou sad heart!
And though thy bosom should with grief be swell-


Let no tear start; It were in vain; for time has long been knelling, vored me with them, that the following

I am assured by the friend who has fa· Sad one, depart!'

spirited lines have never been printed. I do I could extend this considerably; but it not think they will suffer from a compariis often pleasanter to suggest than to en- son even with Shelley's, and only regret I large.

cannot name the translator :




keep present with us the littleness of our

share in worldly matters. How comparaFrom the Welsh of Dafydd nb Gwilyn, a bard of the fourteenth

tively less than nothing is our busiest conduct; and yet to us this little portion is every

thing! And then, on all sides of us, the vast Sentinel of the morning light !

mechanism of the world is going smoothly Reveller of the spring!

on, and hundreds of events hourly occurHow sweetly, nobly, wild thy flight, Thy boundless journeying;

ring, of which we know nothing, simply Far from thy brethren of the woods, alone, because we do not witness them. Neither A hermit cloister before God's throne !

do we recollect that what we have seen occurred just as independently ere we were

present, and shall go on just as uninterruptOh! wilt thou climb the heavens for me, Yon rampart's starry height

edly when we have departed—that not with Thou interlude of melody

them cometh a change, but with us—and Twixt darkness and the light;

that man falsely charges upon nature the And seek, with heaven's first dawn upon thy crest, alterations he himself is made to undergo. My lady love, the moonbeam of the west !


No woodland caroller art thou:
Far from the archer's eye,

Thy course is o’er the mountain brow,
Thy music in the sky;

Truly, the world is a lovely place. Not Then fearless float thy path of cloud along, the minutest blade of grass, or the humblest Thou earthly denizen of angel song!

flower, I pass by without a blessing; or the perishing ephemeron, or the everlasting hills; or the faint tinkling streamlet, or the

full, far-sounding ocean-all alike in their Sir.

perfections, though differing in their degrees With regard to friends. Our little all these are glorious to my eye and senses. being is so much wrapped up in our personal But man !--here is the rending of the divine experience, and this experience so much

doomed. He is no more what he once was, constitutes our whole world, that any one and what he ought to be ; and I seek no furwho becomes dear to us, is invariably depre-ther proof of the recessity for a change in ciated, as to his former life, when he was a stranger to us. This

his nature and destinies. may be done uncon

The world-I mean the world of nature sciously, but, I think, occurs almost assured. -is lovely. Tell me, dear reader, have you ly. We never think that our friend's feelings were as warm, his thoughts as generous,

ever looked up straight into the clear heavhis heart as open, long before we knew him; ens, when they were mirroring as soft a blue and should any change divide us,

as your misress's eye, and thought for an

how little do we deem he thinks as deeply, feels as sen

instant what Space was, without feeling a sibly, lives as completely as ever! Self

so weight suddenly plucked off from your head,

and a iroving thrill which made your pulses much constitutes with us every thing, that where we are not present, there is a kind of babitation bearing the same relation to lo

leap within you, from the vague sense of annihilation of all things else. Let us take our departure from any place, and can we when you saw the smiling fields stretching

cality that eternity does to time? And then, imagine then (at least with any degree of conviction) every thing happening as really off your eye to rest at last on the distant

tar, far away on all sides of you, which led as when we were there? Let friendship exist between us and any one,

hills, did

not however wor

you pant to cast yourself abroad

on that glorious scene, and involuntarily thy of it, and can we from our heart feel the

murmursame sympathy in that friend's former life, which passed ere our intimacy began? No!

- Oh, that I were

The viewless spirit of a lovely sound, our present love may teach us to hear of it with gladness; but never can we dwell up

A living voice, a breathing harmony,

A bodiless enjoyment-born and dying on it with the same enduring pleasure as we With the blest tone which made me !" do upon the scenes and incidents in which we have been ourselves sharers.

Once more: is there not something inAnd truly may we become wise, if we thus expressibly awful in the solitary magnificence of the noon-day sun, as he pours down ality to each with whom we mix. The those ceaseless tides of glory on this lower selfish feeling of making the world one world ?—when you think that he is at one thing, and ourselves the other, closes up the and the same moment shining for countless heart against all the gentler sympathies; and miles on the expanse of the glittering sea, the apprehension of childishness, and its and visiting the shady forest, the lonely imputation to us, prevent our entering into country, the peopled city; the palace of the their little feelings, and giving them their nobles, the hut of the beggar; the happy due weight and importance. home of health, the heaped-up hospital; the Yet who remembers not the days of his rich, the proud, the rejoicing; the wretched, boyhood? What traveller, even in the midst the dying, the dead, and the green graves. of toilsome and busy years, when manhood Yes, all these things, so widely differing, had hardened his heart, and disappointment yet forming part of the same human life, taught him to rejoice no more on earth, did that glorious eye takes in at once! not turn his eye backward to his father's

manly welcome, the tender reception from his mother, his young sisters' proud trusting

in him, and his happy home, whither no care Eight.

nor sorrow could pursue him—the family

hearth was a sanctuary, and there he was I do not think we sufficiently sympathize safe. with our juniors in years. That false pride, The innocence of childhood, consisting, that dearly-bought experience, through as it does, in the ignorance of evil, is for me which we maintain a superiority over them, the one charm which makes it so like what dispose us too much to overlook their many I dream of heaven. Alas! how often, when beautiful traits of character. We do not I gazed on the fair hair of the young, and remember that these little people, in their eyes that looked no evil

, have I in my heart own selves, and so far as their unripened shed tears that such whiteness of soul was sensibilities carry them, are each of them no longer mine own-bitter tears of rethe centre of a circle, the moving point pentance, but ineffectual ones likewise, for round which revolves tbe whole world be they were the lament for what had long side. Neither do we think often enough, since departed. The fruit had been tasted, that there is a freshness in these young and the paradise of primeval harmlessness souls which may profitably revive our jaded wandered from for ever. hearts, and an honesty of purpose like an atmosphere surrounding them, which it would be well for us sometimes to breathe; and that lastly, by“ becoming as little chil

Nine. dren" we are getting taught by those who, of all instructors on earth, are nearest heav- O, the littleness of human knowledge! en; for they have come most recently from All that we know is, nothing can be known. it, and its fragrance is still floating about Mystery of mysteries are we full often to them.

ourselves; and if we know not what is in I envy not the man who can look on the uş-if ithen we cast the glance of anxious open countenance of the true-hearted boy; inquiry within, and ask individually,“ What or the fair and delicate face of girlhood, am I ? the hollowness of vacuity only rewith those pensive eyes and long golden verberates the question—How can we hope hair, and not call to mind his own by-gone to comprehend what is not of ourselves ? years, nor seek to read for those untried

The world talk of "mental acquirespirits what is written for them in the book menis.'' Mental acquirements ! and what of daily life. Were I to try to feel like are they? The astronomer will tell you him, I should not succeed; for I regard the that Science has now, like the giants of young with an intense sympathy. Remem- old, scaled the heavens; yea, that he, even bering most vividly, as I do, when I was he, has in his wisdom meted out the stars one of them, and recollecting the upward-that he has computed their number, and feeling wherewith I used to regard the full discovered their positions that he has obgrown, I cannot help now shaping my served their progress, and marked their thoughts downwards, and becoming one varied revolutions. But turn, and ask the with them again. It may be, that we do same wise man something further, and benot give in this world sufficient individu- | hold his emptiness ! Ask him, What is any

one of those glowing orbs of which he so

Ten. vaunteth his knowledge? Is it only

All persons of a highly-wrought and ima“ A speck of tinsel fixed in heaven ginative disposition, must have found how To light the midnights of his native town;" much clearer they are able to think in the

night season than during the garish hours or, is it a world like unto our own? Are of day. Some say, the passions are more cares, and fears, and sorrows all there, en- awake then; it may be so, but I am sure veloping it like a sky? and is it only its mea- the intellect is more awake also. Jean Paul sureless distance which invests it with such has a pretty conceit, to explain to us why lustre ? Do its tenants contemplate this our thoughts are more vivid, more marked, earth with feelings at all akin to ours, when more copious, while the material world is we regard their world? Do they long to wrapped in gloom. He says something discover what beings people so glorious a like this, if I do not wrong him :fabric, and gazing, do they

“ The earth is every day overspread with the " Wonder what is there,

veil of night, for the same reason that the cages So beautiful it seems ?"

of birds are darkened, so that we may the more

readily apprehend the higher harmonies of thought Ask him, then, any of these questions, and in the bush and stillness of darkness. Ideas, where is his knowledge ?

which the day converts into smoke and mist, du

ring the night stand about us, light and flames; Again, visit the physiologist

, and inquire like the column which Auctuates above the crater of him, where is that thinking portion of of Vesuvius, and which seems in the daytime a man, his true self, seated ? He can tell you pillar of cloud, but is by night a column of fire.” much of its divine functions, but nothing of its real nature; he can dilate on its mighty T'he superior claims of the ebon goddess and mysterious powers, but what tangible are so well put forth here, that I need make idea can he afford you of itself? Bring no addition. him to the new-made corpse—the temple in ruins, from which the guardian deity is departed—the signet, whereon Ichabod, the word of wo, is engraven--and ask him,

Eleven. where in that tabernacle abode its inmate ? whence arose that strange communion be- We speak of the treasures of affection in tween earth and heaven? How came the this world-has the spirit-land none such ? worm and the god to be united in that weak Even from the millions of bursten hearts, frame? Alas, he can give you no reply; who have hence travelled thitherwards, may or should he try to reason out the question, not stores of it be gathered, richer, purer, he may lead you, apparently, a step or two more disinterested, (inasmuch as lacking further, and then will be compelled to de- the impulse of the passions,) than any this sist.

world can bestow ? Have we dear ones The great Sanctuary of Knowledge mor- dwelling with us above earth ?-are there tal foot has never entered; the veil which not some also beneath it ?—and whose afseparates it from our gaze, has not yet been fection is the more unchanging ? Which uplifted; and though at times we fancy we of them will love us on still without coldhave advanced beyond our fellows towards ness or fretfulness—without caring for our treading its unseen recesses, we in reality imperfections without heeding our unbut touch the curtain which trembles in kindness—without blaming our injustice or our hold; and the densest mist that be- wrong; but ever, ever, looking upon us clouds us is—ourself! Things alien to us

with the same tender eyes, taking all we can fancy we understand; the world wrong, giving none, and watching over us that is about us we can, in our hours of for good, untired, unwearied, uudeparting ! musing, contemplate and admire; but the Alas, alas! it is the living change, not world within passeth knowledge. The the dead, in their affection and natures. I mind, though itself the seat of understand- bave read of the Arab city, in which the ing, like the eye-so Locke compares it- inhabitants were in one night changed to cannot view itself; and thus remains in stone. Whatever had been the occupation ignorance of its own true nature.

of each at that particular moment, in that did the cold hand fix him-in that he remained for ever and ever. So is it with

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