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advantage-has not been displaced by | time, when Rhode Island shall stand amid education among the inhabitants of its the larger republics, as fair and imperishhardy hill-sides ; a practical ingenuity has able as stood the little temple of Vesta, existed, self-educated, along the course of surrounded by the over-topping fabrics of its busy streams; a proud sense of per- the Palatine and the Capitol, in the magsonal independence has built its humble nificent days when Rome was ruled by the homes in the hunting grounds of Massasoit Cæsars. In conclusion of this subject, and Miantinomo; and while generations and without repeating the observations before the present saw in the State of the made in the progress of our essay, let it be Anchor and of Hope, few monuments of briefly added that in Judge Durfee were an enlightened public sentiment, or of a combined not only all the virtues of the banded Christian charity, they were pre- earlier type of Rhode Island character, eminently distinguished for the possession with but few of its defects, but also whatof a strongly marked individuality of char- ever in its development at the present day acter, which has given rise to success in is most to be commended. the diverse occupations of agriculture, Of the writings of Mr. Durfee, there recommerce, manufactures and the mechani mains but one to be mentioned, the greatcal arts, and has introduced into social in est and the last,—though for reasons tercourse the great charm of variety of which need not here be stated, published disposition and unprohibited diversity of anonymously. The Panidea has, indeed, opinion.
found no readers. Ushered into the presNor should we omit to add that, in this ence of our popular literature with a title rough granite of the Rhode Island charac so uninviting and uncouth, and with a table ter, may be found the basis for a super of contents, the phraseology of which was structure, which shall be supported by all apparently as unintelligible as it was fanthe virtues, and ornamented with the graces tastic, it met with a reception not unlike of the highest civilization. Already, in that which might have happened to an deed, a most admirable system of popular unfashionably clad stranger, from parts education is beginning to elevate and ex- unknown, who had intruded into genteel pand the native good sense of this people; society without a friend to introduce, or a the patronage of the higher seats of learn- letter to accredit him. The intruder might, ing, formerly monopolized by a noble few, nevertheless, have descended from an exis now claimed as the honor of the many; alted sphere of existence, though little and a new philanthropy, touched no less known; and the work, in fact, is one by the sufferings of the “mind diseas'd,” which we hesitate not to pronounce the than by the degradation of the mind uned- most remarkable metaphysical treatise ucated, has just constructed a retreat, written in this country since Jonathan Edwhere to
wards's Inquiry into the Nature of the Will.
If not a complete and elaborate intellectual “Raze out the written troubles of the brain; system of the universe, it is, at least, a And with some sweet oblivious antidote,
model in miniature of one—wrought with Cleanse the charg’d bosom of that,perilous stuff exceeding skill, harmonious in all its parts, Which weighs upon the heart."
entire within itself. Although, as in other The principal city of the State can now branches of knowledge, the author's readboast of a private library, second to none ing in philosophy was small, being confined of its particular class in the country, and of chiefly to the writings of Coleridge, the a public one, rapidly increasing on a plan, English translations from Cousin, and some in some respects, original and truly scien- brief epitome of the history of metaphystific; while such specimens of a chaste ics, yet the Panidea lays no claim to architectural taste are rising within its lim- originality in its general results. It is a its, such a growing interest in public im- system of eclecticism ; similar in most of provements is passing out from this centre its doctrines to those before advocated by into all parts of the State, and appropriat- the ideal or transcendental philosophy; ing a liberal share of the general wealth sometimes resembling the views of Berkeley to works of utility and beauty, that one may Spinoza, and sometimes approaching to almost behold, from afar, the coming of the the conclusions of Fichte or Schelling.
Like the systems constructed by these cele- | would be in vain to attempt to give either brated metaphysicians, it attempts to frame an analysis or a critique of such a work and establish such a conception of the as the Panidea. It may be sufficient for universe as shall get rid of the dualism of our purpose to call the attention of those the popular philosophy. While to the of our readers, who take an interest in human mind, the external world is declared metaphysical inquiries, to this work, as a in the Panidea to be a reality, and such a serious and, withal, not a presumptuous reality as our senses represent it to be, still, attempt to give, by a process of reasoning relatively to the mind of God, it is pro- somewhat novel, à new solution of those nounced to be no more than the imagery great problems in philosophy, which have of His own thoughts. That this repre- occupied the attention of the most gifted sentation of the external universe is the minds, but to which all the answers hitherto true one, is attempted to be proved by an worked out seem only distant approximaargument designed to show, that the so tions towards the truth. Persons not called primary qualities of matter no more familiar with metaphysical studies, would have an existence independent of the rea- probably find great difficulty in comson than have the secondary; and that, prehending so abstruse and spiritual a therefore, even to the reason, as it is man scheme of philosophy ; though no one, ifested in the human mind, matter is known who does understand it, will fail to peronly by the spiritual properties ascribed to ceive the extraordinary coherency as well it. But the human reason, it is declared, as subtilty of the arguments—to acdoes not differ, in substance, from the di- knowledge both the clearness with which vine: reason in man is the omnipresent the conceptions are expressed, and the Logos, though limited in its action, by a aptness with which the demonstrations quasi freedom of the will, giving rise to a are illustrated-and to be favorably imquasi personal identity. This limitation is pressed by the moral spirit of the author, represented to be "little less than abso- however false he may regard the premises lute,” and of such a nature as to prevent of his reasonings, or however strongly the author's general view from degenerat- he may feel himself called upon to depreing into pantheism and necessitarianism. cate the practical tendency of his conThere is, indeed, no lack of modes of ex clusions. pression, which, if not interpreted in ac The construction of this system of cordance with the spirit and meaning of metaphysics, was the work of a life-time. the whole theory, would as necessarily im. Some of the fundamental views contained ply a belief in the pantheistic doctrine, as in it, were committed to writing as early might even the expression of the Apostle as during the author's connection with Paul, if construed by itself, when he says Congress ; though the consolidation of his that in God we live and move and have opinions into a logical theory took place, our being, or that of the Saviour himself undoubtedly, at a much later period. when he declares not only himself and his Probably his philosophy would have Father, but his disciples also to be one. been presented in a far more accessible It may, perhaps, not be impossible to form, had he lived to compose another prove that the Panidea is pantheism ; but work, long meditated, and which was such proof would, at once, introduce rem- designed to show the application of his ediless confusion into the whole system of metaphysical doctrines to the interpretathe author, and would have been sufficient tion of history. But the execution of this to convince even himself that it was a fab-purpose was frustrated by a disease which, ric built upon the sands.
though not occurring until the fifty-seventh That which entitles the Panidea to the year of his age, must be lamented as rank of a system of philosophy, is, mainly, | premature. the originality of its method. The pecu In bringing this paper to a conclusion, liarity of this can be understood only by a we cannot forbear repeating the hope, study of the work itself; though it may that the entire writings of Chief Justice here be briefly characterized as a method Durfee will be given to the public. Even of demonstration, founded on experiment. the publication of the “What-cheer" made
In the narrow limits of a review, it the name of its author favorably known
to a large circle of readers in England ; questions will be asked here—they will be and his speculative writings, particularly, answered here. And let not a shallow are well worthy not only to be read in ridicule presume to deride that which his own country, but to occupy a per- it does not understand ; nor a narrow manent rank in the history of its literature. utilitarianism anathematize that which Hitherto the questions of metaphysical | it knows not how to appropriate. Let philosophy have been discussed in the philosophy be tolerated in a country secluded groves of the Platonic academy, where all things beside are tolerated; or the still shade of the Stoic porch ; in for thus will it be best improved. And the myrtle-scented villa of Tusculum, or when it raises its majestic voice so loud beneath the mingled palms and sycamores that the accents of it may be caught even of Alexandria ; by the cloistered scholars | amid the bustle of the Rhode Island loom of Germany, and by the great English and spindle, let us attend to the lessons minds of an era less enlightened than the which may be taught, in these new present. It remains to be seen what view circumstances, by the practical mind of is to be taken of those philosophical America ; and cheerfully admit to the freeproblems, which necessarily arise in all dom of our republic of letters, the philosospeculative minds, in this new world—in pher who brings on his well prepared à land holding sacred the freedom of credentials the seal of that State, which opinions—in the soil of common sense was the first to lay its foundations on the and the practical understanding. These rock of “soul liberty.”
THE ART OF MEASURING VERSES. *
To compose good verses, may be and all these kinds of expressions may placed among the elegant accomplish- be given in rapid succession to the same ments of a thoroughly educated person. word, by as many inflections of the voice; If it gives but little pleasure to others, it but the same word, represented by written at least gratifies ourselves, nor can we marks, stands only for an idea, or a thing, find any idleness or mischief in a pro- and has no effect upon the passions or per indulgence of so happy a taste as
the senses. that of the versifier. Some historians Of no less consequence is the arrangeaver, that in the first ages of the world, ment of words,—the order of their sucall writings were in metre, not even ex cession,-by which a series of emotions cepting laws and chronicles, and that are made to succeed each other, and a the forms of prose were an invention of harmony of passions created in the imagilater date. A habit that is natural and nation, like a piece of music. The art of harmless, is certainly not ridiculous, if one versification consists, therefore, in arranging uses it with discretion; not to say that it words in such order, that when read by may take the place of grosser, and more a full and flexible voice, they shall excite exceptionable, amusements. We have no a musical movement in the sense of scruple, therefore, in occupying a moderate hearing, that shall agree in quality and space with a few remarks on the art of effect with the melody—if we may so making verses in our language, more speak-of the train of passions and objects especially as it is a topic seldom touched awakened in the mind by the order of by periodical writers, and treated by the the words themselves, as they are mere learned in such a dry and profound way, marks of ideas. As the ascending and the generality of readers are never the descending scale in music, and the movewiser for all that has been written on the ments on different keys, awaken different subject.
musical emotions, as of sad,
gay, uncertain, As there are no established authorities musing, boisterous, heroic; so in verse, in this art, and, indeed, no acknowledged certain movements of the sounds of words, principles—every rhymster being permit- excite corresponding emotions ; and in a ted to invent his own method, and write perfect poem, the sense and the sound by instinct or initation—the critic feels act together irresistibly. quite at liberty to say just what he pleases, Comic poets make use of a dancing, or and offer his private observations as though even a trotting and stumbling, metre, full these were really of some moment. of odd combinations of sounds ; while the
The qualities of spoken words are two- heroic line rolls smoothly on, or makes fold: they are both marks of ideas,—and grand pauses, like intervals in the echoes in that usage quite arbitrary in their of artillery. In the blank verse of the sound, and expressions of feeling and drama, the thought sustains itself upon a sensation, being in the latter function no lofty and slow moving line, but full of more arbitrary or irregular than the irregular turns and stops, to agree naturally qualities of musical sounds. The same with the rough gestures of passion. The word may be spoken in many different ! lyrist, again, pours out passages of unways, expressing many varieties of feel broken melody, like passionate airs. In ings, and conditions of thought: as of this art, as in all of those which belong pain, fear, delight, surprise, amazement, to imagination, the common and merely
* 4 System of English Versification, containing Rules for the structure of different kinds of Verse ; illustratrated by numerous Examples from the best Poels. By LRASTU'S EVERETT, A M. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 200 Broadway. Philadelphia : G. S. Appleton, 148 Chestnut sireet. 1848.
natural is avoided, and the beauty, power, or in this from Ovid :
“ Tempora Lucifero, cadit Eurus; et humida The composition of good verse demands, surgunt; therefore, at least these two qualifications
or this of Dante : in the composer: first, the imaginative power, to give an harmonious order to
“ Per me si va nella citta dolente, images and passions, in their description ; Per me si va nella perdula gente,” and lastly, an ear for the measure, fullness, and cadences of words. At present we or Shakspeare's propose only to consider this latter qualification, and to inquire by what means a "Full fathom five thy father lies,”naturally good ear may be led to a finer appreciation of the musical properties of in the melodious lines of Milton's Lycidas speech.
or the flute-like strains of Burns, or of Of every species of beauty, and more Theocritus, the words are melted and toned especially of the beauty of sounds, con- together, and the voice glides easily through tinuousness is the first element; a succes the line. sion of pulses of sound becomes agreeable, These mellow lines not only characterize only when the breaks, or intervals, cease the best poems, but they are also the best to be heard ; we say then of a note, in adapted for the voice in singing; and the sound, that it is musical, when the pulses first line of the stanza agrees also with the cannot be distinguished by the ear. The first line of the musical notes. In the most same is true of artificially colored surfaces; perfect airs, the words and notes agree they are agreeable to the eye when we and move together. But as the lyric, or see them at a distance as not to song, is the type of all poetry,—as the air discern the numerous particles or specks which fits it, is of all music --it is necessary of color which compose them. The same to find a very perfect agreement between is true also of the human voice, in the ex the two; as, for example, in the time, or pression of tender and agreeable emotions: duration, of each verse, agreeing with the the words require to be spoken with a time of the musical notes. The division of certain smoothness and even monotony, as
the musical air of a song into four parts of far as possible removed from the abrupt equal length, shows that the ear demands and curt style of business, or the rude not only continuity of sound, but that it and harsh tones of hatred or contempt. shall be divided into portions of equal In a prosaic enunciation, as in counting, length, as into verse, staves, and stanzas. or naming a variety of disconnected objects, Poetry following the same law, is dia sensible pause is made after each word, vided into feet and lines of equal length, and the voice slides up and down upon succeeding each other with perfect regueach word, as if to separate and character- larity, or alternating with shorter equal ize each by itself. And this separation | lines, for the pleasure of variety. and distinctness of parts is, perhaps, the Thus, in reading the lines, strongest characteristic of pure prose, and is constantly aimed at by the best writers Straight mine eye hath canght new pleasures,
Verse on the contrary demands While the landscape round it measures,” &c., a kind of fusion, or running together of the words, so that a line of verse may be it is necessary to a perfect reading, to fill spoken in one effort of the voice, as a bar out each line with the voice to a full and of music is played by one movement of equal quantity of sound, with as great the hand. The line,
care as if chanting or singing them, and
this may be done best by keeping up a “Full many a tale their music tells," regular beat with the foot. slips over the lip with a pouring softness,
Quantity, therefore, or the division into without break or pause. So in
measures of time, is a second element of
verse; each line 'must be stuffed out with “ The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea ;" | sounds, to a certain fullness and plump