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antage—has not been displaced by cation among the inhabitants of its dy hill-sides; a practical ingenuity has ■ted, self-educated, along the course of busy streams; a proud sense of peril independence has built its humble ies in the hunting grounds of Massasoit
Miantinomo; and while generations >re the present saw in the State of the :hor and of Hope, few monuments of enlightened public sentiment, or of a ded Christian charity, they were prenently distinguished for the possession i strongly marked individuality of charer, which has given rise to success in
diverse occupations of agriculture, amerce, manufactures and the mechaniarts, and has introduced into social inrourse the great charm of variety of position and unprohibited diversity of nion.
S'or should we omit to add that, in this igh granite of the Rhode Island charac, may be found the basis for a superocture, which shall be supported by all > virtues, and ornamented with the graces the highest civilization. Already, insd, a most admirable system of popular ac.-ition is beginning to elevate and exrid the native good sense of this people; : patronage of the higher seats of learn;. formerly monopolized by a noble few, now claimed as the honor of the many; d a new philanthropy, touched no less
the sufferings of the "mind diseas'd," in by the degradation of the mind unedated, has just constructed a retreat, in* re to
iUze out the written troubles of the brain; And with some sweet oblivious antidote, eanse the charg'd bosom of that perilous stuff Which weighs upon the heart."
The principal city of the State can now vist of a private library, second to none i its particular class in the country, and of public one, rapidly increasing on a plan, i some respects, original and truly science; while such specimens of a chaste rehitectural taste are rising within its lim*. such a growing interest in public imimvemente is passing out from this centre ito all parts of the State, and appropriatig a liberal share of the general wealth n works of utility and beauty, that one may ilznost behold, from afar, the coming of the
time, when Rhode Island shall stand amid the larger republics, as fair and imperishable as stood the little temple of Vesta, surrounded by the over-topping fabrics of the Palatine and the Capitol, in the magnificent days when Rome was ruled by the Cfesars. In conclusion of this subject, and without repeating the observations made in the progress of our essay, let it be briefly added that in Judge Durfee were combined not only all the virtues of the earlier type of Rhode Island character, with but few of its defects, but also whatever in its development at the present day is most to be commended.
Of the writings of Mr. Durfee, there remains but one to be mentioned, the greatest and the last,—though for reasons which need not here be stated, published anonymously. The Panidea has, indeed, found no readers. Ushered into the presence of our popular literature with a title so uninviting and uncouth, and with a table of contents, the phraseology of which was apparently as unintelligible as it was fantastic, it met with a reception not unlike that which might have happened to an unfashionably clad stranger, from parts unknown, who had intruded into genteel society without a friend to introduce, or a letter to accredit him. The intruder might, nevertheless, have descended from an exalted sphere of existence, though little known; and the work, in fact, is one which we hesitate not to pronounce the most remarkable metaphysical treatise written in this country since Jonathan Edwards's Inquiry into the Nature of the Will. If not a complete and elaborate intellectual system of the universe, it is, at least, a model in miniature of one—wrought with exceeding skill, harmonious in all its parts, entire within itself. Although, as in other branches of knowledge, the author's reading in philosophy was small, being confined chiefly to the writings of Coleridge, the English translations from Cousin, and some brief epitome of the history of metaphysics, yet the Panidea lays no claim to originality in its general results. It is a system of eclecticism; similar in most of its doctrines to those before advocated by the ideal or transcendental philosophy; sometimes resembling the views of Berkeley or Spinoza, and sometimes approaching to the conclusions of Fichte or Schelling. Like the systems constructed by these celebrated metaphysicians, it attempts to frame and establish such a conception of the universe as shall get rid of the dualism of the popular philosophy. While to the human mind, the external world is declared in the Panidea to be a reality, and such a reality as our senses represent it to be, still, relatively to the mind of God, it is pronounced to be no more than the imagery of His own thoughts. That this representation of the external universe is the true one, is attempted to be proved by an argument designed to show, that the 60 called primary qualities of matter no more have an existence independent of the reason than have the secondary; and that, therefore, even to the reason, as it is manifested in the human mind, matter is known only by the spiritual properties ascribed to it. But the human reason, it is declared, does not differ, in substance, from the divine: reason in man is the omnipresent Logos, though limited in its action, by a quasi freedom of the will, giving rise to a quasi personal identity. This limitation is represented to be "little less than absolute," and of such a nature as to prevent the author's general view from degenerating into pantheism and necessitarianism. There is, indeed, no lack of modes of expression, which, if not interpreted in accordance with the spirit and meaning of the whole theory, would as necessarily imply a belief in the pantheistic doctrine, as might even the expression of the Apostle Paul, if construed by itself, when he says that in God we live and move and have our being, or that of the Saviour himself when he declares not only himself and his Father, but his disciples also to be one. It may, perhaps, not be impossible to prove that the Panidea is pantheism; but such proof would, at once, introduce remediless confusion into the whole system of the author, and would have been sufficient to convince even himself that it was a fabric built upon the sands.
That which entitles the Panidea to the rank of a system of philosophy, is, mainly, the originality of its method. The peculiarity of this can be understood only by a study of the work itself; though it may here be briefly characterized as a method of demonstration, founded on experiment.
In the narrow limits of a review, it
would be in vain to attempt to give eiib* an analysis or a critique of such a vor as the Panidea. It may be sufficient U <5ur purpose to call the attention of tbo of our readers, who take an interest metaphysical inquiries, to this work, m serious and, withal, not a presumptw attempt to give, by a process of reasoBc somewhat novel, a new solution of tl» great problems in philosophy, which hi occupied the attention of the most ?m< minds, but to which all the answers hither worked out seem only distant approin tions towards the truth. Persons t familiar with metaphysical studies, wra probably find great difficulty in tu prehending so abstruse and spiritual scheme of philosophy; though no « who does understand it, will fail to j* ceive the extraordinary coherency as w as subtilty of the arguments—to i knowledge both the clearness with wb* the conceptions are expressed, and ti aptness with which the demonstratM are illustrated—and to be favorably ii pressed by the moral spirit of the authfl however false he may regard the premis of his reasonings, or however stroa: he may feel himself called upon to depr cate the practical tendency of his cd elusions.
The construction of this system metaphysics, was the work of a life-tim Some of the fundamental views contain in it, were committed to writing is ear as during the author's connection wi Congress; though the consolidation o: t opinions into a logical theory took pl« undoubtedly, at a much later pew Probably his philosophy would h* been presented in a far more accesik form, had he lived to compose anoih work, long meditated, and which * designed to show the application of 1 metaphysical doctrines to the interpret tion of history. But the execution of tl purpose was frustrated by a disease whk though not occurring until the fifty-seveji year of his age, must be lamented premature.
In bringing this paper to a conclu* we cannot forbear repeating the hoi that the entire writings of Chief Justi Durfee will be given to the public. Eti the publication of the " What-cheer" mi the name of its author favorably knot
a large circle of readers in England; id his speculative writings, particularly, t- well worthy not only to be read in s own country, but to occupy a pernnent rank in the history of its literature, itherto the questions of metaphysical lilosophy have been discussed in the eluded groves of the Platonic aoademy,
the still shade of the Stoic porch; in e myrtle-scented villa of Tusculum, or neath the mingled palms and sycamores
Alexandria; by the cloistered scholars
Germany, and by the great English nils of an era less enlightened than the esent. It remains to be seen what view
to be taken of those philosophical oblems, which necessarily arise in all eeulative minds, in this new world—in land holding sacred the freedom of •injons—in the soil of common sense d the practical understanding. These
questions will be asked here—they will be answered here. And let not a shallow ridicule presume to deride that which it does not understand; nor a narrow utilitarianism anathematize that which it knows not how to appropriate. Let philosophy be tolerated in a country where all things beside are tolerated; for thus will it be best improved. And when it raises its majestic voice so loud that the accents of it may be caught even amid the bustle of the Rhode Island loom and spindle, let us attend to the lessons which may be taught, in these new circumstances, by the practical mind of America; and cheerfully admit to the freedom of our republic of letters, the philosopher who brings on his well prepared credentials the seal of that 3tate, which was the first to lay its foundations on the rock of "soul liberty."
THE STREET FLUTE-PLAYER.
** Wht look so humble,
Thus stretching thy palms?"
"Ah, Sir, I'm asking
From thee a small alms!"
'• No! thou hast earned it well;
On me thy music fell
Hnshing rough passion's spell,
Joyful he looked at me—
Saying—" How few
What is his due!"
"Bonnets o' Blue."
Then I thought—" Melodist!
How many times,
By the old rhymes,
Towns with their chimes!
VOL. 1. HO. V. NEW 8ERIB8. 32
Poor is the praise
On thy sweet lays,
In the Life-maze.
"Burns with a city-wreath
Forgets the song-vow — Was he not nobler
With poem and plough? Chanting amid the shade Of the swart hell he made, Dante, his grief allayed,
Wears a calm brow.
"Action's its own reward,—
Planet and Ocean!
But God in motion '." W. W.
THE ART OF MEASURING VERSES.
To compose good verses, may be placed among the elegant accomplishments of a thoroughly educated person. If it gives but little pleasure to others, it at least gratifies ourselves, nor can we find any idleness or mischief in a proper indulgence of so happy a taste as that of the versifier. Some historians aver, that in the first ages of the world, all writings were in metre, not even excepting laws and chronicles, and that the forms of prose were an invention of later date. A habit that is natural and harmless, is certainly not ridiculous, if one uses it with discretion; not to say that it may take the place of grosser, and more exceptionable, amusements. We have no scruple, therefore, in occupying a moderate space with a few remarks on the art of making verses in our language, more especially as it is a topic seldom touched by periodical writers, and treated by the learned in such a dry and profound way, the generality of readers are never the wiser for all that has been written on the subject.
As there are no established authorities in this art, and, indeed, no acknowledged principles—every rhymster being permitted to invent his own method, and write by instinct or imitation—the critic feels quite at liberty to say just what he pleases, and offer his private observations as though these were really of some moment.
The qualities of spoken words arc twofold: they are both marks of ideas,—and in that usage quite arbitrary in their nound,—and expressions of feeling and sensation, being in the latter function no more arbitrary or irregular than the qualities of musical sounds. The same word may be spoken in many different ways, expressing many varieties of feelings, and conditions of thought: as of pain, fear, delight, surprise, amazement—
and all these kinds of expressions Ids' be given in rapid succession to the aa word, by as many inflections of the Tow but the same word, represented by wntw marks, stands only for an idea, or a thin; and has no effect upon the passions < the senses.
Of no less consequence is the arrang* ment of words,—the order of their <m cession,—by which a series of ernotwl are made to succeed each other, and harmony of passions created in the imar nation, like a piece of music. The art < versification consists, therefore, in arrant words in such order, that when read t a full and flexible voice, they shall eial a musical movement in the sense hearing, that shall agree in quality si effect with the melody—if we may' speak—of the train of passions and object awakened in the mind by the order I the words themselves, as they are ma marks of ideas. As the ascending m descending scale in music, and the m<rri ments on different keys, awaken differti musical emotions, as of sad, gay, uncerui musing, boisterous, heroic; so in ven certain movements of the sounds of word excite corresponding emotions; and in perfect poem, the sense and the soel act together irresistibly.
Comic poets make use of a dancing, I even a trotting and stumbling, rnetu'. ft of odd combinations of sounds ; while i! heroic line rolls smoothly on, or mak grand pauses, like intervals in the echo of artillery. In the blank verse of t drama, the thought sustains itself upon lofty and slow moving line, but full irregular turns and stops, to agree natural with the rough gestures of passion. T lyrist, again, pours out passages of o bioken melody, like passionate airs tliis art, as in all of those which beia to imagination, the common and mem latural is avoided, and the beauty, power, .ml sweetness of discourse, given apart md by itself.
* A System cf English Vertificatim, containing Rvltsfor the st'VCture cf different kinds cf Vent; iifiat trattd by numeroui Example* fnm the best Pint. Uy Kiustiis I.vekktt, A M. New Ycrii: 1). Apffc & Co. 200 Broadway. Philadelphia: G. S. Appletou, 148 Chestnut aurrel. 1S48.
The composition of good verse demands, herefore, at least these two qualifications i the composer: first, the imaginative lower, to give an harmonious order to nages and passions, in their description; ad lastly, an ear for the measure, fullness, nd cadences of words. At present we ropose only to consider this latter qualifiation, and to inquire by what means a aturally good ear may be led to a finer ppreciation of the musical properties of I ■ih.
Of every species of beauty, and more specially of the beauty of sounds, coninuousnesx is the first element; a succesion of pulses of sound becomes agreeable, «ly when the breaks, or intervals, cease o be heard; we say then of a note, in «und, that it is musical, when the pulses annot be distinguished by the ear. The ime is true of artificially colored surfaces; bey are agreeable to the eye when we ee them at such a distance as not to liseern the numerous particles or specks if color which compose them. The same i true also of the human voice, in the extreasion of tender and agreeable emotions: he words require to be spoken with a trtain smoothness and even monotony, as a/ as possible removed from the abrupt md curt style of business, or the rude md harsh tones of hatred or contempt. Ln a prosaic enunciation, as in counting, It naming a variety of disconnected objects, \ sensible pause is made after each word, tod the voice slides up and down upon Men word, as if to separate and charactering each by itself. And this separation ind distinctness of parts is, perhaps, the strongest characteristic of pure prose, and U constantly aimed at by the best writers of prose. Verse on the contrary demands a kind of fusion, or running together of the words, so that a line of verse may be spoken in one effort of the voice, as a bar of music is played by one movement of the band. The line,
u Full many a tale their music tells,"
slips over the lip with a pouring softness, without break or pause. So in
"The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea;"
or in this from Ovid:
"Tcmpora Lucifero, cadit Eurus; et humida surgunt;"
or this of Dante:
"Per me 91 va nella citta dolente,
"Full fathom five thy father lies,"—
in the melodious lines of Milton's Lycidas or the flute-like strains of Burns, or of Theocritus, the words are melted and toned together, and the voice glides easily through the line.
These mellow lines not only characterize the best poems, but they are also the best adapted for the voice in singing; and the first line of the stanza agrees also with the first line of the musical notes. In the most perfect airs, the words and notes agree and move together. But as the lyric, or song, is the type of all poetry,—as the air which fits it, is of all music,—it is necessary to find a very perfect agreement between the two; as, for example, in the time, or duration, of each verse, agreeing with the time of the musical notes. The division of the musical air of a song into four parts of equal length, shows that the ear demands not only continuity of sound, but that it shall be divided into portions of equal length, as into verse, staves, and stanzas. Poetry following the same law, is divided into feet and lines of equal length, succeeding each other with perfect regularity, or alternating with shorter equal lines, for the pleasure of variety.
Thus, in reading the lines,
"Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures, While the liuidscape round it measures," &c,
it is necessary to a perfect reading, to fill out each line with the voice to a full and equal quantity of sound, with as great care as if chanting or singing them, and this may be done best by keeping up a regular beat with the foot.
Quantity, therefore, or the division into measures of time, is a second element of verse; each line must be stuffed out with sounds, to a certain fullness and plump