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discarded in favor of something less refined but more remunerative.
Such is the undoubted tendency, and while there are writers who may be expected to yield to it, men of liberal training and culture should not, but by voice and pen oppose it. English and American authorship must be preserved among us in its literary purity and mental vigor. There are such qualities as dignity and finish and scholarly ease in style ; commendable in themselves as elements of expression, quite independent of their relation to mercenary ends. Is there not some danger, we submit, as to loss of literary tone and character among us, in the existing ambition of authors and financial agents to reduce our best literature to a mere platform recital, more for the sake of the net proceeds at the door than for the sake of the literature itself, as a thing of beauty and of power! There is such a thing as culture in letters, the rich inheritance we have received from the literary past and which we in conscience are bound to maintain and transmit. Style postulates culture as it postulates thought, and has to do with a natural, dignified, facile and finished execution. It is the embodiment of thought in æsthetic and artistic forms; the distinctively literary type of intellectual life, in which, as in the temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem, beauty and strength are inseparably joined in one consummate product. Never more urgently than now have we needed, in Englishspeaking countries, this particular cast of authorship and style—the fusion of Norman ease and finish with Saxon sense and spirit ; of Roman smoothness and versatility of structure with Teutonic and Gothic vigor—that exquisite sweetness and grace of manner so signally exhibited in the old Knickerbocker school of Tuckerman and Morris and Willis and the incomparable Irving.
There was something in the temper of these celebrated men which secured them against the proverbial inconstancy both of the court and of the multitude. No intrigue, no combination of rivals, could deprive them of the confidence of their sovereign. No parliament attacked their influence. No mob coupled their names with any odious grievance. Their power ended only with their lives. In this respect, their fate presents a most remarkable contrast to that of the enterprising and brilliant politicians of the preceding and of the succeeding generation, Burleigh, was minister during forty years. Sir Nicholas Bacon held the great seal more than twenty years. Sir Walter Mildmay was Chancellor of the Exchequer twenty-three years. They all died in office and in the enjoyment of public respect and royal favor. Far different had been the fate of Wolsey, Cromwell, Norfolk, Somerset, and Northumberland. Far different also was the fate of Essex, of Raleigh, and of the still more illustrious man whose life we propose to consider.—Macaulay's “ Essay on Lord Bacon."
A man that is temperate, generous, valiant, chaste, faithsul and honest may, at the same time, have wit, humor, mirth, good breeding and gallantry. While he exerts these latter qualities, twenty occasions migl.t be invented to show that he is master of the other noble virtues. Such characters would smite and reprove the heart of a man of sense, when he is given up to his pleasures. . . . He would see he has been mistaken all this while and be convinced that a sound constitution and an innocent mind are the true ingredients for becoming and enjoying life. All men of true taste would call a man of wit, who should turn his ambition this way, a friend and benefactor to his country; but I am at loss what name they would give him who makes use of his capacity for contrary purposes.-Richard Steele's "Spectator" Papers.
Age is the season of Imagination youth, of Passion ; and having been long young, shall we repine that we are now old ? They alone are rich who are full of years—the Lords of Time's Treasury are all in the staff of Wisdom ; their commissions are enclosed in furrows in their foreheads and secured to them for life. Fearless of fate and far above fortune, they hold their heritage by the great charter of nature for behoof of all her children who have not, like impatient heirs, to wait for their decease ; for every hour dispenses their wealth, and their bounty is not a late bequest but a perpetual benefaction. That Youth is the season of Passion, your own beating and bounding hearts now tell you—your own boiling blood. Intensity is its characteristic, and it burns like a flame of fire, too often but to consume.
Your eyes are bright-ours are dim ; but “it is the soul that sees and their diurnal “sphere ” is visible through the mist of tears. In that light, how more than beautiful-how holy appears even this world.—" Recreations of Christopher North.”
Will Wordsworth survive, as Lucretius survives, through the splendor of certain sunbursts of imagination refusing, for a passionate moment, to be subdued by the unwilling material in which it is forced to work, while that material takes fire in the working as it can and will only in the hands of genius, as it cannot and will not, for example, in the hands of Doctor Akenside ? Is he to be known, a century hence, as the author of remarkable passages ? Certainly a great part of him will perish, not, as Ben Jonson said of Donne, for want of understanding, but because too easily understood. His teaching, whatever it was, is part of the air we breathe. His finest utterances do not merely nestle in the ear by virtue of their music, but in the soul and life, by virtue of their meaning. Surely, he was not an artist, in the strictest sense of the word ; neither was Isaiah ; but he had a rare gist, the capability of being greatly inspired.-Lowell's " Democracy,'