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Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
And thought of convincing when they thought of dining;
Though equal to all things, for all things un-
And too fond of the right, to pursue the expe-
In short, 'twas his fate, unemployed, or in place, sir,
fect epigram was originally always expressed in verse, should be useful to us in showing that an epigram was then regarded as embodying imaginative insight in a graceful and symmetrical setting, showing that the essence of epigram is not satire, but point, polish, what in relation to a jewel we call flash. Of course that does not exclude satire; indeed, very much of the best and some of the bitterest satire has taken the form of verse. But it does exclude the notion that an epigrammatist should aim exclusively at satire. Indeed, To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a there is all the more, not the less point, if the epigram sparkles with an intrinsic beauty that is as remarkable as its incisiveness. Pope and Dryden, no doubt, took most pains with the epigrams which were meant to transfix a foe; but such as these are not, we think, the finest epigrams. For our own part, we should go to Goldsmith for the most perfect epigrams, and Goldsmith hardly ever failed to give a lambent rather than a cruel vividness to the play of his epigrammatic wit. We doubt if there was ever an epigram written which surpassed Goldsmith's on Sir Joshua Reynolds, which, far from toma hawking him, irradiated his figure with an exquisite beauty:
Here Reynolds is laid, and to tell you my
He has not left a wiser or better behind;
Still born to improve us in every part,
When they judged without skill, he was still
When they talked of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff,
He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.
Or take the still better known epigram on Burke, which had as many facets as a diamond, and which certainly did not transfix at all:
Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such
We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much;
Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind,
No one could deny there that the praise
tion to the tomahawking kind of epigram,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind; Though fraught with all learning, yet strain-criticisms, are all the more brilliant for
ing his throat
their kindliness and justice; but then,
To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him they are all the more difficult to make for
that very reason. The epigrammatist who
condenses scorn into a terse sentence | Truth from his lips prevailed with double must be a man of genius, but his genius consists chiefly in finding the most telling And fools who came to scoff remained to pray. words for his contempt or dislike. He
The service past, around the pious man has not to vary his mood. He has only Even children followed, with endearing wile,
With steady zeal each honest rustic ran, to give himself up to it, to throw the reins And plucked his gown to share the good man's on to the neck of that active dislike which
smile; finds him eloquence as well as an interesting subject for his eloquence. But the was both more of a literary boon to manepigrammatist who merges his censure
kind and more difficult to write, than in his praise, as did Goldsmith, cannot Pope's brilliant epigrammatic description sharpen his wits by fostering his ill-temper, of the insincere and insidious critic (whom and cannot even avail himself of the rather he identified with Addison), - one of mean satisfaction which the world is apt
those who to feel in seeing a palpable hit at the ex- Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, pense of another. He has to justify his And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer; praise much more carefully than it is at Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike; all needful to justify scorn, for the world Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike. is quite satisfied with a merely plausible Alike reserved to blame or to commend, justification of the latter, but looks for 1 timorous foe, and a suspicious friend, something like an adequate justification And so obliging that he ne'er obliged.
Dreading, e'en fools, by flatterers besieged, of the former. It is odd, but it is undeviable, that the truth of a taunt should That is bright and sharp as a scimitar; always seem so much more self-evident yet it is not only less interesting, but less than the truth of a generous tribute of truly poetic and imaginative than Goldadiniration. Indeed, the latter needs a
smith's exquisite etching. much more careful and pointed expression
It seems to us a great mistake for epito carry the reader away, than does the grammatists to aim as much as they now keen thrust of an impatient scorn. There do at what Mr. Sedley. Taylor calls the is something in a sting that necessarily tomahawking, type. The benignant epi. suggests a point, while there is nothing of gram is a higher kind of production than necessary point in the mere sparkle of a the scathing epigram. It strives after a luminous surface. That is, we suppose, larger effect of truth, for the deadly epiwhy epigram tends so much to sting, gram almost always suppresses the credit though the forked epigram is by no means side of the account. And when it sucone of the highest kind. The epigram ceeds, it produces an imperishable picture, which illuminates a half-discerned beauty, while the other, even at best, only immoris not only much more beneficent, but talizes the meanness, or gibbets the vanity much more difficult of achievement, than and folly, of a particular temperament and the epigram which illuminates a half-dis- particular mood. It takes a creative mind cerned flaw. Goldsmith's epigrammatic to write sunny epigrams, and only a genius description of the good clergyman,
for antipathy to deliver blows such as
Pope aimed at Addison on the strength of At church, with meek and unaffected grace, a suspicion more groundless than any His looks adorned the venerable place, which he imputed to the critiche attacked.
THE DANGER OF Ennui. — Sir James / brain exercise — business or professional men Crichton-Browne, M.D., F.R.S., delivered, - when they ceased and laid aside their arobefore a large audience at St. George's Hall, cations without having other interests and London, the first of the winter series of lec pursuits to which to turn, were rapidly plunged tures. His theme was the benefit to health into depression or hurried into premature of keeping on working, not too much, but dotage. He did not know of any surer way wisely enough till the last. lle said excite of introducing senile decay than for a man of ment' there must be. In men, no less than active habits to retire and do nothing when boys, monotony of existence and the absence just past the prime of life, nor did he know of of wholesome cares and excitement had a per. any surer way of enjoying a green old age nicious effect upon the brain, and induced than to keep on working until the close. This ennui - the commonest kind of brain rust, fact ought to inspire us with some doubt as to and sometimes melancholy madness. Often the wisdom of the superannuation and compulmen who were habitually dependent upon sory retirement régime under which we lived.
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Though through the gloom has pierced re ray LITTLE maid of Amsterdam,
of light, At her window quaint and high,
To hail the dawn and bid farewell to night. Saw the Dutch and English sailors
Still is it night, the world should yet sleep on, Smile at her as they passed by; Saw them kiss their hands, and call her,
And gather strength to meet the distant But she ansivered soft and low,
But one there is who, though no ray has “ Little Dutchee
shone, Lovee muchee
Waits not, nor sleeps, but laughs all rest to But an Inglis sailor!
Scorn, Still they courted her so gaily,
The demon-bird that crows his hideous jeer, Till they made the Dutchman wild,
Restless, remorseless, hateful Chanticleer. For somehow the little maiden Seemed to be quite reconciled;
One did I say? Nay, hear them as they cry; Looked up in their English faces
Six more accept the challenge of the foe :
From six stretched necks six more must make • You are all one great big dunce,
Echo, re-echo and prolong the crow.
First shrieking singly, then their notes they
mix So it happened just at twilight,
In one combined cacophony of six.
Miscalled of poets “heraid of the day,”
Spirit of evil, vain and wanton bird,
Was there then none to beg a moment's stay Hand in hand they sat together, Underneath the old sea wall,
Ere for thy being Fate decreed the word? Little Dutchee
Could not Asclepias, when he ceased to be, Lovee muchee,
Take to the realms of death thy tribe and
thee? Inglis sailor — best of all! Temple Bar. FREDERIC E. WEATHERLY. What boots it thus to question ? for thou art,
And still shalt be; but never canst be still, Destined at midnight thus to play thy part,
And when all else is silent to be shrill.
Yea, as I lie all sleepless in the dark,
Punch. (Lines written at cock-crow.) Night time and silence! O'er the brooding
hill The last faint whisper of the zephyr dies; Meadows and trees and lanes are hushed and
THE CHRISTMAS TREE. still,
LIFE still hath one romance that naught can A shroud of mist on the slow river lies;
bury And the tall sentry poplars silent keep
Not Time himself, who coffins Life's ro Their lonely vigil in a world of sleep. Yea, all men sleep who toiled throughout the
For still will Christmas gild the year's mis.
chances day At sport or work, and had their fill of sound, If Childhood comes, as here, to make him
merry The jest and laughter that we mate with play, to kiss with lips more ruddy than the The beat of hoofs, the mill-wheel grinding round,
cherry The anvil's note on summer breezes borne,
To smile with eyes outshining by their The sickle's sweep in fields of yellow corn.
glances The Christmas tree - to dance with fairy
dances And I too, as the hours go softly by,
And crown his hoary brow with leaf and berry. Lie and forget, and yield to sleep's behest, Leave for a space the world without a sigh, And as to us, dear friend, the carols sung And pass through silence into dreamless Are fresh as ever — bright is yonder bough rest;
Of mistletoe as that which shone and swung Like a tired swimmer floating tranquilly When you and I and Friendship made a Full in the tide upon a peaceful sea.
That Childhood's Christmas still should Lut hark, that sound! Again and yet again! seal each brow
Darkness is cleft, the stricken silence breaks, Friendship's, and yours, and mine — and keep And sleep's soft veil is rudely rent in twain,
us young. And weary nature all too soon awakes; Athenæum.
From The Fortnightly Review, indeed, not a little remarkable that the THE NEW ASTRONOMY: ITS METHODS type of information yielded by the specAND RESULTS.
troscope is wholly distinct from that which ASTRONOMERS are at present endeavor- the earlier processes were adapted to jog to become fully acquainted with the give. The new method of observing resources of a new tool which has recently movements, and that which, for convenbeen placed in their bands. Perhaps it ience, we may speak of as the telescopic would be rather more correct to say that method, are not, in fact, competitive conthe tool is not exactly novel in principle, trivances for obtaining the same results. but it is rather the development of its They are rather to be regarded as complecapabilities and its application in new mentary, each being just adapted to render directions that forms the departure now the kind of information that the other is creating so much interest. We have incompetent to afford. already learned much by its aid, while the It is well known that the ordinary exexpectation of further discoveries is so pression, fixed star, is a misnomer, for well founded that it is doubtful whether at almost every star which has been observed any time since the invention of the tele-long enough is seen to be in motion. inscope the prospects of the practical as- deed, it is not at all likely - nay, it is trodomer have seemed so bright as they infinitely improbable, that such an object are at this moment.
as a really fixed star actually exists. In the earlier periods of astronomical When the place of a star has been accuresearch it was the movements of the rately determined by measurements made heavenly bodies which specially claimed with the meridian circle, and when, after attention, and it was with reference to the lapse of a number of years the place these movements that the great classical of the same star is again determined by achievements of the science have been observation, it not infrequently happens made. But within the last two or three that the two places disagree. The expladecades the most striking discoveries in nation is, of course, that the star has observational astronomy have been chiefly moved in the interval. Thus the constelthough by no means exclusively concerned lations are becoming gradually transwith the physical constitution of the heave formed by the movements of the several enly bodies. It is the application of the stars which form them. It is true that the spectroscope by the labors of Dr. Hug. movements are so slow that even in thougios and others that has disclosed to some sands of years the changes do not amount extent the material elements present in to much when regarded as a disturbance the stars, as well as in comets and the of the configuration. Thus, to take an distant nebulæ. Now, however, it seems example, we know the movements of the as if the spectroscope were for the future stars forming the Great Bear sufficiently to be utilized not merely for that chemical well to be able to sketch the position of examination of objects which is in the the stars as they were ten thousand years scope of no other method, but also as a ago, or as they will be in ten thousand means of advancing in a particular way years to come, and though, no doubt, some our knowledge of the movements of the distortion is shown in each of these picheavenly bodies. The results already tures from the present lineaments of the obtained are of a striking and interesting Great Bear, yet the identity of the group description, and it is to their exposition is in each case well preserved. and development that this article is de. It is, however, obvious that if a star voted.
should happen to be darting directly In the first place, it will be observed towards the observer or directly from him, that the application of the spectroscope the telescopic method of determining its which we now considering is not movement becomes wholly inapplicable. merely to be regarded as an improvement No change in its position could be nosuperseding the older methods of deter- ticed. It is, no doubt, conceivable that mining the movements of stars. It is, l if the distance of a star from the earth