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superficies, though of small volume; his wit, scarcely inferior to that of the most distinguished followers of Donne; his eloquence, grave, deliberate, and commanding, could not save him from disgraceful failure as a rival of Shakespere, but raised him far above the level of Boileau. His command of language was immense. With him died the secret of the old poetical diction of England,—the art of producing rich effects by familiar words. In the following century it was as completely lost as the Gothic method of painting glass, and was but poorly supplied by the laborious and tessellated imitations of Mason and Gray. On the other hand, he was the first writer under wbose skilful management the scientific vocabulary fell into natural and pleasing verse. In this department he succeeded as completely as his contemporary Gibbons succeeded in the similar enterprise of carving the most delicate flowers from heart of oak. The toughest and most knotty parts of language became ductile at his touch.
A DAY IN ANCIENT ATHENS.
Books were the least part of the education of an Athenian citizen. Let us for a moment transport ourselves in thought to that glorious city. Let us imagine that we are entering its gates in the time of its power and glory. A crowd is assembled round a portico. All are gazing with delight at the entablature, for Phidias is putting up the frieze. We turn into another street; a rhapsodist is reciting there; men, women, children, are thronging round him; the tears are running down their cheeks; their eyes are fixed; their very breath is still; for he is telling how Priam fell at the feet of Achilles, and kissed those hands—the terrible, the murderous—which had slain 80 many of his sons.
We enter the public place; there is a ring of youths, all leaning forward with sparkling eyes, and gestures of expectation. Socrates is pitted against the famous atheist from Ionia, and has just brought him to a contradiction in terms. But we are interrupted. The herald is crying, “Room for the Prytanes !" The general assembly is to meet. The people are swarming in on every side. Proclamation is made: “Who wishes to speak ?” There is a shout and a clapping of hands; Pericles is mounting the stand. Then for a play of Sophocles, and away to sup with Aspasia.
Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love. News from the humming city comes to it In sound of funeral or of marriage bells, And, sitting muffled in dark leaves, you hear The windy clanging of the minster clock; Although between it and the garden lies A league of grass, washed by a slow broad stream, That, stirred with languid pulses of the oar, Waves all its lazy lilies, and creeps on, Barge-laden, to three arches of a bridge Crowned with the minster-towers. The fields between Are dewy-fresh, browsed by deep-uddered kine, And all about the large lime feathers low, The lime a summer home of murmurous wings.
THERE sat we down upon a garden mound, Two mutually enfolded; Love, the third, Between us, in the circle of his arms Enwound us both; and over many a range Of waning lime the gray cathedral towers,
Across a hazy glimmer of the west,
THE WIFE'S OBEDIENCE.
To important events I confine the act of obedience. Obedience implies a subjection of the will; it does not exact an obliteration of the understanding. On the first collision in the early and trying days of married life, I strongly recommend the young wife not to let the question of obedience or of non-obedience be agitated. Unless a compliance breaks down some principle of virtue, or outrages some duty, let her comply at once. At the same time let her state her reasons for differing, gently and even firmly, if reasons there be in her own mind. On all minor points I would advise her to begin as she means to go on; to judge for herself in what relates to herself. In matters of dress, friendship, correspondence, charity, devotion; in the daily command of her household, subject to a reference to her husband; in the disposal of her private income, in her reading and pleasures; in the society she chooses, subject, of course, to her husband's approval. I would advise her at once to assume to herself the power of giving invitations, as well as her husband. Nothing is much more trying to a woman than the inability to be kind-or to ask, with a due regard to convenience and to expense, the friends of her youth or the acquaintance of her mature age. I have seen young wives, too timid in this respect, incur, not only much vexation in their own minds, but much unjust animadversion from others, who have considered them as cold-hearted and ungrateful when they were only acting in obedience to the caprice of their husbands.
A RAINBOW IN A STORM.
In the midst of my annoyances from this rain and storm, I was struck by one beautiful effect upon the hills; it was produced by a rainbow diving down into a gloomy mountain-pass, which it seemed really to flood with its coloured glory. I could not help thinking that it was like our religion, piercing and carrying brightness into the depth of sorrow and of the tomb. All the rest of the scene around that one illumined spot, was wrapt in the most lowering darkness.