Laid like a new-fallen meteor on the grass,
Uncared for, spied its mother, and began
A blind and babbling laughter, and to dance
Its body, and reach its fatling innocent arms,
And lazy, lingering fingers. She the appeal
Brook'd not, but clamoring out, “Mine—mine—not yours;
It is not yours, but mine; give me the child,’
Ceased all in tremble; piteous was the cry.”

Cyril, wounded in the fight, raises himself on his knee, and

implores of the princess to restore the child to her. She relents, but does not give it to the mother, to whom she is not yet recon

ciled—giving it, however, to Cyril.

“‘Take it, sir,’ and so
Laid the soft babe in his hard mail'd hands,
Who turned half round to Psyche, as she sprang
To embrace it, with an eye that swam in thanks,
Then felt it sound and whole from head to foot,
And hugg’d, and never hugg'd it close enough;
And in her hunger mouth'd and mumbled it,
And hid her bosom with it; after that
Put on more calm.”

A sketch of one of the female students reading in the maiden's

university is pretty:

“One walked—reading by herself, and one
In this hand held a volume as to read,
And smoothed a petted peacock down with that.
Some to a love-song varied a shallop by,
Or under arches of the marble bridge
Hung shadow'd from the heat.”

A description of a laughing, petulant daughter of a baronet is

well thrown off:

“At this upon the sward
She kept her tiny silken-sandaled foot:
‘That's your light way, but I would make it death
For any male thing but to peep at us.”

Petulant she spoke, and at herself she laughed: A rosebud set with little wilful thorns, And sweet as English air could make her, she.” It is a curious study to read Shakspere's play and Tennyson's poem; let our readers try the experiment; the mixed state of feeling will amply repay them at the end. Alfred Tennyson is the son of a clergyman of Lincolnshire. He went through the usual routine of a classical education at Trinity College, Cambridge. His brothers and sisters partake of his poetical and musical nature, and are much attached to each other. Charles has published a volume of Sonnets and Poems, full of sweet poetical fancies; as a graceful appendage to his greater kinsman's fame, we will give one of his sonnets:


“I trust thee from my soul, oh! Mary dear,
But ofttimes when delight has fullest power,
Hope treads too lightly for herself to hear,
And doubt is ever by until the hour;
I trust thee, Mary, but till thou art mine
Up from thy foot unto thy golden hair
O let me still misgive thee, and repine,
Uncommon doubts spring up with blessings rare :
Thine eyes of purest love give surest sign,
Drooping with fondness, and thy blushes tell
A flitting tale of steadiest faith and zeal:
Yes, I will doubt, to make success divine ;
A tide of summer dreams with gentlest swell
Will bear upon me then, and I shall love most well

It is pleasant to know that a great poet's household is among the number of his admirers; it seems to take part of the sting of the old adage out of the saying “that no man is a prophet in his own land.” Tennyson avoids general society, preferring to sit quietly with a friend, discussing the fancies that pour in his mind. He has

no conversational force or brilliancy, hates arguing; is as “fond of smoking as an American or a Mussulman;” passes most of his time in the country; his favorite spot being a small farmhouse near Maidstone. He is occasionally visible to his friends in London for a month or so, but to see him in his best mood you must catch him with his cigar, or under a tree lounging on the grass on “a warm, lazy day.” Born in Lincolnshire, it is curious to observe how the suggestions of that fenny scenery have pervaded his writings and influenced his choice of images. He is reserved in his habits, has a fine intellectual face, and is very calm and self-possessed: there is an admirable picture of him by Lawrence. He is approaching his fortieth year. Lately he has been rewarded by the queen with a pension of £200 a year. We are told that she was much charmed with his ballad of Lord Burleigh; the poem being pointed out to her during her late visit to the Marquis of Exeter, at Burleigh. The pension came very opportune, he having lost most of his small patrimony in a speculation. For the especial information of our female readers, he is unmarried.

[ocr errors]

T. B. Macaulay is the son of Zachary Macaulay, the friend of Wilberforce, and, like him, a great abolitionist. In 1818 this distinguished writer entered himself of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his degree in 1822. Here he gave evidence of his great intellectual powers, obtaining a scholarship, twice gaining the Chancellor's medal for English verse; and to crown his triumphs, secured the second Craven Scholarship, the highest distinction in classics which the University confers. Having no taste for mathematics, he did not compete for honors at graduation, but nevertheless he obtained a fellowship at the October competition open to graduates of Trinity, which he resigned on his sailing for India. He devoted much of his time to the Union Club, a debating society, where he was considered an eloquent speaker. He then studied at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar in 1826. It was in this year that his celebrated Essay on Milton appeared in the Edinburgh Review, and from this time dates the friendship of Mr. Jeffrey and Macaulay. Soon after they went the circuit together, and took the opportunity of visiting Scotland. When the whigs came into power Mr. Macaulay was appointed Commissioner of Bankrupts, and shortly after was elected for Colne in the first Reformed Parliament. He was then made Secretary to the India Board, and in 1834 was returned as member for Leeds. He relinquished his seat the same year on his appointment to the Supreme Council in Calcutta under the East India Company's new charter. * On his arrival in Calcutta, in September of the same year, he assumed, at the request of Lord William Bentinck, in addition to his seat at the Council, the Presidency of the Commission of Five. Here his impartiality between the Europeans and Natives was so striking as to expose him to the most malignant attacks of the selfish, the unprincipled and the proud. After supporting Lord William Bentinck in all those great reforms which he made, Mr. Macaulay returned to England in 1838. The following year he was elected member for Edinburgh, and was shortly made Secretary at War. We shall not allude to his parliamentary life with the single exception of his conduct on the copy-right bill. Mr. Sergeant Talfourd had labored zealously on this point, and had good reason to depend upon Mr. Macaulay's support: he had appeared to coincide with him during the framing of the measure, and dining with the sergeant, a few nights before the debate in the house, had led him to count upon his support. He, however, made a strong speech against it, and forgot so far the courtesy of a gentleman as to unsparingly satirize the author of the measure. He has lately been elected Lord Rector of the Glasgow University, and his address on the installation was greatly admired. As a critic, essayist and historian, Mr. Macaulay may be considered as the first of our time; his style is correct and yet popular; full of glowing imagery, chastened by the truest taste. We have often thought the Essay on Milton has been absurdly over praised, and have occasionally said so, both in print and in conversation. We were, however, not prepared for the sweeping, and if not sincere, most affected deprecation from the author's own pen. When his contributions to the Review were collected in three volumes Mr. Macaulay wrote a preface, in which the following paragraph appears.

« ElőzőTovább »