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most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving. What, man! There are ways to recover the General again. Sue to him, and he is
Cassio. I will răther sue to be despised than to deceive so good a commander with so light, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow?-O, thou invisible spirit of wine! if thou hadst no name to be known by, let us call thee-devil.
Iago. What was he that you followed with your sword? what had he done to you?
Cassio. I know not.
Iago. Is it possible?
Cassio. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should with joy, pleasure, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!
Iago. Why, but you are now well enough; how came you thus recovered?
Cassio. It has pleased the devil Drunkenness to give place to the devil Wrath; one imperfection shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.
Iago. Come you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen; but since it is as it is, mend it, for your own good.
Cassio. I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O, strange ! - Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.
Iago. Come, come! good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used; exclaim no more against
it; and, good Lieutenant, I think you think I love you?
Cassio. I have well approved it, Sir.I drunk!
Iago. You, or any man living, may be drunk some time, man! I'll tell you what you shall do. Our General's wife is now the General; confess yourself freely to her importune her; she 'll help to put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. This broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter; and, my fortunes against any lay* worth naming, this break of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.
Cassio. You advise me well.
Iago. I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.
Cassio. I think it freely; and, betimes in the morning, I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me.
Iago. You are in the right. Good night, Lieutenant. I must to watch.
Cassio. Good night, honest Iago.
See in Index, EUREKA, MIRAGE, SEPULCHRE or SEPULCHER, LIVY, NI'O-BE, SCIPIO, TULLY, VIRGIL, BYRON.
Delivery. This requires an orotund quality of voice, middle pitch, medium time inclining to slow, and expressive pauses.
O ROME! my country! city of the soul!
* One of the old meanings of this word is a bet or wager.
Lone mother of dead empires! and control,
The Niobe of nations! there she stands,
Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,
Come and see
The Goth, the Christian, time, war, flood, and fire,
And say, "here was, or is," where all is doubly night?
The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and wrap All round us; we but feel our way to err:
The Ocean hath his chart, the stars their map, And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap; But Rome is as the desert, where we steer Stumbling o'er recollections; now we clap Our hands, and cry "Eureka! it is clear," When but some false mirage of ruin rises near.
Alas the lofty city! and alas
The trebly hundred triumphs! and the day
Alas for earth! for never shall we see
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!
LVIII. THE HIGH OFFICES OF POETRY.
The following noble defense of poetry is from Channing's "Remarks on the Character and Writings of John Milton." Let it be remembered that mere verse must not be regarded as poetry, any more than mere prose must be regarded as eloquence. True poetry cannot exist except in alliance with the good, the true, and the beautiful. The unadorned grace and simple vigor of the style of the following remarks require a corresponding delivery. See § 51.
See in Index, FULLNESS or FULNESS, THRALLDOM or THRALDOM, CHAN
1. By those who are accustomed to speak of poetry as light reading, Milton's eminence in this sphere may be considered only as giving him a high rank among the contributors to public amusement. Not so thought Milton. Of all God's gifts of intellect, he esteemed poetical genius the most transcendent. He esteemed it in himself as a kind of inspiration, and wrote his great works with something of the conscious dignity of a prophet.
2. We agree with Milton in his estimate of poetry. It seems to us the divinest of all arts; for it is the breathing or expression of that principle or sentiment, which is deepest and sublimest in human nature; we
mean, of that thirst or aspiration, to which no mind is wholly a stranger, for something purer and lovelier, something more powerful, lofty, and thrilling, than ordinary and real life affords.
3. No doctrine is more common among Christians than that of man's immortality; but it is not so generally understood, that the germs or principles of his whole future being are now wrapped up in his soul, as the rudiments of the future plant in the seed. As a necessary result of this constitution, the soul, possessed and moved by these mighty though infant energies, is perpetually stretching beyond what is present and visible, struggling against the bounds of its earthly prisonhouse, and seeking relief and joy in imaginings of unseen and ideal being.
4. This view of our nature, which has never been fully developed, and which goes farther toward explaining the contradictions of human life than all others, carries us to the very foundations and sources of poetry. He, who cannot interpret by his own consciousness what we now have said, wants the true key to works of genius. He has not penetrated those secret recesses of the soul, where poetry is born and nourished, and inhales immortal vigor, and wings herself for her heavenward flight.
5. In an intellectual nature, framed for progress and for higher modes of being, there must be creative energies, power of original and evergrowing thought; and poetry is the form in which these energies are chiefly manifested. It is the glorious prerogative of this art, that it "makes all things new" for the gratification of a divine instinct.
6. It indeed finds its elements in what it actually sees and experiences in the worlds of matter and mind; but it combines and blends these into new forms, and according to new affinities; breaks down, if we may so say, the distinctions and bounds of nature; imparts to