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law or history, a book of poetry familiar or forgotten (except by himself, who forgot nothing), a novel ever so old, and he had it at hand!
13. With regard to Macaulay's style, there may be faults of course; but we are not talking about faults. Take at hazard any three pages of his Essays or of his History; and, glimmering below the stream of the narrative, as it were, you, an average reader, see one, two, three, a half-score of allusions to other historic facts, characters, literature, poetry, with which you are not Whence is acquainted. Why is this epithet used? that simile drawn? How does he manage, in two or three words, to paint an individual, or to indicate a landscape? He reads twenty books to write a sentence; he travels a hundred miles to make a line of description!
14. One paper I have read regarding Lord Macaulay says "he had no heart." Why, a man's books may not always speak the truth, but they speak his mind in spite of himself; and it seems to me this man's heart is beating through every page he penned. He is always in a storm of revolt and indignation against wrong, craft, tyranny. How he cheers heroic resistance; how he backs and applauds freedom struggling for its own; how he hates scoundrels, ever so victorious and successful; how he recognizes genius, though selfish villains possess it!
15. The critic who says Macaulay had no heart, might say that Johnson had none; and two men more generous, and more loving, and more hating, and more partial, and more noble, do not live in our history. Those who knew Lord Macaulay knew how admirably tender, and generous, and affectionate he was. It was
to the desk, the well-known person of Macaulay, on the third bench from the front. Turning to some friends, he said, "A five-pound note to any man who will get Macaulay out of the house." "I felt," said Thackeray, "like a fellow with a sixpence in his pocket, in the banking-house of the Barings."
not his business to bring his family before the theatre footlights, and call for bouquets from the gallery as he wept over them.
16. If any young man of letters reads this little sermon, and to him, indeed, it is addressed,-I would say to him, "Bear Scott's words in your mind, and ‘be good, my dear."" Here are two literary men gone to their account, and, laus Deo, as far as we know, that account is fair, and open, and clean. Here is no need of apologies for shortcomings, or explanations of vices which would have been virtues but for unavoidable et cetera.
17. Here are two examples of men most differently gifted: each pursuing his calling; each speaking his truth as God bade him; each honest in life; just and irreproachable in his dealings; dear to his friends; honored by his country; beloved at his fireside. It has been the fortunate lot of both to give incalculable happiness and delight to the world, which thanks them in return with an immense kindliness, respect, affection. It may not be our chance, brother scribe, to be endowed with such merit, or rewarded with such fame. But the rewards of these men are rewards paid to our service. We may not win the baton or epaulettes, but Heaven give us strength to guard the honor of the flag!
HUMAN BLINDNESS TO THE FUTURE.
See in Index, HUMBLE, INDIAN, SPHERE, POPE. The following passage is from the author's principal work, his "Essay on Man."
HEAVEN from all creatures hides the book of fate;
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know;
O blindness to the future! kindly given
Hope humbly, then; with trembling pinions soar;
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind
Yet, simple Nature to his hope has given,
TO BE, contents his natural desire;
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
* An elliptical expression, meaning, What may be future bliss, &c.
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense,
In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies;
And who but wishes to invert the laws
XCVII. AN AMERICAN WILDERNESS.
In the year 1831, De Tocqueville and Beaumont (see page 132) traveled from Pontiac in Michigan to Saginaw through what was then an uncleared wilderness. The fidelity of the following description of an American "forest primeval " in Michigan will be recognized by all who have witnessed a similar scene. See remarks on the narrative and descriptive style, § 48. See in Index, AXE or AX, TRAVELER or TRAVELLER, TOCQUEVILLE.
1. As we proceeded, we gradually lost sight of the traces of man. Soon all proofs even of savage life disappeared, and before us was the scene that we had so long been seeking,—a virgin forest. Growing in the middle of the thin brushwood, through which objects are
perceived at a considerable distance, was a single clump of full-grown trees, almost all pines or oaks.
2. Confined to so narrow a space, and deprived of sunshine, each of these trees had run up rapidly, in search of air and light. As straight as the mast of a ship, the most rapid grower had overtopped every surrounding object; only when it had attained a higher region did it venture to spread out its branches, and clothe itself with leaves.. Others followed quickly in this elevated sphere; and the whole group, interlacing their boughs, formed a sort of immense canopy. Underneath this damp, motionless vault, the scene is different.
3. Majesty and order are overhead, near the ground, all is chaos and confusion: agëd trunks, incapable of supporting any longer their branches, are shattered in the middle, presenting nothing but a sharp, jagged point. Others, long loosened by the wind, have been thrown unbroken on the ground. Torn up from the earth, their roots form a natural barricade, behind which several men might easily find shelter. Huge trees, sustained by the surrounding branches, hang in mid-air, and crumble into dust, without reaching the ground.
4. There is no district in France so scantily peopled as to make it possible for a forest to be so completely abandoned that the trees, after quietly fulfilling the purpose of their existence, attain old age undisturbed, and at last perish from natural decay. Civilized man strikes them while yet in their prime, and clears the ground of their remains. In the solitude of America all-powerful nature is the only instrument of ruin, as well as of reproduction.
5. Here, as well as in the forests over which man rules, death strikes continually; but there is no one to clear away the remains; they accumulate day by day. They fall, they are heaped upon one another. Time