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to the Constitution; and that those who without fretting after dreams of utopian bliss. persist in propagating destructive heresies, A want of this philosophic temper lies at may be marked for such distinctions as the bottom of much of the discontent that sometimes confer notoriety with very little furnishes occasion for such letters as that of honor.
Mr. Dallas, and presents to the monarchies It is gratifying to reflect that the hearts of Europe a spectacle encouraging to the of the people are essentially true to the Con- longings of absolutism. stitution ; that while a few discordant spirits, Some consider the Union in danger of like restless breakers, tumble to their own nothing so much as gasconade. They destruction upon the firm bulwarks that gird have accordingly combined in an effort for the domain of an overwhelming power, the its repression, and, with more heroism than great heart of the nation heaves placidly prudence, have attempted to seat themselves beneath a propitious sky, fulfilling the grand upon the safety-valve, thinking that by repurpose of its existence.
pressing the blustering element they effectSo long as the hearts of the people are ually extinguish it. Fortunately, there are not right, there is little to fear from their tongues. enough of them to close all the orifices by There never was, and probably there never which their volatile enemy finds way into the will be, an age free from a certain degree of atmosphere, and we may hope that, nottendency to gasconade. It is vain to attempt withstanding their well-intended labors, we its annihilation. There is too much sensitive shall not all come to be by the ears from an ness now-a-days in regard to it. We have it explosion. Such volcanic agencies had betamong us under various titles, in considerable ter be left alone. We have just experiquantities. Here it flourishes under the eu- enced a slight “trembler," and must not be phonious title of fillibustering, there as quat- alarmed if the Ætnas are somewhat active. tlebumming, and under many other names These worthy gentlemen would do well to and types ; but withal it is no very terrible experiment with the King of Naples upon matter. But though innocent enough when the possibility of extinguishing Vesuvius, belet free into the atmosphere, it may, like most fore they venture to subject our happy naother gases, become a formidable power if tion to such convulsions as they may not unduly confined. Those who unwisely suf- dream of. fer themselves to become irritated by bluster There is a view of this subject fraught and braggadocio, should reflect upon the in- with the most serious considerations, which nocence of the thing if left to itself
, as well may well be approached with an earnest, as to the effects of forcible repression applied thoughtful spirit. Motives for such refleceven to so vapory a substance.
tion may be found in what has been said of Exciting political discussions produce a the combined effects of the intense sensitivevast deal of this commodity, and with it ness of some and the imprudent zeal of what is often mistaken for it-an over-ar- others. We must not enter the sanctuary dent expression of honestly entertained of the heart, and dictate emotions to it; but opinions, feelings or prejudices. If repres- we may raise a warning cry against intersion of the former should be possible, there ference with such things as we have been is danger that it may act with more or less taught to call sacred, and leave it to the injustice upon the latter. Of this let us be- circumstances of each to suggest the moral. ware; for although no empire has ever been There is a method of not only preserving overthrown by the abuse of freedom of the Union, but of rendering it a beneficent speech, there have been notable instances of boon to oppressed humanity; if the knowdynasties crushed for the love man bears it. ledge of that concealed treasure is sought It is a cardinal article of our republican faith, for, let the earnest searcher apply his enerand we must hold to it under all circum- gies to establish the policy, internal and exstances, though at times we may be irritated ternal, which the Whig party has commitby its undue license.
ted itself to maintain ; and after the field has We must strive to cultivate a temper in- been well ploughed, the treasure will be found. capable of being disturbed by the sallies of As for such issues as the fecundity of poliintemperate zeal, and content ourselves with tical ingenuity yearly hatches for ends of enjoying so much of tranquillity as the ex- personal and party aggrandizement, they isting condition of human society permits, I are a mere delusion, more ephemeral than
the reputation of their authors. Those who ful disguise which for a time served to conturn aside from the grand current of events ceal its hostility to popular liberty, by repreto undertake the salvation or the destruc- senting the design of European politics to be tion of the country by the propagation of the preservation of an equipoise of power, startling issues, will continue to be cast up, is now thrown off, and open and avowed war from time to time, high and dry upon the is waged upon all constitutional limitations beach, to learn at their leisure, that those of royal power. Poland is absorbed ; Hunwho would lead public opinion must be con- gary is stripped of its constitution ; Prussia tent to go with it until they are not only has the alternative of revolution or despotassured of the superior wisdom of their own ism; Germany is kept in a state of fermenforesight, but that they have force enough tation, as ignorant as the rest of the world to divert it into a new channel.
of what are her constitutional rights, and The surest method of promoting union is who are her real masters. Even Turkeyto fix the attention upon some prospective alas for Europe !—has too much humanity good, and to labor to reach it. It has been for the oppressed, for the security of the wisely said, that the principle of friendly co- European powers. Italy—softly Italy has operation lies in a common interest in the departed; resurrection, not revolution, is the pursuit of a common good. It is well only hope for her. What shall be said of enough to probe a wound to ascertain its France ? She presents the paradox of elecnature and extent, but the probing is no part tive absolutism arm in arm with rampant of the cure, and if unskilfully attempted, may democracy. Some dreary night, one or the serve to make the bad still worse.
other will be found strangled. When that We have as a nation a work to accom day comes, the guillotine or the bayonet will plish, to which if we bend all our energies, have prevailed. there need be no fear of discord among us.
There remains one other European power, Unity of heart and mind is requisite to seated upon what must one day have been the accomplishment of the task, which is no the easternmost projection of the American less than the renovation of the condition of continent, but, by some hankering after the human society.
society of royalty, betrayed into bad comEurope is in a sad state. Absolutism is pany, which entertains manly ideas of popumore terrible to-day than ever before; while, | lar liberty. That great power has until just on the other hand, liberty is more indispen- now been altogether taken up with the exsable for man. The ambition of crowned hibition of a gigantic Punch, and with the heads is less carefully disguised by the vacant- practical philosophy of the Hong merchants. featured mask of diplomacy, and looks di- But there is hope that her mighty arm will rectly to its mark. A czar or an emperor be lifted over the lofty crests of the oppresmay well burn with ambitious desire to add sors, for her true-hearted people have received to his dominions such slaves as the men who with sympathy and fellowship a noble exile. wield the intellectual and moral power of That exile will soon be in our midst, and the age. The pride of a Corsican soldier will be received as an ambassador, not from took fire at such a thought, and well nigh the oppressed of Hungary alone, but of all accomplished its most ambitious aspirations. Europe. What may be the issue of the
It was vastly easier, centuries ago, to future is with Heaven alone to know ; but wrest power from the hands of kings, than at the aspects of the present forebode the advent the present day. Until royalty learned what of events that will demand of us perfect and a Cromwell could do, it treated popular tu- indissoluble unity, nerve and patriotism. mult with contempt, though with severity. For the rest, with the power and security But that notable example, followed by still which these will bring us, we may rest hopemore instructive lessons, has taught absolut- ful and assured of the triumph of right in ism that there is no sympathy between it whatever struggle gathers in the eventful and the ideas of popular liberty. The art- | future.
MODERN ENGLISH POETS.*
MR. AND Mrs. BROWNING are psycholo- | but also by reason of its force and point. gical curiosities. Independently of the sin- We merely give one specimen to prove our gular fact of two of the greatest poetical assertion : minds of the day being “ united in the holy
“Behold with throe on throe, bonds of matrimony,” there are many pecu How wasted, by this woe, liar traits connected with their history which I wrestle down the myriad years of Time! render them possibly the most interesting
Behold how fa-t around me married couple on record. Both shrouded The New King of the happy ones sublime
Has flung the chaiu he forged, has shamed and as it were from the world, and dedicated to
bound me! the service of Apollo almost from their very Woe, woe, to-day's woe, and the coming morrow's
, cradle, they, like young Hannibal, have I cover with one groan. And where is found me given themselves up to that worship which,
A limit to these sorrows! though requiring a native genius, is yet more clearly all things that should be; nothing done
And yet what word do I say! I have foreknows generally determined by some particular Comes sudden to my soul; and I must bear accident. In order to render their idiosyn- What is ordained with patience, being aware crasy the more intelligible, we shall briefly Necessity doth front the universe allude to their personal history, and as a
With an invincible gesture.” matter of course commence with the lady. Miss Elizabeth Barrett Barrett is the for which we must, with Mr. Willis's per
The two last lines are certainly of an order daughter of a gentleman of moderate for- mission, invent a word, and call Browningtune, and was born in London in 1812. Being of fragile health and slender frame, wrote, so singular a position were ever put,
esque; for we question if, till Miss Barrett she was unable to partake of those amuse- like a straight waistcoat, upon the universe. ments to which young ladies of her class in life are predisposed. While her friends
We will quote only one more verse of this sought the ball and the concert-room, the really marvellous translation : youthful poetess retired to her chamber, and
“I know that Zeus is stern; studied Greek, Latin, and other Lady Jane
I know he metes his justice by his will;
And yet I also know his soul shall learn Grey accomplishments. As early as her
More softness when once broken by this ill! tenth year,
she had written some verses of That, curbing his unconquerable wrath, singular merit, even at that age displaying He shall rush on in fear, to meet with me, that peculiar style of thought and expres
Who rush to meet with him in agony, sion which have made her the most origi
To issues of harmonious covenant." nal poetess in the English language. Her We have in this the germ of much of Mrs. first attempts at verse were given to the Browning's poetry; for, without harping too Athenæum without any signature, or indeed much upon one string—for her lyre is fully even initial, and excited great curiosity from strung-we may yet observe that very much their remarkable phraseology. We question of her music is set in one key, which at if any poet of so youthful an age ever so times gives a monotony to her verse which completely exhibited the complete Minerva- | really belongs more to its sound than its ism as the youthful Elizabeth. A few years sense. In the latter point of view, she is afterwards appeared her translation of Es- undoubtedly the most peculiar of all the chylus's “Prometheus Vinctus,” which may female poets of England. But her mannerchallenge comparison with any translation ism is in word, not thought. There is also of the day: indeed it may be pronounced a provoking fact about her, which lends her unique, not only on account of its fidelity, the less excuse for the tortuous style of her
* Sordello, Bells and Pomegranates, &c. By Robert Browning.
Casa Guidi's Windows. By Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
expression, viz., that she can, if she pleases, tics. After a short time the happy couple clothe her meaning in the very simplest started for Florence, where they have resided Saxon.
ever since. Their sentiments are thoroughly To this translation succeeded a volume Italian and republican, and the fondest wish of entitled “The Seraphim and other Poems,” both their hearts is “to live and die in sunny which, although not exhibiting the lofty Italy.” To those who are conversant with flights she has since reached, was yet ample Browning's poems, this will be readily beto convince the world that a spirit of won- lieved; but we confess this Italianism surderful intellect was speaking.
prised us in his wife's, as she is more of an After this she collected her translations intellectual Englishwoman than any we have and poems in two volumes, prefixing thereto read-her conversation even more so than her " Drama of Exile," in which she turned her writings. Since their marriage they Adam and Eve into a pair of the most ex- have had two children, one of whom died traordinary mystics ever created. There is ere it had reached its second year. Her this one fatal defect in this otherwise grand lament is perhaps one of the most singular song, that beings constituted as Mrs. Brown- dirges ever written by a woman's hand, ing makes our first parents never could more especially a mother's. As it is too have fallen from the Paradise of the Bible. long to quote entire, we must content ourNotwithstanding this want of dramatic vrai- selves with a few verses :semblance, there is no drama ever written by a woman that can stand a minute's com
“Of English blood, of Tuscan birth,
What country shall we give her! parison with it. It is in the ideal, what
Instead of any on the earth, Joanna Baillie's tragic plays are in the The civic heavens receive her." romantic. These volumes contain, among We think our readers will allow that heamany other new'poems, "A Vision of Poets," which is composed in the triplet. Here she ven never had such an adjective before
" the civic heavens !" runs riot, and indulges in almost every freak of accentuation. Her last production is the " And here among the English tombs, volume at the head of this article, and dis
In Tuscan grounds we lay her; plays more maturity and power, with less of
While the blue Tuscan sky endomes
Our English words of prayer. the elements of popularity, than any of her other productions.
"A little child I how long she lived We shall now turn to the prominent fact By months, not years, is reckoned: of her life, her marriage, in November, 1846,
Born in one July, she survived
Alone to see a second. with Robert Browning, author of “Sordello," "Bells and Pomegranates," &c. Their courtship was singular-indeed almost as unintelligible as some of their verses.
“So, Lily, from those July hours,
No wonder we should call her ; Mr. Browning sent to Miss Barrett one of
She looked such kinship to the flowershis plays, which the fair recipient acknow
Was but a little taller. ledged in a Greek letter. This brought a reply from the dramatist in the same lan- “A Tuscan lily-only white, guage, and, as the poet says,
As Dante, in abhorrence
Of red corruption, wished aright “When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of
The lilies of his Florence." love,"
The next verse contains one of those tender a lengthy correspondence in the language of felicities of thought and expression, which is Homer followed, till it led to an interview, worthy of the daughter of Shakspeare :which ended in marriage. Miss Barrett had
“We could not wish her whiter-her been so long secluded from the world, in
Who perfumed with pure
blossom consequence of her delicate state of health,
The house-a lovely thing to wear that her union was considered, when first Upon a mother's bosom. announced by their friends, as a mere rumor,
“This July creature thought perhaps partaking very much of the hoax; but the tan
Our speech not worth assuming; gible witnesses of wedding cards and cake
She sate upon her parents' laps, carried conviction to the minds of the skep- And mimicked the gnat’s humming.
“Said Father Mother'- then left off, The flowing ends of the earth from Fez, Canton,
Delhi and Stockholm, Athens and Madrid,
Her golden cincture. Isles, peninsulas,
, far inland countries hid takes in her versification, we quote a single By jasper sands, and hills of clırysopras
All trailing in their splendors through the door verse :
Of the new Crystal Palace. Every nation " But God gives patience, Love learns strength, To every other nation, strange of yore, And Faith remembers promise,
Shall face to face give civic salutation,
And hold up in a proud right band before
That Congress the best work which she could
fashion, Even in this short specimen our readers can By her best means. "These corals will you please discern the singularly shaping power of Mrs. To match against your oaksi They grow as fast Browning's imagination. Not a thought or This diamond stared upon me as I passed image is rendered as another woman would;
(As a live god's eye from a marble frieze) and we really question if ever before those Along a dash of diamonds. Is it classed? feelings were so presented to a female mind. I wove these stuffs so subtly that the gold
But we will give our poetess in another Swims to the surface of the silk, like cream, aspect, for the edification of our lady readers. And curdles to fair patterns. Ye behold,
These dedicated muslins rather seem It purports to be translated from the Portu- Than be. You shrink !—nay, touch them and be guese, but the fair translator's own nature bold, is unmistakably revealed :
Though such veiled Chakli's face in Hafiz' dream.
These carpets ! you walk slow on them, like kings, “First time he kissed me, he but only kissed Inaudible, like spirits; while your foot The fingers of this hand wherewith I writo, Dips deep in velvet roses and such things. And ever since it grew more clear and white. E'en Apollonius might commend this flute; Slow to world-greetings, quick with its 'Oh list ! The music, winding through the stops, upspringe, When the angels speak. A ring of amethyst To make the player very rich. Compute. I could not wear here plainer to my sight Here's goblet glass, to take in with your wine Than that first kiss. The second passed in height The very sun its grapes were ripened under; The first, and sought the forehead; and half missed', Drink light and juice together, and each fire. Half falling on the hair. O beyond meed! This model of a steam-ship moves your wonder ! That was the chrysm of love, which love's own You should behold it crushing down the brine, crown,
Like a blind Jove, who feels his way with thunder. With sanctifying sweetness did precede. Here's sculpture. Ah, we live too—why not throw The third upon my lips was folded down Our life into our marbles Art has place In perfect purple state! since when, indeed, For other artists after Angelo. I have been proud, and said, 'My love, my own!" I tried to paint out here a natural face;
For Nature includes Raphael, as we know, Since Bowles made Madeira tremble, when Not Raphael Nature. Will it help my case ? the first kiss echoed through its forests, we Methinks you will not match this steel of ours, question if a more singular-phrased account Nor you this porcelain. One might think the clay
Retained in it the larvæ of the flowers, of a kiss has been given to the world.
They bud go round the cup the old spring way, We can trace, since her marriage with the Nor you these Carren words where birds in bowers author of “Sordello," a decided imitation With twisting snakes and climbing Cupids play.” of her husband's style; or perhaps we ought the readers of “Sordello” and “Paracelsus" to say, their poetical nature has assimilated. cannot fail being struck at the similarity This is of course natural; for if it be true that between this extract and those wonderful the faces of persons who dwell together be
poems. come more and more alike every day, the more
In her verses entitled “A Sabbath Mornductile composition of the mind is apparent. ing at Sea,” our fair Sappho says: In her “Casa Guidi Windows,” this is remarkably visible, and we shall quote an
“ The ship went on with solemn face;
To meet the darkness of the deep, instance so true to the point, that we feel
The solemn ship went onward. inclined to believe Robert Browning, and I bowed down weary in the place; not his wife, was the author. The verses For parting tears and present sleep are upon the World's Fair:
Had weighed mine eyelids downward." “ Just now the world is busy; it has grown
This is one of her attempts to engraft the A Fair-going world. Imperial England draws style of Coleridge upon her own; but she