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exhibited with such innocent pride to their school-fellows when "black Monday" returns. The triumphant display of these trea. sures, and a fresh store of pocket-money, are among the parting consolations when they quit the sweet indulgences of home for the rigid laws of school.
It is true that in this strange land the celebration of Christmas can be attended with but few of those social observances, and those pleasant festivities around the blazing fire, which contrast so delightfully with the dreary aspect of external nature during an English winter ; but though the season has lost something of its mirth, we can still keep it sacred to the memory of the past.
If we cannot collect around our festal board the forms familiar to our childhood, we can think and talk of them with tenderness and rapture. Those of us who have children in our native land may
cheer ourselves with the thought, that on this long and impatiently expected holiday their little hearts will bound with merriment, and that they will be called upon, in the midst of their innocent pleasures, to remember their distant parents, to wish them many happy seasons, and perhaps, also, a safe return to their native country. But, alas ! I allude to the latter wish with a faint and trembling heart, when I recollect how many of our expatriated countrymen have been disappointed in this the sweetest prospect of an Indian exile's life. They cherished, perhaps, as firm and fond a hope as any that yet glows in a living breast, to pass the cheerful evening of existence in some pleasure-haunted spot in dear old England,--and now they are lying in their last long sleep on this foreign shore !
OH! there are green spots on the path of time
Our paths are desolate, and far apart-
Lord of the silent tomb ! relentless Death !
Insatiate Fiend ! at thy blood-dropping shrine,
THEALMA AND CLEARCHUS*.
DR. JOHNSON was accustomed to maintain that Pope brought English verse to its utmost possible perfection. He regarded the writers of the Elizabethan period as little better than inspired barbarians. In this respect, he was almost as great a heathen as Voltaire himself, whose opinion of Shakspearet is a much more powerful argument against the character of the critic's own mind, than against the genius of our unrivalled dramatist. The French taste for the smart and artificial in style, introduced into England at the Restoration, lasted much longer than any critic of that day who had a sense of truth and nature, would have at all anticipated. But though truth and nature must at last prevail, it is wonderful for how long a period the influence of fashion may keep them in a state of complete subjection. For a season, and under peculiar circumstances, custom is a second nature, more powerful than the first.
When we look back at the different stages in the progress of English literature, we are struck with the extraordinary simi. larity of character displayed by contemporary writers. superficial view it would almost seem as if genius itself were produced by accidents and conventionalisms. Why should the poets
THealMA AND CLEARCHUS:-A Pastoral History, in smooth and easy verse. Written long since by John Chalkhill, Esq., an acquaintant and friend of Edmund Spenser. London: Printed for Benj. Tooke, at the Ship in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1683.
+ Johnson forced himself to speak well of Shakspeare in his preface to the Plays, but he had perhaps no real relish for the great Prince of Dramatists. He seems in his heart to have liked Addison's Cato better than any of Shake speare's dramas. His own Irene shows his leaning to the artificial and declama. tory style. He speaks of the “barbarity of the age,” in which so many men of might, besides Shakspeare himself, shed a glory upon our literature that has not been equalled in later times.
of the time of Elizabeth and James be a race of giants, and those of Anne comparatively a race of pigmies? In both eras, the poets were equally human beings, and of English origin. In the first mentioned period, there was an extraordinary abundance of all the higher faculties of the mind; in the second, there was an equally extraordinary dearth. The richness and facility of invention, the prodigality of fancy, the profound knowledge of human nature, which the old dramatists displayed, seem to be utterly beyond the reach of the intellects of later times. The former had such an entire sympathy with the world at large, that they could afford to forget their own identity, when pourtraying the minds and passions of other men. Hence the truth and variety of their delineations. But we have since had no writer gifted with that degree of the dramatic faculty which seemed so common an endowment in the time of Shakspeare. Cowper has spoken of a period when
The sacred name
And there was this two-fold character displayed by our good old poet and prophet, Daniel, when, in his dedication to the tragedy of Philotas, he thus expressed his opinion of the reign of Elizabeth :
And it may be, the genius of that time
The serious drama in the reign of Anne is, generally speak. ing, beneath contempt.
Even as a work of mere art, without reference to its utter dearth of inspiration, it has very little claim