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they would be far more rich and entertaining in conversation than the French, if they were only half as communicative and polite. Profound thinkers, however, are sometimes dull in company, for when they have to dive as it were to the bottom of their souls for the treasures which they would communicate to others, they cannot keep pace with those ready speakers whose thoughts lie upon the surface. “ Men," says Sir William Temple, " talk without thinking, and think without talking." The same writer has quaintly remarked that “women, some sort of fools and madmen, are the greatest talkers." Authors, who are silent in society, seem to take a pleasure in revenging themselves in print on the garrulous and the noisy in conversation. Butler has humorously observed that those who talk on trifles speak with the greatest fluency, because the tongue is like a race-horse which runs the faster the lesser weight it carries. Jeremy Taylor remarks, that great knowledge, if it be without vanity, is the most severe bridle of the tongue. In the case of a fool, he says, “the tongue is hung loose, being like a bell in which there is nothing but tongue and noise." Cowper, whose timid and painful reserve rendered one of the finest minded men in the world the worst of companions, and who painted from himself in the following couplet

“Our sensibilities are so acute,
The fear of being silent makes us mute,"

has omitted no occasion of sneering at voluble and ready talkers.

“Where others toil with philosophie force

Their nimble nonsense takes a different course,
Flings at your head conviction in the lump,
And gains remote conclusions at a jump."

"I know a lady, that loves talking so incessantly that she will not give an echo fair play; she has that everlasting rotation of tongue that an echo must wait till she dies, before it can

2

THE SEASONS OF LIFE.

1.

Could beauty's early bloom return, and boyhood's voice of mirth,
Like foral hues and songs of birds when Spring revives the earth ;
Though forms should fade--and hearts grow cold--and life's fair

flowers decay,
"Twere sweet to know that wintry spell ere long might pass away!

II.

1

But when life's fleeting seasons fail, they leave the soul forlorn ;
E'en Hope is silent at their close, of all her magic shorn ;
Iler brief successive lights but lead the pilgrim to his doom-
The cold and dreamless sleep of death--the dungeon of the tomb.

III.

The green earth glitters in the sun--the skylark bathes in light-
Rich odours float upon the breeze from vernal blossoms bright-
A busy hum of insect joy the cheerful valley fills,
And wandering Echo's shout is heard, like laughter, in the hills !

IV.

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Such sights and sounds and charms we leave, and, dearer far

than all, The faces that we loved in youth--the tones that yet enthral ;Oh! when the thought of that dark hour o'ershades each bliss

below. How quails the horror-stricken heart--how voiceless is the woe!

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Yet when the solemn mandate comes that bids the doomed prepare,
To change for death's dark stifling cell the free and pleasant air,
Can no sweet sound the prisoner cheer---no hope-rekindling ray?
Ah, yes !--the voice that frees the soul--the light of endless day!

ON CONVERSATION.

Without good company, indeed, all dainties
Lose their true relish, and, like painted grapes,
Are only seea, not tasted.

Massinger. "By the use of the tongue, God hath distinguished us from beasts ; and by the well or ill using it we are distinguished from one another; and therefore though silence be innocent as death, harmless as a rose's breath to a distant passenger, yet, it is rather the state of death than life ; and therefore when the Egyptians sacrificed to Harpocrates, their God of silence, in the midst of their rites they cried out, “The tongue is an angel; good or bad, that is as it hap. pens."

Jeremy Taylor. “ CONVERSATION,” says Seneca, " forms a large portion of the comfort of human life." This commendation, however, is not to be applied to ordinary discourse. “The best conversation," says the same moralist, " that we can ever have, is with philosophers; I mean such as teach matter, not words; that preach up to us necessary things, and enguge us to practise them." The ancients appear to have turned conversation to nobler purposes than the moderns ; for not possessing those ready means of circulating knowledge through the medium of printed books and papers, which have been rendered so effective in the present age, they were compelled to trust for much of their fame and influence to oral communications. The original mode of multiplying manuscripts was tedious and unsatisfactory, compared to the admirable process by which thought is now circulated with an almost electrical rapidity through all quarters of the globe. A man of superior sense and genius, unable to do justice to his own talents in social intercourse, may now console himself with the assurance that he has other and more powerful means of pouring out his soul, and of arousing the sympathy and attention of his fellow

devoted his chief energies to the task of surpassing all his predecessors in point of accuracy, did not scruple to make use of such rhymes as thought fault---draught thought-skull fool-turn born--imbrued blood--fiend friend-speak take--debate that-join line-compelling Ilelen--fellow prunnella, and innumerable others of the same nature. I do not place any stress upon such trivial matters, but there are critics who would condemn in other poets what may pass unnoticed in the works of their own idol. Pope has himself observed, that poetry is an especially useful study to a foreigner desirous of speaking the language in which it may be written with accuracy and grace.

What will a child learn sooner than a song ?
What better teach a foreigner the tongue ?

No Englishman, however, who has an ear or judgment of his own, could listen with gravity or patience to the sound of such words as we have just quoted from Pope, if they were enunciated in exact correspondence to the rhyme. Poor Kirke White's first volume of poems, which he had sent to the editor of the Monthly Review, with such feverish anxiety, was condemned by the savage and senseless Aristarchus, because boy and sky were used as corresponding terminations; and yet the same profound and impartial critic had doubtless seen rhymes greatly more imperfect in the works of Pope, without questioning for a moment that author's genius. It would be absurd, indeed, to judge of a poet's merits exclusively by his accuracy as a rhymester ; but when an author's absolute faultlessness* (an expression applied by Lord Byron to the works of Pope) is too positively and frequently insisted upon, the attention of more sober critics is forced towards errors that would otherwise have escaped them entirely, or have been

• What does even Pope himself say on this point ?

“Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,

Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be."

regarded with indifference. A humourous poem might be written by a punster, like Hood, upon the imperfect rhymes of Pope such as, groves loves (loaves),---waste past (paste).--care shear (share),--take speak (spake).-wear star (stare or stair). alone toren (tone),--desert heart (hurt), - frost coast (cost), adores powers (pores or pours),---joy tye (toy),--trod showed (shod), -track take (tack), -join line (loin).-worn turn (torn), --song tongue (tong).--extreme phlegm (phleme), --come doom (dumb), -food food (flued),- pour shower (shore), or shower pour (power) --flood stood (stud),---bound sound [n hurt), sound [bandaged], --compare war (wear or were), -streams Thames (themes),----rest least (lest), --strow bough (bow [bo]).-suffice prize (price),--adores powers (pores or pours),- fool skull (school), &c. &c. &c. The above rhymes are taken faithfully from the pages of Pope, and without going through a very large portion of his productions.

Hazlitt has remarked, that Steele (in the Tatler) was the first writer, who used the antithetical style and verbal paradoxes which Burke was so fond of, in which the adjective is in seeming opposition to the substantive, as dignified obedience," "proud submission," &c. &c. But this was not the case. The poem before us has several examples of them, In the first two or three pages we have "cruel fortunate," " dumb eloquence," "silent murmurs," &c. &c. There are some curious illustrations also of Pope's favorite rule of making the sound an echo to the sense. Here is an instance.

Ile had a man-like look, and sparkling eye,
A front whereon sate such a majesty,
As awed all his beholders; his long hair
After the Grecian fashion, without care

Hung down loosely on his shoulders, black as jet. This description reminds me of Hamlet's remarks upon his father's picture.

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