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That, chang'd through all, and yet in all the same,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
(There is a couplet indeed!)
"Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
He fills, He bounds, connects, and equals all."
Let me invite your attention to the few following lines on the apportionment of separate instincts or qualities to different animals, and be good enough to observe how the single words clench the whole argument. They are as descriptive as the bars of Haydn's music in the Oratorio of the "Creation":
"What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme,
Of smell, the headlong lioness between,
And hound sagacious on the tainted green;
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line."
What a couplet again is that! It is only about a spider; but I guarantee its immortality.
If I set down the Terse, the Accurate, the Complete, the pungency of the Satiric point, the felicity of the well-turned Compliment, as the distinctive features of Pope's poetical excellence, it should not escape us that there are occasions when he reaches a high degree of moral energy and ardour. I have purposely excluded from our present consideration all scrutiny and dissection of Pope's real inner character. I am aware that, taking it in the most favourable light, it can only be regarded as formed of mixed and imperfect elements; but I cannot refuse to myself the belief that when the Poet speaks in such strains as these, they in some degree reflect and embody the spirit of the Man. I quote from his animated description of the triumph of vice :
"Let Greatness own her, and she's mean no more;
In golden chains the willing world she draws,
And, again with more special reference to himself—
"Ask you what provocation I have had?
The strong antipathy of good to bad.
Th' affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
Safe from the bar, the pulpit, and the throne,
Let flatt'ry sick'ning see the incense rise,
And makes immortal verse as mean as mine."
My limits, more than my materials, warn me that I must desist. As, however, with reference to the single object which I have all along had in view, I think it more politic that I should let the words of Pope, rather than my own, leave the last echoes on your ear, I should like to conclude this address with his own concluding lines to perhaps the most important and highlywrought of his poems, the "Essay on Man.' They appear to me calculated to leave an appropriate impression of that orderly and graceful muse, whose attractions I have, feebly I know and inadequately, but with the honesty and warmth of a thorough sincerity, endeavoured to place before you; if I mistake not, you will trace in them, as in his works at large, the same perfect propriety of expression, the same refined simplicity of idea, the same chastened
felicity of imagery, all animated and warmed by that feeling of devotion for Bolingbroke, which, all-misplaced as it was, pervaded alike his poetry and his life:
"Come then, my friend! my genius! come along;
O master of the poet, and the song!
And while the muse now stoops, or now ascends,
Oh! while along the stream of time thy name
Gentlemen of the jury, that is my case.
TRAVELS IN AMERICA.
Ir may be known to some of those whom I have the pleasure to see around me, that when circumstances to which I need not further allude occasioned a breach, temporary indeed, and soon repaired, in my connexion with the West Riding of Yorkshire-when, as the phrase goes, some of your neighbours, and probably of yourselves, had given me leave to go upon my travels-I thought I could make no better use of this involuntary leisure than by acquiring some personal knowledge of the United States of America. I accordingly embarked in the autumn of the year 1841, and spent about one whole year in North America, having within that period passed nearly over the length and breadth of the Republic, trod at least the soil of twenty-two out of the twenty-six States of which the Union was then composed, and paid short visits to the Queen's dominions in Canada, and to the Island of Cuba. I determined to keep a journal during my travels, and only at the end of them to decide what should become of it when it was completed. I found it was written in too hurried and desultory a manner, and was too much confined to my own daily proceedings, to make it of interest to the public at large; still more strongly I felt that, after having been received with uniform civility and attention, nay, I may say, with real warmth and openness of heart, I should not wish, even where I had nothing but what was most favourable to communicate, immediately to exhibit myself as an inquisitive observer of the interior life to which I had been admitted; and this very feeling would probably have disqualified me for the office of an impartial critic. Now, however, that above eight years have elapsed since my return, in turning over the pages then written, it has seemed to me allowable to endeavour, for a purpose like the present, to convey a few of the leading impressions which I derived from the surface of nature and society as they exhibited themselves in the New World.
It must follow necessarily from such limits as could be allowed to me on an occasion of this kind, that any account which I can put together from materials so vast and so crowded, must be the merest superficial skimming of the subject that can be conceived. All I can answer for is, that it shall be faithful to the feelings excited at the moment, and perfectly honest as far as it goes. I must premise one point with reference to what I have just now glanced at the use of individual names. I came in contact with several of the public men, the historical men they will be, of the American Republic. I shall think myself at liberty occasionally to depart in their instance from the rule of strict abstinence which I have otherwise prescribed to myself, and to
treat them as public property, so long as I say nothing to their disadvantage. On the other hand, the public men of the United States are not created faultless beings, any more than the public men of other countries; it must not, therefore, be considered, when I mention with pleasure anything which redounds to their credit, that I am intending to present you with their full and complete portraits.
It was on the 21st day of October, upon a bright crisp morning, that the "Columbia" steam-packet, upon which I was a passenger, turned the lighthouse outside the harbour of Boston. The whole effect of the scene was cheerful and pleasing; the bay is studded with small islands, bare of trees, but generally crowned with some sparkling white building, frequently some public establishment. The town rises well from the water, and the shipping and the docks wore the look of prosperous commerce. As I stood by some American friends acquired during the voyage, and heard them point out the familiar villages, and villas, and institutions, with patriotic pleasure, I could not altogether repress some slight but not grudging envy of those who were to bring so long a voyage to an end in their own country, amidst their own family, within their own homes. I am not aware I ever again experienced, during my whole American sojourn, the peculiar feeling of the stranger. It was, indeed, dispelled at the moment when their flag-ship, the "Columbus," gave our “ Columbia" a distinguished and I thought touching reception; the crew manned the yards, cheered, and then the band played, first "God save the Queen," and then "Yankee Doodle." I spent altogether, at two different intervals, about a month in Boston.
I look back with fond recollection to its well-built streets-the swelling dome of its State-house--the pleasant walks on what is termed the common-a park, in fact, of moderate size, in the centre of the city, where I made my first acquaintance with the bright winter sunsets of America, and the peculiar transparent green and opal tints which stripe the skies around them--the long wooden causeways across the inner harbour, which rather recalled St. Petersburgh to my recollection--the newly erected granite obelisk on a neighbouring height, which certainly had no affinity with St. Petersburgh, as it was to mark the spot, sacred to an American, of the battle of Bunker's Hill—the old elm tree, at the suburban university of Cambridge, beneath which Washngton drew his sword in order to take command of the national army--the shaded walks and glades of Mount Auburn, the beautiful cemetery of Boston, to which none that we yet have can be compared, but which I trust before long our Chadwicks and Paxtons may enable us to imitate, and perhaps to excel. These are some of my external recollections of Boston; but there are some fonder still, of the most refined and animated social intercourse-of hospitalities which it seemed impossible to exhaust-of friendships which I trust can never be effaced. Boston appears to me, certainly, on the whole, the