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How small of all that human hearts endure
The part which laws or kings can make or cure!

Byron offers many examples, none better than the following:

I had a dream which was not all a dream.

My boat is on the shore,

And my bark is on the sea;
But before I go, Tom Moore,
Here's a double health to thee!


Here's a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky's above me,
Here's a heart for every fate.

Were't the last drop in the well,
As I gasp'd upon the brink,

Ere my fainting spirit fell

'Tis to thee that I would drink.

To Thomas Moore.

No better instance of the power of short words can be offered than in his famous characterization of man:

Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar.

Compare this with Churchill's couplet, from which Byron stole his thought,Half lowly earth and half ethereal fire,

Too proud to sink, too lowly to aspire,

and note what energy is gained by the substitution of short words for long. Here are a few miscellaneous examples:

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And thou enlightened earth, so fresh and gay,
Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains,
And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tell,
Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here!


Tell me, how may I know Him, how adore,
From whom I have that thus I move and live?
MILTON: Paradise Lost, Book viii.
Fond fool, six feet shall serve for all thy store,
And he that cares for most shall find no more.

The last-quoted verse extorted from the polysyllabic Gibbon the exclamation, "What harmonious monosyllables!"

Monroe Doctrine, a political creed first officially propounded by James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, in his message of December 2, 1823, and ever since the declared policy of the American Union,-i.e., to consider as dangerous to its peace and safety, and to discountenance, any attempt of European powers to extend further their jurisdiction on the Western Hemisphere. A flagrant violation of the doctrine was the intervention of Napoleon III. and the establishment of the empire of Maximilian in Mexico. Others are the seizure of the Falkland Islands off the coast of South America, and of the Mosquito Coast in Central America, by Great Britain, both of which she still holds. The doctrine was also relaxed in favor of the latter power with reference to the right to the control of any canal to be constructed through the Isthmus of Panama, by the terms of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, admitting Great Britain into the joint supervision of the proposed water-way.

Monsters of the deep. Byron, in his address to the Ocean, says,—
Even from out thy slime

The monsters of the deep are made.

A similar phrase may be met with in Dryden's "Medal," a poem written on the striking of the medal to commemorate the grand jury's return of an "Ignoramus" in the case of the Earl of Shaftesbury, indicted for high treason. The indignant poet compares London to the Nile, which, though the cause of fertility and wealth,

Yet monsters from thy large increase we find,
Engendered on the slime thou leavest behind.

Month's mind, a great longing or desire cherished for some time. This is the sense in which Shakespeare uses the phrase when he makes Julia say,— I see you have a month's mind to them,

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act i., Sc. 2; but it is a sense very different from that which it bore originally. The name came from an ancient solemn commemorative service in the Catholic Church held one month after the death of the person for the benefit of whose soul it was celebrated. His (or her) name was wont to be written on a tablet and kept on the altar, and was read out at the proper point in the mass. This was called "mynding" the dead. The ceremony might be repeated each month for a year, in which case it was called “a year's mind." The phrase is still retained in Lancashire, England, an exceptionally Catholic county, but elsewhere the "Mind Days" are called Anniversary Days." The following extract from Peck's "Desiderata Curiosa" offers an explanation of how the phrase came to acquire its modern meaning: "By saying that they have a month's mind to a thing, they undoubtedly mean that, if they had what they so much longed for, it would do them as much good as they believe 'a month's mind,' or service in the church said once a month, would benefit their souls after their decease." In what esteem this "month's mind" was formerly held

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is shown by the elaborate directions for the conduct of it found in the wills of sundry persons of consequence. Thus, Thomas Windsor, Esq. (1479), wills Month's Mind" "there be a hundred children within the age of sixteen years to say for my soul." Also, "that against my month's mind candles be burned before the rood in the parish church; also, that my executors provide twenty priests to sing Placebo, Dirige,' etc." Fabyan (born 1450), one of the historians of early Britain, also gives instructions in his will for his "Month's Mind :" "I will that myne executrice doo cause to be carried from London xii newe torches to burne in the tymes of the said burying and monthes minde. Also, I will that breade, ale, and chese for all comers to the parish church be ordered as shall be thought needful against a monthes mind.” "In Ireland," we are told by an authority, "after the death of a great personage, they count four weeks; and four weeks from that day all priests and friars, and all the gentry far and near, are invited to a great feast, usually termed the month's mind. The preparations for this feast are masses said in all parts of the house at once for the soul of the departed. If the room be large there are three or four priests celebrating together in the several corners of the room. The masses done, they proceed to their feasting, but, after all the others, each priest and friar is discharged with his largess.'

Moon and the brook. One of the most familiar of Tom Moore's metaphors occurs in the following lines:

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Moore expressly acknowledges, "This image was suggested by the following thought, which occurs somewhere in Sir William Jones's works: The moon looks upon many night-flowers, the night-flower sees but one moon.' Bulwer-Lytton had a similar idea in the blind girl Nydia's song, where The Wind and the Beam loved the Rose,

But the Rose loved one.

Moon, To cry for the,-i.e., to desire the unattainable.

In the evening walked down alone to the lake by the side of Crow Park after sunset, and saw the solemn coloring of light draw on, the last gleam of sunshine fading away on the hill-tops, the deep serene of the waters, and the long shadows of the mountains thrown across them, till they nearly touched the hithermost shore. At distance heard the murmur of many waterfalls, not audible in the daytime. Wished for the moon, but she was dark to me, and silent, hid in her vacant interlunar cave.-THOMAS GRAY.

Cognate phrases are “to cast beyond the moon,”—i.e., to make extravagant conjectures, "to level at the moon," to have highly ambitious aims. "You have found an elephant in the moon," is to have discovered a mare's nest. Sir Paul Neal, a shallow but extremely vain dilettante living in the seventeenth century, announced the incredible fact, which he stoutly maintained, that he had discovered "an elephant in the moon." As it turned out, his elephant was a mouse which had somehow got into his telescope. There is a satirical poem on the subject by Samuel Butler called "The Elephant in the Moon."

Moonlighters, in Ireland, men who carry out sentences of secret societies against individuals and perform their work of violence by night. The cognate American term "moonshiners" means illicit distillers, from the fact that they have to carry on their business, either actually or metaphorically, in the dark. Moonshine, All, a colloquial phrase for nonsense, illusion. Thus,

Brougham, speaking of the salary attached to a new judgeship, said it was all moonshine. "Maybe," said Lord Lyndhurst; "but I've a notion that, moonshine or not, you would like to see the first quarter of it.”

Morey Letter, a letter purporting to have been written by James A. Garfield to "H. L. Morey, Employers' Union, Lynn, Mass.," and published in fac-simile in an interior New York morning newspaper on the eve of the Presidential election in 1880. It expressed sympathy with the capitalist employers of labor, whose interests, it said, would be "best conserved" by freely admitting the immigration of Chinese laborers. It was copied and widely published in the newspapers, including those of the Pacific coast, and, notwithstanding the prompt action of the Republican managers in New York against the publishers of the newspaper in question and in denouncing it as the forgery which it was finally proved to be, it probably was the cause of the Republican loss of the State of California, which was apparently its main object. The Morey name and address was a myth.

Morgan. A good enough Morgan until after election, an effective phrase in the anti-Masonic party campaign in New York in the year 1827. A certain Morgan had disappeared, and, it was alleged, had been kidnapped and murdered by the Masons. A body was indeed found, which was asserted by the anti-Masons to be that of the vanished Morgan. As related by Thurlow Weed in his Autobiography (vol. p. 319), the following incident is that which gave rise to the cry: "The election of 1827 elicited an accusation against me which assumed proportions not dreamed of by those with whom it originated. Ebenezer Griffin, Esq., one of the counsel of the 'kidnappers,' who was going to Batavia to conduct the examination, observed laughingly to me, After we have proven that the body found at Oak Orchard is that of Timothy Monroe, what will you do for a Morgan?' I replied in the same spirit, That is a good enough Morgan for us until you bring back the one you carried off.' On the following day the Rochester Daily Advertiser gave what became the popular version of the story,—namely, that Mr. Weed had declared that, whatever might be proven, the body was a good enough Morgan until after the election.' The phrase thus misquoted became an anti-Masonic watchword.

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Mosaics, or Centos. A mosaic means an arrangement of small vari-colored glass, stones, marbles, etc., in patterns and figures. By extension the name is also applied to a sort of literary patchwork consisting of lines selected at random from various works or authors and rearranged into a new logical order. The result is also known as a cento, from the Greek word Kevтpwv, "patchwork," probably influenced by a phonetic analogy with the Latin word centum, “a hundred." The art was practised both by the Greeks and the Romans during the decay of the true poetic spirit. From the former we have inherited the "Homero-centones," a patchwork of lines taken from Homer (edited by Teucher at Leipsic, 1793), from the latter the "Cento Nuptialis" of Ausonius (who gives rules for the composition of the cento) and the "Cento Virgilianus" of Proba Falconia. The latter lady was the wife of the proconsul Adelfius. Both she and her husband were converts to Christianity in the time of Constantine, and she celebrated the new faith by giving in misplaced lines from Virgil an epitome of Biblical history from Adam to Christ. To accomplish her object she did not change a single line, but arranged the whole under numerous sub-heads (as in modern newspapers), which gave the needed interpretation of the text below. Something of her method may be understood from the following, which is made to describe Christ's ascension into heaven:

His demùm exactis, spirantes dimovet auras
Aera per tenuem, coloque invectus aperto,
Mortales visus medio in sermone reliquit,
Infert se septus nebulâ (mirabile dictu)
Atque illum solio stellantis regia cœli

Accipit, æternumque tenet per sæcula nomen.

Her example was followed by numerous monkish imitators in the Middle Ages, who made the heathens bear copious testimony of this sort to Christian ethics and dogma. For example, Metullus, a monkish author of the twelfth century, constructed a number of devotional hymns from such unpromising material as Horace, with occasional assistance from Virgil. A Scotchman named Alexander Ross (1590-1654) produced a number of great works in this line, among them a "Virgilius Evangelizans," being a life of Christ made up entirely from Virgil. These great works are now forgotten, and the author is only remembered to-day by a chance allusion in Butler's "Hudibras :" There was an ancient sage philosopher,

And he had read Alexander Ross over.

The cento did not take very vigorous root in British soil. Ross was the only enthusiast who devoted a lifetime to the work. Nevertheless a few stray trifles of this sort have occasionally been composed. The best of these may be cited as illustrative examples. An early-perhaps the earliest-English specimen was composed by a member of a certain Shakespeare Society which met annually to celebrate the death of their eponymic hero. It has survived through the fact that it was communicated to Dodsley, who included it in his "Collection of Poems by Several Hands" (1748). Here it is:


A Cento taken from his Works.
Peace to this meeting,

Joy and fair time, health and good wishes.
Now, worthy friends, the cause why we are met
Is in celebration of the day that gave

Immortal Shakespeare to this favored isle,

The most replenished sweet work of Nature

Which from the prime creation e'er she framed.

O thou, divinest Nature! how thyself thou blazon'st

In this thy son! formed in thy prodigality

To hold thy mirror up, and give the time

Its very form and pressure! When he speaks,
Each aged ear plays truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished,
So voluble is his discourse. Gentle
As zephyr blowing underneath the violet,
Not wagging its sweet head-yet as rough
His noble blood enchafed, as the rude wind,
That by the top doth take the mountain pine
And make him stoop to the vale. 'Tis wonderful
That an invisible instinct should frame him
To loyalty, unlearned; honor, untaught;
Civility, not seen in others; knowledge,
That wildly grows in him, but yields a crop
As if it had been sown. What a piece of work!
How noble in faculty! infinite in reason!

A combination and a form indeed

Where every god did seem to set his seal.

Heaven has him now! Yet let our idolatrous fancy

Still sanctify his relics, and this day

Stand aye distinguished in the calendar

To the last syllable of recorded time;

For if we take him but for all in all,

We ne'er shall look upon his like again.

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