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VI.

But fell its rays most cheerly, where
A nation trains her youth to war;

Where Ringgold, loved, lamented name!
First trod the path that led to fame,

And Barbor, generous and brave,

Gained wreaths that decked his soldier's grave,
When, foremost in the gallant fight,

He fell on proud Monterey's height.

VII.

Nor can ye give, West Point, to fame,
A nobler, or more spotless name,
Than Irwin's, dauntless, kind and true,
For whom a nation's tears are due;
Whose heart, though soft as coyest maids,
Yet tamed the foe of Floras' glades,
And on Resaca Palma's field,

Deep drunk of Mexan blood his steel.

VIII.

Child of the Hills, no lovelier stream
Did e'er in summer sunlight gleam;
No nobler on its azure breast
E'er wore God's image so imprest;
Linked by ties that bind thee fast
To the future, and the past—

Loveliest of all the streams of song,

Child of the Highlands, flow on, flow on.

THE PLEASURES OF THE PEN.

"Those ever-blooming sweets, which, from the store
Of Nature, fair Imagination culls,

To charm the enlivened soul."-Akenside.

"POETRY," says Elizabeth Barrett, "is its own exceeding great reward!" and another recent writer, we believe, has something like the following :— "The love of knowledge is in itself the attainment of knowledge. Poverty and trial discourage it in vain;-they seem, on the contrary, rather to accelerate its progress. It supplies the scarcity of time by the concentration of attention, and replaces comfort by self-denial." The poverty and misfortunes of literary men have been frequently rehearsed, and the theme has employed eloquent pens and engaged the world's sympathies. Little, however, has been attempted on the other side of the question. The shades of literary life have been deepened so often as almost to have obscured whatever lights the brighter view of their circumstances may have exhibited.— That the latter do exist none can doubt, although the balance of evidence may not be found to be to a preponderating extent. D'Israeli, it will be recollected, has contrived, however, to present us with two noble tomes mainly devoted to this topic-his last work,-which he classically entitles "The Amenities of Literature," upon the authority of Pliny, who styles

literary pursuits in general amanitates studiorum. Of the admirable production referred to, it being familiar to the reader, we shall not further speak-although we might well be tempted to enrich our "loose leaves" by culling some of his beautiful flowers; we must therefore content ourselves with a few preliminary thoughts, naturally suggested by the consideration of that fascinating pursuit, which Pope says

"True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires."

The intense sensations of pleasure derived from the cultivation of the intellect are unsurpassed by any emotions of which the humam mind is susceptible; they "grow with the growth and strengthen with the strength." Aristotle distinguished the learned and the unlearned as the living and the dead-the former as illumed by a bright firmament spangled over with shining orbs of light; the other as immured in the murky recesses of a subterranean cavern, whose unmitigated gloom is rendered impervious to the entrance of a single enlivening ray.

The memorable period known as the "dark ages" of England, and that succeeding it, afford a striking illustration of this fact-an age more prolific in instances of transcendent genius than any which the world has ever beheld. The giant spirits of the classic times seemed again to have emerged on eagle-wing from the dark ignorance which had so long enshrouded the land. And seek we the evidences of the chaste and elevating pleasures superinduced by the heavenward flight of their genius, we need but to catch a glimpse of the extatic and ravishing visions of Milton's bright creations. His almost superhuman powers seemed to have soared amid the pure empyrean, inspired with the very atmosphere of the celestial world. The fact that, almost without exception, those who have espoused the literary profession, whether poor or wealthy, have done so irrespective alike of either condition, seems to attest their governing impulse to have been that of an ardent love for the ennobling pursuit itself. The smiles as well as the frowns of fortune have ever been equally abortive in their influence over a mind once devoted to the pleasures of literature and science: abundant evidence of this being afforded by the history of many of the earlier, as well as recent writers, whose works have been bequeathed to us as the legacy of all time. There must be something irresistibly attractive in poesy, though

"The cause is secret-the effect is seen."

How else can we account for the fact of some of her votaries, while incarcerated in loathsome dungeons, giving utterance to the sweetest strains― and, in many instances, some of which were cited in a previous essay, actually breathing out melodious numbers with their last expiring breath? Of the former class, how many might be quoted! Marco Polo, the Venetian traveller-the Herodotus of the 13th century, for instance, who, to beguile his gloomy hours, indited the record of his surprising adventures and discoveries in Asia, while incarcerated in a prison at Pisa; or like Bunyan, who, in Bedford jail penned his exquisite allegory of the " Pilgrim's Frogress;" Silvio Pellico, who, in his no less sad exile from the living world, gave birth to such beautiful measures; or the noble and heroic victims of state intolerance, cupidity and mistaken zeal, whose presence have shed a halo of radiance round the horrors of the Tower of London, the very walls of whose dreary cells were rife with the memorials of ill-fated genius. One of these was the martyred Ticheborne, who, though he refused to connect himself with the conspiracy for the assassination of Elizabeth, was yet doomed to yield up his life on the mere suspicion of his refusal being constrained,

thus implying a degree of incipient guilt. His exquisitely pathetic allusions to his domestic relations, penned just prior to his execution, are almost equal to any thing of their class in the language:

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These beautiful stanzas were at first erroneously ascribed to Sir Walter Raleigh, but their true authorship has since been assigned to the pen of this noble-hearted youth, who, if he wrote no others, has thus secured for his name the shrine of a lasting memorial. It is not necessary to swell the list of the resplendent names of those who beguiled their sorrows and imprisonment with their pen, they having been already referred to; and although the character of modern authorship seems to have suffered some mutation, books of an utilitarian caste having usurped the place of those formerly devoted to the higher flights of poetry and philosophy, yet the love of literature is doubtless still a no less inherent principle at the present day.

It may well be doubted, says an ingenious writer in an English periodical, whether the temper of the present age permits it to enjoy all those refined and entrancing pleasures which pure literature is capable of affording. The popular pulse throbs with each varying stimulant of the moment. There is little contemplativeness in modern literature:-instead of the Fairie Queene, we consult the matter-of-fact Dictionaries of McCulloch-the knighthood of genius yields to the aristocracy of commerce. The age of intellectual chivalry is over and gone: but its exploits remain forever speaking to those who, with a gentle and reverent spirit, pause to listen and to love. If we turn to books of elegant criticism, we find the like indifference in the popular taste. In an atmosphere so heavy and lowering, we ought not to be astonished to behold.

'Fancy's gilded clouds decay,

And all her varying rainbows die away.'

Bishop Berkeley nobly and justly asserted the supremacy of literature, declaring that a man who devotes his time to the pursuit of truth, is a better friend to mankind than the greatest statesman or hero, whose labors and exploits are confined to a small portion of the world; while a ray of imagination, or of wisdom, may enlighten the universe, and glow into remotest centuries. Much of its unity of purpose has been lost with the independence of authorship. The age of patronage had its evils, but they rarely infected the book beyond its preface. A regular trader in literary wares at the present day-such as some of our fecund novelists, French and English-seem

to aim less at writing well, than writing much. We might refer to two prominent names which occur to us, as flagrant stances, but we forbear any invidiousness, although such desperate cases might be the better for a little dressing. How forcibly are such writers censured by the modest obscurity with which the authorship of many of the earlier scribes sought to enrich their literature and language? Among these worthies were Selden, Sackville, Sidney and Surrey, with many others, whose names have vanished like their own slow-moving shadows upon the illuminated curtains, but who yet found, amidst all their poverty, privations and sorrows, their lowest resource and pleasure in their patient literary pursuits. The essayist from whom we have already quoted, thus continues:—

"Literature has its solitary pleasures, and they are many; it has also its social pleasures, and they are more. The Persian poet, Saadi, teaches a moral in one of his pleasing apologues. Two friends passed a summer day in a garden of roses; one satisfied himself with admiring their colors and inhaling their fragrance; the other filled his bosom with the leaves, and enjoyed at home, during several days, with his family, the deliciousness of the perfume. The first was the solitary, the second the social student. He wanders among many gardens of thought, but always brings back some flower in his hand. Who can estimate the advantages that may result from this toil and this application of it?"

"The domestic life of virtuous genius has many delightful pictures to soothe and engage our eyes. We like to see Richardson reading chapters of his novels to his listening friends in his favorite grotto; and Sterne never looks so amiable and captivating as when he appears by his own fireside with his daughter copying and his wife knitting. His own description is a very lively sketch." Writing to a friend, September 21, 1761 :

"I am scribbling away at my Tristram. These two volumes are, I think, the best I shall write as long as I live; 'tis, in fact, my hobby-horse, and so much am I delighted with my uncle Toby's imaginary character, that I am become an enthusiast. My Lydia helps to copy for me, and my wife knits and listens as I read her chapters."

The domestic history of the amiable Cowper, notwithstanding his abiding melancholy, presents us with some placid and even glowing pictures :—when contemplated seated on his sofa, rehearsing each newly constructed passage to his faithful Mary Unwin.

In their method of economising time, we find a certain uniformity in the practice of authors and students of gathering up their spare minutes. Some writers yielding to their pleasing toils over the midnight lamp; others again devoting the early dawn of day to their sweet and silent communings of their muse. Says the ingenious writer :

"The morning has been especially consecrated to study by the example of the Christian scholar. Hacket calls it, very prettily, and in the spirit of Cowley or Carew, the "mother of honey dews and pearls which drop upon the paper from the student's pen." The learned and excellent Bishop Jewell affords a very delightful specimen of the day of an English scholar, who not only lived among his books but among men. He commonly rose at four o'clock, had private prayers at five, and attended the public service of the church in the cathedral at six. The remainder of the morning was given to study. One of his biographers has drawn a very interesting sketch of Jewell during the day. At meals, a chapter being first read, he recreated himself with scholastic wars between young scholars whom he entertained at his table. After meals his doors and ears were open to all suits and causes; at these times, for the most part, he dispatched all those businesses which either his place or others' importunity forced upon him, making gain of the residue of this time for his study. About the hour of nine at night he called his servants to an account how they had spent the day, and admonished them accordingly. From this examination to his study (how long it is uncertain, oftentimes after

midnight,) and so to bed; wherein, after some part of an author read to him by the gentlemen of his bed-chamber, commending himself to the protection of his Saviour, he took his rest.""

But of all writers, the poet, says Washington Irving, becomes the most fascinated with his gentle vocation. Others may write from the head, but he writes from the heart, and the heart will always understand him. He is the faithful portrayer of Nature, whose features are always the same, and always interesting. Prose writers are voluminous and unwieldy; their pages crowded with commonplaces, and their thoughts expanded into tediousness. But with the true poet every thing is terse, touching, or brilliant. He gives the choicest thoughts in the choicest language. He illustrates them by every thing that he sees most striking in nature and art. He enriches them by pictures of human life, such as it is passing before him. His writings, therefore, contain the spirit, the aroma, if I may use the phrase, of the age in which he lives. They are caskets which enclose within a small compass the wealth of the language--its family jewels, which are thus transmitted in a portable form to posterity. The setting may occasionally be antiquated, and require now and then to be renewed, as in the case of Chaucer; but the brilliancy and intrinsic value of the gems continue unaltered. Cast a look back over the long reach of literary history. What vast valleys of dulness, filled with monkish legends and academical controversies! What bogs of theological speculations! What dreary wastes of metaphysics! Here and there only do we behold the heaven-illumined bards, elevated like beacons on their widely-separated heights, to transmit the pure light of poetical intelligence from age to age.

"Thorow earth, and waters deepe,
The pen by skill doth passe;
And featly nyps the worldes abuse,
And shoes us in a glasse,

The vertu and the vice

Of every wight alyve;

The honey combe that bee doth make,

Is not so sweet in hyve,

As are the golden leves

That drope from poet's head;

Which doth surmount our common talke,

As farre as dross doth lead.

"He that enlarges his curiosity after the works of nature," says Johnson, "demonstrably multiplies the inlets of happiness; therefore we should cherish ardor in the pursuit of knowledge, remembering that a blighted spring makes a barren year, and that the vernal flowers, however beautiful and gay, are only intended by nature as preparatory to autumnal fruits." The works of genius are always full of magic; rings upon which the genii ever wait; such books, in a pre-eminent sense, combine the utile et dulce.

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"Books are not seldom talismans and spells." There is a kind of analogy between the love of certain books, and that of particular individuals,-derived, doubtless, from associations common to all. This feeling often dims eye of riper years, when it chances to wander again over the favorite pages of our school days,-over such works as Robinson Crusoe, or the Vicar of Wakefield, each leaf then brings back from the well-guarded stores of memory the cherished forms, now passed away, of those who shared with us the relish of their first perusal, the hilarious melody of whose voices are now no longer vocal in their praise. How tenaciously the pleasant recollection of some choice book will stick to us through life; we feel more than a fraternal love for them. Is it not surprising, therefore,

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