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Sir Launcelot's "mighty shield," hacked and worn by dint of knightly combat, is said to have
Look'd like some crack'd and frozen moon that hangs
By night o'er Baltic headlands all alone.
The Greek Herald, observing the effect of his news on Clytemnestra, and awed by" that brooding eye whose light is language," thus describes her reception of his message of Agamemnon's advent:
-Some great thought, I see,
the royal chambers of her blood,
With sudden state; and gathers grandly up
When Clytemnestra finds Ægisthus failing her, and utterly belying her hopes of him, and of her own future in and through him, she bitterly exclaims:
This was the Atlas of the world I built!
Alexander Smith is not to have Night and the Stars all to himself ;rather he seems to have provoked to emulation them that are his fellows. Here is one of Owen Meredith's many commercings with the imagery of the starry firmament on high:
And when, over all of these, the night
Among her mazy and milk-white signs,
The pale-faced lady who awaited so wistfully "the Earl's Return," has this among other starry visions of the night:
"Sometimes, at night, a music was roll'd
A ripple of silver harp-strings cold."-The Earl's Return.
"Then wave over wave of the sweet silver wires
'Gan ripple, and the minstrel took heart to begin it."—Ibid.
"She turn'd and caught her lute, and pensively
Rippled a random music down the strings."-Elayne le Blanc. Spill" is another privileged phrase, employed sometimes with an almost grotesque effect. We have
"The spider spills his silver thread
"I hear the sandy, shrill cascade
And burst o'er a city of stars; but she,
And grieved for the sorrow he saw in the land,
There is danger of indulging with too wide a poetical license in "conceits" of this sort, which verge upon the "high fantastical."
"The Artist" is, perhaps, the best example of our poet's meditative habit. It owes something to Emerson in its cast of thought, but it has a "native hue of resolution," and character and pith of its own. teaches the inexhaustible teachings of Nature, animate and inanimatehaply hid in bramble blossoms, or shut within the daisy-lid; it shows how the Creator's glory lies within reach, so that the mosses we trample on, and "the pebbles on the wet sea-beach, have solemn meanings strange and sweet."
The peasant at his cottage door
May teach thee more than Plato knew:
God in him, and thy nature too.
We are bid seek more in the woodbine's breath, and the vine's woolly tendrils, than in Cato's suicide, or Cicero's words to Catiline—to recognise in the wild rose our next of blood, and our sisterhood in the kingcups. "Be strong," the would-be Artist is exhorted, "and trust high instincts more than all the creeds :" this is Emerson all over— Not all the wisdom of the schools
And so is this:
Is wise for thee. Hast thou to speak?
The scaffolding of other souls:
It was not meant for thee to mount;
Burn catalogues. Write thine own books.
When whoso thro' his own life looks
Shall find that he is fully come
Through Greece and Rome, and Middle-Age:
Soldier, and Senator, and Sage,
And worn the tunic and the gown.
An excerpt or two, "most musical most melancholy," from "A Soul's
Loss," will tell their own tale :
Mourn I may, that from her features
All the angel light is gone.
But I chide not. Human creatures
I think she loved me well with one.
(Surely there is a pent-up beauty in these lines, and a veiled depth of feeling, exceedingly rare. But again :)
Great men reach dead hands unto me
Ah, no, no! while yet the leaf
Grief is greater than them all!
We have left ourselves no space to give entire any prominent specimen of Mr. Meredith's lyrical genius. But after so many shreds, scraps, and sundries, dislocated and dismembered at our own will and pleasure, it is due to him to give some one copy of verses" unbroken and unmangled -and in giving the following, it is also due to him to add, that our choice of it has been controlled by the "law of limitation" in a periodical's letter-press. If little, it has, however, the merit of being (what Hamlet calls) a "picture in little :"
THE RUINED PALACE.
The damp wind lifts the arras,
And swings the creaking door;
But it only startles the white owl
From his perch on a monarch's throne,
And the rat that was gnawing the harp-strings
A Queen once played upon.
Dare you linger here at midnight
Alone, when the wind is about,
And the bat, and the newt, and the viper,
And the creeping things come out?
Beware of these ghostly chambers!
Search not what my heart hath been,
Lest you find a phantom sitting
* The repetition of this "me," with a difference in the accentuation, merely to accommodate the rhythm, not the sense, is a little awkward.
ANGLOMANIA IN DENMARK.*
A SOCIAL SKETCH.
FROM THE DANISH. BY MRS. BUSHBY.
In order to acquire a thorough knowledge of the age, or rather of the day, in which we live, it is not sufficient to study its politics and its literature, to be conversant with its mercantile and industrial resources, &c., one must make oneself acquainted with all the little facts, which, when combined, bestow upon the period a peculiar character. "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are," is a paradox belonging to the celebrated culinary art; but the paradox becomes true when thus explained" if I do not know how you live, I do not know what you are ;" and thus, to be thoroughly acquainted with one's own period, one must know how one's contemporaries eat, how they drink, how they dress-comport themselves; in a word, how they conduct and exhibit themselves in social life.
Our contemporaries of the higher classes have recently, but somewhat energetically, adopted, for the time being, an exclusive stamp-and that is the Anglomania, or English sickness, as it may be termed. Not to know this would betoken dire ignorance of the present period, and it is necessary that we study it at once without delay, while we can yet seize its diagnoses, or peculiar characteristics; in short, before it assimilates itself to our general condition, and becomes naturalised among us.
It is always interesting to trace a phenomenon from its earliest appearance through the onward steps of its development; to watch its progress from its rudimentary state, until it reaches its culminating point, especially when that culminating point be the highest work of the creation-man. We hope, therefore, that the same interest which is bestowed upon the vital functions of insects, toads, fishes, storks, monkeys, and human beings, will be vouchsafed to an inquiry into THE ENGLISH
The Anglomania has raged for many years here in Denmark; but for a long time it did not attract much attention, because it was confined to the lower spheres of society. Whilst, in the fashionable world, the Gallomania prevailed, and nothing was thought of but French politics, French taste, French literature; whilst the scientific world was drenched with German mysticism, German profundity, German vapouring, and German bombast; whilst the young people were far gone in Scandinavianism, occupied with Swedish affairs, and ranging themselves under Scandinavian banners, the Anglomania was content with a sort of vegetative existence in stables, and in the homely company of grooms, farmers, and small country squires. That was the germ from which the Anglomania grew up as vigorous as the plant which springs from a grain of mustard-seed.
What was then the Anglomania's most striking characteristic was its extreme anxiety to bring about emancipation from all that goes by the
*From the "Folkekalender for Danmark, 1855."
name of tail. The pigs were the first to be polished in this way. thick, clumsy tail that betrayed the animal's vulgar Danish extraction, was metamorphosed into a slender, graceful je ne sais quoi, which, with a coquettish curl, significantly pointed upwards-sic itur ad astra; the dog who came under the influence of the Anglomania had its long drooping tail transformed into a short waving queue; and the horse subjected to the same ascendancy was found with only a reminiscence of that portion of his body.
But the year 1848, with its increased political and mercantile connexion with England, gave the Anglomania at once that spring for which it had been long, though silently, preparing; and it did not rest until it had taken a high stand among the peculiarities of the day. Socrates brought philosophy from heaven into the dwellings of man; in like manner it was a mercantile enterprise which introduced the Anglomania, via Lowestoft, into our community. It first obtained a seat on the clerk's high stool at the counting-house, and it afterwards managed to stretch its nonchalant legs on the sofas of a drawing-room. It now sits there-proud, stately, and arrogant-resting upon the consciousness of its own high merits, and is a leader in the social compact. We shall, therefore, note down a few traits of the natural history of Anglomania, or, lest some should prefer the expression, we will give some of the symptoms of the English sickness.
In the male sex the Anglomania begins to appear about the fifteenth year, and gradually increases until it comes to a head, somewhere in or near the twentieth year. Where the development is normal, the complaint evinces itself by the following signs:-The limbs shrink to an almost terrifying thinness, and are encased in grey, or in large-chequered, tight-fitting unmentionables; the waistcoat is elongated, and adorned with a chain, which forms from the lowest button-hole a circle of 180 degrees in its way to the pocket; the dark coat-a legitimate "Angloman' never wears a long frock coat-is furnished with buttons in the middle of the back, the sleeves expand at the wrist, and tighten at the top, near the collar; an astonishing quantity of white linen is shown upon the breast; the long neck is encompassed by a narrow tie with enormous bows, and a stiff shirt collar which prevents the free movement of the head. The hair is parted over the left eyebrow, and falls towards the right shoulder, and bristles out so at the side that the individual resembles a water-dog that had been struggling against a stormy southeaster. The pride of man-his beard-timidly mounts his cheek, and then shoots out in long whiskers; and the head is crowned with a little tiny bit of a straw hat, or an uncommonly large felt hat, or a cap belonging to the antediluvian world. The walk is so swinging, that the dangling eye-glass sways back and forwards, and the arms are infected with a parallel motion.
Hitherto ninety-nine per cent. of the "Anglomen" have belonged to the mercantile class, and when one of them has been so fortunate as to have spent two or three months in London or Newcastle, the complaint strikes inwardly, and betrays new symptoms. The patient exhibits a violent longing for raw beefsteaks, plum-pudding, porter, and ale; he feels indisposed in bright sunshiny weather, but becomes well and
* One crazy about everything English.
May-VOL. CIV. NO. CCCCXIII.