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deflections, its obstructions, nay, at times its reboundings; whereupon some blockhead shall be heard jubilating: ''See, your Heaviest ascends!" but at all moments it is moving centerward, fast as is convenient for it; sinking, sinking; and, by laws older than the world, old as the Maker's first plan of the world, it has to arrive there.
5. Await the issue. In all battles, if you await the issue, each fighter has prospered according to his right. His right and his might, at the close of the account, were one and the same. He has fought with all his might, and in exact proportion to all his right he has .prevailed. His very death is no victory over him. He dies indeed; but his work lives, very truly lives.
6. A heroic Wallace, quartered on the scaffold, cannot hinder that his Scotland become, one day, a part of England; but he does hinder that it become, on tyrannous, unfair terms, a part of it; commands still, as with a god's voice, from his old Valhalla and Temple of the Brave, that there be a just, real union, as of brother and brother, not a false and merely semblant one as of slave and master. If the union with England be in fact one of Scotland's chief blessings, we thank Wallace withal that it was not the chief curse. Scotland is not Ireland: no, because brave men rose there and said, "Behold, ye must not tread us down like slaves; and ye shall not, and cannot!"
7. Fight on, thou brave true heart, and falter not, through dark fortune and through bright. The cause thou fightest for, so far as it is true, no further, yet precisely so far, is very sure of victory. The falsehood alone of it will be conquered, will be abolished, as it ought to be: but the truth of it is part of Nature's own laws, co-operates with the world's eternal tendencies, and cannot be conquered.
CXII— SCENE FROM KING HENRY IV. King Henky IV., Hotspur, Worcester, And Northumberland.
King Henry. Henceforth
Hotspur. And if the devil come and roar for them,
Northumberland. What! drunk with choler? stay, and pause awhile;— Here comes your uncle. [Enter Worcester.
Hot. Speak of Mortimer!
Zounds! I will speak of him, and let my soul
North. (to Worcester). Brother, the king hath made your nephew mad.
Worcester. Who struck this heat up, after I was gone?
Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners;
Wor. I cannot blame him. Was he not proclaimed
North. He was: I heard the proclamation;
Wor. And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth Live scandalized and foully spoken of.
Hot. If he fall in, good-night!—or sink or swim,
North. Imagination of some great exploit -
Hot. By Heaven! methinks it were an easy leap
Wor. He apprehends a world of figures here,
Hot. I cry you mercy!
Wor. Those same noble Scots.
That are your prisoners—
Hot. I '11 keep them all,—
By Heaven! he shall not have a Scot of them:
Wor. You start away,
And lend no ear unto my purposes:
Hot. Nay, I will; that's flat.
But I will find him when he lies asleep,
And in his ear I '11 holla—" Mortimer!"
Nay, I '11 have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but " Mortimer," and give it him,
To keep his anger still in motion.
Wor. Hear you, cousin; a word.
Hot. All studies here I solemnly defy,
Wor. Farewell, kinsman. I will talk to you
OXIIL—SCIENCE AND POETRY.
N one of his Irish melodies, so familiar to all lovers of poetry and music, Moore has the following lines:
"Oh! had we some bright little isle of our own,
In a blue summer ocean far off and alone,
Where a leaf never dies in the still blooming bowers,
And the bee banquets on through a whole year of flowers;
Where the sun loves to pause
That the night only draws
2. Now, this is good poetry, but bad science. An "isle" in which "a leaf never dies,'' and in which the flowers bloom through the year, must necessarily be within the tropics—a latitude to which the succeeding lines about the "fond delay" of the sun and the night, which only " draws a thin veil o'er the day "—which produces, in other words, only a few hours of twilight—are utterly inapplicable.
3. In tropical latitudes the variation of the length of the day is very inconsiderable. It is a little more or less than
twelve hours, and that is all. The night is, consequently, subject to a variation similarly limited. Instead, therefore, of the very long day and the very short nights which the poet ascribes to his "isle" in the blue summer ocean, there would necessarily be nights the duration of which could never be much less than twelve hours in any part of the year.
4. But this is not all. Instead of enjoying a constant nocturnal twilight, so beautifully described by the poet a& a veil drawn over the day, the inhabitants of the tropics enjoy scarcely any twilight at all, being plunged in nocturnal darkness almost immediately after sunset. This arises from astronomical causes which are well understood.
5. It would, perhaps, be deemed hypercritical to examine how far the naturalist would justify the poet in his allusion to the industry of the bee in a tropical climate. The honeybee, which no doubt was the insect alluded to by the poet, is, for the most part, confined to ultra-tropical latitudes. Since, however, there are certain species of this insect found in the lower latitudes, it may be admitted that the poet has, at least in this point, a locus standi.
6. The allusion and imagery which Moore loved to seek in certain parts of physical science were generally much more consistent with physical truth, without being less beautiful, than that which we quoted above. How happily, for example, did he avail himself of that beautiful property of the iris by which it accommodates the eye to greater and less degrees of light, enlarging the pupil when the light is faint, and contracting it when it is intense!
7. The iris, as is well known, is the colored ring which surrounds the dark spot in the middle of the eye; this dark spot being not a black substance, but a circular orifice through which the light is admitted to the membrane lining the posterior part of the internal chamber of the eye. The circular orifice is called the pupil, the retina being the nervous membrane which produces the visual perceptions.
8. The iris which surrounds the pupil has a certain power of contraction and expansion, which is produced by