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the governments and the institutions are changed, and with them the men. Freedom is not indeed the mother, but she is the nurse of Genius, giving scope to its aspirings, confidence to its darings, and efficiency to its strength. As to those causes that may have been supposed to impart any particular bias or scope to genius, no sooner have we laid down some general rule on this head, than a thousand exceptions rush in to overturn it. If we affirm, with Johnson, that genius is general power accidentally determined to some particular direction, this may be true of the ten, but false of the ninety. Paley and Adam Smith have declared their total incapacity, with regard to all works of fiction, fancy, or imagination; and had Mr. Locke indulged in poetry, it is probable he would have failed more lamentably than Pope, when he dabbled in metaphysics. Such characters as Crichton and Mirandola, on the contrary, would seem to support the theory of Dr. Johnson, and go to prove that extension is not always purchased at the price of profundity. Shakespeare possessed an universality of talent that would have enabled him to accomplish any thing,
"To form one perfect whole, in him conspire
"The wisdom of the sage, and prophet's hallow'd fire."
Neither can we lay down any certain rule for genius, as regards the periods of its developement. Some have gone into the vineyard at the third hour, and some at the ninth; some, like the Nile, have been mean and obscure in their source, but like that mighty river, majestic in their progress, with a stream both grand and fertile, have enriched the nations, rolling on with accumulated magnificence, to the ocean of Eternity. Others again there are, who seem to have adopted the motto of Cæsar for their career, and who have burst upon us from the depth of obscurity, as the lightning from the bosom of the cloud. Their energy has been equalled only by their brilliance, and like that bolt of heaven to which I have compared them, they have shivered
all opposition with a strength that obstacle served only to awaken, and resistance to augment.
"Blind, and denied the gross corporeal light,
"Their intellectual eye but shone more bright,
Strength in disease they found, and radiance in night."
See Hypocrisy-Character of Milton.
DOCTOR Johnson observed of the ancient Romans, "that when poor, they robbed others, and when rich, themselves." This remark ought not to have been confined to that people only, for it is more or less applicable to all. Persecution too has been analogous in one respect to plunder, having been at all times both inflicted and endured, as circumstances might serve. When the conquered happen to have become in their turn the conquerors, it is not the persecution that has been crushed, but the persecutors that have been changed; so long has it taken mankind to learn this plain and precious truth, that it is easier to find a thousand reasons why men should differ in opinion, than one why they should fight* about them. Persecution has been the vice of times that are past, may be the vice of times that are present, but cannot be the vice of times that are to come, although we have already witnessed some events in the year eighteen hundred and twenty-one, that would lead us to suspect that centuries take a much longer time to arrive at years of discretion, than men. In Booth's Review of the Ancient Constitutions of Greece and of Rome, there is a passage that expresses what I have to say, in the happiest manner: 'It thus appears that the constitutions of antiquity were
I shall quote here, for obvious reasons, the Morning Prayer of the celebrated Doctor Franklin :
"O Powerful Goodness, bountiful Father, merciful Guide! increase in me that wisdom, which discovers my truest interest, strengthen my resolution to perform what that wisdom dictates, accept my kind offices to thy other creatures as the only return in my power for thy continued favors to me."
as inimical to religious freedom, as the worst of the governments of modern Europe; and that conformity of opinion on the causes of the universe, has at no time been obtained, except by the assistance of penal statutes. An absolute freedom in religious discussions has never yet existed, in any age or country. It is one of the dreams of the new philosophy. The superstition of the Lacedemonians prohibited all enquiry on the subject of religion, but was of little advantage to morality. The Spartan ladies celebrated their nightly orgies; and the warriors, who, every evening during their expeditions, sung hymns, in concert, to the honour of the gods, were ready, without remorse, to join in the cryptia, or massacre of their slaves. The religion of Athens was interwoven with its constitution, and the lives of Eschylus, Anaxagoras, Diagoras, Protagoras, Prodicus, Socrates, and Alcibiades, demonstrated that neither genius, learning, courage, nor the softer virtues, uncombined with the superstition of the age, could screen their possessors from the persecutions of an implacable priesthood.
"" Among the Romans, too, it was toleration, not freedom; and even toleration itself was refused to the citizens of Rome. It was in vain, however, that those mighty masters of the world thus endeavoured to fetter the transmission of thought, and to fix the religion of the human race. Man, though individually confined to a narrow spot of this globe, and limited, in his existence, to a few courses of the sun, has nevertheless an imagination which no despotism can controul, and which, unceasingly, seeks for the author of his destiny, through the immensity of space, and the ever-rolling current of ages. The petty legislators of the hour threaten, with their thunders, as if they were the gods of this lower world, and issue their mandates that a boundary shall be drawn round the energies of mind. "Hitherto shalt thou come, and no farther!" Such is the fiat; but it is as useless as that which would restrain the waves of the ocean. Time, who successively consigns to oblivion the ever-changing governments and religions of
men, now sits over the ruins of those proud and boasted republics. Time, the eldest of the gods of Greece and Rome, has seen Olympus despoiled of its deities, and their temples crumbled into dust. But, amid those mighty revolutions, religion has survived the wreck. Man, never ceasing to look for happiness in the heavens, has raised other structures for his devotion, under the symbols of the Crescent and the Cross."
THE distinguishing peculiarity and most valuable characteristic of the diamond, is the power it possesses of refracting and reflecting the prismatic colours; this property it is that gives fire, life, and brilliancy to the diamond. Other stones reflect the light as they receive it, bright in proportion to their own transparency, but always colourless; and the ray comes out, as it went in. What the diamond effects as to the natural light, genius performs, as to that which is intellectual; it can refract and reflect the surrounding rays elicited by the minds of others, and can divide and arrange them with such precision and elegance, that they are returned indeed, not as they were received, dull, spiritless, and monotonous, but full of fire, lustre, and life. We might also add, that the light of other minds is as necessary to the play and the developement of genius, as the light of other bodies is to the play and radiation of the diamond. A diamond, incarcerated in its subterraneous prison, rough and unpolished, differs not from a common stone; and a Newton or a Shakespeare, deprived of kindred minds, and born amongst savages-savages had died.
IN literature our taste will be discovered by that which we give, and our judgment by that which we withhold.
HE that shortens the road to knowledge, lengthens life; and we are all of us more indebted than we believe we are, to that class of writers whom Johnson termed "the pioneers of literature, doomed to clear away the dirt and the rubbish, for those heroes who press on to honour and to victory, without deigning to bestow a single smile on the humble drudge that facilitates their progress."
SELF-LOVE, in spite of all that has been said against it, performs divers necessary offices, in the drama of life, and like friction in mechanics, is not without its compensations of good. Self-pride is the eldest daughter of self-love, and this it is that consoles us on many occasions, and exhilirates us on more; it lends a spring to our joys, and a pillow to our pains; it heightens the zest of our reception, and softens the asperity of our repulse; and it is not until this is mortally wounded within us, that the spirit to endure, expires. This Self-pride is the common friend of our humanity, and like the bell of our church, is resorted to on all occasions; it ministers alike to our festivals, or our fasts; our merriment or our mourning; our weal, or our woe.
LAWS that are too severe, are temptations to plunder on the part of the criminal, and to perjury on the part of the prosecutor, since he would rather burden his conscience with a false oath, than with a true one, which would arm cruelty to kill, in the garb of justice. Such laws, therefore, reverse the natural order of things, transferring the indignation of public feeling which ought to follow the criminal, to the ferocity of that sentence by which he is to suffer, and taking from legislation its main support, the sympathy of public esteem and approbation; for the victim to too severe a law is considered as a martyr, rather than a