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ever-as the vital force in a seed, once set in motion, continually developes new forms of life, arising out of what it has before produced. This every one has experienced, who, from the natural bent of his mind, has followed earnestly any pursuit whatever; that new satisfactions are continually springing up in his mind, which he did not know before, and which, when he first engaged in it, he was not able to feel. Thus the mind is doubly enriched, not only by those stores, by means of which it now in some sense contains within itself, what it must before have sought in nature, but also by the actually opening up within itself of capacities of enjoyment, which before it possessed unconsciously. And observe, that the whole character and temper of the mind is affected by such happiness, for there is no mind that is incapable of kindly and benevolent affections, but there are many in which such dispositions are perverted or repressed by the circumstances and manner of their life; and in which, under more favourable circumstances, such good dispositions might be brought into much happier activity. Now, there is reason to believe that the study of nature in those minds, which follow it from the pure pleasure they feel in it, tends greatly to subdue in the mind all those disturbing affections which destroy its native benevolence, and that they tend to renew its sensibility to the joy of mild and calm affections, rendering that sensibility ever more and more true and exquisite.
This reason is drawn, not merely from the character of those men who have been distinguished in these pursuits, of whom this calm benevolence of spirit has been a very general characteristic; but it is drawn from the nature itself of. the enjoyments which are thus opened to the mind. For these studies lead us at once into the world of nature. They take us out of the conflict of human lifeout of all its uneasy desires or fears, or irritating recollections-out of its
agitated, restless tumult-into the midst of calm, beautiful, majestic order. What is become of the little anxious disturbing jealousies of life to him whose soul is in his eyes, and whose eyes are stretching their sight into the abysses of space, and pursuing the stars of heaven in their eternal revolutions? But it is not of the great objects, or great emotions, of natural science alone that we now speak. The mind of one man has led him to study the heavens-the mind of another has led him to examine, to analyze, and explore, the conformation of a worm. The greatest naturalist of modern Europe bestowed the chief labour of his mind on the curious examination of the most delicate parts of flowers; and that part of his studies has made the name of Linnæus immortal. One of the most celebrated of the naturalists of France, Reaumur, has published a very laborious work, in some volumes, on the Anatomy of the Caterpillar. He did not live to complete it. It is not necessary to mention many instances; but we wish to recall to the recollection of our readers the extreme minuteness, and, as we may sometimes be tempted to think it, the apparent insignificance, of many of the objects of a naturalist's studies. But, however minute, they cannot be insignificant. Their littleness removes them indeed from that common sort of importance by which we are apt to measure things in their ordinary reference to human life. To us who tread them under foot as we walk, they are not important objects in the world. But the moment they appear, as to the naturalist they do, to open up to his eyes an insight into the world of life
the moment he can dare to say that he begins to trace in their structure the design which formed it— dimly and imperfectly as he must trace it in all things-from that moment their importance is immense and incalculable. The entomologist, with his microscope and his delicate instruments, dissecting a fly and the astronomer, watching
through his telescope the motion of planets many times our earth's dimensions-calculating, by his powerful science, their motions and their speed, and weighing their bodies in thought-both are employed in one and the same work-both have gone out into nature to occupy the faculties of their high intelligence, as their own spirit leads them, in endeavouring, to the best of their power, to explore and comprehend some small portion of the infinite
To all the students of nature, then, whatever part they may study, or in whatever way, nature herself has provided the same reward; namely, some portion of her own calm spirit. It is not whether what they see is great or small; but it is, that the moment they have begun to examine, they have begun to look into a world of wonders; they have begun to look upon the structure of those works which in least and greatest bear one character; they have begun to read, as much as it is given to human eyes to read, the characters of wisdom, of goodness, and power. The human spirit, whatever its own troubled disposition may be, if it be impressible by such sights, is subdued under the presence of these thoughts-its feelings change to a purer temper-it is tranquillized and chastened.
In speaking of the effect of such studies on the temper of the mind, in tranquillizing it, we cannot help noticing the natural calmness, independent of those other affections which attend such studies, arising out of the very nature of the objects themselves, about which the naturalist is occupied, and out of the manner in which he is occupied about them. We allude and speak particularly of those which have life. In watching a plant, when he wants to ascertain its growth and habits-how slowly it expands-from day to day! From month to month he may watch its progress. He fixes the interest of his mind upon that which proceeds so calmly under his eye, and
his mind itself takes a tone of quiet and measured thought, as it extends its recollections over that slow and quiet progress which he has seen, and its expectations over that future progress, as slow, and quiet, and continual, to the perfect growth he desires to see. He sees in all-motion,-in all-life,-in all-the continual fulfilling of the functions of their nature; but all calm in their uniform tenor. Shall he be the only restless and perturbed being, when every thing else is full of tranquillity
of silence? Advert, too, for a moment, to the occupation of him who watches, in nature, the courses of animated life. Looking at all the living beings of nature-in their happy play-in their busy occupations, to see young things rejoicing in life-to see mothers nursing their young-to see insects, or beasts, or birds, concurring in mutual assistance or defence, as if they had contrivance and thought-to see life like the life-feelings like the heart-and something even of a faint and dim resemblance of the intelligence of man! To see all these things, must needs speak to his sympathy, for they touch in him the very sense of his own human being; and yet to see them in a world so remote, so separate from himself-in the midst of the beautiful world of nature, among the kinds of little, wild, lovely creatures that people it-surely so to see and feel-must touch his heart without disturbing it-must always breathe something like a tenderness of affection into the deep and serene calm of contemplative Thought.
What is requisite for deriving from these studies such results, is not always genius-is not always intellectual powers. It is love and delight in nature, and nothing more. We know the names of those who have brought the power of genius into the study of nature-but we know nothing of those nameless numbers, who have brought nothing to it but their own strong love, and have gained from it nothing but their own peaceful happiness.
THE AFRICAN CHIEF.
CHAIN'D in the market-place he stood, a man of giant frame,
Vainly, but well, that chief bad fought, he was a captive now;
Then to his conqueror he spake—" My brother is a king;
"Not for thy ivory nor thy gold will I unbind thy chain;
"Look, feast thy greedy eyes with gold long kept for sorest need;
His heart was broken-crazed his brain,-at once his eyes grew wild,
THE BETROTHED OF ROBERT EMMETT.*
OH! never call my heart thine own!
It must not, oh! it cannot be !
The look, the love, the spirit flown,
I cannot weep, as others weep,
I cannot sleep as others sleep,
And dream of my fond home.
That looks o'er yon bright wave and skiff,
He views the ocean sparkling round,
But oh! its strife, its joyous sound,
The turf that wraps his silent head,
In the dead hour of night,
With all its winged light.
Oh! then, forgive, forgive the word,
Oh love! but never strike the chord
* The circumstances of the betrothed of Robert Emmett, saying, that "her heart was buried with him," when solicited by another, are too well known.
SKETCHES OF CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS.
No. VII.-MR. SOUTHEY.
A POET, a biographer, a writer and he happily still preserves, a
of literary miscellanies, an antiquarian, a translator, an historian of campaigns, and churches, and nations, a celebrated and voluminous reviewer, himself the object of frequent and bitter criticism; in his youth the framer of ideal republics, in his manhood the advocate of desolating wars and political monopolies, in his age the chronicler of methodism and martyrs, throughout life, as a member of private society, the most uniformly amiable and pure, and, at the same time, the fiercest and most unrelenting follower of a public faction:-Such are the various characters in which Mr. Southey stands before the public. To speak of such a person is a task not to be undertaken with levity; for the fame of a good man is a treasure to his race, no less than to himself, and ought, above all things, to be holy from the touch of the slightest misrepresentation. In this spirit we trust to write; and if, as we must, we shall offend some by too much praise of Mr. Southey, and others, by too much blame; and especially if we shall wound his own vanity, we can only hope that neither the public nor himself will be so uncandid as to attribute our errors to any thing but a mistaken judgment, always anxious to be set right.
We have no pretensions to any private knowledge of Mr. Southey's life, and really can say nothing as to the portions of his mind which do not display themselves in his works, except that we are acquainted, as is all the world, with those descriptions of his domestic wisdom and kindness which we owe to more than one of his eminent contemporaries. In other respects, we judge him from his writings alone. He brought with him into manhood, if not a peculiar robustness of intellect, yet a singular healthiness of feeling. He then had,
strong sense of the presence and goodness of God, whose existence he seems to have found manifested, not amid the dissections of the anatomist, nor in the crucible of the chemist, nor in any thing appertaining to the order of this visible world, but as a life and power in the depths of his own heart. He saw the Deity in every thing around him, because he felt his spirit eternally within him: and his sympathy with man forbade him to believe that religion was a thing of external symbols, dogmatic creeds, and endowed establishments-an excrescence on our nature, appropriated to those who happen to have been educated under certain external iufluences, and to have been born members of particular sects.
He was conscious of the germs of a higher state of being than the actual, moving and growing in his own mind; and comparing these intimations of possible glory with the condition of humanity around him, he was eager to push mankind boldly forward in the path of regeneration, to pour out before the world his appeals against the tyrannies and corruptions of society, and, if possi ble, even to realize and substantiate beneath the eyes of men the phantasm of a more harmonious and pregnant system. But the resolution to accomplish this great work at a single plunge, instead of labouring soberly and earnestly through life, and catching at every occasion as it rose, could not support itself except by a violent and self-exhausting excitement. While, on the other hand, to maintain an unceasing and often an obscure and unapplauded warfare, against all the myriad universal evils of our present social organization, requires more sedateness of enthusiasm than Mr. Southey seems to have possessed. The ardour of his aspirations declined; and he began to
look out for circumstances in the condition of things around him to which he might attach his philanthropical longings, and console himself, by a notion of their excellence, for the loss of his former visions of ideal perfection.
The tendency to his former unsectarian Catholicism of religion still continued, in some degree, to animate his mind, and has given all that they have of moral value to his poetical writings. This enabled him to imbue with love, humility, and strength of heart, many of the personages whom he introduces in his longer poems, and alone lent to his tales any of that thrilling atmosphere of real existence with which his utter want of mere dramatic power would otherwise have prevented him from inspiring them. But for this feeling of brotherhood with all mankind, which teaches him to see in God an essential love breathing into all men a capacity for higher than earthly things, and not the mere founder of the Church of England, and a name to be flung in the teeth of modern Atheists,-his poems would be little more than heaps of passages from old books of travels, diluted into loose and eccentric metre. But his natural piety has taught him to see in the external world much of what it really embodies of lovely and delightful, and in the heart of man an inexhaustible fountain of magnificent hopes and gentle impulses; and from these he has extracted the sweet substance of some of the most graceful and gorgeous narratives that the present generation of poets have produced. We do not, indeed, hold him to be a poet of the highest class; and his mind is fundamentally so inferior to those of Spenser and Shakspeare, Milton and Wordsworth, that we scarce remember a better illustration of the difference between first-rate and second-rate men. The masters of ideal creation have doubtless given us, in their writings, either a fragment of that universe which, with all its mysteries and complications, lies
so much brighter in the mind of a man of genius, than before the thoughts of society,-or some mighty truth of our nature, which grew up in their bosoms with all its pomp of symbol, and allusion, and shadowy story, till it swelled out and blossomed upon the world,-or some epitome of humanity, such as Hamlet, or Faust, or the Hero of the Excursion, connected with earth and daily interests by weaknesses and necessities, but gazing and struggling upward, and in whom the involved threads of hopes and doubts twist themselves with the vast web of universal being, and stretch away into its dim abysses; they have always, in short, given us a manifestation of that genius, the elements of whose power are truth and love, displaying itself through outward and accidental forms, the lifeless matter which the poet piles or scatters around him at his will, but never putting these forward as objects of interest in themselves, and unconnected with the spirit of which they are the conduit, and the laws of which they are the type. Not the stone on which the commandments were engraved, lent them their importance, nor would, though it had been jasper or emerald,-neither was it the lightning, or the cloud, or the summit of the holy mountain quaking with the revelation, but the presence of the Power which sat behind the flame and the darkness, and which stamped its wisdom on the dead tablets. Mr. Southey seems first to have determined to write a poem, not with any high and solemn purpose, but connected with some particular age or country, which would supply him with a splendid phantasmagoria of scenery; then to have brought together, from books, all the descriptions and incidents that could be introduced; and, lastly, to have thought of personages, who, as the offspring of an elegant and amiable mind, partake of its pure and benevolent nature, but so as to appear mere abstractions of virtue, not beings of mingled characters, and mys