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contemplation of nature, in arduous study, or in acts of kindness and affection. We cannot conclude better than in the words of his best friend, Leigh Hunt, to whom we are indebted for the greater part of this sketch, and whom the poet's worshippers, and in its very ignorance, the prejudiced world itself (for want is a claim upon benevolence) petition foroa Biography of Shelley; “The friends whom he loved may now bid his brave and gentle spirit repose ; for the human beings whom he laboured for begin to know him.”
TO AN ILLUSTRIOUS TEACHER OF MEN; UPON HIS NON-VINDICATION OF
SHELLEY FROM THE ASPERSIONS OF A COMMON-PLACE BABBLER,
All his pain'd life was nail'd and crucified
Are we justified in delaying the assertion of great principles, from regard to the feelings or interests of those we love? In other words, Is it just to defer the public benefit for the gratification of our own partialities ? The assertors of principles unrecognized by society must necessarily war against the hosts of prejudice: such conflict is not without pain and travail to the best champions of Truth, dismay and torture and oftentimes death to the weakly-armoured, and much sorrow to the consciencious defenders of the " established" Error. Which of the Apostles of Truth holds back, for all this? And shall the good of many ages be laid at the feet of the two or three of a man's kindred; and he, the betrayer of the Many, be esteemed a just man? Then was Brutus a sophist; then was Timoleon criminal, who preferred fratricide to the enslaving of his country. Would Christ have kept silence, though his whole family had been threatened with crucifixion?
Five hundred and fifty-seven years before Christ.-Do unto another as thou wouldst be dealt with thyself: thou only needest this law alone; it is the foundation and principle of all the rest.-Confucius.
A TALE OF THE WORLD'S WRONG.
PART I. The sun sank on the dusky breast
Of the gentle twilight-hour:
Sate in a lonely bower;
Like a noon-stricken flower.
The Lady sitteth In her arbour, expecting her lover.
Clear was her brow's marmoreal sheen,
Yet, throned and desolate,
Dim Melancholy sate :
Of feelings passionate.
She heedeth not their hymn;
That holy smile is dim :
What chance delayeth him?
She sitteth anxiously:
Cometh a piteous cry;
The cloud of heaviness
Of trusting tenderness :
And Life is measureless.
Her evil genius standeth before her, mocking her expectancy.
The evil thing is cast out: The Presence of the Beloved, like the Holy Spirit of God, filleth the loving heart with its allsufficiency.
The strenuous clasp, the failing breath,
The rapture of delight :-
What phantom of affright
In the wretched dreamer's sight?
Her flesh is quivering :
Of mortal suffering:
Thrown by and withering.
Alas! Sorrow followeth hard upon the steps of her sister Joy: The Life of Mortality is a fearful and a loathsome thing. The Evil Destiny, like the ghastliness of a horrible dream, cometh be. tween the Lovers, dividing their close embrace.
Wildly she grasps her lover's arm :
“O God! again to be Shrouded within that loathed embrace
Again-0, let us flee ;-
The Lady pray. eth even for the aidance of Death: Better to sleep darkly and heavi
ly, than to lie, clasped by Corruption, dreaming of the wormy eyes.
They, who at God's throne would be the accusers, stand at the bar of human injustice the accused judged : Nevertheless their pure thoughts, towering above the opposing Circumstance, refuse to sanction the false action; and as the spirits of the actors look upon each other, the outward show is reversed.
Tyranny hath suborned the bigots:
" We ourselves have heard his blasphemy: away with this fellow from the earth!"
Or let thy father know our love,
A monarch sitteth there,
And one, surpassing fair,
His destiny to share.
Appeareth in their look;
And pride, can hardly brook
As in a holy book.
Cold sneers and curses trample on
Their spirits' agony;
Their pangs would multiply:
The false indignity.
Dauntless his lofty mien;
Is tearless and serene:
Peereth the clouds between.
But the Young Man pleadeth for them both.
He hath no ha tred, nor jealousy, nor contempt: but pitieth the unbappiness of the ty rant.
His steady gaze is on his sire;
He pleadeth tranquilly :-
My name of infamy;
And strife and injury.
To wear thy sovereignty
The bound of tyranny.
The shame be thine alone!--
My own betrothed One,
What evil hath she done?
The compelled sufferance of evil may not reproach the sufferer, who is justified in scek ing redemption.
“ Thy avarice coveted her dower,
Thy lust her loveliness :
'Neath thy foul selfishness ?
From tyrant loathsomeness.
“ Thou hast the power: the general voice,
The world's morality,
For our adultery:
Her love is purity,
Purity is nau. seous to the intemperate and debauched.
None is debased by the degrada tion of another.
« One reparation could'st thou make,
But that thy littleness
Our life's brief happiness :-
For Sorrow's weariness."
The lamb knoweth the wolf to be implacable: and selfishness and prejudice are yet more savage.
The Lady ask. eth what death is hired to be her assassin :
She witnesseth the parting of her spirit's Lord; and is answered. Their lives were one.
PART III. “What Pain do ye conduct me to ?”
The gentle Lady said: "Into the presence
of what Death? O, would that I were dead !” Unansweringly the sullen guards
The dungeon pathway tread. The death-bell boometh heavily,
With sad and solemn tone:
Hath from its prison gone;
Heave slowly, one by one.
Her guides are clustered round
Pillowed on the calm ground: She saw the swift gleam of the axe, She heard its harsh, blank sound.
In silent agony;
Its inmates' memory:
Like sculptured effigy.
grey; His eyes are lustreless; his brows
Are white, and bent alway: Quaileth he, like the Twilight dim
Lamenting for the Day.
About his Life doth wait;
Wild words of wrongful hate,
Goading him desperate.
The epitaph of the Murdered dwelleth in the unsatisfied conscience of the in. jurer: a worm that dieth not; a fire that is not quenchid.
The Avenger of Wrong hath armed a Fury, wbich perpetually haunteth the Old Man: is about his path, and about his bed, and companioneth bim in all his ways.
The world's continual praise grateth upon his ear-a fierce sarcasm. He feeleth that he hath sown sorrow, and ever silently he reapeth his harvest of remorse.
And praise is wreathed around his soul,
Even a corroding thing;
Untimely tottering :
Z. May, 1837.
DOCTRINE OF NECESSITY. The world subsists either by its own nature, by its physical laws, or a Supreme Being has formed it by his primitive laws. In either case these laws are immutable; in either case every thing is necessary. Heavy bodies gravitate towards the centre of the earth, and cannot tend to remain in the air; peartrees can never bear pine-apples; the instinct of a spaniel can never be the instinct of an ostrich : every thing is arranged, set in motion and limited. Man can have but a certain number of teeth, hairs, and ideas; and a time comes when he necessarily loses them. It is a contradiction that what was yesterday has not been, and what is to-day should not be: no less a contradiction is it that a thing which is to be should not come to pass. If thou couldst give a turn to the destiny of a fly, I see no reason why thou mightest not as well determine the destiny of all other flies, of all other animals
, of all men, and of all nature; so that at last thou wouldst be more powerful than God himself. It is common for weak people to say, such a physician has cured a person of a dangerous illness; he has added to his life ten years. Others as weak, but in their own opinion very wise, say, the prudent man owes his fortune to himself. But the prudent man oftentimes is crushed by his destiny, instead of making it: it is their destiny that renders men prudent. The physician has saved a person; allowed: but herein he certainly did not reverse the order of nature; he conformed to it. It is evident that the person could not hinder his being born in such a town, and having a certain illness at such a time; that the physician could be no where but in the town where he was; that the person was to send for him; and that he was to prescribe those medicines which effected the cure. A peasant imagines that the hail which has fallen in his ground is purely matter of chance, but the philosopher knows that there is no such thing as chance; and that by the constitution of the world, it must necessarily have hailed that day in that very place.
Some, alarmed at this truth, say that there are necessary events, and others which are not so: but it would be odd indeed if one part of this world were fixed, and not the other; that some things which happen were to happen, and that others which happen were not necessarily to happen. On a close examination, the doctrine which opposes that of destiny must appear loaded with absurdities, contrary to th dea of an eternal Providence. But many are destined to reason wrongly; others not to reason at all; and others to persecute those who do reason.-Voltaire.
OF THE PERSONALITY OF THE DEITY. CONTRIVANCE, if established, appears to me to prove every thing which we wish to prove. Amongst other things, it proves the personality of the Deity, as distinguished from what is sometimes called nature, sometimes called a principle : which terms, in the mouths of those who use them philosophically, seem to be intended to admit and express an efficacy, but to exclude and to deny a personal agent. Now that which can contrive, which can design, must be a person. These capacities constitute personality, for they imply consciousness and thought.