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Now, Sir, you touch

Upon the point. This man of half a million
Had all these public virtues which you praise:
But the poor man rang never at his door,
And the old beggar at the public gate,
Who, all the summer long, stands hat in hand,
He knew how vain it was to lift an eye
To that hard face. Yet he was always found
Among your ten and twenty pound subscribers,
Your benefactors in the newspapers.
His alms were money put to interest
In the other world,-donations to keep open
A running charity account with heaven,-
Retaining fees against the last assizes,

When, for the trusted talents, strict account
Shall be required from all, and the old Archlawyer
Plead his own cause as plaintiff.

The traits of Wordsworth's description are not more similar than the tone of his feeling is different.

Many, I believe, there are

Who live a life of virtuous decency,
Men who can hear the Decalogue and feel
No self-reproach; who of the moral law
Established in the land where they abide
Are strict observers: and not negligent
In acts of love to those with whom they dwell,
Their kindred, and the children of their blood.

Have we now any indignant denunciation of these as not fulfilling the whole measure of Christian charity? No such thing!-That one blanies the rich for what they do not: this considers how much they do. 'Praise be to such, and to their slumbers peace!' is the wiser ejaculation of his comprehensive mind: and he goes on to tell us that the poor man, the abject poor, does not find

In this cold abstinence from evil deeds,
And these inevitable charities,

Wherewith to satisfy the human soul?"

"No doubt," said Seward, "the Laureate's is a younger wisdom than his friend's. He writes like one in whom nature has not done with her resentments. The other might usually take for his motto the lines of the kindly-souled chansonnier,

De l'univers observant la machine,

J'y vois du mal, et n'aime que le bien."

"It is in the same spirit of catholic sympathy," said Mr. Thompson, “that in a matter of taste between the two conditions, he observes a difference without disgust, and blames a fault without bitterness.

The wealthy, the luxurious, by the stress
Of business roused, or pleasure, erc their time,
May roll in chariots, or provoke the hoofs
Of the fleet coursers they bestride, to raise
From earth the dust of morning, slow to rise;
And they, if blest with health and hearts at case,
Shall lack not their enjoyment :-but how faint
Compared with ours! who, pacing side by side,
Could, with an eye of leisure, look on all
That we beheld; and lend the listening sense
To every grateful sound of earth and air;
Pausing at will-our spirits braced, our thoughts
Pleasant as roses in the thickets blown,

And pure as dew bathing their crimson leaves."

"The feature of mind which you have noticed," said

I, "is certainly a quality of the highest character. In the proportion of the largeness of the mind is the variety of the sympathy: it was great in Scott, complete in Shakspeare. Few poets of this day may claim this praise. There is much mental intolerance and exclusiveness of feeling in Southey, and still more in Coleridge, while it overruns the writings of Shelley and Mrs. Hemans, and becomes disgusting in the pages of their followers. Wherever it exists, it indicates one who, whatever may be his faculties of intellect, is the subject of his feelings,-one who has not risen from the thraldom of his emotion, nor surveyed with discourse of reason the mood which he has left. In Wordsworth's treatment of the most disturbing passions of the soul, there is no touch of discomposure. Of the most earnest wants of sensibility, and of the most mysterious experience of the heart, he writes as one

From such disorder free,

Nor rapt, nor craving, but in settled peace.

'It is the privilege of the ancients,' says Lessing,' whatever be the subject which they treat, to enter upon it with that spirit of calm inquiry which preserves them steadily in the middle line between the vice of exaggeration on the one hand, and the fault of coldness on the other.' No modern has attained so much of this moderation; none has so much mental candour, so much intellectual impartiality."

"The pervading purpose of Wordsworth," said Mr. Thompson, "is to assert the sufficientness of the world as it is, to satisfy all the honest wants of a heart which acquiesces in the wise and the good,-to declare that the scheme of Providence is equally kind when it takes away as when it gives. Therefore the sigh of regret or the groan of despair never mingles in his music; his high moral still being,

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.

Coleridge and Hemans delight to bring us by successive descents of pictured misery down the road of discontent, till at the last they flash upon us the precipice of despair, and vanish; they fling us out of their control into the abyss of gloom. They furnish, as it were, the reductio ad absurdum of repining and despondency. But in the restorative suggestions of Wordsworth, you see the power which curbs and brings back to its anterior peacefulness the tempests which its might had raised. The master is never carried off his feet; but when he has displayed his magic ends in the same selfpossession he began in. The one party resembles life's mock creator, the dramatist, who, when he has brought things to the last acme of despair and misery, lets the curtain fall, confessing his inability to re-arrange the fragments which he has jumbled in most admired disorder. The other resembles the true creator, who can reduce men to the last depth of ruin, and bring them back again to peace and power, without marring the interest of the scene, and displays more strength in calming the agitation of excitement than he does in raising it. He contemplates the losses of life without being deprived of the wisdom of hope, and nothing that he can feel of loneliness or want can


His cheerful faith, that all which he beholds
Is full of blessings.

When Coleridge compares his youth with his age, the breath of unchecked melancholy simply passes over his lyre, like the melodious sigh of a Greek anthologist, which returns into itself, and is as hopeless after the utterance as before it.

When I was young!-ah! woful when,
Ah for the change 'twixt now and then!
This breathing house not made with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er airy cliffs and glittering sands
How lightly then it flashed along!

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Wordsworth in like manner speaks of the change that has come upon him

From what he was when first

He came among the hills; when like a roe
He bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led.

He tells us of the days in which the sounding cataract,

The tall rock,

The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to him
An appetite, a feeling and a love,

That had no need of a remoter charm
By thought supplied, or any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.

As he reviews the scene, he says,

That time is past,

And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures.

Yet mark the manly judgment with which he puts by the unphilosophic weakness of regret, and the ingenuity of hopefulness with which he finds a compensation for ' what age takes away.'

Not for this

Faint I, nor mourn, nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed, for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense:

and he goes on to recount the graver instruction which the landscape gives since he can hear

The still, sad music of humanity,

Nor harsh, nor grating, though of ample power

To chasten and subdue;

and can recognize

In nature and the language of the sense,

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