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and humility which were so remarkahly united in the mien of the trapper, together with the clear and uncommon force of his utterrance, produced a short period of confusion in the faculties of all present. When Middleton and Hard-Heart, who had each involuntarily extended a hand to support the form of the old man, turned to him again, they found that the subject of their interest was removed for ever beyond the necessity of their care. They mournfully placed the body in its seat, and Le Balafre arose to announce the termination of the scene to the tribe. The voice of the old Indian seemed a sort of echo from that invisible world to which the meek spirit of the trapper had just departed.
"' A valiant, a just, and a wise warrior has gone on the path which will lead him to the blessed grounds of his people!' he said. 'When the voice of the Wahcondah called him, he was ready to answer. Go, my children; remember the just chief of the Palefaces, and clear your own tracks from briers!'
"The grave was made beneath the shade of some noble oaks. It has been carefully watched to the present hour by the Pawnees of the Loup, and is often shown to the traveller and the trader as a spot where a just White man sleeps. In due time the stone was placed at its head, with the simple inscription which the trapper had himself requested. The only liberty taken by Middleton was to add, 'May no wanton hand ever disturb his remains.'"'
The result of a long and attentive consideration of Mr. Cooper's works is, that he is without doubt a man of a shrewd and vigorous intellect, self-willed and opinionated, quick and vindictive in his feelings, but with a kind and generous heart; somewhat too fond, perhaps, of brooding over wrongs which, after all, may be only imaginary, and requiring more deference from the world than it is apt to pay to a Living Author.
But, with regard to the character of his productions, he is deficient in imagination and fancy, and humor.
Invention he certainly possesses, but it is not of the highest kind; his powers of observation are strong, but not universal, and this gives an air of monotony to many of his works.
He also takes an undue advantage of certain opportunities to give lectures, and hence the didactic tone of many dialogues interspersed in the novels. This is a serious defect, in an artistic view; a novelist should instruct by implication, and argue by insinuation. When he becomes didactic he ceases to be romantic, and the effect is neutralized.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON.
Emerson is certainly one of the most original writers the New World has produced. He writes least like an American of any author we have read. We do not mean this disparagingly to his character as a good and true republican, but to show our opinion of his greater breadth and depth of appreciation than is generally met with in American authors.
Mr. Emerson's fame is a curious compound of poet, metaphysician, lecturer, economist, and critic; and in each we think him first-rate.
We shall give his poetry the preference in considering him critically, and at once commence by complaining of his peculiar metre and occasional obscurity. Mr. Browning has often maintained that the poet has a perfect and unchallengeable right to place the thought in any shape he pleases; and that it is at the option of the public to read or not, just as it pleases; but that it has no right to criticise, seeing that it involves the apparent absurdity of the disciple teaching the master.
With all respect for the dictum of the author of "Sordello," we shall venture to give our opinion on the poet and philosopher, and with as great a belief in our own infallibility as though we were the Pope, or even the editor of a Sunday newspaper.
Passing over the peculiarity of Mr. Emerson's phraseology, we cannot avoid remarking what an old friend of Mr. Carlyle once said on reading some American writer's poetry, "that he would have sworn they were Mr. Carlyle's verses." We have often heard this remarked, but we never could see the justice of classing Mr. Emerson as a follower of Mr. Carlyle. We admit readily that as both write in English, and as both are great admirers of the German writers, more especially of Richter, a certain tinge of that wonderful man's style of thought and diction is naturally preserved; but it is more of matter than manner, and partakes more of admiration and appreciation than of imitation.
There is a singular force and meaning in most of Emerson's emanations, whether in prose or verse; and if they demand a little more attention on the reader's part than the generality of poetry, it arises from the superiority of the author, and not from his obscurity. It is absurd to expect an author to express himself in the old style, and in the stale formulae of the past. Fresh and deep thinkers invent a form of conveying the thought as well as the thought itself. Like Minerva, it springs clothed from the head of Jove: garb and form are simultaneous.
In the "Ode to Beauty" Emerson presses much meaning into small compass. How unlike the common-place love verses of the many are the following! It is truly refreshing to get hold of a strong thinker, however rugged may be his revelations.
"Who gave thee, O Beauty,
Simplicity is here carried to its severity, and yet the poet breaks through, in the metaphorical language of passion, "the keys of this breast."
How directly the metaphysician goes into the heart of the subject!
"Say, when in lapsed ages
Thee knew I of old?
For which I was sold?
I found me thy thrall,
Sweet Tyrant of all!
False waters of thirst,
Thou latest and first!"
The origin of the love of beauty, or how beauty acts upon the human heart, is truly a mystery, so deeply set in the mystery of our being, as to baffle poet as well as mere metaphysician; but as the fine old poet of Rydal says, many