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Thy labor and thy life accursed.
GEORGE STILLMAN HILLARD.
GEorge StillMAN HILLARD was born at Machias, Maine, on the 22d of September, 1808, and, after a due preparatory course of study at the Boston Latin School, he entered Harvard College in 1824. In 1833, he was admitted to the Suffolk County (Boston) Bar, and has ever since been engaged in the practice of his profession in that city. In 1845, he was elected to the Common Council of Boston, and served a year and a half as its President. In 1836, he was a member of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, and was elected to the State Senate in 1850, where he exhibited abilities which elicited warm commendation from his friends. But politics is evidently not a field congenial to the tastes and feelings of Mr. Hillard. It is in the higher and purer walks of literature that this polished scholar shows himself to be at home; and here he has won a fame for refined taste, purity of style, and elevation of moral sentiment scarcely second to any one in our country.
Mr. Hillard's publications are as follows:—Fourth of July Oration before the City Authorities of Boston, 1835; Discourse before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, 1843; Connection between Geography and History, 1846; Address before the Mercantile Library Association of Boston, 1850; Address before the New York Pilgrim Society, 1851; Eulogy on Daniel Webster before the City Authorities of Boston, 1852; Sir Months in Italy, of which five editions have been published; a series
! “The mass of information contained in these two volumes is immense; the criticisms novel, and, in our humble opinion, judicious; the writer's own thoughts and feelings beautifully expressed. * * * Mr. Hillard is evidently a scholar, a man of taste and feeling; something, we should opine, of a poet; and unmistakably a gentleman.”—Frazer's Magazine. Of this interesting work, Ticknor & Fields have published the sixth edition, in their usual style of beauty.
of “Class Readers,” four in number, for schools, consisting of extracts in prose and verse, with biographical and critical notices of the authors;' Guizot's “Essay on the Character and Influence of Washington,” translated from the French, 1840; an edition of Spenser, in five volumes, with an Introduction and Notes; “Selections from the Writings of Walter Savage Landor,” 1856. He also prepared, in 1844, “A Selection from the Writings of Henry R. Cleveland, with a Memoir.”
Mr. Hillard was for some time one of the editors of the “American Jurist,” and has contributed valuable articles to the “North American Review,” “Christian Examiner,” and “New England Magazine.” To him also we are indebted for the life of the leader of the first settlers in Virginia–CAPTAIN John Swith—to be found in the second volume of Sparks's “Library of American Biography.”
Excursion To sor BENTO."
On the morning of March 19th, I left Naples for Sorrento, making one of a party of five. The cars took us to Castellamare, a town beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea, much resorted to by the Neapolitans in the heats of summer. A lover of nature could hardly find a spot of more varied attractions. Before him spreads the unrivalled bay,+dotted with sails and unfolding a broad canvas, on which the most glowing colors and the most vivid lights are dashed, a mirror in which the crimson and gold of morning, the blue of noon, and the orange and yellowgreen of sunset behold a lovelier image of themselves, a gentle and tideless sea, whose waves break upon the shore like caresses, and never like angry blows. Should he ever become weary of waves and languish for woods, he has only to turn his back upon the sea and climb the hills for an hour or two, and he will find himself in the depth of sylvan and mountain solitudes, in a region of vines, running streams, deep-shadowed valleys, and broad-armed oaks,—where he will hear the ring-dove coo and see the sensitive hare dart across the forest aisles. A great city is within an hour's reach; and the shadow of Vesuvius hangs over the landscape, keeping the imagination awake by touches of mystery and terror. From Castellamare to Sorrento, a noble road has within a few "years past been constructed between the mountains and the sea,
! I consider these among the best reading-books for schools, evincing good taste and judgment in the selections, and just views in the critical notices.
* I always regretted that this valuable volume of Essays and Dissertations was only “printed for private distribution,” and not published for the general good.
* About eighteen miles southeast of Naples.
which in many places are so close together that the width of the road occupies the whole intervening space. On the right, the traveller looks down a cliff of some hundred feet or more upon the bay, whose glossy floor is dappled with patches of green, purple, and blue, the effect of varying depth, or light and shade, or clusters of rock overgrown with sea-weed scattered over a sandy bottom." The road combined rare elements of beauty; for it nowhere pursued a monotonous straight line, but followed the windings and turnings of this many-curved shore. Sometimes it was cut through solid ledges of rock; sometimes it was carried on bridges over deep gorges and chasms, wide at the top and narrowing towards the bottom, where a slender stream tripped down to the sea. The sides of these glens were often planted with orange and lemon trees; and we could look down upon their rounded tops, presenting, with their dark-green foliage, their bright, almost luminous fruit, and their snowy blossoms, the finest combination of colors, which the vegetable kingdom, in the temperate zone at least, can show. The scenery was in the highest degree grand, beautiful, and picturesque, with the most animated contrasts and the most abrupt breaks in the line of sight, yet never savage or scowling. The mountains on the left were not bare and scalped, but shadowed with forests, and thickly overgrown with shrubbery, such wooded heights as the genius of Greek poetry would have peopled with bearded satyrs and buskined wood-nymphs, and made vocal with the reeds of Pan and the hounds and horn of Artemis. All the space near the road was stamped with the gentle impress of human cultivation. Fruit-trees and vines were thickly planted; garden vegetables were growing in favorable exposures; and houses were nestling in the hollows or hanging to the sides of the cliff. Over the whole region there is a smiling expression of wooing and invitation, to which the sparkling sea murmured a fitting accompaniment. No pitiless ice and granite chill or wound the eye; no funereal cedars and pines darken the mind with their Arctic shadows; but bloom and verdure, thrown o: rounded surfaces, and rich and gay forms of foliage mantling gray cliffs or waving from rocky ledges, give to the face of Nature that mixture of animation and softness which is equally fitted to soothe a wounded spirit or restore an overtasked mind. If one could only forget the existence of such words as “duty” and “progress,” and step
! “The colors of the bay of Naples were a constant surprise and delight to me, from the predominance of blue and purple over the grays and greens of our coast. I was glad to find that my impressions on this point were confirmed by the practised eye of Cooper. There seem to be some elements affecting i. color of the sea, not derived from the atmosphere or the reflection of the eavens.”
aside from the rushing stream of onward-moving life, and be content with being, merely, and not doing; if these lovely forms could fill all the claims and calls of one's nature, and all that we ask of sympathy and companionship could be found in mountain breezes and breaking waves; if days passed in communion with nature, in which decay is not hastened by anxious vigils or ambitious toils, made up the sum of life, where could a better retreat be found than along this enchanting coast 7 Here are the mountains, and there is the sea. Here is a climate of delicious softness, where no sharp extremes of heat and cold put strife between man and nature. Here is a smiling and good-natured population, among whom no question of religion, politics, science, literature, or humanity is ever discussed, and the surface of the placid hours is not ruffled by argument or contradiction. Here a man could hang and ripen, like an orange on the tree, and drop as gently out of life upon the bosom of the earth. There is a fine” couplet of Virgil, which is full of that tenderness and sensibility which form the highest charm of his poetry, as they probably did of his character, and they came to my mind in driving along this beautiful road :— “Hic gelidi fontes; hic mollia prata, Lycori; Hic nemus ; hic ipso tecum consumerer aevo..”
There is something in the musical flow of these lines which seems to express the movement of a quiet life, from which day after day loosens and falls, like leaf after leaf from a tree in a calm day of autumn. But Virgil's air-castle includes a Lycoris; that is, sympathy, affection, and the heart's daily food. With these, fountains, meadows, and groves may be dispensed with ; and without them, they are not much better than a painted panorama. To have something to do, and to do it, is the best appointment for us all. Nature, stern and coy, reserves her most dazzling smiles for those who have earned them by hard work and cheerful sacrifice. Planted on these shores and lapped in pleasurable sensations, man would turn into an indolent dreamer and a soft voluptuary. He is neither a fig nor an orange; and he thrives best in the sharp air of self-denial and on the rocks of toil.
| “Here cooling fountains roll through flowing meads,
History is ever justifying the ways of God to man, and never more forcibly than in the fortunes of Spain. If the power has been taken away from her, it is because it was abused; if the sceptre has been wrested from her grasp, it is because it was converted into a scourge. To no men it is permitted to do wrong with impunity; least of all to the rulers of the earth. The selfishness of tyranny is punished by the weakness to which it leads, and bigotry extinguishes in time the religious principle from which its power to do mischief is derived. In her present weakness, Spain is reaping the harvest of wrong-doing. If her ships, colonies, and commerce are gone; if agriculture and manufactures are neglected ; if she has no railroads, no active press, no generally diffused education,--it is because her rulers have been tyrants, her ministers of religion iron-hearted and narrowminded bigots, and her nobles indolent and profligate courtiers. In her desolate estate insulted humanity is avenged, and the retributive justice which has overtaken her, speaks in a voice of warning to the oppressor and of consolation to his victim.
And is there hope for Spain 7 Will the night pass away and the morning dawn 7 To hazard even a conjectural answer to these questions requires far more knowledge of the country than we possess. No traveller has visited Spain without bringing away a strong sense alike of the virtues and the capacities of her people. With God all things are possible; and for mourning Iberia the hour may yet strike, and the man may yet come. Who would not rejoice to see that prostrate form reared again, and the light of hope once more kindling those downcast eyes, the golden harvest of opportunity again waving over her plains, and the future once more unbarring to the enterprise of her sons its gates of sunrise Y
In that most interesting and instructive book, Boswell's Life of Johnson, an incident is mentioned which I beg leave to quote in illustration of this part of my subject. The Doctor and his biographer were going down the Thames, in a boat, to Greenwich, and the conversation turned upon the benefits of learning, which Dr. Johnson maintained to be of use to all men. “And yet,' said Boswell, “people go through the world very well, and carry on the business of life to good advantage, without learning.' : Why, sir, replied Dr. Johnson, “that may be true in cases where learning cannot possibly be of any use; for instance, this boy rows us as well without learning as if he could sing the song of