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Florence, Venice, are not names merely, but ideas. They were the capitals of power that in various ways and degrees ruled the world. Deeper still is the feeling that hallows the cities beyond Italy, —for beyond Italy are Athens and Jerusalem. Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem,-the physical, the intellectual, and the moral, do we long doubt which is the greatest ? The Art of Greece is still supreme. The Empire of Rome has never been rivalled. But the spirit which has inspired Art with a sentiment profounder than the Greek, -the Faith which has held sway subtler and more universal than the Roman,—are they not the spirit and the faith that make Jerusalem, El Khuds, or the holy, because they were best illustrated and taught by a life whose influence commenced there 7 More cognate to ready sympathy, more appealing to the sensuous imagination, is the pomp of Imperial Rome, as, with camp-fires burning from the Baltic to the Euxine, and from farthest Euphrates to the Pillars of Hercules, its gorgeous confusion of barbaric splendor and Grecian elegance gleams athwart the past. Fascinated by that splendor, as by auroral fires streaming through the sky,_recognising the forms of its law, its society, and its speech inherent in his own, marking over all historic lands and submerged in African solitudes the foot-prints of its triumphant march, the young student, revering in Rome the might of his own human genius, going out to possess the earth, reaches the gates of its metropolis with an ardor that merges in rolinall ce. Hence were hurled the thunderbolts that shook the world, and whose vibrations tremble yet. Hither comes the poet, the philosopher, the statesman, the scholar; and in no city of the world was there ever assembled so much human genius in every kind, and in every time, as in Rome. Yet against the claims of its superb Italian rival, what has the Syrian city to show ! Not Solomon in all his glory; for Hadrian was more magni. ficent, if less wise. Nor the visible career of the Jews, whose empire was greatest under Solomon, but was then only a part of a later Roman province. Jerusalem does not rival Rome with the imperial pomp of its recollections, nor by its artistic achievements, —for its only notable remains are part of the foundation of Solomon's Temple, while the most imposing ruins of Syria are the Roman relics of Palmyra and Baalbec. Nay, Rome came from Italy, and, scattering the Jews, destroyed Jerusalem. To the myriads of men who throng whole centuries of history, —as Xerxes' army the plains of Greece,—headed by the eagle and asserting Rome, Jerusalem opposes a single figure, bearing a palm-branch, and riding upon an ass into the golden gate of the city. That palm is the magic wand which shall wave the discordant world into harmony; that golden gate is the symbol of the way which only he can enter who knows the magic of the palm. That single figure is the most eminent in history. The highest hope of Art is to reveal his beauty,+the sublimest strains of Literature are the prophecies and records of his career-the struggle of Society is to plant itself upon the truth he taught. In the vision of the Past, as upon an infinite battle-field, that single figure meets the might of Rome, and the skill of Greece, and the wit of Fgypt, and the flame of their glory is paled before his glance. He rode in at the golden gate, and was crucified between thieves. But it is the victim which consecrates the city. In vain the heroism of the Republic and the purple splendor of the Emperor would distract imagination and give a deeper charm to Rome. The cold auroral fires stream anew to the zenith, as we sit in the starlight at the tent-door. But a planet burns through them brighter than they; and we no longer discuss which city we approach with the profoundest interest.
THE DUTY OF THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR.'
Do you ask me our duty as scholars? Gentlemen, thought, which the scholar represents, is life and liberty. There is no intellectual or moral life without liberty. Therefore, as a man must breathe and see before he can study, the scholar must have liberty, first of all; and as the American scholar is a man and has a voice in his own government, so his interest in political affairs must precede all others. He must build his house before he can live in it. He must be a perpetual inspiration of freedom in politics. He must recognise that the intelligent exercise of political rights, which is a privilege in a monarchy, is a duty in a republic. If it clash with his ease, his retirement, his taste, his study, let it clash, but let him do his duty. The course of events is incessant, and when the good deed is slighted, the bad deed is done.
Scholars, you would like to loiter in the pleasant paths of study. Every man }. his ease, loves to please his taste. But into how many homes along this lovely valley came the news of Lexington and Bunker Hill, eighty years ago, and young men like us, studious, fond of leisure, young lovers, young husbands, young brothers, and sons, knew that they must forsake the wooded hill
"From an oration delivered on Tuesday, August 5, 1856, before the Literary Societies of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.
side, the river-meadows, golden with harvest, the twilight walk
rise up and call us blessed, or cursed ? Here are our Marathon
and Lexington; here are our heroic fields. The hearts of all good men beat with us. The fight is fierce—the issue is with God. But God is good.
RICHARD HENRY STODDARD.
Richard HENRY Stodd ARD was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, on the 2d of July, 1825. His father, who was a sea-captain, sailed for Gottenburg when our author was about a year old, and the vessel was never after heard of. In 1835, his mother, who had married again, removed to New York, where he has resided ever since. When he was old enough to do any thing for himself, he went into a lawyer's office and copied law-papers; but, not liking this, he afterwards went into an iron-foundry, where he worked six years in learning the trade of an iron-moulder. Here he began to write verses, and, soon after the “Union Magazine” (afterwards Sartain's) was started, he became, in 1847, a contributor to it. He now commenced his literary career, publishing, in 1848, a small volume of poetry, entitled Footprints, and writing for various magazines, the “Knickerbocker,” “Putnam's Monthly,” “Graham's,” and the “International.” In the fall of 1851, a second volume was brought out by Ticknor & Fields, entitled simply Poems, which consisted of his contributions to the above-mentioned magazines. About this time he was appointed to a situation in the New York Custom-House, and in the next year (1852) he gave to the public a volume of very sweet poetic prose, entitled Adventures in Fairy-Land, and in the autumn of the same year he was married to Miss Elizabeth D. Barston, of Mattapoisett, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, herself a poetess of very decided merit. In 1856 appeared Songs of Summer," in which are some short pieces of exquisite beauty.
Mr. Stoddard is still in the Custom-IIouse in New York,-a location, one would think, not very near Parnassus; yet he continues to devote his leisure moments to poetry and general literature, with what success the following beautiful pieces show.
HYMN TO THE BEAUTIFUL.
My heart is full of tenderness and tears,
* See his Dedication to Songs of Summer, under George H. Boker, p. 745.
Only the golden flush of sunset lies
Spirit of Beauty whatsoe'er thou art, I see thy skirts afar, and feel thy power; It is thy presence fills this charméd hour And fills my charméd heart; Nor mine alone, but myriads feel thee now, That know not what they feel, nor why they bow: Thou canst not be forgot, For all men worship thee, and know it not ; Nor men alone, but babes with wondrous eyes, New-comers on the earth, and strangers from the skies!
We hold the keys of heaven within our hands, The gift and heirloom of a former state, And lie in infancy at heaven's gate, Transfigured in the light that streams along the lands ! Around our pillows golden ladders rise, And up and down the skies, With wingéd sandals shod, The angels come and go, the messengers of God! Nor do they, fading from us, e'er depart, It is the childish heart; We walk as heretofore, Adown their shining ranks, but see them never more 1 Not heaven is gone, but we are blind with tears, Groping our way along the downward slope of years 1
From earliest infancy my heart was thine;
Not long can Nature satisfy the mind,