網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

from the cool dropping well at our door ; from the brook that murmurs from its side, and from the elm and spreading maple that weave their protecting branches beneath the

sun, and swing their breezy shadows over our habitation. 5 It is the sea that feeds us. It is the sea that clothes

us. It cools us with the summer cloud, and warms us with the blazing fires of winter. We make wealth for ourselves and for our children out of its rolling waters, though we

may live a thousand leagues away from its shore, and never 10 have looked on its crested beauty, or listened to its eternal

anthem. Thus the sea, though it bears no harvest on its bosom, yet sustains all the harvests of the world. Though a desert itself, it makes all the other wildernesses of the

earth to bud and blossom as the rose. Though its own 15 waters are as salt and wormwood, it makes the clouds of

heaven to drop with sweetness, opens springs in the valleys and rivers among the hills, and fountains in all dry places, and gives drink to all the inhabitants of the earth.

The sea is a perpetual source of health to the world. 20 Without it there could be no drainage for the lands. It

is the scavenger of the world. Its agency is omnipresent. Its vigilance is omniscient. Where no sanitary committee could ever come, where no police could ever penetrate, its

myriad eyes are searching, and its million hands are busy 25 exploring all the lurking-places of decay, bearing swiftly

off the dangerous sediments of life, and laying them a thousand miles away in the slimy bottom of the deep.

The sea is also set to purify the atmosphere. The winds, whose wings are heavy and whose breath is sick 30 with the malaria of the lands over which they have blown,

are sent out to range over these mighty pastures of the deep, to plunge and play with its rolling billows, and dip their pinions over and over in its healing waters. There

they rest when they are weary, cradled into sleep on that 35 vast swinging couch of the ocean. There they rouse them

selves when they are refreshed, and lifting its waves upon their shoulders, they dash it into spray, and hurl it backwards and forwards through a thousand leagues of sky. Thus their whole substance is drenched, and bathed, and

washed, and winnowed, and sifted through and through, by 5 this glorious baptism. Thus they fill their mighty lungs

once more with the sweet breath of ocean, and, striking their wings for the shore, they go breathing health and vigor along all the fainting hosts that wait for them in

mountain and forest and valley and plain, till the whole 10 drooping continent lifts up its rejoicing face, and mingles

its laughter with the sea that has waked it from its fevered sleep, and poured its tides of returning life through all its shrivelled arteries.

The ocean is not the idle creature that it seems, with 15 its vast and lazy length stretched between the continents,

with its huge bulk sleeping along the shore, or tumbling in aimless fury from pole to pole. It is a mighty giant, who, leaving his oozy bed, comes up upon the land to

spend his strength in the service of man. He there allows 20 his captors to chain him in prisons of stone and iron, to

bind his shoulders to the wheel, and set him to grind the food of the nations, and weave the garments of the world. The mighty shaft, which that wheel turns, runs out into all

the lands; and geared and belted to that centre of power, 25 ten thousand times ten thousand clanking engines roll

their cylinders, and ply their hammers, and drive their million shuttles.

Thus the sea keeps all our mills and factories in motion. Thus the sea spins our thread and weaves our cloth. 30 It is the sea that cuts our iron bars like wax, rolls them

out into proper thinness, or piles them up in the solid shaft strong enough to be the pivot of a revolving planet. It is the sea that tunnels the mountain, and bores the

mine, and lifts the coal from its sunless depths, and the 35 ore from its rocky bed. It is the sea that lays the iron track, that builds the iron horse, that fills his nostrils with fiery breath, and sends his tireless hoofs thundering across the longitudes. It is the power of the sea that is doing for man all those mightiest works that would be else

impossible. It is by this power that he is to level the 5 mountains, to tame the wildernesses, to subdue the conti

nents, to throw his pathways around the globe, and make his nearest approaches to omnipresence and omnipotence.

LXXXV. — SCENE AFTER A SUMMER SHOWER.

NORTON. (ANDREWS Norton was born in Hingham, Mass., December 31, 1786, and died September 18, 1853. He was for many years a professor in the divinity school of Harvard College, and remarkable for the union of deep devotional feeling with sharp critical spirit in the interpretation of the Scriptures. His prose style is admirable for precision, vigor, and elegance. His poems are few, but of uncommon beauty in conception and expression.] 1 Tht rain is o'er — How dense and bright

Yon pearly clouds reposing lie!
Cloud above cloud, a glorious sight,

Contrasting with the dark blue sky!

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

The sun breaks forth: from off the scene,

Its floating vale of mist is flung ;
And all the wilderness of green

With trembling drops of light is hung.

8 Now gaze on Nature — yet the same, –

Glowing with life, by breezes fanned,
Luxuriant, lovely, as she came

Fresh in her youth from God's own hand.

[ocr errors]

Hear the rich music of that voice

Which sounds from all below, above;
She calls her children to rejoice,

And round them throws her arms of love.

[ocr errors][merged small]

LXXXVI. — JOHN HAMPDEN.

MACAULAY, THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY, was born in the village of Rothley, in the county of Leicester, England, October 25, 1800, and died December 28, 1859. He was educated at Cambridge University, and was called to the bar in 1826. In 1830 he became a member of parliament, and took an active part in the debates on the Reform Bill. In 1834 he was sent to India as a member of the supreme council. Returning home in 1838, he was again elected to parliament in 1839, and was appointed secretary of war. At the election of 1847 he was defeated, and remained out of parliament till 1852, when he again became a member. He was created a peer of England, with the title of Baron Macaulay of Rothley, in 1857. His principal literary work is a History of England, in five volumes, the last a fragmentary volume published since his lamented death. No historical work in the English language has ever enjoyed so wide a popularity. It is written in a most animated and attractive style d abounds with brilliant pictures. It embodies the results of very thorough research, and its tone and spirit are generous and liberal.

His essays, most of which wire originally contributed to the “ Edinburgh Review,” have had it popularity greater even than that of his History. They

[ocr errors]

are remarkable for brilliant rhetorical power, splendid coloring, and affluence of illustration,

Lord Macaulay has also written " Lays of Ancient Rome,” and some bal. lads in the same style, which are full of animation and energy, and have the true trumpet ring which stirs the soul and kindles the blood. His parliamentary speeches have been also collected and published, and are marked by the same brilliant rhetorical energy as his writings.

The following account of the death and character of John Hampden, the great English patriot, is taken from a review of Lord Nugent's Memorials of Hampden, published in the “Edinburgh Review,” in 1831.

In June, 1613, Prince Rupert, a nephew of Charles I., and a general in his service, had sallied out from Oxford on a predatory expedition, and, after some slight successes, was preparing to hurry back with his prisoners and oooty. The Earl of Essex was the Parliamentary commander-in chief.]

As soon as Hampden received intelligence of Rupert's incursion, he sent off a horseman with a message to the general. In the mean time, he resolved to set out with

all the cavalry he could muster, for the purpose of im5 peding the march of the enemy till Essex could take

measures for cutting off their retreat. A considerable body of horse and dragoons volunteered to follow him. He was not their commander. He did not even belong to their

branch of the service. “But he was,” says Lord Claren10 don, “ second to none but the general himself in the

observance and application of all men.” On the field of Chalgrove he came up with Rupert. A fierce skirmish ensued. In the first charge Hampden was struck in the

shoulder by two bullets, which broke the bone and lodged 15 in his body. The troops of the parliament lost heart and

gave way. Rupert, after pursuing them for a short time. hastened to cross the bridge, and made his retreat unmolested to Oxford.

Hampden, with his head drooping, and his hands lean20 ing on his horse's neck, moved feebly out of the battle.

The mansion which had been inhabited by his father-inlaw, and from which, in his youth, he had carried home his bride Elizabeth, was in sight. There still remains an affecting tradition that he looked for a moment towards that beloved house, and made an effort to go thither and

how mansion which neek, morena

« 上一頁繼續 »