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in the language of Junius, their united virtue tortures the sense.' Many ladies read the productions of unprincipled genius, and deny it afterward; thus proving, by their readiness at falsehood, that those works have already had upon their native integrity their natural and dreadful operation. Why read them at all? They cannot be expurgated, except in 'purging them by fire.' My dear young lady, ask your father or your brother what you ought to read. They have knowledge of the world, they have strong clear sense, and they can tell you. And, by the way, it is a sad thought for one who desires the continued elevation of woman, by making her intellectual growth keep pace with and assist her moral development, that one half of the world's loveliest and most exalted literature is deformed by so many harsh passions, or debased by so much impure language and flagitious sentiment, that it is totally unfit for female perusal, since it either disgusts, embitters, or corrupts their pure and gentle natures.
Well, I have stretched my tether nearly to its end. There is, how. ever, a species of conversational quotation, on which I am inclined to make a few remarks before I close. It is that wherein soulless boobies quote expressions of strong poetic feeling, and heartless villains parade their sentiments of honor and virtuous emotion. I know that Satan has always “quoted Scripture, and I know that his servants have always • stolen the livery of Heaven to serve the Devil in.' I know that hypocrisy was always the first lesson in villany, and that fair and seemly words have always been the mask for evil deeds. But it seems to me that the morality of the tongue has now become more universal and more perfect than ever. The cause is, that the age being universally addicted to reading, and books being of course crowded with noble sentiments, fine expressions are as plenty as black-berries. Every one has them at his tongue's end. It costs nothing to give expression to generous feeling; and it is really astonishing to see with what flippancy the most shallow will now drop the apothegms of wisdom ; the most unfeel. ing display the ebullitions of passionate emotion ; and the most selfish utter the noble sentiments which have fallen on famous occasions from the lips of the magnanimous. This assumption of feeling, and this simu. lation of virtue, through stolen and sounding phrases, by those who have not a faint idea of either of them, is, in my view, a heinous crime; and if he who has forged the name of another in business transactions, merits the elevation of the scaffold, much more should he be promoted to the same bad eminence,' who counterfeits the riches of the mind and heart. Moral is far worse than pecuniary forgery; for the latter merely deranges the temporal interests and debases the monetary medium of the community, while the former depreciates the medium of feeling, and cheapens the currency of the soul. What a scandal, that a heavy, leaden-moulded mind, that has not one idea above matter, should pretend to be moved by poetry, and simulate a thrill of admiration at that which it has heard others admire! What a shame, that conscious sel. fishness and unadulterated meanness should assume sentiments of equity and bandy about emotions of generosity, which can now be obtained at every corner gratis! When I see a man noisily dashing down his money, I think he has but little ; and I feel the same suspicion of one
Reader : Do you love books ? - love them not for glory, or for lucre, but for themselves, with a pure heart, fervently, and because the images they present are beautiful, or grand, or holy? And if you be this wor. shipper of literature, not from pedantry, or pride, or habit, or its conver. tibility into specie, but in spirit and in truth, did you ever leave your quiet vale of Tempé for a time, and endeavor to congenialize with a segment of the fashionable world, convened at ball, or jam, soirée, or conversazione ? While your genius was thus crystalizing in a new element, did you at first deem it both a pleasure and a duty, in assisting one Hebé to an additional lump of sugar for her coffee, to whisper with your most killing smile, Sweets to the sweet, fair Ophelia ;' to present to a second her fallen mouchoir (young ladies will drop their handker. chiefs in defiance of Mama) saying with a gentle exhalation, Oh! that I were a glove upon that hand;' to proffer your dextral digits to a third, with an effort after the fancied manner of my Lord Chesterfield, and inform her during the 'poetry of motion of the very singular and almost incredible fact, that her eye out-sparkles the diamond, and her cheek out-blooms the rose ;' and to hint to a fourth, with broken words and skilful hesitation, that you long, with a voiceless yearning for the exqui. sitatious felicitatiousness (as they say, or might say, off toward .sun
down') of dividing her sorrows, and multiplying her joys?' After having fancied yourself particularly brilliant, did your rhetoric suddenly run dry, and did you become particularly weary of these aimless and fruitless colloquial coruscations, in which you had indulged perhaps because you had nothing else to say ; perhaps because Fashion has established the reign of this glittering inanity ; or perhaps because you wished to meet anticipated coquetry with actual flirtation, and some mi. sogymist had told you this is the most melodious of all dialects to the female ear? Did
you then sit for a while, reflecting with just regret on your own share in extending the empire of heartlessness
- a realm already so wide, barren of all good, and fertile of all evil ? Did Conscience reproach your generosity, saying: Gay Lothario, perhaps those poor girls thought you were in earnest !' and sceptical Vanity add whips to your remorse, by suggesting, “Stupid Malvolio! probably they cared not whether you were in earnest or no ? Then, after attempting to attitudinize yourself into the envy of all the gentlemen, and admiration of all the ladies, just at the very moment when you thought you were regarded as a peach-cheeked Adonis, ripe, round and rosy, or better still, as a graceful Antinous, tall, pale, and splendid, did you suspect that a group of whisperers were taking your name in vain,' and, in a paroxysm of disgust, stalk off like another Lara, swearing that man delights not you, nor woman neither;' that “you have not loved the world, nor the world you ;' that you are among them, but not of them,' with various other bitter speeches of the Timonic or Byronic cast ?
Did you next fall in with some grave gentleman, or rather some lady verging toward the “uncertain age,' plain in face as in manners, and rich only in the jewels of the mind, and who therefore sat cold and neg. lected in a distant corner ? Did some chance allusion to a cherished passage of your own favorite author break the spell wherewith you were darkly bound,' and launch your bark backward on the refluent stream of eager and delighted reminiscence ? On discovering that your studies, your tastes, your sentiments, your very minds were the same; that you both had the breadth of intellect, the variety of cultivation, and the liberality of feeling to recognize and appreciate Genius under all his myriad forms; that, belonging to no literary sect, or school, or clique, or coterie, you both could admire and love at once the erratic Shakspeare, and the methodical Racine; the meditative Wordsworth and the fiery Byron : did you vie long and earnestly with each other in freshening the remembrance of your happier years, and retracing the halfobliterated letters of the golden tablet, by bringing forth to light, like precious palimpsests, the treasures then garnered in your hearts? Did you recite together the passages that touched you in days of old, and dwell with enthusiasm on the sweet or ennobling pictures hung up in the halls of Fancy - a long and glorious series, from Hector to the Brothers Cheeryble, from Antigone to Fleur de Marie ? Forgetful of the youth, the wit, the beauty, and all the bright bewilderment around you, did you leave for a season the saloons of Fashion, garish with the glare of lamps, and wearisome with their scenes of mimicry, conceit and affec
tation, to walk in spirit beneath the star-lit vault, and
with an earnest yet awful love on the moving figures of that everlasting temple,
•Where more than echoes talk along the walls ;' the Walhalla of the world's great history, and of man's immortal mind? And did you thus discover, perhaps for the thousandth time, that that visionary world is, in itself, more real than the actual, and has a far stronger hold on the heart; and that however noble, brilliant and attractive any modern assemblage, or the entire modern age may be, yet, compared with the princely trains that march from the one hundred and eighty ages of the past through the chambers of the mind, they are as insignificant as are the grandeur and beauty of St. Peter's dome, when paralleled with the breadth, the glow, and the glory of the firma. ment above ?
If you were ever in this or a like predicament, and experienced these or similar emotions, you can realize my feelings when, in the pages of a trashy novel, or dull discussion, I have lighted on some jewel from the olden casket, or some golden sentiment from the modern mine. At one mutilated passage, one fragment of expression, one bare allusive word, as at the signal.call of Roderick Dhu, an army of dormant memories springs up into visible being, and the landscape of fancy is re-peopled with a shining host. Instantly the mind and heart revert to the old and well-thumbed Delphin, the smirched Homer, the dog's-eared Virgil, and the tattered Ovid -- which, through the medium of the dictionary, impressed upon them images, how lovely, how distinct, how ineffaceable ! i Omnium Marcellorum meum pectus memoria obfudit.'
The boy again reclines under the old apple-tree, and amid the singing of birds, and sighing of the summer breeze, his merry laugh rings out at the misadventures of Quixotte, and the humors of Falstaff, or his frame shivers at the weird sisters in Macbeth, his heart leaps at the deliverance of the good Antonio, and his eyes run over at the double tragedy of Romeo and his sweet young Juliet. In the impotence of vain regret he repeats the line he loved so much even in boyhood :
"O mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos! and appreciates in all its comprehensiveness the exquisite sentiment of Shenstone: 'Heu! quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quàm vestri meminisse ! Byron, by the way, has expanded this text into some very charming lines, but all their beauties united appear to me as nothing, when compared with the condensed and all-comprehensive eloquence of this appeal to the yearning spirit of a mourner. Observe the miracu. lous felicity of the language! Mark how many volumes are included in one short line!
Speaking of felicitous diction, there are some passages in the writings of Cicero, which seem by no means the language of the heart, but rather the dialect of the schools made perfect. Yet, though not the impulsive eloquence of nature, they are wrought up to such an exquisite finish, that I can scarce refrain from tears in their perusal. I know not how it happens here, and almost here only -- for assuredly there are many passages in other authors of more intense and touching
beauty — but in reading some portions of Cicero's eulogy on Cæsar, in his oration for Marcellus, I am affected with a species of painful envy at the inimitable melody of language and elegance of thought. It seems so infinitely superior to any combination of words that I could possibly produce, that I feel inclined to throw aside my ineffectual pen, and worship in silence the master-piece of art. Yet afterward, when the busy sprite in my brain has conjured up something which strikes my ear and heart as good in language or conception, I gaze upon it, like the whole vain tribe of authors, with a kind of paternal rapture, and exclaim with the Italian artist, . Sono pittore anch'io !
But to return to my subject, which is, 'quotations.' Early in my classical neophycy — that word won't do — say apprenticeship, I remem
- - . ber to have imagined the Roman authors the most amiable, if not the most honest of writers; for their favorite expression to signify the act of quoting was laudare, to praise which seemed to argue that they loved one another, and never cited from a book-wright without commending him. But a mere exoteric knowledge of the ancients soon convinced me that this amiable era must have been long anterior to the famous 'golden age,' since even then Virgil stole half his descriptive and metaphorical matériel from Homer, Hesiod, and A pollonius of Rhodes, without making a solitary acknowledgment, and Livy transplanted whole books of his warm-colored history from the impartial pages of Polybius, and never thanked him, nor even named him, except as quite a respectable author ! In this, I think, must have consisted that supposed unRoman peculiarity of style, which some of the ancient critics called the
Patavinity' of Livy, and which some modern lynxes have pretended that they too had detected.
In old times, however, citations were in general more prominently paraded, if not more extensively employed, than they now are. Among the Greeks, the most liberal quoter was Plutarch, whose treatises on morality and natural science are, at least in one half, directly and osten. sibly borrowed. It is astonishing, the number of authors whom he cites, and with whom we are assured from internal proof that he was perfectly familiar. In his discussions of various physical phenomena, which would provoke the smile of a modern naturalist by their immense masses of groundless hypothesis and ignorantly ingenious reasoning, he often adduces writers, of whose very existence without his evidence we should now have no knowledge. A tolerably extensive collection of the ethical beauties of the epic, tragic and comic poets of Greece may be made from his preceptive essays.
The Greek and Roman fathers, together with the divines of the dark ages, were insatiable quoters. So, likewise, were some of the early English writers, particularly the polemical. Their method was to ac. cumulate all the authorities extant in favor of their positions, to cite all the objections ever urged against them by jew, infidel, or Christian ; and then disprove those objections by other and equally extensive citations, occasionally furnishing an argument of their own. They resem bled that famous luminary of Dutch jurisprudence, who settled all the civil cases brought before him, not by comparing the pounds, shillings and pence in, but by ascertaining the pounds, ounces, and drams of the