« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest,
Curl the still waters, bright with stars, and rouse
Summoning from the innumerable boughs
The faint old man shall lean his silver head
To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep
His temples, while his breathing grows more deep;
Go; but the circle of eternal change,
Which is the life of nature, shall restore,
Shall tell the home-sick mariner of the shore, And listening to thy murmur, he shall deem He hears the rustling leaf and running stream. BRYANT.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Harmony: Gr. har'mos, a fitting or joining. ... Inhale: L. in, and ha'lo, I breathe; h., ex-hale, etc. . . . Lattice: Fr. lat'tis, lathe-work; fr. latte, a lath. Majesty L. ma'jus, an old word for mag'nus, great. . . . Mariner: L. ma're, the sea. . . . Pulse: L. pel'lo pul'sum, to beat, to drive; h., com-pel, com-pulsion, dis-pel, ex-pel, im-pel, im-pulse, pro-pel, pro-pulsion, re-pel, re-pulse, etc.: v. REPEAL. Spirit: L. spiritus, a breathing; fr. spi'ro, spira'tum, to breathe; h., a-spire (a = ad), con-spire, ex-pire, in-spire, per-spire, re-spire, sprightly, sprite, su-spire (susub), tran-spire (tran trans), etc. Twilight: A. S. twi, two (i. e., doubtful), and light. 10 *
XX. THE POOR EXILE.
1. MAY Heaven guide the poor exile! He goes wandering over the earth. I have passed through various countries; their inhabitants have seen me, and I have seen them, but we have not known each other. The exile is everywhere alone! When at the decline of day I saw the smoke of some cottage rise from the bosom of a valley, I said, "Happy is he who returns at evening to his fireside and seats himself among those he loves!" The exile is everywhere alone!
2. Whence come those clouds driven by the storm? It drives me along like them. But what matters it? The exile is everywhere alone! Those trees are noble, those flowers are beautiful, but they are not the flowers nor the trees of my country; to me they say nothing. The exile is everywhere alone! That stream flows gently over the meadow, but its murmur is not that which my childhood heard. To me it recalls no remembrances. The exile is everywhere alone!
3. Those songs are sweet, but the sorrows and the joys which they awake are not my sorrows nor my joys. The exile is everywhere alone! I have been asked, "Why weepest thou?" But when I have told, no one has wept, for no one understood me. The exile is everywhere alone! I have seen old men surrounded by children as the olive by its branches, but none of those old men called me his son, none of those children called me his brother. The exile is everywhere alone.
4. I have seen young girls smile, with a smile as pure as the dawn, on him they had chosen for a husband, but not one. smiled on me. The exile is everywhere alone! I have seen young men, heart to heart, embrace each other, as if they wished to have only one existence, but not one pressed my hand. The exile is everywhere alone! There are friends, wives, fathers, brothers, only in one's own country. The exile is everywhere alone!
5. Poor exile! cease to lament. Every one is banished like thyself; every one beholds father, mother, wife, friend, pass
away and vanish. Our country is not here below; man seeks for it here in vain; that which he mistakes for it is only a resting-place for a night. Heaven guide the poor exile! He goes wandering over the earth. LAMENNAIS.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Decline: L. decli'no, declina'tum, to bend off; de, off, and kli'nō (Gr.), I make bend. Exile: L. ex'sul, one who quits or is banished from his native soil; ex, from, sol'um, soil. . . . Existence : L. exsis'to, I step out or forth; ex, out, sis'to, I stand. . . . Heaven: probably fr. A. S. hef'an, to heave; heaved or heav'en up, arched. ... Husband: A. S. hûsbonda, the master of the house; fr. hús, house, and bonda, boor. . . . Inhabit: L. inhab'ito; fr. in and hab'ito, I have frequently; fr. hab'eo, I have: v. ABILITY.... Remember: L.: v. MENTION.... Valley : L. val'lis, a vale.
XXI.—PROGRESS OF CIVILIZATION.
1. Of the blessings which civilization and philosophy bring with them a large proportion is common to all ranks, and would, if withdrawn, be missed as painfully by the laborer as by the peer. The market-place, which the rustic can now reach with his cart in an hour, was, a hundred and sixty years ago, a day's journey from him. The street, which now affords to the artisan during the whole night a secure, a convenient and a brilliantly-lighted walk, was, a hundred and sixty years ago, so dark after sunset that he would not have been able to see his hand, so ill paved that he would have run constant risk of breaking his neck, and so ill watched that he would have been in imminent danger of being knocked down and plundered of his small earnings. Every bricklayer who falls from a scaffold, every sweeper of a crossing who is run over by a carriage, now may have his wounds dressed and his limbs set with a skill such as, a hundred and sixty years ago, all the wealth of a great lord like Ormond or of a merchant-prince like Clayton could not have purchased.
2. Some frightful diseases have been extirpated by science and some have been banished by police. The term of human life has been lengthened over the whole kingdom, and espe
cially in the towns. The year 1685 was not accounted sickly, yet in the year 1685 more than one in twenty-three of the inhabitants of the capital died. At present only one inhabitant of the capital in forty dies annually. The difference in salubrity between the London of the nineteenth century and the London of the seventeenth century is very far greater than the difference between London in an ordinary season and London in the cholera.
3. Still more important is the benefit which all orders of society, and especially the lower orders, have derived from the mollifying influence of civilization on the national character. The groundwork of that character has indeed been the same through many generations, in the sense in which the groundwork of the character of an individual may be said to be the same when he is a rude and thoughtless schoolboy and when he is a refined and accomplished man. It is pleasing to reflect that the public mind of England has softened while it has ripened, and that we have in the course of ages become not only a wiser, but also a kinder, people. There is scarcely a page of the history or lighter literature of the seventeenth century which does not contain some proof that our ancestors were less humane than their posterity.
4. The discipline of workshops, of schools, of private families, though not more efficient than at present, was infinitely harsher. Masters, well born and bred, were in the habit of beating their servants. Pedagogues knew no way of imparting knowledge but by beating their pupils. Husbands of decent station were not ashamed to beat their wives. The implacability of hostile factions was such as we can scarcely conceive. As little mercy was shown by the populace to sufferers of a humbler rank. If an offender was put into the pillory, it was well if he escaped with life from the shower of brick-bats and paving-stones. If he was tied to the cart's tail, the crowd pressed round him imploring the hangman to give it the fel low well and make him howl.
5. Gentlemen arranged parties of pleasure to Bridewell on court days for the purpose of seeing the wretched women who
beat hemp there whipped. A man pressed to death for refusing to plead, a woman burned for coining, excited less sympathy than is now felt for a galled horse or an over-driven ox. Fights compared with which a boxing-match is a refined and humane spectacle were among the favorite diversions of a large part of the town. Multitudes assembled to see gladiators hack each other to pieces with deadly weapons, and shouted with delight when one of the combatants lost a finger or an eye.
6. The prisons were hells on earth, seminaries of every crime and of every disease. At the assizes the lean and yellow culprits brought with them from their cells to the dock an atmosphere of stench and pestilence which sometimes avenged them signally on bench, bar and jury. But on all this misery society looked with profound indifference. Nowhere could be found that sensitive and restless compassion which in our time pries into the stores and water-casks of every emigrant ship, which winces at every lash laid on the back of a drunken soldier, which will not suffer the thief in the hulks to be ill fed or overworked, and which has repeatedly endeavored to save the life even of the murderer.
7. It is true that compassion ought, like all other feelings, to be under the government of reason, and has, for want of such government, produced some ridiculous and some deplorable effects. But the more we study the annals of the past, the more shall we rejoice that we live in a merciful age, in an age in which cruelty is abhorred, and in which pain, even when deserved, is inflicted reluctantly and from a sense of duty. Every class, doubtless, has gained largely by this great moral change, but the class which has gained most is the poorest, the most dependent and the most defenseless. MACAULAY.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Ancestor: L. anteces'sor, he who goes before; fr. an'te and ce'do, ces'sum, to go. Annals: L. an'nus, a year; h., annual, annuity, per-ennial, super-annuate, etc. . . . Assizes: v. PRESIDE. Capital: L. capitalis; fr. cap'ut, the head. Century: L. centuria; fr. cen'tum, a hundred; h., cent, centurion, etc. . . . Convenient: L. convěn'iens; fr. conven'io, conven'tum, to come together; h., to join, to fit; con = cum, with, ven'io, I come. Discipline: L. discipli'na; fr. dis'co, I learn.