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In Greek mythology, Ni'o-be was the wife of Amphi'on, king of Thebes. whose six sons and six daughters were slain by Apollo and Diana. By Tully is meant Marcus Tullius Cicero, the orator; by Livy, Titus Livius. the historian.
O ROME! my country! city of the soul!
What are our woes and sufferance? Come and see
Whose agonies are evils of a day;
A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.
The Niobe of nations! there she stands,
Rise with thy yellow waves and mantle her distress!
The Goth, the Christian, time, war, flood and fire
She saw her glories star by star expire,
And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
Where the car climbed the Capitol: far and wide
O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
And say, "Here was, or is," where all is doubly night?
The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and wrap
Alas! the lofty city! and alas!
The trebly hundred triumphs! and the day
Alas for earth! for never shall we see
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Agony : Gr. agō'nia, contest; fr. ag'ōn (ȧywv), a place of contest. Barbarian : Gr. bar'bards, foreign.... Chaos: Gr. xaos, empty space. . . . Control: F. contrôle; fr. L. con'tra, against, and rot'ula, a little wheel, a roll; orig., an account kept to check another account, a counter-register. . . Eureka: Gr. evрηxа, I have found.
Pronounce Ardagh, Ar'da (the final a like a in far).
1. THERE are few writers for whom the reader feels such personal kindness as for Oliver Goldsmith, for few have so eminently possessed the magic gift of identifying themselves with their writings. We read his character in every page,
and grow into familiar intimacy with him as we read. The artless benevolence that beams throughout his works; the whimsical, yet amiable views of human life and human nature; the unforced humor, blending so happily with good feeling and good sense, and singularly dashed at times with a pleasing melancholy; even the very nature of his mellow and flowing and softly-tinted style, all seem to bespeak his moral as well as his intellectual qualities, and make us love the man at the same time that we admire the author.
2. Oliver Goldsmith was born on the 10th of November, 1728, at the hamlet of Pallas, or Pallasmore, county of Longford, in Ireland. Let us draw from his own writings one or two of those pictures which, under figured names, represent his father and his family and the happy fireside of his childish days. "My father," says the Man in Black, who in some respects is a counterpart of Goldsmith himself—" my father, the younger son of a good family, was possessed of a small living in the Church. His education was above his fortune and his generosity greater than his education. Poor as he was, he had his flatterers poorer than himself. For every dinner he gave them they returned him an equivalent in praise, and this was all he wanted. As his fortune was but small, he lived up to the very extent of it.
3. "He had no intention of leaving his children money, for that was dross; he resolved that they should have learning, for learning, he used to observe, was better than silver or gold. For this purpose he undertook to instruct us himself, and took as much care to form our morals as to improve our minds. We were told that universal benevolence was what first cemented society. We were taught to consider all the wants of mankind as our own-to regard the human face divine with affection and esteem. He wound us up to be mere machines of pity, and rendered us incapable of withstanding the slightest impulse made either by real or fictitious distress. In a word, we were perfectly instructed in the art of giving away thousands before we were taught the necessary qualifications of getting a farthing."
4. In Goldsmith's "Deserted Village" we have another picture of his father and his father's fireside :
"His house was known to all the vagrant train ;
Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
Shouldered his crutch and showed how fields were won.
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began."
5. Oliver's education commenced when he was about three years old that is to say, he was gathered under the wings of one of those good old motherly dames found in every village who cluck together the whole callow brood of the neighborborhood to teach them their letters and keep them out of harm's way. At six years of age he passed into the hands of the village schoolmaster, one Thomas Byrne, or, as he was commonly and irreverently named, Paddy Byrne, a capital tutor for a poet.
6. Goldsmith is supposed to have had him and his school in view in the following sketch in the "Deserted Village":
"Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
I knew him well, and every truant knew;