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4. Perfect, more perfect than any other man, we may Shakspeare in this: he discerns, knows as by instinct, what condition he works under, what his materials are, what his own force and its relation to them is. It is not a transitory glance of insight that will suffice: it is deliberate illumination of the whole matter; it is a calmly seeing eye—a great intelTect, in short. Or indeed we may say again, it is in what I called portrait painting, delineating of men and things, especially of men, that Shakspeare is great. All the greatness of the man comes out decisively here. It is unexampled, I think, that calm creative perspicacity of Shakspeare.
5. The thing he looks at reveals not this or that face of it, but its inmost heart and generic secret: it dissolves itself as in light before him, so that he discerns the perfect structure of it. Creative, we said: poetic creation, what is this too but seeing the thing sufficiently? The word that will describe the thing follows of itself from such clear, intense sight of the thing. And is not Shakspeare's morality, his valor, candor, tolerance, truthfulness, his whole victorious strength and greatness, which can triumph over such obstructions, visible there too? . 6. Great as the world! No twisted, poor convex-concave mirror, reflecting all objects with its own convexities and concavities; a perfectly level mirror-that is to say withal, if we will understand it, a man justly related to all things and men, a good man. It is truly a lordly spectacle how this great soul takes in all kinds of men and objects, a Falstaff, an Othello, a Juliet, a Coriolanus; sets them all forth to us in their round completeness, loving, just, the equal brother of all.
7. If I say that Shakspeare is the greatest of intellects, I have said all concerning him. But there is more in Shakspeare's intellect than we have yet seen. It is what I call an unconscious intellect; there is more virtue in it than he himself is aware of. Novalis beautifully remarks of him that those dramas of his are products of nature too, deep as Nature herself. I find a great truth in this saying. Shakspeare's art is not artifice; the noblest worth of it is not there by plan or
precontrivance. It grows up from the deeps of nature through this noble sincere soul, who is a voice of nature. The latest generations of men will find new meanings in Shakspeare, new elucidations of their own human being, "new harmonies with the infinite structure of the Universe, concurrences with later ideas, affinities with the higher powers and senses of man."
8. This well deserves meditating. It is Nature's highest re ward to a true, simple, great soul that he gets thus to be a part of herself. Such a man's works, whatsoever he with. utmost conscious exertion and forethought shall accomplish, grow up withal unconsciously, from the unknown deeps in him, as the oak tree grows from the earth's bosom, as the mountains and waters shape themselves, with a symmetry grounded on nature's own laws, conformable to all truth whatsoever. How much in Shakspeare lies hid!—his sorrows, his silent struggles known to himself, much that was not known at all, not speakable at all, like roots, like sap and forces working under ground! Speech is great, but silence is greater. CARLYLE.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Affinity: L. affi'nis, bordering on or related to. V DEFINITE... Ambition: L. ambi'tio; fr. am'bi, around, i're, to go; orig. applied to the going about of candidates for office in Rome: v. ISSUE.... Chivalry: fr. the F. cheval (shě-val), a horse; h., chevalier. Conclude: L. conclu'do, conclu'sum, to shut up; fr. con and clau'do, clau'sus, to close; h., clause, cloister, close, closet, con-clude, dis-close, exclude, in-close, in-clusive, pre-clude, re-cluse, se-clude, etc. . . . Construct: L. con'struo; fr. con and stru'o, struc'tum, to join together, to build; h., con-strue, de-stroy, de-struction, in-struct (in'struo, I build in or into, I prepare), in-strument, ob-struct (ob, in the way), structure, super-structure, etc. Discern: L. dis-cer'no; fr. dis, apart, cer'no, cre'tum, to separate; h., le-cree, dis-cretion (skill in separating), dis-criminate, con-cern (lit., to mix, as in a sieve for separating), ex-crete, se-crete (se, aside), se-cret, se-cretary, etc.... Dramatic: L. and Gr. dra'ma, an act or deed; fr. Gr. dra'ō, I do. Faculty: L. facultas; fr. fă'cilis, easy, fr. fă'cio, fac'tum, to make; wh., Fashion: fr. factio, a making: v. FACT.... Generic: L. gen'us, gen'eris, birth, race: v. ENGINE. . . . Idol: Gr. eidō'lòn, fr. ei'dŏs, that which is seen. . . . Level: A. S. læfel, L. libella, a level or line; dim, of li'bra, a balance. Literature: L. literatura; fr. lit'era, a letter; h., al-literation, il-literate, letter, literal, etc. . . . Perennial : L. peren'nis, that lasts the year through; fr. per, through, and an'nus, a year: v. ANNALS. Portrait: L. pro, forth, traho, I draw: v. ABSTRACT. ... Symmetry: Gr. summěť'ria, an apt arrangement of parts; fr. sûn, together, and mět'ron, a measure. . . . Tranquil : L. tranquil'lus, calm, serene.
IV. THE ALARM AT CONCORD.
1. THAT night there was a cry of alarm passing all through the succession of country towns and rural communities that lay around Boston, and dying away toward the coast and the wilder forest borders. Horsemen galloped past the line of farm-houses, shouting, Alarm! alarm! There were stories of marching troops coming like dreams through the midnight.
2. Around the little rude meeting-houses there was here and there the beat of a drum, followed by the assemblage of farmers with their weapons. So all that night there was marching, there was mustering, there was trouble; and on the road from Boston a steady tramp of soldiers' feet onward, onward, into the land whose last warlike disturbance had been when the red Indians trod it.
3. As morning brightened, these sounds, this clamor-or something that was in the air and caused the clamor grew so loud that Septimius seemed to feel it even in his solitude. It was in the atmosphere-storm, wild excitement, a coming deed. Men hurried along the usually lonely road in groups, with weapons in their hands-the old fowling-piece with which the Puritans had shot ducks on the river and Walden pond; the heavy harquebus which perhaps had leveled one of King Philip's Indians; the old King gun that blazed away at the French of Louisburg or Quebec; hunter, husbandman, all were hurrying one another.
4. It was a good time, everybody felt, to be alive, to have a sense of a nearer kindred, a closer sympathy between man and man, a sense of the goodness of the world, of the sacredness of country, of the excellence of life; and yet its slight account compared with any truth, any principle; the weighing of the material and ethereal, and the finding the former not worth considering, when, nevertheless, it had so much to do with the settlement of the crisis; the ennobling of brute force; the feeling that it had its godlike side; the drawing of heroic breath amid the scenes of ordinary life, so that it seemed as if they had all been transfigured since yesterday.
5. Oh, high, heroic, tremulous juncture, when man felt himself almost an angel, on the verge of doing deeds that outwardly look so fiendish! Oh, strange rapture of the coming battle! We know something of that time now-we that have seen the muster of the village soldiery on the meeting-house green and at railway-stations, and heard the drum and fife, and seen the farewells, seen the familiar faces that we hardly knew, now that we felt them to be heroes, breathed higher breath for their sakes; felt our eyes moistened; thanked them in our souls for teaching us that nature is yet capable of heroic moments; felt how a great impulse lifts up a people and every cold, passionless, indifferent spectator-lifts him up into religion, and makes him join in what becomes an act of devotion, a prayer, when perhaps he but half approves.
6. Septimius could not study on a morning like this. He tried to say to himself that he had nothing to do with this citement, that his studious life kept him away from it, that his intended profession was that of peace, but say what he might to himself, there was a tremor, a bubbling impulse, a tingling in his ears, and the page that he opened glimmered and grew dazzling before him.
7. "Septimius! Septimius!" cried Aunt Keziah, looking into the room, "in Heaven's name, are you going to sit here to-day, and the red coats coming to burn the house over our heads? Must I sweep you out with the broomstick? For shame, boy! for shame!" "Are they coming, then, Aunt Keziah?" asked her nephew; "well, I am not a fighting man."
8. "Certainly they are coming. They have sacked Lexington, and slain the people, and burnt the meeting-house. That concerns even the parsons, and you reckon yourself among them. Go out, go out, I say, and learn the news!"
9. In fact, along the road they heard the clatter of hoofs and saw a cloud of dust approaching at the rate of a gallop, and disclosing, as it drew near, a hatless countryman in his shirt sleeves, who, bending over his horse's neck, applied a cart-whip lustily to the animal's flanks, so as to incite him to most unwonted speed. At the same time he lifted up his
voice and shouted in a strange, high tone, that communicated the tremor and excitement of the shouter to every auditor, 86 Alarum! alarum! alarum! The red-coats! The red-coats! To arms! alarum!" HAWTHORNE.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Alarm: It. all'arme, to arms! ... Assemble: F. assembler; fr. L. ad, to, and sim'ul, together.... Clamor: L.; fr. cla'mo, clama'tum, to call, to cry out; h., ac-claim, ac-clamation, claim, de-claim, dis-claim, ex-claim, ir-re-claimable, pro-claim, re-claim, etc. Ether: Gr. ai-thēr, the upper, purer air; fr. ai'thein, to light up, to blaze; h., ethereal.... Juncture: L. junctu'ra; fr. jungo, junc'tum, to join; h., adjoin, ad-junct, con-join, con-junction, dis-join, en-join (to make to join, to order), in-junction, join, joint, junction, re-join, sub-join, sub-junctive, etc. . . . Material: L. ma-te'ria, fr. ma'ter, mother; h., im-material (im = in-, not), maternal, matrimony, matron, matter, etc. Parson: v. PERSON.... Solitude: L. solitu'do; fr. sol'us, alone; h., de-solate, sole, soli-loquy (lòquor, I speak), solitary, solo, etc. . . . Study: L. stud'ium; fr. stud'eo, I apply myself to; h., student, studious. Sympathy: Gr. sumpathei'a; fr. sūn, with, and pa'thos, suffering.
V. THE SECRET OF CONTENT.
1. THE other day, as I was walking on one of the streets of Newport, I saw a little girl standing before the window of a 1 milliner's shop. It was a very rainy day. The pavement of the sidewalks on this street is so sunken and irregular that in wet weather, unless one walks with very great care, he steps continually into small wells of water. Up to her ankles in one of these wells stood the little girl, apparently as unconscious as if she were high and dry before a fire. It was a very cold day, too. I was hurrying along, wrapped in furs, and not quite warm enough even so.
2. The child was but thinly clothed. She wore an old plaid shawl and a ragged knit hood of scarlet worsted. One little red ear stood out unprotected by the hood, and drops of water trickled down over it from her hair. She seemed to be pointing with her finger at articles in the window, and talking to some one inside. I watched her for several moments, and then crossed the street to see what it all meant.