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of knowledge, and secondly, the literature of power. The function of the first is, to teach; the function of the second is, to move: the first is a rudder, the second an oar or a sail. The first speaks to the mere discursive understanding; the second speaks ultimately, it may happen, to the higher understanding or reason, but always through affections of pleasure and sympathy. Remotely, it may travel towards an object seated in what Lord Bacon calls dry light; but proximately it does and must operate, else it ceases to be a literature of power, on and through that humid light which clothes itself in the mists and glittering iris of human passions, desires, and genial emotions. Men have so little reflected on the higher functions of literature, as to find it a paradox if one should describe it as a mean or subordinate purpose of books to give information. But this is a paradox only in the sense which makes it honorable to be paradoxical. Whenever we talk in ordinary language of seeking information or gaining knowledge, we understand the words as connected with something of absolute novelty. But it is the grandeur of all truth that can occupy a very high place in human interests, that it is never absolutely novel to the meanest of minds; it exists eternally by way of germ or latent principle in the lowest as in the highest, needing to be developed but never to be planted. To be capable of transplantation is the immediate criterion of a truth that ranges on a lower scale.” De Quincey.

“Poetry is essentially truthfulness; and the very incoherences of poetic dreaming are but the gle and the strife to reach the True in the Unknown.”Mrs. Browning.

“Poetry has been as serious a thing to me as life itself; and life has been a very serious thing: there has been no playing at skittles for me in either. I never mistook pleasure for the final cause of poetry; nor leisure for the hour of the poet. I have done my work, so far, as work; not as mere hand and head work apart from the personal being, but as the completest expression of that being to which I could attain, — and as work, I offer it to the public; feeling its faultiness more deeply than any of my readers, because measured from the height of my aspiration, — but feeling also that the reverence and sincerity with which the work was done, should protect it in the thoughts of the reverent and sincere." - Ibid.

“Man can never come up to his ideal standard; it is the nature of the immortal spirit to raise that standard higher and higher, as it goes from strength to strength, still upward and onward. Accordingly, the wisest and greatest men are ever the most modest.”Margaret Fuller Ossoli.

“Genius cannot be forever on the wing; it craves a home, a holy land; it carries reliquaries in its bosom; it craves cordial draughts from the goblets of other pilgrims. It is always pious, always chivalric,—the artist, like the Preux, throws down his shield to embrace the antagonist who has been able to pierce it; and the greater the genius, the more do we glow with delight at his power of feeling, need of feeling reverence, not only for the creative soul, but for its manifestation through his fellow-man.” Ibid.

“ All high poetry is infinite; it is as the first acorn which contained all oaks potentially. Veil after veil may be withdrawn, and the inmost beauty of the meaning never exposed. A great poem is a fountain forever overflowing with the waters of wisdom and delight, and after one person, or one age, has exhausted all its divine effluence, which their peculiar relations enable them to share, another and yet another succeeds, and new relations are ever developed, the source of an unforeseen and an unconceived delight.”- Shelley.

6. The best men, doing their best,
Know peradventure least of what they do:
Men usefullest i’ the world, are simply used;
The nail that holds the wood, must pierce it first,
And He alone who wields the hammer, sees
The work advanced by the earliest blow. Take heart.”

Mrs. Browning. “Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,

And round his dwelling guardian saints attend :
Bless'd be that spot, where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
Bless'd that abode where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair;
Bless'd be those feasts, with simple plenty crown'd,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale,
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.”- Goldsmith.

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"— There was one through whom I loved her, one
Not learned, save in gracious household ways,
Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants,
No angel, but a dearer being, all dipt
In angel instincts, breathing Paradise,

Interpreter between the gods and men,
Who looked all native to her place, and yet
On tiptoe seemed to touch upon a sphere
Too gross to tread, and all male minds perforce
Swayed to her from their orbits as they moved
And girdled her with music. Happy he
With such a mother! faith in womankind
Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high
Comes easy to him, and though he trip and fall,
He shall not blind his soul with clay."Tennyson.


The semitone expresses complaint, pity, love, grief, plaintive supplication, and other sentiments allied to these

“When the semitone is used with quantity and tremor, the force of the expression is greatly increased. The tremulous semitonic movement may be used on a single word, the more emphatically to mark its plaintiveness of character, or it may be used in continuation through a whole sentence, when the speaker, in the ardor of distressful and tender supplication, would give utterance to the intensity of his feelings.”- Tower.

Whining is the misplaced use of the semitone, which is the language of tenderness, petition, complaint, &c., but never of manly confidence, nor the authoritative self-reliance of truth.

The Semitone generally affects a slow time and long quantity. The interjective exclamations of pain, grief, love, and compassion are prolongations of the tonic elements on this interval. But its effect is distinctly perceptible on the short time of immutable syllables.

Examples. “Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!”- Lady Macbeth.

“O mighty Cæsar! Dost thou lie so low!
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure? - Fare thee well."-

Antony over Cæsar's Body. “I might have saved her; now she's gone forever!

Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!
What is 't thou say’st? Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low: an excellent thing in woman.

Lear over the Body of Cordelia.


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“ Behold her there,
As I beheld her ere she knew my heart,
My first, last love; the idol of my youth,
The darling of my manhood, and, alas !

Now the most blessed memory of mine age.” THE GARDENER'S DAUGHTER; OR, THE PICTURES.— Tennyson. “Don't think, in my grief, I'm complaining;

I gave him, God took him; 'tis right;
And the cry of his mother remaining

Shall strengthen his comrades in fight.
Not for vengeance, to-day, in my weeping,

Goes my prayer to the Infinite Throne,
God pity the foe when he's reaping

The harvest of what he has sown !

“Tell his comrades these words of his mother:

All over the wide land to-day,
The Rachels, who weep with each other,

Together in agony pray.
They know, in their great tribulation,

By the blood of their children outpoured,
We shall smite down the foes of the Nation,
In the terrible day of the Lord.”

“ Poor Chatterton! he sorrows for thy fate
Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too late.
Poor Chatterton! farewell! of darkest hues

This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb;
But dare no longer on the sad theme muse,

Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom;
For oh! big gall-drops, shook from Folly's wing,
Have blackened the fair promise of my spring;
And the stern Fate transpierced with viewless dart
The last pale Hope that shivered at my heart.”

“ And, friends! dear friends! — when it shall be
That this low breath is gone from me,
And round my bier ye come to weep,
Let one, most loving of you all,
Say, “Not a tear must o'er her fall
He giveth His beloved, sleep!'”

THE SLEEP. — Mrs. Browning.


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“The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears,
And quench his fiery indignation,
Even in the matter of mine innocence:
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammered iron ?
An if an angel should have come to me,
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would have believed no tongue, but Hubert's."

Arthur, in KING JOHN.

“Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert!
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
So I may keep mine eyes; 0, spare mine eyes ;
Though to no use, but still to look on you!
Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold,
And would not harm me.Ibid.

“Come, Anthony, and young Octavius, come,
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is aweary of the world:
Hated by one he loves; brav’d by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman; all his faults observ’d,
Set in a note-book, learn'd and conn'd by rote,
To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes ! — There is my dagger,
And here, my naked breast; within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus’ mine, richer than gold:
If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth;
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart:
Strike, as thou didst at Cæsar: for, I know,
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov’dst him better
Than ever thou lov'dst Cassius."

Cassius, in JULIUS CÆSAR.


According to Dr. Rush, when two or more syllables occur successively on the same place of radical pitch, the phrase may be called “the phrase of the Monotone."

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