'Give me,' I demanded of a
scholar some time ago, 'give me a definition of poetry.'
'_Tres-volontiers;_' and he proceeded to his library, brought me a Dr.
Johnson, and overwhelmed me with a definition. Shade of the immortal
Shakespeare! I imagine to myself the scowl of your spiritual eye upon
the profanity of that scurrilous Ursa Major. Think of poetry, dear
B----, think of poetry, and then think of Dr. Samuel Johnson! Think of
all that is airy and fairy-like, and then of all that is hideous and
unwieldy; think of his huge bulk, the Elephant! and then--and then think
of the 'Tempest'--the 'Midsummer Night's Dream'--Prospero--Oberon--and
"A poem, in my opinion, is opposed to a work of science by having, for
its _immediate_ object, pleasure, not truth; to romance, by having, for
its object, an _indefinite_ instead of a _definite_ pleasure, being a
poem only so far as this object is attained; romance presenting
perceptible images with definite, poetry with _in_definite sensations,
to which end music is an _essential_, since the comprehension of sweet
sound is our most indefinite conception. Music, when combined with a
pleasurable idea, is poetry; music, without the idea, is simply music;
the idea, without the music, is prose, from its very definitiveness.
"What was meant by the invective against him who had no music in his
"To sum up this long rigmarole, I have, dear B----, what you, no doubt,
perceive, for the metaphysical poets as poets, the most sovereign
contempt. That they have followers proves nothing:
"'No Indian prince has to his palace
More followers than a thief to the gallows.'"
* * * * *
SCIENCE! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing!
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from
It appears that on the---- day of---- (I am not positive about the date), a vast crowd of people, for purposes not specifically mentioned, were assembled in the great square of the Exchange in the well-conditioned city of Rotterdam.Page 56
of that singular class of substances occasionally picked up on the earth, and termed meteoric stones for want of a better appellation.Page 58
Schroeter, of Lilienthal.Page 77
Whether we succeed or fail, the excitement which you now perceive in me will be equally allayed.Page 106
We may, however, presume he would not have adopted it but for some occasion of especial state.Page 107
his head, and the queer color of his face, which has become nondescript from the quantity of wine he has swallowed.Page 124
"That the voices heard in contention," he said, "by the party upon the stairs, were not the voices of the women themselves, was fully proved by the evidence.Page 131
The throat of the old lady was not merely cut, but the head absolutely severed from the body: the instrument was a mere razor.Page 143
His reputation--so he said with a peculiarly Parisian air--was at stake.Page 147
On Wednesday noon, at twelve, a female body was discovered afloat on the shore of the Barrière de Roule.Page 157
Under certain conditions this result would be brought about within an hour; under others, it might not take place at all.Page 164
You cannot fail to have remarked the extreme laxity of the examination of the corpse.Page 173
Now here, of course, the suspicion is not that, in consequence of these communications, or of the public attention by them directed, the articles were found by the boys; but the suspicion might and may well have been, that the articles were not before found by the boys, for the reason that the articles had not before been in the thicket; having been deposited there only at so late a period as at the date, or shortly prior to the date of the communications by the guilty authors of these communications themselves.Page 176
Let us see.Page 178
That this 'bandage,' only attainable with trouble and delay, and but imperfectly answering its purpose--that this bandage was employed at all, demonstrates that the necessity for its employment sprang from circumstances arising at a period when the handkerchief was no longer attainable--that is to say,.Page 180
"Let us sum up now the meagre yet certain fruits of our long analysis.Page 183
To check this ascent, the only recourse is, (or rather _was_, until Mr.Page 204
I mean its extreme porousness, considered independently by the worm-eaten condition which is a consequence of navigation in these seas, and apart from the rottenness attendant upon age.Page 207