These are matters of external history. They are indeed prominent objects, often changing and giving a new direction to the current; but they tell us not why it flows onward and will ever flow.
It is not to the softer and more perishable parts of his massy mind, I would direct my attention but to those veins of a primitive formation, which, now that time has loosened and removed all else, still stand out as the iron frame work of his being.
From the wrestling of his own soul with the great enemy, comes that depth and mystery which startles us in Hamlet.
The main action of all such minds must evidently be as independent of the will as is the life in a plant or a tree and, as they are but different results of the same great vital energy in nature, we cannot but feel that the works of genius are as much a growth as are the productions of the material world.
The poets of the present day who would raise the epic song cry out, like Archimedes of old, give us a place to stand on and we will move the world. This is, as we conceive, the true difficulty.
As long as man labors for a physical existence, though an act of necessity almost, he is yet natural; it is life, though that of this world, for which he instinctively works.
Often and often must he have thought, that, to be or not to be forever, was a question, which must be settled; as it is the foundation, and the only foundation upon which we feel that there can rest one thought, one feeling, or one purpose worthy of a human soul.
IT is pleasing to frequent the places from which the feet of those whom this world calls great have passed away, to see the same groves and streams that they saw, to hear the same sabbath bells, to linger beneath the roof under which they lived, and be shaded by the same tree which shaded them.
The simplest conception of the origin and plan of the Iliad must, we think, prove the most correct. It originated, doubtless, in that desire, which every great poet must especially feel, of revealing to his age forms of nobler beauty and heroism than dwell in the minds of those around him.
Do we wonder then, that, as this momentary petrifaction of the heart goes on, we are every day more and more strangers in this world of love, holding no communion with the Universal Parent, and hoarding up instead of distributing His general gifts
Macbeth is contending with the realities of this world, Hamlet with those of the next.
We feel unsatisfied until we know ourselves akin even with that greatness which made the spots on which it rested hallowed; and until, by our own lives, and by converse with the thoughts they have bequeathed us, we feel that union and relationship of the spirit which we seek.
The advance, which the human mind had made towards civilization, prevented Virgil from making a like impression on his own age.
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