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scale of being has been his, breaks forth into expression. IIe is speaking to the Princess, who has confessed to have for him a Platonic attachment.
I've quaffed the cup of love from every river!
This is beautiful enough, yet we do not feel satisfied with the motives attributed by the author to the great Astronomer. We think that Galileo, raised above sublunary things and the superstitions of the Church, beld its oaths cheap, and employed them as a means of getting rid of the annoyances of the present; well knowing that posterity, profiting by his labors, would applaud the motive, and excuse, if not approve, the deceit practised on such puny enemies. Be this as it may, a deep and intense interest hangs around his name, and doubly so when enshrined in song.
Marina is a fascinating creation. Isolation has not inade her sad or sullen, but rather wilful and impulsive. She worships her father, believes in the nobility of genius, and turns the light of the spirit on all things. All her instincts are pure, her very defects charming. Mario, one of the Lazzaroni, is pleading for Galileo, and the Observatory of the Astronomer is thus peopled with life:
Winter last year, one night I found him here,
'He's just the churl they say,
Whereon the spritely girl's
Fingers did play among the prophet's hair,
Saying Amen! and I was only dumb! Again, with what power is the perplexity, the doubt, the sad wail of the heart, here expressed :
This is the eloquence, not of the lips, but of the overful heart :
:-a sorrow 'too deep for tears.' Then her misgivings, her cries for pardon, are in fine keeping with the poetic cast of her mind, and her star-worship continues with her to the last. She bids the friar, when Galileo is dead,
Fetch the body here!
The book improves on a second, a third, a fourth reading—is, in short, quite full
Of thoughts where very sweetness yieldeth proof
One word more, and we have done. In no age perhaps has the contest between new Thought and old Belief been more strongly waged than the present, and no man has suffered more from the advocacy of new thought than Dr. Brown. But mark his mode of pleading his own cause. He does not, as the small man would do, rail and vituperate, but, calm and serene in the student's pensive citadel, he rebukes and teaches by laying before us the struggles of the starry Galileo.' Happy he who will accept of the lesson, and no longer spill his soul in noisy wrath. There is a prophet-like earnestness which we admire, but mere fault-finding-the province of the Denier-- yieldeth naught. Serene, calm, Godlike, will his life be, who can look aright into those mysterious antagonisms that men call good and evil. He has learned to prize sunlight, whether it comes to him thrö an oriel window, or a rent in the wall. We are grateful for all books that teach this bigh wisdom, and hail as one of such, the Tragedy of Galileo Galilei.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
A BIOGRAPHIC SKETCH.
ABOUT nincty years ago, a handsome gentleman, recently arrived from
America, and claiming descent from an ancient family in Sussex, had the
felicity to win the admiration and affections of a clergyman's daughter, at that time known in the county as 'the heiress of Horsham.' The lady was an orphan and a minor; and her guardian, having the common prejudice respecting settlements, and other like impediments to wedlock, which so frequently obstruct the fulfilment of matrimonial inclinations, strongly interposed his authority against the match. The lovers, however, settled the difficulty for themselves. By a well arranged elopement they reached London, and were there married, according to constitutional formula, by the parson of the Fleet. This enterprizing and successful adventurer was Mr. Bysshe Shelley--formerly a medical practitioner of the quack description, in the United States, but who had some time previously relinquished his original calling for the tempting speculation of fortune hunting.
The lady did not long survive her marriage, but going the way of all the beautiful, left her husband to the solitary enjoyment of her wealth. He, nothing
, disconsolate, but sustaining his bereavement with an epicurean composure, deliberately prepared himself to vanquish another heiress. He is said to have taken up his quarters at a little inn on the verge of Penshurst park, having his esc apparently upon the neighboring mansion. It was here that Sir Philip Sidney had written, in the olden time, a part of his celebrated · Arcadia.' But it is not to be supposed that the poetical and historical associations of the place interested the imagination of Mr. Shelley; he was simply affected by the consideration that at Penshurst resided the richest heiress in the county of Kent. This was Miss Sidney Perry, the last scion of the house of Sidney. By means of his polished manners and insinuating address, Mr. Shelley was again successful. A second heiress eloped with him to London, and was married to him at St. James's, in the city of Westminister.
Having succeeded so well in the chase of fortune, Mr. Shelley next betook himself to the delicate business of procuring a title ; and, by dint of successful electioneering, had the luck to obtain a baronetcy. Captain Medwin remembers Sir Bysshe Shelley when he was very advanced in years, and says he was still ‘a remarkably handsome man, fully six feet in height, and with a noble and aristocratic bearing. His manner of life has been pronounced as being somewhat eccentric, for he used to frequent daily the tap-room of one of the low inns of Horsham, and there drink copiously with some of the lowest citizens,' a habit which the Captain thinks he had 'probably acquired in the new world' beyond the Atlantic. Tho he had built Goring Castle, which cost him upwards of £80,000, he passed the last twenty or thirty years of his existence in a small cottage looking over the river Arun at Horsham, and in which every thing about him was
of the meanest descriptions. His life was indeed that of a confirmed miserbeggarly and miserable in the midst of uncounted stores of wealth. His son Timothy was for many years in the habit of receiving a daily bulletin of his health, 'till he became one of the oldest heirs apparent in England, and began to think his father immortal.' When he at last died, bank notes to the amount of £10,000 were found in liis room, some in the leaves of books, and others in the folds of his sofa, or sewn into the lining of his dressing gown. His long and penurious career is said to have been unredeemed by a single good action; and he went down to the grave without honor, and unlamented.-Such is the unflattering account which impartial history gives of the founder of the house of Shelley.
Timothy Shelley, the long expectant heir, was a man of neglected education, who spent a few years of academic routine at Oxford, and afterwards made the customary tour on the continent, from which he returned with a smattering of French, a bad picture of an eruption of Vesuvius, and a certain air which he could put off and on at pleasure. He is described as a disciple of Chesterfield in manners, and of Rochefaucauld in morals. He was married to one Miss Pilfold, who had been brought up by her aunt, Lady Ferdinand Pool, the wife of a gentleman considerably celebrated in connexion with the 'Turf.'
From this marriage sprung the poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was born at Field Place, in Sussex, on the 4th of August, 1792. One ancestral circumstance is supposed to have had a considerable influence on the mind of the poet. Thrö his descent from the heiress of Penshurst he was enabled to claim kindred with Sir Philip Sidney, in whose character were blended the graces of chivalry and literature, His life as a child was distinguished by its gentleness, and a fond addiction to solitary and pensive amusements.
He was a gentle boy,
And in all gentle sports took joy.' A Welsh clergyman named Edwards, described as a good but feeble minded man, was the tutor of Shelley and his elder sisters. At ten years of age he was sent to a school called Zion House, at Brentford. To his sensitive and imaginative nature, the transition from the society and caresses of his sisters to the wranglings of boys, rude and knowing, chiefly the sons of London shopkeepers, was most painful and perplexing. Captain Medwin says that Zion House was a perfect hell to him. We were,' says he, “about sixty schoolfellows. I well remember the day when Shelley was added to the number. A new arrival is always a great excitement to the other boys, who pounce upon a fresh man with the boldness of
We all had to pass thrö this ordeal, and the remembrance of it gave my companions a zest for torture. All tormented him with questionings. There was no end to their mockery when they found that he was ignorant of peg-top, or marbles, or leap-frog, or hopscotch, much more of fives and crickets. One wanted him to spar, another to run a race with him. He was a tyro in both of these accomplishments, and the only welcome of the Neophyte was a general shout of derision. To all these impertinences he made no reply, but, with a look of dis upon his countenance, turned his back on his new associates, and when he was alone found relief in tears.'
'Shelley,' continues the Captain, 'was at this time tall for his age, slightly and
birds of prey.
delicately built, and rather narrow chested, with a complexion fair and ruddy, a face rather long than oval. His features, not regularly handsome, were set off by a profusion of silky brown hair that curled naturally. The expression of countenance was one of exceeding sweetness and innocence. His blue eyes were very large and prominent, considered by phrenologists to indicate a great aptitude for verbal memory. They were, at times when he was abstracted, as he often was in contemplation, dull, and as it were insensible to external objects; at others they flashed with the fire of intelligence. His voice was soft and low, but broken in its tones—when any thing much interested him, harsh and unmodulated; and this peculiarity he never lost.'
His school fellows found Shelley a strange and unsocial being. On holidays, when all the boys were engaged in sports on the play ground, Shelley might be seen pacing backwards and forwards along the southern wall, musing alone. Medwiu would occasionally join him, and listen to the tale of his sorrows. He abominated especially his dancing lessons, and contrived to abscond as often as possible from them. An Aunt of Medwin’s, on one occasion, at a ball at Willis's Rooms, asked bis French dancing master why Shelley was not present, to which he replied, “Mon Dieu, madame, what should he do here? Master Shelley will not learn any thing, be is too gauche.'
Shelley, tho seeming to neglect his tasks in school, soon surpassed all his competitors, by force of a teuacity of memory which never forgot a word once turned
up in his dictionary. In his leisure hours he read innumerable stories of haunted castles, bandits, and murderers, and the romances of Mrs. Radcliffe were great favorites with him, as indeed were the works of the Minerva Press generally. As a consequence of the impressions which these productions made upon him, he was often subject to strange and frightful dreams. He would sometimes get out of bed and walk about in his sleep. This habit, however, did not become confirmed in him, but only returned occasionally in after life, when his mind had been unusually disturbed.
Several anecdotes are told of Shelley's kindly and charitable disposition while a boy. Mr. Hogg relates, that being with him on one occasion in London, he went with him to a pawn-broker's to redeem a beautiful solar microscope, which Shelley had pawned the summer before, in order to relieve the distresses of an old man who had told him a tale of hardships, needing for relief the immediate application of ten pounds. He had drawn five pounds from his pocket and raised the other five upon the microscope. Whatever may be said of the wisdom of such a proceeding, there can be but one opinion touching the generosity of the boy. It was a great sacrifice to him to part with the microscope, as it was in daily use, and afforded him one of his highest sources of amusement; and when he received it back he was so delighted as to pat it many times in token of welcome recognition, and of his lively satisfaction in having it restored to him.
From Zion House Shelley was sent to Eton. Here he refused to fag' according to the custom of the school, and was treated with revolting cruelty by masters and boys, which only excited in him a haughtier spirit of rebellion. He appears to have learnt but little beyond the power of suffering. The only grateful recollection he had was of reading the Symposium of Plato with one of the masters, Dr. Lind. He studied something of chemistry, tho it was then a forbidden