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the placid lapse of streams. He went into the woods, because he "wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life." Pan's mysterious piping drew him still deeper into solitude, by the paths of streams and the tracks of the fox and partridge, where the beach-sounds in the pine-tree might remind him of Glaucus without swelling into envy for his enterprise. But it is plain, that, after salt water had once run up and lapped his feet, not all the epithets in Homer could pacify the hunger of this new sensation. He was powerfully attracted: the movement and unbounded freedom, the contrasts of strength and gentleness in the horizon filled with the downright sincerity that he prized, braced him like the high living of camps and explorations, and gave to his pulse an activity which he refused to derive from towns and business. But his observation is as sympathetic here as on the shore of Walden Pond; dealing, that is, not with general description of objects, or careful arrangement of their traits, but seizing their individuality, and transferring it with a touch of the precisest color into a sentence. Thus objects, instead of mutely falling into their natural place, aspire to interest us through something in the imagination that is kindred; and the whole scene becomes peopled instead of classified. The floating body of a woman, with her cap blown back, one of the relics of the Cohasset shipwreck, teaches him that "the beauty of the shore itself was wrecked for many a lonely walker there, until he could perceive, at last, how its beauty was enhanced by wrecks like this, and it acquired thus a rarer and sublimer beauty still." The thorn-apple, that is found on all strands of the ocean, "suggests not merely commerce, but its attendant vices, as if its fibres were the stuff of which pirates spin their yarns." An island "had got the very form of a ripple;" the sea nibbles voraciously at the Continent," the tawny rocks, like lions couchant, defying the ocean;" the windmills of the salt-works "looked loose and slightly locomotive, like huge wounded birds, trailing a wing or a leg;" the wind seems "to blow not so much as the exciting cause, as from sympathy with the already agitated ocean;" and the breakers "looked like droves of a
thousand wild horses of Neptune, rushing to the shore;" the wrecker's face was "like an old sail endowed with life, a hanging-cliff of weather-beaten flesh;" he seemed to be "as indifferent as a clam,-- like a sea-clam with hat on and legs, that was out walking the strand;" notice how the kelp is described on p. 60-the sun-squall, and the note of the mackerel-gull, "the dreary peep of the piping plover," whose young are "mere pinches of down on two legs;" and our literature cannot show a racier and more genial picture than the chapter called "The Wellfleet Oysterman." The sea plays with the land, "holding a sand-bar in its mouth awhile before it swallows it, as a cat plays with a mouse; but the fatal gripe is sure to come at last." The three or four hundred sail of the mackerel fleet hovered about the two lights of the Cape, "like moths round a candle, and at this distance they looked fair and white, as if they had not yet flown into the light; but nearer at hand, afterwards, we saw how some had formerly singed their wings and bodies." He paints the color of the sand, the weather-streaks upon the ocean, the "autumn rug" of the bay and huckleberry, the lichened boards of houses, and the fish-flakes, and the green in the comb of a wave. All the local history and topography is well interwoven with great skill to enhance the human and personal impression of these scenes. The bleak sand-elbow of Massachusetts had been unpromising from the days of Thorfin; waiting, evidently, till the arrival of this "Thor-eau " made promising, and handsome performing, too, worth the while, for his sake who was next of kin.
The reader of Thoreau's verses will be likely to declare that all the poetry has been absorbed by the prose. Yet the judgment will not be entirely safe. Only two or three pieces. those commencing "My life is like a stroll upon a beach;" ""Tis sweet to hear of heroes dead;" "My love must be as free," can boast of melody and a completed form; but scattered verses yield great subtilty of thought, and tender and sweet expressions. We recollect, that when the "Dial" was the butt of all the nibless pens in Boston, and the style of Mr. Emerson gave the criticisms that quoted it for ridicule all
their flavor, the reigning fashion included Thoreau's verses, and an oßeσros yes, like that of the gods at Vulcan's limping, went up over his ragged and halting lines. They are certainly very crude, seldom touched with the bloom of beauty, and full of verdant confidence in the reader's tolerance of their youth. But his imagination sometimes descends in their midst, and a line or a phrase blazes like a drop that has caught the sun; or suddenly his far thought strikes full upon the rows of common window glass, and they all reflect the honor.
A great deal of this poetry is gnomic, and the thrifty wisdom predominates. But there are many delicate lines about birds, the distant hills, the woodman's "early scout, his emissary, smoke;" trees stand in the clear sunset horizon,—
"as the vessels in a haven Await the morning breeze;"
and let the reader turn in confidence to "Walden," p. 271. So let him undaunted look up in "Concord and Merrimack," pp. 183, 255, 274, 300, and 403, which is better than the same vein in George Herbert. Indeed, the frank and unpretending nobleness of his verses often recalls the minor poets of the Elizabethan times. It is a pity that their slovenly habit had not been reformed.
But let these books, with all their faults of temperament. and execution, be not slow in recommending their health and calmness to the young men and women, who retain, with integrity, that contempt for worldly fashions and corrupt opinions of the Church and State, which the Republic hopes to nourish for her service and renown. Let them learn to love this sincere and truly religious life, which, both in what it did, and what it refrained to do, has a stimulus for all who long to keep themselves unspotted from the world.
""Tis sweet to hear of heroes dead,
But sweeter if we earn their bread,
And in us they survive.
Our life should feed the springs of fame
As ocean feeds the babbling founts
ART. VIL THE NEW NATION.
1. Documents of the Loyal Publication Society. New York.
2. What ought to be done with the Freedmen and with the Rebels? A By REV. HENRY M. DEXTER. Boston: Nichols &
3. The Criminal, the Crime, the Penalty. A Sermon. By REV. GEORGE H. HEPWORTH. Boston; Walker, Fuller, & Co. 4. Report of a Meeting held at Faneuil Hall, Boston, June 21, 1865, to Consider the Method of Reconstruction in the Rebel States.
THE return of peace that day waited for so long with eager, and by many with almost despairing, expectation—was greeted when it came with no loud rejoicing, with no festival or illumination, not even with any formal announcement that the era of armed strife was closed. Quietly and without parade, with only here and there some slight formal recognition of the magnificent service they have done, our disbanded soldiers are returning to their homes. The necessary reaction comes upon the public mind. The hush of weariness, or, it may be, of anxiety and care, checks the eager triumph, and forbids the tumultuous joy.
A proclamation, announcing the reduction of the army, the discontinuing of the blockade; a notification to foreign powers, that the formal recognition of belligerency must cease; an executive order, terminating the military restric tions upon trade; a declaration, that, with the current month, the Southern ports are freely open to the world's commerce,
- these, with the news how, one after another, the paltry
remaining forces of the rebellion have surrendered; and the splendid military pageant in Washington, whither the grand sweep of the campaign had brought the armies of East and West into the blaze of one gorgeous holiday, were the steps and the announcements of that change the spring months had brought. In this quiet and business-like completion of its great task, our Government has been able to keep consistently and proudly true to its theory of the war when it first began, that it was simply the exercise of executive authority to control "combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by law." We are not aware of any act or word, by which, fairly construed, it has admitted itself to be dealing with any thing except a prolonged insurrection, or a gigantic mob. Looking back on four years of an armed struggle matched by nothing since the great European war which closed fifty years ago, it still insists on its claim,- that its opponents have never been lawful belligerents, in the proper sense of the term; and proceeds to try them severally before its civil courts, as guilty of definite offences against the penal statutes of the State. This attitude of the Administration - which it has distinctly refused to relinquish, or even to allow in controversy, in every phase of the doubtful contest, and which it does not qualify now, even by so much as a formal declaration that peace is restored and victory won-is a plainer evidence than any demonstrative triumph, of that consciousness of power, that intense pride and vigor of national life, which is the first fruit of the late war.
The return of peace is received everywhere soberly and thoughtfully. It could not be otherwise; for it brings us directly upon the consideration of very serious questions, which time would have opened at any rate, which war has only hurried in their date, or altered in the shape they wear. And, besides these, it opens other questions, - how to punish the gravest political crime through the ordinary tribunals; and how, soonest, surest, and safest, to restore citizenship and all civil rights to populations that have forfeited them in the