s home, and the purest intentions will not prevent his doing much to cramp him. Each new child is a new Thought, and has bearings and discernings, which the Thoughts older in date know not yet, but must learn.—
My attention thus fixed on Shakspeare, I returned to him at every hour I could command.
Here was a counterpoise to my Romans, still more forcible than the little garden.
My author could read the Roman nature too,—read it in the sternness of Coriolanus, and in the varied wealth of Caesar.
But he viewed these men of will as only one kind of men; he kept them in their place, and I found that he, who could understand the Roman, yet expressed in Hamlet a deeper thought.
In Cervantes, I found far less productive talent,— indeed, a far less powerful genius,—but the same wide wisdom, a discernment piercing the shows and symbols of existence, yet rejoicing in them all, both for their own life, and as signs of the unseen reality.
Not that Cervantes philosophized,—his genius w
I believe that a religion, thus received, may give the life an external decorum, but will never open the fountains of holiness in the soul.
One often thinks of Hamlet as the true representative of idealism in its excess.
Yet if, in his short life, man be liable to some excess, should we not rather prefer to have the will palsied like Hamlet, by a deepsearching tendency and desire for poetic perfection, than to have it enlightened by worldly sagacity, as in the case of Julius Caesar, or made intense by pride alone, as in that of Coriolanus?
After all, I believe it is absurd to attempt to speak on these subjects within the limits of a letter.
I will try to say what I mean in print some day. Yet one word as to the material, in man. Is it not the object of all philosophy, as well as of religion and poetry, to prevent its prevalence?
Must not those who see most truly be ever making statements of the truth to combat this sluggishness, or worldliness?
What else are
ket from their shelter.
I could not, could not!
I know not, dear friend, whether I ever shall get home across that great ocean, but here in Rome I shall no longer wish to live.
O, Rome, my country!
could I imagine that the triumph of what I held dear was to heap such desolation on thy head!
Speaking of the republic, you say, do not I wish Italy had a great man?
Mazzini is a great man. In mind, a great poetic statesman; in heart, a lover; in action, decisive and full of resource as Caesar.
Dearly I love Mazzini.
He came in, just as I had finished the first letter to you. His soft, radiant look makes melancholy music in my soul; it consecrates my present life, that, like the Magdalen, I may, at the important hour, shed all the consecrated ointment on his head.
There is one, Mazzini, who understands thee well; who knew thee no less when an object of popular fear, than now of idolatry; and who, if the pen be not held too feebly, will help posterity to know thee too.
to W. H