a good instructor in his way, but dry and methodical.
Professor Goodwin's recitations were much more interesting.
Sophocles did not credit the tradition of Homer's wandering about blind and poor to recite his two great epics.
He believed that Homer was a prince, or even a king, like the psalmist David, and asserted that this could be proved or at least rendered probable by internal evidence.
This much is morally certain, that if Homer became blind it must have been after middle life.
To dHomer became blind it must have been after middle life.
To describe ancient battle-scenes so vividly he must have taken part in them; and his knowledge of anatomy is very remarkable.
He does not make such mistakes in that line as bringing Desdemona to life after she has been smothered.
How can we do justice to such a great-hearted man as Dr. Andrew P. Peabody?
He was not intended by nature for a revolutionary character, and in that sense he was unsuited, like Everett, for the time in which he lived.
If he had been chosen president of the universit
t had life.
Secondly, the humorous element, for the bowline is all tail. Thirdly, the reflective element; the monotonous motion makes him think of home,--of his wife or sweetheart,--and he ends the second line with Kitty, O, my darlina.
I like such primitive verses much better than the Pike County Ballads, a mixture of sentiment and profanity.
Then he went on to say: I want my children, when they grow up, to read the classics.
My boy will go to college, of course; and he will translate Homer and Virgil, and Horace,--I think very highly of Horace; but the literal meaning is a different thing from understanding the poetry.
Then my daughters will learn French and German, and I shall expect them to read Schiller and Goethe, Moliere and Racine, as well as Shakespeare and Milton.
After that they can read what they like, but they will have a standard by which to judge other authors.
He was afraid that the students wasted too much time in painting play-bills and other similar exerci
his cruel imprisonment in Austria.
A knight who could not compose a song and sing it to the guitar was as rare as a modern gentleman of fashion who cannot play golf.
When James Russell Lowell resigned the chair of poetry at Harvard no one could be found who could exactly fill his place, and it was much the same at Oxford after Matthew Arnold retired.
The difference between then and now would seem to reside in the fact, that poetry is more easily remembered than prose.
From the time of Homer until long after the invention of printing, not only were ballad-singers and harpers in good demand, but the recital of poetry was also a favorite means of livelihood to indigent scholars and others, who wandered about like the minstrels.
The article, as Tom Moore called it, was in active request.
Poetry was recited in the camp of Alexander, in the Roman baths, in the castles on the Rhine, and English hostelries.
Now it is replaced by novel-reading, and there are few who know how much pl
mproving his reputation.
The days of frolicsome gaiety were over.
He now lived in a more serious vein, and felt a deeper, more satisfying happiness.
It was much more the ideal life of a poet than that of Thoreau, paddling up and down Concord River in search of the inspiration which only comes when we do not think of it.
It may be suspected that he read more literature than law during these years, and we notice that he did not go, like Emerson, to the great fountain-heads of poetry,--to Homer or Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe,--but courted the muse rather among such tributaries as Virgil, Moliere, Chaucer, Keats, and Lessing.
It may have been better for him that he began in this manner; but a remark that Scudder attributes to him in regard to Lessing gives us an insight into the deeper mechanism of his mind.
Shelley's poetry, he said, was like the transient radiance of St. Elmo's fire, but Lessing was wholly a poet.
This is exactly the opposite of the view he held during his co
True hospitality is in these terms expressed, Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.
To which the following couplet from Woodnotes seems almost like a continuation:
Go where he will, the wise man is at home, His hearth the earth,--his hall the azure dome;
The wise man carries rest and contentment in his own mental life, and is equally himself at the Corona d'italia and on a western ranch; while the weakling runs back to earlier associations like a colt to its stable.
But Homer is also Emersonian at times.
What could be more so than Achilles's memorable saying, which is repeated by Ulysses in the Odyssey: More hateful to me than the gates of death is he who thinks one thing and speaks another; or this exclamation of old Laertes in the last book of the Odyssey: What a day is this when I see my son and grandson contending in excellence!
It seems a long way from Dante to Emerson, and yet there are Dantean passages in Woodnotes and Voluntaries.
They are not in Dan