was dusty with the golden pollen of Greece
, and Italy
could say, when he first opened Chapman
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific, and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise,
could say this, whose mind had been unconsciously fed with the results of this culture,—results that permeated all thought, all literature, and all talk, —fancy what must have been the awakening shock and impulse communicated to men's brains by the revelation of this new world of thought and fancy, an unveiling gradual yet sudden, like that of a great organ, which discovered to them what a wondrous instrument was in the soul of man with its epic and lyric stops, its deep thunders of tragedy, and its passionate vox humana
! It might almost seem as if Shakespeare
had typified all this in Miranda
, when she cries out at first sight of the king and his courtiers,
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O, brave new world
That hath such people in 't!
The civil wars of the Roses had been a barren period in English literature, because they had been merely dynastic squabbles, in which no great principles were involved which could shake all minds with controversy and heat them to intense conviction.
A conflict of opposing ambitions wears out the moral no less than the material forces of a people, but the ferment of hostile ideas and convictions may realize resources of character which before were only potential, may transform a merely gregarious multitude into a nation proud in its strength, sensible of the dignity and duty which strength involves,