« VorigeDoorgaan »
iinpertinent to each other, and to any common purpose, will they appear in his narration ; and this from the want of a staple, or starting-post, in the narrator himself; from the absence of the leading thought, which, borrowing a phrase from the nomenclature of legislation, I may not inaptly call the initiative. On the contrary, where the habit of method is present and effective, things the most remote and diverse in time, place, and outward circumstance are brought into mental contiguity and succession, the more striking as the less expected.
KUBLA KHAN; OR, A VISION IN A DREAM.*
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
Down to a sunless sea.
Coleridge makes the following reference to this poem : “In consequence of a slight indisposition an anodyne had been prescribed for the author, from the effect of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Purchas's Pilgrimage: 'Ilere the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built, and a stately garden thereunto: and thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall.' The author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of effort. On awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and cagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out and detained above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone had been cast, but, alas ! without the after restoration of the latter.” The fragment is generally ranked among the finest specimens of purely imaginative poetry in our language.
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
From the fountain and the caves.
A damsel with a dulcimer
To such a deep delight ’t would win me,
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Alas! they had been friends in youth;
FLOWERS are lovely; love is flower-like;
Ere I was old !
Who we are old :
not rudely be dismissed,
1775 – 1835.
CHARLES LAMB, the most charming essayist and humorist of his time, was born in London, 2775, and died 1835. His literary fame may be said to rest upon Essays of Elia. The delicate grace and flavor of these papers cannot be described. His style has a peculiar and subtle charm which comes from perfect ease and self-possession, and his humor is of the ripest and richest kind. In all his writings he is a perfect master in delicacy of feeling and happiness of expression. No other writer, save perhaps Goldsmith, enters so closely into his readers' hearts, and so warms them with his genial personality. To all whɔ know him in his writings he is the dear friend, whose voice we seem to hear and whose smile we seem to see. A terrible tragedy shadowed his life ; but through its gloom the tender loyalty of his nature shines out with beautiful radiance.
THE ORIGIN OF ROAST-PIG.
MANKIND, says a Chinese manuscript, which my
friend was obliging enough to read and explain to me, for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw, clawing or biting it from the living animal, just as they do in Abyssinia to this day. This period is not obscurely hinted at by their great Confucius in the second chapter of his Mundane Mutations, where he designates a kind of golden age by the term Chofang, literally the Cooks' Holiday. The manuscript goes on to say, that the art of roasting, or rather broiling (which I take to be the elder brother), was accidentally discovered in the manner following: The swineherd Ho-ti, having gone out into the woods one morning, as his manner was, to collect mast for his hogs; left his cottage in the care of his eldest son, Bo-bo, a great lubberly boy, who being fond of playing with fire, as youngsters of his age commonly are, let some sparks escape into a bundle of straw, which, kindling quickly, spread the conflagration over every part of their poor mansion, till it was reduced to ashes. Together with the cottage (a sorry antediluvian make-shift of a building, you may think it), what was of much more importance, a fine litter of new-farrowed pigs, no less than nine in number, perished. China pigs have been esteemed a luxury all over the East, from the remotest periods that we read of.
Bo-bo was in the utmost consternation, as you may think, not so much for the sake of the tenement, which his father and he could easily build up again with a few dry branches, and the labor of an hour or two, at any time, as for the loss of the pigs. While he was thinking what he should say to his father, and wringing his hands over the smoking