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He goes on in a strain of exquisite hyperbole :—

How did they rivet with gigantic piles

Thorough the centre their new-catched miles;
And to the stake a struggling country bound,
Where barking waves still bait the forced ground;
Building their wat❜ry Babel far more high

To catch the waves, than those to scale the sky.
Yet still his claim the injured ocean layed,
And oft at leap-frog o'er their steeples played;
As if on purpose it on land had come

To show them what's their Mare Liberum†;
A dayly deluge over them does boil;
The earth and water play at level-coyl ;
The fish oft-times the burgher dispossessed,
And sat, not as a meat, but as a guest:
And oft the Tritons, and the Sea-nymphs, saw
Whole shoals of Dutch served up for cabillau.
Or, as they over the new level ranged,
For pickled herrings, pickled Heeren changed.
Nature, it seemed, ashamed of her mistake,
Would throw their land away at duck and drake;
Therefore necessity, that first made kings,

Something like government among them brings;

Dryden afterwards, of fighting for gain, in his song of Come, dare

"The Gods from above the mad labor behold."

A Free Ocean.

For as with Pigmys, who best kills the crane,
Among the hungry he that treasures grain,
Among the blind the one-eyed blinkard reigns,
So rules among the drowned he that drains.
Not who first sees the rising sun, commands;
But who could first discern the rising lands;
Who best could know to pump an earth so leak,
Him they their lord and country's father speak;
To make a bank was a great plot of state;-
Invent a shovel, and be a magistrate.

We can never read these and some other ludicrous verses of Marvell, even when by ourselves, without laughter.


Gilbert! Gilbert!

THE sole idea generally conveyed to us by historians of Thomas à Becket is that of a haughty priest, who tried to elevate the religious power above the civil. But in looking more narrowly into the accounts of him, it appears that for a considerable part of his life he was a merry layman, was a great falconer, feaster, and patron, as well as man of business; and he wore all characters with such unaffected pleasantness, that he was called the Delight of the Western World.

On a sudden, to everybody's surprise, his friend the king (Henry II.), from chancellor made him archbishop; and with equal suddenness, though retaining his affability, the new head of the English church put off all his worldly graces and pleasures (save and except a rich gown over his sackcloth, and in the midst of a gay court, became the most mortified of ascetics. Instead of hunting and hawking, he paced a solitary cloister; instead of his wine, he drank fennel-water; and in lieu of soft clothing, he indulged his back in stripes.

This phenomenon has divided the opinions of the moral critics. Some insist that Becket was religiously in earnest, and think the change natural to a man of the world, whose heart had been struck with reflection. Others see in his conduct nothing but ambition. We suspect that three parts of the truth are with the latter; and that Becket, suddenly enabled to dispute a kind of sovereignty with his prince and friend, gave way to the new temptation, just as he had done to his falconry and fine living. But the complete alteration of his way of life,--the enthusiasm which enabled him to set up so different a greatness against his former one-shows that his character partook at least of as much sincerity as would enable him to delude himself in good taste.

In proportion as his very egotism was concerned, it was likely that such a man would exalt the gravity and importance of his new calling. He had flourished at an earthly court: he now wished to be as great a man in the eyes of another; and worldly power, which was at once to be enjoyed and despised by virtue of his office, had a zest given to its possession, of which the incredulousness of mere insincerity could know nothing.

Thomas à Becket may have inherited a romantic turn of mind from his mother, whose story is a singular one. His father, Gilbert Becket, a flourishing citizen, had been in his youth a soldier in the crusades; and being taken prisoner, became slave to an Emir, or Saracen prince. By degrees he obtained the confidence of his master, and was admitted to his company, where he met a personage who became more attached to him. This was the Emir's daughter. Whether by her means or not does not appear, but after some time he contrived to escape. The lady with her loving heart followed him. She knew, they say, but two words of his language,—London and Gilbert; and by repeating the former she obtained a passage in a vessel, arrived in England, and found her trusting way to the metropolis. She then took to her other talisman, and went from street to street pronouncing "Gilbert!" A crowd collected about her wherever she went, asking of course a thousand questions, and to all she had but one answer-Gilbert! Gilbert! She found her faith in it sufficient. Chance, or her determination to go through every street, brought her at last to the one in which he who had won her heart in slavery, was living in good condition. The crowd drew the family to the window; his servant recognized her; and Gilbert Becket took to his arms and his bridal bed, his far-come princess, with her solitary fond word.



Fatal Mistake of Nervous Disorders for Madness.

SOME affecting catastrophes in the public papers induce us to say a few words on the mistaken notions which are so often, in our opinion, the cause of their appearance. It is much to be wished that some physician, truly so called, and philosophically competent to the task, would write a work on this subject. We have plenty of books on symptoms and other alarming matters, very useful for increasing the harm already existing. We believe also there are some works of a different kind, if not written in direct counteraction; but the learned authors are apt to be so grand and etymological in their title-pages, that they must frighten the general understanding with their very advertise


There is this great difference between what is generally understood by the word madness, and the nervous or melancholy disorders, the excess of which is so often confounded with it. Madness is a consequence of malformation of the brain, and is by no means of necessity attended with melancholy or even illhealth. The patient, in the very midst of it, is often strong, healthy and even cheerful. On the other hand, nervous disorders, or even melancholy in its most aggravated state, is nothing but the excess of a state of stomach and blood, extremely common. The mind no doubt will act upon that state and exasperate it; but there is great re-action between mind and body : and as it is a common thing for a man in an ordinary fever, or fit of the bile, to be melancholy, and even to do or feel inclined to do an extravagant thing, so it is as common for him to get well and be quite cheerful again. Thus it is among witless people that the true madness will be found. It is the more intelligent that are subject to the other disorders; and a proper use of their intelligence will show them what the disorders are.

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