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And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
The venerable woods; rivers that move
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
LXV. - JOAN OF ARC.
THOMAS DE QUINCEY.
THOMAS DE QUINCEY was born in Manchester, England, August 15, 1785; lived for some years in Grassmere, in the county of Westmoreland, and latterly in Scotland. He died December 2, 1859. He first attracted attention as a writer by his “ Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,” published in 1822, which was much admired for the splendor of its descriptions, the vividness of its pictures, and the impassioned eloquence of its style. He afterwards wrote a great number of papers in periodical journals, especially in “ Blackwood's Magazine." These have been collected and published in America; filling thus far (and the list is not exhausted) not less than eighteen small-sized volumes.
De Quincey was a man of great learning and genius. His style is distinguished for elaborate splendor and imperial magnificence. He has a rare power of painting solemn and gorgeous pictures; not with a few touches, but in lines slowly drawn and with colors carefully laid on. He has equal skill in expressing the language of strong and deep passion, the sorrow that softens the heart and the remorse which lacerates it. He has also a peculiar vein of humor, which produces its effects by amplification and slowly adding one ludicrous conception to another. And combined with these are a rare faculty of acute metaphysical analysis, which divides and defines with the sharpest precision, and a biting critical discernment, which eats into the heart of ignorance and presumption. The writings of De Quincey are well worth studying on account of their rhetorical power and their wealth of expression.
HAT is to be thought of her? What is to be
thought of the poor shepherd-girl from the hills and forests of Lorraine, that — like the Hebrew shepherdboy from the hills and forests of Judæa -- rose suddenly out of the quiet, out of the safety, out of the religious inspiration, rooted in deep pastoral solitudes, to a station in the van of armies, and to the more perilous station at the right hand of kings?
The Hebrew boy inaugurated his patriotic mission by an act, by a victorious act, such as no man could deny. But so did the girl of Lorraine, if we read her story as it was read by those who saw her nearest. Adverse armies
bore witness to the boy as no pretender; but so they did to the gentle girl. Judged by the voices of all who saw them from a station of good-will, both were found true and loyal to any promises involved in their first acts. Enemies it was that made the difference between their subsequent fortunes.
The boy rose — to a splendor and a noonday prosperity, both personal and public, that rang through the records of his people, and became a byword amongst his posterity for a thousand years, until the scepter was departing from Judah. The poor forsaken girl, on the contrary, drank not herself from that cup of rest which she had secured for France. She never sang together with the songs that rose in her native Domremy * as echoes to the departing steps of invaders. She mingled not in the festal dances of Vaucouleurs, which celebrated in rapture the redemption of France.
No! for her voice was then silent. No! for her feet were dust.
Pure, innocent, noble-hearted girl! whom, from earliest youth, ever I believed in as full of truth and self-sacrifice, this was amongst the strongest pledges for thy side, that never once - no, not for a moment of weakness - didst thou revel in the vision of coronets and honor from man. Coronets for thee! O no! Honors, if they come when all is over, are for those that share thy blood.
Daughter of Domremy, when the gratitude of thy king shall awaken, thou wilt be sleeping the sleep of the dead. Call her, king of France, but she will not hear thee. Cite her by thy apparitors to come and receive a robe of honor, but she will not obey the summons. When the thunders of universal France, as even yet may happen, shall pro
* Domremy, dom'rë-my. t Vaucouleurs, vô-cô-lérs.