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BAYARD TAYLOR was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1825.

At the age of twenty-one he suddenly became well known by his published record of a tour through Europe, entitled “Views Afoot; or, Europe seen with Knapsack and Staff.” In 1849 he became one of the editors of the “New York Tribune,” to which he con. tributed a series of letters descriptive of his experience in Europe. “El Dorado; or, Adventures in the Path of Empire,” published in 1850, an interesting account of his travels in the far west and particularly in California, added to his reputation. With a love of adventure not inferior to that of Sir John Mandeville or Marco Polo, and with a vision as acute as Livingstone's, he journeyed for several years in Europe, Africa, Syria, China, and Japan, and then, with a grace of style not surpassed by that of any other famous traveler, he gave to the world the results of his observations in his “Journey to Central Africa,” “Visit to India, China, Loo Choo,” etc., “Land of the Saracens,” “Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark, and Lapland,” “Travels in Greece and Russia,” “At Home and Abroad,” etc. He is a graceful poet as well as prose writer, having published “ Book of Romances, Lyrics, and Songs,” “ Poems of the Orient,” “Poems of Home and Travel,” and many fugitive pieces that have enriched the columns of the “Atlantic Monthly” and other magazines. His greatest poetical production is his translation of Goethe's “ Faust." in which the original meters are often imitated with exquisite skill.


GREET with a full heart the land of the west,

Whose banner of stars o'er the earth is unrolled, Whose empire o'ershadows Atlantic's wide breast,

And opes to the sunset its gateway of gold;
The land of the mountain, the land of the lake,

And rivers that roll in magnificent tide,
Where the souls of the mighty from slumber awake

To hallow the soil for whose freedom they died.

Thou cradle of empire, though wide be the foam

That severs the land of my fathers from thee, I hear from thy children the welcome of home,

For song has a home in the hearts of the free; And long as thy waters shall gleam in the sun,

And long as thy heroes remember their scars, Be the hands of thy children united as one,

And may peace shed her light on thy banner of stars !




JOHN MILTON was born in London, December 9, 1608; and died November 8, 1674. His is one of the greatest names in all literature; and of course it would be impossible in the compass of a brief notice like this to point out, except in the most cursory manner, the elements of his intellectual supremacy.


Comus,” “Lycidas," “L'Allegro,” “Il Penseroso,” and “ Arcades were written before he was thirty years old; “Paradise Lost,” “Paradise Regained,” and “Samson Agonistes” were all published after his fifty-ninth year, and many years after he had been totally blind. His prose works were the growth of the intermediate period.

Milton's early poetry is full of morning freshness and the spirit of unworn youth; the “Paradise Lost” is characterized by the highest sublimity, the most various learning, and the noblest pictures; and the “Paradise Regained” and “Samson Agonistes” have a serene and solemn grandeur, deepening in the latter into austerity; while all are marked by imaginative power, purity, and elevation of tone, and the finest harmony of verse.

His prose works, which are partly in Latin and partly in English, were for the most part called forth by the ecclesiastical and political controversies of the stormy period in which he lived. They are vigorous and eloquent in style, and abound in passages of the highest beauty and loftiest tone of sentiment.

Milton's character is hardly less worthy of admiration than his genius. Spotless in morals; simple in his tastes; of ardent piety; bearing with cheerfulness the burdens of blindness, poverty, and neglect; bending his genius to the humblest duties, – he presents an exalted model of excellence, in which we can find nothing to qualify our reverence, except a certain severity of temper, and perhaps a somewhat impatient and intolerant spirit.

The following passage is from the fifth book of “Paradise Lost.'


THESE are thy glorious works, Parent of good,

Almighty! Thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair! Thyself how wondrous then,
Unspeakable! who sittest above these heavens,
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works ; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in heaven,
On earth join all ye creatures to extol

Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crownest the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul,
Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climbest,
And when high noon hast gained ; and when thou fallest,
Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honor to the world's great Author rise ;
Whether to deck with clouds the uncolored sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling, still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud ; and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as.ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls; ye birds,
That singing up to heaven's gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth and stately tread or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, universal Lord, be bounteous still
To give us only good ; and if the night
Have gathered aught of evil or concealed,
Disperse it, as more light dispels the dark.



OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, M. D., was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 29, 1809; was graduated at Harvard College in 1829, and commenced the practice of medicine in Boston in 1836. He has been for many years one of the professors in the medical department of Harvard College, and he is understood to be highly skillful both in the theory and practice of his profession. He began to write poetry at quite an early age. His longest productions are occasional poems which have been recited before literary societies, and received with very great favor. His style is brilliant, sparkling, and terse; and many of his heroic stanzas remind us of the point and condensation of Pope. In his shorter poems he is sometimes grave, and sometimes gay. When in the foriner mood, he charms us by his truth and manliness of feeling, and his sweetness of sentiment; when in the latter, he delights us with the glance and play of the wildest wit and the richest humor. Everything that he writes is carefully finished, and rests on a basis of sound sense and shrewd observation. Dr. Holmes also enjoys high reputation and wide popularity as a prose writer. He is the author of “The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,” The Professor at the BreakfastTable,” and “Elsie Venner,” works of fiction which originally appeared in the “Atlantic Monthly Magazine," and of various occasional discourses.


VLAG of the heroes who left us their glory,

Borne through our battle-field's thunder and flame, Blazoned in song and illumined in story, Wave o'er us all who inherit their fame!

Up with our banner bright,

Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore;

While through the sounding sky,

Loud rings the nation's cry, – Union and Liberty! one evermore ! Light of our firmament, guide of our nation,

Pride of her children, and honored afar, Let the wide beams of thy full constellation

Scatter each cloud that would darken a star!

Empire unsceptered! what foe shall assail thee,

Bearing the standard of Liberty's van?
Think not the God of thy fathers shall fail thee,

Striving with men for the birthright of man !

Yet, if by madness and treachery blighted,

Dawns the dark hour when the sword thou must draw, Then, with the arms of thy millions united,

Smite the bold traitors to Freedom and Law !

Lord of the Universe ! shield us and guide us,

Trusting thee always, through shadow and sun !
Thou hast united us, who shall divide us ?
Keep us, o keep us, the Many in One!

Up with our banner bright,

Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore;

While through the sounding sky,

Loud rings the nation's cry,
Union and Liberty ! one evermore !



The following is an extract from a speech by Charles Sumner, delivered in the Senate, February 2, 1866, on a joint resolution carrying out the guaranty of a republican forin of government.


HE cause of human liberty, in this great controver

sy, found a voice in James Otis, a young lawyer of eloquence, learning, and courage, whose early words, like the notes of the morning bugle mingling with the dawn, awakened the whole country. Asked by the merchants of Boston to speak at the bar against writs of assistance, issued to enforce ancient acts of Parliament, he spoke both as lawyer and as patriot, and so doing became a statesman. His speech was the most important, down to that occasion, ever made on this side of the ocean.

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