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hexameter serves as a unit-point for poetic measure
a unitpoint whence all subsequent modes and forms of poetic expression have sprung. Its matchless superiority to all other forms of verse lies in its calm, silent power, derived from its close relation as form to Life itself—the invisible Source of all power.
The pictorial art of old Greece, like the art of poetry, derives its prominence not so much from the expression of the thing as from the thing expressed. Here as in poetry recourse is taken to the simple and fundamental. The dominating purpose is to express character; hence, it is not so much in the coloring as in the contour and lineament that the Greek artist reveals his power.
In Greek architecture we tind the same inner, quiet, selfsupporting life expressed. Its simplicity and freedom from exterior effects are manisested in its exclusive employment of the straight line. Unshackled by any element of superfluity or waste, the employment of the straight line exalts the idea of order-yielding a direct, immediate purpose, which by its truthfulness to character evinces an approach to the sublime image of ethical purity.
In the Roman and Gothic arch this singleness of purpose gives way to collateral issues, which with their complexity of aim and scenic display of light and shadow express the spirit of medieval romanticism.
As in poetry and architecture, so in music. The fundamental, innate power of the latter is embodied in rhythm. Melody is the ornamental-rhythm the characteristic and basic. Melody, with its ever changing, ever fluctuating, ever rising and falling shades of sentiment, stands for "speech”; while rhythm, with its deep, unruffled, unmixed tide of the inner, invisible, and inaudible life, expresses the "voice of silence." And, as generally known, the Grecian music is principally rhythmical.
Even in pain and agony the ancients were silent. Latona,
with her children stricken down by Apollo's arrows, carries the pose of silent grief, with sealed lips, resigned eye, and submission pictured on her brow. And Niobe, wrapped in nameless despair, betrays in her calm features only Stoic resignation to the play of a relentless destiny.
The Spartans have become world renowned for their brevity of speech. But Plutarch observes that in this brevity is contained the very essence of penetration and epigrammatic wit. Says Pindar:
“The spear and song in them do meet
With the iron, stern and sharp,
Through speech, energy is dissipated, and the expenditure thus caused can be justified and repaid only through the universal usefulness of its motive. Aimless speech is a terrible drain on man's vital and spiritual powers. Every word liberates a momentum of vital energy that reacts on the speaker from the mind of the listener; and, as reaction introduces no qualities other than those contained in the original action, so a word of falsehood, passion, or hate will fling its malignant force back into the soul whence it came, blurring and delaying, if not preventing, the moral and spiritual evolution of the individual. The dissipation of precious energy through vain and useless speech robs society of a mighty moral lever. Transmuted into movements of serviceable purpose, this energy would in a short time change the ethical aspect of our planet.
We talk too much! Man's message is in his character, not in his words. Not in the quantity, but in the quality, lies the strength of speech. The world's greatest and most influential speeches have not been the longest ones. Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg—a few periods only–will live in the minds and hearts of men as long as virtue, character, sympathy, and love hold their sacred seat in the souls of men. Victor Emmanuel's
speech, with which he quieted the intensely excited multitude in Milan after the victory of Magenta in 1855, consisted of “three words and five gestures.” Napoleon was never a grand nor eloquent speaker, but he was a terribly effective one. Our own General Grant was never heard to take part in a dispute. We all have read of Tennyson's historic visit to Carlyle, lasting five hours, during which neither of them broke the silence. Their lips were silent while their souls communed. Moltke is known among his countrymen as "der grosse Schweiger." Cromwell's revolution was successful because he engineered more than he talked; the French revolution lost because the leaders spent their energy in noisy and confused speech. Goethe attributes the success of his "Faust" and "Tasso" to the "literary silence” forced upon him through the duties and cares of his twelve years' official service in Weimar. The “Spartan self-mastery” with which he “held his Pegasus fast bound in his stall" generated an accumulated inner force that when liberated became convulsive and forceful, like the letloose torrent of a dammed-up mountain stream.
The cohesive force of all our secret orders has its explanation in just this preservative power of silence. Life itself, the most potent of all energies—with its marvels of workmanship, its construction and destruction of giant forms throughout Nature's domain-performs its world-fashioning labors wrapped in imperturbable silence.
Though engulfed in the travails of speech, our present time is not without hopeful signs of returning normal and evolutionary development. We are beginning to realize the necessity of concentrating our energies on set pursuits. This tendency is traceable in the growth of “specialties" in all professional labors. The specialist focalizes his available strength on a single aspect of life, pursuing its chain of evolution to the deeper shafts of existence, where he touches the silent sphere of causes. Our evolution is not only horizontal but verticalnot only onward but inward-and we can follow its sweep only by shifting our attention from the variety of appearance to the unity of essence, and, from the conflicting issues of uncontrolled surface speech, by striking out for the soul of things: into the silent workshop of Nature's finer forces.
“Real action is in silent moments," says Emerson. “The epochs of our life are not in the visible facts of our choice of a calling, of our marriage, our acquisition of an office and the like, but in a silent thought by the wayside as we walked; in a thought which revises our entire manner of life and says, 'Thus hast thou done, but it were better thus.'”
God's way is the way of justice and truth and love to man, and pity and righteousness, and that these should prevail. is the way in which we find the simple qualities of human nature and the common relations of men to men most honored, loved, and supported, in which love of home, gentle society, peaceful life, freedom of thought and of life, and just judgment are made easy and safe—not for ourselves only, but for all those with whom we have to do.-Stopford A. Brooke.
ARE not all true men that live or that ever lived soldiers of the same army, enlisted under Heaven's captaincy, to do battle against the same enemy—the empire of Darkness and Wrong? Why should we misknow one another, fight not against the enemy but against ourselves, from mere difference of uniform ?-Carlyle.
"He that humbleth himself shall be exalted;" nay, not "shall be," but in that very moment is. The great conquest for every soul is the conquest of itself. We never find our real life until we give it, and give it freely, as Jesus said, and knew by experience whereof he spoke.—Frederick L. Hosmer.
MEN need religion now as never in the world before–need it as the premises of logic the conclusion they involve. The religious attitude is the supreme necessity to which all knowledge, science, and experience run as rivers to the sea.- John W. Chadwick.
THOUGHTS ON THE UNKNOWN.
BY E. WOLLASTON MOODY.
Although it is the custom of the majority of mankind to denounce all speculation respecting the Abstract as sheer waste of time, I, nevertheless, think it must be conceded that bold incursions into the great thought-world are to some minds a most absorbing and exhilarating pastime. It is a pastime that not only braces the intellect but also vividly stimulates one's spirit of adventure. To urge the chariot of one's mind through the "strait, rough, dense, or rare” of the Great Unknown, the spiritual terra incognita, and so endeavor to widen the narrow limits of man's knowledge thereof, is, I hold, no unworthy pursuit, albeit it may seem an idle one to the vulgar. Indeed, I already seem to hear the thick, coarse grunt of the animal-man --the man who cares not a jot for intellectual "emprise": "Cui bono? What is the good of it all? You will only lose yourself in a Serbonian bog of wretched futilities, whence you will emerge more muddled and confused than ever."
Thank Heaven, the philosophers of old have always turned a deaf ear to this sort of man. Had they, indeed, ever condescended to listen to him, the world would not now possess the sublime flights of imagination that here and there adorn the pages of philosophy. Let us, then, leave the animal-man to his chops and bottled beer, and straightway proceed to embark in our spiritual boat to explore the deep caverns of the Unknown, and try to discover something definite and tangible in its awe-inspiring solitudes.
With faith for our keel, courage for our main-sheet, trained intellect for our rudder, let us launch fearlessly into the Deep. How glorious is the sense of freedom as we sweep over the waves of the Ocean of Thought! How rare and divine seems