« ForrigeFortsett »
his capacities for enjoyment and in the out-going of his thoughts. His inind was open everywhere. His intellectual powers rejoiced in their constant and most varied activity. The beautiful had a charming influence for him in whatever sphere it revealed itself. If we speak to one another of his intellectual gifts, I am sure we shall say—all of us—the same thing He was strong in the native force of his mind, quick in mental action, keen in his insight, firm in his grasp of truth, rich in his thinking, but, most of all, wide in his reach. His eye kindled with enthusiasm as he saw the first opening of new ideas. His face beamed with joy as he gained new measures of knowledge. The field of truth was full of attractiveness for him, and he was glad to enter it by any pathway. The flowers, and the thoughts of men ; the revelations of science, and the busy life of society ; the deep mysteries of theology, and the treasures of literature; the possibilities of meaning in words, and the forces which bear sway in human life-he would know of them all. He moved with alertness after them
Reading with rapid movement, learning with wonderful facility, gathering the results of study as a permanent possession through the power of a retentive memory, he took to himself constantly the abundant fruits which educated life could bestow upon him, and rejoiced in them greatly as he received them. He saw with clear vision what was within him and what was without him ; and could work with so much ease and quickness, that he seemed to have the power of working in both spheres at once. The working continued, and after the same manner, even to the latest days. He was ready in his age, as he had been in his youth, to turn with attentive interest to every thought or suggestion which might give additional light or point the way to larger knowledge. When the outward man appeared to be manifestly losing the vigor and energy of the long-continued years of strength, the inward man still kept the brightness which had been shining upon it and within it from the beginning. Life still had its beautiful side wherever there were thoughts to be offered or knowledge to be acquired.
Hopefulness also was in him as an intellectual man, and confidence in the future. He reached out after more for the growth of his own life, and he believed that more was to be given to the world's life. There was nothing in him of the man who fears investigation or distrusts the power of the truth to protect itself.
With no rashness, and no hastening after new suggestions as if truth had no past life and force, he was ever ready to move onward when the pathway was truly opened. His eye was always forward in its outlook, and not turned wholly backward. Hope was his watchword in this regard. Confidence was his strength. He would not live in the sphere of memory only, however happy that sphere might seem to be. The very ardor of his mind in its search for truth quickened him to hope, and made it easy for him to believe that new movements of mental activity in the world might be, at least, the beginnings of a further unfolding of the great revelation. He kept his intellectual powers in a state of alertness to meet every question as it might arise. He was glad of every opportunity for study which the changes of thought furnished. His own experience taught him how happy a thing it was to press on in thinking and learning, and how very happy a thing a revealing of more than the past had given always was. He was impelled to believe that the coming time would realize a similar experience. He would therefore go forward hopefully, looking everywhere for the light, and would lose no moment in doubt or fear lest the light might be too great for the truth.— Part of President Dwight's address at the funeral of President Noah Porter.
DYCE, ALEXANDER, a British literary critic, born at Edinburgh, June 30, 1798; died at London, May 15, 1869. He was educated at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities, and after serving for some years as curate in the counties of Cornwall and Suffolk, went to reside in London, and devoted himself to literary history and criticism., He edited the works of Greene, Webster, Marlowe, Shirley, Middleton, Beaumont and Fletcher, John Skelton, and other English writers; published two editions of Shakespeare, the first A Complete Edition of the Works of Shakespeare ; the Text Revised ; with Account of the Life, Plays, and Editions of Shakespeare (1850–58); the second edition (1864-67); A Few Notes on Shakespeare (1853); Remarks on Collier's and Knight's Editions of Shakespeare (1844), and numerous other valuable works. In 1840, in conjunction with Collier, Halliwell, and others, he founded the Percy Society for the publication of old English ballads and plays. His reputation is based on his contributions to English literary biography and on the great learning displayed in his editions of the old English poets. His wide reading in Elizabethan literature enabled him to explain much that had been obscure in Shakespeare, and his judgment was a check to extravagant emendation. To him we are indebted for the best text of Shakespeare extant.
SHAKESPEARE'S PRE-EMINENCE. In several publications are to be found essays on the old English theatre, the writers of which seem desirous of conveying to their readers the idea that Shakespeare had dramatic contemporaries nearly equal to himself; and for criticism of such a tendency two distinguished men are perhaps answerable-Lamb and Hazlitt—who have, on the whole, exaggerated the general merits of the dramatists of Elizabeth and James's days.
Shakespeare," says Hazlitt, "towered above his fellows, 'in shape and gesture proudly eminent,' but he was one of a race of giants, the tallest, the strongest, the most graceful and beautiful of them ; but it was a common and a noble brood.” A falser remark, I conceive, has seldom been made by critic. Shakespeare is not only immeasurably superior to the dramatists of his time in creative power, in insight into the human heart, and in profound thought; but he is, moreover, utterly unlike them in almost every respect—unlike them in his method of developing character, in his direction, in his versification ; nor should it be forgotten that some of those scenes which have been most admired in the works of his contemporaries were intended to affect the audience at the expense of nature and probability, and these stand in marked contrast to all that we possess as unquestionably from the pen of Shakespeare.- A Complete Edition of the Works of Shakespeare.
DYER, SIR EDWARD, an English poet, born about 1540; died about 1607. He was educated at Oxford, and was employed on various embassies by Queen Elizabeth. He was a friend of Raleigh and Sydney, and wrote a number of pastoral odes and madrigals. Several editions of his poems have been printed, the latest in 1872. His best poem, “ My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is,” has been claimed for Thomas Bird (1543-1623), and for Joshua Sylvester (1563-1618); but Dyer's claim is best authenticated. It has been set to music and published in William Byrd's Psalmes, Sonets, and Songs (1588).
My mind to me a kingdom is !
Such present joys therein I find,
That earth affords or grows by kind :
No princely pomp, no wealthy store,
No force to win the victory ;
No shape to feed a loving eye;