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weather, like all things else, abounds with under-currents of influence and mystic echoes to its common language, of which the multitude are scarcely conscious.
The weather is an impressive time-keeper. To many it is the most regulating of dials. Not only does it serve to mark the flight, but to control the appropriation of time. The dreamy mood, induced by a warm, cloudy day, inclines us to visit ruins. The blitheness excited by a cold, clear morning, suggests a rapid promenade. When the night wind sighs dismally, our fancies rove through the world of dark romance. A winter twilight makes us realize how transitory are human flowers ;' and the same season in mid.summer, quickers the idea of being into a sense of immortality. All the world over, mild and moonlight evenings are sacred to young love. Old Walton wisely invokes a wet evening for the perusal of his discourse ; and,
''Tis heaven to lounge upon a couch, said Gray,
The poets from first to last, in things human and scientific, are, after all, the best philosophers. How universally have they taken cognizance of, and chronicled the elements; and how appropriately adapted them to the circumstances of their heroes and heroines. How feelingly they speak of the weather! Wbat obesrvant, particular, and sensitive meteorologists are they all. How graphic is Byron's description of a London daybreak and how sweetly does Mrs. Hemans extol the magic of a sunbeam! What influential, ay, and meta- . physical storms, dog-days, and spring mornings, are those immortalized in the annals of every celebrated bard. In truth, poets seem intuitively weather-wise.
The weather is eloquently symbolical. It is a peren. nial fountain of metaphors. The clouds that fly over the star.gemmed sky, typify the exhalations of earth which, ever and anon, shade the spirit in its pilgrimage. The wreaths of vapour circling on the gentle breeze, and made rosy and radiant by the sun-light, present an apt similitude of the rise, expansion, and glow of the enthusiast's visions. An icy footpath preaches a homily on mortal instability to the pedestrian, and a deep azure sky is a pure symbol of peace to the gifted eye. The moonlight reposing on snow has been fitly made to illustrate memory; and the dew sparkling in the sun, is a bright emblem of youth, as its vanishing is of decay. Happy the being, whose consciousness is so lost in the blest intensity of the elements within him, as to be unconscious of those around him ; for the glow of human enthusiasm is more beautiful than the flush of the most magnificent sunset. But undesirable is the sternness that disdains to recognize the contrasts of the elements ; for the aspect of a frozen lake or the touch of a northern blast is far less chilling, than an unsympathizing spirit to a being of wor• thy sensibility.
When the fluid particles composing the primeval earth settled into consistent masses, an unbroken, uniform, plain was not the result ; but everywhere, form, color and density indicated the various species of matter. Ver. dure crept over the rich loam, long tables of sand marked the limits of the sea, and rocks of every hue stood forth from the hills. Form of aspect and movement became a law of creation. . Even the unstable elements obeyed it. The waters projected themselves into billows, currents, and fountains, and the aeriform waves of the “ upper deep” were poured forth in as certain developments. (To everything a manner was awarded by which it was to be recognised, and through which it was to be studied. Another world was then called into being,
-a universe of thought, sentiment, fancy, and feeling a human world.. And in this, too, external forms were assumed, and manner became a characteristic of mortals. The same law obtains in the spheres of mind and matter ; but how differently displayed! Since the first song of the stars, the heavens have worn the same successive drapery, the earth
has changed not her four familiar robes. The winds have raised the billows into mountains or dallied with the roseleaves. In all things has nature been variable, yet the same-ever presenting a well-known though ever varying feature. She knows not the law of fashion. She is in. expert in artificial diplomacy. But manner, among human beings, is subject to the modifications of time and place; it can be made subservient to the will. In its very nature, manner is a means, and greatly do those err who make it an end. Yet are there individuals, by whom this adjunctive, secondary, exponent principle is supremely cultivated and mainly relied on. There are those who manage to glide along through the world by a kind of mannered legerdemain, who have acquired their manner in the ancient school of Proteus, and by their siugular dexterity in ever imparting the required impression, from moment to mornent, fail not in their social objects. There is a species of shufflers, who succeed, by virtue of an off-hand manner, which mankind, in general, are content to yield to. The most popular class is, doubtlese, , that which reduces Chesterfield to practice, on principle, and with veritable punctilio. These devotees leau on a broken reed. Tneir faith in a manner is too perfect. With wonder, did I once hear a man of sense console himself for the unprincipled conduct of his son, by declaring that through all he had kept his manners.' When tact at mere verbal rhyming constitutes a poet, musical memory a composer, or taste in colors a paiuter, then may we believe that manner will make a man, for,
“ Heaven never meant him for a passive thing,
There is a policy in manner. I have heard one, not inexperienced in the pursuit of fame, give it his earnest support as being the surest passport to absolute and brilliant success. And who, that has been chained, for hours, as by enchantment, with the grace and elegance of an orator, and then, in solitude, reviewed his words and recalled Dot a single original and impressive idea-has not realised this? It is wonderful how a skilful mannerist can deceive the world as to his acquirements and motives. I have, at this moment, in my mind's eye, the comely figure of an individual wbo has attained no undesirable elevation in the world of letters, whose manner is so pro. found and scholar-like, so redolent of the otium cum dignitate, that it has earned him the cognomen of the learned. A Greek name is inscribed upon his cane, and a Latin adage upon his tongue's end. He yields not to familiar discourse, nor manifests an interest in aught save what is classical. In company with scholars, he is silent, seemingly from abstraction; in the society of the uninitiated he speaks much, apparently to relieve the exuberance of his acquisitions : the one class attempt not to examine his pretensions, from a horror (natural to high minds) of pedantic display; the other, awe-struck, yield him rever
Now a few years since, ; but I will not betray him.
Suffice it to say, that the first time the mag. nificence of his manner is invaded, the commanding frost-work of his reputation will melt in air. We habit