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of not too much.” And, as a scholar and a poetess, she lived a life of intellectual activity, and tasted the sweets of literary fame, without sacrificing to it one jot of her womanhood, concealing the warm, true life of her heart, or dimming the clear, bright light of conscience within. Three hundred years have passed over her quiet grave; but still she is living within loving hearts, and we love to think of her in one of those groups of glorified spirits which her divine countryman has described to us, re-united to all whom she loved on earth, and chanting with them yet higher and nobler strains of love and joy and truth.
We will add to our own feeble words two of the stanzas of Ariosto, and one of Michael Angelo's sonnets.
The first are found in the thirty-seventh canto of the “Orlando Furioso." The translation is by Mr. Stuart Rose :
“As Phæbus to his silvery sister shows
His visage more, and lends her brighter fires
'Mid victories born, Vittoria is her name,
How much deeper and more earnest is the tone of Michael Angelo, marred as is his verse by translation! No one but Wordsworth has ever worthily rendered him; and so great was his modest admiration, that he has left us only three sonnets, considering all his other attempts at translation failures. We should therefore fear to be classed with a fools who rush in where angels fear to tread," did we attempt a substitute for Mr. Harford's version, poor as we think it:
TO VITTORIA COLONNA, MARCHIONESS OF PESCARA.
“Midst endless doubts, shifting from right to left,
. We must add a little madrigal in a more playful vein, to show the more graceful and gallant side of their relation :
“Lady, I trust it is not pride,
ART. III. – THE ETHICS OF PULPIT INSTRUCTION.
A Brief Account of his Ministry, given in a Discourse preached to the
Church of the Messiah, in Syracuse, N.Y., September 15th, 1867. By SAMUEL J. MAY. Syracuse, N.Y.: Masters & Lee, 1867.
Pamphlet octavo, pp. 52. Of the countless sermons that pour yearly from the press, few are so well worthy of being read and pondered, especially by ministers, as this short autobiography of Mr. May. It is the story of a moral hero, told in simplest phrase, and free from the least taint of egotism. Possibly those who infer the egotism of President Johnson, not so much from his reckless ambition and obstinate selfishness, as from the frequency with which he uses the pronoun of the first person, might object to its frequent occurrence in this pamphlet; but, although Mr. May is by no means afraid to say “I," certainly no one ever said it more modestly than he. In all these fifty pages, devoted as they are to the history of his own life, he never offends, in the least, by a sentence designed rather to entrap admiration, than to state with simplicity a fact or a thought. The single-mindedness of the man is mirrored in the directness of the style. Not forgetful of the clamors raised against him in former times by the angry crowd, he is at no pains to hide the approval of his own conscience, as he now calmly scans his seventy years. What generous heart is not touched with sympathy, when, referring to the rescue of a fugitive slave from the United States officials, in October, 1851, Mr. May says, not without honest pride, “Let me only add now, that I have not lived long enough yet, to be ashamed of any thing I said or did for the rescue of Jerry'"? The same spirit of conscious yet unassuming rectitude pervades the whole of this unvarnished record of actual facts. During a ministry of fortyseven years, every reform that promised to help lift mankind out of spiritual or social evils, has found in Mr. May a friend equally ready to give and take hard blows in its defence.
Peace, temperance, education, antislavery, woman's rights, the succor and elevation of Indians and canal-boys, - whatever humanitarian movement came to his notice, at once enlisted his sympathies and hearty efforts. Indeed, he now expresses some regret, that his work as a reformer has at times unduly withdrawn his attention from the more special duties of the ministry ; but the fault, if it be one, it is quite easy to forgive, on the score of its exceeding rarity.
"Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side."
Nothing could be more touching than Mr. May's treatment of an aged parishioner in Brooklyn, Conn., who believed that the baptism by sprinkling, which he had received in infancy, was insufficient, and consequently felt himself debarred from partaking of the “ Communion.” Against the advice of some aged ministers, to whom he had applied for counsel, Mr. May baptized his simple-hearted friend, by immersion in Blackwell's Brook; taking care, however, to caution the moved spectators against subordinating the spirit of the ceremony to its mere form. “One drop of water," I said, " would be sufficient for one who sincerely intended to become a disciple of Jesus: an ocean of water would not be enough to baptize truly a pretender.” If any thing could reconcile the modern consciousness to symbolical acts in religion, it would surely be a baptism such as this.
Equally honorable to Mr. May was his treatment of Theodore Parker. What he regarded as opposite extremes, honest superstition and honest heresy,– won from him equal tenderness and respect. Would that such a spirit were as common as it is beautiful! In the very height of the young iconoclast's unpopularity, Mr. May wrote to him for an exchange; avowedly to show that his own esteem was quite independent of repute for orthodoxy, or the applauses of a sect. The course adopted by the Boston Association of Ministers" disconcerted” him. “It seemed to me that they had lost confidence in the fundamental principle of Liberal Christianity. Mr. Parker's doctrines were then, more than they
are now, offensive to me; as much so, probably, as they were to any of the Boston ministers. . . . If, then, we believed it possible for a Calvinist to be a good Christian, I saw not why we should doubt that a rationalist might be.” The italics
What a genuine and most rare liberality is this, going out as freely to those who believe less, as to those who believe more! To men such as Mr. May, the unity and prosperity of a denomination can never become a chief object of concern; nor can the “ denominational spirit,” which is only party spirit in religion, seem ever in any wise helpful to humanity. Love of the truth for its own pure sake, and as superior to all sectarian interests, has been the inspiration of this noble ministry, and shines out from every page of the little pamphlet which records it. A grand life grandly told, full of lion-heartedness, sincerity, moral valor, and self-dedication to all noble ends! The world is better for this man's living in it; and now that the hue-and-cry of prejudice dies away, and in his venerated age he hears a growing murmur of applause which cannot wholly stifle itself, even out of deference to his modesty, let him rejoice in the approval, not of his own conscience alone, but of the universal conscience of his times.
It is chiefly as a preacher, of rare fearlessness and faith in the benign.power of truth, that we behold in Mr. May the living text of a lesson in practical ethics. He has never held his peace from fear of consequences, whether to himself or to society. In season and out of season, he has spoken out like a man, with words of great power, because backed by great character. Few men have so shone in the pulpit with those virtues, seldom blended, -bravery of speech and sweetness of spirit. Measured by the only true standard, healthy moral influence, whose preaching has been more fruitful of good ? Others may have adorned their profession” with more brilliant reputations for eloquence; others may have bequeathed to posterity richer legacies of thought or scholarship; others may have built up larger and wealthier societies; others, with the tuneful witchery of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin," may have fluted more dollars out of the pockets of their con