His grief, his regrets, his chaste and ardent love, his baffled desires, heightened the fever that was in him. In spite of his sorrow, his heart beat in lively, sturdy rhythm: wild songs leaped forth in mad, intoxicated strains: everything in him hymned life and even sadness took on a festival shape. Christophe was too frank to persist in self-deception: and he despised himself.
In what way this praise is to be expressed I know not: whether in the spontaneous exercise of individual souls, "singing as they shine" with hymned voice, and fashioned instrument of golden harp or angelic trump; or only by the rapt gaze of a spirit absorbed in "still communion;" and whether in heaven as on earth there may be great days of the Lord on which the sons of God, gathered from afar, will come specially before the exalted Redeemer, when their joy, uttered by outbursts of harmony, shall wake the amphitheatre of the skies with impassioned hallelujahs, who can as yet tell!
The singers of Samans praise Him by reciting the Rathantaras. The Brahmanas praise Him with Vedic Mantras. It is unto Him that the sacrificial priests pour their libations. The deities with Indra at their head hymned His praise when He lifted up the Gobardhana mountains for protecting the cow-herds of Brindavana against the incessant showers that Indra poured in rage.
But when liberty was, as it were, dragged out of his own little private temple, where he adored and hymned it, decked out in patrician dignity of Plutarch and Livy, and carried about, dressed in the garb of a Paris fish-wife, a red cotton night-cap on her head, by a tattered, filthy, drunken, blood-stained crew of sansculottes, nay, worse, rolled along on a triumphal car by an assembly of lawyers and doctors and ex-priests and journalists when liberty, which had been to him antique and aristocratic, became modern and democratic; when the whole of France had turned into a blood-reeking and streaming temple of this Moloch goddess, then a sort of moral abscess, long growing unnoticed, seemed to burst within Alfieri's soul, and a process of slow moral blood-poisoning to begin.
"I'm going to buy a beautiful present for every one," added the now fatuous giver. "Every one!" It was all Merle could manage, and even it caused him to gulp. "Every one," repeated the hopeless addict. And even as he said it he was snared again, this time by an immense advertising placard propped on the counter. It hymned the virtues of the Ajax Invigorator.
Q. What is force in style? A. We may illustrate with a quotation from Hall Caine's unannounced book: "He drew her to him and kissed her as men and women have kissed through the æons, since the first star hymned to the first moonrise."
Thou art kind to all thy worshippers. Thou art the great deity of the Brahmanas. I am thy devoted disciple. I am desirous of beholding thee. Salutations to thee that art of the form of Emancipation."" "'Bhishma said, "Thus hymned with names that were not known to others, the Divine Narayana having the universe for his form showed himself to the ascetic Narada.
The angels have their charge over it; the banners of archangels are on its side; and from sphere to sphere, through the illimitable ether, and round the impenetrable darkness at the feet of God, its triumph is hymned by harps which are strung to the glories of the Creator! One evening, when Crauford had joined Glendower in his solitary wanderings, the dissembler renewed his attacks.
"Pavilioned in splendor" were the words descriptive of her which he had heard thunderously hymned in church. The hair heavy on her brow was of the red gold of October. If they might be said to be shipmates sailing the same waters, they yet differed in the direction of their gaze.
Thus we may reflect, as Alessandro beat his resounding forehead, to what a pass poetry may bring a youth, who buys for twenty ducats what twenty thousand cannot give him the use of. Pygmalion made a woman one day, moulding all her gracious curves as his experience taught him. There went his twenty ducats. But not he could warm that image into glowing flesh, however much he sang to it and hymned.