Wide and Wild

No matter what the sketch might be;
Whether the high field on the bushless Pike,
Or even a sand-built ridge
Of heaped hills that mound the sea,
Overblown with murmurs harsh,
Or even a lowly cottage whence we see
Stretch’d wide and wild the waste enormous marsh,
Where from the frequent bridge,
Like emblems of infinity,
The trenched waters run from sky to sky.

— From Alfred Tennyson’s “Ode to Memory”, illustration by Charles Copeland in Oriana, and Other Poems (1888)

Croakings of Wealth

“Lay down true principles and adhere to them inflexibly. Do not be frightened into their surrender by the alarms of the timid, or the croakings of wealth against the ascendancy of the people.”

— Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Kercheval (1816)


One of the treasures passed down through my family is a slim volume entitled Contentment, a sort of Victorian gift book published by the Hayes Lithographing Company of Buffalo, N.Y., and bound in what appears to be alligator hide. The writers include the Rev. David Swing (1830-1894), Robert Burns (1759-1796), William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Nathaniel Cotton (1707-1788), Robert Greene (1558-1592), Mary Howitt (1799-1888), John Wilbye (1574-1638) and Joaquin Miller (1837-1918). The book dates from 1895 or so, and I thought some of the pages worth sharing: