« 이전계속 »
was, no finer and no coarser than the actual clay. Then he does not judge the poet by the man. Neither concealing nor equivocating, describing everything fairly, he estimates his poetry as poetry, not as the work of the lover of La Guiccioli nor the fortune-hunting husband of Miss Milbanke. Byron's poetry, indeed, as Professor Nichol says, was intensely biographical, that is, intensely individual. The striking inconsistencies of his nature are reflected in his poems; but the insight and the power of “Don Juan,” which made Shelley despair, are the truly great work of the age. One sentence, perhaps, may be quoted as summarizing Professor Nichol's estimate: “If he did not bring a new idea into the world, he quadrupled the force of existing ideas, and scattered them far and wide.” But Nichol's criticism of details and of the excellence of Byron's literary work is curiously different from that of Ruskin, who claims for him the greatest literary skill. Such points, indeed, are mere refinements when the grasp of a poet's genius and its hold upon the world are considered. In this country certainly the influence of Byron and the admiration for his genius did not survive his generation. Halleck and Willis show the literary impression that he made; but none of our great authors have been in the least subject to him, and the judgment of this country would differ widely from that of Europe as cited by Professor Nichol. His own generation in this country, indeed, was fascinated and dazzled by lim. And the men of that day listened with incredulity to his own contemporaries of another strain, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats; and the later Tennyson seemed to them mere attar of roses. How often have we heard against the most subtle and melodious and aromatic lines of Tennyson, a strong manly voice urging the pomp and pathos and broad natural simplicity of the “Battle of Waterloo” and of the Italian cantos of “Childe Harold”? Pomp and pathos, retorted the Tennysonian, yes; but simplicity, never; tinsel and meretricious feeling, always. So the debate went on, but it was plain that Wordsworth and Keats and the Germans, among the later poets, spoke more sympathetically to the American educated intelligence of a later day. Tennyson and Browning, like Carlyle, found no earlier or wiser recognition than here, and it was not at all unusual for the American travelling in Europe to be asked whether Browning was not an American poet. Byron's genius is revealed in nothing more signally than in the fact that for half a century it has compelled English and American pilgrims to see Italy through his eyes. This is conclusive as to his power of description, of which there has been so much discussion. In Rome and Venice, at Terni and at Arqua, as at Laurens and Geneva, memory murmurs Byronic melody, and all the tens of thousands of the English-speaking race who go to Rome can not
see to-day the statue called the Dying Gladiator, without at once beholding his young barbarians all at play, and feeling that it is the poetry, not the statue, which weaves the spell. This is the vital power of the poet, whom Professor Nichol has drawn in his habit as he lived.
THE English colony which Mr. Thomas Hughes and his friends propose to found in Tennessee has been misunderstood as being an enterprise exclusively English, which was to maintain itself as English, cultivate English traditions and feelings, and aim to be a little England in the midst of the United States, in the same way that Plymouth was a new England in the wilderness of 1620. The American and English critics of the scheme showed at once that such an undertaking must fail because the movement springs from no religious or social theory, but is merely an industrial enterprise. The result would inevitably be the mingling of the colony with the American life around it, and gradual absorption in the great American community. But when this had been all cogently set forth and reasoned to a logical conclusion, Mr. Hughes made a speech at the opening of the town, so to speak, in which he stated that such was not the intention, that the gates of the colony would stand wide open to the entry of industry and intelligence from every quarter, and that while in its beginning it was necessarily English, “we hope that this will very soon cease to be so.”
It is, in fact, merely an escape from the narrower opportunities of life in older communities, and its hope and aim apparently are to give more and fairer chances to capable and well-meaning people than they are likely to find at home. There is a price to be paid, indeed, for so great a gain, and that price is separation from the associations of older regions and of home, and the formation of new ties with strangers. There is another price to be paid also, which is inevitable, and that is the attempted entrance of the shiftless and impracticable. No body of persons can found a simple industrial community which is designed to lessen the friction of the great contest for existence without being beset by a swarm of drones who hope somehow to be helped without helping themselves. There is perhaps to be added to this price-list the slight unnaturalness which seems to belong to the impression of such endeavors. This is not, indeed, what can be called an original feeling, because from the community in some form our modern society has sprung. But individualism and every man for himself have become so wholly the principle of our society that there is now a shrinking from any return to any form of communism.
Of this Mr. Hughes is well aware, and in his very tranquil and sensible speech he alludes to the odium which attaches to the word community, and repudiates entirely all sympathy with the state communism of which we have had some ugly teachings in this country, and of which Lasalle and Marx are leaders in Europe. Indeed, the Rugby community is to be neither political nor religious, but simply Arcadian. It proposes no reorganization of society, no revision of fundamental laws. It accepts with perfect contentment the laws relating to property and to family life as they exist, and hopes to make the business of living under those laws somewhat easier. The colomists intend to lay out a pretty town, with due provision for parks and gardens, and to erect suitable, simple, and attractive buildings. They mean also to apply co-operation to the supply of many of the fundamental and constant necessities of daily life, economizing health and labor and expense, and thereby greatly increasing the common stock of vigor and rational enjoyment; and they consecrate the colony to perfect religious freedom. It is thus a unique enterprise. The colony will avail itself of the results of experience elsewhere, and begin with the taste and foresight which are usually wholly wanting, or which are entirely contemned in the beginnings of such communities. Towns and villages are chance growths. They gather around some water-power, or mine, or spring, or natural advantage, or they are agricultural centres growing without purpose or plan. There is scarcely a pretty or pleasant town or village which a little forethought would not have made very much more charming. The village improvement societies are signs of the wish to remedy congenital defects of rural communities. Where there is a beautiful shore, of a river or a lake, it has been generally sequestered to private and individual use, and is lost to the community. If the natural beauty of thousands of towns had been developed for the common benefit, it would be found that profit and pleasure are different faces of the same fact, for property in an attractive community is more valuable than in one which is not so. But when, as at Rugby, it is proposed to add to this cheap and easy care for the common pleasure the lightening of the common labor by the introduction of a kind of co-operation whose value is incontestable, the only question that remains is whether the colonists who will come to settle will have the taste and intelligence of the few leaders, or will yield to them the control. The hope of the colony, as Mr. Hughes expressed it, is that it will be a community of natural, not of artificial or conventional, ladies and gentlemen. This is the natural hope of generous enthusiasm. The Pantisocracy of Coleridge and Southey was none other, and in this country forty years ago it was the dream and endeavor of Brook Farm. Association was substantially co-operation, and if Brook Farm failed, it may have served the good cause of human fraternity by providing a beacon light of warning for the guidance
of Rugby. Certainly there could be no more valuable study for the fathers of Rugby than the history of Brook Farm.
THE Rugby enterprise recalls so vividly, under changed conditions, the earlier movement at Brook Farm, that the following letter from Mr. Ripley, the head of the Brook Farm Association, will be found very interesting by those who have any interest in such endeavors. It shows a lofty enthusiasm which will strike with wonder many who knew Mr. Ripley only in later years, and who will learn almost with incredulity that a man so gay, so occupied, so unlamenting, and who apparently accepted the world and its ways with such cheerful good-humor, could have written as Shelley might have written. The letter refers to the project of a “community” in the technical sense of a community of goods, of which Mr. Collins was the head, and it is valuable as an authoritative exposition of the principle of Brook Farm.
“My Dr.AR Sin,_I thank you for sending me the circular calling a convention at Skeneateles for the promotion of the community movement. “I had just enjoyed a short visit from Mr. Collins, who explained to me very fully the purpose of the enterprise, and described the advantages of the situation which had been selected as the scene of the initiatory experiment. I hardly need to say that the movers in this noble effort have my warmest sympathy, and that, if circumstances permitted, I would not deprive myself of the privilege of being present at their deliberations. I am, however, just now so involved in cares and labors that I could not be absent for so long a time without neglect of duty. “Although my present strong convictions are in favor of co-operative association rather than of community of property, I look with an indescribable interest on every attempt to redeem society from its corruptions, and establish the intercourse of men on a basis of love instead of competition. The evils arising from trade and money, it appears to me, grow out of the defects of our social organization, not from the intrinsic vice in the things themselves; and the abolition of private property, I fear, would so far destroy the independence of the individual as to interfere with the great object of all social reforms, namely, the development of humanity, the substitution of a race of free, noble, holy men and women instead of the dwarfish and mutilated specimens which now cover the earth. The great problem is to guarantee individualism against the masses on the one hand, and the masses against the individual on the other. In society as now organized the many are slaves to the few favored individuals in a community. I should dread the bondage of individuals to the power of the mass; while association, by identifying the interests of the many and the few, the less gifted and the highly gifted, secures the sacred personality of all, gives to each individual the largest liberty of the children of God. Such are my present views, subject to any modification which farther light may produce. I consider the great question of the means of human regeneration still open—indeed, hardly reached as yet, and Heaven forbid that I should not at least give you my best wishes for the success of your important enterprise. “In our little association we practically adopt many community elements. We are eclectics and learners, but day by day increases our faith and joy in the principles of combined industry, and of bearing each other's burdens instead of seeking every man his own. “It will give me great pleasure to hear from you whenever you may have anything to communicate interesting to the general Inovement. I feel that all who are seeking the emancipation of man are brothers, though differing in the measures which they may adopt for that purpose. And from our different points of view it is not, perhaps, presumptuous to hope that we may aid each other by faithfully reporting the aspects of earth and sky as they pass before our field of vision.
“One danger, of which no doubt you are aware, is the crowd of converts who desire to help themselves rather than to help the movement. It is as true now as it was of old that he who would follow this new Messiah must deny himself and take up his cross daily, or he can not enter the promised kingdom. The path of transition is always covered with thorns, and marked with the bleeding feet of the faithful. This truth must not be covered up in describing the paradise for which we hope. We must drink the waters of Marah in the desert, that others may feed on the grapes of Eshcol. We must depend on the power of self-sacrifice in man, not on appeals to his selfish nature, for the success of our efforts. We should hardly be willing to accept of men or money for this enterprise, unless called forth by earnest convictions that they are summoned by a Divine voice. I wish to hear less said to capitalists about a profitable investment of their funds, as if the holy cause of humanity were to be speeded onward by the same forces which construct railroads and ships of war. Rather preach to the rich, “Sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven.’”
IF Daniel O'Connell had ever been in America, his course in Ireland would have been followed with that kind of interest which springs from personal familiarity with a leader in great public affairs. The successor of O'Connell as Irish agitator in chief is undoubtedly Mr. Parnell, and him all who wished saw and heard in this country during his visit last winter. No two men could be more different in temperament than the great Repealer and his successor. The slim, almost spare, figure, serious mien, and dry manner of Mr. Parnell are absolutely contrasted with the burly form and jovial, ready-witted eloquence of the shrewd Irishman who liked to play with fire forty and fifty years ago. Mr. Parnell shows plainly his part American origin. There was a quiet gentlemanliness of impression produced by his public appearance in this country, but there was none of the characteristic Irish geniality. He did not seem like a man who had ever made a joke or taken one—a reformer rather of the lean Cassius type than of the order of St. Patrick. Upon the delivery of his first speech in New York there was not what can be called enthusiasm among the audience; at least the impression was that the feeling of the audience impatiently sought an occasion in his speech to manifest itself rather than that it was resistlessly evoked by the speech. He was cool, measured, prudent, and without the least trace of pandering to the passions of his audience. These also are qualities of a leader who knows his men and pursues his own ends.
Within a few months the Irish agitation has been again very active, and enormous demonstrations have taken place in honor of Mr. Parnell, while the murder of a landlord-nobleman and the tone of the speeches of Mr. Parnell and his associates have aroused very deep
feeling and much apprehension. Mr. Froude has contributed one of his characteristic articles to the literature of the contest, his remedy for the situation being a firm and uncompromising assertion of British power. His doctrine is that the islands can not be severed, and that humanity, reason, and every interest require that fact to be conceded, and that the imperial authority be imperially maintained, justly but inexorably. The article is vigorous, but no policy which Mr. Froude could propose for Ireland would be acceptable to the Irish. Looking over the ocean, it seems to be clear that the real object of the present agitation is the old object—the practical independence of the country. Perhaps Mr. Parnell would say that he aims at peaceful revolution. His purpose seems to be to produce a state of feeling which will cause the Irish tenantry to refuse to pay rent for land except upon its own terms. This would be practically reconfiscation by revolution. If the refusal were really general and national, it could be met only by arms, and anarchy would ensue. The terrible famine of the last year is a powerful ally of Mr. Parnell. War and anarchy may be bad, but are they worse than starvation ? This would be the unconscious or open argument of the tenant and the agitator. This is the situation which confronts the Gladstone administration. Any government might be perplexed by the problem of Ireland. It is the result of prolonged and ingenious and outrageous misgovernment, and the feeling in England, as shown by the action of the House of Lords, which holds a veto upon legislation, only increases the difficulty. From the American point of view the true policy of the friends of Ireland would have been to make a cordial alliance with Mr. Gladstone's government, in the confidence that a statesman so able and so sincere, who had shown himself to be a faithful friend of justice in Ireland as elsewhere, would do everything that could be done, if not everything that Irish agitating ardor might desire. But to perplex his administration by demands whose concession would involve the overthrow of the most cherished and fundamental British principles and traditions seems at this distance to be the deliberate preference of an enemy to a friend. The Irish agitation has a very simple choice of alternatives, unless it has decided to invoke war. It must choose between the most liberal of possible Liberal governments, which is that of Mr. Gladstone, and a Tory administration such as the vote in the House of Lords indicates. But the unreason of the agitation, like the old misgovernment, and the bitter race and religious prejudice, is one of the chief elements of trouble for an administration of the best intentions. The Irish agitation has evidently decided that Mr. Gladstone's inheritance of trouble is its opportunity. Here in America, where there is strong sympathy with the suffering of any people, there is also a profound faith in the sure and permanent, even if gradual, remedy of law. Although a republic and with burning questions to consider, we do not take to revolutionary short-cuts. It seems to us here that it will be long before Ireland is likely to have so powerful a friend among British statesmen as Mr. Gladstone, and that co-operation, not distrust and opposition, is the balm for the present ill. The domain of the Easy Chair, indeed, is not the realm of politics, in any local or partisan sense. But a tranquil spectator looking out upon current events at home and abroad, and chatting of them without acrimony, can not but hear, as the whole world has heard during the year, the cry of Irish suffering, and look with sympathy and friendly interest upon the methods proposed not only for feeding the starving, but for preventing starvation.
THE Easy Chair receives as these pages go to press the following note, which it gladly prints for “information,” and “without debate at this time”:
“My prae Easy Chart, Will you please call to the notice of American scholars and editors one of our insults to a foreign tongue?
“Alexis de Tocqueville, or Monsieur de Tocqueville, is the name of the great French writer and statesman. But
HE most cursory review of Macaulay's miscellaneous writings reveals the extraordinary variety and extent of his knowledge; but only a close examination of them will enable the reader to arrive at anything like a just estimate of the readiness, ingenuity, skill, and judginent with which he marshalled the infinite details of his multiform acquisitions to sustain particular propositions, or to illustrate and enforce general principles. The five large and elegant volumes of his Miscellaneous Works," edited by his sister, Lady Trevelyan, and just issued from the press of the Messrs. Harper, are a cyclopedia not merely of facts and information, but of a wide range of knowledge practically applied, and woven into the discussions of large and living subjects in the realms of politics, history, criticism, philosophy, morals, and general literature. The study of his methods of bringing his magnificent resources into play for attack, defense, exposition, or illustration is an instructive exercise to the student who would perfect himself in the art of reasoning and of using his knowledge to the best advantage, and in the manliest and most forcible way. The historical and critical essays, the biographical sketches, and the speeches and state papers of which the
the rules of the French language require that when we
1 Miscellaneous Works of Lord Macaulay. Edited by his Sister, Lady TREvely AN. In Five Volumes. 8vo, pp. 623,654, 670, 669,570. New York: Harper and Brothers.
volumes under notice are composed, supply examples of the use of nearly every agency that can be employed to give dignity to debate or potency and effect to argument. As a writer or an orator, Macaulay was a master of every device to make the truth transparent, or the “worse appear the better reason.” It may be true that he was never able to reach the grandest heights of oratory, and it must be acknowledged that he was surpassed by many in originality and logical power, but it is also true that he had the power, more effectively than far greater orators and reasoners, to envelop his speeches and essays with a glamour of fairness, manliness, good sense, and justice, made attractive by splendid rhetoric, that captivated those whom he failed to convince. He was a master of satire and invective, of irony and antithesis, of paradox and sophistry, as well as of hard facts drawn in overwhelming array from history and experience, and supported by deductions, inferences, and proofs with an ingenuity and an affluence that have never been surpassed. The first three volumes of his Miscellaneous Works are devoted to the critical and historical essays and reviews that he contributed to the Edinburgh Iteriew from 1825 to 1844, including his famous papers on Milton, Dryden, History, Mill, Bunyan, Croker's Johnson, Hampden, Burleigh, Bacon, Clive, and Warren Hastings; the fourth vol
ume contains his biographies of Atterbury, Bunyan, Goldsmith, Dr. Johnson, and William Pitt, his celebrated Report upon the Indian penal code, his early contributions to Knight's Quarterly, his “Lays of Ancient Rome,” and a number of miscellaneous poems; and the fifth volume is appropriated to a collection of his speeches in Parliament and elsewhere, as revised and corrected for the press by himself.
IN the concluding volumes of his History of Our Own Times,” Mr. McCarthy outlines the history of England in all its phases, civil, social, political, colonial, international, philosophical, scientific, and literary, from the conclusion of the Crimean war to the close of the Berlin Congress—a period of twenty-two years. He also gives a brief glance at the political revolution which displaced Earl Beaconsfield and recalled Mr. Gladstone to power, and by which, as he remarks, a new chapter of English history was opened. The public events that are recorded in these volumes include, among others of less significance, the Sepoy mutiny and its suppression; the extinction of the East India Company; the admission of Jews to political equality; the commercial treaty with France; the civil war in America, with its legacy of the Alabama claims and arbitration; the reform agitation and victories; the disestablishment of the Irish Church; the Zulu war; the revival of the Eastern Question by the war between Russia and Turkey, and its adjustment by the Congress of Berlin. Concise sketches are given of the statesmen who were prominent in these occurrences, or who made an impression upon home and foreign policies; and the state of the nation, in its various departments, at various periods during the twenty-two years covered by the history, is displayed in surveys which are remarkable for their condensed comprehensiveness. These final volumes are more decidedly partisan in their tone than their predecessors were; nevertheless, Mr. McCarthy has seldom departed from the calmness and fairness that we have a right to look for in a historian, even when it is impossible for him to be coldly judicial.
A CHEAP edition of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History" has been published by Messrs. Robert Carter and Brothers, in the excellent translation by Dr. Murdock. The work, which is usually printed in several volumes, is now compressed into a large octavo of over 1400
pages. Of course the edition is not a luxuri. ous one, but it is a good, serviceable volume, printed in clear type on paper of fair quality, and it contains the complete text both of Mosheim and of his capable and patient editor and translator.
Gleanings from a Literary Life" is the title of a volume by Professor Francis Bowen, of Harvard College, made up of selections from his miscellaneous papers, some of which are now printed for the first time, while the larger number are taken from the different periodicals in which they appeared during the last forty years. The papers are appropriately arranged according to their subject-matter, under the heads of Education, Political Economy, and Philosophy. The opening essay, on Classical and Utilitarian Studies, is a strong argument maintaining the position that the proper end and aim of the higher education which is sought within the walls of a university or college is not to impart useful information, which may be best obtained from scientific, technical, and professional schools, but to develop the intellect and form the character by those liberal studies and scholastic exercises for the promotion of which universities were first instituted. The four papers which follow are on topics of political economy, and are almost exclusively devoted to calling attention to the serious evils which menace the peace of society, and the safety of property and trade, through tampering with the standard of value and the public credit by reckless experiments with the currency, and by permitting the enormous increase of national and municipal debt which has marked the financial history of the world during the present century. The remainder, and far the larger number, as well as the most incisive of the essays in the collection, are upon philosophical subjects, and are intended to controvert those doctrines of materialism and fatalism, of agnosticism and pessimism, which have been imported into America from England and Germany, under the name and garb of biological and physical science. Dr. Bowen maintains with earnestness and ability that the upholders of these doctrines are at war with morality and religion, and that they are attacking those institutions of property, the family, and the state on which the whole fabric of modern civilization is based; and he controverts them because it is his conviction not only that the consequences of their doctrines are pernicious, but that their method is misleading and unsound, their inferences are in conflict with all sound reasoning and faithfully observed facts, their science is unscientific, and their philosophy unploilosophical.
Bishop CoxE, of the diocese of Western New York, introduces to the members of the
2 A History of Our Own Times. From the Accession of Queen Victoria to the Berlin Congress. By JustiN MoCARTily. “Franklin Square Library.” No. II., Containing Vols. III. and IV. 4to, pp. 132. New York: Harper and Brothers.
The Same. Cloth, 12mo, pp. 682. New York: Harper and Brothers.
* Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern. In Four Books, Much Corrected, Enlarged, and Improved from the Primary Authorities. By Jon N Law1: ENch von Moshri M., D.D. A New and Literal Translation from the Original Latin, etc. By JAMEs Multnock, D. D. Three Volumes in One..., 8vo, pp. 470, 485, 506. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers.
* Gleanings from a Literary Life, 1838–1880. By Fit A Nons Bow EN, LL.D. 8vo, pp. 513. New York: Charles