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the good behaviour of the royal children. 'How excellently 'well,' she exclaims,'are all these children brought up!' But the after results of this Spartan training can hardly be said to have justified it.
The King and Queen were at Queen's House the night when the Gordon Riots were raging, and the troops which guarded the palace had no straw to lie upon. 'My lads,' said the King, 'my crown could not purchase straw for you 'to-night, but depend upon it I have given orders that a 'sufficiency shall be sent here by to-morrow noon. As a 'substitute for the straw my servants will instantly serve 'you with a good allowance of wine and spirits to make • your situation as comfortable as possible, and I shall my'self keep you company till to-morrow morning.' He kept his word, and sat up all night with the officers in the Queen's Riding House, sending messengers every now and again over to St. James's Palace to report on the proceedings of the rioters who were trying to force an entrance there.
When George IV. came to the throne, the 'Queen's 'House ' was in a very dilapidated condition, and the King determined to rebuild it. He had not long finished his grotesque pleasure house, the Pavilion at Brighton, and as there was a little difficulty about getting the necessary supplies from Parliament to build a new palace in London, he cunningly asked for a grant for 'the enlargement and 'repair of the Queen's House and got it.' Nash, the architect, had the King's command to keep up the fiction of repair, but very soon the Queen's House was transformed into the King's Palace at Pimlico. George IV., with all his faults, had a sense of the magnificent, and he dreamed of a palace which should rival those of ancient Rome. The palace grew and grew, and a notable feature of the 'repairs' was the magnificent marble arch copied from that of Constantine at Rome, upon which an equestrian statue of the King was to stand. This statue was never placed there, and, shortly after Queen Victoria's accession, the Marble Arch was banished to the Oxford Street entrance of Hyde Park. The King's repairs and additions cost half a million of money, and by the time they were finished every trace of the original structure of Buckingham House was lost. The work was not ended when George IV. died, and his successor, William IV., swore that the palace was a monstrosity, and declared that nothing would induce him to live in it. So it remained uninhabited and deserted, surrounded by a wilderness of sandy gravel, until Queen Victoria came to the throne.
The young Queen declared that she liked neither Kensington nor St. James's, but would in the future make the King's Palace at Pimlico her London residence. The palace was soon finished and upholstered, and the Queen decided that she would call it in future Buckingham Palace. In July, 1837, she quitted Kensington and drove through cheering crowds to her new home, passing under the Marble Arch, whereon the Royal Standard floated for the first time. In the early years of Queen Victoria's reign Buckingham Palace was considerably altered and improved. The magnificent ball-room was built and the gardens were beautified under the direction of the Prince Consort. Though, after her husband's death, she resided in London but little, Buckingham Palace was always the centre of Queen Victoria's life in the metropolis during her long reign of sixty-three years. She drove from it to her coronation and her wedding, and here many of her children were born. From its windows she watched the funeral of the great Duke of Wellington passing to St. Paul's, and from the balcony she waved farewell to her Guards as they set forth to the Crimea. Through the great bronze gates of Buckingham Palace Queen Victoria passed to the thanksgiving of her Jubilee in Westminster in 1887, and ten years later they swung open again when the aged Queen went forth to celebrate with her people her Diamond Jubilee.
King Edward VII. was born at Buckingham Palace, and from its gates on June 26 last he and his gracious consort were to have driven to their coronation had not the King been prostrated by sudden and dangerous illness only a few hours before the date of the ceremonial. It was in Buckingham Palace that the operation was performed which it is the prayer of British subjects all the world over will have the effect of restoring their King to his former health and strength.
Art. VIII.—(Euvres Completes de Victor Hugo. Edition definitive. Forty-seven volumes.* Paris: 1888.
HP He too philosophic multitude, in its striving after unity (which we know to be the goal of all philosophy), cannot be got to distinguish between a great writer and his formulated opinions, between his personality and his genius. When therefore the crowds of Paris acclaimed Victor Hugo on his return from exile in 1870; when in their thousands they followed his pauper hearse in 1885 ; or when once more the other day they assembled at the Pantheon to pay due honours to his tomb, they thought chiefly of the man who, brought up a Bonapartist and later turned Royalist, had in the end become an ardent champion of the popular cause, and had suffered for his creed. They forgot the inconsistencies of Victor Hugo's political career and saw its finer intentions, accepting the Hugo who is presented to us in the 'Actes et Paroles.' And, less consciously belike, they honoured him especially as a typical Frenchman, who displayed upon the larger canvas of genius most of their own characteristic good qualities and their defects.
For this last reason we on our side, regarding merely the man Victor Hugo, cannot give him unstinted admiration. His nature is alien from ours; of all lands he disliked most our country. And it is certain that we have been, we English upon the whole have been, very chary of recognition either to the man or to the poet. There exist other and subsidiary reasons for this want in us which must be touched upon presently. The English have not read (for the most part) Hugo's best things: they have judged him almost exclusively by his performances in two fields of literature where he did not beyond question excel, neglecting that one in which he stands supreme. One Englishman indeed has gone far to lift this reproach from the shoulders of all his countrymen. Mr. Swinburne, by his unmeasured praise of Hugo, may be thought to have filled up the defects and defections of the others. But no writer, it may be assumed, would ask for undue neglect tempered by unmeasured praise as a substitute for just appreciation. We make no profession here to fill the void: due space is utterly wanting for the criticism of so vast a production as Victor Hugo's. Before
* These forty-seven volumes, which are not numbered continuously, include the work 'Victor Hugo racont^ par un temoin de sa vie.' This is generally admitted to be in effect an autobiography.
even attempting such an appreciation as is possible, it is desirable to set forth clearly the grounds upon which that must rest. Hugo has passed among the immortals; of that there can be no word of doubt; and in so passing he has left behind him on earth the mere personal failings and qualities which made him friends and enemies here. Genius really means—it should never be forgotten—a spirit separate from the man himself, a sort of guardian angel or inspirer: and there is nothing more certain about great writers than that the permanent part of their utterances is by no means the same thing as are their mere opinions. It does not follow that themselves know which among their words are really 'winged,' nor in which direction they tend. When Horace sings,
'Jam Fides et Pax et Honos Pudorque
and when Leopardi,
'Valor vero e virtu, modestia e fede
the opinions uttered by the two poets are in exact contradiction, but the sentiments and the carrying power of the lines are almost the same. The effect of both is to hold up the virtues to reverence—valour, modesty, and faith. It is not then an essential question whether Victor Hugo professed a boundless faith in human perfectibility, in Providence, or in the French people and the future of France. The essential is—What among his creations have the persuasive power of such opinions, to leave the belief in these things in our minds?
It is a common practice with critics, after they have filled a certain number of pages in praise of their subject, to turn the glass and end by fault-finding. Surely it is a more gracious way to begin with this negative side of criticism and get rid of blame as soon as may be. There is one among our countrymen, it has been said, who hardly finds any fault in Hugo; and in a fine passage (it is at the beginning of his 'Essays and Studies') Mr. Swinburne expresses the effect which the master produces on his mind, by comparing Hugo to the vision of a storm which he once had in mid-channel. Overhead, he tells us, hung an immense thunder-cloud; and on the horizon along the floor of the sea ran a race of lightnings 'like bacchanals;' but, on the other side, the sky was clear, 'too pure to be called blue,' while in it sat Dian (and now we quote verbally), 'watching 'with a serene splendour of scorn the battle of Titans and 'the revel of nymphs, from her stainless and Olympian 'summit of sublime indifferent light.' Both votaries and critics of Victor Hugo might accept this passage. For the latter would say that in the scene—if the poet has described it aright—Nature her very self showed too prodigal: as Swinburne's prose is most surely something overloaded. And the uncompromising admirers of Hugo would find no such defects: for they would be used to them more frequent in their master.
Here then at once we put our fingers upon Hugo's great defect—certainly to our English sense, to almost all Teuton sense, we doubt—that his art is excessive, lacking restraint, and by this very excess fails of utter truthfulness. Of a piece with this criticism is Heine's famous phrase—' fire without 'and ice within:' too harsh a judgement, but with its measure of truth. This is as much as to say that Hugo is touched at least by the greatest fault which genius can have, insincerity of sentiment. Insincerity of speech is a more venial matter, and over common among imaginative men to be visited very roughly. The difference lies between the insincerity in moments of inspiration and the same in other moments. Can we wholly acquit Victor Hugo of either? Through this great failing and certain others allied thereto, it is hardly possible to read the French poet for long without moments of exasperation supervening. It is one thing to commit faults. When Byron writes 'there let him lay,' or Shakespeare such a line as
'What though he love your Hermia? Lord! what though?'
we pass such over, as a kind of empty space in the artist's workmanship. But Hugo goes out of his way to be foolish. 'Why,' the reader asks in a sort of dull rage,' does he write 'all these prefaces, with their pomp and their profession of 'learning and research (in one of them he makes Tibullus 'the lover of Lesbia, Catullus of Delia), when what follows 'is to show how utterly he has drawn on his imagination 'for his facts; yes, and a tolerably childish imagination to 'boot sometimes 9' Why all that talk about the pronunciation of Southwark in ' L'Homme qui rit' as a preface to Lord