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dardless battle, a sick and fevered dream, unless God has spoken in the Bible, may surely have such manlike trust in God that he can fearlessly examine every story of the physical dwelling He has made for him, although, for the present, God does not reveal to him how its apparent discrepancies with the moral fabric He has let down from heaven are to be harmonized. Surely, on the other hand, the man, who talks in the fashionable pagan language of the day of "the gods," and who yet must see these gods. preparing this earth for man, with much fuss and commotion, and then sitting, like a set of fools, to see the great game of blind-man's-buff which their children play, and laugh at the gropings and mistakes,-the man, who, if he is honest, and bold, and unhesitating in discrowning God and his religion, must accept as the correct and unexaggerated scheme of world-history, that ghastly poem of Poe's, in which, with perfect honesty from his point of view, he portrays man, since his arrival here, as running after phantoms, of which the central phantom is merely the most phantasmal of all, and which very appropriately concludes in these words,

"The play is the tragedy Man,

And the hero the conqueror Worm:"

this man, we say, might surely pause ere he declares that the scientific information of yesterday contradicts the alone explaining theory of man's existence. Let the Christian have faith in God's word: let the infidel tumble his moral world in ruins; there is not the slightest fear of his tumbling the moral world into ruins. Both infidels and Christians are always thinking God is such an one as themselves. The one party thinks it has got the Sun of the moral universe fairly out. The other takes to trembling and

vociferating, and holding up supplementary rush-lights, as if it feared the Sun was going out. Meanwhile the ages roll on, and the mist rolls off, and the Sun is there still. From every new elevation of science, fear it not, there will be a wider prospect of truth. Just now we may be in the valley, and the ocean may be shut out which we saw clearly from the lower hill behind. But onwards! When we reach the top of this other hill before us, the ocean of truth, and the Sun that clothes it all in gold, will be seen spreading further than ever before. Hugh Miller's clear, strong intellect, fine poetic discernment of nature's all-pervading analogies, and manly piety, fit him well to pioneer the scientific, cosmical theology of the latter time.

We have not spoken expressly of Hugh Miller's poetry, and it is unnecessary to do so. His finest poetry is, we presume, his prose. He would, we feel assured, agree in this himself. We go on to mention a characteristic which harmonizes finely with the general strength of his nature, and which seems the result of this in combination with the kindness of his heart: we mean his humor. This is not one of the most important or engrossing of his qualities, but, as far as it goes, it is genuine, and remarkably pleasing. It is a perception of the laughable in nature; of those weaknesses which are not sins, those incongruities which do not hurt, those self-revelations which oscillate amusingly between the egotism that is offensive and the vanity that is despicable; of all those things which were manifestly intended to be kept in check by no ruder weapon than laughter, and which are not checked absolutely, because laughter is good for men in its time. Hugh Miller's laugh is always quiet and kindly; never, to our knowledge, cynical and contemptuous, save when some real iniquity is to be mocked into air. He has no feeling of contempt for the "young lady

passenger of forty or thereabouts," who took her seat in the same railway carriage with him, and who "had a bloom of red in her cheeks that seemed to have been just a little assisted by art, and a bloom of red in her nose that seemed not to have been assisted by art at all." It is merely a smile of hearty geniality which lights his features as he encounters two of Shenstone's nymphs on his visit to the Leasowes:

"I had read Shenstone early enough to wonder what sort of looking people his Delias and Cecilias were; and now, ere plunging into the richly wooded Leasowes, I had got hold of the right idea. The two naileresses were really very pretty. Cecilia, a ruddy blonde, was fabricating tackets; Delia, a bright-eyed brunette, engaged in heading a doubledouble."

Even when he visits St. Paul's, and speaks thus, he is in the best humor, for all the slyness of his laugh:

"It is comfortable to have only twopence to pay for leave to walk over the area of so noble a pile, and to have to pay the twopence, too, to such grave, clerical looking men as the officials at the receipt of custom. It reminds one of the blessings of a religious establishment in a place where otherwise they might possibly be overlooked; no private company could afford to build such a pile as St. Paul's, and then show it for twopences."

But perhaps, of all we can say in praise of Hugh Miller, the highest compliment, all things considered, is the last we are to pay him. It is, that he is, in the best sense, a gentleman; that he is truly and strictly polite. We intend, by this, very high praise indeed; true politeness is one of the rarest things. The word has been variously defined. We have heard it indicated as being a knowledge of the little usages of society, such as not pouring tea into a

saucer, not speaking in company without an introduction, and such like, and the habit of strictly and naturally conforming to such. This requires no refutation: its very utterance, on the principle that in speaking of a thing you set in the foreground your main idea regarding it, implies hopeless ignorance of the nature of politeness:

"The churl in spirit, howe'er he vail
His want in forms for fashion's sake,
Will let his coltish nature break
At seasons through the gilded pale.”

True politeness may be met in the hut of the Arab, in the courtyard of the Turk, in the cottage of the Irishman, and is excessively rare in ball-rooms. It is independent of accent and of form, it is one of the constant and universal noble attributes of man, wherever and howsoever developed. It has been defined again, "perfect ease, without vulgarity or affectation." Here manifestly a great advance is made; one half of politeness is correctly defined. Yet we think there is overlooked that part of politeness which refers to others besides one's self; and politeness, as it consists wholly in a certain dealing of man with man, must include both parties in its reference. The truly polite man is not merely at ease, but always sets you at ease. We venture to define it thus: Politeness is natural, genial, manly deference, with a natural delicacy in dealing with the feelings of others, and without hypocrisy, sycophancy, or obtrusion. This, we think, is at once sufficiently inclusive and exclusive. It excludes a great many. We cannot agree that Johnson was polite; that is, if politeness is to be distinguished from nobleness, courage, and even kindness of heart; in a word, from everything but itself. Burns was polite, when jewelled duchesses were charmed with his

ways; Arnold was polite, when the poor woman felt that he treated her as if she were a lady; Chalmers was polite, when every old woman in Morningside was elated and delighted with his courteous salute. But Johnson, who shut a civil man's mouth with, "Sir, I perceive you are a vile Whig," who ate like an Esquimaux, who deferred so far to his friends, that they could differ with him only in a round-robin, was not polite. Politeness is the last touch, the finishing perfection, of a noble character. It is the gold on the spire, the sunlight on the corn field, the smile on the lip of the noble knight lowering his sword point to his ladye-love. It results only from the truest balance and harmony of soul. We assert Hugh Miller to possess it. A duke in speaking to him would know he was speaking to a man as independent as himself; a boy, in expressing to him an opinion, would feel unabashed and easy, from his genial and unostentatious deference. He has been accused of egotism. The charge is a serious one; fatal, if it can be substantiated in any offensive degree, to politeness. And let it be fairly admitted that he knows his name is Hugh Miller, and that he has a colossal head, and that he once was à mason; his foible is probably that which caused Napoleon, in a company of kings, to commence an anecdote with "When I was a lieutenant in the regiment of La Fere." But we cannot think it more than a very slight foible; a manly self-consciousness somewhat in excess. His autobiography has been blamed as egotistic; we think without cause. The sketches appear to us much the reverse. They are almost entirely what he has seen; what he has done or been is nowise protruded. And shall we blame a man with the eye and the memory of Hugh Miller, for leading us through the many scenes of Scottish life, which he knows better than any man, because he does so in

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