Sidor som bilder

pocket!” said the old woman, with some- God bless you; you loved her.” Mrs. thing of a blush. She was afraid of the Medlicott, hardly knowing what she was comments of the ill-natured upon the fact doing, wrung his hand. “Our poor Dolly's of a bottle being in her pocket. “Just a gone from us. The sweetest, cleverest taste of cordial will do her all the good in creature that ever trod the stage. And she the world. Come, Dolly dear. Alack! might have been a countess! To think of her teeth are tight clenched. What can be that! It was her last appearance,' as she the matter with her ?"

said. I ought to have known it. There A doctor!” cried the man in black was death in her face when I spoke to her velvet, a hundred pounds to the first man hours ago. I couldn't think what it was made that brings a doctor!”

me look at her so. I know now. There Dorothy,” he said in a moved voice. was death in her face for all its bright life “Speak to me, Dorothy.” He wiped her and wonderful prettiness. My poor darforehead with his laced handkerchief and ling Dolly!" fanned her with his hat.

Clear the stage, please, for the farce!” Poor gentleman!”. murmured Mrs. cried the prompter, who probably hardly Medlicott, he loves her. There's an hon- knew the worst that had happened. Come, est tender heart beats in his bosom, that's bustle, bustle ! ” worth more than the star outside it. Dolly, “ I'm in a nice humour for farce-acting," darling, won't you speak to poor old said Mrs. Medlicott. “I shall make nothmother Medlicott ? "

ing of Termagant to-night. I could sit But Mrs. Fanshawe never spoke more. down and cry my eyes out.

But it must be “ Aneurism of the heart."

done, I suppose." Paralysis of the brain."

She wiped away her tears, though they No,” said another. “ It was the white fell again as fast she could wipe them away. paint upon her face. It killed Lady Coven- • Well, it's ouly for a little while, and try, you remember. The poor woman's then I shall hear my cue, I suppose, and go been using white lead."

and join Dolly. Please God there's some Mrs. Medlicott shook her head. “She odd corner in heaven can be found for a was beckoned away by her old, old love, poor old actress to rest her weary bones in. and she's joined him in the grave," mut- There goes the bell. The curtain's up. I'm tered the old woman.

ready, prompter. Mother Medlicott's at “Can nothing be done — nothing?.” de- ber post as usual." manded the nobleman with a pale, frightened face.


O Soul! that has no rest and seekest sleep, (WRITTEN IN LOCH COBUISK, SKYE.)

Whither ? and will thy wanderings ever end?

All things that be are full of a quick pain ; I.

Onward we fleet, swift as the running rill,I THINK this is the very stillest place

The On all God's earth, - and yet no rest is here:

vapours drift, the mists within the brain The vapours mirror'd in the black loch's face

Float on obscuringly and have no will. Drift on like frantic shapes and disappear ;

Only the bald peaks and the stones remain ; A melancholy murmur in mine ear

These only, - and a God sublime and still Tells me of waters wild that flow and flow, There is no rest at all, afar or near,

Art thou alone, far from the busy crowd, Only a sense of things that moan and go. Dwelling in melancholy solitude, And lo ! the still strange life these limbs contain Darkening thy visage with a dreaming cloud,

I feel flow on like those, restless and proud, - Hushing thy breath, if mortal foot intrude? Before Thy breathing naught within my brain Father, how shall I meet thee in this mood?

Pauses, but all drives on like mist and cloud. How shall I ask thee why thou dwells't with Only the bald peaks and the stones remain

stones, Frozen before thee, desolate and bowed. While far away the world, like Lazarus, groans,

Sick for thy healing? Father, since thou art

good, And whither, O ye vapours ! do ye wend?

Come to the valleys, gently, with no frown ! Stirred by that weary breathing, whither

Come, like an Angel with a human face ! away? And whither, O ye dreams! that night and day

Pass thro' the gates into the hungry town, Drift e'er the troublous life, tremble and blend Shine brightlier on the graves where we set down

Comfort the weary, send the afflicted grace! To broken lineaments of that far Friend,

Our dear ones,-cheer them in the narrow Whose strange breath's come and go ye feel so place !

B. deep?



From The Examiner. claimer than a reasoner, but Mr. Carlyle LITERARY AND SOCIAL JUDGMENTS.*

cannot be dismissed thus lightly as a writer THE contents of the volume before us

who never

reasons, in the strict sense of stand forth in agreeable contrast to the the term.” Certainly, he never states very ordinary essays, dissertations, and every argument in the form of a syllogism, disquisitions which have flooded the literary but his writings abound in pages of close, world of late. Mr. Greg wields his pen subtle, reasoning, - too subtle, perhaps, with the vigour and skill of a practiced for ordinary mortals. It is pleasant, howwriter; his sentences, well-rounded and ever, after reading so much denunciation to sonorous, strike upon the ear with a power

find that, in the main, Mr. Greg does not and effect which strongly excite the imag- differ very widely from us, as to the value ination, if they do not always convince the and moral effect of Mr. Kingsley's powerunderstanding. His diction is singularly ful pen : apt and felicitous; and his style, with its

We have spoken freely and without stint of wealth of words and profuseness of illustra- Mr. Kingsley's errors and offences, because he is tion, at tiines reminds one of the matchless strong and can bear it well; because he is somemanner of Macaulay. If we were disposed what pachydermatous, and will not feel it much; to be hypercritical, we might say that the because it is well for a man who habitually speaks style of Mr. Greg is faulty only in being too of others in such outrageous terms to have his continuously rhetorical.

own measure occasionally meted out to him in We prefer the author's literary judgments return; because, also, one who sins against so to his social papers, although at times we

much light and knowledge deserves to be beaten differ from him very widely in the former. with many stripes ; and because, finally, on a We do not think, for instance, he is quite his merits. But we should grieve to have it be

previous occasion we did such ample justice to just in his estimate of Kingsley and Carlyle. lieved that we are insensible to his remarkable While acknowledging the resistless fascina- and varied excellences, or to part from him othtions of their works, and the many great erwise than in a spirit of thorough and cordial and noble qualities of the two men, he appreciation. In spite of much that is rant, draws attention to what he considers their and of much that would be twaddle, if it were prominent offences against taste and de- not so energetic, there is such wonderful“ go’'in cency. He complains that both are con- him, such exulting and abounding vigour, and he temptuous and abusive towards their adver- carries you along with a careering and ficile rasaries far beyond the limits of gentlemanly pidity which, while it puts you out of breath, is usage; that “both indulge in terms of yet so strangely exhilirating, that old and young scorn and vituperation such as no cause never fail to find pleasure in his pages. He may can justify, and no correct or Christian often wonder, but he never sleeps. `He has, how

ever, feeling could inspire;” and ends his accu

far higher claims on our admiration than sation by asserting that “ Mr. Carlyle And in an age like this, of vehement desires and

any arising from these merely literary merits. slangs like a blaspheming pagan, Mr. Kings- feeble wills, of so much conventionalism and so ley like a denouncing prophet.”. Now, in little courage, - when our favourite virtue is incase we may be accused of making capital dulgence to others, and our commonest vice is by quoting garbled extracts, we will own indulgence to sell, when few things are bearthat, in the next paragraph, the author tily loved, and fewer still are heartily believed, bears testimony to the beautiful and pa- — when we are slaves to what others think, and thetic tenderness discernible in both these wish, and do — slaves to past creeds in which we writers. But judging Mr. Greg by his own have no longer faith, slaves to past habits in remarks, we fear he stands condemned. which we have no longer pleasure, slaves to past Does he call it abuse, scorn, or vitupera- phrases from which all the meaning has died out,

when the ablest and tenderest minds are afraid tion, when he says that Mr. Carlyle “ slangs like a blaspheming pagan?” We certainly to think deeply, because they know not where allow that when either writer does go in for deep thought might land them, and are afraid to denouncing hypocrisy and cant, falsehood thorough action might entail, --- when too many

act thoroughly, because they shrink from what and shams, he wields his weapons with ter- lead a life of conscious unworthiness and unrerible force, but, to our mind, is never ality, because surrounded by evils with which guilty of the brutality of a Junius or a they dare not grapple, and by darkness which Swift. Again, when Mr. Greg asserts that they dare not pierce ; – in such an age, amid “both are declaimers — not reasoners, ,” such wants and such shortcomings, we owe a we must once more beg to differ from him. deep debt of gratitude to a crusader like Mr. Mr. Kingsley we allow to be more of a de- Kingsley, whose faith is undoubting, and whose

courage is unflinching ; who neither fears others Literary and Social Judgments. By W. R. nor mistrusts himself; who hates with a destrucGreg. Trubner.

tive and aggressive animosity whatever is evil, mean, filthy, weak, hollow, and untrue; who | rary work of any importance, which at once has drawn his sword and girded up his loins for obtained a wide notoriety and made her a work which cannot be passed by, and which still more famous. During the Reign of must not be negligently done ; whose practice Terror she sought refuge in England, and himself, and whose exhortation to others is, in at Richmond established a small but agreethe words of the great German,

able society.

Here were to be seen daily Im halben zu entwöhnen,

Talleyrand, M. de Narbonne, M. d'Arblay, In ganzen, guten, wahren, resolut zu leben.

Miss Burney, and several English friends. But to the essays on the lives, literary In 1795 she returned to Paris; but when productions, and characteristics of three Napoleon became first Consul 'he at once representative French writers — Madame banished Madame de Staël. Then followed de Staël, Chateaubriand, and M. de Tocque- fourteen years of wanderings in Italy, Gerville — we turn with greater interest. Mr. many, England, Russia, far away from her Greg's estimate of Madame de Staël, the beloved Paris. Probably this was the most most brilliant authoress of the Revolu- wretched period of her life; but to those tion, we conceive to be singularly truthful; years of misery we owe her most brilliant and the whole essay shows that he has literary performances - De la Littérature,' carefully studied his subject. He is not

De l'Allemagne,' and Corinne. Mr. led away by insular prejudices, to condemn Greg sums up in a few words the general conduct which is to a great extent the re

ve lict of the great men of all countries, as sult of French education, habits, and modes to the impression which her genius and of thought.

Madame de Staël, perhaps manners created : more than any other great personage of her She seems to have excited precisely the same period, must be studied only in conjunction emotions in the minds both of German literati with her surroundings. She lived and wrote and of English politicians — vast admiration and in stirring and eventful times, when the not a little fatigue. Her conversation was brilininds of all were strangely moved by the liant in the extreme, but apt to become monogreat social problems which the French logue and declamation. She was too vivacious Revolution started and fostered. The re- for any but Frenchmen : her intellect was almarkable daughter of a remarkable man, ways in a state of restless and vehement activity ; she was introduced at an early age to the she seemed to need no relaxation, and to permit most celebrated literary men of the time,

no repose. In spite of her great knowledge, her who crowded to the Parisian salons, and wit, and her singular eloquence, she nearly al

profound and sagacious reflections, her sparkling made them the most brilliant in Europe. ways ended by wenrying even her most almiring Her precocity was absolutely marvellous, auditors ; she left them no peace ; she kept them while her powers of acquisition appeared to on the stretch ; she ran them out of breath. be almost unlimited. She wrote a drama And there were few of them who were not in a at the age of twelve, and acted in it with condition to relish the piquant mot of Talleyrand, some young friends. Her brilliant conver- – who, when some one hinted surprise that he sation, her vivacity and great quickness at who had enjoyed the intimacy of such a genius repartee and badinage, gathered round her as Madame de Staël could find pleasure in the even at that early age the most celebrated society of such a contrast to her as Madame of the many literary lions who frequented Grant --- answered in that deliberate and gentle her father's salon. Among these were Mar-voice which gave point to all his sharpest suyings, montel, Baron Grimm, the Abbé Raynal,

• Il faut avoir aimé Madame de Staël pour si and lastly, the historian Gibbon, ever aftervourer le bonheur d'aimer une bête !" wards her warm friend and admirer. At Schiller, writing to Goëthe, remarks that the age of twenty, Malle Necker calmly " the clearness, decidedness, and rich vimade a mariage de convenance with Baron vacity of her nature, cannot but affect one de Staël, the Swedish ambassador, a man favourably. One's only grievance is the much older than herself, and one with whom altogether unprecedented glibness of her such a woman could have little in common. tongue; you must make yourself all ear to In marrying the Baron she seems to have follow her." Goëthe, in his • Dichtung und ignored domestic happiness altogether; and, Wahrheit,' has also left his estimate of the as Mr. Greg remarks, probably solaced brilliant Frenchwoman. After enlarging herself with the proverb: Paris est le lieu on " the great qualities of this high-thinking du monde l'on se passe le mieux de bon- and high-feeling authoress," he goes on to heur." For the next three years she re- say that her peculiar passion was to phi losmained at Paris, the centre of a most bril- ophise in society – that is, to talk with viliant circle of wits, authors, statesmen, and vacity about insoluble problems. Byron philosophers. During this period appeared has a paragraph in his Diary and Correthe · Lettres sur Rousseau,' her first lite-spondence which is more eulogistic of her


powers than her person: “I saw Curran | inner life” alone ; to tread the weary and dusty presented to Madame de Staël at Mackin- thoroughfares of existence, with no hand clasped tosh's," he writes ; —" it was the grand con- in hers, no sympathising voice to whisper strength fluence of the Rhone and Saone; they were and consolation when the path grew rough and both so damned ugly that I could not belp thorny, and the lamp burnt flickering and low. wondering how the best intellects of France Nay, more, she had to “ keep a stern tryste with and Ireland could have taken up respectively with no one to bear her company to the margin

to walk towards the Great Darkness such residences." And, again, he says, of the cold stream, to send a cheering voice over * her works are my delight, and so is she the black waters, and to give her "rendezvous herself — for half-an-hour. But she is a upon the further shore. What wonder then that woman by herself, and has done more in- she sometimes faltered and grew faint under the tellectually than all the rest of them to- solitary burden, and “ sickened at the unshared gether; - she ought to have been a man.

light !" These spontaneous judgments of her contemporaries serve to bring before us Ma- In depicting the character of Chateaudanie de Staël in general society. But in briand Mr. Greg has excelled himself. We private life, as Mr. Greg remarks, she was never remember to have read within the

one of the most warm, constant, and zeal- limits of an essay so thorough an analysis ous of friends on the whole, an admira- of the character, genius, and literary work ble, loveable, but somewhat overpowering of a man of letters. If any, complaint woman.” With our author's brief remarks could be made of the portrait, it would be on her writings and genius we entirely that it is too minutely painted to be entirely agree; and we quote the following extract lifelike: that it is too pre-Raphaelite in its as a characteristic specimen of Mr. Greg's details to yield an effective picture as a charming style:

whole. Perhaps, also, Mr. Greg is not

sufficiently considerate of the sad and deFrom first to last there was nothing frivolous, pressing influences of his early years and artificial, or heartless in Madame de Staël : she neglected childhood, and is too coldly cruel had nothing French about her, except her untir- in inserting so many instances of his inoring vivacity and her sparkling wit. On the contrary, a tone of the profoundest melancholy runs

dinate vanity and intense egotism. To us throughout all her writings. A short time be there is something inexpressibly sad and fore her death she said to Chateaubriand : “Je touching in the life of Chateaubriand; while suis ce que j'ai toujours été — vive et triste.” his biography, in many particulars, suggests It is in Corinne, especially, but also in Delphine, that of Dr. Johnson. Both were men of that we trace that indescribable sadness which remarkable powers, of keen intellect, and seems inseparable from noble minds- the crown wonderful endurance, who passed the early of thorns which genius must ever wear. It was years of their lives in poverty, privation, not with her, as with so many, the dissipation of and toil. Yet both lived to become, in youthful illusions — the disenchantment of the their respective countries, literary stars of ideal life. On the contrary, the spirit of poetry, the first magnitude, whose works and conthe fancies and paintings of enthusiasm, were versation were widely sought by the greatneither dimmed nor tarnished for her, even by est and most illustrious of their fellowthe approach of death ; she could dream of earthly happiness, and thirsted for it still ; but countrymen. Both were vain men ; but the she felt that she had never tasted it as she was

vanity of the great lexicographer was temcapable of conceiving it ; she had never loved as pered by his benevolent and Christian she could love and yearned to love ; of all her spirit, while the egotism of the Frenchman, faculties, she touchingly complained, “ the only was enormously increased by the honours one that had been fully developed was the faculty which the times, rather than his own merits of suffering.' Surrounded by the most brilliant as a politician, obtained for him. The early men of genius, beloved by a host of faithful and wanderings of Chateubriand amidst the devoted friends, the centre of a circle of unsur- grand scenery of the American forests afpassed attractions, she was yet doomed to mourn forded him material from which he after“the solitude of life.” No affection filled up wards constructed his • Atala' and · René.' her whole heart, called forth all her feelings, or His American wanderings were followed by satisfied her passionate longings after felicity; a seven years' exile in England, where he the full union of souls, which she could imagine suffered great privations, and earned a was denied to her - and all the rest « availed scanty living by translating for the book her nothing.” With a mind teeming with rich sellers and teaching Latin and French. On and brilliant thoughts, with a heart melting with his return to his native country, he pubthe tenderest and most passionate emotions, she lished his romance of · Atala,' which fairly had no one - no ONE — - to appreciate the first turned the heads of all Paris, and made the and reciprocate the last ; she had to live 's the fortunes and fame of the author:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Chateaubriand in his Mémoires has left us a purpose, because he himself bounded his own very graphic and amusing account of that re- horizon. As a literary man, the same fatal ception on himself. It was hailed with enthusi-" want re-appears : he has grand powers, grand asm by the young and by the fuir sex ; but se- thoughts, grand conceptions even, but no mighty verely handled by grave Academicians. It wils aim outside of the gigantic mol ; no creed but worshipped by the romanticists, but scouted by his own genius, no goal but his own glory, no the classicists. Girls wept over it in the boudoir ; joy but his own success. When he enters the dramatists ridiculed it on the stage. Parodies, political arena, the native vice is still uppermost, caricatures, signboards, all helped to fill the pub- rampant as ever, and yet more intolerable, belic mind with Atilla, Chactas, and the Père Au- cause the stage is so noble and the interests are bry. “I saw " (says Chateaubriand), “on a so momentous. little theatre of the Boulevards, my lady savage with a head-dress of cock's feathers, talking to

The article devoted to M. de Tocquea wild man of her tribe about the soul of soli- ville, reads more like the panegyric of a tude,' in a style that made me perspire with friend on one of the greatest thinkers which shame, Young lovers at the Variétés were modern France has produced, than a critmade to talk of alligators, swans, primeval for- ical examination of his life and works. We ests, while their parents stood by fancying they do not think, however, that Mr. Greg has had gone crazy. The Abbé Morellet, to cover overshot the mark in his praise of a man me with confusion, got his maid servant to sit who united, in a very remarkable degree, upon his knee in order to show that he could not the tact and talent of an active politician in that position holl her feet in his hands, as I with the acuteness and learning of a writer had described Chactas holding those of Atala during the storm. But all this only served to

on political science. In the essay entitled,

Mr. augment the excitement.” His head, he con

" Why are Women Redundant ? " fesses, was turned.

Greg examines, with considerable courage

and much discretion, a subject which of late René,' originally an episode in the ro- has been frequently handled; but handled mance of • Les Natchez,' was afterwards too timidly and partially. The author sug. fitted into the “Genie du Christianisme.' gests an exodus of a half-inillion marriageIt is the work of the author which more able women from Great Britain, where than any other reflects the peculiarities of they are redundant, to the United States his character,— the vague longings, the mel- and our colonies, where men predominate. ancholy musings, and the egotistical senti- The cause of the redundancy of women at mentality of his youth and middle-age. As home Mr. Greg traces to emigration, to the Mr. Greg observes: “ It is one of the most profligacy of men, and especially to the remarkable specimens of that Literature ** growing and morbid luxury of the age:" of Despair' peculiar to our age, of which • Werther,' Obermann,' and Adolphe' The number of women who remain upmarare analogous productions.” For a sketch ried, because marriage - such marriage, that is, of the political life of Chateaubriand, we as is within their reach, or may be offered them must refer our readers to the concluding – would entail a sacrifice of that position pages of the author's powerful essay; but which they value more than the attractions of we cannot conclude without quoting the domestic life, is considerable in the middle ranks, vivid delineation of his character, personal, and is enormous in the higher ranks. This word literary, and political :

"position" we use as one which includes all the

various forms and disguises which the motive in We have now followed this prominent figure question puts on. Sometimes it is luxury proper of the first half of our century through all the which is thus inordinately valued, -- dainty livvarious phases of his existence - as youthful ing, splendid dressing, large houses, carriages wanderer, literary celebrity, minister and poli- ad libitum, gay society, and exoneration from tician, husband, friend, and lover ; and a more all useful exertion. Sometimes it is the more strongly-marked or consistently-preserved indi- shadowy sentiment which values these things, viduality we never met in history. He was the not for themselves, — for to many they are wearisame man at eighteen as at eighty ; the same in some even to nausea, -- but for their appearance. obscurity as in fame; the same in politics as in Hundreds of women would be really happier in love ; never simple, never natural, never true ; a simpler and less lazy life, and know it well ; absorbingly selfish, incurably affected ; the but to accept that life would be, or would be wretched victim of insatiable yearning and eter- deemed to be, a derogation from their social stanal discontent. Probably the only thoroughly tus ; a virtual ejection, to a greater or less de sincere thing about him was his desolate ennui gree, from that society, that mode of existence, and weariness, or rather disgust, of life. which they do not enjoy, but cannot make up

their minds to surrender. Hundreds again As a young man we saw him unable to fix upon probably thousands — forego the joys of married any path in life : too proud, too indolent, and life, not because they really cling to aprelished too fastidious for any; having no object and no luxuries or empty show, but because they shrink

« FöregåendeFortsätt »