seen this in our country can confirm my army, at six leagues from us, victorious in account, though it seems incredible. Alsace, is on the road from Woerth to

At last, I arrived at the Sarrebourg sta- Siewettler, to join hands with the army tion, when the Parisian paid me thirty that is moving on Metz; it is defiling past francs, which my horses had fairly earned. the guns of the fort. To-morrow we shall The families of all the railway employés see their advanced guard march past us. were just getting into the train for Paris ; It is a melancholy story to be defeated and you may be sure that this Govern- through the fault of an imbecile and his ment newspaper-writer was delighted to courtiers ; but we must always remember, find himself there. He had his free pass: as a small consolation, to every man his but for that the unlucky man would have turn.” He began again to smoke, and I had to stay against his will, like many went on my way home, where I put up my others who at the present time are boast- horses. I had earned my thirty franes in ing loudly of having made a firm stand six hours; but this did not give me comwaiting for the enemy.

plete satisfaction. My wife and Grédel I quickly started home again by cross- were also on the hill listening to the firing roads, and about twelve I reached Rothalp. – half the village were up there; and all The artillery was thundering amongst the at once I saw Placiard, who could not be mountains ; crowds of people were climb- found the day before, jumping through the ing and running down the little hill near gardens, puffing and panting for breath. the church to listen to the distant roar. “ You hear, Monsieur le Maire," he cried Cousin George was calmly smoking his " you hear the battle? It is King Victor pipe at the window, looking at all these Emmanuel coming to our help with a hunpeople coming and going.

dred and fifty thousand men!” “What is going on?” said I, stopping At this I could no longer contain mymy cart before his door.

self, and I cried — “Monsieur Placiard, if « Nothing," said he ; "only the Prussians you take me for a fool, you are quite misattacking the little fort of Lichtenberg. I taken; and if you are one, you had better But where are you coming from ?” hold your tongue. It is no use any longer “ From Sarrebourg."

telling these poor people false news, as you And I related to him in a few words have been doing for eighteen years, to what the Parisian had told me.

keep up their hopes to the last moment. “ Ah! now it is all plain," said he. “I|This will never more bring tobacco-excise could not understand why the 5th Corps to you, and stamp-offices to your sons. was filing off into Lorraine, without mak- The time for play-acting is over. You are ing one day's stand in our mountains, telling me this through love of lying ; but which are so easily defended : it did really I have had enough of all these abominable seem too cowardly. But now that Fros- tricks. I now see things clearly. We sard is beaten at Forbach, the thing is ex- have been plundered from end to end by plained – our flank is turned. De Failiy fellows of your sort, and now we are going is afraid of being taken between two vic- to pay for you, without having had any torious armies. He has only to gain benefit ourselves. If the Prussians beground, for the cattle-dealer David has come our masters, if they bestow places just told me that he has seen Uhlans be- and salaries, you will be their best friend; hind Fénétrange. The line of the Vosges you will denounce the patriots in the comis surrendered; and we owe this misfor- mune, and you will have them to vote tune to Monsieur Frossard, tutor to the plébiscites for Bismarck! What does it Prince Imperial!”

matter to you whether you are a FrenchThe schoolmaster, Adam Fix, was then man or a German? Your true lord, your coming down from the hill with his wife ; true king, your true emperor, is the man and cried that a battle was going on near who pays! Bitche. He did not stop on account of the As fast as I spoke my wrath increased, rain. George told me to listen a few min- and all at once I shouted : “Wait, Monutes. We could hear deep and distant re- sieur l'Adjoint, wait till I come out; I will ports of heavy guns, and others not

so pay you off for the Emperor, for his Minisloud.

ters, and all the infamous crew of your “ Those heavy reports,” said George, sort who have brought the Prussians into come from the great siege-guns of the France !” But I had scarcely reached the fort; the others are the enemy's lighter door, when he had already turned the artillery. At this moment, the German corner.

From The Fortnightly Review. and will neither go beyond nor fall short THE IDEALISM OF MILTON.

of them. He is noble, but we are someThe critic who would find some single times painfully aware that it is a nobleness expression which resumes the tendency of prepense. He loves to imagine himself in each of an artist's works, or an expression heroic attitudes - as defender of Engwhich resumes the tendency of all his land and of liberty, as the afflicted chamworks taken together, is commonly en- pion of his people fallen on evil days. gaged in falsifying the truth of criticism, His very recreation is pre-arranged and in all cases runs a risk of losing the Mild heaven ordains a time for pleasfaithfulness of sympathy, the disengaged-ure.*, ness of intelligence, the capacity for as- In all this Milton was unlike Shaksuming various spiritual attitudes which speare ; and as the men differed, so did the should belong to him. A man will not be times. During the brighter years of the comprehended in a formula, nor will the Elizabethan period, when life — life of the work of a man. But in the case of Milton, intellect, life of the imagination, religious and those who resemble him in his method life, life of the nation, and life of the indias an artist, this doctrinaire style of criti- vidual — with one great bound had broken cism is at least not illegitimate. Ņo poem, through and over the mediæval dykes and of course, is reducible to an abstract state-dams, and was rushing onwards, somewhat ment or idea; yet the statement, the idea, turbid, somewhat violent, yet gaining a may be the germ from which the poem has law and a majestic order from the mere sprung. A tree glorious with all its weight of the advancing mass of waters leaves and blossoming is much more than at that fortunate time to live was the chief the seed in which it lay concealed; yet thing, not to adopt and adhere to a theory from the seed, with favourable earth and of living. skies, it grew. Milton never sang as the

“ Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, bird sings, with spontaneous pleasure,

But to be young was very heaven! through an impulse unobserved and unmodified by the intellect. The intention At the time when Milton reached manof each poem is clearly conceived by him- hood, the unity of this new life of England self; the form is elaborated with a con- was broken, and there were two conspicuscious study of effects. There is in him ous theories of life, to one of which each none of the delicious imprévu of Shak- man was compelled to attach bimself; two speare. Milton's nature never reacted experiments of living, of which each persimply and directly, finding utterance in a son must assay one; two doctrines in relilyrical cry, when impressions from the gion, two tendencies in politics, two sysworld of nature or of society aroused/tems of social conduct and of manners. the faculty of song. The reaction was The large insouciance of the earlier fashion checked, and did not find expression until of living was gone; everyone could tell why he had considered his own feelings, and he was what he was. modified or altered them upon the sugges- Thus the character of the period fell in tions of his intellect. Milton's passion is with Milton's natural tendency towards great, but deliberate, approved by his the conscious modelling of his life as a judgment, and he never repents, feeling man, and of his works as an artist after that repentance would be a confession, not certain ideals, types, abstractions. It is only of sin, but of extreme weakness and not a little remarkable that we have the fatuity. He is not imaginative in the high- authority and example of Milton himself est — in Shakspeare's — manner. Each for applying to his writings that criticism character of his mask, his drama, his epics, which looks for an intention or expres; is an ideal character - a Miltonic abstrac-i purpose as the germinal centre of each, and tion incarnated. He himself is, as much which attempts to discover an unity in as may be, an ideal personage : his life them all, resulting from the constant presdoes not grow in large, vital unconscious-ence of one dominant idea. In the “Deness, but is modelled, sometimes labori-I fensio Secunda” Milton looks back over ously, after an idea. And consequently his more important prose works, and he his life, like his writings, lacks the imprévu. finds that they all move in a harmonious He resolves in early youth that it shall be system around a central conception of liba great life, and he carries out his resolu- erty. An Ideal of liberty was that which tion unfalteringly from first to last. IIe presided over his public life, his life in the tends his own genius, and observes it. world of action, and the books which were He waits for its maturity, and watches. He accepts his powers as trusts from God,

* Sonnet to Cyriac Skinner.

meant to bear upon the world of action and few Milton's poetry at the same refer to that ideal. There are three forms time dealing with moral truth, and the or species of liberty, Milton tells us, which abiding meanings of things — might we are essential to the happiness of man as a not naturally look for a single chief tendmember of society — religious liberty, do- ency, a perinanent presence of one domimestic, civil. From an early period the nant conception in all his poetical self-utfirst of these had occupied his thoughts. terance, epic and dramatic? “What he had in view when he hesitated Milton's inner life, of which his poetry to become a clergyman,” Professor Mas- is an expression, as his prose is an expresson remarks, “was, in all probability, less sion of his outer, public life, was an unthe letter of the articles to be subscribed, ceasing tending from evil to good, from and of the oaths to be taken, than the base or common to noble, a perpetual aspigeneral condition of the Church at that ration to moral greatness. Not less than particular time.” Prelatical tyranny, and Goethe he studied self-culture. But while the theories by which it was justified, in- Goethe, with his deliberate Hellenism, spired the indignant pamphlets to write made man an end to himself, Milton, over which Milton resolutely put poetry aside. whoin the Hebrew spirit kept jealous Domestic liberty “involves three material guard, considered man at his highest as questions — the conditions of the conjugal the creature of God. And in the hierarchy tie, the education of children, and the free of human faculties Milton assigned the publication of one's thoughts." * Each of place of supreme authority, as Goethe these was made a subject of distinct con- never did, to those powers which lie upon sideration-in“ Tetrachordon " and other the Godward side of our humanity, to writings on the question of divorce, in the those perceptions and volitions which are Letter addressed to Samuel Hartlib on concerned with moral good and evil. The education, and in the Speech for the liberty impartiality of Goethe's self-culture was of unlicensed printing. Were it one of Mil- undisturbed by any vivid sense of sin. ton's critics, and not Milton himself, wbo No part of his being seemed to him in exhad thus classed the “ Areopagitica ” treme peril froin spiritual foes, no part apamongst the treatises in defence of domes- peared the object of a fierce assault; it tic liberty, or who had represented the was easy for him to transfer his attention letter to Hartlib as concerned with liberty serenely from this side of his pature to in any of its forms, should we not be that, while with resolute and calın persistready to declare that he had departed ence he strove to attain completeness of from the sincerity of criticism, and was self-development. To Goethe the world forcing the author's works at any cost to was a gymnasium or academy, and life a accord with the theory of his own ? Yet period of higher education. The peculithere is no forcing here ; there is only the arity of Milton's view was, that before compulsion put upon Milton himself by his him the world lay as a battle-field, life was dominant idea. Civil liberty occupied him a warfare against principalities and powers, last. He thought at an earlier season and the good man a champion of God. that it might be left to the magistrates. The sense of sin never forsook him, nor It was not until events had proved that that of a glorious possibility of virtue. his pen might be wielded as a powerful To Goethe nature presented itself as a weapon in its defence, that the Icono- harmonious group of influences favourable, clastes," the “ Pro Populo Anglicano De- upon the whole, towards man; what he fensio," and the “ Defensio Secunda were chiefly feared was a mistake in his plan of produced.

culture, the substituting in his lifelong Thus we are directed by Milton himself education of a subordinate power or facto observe how the great cycle of his prose ulty of his nature for the master power. works revolves around this controlling What Milton feared before all else was idea of liberty. One is tempted to go disloyalty to God, and a consequent hell; on, and endeavour to apply this author- and to him nature, in its most significant ized kind of criticism to Milton's poetry. aspect, was but the scene of an indefatigaWould it be surprising, or not rather a ble antagonism between good and evil

. thing to be expected, if a certain unity of In other words, Milton was essentially a idea became apparent in the work of the Puritan. In spite of his classical culture, poet as in that of the pamphleteer? Mil- and his Renaissance sense of beauty, he ton being what he was, a man governed not less than Bunyan saw, as the prime by ideas, and those ideas being persistent fact of the world, Diabolus at old; with

Iminanuel. He, as well as Bunyan, beheld " Defensio Secunda."

a Celestial City and a City of Destruction, standing remote from one another, with the heavens arching over it — a dim spot, hostile rulers. Milton added, as Bunyan in which men “strive to keep up a frail also added, that final victory must lie upon and feverish being " set below the "starry the side of good. That is, he asserted threshold of Jove's Court," eternal Providence. There is a victory,

“ Where those immortal shapes which is God's, not ours; it is our part to

Of bright aerial spirits live inspher'd cleave to the Eternal One, his part to

In regions mild of calm and serene air." achieve the triumph on our behalf.

Here we possess the dominant idea From its first scene to the last the drama which governed the inner life of Milton, is a representation of the trials, difficulties, and the dominant idea around which re- and dangers to which moral purity is exvolves the cycle of his poetical works, as posed in this world, and of the victory of that of his prose works revolves around the better principle in the soul, gained by the idea of liberty. There is a mortal strenuous human endeavour aided by the battle waged between the powers of good grace of God. In this spiritual warfare and evil. Therefore in each of Milton's the powers of good and evil are arrayed greater poems there are two parties, op- against one another; upon this side the posed as light and darkness are opposed, Lady, her brothers (types of human helpthere are hostile forces arrayed for strife fulness weak in itself, and liable to go on this side and on that. But God is om- astray), and the supernatural powers auxnipotent, the everlasting Jehovah. There iliar to virtue in heaven and in earth is, therefore, in every instance a victory of the Attendant Spirit and the nymph the righteous, wrought out for them by Sabrina. Divine help.

The enchanter Comus is son of Bacchus In addition to this, let it be borne in and Circe, and inheritor of twofold vice. mind that Milton, as an artist works in the If Milton had pictured the life of innocent manner of an idealist. His starting-point mirth in “L'Allegro," here was a picture is ordinarily an abstraction. Whereas to set beside the other, a vision of the with Bunyan abstract virtues and vices genius of sensual indulgence. Yet Comus are perpetually tending to become real is inwardly, not outwardly foul; no grim persons, with Milton each real person tends monster like that which the mediæval imto become the representative of an idea or agination conjured up to terrify the spirit a group, more or less complex, of ideas. and disgust the senses. The attempt of Hopeful, and old Honest, and Mr. Feeble-sin upon the soul as conceived by Milton Mind, as we read, grow by degrees into is not the open and violent obsession of a actual human beings, who, had we lived brute power, but involves a cheat, an imtwo centuries ago, might have been known posture. The soul is put upon its trial to us as respected Puritan neighbours. through the seduction of the senses and Samson and Dalila, and not alone these the lower parts of our nature. Flattering persons of remote Eastern tradition, but lies entice the ears of Eve; Christ is tried Lady Alice Egerton and her brothers, ver-by false visions of power and glory, and itably alive and breathing, are, as Milton beneficent ruin; Sainson is defrauded of shows them, objects (to borrow a phrasel his strength by deceitful blandishment. of Dr. Newman) rather of notional than And in like manner Comus must needs real apprehension.

possess a beauty of his own, such beauty “ Comus" is the work of a youthful as ensnares the eye untrained in the severe spirit, enamoured of its ideals of beauty school of moral perfection. Correggio and of virtue, zealous to exhibit the iden- sought him as a favorite model, but not tity of moral loveliness with moral severity. Michael Angelo. He is sensitive to rich The real incident from which the nask forms and sweet sounds, graceful in oraoriginated disengages itself, in the imagi- tory, possessed, like Satan, of high intelnation of Milton, from the world of actual lect, but intellect in the service of the occurrences, and becomes an occasion for senses; he surrounds himself with a world the dramatic play of his own poetical ab- of art which lulls the soul into forgetfulstractions. The young English gentlemen ness of its higher instincts and of duty; cast off their identity and individuality, his palace is stately, and set out with all and appear in the elementary shapes of manner of deliciousness.' “ First Brother” and - Second Brother." Over against this potent enchanter The Lady Alice rises into an ideal imper-stands the virginal figure of the Lady, who sonation of virgin strength and virtue. is stronger than he. Young men, thernThe scene is earth, a wild wood; but selves conscious of high powers, and who earth, as in all the poems of Miiton, with are more truly acquainted with admiration

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than with love, find the presence of the brothers wander in the wood. They strength in woman invincibly attractive. are alike in being aimless and helpless ; if Shakspeare, in his earlier dramatic period, they are distinguished from one another, delighted to represent such female charac- it is only as “ Pirat Druther” and “ Second ters as Rosalind, and Beatrice, and Portia; Brother,” and by one of the simple devices characters at once stronger and weaker common to ideal artists — first brother is than his Imogens and Desdemonas, a philosopher and full of hope and faith ; stronger because more intellectual, weaker second brother is more apprehensive, and because less harmoniously feminine. Shel- less thoroughly grounded in ethics and ley, who was never other than young, ex- metaphysics. The deliverance of their hibited different types of heroic womanly sister would be impossible but for supernature, as conceived by him, in Cyntha of natural interposition, the aid afforded by “ The Revolt of Islam," and in Beatrice the Attendant Spirit from Jove's court. Cenci. Something of weakness belongs In other words, Divine Providence is asto the Lady of Milton, because she is a serted. Not without higher than human woman, accustomed to the protection of aid is the Lady rescued, and through the others, tenderly nurtured, with a fair and weakness of the mortal instruments of digentle body; but when the hour of trial vine grace but half the intended work is comes she shows herself strong in powers accomplished. Comus escapes bearing his of judgment and of reasoning, strong in magic wand, to deceive other straye s in her spiritual nature, in her tenacity of the wood, to work new enchantments, and moral truth, in her indignation against swell his rout of ugly-headed followers. sin. Although alone, and encompassed by Little need be said of " Paradise Lost;' evil and danger, she is fearless, and so the central idea is obvious. There is clear-sighted that the juggling practice of again a great contention, Heaven and Hell her antagonist is wholly ineffectual against striving for the mastery. Satan and his her. There is much in the Lady which re-angels are warring, first tumultuously and sembles the youthful Milton himself — he, afterwards by crafty ways, against God the Lady of his college — and we may well and Messiah, and the Executor's of God's believe that the great debate concerning purposes. Each of the infernal Thrones temperance was not altogether dramatic and Dominations is an ideal conception, (where, indeed, is Milton truly dramatic ?), the representative of a single living last. but was in part a record of passages in the Satan himself is the spirit of disoberlience, poet's own spiritual history. Milton ad- that supreme sin of which all other sins are mired the Lady as he admired the ideal but modes; he is a will alienated from which he projected before him of himself. God, and proudly accepting such alieniiShe is, indeed, too admirable to be an ob- tion as the law of bis nature. Man's virject of cherishing love. We could almost tue is placed upon its trial. Paradise, so prolong her sufferings to draw a more far from being the peaceful garden, is the complete enthusiasm from the sight of her central battle-field of the whole universe, heroic attitude.

Adain falls, and evil for a time appears to The lady is unsubdued, and indeed un- have gained the day; but such an appearsubduable, because her will remains her ance cannot but be fallacious — the woman own, a citadel without a breach ; but “ her contains within her the seed of promise, corporal rind” is manacled, she is set in the great Deliverer who shall bruise the the enchanted chair and cannot leave it. serpent's head. To “ assert eternal ProvRichardson, an artist who like Milton idence" is the declared intention of the wrought in the manner of the idealists, whole work. It closes, if in no triumphant conceived a similar situation in his Clarissa. strain, yet in a spirit of serious confidence To subdue the will of the noble and beau- concerning the future : tiful woman against whom he has set himself is as much the object of Lovelace as

“Some natural tears they dropp’d, but wiped

His to gain' possession of her person.

them soon;

The world will all before them, where to mastery over her outward fate grows

choose steadily from less to more, until at length

Their place of rest, and Providence their it is absolute; but her true personality

guide : (and Richardson never lets us forget this)

They hand in hand, with wand'ring steps remains remote, untouched, victorious, and slow, and her death itself is not defeat, but a Through Eden took their solitary way." well-conducted retreat from this life to a position of greater security and freedom. By the time “ Paradise Lost was writMeanwhile, to return to “ Comus," ten, Milton had known love as distinct

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