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ticed that the nurse stooped with her weight. I past of Europe they have in common with The little imp shut her eyes and did ingenue us. But their own records, brief as they as if she had been bred to the stage, and as are, are already splendid; and of these a baby in arms she was successfully carried they have exclusive possession. They into Paris, the seminarist leading the way
- hold the gorgeous West in fee. through the wicket, book in hand and eyes on the floor. The women that played that European writers will never do full justice trick, nevertheless, watched over that child to the America of the past. It requires, inas none but the best English servants would deed, a mind very well informed and free have done, would have thought nothing of from prejudice to do justice to the America losing their own dinners to gratify any of the present. whims she might express at table.
Records of New England life form the Does travelling benefit young children? We cannot say, for we have never watched nals. The use of these for purposes of Art
most picturesque portion of American anEnglish children under the ordeal; but we has been abundantly proved by Hawthorne suspect not.
They are injuriously fed, and other writers. That stern, cold Calkeep late hours, and enjoy far too much ex- vinism which the Puritan carried with him citement for their mental health. The constant change of scene is a strain upon the ment as had not elsewhere been afforded
over sea had such opportunity for developmind for which they obtain little or no com-it. After a “ terrible childbed" and a youth pensation, and which accounts for the weary, soured and hardened by persecution, the half blasé look they wear on their return. Puritan found himself the possessor of auThey become querulous as the journey ad- thority. He could visit upon others the vances, the waiters' habit of non-resistance sufferings he had long endured; and nothtempts them to new demands, and they ending in the religion he professed restrained not infrequently by making themselves nui- him from so natural, if so illogical, a retalsances to all around. The new faces be- iation. Hence the persecution of the wilder them, the new scenes overfill their witches and that of the Quakers, of which minds, and the new diet gives them a per- Cotton Mather has left us so strange and manent dyspepsia. Change is as good for full a record, were unexampled. children as for grown-up people, but it The time when Puritan government was should neither be rapid nor frequent, and at its height in New England has been for any English girl or boy under twelve chosen by Mr. Longfellow for illustration. we should deprecate Continental travel, of the two dramas to which he has given and above all, Continental life in hotels. the title of • The New England Tragedies,'
one is occupied with the persecution of the
Quakers, the other with that of witches. From The Athenæum. In both the scene is laid in Boston. Both
dramas are to a certain extent experiments The New England Tragedies. By Henry in metre. They are written in blank verse, Wadsworth Longfellow. (Routledge & smooth and flexible in structure; and no Sons.)
prose is employed. The most comic, or
realistic, utterances are all in verse, and In his original works Mr. Longfellow
One is alshows a growing disposition to forsake the very realistic some of them are.
most dismayed at being asked to accept history of Europe for that of his own coun
as poetry such phrases as — try. Mediavalism was his first love, and her influence is still felt; but American his
- the boys tory is the choice of his manhood. For a Made such an uproar in the gallery, long time the poet seemed to waver in his I could not keep them quiet ; affection, giving us, on the one hand, • The Spanish Student' and “The Golden Legend,' and, on the other, Evangeline,' The If you want fiddling, you must go elsewhere. Courtship of Miles Standish,' and `Hiawa- To the Green Dragon, and the Admiral Vernon, tha.' At last, however, his choice seems And to other such disreputable places; declared, and we may now regard all bomage to the former mistress as an infidelity to the present.
KEMPTHORN. Ralph, I am under bonds for a The gradually increasing taste of Transat- hundred pound. lantic writers, those especially of highest GOLDSMITH. Hard lines. What for? mark, for subjects taken from American history is satisfactory to contemplate. The In passages of serious interest, however,
Mr. Longfellow's blank verse is very happy; cott, the son of the Governor, is moved to full of melody and strength.
compassion by the sight of Edith's suffer• Endicott,' the first of the two dramas, ings, there is no interchange whatever of is ushered in by a prologue in verse. This love-talk, no breathing of passion. The is partly explanatory and partly apologetic, drama opens in the meeting-house wherein as may be seen from the following ex- Norton is preaching. Edith, barefooted tract:
and clad in sackcloth, enters, and is rebuked
by the minister for her presence and speech. Nor let the Historian blame the Poet here, She is expelled from the building, and NorIf he perchance misdate the day or year, ton seizes the occasion to urge Endicott to And group events together, by his art, That in the chronicles lie far apart;
stronger measures against the heretics.
Awhile the Governor wavers :-
Four already have been slain;
And others banished upon pain of death. Into one common point of light convene. But they come back again to meet their doom, Why touch upon such themes ? ” perhaps some Bringing the linen for their winding-sheets. friend
We must not go too far. In truth I shrink May ask, incredulous; "and to what good end ? From shedding of more blood. The people Why drag again into the light of day The errors of an age long passed away?”. At our severity. I answer : “ For the lesson that they teach; The tolerance of opinion and of speech. He is soon stimulated, however, to such Hope, Faith, and Charity remain, – these three; cruelty as brings about the catastrophe. And greatest of them all is Charity.”
Edith, and subsequently Christison, are Let us remember, if these words be true, brought before the Council. Edith is senThat unto all men Charity is due;
tenced to be whipped in public in three Give what we ask; aad pity, while we blame, towns; Christison is condemned to death. Lest we become copiartners in the shame. The execution of the former sentence is Lest we condemn, and yet ourselves partake,
completed, and Edith, after undergoing it, And persecute the dead for conscience sake. Therefore it is the author seeks and strives
is thrust forth into the wilderness, whither To represent the dead as in their lives,
she is followed by John Endicott. ChristiAnd lets at times his characters unfold
son's life is saved by the arrival from Eog. Their thoughts in their own language, strong land of a royal despatch, depriving the and bold :
Governor of power further to molest or He only asks of you to do the like;
punish the Quakers. The play ends with To hear him first, and, if you will, then strike. the death of all those who had taken part
in the persecution. Their speedy death, The drama follows the fate of Wenlock and, to a certain extent, its manner, bad Christison and his daughter Edith. Penal been foretold by Christison. enactments were in the year of the play, There is very little that is dramatic in 1665, in force against the Quakers. Chris- Endicott' besides the form. It is, of tison had already been banished from the course, altogether unsuited for representacity under penalty of death. Moved, how- tion. In one or two scenes a measure of ever, by irresistible impulse, he returns at dramatic force is given to the dialogue. In the moment when the fanatic zeal of Nor- the trial scene of Christison the old man's ton, a preacher, has inflamed to violence responses to his judges are very fine and the weak governor Endicott. All who are spirited. The characterization is generally concerned with government, whether of good. Scarcely one of the dramatis perChurch or State, participate in persecutions sonæ but stands before us visible and of the Quakers, and the people, though recognizable, yet all are painted with few they mutter discontent, are not ready for touches. Governor Endicott is the most action in their behalf. Very simple is the elaborately-painted portrait. He is by do plot of the drama, its entire interest being means the most successful. concentrated in the sufferings meekly borne • Giles Corey of the Salem Farms' is a by Elith and the portentous warnings ut- stronger and far more tragical story than tered by her father. Scarcely any common- · Endicott.' It tells how, upon the testiplace or sentimental interest is attempted. mony of the “afflicted children,” those of Mr. Longfellow has seen that love passages highest position incurred charges of witchwould scarcely blend with the horrors he craft. Some art is shown in the manner has to chronicle. In one of his dramas, whereby the reader's mind is prepared accordingly, there is no suggestion of love; for the catastrophe of the play.' Cotton and in that before us, though John Endi- Mather, the historian of the persecutions,
is one of the dramatis personæ, acting in dren,” form together a scene of great power part as Chorus. As yet, the persecutions and pathos. have touched those only whose age and help- These dramas are worthy of Mr. Longless condition render them peculiarly liable to fellow's reputation, to which, however, they the charge of witchcraft. "But emboldened can hardly add much. The excellence of by success, the “afflicted children” assail the poet's art detracts, to a certain extent, others higher in condition. Goodwife Bishop from their interest. Puritanical forms of is first tried, and her condemnation is the speech are not altogether suited to the purdoleful precursor to that of Goodwife Co- poses of the drama. Gospel phrases in the rey. Corey himself is a prosperous man, mouths of Quakers are less effective than and a firm believer in witchcraft. When Old Testament illustrations in the mouth first discovered he is soliloquizing, while he of a Jew. Hence the dramas want colour. nails a horseshoe over his door ::
Nor do they gain any advantage from the The Lord hath prospered me. The rising sun
lyrical gift of Mr. Longfellow, which, with
out being of the highest order, is yet great. Shines on my Hundred Acres and my woods As if he loved them. On a morn like this
We would give many pages of blank verse I can forgive mine enemies, and thank God
such as is here employed for one stanza out For all his goodness unto me and mine. of The Golden Legend' like the followMy orchard groans with russets and pearmains; ing: My ripening corn shines golden in the sun ;
Come back ! ye friendships long departed ! My barns are crammed with hay, my cattle thrive ;
That like o'erflowing streamlets started,
And rfow are dwindled, one by one,
To stony channels in the sun.
of Dante which preceded Mr. Longfellow's And keep the powers of darkness from my door, translation has influenced bis style and his The horseshoe will I nail upon the threshold. [Nails down the horseshoe.
thoughts. We seem to trace this influence, There, ye night-hags and witches that torment
not only in his individual images or ideas, The neighbourhood, ye shall not enter here !
but in the style of illustration he employs. What is the matter in the field ? — John Gloyd ! Compare, for instance, the six following The cattle are all running to the woods !- lines, and the image they contain, with the John Gloyd! Where is the man !
illustration of the lark, Qual allodetta,
che in aere si spazia," in the twentieth This flight of the cattle is the commence- canto of the Paradiso': ment of his misfortunes. His wife is arrested and tried før witchcraft. So given And as the flowing of the ocean fills to brooding upon the subject are men's Each creek and branch thereof, and then retires, minds, that their conversation, serious and Leaving behind a sweet and wholesome savor; frivolous, is full of allusions to the terrible So doth the virtue and the life of God theme. When Corey is in the witness-box, whom he hath made partakers of his nature.
Flow evermore into the hearts of those speaking the truth as a conscientious, Godfearing man, he finds words harmlessly
The lines in the Paradiso' are thus spoken wrested till they receive most harm- translated by Mr. Longfellow:ful and dolorous significance. His wife is
Like as a lark that in the air expatiates, found guilty of witchcraft, his own evidence being largely conducive to ber conviction.
First singing, and then silent with content
Of the last sweetness that doth satisfy her, He is himself tried for the same offence.
Such seemed to me the image of the imprint Conscious how his words may be misinter
Of the eternal pleasure, by whose will preted, he refuses to speak. For his con
Doth everything become the thing it is. tumacy he is sentenced to be pressed to death. With the carrying out of this sen- We do not know whether this
is tence, and the utterance of some vaticina- enough to justify us, in the reader's opinion, tions by Cotton Mather, the play ends. It in attributing an influence upon Mr. Longis more dramatic than its predecessor. fellow's style to his study of Dante. We The scene in which Martha Corey is tried could point in this work to many other inis strong and well wrought. Corey's pro- stances of slight, but not insignificant, retestations, Martha's denunciations of the semblance to the method of the great poet system by which she is to suffer, and the he has translated. ravings of Mary, one of the afflicted cbil
From Belgravia. being pleased. Croquet may be taken as a PLAYING AT PLEASURE.
representative thing in this respect. Every
body can't like the game, yet everybody “Do these people enjoy this ?". The must play at it or affect an interest in it. question startled me, coming as it did like And what is true of this is true of much an echo of the thought in my own mind. more important matters. Let us take muPerhaps also because it was out of tone or sic, for example. Now, what an enormous keeping with the scene; for we were on the proportion of the lives of people in society croquet-lawn, at sunset, the young and is taken up in listening to music! They pretty players looking younger and still might be born for nothing else. There are more charming in the rosy light, and those the operas which, of course, must be attendwatching the game strolling about in groups ed. It would be Bæotian indeed not to or resting on the rustic seats, chatting and know how Kelloge gave the “Ciascum lo laughing pleasantly. The calmness and se- disce" in the Figlia on Tuesday, or to be renity of the summer evening conduced to ignorant of the fact that Mario was hardly pleasurable emotions, and we were pleased. so crisp as usual on Thursday week. BeWe persuaded ourselves of that. We told sides, there is always a débutante, or a new one another for fear there should be any ly-discovered tenor, if not some fresh fesmistake about it; and yet — well, the least ture in the répertoire, to be sat in judgment little yawn was now and then perceptible in upon. So the opera is inevitable. Then a fair face, and a furtive glance at a watch there are the great concerts at the houses of from time to time was suggestive that the the nobility, which, as being invariably hot, sound of the dinner-bell would not be crowded, and uncomfortable, are naturally wholly unwelcome. So I had already begun the most distingué things out. Of the Muto speculate whether young girls are born sical Union, Philharmonic, and other society to croquet as the sparks fly upward ; whether concerts there is literally no end. As to one and all find it a source of unalloyed the Crystal Palace, it is simply a reservoir gratification; whether beatitude is necces- of music always on full flow throughout the sarily realised by the looker-on; and so season, and it must be visited again and forth, when the pertinent question set down again. These are a few, and only a few, above was whispered in my ear.
of the forms in which music assails us. Happily, an answer was impossible. At Now, a genuine love for music is by no that very moment the bell, so long antici- means universal, especially among the Eng. pated, rang, and at the very first sound my lish. It must result from a natural taste or querist rose and left me. His example was gift comparatively rare, developed by ascontagious. The players threw down their siduous culture. Knowledge must premallets; the game was left in any state. cede taste, and taste enjoyment. I grant One blushing girl alone lingered, detained that most people like to hear a pretty mel. by a youth of ardent eyes, and cheek as ody; but pretty melodies are not music. girlish as her own, to settle some technical. A taste for them doesn't qualify one to unity having reference to “ spooning." All derstand and enjoy Schubert or to enter the rest went, and in five minutes the with enthusiasm into Wagner's designs on ground was almost deserted. This latter the musical future. So it bappens that fact hadi ts significance, I decided, when I half the music people are compelled to sit came to think over the matter after dinner. out must be unintelligible" sound and fury A game so hastily abandoned could hardly to two-thirds of them. It can inspire no inhave had any strong hold on the players or telligible appreciation, and afford no real those who saw it played. Certainly it ap- enjoyment. The select few who have studpeared to amuse; but did it ? It seemed ied music as a science, and whose talk is to afford pleasure ; but was that so? After of "progressions," " resolutions," "corall, isn't croquet, as a rule, one of those secutive fifths,” and the rest of it, no doubt make-believe devices by which society tries feel the raptures they express. People of to cheat itself out of sheer inanity and in- fair musical gifts and decent education may tolerable ennui? In a word, isn't the pur- derive a certain degree of satisfaction in lissuit of it half the time simply and honestly a tening to a classical composition, the work mere playing at pleasure ?
of a great master, even in that rarefied atThis idea once started soon carried one mosphere where music impinges on mathebeyond the limits of the croquet-lawn. It matics; but for the rest, the mass of those was impossible not to reflect on the inflic- who frequent the opera-house and the contions those in society go through, and the cert-room, what gratification can they exfatigue they sustain, in keeping up a fiction perience ? Simply none. They are there of enjoyment, and a ghastly semblance of because it is a right thing to be there. They
listen because others listen. They affect to joyment proper tc this form of playing at be critical, or to seem satisfied, just as it may happen. But they have really no heart in the matter. They are simply playing at pleasure.
On the general question of the follow-myleader nature of our amusements, it is satisfactory to be able to add that England does not stand alone in this respect. That the French enjoy themselves more than the English there can be little question. They are more sprightly, vivacious, light-hearted, and more easily really pleased. Yet they
These examples are sufficient to illustrate my position; they might be multiplied to any extent. What the old French chronicMuch the same thing happens in respect ler said of our ancestors, "These English to picture-galleries. Since the fashion came amuse themselves sadly," is strikingly true up, fostered by the late Prince Consort, of the present day. Sadly enough do thoueverybody must affect a taste for art. It is sands of us drag through the weary rounds at least indispensable that one should see the society has marked out for us, nursing the Academy Exhibition, and do something in delusion that we are amused, refreshed, the way of private views, to say nothing of gratified, or receive compensation in some maundering about in Suffolk-street and else- form or other. The compensation may only where. Very nice, pleasant, even improv-be prospective, as in the case of a friend of ing to those who really care for this kind of mine whom I found playing at whist when thing, and bring any knowledge, technical he should have been dancing. "What, you or otherwise, to bear upon it. But how many like cards!" I remarked. Like them!" do care or know anything about art? The he ejaculated with a sneer, 'no, my boy; majority see pictures as a child sees them, but one must cultivate a resource for one's and with about as much appreciation of their old age." He was provident, for his years real claims to excellence. They lack the numbered only twenty-five! innate faculty of apprehension, and education has done little or nothing to supply the deficiency. An artist can hardly credit that a good picture can be looked at without an instinctive sense of its beauty. No? But he has to learn that it is so. He is doomed to experience again and again that heartsickness which comes over the poet when his verse falls on dead ears; when his rhyth- go through a good deal of wearisome makemic cadences charm not, his studied felici- believe enjoyment for all that. A French ties are unmarked, and his most delicate salon is not always a little heaven below," conceits kindle no sympathetic glow of ap- as the novelists insist on representing it. preciation. The poet has only one advan- As to the Americans, they run us very tage. Harsh and rugged stolidity will some- close in these hollow mockeries. They, like times admit that it has no taste for the music ourselves, are bound to enjoy that which it of Apollo's lute; but every lout believes is the proper thing to enjoy. I was speakhimself a born art-critic. The truth is, ing to an eminent tragedian the other day that the power of finding real enjoyment in on his experience of the States, particularly poetry, in music, and in artistic productions in respect to high-class drama. Ristori's is literally a "gift." There is no other word name was mentioned. "Has she a public that expresses it. The coarsest natures are in America?" I asked. Certainly draws sometimes thus gifted; the most delicate crowded houses." Of the best people, of lack the indescribable something which they course?" "The very best. The fashionfind others possessing. How far education ables throng to hear the great Italian." may sometimes supply the deficiencies of "And they sit out the performances ?" Nature is a point on which I will not enter. "Yes." They enjoy them, then? **I Certain it is that it often fails to do so; and don't know: they sit." Just our English what is the result? Pictures surfeit. Good experience in respect to Ristori, repeated and bad are looked at without discrimina- of late in the smaller matter of the French tion. The familiar has that feeble hold on plays at the St. James's. In single handthe mind which consist in vraisemblance. to-hand encounters with ennui, in the name Colour tells as colour in the draper's window of pleasure, the Americans are rather happy. tells. The vacuous stare results in the Their national habit of whittling is an examwearied brain. Kaleidoscopic effect culmi-ple in point. There can be no real pleasure nates in vertigo. So tired, so jaded, so in- in reducing a stick to chips, but the whittler expressibly bored, the unsympathetic visitor sets an object before himself, and trifling as drags through the purgatory of art; but ever that object is, the realisation of it yields with the set smile of approval, the simper of him enjoyment. This is the secret of the gratification, the rigid muscular expression success of a new American game which is to of extreme critical appreciativeness and en- be all the rage this winter, though a more