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was full of furnaces and clanking machinery and endless work. The whole air round was aglow with the fury of the fires, and men went and came like demons in the flames, with red-hot melting metal, pouring it into moulds and beating it on anvils. In the huge workshops in the background there was a perpetual whir of machinery-of wheels turning and turning, and pistons beating, and all the din of labor, which for a time renewed the anguish of my brain, yet also soothed it; for there was meaning in the beatings and the whirlings. And a hope rose within me that with all the forces that were here, some revolution might be possible-something that would change the features of this place and overturn the worlds. I went from workshop to workshop, and examined all that was being done and understood-for I had known a little upon the earth, and my old knowledge came back, and to learn so much more filled me with new life. The master of all was one who never rested, nor seemed to feel weariness, nor pain, nor pleasure. He had everything in his hand. All All who were there were his workmen, or his assistants, or his servants. No one shared with him in his councils. He was more than a prince among themhe was as a god. And the things he planned and made, and at which in armies and legions his workmen toiled and labored, were like living things. They were made of steel and iron, but they moved like the brains and nerves of men.
They went where he directed them, and did what he commanded, and moved at a touch. And though he talked little, when he saw how I followed all that he did, he was a little moved toward me, and spoke and explained to me the conceptions that were in his mind, one rising out of another, like the leaf out of the stem and the flower out of the bud. For nothing pleased him that he did, and necessity was upon him to go on and on.
They are like living things," I said they do your bidding whatever you command them. They are like another and a stronger race of men.'
Men!" he said, what are men? the most contemptible of all things that are made-creatures who will undo in a moment what it has taken millions of
years, and all the skill and strength of generations to do. are better than men. They cannot think or feel. They cannot stop but at my bidding, or begin unless I will. Had men been made so, we should be masters of the world.''
Had men been made so, you would never have been-for what could genius have done or thought ?—you would have been a machine like all the rest.'
And better so !" he said, and turned away; for at that moment, watching keenly as he spoke the action of a delicate combination of movements, all made and balanced to a hair'sbreadth, there had come to him suddenly the idea of something which made it a hundredfold more strong and terrible. For they were terrible these things that lived yet did not live, which were his slaves, and moved at his will. When he had done this, he looked at me, and a smile came upon his mouth: but his eyes smiled not, nor ever changed from the set look they wore. And the words he spoke were familiar words, not his, but out of the old life. "What a piece of work is a man!'' he said; how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty in form and moving how express and admirable! And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?" His mind had followed another strain of thought, which to me was bewildering, so that I did not know how to reply. I answered like a child, upon his last word.
"We are dust no more. I cried, for pride was in my heart-pride of him and his wonderful strength, and his thoughts which created strength, and all the marvels he did-" those things which hindered are removed. Go on, go onyou want but another step. What is to prevent that you should not shake the universe, and overturn this doom, and break all our bonds? There is enough here to explode this gray fiction of a firmament, and to rend those precipices and to dissolve that waste-as at the time when the primeval seas dried up, and those infernal mountains rose.
He laughed, and the echoes caught the sound and gave it back as if they mocked it. "There is enough to rend us all into shreds," he said, "and shake, as you say, both heaven and earth, and these plains and those hills."
"Then why," I cried in my haste, with a dreadful hope piercing through my soul-" why do you create and perfect, but never employ? When we had armies on the earth we used them. You have more than armies. You have force beyond the thoughts of man: but all without use as yet.
lazar-house, who had disappeared on the dark mountains. And as I looked at him, terror seized hold upon me, and a desire to flee and save myself, that I might not be drawn after him by the longing that was in his eyes.
The Master gave me his hand to help me to rise, and it trembled, but not like
for no use! All mine.
'All," he cried, in vain !-in vain!' !" "O master!" I said, 'great, and more great, in time to come. Why?why?"
He took me by the arm and drew me close.
"Have you strength," he said, "to bear it if I tell you why?"
I knew what he was about to say. felt it in the quivering of my veins, and my heart that bounded as if it would escape from my breast. But I would not quail from what he did not shrink to utter. I could speak no word, but I looked him in the face and waitedfor that which was more terrible than all.
He held me by the arm, as if he would hold me up when the shock of anguish came. They are in vain,' he said, "in vain-because God rules over all."
His arm was strong; but I fell at his feet like a dead man.
How miserable is that image, and how unfit to use ! Death is still and cool and sweet. There is nothing in it that pierces like a sword, that burns like fire, that rends and tears like the turning wheels. O life, O pain, O terrible name of God, in which is all succor and all torment ! What are pangs and tortures to that, which ever increases in its awful power, and has no limit, nor any alleviation, but whenever it is spoken penetrates through and through the miserable soul? Ŏ God, whom once I called my Father! O Thou who gavest me being, against whom I have fought, whom I fight to the end, shall there never be anything but anguish in the sound of Thy great name?
When I returned to such command of myself as one can have who has been transfixed by that sword of fire, the master stood by me still. He had not fallen like me, but his face was drawn with anguish and sorrow like the face of my friend who had been with me in the
"Sir," I cried, "have not we enough to bear? Is it for hatred, is it for vengeance, that you speak that name?'' O friend," he said, "neither for hatred nor revenge. It is like a fire in my veins : if one could find Him again!”
You, who are as a god-who can make and destroy-you, who could shake His throne !"
He put up his hand. "I who am His creature, even here—and still His child, though I am so far, so farHe caught my hand in his, and pointed with the other trembling. Look! your eyes are more clear than mine, for they are not anxious like mine. Can you see anything upon the way ?''
The waste lay wild before us, dark with a faintly rising cloud, for darkness and cloud and the gloom of death attended upon that name. I thought, in his great genius and splendor of intellect, he had gone mad, as sometimes may be. "There is nothing," I said, and scorn came into my soul; but even as I spoke I saw-I cannot tell what I saw-a moving spot of milky whiteness in that dark and miserable wilderness, -no bigger than a man's hand, no bigger than a flower. There is something," I said unwillingly; it has no shape nor form. It is a gossamer-web upon some bush, or a butterfly blown on the wind.
There are neither butterflies nor gossamers here."
Look for yourself then!" I cried, flinging his hand from me. I was angry with a rage which had no cause. turned from him, though I loved him, with a desire to kill him in my heart; and hurriedly took the other way. The waste was wild: but rather that than to see the man who might have shaken earth and hell thus turning, turning to madness and the awful journey. For I knew what in his heart he thought, and I knew that it was so. It was some
thing from that other sphere-can I tell you what? a child perhaps-oh, thought that wrings the heart! for do you know what manner of thing a child is? There are none in the land of darkness. I turned my back upon the place where
that whiteness was. On, on, across the waste! On to the cities of the night! On, far away from maddening thought, from hope that is torment, and from the awful Name !-Blackwood's Magazine.
"LOCKSLEY HALL" AND THE JUBILEE.
BY RT. HON. W. E. GLADSTONE.
THE nation will observe with warm satisfaction that, although the new Locksley Hall is, as told by the Calendar, a work of Lord Tennyson's old age, yet is his poetic "eye not dim, nor his natural force abated.'' The date of Waverley was fixed by its alternative title 'Tis Sixty Years Since; but the illustrious author told of years not all included within his own span of life; and his decease saddened the world of letters and of man soon after his sixth decade was complete. It was in 1842 that the genius of Lord Tennyson blazed in full orb upon the world. But he had long before worn the livery of the Muse, and braved the ordeal of the press, so that it is hardly an exaggeration to treat of the whole period of threescore years as already included within a literary life. And now that he gives us another Locksley Hall" after sixty years," the very last criticism that will be hazarded, or if hazarded will be accepted, on his work will be, that it betrays a want of tone and fibre. For my own part I have been not less impressed with the form than with the substance. Limbs will grow stiff with age, but minds not always; we find here all undiminished that suppleness of the poet which enables him to conform without loss of freedom to the stringent laws of measured verse. Lord Tennyson retains his conspicuous mastery over the trochaic metre, and even the least favorable among the instantaneous, or "pistol-graph, criticisms demanded by the necessities of the daily press, stingily admits that the poem. here and there exhibits the inimitable touch.'
Another article, produced under the
*Poems by Two Brothers (Alfred and Charles Tennyson). Simpkin, 1827.
same rigorous conditions, but of singular talent,* states rather dogmatically that any criticism which accepts Lord Tennyson as a thinker is now out of date. I venture to demur to this proposition; and to contend that the author of In Memoriam (for example) shows a capacity which entitles him to a high place among the thinkers of the day; of thinkers, too, on those subjects which have the first and highest claim to the august name of philosophy. It does not follow that we are to regard all the productions of Lord Tennyson as equally the fruit of the thinker'' that is in him. A great poet is commonly of a richly diversified nature; and as the strong man of the gospel is ejected by a stronger man, so the strong faculty of the poet may rock or swerve under the encroaching pressure of a faculty which is even, if only for the time, stronger still. The passionate or emotional part of nature comes into rivalry with the reflective organ, and it is our own fault if because in a given work the one predominates, we deny the existence of the other; or again, if we assume that the balance of powers can never shift, and that all faculties are equably represented at all times, was to exalt the individual human mind, subject to all the incidents of life, up to the level of a perfect intelligence.
In the work, however, that is now before the world, Lord Tennyson neither claims the authority, nor charges himself with the responsibility, of one who solemnly delivers, under the weight of years, and with a shortened span before him, a confession of political or social faith. The poem is strictly a dramatic monologue. In its pages we have be
*Pall Mall Gazette, December 14, 1886,
fore us, though without the formal divisions of the drama, a group of personages, and the strain changes from the color of thought appropriate for one to that which befits another. In the one supreme poem of the first person singular, the Divina Commedia, we know at first hand the precise relation of sympathy in which the poet stands to each of the persons brought upon the scene. But this is a case by itself. When it is not the intention of the piece that the poet shall himself appear, the greater is his power, the more completely he is shrouded behind the veil his art has woven; and we can but speculate, in Homer or in Shakespeare, on the question which among his creations were the favorites of the maker himself. These two superlative masters are more nearly allied than might be supposed; for Homer, although in form epic, is in essence also a great dramatist, and contains within him seminally the drama of his country. Lord Tennyson gives his reader, in form at least, even less help, since each of us has to discover the
transitions for himself. The method in the old Locksley Hall, and in the new, is the same. In each the maker is outside his work; and in each we have to deal with it as strictly impersonal. Were it otherwise, were we to seek political knowledge at the lips of our author, we should not be in difficulty; for this is he who in his official verses of 1851, addressed to the Queen, and in the poem "Love thou thy Land, has supplied us with a code of politics as sound, as comprehensive, and as exactly balanced, as either verse or prose could desire.
The connection of the two Locksley Halls lies in the continuous identity of the hero, he supplying the thread on which the subject and its movement hang. The teaching of half a century ago, proceeding immediately from the poet's lips, inculcated above all things impartiality of view. He
Would love the gleams of good that broke From either side, nor veil his eyes.*
And the strain of the personage then young, whom the famous poem set be
* From "Love thou thy Land," Poems, p. 179.
that Honor feels,
And the nations do but murmur, snarling at each other's heels.
Yet he shook off depression and taught the doctrine of a tempered progress, in lines which the language itself cannot outlive:
Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
And the thoughts of man are widened with the process of the suns.
And what those suns had already done was first fruit; the harvest was behind:
Men my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new, That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do.
And not only was there no fear of on
ward movement-witness the line which may well make a nervous man giddy as he reads it
Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change;
but the dauntless eye of the Prophet has seen, down the long avenue, all the way -I fear the immeasurable way—to the great result :
Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle flags were furled
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.
Such is the Voice that rings as well as warbles from the chambers of the old Locksley Hall. On the whole, if an account be strictly taken, the coloring was something sanguine. A bias in that direction was not unsuited to the speaker's youth, especially if, as England has unflinchingly believed, his lessons of hope were, upon the whole, the lessons of wisdom. The labor of life is cheered by the song of life. The sweat of man's brow, and the burden on his back, produce better practical results, if he can be encouraged to reckon with a reasonable confidence on his reward.
As the junior changes into a senior at the command of the bard of the new
Locksley Hall, he does not forget to look at the reverse as well as the obverse of the medal, or to recommend the persevering performance of daily duty as the best medicine for paralyzing doubts, and the safest shelter under the storms either of practical or of speculative life. So speaks the eulogy* on the successful suitor of the first Locksley Hall, to whom a gentle reparation is now made, and who served God in his generation:
Strove for sixty widowed years to help his homelier brother men,
Served the poor, and built the cottage, raised the school, and drained the fen.
But the voice of our Prophet in this poem, if taken as a whole, has undergone a change. Such a change was in the course of Nature.
The clouds, that gather round the setting sun, Do take a sober coloring from an eye That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality.t Perhaps the tone may even, at times, be thought to have grown a little hoarse with his years. Not that we are to regard it as the voice of the author. On the earlier occasion he supplied in "Love thou thy Land whatever correction was required to bring the scales of anticipation back to equilibrium. He has not now given us his own personal forecast of the actual or the coming time; and in withholding it he allows us a yet greater freedom to estimate the utterances of the Prophet in the new Locksley Hall by the rules of truth and soberness, but " without respect of persons.' For much indeed that he teaches we ought to feel obliged to him. Each generation or age of men is under a twofold temptation: the one to overrate its own performances and prospects, the other to undervalue the times preceding or following its own. No greater calamity can happen to a people than to break utterly with its Past. But this proposition in its full breadth applies more to its aggregate, than to its immediate Past. Our judgment on the age that last preceded us should be strictly just. But it should be masculine, not timorous; for, if we gild its defects and
glorify its errors, we dislocate the axis of the very ground which forms our own point of departure. This rule particularly applies to the period which preceded our own. The first three decades of this century were far from normal. They suffered, both morally and politically, from the terrible recoil of the French Revolution, and of the means employed for counteracting it. That period gave us military glory. It made noble and immortal additions to our literature. In fine art, though there had been a sunset, the sun still illumined the sky. But the items of the account per contra are great indeed. One of the lightest among them is, that it brought our industrial arts to the lowest point of degradation. Under the benign influence of Protection, there was a desert of universal ugliness. It also charged the inheritance of our countrymen with a public debt equal to more than a fourth, at one time more nearly touching a third, of the aggregate value of all their private property. Would that this had been all ! It taxed the nation for the benefit of class. It ground down the people by the Corn Law, and debased them by the Poor Law. In Ireland, Parliament refused through one generation of men to fulfil the promise of Roman Catholic Emancipation, without which promise not even the devilish enginery of the other means employed would have sufficed to bring about the Legislative Union between the two countries. But in 1815 they legislated, with a cruel severity which the Irish Parliament might never have wished, and could never have dared, against the occupiers, that is to say, against the people, of that sister island. On this side the Channel, the Church was quietly suffered to remain a wilderness of rank abuse. But activity was shown enough and to spare, by the use of legislative and executive power, to curtail the traditional freedom of the people. The law had been made hateful to the nation; and both our institutions and our Empire had been brought to the brink of a precipice, when in 1830 the King dared not dine with the Lord Mayor, and the long winter nights were illuminated by the blaze of Swing fires, in southern counties which have grown into Toryism under the beneficent in