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him to feel at liberty to speak to her in the would have been thankful to tell him all ; old straightforward brotherly way; especial- she believed that he could have helped her ly now, when he perceived her efforts to more than any one to understand how she conceal her feelings, and the way in which ougbt to behave rightly; he would bave she drank her tea in feverish haste, and ac- disentangled her fancies, - if only he himcepted bread only to crumble it about her self had not lain at the very core and cenplate, untouched. It was all that he could tre of all her perplexity and dismay. How do to make talk under these circumstances; could she tell him of Mrs. Goodenough's but he backed up her efforts as well as he words troubling her maiden modesty ? could until Aimée came down, grave and How could she ever repeat what his father anxious; her boy had not had a good night, had said that morning, and assure bim that and did not seem well; he had fallen into a she, no more than he, wished that their old feverish sleep now, or she could not have friendliness should be troubled by the left him. Immediately the whole table was thought of a nearer relationship ? in a ferment. The squire pushed away his No, you never vexed me in my whole plate, and could eat no more; Roger was life, Roger,” said she, looking straight at him trying to extract a detail or a fact out for the first time for many days. of Aimée, who began to give way to tears. “I believe you, because you say so.

I Molly quickly proposed that the carriage, have no right to ask further, Molly. Will which had been ordered to take her home you give me back one of those flowers, as a at eleven, should come round immediately pledge of what you have said ?”

she had everything ready packed up, she “ Take whichever you like,” said she, said, — and bring back her father at once. eagerly offering him the whole nosegay to By leaving directly, she said it was proba- choose from. ble they might catch him after he had re- “ No; you must choose, and you must turned from his morning visits in the town, give it me.” and before he had set off on his more dis- Just then the squire came in. Roger tant round. Her proposal was agreed to, would have been glad if Molly had not and she went upstairs to put on her things. gone on so eagerly to ransack the bunch She came down all ready into the drawing- for the choicest flower in his father's presroom, expecting to find Aimée and the ence; but she exclaimed: squire there; but during her absence word “Oh, please, Mr. Hamley, do you know had been brought to the anxious mother and which is Roger's favourite flower ” grandfather that the child had wakened “ No. A rose, I daresay. The carriage up in a panic, and both had rushed up to is at the door, and, Molly my dear, I don't their darling. But Roger was in the draw-want to hurry you, but”. ing-room awaiting Molly, with a large bunch “I know. Here, Roger, — here is a of the choicest flowers.

rose ! “Look, Molly !” said he, as she was on the point of leaving the room again, on (" And red as a rose was she.") finding him there alone.“ I gathered these flowers for you before breakfast.” He I will find papa as soon as ever I get home. came to meet her reluctant advance. How is the little boy ?” “ Thank you!” said she.

- You are

“ I'm afraid he's beginning of some kind very kind. I am very much obliged to of a fever.”

And the squire took her to the carriage, Then you must do something for me,” talking all the way of the little boy ; Roger said he, determined not to notice the re- following, and hardly heeding what he was straint of her manner, and making the re- doing in the answer to the question he kept arrangement of the flowers which she held asking himself: “ Too late - or not? Can a sort of link between them, so that she she ever forget that my first foolish love could not follow her impulse, and leave the was given to one so different?”

While she, as the carriage rolled away, “ Tell me, - honestly as I know you will kept saying to herself;—“We are friends if you speak at all, — have not I done some- again. I don't believe he will remember thing to vex you since we were so happy what the dear squire took it into his head at the Towers together ?”

to suggest for many days. It is so pleasant His voice was so kind and true, — his to be on the old terms again ; and, what manner so winning yet wistful, that Molly lovely flowers !”

1444.

you.”

room.

THIRD SERIES.

LIVING AGE.

VOL. XXXII.

From the Month.

works, and a more comprehensive estimate HENRY TAYLOR.

of them than we could have made when

each of them successively appeared. We The present century has been a great have not space to notice them all, and age of English poetry – greater unquestion- shall here confine ourselves to the principal ably than any which preceded it, except one, Philip van Artevelde. the Elizabethan.

But there is one great One of the most remarkable circumstandifference between the Elizabethan poetry ces connected with Mr. Taylor's poetry is , and that of the nineteenth century. Our the small degree in which it can be classed poets

of the sixteenth century in the main with the schools above named. Like the bore to each other a considerable resem- first that we have referred to, it is thoughtblance, - not in detail, but in spirit. The ful in an unusual degree; but its thoughtEnglish poetry of the nineteenth century, fulness is never abstract or metaphysical, on the other hand, has unconsciously divided still less mystical. In moral gravity it has itself into different schools, as remote from some affinity with Southey's poetry; in each other as were those of Italian painting. scholarly and periodic construction of In Wordsworth and Coleridge we have the sentences, with Shelley's; in precision of school of philosophic thought, united with a form and compactness of diction, with Lanmystical reverence for nature. In Shelley, dor's. But in the case of these poets the reKeats, and Landor we find the classical or semblance to Mr. Taylor is far less than the Hellenic school, with its sharpness of out- dissimilitude; while with most of the other line, its love of definite and finite beauty, poets we have named he stands in striking its appreciation of nature rather through contrast. There exists, it is true, one charthe sensations than the intellect, and its acteristic in common between the authors of habit of interpreting nature through sen- Childe Harold and of Philip van Artevelde : suous types and mythological fancies. In in each case there is a strongly-marked Leigh Hunt and Thomas Hood English ideal of human character, with which the aupoetry wears an Italian grace and gayety thor is plainly in sympathy, and with which of aspect; while in the Pleasures of Memory he has a singular power of making us sympaand the Pleasures of Hope we have the last thize. The two ideals have also, with all echoes of the French, or pseudo-classical their antagonism, thus much in common, school, transmitted from Goldsmith and that they both eminently belong to the Pope. In Crabbe we find the school of dry sphere of the natural man, and have few and hard reality, the dusty idyl of Common relations with the spiritual. But in all else English life,

externally, prosaic enough, they are absolutely opposed to each other. yet with poetry at its centre, like the spark Lord Byron's ideal is that of a man maslatent in the flint. The romantic and chiv-tered by his passions, or impelled mainalrous tales of Scott were a revival of ly by his wrongs; one whose strength, like the old English ballad-poetry, with a larger that of a projectile, is not a strength inhedevelopment but a less fine handling and a rent in him, but one to which he is subjectless vivid inspiration. In Byron and Moore ed. The ideal exhibited in Philip van Arwe have the poetry of passion, or, more tevelde, while equally of this world, is a nocorrectly speaking, of emotional excitement; bler conception. It is that of one whose combined in the former instance with great passions are under the control of the intelenergy of an imagination rather rhetorical sect and moral will, however little these than comprehensive or penetrating, and in last are themselves ruled by a supernatural the latter with great brilliancy and afflu- principle. But here the analogy ends. Lord ence of fancy, but with little refinement. Byron constantly delineates the same ideal

In our own day there have risen among in his various works; a proof that, despite us several new poets, the most celebrated the great ability of his dramas, his genius of whom are unquestionably Mr. Tennyson was not dramatic. Mr. Taylor's ideal may and Mr. Henry Taylor. The poetry of the be found adumbrated in Isaac Comnenus, latter has now been presented to us in what his earliest drama, while it is completely deis called a " complete edition;"

"* and lineated in Philip van Artevelde ; but in the - though we trust that it is not yet literally latter work, and still more in his two later complete, enough of it is now before us to dramas, characters cast in the most different .allow of a comparison between his several moulds are illustrated with no less vigour.

Ilis union of vigour with classic grace is his * The Poetical Works of Henry Taylor. 3 vols.

chief characteristic. Chapman & Hall, 1864.

Mr. Taylor's poetry is preeminently that

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of action, as Lord Byron's is that of passion ; [tween Bacon and Hooker, we have the or rather it includes action as well as pas- England of the sixteenth century; in his sion, thus corresponding with Milton's defi- " Lucullus and Cæsar” we have old Rome; nition of tragic poetry as “ high actions and in his “ Epicurus, Ternissa, and Leontium" high passions best describing." It is this we have more of Greece than we can gain peculiarity which has made him succeed in a from all other classical revivals put together. species of poetry which most of our modern In his “ Pentameron ” we have Italy at the poets have attempted, but almost all unsuc- restoration of literature. The dramatic cessfully.

rises to the full strength of the tragic in his Wordsworth wrote a drama in his youth “ Tiberius and Vipsania;”- yet on the which he published in his old age : Cole- whole he failed as a dramtic poet. What ridge wrote two; but though they bear the he lacked was genuine sympathy with acimpress of genius, we feel in reading them tion. that the author was not in natural sympathy As an exception to the undramatic charwith action, and that it was to him a dra- acter of modern English genius, the Cenci matic necessity, not a thing to be valued of Mr. Shelley may be named. An extrafor its own sake. He could analyze what ordinary vigour and skill are shown in the lay still, not exhibit the fleeting. His char- treatment of a subject so revolting as to be acters are metaphysical conceptions, work- unfit for our times, despite the precedents, ed out with a conscious exercise of the phil- which are but partially such, of Pagan osophic faculty, not with that spontaneous Greece. Mr. Shelley in this work remarkenergy and instinctive felicity which belongs ably exhibits the faculty of self-control that to the genius essentially dramatic.

belongs to genius. On all other occasions We should have felt certain that Sir his imagination not merely dealt largely Walter Scott could have excelled in the with metaphor and image, but lived in a drama had he not made the attempt and world of such. He never saw anything as failed. He could both conceive character it was, because he always saw what it was and compose a story; but he lacked appa- like; nay, he piles image upon image, and the rently the fiery intensity of the drama, and object he describes is sometimes reflected from though a true poet, he is dramatic chiefly in so many different mirrors that the dazzled his novels, while in his poems he is contented reader walks in a sphere where it is hard to with being picturesque. Mr. Landor has distinguish between substance and semwritten several dramas and numerous dra- blance. It was only by putting an absolute matic scenes. They abound in passages of restraint upon himself that he could even high thought and refined sentiment; and hope to write a drama; and in the whole of they are characterized, now by the impe- the Cenci there is but one passage that can be rious eloquence, now by the antique maj- called figurative. The imagination self-subesty of that great writer. Yet they are not jected to this restraint became strengthendramatic; the plot halts, as if the author ed for severer toils than usual, and mouldhad not thought it worth bis pains to elabo- ed the work into a fair shape, though hewn rate it; the fact being that where a gen- out of a dark material. But he did not sucuine sympathy with dramatic action exists, ceed, in similar attempts at a later time. the instinct of art forces the dramatist to One who had the best means of forming a take pains with the plot, — which a cele- correct judgment, Leigh Hunt, believed brated author once confessed that “he al- that had Shelley lived he would have ways left a good deal to Providence.” Mr. made himself chiefly known as a tragic Lander's characters are also for the most poet; but, as a matter of fact, he wrote his part imperfectly conceived, though in the Witch of Atlas in three days, while the lamore impassioned scenes parts of them are bour of weeks got him through but a few brought out with a salient projection. It scenes of his projected drama on Charles I. is in his Imaginary Conversations, where he Much of poetic and dramatic power has has to do with dialogue but not with action, been shown by other recent writers besides that his dramatic power achieves its highest those whom we have referred to; but the triumphs. No matter what country or what result has seldom corresponded with the age he deals with, he is always at home in ability spent on them. Dean Milman, this region of art, which he has conquered Leigh Hunt, Barry Cornwall, Charles for his own. He dramatizes not only indi- Lamb, George Darley, Shiel, and others viduals but epochs, nations, and states of have written dramas; but it is chiefly in society. In such dialogues as that between connection with other tasks that they are Roger Ascham and Jane Grey, or that be- remembered; while the plays which have

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been most successful on the stage — those of sued a want of adequate appreciation for Sir Bulwer Lytton and Sheridan Knowles its intellectual and immortal part? I con

- have not been those of the highest lite- fess that such seems to me to have been rary merits. The undramatic character of both the natural and the actual result, and modern poetic genius is evinced by the fact I can hardly believe the public taste to have that while so many plays have been written, been in a healthy state whilst the most apso few finely-conceived and adequately- proved poetry of past times was almost illustrated original characters have been unread. We may now perhaps be turning added to the stores of the British drama. back to it; but it was not, as far as I can One of these few is to be found in the judge, till more than a quarter of a century *Mary Tudor of the late Sir Aubrey de had expired that any signs of reaction Vere, where the sad English queen cer- could be discerned. Till then the elder tainly one of the most dramatic characters luminaries of our poetical literature were presented to us by history is delineated obscured or little regarded, and we sat in her virtues and her errors, ber wrongs with dazzled eyes at a high festival of and her woes, her aspirations and infirmi- poetry, where, as at the funeral of Arvalan, ties, with a strong clear hand and a fearless the torchlight put out the starlight. impartiality

“They (the popular modern poets) wantMr. Taylor has how published six dramas: ed, in the first place, subject matter. A Isaac Comnenus, Philip van Artevelde (in feeling came more easily to them than a retwo parts), Edwin the Fair, A Sicilian Sum- flection, and an image was always at hand mer, and St. Clements Eve. The earliest when a thought was not forthcoming. of these, though at first less successful than The realities of nature, and the truths which the works that succeeded it, gave no doubt- they suggest, would have seemed cold and ful promise of a brilliant dramatic career. incongruous if suffered to mix with the The earlier works of men of genius, how- strains of impassioned sentiment and glowever inferior to their later, have generally ing imagery in which they poured themcontained the germ of the excellence de- selves forth.

Writers, however, veloped by labour and time; and in this in- whose appeal is made so exclusively to the stance both the style of the work and the excitabilities of mankind will not find it character of the hero were an anticipation possible to work upon them continuously, of that maturer drama which at once es- without a diminisbing effect. Poetry of tablished the poet's reputation. It is not a which sense is not the basis, though it may little remarkable that a public which had be excellent of its kind, will not long be so long been accustomed to the vehement reputed to be poetry of the highest order." stimulants of Lord Byron, and the bright The new aspirant was fortunate in his but superficial imagery of Moore, should theme. It was taken from a period of hishave responded to so sudden a summons. tory when the life of the Middle Ages was Had the challenge been a less bold one, it passing into that of modern political society, would probably have been less successful

. and when those picturesque pomps of chivalIn the preface to Philip van Artevelde Mr. ry with which Sir Walter Scott had made

Taylor proclaimed open war against the men familiar were beginning to yield before poetic taste of his time. The poets in the first blasts of a storm by which the ecwhom the age had chiefly delighted were clesiastical as well as the political institucharacterized, he affirmed, “by force and tions of Europe were visited before long. beauty of language, and by a versification In the fourteenth century the Flemish particularly easy and adroit, and abounding cities, though subject to the Earl of Flanin that sort of melody which, by its very ders, enjoyed an almost republican indeobvious cadences, makes itself most pleas- pendence with respect to their internal ing to an unpractised ear. They exhibited, affairs. If offended by one of the earl's therefore, many of the most attractive bailiffs, they rose in arms under their asgraces and charms of poetry, - its • vital sociated “guilds" or crafts; and could they warmth, not less than its external embel- have permanently united, it would have lishments; and had not the admiration been nearly impossible to have reduced which they excited tended to produce an them again to obedience. But the interest indifference to higher, graver, and more of one city was not that of another; and in various endowments, no one would have Ghent itself, as well as the towns that sided said that it was, in any evil sense, excessive. with it - such as Damne, Ypres, Courtray, But from this unbounded indulgence in the Grammont, &c. - there were generally two mere luxuries of poetry bas there not en- parties, that of the rich, whose trade re

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quired peace, and that of the poor, who re- of grave reflection in which he is himself garded war as their trade. It was appa- deficient are as needful for the permanent rently its nearness to actual life, not the success of a leader as energy and fearlesschivalrous pageantry mixed up with it, that ness. He offers Philip the supreme comrecommended this theme to a dramatist of mand in the people's name, and the recluse robust and practical genius. The war was becomes the man of action. He desires to one which " in its progress extended to the avenge his father's death; he desires to reswhole of Flanders, and excited a degree of cue his country from tyrants whose incominterest in all the civilized countries of petency he scorns as much as he hates their Europe, for which the cause must be sought brutality ; but most of all he yields to that in the state of European communities at instinct which makes ability and daring seek the time. It was believed that entire suc- a sphere large enough for them. The charcess on the part of Ghent would bring on a acter of Philip, constitutes the principal ingeneral rising almost throughout Christen- terest of the drama. . Habitually thoughtdom of the commonalty against the feudal ful he is, yet never abstract; and the metalords and men of substance. The incorpo- physical speculations to which he refers at a ration of the citizens of Paris, known by the late period of his career as having, once name of the Army with Mallets,' was, ac- passed across his mind were evidently but cording to the well-known chronicler of the

those guests

youth which abide only with period, all by the example of them of the few who have a special vocation for such Ghenti Nicholas le Flamand deterred inquiries. Life and man had been the subthem from pulling down the Louvre by ject of his meditations; and living from his urging the 'expediency of waiting to see childhood amid the whirl of intense action, what success might attend the Flemish in- when the time came to take a part, action surgents. At Rheims, Chalons-on-the- was as easy to him as thought unaccomMarne, at Orleans, Beauvoisin, the like panied by action to Hamlet. He is not designs were entertained. The rebellion embarrassed by scruples. He never shrinks of the Jacquerie,' says Froissart, ; • was from what is needful because it involves never so terrible as this was likely to have suffering and danger, whether to others or been.' Brabant, Burgundy, and the lower to himself. He is not selfish, or, at the part of Germany were in a dangerous con- earlier part of his career, strongly ambidition; and in England Wat Tyler's re- tious; but neither is he generous nor self-sacbellion was contemporaneous, and not un- rificing. He is grave-hearted. His aspiraconnected with what was going on in Flan- tions are not after an ideal excellence, but ders.” (Preface.) It was the first great to carry out a fixed purpose is the law of upheaval of the popular element in modern his being. He knows himself and the place society. At the end of the last century the that belongs to him; he has calculated bis “ fountains of the great deep were broken powers and ascertained their limits, and by open,” and the institutions which had sur-a deliberate act resolved that he will try the vived many a lesser shock went down be- venture and abide the consequence. He neath the great deluge. In our own day the has had no temptation to conceal from himstorm continues to rage throughout no small self any of the difficulties in his way, for part of the world ; nor is it likely to cease his is that calm courage that sees things as in those of our sons; but the first murmurs they are. He has small patriotic enthusiof the tempest went forth from among the asm, and aspires after no golden age. He wealthy burghers of Flanders in the four- looks on human society as a stormy sea of teenth century.

passions, that need to be ruled; but he deThe leader of the insurgent party had sires that they should be ruled by a manly been Jacques van Artevelde, who was mur- at least, if not a disinterested, intelligence, dered in a popular tumult. Things had not by caprice in high place or by aplong gone ill : the men who had successively petites more brutal than those restrained. headed the revolt had pushed themselves Sagacious in intellect and fixed in purpose, into eminence by courage and military skill, his native dignity of character retains for but had subsequently failed from want of him that ascendency over his fellow-men personal ascendency and statesman-like which bis daring and stern justice had ability. With their failure the play begins. early acquired. Without either breadth of Philip van Artevelde bas lived the life of a sympathy or subtle refinement of thought, retired student; but Van den Bosch, a rough, he carries everything before him by his hard-headed chief of the insurgents, has strength, consistency, and efficiency. To shrewdness enough to know that the powers trace the changes made in such a character,

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