Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Yet stay, before thou dare

To join that festal throng;

Listen and mark what gentle air
First stirr'd the tide of song;

"Tis not "the Saviour born in David's home, To Whom for power and health obedient

worlds should come:"

Wrapp'd in His swaddling bands
And in His manger laid,

The Hope and Glory of all lands
Is come to the world's aid:

"Tis not, "the Christ, the Lord:"
With fix'd adoring look

The choir of Angels caught the word

Nor yet their silence broke:

But when they heard the sign, where Christ should be,

In sudden light they shone and heavenly har

mony.

But where Thou dwellest, Lord,
No other thought should be,

No peaceful home upon His cradle smiled, Guests rudely went and came, where slept the royal Child.

Thee, on the bosom laid

Of a pure Virgin mind,
In quiet ever, and in shade,

Once duly welcom'd and ador'd,

How should I part with Thee? · Bethlehem must lose Thee soon, but Thou wilt grace

The single heart to be Thy sure abiding place.

E. L.

WIFE

AT

THE

HIS
GRAND PIANO-FORTE.

Shepherd and sage may find;

FOREFATHERS' DAY, 1865. They who have bow'd untaught to Nature's

[On 22 December the returned Massachusetts sway, And they, who follow Truth along her star- soldiers marched in procession through the pav'd way.

streets of Boston, carrying their tattered flags The pastoral spirits first

to the State-House, where they are to remain.) Approach Thee, Babe divine, For they in lowly thoughts are nurs'd,

The crowded streets, in silence dead,

Watched all our war-worn veterans tread Meet for Thy lowly shrine :

The peaceful way Sooner than they should miss where Thou

no loud acclaim dost dwell,

Struck out the chord of praise or blame. Angels from Heaven will stoop to guide them to Thy cell.

The tattered flags, the guidons torn,

The splintered staff in battle borne,
Still as the day comes round

Told all the tale — the freed-land gave
For Thee to be revealed,

The word of welcome to the brave.
By wakeful shepherds Thou art found,
Abiding in the field.

We could not speak. By each man's side All through the wintry heaven and chill Rose the dear comrade who had died. night air,

In crowded ranks, with noiseless tread, In music and in light Thou dawnest on their Marched the great army of our dead. prayer.

Boston Transcript.
O faint not ye for fear —

What though your wandering sheep,
Reckless of what they see and hear,

THE POWER OF MUSIC.
Lie lost in wilful sleep?
High Heaven in mercy to your sad annoy

THE MAN OF BUSINESS, RETURNING TO HIS Still greets you with glad tidings of immortal

MANSION, FINDETH
joy.

Sing to me, love, I need thy song,
Think on th' eternal home,

I need that thou should'st cheer me well,
The Saviour left for you;

For everything is going wrong,
Think on the Lord most holy, come

And life appears an awful sell.
To dwell with hearts untrue :

I've overdrawn my banker's book,
So shall ye tread untir'd His pastoral ways,

I'm teased for loans by brother John ; And in the darkness sing your carol of high Last night our clerk eloped, and took praise.

Two thousand pounds — sing on — - sing on.
My partner proves a man of straw,

And straw, alas ! I dare not thrash ;
My mortgagee has gone to law,

And swears he'll have his pound of Aesh.
My nephew's nose has just been split

În some mad student tight at Bonn;
A PARODY.

My tailor serves me with a writ

For three years' bills — sing on - -sing on. TURKEYS! who on Christmas bled, Turkeys ! who on corn have fed,

My doctor says I must not think,
Welcome to us now you're dead,

But go and spend a month at Ems;
And in the frost have hung.

My coachman, overcome by drink,

Near Barnes upset me in the Thames.
Now's the day and now's the hour, My finest horse is ruined quite,
Through the market how we scour,

And hath no leg to stand upon;
Seeking turkeys to devour,

The other's knees are such a sight,
Turkeys old and young.

He'll never sell — sing on —

-sing on. Who would be a turkey hen,

My love, no tears? I'll touch thee now: Fed and fattened in a pen

Thy parrot in our pond is drowned ;
Killed and eat by hungry men —

Thy lap-dog met a furious cow,
Can you tell, I pray?

Whose horn hath saved thee many a pound;

Thy son from Cambridge must retire
Lay the proud old turkeys low,

For tying crackers to a don ;
Let the young ones run and grow, Thy country-house last night took fire-
To market they're not fit to go

It's down, sweet love — sing on - sing on.
Till next Christmas day.

- Punch.

[ocr errors]

LITTELL'S LIVING AGE. - NO. 1128.-13 JANUARY, 1866.

[ocr errors]

FIRST PART.

From the North British Review. saw Physical Science attain its highest triSAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.

umph in the Newtonian discoveries; History studied after a certain manner by votaries more numerous than ever before ;

and the new science of Political Economy More than enough has perhaps been said created. But while these fields were in disparagement of the eighteenth century. thronged with busy inquirers, and though It is not therefore to speak more evil of that Natural Theology was much argued and much-abused time, but merely to note an I discussed, yet from the spiritual side of all obvious fact, if we say that its main ten-questions, from the deep things of the soul, dency was towards the outward and the from men's living relations to the eternal finite. Just freed from the last ties of world, educated thought seemed to turn feudalism, escaped too from long religious instinctively away. The guilds of the conflicts which had resulted in war and learned, as by tacit consent, either eschewed revolution, the feelings of the British people these subjects altogether, or, if they were took a new direction : the nation's energies constrained to enter on them, they had laid were wholly turned to the pacific working down for themselves certain conventional out of its material and industrial resources. limits, beyond which they did not venture. Let us leave those deep, interminable ques. On the other side of these lay mystery, entions, which lead only to confusion, and let thusiasm, fanaticism — spectres abhorred of us stick to plain, obvious facts, which can- the wise and prudent. How entirely the not mislead, and which yield such comfort- mechanical philosophy. had saturated the able results. This was the genius and tem- age, may be seen from the fact that Wesley, per of the generation that followed the the leader of the great spiritual counterglorious Revolution. Nor was there want-, movement of last century, the preacher of ing a man to give definite shape and ex- divine realities to a generation fast bound pression to this tendency of the national in sense, yet in the opening of his sermon miad. Locke, a shrewd and practical man, on faith indorses the sensational theory, and who knew the world, furnished his country- declares that to man in his natural condimen with a way of thinking singularly in tion sense is the only inlet of knowledge. keeping with their then temper; a philoso- The same spirit which pervaded the philphy which, discarding abstruse ideas, fash- osophy and theology of that era is apparent ioned thought mainly out of the senses; an not less in its poetry and literature. Limiethics founded on the selfish instincts of tation of range, with a certain perfectness pleasure and pain ; and a political theory of form, contentment with the surface-view which, instead of the theocratic dreams of of things, absence of high imagination, rethe Puritans, or the divine right of the pression of the deeper feelings, man looked High-Churchmen, or the historic traditions at mainly on his conventional side, careful of feudalism, grounded government on the descriptions of manners, but no open vision, more prosaic but not less unreal phantasy these are the prevailing characteristics. of an original contract. This whole philos- Doubtless the higher truth was not even ophy, however inconsistent with what is then left without its witnesses, Butler and noblest in British history, was so congenial Berkeley in speculation, Burns and Cowper a growth of the British soil, that no other in poetry, Burke in political philosophy, — has ever struck so deep a root, or spread so these were either the criers in the wilderwide and enduring an influence. But this ness against the idols of their times, or the process, introduced by Locke for the pur- prophets of the new truth that was being pose of moderating the pretensions of hu- born. Men's thoughts cannot deal earnestman thought, came to be gloried in by his ly with many things at once; and each age followers as its highest achievement. The has its own work assigned it; and the work half century after Locke was no doubt full of the eighteenth century was mainly one of mental activity in certain directions. It of the utilitarian understanding, one of acTHIRD SERIES.

1446.

[ocr errors]

LIVING AGE.

VOL. XXXII.

tive but narrow intelligence, divorced from fore our readers some account of the friend imagination, from deep feeling, from rever- of Wordsworth, whom his name naturally ence, from spiritual insight. And when recalls, a man not less original nor remarkthis one-sided work was done, the result able than he — Samuel Taylor Coleridge. was isolation, individualism, self-will; the And yet, though the two were friends, and universal in thought lost sight of the uni- shared together many mental sympathies, versal in ethics denied ; everywhere, in between the lives and characters of the speculation as in practice, the private will philosophic poet and the poetic philosopher dominant, the Universal Will forgotten. there was more of contrast than ot likeness. To exult over the ignorant past, to glory in The one, robust and whole in body as in the wonderful present, to have got rid of mind, resolute in will, and single in purpose, all prejudices, to have no strong beliefs ex- knowing little of books and of other men's cept in material progress, to be tolerant of thoughts, and caring less for them, set himall things but fanaticism, this was its highest self, with his own unaided resources, to boast. And though this self-complacent work out the great original vein of poetry wisdom received some rude shocks in the that was within him, and stopped not, nor crash of revolution with which its peculiar turned aside, till he had fulfilled his task, era closed, and though the soul and spirit had enriched English literature with a new that are in man, long unheeded, then once poetry of the deepest and purest ore, and more awoke and made themselves heard, thereby made the world for ever his debtor. that one-sided and soulless intelligence, if | The other, master of an ampler and more weakened, was not destroyed. It was car- varied, though not richer field, of quicker ried over into this century in the brisk but sympathies, less self-sustained, but touching barren criticism of the early Edinburgh Re- life and thought at more numerous points, view. And at this very moment there are eager to know all that other men had symptoms enough on every side that the thought and known, and working as well same spirit, after having received a tempo- on a basis of wide erudition as on his own rary repulse, is again more than usually internal resources, but with a body that did alive.

him grievous wrong, and frustrated, not The same manner of thought which we obeyed, bis better aspirations, and a will have attempted to describe as it existed in faltering and irresolute to follow out the our own country, dominated in others during behests of his surpassing intellect, he but the same period. So well is it known in drove in a shaft here and there into the Germany that they have a name for it, vast mine of thought that was in him, and which we want. They call it by a term died leaving samples rather of what he which means the Illumination or Enlighten- might have done, ihan a full and rounded ment, and they have marked the notes by achievement, yet samples so rich, so vawhich it is known. Some who are deep in ried, so suggestive, that to thousands they German lore te.l us that Europe has pro- have been the quickeners of new intellectduced but one power really counteractive ual life, and that to this day they stand unof this Illumination, or tyranny of the mere equalled by anything his country has since understanding, and that is, the philosophy produced. In one point, however, the of Kant and Hegel. And they affect no friends are alike. They both turned aside small scorn for any attempt at reaction, from professional aims, devoted themselves which has originated elsewhere. Never- to pure thought, set themselves to countertheless, at the turn of the century, there work the mechanical and utilitarian bias of did arise nearer home men who felt the de- their time, and became the great spiritualfect in the thought of the preceding age, izers of the thought of their countrymen, and did much to supply it; who strove to the fountain-heads from which has fowed base philosophy on principles of universal most of what is high and unworldly and reason; and who, into thought and senti- elevating in the thinking and speculation of ment dwarfed and starved by the effects of the succeeding age. Enlightenment, poured the inspiration of soul It is indeed strange, that of Coleridge's and spirit. The men who mainly did this philosophy, once so much talked of, and in England were Wordsworth and Cole- really so important in its influence, no comridge. These are the native champions of prehensive account has been ever attempted. spiritual truth against the mechanical phil. The only attempt in this direction that we osophy of the Illumination. Of the former know of, is that made six years after Coleof the two we took occasion to speak not ridge's death, and now more than twenty long since in this Review. In something of years ago, by one who has since become the the same way we propose to place now be-chief expounder of that philosophy which

touches our common nature more closely than any gifts of genius.

[ocr errors]

The vicarage of Ottery St. Mary's, Devonshire, was the birthplace and early home of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. As in Wordsworth, we said that his whole character was in keeping with his native Cumberland the robust northern yeoman, only touched with genius- so the character of Coleridge, as far as it had any local hue, seems more native to South England. Is it fanciful to imagine that there was something in that character which accords well with the soft mild air, and the dreamy loveliness that rests on the blue coombes and sea-coves of South Devon? He was born on the 21st of October, 1772, the youngest child of ten by his father's second marriage with Anne Bowdon, said to have been a woman of strong practical sense, thrifty, industrious, very ambitious for her sons, but herself without any "tincture of letters." Plainly not from her, but wholly from his father, did Samuel Taylor take his temperament. The Rev. John Coleridge, sometime head-master of the Free Grammar School, afterwards vicar of the parish of Ottery St. Mary's, is described as, for his age, a great scholar, studious, immersed

Coleridge laboured all his life to refute. In his well-known essay, Mr. Mill, while fully acknowledging that no other Englishman, save only his own teacher Bentham, had left so deep an impress on his age, yet turns aside from making a full survey of Coleridge's whole range of thought, precluded, as he confesses, by his own radical opposition to Coleridge's fundamental principles. After setting forth clearly the antagonistic schools of thought which, since the dawn of philosophy, have divided opinion as to the origin of knowledge, and after declaring his own firm adhesion to the sensational school, and his consequent inability to sympathize with Coleridge's metaphysical views, he passes from this part of the subject, and devotes the rest of his essay mainly to the consideration of Coleridge as a political philosopher. This, however, is but one, and that by no means the chief department of thought, to which Coleridge devoted himself. Had Mr. Mill felt disposed to give to the other and more important of Coleridge's speculations, his views on metaphysics, on morals, and on religion, as well as to his criticisms and his poetry, the same masterly treatment which he has given to his politics, any further attempt in that direction might have been spared. But it is characteristic of Mr. Mill, that, though in books, altogether unknowing and regifted with a power which no other writer of his school possesses, of entering into lines of thought, and of apparently sympathizing with modes of feeling, most alien to his own, he still, after the widest sweep of appreciation, returns at last to the ground from which he started, and there entrenches himself within his original tenets as firmly as it he had never caught a glimpse of other and higher truths, with which his own principles are inconsistent.

gardless of the world and its ways, simple in nature and primitive in manners, heedless of passing events, and usually known as "the absent man." In a Latin grammar which he wrote for his pupils, he changed the case which Julius Cæsar named, from the ablative to the Quale-quare-quidditive, just as his son might have done had he ever taken to writing grammars. He wrote dissertations on portions of the Old Testament, showing the same sort of discursiveBefore we enter on the intellectual re- ness which his son afterwards did on a sult of Coleridge's labours, and inquire larger scale. In his sermons, he used to what new elements he has added to British quote the very words of the Hebrew Scripthought, it may be well to pause for a mo- tures, till the country people used to exment, and review briefly the well-known claim admiringly, "How fine he was! He circumstances of his life. This will not gave us the very words the Spirit spoke only add a human interest to the more ab- in." Of his absent fits and his other eccenstract thoughts which follow, but may per- tricities many stories were long preserved haps help to make them better understood. in his own neighbourhood, which Coleridge And if, in contrast with the life of Words- used to tell to his friends at Highgate, till worth, and with its own splendid promise, the tears ran down his face at the rememthe life of Coleridge is disappointing even brance. Among other well-known stories, to sadness, it has not the less for that a mournful interest; while the union of transcendent genius with infirmity of will and irregular impulses, the failure and the penitential regret, lend to his story a humanizing, even a tragic, pathos, which

it is told that once when he had to go from home for several days, his wife packed his portmanteau with a shirt for each day, charging him strictly to be sure and use them. On his return, his wife, cn opening the portmanteau, was surprised to find no

« VorigeDoorgaan »