« VorigeDoorgaan »
THE TWO LIGHTS. If ever at the fount of joy
"6When I'm a man!' is the poetry of youth. "When Poor mortal stoops to fill his cup,
I was young!' is the poetry of old age." Still welling fresh to his annoy
“WHEN I'm a man,” the stripling cries, A bitter something bubbles up.
And strives the coming years to scan, So one sang sadly long ago,
“Ah, then I shall be strong and wise, Sang how the fairest flowers amid,
When I'm a man!”
“ When I was young," the old man sighs,
“Bravely the lark and linnet sung And echoing down the vaults of time
Their carol under sunny skies, The warning sounds for me and you
When I was young!” In Latin verse, in English rhyme : 'Twas true of old, to-day 'tis true.
“When I'm a man, I shall be free Ah, brother! have you not full oft
To guard the right, the truth uphold." Found, even as the Roman did,
“When I was young I bent no knee That in life's most delicious draught
To power or gold.”
“Then shall I satisfy my soul And, eager, seize at last the prize :
With yonder prize, when I'm a man." The nectar in its goblet bright
“Too late I found how vain the goal Is yours to drain 'neath beauty's eyes.
To which I ran.” Yet are these honors out of date,
They would not come when they were bid : " When I'm a man these idle toys The longed-for draught is all too late
Aside forever shall be flung.' Surgit amari aliquid.”
“ There was no poison in my joys
When I was young." Or, haply, in the cruel strife
You foully thrust a brother down, And with his broken heart, or life,
The boy's bright dream is all before,
The man's romance lies far behind.
Had we the present and no more,
Fate were unkind.
But, brother, toiling in the night,
Still count yourself not all unblest And so the cup is turned to gall,
If in the east there gleams a light, The fount polluted at its source,
Or in the west. Envenomed and embittered all
Blackwood's Magazine. By dull regret or keen remorse. Well hast thou said, O godless sage!
From thee not all the truth was hid, Though ever on thy mighty page “Surgit amari aliquid.”
TRANSLATION OF GOETHE'S “HAIDEN.
Lonely 'mong the heather;
Morning was not half so fair.
One looked long who, ling’ring there,
Fain had looked forever.
Dainty, wayward, crimson rose; The red-tiled homestead peeping toward the Rosebud 'mong the heather. light
Sweet, I'll steal thee, ay or no!” Amid a grove of oaks huge-boughed and old; Quoth he, from the heather. And lichens, through quaint tenderness grown
Then I'll prick thee,” laughed she low, bold,
“Heedless, heartless - even so, Run riot o'er the place in silent might,
Thou'lt think on me ever." And crimson sunset flushes now to-night
Rosebud, rosebud; red, red rose; Flash all their greys and yellow into gold.
Rosebud 'mong the heather. Here changes come not, nor a stranger's face ;
Wilful wooers are not slow, The winds indeed seem linked unto the place,
Rosebud's o'er the heather. And bring no news of what the world's Thorns can wound till life-drops flow; about ;
In two hearts a weary woe
Woke to slumber never.
Rosebud, rosebud; red, red rose ;
Rosebud 'mong the heather.
From The Quarterly Review. neighbors, but seeks to exercise a domesTHE REFLECTION OF ENGLISH CHARAC- tic tyranny over the independent families TER IN ENGLISH ART.*
of her adult children. In the other she EVERY great nation has a life of its own, as distinct from the will of the majority of appears as a respectable grandmother, who, individuals of whom it is temporarily com- retired from active participation in the
conscious of her age and infirmities, has posed, just as the passing moods of the business of life. The painter, with a fine individual himself are separable from his dramatic sense, shows her to us seated on consciousness of his personal identity. her chalk cliffs, in the warmth of the deWe are all of us sensible of the actual exist
clining sun. Colonies of grandchildren, ence of a public conscience, though none in the remote distance, bend an admiring of us can define precisely wherein it con
gaze on her majestic decrepitude. She sists. The image of the State was in the appears to have uttered a dignified remonmind of Pericles, when he told his hearers
strance, for, nearer home, the armed na“not to view it merely in the abstract, but tions of the Continent are seen suddenly rather to contemplate it day by day as it dropping their swords and daggers, as the actually existed, and to become enamored combatants do at the command of the of it, and, when they felt its greatness, to Beefeater 'in “The Critic.” They recogbear in mind that their ancestors consti- nize her as the tribunal of civilized mantuted it by their valor, their sense of duty, kind.” Between the two ideals of naand their principle of honor in action.” +tional life, thus portrayed to them with all It inspired the bold figure of Demosthe
the earnestness and indignation of a politdes: "Would you act up to the spirit of ical Hogarth, the people of England are your fathers, each one of you jurymen told that they may make their choice. ought to think, when he enters on the
Is Mr. Gladstone's representation of judgment of a public cause, that, together Tory policy just? Is his own portrait of with his staff and ticket, he takes upon England worthy of the subject? He is bimself the genius of his country." I
well aware that to both of these questions Two portraits of our own country have his opponents reply with an emphatic neg. lately been presented to us by the hand of ative. Before what tribunal, then, must a master, which might be entitled respect, the question be settled? Undoubtedly beively “ England as it is under the Tories," fore the conscience of the country. Then, and “England as it ought to be under the
as we are to be the judges in our own Liberals." In the one she is represented, cause, by what method shall we obtain if we may put it in that shape, under the that true knowledge of ourselves which image of a harridan, full of the spite and
may enable us to return an impartial verimpotence of old age, whose years have dict? “I know an infallible moral test," only increased her vices, and who not replies Mr. Gladstone : "search,” as Pope only interferes in all the brawls of her
says, "the ruling passion." 1. England's Mission. By the Right Hon. W. E. In the sphere of personal life most men are
The Nineteenth Century, September. misled through the medium of the dominant London, 1878.
faculty of their nature. It is round that dom2. Imperialism. By the Right Hon. Robert Lowe. inant faculty that folly and flattery are wont to The Fortnightly Review, October. London, 1878.
buzz. 3. The Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds. London,
They play upon vain glory, by exag.
gerating and commending what it does, and by 4. Catalogue of the Exhibition of the Royal Acad- piquing it on what it sees cause to forbear my. London, 1878.
from doing. It is so with nations. For all of 5. Grosvenor Notes. Edited by Henry Blackburn. them the supreme want is to be warned against London, 1878.
6. History of the British Drama. By Mrs. Inch- the indulgence of the dominant passion. bald. London, 1820. 7. Daniel Deronda. By George Eliot. London, The observation is perfectly just, but its
application will carry Mr. Gladstone far$ The Wandering Heir. By Charles Reade. Lon-ther than he intended. For instance, the 3, 1873. 1 Thucydides, i. 43.
dominant passion of the Athenians was * Demosthenes, De Corona, 210.
individual liberty. So long as this was
associated, as in the policy of Pericles, the distractions of democracy and the tyranny with the idea of the State, no personal of monarchy, its happiness is to be found in sacrifices were too great, no national en- its mixture of parts. It was this mixed conterprises too burdensome, for the Athenian stitution which the wisdom of our ancestors citizen. At times his identification of him- devised, and which it will be our wisdom inself with his city carried him into injustice vicissitudes and distractions of a republic.
violably to support. They experienced all the and excess, as in the case of the exter. They felt all the vassalage and despotism of a mination of the Melians, the Mitylenean simple monarchy. They abandoned both, and, decree, and the Sicilian expedition. But by blending each together, extracted a system when the sense of the imperial greatness which has been the envy and admiration of of Athens declined, liberty began to asso- the world.* ciate itself with domestic religion, social
Very true, says Mr. Gladstone, but this pleasure, and intellectual refinement; the
nice equilibrium has now been overthrown citizen shrank from the burdens of per by the wickedness of the Tories. The sonal service and taxation; he learned to
course of our national life has been vio. prefer an existence of ease and slavery to
lently arrested by the antagonism of its a life of political honor. The dominant faculty of the Romans, authority are arrayed against each other,
two great internal principles. Liberty and on the other hand, was empire. Fully en
and, amid the fatuous applause of the peotitled to command by her genius for administration and the patriotic self-sacrifice The monster vice so long hidden has at
ple, the latter has asserted its supremacy. of her citizens, Rome, while the idea of
last appeared. “ The dominant passion of empire was joined with the idea of justice, England is extended empire.”. while she developed her policy by the
Mr. Gladstone, we think, has been so equalization of her own orders, and the extension of her franchise to the states features of the party to which he is op
long and so diligently studying the hideous which acknowledged her supremacy, ad. vanced with safety on her road to universal posed, that he has transferred what he
conceives to be its characteristics into his dominion. But her principle of empire portrait of the people of England. He is had always a tendency to degenerate into
entirely unconscious that his own policy the principle of centralization. She condescended no further than to spare the may be exposed to the same method of conquered, after she had vanquished the grotesque caricature that he has adopted
towards the policy of his rivals. It was proud. She did not care enough for justice of course open to him to derive bis conto rule her subjects for their own good, or
ception of the character of England from to transfuse the political life of the centre into the extremities of her dominion. establish his indictment be ought to have
a study of her political action. But to Hence, though the traditional virtues of taken a wider survey of things than the the Roman character exhibited an aston- acts of Liberal and Conservative governishing vitality, the corruption of the State ments since 1868. He was bound to have was progressive; the wisdom of the sena- shown that “a dominant passion for extorial government declined into the nar-tended empire” is manifest through the rowness of oligarchy; the integrity of the whole history of England. If he choose elder Cato became less characteristic than to rest his case on this broad ground, we the greed of Verres ; and the discipline of ask him with confidence to indicate to us Trajan weighed light against the excesses at what point in our annals the tendency of Commodus.
towards imperialism first becomes apparWhich of these two extremes is “the dominant faculty” of England, the ruling ica due to a deliberate policy of royal
ent. Was the early colonization of Amerpassion of her people, which,“ like Aaron's
aggression or to commercial enterprise, rod, must swallow up the rest”?
and a desire to escape from arbitrary gove The Constitution of this country [said Pitt] is its glory. But in what a nice adjustment * Speech of Pitt on Fox's motion of address to the does its excellence consist ! Equally free from | king, March 1, 1784.
ernment? Was the foreign policy of English people is to the spirit of the ConCromwell, the most aggressive in our his- stitution described by Pitt. What distintory, determined by a desire for universal guishes English literature, for instance, is dominion, or by mixed motives of com- its balance of liberty and authority. No merce and religion? In our settlements doubt its prominent characteristic is a cerin Australasia did the trade follow the flag, tain Gothic greatness and freedom. As or the flag the trade? Was not the nat. Pope says, – oral extension of our Indian empire re
But we brave Britons foreign laws despised, sisted by company, crown, and Parliament?
And kept unconquered and uncivilized. In short, does not the entire course of our national history indicate rather a dominant But through all the vigorous originality of passion - as far as there is any predomi- our great writers there runs a link of “comnance at all - for individual liberty, like mon sense,” binding them to each other that of the Athenians, than a deliberate and to human society. Chaucer, the most resolve, like that of the Romans, for uni- mediæval in spirit of the English poets, is versal empire ?
yet touched with a vein of Lollardism, But history is made up of politics, and, which reappears in the Puritan morality of in England, wherever there are politics Spenser, imbedded as this was in Catholic there is passion. The political action of a doctrine and pagan imagery. The ample pation is doubtless the index of its char- spirit of the Catholic Church is seen in acter, but where the nature of its action is Shakespeare, tempered with the national disputed, as at present, we must endeavor spirit of England and the human spirit of to find a clue to its character in some other the Renaissance. Milton is at once Puritan quarter. Such a clue may, we think, be and classic. Pope and Addison made it obtained by examining the tendencies of their conscious aim to fix the standard of popular taste. The character of every the language by preserving all its idiom great nation is reflected indirectly in its art and character, while at the same time suband literature, as well as directly in its mitting it to the common law of classical bistory. Poets, painters, sculptors, musi- authority. Scott, writing at a time when cians, and architects, show us the thoughts both the monarchical and republican inthat pass through the mind of a people, stincts of the nation had been vehemently and embody in an ideal form the objects aroused, corrects the natural impulse of that appear to it most noble, or beautiful, his own chivalrous sympathies by the esor worthy of pursuit. Art, again, shows tablished standard of constitutional comthe most sensitive sympathy with every mon sense. In short, we may say that social change which a nation undergoes. English artists have followed out the line If therefore we can discover any master suggested to them by their national inful tendencies in our contemporary art, stinct, without excluding influences from which can only be explained by the pre- abroad; and that, while trusting confidentdominant influence of what is known to be ly to their own genius, they have never a strong national passion, and if these are revolted against the prerogative of authoralso found to co-exist with analogous forces ity and experience. They have observed in the political world, then we shall be able a just mean between the rudeness of primto form a much more satisfactory judg- itive liberty and the deadening artificiality ment as to the nature of our ruling pas- of academic rule. sion, than if we were to draw our conclu- Whether our literature and art still presion from politics alone.
serve their ancient constitutional balance; First, then, we may say with certainty or whether the balance has been unduly Cat, if contemporary English art afford any depressed in favor of one or other of the indication of the dominant passion imputed two great principles by whose counterpoise to the nation by Liberal critics, or of any it exists; and if so, which that principle cher absorbing and exclusive principle of is
, – these are the questions which we now lie, it will be as untrue to the spirit of its propose to discuss. And as we have treattraditions, as Mr. Gladstone thinks the led the subject by implication, as far as it