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Fifth Series, Volume XXXIII.

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No. 1915.– February 26, 1881.

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From Beginning,
Vol. CXLVIII.

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CONTENTS. I. JOHN Milton,

Modern Review,
II. DON JOHN. Part III.,

By Jean Ingelow,
III. THE MORAL ELEMENT IN LITERATURE, Cornhill Magazine,
IV. VISITED ON THE CHILDREN. Part X.,. All The Year Round,

V. THE MORAL INFLUENCE OF GEORGE ELIOT, Contemporary Review, .
VI. The GREAT SNOWSTORM OF LONDON, Spectator,
VII. The New TREATY BETWEEN RUSSIA AND
CHINA,

Spectator,
VIII. ANTIQUARIAN TRAVELLING CENTRAL
FRANCE,

Pall Mall Gazette,
IX. AMONG ALDINES,

Pall Mall Gazette, X. THE FALL OF LIMA,

Pall Mall Gazette,

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He sees, in the night of peril,

The pillar of fire that shone From the halls of pearl and beryl,

To light God's children on; And feels that straight from Heaven,

When the eye of sense grows dim, Shall a grander sight be given

To all who trust in him.

THE FOREST GLADE.

On the page of the mighty ocean

He reads the mightier still, Who curbs its restless motion

By the law of his royal will; And while in its course diurnal

It murmurs, or sings, or raves, He lists to the voice eternal,

In the language of the waves.

As one dark morn I trod a forest glade,

A sunbeam entered at the further end, And ran to meet me through the yielding

shadeAs one who in the distance sees a friend, And smiling, hurries to him; but mine eyes,

Bewilder'd by the change from dark to bright, Received the greeting with a quick surprise

At first, and then with tears of pure delight; for sad my thoughts had been, – the tempest's

wrath Had gloom'd the night, and made the mor

row gray; That heavenly guidance humble sorrow hath,

Had turn'd my feet into that forest way, Just when His morning light came down the

path,
Among the lonely woods at early day.

CHAS. TENNYSON TURNER.

He marks in the plants around him

The throbs of a life their own, While the wordless worlds that bound him

Whisper their undertone. From the hawk and the hound yet clearer

He hears the secret fall, Which nearer to him and nearer

Brings the great God of all.

In the leaves that blow and perish

In the space of a single hour,
As the loves that most we cherish

Die like the frailest flower, -
In the living things whose living

Withers or e'er they bloom,
He reads of the great thanksgiving,

Which breathes from the open tomb.

WHEN to the birds their morning meal I

threw, Beside one pretty candidate for bread There flash'd and wink'd a tiny drop of dew; But while I gazed, I lost them, both had fled; His careless tread had struck the blade-hung

tear, And all its silent beauty fell away; And left, sole relic of the twinkling sphere, A sparrow's dabbled foot upon a spray. Bold bird ! that didst efface a lovely thing Before a poet's eyes! I've half a mind, Could I but single thee from out thy kind, To mulct thee in a crumb; a crumb to thee Is not more sweet than that fair drop to me; Fie on thy little foot and thrumming wing !

CHAS. TENNYSON TURNER.

The bright spring leaves returning

To the stem whence autumn's fell, And the heart of summer burning,

To change at the winter's spell, The year that again repasses,

The grain that again revives, Are signs on the darkened glasses

That bar and bound our lives.

From The Modern Review. broadest grounds of personal liberty of JOHN MILTON.*

both thought and action; and the time is The completion of Professor Masson's fast approaching when an unlimited uni“ Life of John Milton: Narrated in Con- versality will be acknowledged as the nection with the Political, Ecclesiastical, only possible area for the exhibition of and Literary History of his Time,” is an

Milton's genius. As soon as he emerged event worthy of grateful recognition by from the strife of parties and the odium all liberal Englishmen. The first volume of the Restoration, his poetical genius was of the work was in our hands in Decem- acknowledged on all sides, and his name ber 1858. The preface to the sixth vol- placed second in the roll of English ume is dated December, 1879.

To those poets. who welcomed the first volume the ap

A century later, when men looked back pearances of the others from time to time to the English Commonwealth for the rise during a period of twenty-one years have of the principles of civil and religious libafforded a series of literary pleasures oferty, Milton's political writings attracted no common kind. Professor Masson has the attention they deserved. His col. placed the whole of the events and cir- lected prose works were first published in cumstances of Milton's life before us in 1698, with Toland's biography prefixed. one work. The twenty-one years of pub- These volumes are folios, and though lication must have been preceded by bearing the name of Amsterdam on their many years of labor in preparation and title-pages, were really printed in London. collection, in order to account for the Birch's editions followed in 1738 and large result. But it is such a result as 1753; and Dr. Symmons's edition, with a could only be attained by the well-directed translation of the “Defensio Secunda" labors of a single mind. No “ Milton by Robert Fellowes, M.A., was published Society” could have wrought a work like in 1806, in seven handsome Svo volumes, this; but the work itself

leave room

with a life by Dr. Symmons, in many

may for the operations of such a society. respects, and from a Whig-Revolution Although the professor has reaped the point of view, very admirable. A popular whole field and carried the harvest, yet

edition appeared in 1838 with a fine “ Inhe may have left many dropped and scat-troductory Review,” by Robert Fletcher; tered ears for the gleaners. Before long and now the whole of the prose works, a Milton Society may perhaps be formed including Bishop Sumner's translation on some basis like that of the various of the “Treatise on Christian Doctrine," Shakespeare and other societies. At

forms part of Bohn's Standard Library. present Milton has scarcely passed out

It may, therefore, be fairly said that the of the sphere of party; and while in such body of Milton's works a literature in a sphere, sections of party will set up

themselves – is in every library, and is their peculiar claims to him. Some of an element in the intellectual life-blood of our readers may have a recollection of England. the unsuccessful attempt some years ago

Still, there is one characteristic feature to establish a Milton Club, which failed of Milton's mind which removes him in consequence of a design to subject the from the admiration and sympathy of a membership to a kind of orthodox test. considerable section of the religious This experiment is not likely to be re- world. This is his rigid, anti-sacerdotal peated. The influence of Milton's name spirit. Milton is essentially Protestant, never be enlisted in favor of

any

and, therefore, repugnant to all ritualists, scheme which does not rest upon the whether Roman or Anglican. Even our

great statesman, whose Homeric studies * The Life of John Milton : Narrated in Connec- have won for him a high place in literation with the Political, Ecclesiastical, and Literary ture, cannot give ungrudging welcome to History of his Time.

By David Masson, M.A., Milton. Homer and Shakespeare claini LL.D., Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature in the University of Edinburgh. 6 vols., 1859-1880. universal homage without limitation or

1

can

reserve. Milton is both a Puritan and a

London: Macmillan and Co.

heretic, and draws from his countrymen | did not begin until after his return, in the a less complete, though perhaps an in- July of 1639, from his visit to the Contitenser, worship. Shakespeare was happy nent. He would gladly, have remained in filling the imagination of mankind with abroad much longer than he did; and, a flood of light unobscured by a cloud or indeed, he intended to pursue his travels even a transient vapor from the political into Greece, and he would doubtless have and ecclesiastical turmoils of his age. spent more time in the cities and among So might it have been with the great poet the societies most congenial to his tastes of the seventeenth century, had he not and his lofty literary aims. When he fallen “on evil days."

was enjoying all the delights of foreign In preparing for the work of his life as travel and society, be had already brought that of a poet in the highest sense, the bis education to a perfect maturity; and purposes of Milton were so pure and so by his writings up to that time he had lofty that there can be no doubt he would, satisfied the best judges as well as himbut for adverse circumstances, have shone self of his powers and capacities for as a luminary in literature without admix- poetry. Nothing had been omitted or ture of mundane things. Until his thir- left incomplete in his work of self-culture ty-first year, Milton was only a son of the and preparation. He had submitted him. Muses. His stores of learning and ob- self to the judgment of the most learned servation, his aspiring genius, his chaste and most noble of his contemporaries in life, and his devout spirit were being England, France, Switzerland, and Italy, trained and directed into the sphere of and had won from every quarter approval the imagination for the production of and encouragement. Grotius, Galileo, works which should win an immortality and Manso, and many other poets, scholof fame. It is difficult to conjecture what ars, and divines, received the young Enthe results of his genius might have been glishman, and recognized his talent. His without the interruptions of political con- English poetry sounded with strains unflict and the modifications of religious heard since Shakespeare sang. “ L'Allecontroversy. But surely no soaring spirit gro” and “Il Penseroso,” “ Comus " and was ever so clogged and hindered by cir- Lycidas," fell on the ears of his coun. cumstances as that wandering student, trymen with a delight which none but who was drawn by events from the fields the strains of the age of Spenser could of Italy and the mountains of Greece to awaken. In Latin verse, and in the com. yoke Pegasus to the task of dragging his plimentary sonnets which he wrote in the country out of the sloughs of despotism Italian tongue, he had approved himself and anarchy before he could be allowed a master in the opinion of foreigners. It to rise from the earth and traverse the might seem that nothing remained but to “realms of gold.” Thus it happens that wait for time to mature his mind for some there are two Miltons with whom we have supreme expression of his imagination to deal, and until both of them shall be which the world would not willingly let completely presented to us we have a die. But the career he longed for and difficulty in estimating the whole man. expected was suddenly checked, and it Professor Masson has made this presen- might have been forever. tation, and in his volumes we have all the It is this change from an even tenor to materials before us.

an interrupted life which has led his biog. The difficulty of the work seems to rapher to adopt the method of placing have pressed itself on the mind of the the history of the times and the biography biographer with especial force as soon as of his subject before the reader in such a he had completed his first volume. This way as to do full justice to both. The volume covers the period of Milton's life first volume, as we said, was out in Defrom his birth in 1608 until his thirty-first cember, 1858. The second volume came year, and is almost purely a narrative out in March, 1871; and in his preface biograplıy; and for this reason: that the of that date, Professor Masson felt himdisturbing influences of the poet's career self called upon to explain the plan of

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his work a plan partly adopted in the into “books," and every book devoted to first volume, but not so necessary to it as distinct portions of “history" and“ biogto the volumes which were to follow. He raphy;” while the chapters into which say's :

the books are subdivided take the por. Now, while it is the right of the public to tions of the history and the biography in say what they want in the shape of a book, it the order of convenience; one book' beis equally the right of an author to say what ing divided into two or three chapters he means to offer; and accordingly I repeat only, and another into as many as eight. that this work is not a Biography only, but a Take, for instance, the second volume. Biography together with a History. No The first book is classified into “ History one can study the life of Milton as it ought to The Scottish Presbyterian Revolt,"'. be studied without being obliged to study, ex. and “ · Biography – Milton Back in Entensively and intimately, the contemporary gland." Chapter I. The Scottish Covehistory of England and even, incidentally, of nanters and the First Bishops' War. Scotland and Ireland too. Experience has

Chapter II. Milton Back in England confirmed my previous conviction that it must

Old Friends be so. Again and again in order to under

Epitaphium Damonis stand Milton, his position, his motives, his Lodgings, etc. — Literary Projects, etc. th hts by himself, his public words to his Chapter 111. returns to history, and is countrymen and the probable effects of those about Bishop Hall's “ Episcopacy,' words, I have had to stop in the mere Biog- Short Parliament and the Second Bishraphy and range round largely and windingly ops' War.” In the volume in question, in the History of his Time, not only as it is one book is devoted to the history of Enpresented in well-known books, but as it had glish Presbyterianism and Independency to be rediscovered by express and laborious up to 1643 — a chapter by itself, but of investigation in original and forgotten records. Thus on the very compulsion, or at least by ately upon a very careful account of the

great importance, and following immedithe suasion, of the Biography, a History grew Westminster Assembly of Divines. If on my hands.

we regard Vol. II., as we have briefly deWith the plan of the author thus clearly scribed it, as a specimen of the whole indicated, we have no right to complain work, we shall get an idea of the amount that Professor Masson's six volumes are of labor bestowed in bringing together both a history and a biography; and when such a vast accumulation of materials. once we have discovered his method, we In fact, we have a minute biography and find it a very useful one. Milton's life an elaborate history so arranged as to and writings were so mixed up with pub. afford the advantages of each. We lic affairs that any adequate account of might further distribute the historical porhim implies what Masson describes as tions into civil, ecclesiastical, social, and the "incessant connection of the history literary history; and for everything of inand the biography – the history always terest in all of these departments the work sending me back more fully informed for will be consulted by students of each the biography, and the biography again subject. What a well-furnished library suggesting new tracks for the history.” could scarcely yield to the most diligent Nor are the intercalary portions of the after a laborious search, the reader can work confined to the ordinary history of now find within the compass of Masson's the period. In the first volume we have six volumes. A seventh with an index is a comprehensive survey of British litera- promised, and is very much needed; and ture, giving a view of it generally at the the more complete the apparatus, the bettime when Milton resolved to connect ter for future readers. Though we read himself with it. And in the sixth vol. the volumes as they came out, when we ume a chapter of one hundred and thirty- look into them again with the intention of two pages is devoted to a survey of the giving some account of them, we cannot first seven years of the literature of the but feel dismayed at the extent of the field Restoration. From the second volume which lies open before us. It is impossionwards we find every volume divided | ble for us to do more than to invite others

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