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all we could say would be that he and we mean different things by the word. When we are invited to contemplate a specimen of humanity at that nearness in which we discern such special facts as that the parents were advanced in life when the son was born, and that they lost their money through the treachery of an acquaintance, we are apt to feel that the picture, being as individual as this, is not individual enough. The present writer, at least, confesses to feeling very often that Wordsworth has lost one excel lence, and not fully gained the other.
have your choice between being tedious, and exchanging the broad human view for one that takes cognizance of idiosyncrasies; and Wordsworth seems to us so much afraid of the last alternative, that he has constantly chosen the first. If you expand the fitting subject for the allusion of half a line into a theme of a poem, you will in either case eliminate the pathetic element from it.
The contrast between the two poets brings out the explanation of our poverty in this direction, and its connection with the democratic spirit of our age. It is a The contrast between the two, at any twofold connection. In the first place, all rate, is an instructive one for our purpose. literature feels the direct influence of the Wordsworth and Gray, from this point of political spirit of the age. It is true that view, may be considered as representing we should not expect the influence of the nineteenth century and its predeces- democracy to be hostile to pathos; an sor. That Wordsworth was the greater attention to the needs of the poor and poet (though that is at least not a disqual- the obscure would appear, at first sight, ifying circumstance for this representation), we leave out of the question; we consider them only with regard to their contribution to this particular kind of literature. Wordsworth represents what is best in modern democracy. He looks at the poor not as the picturesque retainers, the grateful dependents of their social superiors; he sees in them specimens of humanity interesting on their own ac count, but he often fails to render his picture of them interesting, because he specializes what is characteristic of the class without specializing what is characteristic of the individual. Where he aims at pathos, he sometimes drops into prosaic triviality. We should have expected most of his readers to agree with us in thus describing his "Alice Fell," if Mr. Arnold had not included the verses in his selection from the poet. The attempt to describe in poetry such an incident as a child having her cloak caught in a coachwheel and replaced by a benevolent passenger seems to us, we must say, in spite of this formidable vote on the opposite side, a very good illustration of what pathos is not. It might almost be set by the side of the caricature of Wordsworth in the "Rejected Addresses as a specimen of what is puerile when it should be childlike. This incident is too trivial for the most passing allusion, but the homely, every day sorrows of the poor may be most pathetic when shown us by the light of a far-off sympathy, transient as the gleam that fringes a flying shower, while yet if hammered at through six or seven verses they become simply tedious. Describe the incidents of village life at which the "Elegy" glances from afar, and you
its moral correlate, and this attention will be allowed to be a part of democracy by its bitterest enemies.. Its very excellence is that it attends only to what is human in each of us, and demands no special claim of character and position before it will devote itself to remove grievances and mitigate suffering. Of course, this means attending more to the needs of the lowly than the exalted, for they are greater, and also they are the needs of the majority. This is a gain worth paying any price to secure. But, as a matter of fact, we do pay a price to secure all excellence; and the price we pay for a complete recognition of every need is, that we have somewhat lost the subtle power of emotion which belongs to an indirect expression of all dumb need. Gray represents the eighteenth-century glance at the life of the poor,- -a glance full of sympathy, but essentially a glance from afar. They are still the dumb masses. They are certainly "our own flesh and blood," in the sense that they feel those sorrows and hopes which their poet feels also. “On some fond breast the parting soul relies," in the palace as well as the cottage. But they are hardly our own flesh and blood in Mr. Gladstone's sense. They are not beings whom we have any notion of calling into council as to the sanitary or educational arrangements which affect their welfare. From this point of view, the notion of helping them out of their dumbness, and endowing them with the franchise, must be allowed to strike the reader with horror. A neat, slated roof does not more disadvantageously replace what Gray carelessly calls a straw-built shed, than the new view of the agricultu
ral laborer replaces the old, with regard | part of that democratic influence on the to his place in poetry. Wordsworth does social code to which we have so often not regard him from this point of view adverted, a change which it seems to us exactly, but he is not so far from it as he those equally misinterpret who insist on is from the view of the predecessor with labelling it as either good or bad. This whom we contrast him. We feel that the particular side of it seems to us to be reBastille has fallen, that the "Rights of gretted, but it is inseparably associated Man" are in the air, that America has set with so much that is a cause of satisfac an example of successful rebellion, that tion, that we would rather speak of its the first Reform Bill is on its way, that dangers than its evils. It is intimately democracy, in short, is a growing power. associated with what Carlyle meant by The poor are dumb no longer; they can veracity. People are always mistaking Occasionally be very tedious. We cannot unreserve for truthfulness, and if there look at a thing at the same time from at were no connection between the two, they hand and from afar. The "humane cen- could not be confused. Our contemtury," as Mr. Frederic Harrison has porary literature is marked by instances called the eighteenth century, was just in of this unreserve that would have been time for its educated men to look at the inconceivable to our grandfathers; an poor with sympathy, and from afar. allusion to the legend of Godiva with Earlier ages were too soon for the first; which we remember a specimen of it our own, and apparently all following being greeted many years ago, would ages, are too late for the last. The transi- have lost all its point by this time, so tion age supplies the elements of pathos. many have followed Godiva's example. It may seem to be putting a strain upon And the fashion is reflected in fiction. the theory of political life thus to connect Our greatest writer of fiction expresses it with literature, and that homely, every- all she means. Hers is not the art that day life which supplies literature with its calls up a train of suggestion with half a subjects. But those who care least for word, we never feel in closing the volume politics are moulded by politics. That that she has roused a set of recollections perennial life in which each one of us in which the original note is drowned; partakes, makes up in permanence what her words linger in the memory with all it lacks in vividness; its hopes and fears the strong characteristics of their own become our hopes and fears to some ex- individuality; but they stir no hidden tent, and even they who turn away from spring, surprising the reader with the all political interest and try to lose them- revelation of depths of emotion within, selves in the past, discover in the echoes perhaps forgotten, perhaps never fully to which they cannot deafen their ears known. And the words which convey something that by its very continuity the writer's whole meaning, though they forces them to fear it or admire it, may convey it perfectly and admirably, somehow or other, to wish that this or can hardly, according to our understandthat may come of it. However, it is not ing of the word, convey what we mean by so much the direct influence of demo. pathos. cratic feeling on literature that we would The loss of the pathetic element in trace, as its influence on literature through literature is great. With it, we lock the the medium of the social life. The ten- door of escape from unendurable comdency of our age to leave nothing unsaid passion, we forbid ourselves ever to conis impressed on our attention by every template pain without actually sharing it. newspaper and almost every book we We lose the medicine for many a sick open, and is forced on our belief by its mind, the spell that recalls without its record on contemporary legislation. Why bitterness many a bitter memory, the was obstruction never a part of the tac mediator that teaches us compassion tics of opposition until our own day? for many a hated foe. We lose that Not because people have suddenly dis- refuge from the pressure of individual covered, as a truth of which their fore- sorrow which is so little the discovery of fathers were ignorant, that while you a civilized age, that the singer whose insist on discussing a measure it cannot words most recall it is the earliest known pass into a law, nor because members of to our race, telling us how the obsequies Parliament are less high-minded than they of a hero released the tears they did not were, but simply because the whole tone cause. "His loss the plea, the griefs of general taste was in former days against such a method of procedure, and in our days is with it. The change is a
they mourned their own." Nor let it be thought that we speak of a merely sentimental loss; the thing we describe is,
continued through that month. January was colder still, the thermometer once or twice approaching - 50°, but in the early part of February a violent storm was accompanied by a remarkable rise of temperature (to+20°), and followed by some mild weather, since which the thermometer has again fallen, reaching - 39° a couple of days ago.
This, however, I am informed by the inhabitants, is the mildest winter that has been known for many years, and I have no doubt that a temperature of 60° is not uncommon in severe winters.
It is strange how much less one feels this extreme cold than might be imagined. For the first day or two it was unpleasant, but after that the system seemed to accommodate itself to it, so that a day when the temperature was anywhere above.
after all, the literary reflection of a view of the sorrows of life needed by all. What we can never forget, we must at times put far from us, and contemplate through the softening medium of thoughts that blend sorrow with hope. What pathos is in literature that resignation is in life, and if a democratic age fail to recognize the excellence of this virtue, it is because men forget that apart from it no manly effort is possible, and for the majority of lives, no sustained cheerfulness. They know it little who think it the foe of energy; the truth is, that energy loses half its efficacy in a nature that knows nothing of resignation. Do we mean to urge that the literary quality thus nobly related should be made a conscious effort? All we have said shows that we hold such an attempt to be selfdefeating; at the first effort to attain 15° felt quite warm and pleasant. Topathos, it takes its inexorable flight. But day, for instance, I am writing with my we do not think that the endeavor to window open, although the thermometer avoid its foes is equally vain, and the is several degrees below zero, and there most deadly among them, that love of the is a light breeze. There have been days, ridiculous which is quite equally the foe it is true, when with the thermometer of all humor, is what, for our own part, near 30°, and a strong breeze blowing, we feel among the most serious dangers filling the air with snowdrift like a dense of a democratic age. While the inquest fog-outdoor exercise was most unpleas over a heart-rending calamity is inter-ant, probably resulting in a frozen face, rupted with laughter at every grotesque but such days were not very numerous, a or absurd expression in the account of strong wind, even from the cold quarter the disaster, while the pages of Punch (the northwest), sending the temperature are the chief study of the young in their up in a way that I cannot quite account leisure hours, and while the bracketed "laughter" in our Parliamentary reports calls the attention of the reader to statements in which there is no wit or pleasantry, or any possible source of them, we shall lose the pathetic element in literature, and a great many other good things also. Against this vulgarizing tendency of our time we would gladly see a strong and conscious effort, being certain that it would encourage not only those faculties which make literature pathetic, but also that it would reinforce the sources of all true humor, as much the friend to true pathos, as it is the foe of its vulgar and libellous caricature.
WINTER LIFE AT FORT RAE.
IT was not until the beginning of December that our winter really set in, but when it did so there was no mistake about it, as the first of the month began with the thermometer at -34°, and except for some mild weather at Christmas, the cold
Now the climate reminds me of Davos Platz, the sun having considerable power; there is, however, more wind. Yesterday the black bulb in vacuo read 82°. The only drawback is the intense glare from the snow, which makes colored spectacles a necessity.
During the first part of the winter we were a little anxious about food, not that we were in any danger of starvation, as the Indians had brought in quantities of dried meat in the autumn, but dried meat is a most unpalatable article of diet, and requires strong teeth and a strong diges. tion; and then the fishery was not as productive as usual, and the daily produce of the nets (which are set under the ice) was gradually diminishing. At last, however, the deer made their appearance some forty miles from this, and since then our supplies of fresh meat have come in regularly. Rabbits, too, have lately become most numerous. These animals are the great resource of the Indians in times of scarcity, but they are not always plentiful. They are said to attain their maximum once in ten years, when they seem tɔ
suffer from a disease which shows itself | expected, with the dry north-west wind. Sometimes the first warning of an impending change of wind to the south-east was given by a rise of this thermometer before the barometer was affected.
in lumps on their heads; the following year there is hardly a rabbit to be seen, and then they gradually increase for another ten years.
The winter has passed very uneventfully. On November 17 and two or three following days there were magnetic disturbances of great violence, due, no doubt, to the large sunspot. The displays of aurora at that time, however, were not of any remarkable brilliancy; we have had far brighter ones since, with far less magnetic disturbance. But as a rule the auroras have not been remarkable, though a night seldom or never passes without more or less-the brilliant colored ones one reads about are conspicuous by their absence. For the most part they are all of the same yellowish color, showing the single characteristic bright line in the spectroscope, but a bright aurora usually shows more or less prismatic coloring along the lower edge, with a spectrum sometimes of one or two additional bright lines, as a rule towards the violet end of the spectrum, though on one occasion I observed a bright band in the red.
Aurora is very rarely seen until night has quite set in, but on three occasions we have seen it shortly after sunset, and on these occasions it was of a reddish or copper color, as though partly colored by the sun's light; it must, I think, have been associated with thin cloud. Its motion and shape showed it to be aurora.
The terrestrial radiation thermometer placed on the snow generally showed a depression of from 10° to 20° on every calm, clear day throughout the winter, even by day when sheltered from the sun. The lowest readings were, as might be
A thermometer suspended on the outer wall of the observatory at times read 9° or 10° lower than one in the screen, owing to radiation, and I think that the common practice of exposing unsheltered thermometers may explain some of the low temperatures sometimes reported from this country.
Our daily routine of observations goes on very regularly. Lately wolves have taken to prowling about the neighborhood, and the observer on duty goes to visit the thermometers armed with huge club; of course a gun or axe cannot be allowed near the observatory on account of the magnetic instruments.
A remarkable epidemic of influenza made its appearance here in January. We first heard of it among the Indians far to the north-west of this. When it arrived here it attacked every soul in the place - Indians and whites-fortunately in a very mild form, and we hear that Fort Simpson, on the Mackenzie, suffered in the same way. Such an occurrence is most unusual in this country. With this exception we have all enjoyed good health.
We expect the ice to break up about the middle of June, and then will come the reign of the mosquitoes, which make the summer the most disagreeable season of the year in this country. Fortunately they do not last long in this latitude, and by the end of August, when we set out on our homeward journey, they will be over. HENRY P. DAWSON.
Fort Rae, March 25.
TREES AND SMOKE. -A recent investiga- | those regions. The oak seems really the only tion by Herr Reuss, of the injury done to trees by the smoke of smelting-works in the Upper Hartz region, yields the following among other results. The smoke is injurious, he states, mainly by reason of its sulphuric acid. All trees are capable of absorbing a certain quantity of this through the leaves, whereby they are rendered unhealthy, and often killed. Their growth in the smoke is irregular and difficult. Leafy trees, especially the oak, resist the smoke better than the Coniferæ. No species requiring humus or minerally rich soils prosper in
tree that can be successfully grown. Trees that have been injured by the smoke are not exempt from injury by beetles. All smelting authorities should unite in effort to prevent this injury to vegetation. By instituting sulphuric acid manufactories, effecting condensa tion of the smelting vapors, the evil may be greatly reduced, and brought to a minimum. Places cleared of vegetation by the smoke may be brought under cultivation again after removal of the injurious cause. (Herr Reuss's report appears in full in Dingler's Journal.)
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