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work. There are others of whom the reverse is true. They are Torsostrunks and arms, but no heads. They have quick apprehension and ready vigour; but in the higher movements of the spirit are confused, inert, crippled. The business of life for each is to supply what each wants; to strengthen the deep roots for the nourishment of the apparent and excessive branches; and to take care that the hidden and imperishable root shall struggle forth into the production of adequate stem and boughs, leaves, blossoms, and fruit. So each may murmur peacefully in the breeze, and calmly shade the soil; and each shall wave amid the storms with the roar of all its awakened being brows, and a mantled head, dark with mysterious umbrage, propped upon an unshaken and columnar stem.
poses, with an air of the jauntiest kindliness, the relaxation of a farce, a masquerade, or a stroll in a green field. On this earth, where men so often wander amid graves and charnel houses, and hospitals, wrapped in funeral mantlesor stand upon the lonely stormy ridges, sentinels armed for fight-he skips along with a Jew's harp, and a smelling bottle, as if these were divine preservatives, Moly and Hæmony, against all sense of ill and danger. Say to him that, after all his quips and gentlenesses, a living foot of blood and bone must have something firmer than cobwebs pearled with dew to stand upon, and must spurn those who would deny it any better support, and he is not indignant-he is too soft and sweet a thing for that—but fretted and hurt with a sense of undeserved wrong, and is unhappy till he has accomplished a formal reconciliation, to be celebrated
Lies are the ghosts of truths-the with a hecatomb of sugar plums. masks of faces.
Dulcidius is an extreme example of a kind of man not uncommon in an age like ours, of hectic, flatulent sympathies, and præter-human humanities. He shuts his eyes to all that annoy him, or would, if noticed, annoy him, in the existence of mankind; and you can work him no sorer injury than to say or do any thing which disturbs his waking dream. If men are not exempt from labours and sorrows, yet, in his eyes, they ought to be; and we must cheat ourselves and others with the pleasant delusion that it really is so; and must forget the miseries which we cannot altogether escape from. In face of the gravest calamities and toils he turns away his head with a wink and smirk, as if to let us know that he is in the secret, and that these horrors are but empty bugbears to frighten children.
In support of his filagree and tinsel fancies, Dulcidius has no lack of arguments, which sound plausible and specious, and bubble over with ingenuity and prettiness. But his reasonings buzz and twinkle like summer flies, and after all, leave each of them only a puny speck of dirt behind. Would not one fancy that he is some wealthy fop, who has never known the pressure of difficulty? Yet he has had his pains and crosses; has lost an arm and an eye; and with a face seamed with heavy wrinkles, and a head of snow-white hair, he goes prating, and quirking, and simmering, and flaunting away in all the good-humoured vacancy of a milliner's girl in the midst of her shreds and gauzes, or a doating country barber with his soapfroth and gossip. What stern hard fierceness, what fantastic bigotry would be as melancholy and repulsive as the With a sight of this dreary baseless levity, harlequin's leap, and a clown's grin, and tawdry benevolence! he whisks out of the throng, and press, and fierce contention; and chirps, or chatters that if people would only stand still, or lounge about and sip sugar and water, all evils under the sun would disappear. If men stare with blank consternation at the spot of a shipwreck or a massacre, he tries to draw off their attention, and raise their spirits with a puppet-show, or a penny trumpet. And, to one wrestling in the agonies of conscience, or nerved for severe and heroic effort, he pro
So says the high and pure, but somewhat narrow and haughty moralist. But is there not another side to the question? In a world where there are grains of dust as well as mountains, and where the thistle-down hangs upon the oak, may there not be room for weak and trivial men beside the noblest and most earnest? A fool with cap and bells may jingle away his life at the elbow of Rome-crowned Charlemagne. There are doubtless hours of desperate conflict for the
gravest interests of mankind, when the slight and empty spirits are necessarily trampled down like sparrows' eggshells, or swept away like sparrows' feathers, by the holy will of the hero and the prophet. The chaff must fly when the storm blows; and the frogs of the pool, when its waters redden with blood of men, are squelched unpitied under the hoofs of the warhorses. So be it, for it must be so. But in quiet times, and the long inter. spaces of history, there is leave and license for the growth of weeds, and weedlike creatures, which also have their use. For this weed is an old woman's remedy, and that a child's plaything. The idle creepers grow up round the grey stone effigy for a century; but when the hour comes, and the figure feels new life, and wakes and starts, and flashes out with eyes and sword, it snaps the fettering growth like worsted threads, and they perish rightfully. But while the poor and puffed-up worthlessness of our neighbour does no more harm than offend our more serious thoughts, or jar on our sensitive retiredness, it is justice to pardon him, and charity to endeavour to feel with him, and help him on. Fireflies are not stars, but neither are they mere nothings. We cannot steer by them, we must not worship them; but we need not crush them. The smallest, paltriest human creature may have pains and conflicts to maintain himself, even in his small paltriness, equal for him to the inward strivings of a Luther or a Shakspeare.
There are looks and gestures of quiet, unheard of women, a housekeeper, a governess, a sodden washerwoman, and of men as commonplace as any whom Holborn, or Manchester, or May Fair generates, in which a thoughtful eye will read tragedies to draw deeper, bitterer tears than Shak speare's Othello, Goethe's Tasso, or all the woes of Euripides. I have stood in a group of peasants before a painted crucifixion, and there were looks of sympathy which mine perhaps reflected. But I heard a hard heavy breathing behind me, and turning, I saw a woman who had brought her sorrows thither, not found them there. She stood with dull and heavy eyes beholding the painted grief of the Holy Virgin Mother. I never knew what was her calamity. She too,
It is not a part, small or great, but the very whole of a man's work, having within himself (as all have) a world of dusky unembodied greatness, to bring this to utterance, first within his heart, clearly, honestly, and therefore, as must needs be, slowly; and next at ripe seasons, and with due precautions, by bold unconquerable flaming mouth and deed outwardly to utter it.
His utterance must be this thing, and no other which he has truly intimately found within himself. Often this, cannot to himself be altogether clear and evident till he has begun to impart it. And thus as the whole race of man is still but individual man, multiplied and completed, so all human history is but the striving towards full and mature utterance of that dark and seething reality which lies hidden and more or less turbulent in every breast. But as the true utterance of all the truth is the work and consummation of
man's life, so the false utterance of the true, or the true utterance of the false, is, in one form or other, the whole of what is ruinous, chaotic, execrable.
Further, it is manifest that at the highest point to which man can reach there will always be something beyond him, higher, larger, holier, which he cannot yet utter, and can only yearn towards and apprehend. This is necessarily the greatest of all greatnesses, which he, not as yet knows, but knows of, forebodes, dreamingly clutches. To hurry headlong towards the expression of this which lies as yet altogether inexpressible, profanes and mars the divine work, with regard to it now the only divine work possible, of learning, feeling, embracing, not apprehending, but comprehending it. Unseasonable idle speech, and such upon this matter all must be, scares and irritates the plastic gods, the high working powers in all; for whom the universe and our lives are a pliant material, and with whom our will is, at its best, a patient and devout fellowworker and learner. Hence the meaning and sanctity of silence. But that same mute mysterious developement, which may be going on for years, and decads of years, in any one soul, and for ages on ages in the soul of man, comes out at last to inevitable utterance; and the word of some one heart expresses for a thousand years after him the feeling of countless millions. Thus do we find that the utterance of truth out of the infinite into the heart of man makes his real inward story; and the utterance of the same out of his heart into the world is all his outward work and duty.
All the instruments that men employ are so many symbols, and, as it were, materializations of corresponding faculties; as the works which, by means of these instruments, we perform, are expressions of our analogous tendencies, affections, and wants. The knife not only divides all separable substances, but exhibits, and, as it were, prolongs into the outermost region of things about us that dividing faculty of which the rending hands are intermediate agents. So the lever, that is, lifter, embodies and applies our inward capacity of elevating, and consummates the work of our arms and shoulders. The rope which knots two things together is but the perma
nent gripe of one long tenacious finger, which does not relax when the flesh fingers fall loose in weariness or sleep; and it thus displays and exemplifies the uniting power inherent in men's spirits. But as these physical tools can work only with the palpable and visible, and the spirit has another world of its own, neither to be touched nor seen by means of the bodily senses, there must, in this inner and better region, be kindred operations in which the powers that the material images manifest and apply, work for themselves and without tools. Thus to separate by mental scission is to distinguish ; to tie or lash together, is, in the region of mere thought, to combine notions or conceptions by an act of fancy; and to lift is, in the language of oracles, to raise an object out of dark and flat confusion into clear and individual existence; that is, to realize it for the mind. Now, in proportion as men use many and complete tools, they are advanced in mechanical civilisation. But their higher spiritual culture has been forwarded only in the degree in which they have learnt the true laws and aims of these inward powers, which are at once the mainsprings and the archetypes of all our instruments.
The fundamental affirmation of all reasonable and, therefore, of all right religion, the highest of truths revealed to man, is this, that the infinite, eternal, and absolute Being, wills all good, and only good, and that by good is meant not merely whatever we may dare to fancy that he might choose to will, but that which suits the wants, and completes, in the fullest form, the existence of all other beings. Every doctrine opposed to this is superstitious fanaticism or blasphemous scoffing.
That men would be better than they
are if they always chose good instead of evil is evident. But that they would be better, or indeed could have a rational existence, if they had not the power of choosing evil instead of good, is the most foolish and presumptuous of fancies.
You may indeed add sugar to vinegar, but cannot make it wine again.
A man without earnestness is a mournful and perplexing spectacle. But it is a consolation to believe, as we must of any such a one, that he is in the most effectual and compulsive of all schools; not only with the sad sublimity of the stars above him, and the haggard yet ever teeming earth beneath his feet, graves, houses, and temples around him, and the voices of hatred and pain, love and devotion, sounding in his ears, but also with a heart, however weak and dull, essentially capable of feeling and understanding the meaning of all these things. He is at worst a boy, slow at learning to read, and thinking more of toys and cakes than of books, but assuredly neither an idiot, nor incurably deaf, blind, and dumb. He is horrid and disastrous to look upon as we pass him by, but most when we see him coloured by the crimson glare of our own passionate vehemence. Every step forward which we really make, gives us a new mysterious power to draw him too on.
Voltaire thought he was looking through a handsome French window at God and the universe, and painting pictures of them, while in truth the glass was a mirror, and he saw and copied only his own scoffing face.
The religion of all Pagans, indiscriminately, has often been written of by zealous Christians in the worst spirit of Paine and Voltaire.
Whether is it nobler to dwell in Paradise and dream of a cabbage-garden, or to live among pot-herbs and believe in Paradise?
Seldom does a truly divine poet arise and teach all the poor toiling men in the land how far nobler an epic is the life of every one of them did he but know it-than that of the imaginary Ulysses. The Odyssee is
but the little that a man could learn, fancy, and feign of the life of a man. How far is this excelled by the all that the life of a man-of every man-is !
It is no uncommon mistake to suppose that exaggeration is essential or at least proper to fiction. The truth is rather the reverse. A principal use and justification of fiction is to reduce and harmonize the seeming exaggerations of real life.
Facts are often extravagant and monstrous, because we do not know the whole system which explains and legitimises them. But none have any business in fiction which are not intelligible parts of the artificial whole that they appear in. 50.
Religion, conscience, affection, law, science, poetry, including the kindred arts, are for ever rectifying the disorders and miseries of mankind. But the mode in which the poetic art does this is by presenting a mankind, a world of its own, in which good and evil, true and false, fair and ugly, harmonious and discordant, and all such analogous pairs of contrasts, mingled by just and intelligible principles of combination, and point to their own solution-not indeed a solu tion always for the understanding, but always one adequate for the feelings, and purifying and exalting them.
Faith in a better than that which appears, is no less required by art than by religion.
The three great perversions of education are those which tend to make children respectively-Dwarfs-Monkeys Puppets. The Dwarfs are the prodigies, the over-sharpened, overexcited, over-accomplished, stunted men. In these, as there is no fulness and steadiness, such as belong only to mature life, and yet there is the appearance of these, the very principle of the thing is a quackery and falsehood. The Monkeys are the spoilt; the indulged petted creatures of mere self-will and appetite, in whom the human as distinguished from the animal is faint and undeveloped. The weakness of mind which trains such children, and delights in them, is that which led the ladies of another generation to keep natural and genuine
poses, he thus frustrates and dislo
All France, under Louis XIV., was beaten and bribed into courtiership. Poetry, Law, Theology, all wore courtsuits, and smoothed themselves into flatterers and liars. The Muses be
apes for their amusement. The Puppets are produced by the plan of deadening, petrifying the mind, teaching words by rote, compelling obedience for its own sake, and not for that of a future moral freedom. These are the things that move in public only as the wires of masters and committees guide. But, because the life cannot be altogether crushed and turned back, it asserts itself secretly in a sense of benumbed misery and corroding hatred. The first class spoken of are those in whom a true ideal is misapplied. The second, those in whom none is aimed at. The third, those in whom the ideal pursued is altogether false and wretched.
Speech is as a pump by which we raise and pour out the water from the great lake of Thought-whither it flows back again.
There is a kind of social civilisation which rounds the rough and broken stones into smooth shapeliness, but also into monotonous uniformity. There is also a farther and better kind which again roughens the pebbles, not, however, to reproduce their former rude diversities, but to engrave them with divine heads and figures and sig. nificant mottoes.
When we see the place to which some natural Reality is degraded by the hands of man,-the stately tree to be a dead wayside post, the fierce and fleet wild ass of the desert to be a broken and starved drudge, we cannot but reflect that this wreck was once great and goodly, and possessed a wondrous inward endowment of independent life and power, was born out of the eternal Infinite into the sad and narrow round of Time, where men, its fellow-denizens of Time, have thus crushed and ruined it. But poor as is the place and function of each living thing which men enchain and use, when thus no longer existing for and by itself, yet the human order of existence, with all its wants and contrivances, is an immeasurably higher one than any of these systems to which the weaker, meaner beings of earth originally belong. In this superiority of Man's destiny and rights lies the justification of his subjecting to his own purposes that which, for its pur
came maids of honour, and stage-confidants to royal mistresses; Religion was only permitted to appear masked in the abhorred disguise of a state chaplain, or a gold-laced trumpeter of sovereign worthlessness; and Truth and Conscience, in the mean-while, were fasting at Port-Royal, pining in the Bastile, fighting in the Cevennes, or emigrating to Spitalfields. Honesty could not have where to lay its head, when Falsehood, Cruelty, and insane Vanity had for their lacqueys and pimps Racine, Bossuet, and Molière. The Regent Orleans was but Louis XIV. in undress and half-intoxicated, and Louis XV. the same type, drunk to stupidity. But while the family was sinking from generation to generation into utter lethargy, the nation was awakening from its sleep, till rising and finding itself starved, bruised, and shackled, it burst the remaining bonds, and strangled for ever the corpse-like royalty which it found lying beside it. 57.
Life of any kind is a confounding mystery; nay, that which we commonly do not call life, the principle of existence in a stone or a drop of water, is an inscrutable wonder. in the infinity of time and space any thing should be, should have a distinct existence, should be more than nothing! The thought of an immense abysmal Nothing is awful, only less so than that of All and God; and thus a grain of sand being a fact, a reality, rises before us into something prodigious, immeasurable—a fact that opposes and counterbalances the immensity of non-existence. And if this be so, what a thing is the life of man, which not only is, but knows that it is; and not only is wondrous, but wonders!
The beauty of physical Nature strikes us with an immediate impression of harmony and completeness. There is also a sense of harmony, the result of reflection engaged on scientific truth; and there is a livelier and