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on his father's shoulder, and says in a low tone, "I will;" and then to see the half-awestruck, half-wondering one seems boyish face, and hear the childish treble -adds: "But what are they going to do with you, father?" When the final scene comes, and the father awaits his doom, little Willy, standing once more between the officers and marines in the after part of the deck and the ship's company forward"as if he had been a little spirit of good, waving his fairy talisman; evil passions, which in the former scene were let loose, had retired to their darkest recesses, and all the better feelings of humanity were called forth is the first to break the silence with the simplest and most natural question possible for a child: 'Where are you going, father, and why do you wear that night-cap?'' site art in the whole picture. The childish There is exquifigure relieves what would otherwise have been too dark a scene. As the story progresses, Willy still fills a large space in it, and is as manly, brave, and fine a lad as the child of such a father and mother was sure to be. Nor is he the only child in the book. Emily Rainscourt, the daughter of "the handsomest man in Dublin," who had made a bet that he would marry the reigning belle of that lively city within a certain time, does not appear many times while still a child, but is always natural, and shows how well Captain Marryat understood child-nature. Every one knows his "middies." They are but boys, and act like boys. Their rollicking fun, their practical jokes, their courage and devotion to duty when danger threatens, their very tenderness when the thought of faraway homes is brought vividly before them, are all intensely true.
had already written "Oliver Twist." It ture. "Oliver Twist" dealt largely with may be called the "Street Arab" literathe criminal classes. takes us among the children who are on the "Paved with Gold' border-land between honesty and crime. Oliver Twist, the hero of Dickens's book, is never more than an unwilling dweller in the haunts of vice. He abhors Fagin's den. The humors of Charley Bates and the Artful Dodger never amuse him. He lives an untainted life amidst the most loathsome conditions. So far as his childlife is concerned, its environment is always out of harmony with his inner feelings, except during the happy time when he is at kind Mr. Brownlow's.
workhouse. Phil, like Oliver, is brought up in a moral effect on him is that he regards the particular abhorrence of the place. Its Unlike Oliver, he feels no whole world as being a big union workhouse divided into two classes — paupers and guardians. Children brought up in a home where there is a fierce fight for food, fire, clothing, and rent, learn from their earliest years how the battle of life is fought by the poor. Phil, on the contrary, never hears the clink of coin, knows not how his bread and gruel are provided, has no idea of the necessity of working in order to live.
that the boys in the Industrial School It strikes me as peculiarly true to nature who, just like boys at any other school, pounce upon a new-comer and overwhelm him with questions, should begin by asking Phil, "What's your parish?" and then be anxious to know whether he is a foundling. When Phil shows no inclination to answer, Come, don't sulk," cried one of the boys, "Masterman Ready" and the "Chil-"This chap here was tied in a fish-basket and pointing to another, he continued: dren of the New Forest," full of improbabilities as they are, still delight both young and old. I find that they are in brisk demand at a library where plenty of new books are to be had, and that they are read as much as Marryat's other books. Nor do I wonder at it. The island on which Masterman Ready and his young friends are wrecked is not to be found in any modern map; but the children who met with such wonders upon it are to be seen every day of our lives. The mixture of romance and reality must always have a charm for children, and characters like Master Tommy cannot fail to amuse both young and old.
to the relieving officer's knocker." "No, I wasn't," retorted the other, in the midst of the laughter. "My mother's a washer. woman, and has two and sixpence a week and two loaves out-door relief on account of her rheumatics."
parents, and that those parents - one
Augustus Mayhew's "Paved with Gold" introduces a class of literature which was not indeed wholly new, because Dickens
about London "Street Arabs"
first child in secular literature intended for grown-up people who is made thoroughly interesting.
of this article, however, as being about the first of a class of boys of whom we have read much of late years. Such books have answered a good purpose: they have "Jane Eyre was not published till drawn attention to the miseries of child- nearly ten years later, and the interest life in large towns, and when, as in the which one cannot fail to feel in Jane as a case with "Paved with Gold," they are child is rather of a melancholy sort. Dickvivid pictures of boy-life free from mawk- ens was never more successful in painting ish sentiment, true to nature, they are not a child than in "David Copperfield; " but only deeply interesting, but set men's David is not a specimen of commonplace ninds to work to see how the evils indi- childhood. It is needful to remember this cated may be diminished, if they cannot if we are to appreciate him properly. be wholly eradicated. Dickens has done From the very first he has about him the something in the same direction. He holds air of genius. All children, unless they a high place among writers of this century be abnormally dull and stupid, are full of who have made child-life attractive. He fancies. They breathe the atmosphere of has given us pictures of the home-life of poetry. They see wonders in the heavens the poor, which are in some degree true; above and the earth beneath. Tragedy but he never quite ceases to be either a and comedy are ever chasing one another Icaricaturist or a sentimentalist. Tiny over the stage of their existence. Now Tim is delightful, but not very true to life. they are in the depths of despair; now it There is one fatal biot in his children, a would seem as if they and joy were insepfault which they have in common with arable companions. Yet I venture to Miss Edgeworth's, and those of not a few think that such a child as David Copperother writers. They are good without field is rare. The majority are made of adequate reason. It is neither theologi- more commonplace material. They would cally, nor as a matter of daily experience, know better how to get on with Mr. and true that a child will become a model of Miss Murdstone. Very few boys, now. virtue if it is brought up amid circum-adays at any rate, would, even at eight or stances little favorable to goodness. nine years of age, be quite so easily im
Little Nell is a charming child; but posed on by a waiter as to allow him to eat little Nell is utterly unlike ordinary chil-their dinner without uttering a word of dren. I admit the beauty and the pathos protest. I am very doubtful, too, whether of the picture; but I cannot admit that it many boys would have been quite so loveris lifelike. like to Little Emily, and have found such So, again, with regard to Paul and Flor-intense delight in Mr. Pegotty's wonderful ence Dombey. Paul is perfectly delicious; but he is weird and unearthly. The only thing which gives reality to him is the fact of his bodily weakness. With an ordinarily healthy body such a child would be an impossibility.
It seems to me that writers who leave religion out of account in its bearing on the life of a child are bound to be unreal. I quite agree with Archbishop Whately that "any direct attempt at moral teaching in a fictitious narrative will, unless managed with the utmost discretion, interfere with what, after all, is the main object of the writer of fiction, as of the poet, to please. If instruction do not join as a volunteer, she will do no good service." But to give us a character pure, noble, good, where there is no reference to principles of religion, is false to fact. Oliver Twist is a case in point. He is from an early age surrounded by evil. He is never brought under religious teaching, or religious influence; yet he is represented as the very incarnation of virtue. We owe him a debt of gratitude; he is almost the
house by the sea at Yarmouth. Still, one feels that David is real and from first to last consistent with himself, which, by the way, is more than can be said for all Dickens's characters - Ham Pegotty to wit, who, when we are first introduced to him, is little more than a half-witted, blun dering lout, but becomes before the end of the story a really magnificent fellow.
Every one will call to mind many other child-characters in the writings of Dickens. No other male writer has given us so many. In my judgment none of his children can compare with those of certain female writers of whom I must speak. I have, however, drawn attention to the prominence of children in Dickens not so much in order to discuss his success or failure in this department, as to emphasize the fact that he was one of the first of the great writers of fiction who recognized the charm and interest which children give to a book.
Thackeray has given us a few incidental touches which show how well he could have succeeded had he wished to depict
her match in other departments of fiction, whilst I do not know one who can compare with her in the absolute truth and reality of her children.
child-life. A little later Henry Kingsley, in "Ravenshoe" and "Silcote of Silcote," and still more emphatically George Mac donald, lighten their pages by delicious pictures of youthful existence; but I think Where else in literature can you find that there can be no reasonable doubt that four children each so lifelike as Tom and it is women writers who have assured the Maggie Tulliver, Lucy Deane, and poor popularity of children in fiction. I have Bob, Tom's humble friend? They stand already said that children are prominent out as clearly as trees against a golden in modern literature. It may with equal sunset. They are as real as the children certainty be affirmed that their prominence you see every day of your life. Maggie is very welcome to a large class of read- is, of course, of a type rare and seldom It is not wonderful that in this line seen, because she is gifted with genius. women should have been highly success- But compare her with David Copperfield. ful. As it is only within the present cen- He, too, was meant to be exceptionally tury, and indeed in the latter half of the gifted; but, so far as I can see, he is century, that women have themselves shadowy and unreal when brought into taken a prominent position in literature, it comparison with the absolute flesh and seems a fair inference that to them may blood of Maggie. Every throb of her be due more than to any other cause the passionate heart, every word of her often change we have noted. But I doubt unwise tongue, every deed of her erratic whether they could, without the aid of life, is true to nature. Her longing to other influences, have absolutely produced be like Lucy-fair and blue-eyed, clearthe change of feeling with regard to chil-skinned, neat and tidy, always admired, dren which has rendered their introduction never doing wrong, and yet to be herself into books popular. They may have given force and direction to the tide; they could hardly have turned it themselves. That they should succeed better than men was only natural. Close observation of childlife and memory of one's own childhood are both essential to success in producing a lifelike picture of children.
As a rule girls are more introspective than boys. They may not remember facts better; but they do remember modes of feeling more accurately. They have, or till very recently used to have, much less to distract attention from self than is the case with boys. Here and there one may meet with a quiet, thoughtful, self-questioning boy; but he is a rara avis indeed. Because she took more note of her own feelings when a child, because her memory dwells more constantly on past joys and sorrows, because she is naturally more drawn to note carefully the characteristics of children, and has more opportunity for such observation than is generally the case with men, a woman, if she does but possess that power of imagination without which observation can do little or nothing, is almost certain to realize to herself, and therefore to depict for her readers, the lives of children much better than a man. Modern literature proves that what we should à priori expect is actually the case. It is, perhaps, hardly fair to bring forward George Eliot as a proof. She was a woman of masculine mind. She had an insight into human nature given to few. Yet I think that we can find men who are fully
is essentially lifelike. She longs to be queen in the world of delight which she conjures up for herself, where love and kindness shall ever surround her, scolding, hardness, and misapprehension be unknown, but to be queen under Lucy's form. Both the vanity and the self-depreciation of such a character are absolutely true. How well, too, she is contrasted with Tom! Her impetuosity and apparent force are mere waves of the sea, which are broken by the immovable stolidity of Tom. He always knows his own mind. When he does wrong he has no violent fits of repentance. He has only done what he would do again. He knows nothing of that agonizing sense of doubt which is ever one of the trials of the imaginative nature.
What boy who has been brought up in the country does not know the charm which a lad like Bob would possess for another boy in a rather better position of life? Bob's knowledge of birds and their ways, of fishes, rats, weasels, stoats, and ferrets, his contempt for a dog that dare not tackle a rat together with his early cunning as to the ways of mankind, were sure to have a charm for a regular English boy like Tom Tulliver. Those boys may be met to-day in any English county. Even lads like poor Bob have not yet been improved off the face of the earth by School Boards and compulsory education.
Tom has a fine sense of honor. It will not permit him to allow Bob to rob him of a half-penny, though he cares nothing
for the money, any more than it will let | ture? If he had the artistic faculty of him take the biggest bit of puff when that observation so developed as to have been has fairly fallen to Maggie by the rule of able to give us the picture of the child “Choose with your eyes shut.” Pretty, slipping from the arms of the opium-overempty-headed Lucys still walk the earth come mother on to the snow, and of the girls so good that Mrs. Tulliver, with a dancing firelight, as it gleamed through the sense of the wrong done her in having a open door of Silas Marner's house, would very different sort of child in Maggie, says a man have ever thought how a child pathetically, Lucy Dean's such a good would seek to grasp what looked like a child, you may set her on a stool and there living thing, and then follow it into the she'll sit for an hour together, and never place from which it came? offer to get off.” All these children think, It would be beside my purpose to do speak, move, act like children.
more than remind my readers how Silas I am not sure, however, that the greatest Marner, when he firsi sees the golden triumph of all is not the picture of the head as it lies on the floor in front of his little one in "Silas Marner.” Who but a fire, fancies that at last his lost gold has woman would have drawn the picture of been restored; how he finds that some. Effie when her mother, the victim of opium, thing better than gold has come to his has fallen on the snow into a sleep which hearth, his home, his heart. It is in her shall pass into the long sleep of death? I insight into the moral influence of children must quote the passage verbatim :- on their elders, no less than in the minute
The complete torpor came at last; the fin- touches which render her pictures of childgers lost their tension, the arms unbent, then life so perfect, that we see the supreme the little head fell away from the bosom and excellence of George Eliot when she deals the blue eyes opened wide on the cold star with children. light. At first there was a little peevish cry It is not possible now to pass in review of Mammy," and an effort to regain the pil
. the many writers who have made children lowing arm and bosom; but mammy's ear was the cenire of attraction in their books. deaf, and the pillow seemed to be slipping This I hope to do in a future article. One away backward. Suddenly, as the child rolled point has been made clear. Whatscever downward on its mother's knees, all wet with the cause or causes which have led up to snow, its eyes were caught by a bright dancing light on the white ground, and, with the ready the result, children play a much more im. transition of infancy, it was immediately ab- portant part in the literature of the ninesorbed in watching the bright living thing teenth century than they have ever played running towards it, yet never arriving. That in literature before. Whether this is due bright living thing must be caught; and in an to the fact that they themselves are no instant the child had slipped on all fours, and longer repressed, brow-beaten, kept in the held out one little hand to catch the gleam. background, or whether their much hapBut the gleam would not be caught in that pier lives at home and at school are due way, and now the head was held up to see
to the fact that their cause has been well where the cunning gleam came from. It came from a very bright place, and the little one, lic mind, may be matter of question. The
pleaded by writers who influence the pubrising on its legs, toddled through the snow, the old grimy shawl in which it was wrapped tendency of the age is towards gentleness, trailing behind it, and the queer little bonnet kindly consideration for the weak, liberty. dangling at its back, - toddled on to the open Children have had their share in the hapdoor of Silas Marner's cottage and right up piness which that tendency fosters. Their to the warm hearth, where there was a bright elders have benefited by it in the closer fire of logs and sticks, which had thoroughiy friendship which exists between parents warmed the old sack (Silas's great-coat) and children, in the removal from many a spread out on the bricks to dry. The little home of that'stern discipline which divided one, accustomed to be left to itself for long the young from the old, in the happy conhours without notice from its mother, squatted down on the sack and spread its tiny hands sciousness that children regard them as towards the blaze in perfect contentment, friends, not tyrants. If the literature of gurgling and making many inarticulate com- our time, as can hardly be doubted, has munications to the cheerful fire, like a new- done something to bring about such rehatched gosling beginning to find itself com- sults, it has been a boon to both young fortable. But presentiy the warmth had a and old. How large a part women have lulling effect, and the little golden head sank taken in the matter will be apparent when down on the old sack, and the blue eyes were we deal with the books which have won veiled by their delicate half-transparent lids.
wide popularity because they give more Could any man have painted that pic. or less perfect pictures of child-life.
From Temple Bar. no redder now for the torrents of blood IN THE COUNTRY OF THE
that flowed into it. ALBIGENSES.
Notwithstanding that the name AlbiA LONG, dull road or street, a statue of genses was given after the Council of the navigator La Perouse, a bandstand Lombers to the new Manichæans, Albi with a few trees about it, and plain, mod. was less identified with the great religious ern buildings without character, some and political struggle of southern Gaul in larger and more pretentious than others, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries than but all upinteresting. Is this Albi? No, were Castres and other neighboring towns. but it is what appears to be so to the If, however, it was comparatively fortustranger who enters the place from the nate as regards the horrors of that ferorailway station. The ugly sameness is cious war, it was severely scourged by the what the improving spirit of our own most appalling epidemics of the Middle times has done to make the ancient town Ages. "Leprosy and the pest had terrors decent and fit to be inhabited by folk who greater even than those of battle. The have seen something of the world north of cruelty of those feudal ages finds one of its Languedoc and who have learnt to talk of innumerable records in the treatment of “ le comfortable.” The improvement is the miserable lepers at Albi. Having undoubted, but so is the absolute lack of taken the disease which the crusaders interest and charm; at least, to those who brought back from the East, they were are outside of the persiennes so uniformly favored with a religious ceremony dis. closed against the summer sun.
tressingly similar to the office for the Albi, the veritable historic Albi, lies dead. A black pall was thrown over almost hidden upon a slope that leads them while they knelt at the altar steps. down to the Tarn. Here is the marvel. At the close of the service a priest lous cathedral built in the thirteenth cen- sprinkled some earth on the condemned tury, after the long wars with the Albi- wretches, and then they were led to the genses; here is the archbishop's fortified leper-house, where each was shut up in a palace, still capable of withstanding a cell from which he never came out alive. siege if there were no artillery; here are the black pall and the sprinkled earth the old houses, one of pre-Gothic con. were symbols which every patient understruction with very broad Romanesque stood but too well. window, slender columns and storied cap- In nothing is the stern spirit of those itals, billet and arabesque mouldings, ages expressed more forcibly than in the another of the sixteenth century quite en religious buildings of Languedoc. The crusted with carved wood ; and here are cathedral of St. Cecilia at Albi is the the dirty little streets like crooked lanes, grandest of all the fortified churches of where old women, who all through the southern France, although in many others summer months, Sundays excepted, give the defensive purpose has made less contheir feet an air-bath, may be seen sitting cession to beauty. Looking at it for the on the doorsteps clutching with one bony first time, the eye is wonder-struck by its hand the distaff, and drowsily turning the originality, the nobleness of its design, and spindle with the other.
the grandeur of its mass. The plan being To live in one of these streets might that of a vast vaulted basilica without disgust the unseasoned stranger forever aisles, the walls of the nave rise sheer with southern life; but to roam through from the ground to above the roof, and are them in the early twilight is the way to pierced at intervals with lofty but very narfind the spirit of the past without search- row windows, the arches slightly pointed ing. Effort spoils the spell. Strange, and containing simple tracery. The butindeed, must have been the procession of tresses which help the walls to support races, parties, and factions that passed the vaulting of the nave and choir are the along bere between these very houses, or most remarkable feature of the design, others which stood before them. Romans, and, together with the tower, which rises Romanized Gauls, Visigoths, Saracens, in diminishing stages to the height of two and English ; the Raymonds with their hundred and sixty feet and there ends in Albigenses, the Montforts with their cru- aa embattled platform, account for the saders from the north, the wild and singularly feudal and fortress-like characsanguinary pastoureux and the lawless ter of the building. The outline of the routiers, the religious fanatics, Huguenots, buttresses being that of a semi-ellipse, and Catholics of the sixteenth century, they look like turrets carried up the entire and the Revolutionists of the eighteenth. face of the wall. The floor of the church All passed on their way, and the Tarn is is many feet above the ground, and the