Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

common

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

ence

at Morant Bay.* “ Hell had broken loose, out sound knowledge such uniform exactiand the fire must be quenched at any tude would not have been possible. He cost.” Perhaps he was right; perhaps laid the whole body of the sciences under be was wrong. The question at the time contribution — astronomy, from the nebu. produced an extraordinary cleavage among lar theory onwards; mathematics, phys. intimate friends; but, not to my knowl- ics, chemistry, geology, natural history – edge, did it produce any permanent es. drawing illustrations from all of them, trangement. Huxley and Spencer fought grinding the appropriate parts of each of like brothers under a

flag; them into paint for his marvellous pic. Hooker and myself, equally fraternal, tures. Quite as clearly as the professed under the opposite one. We surely did physicist he grasped the principle of connot love each other less afterwards be- tinuity, and saw the interdependence of cause of this temporary divergence of “parts” in the “stupendous whole." To judgment. I fervently trust that all our him the universe was not a mechanism, differences may have a similar end. but an organism - each part of it thrilling

and responding sympathetically with all "It is related,” says Dr. Garnet, " that, other parts. Igdrasil, “the Tree of Existfascinated by the grand figure of Michael ence,” was his favorite image :

“ ConsidAngelo, he (Carlyle] once announced his ering how human things circulate, each intention of writing his life.” He would inextricably in communication with all, I have thus added to his picture-gallery find no similitude so true as this of a tree. “The Hero as Artist.” Carlyle would Beautiful; altogether beautiful, and great. have found “The Hero as Man of Sci. The Machine of the Universe,' — alas,

a more fitting theme. He had do but think of that in contrast!"* Other mastered the “ Principia,” and was well penetrative minds have made us familiar aware of the vast revolutionary change with the “ Social Organism,” but Carlyle wrought, not in science only, but in the saw early and utilized nobly the beauty whole world of thought, by the theory of and the truth of the metaphor. gravitation. The apparently innocent In the month of May, 1840, the foregostatement that every particle of mattering words were spoken. Harking back to attracted every other particle with a force 1831, we find him at Craigenputtock, drawwhich was a function of the distance being this picture : “ As I rode through the tween them, carried the mind away from Schwarzwald I said to mysell: That little the merely falling atoms of Epicurus and fire which glows star-like across the darkLucretius to conceptions of molecular growing moor, where the sooty smith forces. By their aid we look intellectually bends over his anvil, and thou hopest into the architecture of crystals. But the to replace thy lost horseshoe - is it a inquiring spirit of man cannot stop there. detached, separated speck, cut off from It now recognizes, with what ultimate the whole universe ; or is it indissolubly results we know not, the all-potent play joined to the whole? Thou fool, that of molecular forces in the animal and smithy-fire was primarily kindled at the vegetable organisms. Without, however, sun." [Joule and Mayer were scientifitrenching upon these points, which he cally unborn when these words were writsaw as in a glass darkly, he would have ten.] He continues :

“ Detached, sepa. found in Newton or Boyle an appropriate rated! I say there is no such separation; subject. Had he taken either of them in nothing hitherto was ever stranded, cast hand he would undoubtedly have turned aside ; but all, were it only a withered out an impressive figure. Boyle especially leaf, works together with all, and lives would, I imagine, have appealed to his through perpetual metamorphoses.” With sympathies and love.

its parts in “æterne alternation"the world The mistake, not unfrequently made, of presented itself to the mind of Carlyle. supposing Carlyle's mind to be unscien-“The drop which thou shakest from thy tific, may be further glanced at here. The wet hand rests not where it falls, but toscientific reader of his works must have morrow thou findest it swept away; alnoticed the surprising accuracy of the ready on the wings of the north-wind it is metaphors he derived from science. With nearing the Tropic of Cancer. How came "I may here say that when speaking to Governor

it to evaporate and not lie motionless ? Eyre upon the subject, he declared to me that he knew | Thinkest thou there is ought motionless; as little, at the time, about the floggings of women and without Force and utterly dead ?”+ Such other cruelties, as I did. But though he might have mitigated the severity of the verdict against himself, by shifting the odium on to his subordinates, he refused to • Heroes and Hero-Worship, Library Edition, p. 25. do so, and accepted all the blame.

† Sartor Resartus, Library Edition, pp. 68, 69. VOL. LXIX. 3558

LIVING AGE.

[ocr errors]

passages — and they abound in his writ- their common sympathy. It was the sci. ings — might justify us in giving Carlyle ence which, in its claims, overstepped its the credit of poetically, but accurately, warrant - professing to explain every,

,

foreshadowing the doctrine of the conser- thing, and to sweep the universe clear of vation of energy. As a physiologist de mystery, that was really repugnant to scribes the relation of nerve to muscle, le Carlyle. hits off the function, and the fate, of dem. Here a personal recollection comes into agogues in revolutionary times: “Record view which, as it throws a pleasant light of their thought remains not; death and on the relations of Carlyle and Darwin, darkness have swept it out utterly. Nay, may be worth recording. Like many

other if we had their thought, all that they could noble ladies, Lady Derby was a warm have articulately spoken to us, how insig. friend of Carlyle; and once, during an nificant a fraction were that of the thing entire summer, Keston Lodge was placed which realized itself, which decreed itself, by Lord Derby at Carlyle's disposal. on signal given by them !” Thus, a howl. From the seat of our common friend Sir ing Marat, or a sea.green Robespierre was John Lubbock, where we had been staying, able to unlock forces infinitely in excess the much-mourned William Spottiswoode of his own.

and myself once walked over to the lodge It was not the absence of scientific to see Carlyle. He was absent; but as power and precision, so much as the over- we returned we met him and his niece, the whelming importance which Carlyle as- present Mrs. Alexander Carlyle, * driving cribed to ethical considerations and influ- home in a pony carriage. I had often ences, that determined his attitude towards expressed to him the wish that he and natural science. The fear that moral Darwin might meet; for it could not be strength might be diminished by Darwin's doubted that the nobly candid character doctrine accounts for such hostility as he of the great naturalist would make its due showed to the “Origin of Species." We impression. The wish was fulfilled. He had many calm and reasonable conversa- met us with the exclamation : "Well, I tions on this and kindred subjects; and I have been to see Darwin.” He paused, could see that his real protest was against and I expressed my delight. Yes,” he being hemmed in. He demanded a larger added, "I have been to see him and a area than that offered by science for spec- more charming man I have never met in ulative action and its associated emotion. my life.” “Yes, Friends,” he says in “ Sartor," not our Logical, Mensurative faculty, The sad years rolled on, and I began at but our Imaginative one is King over length to notice a lowering of his power us."* Worship he defined as “transcen- of conversation, and a tendency to somnodent wonder;" and the lifting of the heart lence, which contrasted strongly with the by worship was a safeguard against moral brisk and fierce alacrity of foriner times. putrefaction. Science, he feared, tended On one occasion when I called, this was to destroy this sentiment. I may remark specially noticeable. He was seated behere that, as a corrective of superstition, fore the fire, with Mr. Browning † for his science, even when it acts thus, is alto- companion. We entered into conversation gether salutary. But preoccupation alone which, in Carlyle's case, was limited to could close the eyes of the student of the answering of a question addressed to natural science to the fact that the long him now and then. I was aware of the line of his researches is, in reality, a line poet's habit of early rising, and of his strung with wonders. There are free- hard work, and I wished to know sonie. thinkers who imagine themselves able to thing of the antecedents of so strenuous sound with their penny twine-balls the and so illustrious a life. Mr. Browning's ocean of immensity. With such Carlyle father and grandfather came thus to be had little sympathy. He was a free-spoken of. Carlyle seemed at length to thinker of wiser and nobler mould. The rouse himself. Browning,"

" he said, “ it miracles of orthodoxy were to him, as to was your ancestor that broke the boom his friend Emerson, “ Monsters." To both stretched across the Foyle, and relieved of them “ the blowing clover and the fall- Derry, when the city was besieged by ing rain” were the true miracles. NapoJeon gazing at the stars, and gravelling his

To whom he was indebted not only for her affecsavants with the question: “ Gentlemen, tionate care of his health, but occasionally, in later who made all that?" commended itself to years, for wise counsel where his own faltering judg.

ment might have led him wrong.

† Vigorous, when this page was written ; now, alas! * Book III., Symbols.

no more.

[ocr errors]

а

a

We re

James's army.” He named the ship. I thought desirable to make the funeral as “Surely

, not,” I said, it was the Dart- quiet and as simple as possible. Lecky, mouth. In saying this, I relied more Froude, and myself formed a small deleupon songs committed io memory in boy- gation from London. We journeyed tohood,* than upon historical knowledge. gether northwards, halting at Carlisle for Carlyle was right. The relief of Derry is the night. Snow was on the ground next described by Macaulay, who has given morning as we proceeded by rail to the honor to whom honor is due.

station of Ecclefechan. Here we found One other trivial item, almost the last, the hearse powdered over by the frozen may be here set down. In his days of shower of the preceding night. Through visible sinking, I took down to him a small the snow-slop we walked to Mainhill, the supply of extremely old pale brandy from farmhouse where Carlyle, in 1824, comthe stores of Justerini and Brooks, to-pleted the translation of “Wilhelm Meisgether with a few of the best cigars that I ter." It may have been the state of the could find. On visiting him subsequently, weather, but Mainhill seemed to me nar. I found that he had hardly touched either row, cold, humid, uncomfortable. the one

or the other. Thinking them turned to Ecclefechan, I taking shelter for worth a trial, I mixed some brandy and a time in the signal-room of the station. water in a tumbler, and placing a cigar Here I conversed with the signal-man, an between his fingers, gave him a light. The intelligent fellow, who seemed wishful that vigor of his puffs astonished me; his I should know that Mr. James Carlyle, strength as a smoker seemed unimpaired. who was still amongst them, was fit to take With the view of supporting him, I placed rank in point of intellect with his illustrimyself on the sofa behind him. After a ous brother. At the appointed hour we time, putting aside the half-consumed joined the carriage procession to the cigar, he drank off the brandy and water, churchyard. There, without funeral rite and with a smile gleaming in his eye,tor prayer, we saw the coffin which conremarked, " That's well over.” Soon after- tained the body of Carlyle lowered to its wards he fell asleep. Quietly relinquish last resting-place. So passed away one ing my position as pillow, I left him in of the glories of the world. slumber. This, to the best of my recollection, was the last time I saw Thomas Carlyle. The disintegration of the firm masonry

From Murray's Magazine. went rapidly on, and at length the noble tower fell. Carlyle died on the 5th of February, 1881.

THE DEBUT OF MISS THOMPSON. Immediately afterwards I was visited by Mr. Froude, who came to inform me of It was between five and six o'clock in the arrangements made for the funeral. the morning; the sun was up, and so were In touching language he described the most of the four million inhabitants of placid beauty of the dead man's face, con- London, the lives of most of the four miltrasting it with the stern grandeur of Mrs. lions being spent in hard labor. A numerCarlyle's countenance in her last sleep. ically insignificant minority had just gone The brave and sympathetic Stanley wished to bed, and were taking repose after the to have him in Westminster Abbey, but toils of the night, for they also labor hard this Carlyle had steadily declined. Troops after their fashion at certain seasons of of friends from all accessible places would the year. Two of them, however, were have reverently made their way to the still sitting up talking, and were not a bit burial-ground of Ecclefechan, but it was sleepy, nor even tired. For these two

young women had, for the first time in * The strophe on which my opinion was founded their lives, been taking part in a very grand

ball. Moreover, as the ball in question “The Dartmouth spreads her snow-white sail, Her purple pendant flying 0,

had been given by the parents of one of While we the dauntless heroes hail,

them and as the other was strikingly handWho saved us all from dying 0."

some, it is scarcely necessary to add that marked to me that Carlyle's beard, by hiding the grimly they had taken a very active part in it set mouth, greatly improved his aspect. “His eye was indeed. Probably no girl, unless she have

A comparison of the frontispiece been so unhappy as to lack partners, feels of “ Heroes and Hero-Worship Resartus” (library editions) will illustrate Mr. Donne's tired after her first ball. One of these meaning and justify his observation.

the strikingly handsome one, who was tall

MARCIA.

CHAPTER I.

runs thus:

t I think it was the late Mr. Donne who once re

tender and sweet."

with that of “Sartor

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

amusing

and dark, and had that appearance of “ Didn't it occur to his friends that I health and good spirits which is in itself might be paying him rather a marked beauty — said,

compliment by allowing him to spoil three " I should like to begin this moment and dances for me? However, I admit that it do it all over again. Shouldn't you ?”. was an involuntary compliment, and it

“Well — not quite," answered her com shall not be repeated. The truth is that panion, a plump little brown-haired, brown. I hadn't the presence of mind to refuse eyed maiden, who might just be called when he asked me. This is what comes pretty, because she was so young and had of being both shy and benevolent." such a pleasant, good-humored face, but Miss Beaumont laughed; perhaps she whose prettiness was not of the kind did not think that either attribute was spewhich outlasts many seasons. “ You see, cially characteristic of her friend. I had to dance with a good many people Well,” she said, “if Mr. Brett had whom I didn't want to dance with, and asked me to dance only once, I should who most likely didn't want to dance with have felt much honored. He may not be me; that rather spoilt the first part of it. very young, or very beautiful, or even very The last two hours were nice enough.'

" It was all perfectly glorious from start “ He isn't the least bit amusing,” interto finish,” Miss Marcia Thompson de-jected Marcia. clared. “What nonsense the people talk “But he sets a high value upon himself, who say that London ball-rooms are too and that, of course, makes his attentions crowded to dance in! Perhaps other ball. flattering. Some day, when he is lord rooms aren't as large as yours, though ?" chancellor, you will perhaps look back she added, with an apprehensive glance at upon this evening with pride.” her friend.

“Oh, bother him and his attentions ! ” " I believe there are plenty_larger," returned Marcia. “By the time that he answered Laura Beaumont. “ The diffi. lord chancellor I shall be dead, I trust. culty, it seems, isn't so much want of I don't see what there can be to live for space as want of men who can dance and after one is forty - or even after one is will dance.'

thirty,” she added, with a sigh. “Well, there were enough of them to- Marcia Thompson agreed with certain night,” remarked Miss Marcia, with a profound philosophers that the whole aim, retrospective smile of satisfaction. object, and meaning of life is the attain.

You found enough of them, no doubt, ment of happiness, and, although she was and I dare say you always will. By the aware that happiness may be attained by way, you ought to be congratulated upon diverse methods, she did not make the one conquest you have made in the person mistake of imagining that she herself of Mr. Brett."

could ever be happy unless she was loved. “Who? Oh, that old thing? I didn't Moreover, she was persuaded — whether know I had made a conquest of him, and rightly or wrongly that nobody would I don't see what there is to congratulate care very much about her after her phys. me about in it if I have. He isn't much ical charms should have faded. It is, at of a dancer."

any rate, certain that her physical charms “Isn't he? Well, at all events, he isn't had caused her to be beloved by many an old thing. He is a rising young bar- persons of both sexes who possibly might rister – in fact, he is already a risen one; not otherwise have been attracted to her. only he is to rise still higher, everybody “ Miss Thompson,” her old schoolmis. says. He is going to be solicitor-general, tress had said to her in the course of a or' attorney-general, or something of that valedictory interview, “ you cannot but be sort, when he has had a little more experi. conscious that you have a beautiful face. ence.”

Beauty, my dear, is a gift of God, like I suppose that won't make him waltz rank and wealth and intellect, and we, who any better, will it ? "

possess none of these things, are not “ No, but it will add to his distinction, sincere if we pretend to underrate them. which is considered to be very great even See, however, that you make a good use

He hardly ever goes to balls, and of what has been given to you, and re. when he does he usually retires after member that it must inevitably expose standing for about ten minutes in the door- you to dangers and temptations. I am way. At least, so I am told; and now you glad to think that you have the safeguard can understand why his friends thought of a kind heart." he was paying you a marked compliment This was handsome on the part of the by dancing with you three times." old lady, and was tolerably true into the

[ocr errors]

66

now.

bargain. That her well-meant platitudes | were occasionally in the wrong. In pri. should produce much effect upon a young vate, as in public life, he had contrived to. girl who was about to be launched into make himself respected, admired, and to society was hardly to be expected; but some extent feared; though how or why Marcia really did not intend to make any he had done so would be difficult to exbad use of her advantages. She proposed, plain. He was a tall, spare, middle-aged indeed, to use them, as she always had man with a smooth.shaven face, clear-cut. used them, for the subjugation of the features, and thin lips, which rarely smiled; hearts of others; but that did not prove his conversation was not brilliant, he had her own to be an unkind one. Hitherto no high connections, nor was there any her conquests had been of a very innocent reason, save his eminence in his profes. description, and it may be taken as re. sion (which could hardly be called a suffidounding to her credit that she was adored cient one), for his being admitted into the by her school companions ; yet one may best houses in London. Yet he was so doubt whether she would have achieved admitted, and he refused more invitations so large a measure of popularity without than he accepted, and he did not always her beautiful face and her pretty little trouble himself to be civil to his entertainways.

ers, which naturally made them take a Chief among her school friends had good deal of pains to be civil to him. His always been Laura Beaumont, with whose manner with Marcia was not quite the hospitable parents she had spent more same as it was with the rest of the world. than one happy vacation. For Marcia She knew that, although she had bad so was an orphan, with no near relations, and few opportunities of observing his manner her guardians, who were business men re- with the rest of the world, and the distincsiding in Liverpool, were only too glad to tion flattered her vanity if it did not preplace her temporarily under the wing of so cisely touch her heart. His voice changed unexceptionable a chaperon as Mrs. Beau- when he addressed her; he was evidently mont. Still more glad were they when, anxious to interest her; and he succeeded, on the completion of Marcia's education, though perhaps not quite after the fashion the same good-natured lady offered to in which he had intended to succeed. For bring her out with her own daughter, to the rest, he did not hesitate to put direct present her at court, to take her into soci. questions to her about her tastes and am

-as the guardians fondly hoped bitions, nor was he at all lenient in his to find a suitable husband for her. criticisms on her replies. Well, it ought not to be difficult, they “Oh, but you can't live simply for thought, to find a suitable husband for a amusement,” he said, in answer to one of girl who was extremely good-looking and her remarks,“ nobody can do that. Some had a pice little fortune of her own. Somen that is, if they have large properMarcia was now installed in Grosvenor ties or keep racing stables or something Place for the season, and the ordeal of of that kind — may make their amuseher first drawing-room was a thing of the ments a sort of substitute for work; but I past, and it only remained to her to amuse don't see how women can. You would herself to the best of her ability, which never be able to persuade yourself that it in that direction was considerable. She was your sole mission in life to attend did not think that it would amuse her at balls and dinners and evening parties.” all to flirt with Mr. Brett; and when, some “What should you think was my mis. days after this, Laura informed her that sion in life, Mr. Brett ?." inquired Marcia, the future lord chancellor was coming to turning her large dark eyes upon her dinner, she only made a face, saying that neighbor. she hoped he would not take her in. « The same as that of other women, I However, he did take her in, and, in spite imagine. If you marry -as you cer. of herself, she was somewhat impressed tainly will -- it will be your mission to be and overawed by him.

a good wife and mother. Which implies A good many people of greater impor- a good many hours of daily work.” tance and experience than Miss Thomp. I suppose so," returned Marcia, with son were overawed by Eustace Brett at a grimace.

The moral of that seems to that period of his life. Judges, it was be that I had better amuse myself while I said, were a little frightened of him, for can.” be was not only a clever and effective ad. The man was doubtless a prig, possibly vocate, but a good lawyer, and he had an also a little impertinent; yet he impressed awkward way of being always in the right, her. His style of making love (for that whereas their lordships, like other mortals, lhe meant to make love was obvious) was

ety, and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

« ElőzőTovább »