« ElőzőTovább »
Fifth Series, Volume LXXXII.
No. 2549,- May 6, 1893.
Cornhill Magazine, .
TION. By Herbert Spencer. Conclu-
VII. SIR RICHARD OWEN, F.R.s., LL.D.,
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For EIGHT DOLLARS remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forTarded for a year, free of postage.
Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post office money-order, if possible. If Deither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do 80. Drafts, checks, and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.
Single copies of the LIVING AGE, 18 cents.
HERE AND THERE.
That love which now you more than half Au me, how hot and weary here in town
despise ? The days crawl by!
If I were lying silent neath the skies How otherwise they go my heart records,
I think that soon you would my name forWhere the marsh meadows lie
get. And white sheep crop the grass, and sea
“I know that I am nothing in your life, gulls sail Between the lovely earth and lovely sky. Why should an echo come if I were dead ?
At peace, and resting from all earthly strife, Here the sun grins along the dusty street Why should the memory of my words once
Beneath pale skies : Hark! spiritless, sad tramp of toiling feet, Haunt you thus after, were I no more near, Hoarse hawkers, curses, cries
But lying hush'd within my narrow bed ? Through these I hear the song that the sea sings
“Yet it is possible that some chance word, To the far meadowlands of Paradise. Spoken by other lips might wake again
The little reck'd of past, in which you O golden-lichened church and red-roofed
My voice ; and told me that my love was O long sweet days
vain. O changing, unchanged skies, straight You could not stoop unto so low a thing, dykes all gay
And counted but as dross all I could bring With sedge and water mace
Ah, death itself can never heal that pain. O fair marsh land desirable and dear How far from you lie my life's weary “No, even death can give to me no peace,
I was not made as people who forget : Yet in my darkest night there shines a star Through life and onwards, i can never
cease More fair than day; There is a flower that blossoms sweet and To know that you, who love me not, are
set white In the sad city way,
Forever in my heart; and I must stand
Within your shadow with an empty hand, That flower blooms not where the wide
Yet never deem that I can it regret. marshes gleam, That star shines only when the skies are "I am not worthy to be lov'd by you, grey.
And knowing this must bear the bitter pain For here fair peace and passionate pleasure Of feeling that my love is unto you
Only an irksome weight. Will it be vain Before the light
When we stand face to face on that far Of radiant dreams that make our lives
shore ? worth life,
Shall you turn from me then forevermore ? And turn to noon our night :
Yes, there in Heaven your love I may not We fight for freedom and the souls of men - gain."
F. P. Here, and not there, is fought and won our fight !
RAIN ON THE DOWN. “IF I WERE DEAD."
NIGHT, and the down by the sea,
And the veil of rain on the down ;
And she came through the mist and the
rain to me JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY,
From the safe warm lights of the town. “IF I were dead with tangled grass above me
The rain shone in her hair, The darkness of the grave between us set, And her face gleamed in the rain ; I sometimes wonder what your thoughts And only the night and the rain were there would be
As she came to me out of the rain. Of one who loved you so ; should you regret
From The Cornhill Magazine. with feelings of gratitude while con
templating the pedantry and affectation WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.
which mingled so largely with the It is interesting to observe that the poetry of his period ; those traditional most enthusiastic admirers of Words- artificialities of style wherein sense was worth are to be drawn, for the most so frequently sacrificed to sound from part, from the ranks of his fellow-poets, all of which Wordsworth, with his earcontemporary and following, rather nest struggle for truth, and his sturdy, than froin the ordinary lovers of poetry, uncompromising aim at reality, to whom a certain sense of incongruity much towards delivering us. not uncommonly presents itself in the It is not, however, the object of the fact of the poet's adopting, as the writer of this paper to criticise either source of his inspiration, the more com- the poet or his works, but to transcribe imon and matter-of-fact side of things for the benefit of those who may be inmundane. But to hold the mirror to terested in them some of his unpubnature as she is was precisely what the lished letters. Before me lies a large poet conceived to be his mission and number, and in turning themi over one province. He was the alchemist by is impressed by their honest simplicity whose art baser metal was turned to and directness of purpose ; their singold.
cerity and warmth of expression, and A yellow primrose was something the intense solicitude they evince for more than a yellow primrose to the eye the well-being of those to whom they which had the gift of discerving its are addressed. inner meaning; and in like manner, They also present to one's notice the common joys and sorrows of hu- other characteristics which the reader manity, albeit their pathos might be will be quick to observe. Very noticedisguised by the coarse setting of pov- able, for instance, is the complete erty, or distorted and obscured by the absence of playfulness, or anything parrow limit of human intellect, ap- approaching a sense of fun in any one pealed directly to his heart. He some of the series (there are more than where speaks of the “humbleness, forty), all written to members of the meanness, if you like, of my subject, immediate family circle, and some untogether with the homely mode of treat- der circumstances that would naturally ing it,” admitting that from motives of have given rise to a jest, a light word, policy he would often have excluded or a merry turn to a sentence, had that which, for humanity's sake, he the inclination, or, shall we say, the puts into verse and publishes.
capacity of the writer tended in any And, indeed, his whole life is a con- way in that direction. sistent record of the largest humanita- But, then, who could realize a humorrianisın, which, with his sympathy and ous Wordsworth ? Search his works fellowship with the world of nature, through and through, and the poem can be unerringly traced in almost every containing the faintest glimmer of huline of his writings. Neither elabora- mor remains yet to be discovered. It tion of ideas, nor embroidery of lan- is as well to note his peculiarity in this guage
is their main characteristic, but respect, because we at once recognize every page shine out the manly, that, had his nature been endowed with gentle soul, and the wide, comprehen- the slightest touch of appreciation for sive grasp by which he drew to himself the ludicrous, we might have been the sympathies and affections of all spared many a jangling note, many a within his range. A little child's hand, jarring discord which has clashed with a dog, an insect, a “wee, pale blossom ” the sweet music we love so well.
nothing seems to have been too small One solitary suggestion of*“ amuseor too insignificant to be the object of ment," as the poet himself puts, it,
. his tender regard.
certainly does occur in the letter first And we cannot but view Wordsworth ! quoted. It refers to some lines.after
:: 324" Some Unpublished Letters of William Wordsworth. wards published in the “ Sonnets to think it would be applied at once to Liberty and Order," and with it he your dear aunt. I own I do not see the apparently endeavors to take off the force of this objection, but if you and edge, as it were, of the sad theme Miss Fenwick, and others, should be of * touched upon in the earlier half of the the same mind, it shall be suppressed.
letter - namely, the mental affliction of It is already sent to the press, but not · liis. dearly loved sister, Dorothy. as it now stands ; if you think it may
A defect in the manuscript has oblit- be printed without impropriety, pray be erated part of the poem referring to so good as to superintend the revise this subject, but it can be found com- which I shall order the printer to send potete in the published works, together you ; this would save time, for I could with a comment added by the poet, not entrust the revise to the printer who, as it appears from the words of only. the letter, was anxious its origin should “This is sent for your amusement ; not be misunderstood. He says : - The it will go by Mr. Fleming to Cambridge sad condition of poor Mrs. Southey put for your cousin Jolin, to be printed me upon writing this. It has afforded without my name, if he thinks it worth comfort to many persons whose friends while, in the have been similarly affected."
Said Secresy to Cowardice and Fraud, -“MY DEAR DORA, Read the fol- Falsehood and Treachery, in close council
met lowing remodelling of the sonnet I addressed to S. The personalities are
Deep underground in Pluto's cabinet :
“The frost of England's pride will soon be omitted, a few lines orily retained :
thawed ; Oh, what a wreck! How changed in mien Hooded the open brow that overawed and speech!
Our schemes : the faith and honor, never · Yet, though dread Powers that work in yet mystery, spin
By us with hope encouutered, be upset. Entanglings for her brain ; though shadows For once I burst my bands, and cry “ Ap
stretch O'er the chilled heart reflect ! far, far Then whispered she, “The Bill is carrying within
out!” Hers is a holy Being, freed from sin :
They heard, and started up, the Brood of 'She is not what she seems, a forlorn wretch ;
Night But delegated Spirits comfort fetch
Clapp'd hands, and shook with glee their To her from heights that Reason may not
matted locks ; win.
All Powers and Places that abhor the light
Joined in the transport, echoed back their Only illumined by Heaven's pitying love,
shout, Love pitying innocence, not long to last,
Hurrah ! for Grote, hugging his BallotIn them, in Her, our sins and sorrows past.
box !" 6. The sonnet, as first sent you and S.
If Dora possessed political tendencies may be kept, if thought worthy, as a with a leaning towards Conservatism, it private record ; the meaning in the
may be that she was enabled to derive passage you object to is certainly not some entertainment from the rather happily brought out; if you think it ponderous levity of the above lines. better, thus, alter it :
They had reference, of course, to the ' Over the sacred heart compassion's twin, introduction of the Ballot Bill into the The heart that once could feel for every House of Commons, and so help us to wretch.
an indication as to when the letter was The thought in the sonnet as it now written; for, like most of its companstands has ever been a consolation to ions, it is undated. In the printed verme, almost as far back as I can remem- sion of the lines the word “Grote" is ber, and hope that, thus expressed, it omitted. Possibly, as Mr. Grote was a may prove so to others, makes one wish well-known author in one of the highto-print it ; but your mother seems to lest walks of literature, as well as a lead
ing politician, the insertion of his name is well judged, the sound being more was thought to be an indiscretion; in grand and solemn, whatever it may lose 1893, however, we can afford to be less in sweetness, by the want of female particular.
tones. Most of the letters being, as already “ After the funeral we walked to remarked, undated, it is not easy to Mrs. Fletcher's, the place very temptarrange them in anything like order. ing. They are expected on Saturday, The one given below, however, dates “I am pretty well, but far from hayitself by its reference to the work upon ing recovered the strength which I lost which the poet was engaged. The through several sleepless nights, the tragedy of “The Borderers” to which consequence of over, and ill-timed exhe alludes, though written in 1795, was ertion to get the Volume out before not published till 1842. Wordsworth Easter, in which attempt I failed. I am offers some sort of apology for it, in glad you like the tragedy. I was myself mentioning certain crudenesses which surprised to find the interest so kept would not have appeared in it had it up in the 4th and 5th acts. Of the been the work of a later period of his third I never doubted, and quite agree life, and remarks also that part of his with you that Herbert's speech is much object in writing it was to preserve in the finest thing in the drama ; I mean his distinct remembrance what he had the most moving, or rather, the most in observed of transition of character, and that style of the pathetic which one the reflections he had been led to make loves to dwell upon ; though I ackno.wlduring the time he was a witness of the edge it is not so intensely dramatic as changes through which the French some parts of the fifth act especially. ' Revolution passed :
" As to the first, iny only fear was
that the action was too far advanced in "MY DEAR DAUGHTER, — I cannot it. I think the scene where the Vagrant suffer the morning of my birthday to tells her false story has great merit ; it pass without telling you that my heart is thoroughly natural, and yet not comis full of you and all that concerns you. monplace nature.
" Yesterday was lovely, and this “Some of the sentiments which the morning is not less so. God grant that development of Oswald's character rewe may all have like sunshine in our quired will, I fear, be complained of as hearts as long as we remain in this too depraved for anything but biographtransient world.
ical writing. "It is about half past nine ; two 6. With affectionate remembrances to hours hence we go to pay a condoling your husband and the girls, visit to poor Fanny. Mr. Carter, James and I all attended the funeral on Mon
66 W. W: day ; it was a beautiful afternoon, the light of the declining sun glowing upon
The exquisite lines descriptive of Fairfield, as described in “The Excur- Dawson's funeral service to which he sion,' at Dawson's funeral. The Psalm here alludes are to be found in the sung before raising the coffin from its Churchyard among the Mountains,' station before the Door, and afterwards, one of the portions into which “The as the procession moved between the Excursion” is divided. They tell of trees was most touching. Mr. Green- the burial of a peasant youth, to whom wood was there and told me the name his comrades paid a soldier's honors, (which I forget) of the composer, who and as they may not be fresh in the lived two hundred years ago.
The minds of all readers, I cannot refrain music was worthy of the occasion and from quoting them : admirably given, the schoolmaster, a
At his funeral hour very respectable man, leading the four Bright was the sun, the sky a cloudlecs or five voices ; upon these occasions
blue the women do not sing, and I think that ! A golden lustre slept upon the hills ;
6. Ever yours,