Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;

Cui lecta potenter erit res Huge trunks, and each particular trunk'a Nec facundia deseret hunc, nec lucidus ordo.

growth Of intertwisted fibres serpentine,

His theory, on the other hand, shows Up-coiling and inveterately convolved ; him to have been under the impression Nor uninformed with Phantasy, and looks that he merely chose to express himself in That threaten the profane; a pillared shade verse in order to give a certain additional Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown hue, charm to his thought, and that he purBy sheddings from the pining umbrage tinged posely selected a style of diction approach. Perennially — beneath whose sable roof Of boughs, as if for festal purpose decked

ing as nearly as possible to the manner of With unrejoicing berries — ghostly Shapes

prose. And, no doubt, this sufficiently May meet at noontide; Fear and trembling describes his case in his uninspired moHope,

ments, which are frequent enough. But Silence and Foresight; Death the Skeleton, when the “afflatus” is upon him it turns And Time the Shadow; there to celebrate, his genius naturally into ancient tradi. As in a natural temple scattered o'er

tional channels of expression, and prompts With altars undisturbed of mossy stone, bim, like all great poets, to develop metriUnited worship; or in mute repose

cal movements which certainly did not To lie and listen to the mountain flood

originate with himself. His use of the Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost caves.

ballad form, for instance, was largely due

Ancient These lines, read in the light of his the. to the publication of Percy's ory, seem to me to suggest vividly the Relics;” Bowles had previously revived source of Wordsworth's greatness and

and popularized the use of the sonnet; weakness as a poet. His formulated creed Wordsworth's style of writing blank verse

is unmistakably his own, but no one can was that the imaginative mind, by an act

read his lines on “ Yew-Trees” without of meditation, can make any subject, how. ever trivial

, poetical. But his practice perceiving how greatly he was influenced proves that a poet only writes poetically by Milton, while at other times the examwhen he is under an overmastering ex.

ple of Cowper seems not to have been

without its effect. ternal influence, directing his mind to a subject congenial to bis powers. The

Again, Wordsworth in his theory lay's

the foundations of poetry in the percep. yew-trees that inspired the ove noble verses were certainly not such an object best work is based on universal associa

tions of the individual poet. But all his “as will be found in every village,” nor could any “meditative and feeling mind” tions, and its merit comes from the beauty emotions they excite. No: the forces that his which have taken the deepest root in have given such splendid utterance to the of the form in which a general feeling is.

expressed. If one recalls those poems of made Wordsworth a poet were far differ the national mind, the "Ode on Immorent from those conscious reasonings on man and society of which he gives an ac- the Feast of Brougham Castle ;” “ The

tality;” “Lucy Gray;” “ The Song at count in “The Prelude:” his inspiration sprang from mysterious sources which, as of which “ Westminster Bridge” and “It

Boy of Windermere ; ” numerous sonnets, he shows us in the first book of his curi

. is a beauteous evening calm and free” ous metrical autobiography, had been un. consciously pouring images into his mind types; and such characteristic lines as from his earliest childhood. The reli. The light that never was on sea or land, gious ideas excited by the unseen life of The consecration and the poet's dream; nature, the sublime outlines of mountain and valley, the blending of wood and water, the changes of light and shadow, Love had he found in huts where poor men the spirit-like movements of birds, the simple manners and passions of the peas. The silence that is in the starry sky;

His daily teachers had been woods and rills; antry, mingled so suggestively with the

The sleep that is among the lonely hills, historic monuments of the past, these were the romantic fountains at which other one is aware immediately that the poet has poets had drunk in passing, but to wbich put into the best possible form of musical Wordsworth was constantly returning for words a feeling which had hitherto been deep draughts of inspiration.

lying chaotically indistinct in the heart. When he is completely under the direc. Wordsworth's genius moved with a large tion of bis muse he illustrates as happily and expanding power in the midst of a as any man the truth of Horace's observa- society accustomed to town life, limited, tion,

refined, highly artificialized, and exclu


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sively occupied with the contemplation of canons of criticism, which had prevailed its own manners; he extended men's so- through that century, he commiited himcial ideas by showing with unsurpassed self in theory, and often in practice, to power what beautiful, pathetic, and sub- principles destructive of art. He held lime associations were connected with the that the sources of poetry lay solely in natural life of their country. Hence, in the mind of the poet himself, and that, so far as he was genuinely a poet, the lib- therefore, the poet's imagination could eralizing influence he exerted on literature elevate any subject so as to make it proper was, in the deepest and truest sense, con- for treatment in metrical language. Pushservative.

ing his theory to its logical conclusion, he On the other hand, his solitary habits maintained, moreover, that, as subjects led him in theory, and often in practice, to for poetry could be picked up almost at principles which, as far as the art of po- random, there was no essential distinction etry is concerned, may be called thor: between the language of poetry and prose; oughly Jacobinical. Perpetually occupied whereas the practice of all classical powith the contemplation of his own mind, etry points to the fact that, there being he forgot that it was said that those who certain subjects which cannot be so well measure themselves by themselves and expressed in prose as in verse, the poeticompare themselves with themselves are cal diction in which these are clothed fol. not wise. Incessant introspection in lows a law and order peculiar to itself. creased his intellectual arrogance and im- Of the influence of Wordsworth on paired bis judgment. He could not ap. contemporary verse I shall hope to say preciate the genius of others who had more in a future paper, in which I shall written as well of men and society as he attempt to estimate the prospects of po. had written of external nature; and when etry. Meantime it will be sufficient to Scott sent him his edition of Dryden, he conclude with expressing my opinion that avows in his letter of acknowledgment the doctrine that choice of subject is an that he considers the latter to be no poet. unimportant consideration has given an Everything, however, that passed into his impulse to two contrary movements in the own mind appeared to him to become art. On the one hand it has led to a fre. possible material for poetry. He never quent neglect of the laws of poetical form, said to himself, “ Tais toi, Jean Jacques, so that one constantly meets with volumes on ne t'entend pas ;” but imagined that of verse in which it would seem that the each experience interesting to himself thought might have been much better would be of equal interest to the world. expressed in prose. On the other hand, This overweening estimate of his own it has produced a remarkable reaction. genius caused him to undervalue tradition, if subject is nothing, form, it is argued, and, as far as he could, to obliterate and must be everything; and the principle is level the distinctions which the practice of illustrated in practice by writers possess. the best poets had created between the ing great gifts of melodious and fluent style of poetry and prose.

expression. The consequence is that Summarized briefly, what I have en modes of metrical diction are in fashion, deavored to establish in the present and more arbitrarily opposed to the common in the preceding papers comes to this. usage, and indeed to the common sense, Reason shows that there are certain sub- of society than even the style of Darwin, jects as incapable of just expression in which Wordsworth so cordially detested. metrical language as others are by the arts

WILLIAM JOHN COURTHOPE. of painting, sculpture, and music. Expe. rience proves that the sources of all great poetry are to be sought far back in the history, traditions, and religion of a peo

From The Sunday Magazine. ple; and the history of English literature further indicates that the stream of na: tional creative imagination flows from two main sources, the poetry of romance and AUTHOR OF " OCCUPATIONS OF A RETIRED Life, the poetry of manners. Wordsworth's great and truly conservative achievement consists in his having given to the poetry of romance, the existence of which during the eighteenth century had come to be Through the day, doctors came and almost forgotten, a large and surprising went at Mr. Sandison's summons, but he development. But in his hatred of the himself was not visible, and poor Kirsty,









coming down-stairs on divers errands, was be into the charnel-house of dead hopes Tom Ollison's only source of information. that could never be. She reported that “Mrs. Allan had had a ' Ay, I have been very foolish," broke stroke," and later on, " that it was little out Peter Sandison. “I need not tell you likely she would ever be about again,” the tale. I dare say you have heard as though, they said, "there was no danger much of it as needs be. I am not the first for the present.”

man - and I fear I shall not be the last In the twilight Mr. Sandison came into - who has lost his sight of God, and his the parlor, where Tom was seated rather joy in God's world because – he had forlornly: He laid his land on the young happened to fall in love with the wrong man's shoulder, with a strong and yet a woman!" half-caressing grasp:

The sadness and pain of a lifetime was “Come with me,” he said; “we will crystallizing, as in true hearts they always have no more secrets in this house. We do crystallize, sooner or later, intó humor. will let the fresh air blow through every A good deal of heartbreak goes to the place, as God means it shall, and as it making of epigram. The human mind always must, at last.”

throws out its sparks, as metals do, beHe led the way up-stairs. He opened neath hard blows. one of those mysterious doors – no longer “But do me justice, Tom,” he went on. locked - and went straight into the room. “ I never meant to make a dramatic senSeeing that Tom hesitated on the thresh- sation in closing up these rooms. In the old, he turned and said, “Come in, come first day of my disappointment I locked in."

them up in sheer disheartenment and bit. What little daylight was still lingering terness, and then I could not bear to face outside found now free access to the apart-them again, and deferred doing so, and ment, for the white blinds, ashen with age, then there seemed no reason why I should, which had bitherto shut out any obtrusive and then it seemed easiest to let them lie gaze on the part of inquisitive opposite as they were, since the rest of the house neighbors, were at last drawn up. The amply sufficed my needs. I knew that windows themselves, too, had evidently even if they were never opened in my lifebeen open for some time, but the gentle time, they would tell little to those who breezes of a calın spring day had not yet would come after me. But what a waste sufficed wholly to dispel the ancient, stag. it has been! Somebody ought to have nant atmosphere, and perhaps it was very made a home out of those rooms all these well that the fading light was merciful to years. A house which is hindered from the dimness and dust of years of neglect. producing a home is as great a wrong to What did Tom see?

humanity as is a field which is kept from Tom saw only what, to a heart which producing food." has power to understand it, is ever the There was silence. Mr. Sandison re. most tragic sight of any: the signs of a sumed: hopeful, cheerful, ordinary life, which has “ About that poor soul up-stairs, Tom, been suddenly arrested by some great I need not say anything. She never knew blow, some awful agony. He saw nothing that I was her son till she evidently found but a pretty little apartment, prepared with it out this morning: I was a desolate in. care and taste, and full of those touches fant, Tom, as desolate as was poor Fred, which betray a strong human interest. the shopboy. And in mature life I sought There was a stand filled with flower.pots out my mother, for I could not believe in the central window, wherein the dead that she had really intended all that had plants stood like skeletons. There were come upon me.

I found her poor and pictures on the walls, beautiful steel en- helpless, but fenced in by strong barriers gravings — there was one of these stand from the shame and reproach of her old ing on a chair, with the hanging.cord sin. O Tom, I could not bear that my drawn through its rings, but not yet words should fling it back upon her, that kootted. This was Landseer's touching my hand should tear down the barriers of presentment of the faithful dog resting credit and respect behind which she had its bead on its dead master's coffin. Peter entrenched herself. I thought if I once Sandison had put it out of his hands, all had her in my house, that during years those years ago, that he might open a leto and years of close acquaintance, there ter which was brought to him – a letter would come some softer moment - the whose mercenary falsehood and perfidy vaguest expression of some regretful bad closed those rooms from that day to yearning. Ah, Tom !” this, turning the happy home that was to The infinite pain in the tone of those


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last words was his sole expression of the “ And it is wonderful how many lights completeness of his disappointment. come out in dark places, when one tries Tom said nothing. What was there to to follow that out. The great doubts and be said ? The young man's mind went agonies of the human heart cannot be met back to poor Grace's early confidences, by anytlıing but the great facts and expeand to the mingled feelings they had riences of human life. You must have aroused within himself.

noticed that it is only quite lately that I And I lost God,” said Mr. Sandi. have taken to reading the Gospels, and son in a quiet, even voice. As he spoke, have left off going over the Proverbs of Tom looked up at him, and their eyes met. Solomon, and nothing but the Proverbs, Perhaps there was some question in those every night, getting through the whole of the younger man. • And so I lost book once every month? I dare say, after God,” Mr. Sandison repeated. “I cannot what Grace said, you thought I chose that say I ever ceased to believe in him, but I book as being the most practical, or as lost him. Does a poor child cease to be some people would call it, the worldliest,' lieve in his father, when he misses him in in the Bible ?" a crowded street, and takes the wrong Tom smiled. turning, and goes wailing along among “In a way, I did so," Mr. Sandison the strangers who give little notice to him conceded. “I knew that you had learned or his trouble ?"

the Scriptures from your youth up, and Tom could not help reflecting how it that nothing in them could be new to you, was those who had been “infidel” in the as mere matter of fact or literature. And deepest sense, unfaithful to all the claims I knew, by what I had gone through my. of dutiful love and service, who had been self, that you would presently get interthe readiest, and the barshest, in calling ested in all sorts of intellectual problems tbis man

“atheist.” O poor Grace Allan ! about the evidence of miracles, about O unhappy Mrs. Brander !

the precise nature of inspiration, about “I had gone rather deeply into theology the puzzle of unfulfilled prophecy, and in my young days,” Mr. Sandison went such like difficulties - all difficulties

My head had asked many questions, which our minds must grapple with, acwithout answers to which my intellect cording to the lights of our generation, would not rest satisfied. But I found that but on which each new generation gensort of satisfaction would not serve ine erally throws new lights, showing the here. One cannot feed one's heart on lights of the generations preceding to abstractions, however logical or poetical. have been but darkness.

I wanted your It was a Father and a Friend whom ! faith to find instinctively a wider basis, so wanted; a Father whose very face would that fluctuating opinions on any subject satisfy me – a Friend who would walk might disturb it no more than the rooted with me and take council with me over tree is disturbed by the summer breeze every step of my way."

which lightly stirs its branches. I wanted “ These are the longings of all hearts,” to bring home to you, that divine wisdom said Tom gently,

has a strong and sure hand in the conduct “There seemed no such Father, and no of this present life, for that is our best such Friend for me,” pursued Mr. Sandi- reason for trusting it to lead us through

" And the world' I lived in seemed the mists and up the heights. The prophas if it could not have been inade and ecies of the Proverbs are not unfulfilled; managed by such an one. Tom Ollison, for we see them worked out in weal or what I am about to say I could say to few, woe in our own lives, and in every life but I think you may understand me. i within our range.” had lost God; I had lost all reflection of “I have felt as you do, sir," said Tom, him in the human faces round me - per- " that the most satisfactory answers of haps only because I had looked for him the intellect are no help to the doubts of most where I was least likely to find him. the heart. But I don't think I could have And then it came into my mind that all I got help while standing apart, as you could do, was to try to do my utmost to seemed to stand, sir.” act as I should like to think God would “ Ab!” cried Mr. Sandison, “there it act if he was living

in the is! There are some who seem only able to world to-day.”

find God by going out into the wilderness; " He who willeth to do God's will, he and we may notice that these hermits were shall know of Christ's teaching," quoted generally men of peculiar history and of Tom, in an undertone.

peculiar character.

Nor do I suppose “Ay!” said Mr. Sandison fervently. I they themselves ever dreamed that their


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recluse habits had any of the special sanc- tuted a white counterpane, which she had tity which those who admired their final found in the linen closet to which she had goodness were too ready to attach to been given free access; and over the foot them. Those habits were simply a terri. of the couch she had thrown, for added ble need to those men an heroic cure warmth, a coarse scarlet blanket. for greater loss and evil; and their stories "If the poor thing can't speak and can't show us that this cure worked by way of hear,” said Kirsty, speaking audibly as healing them enough to make them sus- she went about the room, “then there's ceptible to some gentle touch which led the more occasion she should see what's them gradually back to as much human pleasant. And there's the master to con. fellowship as it was possible for them to sider, too. And this is the master's mothbear." He paused. Tom,” he said pres. er, it seems, and there's been terrible ently, "you don't know how much good trouble of some sort. The world's full of you did me when you didn't shun me be trouble, and there's always somebody's cause of the report you heard. And again, wickedness at the bottom of it. I think when I found that your faithfulness to the master will let me stay and nurse the your father's friend could outweigh the poor old lady: This house is just a heaven charms of the pleasant life at Stockley. to me. Oh! what a fool I was to think And again, by sundry true words you nothing was so good as pleasure and spoke on sundry occasions. Tom, as I finery; and what a price I've paid for my looked into your frank young face, I caught folly! I wonder if I'll ever want to be again a reflection of the countenance of bad again ? I'm feared I should, if I was the divine Father and Friend.” Mr. San- in sight o' folks like the Branders, so I dison said this in a slow, dry tone, as if suppose that shows I've not really learned the utterance were difficult. Strong emo. a bit of wisdom yet - except it may be tion scarcely dares to filter itself through that I'd have sense to keep out of the way speech, lest speech give way before it. of such like. How different it might have

Tom understood him far too well to been if I'd gone to that watchmaker's breathe a single word. They sat in si. quiet house in Edinburgh! And what's lence for a long time — till the twilight to become of poor Hannah? When the faded into darkness, and there was noth- master said that if I'd stay and do the ing but the dull glimmer of a street lamp nursing he'd get somebody for the house. to dimly reveal the outline of their figures work I could not help thinking of her, but and of the furniture.

I daren't mention her, for she can't be Mr. Sandison was the first to break the trusted to keep from the drink for two spell. He rose up, saying cheerfully, hours together." "Well, the house is open now. Let God's Wben Kirsty saw the master coming breeze blow through it, and God's sun into the room, she rose from her low seat shine brighten it, and let us watch pa- by the fire, and passed quietly out. tiently to see what living seeds they will Mr. Sandison carried in one hand the bear into it, and bring to blossom within big Bible, which he had brought up from

the dining-room. In the other hand he He was speaking half of the closed-up had an inkstand, and behind his ear there and desolate rooms, and half of his own was a pen.

He laid the book on the table closed-up, desolate heart, of which they beside the invalid. He did not look at had been but the result and the type. her as he did so. She gave a deep groan.

That night, before Mr. Sandison went He opened the volume, turning to the to rest, he stole up to the room where the fly-leaves, between whose severed pages aged woman lay, in her strange life-in-lay the few old papers which that morning death.

had wrought such bavoc in a lifetime's Grace's room had always been comfort. hypocrisy: He took them up, one by one, able. Peter Sandison had seen to that still not looking towards the bed. He from the first. But poor Kirsty's zealous turned away and went towards the fire, efforts had done much for it during her taking the seat which Kirsty had vacated. day's attendance. A liberal fire was glow. He knew that Grace could see every ing on the hearth, for the spring nights movement. One by one, in no haste, but were still chilly Kirsty had got the shop with gentlest deliberation, he put those boy to bring her in some spring flowers papers on the blazing fire. It swiftly crocuses and daffodils, and these stood in caught them up and consumed them uta brown pot on a little table beside the terly. bed. From the bed itself Kirsty had re- Then he rose, and went back to the moved the drab coverlid and had substi. open Bible lying on the table. He took


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