to those which are, in their nature, liable to more faults and shortcomings. For the finer the nature, the more flaws it will show through the clearness of it; and it is a law of this universe that the best things shall be seldomest seen in their best form. The wild grass grows well and strongly, one year with another; but the wheat is, according to the greater nobleness of its nature, liable to the bitterer blight. And, therefore, while in all things that we see, or do, we are to desire perfection, and strive for it, we are nevertheless not to set the meaner thing, in its narrow accomplishment, above the nobler thing, in its mighty progress; not to esteem smooth minuteness above shattered majesty; not to prefer mean victory to honourable defeat; not to lower the level of our aim, that we may the more surely enjoy the complacency of success.

But, above all, in our dealings with the souls of other men, we are to take care how we check, by severe requirement or narrow caution, efforts which might otherwise lead to a noble issue; and, still more, how we withhold our admiration from great excellences, because they are mingled with rough faults. Now, in the make and nature of every man, however rude or simple, whom we employ in manual labour, there are some powers for better things: some tardy imagination, torpid capacity of emotion, tottering steps of thought, there are, even at the worst; and in most cases it is all our own fault that they are tardy or torpid. But they cannot be strengthened, unless we are content to take them in their feebleness, and unless we prize and honour them in their imperfection above the best and most perfect manual skill. And this is what we have to do with all our labourers; to look for the thoughtful part of them, and get that out of them, whatever we lose for it, whatever faults and errors we are obliged to take with it. For the best that is in them cannot manifest itself but in company with much error.

Understand this clearly: You can teach a man to draw a straight line, and to cut one; to strike a curved line, and to carve it; and to copy and carve any number of given lines or forms, with admirable speed and perfect precision; and you find his work perfect of its kind: but if you ask him to think about any of those forms, to consider if he cannot find any better in his own head, he stops; his execution becomes hesitating; he thinks, and ten to one he thinks wrong; ten to one he makes a mistake in the first touch he gives to his work as a thinking being. But you have made a man of him for all that. He was only a machine before, an animated tool.

And observe, you are put to stern choice in this matter. You must either make a tool of the creature, or a man of him. You cannot make both. Men were not intended to work with the accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions. If you will have that precision out of them, and make their fingers measure degrees like cog-wheels, and their arms strike curves like compasses, you must unhumanise them. All the energy of their spirits must be given to make cogs and compasses of themselves. All their attention and strength must go to the accomplishment of the mean act. The eye of the soul must be bent upon the finger-point, and the soul's force must fill all the invisible nerves that guide it, ten hours a day, that it may not err from its steely precision, and so soul and sight be worn away, and the whole human being be lost at last—a heap of sawdust, so far as its intellectual work in this world is concerned; saved only by its Heart, which cannot go into the form of cogs and compasses, but expands, after the ten hours are over, into fireside humanity.

On the other hand, if you will make a man of the working creature, you cannot make a tool. Let him but begin to imagine, to think, to try to do anything worth doing; and the engine-turned precision is lost at once. Out come all his roughness, all his dulness, all his incapability; shame upon shame, failure upon failure, pause after pause : but out comes the whole majesty of him also; and we know the height of it only when we see the clouds settling upon him. And, whether the clouds be bright or dark, there will be transfiguration behind and within them.

Composition.—Put the thoughts in this extract into words of your own, as concisely as you can.

IVEY.—Macaulay (1824).

Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are!
And glory to our Sovereign Liege, King Henry of Navarre!
Now let there be the merry sound of music and of dance,
Through thy corn-fields green, and sunny vines, oh pleasant land

of France! And thou, Eochelle, our own Eochelle, proud city of the waters, Again let rapture light the eyes of all thy mourning daughters.

As thou wert constant in our ills, be joyous in our joy,
For cold, and stiff, and still are they, who wrought thy walls annoy.
Hurrah! Hurrah! a single field hath turned the chance of war,
Hurrah! Hurrah! for Ivry, and Henry of Navarre.

Oh! how our hearts were beating, when, at the dawn of day,
We saw the army of the League drawn out in long array;
With all its priest-led citizens, and all its rebel peers,
And Appenzel's stout infantry, and Egmont's Flemish spears.
There rode the brood of false Lorraine, the curses of our land;
And dark Mayenne was in the midst, a truncheon in his hand;
And, as we looked on them, we thought of Seine's empurpled

And good Ooligni's hoary hair, all dabbled with his blood;
And we cried unto the living God, who rules the fate of war,
To fight for his own holy name, and Henry of Navarre.

The king is come to marshal us, in all his armour drest,

And he has bound a snow-white plume upon his gallant crest.

He looked upon his people, and a tear was in his eye;

He looked upon the traitors, and his glance was stern and high.

Right graciously he smiled on us, as rolled from wing to wing,

Down all our line, a deafening shout, "God save our Lord the

King." "And if my standard-bearer fall, as fall full well he may, For never saw I promise yet of such a bloody fray, Press where ye see my white plume shine, amidst the ranks of war, And be your oriflamme to-day the helmet of Navarre."

Hurrah! the foes are moving. Hark to the mingled din

Of fife, and steed, and trump, and drum, and roaring culverin.

The fiery Duke is pricking fast across Saint Andre's plain,

With all the hireling chivalry of Guelders and Almayne.

Now by the lips of those ye love, fair gentlemen of France,

Charge for the golden lilies—upon them with the lance.

A thousand spurs are striking deep, a thousand spears in rest,

A thousand knights are pressing close behind the snow-white

crest; And in they burst, and on they rushed, while, like a guiding star, Amidst the thickest carnage blazed the helmet of Navarre.

Now, God be praised, the day is ours. Mayenne hath turned his rein. D'Aumale hath cried for quarter. The Flemish count is slain. Their ranks are breaking like thin clouds before a Biscay gale; The field is heaped with bleeding steeds, and flags, and cloven mail.

And then we thought on vengeance, and, all along our van,
"Remember St. Bartholomew!" was passed from man to man.
But out spake gentle Henry, "No Frenchman is my foe:
Down, down with every foreigner, but let your brethren go."
Oh! was there ever such a knight, in friendship or in war,
As our Sovereign Lord, King Henry, the soldier of Navarre?

Bight well fought all the Frenchmen who fought for France to-day;

And many a lordly banner God gave them for a prey.

But we of the religion have borne us best in fight;

And the good Lord of Bosny hath ta'en the cornet white,

Our own true Maximilian the cornet white has ta'en,

The cornet white with crosses black, the flag of false Lorraine.

Up with it high; unfurl it wide; that all the host may know

How God hath humbled the proud house, which wrought his

church such woe. Then on the ground, while trumpets sound their loudest point

of war, Fling the red shreds, a footcloth meet for Henry of Navarre.

Ho! maidens of Vienna; ho! matrons of Lucerne!

Weep, weep, and rend your hair for those who never shall return.

Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexican pistoles,

That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor spearmen's souls.

Ho! gallant nobles of the League, look that your arms be bright;

Ho! burghers of Saint Genevieve, keep watch and ward to-night.

For our God hath crushed the tyrant, our God hath raised the slave,

And mocked the counsel of the wise and the valour of the brave.

Then glory to His holy name, from whom all glories are;

And glory to our Sovereign Lord, King Henry of Navarre.

Notes.—The battle of Ivry was fought personages in the state, including the on the 14th of March, 1590. The joint first prince of the blood, the King of forces of the Huguenots and of the Navarre, father of Henry IV. The exLiberal Catholic nobility, who supported treme Romanists had, however, opposed Henry of Navarre's claim to the French them violently, and civil war had broken throne after the assassination of Henry out as early as 1562, and had raged with III., were on the one side, and on the brief intervals of nominal peace for other was the army of the Catholic twenty-eight years. Rochelle, our own League, under the Duke of Mayenne, Rochelle.—Rochelle had from the first brother of the Duke of Guise, recently been one of the great strongholds of Promurdered by Henry III. Henry of Na- testantism. It is a seaport on the west varre (afterwards Henry IV.) won a coast of France. Aa thou wert constant in great victory. He was a Protestant at our ills.—Rochelle stood a siege in 1573, this time (or Calvinist, as Protestants after the St. Bartholomew massacre, were then called in France), and hence rather than give up its Protestantism, his triumph caused great joy among the It was aided in its victorious defence by Huguenots, whose champion he was. The troops sent from England. Ivry.—A ballad is supposed to be the utterance of town on the River Eure, in Normandy, one of the victorious party. The Re- in the department of the Eure. Henry formed opinions had made great progress of Navarre,— Henry IV., son of Antoine in France so far back as 1558, and had de Bourbon, Duke of Vendome, who been espoused by some of the highest was first prince of the blood, and be

came King' of Navarre by his marriage with Jeanne d'Albret, heiress of that crown. Navarre.—A small kingdom in the north of Spain : now a Spanish province. It is hounded on the North by the Pyrenees at their western end, and is thus in the angle formed by the Bay of Biscay, where France and Spain meet. The army of the League.—The Duke of Guise, a great French noble, connected with the Crown by marriages, formed in 1576 a League of Catholics, to crush the Huguenots. The Protestants had previously banded themselves in a somewhat similar way. In a few months Guise's League numbered 30,000 enrolled members, sworn to put down Protestantism by force. The clergy and the Jesuits were the main agents in the wide spread of this Confederation. The League set up Cardinal Bourbon, third brother of Henry IV.'s father, as king, in Henry's stead, refusing him as a heretic. Priestled citizens. — The pulpits thundered everywhere all over France on behalf of the League—

"The pulpit, drum ecclesiastic,
Beat with a fist instead of a stick."

Bebtl -peers. —A vast number of the French nobility joined the League, and many were now in its army fighting against Henry, the rightful king. Appemel's stout infantry.—The Swiss foot soldiers from the Canton of Appenzel. They were drawn up on the right wing of the army of the League, next Egmont's Lancers. EgmonCs Flemish spears.—Count Egmont, an officer of Philip II. of Spain, Protector of the League, had been sent from Flanders, then a Spanish province, with 1,500 lancers, and "four hundred carabines," to swell the Army of the League. The lancers were " excellently well horsed, and gallantly set forth with silk and gold; the * carabines' were armed, for the most part, with back, breast, and head armour, and mounted on nimble horses of a middle size."—Davila's Historie, &c. The brood of false Lorraine.—The knights and others who served the House of Lorraine. Lorraine was the seat of the family of the Guises, who were descended from llttoul, Duke and Marquis of Lorraine, killed at Crecy, 1346. Francis, Duke of Guise, murdered by a Huguenot in 1563, and Henry, Duke of Guise, murdered by Henry III. in 1588, had been deadly enemies of the Reformers. The latter, indeed, was the great instigator, with Catherine de Medici, Charles EX.'s mother, of the massacre of St. Bartholomew: the former had founded "the League " which had done them so much harm. Dark Mayenne.—Charles, Duke of Mayenne, brother of Henry, Duke of Guise, commanded the Army of the League. Seine's empurpled flood. — The waters of the Seine, at Paris, supposed

to have been dyed by the blood of the Huguenots massacred on St. Bartholomew's day, 1572. At least 10,000 were murdered in Paris alone, and 30,000 more through the rest of France. Good Coligni.—Admiral Gaspard de Coligny and his brother, Francois Chatillon, better known as the Sire d'Andelot, were nephews of the Constable Anne de Montmorency. Montmorency was born in 1493, and was killed in a battle against the Huguenots, near Paris, in 1567. He was the head of the armies of France, in virtue of his office. Gaspard de Coligny was the head of the Huguenots, and having been treacherously invited to Paris to the marriage of Henry of Navarre with Charles IX.'s sister Marguerite, fell in the St. Bartholomew massacre. He was, indeed, the first victim. His bloody corpse was flung into the street to let the Duke of Guise see that he was really dead. Born 1516. Murdered 1572, at the age of fifty-six. The King—gallant crest.— The King was upon a great bay courser, armed all over except his lace and head, and galloping up and down through all the several squadrons, did more by his looks and gestures than by his words, which could scarcely be heard by the multitude, to recommend his own fortune and the common safety unto the army. . . . At last, standing still at the head of the main battalion, joining his hands, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he prayed so loud that he was heard by many. . . . His helmet, which he now put on, was covered with a long gallant plume of white feathers, for a mark that he might be followed."— Davila. He lookedhis eye.—" He with an undaunted countenance, but sometimes with tears in his 'eyes, put his commanders in mind " that all depended " on the point of the sword, and the valour of their own arms."—Davila. This was just before he prayed. As rolledthe King,— The prayer over— "At the end of these words there arose in the front of the battle a loud acclamation from all that heard him, with an unanimous cry of * Vive le Boi!' which being taken and redoubled from squadron to squadron, through the whole army, gave a most happy beginning to the battle." —Davila. Oriflamme. Aurum, gold, and , flamma, flame. The oriflamme was the ancient royal banner of France. Its colour was purple-azure and gold, which, together with its live points, gave it its name. The oriflamme at Agin

« ElőzőTovább »