« ElőzőTovább »
have doubled the enjoyment of its mali- of ancient Scottish ballads which he pubcious perpetrator.*
lished in that year was generally accepted Not less droll was Swift's shaft of ridi. as a valuable contribution to the national cule at the prophetic almanac-maker, John history. In the preface to a work upon Partridge, which he started by issuing “ Ancient Scottish Poets published some (under the name of Isaac Bickerstaff) a years later, he confessed, with a candor set of " Predictions for the Year 1708." bordering on 'effrontery, that his former Among them was announced the death of volume had been a compilation of genuine Pariridge himself on the 29th of March. antiques and imitations of his own. He After the date had gone by, Swift published base motives in this deception by affirm
exculpated himself from the suspicion of “The Accomplishment of the First of Mr. Bickerstaff's Predictions : being an Ac- ing that he had declined the publisher's
Un. count of the Death of Mr. Partridge the offer of half the profits of the book. Almanack-Maker on the 29th inst." °Other fortunately, innocence of intention is inefwits kept up the joke. Partridge, in his next fectual to avert the consequences of a almanack, declared that he was still living thoughtless action. Similar excuses might in health, and they are knaves that reported doubtless have been made by Pinkerton's it otherwise.”
In the first number of “The numerous successors in the art of manu. Tatler” Steele, in the name of Bicker facturing modern antiques. Allan Cun. staff, continued the joke, and explained to Partridge that if he had any shame he would ningham is said to have confessed that he own himself to be dead, for since his art palmed off soine ballads of his own upon was gone, the man was gone." +
a collector of ancient relics, who published
them without suspicion. Robert Surtees Another satirical missile, impelled by notoriously imposed in the same way upon political animus and aimed at a higher the credulity of Scott, when supplying him quarry, was among the minor productions with materials for thé " Minstrelsy of the of Johnson in 1739, when he was strug. Scottish Border," and also victimized gling into notice. It was entitled “Mar. Hogg with some spurious Jacobite balmor Norfolciense,” and assumed to be an lads. Thomas Campbell was similarly essay upon “an ancient prophetical in- duped, when editor of the New Monthly scription in monkish rhyme lately discov- Magazine, by a waggish contributor who ered near Lyone in Norfolk.” The design pretended to have rescued from neglect of the mystification was to attack the the works of a seventeenth-century dramaHanoverian dynasty and the Whig govern- tist named Clithero. ment of Sir Robert Walpole.
Perhaps the deftest artist in this departDr. Birch, a solid historian and lexicog- ment of fabrication was George Steevens, rapher of the last century, is the reputed the Shakespearian commentator, Ani. author of a fabrication which, though mated by an impish spirit of trickery, to intended in jest, succeeded in falsify- which jealousy of rival antiquaries may ing many, veracious literary chronicles. have lent a spice of malice, he industriAmong the discoveries of George Chal- ously devised cunning snares for their mers the 'antiquary, who diligently ran- feet. He would, for example, disseminate sacked the piles of miscellaneous period. fictitious illustrations of Shakespeare's icals at the British Museum, was a unique text, in order that Malone, who was his copy of “The English Mercurie, im-chief butt, might be entrapped into adoptprinted at London by Her Highness's ing them and give him the gratification Printer, 1588,” which has since repeatedly of correcting the blunder in his next been described as the earliest English edition. Under the pseudonyms of Collins newspaper. The researches, however, of and Amner, he would insert paragraphs in a later antiquary, Mr. Thomas Watts, the daily press purporting to be curious among the papers which Birch left behind extracts from rare books, copies of which him, disclosed the original draft of the no one who wished to verify the passages • Mercurie," on modern paper, with cor
ever succeeded in discovering. Among rections made for the press.
these curiosities was the romantic story In 1781 John Pinkerton (who subse. (that has found its way into Todd's “ Life quently became an archæologist of repute) of Milton ") of the poet's having been seen initiated a form of literary fabrication asleep under a tree by a lady who bewhich became too common. A collection came enamored of his beauty, and placed • I. D'Israeli's Curios. of Lit. iii. 315.
in his hand some impassioned verses of + Prof. H. Morley's First Sketch of Eng. Lit., p. Guarini, which, when he awoke, so fired his 783.
fancy that he made a journey to Italy in Ibid., p. 851; Boswell's Life (ed. of 1826), i. 97. § I. D’Israeli's Curios. of Lit. i. 157, note.
the hope of tracing her. Another was the
story of the deadly upas-tree of Java, celebrity. In the field of adventurous which long obtained credit as one of the travel such writers as Edward Trelawney, fairy-tales of science.*
" Adventures of a Younger Sun;" Charles It would be easy to adduce examples Cochrane, “ Journal of a Tour by Senor of the same type of fabrication from re. Juan de Vega ;”, and George Borrow, cent annals, but limitations of space allow" • Lavengro,” may be more than half susof no more than a brief reference to the pected of having obtained their realistic third group in my list. Literary mystifi- effects by a dexterous interweaving of fact cations, inspired by a purely dramatic aim, and fiction. The romantic narrative of wherein, for the sake of obtaining the South-sea life by the American writer, closest vraisemblance, the artist has car. Herman Melville, “ Omoo,” must have ried imitation to the point of effecting charmed many readers into conviction of illusion, appear to be a comparatively its truth. The recently published letters, modern product. De Foe's “ Journal of affecting to be the replies of the “ Inconthe Great Plague in London," published in nue” to those addressed to her by Prosper 1722, and "Memoirs of a Cavalier,” pub- Mérimée, have aroused an amount of curilished in the following year, are perhaps osity which argues eloquently for the the earliest instances in our literature. writer's skill. Both were successful in passing for genu- No one who has been at the pains to ine narratives, one being quoted by Dr. follow the retrospective survey thus outMead, and the other by Lord Chatham, as lined will have failed to observe (1) the the records of eye-witnesses to the scenes facility with which in uncritical ages depicted. Another of De Foe's fictions, pseudonymous or spurious writings ob“The Apparition of one Mrs. Veal to her tained general acceptance as authentic friend Mrs. Bargrave, at Canterbury,” was or genuine, and maintained their hold written as an advertisement for Drelin. unshaken until brought to the test of scicourt's "Sermons upon Death,” which the entific criticism. The “ Epistles of Pha. ghost impressively commended as a viati- laris," for example, and the Jewish and
The sale of the whole edition, early Christian apocrypha, seem to have which had been a burden on the publish: been accepted from the date of their er's hands, and of several others in suc- appearance without serious demur, and cession, quickly followed. The “Memoirs enjoyed a tenure of belief that lasted of Captain Carleton, by himself” (1728), a through many
centuries; the " Chronicle work which has been attributed to be of Ingulphus," the “Charters of Durham Foe, but apparently with little reason, Priory,” and the “Travels of Maundercontains an account of Lord Peterbor- ville were only discovered to be forgeries ough's campaign in Spain, wherein John- within recent years ; (2) the success with son "found such an air of truth that he which, even in periods of prevalent culture, could not doubt of its authenticity.” † Sir a skilful fabricator has often floated his Walter Scott, who edited the book in imposture by flattering a popular appetite 1809, Lord Stanhope, and many other or ministering to the enthusiasm of a writers, have regarded it as a veracious clique, and made easy dupes of men narrative. The keen criticism to which illustrious for their learning and acumen. the " Memoirs ” have been subjected by a Psalmanazaar, Macpherson, Chatterton, recent historian of the Spanish War of Ireland, and Simonides are typical examSuccession, Colonel Parnell, has rendered ples of this class. The names of tbeir it almost certain that they are substantially dupes, Dean Milles Bryant, Dr. Parr, fictitious. I
George Chalmers, Sheridan, and Dindorf During the last half-century the fashion emphasize the warning addressed by St. for modern antiques, rococo, and “make- Paul to those who, “professing themselves believe "in literature has so rapidly spread to be wise, became fools.” that it must suffice to name a few of the One conclusion, which is amply warmost successful achievements in various ranted by the evidence, has an obvious provinces. In historical fiction, “ Lady bearing upon a burning question of curWilloughby's Diary,” by the late Mrs. rent controversy - the authority of putaRathbone ; "Mary Powell,” by Miss Man- tive Scriptures. The controversy, indeed, ning; and “With Essex in Ireland,” by is but an old one revived, and the conclu. the Hon. Miss Lawless, have won special sion is not drawn for the first time.
centuries ago Toland, in his “Life of • I. D'Israeli's Curios. of Lit. iii. 297–304.
Milton,” referring to the fabrication of + . iv. 300.
War of the Succession in Spain, by Col! the Hon. the Eiwy Baouliks, which Gauden suc. A. Parnell, pp. 316-326.
cessfully foisted upon the world for nearly
forty years as the authentie work of thus distinguishes the sound from the Charle's the First, added this judicious unsound criteria of truth : comment :
We cannot say, “This doctrine is divine When I seriously consider how all this because it is found in a canonical book, and happened among ourselves within the compass that is human because confined to the Apocof forty years, in a time of great learning and rypha : : ." or, “This argument is demonpoliteness, when both parties so narrowly strative because .attributed to Jesus Himself, watched over one another's actions, and what and that is subject to doubt as reported only a great revolution in civil and religious affairs of Stephen or' Timothy.” Neither Church was partly occasioned by the credit of that nor Scripture can serve, on these easy terms, book, I cease to wonder any longer how many « Rule of faith and practice,” and yet supposititious pieces, under the name of both may provide adequate guidance to the Christ, His apostles, and other great persons, highest truth and goodness. To reach it, should be published and approved in those however, without use of the discriminative primitive times when it was of so much impor- faculties, and be carried blindfold into the tance to have them believed; . . . I doubt Eternal light, is impossible. . .. The tests rather the spuriousness of several more such by which we distinguish the fictitious from the books is yet undiscovered, through the re- real, the wrong from the right, the unlovely moteness of those ages, the death of the per- from the beautiful, the profane from the sacred, sons named, and the decay of other monu- are to be found within, and not without, in the ments which might give us true information. * methods of just thought, the instincts of pure
Warned by the remembrance of so signal conscience, and the aspirations of unclouded an illusion, and many other examples
HENRY G. HEWLETT. scarcely less remarkable, the inquirer who is invited by the Church to submit his * The Seat of Authority in Religion, pp. 296_7. reason and conscience to the authority of her sacred books, ascribed to venerable names, and reputed of hoar antiquity, is more than justified in maintaining an atti
From The Sunday Magazine. tude of sceptical vigilance, and demanding
THE FLIGHT OF THE SHADOW. the strictest proofs of their authenticity
BY GEORGE MACDONALD, LL. D. and genuineness. If it be replied that the demand is unreasonable, since under the AUTHOR OF
ROBERT FALCONER,” circumstances of the case no strict proofs can be furnished, cadit quæstio. The exorbitant assumption that it is possible to erect a fabric of mental and spiritual domination upon a foundation of docu.
While I waited thus, as nearly a log, mentary evidence which it is impossible with the weariness of spiritual unrest, as fully to test, must be frankly surrendered. a, girl could well be, the door opened. But the surrender of a fallacious claim to Very seldom did that door open to any vest the authority of a creed in the books one but my uncle or myself; he would let which avouch it, need involve no sacrifice no one but me touch his books, or even of aught that is vital in the creed itself. dust the room. But I always heard him Let the basis of its support be shifted coming, and this time no sound of apfrom the letter to the spirit, and its doc- proach had reached me. I jumped from tripes be left to stand upon their own the chest where I sat. merits. Upon this broad and deep foun-' It was only Martha Moon. dation two of the wisest religious teachers
“ How you startled me, Martha !” I of our time are content that Christianity cried. should rest. The lamented Döllinger's
“ No wonder, child !” she answered. “innermost thought,” as we learn from “I come with bad news. Your uncle has Lord Acton's faithful portraiture of him, had a fall. He is laid up in Wittenage “ was that religion exists to make men with a broken arm.” better, and that the ethical quality of
I burst into tears. dogma constitutes its value." f In the Oh, Martha !” I cried; “I must go to
him ! profound and masterly treatise which consummates Dr. Martineau's lifelong ser
“ He has sent for me,” she answered vices to the cause of rational religion, he quietly. “I am going at once. Dick is
putting the horse to the phaeton." * Life prefixed to edition of Milton's Works, 1698, · He doesn't want me then !” I said, but
OLD LOVE AND NEW.
Conf. Dr. Martineau's Seat of Authority in it seemed a voice not my own that Religion, p. 179. i Eng. Hist. Review, Oct., 1890, p. 705.
shrieked the words,
The punishment of my sin was upon at a time with Martha. Our feelings are
Never would he have sent for Mar- odd creatures. Now there was neither tha and not me, I thought, had he not seen time nor space in my deart for feeling the
I that I had gone wrong again, and was not house desolate ; the world outside was to be trusted.
rich as a treasure-house of mighty kings. “My dear,” said Martha, " which of us The moment I was a little more comforta. ought to be the better nurse ? You never ble with myself, my thoughts went in a saw your uncle ill; I've nursed him at flock back to the face that looked over death's door."
the garden wall, back to the man that “ Then you don't think he is angry with watched me while I slept, the man that me, Martha ?” I said, humbled before wrote that lovely letter. Inside was old myself.
Penny and her broom; she took advan. Was he ever angry with you, Orbie ? tage of every absence to sweep or scour What is there for him to be angry about? or dust; outside was John Day and the You never even displeased him!” roses of the wilderness. He was waiting
I had not yet realized that my uncle the hour to come to me, wondering how i was suffering — only that he was disabled. would receive him. I had been thinking only of myself. I Slowly went the afternoon. I had fallen was fast ceasing to care for him. And in love at first sight, it is true; I was not then, horrible to tell! a flash of joy went therefore eager again
er. through me, that he who had hitherto been I was only more than willing to see him. the light of my life would not be home It was as sweet, or nearly as sweet, to that day, and therefore I coulıl not tell dream of his coming as to have him before him anything!
so long as I knew that he was indeed The moment Martha left me to get coming. And then I was just a little anxready, I threw myself on the floor of the ious lest I should not find him quite so deserted room. I was in utter misery. beautiful as I was imagining him. That
"Gladly would I bear every one of his he was good I never doubted; could I sufferings," I said to myself, “and yet otherwise have fallen in love with him? have not asked a question about his acci- And his letter was so straightforward dent! He must be in danger, or he would so manly! not have sent for Martha and not me. The afternoon was cloudy, and the twi.
How had the thing happened? Had light came the sooner. From the realms Death fallen with him - perhaps on him? of the dark, where all the birds of night My uncle was such a horseman, I could build their nests, and line them with their not think he had been thrown. Besides, own sooty down, the sweet, odorous, filmy Death was a good horse who loved his dusk of the summer, haunted with wings
dearly, I was sure. A gush of of noiseless bats, began at length to come the old love rose in my heart; sympathy flickering down, in a snow infinitesimal of with the horse had unsealed the spring. I Auffiest grey and black, and I crept out longed to be with my uncle. I sprang into the garden. There it was so dark from the floor, and ran down to beg and among the yews that I should have had to entreat Martha to take me with her; if feel my way but that I could have gone my uncle did not want me, I could return through every alley blindfolded. An owl with Dick, I said. But she was gone. cried and I started, for my soul was sunk Even the sound of her wheels was gone. in its own love-dawn. Then came a sudI had lain on the floor longer than I knew. den sense of light as I passed into the I went back to the study a little relieved. wilderness, but light how thin and pale, I understood now that I was not glad he and how full of expectation! The earth was ill, that I was anything but glad that and the vast air, all up to the great vault, he was suffering; I had only been glad seemed to throb and heave with life for an instant that the culminating moment was it that I lay an open thoroughfare to of my perplexity was postponed. I should the life of the All? With the scent of the see john Day, and he would help me to roses, and the humbler, sweet-odored inunderstand what I ought to do, and how I habitants of the wilderness; with the ought to feel.
sound of the brook that ran through it, Very strange were my feelings that after flowing from the heath and down the hill; noon in the lonely house. Hitherto I had with the silent starbeams, and the insects always felt it lonely when Martha was out; that make all the little noises they can; I never did when my uncle was out. Yet with the thoughts that went out of me, when my uncle was in, I was mostly with and returned possessed of the earth ; with him, and seldom more than a few minutes all these, and the sense of thought eternal,
the universe was full as it could hold. not more than philosophy tell us that truth I stood in the doorway of the wall, and is everything? looked out on the wild; it was out of cre- My darling! Are you hurt?” I heard ation's doors, out in the illimitable, given murmured by the voice whose echoes had up to the bare, to the space that had no haunted me for so many hours. walls ! A shiver ran through me; I turned “ A little," I answered. “ I shall be all back among the yews. It was early; I right in a minute.”. I did not add, “ Put would wait yet a while. If he were already me down, please, directly ;" for I did not there, he, too, would enjoy the calm of a want to be put down directly. I could not lovely little wait.
have stood if he had put me down. A small wind came searching about, Presently the life began to come back and found, and caressed me. I turned to to me, and'I felt myself growing heavy in it, and let it play with my hair, and cool his arms. my face. Then I left the alley, and went “ I think I can stand now," I said. straying through the broken ground of the “Please put me down.” wilderness, among the low bushes, many He obeyed immediately. of which came but up to my knees. I “I've nearly broken your arms!” I said, went meandering, as if with some frolic. ashamed of having become a burden to some brook for a companion a brook of him the moment we met. many capricious windings, and sọ moved “ I could have run with you to the top nearer and nearer to the fence that parted of the hill,” he answered. the wilderness from the heath, with my "I don't think you could,” I returned. eyes bent down, partly to avoid the hil." I would not have you try it.” locks and bushes, and partly shy of the “I am at your command,” he rejoined. moment when first I should see him who "My arms are yours. I am yours, whether was in my heart and somewhere near my you will have me or not." eyes. Softly the moon rose, round and This and the way he said it, pleased me fúll. There was still so much light in the so much, that I think I leaned a little sky that she made no sudden change, and toward him. He put his arm round me. for a moment I did not feel her presence “You are not able to stand," he said. or look up. A little beyond where I stood, "Shall we sit a moment? ” the high ground of the moor sank into the hollow down which came the brook, so that there the horizon was a good deal lower; the moon was rising just in the
MOTHER AND UNCLE. gap, and when I did look up, the lower I was glad enough to sink on a clump edge of her disc was on the horizon, and of white clover beside me. He stretched over the fence looked a man whose head himself on the ground with his head at was right in the middle of the big, low my feet. Silence followed. He was giving moon, so that she was like the golden halo me time to recover myself. Therefore, round the head of a saint in an illuminated as soon as I was able, it was my part to missal. I could not see the face, for the speak. halo hid it, as such attributions are apt to “Where is your horse?” I said. do, but it must be he, and strengthened by How curious it is that persons whose the heavenly vision, I went toward him. meeting is a delight greater than the heart Walking less carefully than before, how can hold, always say something at first ever, I caught my foot, stumbled, and fell. that is not worth saying ! There came a rush through the bushes; he “I left him at a little farmhouse, about was by my side, lifted me like a child, and a mile off. I was afraid to bring him held me in his arms; neither was I more nearer lest my mother should learn where frightened than a child gathered up so in I had been." the arms of any well-known friend; I had “ But she will miss you," I suggested. been bred in faith and not mistrust. But, " I do not think so. She never misses indeed, my head struck the ground with me for myself, though she likes to know such force, that, had I been inclined, I where I am. But she may miss me." could hardly have resisted. At the same “And what will you do if she does ?” time, why should I have resisted, being “ The question is rather what will she where I would be? Does not philosophy do.” tell us that growth and development, 6" What will she do? cause and effect are all, and that the days " I don't know." and years are of no account? And does “She will ask you where you were?”