Puslapio vaizdai

sadly do we miss that harmony between the dramatic and the descriptive elements of the poem, so beautifully maintained in the Iliad! In all the principal transactions in which Æneas is engaged, his real character and conduct are in open conflict with Virgil's description. In his connection with Dido, if he be supposed to have no ulterior object in view, he must be condemned as a heartless sensualist. If, as the poet implies, that connection was formed under the faith of a virtual marriage, he becomes a perjured adulterer, while his cold, solemn indifference to the misery caused by his cruel and ungrateful treatment of an amiable and confiding female is odious in the last degree. His invasion of Italy is an act of open usurpation and outrage. His arrival on the coast spreads discord and bloodshed among the previously happy tribes of that country. A father forces his daughter to violate her plighted troth, a mother is driven to suicide by the evils accumulated on her family and nation. All our partialities ought to be on the side, not of the hero whose cause we are called on to espouse, and which is crowned with success, but on that of his adversary.

The only palliation which can be suggested for these moral blemishes of the Æneid, the divine authority under which the hero acts, tends, if rightly estimated, but to aggravate the offence, by exhibiting not only weak humanity, but the Deity himself, as the patron of injustice and oppression."-Vol. I. 294.

The following passage is one of many descriptions with which Colonel Mure's quick eye and careful hand enrich these pleasant volumes :


"It is, however, in the closing scenes of the Iliad that the brighter side of Priam's character is most prominently brought forward. All sense of his vices or follies is here absorbed by compassion for the calamities in which they have involved him, and admiration for his heroism in braving the dangers of a hostile camp, and the wrath of Achilles, to rescue the remains of a beloved son from mutilation and disgrace. But, even here, the poet, still true to nature, never loses sight of the less favourable traits of the portrait, which, as now reproduced under a change of fortune, impart a new variety to the whole composition. Hitherto Priam had been contemplated in a comparative state of prosperity, and distinguished even in his displays of weakness, by a decorum and placidity of deportment becoming his royal state. Now, at the moment when his energies are intent on the fulfilment of the noblest duties, his temper, under the accumulated excitement of the crisis, breaks through all the restraints of courtly diguity into ebullitions of senile petulance and irritation, as characteristic of the genius of the man, as inconsistent

with the greatness of his conduct. The scene in the palace, previous to his journey, is one of the finest in the Iliad. Priam, his family, and the entire city, are plunged in the deepest affliction; their favourite prince and bravest champion slain; his body daily insulted in their sight by his ferocious conqueror. The mode in which the national grief finds vent, exhibits a fine combination of oriental and patriarchal manners. The old king enveloped in his mantle, is seated in the centre of the palace court in a state of gloomy stupor, indifferent to all that is passing. His sons are weeping and his daughters wailing around him; the halls and porches thronged with citizens, flocking with sympathetic curiosity to the centre of the common woe. At this moment Iris, invisible to all but Priam himself, breathes her message from Jove in his ear. The first symptom of response to the divine intimation is a tremor pervading his frame. On a sudden, morbid despair gives place to unwonted vigour; he rises and declares his resolution forthwith to visit in person the Myrmidon camp, and ransom the body of his son. He is assailed by the remonstrances of his wife against the madness of his project, but in vain. On turning to give the requisite orders for his journey, he finds everything in confusion; his palace is crowded with importunate idlers; his sons are bewildered by this sudden change from listlessness to temerity, and the promptness of their obedience falls short of the eagerness of his commands. His temper then gives way, and he breaks forth into invectives, first against the busybodies who encumber his hall, and whom he drives with his sceptre into the street; next against the sluggish apathy of his sons, tauntingly contrasting it with the devoted zeal of their deceased brother. The petulance of these sallies is tempered by the most touching expressions of grief and patriotism. Every word and act is admirably suited to the character and the occasion.

"The sequel of this adventure supplies the more delicate finish to the portrait both of Priam and Achilles. The ardent zeal, senile importunity, and pious resignation of the venerable suppliant, are beautifully contrasted with the generous sympathy and haughty impetuosity of the terrible Myrmidon. The old king returns to the city with his precious freight, greeted by crowds of admiring citizens, and the ensuing rites in honour of the slain champion, afford an impressive conclusion to the great drama. Upon the whole, perhaps, the character of Priam is, next to that of Achilles, the most delicately conceived and finely drawn in the poem. The parallel which it offers to that of Shakspeare's Lear cannot fail to suggest itself to the critical student."-Vol. I. 345-7.


Phases of Faith: or Passages from the History of my Creed. By Francis William Newman, formerly Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. London: Chapman. 1850.

THIS book is a necessary Appendix to the author's former Treatise on the Soul. In that work he presented a scheme of positive Religion, founded essentially on psychological experience, and asking for no data beyond the mind's own consciousness in the exercise of its highest affections. Its object and method were constructive and in evolving an adequate faith from the inner life of the human spirit, he could spare only an incidental notice for doctrines and modes of procedure at variance with his own. He there unfolded the truths which respect our spiritual relations according to the order in which, as he conceives, they ought to be thought out. This, however, is not the order in which he himself has actually reached them; still less does it agree with the ordinary path of approach to them. All Christians conceive themselves indebted to an historical revelation, concurrently with the intimations of their own nature, for their most inspiring convictions: and with Mr. Newman himself, they are not a fresh acquisition won by his present mode of thought, but a residue left uncancelled by the mental changes through which he has passed, and provided, by an after-thought, with their new title to continued possession. The present publication describes the processes by which the author, from a commencement in Calvinism, reached at length the religion of "The Soul." It contains his apology for dispensing entirely with all external aids,-miracle or prophecy, Bible or Church,-in the establishment of a Faith; and for limiting himself to sources purely subjective. It defends his isolated position by tracing the involuntary encroachments of scepticism, as reflection and knowledge increased and imparted a freer action to his mind; till the ever-narrowing circumference of his ecclesiastical and scriptural belief, drove him at last upon his own centre, and left him as a point alone amid the infinitude of God. As the course of change was ex

ceedingly gradual, and every stage of it is successively vindicated, the book is necessarily a kind of running criticism on almost every Christian creed, and the whole circle of Christian Evidences; and elicits in each case a negative result. By this aggressive process nothing is brought out of which Mr. Newman's previous book had not given ample notice. Yet to most of his readers this wholly destructive character will assuredly be painful; and many who, with ourselves, have been penetrated with affectionate admiration for his transparent truthfulness and elevation of soul, will feel it a sorrow to lose the sympathy of such a mind in some of their most cherished persuasions. The earlier treatise so abounded in passages of solemn and tender devotion, that the reader was borne on the wing over the chasms in its faith, and no more felt its doubts than he would pause upon a heresy let fall in prayer. But the present work cannot, from its very nature, bespeak the affections by any such pre-engagement. It is rigorously logical: and though the author's fearlessness is manifestly the simple inspiration of a pure and trustful heart, yet the relentless way in which he follows out a single line of thought, and hurries you along it as if it were the whole surface of the truth, provokes something of natural resistance. You feel yourself in the presence of a mind wholly incapable of the least moral unfairness or ingenious self-deception, and devoted with absolute singleness to the quest of the true and the good: but at the same time, too much distinguished by intellectual impetuosity and the intense flow of sympathies in one particular channel, to attain a judicial largeness of view. Hence the work produces all its effect at once: and while many will utter warnings against reading it at all, our counsel would be to read it twice. For ourselves at least we must confess that, where our admiration and even reverence are so strongly enlisted, we are apt to be carried away at first beyond the bounds of our permanent convictions; to take over-precautions against our own pre-judgments; and yield ourselves too freely to the hand of a guidance felt to be generous and noble: and it requires time and calm review to recover from the mingled self-distrust and sympathy with which such companionship as our author's inspires us.

To the earlier part of this book singular freshness is given by its autobiographical form, and the perfect simplicity with which it lays open every state of mind bearing on the subsequent developments of opinion. The sketch so slightly given of the thoughtful and serious schoolboy, derided by hearts yet free from the claim of God, and comforted by the kindly clergyman who could read the spirit at work within; of the youth at Confirmation, chilled by the dry questions of the Examiner, and repelled by the sleeves and formality of the Bishop; of the Freshman at Oxford, signing the articles in all the joy of passionate belief, and then finding that among companions they were objects of general indifference; will wake in many a heart affecting memories of life's most fervid and fruitful hours. How far his religious life might have found a less troubled development, had it commenced under a simpler scheme of doctrine, we will not pretend to decide. But it is evident that so active an intellect, enclosed within the complicated economy of Calvinism, gave his faith no chance of long repose and during his undergraduate course many questions had arisen, on the imputation of Christ's righteousness, on the obligation of the Sabbath, on the ground of difference between the Mosaic sacrifices and the Christian Atonement, on the meaning of the words "One" and "Three" in the Athanasian Creed, all of which he had answered in an unorthodox sense. But, above all, he had given up the doctrine of Infant Baptism, and on this account was almost deterred from the re-signature essential to his Bachelor's degree. Though he overcame his scruples thus far, they exercised a most important influence on the subsequent course of his life; deterring him from entering the Church; determining (we imagine) the class of Christians (the Baptists) whose communion he was afterwards to join; and bringing out for the first time that strong contrast between the brothers Newman, which has become so striking in its results. We have often heard the remark, that the radical characteristics of these two men are essentially the same; that the great problem of faith presented itself under like conditions to both; that their solutions, opposite as they seem, exhaust the logical alternative of the case, and are but the positive and negative roots of one equation; and that, but for accidental

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