Puslapio vaizdai

physical dyspepsia. His vision of the world was a dyspeptic dream, as truly as De Quincey's was for many years an opium dream. As Thackeray said of Swift, "he saw bloodshot." Against this dark humor, with which he maintained an heroic life-long struggle, his sole remedy was work. Work then became his panacea; work and endurance the last word of his philosophy as of Goethe's in "Faust." Against the human longing for happiness-by him unattainable-he vented his fiercest scorn; no happiness here; work then to keep off the blue devilswork till you find rest in the grave, Ubi saeva indignatio cor ulterius lacerare nequit. Carlyle's saeva indignatio indeed was not the steel-cold misanthropy of Swift; it had a burning core of love and reverence. But of faith in humanity or of hope for its future he had almost as little as his great forerunner. There is a monstrous egoism in the words in which he records his "conversion":

"This year I found that I had conquered all my skepticisms, agonizing doubtings, fearful wrestlings with the foul and vile and soul-murdering Mud-gods of my epoch; had escaped as from a worse than Tartarus, with all its Phlegethons and Stygian quagmires, and was emerging free in spirit into the eternal blue of ether, where-blessed be heaven!I have, for the spiritual part, ever since lived, looking down upon the welterings of my poor fellowcreatures, in such multitudes and millions still stuck in that fatal element, and have had no concern whatever in their Puseyisms, ritualisms, metaphysical controversies and cobwebberies, and no feeling of my own except honest silent pity for the serious or religious part of them, and occasional indignation, for the poor world's sake, at the frivolous secular and impious part, with their universal suffrages, their nigger emancipations, sluggard and scoundrel protection societies, and 'unexampled prosperities' for the time being!"

terrible sharpness. He saw rather by lightning flashes than in even daylight, but he seized unerringly the characteristic, and flung away the rest. He saw even the gifts which he undervalued or despised. Poor old Coleridge at Highgate, shuffling about in the garden and talking incomprehensible things about "reason and " understanding," is made to appear very laughable; but we need not quote anything of that, as it is essentially the same as the description in the life of Sterling. This of Charles Lamb, however, is new and sufficiently startling:


The passages of most general interest in the present volume are perhaps those in which Carlyle puts down his impressions of his famous literary contemporaries, and yet these are precisely the ones in which he shows to least advantage. For one whose constant sermon was Ehrfurcht-Ehrfurcht! -he shows himself singularly irreverent and unsympathetic toward men who were sometimes, in many respects, his superiors. His slight recognition of them might be called grudging, were it not that it seems quite free from envy, and proceeding from genuine intolerance and lack of appreciation. His opinions and whims have been so thoroughly made known from time to time, both in his own writings and through numerous interviewers, that little remains to add on this head. That he greatly admired Dickens's books and disliked George Eliot's; that he denied to Keats anything beyond "a certain vague, random tunefulness"; that he had of late taken to denouncing all poetry and almost all literature-proclaiming loudly and voluminously the virtues of silence;-all this is so familiar that no one will be surprised at any literary judgments in these reminiscences. With all their wrong-headness and perversity, his sketches of people are invariably interesting. His eyes had a

"Charles Lamb and his sister came daily once, or oftener; a very sorry pair of phenomena. Insuperable proclivity to gin in poor old Lamb. His talk contemptibly small, indicating wondrous ignorance and shallowness, even when it was serious and good-mannered, which it seldom was, usually illmannered (to a degree), screwed into frosty artificialities, ghastly make-believe of wit, in fact, more like" diluted insanity" (as I defined it) than anything of real jocosity, humor, or geniality. A most slender fiber of actual worth in that poor Charles, abundantly recognizable to me as to others, in his better times and moods; but he was cockney to the marrow; and cockneydom, shouting glorious, marvelous, unparalleled in nature!' all his days, had quite bewildered his poor head, and churned nearly all the sense out of the poor man. He was the leanest of mankind; tiny black breeches buttoned to the knee-cap and no further, surmounting spindle-legs also in black; face and head fineish, black, bony, lean, and of a Jew type rather; in the eyes a kind of smoky brightness or confused sharpness; spoke with a stutter; in walking tottered and shuffled; emblem of imbecility bodily and spiritual (something of real insanity I have understood), and yet something, too, of human, ingenuous, pathetic, sportfully much enduring. Poor Lamb! He was infinitely astonished at my wife and her quiet encounter of his too ghastly London wit, by a cheerful native ditto. Adieu, poor Lamb!"

We cannot help thinking that poor Lamb, though of course a lesser man than his critic, had some "fine translunary things " in him beyond Carlyle's attainment. In particular, the cheerful fortitude with which he bore a lot far more tragical than the latter's dyspepsias and "obstructions" had a heroism beside which the Scotchman's perpetual jeremiads look even unmanly.

Of De Quincey he speaks contemptuously, and of Proctor with patronizing kindness, calling them both "pretty little fellows." He is juster to Leigh Hunt, whom he seems to have liked, and to Mill whom he respected. The latter's talk he found somewhat wintry, but always well-informed and sincere." The famous episode of the burning of the "French Revolution " manuscript, he describes as follows:

"How well do I still remember that night when he came to tell us, pale as Hector's ghost, that my unfortunate first volume was burnt. It was like half sentence of death to us both, and we had to pretend to take it lightly, so dismal and ghastly was his horror at it, and try to talk of other matters. He staid three mortal hours or so; his departure

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quite a relief to us. Oh, the burst of sympathy my poor darling then gave me, flinging her arms round my neck, and openly lamenting, condoling, and encouraging like a nobler second self! Under heaven is nothing beautifuler. We sat talking till late 'shall be written again' my fixed word and resolution to her. Which proved to be such a task as I never tried before or since. I wrote out 'Feast of Pikes' (vol. ii.), and then went at it. Found it fairly impossible for about a fortnight; passed three weeks (reading Marryat's novels); tried cautious-cautiously, as on ice paper-thin, once more; and, in short, had a job more like breaking my heart than any other in my experience."

One may smile respectfully when Carlyle says of "his Jeanie":"Not all the Sands and Eliots and babbling cohue of 'celebrated scribbling women' that have strutted over the world in my time, could, it seems to me, if all boiled down and distilled to essence, make one such woman." But remembering Mill's similar wife-worship, it is a slight shock to one's feelings to read Carlyle's disparaging allusions to his friend's bride. It would be interesting to know en revanche what Mill thought of Mrs. Carlyle.

With Southey-whom he estimates quite fairlyhe apparently had more sympathy than with Wordsworth, but the account which he gives of his final interview with Southey, at Sir Henry Taylor's, lets in a curious light on the foundation of this sympathy:

"Our talk was long and earnest; topic ultimately the usual one, steady approach of democracy, with revolution (probably explosive) and a finis incomputable to man; steady decay of all morality, political, social, individual; this once noble England getting more and more ignoble and untrue in every fiber of it, till the gold (Goethe's composite king) would all be eaten out, and noble England would have to collapse in shapeless ruin, whether forever or not none of us could know. Our perfect consent on these matters gave an animation to the dialogue, which I remember as copious and pleasant.

"Pleasant" likewise no doubt was their perfect agreement about "poor Shelley"—" a kind of ghastly object, colorless, pallid, without health or warmth or vigor; the sound of him shrieking, frosty, as if a ghost were trying to sing to us'; the temperament of him spasmodic, hysterical, etc." Of Wordsworth he writes: "His works I knew but never considerably reverenced; could not on attempting it. Had a fine, limpid style of writing and delineating in his small way. In fact, a rather dull, hard-tempered, unproductive and almost wearisome kind of man; not adorable, by any means, as a great poetic genius." He gives several amusing descriptions of meetings with Wordsworth, one of which we subjoin as characteristic:


"Dinner was large, luminous, sumptuous; I sat a long way from Wordsworth; dessert, I think, had come in, and certainly there reigned in all quarters a cackle as of Babel (only politer, perhaps), which far up in Wordsworth's quarter (who was leftward on my side of the table) seemed to have taken a sententious, rather louder, logical and quasi-scientific turn, heartily unimportant to gods and men, so

far as I could judge of it and of the other babble reigning. I look upward, leftward, the coast being luckily for a moment clear; then, far off, beautifully screened in the shadow of his vertical green circle, which was on the farther side of him, sat Wordsworth, silent, slowly but steadily gnawing some portion of what I judged to be raisins, with his eye and attention placidly fixed on these and these alone. The sight of whom, and of his rock-like indifference to the babble, quasi-scientific and other, with attention turned on the small practical alone, was comfortable and amusing to me, who felt like him but could not eat raisins.

Carlyle's contempt for science, which has so grieved his admirer, Professor Tyndall, comes out here and there, as in his allusion to "Darwin on Species ": "Wonderful to me as indicating the capricious stupidity of mankind; never could read a page of it, or waste the least thought upon it."

There are a few references to American persons and things which will perhaps interest readers in this country. Emerson's famous call upon him at Craigenputtoch-concerning which he is reported to have said that it was like the visit of an angel-he here chronicles briefly: "The visit of Emerson from Concord, and our quiet night of clear, fine talk was also very pretty to both of us." Emerson, he tells us elsewhere, sent him the first money that he received from the publication of the "French Revolution "-150, the profits of the American edition. Readers of "The Nigger Question," and "Shooting Niagara," will not need to be told that Carlyle hated democracy, and had no great liking for the "thirty millions of bores" who inhabited this republic. The feeling emerges occasionally in these reminiscences, as in his notice of Harriet Martineau, and especially in speaking of Lady Jeffrey: "She was

sister of the Commodore Wilkes' who boarded

the Trent some years ago, and almost involved us in war with Yankeeland during that beautiful nigger agony or civil war' of theirs!" On this passage Mr. Froude makes the following note:

Carlyle read "The Harvard Memorial Biographies. "Some years after these words were written, He was greatly impressed by the account of the gallant young men whose lives are there described, and said to me, 'Perhaps there was more in that inatter, after all, than I was aware of.""

In this case the palliation is more lamentable than the original offense. If Carlyle could find nothing righteous in the cause of the North, at least the devoted heroism of the South was something not to be inhumanly ignored, or described as merely "the burning of a dirty chimney."

But the reading of this autobiography makes only too plain the truth of Lowell's saying that Carlyle was a case of arrested development. There was no falling off in power. His insight into certain sides of truth, his unequaled brilliancy in presenting the characters of men and of historic epochs were never greater than in the "French Revolu tion." But in wisdom, in human sympathy, in the ability to modify old opinions and accept new views there was a complete stand-still. We may well

clearly than either Hildreth or von Holst the exist ence of a British as well as a French faction in America at this time, and the reasons why each had a fair right to discredit the rigid political virtue of the other. His portraits of John Adams and his Cabinet, particularly of Pickering (though in this he owes much to Mr. Henry C. Lodge), are distinct and well done. If the line of absolute truth could be discovered, he is probably on the side opposite to both Hildreth and von Holst,-as near it as Hildreth and very much nearer than von Holst is during this period; and a consecutive reading of Hildreth, von Holst, and Schouler would, by a sort of chromolithographic process, leave on the mind of the reader a very distinct and true impression of the political

Union and primitive manners." Would the inquir-history of the United States during the years 1789

1801. As a complement to Hildreth and a corrective, in its first volume, to von Holst, Mr. Schouler's history gives good promise of popular usefulness and life.

ing reader know the underlying cause of the heavy appearance of Washington's lower face; or the name of the person who once ventured to slap the Father of his Country upon the shoulder; or the name and story of the little Quaker boy, who, annoying Washington by an idolatrous and absurd pilgrimage in pursuit of him through a retired street of Philadelphia, was at last put to rout by a most profound and sarcastic bow from the great man; or a multitude of other like matters, not to be found in an ordinary library, and yet extremely interesting and valuable for the side-lights which they cast upon early American history and manners? He will find them in Mr. Schouler's work, lovingly culled from an evidently large collection of newspapers and tracts of the time; and, unless he has been a special rather than a general reader, he will gain from it a new and fuller notion of America and the Americans of the period covered by the volume.

The addendum to the title is, to some extent, misleading, as it marks the period, not the special subject, of the work. Political history is an incidental, not a fundamental feature, and it is perhaps accidental, but certainly characteristic, that, while two full pages are given to the rough-and-tumble fights on the floor of the House in 1798, between Lyon and Griswold, exactly the same space is given to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of the same year-the most far-reaching legislative acts, excepting the Ordinances of Secession and the Reconstruction Acts and Amendments, in our political history. Political history is treated very much after the manner of Hildreth; but Mr. Schouler has evidently consulted Hildreth's authorities, and has been disquieted to find the lines in some of Hildreth's portraits, particularly in those of Jefferson and Hamilton, drawn too deeply in some places and too lightly in others. He has, therefore, been impelled to give us portraits from his own pen, in which he has dealt too lightly with the darker lines of Jefferson's character, and too heavily with those of Hamilton's; but his error in this respect is a useful exception to the general direction of much of our later historical writing. He has brought out more

contrast the desperation of his later utterances with
the gentle optimism of our own Emerson and take
the latter's "Fortune of the Republic'
as the
better gospel.

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Schouler's "History of the United States."*

THE special raison d'être of Mr. Schouler's history seems to be that it opens to the general public a field which has hitherto been accessible mainly through the pages of historical magazines and antiquarian monographs. Its key-note is struck in a single sentence of the preface: "My main desire is to interest and instruct my countrymen in a period of American history which exhibits the primitive

History of the United States of America under the Constitution. By James Schouler. Vol. I.: 1783-1801. Washington, D. C.: W. H. & O. H. Morrison.

It is to be regretted that the author has not been fuller in citing authorities and in giving the pages, as well as the volumes, of his references. The reader must, in general, be content with the assurance that the matter and spirit of the original are correctly conveyed, as they certainly are.

"H. H.'s" " Century of Dishonor."*

"H. H.'s" book cannot be recommended to the reading of those Americans who desire to think well of their government and of humanity. The title of the work is felicitous. It must have been chosen before the book was written, for no one can fail to see that when the author projected her work, after some meditation on its scope and purpose, she naturally felt that a sketch of the dealings of the Government with some of the Indian tribes during the last one hundred years would be the history of a century of dishonor. And this is exactly what the book is, without the least attempt to extenuate any fault or to set down aught in malice. It is a terribly realistic picture-a remorselessly faithful study. Here and there, it is true, there are points of light in the history of the dealings of the United States Government with the Indian tribes, but, for the most part, this authentic and official history is one of wicked oppression, treachery, and dishonesty on the one side, and of suffering and of violence, springing from an existence embittered by tyranny, on the other.

With great discretion, the author begins her narrative with the story of the wrongs of the Delawares. They are introduced thus early because they were the aborigines who once inhabited the region in which the most populous portion of the republic is now situated that portion which stretches from the Hudson River to the Potomac. The Delawares, too, were the tribe who welcomed Hudson when he anchored the Half-Moon in what is now the

*A Century of Dishonor. A sketch of the United States Government's dealings with some of the Indian tribes. By H. H., author of "Verses," "Bits of Travel," etc., with a preface by Bishop Whipple, and an introduction by President Julius H. Seelye, New York: Harper & Brothers.

harbor of New York. And one cannot repress a feeling of sadness as he remembers that these simple-hearted savages greeted their future destroyers with the exclamation of Behold! the gods have come to visit us!" The first treaty with the Delawares was made in 1778, and, with graphic power, the author sketches their sad history as they were driven year by year farther and farther into the West, their perpetually renewed treaties perpetually | broken, their homes destroyed as soon as built, and their property taken from them as soon as collected together, until, after a century of struggle, we find the feeble remnant of the once-powerful nation, a little band of eighty-one in number, driven into a corner of the Indian Territory. And when we turn to the digest of laws which these so-called savages enacted for their own government, when they were in possession of what was solemnly declared to be their permanent home, we may well be amazed that a people so intelligent and conscientiously exact in their dealings with their fellow-men should have submitted without resistance to the wrongs which they have endured. On this point the author says:

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"We are too much inclined to read these records carelessly, without trying to picture to ourselves the condition of affairs which they represent. It has come to be such an accepted thing in the history and fate of the Indian that he is to be always pushed on, always in advance of what is called the march of civilization, that to the average mind statements of these repeated removals come with no startling force and suggest no vivid picture of details-only a sort of re-assertion of an abstract general principle. But, pausing to consider for a moment what such statements actually mean and involve, imagining such processes applied to some particular town or village that we happen to be intimately acquainted with, we can soon come to a new realization of the full bearing and import of them; such uprooting, such perplexity, such loss, such confusion and uncertainty, inflicted once on any community of white people anywhere in our land, would be considered quite enough to destroy its energies and blight its prospects for years. It may very well be questioned whether any of our small communities would have recovered from such successive shocks, changes, and forced migrations as soon and as well as have many of the Indian tribes. It is very certain that they would not have submitted to them as patiently."

Another picture presents the Winnebagoes as they were seen by Captain Carver, who visited them in 1776. Here we behold them in the simple comfort of their forest homes, hospitable, gentle, courteous, and inoffensive. They lived in plenty, sustaining themselves on wild game which filled the country, and on the kindly fruits of the earth, some of which they raised from the seed, and some of which were indigenous to the soil. Well may the author exclaim, "How can we bear to contrast this picture of peace, plenty, and gracious hospitality among the ancient Winnebagoes with the picture of their descendants, only two generations later, hunted, driven, starved!" For it was this tribe which was, in successive years, compelled to give up reservation after reservation on which they had been settled by a beneficent and patriarchal government.


It is shown with great force that the practice of the Government has been, while constantly inculcating upon the Indians the duty of maintaining themselves, to remove them as soon as they were well at work making homes. To the Indian the injunction move on " has been a perpetual menace and warning. He has moved on, in spite of the most solemn promises that he should never again be molested. Treaties made with Indians are only made to be broken. And the aim of this book is not only to show how wickedly our Government has dealt with the aborigines of the country, but to point to the only remedy which, at this late day, can be made available against future oppression-the absolute deeding to each individual, in severalty, of his share of the lands held in common.

Bevan's "Sermons to Students."*

THE object of these discourses is to bring studious persons, and those especially who are entering upon professional life, into sympathy with religion, and into the practice of it. It is not asserted that there is any special need of mediation between the churches and the classes addressed by the preacher; nevertheless, some instinct of a breach that needs healing may have found expression in them. If all the preachers had been as kindly and as wise as Dr. Bevan proves himself in these thoughtful discourses, there would now be no danger to fear the alienation of the educated classes from the church.

The first sermon treats of the relation between religion and the cultivation of the intellect;, the second discusses the claims of religion upon the student of physical science; the third, the lawyer's interest in religion; the fourth, religion as it presents itself to the physician; the fifth, religion and art; the sixth, religious and irreligious theology; the seventh, more broadly, religion and life. The preacher succeeds fairly in putting himself into the places of the people to whom he is talking; he seems to comprehend the peculiar temptations and difficulties of each of the classes addressed, and he endeavors to show that in the religious life the precise aids will be found by which these temptations may be met and these difficulties overcome. What he says to lawyers respecting the danger of becoming the slaves of technicality; of subordinating moral convictions and principles to statutory rules; of sinking into mere partisan fighters, and of becoming cynical through much familiarity with the worst side of human nature, is not especially new or profound, but it is cleverly and temperately stated. The professional snares of the physician, also, and the crippling and benumbing effects upon his moral and spiritual life of certain portions of his practice, are well set forth. And, not to be too generous in his counsels and cautions, Dr. Bevan administers to the men of his own profession some good advice respecting the need of keeping their theology religious, and of making the study of it helpful rather than harmful to the spiritual life. No hint in the volume is more pertinent.

* Sermons to Students and Thoughtful Persons. By Llewelyn D. Bevan, LL. B., D. D. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

poets, both of them, of decided individuality, but with a strong coloring reflected from him whom many believe to be not only one of the most virile, but the most poetic, of American poets. There is, also, a tinge of Emersonian mysticism in these "Verses" of Susan Coolidge, but evidently without any consciousness of the fact on the part of the author. When she writes in this spirit, it is only that she unconsciously reflects a tendency of the time.

Dr. Bevan came, not long ago, from a Congrega- | in the poems of Julia Ward Howe and "H. H.," tional church in London to what had been an OldSchool Presbyterian church in New York; but these sermons do not reveal any reaction of his thought toward a more rigid theology. Indeed, signs may be found in them of a broad and catholic mind. When he says, concerning God, that to represent His action as "anything partial, anything which is like favoritism, the neglect of any, the furtherance of some, is irreligious, not to say immoral, and theology must be guarded against the approach to such an error and confusion," one is moved to admiration in two senses of the word; and when he declares that our theology" will be irreligious, if it is not in harmony with the other spheres of human thought and life in which we obtain knowledge of the truth"; that "we find truth in the Scriptures, but we gain it also from the works of God"; that "it may be gathered from the development of religion amongst mankind, but is also derived from a study of the social and political life of men," from physical science and from moral science; that the truths found in all these realms must be made to harmonize, and that, instead of taking the Bible as the exclusive source of theological knowledge, we must, in a certain sense, “be freed from the dominion of the Book, or rather from the sovereignty of certain forms of interpretation," we see that we are dealing with an intelligent man who has ventured to do a little thinking on his own account, and who has, very likely, something to say which "students and other thoughtful persons" may wish to hear.

Susan Coolidge's "Verses.'

THE poetry of American magazines, written mainly by what may be called the third generation of American poets,-counting Bryant, Emerson, and their contemporaries as the first, and Stoddard, Stedman, Aldrich, and men of about their age as the second generation,-the current periodical poetry, we say, is largely infused with an element of mysticism which is, apparently, one sign of the widening of the influence of Emerson. The effect of the Emersonian literature upon the men to whom his words were first addressed was immediate and powerful. The range of influence was at first, however, narrow in extent, while to-day it is spreading in every direc tion. This is because Emerson has not been merely an exhorter, but an artist as well. His mysticism has been put into enduring forms of art, not only in his essays, but especially in his most original and even yet only half appreciated poetry.

Some of the most notable instances of the effect of Emerson's art upon other poetic minds are found

*Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1880.

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The "Verses" have a prelude so modest and so frank as to lead the reader to expect less of worth than he really finds in this exquisitely bound and printed little book. Many of the pieces strike us as either commonplace or artistically unsuccessful, and hardly deserving of any more flattering title than the author has given the collection; but all manifest a refined, womanly, and religious nature, and some are real poems-poems excellent in form and sincere and beautiful in spirit. The author shows the ability (so rare nowadays) to tell a story in verse with simplicity, directness, and charm. Witness "Ginevra Degli Amieri" and "The Legend of Kintu." Of the shorter poems, the best known is "The Cradle Tomb in Westminster Abbey," first printed in this magazine and now read daily by scores of tourists in the presence of the strange monument itself. Other poems to which we should like to direct the reader's attention are: "Of Such as I Have," and "Embalmed." There is a homely touch in this last that is very taking:

"I began to be glad at the corner,
And all the way to the door

My heart out-ran my footsteps,
And frolicked and danced before."

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"After the earthquake shock or lightning dart
Comes a recoil of silence o'er the lands,

And then, with pulses hot and quivering hands,
Earth calls up courage to her mighty heart,
Plies every tender, compensating art,
Draws her green, flowery veil above the scar,
Fills the shrunk hollow, smooths the riven plain,
And, with a century's tenderness, heals again
The seams and gashes which her fairness mar.
So we, when sudden woe like lightning sped,
Finds us and smites us in our guarded place,
After one brief, bewildered moment's space,
By the same heavenly instinct taught and led,
Adjust our lives to loss, make friends with pain,
Bind all our shattered hopes and bid them bloom again."

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