Puslapio vaizdai
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ference of this universe, should at last seek its home and find its blessedness in the rest of a personal centre? Now, with respect to the other point, namely, Wordsworth's Toryism, or Conservatism-call it what you will; it does not matter whether I am now addressing Tories or Radicals; since we are speaking of great principles we will have done with names. I will read you a passage in which Wordsworth speaks of England:

“Hail to the crown by freedom shaped-to gird
An English sovereign's brow! and to the throne
Whereon he sits. Whose deep foundations lie
In veneration and the people's love;

Whose steps are equity, whose seal is law."

Now, the veriest democrat can only object to this as a matter of fact, and will probably say, "If this be England I would desire to preserve her as she is; but because I do not believe it, I desire to alter her; in heart and in idea we are one, the only point on which we differ is the point of historical fact." I say, therefore, that in Wordsworth's most democratic days he was aristocratic in heart; and in his most aristocratic days he had all that was most generous, and all that was most aspiring in the democratic mind. I now come rapidly towards the conclusion; but

having said what I have, it is necessary that I should complete the picture by giving you an idea of the patriotism in Wordsworth; that intense and deep love for England, in which aristocrat and democrat are blended in the formation of one high-minded man. I will read a passage showing Wordsworth's love for his country :

"When I have borne in memory what has tamed
Great nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
When men change swords for legers, and desert
The student's bower for gold, some fears unnamed
I had, my country!-am I to be blamed,

Now, when I think of thee, and what thou art,
Verily in the bottom of my heart,

Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.

For dearly must we prize thee; we who find
In thee a bulwark for the cause of men ;
And I by my affection was beguiled:
What wonder if a poet now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
Felt for thee as a lover or a child?”

I must preface the next sonnet I have to read, by reminding you, that it was written at a period when a French invasion was expected. It is a very hard and difficult thing for us in the present day, broken as we are into so many factions, to conceive the united enthusiasm which stirred the heart of England in those days, when every moment the invasion of the great conqueror of

Europe was possible. The fleets of England swept the seas; on every hill the signal beacons blazed; 420,000 men were in arms; the service of the church was liable to be interrupted by the clang of arms upon the pavement; every village churchyard was converted into a parade-ground; every boy felt as if there were strength, even in his puny arm, to strike a blow in defence of the cause of his country; every man, excepting when he thought of the women of his country, was longing for the time to come, when it should be seen with what a strength, with what a majesty a soldier fought, when he was fighting in the magnificent and awful cause of his altar and his hearth.

The moment was like that of the deep silence which precedes a thunder-storm, when every breath is hushed, and every separate dried leaf, as it falls through the boughs, is heard tinkling, tinkling down through the branches, from branch to branch; when men's breath was held; when men's blood beat thick in their hearts, as if they were waiting in solemn and grand, but not in painful—rather in triumphant-expectation for the moment when the storm should break, and the French cry of "Glory" should be thundered back again by England's sublimer battle-cry of "Duty!" It was at this time that Wordsworth's sonnet appeared:

"It is not to be thought of that the flood
Of British freedom, which to the open sea
Of the world's praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, with 'pomp of waters unwithstood,'
Roused though it be full often to a mood
Which spurns the check of salutary bands,
That this most famous stream in bogs and sands
Should perish! and to evil and to good

Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue

That Shakspeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held. In every thing we are sprung

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Of earth's first blood, have titles manifold."

In the next passage I have to bring before you, I will remind you of some other facts. The sonnet is addressed to the men of Kent. Now, there is a difference between the Kentish men and the men of Kent. The Kentish men are simply the inhabitants of the county of Kent. The "Men of Kent" is a technical expression applied to the inhabitants of that part of Kent who were never subdued in the Norman invasion, and who obtained glorious terms for themselves, on capitulation, receiving the confirmation of their own charters; so that until very recentlyif not at present-they were still in possession of the custom called Gavelkind, by which the sons inherited, not unequally, the eldest taking

precedence, but they all taking share and share alike. It was to the "Men of Kent," the inhabitants of that part of the county nearest to the neighbouring land of France, that Wordsworth addressed this sonnet:

"Vanguard of Liberty, ye Men of Kent,

Ye children of a soil that doth advance
Her haughty brow against the coast of France,
Now is the time to prove your hardiment!
To France be words of invitation sent!

They from their fields can see the countenance
Of your fierce war, may ken the glittering lance,
And hear you shouting forth your brave intent.
Left single, in bold parley, ye, of yore,
Did from the Norman win a gallant wreath;
Confirmed the charters that were yours before ;-
No parleying now! In Britain is one breath,
We all are with you now from shore to shore :-
Ye men of Kent, 'tis victory or death!”

In this age of cosmopolitanism, when we are, forsooth, too much philanthropists to be patriots; when any deep and strong emotion of love to our country is reckoned as nothing more than the sacredness of the schoolboy's affection; when our young people who have travelled can find no words more capable of expressing their contempt than these—“ It is so English;" it does the heart good to read these firm and pure, and true and manly words, issuing from the lips of one who

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