« AnkstesnisTęsti »
that for? What can the police do in the business? Why, certainly nothing. What I meant in my dream was, perhaps [but one forgets what one meant upon recovering one's temper], that the police should take Strephon and Corydon into custody, whom I fancied at the other end of the room. And really the justifiable fury, that arises upon recalling such abominable attempts at bucolic sentiment in such abominable language, sometimes transports me into a luxurious vision sinking back through 130 years, in which I see Addison, Phillips, both John and Ambrose, Tickell, Fickell, Budgell, and Cudgell, with many others beside, all cudgelled in a round robin, none claiming precedency of another, none able to shrink from his own dividend, until a voice seems to recall me to milder thoughts by saying, "But surely, my friend, you never could wish to see Addison cudgelled? Let Strephon and Corydon be cudgelled without end, if the police can show any warrant for doing it. But Addison was a man of great genius." True, he was so. I recollect it suddenly, and will back out of any angry things that I have been misled into saying by Schlosser, who, by-the-bye, was right, after all, for a wonder. But now I will turn my whole fury in vengeance upon Schlosser. And, looking round for a stone to throw at him, I observe this. Addison could not be so entirely careless of exciting the public to think and feel, as Schlosser pretends, when he took so much pains to inoculate that public with a sense of the Miltonic grandeur. The "Paradise Lost" had then been published barely forty years, which was nothing in an age without reviews; the editions were still scanty; and though no Addison could eventually promote, for the instant he quickened, the circulation. If I recollect, Tonson's accurate revision of the text followed immediately upon Addison's papers.
And it is certain that Addison must have diffused the knowledge of Milton upon the continent, from signs that soon followed. But does not this prove that I myself have been in the wrong as well as Schlosser? No: that's impossible. Schlosser's always in the wrong; but it's the next thing to an impossibility that I should be detected in an error: philosophically speaking, it is supposed to involve a contradiction. "But surely I said the very same thing as Schlosser by assenting to what he said." Maybe I did: but then I have time to make a distinction, because my article is not yet finished; we are only at page 6 or 7; whereas Schlosser can't make any distinction now, because his book's printed; and his list of errata (which is shocking, though he does not confess to the thousandth part) is actually published. My distinction is that, though Addison generally hated the impassioned, and shrank from it as from a fearful thing, yet this was when it combined with
+ It is an idea of many people, and erroneously sanetioned by Wordsworth, that Lord Somers gave a powerful lift to the "Paradise Lost." He was a subscriber to the sixth edition, the first that had plates; but this was some years before the Revolution of 1688, and when he was simply Mr Somers, a barrister, with no effectual power of patronage.
forms of life and fleshy realities (as in dramatic works), but not when it combined with elder forms of eternal abstractions. Hence, he did not read, and did not like Shakspere; the music was here too rapid and life-like: but he sympathised profoundly with the solemn cathedral chaunting of Milton. An appeal to his sympathies which exacted quick changes in those sympathies he could not meet, but a more stationary key of solemnity he could. Indeed, this difference is illustrated daily. A long list can be cited of passages in Shakspere, which have been solemnly denounced by many eminent men (all blockheads) as ridiculous: and if a man does find a passage in a tragedy that displeases him, it is sure to seem ludicrous: witness the indecent exposures of themselves made by Voltaire, La Harpe, and many billions beside of bilious people. Whereas, of all the shameful people (equally billions, and not less bilious) that have presumed to quarrel with Milton, not one has thought him ludicrous, but only dull and somnolent. In "Lear" and in "Hamlet," as in a human face agitated by passion, are many things that tremble on the brink of the ludicrous to an observer endowed with small range of sympathy or intellect. But no man ever found the starry heavens ludicrous, though many find them dull, and prefer a near view of a brandy flask. So in the solemn wheelings of the Miltonic movement, Addison could find a sincere delight. But the sublimities of earthly misery and of human frenzy were for him a book sealed. Beside all which, Milton renewed the types of Grecian beauty as to form, whilst Shakspere, without designing at all to contradict these types, did so, in effect, by his fidelity to a new nature, radiating from a Gothic centre.
In the midst, however, of much just feeling, which one could only wish a little deeper, in the Addisonian papers on "Paradise Lost," there are some gross blunders of criticism, as there are in Dr. Johnson, and from the self-same cause-an understanding suddenly palsied from defective passion. A feeble capacity of passion must, upon a question of passion, constitute a feeble range of intellect. But, after all, the worst thing uttered by Addison in these papers is, not against Milton, but meant to be complimentary. Towards enhancing the splendour of the great poem, he tells us that it is a Grecian palace as to amplitude, symmetry, and architectural skill; but being in the English language, it is to be regarded as if built in brick; whereas, had it been so happy as to be written in Greek, then it would have been a palace built in Parian marble. Indeed! that's smart-" that's handsome, I calculate." Yet, before a man undertakes to sell his mother tongue, as old pewter trucked against gold, he should be quite sure of his own metallurgic skill; because else, the gold may happen to be copper, and the pewter to be silver. Are you quite sure, powers my Addison, that you have understood the of this language which you toss away so lightly, as an old tea-kettle? Is it a ruled case that you have exhausted its resources? Nobody doubts your grace in a certain line of composition, but it
after considerable kicking and plunging (for a man cannot but turn restive when he finds that he has not only got the wrong sow by the ear, but actually sold the sow to a bookseller), the poor translator was tamed into sulkiness; in which state he observed that he could have wished his own work, being evidently so much superior to the earliest form of the romance, might be admitted by the courtesy of England to take the precedency as the original “Paradise Lost," and to supersede the very rude performance of "Milton, Mr. John." *
is only one line among many, and it is far from mistake was at length discovered, and communibeing amongst the highest. It is dangerous, with-cated to him with shouts of laughter; on which, out examination, to sell even old kettles; misers conceal old stockings filled with guineas in old tea-kettles; and we all know that Aladdin's servant, by exchanging an old lamp for a new one, caused an Iliad of calamities: his master's palace jumped from Bagdad to some place on the road to Ashantee; Mrs. Aladdin and the piccaninies were carried off as inside passengers; and Aladdin himself only escaped being lagged, for a rogue and a conjuror, by a flying jump after his palace. Now, mark the folly of man. Most of the people I am going to mention subscribed, generally, to the supreme excellence of Milton; but each wished for a little change to be made-which, and which only was wanted to perfection. Dr. Johnson, though he pretended to be satisfied with the "Paradise Lost," even in what he regarded as the undress of blank verse, still secretly wished it in rhyme. That's No. 1. Addison, though quite content with it in English, still could have wished it in Greek. That's No. 2. Bentley, though admiring the blind old poet in the highest degree, still observed, smilingly, that after all he was blind; he, therefore, slashing Dick, could have wished that the great man had always been surrounded by honest people; but, as that was not to be, he could have wished that his amanuensis had been hanged; but, as that also had become impossible, he could wish to do execution upon him in effigy, by sinking, burning, and destroying his handywork -upon which basis of posthumous justice, he proceeded to amputate all the finest passages in the poem. Slashing Dick was No. 3. Payne Knight was a severer man even than slashing Dick; he professed to look upon the first book of “Paradise Lost" as the finest thing that earth had to show; but, for that very reason, he could have wished, by your leave, to see the other eleven books sawed off, and sent overboard; because, though tolerable perhaps in another situation, they really were a national disgrace, when standing behind that unrivalled portico of book 1.
No. 4. Then came a fellow, whose name was either not on his title page, or I have forgotten it, that pronounced the poem to be laudable, and full of good materials; but still he could have wished that the materials had been put together in a more workmanlike manner; which kind office he set about himself. He made a general clearance of all lumber: the expression of every thought he entirely re-cast: and he fitted up the metre with beautiful patent rhymes; not, I believe, out of any consideration for Dr. Johnson's comfort, but on principles of mere abstract decency as it was, the poem seemed naked, and yet was not ashamed. There went No. 5. Him succeeded a droller fellow than any of the rest. A French bookseller had caused a prose French translation to be made of the "Paradise Lost," without particularly noticing its English origin, or at least not in the title page. Our friend, No. 6, getting hold of this as an original French romance, translated it back into English prose, as a satisfactory novel for the season. His little
Schlosser makes the astounding assertion, that a compliment of Boileau to Addison, and a pure compliment of ceremony upon Addison's early Latin verses, was (credite posteri !) the making of Addison in England. Understand, Schlosser, that Addison's Latin verses were never heard of by England, until long after his English prose had fixed the public attention upon him; his Latin reputation was a slight reaction from his English reputation: and, secondly, understand that Boileau had at no time any such authority in England as to make anybody's reputation; he had first of all to make his own. A sure proof of this is, that Boileau's name was first published to London, by Prior's burlesque of what the Frenchman had called an ode. This gasconding ode celebrated the passage of the Rhine in 1672, and the capture of that famous fortress called Skink ("le fameux fort de"), by Louis XIV., known to London at the time of Prior's parody by the name of "Louis Baboon." That was not likely to recommend Master Boileau to any of the allies against the said Baboon, had it ever been heard of out of France. Nor was it likely to make him popular in England, that his name was first mentioned amongst shouts of laughter and mockery. It is another argument of the slight notoriety possessed by Boileau in England
that no attempt was ever made to translate even his satires, epistles, or "Lutrin," except by booksellers' hacks; and that no such version ever took the slightest root amongst ourselves, from Addison's day to this very summer of 1847. Boileau was essentially, and in two senses, viz., both as to mind and as to influence, un homme borné.
Addison's "Blenheim" is poor enough; one might think it a translation from some German original of those times. Gottsched's aunt, or Bodmer's wet-nurse, might have written it; but still no fibs even as to "Blenheim." His "enemies" did not say this thing against "Blenheim" "aloud," nor his friends that thing against it "softly." And why? Because at that time (1704-5) he had made no particular enemies, nor any particular
Milton, Mr. John:"-Dr. Johnson expressed his wrath, in au amusing way, at some bookseller's hack who, when employed to make an index, introduced Milton's name among the Ms, under the civil title of " Milton, Mr. John."
+ "Louis Baboon":-As people read nothing in these days that is more than forty-eight hours old, I am daily admonished that allusions the most obvious to anything in the rear of our own time, needs explanation. Louis Baboon is Swift's jesting name for Louis Bourbon, i.e., Louis XIV.
friends; unless by friends you mean his Whig patrons, and by enemies his tailor and co.
As to "Cato," Schlosser, as usual, wanders in the shadow of ancient night. The English people," it seems, so "extravagantly applauded" this wretched drama, that you might suppose them to have "altogether changed their nature," and to have forgotten Shakspere. That man must have forgotten Shakspere, indeed, and from ramollissement of the brain, who could admire "Cato." "But," says Schlosser, it was only a fashion;' and the English soon repented." The English could not repent of a crime which they had never committed. Cato was not popular for a moment, nor tolerated for a moment, upon any literary ground, or as a work of art. It was an apple of temptation and strife thrown by the goddess of faction between two infuriated parties. "Cato," coming from a man without Parliamentary connexions, would have dropped lifeless to the ground. The Whigs have always affected a special love and favour for popular counsels they have never ceased to give themselves the best of characters as regards public freedom. The Tories, as contradistinguished to the Jacobites, knowing that without their aid, the Revolution could not have been carried, most justly contended that the national liberties had been at least as much indebted to themselves. When, therefore, the Whigs put forth their man Cato to mouth specches about liberty, as exclusively their pet, and about patriotism and all that sort of thing, saying insultingly to the Tories, "How do you like that? Does that sting?" "Sting, indeed!" replied the Tories; "not at all; it's quite refreshing to us, that the Whigs have not utterly disowned such sentiments, which,
by their public acts, we really thought they had." And, accordingly, as the popular anecdote tells us, a Tory leader, Lord Bolingbroke, sent for Booth who performed Cato, and presented him (populo spectante) with fifty guineas "for defending so well the cause of the people against a perpetual dictator." In which words, observe, Lord Bolingbroke at once asserted the cause of his own party, and launched a sarcasm against a great individual opponent, viz., Marlborough. Now, Mr. Schlosser, I have mended your harness; all right ahead; so drive on once more.
But, oh Castor and Pollux, whither-in what direction is it, that the man is driving us? Positively, Schlosser, you must stop and let me get out. I'll go no further with such a drunken coachman. Many another absurd thing I was going to have noticed, such as his utter perversion of what Mandeville said about Addison (viz., by suppressing one word, and misapprehending all the rest). Such, again, as his point-blank misstatement of Addison's infirmity in his official character, which was not that "he could not prepare despatches in a good style," but diametrically the opposite case-that he insisted too much on style, to the serious retardation of public business. But all these things are as nothing to what Schlosser says elsewhere. He actually describes Addison, on the whole, as a "dull prosaist," and the patron of pedantry! Addison, the man of all that ever lived most hostile even to what was good in pedantry, to its tendencies towards the profound in erudition and the non-popular; Addison, the champion of all that is easy, natural, superficial, a pedant and a master of pedantry! Get down, Schlosser, this moment; or let me get out. (To be concluded in next Number.)
A rumour through the village runs,
Will yet be my undoing;
In agony I sat,
While that unwieldy booby Hans,
Next Easter, it will be a year,
I scrap'd some cash together,
To grace her Sunday's hat:
TORTURED BO O R.
And gravely down I sat.
To visit her I deck'd myself,
As for a marriage feast;
My granda's buckles in my shoon,
My father's Sunday's vest,
My uncle's white cravat;
But when I came, the bird was flown,
Now only think of that!
I sought that burly traitor Hans,
My ribbon round his hat!
Heart-sick, and lame, I limp'd within,
When, stealthy as a cat,
I peep'd, and saw the clownish knave
Ah! faithless Gretchen! think upon
Ere Hans, the hound's foot won your heart,
A long farewell-I'll poison take,
LADY GEORGIANA FULLERTON'S GRANTLEY MANOR.
In a second work, some palpable advance in Romanism, or Puseyism, or the modern nondescript faith, hovering between the two, together, with a high flavour of Young Englandism, might have been looked for from so eloquent and zealous an adherent and expositor as the authoress of "Ellen Middleton." Lady Georgiana has shown better taste. Her Catholicism is as decided as ever, but the machinery, the apparatusif we may use the words-of the sensuous and scenic features of the religion which she admires apparently as much in its letter as in its spirit, is not so frequently obtruded upon the readers; and as for "Grantley Manor" which might, from the name, be preconceived the very spot on which the disciples of Mr. Newman, or of "the Old Religion," were to renew the Golden Age,-it gives an unmeaning, but convenient title to the romance, and nothing more.
As in "Ellen Middleton," the interest of the book turns upon a fatal secret, pent up in the bosom of the unhappy heroine, and one other person only. In "Ellen Middleton" the efficacy and duty of confession, and the comfort and blessing of priestly absolution are directly and indirectly shown. How much causeless remorse and mortal agony might those pious provisions of the indulgent Catholic Church have spared to the innocent victim of an involuntary crime, who had never known the blessedness of pouring forth her troubles and sins at the feet of a holy priest, the successor of the Apostles! A few grains of plain sense would, indeed, in this case have been sufficient to extricate the unfortunate heroine from all her perplexities, and many of her griefs, but in the instance of Ginevra Leslie, the impassioned Italian girl, the rigid Catholic, the distress is more complicated, as with her the ardent love, and devoted affection of a wife are either conflicting or directly opposed to the clearest dictates of conscience.
The story or plot is simple. Of incidents there are few; of characters not many out of the common routine of three volumed serious romance; of ordinary life, in its everyday interests and ongoings, there is very little.
Some twenty years before the tale begins-which opens at Grantley Manor-on a sunshiny evening, symbolically following a rainy day-Henry Leslie, the heir of the domain, on leaving Oxford and settling on his estate, had married a quiet, gentle girl, the daughter of the village rector. She died within two years, bequeathing to his love the infant Margaret, one of the heroines of our two-fold story. Leslie was not yet twenty-three. He went to Italy to dissipate his grief; new tastes, interests, and excitements, arose amid new scenes; the fiery and poetic Leslie became a new man; and was finally completely Italianized by the exquisite beauty and innocent fascination of the sister of a young painter with whom he became intimate at Rome. We are left somewhat in doubt whether Leslie was converted to
the Catholic religion or not before Father Francesco permitted his niece and disciple to become the bride of one who "knelt not at the same altar with themselves;" but are led to infer that two Protestant English gentlemen, Leslie and Neville, made the sacrifice of their religion, while much of the interest of the tale turns upon the exalted steadfastness, the sublime heroism with which Leslie's youngest daughter, Ginevra, the sole child of his Italian marriage, clung to what is represented as her more soul-sustaining and exalting faith.
Leslie had obtained his idol, purchased at whatever sacrifice, and remained with her in Italy, uncertain, or but too certain, of the reception which a foreigner and a Catholic, who was "not even a lady," whatever were her loveliness, or her genius, and virtues, might expect in cold, prejudiced, Reformed England.
Two years of bliss passed; and again the young and widowed husband was left alone with the infant Ginevra, who was nearly three years younger than Margaret, her English sister. He left both his infant girls to the care of their respective relatives, each to be reared up in the faith of her mother, and spent a long series of years in Spain and India, a cold and reserved, if not a stern and heartless man. His Italian marriage, which, to his friends in England, had been as brief as unwelcome, was never talked of at Grantley Manor; and Margaret, as she grew up, could only guess that she had a sister.
Under the care of a worthy but common-place English governess, indulged by her grand parents, and caressed and spoiled by every one, the little heiress passed a happy childhood and girlhood, indebted for much that was bright in her lot, and all that was noble in her character, to the guardian superintendence of Walter Sydney, the friend of her father, and, in past days, the silent adorer of her mother; one, in short, of these middle-aged guardian angels who, with a romantic admixture of paternal, angelic, and mere earthly love, watch over their wayward charges, silently endure a world of doubt and agony, while the perverse girl is wasting her affections upon one or more young rivals; and, finally, all perplexities cleared away, become the happy husbands of contented and even happy wives-young ladies who, after some experience of the trials of life, have found out that first, romantic love, with all its delusive illusions, is but as the crackling of thorns under a pot. The loves of Walter-" Old Walter,” as the petulant and charming girl whom he spoiled called him-proceed and terminate in the best and only approved way in all such cases, “made and provided." A great deal of delicacy, disinterestedness, and misery, on the part of the sensitive, elderly lover, who "might have been her father," and on the part of the heroine, the usual illusions of passion, and the torture of ill-placed or unrequited love. For it is with the husband of her sister that Margaret has unconsciously
'fallen in love, and thus fearfully complicated the
From a dream of rapture the young pair were awakened by letters from Edmund's father, expressive of his cruel resolution; but written in ignorance of the step his son had taken. Ginevra quickly apprehended something like the truth.
She snatched the fatal letter.
of the inveterate nature of that father's prejudices against the religion which his wife professed."
Information, through another channel, and from his mother, confirmed Neville's worst apprehensions.
This news had fallen like a thunderbolt on the heart
of Ginevra's husband, and never did a more fearful storm rage in any human breast than swayed his in that hour. He loved her ardently; and even in that moment did not regret that he had bound her to himself by irrevocable ties; she was his, and must be his for ever; but the threatened consequences of that act must be guarded against, and his marriage remain a secret till such time as he should succeed in overpowering his father's objections; or, at least, in weakening the strength of his prejudices. Perhaps, also, some vague hope crossed his mind that he might work a change in her religious creed, and then the daughter of Colonel Leslie, and the convert to Protestantism, would be hailed by his family as the most welcome bride he could present to them."
And now the conflict of duty and affection, in the breast of the heroine, may be presumed to Ginevra, begin. But there is no such conflict. assailed by every influence that can move a sentient being, sacrifices her happiness, and almost her fame, to her husband's selfish interests and wishes; but remains as inflexible to her religion as Neville's "bigoted father" did to his—a steadfastness which, in her character, is pictured as the noblest self-devotion, the highest heroism, while persons like Neville's ultra-protestant father, though to be respected for their conscientious motives, are described as "too stern, too inflexible, not to create despair in the hearts of those who see no point by which to approach, no weakness by which to soften, no emotion by which to work on their rugged conscientiousness and smooth impassibility."
In the extremity of their fate Ginevra, sustained by her Catholic faith, counselled her husband nobly. "Truth, truth; for heaven's sake truth-and then misery and wretchedness, if God But Edmund wanted both her faith pleases !" and her courage, and tacitly, at least, she consented that their union should remain a secret. In these distracted days, an unexpected letter from her father, who had returned to England, directed Ginevra, who had now lost her uncle, to join him. By a singular coincidence, she was to travel under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Warren, the latter the sister of Neville's father. This was His wife would, unexpected relief to Edmund.
"A thousand new and startling thoughts seemed to rise in her mind during that moment. the past; she foresaw the future; a fearful revolution was taking place within her. In his blind and selfish passion, this man who was by her side, who was holding her hand, who was watching her whilst she read-this man had made her the instrument of his own ruin; had placed her, in her unsuspecting helplessness, between himself, and duty, and honour, and happiness, and therethere she must remain, like the angel's sword in the apostate prophet's path, where the hand of God had placed her-and from that path of duty and of misery she must not swerve. She saw it, she felt it; her heart sickened within her, her brain almost gave way; reason would have forsaken her, even love might have failed her in that her hour of need-but religion was there, and the torrent was stemmed, and the path was clear, and the in the meanwhile, be safe under the protection victory was won. The past was irrevocable; the future of her family, and their secret inviolate, while ho must be met by him and by herself in the spirit of expia-proceeded alone to Ireland, to smooth difficulties tion-where sin or error had been; of resignationwhere the sin or the error had been involuntary. No reproach passed her lips; there was reproach, and he felt it, in the increased paleness of her cheek, and in the tremulous accents of her voice, as she asked him, in a subdued tone
"And now, my Edmund, what can we do?'"
"He hid his face in his hands, and remained silent. He dared not tell her how desperate was the struggle in his heart between his passion for her and his reluctance to forego those worldly advantages which his marriage with her threatened to destroy. It had never occurred to him for an instant to suppose that his father had the power, even if he had the will, to disinherit him, and this stunning intelligence was communicated for the first time in the letter that informed him of the strength and
which no longer seemed insurmountable.
"Ginevra, once established in her father's house, acknowledged openly as his daughter, idolized as sho must be by all who came near her, would stand in the eyes of his family in a very different light from the Italian girl, the niece of an Italian priest, the very name of whose country and of whose creed would be abhorrent to their most cherished prejudices. The sight of her father's handwriting strangely affected Ginevra, and for the first time a sense of guilt and remorse took possession Instead of being (as poor Leonardo had of her soul. assured her) in some remote part of India, he was returning to his own country at the very moment when she had married without his consent, and she must meet him again with a secret in her heart, and in his home, and by