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choly or deliberately cultivate it should be well piness." Here we have an indisputable reason, our whipped to some honest, wholesome task; a few correspondent must admit, why cheerfulness should earnest things to do, a little subordination of their dis- be cultivated, and cultivated specially as the distinct eased egotism, some small control over their appetites, means of cultivating other powers. would send their affectations and their whims to the Melancholy, then, is a mental disorder, and joywinds. But undoubtedly there is a great deal of ousness the natural and healthful state of the mind. genuine sadness in the world. Is this sadness in- Has this disorder been increased by intellectual creased by knowledge and culture? Is it a neces- culture, or, if increased by the increase of intellecsary product of intellectual development? Has the tual habits, is this effect at all a necessary one? world grown graver because it has grown wiser? It is perhaps true that the intellectual classes have These are the questions which have recently been greater tendency to melancholy than other people ; asked by many observers ; so, putting aside all man- but this is partially due, we suspect, to their sedentary ufactured melancholy, and that which arises from habits, to a low order of physical health, to indigeseither idle or dissipated habits, let us consider the tion and other diseases that always come of neglect aspects of genuine melancholy and the effect cul- of exercise, and additionally to a fondness for introture upon it.
spective, subjective study of passions, and to the genIt is well known that melancholia is a common eral hot-house atmosphere of our emotional literature. form of insanity, and one which physicians set down It is not evident that philosophers, historians, or juramong the most obstinate and difficult of cure. ists have exhibited a special tendency to melancholy. Is this recognized mental disease anything more Indeed, the great lights in all literature for the most than an intense form of melancholy? Are not all part have been men of serene and happy natures. people suffering under habitual depression of mind If Dante and Cowper and Dr. Johnson were melansimply victims to a constitutional disorder? Our own choly men, Shakespeare and Goethe and Scott and answer to these questions is in the affirmative. We a vast number of others, eminent in all branches of believe that with all truly healthful persons-healthful letters, were not. It is certain, we think, that in mind as well as in body-joyousness is the natural, every form of healthful mental occupation brings spontaneous, inevitable expression of their being. To to the mind joy rather than gloom or sorrow; and breathe, to move, to live, are in themselves pleasure that melancholy, excepting for the moment all who and happiness with all well-organized persons. There are constitutionally afflicted with it, so far as it is may be trials, sorrows, sufferings, misfortunes, even the product at all of intellectualism, is the result bitter experiences; but, so long as a healthful balance of unhealthful forms of it. Every strain upon the is maintained throughout the being, the spirit re- emotions produces a morbid reaction; and this is bounds from these sufferings, and begins to weave why certain poets and all writers who force them. hopeful promises for the future. No outward cir- selves into ecstasies of feeling suffer when the mencumstance determines the cheerfulness or the sad- tal intoxication is over. Severe occupations that ness of men—the rich may be sad and the poor employ but do not excite the mind-whether low cheerful, the fortunate may be gloomy and the un- or high in degree-leave no taint of melancholy befortunate full of hope, the sick may be full of the hind. It is not those persons who think most, nor spirit of joy and the strong wrapped up in morbid those who are most keenly alive to the sorrows and gloom. Some persons are victims of dyspepsia, the misfortunes that befall mankind, that are overcome most joy-killing of all ailments; some are victims by sadness, but commonly the minds that work upon of diseases that cast shadows upon the soul; some their sensibilities and feelings, that cultivate melanare cursed with a constitutional inclination to sad- choly by the literature of the emotions. No doubt ness. The causes are various, but every case of mel- all such persons have at the beginning a tendency ancholy is the product of some defect in the organiza- to melancholy, but, instead of cultivating cheerful. tion. Melancholy is the absolute sign of disease, and ness, they have cultivated disease. Naturalists and a capacity for cheerfulness hence is nothing more men of science may not be free from melancholy, than supreme good health-good health of mind but their pursuits are certain to correct rather than even more than of body. Cheerfulness ought to be promote whatever natural tendency they may have placed among the cardinal virtues, and its cultivation that way. made incumbent upon every one as a duty. We Matthew Arnold tells us that the cause of the are all bound to make the most of our faculties and greatness of Wordsworth's poetry "is simple, and our opportunities, and we can not do so with the may be told quite simply. It is great because of mind clouded with apprehensions and sicklied o'er the extraordinary power with which Wordsworth with melancholy, which, while so often the product feels the joy offered to us in nature, the joy offered of dyspepsia or kindred evils, is a potent cause of to us in the simple elementary affections and duties; them. There is nothing that has so bad an effect on and because of the extraordinary power with which, the general health as a melancholy state of mind; in case after case, he shows us this joy, and renders it is indeed often impossible for physicians to effect it so as to make us share it.” Here is a supreme cures of bodily infirmities until the mind becomes test of the worth of all poetry, of all literature of elastic and hopeful. “Every power, bodily and men- the imagination, and of all art. There is really no tal,” says Herbert Spencer, “is increased by good reason for the existence of anything within the spirits. There is no such tonic,” he adds, “as hap- scope designated that does not fill the heart with
joy, that does not counteract the whole array of evils so many accidents that serve to give interest and vathat make melancholy. We do not hesitate to make riety to a chosen scheme of light and shade, with its this assertion, hard and uncompromising as it may modifications of local color. In other words, the seem. Carried into effect, such an edict would sweep painter now finds conditions of atmosphere, of light, out of existence some very beautiful fables, no doubt, and shade, and color, which are the essential features but as our sympathy for the sad fate of the Leanders of a painting, in the most familiar well as in the and Romeos of story is really born of our previous most romantic scene, and even in the town as well joy in their being, we need not deprive the world as in the country. of imagination of these pathetic legends. But ro- There seems to us no little significance in the mance and poetry and art that do not awaken in us principle here set down, and it should be considered thrills of pleasure, that do not deepen our delight in by those who think they must always go somewhere the world and in mankind, that do not afford us sweet else than where they are in order to find scenes of morsels for meditation and appropriation, should beauty. We may be certain that the sensibility be shut out from the light altogether, thrust back which needs the stimulus of strange or imposing into the domains of darkness and unhealthful pas- scenery is in truth a very feeble sort of sensibility. sion whence they came. What other possible mis- Much as we talk about mountains, they really are sion should poetry and the arts have than to in- beautiful only under certain conditions of light, withcrease the happiness of mankind ? If they fail to out which being as uninteresting lumps as can be do this, if they cause unrest rather than rest, pain imagined. Light and atmosphere are the poetical rather than delight, disease rather than health, they facts in every landscape, and these may be found in are simply an enemy of the race. We realize very all their evanescent, subtile, and exquisite beauties well the sweetness of a sad strain in music and the on the plains as well as among the mountains, and righteous sympathy that sorrow awakens; these are even in the streets of the city, although the pictorial things that soften and subdue our grosser passions resources of the town have not as yet been half and fill up the true measure of our being, but they guessed by our artists. The pictures which elicited are quite different from the gloom in which melan- the remarks by Mr. Carr that we have quoted illuscholy people enshroud themselves, which is common- trate, he tells us, some of the subtle and poetic ly selfish rather than sympathetic, full of bitterness possibilities of fogs, which are found to give refinerather than sweetness. But, however this may be, ment of form and delicacy of tone to the objects inasmuch as happiness is the legitimate end of ex- which they enshroud. Fogs, of course, are a famous istence, the sole thing that makes it desirable or feature of London street-scenes ; but in all cities there endurable, the worth of everything is determinable are mists which the skillful painter can employ with by its contribution to this end, and by this test telling effect in the delineation of his town-scenes. alone should knowledge, progress, culture, litera- Sunsets and sunrises in the city are often very picture, and art be measured.
torial—the light irradiating gable, and roof, and chimney with a strange and mysterious beauty; but
we recollect no instance of a painter making a study THE POETRY OF THE FAMILIAR.
of them. If Mr. Carr's theory is right, we must
believe that they soon will do so—will show us that, A DISTINGUISHED English writer on art—Mr. while we have all been longing for the pictorial Comyns Carr — in commenting recently on some beauty of woodland and meadow, there have been paintings of London scenes, pointed out a striking all about us hundreds of pictures full of charm had change in the conception of the picturesque that of we only instructed our eyes to see them. late years has come about. It is but a little while In this art movement we see just what has been since the landscape ideal first took possession of the going on in poetry and fiction. Poets and romanartistic spirit, and at the beginning “ the love of cists began by believing that only romantic and piclandscape implied a search for the wilder and more turesque scenes and incidents were worthy of their inaccessible kinds of scenery.” Then, as the second muse. They delighted in the supernatural ; in the imstage in the movement, came a new perception of a possible, remote, and extravagant; in the grand, hemore placid order of rural beauty, a race of painters roic, and appalling ; but we all know how the romanarising “who deliberately abandoned the romantic tic gradually shifted into the merely picturesque, and grandeur of lake and mountain for the unobtrusive then the picturesque into the familiar, until at last charm of quiet places ; and, as the actual facts of it has been discovered that even the most homely the chosen scene grew to be less significant, an in- scenes and objects often possess every attribute of creasing importance was attached to the rendering poetry. The daisy under our feet and the peasant-girl of those fleeting realities of light and air which form in the meadow have really evoked some of the most the one enduring element of vitality in all landscape beautiful poems in existence. It is the art always art.” But even here the movement has not stopped, that makes the picture or the poem or the narrative for, “as the full value of these truths of atmosphere a delight; and this fact our painters who complain became established, it was discovered that the princi- that they have nothing to paint, and our writers who ples of painting which their study had engendered deplore the absence of the picturesque and romantic were not necessarily confined to the country”-the in our familiar life, should comprehend and rememlife of the city, and even the human face, being only ber.
pravity. It is difficult for us now to go back and THE HONORS TO THE PRINCE IMPE
realize the frenzy of hatred that then convulsed the RIAL
entire British people ; and we all know what tremenAre we all who read of the royal and distin. dous exertions were made under the inspiration of this guished honors paid in England to the remains of hatred to unseat the so-called usurper. For any one the hapless Prince Imperial in a dream? Can it be then to have dreamed even that in two brief genera. true that a Queen of England lays a wreath of flow- tions the time would come when all England would ers on the coffin of a Bonaparte? Is it a British be overwhelmed with grief at the death of the heir public that exhibits such profound and tearful sym- of that monster's house, that the greatest in the land pathy for the fate of a scion of the house of Napo- would vie with each other in doing honor to the releon? Is it possible that this once-hated name is to mains of a prince bearing the name of Napoleon, he be commemorated in the jealously guarded national would have been looked upon as a madman. No mausoleum ? A monument to a Bonaparte in West- imagination then could have conceived such a thing minster Abbey ! We may well rub our eyes in as possible. And it is remarkable, moreover, that strange wonder, and ask what impossible revolution this change of feeling has not arisen from any change time may not bring about if these things are true? of political attitude toward the Bonaparte dynasty. Let us go back in imagination some seventy years It is still a conviction in England that the first Na. and picture to ourselves any one forecasting all that poleon was a reckless adventurer whose unconquerhas just occurred in England-back to the time, able ambition drenched Europe in blood; while the within the memory of Englishmen now living, when history of the Second Empire is to their minds dark the name of Napoleon Bonaparte was the most with perjury, usurpation, ambitious wars, and other hated thing on earth. The whole nation was then infamies. Even Dean Stanley, who by virtue of his united in a frenzy of detestation, and passionately authority permits the erection of a monument to the bending all its resources and strength for the over- dead Prince among the royal dead of England in Westthrow of the Corsican usurper. The unanimity of minster Abbey, declares that he gloried in Sedan. It feeling against the Emperor of the French was some- is tolerably certain that, while the English people thing more than the ordinary passion which war have ceased to hate the name of Bonaparte, they have evokes toward an enemy—it was deeper, broader, but little regret for the lost empire. We can only more intense, and more personal. Napoleon Bona- account for the demonstrations over the young parte was not simply a soldier on the other side-a Prince's body by excluding political reasons altowarlike enemy respected while feared; he was to gether, by recognizing that they were due to the the imagination of the British people nothing less tragic and dramatic contrast of his fate with the imthan a ravenous monster, a usurper and adventurer mense expectations that once clustered around his ".... a Vice of kings :
name, to the pitiful circumstances of his untimely A cutpurse of the empire and the rule ;
fate, to a keen respect for a worthy young man, to a That from a shelf the precious diadem stole"
deep sympathy for the much afflicted mother, to a a being so bloodthirsty and satanic that it was the disposition always existing on the part of the Engimperative duty of the nations to rise up and utterly lish people to follow with headlong zeal any course overthrow and destroy him. The name was absolutely in which the royal family leads the way; but, while a bugbear to frighten children with ; the young gen. these various motives are far from being discrediteration then grew up to believe that the man who had able, it is impossible not to contrast the striking usurped empire in France was nothing less than a spectacle with the unspeakable hatred which the fiend, a new and unheard-of product of human de- name of Bonaparte once excited in the British heart.
Books of the Day. ERHAPS the chief attraction of “The Lover's
common associates of that hour some copies of these earliest works of the poet who more than any other sions and amendments which I had in contemplation, has charmed and delighted his generation. Mr. Ten- and marred by the many misprints of the composinyson explains in his preface that the first three tors. Seeing that these two parts have of late been parts of it were written in his nineteenth year, and mercilessly pirated, and that which I had deemed that two only of them were printed when, feeling scarce worthy to live is not allowed to die, may I the imperfection of the poem, he withdrew it from not be pardoned if I suffer the whole poem at last to
“One of my friends, however, who, boy- come into the light, accompanied with a reprint of like, admired the boy's work, distributed among our the sequel—a work of my mature life—' The Golden
Supper'?" * The Lover's Tale. By Alfred Tennyson. Boston:
These being the circumstances under which the Houghton, Osgood & Co. 16mo, pp. 32.
poem at length appears, the critic is debarred from
applying to it the standard of the poet's later work, the poem. Here the author seems to find it difficult seeing that it was rejected not merely by the matured to get at close quarters with his story, or to work taste of the more experienced writer, but by the himself and the reader up to the proper pitch of feel. judgment of the boy who wrote it, and before it could ing; yet in it are to be found the larger number of be submitted to the test of popular approval. That striking passages. This opening description of “The the judgment which condemned it was on the whole Lover's Bay seems to us peculiarly felicitous in sound, will be readily conceded, we think, though pitching the key-note of the tale: few readers, now that they have it in authentic form, would be willing to lose the opportunity which it
Here far away, seen from the topmost cliff,
Filling with purple gloom the vacancies affords them of comparing the earlier with the later
Between the tufted hills, the sloping seas performances; of discovering to what extent the
Hung in mid-heaven, and half-way down rare sails, beauty and the fragrance of the full flower lay con
White as white clouds, floated from sky to sky. cealed in the just-opening bud. Instituting this Oh ! pleasant breast of waters, quiet bay, natural comparison, we find in “The Lover's Tale” Like to a quiet mind in the loud world, -though in an undeveloped form, as it were-sev
Where the chafed breakers of the outer sea eral of Mr. Tennyson's greatest excellences, and
Sank powerless, as anger falls aside nearly every one of his most characteristic defects. And withers on the breast of peaceful love ;
Thou didst receive the growth of pines that fledged Taking the latter first, the attentive reader will be
The hills that watched thee, as Love watcheth Love, at once struck by the lack of skill in the narrative
In thine own essence, and delight thyself the absence of that simplicity, directness, and ani.
To make it wholly thine on sunny days. mation which are essential to really good story-telling. This is a defect which Mr. Tennyson has never And here is another charming bit of natural desucceeded in removing from his work, and it is nearly scription : as conspicuous in “Maud," and the Arthurian idylls,
We trod the shadow of the downward hill ; as in “ The Lover's Tale," though in the former the
We passed from light to dark. On the other side attention is more apt to be diverted from it by the
Is scoop'd a cavern and a mountain hall, multiplicity of other beauties. The next unfavorable Which none have fathomed. If you go far in impression which the reader will probably get will (The country people rumor) you may hear be, that the sentiment is overstrained and somewhat
The moaning of the woman and the child, hysterical, or, if not quite this, that the intensity of
Shut in the secret chambers of the rock. feeling aimed at is dissipated in the volubility and
I too have heard a sound-perchance of streams
Running far on within its inmost halls, elaborateness of its expression. This also is a defect
The home of darkness; but the cavern-mouth, which Mr. Tennyson has never quite rid himself of, Half overtrailed with a wanton weed, though some of his later compositions (“Ulysses,” Gives birth to a brawling brook, that passing lightly for example) show to what tense brevity of expression Adown a natural stair of tangled roots, he can attain when he addresses himself deliberately Is presently received in a sweet grave to it. The other imperfections are of minor impor- Of eglantines, a place of burial tance, and relate chiefly to those crudities of style
Far lovelier than its cradle ; for unseen, which would naturally be looked for in the experi
But taken with the sweetness of the place, mental work of a beginner, however marked his
It makes a constant bubbling melody
That drowns the nearer echoes. Lower down poetic faculty might be.
Spreads out a little lake, that, flooding, leaves Coming now to the distinctive merits of the work,
Low banks of yellow sand; and from the woods we will mention first that delicate ear for melodious That belt it rise three dark, tall cypressesmeasures, that supreme artistic use of language, that Three cypresses, symbols of mortal woe, felicitous fitting of words to sense, which have always That men plant over graves. characterized Mr. Tennyson's poetry. Specimens of this-rare, it is true, but full of promise—may be
As an example of that appropriateness of imagery found in “The Lover's Tale," and would have en
and exquisite fitting of words to sense, of which we abled the reader to identify its authorship with ease,
have spoken, we may cite the following passage,
which describes the return to consciousness of the had it been published anonymously. Such an identification would have been materially aided by that lover, who, under the first shock of learning that his exaltation of feeling and refinement of manner which beloved loved another, had fainted : also distinguish Mr. Tennyson's work in all its peri- Long time entrancement held me. All too soon ods. The original tale, as told by Boccaccio, is, to Life (like a wanton too-officious friend, say the least, warm ; in Mr. Tennyson's version it Who will not hear denial, vain and rude is full of passionate ardor, but perfectly virginal in
With proffer of unwished-for services) its purity. Other qualities which can hardly fail to
Entering all the avenues of sense attract admiring attention are the appropriateness of
Passed through into his citadel, the brain,
With hated warmth of apprehensiveness. the imagery, the epigrammatic precision and neat.
And first the chillness of the sprinkled brook ness of phrase, and the thus early revealed aptitude
Smote on my brows, and then I seemed to hear for natural description.
Its murmur, as the drowning seaman hears, Both the faults and the merits we have enumer- Who with his head below the surface dropped ated are most conspicuously seen in the first part of Listens the muffled booming indistinct
Of the confused floods, and dimly knows
damental assumptions as the so-called certitudes His head shall rise no more : and then came in
of the other. This demonstration is, of course, not The white light of the weary moon above,
new; it being now one of the easiest and most faDiffused and molten into flaky cloud.
miliar performances of schoolboy logicians to show Fine as that is, it is surpassed by the following that the agnostic doctrine is self-destructive—that if lines, in which the poem reaches its highest level :
we can know nothing we can not even know that we
know nothing, and hence that the mutually excluThere be some hearts so airily built, that they,
sive affirmations that we know nothing and that we They-when their love is wrecked-if Love can wreckOn that sharp ridge of utmost doom ride highly
know everything stand on precisely the same basis. Above the perilous seas of Change and Chance ;
If Mr. Mallock contented himself with this sterile Nay, more, hold out the lights of cheerfulness;
logic of negation, his book would deserve but a passAs the tall ship, that many a dreary year
ing mention for its literary skill; for the great ques. Knit to some dismal sand-bank far at sea,
tions which come profoundly home to men's deepest All through the livelong hours of utter dark,
affections and convictions are not to be settled by a Showers slanting light upon the dolorous wave.
mere juggle with words. This, however, is simply For me—what light, what gleam on those black ways
an episode in his argument; and much the greater Where Love could walk with banished Hope no more ?
share of his effort is directed to showing that, on Of course these quotations, and a few more like principles of exact thought, the truths of morality them which might be culled, exhibit the poem at its have precisely the same basis as the truths of relibest; but it will be admitted, we think, that they gion, that the reasoning which destroys the one set almost excuse the piracy of which the author com- equally destroys the other, and that by the admisplains, and they certainly convey a keen sense of the sion of scientists themselves the truths of the moral severity of the standard by which Mr. Tennyson has order are indispensable to any belief in man's dignibeen accustomed to judge his work.
ty or life's worth-are, in fact, the only thing which lift him above the beasts that perish. If, says Mr.
Mallock in substance, your positive philosophy has In spite of its inapt and somewhat fantastic title, proved that the belief in God and the other truths Mr. Mallock’s “Is Life worth Living ?”* is one of
of religion is a vain dream, then it has proved in the most important books which recent literature has precisely the same manner and to precisely the same offered to those readers for whom the great questions extent that the truths of morality, the distinction beof life, death, and the future destiny of man still re
tween right and wrong, virtue and vice, truth and tain some vitality. In the long conflict between Re: falsehood, are also vain dreams ; and yet the most ligion and Science, there has been no lack on the impassioned utterances of the leading exponents of part of the former of able and zealous champion- your philosophy imply unmistakably that these disship; but it may be said that the wellnigh univer- alities. If, on the other hand, you really mean what
tinctions are the loftiest and most significant of resal defect of the works of such champions has been that they started from premises which Science you say when you insist upon the worth and the categorically denies, and cited evidence which Sci- compelling efficacy of moral truths, then the boastence found it only too easy to refute or discredit. ed ruthlessness of your logic evaporates in words, The special and peculiar strength of Mr. Mallock's and you are completely estopped from heaping conbook lies in the fact that, for the purposes of his tumely upon those truths of theism which stand argument, he accepts as proved the most radical upon exactly the same evidence, and the only defect and far-reaching dogmas of Science, and in fact of which, as you admit, is the lack of proof of their constitutes them the chief weapons of his armory.
objective existence. It is on the assumption of the truth and universal
Such, in very brief and general terms, is Mr. acceptance of these dogmas that the power of his Mallock's argument; and it will be conceded, we attack depends, and in so far as the attack is suc
think, by the candid and intelligent reader that he cessful the fate of his antagonists is that of engi- demonstrates that the evidence for theism is preciseneers who are “hoist with their own petard.”
ly as strong as that for any other theory of nature or For example, one of the most common claims life which does not altogether deny the existence of
Had Mr. Mallock conof the Positive Philosophy, as Mr. Mallock calls it, the moral element in man. is that the progress of Science has utterly discredited all the avenues through which he has led up to it,
tented himself with fortifying this argument along all definite forms of theistic faith, or at least relegated them to the domain of dreams and visions. his book, it seems to us, could hardly have failed Accepting this as a fact, Mr. Mallock proceeds to
to make a profound impression upon the thinking show that the same logic which crumbles away the world ; but, without any assault from outside critics, theories of the theologian is equally destructive to the his last three chapters go far to discredit if not to theories of the scientist-that, in fact, the so-called stultify his entire performance. In these three chapcertitudes of the one involve precisely the same fun
ters he attempts to attack, as a sort of corollary to
the proposition we have explained, the additional * Is Life worth Living? By William Hurrell Mal
one that the Church of Rome embodies the only relock. New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons. Izmo, pp. ligion or scheme of faith possible to man, and offers 323
the only refuge from the “ brutal negations of posi