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erected. If the plan were to erect here a monument in taste. But we can bring obelisks to New York as imitation of an Egyptian obelisk, then it would be relics just as we bring antique bronzes, prehistoric right enough to point out the inappropriateness of implements, old statues, and old paintings. If the the scheme—to show that copying a form of art un. Greek Venus of Milo may with propriety stand in the der different conditions from those out of which that Louvre in Paris, an Egyptian column may, with equal art was produced is a great error of judgment and propriety, be placed in a public square in New York.
Books of the Day.
'HE month should be distinguished by a red ed by concentrating the interest upon the strictly
our table two such poems as “ The Light of Asia” and gentleness, his simplicity, his tender affections, and “ Blanid,” each discriminated from the other by his sensitiveness to sorrow, and his compassionate its own special qualities, but both presenting the un- love for his fellow men. The element of the supermistakable hues of “that light that never was on natural is introduced just sufficiently to give local land or sea." In “ The Light of Asia ”* Mr. Ed. color to the narrative, and to indicate the nature of win Arnold endeavors to depict the life and charac. the legends which the reverence of later disciples ter and indicate the philosophy of Prince Gautama las clustered round the founder's name ; but, though of India, the founder of Buddhism. A theme of the literary effect greatly enhanced by this, the greater grandeur or more profound significance could nobility of Buddha's character, the sublimity of his hardly be imagined, for Gautama is one "whose teaching, and the reality of his mission, are made to personality, though imperfectly revealed in the ex- appear (as in truth they are) entirely independent of isting sources of information, can not but appear the signs and wonders by which their revelation was the highest, holiest, and most beneficent, with one supposed to have been accompanied and vindicated. exception, in the history of thought.” Moreover, In the delineation of character the poem achieves the faith which he promulgated has stood the test of an unquestionable success; for, whether the Gautatwenty-four centuries, and at this day surpasses, in ma here depicted corresponds to the real Gautama the number of its votaries and the area of its prev- or not, he conveys a distinct and vivid impression of alence, any other form of creed; furnishing their a most noble, tender, and beneficent personality. moral and religious ideas to more than a third of He is no mere plexus of abstract virtues or conmankind. “Four hundred and seventy millions of venient label for a series of superhuman and miracuour race," says Mr. Arnold, “ live and die in the lous deeds, but a man keenly aļive to all the sorrow. tenets of Gautama ; and the spiritual dominions of ful aspects of human life, and passionately con this ancient teacher extend at the present time from vinced, after long experiment upon himself, that Nepaul and Ceylon over the whole Eastern Penin- man is not the plaything of the gods, but that each sula to China, Japan, Thibet, Central Asia, Sibe. may find within himself the means of his own salria, and even Swedish Lapland. India itself might vation. The exposition of doctrine is something esfairly be included in this magnificent empire of be. sentially beyond the province of poetry, and it is lief, for, though the profession of Buddhism has for sufficiently high praise to say that Mr. Arnold manthe most part passed away from the land of its birth, ages this portion of his work so skillfully as really the mark of Gautama's sublime teaching is stamped to interest and instruct the reader without sinking ineffaceably upon modern Brahmanism, and the most quite to the level of prose. He makes no attempt characteristic habits and convictions of the Hindoos to enter into details, but contents himself with indi. are clearly due to the benign influence of Buddha's cating in a series of pregnant verses, after the manprecepts. . . . Forests of flowers are daily laid upon ner of Omar Khayyam, all that is essential to his his stainless shrines, and countless millions of lips purpose—the general purport of Buddha's teachings. daily repeat the formula, ‘I take refuge in Bud. The powerful literary charm of the poem is due dha.'"
mainly to its Oriental warmth of feeling and richFrom such a theme any imagination less bold or ness of imagery. Here Mr. Arnold's long residence insight less profound than that of Milton might well in India has stood him in good stead, and he is alshrink back ; yet, with no qualities which even re. most the only Western writer whose verse is surmotely suggest Milton, Mr. Arnold has produced an charged with the opulence of “the gorgeous East," epic poem of genuine grandeur, elevation, and beau- and yet conveys the impression of vraisemblance. ty. The chief difficulty of his subject he has avoid. Moore's “Lalla Rookh” is the mere tour de force of
a nimble fancy, and possesses no more of the illusion * The Light of Asia ; or, The Great Renunciation. of reality than Coleridge's “ Kubla Khan.” Being the Life and Teaching of Gautama, Prince of In- Preparatory to offering a few extracts—which dia and Founder of Buddhism. By Edwin Arnold, will be far more effective than analysis or commenM. A. Boston: Roberts Brothers. Omo, pp. 238. tary in giving an idea of Mr. Amold's work-it may
be well to explain that, in order to secure the Oriental Goading their velvet Alanks : then marked he, too, point of view, indispensable in a work of such a char- How lizard fed on ant, and snake on him, acter, the poem is put into the mouth of an imaginary
And kite on both; and how the fish-hawk robbed
The fish-tiger of that which it had seized ; Buddhist votary. It opens with an account of Bud
The shrike chasing the bulbul, which did chase dha's birth, and of the portents in earth and heaven
The jeweled butterflies ; till everywhere by which it was preceded and accompanied. He
Each slew a slayer and in turn was slain, was the son of the mightiest of the princes of India,
Life living upon death. So the fair show King Suddhodana, and his strange and high destiny Veiled one vast, savage, grim conspiracy was predicted before his birth and confirmed by the Of mutual murder, from the worm to man, superhuman precocity of his childish wisdom. When Who himself kills his fellow ; seeing whichhe was eight years old the King secured the wisest The hungry plowman and his laboring kine, men of his realm to direct his studies, but it was found
Their dewlaps blistered with the bitter yoke, that he already knew more than his teachers, and
The rage to live which makes all living strife
The Prince Siddartha sighed. “Is this,' he said, that all the fruits of the tree of knowledge were at
. That happy earth they brought me forth to see ? his command. Not less remarkable than his knowl.
How salt with sweat the peasant's bread! how hard edge, however, even thus early, were his humility, The oxen's service ! in the brake how fierce his gentleness, and his sensibility. The first inci- The war of weak and strong! i'th' air what plots! dent of his life which signalized the wider destiny No refuge e'en in water. Go aside to which he was called is narrated in a passage A space, and let me muse on what ye show.' which, though long, is worth reproducing both for
So saying, the good Lord Buddha seated him its intrinsic beauty and for the indication which it
Under a jambu-tree, with ankles crossed
As holy statues sit-and first began assords of the origin and character of Buddha's mis
To meditate this deep disease of life, sion. Only once before, on seeing a wounded swan,
What its far source and whence its remedy. had the young Prince learned what was meant by
So vast a pity filled him, such wide love sorrow and suffering :
For living things, such passion to heal pain,
That by their stress his princely spirit passed “ But on another day the King said, “Come,
To ecstasy, and, purged from mortal taint Sweet son I and see the pleasaunce of the spring,
Of sense and self, the boy attained thereat And how the fruitful earth is wooed to yield
Dhyana, first step of the path."" Its riches to the reaper; how my realmWhich shall be thine when the pile flames for me Now the King, who desired a more brilliant caFeeds all its mouths and keeps the King's chest filled. reer for his son than that of prophet and reformer, Fair is the season with new leaves, bright blooms,
was alarmed by this incident, and in order to divert Green grass, and cries of plow-time.' So they rode
the Prince's attention from all such un-princely Into a land of wells and gardens, where,
thoughts, procured for him a wife, the most beauAll up and down the rich red loam, the steers Strained their strong shoulders in the creaking yoke
tiful in the land, and had a magnificent palace built, Dragging the plows; the fat soil rose and rolled
embowered in gardens, and surrounded by a wall In smooth dark waves back from the plow; who that shut out all contact with the great world, and drove
whence none of the inmates were allowed to issue. Planted both feet upon the leaping share
The very words pain and death, sorrow and sufferTo make the furrow deep; among the palms
ing, were prohibited here, and in their place was The tinkle of the rippling water rang,
substituted all that could soothe the mind and inAnd where it ran the glad earth 'broidered it
toxicate the senses. How the King's design was With balsams and the spears of lemon-grass.
frustrated at length is narrated in what is perhaps Elsewhere were sowers who went forth to sow; And all the jungle laughed with nesting-songs,
the finest passage in the poem : And all the thickets rustled with small life
“ In which calm home of happy life and love Of lizard, bee, beetle, and creeping things
Ligged our Lord Buddha, knowing not of woe, Pleased at the spring-time. In the mango-sprays Nor want, nor pain, nor plague, nor age, nor death, The sun-birds flashed ; alone at his green forge
Save as when sleepers roam dim seas in dreams, Toiled the loud coppersmith; bee-eaters hawked And land awearied on the shores of day, Chasing the purple butterflies; beneath,
Bringing strange merchandise from that black voyage. Striped squirrels raced, the mynas perked and picked, Thus ofttimes when he lay with gentle head The nine brown sisters chattered in the thorn,
Lulled on the dark breasts of Yasôdhara, The pied fish-tiger hung above the pool,
Her fond hands fanning slow his sleeping lids, The egrets stalked among the buffaloes,
He would start up and cry : “My world! Oh, world! The kites sailed circles in the golden air ;
I hear! I know! I come !' And she would ask, About the painted temple peacocks flew,
•What ails my lord ?' with large eyes terror-struck ; The blue doves cooed from every well, far off
For at such times the pity in his look
And bid the vinas sound; but once they set
A stringed gourd on the sill there where the wind How the swart peasant sweated for his wage,
Could linger o'er its notes and play at will, Toiling for leave to live ; and how he urged
Wild music makes the wind on silver stringsThe great-eyed oxen through the flaming hours, And those who lay around heard only that ;
But Prince Siddartha heard the Devas play,
was shocked, and learning that this was the comAnd to his ears they sang such words as these : mon fate of all that lived, returned to his palace We are the voices of the wandering wind,
“pondering, sad of mien and mood." Still unsatWhich moan for rest and rest can never find;
isfied, however, and brooding upon the disclosure Lo! as the wind is so is mortal life,
that had been made, he demanded once moreA moan, a sigh, a sob, a storm, a strife.
to see this world beyond his gates, * Wherefore and whence we are ye can not know, This life of man, so pleasant if its waves Nor where life springs nor whither life doth go;
Ran not to waste and woful finishing We are as ye are, ghosts from the inane,
In Time's dry sands." What pleasure have we of our changeful pain ?
He asked to be allowed to go forth unannounced, so • What pleasure hast thou of thy changeless bliss ?
that he might see the streets and the people in their Nay, if love lasted, there were joy in this ; . But life's way is the wind's way, all these things
usual workday aspect, and learn " the lives which Are but brief voices breathed on shifting strings.
those men live who are not kings." This time he
encountered a wretch stricken to earth with mortal O Maya's son! because we roam the earth
disease, and writhing in the death-agony; and a litMoan we upon these strings; we make no mirth, tle farther on saw a funeral procession, the wailing So many woes we see in many lands,
mourners, and the burning of the corpse. Bewil. So many streaming eyes and wringing hands.
dered, he addressed himself to his attendant, and • Yet mock we while we wail, for, could they know,
learned that this is the end of all who live : This life they cling to is but empty show;
“... But lo! Siddartha turned 'Twere all as well to bid a cloud to stand,
Eyes gleaming with divine tears to the sky, Or hold a running river with the hand.
Eyes lit with heavenly pity to the earth ; • But thou that art to save, thine hour is nigh !
From sky to earth he looked, from earth to sky, The sad world waiteth in its misery,
As if his spirit sought in lonely flight The blind world stumbleth on its round of paia ;
Some far-off vision, linking this and that, Rise, Maya's child ! wake! slumber not again!
Lost-past—but searchable, but seen, but known.
Then cried he, while his lifted countenance • We are the voices of the wandering wind :
Glowed with the burning passion of love Wander thou, too, O Prince, thy rest to find;
Unspeakable, the ardor of a hope Leave love for love of lovers, for woe's sake
Boundless, insatiate : Oh ! suffering world, Quit state for sorrow, and deliverance make.
Oh! known and unknown of my common flesh,
Caught in this common net of death and woe, So sigh we, passing o'er the silver strings,
And life which binds to both! I see, I feel To thee who know'st not yet of earthly things;
The vastness of the agony of earth, So say we; mocking as we pass away,
The vainness of its joys, the mockery These lovely shadows wherewith thou dost play.'”
Of all its best, the anguish of its worst; Troubled and aroused by this message, the Prince
Since pleasures end in pain, and youth in age,
And love in loss, and life in hateful death, demanded of the King permission to ride forth and
And death in unknown lives, which will but yoke see mankind. The King, advised by his council,
Men to their wheel again to whirl the round reluctantly consented, but ordered that the city Of false delights and woes that are not false. should deck itself as for a festival, and that no sick Me too this lure hath cheated, so it seemed or maimed, no leper, no feeble folk, and none strick- Lovely to live, and life a sunlit stream en deep in years, should appear upon the streets.
For ever flowing in a changeless peace ; The Prince, at the appointed time, rides about, and
Whereas the foolish ripple of the flood
Dances so lightly down by bloom and lawn is delighted with the universal happiness which ap
Only to pour its crystal quicklier pears to prevail ; but, passing beyond the gates
Into the foul salt sea. The veil is rent
Which blinded me! I am as all these men “ Slow tottering from the hovel where he hid, Crept forth a wretch in rags, haggard and foul,
Who cry upon their gods and are not heard An old, old man, whose shriveled skin, sun-tanned,
Or are not heeded-yet there must be aid ! Clung like a beast's hide to his fleshless bones.
For them and me and all there must be help! Bent was his back with load of many days,
Perchance the gods have need of help themselves, His eyepits red with rust of ancient tears,
Being so feeble that when sad lips cry His dim orbs blear with rheum, his toothless jaws
They can not save! I would not let one cry
Whom I could save! How can it be that Brahm
Would make a world and keep it miserable,
Since, if all-powerful, he leaves it so, And one was pressed upon the ridge of ribs
He is not good, and if not powerful, Whence came in gasps the heavy, painful breath.
He is not God ?-Channa I lead home again ! • Alms!' moaned he, 'give, good people ! for I die
It is enough I mine eyes have seen enough!'"
The foregoing citations will suffice to show how Blinking, and groaning mid his spasms, .Alms!""
strong must be the temptation to trace in like man.
ner the subsequent stages of Buddha's career-his The Prince, who had never before seen old age, renunciation of all his advantages as heir of a great
kingdom and husband of a loving wife ; his self-as- some of these heroes and heroines from "the dusky sumed poverty and association with the outcasts of haze of Eld,” and to depict in such warm tints as the earth ; his long wanderings in search of “the the historic imagination can furnish “ their thoughts Light" ; his fastings, vigils, and meditations ; his and ways of love and war.” struggles with the evils and temptations of the The story is of a daughter of the King of the world; and his final triumph in the discovery and Isle of Man, whose beauty is so great that the fame proclamation of those truths which would solace of it goes abroad into every land, and her hand is and save his suffering fellow men. Many striking sought in marriage by all the princes of Western and noble passages adorn these later stages of the Europe. She refuses them all, but at length falls in narrative ; but we have already drawn so largely love with the son of her father's most powerful upon the space at our command that we can find enemy, whom she can not marry. At length the room for but one more, which is presented as a princes, including her lover, form a league to win specimen of Mr. Arnold's powers of picturesque her by force; and, gathering their hosts, storm her description. It depicts the night when the Prince father's stronghold, and slay him and most of his leaves his palace in order to set forth upon his mis- people. In the distribution of the spoils the maiden sion:
falls to the lot of a stranger knight who bears her
away to a distant shore. Subsequently her lover “ Softly the Indian night smiles on the plains
treacherously slays this knight, and takes her away At full moon in the month of Chaitra Shud, When mangoes redden and the asôka-buds
to his own home ; where, however, their happiness Sweeten the breeze, and Rama's birthday comes,
is brief, for a minstrel of the slain knight follows And all the fields are glad and all the towns.
them, and at a hunting-feast seizes Blanid on the Softly that night fell over Vishramvan,
verge of a great cliff and leaps with her into the sea, Fragrant with blooms and jeweled thick with stars, where they are lost for ever. And cool with mountain airs sighing adown
The story is well and vigorously told, with great From snow-flats on Himala high-outspread;
elaboration of detail, with much musical verse in the For the moon swung above the eastern peaks,
Spenserian measure, with many tripping lyrics at Climbing the spangled vault, and lighting clear Rohini's ripples and the hills and plains,
appropriate intervals, with vivid descriptions of des. And all the sleeping land, and near at hand
perate fights and strange wiles of demonic enchant. Silvering those roof-tops of the pleasure-house,
ment. Its fault is an utter absence of human interWhere nothing stirred nor sign of watching was,
est. Buddha, in Mr. Arnold's poem, though of the Save at the outer gates, whose warders cried
lineage of the gods, is a far more real and human Mudra, the watchword, and the countersign
personage than these trooping shadows, who, if they Angana, and the watch-drums beat around;
were men at all, would be savages. Even Blanic, Whereat the earth lay still, except for call
though she is the subject of half the description in Of prowling jackals, and the ceaseless trill
the volume, never approaches near enough to objecOf crickets on the garden-grounds."
tive existence to awaken in us any emotion what. Mr. Arnold says in his preface that his work was
ever. Our recollection of “ Deirdre" has now be. "inspired by an abiding desire to aid in the better come rather vague, but we can hardly be mistaken mutual knowledge of East and West"; and it may in the impression that the heroine of that poem was be confidently said that no recent poem has touched far more successful in achieving personality and enmore profoundly those universal sentiments and needs listing our sympathies, and that in general the story which sweep away all differences of place and time, and the incidents were more plausible and life-like. and unite mankind in a common hope and a com- If this be so, “Blanid,” with all its facility and mumon destiny.
sicalness of verse, is a distinct falling off from the earlier work; for in these heroic poems the heroes
and their doings are simply grotesque if unreal. Very different in subject, and not less different
Another criticism which must be made is that in its characteristic qualities, is “Blanid," * by the the imitation of William Morris, which was remarked author of “ Deirdre." In “ Deirdre ” (whose author. in “Deirdre" is, if possible, still more obvious in ship is now revealed to those for whom it was not “Blanid.” So frankly, indeed, has the author taken already an open secret) Dr. Joyce showed a certain Morris as his model that it looks as if he had delih. power for treating picturesquely and interestingly erately and consciously entered into competition with the old Celtic legends of his native Ireland, and in him in a field which Morris may almost be said to his later work he has sought inspiration at the same have made his own. If this be so, perhaps the most fount. He describes himself as “ of the race of those acceptable compliment we can pay him will be to langsyne, the makers of heroic minstrelsy," and de- say—as can be said truly — that parts of his poem clares that though he has searched many a field of might easily be mistaken for Morris's, if the author. foreign lore for themes of song, his thoughts always ship were unknown. return to his native land and the heroes she nursed
Whatever may be its defects, however, “Blanid" in ages gone. “Blanid” is an attempt to recall is very readable, and such lines as the following will
rightly be held to excuse many faults : * Blanid. By Robert D. Joyce, author of “Deirdre." “ Green are the hills of early summer-time, Boston : Roberts Brothers. iómo, pp. 249.
And lingering long their emerald glories fade,
When Autumn with slow steps begins to climb
The book consists of a course of twelve lectures, Their breezy fronts from the brown forest-shade, delivered by Mr. Taylor to the students of Cornell Nipping the grass and flowers with frosty rime,
University, and intended to serve as an introduction Till long-drawn glen and bosky upland glade,
and guide to German literature. Later, in order to Broad shadowy moor and skyey mountain-spire, Put on their heathery robes of purple fire.
adapt them to more popular audiences, he added
translations of select passages, designed to illustrate “ And slowly as it comes, it fades away,
the author and the period under discussion. It is The glory of the heather's purple glow,
understood to have been his intention to recast the Like human grandeur born but to decay
substance of the lectures into a form more appropriAs the long years glide on with footsteps slow; The woods are bare, the hills are cold and gray,
ate for reading, but he never found leisure himself The cheerless moons no genial heat bestow;
to make the necessary changes, and his editors have And thus the earth changed with the changing sun
rightly decided that the public would prefer having Till winter and the Samhain feast came on."
the material in its original shape, to having it tam
pered with by other hands. Nor, we think, would Many dainty lyrics, as we have said, break the the changes have contributed very greatly to the inrapid current of the narrative and lend it variety. terest or usefulness of the work, even if Mr. Taylor Here is one of the most graceful of them :
had lived to make them. No doubt the essays would have shown a smoothness, finish, and precision of
style which the lectures lack, and certain parts which Deep in the dells where ferns are growing have been somewhat hurriedly treated, owing to the A fountain springs,
limitations of time, would have been more carefully And o'er its wavelets gently flowing And blossoms in the sunshine blowing
elaborated ; but, on the other hand, the more scholarly The sky-lark sings :
essays would almost certainly have lost something of Oh ! how he sings unto his mate
that animation and vivacity which the lectures posDown from the ether blue,
and which are quite as grateful to the reader as While I sit here all desolate
they must have been to the hearer. Moreover, the And think, beloved, of you !
lectures as now presented exhibit very little of that
carelessness and levity of treatment which is so apt “ O happy bird, each hour returning Unto its nest,
to characterize compositions intended for oral deLove's rapture in its bosom burning!
livery, where the attention of a promiscuous auO heart of mine, for ever mourning
dience must never be allowed to flag, and where In sore unrest!
amusement must be regarded as even more essential How dear the sky-lark's happy state
than instruction. Mr. Taylor evidently considered Beside its lover true,
his work as a serious and important undertaking ; While I, alone, all desolate,
and, while his style and method of treatment are Sit here and weep for you !"
admirably adapted to arouse what Mr. Boker calls “the sympathetic appreciation of the crowded lec
ture-room," they lose very little when subjected to If it had not already been appropriated by Messrs. “critical examination under the dry light of the Gostwick and Harrison's book, “Outlines of German study." Very few of the lectures delivered at our Literature” would have been a much better, or, at colleges, or on our platforms, would stand the ordeal least, more accurately descriptive, title for the late of translation into print so well as do these of Mr. Bayard Taylor's posthumous work than the one that
Taylor's. has been chosen.* The word “studies," as here
The titles of the several lectures will indicate used, is commonly understood to imply much more
with sufficient definiteness the scope and nature of minute and exhaustive criticism and analysis than the subjects with which Mr. Taylor deals. They are Mr. Taylor has attempted ; and it has the additional
as follows: “Earliest German Literature," “ The
“ The Mediæval Epics,"
Minnesingers,” defect of failing to suggest the fact that the book furnishes a consecutive and fairly complete sketch of Nibelungenlied," “ The Literature of the Reforma
tion," German literature, from its remote Gothic sources to
“ The Literature of the Seventeenth Cen. its culmination in Goethe, Schiller, and their only
tury, Lessing," “ Klopstock, Wieland, and Herless great contemporaries. Two or three of the chap- der,”,“ Schiller,” “Goethe,” “Goethe's Faust," and ters, such as those on “Faust” and on “ Jean Paul Richter." The later lectures are the best, chiefly Richter,” might fairly be described as “studies"; because in them the author is less fettered by the but the work is, in the main, a series of bold and necessity of crowding many details into small space ; rapid historical outlines, dealing only with the large and the one on “Faust” is best of all. It is full of and characteristic features, and leaving the details to the most subtile and suggestive criticism ; it renders be filled in by such further research as the reader luminously clear the underlying moral motive of a may be tempted to undertake.
poem which is almost as baffling to an ordinary
reader as a metaphysical treatise ; and it arouses a * Studies in German Literature. By Bayard Taylor. sympathetic admiration which“Faust " itself will in With an Introduction by George H. Boker. New York: most cases fail to do. In every lecture, selected G. P. Putnam's Sons. 8vo, pp. 418.
passages from the authors under discussion are print.