Puslapio vaizdai

that Philip is staying at Castle Balloch, in assiduous attendance on the beautiful “ Lady Maria.” In an earnest letter to his friend the tutor, Philip explains himself; and the freewinged sweep of speculation to which his new life at the Castle gives occasion, is in a truly modern spirit, and sufficiently embarrassing, one can see, to the friendliest of tutors. Great is the mirth of the Oxford party at this new phase of the ardent Philip, but it is suddenly checked again by a new letter from Philip to Adam, entreating him to come immediately to the bothie or hut of Toper-na-Fuosich, to bring him counsel and sanction, since he has finally found rest and home in the heart of — Elspie! We are now introduced to Elspie, the right Anteros, hitherto pursued in vain under deceiving masks, and are made with Adam the tutor to acquiesce in Philip's final choice. The story leads naturally into a bold hypothetical discussion of the most serious questions that bubble up at this very hour in London, Paris, and Boston, and, whilst these are met and honestly and even profoundly treated, the dialogue charms us by perfect good breeding and exuberant animal spirits. We shall not say that the rapid and bold execution has the finish and the intimate music we demand in modern poetry; but the subject matter is so solid, and the figures so real and lifelike, that the poem is justified, and would be good in spite of much ruder execution than we here find. Yet the poem has great literary merits. The author has a true eye for nature, and expresses himself through the justest images. The Homeric iteration has a singular charm, half-comic, halfpoetic, in the piece, and there is a wealth of expression, a power of description and of portrait-painting, which excels our best romancers. Even the hexameter, which, with all our envy of its beauty in Latin and in Greek, we think not agreeble to the genius of English poetry, is here in place to heighten the humor of college conversation. We take almost at hazard a specimen of these dactyls and spondees, describing a day at the cottage. “So in the cottage with Adam the pupils five together Duly remained, and read, and looked no more for Philip, Philip at Balloch shooting and dancing with Lady Maria. Breakfast at eight, and now, for brief September daylight, Luncheon at two, and dinner at seven, or even later, Five full hours between for the loch and the glen and the mountain. So in the joy of their life, and glory of shooting-jackets, So they read and roamed, the pupils five with Adam.

What if autumnal shower came frequent and chill from the west

ward, What if on browner sward with yellow leaves besprinkled Gemming the crispy blade, the delicate gossamer gemming, Frequent and thick lay at morning the chilly bead of hoar frost, Duly in matutine still, and daily, whatever the weather, Bathed in the rain and the frost and the mist, with the Glory of

Hope. Thither also at times of cold and of possible gutters,
Careless, unmindful, unconscious, would Hobbes, or e'er they

Come, in a heavy peacoat his trouserless trunk enwrapping,
Come, under coat over-brief those lusty legs displaying,
All from the shirt to the slipper the natural man revealing.

Duly there they bathed and daily the twain or the trio There where of mornings was custom, where over a ledge of

granite Into a granite bason descended the amber torrent; Beautiful, very, to gaze in ere plunging; beautiful also, Perfect as picture, as vision entrancing that comes to the sightless, Through the great granite jambs, the forest and glen and moun

tain, Purple with heather the mountain, the level stream in foreground; Beautiful seen by snatches in intervals of dressing, Morn after morn, unsought for, recurring; themselves too seeming Not as spectators, accepted into it, immingled, as truly Parts of it as are the kine in the field lying there by the birches.

So they bathed, they read, they roamed in glen and forest; Far amid blackest pines to the waterfall they shadow, Far up the long, long glen to the loch, and the loch beyond it, Deep under huge red cliffs, a secret; and oft by the starlight, Or the aurora perchance racing home for the eight o'clock mutton. So they bathed, and read and roamed in heathery Highland; There in the joy of their life and glory of shooting-jackets, Bathed and read and roamed, and looked no more for Philip."

A more musical passage follows the arrival of Adam at the 66 bothie.” “Ten more days did Adam with Philip abide at the change-house, Ten more nights they met, they walked with father and daughter. Ten more nights, and night by night more distant away were

Philip and she. Happy ten days, most happy; and otherwise than thought of, Fortunate visit of Adam, companion and friend to David. Happy ten days, be ye fruitful of happiness! Pass o'er them


Slowly ; like cruse of the prophet be multiplied, even to ages! Pass slowly o'er them, ye days of October; ye soft misty mornings, Long dusky eves; pass slowly; and thou great Term-Time of

Oxford, Awful with lectures and books, and little-goes and great-goes, Till but the sweet bud be perfect, recede and retire for the lovers, Yea, for the sweet love of lovers, postpone thyself even to dooms

day! Pass o'er them slowly, ye hours! Be with them, ye Loves and

Graces !

We have just received a new collection of poems by Mr. Clough, published in one volume, with a collection of poems by Thomas Kurbridge, under the name of Ambarvalia. From Mr. Clough's part in the book we select the following lines of his Endymion :

“On the mountain, in the woodland,
In the shaded secret dell,

I have seen thee, I have met thee!
In the soft ambrosial hours of night,
In darkness silent, sweet,

I beheld thee, I was with thee,

I was thine, and thou wert mine!
When I gazed in palace-chambers,
When I trod the rustic dance,
Earthly maids were fair to look on,
Earthly maidens' hearts were kind ;
Fair to look on, fair to love;
But the life, the life to me,
’T was the death, the death to them,
In the spying, prying, prating,
Of a curious cruel world.
At a touch, a breath they fade,
They languish, droop, and die;
Yea, the juices change to sourness,
And the tints to clammy brown;
And the softness unto foulness,
And the odor unto stench.
Let alone and leave to bloom ;
Pass aside, nor make to die;
- In the woodland, on the mountain,

Thou art mine, and I am thine. Mr. Clough's verses in “ Ambarvalia" appear to be of an earlier date than his Pastoral, and by no means to promise the vigor of sense and of humor which abound in that poem.


1. — History of the Philosophy of Mind: embracing the opinions

of all writers on Mental Science from the earliest period to the present time. By ROBERT BLAKEY, Esq. 4 vols. 8vo. pp. 478, 517, 557, and 676. London: Saunders. 1848.

“THERE are two modes,” says Mr. Blakey, "of writing a history of philosophy. The one is, to classify authors under general heads, in conformity with a principle of resemblance or affinity subsisting among their respective speculative opinions. The other is, to follow the order of time, and give a distinct and personal outline of every philosopher's views, in the precise order in which chronology develops them.” The former mode Mr. B. thinks likely to create confusion, and to be an inconvenience to young students. “Generalization on the philosophy of mind ought not to precede observation and instruction, but to follow them. For these and other reasons, I have adopted the order of time, as nearly as the nature of the subject would admit; leaving the reader, except in some few special cases, to select and classify writers according to his own opinions and judgment. This work is arranged upon a plan somewhat particular. It is almost exclusively confined to mental science. I am not acquainted with any publication precisely of the same kind, with the exception of Stewart's Dissertation, prefixed to the Encyclopædia Britanica. Every reader knows that, on the continent, religion, morals, and politics, as well as metaphysics, are comprehended under the general term Philosophy. In England, however, we have commonly kept these topics apart from each other; allowing each to rest upon its own basis ; and this I consider a better plan upon the whole.” By way of illustration of this latter view we quote the following from the Introduction : “Philosophy is a comprehensive term, and, in its fullest extent, embraces every thing which a man can know and feel. Philosophers are, however, like other humbler workmen, obliged to divide their labors in order to ensure more successful and efficient execution ; and accordingly we find that from the first dawn of any thing like science and literature, all knowledge has been classified under three leading divisions ; namely, a knowledge of external bodies, of mental faculties or powers, and of moral duties and obligations." These extracts will, we think, sufficiently indicate Mr. Blakey's position. Very evidently, nothing like a “ Philosophy of Mind," properly so called, is undertaken by him, or to be expected at his hands. To give a correct notion of what his aim really is, this part of his title-page should be strieken out, and the whole should read, “Opinion: of Robert Blakey, Esq., on the opinions of all writers,” &c. Opinions are all he treats of, and his opinion all he has to offer. But here we will borrow from Mr. Blakey (I. p. 258) a saying of Tertullian that seems to the point. “Heresies,” says he, * are the individual opinions of men and demons.” Leaving out the demons, as hypothetical, the converse of the proposition, namely, that the individual opinions of men are heresies, however it may be in the Liberal Churches of the day, in the Church of Philosophy is an axiom. A science that ends in opinions is a contradiction in terms; for Science begins where Opinion ends.

One inconvenience of this method is, that if we undertake to relate opinions, it is difficult to know where to stop. We cannot enumerate all the opinions that have ever been held by men. And if we undertake to select the more important, who is to determine which are more and which less important? His own opinion is dear to every one, and the opinions of the like-minded. But this does not prove that they are of any value to the public at large. Supposing Mr. Whewell had undertaken in his History to retail all the crazy fancies of the alchemists. He might have made a rare curiosity-shop, but the bearing upon Science would have been, at best, a very indirect one.

The result of such a procedure must naturally terminate, as in the work before us, in an attempt to give a little of every thing. We have here accounts of about six hundred and thirty writers, according to our reckoning, besides enumerations of and hasty allusions to a host of others. Of these, to judge by ourselves, the very names of a large proportion will be new to the mass even of readers of metaphysical writings.

Another uncertainty, besides the list to be admitted, is, how much to say about each. Mr. Blakey's means are limited: his whole number of pages, exclusive of unconnected dissertations, notes, and indices, is about 1,860. This, divided by the number of writers, will give a fraction less than three pages to each ; and you cannot very well say any thing about a man in less than half a page. Then a little favoritism is unavoidable on this plan. With no guide but opinion, strict impartiality is not to be expected. All these things taken together, the reader will guess that some of the august names of Philosophy come off rather slimly. Socrates gets but three pages; Plato eleven; Bruno, Böhme, Hamann, and Hegel are barely touched upon ; while the “ Lady Mary Shephard” runs at large in a spacious common eight pages square. Even a tolerable sample of the opinions of any distinguished man is hardly to be found in these volumes ; indeed, under the circumstances could not be looked for.

As for criticism, this is, of course, out of the question, since no criterion is established or acknowledged. In its stead we have general remarks, often of a personal nature, on the character and

« AnkstesnisTęsti »