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We regret that we cannot dwell at greater length upon the lighter tones of sweet feeling that come streaming in from his “Garden Acquaintance"-like the song of birds in spring, the bobolink and the oriole, the cat-bird and the song-sparrow, besides the many birds with which we are familiar in England--all are his friends, and he is their protector. How sweetly, like Selborne or gentle and genial Owen, does he write : "If they will not come near enough to me (as most of them will), I bring them down with an opera-glass-a much better weapon than a gun. I would not, if I could, convert them from their pretty pagan ways. The only one I sometimes have savage doubts about is the red squirrel. I think he oölogises. I know he eats cherries?. . . and that he gnaws off the small end of pears to get at the seeds. He steals the corn from under the noses of my poultry. But what would you have? He will come down upon the limb of the tree I am lying under till he is within a yard of me. .. Can I sign his death-warrant who has tolerated me about his grounds so long? Not I.
Let them steal, and welcome. I am sure I should, had I had the same bringing up and the same temptation. As for the birds, I do not believe there is one of them but does more good than harm; and of how many featherless bipeds can this be said ? ” “Elia” himself never beat this in delicacy. “Winter" is conceived in a similar spirit. “Milton," a recreative review of Professor Masson's ponderous and irrelevant performance, reminds us a little of Macaulay's famous gibbeting of poor Montgomery, the poet ; and indeed this baiting of a would-be humourist by Lowell, a real one, is very pleasant sport, and readable withal. "Dryden " and “ Dante ” are careful and elaborate studies of the age as well as of the men ; but it is easy to see that Mr. Lowell's heart is as much in Dante as it is out of Dryden. “ Keats” is an affectionate tribute. Mr. Lowell finds very little new to say about Wordsworth or Spenser, but his “Chaucer” is very careful and sympathetic. The essay on Witchcraft is, oddly enough, the least interesting to usperhaps because it is evidently the least congenial to the writer. The essay on Pope is as much under-friendly as Thackeray's “Pope" is over-friendly
We regret to have no space for comment on the suggestive notice of " President Lincoln,” full of personal insight and true American patriotism. But what we must call the attack on Carlyle and the panegyric on Emerson must serve to wind up our critical reflections for the present.
Carlyle and Emerson are most dissimilar : alike in this only, that each has performed the same office for different types of mind in the
same century; both have taught men to think for themselves — Carlyle by his analysis of the external, Emerson by his analysis of the internal world. The one deals with matter in its effect on mind, the other with mind in its effect on matter. He who is taught by Emerson is seldom found at the feet of Carlyle; and it is strange but true that the readers of Carlyle have often an antipathy for Emerson's style, and most Emersonians detest Carlyle.
The key of Mr. Lowell's view of Carlyle is to be found, of course, in Carlyle's devotion, and Mr. Lowell's aversion, to the majesty of physical force. Carlyle is the despot, Mr. Lowell the republican, and from his hostile camp he examines the peculiarities of the “Sturm und Drang” school, and separates between the early and the late Carlyle with a firmness of touch and a plainness of speech which we in England are still afraid to use towards the venerable sage of Chelsea. “In the earlier part of his literary career Mr. Carlyle was the denouncer of sham, the preacher-up of sincerity, manliness, and of a living faith. He had intense convictions, and he made disciples. If not a profound thinker, he felt profoundly.” He is represented as a man who hoped great things of humanity; then, later on, grew im. patient when disappointed, and ended by hoping nothing of human nature except what could be got out of it by incessant driving and thrashing. “His latest theory of divine government seems to be the cudgel.” He is the “volunteer laureate of the rod.” The world for him “is created and directed by a divine Dr. Busby.” It would be difficult for Mr. Carlyle's admirers to rebut this charge, but some of them might point to the obvious fact that the divine government, as we see it to be, has this severe, compulsory, and inexorable side to it. It is the government of the rod, though not of the rod only. Men are compelled and punished into the paths of rectitude and virtue by what we call the laws of nature. Our God is a divine
a despot, and the human despot, when good and wise, is a reflection of at least one side of a divine character. What Mr. Carlyle scords and leaves out is the possibility of that free slow development of the individual which is to make him a moral agent in the great schemethe willing and joyful servitor of the divine despot. Because man will not do right, he must be compelled ; that is pure Carlylese. But because to do right is in accordance with his own happiness as well as being the will of the heavenly despot, therefore his tender training as a free agent to do right freely, and not the “dumb-drivencattle theory,” should be the special and patient care of his earthly ruler--and this, in Mr. Lowell's opinion, of course, is a thing better
done by á republican than by a monarchical or imperial form of government.
Mr. Lowell, though he weeps over the prophet of Chelsea, is generously alive to his literary greatness : “With all deductions, Carlyle remains the profoundest critic and the most dramatic imagination of modern times." And again : “As a purifier of the sources whence our intellectual inspiration is drawn, his influence has been second only to that of Wordsworth-if even to his.” There is something much more living and personal about Mr. Lowell's account of Emerson : that great magician, who seems to dispense so naturally with the definite props of rule and doctrine so essential to most men, because he is so inseparably wedded to the eternal harmonies as never to feel any of them external to himself—that sweet and lofty prophet, who, with piercing yet indulgent eye, above all pain, yet pitying all distress, tells us what we know, and gives us the possession of ourselves—that equable temperament, that cloudless serenity whose calm is infectious, and whose deep peace puts everything into proportion ; though personally Mr. Lowell prefers a temple (unlike those vast Mexican mysteries of architecture) with a door left for the god to come in-yet he knows that the root of the matter is in Emerson, who is never out of the presence of the “ Oversoul," and whose one temple is the round world and the over-arching heaven. To be conformable to eternal law is to be religious—to be natural on the plane of a high and pure nature—to be radiant with the original righteousness which draws the love and reverence of humankind and makes life adorable, instead of for ever struggling with the nightmare of original sin. This, if anything, is to be prophetic. This, in spite of what Emerson calls “ the dear old devil,” is the witness to the world that “God has breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life, and man has become a living soul.” “What an antiseptic is a pure life !” exclaims one who has watched and reverenced Emerson from boyhood. “At sixty-five, he had that privilege of soul which abolishes the calendar, and presents him to us always the unwonted contemporary of his own prime; .... we who have known him so long, wonder at the tenacity with which he maintains himself in the outposts of youth.” The brief essay before us is little more than a warm tribute to Mr. Emerson as a lecturer. We are told that he is still an unfailing “draw” in America, but we are told something else --that he is a consummate master of the lecture-art. eminent men ever, as a rule, think it worth while to acquire this art?-Not so long as £10 is considered an adequate fee for the best lecture, whilst £50 or £100 is willingly given for the best
song. The old country is far behind the new in its estimation of high-class scientific and literary merit. Platform lecturing is an art like any other; and England will never get good lecturers till she pays for them. Pray, what sort of fiddling can you get for nothing? Lowell's essay on Emerson is—what I hope these two papers on Lowell will prove to be--a way of referring readers to the fountainhead, more than an analysis of the waters that flow from it. Personally, like so many others, to Emerson I owe my freedom and emancipation from those Stocks of prejudice and those Pillories of public opinion which make so many sit in the world of thought like frightened criminals unable or afraid to stir. When I was at college I exchanged four handsome volumes of Montaigne for one volume of Emerson's Essays. I have never regretted my bargain; and when I open my well-worn copy, I still find the Pantheon and the Forest, Primeval alike instinct with the great Oversoul, and vocal with the music of God.
I think I can do no better than close this brief estimate of James Russell Lowell—his literary performance, together with such flashes of personality as leap forth spontaneously from its manysided facets—with these words of his great friend and master, words fitly applicable to the few men who have measured their own time with temperate eyes—the few workers who have made their own country better and greater—" the few souls that have made our souls wiser”: “The world is his who can see through its pretensions, . . The day is always his who works in it with serenity and great aims. The unstable estimates of men crowd to him whose mind is filled with a truth, as the heaped waves of the Atlantic follow the moon.”
H. R, HAWEIS.
EVOLUTION & GEOLOGICAL TIME.
NE of the commonest accusations brought against the new
evolutionist philosophy is that so tersely summed up by Mr. Martineau in his succinct charge of " mincing causation and drawing largely upon time." Most people find it difficult to conceive that the past history of the earth has been of sufficient duration to produce all the variety of animal and vegetable life which we see around us, by the slow action of natural selection alone. The numerous writers who have been at the pains of "answering” or “confuting " Mr. Darwin and Mr. Herbert Spencer with more or less arrogance and success—the former as a rule varying inversely with the latter-have generally insisted upon this chronological argument with a zeal which often far outruns their knowledge. Thus, one may frequently see it objected that if the evolution hypothesis were true, the succession of animal types should be gradual and orderly, the lowest forms being found in the oldest strata, and the higher forms following them in a regular progression, till they culminate in the existing fauna ; "whereas,” it is constantly urged, “we actually find in the Palæozoic rocks, which are the very oldest of all, the five principal groups of protozoa, annuloids, articulates, molluscs, and vertebrates, living side by side, and differing as widely from one another as they do at the present day." This very specious fallacy is rendered plausible by its carefully muddled statement of the facts, which, while literally and separately true, are so put together as to convey a totally false impression. If we begin by pointing out its errors and omissions, we may pave the way for an exposition of the support which geology, rightly understood and rationally interpreted, really affords to the theory of evolution.
In the first place, nothing could be more misleading than the employment of the term “Palæozoic rocks” in such a sense as that given to it by the above quotation. For the impression conveyed would certainly be that the Palæozoic rocks were one single formation, the earliest with which we are acquainted. But, as a matter of fact,