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come, some hitherto uncreated expression of an idea-an image--a sentiment-a passion! These dispositions, and these faculties of the Scholar in another Mind falling in with other faculties of genius, produce a student of a different name—' -THE POET.
BULLER. Oh! my dear, dear sir, of Poetry we surely had enough-I don't say more than enough--a few days ago, sir.
NORTH. Who is the Poet? BULLER. I beseech you let the Poet alone for this evening.
NORTH. Well-I will. I remember the time, Seward, when there was a great clamor for a standard of Taste. A definite measure of the indefinite!
TALBOYS. Which is impossible.
NORTH. And there is a great clamor for a Standard of Morals. A definite measure of the indefinite!
TALBOYS. Which is impossible.
NORTH. Why, gentlemen, the Faculty of Beauty lives; and in finite beings, which we are, Life changes incessantly. The Faculty of Moral Perception lives-and thereby it too changes for better and for worse. This is the Divine Law-at once encouraging and fearful-that Obedience brightens the moral eyesight-Sin darkens. Let all men know this, and keep it in mind always-that a single narrowest, simplest Duty, steadily practised day after day, does more to support, and may do more to enlighten the soul of the Doer, than a course of Moral Philosophy taught by a tongue which a soul compounded of Bacon, Spenser, Shakspeare, Homer, Demosthenes, and Burke--to say nothing of Socrates, and Plato, and Aristotle, should inspire.
BULLER. You put it strongly, sir. TALBOYS. Undeniable doctrine. NORTH. Gentlemen, you will often find this question" Is there a Standard of Taste ?" inextricably confused with the question, "Is there a true and a false Taste?" He who denies the one seems to deny the other. In like manner, "Is there a Right and Wrong?" and "Is there accessible to us an infallible measure of Right and Wrong" are two questions entirely distinct, but often confusedfor Logic fled the earth with Astræa.
TALBOYS. She did.
NORTH. Talboys, you understand well enough the sense and culture of the Beautiful?
TALBOYS. Something of it, perhaps I do. NORTH. To feel to love-to be swallowed up in the spirit and works of the Beautiful-in verse and in the visible Universe!
That is a life-an enthusiasm-a worship. You find those who would if they could, and who pretend they can, attain the same end at less cost. They have taken lessons, and they will have their formalities go valid against the intuitions of the dedicated soul.
TALBOYS. But the lessons perish-the dedicated soul is a Power in all emergencies and extremities.
NORTH. There are Pharisees of Beauty-and Pharisees of Morality.
SEWARD. At this day spiritual Christians lament that nine-tenths of Christians Judaize. NORTH. Nor without good reason. The Gospel is the Standard of Christian Morality. That is unquestionable. It is an authority without appeal, and under which undoubtedly all matters, uncertain before, will fall. But pray mark this-it is not a positive standard, in the ordinary meaning of that wordit is not one of which our common human understanding has only to require and to obtain the indications-which it has only to apply and observe.
SEWARD. I see your meaning, sir. The Gospel refers all moral intelligence to the Light of Love within our hearts. Therefore, the very reading of the canons, of every prescriptive line in it, must be by this light.
NORTH. That is my meaning-but not my whole meaning, dear Seward. For take it, as it unequivocally declares itself to be, a Revelation-not simply of instruction, committed now and forever to men in written human words, and so left-but accompanied with a perpetual agency to enable Will and Understanding to receive it; and then it will follow, I believe, that it is at every moment intelligible and applicable in its full sense, only by a direct and present inspiration-is it too much to say-anew revealing itself? "They shall be taught of God."
SEWARD. So far, then, from the Christian Morality being one of which the Standard is applicable by every Understanding, with like result in given cases, it is one that is different to every Christian in proportion to his obedience?
NORTH. Even so. I suppose that none have ever reached the full understanding of it. It is an overgrown illumination—a light more and more unto the perfect day—which day I suppose cannot be of the same life, in which we see as through a glass darkly.
TALBOYS. May I offer an illustration? The land shall descend to the eldest son-you shall love your neighbor as yourself. In the two codes these are foundation-stones. But see how they differ? There is the land
here is the eldest son-the right is clear and | fast-and the case done with. But-do to thy neighbor! Do what? and to whom? NORTH. All human actions, all human affections, all human thoughts are then contained in the one Law-as the subject of which it defines the disposal. All mankind, but distributed into communities, and individuals all differently related to me are contained in it, as the parties in respect of whom it defines the disposal!
SEWARD. And what is the Form? Do as
thou wouldst it be done to thee!
NORTH. Ay-my dear friend the form resolves itself into a feeling. Love thy neighbor. That is all. Is a measure given? As thyself.
SEWARD. And is there no limitation? NORTH. By the whole apposition, thy love to thyself and thy neighbor are both to be put together in subordination to, and limitation and regulation by, thy Love to God. Love Him utterly-infinitely-with all thy mind, all thy heart, all thy strength. This is the entire book or canon-THE STANDARD. How wholly indefinite and formless to the understanding! How full of light and form to the believing and loving Heart!
SEWARD. The moon is up-how calm the night after all that tempest-and how steady the Stars! Images of enduring peace in the heart of nature-and of man. They, too, are a Revelation.
NORTH. They, too, are the legible Book of God. Try to conceive how different the World must be to its rational inhabitantwith or without a Maker! Think of it as a soulless-will-less World. In one sense, it abounds as much with good to enjoy. But there is no good-giver. The banquet spread, but the Lord of the Mansion away. The feast and neither grace nor welcome. The heaped enjoyment, without the gratitude. SEWARD. Yet there have been Philosophers who so misbelieved. NORTH. Alas! there have been-and alas! there are. And what low souls must be theirs! The tone and temper of our feelings are determined by the objects with which we habitually converse. If we see beautiful scenes, they impart serenity-if sublime scenes, they elevate us. Will no serenity, no elevation come from contemplating Him, of whose Thought the Beautiful and the Sublime are but shadows!
SEWARD. No sincere or elevating influence be lost out of a World out of which He is lost?
NORTH. Now we look upon Planets and
Suns and see Intelligence ruling them-on Seasons that succeed each other, and we apprehend Design-on plant and animal fitted to its place in the world, and furnished with its due means of existence, and repeated for ever in its kind-and we admire Wisdom. Oh! Atheist or Sceptic-what a difference to Us if the marvellous Laws are here without a Lawgiver-If Design be here without a Designer-all the Order that wisdom could mean and effect, and not the Wisdom-if Chance, or Necessity, or Fate reigns here,
and not Mind-if this Universe is matter of Astonishment merely, and not of adoration!
SEWARD. We are made better, nobler, sir, by the society of the good and the noble. Perhaps of ourselves unable to think high thoughts, and without the bold warmth that dares generously, we catch by degrees something of the mounting spirit, and of the ardor proper to the stronger souls with whom we live familiarly, and become sharers and imitators of virtues to which we could not have given birth. The devoted courage of a leader turns his followers into heroes the patient death of one martyr inflames in a thousand slumbering bosoms a zeal answering to his own. And shall Perfect Goodness contemplated move no goodness in us? Shall His Holiness and Purity raise in us no desire to be holy and pure ?-His infinite Love towards His creatures kindle no spark of love in us towards our fellow-creatures?
NORTH. God bless you, my dear Seward— but you speak well. Our fellow-creatures! The name, the binding title, dissolves in air, if He be not our common Creator. Take away that bond of relationship among men, and according to circumstances they confront one another as friends or foes-but Brothers no longer-if not children of one celestial Father.
TALBOYS. And if they no longer have immortal souls!
NORTH. Oh! my friends-if this winged and swift life be all our life, what a mournful taste have we had of possible happiness! We have, as it were, from some dark and cold edge of a bright world, just looked in and been plucked away again! Have we come to experience pleasure by fits and glimpses; but intertwined with pain, burdensome labor, with weariness, and with indifference? Have we come to try the solace and joy of a warm, fearless, and confiding affection, to be then chilled or blighted by bitterness, by separation, by change of heart, or by the dread sunderer of loves-Death? Have we found the gladness and the strength
of knowledge, when some rays of truth have | flashed in upon our souls, in the midst of error and uncertainty, or amidst continuous, necessitated, uninstructive avocations of the Understanding and is that all? Have we felt in fortunate hour the charm of the Beautiful, that invests, as with a mantle, this visible Creation, or have we found ourselves lifted above the earth by sudden apprehension of sublimity? Have we had the consciousness of such feelings, which have seemed to us as if they might themselves make up a lifealmost an angel's life-and were they "instant come and instant gone?" Have we known the consolation of DOING RIGHT, in the midst of much that we have done wrong? and was that also a coruscation of a transient sunshine? Have we lifted up our thoughts to see Him who is Love, and Light, and Truth, and Bliss, to be in the next instant plunged into the darkness of annihilation? Have all these things been but flowers that we have pulled by the side of a hard and tedious way, and that, after gladdening_us for a brief season with hue and odor, wither in our hands, and are like ourselves-nothing! BULLER. I love you, sir, better and better every day.
NORTH. We step the earth-we look abroad over it, and it seems immense-so does the What ages had men lived-and knew but a small portion! They circumnavigate it now with a speed under which its vast bulk
shrinks. But let the astronomer lift up his glass and he learns to believe in a total mass of matter, compared with which this great globe itself becomes an imponderable grain of dust. And so to each of us walking along the road of life, a year, a day, or an hour shall seem long. As we grow older, the time shortens; but when we lift up our eyes to look beyond this earth, our seventy years, and the few thousands of years which have rolled over the human race, vanish into a point; for then we are measuring Time against Eternity.
TALBOYS. And if we can find ground for believing that this quickly-measured span of Life is but the beginning the dim daybreak of a Life immeasurable, never attaining to its night—what weight shall we any longer allow to the cares, fears, toils, troubles, afflictions— which here have sometimes bowed down our strength to the ground—a burden more than we could bear?
NORTH. They then all acquire a new character. That they are then felt as transitory must do something towards lightening their load. But more is disclosed in them; for they then appear as having an unsuspected worth and use. If this life be but the beginning of another, then it may be believed that the accidents and passages thereof have some bearing upon the conditions of that other, and we learn to look on this as a state of Probation. Let us out, and look at the sky.
OH! what a thrill of sad delight
Strikes through the heart with deepest tone,
Enthralled by fancy's magic spell,
Those fairy scenes we tread once more,
We bend around our parent's knee-
Perchance that tongue is silent now-
Yet on the mem'ry is engraved
From Bentley's Miscellany.
WHAT STRIKES AN AMERICAN IN ENGLAND.
BY MRS. WILLIAM KIRKLAND.
TRAVELLERS are sometimes blamed for writing about a country before they have had time to become acquainted with it. They should wait, it is said, until they have studied its institutions, and possessed themselves in some degree with its spirit; until the feeling of strangeness has worn off, and the reason of things become apparent. But if the traveller would recount his impressions, he must do it while they are fresh, for experience teaches the sojourner in foreign lands that all strangeness soon wears off with habit, and that in a little while he has nothing to tell. After a short residence we strive in vain to recall the feeling of interest with which things new and peculiar at first inspired us. We fall in so naturally with the established order of things, wherever we may be, that on our return home we have to become naturalized anew to the habits of our own country.
The interest felt by the American who visits England for the first time, in the minutest particular of the difference between that country and his own, is such that he finds himself irresistibly prompted to express the thoughts that suggest themselves to his mind; and the difficulty of doing this in ordinary conversation, without the risk of giving offense, through lack of time and opportunity for explanation and modification, suggests the pen as the better mode. The freer the interchange of thoughts and opinions between kindred nations the better; and the unprejudiced traveller, "speaking the truth in love," may always hope to say something which may be useful to the unprejudiced native who desires to see himself as others see him. Things great and small fall under the notice of the stranger; and if he be intelligent, and have enjoyed any opportunity of observation in other countries, he may be supposed to see them as they really are. His praise and his blame, passing for what they are worth, may be equally useful. If he lack judgment, he may yet speak truth; if
his observations be petty, they may, perhaps, suggest small reforms. Give him but leave to speak out, and he can hardly fail to teach, either as an enemy or as a friend.
The American traveller comes to Great Britain under peculiar circumstances. Besides the historical relation between the mother-country and his own, he has been accustomed to regard England as the nurse of arts, the depository of priceless treasures in every department of knowledge, the natural soil of enlightened benevolence, the birthplace of intelligent freedom. Her language is his; her great men are his; her literature is the fountain whence his intellect has drawn its most delicious nourishment-and the ties of blood can hardly be stronger than this inestimable bond. From his infancy he has been accustomed to hear England quoted as unquestionable authority in law; as the example of stability and order in government; as the steady advocate of noble principles through all vicissitudes of national fortune. All that he most prizes distinguishes this wonderful country; and in spite of some little rankling jealousies, some not unreasonable resentment of impertinence, and some faultfinding with particulars, he comes to it with an affection, an admiration, a reverence, which he is hardly disposed to acknowledge to himself.
The very first thing that he perceives on looking calmly about him in England-putting prestige aside, and seeing things as they are-is, that the Englishman not only does not reciprocate the feeling of affection, but that he looks upon his American brother with a cold, careless glance, that would be suspicious, if it were not utterly indifferent; a glance devoid of sympathy, or even curiosity; and which would be infinitely quickened in interest if it fell upon a New Zealander or a Hottentot. He finds himself considered as a slovenly imitator of English civilization; a coarse, benighted person, who fancies himself a gentleman, while he is con
tinually betraying the rudeness of his origin by his unquiet manners, and the vulgarity of his social connections by a strange drawl in his speech. His admiration of Shakspeare and Milton-his reverence for Newton-his love of Walter Scott-the tenderness which stirs in his heart when he thinks of Shelleythese are a bond between him and the Englishman, but they are no bond between the Englishman and him. He can wear none of all his associations or his appreciations on the outside. The sole tie recognized by his new acquaintance is that of language, and the national twang with which he speaks makes even this an offense in British ears. So that, whatever may have been the warmth and kindliness of feeling with which he set foot on English ground, he cannot but perceive, in the manner of even the kind and the considerate, that the American in England must consent to be looked upon in some sort as a wild animal, not dangerous, but troublesome; liable to whisk his brush in people's faces, or to utter strange, discordant sounds, when he is encouraged by notice.
The exceptions to this general remark may be found, first, among the few Britons who have been in the United States; and who have, therefore, seen the Americans where they appear to the best advantage-in their own homes; and, second, in a not very numerous class anywhere-those of the highest and most philosophical culture, who are able to look through accidents of manner or speech, and to judge a man by the things which make a man of him; the inner springs from which in time manners flow, though the stream may be for a while obstructed or diverted by accidental causes. There is another harmonizing power, too, of which we must speak, though its mention may seem hardly in place here-religion, a sincere and operative reception of the truth on which depends our salvation, temporal and eternal; this has a divine efficacy where national, as well as where sectarian prejudices would intrude to weaken the great bond of brotherhood. Kindness and candor are the handmaids of religion; arrogance and contempt find no place in her train. The American who brings with him evidence of a religious character, always finds noble hearts in England open to him. He need not wear a sanctimonious outside either; for he will be sure to meet as much liberality of sentiment as characterizes the piety of his own land, and a warmth of interest which springs to meet what is good in the products of a new arrangement of the most important elements of society.
It must be confessed that the manners of a portion of the Americans who have travelled in Europe have furnished some reason for the British notion of all. Everybody who has money travels, now-a-days, and there are vulgar moneyed people everywhere. When the American of a certain class has made a fortune, he pays Europe the compliment of coming abroad to learn how to spend it. He fancies that there is an aristocratic influence in the very air of a country so old, so rich, and so proud as England, which he may imbibe as he flies along her railroads, or catch by intuition in Hyde Park, and so go home genteel and accomplished, to astonish the natives by stolen airs and new modes of display.
When the American has recovered from this first shock, and rallied his self-respect to meet an ungenerous depreciation, he begins to look about him for the circumstances which separate him from his English neighbor. He sees all about him men and women whom he is unable to distinguish by any outward mark from the people he has just left at home. A common ancestry is discoverable by unmistakable resemblance. There is not even as much difference as he expected; for he had thought of John Bull as particularly portly, while he finds him as lank and as care-worn as Jonathan himself, though his cheeks may be a thought redder, from the beer veins in them. Jolly people are scarcely more abundant among the island people than among their Western brethren; nor is the fair hair which bespeaks Saxon blood more common. As far as outward appearance is concerned, we might be among our own people. We must then look further for the distinction, and trace the strangeness to some cause not evident at first glance. And first, it would be absurd to deny that the circumstances of our history have their influence in producing a certain dislike on the part of the English. This is so natural and so obvious, that we need but allude to it. With all her nobleness, England cannot quite forgive her rebellious daughter for thriving in her naughtiness, and for venturing to claim kin after renouncing allegiance. She is more proud of her own struggles after perfect freedom than of anything else in her brilliant annals, but she cannot bear to feel that she has ever held the position of the baffled oppressor. She glorifies her Alfred, but she is indignant at 'Mr. Washington." Perhaps it is too much to expect that this national feeling should not be allowed to influence individual