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as read; they have become a weariness to the soul of man. They are dead and gone, they and what they shadowed ; the human soul, got into other latitudes, cannot now give harbor to them. Alas, and did not the honorable Houses of Parliament listen to them with rapt earnestness, as to an indisputable message from Heaven itself ? Learned and painful Dr. Owen, learned and painful Dr. Burgess; Stephen Marshall, Mr. Spurstow, Adoniram Byfield, Hugh Peters, Philip Nye: the Printer has done for them what he could, and Mr. Speaker gave them the thanks of the House ;-and no most astonishing ReviewArticle of our day can have half such · brilliancy,' such potency, half such virtue for producing belief as these their poor little dumpy quartos once had. And behold, they are become inarticulate men ; spectral; and instead of speaking, do not screech and gibber! All Puritanism has grown inarticulate ; its fervent preachings, prayings, pamphleteerings are sunk into one indiscriminate moaning hum, mournful as the voice of subterranean winds. So much falls silent: human Speech, unless by rare chance it touch on the · Eternal Melodies,' and harmonize with them; human Action, Interest, if divorced from the Eternal Melodies, sinks all silent. The fashion of this world passeth away.
The Age of the Puritans is not extinct only and gone away from us, but it is as if fallen beyond the capabilities of Memory herself; it is grown unintelligible, what we may call incredible. Its earnest Purport awakens now no resonance in our frivolous hearts. We understand not even in imagination, one of a thousand of us, what it ever could have meant. It seems delirious, delusive; the sound of it has become tedious as a tale of past stupidities. Not the body of heroic Puritanism only, which was bound to die, but the soul of it also, which was and should have been, and yet shall be immortal, has for the present passed away. As Harrison said of his Banner and Lion of the Tribe of Judah : “ Who shall rouse him up ?”—
• For indisputably,' exclaims the above-cited Author in his vehement way, “this too was a Heroism; and the soul of it remains part of the eternal soul of things! Here, of our own land and lineage, in practical English shape, were Heroes on the Earth
Who knew in every fibre, and with heroic daring laid to heart, That an Almighty Justice does verily rule this world ; that it is good to fight on God's side, and bad to fight on the Devil's side ! The essence of all Heroisms and Veracities that have been, or that will be.—Perhaps it was among the nobler and noblest Human Heroisms, this Puritanism of ours : but Eng. lish Dryasdust could not discern it for a Heroism at all ;-as the Heaven's lightning, born of its black tempest, and destructive to pestilential Mudgiants, is mere horror and terror to the Pedant species everywhere; which, like the owl in any sudden brightness, has to shut its eyes,—or hastily procure smoked-spectacles on an improved principle. Heaven's brightness would be intoler. able otherwise. Only your eagle dares look direct into the fireradiance; only your Schiller climbs aloft “to discover whence the lightning is coming.” “Godlike men love lightning," says Our old Norse fathers called it a God; the sunny
blueeyed Thor, with his all-conquering thunder-hammer,—who again, in calmer season, is beneficent Summer-heat. Godless men love it not ; shriek murder when they see it; shutting their eyes, and hastily procuring smoked-spectacles. O Dryasdust, thou art great and thrice great!
But alas,' exclaims he elsewhere, getting his eye on the real nodus of the matter, what is it, all this Rushworthian inarticu. late rubbish-continent, in its ghastly dim twilight, with its hag. gard wrecks and pale shadows; what is it, but the common Kingdom of Death ? This is what we call Death, this mouldering dumb wilderness of things once alive. Behold here the final evanescence of Formed human things; they had form, but they are changing into sheer formlessness ;-ancient human speech itself has sunk into unintelligible maundering. This is the collapse,—the etiolation of human features into mouldy blank; dissolution ; progress towards utter silence and disappearance; disastrous ever-deepening Dusk of Gods and Men !Why has the living ventured thither, down from the cheerful light, across the Lethe-swamps and tartarean Phlegethons, onwards to these baleful halls of Dis and the three-headed Dog? Some Destiny drives him. It is his sins, I suppose :-perhaps it is his love, strong as
that of Orpheus for the lost Eurydice, and likely to have no better issue !'
Well, it would seem the resuscitation of a Heroism from the Past Time is no easy enterprise. Our impatient friend seems really getting sad! We can well believe him, there needs pious love in any Orpheus' that will risk descending to the Gloomy Halls ;-descending, it may be, and fronting Cerberus and Dis, to no purpose! For it oftenest proves so; nay, as the Mythologists would teach us, always. Here is another Mythus. Balder the white Sungod, say our Norse Skalds, Balder, beautiful as the summer-dawn, loved of gods and men, was dead. His Brother Hermoder, urged by his Mother's tears and the tears of the Uni. verse, went forth to seek him. He rode through gloomy winding valleys, of a dismal leaden color, full of howling winds and subterranean torrents; nine days; ever deeper, down towards Hela's Deathrealm : at Lonesome Bridge, which, with its gold gate, spans the River of Moaning, he found the Portress, an ancient woman, called Modgudr, 'the Vexer of Minds,' keeping watch as usual : Modgudr answered him, “Yes, Balder passed this way; but he is not here; he is down yonder,-far, still far to the North, within Hela's Gates yonder.” Hermoder rode on, still dauntless, on his horse, named Swiftness' or • Mane of Gold ;' reached Hela's Gates; leapt sheer over them, mounted as he was ; saw Balder, the very Balder, with his eyes :—but could not bring him back! The Nornas were inexorable; Balder was never to come back. Balder beckoned him mournfully a still adieu ; Nanna, Balder's Wife, sent 'a thimble' to her mother as a memorial : Balder never could return ! -Is not this an emblem ? Old Portress Modgudr, I take it, is Dryasdust in Norse petticoat and hood; a most unlovely beldame, the • Vexer of Minds!
We will here take final leave of our impatient friend, occupied in this almost desperate enterprise of his; we will wish him, which is very easy to do, more patience, and better success than he seems to hope. And now to our own small enterprise, and solid despatch of business in plain prose!
OF THE BIOGRAPHIES OF OLIVER.
OURS is a very small enterprise, but seemingly a useful one ; preparatory perhaps to greater and more useful, on this same matter : The collecting of the Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, and presenting them in natural sequence, with the still possible elucidation, to ingenuous readers. This is a thing that can be done ; and after some reflection, it has appeared worth doing. No great thing : one other dull Book added to the thou. sand, dull every one of them, which have been issued on this subject! But situated as we are, new Dulness is unhappily inevitable ; readers do not reascend out of deep confusions without some trouble as they climb.
These authentic utterances of the man Oliver himself, I have gathered them from far and near; fished them up from the foul Lethean quagmires where they lay buried; I have washed, or endeavored to wash them clean from foreign stupidities (such a job of buck-washing as I do not long to repeat); and the world shall now see them in their own shape. Working for long years in those unspeakable Historic Provinces, of which the reader has already had account, it becomes more and more apparent to one, That this man Oliver Cromwell was, as the popular fancy represents him, the soul of the Puritan Revolt, without whom it had never been a revolt transcendently memorable, and an Epoch in the World's History ; that in fact he, more than is common in such cases, does deserve to give his name to the Period in question, and have the Puritan Revolt considered as a Cromwelliad, which issue is already very visible for it. And then farther, altogether contrary to the popular fancy, it becomes apparent that this Oliver was not a man of falsehoods, but a man of truths; whose words do carry a meaning with them, and above all others of that time, are worth considering. His words, and still more his silences, and unconscious instincts, when you have spelt and lovingly deciphered these also out of his words,—will in several ways reward the study of an earnest man.
An earnest man,
I apprehend, may gather from these words of Oliver's, were there even no other evidence, that the character of Oliver and of the Affairs he worked in is much the reverse of that mad jumble of 'hypocrisies,' &c. &c., which at present passes current as such.
But certainly, on any hypothesis as to that, such a set of Documents may hope to be elucidative in various respects. Oliver's Character, and that of Oliver's Performance in this world : here best of all may we expect to read it, whatsoever it was. Even if false, these words, authentically spoken and written by the chief actor in the business, must be of prime moment for understanding of it. These are the words this man found suitablest to represent the Things themselves, around him, and in him, of which we seek'a History. The newborn Things and Events, as they bodied themselves forth to Oliver Cromwell from the Whirl. wind of the passing Time,—this is the name and definition he saw good to give of them. To get at these direct utterances of his, is to get at the very heart of the business ; were there once light for us in these, the business had begun again at the heart of it to be luminous !-On the whole, we will start with this small service, the Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell washed into something of legibility again, as the preliminary of all. May it prosper with a few serious readers. The heart of that Grand Puritan Business once again becoming visible, even in faint twi. light to mankind, what masses of brutish darkness will gradually vanish from all fibres of it, from the whole body and environment of it, and trouble no man any more! Masses of foul darkness, sordid confusions not a few, as I calculate, which now bury this matter very deep, may vanish : the heart of this matter and the heart of serious men once again brought into approximation, to write some · History 'of it may be a little easier,--for my impatient friend or another.
To dwell on or criticise the particular Biographies of Cromwell, after what was so emphatically said above on the general subject, would profit us but little. Criticism of these poor Books