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From the Spectator. after her death; and miracles, of course, were THE SAINT'S TRAGEDY.*

wrought at her tomb. In the beginning as well as in the “revival”

The first object of Mr. Kingsley in selecting of most religions, something that is questionable this subject for a tragic drama was to exhibit the and carnal often turns up along with the most

workings of that dogma of the Romish church ardent devotion and the stoutest faith. The which rates celibacy as a virtue, and matrimony as warmth of the African climate gave occasion to

a weakness if not a sin. He was further prompted scandal amongst the primitive Christians : the fer-by some more general capabilities of the story—in ment of the reformation witnessed the revolting

the character of Elizabeth, and the features of the profligacy of the anabaptists ; the great rebellion age, as shown in the ignorance and brutality of in the seventeenth and the Methodist movement in the peasantry, the coarse insensibility, yet not the eighteenth centuries, by the excitement into altogether devoid of gleams of sense and generoswhich they threw men's minds, gave rise to theo- ity, of the nobles, and the bigoted asceticism as ries and conduct of a lax, not to say licentious kind well as the low common sense and sensuality to in individuals : the biographers of the saints and

be found in the church. mystics of the Roman church have sometimes

These views, as explained in the preface, show indulged in a sort of pious lusciousness, over which Mr. Kingsley to be well acquainted with the age the worldly pause and ponder, but can only explain

of Saint Elizabeth, and appreciative of its spirit ; by means of the text, “ To the pure all things are

but we cannot think his choice of subject happy for pure.”

a drama, hardly for a poem. There is in the story Elizabeth of Hungary was a Romish saint of no proper action, and not much of poetical interest. the eleventh century. Her father was a king; The feelings and conduct of Elizabeth are too her husband, Lewis of Thuringia, a landgrave;

remote from general nature, too foolish in her and she had every prospect of a happy life, but for spontaneous actions, and too weak in her submisher own fanaticism, and the domination of her sion to Conrad, to excite the reader's sympathy. spiritual director, a certain Dr. Conrad. Possibly

In rigidly adhering to the old narratives and makthere was a degree of craziness in her original ing Lewis agree with Elizabeth, Mr. Kingsley has organization, which might have been corrected had missed a source of contrast, and possibly of intershe fallen into better hands or upon more rational est, which might have been found in the husband's times. From her childhood—it is said from her tender opposition and disapproval. Conrad, the cradle—she exhibited signs of a devout mania. spiritual director, is too much of an abstraction, When married, in her teens, she was accustomed and puts forward his selfish objects and seeming to leave her husband's bed and sleep upon the hypocrisy too visibly before the reader; Mr. floor, and, in the words of our reverend poet, Kingsley not having succeeded in representing the “ balanced lawful bliss with the smart of some

sternly conscientious monk, misgiving only when sharp penance." But she went further than mere

his end is fulfilled. The age is not dramatically private asceticism ; attending upon the poorest

exhibited throughout. It is the mind and the sick, walking barefoot in processions, coarsely clad views of the nineteenth century made to talk in in serge, and making pilgrimages in similar plight.

the eleventh, sometimes merely in spirit, sometimes Her husband, who permitted if he did not encour

in direct sentiment and style. There is a famine

in Thuringia ; Elizabeth strips herself of her age these austerities, embarked in the crusades, but died on the way; and then the odium which jewels and exhausts the treasury in relieving the her fanaticism had created among the higher ranks poor ; upon which the courtiers talk political econburst forth. The brother of Lewis usurped the omy, in very smart and pointed dialogue, but such principality from her son, dispossessed her of her as we are familiar with upon the Irish famine. property, and, by a barbarity not uncommon in " A Chamber in the Castle. Counts Walter, Hugo, those ages, drove her forth homeless and money

$c., Abbot, and Knights. less. The monks and populace she had pampered

Count Hugo. I can't forget it, as I am a Chrisin prosperity repulsed her in adversity; but she tian man! To ask for a stoup of beer at breakfast, welcomed suffering as a benefit to her soul. When and be told there was no beer allowed in the house

-her ladyship had given all the malt to the

poor. the power of her family restored her fortunes, she

Abbot. To give away the staff of life, eh? refused to profit by them. Acting on her own

C. Hugo. The life itself, sir, the life itself. All impulses, and perhaps under the spiritual force of that barley, that would have warmed many an honher director, she parted from her children, devoted est fellow's coppers, wasted in filthy cakes. her property to the church and herself to God; Abbot. The parent of seraphic ale degraded into and, after performing a series of humilities and plebeian dough? Indeed, sir, we have no right to

lessen wantonly the gross amount of human enjoymacerations, rather sordid than edifying, died at an early age, in the odor of sanctity and foul straw C. Wal. In Heaven's name,

what would you -probably, as the poet justifiably assumes, of a have her do, while the people were eating grass? broken heart. Saint Elizabeth was canonized soon C. Hugo. Nobody asked them to eat it; nobody

asked them to be there to eat it ; if they will breed * The Saint's Tragedy; or the True Story of Elizabeth like rabbits, let them feed like rabbits, say I: I of Hungary, Landgravine of Thuringia, Saint of the Rom. ish Calendar. By Charles Kingsley, junior, Rector of never married till I could keep a wife. Eversley. With a Preface by Professor Maurice. Abbot. Ah, Count Walter! How sad to see a


man of your sense so led away by his feelings ! The warmth of the mystic writers is introduced Had but this dispensation been left to work itself by Mr. Kingsley with some appropriateness when out, and evolve the blessing implicit in all Heaven's the saintly personages are discoursing of heavenly chastenings ! Had but the stern benevolence of Providence remained undisturbed by her ladyship's love; and the poet's strict adherence to the origicarnal tenderness—what a boon had this famine nal narratives has occasionally led him upon subbeen !

jects rather too delicate for our sophisticated age, C. Wal. How then, man?

but from which he extricates himself pretty well. Abbot. How many a poor soul would have been the following passage on the universality of love, lying-ah, blessed thought !-in Abraham's bosom, with part of a discussion of its lawfulness, is from who must now toil on still in this vale of tears! Pardon this pathetic dew–I cannot but feel as a deserted her couch for the floor, and her husband

a scene in the nuptial bower, where Elizabeth has churchman.

3d Count. Look at it in this way, sir. There is lying asleep. are too many of us—too many. Where you have “ How many many brows of happy lovers one job you have three workmen. Why, I threw

The fragrant lips of night even now are kissing! three hundred acres into pastures myself this year

Some wandering hand in hand through arched -it saves money, and risk, and trouble, and

lanes; tithes.”

Some listening for loved voices at the lattice ; And at the close of the scene

Some steeped in dainty dreams of untried bliss ;

Some nestling soft and deep in well-known arms, C. Wal. [Alone.) Well, if Hugo is a brute, Whose touch makes sleep rich life. The very he at least makes no secret of it. He is an old

birds boar, and honest; he wears his tushes outside, for Within their nests are wooing! So much love! a warning to all men. But for the rest!—Whited All seek their mates, or finding, rest in peace : sepulchres! and not one of them but has half per- The earth seems one vast bride-bed. Doth God suaded himself of his own benevolence. Of all

tempt us? crueltjes, save me from your small pedant-your Is 't all a veil to blind our eyes from him? closet philosopher, who has just courage enough to A fire-fly at the candle! 'T is love leads him : bestride his theory, without wit to see whither it Love's light, and light is love: Oh Eden! Eden! will carry bim. În experience—a child; in obsti

Eve was a virgin there, they say; God knows. nacy—a woman; in nothing a man, but in logic- Must all this be as it had never been? chopping; instead of God's grace, a few copy-book Is it all a fleeting type of higher love? headings about benevolence, and industry, and inde- Why, if the lesson's pure, is not the teacher pendence : there is his metal. If the world will be

Pure also ? Is it my shame to feel no shame? mended on his principles, well—if not, poor world ! Am I more clean, the more I scent uncleanness? but principles must be carried out, though through Shall base emotions picture Christ's embrace? blood and famine : for, truly, man was made for Rest, rest, torn heart! Yet where? in earth or theories, not theories for man. A doctrine is these

heaven?" men's god-touch but that shrine, and lo! your simpering philanthropist becomes as ruthless as a The following is from one of the scenes when Dominican."

Elizabeth has been thrust forth to poverty and dis

tress, and has reached the very fervor of fanatiThese passages exhibit literary cleverness ; but

cism : some of the remarks put into her mouth there are higher qualities in The Saint's Tragedy.

are truths. The topics that are successively put into the mouths of the speakers are treated in a genuine poetical

" (Elizabeth entering. ] spirit, wherever the subject admits of poetry ; not Eliz. How? Oh, my fortune rises to full food : in the maudlin diffuse mode of "the lengthened I met a friend just now, who told me truths thought that gleams through many a page,” but Wholesome and stern, of my deceitful heartin a condensed, vigorous, and manly style. There Would God I had known them earlier !-and enis also great passion in many of the speeches of Her lesson so as I shall ne'er forget it

forced Elizabeth, when her woman's heart is tortured by In body or in mind. the memory of her husband or her children, and

Isen. What means all this? her nature is contending against the dogmas her Eliz. You know the stepping-stones across the faith does not thoroughly believe. This passion,

ford : too, is not the mere vehemence of words, but has There as I passed, a certain aged crone, a depth and intensity of thought. In point of Whom I had fed, and nursed, year structure, action, and frequently of character, The

Met me mid-stream—thrust past me stoutly onSaint's Tragedy is not a drama, owing to the There as I lay and weltered— Take that, madam,

And rolled me headlong in the freezing mire. nature of the story itself, and the prominence given For all your selfish hypocritic pride, to theories of the author; but the tempest-tossed Which thought it such a vast humility mind of Elizabeth, her doubts, her affections, her To wash us poor folks' feet, and use our bodies struggles, are truly dramatic. Several of her


For staves to build withal your Jacob's ladder. sionate speeches would be effective in histrionic What! you would mount to heaven upon our cxhibition ; though this effect would be marred by The ass has thrown his rider.' She crept on

backs? other parts of the work, and the dramatic charac- I washed my garments in the brook hard byter of Elizabeth herself is not continuous. The And came here, all the wiser. piece, however, is not designed for representation. Guta. Miscreant hag!

after year,



Isen. Alas, you'll freeze.

great and sudden increase of weakness, which conGuta. Who could have dreamt the witch vinced him and those around him that the end was Could harbor such a spite ?

at hand. In this conviction he said, 'I thank the Eliz. Nay, who could dream

All-wise One. His sister remarked the next day She could have guessed my heart so well ? Dull that he was unusually cheerful. He lay on the boors

sofa quietly, telling her of little things that he See deeper than we think, and hide, within wished her to do for him, and choosing out books Those leathern hulls, unfathomable truths,' to be sent to his friends. On the 18th, he was again Which we amid thought's glittering mazes lose. comforted by letters from Mr. Trench and Mr. Mill, They grind among the iron facts of life,

to whom he took pleasure in scribbling some little And have no time for self-deception.”

verses of thanks. Then, writing a few lines in pencil, he gave them to his sister, saying,

“This is From the Spectator.

for you : you will care more for this! The lines LIFE AND WRITINGS OF JOHN STERLING.

"Could we but hear all Nature's voice, The late John Sterling was one of those men

From glowworm up to sun. the apparent and tangible results of whose life did

'Twould speak with one discordant sound, not quite fulfil the expectations of his intimates.

Thy will, O God, be done !"

But hark, a sadder, mightier prayer, The shortcoming was partly owing to delicate

From all men's hearts that live, health, which unfitted him for severe and contin

" Thy will be done in earth and heaven, uous exertion, drove him to the West Indies, And Thou my sins forgive!'Madeira, Italy, or English wintering-places, to

6. These were the last words he wrote. He preserve existence, and undermined the powers of murmured over the last two lines to himself. He life itself before he had reached his fortieth year. had been very quiet all that day, little inclined 10 A good deal, however, must be ascribed to his read or speak, until the evening, when he talked a want of original and independent genius ; for little to his sister. As it grew dusk, he appeared though there seemed to be novelty in his style and to be seeking for something; and, on her asking views, it may be doubted whether he was so orig- what he wanted, said. Only the old Bible, which i

used so often at Herstmonceaux in the cottages ;' inal as he seemed. The manner of his best poem, and which generally lay near him. A little later, “ The Sexton's Daughter," was derived from his brother arrived from London ; with whom he Wordsworth, though by no means a common imi- conversed cheerfully for a few minutes. He was tation ; for if he wanted the originality and depth then left to settle for the night. But soon he grew of his prototype, he escaped his affectations and worse ; and the servant summoned the fainily to prosiness. The indistinct yearning (often visible his room. He was no longer able to recognize in Sterling's prose writings) after something lof-them. The last struggle was short ; and before

eleven o'clock his spirit had departed. [In his tier, more imaginative, more faithful, and less sor

thirty-ninth year.] didly material than the present age, he drew from

" He was buried in the beautiful little churchCarlyle and Carlyle's German masters ; “the yard of Bonchurch.” Idea” of Fichte and other vaguenesses, of the

The publication of the Essays and Tales before transcendental school being frequently traceable

us has been prompted in some degree, perhaps, by in his writings. Had he lived, he might have the regard of a friend rather than by a critical esmodified and refined the notions for which he was timate of the wants of literature. They consist indebted to others, as perhaps he was doing when of-1. Original papers, not always of the specific sickness and death intercepted his career : but, character of essays, but on independent subjects, though time might have ripened and improved his chosen by the writer, so that he is not fettered by genius, and health enabled him to carry out some his theme as in critical reviews : and these origilarger work, it could not have imparted original- nally appeared in the Athenæum for the years ity, or probably independence.

Something of this want was visible in his life 1828, 229, except some fragmentary Thoughts, &c. as well as in his writings. He seenus to have be- published in Blackwood during 1837, '38, and '39. gun with a species of religious indifference or the London and Westminster, the Quarterly and

2. Articles chiefly contributed to three Reviews, thoughtlessness. After his marriage he was con- the Foreign Quarterly, between 1837 and 1842. verted to a sort of rational evangelism, took or- 3. Tales and Apologues, reprinted from the Athe ders, and became curate to his old tutor and friend,

næum and Blackwood, with a few selections from now his editor and biographer, the Reverend Mr.

an unsuccessful novel : of this class the most imHare. Sterling's active zeal soon aggravated his

portant is

“ The Onyx Ring.' consumptive tendency and compelled him to resign

Of the various papers, we incline to rate a sethis post : in the speculative life which ill health ries of characters under the title of “Shades of the afterwards compelled him to lead, the German Dead" as the best, in the sense of completeness. writers drew him into some heterodox views, the They partake, indeed, of the crudeness and exagnature of which is not clearly stated. They ap geration of youth, (the author was only about four pear, however, to have been rationalistic; but

and-twenty when he contributed to the Athenæum,) Sterling at last settled in the Lord's Prayer as su- and they display the rhetorical vice of considering perseding all doctrines and dogmas.

rather what the writer can say well than what he On the 16th September, (1844,) there was a can say truly. But they are more entire in them

selves, with greater adherence to the proposed soning faculties as opposed to those of the imagisubject, than the other miscellaneous writings of nation. In the more fugitive walk of literature, the author ; and, though they may not exhibit in which he chiefly occupied himself, it cannot be greater original thought, yet the thoughts are said that he formed a new instrument, and scarcely more germane and connected. As a reviewer, gave a new tone to any existing one. Sterling is above the average, yet not very greatly The collection before us is one of affection, above it ; making no approach to the three great which will be welcomed by all the friends of the “article” luminaries, and not superior if even equal late John Sterling ; and will enable them (with to Mackintosh, or Foster of the Eclectic. He is the editions of his poetry) to preserve the entire “ neither one thing nor t’other:" he does not dis- productions of his mind. For general use, a more card his book and write an essay or disquisition on rigid selection might have been advisable ; and this the subject, after the manner of Macaulay, nor does could readily have been done, both as regards en he steadily adhere to the book and produce a crit- tire writings and extracts. The review of Tenicism. In a notice of Tennyson, published in the nyson, for instance, is of slender account ; but the Quarterly, he begins with what poetry might be extrinsic remarks are often worth preserving. among us, goes to railroads, proceeds to elections, Take, for example, a general election. then to Exeter Hall meetings, and finally runs over some of our leading poets, with the national char- absurdities are plain, no doubt: has not the ocean

ook at one of our general elections. The acteristics as expressed in their works, before we froth and bubbles ? But take the thing altogether, get to the nominal theme. And then the criti- and observe the mixture and spread of interests and cism, though judicious, is not very large, or even faculties brought into action. Above all, the open full in proportion to the space occupied. Nor, to boldness with which a nation throws itself into the say truth, was Sterling sufficiently catholic for a

streets and markets, casting off, in the faith that it critic. He could make sensible and even deep ob- can reproduce, its company of rulers, and letting

the fools clamor, the poor groan, the rich humble servations ; he could pass just enough judgments themselves, and all men bring all to judgment, withupon particular cases ; and he had a genuine rel- out a moment's fear, but that quiet will spring out ish for the great classics of literature --Homer, the of the tumult, and a government be born from a Greek dramatists, Dante, Milton, Shakspeare ; and mob. From the castle of the highest peer to the admired wherever he found what he sometimes clay-stained tipplers in the alehouse, from the bench called imagination and sometimes “ the Idea." of bishops to the ranters in the moor-side smithy, all But in other cases he belonged to a school if not ieties, debating in their different dialects the same

are stirred and fluttered, feverish with the same anxa clique ; he swore by Coleridge, Carlyle, and the questions, and all alike dependent on the omnipoGerman transcendentalists or sentimentalists; and tence of an event which no man can absolutely conseemed inclined to undervalue the lesser literature trol. Most of what they say is folly ; most of their of all ages, and, as a sequence, to blot out from objects of hope and fear, chimeras : but how full our study the life and opinion which it reflects of throbbing business is the whole land! how braced It would seem, however, that he was not fixed in are all the wishes and devices of all! Among so narrowness : he modified his opinions, perhaps ex: that the whole country must at least be willingly

much of make-believe and sound, it is a great thing tended them; and had his health been better and deceived if it is to be gained over-must seem to his life been spared, he might have outgrown his itself rationally persuaded ; and that the most futile sectarian bigotry altogether.

pretender can only cheat by aping, and so strengthHis tales, though by no means bad, are not the ening in others the qualities in which he is most best of his writings. He did not want narrative deficient. At the blast of the newsmen's tin trumpower, or a clear conception of character ; but he pets all shaduws must walk out of their darkness

into sunshine, and there be tried ; when, if many was deficient in the imagination necessary to rep- of the umbratile fraudulently pass muster, there is resent action or dialogue, especially when taking at least a public recognition of the laws of light.” a dramatic form or rising above common life. His most ambitious attempt, the tragedy of “ Strafford,”

There is both characteristic description and was a failure as an historical drama, and did not sound judgment in this view of Exeter Hall. very distinctly evolve the theory (as we now see * In the midmost rush of London business, and from his letters) on which the author wrote it, all the clatter of its vehiclos, turn aside through an though one part was dimly visible, as we observed open door, and what do we see ? A large and lofty in our review. "The Sexton's Daughter," al-room, every yard of its fluor and galleries crammed though limited in extent and humble in subject, of bonnets, and under each of these a separate sen.

with human, chiefly female life-a prodigious sea was perhaps the best thing Sterling did. Judging tient sea of notions, and feelings, and passions, all from these specimens, any efforts of Sterling's in in some measure stirred by the same tides and gales the more creative class of the belles lettres would every one of them, however narrow at the suronly, it seems probable, have secured him a place face, in depth unfathomable. in the history of literature. As a describer of life Altogether irrespectively of our present purand manners—an essayist, he might have given pose, and on the most general grounds, it may be his productions a more permanent

position before safely said, that in one of these great Exeter Hall the world, had he devoted himself to the task ; or where else we know. The room is said to hold four

meetings there is more to strike us than almost anyhe might have been successful in a work requiring thousand persons; and from its form they are all industrious acquisition, and the exercise of the rea-clearly visible at once-all of the middle or upper

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classes, well-dressed, though often many of them for it is in our own hands. Let us attend, then, in Quaker uniform, and at these times probably three to this practical point. fourths of them women. Such assemblages are in There are, as far as we are aware, but two truth, for a large part of the members, by far the most exciting outward events of life. The faces races of men applicable to our purpose, that is, themselves are alone quite enough to prove no small capable of performing efficient field labor within the share of moral culture in the mass. The delicately tropics—the Chinese and the African negro. The curved mouths and nostrils, the open yet quiet and Hindoos have been and as all who knew observant eyes, and a look of serious yet pleasurable them foretold, the failure has been pitiable. For elevation, mark very clearly a chosen class of our obvious reasons the Chinese are not to be had for country. The men are of course less pure and sin- West Indian labor. They are too far away, in the gle in their stamp of feeling ; business has marked first place; and in the next they are already in on them its contractedness, with its strength. Yet these also have an appearance of thought, although possession of excellent markets for their labor, with some coxcombical importance and complacent within a few days' sail of their own shores, where theological primness. Take, however, the whole they are received at once, not by strangers, but by assemblage--all it is and all it represents—we know their own countrymen. not where anything like it could be discovered. No With the African negro the case is widely difRoman Catholic, no despotic, no poor, no barbarous, ferent. no thoroughly demoralized, we fear we must add, emigration as that of Ireland ; and to receive it

Africa has a population as disposable for no very instructed and well-organized community. could ever exhibit such a gathering-voluntary, be the West India islands are as near and as congeit remembered, chiefly female, all with money to nial to the Africans as North America is to the spare, united for such remote and often fantastic Irish. The vague objection is the encouragement objects; above all, under such leaders. For in the of the slave-trade. But this slave-trade, in spite kind of persons guiding these bodies, and in their of all our fine schemes—our lines of forts our discourse, consists more than half the wonder. In free colonies our Niger expeditions, and our the house of commons, in the courts of law, we blockades has increased, and is sure to continue may hear nonsense enough. But in these places it is not the most vehement, the most chimerical, in to increase as long as Africa is barbarous, has other words, the most outrageous and silly, who laborers to export, and the West Indies are underbear the chiefest sway, but muc the contrary, peopled. Now in such Strand meetings, for the purest and When we abolished our own slave-trade, and noblest purposes, it is plain enough that a loud emancipated our African slaves, we had done our tongue, combined with a certain unctuous silkinece duty to humanity and civilization. Our intermedof profession, and the most dismal obscuration of brain, may venture with success upon the maddest ! dling in the affairs of other nations, in attempting assertions, the most desperate appeals, and will an unobtainable object, contrary to the principles draw sighs and even tears of sympathy, by the of good policy and international law, has in fact coarsest nonsense, from hundreds of amiable and only exposed us to hatred or ridicule. thoughtful persons."

Let us look, however, into some of the results of this intermeddling. It appears by the consular returns, that there were imported into the colonies

of different European nations, from the east and THE SLAVE-TRADE

west coasts of Africa, from 1814 to 1843, to the The owners of West India property are in pal- number of 657,189 slaves, in the teeth of our pable difficulty. It is now beyond question that, treaties and our cruisers. In these thirty years, deprived of the monopoly of the mother country, then, there were imported, and chiefly into Cuba they cannot compete with Cuba and Brazil ; and and Brazil, a population of laborers greater than the monopoly will never be restored unless the that of the negro population of all our West India people of this country should be silly enough to islands at the period of emancipation ; and that reimpose that burthen on the necessaries of sugar population, too, not consisting of men and women and coffee, already paying a public tax of 6,000,- and children, but for the most part, of adult males 0001.

in the vigor of life. There are two causes in active operation against But the consular returns, of course, do not West Indian cultivation-inferior fertility of soil, include those who died in the prisons or barracoons and high-priced labor. All else is in their favor of the African coast waiting to be shipped ; nor -superior skill in superintendence, superior ma- those who died in the middle passage ; nor probachinery, superior shipping for transport, and a bet- bly those who were smuggled ashore in the West ter market for the disposal of their produce. For Indies. We can only estimate the number of the production of sugar and coffee they have, in a those who perish in the middle passage. Sir word, no Anglo-Saxon competitor within the trop- Fowell Buxton informs us that the mortality of the ics, as they have in cotton and tobacco beyond middle passage has, in consequence of our own them.

measures of prevention, increased from nine to As to the inferiority of soil, it is as unquestion- twenty-five per cent. This alone would raise the able as it is irremediable, and we need say no more number exported to above 820,000; and if we add about it. Not so with the high-priced labor: we for the other items, the probability is that the numtake it to be the mere creature of pseudo-philan- ber of Africans brought yearly to the coast to be thropy and mistaken legislation, and the remedy sold into slavery will not be fewer than 30,000.

From the Examiner.




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