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Our sketch of Bonaparte would be imperfect, indeed i we did not add, that he was characterized by nothing more strongly than by the spirit of self-exaggeration. The singular energy of bis intellect and will, through which he had mastered so many rivals and foes, and overcome what seemed insuperable obstacles, inspired a consciousness of being something more than man. His strong original tendencies to pride and self-exaltation, fed and pampered by strange success and unbounded applause, swelled into an almost insane conviction of superhuman greatness. In his own view, he stood apart from other men. He was not to be measured by the standard of humanity. He was not to be retarded by difficulties, to which all others yielded. He was not to be subjected to laws and obligations which all others were expected to obey. Nature and the human will were to bend to his power. He was the child and favourite of fortune; and, if not the lord, the chief object of destiny. His history shows a spirit of self-exaggeration, unrivalled in enlightened ages, and which reminds us of an Oriental king to whom incense had been burnt from his birth as to a deity. This was the chief source of his crimes. He wanted the sentiment of a common nature with his fellow-beings. He had no sympathies with his race. That feeling of brotherhood, which is developed in truly great souls with peculiar energy, and through which they give up themselves willing victims, joyful sacrifices, to the interests of mankind, was wholly unknown to him. His heart, amidst all its wild beatings, never had one throb of disinterested love. The ties which bind man to man he broke asunder. The proper happiness of a man, which consists in the victory of moral energy and social affection over the selfish passions, he cast away for the lonely joy of a despot. With powers which might have made him a glorious representative and minister of the beneficent Divinity, and with natural sensibilities which might have been exalted into sublime virtues, he chose to separate himself from his kind,- to forego their love, esteem, and gratitude —that he might become their gaze, their fear, their won. der; and for this selfish, solitary good, parted with peace and imperishable renown.


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The Indian Jugglers. COMING forward, and seating himself on the ground, in his white dress and tightened turban, the chief of the Indian Jugglers begins with tossing up two brass balls, which is what any of us could do; and concludes with keeping up four at the same time, which is what none of us could do to save our lives, nor if we were to take our whole lives to do it in. Is it, then, a trilling power we see at work? or is it not something next to iniraculous ? It is the utmost stretch of human ingenuity, which nothing but the bending the faculties of body and mind to it, from the tenderest infancy, with incessant, ever-anxious application, up to manhood, can accomplish, or make even a slight approach to. Man, thou art a wonderful animal, and thy ways past finding out! Thou canst do strange things; but thou turnest them to little account!—To conceive of this effort of extraordinary dexterity, distracts the imagination, and makes admiration breathless. Yet it costs nothing to the performer, any more than if it were a mere mechanical deception with which he had nothing to do, but to watch and laugh at the astonishment of the spectators. A single error of a hair’s-breadth, of the smallest conceivable portion of time, would be fatal: the precision of the movements must be like a mathematical truth,—their rapidity is like lightring. To catch four balls in succession in less than a second of time, and deliver them back so as to return with seeming consciousness to the hand again; to make them revolve round him at certain intervals, like the planets in their spheres; to make them chase one another like sparkles of fire, or shoot up like flowers or meteors; 10 throw them behind his back, and twine them round his neck like ribbons or like serpents; to do what appears an impossibility, and to do it with all the ease, the grace, the carelessness imaginable; to laugh at, to play with the glittering mockeries; to follow them with his eye, as if he could fascinate them with its lambent fire, or as if he had only to see that they kept time with the music on the stage —there is something in all this, which he who does not admire may be quite sure he never really admired any thing in the whole course of his life. It is skill surmounting difficulty, and beauty triumphing over skill. It seems as if the difficulty once mastered, naturally resolved itself into ease and grace; and as if to be overcoine at all, it must be overcome without an effort. The smallest awkwardness, or want of pliancy or self-possession, would stop the whole process.

It is the work of witchcraft, and yet sport for children. Some of the other feats are quite as curious and wonderful, such as the balancing the artificial tree, and shooting a bird from each branch through a quill; though none of them have the elegance or facility of the keeping up of the brass balls. You are in pain for the result, and glad when the experiment is over; they are not accompanied with the same unmixed, unchecked delight, as the former; and I would not give much to be merely astonished, without being pleased at the same time. As to the swallowing of the sword, the police ought to interfere to prevent it. When I saw the Indian Juggler do the same things before, his feet were bare, and he had large rings on the toes, which kept turning round all the time of the performance, as if they moved of themselves.—The hearing a speech in Parliament, drawled or stammered out by the Honourable Member or the Noble Lord, the ringing the changes on their common-places, which any one could repeat after them as well as they, stirs me not a jot, shakes not my good opinion of myself: but the seeing the Indian Jugglers does. It makes me ashamed of myself. I ask what there is that I can do as well as this ? Nothing. What have I been doing all life? Have I been idle, or have I nothing to show for all my labour and pains? Or have I passed my time in pouring words like water into empty sieves; rolling a stone up a hill, and then down again; trying to prove an argument in the teeth of facts; and looking for causes in the dark, and not finding them? Is there no one thing in which I can challenge competition, that I can bring as an instance of exact perfection, in which others cannot find a flaw? The utmost I can pretend to, is to write a description of what this fellow can do. I can write a book: so can many others who have not even learned to spell. What abortions are these Essays! What errors, what ill-pieced transitions, what crooked reasons, what Jame conclusions ! How little is made out, and that little how ill! Yet they are the best I can do. I endeavour to recollect all I have ever observed or thought upon a subject, and to express it as nearly as I can. Instead of writing on four subjects at a time, it is as much as I manage to keep the thread of one discourse clear and unentangled. I have also time on my hands, to correct my




opinions, and polish my periods: but the one I cannot, and the other I will not do. I am fond of arguing: yet, with a good deal of pains and practice, it is often as much as I can do to beat my man; though he may be a very indifferent hand. A common fencer would disarm his adversary in the twinkling of an eye, unless he were a professor like himself. A stroke of wit will sometimes produce this effect; but there is no such power or superiority in sense or reasoning. There is no complete mastery of execution to be shown there: and you hardly know the professor from the impudent pretender, or the mere clown.


On Milton.

From this very imperfect view of the qualities of Milton's poetry, we hasten to his great work, Paradise Lost, perhaps the noblest monument of human genius. The two first books, by universal consent, stand pre-eminent in sublimity. Hell and Hell's King have a terrible harmony; and dilate into new grandeur and awfuitess, the longer we contemplate them. From one element—“solid and liquid fire"the poet has framed a world of horror and suffering, such as imagination had never traversed. But fiercer flames. than those which encompass Satan, burn in his own soul. Revenge, exasperated pride, consuming wrath, ambition though fallen, yet unconquered by the thunders of the Omnipotent, and grasping still at the empire of the universe,—these form a picture more sublime and terrible than Hell. Hell yields to the spirit which it imprisons. The intensity of its fires reveals the intenser passions and more vehement will of Satan; and the ruined Archangel gathers into himself the sublimity of the scene which surrounds him. This forms the tremendous interest of these wonderful books. We see mind triumphant over the most terrible powers of nature. We see unutterable agony subdued by energy of soul. We have not indeed in Satan those bursts of passion, which rive the soul, as well as shatter the outward frame of Lear. But we have a depth of passion which only an Archangel could manifest. The all-enduring, alldefying pride of Satan, assuming so majestically Hell's burning throne, and coveting the diadem, which scorches his thunder-blasted brow, is a creation requiring in its



author almost the spiritual energy with which he invests the fallen seraph. Some have doubted whether the moral effect of such delineations of the storms and terrible workings of the soul, is good; whether the interest felt in a spirit so transcendently evil as Satan, favours our sympathies with virtue. But our interest fastens in this and like cases, on what is not evil. We gaze on Satan with an awe not unmixed with mysterious pleasure, as on a miraculous manifestation of the power of mind. What chains us, as with a resistless spell, in such a character, is spiritual might made visible by the racking pains which it overpowers. There is something kindling and ennobling in the consciousness, however awakened, of the energy which resides in mind; and many a virtuous man has borrowed new strength from the force, constancy, and dauntless courage of evil agents.

Milton's description of Satan attests, in various ways, the power of his genius. Critics have often observed, that the great difficulty of his work was to reconcile the spiritual properties of his supernatural beings with the human modes of existence, which he was obliged to ascribe to them; and the difficulty is too great for any genius wholly to overcome; and we must acknowledge, that our enthusiasm is, in some parts of the poem, checked by a feeling of incongruity between the spiritual agent, and his sphere and mode of agency. But we are visited with no such chilling doubts and misgivings in the description of Satan in Hell. Imagination has here achieved its highest triumph, in imparting a character of reality and truth to its most daring creations. That world of horrors, though material, is yet so remote from our ordinary nature, that a spiritual being, exiled from heaven, finds there an appropriate home. There is, too, an indefiniteness in the description of Satan's person, which incites without shocking the imagination, and aids us to combine in our conception of him the massiness of a real form, with the vagueness of spiritual existence. To the production of this effect, much depends on the first impression given by the poet; for this is apt to follow us through the hole work; and here we think Milton eminently successful. The first glimpse of Satan is given us in the following lines, which, whilst too indefinite to provoke the scrutiny of the reason, fill the imagination of the reader with a form which can hardly be effaced.

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