Obrázky na stránke


no more annoyance from your bro- stacles. Enough has been sacrificed ther ; remorse had struck him, and it to duty, let constancy now meet with is but justice to his memory to say, its reward. I have no doubt that the that he would have made me every Baronet will in time be prevailed on to atonement in his power, would I have give his consent, for his affections, my accepted aught but forbearance from boy, are now wrapt up in you; but insult at his hands. Soon after this should he not, why then—as the recent he died, and you returned home; and death of a relative has again rendered singularly enough, on that very day me independent, I will not, to humour too, my child quitted the hut of which his prejudices, sacrifice the happiness she had so long been the tenant. You of two young people so deservedly asked anxiously about her, but though dear to me. But try him first, John; I always esteemed you, John, yet your allow time for his better feelings to brother's conduct having inspired me come into play, for, remember, he is with a distrust of all the members of your father |--and now, here we are your family-being ignorant too how at home; nay, no entering here tofar an acquaintance with the world night," —for Trevanion, reluctant to might have perverted your own fine part from Mary even for an hour, was nature-I determined for a time to following them up the garden,—" repersevere in my story. But at the sight turn to the Hall, John, and in a day or of your grief, my heart relented, and two we will see each other again;" I was on the point of making a con- and with these words, Mr Mordaunt, fession, when, on reflection, I thought barely allowing the lovers time for it better previously to make a sure one embrace, hurried his daughter trial of your constancy. In due sea. with him into the cottage. son I should have explained every

About a month after this memora. thing, but Mary, whom it was a par- ble scene at the Abbey, when the senamount object with me to keep seclud- sation created throughout the village ed from all observation, precipitated by Mary's extraordinary re-appearmy design. Twice in the dusk of the ance had somewhat subsided, as proevening, when she thought she might found a one, if not profounder, was venture abroad without risk of dis- excited by the unprecedented circumcovery, she made her way secretly to stance of Sir Hugh Trevanion's state your favourite grove, pleased, no carriage standing at the door of Mr doubt, at the idea of finding herself Mordaunt's cottage. Subdued by grief once more so near you. On both and age, and penetrated with his son's these occasions you beheld her, and unremitting attention to his slightest mistook her—as was natural in your wishes, the old man had no longer the excited state of mind, and after the heart or the inclination to refuse him communications I had made to you any thing. Accordingly, after urging with regard to her supposed death- a few faint objections, he was persuadfor a being of another world. This ed to have an interview with the Morpremature discovery, coupled with your daunts; and, as to see Mary was to determination to consult the witch, love her, he no sooner became accompelled me to bring matters to quainted with her, and learned that a crisis. Still, however, distrustful of her family, though not of rank equal your affection, I resolved to put it to his own, was nevertheless of “gentle to a last decisive test ; and accordingly blood,” than he gave his consent to projected your present visit to this her union with his son. And long and abbey ; for if, said I, he can brave happily John and Mary lived together. an interview with the dead, at such an Her native good sense and strength of hour, and in such a spot-he, whose mind corrected the infirmities of his imagination is so vivid, and so easily imagination ; and often, when in maexcited !--great, indeed, must be the turer years he thought of his youthful strength and purity of his attachment. adventures with the pirates, he thought Forgive me, John, for making you the of them with gratitude, as having been subject of such a wild experiment, the means of drawing out that latent which, but for my knowledge of your energy of character which had enamind, I should never have dreamed of; bled him to win the hand of Mary. but you have bravely passed the or- Thus the last as well as the first part deal, and henceforth I fling distrust to of the Witch of Dartmoor's prediction the winds. Mary is yours! It would was fulfilled! be ungenerous to interpose further ob




close the windows and doors of his I SEEM to see a hard polished Mo- house, and stop every crevice to keep saic spread over the earth, enamelled out the light that it may not dim the with animals, flowers, and men. They shining of his candles, and should then are the smooth and glittering but life- strike a spark in this corner and that, Jess ornaments of a subterranean and rejoice in seeing here a match and tomb. The rain falls on them, but there a taper, and think how much nonot a drop sinks in. The wind blows bler it is to enjoy this illumination of over them, but cannot stir a leaf of the his own than to owe aught to the sun, plants, or a tress of the figures. It is so is he who shuts himself in the à noble work. But the living roots chambers of his self-will, and darkens below begin to strive, and the flowers himself against the radiance of truth. fracture and displace their stone co- Poor man, he knows not in the pride pies, and a fountain forces its way of his independence that even his weak through the rent masterpiece. The and meagre glimmer is a witness to stag that bounds across, and the ox some higher source of light than bimthat lies down on it, shake and crack self, whose effluence he did not create the picture ; and the labourer dashes but only appropriate and obscure. away with his pickaxe the shapes of goddesses and heroes, and seeks for

4. soil below in which to drive his plough To the eye of Faith, and of Science and sow his seed. The artist stands too, which without faith is but a cataaghast, and exclaims, how wretched logue of names, every grain of dust is is it that these living things should de- surrounded with its own coloured and stroy my beautiful creation. Beauti- life-sustaining atmosphere, and turns ful it may be, replies the peasant ; but on the poles of a principle, that is, of a your figures are dead, and I am a life governed by a law. man.

5. 2.

Ariel imprisoned in the pine, such The gods were met in air, above is the view of man's spirit, if evil be Olympus, and delighted themselves but hinderance and difficulty. But if with discourse and song, till Vulcan, evil be guilt, be sin, man is an Ariel, Hermes, and Pallas proposed to dis- pent not in the trunk of the pine, but play before the conclave a pageant of in the heart of Caliban, filled with the universe. Vast golden columns the same life-blood, stirred by the same rose from darkness, and climbed amid emotions, and feeling every hideous the stars. A cloud-curtain filled the temptation that assails or resides in interspace, and across this floated vi- that bestial form, and condemned to sion after vision of worlds and all their regard it as the companion and instrukinds, phantoms multitudinous and ment of all his acts. From that disimmeasurable, and painted with the mal bondage no magic wand, no sage colours of reality. But suddenly the charming of a human Prospero can eagle sailed in amid the gods on ex- call the captive forth. panded wings, and his talons were fixed in the girdle of a mortal child.

6. Send the bantling, exclaimed Vulcan, The moral satirist declaims against with a glance of scorn, to swell that the cruelty and covetousness, the madcrowd of earthly figures passing in nesses and follies of men, and thinks our aerial show. Nay, said Pallas, how wise he is to see through the aim

they are shadows, and he, though clay- lessness and vanity of these ;—too apt ·born, lives, and is akin to us. Let him to believe that because he sees through

behold the vision which, being more others he himself is exempt from their than a phantom, he cannot belong to ; frailties. Yet there are few human and she placed him at the feet of Jove, follies worse than the merely striving who smiled on the nursling of his low. to see through those of all around us. est kingdom.

There is something better than satire

or declamation. What is it? Philo. 3.

sophy ? Not if that be mere speculaAs one who at broad noonday should tion, for that too is only a seeing




through. It is Love, Reverence,

8. Faith. That is a dreadful eye which Man starts on his journey in a dark can be divided from a living, human, and savage forest, and himself rude, heavenly heart, and still retain its haggard, fierce. He toils on, hardly power of all-penetrating vision. Such knowing wherefore, but driven by the was the eye of the Gorgons.

impulse of life and its necessities, and

allured with moth-like instinct in the 7.

direction of the light that glimmers beOf man as a reasonable, spiritual be. fore him. He contends with beasts, ing, feeling is the vital heat, and bears a he hews down trees, he mingles with like relation to our faculties and mental others of his kind in amity and bloody acts, as that of the body to our visible contention. Here and there in the fo. frame, or that of the earth and air to rest he builds himself a hut, or finds a the forms of vegetable life. As is the den. Now he erects some shapeless difference between the fulness of life memorial where he has found a more in the tropics, and the dearth and stunt- grateful spot of rest, or a bright gleam edness of it towards the poles, such is has fallen on him from the skies ; for the contrast between those distinct the wish to give outward substance minds, and those nations in whom feels and permanent habitation to his emoing is abundant on the one hand, and tions moves him as the wind the mist those on the other in which it is defi- which it condenses. Elsewhere in his cient. Give to the Arctic circle the journey he constructs a forge and warmth of India, and with no other smelts metals, and makes for himself change as to causes you will have the tools and ornaments. And again he frozen land melting into bloom and joins, amid some opening glade, a busy verdure ; and the hidden seeds dis- and shifting market. He learns to closing on all sides a harvest of exu- love the fellowship of his kind, and berant wealth and beauty. And such tastes the sweets of human intercourse; an alteration is produced by the awa- for language now has woven itself kening of deep, earnest, and lively round him like a sphere of luminous feeling in the hearts of men and races, beams, displaying to him all those such an expansion of the powers, and around him, and making his aspect a similar vivifying of the whole man. bright to them. He is helped on his

It is important to remember that way by troops of revellers with songs there is an apparent predominance of and torches ; and again they leave him, feeling in the character, which in rea- and the wilderness is still around him. lity argues a deficiency of the same. At another point some grave and For the utmost quickness in the ex- lonely hermit leads him on, and cheers citement, succession, and expression him with words of hope, and rebukes of feelings, proves that the quality of him with words of wisdom which find the feeling is weak and poor. Were an echo in his heart, while they seem it otherwise it would hold too strongly to give distinct expression to its longto its known and experienced objects to choked but ever-deepening murmurs. transfer itself so readily to new ones ; The flower-bands of love check the and moreover it would shrink from dis- boisterous uncouthness of his gestures, playing itself before those in whom it and the air of love opens his hard-encould not reckon on sympathies of cor. crusted breast. And all helps to sof. responding depth.

ten the ruggedness of his aspect, to But the gods and kings of mixed calm his headlong pulse, and to teach and multitudinous society are most him to bend his eyes

forward and upcommonly those whose feelings are ward with a thoughtful and longing the slightest and the lightest armed, gaze. Phantoms and realities thicken and the readiest therefore for all occa- round his path. The forest seems to sions. And this is true whether they shut in drearier closeness, and now and are feelings in their first and native then a brighter radiance bursts across character, as sensibility, taste, genero- it, and makes him feel by its disappearsity, and so forth ; or the same apos- ance as if, in spite of the steady growth tatized, the renegade feelings which of light, he were again, as at first, in take the names and arms of irony, sar- total darkness. He rests in a stately casm, and contempt ; which last is inn; he threads long colonnades, and often, but not always, only self-con- through opening vistas looks on dis. tempt going into company, that it may tant but still deeply overclouded

prospects. By and by he finds a

escape from home.

lamp burning before a lonely shrine, against the previous and more lasting or a single piercing ray lights up endeavours, the uppermost feeling some image orinscription; and through in the mind being that of resistance, deep and mazy arches, through that of a holding fast one's ground lines of tombs, and over ivy- against hostility, the tendency will curtained graves he is guided by always be to look with favour on all broken songs, and solemn harpings. kindred efforts, however desperate and He bends at last beneath a high insane, and to scout as lies, hypocrisy, cathedral roof, before a silent altar, vanity, pedantry, and so forth, the where the full brightness of the skies notion that there can be any good in the looks on him through the forms of traditional maxims, symbols, and insti. saints and angels from the face of God.. tutions of society. It is a dreary picture, On childlike knees the pilgrim sinks, but though insufficiently transferred and while his spirit flies upward to to language, its originals have an unthe light that can alone satisfy it, the deniable existence. However horrid weary body drops into the closing the thought of their Cain-like isolation sepulchre, and leaves no earthly record and ulcerated feelings, their inextri. but the marble effigy that sleeps before cable clinging to a strong and deep the altar with closed palms.

principle, under the heavy pressure of

anguish and despair, makes them ob9.

jects of true and brotherly sympathy There are minds in which the idea to every believer in spiritual realities. of duty stands immovably as the only The great error seems to be the subassertion of man's spiritual being. In stitution in the mind of a law, for a such men it resembles a rock un- personal being, a God. A law must clothed of all verdure, from which all be obeyed at whatever cost of reluclife-sustaining soil has been washed tance, and has no tendency to make away, and with nothing near it but a

obedience easy.

It is only a person dreary tossing sea of passions and that can be loved, and with love comes strivings. Duty is thus felt as the life and hope. great painful burden of existence, but which it is nobler to bear than to

10. escape from, as the mind assures it- The unflinching and unlimited selfself of its own strength only by the will of Bonaparte, together with his effort of upholding its load. But the sense of numerical order and combinaexertion is so painful that it often dis- tion, acted on revolutionized and returbs all clear, calm views of the volutionary France as an arctic winter world around. The suffering and on the storm-tost waters.

By the the sense of contradiction embody freezing of the waves the worn-out themselves in the belief that the and perishing crew of a crazy vessel whole universe is equally jarring, may be preserved from drowning. perilous, and tortured. Hence, a reck- But they can never hope to return to less ferocity of opposition to whatever port or be finally rescued except by claims a quiet and stable dominion. the passing away of the tyrannous Hence too, a fretful bitter scorn congelation which has enclosed the for the convictions and sympathies of ship and all the world around it in a those who maintain that either for case of smooth ice. their own minds, or for mankind as a The man himself appears to have race, every escape is provided from the been great only in his gigantic selfbondage of law into the freedom of will, and his ready, and unwearied life and love. From the feeling of capacity for combining and applying perpetual struggle in which victory the calculable elements of power. In promises no reward but the dreary all that relates to feeling, duty, and pride of victory, arises a sympathy imagination, he was a mean and insowith all struggle, however mad and lent barbarian, and, though there are blind, against any restraining force, many men

on record of far more and a cruel and disdainful spite against capricious and drunken impulses, there the attempts, in a progressive system, is probably none more entirely destinecessarily inadequate and imperfect, tute of conscience. It seems probable at introducing order amid the world's that much of his ambition, perhaps confusions. Unless in truth these much of all aggressive and cumulative should happen to be chiefly remark- ambition, is to be explained by the able as fierce and plundering reyolts perpetual inward uneasiness and pres

[merged small][ocr errors]

sure arising from the obscure con- or stolen once, for ten thousand times sciousness that his power rested on no that the same felonies are committed worthy base of honour, benevolence, as to thoughts. and reason. Whence the inexplicable anxiety for outward confirmations,

14. sops to his self-distrust, such as Will is the root; knowledge the victories, titles, monuments, royal stem and leaves ; feeling the flower. marriages, and even the mere frippery of his station, which, when not a mat

15. ter of custom and course, is even lu- The man who can only scoff in his dicrous and sickening. Whence, too, heart at the recollection of his first the remorseless fury with which he love, however extravagant and illstamped down the slightest show of directed it may have been, is not to resistance, and his mad irritation be trusted with another's life. He against the breath of ridicule or scorns his own. neglect. For the pettiest of such de. monstrations touched on and lacerated

16. his own morbid sense of instability. There is hardly a more serious

The great secret of the vulgar awe spectacle than that of a man in rags, which his name still inspires is simply and without any moral cultivation, this, that his kind of greatness, viz. reading a newspaper.

What are the the Alaric or Bashaw species, is that many Marii in one Cæsar compared which alone all minds, including the with Marii by millions? You cannot meanest, can understand and envy. stop the reading the newspapers, but Even these might perhaps be expected you may give the education that will to consider more frequently than they act as a preceding antidote. appear to do, that no power so pompous and plausible ever since the

17. beginning of history has made such If you want to understand a subject, utter shipwreck.

hear a man speak of it whose business

it is. If you want to understand the 11.

man, hear him speak of something else. A man with knowledge but without energy is a house furnished but not

18. inhabited ; a man with energy but no A beautiful plant is to a solitary knowledge, a house dwelt in but un- man a sort of vegetable mistress. furnished.

19. 12.

There are men from whom any burst Self-consciousness in most men of passion seems as extraordinary as flashes across the field of life like would be the breaking out of a vollightning over a benighted plain. canic eruption from the apex of a pyThe sage has the art to compel it ramid. Now, the pyramid has cerinto his lamp and detain it there, and tainly this advantage over the smoking is thus enabled to explore the region cone, that from it we look for no disthat we are born into and dwell in, charge of fire and lava. But the artiand which is nevertheless so unknown ficial mound of granite is lifeless, and to most of us.

incapable of supporting life--no gases

work within it, and no tree grows 13.

without. It stands for thousands of The greatest intellectual difference years unmouldering, indeed, but dry, among men is not that of having or barren, verdureless. If, then, we benot having thought on any one given held a mind resembling this, a mind subject, or any number of subjects ; of mere intellectual predetermination but of having or not having ever and rigid self-will, should we not have thought at all. He who has known cause to rejoice, though with fear, if the dignity, the strength, the sense of we found that there were boiling liberation, in the attainment of an in-' springs of life within, that the pyramid dependent personal conviction, has had been built above a crater? For thus, taken probably the greatest leap pos by an epoch of convulsion and desible for the mere intellect. But such struction, the artificial casing might be convictions are less common than they shattered, and a soil disclosed below, may seem. Bank notes are not forged capable, in time, of receiving dews

« PredošláPokračovať »