Imagens das páginas

man's life, so the false utterance of the nent gripe of one long tenacious finger, true, or the true utterance of the false, which does not relax when the flesh is, in one form or other, the whole of fingers fall loose in weariness or sleep; what is ruinous, chaotic, execrable. and it thus displays and exemplifies

Further, it is manifest that at the the uniting power inherent in men's highest point to which man can reach spirits. But as these physical tools there will always be something beyond can work only with the palpable and him, higher, larger, holier, which he visible, and the spirit has another world cannot yet utter, and can only yearn of its own, neither to be touched nor towards and apprehend. This is ne. seen by means of the bodily senses, cessarily the greatest of all greatnesses, there must, in this inner and better which he, not as yet knows, but region, be kindred operations in which knows of, forebodes, dreamingly the powers that the material images clutches. To hurry headlong towards manifest and apply, work for them. the expression of this which lies as selves and without tools. Thus to yet altogether inexpressible, profanes separate by mental scission is to disand mars the divine work, with regard tinguish ; to tie or lash together, is, in to it now the only divine work possi. the region of mere thought, to combine ble, of learning, feeling, embracing, notions or conceptions by an act of not apprehending, but comprehending fancy; and to lift is, in the language it. Unseasonable idle speech, and such of oracles, to raise an object out of upon this matter all must be, scares dark and flat confusion into clear and and irritates the plastic gods, the high individual existence; that is, to realize working powers in all; for whom the it for the mind. Now, in proportion universe and our lives are a pliant as men use many and complete tools, material, and with whom our will is, at they are advanced in mechanical civil. its best, a patient and devout fellow- isation. But their higher spiritual culworker and learner. Hence the mean ture has been forwarded only in the ing and sanctity of silence. But that degree in which they have learnt the same mute mysterious developement, true laws and aims of these inward which may be going on for years, and powers, which are at once the maindecads of years, in any one soul, and springs and the archetypes of all our for ages on ages in the soul of man, instruments. comes out at last to inevitable utterance; and the word of some one heart If man be a reality, no empty vision expresses for a thousand years after in the dreaming soul of nature, but, as him the feeling of countless millions. who shall doubt he is, inwardly sub

Thus do we find that the utterance of stantial and personal, that which he truth out of the infinite into the heart most earnestly desires, which best saof man makes his real inward story; tisfies his whole being, must be real too. and the utterance of the same out of his

39. heart into the world is all his outward Only by an act of arbitrary self-will work and duty.

dare we fancy that we belong to a 37.

system founded on the arbitrary selfAll the instruments that men employ will of any being, however superior to are so many symbols, and, as it were, us in power. materializations of corresponding faculties; as the works which, by means The fundamental affirmation of all of these instruments, we perform, are reasonable and, therefore, of all right expressions of our analogous tenden. religion, the highest of truths revealed cies, affections, and wants. The knife to man, is this, that the infinite, eternot only divides all separable sub. nal, and absolute Being, wills all good, stances, but exhibits, and, as it were, and only good, and that by good is prolongs into the outermost region of meant not merely whatever we may things about us that dividing faculty dare to fancy that he might choose to of which the rending hands are in will, but that which suits the wants, termediate agents. So the lever, and completes, in the fullest form, the that is, lifter, embodies and applies existence of all other beings. Every our in ward capacity of elevating, and doetrine opposed to this is superstitious consummates the work of our arms fanaticism or blasphemous scoffing. and shoulders. The rope which knots

41. two things together is but the perma- That men would be better than they





are if they always chose good instead but the little that a man could learn, of evil is evident. But that they would fancy, and feign of the life of a man. be better, or indeed could have a ra- How far is this excelled by the all that tional existence, if they had not the the life of a man-of every man is! power of choosing evil instead of good,

48. is the most foolish and presumptuous It is no uncommon mistake to supof fancies.

pose that exaggeration is essential or

at least proper to fiction. The truth You may indeed add sugar to vine is rather the reverse. A principal use gar, but cannot make it wine again. and justification of fiction is to reduce 43.

and harmonize the seeming exaggeraA man without earnestness is a tions of real life. mournful and perplexing spectacle. But it is a consolation to believe, as Facts are often extravagant and we must of any such a one, that he is monstrous, because we do not know in the most effectual and compulsive the whole system which explains and of all schools ; not only with the sad legitimises them. But none have any sublimity of the stars above bim, and business in fiction which are not intelthe haggard yet ever teeming earth ligible parts of the artificial whole that beneath his feet, graves, houses, and they appear in. temples around him, and the voices of

50. hatred and pain, love and devotion, Religion, conscience, affection, law, sounding in his ears, but also with a science, poetry, including the kindred heart, however weak and dull, essen- arts, are for ever rectifying the disortially capable of feeling and under ders and miseries of mankind. But standing the meaning of all these the mode in which the poetic art does things. He is at worst a boy, slow this is by presenting a mankind, a at learning to read, and thinking more world of its own, in which good and of toys and cakes than of books, but evil, true apd false, fair and ugly, barassuredly neither an idiot, nor incu- monious and discordant, and all such rably deaf, blind, and dumb. He is analogous pairs of contrasts, are horrid and disastrous to look upon as mingled by just and intelligible prinwe pass him by, but most when we see ciples of combination, and point to him coloured by the crimson glare of their own solution-pot indeed a solu our own passionate vehemence. Every tion always for the understanding, but step forward which we really make, always one adequate for the feelings, gives us a new mysterious power to and purifying and exalting them. draw him too on.

51. 44.

Faith in a better than that which Voltaire thought he was looking appears, is no less required by art through a handsome French window than by religion. at God and the universe, and painting pictures of them, while in truth the The three great perversions of eduglass was a mirror, and he saw and cation are those which tend to make copied only his own scoffing face. children respectively-Dwarfs— Mon45.

keys- Puppets. The Dwarfs are the The religion of all Pagans, indis. prodigies, the over-sharpened, overcriminately, has often been written of excited, over-accomplished, stunted by zealous Christians in the worst men. In these, as there is no fulness spirit of Paine and Voltaire.

and steadiness, such as belong only to 46.

mature life, and yet there is the apWhether is it nobler to dwell in pearance of these, the very principle Paradise and dream of a cabbage-gar of the thing is a quackery and falseden, or to live among pot-herbs and hood. The Monkeys are the spoilt ; believe in Paradise ?

the indulged petted creatures of mere 47.

self-will and appetite, in whom the Seldom does a truly divine poet human as distinguished from the ani. arise and teach all the poor toiling mal is faint and undeveloped. The men in the land how far nobler an weakness of mind which trains such epic is the life of every one of them— children, and delights in them, is that did he but know it--than that of the which led the ladies of another geneimaginary Ulysses. The Odyssee is ration to keep natural and genuine


apes for their amusement. The Pup- poses, he thus frustrates and dislopets are produced by the plan of dead. cates. ening, petrifying the mind, teaching

56. words by rote, compelling obedience All France, under Louis XIV., was for its own sake, and not for that of a beaten and bribed into courtiership. future moral freedom. These are the Poetry, Law, Theology, all wore courtthings that move in public only as the suits, and smoothed themselves into wires of masters and committees guide. flatterers and liars. The Muses beBut, because the life cannot be alto. came maids of honour, and stage-congether crushed and turned back, it as fidants to royal mistresses; Religion serts itself secretly in a sense of be was only permitted to appear masked numbed misery and corroding hatred in the abhorred disguise of a state The first class spoken of are those in chaplain, or a gold-laced trumpeter of whom a true ideal is misapplied. The sovereign worthlessness; and Truth second, those in whom none is aimed and Conscience, in the mean-while, at. The third, those in whom the were fasting at Port-Royal, pining in ideal pursued is altogether false and the Bastile, fighting in the Cevennes, wretched.

or emigrating to Spitalfields. Honesty 53.

could not have where to lay its head, Speech is as a pump by which we when Falsehood, Cruelty, and insane raise and pour out the water from the Vanity had for their lacqueys and great lake of Thought-whither it pimps Racine, Bossuet, and Molière. flows back again.

The Regent Orleans was but Louis 54.

XIV. in undress and half-intoxicated, There is a kind of social civilisation and Louis XV. the same type, drunk which rounds the rough and broken to stupidity. But while the family was stones into smooth shapeliness, but sinking from generation to generation also into monotonous uniformity. into utter lethargy, the nation was There is also a farther and better kind awakening from its sleep, till rising which again roughens the pebbles, not, and finding itself starved, bruised, and however, to reproduce their former shackled, it burst the remaining bonds, rude diversities, but to engrave them and strangled for ever the corpse-like with divine heads and figures and sig. royalty which it found lying beside it. nificant mottoes.


Life of any kind is a confounding When we see the place to which mystery; nay, that which we comsome natural Reality is degraded by monly do not call life, the principle of the hands of man,—the stately tree to existence in a stone or a drop of wa. be a dead wayside post, the fierce and ter, is an inscrutable wonder. That fleet wild ass of the desert to be a bro. in the infinity of time and space any ken and starved drudge,we cannot thing should be, should have a distinct but reflect that this wreck was once existence, should be more than nogreat and goodly, and possessed a thing! The thought of an immense wondrous inward endowment of inde- abysmal Nothing is awful, only less perdent life and power, was born out so than that of all and God; and of the eternal Infinite into the sad and thus a grain of sand being a fact, a narrow round of Time, where men, reality, rises before us into something its fellow-denizens of Time, have thus prodigious, immeasurable—a fact that crushed and ruined it. But poor as is opposes and counterbalances the im. the place and function of each living mensity of non-existence. And if this thing which men enchain and use, be so, what a thing is the life of man, when thus no longer existing for and which not only is, but knows that it by itself, yet the human order of ex. is; and not only is wondrous, but istence, with all its wants and contri. wonders ! vances, is an immeasurably higher one than any of these systems to which The beauty of physical Nature the weaker, meaner beings of earth strikes us with an immediate impres. originally belong. In this superiority sion of harmony and completeness. of Man's destiny and rights lies the There is also a sense of harmony, the justification of his subjecting to his result of reflection engaged on scienown purposes that which, for its pur- tific truth; and there is a livelier and




deeper consciousness of the same kind, sures the wearing on of the night itin wbich our personal sympathies and self. When they sink into the socket, reverential awe of all personality are lo! it is not dark, but day. combined with the feeling of the beau

65. tiful, excited by whatever is fair, ele. The Caliph Omar, who destroyed Vated, and harmonious in human will the Alexandrian library, the second in and character. In the aspect of the succession from Mahomet, and under highest human beauty, the immediate whom many empires, and Jerusalem impression produced by physical (that itself, were added to Islam, was jouris involuntary) Nature, is ioseparably neying on the borders of the Egyptian united with this last or sympathetic desert, and heard of the fame of a emotion; and the mere beauty of form holy, and wise hermit, who lived reand colour is regarded as symbolic of tired in a cave of the rocks amid the the inward and supersensuous loveli- sandy waste. Him he resolved to visit, ness. On the other hand, in the vi. hoping to learn from him where was sions of outward things, the evening concealed the buried treasure of the or nightly sky, the meditative melan- old idolatrous Kings of Egypt. When choly of a silent autumnal landscape, the Caliph, attended by several tall the blue sea rolling its foam into a and dark Arabs, and by Amrou, the rocky bay, the virgin shamefacedness conqueror of Egypt, entered the caof Nature in forest-nook, we spontane- vern, he found the hermit seated on a ously transfer in feeling and language rude bench at a stone table, which something of a purely human quality supported a written volume. His eyes to that which is properly below the were bent downwards as if in thought human, but unchangeably connected rather than study, and the Arabs were with it, and pierced in all directions surprised to see a man of low stature, and bound together by the roots of with long and silvery hair floating our nobler life.

round a face not like theirs, tawny

and scorched, but smooth and ruddy. We paint our lives in fresco. The The large and light grey eyes were soft and fusile plaster of the moment raised at their approach with a look hardens under every stroke of the of mild abstraction; and Amrou, who brush into eternal rock.

had conversed with many men of wis. 60.

dom at Alexandria, was struck by the Pain has its own noble joy when it breadth of his head, the clear polish of kindles a strong consciousness of life, the forehead, the well-cut and rather before stagnant and torpid.

small nose, and the large, lightly61.

closed mouth, which seemed to quiver The more sides a man has to his with feeling, and to be ready for the mind, the more certain he may be of lively utterance of countless and sage receiving blows on all of them from proverbs and comparisons. one party or other.

“ Sage," said the Caliph, “I see 62.

that thou wouldst not approve of the Persons immediately and univer- act of justice by which I have destroysally recognised as laudable, must be ed the storehouse of Pagan errors, either in the main negative characters, called the Library, in the city of Iskor capable of practising a good deal of ander ? Thou hast a book before thee, falsehood and spurious sympathy in and I see some others in that balf-open their intercourse with others.

chest, which do not resemble the Vo63.

lumes of believers." For a weak man to sympathize with “ In my youth, O Caliph! I read weakness is easy, as for a strong man many books in that Library which to sympathize with strength; but it is thou hast destroyed, and by the study hard for the weak to sympathize with of these, and their clear presence in the strong. Far harder for the strong my mind, I became capable of susto sympathize with the weak, to bow taining, and even of profiting, by this down to weakness, and to say to it, solitude in which I live, without com. “ Be thou my better strength.” panions and with few writings." 64.

“ What profit couldst thou derive The candles of man's night are from those infidel volumes ? The Kodoubtless burning out, but, like Al. ran teachs the one God, and to know, fred's candle-clocks, their decay mea. him is to know all."


* The Koran indeed teaches truly to draw it from the flesh. Her tears that there is one God; and because fall upon his cheek, and his hand is we know that he exists, we should be red with her blood." careful to understand him as display. “ Look again, and tell me what ed in all his works. Of these the no- thou seest." blest is man, and of his mind we have I see a mountain covered with so many several pictures in every book, trees, fields, and villages, and, by Alhowever mistaken its doctrines; and lah! with Pagan temples. But lo! in books can we also learn more clear- an earthquake heaves the whole, and ly and fully to understand what other half the houses are overthrown or works of God inferior to man, but still swallowed up. The survivors arm most wonderful, reveal his will and themselves for battle, and a fierce conpower."

flict rages for the enjoyment of those “Ah! shameless unbeliever!" ex. of their possessions which remain. claimed Omar, and stroked his beard, Fire spreads through the ruined vine"now would I order thee to be slain yards, woods, and houses; and by its upon the spot, but that I have need of light many men are slain, and women thy wisdom for the good of the faith and children made captives. Some of ful and of the true faith. Tell me those combatants, O Dervish, are sons where are concealed the riches of the of the giants, and the maidens whom Pharaohs, and I will spare thy life." I look upon are lovely as the damsels

"I know not that I can teach thee this, of Paradise." but what I can show thee, thou shalt "Look now again. What seest know." Then turning to Amrou, the thou?" fierce and conquering general of the « A lonely waste. The grey desert Moslem .armies—" Fetch me, I pray spreads far and wide, save where a thee, a handful of sand from the de. dark sea beats heavily on its coast. sert, at the mouth of the cave." The Not a ship, not a camel, not a house warrior started, and his eyes turned is there. But among heaps of carved disdainfully on the hermit. But they stones and fallen pillars, such as might sunk under his quiet gaze, and Amrou build a royal city, á white-haired, wiwent and brought the sand. The her. thered man sits with his eyes upon the mit received it into his palm, and turn- ground. A vulture is perched upon ing to the Caliph, desired him to pick a mound near, and looks at him; and olt a single grain, and lay it on the a jackal eyes him from a shattered blade of Amrou's dagger. The bright tomb, and gnaws a scull. The wind weapon which had so often been red of the desert has blown the sand over withi blood, was drawn from its sheath, his feet, and almost to his knees, but and the Caliph held it in his hand. he cares not to rise and free himself. Then following the hermit alone into Dervish! God must have fallen asleep the dark interior of the cave, he plac. in heaven above that place, and left it ed upon the blade, held horizontally, to die utterly." a single grain of sand. On this, he “ What dost thou now behold ?”. fixed his eyes. In the deep gloom, «I see around a broad bay of the the grain brightened like a spark of ocean, a range of green hills with fire, and grew larger and larger, even streams and torrents, and gardens as the brightest planet of evening, and reaching to the skies. Amid these it paused not in its expansion, till it are palaces, with pillars built doubtless seemed a luminous ball of mild pale by the genii, and along the wide terfire.

races in front of the buildings, sons of “ Look steadily,” said the hermit; wisdom, and daughters of beauty are “ fear not; and tell me what thou walking or leaning. One is a storyseest."

teller, who has gathered round him a " I see," said the Caliph, “a small crowd of listeners, young and old. goat-skintent, under the shade of rocks, Another seems to have just shaped a among palm-trees and wild vines. A figure of a woman out of stone. She "man, naked save his girdle, sleeps in is more than half naked, but looks as the cool, with his head upon a dark if none dare think her so. On the and sad-looking woman's lap, and two torch which she holds up in her hand, a children are not far off. A thorn has flame of green fire burns like a bright pierced the foot of the infant girl, and star in the sunshine round her. A the boy, her brother, is endeavouring band of children are wreathing flowers

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