« EelmineJätka »
the thinker predominates, yet he does they are terrible as life, and as pronot expel the artist; he takes much found. No one has fathomed such sespace, he is cumbrous, he makes it diffi- cret springs of the human soul; no one cult for the artist, yet the latter forces has followed it so close to the thresbold his way through the material piled to- of earthly existence; no one has til gether by the former, and with a single such inexorable persistency of analysis scene of sublime psychological reality hunted up the microbes of insincerity enforces pages of philosophy. In Tol- which contaminate the human constoi, the artist and the thinker also co- science; no one has ransacked with such exist, but they are rivals; they never cruel serenity the yawning wounds speak at the same time, they seldom opened by psychological vivisection. endorse each other's words; as a matter and every one who reads Tolstoi's of fact, they sometimes do not agree at
books feels subjugated by this power. all. And yet, it is always the artist and yields to the omnipotency of that who is right; the thinker raises his genius, which in the epic panoramas of voice with an intrusive persistence, but his novels embraces armies, nations, the artist will not be outdone, and countries, and which in a short tale of
two peasants, where the repenting whenever he reappears in all the indis
“master” transfuses his life into his putable authority of his genius, his se
frozen "servant," has embraced the rene vision goes further, straighter, and
whole of humanity, and in the narro higher than any philosophical lucubra
compass of a sledge, lost in a winter tions of the thinker.
tempest and buried under the snow, has The literary figure of the great novel
concentrated the universe and shown ist is well known; it is perhaps the the gates of eternity. first example in the history of universal
Such is the artist-with the greatest literature of a writer who during his uniting power ever displayed by a life has attained to the fullest possible novelist. But the thinker appears, and degree of fame, for he is the first great
seems to make it his aim to undo the writer to whom it has been given to work of the artist. It is the most strik. avail himself of all the means of diffu- ing feature of Tolstoi's intellect, this sion offered by modern civilization. contrast between the uniting power of Whereas Dante, Shakespeare, Cer- his literature and the disintegration vantes, had to wait centuries till they preached by his philosophy. The disinshould be translated into all languages; tegration begins with his own person. till printing should multiply them to in- The thinker detaches himself from the finity; till the means of transportation individual and becomes the analyzer, should be so developed as to carry the judge, and the prosecutor of the them into every corner of the world, artist. The author of "War and Peace" Count Tolstoi had the luck of living in is condemned by the author of "My a time when just that very civilization Religion.” Art is declared a plaything which he so much reviles, grants him unworthy of those who really care for in the space of a few years the con- the prosperity of their brethren. Does densed result of centuries; his posthu- not the lower people ignore Poushkin, mous glory will not be greater than his Gogol, Tourgenieff? Does it feel any popularity. Faithful to our programme necessity of knowing them? The upper we will not so much examine his talent classes must concentrate their activity and his ideas as their influence, and only upon such things as bring an imhow far they have been accepted. mediate benefit to the masses; all that
Seldom has a writer's talent been so does not aim at this is superfluous, and universally acknowledged as the talent we must give up all superfluity. The of the author of "War and Peace.” All thinker forces the artist to write fairy. parties, all schools, all generations, all tales for the peasants, and the artist is nationalities, agree. Indisputable as so beautiful in his universality, so un. life itself are his wonderful pictures of conscious of social distinctions in his life; they are broad and varied as life; picturing of the human soul, that these
fairly-tales composed for peasants be- least attractive for those who, themcome favorites with every one. The selves never having strained their enerthinker forces the artist to give up gies in the cause of positive faith, feel painting, to drop the brush, to pick up glad to be absolved from any strivings the pen, and to become a philosophical by him who teaches that our ideal lies writer. At this point the spirit of dis- behind, and not before us. The relaxintegration passes from his person into ing of human energy, this is the corbis theories, and finally into the opinions rupting element of the theory. Modern of those who were so unanimous in society as it has crystallized itself is their judgment of the artist. In a few declared wrong: therefore, all who had words, Tolstoi's teachings may be but a slight impulse of the sense of duty summed up as follows: their basis is grasp at the theory as at a deliverance. non-resistance to evil; their dogma, the Why should we work as long as the perniciousness of civilization as the re- accomplishment of our best intentions sult of collectivity; their practical pre- depends upon a state of things which scription, the dissolution of society to is wrong? All efforts of charity, all the benefit of the individual. We will real enthusiasm, are undermined; ni. not pause to consider the good side of hilistic laughter greets the best strivhis preaching which, in the main, can ings; a man has founded a hospital, but be reduced to a campaign against hu- the hospital depends upon the governman insincerity in all its manifesta- ment, and governments are immoral,tions—the author pleads his cause well consequently, the man is pitied as one enough himself. We will rather follow who errs; another gives a sum for chariup its defects, and even not so much table institutions; if he were a real the intrinsic defects of the teaching Christian, it is said, he ought to have
the defective side of its influ- given away everything-tois does not ence.
count. Here, we repeat, we do not The real followers of Tolstoi, the reg- judge the teaching, we simply state the ular "Tolstoi-ists,” are not numerous;
results of its influence. People start they are people worthy of all esteem from the point that, if measured by the for carrying out within the limits of Gospel, we are all insolvent debtors, possibility the prescription of abdi- and therefore those who make efforts cating superfluity, though the line is to acquit themselves, at least of a poralways somewhat hard to draw be- tion of their debts, are ridiculed. The tween that which is really necessary, intellectual influence is no less relaxing and that which only seems so. The than the moral; civilization is procount himself, at his country-place, claimed pernicious, and the ignorant by gives rather strange examples of practi- the fact of his ignorance considers himcal application. The author of "Anna self above all others. Authorities are Karenina” plunges his hands into clay, undermined, all workers of human enand builds stoves which afterwards lightenment dethroned, people who are rebuilt by regular stove builders. have never read a line of philosophy Every day he takes an hour of plough- declare with profession of competency ing, after which exercise he enjoys the that there is but one philosopher in the satisfaction of eating his dinner "in world, and this is Count Tolstoi. The the sweat of his brow.” Of all this, is religious influence is still worse. Tolit the plough and stoves the count con- stoi constructs his teaching on a basis siders necessary, or is it the dinner he of scripture texts; he and his followers intends with time to eliminate as super- consider that they have the monopoly fluous ?
of the right comprehension or the GosAnd yet this practical side, however pels,--and thus people who never beridiculous in its innocence, is the only lieved anything grasp at the Gospel, not positive element of the teaching; all the in order to learn, but in order to estabrest is negative, and just this negation lish the inferiority of those who believe, which underlies the theory is the poi- but cannot live up to its commands; on sonous and yet attractive side of it, at the basis of Christianity, a sect is aris
ing which supplants charity and love growth, therefore future ages will worð by criticism and scorn.
at the extension, and not at the extineAnd what is offered in all this as the tion of that which has been acquired by positive beacon of hope? Tolstoi him- preceding ages. For the past exists as selt says he cannot foresee what will well as the future, and cannot be forced become of the world if all men follow into non-existence. Count Tolstoi says his precepts; yet he asserts that our that the lower people does not know ideal lies "behind us;" this evidently Poushkin, and therefore he concludes means ages anterior to civilization. Poushkins are useless. But he knows Only he does not determine the chrono- Poushkin, and he cannot force himself logical moment; it is the age of iron or to forget him; and so long as he rememthe age of stone? Or if he used the bers he must want others to know him, term in the sense of the age of the in- for the moment they know him, they dividual, will he say it was meant as the will want him. purity of childhood? Again, the mo- No, Count Tolstoi shall not impede the ment is not determined. When does blossoming of the world; however porimpurity begin? To be completely free erful the thinker, he shall never make from impurity, we must return to those any one believe that the author of "War days when we yet did not exist. And and Peace" is useless because unknown indeed, in the “Kreutzer Sonata,” man- to the ignorant; the philosopher sball kind is given advice which is equiva- not force out the artist, and shall not lent to suicide. A theory, the principle prevent him from becoming, even in of which is dissolution, could not but spite of himself, one of the greatest edlead to death.
ucators of the future generations: the Dismemberment of society means repentant author will not be able to retrograding of individuals; and where erase himself from the list of the beneis the end of this gradual abdication? factors of humanity, for the artist in Shall we retrograde into the depth of him has embodied in beauty too many centuries till we “return to earth”? great ideas, and "beauty, or the incorLife is not possible without struggles; porated ideal,” says our philosopher, “is plants struggle and expel each other; the better part of our real world, the society is the regulator of individual one which not only exists, but is worthy struggles. If society is wrong as it ex- of existence." ists, this does not mean that it must be From “ Pictures of Russian History and Russian altogether destroyed or that the spirit
Literature." By Prince Serge Wolkonsky. of sociability is an element of nature Lamson, Wolffe and Company, Publishers. which man must counter-check. How long would Count Tolstoi have to wait before individual self-improvement would suppress servitude? there would have been no servitude, he will answer, had humanity not shaped itself into so
A GROUP OF SONNETS. cieties. Maybe so, yet we cannot suppress the past, we have to work on the O Saints, dear Saints, so present, yet so given basis, we cannot start the world far! anew; servitude was a given fact, and I cannot touch you with my hand or trace once again, how long should we have The aspect of your strength, your faith, had to wait for this given fact to die
Between us lie the years,-the gulf, the away? The world as it exists is also
bar. a fact, a living fact, not a dead sentence But as one tracks the sunlight to the star, which can be erased and another sub- And finds no dark nor flame-forsaken stituted for it; and as it exists it lives,
space and nothing will arrest its further evo
To fret the beauty of its burning face, lution on the basis of the past. The Because the splendor swallows blot and duty of the future is to regulate, not to scar; suppress the continuation of the world's So Time has framed you with an aureole
More circle-rounded than your age fore. And join thee to that nobler, sturdier band knew;
Whose worship is not idle, fruitless, dumb. No frailty now can quench that fire of
soul! The things ye willed and did not, those ye
do: The gifts ye strove for, in my sight are
THE TORCH-BEARER. true: Your perfect parts have made perfection In splendor robed for some court-revelry whole.
A monarch moves when eve is on the
wane. His faithful lieges flock their prince to
And strive to pierce the gathering shadeTHE ART THAT ENDURES.
in vain. Marble of Paros, bronze that will not rust, But lo, a torch! And now the brilliant Onyx or agate,-Sculptor, choose thy
Is manifest. Who may the bearer be? Not clay nor wax nor perishable stock Not great himself, he maketh greatness Of earthly stones can yield a virile bust
plain. Keen-edged against the centuries. Strive To him this praise at least. What more thou must
to me? In molten brass or adamantine rock Mine is a lowly Muse. She cannot sing To carve the strenuous shape which shall A pageant or a passion; cannot cry not mock
With clamorous voice against an evil Thy faith by crumbling dust upon thy thing, dust.
And break its power; but seeks with single Poet, the warning comes not less to thee! eye Match well thy metres with a strong de- To follow in the steps of Love her King, sign.
And hold a light for men to see Him by. Let noble themes find nervous utterance.
TO A STRANGE TEACHER. these be thine, And steadfast hopes of immortality. Trouble me no more. The world is very
wide And full of souls whose primal faith has
Go first to them; and leave one simple TWO THOUGHTS.
Wherein the earlier teachings still abide. When I reflect how small a space I fill
Why seek to fill a mouth that has not In this great teeming world of laborers,
cried, How little I can do with strongest will, How marred that little by most hateful To clog satiety of bread with bread?
Can any hunger having richly fed ? blurs,The fancy overwhelms me, and deters
Can one be full, and yet dissatisfied ? My soul from putting forth so poor a skill; If I were wretched, you should perhaps Let me be counted with those worship
At least I might give ear to you. But now, pers Who lie before God's altar and are still.
Because I am so happy, and because,
Content with life, I would be as I was, But then I think (for healthier moments come),
Your message moves me not. Who ques
tions how This power of will, this natural force of hand,
To dig new cisterns, till the elder fail? What do they mean, working be not From Edward Craoroft Lefroy: His Life and wise?
Poems. By Wilfred Austin Gill. With a Criti. Forbear to weigh thy work, 0 goul! cal Estimate of the Sonnets by the late John Arise,
Addington Symonds. John Lane, Publisher.
BOOKS OF THE MONTH.
Acts of the Apostles, The. By Fred- dian Mutiny. By the Rev. J. R.
eric Rendall. Macmillan & Co., Pub- Baldwin. Neville Beeman, Publisher. lishers.
Lads' Love. By S. R. Crockett. D. ArBrontes, The: Fact and Fiction. By pleton and Company, Publishers.
Angus M. Mackay. Service and Letters of a Country Vicar. From the Paton, Publishers.
French of Yves le Querdec. By MaBurglar Who Moved Paradise, The. By ria Gordon Holmes. William Heine
Herbert D. Ward. Houghton, Miffin mann, Publisher. and Company, Publishers. Price Maria Candelaria. By D. G. Brinton. $1.25.
David McKay, Publisher, Canterbury Cathedral, Tales from. By Marriage Questions in Modern Fiction.
Mrs. F. Lord. Sampson Low, Pub- By Elizabeth Rachel Chapman. Joba lisher.
Lane, Publisher. Chevalier Bayard, The. By Edith Wal- Missionary Sheriff, The. By Octare ford. Sampson Low, Publisher.
Thanet. Harper & Brothers, PubCromwell's Place in History. By S. R. lishers. Price $1.25. Gardiner. Longmans, Publishers.
Opening of the Gates, The. By J. English Literature, A Handbook of.
MacBeth. Kegan Paul, Publisher. By A. Dobson. Crosby Lockwood,
Parish on Wheels, A. By the Rev. J. Publisher.
Howard Winstead. Gardner, Darton Epistle to Posterity, An. By Mrs. John
and Company, Publishers. Sherwood. Harper & Brothers' Pub
Pioneers of Evolution. By Edward lishers. Price $2.50.
Clodd. D. Appleton and Company, Falcon of Langeac, The. By Isabel
Publishers. Price $1.50. Whitely. Copeland and Day, Publishers. Price $1.50.
Problems of Nature. By Gustav Jae
ger. Williams and Norgate, PubFrench Revolution and English Litera
lishers. ture, The. By E. Dowden. Kegan Paul, Publisher.
Secret of Saint Florel, The. By J. Ber
wick. Macmillan and Company, General Grant. (Great Commanders
Publishers. Series). By James Grant Wilson. D.
Sultan and His Subjects, The. By Appleton & Company, Publishers.
Richard Davey. Chapman and Hall, Price $1.50.
Publishers. Green Book, The. By Maurus Jokai.
Translated by Mrs. Waugh. Harper Track of Midnight, The. By G. Firth & Brothers, Publishers. Price $1.50. Scott. Sampson Low, Publisher. His Fortunate Grace. By Gertrude Uncle Bernac. By A. Conan Doyle. Atherton. D. Appleton and Company,
Smith & Elder, Publishers. Publishers. Price $1.
Ways of Life, The. By Mrs. Oliphant. History of the Holy Dead. By the Rev. Smith & Elder, Publishers.
James M. Gray. Fleming H. Revell Wild Norway: With Chapters on SpitzCompany, Publishers.
bergen, Denmark, etc. By Abel Indian Gup; Untold Stories of the In- Chapman. Edward Arnold, Publisher.