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COMPENSATIONS.

And the white souls that need not chain The darkening streets about me lie,

or bar. The shame, the fret, the squalid jars:

l'ntiring, through its endless corridor But swallows' wings go flashing by

Thou rangest, and the clanking of thy And in the puddles there are stars.

key

Is music to the captives who would soar, FREDERICK LANGBRIDGE.

And only wait for thee

To draw the bolt, and whisper “Liberty!" HYMN TO DEATH. Lord of the land of darkness, thy do- Helmsman that sittest 'mid the lowering main

dark, Knows not the splendor of the awaken

Patiently stretching forth thy strong ing sun.

right hand O'er its wide fields there waves no yellow To those who fear thee and thy dusky grain,

bark, No lingering glory tells when day is Thou mayest not stay; a wind blows done;

from the land, But everywhere is quietness and peace:

The rushing keel pursues the ebbing A land of shadows as of wings out- wave, spread,

Thy trembling freight turn their sad Where strife, and hot desire, and anguish eyes on thine, cease,

That show not doubt or dread, intent and And, regnant in their stead,

grave. Broods the unbroken silence of the dead. For thee, for thee they shine,

Those lights that gleam beyond the hoShepherd that leanest pensive on thy rizon-line.

crook In the low valley of the gathered mist, Master of subtler harmonies than fill Watching with fixed unfathomable look The upper air where roll the heavenly Yon smiling pastures which the sun hath

spheres, kissed,

Life strikes a thousand cords that soothe Lo! hither come the stragglers from the and thrillflocks

Love, hate, revenge, ambition, laughter, Weary stumbling down the rugged steep,

tears; Torn by the briers, bruised by the cruel One note is thine, one note the heart of

rocks. Ah, shepherd, lead thy sheep

Yields to thy touch, then like a broken Gently unto the bourne of rest and sleep.

string Healer of heart-ache, when beneath the Falls mute, but that clear strain beyond

the span strain Of toil and struggle the tired pulse beats Turning the anthems which the immortals

Of short-lived time shall ring, low,

sing. Or the racked body writhes in throes of

pain, And weeping, round the house the Great Shadow, when i visions of the mourners go,

night Calmly thou enterest through the fast

Before our eyes unveiled, thy form hath closed door,

passed, Smiling on those poor souls who cower

And our proud hearts have paid in quick and shrink,

affright Then standing by the sufferer, bendest

Their tribute to thee, silent, sombre,

vast, o'er, And givest him to drink

Have we not seen through and beyond

thee rise A draught fresh-drawn from blessed Lethe's brink.

Between thee and the light that fires the

sunWarder of this great dungeon-palace built The substance thou translatest to our eyes, By Him whose footstool is the farthest

The awful form of One star,

With whom have Time, and Life, and Here lie thy prisoners-spirits stained with

Death begun? guilt,

Speaker.

B. P. NEUMAN.

man

over

From The Nineteenth Century. be worse than laughing in church, and THE APOTHEOSIS OF THE NOVEL UNDER almost as bad as making a joke in really QUEEN VICTORIA.

respectable society. The responsibillLet us leave it to the reviewers to abuse ties of intellect are now so widely felt such effusions of fancy at their leisure, that they weigh even where there is no and every new novel to talk in ground for them. Imagination, if it exists, threadbare strains of the trash with which must be kept within bounds. Humor, or the press now groans. Let us not desert what passes for it, must be sparingly inone another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded dulged. The foundations of belief, the fumore extensive and unaffected pleasure ture of the race, the freedom of the will, than those of any other literary corpora- the unity of history, the limits of political tions in the world, no species of composi- economy, are among the subjects which tion has been so much decried. From haunt the mind without paralyzing the pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are

pen of the latter-day novelist. The almost as many as our readers; and while "smooth tale, generally of love," has the abilities of

the

nine-hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of been developed into a representation of the man who collects and publishes in a

the higher life with episodes on ultimate volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, things. I dare say that it is all quite and Prior, with a paper from the Specta- right, and that to read for amusement is tor, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulo- a blunder as well as a sin. If people gized by a thousand pens there seems al

want comedy, they can go to the play. most a general wish of decrying the ca

If they want farce, they can turn to pacity and undervaluing the labor of the

The serious novel is for novelist, and of slighting the performances politics. which have only genius, wit and taste to graver moods. But those who love, like recommend them.

Horace, the golden mean may look back

with fondness to the beginning of her So wrote Miss Austen, a woman of spirit as well as a woman of genius, at ceased to be pariahs and had not be

Majesty's reign, when novelists had the commencement of the expiring cen

come prigs. tury. Nobody could write so now. The eighty years which have elapsed since to which the novel itself is a growth of

Perhaps few of us realize the extent Jane Austen was laid to rest in Win- the present reign. If we put aside the chester Cathedral have brought no in

great and conspicuous instances of tellectual or moral revolution

Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding, of complete than the apotheosis of the

Fanny Burney, Jane Austen, and novel. Sir Walter Scott seriously, and Walter Scott, there is scarcely an Enwith good reason, believed that if he glish novelist now read who died before had put his name to “Waverley” and her Majesty's accession to the throne. "Guy Mannering" he would have in

I am told that superfine people, when jured his reputation as a poet, and even they wish to disparage art, or literature, his character as a gentleman. If a

or furniture, or individuals, describe novel is published anonymously now

the objects of their contempt as “Early adays, it is in order that the public may Victorian.” In other words, they conbe subsequently informed whose iden- sign them to the same category as tity it is which has been artfully, and Dickens, Thackeray, and Charlotte but for a moment, concealed. The Brontë. The immense and almost unnovel threatens to supersede the pulpit, paralleled popularity of Dickens has, as as the motor-car will supersede the

was inevitable, suffered some diminuomnibus. We have a new class of nov- tion. The social abuses which he elists who take themselves very satirized are for the most part extinct. seriously, and well they may. Their The social habits which he chronicled works are seldom intended to raise a have largely disappeared. The taste for smile. They are designed less for "wallowing naked in the pathetic” is amusement than for instruction, so that not what it was. A generation has to read them in a spirit of levitý would arisen which can be charitable without

more

waiting for Christmas, and cheerful strange to realize that "Pickwick" and without drinking to excess. But these “Oliver Twist" were actually coming out are small points, and it is impossible to at the same time. “Oliver Twist” beimagine a time when Dickens will not gan to run in January, 1837, and conbe regarded as one of the great masters tinued till March, 1839. "Oliver Twist," of English fiction. The late Master of again, was overlapped by "Nicholas Balliol, a keen and fastidious critic, a Nickleby," which lasted from April, refined and delicate scholar, regarded 1838, to October, 1839. Three such Dickens as beyond comparison the first books in little more than three years is writer of his time. When the queen a feat which no other British novelist came to the throne, "Pickwick" was ap- has achieved, except Sir Walter Scott. pearing in monthly parts. The first They proved to the benighted “Early number was issued in April, 1836, the Victorians” that in the days of effete last in November, 1837. It is a curious Whiggery and Bedchamber plots a coincidence that in June, 1837, when the genius of the highest order had apcrown actually passed from William the peared. Miss Martineau could never Fourth to Victoria, the death of the forgive Dickens for having in “Oliver author's sister-in-law suspended the Twist" confounded the new Poor-law publication. “Pickwick" had burst with the old. That is not literary critupon the world as an entire novelty. icism. But it must be admitted that No other English novelist who was then Dickens, though not intellectually a writing survives now except Disraeli Socialist, was a very sentimental poliand Bulwer, as different from Dickens, tician. He hated political economy, to say nothing of their inferiority, as and he coupled with it the name of Sir chalk from cheese.

Robert Peel. A gushing and impulsive The imitators of Dickens, so numer- benevolence, which in Dickens's case ous and so tiresome, are apt, illogically was thoroughly genuine, is often enough, to make people forget that he offended by the cold-blooded temper and was among the most original of all cautious methods of parliamentary writers. It is the language of compli- statesmanship. When Dickens began ment and not of detraction to call him to write, public affairs were on rather a the Cockney's Shakespeare. In Shake- low level, and were conducted on rather speare he was steeped. His favorite a small scale. Dickens's early work novelist was Smollett. But his art was was a more or less conscious revolt all his own. He was the Hogarth of against fashionable lethargy and conliterature, painting with a broad brush, ventional shams. His novels, unlike never ashamed of caricature, but al- Thackeray's, were in a sense a part of ways an artist, and not a dauber. politics. They were meant to affect, There is little or no resemblance be- and they did affect, the political temper tween Falstaff and Sam Weller. But of the nation. I sometimes wonder that they are the two comic figures which the Independent Labor Party do not have most thoroughly seized upon the make more of Dickens. For Dickens, English mind. Touchstone and Mr. though he did not trouble himself much Micawber may be each a finer specimen about abstract propositions, was posof his creator's powers. They are not, sessed with the idea that both political however, quite so much to the taste of parties were engaged in preying upon all readers. They require a little more the public. fineness of palate. Sam Weller is, and To Dickens as an historical novelist seems likely to remain, the ideal Lon- imperfect justice has been done. The doner. We cannot hear his pronuncia- “Tale of Two Cities" is said to be most tion. We get his humor without its admired by those who admire Dickens drawbacks. The defects are absent the least. A similar remark has been from his qualities. He has not even the made of “Esmond.” The “Tale of Two appalling gluttony which distinguishes Cities" is founded upon Carlyle's Mr. Pickwick and his friends. It seems "Frenci. Revolution." It has no humor, or next to none. But it is a marvellous wickian Club, when Mr. Pickwick in his piece of writing; the plot, though sim- controversy with Mr. Blotton of Aldple, is excellent, and, whatever may be gate would not put up to be put down by thought about the genuineness of the clamor, was taken from a parliamenpathos in “Dombey and Son," or the "Old tary duel between Canning and Peel. Curiosity Shop," the tragedy of Sidney Bardell v. Pickwick is a travesty of Carton is a tragedy indeed. The use of Norton v. Norton and Lord Melbourne. Christ's words, especially of words I am afraid there is some truth in the which occur in the Burial Service of the tradition that Mr. Pecksniff was inChurch of England, is always a danger- tended to express the sentiments of the ous experiment. But at the end of the illustrious Sir Robert. The family of "Tale of Two Cities," Dickens has justi- the Tite Barnacles might be easily fieu it by the reverence and the dignity identified, if the process were worth the of his tone. "Barnaby Rudge," the trouble. But Dickens's dramatic instory of Lord George Gordon and his stinct was the strongest of his qualities, riots, is, I cannot help thinking, an un- so strong that it overmastered all the derrated book. The execution of the others, except his humor, which was, executioner may be melodramatic. But perhaps, a part of it. For his humor nobody who has read the passage can hardly any praise can be too high. It ever forget it, and the rant of Sim has every merit except the depth and Tappertit deserves immortality as much subtlety which are found only in the as the name of Dolly Varden. Of greatest masters of all. About his course Dickens's historical knowledge pathos there always have been, and was neither wide nor deep. His most probably there always will be, two popular history is “David Copperfield,” opinions. It differs in different books, the history of himself, his own favorite and even in the same book. It differs, among his own books, and a remarkable I should say, in kind as well as in deexception to the rule that an author is gree. Little Nell and Sidney Carton the worst judge of his own perform- scarcely seem to have a common origin. ances. I take it that the key to a proper When the old washerwoman denied that understanding of Dickens and his work one person could have written the is to be found in the master-passion of whole of "Dombey and Son,” she perthe man. Dickens was a born actor. haps only meant to express enthusiastic When he was not performing in private admiration. But people sometimes theatricals himself, he liked best to be mean more than they know. If any one at the play. The famous soliloquy of will compare the death of Mrs. Dombey Jaques expressed his philosophy of life with the death of little Paul, he must iar more thoroughly than it expressed be struck by the impressive beauty of Shakespeare's. To Dicken all the the one scene and the harrowing extenworld was a stage, and all the men and uation of the other. It is hardly women merely players. When he strange that there should be controversy wrote, he had in his mind not so much when evidence can be produced on both the way in which things would have sides. Dickens had a singularly simple happened as the way in which they and straightforward character. When would act. There is no “realism" in he meant to be funny he was rollicking. Dickens, if realism means the worship He was irresistible even to Sydney of the literal. He drew, no doubt, as Smith, who held out against the new everybody must draw, from his own humorist as long as he could. When experience. He had the keenest eye for he meant to be pathetic he piled up the outward facts. Nothing on the surface agony with vigor. He kept the two eluded his observation or escaped his things apart. There is no humorous elememory. He made ample use of his ment in his pathos, and no pathetic eleearly opportunities as a reporter in the ment in his humor. He could not have House of Commons and the courts of drawn a Mercutio if he had tried, and he law. The famous debate in the Pick- knew better than to try. He has been reproached with not understanding the sailable. In this or that generation he upper classes, or uppermost class, or may be less read or more. He must whatever the proper term may be. The always remain an acknowledged master point is not very important, though a of fiction and a prince of English human of genius ought, perhaps, to know morists. everything and everybody. Lord Fred- The great glory of Thackeray is that erick Verisopht and Sir Mulberry Hawk the spread of education has continually are not creations worthy of the master. widened the circle of his readers. I remember a discussion in which it was Dickens wrote for every one. Thacksaid broadly that Dickens could not eray wrote for the lettered class. He draw a gentleman, and the negative in- cannot quite be said to have made the stance of Sir Leicester Dedlock was pro- novel literary. Fielding, with his ripe duced from "Bleak House.” The reply scholarship and his magnificent sweep was, “You forget Joe Gargery in 'Great of diction, was beforehand with him. Expectations,'” and to my mind the an- But he is essentially and beyond everyswer is conclusive.

thing else a literary novelist. He was Dickens has been called the favorite also a popular preacher. He preached novelist of the middle classes. If the many sermons on the same text, and statement be true, it is creditable to their that a text much older than the Chrisgood taste and freedom from prejudice. tian religion. Not being in holy orders, He certainly did not flatter them. He he could not, like Sterne, incorporate disliked Dissenters quite as much as one of his own professional discourses Matthew Arnold, whereas Thackeray in a secular narrative, though indeed gave them the Clapham Sect, to which Bulwer Lytton was guilty of the interthey are not entitled. But the popular- polation without the excuse. The conity of Dickens in his lifetime was in fact stant appearance of the novelist in universal. Everybody read his books, person, the showman in charge of his because nobody could help reading puppets, is intolerable unless it be manthem. They required no education ex- aged with consummate tact. Thackcept a knowledge of the alphabet, and eray, of course, had tact in perfection. they amused scholars as much as cross- He was every inch an artist, and he ing-sweepers. No man ever made a justly felt that he was incapable of bor. more thorough conquest of his genera- ing his readers. His alleged cynicism tion. Indeed he was only too success- is only skin-deep. It is chiefly the mask ful. Imitation may be the sincerest of sentiment or the revolt against insinform of flattery. It is the most danger- cerity. Thackeray was a moralist to the ous form of admiration. And if ever backbone. He was no votary of art for tuere was an exemplar vitiis imitabile, it art's sake, no disinterested chronicler was Dickens. His influence upon litera- of human folly or crime. He had, or ture, apart from his contributions to it, thought he had, a mission to redeem the has been disastrous. The school of world from cant. ('nless melancholy Dickens, for which he cannot be held and indignation are synicism, there responsible, is happily at last dying out. never was a less cynical writer. Their dreary mechanical jokes, their It was said of Charles the Second that hideous unmeaning caricatures, their he believed most people to be scoundescriptions that describe nothing, their drels, but that he thought none the worse spasms of false sentiment, their tears of of them for being so. Thackeray, like gin and water, have ceased to excite La Rochefoucauld, had a very high even amusement, and provoke only un- standard, and was shocked at the conmitigated disgust. With their disap- trast of worldly practice with religious pearance from the stage, and consign- theory. The shipwrecked mariner on ment to oblivion, the reputation of the an unknown shore who, at the sight of great man they injured is relieved from a gallows, thanked God he was in a a temporary strain. The position of Christian country, is a typical example Dickens himself is unassailed and was- of the satire running through all Thack

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