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out spirit. Imperialism, if it could see itself, futile enough: but after all, this is but the is in fact a world of Sanchos, and it would symbolical garb of the Hebrew prophet. not be the less so if every Sancho of the We are in ancient Rome, not in the smokingnumber were master of the whole of physi- room of the House of Commons. We are cal science and used it to cook his food. Of among the countrymen, too, of Savonarola. the two court-poets of Cæsar's successor, one The character, as painted by Plutarch, who makes Cato preside over the spirits of the seems to have drawn from the writings of good in the Elysian fields, while the other contemporaries, is hard of course, but not speaks with respect, at all events, of the cynical. Cato was devoted to his brother soul which remained unconquered in a con- Cæpio, and when Cæpio died, forgot all his quered world," Et cuncta terrarum sub- Stoicism in the passionate indulgence of his acta præter atrocem animum Catonis." grief, and all his frugality in lavishing gold Paterculus, an officer of Tiberius and a and perfumes on the funeral. Cæsar in thorough Cæsarian, calls Cato a man of Anti-Cato accused him of sifting the ashes ideal virtue (" homo virtuti simillimus"), for the gold, which, says Plutarch, is like who did right not for appearance sake, but charging Hercules with cowardice. Where because it was not in his nature to do the sensual appetites are repressed, what wrong. When the victor is thus overawed ever may be the theory of life, the affections by the shade of the vanquished, the van- are pretty sure to be strong, unless they are quished could hardly have been a "fool." nipped by some such process as is underContemporaries may be mistaken as to the gone by a monk. Cato's resignation of his merits of a character, but they cannot well fruitful wife to a childless friend, revolting be mistaken as to the space which it occu- as it is to our sense, betokens less any brupied in their own eyes. Sallust, the parti-tality in him than the coarseness of the consan of Marius and Cæsar, who had so much reason to hate the senatorial party, speaks of Cæsar and Cato as the two mightiest opposites of his time, and in an elaborate parallel ascribes to Cæsar the qualities which secure the success of the adventurer; to Cato those which make up the character of the patriot. It is a mistake to regard Cato the younger as merely an unseasonable repetition of Cato the elder. His inspiration came not from a Roman form, but from a Greek school of philosophy, and from that school which, with all its errors and absurdities, and in spite of the hypocrisy of many of its professors, really aimed highest in the formation of character; and the practical teachings and aspirations of which, embodied in the reflections of Marcus Aurelius, it is impossible to study without profound respect for the force of moral conception and the depth of moral insight which they sometimes display. Cato went to Greece to sit at the feet of a Greek teacher in a spirit very different from the national pride of his ancestor. It is this which makes his character interesting, that it was an attempt at all events to grasp and hold fast by the high rule of life, in an age when the whole moral world was sinking into a vortex of scoundrelism, and faith in morality, public or private, had been lost. Of course the character is formal, and in some respects even grotesque. But you may trace formalism, if you look close enough, in every life led by a rule; in everything between the purest spiritual impulse on the one side, and abandoned sensuality on the other. Attempts to revive old Roman simplicity of dress and habit in the age of Lucullus were no doubt
jugal relations at Rome. Evidently the man had the power of touching the hearts of others. His soldiers, though he gave them no largesses and indulged them in no license, when he leaves them, strew their garments under his feet. His friends at Utica linger, at the peril of their lives, to give him a sumptuous funeral. He affected conviviality, like Socrates. He seems to have been able to enjoy a joke, too, at his own expense. He can laugh when Cicero ridicules his Stoicism in a speech; and when in a province he meets the inhabitants of a town turning out, and thinks at first that it is in his own honour, but soon finds that it is in honour of a much greater man, the confidential servant of Pompey, at first his dignity is outraged, but his anger soon gives place to amusement. That his public character was perfectly pure, no one seems to have doubted; and there is a kindliness in his dealings with the dependents of Rome, which shows that had he been an emperor he would have been such an emperor as Trajan, -a man whom he probably resembled, both in the goodness of his in tentions and in the limited powers of his mind. Impracticable, of course, in a certain sense he was; but his part was that of a reformer, and to compromise with the corruption against which he was contending, would have been to lose the only means of influence, which, having no military force and no party, he possessed,-that of the perfect integrity of his character. He is said by Dr. Mommsen to have been incapable even of conceiving a policy. By policy I suspect is meant one of those brilliant schemes of ambition with which some literary men are
larged into History of the English People, London, vols. i., ii., 1878, New York, vols. i., ii., 1878; Readings from English History, 1879, 12mo.
SHAKSPERE'S LATER YEARS.
erty both in Stratford and London, and his fellow-townsmen made him their suitor to Lord Burleigh for favours to be bestowed on Stratford. He was rich enough to aid his father, and to buy the house at Stratford which afterwards became his home.
fond of identifying themselves, fancying, it seems, that thereby they themselves, after their measure, play the Cæsar. The policy which Cato conceived was simply that of purifying and preserving the Republic. So far, at all events, he had an insight into the situation, that he knew that the real malady With this great series of historical and of the state was want of public spirit, which social dramas, Shakspere had passed far he did his best to supply. And the fact is, beyond his fellows, whether as a tragedian that he did more than once succeed in a re- or as a writer of comedy. "The Muses," markable way in stemming the tide of cor- said Meres, in 1598, "would speak with ruption. Though every instinct bade him Shakspere's finely-filed phraze, if they would struggle to the last, he had sense enough to speak English." His personal popularity see the state of the case, and to advise that, was now at its height. His pleasant temper to avert anarchy, supreme power should be and the vivacity of his wit had drawn him put into the hands of Pompey, whose politi- early into contact with the young Earl of cal superstition, if not his loyalty, there was Southampton, to whom his "Adonis" and good reason to trust. When at last civil "Lucrece" are dedicated; and the different war broke out, Cato went into it like Falk- tone of the two dedications shows how rapland, crying" Peace!" he set his face stead- idly acquaintance ripened into an ardent ily against the excesses and cruelties of his friendship. Shakspere's wealth and influparty; and when he saw the field of Dyr-ence too were growing fast. He had proprhacium covered with his slain enemies, he covered his face and wept. He wept, a Roman over Romans, but humanity will not refuse the tribute of his tears. After Pharsalus he cherished no illusion, as Dr. Mommsen himself admits; and though he determined himself to fall fighting, he urged no one else to resistance; he felt that the duty of an ordinary citizen was done. His terrible march over the African desert showed high powers of command, as we shall see by comparing it with the desert march of Napoleon. Dr. Mommsen ridicules his pedantry in refusing, on grounds of loyalty, to take the commandership-in-chief over the head of a superior in rank. Cato was fighting for legality, and the spirit of legality was the soul of his cause. But besides this, he had never himself crossed his sword with an enemy; and by declining the nominal command he retained the whole control. He remained master to the last of the burning vessel. Our morality will not approve of his voluntary death; but our morality would give him a sufficient sanction for living, even if he was to be bound to the car of the conqueror. Looking to Roman opinion, he probably did what honour dictated; and those who prefer honour to life are not so numerous that we can afford to speak of them with scorn.
Macmillan's Magazine, April, 1868.
REV. JOHN RICHARD GREEN is the author of Stray Studies from England and Italy, and A Short History of the English People, Lond., 1875, sm. 8vo, en
The tradition that Elizabeth was so pleased with Falstaff in "Henry the Fourth" that she ordered the poet to show her Falstaff in love,-an order which produced the "Merry Wives of Windsor,"-whether true or false, proves his repute as a playwright. As the group of earlier poets passed away, they found successors in Marston, Dekker, Middleton, Heywood, and Chapman, and above all in Ben Jonson. But none of these could dispute the supremacy of Shakspere. The verdict of Meres that "Shakspere among the English is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage," represented the general feeling of his contemporaries. He was at last fully master of the resources of his art. The "Merchant of Venice" marks the perfection of his development as a dramatist in the completeness of its stage effect, the ingenuity of its incidents, the ease of its movement, the beauty of its higher passages, the reserve and self-control with which its poetry is used, the conception and unfolding of character, and above all the mastery with which character and event is grouped round the figure of Shylock. Master as he is of his art, the poet's temper is still young: the "Merry Wives of Windsor' is a burst of gay laughter; and laughter more tempered, yet full of a sweeter fascination, rings round us in "As You Like It."
But in the melancholy and meditative Jaques of the last drama we feel the touch of a new and graver mood. Youth, so full and buoyant in the poet until now, seems
to have passed almost suddenly away. Though Shakspere had hardly reached forty, in one of his Sonnets which cannot have been written at a much later time than this, there are indications that he already felt the advance of premature age. And at this moment the outer world suddenly darkened around him. The brilliant circle of young nobles whose friendship he had shared was broken up in 1601 by the political storm which burst in a mad struggle of the Earl of Essex for power. Essex himself fell on the scaffold; his friend and Shakspere's idol, Southampton, passed a prisoner into the Tower; Herbert, Lord Pembroke, younger patron of the poet, was banished from the Court. While friends were thus falling and hopes fading without, Shakspere's own mind seems to have been going through a phase of bitter suffering and unrest. In spite of the ingenuity of commentators, it is difficult and even impossible to derive any knowledge of Shakspere's inner history from the Sonnets; "the strange imagery of passion which passes over the magic mirror," it has been finely said, "has no tangible evidence before or behind it." But its mere passing is itself an evidence of the restlessness and agony within. The change in the character of his dramas gives a surer indication of his change of mood. The fresh joyousness, the keen delight in | life and in man, which breathes through Shakspere's early work disappears in comedies such as "Troilus" and Measure for Measure." Disappointment, disillusion, a new sense of the evil and foulness that underlies so much of human life, a loss of the old frank trust in its beauty and goodness, threw their gloom over these comedies. Failure seems everywhere. In "Julius Cæsar" the virtue of Brutus is foiled by its ignorance of and isolation from mankind; in Hamlet even penetrating intellect proves helpless for want of the capacity of action; the poison of Iago taints the love of Desdemona and the grandeur of Othello; Lear's mighty passion battles helplessly against the wind and the rain; a woman's weakness of frame dashes the cup of her triumph from the hand of Lady Macbeth; lust and self-indulgence blast the heroism of Antony; pride ruins the nobleness of Coriolanus.
But the very struggle and self-introspection that these dramas betray were to give a depth and grandeur to Shakspere's work such as it had never known before. The age was one in which man's temper and powers took a new range and energy. Sidney or Raleigh lived not one but a dozen lives at once; the daring of the adventurer, the philosophy of the scholar, the passion of the lover, the fanaticism of the saint,
towered into almost superhuman grandeur. Man became conscious of the immense resources that lay within him, conscious of boundless powers that seemed to mock the narrow world in which they moved. All through the age of the Renascence one feels the impress of the gigantic, this giant-like activity, this immense ambition and desire. The very bombast and extravagance of the times reveal cravings and impulses before which common speech breaks down. It is this grandeur of humanity that finds its poetic expression in the later work of Shakspere. As the poet penetrated deeper and deeper into the recesses of the soul, he saw how great and wondrous a thing was man. "What a piece of work is a man!" cries Hamlet; "how noble in reason; how infinite in faculties; in form, and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!" It is the wonder of man that spreads before us as the poet pictures the wide speculation of Hamlet, the awful convulsion of a great nature in Othello, the terrible storm in the soul of Lear which blends with the very storm of the heavens themselves, the awful ambition that nerved a woman's hand to dabble itself with the blood of a murdered king, the reckless lust that "flung away a world for love." Amid the terror and awe of these great dramas we learn something of the vast forces of the age from which they sprang. The passion of Mary Stuart, the ruthlessness of Alva, the daring of Drake, the chivalry of Sidney, the range of thought and action in Raleigh or Elizabeth, come better home to us as we follow the mighty series of tragedies which began in "Hamlet" and ended in "Coriolanus."
Shakspere's last dramas, the three exquisite works in which he shows a soul at rest with itself, and with the world, "Cymbeline," "The Tempest," "Winter's Tale," were written in the midst of ease and competence, in a house at Stratford to which he withdrew a few years after the death of Elizabeth. In them we lose all relation with the world or the time and pass into a region of pure poetry. It is in this peaceful and gracious close that the life of Shakspere contrasts most vividly with that of his greatest contemporary. If the imaginative resources of the new England were seen in the creators of Hamlet and the Faerie Queen, its purely intellectual capacity, its vast command over the stores of human knowledge, the amazing sense of its own powers with which it dealt with them, were seen in the work of Francis Bacon.
History of the English People, Vol. ii.
born 1838, is the author of three works of great learning, entitled The History of Rationalism in Europe, Lond., 1865, 2 vols. 8vo; History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne, Lond., 1869, 2 vols. 8vo, and A History of England in the Eighteenth Century, Lond., 1878, 2 vols. 8vo.
neath the fangs of wild beasts, extending to the last moment their arms in the form chains to be buried with them as the insigof the cross they loved; who ordered their nia of their warfare; who looked with joy upon their ghastly wounds because they death as the bridegroom welcomes the bride, had been received for Christ; who welcomed because it would bring them nearer to Him. History of European Morals.
Two or three English suicides left behind them elaborate defences, as did also a Swede named Robeck, who drowned himself in 1735, and whose treatise published in the following year, acquired considerable celebrity. But the most influential writings about suicides were those of the French philosophers and revolutionists. Montaigne, without discussing its abstract lawfulness, recounts with much admiration many of the instances in antiquity. Montesquieu, in a youthful work, defended it with ardent en
CHARACTER AND INFLUENCE OF CHRIST. But if Christianity was remarkable for its appeals to the selfish or interested side of our nature, it was far more remarkable for the empire it attained over disinterested enthusiasm. The Platonists exhorted men to imitate God, the Stoic, to follow reason, the Christian, to the love of Christ. The later Stoics had often united their notions of excellence in an ideal sage, and Epictetus had even urged his disciples to set before them some man of surpassing excellence, and to imagine him continually near them; but the utmost the Stoic ideal could become was a model for imitation, and the admira-thusiasm. Rousseau devoted to the subject tion it inspired could never deepen into affection. It was reserved for Christianity to present to the world an ideal character, which through all the changes of eighteen centuries has inspired the hearts of men with an impassioned love, has shown itself capable of acting on all ages, nations, temperaments, and conditions, has been not only the highest pattern of virtue but the strongest incentive to its practice, and has exercised so deep an influence that it may be truly said that the simple record of three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists. This has indeed been the well-spring of whatever is best and purest in the Christian life. Amid all the sins and failings, amid all the priestcraft and persecution and fanaticism that have defaced the Church, it has preserved in the character of its Founder an enduring principle of regeneration. Perfect love knows no rights. It creates a boundless, uncalculating selfabnegation that transforms the character, and is the parent of every virtue. Side by side with the terrorism and superstition of dogmatism there have ever existed in Christianity those who would echo the wish of St. Theresa, that she could blot out both heaven and hell, to serve God for Himself alone; and the power of the love of Christ has been displayed alike in the most heroic pages of Christian martyrdom, in the most pathetic pages of Christian resignation, and in the tenderest pages of Christian charity. It was shown by the martyrs who sank be
two letters of a burning and passionate elo-
of the old censure, and has abandoned some of the old arguments. It was reserved for Madame de Staël, who, in a youthful work upon the Passions, had commended suicide, to reconstruct this department of ethics, which had been somewhat disturbed at the Revolution, and she did so in a little treatise which is a model of calm, candid, and philosophic piety. Frankly abandoning the old theological notions that the deed was of the nature of murder, that it was the worst of crimes, and that it was always, or even generally, the offspring of cowardice; abandoning, too, all attempts to scare men by religious terrorism, she proceeded, not so much to meet in detail the isolated arguments of its defenders, as to sketch the ideal of a truly virtuous man, and to show how such a character would secure men against all temptation to suicide. . . . Sentiments of this kind have, through the influence of Christianity, thoroughly pervaded European society, and suicide, in modern times, is almost always found to have sprung either from absolute insanity, from diseases which, though not amounting to insanity, are yet sufficient to discolour our judgments, o from that last excess of sorrow, when resignation and hope are both extinct. Considering it in this light, I know few things more fitted to qualify the optimism we so often hear, than the fact that statistics show it to be rapidly increasing, and to be peculiarly characteristic of those nations which rank most high in intellectual development and in general civilization. In one or two countries, strong religious feeling has counteracted the tendency, but the comparison of town and country, of different countries, of different provinces of the same country, and of different periods of history, proves conclusively its reality.
History of European Morals, Vol. ii. Chap. iv.
Scenes of Clerical Life, Lond., 1858; Adam Bede, 1859; The Mill on the Floss, 1860; Silas Marner, 1861; Romola, 1863; Felix Holt, Radical, 1866; The Spanish Gipsy, a Poem, in Five Books, 1868, new edit., 1875, 12mo; Middlemarch, 1871-72; The Legend of Jubal, and other Poems, 1875, 12mo; Daniel Deronda, 1876; Novels, new editions, 1870, 7 vols. in 6, p. 8vo; Select Passages from George Eliot, Edin. and
Lond., 1879; Theophrastus Such, 1879. She translated Strauss's Life of Jesus, 1846. and Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity, 1853, and has contributed to the West. minster Review, etc.
revival of the taste and beauty and freedom of "Romola is a marvellously able story of the Hellenic manners and letters under Lorenzo di Medici and the scholars of his Court, side by side with the revival of Roman virtue, and more than the ancient austerity and piety, under the great Dominican, Savonarola. The period of history is one which of all others may well have engrossing interest for George Eliot."-(Lond.) Quart. Rev., Oct. 1860. See also Westm. Rev., April, 1859, Blackw. Mag., April, 1859, May, 1860; Edin. Rev., July, 1859; Brit. Quart. Rev., Oct. 1863, Oct. 1868; Atlantie Mon., Oct. 1866; Essays, by R. H. Hutton.
MRS. POYSER AND THE SQUIRE.
"Ah, now this I like," said Mr. Donnithorne, looking round at the damp temple of cleanliness (Mrs. Poyser's dairy) but keeping near the door. "I'm sure I should like my breakfast better if I knew the butter and cream came from this dairy. Thank you, that really is a pleasant sight. Unfortunately, my slight tendency to rheumatism makes me afraid of damp; I'll sit down in your comfortable kitchen. Ah, Poyser, how do you do? In the midst of business, I see, as usual. I've been looking at your wife's beautiful dairy,-the best manager in the parish, is she not?"
Mr. Poyser had just entered in shirtsleeves and open waistcoat, with a face a shade redder than usual from the exertion
of "pitching." As he stood-red, rotund, and radiant before the small wiry, cool old gentleman-he looked like a prize-apple by the side of a withered crab.
"Will you please to take this chair, sir ?” he said, lifting his father's arm-chair for ward a little; "you'll find it easy."
"No, thank you, I never sit in easychairs," said the old gentleman, seating himself on a small chair near the door. "Do you know, Mrs. Poyser, sit down, pray, both of you,-I've been far from contented for some time with Mrs. Satchell's dairy management. I think she has not a good method, as you have."
"Indeed, sir, I can't speak to that," said Mrs. Poyser, in a hard voice, rolling and unrolling her knitting, and looking icily out of the window, as she continued to stand opposite the Squire. Poyser might sit down if he liked, she thought: she wasn't going to sit down, as if she'd give in to any such smooth-tongued palaver. Mr. Poyser, who looked and felt the reverse of icy, did sit down in his three-cornered chair.
"And now, Poyser, as Satchell is laid up,