Page images
PDF
EPUB

And passing through the ruins of the Chris-In whom is there not narrowness? Is there, tian quarter, he was buried in the Moslem- then, presumption in my saying that there desecrated Protestant cemetery. Around him, appeared to me to be narrowness in Mr. Bucintolerant only of intolerance, the marks of kle ; yet he is not only worthily lamented by the fire and sword of the fiercest fanaticism personal friends, but will, I believe, by those and the cruellest bigotry. .

who clearest see the forces of the age, be Of all the melancholy things on earth, most mourned as a national loss. Truth is there seems none more melancholy than the only to be attained by conflict; and the esdeath of genius, its work undone. Ward's tablishment of true principles is hastened by picture of the “ Death of Chatterton” is the vigor, not only of those who proclaim, typical of but too many such tragedies. It but of those also who oppose them. Mr. is not the poison-vial that kills, but the ar- Buckle in this may be an illustration of the dent straining of the mind to do too much, to error of one of his own views, that, namely, get too far, to climb too high.

as to the influence of individuals. They, at I cannot here enter on any criticism of Mr. least, incalculably influence, if not the manBuckle's work as it stands, and as it was meant ner and order, the celerity of human progress. to be, or on any discussion of his opinions. And in the words of Mr. John Stuart Mill, Yet so colored was the retrospect of our jour-" Mr. Buckle, with characteristic energy, has ney together with the atmosphere of thought flung down the great principle that the course in which we lived, that for long after my re- of history is subject to general laws, together turn it seemed impossible to give any account with many striking exemplifications of it, of that journey without entering upon those into the arena of popular discussion, to be discussions which were the chief condition of fought over by a sort of combatants in the its life. There was fundamental agreement presence of a sort of spectators, who would between us in the general view of phenomena never even have been aware that there existed as naturally determined, and not by super- such a principle if they had been left to learn natural interferences, and also generally as its existence from the speculations of pure scito the method of scientific investigation. But ence. And hence has arisen a considerable there were withal important differences in amount of controversy, tending, not only to our views, and I found that the discussion of make the principle rapidly familiar to the these differences would have led to the enun-majority of cultivated minds, but also to clear ciation of principles which would have ill fit- it from the confusions and misunderstandings ted into an account of a journey in the East, by which it was but natural that it should or even into the last chapter of a life; princi- for a time be clouded, and which impair the ples, in a word, which could not be fitly treated worth of the doctrine to those who accept it, incidentally. Neither the philosophical dis- and are the stumbling-block of many who do cussion nor the personal narrative seemed not." likely to gain anything by being united, Whether Mr. Backle was justified in thinkwhichever were subordinate to the other. ing be had other intellectual merits than that Even his minor opinions I found I could not above ascribed to him I do not mean here to satisfactorily weave into a narrative, so closely inquire. But whether his work was greater did I feel then connected with those general or less than he imagined, there is more than views in which we differed. To giving, as in his work to set side by side with whatever may the foregoing pages, merely an account of have been less worthy in Mr. Buckle. Truth, our journey and sketch of personal charac- imdeed, compels me to say that, during these teristics, many things disinclined me. Among months of mtimate acquaintance as fellowthese, the fear that, if perfectly truthful, I travellers, there were instances in which inmight hurt the more devoted of Mr Buckle's dignation was roused, not only against what friends. At length I seemed to get a stand appeared to me distorted moral views, but point, from which I could speak of him freely, against acts wanting in generosity, if not in and yet without just offence. A few words justice. Out of regard, not only to the feelin conclusion, to endeavor to place my readings of his friends, but to the reticence which ers at that point of view.

I conceive imposed on myself by the intimacy It is a point of view from which one can even of an accidental acquaintanceship, and see narrowness and yet be just to greatness. still more by his death, I have in these pages

THIRD SERIES. LIVING AGE. 1067

suppressed all allusion to those particulars of hitherto accepted moral standards, and such views and acts to which I thus generally re-progress only towards new moral standards as fer. But with full remembrance of them all, may have been affected by the Utilitarian I can still say that it was no selfish nature that Philosophy. In such an age of shipwreck ve could be so shaken by the death of another should be tender in our judgments of one anas bis had been ; that could so passionately other. Unfortunately for his insight, Mr. cherish the hope of immortality; that could Buckle did not feel, and therefore hardly beattach itself so much to children, so care for, lieved in the terrible moral, as well as inteland so affectionately write of, the friend's lectual struggles of this our transition age. Bons who accompanied him in the East; that! Further, in judging him is ever to be recould be so roused by wroug done to others; membered the flow of energetic life in the man, that could conceive and devote itself to the tempting him often to too strong or untimely accomplishment of so great a purpose as the expression. And in case of the misunder** History of Civilization in England.” And standing of any of the foregoing anecdotes as an illustration at once of his character and of him, let me say that no serious charge of of how easily one may misjudge another, let effeminacy or cowardice can be brought ine add that he told me he never subscribed against one suffering from such physical a sixpence in charity; and yet I afterwards weakness and nervous exhaustion as Mr. found that he personally visited the poor, and Buckle had gone to the East to recover from. Bet apart a certain sum to supply their wants, They call it bigotry when one cannot bear not indeed in money, but in kind.

to hear anything against one's own opinion. How much Mr. Buckle’s intellectual views And it is not love but narrowness of heart, were influenced by his moral disposition, and that cannot, in thinking of a friend, set, if how much the expression of that disposition truth compels it, good and evil side by side. was influenced by his intellectual views ? that And he whom Mr. Buckle so constantly studwere a subtle question, not here to have its ied-Shakspeare-chiefly taught us to raise solution attempted. Was, for instance, the our hearts to take in such co-existence, to sharpness with which he sometimes carried condemn if necessary, and yet by our conhis political economy into practice owing demnation not be made to forget to love. chiefly to the influence of the former, or of To wbat worthy end do we talk and write the latter ?

and act, but to raise ourselves and help to But two remarks may under this head be raise others to a nobler life with fellow-men? made. What might be called the vicious ex- For that, breadth of sympathy, not the same tremes of some of Mr. Buckle's views might as laxity of principle, is chiefly needed. And also be adduced in evidence of the virtue of surely if what was great and little in this intellectual enthusiasm, boldness, and thor- man has been even feebly presented from the oughness. On the other hand, however, it point of view proposed, it should tend to might be said that a finer moral instinct breadthen our sympathies, to enable us to might have prevented the expression of views open our hearts to take in the little with the only logically justifiable, and in such an age great, the great with the little. With the as ours, there are probably many unhonored hope that the foregoing pages bave in some men who profer obscurity to following against degree fulfilled their purpose, I conclude their instinct, what seems logic.

for those only ought to attempt to sum up And the other remark I would here make and balance the characteristics of an eminent is, that a man must ever be judged in rela- man who are greater than he, either themtion to the intellectual condition of the age; selves or in their time. No such judicial and that which unfortunately chiefly distin- summing-up do I presume to give. guishes this age is the destructive criticism |

J. S, S. G.

From Good Words. · He finds the laurel budding yet
THE NARROW LOT..

From love transfigured and tear-wet;

They are his life-drops turned to flowers
A LITTLE flower so lowly grew,

That make so sweet this world of ours !
So lonely was it left,
That heaven looked like an eye of blue
Down in its rocky cleft.

IN THE NIGHT.
What could the little flower do

DARK, dark the night, and fearfully I grope
In such a darksome place,

Amidst the shadows, feeling for the way, But try to reach that eye of blue,

But cannot find it. Here's no help, no hope, And climb to see heaven's face,

• And God is very far off with his day! And there's no life so lone and low

Hush, hush, faint heart! Why, this may be thy But strength may still be given,

chance, From narrowest lot on earth to grow

When things are at their worst to provethy faith; The straighter up to heaven.

Look up, and wait thy great deliverance

And trust Him at the darkest unto death.

[blocks in formation]

PART III.-CHAPTER VIII,

But though he rang his bell so often, and was It was the next morning after this when so tiresome with this litter, and gave so much Mrs. Hadwin's strange lodger first appeared trouble, Sarah's heart, after a while, melted in the astonished house. He was the strang- to the gentleman.” He made her a presest lodger to be taken into a house of such ent of a needlecase, and was very civil-spoken perfect respectability, a house in Grange Lane; -more so a great deal than the Curate of and it came to be currently reported in Car- St. Roque's; and such a subject of talk and lingford after a time, when people knew curiosity had not been in Carlingford for a more about it, that even the servants could hundred years. not tell when or how he arrived, but had. As for Mrs. Hadwin, she never gave any woke up one morning to find a pair of boots explanation at all on the subject, but accepted standing outside the closed door of the green the fact of a new inmate cheerfully, as if she room, which the good old lady kept for com- knew all about it. Of course she could not pany, with sensations which it would be im- ask any of her nieces to visit her while the possible to describe. Such a pair of boots green room was occupied ; and as they were they were too-muddy beyond expression, all rather large, interfering, managing wowith old mud which had not been brushed men, perhaps the old lady was not very sorry. off for days worn shapeless, and patched at Mr. Wentworth himself was still less explanthe sides; the strangest contrast to a hand- atory. When Mr. Wodehouse said to him, some pair of Mr. Wentworth's, which he, " What is this I hear about a brother of contrary to his usual neat habits, had kicked yours?-they tell me you've got a brother. off in his sitting-room, and which Sarah, the staying with you. Well, that's what I hear. housemaid, had brought and set down on the Why don't you bring him up to dinner? landing, close by these mysterious and unac-Come to-morrow;" the Perpetual Curate countable articles. When the bell of the calmly answered, “Thank you ; but there is green room rang an hour or two later, Sarah no brother of mine in Carlingford,” and took and the cook, who happened to be standing no further notice. Naturally, however, together, jumped three yards a part and stared this strange apparition was much discussed in at each other; the sound gave them both "a Grange Lane; the servants first and then turn." But they soon got perfectly well used the ladies, became curious about him. to that bell from the green room. It rang Sometimes, in the evenings, he might be very often in the day, for “ the gentleman" seen coming out of Mrs. Hadwin's garden chose to sit there more than half his time; door—a shabby figure, walking softly in his and if other people were private about him, patched boots. There never was light enough it was a great deal more than he was about for any one to see him: but he had a great himself. He even sent the boots to be beard, and smoked a short little pipe, and mended, to Sarah's shame and confusion. bad evidently no regard for appearances. It For the credit of the house, the girl invented was a kind of thing which few people apa story about them to calm the cobbler's sus-proved of. Mrs. Hadwin ought not to permit picions. “They was the easiest boots the it, some ladies said; and a still greater numgentleman had, being troubled with tender ber were of opinion that, rather than endure feet; and he wasn't agoing to give them up so strange a fellow-lodger, the curate ought because they was shabby," said Sarah. He to withdraw, and find fresh lodgings. This sent down bis shabby clothes to be brushed, was before the time when the public began and wore Mr. Wentworth's linen, to the in-associate the stranger in a disagreeable way dignation of the household. But he was not with Mr. Wentworth. Before they came to a man to be concealed in a corner. From that, the people in Grange Lane bethought where he sat in the green room, he whistled themselves of all Mrs. Hadwin's connections, 80 beautifully that Mrs. Hadwin's own pet to find out if there might not be some of canary paused astonished to listen, and the them under hiding ; and, of course, that erbutcher's boy stole into the kitchen surrepti- cellent woman had a nephew or two whose tiously to try if he could learn the art : and conduct was not perfect; and then it came while he whistled, he filled the tidy room to be reported that it was Mr. Wentworth's with parings and cuttings of wood, and carved brother-that it was an unfortunate college out all kinds of pretty articles with his knife. chum of his-that it was somebody who had

speculated, and whom the curate had gone the fiftieth time. The situation altogether shares with ; but, in the meantime, no real was very tempting to Miss Leonora ; she information could be obtained about this could not make up her mind to go away and mysterious stranger. The butcher's boy, leave such a very pretty quarrel in progress; whose senses were quickened by mingled ad- and there can be no doubt that it would bare miration and envy, heard him whistling all been highly gratifying to her vanity as an day long, sometimes hidden among the trees evangelical woman to have had her nephew in the garden, sometimes from the open win-brought to task for missionary work carried dow of the green room, where, indeed, Lady on in another man's parish, even though that Western's page was ready to take his oath work was not conducted entirely on her own he had once seen the audacious unknown principles. She lingered, accordingly, with leaning out in the twilight, smoking a pipe. a great hankering after Wharfside, to which But no trap of conversation, however inge- Mr. Wentworth steadily declined to afford nious and many traps were laid for Mr. her any access. She went to the afternoon Wentworth-ever elicited from the Perpet-service sometimes, it is true, but only to be ual curate any acknowledgment of the other afflicted in her soul by the sight of Miss lodger's existence. The young Anglican Wodehouse and Lucy in their gray cloaks, opened his fine eyes a little wider than usual not to speak of the rubric to which the cuwhen he was asked sympathetically whether rate was so faithful. It was a trying experiso many people in the house did not interfere ence to his evangelical aunt; but at the same with his quiet. “Mrs. Hadwin's talk is very time it was “ a great work ;” and she could gentle," said the curate; she never disturbs not give up the hope of being able one time me.” And the mistress of the house was or other to appropriate the credit of it, and equally obtuse, and would not comprehend win him over to her own “ views." If that any allusion. The little household came to consummation could but be attained, everybe very much talked of in Carlingford in thing would become simple; and Miss Leoconsequence; and to meet that shabby figure nora was a true Wentworth, and wanted to in the evening when one chanced to be out see her nephew in Skelmersdale : so it may for a walk, made one's company sought after easily be understood that, under present cirin the best circles of society; though the cumstances, there were great attractions for fact is, that people began to be remiss in her in Carlingford. calling upon Mrs. Hadwin, and a great many It was, accordingly, with a beating heart only left their cards as soon at it became evi- that Miss Dora, feeling a little as she might dent that she did not mean to give any expla- have been supposed to feel thirty years before, nation. To have the curate to stay with her had she ever stolen forth from the well-prowas possible, without infringing upon her po- tected enclosure of Skelmersdale Park to see sition; but matters became very different a lover, put on her bonnet in the early twiwhen she showed herself willing to take light, and escaping with difficulty the lively " any one" even when in equivocal apparel observations of her maid, went tremulously and patched boots.

down Grange Lane to her nephew's house. Probably the curate had his own troubles She had never yet visited Frank, and this visit during this period of his history. He was was unquestionably clandestine. But then noticed to be a little quick and short in his the news with which her heart was beattemper for some time after Easter. For one ing were important enough to justify the step thing, his aunts did not go away; they stayed she was taking at least so she whispered in the Blue Boar, and sent for him to dinner, to herself; though whether dear Frank would till the curate's impatience grew almost be- be pleased, or whether he would still think it yond bearing. It was a discipline upon which“ my fault," poor Miss Dora could not make he had not calculated, and which exceeded up her mind. Nothing happened in the quiet the bounds of endurance, especially as Miss road, where there were scarcely any passenLeonora questioned him incessantly about his gers, and the poor lady arrived with a trem“ work," and still dangled before him, like bling sense of escape from unknown perils at an unattainable sweetmeat before a child, Mrs. Hadwin's garden door. For Miss Dora the comforts and advantages of Skelmersdale, was of opinion, like some few other ladies, where poor old Mr. Shirley had rallied for that to walk alone down the quietest of streets

« EelmineJätka »