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Evil always prosper, then? Out of all Evil| comes Good; and no Good that is possible but shall one day be real. Deep and sad as is our feeling that we stand yet in the bodeful Night; equally deep, indestructible is our assurance that the Morning also will not fail. Nay, already, as we look round, streaks of a dayspring are in the east: it is dawning; when the time shall be fulfilled, it will be day. The progress of man towards higher and nobler Developments of whatever is highest and noblest in him, lies not only prophesied to Faith, but now written to the eye of Observation, so that he who runs may read.
Sad, truly, were our condition did we know but this, that Change is universal and inevitable. Launched into a dark shoreless sea of Pyrrhonism, what would remain for us but to sail aimless, hopeless; or make madly merry, while the devouring Death had not yet engulfed us? As, indeed, we have seen many, and still see many do. Nevertheless so stands it not. The venerator of the Past (and to what pure heart is the Past, in that "moonlight of me mory," other than sad and holy?) sorrows no over its departure, as one utterly bereaved. The true Past departs not, nothing that was worthy in the Past departs; no Truth or Goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die; but is all still here, and recognised or not, lives and works through endless changes. If all things, to speak in the German dialect, are discerned by us, and exist for us, in an element of Time, and therefore of Mortality and Mutability; yet Time itself reposes on Eternity: the truly Great and Transcendental has its basis and substance in Eternity; stands revealed to us as Eternity in a vesture of Time. Thus in all Poetry, Worship, Art, Society, as one form passes into another, nothing is lost: it is but the superficial, as it were the body only, that grows obsolete and dies; under the mortal body lies a soul that is immortal; that anew incarnates itself in fairer revelation; and the Present is the living sum-total of the whole Past.
One great step of progress, for example, we should say, in actual circumstances, was this same the clear ascertainment that we are in progress. About the grand Course of Providence, and his final Purposes with us, we can know nothing, or almost nothing: man begins in darkness, ends in darkness; mystery is everywhere around us and in us, under our feet, among our hands. Nevertheless so much has become evident to every one, that this wondrous Mankind is advancing somewhither; that at least all human things are, have been, and for ever will be, in Movement and Change; -as, indeed, for beings that exist in Time, by virtue of Time, and are made of Time, might have been long since understood. In some provinces, it is true, as in Experimental Science, this discovery is an old one; but in most others it belongs wholly to these latter days. How often, in former ages, by eternal Creeds, eternal Forms of Government, and the like, has it been attempted, fiercely enough, and with destructive violence, to chain the Future under the Past; and say to the Providence, whose ways with man are mysterious, and through the great Deep: Hitherto shalt thou come, but no farther! A wholly insane attempt; and for man himself, could it prosper, the frightfullest of all enchantments, a very Lifein-Death. Man's task here below, the destiny of every individual man, is to be in turns Ap-creased resources which the old methods can no prentice and Workman; or say rather, Scholar, longer administer; of new wealth which the Teacher, Discoverer by nature he has a old coffers will no longer contain? What is strength for learning, for imitating; but also a it, for example, that in our own day bursts strength for acting, for knowing on his own asunder the bonds of ancient Political Sysaccount. Are we not in a World seen to be tems, and perplexes all Europe with the fear Infinite; the relations lying closest together of Change, but even this: the increase of modified by those latest-discovered, and lying social resources, which the old social methods farthest asunder? Could you ever spell-bind will no longer sufficiently administer? The man into a Scholar merely, so that he had no- new omnipotence of the Steam-engine is hewthing to discover, to correct; could you ever ing asunder quite other mountains than the establish a Theory of the Universe that were physical. Have not our economical distresses, entire, unimprovable, and which needed only those barnyard Conflagrations themselves, the to be got by heart; man then were spiritually frightfullest madness of our mad epoch, their defunct, the species We now name Man had rise also in what is a real increase: increase ceased to exist. But the gods, kinder to us of Men; of human Force; properly, in such a than we are to ourselves, have forbidden such Planet as ours, the most precious of all insuicidal acts. As Phlogiston is displaced by creases? It is true again, the ancient methods Oxygen, and the Epicycles of Ptolemy by the of administration will no longer suffice. Must Ellipses of Kepler; so does Paganism give the indomitable millions, fuli of old Saxon place to Catholicism, Tyranny to Monarchy, energy and fire, lie cooped up in this Western and Feudalism to Representative Government, Nook, choking one another, as in a Blackhole --where also the process does not stop. Per- of Calcutta, while a whole fertile untenanted fection of Practice, like completeness of Earth, desolate for want of the ploughshare, Opinion, is always approaching, never arrived; cries: Come and till me, come and reap me! Truth, in the words of Schiller, immer wird, nie If the ancient Captains can no longer yield ast; never is, always is a-being. guidance, new must be sought after: for the
In Change, therefore, there is nothing ter rible, nothing supernatural: on the contrary, it lies in the very essence of our lot, and life in this world. To-day is not yesterday: we ourselves change; how can our Works and Thoughts, if they are always to be the fittest, continue always the same? Change, indeed, is painful; yet ever needful: and if Memory have its force and worth, so also has Hope. Nay, if we look well to it, what is all Derangement, and necessity of great Change, in itself such an evil, but the product simply of in
difficulty lies not in nature, but in artifice: the European Calcutta-Blackhole has no walls but air ones, and paper ones.-So, too, Skepticism itself, with its innumerable mischiefs, what is it but the sour fruit of a most blessed increase, that of Knowledge; a fruit, too, that will not always continue sour?
in the higher Literature of Germany, there already lies, for him that can read it, the beginning of a new revelation of the Godlike; as yet unrecognised by the mass of the world; but waiting there for recognition, and sure to find it when the fit hour comes. This age also is not wholly without its Prophets.
Again, under another aspect, if Utilitarian
In fact, much as we have said and mourned about the unproductive prevalence of Meta-ism, or Radicalism, or the Mechanical Philo physics, it was not without some insight into sophy, or by whatever name it is called, has the use that lies in them. Metaphysical Specu- still its long task to do; nevertheless we can lation, if a necessary evil, is the forerunner of now see through it and beyond it in the betmuch good. The fever of Skepticism must ter heads, even among us English, it has beneeds burn itself out, and burn out thereby the come obsolete; as in other countries it has Impurities that caused it; then again will there been, in such heads, for some forty or even be clearness, health. The principle of Life, fifty years. What sound mind among the which now struggles painfully, in the outer, French, for example, now fancies that men thin, and barren domain of the Conscious or can be governed by "Constitutions;" by the Mechanical, may then withdraw into its inner never so cunning mechanizing of Self-inteSanctuaries, its abysses of mystery and mi- rests, and all conceivable adjustments of racle; withdraw deeper than ever into that checking and balancing: in a word, by the domain of the Unconscious, by nature infinite best possible solution of this quite insoluble and inexhaustible; and creatively work there. and impossible problem, Given a world of From that mystic region, and from that alone, Knuves, to produce an Honesty from their united all wonders, all Poesies, and Religions, and action? Were not experiments enough of Social Systems have proceeded: the like won- this kind tried before all Europe, and found ders, and greater and higher, lie slumbering wanting, when, in that doomsday of France, there; and, brooded on by the spirit of the the infinite gulf of human Passion shivered waters, will evolve themselves, and rise like asunder the thin rinds of Habit; and burst exhalations from the Deep. forth all-devouring, as in seas of Nether Fire? Which cunningly-devised "Constitution," constitutional, republican, democratic, sans-culottic, could bind that raging chasm together? Were they not all burnt up, like Paper as they were, in its molten eddies; and still the fire-sea raged fiercer than before? It is not by Mechanism, but by Religion; not by Selfinterest, but by Loyalty, that men are governed or governable.
Remarkable it is, truly, how everywhere the eternal fact begins again to be recognised, that there is a Godlike in human affairs; that God not only made us and beholds us, but is in us and around us; that the Age of Miracles, as it ever was, now is. Such recognition we discern on all hands, and in all countries: in each country after its own fashion. In France, among the younger nobler minds, strangely enough; where, in their loud contention with the Actual and Conscious, the Ideal or Unconscious is, for the time, without exponent; where Religion means not the parent of Polity, as of all that is highest, but Polity itself; and this and the other earnest man has not been wanting, who could whisper audibly: "Go to, I will make a religion." In England still more strangely; as in all things, worthy England will have its way: by the shrieking of hysterical women casting out of devils, and other " gifts of the Holy Ghost." Well might Jean Paul say, in this his twelfth hour of the Night, "the living dream;" well
Of our modern Metaphysics, accordingly, may not this already be said, that if they have produced no Affirmation, they have destroyed much Negation? It is a disease expelling a disease: the fire of Doubt, as above hinted, consuming away the Doubtful; that so the Certain come to light, and again lie visible on the surface. English or French Metaphysics, in reference to this last stage of the speculative process, are not what we allude to here; but only the Metaphysics of the Germans. In France or England, since the days of Diderot and Hume, though all thought has been of a skeptico-metaphysical texture, so far as there were any Thought, we have seen no Metaphysics; but only more or less ineffectual questionings whether such could be. In the Pyrrhonism of Hume and the Materialism of Diderot, Logic had, as it were, overshot itself, overset itself. Now, though the athlete, to use our old figure, cannot, by much lifting, lift up his own body, he may shift it out of a laming posture, and get to stand in a free one. Such a service have German Metaphysics done for man's mind. The second sickness of Speculation has abolished both itself and the first. Friedrich Schlegel complains much of the fruitlessness, the tumult and transiency of German as of all Metaphysics; and with reason: yet in that wide-spreading, deep-whirling vortex of Kantism, so soon metamorphosed into Fichteism, Schellingism, and then as Hegelism, and Cousinism, perhaps finally might he say, "the dead walk." Meanwhile evaporated, is not this issue visible enough, let us rejoice rather that so much has been that Pyrrhonism and Materialism, themselves seen into, were it through never so diffracting necessary phenomena in European culture, media, and never so madly distorted; that in have disappeared; and a Faith in Religion all dialects, though but half-articulately, this has again become possible and inevitable for high Gospel begins to be preached: "Man is the scientific mind; and the word Free-thinker still Man." The genius of Mechanism, as no longer means the Denier or Caviller, but was once before predicted, will not always sit the Believer, or the Ready to believe? Nay, like a choking incubus on our soul; but at
length, when by a new magic Word the old | Soldiers, fighting in a foreign land; that unspell is broken, become our slave, and as fa- derstand not the plan of the campaign, and miliar-spirit do all our bidding. "We are have no need to understand it; seeing well near awakening when we dream that we what is at our hand to be done. Let us do it dream." like Soldiers, with submission, with courage, with a heroic joy. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might." Behind us, behind each one of us, lie Six Thousand years of human effort, human conquest: before us is the boundless Time, with its as yet uncreated and unconquered Continents and Eldorados, which we, even we, have to conquer, to create: and from the bosom of Eternity shine for us celestial guiding stars.
He that has an eye and a heart can even now say: Why should I falter? Light has come into the world; to such as love Light, so as Light must be loved, with a boundless alldoing, all-enduring love. For the rest, let that vain struggle to read the mystery of the Infinite cease to harass us. It is a mystery which, through all ages, we shall only read here a line of, there another line of. Do we not already know that the name of the Infinite is Goon, is GoD? Here on Earth we are as
READER! thou here beholdest the Eidolon of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. So looks and lives, now in his eighty-third year, afar in the bright little friendly circle of Weimar, "the clearest, most universal man of his time." Strange enough is the cunning that resides in the ten fingers, especially what they bring to pass by pencil and pen! Him who never saw England, England now sees: from Fraser's Gallery" he looks forth here, wondering, doubtless, how he came into such Lichtstrasse ("light-street," or galaxy ;) yet with kind recognition of all neighbours, even as the moon looks kindly on lesser lights, and, were they but fish-oil cressets, or terrestrial Vauxhall stars, (of clipped tin,) forbids not their shining. Nay, the very soul of the man thou canst like wise behold. Do but look well in those forty volumes of "musical wisdom," which, under the title of Goethe's Werke, Cotta of Tübingen, or Black and Young of Covent Garden-once offer them a trifle of drink-money-will cheerfully hand thee: greater sight, or more profitable, thou wilt not meet with in this generation. The German language, it is presumable, thou knowest; if not, shouldst thou undertake the study thereof for that sole end, it were well worth thy while.
[FRASER'S MAGAZINE, 1832.]
"My inheritance how wide and fair!
Croquis (a man otherwise of rather satirical turn) surprises us, on this occasion, with a fit of enthusiasm. He declares often, that here is the finest of all living heads; speaks much of blended passion and repose; serene depths of eyes; the brow, the temples, royally arched, a very palace of thought;-and so forth.
The writer of these Notices is not without decision of character, and can believe what he knows. He answers Brother Croquis, that it is no wonder the head should be royal and a palace; for a most royal work was appointed
to be done therein. Reader! within that head the whole world lies mirrored, in such clear, ethereal harmony, as it has done in none since Shakspeare left us: even this Rag-fair of a world, wherein thou painfully strugglest, and (as is like) stumblest-all lies transfigured here, and revealed authentically to be still holy, still divine. What alchymy was that: to find a mad universe full of skepticism, discord, desperation; and transmute it into a wise universe of belief, and melody, and reverence! Was not there an opus magnum, if one ever was? This, then, is he who, heroically doing and enduring, has accomplished it.
In this distracted time of ours, wherein men have lost their old loadstars, and wandered after night-fires and foolish will-o'-wisps; and all things, in that "shaking of the nations," have been tumbled into chaos, the high made low and the low high, and ever and anon some duke of this, and king of that, is gurgled aloft, to float there for moments; and fancies himself the governor and head-director of it all, and is but the topmost froth-bell, to burst again and mingle with the wild fermenting mass,— in this so despicable time, we say, there were nevertheless-be the bounteous heavens ever thanked for it!-two great men sent among us. The one, in the island of St. Helena now sleeps "dark and lone, amid the ocean's everlasting lullaby," the other still rejoices in the blessed sunlight, on the banks of the Ilme.
Great was the part allotted each, great the talent given him for the same; yet, mark the contrast! Bonaparte walked through the war. convulsed world like an all-devouring earthquake, heaving, thundering, hurling kingdom over kingdom; Goethe was as the mild-shining, inaudible light, which, notwithstanding, can again make that chaos into a creation. Thus, too, we see Napoleon, with his Austerlitzes,
By Stieler of Munich; the copy in Fraser's Maga-Waterloos, and Borodinos, is quite gone-all zine proved a total failure and involuntary caricature, departed, sunk to silence like a tavern-brawl. resembling, as was said at the time, a wretched old- While this other!-he still shines with his clothesman carrying behind his back a hat which he direct radiance; his inspired words are to abide
seemed to have stolen.
in living hearts, as the life and inspiration of thinkers, born and still unborn. Some fifty years hence, his thinking will be found translated, and ground down, even to the capacity of the diurnal press; acts of parliament will be passed in virtue of him:-this man, if we well consider of it, is appointed to be ruler of the world.
one counsel to give, the secret of his whole poetic alchymy: GEDENKE ZU LEBEN. Yes, "think of living!" Thy life, wert thou the "pitifullest of all the sons of earth," is no id' dream, but a solemn reality. It is thy own t is all thou hast to front eternity with. Work, then, even as he has done, and does-"Like A UNRESTING."-Sic va
STAR UNHASTING, YET
Reader! to thee thyself, even now, he has leas.
The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. including a Tour to the Hebrides: By James Boswell, Esq. A new Edition, with numerous Additions and Notes. By John Wilson Croker, LL.D., F. R. S. 5 vols. London, 1831.
[FRAZER'S MAGAZINE, 1832.]
MAN'S sociality of nature evinces itself, in | his own. Of these millions of living men each spite of all that can be said, with abundant individual is a mirror to us: a mirror both evidence by this one fact, were there no other: scientific and poetic; or, if you will, both nat the unspeakable delight he takes in Biography. ural and magical;-from which one would so It is written, "The proper study of mankind is gladly draw aside the gauze veil; and, peering man;" to which study, let us candidly admit, therein, discern the image of his own natural he, by true or by false methods, applies him- face, and the supernatural secrets that proself, nothing loath. "Man is perennially inte- phetically lie under the same! resting to man; nay, if we look strictly to it, Observe, accordingly, to what extent, in the there is nothing else interesting." How inex- actual course of things, this business of Biopressibly comfortable to know our fellow-graphy is practised and relished. Define to creature; to see into him, understand his goings thyself, judicious Reader, the real significance forth, decipher the whole heart of his mystery: of these phenomena, named Gossip, Egotism, nay, not only to see into him, but even to see Personal Narrative, (miraculous or not,) Scanout of him, to view the world altogether as he dal, Raillery, Slander, and such like; the sumviews it; so that we can theoretically construe total of which (with some fractional addition him, and could almost practically personate of a better ingredient, generally too small to be him; and do now thoroughly discern both noticeable) constitutes that other grand phenowhat manner of man he is, and what manner menon still called "Conversation." Do they of thing he has got to work on and live on! not mean wholly: Biography and Autobiography? Not only in the common Speech of men; but in all Art, too, which is or should be the concentrated and conserved essence of what men can speak and show, Biography is almost the one thing needful.
A scientific interest and a poetic one alike inspire us in this matter. A scientific: because every mortal has a Problem of Existence set before him, which, were it only, what for the most it is, the Problem of keeping soul and body together, must be to a certain extent Even in the highest works of Art our interest, original, unlike every other; and yet, at the as the critics complain, is too apt to be same time, so like every other; like our own, strongly or even mainly of a Biographic sort. therefore; instructive, moreover, since we also In the Art, we can nowise forget the Artist: are indentured to live. A poetic interest still while looking on the Transfiguration, while more: for precisely this same struggle of studying the Iliad, we ever strive to figure to human Free-will against material Necessity, ourselves what spirit dwelt in Raphael; what which every man's Life, by the mere circum- a head was that of Homer, wherein, woven of stance that the man continues alive, will more Elysian light and Tartarian gloom, that old or less victoriously exhibit,-is that which world fashioned itself together, of which these above all else, or rather inclusive of all else, written Greek characters are but a feeble calls the Sympathy of mortal hearts into ac- though perennial copy. The Painter and the tion; and whether as acted, or as represented Singer are present to us; we partially and for and written of, not only is Poetry, but is the the time become the very Painter and the very sole Poetry possible. Borne onwards by which Singer, while we enjoy the Picture and the two all-embracing interests, may the earnest Song. Perhaps, too, let the critic say what he Lover of Biography expand himself on all will, this is the highest enjoyment, the clearest sides, and indefinitely enrich himself. Look-recognition, we can have of these. Art indeed ing with the eyes of every new neighbour, he is Art; yet Man also is Man. Had the Trans can discern a new world different for each: figuration been painted without human hand, feeling with the heart of every neighbour, he had it grown merely on the canvas, say hy lives with every neighbour's life, even as with atmospheric influences, as lichen-pictures do on rocks, it were a grand Picture doubtless; yet nothing like so grand as the Picture, which, on opening our eyes, we everywhere in Heaven and in Earth see painted; and every
where pass over with indifference, because the Painter was not a Man. Think of this; much lies in it. The Vatican is great; yet poor to Chimborazo or the Peake of Teneriffe: its dome is but a foolish Big-endian or Littleendian chip of an egg-shell, compared with that star-fretted Dome where Arcturus and Orion glance for ever; which latter, notwithstanding, who looks at, save perhaps some necessitous star-gazer bent to make Almanacs, some thick-quilted watchman, to see what weather it will prove? The Biographic interest is wanting: no Michael Angelo was He who built that "Temple of Immensity;" therefore do we, pitiful Littlenesses as we are, turn rather to wonder and to worship in the little toybox of a Temple built by our like.
could eat the wind, with ever new disappoint. ment.
Again, consider the whole class of Fictitious Narratives; from the highest category of epic or dramatic Poetry, in Shakspeare and Homer, down to the lowest of froth Prose in the Fashionable Novel. What are all these but so many mimic Biographies! Attempts, here by an inspired Speaker, there by an uninspired Babbler, to deliver himself, more or less ineffectually, of the grand secret wherewith all hearts labour oppressed: The significance of Man's Life;-which deliverance, even as traced in the unfurnished head, and printed at the Minerva Press, finds readers. For, observe, though there is a greatest Fool, as a superlative in every kind; and the most Foolish man in the Earth is now indubitably living and breathing, and did this morning or lately eat breakfast, and is even now digesting the same; and looks out on the world, with his dim horn-eyes, and inwardly forms some unspeakable theory thereof: yet where shall the authentically Existing be personally met with! Can one of us, otherwise than by guess, know that we have got sight of him, have orally communed with him? To take even the nar rower sphere of this our English metropolis, can any one confidently say to himself, that he has conversed with the identical, individual, Stupidest man now extant in London? No one. Deep as we dive in the Profound, there is ever a new depth opens: where the ultimate bottom may lie, through what new scenes of being we must pass before reaching it, (except that we know it does lie somewhere, and might by human faculty and opportunity be reached,) is altogether a mystery to us. Strange, tantalizing pursuit! We have the fullest assu rance, not only that there is a Stupidest of London men actually resident, with bed and board of some kind, in London; but that seve ral persons have been or perhaps are now speaking face to face with him: while for us, chase it as we may, such scientific blessedness will too probably be for ever denied!—But the thing we meant to enforce was this comfortable fact, that no known Head was so wooden, but there might be other heads to which it were a genius and Friar Bacon's Oracle. Of no given Book, not even of a Fashionable Novel, can you predicate with certainty that its vacuity is absolute; that there are not other vacuities which shall partially replenish themselves therefrom, and esteem it a plenum. How knowest thou, may the distressed Novelwright exclaim, that I, here where I sit, am the Foolis|ishest of existing mortals; that this my Longear of a Fictitious Biography shall not find one and the other, into whose still longer ears it may be the means, under Providence, of instilling somewhat? We answer, None knows, none can certainly know: therefore, write on, worthy Brother, even as thou canst, as it has been given thee.
Still more decisively, still more exclusively does the Biographic interest manifest itself, as we descend into lower regions of spiritual communication; through the whole range of what is called Literature. Of History, for example, the most honoured, if not honourable species of composition, is not the whole purport biographic? "History," it has been said, "is the essence of innumerable Biographies." Such, at least, it should be: whether it is, might admit of question. But, in any case, what hope have we in turning over those old interminable Chronicles, with their garrulities and insipidities; or still worse, in patiently examining those modern Narrations, of the Philosophic kind, where "Philosophy, teaching by Experience," must sit like owl on housetop, seeing nothing, understanding nothing, uttering only, with solemnity enough, her perpetual most wearisome hoo-hoo-what hope have we, except for the most part fallacious one of gaining some acquaintance with our fellow-creatures, though dead and vanished, yet dear to us; how they got along in those old days, suffering and doing; to what extent, and under what circumstances, they resisted the Devil and triumphed over him, or struck their colours to him, and were trodden under foot by him; how, in short, the perennial Battle went, which men name Life, which we also in these new days, with indifferent fortune, have to fight, and must bequeath to our sons and grandsons to go on fighting, till the Enemy one day be quite vanquished and abolished, or else the great Night sink and part the combatants; and thus, either by some Millennium or some new Noah's Deluge, the Volume of Universal History wind itself up! Other hope, in studying such Books, we have none: and that it is a deceitful hope, who that has tried knows not? A feast of widest Biographic insight spread for us; we enter full of hungry anticipation: alas! like so many other feasts, which Life invites us to, a mere Ossian's "feast of shells," the food and liquor being all emptied out and clean gone, and only the vacant dishes and deceitful emblems thereof left! Your modern Historical Restaurateurs are indeed little better than high-priests of Famine; that keep choicest china dinner-sets, only no dinner to serve therein. Yet such is our Biographic appetite, we run trying from shop to shop, with ever new hope; and, unless we
Here, however, in regard to "Fictitious Biographies," and much other matter of like sort, which the greener mind in these days inditeth, we may as well insert some singular sentences on the importance and significance of