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prose of Hooker, Bacon, Milton, Browne, would | attained, we too in our degree have to aim at; have been, had they written under the good, let us mark well the road he fashioned for without the bad influences of that French pre- himself, and in the dim weltering chaos rejoice cision, which has polished and attenuated, to find a paved way. trimmed and impoverished all modern lan- Here, moreover, another word of explanaguages; made our meaning clear, and too tion is perhaps worth adding. We mean in often shallow as well as clear." *
regard to the controversy agitated (as about Finally, as Shakspeare is to be considered many things pertaining to Goethe) about his as the greater nature of the two, on the other Political Creed and practice, whether he was hand we must admit him to have been the less Ministerial or in Opposition? Let the politicultivated, and much the more careless. What cal admirer of Goethe be at ease: Goethe was Shakspeare could have done we nowhere dis both, and also neither! The “rotten whitecover. A careless mortal, open to the Universe washed (gebrechliche übertünchte) condition of and its influences, not caring strenuously to society” was plainer to few eyes than to his, open himself; who, Prometheus-like, will scale sadder to few hearts than to his. Listen to the Heaven, (if it so must be,) and is satisfied if Epigrammatist at Venice: he therewith pay the rent of his London Playhouse; who, had the Warwickshire Justice let
"To this stithy I liken the land, the hammer its ruler, him hunt deer unmolested, might, for many
And the people that plate, beaten between them that
writhes: years more, have lived quiet on the green earth wo to the plate, when nothing but wilsul bruises on without such aerial journeys: an unparalleled mortal. In the great Goethe, again, we see a Hit at random; and made, cometh no Kettle to view!" man through life at his utmost strain; a man But, alas, what is to be done? that, as he says himself, “struggled toughly;" laid hold of all things, under all aspects, scien
“No Apostle-of-Liberty much to my heart ever found I: tific or poetic: engaged passionately with the License, each for himself, this was at bottom their want. deepest interests of man's existence, in the What a business is that, wouldst thou know it, go iry!"
Liberator of many! first dare to be Servant of many: mosi complex age of man's history. What Shakspeare's thoughts on “God, Nature, Art," Let the following also be recommended to all would have been, especially had he lived to inordinate worshippers of Septennials, Trien. number fourscore years, were curious to know: nials, Elective Franchise, and the Shameful Goethe's, delivered in many-toned melody, as parts of the Constitution; and let each be a little the apocalypse of our era, are here, for us tolerant of his neighbour's“ festoon," and reto know.
joice that he has himself found out Freedom,
a thing much wanted : Such was the noble talent intrusted to this man; such the noble employment he made
“Walls I can see tumbled down, walls I see also a buildthereof. We can call him, once more, “a
ing; clear and universal man;" we can say that, in is the world then itself a huge prison ? Free only the
Here sit prisoners, there likewise do prisoners sit: his universality, as thinker, as singer, as
madman, worker, he lived a life of antique nobleness His chains knitting still up into some graceful festoon ?" under these new conditions; and, in so living,
So that for the Poet what remains but to is alone in all Europe; the foremost, whom others are to learn from and follow. In which leave Conservative and Destructive pulling great act, or rather great sum total of many and can, (the ulterior issue being long since
one another's locks and ears off, as they will acts, who shall compute what treasure of new strengthening, of faith become hope and vision, indubitable enough;) and, for his own part, lies secured for all! The question, Can man strive day and night to forward the small sufstill live in devoutness, yet without blindness fering remnant of Productives, of those who, in or contraction; in unconquerable steadfast- true manful endeavour, were it under desness for the right, yet without tumultuous ex. potism or under sansculottism, create some asperation against the wrong; as an antique what, with whom, alone, in the end, does the worthy, yet with the expansion and increased hope of the world lie. Go thou and do like. endowment of a modern ? is no longer a ques
wise! Art thou called to politics, work therein, tion, but has become a certainty, and ocularly. as this man would have done, like a real and visible fact.
not an imaginary workman. Understand well, We have looked at Goethe, as we engaged ! meanwhile, that to no man is his political conto do, “on this side,” and with the eyes of stitution “ a life, but only a house wherein his
this generation;" that is to say, chiefly as a life is led:” and hast thou a nobler task than world-changer, and benignant spiritual revolu- such house-pargeting and smoke-doctoring, and monist: for in our present so astonishing con- pulling down of ancient rotten rat-inhabited dition of “progress of the species,” such is the walls, leave such to the proper craftsman; category under which we must try all things, honour the higher Artist, and good-humouredly wisdom itself. And, indeed, under this aspect say with him: too, Goethe's Life and Works are doubtless of “ All this is neither my coat nor my cake, incalculable value, and worthy our most earn- Why fill my hand with other men's charges ! est study; for his Spiritual Histry is, as it
The fishes swim at ease in the lake, were, the ideal emblem of all true men's in
And take no thought of the barges." these days; the goal of Manhood, which he Goethe's political practice, or rather no-prae
tice, except that of self-defence, is a part of his * German Romance, iv.
conduct quite inseparably coherent with the rest; a thing we could recommend to univer- ! To us, meanwhile, to all that wander in sal study, that the spirit of it might be under- darkness and seek light, as the one thing needstood by all men, and by all men imitated. ful, be this possession reckoned among our
Nevertheless it is nowise alone on this revo- choicest blessings and distinctions. Colite lutionary or “progress-of-the-species” side talem virum : learn of him, imitate, emulate that Goethe has significance; his Life and him! So did he catch the Music of the UniWork is no painted show but a solid reality, verse, and unfold it into clearness, and in and may be looked at with profit on all sides, authentic celestial tones bring it home to the from all imaginable points of view. Perennial, hearts of men, from amid that soul-confusing as a possession for ever, Goethe's History and Babylonish hubbub of this our new Tower-ofWritings abide there; a thousand-voiced Babel era! For now, 100, as in that old time, “Melody of Wisdom,” which he that has ears had men said to themselves: Come, let us may hear. What the experience of the most build a tower which shall reach to heaven; complexly-situated, deep-searching, every way and by our steam-engines, and logic-engines, far-experienced man has yielded him of insight, and skilful mechanism and manipulation, vanlies written for all men here. He who was of quish not only Physical Nature, but the divine compass to know and feel more than any other Spirit of Nature, and scale the empyrean itself. man, this is the record of his knowledge and Wherefore they must needs again be stricken feeling. “The deepest heart, the highest head with confusion of tongues (or of printing. to scan” was not beyond his faculty; thus, presses,) and dispersed,—10 other work; wherethen, did he scan and interpret: let many in also let us hope, their hammers and trowels generations listen, according to their want; let shall better avail them.the generation which has no need of listening, Of Goethe, with a feeling such as can be and nothing new to learn there, esteem itself due to no other man, we now take farewell: a happy one.
[EDINBURGH Review, 1832.)
SMELFUNGUS Redivivus, throwing down his taken note of: the survey of English Metre, at critical assaying-balance, some years ago, and this epoch, perhaps transcends the human laking leave of the Belles-Lettres function, ex- faculties; to hire out the reading of it, by estipressed himself in this abrupt way: “The end mate, at a remunerative rate per page, would, having come, it is fit that we end. Poetry in few Quarters, reduce the cash-box of any having ceased to be read, or published, or extant Review to the verge of insolvency." written, how can it continue to be reviewed ? What our distinguished contemporary has With your Lake Schools, and Border-Thief said remains said. Far be it from us to cenSchools, and Cockney and Satanic Schools, sure or counsel any able Editor; to draw aside there has been enough to do; and now, all the Editorial veil, and, ofliciously prying into these Schools having burnt or smouldered his interior mysteries, impugn the laws he themselves out, and left nothing but a wide- walks by! For Editors, as for others, there spread wreck of ashes, dust, and cinders,—or are times of perplexity, wherein the cunning perhaps dying embers, kicked to and fro under of the wisest will scantily suffice his own the feet of innumerable women and children wants, say nothing of his neighbour's. in the Magazines, and at best blown here and To us, on our side, meanwhile, it remains there into transient sputters, with vapour clear that Poetry, or were it but Metre, should enough, so as to form what you might name a nowise be altogether neglected. Surely it is boundless Green-sick, or New-Sentimental, or the Reviewer's trade to sit watching, not only Sleep-Awake School,—what remains but to the tillage, crop-rotation, marketings, and good adjust ourselves to circumstances ? Urge me or evil husbandry of the Economic Earth, but not,” continues the able Editor, suddenly also the weather-symptoms of the Literary changing his figure, “ with considerations that Heaven, on which those former so much dePoetry, as the inward voice of Life, must be pend: if any promising or threatening me. perennial, only dead in one form to become teoric phenomenon make its appearance, and alive in another; that this still abundant deluge he proclaim not tidings thereof, it is at his of Metre, seeing there must needs be fractions peril. Farther, be it considered how, in this of Poetry floating scattered in it, ought still to singular poetic epoch, a small matter constibe net-fished, at all events, surveyed and tutes a novelly. If the whole welkin hang
overcast in drizzly dinginess, the feeblest light* 1. Corn-Law Rhymes. Third Edition. 8vo. Lon- gleam, or speck of blue, cannot pass un. don, 1831.
heeded. 2. Love; a Poem. By the Author of Corn-Law The Works of this Corn-Law Rhymer we Rhymes. Third Edition. Svo. London, 1831.
3. The Village Patriarch; a Poem. "By the author might liken rather to some little fraction of a of Corn-Law Rhymes. 12mo. London, 1831.
rainbow: hues of joy and harmony, painted
out of troublous tears. No round full bow, that this same aristocratic recognition, which indeed; gloriously spanning the heavens; looks down with an obliging smile from its shone on by the full sun; and, with seven-throne, of bound Volumes and gold Ingots, striped, gold-crimson border (as is in some and admits that it is wonderfully well for one sort the office of Poetry) dividing Black froin of the uneducated classes, may be getting out Brilliant: not such; alas, siill far from it! of place. There are unhappy times in the Yet, in very truth, a little prismatic blush, world's history, when he that is the least eduglowing genuine ainong the wet clouds; which caled will chiefly have to say that he is the proceeds, if you will, from a sun cloud-hidden, least perverted; and with the multitude of yet indicates that a sun does shine, and above false eye-glasses, convex, concave, green, even thosc vapours, a whole azore vault and celes- yellow, has not lost the natural use of his tial firmament stretch serene.
eyes. For a generation that reads Cobbell's Strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless Prose, and Burns's Poetry, it need be no mirtrue, that here we have once more got sight of acle that here also is a man who can handle a Book calling itself Poetry, yet which actually both pen and hammer like a man. is a kind of Book, and no emply paste-board Nevertheless, this serene-highness attitude Case, and simulacrum or “ghost-defuncı” of and temper is so frequent, perhaps it were a Book, such as is too often palmed on the good to turn the tables for a moment, and see world, and handed over Booksellers' counters, what look it has uuder that reverse aspect. with a demand of real money for it, as if it too How were it if we surmised. thai for a man were a reality. The speaker here is of that gifted with natural vigour, with a man's chasingular class, who have something to say;racter to be developed in him, more especially whereby, though delivering himself in verse, if in the way of Literature, as Thinker and and in these days, he does not deliver himself Writer, it is actually, in these strange days, no wholly in jargon, but articulately, and with a special misfortune to be trained up among the certain degree of meaning, tha: has been Uneducated classes, and not among the Edubelieved, and therefore is again believable. cated; but rather of two misfortunes the
To soine the wonder and interest will be smaller ? heightened by another circumstance: that the For all men doubtless obstructions abound; speaker in question is not school-learned, or spiritual growth must be hampered and stunteven furnished with pecuniary capital; is, ed, and has to struggle throngh with diffiindeed. a quite unmoneyed, russet-coated culty, if it do not wholly.stop. We may grant speaker; nothing or little other than a Sheftoo that, for a mediocre character, the confield worker in brass and iron, who describes tinual training and Tutoring, from languagehimself as “one of the lower, little removed masters, dancing-masters, posture-masters of above the lowest class.” Be of what class he all sorts, hired and volunteer, which a high may, the man is provided, as we can perceive, rank in any time and country assures, there with a rational god-created soul; which too will be produced a ceriain superiority, or at has fashioned itself into some clearness, some worsi, air of superiority, over the correspondself-subsistence, and can actually see and ing mediocre character of low rank: thus we know with its own organs; and in rugged sub- perceive the vulgar Do-nothing as contrasted stantial English, wav, with tones of poetic with the vulgar Drudge, is in general a much melody, utier forth what it has seen.
prettier man; with a wider, perhaps clearer, It used to be said that lions do not paint, that outlook into the distance; in inanmer.ble supoor men do not write; but the case is alter. perficial matters, however it may be when we ing now. Here is a voice coming from the we go deeper, he has a manifest advantage deep Cyclopean forges, where Labour, in real But with the man of common character, 800i and sweat, beats with his thousand ham-again, in whom a germ of irrepre-sible Force mers “the red son of the furnace;" doing per has been implanted, and will wfild itseif into sonal battle with Necessiły, and her dark brute some sort of freedom.-altogether the reverse Powers, to make them reasonable and service may bold. For such germs, 100, there is un. able; an intelligible voice from the hitherto doubtedly enough, a proper soil where they Mute and Irrational, to tell us at first hand will grow best, and an improper one where how it is with him, what in very deed is the they will grow worst. True alo, where there theorem of the world and of himself, which he is a will, there is a wav; where a genins has in those dim depths of his, in that wearied been given, a possibility, a certainty of its head of his, has put together. To which voice, growing is also given. Yet often il see'ns as in several respects significant enough, let good if the injudicious gardening and manuring ear begiven.
were worse than none at all; and killed what Here too, be it premised, that nowise under the inclemencies of blind chance wind have the category of Unedicated Poets," or in any spared. We find accordingly that few Fred. fashion of dilettante patronage, can our Shef- erics or Napoleons, indeed none since the field friend be produced. His position is un great Alexander, who unfortunately drank suitable for that: so is ours. Genius, which himself to death too soon for proving what the French lady declared to be of no sex, is lay in him, were pursed up with an eye to much more certainly of no rank; neither their vocation: mostly with an eye qoile the when "the spark of Nature's fire" has been other way, in the midst of isolation and pain, imparted, should Education take high airs in destitution and contradiction. Nay. in our her artificial light,which is too ofien but own times, have we not seen two men of gephosphorescence and putrescence. In fact, it nius, a Byron and a Burns; they both, by now begins to be suspected here and there, I mandale of Nature, struggle and must strug.
gle towards clear Manhood, stormfully enough, sative Phænix-ashes of the whole Past." All for the space of six-and-thirty years; yet only that men have devised, discovered, done, felt, the gifted Ploughman can partially prevail or imagined, lies recorded in Books; wherein therein : the gified Peer musi toil and strive, whoso has learned the mystery of spelling and shoot out in wild efforts, yet die at last in printed letters, may find it, and appropriate it. Boyhood, with the promise of his Manhood Nay, what indeed is all this! As if it were still but announcing itself in the distance. by universities and libraries and lecture-rooms, Truly, as was once written, “it is only the ar- that man's Education, what we can call Edutichoke that will not grow except in gardens; cation, were accomplished: solely, or mainly, the acorn is cast carelessly abroad into the by instilling the dead letter and record of other wilderness, yet on the wild soil it nourishes it- men's Force, that the living Force of a new sell, and rises to be an oak." All woodmen, man were to be awakened, enkindled, and pumoreover, will tell you that fat manure is the rified into victorious clearness! Foulish Peruin of your oak; likewise that the thinner dant, that sittest there compassionately des. and wilder your soil, the tougher, more iron- canting on the Learning of Shakspeare! textured is your timber,—though, unhappily, Shakspeare had penetrated into innumerable also, the smaller. So too with the spirits of things; far into Nature with her divine Splenmen: they become pure from their errors, by dours and infernal Terrors, her Ariel Melodies, suffering for them; he who has baitled, were and mystic mandragora Moans; far into man's it only with poverty and hard toil, will be workings with Nature, into man's Art and found stronger, more expert, than he who Artifice; Shakspeare knew (lie.n.ed, which in could stay ai home from the battle, concealed those days still pariially meant can-vier!) innuamong the Provision-wagons, or even not un-merable things; what men are, and what the watchfully “abiding by the stuff.” In which world is, and how and what men aim at there, sense, an observer, not without experience of from the Dame Quickly of modern Eastcheap our time, has said: “Had I a man of clearly to the Cæsar of ancient Rome, over many developed character, (clear, sincere within its countries, over many centuries: of all this limits,) of insight, courage, and real appli- he had the clearest understanding and concable force of head and of heart, to search structive comprehension ; all this was his for; and not a man of luxuriously distorted Learning and Insight: what now is thine ? character, with haughtiness for courage, and Insight into none of those things; perhaps, for insight and applicable force, speculation strictly considered, into nothing whatever: and plausible show of force,-it were rather solely into thy own sheepskin diplomas, fat among the lower than the higher classes that academic honours, into vocables and alphaI should look for him.”
hetic letters, and but a little way into these!A hard saying, indeed, seems this same: The grand result of schooling is a mind with that he whose other wants were all beforehand just vision to discern, with free force to do: supplied; to whose capabilities no problem the grand schoolmaster is Practice. was presented except even this, How in culti- And now, wlien kenning and run-ning have vate them to best advantage, should attain less become two altogether different words; and real culture than he whose first grand prob- this, the first principle of human culture, the lem and obligation was nowise spiritual cul- foundation-stone of all but false i naginary culcure, but hard labour for his daily bread! Iture, that men must, before every other thing, Sad enough must the perversion be where pre- be trained to do somewhat, has been, for some parations of such magnitude issue in abor-generations, laid quietly on the shelf, with tion; and a so sumpinous Art with all its such result as we see.-consider what advanappliances can accomplish nothing, not so tage those same uneducated Working classes much as necessitons Nature would of herself have over the educated Unworking classes, in have supplied ! Nevertheless, so pregnant is one particular; herein, namely, that they must Life with evil as with good ; to such height in work. To work! What incalculable sources an age rich, plethorically overgrown with of cultivation lie in that process, in that at. means, can means be accumulated in the tempt; how it lays hold of the whole man, wrong place, and immeasurably aggravate not of a small theoretical calculating fraction wrong tendencies, instead of righting them, of him, but of the whole practical, doing and this sad and strange result may actually turn daring and enduring man; thereby 10 awaken out to have been realized.
dormant faculties, root out old errors, at every But what, after all, is meant by unerlucated, step! He that has done nothing has known in a time when Books have come into the nothing. Vain is it to sit scheming and plan world; come to the household furniture in sibly discoursing: up and he doing! If thy every habitation of the civilized world? In knowledge be real, put it forth from thee: the poorest cottage are Books: is one Book, grapple with real Nature; try thy theories wherein for several thousands of years the there, and see how they hold oui. Do one thing, spirit of man has found light, and nourish- for the first time in thy life do a thing: a new ment, and an interpreting response to what- light will rise to thee on the doing of all things ever is Deepest in him ; wherein still, in this whatsoever. Truly, a boundless significance day, foor the eye that will look well, the Mys. lies in work: whereby the humblest craftsman tery of Existence reflects itself, if not resolved, comes to attain much, which is of indispenyel revealed, and prophetically emblemed; if sable use, but which he who is of no crası, not to the salisfying of the outward sense, yet were he never so high, runs the risk of miss to the opening of the inward sense, which is ing. Once turn to Practice, Error and Truth the far grander result. “In Books lie the cre. I will no longer consort together: the result of
Error involves you in the square-root of a ne- brings, and as he brings it? Let us be thankgative quantity; try to ertruct it, or any earthly ful, were it only for the day of small things. substance or sustenance from it, if you will! Something it is that we have lived to welcome The honourable Member can discover that once more a sweet Singer wearing the likeness “There is a reaction," and believe it, and weari- of a Man. In humble guise, it is true, and of somely reason on it, in spite of all men, while he stature more or less marred in its developso pleases, for still his wine and his oil will not ment; yet not without a genial robustness, fail him: but the sooty Brazier, who discovered strength and valour, built on honesty and love; that brass was green-cheese, has to act on his on the whole, a genuine man, with somewhat discovery; finds, therefore, that, singular as it of the eye and speech and bearing that bemay seem, brass cannot be masticated for din- seems a man. To whom all other genuine ner, green-cheese will not beat into fireproof men, how different soever in subordinate pardishes : that such discovery, therefore, has no ticulars, can gladly hold out the right hand of legs to stand on, and must even be let fall. Now, fellowship. take this principle of difference through the The great excellence of our Rhymer, be it entire lives of two men, and calculate what it understood then, we take to consist even in will amount to! Necessity, moreover, which this, ofien hinted at already, that he is genuine. we here see as the mother of Accuracy, is well Here is an earnest, truth-speaking man; no known as the mother of Invention. He who theorizer, sentimentalizer, but a practical man wants every thing, musi know many things, of work and endeavour, man of sufferance and do many things, to procure even a few: dif- endurance. The thing that he speaks is not a ferent enough with him, whose indispensable hearsay, but a thing which he has himself knowledge is this only, that a finger will pull known, and by experience become assured of. the bell.
He has used his eyes for seeing; uses his So that, for all men who live, we may con- tongue for declaring what he has seen. His clude, this Life of Man is a school, wherein voice, therefore, among the many noises of our the naturally foolish will continue foolish Planet, will deserve its place better than the though you bray him in a mortar, but the natu- most; will be well worth some rally wise will gather wisdom under every dis- Whom else should we attend to but such ! advantage. What, meanwhile, must be the The man who speaks with some half shadow condition of an Era, when the highest advan- of a Belies, and supposes, and inclines 10 tages there become perverted into drawbacks; think; and considers not with undivided soul, when, if you take two men of genius, and put what is true, but only what is plausible, and the one between the handies of a plough, and will find audience and recompense; do we not mount the other between the painted coronets meet him at every street-turning, on all highof a coach-and-four, and bid them both move ways and byways; is he not stale, unprofitalong, the former shall arrive a Burns, the able, inellectual, wholly grown a weariness of latter a Byron : two men of talent, and put the the flesh? So rare is his opposite in any rank one into a Printer's chapel, full of lampblack, of Literature, or of Life, so very rare, that tyrannous usage, hard toil, and the other into even in the lowest he is precious. The au. Oxford universities, with lexicons and libraries, thentic insight and experience of any human and hired expositors and sumptuous endow- soul, were it but insight and experience in ments, the former shall come out a Dr. Frank-hewing of wood and drawing of water, is real lin, the latter a Dr. Parr!
knowledge, a real possession and acquireinent, However, we are not here to write an Essay how small soever: palabra, again, were it a on Education, or sing misereres over a “world supreme pontiff's, is wind merely, and nothing, in its dotage;" but simply to say that our Corn- or less than nothing. To a considerable de Law Rhymer, educated or uneducated as Na- gree, this man, we say, has worked himsell lure and Art have made him, asks not the loose from cant, and conjectural halfness, idle smallest patronage or compassion for his pretences and hallucinations, into a condition rhymes, professes not the smallest contrition of Sincerity. Wherein, perhaps, as above for them. Nowise in such attitude does he argued, his hard social environment, and forpresent himself; not supplicatory, deprecatory, tune to be “a workman born,” which brought but sturdy, defiant, almost menacing. Where so many other retardations with it, may have fore, indeed, should he supplicate or deprecate? forwarded and accelerated him. It is out of the abundance of the heart that he That a man, Workman, or Idleman, encomhas spoken; praise or blame cannot make it passed, as in these days, with persons in a truer or falser than it already is. By the grace stale of willing or unwilling Insincerity, and of God this man is sufficient for himself; by necessitated, as man is to learn whatever he his skill in metallurgy, can beat out a toilsome does traditionally learn by imitaling these, but a manful living, go how it may; has should nevertheless shake off Insincerity, and arrived too at that singular audacity of believ- struggle out from that dim pestiferous marshing what he knows, and acting on it, or writing atmosphere, into a clearer and purer height, on it, or thinking on it, without leave asked of Betokens in him a certain originality; in which any one: there shall he stand, and work, with rare gift Force of all kinds is presupposed. To head and with hand, for himself and the world; our Rhymer, accordingly, as hinted more than blown about by no wind of doctrine; frightened once, vision and determination have not been at no Reviewer's shadow; having, in his time, denied: a rugged, homegrown understanding looked substances enough in the face, and re- is in him ; whereby, in his own way, he has mained unfrightened.
mastered this and that, and looked into various What is left, therefore, but to take what he things, in general honesty and to purpose.