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"I know it is unpleasant, but a man can never be quite sure of his manliness until he is stripped of the moral support of respectable belongings, and obliged to make shifts to get along. If he can do that with self-respecting dignity he may thank God for putting good stuff into him." But the best word of all was his life, so contented, loving, hopeful, diligent, prayerful, brave, that it quickens in every sympathizing breast the consciousness of immortality.
F. W. H.
THE prolixity of Coleridge's biography of Keble ; * his constant apologies for the introduction of personalities; his frequent diversions to side-topics; the occasional use of unmeaning letters, make one desire, for the author of the "Christian Year," such a biographer as George Herbert found in Isaac Walton. Still, through all imaginable imperfections, the beautiful spirit of that English Greenwood makes itself felt, consecrating every chapter; blessing every event; making the whole impression like rich cathedral music heard from afar. Not only satisfied to live away from the homage his talents, learning, piety, might have readily found, Keble devoted himself to the poor. When unable to preach, he gave all his strength to pastoral visiting. When absent, from his parish with his sick wife, he cared not to preach in others' pulpits so much as to minister in the humblest homes; especially caring for the children of the flock. His preaching was not eloquent, learned, popular; but, in almost tearful humility, in childlike simplicity, and motherly tenderness. He undervalued his pulpit efforts, so that it was hard to persuade him to print. He shrank from all display; and never liked to be hunted out as the great Christian poet. Still, upon the occasion of an American gentleman's desiring, at the close of the church service, a bit of ivy cut by his own hands from his churchwall, Keble was amused, and answered the request with a liberality that must have cheered many distant homes. Coleridge speaks almost judicially of the holy influence of Keble's famous book, representing it, truly enough, as putting the tasteful reader into that state of feeling in regard to himself which his conscience approves, and, towards his fellow-beings and his Maker, that in which he would desire to be; soberly hopeful as to himself; loving, grateful, and reverential to his Maker. But, a vast deal more ought to have been said of some of the most beautiful lyrics in the language; of hymns which are peculiar
Memoir of the Rev. John Keble. By Right Hon. Sir J. T. COLERIDGE. Oxford: Parker & Co., 1869.
favorites wherever known, and spiritual musings which kindle a flame of cheerful devotion in unnumbered hearts. There was wanting, however, something of musical taste, something of large acquaintance with mankind, something of the vigor of a progressive faith, to save his hymns from being, at times, wearisome and monotonous. Keble's death came on as he was reading the scripture-lessons to his sick wife. Coleridge, speaking of Keble's repeating the Psalms after his sister was dead, at her bedside, intimates that she might still hear the words, with enlarged apprehension and more unmixed delight. Besides the "Christian Year," in several editions, and the "Lyra Innocentium," Keble published the "Psalms of David," in English verse; "Ecclesiastical Adoration;""Argument against Divorce;" two "Tracts of the Times;" "Letter to a Member of Convocation;" "Catholic Subscription to the XXXIX Articles;" "Life of Thomas Wilson; "Academical Sermons; ""Prælectiones Academicæ;" "Sequel of the Argument against Divorce;" "Women Laboring in the Lord;" "Pentecostal Fear;" “ Litany of our Lord's Warnings ;" and "Selections from Hooker on the Sacraments."
F. W. H.
GEOGRAPHY AND TRAVELS.
MAJORCA has not come within the circle of ordinary European travel, nor found a place in Bradshaw; yet has the attractions of a contented, courteous, unsophisticated, patriarchal population; of a delicious climate, exceedingly varied scenery, a superb cathedral, and the magnificent cave of Arta.* Captain Clayton was charmed by the courtesy to strangers, the moderation of hotel charges, the actual absence of suffering and crime. Madrid pleased him far less, with its scorching heat or biting cold, its miserable misgovernment and stagnation of business, its forlorn position, and general poverty. But its gallery full of real gems, such as sixty-four pictures by Velasquez, fortysix Murillos, forty-three Titians, ten Claudes, sixty-two Rubens, and ten Raphaels, collected from the Escorial, La Granga, and El Pardo, charmed him beyond measure. And yet, with all this inspiration at its capital, art is dead in Spain; the English are the chief admirers in the royal museums; silence broods over these wonders of art; the instinctive reflection is, regret that so peerless a collection lies not within reach of most of those whom it would quicken and cheer.
* The Sunny South. An Autumn in Spain and Majorca. By Capt. J. W. CLAYTON. London: 1869.
The Escorial was too gloomy for this lively officer; decay confronted him everywhere; the grim statues and fading frescos harmonize too well with the burial purpose of the vast pile. Gerona, however, capped the climax of desolation, every thing crumbling and passing away, without any hope of change, any desire to resist the process of dissolution. But every part of Spain is forlorn as can be: an exceedingly fertile country produces very little to-day; a once enterprising people lie as if palsy-stricken; the mightiest of monarchies can hardly cope with a rebellion in one of its islands; an intelligent race presents hardly a specimen of living literature. Captain Clayton doubts about the resurrection of this buried glory; he magnifies the tyranny of the Jesuits, the craft of the priests, the superstition of the people. In evidence of the brutality of the people, he tells of a seven-years-old girl whom the yells of the audience drove, against her will, up the tightrope of a theatre, and then jeered and hissed when she succeeded. He did not witness the provincial juntas governing themselves after the queen's flight, showing their capacity for independent jurisdiction; he has not faith enough in republican principles to see this impoverished government working its way, through repeated disappointment, not at once to the stand-point of a prosperous republic, but to some constitutional form of monarchy, which will certainly educate the nation for something better in the future.
F. W. H.
IN the Yo Semite Book,* the most thoroughly American and most interesting work of the kind, Professor Whitney furnishes a minute guide to that wonderful scenery which he has spent several years in studying and making known. In 1864, Congress granted this gorge to California, to be held for ever for the recreation of the nation. Its true name, Alwahnee, is now merged for ever in that of an Indian chief, Yo Semite, or Grizzly Bear. Its distance from San Francisco, in a direct line, is one hundred and fifty-five miles, nearly half of which can be travelled on wheels. Ten days are necessary for the trip, including three days for the survey of the valley. The distinguishing features of the place are, the gigantic cliffs on either side; the vast height of the vertical walls compared with the width of the opening; the small amount of debris at the bases of the mountains; and the magnificence
* The Yo Semite Book: a Description of the Yo Semite Valley and the adjacent Region of the Sierra Nevada, and of the Big Trees of California. J. D. WHITNEY, State Geologist. New York: 1868.
of the waterfalls. Gavarnie, in the Pyrenees, the highest European cataract, has a vertical descent of one thousand two hundred and sixtysix feet. Voring Foss, the grandest, falls eight hundred and fifty feet, but can only be seen from above. The Bridal Veil, in the Yo Semite, has a descent of nine hundred feet. The Virgin's Tears, on the other side, about one thousand; and the Yo Semite Fall, two thousand six hundred feet in all. In fact, there are five grand cataracts in this limited space, the highest far surpassing any other in the world; and each of the others, in the water-season, abundantly repaying a visit.
The big trees lie in eight groups; one of them numbering three hundred and sixty-five, and another six hundred. One set has four trees over three hundred feet in height; the "Mother of the Forest" is sixty-one feet in circumference, without its bark, at six feet above the ground; and several trees in the Mariposa Grove are nearly ninety feet at the ground. A hunter stumbled upon them first in the year 1852. His story was not believed. At last, the reality was found to exceed his description; and now the travel of the world is slowly turning towards what has lain hid until modern facilities of locomotion bring the prize within reach. It is well that some one is charged with the business of watching over these precious memorials of the past. It is well that they are no nearer to the great mart of Pacific commerce. It is well that so young a State as California has entrusted to a thoroughly competent person (the head of the Mining School at Cambridge) the business of revealing its natural treasures to the world at large. The twenty-eight photographs, the great charms of the book, are perfectly beautiful: indeed, the book exists for their sake.
F. W. H.
ALTHOUGH his "Last Rambles”
are not a recent experience, it is one which Catlin has a peculiar right to tell, having devoted his life, talent, and fortune to an expiring race. Some pleasant stories of hunting rattlesnakes, ostriches, and kangaroos, are given as a sauce to the banquet; then Catlin enters a stout protest against the idea of the Indians having come from any other continent to this, insisting that they were created here, and at the time other races were created. One hundred and twenty tribes have given him their distinct traditions of the deluge, and their peculiar theory of creation; the Maerdans believing they were created under ground; the Choctaws that they were created crawfish; the Sioux that they
* Last Rambles among the Indians of the Rocky Mountains. By GEORGE CATLIN. London: Sampson Low, 1868.
were made from red pipe-stone; and at least half the tribes, that man was put together in a rocky cavern. If this patient student of Indian traditions is right, these aborigines cannot be immigrants from Asiatic lands, least of all the Lost Tribes of Israel.
Mr. Catlin is very severe upon our government for heaping such unutterable wrongs upon the helpless proprietors of the soil. He encountered a gathering of Apache women and children, who were starving because United States soldiers had killed the warriors, destroyed the villages, and turned out these helpless ones literally into the wilderness to perish.
Everywhere he describes the buffaloes, upon which the Western Indians depend for subsistence, as being killed by wholesale for their skins, insuring in no distant future the extermination of whole Indian tribes by famine. Then the unsparing hostility of the new settlers, especially the gold hunters in the Rocky Mountains, who introduce deadly diseases among the savages, furnish them with the worst kind of whiskey, and murder not a few with hardly any provocation. It seems hoping against hope to expect Indian agents who will do any thing but outrage every instinct of justice in the red man; frontiersmen, who will not help the savage to become more brutal by the worst vices of civilization; a particle of that fatherly regard for its weakest children, which is the nauseating pretence of our national rulers. No wonder that Catlin speaks kindly of his generous hosts. Fourteen years of his life have been spent among them, sometimes just after they had been outraged, when they were smarting under robbery, and maddened by spoliations; yet everywhere the same friendly welcome, the same ready aid, the same truthful counsel has been given. His theory that the Crows are the original Aztecs we ought to mention as receiving the sanction of Humboldt, from the resemblance of Catlin's portraits to those presented by the ruins in Yucatan and Palenque.
F. W. H.
"GRETTIR the Strong," the second greatest saga of Iceland, is a simple prose narrative, interspersed with bits of poetry, in commemoration of an Iceland Hercules, who kills his first man by mischance, is obliged to flee from the island, delivers Norway by feats of strength from the malicious berserks, slays a braggart who insults him; and
*Story of Grettir the Strong, translated from the Icelandic by EIRIKER MAGNUSS and WILLIAM MORRIS. London: Ellis. 12mo. 1869.