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of marginal references, will soon be superseded by a version free from errors of scholarship and violations of good taste; it is at least safe to predict that, with all unprejudiced and competent judges, the translation by Dr. Noyes will take at once a high place, if not indeed the very highest, among all existing revisions of the Common Version.
Perhaps the day is not far distant when it shall serve as the basis and pattern for a new translation, to become the Common Version of all English-speaking Protestants; just as the authorized version of King James's translators was based and fashioned upon the great work which was accomplished for his day, alone and single-handed, by William Tyndale, in the spirit of whose labors Dr. Noyes has so faithfully and successfully worked.
ART. VI.-SPANISH ORIENTALISMS COMPARED WITH SCRIPTURE.
Poesias de Don MANUEL JOSE QUINTANA. Obras Poeticas de Don JOSE DE ESPRONCEDA. Poesias de Doña CAROLINA CORONADO DE PERRY.
We do not propose to make any review of the poems of the above-named writers; but merely to present a few parallels to the strong, highly colored language of nature, which we find not only in the Old Testament, but also in the New, and which has given rise to much scepticism in regard to the good faith of the authors, or to their freedom from selfdelusion.
Quintana, in his grand poem, "To the Sea," says, "The sands tremble beneath the lashing of its surges; the echoes are deafened in the hoarse tumult; the mighty hills are quaking." Espronceda, in a war-cry to the nation in 1835, cries, "The enemy are lost! abundant rivers of infidel blood rush to the sea with mighty roar, and the astonished ocean looks upon its contending waves reddened with the blood of traitors."
But the best illustration of our thought we find in a poem of Carolina Coronado de Perry, addressed to Maximilian, not long after his death at the hands of the Mexican people. We see at the outset that the writer, living in a land of kings, looks upon his death with a kind of awe and horror, which could not have been aroused in us, accustomed as we are to the barbarities and lawlessness of South-American and Mexican warfare; but one can hardly help being carried along by the intensity of the poet's feeling as he reads. The poem is nervous, full of fire, and grand in its culmination. But we are not dealing with it now as a work of art, but are merely looking at it from one point of view.
After opening with a cry of mourning for the horror-struck world, whose kings stand aghast at the awful spectacle, and whose senates start up affrighted before the bolt which has descended upon the Western Continent, she goes on to speak of the contest for freedom which was waging in Mexico, and which was suddenly brought to an end by the arrival of the French fleet. She speaks of President Lincoln as looking with severe eyes upon the squadron approaching, and with profound pity on Maximilian. We quote the Spanish of three verses, and the translation which we have made, especially referring to the last verse, where in grand language she depicts the effect of Lincoln's protest upon the Mexican world.
Lincoln, el Patriarca Americano,
Vió allá en el Oceano
De aquellas naves los pendones rojos :
Y su frente serena
Anublando la pena;
Volvió hácia ti los lastimados ojos.
Mártir cual tú, con tierna simpatia,
Y alzando sobre el mar la voz tonante,
Os hizo su conjuro,
Desde el seno de Méjico al Atlante.
Las tumbas de los Reyes mejicanos
Tornóse el golfo de color sangriento,
en la Iglesia cristiana
La piedra castellana,
Al resonar su voz tembló, en su asiento.
Lincoln, the patriarch of America the free,
Looked there upon the sea,
Looked on those ships with scarlet pennons blazing:
His countenance serene
Darkened before that scene;
He turned to thee with eyes of pity gazing.
Martyr as thou, with sympathy for thee,
And sending on the waves his voice astounding,
With accents firm and staid,
His grand protest he made,
From Mexico unto the Atlantic sounding.
The tombs that bore the Aztec kings' remains
The gulf became with bloody waters darkened;
In churches long to last,
Shook in their seats when to his voice they harkened.
Here is a Spanish woman of a clear head, of a cultivated understanding, not dwarfed by the habit of thought among the rest of her sex in Spain, accustomed to use her pen, who tells us without any qualification of," It seemed to me," or "I imagine," who tells us, in a moment of poetic exaltation, as if she were stating a fact, that the tombs of the Mexican kings opened on the plains, the gulf of Mexico ran blood, and the solid stones in the churches shook in their places at the sound of Abraham Lincoln's voice.
She does not use this high coloring merely by way of illustration, in the form of allegory or visions, metaphors or similes that would of course excite no surprise, as all florid writers of the present day make abundant use of these accompaniments to fine writing. She states things as facts which we know are not facts, not with deliberate conscientiousness, but under strong poetic emotion. She afterwards, in the cooler moments of elaborating her poetic thought, apparently sees no reason from over-conscientiousness in regard to the truth, to alter her lines. Now we neither consider her self-deceived nor desirous to deceive others. The reader may say, "Very well, her poem is of no value in an historical point of view." Not as far as the mere dry statement of facts is concerned, we answer. If it were, she would not be the poet that she is. But if something else is needed even in
history, besides a bald record of facts, if we need to have events brought before us in a graphic manner; then we maintain that her poem is of value from that point of view. We need the warm colors of the poet and painter to touch up events, and present them vividly before our eyes and imagination. All great historians have something of these elements in them, although the limits of their domain forbid that they should give too much flight to imagination.
A dull painstaking historian, who moves along in his own little path with narrow vision, is really more likely to mislead posterity, by his stupid distortion of facts, than the seer, who sees perhaps farther than we can follow, but who glorifies all that we actually do see, and know of truth.
We have in the Scriptures numerous examples, in the way of narrations, prophecies, or lamentations, like what we see in this poem. They are more frequent in the Old Testament; but, as they do not so much concern great moral questions, we turn to the New.
Not to the Book of Revelation, for that is manifestly allegoric, a vision, typical of the Christian warfare which had been and was to be, and the final rest of the conqueror. Nor to the words of Paul, when he speaks of the Lord descending with the sound of a trumpet, and the dead being raised, while they who were alive would be caught up together in the air, to be with the Lord. He was not, we suppose, in any special state of exaltation when he wrote those words in letters to his friends they actually formed a part of his belief. He was, in minor matters, affected by the prevailing notions of his day it does not alter our regard for, or reliance on him, as a great religious teacher; he was not infallible, but he never makes mistakes on great themes which concern our highest spiritual welfare. We might indeed mention his doctrinal expositions, remote as the parallel may seem, as illustrations of what we see in the poem, where the intensity of his earnestness presses him so far one way that he outsays himself, and sometimes seems for the moment to belie his own liberality, so much, that very narrow creeds have been founded on his noble name.
But we wish to compare the words of Jesus himself with
this poem we have quoted. The prediction in regard to the destruction of Jerusalem seems in many respects to resemble the verses of our Spanish poet. After a moving delineation of the scenes which would be enacted, when there should be wars and pestilence and famine and earthquakes, he says, "After the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken." We know that those lastnamed events did not happen at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. Many indeed suppose that these prophecies refer also to the end of life for every human soul. It is true that all the teachings of Jesus admit a wider application than came home to the experiences of his disciples; but it is great spiritual truths which reach down to us from his walks and talks in Judea, and not the fitting of local facts or phenomena to our own age.
The main facts of this prediction were fulfilled. Here steps in the critic, saying, "Precisely so. You have a mixture of truth and error. How is humanity going to draw the line with such a teacher? Call him fallible, and we will then accept him for what he is worth, and no more." But can we fairly use the word error in this case? However divine we may feel Christ's credentials to be, we must remember that he was born into the world with an oriental nature. God chose to send a divine (not omnipotent) being to our poor humanity, the man Christ Jesus. He chose the soil of Judea for his human existence. Would he not have been a monstrosity if he had shown no traces of his own nationality? When we come to truth itself, supreme truth, who so clear, so bare, so cutting, as Jesus in his utterances? Although he often veils the processes of human growth, temptation, and triumph, in parables, to win and charm the childlike and ingenuous mind, and alike to discourage the overtures of the frivolous and hypocritical; yet when he has a plain, grand truth to utter, who so simple, so unimpassioned, so serene, as he? But when he was carried away with the intensity of his emotion, he did not stop to measure his speech; he did not lay down treatises; he simply said what he had to say,