On this page
- Text (5)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
Tiny scorns of smiled reproringa That hare more of lore than loving * j Mischiefs done with such a winning Archness that we prize such sinning ; Breakings dire of plates and glasses ; Grasping * tmall at all that paste * / Pullings off of all that ' s able To be caught from tray or table ; Sile nces—small meditations Deep as thoughts of cafes for liations ' , Breaking into wisest speeches In a tongue that nothing teaches ; All the thoughts of whose possessing Must be wooed to light by guessing ; 8 lumbers—such Sweet aflgel-stjernlngs That we * d ever have such dreamings ; Till from sleep we see tbee breaking , And we ' d alway s have thee waking ; Wealth for which we know no measure ; pleasure high above all pleasure ; Gladness brimming over gladness ; Joy in care 5 delight in sadness ; Loveliness beyond completeness ; Sweetness distancing all sweetness : Beauty all that beatity tnay be ;—That ' s May Bennett ; that ' s my baby . " Now here , though there is much to be desired in the way of form , the sentiment is real , universal , vet particular , and the lines in italics are quite admirable . Had the volume been filled with thoughts and observations as direct from life , instead of coming from books and mere fancy , and had a little more care been bestowed in winnowing the expressions and images , it might have made a name . As it is , it can be reckoned only among the verses of the day—to be forgotten on the morrow * This may sound harsh to him , but we mean it in all kindness ; there is greater unkindness in flattery , and , as Sydney Smith well says , " Among the smaller duties of life I hardly know of one more important than that of not praising where praise is not due . " For the sake of the subject , and illustrating , at the same time , the mild mediocrity of the volume , we will quote this satire : — " THE ORY OF THE LAWFUL LANTERNS . DEDICATED TO CERTAIN OfPOKBNTS OF NATIONAL EDUCATION . " A people dwelt in darkness , In gloom and blinding night , Till some grew tired of candles , And dared to long for light , When straight the established lanterns Were stirred with hate of day , And loud the lawful rushlights In wr . ith were heard to say , ' Oh , have you not your lanterns , Your liltle shining lanterns 1 Why need have you of sunshine 7 What do you want with day 'I ' " Then loud the people murmured , And vowed it was n't right For men who could get daylight , To grope about in night ; Why should they lose the gladness , The pleasant sights of day ! Hut still the established lanterns Continued all to Bay , ' Oli , have you not your lanterns , Your nice old glimmering lanterns ! What need have you of sunshine ? What do you want with day ? * " Hut people loathed the darkness , And dured at last to nay , ' You old-established rushlights Arc g-ood timing in your way ; Hut are you , candles , sunlight , — You luntorns , —arc you day 'I ' Still loud the lawful lanterns Did answer make and say , * Oh , be content with lanterns , \ our good old fashioned lanterns I You really want too much light ; Don 't nek again for day . ' " At last the crowd ' s < l < : op murmur Gr » -w , gathering to a roar , And that they would lmv < : daylight , In l ;\ ii ( ci us , ' Bpito . they vivure ; And Aiir wan on all ruHhlij-litK , And trembling und diHinay ; Al . 18 , aids for luntcrtiB !' Tin ; people hemd them ray ; ' ( Hi , won—oh , woe for luntoniH ! What will lii'cnmc of Iniitornn I Aluck , they uill huve HUiiuhiiu : : Alan , there will hi ; day !' " Ami , aa the tempout thickened , Aloud they « liri ( tk , filial nothing- Ittt in duy ; Oh , don 't . ud in it tin ) mumliiri . i 1 Kuep out tliu iluyli ffht , pray I Oh , don 't put out your lantorna I Your own old little lant « rn » 1 Oh , do without tlm ¦ uiuhinet Oh , don't lot iu tho duy 1 '
•« The day came in ; but pf 6 phets Do say , 'tis certain , quite , That long , through coming : ages , Will lanterns hate the light , That to our children ' s children , In sorrow still they ' 11 say , * Oh , for the times of darkness , Ere lanterns passed away ! Why laid they by us lanterns , Their fine , their good old lanterns We ' re sure it ' s bad , this sunshine , This horrid glare of day . "
The spirit of this is good , the conception satirical , though not very striking ; but how facile and lax the execution ! how deficient in the vigour , vehemence , terseness , and eloquence of satire ! They are the sort of verses dashed off at a sitting ; and the whole volume seems little more elaborate .
FRIENDS IN COUNCIL . Friends in Council ; a Series of Headings and discourses thereon . 2 vols . Pickering It would ill express our admiration of the author of " Friends in Council" to say , that he is incomparably the best of living essayists , or that few of the essayists who have gone before can take precedence of him ; he strikes us as being more of an essayist than any of his rivals— -they are humourists , egotists , or bow-wow bigwigs : he has many a touch of quiet humour ; but no egotism , no bow-wow .
He essays each topic with his meditative , subtle , independent-thinking mind , and in his grave , animated , suggestive style ; the result is a few pages full of well-thought matter , exquisitely expressed . He is decidedly an original thinker in the sense of thinking for himself the thoughts he publishes : and there is scarcely a subject , however old , but he will say something new and noteworthy on it when it comes before him . He has no affectations , plays with no paradoxes ; yet the page is incessantly bright and varied .
This new edition—whether the third or fourth is not stated ^—of a book known to most cultivated readers , calls for little remark from us beyond the fact of a new and welcome addition in the shape of an index . Yet , in turning over the well-known pages , we were again struck with the singular felicity of thought and expression which arrests the wandering attention . Not simply in pointed epigrams and weighty -yvwp . atf but also in the easy windings of dialogue , in which he is a master , we see examples of classic excellence . What can be finer than this , for instance : " Vague injurious reports are no men ' s lies , but all men ' s carelessness" ? It is an essay in an epigram . Again : " Perhaps the greatest charm of books is , that we see in them that other men have suffered what we have . Some
souls we ever find who would have responded to all our agony , be it what it may . This , at least , robs misery of its loneliness . " Vanity , one would think , had been so analysed , as to leave nothing new to be said ; yet note this : " It takes away much of the savour of life to live amongst those with whom one has not anything like one ' s fair value . It may not be mortified vanity , but unsatisfied sympathy which causes this discomfort . " There is a species of vanity which manifests itself in humility , by no means the least disagreeable of its manifestations , because , while prostrating itself upon the ground before you , it calls clamorously upon your goodnature for the admiration it deprecates ; and this vanity is thus sketched : —
" Thnre is a class of dreadfully humble people who make immense claims at the very time that tliey are explaining that tlieyhtkve no claims . They say they know they cannot be esteemed : they are well aware they are not wanted , and no 011 : all the while making it a sort of grievance und a claim that they are not what they know themselves not to he : wliei eaa , ii they did not fall back Upon their humility , < md keep themse . ves quiet about their demerits , they would he ntroiiK then , and in their place , and happy , and doing what they could . "
The peculiarity in construction of these volumes is a novel and happy one . KsssiyH are first read upon some topic or other , and then a sort of critical convernation follows between three men who Hiiggcst doubts , modifications , and amplifications ; not as men do in books , but very much as they do in real life—digrcHNiiiK , enlarging , jenting , disputing , and returning to the point with all tho vurioty and all the iluvour of good conversation .
' 1 HOOKS ON OUU TABU- ; . ( , ' twral IHitory of tlw Christian IMiglon and Chinch . Tunislittutl from tin ; German ol Dr . AujfiiHtuu Noiindor . P » y Joh <>|> Ii Torriiy . New edition , carefully reviwid !> y tlm Reverend A . J . JMoiribon , H . A . Vol . 1 . ( HoIiu ' h Mtiuidard l , ilmuy . ) II . G . Holm . At all timed a most welcome hook , thin \ n peculiarly welcome just now when England ia diucussing with more
or less eagerness the position of the Christian Churches . Neander was a man renowned among Germans for his solid pains-taking qualities—a learning which disdained reliance on second-hand authorities , and a power of generalizing and grouping his materials , which forms the true historical compliment to learning . His style is not graphic , but it is intelligible—which is something . The present version seems to us both accurate and readable . In this , the first volume , Neander takes a survey of the religious condition of the world , Jewish , Greek , and Roman , on the advent of Christianity ; he then traces the history of the diffusion of Christianity , its sufferings , and struggles . This is followed by an instructive history of the constitution of the Church and its discipline , an account of the heresies and schisms , and a programme of Christian Life and Worship .
The book is an admirable book ; but it is written by a theologian , and is vitiated as a history by the one great fundamental assumption , that Christianity is not a power that has sprung up out of the hidden depths of man ' s nature , but has descended from above when heaven opened itself anew to man ' s long alienated race . This ice call a profound historical blunder ; but to the theologian it is a fundamental truth . Some Account of the Life and Adventures of Sir Reginald Mohun , Baronet . Done into verse . By George Cayley . Cantos II . and III . \ V . Pickering . Gay and easy verses , with more pleasantry than wit , done in a style which Beppo and Don Juan have tempted many to follow , as if on purpose to exemplify
" L ' art difficile d'gerire des vers faciles ;'' Precisely because this style admits of the greatest licence , it requires the greatest talent to elevate it into excellence .
The Freethinker ' s Magazine , Jieriew of Theology , Politics , and Literature . No . 8 . ( Enlarged . ) J . Watson . Tracts on Christian Socialism . No . 7 . The Case of the Authors as regards the Paper Duty . By Charles Knight . Charles Knight . Hebrew llecords . An Historical Inquiry concerning- the Age , Authorship , and Authenticity of the Old Testament . By the Reverend Dr . Giles . John Chapman . Elementary Anatomy and Physiology , for Schools and Private Instruction ; with Lessons on Diet , Intoxicating Drinks , Tohacco , and Disease . By William Lovett . Illustrated with Ten Coloured Plates . Darton and Co . The Professor ' s Wife . From the German of Berthold Auerbach . J . W Paiker . A Christmas Offering . Original Poems . By Richard Friend . John Johnson .
Political Opinions on the Iloman Catholic Question , expressed in Parliament and in Public . By the ltight Honourable Lord John ltu > sell , M . P ., coin piled from the most authentic souicos . By a Barrister . llichardson and Son . Gleaning ) , from the Blue Book in favour of a better system than the present " Prolix , Expensive , and Vexations''' one oj the Laws , relating to Laud , Uy J . G . J . Greene , I so , , M . A . Charles Whitiingham . The British Journal of HomcvopaUiy . Part XXXV . Samuel llig-lilty . The English Republic . God and the People . Edited by W . J . Lintoii . . No . I . J- Watson . I ' EKioniCALS . Fraser ' s Magazine . The Rambler .
Tuit ' s Edinburgh Magazine . Leigh Hunt ' s Journal . Part I . The Journal oj Industry . So . C > . Household Words . Household A ' arratire . Mirror of the Time . No . 23 . S . G . W . ilUer Penny Maps . ( i ' aitYl . ) Chapman und Hull
Mihkrahlk Sin in kks . — Ex prc ssions of the deepest contrition and remorse doubtless abound in Scripture , and assuredly they still meet but too often with a responsive groan in the bosom of mo . it of us ; but why should Evangelic Christians harp only upon one ntring of dismal note , when the theme of scriptural song so often swells into a glad anthem , awakening responsive melody in our own hearts ? It is easy to gather from the penitential psalms or the apostrophes of an indignant 1 ' rophet , burthens of lamentation , and mourning , a'nd woe ; but it is no less cany to find odes and lyiies of joy and pride in the honour and glory of Manhood . To quote , would be endless , but we all know' Unit the wine
/ sweet singer of Jsiael , whose spmt . sinks within him at the thought of wild crimes of passion and worse sins of treachery , rises again with elastic spring from the level of a crushed worm to the rank of a righteous and a royal num . liord , who shall abide in thy tabernacle ? he llmt woiketh righteouiMietiH and s ;> eaketh tho truth , he tliut neither injures nor slanders his neighbour , in whrse eyes viit ? things are despised , hut things honourable are honoured—he who thus lives shall never die . Such in the substance ( if one psalm among many similar , then why is it ignored in favour of such fearful eltusioiiri of remorse uh are poured forth by the Jewish Iving after the betrayal and murder of Uriiih the Hittite , a tragedy deep and dark . in a drama of the (« reekM : ' ' Let us but . exercise
judgment m the study of Scripture , rending it . in u free Hpirit of religion , noi a s < rvile idolatry of supei stition , and ivc shall fulfil tlic c million 011 which it presents itself as a providential Loon to Christendom ; we shall avoid among other peril * the gloomy exaggeration of evil which would muke man u liltle lower tliun the beasts rather than the angels — his lift ! a buiden . iiiclacui . se rather than an honour and a bltssinfj ; . The IJible urges us to try id npiiit by our own ; the written inspiration of the past by tho living inspiration of the presenttrying all things and holding fust to what iu good . Tiiei e neither is nor can be good in seeking to glorify ( UhI by professing to degrade ourselveH , the best of hia earthly creatures , and there in danger moreover in giving ournelvcH u bad name , lent w » : grow resigned to be the " grovelling woriint " we call ournclvea . — Wilson ' s Catholicity , Spiritual and Intellectual .
jAN 4 , 1851 . ] ®»« auafrgr , 17
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 4, 1851, page 17, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1864/page/17/