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Irish Characteristics. By the Daughter of

an Irish Clergyman, 48

LESSONS IN PATIENCE, By Marianne Far-
ningham-

I. Easter Monday, 393
II, The First Lesson, 396
III. The Second Lesyon, 473
IV. A Lesson on Whit Monday, 476

V. Hayfield Lessons, 551
VI. A Lesson by the Sea, 556
VII, “No Letters!” 632
VIII. A Mountain Lesson, 636
IX. Grace Denley, 714

X. Perfect Joy, 717
XI. The New Life, 791

XII. Waiting, 797

XIII. Found, 872

XIV, A Difficult Sum, 876

XV. Patience in Stitches, 918

XVI. Conclusion. Sixty Years After, 952
Life in Northern India, 784
Louis Napoleon : Life Lossons for Plain

People on Common Paths. By Henry

T. Robjohns, B.A., 81

Louvain, By J. Ewing Ritchie, 902

Old Surprise, The. By Eunice E. Com-

stock, 871
Our Sailors. By Henry T. Robjohns, B.A.,

241

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH

I. Biblewomen, 61

II. The Power of Simples, 65

III. Iu Prison, 63
Peculiarities of Authorship in Garınıny. By

F.J. Hurst, D.D., 44

POETRY

After tho Fire, 127

An American Spring, 490

Death of Margaret Atheling, The, 151

Farewell and Welcome, A, 43

My Sparrows, 307

Mystery, A, 231

Old Surprise, The, 871
Seed-Time and Harvest, 791
Song Sparrow, The, 713
Trafalgar Square Lions, The, 835

Two Answers, 71

PORTRAITS OF THE PATRIARCHS. By Mrs.

Harriet Beecher Stowe-

I. Sarah the Princess, 295

II. Hagar the Slave, 298

III. Rebekah, the Bride of the Golden

Age, 303

IV. Leah and Rachel, 362

V. Miriam and Moses, 363

VI. Deborah, Poet and Prophetess, 412

VII. The Witch and Her Work, 624

VIII. Jephthak's Daughter, 626

IX. Hannah, the Praying Mother, 029

X. Ruth, the Moabitess, (94

XI, Judith, 699

XII. Queen Esther, 751
Sail into Fairyland, A. By Mrs. H. B. Stowe,

544
Scarlet Hat, The. By T. Adolphus Trollope,

941
Seed-time and Harvest: a Poem, 791
Sketch of the Life and Character of Geraldine

Dening. By Jessie Coombs, 283, 317
Song Sparrow, The. By J. P. Lathrop, 713
Story of Christie's Experience, The.

Louisa M. Alcott, 575
Sibylline Trio, A, 147
Trafalgar Square Lions, The: In Memoriam

Edwin Landseer. By E. Gordon-Greave,

335
Two Answers. By Merner Manton, 71
Unity of the Human Race, 601
What does Church Membership Mean? By

the Rev, Henry Ward Beecher, 312

MABEL GREY'S WORKBOX: How SHE LOST

IT, AND HOW SHE Wox Ir. By Anna
Depe--

I. “Good-bye, Mamma," 73
II, The Lost Rabbits, 153
III. A Little Mother, 232

IV. Mabel's Reward, 309
Materfamilias on Mistresses and Maids, 129,

224

Materfamilias to the “Maids,” 377

Middlemarch. By Peter Bayne,

Müton Mount College. By the Editor, 453.

My Sparrows. By Kate Hillard, 307

Mystery, A. By John G. Whittier, 231

OLIVER WESTWOOD; OB, OVERCOMING THE

WORLD. By Emma Jane Worboise-

I. My First Impressions, 612

11. I ask for Information, 649

Good-night, Mamma," 653

IV. What Happened in Giltspur Street,

721

V, The Old Coach Days, 732

VI, Queen Elizabeth the Second, 801

VII. Polly, 811

VIII. Sunday at Castle-Coleshill, 818

IX. I Commence My Education, 881

X. Polly's " Method," 888

XI. The Stool of Repentance, 895

Old Fashioned Story, An. By Marian Stock

1

TII. "

Ву

4

ton, 515

THE

CHRISTIAN WORLD MAGAZINE,

JANUARY, 1873.

MIDDLEMARCH.

Does the world become more mournful as it grows old, and echo with deeper plaintiveness the Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, of the Hebrew sage? How sad are all our greatest singers and seers, all those around whom we cluster, listening to their eloquent voices with attention as eager, though surely not so joyful, as that of the Greeks when, in the golden dawn of European culture, they sat in circles on the green meadow or the yellow sands, and their rhapsodists chaunted to them grand old Homeric ballads about the death of Hector or the revenge of Ulysses ! “Vanity of vanitiesthe creeping, death-white mist has put out the stars and obscured the sun-the way-marks of a noble career are no longer discernible—the circumstances of a petty civilisation choke the divine particle of spiritual aspiration in individual men. Hercules is at the distaff and Samson in the mill, and Don Quixote dies in the so ber conviction that Sancho is the true philosopher and that romance is insanity.” Is not this the burden of all our songsthe sad moral of all our stories ? Thackeray's Colonel Newcome, after a life as noble as Bayard's, dies a pensioner in a charitable institution. Tennyson's King Arthur sees the goodliest fellowship of worthy knights unsoldered by criminal passion and vile intrigue, and learns too late that heroism cannot be got out of common men by laying on them the vows of heroes. Mrs. Browning's Rhomney and Aurora Leigh say the most melodiously clever things against political economy, and do penance by confessing the total failure of their world-regenerating schemes. Zarca dies by the stab of an assassin, and Fedalma, vanishing into the night, is not the foundress of a Zincala empire, but a mere Spanish Gipsy. Dinah Morris, the most promising of all recent heroines--whose ideal devotion, so pure, so intense, so impassioned, seems to exclude all but the most ethereal and exalted influences —stoops to the universal doom, reconciles herself to commonplace, and takes to suckling fools and chronicling small beer. And now, when the same gifted authoress who, to an audience as large as the circle of cultivated intelligence in the most cultivated of ages told of the tales of Fedalma and of Dinah Morris, once more opens her lips to fascinate and instruct us, she frankly avows that the day of realised ideals is past and that we are no more to expect sustained spiritual enthusiasm, or the crowning of spiritual ambition. There was a time, and that in no very remote past, when, she believes, it was more practicable to realise ideals. Saint Theresa, when a little girl, walked forth one morning, hand in hand with her little brother, to seek martyrdom from the Moors. “Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide-eyed and helpless-looking as two fawns, but with distinctively human hearts, already beating to a national idea ; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve.” The “ epic life” demanded by this little girl was found in the reform of a religious order. This was possible, because, in Saint Theresa's days, there was a

'« coherent social faith and order which could perform the function of knowledge for the ardently willing soul.” That is to say, young ladies of genius and virtue had then no theological doubts, and believed that it was absolutely the right and beautiful thing to do what the infallible Papa or Pope of Christendom told them to do. Tempora mutantur; nos et, &c. Young ladies of genius and aspiration now have their doubts and put their questions upon all subjects, and our Saint Theresas train themselves to skilful and easy command of language by masterly translations of Strauss.

Many Theresas have been born, who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of farresonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur, ill-matched with the meanness of opportunity; perhaps a tragic failure, which found no sacred poet, and sank unwept into oblivion.” Saint Theresa accordingly is now "foundress of nothing." Dorothea, whose history is thus preluded by George Eliot, is bitterly disappointed in the life which she expected to be exalted and ideal. She also returned to the cakes and ale. Her “ great feelings" took, for ordinary beholders, “the aspect of error," and her “ “great faith “the aspect of illusion.” Her ideal aspiration led her into distress and absurdity, and she became happy by sensibly obeying her inclinations.

There being, then, a melancholy consensus of opinion among our greatest authors that the occupation of heroes and of heroines is gone, has George Eliot any consolation to offer us? The last words of " Middlemarch," reflectively summing up the meaning and uses of Dorothea and her history, are these :-“Her finelytouched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Alexander broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive, for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs." This is a very important consideration. We can think without much depression on the difficulty of realising great monumental ideals, if the influence of heroic souls is diffused more widely among the population.

" Then stept she down thro’ town and field,

To mingle with the human race,
And part by part to man revealed

The fulness of her face." So Tennyson sings of Freedom. This was better than abiding on the heights, even with “ the thunders breaking at her feet.” If we have Theresa in the drawing-room and in the nursery, we can, without remorse, turn the key in the convent door, and let out the convent lands to husbandmen who, in the season, will bring the fruit thereof. At all events, this is the solace which George Eliot offers us in “ Middlemarch.” Dorothea dreamed of becoming the friend-wife of a man with a "great soul," and of assisting him to carry out a vast literary project, which was to benefit the human race. The dream became an agonising nightmare. She awoke from it, and passed out into the common daylight. But, wherever she came, an illumination of sincerity, kindness, unselfish devotion would accompany her ; and, if she did common things, she would ennoble the doing of them by inbred heroism of thought and

feeling.

Marner

We pronounce “ Middlemarch,” on the whole, George Eliot's best novel. There are two or three passages finer than any it contains in “Adam Bede,” and perhaps as many in “Silas

and the “Mill on the Floss;" and the admirers of “Felix Holt” might undertake to prove that there are occasional felicities of idea and expression, if not entire passages, within its compass, which are unequalled in “Middlemarch.” Mrs. Poyser still remains without a rival; and the peculiar vein of humour worked in Elspeth Bede and Felix Holt's mother humour shrewd, tacy, sarcastic, and naïve-can hardly, even when we fully recollect the sayings of Mrs. Cadwallader and Mrs. Dollop, be said to display itself so finely in the new as in the old set of characters. It is no doubt in the book; nay, it is present in remarkable richness; but it crops out most exquisitely in the author's own remarks. This confirms an impression formed by us long ago that the quiet, homebred shrewdness—thoroughly genial, yet spiced with sarcasm-which belongs to Elspeth Bede and old Mrs. Holt, is personally characteristic of George Eliot. The humour is not of the kind which produces vehement laughter, or, necessarily, laughter at all. Its final end is rather a smile, full of enjoyment, like that which curled about the dusty forehead of Tennyson's Miller, and which bardly deepened the wrinkles round his eyes. Of course this humour, as displayed by the author in her own person, has none of those peculiarities of grammar and dialect wh heightened its effect in the specially unbookish Elspeth and Mrs. Holt; but this is an unimportant circumstance. An example or two of the kind of humour we refer to will best illustrate our observations; but we by no mea s vouch for it that the examples presented are the best in the book :-—“Sir James” (a perfectly dull and common man) “bad no idea that he should even like to put down the predominance of this handsome girl, in whose cleverness he delighted. Why not? A man's mind—what there was of it, has always the advantage of being masculine,-as the smallest birch-tree is of a higher kind than the most soaring palm,--and even his ignorance is of a sounder quality. Sir James might not bave originated this estimate ; but a kind Providence furnishes the limpest personality with a little gum or starch in the form of tradition.” Dr. Sprague was more than suspected of having no religion, “but somehow Middlemarch tolerated this deficiency in him as if he had been a Lord Chancellor; indeed, it is probable that his professional weight was the more believed in the world-old association of cleverness with the evil principle being still potent in the minds even of lady-patients who had the strictest ideas of frilling and sentiment.” Mrs. Bulstrode, wife of the Evangelical banker and bad man of the book, had a "naive way of conciliating piety and worldliness, the nothingness of this life and the desirability of cut glass, the consciousness at once of filthy rags and the best damask.” Mr. Solomon Featherstone's cunning bore “ about the same relation to the course of railways as the cunning of a diplomatist bears to the general chill or catarrh of the solar system.” Of Byronic poets :-"Some gentlemen have made an amazing figure in literature by general discontent with the universe, as a trap of dullness into which their great souls have fallen by mistake.” This kind of writing does not, we repeat, make you laugh outright, but

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