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ing. It is, because it is. Its shadow is to which every generous spirit will the inverse of its light. Its smoke comes respond. It is good to admire,
amd its height. We love this more and that
heartily, enthusiastically, and some
times to insist on doing nothing less, but we remain silent wherever we feel God. We are in the forest; the
the but admire. tortuosity of the tree is its secret. The There is another chord on which sap knows what it is doing. The root he strikes, where also he will find, knows its own business. We take things in this country at least, a cordial as they are; we are indulgent for that response. It is when he insists which is excellent, tender, or magnifi. cent; we acquiesce in chefs-d'ouvre; we
I upon it, that Art is not its own end do not make use of one to find fault with or aim ; it is not Art for art's sake; the other: we do not insist upon Phidias it is Art for the sake of Humanity, sculpturing cathedrals, or upon Pinai. that we admire and should cultivate. grier glazing temples; the temple is the There appears to be in some harmony, the cathedral is the mystery; critics, and in some authors who they are two different forms of the sub
have written in their prefaces criti
har lime: we do not claim for the minster the perfection of the Parthenon, or for
cisms of their own works, some the Parthenon the grandeur of the
confusion of ideas on this subject. minster. We are so far whimsical as to Impatient and irritated at that be satisfied with both being beautiful. formal requisition which we supWe do not reproach for its sting the in- pose it was the custom at one time sect that gives us honey. We renounce to make, of a distinct specific moral our right to criticise the feet of the pea.
-what is sometimes called poetical cock, the cry of the swan, the plumage of the nightingale, the butterfly for hay. Justice; as ".
justice; as if a whole drama or ing been caterpillar, the thorn of the rose, novel were written, like a fable in the smell of the lion, the skin of the Æsop, for no other purpose than to elephant, the din of the cascade, the illustrate some virtuous precept or immobility of the Milky Way, the salt- maxim of prudence ;-irritated, we ness of the ocean, the spots on the sun. say, at this narrow method of es“The quandoque bonus dormitat is per
er timating the morality of art, they
ti mitted to Horace. We raise no objection. What is certain is, that Homer would
seem to have thrown themselves not say it of Horace. He would not take into the quite opposite and untenthe trouble. Himself the eagle, he would able doctrine, that art was to find find charming, indeed, Horace the chat. its end in itself. In other words, tering bumming-bird. I grant it is
art was to be cultivated solely for
art was to be cultivated solely pleasant for a man to feel himself super- the
the pleasure which it gives. Truth ior, and say, 'Homer is puerile, Dante is childish.' Itisindulgingin a pretty smile.
of imitation is the only truth to be To crush these poor geniuses a little, why required from it. Like nature or not? To be the Abbé Trublet, and say, like history, it is there, a positive * Milton is a schoolboy,' it is pleasing fact. Like nature and like history, How witty is the man who finds that you may study it, and derive what Shakespeare has no wit! That man is
good lesson you can from it. But La Harpe, Delandine, Auger ; he is, was,
this is no affair of the artist. or shall be an academician.
He is great men are made up of extravagance,
not responsible for the lessons you bad taste, and childishness. What a finé extract; he gives you a truth, and decree to issue ! These fashions tickle because he has to please, it must voluptuously those who have them; be a truth that shall not shock, or and, indeed, when one has said, “This disgust, or scandalise you : but giant is small,' one fancies one is great. bevond' this he has no concern with Every man has his own way. As for myself, the writer of these lines, I ad.
your beliefs or your moralities. mire everything like a simpleton.
Now this, which seems to give to “That is why I have written this art an enviable freedom, really robs
art of all its greatness. If the poet “ To admire. To be an enthusiast. It no longer feels that he is ministerhas struck me that it was right to give ing to the greatness of man, to his to our century this example of folly." moral elevation, to his tenderness
Victor Hugo strikes a chord here to bis highest cultivation, in short
what is he better than any fiddler “The prophet seeks solitude, but not that stands upon the green, and isolation. He goes into the desert to collects the crowd around him for
think-of whom? Of the multitude. It half an hour ? His high occupation
is not to the forests that he speaks, it is
to the cities. . . is gone. We do not ask the poet
“He does not belong to himself, he or the novelist to mould his inci- belongs to his apostolate. He is indents after some ideal of retributive trusted with that immense care, the justice ; let him rather fashion them progress of the human race. Genius is with all the licence and variety that not made for genius, it is made for
man.” he finds in real life : but he, the narrator-he is there-he cannot humanity in one way, by the wings, by
“That the poet should be beyond efface himself-he must know what the immense flight, by the sudden pospassions, what sentiments, he is sible disappearance in the fathomless, it waking out of the human heart. is well, it must be so, but on condition He is there to please, but he is of reappearance. He may depart, but he there also to move and elevate this must return. Let him have wings for human heart. He cannot throw
the infinite, provided he has feet for the aside his responsibility, or if he
earth, and that, after having been seen
flying, he is seen walking. Let him bedoes, he throws aside his own great come man again, after he has gone out ness and the greatness of his art, of humanity. After he has been seen and all its high aspirations.
an archangel, let him be once more a It is now generally understood brother. Let the star which is in that that the lesson to be learned when
eye weep a tear, and that tear be the the curtain falls at the last act of
human tear. Thus, human and super
human, he shall be the poet. But to the drama, and not till then, or at
be altogether beyond man is not to be. the last page of the last volume of Show me thy foot, genius, and let me the novel, is of the least possible see if, like myself, thou hast earthly importance. But whether, through dust in thy heel. the drama or the novel, we have “If thou hast not some of that dust, been raised to a high level of thought if thou hast never walked in my path
way, thou dost not know me and I do and sentiment, or sunk to a very
y not know thee. Go away. Thou below level, is a question which the lievest thyself an angel, thou art but a critic still asks. And he only ceases bird. to ask it, when the drama or the “Aid from the strong for the weak, novel is beneath his serious notice help from the great for the small, help altogether-is evidently powerless from the free for the slaves, help from for good or for evil. Victor Hugo the thinkers for the ignorant, help from
the solitary for the multitude. Such is does well, therefore, when he links
the law.” the great fact of human genius to the great fact of human progress, At first approach to the subject, and insists that our admiration of one would say of Shakespeare that the one and our faith in the other he had pre-eminently followed art shall be indissolubly connected for art. His object was to amuse, The literature of mere literati-the and sway, and agitate with tears literature of a caste—where “to be and laughter the pit of a theatre. a poet was something like being a All varieties of passion he brought mandarin," -he holds in slight esti- before them, leaving the multitude, mation. He calls on minds of the if it pleased, to make selection—to highest power, to be also of the approve or disapprove. But, in highest utility.
reality, no writer has been more "Be useful! Be of some service. Do frequently recognised amongst the not be fastidious when it is necessary to people as “guide, philosopher, and be efficient and good. Art for art may friend." and this owing to the be beautiful, but art for progress is more
genuine human sympathy he has beautiful yet. Ah! you must think? Then think of making man better. You
with all those very passions he must dream ? Here is the dream for gives utterance to. In his aramas you: the ideal of humanity.
we see ourselves; we watch, we VOL. XCVI.—NO. DLXXXVI.
warn ourselves. It is Humanity in “Sacrifice to the mob;' O poet! the confessional. He, too, under- Sacrifice to that unfortunate, disinstood. what Victor Hugo so elo herited, vanquished, vagabond, shoe
less, famished, repudiated, despairing quently describes, the sensitiveness
mob; sacrifice to it, if it must be and of a multitude—the readiness of
when it must be, thy repose, thy foruntutored or unscholarly mobs tune, thy joy, thy country, thy liberty, to entertain the sublime and the thy life. The mob is the human race beautiful.
in misery. The mob is the mournful
commencement of the people. The mob “Have you ever gone,” says Victor
is the great victim of darkness. Sacri. Hugo, who must have known well what
fice to it! Sacrifice thyself! Let thyhe was here describing, “on a fête-day
self be hunted ; let thyself be exiled as to a theatre open gratuitously to all ?
Voltaire to Ferney, as D'Aubigné to What do you think of that auditory?
Geneva, as Dante to Verona, as Juvenal Do you know of any other more spontaneous and intelligent? The court of
to Syene, as Æschylus to Gela, as John Versailles admires like a well-drilled
to Patmos, as Elias to Horeb, as Thucy.
dides to Thrace. Sacrifice to the mob. regiment; the people throw themselves
Sacrifice to it thy gold, and thy blood, passionately into the beautiful. They
which is more than thy gold, and thy pack together, crowd, amalgamate, com
thought, which is more than thy blood, bine, and knead themselves in the
and thy love, which is more than thy theatre ; a living paste that the poet is
thought ; sacrifice to it everything ex. about to inould. The powerful thumb
cept justice. Receive its complaint; of Molière will presently make its mark
listen to its faults and the faults of upon it. ... The house is crowded ;
others. Listen to what it has to confess the vast multitude lurks, listens, loves ;
and to denounce to thee. Stretch forth all consciences, deeply moved, throw off their inner fire; aÎl eyes glisten; the
to it the ear, the hand, the arm, the
heart. Do everything for it, excepting huge beast with a thousand heads is
evil. Alas! it suffers so much and it there, the Mob of Burke, the Plebs of
knows nothing. Correct it, warn it, inTitus Livius, the Pex urbis of Cicero;
struct it, guide it. Put it to the school it caresses the beautiful; it smiles at it
of honesty. Make it spell truth; teach with the grace of a woman ; it is literary
it to read virtue, probity, generosity, in the most refined sense of the word;
mercy. Hold thy book wide open. Be nothing equals the delicacy of this mon.
there, attentive, vigilant, kind, faithful, ster. All at once the sublime passes, and
humble. Light up the brain, inflame the sombre electricity of the abyss heaves
the mind, extinguish egotism, show up suddenly all this pile of hearts."
good example. Poverty is privation ; Victor Hugo is great upon this be thou abnegation. Teach! Irradiate! mob. We must find room for They need thee; thou art their great another quotation. There are many
thirst. To learn is the first necessity; from this part of the book we
to live is but the second." should like to fill our pages with ; In sentiments of this kind we it being understood that we should shall all sympathise. Here perhaps take the liberty of abridgingourquo- is the best of all opportunities for tations where and how we pleased gracefully closing this marvellously -a liberty we have already taken. strange book of Victor Hugo's.
CORNELIUS O'DOWD UPON MEN AND WOMEN, AND OTHER THINGS
I was just preparing for a day's First of all, I would never have fiy-fishing, had sent off rods and either ignored at first, or subsenets and tackle to my boat, when quently insulted, the public opinion my friend arrived, as breathless as of a great nation, even though that a man might after some hundred great nation was in a passion, and miles' railroading, to tell me he not talking the soundest good sense; had heard a great part of the de- secondly, I would never have sugbate on Disraeli's motion, and to gested to a weak but proud people, impart to me his impressions of the that the price of any assistance to various speakers.
them must be certain concessions, “ Corny," said he, “I wish you which, when made, were left totally had been there. These fellows are unrecognised and unrewarded; and, too long-winded, and they are mar- lastly, I would no more have gone vellously given to saying what has to France for aid, than I would ask just been said by some one else on a man to back my bill, who knew, their own side a short time before." by refusing his name, he could
I agreed with him perfectly. The smash my credit, and whose manisummary in the ‘Times' is as good fest interest it was to impugn my as the whole debate. We all of us solvency and elevate his own. But knew, besides, pretty much what certainly, above all things, and to each speaker would say, and how my amazement, no speaker on the he would say it ; still it was a little Opposition side alluded to this. I strange to see Gladstone, at the very never would have so mystified the moment that he is bidding, and whole British nation-exciting a bidding high, for popular favour, sympathy for Denmark, subscripassail those organs of public opinion tions for her wounded, and aid for -the newspapers—so universally her destitute—with abuse of an anregarded as the especial defence of cient ally; and a cowering, craven, democracy.
helpless dread of what France For my own part I liked Sey- might and could, and possibly mour Fitzgerald best; he came would, do; till, in the conflict of nearer to the true issue than any our feelings-some of them honourone else. As to the challenge, able enough, others just the oppoWhat is your own policy ? it was site—we have presented ourselves too grossly absurd to be listened before Europe in a light, that only to. What would be said of the by remembering what we once were doctor who had destroyed his pa- rescues us from being despicable. tient's chance of recovery, saying to It is not very easy to say how the the newly-called-in physician,“What Danes would have fared if, instead is it that you advise ? let us see if of depending on England, they had you can save him" ?
addressed themselves originally to This was all that the Ministry France. From a variety of causes were able to say : Don't talk of our -some creditable enough to her, blunders, but tell us how will you others less meritorious-France is cure the patient? Give him to me, fond of these “missions." They reas he was given to you. Call me dound usually to her influence in in at the first seizure-not at his Europe ; they raise her prestige as agony - and I will answer you. a great military power, and occasionally too they pay in a more when there's nothing the matter commercial and palpable manner; with you. so that, like the Irishman who Had the good Samaritan been “married for love and a trifle of one of the moral-aid disciples, he money," she has the pleasure of would have given the sick man an feeling that even her generosity has eloquent lecture on wounds, puncnot been bad as a speculation. tured and incised. He would have
I really do not see why the Danes explained the dangers of hæmorrhdid not think of this. They knew age, primary and secondary; he -all the world knows-that of the would have expatiated on reparatwo sorts of aid one is patented by tion by first intention and by France, and is called “material aid,” granulation ; and, lastly, he would being an efficient, active, and able have assured the sufferer that it support, to distinguish it from the was by a special Providence that English article, called "moral aid," he himself had come by, otherwise which it is perfectly immaterial the other would have died without to any one whether he has it or ever hearing one of these valuable not.
truths. Not a drop of wine and oil, Now there is no doubt the Danes no bandaging, no mere “material were perfectly well aware which of aid,” would he have descended to: these two they wanted; but the these are the appliances of a very misfortune was, they did not hit inferior philanthropy. upon the right road. They wanted Will nobody give us a tabular a strong “ pick-me-up," but they view of the working results of the turned the wrong corner, and got twosystems? Perhaps, indeed, they into the Temperance Hotel! Had would tell us that it was moral aid they had the time and the temper drove the French out of the Peninfor it, it would have done them good sula, and moral aid was the support to have heard our praises of our own we lent to Europe on the field of tap, and how superior in all invigo- Waterloo. Do not for a moment rating properties the fresh, sparkling mistake me. I neither disparage fluid from our pump was, to the hot, sympathy nor despise advice. I stimulating, exciting liquor of the have seen far too much of life not “man over the way.”
to prize both highly; but give them They would have heard, too, to me for what they are, and not as how, though we once were licensed substitutes for something with no for strong drink, and had a roaring affinity to them. I can be very trade, yet we gradually had gone grateful for a drink of butter-milk on diluting and diluting, till we ar- when I am thirsty ; but don't say rived at last at the pure element, to me, “Isn't that better and more which, strange to say, a few old wholesome than all the claret that customers of the house still contin- ever was bottled ? Thank your ued to believe to be spirit; though, stars that you came in here, for my whenever a new-comer dropped in, neighbour yonder would have plied he left it there untasted, and went you with La Rose and Margaux, over to the other establishment and they ruin a man's stomach.”
The mistake of the poor Danes I know of no national practice was irreparable. They drank such so universal in England as “advicegallons of our well, that they had giving.” It is a mania of our people, no stomach for anything after it growing out of the combined result
But, in all sober seriousness, when of parliamentary government and shall we have heard the last of this immense national prosperity. Every rotten cant, “moral aid ” — own one in Great Britain who is richer brother, I believe, of that other than his neighbour has a prescriphumbug, “ masterly inactivity”? tive right to advise him. I never Moral aid is the bread-pill of the knew the man who dared to disquack doctor – efficacious only pute that privilege; hence, as we