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school that its few successes have been achieved in the same department. Even the sustained and semi-heroic works of Tennyson have so much of the idyllic character that he has classed them accordingly; while his minor unrhymed poems are bucolics pure and simple, their sole divergence from the Syracusan type being that their personages talk and act like people of the nineteenth century, and not like ancient cowherds of the Mediterranean hills. The want of this distinction produced the artificial and worthless pastorals of Queen Anne's time. In Tennyson's lyrical poems, also, and in all the better lyrics of the day, the idyllic element prevails. They evolve the emotions of the people, dwellers in town and country, as to their every-day life, and not in those concentrated phases where passion reaches its tragic moods and the life of years is crowded into a day. In the same field we find the choicest productions, not only of the Laureate's followers, but of the few younger poets who show originality and give promise for the future.
Three of these we have thus far refrained from naming, but their deeds are fresh before us. The songs of Jean Ingelow are already a delight, wherever our language is spoken, to the young and old of high and low degree. They sprung up as suddenly and tunefully as skylarks from the daisy-spangled, hawthorn-bordered meadows of Old England, with a blitheness almost unknown since the dewy dawn of Marlowe and Jonson and Fletcher, and in their idyllic under-flights they move with the most pathetic currents of human life. Though her style is uneven, and she has added to her unusual knowledge of dialect much of the quaintness and mannerism in vogue, we think few lyrical triumphs impossible to the author of “ The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire" and “ The Songs of Seven”; and we especially refer to her efforts as evincing that spontaneity which alone can inspire utterance of the enduring kind.
Another bird of promise is Robert Buchanan, who latterly seems to strengthen on the wing. When first trying his pinions, he accomplished feeble enough essays toward the classical manner, though his minor verses proved that he had something better within him. He has now forsworn various wrongful habits, and entered upon a region quite his own. “ The Legends of Inverburn." are genuine Scotch idyls, introducing us to scenes and language before almost unstudied, and charmingly touching and picturesque. They are interspersed with songs of fairy superstition, which are full of weird fancy and have the ballad ring. His town idyls do not affect us so favorably ; but an honorable future is predicted for this poet, if he will hold himself in careful æsthetic restraint.
Last of all, a peculiar genius, in the person of Algernon Charles Swinburne, has flared upon the literary world, exhibiting veritable though as yet unsettled powers. This young man has great resources of culture and taste, besides redundant gifts of color, melody, and passion. We say that his purpose is unsettled; since, although his forces are equally original and at command in that classical reproduction, “ Atalanta in Calydon," and in the fervid Gothic dialogues of " Chastelard,” each of these widely read dramas seems to have something of youthful caprice behind it, and to have been sent forth in an experimental or impulsive mood, before its author had discerned and seriously undertaken the main business of his career. It may be that much of the immediate future of English poetry rests upon what he may yet elect to do ; for so marked a character will not be unlikely to assume leadership, and draw after him a third part of the stars of the new firmament. Let him acquire an artistic purpose, and carry it manfully to the end.
We thus complete our roll of the late Euglish poets, having omitted none of sufficient merit to gain the attention of a compiler. In this brief venture upon a field more wide than fertile, we have barely touched at various and disconnected points, saying little of what might be said, and that only in a suggestive way. The reader, following upon our hints, may scrutinize these opinions at his leisure.
He will decide for himself whether British poetry is to lose its supremacy with the loss of Tennyson, Arnold, and Browning; whether these are captains of an intermediate passage from the auspicious dawning of our century to a shadowy obscuration of its close, or if the present is the becalmed and fawy portion of a voyage shortly to be favored by new and prosperous gales. In the former contingency we see no cause for dejection, - none for discouragement as to the coming poetry of the English tongue. For it seems to us as if the sterility we have deplored were symbolical of the over-ripeness of the historical and aged British nation. It is the afternoon lethargy and fatigue of a glorious day. Is it not the transition from that time when England was easily first in policy and action, to a period when she must acknowledge that the sceptre has departed from her hands, and relinquish her supremacy in the movement of the world ? When she shall have accepted her new position, and have settled into the wisdom of elderly repose, her songs may be less eager, but will be far less perplexed and turbulent, and will savor of philosophy and tranquil thought. We have said that poetry is the counterpart of popular rank and spirit. No individual genius can resist the weight of national decline. Poets, like the mountain trout, take their colors from the streams in which they lie. We refuse to be discomfited by the condition observed in this review, because we derive from the new-born hope and liberty of our own country the prediction of a jubilant and measureless artrevival. Hitherto we have been children, guided by our elders, and taught to repeat lispingly their antiquated and timorous words; but we have attained majority through fire and blood, and are henceforth learning to unlearn. The day is not far distant, when the faith, enterprise, and patriotism now manifested over all the land will swell into floods of creative song. The most musical of England's younger poets — those on whom her hopes depend — are with us, and inscribe their works to the champions of freedom and equality in the European world. Thus our progress will have a reflex influence on the mother country; and to the land from which we inherit the wisdom of Shakespeare, the rapture of Milton, and Wordsworth's insight of natural things, we shall return songs that may animate a newrisen choir of her minstrels, thereafter content to follow melodiously where we shall be inspired to lead.
Art. IX. - The Workeman and the Franchise. Chapters from English History on the Representation and Education of the People. By FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE, M. A. London and New York: Alexander Stralan. 1866. 8vo. pp. 244.
The representation and education of the people, and what relations the House of Commons have borne in the past to the English people, are the questions which Mr. Maurice ponders in these lectures. No one could be better qualified for such a study, so far as sympathy with his subject and the heartiest devotion to the labor of regenerating the English working classes can avail. But Mr. Maurice is too much the clergyman, too little the scientific historian, to make his work of much value to any one who is not ready to accept his opinions from confidence in the excellence of his heart.
To decide a priori between political creeds, - to estimate the moral soundness of a watchword, party-cry, or political theory by the tests of sentiment, — this is to take part in history, to throw the weight of one's personal influence into the one or the other scale, but it is not to weigh history. However broadly philanthropic and disinterested our motives may be, we cannot thus gain an insight of those real causes, grand utilities, inevitable necessities, which the actors of history feel rather than understand, and which only the perspective of history can disclose to scientific analysis.
Writers like Mr. Maurice deal only with the external phenomena and the proximate causes of historical events, with the reasons which were calculated to stimulate or control zeal and heated passions, with the maxims which have served to concentrate the attention of confused understandings, and with the personal characters of historical agents. The causes which produced these, or gave them historical prominence, lie deeply obscured in the most difficult of the subjects with which scientific methods will have to deal in real history.
The survey which Mr. Maurice gives us of English political history, while it is too rapid and sketchy to present the dramatic interests of this grand movement, is too much in the style of ordinary histories to give us any clear ideas of the causes that VOL. CIII. No. 212.
determined it. The principal thesis of the lectures is, that the word “ people” has always meant in English politics, not the “ fragments" which Caius Martius, in Shakespeare's Coriolanus sends to their homes, not the mere multitude, which has nothing but numbers, but the “organized" classes. Organization is, according to Mr. Maurice, the basis of the representation which has hitherto prevailed in the English political system. Manhood, it is true, is indirectly the ground of the right of representation, but it is not manhood displayed in the units. Individuals have a right to a voice in the government only as they and their fellows have the virtue, power, and manhood to organize themselves, and to become conscious of their true interests as a class. Mr. Maurice, therefore, so far as he favors the further extension of the suffrage at all, would limit it, not to classes arbitrarily determined by property qualifications, but to spontaneous organizations representing real interests, or to co-operative societies. The success of the English volunteer militia movement suggests to him the kind of organization to which he would be willing to extend the suffrage.
There is much significance in the general doctrine which Mr. Maurice sets forth, but not much, we think, in his special interpretations and application of it. Organization is a rather vague term. In one sense, no human society is unorganized. “Man is more political than any bee or ant.” He is the political animal. What Mr. Maurice calls the “fragments" of society, the multitude which he thinks most dangerous to civil order, would, were they really unorganized, be in the aggregate the most inefficient of bodies. Each member, bent on his own individual aims, unconscious of co-operation, would be only one of the disorderly with whom the police have to deal. Divide et impera would be the method of dealing with them.
But such is not the character of the multitude from which the state has to guard itself, either by skilful legislation or by force. It is only so far as the multitude is organized, that it becomes at all formidable. This multitude has so often appeared in European politics to great disadvantage, has so often been the dupe of knaves or fools, that great folly and moral baseness have got to be associated with it. Mr. Maurice as