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SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 1884. patience the task he had taken up with un- struggle before the remains of a rude natureAinching courage.”
worship could be effaced from the minds of No. 609, Nero Series.
The work, as it now stands, consists of men; and how many of the pagan ceremonies THE EDITOR cannot undertake to return, or eleven chapters, of which the first six may be long survived in the rustic superstitions of to correspond with the writers of, rejected taken as representing his final plan, subject the peasantry—in the bonfires and May-day
to some possible alterations in his introductory games, the mummings and maskings of manuscript.
description, and in his account of the origin Christmas, and the revelry of the harvestIt is particularly requested that all business of the English shire-system, which might to feast. It is more important to notice the
letters regarding the supply of the paper, the advantage of the public have been some change from the monastic system under which fe., may be addressed to the PUBLISHER, and what further amplified. The two following the country was converted to the parochial
chapters, on the rule of "the great ealdor organisation by which English society was to not to the EDITOR.
men ” and on the breaking-up of English be penetrated. This part of the history is society in the course of the Danish Conquest, worked out with great skill
. The three classes LITERATURE.
were left in an unfinished state ; but, though of churches which we find noted in the laws
they are incomplete as a chronicle of historical mark so many stages in the religious annexaThe Conquest of England. By John Richard events, they are full of valuable information tion of the country. The great “minster” Green. With Portrait and Maps. (Mac
as to the social and industrial condition of the recalls the time when the monks went forth millan.)
English and the causes of the Danish victory. as missionaries over the face of the land. The It has been well said of Mr. J. R. Green that The three closing chapters are less complete. manorial church is part of the system under the great love which he bore to his country. They appear to have been written some years which the private lords set up that ecclesiwas "the true inspiration of his life,” and ago, and to have been laid aside without astical system which, in course of time, bas that his single aim was “to bring home to
revision. The materials out of which they transformed the township into the parish. every Englishman some part of the beauty have now been reconstructed were partly This system was nearly complete about the that kindled his own enthusiasm in the story printed for future correction and in part con- beginning of the ninth century; but the of the English people.” These noble qualities sisted of loose notes and memoranda. It had growing demands of the people soon led to appear in the indomitable efforts by which he been the author's intention to extend this part the building of a great number of churches or succeeded in throwing into a permanent form of his work by introducing a full account of chapels of ease of a subsidiary class to supplethe greater part of his work on The Conquest the social history of England during the period ment the main parochial organisation. of England, though oppressed by heavy suffer- which immediately preceded the Norman Con- Mr. Green is very successful in his treating and lying in the grasp of death. We quest; and we can only regret the more that ment of the development of the royal power learn from the touching Preface, in which his he was unable to complete the work when as the small tribal kingdoms disappeared, and widow has described his purpose, that he had we read the excellent descriptions of London as the class of nobles by blood was superseded intended at first to have closed this volume and the principal trading towns which were, by the rich and rapidly increasing body of with the account of the Danish Conquest, at his own desire, inserted in the chapter thanes or nobles by service. The causes of reverting to the method of his Short History, which deals with the reign of Cnut.
the ultimate predominance of Wessex over where the victory of Swein and the settlement We know from Norwegian history what the Midland and Northern kingdoms are of the kingdom by Cnut were taken as a chief resistance was made to the introduction of clearly explained, as well as the dificulties turning-point; and a new period in the the Christian Calendar, with its “scattered which prevented the existence of a really history of England began from the time when holidays and Sunday rests,” which were national sovereignty before the days of Dunthe English people first bowed to the yoke of institutions abhorrent to all the Teutonic stan. " The effort after such a sovereignty foreign masters, and kings from Denmark peoples in their days of heathenism. Mr. had hardly begun when it was suddenly were
succeeded by kings from Normandy, and Vigfusson has recently shown us, in an Excursus broken by the coming of the Danes.” And these by kings from Anjou.” It seemed to to his Collection of the Poetry of the North, this was the beginning of a savage strife that bim, however, after printing the book accord that the fast and the Sabbath were the great was to last till the eve of the Norman Coning to this earlier plan, that it would be wiser causes of hostility:
quest. The life of the pirates in their to re-cast his work, and to make those changes the Friday fast was opposed by the thralls, Northern home is described in the vivid and in its order which appear in the unfinished who objected to work without food; and the picturesque style which might be expected volume before us. He wrote a new intro- Sunday feast or holiday was opposed by the from the author of The Making of England. ductory chapter describing the England of farmers, who declared that they could not give Perhaps too much reliance is placed on the Eegberht, and tracing the political and social their men food if not allowed to make them Sagas in Snorro's romantic history; and
." changes which had followed the settlement of
we must regret that the Corpus Poeticum our forefathers in Britain, the gradual advance Mr. Green has enlarged the subject by show- Boreale had not appeared in time to illuof civilisation, and more especially the mighty ing the nature of the revolution which was minate the details of the history. It would change in all departments of English life wrought by the influence of the Church have removed at any rate several difficulties which was the necessary result of the con
in individual life. “By the contact with in the account of the sons of Harold the rersion of the people to Christianity. Mrs.
Christendom,” he says,
"the whole character Fair-haired. Mr. Green appears to have Green's account of his last labours recalls to of English ceremonialism was altered.” The doubted whether Hakon the Good was tho the mind the pathetic scene of the death of rules of marriage were changed, the child foster-son of the great Æthelstan, or of the the Venerable Bede as he finished his transla- was no longer "dragged through the earth,” Danish king whom Alfred conquered and to tion of the Gospel. We are told that, as the and the burial-fires were abolished. The new whom the same name was given on bis bapchapter drew to its end, Mr. Green's strength faith had forced on the Englishman a new law tism; and he follows Adam of Bremen in completely failed.
of conduct from the cradle to the grave. rejecting the notion that the king who " The pages which now close it were the last "It entered, above all, into that sphere within was slain at York in 954 was the brave words ever written by his hand-words written which the individual will of the freeman had and unfortunate Eric of the Bloody Axe, the me morning in haste, for weakness had already
till now been supreme-the sphere of the home; husband of the famous witch Gundhild, surdrawn on so fast that, when in weariness he at it curtailed his powers over child and wife and named “the Northern Jezebel.” There seems, last laid down his pen, he never again found slave; it forbade infanticide, the putting away however, to be little doubt, when one reads strength even to read over the words he had of wives, or cruelty to the serf. It challenged the Dirges of Eric and Hakon with the comset down. "I have work to do that I know is almost every social conception; it denied to the mentaries of their latest editors, that the good," he said when he heard that he had only king his heritage of the blood of the gods; it older tradition should in each case' have been few days to live ; "I will try to win but one pabola virtue. It met the feud face to face, accepted. week more to write some part of it down.'” by denouncing revenge. It held up gluttony
After an interesting chapter on “the As death drew nearer we are told that he said, and drunkenness, the very essence of the old making of the Dane 'law,” in which the be the first time,
English feast, as sins. It claimed to control author has traced with great skill and indus* * Now I am weary: I can work no more.' every circumstance of life.”
try the abiding influences of the Danish Thus he laid down with ,
uncomplaining He shows, indeed, how long was the settlement, he passes to the reign of Alfred,
for which Asser's work is accepted as the the island-fort of Athelney where Alfred In Upper Egypt, again, where he can find main authority. An important passage is had paused to recover strength for his battle desert-salt in abundance, the fellah is neverthedevoted to showing how the standing army with the pagans of the Northern Sea. We less compelled to pay the Government salt-tax was developed out of the class of “thanes," are told of his happy youth, his love for a for every member of his family, down to the which about this time received a very wide noble lady, his devotion to art and learning; infant in arms. In other places, where desertextension ; and good reasons are given for the "we see him followed by a train of pupils, salt is not to be had, the Government-salt is belief that at this point in our history the busy with literature, harping, painting, and either withheld or delivered in half-quantities, class of small freeholders independent of a designing.” The jealousy of the King, with though the full amount of tax is rigidly exterritorial lord was almost completely extin- whom his youth had been spent, involved him acted. The sheep-tax is so high as to be guished. In the long conflict with the Danes in apparent ruin, when an accident suddenly almost prohibitive, many small cultivators the English had not only lost their ancient restored him to power.
being unable to keep the sheep for the feeding freedom, but had sunk into the most degraded “A red deer which Eadmund was chasing over
of which they have sufficient refuse-produce. ignorance, till the good king "sought in Mendip dashed down the Cheddar cliffs, and As an example of how local taxation is superMercia for the learning that Wessex had lost,” | the King only checked his horse on the brink added to general taxation, Mr. Villiers Stuart and called the whole nation again to the of the ravine. In the bitterness of anticipated adduces the case of a town called Benha-elknowledge which it had totally abandoned. death he had repented of his injustice to Dun- Assa, in the Delta, where the river-traffic is English poetry, as the historian shows, had stan; and on his return from the chase the actually saddled with a toll for liberty of long before attained to a vigorous excellence. young priest was summoned to his It is enough to mention the Miltonic stateli- with me your The royal train swept over the the Nile at this point.
Saddle your horse,'
As for the usurers, ness of Cædmon, the grandeur of the Song of marshes to Dunstan's home, and greeting him “they are at this moment extorting three, four, Beowulf, and the noble lyrics of Cynewulf with the kiss of peace, the King seated him in and five per cent. per month of four weeks for preserved in the precious “Exeter Book.” the abbot's chair as Abbot of Glastonbury.'
sums owing or claimed-i.e., from thirty-nine But Alfred, as we are here told, “ changed It is from this time that, in the words of our to sixty-five per cent. per annum. They have the whole front of English literature;” and a historian, we must date the rise of the second
woven around the fellaheen a tangled network national prose, literature, sprang suddenly English
literature, which bears the stamp of of debt which no Colenso could unravel—the into existence,” which at that time was with- Wessex, as the first had borne the stamp of interest at exorbitant rates, sums advanced out an equal or a rival in the Western world. Northumbria. Mr. Green's completed work successively since, with their interests, the We owe to Alfred the existence of our ends with the scene at Glastonbury when reckoning further complicated by sums paid on national chronicle in its present form, and with it our history“ became the heritage that the Abbot's friend, King Eadred, lay The final result being that the money-lender
news came in November, in the year 955, account, no receipts being given” (p. 57). of the English people: " it served to put dying in his palace at Frome. The King end to the minor provincial annals wished to see once more the treasure that was
goes on adding house to house and field to in the Northumbrian and Mercian kingdoms stored in the Abbey :
field, till he has absorbed all the land of the “ and to help on the progress of national but while the heavy wains were still toiling districts visited by Mr. Villiers Stuart the
neighbourhood in which he lives. In numerous unity by reflecting everywhere the same along the Somersetshire lanes the death-howl national consciousness.” Mr. Green has shown of the women about the Court told the Abbot foreign usurer had become a wealthy, landhow every power in Alfred's mind was bent that the friend he loved was dead ; he found the owner, while not one of the natives had more towards the restoration of his wasted kingdom, corpse already forsaken, for the Thegns of the than a few acres left. The time, in short, canand how his capacity for inspiring trust and Court had hurried to the presence of the new not, in his opinion, be far distant when every love “drew the hearts of Englishmen to a King, and Dunstan was left alone to carry peasant proprietor will be reduced to the posicommon centre.” The King desired above all Eadred to his grave beside Eadmund at Glaston- tion of a labourer on the Greek's all-devouring things to leave a remembrance of himself in bury.”
estate. And these, it must be remembered, are
CHARLES I. ELTON. good works.
not the superficial notes of a merely casual “His aim has been more than fulfilled. His
tourist. Mr. Villiers Stuart's acquaintance with memory has come down to us with a living dis- Egypt after the War. By Villiers Stuart of Egypt extends over a period of nearly thirty tinctness through the mists of exaggeration and Dromana, M.P. (John Murray.)
years; and it was in virtue of that experience, legend which time gathered round it. The
and " in order to obtain for those on whom instinct of the people has clung to him with a MR. VILLIERS STUART's important, impartial, devolved the task of reconstruction in that singular affection. The love which he won a and authoritative book is published not a day country trustworthy information on a variety thousand years ago has lingered round his name too soon, and, fortunately, not a day too late. of points,” that he was last year commissioned from that day to this.'
Egypt after the War is the very guide which by the British Government to undertake that The chapter dealing with the House of Alfred we are all wanting to enable us to take a just tour of official inspection the results of which is distinguished by a learned and original view of the Anglo-Egyptian situation. It are recorded in the present volume. Of the essay on the beginnings of the English shires, tells us precisely what we require to know thoroughness with which he performed his which are attributed, after a cogent argument, about the social and financial position of the work there can be no second opinion. to the customs of that oldest Wessex which country. It bares every sore and scar of the traversed the Delta literally in all directions, lay between the Southampton Water and the administrative system. It goes searchingly visiting the towns and villages, interrogating great Forest of Selwood.
Our system of into the momentous question of the indebted- the notables, interviewing the peasants in county government began to exist, on this ness of the fellaheen. It takes us into the their own homes, enquiring into popular grievtheory, even before Somerset and Dorset had provincial court-house, the Government prison, ances, and ascertaining the general temper of begun to attain that "rude unity" which had the sugar factory, the cotton factory, the oil the agricultural classes towards Arabi, the already given importance to Wilton and South- mill, the rice mill, the luxurious home of the Khedive, and the English. The evidence ampton as the centres of the oldest shires. Christian usurer, and the miserable mud-hut thus carefully collected was embodied, it will
The last of the finished chapters is devoted of the bankrupt peasant. Of the wrongs and be remembered, in those admirable official to the relations between Wessex and the sufferings of that unhappy peasant Mr. Villiers Reports (Egypt: No. 7, 1883) for which Mr. Danelaw after the great fight at Brunanburh, Stuart draws a heartrending picture. Between Villiers Stuart last summer received the "such a battle," as the gleeman sang, "as had the tax-collector and the money-lender, he thanks of Her Majesty's Government, and never been seen by the English since from the literally bleeds to death. Some of the burdens which were quoted by Lord Dufferin in his east Engle and Saxon over the broad sea imposed upon him are peculiarly exasperating. celebrated despatch. Parliamentary papers, sought Britain.” The story of St. Dunstan is The date-tax, for instance, would be a legiti- however, are not generally attractive; and to told so as to give us a bright view of the life mate source of State revenue if levied only most of Mr. Villiers Stuart's readers the facts of Englishmen in the west “at a time when upon the fruit-bearing trees and in proportion which he relates in Egypt after the War, with history hides it from us beneath the weary to their produce ; but the young palms, which their incidents of local colour, of humour, detail of wars with the Danes.” Dunstan's have six years to grow before they yield a and of pathos, will be as fresh as if his childhood was passed on his father's estate date, and the male palms which never bear at previous Reports had never been published. at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, not far from all, must be paid for as heavily as the best. Want of space forbids me to do more than
refer those who are interested in the fortunes with me, and, on setting fire to it, found that it cumference, and supported at their outer edges and misfortunes of Egypt to various other burned with a strong aromatic perfume. It by twenty-four little pilasters, each of which important points in Mr. Villiers Stuart's had, in fact, been frankincense, and was, no
was cupped at the top," are facts of real narrative. For instance, to his description of doubt, stored there for the use of the temple
. interest and value. The spot
, described as the forced-labour system, as he saw it--as I level upon the structures now laid bare, we tion between Ghizeh and Aboosir,” must be
"near a ruined pyramid in an isolated situahave myself seen it—in actual operation, and
were reminded of Pompeii. Beneath our eyes, to his excellent suggestions for its better like cells in a honeycomb, lay the chambers Zawyet-el-Aryan. The alabaster basins can regulation; to his account of the existing built by the contemporaries of Moses for hardiy be anything but libation-tables of a abuses of the conscription-system, and of the Rameses and his successor. It was a spectacle now and composite design, no previous specianiversal dishonesty of the official classes ; to the interest of which it is not easy to exag- mens of which have, I think, been discovered. his evidence in regard of the dangerous gerate, and it was a most encouraging augury
AMELIA B. EDWARDS. antagonism which everywhere subsists between Society” (chap. viii., p. 83).
of the future success of the Egypt Exploration opinions upon the necessity for a prolonged As regards the bone problem, it is to be re- English Comic Dramatists. Edited by Oswald military occupation and a vigorous, though membered that these Pharaonic "treasure
Crawfurd. “Parchment Library." (Kegan temporary, substitution of English for native cities” were, in fact, frontier-forts especially
Paul, Trench, & Co.) government ; lastly to his very remarkable and constructed for the storage of provisions, booty, somewhat startling estimate of the character
This particular The fact that this little volume is entertaining of the Egyptian peasantry.
"It is too chamber, or cellar, may, therefore, have con- without being unsatisfactory or tantalising readily taken for granted,” says Mr. Villiers tained a stock of salted fish, flesh, and fowl. speaks as ill for the structure of our English Stuart,
The odoriferous resin was probably tribute comedies as it speaks well for their wit. The
from the Somali country temporarily ware- ideal comedy should be one and indivisible. " that the fellahs are so docile and unresisting housed at Pithom, on its way to Bubastis or When we can take pleasure in a series of that no revolt need be apprehended. Speaking, Tanis. The quantity would seem to be in fragments, each introduced by the briefest months, but from an acquaintance with them excess of the needs of the tiny temple found possible account of the work to which it extending over more than a quarter of a cen
by M. Naville in a corner of the great enclo- belongs, it is clear that these works must contury, I assert that there is a latent tiger in sure. It can scarcely be doubted that in these tain much irrelevant dialogue and episodic their composition ready to come to the surface curious masses of ancient resin we behold situation. In most cases, indeed, the ordinary when some agitator may touch the right key" an actual sample of that much-prized product reader has a fuller knowledge of the dramatic (chap. xxxiv., p. 341).
of the land of Punt which figures so frequently context than can be given in the introductory Mr. Villiers Stuart need not cite four thou- in Egyptian inscriptions, and which has given note, but his pleasure does not, as it should, sand years of history in support of the justice rise to so much archaeological speculation. depend on such knowledge. Comedy should of his views. The Alexandria massacre is
Like all the works of this author, Egypt be like a mosaic, in which each fragment acyet fresh in the public memory; to say no- after the War is printed in large type upon ex- quires value and meaning from its relation to all thing of isolated, and still more striking, cellent paper, and is abundantly illustrated. I the rest, and, when out of its setting, is a mere cases of unprovoked barbarity. It ought not do not think, however, that Mr. Villiers Stuart piece of gaudy enamel. Our comic dramatists to be forgotten that a European family was
was well advised when, instead of issuing a have often been too careful of their material, deliberately crushed to death under the wheels second edition of The Funeral Tentofan Egyptian and too careless of their design. They have of a locomotive at one of the provincial rail- Queen, he embodied nearly the whole of that worked in jewels instead of in enamel
, and have way stations in Lower Egypt, and that this work in his present volume. The reproduc- produced not pictures, nor even patterns, but was but one incident among many.
tion of so many familiar plates has the effect conglomerations of formless brilliancy. It is The ninth chapter of Egypt after the War of making the whole book look like a reprint, this defect which renders possible and toleris devoted to the battle of Tel-el-Kebir, of while the interpolation of old matter adds able such a selection as the present. which Mr. Villiers Stuart gives a succinct and enormously to the bulk and cost of the whole. Mr. Crawfurd is rash enough to start with spirited account, illustrated with sketches and Again, that which is new in Egypt after the an exact definition of comedy. It is to “ fursections of the trenches, and with a capital War appeals to a class of readers whose tastes nish cause for mocking but not ungenial plan of the field, showing the lines of earth- and sympathies are altogether distinct from laughter;" it is to deal with real life and not works, and the relative position of the the tastes and sympathies of those who ex- be clothed in “ the glamour of romance; Egyptian camp, the English forces, and the hausted the first edition of The Funeral Tent is to eschew "exaggeration and caricature” on Sweetwater Canal.
of an Egyptian Queen. Politicians are not pain of sinking into farce; and it is not to be Chap. viii. contains an interesting de- generally archaeologists; and archaeologists cynical and contemptuous” on pain of scription of the site of Pithom (Tel-el-Mas- are still more rarely politicians. Readers who deepening into satire. Lootah), which the author visited during the are interested in the Egyptian question, and which no one will object who admits the course of M. Naville's excavations in Feb- who will most appreciate the important facts wisdom of defining at all. But definition, the ruary 1883. It is strange that Mr. Villiers brought to light by Mr. Villiers Stuart in the necessary preliminary of an argument, is by Stuart should have something to tell à propos course of his official tour (the first of its kind no so necessary in introducing an of this ancient Biblical "treasure-city” which ever made in modern Egypt), will care not anthology. Darwinism is finding its way is new to myself, and, I presume, to my co
at all for the leather canopy of Isi-em-kheb, into aesthetics, and we are beginning to reecretary, Mr. R. Stuart Poole ; but the fol- or the identity of Khoo-en-Aten, or the revised cognise the impossibility of drawing hard-andloving curious details do not, to my know- texts of the tomb of Rames. All these, fast boundaries in the debatable border-lands edge, occur in any other description of together with some new and curious observa- of literary species. For purposes of exposithese remarkable ruins that has hitherto been tions made by Mr. Villiers Stuart at Gow-el- tion the impossible must be attempted, but published.
Gharbieh and Sakkarah, would have been Mr. Crawfurd's purpose is not expository.
more acceptable, and more accessible, in a The sole result of his definition is to provoke " Among the articles which I saw in the book by themselves. For information about cavil at a selection which is in itself judicious
tore-chambers was a beautifully made bronze the pyramid of Unas, Egyptologists will of enough. If all that is cynical and contemptuhowever, it fell to pieces from the action of the course turn to Prof. Maspero's learned and ous is to be excluded as satire, why include air. In one of the chambers near the river, exhaustive series of articles now in course of the grim sarcasms upon human nature emI Naville showed me an immense collection of publication in the Recueil des Travaux ; but bodied in Sir Epicure Mammon and the courbones of various quadrupeds, birds, and even Mr. Villiers Stuart's discovery of the remains tiers of Volpone? If we are to distinguish -sh; they were fragile from age, and we could of a funerary chapel built apparently of exactly between comedy and farce, how can sot account for their presence. I saw also, in alabaster“ in enormous blocks," such as those we admit the humours of Bessus from “A another chamber close by, masses of a species of employed in the famous chapel of Khafra King and no King," or the scene of the samt or resin; the mark of the sacks in which it called " The Temple of the Sphinx,” and his terrified servants from Addison's“ Drummer"? ad been contained was still stamped on the simultaneous discovery of ten large alabaster Can “The Beggar's Opera” rank as pure
steide, although the sacks themselves had long basins, each measuring fifteen feet in cir- comedy any more than “H.M.S. Pinafore” or se fallen to dust. I took some of this away
“ Iolanthe"? And if the laughter called Series,” absolute correctness of typography study, in which arguments on both sides should forth by comedy is to be “not ungenial,” should be held essential. In this volume be impartially weighed, and facts ascertained. how can
we include anything from the there are, unfortunately, several errors of the In this manner I hoped best to attain what saturnalia of cynicism which bears the names press. For example, one sentence in the In- must be the first object in all research, but of Wycherley and Congreve ?—names which troduction is quite unintelligible, and in the especially in such as the present—to ascertain,
so far as we can, the truth, irrespective of conin this respect, at least, must be bracketed, scene from "The Alchemist,” “through" is
sequences." in spite of Mr. Swinburne's protest. A selec- printed for “ thorough,” to the ruin of the
To most Christians, in default of special histion of English comedy with these writers un- blank verse. Nor is the elegance of Mr. represented would be glaringly incomplete; but Crawfurd's English always in keeping with torical study of what may be called the milieu why adopt a definition which ought to exclude that of the dress in which it appears. “Typist” of the Gospel story, the chief actors therein them? Mis definition apart, Mr. Crawfurd and dialoguist” are pieces of half-American stand out in a kind of heroic or superhuman has dealt judiciously with his embarrassment slang, which lead by necessary sequence to isolation against the dim background of a
little-known contemporary world. of riches. A scene from Massinger might "playist” and “knowist.” Nor can the
severance from the flow of the common life perhaps have replaced one of the three from following sentence be called happy :
that constituted their real environment is Ben Jonson, Colley Cibber might have been “When all is done that wit and epigram can ideally absolute. We do not say that the
to at Steele, and Cumberland scarcely deserves a comedy unless all these intellectual fireworks Gospels, rightly understood, justify this implace in a selection from which Macklin is are homogeneous to the play, promote its plot, pression. The impression prevails because omitted. Any other faults one might find or set forth its purpose.”
the Gospels are misunderstood. Dr. Edersrest on mere differences of personal taste, and So true a thought was worthy of more careful towards the diffusion of correct conceptions
heim's work will undoubtedly do much are not worth dwelling upon.
WILLIAM ARCHER. Mr. Crawfurd's critical remarks are some
about those conditions of Jewish life and times so suggestive as to make one regret
thought which determined the outward form their extreme conciseness. A fuller contrast The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. By and manner of the teaching of Christ; and in between the comedy of types and the comedy
Alfred Edersheim. (Longmans.)
achieving this it will also furnish, as he of individuals would have been especially This book differs from its English predecessors Gospel narratives, as presenting “a real
desires, a vindication and illustration of the welcome, as this selection amply illustrates in several important particulars. In the first historical scene" in a form wholly characterit. As we pass from Falstaff to Sir Epicure place, although written in a popular style, it istic of the times. All English readers may Mammon, from the Foibles, Frails, and is saturated throughout with the higher erudi- now know what hitherto has been too much Froths of Congreve to Honeywood, Miss tion of its subject, which Dr. Edersheim has the peculium of a select body of scholars. Richland, and Mr. Hardcastle, we feel strongly striven, not without success, to bring down to They may become acquainted with “the leadthe superiority, for us Teutons at any rate, the level of ordinary comprehension. Further, ing personages in Church and State in Palesof the comedy of men over the comedy of the author has neither been content, nor com- tine at that time, their views, teaching, masks. Lessing, who discusses at great pelled by stress of ignorance, to derive this pursuits, and aims, the state of parties, the length the tendency of comedy, as compared special knowledge from the published works Character of popular opinion, the proverbs, with tragedy, to deal in personifications rather of English and foreign experts. He is him- the customs, the daily life of the country.” than sharacters, does not recognise the dis- self profoundly acquainted with the entire And not only this, tinction of schools within the sphere of store of Jewish Rabbinical literature. He comedy itself. The tendency he notes is, quotes and refers to Talmud and Midrashim, ings, associate with them in familiar inter
'they can, in imagination, enter their dwellindeed, unquestionable. Comedy deals with as one to whom every page and line of those physiology rather than pathology, with normal famous repertories of Jewish lore are as Synagogue, the Academy, or to the market
course, or follow them to the Temple, the rather than abnormal conditions. When it familiar as the alphabet. But, although he place and the workshop. They may touches on the morbid, it confines itself to starts with these unusual qualifications for know what clothes they wore, what dishes they those developmental diseases which all flesh the work of “presenting the life and teaching ate, what wines they drank, what they prois heir to. Hence its characters are apt to of Christ in all its surroundings of place, duced, and what they imported: nay, the cost be generalisations rather than individual society, popular life, and intellectual or of every article of their dress or food, the price studies. This tendency, however, is to be religious development, the author has not of houses and of living-in short, every detail struggled against, not elevated into a principle. grudged the labour demanded for the examinaThe typical character--the allegorical figure tion of all the principal, and of many obscure,
It is hardly necessary to add-it will of avarice, or envy, or jealousy, or hypocrisy German, French, Italian,
and English writers have already been inferred—that the author gravitates towards farce, and often towards who have contributed anything to the dis- by no means ignores the question of quesgrotesque and cruel farce. An abstract cussion of the momentous problems connected tions, with which, in fact, every writer presentation of a human passion, even of with the origines of Christianity. We are not, claiming serious attention in this subject one in itself noble, awakens thé lurking therefore, surprised to learn that, as he states is bound to grapple. He is especially carecynic in our composition. A man all love in his Preface, he has spent over his book “seven ful to consider the arguments advanced by or ambition, even a woman all charity or years of continual and earnest labour," or- supporters of the so-called "mythical chastity, tends to show the pettiness of human as, with a native touch of that Masoretic theory; and he labours, often with striking nature at its noblest. Only when the passion fondness for minute calculation traces of effect, to establish the thesis underlying his is rooted in a conceivable, credible, many- which are discernible in his work, he declared own work, which, shortly stated, is this, sided human organism does it become sympa- to the writer of this noticc— more than that, while the forms of thought and speech, thetic. Again, the comedy of types is apt to twelve thousand hours.”
the theological dialect of the day, were the lose all relation to nature, and to exist, like To say that Dr. Edersheim's standpoint is same for Christ as for the Rabbis, the inner the Indian art denounced by Mr. Ruskin, as a orthodox might raise in some minds a prejudice spirit and entire tendency of His doctrine thing apart, revolving endlessly on its own against the result of his arduous labours. We were absolutely antithetical to those of the axis, interpreting nothing but worn-out con- shall, therefore, be doing him mere justice in Synagogue. ventions, revealing nothing but the cleverness setting before our readers his own account of
Little space remains for points of detail. of its manufacturers. Such is the comedy of the dominant idea of his work. Deprecating at We have noticed a great want of uniformity Congreve. His figures are mere masks, not the outset the assumption of any pretence on in the transliteration of Hebrew terms; occaeven of universal-human characteristics, but his part to write a life the materials of which sionally, also, an interpretation or an etymof artificial vices. His world of self-conscious do not exist, he proceeds in the next place to ology such as would approve itself to a mind wits is if possible more painful than the disavow any predetermined dogmatic stand- whose Hebrew scholarship was rather of a American novelist's world of self-conscious point.” I wished,” he says,
Rabbinical than of the newer philological psychologists. How refreshing to pass from it,
type. Sometimes questions of Old Testament through the reviving naturalism of Farquhar, that of the defence of the faith, but rather to criticism are glanced at in a manner not to the genial humanity of Goldsmith. let that purpose grow out of the book as would wholly satisfactory. Here and there the
In such a collection as “The Parchment be pointed out by the course of independent English halts; and isolatod examples of chro
nological inaccuracies are not entirely absent. esting question what he would set himself to sagacity. In 1858, Dr. Hodgson came to But these maoulae are incidental, not pervad-do. Capital milk, and oat-cakes, with a London as assistant to the Royal Commission ing. None is of such importance as to affect dash of whisky, were very acceptable.'
appointed to enquire into the state of Primary the substantial value of the work considered Prof. Meiklejohn's last five chapters, em- Education in England, and found his work as a whole.
C. J. BALL. bracing nearly two hundred pages, ought to thoroughly congenial. In 1871 he was elected
have been confined within fifty; and the con- to the Chair of Political Economy in Edin
tents of these, in turn, might have been dis- burgh ; and three years later removed finally Life and Letters of William Ballantyne Hodgson. tributed over the narrative portion of the to Bonaly Tower, which had been previously Edited by Prof. J. M. D. Meiklejohn. work. Prof. Meiklejohn tells us, further, far occupied by Jeffrey's friend, Lord Cockburn. (Edinburgh: David Douglas.)
too little of the personal and domestic life of Dr. Hodgson came across some of the more This work will not be considered quite satis- his parents or of the family circle of his he visited London rather than when he lived
Dr. HodgsonWe learn next to nothing of eminent of his contemporaries apparently when factory by persons who knew, and even by infancy, although a gloomy father and a in it; his accounts of his meetings with such Hodgson, of Edinburgh. Prof. Meiklejohn is quarrelsome sister appear, on his own showing, are fair examples of bright reporting of the enthusiastic, indeed, even to provincialism of to have done their bost to spoil his character personal kind.
In 1854, he thus describes a style, as when, in his Preface, he laments his College and being appointed secretary to the Mr. C. had been asleep on the sofa, tired
of his life between leaving Edinburgh visit to Carlyle: inability to
Mechanics' Institute at Liverpool at the age with a journey from Lord Ashburton's. Tea " reproduce for the public the earnest and of twenty-three, it is only said that it was and rather indifferent miscellaneous talk, with intense presence, the quick thought, the steady divided between lecturing and editing; and strong denunciations of
the Glass Palace, and judgment, the powerful eye that flashed at
that these " sense of smallest wrong; the clear, vivid, and
were confined chiefly to the many things beside. He and I then smoked firmly knit speech; the argument that seemed county of Fife, where he made many useful two pipes each in the little garden behind, en
closed by high walls. He talked much and to develop itself as by an innate necessity, the and valuable friendships, which he retained glowing, eloquence that caught fire as it went throughout his life.” He was much attached strikingly about silence, and the duty of doing, on, and kindled fire in the listeners.' to his brother Thomas, who was lost in a incapacity, and the Corn Laws, &c., &c.
not writing and speaking, of needlewomen and But he has not fulfilled his own desiro - to shipwreck off the Farne Islands in 1843; he He is an unsatisfactory man. Walked home all build up an intellectual portrait in mosaic of was twice married, and was an affectionate the way, cold night, to bed at one.” the man from his letters at different periods.” husband and father; and we learn from Prof. If Prof. Meiklejohn had given a little more of There is, in fact, no lifc-like sketch of Dr. Meiklejohn that he befriended many unfor- this kind of thing, and a little less about Hodgson in this volume except a representa, this aspect of Dr. Hodgson's life—the history would have been much more enjoyable, and and struggling persons. Upon education, politics, and
religion, his biography tion of him as teaching his class of political of his heart, so to speak—his biographer is would have been more appreciated by the economy in Edinburgh by Mr. Eric Robertson, the warm colouring of which is due to a
singularly, disappointingly reticent. Yet Dr. student's pardonable enthusiasm.
friends and admirers of Dr. Hodgson.
WILLIAM WALLACE. pression of Dr. Hodgson that is too likely to what Prof. Meiklejohn would style an “intel
a being so bright and good as to have led only be carried away by people who make his what Prof. Meiklejohn would style an“ intel
. acquaintance for the first time through the lectual” existence! medium of Prof. Meiklejohn's biography will
Dr. Hodgson was born in Edinburgh in be that he was a restless and indeed rather 1815, and died of angina pectoris in Brussels Tester. By Mrs. Oliphant. In 3 vols.
in the autumn of 1880. At the time of his (Macmillan.) petually writing letters on the ephemeral sub- death he was Professor of Political Economy Sweet Mace. By Geo. Manville Fenn. In 3 jects of the day, lecturing his friends, and and Mercantile Law in the University of
vols. (Chapman & Hall.) ndeavouring to say smart things. This is Edinburgh, and he was an enthusiastic' ex
A Late Remorse. By Frank Lee Benedict. zot the Dr. Hodgson of fact, the active educa- ponent of what may be termed the Turgot
In 3 vols. (White.) tavnist of Manchester and Liverpool
, much Economics. But he gave the best of his life less the kind host of Bonaly Tower.
and thought to education. He was, in a The Philosopher': Pendulum, and other Stories. Prof. Meiklejohn's biographical method is, sense, a martyr to it; for his death was at
By Rudolph Lindau. (Blackwood.) in truth, far from good. His book is built least hastened by hurrying to attend an Sister Clarice. By Mrs. C. Hunter Hodgson. sp too much on what is known in naval educational conference in Belgium.
(Griffith & Farran.) chitecture as the compartment principle.
far the most readable chapters of Prof. Thus, instead of associating a number of Dr. Meiklejohn's book are those which tell of Dr. Aleriel ; or, a Voyage to other Worlds. By
Rev. W. Lach-Szyrma. (Wyman.) Hodgson's letters with different periods of Hodgson's teaching, and still more of his is life, he reserves them for special chapters organising work, as an educationist in Liver- Mrs. OLIPHANT writes so fast that it is aring such imposing titles as “ Religion," pool and Manchester. He was, in the first almost impossible to keep pace with her. · Politics,” « Education,” “The Encourager" instance, as has been already noticed, ap- All she produces is readable ; only a little of and “ Glimpses of Places, Books, Friends, and pointed secretary to the Liverpool Mechanics it is memorable. It is a thousand pities that Acquaintances.” Letters
, dealing necessarily Institute in 1839. Having been eminently she cannot bring herself to write less and with matters of controversy, may be interest- successful as secretary, he was, in 1844, work more ; for, at her best, she is, I think, 22 as showing the mental growth of the appointed principal of the Institute. It was with one or two exceptions, the best of living riter of them; but, when they are printed in this position, and in the office which he English novelists. She is at her best in der separate headings, they invite judgment subsequently held, of principal of Chorlton Hester. There, from first to last, she is the their positive as distinguished from their High School, in one of the suburbs of Man- Mrs. Oliphant of Salem Chapel and Miss tative value. Many letters here given by chester, that he showed his great powers of Marjoribanks—an artist, that is, in portraiture Prof. Meiklejohn will not stand such criti- organising and managing large schools. His and observation, an excellent humorist, a ism. It may be doubted if much good can views on education, which were associated master of human character, and an adept in
Not b done at this time by letting the world with the phrenology he had learned and certain forms of human experience. know that Dr. Hodgson wrote,
lectured on earlier in life, were not original, since A Beleaguered City—that admirable We all suffer for others' transgressions as well ing them.
but he showed much enthusiasm in apply- allegory, in some ways surely the best of its
In 1851 he left Manchester and kind we have had since Bunyan—has she for our own. This is the inevitable condition spent a rather wandering life for some years. done anything, as it seems to me, so vigorous it is sad to see the same blunders committed Such of the letters he wrote at this time and sound, so rich in quality, and so capable "serywhere without profiting from distant indicate quick-wittedness and capacity for in style. It is a story of life in an English rample, and to think that improvement seems intense absorption in the interests of the country town-Redborough, to wit—and it sinable only after blunders have been ex- moment rather than reflectiveness
, although sets forth the fortunes, material and spiritual, Ested. , . . If Christ were to revisit the earth some of the observations he made in Paris at of divers members of a certain family from the ei appear in Edinburgh streets, it is an inter- the time of the coup d'état are not devoid of head of the house down to the poor relations