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desert. What is he but a fine gentleman, something of the stamp of Colonel Morley? Now, if there is a perfectly despicable character it is the fine gentleman. Only think of a man being admired just because he is well dressed, lives in nice style, is of good moral character, belongs to an ancient family. The fine gentleman goes to grand parties, knows everybody, passes most of his time in London, and for all the good he does might just as well never have been born. As a rule he is a profound man of the world; that is to say, he knows everything about the few thousand families in the midst of which he passes his cloudless existence. Of the great world he knows nothing, and cares less.. Of the millions, whose struggles, sorrows, victories, make up human life, he is ignorant. What has he to do with those who are outside hist charmed circle? To be of use is the last thing he cares for. He thinks more of the person who can trace his descent from a line of seven earls than of the great man who is made an earl. Learning, valour, eloquence, are less important than good birth, and though they add to its value, do not take the place of a long pedigree. Had Lord Lytton wasted much of his time in describing the dull routine of a fine gentleman's existence, I, for one, should have been among the first to deny his claim to eminence, and certainly this paper would never have been written.

The philosopher, Riccabocca, is perhaps the most singular and original of all Lord Lytton's characters. There is something wonderful in the shrewd wisdom, generous sympathy, noble sense of justice, and patient forgiveness of the learned though timid exile. There is such a contrast between his accurate knowledge of books, and of men as described in books, and his conduct in an emer. gency that it must have cost Lord Lytton, no little trouble to draw the line truthfully, so as, on the one hand, to avoid making his hero ridiculous, on the other, too shrewd and cunning, too much of a pedant. I once heard an Italian gentleman complain that Riccabocca was only a caricature, and that every Italian should feel insulted at such a portrait of one of his countrymen. Such a view of the case is absurd. In all probability, however, Lord Lytton did not intend Riccabocca to represent any type of Italians. But suppose he did, is not Riccabocca a fine fellow in his way? Italian need complain of his countrymen, if more of them had the generosity, harmlessness, urbanity, and purity of the tall exile.

devotion and unselfishness she is!


At the head of Lytton's female characters I should be inclined to place Mrs. Caxton. What a beautiful specimen of female How tenderly she ministers to the wants of her learned husband! How patiently she listens to his erudite discourses, of which she understands nothing! How profound her admiration of the lofty being whose love she so artlessly

tells her son she has at last obtained! Little Blanche is a sweet child, so are other children described by Lord Lytton; but they are not so beautifully simple, so free from guile as Mrs. Caxton. I should not, however, like all the women in the world to resemble her. There are occasions when women of another mental calibre are needed; but still, if there were many more women like her there would be more good homes, more manly sons, more welltrained daughters.

And these beautiful portraits, and hundreds of others, will, thanks to printing, live for centuries. They will charm and instruct distant generations, and will perhaps give too favourable an idea of the manners and customs of this singular, this wonderful nineteenth century. Will our posterity think it possible that we were quite so bad as some things would lead them to suppose, since we could find delight in such beautiful pictures of home life as those Lord Lytton conceived?

This gifted and learned man, not content with turning his great powers to a variety of objects, wrote a book not long before his death, which, in some respects, is as remarkable a work as any I have taken up. I refer to that philosophical dissertation-it can hardly be called a novel-" The Coming Race." There is no preface to it, so that the author has not explained his motives in producing it; whether the book adds to his fame signifies little, though probably it does. Whether the design of the writer is easily made out, and whether he has been successful in working out that design will be, to an unusual extent, matter of opinion. But I cannot look upon "The Coming Race" as an amusing fairy tale, an opinion some people have expressed; nor can I admit that it is nothing more than a satire on democratic government and institutions. The narrative itself is interesting and instructive. The hits at the surrendering of too much power into the hands of the mob are severe and telling. What can be more curious than the description Lord Lytton gives of his American hero's family! "My family, therefore," says the hero, "enjoyed a somewhat high social position in right of birth; and, being somewhat opulent, they were considered disqualified for the public service. My father once ran for Congress, but was signally defeated by his tailor." Then, again, how true to life is the peroration of the singular speech in which the hero expounds to his astonished listeners the wonders of American politics and public life !—" when the flag of freedom should float over an entire continent, and two hundred millions of intelligent citizens, accustomed from infancy to the daily use of revolvers, should apply to a cowering universe the doctrines of the Patriot Monroe."


About the marvellous powers over nature possessed by the Vril-ya,

the subterranean people whom the hero visited, I have little to say. Lord Lytton appears to have been something of a believer in the occult sciences, if they deserve the name, and there is little more astonishing in "The Coming Race" than there is in "Zanoni" and the "Strange Story." The tendency of the last two is not quite healthy. In a broader sense the triumphs of the Vril-ya may be looked upon as affording glimpses of what may hereafter reward mankind in its struggles with nature and disease.

But in The Coming Race" there are two matters of great interest. The first is the description Lord Lytton gives of a people who had obtained all they needed for the supplying of their daily wants, and among whom the strife of parties, political and religious, the ravages of war, the struggle for existence, were things long passed. Untroubled and monotonous is the existence of the Vril-ya, and it could hardly fail to be otherwise. And yet, who would desire such a life? Grand, pure, and useful, one may admit; yet better far the disappointments and sorrows of earth than the tranquil abodes of the subterranean people, who have mastered nature, and who have solved the problems which perplex us. The longing for an earthly paradise is natural in the bosom of man, but could that paradise be found, would it bring the peace and joy he expects? Alas, no. Contention and labour are the lot of man, and he is happier when he falls in the midst of the battle-he is more blessed when he breaks down in the heat and burden of the day-than he would be if he could rust away. Repose, in the highest sense of the word, is not for man; and as he cannot hope for it, he should throw himself into the forefront of the strife, and find happiness only in exertion. The second point deserving attention in this strange book is the characters of some of the people among whom the hero found himself cast by so wonderful a chance. The character, which, before all the others, will attract the reader, must be that of the generous Zee. Nowhere has Lord Lytton written with greater pathos than in the parting scene between the hero and Zee. "See," she exclaims, "how brightly the art of the Vril-ya has lighted up the world. in which they dwell. To-morrow that world will be dark to me." Words few and touching but something like them is ten thousand times repeated every day in this sad world of ours.


A reply to an essay in BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE, " On Glory," in which the author gives the first place in its exalted realm to philosophy, science, literature, art, success in trade, &c., &c., although these make little or no sacrifice for the good of others, whilst he deprecates military glory as an unclean thing, seeming to forget the purity of the renown of our Blakes, Wolfs, Nelsons, and Havelocks, and of Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson,

THAT man assuredly deserves, as he has hitherto received, the highest need of praise who makes the greatest sacrifice; and what sacrifice can be compared with that of risking life and limb on the battle-field, that others may prosecute their callings in peace and quietness, surrounded by all the comforts and luxuries of home.

Truly, whatever be the rank or the successful deeds of the mere soldier of fortune, we see his fame through a bloody cloud. On the contrary, the crown of the patriotic soldier shines a brilliant star in the treasury of his country's affectionate memories; so eclipsing all other stars of glory, that men, dazzled by its brightness, pay their voluntary homage in the Tribute of Song.

This they withhold from the statesman, judge, professor, and the men of science, art, and literature. Nearly all these (the author of the essay included), like the soldier, are paid for their time and talents, either in salaries, fees, or in the price of their books, works, or inventions, and also, like the soldier, gratify their own selfesteem. Here, however, the similarity ends. They make not that self-sacrifice which is so appreciated by the world; consequently, their lesser stars, though treasured in their country's memories, pale before the imperishable splendour of the soldiers.

This sacrifice is so ignored by the essayist, that his civic temple of glory lacks, not only a foundation, but the gold to grace the pinnacle.

The avowed object of the essayist is to educate the world up to the conviction that for thirty centuries she has been mistaken; that she must now reverse her practice and opinions, and bury the sword which hitherto she has s fondly cherished. The essay, however, is neither so brilliant as to dazzle, nor so conclusive as to convince the world of the certainty, durability, or even the purity of civic glory; although the author taunts the soldier, that he is paid for fighting, that fame and booty are associated, that pillage and renown march in company, that no general would tolerate

virtue in his camp, and that (by implication at least) every soldier is a robber and murderer!

Notwithstanding its prolixity there is an amusing vein of envy running through the essay, and it is a palpable bid for that new kind of glory so lauded by the author, the achieving even of which requires life-long labour for-(Transgressing a literary rule, I quote myself from the "Bivouac ")

"the sage's story

Takes him threescore years to weave;
Soldiers in one deed of glory

Flash through ages from the grave."


Jove, wearied by prayers that so savoured of self,
From Science, Law, Learning, from Power and Pelf;
Each prayed in his pride to be crowned as the king,
That all might pay homage, and laud as they sing.
So He to Apollo, "Go, plant upon earth

The laurel for man, as his emblem of worth;

And he to Olympus shall ever belong

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Who wins its green wreath and the Tribute of Song.'"

Law, Science, and Learning rushed up to the tree,
And the Muses all cried, ""Tis for me! 'tis for me!"
Each one wove a wreath but to wither and die,
Whilst Pelf stood aloof; fifty wreaths he could buy!
Philosophy next from the tree pull'd a bough,

And with his own hand placed the wreath on his brow;
"Not thine, glory's wreath !", cried Apollo, "the throng
Will never repay with the 'Tribute of Song.''

Then crowds came from temple, and tower, and hall,
From the mart, and the loom; from the plough, one and all;
And mother and maid round the laurel tree throng'd,

And sang Glory's wreath to bold valour belong'd.
Jove heard, and approving, decreed from his throne
That chief among earth-born is Valour alone,
And that in Olympus, with one heart and tongue,
The gods should pay Valour "The Tribute of Song."

Take, on the other hand, examples in civic glory :-Franklin's fame rests upon his discovery; and Watt's, on his invention; yet both have, as it were, been so built upon as to be scarcely seen, except through the superstructure.

Our great soi-disant Liberal and hitherto most popular statesman's fame rests partly upon his administrative abilities, and partly upon his brilliant oratory. The former, however, has been so mutilated by the spirit of party that she has left him but one wing wherewith to soar, and the Muse has burdened the latter

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